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Posts Tagged ‘PLAY WITH YOUR WORDS!’

(I have been away from wordpress for long enough that there are some changes that I strongly dislike. I can’t, for instance, figure out how to get rid of the “bullets” on the following list so that I can customize my post. I hate the way these look and you know I’m particular about aesthetics. CRAP on the interwebs and wordpress. Bastards.)

  • a glut of coats in the mudroom
  • a frenzy of pajama-buying ensued
  • a strange numbness crept across her loins
  • the arugula waited flavorlessly in the produce drawer of the stainless steel, 3-door fridge, its California Fresh! package beckoning to the unsuspecting Frances Marie Mince-Morrison-McMurphy
  • a tinkly toy piano
  • “someone is always on someone else’s shit list around here,” said mother
  • an unresolved fight followed them around the house for weeks, hiding in kitchen cupboards and creeping into bedroom corners; vague, threatening, powerful

*

My dad used to steam the stamps off of envelopes. I have the feeling that I have written about this here before.

I have a vague memory of a bathroom with a sink near the bottom of a flight of basement steps. If the stamps did not have a proper postmark and were thus reusable, my dad would bring the envelopes down and steam off the stamps so they could be used again. Back then it cost about 5¢ for a first-class letter to be sent in the mails (as they say in Britain). Until now, as I write this, it was one of my surest memories, embedded. I remember the stamps, my father, the idea of the steam. But now I think I am filling in the blanks about the details. Maybe it is a neighbor’s basement with a tinkly toy piano and mounds of games and toys we never had. Toys piled high on a ping-pong table.

I never had one of those little tinkly pianos. I never had an Easy-Bake Oven. We did not have the game Yatzee or Operation. We did not have a ping-pong table. My brother never had GI Joes.

I perceived these toys as so foreign and mysterious that I was afraid of them. Alternately, I coveted some of them, like the Easy Bake Oven. Other families knew things I was not privy to. I was deprived of small bits of the commercial American culture of my day. I attribute this to my parents being from Europe and for valuing toys that were more creative or educational or simply made of wood. Their sense of frugality. No gluts in our house, not much extra—only what was needed. I did not grow up with deprivation, but sometimes I experienced my lack of “normal” American toys as if I was deprived. 

I hated GI Joes. They had scratchy beards. Their limbs would twist and turn in ways Barbie’s thankfully never did.

My father had blond hair and never had a beard. Not like GI Joe who was bearded, uniformed, and war-like. Eww. So maybe Freud was right: all men, including GI Joes, were gauged against my image of my father. 

look, this guy is doing yoga, naked to boot, which probably gets one extra good-karma points:

*

Judge other humans ye who enter my blog…judge away if they be pricks and douches….

  • one can’t pull off use of the word oevre in speech without sounding like a douche. Maybe you can get away with it in writing and admittedly, I use this word on occasion in speech; but I’m no douche, so maybe one can pull it off. I heard an interview with an overly-intellectual man on NPR and he used the word oevre and he sounded like an over-educated prick.

Perhaps we’ll meet again, ye who enter here.

Happy New Year! Ring it in, bring it on, get up in this hizzy!!!

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I’ll prolly miss Hubby a lot when he is out of the country next week.

Prolly if I were a good Buddhist, I wouldn’t anticipate this state of affairs because I’d be living in the now.

I’ll prolly never use prolly in speech, that is orally.

Prolly, you think orally is a funny word. I sure do. Aurally? not as funny.

It makes me feel young, as in like a child young, when I think about the word prolly.

I lay awake with excitement the other night when I was thinking about writing about the word prolly and how many ways I could use it.

This whole post makes me feel giddy.

Have you noticed that many of the words I’m using have double consonants? Just look at that first sentence up top. Prolly you noticed because you are smart and observant. I expect nothing less from my stalwart readers.

Prolly I’m about done and don’t have as much for singing the praises of prolly as I first thought.

I know you’ve all seen this if you’ve been anywhere near Facebook in the last couple of years, but this post made me think of it. Prolly you thought of it, too.

