Jumat, 30 September 2011

Firewater Friday - What the dickens?

A Gimlet . . . or other such cocktail. . .  if you drink too many your headhurts like the dickens.

What the devil is a Dickens?? 

I thought it had something to do with thefamous author.  I just didn’t know whatthe relation was.  You might be surprisedthat the phrase has nothing to do with Charles Dickens, as I assumed itdid.  And, since there isn’t anycorrelation that explains that!

But that doesn’t clarify what the dickensthe dickens is.  Way back in the day whenknights were bold and maidens were fair and all that rot, dickens was a euphemismfor the devil.  It started out as devilkinsand was eventually shortened to dickens. 

Along the same vein, dickens is very muchlike deuce . . . as in What the deuce?!  . . . deuce is another old English name for the Devil.

So, there you have it . . .

Kamis, 29 September 2011

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

The other day the building I work in was evacuated . . . nota fire drill but for a real emergency.  Youcould tell by the alarm and the guy on the intercom telling everybody to getout of the building . . . NOW.

While we were standing around out designated rally point wegot word that there was a leaking propane tank on one of our loadingdocks.  We began chatting amongstourselves while waiting for the all clear to return to the building.

We could actually smell the gas.  One of my co-workers commented that she liked the smell of gasoline. . . actually most petroleum products.  Anotherwoman commented that she kind of liked the smell of acetone.  I didn’t think they were weird because I happento like the smell of a campfire, gunpowder and Hoppes #9 (a cleaning solvent). 

I thought the answer would be something fairly simplistic .. . that the smells were associations with something good . . . a good memory; but,alas, no. Keep in mind that actually enjoying the smell of something is not thesame as having a good memory of something.

It IS a psychological reaction but not for the reasons I suspected.  Certain smells elicit a reaction in ourbrains that we experience as pleasure. Surely, the smells of glue, gasoline and tar shouldn’t make ushappy.  But, for a lot of us, they do.    

Make a note that all of the things I’ve mentioned have something in common . . . I’ll get back to that.
Taking pleasure in a smell is actually hard coded into us.  Something in your brain knows when somethingis beneficial to our survival.  It’s kindof like having an appetite for food or sex.   If you eat you survive.  If you reproduce a part of you survives . . .through your offspring. Or a phobia of heights or poisonous snakes.    If youfall off a cliff you die and if you get bitten by a poisonous snake you willmost likely die.  It’s kind of like that. . .

Look back at all the things I’ve mentioned . . . gasoline,acetone, gun powder, tar, glue  . . .yes, even my favorite Hoppes #9 . . . all of these things have one thing in common . . . they are all highlyflammable and that’s probably not  entirelycoincidental.

What do you need to survive? Food, water, shelter and warmth. What keeps you warm?  Fire.  To ensure that your food is not contaminated,you cook it . . . the same with boiling water. 

Your brain knows that these things are can potentiallycreate fire . . . and coincidentally, they can create fire quite easily.   

By directing thechemical make-ups of these substances through smell to the olfactory centers inour brain. Thus creating a sensation of pleasure through the stimulation andrelease of neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, norepinephren, and seratonin)in the same way that it would occur during sexual intercourse, eating a goodsteak, or exercise.

Experiencing pleasure in a smell  . . . even a weird one . . . is our brain’sway of telling us that something about the source is good.  It’s telling us something to help us tosurvive.

How cool is that??

Rabu, 28 September 2011

There's a fine line between being sweet and innocent and being a tough broad

There are scads of slang, sometimes demeaning, terms used torefer to women.  It is usually easy tofigure out where most of these metaphorical connotations originate . . .  chick, fox, bird, kitten, and yes, even,bitch.  Note the references toanimals. 

There are others with non-animal metaphorical connotationsof course . . . dame, darling, babe, baby-doll, sugar, honey, and broad.

Most of those have easily recognizable origins . . . allexcept ‘broad’.  It’s not particularly self-evident. . . most women aren't particularly broad.  I thought it might have somethingto do with that women are broader in the hips than their malecounterparts.  But in that sense itwouldn’t necessarily be a derogatory reference. Many men are attracted to hippier women . . .  evolutionarily speaking, hip width has veryhigh correlation to female fertility, thereby unknowingly guiding men'sevolutionary choices.

But the term generally is not used as a complimentaryterm.  In fact, the word ‘broad’ usuallyrefers to a large, loud, crude woman.

So where in the heck does the word come from?  You may be surprised to learn that ‘broad’,as it refers to women, is indeed an allusion to an animal. A ‘broad’ is what apregnant cow is called. 


Nice huh?

Selasa, 27 September 2011

I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole

Okay, by now you should know that I’m an idiot foridioms.  I like finding out what phrasesmean and where they came from.

I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole  . . . an expression I’ve been saying all mylife.  Well, I said it the other day and soI says to myself . . . “I wonder where that came from”.   So here it is.

I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole is an expressionthat means you don’t want to have anything whatsoever to do with whatever it isyou don’t want to touch with said pole.   This is actually adapted from the British saying . . .  I would not touch it with a bargepole. 

