February 27, 2011

-image-oscars 2011

Okay. Fine. I’ll do it. (But I’m NOT correcting typos which I’m sure will be abundant.)

Opening sequence a la Inception.

Anne Hathaway and James Franco, the (kinda weird choice for) hosts are inside the dreams of past host Alec Baldwin to learn some tips for hosting. In the process, they end up in scenes from each of the nominated movies. I like Anne in a brown-and-red tutu barging into Black Swan and performing “the dance of the brown duck” while she starts to molt.

~ Anne Hathaway’s mom stands up from the crowd and tells her to stand up straight. Haha.

~ James Franco’s granny stands up from the crowd and says, “I just saw Marky Mark.” Haha.

~ There’s a sudden Gone With The Wind montage. What?? Is this some kind of onstage disaster contingency plan? “Quick! Cut to the random Gone With The Wind montage!”?? So we’re less than 10 minutes in and I’m already confused? I’m usually not disoriented until much later, after all the drinkin’ and a deliberately long bathroom break where I marcel my hair.

~ Oh, okay. The montage somehow ties into the first award, presented by the perpetually sagging Tom Hanks.

~ Now there’s a sudden montage of “Titanic” behind him, if you can see past his jowls.

~ Okay. This is Art Direction, which somehow relates to the two montages. Whatever, Jowls Magee.

~ Winner: Alice in Wonderland. Which, btw, I didn’t see. But did you know this is the second nomination for winner Karen O’Hara? Oh, and that also ties in with Gone With The Wind! Phhew. And here I thought they’d leave us hanging with random meaningless montages. Oh, me of little faith.

~ Tom Hanks is giving another award because his jowls give him gravitas. Cinematography.

~ Winner: Inception. Ugh. Boooooooooooo. The winner’s name is Wally and he speaks of his “master” Christopher Nolan. Hey, I don’t wanna hear about what goes on in your bedroom, okay?

~ Here’s Kirk Douglas. He’s flirting with Anne Hathaway. I think. God bless him, but he’s very hard to understand. Best Supporting Actress here. Cross your fingers for ….. whomever you want. Oh, there’s Helena Bonham Carter, who has Medusa hair tonight. I think those are actual snakes. So fresh, so feminine.

~ Kirk Douglas is just chatting. “Hugh Jackman is laughing at me. I don’t know why the Australians all think I’m funny. Colin Firth isn’t laughing. Look. He’s British.” He’s saying this all with extremely slurred speech because of his stroke. “Now here’s the moment we’re all waiting for.” He opens the envelope, shakily. He tosses it to the floor. He stands there with the results in his hands and ignores them, saying something like, “You know …… I was nominated 3 times and never won ….” He’s holding those results and the screen is showing all five nominees waiting, waiting for him to read the card ….. and he’s just chatting. Hahahahahahaha. Brilliant.

~ Winner: Melissa Leo for “The Fighter.” Her speech goes on and on. What happened to the shushing music? She gets bleeped out at some point for an F bomb.

~ So Toy Story 3 wins Best Animated Feature. I guess this means it won’t win Best Picture. Did you know I didn’t see that?

~ Back from commercials, “it’s now 1929 and it’s the first Academy Awards,” according to (the kinda weird choice for) host Anne Hathaway. Why? I don’t get it. Why is it suddenly 1929? Just so the set can change and Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem can stroll onstage look uncomfy in white tuxes? I need booze STAT to help this all make sense somehow.

~ Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network. (I don’t like him. I have no real basis for this other than not liking him.)

~ It’s still 1929 for no apparent reason — which I assume means bread lines are forming outside the theater — and Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem are still presenting, uncomfy in their white tuxes. It’s Original Screenplay.

~ Winner: The King’s Speech. “My father always said I’d be a late bloomer.” The winner is a 60-something-ish fellow. Good line, good speech.

