Wednesday, March 31, 2010




1 : a person foreordained to damnation
2 : a depraved person : scoundrel

the etymology tells me that the word REPROBATE evolved from meaning the hardened sinner that had fallen from god's grace to the (much milder) depraved person to the (more recent) humorously infamous scoundrel, turning down the harshness as the centuries unfolded.

intensity fades over time, over distance from origin. REPROBATE loses its definition, its sharpness, receding like a lost friend watched from the rear windshield of a car departing on a one-way trip.

it gets shuffled under new words, more appropriate designations. criminal. felon. rogue. villain. it softens, atrophies, its once profound signification mellows like a stiff abdomen yielding to old age.

like sin, it begins to mean nothing.

and as it slows down, dwindling into nothingness, mirriam-webster does a retrospect—

the life and times of REPROBATE—

and i take notes, process, interpret, filter, and spill it here, in order to better understand why.


because i can.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010




: a figure, pattern, or object having the shape of a V or an inverted V: as a : a heraldic charge consisting of two diagonal stripes meeting at an angle usually with the point up b : a sleeve badge that indicates the wearer's rank and service (as in the armed forces)

melissa villano (not to be confused with alyssa milano) moved to my high school district from long island (i think—i recall a distinct accent) when we were juniors. she was loud and bold with olive-toned skin and wildly curly hair. she fell into the "cool" crowd, but wasn't an overt bitch like the rest of the girls. i don't remember her ever being "too cool" to talk to anyone. she just said whatever she wanted to anyone she wanted all the time.

melissa was in my junior year history class. one day the class was having a discussion about teenage sex. i don't remember the contextual relevance. melissa interjected something, her voice louder than anyone else's in the room. it was probably some abrasive opinionated comment supporting the sixteen-year-old's right to be sexually active, but she followed the comment with a disclaimer about her own sexuality:

i mean, this isn't about me. i'm a V, she said in her thick accent, holding two fingers up in a CHEVRON, a peace sign with a new meaning.

i don't know why i thought this was so memorable. i had never before heard a virgin refer to themselves as a "V." i felt as though i was witness to the coining of a phrase right there in our american history class.

melissa's "V" quickly became an inside joke amongst my group of friends; i still say it sometimes, holding up my fingers in the virginal CHEVRON (although it clearly no longer applies). it's questionable whether or not she was actually a virgin when she said this, but let's pretend she was telling the truth. i was definitely a virgin in junior year history.

i have nothing else to say about sixteen-year-old virgins.

well, one more thing. a quote i also still use on the regular:

you see how picky i am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet.

so true, cher, so true.

Monday, March 29, 2010




: of, relating to, or characteristic of a wife

when i was 26 i had an internship with the Portland Art Museum working as a curatorial assistant on the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards. i'm not really sure about my objective for this internship. i think i accepted it because i could, and ended up learning how much i did not want to work in an art museum.

i worked under jennifer, the CNAA curator. jennifer was on all the time. self-motivated, fast-paced, organized, graceful, and the best poker face i have seen yet (can you say, "i'm right on top of that rose"). jennifer really wanted to get me a job at the museum. i was on the fence about this. my job at the bakery paid well (still does) and i had grad school on the agenda, but i thought it might be interesting, depending on the job. and i still had a shred of desire to have a "real" job—whatever that means—a shred that has long since faded.

a position opened up on the third floor for an assistant to someone named doug, the events coordinator. i had met doug, he was a nice guy, and new his assistant had quit unexpectedly. jennifer got me an interview. you can totally have this job if you want it, she said.

on the day of the interview, doug was running late. i waited in the office i would be sharing with the assistant to another important guy. the other assistant (whose name i cannot recall) was probably in her early thirties, dressed a little funky for the museum, had artsy earrings and spiked hair that was as close to an artificial color that the museum would accept. she tried to make small talk with me while we waited. she told me that she and i would be sharing an office. that'll be your desk, she said, pointing to one that was pushed up next to hers. she asked what i went to school for.

film studies and art history, i said.

