Blog Archives

Carminative

So, on this lovely (okay, rainy) first day of April, I’m sitting at the computer (as I am wont to do, even when I don’t really want to do it) and taking a little wiki walk.  Come with me now…

This particular wiki walk was inspired by the new Google Nose.  I explored the delights of wet dog, fresh-mown grass, beer and

Lemonlemon.  I got interested in the botany of lemon, which led me to citron, which led me to wonder what succade was, which led me to succade made from angelica, which lead me to the Apiaceae family that is so widespread in global cuisine and folk medicine, including “Conium maculatum… used as a sedative and in treatments for arthritis and asthma in addition to its most famous use: as a “humane” method of killing criminals and philosophers.”

But then I got curious about coriander, and why so many people like its fresh leaves as cilantro (I tolerate it, but I’m not a huge fan, on account of the soapy taste… apparently I’m just a recovering one of those). I wondered whether there was any substance behind Dan Ackroyd’s line from Gross Pointe Blank about cilantro being good for the liver.  Among its health effects and medicinal uses, I did find that it appears to increase bile production, so sometimes you do learn things in by watching silly John Cusack movies.  Coriander is also described as a carminative.  So what the heck is a carminative?  It sounds nice enough, doesn’t it.

It turns out that the great Aldous Huxley (of Brave New World fame) had an extended rant about  this very word (Chapter 20 in a book called Chrome Yellow).  Huxley explores the phenomenon of our attraction to the sound of certain words, and the magic that beautiful words possess.  Even inaptly beautiful words like carminative.  Makes all those magic systems in various fantasy novels that focus on names and words make even more sense (I’m looking at you, Patrick Rothfuss).  It’s a great read for us word-fools on such a lovely (or not) April Fools.  Enjoy!

Joss vs. Zomney

Michelle Y. Merrill, Ph.D.:

The most likely scenario for the zombie apocalypse?

Originally posted on Ponderings of a Perplexed Primate:

Ah, Joss… so brilliant.

Enjoy!

Paid for by the committee to learn parkour like,
really soon, like maybe take a class or something.

View original

One-liner: Disarray

I don’t just live in a constant state of disarray.  I’m the governor.

Hence the repeated delays on posting these things.

One-liner: Wheeling with Uncertainty

She changes her mind more often than a gull in a thermal changes heading.

It was a very bird-friendly morning.

One-liner: Ineffectual Scolding

She cussed him out like a bluejay going after the pig stealing its acorn cache.

The Stellar’s Jay in the tree next to our place was particularly squawky this morning.  I swear, neither Brodie nor I had any interest in your secret stash, sister jay.  Just back off already.

One-Liner: Boys Will Be Boys

Here’s one that takes a bit more context, so I’ve set it in my novel:

Solstice raised an eyebrow at Cliff.  “I take it you weren’t really paying attention to what she said.”

Cliff drew a breath, looking as if he were preparing to defend himself, then let it out with a sigh and a shake of his head.  He looked at his bare toes in the dirt.

Solstice reached up to lift his chin until his gaze met hers.  She spoke as if to a weeping toddler.  “Poor baby.  You were distracted by her sweater puppies, weren’t you?”

Yasmina blushed a bit.  Laurel snorted.

Reynard regarded the tableau for a moment, then stepped in front of Cliff to face Solstice.  “In Cliff’s defense… they were Great Danes.”

Cliff’s discomfiture deepened as his companions fell into laughter.

We aim to be classy in this here establishment.

I blame the folks at Bounce/Title 9 who sent me a bra catalog.

One-liner: How many birthdays?

As Indy said,

It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.

Or in my case,

It’s not the years… it’s the margaritas.

(An excellent birthday card reminded me to take birthdays with a few grains of salt… on the rim!)

One-Liner: Salt & Pepper

White was sprinkled throughout the reds of his hair and beard, salt-and-cayanne where more conventional men of his age showed salt-and-black-pepper.

Who is that about, and what age exactly?  I’ll never tell… (Erik, 44)

One-liner: Pedaling

Explaining sophisticated technology to Laurel was like pedaling a road bike up a sand dune – not impossible, just an unreasonable expenditure of effort.

Another one that fits into the world of my story.

One-liner: Road Apples

She can’t tell a road apple from a rutebega.

I’m hoping that what it lacks in originality it makes up in alliteration.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96 other followers