Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pinterest. The addiction.

I've become addicted to Pinterest lately. I hadn't really given it a second thought until my mom mentioned that she thought it was cool. At which point I sort of said, "Yeah, that sounds cool," and then forgot about it for awhile. But now I've been properly introduced and I'm a fan. It is essentially just a visual pin board of ideas, pictures, quotes, you name it. And while that sounds kind of lame from my pathetic little description, it really is pretty cool if you use it. I've been collecting recipes there and already I've tried several of the new ones I've found. And there are a bunch of crafty ideas I'd like to try. :) And just cool things in general. It is a method by which to collect cool ideas and things without having to physically hoard those things.

I've decided to add an element of bones to this blog....today's bone is the Frontal Bone. This is one of your cranial bones. It's the one, as you'd guess, right up front. When you put your hand on your forehead, you're pretty much right on it.

And, just for kicks, here's something even more random. I used to dance on one of the folk dance teams at school (so much fun!) and one of my favorites was the Dana. This clip is not very glamorous, but it's wonderful dance none the less. :) Very easy, very fun.


Day 27

-didactic: instructional
-diocese: district
-disputatious: fond of arguing
-dither: move without purpose
-doldrums: dullness

Monday, January 30, 2012

Homeschooling? (Day 26)

So, once upon a time I was home schooled. The first half of kindergarten, first and second grade. It was awesome. We participated in an organization called HomeLink that offered a variety of classes (I seem to recall a computer class, a Spanish class, a "Fun and Games" class) including a chess club which my mother was the coach of. This meant that I, along with my older siblings, competed in chess tournaments in kindergarten and first grade. Woohoo! And then second grade was an eleven month field trip across the country. My home schooling years were good years. Come third grade we'd just moved to Indiana and all of us started public schooling. There had been a smattering of public schooling for my older siblings, but it wasn't until that move that we all no longer home schooled.

Growing up in Indiana I still had friends who were home schooled, but it wasn't my world any more.

And it is kind of interesting to look at the home schooled individuals I know. Almost all of them are really nice people, both the parents and the children. But for many of them there is also a slight air of awkwardness. While they've been socially active, the level of social activeness just doesn't compare to spending seven or eight hours a day, five days a week, with a large group of your contemporaries. So it has often been possible for me to identify home schooled individuals based on the slight difference in interactions. Some of this is likely also a result of the fact that many people who are home schooled come from conservative and/or very religious homes.

Anyway, while my brother and I were waiting to catch our flight home from Costa Rica we ran into one of the women who we'd gone on the zip line tour with. We chatted for awhile about this and that, and at some point she randomly asked us if we'd been home schooled. Here there was a pause as Kyle and I looked at each other. Yes, we'd been home schooled, but we were so far removed from that that it seemed odd she was asking. We of course replied that we had been and asked why she'd asked. She said she had just been around a lot of home schooled people and there was a kind of aura she could identify. Because we were nice and open. Because we were there with our family and family was clearly important. Because we were somewhat intelligent and well spoken.

I guess I just suspect that what she was identifying didn't really have anything to do with home schooling but rather more to do with our heavily religious background. Of course, I didn't say this, but having interacted with a great number of home schooled individuals, I'm pretty sure the mannerisms she's talking about don't have much to do with home schooling. I suppose I don't really know that, but her observations just don't seem consistent with my own observations.

Anyway, it was an amusing conversation at the very least.

I don't plan on home schooling any children I might have. I think there are some clear benefits to time spent in a public school setting. That doesn't mean I wouldn't consider taking my children out of school for a year to do something else, but not for much more of an extended period outside of that.

There's not really one "right" way of doing things. Just lots of different ways that can all have positives and negatives. It's fun to think about it.

And on a somewhat irrelevant note, here is an awesome father-daughter-son trio of musicians.

