Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Postcard #298 – Tea from Poland

Drinking tea, of course, is not universal in all cultures, but how people drink tea is  fascinating in itself. It may differ in the details depending on which country you are in, but in many cases it’s a ritual or a quiet and contemplative time in the day. And even if it’s done with other people, it’s not part of raucous gatherings. Seriously, can you imagine anyone drinking tea at a rock concert let alone a rave?

Anyways, I find this European black tea service unusual. Weren’t western tea sets usually white ones? Or at least ones in bright colors?

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Postcard #285 – From Yosemite

Yes, I’m finally getting to a postcard I sent to myself! There’s a post office in Yosemite, so I couldn’t resist sending something from there.

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KonMari-ing the Library and Other Blasphemous Things

When I first read about the controversy on Marie Kondo’s advice to throw out all your books that don’t bring you joy, my first thought was a cynical one–that this was promoted to generate buzz on her new show on Netflix. One must admit, the timing of the controversy and its availability on the streaming service was a little suspect.

I had heard of Kondo’s book when it first came out a couple years ago, but I paid it little mind, assuming that it was just one of many offshoots of the current minimalist trend. I didn’t need to read about something that I already quasi-practiced. I’m more on the pro-minimalist side of things, but this is about half due to necessity–I’ve moved around a lot and discovered that having too much stuff to move around is just a pain in the ass. Philosophically, I don’t attach too much of myself to things. I’m more of an idea person. So basically moving everything online–communications, writing, reading, research, entertainment–wasn’t a difficult transition for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why people have an emotional attachment to things. There’s history behind those objects–and I think for some people it’s easier to keep those things around than to try to capture those feelings into words, photos, and three dimensional schematics and upload those documents into the cloud. If people don’t want to throw X, Y, and Z out even though they take up quite a bit of room, I wouldn’t really care as long as they don’t try to store X, Y, and Z at my place.

Anyways, after thinking about this some more, I find it hard to get worked up about this. I don’t really agree with Kondo’s methods (Why throw something out because it doesn’t bring joy? Why not use utility or some other quantifiable method as a criteria for throwing things out?), but I don’t see why I should use up so much emotional energy getting worked up about her notions on throwing books away when she’s not physically coming into my home to toss stuff out. (Although judging from some parody tweets on Twitter, maybe she is.) I think what’s really happening is that marketing a certain aspirational lifestyle that has its origins in one culture is clashing directly with the lifestyle philosophy of a different culture.

So why am I framing it as a clash of cultures? Well, take Kondo, for instance. Her methods are very much rooted in Japanese style and the way she advocates throwing things out harks back to the animist beliefs that still pervade the country. From her Wikipedia page, she made a statement to the effect that she sort of had a religious experience that set her on the path of becoming an organizational guru. In light of that, I think she’s fashioned herself into an organizational Joan of Arc, saving people from being besieged by their own stuff. Only instead of being burned at the stake for her heretical notions about books, she’s being pilloried on Twitter.

I also want to note that it’s individual books that are considered and then tossed if they don’t bring joy. For people who are outraged at this notion, it’s not so much that the books are individual, but they are part of a greater whole–the personal library. If you subscribe to the personal library as an entire entity, tossing books out is akin to, say, chopping a tail off a pet cat because you reason that the tail is not essential in keeping the cat alive and why not amputate because that would save space. But we all instinctively know that that is inhumane.

Books are also not just about joy. They bring all sorts of emotions because writers try to capture the totality of the human experience in words. So if you are throwing out everything except the joyful books, aren’t you metaphorically cutting off all your emotions except the happy ones? (It does not escape my notice that Japanese society is also a lot more conformist than others. Many emotions are hidden–to the detriment to mental health–in order to avoid conflict and to keep everything in harmony.)

For some strange reason, this whole thing reminded me of one of the books in Jayne Castle’s St. Helens trilogy which were futuristic romances written in the late 1990s before the whole paranormal romance thing blew up and took over bookstores. The conceit of these books is that human colonists landed on some weird planets (that somehow bear an uncanny resemblance to the late 20th century Pacific Northwest) and over time, developed psychic abilities or talents. In one of the books, the villain turned out to be this lady who had the talent to organize everything. Her downfall was that she was too obsessively organized. Anyways, the point of that digression is that it’s probably okay not to be perfectly tidy. Do what works for you. And if people are pushing some method or another, well, just assume they’re trying to take over the world. Or at least make a cash grab.

