Saturday, November 30, 2013


I highly recommend Whoopi Goldberg's new documentary about Jackie, Moms Mabley, which is currently showing on HBO. I can recall seeing Moms perform on the Merv Griffin Show and with Ed Sullivan in the 1960s. One of the most touching moments was when she sang her version of My Way when she sang "What is a woman, what has she got, if not herself, then she has not, to say the way she truly feels, and not the word of one who kneels" and she ended the song by singing, "Yes, it was Mom's way!"

Moms, born in 1894 and died in 1975, was a star of "The Chitlin Circuit" which was the African-American Vaudeville circuit where black performers appeared. She eventually made it to the Apollo Theater where it is reported that she earned $10,000 weekly and by the 1960s she appeared at Carnegie Hall. Moms was a lesbian who dressed in mens clothing offstage. In the Black Renaissance of Harlem in the 1920s, Moms was friends with Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston until a disagreement with Hughes made her choose the side of Hurston and then later she split with Hurston in the 1950s over political differences: Moms was supporting Progressive Democrats and Hurston was for Robert Taft!

In 1969 Moms was the oldest performer in history to have a Top 40 hit record with her version of Abraham, Martin, And John. Listen here for her moving rendition:

Friday, November 29, 2013


Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone was chosen as the greatest rock and roll song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. I, along with nearly every critic surveyed, agree with this assessment, and although I agree it is the greatest song, Just Like A Woman, performed by Richie Havens--not by Mr. Zimmerman--is my personal favorite Dylan song.

The video was crafted by a 27-year-old Israeli Vania Heymann and it is phenomenal! It is thrilling that this song, after forty-eight years, is still unbelievably powerful and speaks to all generations.

You can see an example below from YouTube.

But go to:


and you can see the song lip-synched by numerous people and you can flick back and forth from person to person. It is a channel-surfer's dream come true!

As I would have said in 1965: "COOL!"

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


For the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will converge, marking the first joint celebration of the two holidays aptly named Thanksgivukkah.

This year Thanksgiving Day will mark the first day of Hanukkah – the eight-day festival that celebrates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, when Jews revolted against their Greek-Syrian oppressors called the Maccabean Revolt. Since Hanukkah starts on Wednesday at sundown, the second candle will be lit on Turkey Day.

The “once-in-a-lifetime” holiday is being marked by Jews across America by decorating their homes with turkey menorahs known as menurkies and dreidels decorated with birds known as turkels to commemorate the special event.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I was behind a woman in a store tonight and a child and a man I assumed to be her mate were standing at the side of her shopping cart. I could not get around them, but I was waiting patiently for them to move. The man noticed me and said, gruffly, to the woman, "MOVE, so she can get around." The woman turned around and said, "You could have said excuse me, Bitch!" I was so shocked I was speechless for a moment. I then asked, very calmly, "Why would you speak that way to another human being? I was waiting patiently for you to move." She yelled, "PATIENT HELL, F***K YOU!" I clapped my hands over my ears in mock outrage and said, "Oooh, oooh, how can you talk that way in front of this child? You have no class!" Of course, my making fun of her by covering my ears and criticizing her at the same time, only exacerbated the situation! She started toward me --and I did not move--and she said, "I'll show you some class!" The man grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her away. I could tell that she was surprised that I didn't move; obviously she has gotten away with bullying previously!

I said, "Just because you were irritated with this man, you shouldn't talk that way in front of a child!" I could tell she was furious by my lecturing her about her lack of parental skills and exposing her true motive! The little girl was hanging her head. The woman twisted around and gave me "the finger"! I said, "Oh, that's amazing that you can use your digits! Are you teaching THAT to the child also?" She then smacked her buttocks and I said, "Oh, that poor child; is this the kind of behavior you want her to EMULATE?" The man continued forcing her to move on down the aisle. I continued with my shopping but did not encounter them again.

I was nearly finished shopping when the child came back around to where I was and picked up some bread and I said, "I'm so sorry for you, little girl, that you have a mother like that."

When I left I noticed the three of them were in the middle of the store.

When I went home I told the story to Les and he chided me for speaking to the little girl. He said, "It wasn't her fault; until then, you had the HIGH GROUND!" I agree that I should not have spoken to the little girl, but I'm not QUITE as bad as that woman!

What would you have done with somebody calling you a bitch?

