Go read this: “The Angel of History” by Rabih Alameddine. (Here’s a review if you want a synopsis.) My dad introduced me to this author last year (with his novel “An Unnecessary Woman”) and then I just happened across this new(er) novel in the library on Saturday. It was So!GOOD! And so literate and compelling.
- caisson = a large watertight chamber; a chest or wagon
- chelonian = basically turtle-esque
- jellabiya = traditional Egyptian garment
- dithyrambic = a frenzied impassioned hymn and dance; an irregular poetic expression; a wildly enthusiastic speech or piece of writing
- rachitic = rickety; like having a inflammed spine
- recrudescent = revival of material; recurrence of symptoms; renewal
- inanition = exhaustion; lack of mental or spiritual vigor
- cephalore = a saint who is generally depicted carrying their own head
Cephalore was my favorite. 🙂 Inanition I do feel like I should have already known, heh.
I was also really proud of myself for picking up on random literary/musical references:
- “I couldn’t write, I couldn’t write, stop all the clocks, poetry has gone and left me…” (W.H. Auden reference, a poem I JUST taught my students!).
- “Hope might be the thing with feathers but in the Middle East we hunt those birds for sport. (Dickinson)
- “I sound like a Miles Davis trumpet, like a Bach partita, no, wait, a Bendel bonnet, a Shakespeare sonnet, whereas you’re a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop, but baby, if you’re the bottom, I’m the top.” (Cole Porter)
- “Do you understand me now, Satan said, when things go wrong I seem to be bad, I”m just a soul whose intentions are good, oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” (Nina Simone, et al.)
(I’m sure there were more I didn’t notice!!)
- Oliver (pls sir, can I have another)
- Hubcap (That’s right, ma’am. H-u-b hub, c-a-p cap. Hubcap.)
- Plum Dandy
But the #1 name of the evening? Just rolled right off my tongue mid-sentence:
Oh yeah, baby. There wasn’t a last or middle name that Riverbone wasn’t able to mesh with. This was followed by lots of hysterical laughter and then a suggestion of “Floor Pie” (not by me) due to some visuals at Old Town. I guess you had to be there.
(No, no, no. Not MY baby boy to be. Cripes, people. Settle.)
A couple weeks ago I was watching a crapload of CSI reruns so I basically had at least three hours of SpikeTV on every day and they were promoting their big week-end showings of Star Wars. The ads really cracked me up.
I can’t remember, was this one said in a Yoda voice?: Being a bad guy isn’t bad. There is much to be learned.
Han and Leia: If your sister hangs out with your friends, eventually one of them is going to hook up with her.
T-shirt of the boy across from me on the El this morning:
ARKANSAS PUBLIC LIBRARY
Helpen People Reed Good.
“Eulogoy” = eulogy for a goy.
A Silvia/Duff joint project.
What it is: You’re racing like a pro now…
What it sounds like: You’re racing like a pronoun…
(The National “Racing Like a Pro”)
It was like watching a movie that was 100% special effects and 0% plot.
Just a random piece o’ writin’ I liked having been the one to write.
I can’t imagine very many other people needing this…but in case you ever need to be able to talk about “what you did this weekend” in French, and if what you did this weekend involved quilting, here is a very useful page of quilting terms en français.
I now have a new catch phrase: Oh, sweet monkey sundae…