Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Special Guest Wednesday

This week, I'm proud to have First Nations as my guest. Or maybe I'm hers now that I think about it.

First Nations was asked to define Indigenous.

1. All living things inhabiting a planet
2. Those who have accepted an assignment of identity and made it their native land
3. The people who were there when you got there and who are still there but no longer are the bosses of 'there'. i.e 'the losers' (direct equivalent in popular usage, see
-American Heritage Dictionary def. 1, 2, and 3.
-Wikipedia article)
4. One who blooms where they are planted. "Radix Sustensat Arborae." See also Autochthonous.
5. The opposite of 'Sui Generis' i.e.FirstNations

About First Nations: First Nations writes the funny, wild and blue Paul. Because Paul is a good name. Paul is an awfully funny blog and I think First Nations may be a world-beater in both the important words-per-week statistic and the closely-watched Profanity Index. First Nations nears her peak of humor when she embarrasses her 21-year-old daughter, who seems to have turned out ok somehow, and hits it revising history and scripture. Some examples are here, here, and here. A cautionary advisory: You may wish to avoid her site if you are Catholic, Mormon, otherwise pious, patriotic, puritan, un-tattooed -sued and -blued or if the image of skinny guys naked but for tiny latex wrestling suits and helmets creeps you out as much as it did me.

First Nations is wife to The Yummy Biker, a full-time grandma to a goonybird, and a woman in her 40s who doesn't watch her weight. She is not a baby-boomer, she'll have you know but is mother to the Stainless Steel Amazon Woman, an engineer and cannibal. Oh and if you're one of her neighbors and you're reading this, get your act together. She shares a state with Masil, Mireille, Logo and the Village Idiot, a mouth with Miz B and somehow, someway she's a friend of our elegant and refined friend Kyahgirl. Thanks to First Nations for being a guest and classing up the joint.

Happy Birthday to Alice aka Cooper aka Jane Henry!

How to be a future guest on this site: Just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


PURGATORY, n. An uncomfortable sort of calaboose, where souls are locked up until some of their relatives bail them out.

2006 Update: Home in the afterlife for the devout sinner, well-gratified but incompletely graced. According to Dante, the liberation from the sins of the flesh takes much longer than the sins themselves or the liberation from the flesh, a fearful conclusion for an epic poet.

Monday, May 29, 2006


ARTLESSNESS. n. A certain engaging quality to which women attain by long study and severe practice upon the admiring male, who is pleased to fancy it resembles the candid simplicity of his youth.

2006 Update: The temporary assignment of the tongue to the heart most often attributed to a man lying on his death bed or a woman rising from the marital one.

Happy Memorial Day to whoever celebrates it. Mainly gringos I think. To the rest of you, have a hot dog. We make no distinction between the terrorists and those who eat like them.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Bloggers for Social Change

In support of Aral's protest of the lack of inclusiveness in Intercourse (PA) I am posting my picture taken today.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Ballad of Jane Henry

Story #46, the urchin and the steam drill.

To hear the story, listen to the storyteller.

To read the story, fire up the steam drill

This week in The Prattler, The Richest Lode.

Friday, May 26, 2006


AGONY, n. A superior degree of bodily disgust. The corresponding mental condition is called "all broke up."

2006 Update: Clarity.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


MUGWUMP, n. In politics one afflicted with self-respect and addicted to the vice of independence. A term of contempt.

2006 Update: The sound of a dream discovering destiny.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Special Guest Mutha

This week, I'm proud to have Mutha as my Wednesday guest. Mutha was asked to define Survey.

SURVEY, n. A look-see, whether it be of the landscape (extent, boundaries, position, because good fences make good neighbors), or in an effort to pick the brain of the masses (as in the likes and dislikes of the herd, moo). Also, the stuff of game shows and inspiration to the pop-culture battle cry, “Survey says…!”

About Mutha: Mutha writes She's A Real Mother and has eyes in the back of her head. A published writer, a teacher and apparently a mother, she started her blog as an outlet for her writing that wouldn't require the extra stress of selling her work. Some the recurring features on her site are reviews of books and movies selected around a theme, Who Are The People in Your Neighborhood a great feature in which she interview people who do the work we depend on. Criminal Defense Attorneys, for instance. Another recurring feature is I ain't no dog tied to a park car. Named with a Lou Reed Lyric, this feature describes the challenge of marriage and is of particular value to those of us convinced that you pick your battles in marriage or choose peace in bachelorhood. In between, Mutha posts anecdotes, stories and journal entries. In this latter group, the memories of her childhood are particularly interesting and all are well told.

