Saturday, June 30, 2007
This is a video of Lily Holbrook playing at the subway stop in Boston. The video was broken into two parts. The sound quality isnt' the best of course, but she's become one of my favorites recently. She's released two albums so far. My last Voices to Hear column was about her.
Yesterday's answer: Skid Row
Can you sniff out another adjective that describes a less than pleasant odor? If "malodorous" comes to mind, you've got a good nose for synonyms. But malodorous smells aren't always as bad as putrid ones; they can range from merely unpleasant to really offensive. It "putrid" and "malodorous" don't seem quite right, try "noisome," which suggests that something is harmful as well as bad-smelling. "Fusty" and "musty" are used for things that are dirty, wet, or lacking in fresh air and sunlight. For a real stinker, go with "fetid," a word for smells that are truly foul or disgusting.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Now it's on to the last season.
You can bet this little baby is going on my sidebar very soon.
Thanks to Trav for all the nice things he says about me over at his blog. And you all should click on the link and go visit Trav. He writes one of my favorite blogs. His posts are always interesting and fun to read. He also has that habit like me of putting in some fiction posts here and there on his blog and he is good. I am always eager to read any of his stories or works in progress. Trav is always one of my first stops when I start my blog browsing.
Theological scholars have long been preoccupied with interpreting the meanings of various passages in the Bible. In fact, because of the sacred status of the Bible in Judaism and Christianity, biblical interpretation has played a crucial role in both religions throughout their histories. English-speakers have used the word "exegesis" - a descendant of the Greek term exegeisthai, meaning "to explain" or "to interpret" - to refer to explanations of Scripture since the early 17th century. Nowadays, however, academic writers interpret all sorts of texts, and "exegesis" is no long associated mainly with the Bible.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
1. The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille
2. Ringworld by Larry Niven
3. Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg
4. Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow
5. Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer
6. The Great Santini Pat Conroy
7. Glory Road by Robert Heinlein
8. Fury by G.M. Ford
9. The Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum
10. Bandits by Elmore Leonard
11. The Ghost Light by Fritz Leiber
12. The Bonfires of Vanities by Tom Wolfe
13. All Summer Long by Bob Greene
Figuring out the parentage of "gainsay" can be troublesome if you think of our modern "gain" plus "say." It might help to know that the "gain-" part is actually related to "against," which was the meaning of the Old English gean -. From that element came the Middle English gain -, which was joined with sayen ("to say") to form gainsayen, the Middle English version of "gainsay." So when you see "gainsay," think "say against" - that is "deny" or "contradict."
A quick question: Sidebars seem to be the bane of the blogging world. Most people seem to hate them, or think they should be small. Anyone that reads my blog knows I have a very loooooong sidebar. I like a long sidebar. I'm trying to put other sites or links that I think are cool and someone else may want to visit. I am going to fiddle with my sidebar some, but I doubt if I make it too much smaller. The question is: what do you all think of sidebars? Should they be small? Why the hate for long ones?
Ok, put your hard hat on while you visit for right now. Any comments on how things are looking, better or worse or whatever would be greatly appreciated.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
"Cadre" traces to the Latin quadrum, meaning "square." And since squares can make good frameworks, it's easy to understand why first French-speakers and later English-speakers used "cadre" as a word meaning "framework." If you think of a core group of officers in a regiment as the framework that holds things together for the unit, you can see how the "central unit" sense of "cadre" developed. Military leaders and their troops are well trained and work together as a unified team, which may explain why "cadre" is now sometimes used more generally to refer to any group of people who have some kind of unifying characteristic, even if they aren't leaders.
Monday, June 25, 2007
I've finally gotten around to reading the Fats Domino book I bought at this year's Jazz Fest: Blue Monday by Rick Coleman. I'm enjoying it, it's an interesting book. Today Fats is looked on as a safe, almost comical singer in some regards. Coleman brings the reader back to the early days of the music that would later be called rock and roll and shows how important Fats was to that early development. Fats played a big role in bringing whites and blacks together in these early musical shows. And far from being a safe singer, at a lot of early Fats shows the audience was prone to riots. Coleman intersects the musical playing of Fats and other black R&B (and early Rock n Rollers) singers with the growing civil rights movements of the late fifties and early sixties and how important this music was to the movement.
