I have been swept up in plans to move at the end of this month to that great city, Chicago, so I have barely gotten through the ac’s of the Dictionary in my yearlong effort to read this 1550-page tome (not counting the essays at the beginning, which are in roman numerals, but count for 50 additional pages). In the first nine days of my journey, I have made it only to the (pathetic) ninth page. Nevertheless, here are some highlights:

Abdominous

I’ve learned an excellent way to call someone fat without them knowing: refer to them as “abdominous.” Now doesn’t that sound like it just might be a compliment? “Afternoon, Carlson. You’re looking supremely abdominous today.” Nope. It means potbellied. (Italicized side-note: why is WordPress underlining “abdominous” like it’s not a word? It’s in the dictionary, people! Come to think of it, why is WordPress underlining its own name? What kind of a company is this??)

Abecedarian

I was surprised to learn that this word has Latin roots, and was not, in fact, made up like I thought.

In reading the essays, I learned something I can’t believe I never thought about: how old the English language is. I don’t know why, but I always thought it was relatively modern. Nope. Turns out English dates back to 8 A.D. 8 A.D. Jesus Christ, that is old. Here is a joke in Ye Olde English: “Sum mon him pantode wingeard and betynde hine ond dealf anne seath and getimbrode…” I’m just kidding, that’s not a joke (it’s Mark 12:1). Apparently, they had a very rich vocabulary. Yes, so do I. I regularly pepper my conversations with “betynde” and “getimbrode.”

Abednego

Number 1 on my List of Names That Shan’t Be Considered When/If I Have a Kid, or LONTSBCWIHAK (pronounced lonts-back-wee-hack). Abednego’s brothers got off scantly better with Meshach and Shadrach.

Abfarad

Okay, people, if you’re at home thinking, “Morgan is a lazy bum, she certainly should be past page nine,” let me present you with the definition for “abfarad”:

A centimeter-gram-second electromagnetic unit of capacitance, equal to the capacitance of a capacitor having a charge of one abcoulomb and a potential difference of one abvolt. It is equal to one billion (10⁹) farads.

Okay, yeah, got it.

Absquatulate

Now, that just sounds like a sound effect. Like the sound you get when you squish a particularly large fly, or a mosquito that has been having too much You cocktail. It actually is slang for “to move off hastily; depart quickly and secretively to avoid apprehension.” Not a sound effect, but still a nice word.

 

Welcome to 2011! I rang in the new year with my best friends, doing one of my favorite things (dancing). The first time I wrote the year was on the time-log sheet at work–had to be in at 9AM (ack).

Last year, I resolved to make more mistakes. If I wanted to do something that I anticipated judgment about, I did it anyway. If I wanted to do something and didn’t think it’d go over well, I did it anyway. This year, in a similar vein, is my Year of the Gut; I want to listen to my gut and act on it, untainted by the opinions and influence of others (including my logical brain). I must listen to myself.

Also, I am currently finishing The Know It All by A. J. Jacobs, a memoir written by a man as he read the Encyclopaedia Britannica. I have always been a lover of books and of expanding my knowledge, so this challenge inspired me. For now, I aim to read the dictionary (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1981, if anyone cares). Then, when I begin haunting the Chicago Public Library, I plan to tackle the Britannica.

My last resolution is part of WordPress’ push to help users blog more often. I am aiming to blog at least once a week. If you want to participate check this out and let me know we’re in this together!

I am extremely excited about the prospects of 2011. Here’s to all the best; may you be profitable, successful, and live a life you’re proud to look back on.

Perhaps this will become a series.

I eat raw food. In my mind, I eat 100% raw and living foods, but it never adds up that way (and it needn’t). The main reason I eat raw food is probably the main piece of advice I now perpetuate: it just feels right. So much of our culture and society encourages a complete disregard for human nature, our instincts, our bodily functions, and our “guts”. For instance, if you think about it, why does our hair get greasy? Is that a question you’ve ever asked yourself? I’ll write more on this later, but the answer is: so you don’t have to have a hair care routine, essentially. Have you ever seen an ape use shampoo? Our bodies do such a phenomenal job of keeping us healthy that it’s appalling how much we refute them.

Now, this advice, “do what feels right,” can get a little hairy; it only applies to certain people. By “certain people,” I mean “those who are clean.” Most people in this country are, symbolically, “wearing earmuffs” over their sense of what’s right for them. These earmuffs are a result of upbringing, culture, our friends and family, the media, stress, and so many other factors. If you are wearing the earmuffs and listen to what your body’s telling you to do, it will probably tell you, “Sit on your ass, but not before brewing some Easy Mac and grabbing a cookie.” It’s pretty obvious that our clean, un-earmuffed ancestors never would have heard their bodies saying such things.

As I see it, there are two approaches to taking off the earmuffs and getting clean. One is fast but intense, the other is more gradual. The first “fast” option is a cleanse. You can pick up a whole-body cleansing kit at a natural foods store (make sure you talk to someone there who’s knowledgeable), or research reputable cleanses (again, check this out with knowledgeable people). I know a lot of people use the Master Cleanse. I used the second option:

Eating an all-raw diet puts your body into a constant mode of detoxification. Doesn’t that sound nice? Your body has always got the bad stuff on the move, rather than letting The Yuck sit in your body and fester. All I did was a full-on switch to raw food. I’ll tell you: I was a little loony for a few days. Before the switch, I used to eat a lot, and often. Raw food is so nutrient-dense that, after the switch, I would get my requirements from a small amount of food, but my body would keep telling me I was hungry. I’d drink water to stave off the pangs, and I will tell you there was not one hint of yellow in my pee. I was hydrated as all get-out, I had just eaten, and yet my body kept telling me to eat. After a few days, my body learned and got over sugar cravings, excess-food cravings, and my intense eating schedule.

