Today is a lovely cold winter day, with fresh snow on the ground, sunshine and blue skies. Today is also Primary day her in Missouri, and I think about having to carefully make my way down the hill to where my car is parked, just so I can make it to the voting place at the Seminary, next door. I’m hesitant about walking in snow because I’m still limping with my hurt foot and ankle and more than a bit nervous about falling again. Even if I don’t hurt anything –and knowing me, what’s the odds of that happening?–I’m still going to be very embarrassed.
To add insult to injury, I’ve been fighting some kind of flu lately, and it seems to have won if how I slept last night and how I feel today are any indication. Nasty headache, and neck pain, and every one of my joints hurts. And I’m tired of pain. There was the gallbladder operation, followed by the oral surgery, followed the fall and in each case I’m given nice pain pills that I’m hesitant to take because I like them a bit too much. So I just hurt.
Sure this is a po’me writing, but I’m not looking for sympathy, and if you extend a hand to pat me on the back, with accompaniments of ‘There, there. There, there’, you’ll probably lose it. Anything that’s wrong with me is only temporary, so just let me grouse about it and get it out of my system.
Grouse. Isn’t this a lovely word? There’s a term for words whose pronunciation fits what they represent, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what the term is. I even went the Google route trying to find it, and ended up finding this funny page instead. It’s a discussion forum called “Brunching Shuttlecocks”, and the topic is “Words that sound funny and nobody knows what they mean”. The topic quickly moved into discussions of words that sound naughty, but aren’t:
Mastication is not a dirty word; it is right and proper. Everybody masticates. Men masticate, women masticate, dogs masticate too. King Arthur and his knights practiced circle mastication.
I always like the phrase “Subduction leads to orogeny.” Sounds SO naughty, but it actually has to do with the movement of earth’s tectonic plates.
Actually, it does sound naughty. And if you think of the movement of earth’s tectonic plates as being an analogy, then…wait, wait–this isn’t the Super Bowl.
Anyway, back to the topic, words that sound like they mean. Someone in the discussion mentioned “Slubberdegullion “, which means “a dirty, wretched slob”. Isn’t that a lovely word? I mean, doesn’t it make you want to find someone who is dirty and wretched just so you could say, “You Slubberdegullion!”
Of course, when I looked up this word online, I was led to the World Wide Words, which discusses it in context of lovely old disparaging words–invectives– that have fallen into disuse. He quotes from Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel penned in the 1500’s:
The bun-sellers or cake-makers were in nothing inclinable to their request; but, which was worse, did injure them most outrageously, called them prattling gabblers, lickorous gluttons, freckled bittors, mangy rascals, shite-a-bed scoundrels, drunken roysters, sly knaves, drowsy loiterers, slapsauce fellows, slabberdegullion druggels, lubberly louts, cozening foxes, ruffian rogues, paltry customers, sycophant-varlets, drawlatch hoydens, flouting milksops, jeering companions, staring clowns, forlorn snakes, ninny lobcocks, scurvy sneaksbies, fondling fops, base loons, saucy coxcombs, idle lusks, scoffing braggarts, noddy meacocks, blockish grutnols, doddipol-joltheads, jobbernol goosecaps, foolish loggerheads, flutch calf-lollies, grouthead gnat-snappers, lob-dotterels, gaping changelings, codshead loobies, woodcock slangams, ninny-hammer flycatchers, noddypeak simpletons, turdy gut, shitten shepherds, and other suchlike defamatory epithets; saying further, that it was not for them to eat of these dainty cakes, but might very well content themselves with the coarse unranged bread, or to eat of the great brown household loaf.
Lovely, isn’t it? I want all of this for my new weblog tagline. I’ll put it into my RSS and Atom feeds. And there’s that word! Rabelais! I saw it used at Language Hat and I meant to look it up, but didn’t. Anyway, Language Hat used the word in the context of quoting another weblogger who goes by the name of ‘pf’, who was recently mugged in Russia. pf who wrote:
Okay, fine, I lost my glasses, I lost my hat. But why did I have to go and lose my Rabelais? What was the point of that?
True, what was the point of that? But I am glad that all he did lose was his glasses, hat, and Rabelais.
