Thursday, December 30, 2010

Is road out of poverty down the aisle? -

Is road out of poverty down the aisle? -

This article highlights what is wrong when researchers overplay their results, or, worse yet, when politicians or the media get hold of results and start pontificating. Reports of associations or relationships (correlations) are not reports of cause. But often they are reported as such. In this article, for example, the association between poverty and not being married was interpreted as: If we can get these people to marry, they will no longer be in poverty. There was a relationship, that is all. We can go on all day and try to explain it, but that would only be subjective surmising. We'd have to conduct further research to see what is going on.

I like the author's explanation: "People tend not to marry if they are financially unstable. They tend to break up due to poor relationship skills. Work on both these factors, and we might just see our poverty rate move in the right direction." But we'd have to research it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This is really weird...

While I know that I am, by far, not the least Internet savvy person around (some I work with can hardly email, much less use a Wiki or post on a forum), I am not an Internet guru...or geek. Therefore, it is posts like this (which came up on my Google Alerts) that perplex me: Link

Wordcraft and Epea Pteroenta are listed as well.

Very Strange.

Friday, December 17, 2010

We're getting out the word

We seem to be getting out the word about epicaricacy. They are quoting "Kalleh," and yet the links don't go anywhere. Have you ever heard of that Love to Share Blog?

Similarly, it was used in the comments section of the Huffington Post: Link.

I am thinking it should be the word of the year for 2010!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

So clueless

Ah, some Web sites can be so clueless.

Interestingly, my google alerts for "epicaricacy" are becoming much less frequent these days. Is there anything we can do about this? How about a word of the year designation?!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not much of a change

We need some news about "epicaricacy!" Can't Obama or Palin or someone use it in a speech? Not much has changed, though I did find that it's included in that wonderful Urban Dictionary. Maybe it had been, and I've just forgotten.

Sorry. Not much more than that to report...and I did promise not to talk politics for awhile.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Yep. The Republicans are dancing and feeling epicaricactic (we really do need an adjective for that concept. Neither "epicaricacy" or "Schadenfreude" have one.)

I will give up politics now for awhile. The other side won, but the tide will turn back again. No worries on that.

So...where did the word "shellacking" come from? Interestingly, when looking it up in the OED, it is chiefly U.S. Don't they use it in England? In the OED it was first cited as meaning a "beating" in 1931. I wonder if eventually this citation of "shellacking" will be included in the OED.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Voting day in the U.S.

Today is the big day. There will be epicaricacy from one side...I hope it's not mine!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Political epicaricacy...again

I don't know about the rest of the US, but here in Chicago we are experiencing horrible incivility, with both parties, in this campaign. When the elections are over, I am sure both sides will experience epicaricacy. But I hope they also experience severe remorse at how they've handled themselves.

I did find the following comment by a Democrat at a get-out-the-vote rally rather funny...sad, but funny. The politician is a state senator, and I agree the person he was ranting about (a Republican nominee for Governor and an ex-state senator) is to the right of Rush Limbaugh, but still, a little civility is in order, people! Here's what the state senator said at the public rally:

"I've never served served with such an idiotic, racist, sexist, homophobic person in my life. If you think that the minimum wage needs to be three dollars an hour, vote for Bill Brady. If you think that women have no rights whatsoever, except to have his children, vote for Bill Brady. If you think gay and lesbian people need to be locked up and shot in the head, vote for Bill Brady."

He refused to apologize, saying, "If he can show me that he votes differently than what I said, I will apologize. But I know he can't say that. I know he can't." Somehow I don't think Brady said that gay and lesbians should be shot in the head, do you?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

For now...the billionaires have their epicaricacy

There was an insightful article in the NY Times by Frank Rich today: Link

While the Tea Partiers are describing themselves as "grass roots," clearly they aren't. From the article: "In a typical example just three weeks ago, the influential publication National Journal delivered a breathless report on how the Tea Party functions as a “headless” movement where “no one gives orders.” To prove the point, a head of the headless Tea Party Patriots vouched that “75 percent of the group’s funding comes from small donations, $20 or less.” And then: "Last week the same Tea Party Patriots leader who bragged to the National Journal about all those small donations announced a $1 million gift from a man she would identify only as an entrepreneur. The donor’s hidden identity speaks even louder than the size of the check. As long as we don’t know who he is, we won’t know what orders he’s giving either"

Let's face it. These Tea Partiers are a bunch of media savvy Republicans who want Bush's tax cuts to continue and don't want Obama to increase taxes on the miserably rich. They need their billions to live on. To hell with children with no health care or with the homeless elderly. They're taking care of their kids and their relatives. They deserve it all. What self-centered fools they all are. Here's one example, though he doesn't have billions; still, he can't live on more than $250,000 per year with a family of four.

