Thursday, June 15, 2006


HERMIT, n. A person whose vices and follies are not sociable.

2006 Update: A sage whose ear and advice are fervently sought in matters of love and society.

The good and great, Kyahgirl and Puppytoes have started a social site, Central Snark. You all are invited to play with today's word here and spend long hours of warm companionship there before I hang myself.

And now a message from our sphynx: To explain the above and some recent abnormal abnormal behavior by our host, a few more words may be helpful or, at least, long.

Two things I have really enjoyed about this site. The first was finding a group of people who enjoyed coming here to play with wit and/or words. The second was having this site become a place where people came to see and share with friends they'd made online. My concern over the last couple months has been that the second development has been a danger to the first.

Longtime readers know that the cleverest, most apt definition is found on most days in the comments not the post. Those readers, if they arrive after around noon (California Hippy Time-CHT) may have to read through forty or more comments to find eight or nine which are on the topic among thirty that are mainly social. So as a moderator, I have been using sarcasm and hinting to try to balance the fun of wordplay with virtual philandery.

In an email discussion with Kyahgirl yesterday she generously offered Central Snark as a place where general bonhomie could take place without distracting from a topic. So I'd like to offer the following general guidelines:

To leave a definition, song lyric, poem, witticism, joke or rant inspired by the word of the day, I am delighted that you do so here.
To comment on a definition, song lyric, et cetera left by someone else, I am delighted that you do so here.
To respond to a comment made by myself or another reader on your contribution, I am delighted that you do so here.
To just say hi and maybe do something clever with your verifier, please do so here.


To fight, flirt, philander, meander, pontificate, elaborate, celebrate, socialize or otherwise carry on a conversation started here, I am delighted that you do so either on the site of the object of your fancy or at Central Snark where I can join you without the responsibility of moderation.

Let's see how that works.

It should be said that I am grateful for all of you who have joined the family here and have very much enjoyed both the intellectual and the social play here. My hope is only to insure that everyone continue to enjoy themselves in their own way. For the record, I'd much rather just accept a changed Waking Ambrose to turning on comment moderation or otherwise limiting conversation. I do hope to keep the two tracks from interfering with each other, perhaps by involving other sites in the dialogue.

No one will be asked to leave and no comments not left by spammers or psychopaths will be deleted. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program. {/vainglorious yammering}


Minka said...

Hi everybody!

Minka said...

Hang Yourself?! Don´t make me come over there and kick your sweet little hiny into gear!

Anonymous said...

or, better yet, she'll come out there and bitch slap you "vit her *mit(t)*"! (what? too early for a reallyreally bad pun?)

coffee. comment later. i know the drill.

Minka said...

Something to lighten the mood?

"An old guy who'd spent his whole life as a recluse in the desert goes to visit a friend. He'd never seen a train in his life, but on his way he happens upon a railroad track. Standing alongside the track, wondering what the heck it was, he hears a loud whistle. Looking around, he sees a train bearing down on him like something out of the Apocalypse.
The train just nudges him a glancing blow, but it still flips him into an arroyo, where his head smacks up against a rock and knocks him colder'n a witch's heart.

A while later he gets up, tenderly feeling the bump on his head and shrugging off the dust, and continues onto his friend's house, the whole time wondering what the devil that big darn thing was that nearly killed him.

His friend greets him, puts on a kettle of tea, and they start swapping old lies. A few minutes later, the tea kettle starts whistling like crazy on the stove and the hermit jumps up in a panic, grabs a chair and pounds the whistling tea kettle flatter'n a pancake.
Amazed, his friend asks, "What the hell did you do that for?"
The hermit says, "Man, those suckers're dangerous. You gotta kill 'em when they're small!"

Anonymous said...

hermit: bloggers

Anonymous said...

What Herman called his the plural of course.

*bonus trivia - Peter Noone and the really old Hermits continue to tour although their gigs now seem to consist mainly of festivals and big parties...the quintessential novelty act.

Kyahgirl said...

Hermit: a quite delicious cookie!

Jenna, I think that's the shortest comment I've ever seen you make and you're bang on! Fits both the old and new descriptions. Smarty pants :-)

Brian-come and play in the park, the dawg comes there too and you can kneel at his paws for pearls of wisdom in between his moments of silent contemplation. If you come to play with us, One Hot Puppy, the snarky blog administrator will assign you any name you wish to play under.

oh yeah! Hi Doug:-) thanks for the redirect for the puppies playground.

Sar said...

Hermit: Timreh to a Pez.

Actually seeing this word reminded me of being a little Sar growing up in CA where we had Hermit crabs in a little glass tank in our elementary school class (I can't remember which grade though).

