Ennui

I’ve been rather blue lately. I’m feeling creatively frustrated.

N is for Neville who died of ennui
N is for Neville who died of ennui

I have some idea in my head that I can’t quite get out – like that time when you had that really fantastic dream, and just as you woke up, you thought “I gotta remember this!” at the same time all the details start sliding away from you and you’re left with just that feeling that the dream gave you – a feeling of awesome, a Stendhal syndrome, that you’re trying to reconstruct…

Like I know there’s a picture there that just isn’t coming into focus, and every time I think I just start to get it, the dog barks, (if I’m at home) or someone comes into my cube (if I’m at work) and I lose track of that vision that I was trying to get to, that I almost just had in my hand if I’d just closed my fingers more quickly…

I find myself wishing for a work space at home that’s more like my workspace at work – a clean, organized desk with plenty of space and a big monitor to get my work done and away from the pets and the phone as distractions. Someplace I can focus. Entertainment Weekly has been doing a “Writers at Work” series, and Neil Gaiman’s is cool:

Gaiman escapes to his wooded Wisconsin hideaway with pup Cabel in tow to craft his fantastical works. Says the author, ”The setting is interesting enough that if I get stuck and need to stare out the window, there’s something to look at, which isn’t interesting enough to make me stop working and look at it for long.”

What a jerk with his “Wisconsin hideaway.” Where’s my hideaway?

On my tiny violin

I know, what a terrible problem to have, right? You play for me the world’s tiniest violin in response.

I think really just want to be more like this kid:

I Fucking Love Coloring
I Fucking Love Coloring
Continue ReadingEnnui

Words that end in “-ist” for a thousand, Alex

In creating my current “recently read” list today, I noticed an oddity in my reading choices…

Previously, my reading list included The Sonambulist, and a few years back, one of my very favorite books was The Intuitionist. I also recently enjoyed The Illusionist on DVD.

I know there’s at least one other “-ist” title in my “recently read” list, but when I started to go back and look for it, I realized I have 11 years worth of book lists to look through, and I decided I was too lazy for that. You’d think I’d keep a running list after all these years, but, well, refer to previous sentence re: lazy.

“The suffix -ist is used to denote a person who either practices something or a person who is concerned with something or a person who holds certain principles, doctrines, etc.”

Yes, well people seem to like to write lots of books about such people, don’t they? I have not read The Alchemist, or The Alienist, but I’m not going to be compulsive about it and put them on my “to read” list. The first doesn’t interest me, and the second I heard about from others and I’m pretty sure I might not like it.

The Impressionist is on my bookshelf now, and I’ll probably give it a read.

Given the prominence of the suffix in published works, I thought I might title my own future novel with an “-ist” ending, so I began reading through 1201 such words.

Alas, both The Balloonists, and The Little Balloonist are taken, so it seems that non-engine powered aeronautics covered.

I could go with the Anarchist – there doesn’t seem to be a novel by that name, although there is a Cookbook, and apparently, they are in the Library of late. (that last one is on my reading list, BTW. The first is probably going to get me on watchlists just for linking.

So, how about the Aviarist, or The Bronchioscopist? Well, maybe not that last one. That sounds a bit squishy. The Anecdotalist? That sounds a bit like Auntie Gert telling stories with endless tangents and no endpoint.

An “aquarellist” is a person who paints water colors.

A “cinquecentist” is a poet or artist in 16th century Italy. Both would require me to do research. See: lazy.

The Deconstructionist! Ugh. I think I’d rather shoot them that write about them.

The Fabulist — I think that’s it. Yes, the Fabulist. Damn it — that’s already written. And about that fine fellow Stephen Glass, too. That title almost makes him seem whimsical.

A Feist is a small dog – or a singer whichever you prefer.

A funambulist is a tight-rope walker.

Where the hell am I in this list? F? This could go on forever. or perhaps all the way to
Z. Best quit now.

la·zy·ish: \-zē-ish\ adjective – a: disinclined to activity or exertion : not energetic or vigorous. Indolent, Slothful.