oh. i went to school for sculpture. i got this job right out of college thinking i would only do it for a few years to pay my loans, but ten years later, i'm still here! so it can't be that bad, right? she laughed. her phone rang and she answered it. it was clear by the conversation that it was a significant other of sorts. there were a lot of "mmhmm"s and "yes, honey"s and "i know, honey"s. she rolled her eyes in my direction while she listened half-heartedly on the phone.

after she hung up, she sighed and shook her head. husbands! she said.

i immediately felt the urge to run.

doug came through the door, apologized for his tardiness and invited me into his office, in which i purposefully gave the worst interview ever. there was no way i could work in that office with that woman; i feared her fate was contagious. being trapped in there 40 hours a week with her would surely turn me into that. despite my horrible interview, doug called my extension later that week and offered me the job. i told him it didn't pay enough. this was partially true. it only payed fifty cents more than the bakery, and that was not worth the risk of turning into that monster.

what scared me most was not that she had lost her desire to be an artist, putting her sculpture on hold for her menial job as someone's assistant, but that she had that sad, pathetic relationship with her husband.

husbands! she said.

as a woman, i think i was supposed to share in this generalization. can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em, right? i mean, it's totally acceptable to be irritated with your significant other, this happens all the time. but she wanted me to share in a generalization that lumped all married men into one big pile of crap.


this is also the same type of woman who, had she been in the presence of a man who hung up the phone and said, wives! would probably have gotten angry at the generalization about women.

despite how biologically and psychologically similar i find men to be among each other, i am still more than hesitant to generalize about them as a group. mostly because i think this is not fair. i loathe the instances in which men have tried to pigeonhole me into their idea of what a woman is, so why should i do that to a man? i suppose the assistant's proclamation would be considered a rather UXORIAL act on her part—the wife that is annoyed at her husband.


in that moment she marginalized both him and herself.

i'm kind of annoyed the word UXORIAL even exists. it's a useless concept just begging to be fulfilled.

please, do us all a favor and don't fulfill it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010




1 a : germinate, sprout b : to breed or produce freely
2 : swarm, teem

i'm tempted to write about rampant reproduction—about how overpopulation scares me more than any other modern concern. i want to say that the idea of pregnancy repulses me, a parasite mutilating me from the inside out. i want to admit that raising a child is fascinating and tempting, but that no matter how selfish i am i cannot even fathom adding one to an already POLLULATED world.

but instead i will talk about moths.

i loved ghost stories as a child. i still do, i suppose, i'm just out of practice. my favorites were the Alvin Schwartz Scary Stories book series (with fucking AMAZING illustrations by Stephen Gammell). i bought these books from the Weekly Reader publication that was handed out at Racebrook Elementary. i was always thrilled when it was time to peruse the Weekly Reader. i kind of wish there was a publication like this for adults. i suppose they call it the New York Times Book Review. not really as fun.

aside from Schwartz, i had another book of scary stories that i picked up at a tag sale. i think it was called The Thing at the Foot of the Bed, but i might be confusing it with different book (i did locate the book on the internet, but i cannot find a list of its contents, so i cannot find out whether or not i'm thinking of the right book). it took a while for me to get around to reading it; i'm not sure why, i guess i just sometimes read and reread things that i enjoyed, pushing others to the side, assuming they would never live up to my expectations.

there was a really scary story in this book about moths. it may have been called "The Moth." i don't remember. i'm sure i still own the book somewhere, buried in a box of things at the bottom of a stack of boxes of things in my old bedroom in connecticut. but even the internet cannot help me access where that book is right now.

the story was about a boy who collected moths. he would capture a moth, suffocate it in a jar of poison, and then pin the dead creature onto a board with dozens of other moth species. he and his old, eccentric neighbor, another avid collector, would often compare findings. the old neighbor once showed him a picture of a beautiful, exotic moth, warning the boy never to capture that particular breed. he vaguely explained that the moth was a bad omen, and anyone who captured it would suffer great consequences.

one night the boy couldn't sleep. he walked down to his front porch in the middle of the night, poison jar in hand, and watched the moths bounce against the porch light. lo and behold (!) there is the omen—the exotic moth of doom. the boy was mesmerized by the moth's beauty. he took a moment to consider his options, and then deemed the old man's warning to be folklore and trapped the creature in his jar. he sat on the porch for a moment, watching it die.

