Saturday, August 31, 2013


I know that "everybody" says "Grand Central Station", but, of course, it is actually Grand Central Terminal. I recall when I learned it: in 1975, when Mrs. Kennedy-Onassis was a member of the group Committee To Save Grand Central Terminal which was formed to prevent the Terminal from being demolished.

I was at a gathering recently and someone said that it was like Grand Central Station there. Mother always criticized my correcting people (except her mother!), and I am certainly not going to try the tack others use of saying what they believe is a correct pronunciation just after one has committed a supposed faux pas. (CLICK HERE to see my article "SHERBET".)

If I think it's interesting, I will broach the subject as I did, which is, "I've always found it interesting that people think Grand Central is a station, but is actually a terminal." [Hey, my Grandfather was a Railroad man!]

Les said, "What does it matter? Nobody cares."

I said, "AHA! You are wrong; the person who used the word station was NOT offended and asked the difference!"

Friday, August 30, 2013


I commented to a teacher on Thursday that it must be difficult getting back into the routine after being away three months. She said, "It's good, tomorrow is casual Friday." I was shocked that they were allowed to dress "casually" at school. She said that some young teachers even try to take advantage of the policy and expect to be able to wear flip-flops! I shrieked, "Why don't they just wear their pajamas too?"

I disapprove of "casual dress" in business because I think it fosters a casual attitude about work. (CLICK HERE to see the excellent article from Marie Claire.)

Several years ago a young woman I know had applied to be a substitute teacher and she was interviewed and was given her first assignment. She had asked for my advice about what to wear for the interview and I told her to wear "the uniform": navy suit, white blouse, heels, and to carry a nice handbag; fortunately, she had a navy suit and she borrowed navy pumps from a friend; I loaned my Coach navy briefcase for her to use. When she told me she was having her first assignment, I asked her what she was going to be wearing. When she showed me the outfit I asked if there were a dress code. She said that her interviewer had told her that she was supposed to "dress professionally". I told her bluntly that I thought her outfit was not professional. The outfit had a short skirt and the top was too low-cut for daytime wear. I said, "It looks more like a party dress." She said, "It's trendy." I said, "I think they want conservative." She said, "Well, they know I'm young." I said, "Did you have a tour; did you notice what any of the other women were wearing at school?" She said she hadn't paid attention. I thought of using Giuliani Rancic's term to describe the outfit: "hoochie mama"; but decided against voicing that opinion, especially after I had already told her I thought it was not professional.

She was never called to substitute again. Of course, I don't know if the apparel was the reason for her not being recalled or the fact that she had no background in the subject of the teacher she replaced.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


I know that I dream because Gerald has seen REM; however, I seldom remember any of my dreams, but I have always been rather good at analyzing the dreams of others, but not ones from myself! (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article BUFFALO BILL) Gerald dreams often and he can describe them in great detail.

A client related a dream to me where he was being held captive by a group of people who were spouting religion and he could not escape as they had armed guards at all the doors and they were brainwashing children. My analysis is that he felt held hostage because he is bedfast and can't escape and that day he'd received a visit from a lay minister. His wife had a dream where she dreamed she was just 1-inch tall. My analysis of the dream is she had it because of her feeling of helplessness and her diminished role in the care of her husband. I did not relate my analyses to them.

Here's my latest dream: I was dreaming that the word bon marche meant flatulating dogs! I know what bon marche means: it's French for "good deal" and it's the name of an upscale department store, but flatulating dogs? But then I recalled that I had seen posted on The Urban Dictionary: Farte Blanche.

Dreams are supposed to help us confront issues we haven't dealt with during the day; but canine cheese-cutting? Analyze THAT, Sue!

Farte Blanche

Unrestricted power to fart at one's own discretion. Permission to fart freely.
She gave her husband farte blanche to stink up the bedroom.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


August 28, 1963--50 years ago--and yet it seems like yesterday when we first heard these words of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I have always considered that being loyal is my best trait.

I've already ordered the latest Bob Dylan "album" (Yes, I'm too old to change my reference!). Its debut is August 26 and it's called Another Self Portrait. Self Portrait, released in 1970, was widely panned by critics, but this album is receiving wide praise. Not bad for the 72-year-old who is still relevant. (CLICK HERE to see the article from Vanity Fair).

I am a loyalist. I've loved Dylan since 1962. Of course, I have all of his "albums"! I've told that Dylan wrote Just Like A Woman for ME so many times that I think that people believe that I actually believe it! I was very proud when he was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.

Gerald and I have seen Dylan in concert numerous times, but I've never been able to meet him. Those performances ranged from wonderful to god-awful, but I'm still the loyalist! I was always surprised by the audiences at those concerts because it was comprised of half: old people like Gerald and me and young people!

This is my favorite picture of Dylan.

Listen to the song he wrote for me (NO, I don't believe it)!