No Accomplishment Is Your Own

So, I recently came across this tweet on my Twitter timeline. It caused some outrage and controversy. So I went on this person’s profile page to figure out if I could get any context from the rest of the tweets. Unfortunately, I failed on that part. All I could figure out was that this person is a writer and a comedian and they went to Harvard at some point. Considering that this person makes a living in trying to be funny, I wasn’t sure if this tweet was a serious statement or her trying to be funny. Maybe it was both. Since I’m not sure what her intent was, I sort of find it as a failure on her part as a writer to try to convey her true intent.

Anyways, the replies to that tweet fell into two camps: 1) People who assumed that the author of the tweet aimed to skewer rich, privileged young people who boast about their accomplishments when it was in fact their parents’ money that funded everything, and 2) people who felt that they were being kicked while being down because the author did not explicitly state it was rich, privileged young people that she was talking about. Her statement was vague and could be easily interpreted to mean that it included EVERY person who was living at home with their parents, lumping in both the wealthy leeches with the poor, disabled, and others who live with their parents out of necessity.

And what do I think of this? Well, I think figuring out who pays the rent is besides the point of what constitutes a “real” accomplishment. And I’m speaking as someone who has paid my own rent ever since grad school (I lived in dorms as an undergrad and my college education was funded through scholarships). Accomplishments don’t appear from out of a vacuum. They get done from support of a lot of people: parents, yes, but also other relatives, friends, teachers, mentors, other people who believe in you, supporting organizations, networks, and sometimes just pure luck. Just because a smart, hardworking person also happens to be living with someone else who pays their rent doesn’t make them any less smart or hardworking.

I can, perhaps, make an educated guess as to where the tweet’s author was coming from. As the child of immigrant parents who managed to make it into Harvard and then into some high profile gigs–it’s probably easy to assume that she made it to where she is due to her own efforts. In fact, one might assume that I might be one of the most likely people to take her view because I’m also the child of immigrant parents who attended prestigious universities and now making it professionally in one of the most expensive parts of the country. However, I am also acutely aware that where I went to school also helped open doors that might not have been available to me otherwise. Yes, I did all the work, but someone has to open those doors, too. I suspect that all of her accomplishments would have been a lot more difficult to do if she had not had the network available to her simply by attending Harvard (and all the circumstances leading up to her getting accepted there).

So, one could argue that having any accomplishments is a mix of work and circumstance. And in this case, the “circumstance” is the sticking point. As the old saying goes, we all stand on the shoulder of giants. And regardless of who’s supplying the money and the opportunities and the moral support, perhaps we should all apply some humility when describing our own accomplishments rather than stomping on other people while trying to validate ourselves.

Organizing Everything

Don’t you sometimes get the feeling that life is nothing but organization, a fight against entropy?

Today in the mail, I got a mass of postcards from various places in the world. Usually it’s just one or two, but I guess after the holidays, a lot of mail accumulated at the post office and it was just today that everything got delivered. But instead of tossing all of these cards into a photobox where I’ve been keeping all of my postcards after reading them, I decided to do a mass organization by country. (This, to me, seemed like a more intuitive way of categorizing everything compared to, say, topic or style or shape.) It took longer than expected.

I can’t say that I particularly liked doing the organization, but now that all the postcards are in order, it’s interesting to note the patterns that emerge by country. Perhaps I’ll do an actual analysis at a later date when I have more time to kill.

Starting Small

It’s been a while since I’ve posted regularly in this blog. I don’t want to have a resolution saying that I will start posting regularly from now on, because let’s face it, most resolutions end up as failures as the rest of life gets in the way and attempts at establishing new habits get broken. But, perhaps I’ll start small with bits and pieces of observations rather than starting big with essays encompassing large ideas and perhaps that will make it easier to go on.

Anyways, I wanted to share my latest binge watching: Begin Japanology and Japanology Plus (it’s actually the same program, but the name changed). I discovered this on YouTube because the site began recommending this to me after I had been watching other documentary videos. I love these types of videos because it tells about different cultures through seemingly very simple things like home appliances and umbrellas as well as the more obvious cultural markers like food, literature, and religion.

I have to admit, part of the fun of watching this particular show on YouTube is reading the comments. (Yes, yes, I know. Never read the comments. But I can’t help myself.) It’s usually overwhelmingly positive for the main host, Peter Barakan, who has a very calm, British demeanor. But the commenters have such a hate-on for the host of the “Plus” segments, Matt Alt. It’s probably because Alt’s character is so obviously that of an exuberant American that for whatever reason, fans of the show find too jarring in comparison to the subject matter and the other host. I personally don’t get the hate (Alt definitely has a different style of presenting, but I’ve seen worse), but I do find it amusing that in the comments of the later episodes, the haters reluctantly post that he’s “getting better”. Maybe they don’t want to admit that Alt is growing on them.

