Closed For Maintenance #NaBloPoMo

When one lives in Sydney, one lives in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge and all of its lore.

20131127-221421.jpgAnd much of the lore of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the coat hanger as it is also fondly known surrounds its maintenance. Spanning Sydney Harbour apparently requires lots of up keep, so much so that it’s painters are permanently occupied… with painting. To ensure that the Bridge is kept rust free, it is painted from pylon to pylon in Sydney Harbour Bridge grey. As the story goes, no sooner do the painters reach one end, they then have to immediately start painting again at the other.

Middle age has me feeling like the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Now, I don’t mean I’m feeling grey or rusted. Rather my body maintenance has increased to the point where as soon as I have finished maintaining one end, I then have to begin the whole process again at the other.

No sooner have I just had a pedi, then I have to start tending to the tips of my roots and all of that regrowth. And the issue is not just cosmetic. On the way down from the top of my head to the tips of my feet are visits to the optometrist, dentist, skin specialist, mamographer, the doctor to check under the hood and the podiatrist. It’s getting to the point where I almost need a maintenance planner to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks so to speak or that a rivet comes loose.

So I’m dreaming of those days gone past when maintenance was a biannual affair. When hair cuts were seldom and ammonia free closed for maintenanceaffairs. When I only needed one pair of glasses and not two – I absolutely refuse to surrender to bifocals – and leg hair grew at a slower pace.

Next year, I am really hoping for a couple of days when I don’t need to be closed for maintenance. Just a few days when no entry is made into my body log book.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for how my body is holding up. It just seems I have to be a lot more mindful of it now than I have in the past. That’s probably poetic justice, given middle age is that time of life that gives you a window both to the past and to the future.

However, better preventative maintenance now than being closed for repair later on.

Do you ever feel like this?

10 TV/Movie Techniques I Could Use In Real Life #NaBloPoMo

Ever wondered what it would be like to have special effects, close-ups and other show production techniques at your disposal in real life? Here’s what I’ve thought about:

  1. Fade to Black – definitely useful for when that accidental clanger is dropped or when you need an opportunity to digest some piece of information before responding. The fade to black button would come with two options, one for freezing time so that the fade in would start at the time as the fade out was triggered or one for continuing in real time so that the fade in comes in a time suitable to you. No more awkward moments… ever.
  2. Time Lapse Photography – for all those times when patience has run out and you just want to cut to the chase of the consequences of your decisions. Time never has to wait for no man ever again.
  3. Makeup! – having a professional make up artist on standby for all those shiny moments. Excuse me please, I just need to call for some makeup. After all, confidence is everything,
  4. Mood Lighting – for when your makeup artist is otherwise disposed or you absolutely cannot handle sunlight. background music
  5. Background Music – to warn you of danger up ahead, mirror your mood or just to make sense of the world around you. The Jaws music would definitely come in handy on a trip to the beach or the Close Encounters of a Third Kind theme when meeting someone green.
  6. The Close Up – definitely useful for all those WTF moments when appropriately combined with the Fade to Black technique. Also helps when one of your children ask you something painfully obvious that you have told them multiple times before.
  7. Cut! – for all those times you wished you could do it all again or when you knew you were pushing something uphill.
  8. Preview – a private screening with a select focus group would come in very handy for all those “Does My Bum Look Big In This” moments.
  9. Wardrobe Department – possibly in lieu of number 8, although much higher maintenance than a screening room.
  10. Applause and Canned Laughter – I mean who doesn’t want these, seriously?

With just a little help we could all be the Oscar winners in our own life production.

What would you add to this list?

Do Two Screens More Than Double The Fun ? #NaBloPoMo

My life seems to be dominated by screens lately.