Getting straight to the point, a number of English words come from the Latin relatives pungere (meaning "to prick" or "to sting") and punctum (meaning "point"). "Punctilio," for example, came to us through the Italian word puntiglio (meaning "small point," "point of honor," or "scruple"), which descends from the Spanish puntillo, the diminutive of punto, meaning "point." It is from "punctilio" that we get our adjective "punctilious," which means "marked by or concerned about precise accordance with the the details of codes or conventions." Other derivatives of punctum and pungere include "puncture," "compunction," "punctual," and "pungent."
Friday, June 22, 2007
Last night I finished Season Five of Buffy. This was a much better season than the previous season as far as I'm concerned. I liked Glory as the "Big Bad." And this season has one of the most emotional episodes of the entire series, "The Body" where Buffy's mother dies. And I love the speech Giles gives in the last episode about Buffy being a hero and not being able to kill a human, just before he kills Ben/Glory. Only two more seasons to go.
Is it "jinni" or "jinn"? "Djinni" or "djinn"? Adopted from an Arabic word usually represented in our alphabet as jinni, today's word is nonetheless spelled a variety of ways in English. All of those variant spellings are used to describe a supernatural spirit from Arabic mythology that is made of fire or air and that can assume human or animal form. Mythology holds that jinn (that's the plural of "jinni") love to punish humans for any harm done to them and that they are the cause of many accidents and diseases.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The word "encomium" had its roots in ancient Greek, with the word enkomion (formed from em, meaning "in," and komos, "celebration") to refer to formal expressions of praise such as eulogies and panegrics of the kind prepared in honor of a victor in the Olympics. The term was later broadened to refer to any laudatory ode. Since then, encomiums have been written in praise of all types of people.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The history of "tog" is truly a rags-to-riches tale that begins with the slang of vagabonds and thieves, specifically the noun "togeman" - an old (and obsolete) slang word meaning "cloak." By the early 18th century, the shortened form "tog" was being used as a slang word for "coat," and before the cnetury's end the plural form "togs" was just another word for clothing. The verb "tog" debuted shortly thereafter and was immediately in style as a word for dressing up. If you're wondering if there's a connection between "tog" and "toga," the answer is yes. "Togeman" is believed to derive in part from toga, meaning "cloak" or "mantle" in Latin.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
The Latin adjective desultorius, the parent of "desultory," was used by the ancients to refer to a circus performer (called a desultor ) whose trick was to leap from horse to horse without stopping. It makes sense, therefore, that someone or something "desultory" jumps from one thing to another. (Desultor and desultorius are derived from the Latin verb salire, meaning "to leap.") A desultory conversation leaps aimlessly from one topic to another. A desultory student skips from one subject to another, without applying serious effort to any one. A desultory comment is a digressive one that jumps away from the topic at hand. And a desultory performance is one resulting from an implied lack of steady, focused effort.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Tomorrow the newest issue of TopBlogMag will be out there on your internet, just waiting for you to read it. Check it out for some great writing....and my weekly music column Voices to hear. Each week I try and write about a musician I think deserves wider recognition. Some of my past columns have talked about Amanda Shaw, Susan Cowsill, Theresa Anderson, Will Hoge and Shannon McNally. Go check out tomorrow's column and see who I'm talking about.
So far so good.
I wasn't wild over the first one. It had its moments, but it was nowhere the movie that it could have been. I haven't been holding my breath for the second one, but the previews have been pretty good and the Silver Surfer looks really good. I've heard rumors about what they've done to Galactus which I'm not too happy about if they turn out to be true.
I guess I'll just have to go see it and find out how good it is....or isn't.
"Affable" is one of several English words with roots in the Latin verb fari, which means "to speak." "Affable" comes from the Latin affabilis, formed from the fari relative affari ("to speak to") plus -abilis, meaning "able." Some other fari derivatives are "infant," "fable," and "fate." "Infant" descends from infant -, infans, which means "incapable of speech" or "young" and is rooted in fans, the present participle of fari. "Fable" comes from fabula, which comes from fari and means "conversation." "Fate" traces to fatum, meaning "what has been spoken" and deriving from fatus, a past participle of fari.
When you're younger it's easy to think of Father's Day as just a day that you have to remember to get your Dad a card and gift. No big deal. Or in my case, working in retail, Father's Day is just one more of those holidays that make us work harder and longer hours, because everyone is out there shopping and usually waiting till the last minute to buy their presents. But like many things age puts a different perspective on things. Age and other events.
