Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Word of the Day



1) to shut with force and noise
2) to dash, strike, knock, thrust, throw, slap down, etc., with violent and noisy impact
3) Informal. to criticize harshly; attack verbally


1) a violent and noisy closing, dashing, or impact
2) the noise so made
3) Informal. a harsh criticism; verbal attack

Slam Poetry
Informal. a competitive, usually boisterous poetry reading

[Origin:1650–60; slamra to slam]

As you know, I consider myself a poet. Now those who read my work might agree or disagree. Yesterday I discovered slam poetry.

It has been suggested that poetry should be added to to the British Olympics. The original Olympics included potery, theater, arts... Athletes made good warriors but thinkers were required for leadership, a truth that seems lost on modern society.

Enter Slam Poetry, already a competitive event, it is like a cross between stand up comedy and poetry reading. Poets perform their own original works. Each round permitting approximately 3 minutes on stage.

Go to YouTube and check it out. If you thought you never liked poetry, this might change your mind.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Word of the Day

koan - koh-ahn


1) A puzzling, often paradoxical statement or story, used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining spiritual awakening.
2) A nonsensical or paradoxical question to a student for which an answer is demanded, the stress of meditation on the question often being illuminating.

[Japanese koan : ko, public + an, matter for consideration, legal case; earlier koũ-an gōngàn public proposal.]
Nice to be seeing something that doesn't automatically go back to Latin. I kind of wonder what MChin is though. Would that be anything like the cleft in a person's chin? Otherwise known as a dimple?

I have no great paradoxical or philosophical questions today.

Today I start back on my school year teaching schedule. Two families that start back today have not confirmed. One child might still be with her father in Florida since the schools don't start back till later this week (and some of them next week). The other family??? We will see. I send out emails to everyone (whose address I have). I don't intend to do group classes this week since it is first week back. Groups will resume next week.

I pulled my chairs off the scaffolding yesterday. I still haven't sanded up there. I'll get the other plaster to that point and then sand my way back to the top and paint while the chairs are still-once again in place.

I'm looking for ideas for behind the toilet in the master bath. I've tried a couple different stands but the problem there is that we went ahead and put in a tall toilet since that bathroom is meant to be handicap accessible. The toilet is too tall for the stands. Now I'm thinking some decorative wooden shelves or a beveled mirror. A mirror would capture and throw around what light is in the room. That bathroom has only a very small window (though it has ample vanity lights). It is very nice being able to get up in the night and just a very short trek to the bathroom. Surprising how much simple things like that mean after age 50.

Today I will be taking back the latest "behind the toilet" stand. I'll keep an eye out and eventually perhaps I'll find the perfect thing for that spot.

Yesterday I got some of those blue rubber (look like koosh balls) dryer balls. Has anyone else tried them? They are supposed to fluff your clothes, shorten drying time, and eliminate static cling. Of course when I got home and was reading the package they recommend 4 - 6 for best results. That ends up like a $30 investment at $10 for two balls. I don't go through $30 in dryer sheets in a decade. On the other hand, if clothes really do dry faster (am running first load right now with the two balls I got) and IF I could train the family to set the dryer for less time then with rising energy costs they could conceivably pay for themselves. I'm actually seeing my contribution to the family gift exchange for this year. *evil chuckle* They are supposed to last for years.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Word of the Day

juxtaposition juhk-stuh-puh-zish-uhn


The act or an instance of placing two items side by side, especially for comparison or contrast, or the state of being so placed.

[French juxtaposition : Latin iuxta close by + French position, position
(like we couldn't figure that one out), from Latin (so what time? early? late?) positio, position-, placing, position, from positus, past participle of ponere, to place.] (Well that clears it all up nicely)

OK so today's word has nothing to do with anything. I just think it is a cool word.

This week I've moved my plastering to the south wall of the loft (and select other places while I've got my super grungy plastering/painting outfit on anyway). The house has 15/12 pitch roofs which means the place where wall meets roof peak is way up there. So, I have one section of scaffolding, then on it four solid wooden chairs, and on them a kitchen step stool. It's real solid but still a tiny bit scary. When I return home this evening, I plan to turn off the heat pumps (hopefully the house will be cool enough to do this) and sand the top of the wall.

On a side note, I saw a bit of movement from the corner of my eye and turned my head to see a skink lizard on the arm of the sofa where I sit, sunning himself in front of mum's big window.

Once I've sanded the top of the wall, I can remove the chairs from the scaffolding (they take up lots of space) and finish plastering the rest of the wall (or as much as I can reach from the scaffolding). I figure I'm still maybe a week away from painting. I'm working on several areas at once so I can paint a lot while I have the roller wet and all. I'd much rather do a large section and then throw away the roller than keep doing little areas and cleaning the rollers each time.

The skink has moved to the seat cushion. It is really a good thing I am intrigued rather than freaked out by things like wild lizards running loose in the house.

Along with all the plastering and painting I've been working on the last few weeks, it is now time for a new work year to start since my teaching year coincides with the school year. I've been up to my eyeballs in trying to schedule students, working out the fee structure for the new year, printing out new lesson forms, brochures...

Needless to say, I'm not doing much writing. I think I managed one poem last week (or maybe that was the week before) and there is another niggling away in the recesses of my mind. I just need to focus and let it work its way out of the mists into the light. Both my novels are on the back burner but not forgotten. Ideas for three more are teasing me too. I had meant to compile facts, character sketches, timeline... for one of them, Still Waters, and then write like a maniac the month of November, participating in NaNoWriMo. Now, of course, we have a wedding mid month so I think trying to write 50,000 words that month might be an unreasonable expectation. I've got a file of Novel Ideas and I just keep stashing ideas there for future reference.