Archive for March, 2010


bedizen. [bih-DY-zuhn].

March 31, 2010

bedizen -[bih-DY-zuhn] , transitive verb;

1. to dress or adorn in gaudy manner.

polo vneck

seersucker shorts

sperry topsiders

the above ensemble may not exactly be thought of as gaudy if the one sporting it was found lounging on a yacht off the coast of maine in mid-July. however, to wear such on March 31st on the streets of milwaukee seems a bit “bedizen.”

…doesn’t mean i didn’t wear this outfit to class today.

i couldn’t help it. i’ve learned to never pass up an opportunity to dress like gilligan’s apprentice when its 75 degrees and sunny in milwaukee.

sailor hat

maybe next time i’ll add the matching hat.


cacophony. [kuh-KAH-fuh-nee].

March 22, 2010

cacophony \kuh-KAH-fuh-nee\, noun:
1. Harsh or discordant sound; dissonance.
2. The use of harsh or discordant sounds in literary composition.

im with you shari lewis.


potable. [POH-tuh-buhl].

March 17, 2010

potable. [POH-tuh-buhl]. adjective; to drink; suitable for drinking; drinkable.


1.a potable liquid; a beverage, especially an alcoholic beverage.

green beer

what a perfect a word for such an auspicious holiday!

here’s to a long life and a merry one

quick death and an easy one

pretty girl and an honest one

cold beer and another one!



go mbeannai Dia duit– may God bless you.

happy saint patrick’s day!


erudite. [AIR-yuh-dyt; -uh-dyt].

March 13, 2010

erudite. [AIR-yuh-dyt; -uh-dyt], adjective:

characterized by extensive reading or knowledge; learned.

upon arriving in colorado (well actually weeks before arriving in colorado), i was talking a big game about my skiing skills. my brother and i were planning out our trails down the blue-black paths–maybe if we were lucky, trying out a mogul path– and getting excited for the morning’s fresh, powdery runs.

getting off my first chairlift, i fell. i ‘m not even going to try to make an excuse or downplay the situation, i straight up fell flat. on. my. back.

just like riding a bicycle my foot.

but it was then that i decided that, while green IS my favorite color, i was going to have to give in and go to dreaded ski school if i wanted to re-learn the talents that i haven’t truly flexed since i was 9 years old. i didn’t want to hold my brother and dad back– so i swallowed my pride, and enrolled.

BIG mistake.

my instructor will definitaly not becoming a member of my fan club anytime soon.

maybe it was because i laughed when he said he was from chicago when his name tag read spring grove, illinois? not that i’m a snob about that kind of thing, as many true chicagoans are. but i didn’t even say i’m from chicago, and i live about 15-20 minutes away from the windy city (unless we’re talking rush hour). strike one.

about 5 minutes into the lesson, around the time he was trying to teach me how to properly put on a ski, i told him i was in a class that was below my skill level. not that i’m an expert skiier or anything. after all, i was the one who was voluntarily in ski school. but a pretty penny was paid for these so-called lessons, and when i asked if i could be in the higher level, my “classmates” also agreed. i think they were getting a bit annoyed by the constant harping on my somewhat unconventional (some have gone as far as calling it “spastic”) ski style of whipping down the runs. i’ll admit, i wasn’t exactly being the model student. if we would have gotten report cards, i probably would have gotten a big, fat checkmark in the “follows directions” box. strike two.

finally. after 3 hours of cruising down basically flatlands (while crossing into merging blue trails when my instructor wasn’t looking), the pain was over. reference cards were being passed out for a 10% discount on the next lesson. i was handed a card, but very reluctantly. however, i was quick to inform greg from spring gr–i mean chicago– illinois that i didn’t plan on taking another lesson during my stay here at winter park. strike three.

or, maybe now that i think about it, probably the only thing that he was happy to hear me say all afternoon. so looks like i didn’t strike out completely.

moral of the story: the only lesson to be learned in ski lessons is that falling off the first chair lift since you’ve been on since you were 9 is a fluke, and you really are the amazing skiier you think you are.

renting skis, poles, and boots: $25.

ski-lessons: $69 (what a rip off, right?)

becoming erudite (extra points for learning on spring break) on how senseless taking ski lessons is: priceless.

moguls, here i come.


salient. [SAY-lee-unt].

March 11, 2010

salient \SAY-lee-unt; SAYL-yunt\, adjective:

1. Shooting out or up; projecting.
2. Forcing itself on the attention; prominent; conspicuous; noticeable.
3. Leaping; springing; jumping.

midterms are over.

never have i ever spent so much time in the library, drank so many cups of coffee, or missed so many hours of sleep. i wish i could say that will be the last time, but i’ve got a long road ahead of me on this academic journey.

i digress.

tomorrow. i will be shooting out of bed and up onto my feet. my travel itinerary will be forced into my attention.

and i will definitely, positively, absolutely, without a doubt be leaping, springing, and jumping for joy at the thought of spring break. hitting the slopes. in winter park, colorado.

how salient of me.

winter park scenery


…as if i haven’t already started jumping for joy just thinking about it.


phantasmagoria. [fan taz muh GOR ee uh].