TV screens, computer monitors, tablets and smartphones all seem to be breeding around me. And some days I struggle to remember what the world looks like other than through a black border. Remember what it was like catching public transport and just looking out the window or reading a physical book? Me neither.

arbitrageLast month, work decided to give us dual screens in an endeavour to reduce the use of paper and in a tacit acknowledgement that one screen is just not enough these days. With the proliferation of emailed attachments and emails in general, precious productive time was lost switching between several windows, cross referencing the material in each. Now we can have two documents open at the same time,  move text between the two and compare and contrast. And I have to tell you, when I’m at work getting in on the dual screen action, I feel like I’m in arbitrage (which in fact  no way resembles my real profession). I imagine myself scanning the screens, frantically switching between them, watching the ticker tape of the NY Stock Exchange on one and the FTSE index on the other, waiting for the moment to yell “sell, sell, sell now!”. To me the two screen revolution started in the world of stock broking thanks to films like Wall Street. Of course now that the rest of the world has caught up to the dual screen phenomenon, these guys now run on four or more trying to keep pace with global markets.

Of course when I upgraded from one to two, the heat and light level emanating from my desk rose considerably turning my work space into a tropical paradise zone. I wonder whether we will stop at two or if work will attempt the triple with a back-end pike – degree of difficulty 4.5.

The dual screen fun has not stayed in the workplace. It has also crept into my home.

Naturally, the teens have for some time partaken in the world of multiples. There is no such thing as just watching a TV screen to them. They chat, play computer games, watch YouTube videos and listen to music all whilst watching TV.  It took us poor hapless parents quite some time to realise that by looking down at another screen, the Teens were not giving us a signal that it was quite permissible to change the TV channel. The slightest move in that direction would solicit a “Hey, I’m watching that”.

How exactly? Would that be through their nostrils or their toes?

So having joined the revolution, I now understand that having two screens can mean more than double the fun – particularly when the activity you are doing on the second screen is webcamconnected to the TV screen. This happens particularly when a TV show promotes a commentary through a Twitter feed or when there is a show that pretty much everyone in the country watches. We have a couple of these, the most regular one being a show called Q and A. This is a weekly current affairs show aired live by our National Broadcaster comprising a panel of four politicians, celebrities, writers, feminists, social commentators, journalists etc. The panel members are deliberately chosen for their opposing views to ensure a lively debate.  Questions are posed to the panel by audience members who are pre chosen for their questions and a selection of Tweeted comments about the content or the panel members are put to air as the show is telecast.

The comments range from the insightful to the ridiculous, but in a stroke of pure promotional genius the addition of the Twitter feed has brought with it a whole new audience. Tweeps join the conversation Tweep to Tweep or post in the hope that their tweet will make it to air.  Whatever the case, this use of the #QandA hashtag adds another dimension to the TV experience and I’m definitely a convert. The conversation is fast paced, full of banter and is not for the faint hearted.

I think I would struggle though if the TV program was a very visual one. In the case of Q and A there is not much visual action as the show centres around seated panel members and about the most exciting you will get is the odd sneer or finger point.

However, the thought of becoming a TV watching bobble head is a somewhat scary notion.

So, my question is have you ever tried multiples? And has it enhanced your pleasure?

Costco Capers #NaBloPoMo

This past weekend saw us set out on our biannual Costco run. The Italian Stallion and I do not engage in this sport lightly. The visit is a culmination of weeks of precision planning, pantry reconnaissance and rigorous training. The training consists of pushing dollar bills in and pulling them out of wallets and speedy mathematical value assessment. Apart from this physical and mental preparation, there is always the the issue of what to wear to resolve. I mean who wants to end up on the hypothetical Costco equivalent of People of Walmart.

Walmart e card 1To us non-Americans the Wal-Mart phenomenon is curious indeed. We have no real Australian equivalent that has spurned a whole subculture. In fact, I was so curious that I asked a friend to take me to a Wal-Mart in Tennessee last time I was in the States to pop my Wal-Mart cherry. It must have been a slow day because it was nothing like what I expected to see having regard to the Wal-Mart mythology from the Internet. People shopped whilst fully clothed and there were no sprawling cash register lines. Talk about underwhelming. I didn’t buy anything.