For now, the Tea Partiers and Republicans are laughing epicaricacially. But just wait. When they get in and don't do anything, the tide will turn. This is American politics doubled in spades.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Transfiguration of the Commonplace

A friend recommended Arthur Danto's "The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: A Philosophy of Art," which is a scholarly book about the age-old question: What is art? It's a typical philosophy book that gets down to agonizing detail on questions, but I've picked up some insights, such as art being a mirror of reality. Perhaps that's why some of the more ugly or plain contemporary art (like Tracey Emin's Unmade Bed or the plain black canvas surrounded by a frame that I've seen at the Art Institute) have crept into the art scene. So far, and I am not finished with the book, I haven't quite figured out why one piece like that is art, and why another isn't. To be continued...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Art revisited

At the risk of boring the world, here is yet another conversation, on OEDILF, about the perennial "What is art?" discussion.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another Epicaricacy Blog

Well, well. Another similar Blog has just been started: My Epicaricacy Blog. Before long our dear friend, John Simpson, will include the word in the OED. I just know he will. What then? What will I have to complain about? I guess there's always politics. Or the "What is art?" question. Bad beer. My kids/husband. My work. The Cubs. The weather. Oh, yeah. There will be lots of things.

Friday, August 13, 2010

And again...

I had the pleasure of touring the Portland Art Museum today, and it is much better than I had ever expected. There were a number of impressionists there, including some pieces from Renoir and Monet that I'd never seen. I had no idea that Renoir had sculptures (one of Rodin). Two Renoirs, two girls reading and one of the Seine, were exceptional. I hadn't realized, until this museum visit, that Sisley is considered to be British. I've always considered him to be French, and he does have a huge French influence in his art. And I was introduced to the American impressionist, Childe Hassam, whom I love! I also saw a great Picasso sculpture and von Gogh's "The Ox Cart," which is fabulous.

However, I also saw a few pieces that were, well, not art in my humble opinion. One was this big painting of large strokes of red and white paint. That's it. I don't know how anyone could ever like that one. Yet, the artist saw it as "art" so I guess Bob's definition holds for it. I do become confused, from time to time, on this question of what art is.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Canine Epicaricacy

My daughter has been living with us for a few months...with her cat. KC is half Siamese and really lovable and cute. But, Flirt, our Border Collie, does not like cats. When KC first moved in, they'd go at it...a lot! However, it became less and less, until now they essentially ignore each other and parallel play. Flirt keeps an eye on KC, though KC couldn't give a rip what Flirt does. Similarly, Flirt has a huge guilty conscience, while KC doesn't know the definition of guilt. The stage is set for the following story:

KC loves to get under the covers when I make the bed. At first, when I'd tell KC to "Get off the bed," Flirt, who was watching, would slink away, thinking it was she. That went on for awhile...until Flirt figured out that I was talking to the cat in that stern voice. Aha. Then Flirt's attitude changed. She rather liked my chasing the cat off the bed. She actually had a sort of "dog smile" on her face. I call it canine epicaricacy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stieg Larsson

While there are no citations of "epicaricacy," I have so much enjoyed the Stieg Larrson trilogy. I just hope they publish the fourth one. I am on the second now and of course am looking forward to the third.

The whole intrigue surrounding Larrson's death isn't that different from his books. I wonder if Eva will be able to publish the one that's left in the computer. It's my understanding that they wrote the books together, so it's a travesty that she can't publish them and make money from them. The laws in Sweden seem quite old-fashioned; after all, they lived together for 32 years!

There even has been some "talk" that Larsson's death wasn't really from a heart attack...that there was some foul play. That's probably balderdash, but let's face it, Larrson could have written a book about his own life! Maybe that's all in book four...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What is art?

This probably caught the eye of a few WC friends because, for some reason, it has caused a venomous dispute on our site. If we talk about "what is art" now, we quietly email/PM each other. I think this Blog is safe of venom because I have no (or very few) readers anyway...and one in particular from WC doesn't read my Blog.

