Sunday, September 20, 2009

For the Love of Words



I have varied creative moments that run the gambit from slogans made to help market a company to songs, stories, poems, and little odes such as the one written on this diary opener.

Words

Words. Love 'em, think about 'em. They pop into my head at random times and I've started to write things down in a little notebook that I carry with me. The little book started as a way of tracking my food and exercise log. Then it grew to include my daily work log (I'm a contractor and get paid through my company, AWW*


*Kudos for those who remember what the name of my company is. HINT: My company's motto is We provide internet magic everyday - the web presence specialists.

Okay, back to my original point - Words

A word pops into your head. [You may or may not know the definition or meaning of the word]. Maybe you do know how to properly use and pronounce the word (reminds me of a story…but I digress).

How about fun words like those that imitate the sound associated with them like buzz (which is an onomatopoeia).

Ever play a game of making up definitions for words that pop into your head? Well, yesterday I was talking my hubby about something and used the word doodad. A doodad is an unnamed or nameless thing, gadget trinket etc.

Well, how about creating a list of things that doodad could be to you? Me? First thing I thought of was a list of things for a father to fix, work on, accomplish for a friend or family member.

EXAMPLE: “Sorry Harry, I can’t have a beer with you tonight ‘cause I promised the misses I’d knock out a few things for her on the old ‘Do Dad’ list.”

Made up Words
My favorites are: slather and kernt.

Slather is a liberal, generous application of a substance (editable or not). “She slathered an enormous quantity of peanut butter onto her toasted English muffin.”

Kernt is a sound effect that is often associated with an abrupt stop to a motion.

“Pascale was speeding along at 90 MPH when he quickly applied his brakes, resulting in the immediate and unmistakable sound KERNT!”

Entertaining Tidbit (i.e. my random blog ending

Q: What makes holes in Swiss cheese?

A: Well, according to Dr. Gourmet (at drgourmet.com):
Like yogurt, cheese is made by adding live bacteria to milk. The resulting fermentation gives off gasses and it is the bacteria that is used in making Swiss cheese that is responsible for the large holes. One of the three bacteria used in Swiss cheese is Propionibacter shermani. For some reason this bacteria makes the cheese's distinctive larger holes.

Once P. shermani and other bacteria are added to the milk mixture it is warmed and bubbles of carbon dioxide form. The bubbles come together to create the large holes. In the cheese industry the holes are called "eyes."

Interestingly, USDA regulations state that the holes in Swiss cheese must be between 11/16 and 13/16 inches in diameter.

What fun thing do you like to do with words?

Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11-01 We will Never Forget



At 8:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001 I was getting ready to leave for a day of classes at the university, as an adult university student. My husband and I never watch television, but he had the TV on that morning watching the news. He called me into the living room and I briefly watched the reports. We were confused and thought it must have been some kind of hoax, so I left for my classes.

However, my husband had a horrible feeling of foreboding. He did NOT want me to go to university that day, I insisted. On the drive to school, things just didn’t feel right. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I felt a great deal of unease.

When I arrived at school there was pandemonium everywhere. Every place a television existed; people were transfixed by the news and the images on the screen. Everyone was a bit dazed, in shock at the realization that it was real. A formal announcement was made to dismiss all classes.

On the drive home, the distant sky near the Pentagon had a strange hue to it. I saw the Vice President’s motorcade on the highway, thinking he was probably on his way to Langley Air Force base.

My husband was so very glad to see me, and we stayed very close to each all day in our solemnity.

At times of great tragedy, people gather together. We want to be close to those we are about. Call those we love who are a great distance away. We feel unsure, frightened by the brutal reality of how fragile and precious life is.

Although I did not lose anyone that I knew that day. I personally felt that my life was changed forever. The na├»ve sense of somehow feeling safe because I lived near the Nation’s Capital and so near the Pentagon, our airspace could NEVER be invaded by terrorists.

I have not felt safe since then, and will never have that sense of safety again.
Life was changed inextricably that day.

ASIDE: a couple of years ago a church member of mine gave us a personal tour of the Pentagon (where he worked). He showed us where the plane crashed and talked about the memorial that would be erected there someday. He showed us the memorial inside of the Pentagon, and the enormous quilt that showed a personalized square and photograph of everyone who died at the Pentagon that day. I could not imagine anyone not being overcome with intense emotion, fighting back tears at the realization of how many people died that day.

Every year on September 11th, everyone I know talks about that day years ago, where they were, and what they were doing. May we always take that moment on all September 11’s in our future.

Those who lost their lives are gone, but will NEVER be forgotten.