Sharing My World 39


My November Day Twenty Nine


In your native language which letter or character describes you best? Why?

I closed my eyes and mentally recited the alphabet, calling on my spirit guides and muses for divine inspiration.  Or, you know, some such similar nonsense, because really, how else do you come up with an answer to this one?  My brain stopped on the letter “O”.  Some days my brain is very helpful, up to a point.

Just look at how versatile this letter is – it can be paired with any number of other words and things to convey the following:

  1. Dismay (with crap, damn and hell, accompanied by mournful sighs or deep groans)
  2. Surprise (with my gawd, really, and some high-pitched squealing)
  3. Confusion or disbelief (said with a question mark implied)
  4. Joy (with YES! ALRIGHT! HALLELUJAH! etc.)
  5. Understanding (as in O yeah, I get it! even when you don’t.)

Why does this describe me?  O….I don’t know.  Oh oh.  Oh phooey.  I am skipping that part.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Well it sure isn’t clothes.  Since I stopped working I have been wearing mostly yoga pants and flip flops and comfy tops with holes in them.  And everything has paint or glue or ink on it somewhere.

So my answer is art supplies, which will not be surprising to anyone who sees what I’m wearing.

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

My mind wants to do mental gymnastics at night when my body would prefer to sleep, so I have learned lots of ways to discourage it from thinking so much.  It is certainly good at dreaming up excuses during the day for my body to relax.  I like to think there is a good balance of both kinds of exercise in my life.  Liking to think such a thing does not, however, make it true.

List at least 5 things that make you laugh.

  1. Savage Chickens
  2. Little kids saying random swear words with no clue what they mean.
  3. John Cleese
  4. Baby goats
  5. Bridesmaids (the movie)

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for our amazing weather this sunny warm November.  It’s almost unheard of to shovel snow here only once in this usually godforsaken winter month.  Our son bought a new snowblower this year, so that’s probably why.

This week coming up I should be hearing from medical offices wanting to set up appointments for me.  What a dumb thing to look forward to. But I certainly am grateful for our incredible health care coverage, without which I would probably be sick and penniless and maybe even dead.

And on that pleasant note, Happy Grey Cup Sunday!  Go Eskimos!  Oh no, I won’t be watching the game, just enjoying the peace and quiet while W is downstairs glued to the big screen.  Oh yeah.



Just Jazzy 124

“I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.”  (Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe)

If I had nothing left to complain about, I'd probably complain about that.

If I had nothing left to complain about, I’d probably complain about that.

Gezelligheid Gesundheit

credit: Henk van Ruitenbeek

credit: Henk van Ruitenbeek

They are not the same thing at all of course – I just like odd titles.  One is a dutch noun (see below) and one is a german word for health, contrary to my initial impression that it is interchangeable with Bless You following a sneeze.  Gezelligheid has no one word English translation.  This is perhaps one of the reasons why English-speaking people talk so bloody much – it takes us twenty words to say what other more concise people blurt out in one.


gezelligheid (Photo credit: rhodes)

Thanks to rarasaur and Prompts for the Promptless for another great suggestion which has me wandering off on nonsensical word association tangents.

Gezelligheid is a Dutch noun meaning the comfort and coziness of being at home, with friends, with loved ones or general togetherness.  Gezellig is an adjective that the noun is based on and can mean cosy or inviting, entertaining or pleasant, fun, pretty or nice.

I tried to look up the pronunciation and found this –  Dutch pronunciation: [ɣəˈzɛləɣɦɛit] – which for me was not all that helpful in boosting my confidence for using the word any time soon in polite conversation.  And that’s too bad, because it’s a wonderful word.