I was listening to NPR as I was driving to the Manchester, NH, airport last Friday and heard an author (I believe he was from Yale) talk about his book where he writes what is essential for art (or other things) to become popular/valuable. We have tried to define art on WC, and the most agreed-upon (though not unanimous) definition is that if the creator considers it art, it is. Therefore, while some think Tracey Emin's "My Bed" is art because she considers it so, there is huge disagreement on our site whether it really is. Venomous disagreement! Strange.

In the interview with this author on NPR, he said that if the art is done by someone who is recognized as an artist, it is "valuable" art. For example, if someone doesn't know a piece has been created by Picasso, he/she might not like it and therefore wouldn't consider it art. That would change if he/she found out who the artist was. That definition was discussed on WC, and I have talked about it privately with one of our members.

However, I don't buy it. First, how does the artist get recognized in the first place? Were Monet's or other artist's pieces not art before he was recognized as an artist? Secondly, there is plenty out there that has been created by a well-known artist that I don't like at all. It's still art; I just don't like it. Tracey Emin's pieces would be examples.

I hope I haven't put words into the mouth of this author because I just heard the report as i was driving and couldn't take notes or find it online. That was how I interpreted his analysis. I do, realize, though that there is a difference between "what is art?" and "what is valuable art?" Maybe he'd call some picture that I painted "art" if I would, but it just wouldn't be "valuable art." I wish I could find his book!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Epicaricacy images

I received a Google Alert today from a site that linked to epicaricacy images. I hadn't thought about that! A few of my alleged Blog readers just may find their photos or sites among them. I didn't do it!

That made me look for Google images for epicaricacy. Similarly, some of my good buddies are in Google images. I hope you're not mad at me. For the life of me, I can't figure how that happened, but in the first link it said those photos came from this Blog.

Some of the images are funny!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We're being watched

I was fooling around on the Internet with epicaricacy, and look what I found here. My June 28th post was linked there. We epicaricacy addicts stick together, don't we?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cavaliers: Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert

Cavaliers: Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert

I am sure LeBron, and the crew down there in South Beach, are feeling epicaricacy. Congrats to Dan Gilbert for supporting his fans.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How do you do it?

This is not an epicaricacy, or even a word post. This is just a complaint beware.

I wish I were more like my colleagues on Wordcraft. Many there don't care about sports, and right now I wish that were I. While not overboard at all, I am a true blue Chicago Bulls fan. But now that LeBron James, along with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, have decided to join the Miami Heat, next year in basketball is over. Why is that allowed? Our season is over before it starts?

And don't even get me started on the Dwayne Wade fiasco...what a liar! He said he was interested in Chicago only so that he could see what their pitch was. He then took that information to Pat Riley (with the slicked back hair), and they used it in their pitches. Illegal? Probably not, merely because the NBA is incompetent. But ethical? Clearly not.

I love basketball, and I still want to be a fan. While it's not the Chicago Bulls' fault that there has been such manipulation, I can't watch them lose because of the complete failure of the NBA. I will watch college basketball instead.

I just wish I didn't like basketball so much. I don't know how my Wordcraft friends do it; how are they able to stay free of sports?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

With a little help from my friends....

For all of my readers (at least one!), I'd like to show you how to pass the word about epicaricacy. Read this post from Wordcraft. One of our members passed the word about epicaricacy. In summary, he said, "The point of telling you this is that someone in the office used the word Schadenfreude to describe how she was feeling and I decided to do my good deed for the day and spread the knowledge of Kalleh's favourite word. She even wrote it down."

Wow! If we all did that, we'd soon see the word in the OED.

I have shared the word with my friends and colleagues from time to time. However, one thing I haven't done is to use the word in my presentations. However, I don't think that concept of taking pleasure in another's misery has come it. In health care, let's hope not!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Check Your Facts!

I always like Leonard Pitts. He is a reasonable columnist who always sees it like it is. In his Tribune's July 1st column, he talks about elusive facts. He says:

"We all know that President Barack Obama was secretly born in Kenya.

And that there will soon be enough Muslims here to take over the country.

And that Presidents Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower collectively deported 15 million illegal immigrants.

We all know these things — if by 'we' you mean certain conservative bloggers and the gullible people who believe them and if by 'know' you mean, 'take as gospel, even in the absence of evidence.' Otherwise, 'we' don't know anything of the sort." Here is a link to his full column.