(DMK: "Everything Counts")

Day 26

-denouement: resolution
-deportment: behavior
-deracinate: uproot
-desiccate: dehydrate
-desultory: without direction in life

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Want to Find Neverland.

Growing up, after I hit puberty I was often taken to be older than I was. On multiple occasions at airport security checks I would be asked for identification even though I was too young to have a proper ID. This was often much to the annoyance of Kyle who is two and a half years older than me, as he did have the proper ID and mostly wasn't asked for it. Our respective ages were not readily apparent. And still aren't for all that we've both changed quite a bit. We still have people who occasionally ask us who is older. And I just look over at Kyle and grin. It is more credit to him that he looks young. :) That's how I like to think about it.

Anyway, people have always told me that I'm mature for my age. That's what I've gotten for a long time. And on the one hand, I appreciate that. I have, for a long time, enjoyed the company of those older than me as I've found it to often be more interesting than that of my contemporaries.

However, I've come to recognize that I've no interest in become older and more serious. I have enough serious tones as it is. I don't want to grow up any more. I want to be able to play and find joy in the world for my entire life. To gain energy and inspiration from the simple and beautiful things. I want to love the details. I don't want to feel my style and energy cramped just by my age alone. I'm not saying I want to be immature. I just want to be able to laugh at wonderful things and explore everything without feeling like that energy needs to be contained. That's what I want.

And if that means climbing on the roof, playing video games, walking barefoot in the mud, playing in hay, setting up intricate mazes, creating treasure hunts, etching on my skin, making silly faces, stating the obvious, and making snow angels in the snow, so be it. I can handle that. And I think I'll be happier for it.

(Simon & Garfunkel - The Only Living Boy in New York)

Day 25

-convivial: sociable, festive
-coquette: a flirt
-cornucopia: cone-shaped horn filled with fruit
-cubism: a style of painting
-cupidity: greed

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Zip Line!

I missed yesterday because I was instead working on some videos from our time in Costa Rica. I still have several videos to make, but here's the first one.

(Costa Rica Zip Line)

Day 23

-commensurate: proportionate
-commutation: exchange, substitution
-comport: to conduct oneself
-concatenate: link
-concordat: agreement

The Beach!

And here's the second video.

(On The Beach in Costa Rica)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Friends....Forever? Probably Not.

I was thinking about how it is kind of sad how we move through different groups of people over the course of our lives. I know I've only just begun that process, being still quite young, but it makes me sad all the same, even if I contribute equally to it. 

From childhood friends to grade school friends and church friends. From college friends and various communities. When you're around people, you to talk to them, they're real. And now, even with the many social networks that exist, most people just fall off your radar. They're busy with their lives as you're busy with yours and unless a mutual effort is made, contact is rarely maintained. I can only think of one or two rare exceptions to this. And I can't blame anyone for it any more than I can blame myself. If I really wanted to stay in contact with someone, I could, and they'd likely be more motivated to do the same. It just seems sad that we can build such strong relationships with people only to see those relationships be barely existent just short distance down the road.

And this is kind of pretty. :) Even pulled out of context.

(Daft Pink - Nightvision)

And on that note....let me admit that I very much like purging people from my "friends" list on facebook. I really only do it with people who are either particularly obnoxious or people who I'm pretty sure won't notice. And I don't really talk to any of the people I get rid of. There's just something nice about it. It feels cleaner afterward. Like after you've tidied up your room.

Day 22

-casuistry: specious reasoning
-cause celebre: celebrated legal case
-caveat emptor: buyer beware
-cavil: quibble
-cenotaph: empty tomb

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So cold!

It has been so cold today! It's still cold! It was cold when I left for class this morning, it was cold all through Chemistry, and it is cold now in the house.

As a result I've got the space heater going and I've resolved to take my corn bag with me to class in the morning, although I haven't noticed that the Physics lab room is cold. All the same, just in case....

And I think it would probably be a good idea for me to not shave my legs in the morning... ;) Ouch! Too cold! I've never really had much trouble with shaving, even in the winter, but these last few days...no thank you. Proceed with caution.