Mutha is intriguing in the way that measured voices can be. Her descriptions fill with object more the narrator and her stories are gently told. One of the things I first appreciated on her site were the surveys of neighborhood people. The compulsion to set up a blog and interest in the people near to hand don't always share a spirit. Mutha has been playing here for a few months, but welcome to the Wednesday Guest limelight and thanks for a job well done.

Miz B, let's hear you say "Bohemians LOOOOOOVVVVEEEEE measured tones!"

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


POOR, adj. Persons who are unable to pay their taxes. For example Vanderbilt.

2006 Update: Drunk with no story.

Monday, May 22, 2006


UBIQUITY, n. The gift or power of being in all places at one time, but not in all places at all times, which is omnipresence, an attribute of God and the luminiferous ether only. This important distinction between ubiquity and omnipresence was not clear to the mediaeval Church and there was much bloodshed about it. Certain Lutherans, who affirmed the presence everywhere of Christ's body were known as Ubiquitarians. For this error they were doubtless damned, for Christ's body is present only in the eucharist, though that sacrament may be performed in more than one place simultaneously. In recent times ubiquity has not always been understood — not even by Sir Boyle Roche, for example, who held that a man cannot be in two places at once unless he is a bird.

2006 Update: The availability of Cialis at half-off the normal price.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Up On The Ridge

Story #45, In which Doug climbs up a mountain and comes down a cloud.

To hear the story, listen to the voice of the desert calling you up the ridge from Deep Springs Valley.

To read the story, come over to Eureka Valley

This week in The Prattler, Lazarus and Dives go to Washington.

Friday, May 19, 2006


CHIMPANZEE, n. A species of pansy cultivated in Africa.

2006 Update: A cousin of man, uncle to men.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


FLIRTATION, n. A game in which you do not want the other player's stake but stand to lose your own.

2006 Update: A harmless diversion with tragic consequences.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Special Guest Insect Musician

What once was lost is now found. This week, my guest is The Gnat's Trumpet.

SAGA, n. 1) From a neutral perspective: A detailed account of a complicated series of events or experiences that occur over a substantial period of time, often following the life of a hero or generations of a family.

2) From the perspective of the author: An epic narrative, rich in detail, that expertly recounts the slow building tension of the shifting tectonic plates of individual interests present in all familial relationships leading inexorably to cataclysmic events, after which harmony is possible.

3) From the perspective of the audience: A story told in wordy, self-indulgent, dragged-out fashion; a type of narrative which takes advantage of the goodwill of its readers by forcing them to endure for extended periods a longing for a resolution the author suggests to them they may expect and which repays that goodwill by providing them instead with frequent pauses often broken only by distracting details having little apparent connection to the overall plot.

About The Gnat's Trumpet: First things first, The Gnat's Trumpet won't be for everybody. His first comment on this blog was May 15 of last year, the word was OPPORTUNITY and he offered this definition: An unhappily married secretary who is also your best friend. Just so we're clear where this is headed.

Gnat's eponypseudonymous blog has for more than a year told the story of an extramarital affair Gnat pursued and found. His writing employs a surprising, neutral first-person narrative style. Articulate language neither triumphant nor anguished describes the triumph and anguish and temptation and satisfaction he experienced in his own instant of a recurring story as old as monogamy. The blog impressed me in the level of honesty about and openness to the author's own history. Welcome back to Gnat, and thanks for a first-rate contribution.

How to be a future guest on this site: Just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


SELFISH, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.

2006 Update: Rising reliably to meet the expectations of others. Unable to see the forest for the me's.

Monday, May 15, 2006


RANSOM, n. The purchase of that which neither belongs to the seller, nor can belong to the buyer. The most unprofitable of investments.

2006 Update: Yet another price associated with children, spouses, lovers and friends. Rarer than most but no dearer.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Goldilocks Grows Up

Story #44, A where-are-they-now retrospective.