2022-03-13 Update:
I have since read The Alchemist, The Alienist,and The Impressionist.

I did avoid the Anarchist Cookbook. I am still thinking about the The Anarchist in the Library.

And I’m thinking there are more books with -ist since 2008. I may do a revisit. Alas, still la·zy·ish; I may not.

Continue ReadingWords that end in “-ist” for a thousand, Alex

Woodie Guthrie on songwriting

“I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing.

Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling.

I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built.

I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.”

Woodie Guthrie on songwriting

Continue ReadingWoodie Guthrie on songwriting

links for 2008-03-31

Continue Readinglinks for 2008-03-31

Fascinating Interview with David Simon

David Simon is the producer of HBO’s “The Wire” – a highly acclaimed series that I have on my Netflix queue since I’ve heard so many rave reviews calling it “The Best Show on TV Ever.” Here is part of an interview he gave with Nick Hornby for The Believer:

We got the gig because as my newspaper was bought and butchered by an out-of-town newspaper chain, I was offered the chance to write scripts, and ultimately, to learn to produce television by the fellows who were turning my first book into Homicide: Life on the Street. I took that gig and ultimately, I was able to produce the second book for HBO on my own. Following that miniseries, HBO agreed to look at The Wire scripts. So I made an improbable and in many ways unplanned transition from journalist/author to TV producer. It was not a predictable transformation and I am vaguely amused that it actually happened. If I had a plan, it was to grow old on the Baltimore Sun’s copy desk, bumming cigarettes from young reporters and telling lies about what it was like working with H. L. Mencken and William Manchester.

Another reason the show may feel different than a lot of television: our model is not quite so Shakespearean as other high-end HBO fare. The Sopranos and Deadwood—two shows that I do admire—offer a good deal of Macbeth or Richard III or Hamlet in their focus on the angst and machinations of the central characters (Tony Soprano, Al Swearingen). Much of our modern theater seems rooted in the Shakespearean discovery of the modern mind. We’re stealing instead from an earlier, less-traveled construct—the Greeks—lifting our thematic stance wholesale from Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides to create doomed and fated protagonists who confront a rigged game and their own mortality. The modern mind—particularly those of us in the West—finds such fatalism ancient and discomfiting, I think. We are a pretty self-actualized, self-worshipping crowd of postmoderns and the idea that for all of our wherewithal and discretionary income and leisure, we’re still fated by indifferent gods, feels to us antiquated and superstitious. We don’t accept our gods on such terms anymore; by and large, with the exception of the fundamentalists among us, we don’t even grant Yahweh himself that kind of unbridled, interventionist authority.

But instead of the old gods, The Wire is a Greek tragedy in which the postmodern institutions are the Olympian forces. It’s the police department, or the drug economy, or the political structures, or the school administration, or the macroeconomic forces that are throwing the lightning bolts and hitting people in the ass for no decent reason. In much of television, and in a good deal of our stage drama, individuals are often portrayed as rising above institutions to achieve catharsis. In this drama, the institutions always prove larger, and those characters with hubris enough to challenge the postmodern construct of American empire are invariably mocked, marginalized, or crushed. Greek tragedy for the new millennium, so to speak. Because so much of television is about providing catharsis and redemption and the triumph of character, a drama in which postmodern institutions trump individuality and morality and justice seems different in some ways, I think.

NH: How did you pitch it?

DS: I pitched The Wire to HBO as the anti–cop show, a rebellion of sorts against all the horseshit police procedurals afflicting American television. I am unalterably opposed to drug prohibition; what began as a war against illicit drugs generations ago has now mutated into a war on the American underclass, and what drugs have not destroyed in our inner cities, the war against them has. I suggested to HBO—which up to that point had produced groundbreaking drama by going where the broadcast networks couldn’t (The Sopranos, Sex and the City, et al…)—that they could further enhance their standing by embracing the ultimate network standard (cop show) and inverting the form. Instead of the usual good guys chasing bad guys framework, questions would be raised about the very labels of good and bad, and, indeed, whether such distinctly moral notions were really the point.

