Sunday, February 28, 2010


Capricious [adj] (kuh pree shuhs)(kuh prih shuhs)
  1. Changing one's mind quickly and often
  2. Old-fashioned

 "I think I'll give a card. Does that sound good?"

"Uh, it's a little - basic  But I don't want you to become capricious."

"Well, perhaps flowers would be appropriate."

"Flowers would be nice."

"Daisies, maybe.  Or roses?"

"Can you get roses this time of year?"

"Maybe.  Or you could just go for carnations.  Carnations are always at the grocery store."

"Than they're definitely not that special.  I should give something that's special."

"Chocolate?  Chocolate is special."

"Only if it has nougat - and not the kind with nuts.  Or the kind with spices.  Or uses white chocolate.  Or -"

"Okay, no chocolate.  A book?  Some poetry?"

"Does that look like an option?"

"Yeah, no.  So, jewelry?"

"A necklace would be nice.  Something shiny...or something colorful?"

"Could be both.  Though, that may be overkill."

"No flowers, chocolate, poetry, or jewlry.  What else is there?"

"...a card?"

"Maybe that would be for the best."

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Archaic [adj] (ahr kay ihkv)

  1. Ancient
  2. Old-fashioned

There is nothing archaic about waking up to a snow covered world.  It's rather refreshing, to see everything embrace a blank canvas.  At least for a time.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Itinerant [adj] (ie tihn uhr uhnt)

  1. Wandering from place to place
  2. Unsettled

Who needs to be itinerant when there's Google Earth?  With a click or two, you're in Sydney.  Another click, the streets of New York.  Another, outside the local country store.  It's possible to be unsettled and yet settled - to travel the world without leaving the comforts of your desk.

Of course, for those truly born with wanderlust, Google Earth is a tease.  The real journey is packing your bags, booking a flight, and feeling the dirt of a foreign land between your toes.  It's about the smell of the Sydney Opera House; the dampness of a Broadway while you wait for cheap tickets to a shot.  It's about walking into the country store and leaving with a bag full of penny candies and the latest gossip about Mr. Higgins down the road.

It's the experience of travel that makes being itinerant worthwhile.  But, for now, Google Earth is a looking glass into the world and a fairly good one, at that.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Monotony [noun] (muh naht nee)

  1. No variation
  2. Tediously the same

Eating can, on occasion, become less of an enjoyment and more of a monotony.   Food supplies proper nutrition and proper nutrition keeps us alive.  End meet means. 

But I cannot imagine what the people who choose to have tongue patches surgically implanted to limit themselves to a liquid diet must feel about their food.  Monotony it must be - and torture.  Listen to the description:
The medical procedure involves stitching a small piece of polyethylene mesh onto a patient's tongue, making it painful to ingest solid foods and forcing a low-calorie, liquid diet.
Uh, ow?  And duh, might I add.  It's the same reason people after surgery lose weight - they're in pain and thus lose appetite.  While the patch is removable, according to the article, I cannot see the association of food=pain going away.  Perhaps that's the point, but when pay to become one of Pavlov's dogs?

I suppose, as I munch - pain free - on another turkey sandwich, that my monotony is not that bad.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Nettle [verb] (neh tuhl)
  1. To irritate
It is my goal to nettle you just a little today in order to make you more acutely aware of how nice, simple, and completely normal your life truly is.  How am I going to do this?  May I present, My Little Pony: Live?

Yes, that's "I'm Not Going" from Dream Girls and, if you made it through, "Defying Gravity" from Wicked.  Sung by ponies. 

No need to thank me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Precipitate [verb] (preh sih puh tayt)

  1. To throw violently or bring about abruptly
  2. Lacking deliberation

Do you ever wonder if births precipitate themselves into windows purposefully?  The general consensus is that they TWACK, WHACK, THUNK into windows because glass reflect a clear sky or that the bird thinks its attacking another bird.  The act is not purposeful; the act is an accident.