~ Anne Hathaway sings a solo which was “supposed” to be a duet with Hugh Jackman. It’s “On My Own” From Les Miserables. “On my own ‘cuz someone’s a Hugh Jackass …..” blah blah. Sorta funny.

~ (The kinda weird choice for ) host James Franco appears dressed as Marilyn Monroe. Again, the confusion. Booze ain’t helping.

~ Russell Brand and Helen Mirren for Foreign Language film. Again, I cannot stress enough that I haven’t seen any of these movies, but I predict the winner will be a foreign language film.

~ Winner: I was right! And listening to her speech is like listening to a foreign language film. Still, good for you, toots. Also, wow. Hello, tits.

~ And now I make a new category: Best Foreign Language Tits. She wins, whoever she was.

~ Here’s Reese. She looks fabulous. Best Supporting Actor. Can I root for Christian Bale — whose movie I did not see, btw — just because? Ooh, lots of great actors in this category says the blank slate of my soul.

~ Winner: Well, for a blank slate, I do have a sense of things sometimes. Christian Bale. Who has a weird red dwarf beard. Is that fake? How could his beard be so red? I don’t know what he’s saying, I’m so distracted by his orangutan facial hair. He thanked his wife. Okay. Well, good job on that, Gimli. I still love you and forgive you for being an orangutan.

~ The president of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences speaks. He is shot by bored sniper.

~ Here’s Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. They should be a couple. His wife is too old and her husband is too short.

~ An orchestra appears as if from nowhere playing bits of movie themes. Oh, all right. It’s Best Original Score. The Social Network was nominated? Really? Nerd music? And that cut-off-my-arm movie. Well, if you have to lop off your own arm, at least let there be some good lopping music to cover the screams. And Inception is nominated too.

~ Winner: The Nerd Movie. Srsly?

~ Matthew Mc Conageahageygeehee and Scarlett Johannson. Best Sound.

~ Winner: Inception.

~ There’s a nominee named Gwendolen Yates Widdle. I want her to win just because of that name. (Best Sound Editing). She didn’t. DAMN that Inception.

~ Okay. So there’s Sound and Sound Editing, right? How do you know who should get Best Sound then? I mean, aren’t we all hearing JUST the edited version of sound? Do the voters of the Academy get CDs of the movies nominated for Best Sound that just include the unedited sound?

~ Am I being retarded? Or am I being brilliant? Because I don’t know the answer to my questions above and I think they’re legit. Sound and Sound Editing. What’s the diff? Why do I care?

~ Thank God, Marisa Tomei is here to set my priorities straight again.

~ On an unrelated note: MB says that “James Franco (as host) sucks ass.”

~ I say: “I am going to cut his arm off.”

~ Cate Blanchett. What the hell is she wearing? The sleeves on her dress poke out at right angles from her body. Did she forget to take it off the hanger? It’s so weird. Like someone folded some poster board in half, cut a head hole in it, and jammed it on Cate Blanchett’s head.

~ Oh, this is Best Makeup. That Rick Baker dude wins. Surprise.

~ Colleen Atwood wins for Best Costume Design for the millionth time. She’s reading from a paper and wearing hideous sheer black gloves. Here’s the shut-up music. Because, damn, them gloves be ugly. I think the producers want to get her offstage before she loses all credibility.

~ So where is the Best Edited Costume Design? Best Edited Makeup?

~ Here’s the ever-oily Kevin Spacey sliding up to the mic. I swear that dude is made of margarine. Best Original Song.

~ Oh, goodie! It’s Randy Newman singing the latest clever ditty he wrote. He is shot by a bored sniper, but I’m sure he’ll be back next year to bore again.

~ Here’s Jake Glilksdjflaskdjflaskweroiwuerhall and Amy Adams. Short Subject Documentary. Okay. The woman who won is clearly a man. Those ropey biceps make me shiver.

~ Oprah Winfrey?? MB says: “What’s SHE doing here??” Ditto.

~ Her black shiny dress is so tight across the boobs, it looks like she swallowed a bolster pillow.