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(On Facebook)

YOU GUESSED IT:

SCRABBLE

These people are brutal, brutal I tell you!

I KNEW a particular random player was out for blood. Do you know how long she waited? She waited and waited and waited and she plotted and plotted. She held out for the triple word at the lower left of the board. She waited until she could take the spot for 81 points. 81 POINTS! That’s 9 squared, people (even I know that).

But guess what? She plotted and planned for so dang long that by that time, I’d beat her. I was so many points ahead that even her 81-point turn couldn’t get her ahead of me. Yeah. So let that be a lesson. I may not be the best. I may not even be a great player. But I don’t sit on my esses or my ass.

Ever since they cancelled my addiction-central game, SCRAMBLE (it was a Boggle-style word game that you could play on Facebook), I’ve been quite lost, you know. Until now.

I’m back in the addict’s corner. Bleary-eyed at midnight. My head swimming with letters. Filled with uncontrollable, sleep-depriving excitement and joy because I beat the pants of an unnamed repeat-opponent (you know who you are!) once again!

Okay, so this is not what I look like exactly. I don’t have a red shirt like this and I gave up smoking a long time ago. But if I keep up the Scrabble habit at this fever-pitch, I might have to switch to something healthier, LIKE SMOKING!

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*this is a response, if not an outright explanation, which I had so wanted to avoid, to yesterday’s post

Lying in bed at night, the words come. Sometimes. Sometimes they are good words. Sometimes the words fit together well, bodies in motion, perfect Olympians. Maybe the sound is what holds them together: weir, withy, wattle. The time, the meaning, those can be binders, too. If I am lucky and my brain is on, the words fit together in ways that make sense to me and better yet, in ways you see that I didn’t. Peter Weir the Australian director. A withy basket, something I will never make or use. A wattle fence, woven. The book Cold Mountain which has these words in it. My friends who sang on the soundtrack. My daughter who read the book more than once, more than I did.

Repository? I just threw that in because every surface of my house is covered in clutter.

I thought of being silly. I thought of the types of poetry prompts that facilitators of workshops give out to students: use the following words in a 20-line poem: weir, withy, wattle. Use the photos: I am a rusty mermaid. I have rocks near my hands at all times. Do them separately, do them all at once.

I thought of the fun of my blog, quizzes, idiocy, random sensations floating together to meet in the language centers of my brain some nights.

Fuck it. It’s all bullshit to me. Sometimes the words come, unbidden. Sometimes they make sense. Sometimes you play with me. Sometimes you don’t. But that is what I am after. Come. Play. With. Me. With. The. Words. Of. Our. Choosing. We all win.

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spoiler alert: this post starts out silly and ends with Trayvon Martin. It has been an organic piece of writing and I’m gonna stand by it; at least I think I know what I’m doing

Click through and see the Utz girl eat potato chips before your very eyes. Yes, I have mentioned her before.

Did you ever think that organic food is popular because the word organic is close to the word orgasmic?

Orgasms, what’s the big deal? You can never get enough of them and everything’s over too fast, even the long ones.

I like hot flashes. All that sudden heat created by ME without me even trying. It’s fucking awesome. However, I am not sure I’ll be enjoying them so much in the middle of summer.

Note to self: do not wear thermal shirts during peri-menopausal years unless it’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey

I don’t even like that expression. Where the hell did it come from?

I do remember a song from when I was a kid at summer camp which had the line “it’s cold as the hair on a witch’s ass”

Here’s what I remember:

It’s cold, it’s cold, it’s cold, it’s cold,                                                                                                                                                                           it’s cold, it’s cold, it’s cold, it’s cold                                                                                                                                                                              it’s cold as the foam on a tall beer glass, it’s cold as the hair on a witch’s ass

(oh, wordpress, why must you irk me like that, effing with my line breaks? WHY!?!)

Does anyone else know that song? I swear I learned some crazy things at summer camp. But I never made out with anyone, which I understand is something that is maybe supposed to happen at summer camp.