But, then again, the "general consensus" also said that the world was flat for a few hundred years. So.
You see, if I were a bird, I think I would choose to run into windows.  I would do this not because, as a bird, I'd be of the suicidal sort or overly manic, but because I imagine the thrill of freaking out humans would be rather enjoyable. Flying into a window at a controlled speed (decided upon by the pitch of the TWACK, WHACK, THUNK that is achieved, of course) wouldn't hurt me, but it would solicit a few gasps, screams, and general looks of shock.  As a bird, this may be a highlight of the day - or, perhaps, a right of passage into true Birdom.

But, that's not really the general consensus on the issue. So.

Then again, the "general consensus" also said that the world was flat for a few hundred years. So.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Intrepid [adj] (ihn treh pihdt)

  1. Fearless
  2. Resolutely courageous

 Maple bacon ice cream is rather intrepid.  Creating a dessert that is smokey-sweetness bathed in a creamy-cool shell requires a touch of courageousness but it is worth the risk - it is delicious.

Particularly when sandwiched between two chocolate cake cookies and placed upon a base of strawberry sauce, as it was at The Bearded Frog last night. 

Unfortunately, I was so engrossed in the dish that I neglected to take a picture!  Perhaps I will upload a rendering of this dessert later in the day.  Trust me, the wait will be worth it.

That is, if you're intrepid enough.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Intransigent [adj] (ihn traan sug juhnt)

  1. Uncompromising
  2. Refusing to be reconciled

There are few things in life of which I feel fairly intransigent.  Compromise is a good thing - if only so everyone feels a little cheated, and thus, equally offended.

That being said, when one points out that the double-jointedness of my feet bothers one and may or may not induce vomiting, I am unlikely to acquiesce.  You see, this is comfortable.   I have been doing this since I was small.  This is no worse than you cracking your knuckles, cracking your gum, or flicking your nails - obsessively. 

In this, I remain intransigent.  Fair warning. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Machination [noun] (mahk uh nay shuhn)
  1. Plot or scheme

"I grow tired of your feeble machinations, Maurice."

"If you surrendered, my machinations would cease.  It would seem to me that you are the source of your own irritation, James."

"While your mental ruminations and general disregard for logic are quite titillating, I do believe I have had enough."

"Lovely.  So have I."

"Shall we, then?"

"Oh, after you.  I insist."


"15 Victory Points?  The game ends at 10."

"True. Perhaps next time, when you continue to be uncooperative with swapping your Bricks for Wheat, you will remember this painful loss."

"Next time, I will not lose."

"Unlikely, young Settler of Catan.  Unlikely."

Friday, February 19, 2010


Anodyne [noun] (aah nuh dien)
  1. Something that calms or soothes pain

The anodyne for today, for this week, comes in the form of a number.  A simple number, known to most and revered for its wholeness in percentage, perfection in scoring, and triad of rounded digits.

That number of which I speak is that of 100, for as of last entry, February 18, 2010, Forever In Tangent hit its 100th entry.

To those 100 stories, I send my merry spirits and gratitude. To the next 100, I bid my salutation and cannot wait to meet you in person.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Posit [verb] (pah siht)

  1. To assume as real or conceded
  2. To propose as an explanation

If I may, I posit that the availability of Ring Pops is not something that most people contemplate.  However, I can honest say that the lack of inventory of this ring shaped lollipop (that come in a variety of fruity flavors) has been on my mind during the last 24-hours.

You see, I was on search for these little jewels last night to act as a sugary inspiration for a brainstorm session.  It made perfect sense - interactive and sweet!  How could it go wrong? 

I'll tell you: It goes wrong when you can't find any.  Five stores over two days and no Ring Pops. 

Apparently, Ring Pops are high in demand and sold out.  Or undervalued by the American public.

Unfortunately, I posit that it is the latter. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Stratagem [noun] (straa tuh juhm)

  1. Trick designed to deceive an enemy

This is not a stratagem (which should be clear, dear reader, as you are not my enemy.  At least, I think not).  This is, in fact, a shared smile in the form of a video - a wedding music video, to be precise:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Garrulous [adj] (gaar uh luhs)

  1. Tending to talk a lot

The last place I believe myself to be garrulous is online.  And yet, here I sit, 8 o'clock at night with a bowl of cut peaches to my left, a television with a rerun of NCIS to my right, and my laptop stationed in front of me, ready to be a little talkative with the anonymous world of the Internet once again.

