Monday, September 22, 2008

All in all, a fine kettle of toads

While doing a bit of Farking this morning, I had the happy chance to read this article about words that may be in danger of being ousted dictionarily. Happy chance, because the writer actually uses the words in the article, and the putting-in-context of words I've never even heard of made it a slightly giddy read.

Words I've never heard of. What a wonderful notion.

However wonderful, there's precious little chance of these words staying in the dictionary because, face it, there are better words around that have supplanted them. Language evolves, and one long word is dropped in favor of two smaller ones. The lexicon shrinks, 'superfluous' becomes 'extra,' and the concatenation of language from linguistic 12-course bloaters into verbal tapas moves on.

That's sad, really, because sometimes we need words like 'caliginosity' to fit a line in a poem or a column of a crossword, don't we.


If ever you have the chance to go to a play 'reading,' take up the offer. Instead of having the customary drinks and dinner and MythBusters last night, instead 7 p.m. found me in a semi-comfortable chair at The Theater In The Park down at Pullen Park, watching and listening to several actors bring to life a play one of my former colleagues (and still friend) has written.

The play was on subject matter of which I knew little, and so in addition to being entertained, I learned something. It's almost never a bad day when you can learn something, ya know?

Also? Any presentation that has as one of its central characters someone who wrote one of the most pivotal works of gothic horror ever has pretty much got to rock. Add to that the desolation of multiple deaths, the presence of a great poet as love interest, several hints at infidelity, and a spiral into the awful depths of depression, and you've got yourself one humdinger of a play.

A very very cool part was that after the reading, those of us in the audience (all 12 of us; hey, Sunday nights are tough!), as well as the actors were ASKED by the author for our input, particularly on issues that the author was unsure of herself. Amazing. Being asked for input, given the chance to workshop a piece that has been the fruit of a lifetime of interest in the main character, the outcome of a period of intense research used as a coping mechanism in the face of personal tragedy, the result of weeks of intensive writing once the research and outlining and preparation were complete. You'd think that someone would want to cradle their literary baby closely, to keep it unmolested by the world, but no, the author sought to mold this creative offspring into something better, and wanted our help doing it.

Is that cool, or what?

It was kind of fun getting to have some back and forth with the other audience members and the cast, who had fantastic ideas of their own. What started out as an engaging play with a very interesting story is, I think, going to become a very good play with a compelling tale to tell.

Especially for those of us who weren't English majors, and who therefore don't know how it all is going to end anyhow.


In other news briefs - painting the Tiny House is almost off the 'to-do' list. I know, I can't believe it either. Yesterday saw the second half of the trim being painted through a glorious midday of bright sun and perfect temperatures. In addition, the second round of priming was completed, as was the scraping and priming of a battered bedroom windowframe. When the weather cooperates, working outside is a pleasure, isn't it?

Anyhow, it's almost done. Also - there's a new fire pit in the backyard, and the old one is now a crumbling heap of bricks, just waiting to be hauled off to the dump. Y'all, it took no more that a couple of blows with a sledgehammer to take down the back wall of that monstrosity, and once that was in a pile a gentle shove on either of the two remaining sides brought the house down. The hardest part was bashing the mortar and concrete base to break it up, but even that was done in just a few minutes. It helps to have extra hands around to get the job done - especially a neighbor with some anger issues. Gives 'physical therapy' a whole new meaning.

Next up? Tiling the front porch.

What can I say - it keeps me from getting in the liquor cabinet before 5.


I hope you had a terrific weekend. Mine went too daggone fast, but now there are good memories to store and a perfect new mirror from a local artist on the living room wall, procured during this weekend's artists' studio tour, to serve as a reminder of what was.

Rock on, y'all.

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