maybe a bit too suggestive a title for this post.

in Weinreich’s Geshischte far di Yiddishe Sprache, he claims that languages show their depth in different ways. some languages have 40 words for snow, yiddish has 3 words for belly button, hebrew has one word, mirpeset, to describe an outdoor space of an apartment, and english has about 10, none of which adequately what dibs and cody have at their place, which is best described as a menagerie without aminals or birds.

is it a patio? a deck? a veranda? a balcony? a roof deck? a terrace? a porch? a den of iniquity (alas, no)?

let’s investigate a bit further…

a terrace is: “A raised level place for walking, with a vertical or sloping front or sides faced with masonry, turf, or the like, and sometimes having a balustrade.” level place-check; sloping sides-nope; balustrade? alas no. maybe when dibs moves out to the ‘burbs and grows a garden he’ll get a terrace.

a veranda(h) perhaps: “An open portico or light roofed gallery extending along the front (and occas. other sides) of a dwelling or other building,” again fold. dibs has no porticoes (A pergola in a garden)

patio: “A paved roofless area adjoining and belonging to a house; esp. a garden terrace.” nope, not paved. and no garden.

balcony: “A kind of platform projecting from the wall of a house or room, supported by pillars, brackets, or consoles, and enclosed by a balustrade.” also indirect. (btw, balustrade has the greatest OED definition ever: “A row of balusters, surmounted by a rail or coping, forming an ornamental parapet or barrier along the edge of a terrace, balcony, etc.” is architecture still a part of the english language?”

the best word i found is loggia: “A gallery or arcade having one or more of its sides open to the air.” keith suggests dibs and cody should open a video store on their mirpeset and call it videologgia to compete with videology down the street.

dibs, though, wants to call it a menagerie without birds. in doing so he shifts the value system from what he has to what he has not; he has chosen to define the form of his life by negative space, absence, and lack. but through this he is also ascribing a telos to the apartment: the apartment will finally become a home when there are birds outside, his living space will finally be reified. but what will Cody due in these reificatory times? will stand up still have meaning?

happy new year.

For those interested in the history of the cocktail, I highly recommend Tom Standage’s A History of the World in Six Glasses. In this curious work, Standage traces the likely origin of the cocktail to Admiral Cockburn. When Cockburn was not busy razing parts of the Northeastern Seaboard, he ordered that every sailor in the British Navy be given daily rations of rum and lime; the admixture of which with sugar became known as the cocktail, ostensibly in his honor. Standage also attributes this switch to a lime-based beverage with drastically lowering rates of scurvy in the royal navy… which he also correlates with the total ascendancy of British naval forces over those of the scurvy-ridden French. Whether the theory holds, it is certainly amusing to speculate upon whilst enjoying a good cocktail.

However, given that there is no exact recipe for the original cocktail of the British Navy, here is a recipe for a cocktail that is nearly as old, courtesy of the wikiproject cocktails endeavour.

“To make a Sazerac, mix 3-4 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters (Angostura bitters is not an acceptable substitute, although some people will add a dash of Angostura to the Peychaud’s) and 2 to 2.5 ounces of cognac or rye whiskey(the Original recipe calls for Rye). If you’re a traditionalist, before adding ice to the mixing glass add a sugar cube and about a tablespoon of water, then the bitters, then muddle until the sugar is dissolved as much as possible. Or you can use simple syrup in place of sugar cubes for convenience and to avoid any undissolved sugar in your drink: Mix the bitters and cognac/rye, fill the glass 2/3 full with cracked ice, stir for thirty seconds, add one teaspoon of simple syrup; stir, strain and serve.”

in honour of my favorite new year’s beverage and memory:

from urbandictionary:


A sparkling, malt beverage designed to look and taste like champagne, even though it isn’t, made by Pabst Brewing Company.

Maybe it’s the Champale talking, but I think you’re pretty sexy.