But back to Costco. For us Costco is a pilgrimage and something not undertaken lightly as it is a least a half day event. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly there is only one Costco servicing Sydney. Sydney has a population of about two million, so our Costco sees plenty of action. Secondly, the store is about an hour’s drive away and that’s not counting the time it takes to find a parking spot. Thirdly, given there is only one store social encounters are unavoidable even for a city of this size. You will always meet someone you know at Costco, which of course then ties into the whole fashion thing. This weekend’s excursion didn’t disappoint as we bumped into two of the Italian Stallion’s colleagues and their spouses.

And everything about Costco is BIG.

Big quantities, big deals, big checkout lines, ginormous trolleys and big bucks.  Costco have these great little dinner rolls that I have longingly wanted to try for the past year. I have picked up a pack every time I have been to Costco, but the thought of what to do with 36 of them has always led me to leave them on the shelf. This time though I bit the bullet bread and took the BIG small dinner roll plunge.

And the act of lovingly placing in my trolley the 3 kilos of chicken thighs that will grace our dinner plates for the next little while next to that piece of outdoor furniture that I had to have is worth the trip all on its own. I like an eclectic, variety filled shopping basket.

The fun continued with the post Costco run packathon. Getting the stuff in the car took the patience of the Dalai Lama and the precision of Tetris. Luckily for me the Italian Stallion is really good at Tetris which is positive news indeed because the whole Tetris thing had to be repeated in the pantry at home. As for finding the stuff three months down the track when we need to use it… yeah.. good luck with that.

Which leads me to divulge Fascinating Costco Fact No. 352: After buying cling wrap in bulk at Costco last year, we have figured out we use 300m of the stuff in a year. Costco therefore not only assists with inventory control but also gives good trivia.

So now we are back in training for next year’s biannual Costco run. Should be just in time for Easter.

Dinner roll anyone?Bread Rolls

 Do you ever shop in bulk? Do you have a special shopping experience you could like to share?

Horsing Around With A Race That Stops A Nation: #NaBloPoMo

The first Tuesday in November is only days away and dear readers I need your help. I am desperately hoping your wisdom and good horse sense will see me through this important day.

fuggedaboudittNext Tuesday is Melbourne Cup day here in Australia. The Melbourne Cup is a $6million horse race which literally stops the nation. So good in fact that all of the lucky sods living in Melbourne receive a public holiday to head out to Flemington Race Course. The rest of us schlep to work and watch the event on television amist an eerie phone and keyboard silence. Which means that I have to issue this public service announcement to my international readers – if you are trying to phone Australia next Tuesday afternoon, local time between 2.45pm and 3.15pm, you might as well just stay in Brooklyn and Fuhgeddaboudit.

It is traditional for this one-day-a year punter to place a bet on the Melbourne Cup. Nothing huge, let’s just say if my horse won, the winnings would just be sufficient to purchase an upsized fast food take away meal or a taxi ride home. So fear not, I am staking the farm on your feedback.

Being a one-day-a year-punter, I’d like to say I study the form guide intently in the days leading up to the race, along with the weather conditions and race commentary. I’d like to say that, but neigh, that would be like saying that Phar Lap was just a horse. Instead I rely on a highly secret and scientific formula to choose my horses. This formula involves the intricacies of design, onomatopoeia and poetry, along with some mathematics as length and weight are taken into account. It is of course vitally important that the name of the horse one backs rolls effortlessly off the tongue and that the jockey’s stripes are beautifully colour co-ordinated. Surely, there are no other factors that determine the winner of a 3200 metre horse race?

It therefore must be patently obvious by now that I have no horse sense when it comes to picking a winner.

My general criteria for choosing the worthy candidate for my once a year flutter is a name that resonates in conjunction with a pleasing colour combination both on horse and rider and absolutely no:

PINK

 

So here is a link to the form guide for the race, dear readers and I need your help in choosing which horse is worthy of my once a year flutter.

