Tuesday, November 28, 2006

All my fans are gonna be very interested in my experience with this mumbo jumbo of the moment

Are you freaking kidding me?! Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock are getting divorced?? Didn't they just get done having their, like, 7th wedding last week?

My inquisitive neighbor, who is herself not a fastidious housecleaner, just came over, looked at my kitchen, and asked, "Did you have a party?" You know it's time to clean up when....

Elliot, age 7, who has been playing Frosty the Snowman on the piano for weeks and weeks, who loves this song, who has it memorized, plays it for everyone, does not complain about practicing the piano because he gets to play Frosty the Snowman, and who is going to perform it at the mall on Saturday for all the festive shoppers to hear, has just announced that he no longer wants to play Frosty the Snowman, because it is too babyish. I am flabbergasted sometimes at this motherhood thing.

Did I mention that I think Cub/Boy Scouts is a major bureaucracy? I just went to the Scout shop to get a Bobcat badge for the newest member of our den. To become a Bobcat takes your average 8-year-old about 4 minutes to accomplish. He has to learn the Scout motto, handshake, uniform, etc. It is not hard. To purchase the little $1.40 badge, so the scout's mom can have it hanging over her head for months and months that she needs to sew the badge on her son's uniform, I had to fill out paperwork saying that this scout had "advanced" in rank. Probably the man hours involved in filing the proper paperwork exceed the actual time to earn the badge tenfold. I am flabbergasted sometimes by this scouting thing (although the actual job of working with the boys is easy and fun).

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are so cute and funny. So what song does Elliot find manly enough to warrant his attention these days?

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I thought that Pam and Kid would last a little longer. In reality, I can't think of a better match for either one-- they are the poster children for WHITE TRASH + FAME + MONEY.

Suzie Petunia said...

Elliot needs to learn Bohemian Rhapsody.

It must always be "party time" at our house!

I'm hoping they discontinue the scouting program before Henry turns 8. Do you think its realistic?

Pepper said...

"working with the boys is easy and fun"

I must be having a hard year with Nels. Boys, easy, and fun do not fit together in the same sentance for me right now.

Bek said...

I think the reason I like you so much is because we think the same way. I actually called my friend when I heard the Pammy/Kid Rock news. I was a little sad about that one..........

I even called my BFF when she was at her grandmothers funeral (I didn't know she was AT the funeral at the time) to tell her that Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple. These things need to be shared.

I dread scouts. DREAD.

sarah said...

ditto on the dreading.

Steve said...

What are the origins of the word "flabbergasted"?

Anonymous said...

i would be completely happy if they axed the whole scouting program. Preferably before my son turns 8.

abby said...

I'm sad that Elliot is too old for Frosty! He's growing up too fast.

Anonymous said...

This is the best I could find, a la http://www.word-detective.com/091801.html:

"Flabbergasted," by the way, is far from being a new word. It's been around since the late 1700s in its current form. The second part of the word, "gast," is probably from the Middle English word "gasten," meaning "to terrify," which also gave us "aghast." "Gasten" itself comes from the Old English word "gast," or "spirit," which also gives us "ghastly" and "ghost." So there we have the "surprise" part of "flabbergast."

The "flabber" part is the puzzle. Most likely, it's related to "flabby," which itself is a variant of "flappy." (Yes, to say someone is "flabby" is to say that they "flap" when they move, which is enough to send anyone to the gym.) But "flap" can also mean excitement or a disturbance ("The flap over the Royal Family"), so this is where the guesswork comes in. "Flabbergasted" may have originally meant being so surprised that one "flabbed" -- trembled like Jell-O. Or it could have referred to the cause of the uproar -- the "flap" at which one was "aghast," or "flabbergasted."

Henspig said...

"Flabbergasted" is a combination of the Norse word "Flubbervend"--from which we get the English word “Blubber”(the aspirated dental-labial "f" sound morphing into a bi-labial stop “b” over the centuries), and from which the Nutty Professor got the word “Flubber” in the Walt Disney classic (See, “Nutty Norse Whaling Allusions” by Dr. Henspig Trace, on Wikipedia, for more on the hidden allusions to ancient Norse whaling practices in Disney Movies directed by Hlaupa Wynn); and the Latin word, “Gastritti” from which we get the English word, “gas” (duh).