I may not be a talker to strangers in real life, but online?  Just call me Phyllis Diller.


That may have been the incorrect pop culture reference.    Nonetheless.

While this may not be considered "talking" in the strictest of senses, I do consider the act of blogging, of Tweeting, of merely submitting a status update to be conversation in key-strokes.  I put it out there; you read it or do not.  In everyday life, I may put a statement out there; you hear it or do not.  The real difference here - in this online area - is that my key-strokes have the potential to live forever in zeros and ones.  It's a beautiful disaster waiting to happen.

So, for tonight, I withdraw my garrulous activities for the promise of another day.  As Phyllis Diller said:
Aim high, and you won't shoot your foot off.
...again, wrong reference.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Philanthropy [noun] (fihl aan throh pee)
  1. Charity
  2. A desire or effort to promote goodness

The philanthropic season always cradles the holidays.  From the onset of November to the closing of January, giving is in the air.

And the phone lines.

Three, four, five calls a day from non-profit organizations asking for donations during the holidays is not an uncommon occurrence.  Three, four, five statements of "No, we're not giving this year" are also not uncommon.   We decline to give and, in that moment, feel equally abashed and elated.

Abashed and elated?  How can that be?  In truth, no one likes to be solicited - to be asked for funding and give away one's hard earned pay.  However, when one is confronted with a depository of admirable intent, that dislike turns inward - "I'm sorry I cannot give to such a worthy cause."  We feel abashed, as a result.

At the same time, it's true that we do not like to ask for money.  "Ah, but you're not asking for money; you're being ask," you say.  True - but think ahead.  If one donated to a charity, but does so beyond one's means, the next step for the individual is to be the recipient of charitable funds.  By passing on giving money to a non-profit, one is saving the charity from having to support one later on - hence the sense of elation.

As the phones cease to ring nightly with requests to support one cause or another, so ceases the conflicting feelings of embarrassment and happiness as we are no longer forced to say, "I'm sorry, but we can't donate."  We can rest and save - until November, that is.  Then: let the calls of philanthropy being.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Politic [adj] (pah lih tihk)
  1. Shrewd and practical in managing or dealing with things
  2. Diplomatic

"You handled that in a politic manner."

"Thank you.  Could you pass the salt?"

"I mean, I would have gone for glaring, screaming, and throwing things, myself."

"He meant well.  That's what counts in the end.  And the pepper?"

"Sure, sure.  You really are embracing this whole Zen mentality, aren't you?"

"There's no sense in getting upset about it at this point.  The deed is done."

"And what a deed it was."

"It was rather ... "

"A Thigh Master!  Man alive - he gave you a Thigh Master on Valentine's Day!"

"I was going to say 'It was rather unconventional,' but ... "

"And he's still breathing - that's the impressive part.  You are operating at a level I can't begin to understand."

"Oh, don't give me so much credit.  I'm not a saint."

"... why not?"

"Let's just say he'll be getting a rather unsavory meal for his birthday."

"You know, that's quite diplomatic of you."

"I think so.  Pass the Drano - er, I mean hot sauce, will you?"

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Prudence [noun] (proo dehns)
  1. Wisdom
  2. Caution or restraint

As the Vancouver Winter Olympics shifts into full gear, I once again find myself trying my best to show prudence in regard to the Olympic games.

And, more specifically, the merchandise that comes along with it.

You see, I have a tendency to pine over elements of Team USA's uniforms - from their 2002 berets by Roots to their 2006 ... berets by, er, Root's.  Clearly, I like accessories and Olympic accessories are no exception. [Let it be known that that the 2008 uniforms by Polo had no pull for me - as there were not berets involved, apparently.]  

However, I have refrained from purchasing any merchandise - a fact that is to be applauded, as I was in Beijing last summer and the Olympic fever is still alive and well for vendors.

But this year.  This year, there are mittens.

