January rambling: Bad Wolves

Sedition seems to be a running theme.

steepen_the_curve
Permanent link to this comic: https://xkcd.com/2409/

Love has everywhere to go.

If you claim to value education, vaccinate teachers.

Penn Station’s Beautiful New Moynihan Train Hall Is Now Open.

‘They just sort of showed up’: The Amish find a home in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

How the Muppets Helped Me Contemplate My Mortality This Christmas (ht to fillyjonk -also for the Bowie, below).

The 100 Sequences That Shaped Animation

In Conversation: Francis Ford Coppola

The Hidden Depths of Alex Trebek’s Banter with “Jeopardy!” Contestants.

Good Advice About Bad Advice – as someone who was on JEOPARDY, I relate to this a LOT.

RIP Tommy Lasorda, who had one of the most memorable performances ever seen on a Capital Region baseball diamond.

RIP Bill Lambdin, a fixture in Capital Region news for decades.

1970 episode of the game show To Tell the Truth that featured William M. Gaines, the publisher of MAD.

RIP Dawn Wells.

Pet peeve – people who are always late.

A family of 12 siblings now holds the Guinness World Record for highest combined age.  

“Show me the receipts” and other modern idioms.

12 Amazing U.S. Company Towns You Can Still Visit.

Now I Know: The Life-Saving Power of Television and The Rain Storm That Bugged Out and How Postage May Have Saved the Panama Canal and But Can a Ghost Be President?

Arthur’s dreams and Not missing American products.  

Polly ticks

The Dark Reality of Betting Against QAnon

Psychology Today, 2016 (and still true): The Psychology Behind Trump’s Unwavering Support.

Facing Legal and Political Peril, Trump Is Turning On Even His Most Devoted Allies.

Weekly Sift: Sedition and Free Speech and The Capitol Invasion is Both an End and a Beginning.

They’ve Showed Us Who They Are.

The Daily Social Distancing Show- Fox Your Feelings: Then and Now. 

Democracy is a threat to white supremacy—and that is the cause of America’s crisis.

It’s Time For The Republican Party To Split.

2020

The Yearly Sift: Themes of the Year.

Politico: The Worst Predictions.

Record Year for Far-Right Violence in the US.

Google’s Year in Search

20 things that went strangely, wonderfully right

Words of the Year, including anti-masker, asymptomatic, asynchronous, coronavirus pandemic, doomscrolling, fraud, mostly peaceful, mute, QAnon, remote, social distancing, superspreader event, the Great Equalizer, unprecedented, well, Zoom.

The Streaming Wars Could Finally End in 2021.

100 best movies on AMAZON PRIME (DECEMBER 2020).

MUSIC

Bad Wolves – Rebecca Jade  featuring Jason Mraz, Miki Vale and Veronica May.

Sedition – Randy Rainbow.

Their music will not ‘be forgot’: RIP 2020

Coverville 1339 and 1340: The 2020 Coverville Countdown Part 1 and Part 2

Coverville 1341: Gerry and The Pacemakers Tribute.

Movin’ Right Along – Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear.

Changes by David Bowie piano cover/lesson.

Beethoven

Symphony No. 7 in A Major, op. 92.

Piano Concerto no. 3 in C minor.

Choral Fantasy

Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos, in G major and E-flat Major, respectively.

Moonlight Sonata; also Symphony No. 1 and the Triple Concerto.

The Symphony No. 9 in D minor.

Get orbisculate into the dictionary

To orbisculate. Meaning, “to accidentally squirt juice and/or pulp into one’s eye, as from a grapefruit when using a spoon to scoop out a section for eating.”

orbisculate“Is ‘orbisculate’ a word? The late Neil Krieger’s children want it to be.” That’s the title of a recent Boston Globe article.

“Hilary Krieger, now 43 and an editor for NBC News’s THINK, was 24 when she used it with a friend… ‘We were eating fruit – I believe it was oranges – and I said, it ‘orbisculated on you.’ [The friend] was like, ‘That’s not a word. … My first feeling was pity. Like, this is going to be embarrassing when he finds out that this is a word.'”

Except that it wasn’t. It was a creation of her father. “Neil Krieger was a scientist and entrepreneur. After 20 years teaching neuroscience…, he founded West Rock Associates, a biotech grant recruitment firm. He was committed to civil rights activism and was involved with the Boston chapter of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality).

“Krieger died of complications from COVID-19 on April 29. He was 78.

“Now his adult children are on a mission. They want ‘orbisculate’ added to the dictionary, to honor their father. (Also, it’s a perfectly useful intransitive verb, they say.) They’ve launched a website with a petition to dictionary editors.”

The blog

And on the website is the post How to Break into a Dictionary.

“The way a word qualifies for inclusion is when it’s being used by a lot of people. Dictionaries employ scores of editors to scour the English language for new words and check whether they’re being used often and widely. And like many things, the best way to get a word used widely is by word of mouth…

“But there was, of course, a catch. Dictionary editors only count certain types of uses of the word: When it’s used in context. That means that references to the word as a word, rather than employing it for what it means, don’t get added to their count.”

OK. “I hold the Friskies cat food can away from me when I open it, lest it orbisculate on me.” BTW, this is true.

The Krieger family is “also selling T-shirts with the word on them; all proceeds benefit Carson’s Village, an organization that helps families with resources right after a loss (the group does everything from helping to coordinate burials to setting up obituaries, for free).”

Lunaversary

I am sympathetic because I’m a big fan of the word lunaversary. It’s made it into the Urban Dictionary, but its example is terrible. “Our 4-month lunaversary is on Saturday.” NO! “Our fourth lunaversary is on Saturday.” Yes!

