It’s like sartorial, but not for clothes.

Today’s Word of the Day is tonsorial which means, “of or relating to a barber or his work.” Without looking it up to be sure, I have to believe we get tonsorial from “tonsure”, which is the style of haircut monks used to have. Or maybe they still wear it, I’m not certain. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a monk in the wild, so I don’t know if they still wear brown robes and shave all the hair off the top of their head or not. Perhaps that’s gone the way of nuns wearing a full habit. I went to Catholic school, and none of the nuns we had as teachers wore a habit; they wore lay clothes. Speaking of hair, I thought for today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection I’d go with a fairly obvious selection. Well, it may not be obvious to you, but it was the first one that popped to mind for me. Here is “Sister Golden Hair” by America. Enjoy!


Don’t be a #@%!.

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Today’s Word of the Day is demeanor which means, “behavior toward others.” I always thought this word meant things like your attitude, your body language, facial expression, and/or tone of voice. That’s the way I’ve always used it. It turns out it refers to actions, rather than non-verbal communication. I think my demeanor can sometimes read as frosty or standoffish, particularly when I’m in a situation where I don’t know anyone well or at all, but in that sense, I’m referring to my body language or facial expressions, not my specific behavior. Even if I’m incredibly uncomfortable or shy in a social setting, I’m nothing if not unfailingly polite. It’s one thing to have everyone think of me as the mousy wallflower; it’s another if they also think I’m a bitch. I think that’s a great piece of advice for everyone, actually. Don’t be a bitch. Or a dick. Or anything negative. Whether you’re religious or not, the whole “do unto others” bit is actually a solid rule to follow.

“To whom it may concern…”

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Today’s Word of the Day is boilerplate which means, “standardized text or formulaic language.” I think it at one point or another in our lives, we’ve received a form letter or e-mail from a company or individual. You can always tell it from the start. There’s nothing remotely personal about the letter at all, nothing that implies whoever wrote it was specifically thinking of you when they did. I think those are utterly obnoxious. For example, if you’re going to send someone a letter or e-mail telling them they didn’t get into X university or you’re not going to be offered Y job, the absolute least you can do is not send them the same letter/e-mail you send everyone else, only with the name and address changed. There’s something really tacky about not giving enough of a damn. I get that in some situations, mass letters/e-mails have to go out, and it’s easier to just use the same one over and over again rather than write a new one each time, but is it really that hard to make the person you’re sending it to feel like a human rather than just a serious of letters and numbers?

Rock-a-bye and good night…

Today’s Word of the Day is oneiric which means, “of or relating to dreams.” This is a new word for me. I enjoy when that happens because I don’t think anyone is too old to learn something they didn’t know before. I don’t know how much use I’ll get out of it in everyday conversation, but at least I know it and know how to use it. Do you remember your dreams? I can remember bits and pieces of dreams I had years ago, not specifically when I had them, but little chunks here and there. I don’t remember what I dreamed last night, but I do know that at some point, I dreamt I was married to Aaron Rodgers, and we had four kids. I didn’t want to wake up from that one. I’ve actually been quite spoiled when it comes to my choices for today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection. A lot of songs either have “Dream” in the title or they’re about dreams or dreaming. It was actually kind of hard whittling it down to just one, but I think I picked a good’un. Here is “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. Enjoy!

Read the fine print.

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Today’s Word of the Day is scrutinize which means, “to examine closely and minutely.” How many of us have purchased something from a big-box retailer, like an appliance or an electronic, and not entirely read every single syllable of the contract or receipt or warranty? I’m pretty sure we all have at least once. Even better, when you download a program onto your computer, do you read the TOS completely or just click “Accept” to move on? I’m not saying you need a lawyer with you when you buy a refrigerator, but I think a lot of people would be much happier and less dissatisfied if they’d taken the extra few moments to read what they were signing or committing themselves to. If like me, you’ve watched enough TV judge shows over the years, you’ve seen them deal with contract disputes more than almost any other complaint. You see it a lot with rental agreements. They don’t read their lease very well, and invariably they get evicted or sued for something they didn’t know they’d get evicted or sued for.

So read the fine print. It’ll save you a lot of time and money down the road.

It’s a calling.