Monday, August 26, 2013


My client had leftover peaches; I asked, "Would you like for me to make a Peach Dump Cake to use these?" The wife said that she'd never heard of it but it sounded good. The daughter came while it was in the oven and the aroma wafting about certainly was nice. The daughter had told me previously that she DID NOT cook! She asked, "Did you make that from scratch?" I said, "Yes, but you CAN use a cake mix." She said, "I would have to buy sugar and flour if I made it from scratch!" I thought her saying she would have to buy sugar and flour was PRICELESS! Oh, excuse the pun: BUY/PRICELESS (but sometimes I just can't help myself!).

She took the recipe and she just sweetly e-mailed a copy to me.

However, it is not MY recipe, but my mother's!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


My last BLOG article (SHE WATCHED TOO MANY TV SHOWS) reminded me of another Workers Compensation fraud claim. We were testing a new paint formula and as the frame assembly was going into the paint booth the curtains, which prevented the paint from escaping, malfunctioned and remained open and the vapors from the paint booth were emitted from the booth for a few seconds of the paint cycle.

The Team Leader in the area shut off the line and I immediately jumped on the line to see why the line had stopped. The Team Leader was already on the line and she was pregnant. We had exposed ourselves to the vapors from the paint booth. I went inside the paint booth and shut off the paint. I called the Maintenance Manager. I sent the Team Leader to the Medical Department and I sent the workers from the line to the Rework area.

Any time the line was shut down, red lights were automatically turned on which flashed in the VP's office. Soon the VP was standing beside me, wanting to know why the line was shut down. Maintenance fixed the problem and I re-started the line. The VP and I made the decision that it was safe to return to work. I heard through the rumor mill that there were people upset because I sent them to Rework, but had sent the Team Leader to the Medical Department.

The following day four women from the line called in, each one claiming illness from being exposed to "paint fumes". As the Team Leader and I had been more exposed than anyone and since neither of us had any ill effects, I decided that there was no basis for the claims. All four women continued calling in and filed for Workers Compensation. The Company denied their claims. The case lasted for a lengthy period.

One of the women claimed that she was pregnant and the "paint fumes" had caused her to lose the baby. The other three women claimed total disability and that they were unable to do anything, including companionship with their spouses. One day a sister-in-law of the first woman came to my office and said, "I think you should know that she had an abortion because she and her husband didn't want the baby." I called the Company's P.I. and he was able to ascertain that she did indeed have an abortion rather than a miscarriage. The P.I. was able to film two of the other three women carrying huge packages while Christmas shopping, going bowling, and out drinking and dancing. He was never able to find anything of that nature about the fourth woman.

Our Company attorney spent several days preparing the Team Leader and me for our testimony. The four women had engaged an attorney to represent all of them. At the hearing, the attorney for the four women was questioning me about the "paint fumes" and I corrected him and said that they were "vapors, not fumes." In a smart-aleck tone, he asked, "Are you an expert?" I answered, "I know the difference between vapors and fumes; I breathed the vapors; I went inside the booth without any protection and shut off the paint." I saw our attorney smiling.

He asked, "And were you dressed the way you are today?" I answered, "Yes, except that I was wearing safety shoes." He asked, with a note of incredulity, "You dress this way every day?" I answered, "Yes." (I had been instructed to answer each question as simply as possible.) He asked, "Have you ever worn the outfit you're wearing today to work?" I answered, "Yes, four weeks ago." He said, "You have a very good memory; I don't think most people would remember what they wore a month ago." I said, "It was four weeks ago, not a month; that week was my blue and burgundy Aigner week." He asked, "And what were you wearing the day of the paint fumes?" I answered, "On the day I breathed the paint VAPORS, it was my black and taupe Aigner week so I was wearing black slacks, a black Aigner sweater with a taupe-colored A on the left side, with a taupe-colored jacket and black Red Wing safety shoes." I saw our attorney smiling.

The remainder of my testimony was brief. On his re-direct questioning our attorney said, "It certainly is fascinating about your wardrobe; how is it that you keep track so well and what is an Aigner?" The opposing attorney objected, but he was overruled, and I answered, "Oh, I have my calendar right here which shows what I was wearing; Etienne Aigner is the designer," as I pointed to the blue "A" on my burgundy sweater. I opened my folder which I had on my lap and produced the calendar which documented all of my wardrobe as well as the dates and times of the paint booth incident.

I didn't know what reason the opposing attorney had for asking about my attire but our attorney later said that he wanted to confuse me about specific times and dates.

Our attorney questioned the first woman and she said that the "paint fumes" had caused her to have a miscarriage. The attorney then supplied the date, time, and place where she had had an abortion performed. When confronted, she actually said that she was just so worried what might be wrong with the baby that she had to do it. Her case was dismissed.