On Sunday I’m leaving for a holiday to visit my sisters, sister-in-law and their families – whoever isn’t scared off by my impending visit.  They’re a pretty brave bunch, so I expect to see most of them.  It doesn’t really matter what we do, because aside from the fact that I’m happy just to be away from work for awhile,  it’s the general togetherness with family, the catching up, the shared memories and the laughter and fun that count.  There will be the usual nostalgia involved in missing our parents (they’ve been gone five years) because they were always the central focus of every visit, the heart that the rest of us revolved around.  And now I have no big brother to welcome me either.  The changes sneak up on us and turn our world upside down for awhile,  but they also make us wildly appreciate what we still have, and treasure the time we have right now to spend with each other.

Maybe the most gezellig thing of all is that our family has grown too.  I have a beautiful great niece and two great nephews, the latest one just 3 months old.  My sister told me to get prepared for an overdose of cute.  I don’t know – can you overdose on that?  I guess I’m about to find out.

Reading Material

Reading Material (Photo credit: jgarber)

Gezelligheid to me is also my treasured home alone time.  Is it selfish to love it so much?  Probably. But I’m perfectly content with a good book, a hot cup of coffee or a cold glass of wine, nowhere to go, nothing else to do.

I like the silence, the peace and quiet, the no rules, no schedule, lazy doing whatever I please days all to myself.  I am a self diagnosed gezellig book wino.   I don’t even care if there’s no one around to bless me when I sneeze.

Language Evolves From the Omnishambles of Slang

Lake Snåsavatn in Norway before a thunderstorm...

We’re in the middle of an early morning thunder-storm but I am bravely/foolishly continuing to use my laptop in spite of the fact that I could be electrocuted at any moment. It’s called grabbing life by the balls.  Or reckless self endangerment or courting peril, or some made up word that no one has heard of before, like hazardariousness, depending on your point of view.

I’ve been reading some of the writing and editing articles on and thinking how wonderful it is that language evolves.  And how there will always be die-hard stubborn stick-in-the-muds who oppose its evolution.  In the interests of keeping it pure and boring.

Take a minute and check out the article here : 15 ridiculous new terms that might make the dictionary  Yes, some of the terms may seem laughable to many of us – mantyhose, for instance.  But maybe I’ve centered that one out because I find the whole idea of tights in general somewhere this side of loony.  Could stem from recalling how I wrestled with them as a child trying to get the crotch to stay above my knees.  There are some experiences that stick with you forever.

Twitlit could be the new haiku.  It’s not easy saying everything you want to say in 140 characters or less.  Unless your name is brian and what you’ve got to say is simply “every single one of these terms are retarded.”  Sad to think brian might not realize how the term “retarded” evolved to mean what he intends it to mean here. And that he might be taken more seriously if he were to use “is” instead of “are” in this instance.  No doubt he thinks cranky old English majors are also retarded.

Horsefeathers and applesauce were expletives in the 1920’s.  A joint used to be a club or a bar.  The cats pyjamas, the cats meow and the bees knees were the greatest and the best of all things wonderful.  In the seventies – wicked, gnarly, bitchin’, heavy and bad all meant good.  Instead of taking an old word and twisting it’s meaning, why not create a brand new one? Or a catchy phrase that says it all?

A passage in the book I’m currently reading (High Five by Janet Evanovich) has Lula describing someone as a slime faced bag of monkey shit.  That may not go down in the literary hall of fame as great literature, but it certainly gets the point across.  And that’s what it all comes down to in the end – communication.  There’s all kinds of ways to say things, and many different ways to look at them.

The thunderstorm is over already.  So much for living life on the edge. Or should I say kamikaze style or balls to the wall, if that’s not too redonkulous for you.

English Pronunciation

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation.

I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.

I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy.

Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word,

Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written.)

Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague.

But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;

Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,

Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles;

Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far;

One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;

Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.

Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would.

Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward.

And your pronunciation’s OK When you correctly say croquet,

Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer.

River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour.

Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,

Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger,

Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury.

Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.

Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual.

Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.

Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late.

Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.

We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed.

Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover;

Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice;

Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.

Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor.

Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria.

Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion.

Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.

Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.

Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.

Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere.

Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,

Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey?

Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits?

It’s a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,

Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?

Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!


