Further Conversations with Cha-Cha: Wordify In the Ranchlands

My friend Cha-Cha, regularly beats  me at Words with Friends with her skill, sophisticated vocabulary, and the diabolical ability to place her words exactly where I was about to put mine.

I still think frumptery should be a word.*


Cha-Cha: I am definitely coming down with something.

Me: Ennui?

Cha-Cha: I wish.

Me:  I don’t know. . . it’s kind of a boring condition.

Cha-Cha: Har.  More head-coldy.

Me:  Sorry.  If you’re well, wanna lunch tomorrow?  I’m off.

Cha-Cha:  Sure.

Me:  Cool.  You pick, since I’m not on a schedule and the restaurants I know around you are sit-down time-wasters.

Cha-Cha:  How about Noodles?

Me: Okay.  Never been

Cha-Cha:  I love their pesto.

Me:  Oooo.  Pesto.
I crockpotted a garlic turkey breast yesterday—so, so good.

Cha-Cha: I think you just violated the laws of the English language.

Me: To quote Bucky Katt, “You can wordify anything if you just verb it.”**

Cha-Cha:  I got into an argument with a high school English teacher over my made-up word “ranchlandish.”

Thank you for my Friday post.  Got any more?

Cha-Cha:  I’ll have to think about it.
I won the argument on the grounds of Jabberwocky and the like.

Me:  It is for land?  Or salad dressing?  Or both?

Cha-Cha: We had to write a short story set out west.

Me: Cool.  Though if a dressing is really, ridiculously good, ranchlandish works!

Cha-Cha: Or, if it’s a dish that harkens from the ranchlands.

Me: With radishes.

Cha-Cha: I can see the cowboys now, high on their horses, lassos slicing through the air, hunting down those wily radishes.

Me: What’s red and hums?

Cha-Cha: An Irish schoolchild?

Me: Electric Radish.

Cha Cha: Nice.  I still like the image of the radishes running from cowboys on their white spindly roots.

Me: I was thinking of them spinning like tops . . .

Cha-Cha: You could catch them in the lasso, wind the rope, put your foot against the radish, and yank.  They’d spin so fast they’d sing!

Me: Or hum.


Got any wordifications to share?

Maybe a corny—or radishy—joke or two?


*Definition:  Where Sarah keeps her clothes.

**From  Say Cheesy, a Get Fuzzy collection by the talented, hilarious, and non-litigious Darby Conley.



If you’d ever like to talk to both of my parents at the same time, good luck to you, but the odds are best on Friday evenings around five central.  Dad will most likely answer the phone chewing, but will reassure you that they’ve just finished dinner and Mom is even now heading for the office extension.

Yesterday, after the usual catch-up and mandatory exchange of cute grandchildren and animal stories, I asked them what they’d done for their anniversary last week, besides listening to me sing the ‘happy anniversary song’ through their answering machine.*

Mom had spent the entire day at work** and Dad had been at a scouting thing with his troop.  This inspired several lame jokes—see?  Genetics!— about minimum face time being the true secret to a long marriage and happy anniversaries.

“But your Dad did buy me a great gift,” said Mom.

“Good!  What?”  I asked.

“Two heavy duty toilet plungers. One for each Curves.”

“That’s so romantic, Dad,” I said.

“I know.”

Mom laughed.  “No, it was—he drew little happy faces on them with markers and everything.”

I asked her if she was going to make earrings out of them, and she said, “No, I’m going to plunge toilets with them.  The pipes are having problems at the eastern Curves, and our little plunger doesn’t work very well.”

I asked Dad if he’d received a gift.

“Sure,” he said.  “I don’t have to drive across town with our heavy plunger and fix their toilet anymore.”

“He gave himself a gift this year,” said Mom.  “Two gifts— he also gave me a little ratchet kit so I’ll stop borrowing his.”

“You know, Dad,” I said,” traditionally, when a man gives himself an anniversary gift, it involves lingerie.”

“She doesn’t need lingerie,” said Dad.

“I need plungers.  He gave me what I needed—I think that’s pretty romantic.”

There was a moment of silence and all three of us said, “Plungerie!” at the same time.

Nature versus nurture—you decide.

Regardless, I would like to nominate the following word for possible inclusion into the vernacular:


(noun, pl. plungerie)

A needed, practical gift (such as cleaning supplies, kitchen tools, or gardening equipment) given on a romantic occasion, with or without the appreciation of the recipient.
Example:  “As the trauma center staff attempted to remove the blender, Chet realized his mistake in giving plungerie to Vanessa for Valentine’s Day.”

And yeah, I know it sounds a like a little number in satin and leather with more neckline than garment , but there might be rare times when a polite term is needed for situations like these.  Or even an affectionate one.

Of course, not everyone can find romance in the everyday, especially after forty-eight years of marriage . . . but I’m pretty sure that’s the real key to making one last that long.


*This is their punishment for not being home.

**I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but she owns two Curves locations.  Curves is a franchised circuit-training gym for women.

Random Thursday: Recent smiles

Bill Douglas is a college friend of my husband.  Among Bill’s sterling qualities is incredible lung capacity and a great sense of humor.