Monday, November 25, 2013


My friend Patty--a Hoosier--sent INTERESTING FACTS YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT INDIANA. I wrote back to ask her how anyone from Indiana could leave out THE HICK FROM FRENCH LICK as even I know Larry Bird is from French Lick!

Les asked, "How about R. Dean Taylor?" The one-hit wonder from him is Indiana Wants Me.

I was thrilled to learn a new word: CRINOID. See below.


Tomato juice was first served at a French Lick, Indiana, hotel in 1925.

The first tomato juice factory was also in French Lick, IN.

The world's largest orchid species collection is found at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

The first regulated speed limit (20 - 25 mph!) was initiated on Indiana roads in 1921.

The steepest railroad grade in the world is in Madison, Indiana.

An average of 400 funnel clouds are sighted each year in Indiana.

The city of Gary, Indiana, was built on fill brought from the bottom of Lake Michigan through suction pipes (that explains a lot).

There are only two Adams fireplaces in the United States. One is in the White House and the other in the Diner Home in Indiana.

Josie Orr, wife of former Indiana Governor Robert Orr, flew bombers and cargo planes during World War II.

The Indianapolis Methodist Hospital is the largest Hospital in the Midwest.

One of the first complete bathrooms in Indianapolis was in the home of Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley.

The career of Dorothy Lamour (famous for the Bing Crosby-Bob Hope Road Movies) was launched in Indianapolis.

Aviatrix Amelia Earhart was once a Professor at Purdue University.

Crown Hill Cemetery (Indianapolis) is the largest cemetery in the U.S.

The library in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, houses one of the largest genealogy libraries in America.

Wabash, Indiana, was the first electrified city in the U.S.

Pendleton, Indiana, was the site of the first hanging of a white man for killing Indians.

The Courthouse roof in Greensburg, Indiana, has a tree growing from it.

The world's first transistor radio was made in Indianapolis.

Clark Gable and wife Carole Lombard (born in Fort Wayne, IN ) honeymooned at Lake Barbee near Warsaw, Indiana.

The American Beauty Rose was developed at Richmond, Indiana.

Elkhart, Indiana, is the band instrument capitol of the World.

Frank Sinatra first sang with the Tommy Dorsey band at the Lyric Theater in Indianapolis.

Purdue Alumnus, Earl Butz, served as the Secretary of Agriculture (there are lots of jokes about that).

U.S. 231 is the longest highway in Indiana (231 miles).

Johnny Appleseed is buried at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The singing McGuire Sisters spent their childhood summers at the Church of God Campground in Anderson, Indiana.

The main station of the Underground Railroad was in Fountain County, Indiana.

There are 154 acres of sculpture gardens and trails at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

La Porte County is the only county in America having 2 functioning courthouses.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln is buried in Posey County, Indiana.

Crawfordsville, Indiana (Montgomery County), is the only site in the world where crinoids are found. (What is a crinoid, you ask? A form of deep-water marine life that looks something like a starfish.)

Pendleton, Indiana, was the site of the Fall Creek Massacre. A museum housing 3500 artifacts of pioneer heritage now exists on that site.

St. Meinrad Archabbey is located in Spencer County and is one of only 2 archabbeys in the U.S. and seven in the world (Abbey Press is an operation of the archabbey).

A buzz bomb (German - WW II), believed to be the only one on public display in the nation, can be found on the Putnam County Courthouse lawn in Greencastle, Indiana.

Roberta Turpin Willett was born in Indiana.

James Dean was born and is buried in Indiana.

The world's tallest woman, Sandy Allen, lived in Indiana.

Red Skelton was born in Vincennes, Indiana, and was a proud Hoosier until the day he died!

Mae West and Claude Akins were from Bedford, Indiana.

The inventor of the television, Philo T. Farnsworth, lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Forrest Tucker was from Pendleton, Indiana.

You can't ship wine to Indiana. (So how does it get there?)

Bob Greise is from Evansville, Indiana, and was quarterback at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

Toni Tenille (of The Captain and Tenille) is from Indiana.

Oprah Winfrey built her residence in N/W Indiana.

Florence Henderson is from Indiana.

The much sought-after Hoosier Cabinets are an Indiana product.

90% of the world's popcorn is grown in Indiana.

The Jackson Five are from Gary, Indiana.

The birthplace of the automobile, the pneumatic rubber tire, the aluminum casting process, stainless steel and the first push-button car radio was in Kokomo, Indiana.