~ Here’s Billy Crystal. Thank GOD. Can he take over from here? Leave this job to the professionals? The grown-ups? Good God, I’m a gammie now. A drunken slattern gammie full of prunes and gas and baseless opinions.

~ Curse you, Billy Crystal! You’re just here to introduce another damn montage. Sure, it’s Bob Hope and who doesn’t love Bob Hope, but gammie’s tired.

~ Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, whose hairline, I might add, is becoming a peninsula of genetic misfortune.


~ The Nerd Movie just won again. Something. I don’t know what. Best Edited Nerd.

~ Jennifer Hudson in a spectacular red-orange va-voomy gown. Good Lord, she looks like a goddess. She’s here to introduce more Original Song singing, including Gwyneth Paltrow singing some mawkish country crap from that Country Strong movie which, btw, I did not see, but neither did anyone else from what I can tell. She is shot by a bored sniper.

~ Oh, that douche Randy Newman wins.

~ Ugh. Could it get WORSE? Here’s Celine Dion singing “Smile” to the montage of the dearly departed. I always like this part, but damn, do I hate the tone of her vibrato. It’s like a marble stuck in her throat. Go see a doctor, Celine.

~ So Lena Horne passed away this year, which is sad, but so did many other Hollywood greats, which is also sad. Still, Halle Berry appears now to give a special tribute to Lena Horne and Lena Horne alone. I get why it’s being done; I just don’t like why it’s being done.

~ Hillary Swank. Didn’t she play Secretariat in Secretariat? (I get increasingly cranky as the show goes on, don’t I?) Thank God, it’s Best Directing now. Getting close to daylight.

~ Winner: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech. The guy looks like the love child of Jeff Foxworthy and James Cameron. Maybe he is.

~ Also: James Franco looks like Eddie Munster. I’m just throwing that out there for you to ponder.

~ Jeff Bridges to present Best Actress. Hallelujah! Almost done! I love the way he addresses each nominee personally. He makes what are surely scripted comments sound unscripted, because he’s just that good, that natural.

Winner: Natalie Portman. She’s thanking the camera operators and the AD on the film. Very nice touch. She’s very composed. Almost too composed. Like, “I knew I was going to win, so I rehearsed this 5347 times” composed.

~ Here’s Sandra Bullock with Best Actor. She’s addressing the nominees too, teasing Jeff Bridges for being nominated again this year. “You know, space it out. Give someone else a chance. I mean, how much is enough?” Hahaha. She’s so adorable.

~ Winner: Colin Firth. I’m typing that before it’s announced. Let’s see if I have to change it. Nope. Firth wins. Be still my heart. First thing out of his mouth, “I’m afraid my career’s just peaked.” Love him.

~ Steven Spielberg with — FINALLY! — Best Picture. And in case I didn’t say this last year, I hate that there are now 10 nominees. I have no reason other than it seems lame and cumbersome. Look, I promised you baseless opinions.

Winner: The King’s Speech. Dudes give speeches.

And that’s ……..

~ What?? I thought it was over. Nope. An unruly group of moppets, clearly awake past their bedtime, swarm the stage singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in front of — I’m not kidding here — a projected image of The Emerald City of Oz. Buh-zarre. What does that have to do with anything??

~ I’m now spinning my top to see if this was all real.

~ See how I worked in a reference to one of the two movies I actually saw last year?

But it’s over! (Three hours plus.) But we survived!

That’s all, folks!!

-image-wondering aloud if i’ll live-blog the oscars 2011

I haven’t actually decided if I’ll live blog this year’s Oscars. It’s kind of a tradition on this blog, but this year, I just don’t know.

Every year, I make a point of seeing all the movies nominated and as many of the nominated performances as possible. Actually, this just happens organically throughout the year leading up to the show, but once the nominees are announced, if there’s still something I haven’t seen, I’ll make a point of seeing it. This year, though, I’m completely disconnected from the show.