In Cincinnati, he was—and possibly still is—known as one of the Signs of Summer:



A Scots word meaning “The act of hesitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.”

I can’t tell you how tickled I am that there’s an actual word for this.  I’m not alone!



My Complete Third Season of Leverage shipped yesterday!

I know what I’m doing for my birthday!

Okay, yeah, probably finishing up the last chapters of Pigeon while washing down cake with diet Pepsi swilled right out of the two-liter bottle.

But if I can’t get the  first season of Doctor Eleven from the library on time, my first draft afterparty is going to be popcorn, Häagen-Dazs , and the crew doing what the crew does best.

You know you love a show when you ask a co-worker visiting Portland to try to get the autographs of the writers and producers instead of the actors.

(okay, maybe them, too)


This image.  No real reason.

(thanks, Kevin—you always make me smile)


Wrote a love scene..

No, I’m not elaborating.

But I did yesterday!


Library Raid jackets are back on sale at the Unshelved webcomic store!*

I’m hoping they’ll bring back the cap, too.

If you’ve never tried Unshelved, I recommend it—it’s an exaggerated look at library life, but only slightly.  And they do great book recommendations and excellent commentary, too.

I met Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum at the last ALA I attended, and they’re good people—they autographed their carpal tunnel off for us!


 And finally, comments make me smile.

I know, shocker—but I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me what you think (unless you think I need Viagra,  O-rings, and discount office equipment).

So let’s have more smiling around here:  What made you smile this week?


** If any family members are checking here in the hopes that I’ll drop a birthday present hints and are cursing me for preordering LeverageHint.

The Double Dog Dare

Few people know this outside of my immediate family, who rarely speak of it, but I love messing with the lyrics to perfectly good songs.

This usually manifests with spontaneous alternate words to nursery rhymes and kid’s songs, like the Pumpkin Carols I’ve mentioned and a couple of personalized things,* plus basic variations on  Go to sleep, go to sleep, let your cries sto-op, go to sleep, please go to sleep, ‘cause your Mom’s about to drop set to Brahm’s Lullaby.

I also do one holiday song a year for my department at the library,** but they don’t know it’s a habit.

The rest I write and tuck away, hoping that one day in the middle of a concert Weird Al Yankovic will  sprain a vocal chord and develop temporary aphasia and the worried theater manager will come on stage and ask, “Is there a demented lyricist in the house?”  And I will stand and say, “Why, yes!  I’m a demented lyricist!  And I brought my bassoon!”

Oh, yes.  I have dreams.

So a week or so ago, one of the few people*** who know my shameful secret asked me why I always “mess about with old, stodgy stuff nobody knows anymore”^ and dared me to write new lyrics to a something released in the last five years.  On the topic of her choice.

Being an incredibly huge nerd, as well as one of my dearest friends^^ she chose Star Wars.

And then she double-dog dared me to post it on my blog.  Or she’d teach her firstborn child—due in six months—to call me Auntie Weenie.

Auntie.  Weenie.  This from a woman who was once scared of matzoh.

Honey, it is so on.

(With my deepest apologies to Katy Perry and George Lucas)

This was never the way I planned
To celebrate the Alliance
I got so brave, drink in hand
Wanted to show my defiance
It’s not what I’m used to
Just wanna try you on
I’m curious—but I’ll swear you to silence.

I kissed a Wookie–I liked it, the tickle of his furry mustache.
I kissed a Wookie to try it–I hope that Han don’t mind it.
It felt so wrong, it felt so right, won’t be flying a Solo tonight
I kissed a walking carpet.
I liked it.

I love how you howl my name
Your volume flatters
You’re my experimental game
Just rebel nature.
Not what a princess does
Not how Senators behave (Ha!)
My senses get confused
Don’t ever shave . . .

I kissed a Wookie–I liked it, the tickle of his furry mustache.
I kissed a Wookie to try it–I hope that Han don’t mind it.
It felt so wrong, it felt so right, won’t be flying a Solo tonight
I kissed a walking carpet.
I liked it.

Wookies are so debonair, that howl, that hair, so kissable
Hard to resist, so pet-able, too good to deny it
Ain’t no big deal, he’s a co-pilot.

I kissed a Wookie–I liked it, the tickle of his furry mustache.
I kissed a Wookie to try it–I hope that Han don’t mind it.
It felt so wrong, it felt so right, won’t be flying a Solo tonight
I kissed a walking carpet.

I liked it.

Okay, Siobhan, now get your rear to the States—you owe me dinner.   And all of these nice people an apology.


*Do you see that baby in the window?
The one with the curly, curly hair?
That’s my Sunny-baby in the window—
I’d miss her if she wasn’t there.
(to How Much is That Doggie, etc.)

**“Patrons We have Heard on High” and “I want a Genealogy for Christmas.”  This year, I’m thinking, “I had a Little Patron, who turned my hair all gray.”

***Before I confessed online. Gotta stop doing that.

^It’s called covering my rear, honey.  And if the ‘eighties are old, stodgy stuff, then what precisely does that make us?

^^If you suspect this isn’t an oxymoron, you’d be right.  If you suspect that most of my friends glory in shoving me of out my Comfort Zone, you’d also be right. I’m very lucky.