My thoughts so far:

  • Simeon (19) and Red Cadeaux (3) are definitely out – too much pink
  • Super Cool (13), Masked Marvel (14) and Hawkspur (18) have great names – although is 13 an ominous sign?
  • I like the fact that Green Moon (2) and Sea Moon (4) might be related on the ethereal plane, given the commonalty of last name
  • Fiorente (6) and Tres Blue (23) are contenders because they are trained by one of the few female trainers in this country. Fiorente also happens to be the favourite, but has the disadvantage of carrying a pink stripe. (You see my dilemma?).
  • The best jockey stripe award goes to Dunaden (1). Love the whole polka dot effect and yellow is my favourite colour.

I therefore place my confidence in the blogosphere to assist with resolving this quandary. Please help a once-a-year punter out and place your suggestions in a comment below. All feedback will be gratefully considered and acknowledged and taken back to the stable without any expectation of those kind enough to contributed of having studied the form guide or having any horsey expertise.

And here’s a little something to get you all in the mood for the important task ahead.

champaignfascinator

 

 

Being Accosted Never Smelt So Sweet

Where does time go? I’ve turned around and its been a whole month since I last blogged.

In all fairness I have been thinking about blogs to write, flirting with poignant topics relevant to all of us battling a life crisis sandwich. For the uninitiated (and that would be most of you because I just made

picture from vaboomer.com

picture from vaboomer.com

this up), a life crisis sandwich is the meal that comes from that special place where mid-life crisis meets teenage angst. And this past month has been spent dealing with that special place.  I am not sure whether in this house, the adults have regressed or the teens have progressed, but whatever the case we are all dealing with change and questions. I think God must truly have a wicked sense of humour to coincide my offspring’s teenage years when they are questioning the meaning of life and their own existence with the very point at which their parents are doing the same. Two thumbs up there. May we all survive this test to reach what comes after the life crisis sandwich, namely the post apocalyptic fudge brownie.

At this stage, the fudge brownie remains just off into the distance. I can see it, sort of, if I squint long and hard enough and can almost smell it. Only a few more bites of the life crisis sandwich to go. My commiseration to all of you also experiencing the joys of the life crisis sandwich. I hope you now know you are not alone.

This gives you an idea of what I have been up to in the last month and why I haven’t blogged. Also good manners, because I would never blog with my mouth full, even if it’s just a no calorie life crisis sandwich.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying I really wanted my first post back to be poignant, but instead, dear readers, you are going to get this.

Over the past few months I have been accosted in my own home on several occasions. Not only me, but other members of my family have been similarly accosted. Every time it happens we reinforce that we need to be wary, keep our guard up and not let it take us by surprise. And we fail every time.

I see it perched up high on the picture rail or sometimes, just to keep us guessing, sitting on the side board. Watching, waiting, ready to pounce. Light blinking, nozzle pointed, waiting to expel its deadly gas. The minute a body comes into view, nay even before that, the minute the air pressure changes to indicate a moving being, it aims, shoots and scores. A menace to all unsuspecting wanderers, its activities are not confined to nocturnal maneuvers. Night or day, it is on high alert waiting for its next victim. With a pfft and a click you know you have been hit even before the odour reaches you. Its stated aim is to release air freshener, but this is just propaganda. Its real objective is to startle the living daylights out of you, especially at night.

This little device is the SWAT team of odour prevention. There is no shield thick enough, no night vision strong enough to defeat it. You would think it would be a fair fight, six feet of human vs one foot of motion sensor air freshener, but this fight is neither fair nor foul. In fact it takes place in a haze of Lilly of the Valley and with an innocent demeanor. Flying below the radar, it infiltrated my home without my permission, having snuck into the Itallian Stallion’s bag.

Lilly of the valleyBut I’m now onto this trespasser. After being accosted at 3.30am the other night, I have decided to deactivate the little bastard. Indeed, at 3.30am with a stuffy nose and a throbbing head to have a useless invention for the “genteel” accost me on a headache tablet mercy dash is entirely beyond the pale.  Clearly, there is much use for a fine spray of Lilly of the Valley with a head cold (not).

And lest you think my stealth skills are substandard, my strapping sons have also been accosted from on high. Like a swooping magpie protecting its nest in Spring, the air freshener rains on their heads at the first hint of movement. Perhaps this is not a bad thing with teenage boys, but I’d hate to have them invite their friends over only to be sprayed. That would make them feel real welcome.