Frank Borman, NASA astronaut, born in Gary, Indiana.

Pretty neat, huh? And you thought there was only corn in Indiana! Don't forget, breaded tenderloin sandwiches are seldom found anyplace else!


Sunday, November 24, 2013


I find it fascinating what people buy at auctions--not the dealers--but people in general. A friend was determined to acquire a family memento and after a bidding battle, she won the bid. I said that the other bidders might be collateral family members and as she's been tracing her family history, I told her that she should ask them if they were relatives. I think she was too peeved because she felt they "ran up the bid", and I said, "I'll go ask them; they might be your cousins!" The other bidders said they weren't members of that family. When I told my friend they weren't relatives, she asked, "Why were they bidding then?" I told her I didn't have the nerve to ask THAT!

My brother told me that it was almost irresistible NOT to run up the bid when one's been outbid. I asked, "Is that a testosterone thing? Isn't it crazy? You might get stuck with stuff you don't want!" He said, "Yeah, but you just have to show them; you just CAN'T let them have it!" WTH!

A woman sitting beside me said she was going to bid on old feed sacks. When I asked her what she did with them she said she made purses from them. She quit bidding at $10.00. She said she couldn't make any money if she went any higher. I said, "You'd have to be like Vera Bradley; if you were like me and had them as clothes when you were a kid, you wouldn't want a purse!" Another woman paid $35.00 apiece for the five feed sacks which were imprinted with a feed company's name from Greenfield, Ohio. I was touched when I learned that the feed sacks came from her family's business and she was going to give one to each of her siblings. The woman beside me sighed and said, "Then I'm glad she got them!"

A man sitting beside me told me that his passion was books about science. I asked, "What's your greatest acquisition?" He told me that he'd been at an auction at Case Western Reserve University and he'd acquired a document from The Manhattan Project at Los Alamos. I squealed with delight, "Did it have Oppenheimer's signature?" He immediately knew he'd found another aficionado but told me it didn't have Oppenheimer's but it did have Teller's signature. I rattled off other names: Fermi, General Groves, Niels Bohr, and Szilard, but he said it was from Teller's section and his name was the only one he really recognized.

I was interested in several items, but fortunately, I have good sales resistance. I have been to few auctions, and as I do not know how to bid, I always depend on whomever I'm with to bid for me. On one item, I said to my friend, "I'll bid $10.00." When the bid went to $12.50, she asked, "Don't you want to bid higher?" I told her no. When the winning bid was $15.00, she said, "You could've had that for $15.00!" I said, "But I wanted it for $10.00--it isn't worth $15.00 to me!"

At the auction, I had an interesting encounter in the women's restroom. There are two stalls in the restroom and four women were waiting in line and during a conversation between two of the women, a third woman asked one of them, "Who are you?" I was the fourth person there, and although I was not a part of that conversation, I naturally interjected, "I'm nobody! Who are you?" Two of them looked shocked, but a third exclaimed, "She quotes Emily Dickinson!"

That made my day!

Of course, I recited the remainder of the poem although it was my turn to go into the stall!

by Emily Dickinson

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody too?
Then there's a pair of us--don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


A current Facebook game: a friend sends a number to you and you must answer that number of questions: THINGS OTHERS DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME. The number given to me was 5. As I think I'm very transparent and everybody knows everything--read my BLOG, right--I couldn't think of seven things!

I didn't answer until I saw this URBAN DICTIONARY article. Then I realized that I am "challenged" on at least FIVE areas!

Not only am I:
1. "charger-challenged" (see below)
2. "geographically-challenged" (I invariably turn the wrong way!)
3. "remote-control challenged" (why do I have to have THREE remote-controls for ONE television?)
4. "cell-phone challenged" (I had to return my smartphone because after 13 days, I was never able to "swipe" it to answer a phone call!)
5. "new-car challenged" (I wasn't able to set the clock when the time changed and somehow I ended up with kilometers showing on my speed)


The inability to remember to plug a cell phone in to recharge occasionally, thus resulting in a battery-dead device.

Jean's Iphone never work's when she needs it. She cannot ever remember to plug it in overnight. She is definitely charger-challenged.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Of all sad words of tongue or pen
The saddest words are these:
"It might have been."
----John Greenleaf Whittier

50 years ago our President was killed. Everyone who was alive then is asking, "Where were you when....?" Books, documentaries, and discussions are surfeiting me. I have dozens of books here--some read--and some unread. On my library wall I have a print of the portrait seen here and I love the painting by Elaine de Kooning also seen here.