And, on that note....

(Breaking Benjamin - So Cold (Official Video HD)

And something rather different....

(Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer - Baby It's Cold Outside)

Day 21

-bevy: group

-bilious: ill-tempered
-bivouac: encampment
-bon vivant: gourmet, epicure
-bovine: cow-like

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trafiic Cop, meet Michael Jackson

Ok. So I'm back in touch with my book of words...but I'm going to be lazy for at least one more day...I'll get to it. I know I will....things are just a bit busy at the moment. I still want to make a post, but obviously my posts have been somewhat lacking in content lately. Oh, well. :)

I'm stealing from Wimp today. This is just too fun. Awesome moves and Michael Jackson.

(Filipino Traffic Cop Doing His Job Like A Boss)

Day 20

-attrition: deterioration, reduction
-au courant: well informed
-augur: predict
-avuncular: like an uncle
-babbittry: smugness

Monday, January 23, 2012

Year of the Dragon: 2012!

Today celebrates the beginning of the year of the Dragon. :) I have a special place in my heart for the year of the Dragon as it is my Chinese Zodiac. Not that I put any stick in zodiacs or any form of astrology. But, all the same, it is fun read and laugh about what being a Dragon apparently says about my personality. ;)

I guess I'm an Earth Dragon....as opposed to a Water Dragon....which is this year....according to Wikipedia our motto is "I reign" and our ruling ours are from seven in the morning to ten in the morning. I guess that's why I'm a morning person. ;)

And according to Wikipedia, these are the kinds of people that are Dragons:
Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, eccentric, intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, artistic, generous, loyal. Can be tactless, arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, intolerant, dogmatic, violent, impetuous, brash.
It would be difficult for one of those to not fit everyone born in the year of the Dragon....but all? Nah...

Day 19

-anathema: curse
-animadversion: critical remark
-anodyne: pain soothing
-antediluvian: ancient, obsolete
-aphasia: speechless

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Climbing with Speed

Today would be...Day 18? And it will be for words, but again, only as soon as I have access to my big book of words....

For all your climbers out there, here's a bit of enjoyment.

(New World record in speed climbing 2011)

Day 18

-affable: friendly
-aft: rear
-agent provocateur: agitator
-akimbo: with hands on hips
-ameliorate: improve

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Today would be day 17 in my GRE word list, but I'm currently far away from my book....so I'll just have to add the words retroactively....

I've really got nothing today (today has been a bit of a stressed day for me - shorter fuse than usual).

So, here's this:

(Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine)

And for the record, there's plenty of sunshine here. :)

Day 17:

-aberrant: abnormal
-ablate: cut away
-abscond: to run away (secretly)
-acclivity: ascent, incline
-aegis: that which protects

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thrice: Water

Busy, busy! Running about being busy!

Here's a beautiful and sad song for today. We're surrounded by water here and it has me thinking about Thrice.

(Thrice - The Whaler)

Day 16:

-reconnaissance: surveillance
-salacious: licentious
-tautological: repetitious
-uxorious: a doting husband
-vicissitude: changing fortunes

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Funky Town

I mentioned Lipps Inc a few days ago. Ironically, just after I'd given away the vinyl cover that we had (with no vinyl) I heard Funky Town on the radio. So here you go.

Funkytown - Lipps Inc (original)

Day 15

-neophyte: beginner
-pachyderm: elephant
-quadrille: square dance
-rake: womanizer
-saccharine: sugary, overly sweet tone

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We Found Love

Sometimes it is difficult to admit that we love something that everyone else loves. It isn't so much a desire to be the one and only person who appreciates something, but rather some form of shame in loving something that is overly popularized.

Such is my relationship with some of the music I listen to. I listen to music because I love it, not because something is popular now or because no one has ever heard of it. I just love songs that I like the sound of. I don't care who's singing it, I'll like it for the music or I won't like it for the music.

