Friday, March 23, 2007


* I bet kids named Owen or Gwen sometimes have parents who call Wednesday Owednesday or Gwednesday. Can't say that I know of any kids with these names, however.

* In French, there is no distinctly separate word for 70, 80, and 90. They compound words together. I bet this makes math a natural for a lot of French kids. 70 is sixty-ten, 71 is sixty-eleven etc. 80 is four-twenty, and 90, strangest of all, is four-twenty-ten. The next new word is at 100.

* It's maple syrup season. It's short, maybe a month if you're lucky. When the days are above freezing and the nights below, that is when the sap will flow.

* When Gerber entered the African continent to peddle it's baby food products, sales were nearly nonexistant. That's because in that market, traditionally, what is pictured on the label is inside of the jar. It appeared as Gerber was hawking purée of baby.

* In the last year, thunderstorms have occurred here every month except two. January and February. It's one of the reasons I love it here.

* One of my students attended a briss (not sure on the spelling there) and told us about it in class. I'm sorry, but slashing off your baby's flesh is unconscionable to me. I wish mine hadn't been hacked off. Should be a choice of the individual. Come to think of it, I know a guy who, on his 18th birthday, had an elective circumcision.

* Knottyboy's rant on anal-bleaching had me howling. I'm curious about the men (it couldn't be women, right?) who chosse to be anal-bleachers.

* I shave twice a week. Any more than that and it ravages my skin. ('How could you possibly care about this?' He asks himself, and becomes alarmed at referring to himself in the 3rd person)

* The world would most likely be a much more peaceful place if so much energy wasn't spent trying to control others. It's one of our species' greatest weaknesses, and while it has built great kingdoms, it will eventually destroy us.

* Sara is doing much better these days. Spouse is convinced that nude dancer tried to poison her. True, she did fall ill right after our last confrontation.

* On Thursday, I give a class in one of the most prestigious buildings downtown. They give tours, architecture blah blah blah, the place crawling with six figure salary makers. This is also the same place that has the "fruit loops" air fresheners in the bathrooms. Well now there is a new addition in the bathroom. I thought it was so funny that these people need a guide to washing their hands.


CoffeeDog said...

Interesting the verb frotter. A gay mlae friend of mine used to say he much preferred "frottage" over any other sexual activity. Now I see the origins of the that word he used!

Glad Sara is doing better :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, those ignorant, primitive jungle folks in Africa! Good thing they have us smart and sophisticated Westerners to feed and clothe (and ridicule) them!

No, of course "Africans" didn't think Gerber jars contained pureed babies. The fact that anyone would even half-believe such a preposterously racist and chauvinistic anecdote demonstrates just how severely screwed up we all are. (Nothing personal...just referring to the way these things spread.)

Anyway, see this article about your urban legend.

And yes, I'm glad Sara is better, too. But do be careful about feeding her food from containers that have pictures of dogs on them....

As for hand-washing guides, considering that even the hospitals in Quebec are overrun with C. difficile bacteria, some extra public reminders about proper hand-washing might even spare you a bout of serious illness, next time you touch a pay phone or a bathroom door that isn't contaminated because the guy just before you remembered to properly disinfect his hands.

KipEsquire said...

As someone who abhors facial hair, I find your shaving snippet quite intriguing. ;-)

Anonymous said...

In Belgium and Switserland however, there is another French word for 90 (nonante). And the Swiss even have a word for 80: octante

St. Dickeybird said...

You're insane. It makes for a lovely read.

bardelf said...

Je parle francais une peu. I love the way in which 70s, 80s and 90s are said and find it quite clever.

As for Sara getting better now that nude dancer is gone, I wonder if her sickness had been, in part, due to the stress you guys were under with ND. Pets, especially dogs, seem to really pick up on the vibes around them and of their owners, so it makes sense to me that she had literally made herself sick from the stress and anxiety you and Serge were experiencing with ND. Food for thought.

Petie said...

I only shave once a month or less, only to look more presentable

Since my facial hair grow very little; read almost countable

Anonymous said...

A lot of interesting snippets today!
I have a niece named Gwen, but I never knew my BIL or his wife to modify "Wednesday".

Every time I try to teach myself French and I review counting, I go bonkers at 70. Maybe it's the mathematician in me.

There was some syruping done in my home area. Yes, the time is short, once it gets too warm the sap looses its quality and will produce a bitter product.

I had heard about the babby food. I will defer to it being legend, but I know of the Nestle campaign with "powdered formula" that was a disaster for many people.

Glad to hear Sara is better. She looks like such a sweetheart.

Kevin said...

I have recently started shaving less, but only because I think I look dead sexy with my scruff.

Now to find someone else who agrees with me ... :)

Doug said...

Great snippets!

I totally agree with the control issue. Very very few people really adhere to a "live and let live" policy.

Interesting that French counts up to 60 and then uses compound words for 61-99. There must have been a situation in the distant past where 60 was the largest number they had to deal with on a regular basis, or perhaps they dealt with things in groups of 20, hence the four-twenty (though why not three-twenty instead of sixty?).

Jason said...

I agree with your shaving rule. Everyday was killing my skin.

Anonymous said...

There's a big hand-washing campaign going on here. I've seen instructional posters up in several places, plus they now have those soapless disinfectant hand washing dispensers up all over the place.

We get a lot of thunderstorms here, too. I love them.

Maple syrup is yummy!

I'm very glad I still have all the flesh I was born with.

M. Verdeau, please chill a bit. It's a Fiday snippet ... not a dissertation.

Patricia said...

i just plain love fresh maple syrup. we have a place that makes it outdoors in huge vats and then serves up a big pancake breakfast. good times!

i'm happy for you, serge, and sara that she is feeling better!