Here’s why: I saw precisely 2 movies last year. I’m serious. Two movies. And I’m a movie lover, movie goer, but not last year. It just got away from me. I saw Inception, hated it, and I saw Faster, with Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” which I actually really enjoyed. That movie had no fat. None. There’s my review.

But I have no horse in this race. I root for no one. I can’t, legitimately, having seen essentially nothing. Well, okay, I can illegitimately root for Colin Firth because I’ve always loved him, and it feels like it’s just his “time.” Still, I feel like a phony even saying that because I haven’t even seen The King’s Speech. I’m not exaggerating when I say I saw two movies last year. That includes rentals or Netflix. I just wasn’t in that head space.

So if I blog it, I’m blogging from a complete blank. I come to the show with nothing. I have no idea who deserves or doesn’t deserve what. Cue Whitney Houston singing “I Have Nothing” and that’s what’s going on here, pippa.


Well, actually, not nothing. I still gots me opinions. Never a shortage of those.

If I blog, it will be an evening of willy-nilly, slapdash, baseless opinions.

Which is pretty much standard operation procedure around here, isn’t it?

And now I don’t know why I wrote this post.

Proceed apace, pippa.

February 26, 2011

-image-little games

I’m on the phone with Mom, walking her through something on her PC, which she essentially doesn’t know how to use and declares she doesn’t like. Now I’m a Mac girl, but I’ve learned my way around a PC of necessity, so I know I can help her with this.

I’m sitting at my desktop PC talking her through it. This is the actual conversation.

“Okay. I’m gonna walk you through this over the phone, Mom.”

“Well, why don’t you just come over and show me?”

“Mom, I can’t come over right now. Even if I could, it would take me 45 minutes round trip to show you something that will take less than one minute to do.”

“Oh. Well, my laptop isn’t even on.”

“Okay. Do you know how to turn it on?”

Reluctantly. “Yeaaah.”

She just wants me to come over.

“Okay. Turn it on, then.”

“Well, it will take a while.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

We wait. Idle chit-chat.

“Okay. It’s on.”

“Great. Do you see the desktop?”

“What’s that?”

“Well, it will be your screen with different icons on it. Do you see that?”

“What’s that word you’re saying?”


“Yeah. What are you saying?”


“Spell it.”


She is being deliberately obtuse. Her hearing is fine and her brain even better.

“Oh. So that’s what it’s called?”

“Yes. Okay. Do you see a start button or some kind of button in the lower left-hand corner?”


“You don’t?”


This isn’t possible.

“Hm. I have a green button that says “start” on mine. You should have some kind of button there in the lower left-hand corner.”

“Well, I don’t.”

This conversation is not actually about computers, you see. She really wants me to come over. My resolve not to come over instantly hardens to stone. I rub my forehead.

“Okay. Mom, are you sure the computer is on?”


“What do you see?”

“It says Manila Firefox.”

She means Mozilla, but I let it slide. Oh, her eyesight? Also fine.

“Okay. So you see the little orange fox?”


“So you have a window open?”

“What’s a window?”

“Let’s do it this way. Is there a red square with an X the upper right-hand corner?”


“Click on that.”


“Did the thing that had the red square on it go away?”



“It didn’t?”


“And you clicked on it?”


I don’t believe her, but I can’t tell her I don’t believe her. At this point, it would be faster to go out there. She either didn’t click on it at all or she did click on it and the window did go away, but she really wants me to come over, so she was less than forthcoming about the results.

“Okay. I’m not understanding how you don’t have some kind of button in the lower left-hand corner –”

“Well, I don’t.”

“– or how you clicked on the red X and that window didn’t go away.”

“Well, I still see it, Tracey.”

“Well, Mom. You have a very strange computer. I can see why you don’t like it. Is Dad there?”


“Put him on the phone. Maybe he can help.”

Heavy sigh. “Okay.”

She doesn’t want the problem solved because that means I won’t come over.

Moments later, Dad’s voice.