Kenzie Says

Kenzie (age 10 and a half) (in the middle wearing shades) says writing a blog is probably easy if all you have to do is just answer lots of questions.  So I asked her lots of questions to see what she had to say.  All of these questions are taken from Kid Chat Too (Bret Nicholaus and Paul Laurie)

If you had to paint a message on the roof of your house that could be seen by anyone driving or walking by, what message would you paint there?

Kenzie Lives Here!  Chico Lives Here!  Sal and Johnny Live here!  And My Mom Too! (It’s a pretty big roof.)

Suppose that for one week, instead of saying ‘”hi” to someone you had to greet them with the sound of a farm animal.  What farm animal’s sound would you choose for your greeting?

MOOOOO!  And I’d wear my cow slippers.

For each of the four seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter) what is your favourite sound?

In the spring I like the sound of the rain falling, and the sound of the birds chirping.  In summer I like the sounds of big thunderstorms.  In the fall, the best sound is kids yelling Trick or Treat!  And in the winter – HO HO HO!

If you had to do a job someday that required you to wear a uniform, what job would you want more than any other?

I would like to be an ambulance person, the one who goes in the back of the ambulance with the people who are hurt and takes care of them on the way to the hospital.  Or I could be a person who takes people on a tour, like a guide at a museum, and tells all about the history of something and explains everything, like telling people everything about the titanic and everything that happened.

What do you think will be the most difficult part of being an adult someday?

You have to drive everywhere, and go to a job, and pay all the bills.

If the door to your bedroom could be in any shape you wanted other than the standard rectangle, what shape would you choose for your door?

A circle, or a heart, or a very small square, or a diamond would be cool too.

If you could change your last name to something completely different from what it is now, what would you choose as your new last name?

I like my whole entire name just the way it is.  I’m going to be known as Kenzie my whole entire life.  I really like my name.  Your name kind of tells people who you are.

If a toothpaste company asked you to come up with an all-new flavor of toothpaste for kids, what flavor would you tell them to produce?

Something yummy like chocolate cake and ice cream.  But not exactly.  It would still have to taste like toothpaste or kids would just eat it.

If you could wake up tomorrow morning and be able to speak perfectly any language in the world, what language would you choose?

Chinese, because it sounds kinda cool.  Or maybe Irish or French.  That’s all I can think of right now.

Would you rather have school start earlier in the day and end earlier in the day, or start later in the day and end later in the day?  (In other words, would you rather sleep later in the mornings or come home earlier in the afternoons?)

I’d like to start school at seven o’clock and come home at one thirty!  Actually, I’d like to never go to school again and just stay home.  Because I hate math.  I’d rather have history all day long and learn everything about the titanic and there would be no such thing as math.

Which of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste, touch) do you think would be the hardest to live without?  Which do you think would be the easiest to live without?

It would be easiest to live without smells.  Because think of farting and burping.  Ewwww.  The hardest would be if you couldn’t see.  That would be really really hard.  If you’re blind you need to be good at hearing.  And if you’re deaf, you need to be good at seeing.

If you could permanently rid the world of any one type of insect or other creepy-crawly thing, which one would it be?

I have three.  Flies (I HATE flies, especially horse flies), wasps and hornets, and mosquitoes.  Oh wait, there’s four.  Also great big spiders.  Small and medium ones are okay.

If you could have in your backyard a statue of anything or anyone at all, what or whom would the statue represent?

I would have a big statue of the Titanic!  Or if that’s too big, it could be somebody from the titanic like Molly Brown, or Captain Smith, or Jack, or Bruce Ismay.

If your full name actually appeared in a dictionary, and the editors of that dictionary asked you to write a definition of who you are, what definition would you give yourself?

Kenzie is a very awesome polite girl who is interested in millions of things.  She has a wonderful family (refer to picture of cousins above).  She is happy that she is very thoughtful.  And she likes to eat the icing off the cupcake first.

(Sounds like a future blogger to me.)