Anonymous said...

Your snippet on Bris (had to check Wikipedia for spelling) got my neuron synapses firing this morning.

The cultural ritual of circumcision is puzzling for this non-Jew. Why did my parents snip look like the other boys in our small town? Not sure, but it seems so hypocritical since the societal abhorrence and outcy over the African female genital mutliations was so pronounced. And yet, isn't circumcision the male version of that?

I definitely agree with you, that the individual should be allowed to decide, not his parents. Cultural phenomena is akin to gossip passed down from the crazy great-great-great grandfather. GRIN

I am snipped, I don't know why but I prefer snipped visually, and I had read recently there are some health benefit to being circumsized---apparently reduces the risk of HIV transmission. Either way, cut or uncut penis, it's all good in my book. :-)

Thanks for your words and thoughts, as always, tornwordo!!

Snooze said...

Circumcision is back in a big, big way ever since it was shown to reduce HIV transmission. However, I don't agree with it either.

French numbers are the death of me. I always ask callers to give their phone numbers "chiffre par chiffre" or I invariably get it wrong.

Chunks said...

I will have to ask Auntie M if she's ever nicknamed her kids like that. She has a son named Owen and a daughter named Gwen and your first snippet freaked me out.

What kind of dog food is Sarah eating? Did you know there has been a big recall? Some food has been causing kidney failure and death. Look into it. It's frightening.

A Lewis said...

Wish I hadn't been sliced off either...but my hubby has his elective chop-the-skin-off-of-my-penis surgery at 18....and regrets it to this day. Had no idea about the French numbering thing.....must be other languages in the same boat, eh? We've got a baby at church that was "the Gerber baby" a few years, trips to NYC, contracts, happy parents and all of that. Happy Weekend to you guys!

about a boy said...

i love your snippets.

and i only shave once a week. sad but true.

tornwordo said...

M glassofwater: the snopes site does make an interesting argument, none of which Prove that story is false (though my mind is definitely open to the possibility.) The fact that the information has appeared in reputable publications should set the bar a little higher than crying "racist cultural bias" and finding a similar example earlier in time. What says Gerber? My only ridicule was towards the company for not doing their market research first, which probably makes me a rabid anti-capitalist. smirk.

Mark in DE said...

Like you, I only shave twice a week, but not for the same reason. My beard is blonde so it is not as noticable, and my beard is not very thick. I think a 5:00 shadow is super-sexy, but it appears that time stands still at 12 noon for my face.

Interesting comments from you and other readers about circumcision. I don't know that I'd consider it 'mutilation' (like the African female circumsision) since male circumsision does alter a man's penis so that he can not feel stimulation. I'm kind of glad I was circumsized as a baby when I wouldn't remember it. Hard to believe someone would choose to do it as an adult. Personally I prefer, ummm, 'spending time with' a circumsized penis over an uncircumsized one, but they're all good. :-)

Always interesting nippets from you!


dpaste said...

*I can ask my friend Gwen and my co-worker Owen, but I don't recall either of them ever mentioning such a thing.

*I remember the French counting system from middle school when I studied it. I always thought it was kind of cool.

*I can never tell the difference between maple and regular syrup, it's totally lost on me.

*I had heard this story before as well, and I now have to question its veracity. M. Verdeau has a valid point.

*I miss thunderstorms, they seem to have become rather rare in NYC.

*As a Jew, I have rather strong feelings about the tradition of the bris. I won't go into them here, but just know that even in the Nazi concentration camps and ghettos, parents made a point of circumcising their newborn boys. It runs that deep.

*Never met anyone who anal bleached.

*I shave every other day, else I'd look like a bum. Even with a beard, I have to shave my neck.

*We try to control that which we do not understand or that frightens us.


*There are directions on toothpicks. Don't be surprised.

Happy Friday! Bon Vendredi!

GayProf said...

Given how many people exit the restroom without washing their hands, those signs might be more useful than not.

I am less inclined to be critical of circumcision for religious reasons than alleged medical reasons. I also don't see at as comparable to female genital mutilation. I mean, I haven't seen my foreskin since my first day on this planet (and what a sucky day that turned out to be), but it hasn't prevented me from having an orgasm. This is not the case for women who undergo (the wrongly-named) female circumcision.

Still, I agree that it should be left up to the penis-owner in question to decide. The medical explanations also seem pretty flimsy to me.

Enemy of the Republic said...

I was teaching Genesis yesterday and going over the covenant of circumcision. We had some fun discussions about suffering for God. I guess we women get childbirth. I don't wish to reveal much, but when it came to cutting off my son's foreskin, I decided to let his father make the choice because I thought it was sickening. And his motto was: his shall look like mine. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I'm digging the whole "sap will flow" poem.

A Bear in the Woods said...

You are so adorably loony. I just love it when you do a weird little thing just to see who will notice.

dirk.mancuso said...

Great snippets. Anal bleaching? Seriously...what the hell?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Tornwordo: Okay, now that you've saved face and everything, please tell us the truth. Setting aside all issues regarding the story's inherently hostile elements, you really aren't as naive and gullible as to have fallen for the Gerber baby food tale, are you?! If so, I suppose you were also easily convinced of the "facts" surrounding Richard Gere's gerbilectomy? I mean, after all, neither Richard nor the gerbil ever denied it! Haha!

Seriously, Torn, a little discernment goes a long way in these days of whine and hoaxes. Don't hit "Publish" without it! :-)

P.S. The ubiquitous "those sicko gay guys even stick gerbils up their assholes because they're so desperate!" myth has appeared in "reputable" publications, too.