Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My compliments to the DJs from yesterday

This article from OUP had some fascinating etymology in it. Some words are complicated, and they really don't make sense.

This post brought to you by the letter O.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"The vegetable is gorgeous"

This is quite the post, ranging from a wedding to a badly-translated horror film. It's--wow.

I always compliment bath-lurking monsters...

Oh, the ignorance

I was one of those children who could spell. I always have been. In fact, I was the sort whom people would ask about complicated words, rather than looking them up in the dictionary.

Well, the DJs this morning on the pop station were quizzing each other on spelling. I tuned in for this abomination. They had some kind of buzzer to indicate mistakes.






About this time I began to wonder if they were going for "cologne."


"Oh, it's with a G!"



(Because "coloney" rhymes with "baloney," you know.)

"You're such a bad speller! I bet you can't even spell 'bananas.'"



"My kindergartener can spell 'bananas'! I'd hate to see your shopping list."

I've got to admit, I feel dumber for having listened to the radio station this morning. They never did get that guy to correctly spell "cologne" or "bananas," either one.

Hank and the Story-Ruining Screenwriters

I just came across this essay from John Erickson about Hank's experience back in the eighties with being turned into a cartoon. Erickson comes out swinging at people who ruin stories by sneakily removing families from them. He's quite right: if you don't like families, you probably don't like kids all that much either, and shouldn't be writing for them. Go Hank!

And thanks to Wittingshire for passing it along.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Great news! Tami says I'm not Bridezilla!

Well, as Jonathan mentioned, as long as we get to "Man and wife" by means of "I do" (none of that Humperdinck nonsense), and God is in there, the rest is kind of negotiable. There's nothing like a priority. :-)

I wonder if we could get Pastor Mark an Impressive Clergyman hat?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Farsi of the day

Today's Farsi word I came across in a BBC Persian article. I couldn't actually find it in a dictionary, but taking it apart, I believe it's a compound of "book" and the verb "to read." If that's correct, it would be pronounced "ketabkhani" and would mean something like "book-reading." (The illustration bore this out, as it was a photo of a bunch of people reading books.)
This pleases me, because the word for "library" is "ketabkhaneh," which is literally "book-house." So you go to the ketabkhaneh to do your ketabkhani.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


This post won my heart with the line, "Remember, you're a bride, not a Christmas tree."

I'm remembering, I'm remembering. But it reminds me of Wodehouse's character Veronica, whose "ambition in life was to attend the County Ball looking as much like a Christmas tree as possible."

"JEWELS," said she.

As I recall, Veronica's other great line was, "Yes, mummy."

In other news, I went over to Tami's house last night to play with my hair for the wedding. I took a great bag full of my bridal magazines and also my wedding notebook, and it's a splendid thing I did, because who else happened to be at Tami's? None but Roena, my food person whom I've been trying and failing to meet with for ages. So that was quite Providential. We had a lovely time going through the magazines, discussing food, and doing hair, and Taler and Hannah joined right in. It's nice being a bride, sometimes.

Another quote of the day

Scotland: "I think that's why they invented tea: so that you could go in and hover over tea and scones, rather than standing out in the rain." The good doctor

Quote of the day

"Oh, and the sparkles are for extra beauty."

--my sister, last fall

Monday, April 21, 2008

Another quote of the day

"If this were an actual war you'd be much deader." Amelia to the good doctor

Quote of the day

"A leaf disguised as a mouse just ran (or blew) across the sidewalk." Amelia

Fun with acupuncturists

There are actually three Beccas who work in this building, between our office and the one next door, and bright and early this morning, one of the other Beccas dropped in to pay me a visit. Really early. My coffee hadn't even finished perking.

"You've got a bunch of packages at the acupuncturist's," she said, gesturing. "Big ones."

I'd seen the UPS we-left-you-a-package-over-there note already, so I thanked her and said I'd go get them in a little bit. She gave me a funny look, but left, and I went to listen to the answering machine messages.

Halfway through message three, I heard our door bang open. Someone swept inside like a mighty wind. "HELLO??" she shouted.

I stopped the machine and went up. "Good morning, can I--"

"We have you packages!" she announced.

"Oh, thank you," I said. "I was going to come over in a little bit."

"You come NOW," she said. "I cannot work until you packages are gone!"

Oh. I come now.

These packages, know you, ought never to have been delivered on Friday at all. When Shirley ordered them, she specifically told them to wait till Monday because we weren't going to be here. Well, they delivered them Friday anyhow, and gave them to the acupuncturist. Why the acupuncturist took them if she couldn't keep them, I can't tell you. Sigh.