That rung so true to me because just that day I had driven home from my home state, Wisconsin, as I dropped my niece home in Green Bay. I was shocked at what was available on the radio...Christian stations and Rush Limbaugh. My home state has gone to Hell in a handbasket!

Since I am Jewish, I chose Rush. I thought, "Well, I should hear the other side every so often." He was just like Pitts' column. He made all kinds of assertions that didn't hold up. For example, he ranted on and on about Chicago politics (being sure that Obama will go to jail), forgetting any of the Chicago Republicans who have been convicted...and they're many. The most recent and egregious is probably ex-Governor George Ryan, who is in jail as I write this. But, remember, most listeners aren't from Chicago, so they wouldn't know. He screeched and squealed (by the way, his stumbling on words is very annoying) about the Chicago Democrats being crooked. And it went on from there. He actually seems to think that Richard Nixon was a Democrat! And, you should have heard his tirade about Elena Kagan, Obama's Supreme Court nominee. He made fun of her, using terms from Jackie Gleason, "humina, humina, humina." First of all, how about a little respect? But secondly, has he heard tapes of himself? "Abbbbbout" Etc.

But I worry that Pitts is right. People listen to Rush and believe him because he has publicly made the statement. It must be true, they think. Yet, his entire rant about Chicago was false.

Of course it's not just Rush. People tend to believe what they hear or what they read without checking the facts. Recently a columnist I respect, Steve Chapman, wrote a very misleading article about handgun control, for example. He listed two...TWO...examples of homeowners who successfully deterred intruders by killing them with their guns, and that was his "proof" that handguns make you safer. Forget the accumulation of facts, such as this. But, again, his readers will take home that handguns save lives. Ridiculous!

Be careful when you hear or read something. Check the facts.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sometimes the Web surprises me...

Mostly I read mundane Web sites that are informative or fun or that someone links me to. But sometimes I am totally surprised from what I find. Tonight I received a Google Alert from a site that wrote about my husband! Here is a link. Apparently my husband wrote them way back in 2005, but someone recently answered. Funny what will come up in Google Alerts!

And here is what was said:

A friendly person, Ken Spector, sent me an email with additional information about "epicaricacy" after having noticed the discussion in the LEO forum:

You folks have discussed the word 'epicaricacy', at these two spots on the web:
related discussion:epicaricacy - schadenfreude

One of the comments was, "I almost suspect this word was coined/invented recently." I can give you some more data.

The word appears in most of the editions of Nathaniel Bailey's dictionary. Bailey's dictionary was highly respected, was published and republished for about 50 years starting in 1721, and was Samuel Johnson's basic word-list from which he prepared his dictionary, acknowledged to be the master.

Linguist Joseph T. Shipley included it in his Dictionary of Early English (1963), citing Bailey.

Our bulletin board has discussed this repeatedly over many months, as new information is found. You'll find the most recent discussion here:

The word is not OED as listed term being defined -- but it is in one of there sample quotes for another word. Here's their first quotation for 'shadenfeude', from 1852; the citation also uses 'epicaricacy', spelling it in greek letters.

1852 R. C. TRENCH Study of Words (ed. 3) II. 29 What a fearful thing is it that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others; for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing. And yet in more than one such a word is found... In the Greek έπιχαρεκακία, in the German, ‘Schadenfreude’.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Let's face it. The concept of epicaricacy, whether you accept it as a word or not, is not a pleasant one. Taking joy in another's misery? Even if it's your mean!

So what's the opposite of it? Probably the best word is mudita, a Buddhist term meaning to find joy in the happiness and success of others. According to this site, it has not been given enough attention. I suppose I could start a Blog on Friends of Mudita, but that's a little lame. Seriously, though, look at the essays on that site. They are inspiring.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I just finished a wonderful book about African-American (the book called it "colored") domestic help, during the 60s, in Jackson, Mississippi (by Kathryn Stockett). It made me think how valuable keeping diaries and writing down our stories can be. When I was a girl, I kept diaries for years. Having found them in my attic recently, many entries are lame. I had more crushes on boys than I ever remembered! But they were my stories. When I was a professor, my students once gave me a journal, and every night I wrote. For awhile. Then I got busy. Recently at work we were laughing about all the funny/sad/amazing things that have happened in our field and somebody said, "Someone should write a book!" Absolutely! That's just what Stockett did. More of us should do that.