Central Snark sounds like fun, I'll be along later ladies! Doug, no hanging yourself in my absence. Really, I must be present for that. :P

The amoeba said...


1. A spiced cookie made with molasses, raisins, and nuts.

2. A nut that doesn't want to be baked into a cookie, thank you very much.

3. One who has been married, raised children, hosted popular and increasingly-copied websites, or otherwise put his trust in humanity and gotten his just deserts.

We don't wish to see you anywhere near Owl Creek, Mister.


Mutha said...

I like your definition Doug, but where's the "but difficult to find on purpose" part? That is the whole point in being a hermit, right? The "Can't a body get a moment's peace?!" element looms large.
okay, back to the cave.

Tom & Icy said...

Doug, sounds like you are saying, "If you can't do, teach."

Evil Minx said...

Jenna has the right attitude. That was what i was gonna say.

And i think the comment was only short because she's caffeine deprived. She'll be back, and more lengthy later... you just mark my words.

Not that her comment wasn't eloquent. Just length-challenged.

Just as this one is brevity-challenged -- with no definition of my own, even. Gah!

G said...

Now why would you go and do that when you have many admirers who would be happy to do it for you? Perhaps, a public flogging or a stoning in Central Shnark?

Okay, I love you dogs, but I can sometimes be a hermit for NAR, after all I am a crab (Cancerian), so don't slobber on me too much in the park.

Mistress Anna said...

What you become living in Edmonton too long. Sigh. It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.

Kyahgirl said...

Doug, I just saw your update. The explanation you gave is a perfect example of why we all love you-you make the site warm, fun and friendly and have set some boundaries without making anyone feel unwelcome. I like that.

Indeterminacy said...

Hermit: A reader of Nietzsche.

I'm glad you excluded the psychopaths and allowed my other mental illnesses.

G said...

Two questions: 1) Has something really bad happened in my absence? and 2)am I responsible in any way?

CozyMama said...

pls do not hang yourself.

G said...

Hermit: what I shall go back to being for not having read further.

Unknown said...

a person that Time forgot

ckznzaal: checking zinc, thazaal

Logophile said...

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the place of their self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man. -
Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man. -
I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man. -
I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice.
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone. -
Let me live in my house by the side of the road-
It's here the race of men go by.
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish- so am I;
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
SW Foss

mireille said...

Oh, good for you, D.

Per Wiki, "a hermit ἐρημίτης (from the Greek ἔρημος erēmos, signifying "desert", "uninhabited", hence "desert-dweller") is a person who lives to some greater or lesser degree in seclusion and/or isolation from society."

So much preferable to the sharp elbows required to make space in a madding crowd. xoxo

Ariel the Thief said...

Doug, as smart as courageous. :)

hermit - terribly shy person with ideology

Ariel the Thief said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Village Idiot said...

Hermit -- The first part of a museum.

Or alternately

Hermit the Crab...a de-evolution of Kermit.

Doug The Una said...

Actually, Minka just cutting me down would be the best help.

Enjoy the coffee, Puppytoes. We are told that Minka's accent in English is Royal British, not German, although we're really just takink her vord on dat.

That's funny, Minka, thanks. And apologies for putting a dour cast on the day.

Good grief, Brian.

Jenna, absolutely.

Joel, I did not know they were on tour. Thank you.

Kyahgirl, of course, although I pity anyone looking for pearls of wisdom from me. "You mean...those aren't pearls?!?!?!"

Sar, that was one funny comment! Toe to heel.

Ha! It's OK, O Ceallaigh, I can swim and there's someone waiting just downstream.

Mutha, save me a bone. I'm in the mood to paint.

Sorry, Brian. I should do more quality assurance before I make referrals, huh?

Really, Ice? I thought it sounded like I was saying "RrrrrRRRUFFF!!!!"

Haha, Minx. And an oracle, too. What don't you do?

Jac, never so frustrated that you and your thesaurus aren't welcome.

G, you can through the frisbee. What's a NAR?

Mistress Anna, care to offer directions?

Brian, stray dogs are my favorite kind. As ever, a very funny poem.

Kyah, neither unwelcome or bounded.

Indie, all other mental illnesses are welcome. Do you ever get the feeling the abyss is watching you?

g, 1) no, 2) of course.

OK, Jodes.

G, nonsense, but pay Central Snark a visit.

Karma, that's what I'm talking about with the verifier. What about Newsweek?

Logo, that's amazing. Was Foss a Quaker?

Mireille, see Jenna's definition above. (and thanks)

Ariel, that's a great definition!

V.I., it happens.

Jake said...

