Archives For Words

First, that which vexes me today:

Over the past several years I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among newscasters and other media folk regarding the pronunciation of certain words.

It started with the words “harass” and “harassment.”  My understanding was that they were pronounced “har-ASS” and “har-ASS-ment.”  Then reporters started saying them differently all of a sudden: “HAR-ris” and “HAR-ris-ment.”

A similar thing happened with the word “details.”  I’ve always pronounced it “DEE-tails,” as does everyone else I know.  Except that on television, they now say “deh-TAILS.”

Two of the latest words to get a verbal makeover are “coyote” and “Neanderthal. ” Instead of “ky-OH-tee,” it’s “KY-oat.”  And “Nee-AN-der-THAL” has morphed into “Nee-AN-der-TALL.”  Yeah, yeah, I know, in other languages you don’t pronounce the “h” when it immediately follows a “t.”  I don’t care.  I’m not speaking other languages.

Also, obviously these people haven’t been watching enough Looney Tunes; Wile E. Coyote himself always said “Ky-OH-tay”—which I assume is a regional thing, but it’s still in the spirit of the original pronunciation.

I mean, what the fuck?  Who decided on this change, and why?  These newfangled pronunciations sound pretentious and stupid. As if I needed another reason to loathe people.

I don’t like it. I will continue to say these words as I always have. And if I have to, I will launch a grassroots campaign to stop the madness and to make sure no other words are so cruelly mangled.

And now, some announcements.

First, tune in tomorrow for the Great Unveiling—when I reveal to the world which of the ten photos seen in the Where’s Weebs? contest is, in fact, Weebs.

Secondly (and much more excitingly), I am titillated and overjoyed to announce my upcoming collaboration with two spectacular women…

Throughout history, there have been many legendary trios:

Rush
FDR, Churchill, and Stalin
The Three Musketeers
The Three Magi
Larry, Curly, and Moe

Soon, another three will join their ranks:

Madame Weebles, Speaker7, and Jen Tonic

That’s right, you read correctly.  Start taking your vitamins now so you can handle the awesome.
Continue Reading…

I’ve held off on posting about this because until recently, the search terms that bring people to my blog haven’t been all that funny.  But now I have a pretty decent crop to share with you.  None of them are dirty or really demented, though.  That disappoints me.  Obviously I’ll have to increase the naughty content here to get some good keywords for next time.

I’ve cut & pasted these directly from the stats page, no editing.  Thanks, crazy Internet people!

what is the psychic word for weebles
I think it’s “Veebles.”

whats is the metaphiscal word for weebles
Wow.  I would like to peer inside this person’s head to see what prompted this question.

what does it mean when everytime u see a weeble in yur house u think of a person
This puzzles me on many levels.  What’s with the Weebles in their house?  The way the question is phrased, it almost sounds like this person sees them unexpectedly.  Do they just show up?  Because I think that would disturb me more than anything else.  Also, what person do they think of when they see the Weeble?  Is it always the same person?  Or is it just someone at random?  And do they always see the same Weeble?  I have so many questions.

how long can you be nice to someone you hate
My personal best is about five minutes.

men with massive legs
Really?  Massive legs?  Hey, whatever floats your boat.

trust no man, fear no chicks
This feels like it should be the slogan for a modern-day He-Man Woman Haters Club (you get bonus points if you know what this is without Googling it).

he is my kryptonite and like superman, i am powerless in his wake
I’m going to need to see a photo of this guy.

i think a dead guy is hot
Join the club, honey.

does alex trebek know urdu
My guess is no.  But if he does, then I’m going to need to learn how to say “patronizing fucktard” in Urdu.

why are reiki practitioners so flakey
Because we’re made with many delicious layers of butter and puff pastry.  Also, fuck you.

Hey, nice rack

Madame Weebles —  August 1, 2012 — 209 Comments

Yes, this post is about what you think it’s about.  It’s about boobs.  Cans.  Hooters.  Melons.  Jugs.  Sweater meat.

My friends, I am not a flat-chested woman.  I’m packing heat.  I’ve wintered well.  My cups overfloweth.  Mind you, I’m not complaining.  It comes in handy quite often.  I’ve got a built-in popcorn catcher.  And it’s a convenient place to keep a tissue or money when I have no pockets available.