what a wonderful moment. no turning back. as a reader, i was thrilled.

the next day the boy brought his discovery to the old man's house to show it off. terrified, the man told the boy to never come back, slamming the door in his face.

that night the boy began to regret his capture. he lied awake in bed, worrying about the omen, half-convinced he was merely being childish. he watched as a moth landed on his window screen. then another and another, until the entire screen was covered. the army of moths then pushed the screen in and began swarming the boy, attacking him from all sides. he tried to swat them away, but they were too dense.

the boy ran downstairs and outside, swatting relentlessly at the thick body of moths around his head. he was afraid to scream; if he opened his mouth they would surely fly into his throat, choking and suffocating him. he ran into the woods and was never seen again.

the story ends with a little anecdote about the boy being pinned up to a tree deep in the woods, in the moths' human collection.

when i think PULLULATE, i think of a screen covered in moths, about to collapse into a room.

but more importantly, where were this boy's parents? i don't recall them ever being mentioned in this whole story. these are the kind of parents that should not PULLULATE—breeding recklessly, leaving their child unattended to be foolish in his judgment, disrespectful to his elders, and ultimately killed by a swarm of angry moths. a shame, truly.

Saturday, March 27, 2010




: shaping or having the power to shape disparate things into a unified whole

this word was actually coined by an English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in need of a word to accurately describe the imagination's ability to shape disparate experiences into a unified whole. according to mirriam-webster he was describing "the poet's imaginative ability to communicate a variety of images, sensations, emotions, and experiences in the unifying framework of a poem." fair enough. i was thinking more along the lines of taking disparate experiences within one's memory to analytically form a theoretical meaning of one's life. because i do this all the time.

i view my memories as a timeline of sorts. i visualize them as spots along a horizontal line that represents my life, september 16th, 1980 - today. chronological. easy to reference. some memories are cited pretty frequently, polished, worn down to the softness of overuse. these form the backbone of meaning, the structure of self-definition—unrelated moments, self-sufficient, but ESEMPLASTIC in the idea that is "candace"—whatever that may be on any given day. but it is a totally conscious process. i have consciously chosen which memories define "candace" the way i want to be defined, the way that is most suitable to my taste. i have this entirely constructed idea of myself that is compiled of memories, anecdotes, objects, humiliating moments etc.

but what about the other memories? the less polished, the more obscure, the sad jar of jam someone gave you that sits unopened on your refrigerator door behind four kinds of mustard. aren't these just as relevant? just as definitive? should ESEMPLASTICISM include all the disparate parts? or does it imply the act of choosing which parts complete the whole, and which parts are excessive? by editing certain memories out of my self-construction, am i being less true to myself?

or am i just being an artist? after all, the term plastic suggests shaping, molding, forming. and the idea of "self" is in flux—constantly changing, shaping, molding, forming. plastic.

maybe i am a robot.

Friday, March 26, 2010




1 : catchword, slogan
2 : a widely held belief or truism
3 : a custom or usage regarded as distinctive of a particular group

the internet is an amazing place. in searching for inspiration for today's blog, i stumbled upon a website called i guess this type of site is totally common on the internet, but as i am hardly web-savvy, i was extremely amused by the sloganizer's antics for almost a full five minutes. here's their tagline:

With Sloganizer you'll create the perfect slogan from a keyword of your choice within seconds. Usually the slogan will be just what you were looking for! Should you anyhow not be satisfied, go ahead and create another one. It's as simple as that! The best thing is: is absolutely free!

plug in a word, click a button, get a slogan. i decided to base today's blog on sloganizer's ideas for the my chosen key words. i had no agenda; i just plugged words in as they occurred to me. since i am part adult and part 13-year-old, the selection of words got progressively cruder over the course of said five minutes. here's the result of this afternoon's boredom (key words are in bold):

no candace, no kiss.
it must be josh.
don't get in the way of extenuating circumstances.
free grad school.
i wouldn't leave the house without this freakin' blog.
jesus loves my iron lung.
i trust fuckhead.
buttface dreamteam.
the queen buys blue balls.
vagina, the clever way.
herpes is good for you.
you better get inside used condoms.
step into the light with a raging hard-on. (personal favorite)

and of course,

the goddess made SHIBBOLETH.

