Thursday, July 28, 2011

Do You Know Any Paraprosdokians?

A paraprosdokian is a ten dollar word.  I looked it up.  According to Wikipedia, it means "a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence is surprising or unexpected, causing a listener to reinterpret" the first part of the sentence.  It is often "used for humor, or dramatic effect ... sometimes producing an anticlimax."  So unwittingly, many of us have heard paraprosdokians throughout our lives.  Comedians from Joan Rivers to Chris Rock and popular humorists like Mark Twain use them all the time.

Now that we've expanded our vocabulary, lets enjoy a few paraprosdokians:
(source: unknown: a funny chain email sent to me)
1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.
3. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.Freezing
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
8. Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
10. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
11. I thought I wanted a career.  Turns out I just wanted paychecks.
12. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'
13. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.Broken heart
16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
17. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
18. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
19. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
20. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
21. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.
22. You're never too old to learn something stupid.
23. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
24. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
25. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
26. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
27. A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.
28. Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.
29. I always take life with a grain of salt. Plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.
30. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Ten dollar words are interesting too, aren't they?  I like learning them, but notice that great writers seldom go out of their way to use them.   My building publishes a newsletter.  In it, one contributor is fond of using ten dollar words when simple words will do.  That person's writing comes across as pompous and stilted, though I suspect that M. Nameless is simply trying to impress us.  Abraham Lincoln, a brilliant writer and thinker, used simple language packed with wisdom and, as it turns out, paraprosdokians.  Also, he was mostly self-taught.

The New York Times ran a contest asking readers to post ten dollar words.  Click here.  If you wish to share either a ten dollar word, or a paraprosdokian, well pleeease do comment. It's fun.  As the brainy Oliver Wendell Holmes observed:  "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions."  And, isn't that reason enough to play along?

You may also enjoy:
The Story Of English, A Review
The Voice Premieres On NBC
What I Like About Mad Men
Welcome To The World Of Ideas

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Makeup Tips For A Summer Scorcher

Would you rather deal with a heat wave, or a blizzard?  It's been steamy in New York City all week, hitting  a record 104°F last Friday.

Wisely, people are choosing activities carefully, staying in air conditioning and drinking plenty of water.  A scoop of ice cream helps too.

Blistering heat forces us to strip down to t-shirts, shorts and bare feet.  Anything above a cotton tank, or sandals is pure insanity.

When temperatures broil, it's the perfect time to tie hair up in a ponytail and wear less make-up.  I like it.  Why bother with cosmetics that melt off your face in five minutes flat?  Plus, we are all in the same boat.  We can go l'naturelle together and not worry about it.

Here are a few barebones beauty essentials to see you through a long hot summer:
1. A Moisturizing Soap like Dove or goat milk.
2. Face serumDr. Andrew Weil Plantidote is refreshing and reduces inflammation.
3. Olay Complete  – It has sun protection and comes in regular or tinted.  I apply it to my face all year around.
4. Max Factor Pan-Stik – It should match your skin tone.  Use it as an under eye concealer.  It also covers zits.
5. NARS Multiplier – You can dab color to cheeks and lips.Red lips
6. e.l.f. Clear Lash & Brow Mascara – To keep eyebrows groomed.
7. Baby Powder – When temperatures rise, I use it as loose face powder.
8. L'Oreal Colour Juice – It's a sheer lip gloss good for both summer and winter.
9. A Bronzer – Contour your face to look sun kissed.Sun The Body Shop makes them with rich pigments that can be used in place of blush [i.e. then skip #5, if you wish].

Personally, I'm not a big fan of oil blotters.  A Kleenex works as well as, if not better.  And I forgo eye liner, shadow, mascara, skin primer and foundation.  It all goes south in extreme heat, which looks worst than going bare.

You want your complexion to look fresh for as long as possible.  So keep it light and simple.
Island with palm tree
You may also enjoy:
Creamery Cream Goat Milk Soap, A Review 
The Collection: Healthy Anti-Aging Skin Care
Save On Summer Fashion Essentials
Going Organic: Face, Body And Hair Essentials

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Milton Berle Called Laughter An Instant Vacation

No doubt about it.  Humor is important to the human condition.  Charlie Chaplin, said “A day without laughter is a day wasted."  And it's true.  So take a break from the busyness of your day to have a chuckle with these funny headlines sent my way by a savvy reader, Ms. Loretta G.  Enjoy:
Did we elect these people?
 Civil War planes? Let me know how that works out.
I'm saying GREAT paint job.
"We had no idea anyone was buried there."
Hmm, resist temptation.
Please, anyone, if you've seen this man...?
What are the odds of that?
 I would have guessed after age 19.