It wasn't that long ago that I was wondering if my Dad was even going to make it to this Father's Day. It's a scary feeling thinking that you're about to lose someone that means so much to you. He's been such a constant in my life, that I don't know what I would do without him. It doesn't matter how old I am, he's still my Dad and I still feel like he can solve all the world's problems for me. As a kid you think you're Dad can do anything, than as you get older you start thinking he doesn't know anything and he's just put on earth to piss you off. Still later as you, hopefully mature somewhat you realize that maybe he did know everything and that if you can't figure something out he's only a phone call away.
Robert Heinlein is one of the grand masters of science fiction. A lot of his fiction always starred a main character, mostly male (though later he did use female leads) that was the competent man; the man that could fix a car, cook dinner, read the newest novel, build a cabinet, in essence whatever needed doing. For me this ideal, this competent man has always been my Dad. I've seen him fix a car, cook dinner many times, always reading, building more than just a cabinet....doing whatever needed doing.
I inherited my love of reading from my Dad. For as long as I was growing up I always remember him reading. My Mom and Dad enrolled my in a book club when I was still learning to read. I remember getting those Dr. Seuss books, those gold key books, the first book I ever remember reading "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel" I got from that book club.
(An aside: For years I thought my copy of that book gone. My brother had given it to my nephew when he was young and I assumed it was lost like so many mementos of childhood. One Christmas I opened a present from my brother and it was my copy of Mike Mulligan. Battered and falling apart that present meant more to me than the newest electronic toy. My brother is a lot like my Dad.)
My Mom and Dad valued intelligence. Neither had went past high school. In fact my Dad had not even went that far. To them having a jock for a son was not seen as anything special, what they wanted was for me and my brother to bring home A's. But it wasn't a beat us over the head to get good grades. Yes, there were times when they seemed to want us to succeed when we felt like we couldn't. But they nourished a love of learning in both my brother and me. They made smart seem cool to us. And this was back, years before geeks became the barometer of cool.
My Dad was born in New Jersey to immigrants from Ireland. I don't remember my Dad's parents that well. I can remember them to a certain degree, they were both big and round and to me seemed happy. The truth was somewhat different. My Dad came from an abusive family. His father beat him. He didn't finish high school because he joined the Navy after a particular severe beating from his father. Later in life my Dad was able to at least come to somewhat terms with his Dad and I guess forgive him as much as possible.
The truth is that most children that come from abusive homes become abusive parents themselves. And my Dad has a temper. He could get mad very easily, sometimes it seemed over the slightest fault. We got whipped as kids. But I can honestly say we never got beat. And the whippings were never worse than what a normal whipping is. Now I can look back and see the struggle my Dad must have went through and what he accomplished by breaking that cycle of abuse.
As kids growing up my Dad made sure every summer we went on vacation. It might just be to my Grandparents house in Tennessee when we lived in Georgia, it might be to Disney World, it might be to Six Flags, but it was always somewhere we would go. As a kid my Dad never got to go on vacation and he wanted to make sure we did.
Growing up my parents fought. They could have battle royals. But I never saw two people more in love either. They weren't afraid to show their affection for each other in front of us kids either. I don't know how many times I would walk in on them in the kitchen kissing and hugging or snuggling on the couch, they loved each other very much.
I remember the first time I saw my Dad cry. I had to have been around 8. My sister was probably about one. From her birth she had been in and out of hospitals, one of the problems she had was she was born with spina bifda. They would fly her to Walter Reed for operations and I remember my Dad coming home after one operation and telling me and my brother about it. My sister had died on the operating table, but they were able to revive her. But as my Dad told that story he started crying. At that age neither my brother nor I knew what to do. We had never seen my Dad cry. He was so strong, but later I think it showed us what true strength was, that you could have the ability to cry.
As young as I can remember my Dad liked to build. He would always have a workshop out back, with tools and saws and whatever else he needed to build. He built our beds, cabinets, anything he could. He loved working with wood. Me, not so much. My brother has inherited that love from him. Even as an adult if I needed something built, a new bookcase, I would call my Dad and tell him what I needed and I knew I would get it exactly like I needed.
My Dad is actually an insecure person. He always believes that he isn't that smart. He really feels bad about not finishing high school. He doesn't realize how smart he really is. He's taught himself so much. He's taught my brother and I so much. He's taught us how to be the best men we can be. I don't think we could have a better example.
