Word of the week: Apt

I am a self-confessed word nerd. I don’t use uncommon words in an attempt to sound smart. I enjoy the English language and the words that we have to choose from. I will admit, I’m apt to use words that will make the average Joe scratch their heard. Evidently, I […]

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Word of the month: Apt

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I am a self-confessed word nerd. I don’t use uncommon words in an attempt to sound smart. I enjoy the English language and the words that we have to choose from. I will admit, I’m apt to use words that will make the average Joe scratch their heard.

Evidently, I use big words even when they aren’t big. Picture this scenario if you will; someone send you an email and invites you to a vague event three weeks away. With our busy lives it’s often hard to know what we are doing tomorrow much less in the future.

This is the exchange that followed:

APT

 

 

Since in the reply, Sally (whose name has been changed) asked the right question, I didn’t bother to followup on the second part of her response.  I am happy to help you expand your vocabulary. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, I am happy to answer your questions. Very often others will ask about words or phrases native English speakers use that may not be familiar elsewhere.

In this age of technology, I am constantly looking up words when I’m reading. I have a running list of words that pique my interest so that I may write or explore them further.  I recently went to the movies and made note of a word that caught my attention so I could look it up once we got out of the theatre.  See, I really am a word nerd.

I digress.  Back to our word…

Latin in origin, aptus fitted, suited, appropriate, past participle of *apĕre to fasten, attach.  Apt dates back as far as 1398 meaning Suited, fitted, adapted (to (obs.) or for a purpose); having the requisite qualifications; fit.  A more modern (1677), but by no means a new meaning and the one I often use is inclined, disposed (in a single instance).

Apt is a word I am apt to use often.  I’d like to challenge you to use this week’s word in a story, poem, or blog post.  I can’t wait to see what you come up with!  Please let me know.

 

  • I have cross posted this in Blogger’s World Forum, sorry if you are getting bombarded with this ;)

WPC: Time (for a party)

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It time for Mardi Gras, Memphis style.  I got invited to a LSU alumni Mardi Gras ball and boy did we laissez les bon temps rouler.


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I made a large wine bottle full of the original Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane cocktail.  There was none left at the end of the evening.  My band of merry revelers also finished a bottle of tequila, a couple bottles of wine, and a flask of scotch.

24852649926_f5b1fcbc3a_zNeedless to say, a good time was had by all.  Some had more of a good time than others…

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No one in our group left their pantyhose in the bathroom, but several of us ditched the shoes.  There’s only so long you can look fabulous and dance like a mad woman.

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My Hurricane on the left; Hurricane mixed from a packet on the right. You chose…

If you’d like to make a Hurricane that doesn’t make your insides glow from high fructose corn syrup and red dye #5, then give this a whirl.

1 oz dark rum
1 1/2 oz white rum
1 1/2 oz passion fruit syrup*
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons super fine sugar
splash of grenadine
lime wedge for garnish (when you aren’t serving from a giant wine bottle)

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake to blend.  Serve immediately.

*I used a passion fruit concentrate I found at my local ethnic market.  The original recipe references a syrup, so instead of mixing to the normal proportions the concentrate called for, I reduced the water.  Also, instead of adding sugar to my shaker, I made a simple syrup with the amount of water I was adding for my syrup.

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However you celebrate your fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras, I hope you have a grand time!

Take two…

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A while ago I mentioned going to the local WP Meetup and how I had nothing in common with the folks there. As much as I am the techie geek among my circle, these folks spoke a completely different language.

Growing up I was always the weird kid. I was the only Jew in my school. I went away every summer to a Jewish summer camp with kids from big cities like Memphis (ha!), New Orleans, and Little Rock. I’d come home listening to new music (Depeche Mode and REM), wearing funny clothes, and doing strange things to my hair (I’m not going there).

When I moved to Oregon, once again, I was the oddball. I wore matching outfits and khaki shorts with loafers. My jeans had a crease in the front. Slowly I assimilated and got my first pair of Birkenstocks and stopped shaving my legs (to my mother’s horror).

Eventually the weirdness of Oregon got old as I did too. Now back in the south, I am an alien once again.

So back to tonight’s gathering of geeks. The organizer of this group, who I’d tried several times to reach out to, and was rebuffed each time, recently stepped down. Somehow she got the idea that something isn’t computing when you have 500+ members, but only 10 who attend regularly. The fella who stepped up to take her spot reached out to the group through a series of emails and I was encouraged enough to check this out again.

