Thursday, June 30, 2011


Although the OED's word of the day (today) is shouty, the word that caught my eye is scoopy.

From the list of citations for shouty:

1914 H. Coward Choral Technique & Interpretation 19 There are a great majority of untrained voices, which may be roughly classified as follows:—weak and quavery, worn and tinny, harsh and shrill, strident, metallic, shouty, throaty, cavernous, hooty, scoopy, and nondescript.

Needless to say, I have no idea what scoopy means. When I look it up in the OED, I arrive at

scoopy, adj.

Fashion slang.

Of the neck of a garment: rounded and low-cut. Cf. scoop neck n. at scoop n.2 Compounds, scooped adj. 1b.

1970 Daily Tel. 1 June 13 This summer's dresses are heaven-sent for this event. The voiles are in full swing, the necks are scoopy.

So scoopy and its 1914 meaning appears to be . . . unlisted.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


From the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters eGForums, by a person I could not reach. This is from a discussion about gazpacho.

It's a fasntastic way to start off a BBQ..somewhere between a bloddy mary & a salad..also a pretty good hangover lunch

I sort of like typos in dashed off notes. Not everything should be gone over with a fine-tooth comb.

(How long was the time period before spell checking and instant correction came along?)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I went to Barnes & Noble to pick up the July issue of Velo News because there's an article on women's bikes. Took a peek at the racks to see what else was in there. An Italian Vogue special issue. n+1. Ceramics something or other, or maybe just plain Ceramics. A little magazine all about the wonderful world of meat. And Esopus, which I hadn't picked up for quite some time.

From Ray Johnson's November 30, 1988, letter to Robert Warner, as shown in Esopus' Spring 2011 issue:

I have the luxury of having a complete North Shore Estate, presnelty the Police Academy as my private walking place.

Because it's Ray Johnson and not, say, Robert McFadden, I wondered if perhaps the error had been committed on purpose. Was snelty a word? Could something be pre-snelty? What could that possibly mean?

Was I doing what many have before me--looking more deeply into Ray Johnson's work than is merited? Some think he was a real and Authentic artist; some think he was merely pretentious.

I wanted presnelty not to be a typo, even as I knew it was a (mid-level) typo. I wanted snelty to be a word. It's not. (Snelly is.)

A man I know used to have a coconut (maybe he still does) that a friend had sent him via mail.

The coconut sender, mail artists, users of the WASTE system, teachers who bring their students on field trips to the Post Office: I can't help but admire their connection to one of my favorite transportation systems.

Do I really really hold Ray Johnson's art in the highest esteem? Certainly I like his art, but what I almost love is his relationship with the U.S. Postal Service. I like the idea of an artist working with an institution this way. It somehow hooks up with the kind of ephemeral art Jim Devevan makes, though at the moment I'm not entirely sure how.


My shoemaker said this today. He greeted me with howdy and then called me "my dear."

My shoemaker does not say howdy, although, yes, today he did.

But he really doesn't (say it).

My shoemaker, a man I would truly miss were I to move to another state, is, if I recall correctly, Ukrainian.

Were I to apply a little-used form of Sarah Palin logic, I would posit that when I entered the cobbler shop, a pleasant memory (from Sunday) of watching the Georgian bread baker of Brighton Beach scrape his toné somehow infused the atmosphere of the shop, altering the climate so as to throw my usually laconic cobbler into a state teetering on the brink of loquacity.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Alerted to this one by a biking friend.

From Jill Outside, a blog with a lot of good photographs and a dutiful chronicle of terrains explored by a serious biker.

I've mostly stayed off my feet this week in a pre-emptive — though hopefully unnecessary —hurty-foot recovery plan to avoid plantar fasciitis.

Something about the phrase suggests an overwrought paw, reddened as if smarting from sunburn. Has a little of hacky-sack's kickiness and none of hurdy's weight.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I stopped by Orwasher's today on the way to the CSA site, and they had some small whoopie pies under a cake dome. Chocolate cake with vanilla cream or white cake with lemon cream. I asked about the cream: a custard cream, or more like a frosting? It's more like a buttercream, said the hairnet-headed woman we all love (take away that woman and it's really goodbye, Orwasher's, which, of course, it sort of already has been since the new owners came along; but I digress). I bought a vanilla with lemon cream and delayed eating it until long after my first victim, a small apricot hamantaschen. (Orwasher's hamantaschen is quite good, but, Glaser's apricot hamantaschen, I must say, is the best I've had.)

Back to the whoopie pies. If an American elementary school were going to serve whoopie pies for dessert, I think it would be better to offer them as whoopy pies instead of whoopie pies, the y casting an effect similar to that of calling a Hoopoe a Hoopie (because this is how it was mispronounced in my household growing up). If the school were French, however, whoopie would be preferable.

Coincidentally I passed whoopy this weekend, while finishing Paul Zindel's Pardon Me, You're Stepping On My Eyeball!, a good book to follow The Phantom Tollbooth.

From about midway through the book, when Mrs. Shinglebox is complaining about her daughter not taking a computer dating service seriously enough:

" . . . I asked Edna one of the questions about where she thought the best place to make whoopy was, and she said on a horse.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Another charming menu typo, this time from the cocktails list at Falai on Lafayette. Ingredients for the Costline (should this be Coastline?):


Another cocktail is called City of Roses, with rose elixir from Santa Maria Novella. Whoever designed the liqueur bottles probably meant for them to be used afterwards as candle holders or lamp bases.

:: UPDATE :: On second thought, maybe the other cocktail is called Villa of Roses. It was Spanish, French, or Italian (Villa or Ville). Oops. Sorry.

If the cocktail is called City of Roses, I add only this thought: City of Roses would make a nice nickname for the city if Andrew Cuomo yields to patience and reason and bars methane companies from bringing their high-volume slickwater horizontal hydraulic fracturing technology to New York State and its so very good drinking water supply. Let rose bushes (and not toxic chemicals) crowd the governor's office and the halls of Albany if he makes the right decision. Certainly everybody will be able to breathe more easily (not to mention, literally, because who needs L.A. smog hanging around the Southern Tier of New York?) when it comes time to water the plants.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I watched Bicycle Repairman, but it didn't have New Pudsey.

New Pudsey: at least as silly as Paglesham, a name Julie Christie somehow managed to say with a straight face.