Thursday, November 26, 2009

Quick Thought

So I'm watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (woot!) and one of the performing acts is announced as "Boys Like Girls."

And I've just gotta ask...

Is that a verb or a preposition?

Because inquiring minds want to know.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go eat a staggering amount of good food. Trytophan, here I come!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Remember, remember; or, Not.

Well, Guy Fawkes, I have failed you.

My memory + Guy Fawkes = EPIC FAIL.

What with Stump the Professor and two funerals and the midterm for my class and studying for the MPRE, and let's not under any circumstances forget Ratchet and Clank or SYTYCD and OH my old nemesis is back, I forgot Guy Fawkes Day.

So yeah, that whole
Remember, remember the fifth of November

thing? Totally not what I did.


Epic. Fail.

Well, I guess there's always next year. . . .

At least my forgetfulness was not the result of getting a manicure. (Name that reference for 27 points!)

If you wish to show your sympathy and solidarity, feel free to leave a belated penny for the Guy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How To

It's no big secret that there are no Little Nibs or Shallow Jrs running about the house here, nor is it much of a secret that we have been wishing this was different for some time now.

But I think I've found something that might help:

How to Make a Baby from Cassidy Curtis on Vimeo.

Ah. Well, now I see where we've been going wrong.* Problem solved! We'll be in Sunday School in no time!

*Boy, were we WAY off on that one!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Three for Grandpa, 1914-2009

The Secret

We have a secret, just we three:
The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry tree.
The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
And nobody knows it but just us three.

Of course the robin knows it best,
Because she built the -- I won't say the rest --
And laid the four little --somethings-- in it.
I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute!

But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
I'll try my best the secret to keep.
But when the little somethings fly about,
Then the whole secret will be out.

- Anonymous

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside --

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown --
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

- Robert Louis Stevenson


A girl. Arms outstretched, swooping wildly
across the sky, returning mildly
to earth, on the end of a string
madly running, she catches the wind,
rises aloft. She holds the twine
to her ear to hear the wind sing.

A grandfather. Smiling slightly,
weathered hands grip his own string tightly
hovering steadily in the sky,
teaching her to hear the wind sing,
watching her swoop. He is remembering
the giddy new thrill of first learning to fly.


Touched you last, Grandpa!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Salmon Carrot Cake; or, Good Grief, I Love Parentheses!

So back when I was an English undergrad, I had to take a course entitled "Introduction to the English Language." I called it my crazy language class. The professor (whose name, and I am not making this up, was David Bowie) opened the class by saying that he was a Linguistics professor and that he didn't know why English majors had to take this course as a requirement, but that the powers that be didn't really know where else to put the class.

I spent a fair amount of the class keeping a detailed record of the random things this professor would say, along with the three other people who sat in the back right-hand corner of the class. One of my favorite moments (besides the time when he stopped, mid-class, to tell us "Where I grew up, hurricanes were the natural disaster of choice, so earthquakes just freak me out") was when he was talking about how the mind processes things we think we hear but that just don't make sense. The example he used was from his youth in the South (yayy for sight rhymes!) and a group of ladies (in my mind I picture a Sewing Circle like in Anne of Green Gables) were discussing what goodies and delectables to bring to the Big Function. (Probably a bazaar. Which, when I was little, I always thought people were saying "bizarre." This could explain some of my dislike of shopping.)

BUT ANYWAY. One lady said, according to my professor, "Salmon carrot cake sounds nice." (His response: "And it DOESN'T sound nice.") Everyone did a bit of a spit-take until they remembered that they were in the South, where people insist on speaking in such a way as makes misunderstandings mandatory (think: that moment in Gettysburg where Johnny Reb explains that the Confederacy is fighting for their rats), and realized that what she was really saying was "Cinnamon Carrot Cake" (which does sound nice), but her crazy accent had produced gobbledegook which everyone's brains had translated as "Salmon Carrot Cake."

Mmmmm… imagined malapropisms…. yum.

Well, I told you that story so I could tell you this one.

There's a moment in the Disney version of Peter Pan where this crazy pirate (I think he's wearing a pink shirt, but I may be wrong on this) is sitting up in the riggings with a (very fake-looking) accordion (seriously, it has no buttons!) and singing. (Yodeling, almost.) And Captain Hook loses patience with the long, drawn-out caterwauling and shoots him (whereupon you hear the sound of a falling fake accordion and a splash). And cute Mr. Smee tsks at him and says, "Oh, Cap'n. Shooting a man in the middle of his cadenza? 't ain't good form, you know!"

Yeah, I like that part.

But it wasn't until I was older that I actually realized that the word was "cadenza." As in, an improvised or written-out ornamental passage played or sung by a soloist or soloists, usually in a "free" rhythmic style, and often allowing for virtuosic display. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

No, what I had heard as a child and for a rather ridiculously long time afterward was "credenza." As in, one of these:

It gives the line a whole new meaning, doesn't it?

Okay, everyone, all together now:

Mmmmm… imagined malapropisms…. yum!