I was in the car the other day listening to Rhianna's We Found Love. First of all, I'd heard that Rhianna was British, but I didn't know until today that she actually was. So I learned something new. That aside, I really like Rhianna. Sophomore year of college I was given a Rhianna CD by my roomies. It must have been fairly obvious for them to have known to get that for me without my asking. :) Anyway, I think I find myself surprised when, after I've heard one of her songs for a bit and really liked it, I discover that it is her. I just hadn't bothered to connect the dots. It's nice to consistently like something without even trying.

(Rihanna - We Found Love ft. Calvin Harris)

Day 14

-gaffe: embarrassing mistake
-helots: slaves
-iconoclast: one who rails against sacred institutions
-maelstrom: whirlpool
-nugatory: useless, worthless

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lightning in the Sky

This morning the sky put on a lightning show for me on my drive to class. It was beautiful to see the flashes dance around me in the dark with the rain as a filter through which I saw everything. I wanted to stop and just watch the sky, but the rush of getting to class kept me from doing that.

Today was a glasses day. I wear contacts almost every day. It isn't that I loooove contacts, but rather that I find wearing glasses to be inhibiting to my ability to do what I want with my body. It isn't easy to spin with glasses on my face. Or rather, it is easy to spin, but it is difficult to keep the glasses on my face while spinning. But, given that I didn't get very much sleep last night and most of today will be pretty laid back, today is a glasses day.

I'm going to Costa Rica for a few days, so I may miss posting here or just post my words of the day.

Day 13

-harridan: hag
-ilk: class, clan
-masticate: chew
-neologism: newly coined expression
-pedantic: bookish

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tongue Twisters

Here's a cool look at tongue twisters from around the world.

Lips Of babel from elle muliarchyk on Vimeo.

What tongue twisters do you know?

Here are a few English ones I found:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop.
Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.
How many boards
Could the Mongols hoard
If the Mongol hordes got bored?
Amidst the mists and coldest frosts,
With stoutest wrists and loudest boasts,
He thrusts his fist against the posts
And still insists he sees the ghosts.
One black beetle bled only black blood the other black beetle bled blue.
Can you imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie?
If one doctor doctors another doctor, does the doctor who doctors the doctor doctor the doctor the way the doctor he is doctoring doctors? Or does he doctor the doctor the way the doctor who doctors doctors?

I thought a thought
But the thought I thought
Was not the thought
I thought I thought.

Day 12

-acme: summit
-Cimmerian: dim, unlit
-ebullient: exuberant
-florid: ruddy
-hoyden: tomboy

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Immunizations and Pinterest

I'm going to Costa Rica with some of my family this coming week. This morning we were discussing some of the details and needing to get our immunizations up to date to travel. I was talking about how I'd have to track down my shot record and a few other loose leaf additions to my shot record.

Alluding to the fact that if I happened to receive an extra immunization a little earlier than needed (as in, if I hadn't properly recorded some of my latest immunizations), what was the worst thing that could happen?

My mother's response, "Typhoid."

At which point I had to back up the conversation and clarify that I'd meant the worst thing that could happen if I got extra immunizations, as opposed to not getting the immunizations. :)

This morning my mother also educated me on the ways and methods of Pinterest. It is very cool. Another avenue by which to waste lots of time online. :)

Day 11

-abrogate: cancel
-bacchanal: orgy
-cabal: plot
-Machiavellian: politically crafty, cunning
-prestidigitator: magicians

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Short Analysis of Emotion

I've come to the conclusion that while I am a highly emotional person, most of my varying emotions are responsive to my perception of other people's emotions. I naturally default to a pretty happy, positive outlook and attitude. As I've mentioned before, there are, of course, inconsistencies in that related to be just being in a bad mood or responding to hormones or just being plain irrational occasionally.