(does this mean the goddess is sloganizer?)

i think this blog is really about my relationship with the internet. things like remind me of that weird liquid candy crap that ironically resembles a tube of toothpaste. the idea is amazing, the first taste is glorious, but after a few minutes you feel gross, bored, and sick to your stomach.

Thursday, March 25, 2010




: flagrantly wicked or impious : evil

in the etymology, mirriam goes on to specify that unlike synonyms "vicious" and "villainous" NEFARIOUS suggests "flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct." i have to admit that i then looked up the definition of "flagrant," which i only vaguely understood in this context. obvious. glaring. notorious.

so...intentionally breaking with tradition of conduct. this leads me to another term: the unspoken rule. not unlike the concept of common sense, the unspoken rule is extremely vague, seemingly universal, and in reality quite circumstantial. these are rules that don't need to necessarily be documented because everybody who's anybody knows that you just don't do it.

here is an example of a friend of mine NEFARIOUSLY breaking an unspoken rule:

there was this pair of sneakers that i really loved—little black vans with white shoelaces. unfortunately for me, i have extremely flat arches and wearing cute little vans for even a few hours would render me practically disabled with foot-pain. but i adored these sneakers. my friend julie and i used to see them all the time in various shoe shops and i would fawn over them, wishing that i was fated with a better arch. julie never cared much for that style. she usually bought the slip on vans. i wanted the laces. they reminded me of the lace-up keds i had during childhood summers.

one day julie showed up at my house wearing the little black vans with white laces.

when did you get those shoes? i was aghast.

oh, i just bought them yesterday. i was getting tired of my other ones. so casual.

i was too shocked to even say anything about it. i wasn't sure if my anger was totally irrational. after all, i could never actually buy or wear the shoes, but i couldn't help feeling like she broke some sort of unspoken rule. she knew how much i had wanted those sneakers, and how crappy i felt for not being able to wear them. and then she went and bought them, and casually showed up at my house wearing them, as if i hadn't been wanting them FOREVER.

this seems really trite now, considering that i no longer care about these sneakers and this situation didn't affect our was just the only example i could think of. when your friend wants something that they can't have, do go buying it and rubbing it in their face.

julie, if you're reading this, don't take it personally. JUST BE THANKFUL I'M STILL YOUR FRIEND, YOU NEFARIOUS SNEAKER-STEALING BITCH!

that was totally a joke. seriously.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010




1 : a rounded knoll or hillock
2 : a ridge of ice
3 : a fertile area in the southern United States and especially Florida that is usually higher than its surroundings and that is characterized by hardwood vegetation and deep humus-rich soil

the word "knoll" immediately makes me think of that part in Clueless when Cher says to Tai, "Loadies generally hang on the grassy knoll over there. Sometimes they come to class and say bonehead things, and we all laugh of course, but no respectable girl actually dates them." but i'm not going to talk about that.

i'm going to talk about florida.

everyone in my fifth grade class had to do a report on a state. to be democratic, the teachers put all the state names into a hat and passed it around the room for us to blindly choose. i wanted so badly to get california. everyone in racebrook elementary school dreamed of the california life. most likely everyone in the entire state of connecticut did this. we wanted glamour, hollywood, sandy, white pacific beaches where the only thing blocking your rays was the occasional surfer that jogged past your towel. instead we had rocky patches of coast on long island sound, littered with old folks playing bocce ball. when the hat began it's trek around the room i crossed my fingers, praying for california.

i got florida.

to the average northeasterner florida means two things: disney world and old people. although i dreamed of traveling to fantastical places like ORLANDO or EPCOT CENTER or MAGIC KINGDOM, i knew these destinations were not in my future. they were only words i heard on TV. my family could not afford to go to places like this. we did go to the amusement park at lake quassapaug once. it had one roller coaster with no loops.