To hear the story, spin the record.

To read the story, poke the bears.

This week in The Prattler, "The Protection Racket".

Happy Mother's Day, as applicable

Friday, May 12, 2006


OYSTER, n. A slimy, gobby shellfish which civilization gives men the hardihood to eat without removing its entrails! The shells are sometimes given to the poor.

2006 Update: An aphrodisiac whose power is well-documented among the drunk.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


IRRELIGION, n. The principle one of the great faiths of the world.

2006 Update: Either the national church established in the United States constitution or the form of government enshrined in The Bible, or the faith of scientists, or the currency of international commerce or the instrument of multinational conspiracy. An ideal the adherents to which await the one with authority to explain.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Special Guest Wednesday

This week, I'm proud to introduce Whinger. Winger was asked to define Whinge.

Whinge, v.i. To complain in a dogged fashion about relatively trivial things: "She won't stop whinging about the 45-watt light bulbs."

Whinging is what folks do when they are reasoning out loud how the annoying mundanities of life would be remedied if everyone were sane and courteous. Whinging does not imply action to fix any issue on the part of the whinger, just to complain about it.

Can also be used as a noun: "I had a whinge about the consistent lateness of the bus and then felt better."

Whinging should not be confused with its lesser cousin, whining. Whining implies hopelessness and is often accompanied by a high-pitched nasal tone. Whinging is a bit bitchy, which makes it infinitely more fun.

About Whinger: Whinger writes Whinging It and you all do know how I love alliteration. Her blog runs the full space from funny and light to thoughtful and profound. God bless her, she writes about her pets and offers hope to all of us by loving both her cats and her dog. Look for Whinger at the upcoming Blogher convention in San Jose.

Whinge, defined above, is a word Whinger has undertaken a mission to popularize in the United States. Naturally, I'm delighted to have this space be a step towards her bright vision. Whinger says she first encountered the word through British novels. I first encountered it in Australia where the gerund usually preceded an ethnic noun. I assumed she was Australian but she turns out to be from Denver, the land up over.

Whinger lives in Oakland with her partner, to whom she's been married for four years, a dog, a cat, a power mower and hopefully a vacuum. From time to time she goes home and babysits her nieces and nephews to recapture her enthusiasm for housepets. Did I mention she's a friend of Kyahgirl's? Welcome to Whinger and thanks for a job well done.

How to be a future guest on this site: Once again, I'm fresh out of guests. Why, oh why, don't more people want to be guests here? Here I have the best readers in the world and I freely, generously, offer them to just about anybody once a week. I read practically the whole blog for the guest and write a biography so glowing you'd have a hard time finding a kinder memoir. I work my fingers to the bone. I give up my nights and any hope of intimacy so that people can have this spot once a week to make new friends. And what do I get? I practically have to beg for guests. What will it take? What more can I offer? Is it my breath? *bawling*

To be a Wednesday guest, just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


SHADOW, n. What is left of justice in San Francisco.

2006 Update: The visible part of a looming catastrophe.

Happy birthday to Star Firstbaseman.

Monday, May 08, 2006


MORTALITY, n. The part of immortality that we know about.

2006 Update: The inspiration for horn-honking, bird-flipping, fellow-shoving, clock-watching, speeding, sulking, line-cutting and lane-changing. The consideration impelling us towards early arrival.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Northwestern Ecclesiastes

The forty-third story, In which a preacher tends the Ninevah of the Northwest

Come listen to a preacher.

To read the word, click on the page.

This week in The Prattler, Doug Discusses Darfur. Solutions to follow in a future column.

Friday, May 05, 2006


MALEFACTOR, n. The chief factor in the progress of the human race.

2006 Update: An obstruction to our conspiracies. Greed, interrupted.

From the Wednesday Guest Rehabillitation Department: Our friend, Dorene Lorenz has published a book now available through Amazon. You can learn about it here. Assume no connection between the word of the day and this announcement.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


VITUPERATION, n. Satire, as understood by dunces and all such as suffer from an impediment in their wit.

2006 Update: The howling and scolding and prophesy of divine wrath unleashed by the good yoeman against a nearby squirrel upon payment of taxes or the receipt of new law.