Hermit: n. an early-onset curmudgeon.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Doug,

I have taken my hermit, and crabbed off to the snark zone.

Brian aka hummingbunny

G said...

NAR: no apparent reason, but of course. Sometimes I forget terms that were actually pre-IM terms that my family had made up and nobody else knows about them, until now. As in "then she got out of the car and cracked my windshield" "Why?" "NAR".

Kyahgirl said...

Jake should win a prize or something! That was great :-)

Mistress Anna said...

Calling your bluff:
From Santa Clarita
Take Highway 5-South to Highway 210-South to Highway 15-North..follow that till the Canadian Border.
Then take the number 4 highway-North till you hit Lethbridge. Then head North to Calgary and then Head North on Highway 2
to Edmonton and if you look really carefully a little old hermit will be standing next to the road saying "Go back."
I'm such a geek

Doug The Una said...

a4g, so the antonym is parent.

Jake, great example. You just won a date with one of our lovely and talented trollops.

See you there, Brian.

g, that's GP (General Purposes/principles) in my native tongue.

Kyahgirl, I agree.

Terrific, Mistress Anna, and I can stop in Vegas and find someone to divorce en route. Our propeller beanie has been retired with O Ceallaigh, but you win an official Waking Ambrose pocket protector.

Logophile said...

Foss was a Methodist, but for a good overview, if you are interested, take a look his:
Informal Prayer- The Prayer of Cyrus Brown
The True Bible
and one that I really like,

Anonymous said...

Wow. I, um, can't believe I've known Anna since Grade 1.

Anonymous said...

"Hermits have no peer pressure." ~ Steven Wright

Alana said...

hermits usually end up founding a religion.

And speaking of religion, thanks for the ground really I do mean thanks.

When do services begin, by the way?

Jamie Dawn said...

I know why you had to do what you did. It's because you don't have time to respond to a zillion tangential remarks.
BUT, a hermit would have no problem sitting night and day at his computer for the sole purpose of responding to every, little comment that people posted.
Therefore, you are not an official hermit.
You are what I would call a cur-mit, which is a cross between a curmudgeon and a hermit.

TLP said...

Mama always said that my Auntie Social was a hermit. Or,..., maybe she said she was hermaphroditic.... can't remember. Oh! I know for sure that Mama said this Auntie was a troglodyte. Maybe.

Miz BoheMia said...

Hermit... a bohemian with grey roots creeping out... OH THE HORROR!

No worries, they have been killed, KILLED I TELL YOU!

Hey! No picking on my brotha for talking tough! Bohemians loooooveeee tough twalkin' curmudgeons fo' sho'! I mean where would we be without rules?


Doug The Una said...

Interesting, Logo. I'll have to look that up. Thanks.

Jenna, I can't believe that was 4 years ago.

Great quote, puppytoes!

Squaregirl, as soon as the turbans get here.

It's not easy being green, Jamie Dawn.

TLP, I bet I would have liked your Aunt. Either way.

Less grey, Hermanita.

The Village Idiot said...

I need clarification...Hermitage and curmudgeonism are or are not mutually exclusive?

Shall I go spend a year in solitude to contemplate the subtleties of the two and return enlightened or, just remain confused?

Choices Choices..what is an idiot to do

word veri pezscc pez soccer, new world cup team?

Mistress Anna said...

Hermit: The recluse one becomes after being ganged up on. *Harummph*

Anonymous said... that you're way of saying my bud & I are immature Doug? That's enough to make a girl a hermit!

Harrumph indeed.

Minka said...

According to section 6, paragraph 3 of the guidlines to Waking Ambrose...I am at liberty to leave this comment :)

I am never gonna hear the end of my accent story am I? I do not pretend to speak like the Queen *she mumbles a lot*, but I do have an RP accent-which is referred to as the Queen´s English!
I just felt I needed to sort that out!
And if you bug me about it again, I´ll throw some well-pronounced offenses your way, you little brad!

but in all seriousnes, I bet this was a tough post to write and I appreciate your honesty...we can behave! Ok, we will try though!

Anonymous said...

Hermit - What Tivo has made me.

But I don't mind.

And yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay about the Central Snark, being a Californian and all.

Doug The Una said...

Idiot, ask my dogs. It's possible to snarl at neighbors even when there aren't any.

Mistress Anna! two against one is hardly ganging up.

Youthful in spirit, Jenna. And looks. Definitely. I mean, not 12-years-old in looks but, well, you know.

Minka, Article 6 paragraph 3 now reads "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain." You didn't get the amendment?

Whinger, I'm typing this from the Central Valley. So, there's that.

Mistress Anna said...