my grandmother's sister ruth and her husband mac had a winter condo in florida. they would go down there in late autumn and stay until april, avoiding the harsh connecticut winters. sometimes my grandma would go down there and stay with them for a week. one winter, mac died while they were there. ruth had to have his body shipped north. she got alzheimer's soon after and used to call our house looking for her mother. during a really bad period she was calling 40-50 times a day. we had to leave the phone off the hook.

my project on florida was pretty sad. i was bummed i didn't get california; life didn't seem fair and i was insubordinate toward my schoolwork. florida did not motivate me. part of the project was making a fake travel brochure. what i turned in was probably the most awful piece of artwork i have ever made. i drew a half-assed image of the state on a piece of cardboard and attached a slip of paper with some FUN FACTS! like the state bird (the mockingbird), the state nickname (the sunshine state), major exports (oranges and grapefruits), and a crappy drawing of the state flag. this brochure did not make florida seem like a desirable destination.

i did not include anything in my lame florida project about HUMMOCKS. i wonder if florida looks better from the peak of a hill thick with hardwood vegetation and deep humus-rich soil. i wonder if on this hill you are immune to the incessant humidity and mosquitos and grandparents. i should really rethink the travel brochure to include this concept:

Come to Sunny Florida, where you can stand on a fertile HUMMOCK overlooking a sea of condo communities while you drink a glass of Tropicana Brand Orange Juice!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010




: very satisfactory

the word COPACETIC is inseparable from a song i just spent at least eight minutes trying to track down on the internet. the song is "bound for the floor" by a band from the mid-90's called Local H. according to my high school concert log, i saw them in august of 1996 at the all-day RADIO 104 BIG DAY OFF! they played last after the likes of Poe, Goldfinger, Superdrag AND The Violent Femmes. they must have been kind of a big deal. but i only remember The Violent Femmes.

the lyrics are as follows:

Born to be down
I've learned all my lessons before now
Born to be down
I think you'll get used to it
And you just don't get it
you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it
You know it's so pathetic
Born to be down
I think that I've said this before now
Born to be down
What good is confidence?
And you just don't get it
You keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it
You know it's so pathetic
And you don't

epic. truly. i guess i just don't get it. and i don't.

but alas, COPACETIC always reminds me of this song. it's a word that is integrated into the zeitgeist of 1996. i feel the same way about the word CUMBERSOME—forever bound with the song by that band Seven Mary Three. what is it with post-grunge bands trying to use such big vocab words in their songs? i mean, does gavin rossdale even know that glycerine is a colorless, odorless, syrupy, sweet liquid, C3H8O3, usually obtained by the saponification of natural fats and oils: used for sweetening and preserving food, in the manufacture of cosmetics, perfumes, inks, and certain glues and cements, as a solvent and automobile antifreeze, and in medicine in suppositories and skin emollients?

i'm gonna guess probably not.

Monday, March 22, 2010




: something in which one excels : one's strong point

firstly, i'm a little disappointed in their pronunciation key. i always say this word as \FORT-ay\. after i wrote this last sentence, i read in the etymology:

There is some controversy over how to correctly pronounce "forte"; common choices in American English are "FOR-tay" and "for-TAY," but many usage commentators recommend rhyming it with "fort." None of these is technically true to the French, in which "forte" would sound more like "for." You can take your choice, knowing that someone somewhere will dislike whichever variant you choose.

i guess they are right. i appreciate that mirriam-webster has these moments of wisdom. you can take your choice, they say, knowing that someone somewhere will dislike whichever variant you choose. this is sort of freeing to me. there's something liberating about accepting that you (i) cannot please everyone. fuck it, says mirriam-webster. throw caution to the wind and say FORTE however the fuck you want. and now that we're on the subject, judge whoever the fuck you want, too. if you don't like the way someone says it, rip into them. let the world divide itself into \FORT-ay\s and \FORT\s. let it dissolve whole communities, break up marriages; instigate mass suicides, bloody battles, public executions. we are on the verge of a pronunciation revolution.

i suppose i am officially "someone somewhere."