So here's to my Dad....Happy Father's Day.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
In both English and French, a menage is a household. Back in the days of Middle French, menagerie meant "the management of a household or farm" or "a place where animals are tended." By the 1670s, English had adopted the word but dropped its housekeeping aspects, applying it specifically to the places where circuses and other exhibitions kept show animals. Later, the word was generalized to any varied mixture, especially one that includes things that are strange or foreign to one's experience.
Friday, June 15, 2007
"Wheedle" has been a part of our lexicon since the mid-17th century, though no one is quite sure how the term made its way into English. (It has been suggested that the term may have derived from an Old English word that mean "to beg," but this is far from certain.) Once established, however, "wheedle" became a favorite of some of the language's most illustrious writers. "Wheedle" and related forms appear in the writings of Wordsworth, Dickens, Kipling, Dryden, Swift, Scott, Tennyson, and Pope, among others.
Yesterday, June 14 was Flag Day, a day I completely forgot until I went to visit Trav's blog and was reminded. Thanks for the reminder, Trav. Even if I'm a day late I can't let it go by without a post.
Flag Day is the day we celebrate when the official adoption of the Stars and Strips as the Flag of our country. On May 30th of 1916 President Woodrow Wilson issued an official proclamation declaring June 14 as Flag Day. But it wasn't until President Truman signed an Act of Congress on August 3, 1949 that June 14 officially became Flag Day.
This is the first official flag of the United States. 13 stars to symbolize the 13 colonies. It became the official flag on June 14, 1777. Who created the first flag? Some credit goes to Congressman Francis Hopkinson, but we also all know the story of Betsy Ross. George Washington was the only president to serve under this flag.
Henry Ward Beecher
If one asks me the meaning of our flag, I say to him: It means just what Concord and Lexington meant, what Bunker Hill meant. It means the whole glorious Revolutionary War. It means all that the Declaration of Independence meant. It means all that the Constitution of our people, organizing for justice, for liberty and for happiness, meant.
Under this banner rode Washington and his armies. Before it Burgoyne laid down his arms. It waved on the highlands at West Point. When Arnold would have surrendered these valuable fortresses and precious legacies, his night was turned into day and his treachery was driven away by beams of light from this starry banner.
It cheered our army, driven out from around New York, and in their painful pilgrimages through New Jersey. This banner streamed in light over the soldiers' heads at Valley Forge and at Morristown. It crossed the waters rolling with ice at Trenton, and when its stars gleamed in the morning with a victory, a new day of hope dawned on the despondency of this nation.
Our Flag carries American ideas, American history and American feelings. Beginning with the Colonies, and coming down to our time, in its sacred heraldry, in its glorious insignia, it has gathered and stored chiefly this supreme idea: divine right of liberty in man. Every color means liberty; every thread means liberty; every form of star and beam or stripe of light means liberty - not lawlessness, but organized, institutional liberty - liberty through law, and laws for liberty!
This American Flag was the safeguard of liberty. Not an atom of crown was allowed to go into its insignia. Not a symbol of authority in the ruler was permitted to go into it. It was an ordinance of liberty by the people, for the people. That it meant, that it means, and, by the blessing of God, that it shall mean to the end of time!
"I was born an American; I live an American; I shall die an American; and I intend to perform the duties incumbent upon me in that character to the end of my career. I mean to do this with absolute disregard of personal consequences."
- Daniel Webster
A personal note: I get chills whenever I see the American Flag. It means so much, there is so much history in that flag. So many people, men and women, gave their lives defending it. Freedom is sewn into the stitches of that flag. There is no greater symbol for our land of the free and home of the brave.
Just finished Season Four of Buffy. I'm thinking this might be the weakest season of the series. I'll see as I watch the remaining three seasons again. This season did have some good episodes, any season with "Hush" in it has to be pretty good. But it had Adam, who I think is one of the worst Buffy "Big Bad" in the series. To its credit the conclusion with Adam did a lot to bring the villain up in its standings. Throughout the season the scooby gang are splitting and going their own way, as most people do after high school, growing and sometimes unfortunately leaving behind their former friends. But the ending brings the gang together in a way that makes them realize that they are more than just friends, they need each other. There are a lot of themes running throughout the series but one that is as important as any is friendship. The show starts with Buffy, Willow and Xander as friends and ends with the three of them still together.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
"The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history." Woodrow Wilson was speaking of the American flag when he made that statement in an address in June of 1915, but vexillologists would likely find the comment applicable to any national banner. Vexillologists undertake scholarly investigations of flags, producing papers with titles such as "A Review of the Changing Proportions of Rectangular Flags since Medieval Times, and Some Suggestions for the Future." In the late 1950s, they coined a name for their field of research (vexillology) and for members of their profession (vexillologists) from vexillum, the Latin term for a square flag or banner of the ancient Roman cavalry.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Your Score: Braniac
Your score was.... 90
Cant fool you can I? You know your spelling.... Good job!