NaNoWordSprints Prompts for November 2018

Finally! These are at least sort of on time. At least I’m not waiting a full year to post them. Anyways, have fun with these writing prompts!

* * *

November 1, 2018, 10:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Madam Sprints Sprints

10 min screaming
15 min entering store
30 min taking a seat
10 min it’s all ruined
20 min magic mirror

 

November 6, 2018, 7:30pm-12:20am (UTC-8)
Food Facts

10 min
fish sauce – something disappearing because something new replaced it
20 min
melons – perplexing the experts
30 min
resurrection cheese – ruins
10 min
grapefruit – forbidden (citrus x paradisi) (Jamaican sweet orange and Indonesian pomelo)
20 min
börek – rivals (rival monarchs)
30 min
shipworm, shivers of pleasure
10 min isinglass – book
20 min lettuce – soporific
30 min
spices – difficult to define
10 min
jellyfish, tender, crunchy and elastic
20 min wigs – symbolic
15 min pizza – layers
10 min
waffles – becoming a leader (Germany becoming a leader in development of waffle recipes in the 18th century)

 

November 8, 2018, 10:00pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
Unusual Modes of Transportation

10 min hot air balloon
20 min penny farthing
10 min space hopper

 

November 9, 2018, 9:00pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
June 2012 Book Titles

10 min gone missing
20 min love in disguise
30 min
breaking the rules
10 min damage control
20 min temptation

 

November 11, 2018, 7:00pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
Names and Meanings

10 min
Isra (Arabic/nocturnal journey), Miyako (Japanese/beautiful night child), Otieno (East African/born at night)
20 min
Behrooz (Persian/good day), Dagmar (Old Norse/day maid), Daisy (Old English/day eye)
30 min
Meltem (Turksih/sea wind), Tuulikki (Finnish/little wind), Amihan (Tagalog/winter storm)
10 min
Emeka (Western Africa/great deeds), Grant (French/great, large), Morrigan (Irish/great queen)
20 min
Leto (Greek/hidden, forgotten), Darnell (Old English/hidden nook), Amon (Egyptian/the hidden one)
30 min
Chloris (Greek/pale green), Qing (Chinese/blue, green, young), Irving (Scottish/green water)
10 min
Somsak (Thai/worthy power, honor), Mandla (Southern African/strength, power), Ulric (Old English/wolf power)
15 min
Ahtahkakoop (Native American/star blanket), Jiemba (Indigenous Australian/laughing star), Maristela (Spanish/star of the sea)
30 min
Brynmor (Welsh/great hill), Ruba(Arabic/hill), Hamilton (Old English/crooked hill)
10 min
Kahina (Northern African/the fortuneteller), Tashi (Tibetan/good fortune), Audhild (Norwegian/fortune and battle)

 

November 13, 2018, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
HAL Sprints

10 min fixing things
20 min double checking
30 min
struggling with command
10 min
getting to the source
20 min argument
30 min
shutting down the rogue
20 min into the unknown

 

November 15, 2018, 10:30am-11:00am (UTC-8)
SFO Sprints

30 min flying

 

November 16, 2018, 6:30am-9:00am (UTC-8)
The Great Train Escape

10 min traveling
20 min eavesdropping
30 min double entendre
10 min groundbreaking
20 min innovation
30 min fantastic scenery

 

November 17, 2018, 6:00pm-9:00pm (UTC-8)
Night of Writing Dangerously Sprints (Prompts by NOWD Participants)

10 min
a sea monster that is more comedic than scary
20 min
every phone in the room begins to ring in a cacaphony of turkey gobbles
30 min (part 1)
your main character falls out of a window naked
30 min (part 2)
you’ve approached the elevator and the down button has been selected already, but no one is there
10 min
insert a message on a wall written in something unusual: blood, glowstick fluid, super-glued coins
20 min
your main character slow dances with their new pet cat
30 min (part 1)
a pigeon appears and lands on the love interest’s head
30 min (part 2)
that’s what she said
25 min (part 1)
a character just stepped into a bear trap
25 min (part 2)
a character breaks into a musical number

 

November 21, 2018, 12:00am-2:00am (UTC-8)
Postcard Sprints

10 min
opulent surroundings
20 min chaos
30 min familial ties
10 min
the power of science
20 min running away