When the films were shown of the two women that the P.I. had caught carrying heavy shopping bags and other activities which violated their alleged restrictions, their cases were dismissed. Although the Company had found no similar evidence about the fourth woman, we believed that hers was not a legitimate claim. Her case was also dismissed because neither I nor the Team Leader experienced any problems and we were more exposed than anyone else to the vapors. The Team Leader had delivered a healthy baby.

I quickly heard "how horrible" the Company was for sending out a Private Investigator to "spy" on them and, of course, they blamed me! There was an "anonymous" complaint filed with OSHA about the "paint fumes", naming me in particular. In the finding, the OSHA representative noted my "quick response" and "disregard for my personal safety" in jumping on the line and going into the paint booth to turn off the line.

Recently my friend Patty asked if I still wore the same colors all week long and I said, "My closet still looks like a Salvation Army store with all the clothes organized by color!"

Saturday, August 24, 2013


My friend Patty and I were reminiscing about the assiduous Private Investigator we had at BMY. He was sedulous in ferreting out and proving fraud of employees claiming Workers Compensation for supposed accidents. He had a "BS DETECTOR"!

One young woman named Amanda claimed a back injury and one day I went into the women's restroom and as I was in a stall, I heard a voice say, very sotto voce," I thought you should know that Mandy is working under the table at her step-father's car dealership in Urbana!" I do not know who the person was but I hurried back to the office and called our P.I. and he said, "I'll have to check all the dealers in Urbana to try to figure out which one." I said, "Maybe her Personnel file would have her mother's married name as her next of kin and we could find out that way." We went to Human Resources and voila!; there was Mandy's mama's name on her application!

When the Private Investigator went to the dealership, he said that he wanted to test drive a car, but he wore his arm in a sling and he asked her to do the driving, lift up the hood, show him the spare tire, etc.; all of the activities were prohibited by the restrictions for her supposed injury. She did not know that she was being filmed and recorded.

Not only was she charged with fraud to the company and Workers Compensation, but she was also reported for not claiming her income from her step-father. She never knew what had happened until her hearing and she actually said, "This is entrapment." The P.I. said to me, "She watched too many TV shows!"

Friday, August 23, 2013


Recently, I saw this article (click here) about quotes wrongly attributed to Winston Churchill. Even the extraordinary William Manchester misquoted Sir Winston in his otherwise exemplary book The Last Lion when he wrote that Churchill had spoken the words: "The government had to choose between war and shame. They chose shame. They will get war too."

Churchill, along with Twain and Lincoln, is perhaps the recipient of the most mis-quotes.

See my BLOG article (click here) about an instructor who was perturbed with me because I told him that George Santayana had spoken the words, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," when he'd told the class that it was Churchill. It sounds Churchillian, I guess!

My grandmother would say, "The Bible says." to whatever point she wanted to make. Once, when I was around twelve years old she said, "Well the Bible says that God helps those who help themselves." I said, "No, that was Ben Franklin." For that statement she told my mother that she should slap my mouth for correcting my elders. My mother said, "No, I'll go by that suffer the children thing!"

An old friend called me "Quote Girl" because I'd told about the guy at The New York Times who was dubbed "Quote Boy" because of his seeming ability to have a perfect quote for every story!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


A friend who is a grammarian sent an urgent message to me today: "THE END OF OUR WORLD IS NEAR: Google shows LITERALLY and FIGURATIVELY meaning the same!"


I don't care if my hero Mark Twain misused it when he wrote that Tom Sawyer was "literally rolling in wealth" or that Fitzgerald wrote that Jay Gatsby "literally glowed", I shall not give in!

Recently, at a meeting, someone said, "I literally died!" I grimaced and wrote on my notepad: "FIGURATIVELY, dammit!" A person sitting beside me, a retired teacher of English, wrote beside my note: "I gave up!

Also, see THE URBAN DICTIONARY example:

People often confuse this word with figuratively.
-Dude, you figuratively died of embarassment, you illiterate dipshit.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


After one of my birthday parties someone commented, "You have a lot of black friends." I replied, "No, I have a lot of friends who are black." She asked, obviously mystified, "What's the difference?" Since I liked the person, I explained how it made a difference, but I'm sure she did not comprehend.

I read an interesting new book Some Of My Best Friends Are Black, The Strange Story Of Integration In America, written by Tanner Colby, who was surprised, on Election Night, 2008, as he was celebrating the victory of Barack Obama ("pretty much the awesomest guy to run for President in my lifetime!") to confront himself--a liberal--that he had no friends who were black! He also found that nearly all of his friends had no friends who were black.

CLICK HERE to see the article from NPR: Some Of My Best Friends Aren't Black.