Tonight was a brainstorming event where it was discussed what do you want to see from this group and how can we get more people involved. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. Hi I’m a developer. Hi I’m a web designer. Hi I’m a developer and self hosting is the only way to go. Hi I do multisite. On and on and on. Then it’s my turn…

Hi. I’m taking a left turn here.  I don’t care about any of that stuff.  I’m a blogger and photographer who uses the free wordpress.com site as my medium. I’m looking to meet other creative types who want to talk about blogging.  (I know, I’m such an asshole… she giggles)

They thanked me for coming and really want to get more bloggers involved in the group. A few of them asked if I really wasn’t interested in developing and programming. I don’t need to know how to change the oil in my car to be able to drive. I just want to get behind the wheel and hit the open road.

This group really like the format of “fireside chats” where someone makes a presentation and then they discuss it. I told the previous organizer I was certain no one there cared about what I had to say and I told the guy tonight the same thing. I think the proof is in the pudding. I spoke to half of the people there, and they all asked what do you blog about. Cooking, crafting, and cocktails. Oh. I like cooking. Not one of them asked what my site was.

I’m going to go back.  Especially now that I think I have an opportunity to draw some other bloggers out of the woodwork without the fear of the geek firing squad. I’m going to come up with something interesting to present, and I’m taking suggestions. I thought about a discussion and demonstration of the difference between a biscuit and a scone. Or why we shake some cocktails and not others.  The impact of butter versus margarine in cookies…  oh the possibilities..

What do you think I should present to this group of folks?  I’m dying to hear your thoughts on this.  Such fun!

Toast Tuesday: Baijiu

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I’m going to confess, I was never a very good student.  I was terrible at getting homework assignments done, and I was terrible at the reading assignments.  Even now, I have a hard time reading a book someone recommends, because it feels like an assignment.

I was going to tell you how this week was a fail.  I’ve mentioned it before, but Memphis is a epicurean’s nightmare.  When googling about Baijiu (pronounced by-joe) for this week’s drink of A Year of Drinking Adventurously, I came across this description and I was almost glad I couldn’t find it.

The most common flavor descriptors are sweaty socks, or rotten fruit, or things that are even more foul. In other words: To the unaccustomed, this stuff tastes weird.  More generously, you might say it calls to mind the aroma of earthy, smoked pears

 

Then as I was sitting down to write about my failure, I finally cracked open the book and read what Jeff Cioletti had to say about Baijiu.  As I was getting to the end of the chapter, he mentions a small local distillery in Portland, Oregon.  I had that “I shoulda had a V-8 moment” and ran into the other room.  Not 15 seconds later, I had my hand on the very bottle he references.  How could I have forgotten my dear friends at Vinn Distillery?!

Vinn’s Baijiu does not taste like dirty socks, in the slightest.  It is a family recipe they have been making for several generations.  It has a hint of earthiness with a warm, lingering finish.  I think if I were to have planned a cocktail, pear would pair nicely with the flavors.

Baijiu loosely translates to “white liquor” or “water of history” because it can be traced so far back.  It is traditionally consumed with food and at room temperature.  Only in the last few years has consuming it on it’s own become popular.  Just as the Ly family of Vinn Distillery has been making the same recipe for years, so has every other baijiu producer.  Very often, after fermentation, the spent grains go back into the pot for the next batch.

Our author talks to Yuan Lin, of CNS Enterprises about baijiu and my favorite thing he said in this chapter was “they see life as a continuous process; it takes and gives back at the same time.  As soon as it takes something, it gives back.  Otherwise life would cease to exist.”  How true!  This can be said of everything, but to know that you are drinking something that is giving a tiny nuanced nod to it’s origins, is almost daunting.

So, here’s to giving back, and finding a way to let our spirits live on.  Cheers!

WPC: Vibrant

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This past week was non-stop with a ridiculously fun finish.  A week ago we had a snow day and today it is 70 degrees shorts and flipflops.  This makes living in the midsouth well worth it!

The sky has been a beautiful fireworks show every night, each one different and better in it’s own way.  Stunning and vibrant, mother nature never ceases to amaze.

 

When I finally made it to Friday, I couldn’t wait for the workday to finish.  I jumped in the car and headed south to Jackson and Duling Hall to see Robert Earl Keen.  The Roosevelts opened the show and I left with their cd.