See also,

Adrock, “I got class like pink Champale, MCA grab the mike before the mike goes stale”

a good new year. longer post when I hit brooklyn


December 29, 2006

one of my dreams has always been to invent a language where it is grammatically correct to use any word as any part of speech. a noun can be used as a verb, so that, for example, it would be acceptable to soda someone out of their money. i don’t know what this would actually mean, but the poetic possibilities are endless.

the fifth episode of tilt is entitled “rivered.” unlike paroenetic, the origins of the word are pretty clear; the word obviously derives from the river card.

urbandictionary defines “rivered” as:

In “open” variations of poker such as Hold ‘Em or Stud, to have one’s strong hand beaten by an opponent whose stronger hand is only completed with the last face-up card, called “the river” or “Fifth Street;” or, to beat an opponent’s strong hand with the last face-up card.

there is also the variant form, “river’d” which nonsensically claims that “rivered” is related to “arrow’d.” (“What happens when you are shot by multiple arrows at one time, most likely out of somebody’s mouth. Word first made popular by Strongbad of Homestar Runner fame.”) while the feelings associated with the terms are probably similar, there is no linguistic reason to link the two words.

2 things of interest here:

1) “rivered” has almost the same meaning as being “up the creek.” or consider, “up the river,” being sent to prison. what does this say about man’s relationship with water? would “oceaned” have the same connotation?

2) there already is a “real” verb river, with both a trans. and intrans. form. to river something is “To wash (wool or sheep) in a river.” but it’s the intrans form that really stands out:

“To follow a river-like course”

isn’t this, essentially, what “rivered” means? one is still following a “river-like” course–it’s only the definition of “river” here that has changed (or, rather a parallel noun has emerged.) perhaps “river, v” is no longer rare as the OED claims

gotta love people heeding the call and bringing back the old verbs,





December 28, 2006

i decided to throw subversion onto urbandictionary to see what came back. here are the picks of the litter:


(-ly) adv.–something done subversively, sneakily, and with no small amount of luck and cleverness.

adj.–One who is subversive, but not with any particular goal in mind

Paul sleptigariously moved the spatula behind the toaster.

unfortunately, i think the word may be too forgettable to really catch on, but it’s a pretty perfect word.


A bunch of subversive and seditious communist lovers who claim to be safeguarding rights when in fact they are only interested in promoting the socialist agenda and hugging up to dangerous people and ideals.

The ACLU should be outright banned as a subversive organization from the United States!

bill o’reilly submits to urbandictionary?

so netflix sent me the “naughty” version of “National Lampoon’s Pledge This!” and i’m having a hard time trying to decide what to make of it. so far it’s mildly funny, which is quite surprising. after the American Pie: Band Camp debacle, i didn’t know whether i’d ever watch another 4th rate teen sex comedy. i actually decided to rent Pledge This when I was in best buy a few weeks ago and noticed that the film had the aforementioned “naughty” version. while i don’t believe a non-naughty (is nice the binary for naughty?) version of said film is extant, i started to wonder whether every film should be released with a naughty variant. it would certainly make me more agreeable to seeing “Happy Feet.”

i can’t help but wonder who still writes “National Lampoon’s” movies. even though they’ve ceased being a credible comedy organization, does National Lampoon still employ Harvard Lampoon graduates? is this what has become of America’s elite universities?

perhaps this film was written by a quasi-intellectual. Unlike the recent coterie of NL flicks, Pledge This! appears to have achieved a highly acute self-awareness of its standing and plays with the tropes of its genre. watching the opening, the word subversion was on the tip of my tongue. but is that fair? are self-consciousness and self-criticism the same thing as subversion, or simply staid intertextuality?

let’s find out…

Pledge This! certainly has nothing to do with “1. Overthrow, demolition (of a city, stronghold, etc.)” but that definition is obsolete anyway. nor does it refer to the now rare “The turning (of a thing) upside down or uprooting it from its position; overturning, upsetting (of an object).” if the movie’s caliber degrades, i may find it refers to, “Med. subversion of the stomach: nausea.” again, this definition is obsolete, but like “merry-sorry,” i’m taking it back.

2006 hammerskjold “the merry-sorry seas caused a pronounced subversion of Dr. Schneider’s stomach”

who said studying vocab hurt creativity?

the current definition of subversion is suitably broad enough to include everything, and nothing. “In immaterial senses: Overthrow, ruin. a. of a law, rule, system, condition, faculty, character, etc. b. of persons, countries, peoples, or their lives or fortunes.”

the emphasis on “immaterial” is the most interesting part of the definition. whereas previously subversion was a physical act, subversion is now confined to the effect. one no-longer subverts a city with a fire, one disparages the firefighters and subverts their authority. unless, of course, one is a subversive.

btw, the verb subvert also has the rare variant “subverse”. i’m sure you know which one i’ll be using.

as to whether or not “Pledge This!” is subversive, i should probably watch the whole movie before I attribute greatness to it–it’s 4 netflix stars not withstanding.