Any time I hear anyone say, "Some of my best friends are_____________." (You can fill in the blank), I'm always rather certain that it is a false statement and I chuckle to myself, wondering about the motivation of the person telling it to me.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


In Manufacturing, I can attest to the fact that as a Supervisor, Housekeeping is the lowest of one's priorities. However, my best boss ranked it highly as a priority. He would carry 3 X 5 cards in his shirt pocket and when he would see an area which needed housekeeping attention, he would leave a card. He would notify the supervisor of the area of the deficiency. In several days he would check the area and if he found the card still there he would confront the Supervisor by saying, e.g.: "On Wednesday, I told you about the longeron area needing housekeeping attention and it still looks the same way as it did then."

When a Supervisor was foolish enough to try to con him by saying that he had taken care of it and that it had gotten that way since then, he would then present the red-faced Supervisor with a card with the date and time when he had been notified. Being as guilty as all the other Supervisors, only really caring about Production and Quality, I was also lackadaisical about Housekeeping but I was only confronted ONCE by him. I am so glad I didn't try to lie about the situation before he handed the card to me.

When I became a Manager, I understood the importance of Housekeeping and utilized his "trick"!

Monday, August 19, 2013


A colleague and I had been discussing how poorly a cleaning woman had performed at a client's house and we were pointing out "dust bunnies" and other deficiencies. As I glanced at the umbrella stand in the corner by the living room door, I noticed there were two twenty-dollar bills in the bottom of the stand.

When I told the client about finding the money, I learned that it had been placed there deliberately in case one of the client's children needed to pick up any sundry items, they could get the money from the stand and not bother the parent who might be sleeping.

The client said, "I wonder why the cleaning woman didn't see it." I said, "I also wondered that; just think, if she were a good cleaning woman, she would have thought that was one helluva tip!"

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Yes, I am a THRIFTSTER. (see below article from URBAN DICTIONARY).

One of my family members was involved with a woman with very lah-di-dah tastes. At that time, I would have all the jackets I would be wearing to work for the week hanging on the coat rack in the family room. On the day she was visiting, it was my BLACK AND TAUPE WEEK. (Yes, I had the colors coordinated for the week; everything I'd be wearing for that week would be black and taupe!) Among the five jackets hanging there was one--a taupe-colored Oleg Cassini jacket--which is the most expensive one I'd ever purchased. (Although I haven't been able to wear it for 20 years, I gaze at it longingly in the closet! It is a very nice but of course the only reason I wanted it was because he was Mrs. Kennedy's designer!)

I wasn't at home at the time and as the woman was ready to hang up her coat, she commented, "Aunt Sue has some very nice jackets here!" Mother said, "Oh, she gets all of them at Goodwill!"

All of the others--except the Oleg Cassini--had come from thrift stores! At that time, I was working at Rockwell, and I frequented thrift stores in the Bexley area. One time at an awards banquet, the wife of the Vice-President of Rockwell, complimented my coat and I said, "I got it at the B'Nai B'Rith Thrift Store." She said, "You MUST give me that address!"

An off-shoot (or sub-culture) of the general hipster trend, but while most contemporary hipsters attempt to buy indie flavor by frequenting Urban Outfitters or American Apparel, a "thriftster" alternatively obtains said style by frequenting thrift stores or through general use of hand-me-downs. While shopping at the Salvation Army may have been included in the original definition of a "hipster," now that mainstream commercialism has caught onto the hipster fashion trends, the term "thriftster" must be adopted to differentiate those who appreciate used clothing and the ideals that come along with it from the ever-increasing group of trendy 20 and 30-somethings who are content to buy the massed-produced version of this clothing without asking how it got to be there in the first place.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Les asked, "What's the singular of TRIVIA?"

I screamed, "TRIVIUM!" He asked, "How the Hell did you know THAT one?" I answered:
"Sue equals trivium!"

The topic for this week's Word. Of. The. Day (CLICK HERE to see website) is words that one seldom sees as singular:


I have added:


What about diseases? There are a number:


Then there's clothing:


And a number have to do with devices:


Friday, August 16, 2013


In response to my BLOG article KUBRICKIAN, my friend Arminta wrote:

"I never quite understand your passionate dislike of Stephen King. The Stand was my favorite of all his books I've read. I don't know exactly what he said about the director of the movie but it's difficult to do a good book justice in when you put it on the screen. You lose the details of the reader's imagination when it turns into real pictures. Thus, the movie is never as good as the book. Just like anything else, everyone have their own opinions and a right to read whatever author they choose. I didn't think the meaning of a good book is really whether or not people are still reading it today. The meaning is much more personal than that."