The Merriam-Webster people are looking at the ‘-iversary’ word part. “Monthiversary (with its variant monthaversary) to be the strongest contender for full establishment in the language.” [SHUDDER!]  Mensiversary would be OK, I guess, but one loses the sense of the insanity of new love.

Cromulent, embiggen, vellichor, jouska

Jouska is a hypothetical conversation that you repeat again and again in your head.

dictionary of obscure sorrowsMy friend Dan happened upon the word cromulent and a whole bunch of other unfamiliar terms. I suggested – not that he listens – that he ought to write a blog post about words. “Nah. I do Albany along with rants about politics… Words are your thing.”

From an article by Merriam-Webster: “It is safe to say that The Simpsons has contributed a great deal to the English language. One famous example is cromulent, which was coined specifically for the 1996 episode ‘Lisa the Iconoclast.’ In reference to one character’s questioning of the use of embiggen, another says ‘it’s a perfectly cromulent word.'”

Somehow I didn’t remember cromulent, although I was still watching The Simpsons regularly at the time. However, embiggen is another story. I don’t know where I heard it but I HAVE used the word, colloquially to be sure, but still.

Dan put the word “cromulent” into Google and kept clicking on definitions on the page. His spellchecker liked none of them; after this post goes live, my Grammarly score is really going to sink.

Vellichor is the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago.”

Somehow this reminds me of that 1959 Twilight Zone episode Time Enough at Last with Burgess Meredith.

Jouska is a hypothetical conversation that you repeat again and again in your head. For example, replaying an argument in your head where you say all the right things and ‘win’ the argument.” I used to do it frequently.

Also check out chrysalism, occhiolism, and kairosclerosis. All of them, plus vellichor and jouska, appear in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

What the heck is THAT? It is a Tumblr and YouTube channel that give us words that don’t exist in the English language but definitely should.

“The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.

“The author’s mission is to capture the aches, demons, vibes, joys and urges that roam the wilderness of the psychological interior. Then release them gently back into the subconscious.”

Going to the site, I’m informed that an actual book will soon exist, from Simon & Schuster, and I may very well have to buy it.

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good

If this had happened some years ago, I would been mortified, and probably depressed, for days.

There’s an article, Quoof and other family nonsense, which is about the mispronunciation of words, both intentional and otherwise. I have done both.

There are a slew of words I simply cannot spell unless I say them – sometimes in my head but occasionally aloud, albeit in fun – the way they are spelled. For instance, I’d say epitome is EP-i-tome, not e-PIT-o- me; facade is fa-CADE, rather than fa-SAHD . And my favorite word, because it has all the vowels in alphabetical order, is facetious, which I like to do as FACE-tious, rather than fa-SEE-shus; it also works with the adverb form, by adding the -ly.

But one word I simply had never said aloud was omniscience, which I knew from reading, often religious books, meant the state of knowing everything. When I saw it, I thought OM-ni-science. Now I could, and have, pronounced omniscient, and so I knew the emphasis was on the second syllable. But that last syllable confounded me.

I discovered this on Mother’s Day, when the youth of the church was running the services. So, instead of going to choir, I attended Christian education for the adults. Folks took turn reading this paper written by the leader, my friend Grace, about “Exploring the nature of God and the existence of suffering in the world.”

The word omniscience showed up, not once but about five times. After I butchered it a few times, someone said aloud, “om-NI-shents”, and the brain said, OK. Truth is, if this had happened some years ago, I would been mortified, and probably depressed, for days, or probably longer.

During the church service, two of our church high schoolers gave the sermon on diversity fighting hatred. One of them was Sofia, the daughter of the Transitional Presbyter for Albany Presbytery – well, not for too much longer. So I jokingly say to Pastor Miriam, in front of Shannan the Presbyter, “So we got someone to take your [preaching] job.” But I was misunderstood, with both of them thinking I wanted to get rid of Pastor Miriam, instead of sideways complimenting Sofia. I so hate being misunderstood.

And since Eric Burdon’s birthday was this month, it’s time for a #15 song in the US in 1965 by the Animals, oh, Lord, Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.

Good day: asylee, bamboozled, storyline

“Persecution or the fear thereof must be based on the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

This is what makes a good day: learning something new. Often it’s at work, but not always.

I was doing some research on demographics. I could NOT find what I wanted at the Census, so I looked on the page for the Department of Homeland Security. I discovered a word that was new to me: asylee. My spellcheck does NOT like it.

USCIS’ somewhat skewed definition: “An alien in the United States or at a port of entry who is found to be unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality, or to seek the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. Persecution or the fear thereof must be based on the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. For persons with no nationality, the country of nationality is considered to be the country in which the alien last habitually resided. Asylees are eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status after one year of continuous presence in the United States. These immigrants are limited to 10,000 adjustments per fiscal year.”

The difference between a person seeking refugee status and asylum status you can check out here; the distinction is narrow. The dictionary definition of asylee is merely “a person who is seeking or has been granted political asylum.”

That day, Facebook decided that I might want to repost something from five years ago, and I, unusually, actually did. The item received more likes this time around than it did in 2012, maybe because it’s even more true:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

On my way home on the bus that night, I hear the guy behind me talking, ending with “I try not to f@#& too many of the shanks in the apartment building.” I figure he’s some sort of lowlife scum.

But then I hear, in an odd mechanical male voice, “I try not to f@#& too many of the shanks in the apartment building,” which is oddly amusing. And then he sends the audio file to someone, I believe to himself. Is he some sort of writer? If you find that line in a book published in the next couple years, or hear it in a movie theater near you, know it was created and dictated on the CDTA 905 bus.