There are, however, some drawbacks.  The most annoying being unsolicited comments from representatives of the XY chromosome pairing.

I started getting comments and catcalls when I was a teenager.  Now that I’m in my 40s I don’t get as many but it still happens occasionally.  And it’s not like I’m pulling a Sue Ellen Mischke, walking around wearing just a bra.  I can wear the baggiest of sweaters and some slack-jawed idiot will still zero in on my chest.

Do I find it icky when guys make lewd comments?  Ewww, yes.  Do I think it’s sexist and degrading?  Fuck yeah.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fantasized about launching asshole-seeking missiles at these knuckle draggers.

But my other feeling is, if you’re going to make a sleazy remark, you should put some thought into it.  Make it memorable.  Pithy.  Because I’ve heard a lot of really lame stuff.  Loud kissy noises, a variety of animal-type grunts, many yells of “Woooooooo yeah!!!!” or words to that effect.  Once a guy came up real close to me, gaped at my torso and said, “BIG ONES!!” in a voice that sounded eerily like that of Cheech Marin.  And for international flavor, I’ve gotten a lot of “Ayyyyyyy mami!!!”

Come on, fellas.  Don’t phone it in with a disgusting noise or a wolf whistle or something juvenile like that.  Those are all really played out.  You can do better.

I’m not saying you should doff your hat and proclaim, “My dear lady, your mammaries are quite bountiful and luxurious indeed.  Good day to you!”  But if you’re going to be a douche, at least make an effort not to be a stupid douche.

The best line I ever heard was when I was about 17 or 18.  Anyone remember those t-shirts sold by Haagen-Dazs back in the glory days of the 80s?  They had the H-D logo on the front and an ice cream flavor on the back.  I had one (mine said Coffee).  One day when I was wearing it, I was walking down the street and saw a guy ahead of me leaning against a parked car.  I had a feeling he was going to be a problem.  I just looked straight ahead and hoped he would leave me alone.  He didn’t.  As I passed him, he said, “Haagen-Dazs, huh??  Nice scoops you got there, honey!”

Now that was clever.  Respect, bro.

We saw The Dark Knight Rises this weekend.  It was awesome.

After the movie Mr. Weebles and I talked about Catwoman.  I was underwhelmed by Anne Hathaway’s performance but Mr. Weebles liked her. (There’s a shocker.)

Then we got to discussing “Catwoman” and “Cat Lady.”  Both are used to describe females with a feline association, but they have very, very different connotations indeed.

Halle Berry as Catwoman. You’re welcome.

Catwoman conjures up a certain image and attitude, whether she’s the original cartoon version, or whether she’s played by Eartha Kitt, Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, or Anne Hathaway.  Catwoman is sexy, bad, sly, and very agile.

Cat Lady, on the other hand, is not what you’d call sexy.  She likes cats so she can’t possibly be bad.  She’s probably not very sly.

There but for the grace of God go I.

And if she’s agile, it’s only because she needs to be to avoid constantly tripping over Muffin, Babykins, Whiskers, Sir Floof, Mittens, Stripey McStriperson, Arianna Fluffington, Blacky, Chairman Meow, Buttons, and Mrs. Puff.

Should you find yourself in the unenviable position of not knowing whether a female of your acquaintance is Catwoman or Cat Lady, here is a quick guide for your reference:

Catwoman:  Wears an exotic perfume, something like Shalimar or Opium.
Cat Lady:  Wears a heady mix of catnip, Febreze, and tuna juice.

Catwoman:  Her wardrobe has a lot of leather, rubber, and thigh-high boots with stiletto heels.
Cat Lady:  Her wardrobe has a lot of bathrobes, sweats, and ratty slippers, all liberally covered in cat fur.

Catwoman:  A wild animal in the bedroom.
Cat Lady:  Has a lot of animals in her bedroom, but none of them wild. Except for that time Mittens thought Cat Lady’s vibrator was an intruder.

Catwoman:  She’ll cut you and you’ll never even feel it.
Cat Lady:  She’ll apologize profusely for the scratches inflicted by Buttons, he was just playing!

