Sans le Nom: Cookery, Rhetoric, and Other Forms of Pandering

"Now I call this sort of thing pandering, and I declare that it is dishonorable."Plato

"When a name comes, it immediately says more than the name." —Derrida

July 17, 2009: I've Moved

I was having issues with FrontPage and Tripod, so I decided to pick up and move elsewhere.  You can now find me at or  Either one will take you to the same place.

See you there!

July 6, 2009: Knock on Wood

I've reached a conclusion. 

"Oh, joy, she's not going to blog anymore!" 

Sorry, no, that's not what I meant.  What I mean is I've reached a thoughtful conclusion:  many "superstitions" aren't superstitions at all; some of them are grounded in pure logic and absolute fact.  For example, it IS bad luck to open an umbrella in a building.  Someone, namely me, is liable to get an eye poked out if we all start opening our umbrellas inside.  And I've had a corneal abrasion before:  while watching your eyeball bleed is exciting, it ain't no disco.  So let's not do that, shall we? Another example: it IS bad luck to walk under a ladder.  Me + bucket 'o paint = woman covered in latex (and not the fun kind, either).  That superstition makes perfect sense. 

But probably the most logical of all "superstitions" is knocking on wood.  In the grand scheme of the wide universe, I estimate, and I'm going to lowball the figure (I feel sorry for anyone who reaches this page after Googling "ball" and "wood." My apologies, you'll find Beavis and Butthead here), that at least 50% of what we say is just us talking through our hats because, really, we don't know what the future holds.  Anything could happen, so why not acknowledge the fact by knocking on wood at appropriate times, i.e., when karmic return might drop a piano on our heads? 

If only I'd been so thoughtful last Thursday.  I ran into an old friend from Writing Lab days and mentioned to him that just as he was taking off to work on his Ph.D., I had been diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  It turns out, he has another friend who had it and still has what's known as Lyme arthritis.  This is a variant of the old-fashioned osteoarthritis; what makes it different is a) it comes from a bug, 2) it's not bilateral, and π) it likes to keep you guessing by suddenly moving to another joint—kind of like bar-hopping—only much more painful in the morning.

I sat there watching myself say the words and thinking, "Dang it!  Firstable, you're lying," (I got that from one of my students; it made me laugh, so I figured I'd spread the homonymic love around), "you just had a bout in your right shoulder last month.  And secondable, you'd better knock on wood!" 

Did I?



That's why, after saying, "Oh, I haven't had any trouble with that in years," I woke up Sunday morning at 2:00 a.m. with a searing pain in the socket of my left hip joint.  See, I didn't mean to lie.  I was just trying to stick with the short version (we can only wish I would do that here).  It would have been more accurate to have said, "I haven't had a bout that's kept me from doing anything, other than opening a bottle of water, or from sleeping—mostly."  But I didn't say that.  I said that I hadn't had ANY trouble with that for a while.  And there goes the pie-anna, right on my head: the third most painful bout I've had with Lyme arthritis since I contracted the disease in 1991. 

So I sit here.  Uncomfortably. With pain so excruciating that my foot is numb.  I can't cross my legs because I can't get them uncrossed, which would present innumerable problems best left to the imagination.  I keep trying to find some position that will decrease the pain because I'm loathe to take pain killers during the day—they upset my stomach.  My sudden mid-life-crisis-stiletto-fetish has come to a very abrupt halt, and this after I just bought a whole bunch of them in giddy heights I had once considered heretofore unmanageable. If I drop something on the floor, it's going to be there a while, at least 'til The Hubs comes home from work. And if I fall, I will have a chance to finally utter the immortal words, "I've fallen, and I can't get up!"  I guess this dates me to the 80's, right?  Hardy, har, har. 

I think I should buy a t-shirt that says "Sexy" on it.  I wonder if the paramedics will see the irony?    Yeah, Mrs. Fletcher.  "Sexy."

I was going to add that the only superstition I can think of that really makes no logical sense is the old aphorism about black cats.  Since I've never had a cat suddenly pounce on me and rip me to shreds, I didn't feel I could buy into that one.  But then, since I live with a black cat...

Oh, well, you know, knock on wood. 

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About Me
I teach; cook; write; hike; read; dally; canoe; eat; write; rock 'n roll; target practice (bow and gun); tumble and fall; dawdle; complain; bento; write; organize; watch movies; ignore e-mail;  renovate; write; curse computers; brew my tea dark and bitter; herd cats; live in Arkansas; Plato, Derrida, and rhetoric (yes, those are verbs); remain overly cautious; persuade; imbibe; GTD; and oh, yeah, I write a little. 

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E-mail me at sanslenom at msn dot com.

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