Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

Calvin becomes a personage

April 6, 2021

Two Calvin and Hobbes cartoons recently — yesterday and today (originally from 4/8 and 4/9/91) — in my comics feed, in which Calvin takes on a title (the epithet the Bold) and adopts illeism (referring to himself in the third person):

(#1)

(#2)

Yes, it’s all about linguistics.

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pruners

March 29, 2021

Another chapter in the design of everyday objects — objects crafted to perform their functions well, and to provide pleasure to the user or the viewer. The occasion is the early summer sprucing up of my front patio, just outside the big windows by the table where I work, providing me, during my long months in pandemic isolation, with the visual satisfactions of a substantial container garden and temptations for birds and squirrels (and, alas, a small but tenacious colony of roof rats).

Now it is finally both warm and usually dry, and I’m mostly recovered from my reactions to the Pfizer vaccine: notably, an unfortunate interaction — twice — between the vaccine and my osteoarthritis that caused many of the finger joints on my right hand to swell painfully, making that hand virtually unusable.

But now I can begin coping with the mess that the patio has become, including trimming and pruning the plants, cutting out the old wood, and chopping up the plants that have died. So I discover that my secateurs, or pruning shears, had gotten exposed to our rainy season and needed replacing. With an object much like this excellent tool from the local Ace Hardware:


(#1) Ace anvil pruners

On anvil vs. bypass pruners, see below. But first, on the terms secateurs, pruning shears, and pruners.

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Zippo, the comic strip

March 25, 2021

The 3/14 Zippy strip shows Claude and Griffy (and eventually Zippy too) caught up in what seems to be affixoid attraction (similar to word attraction), an irrational appreciation of or enthusiasm for a particular word-part — in this case, the word-final element –o (whatever its source might be):


(#1) All of the panels except the fourth are framed as two-person exchanges, in which the second is a response to the first: offering a competing alternative (panel 1), trading insults (panels 2 and 3), or expressing appreciation (panel 5)

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No-name joints

March 6, 2021

Two mornings ago, I awoke feeling generally good and energetic, but very painfully afflicted by osteoarthritis, in both shoulders and both elbows and both wrists and all the joints of both hands — but worse in my already damaged right hand, and especially in its middle (and otherwise least damaged) finger, and especially in the top joint of that finger, just under the fingernail, which was swollen and reddening. Swollen so much I couldn’t straighten it out.

Then, while I was getting my first mug of tea, an operation that requires holding a mug under a spout as it fills with very hot water, I realized, simultaneously, that I was incapable of holding onto the mug as it filled and so was about to drop the whole thing on the floor (I immediately set it down and switched to doing everything with my left hand, which was agonizing but achievable); and that I had no ordinary name, or even a fancy anatomical term, for that swollen and screamingly painful joint on my right hand. I had a description — “the top joint of that finger, just under the fingernail” — but no name; in fact, I had no name for any of the hand joints other than those at the base of the fingers: the knuckles, in my usage.

It was somewhat worse yesterday, though I could use a mouse and type, cautiously, with my right index finger. I took a photo, using my iPad — a minimal instrument, and very hard to manage for using an afflicted left hand to shoot a worse-afflicted right hand. Not a triumph of the photographer’s art, and better at showing some of the devastation of ulnar nerve damage (the useless, permanently contracted little finger, the pit of vanished muscle between my thumb and index finger) than the terribly swollen joint on my middle finger:

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Notes of cade oil, spikenard, and labdanum

February 23, 2021

Among the scent notes in the “unisex perfume” A City on Fire — burnt match is another, but that doesn’t require looking things up — from the Imaginary Authors company, whose remarkable fragrances come with synopses of fictitious works of extravagant fiction and with striking graphic-designer labels on their bottles.

The perfumes aren’t cheap — $95 for a 50 ml bottle ($38 for a 14 ml Traveler size, $6 for a 2 ml Sample size) — but then we don’t know how many bottles get sold, and how much the perfumes are actually worn, as opposed to being treasured and displayed as art objects with an olfactory as well as visual and textual dimensions.

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Ruthie misunderstands

February 21, 2021

Two One Big Happy cartoons recently in my comics feed. Originally from 1/29, a strip in which Ruthie misunderstands “Randi with an “I””, taking it to be “Randi with an eye”. And originally from 1/25, a Sunday strip in which Ruthie misunderstands “pole dance”, taking it to be “Pole dance”.

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Three remarkably named men’s fragrances

February 20, 2021

First, to announce a new Page on this blog listing my postings about men’s fragrance. Then, to continue some recent postings on notable names for men’s fragrances, a look at Fucking Fabulous and two nomenclatural celebrations of testosterone, Testosterone Original Fragrance Paris and Testostérone (from Zurich).

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Lobster bands, and other restraints

February 19, 2021

(The kinky sense of band — ‘restraint’ — in the Rhymes cartoon drifts into some hard-core sex between men, so that partway through, this posting becomes no longer suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Rhymes With Orange cartoon from yesterday (2/18) has two lobsters arranging a hookup for some kinky sex with lobster bands:

(#1)

The elastic bands in question are rubber or silicone bands referred to commercially as lobster bands. They function as restraints on the lobsters’ ability to use their claws — so that they’re roughly analogous to the cuffs / bands / restraints of bondage sex, hence the kinkiness in the cartoon.

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The bull validates Peter’s family

February 7, 2021

Three more Bizarro cartoons from the past, from another crop on Pinterest, with: an allusion you need to catch to understand the cartoon; a complex pun; and laugh-inducing names.

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Fleurs des males

January 27, 2021

Penises as literally the flowers of manhood, which can be collected into bouquets and other floral arrangements — an occasional theme in artworks that are light-hearted and charming rather than pornographic, intended to amuse rather than to arouse.

The occasion for this posting was a Facebook posting by Greg Parkinson yesterday about a 1982 exhibition “Extended Sensibilities: Homosexual Presence in Contemporary Art” (an early exploration — almost 50 years ago — of the topic), which included one of these artworks:

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