The show would instead be about untethered capitalism run amok, about how power and money actually route themselves in a postmodern American city, and, ultimately, about why we as an urban people are no longer able to solve our problems or heal our wounds. Early in the conception of the drama, Ed Burns and I—as well as the late Bob Colesberry, a consummate filmmaker who served as the directorial producer and created the visual template for The Wire—conceived of a show that would, with each season, slice off another piece of the American city, so that by the end of the run, a simulated Baltimore would stand in for urban America, and the fundamental problems of urbanity would be fully addressed.

First season: the dysfunction of the drug war and the general continuing theme of self-sustaining postmodern institutions devouring the individuals they are supposed to serve or who serve them. Second season: the death of work and the destruction of the American working class in the postindustrial era, for which we added the port of Baltimore. Third season: the political process and the possibility of reform, for which we added the City Hall component. Fourth season: equal opportunity, for which we added the public-education system. The fifth and final season will be about the media and our capacity to recognize and address our own realities, for which we will add the city’s daily newspaper and television components.

Did we mention these grandiose plans to HBO at the beginning? No, they would have laughed us out of the pitch meeting. Instead, we spoke only to the inversion of the cop show and a close examination of the drug war’s dysfunction. But before shifting gears to the port in season two, I sat down with the HBO execs and laid out the argument to begin constructing an American city and examining the above themes through that construction. So here we are.

Continue ReadingFascinating Interview with David Simon

November is National Novel Writing Month

2007 NaNoWriMo Participant
2007 NaNoWriMo Participant
This year, for National Novel Writing Month – I have a plan! I’m going to do something really innovative — I’m going to spend the month of November…

… building a website for my friend Chi.

Yes! I know, it’s not a novel. However…

  1. I actually know how to build websites (unlike novels, which I seem to be unable to achieve).
    B. I promised her I’d do it months ago.
  2. It will be fun, and not stressful, like trying to write a novel was.
    D. Chi is an actual published writer, so, it’s LIKE I’m getting some writing done, because I’ll be helping her.

So, that’s my grand plan for National Novel Writing month – to once again NOT get a novel written, only this time with less stress and some actual pretty, creative stuff to show for it at the end of the month.

Think it will work? I hope so.

Continue ReadingNovember is National Novel Writing Month

David Sedaris Exaggerates!

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The New Republic comes out with a world-rocking revelation: David Sedaris embellishes his humorous non-fiction memoirs.
Um, no shit, Sherlock. You needed to write an article to tell us this? He’s a humor writer. I sort of figured out he was gilding the lily on my own, thanks. As if any one person has that much funny shit just happen to them randomly. Think about it – is your life that funny? Is anyone’s? Of course he punches it up to make it more funny. It’s not a big deal. He’s not a frackin’ presidential biographer for crap’s sake. I hope that he keeps doing it – he makes me laugh my ass off.
Hell, I didn’t even think it was that big a deal when James Frey exaggerated, except that there were people who looked at his book as some sort of self-help inspirational piece. But even then, I hardly think that was Frey’s fault.

Continue ReadingDavid Sedaris Exaggerates!