“Dad, is there a button or a start button or something in the lower left-hand corner?”

Said like a “duh.” “Yeah.”

“Why did Mom say there wasn’t one?”

“I don’t know.”

That’s the only way my dad has stayed sane all these years — by not knowing the answers to most questions about my mom. He prefers blissful ignorance. I understand. At this point, though, I’m sure he really doesn’t know.

“Well, could you point it out to her?”

I hear him tell her. Then I hear her protest, “Well, it’s not green. Tray said it was GREEN.”

I can’t stop rubbing my forehead.

In less than one minute, I walk Dad through the process I started with Mom. Answer found, problem solved.

As we hang up, I tell him again to make sure Mom knows about that button, green or not.

I sit and rub my forehead for several minutes.

February 22, 2011

-image-random snippets

We are at the stoplight at the bottom of the hill where, for a few months now, there has been a homeless couple panhandling at the corner. They seem in their early 30s but it’s hard to tell. The man seems to be in charge of 3 things: walking up and down the hill, holding the sign, and menacing cars. The woman seems to be in charge of one thing: sitting near the crosswalk curled over on herself. He goes to work — menacing cars up and down the same 30-foot stretch of sidewalk — and she curls over on herself. Watching this behavior, something suddenly occurs to me so I turn to MB and say, “Oh, I get it now. She’s stay-at-home homeless.”


Favorite piece of movie dialog heard over the weekend:

HE: You’re shaking.
SHE: It’s the weather.

(What?? Well, sunny days do that to me, too.)


Favorite parts (so far) of niece Piper’s novel “Cleo’s Adventures”:

Then the four of them rode a subway to Montana.

I also liked this dialog:

“Don’t be lazy, Jack. You’re a demigod, not a cat!”

“I wish I WERE a cat,” grumbled Jack.

And this opening:

When her mom told her she was sending her to Greek school, Cleo thought she said geek school.

I actually think that’s a pretty good opening sentence. Go, Piper!

She left me with a cliffhanger in the unfinished Chapter Four. It’s called “An Unplanned Swim” and apparently involves a hideous sea serpent in the Missouri River. When I asked her how a sea serpent ended up in the Missouri River, Piper said simply, “He just got lost and decided he liked it there.”

No complicated reason. Sometimes the most straightforward explanation is best, you know?

She has 24 pages so far. Oh, this is her second novel.

She is 10.

February 21, 2011

-image-aerial view of the deep dark middle of nowhere

Not taken by me, I might add. Those are the Sierras, prominently featuring Mt. Tom.

Main Street runs horizontally across the middle of the photo there where all the buildings seem to be clustered. You’ll know your eyes have located Main Street if you follow it to the right and you see a big bend in the road. That bend in the road leads you up to Mammoth Mtn. ski resort. My inlaws’ house is north of Main Street — well, it’s actually west in terms of geography, but north in terms of this photo. (Let’s just say their house — in this photo — is above the line of Main Street.) If you see that large vertical line in the photo slightly to the left of center and move your eyes up and to the right, you’ll see a green field. That’s the football field at the high school where MB cavorted in his football uniform and did “manly things” — I have to take his word on that since I wasn’t there — that made all the girls swoon and I’m not just taking his word on that. They still swoon. Right in front of me. Please, ladies. Calm down.

Just north (in terms of the photo) and to the right from that field is another green field. That’s the ball field at the elementary school located at the end of my in-laws’ street. The street dead ends into the school, actually. It’s about a 3-minute walk to the school. I spend a lot of time there whenever we visit the deep dark middle of nowhere and the house is bursting at the seams because everyone in town is crammed in eating and talking and drinking and talking, which is basically all the time. It’s a social phenomenon, I tell you. Women and men alike come down from their mountain aeries or out of their cozy caves or their Unabomber cabins to worship and ovulate at MB’s feet. It gets a little old, although not for MB. I just roll my eyes at it all. Besides, I’m simply too busy having private anxiety attacks from the chattering crowds and the bossy shutterbugs and the pressing possibility that my FIL might soon be running around in his unmentionables asking me how I am, Trace-ums to have any time left over to worship and ovulate at MB’s feet.