I hesitate to write about the loss because my words are so paltry and although my brain is roiling, I know I will never have the words to adequately describe the loss I felt then and now. Mary McGrory said, "We'll never laugh again" to which Daniel Patrick Moynihan answered, "We'll laugh, but we'll never be young again."

Listen to Phil Ochs' That Was The President; Phil wrote it shortly after the assassination and it's full of the raw emotion we felt.

Listen to Phil's masterpiece The Crucifixion, recorded years after the assassination when he had time to reflect. My favorite line is: "And do you have a picture of the pain?"

Quite simply, I still grieve for what might have been.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I hate to wear my seatbelt--please, NO lectures--I believe in wearing seatbelts. Fortunately, I was wearing my seatbelt when I had my accident and also, every time I've been stopped by the cops!

Gerald won't start the car unless I am buckled-up!

The seat belt irritates my neck; I suffer from NIPLASH (see the URBAN DICTIONARY definition below)! I have bought apparatuses which supposedly prevent the problem, but they don't work.

I wear the belt under my breasts but how safe is that?


whiplash of the nipple or nipples.
Extreme soreness of the nipple or nipples from seatbelt or clothing malfunction.

After the fender-bender, Ralph discovered he was suffering from niplash.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


A friend and her son want to get the "perfect Christmas gift" for his girlfriend. They know she likes music boxes and her favorite Christmas carol is "Away In A Manger". VOILA! They found a Fontanini music box online which plays the perfect song.

When the box arrived it had "Away In THE Manger" written on the outside of the box. When they wound it, it was not the tune they are accustomed to hearing.

She said a 45-minute debate ensued over whether it was the "real" tune as it sounded different than what they were used to hearing. She went to YouTube and found a version by the Kings College Choir, Cambridge, which used the same tune as the music box!

When she called me, I of course started singing what I consider the "Catholic version" rather than the "American version". My friend said, "I knew you would know!" I told her that the "THE" on the box was probably just a misprint!

Listen here to the Celtic Woman sing it as I think it should be sung!

When I told Les about it he said, "Of course Fontanini would have THAT version!"

Les and I began singing it and it became a dreaded "EARWORM" (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article) the remainder of the day. One time during the day, when I was singing the part: "the cattle are lowing", Les started making cattle-lowing sounds! I yelped, "Sound effects?" He said, "That Baby could not have slept through THAT!"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I found this in a box of old clippings in my mother's dresser:


If an "S" and an "I" and an "O" and a "U", with an "X" on the end spells "SU",
And an "E" and a "Y" and an "E" spell "I",
Pray, what is a speller to do?
Then, if also an "S" and an "I" and a "G" and an "H", "E", "D" spells "CIDE"
There is nothing on earth for a speller to do but to go and commit:


It reminds me of the old conundrum usually attributed to George Bernard Shaw, but the first documented usage was by William Oiler:

GHOTI is pronounced "FISH":

The "GH" is pronounced as the "F" sound in "TOUGH"
The "O" is pronounced as the "I" sound in "WOMEN"
The "TI" is pronounced as the "SH" sound in "NATION"


Here is another example:


"GH" as the "P" sound in "HICCOUGH"
"OUGH" as the "O" sound in "THOUGH"
"PT" as the "T" sound in "PTOMAINE"
"EIGH" as the "A" sound in "NEIGH"
"BT" as the "T" sound in "DEBT"
"EAU" as the "O" sound in "BUREAU"


It's not surprising that English is difficult for speakers of other languages to learn.

Just consider these five words ending in "OUGH":

BOUGH rhymes with COW
COUGH rhymes with OFF
ROUGH rhymes with PUFF
THOUGH rhymes with GO
THROUGH rhymes with SHOE

Monday, November 18, 2013


"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

The following article from The Urban Dictionary reminded me of gross-out things my brothers did when they were kids.

They had a "belch jar" which they would belch into and hurriedly put the lid back on and then they would take it to their barber Gordon Lynch who seemed to enjoy such "boyish" pranks! They had their hair cuts monthly; you can imagine the stench from that jar.