But what was the point of this?
All this chasing of words reminded me that Dave Rogers re-started his weblog, except that he now goes by Groundhog Day in honor of his favorite movie, or underground creature, take your pick. It was good to see him back so I thought I would shine my spotlight on him to see if he sees his shadow and if there’s going to be another six weeks of this cold and snow that I can’t walk through easily in order to make it to the polling place and do my civic duty. Perhaps this means others who have been too silent will themselves creep carefully out of their burrows and favor us with a word. Or two. But not Slubberdegullion, I’ve already used that one. That’s my word.
Speaking of pianos–oh, I’m sorry? Did that change in direction hurt you?–I found an online Java-based piano that I tried my haunting melody out on and then copied down what I think are the notes (not really knowing if I have a tin ear or not – and isn’t that a lovely phrase, too?):
E F# G
E F# G
E F# G
E F# G
F# D B
Well, I didn’t say it was a complex tune. Music that lingers as faint wisps of sound, ghostly tunes, never is. That’s why It’s a Small World is such an evil song – there! Now that will go through your mind the rest of the day.
I must find my song. An autographed copy of one of books to you if you can help me identify this song and the singer. Or one of my photos printed on quality digital ink jet paper and signed. Heck, if you live in a place I want to visit, I’ll even hand deliver it. You pay for the plane.
Now that I’ve managed to introduce the topic of photos gracefully into this conversation, I can say, safely without hurting you by another of my segues, we in the northern hemisphere need a warm note about now, so this from my archives.
I used the Photoshop unsharp mask with this photo to clarify it just a tad. I finally figured out how to use the unsharp mask in Photoshop, thanks to suggestions out at the Digital Photography community in Orkut. The best advice came from a man who teaches photography and he knows his stuff because what he said worked beautifully. He also has a very interesting profile and is connected to some other very interesting people and communities such as the polyamory community, which I guess has to do with loving lots of people and I don’t mean shaking hands kind of love.
Though polyamory is not my cup of tea, following people to their profiles did connect me up with several new communities including the Photography community where a member, Randal talked about his …31,000 photos online. It was only when I got a good look at Randal’s picture that I realized it was Randal Schwartz, a luminary in the Perl community.
That became a pretty common experience, running into people I know or know of in contexts completely different from how I know them, which just tickled me at times. For instance, ran into Betsy Devine over at the Travel Tips community where people were giving some great advice to a person heading towards New Zealand.
(I hope that Betsy doesn’t mind that I Orkuted her – outed her as an Orkut member.)
Jeneane started a new Orkut community for those people who write for a living. Wait, isn’t that an oxymoron? (Another lovely word to say, but doesn’t sound anything like what it means, and is overused being the word of the 1990’s.)
I thought what was needed, then, to be fair, was for someone to start a community for those who write but don’t make a living at it. Wait a sec! Already done. It’s called the Blogger Community. (I tried this group out for a bit, but all they talk about is blogging. Made me realize that we talk about blogging too much, like I’m, urh, well, damn, doing here. Reminds me of the author who wrote the book on paper on paper.)
What do you know. By the time I finished with my reading and writing this my headache is better and I didn’t need to use pills, and I found myself chuckling more than a bit at some of the words, and it really is very pretty outside today, and I think I might try and get a new snow picture for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere.
(You realize that if our world wasn’t so screwed up, wobbling about on its axis like a drunken stripper doing a pole dance, we’d shared the same weather. Of course, we’d all be dead, so I guess there is a down side to it.)
I don’t think I have the flu–I think I just have a case of the mopes (see, there’s another one of those words that sound like they mean). Yes, it is a very pretty day today. And I’m going to exercise my privilege and go vote. And I’m going to exercise my lazy butt and go walk. But then I need to come back and work on the book, and my writing, and my photos because I let it all slide last night spending so much time in the Orkut communities meeting new and interesting people and not once looking at their fan rating or their cool rating or the numbers of friends they had (except this guy named Valentin with an afro who everyone seems to know).
However, I already have a use for my extra time and it’s here and out there and I don’t need another Internet time sink, so that’s why I decided to quit Orkut, which is really what this writing was about.