However, there are also a lot of inconsistencies in my emotions related to other people. Contentious argument around me makes me anxious very quickly. Feeling ignored makes me feel a little depressed sometimes. Hearing about the difficulties of others makes me feel sorrow for their pain. Careless comments attacking others makes me frustrated and angry. Most of this is probably all just happening in my head. Perhaps there's not really contention in the argument. Perhaps I'm not being ignored. Perhaps the telling of those experiences isn't really painful for those individuals. Perhaps those people aren't trying to attack the others.

I feel as if I naturally default to a happy place (most of the time) and being around other people makes me realize some of my negative emotions. But perhaps that isn't a bad thing. Perhaps it is a way of balancing and contrasting my natural disposition.

And maybe this is all just an indicator of an introverted (as far as where I get my energy from) personality. I love being around people and people frequently make me happier and bring me joy, but when I'm by myself, when I have time for myself, it allows me to return to that balance after being thrown off from trying to understand what is going on in everyone elses heads. 

(The Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition [Official Video])

Day 10

-abeyance: postponement
-atavistic: exhibiting the characteristics of one's forebears
-consanguineous: related by blood
-deposition: testimony
-febrile: feverish, delirious

Friday, January 13, 2012

Books and Movies

There's been so much going on in the film world lately as relates to a number of books that I've very much enjoyed!

First, we have the American version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which came out recently (this last December). I actually haven't seen it yet, but it is on the list of films I want to see. I've read the series and seen all of the Swedish versions and so I approach the American version with some hesitancy, but also excitement as more material surrounding a story I very much enjoy is welcome material. As long as it is done well (Additional material in the Avatar: The Last Airbender series via M. Night Shyamalan was most definitely not welcome material.). Actually, there is also some hesitancy associated with some of the more graphically violent scenes of the movie, as I don't do violence very well, but I'd like to see it all the same.

This is the longer trailer. Gives you more of an idea about the plot.

Then we have The Hunger Games (due to be released March 23), which I'm again hesitantly excited for. I really enjoyed the first book (the second and third were enjoyable, but not as good), but there is always that tension over whether it will be done as well as it should be done. I guess we'll see.

And then there's The Hobbit (part one due to be released December 14, 2012 and part two due to be released December 13, 2013). I can't help but be excited about that, as I have considerable faith in Peter Jackson to produce two quality films to encapsulate the wonderful story that is The Hobbit. Did I mention that this last year I helped choreograph a dance number and fight scene (between the dwarves and goblins) in a children's production of The Hobbit? It definitely gave me further appreciation for the story. My only worry where this film is concerned is that they are intentionally doing it in 3D. I don't enjoy watching 3D films. I don't like having to wear the glasses. It gives me a headache. For this, I'm perhaps willing to attempt it again, but I'd really rather not have to wear the glasses.

Lastly, I've just discovered that someone is finally attempting to make a film of Ender's Game. I remain very hesitant here. Ender's Game involves a cast of characters that are very difficult to realize using actual actors, as the children are supposed to be extraordinarily young and intelligent. I think what will likely happen is that all of the children will be a bit older than they should be, but that the general effect will still be there. As yet, the cast of children they've chosen along with choices for the adults seems very promising to me, even if I'm still nervous....we've got Harrison Ford as Graff, Abigail Breslin as Valentine (I'm not sure I would have picked her), Hailee Steinfeld as Petra, Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham, Jimmy Pinchak as Peter, Aramis Knight as Bean, and Asa Butterfield as Ender. Could be good. We'll see. I don't know that these castings are set in stone, but this will at least give you some idea of what it might be like. (The estimated date of release is March 13, 2013.)

