Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Multi-Part Post In JIVE Format

By Any Other Name

The other night for inspiration I turned, as I have so many times in the past, to a book given to me by the late, great Tom Shannon. It is full of knowledge, history and truth; in times of low mood it will help pick me up. Its message is both thought-provoking and profound.

I am of course referring to the Dictionary of Slang and Euphemism. It delivers all it claims on the cover, where it proudly announces that it encompasses: oaths; curses; insults; ethnic slurs; sexual slang and metaphor; drug talk; college lingo; and related matters. New worlds may thus open for the reader.

I will frequently pick it up and open it at random, many, many times before I am ready to put it down. Often I will find myself skipping to some recommended corrolary term (foaming beef probe: the penis in an act of copulation. For synonyms, see YARD).The lists of synonyms are not always where you might expect them, but once found, will probably hold your attention for a while.

The prize for favorite discovery of the previous evening goes to: canyon yodeling. By the sound of it, this could be a reference to several things, among them chundering (AKA the technicolor yawn); but in fact it lies squarely in the province of my dear friend muffy diver, the cunning linguist.

Slang And Euphemism is by Richard A. Spears and is highly recommended.


"Daddy, Play...'Roar!'"

So says Lulu when she requests that I play her "Adventures Of Forever and Nowhere". The first time she did it, I was very surprised and definitely moved. Why be moved by my 2 year old's request to hear my music? Because she really does have her own taste, regardless of her age. She knows what she wants to hear, and if you don't play it, she complains. She hasn't taken to "Rivers", even though I played that for her first. She seems to prefer the more rock-oriented stuff. It also probably doesn't hurt that there's a dinosaur on the cover.

She's recently been introduced to early Bee Gees, ('67-'69), and requests that pretty frequently. I'm surprised she liked it, so much of it is minor key and sad-sounding.

But the big surprise for me, as far as music not made by her daddy, was Ginger Baker's Air Force. Or, more specifically, "Aiko Biaye", which she calls "Gobi Yayay!". She's been requesting it a lot lately.

That's my girl!

Dementia 13 And Other Recurring Themes

The other night I was taking Lulu up to bed after tub time, and Chrissy called me into our bedroom to see what was on TV. She said, "Do you know what this is?" I smiled and said "Of course", because I recognized "Dementia 13" immediately. After I got Lulu down to bed, Chrissy and I watched the last 5 or so minutes. What a great film. Decapitation, girl hung on a meat hook...what can I say? Ya gotta love it. When Chrissy was in nursing school, she had to take a unit of Psych, and for her term paper she analyzed this film, after we'd watched it together. The paper went over well. Yet another place for this movie to slide neatly into my life. I can remember seeing parts of it at least twice when I was four; once when I had the flu and was pretty much incapacitated, and left to watch TV in the tiny bedroom I shared with my parents; and again in that same room in the middle of the night. That time I was asleep on my little folding cot when I was awakened by the noise of my parents fooling around. As usual, the TV was on- it usually was, day or night, and I'd learned to sleep through it, probably from the time I was brought home from the hospital. That particular night, I was awakened by my parents making what sounded like distressed sounds, and it scared me. I asked what was wrong and was told, in between laughs and annoyed sighs, that nothing was wrong, I should go back to sleep. No, those sounds weren't bad things, mommy and daddy were fine. So as I'm trying to fall back asleep- or more accurately, look like I've fallen asleep without really doing so, so I could hear more- "Dementia 13" comes on, with that creepy harpsichord music and the sound of the drowning radio. Now there was no way I was getting back to sleep, and not even much chance of faking it. I knew what the movie was, and I was both spooked by the sound of it and absolutely drawn to watch it again. So much for keeping my eyes closed. One of my parents noticed my eyes were open and they demanded to know why I was still awake. I said it was the TV, which was at least partially true, if not terribly accurate. Yeah, it was the TV, because I wanted to watch it. I told them they could leave it on, it wouldn't bother me, but my mom then insisted on turning it off. I think I killed their mood, and I seem to recall a later advance in the dark by my dad being rebuffed by my mom, who insisted they should just go sleep. But instead, the TV went back on. I snuck more peeks at the movie, when I could. "Little fishy in the brook...Papa's caught you on a hook..."

It's funny that around that same age was when I had my introduction to "Carnival of Souls", which also has popped up repeatedly in my life. Most importantly, it was the date/makeout movie at the place I lived, the night I hooked up with Chrissy, and Steve Shaw hooked up with Kate, who was the mutual friend of Chrissy's and Emily's who provided the all-important link. Emily was then with a fellow named Mark, who was also there, and soon enough no one was watching the movie. We might as well have all been teenagers instead of 30-somethings. Unlike teenagers, the two on the rental agreement had seperate rooms to go to, so all three couples had space to explore possibilities (Steve and Kate got the living room). The rest of course is history: Steve and Kate got married, as did Chrissy and I. Emily moved on and is also happily married today. And we owe it all to quality low budget horror. Well maybe not all of it, but it definitely didn't hurt things.


  1. of course Tom would leave a book like that as part of his legacy. He once gave me a book that I have to admit, I have yet to read. Can't even remember the title now...something by Melville I think. sigh.
    And now I'm gonna have to dig in the garage and try to find my VHS copy of Dememtia 13, it's been years...

  2. A dictionary, right? One of the more common sights with Tom, when he wasn't playing, was reading a dictionary.

    Melville, huh? What Melville book would Tom have given you? I'm thinking maybe....Pierre, or The Ambiguities. (That's all one title.) Mebbe I'm wrong tho.

    Yeah, get reacquainted with D13, it's proof that great filmmaking and low budgets aren't mutually exclusive.