|Link: The Sesame Street Spelling Bee Test written by gatorgirl7 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Your Score: Hot Tamale
You have an intellectual sexiness factor of 73!
You're hot! You've read a lot. You've done a lot, and there's a lot you'd like to try in the future. You've got a sharp, sexy mind, and few inhibitions to restrain you from exploring all the pleasure you can get. You have few hang-ups, and there's not much you don't know about sex. You're open-minded and able to enjoy things that would make a lesser person squeamish.
You're an exceptional treat as a lover, appreciated greatly by those who know the differnce. You were probably bored with a few of the people you've been with in your past, feeling like you had to drag them along with you in the sexual adventures you want to have, and probably dumping them for the same reason. It takes a lot to stimulate you; you realize it's not just about bumping uglies. In the end there's gotta be a lot more to it.
Still, there is always room for improvement. Before you can graduate into a true sexual genius, there are a few things you've got to learn, to explore, to think through, talk through, and fuck through. A good place to start is in taking a look at the few things you're still a little hesitant to try. Break down you're last few barriers and discover the outer sexual frontiers, and you'll become a master.
|Link: The Intellectual Sexiness Test written by dr_eros on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Your Score: Peter Petrelli
You scored 50 Idealism, 75 Nonconformity, 16 Nerdiness
Congratulations, you're Peter Petrelli! You are a compassionate, idealistic person, which is great. You're searching for your identity and purpose in life, and you have a strong desire to be special, and do something great for the world. You're a bit on the emo side, but you have the best of intentions.
Your best quality: Empathy
Your worst quality: EMO
|Link: The Heroes Personality Test written by freedomdegrees on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Your Score: Humphrey Bogart
You scored 47% Tough, 14% Roguish, 33% Friendly, and 4% Charming!
You're the original man of honor, rough and tough but willing to stick your neck out when you need to, despite what you might say to the contrary. You're a complex character full of spit and vinegar, but with a soft heart and a tender streak that you try to hide. There's usually a complicated dame in the picture, someone who sees the real you behind all the tough talk and can dish it out as well as you can. You're not easy to get next to, but when you find the right partner, you're caring and loyal to a fault. A big fault. But you take it on the chin and move on, nursing your pain inside and maintaining your armor...until the next dame walks in. Or possibly the same dame, and of all the gin joints in all the world, it had to be yours. Co-stars include Ingrid Bergman and Lauren Bacall, hot chicks with problems.
Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the
Classic Dames Test.
|Link: The Classic Leading Man Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
The noisy black-and-white birds commonly known as magpies belong to the species Pica pica, and pica played an important role in the development of "piebald." It's the Latin word for "magpie," a member of the crow family also known as a "pie."
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I've decided to rewatch all of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. Hey, what's the good of having the entire series of DVD if you don't watch it from time to time. I'm actually up to Season 4 already. I'm three episodes into the season so far. It's nice that when you go back to a show you liked it still holds up. Season 3 which I just finished, was the season where the Scooby gang graduates high school. This could be considered their best season. "The Prom" episode was really good. I thought it was such an emotional moment when her class acknowledges the importance of Buffy in their lives.
The above drawing is from a proposed Buffy animated series that never got off the ground. Pretty much the entire cast was ready to come back to do the voices, but it never got picked up by anyone.
According to Homer, Cassandra was so beautiful that she caught the eye of the god Apollo. Accustomed to getting what he wanted, Apollo was amazed and displeased when Cassandra refused his romantic advances, especially after he had given her the gift of predicting the future. Out of vengeance, he guaranteed that while her prophecies would be correct, no one would ever believe them. Cassandra foretold the fall of Troy (her father's kingdom) and other disastrous happenings, but her warnings were ignored. Today, the label "Cassandra" is reserved for those who claim to see impending doom.