I went for 5 summers in a row from the time I was 7, so not making out by the time I was 12 seems OK. Whew!

What if it was peace of ass instead of piece of ass? Because we all know that getting a piece of ass makes you calmer and more peaceful. See? The phrase would effectively kill two birds with one stone.

How do vegetarians feel about idiomatic expressions using images that are violent toward animals? I’ve discussed this before.

And vegans, how do vegans feel about phrases involving violence toward butter or violent acts committed with butter? Don’t you go thinking about Last Tango now either, ‘kay? Because I only saw that movie once in college and you know, I don’t think it was very good. I thought The Last Emperor was better. I used to love John Lone but he was never in very many movies.

I will not stand by the term “wife-beater” to describe a man’s white ribbed cotton undershirt, the kind my dad wore. Do men still wear those? My Greek friend calls them papou t-shirts and I like that better. When you pronounce a p in Greek, it’s really more of a b sound.

I believe that this is true: the Finnish language has no word for “toes”

Stand your ground: wasn’t Trayvon Martin the one who needed to do this? What about his self-defense? A neighborhood watchman with a gun trumps an unarmed minor every time.

I tire of the debates and comments that continue to defend the actions of George Zimmerman based on some notion that Zimmerman behaved in the only possible way he could have in such a situation.

I think about Trayvon Martin’s parents. I think about Emmet Till and his brave mother; and don’t tell me this situation is nothing like that situation.

No matter what happens to George Zimmerman, Trayvon’s parents will never have their son back. Never.

You wake up, you make the coffee in the automatic coffee maker, do your morning routine, whatever it is, you hope for the best, that this time your kids leave the house will not be the last time you will ever see them.

Still, I can’t help but be grateful when I hear this.

Astral Weeks, Van Morrison

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where mobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop

Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down in silence easy
To be born again, to be born again

From the far side of the ocean
If I put the wheels in motion
And I stand with my arms behind me
And I’m pushin’ on the door

Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down in silence easy
To be born again, to be born again

There you go standin’ with the look of avarice
Talkin’ to Huddie Ledbetter
Showin’ pictures on the wall
Whisperin’ in the hall
And pointin’ a finger at me

There you go, there you go
Standin’ in the sun darlin’
With your arms behind you
And your eyes before
There you go

Takin’ care of your boy
Seein’ that he’s got clean clothes
Puttin’ on his little red shoes
I see you know he’s got clean clothes

A puttin’ on his little red shoes
A pointin’ a finger at me
Standing in your sad arrest
Trying to do my very best

Lookin’ straight at you
Comin’ through, darlin’
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dreams
Where mobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop

Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down in silence easy
To be born again, to be born again
To be born again, to be born again

In another world, darlin’
In another world
In another time
Got a home on high

Ain’t nothing but a stranger in this world
I’m nothing but a stranger in this world
I got a home on high in another land
So far away, so far away

Way up in the heaven, way up in the heaven
Way up in the heaven, way up in heaven, oh
In another time, in another place
In another time, in another place

Way up in the heaven
In another time, in another place
In another time, in another place
In another face

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What have we got here? We’ve got me, laid out by anemia, due to too rapid and consistent peri-menopausal blood loss.

Peri-menopause, is it a taboo subject? Is it just something men and teenagers don’t want to hear about? What about all of those male OB/GYNs? What makes them so special? Why do they want to know about it, lecture me about it, be experts in the subject of the unpredictable ebbs and torrents of my blood, the blood that comes out of my darkest place?

Is talking about menstrual blood, women’s blood, worse than talking about other blood? Is it tiresome? It’s not the same as blood from injury, soldier’s blood or surgical blood, violent blood, blood from war. Do we talk about any of it or simply leave out female blood?

I remember none of puberty, none of “developing;” just from one school year to the next I went from being teased for being flat-chested to being teased for being large-chested. Even by my girlfriends, so you know it wasn’t sexist or bullying or anything. But things are different now, right? American culture having evolved as it has, we no longer pay much attention to breasts like in the good ol’ days.