Then I realized, that's just what Blogs are. People's stories. Some are academically oriented; those are written by our scholars. Others are collections of interesting thoughts and ideas. Many are business-like Blogs that report things. Of course there are the lame ones (like my childhood diaries), but that's okay; they are stories, too. Many have collections of short stories or poems, highlighting our creativity. Heck, look at all the stories on OEDILF! But the point is, these are our stories! Like we do, Blogs change from time to time. For instance, here I started just talking about epicaricacy, but that was too narrow. Our Blog stories might not be as cohesive as Stockett's, but they are part of us. Let's embrace them!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Doctor who?

I've been thinking about this for awhile and have decided...of all the professions, lawyers are the least arrogant. I know, I am hearing a lot of coughing and laughing, but hear me out.

Dentists, optometrists, veterinaries, those with PhDs (me!), podiatrists, pharmacists (pharm Ds), physical therapists (PTDs), nurse practitioners (DPTs)...and most of all physicians, all insist on being called "doctor." Listen to my voice mail at work. I am as bad as anyone. Physicians are actually threatening lawsuits to retain the "doctor" title for themselves. Their argument is...calling others "doctor" might confuse people, and then they couldn't save lives. Forget that many are radiologists or pathologists or others who haven't practiced emergency procedures in years. Balderdash, my physician friends.

In the meantime there are our attorneys. They have a doctorate (Jurist Doctorate or JD) as well, but they don't mind being called Ms., Mr. or Mrs. Think what you will of them. I know there are a lot of lawyer jokes out there. But in my book, they do it right.

Now I need to change my voice mail...

Monday, June 7, 2010

A day late and dollar short

I've always admired two companies, Apple and Google. They thrive on their creativeness. Yeah, they are copied, but then they move on to more innovations. I must be enamored by the amazing talent in those companies. Too bad!

Monday, May 31, 2010

A citing or two...

Not really exciting, but my Blog has had a few citings (note the pun?) on the Internet here. An interesting one is here. I had posted a poem here (not about epicaricacy, but about nursing) that he cited. Interestingly, though he is from Australia, I had met him once at a conference. I am 100% certain that he didn't know that when he had cited by Blog.

It really is a small world.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What has happened?

I am very lucky. I love to travel, and part of my job entails traveling, particularly to state capitols. I enjoy the history and the politics and touring the capitol buildings. They are all very different, and yet quite similar. They are stately and beautiful. Some are well guarded, others allow firearms. And so on.

However, one thing strikes me. They all have pictures and stories about our history and how people worked together to keep this great country intact. It wasn't easy. Think of the Civil War. But Lincoln's goal was to stay the United States. Yes, there has been discord, and particularly with the Civil War. But people were passionate about our country, and it was about how to make it better. People just didn't always have the same ideas about how make it better.

But now? It doesn't seem to be about how to make it better. It seems to be about how to win. For example, unless the senate has 60 members of one party, the other side will filibuster and hold up everything. Look at health care. This was our chance to get it right. We needed regional focus groups for consumer views. We needed committees with physicians, nurses, insurance executives, and lawyers about how to redesign this failing system. We needed to work together. We could have done something really amazing. But no. The Republicans and Democrats alike made it into a game...will the Democrats win? Will the Republicans win? I suspect the Republicans will do everything possible to see that this reform fails because they didn't win. What a bunch of self-centered babies.

When I looked at the photo of senators in the state capitol today, I saw what I often seen. Mostly men. I wonder. Would it be different if women ran our country?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sense of justice

I really like Julia Keller's book reviews. Yesterday she wrote about a best seller..."Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War." It's okay, she says, but nothing like the hype. She much prefers O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" or Schaeffer's "Buffalo Afternoon." The best writer advice, she says, comes from none other than Bruce Springsteen: "Keep an ear to the ground and an ear to your heart." When critiquing, listen to what the public likes, sure. But no one would simply want "best sellers" from critics. Listen to your heart. Keller listened to her heart on this one.

So what does this have to do with a sense of justice, you ask. At the end of her review, she quoted the British novelist, Joyce Cary: "Get rid of that sense of justice or you'll be a self-pitier all your life." I am not sure that I am a "self-pitier," but my sense of justice gets in the way much of the time. What I've never got is that others don't have it like I do. Fair is fair, to me, and generally (not always), to me, it's black and white. For example, punishment to criminals can be so disparate, often based on race or socioeconomic status. I suppose I should be quiet since I am on the right side of the status line, but I can't be. The injustice happens in all areas of life, though...from the workplace to referees for the Bulls (though I might be subjective about the latter). I must listen to Joyce Cary!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lesbian or not, she's a good lady

Here's the crux of this voice of the people in the Tribune today:

"When I was a second-year law student, my father died suddenly.