 

November 21, 2018, 7:00pm-9:00pm (UTC-8)
Phrases

10 min
eat, drink, and be merry
20 min
heard it through the grapevine
30 min
the elephant in the room
10 min
all that glitters is not gold
20 min
piece of the action

 

November 22, 2018, 8:00am-11:00am (UTC-8)
Lost Words Part 1

10 min
fallaciloquence (deceitful speech), foppotee (simpleton), fumificate (to make smoke), famigerate (to carry news from abroad)
20 min
labascate (to begin to fall or slide), lampistry (art of decorating lamps), lugent (weeping), latibule (hiding place)
30 min
acrasial (ill-tempered), alabandical (stupefied by drink), austerulous (slightly harsh), amarulence (bitterness, spite)
10 min
temerate (to break a promise), tremefy (to cause to tremble), tussicate (to cough), teterrimous (most foul)
20 min
mariturient (eager to marry), misqueme (to displease), murklins (in the dark), morsicant (producing the sensation of repeated biting or pricking)
30 min
cacozealous (imitating badly), celeripedian (swift-footed), citharize (to play the harp), crocitation (croaking)
5 min
welmish (of a pale or sickly color), wanchancy (unlucky), whipcat (tailor), wondermonger (one who promises miracles)
10 min
namelings (persons bearing the same name), nidifice (a nest), nerterology (study of the dead or the underworld), noscible (well-known)

 

November 22, 2018, 4:00pm-8:00pm (UTC-8)
Lost Words Part 2

10 min
damson (dark brownish purple), didapper (someone who disappears and bobs up again), diffluent (readily flowing away), dudgeon (resentment)
20 min
brio (enthusiastic vigour), bilious (ill-tempered), barracan (fine silk cloth), burrole (an eavesdropper)
30 min
rinkomania (obsession with skating), roulade (melodic embellishment sung to one syllable), rannygazoo (foolish nonsense), rigescent (becoming numb or stiff)
10 min
eclat (to make notorious), encraty (self-control), etiolate (to make pale by depriving of light), ebeneous (like or resembling ebony)
20 min
privatism (attitude of avoiding involvement in outside interests), psittacism (parrot-like repetition of speech), pabouche (a slipper), peise (weight, burden, load)
30 min
gewgaw (toy, trifling object, bauble), gulpin (credulous person), gyve (to fetter, to shackle), galanty (shadow play)
10 min
vafrous (cunning, sly), videlicet (to wit), vorpal (keen, deadly), veneniferous (carrying poison)
20 min
haematic (blood-colored), hednon (wedding present), homarine (pertaining to lobsters), hypogeal (underground)
30 min
kismet (fate, destiny), kyphorrhinos (humped nose), knarred (gnarled, knotty), kalon (beauty that is more than skin deep)
5 min
uberty (fruitfulness, abundant productiveness), umbracious (shady), upaithric (roofless, open to the sky), ustulation (buring, roasting)

 

November 23, 2018, 9:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
October and November 2011 Book Titles

10 min
sparks, saints astray, swift edge, some like it hot, stuck
20 min
revelations, race against time, rush, roam, the reckoning
30 min
last breath, love of the game, lesser evils, letting misery go, legend
10 min
blink of an eye, before the fall, bride of the night, breaking point, blank confession
20 min
heart of darkness, hunter of shadows, hit girls, his steadfast love, head over heels
30 min
cold glory, cloudburst, cemetery girl, crushed, covenant
10 min
firestorm, fake me a match, flipped out, flyaway, the final exam
20 min
darkness rising, destined, deadly desires, the disappearing dog, devoted
30 min
it happened on a train, the infernals, if I tell, in memories we fear, imposters
5 min
expectations of happiness, engaged with the boss, everybody sees the ants, enchanted by the blood, eyes to see

 

November 24, 2018, 8:00am-11:00am (UTC-8)
Tea Superstitions

10 min
Putting milk in your tea before sugar could condemn you to a life of solitude.
20 min
Leaving the top off the teapot could mean a stranger will bring bad news.
30 min
If you brew a pot of tea too strong you will make a new friend.
10 min
Bubbles that form in the middle of your cup indicate you will receive a lot of money.
20 min
Tea leaves scattered in front of the house will ward off evil spirits and protect the family that lives there.
30 min
It is very unlucky to stir the tea in the pot – if you do you will certainly quarrel with someone.
10 min
If the tea leaves form a cross in the cup, it means there’s trouble ahead
5 min
If tea accidentally spills out of the teapot while it is being carried, a secret shall be revealed.