Anyway, I grabbed my extremely cute coral trench coat and went. We trailed over, up, around, and behind, to the acupuncturist's. She showed me into the little room, where four large 40-pound boxes awaited me. She did not offer to help. I hoisted one, went around, in front, down, and across. Back in my office, I explained things to Amelia and asked if she could possibly cover the front. She could, and as I trooped back and forth, I saw her greeting patients, answering the phone. Nice Amelia. Up, around, down, across, up, around....

I've done my weight lifting for the next month now. Personally, I think it was an evil scheme on the acupuncturist's part to drum up more business. But all was not lost: the coffeepot finished while I was out and about.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Quote of the day

::scrubbing windows--squeaky, squeaky, squeaky, BANG:: "Ow!" Me
::parents laugh::
"You mock my pain!" Me
"Why yes, actually." Mom

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gooseberry jam

One of the very nicest things about this office is the amazing eating around here. For instance, in the back today we had some rosemary bread, a bottle of olive oil for dipping, and brownies. And then a patient brought us Swiss (?) chocolate and a big jar of gooseberry jam.

The good doctor is a great fan of gooseberry jam. He grows and jams them himself, though local gooseberries are not at all the same as Russian gooseberries or English gooseberries. Moreover, the good doctor is the admirable sort who, when he loves a food item, tries to spread his love widely so that we can all benefit from it. :-)

Gooseberry jam is yummy. All we had to eat it on was the rosemary bread, and it worked--it added an herbal note to the fruit, sort of like adding lavendar to chocolate.

Life is good. :-)

St. Anselm

I found a cartoon life of St. Anselm. Enjoyed it thoroughly. :-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Upcoming Disney movies

According to this article, Disney has 10 movies scheduled for the next four years or so. They could be cute. Or they might do just as well, making fewer and better movies...

Farsi of the day

Today's Farsi came from the BBC Persian's top story. I was puzzling it out. The sounds are b-m-b, and so I was thinking: "bomab? bamib?"
Turns out it's "bomb." They directly transliterated the word. If you look at the headline, you might be able to recognize it. The full headline reads something like, "Dah ha khoshte dar seh anfajar bomb dar Iraq." That roughly translates to, "Ten killed in three [cities?] by bombs in Iraq."
It's not good news...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Do tell

According to this article, the unchurched prefer church buildings that look like churches. Do tell.

Hat tip: The Point.

The mummy

We hung a mummy from our garage ceiling. It's in a very big green canvas bag, so if you don't know, you might suppose it to be sports equipment. But we're pretty sure it's a mummy.

But it was floppy. Getting it up was incredibly hard--kind of like wrestling a giant bag of pudding. You push the back, and the front goes droop. Rigor mortis must not have set in properly. Dad rigged up an elaborate system of ropes and loops and ends, and eventually got it up, and tied them all off neatly. If you went at them with an axe the whole thing would probably swing down and take out somebody.

Also the garage was very full of spiderwebs, the sort that lurk near mummy caches and leap out at Indiana Jones.

We'll get it down, probably around next Christmas, and see what's really inside.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Old map

Just take a look at this old map of New Mexico! If you'll notice, it includes Arizona and chunks of Colorado and Nevada. Wow.
The counties are so...long. And skinny. I don't know if you can even read Bernalillo county, there in the middle by Santa Fe; it look like a blamed nuisance to me.
The strangemaps post has a history and commentary regarding this map.
And here is a current county map, if you'd like to compare. :-)


A nice patient brought us a present a couple days ago: daffodils! The vase was too wide, so we filled it with rocks to hold the stems up. The daffies smell nice, too. I haven't had a camera handy since, so I drew them instead. Aren't they pretty? :-)

Poem of the day

It's by the 22 Words guy. It's even a sonnet. And it made me laugh. :-)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Good living poets

I haven't gotten through the list yet, but what I've read is pretty good. You might like it. Reading poems always makes me want to write some. We'll see if it takes. :-)

Note: language caution on "America."

My thanks to


Well, it's weathering again. I shouldn't be surprised; it is April in New Mexico, after all. But it was sunny and breezy yesterday, so it took me aback when I walked out the door this morning in my cute little white jacket and peep-toe sandals, to find a sky completely overcast. By the time I got uptown, it was spitting sleet and smelled very much like rain.

The good doctor tells me they're predicting a lot of snow tonight above 8000 feet. Sigh.

On the up side, Lisa is back at work and Mrs. M is bringing us breakfast burritos from that haven of chili goodness. And we get a missionary for the ladies' luncheon and also tonight at Awana. The day is definitely worth keeping. :-)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


My senior year, I think it was, we named the seven goslings after the seven virtues: Charity, Faith, Hope, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, and Prudence. Young Fortitude fell victim to a snapping turtle (Maggie says it was in defense of his sister), but the rest of them lived to become quite as healthy and obnoxious as their parental geese (Dante and Beatrice).