Sunday, March 21, 2010




1 a : darken b : to make obscure
2 : confuse
3 : to be evasive, unclear, or confusing

okay. this word traces back to the latin "fuscus" which means dark brown, hence the meaning to darken, or cloud over. a dirty window. a neglected aquarium. my judgment, on occasion.

can one OBFUSCATE the self? because i think i do this all the time. and purposefully. as though there is a little mental curtain that i pull over my eyes in order to not observe the lies that i actively tell myself. not that those lies are all bad; sometimes i lie to myself about my confidence on the days i need to be tricked into believing i have more than i do.

(the above is what was actually written on sunday, march 21. the below was written late, on a tired monday morning.)

i woke up in seattle yesterday morning and checked my email from the holiday inn. i wrote the word OBFUSCATE on my hand so i would spend the day thinking about what i was going to write. i did not think about it. i ate breakfast with my sister, we drove back to portland, i wrote two short paragraphs about the word, and then i went on a date. it is now monday morning. i am a day late in writing my blog and the word OBFUSCATE is fading from the back of my left hand.

today there are errands. i have to return the rental car in a half hour. i'm not ready. i'm only partially dressed and there's still half a cup of tea to drink. i'm all out of vanilla yogurt and the bed sheets need to make it to the washer. i try to wash the word off my hand in the shower, but i can still see it. the OBFUSCATIONS need to be OBFUSCATED, darkened, clouded, hidden, shrouded. a glove perhaps?

i go to the gas station to put $5 in the chevy cobalt so i can return it to enterprise at the appropriate 5/8 of a tank. i get out of the car to dispose of a day-old apple core and look at the sky.

it looks like it wants to be nice out, i say to the attendant. my mother says things like this about the weather, as if the weather has a conscience.

i heard 50/50 chance of rain—i hope i'm on the good side! he laughs.

i guess there's always a 50/50 chance of everything. either it happens or it doesn't. right? i say. he just smiles. i don't think he wants to get deep. it is just a gas station. i wish i didn't always try to take conversations to the next level.

i leave, wishing just a little bit that i was a gas station attendant. piano man is on the radio. i turn it up really loud and sing along, wanting it to mean something, but it doesn't. so i laugh. because i'm always trying to put it where it doesn't belong. meaning, that is. after all, there's a 50/50 chance that everything means nothing.

fortunately for us, OBFUSCATE means something. although i'm not sure i've figured out what that is yet.

Saturday, March 20, 2010




1 : the greenness of growing vegetation;also : such vegetation itself
2 : a condition of health and vigor

on some days, i am convinced the word-of-the-day is selected at random. today is not one of those days. today is the vernal equinox. this was clearly an act of premeditation on the part of mirriam-webster.

i looked outside my window the other day and noticed that spring had happened. am i just dense, or does it really seem to happen over night? there was one hardy day of rain and then—POOF!—spring. i can't remember whether it was that cunning on the east coast. i mostly remember sad piles of snow slowly melting somewhere in the safety of the shade until the middle of april. they always looked so pathetic—like the last child waiting for their irresponsibly late parents to pick them up when the only other being still on school grounds is the custodian.

spring is noticeably full of VERDURE in portland. it's because of all the rain! everyone says, convinced that a particularly green spring is our reward for walking around in misty drizzle for six months. (i mean, i'm not saying i'm not one of them...) but even though it's nice out this week, portland still has about three more months of rain to go before we really arrive at our reward: summer.

summer here truly does feel earned. it's as though portland is saying, you made it! one more winter behind you without jumping to your death from the top level of a parking garage! here's three months of sunshine! the summers really are beautiful here. not an ounce of humidity (unlike the sticky mess in new england) and usually only one week of hot-hot-hotness, during which most portlanders just go and hang out in the sandy river.

that said, we do miss out on the new england autumn—just as compelling, even though everything is turning from green to brown. is there a word for this? can i make one up?

brunere \BROON-er\ the brownness of dying vegetation; a condition of death and despair

but really, new england autumns are lovely.

Friday, March 19, 2010




: strong longing for or impulse towards wandering

mirriam-webster tells me this word comes from the german roots wandern and lust. mirriam says wandern translates to wander, but wikipedia tells me wandern means to hike. google translater confirms the verb hike. and i now have so many websites open my head feels a little light.

i think it's fair to say this word would be a little de-romanticized if it meant a love for hiking as opposed to a longing to wander. the stigma i associate with wanderers is that of a 1950s-era rebel with a pack of cigarettes rolled into his sleeve, getting girls pregnant and then leaving town in the middle of the night in a thunderbird.

