Saturday, April 30, 2016

Strange Days Indeed

So I'm at the "Celebrate Mother Earth Festival" at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery today. I'm sitting among the headstones, listening to a live rock band play a song called "Zombie Jesus". The lead singer is dressed in a goat costume. I turn around and a chicken is about to peck me. I shoo away the chicken, and then a strange woman sits down next to me and says "Haven't we met before?" Strange days indeed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Story Cubes 16: No Place Like (fiction)

"Help me understand," I said. "What's the story?"

"Let me give you some pointers, mister journalist. Think about snoozing in a wigwam every night. It ain't rainbows and rose buds. Once you cross a bridge into my kind of life it's masks and demons. And a cold moon at night. I just want to get on a jet and fly to Costa Rica. Where it's toasty this time of year. Put your pity under a magnifying glass. It's not compassion. If it was, you'd be on the street too. You call me 'homeless'? The world is my home."


(The bold-faced words are interpreted from the images on Rory's Story Cubes)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Random Sequence: rampallian

"Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe."
--William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Act 2. Scene I

rampallian (noun) = a scoundrel, a wretch

These days, you could call someone a rampallian and they would think you're complimenting them.

Fustilarian? That's a fat lady.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Word of the Day: pasticcio

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today it's...

pasticcio [pa-STEE-cho] (noun) [TWITO, page 107]

A work or style consisting of borrowed fragments, ingredients, or motifs assembled from various sources; a potpourri

"What did it matter if the work were a spurious thing, a pasticcio, a poor victim which had been pulled this way and that, changed, cut, added to?"
--Robert Smythe Hichens, The Way of Ambition (1913)

"On one occasion an old man sang quite glibly a tune which was in reality a pasticcio of three separate shanties all known to me."
--Sir Richard Runciman Terry, The Shanty Book, Part I, Sailor Shanties (1921)

Hey, all you wordcatchers, I know this sounds like something you might order in an Italian restaurant, but it appears in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, so I think it's worth featuring.

(Photo by me. My wife assembled this hat and actually wore it to an event.)