"Thanks for the comments. I do not have a "passionate dislike" for Stephen King; I just think he's a mediocre writer. In fact, I like him--personally--because he was self-deprecating about his talent and he's done great work with encouraging young people to read and funding scholarships (as has James Patterson also). My point was that those writers who were so popular in my youth are unread today; I think that King and those other popular writers of today will be unread in another generation. I don't think they'll "stand the test of time". I think that the movie The Shawshank Redemption is superior to the novel. I have read only three of King's books, all of which were because of movie adaptations. Thinking of other movie adaptations: certainly The Bridges Of Madison County was far better than that GREATLY popular book. I remember when I was 13, Elvis' movie King Creole was released and I saw that it was based on a book A Stone For Danny Fisher by someone I did not know--Harold Robbins--and at that time Harold Robbins had not become the fantastically successful writer he became. The book is nothing like his later formulaic books which made him a household name. Does anyone read Harold Robbins today? As that impressionable 13-year-old, I just HAD to read that book; my mother had to give permission for me to check it out at the library because it was ADULT! At that time, I thought the book was GREAT, but the movie was nothing like the book as it was a Depression-era, coming-of-age roman a clef. Of course I didn't know what a roman a clef was at age 13!"


ARMINTA: I've just heard you mention Stephen King's books before in a way that came across to me like you didn't like him.
SUE: I didn't care for his writing; I was disappointed that he was critical of Meyer and Patterson. Did they outgross him in sales? I had thought that King was magnanimous, but his criticism of Kubrick,, made him seem petty. I was never a fan of Hemingway and he really pissed me off when he criticized Fitzgerald after Fitzgerald died. Hemingway was mean, petty, and vindictive in A Moveable Feast. I think that Fitzgerald is NOW held in higher esteem by critics than is Hemingway.
ARMINTA: Did you know that King makes cameo appearances in most of the movies they adapt?
SUE: No; that's very Hitchcockian of him!
ARMINTA: There's a customer who comes in the bank who I think looks like Stephen King. When I mentioned it to him he acted as if it was not news to him; he also did not seem pleased.
SUE: Reminds me of my BLOG article about Gerald telling a waitress she looked like Billie Jean King and she snapped back with, "You look like Willie Nelson!"
ARMINTA: I've never seen a movie adaptation that I thought was better than the book including The Bridges Of Madison County, though I'll admit the book did not make me cry...unlike the movie!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Seeing this picture posted on Facebook reminded me of an incident from the last campaign. As we were walking to a political event, we had to pass numerous protesters. I noticed a person carrying a sign accusing the President of being a Fascist. The word Fascist was misspelled. It seemed to me to be my patriotic duty to correct the person on both mistakes, although my husband encouraged me to resist my natural tendency.

Pointing to the sign, I asked, with mock-innocence, "What's a Facsist?" The person asked, "Whadda ya mean?" I had deliberately pronounced the word as "FAC-SIST", which is how it was spelled on the placard. I pointed to the sign again. The person replied that the President is a Fascist. I said, "Oh, you mean Fascist? But that's spelled F-A-S-C-I-S-T." The person turned the sign around to look at it, obviously embarrassed. I said, "Then, will you give me the definition of FASCIST?" The person said, "It's someone who wants to control everything." I said, "No, that's a dictator, and of course the President can't do that; he hasn't even been able to get Richard Cordray appointed!" The person said, "He's trying to socialize everything." I said, "Then that would make him a Socialist, not a Fascist." The person said, "There's no difference; he's just a Communist." I answered, "So which is he, a Fascist, Socialist, or Communist? He can't be all three." The person screamed, "He's not even an American."

Realizing there was no possibility of rational discourse with this person, I said, "I only hope you go back to school to learn the differences of those political systems and also how to SPELL!"

I refrained from identifying the gender of the person because I was so sad that it was a female; I had had more hope for my gender!

See my all-time favorite political sign from a Tea Party rally: "KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY MEDICARE YOU DAMN SOCIALIST"

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


My friend Bobbi came to dinner in 1969 and knowing that she liked Italian food, I had prepared fried zucchini as an appetizer. She exclaimed, "I haven't seen cocozelles since I left California!" I had never heard the term before and she said that where she lived there was a big sign which proclaimed that it was "The Cocozelle Capital Of The World".

From Merriam-Webster: "cocozelle: a small cylindrical dark green summer squash with lighter green to yellow stripes or mottling and firm white to greenish flesh growing over a foot in length and 4-5 inches thick but usually used when half that size. Also called Italian vegetable marrow. Similar to zucchini."

Every time I fix zucchini, I always say "cocozelle" to whomever is nearby, and I have never met anyone else who has known the word cocozelle!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I thought that I had a great number of "naked ladies" blooming this year until I was at a client's home today and she has them growing in her front yard, her side yard, and in her back yard. "Naked ladies" are amaryllis and the the plants have beautiful foliage in the spring which dies away and then the "naked ladies" emerge with their breathtaking beauty in the summer!
A friend just became acquainted with the lovely amaryllis this year--I had to drag her out to see the splendid display--to take the pictures you see here.
The client told me that her "naked ladies" had been growing there since her mother's time and that I was welcome to come to dig some bulbs! I'll definitely be there in the fall!