I know that we all have things going on, we’re all busy, we’re all stressed out, but if you really want to detoxify, you’re going to have to do something that will seem extreme. A raw food diet in itself is already far from how most Americans eat. But listen: all you can do is try. Every person is different and needs a different diet. Try this out, and if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. I’m confident that if you get your body clean and you listen, you will know what to do. That does not mean your body will tell you, “Eat only alfalfa sprouts and kale the rest of your life.” But it might.

In conclusion, I Eat Raw Because my body told me to.

When I got a website last summer, I did my research (or so I thought). I looked into guaranteed uptime, and all those numerous factors I’ve completely forgotten about since. I thought I had found a good solution to my needs when I found DreamHost.

Positivity before negativity: I never had space issues–I was always able to put up whatever I wanted. Mostly, I love their selection of “one-click installs;” that is how I came by running my site on WordPress. DreamHost makes available many more themes and options than a regular for-free WordPress user. I was able to create a site easily that got tons of compliments. The customer service is prompt and, up until recently, was always able to help and/or solve the problem.
Now for the bad: as I said in my previous post, I began having unexplained technical problems with my site at least three weeks ago. First, I noticed I wasn’t able to get onto my site from my laptop–the connection would time out. After a quick survey of my friends, I learned that some of them could access it and some couldn’t. There didn’t seem to be any consistencies from browser to browser and operating system to operating system. One by one, pages began disappearing, and where I had been able to access my site from a different computer in the house, I was no longer able to. It gets weirder: this whole time, I wasn’t able to get onto DreamHost’s user panel, nor my WordPress log-in for my site. The one thing that remains functional is my email, though I won’t have that once I switch hosts.

Throughout this shenanigan, customer service was entirely unhelpful. They consistently left some questions unanswered, and the ones they did answer garnered the same solutions over and over, despite my saying I had tried them already and they hadn’t worked.

All in all, I felt very disrespected by DreamHost. They didn’t acknowledge my complaints, and what they did recognize was entirely unhelpful. DreamHost offers a great package of stats, programs, installs, etc., but the people are an even bigger part of the experience. If there isn’t a team behind my site on whom I can rely, what good is the service?

UPDATE: I did write to DreamHost about the whole fandango, and was refunded for two months. Best to leave on a positive note.

My website mysteriously began having problems a few weeks ago. First, I wasn’t able to access it from my computer. Then, pages began disappearing. I wasn’t able to access my host’s website, either. Now, the website is completely unavailable. That is why I have switched to a WordPress-hosted site, as least for now. I will be posting a review of my time with DreamHost. I’m just glad to be back on the ‘net!

Good morning (as it is indeed still morning at the time of writing this) and happy new year! I am sitting on the train, travelling from Midway Airport to my apartment via the Roosevelt stop in the Loop (that’s one transfer and 75 minutes of travel at least. When you consider how heavy my bag is, it’s bound to be more).

Welcome to 2010. The new year is bright and shiny, and, though the “new decade” is a misnomer, I like the fact that we’re out of the Aughties and into concisely-named years like “twenty-ten” (though “twenty-eleven” could use some work).

I’d like to thank 2009. It was a good year full of many ups and downs. I keep hearing how different people interpret the journey of  life–whether it’s God, karma, “things happen for a reason”, fate and destiny. I’ve thought about all those things a lot and applied them all to my life at some point or another like a printed overlay. The conclusion I’ve come to is that I don’t believe any of it. The thought that one great idea rules everything makes absolutely no sense to me. I can’t justify the occurrences of my life by attributing them to a higher being or by trusting the positive and negative energies of the universe. I don’t believe any of it, and I’ve realized I’m okay with that. I don’t know if I’m at a peak in my life or if I’m just starting the climb, but I don’t care. It doesn’t make me live my life any differently one way or the other. A life line isn’t composed of graceful curves, rises and descents; it’s more like what a three-year-old would scrawl on the wallpaper with a crayon.

As I flew into Chicago, I briefly thought something was wrong with my vision. Snow (nature’s “Wite Out”), combined with industrialization created a two-tone cityscape. A tiny percentage of snow on the ground is actually left over from the first snow in October. I’m trying to come at this season from an intelligent angle: I’ve been actively weather training, and I’ve been setting my expectations for the weather pretty low. I can’t say I’ve been disappointed yet, but the winter has only just begun. Today was the first time the cold hurt–not the wind, there was no wind–so I’m a little concerned. I’m determined to beat this.

Anyway, I’m back in Chicago and classes start the 4th. Welcome to 2010!

I thought this word was great. It means an ordinary person of no consequence.

Thanks to Frances, I am now addicted to the game, Word Bubbles. There are three rounds to each game. Each round, you are given three letters and then you must think of words that begin with those three letters. It’s a lot of fun! The whole website is pretty cool, actually.

I’ve really missed blogging. But I’m in hiding. That’s why I haven’t been around. I have been avoiding people of the ‘net because I want them to forget I exist. Unfortunately, that hasn’t succeeded because they keep asking me for more.

In order to get away from the ‘net people, I made a new blog as I am sure you’ve gathered. I spent a great part of my day collecting beautiful words trying to find a nice title for this blog. The word “gambol” is one that I really think describes me:

[courtesy of the dictionary on my Mac]

gambol \GAM-buhl\, intransitive verb:

1. To dance and skip about in play; to frolic.
2. A skipping or leaping about in frolic.

I came across some other wonders that I think I shall endeavor to share with you. Anyway, I started writing this two days ago and, though it is not the post I had hoped to write, I’m going to post it anyway so I can bloody get started!

Sensationally,

Yours