Today's word is co-sponsored by TLP Psychiatry. "In your time of greatest need, one thin dime is all you'll cede. You're ugly, too."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Special Guest Wednesday

This week, in the spirit of coopetition, I'm glad to have O Ceallaigh as my Wednesday Guest.

O Ceallaigh was asked to define Hyperthermia.

HYPERTHERMIA, n. 1. A word meaning “sunstroke”, used socially to label persons with million-dollar indebtedness from medical schools and separate them from persons with million-dollar indebtedness from other causes.

2. The impossible dream of the Maine resident in January. There’s a reason why the entire population of the “The Way Life Should Be” state could be transported to Miami, or Phoenix, or Los Angeles, and disappear without trace.

3. Jenna Howard’s avatar. See BRAGGADOCIO.

Hyperthermia! Get yourself to bed,
With cooling fans, and packs upon your head;
An icy drink, and shelter from the sun
That hangs in the sky – or perhaps the one
That’s bling bling blinging on the television screen,
Or blooming, artful blooming from the magazine
For which you drained the plastic sunshine
From your wallet; used e-cash to line
The pockets of American Idol’s marketers,
Or the nip and tucking, breast enhancing shysters
Who declare that what you have is perfect rot,
They and only they define what’s hot.

But perhaps unwitting wisdom’s on that screen;
For when you wish too close upon a star,
The wax will melt, and the feathers fling
From your arms while you fall flailing, long and far.

Kristen G. Nugget

About O Ceallaigh: O Ceallaigh, my soul brother, has several sites one of which is The New Millennium Devils Dictionary, which updates Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary with modern definitions. Just to make a distinction, the format is different from this site's: where here the exercise is to update Bierce's definitions, on O Ceallaigh's site the work is more fully original and modern, emphasizing, although not exclusively, words which weren't current in Bierce's time. I both enjoy and admire O Ceallaigh's approach and the wit behind his definitions. The Preface and Introduction to that site are worth reading as well, please note the disclaimer "All wrongs deplored." In addition to The New Millennium Devil's Dictionary, O Ceallaigh writes other material including The Killer Dialogues of Dude and Dude, Observations (essays, poetry and stories,) and essays on Science, Belief and Society. All of this can be accessed from O Ceallaigh's home blog, O Ceallaigh's Felloffatruck Productions.

O Ceallaigh is a biologist who specializes in single-celled marine organisms with an emphasis on measuring the effects of global warming. We can all be thankful that global warming is now measurable enough that O Ceallaigh has time to write for our entertainment. It's a special kind of arrangement to be both a satirist and scientist, studying the most threatening results of the matters he satirizes. O Ceallaigh was kind enough to share at the lay level some of the work he does and it's very interesting, looking at developments between and among types of marine protozoans in general with an eye toward understanding the systemic effects of environmental change. By the way, y'all, the avatar is a Neoparamoeba, which O Ceallaigh informs us "kills salmon and lobsters. Maine fishermen don’t have to go to the movies to fear The Blob.” For more on his professional career, you can see his lab's website here.

How to be a future guest on this site: Well folks, it's happened again. I'm fresh out of guests so some of you who may have been thinking about might find this a good time to shake off your doubts, straighten your backs and just write me a short note saying you've changed and you're ready to face whatever this beautiful world has to offer. Just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute.

Actonbell, you're excused on account of you may as well be. Unless you wanted to surprise me. *sigh*

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


OVERCHARGE, v. To ask a higher price than you can get.

2006 Update: To charge.

Monday, May 01, 2006


FIEND, n, A being whose existence is invaluable to the newspaper reporters, to whom, however, it is but just to admit that they commonly censure and deplore his way of life. To the "Fiend in human shape" they exhibit a particular animosity, insensible, it would seem, to the compliment implied by his assumption of the "form divine." Their condemnation of the "fire-fiend" is notably tempered by a certain lurid enthusiasm, and the "lunch-fiend" suffers only such disfavor as is provoked by his competition.

2006 Update: A criminal of unspeakable evil and unobservable malfeasance.

Belated Happy Birthday to my nephew, His Royal Highness, the Archfiend Jacob Stephen Pascover, from Ungagugie. At least I was on-time to your party.