Who amongst you knows what a bargepole is . . .  

A bargepole is simply a long wooden pole that is used topush barges along.  A barge pole just sohappens to be an average of 10 – 12 feet in length.  A ten-foot pole is just barge-pole by anothername.

I'd assumed that the ten-foot pole version appeared becausemost people wouldn't know a barge-pole from a hole in the road.

Senin, 26 September 2011

Always be yourself... unless you suck.

One thing I hate to see is kids . . . big ones not toddlers. . . with a pacifier corked into their mouth. There comes a time when a kid is just to old to be sucking on a rubber teat.

I’m not against binkies, per se.  I think that they are an acceptable means fora child to comfort themselves. 

In fact, I think it’s better than allowing a child to sucktheir thumb.  Why?  Because thumbsucking is a harder habit tobreak . . . a pacifier you can take away . . . a thumb you can’t.

Anyhoo, my son was an avid nook sucker.  He had scads of the things.   I have to admit it was awfully cute when he would spin it around in his mouth.

When he would fall asleep at night, his pacifier wouldinevitably flip out of his mouth and end up falling into the space between thebed and the wall.  Where, eventually,there would be a whole big pile of them.   I would periodically retrieveand wash them.

So the day came when I thought it was appropriate to weanhim off his pacifiers.  This was hissecond birthday. 

I sat him down and told him that he was a big boy now andthat he was getting to old to be needing a pacifier.  I told him that when he lost the lastpacifier that there wouldn’t be any more. 

One by one the nooks would make their way to the spacebetween the wall and his bed from where I would retrieve them and discardthem. 

The day finally came when the last pacifier met it’s demise.

My boy asked for one and I reminded him that we had made anagreement and he resigned himself to being binky free.  And he managed just fine.  

Sabtu, 24 September 2011

He has tied a knot with his tongue, that he cannot untie with his teeth

Six years ago today me and my hubby tied the knot . . .figuratively speaking because there were no actual knots involve . . . but itwas a wonderful ceremony.

The origin of Tie theKnot is highly debatable . . . there are many plausible explanations.  Here are just a few.

The one that comes up the most is the physical act of tyingthe knot of the ropes in the marriage bed. Another is comes from a time when peasants couldn't afford jewelry, so astring was tied around the finger to remind the newlyweds that they are taken.  And yet another is that sailors and soldiersof yesteryear would send a piece of rope to their sweethearts when they wantedto get married. If the rope came back with a knot in it, that meant she said"yes" to the marriage proposal.

One explanation is right out of a raunchy romance novel . ..  Amongthe Germanic Goths of northern Europe in 200A.D., a man usually married a woman from within his own community. However,when there were fewer women, the prospective bridegroom would capture his bridefrom a neighboring village. After the bridegroom captured his bride, he placedher on his left to protect her, thus freeing his right hand or sword handagainst sudden attack. “To tie the knot” finds it origins here. To protect thevirtue of this very young bride from the other lustful men, often timessoldiers, the best man and future groom, would strip the poor girl and put uponher body layers and layers of clothing, types of corsets, tied with knots andonly upon the day of consummation, would the groom then “free” his new wife andlegally make her his property. 
It was a part of the ceremony, that as soon asthe priest or lawyer, pronounced them married, it was not fully legal, untilthey consummated the marriage, which would be done immediately after theceremony, sometimes in front of the guests. It is from this, horribledocumentary, that the garter originates. You see, in order to untie all thoseknots, the groom would then have to rip off her clothing, and sometimes, thoseguests would join in. To take some of her clothes, was considered good luck forthose other young lads, who so wanted a wife. Less they even become a servantto the groom. So, to fight off this rambunctious crowd, the groom would throwpieces of her clothing at them.

I think the most reasonable explanation is that in many,many different cultures a knotted rope is used to symbolize the union of a manin and a woman.  Wherein a rope or sashis draped over the hands or tied to the wrists of the bride and groom duringthe ceremony to show that they are bound together for life from that pointforward.

Whatever the case may be . . . I am bound forever to my manand I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Heis and always will be the love of my life and I'm happily tied to him.

Happy Anniversary, sweetie!

Jumat, 23 September 2011

Firewater Friday - I love you, man!!

Bromosexuality . . . the topic of bromance is sort ofawkward.  Most of the men I know . . .have ever known . . . have thisirrational attitude towards homosexuality. But now there is the social shift towards the acceptance of men andtheir bromances . . . 

they spend excessive amounts of time with each otherspurning their babes in the process . . . they do all the same things, like allthe same things and share feelings for each other that would make them gay . .. you know, if they weren't straight.

A bromance , according to Mirriam-Webster Dictionary . . .yes it’s actually in the dictionary . . . is defined as a close nonsexual friendship between men.

Bromances aren’t entirely new phenomena . . . although theterm is.  Historically 18th century Englishmen were known for being demonstrative and expressive. And currently in MiddleEastern countries it’s very common for male friends to hold hands in public.