 

November 24, 2018, 1:00pm-2:00pm (UTC-8)
Meow Sprints

10 min
getting tangled up in the thread of fate
20 min
scratching up a storm
10 min
a flying leap of faith

 

November 25, 2018, 7:15pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
Words That Shakespeare Created

10 min
embrace, engagement, enrapt, excitement, eyewink
20 min
amazement, anchovy, arch-villain, auspicious, addiction
30 min
radiance, rawboned, reinforcement, remorseless, restoration
10 min
majestic, malignancy, mimic, mockable, mortifying
20 min
hint, heartsore, howl, honey-tongued, hornbook
30 min
compact, clangor, coppernose, countless, circumstantial
10 min
outbreak, overblown, overgrowth, obscene, ode
10 min
inducement, informal, investment, invitation, import
30 min
fanged, fashionable, fathomless, freezing, footfall

 

November 27, 2018, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Gemstone Superstitions

10 min
Carbuncle dispels evil thoughts.
20 min
Ruby gives peace of mind, courage, insight, and mental power.
30 min
Lapis luzuli strenghtens friendship.
10 min
Malachite protects against lightning.
20 min
Agate can turn an enemy’s sword against himself.

 

November 28, 2018, 10:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Tom Gauld Cartoons

10 min
many versions of the same thing
20 min following trends
30 min
being pretentious
10 min
an unexpected loss
20 min
taking care of something
30 min the big reveal
10 min
an unexpected antagonist
5 min
an embarrassing incident

 

December 1, 2018, 12:00am-2:00am (UTC-8)
Idioms

20 min (part 1)
out of the frying pan and into the fire
20 min (part 2) broken heart
30 min (part 1)
keep the wolf from the door
30 min (part 2)
all that glitters is not gold
15 min (part 1) fall from grace
15 min (part 2) go with the flow
30 min (part 1)
in the nick of time
30 min (part 2)
famous last words

NaNoWordSprints Prompts for July 2018

It’s already past November and I’m incredibly late at getting these out, but better late than never, eh?

* * *

July 1, 2018, 5:00pm-7:00pm (UTC-8)
Beginning Tropes

10 min big first choice
20 min
dramatic chase opening
30 min morning routine
10 min
wake up in a room
20 min
starts with a murder

 

July 3, 2018, 9:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Word Pairs

10 min
first and last, fish and chips, flesh and blood, forgive and forget
20 min
ladies and gentlemen, law and order, life or death, lock and key
30 min
birds and bees, black and white, body and soul, bread and butter
10 min
cloak and dagger, coat and tie, coffee and doughnuts, cream and sugar
20 min
prim and proper, profit and loss, pros and cons, pure and simple
30 min
signed and sealed, slip and slide, soap and water, sooner or later
10 min
tall and thin, thick and thin, terms and conditions, to and fro
10 min
rain or shine, ranting and raving, read and write, rhyme or reason
15 min
high and low, hot and bothered, huffing and puffing, husband and wife
30 min
drawn and quartered, day or night, do or die, dead or alive

 

July 5, 2018, 10:30pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Magic: the Gathering – Ice Age and Dissension

10 min
chill to the bone, commandeer, controvert, counterbalance, cover of winter
20 min
feast of flesh, field marshal, flash freeze, frozen solid, fury of the horde
30 min
scrying sheets, sheltering ancient, snow-covered forest, sound the call, stalking yeti
10 min
bond of agony, bound, brace for impact, brain pry, bronze bombshell
15 min
cackling flames, celestial ancient, condemn, crime and punishment, coiling oracle
30 min
supply and demand, seal of doom, spell snare, squealing devil, stalking vengence

 

July 6, 2018, 10:00pm-2:00am (UTC-8)
Magic the Gathering – Ice Age Block, Dissension, Guildpact, Ravnica

10 min
research and development, rise and fall, rain of gore, ratcatcher, riot spikes
20 min
pain magnification, plumes of peace, pride of the clouds, proclamation of rebirth, proper burial
30 min
stealing stance, stoic ephemera, stomp and howl, street savvy, swift silence
10 min
walking archive, war’s toll, weight of spires, wit’s end, wrecking ball
20 min
castigate, caustic rain, conjurer’s ban, crash landing, cremate
30 min
savage twister, seize the soul, steam vents, stitch in time, stomping ground
10 min
bound and determined, belfry spirit, benediction of moons, bioplasm, blind hunter
20 min
resize, rabble-rouser, repeal, restless bones, rumbling slum
30 min
bathe in light, benevolent ancestor, birds of paradise, blockbuster, breath of fury
5 min
cry of contrition, caregiver, char, clinging darkness, concerted effort