Obviously it was a great family tragedy.

My mother was a wreck, and I considered dropping out of school permanently so I could come home to Chicago to be with her.

Though then-Dean Kagan knew me only vaguely, she wrote my mom a handwritten letter of condolence in which she promised that she and the school would do everything possible to support our family during our hardship.

I was subsequently given a financial-aid scholarship and Harvard permitted me to earn some credits at Northwestern Law School so I could spend more time at home.

I am now a lawyer in Chicago, and I recently bumped into Kagan at a conference.

I thanked her profusely for what she and the school had done for my family.

As is her way, she immediately shrugged it off and asked how my mom was doing."

Voice of the People, May 16, 2010 -

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, May 14, 2010

Over 50 and not married?

I can be so naive sometimes. I hadn't heard of the kerfuffle about Kagen being a Lesbian. After all, the thinking apparently goes, she is 50 and not married. In the link below Mary Schmich makes fun of the accusations:

"If you are an unmarried woman over 40 carrying 15 extra pounds, you are totally gay.

If you are a stocky, unmarried woman of whatever age who plays softball — gay, gay, gay.

And if you're that woman who's also smarter than most of the boys? Beyond gay, sweetheart. You are scary."

These gossipy yahoos need to get a life. This lady was a law professor at one of the most prestigious law schools in the world...the U of a very young age (much like our current president). She was the first woman dean of Harvard Law School, again before age 50. What an accomplished lady. I wish the media, the conservatives, and the fools would get off her back.

By the way, so what if she were a Lesbian anyway?

Mary Schmich Elena Kagan gay stereotype -

Posted using ShareThis

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Do we really understand

The Arizona immigration law has caused a lot of talk here. This article tells about a high school girls team from Highland Park where the district has cancelled a basketball tournament because of Arizona's new law targeting illegal immigration. Highland Park schools also incorporate Highwood, which has a significant number of Latinos.

People are mad about this. They are calling it hypocritical. However, they are Caucasians who have never experienced profiling. They don't get it. I will never forget my son's high school track coach. He was African-American, teaching in Winnetka. Every single day he had to carry his driver's license on his visor...for easy retrieval. The "North Shore" just doesn't have many African-Americans, and time after time he'd get picked up.

I can't imagine how it must feel, but I support District 113 in Highland Park for not choosing to travel to Arizona. I hope the baseball all-star team pulls out too. That law is a disgrace.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Snazzola Blog

One of my favorite made-up words is snazzola. It is snazzy with a bit of an attitude. That's what I want. A snazzola blog would be so excellent that thousands (millions?) would follow it every day. How does one do it? Language Log, for example, works very, very hard at it. But many of my friends work so hard, too, and do magnificent work. What's the difference? A little bit of luck, I think. Look at that little Justin Bieber. Now he doesn't deserve it!

First of all, I can't just write about epicaricacy (which I've just added to my online dictionary to get rid of that wavy red line!). I will continue to touch upon it, from time to time. But I am not going to talk about it every, single day.

Now onto other subjects. Wish me luck in making this a snazzola Blog!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

We must never forget...

I like blogs because you can post almost anything you want without worries about others' responses as you are on discussion boards. Oh, of course you may get comments, but who cares. Only you are annoyed if they're rude or negative. However, as those of us who post on discussion boards well know, you cause a quite a ruckus, of the entire membership, at the drop of a hat.

Here is a link to a memory book about the Holocaust. It made a strong impression on me, and I think it will you too.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Katha hits a homer

The Catholic church has been in the news these days, and as a non-Catholic I really have no dog in the fight, as one of my colleagues says. Still, I found Katha Pollitt's article right on, particularly this:

"Most Catholics take a flexible view of the church's teachings on sexuality. They use birth control — how else could Italy, Spain and Poland have among the lowest birthrates in the world? They divorce and remarry, use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, undergo in vitro and other banned fertility treatments and even have abortions. Yet there were the bishops, holding the whole health care reform bill hostage to their opposition to abortion rights, advising on the crafting of language right in the halls of Congress."

