Friday, October 26, 2007

Charles and Jeremiah , Chupacabra of the Antipodes

Where is the Mason and Dixon line?

What is the diet of the kea?

I learned the answers to these and other riveting questions by flipping through my dictionary and letting my eyes wander, instead of just looking up one word and no more.

From my bedside dictionary:

Mason-Dixon line [Charles Mason English astronomer and Jeremiah Dixon English surveyor]: the southern boundary line of Pennsylvania -- called also Mason and Dixon's line

kea [Maori]: a large predominantly green New Zealand parrot (Nestor notabilis) that is normally insectivorous but sometimes destroys sheep by slashing the back to feed on the kidney fat

I thought I'd share what I learned about the Mason and Dixon's line because it was news to me. I'd always figured it was the line that was the northern or southern border of Tennessee (Tenneseein' is Tennbelievin'). Placing the traditional North-South demarcation line so far north really shifts my Weltanshauung.

I think what I love most about the second entry is that they kinda shared a bit too much information. It's like if they were defining me and said Daniel: a brunet male found in the Great Plains that normally wears collared shirts and blue jeans but sometimes wears his mother's dresses



At October 27, 2007 10:43 AM, Blogger Cerise said...

But in the kea entry, it's the second part that really defines the bird, isn't it? Like, the interesting thing about werewolves isn't that they're normal humans most of the time. I don't know; maybe it's not fair to describe something by a rare characteristic... but in this case it does seem salient.

I'd never heard "Tennesseein' is Tennbelievin'. Ha!

At October 27, 2007 1:31 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I wouldn't say the second part defines the bird as much as it distinguishes it. But according to the Wikipedia entry, they could have just as easily distinguished it by mentioning it's one of two birds in the genus Nestor, or that it is weird that it is a parrot that lives in the mountains. It wasn't for another thirty years after the dictionary was published that they confirmed this behavior.

I do agree with you though that it is good for some distinction. I was going through my paperback dictionary at work and the entries for wheat, oat, rye, and barley were barely differentiated.

And I got the TN slogan from a Simpsons episode when the boys steal a car and go to Knoxville to see the World's Fair. Unfortunately, they had a AAA map/pamphlet from 1985, so the fair was gone. The slogan was on the sign as they entered the state.

At October 28, 2007 5:26 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

I love love love the definition of Daniel.

At November 03, 2007 9:23 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

In that same episode of the Simpsons, they stop in Branson (!!) and see Andy Williams, at Nelson's insistence. It's in that episode that the memorable quote comes from: "Branson is like Las Vegas if it were run by Ned Flanders".

I also love that you're willing to post your cross-dressing tendencies in such a public forum. Thank you for sharing, Daniel ;)


At November 03, 2007 11:05 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

Daniel, I don't have your email address to invite you to join my private one. Maybe Ellen has it...?


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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Two Names

Noygel Massop

Greator Tshuma



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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Martin Mulling

Kosmo. I think I want to name something or someone this. Maybe a son, but not the first. (Other son names are Solomon [Sol] and Dean Henry Ellis.)

There was a last name in the credits of Across the Universe: Cazedessus. I really like it. There is a Jules Cazedessus that has a couple IMDb credits (the connection to all three movies: Frida, Titus and Across the Universe is Julie Taymor) and a Camille Cazedessus Jr. (which means there is a Sr.) that has a connection to editing stuff. I like this name mainly because it is reminiscent of caduceus.

Another dog name: A dachshund named Oscar, not after the weiner, but after the boxer De La Hoya.

As for Across the Universe, I liked it, not as much as Once, but more than some other movie I didn't like as much--the Romeo + Juliet with Claire Danes will suffice. Some of Taymor's set pieces didn't work for me, and I didn't appreciate all the musical performances, but there was enough of both in the 133 minutes that I found plenty of each to please. I agree with Katie, that if you like The Beatles and you like musicals, you'll like this movie.

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At October 17, 2007 2:07 PM, Blogger Cerise said...

I too enjoy the word caduceus! That's what the last name reminds me of as well.

At October 19, 2007 7:43 PM, Blogger Wee Katie said...

Which set pieces didn't you like? Just wondering, since I don't remember talking about that. Thanks, again, for the movie. It was awesome (for me, at least).

At October 19, 2007 8:06 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I didn't like the war protest parade set, the Vietnam things weren't that great for me either, plus the Asian women that fell in the water were creepy, but I really liked the certification board/she's so heavy number.


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Saturday, October 06, 2007


That really sums up the Regina Spektor concert at Sokol Auditorium, opened by Only Son (if you'd like to see one of the songs they performed together during the encore, watch the "Hotel Song" video from an earlier show in Chicago).

My sister, Marcy, has a bunch of pictures of the concert up on Flickr. If you aren't too busy, I like her picture of our kitten Simon, the predator, on her third page of pictures (the sphinxy one is fun too).

But back to the concert, it really was everything I had hoped that it would be. The Steinway was grand, literally and figuratively, Regina was really magnificent, and was a trooper too, fighting off sickness (a fight she was beginning to lose by the time the encore came), and Jack/Only Son had a very fun open, what with his iPodologue and all (that would be when he had a conversation with his iPod).

The last song of the evening was Samson. This was one of her songs that I greatly anticipated. When I heard it at the show, I thought about the burden Delilah had lifted from her Hebrew hero. I know my own experience pales in comparison, but I think I felt similarly to him when I decided it was more important to graduate from Union than it was to graduate from the Honors Program at Union. It was a tremendous relief to eliminate the academic burden I'd probably carried with me since third grade.

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At October 06, 2007 9:02 PM, Blogger Janelle said...

I'm so jealous! She's going to be at Duke but tickets sold out before non-students could get them.

At October 10, 2007 12:58 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I'm so sorry that I missed you and Matt Daemon the other night. I was at Jazzercise and didn't have the phone with me. Although I probably would not have heard it ring anyway. Hope you enjoyed your evening. Let's get together with Wendy soon. Actually, my brother will be in town this Friday and Saturday if you would like to meet him. He's bringing the GPA gymnastics team to Union's something-fest.

At October 10, 2007 11:08 PM, Blogger I Hope So said...

i'm seeing regina on oct 31st and couldn't be more excited. i hear she puts on a tremendous show and i CANT WAIT to hear her perform samson. i probably listen to that particular song 12 times a day. and that's not an exaggeration.


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Thursday, October 04, 2007

It's a Dog's Name

Costello is named after Elvis, not Abbott's buddy, and is also a Pekingnese that looks like its owner.

Peanut and China are a Daschund and Mutt respectively.

Costello is named in the vein of Keidis, the mini Australian shepherd I met at the dog run a while ago.

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At October 05, 2007 12:42 PM, Blogger Cerise said...

My friend needs a name for her new kitty. She's thinking about William, but is afraid people will call him Willie.


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