 

July 7, 2018, 9:45am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
Magic the Gathering – Ice Age Block, Dissension, Guildpact, Ravnica

10 min
dark depths, debtor’s knell, douse in gloom, droning bureaucrats, dark confidant
20 min
earthen goo, electrolyze, empty the catacombs, eye of the storm, ethereal usher
30 min
fertile imagination, flash foliage, feral animist, frazzle, fiery conclusion
10 min
grim harvest, govern the guildless, ghost warden, godless shrine, gather courage
20 min
hallowed fountain, hide and seek, hit and run, hatching plans, hour of reckoning
10 min
into the north, ignorant bliss, infernal tutor, incite hysteria, induce paranoia

 

July 7, 2018, 4:00pm-6:00pm (UTC-8)
Magic the Gathering – Ice Age Block, Dissension, Guildpact, Ravnica

10 min
lightning storm, luminesce, leap of flame, living inferno, last gasp
20 min
magmatic core, mystic melting, macabre waltz, mortify, moonlight bargain
30 min
odds and ends, overrule, overgrown tomb, overwhelm, oathsworn giant
10 min
perilous research, psychic possession, psychotic fury, pure and simple, peel from reality
20 min
predatory focus, primeval light, pyromatics, perilous forays, perplex

 

July 8, 2018, 10:30am-2:00pm (UTC-8)
Magic the Gathering – Ice Age Block, Dissension, Guildpact, Ravnica/Book Titles from January 2014

10 min
surging dementia, swift maneuver, sacred foundry, scatter the seeds, shadow of doubt
20 min
thermal flux, trial and error, taste for mayhem, thrive, telling time
30 min
thunderheads, train of thought, temple garden, three dreams, tunnel vision
10 min
wall of shards, writ of passage, withstand, wreck havoc, watery grave
20 min
arctic flats, agent of masks, angel of despair, anarchist, annex
30 min
killer instinct, keening banshee, kraken’s eye, king cheetah, kami of old stone
10 min
vanish into memory, valor made real, vindictive mob, voyager staff, venerable monk
20 min
siren song, sunshine shimmers, stake a claim, star road, shadows of death
10 min
bitter spirits, bird, butterfly palace, breach zone, bed time

 

July 8, 2018, 4:30pm-8:00pm (UTC-8)
Book Titles from January 2014

10 min
firelight friends, flying colors, forgiving the angel, flower power, fearless
20 min
crossfire, classroom capers, cursed in the act, crimson veil, cry of the children
30 min
working the farm, wicked after midnight, welcome to the neighborhood, winter sky, work done for hire
10 min
ripper, ravens and gorillas, radiance of tomorrow, red rising, rancher rescue
20 min
after the storm, alliance, autumn rose, audacious aviators, anything to have you
30 min
take to the sky, time of attack, tooth fairy, tugboat, trouble on her doorstep
10 min
dinosaurs, dancing days, dreaming out loud, dark wolf, death of a chocoholic
20 min
unexpected father, undercover captor, up from the grave, under the wide and starry sky, unhinged
10 min
lost lake, lizards, lethal lawman, love by the book, lord of the hunt

 

July 10, 2018, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Book Titles from January and February 2014

10 min
monster mania, meeting her match, mitigating circumstances, moon rising, minders
20 min
hope flames, hold my hand, how to be a pirate, happily ever after, hanging devils
30 min
protectors, promise bound, portrait of a scandal, playing with fire, prisoners of war
10 min
iron night, independent study, if only for tonight, in the clutches of the penguin, introspection
20 min
going rogue, gift of truth, galactic battle, garden gate, ghostly liaison
30 min
nothing sweeter, no one else can have you, nightmares, northern girls, night lights
10 min
race against time, river road, revolution, romance for cynics, raven’s hollow
20 min
walking on air, white hot kiss, wings of death, white space, while beauty slept
30 min
triangles, two to tango, teen spirit, tremor, three souls
5 min
days of wine and roquefort, dog gone, do or die, death among the ruins, destination unknown

 

July 11, 2018, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Book Titles from February 2014