Catwoman:  Speaks in a throaty, seductive growl.
Cat Lady:  “Who’s a good baby? You are! Yes you are! Oh yes you are.”

This was inspired by Mooselicker, who mentioned both Dr. Seuss and Abraham Lincoln in a comment on my last post.  It gave me the idea to rework the Gettysburg Address as a Dr. Seuss poem.  I like to think Lincoln would have appreciated it.  And the message is just as relevant today as it was in 1863.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

‘Twas eighty and seven years past, so they say
That our founders created the US of A

With all of us equal!  The Wuggles!  The Fuzzins!
And even our naughty Confederate cousins!

Now there’s a war and it’s bad and it’s sad
But a time will soon come when we’ll all be quite glad

That our nation still stands and our country’s still here
And we’ll all drink a toast with a mug of Sneetch beer

These bravest of soldiers did not die for naught
We need a do-over to do what we ought

So let’s have no more of this Civil War folly
And remember our government’s purpose, by golly

Of people!  By people!  For people!  Yes!
But right now this country’s one heckuva mess

I want for this country a sort of rebirth
So all these nice freedoms don’t perish from Earth.

Before we start with the festivities, I’d like to wish all my Canadian friends a happy Canada Day weekend.  Enjoy!

And now, it’s time for our next Weebles Poetry Slam!  For those of you who have joined us since our last event, here’s a recap of the highlights of that evening.

This time around I’d like to open it up to everyone, not just the Weebles.  Everyone is invited to participate and share a poem.  All submissions are welcome—freeform, limerick, couplet, doublet, sonnet, haiku, anything you like. It can be silly, serious, or somewhere in between. Doesn’t matter. Just bring it.

I’ll start us off:

Mary had a little lamb
Then she had a little ham
Followed by a little jam
And then she had cramps.

Now it’s your turn!

Lately there have been an awful lot of clicks to my blog from searches for “Madame Weebles” and “madameweebles.” And today I found the search term “Who is Madame Weebles?”—complete with question mark.

I’m not sure what they expected from that last one. It’s not like Google can spit out a dossier on me. Or can they? Google’s getting a little creepy with the amount of information they have, so who knows.

Now I’m wondering if one of you blabbed to the authorities about my tissue killings (yeah, I’m looking at you, Summer Solstice Girl). Or maybe Interpol is still trying to find me after that incident in Prague—which was not my fault, by the way.

So I’ve purchased the mask shown above to disguise my identity. They’ll never find me now.

Well, that sucked

Madame Weebles —  June 8, 2012 — 72 Comments

Ever have one of those experiences where you’ve just thought of a line so unbelievably clever and pithy that you can hardly wait get to the words out of your mouth? The kind of line that you just know will be one for the ages? Or at least for the next 5 minutes?

I came up with a line like that many years ago. It sounded fantastic in my head. Epic. But when I delivered it, it went over like the proverbial lead balloon.

It happened at work. A bunch of us were shooting the breeze. We were discussing a female coworker who was dating a few different guys, all of whom were handsome and successful and nice and funny. I was single at the time and more than a little envious of her bevy of beaus. She had a bunch of suitors and I had none?!?! Pffffft. I said something snarky, I don’t remember what. One of the guys started ribbing me. “What, are you bitter??” And I said—wait for it……

“No, I’m not bitter, I’m just a little tart!”

Now, again, in my head, this was a line so magnificent that it could have been written by the love child of Noel Coward, Dorothy Parker, and Mae West. But out loud, not so much. I got nothing. Crickets. Bupkes. They just looked at me.

And what did I do? I made it worse by trying to explain it. “You know, because tart is kind of like bitter but it can also mean a woman who’s . . . “

I just trailed off after that because I knew I had lost them. I stood there awkwardly for a few seconds before suddenly remembering that I had to be elsewhere immediately.

But I like to think my line would have been a big hit at the Algonquin Round Table.