Hermit: Tarot Meaning
The Hermit card is represented by Virgo. It is the card of analysis. If you get this card, it is not a time to socialize. The card indicates a desire for solitude. It is a time to think, organize, ruminate, take stock. Eventually enlightenment and clarity will prevail.

Anonymous said...

the central valley is enough to compel any man and/or dog become a hermit. (and i should know)

Minka: i hope you know i wasn't making fun of your accent! i only took a little "vernacular" liberty for the sake of a cheesy pun. personally, i think your accent is charming... (i really do!)

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever gotten that tarot card. Hm.

Anonymous said...

brian... you didn't finish:

after "break fast" comes...

fast food
food fight
fight night
night y'all!

(just a thought. i know. don't quit my day job.)

TMEENZE: the means to the end

Anonymous said...

You are a great poet puppytoes, I thank you for your friendship.

Brian aka hummingbunny

Jamie Dawn said...

Hermit crabs carry disease.
Cowgirl is lucky to be alive.

I am a homebody, so I guess I'm half a hermit. The other non-hermit half of me likes to see the light of day and feel the thrill of grocery shopping.

Minka said...

ok...I was waiting all day to see if somebody else thinks along similar lines as I do.
When I saw the word for today : Hermit...I immediately went...Kermit!
Now there is a cute frog, if ever I saw one!
never mind...

TLP said...

Minka, I thought of Kermit too. He's green, dates a pig, and eats flies. He would make a good hermit.

Jake said...

Doug, so gracious. I think I've had enough of trolloping around for a while, but should there be another full moon I'll be sure to take them for a walk in Central Snark instead.

VI- Good question... you should remain confused, otherwise, you'd have to change your name.

Minka said...

TLP, and it seems the Village Idiot did as well. Well, that should clear up our level of sophistication :)

Doug The Una said...

Mistress Anna, if it's a bad time to socialize what are you doing playing cards?

Puppytoes are you from here or here? I'm in Sacramento.

Jenna, I'm not surprised. Trollop.

Depends, Cowgirl. Did you barrel race him?

Funny, Jamie Dawn, Turtle maven.

Minka, it's not easy being green (reprise.) Actually you know what the word reminded me of? I've been wandering around town today reciting "There was a little rabit, who had a mighty habbit." Ring a bell?

TLP, sounds like my kind of people. At, oh, age 11 people had already started comparing me to the two old men in the balcony. I was born for this.

By golly, Jake! You young people learn quick.

Actonbell, if they took couples you wouldn't have to apply.

Minka, did I mention I can still do the snuffle shuffle? And the Muppet version of Don't Fence Me In is still my favorite.

Anonymous said...

I just have to say to logophile that that poem is a poem my grandmother used to read to me all the time when I was younger and the first thing I posted in my very old journal after she died.

Therefore I am postless.

Minka said...

As if I oculd forget...our early poetry sessions.
After that I broke the habit of "habbit".
Boy, that made me smile remembering that. You were so sweet to play along :)

Sar said...

[Note to self, new life mission - must find way to witness Doug doing the snuffle shuffle.]

Mistress Anna said...

Doug have you ever had a tarot reading?

Doug The Una said...

Cooper, that's a nice story and a great poem. Thank you.

Right, Minka. Before I got old and crotchety.

Good luck with that, Sar.

No, Mistress Anna but I know more or less what one is. I was teasing you about playing cards.

Anonymous said...

i grew up in tulare (south of fresno). you sped past it on your way to sacramento.

Doug The Una said...

Flew over it, actually and pointed it out to the little boy in the next seat.

Tulare dust in a farm boy's nose

Alana said...

Great...I'll take a medium...and what colors do they come in?

Oh, and Minka, I also immediately thought "Kermit". I love Kermit and i was so happy to see him on a car commerrcial (can't remember which one) where he sees a hybrid SUV and says, "hey! I guess it is easy being green afterall"...I thought awwwwww, yeah for Kermit and for being green!

Mikki Marshall said...

hermit, n. it's just me, myself and i

Mistress Anna said...

Doug: Ahhhhhh...*proverbial lightbulb*

Lila said...

I'm not a hermit; I'm just busy.

Doug The Una said...

Squaregirl, in my religion they will all be plaid to signify God's instruction that we cross each other.

Still Life, all my favorite hermits are trinitarians.

Mistress Anna, what is this lightbulb of which you speak?

Understood, ap3, but Actonbell is applying. She already passed the aptitude test.

Anonymous said...

i was *so* hoping you were flying! sadly, the central valley is just as dismal from the air as it is on ground. (it was much prettier when i was growing up. okay, it was somewhat prettier, but at least the air was clean!) hopefully, you won't be stuck in sacramento for too long...