The unlikely marriage of the two linguistic traditions resulted from clashes between Germanic Barbarians with Roman legionaries striving for dominance of, what would become, the southern whale trade. Originally, the term referred to the condition of a spermaceti whale that, after moldering in the water for weeks, developed impressive pockets of “gasstritti” beneath its layers of flubbervend. The whale was said to have been “aflabbergast” at the instant the pressure in the gasstritti pockets overcame the elasticity of the flubbervend, resulting in the whale’s unsightly (and smelly) explosion.

Thus, you can see how it came into modern use.

abby said...

Wow.

Emily said...

Wow, indeed. I can't help but be a little flabbergasted by Henspig's vast wealth of knowlege.

n said...

um.. nice try.

Steve said...

Thanks to the linguists. Both of them. And, what caused the spermaceti whales to "molder in the water for weeks?"

Henspig Trace said...

You're welcome.

The proper term is "Etymologist".

Perhaps the "moldering" error was my own. I should more properly have stated that whale carcasses, moored to the whaling vessels after being harpooned, moldered in the water for weeks.

Nice blog.

Emily said...

So the whale carcass had gastrointestinal issues?

n said...

dr. trace, what's the etymology of, say, bullcrap?

Emily said...

N and Henspig, may you both return to my blog and comment frequently, for you made me laugh.

And may you be friends.

Neil and Diana. said...

hey, why does it say anonymous??? I called Emily cute and funny and also provided the first flabbergasted def. Blogger sux.

Anonymous said...

Elinor again. I'm on a roll, having finally gotten online first time in a long while. I realize I am an old old person whose been around the block a few too many times, but honest, my 20 years as a Scout leader (ll-year olds, not Cubs) was the best investment I ever made. Not just for my 3 boys but for myself. I would do it again, and then some. I owe Scouting a debt I will never repay. Was it easy? Not always, but it gave me an insight into a world I didn't want to enter. It also saved my sanity when my own oldest son began running away from home and not for just an hour and not once but for an entire summer when he was turning 12. The real payday was that his friends were my friends and reached out in a miraculous way, and that's why we didn't ever have to deal with drugs and alcohol which usually goes along with a run-away personality. I have never been able to write about that era in our life because it was too painful. Now 30 years later we have seen the miracle that returned our prodigal son home and we talk openly about that troubled time. Sounds crazy, but had I not had the Scouting link maybe our happy ending would not be here yet. We like the new version we got when we traded our oldest son in for a new model last year. Yes, the process is called repentance, but it sure is great to see it first hand. "Invest money in the stock market or someplace. Invest time in your children, especially boys and it will be a happy ending down the road. The real payday has been how much respect I get from my grandsons, of all ages above 8, as they understand my Silver Beaver award means I'm a friend of Scouting. Lots of bureaucracy, to be sure, but that's why parents HAVE to be involved. Not only do you know your sons' friends, and have them as your own, but you also know their friends parents. My "boys" are now long since grown up but I never see one that I don't get a hug and a big smile, no matter how old they've become. Wow. That is a bit much in saying hang in there with Scouting, and for goodness sake don't dread it. Best investment you'll ever make, bar none. I began in Scouting when I had 2 little girls, and had a 3rd daughter before we finally had our 1st of 3 boys. I needed every minute of those years of on the job training before my own boys came into our troop, and I needed the remaining years and all the boys who came along after my own boys were all Eagles. By being behind the scenes I made a difference and so will you all. PLEASE DON'T DREAD SCOUTING. Every minute invested in your boys is just pure gold, even on bad days. None of your sons will ever run away, but mine did, and without Scouts to keep him in the pattern I can't even imagine where we'd be. Way too much to say, but I'm truly a believer. Scouting beats Santa all hollow for giving good things when you need them. Love you. Love Boys. Love Scouting.

sarah said...

Well put, Elinor. Great insight. I must repent.