This essay is from the Scriptorium. Reynolds argues that the old virtues--especially the last four--are all the more necessary in our blog-happy culture. I think he's got an excellent point.


I'd always wondered about "the lurgy," ever since Luna mentioned it. It sounds made-up. It is made up. There you go.

Oh, and apparently it rhymes with "Fergie" rather than "clergy." Another fond thought dashed.

Heavenfield is just a font of knowledge... or links thereunto. :-)

Quote of the day

"This office smells like a Methodist church basement." The good doctor

I hadn't noticed. To be sure, I'm not sure I've ever been in a Methodist church basement....

Monday, April 07, 2008

The lipstick jungle: or, fat lips

I know fat lips are in style, but they've never particularly encroached on my life. Edna in The Incredibles calls models "Sticks with big poofy lips," and as long as the lips stay on the models, I'm perfectly happy. For various presents, I've gotten "lip exploder," which is a good novelty item--furnishes one with an entertaining mental image. (No, not the lip exploder! No! Yes, I shall use the lip exploder unless you tell me your deep dark secret! Never! Pow! Ayee!)

But then Saturday Mom and I decided to buy lipstick for the wedding. I feel that I've had a cultural experience.

We went to the Clinique makeup counter at Dillards, mostly because Grandma buys Clinique and I get her free samples and like them. I was visualizing a leisurely makeover-style session, where the expert beautician learns that I'm getting married, and brings out lipsticks and glosses in an array of delicate pastels and charming jewel tones, and proceeds to try them on me until we, in close consultation, pick the very best one. I then trip away, assured of my fairy-tale-princess-hood.

It wasn't quite what I had in mind. The girl started by criticizing the makeup I had on and trying to talk me into buying the whole line of Clinique products. I fended her off by stating that my sister was my beauty consultant and I couldn't do that without her. Just lipstick, please. She lectured me on the importance of highlighting either eyes or lips and finally seated me in a stool kind of hidden behind stacks of Clinique samples with no mirror anywhere in sight. I seated Mama in a chair opposite, so I could see her reactions and the girl couldn't.

She pulls out a "bamboo" lipliner and a "pink goddess" sparkly lipstick. She starts in with the liner, and I can't actually see anything, but I'm pretty sure I don't have that much lip. She adds the lipstick. "There you go!" she says. She grabs a handheld mirror.

The color is pretty good, but it extends about halfway down my chin! And way up above my upper lip! I love my lips (::insert musical interlude::), but I liked the ones God gave me! With this, I look like--I look like--ew!!!

"The liner is what gives your lips depth and volume," she says. Depth and volume, indeed.

"Can I try on something pinker?" I ask.

"You don't want anything pinker, I think. You'll be on stage--under those lights--it wouldn't show."

Oh. I didn't want anything pinker.

She didn't volunteer any other colors, either.

Mom spoke up. "I think that is a really good color on you."

"Would you recommend I get it now, or think about it?" I say.

Mom thought I could go ahead and get it. "If you wind up not wearing it for the actual wedding, you'll have lots of other opportunities this spring for good lipstick."

So I got it.

I went straight into the ladies room and repaired the damage. It had never occurred to me you could get that much square footage of lipstick on a face my size. Furthermore, makeup artists ought to be able to color in the lines. Mom tried to console me by saying that fat lips are really in style, and no doubt most of the girls she works on want their lips bigger.

I was not consoled. But it is a good color.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

More on St. Mungo

This window, from the Stobo Kirk in Stobo, Scotland, shows St. Mungo (Kentigern) apparently baptizing Merlin, or at least the woods-dweller who later got integrated into our current legendary Merlin. (Thanks to ramshornstudio for the image.)

There's quite a lot of dispute as to whether Mungo really baptized him, or perhaps he merely healed him.

Kentigern was one of the great sixth-century saints and missionaries. He's now the patron saint of Glasgow, with a cathedral I should like to visit and a museum which has apparently been hijacked by multireligiosity. :-(

There are a couple of early lives about Mungo/Kentigern, but I haven't tracked down online versions yet. If anyone comes across one, do let me know.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

When you put it like that...

"It's nice that we don't have any violent weather. My husband's sister and her husband in Alabama, they went to church one night--it was a Wednesday night--and when they came back, their house was gone. There was a tornado." Patient

I would say our weather is definitely better. We have nasty wind (especially now, in spring), but your house is generally still there when you come home from church.

St. Mungo

Heavenfield, my favorite living medievalist, had a post up about St. Mungo--whom the hospital in Harry Potter is named after, you know. I'd always wondered if that could possibly be a real name or if Rowling just made it up, but apparently she didn't. She generally doesn't.

And, appropriately enough, St. Mungo is associated in legend with Merlin!


GalileeAE has been at it again.

Farsi of the day

Today's Farsi is "kalak," meaning "trick."
Happy April Fools Day.