Archive for the ‘Idioms’ Category

Political wagyu

October 13, 2017

The gustatory-political text for today:

Rage against the media is political Wagyu for the president’s base. (NYT, “[REDACTED]’s Attacks on the Press: Telling Escalation From Empty Threats” by Michael M. Grynbaum on 10/12/17 on-line)

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Swords up on Friday the 13th

October 13, 2017

Today is the baleful day Friday the 13th, and in the Halloween season to boot, so the Michael Lucas gay porn film company has packaged a $13 membership offer featuring Friday the 13th‘s Jason, in his hockey mask, brandishing a tremendous meat-sword. A cropped version:

(#1)

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Noodling with formulaic language

October 6, 2017

Today is National Noodle Day. Yes, an event fabricated by people in the food indusry to showcase their products and sell them, on a date no doubt chosen only because it hadn’t already been claimed by any other food. But noodles are delicious, they’re multicultural, and they’re fun.

I celebrated the occasion at lunch with some porcini mushroom and truffle triangoli (stuffed ravioli, but triangular rather than square) from Trader Joe’s, with arrabiatta sauce (a spicy tomato sauce). Pasta in English food talk for Italian food, but  noodles in English food talk for Chinese (and other East Asian and Southeast Asian) food — so today they’re noodles to me. (I recommend a broadminded view on what counts as noodles.)

I also recommend that we adopt a symbolic figure for the occasion, something like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Halloween pumpkins and witches, Pilgrims for Thanksgiving, the New Year baby, and so on. I suggest the Flying Spaghetti Monster, with his noodly appendages.

But first let’s get down to some recent noodling with formulaic expressions in the comics: One Big Happy (an idiom), Rhymes With Orange (a frequent collocation or an idiom, depending on who you read), and Mother Goose and Grimm (a proverb):

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One-hit grinders

October 2, 2017

The Zippy from September 30th, featuring Mary’s Coffee Shop, which also offers grinders:

(#1)

Plays on several senses of grind, plus the idiom one-hit wonder (with its phonological play on /wʌn/).

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From marbles and barbats to challah

September 28, 2017

… via Greek-American food in Old Saybrook CT. A Zippyesque journey in today’s strip:

(#1)

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Steak bombs

September 16, 2017

Yesterday’s Zippy:

(#1)

Steak bomb as the name of a type of steak sandwich was new to me. Steak sandwiches in general are torpedo-shaped, hence bomboid, but the point of the name is probably to assert that it is in fact the/da bomb, the best: the best of all possible steak sandwiches, because it has everything.

The play of steak bomb vs. stink bomb then just makes the name more memorable.

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Rubber ducks, by the bag

September 16, 2017

When you explore something on the net, your searches come back to you in messages of all sorts. So when I looked around at rubber ducks / duckies — for a posting on the 9th — I set off duck alarms in several quarters, most impressively at amazon.com, which is now enticing me with a gigantic array of artificial quackers, in all sizes, colors, and types. I am especially taken with these little guys:

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Bosco 3

September 2, 2017

In the August 28th New Yorker‘s “Goings On About Town” section, announcing the end of this year’s HVSF season:

Beautiful natural vistas, drama, and history come together at Boscobel House and Gardens, home of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, about ninety minutes north of the city. Exciting unplanned confluences, such as a convoy of helicopters flying over “Macbeth,” occur regularly [thus making a virtue out of inconvenience]. “A Week of Revolution” (Aug. 27-Sept. 4) will include reënactments, picnics, hikes, and a staging of Richard Nelson’s play “The General from America,” about Benedict Arnold, who tried to hand his command of West Point — visible across the river — over to the British.

An intriguing program, but what caught my eye was the name Boscobel for the house and estate. Long familiar to me, but seen in a new light after two Bosco postings on this blog: from the 20th, on Bosco chocolate syrup and the 25th, on Don Bosco (St. Giovanni / John Bosco).

Eventually this will lead us to Miltonian bosky dells and dogs named Bosco (one of whom got elected mayor of Sunol CA some years ago).

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A stay in medical Antarctica

August 4, 2017

Yesterday’s medical adventure, set off by my shortness of breath during exertion, especially in hot weather (which we’ve been having a lot of; my symptoms became worrisome on a weekend in May when the temperature in Palo Alto reached 107 F). I was referred to a cardiologist; alarmed, she set up yesterday’s myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) test, specifically via single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Details to follow.

The test involved hours at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, much of it sitting around between its parts. The actual imaging parts of the test took place in astonishingly icy rooms — which I came to refer to as medical Antarctica — so that I was shivering with cold when I left after 5 hours.

In the sitting-around parts of the event, I read through most of the latest (August 7th and 14th) issue of the New Yorker. To leaven the stark medical details, I’ll report on one of the pieces (Lauren Collins’s “Identity crisis: Notes from a names obsessive”), one of the cartoons (by Joe Dator), and a set of “spots”, small illustrations by Nishant Choksi sprinkled throughout the issue.

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Today’s comic comprehension test

July 31, 2017

A recent cartoon by Wayno, passed on to me by Chris Hansen:

To understand this cartoon, you need to recognize that the setting — one or two people on a small, otherwise uninhabited, island with a lone palm tree — is a cartoon meme, and that such  a setting is referred to in English by the idiom desert island. (You also, of course, need to recognize the items on the island as desserts; and to know how to spell desert and dessert.)

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