Sorry folks, I thought “navel gazing” was a fairly standard expression. Maybe it’s just because I’m in NYC, home of millions of self-absorbed people. So I will clarify. Here’s the entry from Merriam-Webster:

Many bloggers have shared their experiences with the Writing Process. The writer’s block. The procrastination. The dilemma about where to go with a plot or a character. The battle with characters who start going in directions you weren’t expecting. The back-and-forth between “My God, this paragraph is magnificent. I am a fantastic writer!” and “All of my writing sucks ass.”

I feel your pain.

I don’t know much about the specific agonies involved in writing fiction or poetry because I haven’t done either of them since college. But I know it can be slow and agonizing work. You have to keep track of a lot of things I don’t have to worry about: characters, settings, plot development, etc. I take my hat off to all of you.

My writing is historical non-fiction, which brings its own kind of hell. Not worse than that of the fiction writers or poets, just different. Some of my challenges are probably similar to those experienced by historical fiction writers or anyone else who has to drape their content over a factual framework.

For too long, historical writing had an unfortunate reputation as being mind-numbingly dry, dusty collections of names, dates, and places. Fortunately, over the past 20 years or so, many writers have admirably demonstrated that history is full of all kinds of juicy, exciting tales, complete with adventure, mystery, intrigue, and naughty bits. There are heroes, villains, dirtbags, sluts, idiots, geniuses, and hot guys and gals. And the truth is often stranger than fiction.

My particular interest is in writing about people and events that nobody’s ever heard about. Even the people I’ve written about in this blog—most of their stories aren’t often told. I like the idea of “resurrecting” people who have been lost to history. I care about them because of who they were, what they accomplished, how they lived their lives, what they left behind. I want to do them justice.

Which brings me to my challenge at the moment. See, I’m writing a biographic piece on this guy. Perhaps you remember him.

Robert Cornelius wasn’t just a dreamily handsome face rivaling that of Pierce McKennon or Rupert Brooke; he was a brilliant and innovative guy. And except for a lame entry in Wikipedia and some other random blurbs about him, there is absolutely nothing out there about him. When I discovered that he was all but forgotten, I knew I had to write about him.

As you might have suspected, I’m hugely biased when it comes to Mr. Robert Cornelius. I feel like I’m back in high school, getting all tongue-tied and freaked out at the idea of talking to a cute guy. So when I sit down to write, I get all nervous and can’t think of anything. Or I babble for a few pages before realizing that I really haven’t said much of anything worthwhile. And then I panic. Here’s a sample of the dialogue that takes place between me and my brain:

Judgmental Brain of Madame Weebles: Dude, WTF? You’re going to rewrite that, aren’t you??

Madame Weebles: Why, is it really bad?

Judgmental Brain of Madame Weebles: He’s going to think you’re an idiot. And it’s not interesting. You make him sound boring. He’ll be insulted. And you need to rewrite this whole section too.

Madame Weebles: What’s wrong with it?

Judgmental Brain of Madame Weebles: It’s terrible. It reads as if you originally wrote it in English, then translated it into Chinese, then translated it back into English. I can practically hear him rolling his eyes at you.

Madame Weebles: Okay, fine, I’ll tinker with it some more.

Judgmental Brain of Madame Weebles: Also, what the hell are you wearing? This is what you wear when you write about him? Seriously? Put on something decent, for crying out loud. Fix your hair. And maybe put on some lipstick. Wait, what is that, is that food in your teeth??

Madame Weebles: Oops. It’s a poppy seed. What does it matter? He can’t see me.

Judgmental Brain of Madame Weebles: How do you know? He could be hovering over us right this minute, thinking, “Boy, I wish a better, more attractive writer were working on my biography. Just my luck I get one who doesn’t even check her teeth before writing about me.” Do you want him to think that?

Madame Weebles: No, of course not!

Judgmental Brain of Madame Weebles: Hmmm, what’s that on your chin? Shit, woman, you’re getting a pimple. That’s it, shut it down. We can’t write like this. There is no way I’m letting you write about him when you have a zit on your face.

Madame Weebles: Um, okay. I guess.

So there it is. The anxieties of talking to a crush combined with writer’s block all in one. My palms are getting sweaty just thinking about it.

All I know is, after I finally finish writing this biography, I’m looking for someone less attractive to write about.