10 min
southern heat, strays, scintillate, strange adventures, something real
20 min
broken homes, burn, before my eyes, bubble, boy on the edge
30 min
high seduction, hunter, hopeful, humbled, hearts rekindled
10 min
scarlet devices, second chances, secrets at court, sniper, stillwater
20 min
better off friends, birthday hiccups, bound to be dirty, burn bright, before the rose bloomed
30 min
fates, fallout, fools’ gold, falling light, forever
10 min
unforgotten, under your skin, untethered, underwater adventures, unexpected temptation
20 min
night’s promise, not time like the past, never too late, not without you, nest
30 min
conquest, cell, children of paradise, close pursuit, coincidence
5 min
weasels, when shadows fall, willow, wake, whispers of the heart

 

July 13, 2018, 10:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Book Titles from February 2014

10 min
letting go, love and chaos, life support, light it up, liberty
20 min
missing monkey, mending horses, melting the ice, moving target, maybe one day
30 min
retribution, reflected, road to reckoning, runner, rule breaker
10 min
dreams to sell, dark moon, deep winter, deliverance, days of the knights
20 min
pillar to the sky, pieces of me, pioneer girl, pulse point, perfect together
30 min
atonement, all that glows, armed and famous, alone with you, avenger’s heat
20 min
hard going, heartbeat, house of glass, half a chance, heavy hitters

 

July 14, 2018, 7:30pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Book Titles from February 2014

10 min
only the good die young, our first embrace, outback attack, off and flying, oopsie-daisy
20 min
extra innings, evening stars, exchange
30 min
valley of fire, vacation in the wild, vengeance, vampire most wanted, Vienna nocturne
10 min
just one more night, jaded, judgement call, joust of honor
15 min
gorilla, grandmaster, glass houses, golden state, grasshopper jungle
30 min
twisted hills, take a chance, that part was true, truly madly deeply, the truth lies

 

July 15, 2018, 7:30pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Superstitions

10 min the evil eye
20 min ace of spades
30 min black cat
10 min
shoes on the table
15 min
knocking on wood
30 min
the law of contagion

 

July 16, 2018, 7:30pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Idioms

10 min ladies who lunch
20 min
the dog ate my homework
30 min
loose lips sink ships
10 min peanut gallery
20 min
popularity contest
30 min
You kids get off my lawn!
20 min
throw under the bus
10 min
my way or the highway
30 min playing by ear
10 min
a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
20 min
a fish out of water

 

July 17, 2018, 7:30pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Book Titles from February 2014/Word of the Day – Merriam-Webster 2018

10 min
killer frost, kinder than solitude, kiss and tell
20min
mise-en-scene, mantic, meritorious, menagerie, muliebrity
30 min
boondoggle, balmy, bedizen, beaucoup, besot
10 min
abrogate, amortize, agonistic, aggress, arrogate
20 min
shenanigan, skirl, slumgullion, sacrosanct, sensibility
30 min
collaborate, cajole, chastise, cuckoo, career

 

July 18, 2018, 7:30pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Word of the Day – Merriam-Webster 2018

10 min
roseate, remuneration, raillery, riposte, reify
20 min
epithet, effigy, eventuate, embarrass, elucidate
30 min
lambaste, layman, loath, lexicographer, laudable
10 min
tantalize, tome, transpire, traduce, telegenic
15 min
fustigate, flocculate, flummox, founder, farce
30 min
notorious, nascent, newfangled, nondescript, never-never land

 

July 20, 2018, 10:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Idioms

10 min
between the devil and the deep blue sea
20 min
exception that proves the rule
30 min kick the bucket
10 min red herring
20 min
smoke and mirrors

 

July 21, 2018, 7:30pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Word of the Day – Merriam-Webster 2018

10 min
proficient, pugnacious, palindrome, petard, parlous
20 min
defenestration, decimate, defer, delegate, divest
30 min
ingenue, indigence, ineluctable, invigilate, instauration
10 min
voracity, veld, vulnerable, vanward, validate
20 min
opportune, ostensible, otiose, onomatopoeia, officinal
30 min
homogeneous, headlong, hachure, hornswoggle, homiletic
10 min
garrulous, grudging, grandiose, gainsay, gravamen
20 min
whelm, winsome, woolgathering, wend, wifty
30 min
squirl, satisfice, scrouge, senectitude, stent
10 min
copper-bottomed, carcinogenic, cervantic, cremnophobia, collusion
20 min
nepotism, natant, nitty-gritty, nephalism, narcissism

 

July 22, 2018, 1:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
TV Tropes – Plots