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What a great show!  I’m leaving you today with our family theme song.  Pardon the quality of the video shot with my cell phone, but enjoy the enthusiasm of the crowd and feel free to sing along.  We sure did!

Toast Tuesday: Japanese Whisky

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This week in The Year of Drinking Adventurously, I exercised some restraint and did not spend $100 on a bottle of Japanese Whisky.  My tiny kitchen runneth over with booze.

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This week I found a small Japanese restaurant that stocked a Japanese whisky and went out to dinner.

The book tell us Japanese whisky has roots in Scotland, as such, has a smoky scotch-like quality about it. I won’t say that’s where the differences end, but Japanese whisky has taken a different path to their blends. Many of the distilleries have several stills to make different whiskies to blend for the final product.

One of my recon assistants shared this nugget with me:

I’ve read that for the most part, Japanese use them to make highballs. I remember when I was in Japan, coming out of a conference hall, there was a high school girl in a tight skirt right there to hand me a drink. From the looks of it, I expected some sort of an exotic fruit juice refresher, but it was actually a whisky highball.

 

This seems to be a popular way to consume this.  Not necessarily with the high school girl…  but based on this friend’s experience, and that the first recipe recommendation on Yamazaki’s website, is a highball. I sipped my Yamazaki neat so I could actually taste it.  I think next time I’ll try their highball.

 

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The patrons who dined around us almost proved more interesting than the meal itself.  Afterward we dashed off to a movie.  I’m not big on sitting in a dark theatre, craning my neck to see something that I can watch from the comfort of my couch in a few months, but The Big Short is excellent.  You’ll laugh your ass off the first half of the movie, and sit in stunned silence the second half.  They explain what happened in the housing market crash in such a way that makes perfect sense, and you leave the theatre in a state of shock, just shaking your head.  Go see it now.

Alright, economy seminar is over.  Get on with your day.  Have a good one and the next time your are at your favorite Japanese restaurant, ask for a Yamazaki highball.  I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

WPC: Optimistic

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I dug in the archives for this photo challenge. While we are freezing our tushies off, it’s a great time for some optimism and smiles.

Because I am always taking pictures of everything that catches my eye I had quite a few to chose from. I hope these make you giggle as much as they made me.  Each photo has a caption.  If you click on the images, you can see them larger.

 

 

 

 

 

Ice is cool

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We had a snow day yesterday.  While the rest of the east coast is getting dumped on, ours lasted a day and now it’s a big muddy mess.  But while it lasted, it was pretty.

I really like the ice that forms in puddles and paw prints.  It reminds me of the movie Sweet Home Alabama and how they talk about glass art that forms when lightening strikes sand.

Here are a few shots I’ve taken over the last couple days.  Click on them to see a larger image.

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Coe is the least patient photo subject.  She has gotten to the point when she sees me point the camera at her she turns her head and rolls her eyes.  Mom…stop…

While we didn’t get quite as much snow as last year, here’s a look back.  Hope you are all staying warm and safe, and enjoying the cold beauty as much as I am.

Toast Tuesday: Canadian Whisky

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I’ll confess, I wasn’t quite ready for Tuesday to roll around this week. Only because Tuesday is Monday and we know how we all feel about Mondays.

This week, I had some Guinea pigs to toast with and taste this week’s spirit, Canadian Whisky. Following along with A Year of Drinking Adventurously, I made the classic cocktail, the Brooklyn. To be honest, I googled and found a Vancouver cocktail with gin, but I didn’t look for a Quebec or Montreal. So if they are out there, I’m sorry I did not pay full homage to your country.

I mentioned last week, I accidentally skipped ahead, so I partly caught up by making my Brooklyn with that acquisition, Crown Royal Rye. I also used regular ole Crown Royal and a cheat, a local Tennessee Whiskey from Tenn South.


We had one in our party who isn’t a cocktail drinker, but was a moderately good sport and drank the taste of cocktail that was forced upon her. The rest of us enjoyed the regular CR best in this recipe. The Tenn South was a little hot to start, but when I added an ice cube and sipped, it got much better. Still not my pick for this cocktail. There are much better uses for that.

I realized much too late, I forgot to snap any pictures of cocktails in a camper, but be assured, we toasted.

So to you, a Toast to your week, whenever it gets started!

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