Canadian mittens.  Bright red, maple leave embossed, Canadian mittens.  Mittens that are, as of this moment, out of stock on HBC and the official Vancouver Olympic site

This, by most accounts, may be a blessing - a sign of the universe saying, "Prudence, dear.  Prudence."

I hear you, Universe.  Trust me; I hear you and thank you for your foresight and fortitude in these matters.

But still - Olympic mittens...

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Coffer [noun] (kah fuhr)
  1. Strongbox
  2. Large chest for money

At first glance, the below box would appear to be a coffer.  Upon further inspection, however, the box would prove to be a machine that turns itself off, also know as The Most Useless Machine Ever: 

The good news is that you can make one yourself, via Instructables. Time to have some useless fun!


Discern [verb] (dihs uhrn)
  1. To perceive or recognize

With Valentine's Day just around the proverbial corner, an abundance of jewelry advertisements has made me wonder if it's actually possible to discern a diamond from an artfully cut piece of glass.

For consumers like myself, the telltale sign of a diamond is the price - all derived from the 4-Cs: color, cut, clarity, and carat.  From those four options, it would appear that the first three are visible to the naked-eye and can be characteristics of any gem - or, dare I say, crystal?  Carats fall into an entirely different ballpark, but if a jeweler was to tell a customer that so-and-so ring was 24-carats, would they know if it was actually 14?

My visceral response: No, they wouldn't.  They'd flaunt their ring around like there's no tomorrow, waxing and waning on the beautiful princess cut, the ravishing clarity, the rich color, and, yes, the gluttonous carat count.  They'd have no idea that their hand was sporting a piece of cut glass and - you know what? - they'd be happy in their illusion.

Ignorance is, on occasion, bliss.  As long as the foundation is strong, a cheap ring can't break it.   A ring, now matter the cost, will not patch up a relationship on Valentine's Day.  What it will do is just sell for a bit more at the pawn shop when the divorce papers are signed.

If that's a main concern, than reaching a certain level of carat discernment may be prudent this Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Pathogenic [adj] (paa thoh jehn ihk)
  1. Causing disease

"You must be pathogenic."


"Unlikely as it is, you can't ignore evidence."

"I wouldn't go as far as to call it 'evidence.'"

"The absence of three-out-of-five of our co-workers at work today?"


"The surplus of tissues in your wastebin."


"And finally: The absence of Purell in your purse."

"I hate the smell.  And I heard its bad for jewelry."

"People dropping dead around you; sniffles, coughing, and sneezing, plus a distinct lack of hand sanitizer? Ladies and gentlemen, Typhoid Mary has arrived."

"Oh, please, for the love of - ... "

"You're about to sneeze, aren't you?"


"You're not going to grab a tissue, are you?"


"You're going to -"

"Bless me."

"Ew.  I felt that."

"Well, if you were right, I was going to give it to you anyway. Welcome to the pathogenic fold, my sickly fellow."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Perfunctory [adj] (per funk tor ee)
  1. Done in a routine way
  2. Indifferent

The commute to work each morning is never perfunctory; the ride home, however, always is.

While I am aware that time cannot be elongated or truncated, it always feels like my 30-mile drive is quite a bit shorter in the morning than it is in the afternoon.  As a result of this lapse in the time-space continuum, my drive home is often an indifferent one - ignoring the scenery, the vast snow-topped mountains and glistening evergreens for the sake of getting home.

But, then again, I'd rather have an indifferent ride than an eventful one.  Now, off to my perfunctory drive. 

Monday, February 8, 2010


Canard [noun] (kuh nard)
  1. A lie

It would be a canard to say that 15-30 inches of snow doesn't phase me.  If I was to hear one of my dear Channel 3 News meteorologists look into the camera and say that the Dooz-o-meter has broken as a result of the impending snow storm, my native Vermonter blood would proceed to glaze.

However, I would still face the day, as my my Green Mountain blood is 20% anti-freeze.

It would appear that this meteorologist's blood is not so chemically balanced.  As he says, "Oh boy."