10 min
15 minutes of fame
20 min all for nothing
30 min
broken masquerade
10 min
crossing the desert
20 min
destructive savior
30 min evil plan
20 min fight to survive
15 min great escape
20 min
he knows too much
30 min innocence lost
10 min
just fine without you
20 min
kids play matchmaker
30 min lonely at the top
20 min maintain the lie
10 min no sympathy
20 min on the money
30 min
protect this house
10 min quest for a wish
20 min ransacked room
30 min seal the breach
10 min talent contest
10 min unwanted gift
15 min
visions of another self
20 min
we need to get proof
30 min
let X be the unknown
10 min
your worst nightmare
20 min zany scheme

 

July 23, 2018, 7:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Unusual Words

10 min
vaaljapie (inferior wine), vacherin (sweet mixture of meringue and whipped cream), vacive (empty), vadelect (servant)
20 min
gabble (to chatter or talk inarticulately), gaita (Spanish bagpipes), galanty (shadow play), galeanthropy (belief that one is a cat)
30 min
dealbation (whitening), deasil (sunwise motion), decalvant (removing hair), decatise (to uncurl through the use of steam)
10 min
tectrix (small feather of a bird’s wing), telarian (creature that spins a web), telos (aim/purpose), temulence (intoxication)
20 min
windlass (indirect action), windrow (hay raked together into a line), wirble (to whirl), wist (to know)
30 min
bickern (anvil pointed at both ends), biggin (a building), bight (a wide bay), bismer (shame, disgrace, scorn)
10 min
modena (crimson), modish (fashionable), moilsome (laborious), mollescent (softening)
20 min
nobbut (except), nodated (knotted), noddypeak (fool, imbecile), nolition (adverse action of will, unwillingness)
30 min
puisne (inferior in rank), pulicide (flea-killer), pulvil (perfumed powder), punnet (small shallow fruit basket)
10 min
huckaback (absorbent cotton used for towels), hulchy (swollen), humgruffin (terrible person), hummock (pile or ridge of ice)
20 min
adhibit (to attach), adjutage (nozzle), adunc (hooked), adynamia (helplessness, lack of strength)
30 min
cabasset (light iron helmet), cachinnate (to laugh loudly and inappropriately), cacogen (antisocial person), cadge (to beg or sponge from another)

 

July 24, 2018, 8:00pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
Rhymes

10 min
binge, cringe, fringe, singe, twinge
20 min
agree, banshee, carefree, debris, goatee
30 min
crumb, dumb, numb, plumb, thumb
10 min
belong, daylong, furlong, headlong, prolong
20 min
acrobat, bureaucrat, copycat, diplomat, habitat
30 min
broomstick, chopstick, joystick, nightstick, slapstick
20 min
backlash, eyelash, mustache, slapdash, whiplash

 

July 25, 2018, 8:00pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
Random Tropes on TV Tropes

10 min
you can barely stand
20 min
portrait painting peephole
30 min silence is golden
10 min
a mind is a terrible thing to read
20 min
no animals were harmed
30 min anti-magic
20 min
not helping your case

 

July 26, 2018, 10:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Random Tropes on TV Tropes

10 min
amazingly embarrassing parents
20 min
eliminated from the race
30 min intrepid reporter
10 min
testosterone brigade
20 min bridezilla
30min
music soothes the savage beast
20 min sticky situation

 

July 27, 2018, 10:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Phrases

10 min
some things never change
20 min
annoying yet ultimately successful
30 min
an entirely different perspective
10 min
ready to say goodbye
20 min visible traces
30 min
when the sun sets we start to worry
20 min rebellion brewing

Postcard #245 – Sort of Dada

To me, this makes too much sense to be Dada, but I like the notion.

Postcard245a.jpeg

Postcard245d.jpeg

Postcard #212 – Imaginary Lighthouse

The sender says that they mailed this postcard because they wanted to share their childhood dream of living next to the sea, but part of me wonders why they mailed this particular postcard and not some other postcard with the sea in it.

I admit, it’s mostly because of the lighthouse. I have nothing against lighthouses, but I live in fear of the postcard collector enthusiasts who would rail at me for receiving a lighthouse postcard when I don’t collect any postcard topics specifically. Or maybe it’s because I’ve read too many forum posts by crazy postcard collectors who think there’s only One True Way To Do Postcards.

(Also note especially for the overzealous postcard enthusiasts who can’t read the handwriting and want to report me to the postcard police: The sender wrote that I could share this postcard on the blog. Everything else is blacked out.)

Postcard212a.jpeg

Postcard212d.jpeg