Asa Butterfield as Ender

Abigail Breslin as Valentine
Jimmy Pinchak as Peter

Aramis Knight as Bean
Hailee Steinfeld as Petra
Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham
Harrison Ford as Graff

Day 9

-actuate: induce, start
-bogy: bugbear
-demagogue: a politician who appeals to base instincts
-exegesis: interpretation
-paean: a song of praise

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not a Robot

Some days I feel like a robot, emotionless. Some days I feel much too emotional for my liking. And on those days I wish I were a robot. Such was Tuesday. But instead, I get to appreciate the fact that even though it might occasionally make my life a little easier, I'm not a robot.

Talking about this with a good friend, he introduced me to this song and it made me maybe even a little happier that I'm not a robot. Even if I've never worn cool paint like Marina and the Diamonds.

(Marina and the Diamonds - I am not a robot)

Day 8

-hackneyed: trite
-idiosyncrasy: peculiarity
-juvenescent: making young
-legerdemain: trickery

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Word of the Year: 2011

Can you guess?

Yep. That one. You guessed right.


Fitting, no? If you'd like to learn more, you can read about it here on the CNN website (Thanks for the link, Mom!). Aside from describing the society that voted on it (Hey! Nobody asked me, and I'm even a linguist!), they also talk about some of the other words that were sort of in the running but were often too ridiculous to have really been considered.

Obviously, there are some very obvious reasons for the choice of that word as the word of the year. But aside from its more serious and political applications, it has also been fun to use it when referring to other less serious things. Such as Thor (the cat) occupying my lap. And a bunch of us occupying Morgan's temporary room prior to Christmas (which also happened to be the room where all the wrapping paper is now stored). It is fun to have a new context in which to approach the word. :)

Day 7:

-cheeky: brash, forward
-endocrinologist: one who studies glands of internal secretion (I already knew this one - thank you anatomy!)
-ibidem: in the same place
-jingoistic: nationalistic, warmongering
-peevish: cranky

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vinyls and Food Storage

Hazy in the air is the mentality of moving.

My parents know they'd like to move sometime between now and this next August. Everything is pretty flexible, but that's the idea. Along with that comes the idea to downsize and get rid of the horde of random stuff that they don't really need or want.

For instance, this past Sunday they went through their vinyl record collection and decided what to do with all of them. They're not planning on taking them when they move. Some of them have really funny covers...like this one:

Yeah....they're weird...

Anyway, they're also getting rid of hundreds of pounds of food storage (wheat, popcorn, beans, etc.) that we've had sitting in our basement storage room forever. My mom put the food storage up on Craig's List and got a reply almost right away from a guy that lives about fifteen minutes from Florence, KY. Soooo...not too far from Cincinnati. Ok. So here's where we learn about people who don't ever go anywhere.

If you look at a map of Florence, KY and mentally draw a picture of what would be "about fifteen minutes" from Florence, that's not a huge circle.

No big deal. Right.

But, there were two points that were brought up during the conversation about how to get to my parent's house. First, the last time this guy had been on I-74 was when he "got lost." So the last time he was headed into Indiana on an interstate was when he got last...never mind how close he is to Indiana. It gets better, as the second detail is that the last time he went to Hebron (just NW of the airport on that same map) was before the airport was built. Hebron is about seven miles from Florence. The first terminal at the airport was built in 1947....the next two were added in 1974. So, I kind of want to assume he's referring to the most recent additions in 1974, but either way, wow. These people don't get out much. It makes me wonder about the lifestyle that leads that doesn't lend itself to inspiring them to travel. I know other people like them, but it is such a strange concept to me.

Anyway, I guess the showed up and everything went well. :)

Day 6:

-a la carte: priced separately
-carafe: bottle
-dictum: saying
-fjord: inlet
-lupine: wolf-like (This is one of those moments where you realize J.K. Rowling was making some things pretty dang obvious in her books. But only to those who know. I was not one of those who knew.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Jabberwocky = Nonsense

As you may or may not have noticed yesterday, one of the words was jabberwocky which means nonsense. I did not know this prior to putting that in yesterday. But, I find it most fitting, as if you've ever read the Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll you would know that the poem is mostly nonsense. Regardless of this, it is one of my favorites (courtesy of my father) and the only one which, at present, I've memorized. As evidence of the appreciation we have for this poem, let me inform you that we not only have a small pop-up book with the story inside it, but also have the words inscribed on the walls of our dining room (along with a wide variety of other words). At some point I'll have to carefully document that entire room. All the same, in case you've never read/heard the poem, here it is.

