Monday, January 23, 2012

Some Random Jottings

I know, every post could have the title of this one, but I do have a collection of random subjects to write about, so today is as good a time as any.

Lions and Tigers and...Panthers? 

My dad's financial guy extraordinaire, Mike Washer, was telling me that my dad told him that years ago there was a park ranger at Manassas Battlefield Park (about six miles from where we live) who was tired of deer overrunning the place and got some panthers to let loose and control the deer population. Since then there have been panther sightings  around the area, including the Battlefield, Haymarket and Prince William Hospital. If you see a large black kitty cat, do not approach him/her/it. Raise your hands high above your head, back away slowly and intone "Nice kitty, kitty" in a low voice. Be careful. It's a jungle out there....

Smarty Pants and Other Similar Appellations

I am indebted to Chorale soprano extraordinaire Marcy Pratt for this linguistic invention. Here's the actual Facebook back-and-forth that we had about a new "pants" expression that Marcy used:

Marcy: Jessica Chastain played the blonde heroine of the Help (not the snotty pants [role]). :)
Dan: I love the idea of a "snotty pants" role. It's just intuitively understandable. We had a security guy at school we called "Mr. Grouchy Pants." Because he was. 

Marcy: Yes, funny to think about now that you mention - "I'd like to audition for the Snotty pants role, please?" :)

Dan: I see it as a role type, kinda like an ingenue role or a best buddy role. "She was best know for playing Snotty Pants roles in a variety of films that spanned decades..."

A few days later, this series:

Dan: Look, Marcy, it's Miss Snotty Pants' sister! She has written a book! 


Marcy: GREAT book, by the way! :) LOVE Tina Fey!

Then, recently I found this passage in an article about a change in editorial leadership at the New Yorker magazine:
In the 1960s, [humorist]Dorothy Parker criticized the magazine's utter lack of humor, and [William] Shawn himself later expressed some regret that he hadn't had many humorists on staff, but in 1975, New York Times book critic John Leonard said, "Shawn changed The New Yorker from a smarty-pants parish tip sheet into a journal that altered our experience instead of just posturing in front of it."

Of course, we're all familiar with the smarty pants appellation which I've been called a time or two myself (justly, I might add). There is also prissy pants which perhaps was heard most famously in a South Park episode (Biscuit City Advisory: If you are offended at all by tasteless and vulgar humor DO NOT check out South Park. I do not watch the thing: I just heard about "Polly Prissypants.") when Cartman was playing with his dolls, including Polly Prissypants. Prissy means exaggeratedly proper, excessively fastidious and easily disgusted so apply that to "pants" and there you have it. 

If anyone knows of any other "pants" expressions please comment on Facebook or on this post. And congratulations to Marcy for a great new addition to popular culture. 

Who Knew? EZ Pass, i Phones and Automatic Backup

OK, so I'm not an Early Adopter when it comes to technology. We still have VCR's and had the original NuTone intercom/radio that came with the house in 1967 when it was built, right up until we remodeled the kitchen about three years ago. So we just got EZ Passes for the cars. Incredible! When we drove to New Jersey to catch the Jersey Transit to Manhattan, we used the pass for tolls. Worked like a charm and saved us probably 15 minutes in travel time. We don't use toll roads much but when we do, it's EZ Pass all the way. Who knew?

And then daughter Amy's bf Chris #2 (Macgee) gave me his iPhone 3 when he upgraded to a 4. It's an incredible piece of technology and came in very handy when we were in New York for determining things like which way to go when we came out of the subway and the location of nearby restaurants. I can also check email on texts on the fly. Who knew these things were so useful?

And then there is my newest friend, Automatic Backup. Blogspot, which I'm using this very second, backs up my work every a couple of minutes or so. This has saved me hours of work when the power goes off or I hit an unknown combination of keys and lock the computer up or clear the post I'm working on. Who knew how useful this was?


  1. Nice article - I am very impressed indeed. You are such a smarty pants!! :)

    1. Thanks, Marcy! I saw another use of "pants" in a magazine and now I can't find it. I'm a forgetful pants!