Quincy Jones said laughter is "the soul saying, 'Ain't that the truth.'"   And Mark Twain remarked, "Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."  Of the comedians still working today, I find Jon Stewart, Craig Ferguson and Jerry Seinfeld especially brilliant.  Going back in time, my family listened to the albums of Mr. Bill Cosby, The Smothers Brothers and the Chad Mitchell Trio.  In some ways listening to routines on records is funnier.  There are sound effects, and you use your imagination.  And of course, we watched reruns of I Love Lucy, Laugh-in, The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Carol Burnett Show to name a few.  I vividly remember Flip Wilson.  And, Richard Pryor was mesmerizing, depicting his harsh childhood and later life.  Have you noticed that the comedy which stands the test of time isn't based on shock value, or mean-spiritedness?   Controversial at the time?  Yes, sometimes ... and occasionally dark ... but, a cut above, not settling for an easy laugh.  
Clever comedy manages to uncover truth and tell us about ourselves.  It remains forever popular because the humor is as true of the present day as when the jokes were written.  Click here for a fascinating interview with The Great One, another fond blast from the past.  Now it's your turn.  Who are your favorite comedians, past or present?

You may also enjoy:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kate Middleton Has Something I Want ... Sleeves

H.R.H. Catherine Middleton can do no wrong.  Clearly, she would do well in life with or without a royal title.  Chalk it up to having a level head on her shoulders, as well as, a grounded family.  So far, there's only been mild scandal:  Her mother, Carole, whose ideas and mettle lead to the creation of Party Pieces, a muti-million-dollar family business, was seen chewing gum in public, and it made the English tabloids.  Shall we gasp together?  Oh, wait!  I chew gum in public too.  Recall.
Along with the rest of the world, I adore Kate's elegant style.  Whether dressing up or down, she's spot on lovely.  Brittany Spears is a beautiful girl, but I'd much rather look like Kate Middleton.  Sure she wears Alexander McQueen, but she's just as likely to buy an accessible garment right off the rack.  And by the way, she does buy her own clothes, plus recycles dresses for different occasions.

Her classic style catches my eye because for a few years now I've had trouble finding the details I like in a dress.  Why do all dresses today lack sleeves and have plunging necklines?  Am I the only woman left who doesn't want to show cleavage when not at the beach?  Kate and I haven't meet, but she seems to agree with me.  As it turns out, I mostly cling to my dresses of yesteryear, still hanging in my closets.  So designers, listen up.

Here are elements I'd like to see more of from dressmakers:
1) Just right hemlines – I can find minis (about 17 inches from the waist) or grannies (to the ankle).  But what I want is a length that is just above the knee.  About 20-22 inches from the waist is just right -- a hem length that's dressy and flattering on everybody, short or tall.  And, you can expose a little leg without worrying about sitting down.
2) Sleeves – Who decided to remove the sleeves on every dress in every store from Elie Tahari to H&M?!?  Have you noticed?  But!  Sleeves are fashionable and practical.  I can comfortably wear a dress in air conditioning as long as I have cap sleeves.  Otherwise, I need a sweater.
3) Princess neckline – A princess, or rounded neck is a classic.  The cut is pretty, feminine and versatile, allowing you to go from the office to a night out.  A square neck is a nice change, but with a plunging neck, you often need a camisole or t-shirt to layer it.  Why can't we keep it simple?  I'd like to buy a dress and let that be enough and complete.  No extra pieces to cover up.
4) Natural fibers – I look for cotton, silk and linen for the summer and wools for the winter.  Natural fibers breathe and last.

Perhaps Kate Middleton will kindly tell us where to shop for sleeves.  From all accounts, she is kind.  So Your Royal Highness … gobal girlfriendsome of us really want to know!  Call me.

You may also enjoy: 
Oscar Looks For Less
10 Wardrobe Pieces Every Woman Should Own 
10 Wardrobe Pieces Every Man Should Own
The Waiting Is The Hardest Part