I see that things haven't changed!

fart reduction

The process of repeatedly farting into a confined space or area, or on an item so as to infuse the space or item with the pure essence of the fart musk.
I totally gave my ex-girlfriend's pillow a fart reduction the week after we fought.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Yaphet Kotto is a Facebook friend of mine. Yaphet is a descendant of African Jews; his father was the Crown Prince of the Cameroons who escaped to come to New York when the home country was conquered. Yaphet's name means "beautiful" in Hebrew.

In case you don't know, Yaphet is an actor who was on Homicide: Life On The Street. I consider that series the second best dramatic series ever on television, right after The Sopranos. He also appeared in the movies Midnight Run, Running Man, Alien, and Live And Let Die. Interestingly, Yaphet's character on Homicide, Lieutenant Al Giardello, was half-black and half-Italian. As a youngster, Yaphet had lived with an Italian-American family and learned a lot of Sicilian which prepared him for the role!

Between acting jobs, Yaphet and his wife operate the "Running Man Institute" in the Phillipines which is an artists' retreat to work with people from the entertainment industry to foster creativity and it centers around holistic health. There is a hardcore punk rock band named after him, which I choose not to feature because of the language.

I guess he puts the "F" in his name to distinguish himself from all the other Yaphet Kottos in the world!

Saturday, November 16, 2013


A friend upbraided me for calling a candidate for City Council an "elitist snob" because of her "bragging about her summer house". My friend said that perhaps the candidate didn't realize she was bragging.

I said, "She was insouciant; how could she NOT know that she was bragging in the presence of poor people!"

My friend said, "First of all, YOU are NOT poor, and second, I don't know what that word you just used means, but I don't assume that YOU are bragging because you actually use such words in the presence of someone who might not know the word!"

I responded, "But that's NOT an apt comparison; and I was referring to the person who was with me who IS definitely poor!"

My friend said, "But oftentimes people are just having conversations and don't realize they are bragging."

I said, "If I were with people who didn't have a car and I said I had a Corvette, then that would be bragging, just as the poor person who was with me doesn't own ONE home, let alone a second home!"

My friend responded, "But how was she supposed to know she was with so-called poor people?"

I fairly screaked, "There were 5 people sitting at the table with her and her husband and she'd already asked two of them what kind of work they did; that would have been MY first clue, but then I'm not blasé!"


Friday, November 15, 2013


Les and I were in the library and Gerald popped in and came over and nuzzled around my neck and asked us if we knew the word CYSSAN; neither of us did! (I learned that CYSSAN is an archaic word meaning "to kiss".)

I asked, "WHAT have you been watching?" He had been watching a show about facial muscles and it showed the origins of kissing! I asked, "Did you know that people didn't close their eyes when kissing until the advent of motion pictures?" Les said, "HOW do you know that--what empirical evidence do you have--to prove that statement?" (I've mentioned before about Shirkeys leaping on any generalizations and statements without facts, haven't I?)

I said, "Proud of your using the word EMPIRICAL, but in the movies that showed the first kiss, the audience started laughing, so that's when they started having the actors close their eyes and the general population started kissing that way!"

"So, is THAT your documentation?"

I said, "Well, maybe I should have said that I've HEARD that!"

He's ALWAYS right!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


There was some corn left over from last night's meal and Les asked, "Remember corn fritters?" I answered, "Yeah, but I never made them; Mother always made them." He asked, "What goes in them?" I replied, "Corn, eggs, cracker crumbs, kinda like making salmon patties, I think." He said, "Let's look on the internet." We couldn't find a recipe which we felt matched our memories exactly; we chose ingredients from several different recipes. The resulting corn fritters were tasty, but not LIKE--or as good as--we remember our mother's.

LEFTOVERS? We never had leftovers! We had another adventure the next day! The day after Sunday dinner roast, we had HASH (which I liked better than the Sunday roast). One time we had a bumper crop of carrots and Mother fixed cooked carrots as a side dish. Yep, we didn't eat all of them; the next day it was CARROT COOKIES. To this day, we'll say, "You better eat that broccoli (or cauliflower, or ANYTHING else!) or it'll be cookies tomorrow!"

My pernickety brothers wanted to eat ONLY the legs from the fried chicken. Mother would tear apart the wings and swear that one of the parts was "baby chicken legs"! Every time I see hot wings, I say, "I like the baby chicken legs!"

Some of our other culinary delights include:

GAZINTA SOUP: everything leftover in the refrigerator GOES INTO (GAZINTA) the soup!