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Today’s Word of the Day is vocation which means, “a desire to do a certain kind of work.” I always seem to hear this word used in conjunction with teaching and the priesthood. My sister is a teacher, something I’ve mentioned here before, and you have to really, really really want to be a teacher to put up with the shit she and thousands of other teachers around the country have to put up with on a daily basis. Rude students, crappy pay, politicians who don’t value you, parents that don’t care and aren’t engaged, the ever-present threat of a school shooting…you can’t be so-so about wanting to be a teacher. My sister certainly isn’t. She’s had a rough year this year due to some pain-in-the-ass students, but it hasn’t dimmed her desire to learn and continue growing in her field. In fact, later this month she’s going to Philadelphia for ISTE — one of the companies she’s an ambassador for paid for her airfare, hotel, and admission so she could go and give a presentation. Someone who doesn’t care about their job or isn’t devoted to the work wouldn’t care to attend.

We’re all incredibly proud of her.

37 years ago today…

Today’s Word of the Day is bombast which means, “pretentious inflated speech or writing.” I don’t think it’s bombastic at all to say that as today is my birthday, it’s the best day of the month, if not the whole year. Okay, maybe that’s a little bombastic. It’s second only to Christmas. Better? To be honest, I don’t really see my birthday as a big deal anymore, not when you’re knocking on 40’s door. I get a free drink at Starbucks later, and my dad is treating me to lunch, but really, aside from that I don’t need much else. I certainly hope that your June 7 is treating you as well as it’s treating me. Now, for today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection, I decided that since it’s mah birfday, I’d break the rules and pick one of my favorite songs instead of a song that matches up with the Word of the Day. Birthday girls get to be contrary like that. Here is “It’s a Shame” by The Spinners. Enjoy!

We honor their sacrifice.


This moment right here is why they’re called the “Greatest Generation.”

Normally, I would post today’s Word of the Day (it’s kinetic, BTW), but today is the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings, and that, I feel, deserves comment. I spoke about it last year (you can read that post here), and my feelings/opinions have not changed in the interim. I don’t know how those young men did what they did. I really don’t. They probably knew that 7 in 10 of them would be killed, and when those landing crafts opened and they saw the Germans had the high ground to fire down on them at will, they had to have been scared shitless. I would have been. It’s also the 51st anniversary of the death of Robert F. Kennedy, a death that had a profound effect on politics that year, and on the Democratic Party for a long time. Last year, I referred to today as an “inauspicious day.” Perhaps I need to come up with another word for it.

Subtle is key.


I recently discovered there’s a shade of gray paint called “Dorian Gray.” Oscar Wilde would love it.

Today’s (well, yesterday’s) Word of the Day is nuance which means, “a slight shade or degree of difference.” Nuance is something I think a lot of people don’t understand. It’s the difference between something being black and white and something possessing varying shades of gray. Real life is chock full of nuance. Nothing is ever as cut and dry as we like to think it is. That’s because we’re human, and it’s sometimes difficult to think of an issue as either being one way or the other. You hear that in debates about abortion all the time. For some people, it’s always wrong, it doesn’t matter the situation. For others, it should always be a choice, no matter the situation. Then you have the people in the middle who say it’s bad most of the time, but okay in XYZ situations. For them, there are shades of gray. That’s nuance.

What issues do you feel aren’t as black and white as are sometimes portrayed by other people?

A new one on me.

Today’s Word of the Day is shot-clog which means, “one tolerated because he or she pays the bill.” I have never seen or heard this word before right this moment. It’s an interesting concept, one I’m sure people have spoken about in the abstract or using some other terminology. I don’t personally have anyone in my inner circle that I keep around just because they’re fine with paying for things for the rest of us, and I wouldn’t want someone like that around me either. I think the word says more about everyone else than that person in particular. I mean, what kind of friend can you rightly claim to be if the only reason you include someone in your goings-on is that they pay for stuff? Makes you a pretty shitty person, honestly. I had an interesting time trying to find a song to connect to this for Musical Interlude Friday, but I think I got close. The singer of this song is lamenting the fact that his girlfriend only seems to need him or want him around when she needs a ride somewhere. That would, in a roundabout way, make him the “shot-clog” of that relationship. Here is “Vehicle” by The Ides of March. Enjoy!