Or this:

"The difference is, when other professionals who work with children are caught out, justice takes its course. People are fired. Licenses are lost. Reputations are ruined. Sometimes jail is involved. No human institution is perfect, and it would be foolish to suggest that incidents are always investigated and that abusers who don't happen to be priests are never protected by colleagues or superiors. Still, it's probably safe to say that if a principal was accused of overlooking a child molester in his classrooms or recycling him to other schools, nobody would compare his suffering to Christ's."

And this:

"The church has yet to learn that lesson. There is a positively Nixonian smarmy truculence in the response of church hierarchs to the ongoing scandal, which now involves Pope Benedict XVI."

Maybe there's another side to the story, but I can't see it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's

I am in the dog house because of an April Fool's Day joke (literally and figuratively...since my joke was about a dog). I just meant it as a joke, but it wasn't taken that way.

So I was in Wichita for a conference the last couple of days, and their daily newspaper has, on the front page, a prayer for the day. Here was today's

God, on this crazy day of pranks we thank you for the gifts of humor and friendship. Help those who take life too seriously to lighten up and have a laugh. Amen.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Political ire could turn into epicaricacy

I'm not "blogged out," so to speak. I've just been massively busy at work...12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ugh.

One epicaricacy question came up recently. As my daughter was emailing or texting or something, she asked me what the verb form of "epicaricacy" was. First of all, I was pleased that she asked about "epicaricacy" and not "Schadenfreude." But second of all, she raised a question I have been thinking about for awhile. There certainly isn't a verb form of either word, and there isn't an adjective form either. The verb form wouldn't come up that easily, but I'd think the adjective form would. For instance, right now I am feeling epicaricatic about the Republicans.

What an appropriate lead-in to what I really want to write about. Let's face it, even though my Google Alerts tell me about uses of "epicaricacy" every day, I simply can't write about that word every day. So here goes my political rant:

Conservatives, do you remember when the Supreme Court decided who our next president would be, rather than the voters? Yes, we Democrats were bummed. We thought the constitution was clear on how presidents are supposed to be elected, but apparently that's not the case, particularly now that even our Supreme Court has become political. Our reaction? To write about how we disagreed on that ridiculous decision. That's all. There were no comments like, "Don't retreat, instead - RELOAD!" or defacing our flag (isn't there a law against that?). Ah, no, we just debated the issue. Yet, the conservatives criticized us for being childish and not simply abiding by the decision. Amazingly, they criticized us for being unpatriotic. Funny, I don't see any criticism like that now by the conservatives. Nope. They all seem to be in support of this riotous, divisive and violent behavior.

To be honest, I wish the Democrats would stand up and fight back more. You deface the flag? Charge them! You make threats? Charge them! Throw the book at these violent, unpatriotic yahoos. We always knew the right extremists were like this, but they've never given us this kind of ammunition.

So how does epicaricacy relate? Maybe more than you'd think. Read Clarence page's analysis. Surely, the far right extremists (the Rush Limbaughs of the world) are a lost cause. I wish they'd just find their own country somewhere because they obviously don't understand ours. But they won't because they have it too good here...and of course they all have their health care so what do they care about the uninsured? However, as Page says, this may backfire on the conservatives. They may lose any moderates they've had and they may be worse off in November. They think they'll gain a lot, but how can reasonable people agree with the violence they are which Sarah Palin replies, "We're not inciting violence. Don't get sucked into the lamestream media lies." Now, that's mature. "Lamestream"? She has resorted to making up words because she doesn't have a wide enough vocabulary? Oy vey.

I worry about our country right now. I worry about the welfare of our president and our congressmen. Yet, I was assured recently when I saw the results of a poll. Unlike the conservative messages we're hearing, a good 50% of the public approve the health care bill that was passed. In the end, we have to depend on the character of the American people, and I have faith in my fellow Americans. Not all of them, but the majority of them. Step up, people, and speak matter whom you voted for. This is just wrong. Let them know it. Call the radio stations. Write your newspapers.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Touch of Irish

This poem was sent to me, wishing me a Happy St. Patrick's Day. Indeed, in Chicago they color the Chicago River green in honor of all the Irish who live in Chicago.

May you always have work for your hands to do,
May your pockets hold always a coin or two,
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane,
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain,
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day. May songbirds serenade you every step along the way. May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue. And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.

May the sun shine all day long, everything go right and nothing wrong. May those you love bring love back to you, and may all the wishes you wish come true.

