Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Word Wednesday

Discombobulate - a slang word meaning to confuse or upset.

I like the way it bounces around my mouth as I pronounce it. It is a good word for early April as the weather is very confusing to people, plants, and animals. Cold, frosty mornings that still demand a warm jacket, hat, and gloves. The mercurial sun that teases us with glimpses of warmth that we have yearned for during our snowy winter.

I find the struggling economy and strife very discombobulating too. But I don't want to dwell on it as the media circus certainly makes sure we're aware of all the dread details.

So here's hoping your days and your lives are not too discombobulating, but that you might have an opportunity to interject today's new word into conversation. (:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Igpay Atinlay

Oday ouyay eakspay igpay atinlay? You may not recognize this strange language in its written form but if you heard it, you would understand it to be Pig Latin. I think it must be the non-bilingual's poor attempt at a second language. However, when I was young, I thought it was cool!

My mother and her mom would speak in Pig Latin. Of course they used the language to speak about adult things or something we children weren't supposed to know. They would carry on whole conversations in Pig Latin, or perhaps a few key words to confuse us. As we children got older we began to understand the "secret language" and we began to try to figure out the adult conversation. Victory was within our grasp--almost--then my mom and grandmother started speaking Pig Latin faster. Curses, foiled again!

As we got older we were able to follow most of the Pig Latin talk, so that it only became effective to use in front of the younger children. Eventually, I became fluent in Pig Latin. My mom and I would use the language to speak in front of my youngest siblings (victory at last!) and even some of the older kids couldn't follow a fast-paced Pig Latin conversation. My youngest brother, Glenn, became so tired of hearing Pig Latin and being out-of-the-loop that he started to mimic the language: "Oopday, Poopday, Shoopday!" He would crack us up and then tell us to talk in private if we couldn't speak openly in front of him. True, perhaps, but not as much fun as speaking Pig Latin.

Once in a while my mom and I will have a few words in Pig Latin just to drive my brother crazy--so much fun to tease him, hee hee!

Opehay ouyay avehay aay eatgray ayday!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Take me out to the ballgame...

The White Sox home opener was delayed by one day due to the rain and snow that came sweeping in last night. I don't think a one day delay will help much, it will still be very COLD.

My favorite game that I attended was when the White Sox clinched the American League West Division title. My mom and dad purchased tickets for most of the family to go to a game months in advance as part of a Commonwealth Edison company group discount plan. It was just luck or fate that we were at the September 17th game. Old Comiskey Park was packed! The crowd was absolutely crazy, loud, and so excited for our team. We cheered for all of our players, but we loved chanting "Harold, Harold, Harold!" for Harold Baines.

The game was great and we all went wild when we won the game and clinched the title! The best part of that or any game was spending the time and sharing the day with my family.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Warm Up?

April 5th and it is snowing. According to the calendar the first day of Spring was 16 days ago, someone forgot to inform Mother Nature. It is not the first time we have had snow in April but it is still disappointing. I think it is more of shock for the early flower bulbs, budding trees, and the birds.

As the saying goes, "This too shall pass.". The snow won't last long, but it will still be a chilly morning and probably slow commuter driving. So how about starting your day out with a nice bowl of oatmeal. I made this bowl extra special by sauteing Granny Smith apple and raisins in butter, cinnamon, and sugar. I promise it is yummy!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Hey, Kool-Aid!"

In our large family of nine kids, soda was a luxury. The regular kid beverages were either milk or Wyler's or Kool-Aid drink mixes made in empty plastic gallon milk jugs.

There were two unofficial rules for the jugs of Kool-Aid: don't drink directly from the jug--use a glass, and whomever finishes the jug makes the next jug. Both of these rules were routinely abused by both boys and girls alike. I think all of us kids at one time or another took a quick chug of Kool-Aid when we were thirsty. Of course the trick was not to get caught in the act!

I don't know why but it always seemed to be such a big chore to make the Kool-Aid, so we became creative or maybe a better word is evasive. When the jug was full, no problem--big drinks. But as the liquid level began drop, smaller drinks, because as long as there was one glass of drink left in the jug it wasn't empty! So everyone became good at leaving "just enough" liquid in the jug. It started out that one glass meant regular 10-12 ounce drinking glass until one clever sibling upon being challenged about the jug amount, poured the jug contents into a 4 ounce juice glass. Thus demonstrating that indeed one glass of drink was left in the jug.

More often than not, the empty jug would be left on the counter where the next thirsty child would find it and yell out "Who emptied the Kool-Aid jug?!". The only answer ever received was dead air and the thirsty child was left to make the jug, or do the unthinkable--drink plain water!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Angels Among Us

When the Angels arrive, the devils leaves.
~Egyptian Proverb

May you know that angels are around you everyday, may they guide you in all your endeavors.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wii Wee!

A recent purchase of Summer Sports - Paradise Island for the Wii system has been entertaining my family quite a bit. As I have mentioned in a previous post, my family has a bit of a competitive streak.

So far we have played Lawn Darts, Basketball/Horse, Horseshoes, Miniature Golf, and Croquet all set in a tropical setting. The graphics are good and the control functions aren't too complicated. I have had some successes in Horse like making a Trick Shot from behind the basket! I have also had some notable losses in Lawn Darts and Horseshoes to my brothers Glenn and Scott. My sister Renee and I teamed up in Horseshoes to play Scott and Renee's finance Larry, I was less than stellar leaving Renee to carry our team. But her work was in vain and we lost to the guys.

The most contested game was the Croquet game between Scott, Glenn and myself. We were doing fairly well, we thought we all had good control of our mallet swings--then things got crazy! Suddenly we all had trouble hitting the croquet balls; too hard, not hard enough, bouncing off the wickets. We started hitting a competitor's croquet ball to gain extra strokes to advance in the game. The game has a Taunt function where you can harass competitors with annoying sound effects, which we did, but Taunts really didn't compare to our own verbal insults and rants at the game when play didn't go our way. I thoroughly enjoyed croquet, especially since I came from behind and won the game!

I look forward to some re-match games as well as playing the other sports. Badminton anyone?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Something New

Today I'm starting a new item, da, da, da, daaahh....WORD WEDNESDAY! (Can you tell I like alliteration! :)

This will be a regular feature where I discuss a favorite or a topical word. This week's word is in honor of the first day of April is: Fool.

Fool - to act unwisely; to be deficient in judgement; to trick; or to have an affinity for, ie. "a singing fool". There are so many meanings as well as synonyms like clown, birdbrain, boob, dope, jerk, jester, or perhaps nincompoop. That's a great word, nincompoop! How long has it been since you said nincompoop? It's funny and not too harsh!

Did you know that fool is a type of dessert? It is made of pureed fruit that is folded into whipped cream or custard. Sounds good, I'll have to try it.

What would April Fool's Day be without a trick. I didn't pull any tricks today, but one of my past favorites was on a co-worker, Danny. He had been warned that I liked to play tricks on April 1st, so he warily sat at his desk that day. As I watched from a slight distance, Danny scanned his work area looking for anything that was out of place. Next he began his routine, with his right hand he opened an overhead bin, then he started looking at the binders in the bin for any sign of mischief while at the same time reaching behind his back with his left hand to open a drawer to get out his glasses. As soon as the drawer was open a couple of inches a wind-up noise maker I had placed in the drawer was triggered, made a huge noise, and Danny screamed and jumped out of his chair! He was so startled but he was laughing too. Danny was a good sport, especially as I pulled another trick on him later that day.

I think we should all be comfortable enough to be the fool every once and awhile and not feel foolish about it.
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.
~Yiddish Proverb