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October 31st, 2006

Booga, Booga!

Jack O'Lanterns!

Some people get all excited about Christmas, but laurie_robey and I have always been more into Halloween -- so much so that it's also our wedding anniversary. (Our 13th, in fact, oooooh, spooky!)

So even though we're busy as all get-out, we absotively posilutely had to do Jack O'Lanterns. Laurie did the grinning face; I did the pirate. More pics are here, if you're interested, including one of the front stoop that will be greeting the trick-or-treaters tomorrow. If you've ever wondered what my front door looks like, this is your big chance to find out!

-The Gneech

Happy Birthday, fferret!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

phantomnation
Appearance as a phantom.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary Supplement, Spurious Words, 1933


Halloween
Washing the Sark

On All Hallowe'en, a Border maiden may wash her sark [an undergarment or a nightgown] and hang it over a chair to dry, taking care to tell no one what she is about. If she lie awake long enough, she will see the form of her future spouse enter the room and turn the sark. We are told of one young girl who, after fulfilling this rite, looked out of bed and saw a coffin behind the sark; it remained invisible and then disappeared. The girl rose up in agony and told her family what had occurred, and the next morning she heard of her lover's death. In another instance, the young woman is said to have seen her lover at first, but this image quickly vanished and was replaced by a coffin; she was shortly afterwards married to the man, but he soon died ... I have heard of precisely the same practice in Ireland and in the county of Sussex.
--William Henderson's Folk-lore of the Northern Counties of England, 1879

It remained invisible and then disappeared? I suppose it was also silent until she couldn't hear it any more.

This is the kind of thing that would show up on Snopes today with a big ol' FALSE next to it, like the dorm room girl and the scratching on the door.

-The Gneech

Fictionlet

Brigid groaned as she clicked off the TV with the remote. "Geeze, I'm so sick of all this. So much stupidity. So much corruption. You just find yourself staring at the world and wondering how you can stand to get up in the morning. I'm worn out. I can't take any more angst."

"Not angst," said Greg. "Ennui."

She rolled her head back on the couch and looked over at the table where he was working. "What?"

"A deep-seated feeling of world-weariness is ennui, not angst. Angst is despair arising from doubt and frustration, as in 'anxiety'. Angst is an emotional crisis; ennui is more of a continual state. Since you're fed up, rather than freaking out, you don't have angst. It's ennui you can't take any more of."

She closed her eyes, as if just looking at him were wearing her out. "Thanks," she said. "Mere words cannot express how grateful I am to you for clearing that up."

"On the other hand," Greg continued, "if you just felt vaguely unhappy without any discernible cause, that would be malaise."

-The Gneech

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Growin' 'em Young ;)

5:53 and our first trick-or-treater. Good thing we got home in time!

That's the second shortest Spider-Man I've ever seen!

-The Gneech

Net Result...

Several fairy princesses, a Power Ranger, Spider Man, a medieval gal, a cowgirl, two preteen goth chicks, Captain Jack Sparrow, one dad with a monkey head, a samurai, a dad with an elephant trunk, and Hello Kitty.

Not a bad haul. I'll take 'em in to school tomorrow and see what I can trade. ;P

-The Gneech

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