Monday, August 12, 2013


Today I learned of the passing of Eydie Gorme who was one of my favorite singers. I always considered Eydie Gorme a "standards singer"; thus, it was ironic that her major hit was Blame It On The Bossa Nova. Although she never reached the heights of stardom as Judy and Barbra, she was always considered a "singer's singer". She won a Grammy in 1967 for the song If He Walked Into My Life Today, but my all-time favorite is her rendition of What Did I Have I Don't Have Now?. I wanted her version of As Long As He Needs Me played at my wedding, and it was played at my last anniversary party and it was even more meaningful then.

Eydie was a Sephardic Jew and Steve Lawrence's family was Ashkenazi. Her parents objected to the marriage because Steve wasn't Sephardic and Steve's mother objected because she said Eydie was "Spanish"! (This was 1956--seems rather quaint now!). They were appearing on the Tonight Show With Steve Allen and Steve Lawrence said that he fell in love with her the moment he saw her, and more in love when he heard her sing.

Read about Sephardic Jews in Stephen Birmingham's great book The Grandees.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


After reading the EGGCORNS article, Les asked, "So what's the difference between EGGCORNS, MALAPROPS and ORONYMS?"

MALAPROP (definition from "the unintentional misusing of a word by confusion with one which sounds similar." (Named for the character Mrs. Malaprop in Richard Sheridan's play The Rivals (from Mrs. Malaprop: ""Promise to forget this fellow--to illiterate him; I say, quite from your memory.")

HOMOPHONE (definition from "one or two or more words pronounced alike but with different meanings or spelling." (to, too, two).

ORONYM (definition from oronyms are usually strings of words which sound similar when spoken ("Some others I've seen" or "Some mothers I've seen").

He answered, "What about SPOONERISMS?" (CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article!)

Saturday, August 10, 2013


My friend Patty's favorite quote is: "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do." As one of Patty's birthday presents, I "commissioned" an original piece of art using that saying and I wanted to be able to attribute the quote to its proper source.

Although I thought I knew the source, I wanted to check to be certain. I learned that, along with many others, I am wrong. I thought that it came from the 1939 John Ford classic movie Stagecoach, with John Wayne, as The Ringo Kid, uttering the immortal words, but NO; here's the actual dialogue from that movie: "There are some things a man just can't walk away from."

A friend said that it was indeed John Wayne's utterance, but it came from Hondo, but NO: here's the actual wording from there: "A man oughta do what he thinks is best."

My brother said, "That's definitely from Shane, but NO, too, to my usually infallible brother. Van Heflin's speech: "I couldn't do what I gotta do if I hadn't always knowed I could trust you."

Charlton Heston, in Three Violent People, said, "A man must do what he must do."

After all my research, I was pleased to learn that the closest attribution of the phrase came from The Grapes Of Wrath, but from the book, not the movie. In Chapter 18, page 306, the character Jim Casy says: "I know this, a man got to do what he got to do."

Interestingly, George Jetson on The Jetsons, 1962-1968, stated: "Ha, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do; I should've won three space Oscar awards."

From here on, I'm going to say, "As George Jetson said:.......".

Hear the delightful Neil Patrick Harris sing the song A Man's Gotta Do What A Man's Gotta Do.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Another year--and another bountiful supply of zucchini from my brother. (CLICK HERE to see last year's article ZUCCHINIED-OUT)

Several people have requested Les' Zucchini Bread recipe.


Grease and flour 2 loaf pans (8" X 5", or 1 quart)

3 eggs 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canola oil
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
3 cups zucchini, peeled and grated
dash of ginger
3 teaspoons vanilla
dash of ground cloves
3 cups Gold Medal flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon salt

Beat eggs; add oil, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well and add zucchini. Combine dry ingredients and mix with zucchini mixture, blending thoroughly. Add nuts and raisins and blend. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until straw comes out clean (sometimes it takes an hour and 15 minutes). Let cool completely and remove from pans.

Makes 2 loaves.


Toss the raisins with a bit of flour to separate them; this prevents them from going to the bottom of the pan.

Put the shredded zucchini in a bowl lined with paper towels to drain thoroughly.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


A petite, female kitten has been "hanging around", surreptitiously eating from the eight individual bowls designated for the current residents. (Oh, yes, Gerald has a bowl for each one of the cats!)

The new one is taupe colored with matching eyes. I had never seen eyes that color.

The oldsters are not happy! Stormy slapped the wee one in the face. The new one has been reclining on the welcome mat at the kitchen door, only to be chased away by some of the others. She was on my front tire yesterday. She rolled over in front of me and I scratched her tummy. Louise and Puff immediately went by, rubbing against the kitten and me. Les has been favoring her.

I said something about "Taupey" and Les shrieked, "Oh, no, you've named her; she's here FOREVER now!"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


My friend Patty has the unique ability of having nearly EVERYBODY like her! Of the nearly 1,000 people at work, I swear that you could not find one person to say a negative word about her, from the Vice-President to the janitor!