SLUMGULLION: none of us can agree on the exact ingredients in this one, but I believe Mother's version was a concoction of rice, tomatoes, and corn, with chili seasoning. The dictionary definition is "a cheap, unsubstantial stew". All of the online recipes for slumgullion call for macaroni, tomatoes, and ground beef. Les said, dismissively, "Hell, that sounds like goulash!"

TURKEY CARCASS SOUP: I continue to make this delicious soup with the leftover carcass, but the term itself seems to freak out people.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


A friend and I are both abysmally ignorant about current sports. We were having dinner at a local restaurant and a group sitting behind us were talking--loudly--about the situation with Ricky Incognito and Jonathan Martin. I know about the cause celebre because Les listens to sports radio shows while he's cooking and I hear bits and pieces. My friend heard one of the group say "Incognito" and she asked, "So is the guy traveling incognito?" I laughed and said, "No, Incognito is HIS name."

I then attempted to tell her about the situation, including bits about Stanford, Harvard, Harbaugh, Dungey, and my own opinion. Of course, I didn't want those loud people behind us to hear me, partly because of my ignorance and partly because 5 of the 6 of them were on the side of Incognito!

When I returned home, I told Les about our conversation and he said, "Excuse my cliché, but that's like the blind leading the blind!"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


This is the latest in the saga of my friend Patty's 10-year-old grandson, Casey, who is the Elvis impersonator:

Well, today I got a thank you card in the mail from Casey thanking us for all of his birthday gifts. The card has him on the front dressed in the Full Monty, (whoops I meant Full Elvis) with his school picture on the back of the card dressed as Superman.

OK, go pee before you read this next story.

Last week Susan got really mad at him for some reason and sent him to his room. She told him he could not come out until she said so. Next, there were ten minutes of complete silence. All of a sudden she heard a guitar being forcefully banged on and a familiar voice singing “That’s all right momma, that’s all right for you...........” She said she laughed so hard, she had to bury her face in a pillow. Oh, if only I could have been there!

Monday, November 11, 2013


In honor of MY veterans: my brothers Bode, Kenny, Neil, Norman, Duke, Les, and my husband Gerald.

Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America's war dead. Veterans Day honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. Veterans Day is intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11th of each year is the day that we make sure veterans know that we appreciate the sacrifices they have made to keep our country free.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, November 11, 1918, became known internationally as “Armistice Day” at the end of the Great War (WWI). In America, November 11th officially became known as Armistice Day through an act of Congress in 1926. It wasn't until 12 years later, through a similar act, that Armistice Day became a national holiday.

Armistice Day became Veterans Day in 1954 when President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11th as Veterans Day and called upon everyone to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I like the word SCREAK. Although the definition is: "to make a harsh, shrill, sound", I have always thought of it as a cross between a shriek, a screech, and a scream. It is an intransitive verb of Scandinavian origin and is pronounced "skreet".

When I used the word in a BLOG article, a friend called to tell me she thought it was a misspelling of "scream". I answered that it was a correct spelling of screak and she said that Spell-Check didn't recognize it.

I answered, "Spell-Check isn't God; the OED is GOD!"

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Four of my friends and I are afflicted with the SCHADENFREUDE BUG; it happens whenever we learn a new word, and then after that, we cannot believe how often we hear the word and we have the compulsion to report having heard or seen the word.

It began with the word SCHADENFREUDE; years ago, after I learned this absolutely perfect word which has no English equivalent, I was surprised about all the times I heard it or saw it in print after the initial time. I shared this phenomenon with family and friends.

Now, SCHANDENFREUDE BUG is a generic term for any new, unusual word we learn and we keep track of the number of times we hear or see it. All let me know when they see or hear SCHADENFREUDE.

My latest word is DUDGEON. Since reading it--and using it in a BLOG article--I have heard it a number of times; I heard Chris Hayes use it twice last night. It is usually accompanied by "high dudgeon".

From the Free Online Dictionary: dudgeon: "noun: a feeling of offense or deep resentment."

Gretchen alerted me to a great article from The Huffington Post (CLICK HERE) to read.

Friday, November 8, 2013


The URBAN DICTIONARY'S item for today is "COMMERCIAL GAME" (see below) which means the game that people watch during a commercial break of the game they're really watching!

