The Word Nerd Quiz

Did you know November is National Novel Writing Month? Participants in NaNoWriMo, as it’s commonly called, commit to writing a 50,000-word manuscript in 30 days. If you haven’t started your novel, it’s not too late—you’re only 1,666 words behind. (Unless, of course, you’re reading this on Sunday, in which case you’re 3,332 words behind. Better get busy.)

I should have no trouble tapping out 1,666 words a day since I’m again sidelined from tennis. More shoulder woes. I’m hoping it won’t take too much longer before I’m back on the court. In the meantime, I’m relegated to the lesser role of gongoozler.

Isn’t that fun to say? Gongoozler! As you’ve no doubt surmised, it means spectator. You can also use it as a verb—gongoozle—but after looking that up online, I’ve discovered an alternate meaning I’d prefer not to invoke. I’ll leave you to uncover that particular definition on your own—I am NOT going there.

Yes, I know. Now you want to go there. Fine. I’ll wait while you go google it…

(Ick, right? Why is there even a word for that?!)

I, for one, am not about to let the pervs usurp and distort this wonderful word. I’m going to say it with pride, or as much pride as one can muster sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else have all the fun. I’m the gongoozler!

Over the last week, I’ve learned a slew of other excellent words, courtesy of Joe Gillard’s Little Book of Lost Words. And because I’m always thinking of you, I’ve done the hard work of digging into this collection, identifying ten fun and useful words to throw around at our tennis matches.

What’s more, you’ll be able work these words into your NaNoWriMo manuscript. Now you only have to write another 49,990. You’re welcome.

Learning new words is fun. You know what else is fun? Vocabulary quizzes! Because nothing says weekend like a pop quiz.

The Vocab Quiz

The Match-Day Recipe Contest Winner!!!

The food has been cooked and the votes have been counted. We have a winner for the Match-Day Recipe Contest!

Let’s look at the recipes one more time. First we had Martha’s recipe for Rainbow Quinoa Salad. I made it, and it was everything it was cracked up to be. Colorful, healthful, flavorful. I can see why this dish is a crowd-pleaser. But as Martha herself pointed out, it wasn’t exactly easy to make. I’m not throwing this together the morning of a match.

Plus, the ingredients include pomegranate molasses, which I’ve decided is automatically disqualifying. It’s true the contest rules didn’t explicitly state “No hoity-toity ingredients,” but if you read the fine print in the original posting, you’ll see the following legal disclaimer: “Contest rules are subject to change on whim and without notice.”

(It’s very fine print. You have to zoom in a lot.)

So Martha’s recipe is a no-go for me, but definitely a keeper for those of you looking to use up that bottle of pomegranate molasses. Continue reading “The Match-Day Recipe Contest Winner!!!”

The Match Day Recipe Contest

QOn Saturday, I took the train to NY to see the Downton Abbey movie with my daughter. (Yes, I’m a nerd. We already knew that.)

Here’s what I ate during my day in one of the great food capitals of the world:

  • A banana
  • A Dunkin’ Donuts “Beyond Sausage” breakfast sandwich (insufficiently greasy)
  • A bag of movie popcorn (cold and stale)
  • A TGI Friday’s house salad (almost 100% pale lettuce)
  • A TGI Friday’s brownie sundae (very awesome)

From this food log, we can infer two things. One, I’m an unhealthy eater. And two, I’m not a foodie.

Although I wish I were a healthier eater, I’m okay with my low-brow food preferences. Judge me if you will, but a bowl of cereal for dinner suits me just fine. I’d rather make super-quick Minute Rice than spend half an hour on basmati. And for my money, one of the world’s greatest cheeses shoots out of a spray can.

But Raisin Bran and Cheez Wiz won’t cut it when my team hosts a tennis match. On those days, our tennis league expects us to provide refreshments. I usually bring a fruit salad, a store-bought dessert, or some other dish that requires no skill. I leave it to my more sophisticated teammates to handle the “main course” items. Continue reading “The Match Day Recipe Contest”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Worst-Dressed Award for the US Open (2019)

It’s that time again! The day we vote on the worst-dressed at the US Open! I’m all tingly with excitement.

I should note that as I’m selecting my nominees, I’m dressed in old baggy boot-cut jeans, a shapeless red shirt and purple sneakers:

Yup, blogging isn’t all glamour, folks. If I played at the Open, I’d be nominee #1 for this blog.

Instead, we have these three worthy candidates. Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Worst-Dressed Award for the US Open (2019)”

Fashion Face-off: Best Dressed Woman at the US Open (2019)

Right now I’m settling in to watch the women’s finals. What better time to nominate the three women who will vie for our coveted best-dressed award?

Sadly, neither Serena Williams nor Bianca Andreescu will receive a nomination. On the other hand, they’ll each walk away from today’s match with at least $1.9 million. That should help soften the blow. Continue reading “Fashion Face-off: Best Dressed Woman at the US Open (2019)”

September Challenge: Standing Tall

Did your mother tell you to stand up straight when you were a kid? Mine did. A lot. Height-challenged, she nursed a lifelong grudge about having been denied tallness genes. She always stretched her spine as long as possible, trying to get the physical stature to match her outsized personality.

As a teen, I found my mother’s preoccupation strange. Who cared about being tall? I had mousy hair, acne and braces. Posture was the least of my worries.

When my mother caught me slouching, she’d step up behind me and latch onto my shoulders with her long bony fingers, digging them hard into my flesh and pulling them backwards. “Straighten up!” she’d command. God, she was annoying. I’d shrug her off and twist away—but I did head into early adulthood with decent posture.

In later adulthood, not so much. Thanks to loss of muscle strength, an uncomfortable couch and endless hours spent hunched over a computer, I’ve become a round-shouldered schlump. The acne and braces are long gone, but my interest in posture remains limited—or at least it did until yesterday afternoon. Continue reading “September Challenge: Standing Tall”

Fashion Face-off: US Open Best-Dressed Man for 2019

After the fashion snooze-fest of Wimbledon, I’m loving my US Open men, and not just for the outfits. I may be getting a bit cougarish in my middle age. (I know–gross, right?)

Let’s get the little yellow ball rolling with our stud muffin nominees. Continue reading “Fashion Face-off: US Open Best-Dressed Man for 2019”

Are the French Weirdos? A Rigorous Analysis

During his first-round loss yesterday, Stefanos Tsitsipas took issue with some of the chair umpire’s rulings. In protesting his treatment, Tsitsipas spat, “You have something against me, I don’t know what — because you’re French, probably, and you’re all weirdos. You’re all weirdos!”

What a weird thing to say. As far as insults go, “weirdo” is just laughable. It’s like being called a poopy-head by a five-year-old.

Perhaps it’s the very weirdness of the insult that got me wondering: Are the French weirdos? Let’s get scientific about this and look at the top four French players. Continue reading “Are the French Weirdos? A Rigorous Analysis”

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