So I must escape regularly. I have to to stay semi-sane. Socially, some people are bottomless oceans of chatter and others are those temporary puddles you see at street corners when it rains. I am a puddle and when the puddle runs dry, I need to fill it up by myself or with someone trusted whose presence is soothing to me.

Once I’ve escaped, I can walk the field or wander around the little cemetery that’s next to the field and just chill out. I can swing on the swings and breathe in Mt. Tom and feel myself open, soften. Mt. Tom is my friend. I love him. This is obviously taken in the late spring or summer because Mt. Tom is usually covered in snow. (He’s the mountain featured in the bottom 2 photos in this post . My MIL took those.)

Breathing in Mt. Tom is literally my salvation in the deep dark middle of nowhere. And I do love this little town. I really do.

Sometimes when I’m there, I think about all of you, pippa, and how much fun we’d have if you were there too.

But, to be completely honest, I would totally make you check to see if my FIL is fully dressed before we ever went back into the fray.

There’d probably be apple pie and margaritas, though, so it’s not all bad.

(I realize anyone can Google Mt. Tom and learn the name of our little town here. That’s fine with me. We just don’t mention the name of the town on this blog.)

February 17, 2011

-image-this is why i don’t like oprah

So that nutjob Iyanla Vanzant was on Oprah yesterday.

Does anyone really remember Iyanla Vanzant ? The self-styled New Thought, New Age, whatever-the-heck guru who used to show up on Oprah years ago and act all inspirationally insane and get certain types of stupid women all riled up with baseless hopes? That wise-crackin’ wanna-be Nubian princess who wrote a bunch of crap spirituality books with titles like “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up” and “The Value in the Valley” that appeal to these aforementioned stupid women?

Yeah, I guess you could say I’ve never been a fan.

But she was on Oprah yesterday to discuss their “falling out” and I just had to watch even though I rarely watch Oprah because — unlike a lot of women, I guess — I don’t much like Oprah, either.

Here’s the nutshell of their conflict from Pop2it:

The former Oprah expert, (ed: expert on what? Oprah?) who was banished from the program in 1999 after she revealed she was negotiating her own series with Barbara Walters and Buena Vista Television, finally gave her side of the story to her former boss. And it all boils down to misunderstandings and uninformed decisions.

Oprah admits she was grooming Iyanla for her own series, like the ones she’s since handed to Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil, but when Iyanla got the offer from Walters, she decided not to wait for Oprah to counter.

“You said that you’d been fasting,” Oprah recalls from their confrontation, “that you had prayed, that God had spoken to you and that God told you that ‘this is the anointed time, not the appointed time.'”

Okay. Weird stuff, huh?

So that’s the backstory to yesterday’s show, but I want to talk about the first few moments of the show itself.

Right off the bat, Iyanla apologized profusely. She apologized. Oprah, with her fingers tented together in that gesture of magnanimous superiority I so despise, said, “I accept your apology. You’re forgiven. You were forgiven long ago or you wouldn’t be here.”

Great. Apology offered. Forgiveness extended.

And apart from the 45-minute argument that Oprah immediately started over the minutiae of their falling out, it would have been really touching.

You know, an apology offered. Forgiveness (allegedly) extended.

This is why I don’t like Oprah.

There’s a steel rod of self-righteousness running through her, covered by her ample frame and her pseudo-soothing facility with words. But, seriously, that chick needs to be right. She needs it. Now because of the nature of most of her shows, this need doesn’t rear its head all that often, but sometimes, like with author James Frey and now Iyanla, she seizes a moment to rake someone publicly over the coals, all while somehow simultaneously convincing people she’s being magnanimous.

I don’t quite know how she manages to pull this off except that perhaps she’s a narcissist so sure of her mesmerizing effect on the audience that she believes most people won’t question her methods. Most won’t, I guess, and that’s part of the cult of Oprah.