In the not to distant past it would have been consideredunmanly to display physical affection like hugging and play wrestling.  I’m used to men whose range of emotion rangesfrom happy, drunk or cranky . . . psst, I just describe my hubby.  Now you see these public displays ofaffection.  I don’t know . . . I guess itsokay but it’s just weird.

As far as I can tell, my hubby doesn’t have any particular BFFor bromantic tendencies.  Although, Isuspect at least one of his buddies may have a man-crush on him.  It’s creepy but as long as it doesn’t startto get too weird I’ll just continue to be secretly amused.

Kamis, 22 September 2011

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.

Looking back through old school photos it's fun to see what I looked like and how I changed as the years passed.  Funny thing is that those school photos didn't necessarily accurately depict what I actually looked like.  Really . . . 

Up through elementary school until I entered junior high school I always wore my hair pretty much the same way.  Which is to say that I didn't do much of anything to it at all.   I had chin length straight hair with straight bangs that were trimmed to my eyebrows.  Nothing fancy . . . purely wash and go with no fuss or muss.

Except when it was school photo day.  My mother insisted on putting my hair up in rollers the night before photo day . . . not the soft, spongy kind but the hard, dent-your-skull-when-your-sleeping kind . . . 

So, not only would I look completely exhausted from lack of sleep because of all the pain of sleeping on rock-hard rollers clamped to my head but I'd have a goofy, poofy hair-do that was completely unlike my everyday plain jane look . . . it wasn't much of a look but it was me.

If I could get away with it, I would wet my hair down before I ran out to catch the school bus.  Otherwise, I'd be stuck with a mop of floppy curls looking like some sort of dorky Shirley Temple.

It wasn't until I reached junior high school that I made a change in my appearance.  No more stringy undone locks for me.  Of course, that was also about the same time that I discovered that boys were cute . . . some of them, at least.  That's when my hair style got some style . . . and that was the early 80's when hair got BIG and POOFY and . . . well BIG.  

By the way . . . for whatever the reason, my mother never subjected my sister to this particular form of hair trauma.  Another example of favoritism.  Just sayin'.  

Rabu, 21 September 2011

A towel has immense psychological value

Can someone please tell me why paper towel dispensers in public bathroom are placed so high up on the wall?  Really . . . you go into a restroom and do whatever it is you have to do, you wash your hands and when you reach for a paper towel the water drips down your arm and into your sleeves because the thing is hanging so high on the wall.  Admittedly, I'm not the tallest Amazon in the tribe but still  . . . 
You would think some brainiac engineer would determine the recommended position of a dispenser based on the median height of the person using the device.  You'd think, wouldn't ya?  The average woman in the United States is a little over 5'3" . . . I'm not that much shorter than that.  So why do I have to reach up over my head to grab a flimsy piece of paper to dry my hands?  
Just askin' cuz it doesn't make any sense to me.

Furthermore, public bathrooms are supposed to be handicap accessible.  It's safe to assume that means that someone in a wheelchair should be able to roll into the bathroom, into a stall and have the facilities to use the toilet available to them . . . but this apparently doesn't mean that they get to dry their hands because most of those paper towel holders would be out of reach.  
Well, guess what?  There's a federal ADA regulation dictating the height of a paper towel dispenser in public bathroom.   A forward-reaching, unobstructed towel dispenser and those with obstructions must be placed between 15 and 48 inches off the ground. 

Okay, that's reasonable but it's been my personal observation there are a lot places breaking federal laws.  Just sayin'.

Selasa, 20 September 2011

Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you

Hold onto your cheese and crackers . . . this could beconsidered kind of gross and it’s certainly really strange  . . .

I remember a lot of my dreams.  Sometimes they’re vivid and sometimes they’revague.  Sometimes I’ll wake up with justan emotional recall and sometimes I remember details. 

Last night I had a fairly involved and complicated dream butthe part that is most vivid to me came to me suddenly when I performed thesimple and ordinary act of cracking my knuckles.  I dreamt that I cracked my pinky and itsnapped off at the knuckle.  It wasn’t abloody mess or anything.  In fact, theskin had already mostly grown over what should have been bare bone andflesh.  So, I’m running around trying waivingaround the nub of my pinky to get someone to help me to get the tip of my littlefinger reattached.  And they said Icouldn’t because it had already healed over. 

I don’t take much stock in dream interpretation but I lookedup the meaning for sh!ts and giggles.  Accordingto a number of different sources seeing fingers in a dream symbolizes physical and mental dexterity. They indicatemanipulation, action and non-verbal communication

I dreamt that a fingerfell off . . . supposedly that means that I am letting a situation dominate me or dictate how I behave.  Further more, dreaming of my little finger represents mental power, intellect, memory,and the power of communication.  Dreamingof knuckles indicates hard work and thoroughness.

Okay . . . so  . . .it means . . . hmmm . . .

Something I’m doing is influencing the way how hard I work or how well I'm doing stuff?

Whatever . . . you finger it out . . . I mean figure it out.