March 10, 2010

phantasmagoria \fan-taz-muh-GOR-ee-uh\, noun:

1. A shifting series or succession of things seen or imagined, as in a dream.

2. Any constantly changing scene.

upon reading this definition, one  single thing instantly came to mind.

this scene. will forever. haunt. my. dreams.

i don’t know where the writers of willy wonka got off thinking that it was ok to frighten children with a psychadelic (boat) trip, but who ever conceptualized the idea of turning a scene from a childhood classic into something straight out of a horror film really hit the nail on the head with these two minutes and forty seconds. i’ve blocked those terrible, terrible, images from my  mind for over a decade, but thanks to phantasmagoria, i will be sleeping with a nightlight blasting on full force tonight.

regardless of the chilling memories it brings to mind, this otherwise whimsical word of the day has such an appealing ring to it. unfortunately for my ears, i don’t recall ever hearing someone putting it to successful use in a conversation in all my years on earth, nor do i really expect to. maybe dr. seuss did. ill have to check it out.

i wish i had higher hopes for its effective integration into everyday language. i like the way it rolls off the tongue.

perhaps i’ll be so fortunate as to have it sneak up on me during an intense viewing of the national spelling bee championship.

…if only all words could be that lucky.


sachet. [sa-SHEY].

March 9, 2010

sachet \sa-SHEY\, noun

1. A small bag, case, or pad containing perfuming powder or the like, placed among handkerchiefs, etc., to impart a pleasant scent.
2. Also, sachet powder, the powder contained in such a case.

sachets. little bundles of potpourri. they will eternally remind me of the smell of my grandma fahey’s house. she always had a little bowl of cinnamon scented “sticks and leaves” right next to her big, green chair. i always used to sneak a few little pieces into my pocket before going back home and i would put them in my sock drawer in an effort to make my clothes smell nice. eventually, i ran out of little pieces to take home from her house. and i realized this was because they had all taken residence in my drawer.

throughout the past 21 years of my life, i have developed what i would call an acute sense of smell. it may not be as intense as my roommate’s (who could accurately recognize all 15+ scents of febreze blindfolded), however, i do have an extensive list that categorizes my favorite smells. read on.

*library books

library stacks

have you ever walked into the 4th floor of memorial, drawn in a deep breath, and taken in the semi-musty, papery smell of all of those majestic tomes that i’m pretty sure have basically gone untouched for probably the last  20 years? if not, you’re missing out. maybe its because i love to read, or maybe its because (as i willingly admit) i really like school and the potential knowledge contained in all those books is exciting, but whatever the reason may be, i cannot deny it. i love the smell of library books.


prada leather boots

when i was little, i had a black, ken griffey jr. “signed” baseball mitt. every time i put it on my hand i couldn’t resist to bury my nose into the webbing. i never became a professional t-ball player, nor do i know where that mitt resides now, but i have always been fascinated with the smell of leather. living in italy this past semester further increased my love for the aroma of the buttery soft material. the smell of leather in rome was to die for. i would jump at any chance i could get to walk into a little leather boutique just so i could cherish the smell. unfortunately, i would leave the stores with only the smell lingering in my olfactory senses. it never managed to follow me home in the shape of new prada handbag. even still, the rich scent of genuine leather always seems to evoke a sense of happiness for me.

*cigarette smoke


enjoying the faint lingering of cigarette smoke is apparently  genetic in my family. when i voiced my opinion about my favorite smell not too long ago, i found that my mom was in agreement as to finding the scent of cigarette smoke particularly pleasing. neither of us have ever been smokers, but we shared the mutual feeling that the aroma is intoxicating. i frequently get to indulge in this smell, as many of my closest friends are partial to the habit of smoking cigarettes. however, i do have to point out, there are some stipulations in liking this odor. i cease to enjoy the smell when a smoker blows a gale-force exhale of smoke into my face. that causes watery eyes and coughing. its annoying. i also don’t like when the smell attaches itself to my hair and to my clothes only to find its way out again when i shower. the negatives far outweigh the positives in both of those situations. however, i cannot deny, i do enjoy the smoky aroma of a tobacco once in a while.



bear with me on this one. i would never want to be sprayed by a skunk, nor would i like to have a skunk scented perfume. i need to justify this one with the fact that the overpowering smell of skunk is absolutely nauseating. however, if you are from elmhurst, illinois, you may share the same feeling. i grew up in a small western suburb of chicago. it was a neighborhood where what seemed like millions of kids would gather in the summer on our street and play never-ending games of ghost in the graveyard, kick the can, or capture the flag. for some reason, the summer air always had a faint touch of skunk mixed in with the breeze. as my brother patrick can attest, the smell of skunk has always reminded me of home.

*iodine/medical bandages


its sterile. it smells clean. it reminds me of getting better. the smell of iodine and medical bandages elicit a certain sense of calm for me. its not that i was ever a kid that got hurt often. i endured the normal wear and tear of cuts and bruises as a youngin’, but never to the point where extreme medical attention came into play. maybe the calming sensation due to the smell had a small effect on me going into the medical field? who knows? but for some reason, this smell makes me feel safe.

*irish spring soap

irish spring soap

this ones easy. soap smells good. that should be enough. but the smell of irish spring soap is extra special. i don’t prefer any fragranced body wash to the smell of irish spring. however, its a bit ironic that i myself don’t actually use this brand. irish spring smells like boy. clean boy. and yes, there is a distinct difference between “clean boy” and “clean girl”. girls go above and beyond to smell clean, even if they aren’t necessarily freshly showered. however, boys have two static states– really dirty or really clean. Perhaps the appreciation of this difference stems from the fact that i live with 3 (often times “dirty”) brothers. i have grown to value the precious moments when i can detect the smell of “boy clean”. because i know that this luxury can be fleeting.

this list is not exhaustive of my favorite smells, but, it does give a good gist of some of the unconventional smells that i find pleasing to the palate. and although my grandma’s potpourri didn’t quite make the short list, it did keep my socks smelling especially fragrant (in a good way) for a pretty long time.