This is the pop-up book.

With an example of what it looks like inside. :)


Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
(This one was written on the wall behind a large photo that I didn't feel like moving, so no picture.)

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Or, if you'd rather hear it read, who better than Christopher Lee to read it to you. :)

(Christopher Lee Reads Lewis Carroll's The Jabberwocky)

On to other things.

Day 5:

-Adonis: beautiful man
-Cassandra: unheeded prophet
-glabrous: without hair
-in toto: in full, entirely
-Young Turks: reformers

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Poetry: Dreams

I have never been one to sit over a book of poetry and just smile at the beauty of the words. I can imagine that, but whenever I would try, I'd often get bored. I've been giving it another go, and this round has turned out better. There really are just so many interesting ways to put words down. I'm not sure I'll ever be wonderful or even very interested in writing poetry, but I think some of it can be very beautiful. This one, for instance, I recently read and very much love.

Longing by Matthew Arnold

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

I mean, I can't help but smile when I read those words. They're beautiful.

Day 4:

-celestial: heavenly
-dogmatic: certain, unchanging in opinion
-jabberwocky: nonsense (this one for tomorrow!)
-mountebank: charlatan
-sacerdotal: priestly

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Ok, for today I have something wonderful that I found yesterday. It makes me smile. And laugh. English is a ridiculous language. I love it, but it is messed up. Those poor souls that learn it....

If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.

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!!!

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

And now, for some words and definitions.

Day 3:

-a priori: reasoning based on general principles
-contiguous: adjacent, abutting
-embrangle: embroil
-hidalgo: nobleman
-martinet: disciplinarian

Friday, January 6, 2012

Done! (Day 2)

Hooray! I was victorious and finished the GRE this morning! Done! And not too badly. Could have been better on the Quantitative Reasoning part, but really good on Verbal. We'll seeing about the Writing section....

I'm not allowed to talk about the content of the test, but let me just briefly explain what happens once you finish the test so that perhaps for any of you out there who are planning on taking it, you have more of a clue than I did.

Once you finish the last section of the test a screen will pop up asking you if you want to Cancel or Report your score. No, you've not seen your scores yet at this point. It just wants you to base that decision off of how you feel leaving the test. Once that's decided and done, if you've chosen to Report your scores, your scores will pop up (obviously not for the writing section as that still needs to be scored) for you to see. If you don't know how the the scoring system works, these numbers will mean nothing to you. So do your homework and find out how the new scoring system works. This is important because after you view that screen, you'll be given the option of sending your scores to four schools of your choice. Not really knowing what my scores meant, I went ahead and sent my scores anyway. Of course, it might have been good if I'd known exactly where to send the scores (note to self: there will be specific options within each school - know where to send them exactly), but at least they're headed in generally the right direction.

However, regardless of having finished and not likely needing to take it again, I'm going to keep on with my word sharing. :)

Day 2:

-antipodal: exactly opposite

(I was presented with a better definition for antipodal which you all will perhaps find as amusing as I found it: "It is a description for a state of rebellion for people who have a particular distaste for pods. They are the type of people who will be seen in Walmart throwing bags of frozen peas on the floor as a political statement about the fact that peas should not have pods. Pods are a symbol of a tyranny of nature that aims to trap peas inside a shell of dogma and restrict the liberty of peas.")