Patty became my friend which meant that I broke my cardinal rule about work: one cannot be FRIENDS, just FRIENDLY at work.

I had seen Patty at work when I would go to the "trailer"; our plant was large but could not accommodate all of the activity necessary for a government contract; thus, the trailers were brought in to satisfy the need for office space.

When an opening for Production Department Secretary came open, we had 19 in-company applications. The secretary would be shared by four Production Management people, all of whom would be interviewing all of the applicants. The process would obviously take a considerable amount of time. There had been a problem with the previous secretary not maintaining confidentiality. I created a matrix and interview sheet and the applicants would be graded according to the guidelines; then the Managers would make a decision based on those scores. We had an extraordinarily young work force; the average age was 24; the only "old" people were in management positions. 18 of the applicants were young, attractive, women with some relevant experience; Patty was the only "mature" candidate. At the beginning of the interviews, each of the interviewers were to caution the applicants that the interviews were to be kept confidential and not to be discussed with other employees.

After I had finished with an interview with one of the applicants, I looked out of the window and saw the applicant talking animatedly with a group of people. One of them was one of our Team Leaders. About an hour later I asked the Team Leader the topic of that conversation and I was told that the applicant was telling about the interviews. I told my colleagues that the applicant needed to be removed from consideration. She was a favorite of one of my colleagues and he said that we needed to ask her about it instead of just taking someone else's word; I called her to the office and asked her if she understood when she was told she couldn't divulge anything about the interview that she should not talk to anybody about the interview. She answered that she did. I then asked her why she had told several people about the questions. She didn't even bother to deny it but shrugged her shoulders and said she didn't see anything wrong about it.

When Patty came for the interview, after the perfunctory warning about confidentiality, I completed the interview and asked my last question, which wasn't on the interview sheet, "Do you know the derivation of the word secretary?", and she answered, "It's from the Latin--secretum--to keep a secret." She later told me that she'd looked up the word secretary before the interview! How fortuitous! Her score on all of the matrix questions was the highest of any of the candidates I had interviewed.

When my three male colleagues and I gathered to make a decision, I think that they were all surprised that their choice was also Patty but they had followed the matrix and guidelines and they had arrived at their conclusions based on qualifications, as Patty was obviously the most qualified.

After being in the job for awhile Patty confided to me that she thought that she never thought she had a chance to get the job because all the other applicants were young and pretty and there were going to be three men interviewing the applicants. I asked, "You didn't know there was a woman too?" She laughed and said, "All the times you would come out to the trailer, I thought you were that GOVERNMENT LADY because everyone was afraid of you and when I came for the interview, I wondered WHY you were interviewing for the Company!" She said that, after the interview, when I asked if she had any questions, she was glad that she didn't ask if I were that government lady!

I did my best Strother Martin imitation of: "What we have here is a failure to communicate!"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the world's best secretary and friend!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


EGGCORN (definition from a word or phrase that is a seemingly logical alteration of another word or phrase that sounds similar when being misheard or misinterpreted: e.g.: "old wise tale" for "old wives tale".

See "THE EGGCORN DATA BASE" for an extensive list.

Geoffrey Pullum, a Professor of Linguistics coined the word in response to an article written by Mark Lieberman. (See LANGUAGE LOG, a blog for linguists.) Lieberman wrote about the use of "eggcorn" by a woman who substituted it for "acorn"; thus, the term.

Finally, a word for IT!

I have collected numerous EGGCORNS and used them on my continuing BLOG articles: CRINGE: FAYETTE COUNTY TALK. Some of my favorites:

DOGGY-DOG WORLD (dog-eat-dog world)
IN TERM (interim)
WHEN ALL IS SET AND DONE (when all is said and done)
A NEW LEASH ON LIFE (a new lease on life)
COLD SLAW (cole slaw)
SIGNAL OUT (single out)
HOLLAND DAY or HOLIDAYS SAUCE (Hollandaise sauce)
UPMOST (utmost)
PHYSICAL YEAR (fiscal year)
EARDROP or EASEDROP (eavesdrop)
CAR LINKS (car lengths)
QUICK CLAIM DEED (quit claim deed)
MY AS WELL (may as well)
TEN YEAR PROFESSOR (tenured professor)
DISSOLUSION (dissolution)
LIP SING (lip synch)
HALF MASS (half mast)
CLICK (clique)
BOBBED WIRE (barb wire)
CO-OP (co-opt)
COLOR COATED (color coded)
RIGHT AWAY (right of way)
GUN-HO (gung-ho)

Monday, August 5, 2013


Because of my BLOG article REDUNDANCIES, a friend sent a bunch of examples plus an e-mail from Richard Nordquist (see article).