So the time has come to reclaim my corridors. No more Lilly of the Valley, not more pfft that goes bump in the night. I’m reclaiming my right of peaceful passage without a treaty of surrender.

One last pfft for man, one giant leap for mankind (at least those in this house).

Have you ever been accosted by a device in your own home? Is there any device that you would really like to banish?

air freshener

Deactivated!

Judgement With Your Coffee? One Lump or Two?

Are you fanatical about your flat white, crazy about your cappuccino or desperate for decaf?

Coffee seems to be the drink on everyone’s lips these days. Whether you can’t function until you have had your first cup in the morning or spread your coffee load throughout the day, coffee seems to be the brew that illicits emotion and conversation. Ever wondered what your coffee choice says about you?

The answers from the National Coffee Choice Report, commissioned by DéLonghi may surprise you. The findings, which pertain to Australia, are reported in this article from the Adelaide Advertiser and indeed many other Australian online news outlets. No need to spend your hard-earned dollars to talk to a therapist to reveal your personality type or anyone elses and no need to waste pesky time actually engaging with others, just focus on the drink.

The report reveals that if you are a flat white drinker, you are likely to be considered down to earth, laid back and boring. Order a latte and you’re high maintenance but make sure you hang around with cappuccino drinkers who are considered fun. Alternatively, you can bask in the success of an espresso-lover, but be sure to stay clear of those arrogant macchiato mavens.

All very interesting and somewhat disturbing. Have we really progressed to judging ourselves and others not by their depth, but by the depth of their coffee cups? Has coffee become the new Rolex?

Apparently so, according to the findings in this report, at least in this country, because the Report apparently also found that bankers and accountants admit to showing off by ordering stronger coffee and that people change their coffee order depending on who they are with. So perception really is more important than reality.

Just like in the great Steve Martin coffee ordering scene from LA Story, below.

What would Steve Martin’s coffee order say about the character he played in the movie? Creative, trend setter or just disorganised and confused?

And what about these favorites?

  • Turkish/Italian espresso – spoon contortionist or fashionable leader?
  • Hot chocolate with marshmallow – a push over or a sweet-toothed nurturer?
  • Decaf – a passive aggressive faker or health conscious intellectual?
  • Coffee drunk really hot – a person without taste buds or boot camp lover?
  • Coffee drunk weak – coward or individualistic and head strong?
  • Irish coffee – sneaky or fun-loving?

No doubt there are many others.

Up to this point, I had no idea that I was being judged on my coffee choice.

coffeee cartoonWhat disturbs me is that this is not a fluffy phone poll undertaken by a lifestyle magazine, but a piece of research commissed by a coffee machine maker who will no doubt use this report to make marketing and manufacturing decisions. It indicates that we really do judge others based on the superficial and that we feel compelled to change our personal preferences to play to perceptions.

I think I’ll stick to my choice of cappuccino and lattes. In fact, what does it say that I mix up my coffee preference? There goes Judy, she’s just such a maverick [sigh].

Note to self: as an espresso hater avoid all future meetings with bankers and accountants.

Supplemental note to self: the last meeting I had with a banker he asked for a cup of hot water. As in no coffee. Was he really an alien?

Are you game enough to reveal to us your coffee preference?

Digital Culture: It is All About YOU!

As some of you know, I’m back at Uni doing a Masters in Law, Media and Jounalism. One of my courses this session requires me to run a blog relating to online and mobile media. I therefore unveil my new student blog, Social From The Middle and my very first post. My first post is all about You, so come a long and join in the conversation. Would love to have your comments and feedback.
Warning, this blog is produced from my non-reptillian brain, under no circumstances will it contain any humour whatsover… well maybe just a wee bit, enough for survival. Isn’t that what the reptillian brain is all about?

Social From The Middle

We hear the term “digital culture” everyday. Usually it is used with a negative connotation, describing a counter-revolution to traditional media delivery and consumption and the death of reading and writing as we know it. But what does the expression really mean and what is our place in this so-called “culture”?

