my own personal vocabulary

My Super Dictionary came yesterday!!!  Flipped through it; even more awesome than I imagined.  Apparently, it was written to teach kids 3,000 some odd words a study had discovered were most important for reading comprehension, which is pretty neat; I like that holders of superhero copyrights would be down with that idea.  It does have me and Howard talking like this though:

I am going to go upstairs and get changed.  I am going to go upstairs and put on different clothes.  I am going to feed the cat.  I am going to feed the small animal who sleeps on our pillows when we’re out for the day.

It also got me thinking about the words I use frequently, and how they are probably completely unnecessary for reading comprehension and probably not even close to the definitions that have a slim chance of appearing on standardized tests.  I thought about trying to make sentences with them, but then realized I had to define them within the context of my own life first or they would sound insane.  With no further ado, here is the first draft of my own personal vocabulary list:

Awesome: just say this 100% of the time.  It means all kinds of good, literally; usually in a way that is pleasing to the senses.

Bummer: pretty terrible, or maybe just really boring or inconvenient.

Charming: said sarcastically to indicate something is disgusting.

Crummy (alternatively pronounced “crum-by”): a little miserable, generally describing the weather or a DAY.

Heinous: really, really terrible.  Multiple repetitions = exponential increase in meaning.  Interestingly enough, prefixing “non” reverses the meaning; when this prefix is repeated multiple times, these repetitions cancel each other out logically but still serve to amplify the root word’s original meaning.  For example: “non-heinous” = really, really awesome.  “non-non-heinous” = really, really, really terrible.  “non-non-non-heinous” = really, really, really, really awesome.  You get it.

Hella: fuck you, imma say it!

Incredible: really awesome.

Or whatever: appended to every sentence in My So-Called Life that contains genuine sentiment.  Very convenient for making fun of yourself, making fun of the 90’s, or semi-retracting something you think you may later regret.

Rad: see “Hella.”  While “Hella” generally earns me shit for being from California (and why would I not wear that like a badge?), “Rad” generally earns me shit for being a “surfer.”  What?  Everything about surfer culture is cool!  That is like the DEFINITION of surfer culture!

Space shot: space case.

Stellar: really, really awesome.

Super: ADVERB ONLY.  Serves to exponentially increase the power of adjectives.  Not to be used alliteratively.

Twist: someone who drives terribly, or too slowly.

Yuck: self-explanatory, just resurrected from preschool.

Maybe sentences later, if I can find some cool pics.

no horses were actually evacuated

Note: I should have posted about this on Friday instead of what I did post, but I have a thing about chronology. Like tricking boys into marrying the eldest daughter first.

I woke up on Friday to news of an earthquake and maybe nuclear disaster in Japan and tsunamis in Hawaii and California. Actually, since we don’t have time to check any news outlets on the way out in the morning, Howard turned around and told me about it on the train. I tried calling my grandparents to see if they had heard anything about my uncle, who lives in an evacuation zone on Honolulu, and texted my mom and family friend who has horses in Pacifica.

In the hours between knowing about these disasters and learning that everyone was okay, I felt an actual physical pain in not knowing. I paced back and forth between the computer, where I was watching Al Jazeera’s coverage of Japan + Hawaii, and the bathroom where I mostly blew my nose and washed my hands. Also, I tweeted a lot; in my panic, I think I maybe thought I could serve as an information source. I do know I felt very strongly that by thinking publicly about the people I was worried about, I could somehow make them be okay, and I felt very angry at things that showed up in my feed that weren’t about disaster, or were at least slightly lighthearted; they felt dangerously self-indulgent to me, like wasting a finite amount of good luck when my family needed it.

Later, my grandmother called to say Uncle Paulie had called and everyone, dog included, were with friends on high ground, had I heard from my mom? I had, via the following text exchange:

Me: Hey – just checking in on the natural disaster situation. Wanted to make sure everything/everyone is ok. Love you!
Mom: Everything’s fine. What natural disaster?

Stopped worrying about the horses immediately.

So everyone is ok, and I’m back to listening to the This American Life archives and tweeting about myself. But there’s still a kind of solemnity hanging around; I saw a rainbow on Friday afternoon and felt like it was a sign that everything was ok, but then listened to a japanophile flip out on the train and felt terrible about my own self-indulgence.