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Shemomedjamo to Kummerspeck

 American English is a difficult language to learn, primarily because we “borrow” many of our words from various languages around the world (when we aren’t satisfied by simply creating words to fit a situation). 
I learned two new words today that have no equivalent in English, yet I believe they are necessary, nay, ESSENTIAL in America – particularly during our annual nod to obesity from overeating (Thanksgiving… if you are having difficulty guessing):

Shemomedjamo (Georgian) – def: To keep eating after you’re full just because the food tastes good. The literal translation is “I accidentally ate the whole thing.” use: “I went full shemomedjamo at the church potluck.” Since it has no English equivalent, feel free to try it out as any of the parts of speech until it feels comfortable.

Kummerspeck (German) – def: Extra weight caused by emotional overeating. It literally translates as “grief bacon.” use: “I put on the freshman kummerspeck.” This is useful because it sounds more like a sweater, floppy hat, or bookbag than an extra 15 pounds of non-flattering cellulite.

Please join me on my quest to add to the complexity, confoundedness, and je ne sais quoi that is American English. We need to practice these new words and work together to insert them into everyday, common American English.

 
I haven’t posted in months, but I was inspired by my teenage son yesterday at lunch when I brought home some Chinese food and asked him if he would care for it. As he was dishing out a full plate, his mom said he had already eaten lunch and he replied, “I only had a couple of burgers – but no chips or anything else.”
 
I realize that American gluttony can’t likely be overly exaggerated, yet, painfully, this was on my mind yesterday.  It’s not really designed to be a commentary on American gluttony (although…), but to have a bit of fun at the expense of our language.
 
Just so you know how my mind works: I actually ran across Shemomedjamo on Stumbleupon at about the same moment that my son commented on his two burger pre-lunch. I thought, “how apropos for our crazy language.” I’d never heard the word, but it worked for the situation, particularly since glutton sounded overly harsh. I noted that there was no English equivalent and wondered what else I was missing. Well, one thing led to another and I found lists of words with no English equivalent, decided to fill up some space and time in your life that you will never, ever get back, and voilà!
Thank you for your time, now move along and go about the rest of your day. Shemomedjamo!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Lord of the Retail Rings

I saw this on George Takei’s Facebook page today and found it really funny for some reason.  See if you agree:

Enjoy!

Five for Friday – Five Festive Funnies

I started thinking about Christmas and my thoughts turned to great Christmas songs that nobody else seems to like, yet are among my favorites.  How can one go wrong with Dr. Demento, Stan Freberg, Weird Al, Spike Jones…? 

With that in mind, here’s a Five for Friday – Five Festive Funnies (and it’s only Tuesday):

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth – Spike Jones & His City Slickers


The Singing Dogs’ Jingle Bells – Dr. Demento

I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas – Gayla Peevey

Green Christmas – Stan Freberg

Christmas at Ground Zero – Weird Al Yankovic

Enjoy!

Five for Friday – Five Festive Films

Christmas is coming… very soon.  With that in mind – a (very early) Five for Friday – Five Festive Films (I haven’t done this in quite a while, so consider this an early – or late – gift):

According to Moviefone, these are the top five Christmas films.  My tastes are similar to those of the Moviefone family, but in a (somewhat) different order:

5. White Christmas (Moviefone description) Aren’t we all dreaming of a ‘White Christmas’? The movie starring Bing “Mr. Christmas” Crosby and Danny Kaye is as charming as the tune, with all the elements to warm the heart: Two GIs come home from WWII, fall in love with singing-and-dancing sisters and help their general with his failing Vermont inn. Awww.

My thought: I’m good with this one.  My family has watched this together for years on Christmas Eve.  It’s a classic.  I also like the film that introduced the song White Christmas – Holiday Inn.

4. Scrooged (Moviefone description) Only Bill Murray could so expertly walk the fine line between pathos and hilarity, as he does playing miserly TV exec Frank Cross. Complete with a taxi-driving Ghost of Christmas Past and a (literally) ball-busting Ghost of Christmas Present, this Dickens send-up is so offbeat and fun, Yule love it!

My thought: I’m pretty good with this one too.  I love Bill Murray’s humor – Groundhog Day and What About Bob are among my favorite films.  Plus, I have a soft spot for almost anything Dickens.

3. Miracle on 34th Street – (Moviefone description) If this ’47 classic doesn’t make you a Santa believer, nothing (especially the ’94 remake) will. It’s dark stuff for a Christmas flick — Kris Kringle is put on trail to determine if he’s legally insane — but the endgame (in which the US Postal Service saves the day!) is utterly heartwarming.