Digital CultureLet me start by outlining what it is not. Digital culture is not the same as being digitally cultured. There is no doubt, our children are growing up more exposed to digital devices than ever before and at an ever earlier age. My children were born before the smartphone/tablet revolution, so it always intrigues me when I see toddlers out with their parents at restaurants with smartphone or tablet in hand. They have replaced books and plastic keys as the distraction devices of the new millennium. And from what I have observed, the practice is almost universal. In fact…

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It’s Unofficially Official: Feeling The Love In Australian Politics

Forgive me WordPress for I have sinned, it has been 41 days since my last post. Suitably repentant, I await your pronouncement.

Just popped back to share the political love.

You may remember, we used to have a female Prime Minister. Now we don’t. She didn’t get voted out by the people, no siree, that would be far too democratic. She got voted out by her party only to be replaced by the guy whom she knifed in a similar leadership spill about 3 years ago. The same guy whose senior party colleagues pronounced that his methods of leadership were unworkable and lead to a paralysis in party and Government decision making. Our first female Prime Minister went out in a blaze of orange haired glory amidst an onslaught of blue tie wearing men, cries of misogyny against our male politicians, most notably the leader of the Opposition and visions of knitting yarn and crocheted kangaroos (for the royal baby of course).

All of this because Australia must hold a federal election this year and the governing party got jittery over its serious slide in the polls. So, in a back to the future move, it reinstalled the campaigner and got rid of the governor.

Are you with me so far?

In short, we have been swamped by politics and received little governance. Democracy in this country has taken a hit.

men in blue tiesWithout a wiener or a sexting in site (our politics are simply not that colourful, especially not after all the male politicians starting wearing blue ties) the question on everyone’s lips is when will the new Prime Minister call the election? This is important because it will be held in Spring. In Spring people start to stir from their winter hibernation and they have wedding vows to exchange, holidays to take, gardens to tend and lives to lead.

Being the good organised governor she was, our former female Prime Minister set the date for 14 September 2013. In an unprecedented move she set this date in February so that the ever dutiful populace could clear their diaries. The new guy wants to keep us guessing.

So we are having an election, we just don’t know when and the Opposition can smell blood in the water.

It’s unofficially official, we are NOT in election campaign mode.

Except no-one told my local candidates, who have suddenly woken from their slumber after two decades of hibernation. I’m feeling so much love, I can’t tell you.

Let me digress with a little background. Australia is divided into 150 electorates. For the purposes of determining which party governs, we each get to vote for our own local member who sits in the lower house. Whichever party has the majority in the lower house governs. Unlike the United States we do not vote directly for our Prime Minister, unless he or she happens to be our local member and is the leader of the party who wins. I live in a safe party seat. The details of which party has reigned supreme doesn’t matter, suffice to say that to lose the seat would have required a swing of between 8-13%, a huge margin in Australian politics. So no attention for us, after all the prize has always remained in the bag. The prize for us being a bald-headed, former high profile rock star local member who only turned up to attend school annual prize giving ceremonies.

Now, however, there’s a real contest here because the popularity of the Government at the hands of our female Prime Minister has suffered greatly. And that’s not because she’s female, rather because of

Do you think they know it's a battle of the polls, not a battle of the poles?

Do you think they know it’s a battle of the polls, not a battle of the poles?

her inability to connect. And suddenly, our Opposition candidate has popped up in the electorate with a physical and media presence. A couple of weeks ago he was standing on a median strip in the middle of a six lane road during morning peak hour waving cheesily to passing motorists. He wasn’t standing at a traffic light, so couldn’t talk to anyone, but just stood there waving. What he was hoping to achieve other than a death wish was anyone’s guess.

Posters have popped up everywhere bearing his image, trucks are driving around on the weekends bearing yet more posters and love letters are coming in the mail.

Better yet, his office is phoning asking us what we think are the three most important issues facing Australia today and asking who will we vote for. A personal call, with a real voice, caring about what we think. Such love, and we have only just begun, well not really, because it’s not official yet.