-filial: son
-speleologist: one who studies caves
-ubiquitous: omnipresent, pervasive
-zephyr: gentle breeze

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Words, words, words... (Day 1)

As I mentioned earlier, I'm to take the GRE this week. Tomorrow actually. Am I ready? Not really. But I'm more ready than I was before. I should probably be focusing more on studying rather than writing this, but here I am anyway. I'd like to do well on this test, but I'm not stressing about it. I'm a little unsure of exactly how much I will or won't over-analyze the questions, so I'm prepared to try my best on this exam but consider it in some way as a practice at the very minimum. Hypothetically, I'll do well tomorrow, but I know that I always do better on the second test in a class because I've established an understanding of the methods behind the tests.

However, long term, I think this idea that I've just set upon will be better for me than the few minutes of studying that would otherwise occur while I'm writing this.

For as long as I can keep it up (until I run out of words), I'm going to list five words a day from my dictionary of 4000 words used on the GRE. You see, as much as I recognize that these words aren't the most common ones in my daily vocabulary, they're words I'd like to know and understand. Going through these words I've come to recognize that there are many I don't know, and many I think I know and don't really have a proper understanding of, as well as a number of which I know in different contexts than the definitions given in this dictionary.

So, know that the definition I'll list is only one definition. And not necessarily the best definition, but a definition.

As there are so few of you out there who read this, this is likely to help no one besides myself. All the same, I think it will be fun. :) You'll likely know many of them. But that's ok. This is about solidifying words you already know and learning new ones.

Day 1:

-a cappella: without accompaniment (My favorite a capella group is The Nylons. I've never actually watched videos of them performing, so this is new to me....)

(The Nylons - Fire Official Video)

-encapsulate: condense
-macabre: gruesome
-parsimonious: stingy
-vacillate: waver

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions? Meh.

I suppose it is common practice to set New Year's Resolutions. I just don't feel like it right now. No motivation whatsoever. I've been sick-ish the last few days and between that and feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything, it is just a twinge hard to feel optimistic about setting resolutions. But it is kind of fun to look back a year and see how successful (or not, as things usually go) I've been at keeping the resolutions I've made.

I really only had two resolutions for 2011. To solidify plans for grad school (to maybe apply) and to run more. I kind of did the first (kind of) and really didn't do the second.

So, 2012? Hmmm....

Well, for the next few months I'd really like to,

-Take the GRE (Coming up this week! Am I ready? No.)
-Take three more of my pre-reqs via some of the local colleges (Signed up and mostly ready to go? Check.)
-Sort out how I'd like to take my last three pre-reqs.
-Get another part time job. (Substitute teaching maybe?)
-Do shadowing hours with PTs.

I think those are the most important couple of things that really need to happen. Somewhere along those lines I also need to carefully start actually applying to grad schools as I was waiting to finish some of the pre-reqs and finally have that excuse for procrastinating removed from my path.

But resolutions for the whole year?

Well, as usual, I'd like to run more. Big surprise, I know. I think I'd like to sign up, train for, and run a marathon this year. I've been meaning to do that for awhile and I'd really like to. Tried that for last year but it fell through. Maybe better luck this year? Where and when should I do it? Until plans are solidified, I've at least got my half in May to train for, as usual.

I'd like to travel to a country I've never been to. That could happen this month or it could happen over the course of this summer, but as I'll really have almost no excuse for not making that happen, I think that is a reasonable resolution to make.

Now let's see, from some of the most common resolutions people make, I'm not trying to,

-Lose weight. No, thank you. Gain muscle weight? Perhaps.
-Quit smoking. Not a problem.
-Quit drinking. Again, not a problem. 

So, there's that at least. ;) In past years I've avoided certain foods but, in general, I don't think I need to worry about it anymore. I think I've mostly (especially in the last few months) realized that if I want to feel good I have to eat food that will make me (my body, not just my mind) feel good. And only as much as my body needs. I've by no stretch of the imagination mastered this concept, but I've reached a happy medium.

So, there. That's something resembling goals and resolutions. I'm still not sure I feel highly motivated at the moment, but my mind does feel a bit clearer.