May the friendships you make be those which endure and all of your Grey clouds be small ones for sure. And trusting in Him to Whom we all pray, may a song fill your heart every step of the way.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A poem that says it all

Part of my work is developing an evidence-based, standardized model to transition new nurses to practice. I recently came across this poem, written by a nurse, that provides support for my work:

The Dance

~ Linda Harrington, RNC

I am a new grad.

Fear and anxiety are my constant companions.

I am often on the brink of tears: my feelings of inadequacy are

overwhelming at times.

I am positive that I learned nothing in nursing school.

I am filled with doubt.

The nurses around me are moving to music I cannot hear.

Gracefully and efficiently they complete their tasks

I watch this ballet of competency fearing I will never learn to dance.

For now, I will mimic the steps as best I can.

Time passes…

A metamorphosis occurs.

Experience dispels the uncertainty I once felt.

I realize it was not expected that I feel comfortable.

A novice never does.

Mentors emerge; acting as choreographers, they demonstrate the

Intricacies of the dance.

They insist on perfection and practice.

They move aside when they are sure I’ve learned the steps.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Toyota and epicaricacy

When we bought our Honda Accord, we also had looked at Camrys. Indeed, I liked them better. At the time, the Consumer Reports ratings were better, and I fell in love with the test drive. The car was so smooth and quiet that I felt like I was in a Mercedes. However, we chose the Accord, mostly for price. We spent our money on our kids' educations, and not on cars.

How a few years has changed things. I just saw the Congressional meeting yesterday with Mr. Toyoda. I felt a little sorry for him. He was grilled 9 ways from Sunday (a phrase that nobody knows the origin of), and he remained polite and modest. When a supportive Congressman (I've read that many Congressmen have had political contributions from Toyota) asked Toyoda if he thought Congress was treating him differently from how they would treat American auto makers, he said, "No"...twice. The guy asked him again, in a different way. does this all relate to epicaricacy? My trusty Google Alerts found this article. Of course, it was a Prius Web site talking about the recent Honda recall, but whatever. Loved this comment from one of their posters: "With the American short attention span, people will soon forget about the Toyota recalls." Sorry or not for Toyoda, I know I'll never buy a Toyota now or in the future.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


The beauty of a Blog is you can make a mistake and not have snarky responses. Lately I've been feeling a bit "followed after" on my favorite forum. Yes, I suppose it was quite rude of me to mention epicaricacy in the same breath as with the plane plunging into the IRS building. But those with even the tiniest sense of humor might see how it could relate to epicaricacy. Of course it was a heinous/atrocious/vicious/hateful/evil/horrendous action that caused death and much sorrow. Of course. Not denying that.

Ah, but here it's so free. Heck, I can even say "Oy vey" and not feel guilty. I think I'd like just a free flowing Blog, too, as having a subject can make this one difficult.

One thing, though, I've wondered lately about both epicaricacy and Schadenfreude is that an adjective really is needed. They seem to be words you use to describe how people feel.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Scourge

Well, I've just gotten through an Internet scourge on my Blog. Think about it. Even 2 years ago would there have been some Internet outlaws out there using the word epicaricacy? I don't think so. At least I survived.

I found Erin McKean's site discusses epicaricacy, and she is a bigwig in words and language. Yet, the same kind of Internet plagiarism that appears elsewhere also appears on her Wordnik Blog. Pavonine clearly copied my post from a year and a half earlier on the same site (scroll to the bottom). Oh well.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Irish Times

What is it about the Irish Times? I am getting all sorts of Google alerts about its use of epicaricacy. It's here and here. Then there's this stupid tweet from Ireland where the yahoo thinks he's the only one who knows the word. Hasn't he read Wordcraft or my Blog? Geez!

Anyway, the Irish seem to be the kings of epicaricacy, at least judging from my Google alerts. Perhaps that's why John Simpson refuses to put it in the OED.

Monday, January 4, 2010

And it keeps coming...

The Irish Times and the Spectator both have figured out that there is an English equivalent to Schadenfreude. From their lips to John Simpson's ears.

I remember that the originator of OEDILF once told me that epicaricacy will be put in the OED soon. He is probably right because I am getting more Google alerts than ever before. It's daily now, and it used to be once or twice a month. I hope they get to the "e"s soon on OEDILF because yours truly will write the first on epicaricacy.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

I know; it's hardly creative or innovative...but happy new year, everyone! May 2010 be healthy and happy, even if Mr. Simpson doesn't put epicaricacy in the OED this year.