My thought: This is probably my spot for A Christmas Story (see #1), but ‘Miracle’ would likely still be in my top 15.  I love it when he bops the psychologist on the head.

2. It’s A Wonderful Life – (Moviefone description) A tale of depression and almost-suicide doesn’t exactly scream “Christmas classic” — which is probably why Frank Capra’s flick flopped at the box office. But more than 30 years later, it endures as a beloved testament to everything Christmas embodies: family, friends and the joy of life.

My thought: This is a movie that really caught on with the advent of TV and a need to fill time during the Christmas holidays.  Enough airplay and it became a classic.  My son and I love it, my wife and daughter hate it – not much of a barometer to go by, because that is true of most movies in our home.  ‘Wonderful Life’ is still in my top 10, but  my number 2 is Moviefone’s number 16 – Die Hard.  Nothing gets one in the holiday mood like terrorists/thieves battling the entire Los Angeles police force and FBI, but being brought down by one New York cop (well, he is played by Bruce Willis).

1. A Christmas Story – (Moviefone description) There’s nary a scene to forget in this near-perfect nostalgic look at where Americana and Christmastime meet. The story of a young boy’s epic quest to get his hands on a Red Ryder BB gun provides the hilarious backdrop for a timeless tale rife with family hijinks, frozen tongues and, of course, sex-oozing leg lamps.

My thought: I think it is a funny film and very well done, but not quite up to number one – maybe third.  Watch for yourself on TBS on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it will make an annual 24 hour run.  My number 1 is Moviefone’s number 11 – Alastair Sim as Scrooge in the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol.

Honorable Mention: Elf. (Moviefone description) Frank Ricard. Ron Burgundy. Ricky Bobby. They’re all unforgettable Will Ferrell personas, but the role he might be remembered for most in 50 years is Buddy the Elf (what’s your favorite color?) from ’03’s instant holiday classic. This non-stop laugher exemplifies all-ages entertainment.

My thought: Elf is on the edge and may very soon make it into my top five.  It is humorous, charming, and very nearly innocent fun.

Enjoy!

I’ve got your nose…

As a child, I had an annoying uncle who would make a grab at my face, make a fist with his thumb sticking out a little bit between his fingers, and then say “I’ve got your nose.”  If you’ve ever experienced that unamusing game, here’s a bit of a twist:

I've got your nose

Enjoy!

The GWB Presidential Library

I received this note in the mail the other day and thought it important enough to pass along:

Dear Fellow Constituent:

“The George W. Bush Presidential Library” is now in the planning stages and accepting donations.

The Library will include:

1. The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.
2. The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you won’t be able to remember anything.
3. The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don’t even have to show up.
4. The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don’t let you in.
5. The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don’t let you out.
6. The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room, which no one has been able to find.
7. The National Debt Room, which is huge and has no ceiling.
8. The Tax Cut Room, with entry only to the wealthy.
9. The Economy Room, which is in the toilet.
10. The Iraq War Room. (After you complete your first visit, they make you go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth visit.)
11. The Dick Cheney Room, in the famous undisclosed location, complete with shooting gallery.
12. The Environmental Conservation Room , still empty.
13. The Supreme Gift Shop, where you can buy an election.
14. The Airport Men’s Room, where you can meet some of your favorite Republican Senators.
15. The Decider Room, complete with dart board, magic 8-ball, Ouija board, dice, coins, and straws.

Note: The library will feature an electron microscope to help you locate and view the President’s accomplishments.

The library will also include many famous quotes by George W. Bush:

1. ‘The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.’
2. ‘If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.’
3. ‘Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.’
4. ‘No senior citizen should ever have to choose between prescription drugs and medicine e.’
5. ‘I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change.’
6. ‘One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is ‘to be prepared’.’
7. ‘Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.’
8. ‘I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.’
9. ‘The future will be better tomorrow.’
10. ‘We’re going to have the best educated American people in the world..’
11. ‘One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.’ (During an education photo-op)
12. ‘Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it
13. ‘We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.’
14. ‘It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.’
15. ‘I stand by all the misstatements that I’ve made.’… (George W. Bush to Sam Donaldson)

PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY!

Sincerely,

Bernard Madoff, Co-Chair
G.W. Bush Library Board of Directors

big-reader1

Enjoy!