Oprah did question Iyanla on what she — or “God” — meant by “this is the anointed time, not the appointed time,” which I thought was a valid question because, uhm, seriously, what the hell does that mean?

Iyanla, for the most part, answered vaguely, as most New Age people are wont to do. And when she wasn’t being vague and airy, she was being cackling crazy. And when she wasn’t being cackling crazy, she was essentially grovelling to Oprah.

The whole thing made me sad for Iyanla and angry at Oprah.

I mean, come on. The woman offered an apology. Accept it or don’t accept it, but don’t begin to publicly rehash all the details of your conflict in the vapor trail of the woman’s sincere apology.

That Oprah.

She needs to be right. She NEEDS it.

There were a few times when I thought Iyanla was genuinely funny, self-deprecating about herself, and not simply crazy. Oprah, by contrast, doesn’t have this same ability. She’s not funny and I’ve come to the conclusion that she has zero sense of humor about herself. She’s too self-important to be self-deprecating.

As for the particulars of their conflict, I could see some of Oprah’s points. I could see fewer of Iyanla’s points, but my point with all of this is not regarding those particulars but only this: Iyanla apologized right off the bat, Oprah gave the appearance of accepting it, and then essentially started a televised fight.

To me, this photo perfectly encapsulates the whole event:

Apologies are either accepted or not, when they’re offered. Genuine forgiveness doesn’t include raking a person over the coals for her wrong all while proclaiming your forgiveness.

And this is why I don’t like Oprah.

(Oh, there’s apparently part 2 of their interview today where Oprah strips Iyanla to the waist and publicly flagellates her. I mean, one assumes.)

February 13, 2011

-image-the 100 most beautiful words in the english language

According to linguist Robert Beard.

Ailurophile: A cat-lover.
Assemblage: A gathering.
Becoming: Attractive.
Beleaguer: To exhaust with attacks.
Brood: To think alone.
Bucolic: In a lovely rural setting.
Bungalow: A small, cozy cottage.
Chatoyant: Like a cat’s eye.
Comely: Attractive.
Conflate: To blend together.
Cynosure: A focal point of admiration.
Dalliance: A brief love affair.
Demesne: Dominion, territory.
Demure: Shy and reserved.
Denouement: The resolution of a mystery.
Desuetude: Disuse.
Desultory: Slow, sluggish.
Diaphanous: Filmy.
Dissemble: Deceive.
Dulcet: Sweet, sugary.
Ebullience: Bubbling enthusiasm.
Effervescent: Bubbly.
Efflorescence: Flowering, blooming.
Elision: Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.
Elixir: A good potion.
Eloquence: Beauty and persuasion in speech.
Embrocation: Rubbing on a lotion.
Emollient: A softener.
Ephemeral: Short-lived.
Epiphany: A sudden revelation.
Erstwhile: At one time, for a time.
Ethereal: Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
Evanescent: Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Evocative: Suggestive.
Fetching: Pretty.
Felicity: Pleasantness.
Forbearance: Withholding response to provocation.
Fugacious: Fleeting.
Furtive: Shifty, sneaky.
Gambol: To skip or leap about joyfully.
Glamour Beauty.
Gossamer: The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk
Halcyon: Happy, sunny, care-free.
Harbinger: Messenger with news of the future.
Imbrication: Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.
Imbroglio: An altercation or complicated situation.
Imbue: To infuse, instill.
Incipient: Beginning, in an early stage.
Ineffable: Unutterable, inexpressible.
Ingénue: A naïve young woman.
Inglenook: A cozy nook by the hearth.
Insouciance: Blithe nonchalance.
Inure: To become jaded.
Labyrinthine: Twisting and turning.
Lagniappe: A special kind of gift.
Lagoon: A small gulf or inlet.
Languor: Listlessness, inactivity.
Lassitude: Weariness, listlessness.
Leisure: Free time.
Lilt: To move musically or lively.
Lissome: Slender and graceful.
Lithe: Slender and flexible.
Love: Deep affection.
Mellifluous: Sweet sounding.
Moiety: One of two equal parts.
Mondegreen: A slip of the ear.
Murmurous: Murmuring.
Nemesis: An unconquerable archenemy.
Offing: The sea between the horizon and the offshore.
Onomatopoeia: A word that sounds like its meaning.
Opulent: Lush, luxuriant.
Palimpsest: A manuscript written over earlier ones.
Panacea: A solution for all problems
Panoply: A complete set.
Pastiche: An art work combining materials from various sources.
Penumbra: A half-shadow.
Petrichor: The smell of earth after rain.
Plethora: A large quantity.
Propinquity: An inclination.
Pyrrhic: Successful with heavy losses.
Quintessential: Most essential.
Ratatouille: A spicy French stew.
Ravel: To knit or unknit.
Redolent: Fragrant.
Riparian: By the bank of a stream.
Ripple: A very small wave.
Scintilla: A spark or very small thing.
Sempiternal: Eternal.
Seraglio: Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.
Serendipity: Finding something nice while looking for something else.
Summery: Light, delicate or warm and sunny.
Sumptuous: Lush, luxurious.
Surreptitious: Secretive, sneaky.
Susquehanna: A river in Pennsylvania.
Susurrous: Whispering, hissing.
Talisman: A good luck charm.
Tintinnabulation: Tinkling.
Umbrella: Protection from sun or rain.
Untoward: Unseemly, inappropriate.
Vestigial: In trace amounts.
Wafture: Waving.
Wherewithal: The means.
Woebegone: Sorrowful, downcast.