Sunday, August 4, 2013


My friend Patty makes fun of me because I pronounce the word "FORTE" as "FORT" when it is referring to a special talent of a person. (CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article PATTY's P-U-YUK FILE)

Years ago, I used the word with one of my employees and he said, "You know, Sue, the proper pronunciation of that is FORT, not FOR-TAY." I immediately said, "Yes, I DO know that!" I was indeed flummoxed because, YES, I did know that it should have been pronounced FORT, but I thought HE would not know that! He noticed my discomfort and laughed and said, "You probably thought that I wouldn't know it." I said, "Well, not TOO many people know that!" He said, "I figure if they don't know it, they'll ask me about it; I don't dumb-down and neither should you!

Good advice. That was when I quit playing to a perceived audience.

The moral of that story: never underestimate a guy building trucks who holds a Master's Degree!

People look at me strangely because of the way I pronounce FORTE, CARAMEL and CREPE.

CLICK HERE to see 79 COMMON MISPRONUNCIATIONS, which includes the three I mentioned. I agree with the video except in the pronunciation of "SCORSESE", because I've actually heard Martin pronounce his own name, so I'll agree with him!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Les and I relish the "medical examiners" on several different television shows because they are usually wacky, creepy, offbeat, weird, cranky, and darkly humorous. It all started with Quincy who was not especially strange, but it now seems de riguer for all of Quincy's descendants to be quirky!

What kind of person would choose a career dealing with naked, lifeless bodies?

Our favorites television coroners:

Kurt Fuller as Dr. Woody Strode on Psych. (It's practically enough that he's named Woody Strode!)
Jane Curtin as Dr. Joanne Webster on "Unforgettable"
David McCallum as Donald "Ducky" Mallard on "NCIS"
Tamara Tunie as Dr. Melinda Warner on "Law and Order SVU"
Khandi Alexander as Dr. Alexx Woods on "CSI Miami"
Michelle Forbes as Dr. Julianna Cox on "Homicide: Life On The Street"
Elizabeth Rogers as Dr. Leslie Hendrix on "Law and Order"
Dana Delaney as Dr. Megan Hunt on Body Of Proof
Jeri Ryan as Dr. Kate Murphy on Body Of Proof (hit the jackpot with two on the same show!)
Robert David Hall as Doc Robbins on CSI
Robert Joy as Dr. Sid Hammerback on CSI New York

I didn't think any of these could be topped until I watched the latest episode of Longmire. The Coroner, Dr. Bloomfield, is played by Kenneth Choi. The character is described on the website as being "half-Japanese and half-Jewish" and "ruggedly handsome." I believe that the name Choi is either Chinese or Korean, but of course that would not prevent his playing a half-Japanese person! The character chews tobacco and is constantly spitting tobacco juice into a cup, just like real tobacco-chewers!

I asked, "Is that KOSHER?" Les said, "As long as it doesn't contain MSG!" Oh, cross-ethic humor is so difficult to translate! My favorite cross-ethnic jokes are:

SAMMY DAVIS: The only Jew with Sickle-Cell Anemia.
SAMMY DAVIS: The only black with Tay-Sachs Disease.
CLICK HERE to see the article on TV Morticians.

Friday, August 2, 2013


I said, "We need to add on to...."; I didn't get to finish the statement before being leapt upon by Les: "Isn't using add on to redundant?"



Feel free to ADD ON TO the list!

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I had a number of groaning responses to my BLOG article I THINK I CAN HANDEL IT, but that won't deter me!

There's more!

1. Do you know what Handel has been doing for the past 250 years?
Sung out, in the tune of The Hallelujah Chorus: "DECOMPOSING!"

2. Which classical music composer married his high school?"
Gustav--he married his ALMA MAHLER!"

3. My greatest classical music joke; I only hope I can do it justice; it really needs to be spoken for the full effect:

Ludwig Von Beethoven was laboring over his Fifth Symphony and his mother, a poor, peasant, Jewish woman, brought him some cookies and milk, and Ludwig, clearly irritated, knocked them away saying, "I can't be bothered, Mother!" Shortly after, he felt guilty and called for her and said, "Come, Mother, perhaps you can inspire me!" She said, "Oh, Ludwig, how can I, a poor, peasant, Jewish woman inspire you, who are such a genius? Oh, Ludwig, that is so funny: HA-HA-HA; HA-HA-HA (said to the opening bars of the 5th Symphony)!"

4. What did Beethoven have for a snack? "BA-NA-NA-NA!" (sung to the opening bars of the 5th Symphony)

Please enjoy Sid Caesar's Argument, set to the Fifth Symphony. I used to say that my definition of an intellectual was someone who could listen to The William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger or listen to Also Sprach Zarathustra without thinking of Promise margarine! I can't hear Beethoven's Fifth Symphony without thinking of the joke and Sid Caesar and Nannette Fabray's argument!