Monday, June 11, 2007
So today I was shopping at Walmart. I was looking at those digital frames the you put a SD card into and it can show hundreds of pictures. My niece got one for my brother for Father's Day while we were up in Tennessee and it was so cool. I see one on the shelf, under a $59.00 price tag. There's two, one on the shelf below, with the $59.00 price tag too. The next ones go up to $79.00 and up. I figured I'll start with the $59.00 one. I snag it and head up to the registers.
When I get to the registers it rings up $79.00. Hmmm, I think to myself, not good. Twenty more dollars than I was planning to spend. I politely inform the cashier that it was on a shelf marked for said $59.00. She says she has to go talk to her manager, which I understand. Off she goes, to return within a few minutes. Actually more like ten minutes. She called the electronics department and they told her it was supposed to be $79.00 so her manager said that was they have to charge for it. Hmmmm, I think to myself, not good again. I ask to speak to a manager. She says she already talked to her manager. No, a manager above that one.
So she calls and I wait.
And, can you guess what, wait some more.
About twenty five minutes later a manager walks up. "Come show me where you got it." He says. Not an introduction, not a "I'm sorry for the problem. I'm sorry you had to wait." Just follow him back to the Electronics department.
And guess what? When the cashier had called the Electronics Department the person she had talked to moved the picture frame that was in the $59.00 spot to a spot that read $79.00.
I told the manager of the situation. He said that someone had just moved the frames. I told him that the description on the tags were no help, it said digital picture frame, so when I picked it up I was thinking I was getting the one for $59.00. I told him that if only one frame had been in the spot and the others in the $79.00 spot I would understand. Customers move things and don't put them back. But both, and one above the other, with the $59.00 price tags. He said they didn't go by the descriptions, but by the bar codes. I didn't mention to him that customers don't go by the bar codes. I just pointed out to him that the bar code on the frame in question didn't match the bar code on the tag that he was insisting was it's tag for $79.00. He didn't have much to say to that. He said well, I can give you a couple dollars off it, but that's it.
Still I have not heard one word that makes it sound like I'm not the person in the wrong here. I know customers are always trying to get over. I work in retail. I also know how you handle customers. Even if I'm not going to get what I want, there are ways to handle the situation and he did nothing.
I told him, no thanks, I'll just contact your home office.
So I walked up to the front, found the district manager's phone number on the wall by their customer service and was dialing before I left the store. Of course no one answered, but I left a message.
An hour or so later the district manager actually called me. I explained the situation to her. She said she'd get right back to me. That is the magic word she used, right back...she wanted to call the store and get their side of things. It's now almost eight o'clock at night and she called me around one. I guess her idea of right back is different than mine.
I have to work overnight tonight. But tomorrow I guess I'll call their home office.
It "parse" brings up images of elementary school and learning the parts of speech, you've done your homework regarding this word. "Parse" comes from the first element of pars orationis, the Latin term for "part of speech." It's an old word that has been used in the schoolroom since at least the time of Edward VI of England (1537-53). Edwards' tutor, Richard Cox, recorded that at the age of nine the young prince had memorized all four of the Roman author Cato's Moral Distichs and had parsed them as well. But it was not until the late 18th century that "parse" graduated to its extended, non-grammar-related sense. Remembering this extended sense will put you at the head of the class.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
When it first came on the air it became one of my favorite shows. I bought the dvds as soon as they came out. But after buying three seasons of a 13 episode season for at least twice what I pay for a 22 season of almost any other show I stopped buying them. I dropped HBO when they had that long break between seasons, I felt like I was paying for a channel I hardly watched. So when the show came back on I missed it. I haven't seen any of the last two seasons, so I'm not sure what's happened. I have read some of it, like what happened to Christopher. But tonight's the series finale. Is there anyone that is watching it? I'm interested in how it turns out. Was it as good at the end as it was in the beginning?
The previous answer: The Faces
Someone who is ebullient is bubbling over with enthusiasm, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that the adjective "ebullient" derives from the Latin verb ebullire, which means "to bubble out." In its earliest known uses in English (which date from the late 1500s), "ebullient" was used in the sense of "boiling" or "bubbling" (so a pot on the stove might have been ebullient). Only later did the word's meaning broaden to encompass emotional agitation as well as the tempestuous roiling of a boiling liquid.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
I've been back now for a few days and except for two posts I've been MIA on here. I've started to do some other posts but never followed through. I keep thinking I want to post about my trip before I start doing a hundred other posts. Nothing new really to report from going up there, but it's stirred up a lot more emotions in me that just can't seem to find a place to settle on. I've known that things aren't that good with my Dad and that there...I was going to say a real possibility, but it's more than a possibility, it's more just a matter of when. It could be a few weeks, a few months, even a few years, it's hard to say, but I have to come to terms with the fact that he is going to die. And a lot sooner than I want.