You don't want to get mixed up with a guy like me. I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

wikipedia also goes on to say that the german word fernweh would better match the english interpretation of WANDERLUST; the word literally translates to an ache for the distance. this i would call romantic. actually, i would consider it to be borderline sexual.

i cannot say i haven't before felt the ache, but it certainly isn't romanticized in my head. it's actually pretty sterile considering i have psychoanalyzed myself into realizing my WANDERLUST is actually a desire to escape myself. and i have found out the hard way that this is highly impossible. wherever i go, there i am.

that said, i'm still attracted to the likes of marlon brando and james dean (vogue...?). even if they just had a daddy complex of some sort. they sure hid it well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010




: speaking in or characterized by a high-flown often bombastic style or manner

i have never heard this word before; i cannot help but picture some poor fool trying to say the word "magnificent" and instead coming out with this.

in mirriam-webster's example, they reference specifically the overuse of metaphors and obscure language. this is particularly noticeable when someone is, per se, out of their "vernacular league." i struggle with this a lot in writing. on occasion i will stumble upon an exquisite word in the thesaurus that i have never seen before. i look it up in the dictionary and find the meaning to be ideal for what i am trying to communicate. but i'm hesitant to use it because i feel like if i haven't heard it before, perhaps the reader hasn't heard it before either, thus it becomes alienating. the use of that word may communicate to the reader, i know this word and you do not. that is why i chose to use it. i have such an extensive vocabulary that you should feel pretty awful about the limits of yours. i don't want that to be my message. plain language really has a greater impact. at least, in my writing. i wouldn't want MAGNILOQUENCE to push someone away from my writing, even if it is the perfect word.

a perfect example of how not to gain a reader is to use a word like MAGNILOQUENT.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


\GLOW-er (the OW is as in "cow")\


: to look or stare with sullen annoyance or anger

i'm actually more interested in the parenthetical remark within the phonetics here: (the OW as in "cow"). this reminds me of being on the phone with, i don't know, any professional operator, during moments in which they are taking your personal information, and they repeat it back to you using common words to verify that the correct spelling was not corrupted by a poor connection:

so that's candace, c as is coffee, a as in apple, n as in nancy, d as in dog, a as in apple, c as in coffee, e as in eggs.

sometimes they say it so fast it blows my mind. i'm assuming they just have a mental bank of words they always use, since they usually repeat the same ones within my name. i like how they change up the type of word—it's not all food groups or names or animals. in this context, my name can be its own story: sharing eggs, coffee and an apple with nancy and her dog. i don't even know anyone named nancy, though. pity, as jareth might say, GLOWERING at me when i tell him his labyrinth is a piece of cake.

c as in cake...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010




: the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies : prototype; also : a perfect example

i've been sitting at my desk for thirty minutes trying to think of a perfect example of something. and all i have figured out is that the phrase "a perfect example" is usually used to illustrate what not to do. and this totally makes sense. is there really a perfect example of how to do something? if it's so perfect, why are we trying to copy it? there's no way to achieve it's perfection, right? and maybe it's only perfect in it's historical time and place. and it's perfection will not traverse these boundaries.

i vote for a new word: NARCHETYPE: a perfect example of how not to do something.

there are NARCHETYPES everywhere. here are a few examples:

the NARCHETYPAL mother: i saw a woman on the max the other day, talking on a cell phone and telling her kid to shut up while she shoved a cheeseburger into her mouth. i'm glad this is not my mother.

the NARCHETYPAL pedestrian: yesterday i was riding down couch street and a man in a suit looked only one way, not both ways, before crossing and stepped directly in front of my bike. i had a green light. so i yelled, "i have a green light!" he said, "oops."

the NARCHETYPAL budget breaker: spending $10 on a jacket at goodwill when you have $13 in your checking account until friday. it's a really great jacket, though.

mirriam-webster, consider yourself housed.

i don't even know if i know what that means, but it sounds good, so i'm keeping it.