I have to confess I’m having a strange angry reaction to the inclusion of the word “Susquehanna.” It’s a specific proper noun, so that makes it feel too “exclusive” to me, as if it’s out of my league or realm. Like there’s some secret Susquehanna club that I’m not part of and all the members are sticking it to me. I can USE the word “sumptuous,” but unless I live near the Susquehanna or write a fictional post or story featuring the Susquehanna, I’m not likely to ever use the word Susquehanna. I mean, I’ve used “Susquehanna” more in this mini hissy about it than I ever have in my entire life.

So you can suck it, Susquehanna.

(Although now I want to write a story called “The Secret Susquehanna Club” or “Suck It, Susquehanna.”)

Also “erstwhile”? Really??

And while I love love, I’m not sure it’s one of the most beautiful words in the English language.

Thoughts, pippa? Agreements? Disagreements? Words you would add?

February 10, 2011

-image-how i love roo

Roo was recently diagnosed as bipolar. Last week, she invited people to ask her questions about her diagnosis. She called it “Ask a Nutter.” (I love her for that.)

Her post where she answers the questions and describes what it’s like to live with this diagnosis is truly insightful and moving. I can’t recommend it enough for someone who knows or loves someone with bipolar disorder or for someone who just wants to understand it better.

It’s brave, honest, wrenching, and unselfish.

Go read it.

February 7, 2011

-image-baldy’s super bowl viewing tips

Last year, Ol’ Baldy, head of the FOC, posted some super duper helpful Super Bowl viewing tips to keep the hounds of heathenism at bay while we watch this annual pride and lust fest.

Check it out.

My favorite suggestion? To avoid the temptation to lust during the naughty commercials or half-time show, turn the channel quick like a bunny to C-SPAN.

“Turning to C-SPAN will ensure that conversation will take place,” says Baldy.

I’m sure that’s true. Everyone will whisper about what a lame Super Bowl party you’re throwing.

I know it’s too late now since the game is over, but at least you can feel some retroactive guilt about the whole thing, pippa.

February 3, 2011

-image-tee tee x 6

I will become Tee Tee x 6 at some point in the next 24 hours, I imagine.

SIL was induced this morning.

Banshee BOY is on his way!!

A boy banshee.


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