Ever had one of those friends who only come around when they want something? Especially one in a blue tie? Yeah, me too.

Sort of officially unofficial friendship if you ask me.

Have you ever felt the love from a politician? Do long political campaigns hold your interest? What do you think of blue ties?

 

 

 

 

 

Today I Give Myself Permission to Yodel In Yiddish #atozchallenge

Letter YThis is my penultimate post for the Challenge. And because it is the penultimate post I have decided to throw a permissions party and combine whimsy, weirdness, originality, curiosity and all the self-acceptance I can muster in this one post.  Please note that normal introspective transmission will resume for tomorrow’s final Challenge post.

I, for one have never yodeled in Yiddish, but if I did, I know what I would call the musical, Leaderhozen On the Roof

Why yodeling? It is a much friendlier blog option than yelling or yelping and if I did either of those, I would be riddled with guilt. And we all know what mixing guilt and Yiddish can do. Just think George Costanza’s mother and Seinfeld.

Yiddish is a such a rich language and has brought us some extremely useful sounding words and expressions which have found their way into our daily vernacular. It also seems to me that Yiddish is such an economical  language, designating one consonant rich word to a concept that would take a whole sentence to articulate in English. It’s one of those languages that you can throw your whole face into.

Here are some of my favorites including some words that I have always used and only just discovered originate from Yiddish:

  • bupkes  – said to be related to the Polish word for “beans” but it really means “goat droppings” or “horse droppings.” It is used to connote the concept of nothing, disappointment or a small amount. “There are some days when I spent a lot of time thinking of a blogging concept and came up with bubkes”
  • chutzpah  – courage, brazenness, nerve, courage or confidence. “He who hath participated in the A to Z Challenge has Chutzpah”fiddler on the roof
  • glitch  – a minor problem or error. “Your modem crashing out during the A to Z Challenge is more than just a glitch”
  • klutz  – literally means “a block of wood,” so it’s often used for a dense, clumsy or awkward person. “
  • “To have missed providing an example sentence for this word the first time around makes me a klutz or a schlemiel or both!”

  • nosh  – to nibble; a light snack. “You will have more time for noshing once you have finished the A to Z Challenge”
  • nu  – a versatile word to get someone’s attention and can mean “So?” “Huh?” “Well?” “What’s up?” or “Hello?”. “Nu, dude”
  • oy vey  – exclamation of dismay, grief, or exasperation. “There are 26 posts to write in the A to Z Challenge – oy vey!”
  • shlep  – to drag, traditionally something you don’t really need; to carry unwillingly. “In the lead up to the A to Z Challenge, I shleped around my notebook and pen in case a wild bout of inspiration hit me”
  • shlemiel – clumsy, inept person. “Laverne and Shirley both used “shlemiel” in the opening credits of their show”
  • schlock  – cheap.  “I write schlocky poetry for fun but I restrained myself during the A to Z Challenge”
  • shmaltzy  – excessively sentimental, gushing, flattering, over-the-top, corny. From shmaltz, which means chicken fat or grease. “Schmaltzy movies are best watched with close friends, so you can out-shcmaltz one another”
  • shmooze  – chat, make small talk, trying to impress.”The A to Z Challenge is a great vehicle for schmoozing with other bloggers”
  • schmuck  – often used as an insulting word for a self-made fool, but you shouldn’t use it in polite company at all, since it refers to male anatomy. Now there’s something I didn’t know. “I am sure I have made a schmuck of myself with this post”
  • spiel  – a set sales pitch. From the German word for play. “All of the A to Z Challenge convenors have a great spiel for why you should be involved in the Challenge”
  • shtick  – something you’re known for doing, an entertainer’s routine, an actor’s bit, stage business, routine. “My schtick for the A to Z Challenge was to give myself permission to be who I was meant to be”

Definitions prepared with assistance from dailwritingtips.com.

How many of these words do you use and never knew were Yiddish? Do you have any other Yiddish favourites? Have you worn leaderhozen before?

Today I give myself permission to yodel in Yiddish becuase I’ve never tried it before and it’s the second last day of the Challenge.