I went in to the ER last night (Tuesday), perhaps as an overreaction to the light-headedness, slight vertigo, and nerves-on-edge for 3 days-in-a-row I had been experiencing due to the aforementioned anemia and due to the urging of the MD on call the night before (Monday) to go in that night. I had some odd notion that I could get BLOOD in the ER. I wanted blood like a vampire in a gothic novel wants blood, but not the feeling sexy kind of vampire. How can a condition so purely part of my sex be so unsexy? I know the answer. I know that owning this is part of graduating out of my reproducing sexuality into the rest-of-my-life sexuality, kundalini.

I think it’s completely wrong that this is the kind of thing that is associated with female blood:

I’ve never passed out in my life. I’ve never gotten blood in my life. Neither of these things happened yesterday either.

I can tell you that when the old (65ish, male) OB/GYN had me in the stirrups and told me to relax those muscles (direct quote), I later had a fantasy (and still do) of taking my strong right leg, tensing it as hard as I could and kicking him in the face with it. Sort of twisting his head away from his spine. A suberb peri-menopausal whiplash. It could be a new reason to land in the ER, in fact.

If he hadn’t been the doctor on call and if I hadn’t already been in the care of his practice since Sunday, I would have declined his “services.” However, if I add up the number of pelvic exams I’ve had in my life, one more is a drop in the bucket. Not that I’m resemble a bucket, au contraire, but you get my meaning.

The best OB/GYN I ever had/knew (do what you will with the unfortunate double entendre), was a good friend back in Ohio. I needed an OB/GYN for all sorts of things I experienced before my pregnancies (like not being able to get pregnant for a while and miscarrying twice). I saw both my OB/GYN and my lay midwife throughout both of my pregnancies.

Until 2 years ago, I had never had an OB/GYN in Massachusetts. I simply went to my fabulous (best MD I’ve ever been in the care of) Primary Care Physician for everything OR to my acupuncturist for things less medical. Now, I have an OB/GYN practice at my disposal, but I don’t have a very comfortable relationship with anyone there. I do love the Nurse Practitioner I’ve seen once, but I don’t like the OB/GYN I saw under duress last night. Sigh.

Once in a while Wednesday–what’s it all about?

What if all it took to please me was alliteration? I would LOVE that, my life to be that simple.

Here are some words for you until we meet again:

harrowing    sepulchre    pulchritude

How can pulchritude refer to beauty when the sound of it reminds me so much of paltry, pustule, and that doctor from last night?

Send loving, healing, iron-filled thoughts and images my way, please. Yours, twinkly

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Since I used the phrase don’t cotton to in a poem the other day, I thought I should give credit where credit is due and see if I could find something about its history on teh interwebs.

Here is what I found on wiki answers (probably not the greatest authority on such matters, but I did find my copy, without actually trying, by way of cleaning off a shelf, of Charles Earle Funk’s Hog on Ice the other day. Said book was referenced by our dear Uncle Doug in a comment on yet another recent blog post in which I wrote a bit about other idiomatic and/or folksy sayings). But Monsieur Funk had not a word to say about don’t cotton to, so take it away wiki:

This phrase dates from somewhere in the 16th Century. Originally, it was a textile term – to “cotton” or “cotton well” referred to the success of the fibers melding together to form cotton cloth. Around the 16th Century, the phrase began to be used to mean “to be successful,” or “to prosper” in reference to people and things. About the 19th Century, the phrase “to cotton to” began to see use, and meant “to be drawn to” or “to get along with.”

If you do not “cotton to” something, then you don’t care for it. This phrase is particularly common in the South, where the cotton industry formed the basis for the economy for many years.

Howdy, folks! It’s me again (so you know this isn’t still wiki). Any thought that this phrase has to do with African American slaves and cotton is not to be found…such association would likely be based on one’s tendency to connect the wrong dots with the right instincts. Or is that the right dots with the wrong instincts? Help. This could keep me awake all night or some portion thereof. Maybe I am obsessive. Or compulsive. Or chronic.

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