The Chaos

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by Gerard Nolst Trenité

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, hear and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word.
Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it’s written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say—said, pay—paid, laid but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak,
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
Woven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
Missiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
Same, examining, but mining,
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far.
From “desire”: desirable—admirable from “admire”,
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
Peter, petrol and patrol?
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
Discount, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward,
Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation’s OK.
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
Buoyant, minute, but minute.
Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
Would it tally with my rhyme
If I mentioned paradigm?
Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
Rabies, but lullabies.
Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
You’ll envelop lists, I hope,
In a linen envelope.
Would you like some more? You’ll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
Does not sound like Czech but ache.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover.
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice,
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,
Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with “shirk it” and “beyond it”,
But it is not hard to tell
Why it’s pall, mall, but Pall Mall.
Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
Pussy, hussy and possess,
Desert, but desert, address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
Cow, but Cowper, some and home.
“Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker”,
Quoth he, “than liqueur or liquor”,
Making, it is sad but true,
In bravado, much ado.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.
Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.
Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
Mind! Meandering but mean,
Valentine and magazine.
And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
Tier (one who ties), but tier.
Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
Prison, bison, treasure trove,
Treason, hover, cover, cove,
Perseverance, severance. Ribald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn’t) with nibbled.
Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.
Don’t be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet;
Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.
Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
Evil, devil, mezzotint,
Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)
Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don’t mention,
Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
Rhyming with the pronoun yours;
Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
Funny rhymes to unicorn,
Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.
No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don’t want to speak of Cholmondeley.
No. Yet Froude compared with proud
Is no better than McLeod.
But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.
Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
But you’re not supposed to say
Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.
Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
When for Portsmouth I had booked!
Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
Episodes, antipodes,
Acquiesce, and obsequies.
Please don’t monkey with the geyser,
Don’t peel ‘taters with my razor,
Rather say in accents pure:
Nature, stature and mature.
Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
Wan, sedan and artisan.
The th will surely trouble you
More than r, ch or w.
Say then these phonetic gems:
Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.
Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget ’em—
Wait! I’ve got it: Anthony,
Lighten your anxiety.
The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight—you see it;
With and forthwith, one has voice,
One has not, you make your choice.
Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,
Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.
Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
Puisne, truism, use, to use?
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
Put, nut, granite, and unite.
Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.
Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific;
Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
Bona fide, alibi
Gyrate, dowry and awry.
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
Rally with ally; yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess—it is not safe,
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.
Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
Face, but preface, then grimace,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
Do not rhyme with here but heir.
Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
With the sound of saw and sauce;
Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.
Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
Respite, spite, consent, resent.
Liable, but Parliament.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.
A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
I of antichrist and grist,
Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
Polish, Polish, poll and poll.
Pronunciation—think of Psyche!—
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
Won’t it make you lose your wits
Writing groats and saying ‘grits’?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington, and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough?
Hiccough has the sound of sup…
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!The Chaos
by Gerard Nolst Trenité
Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, hear and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word.
Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it’s written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say—said, pay—paid, laid but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak,
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
Woven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
Missiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
Same, examining, but mining,
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far.
From “desire”: desirable—admirable from “admire”,
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
Peter, petrol and patrol?
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
Discount, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward,
Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation’s OK.
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
Buoyant, minute, but minute.
Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
Would it tally with my rhyme
If I mentioned paradigm?
Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
Rabies, but lullabies.
Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
You’ll envelop lists, I hope,
In a linen envelope.
Would you like some more? You’ll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
Does not sound like Czech but ache.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover.
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice,
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,
Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with “shirk it” and “beyond it”,
But it is not hard to tell
Why it’s pall, mall, but Pall Mall.
Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
Pussy, hussy and possess,
Desert, but desert, address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
Cow, but Cowper, some and home.
“Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker”,
Quoth he, “than liqueur or liquor”,
Making, it is sad but true,
In bravado, much ado.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.
Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.
Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
Mind! Meandering but mean,
Valentine and magazine.
And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
Tier (one who ties), but tier.
Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
Prison, bison, treasure trove,
Treason, hover, cover, cove,
Perseverance, severance. Ribald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn’t) with nibbled.
Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.
Don’t be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet;
Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.
Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
Evil, devil, mezzotint,
Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)
Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don’t mention,
Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
Rhyming with the pronoun yours;
Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
Funny rhymes to unicorn,
Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.
No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don’t want to speak of Cholmondeley.
No. Yet Froude compared with proud
Is no better than McLeod.
But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.
Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
But you’re not supposed to say
Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.
Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
When for Portsmouth I had booked!
Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
Episodes, antipodes,
Acquiesce, and obsequies.
Please don’t monkey with the geyser,
Don’t peel ‘taters with my razor,
Rather say in accents pure:
Nature, stature and mature.
Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
Wan, sedan and artisan.
The th will surely trouble you
More than r, ch or w.
Say then these phonetic gems:
Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.
Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget ’em—
Wait! I’ve got it: Anthony,
Lighten your anxiety.
The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight—you see it;
With and forthwith, one has voice,
One has not, you make your choice.
Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,
Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.
Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
Puisne, truism, use, to use?
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
Put, nut, granite, and unite.
Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.
Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific;
Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
Bona fide, alibi
Gyrate, dowry and awry.
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
Rally with ally; yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess—it is not safe,
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.
Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
Face, but preface, then grimace,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
Do not rhyme with here but heir.
Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
With the sound of saw and sauce;
Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.
Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
Respite, spite, consent, resent.
Liable, but Parliament.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.
A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
I of antichrist and grist,
Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
Polish, Polish, poll and poll.
Pronunciation—think of Psyche!—
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
Won’t it make you lose your wits
Writing groats and saying ‘grits’?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington, and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough?
Hiccough has the sound of sup…
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

