Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

Morning names: Hai Karate, Dirk Diggler

August 18, 2018

(The Dirk Diggler section has some plain talk about men’s bodies — penises here, penises there, penises everywhere — so some readers might want to skip that section.)

Yesterday morning, the cheap men’s aftershave of the 1960s, Hai Karate, with an ad campaign that’s hard to forget (nerdy guys karate-chopping away hot models who were irrestistibly drawn to them by the powerful fumes of their Hai Karate). And then this morning, at the tail of an elaborate  character-rich dream, the dream me discovered he was actually the son of Dirk Diggler, the supremely porn-named porn star character in two movies (the mockumentary The Dirk Diggler Story and the dramatic narrative film Boogie Nights).

(more…)

The crystal ball of cartoon understanding

August 17, 2018

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm takes us through the murky realms of cartoon understanding:

(#1)

At the surface level, the fortune teller offers a preposterous prediction about how Grimm will be reincarnated, and Grimm says he doesn’t believe in reincarnation. Entirely comprehensible (so long as you know about fortune tellers, and can recognize a stereotype of one —  woman in gypsy costume with crystal ball — and so long as you know what reincarnation is), but not funny, unless you also know about Carnation brand evaporated milk (sweetened powdered milk that comes in cans). It’s a joke, son.

(more…)

Lantana on the trail

August 16, 2018

Another report on the plants out my front door and in my neighborhood. A scene around the corner from my house in Palo Alto, showing a street planting of trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis) between the sidewalk and the white picket fence around an urban farmhouse (a survival from an earlier time):


(#1) Northeast corner of Emerson and Homer, across Emerson from the Whole Foods; across Homer from tech and fashion shops; diagonally across from the Greek restaurant Taverna (formerly the Mexican restaurant La Morenita)

(more…)

P-alliterative and tetrametric lines

August 11, 2018

…  front-accented (especially trochaic) tetrametric, in fact. Separately and in concert.  Notably combined in

purple rainbow puppy pen (SW SW SW S)

which is the household name for this object, recently acquired by Kim Darnell at a local vet’s office and now added to my cabinet of curiosities display:

(#1)

(more…)

Les poutineurs de Montréal

August 10, 2018

Despite my professed intentions, another spin-off posting from the 31st motss.con in Montréal a week ago. All about poutine, specifically about poutine fans — poutineurs — and about one of poutine’s three crucial ingredients, cheese curds, especially the highly valued quality of their squeakiness.


(#1) Personal Facebook page of a poutine fan

(more…)

Friends of friends

August 6, 2018

At Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden this morning, two sort of familiar plants — a big upright succulent just coming into bloom, a small tree (or large shrub) with silver-green leaves and still green berries. The first a new (to me) variety of the familiar spectabile species (‘Autumn Fire’ rather than ‘Autumn Joy’ — hey, fall is coming fast), with a unfamiliar (to me) genus name (Hylotelephium instead of Sedum). The second both like the familiar olive (Olea europaea) and like the familiar  Russian-olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), but not quite either of them: a merely olive-like Elaeagnus rather than an actual Olea, and commutata ‘silverberry’ rather than angustifolia.

(more…)

Toga, togae, togae!

August 5, 2018

Following up on my “Creams” posting yesterday, about names for gay bars, Betsy Herrington wrote to say that when she lived in NYC (in Chesea) in the late 90s, “there was a wonderful gay toga bar down the street called Vidi Vici Veni”. A bookish joke (playing on the slogan Veni Vidi Vici ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’ attributed to Julius Caesar, and using the slang sense ‘ejaculate’ of the English verb come) familiar to me, but not as the name of a gay bar. On a t-shirt:

(#1)

(more…)

Creams

August 4, 2018

A friend in the UK writes on Facebook:

It just occurred to me that Creams would be a great name for a gay pub.

(but he hasn’t found a pub by that name). Then I discovered that this musing was posted on the occasion of his visiting Creams Cafe (a dessert shop specializing in Italian gelato) in Liverpool.

(more…)

Advances in phobology

August 2, 2018

… the science of fear and fears, to which Gary Larson made a sort of contribution in this 1988 Far Side cartoon:

(#1)

It was, of course, a joke: a term for a preposterous fear. Fear of ducks, sure, but fear that a duck is watching you? That’s a wild paranoid phobia akin to Dinsdale Piranha’s paranoid phobia of Spiny Norman, a gigantic imaginary hedgehog, in Monty Python’s “Piranha Brothers” skit.

For the most part, the joke got passed around as a joke —  but without the context of its occurring in a  cartoon, and in the context of the many lists of remarkable phobias you can find all over the place, the funny word and its astonishing definition have taken on a shadow life of their own.

Then, on the quibbling front, there’s the ill-formedness of anatidaephobia as the name of a phobia, any phobia, even a phobia of ducks.

(more…)

Male crop tops!

August 2, 2018

The title of a Humans of Tumblr video on June 21st:


(#1) From Sleepaway Camp (1983), Frank Trent Saladino Jr. (b. 1953), playing camp counselor Gene at a baseball game (in full costume: sleeveless crop top, short shorts, and tube socks)

What happened to the male crop top? Male crop tops were all the rage in the ’80s and ’90s [and a rhyming name was especially attractive]. Here are some of the quintessential male crop top moments worth remembering. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And Johnny Depp’s cropped jersey in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Here’s Bruce Jenner rockin’ the crop in Can’t Stop the Music. And Apollo Creed from the Rocky films just had to show off his goods. Cropped tank tops were popular as well. But as we all know, no male crop top was complete without short shorts and tube socks. As seen in this classic scene [a baseball game] from Sleepaway Camp [see the screen capture above].  Should we bring this trend back?

(more…)