But let's start at the beginning. I wavered all day Friday if I should go or not. It's not that I don't want to go, if I could I would go every week, but I can't just leave work too often to run up there for every hospital visit. I talked to Darryl, my boss and explained the situation to him. He told me to go, that if nothing else I'll get a chance to see my Dad for a few days. That helped, even though I'm the type of personality that feels like I'm doing something wrong when I take off from work for things like this. I feel bad about missing work. I know, it's a sickness.
I talked to my brother Friday night. He was in Pennsylvania, my niece was graduating high school. My niece and nephew were supposed to be driving back with him and he was going to drop them off at my parents for a week visit. That was the plan before my Dad ended up in the hospital. Now they wouldn't be able to stay a week, it would be too hard on them and my Mom, worrying about them while trying to visit my Dad. But we decided that they would drive back and stop on their way home, for as long as needed, while I was up there too. So we would all be there at the same time, which was a nice bonus. I honestly didn't think we'd have a chance for all of us to be together again after this last Christmas.
One person I hadn't told yet of my plan to go up there was my Mom. I decided to keep it a secret. That way if something happened to prevent me from going it wouldn't be a disappointment. And I wanted to surprise her. So I left Saturday afternoon. I packed up the car, Buffy rode shotgun and off we went.
I made it to my parent's house right after dark, about nine o'clock. When I pulled into the driveway I figured my Mom or sister would hear my car and come out to meet me. I opened the door and let Buffy out. She knew where she was, she went running to the door. I got my bag out and figured that by than someone would have the door opened. Nope. I ended up having to ring the doorbell.
I can safely say that my Mom was surprised to see me. It was a good feeling seeing the surprise and joy on her face when she saw me.
What was she doing that they didn't hear me drive up? She was in the back of the house ironing. Ironing!? This was after just spending the last 12 hours at the hospital with my Dad. She came home and washed and dried clothes and than ironed. I don't even think I own more than a half dozen clothes, and those are my dress clothes, that even need ironing. I truly don't know where she gets the energy, I get tired just watching her. You can't offer to help, she just runs over you when you get in her way.
After I was settling in and cooking something to eat my Mom went to call my Dad's priest. My Dad is Catholic and my Mom is Baptist, but they've managed to make a two denomination marriage work. One thing I heard my Mom tell the priest that stuck with me, my Mom was talking about how long they've been married (49 years this October) and said "He's my right arm." Than a pause and she said "He's my left arm."
The next morning we got up early and went to the hospital. Now my parents live in a small town. When I say a small town, I mean a small town. How small? In the 2000 census there were 99 people living in this town. So it couldn't get much smaller. The hospital is in Corinth Mississippi, which is a slightly bigger town, it has a population of slightly over 2,000. So we're not talking about a big hospital either here.
My Dad had no idea I was coming either. He was pretty surprised when I walked in. I was a little afraid to see what I'd discover when I walked in the room. The day before my Mom said he thought he had just gotten back from a trip to Africa and was waiting for my Mom to come pick him up.
That was one thing I noticed when I was up there. He got confused very easy. And would forget things. One point he was introducing my brother and me to one of his doctors and he couldn't remember where we were from, he almost said Chicago (we had been talking about Chicago for some reason right before that), he started to say it and than realized that was wrong. No one knew what is causing this confusion. It could be the medicine, it could be the fact that he only has half a lung working and his brain isn't getting enough oxygen, it could be...lots of theories but no conclusions. That was one thing I found while I was there, no conclusions about much of anything.
But when I walked in the room he was fine. He knew who I was and I was happy to see the look on his face.
His shoulder is broke but it's not in a cast. They have a sling, holding his left arm to his side. He has the shakes, he couldn't feed himself, his hands shake too much. This the doctors think is from the steroids they're giving him to help his breathing. He has emphysema from his days of smoking a pack or two of cigarettes a day. One lung is done, the other works at about half its ability. So of course he has oxygen.