I don't watch sporting events but I flick to other channels during the commercials, so that's my COMMERCIAL SHOW. I seldom watch anything LIVE as Les records nearly everything for me to watch at my convenience. Gerald and I usually watch Hardball while eating dinner and I am constantly flicking to something else during the commercials. Gerald and Les hate to watch anything with me because I am the channel surfer!

commercial game

The game I watch during a commercial break of the game I'm really watching.
"Yeah, I watched it, but it was my commercial game."

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Gerald was going to the store and I had "Charmin" on the list; when he returned, he had gotten the blue package labeled "Ultra Strong". I said, "This is the wrong package; I like the red package which says Ultra Soft!" Les said, "I'll take this upstairs to use."

The next day, I bought the red package and as Les, ever the wit, was putting it in the bathroom, he looked at the side of the package and said, "Oh, yeah, I see the number one ingredient is VELOUR!"

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I attended the dinner before the Candidates' Forum for City Council candidates, and two of the candidates, whom I did not know, sat down at my table. Of the incumbents, I found one to be condescending, one to be patronizing, and another to be ignorant; the fourth one only made one suggestion and that was that we needed another reservoir!

This is a non-partisan race; of the four new candidates, there is a small business owner, a retired firefighter, a teacher, and a computer specialist. One of the people is a Libertarian, two are registered Democrats, and the other a registered Republican. Being a "female chauvinist", I was hoping to be able to find reasons to vote for the two female candidates. As I told an associate who thinks we should vote for women just because they are women, I said that I would vote for them only if they are the most qualified.

One of the new candidates referred to herself in the third person! Then she used the word "niche" three times and pronounced it "nitch". (I don't care if that is an "acceptable" American pronunciation, it is still "NEESH" to me!)

After I came home, Les asked me to describe the candidates and I said that there was "no way that I would vote for that elitist snob." He laughed uproariously and said, "You're calling someone an elitist snob when you're judging her for using the third person and pronouncing niche in the American way; talk about the kettle calling the snob black!" I said, "No, it was her bragging about their summer place and her kid in football and I found it déclassé to be boasting about possessions in the presence of poor people!"

Before I went to the dinner, I had made up my mind that I would not make any comments, but only listen! During dinner, the husband of the elitist snob said that all the drug "people" should be put on chain gangs. I asked, very quietly, "Do you know the yearly cost to us taxpayers to maintain prisoners?" Because I had not spoken, he looked shocked but answered, "30,000." Although I was impressed that his figure was close to being accurate, it was an E.F. Hutton moment as others leaned forward to hear my next comment, "Surely you're aware that the cost of incarceration is far more costly than the cost of treatment for drug addiction." Another person at the table interjected that they still need to be punished. I said, "Frankly, I do not think it behooves society to have drug users placed with hardened criminals." I then launched into my anti-private prisons rant.

In his presentation, one of the incumbent candidates was bewailing that "the State" had taken away funding from the city and county. I stated, to the candidates sitting at my table, "But I bet you all voted for Kasich." For some reason they didn't engage in any more conversation with me.

We were not allowed to confront the candidates but had to submit our questions for the candidates in writing. It had been tiresome hearing the incumbents pat themselves on their backs about their accomplishments and yet not name any accomplishments. I submitted my question: "The incumbents keep bragging about their accomplishments, yet I haven't heard them name one single accomplishment." The answers from the incumbents were hardly impressive and one was disingenuous, citing the City Charter being enacted as an accomplishment, which didn't happen during his term.

Another person asked whether the candidates believed that the City Manager should apologize for some unfortunate statements he had made. One of the incumbents actually said that the City Manager shouldn't have to answer for his statements because he's not "elected"! Boy, that's the best argument I ever heard for a mayoral form of government!

There are four slots to be selected but, in good conscience, I can only vote for three candidates.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


In response to my article WANGY, my friend Patty Burch commented that others find her use of the word "URKY" unusual.

Although "urky" is not found in any standard dictionaries, our friends at THE URBAN DICTIONARY (CLICK HERE) have it listed and their meaning is similar to Patty's meaning and usage: "Urky is used mostly when an event (good or bad) is so outrageous, you don't know what other word to use."

Monday, November 4, 2013


Arminta's Facebook message today:

"There are some movies that I can just watch over and over and over again. The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Little Miss Sunshine, Pee Wee's Big Adventure; quite a few more...but there are none that continue to leave me with a big smile on my face every single time at the end like The Full Monty. Call me shallow or whatever you want, but I absolutely love that movie."

