Archive for May, 2012

argot-go boots!

May 17, 2012
mes amis–
a fine feathered course concluded recently on the topic of dictionaries. the most exciting element of the course for me wasn’t the study of the way  words are organized (dreary!) but the words themselves. they are always the stars of the show. and the linguistic leanings of some scholars wasn’t so bad either.
i’m looking at you, saussure!

who’s he looking at?

imagine what delight i experienced earlier au jour d’hui when i saw merriam webster‘s word-of-the-day in my inbox. (plus, not to mention my new found admiration mixed with suspicion over said dictionary…. now that i know the “descriptivist” scandal m-w provoked in the 60s. and thank goodness! language always needs some rustling up and it’s fun to get the knickers of some prescriptivists in a bunch. i hope the previous sentence is not only ungrammatical but maddening too!).
anyway, the word i found was argot.


and what a dear parole it is! i quote from m-w:
“We borrowed “argot” from French in the mid-1800s, although our language already had several words covering its meaning. There was “jargon,” which harks back to Anglo-French by way of Middle English (where it meant “twittering of birds”); it had been used for specialized (and often obscure or pretentious) vocabulary since the 1600s. There was also “lingo,” which had been around for almost a hundred years, and which is connected to the Latin word “lingua” (“language”). English novelist and lawyer Henry Fielding used it of “court gibberish” — what we tend to call “legalese.” In fact, the suffixal ending “-ese” is a newer means of indicating arcane vocabulary. One of its very first applications at the turn of the 20th century was for “American ‘golfese.'”
off the hozzle indeed! (a term i just learned last night and still do not fully understand. apparently it has something to do with golf) it is also the title of what i am sure is a fine artwork by the ever talented and elusive lumberbob.
allora, there are many other tids and bits i am working on and considering. among them is turning my website into a forum for debate and discussion about art via a creative capital grant. j/k! don’t worry, if such a thing were ever to happen it would only be in the highest of arch spirits. nothing could get too walter benjamin around these interweb corners. (sorry walter, but that first paragraph of yours in illusions was a real bore snore!)

…it’s contagious!

ok, maybe i’ll give illusions another look. i do have an aversion to reading and thinking sometimes…!
next week i will be tooting off to the wilds of omaha, nebraska for a favourite (note british spelling) annual event: the great plains theatre conference. talk about fine feathers! the “gtpc,” as its called in anacronymistic circles, is a true meeting of some of the nicest nerds i’ve ever known. in short, this kippy will be in heaven! not to mention the fine eats. yum a dum! ooh how i look forward to a strong sunshine on the prairie, the smell of freshly cut grass, a gentle breeze at my back, long nights on the porches, and the kindly faces of old pals and new chums. it is like a summer camp but of the least cliquey kind. ooh goodness i do not mean to jinx it…!

“great stories, fascinating people”

speaking of goodness, jinxes, great theatre and yummy nourishment: i am reminded of how i never reported on the fusebox festival. it was amazing. that is all there is to say. the theatre was excellent, the people outstanding, and those food trucks: criminally scrumptious! plus, i felt fit as a fiddle due to a zealous regimen of zipping everywhere in bicicletta. mama mia…! didn’t even need a helmut lang b/c there is enough space on the road to share with motorists and none of the drivers are in a rush.
you’ll smell the roses on this contraption, that’s for sure
i may have to return to that thumb-in-the-nose city… all the freedoms of the west coast without the dopey dippy that drives me crazy. rather there are the passions of the east with an unbridled refusal of pretension (very uneast, i must say). a most curious mixture, one i am keen on further exploring!
a presto,
ps i understand a very special presentation of toilet time with flush in omaha. i can hardly wait!

a banana worth discussing

May 9, 2012

mes amis–

there is much the discuss. the least of which involve fuse. if you snooze you loose out on the fuse! but more on that later. there is a more pressingly recent matter–moments ago!–banana tale.

a friend who i sit near in the office i frequent mondays through fridays had a pair of bananas at his desk. they were cute toots, so ripe they were about to be rotten. i complimented him on the fine fruits and set off on a lunch hour errand. i walked up the avenues and over to an out-of-the-way cvs i haven’t  been to in some time. soft rock played and i lingered over the shampoos, cotton balls and eye ball liquids i had come to purchase. for the fun of it, i even did a self-check out! and wasn’t harried in the least when an alarm went off signaling my maligned swiping.

stuff and nonsense! i was nonplussed and pleased that the cvs employee was not only helpful, but also alert.

but i was not prepared for the banana that was about to enter my life.

i decided to dilly and dally down 10th ave and was marveling at some misty and mysterious, not to mention minacioso (that’s “threatening” to you anglophiles!) clouds. my what a grey day! but the shades were something to behold.


across the street i spotted a deli i have been known to patronize on occasion. in the window was a cheerful display of fruits and–voila!–some bananas in a basket.

i entered the deli whereupon i inspected the yellow objects. there was one i eyed who appeared to be on the verge of such ripeness as to be mistaken for rotten. but then my eye caught another. he made an arc shape to the point of cartoonishness. yes, my friends, this was my banana. and a perfect yellow hue to boot.

the shape of a smile

i approached the deli counter to purchase my ware when another patron approached the counter at nearly the same time. just a half step behind me. he was an older gentleman who very much resembled an actor friend of mine.

denzel and i go way back

perhaps he had a bit more salt in his hair than denzel. he sported a well cut khaki colored suit and jovially remarked, “just the banana for you?”

i said, “ooh, well i have my lunch at work.” (in this instance, i preferred to speak in the vernacular of regular folk who don’t say, “the office i frequent mondays through fridays”)

“well, let me buy it for you,” he said.

i blushed as only this kippy can! surely he was teasing and put his little salad on the counter.

the cashier deli girl rung up the man’s insalata.

“i’d like to buy you more, but if that’s all you’re having then so be it!” the handsome man proclaimed, turning a steady eye to the cashier girl to ring up the banana as well.

she obeyed and 35 cents were added to the gentleman’s total.

“would you like a bag for that?” the man asked.

“i already have one,” i said, looking down at my satchel full of eye ball liquid, cotton and shampoo. (purchased for a mere 89 cents, what a steal!)

“ah, i see” he said.

nervous and unsure of how we would exit the deli, i did an old trick. i held the banana up to my ear, like a phone, and protested with mock consternation, “i gotta go!”

this produced a hearty chuckle from my banana man benefactor, and a giggle from the cashier girl.

“well, off you go then!” the man retorted and i spun on my heel and went out the door.

how rude of me to not properly thank this fine feathered friend! i hope this message finds him doing well and enjoying the fruits of his labor. (wink!) plus, i meant to compliment him on his beautiful dancing eyes. those orbs danced with the mischief that only a fellow master, or mistress, of mischief knows!

alla prossima,