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Chaos [noun] (kay ahs)
  1. Great disorder
  2. Confused situation

While I hate to editorialize - okay, you can stop laughing now - but please allow me to do just that when it comes to today's word: chaos

Chaos, the opposite of order, the bringer of confusion, and the title of a French film about prostitutes I saw in a high school French class, is a word in my GRE vocabulary book.  This baffles me to the point where I felt compelled to use the verb "baffle" despite its rather odd configuration that looks a touch like "wiffle" and thus reminds me of t-ball games during a summer camp that I acquaint to a very long nighmare.

That aside, how in the world is "chaos" deemed a graduate word rather than a undergraduate word?  If you were able to get through high school without confronting the concept of chaos, than I applaud you for your absentmindedness and general disregard for any literature class you may/may not have ever taken.  If you were able to get through your undergraduate degreee without confronting the concept, than I question if you went to college - period.

Chaos is not a GRE word - opine, desultory, transitory, and anachronism are.  Please note this, GRE study guide, as we go forward to avoid further chaos.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Opine [verb] (oh pien)
  1. To express an opinion

If I many opine, the video for "Her Morning Elegance" by Oren Lavie is mesmerizing.  Apparently, the entire video is composed of over 3,000 stills and the actual shooting took only a day (cite).  I want to make something like this:


Insipid [adj] (ihn sih pid)
  1. Lacking interest or flavor

When is it that birthdays become insipid?

It's not when we're 5 and squeal at the sight of our Sesame Street cake and plow through a pile of presents in mere moments.

It's not when we're 10 and invite a gaggle of friends for a sleepover which features little-to-no sleep.

It's not when we're 15 and we try for our drivers permit, or 16 when we hope to call the open road our own.

It's not when we're 18 and put a foot into the adult world - and by adult, we do meant cigarettes, military, and porn.

It's now when we're 21 and shimming up to the bar (or, in this writer's case, shimming up to a ice cream sundae the size of her head).

Is it 23 when the glow fades?  The age when we realize that all milestones from there-on-out are marked in decades and those decades arrive with a town's worth of misconceptions, worries, and societal beliefs.   The age when both feet are planted firmly in the adult world of rent, loans, and ever-changing atmospheres.  The age when friends move on, family moves on, and even time itself appears to plunge ahead, unconcerned with our apprehension.  The age when expectations begin to be the guide and desires get moved to the trunk.

With such a list of birthday-induced absolutes, its no wonder birthdays become insipid over time - there's just far too much to worry about in between.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Intractable [adj] (ihn traak tuh buhl)
  1. Not easily managed or manipulated

My virus is proving to be intractable, as is my imagination.  Although lessening in resolve (the virus, not the imagination), it chooses to transmogrify daily into something new and equally uneasy.  It's like a mini-Picasso in my system - just replace paint with with a battle field of empty white blood cells.  But still, it's rather imaginative.


Is it sad that my virus has more creativty than I do?

I think so.


Nonetheless, we will prevail.  And by we, I do hope that will not include the virus, which would indeed be counter to the whole "prevailing" concept.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Fortuitous [adj] (fohr too ih tuhs)
  1. Happening by chance
  2. Fortunate

It seems wrong that sickness is such a fortuitous event.  One moment, one is completely whole - agile, buoyant, and driven; the next the entire world is turned on its head.  Wistfulness, lethargy, and irritation quickly take over and reign for a fortnight.

How I hope this doesn't reign for a fortnight. 

Perhaps this fortuitous event will come to an end as quickly as it was brought on.

Now, if you'll excuse me, medication awaits.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Iniquity [noun] (ih nihk wih tee)
  1. Sin
  2. Evil act

Being sick is unfortunately, but the real iniquity occurs when one is confronted with vomiting, intestinal problems, achiness, headaches, and an inability to sleep in little more than fits.

I am facing that reality as I type.

Or was.  My symptoms are now limited to achiness and headaches. I'm quite content to see my maladies diminish, but the lack of sleep is compounding what few issues I have left.

Ah, to be sick and young.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Anachronism [noun] (uh naak ruh nih suhm)

  1. Something out of place and time.

Too literal an anachronism

Cavemen from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, August 2009

  Hope the Geico guys don't mind....