I responded:

Although we have a tape of The Shawshank Redemption, if I am channel-surfing, and the movie is playing, I will always stop and watch it again. Gerald will invariably say, "We have that on tape, you know" and I'll nod and continue watching. The same with Raising Arizona and Mrs. Doubtfire! Just the other day, I said "Drive-by fruiting", just like Euphegenia!

Les corrected me by saying, "She said RUN-BY FRUITING in the movie." I screaked, "I know THAT; I said it in a different context!"

It's a sad commentary that we are debating movie dialogue rather than important issues, but we actually agree on nearly all "important" issues!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I used the word "wangy" to describe the way that vegetable soup tasted on the second day because of the cabbage in it. In a little survey I found that nobody I surveyed outside my family had ever heard the word.

Of course, my brothers and I all know what that word means to us, but it's probably just another "Gladys Word" which we inherited from our mother!

Although it rhymes with tangy, in our usage, it means that the taste is "off" or "tainted".

I checked on the internet and there's no dictionary which gives a definition for WANGY except for my beloved URBAN DICTIONARY (CLICK HERE)! Although their definitions have to do with food, it's not exactly the same as ours. I guess I have heard WANG used, as in the third definition. I remember the song Wang Wang Blues and also the musical group Wang Chung (their name was derived from the first note of the Chinese musical scale) but not WANGY!

Saturday, November 2, 2013


My friend Patty had asked about my vegetable soup recipe and she needed to know because of her grandson Casey (the Elvis aficionado). I told her that I had a cookbook with Elvis' favorite recipes and it's called Are You Hungry Tonight?. I think she thought I was kidding about the cookbook. Below is her e-mail response:


OK. All of the Sajdyk children spent the night last night. Last night I was making vegetable soup for today. Casey went crazy over the smell of it, and wanted a bowl immediately (10 PM)! I told him the carrots and celery were not done yet. He wanted a cup as soon as it was done. I put everything in my soup that you do except for potatoes, oregano, basil – and – I add cabbage at the last. He saw that cabbage in it, and absolutely wanted no part of it. I told him I would give him a bowl without the cabbage – no deal ! Kallie chimed in and said, “MiMi, you lied to us; you put cabbage in it”. Lord have mercy. Next time I will leave the cabbage out, but I’ll bet they won’t trust me.

Were you kidding about the cookbook?

Let’s see. What other cookbooks could be about Elvis?

A Hunka Hunka No Burn Meat
Suspicious Roadkill
I Just Wanna Cook Your Bear Meat
Jailhouse Grub


OK, Patty, REFRIGERATOR GAME ON! Les just added these:

Korean HOUND DOG stir fry
AMERICAN TRILOGY (peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich)
ALL SHOOK UP--not stirred
TREAT ME rice pilaf

Friday, November 1, 2013


My friend Arminta posted the following on Facebook:

"I didn't have to go to work today until noon so I went to Tim Horton's to get a sandwich and sweet tea. There was a car wanting to turn left into Tim Horton's and I figured they were probably trying to get to work so I just motioned them to go ahead of me because I was in no hurry today. When I ordered my food I thought she said, $9.08. I thought that can't be right--maybe she said $5.08--so I thought I'd just wait until I got up there and correct them if it's wrong. Well, I got to the window and the young man said, "The lady ahead of you paid for yours." Then he asked, "Did you only have one sandwich?" I said, "Yes, did you charge that lady too much?" He said yes. The best I could do was get the food for the person behind me...but I felt really guilty that the nice person paid too much. So, whoever you are, lady in the Chrysler (at least I think it was--I'm not really good with cars), Thank You very much and I'm sorry you paid so much...hope someone does something nice for you today."


Arminta, I'll PAY IT FORWARD today in honor of the "lady in the Chrysler"! I am always stunned when I offer to do something unexpected (simple things such as giving up a place in line or offering coupons) and I am rebuffed. But, I don't think it's because they don't want to accept a kindness--I think it's because they are stunned that someone would offer--and they don't know how to react and they are embarrassed to accept. Oftentimes, when this happens, I'll say, in my best Blanche du Bois imitation, "I've always depended on the kindness of strangers." My brother Les says, "You should know that they probably don't know Streetcar Named Desire and that you do very bad imitations; they probably think you're just a crazy Southern woman!"

It's probably better to PRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS anonymously!