I can't describe my feelings when I walked into the room and saw him. He looked so small and frail lying in the hospital bed. I could see the pain in his eyes.
We spent the day in the room with him. We left earlier than what my Mom normally leaves, around five so we could go to the store, she wanted to do some grocery shopping. When we got home my Mom and I walked down to the house where she grew up in. They live right next to my grandparents' old house. It's a shambles now. My aunt owns the land the house sits on and they did nothing to keep the house up, it's falling apart. Behind the house was the old pen where my grandfather would keep some of his pigs in before he took them to the market. It was falling down. I stood there and remembered all the childhood memories when my brother and I would wander the farm, lost in amazement at all the sights and sounds. We were two city boys, we didn't know anything about the country. My cousins out there had horses and rode them, I have never even touched a horse, much less rode one. And the big pig pen, I used to think pigs were small and almost cuddly, but I soon learned that wasn't the case. Pigs were big ugly and mean.
That night, about two in the morning my brother and kids got in. That morning we were all up and out at the hospital by eight. My Mom took my sister and niece and they left around 11. They went shopping for shoes for my niece and than came back to let us go to lunch and when we got back from lunch they left to do some more shopping. My Mom needed some time to get away from sitting in the hospital room all day.
I was glad they were gone later in the day, that was when my Dad had a meltdown. It was me, my brother and my nephew. The nurse from my Dad's cancer doctor stopped by. They still hadn't figured out what was on the back of his brain. They can't do a MRI because my Dad has a clip in his head, it won't work. The catscans weren't showing what they needed. The nurse said they would probably do a petscan, but the machine they use to do that is mobile and wouldn't be at the hospital till Friday. She said a petscan might show what it was. Everyone is pretty much thinking its cancer, but no one wants to say it. But they did say it was very small and his general doctor said if it was cancer they might be able to just hit it with some radiation and get rid of it.
His left arm was swelling up. The nurse said it needed to be elevated. His hand swelled up so bad that he had to take his wedding ring off. My Dad never takes his ring off. He didn't want to than, but he did. We asked if he wanted us to take it home with us so it wouldn't get misplaced or lost. He said no, he'd keep it there. They gave him some ice for his hand and the swelling went down and he put his ring right back on. But of course the swelling went back up and he had to take the ring off again.
After the nurse left, my brother and I were out in the hallway. We had followed her out to talk to her. That was when I was asking about his confusion. My nephew stayed in the room. Suddenly I could hear a slight panic in his voice. We ran back in the room. My Dad was crying and saying that he was going to die. I don't think I've even seen a sight that was more terrifying to me than that. We talked to him and eventually calmed him down. I was very proud of my nephew, he was very calm during the whole time and helped to talk my Dad down.
The cancer doctor came the next day. She told my Dad that the cancer was the least of his concerns right now. She said it hadn't gotten any better, but at the same time it hadn't gotten any worse either. And considering he hasn't been doing chemo very regular because of all his trips to the hospital for other reasons that was pretty good.
The biggest problem is my Dad's breathing. They can't operate, because they're afraid he wouldn't survive the surgery. He also has an aneurysm about an inch long in his head too. It's something that he'll probably have to live with, because they really don't want to go in and try to take it out.
But his cancer doctor said that he was in no immediate danger and said that if we had to get back to work it shouldn't be a bad time to do so. I don't want to spend so much time up there now and than if something happens later I want to be able to get back up there.
So we left the next day and headed for home.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Thanks to all those who have left Dad good wishes. It does really mean a lot to me.
Analysts say Russia's relations with the West are at their lowest point since the Cold War.
Turkey denied a report on Wednesday it had launched a major incursion into northern
Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels, but a military source said troops had conducted a limited raid across the mountainous border.
An alleged plot to blow up New York's main airport has sparked fears about militant Islam in the Caribbean but experts say the region's main security risks remain drug gangs and smuggling rackets.
Twin car bombings struck intersections near Baghdad's most revered Shiite shrine Wednesday. The military said the buildup of some 30,000 extra U.S. troops aimed at stopping such attacks is nearly complete but it could take up to two months for the newly arrived reinforcements to be fully effective.
Sudan's government and the pro-government Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, are accused of war crimes against the region's black African population
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948), "Non-Violence in Peace and War"
"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."
Thomas Mann (1875 - 1955)
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one