Continue ReadingThe Chaos

Locked on the roof? Seriously?

I really loved the West Wing, most especially when Sorkin was writing for it, and I really do like Studio 60, for the most part. But lately the weird thing Danny’s doing to Jordan, the sort of creepy-stalkerish, pre-rapey, not really romantic, “refusal to take no for an answer” thing is really disturbing, especially since we know Sorkin’s setting this up to have them get together eventually. Note to Aaron – No really does mean no, dude. If you want me to start surveying the women around to to see if you’ve pulled this crap on them, I will. I’m not kidding. Cause you apparently think this kind of thing works in real life. But In real life it only works if you’re trying to get a restraining order.
And last night’s episode, where they get locked on the roof? Um, no. Like Jane Espenson calling for a moratorium on scenes where the character kicks a machine and it suddenly starts working, I’m making a new rule – no more locked rooftops. Really. Get a frackin’ key before you go there. Why would the door on the roof need to be locked anyway? Is Spider-man going to break in?
For all Aaron’s bitching that his audience just isn’t smart enough to get him, he certainly does insult the little intelligence we do have. But I guess I’m “just a blogger” so my voice shouldn’t be equal. After reading that Chicago Tribune piece I’m tempted not to watch the show ever again.

Continue ReadingLocked on the roof? Seriously?

NaNoWRiMo Update

I’m hopelessly behind and have no reasonable expectation of ever catching up by the end of November deadline. I know what the general story is, but when it comes to writing scenes that make any sort of sense, I’m completely stalled. And the stress of being so far behind is really interfering with my actually sitting down and getting any writing done. The idea of this is no longer fun, it’s a chore, and a painful one. I realized yesterday, after I had a big argument with Stephanie about how we scheduled our time this weekend, that this is ridiculous, because this is a stress I can control.

Unlike the other stress that is occurring in my life right now, which includes, but is not limited to:

  1. The Stress of The House that Would Not Sell
  2. The Stress of Attending Meetings with Potential Renters Who Do Not Show Up to Appointments 2/3rds of the Time
  3. The Stress of the Shitty Roofers Who Would Not Show Up To Complete Their Work
  4. The Stress of Attempting to Merge Two Households Worth of Stuff and Not Knowing What to Get Rid Of
  5. The Stress of The Weather that Rains Every time I Want to Rake Leaves
  6. The Stress of the Looming Apocalyptic Chaos That is The Impending Holiday Season (refer to Ghosts of Holidays Past)
  7. The Stress of Four Cats Who Just Don’t Want to Be Roommates
  8. The Stress of Not Being Able to Get a Good Night’s Sleep And the Ensuing Problems of Walking Through Every Day Fuzzy Headed and Bleary-Eyed
  9. The Stress of the Work Projects That Spiral Out of Control
  10. The Stress of the Cascading Style Sheets That Just Don’t Seem to Work in IE6, No Matter What Hacks I Apply (AKA, I Hate Microsoft, Part 987)

The stress of NaNoWriMo is one I imposed upon myself. So I hereby release myself from the the deadline, in the hope that I’ll actually be able to accomplish the task at some point in time, because at the very least, the story I was planning on writing cracked me up, and I got much further in the task than I was ever able to do before.

Continue ReadingNaNoWRiMo Update