Thursday, December 29, 2011


The asterisk is there for the benefit of followers who have me on their blog rolls but maintain PG sites.

Don't recall why, but yesterday I looked up the etymology of "tits" and discovered that its modern usage, referring to breasts, has only been around since 1928, even though Old English had the word "titt," a variant of "teat." The modern usage as a somewhat naughty or derogatory term for a woman's breast "seems to be a recent reinvention from teat, used without awareness that it is a throwback to the original form," according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

But the question for me is, what word served this purpose before 1928? When men stood around the campfire during the Civil War or in the trenches in World War I and reminisced about the great set of -- what? -- on a girl back home, what word did they use? At Valley Forge, when they commented on the buxom lass with "a face that could stop a clock but ---s to die for," what word was being articulated?

Just out of further curiosity, I tried to come up with some made-up synonym, settled on "gazumpa," and ran it through Google images. Sure enough, there were pictures of God's best invention, which just goes to prove, I suppose, that if you stumble on any made-up word with enough vowels and cheek, someone somewhere has likely used it to refer to a woman's...ta-tas.  Maybe even around a Civil War campfire.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Why I HATE Christmas

Why do I hate Christmas? Why would Bill O'Reilly single me out as a solider in the "War on Christmas"?

Actually, I don't, and O'Reilly wouldn't. I love Christmas. I just wanted to suck you all in with a misleading headline so I could wish the best of the season to you.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another "Hard Christmas"

David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter, was on TV the other day and he noted that we were coming up on what would be the "fifth hard Christmas since 2007."

And I thought to myself, you know, he's right. Nothing outside our parents' (or grandparents') experience of the Great Depression compares. Things have been lean around Travener's household so long that it's hard to recall flusher times, when there were lots of presents under the tree for the kids, and we didn't much care what the tree or Christmas turkey cost.

Last year was so gloomy that we didn't even buy a tree.

Despite a situation that's basically unchanged this year, I decided "no more austerity Christmas." We're going to celebrate like it's the '90s. We'll buy a tree -- a big damn tree. I'm going to get the kids decent presents this year and figure out how to pay for them later.

I hope you all have a good holiday season. Even if you're feeling an economic pinch, try to take part in the celebratory feel of the season. Get a new ornament for the tree or some fancy candles for the menorah. Spike the egg nog with a better class of rum. if you can't afford to do even that, do something special that's cost-free: walk around the neighborhood and look at the lights or take in a concert at the local school.

Let's make the holidays a time of cheer again this year, regardless of the gloom around us.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lesbian Lumberjacks!

I was thinking last night of great book titles -- or rather, great titles for books.  How about Lesbian Lumberjacks on the March? Or, Pastry Chef Vampires?  Or, Lesbian Lumberjacks vs. Pastry Chef Vampires?

Heaven only knows what those books would be about.  The title might refer to nothing more than a TV show set in a futuristic world or a rock band or something.

What are some great titles you can think of?