Monday, November 16, 2009

Just for Fun

Here is the Washington Post’s NOT Mensa (see below) Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

"Mensa Invitational" debunked

A Washington Post humor column titled "The Style Invitational" runs a series of popular contests, some of which since 1998 have featured taking any word; adding, subtracting or changing one letter; and creating a new word as well as its definition. As you would expect, many of the entries are clever and relevant — which is probably why someone who is now lost to the mists of time grabbed an early set of winners, changed the title to include a reference to Mensa, and sent it floating out into the Internet ether.

The revised "article" continues to circulate to this day on various Web sites, blogs and social networking sites, as well as in email. Looking at the results of the Week 278 Style Invitational, you'll see that many of the original responses mirror the list of words on the purported "Mensa Invitational" — including "intaxication," "bozone," "foreploy" and "glibido." Since 2005 or earlier, the "Mensa Invitational" has been suspected to be a hoax but no confirmation has ever been made prior to this. So we're here to debunk this urban legend.

American Mensa, nor any other Mensa entity, has ever been affiliated with the Washington Post's "Style Invitational" column and/or its contests, to the best of our knowledge. It wouldn't surprise us if many of our members have entered the contests — and perhaps even have won — but that would be the limit of the interaction.

Because we appreciate their humor, we encourage the enthusiastic wordsmiths who continue to send American Mensa their new words and definitions to become members of the online Washington Post and participate to the fullest. At the same time, we also heartily encourage them to consider joining American Mensa! We think they'd be at home here.

American Mensa

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guest Author, LK Hunsaker

Today's Guest is LK Hunsaker, fellow Bookspa member and Classic Romance Revival author. She's doing a whirlwind blog tour this month, so be sure to stop and see what she has to say at each spot! Welcome, LK!

Behind The Scenes: An Army Brat

Hi Liana! It’s great to be here on your blog! Since it’s Veteran’s Day here in the States and since I’ve enjoyed your talks about balance and wellness, I thought I’d incorporate those today.

Let’s start with a quick excerpt from Off The Moon. Here, Ryan is visiting his brother and is followed by a photographer looking for private moments. (slightly edited to maintain PG rating):

Ryan sighed. “I’m really sorry about this.”

“Not your fault.” Will called the dog back and stroked her to help her calm.

“How is it not my fault?”

His brother shrugged as though photographers hanging around his backyard was an everyday occurrence. “It’s your right to do the job you love. Not your fault the country is star crazy.”

“Not like I haven’t tried to feed into it, though. You know how much time and energy goes into feeding it? To grab as much limelight as possible to help sales? Part of me gets angry when they badger me like this, but then, I’ve never minded when it pay the bills.”

“Part of the job. We all have the right to support our careers. And don’t think I’ve always felt that way. I’ve had my share of being ticked off at the invasion into our lives because of it, but it’s not like we’re not used to being affected so much by a career. We grew up that way. More than most can understand.”

Ryan couldn’t argue that. Growing up a military brat and having to move every couple of years to wherever the Army said, like it or not, leaving friends behind, never with extended family around, hearing all of the political ramblers argue whether their parents were heroes or villains without knowing them and with no idea why they chose that life or what it was actually like on the inside … they were both well used to living on the outskirts of regular society instead of within it.

“You escaped it, though, decided to blend in. My choice shouldn’t affect you and your family.” He kept his eyes in the distance, in case the photographer decided to return.

“It’s not ever possible to not affect those around you with your choices. You know that. And you balance it well – your need with ours.

Although he’s known as self-centered and self-serving, Ryan grew up with military parents. He thinks of his life as growing up on the “outskirts of regular society” and it affects his overall outlook. Part of him resents the moving and he blames his lack of attachment on protecting himself. On the other hand, he has a lot of respect for his parents and the way they taught him to follow rules and to do chores and be a real part of maintaining the household.

He spends his days doing what he can to grab attention and to perpetuate the rebellious independent wild child image for his career and even tells himself that’s what he is. However, his roots nag at him. During his rebellion and the crazy stunts, the side of him that’s more down-to-earth and family oriented helps to keep him balanced so he doesn’t go too far over the edge. He also does what he can to keep it from bothering his family, and his family in turn, helps to protect his privacy and gives him shelter from the craziness of his job.

I enjoyed playing with the idea of balancing “selfish pop star” with “serving military family.” Anyone who is or has been military or knows service members and their families well knows that “selfish” is the antithesis of what being military means. Although in recent years there has been a surge of support for the military, for too many years before that, they were severely underappreciated and even dealt with a lot of spite. Some sectors of civilian population still treat them that way. The true story of the school child during the first year of the Iraq war who had to sit in class and listen to his teacher talk about how anyone fighting there was “evil” haunted me. It still does. That’s where the hero or villain bit of this excerpt came about.

Ryan is haunted, also, by taunts he heard from the civilian sector as a child. He has trouble relating to anyone outside his career or outside military life because he’s never been part of anything else. His career both avoids and embraces his “outskirts” raising. Being a pop star keeps him outside regular society and he’s comfortable there. Many sides of Ryan conflict, appear to be opposites, but looking close enough, it’s a parallel to military life: fighting for peace, separating from those you love to protect those you don’t know, vulnerability that creates strength and vice versa. It also balances him so well, he’s able to adapt to whatever situation he’s faced with, no matter how hard it is on him, physically and mentally.

My thoughts and best wishes go out this Veteran’s Day and always to all service members past and present and to their loved ones.

As an aside, if you know a deployed service member who likes to read and has an Ereader of some kind, refer him or her to Operation Ebook Drop: Indie authors donating books to those deployed!

Buy Link for Off the Moon preorders:

Find my website for more info, plus a free download of the beginnings of each of my novels:

Also, be sure to check my blog this month for Off The Moon related interviews.

Off The Moon
LK Hunsaker

"Riveting" Ryan Reynauld is immersed in a world of music, parties, and temporary companionship. Having risen to the top of the pop charts, his biggest concern is objecting to the way his music is produced. That is, until he finds a young woman standing on a window ledge. Against the advice of family and friends, and through media attacks and fan protests, Ryan determines to care for her himself, making a promise that threatens to destroy his career.

Convincing the skittish girl she can learn to trust again comes with a steep price. Sometimes the path to recovery begins by allowing your world to implode.

Elucidate Publishing
November 2009
Print ISBN 978-0-9825299-0-4
Ebook ISBN 978-0-9825299-1-1

Thanks for having me today, Liana!

Next up: Celebrities: Truth vs. Hype, hosted by Nancy O’Berry, Nov. 13

The full tour itinerary is available here.

Don't forget to leave your comments! One person from each blog will be drawn to receive a signed, mailed copy of the short story LK has written as a bit of a prequel to Off The Moon, called Toward The Sky, plus there will be a signed print book drawing for anyone who comments on at least 8 blogs!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday's Inspirational Quote

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. ~Lin Yutang

Keeping it simple again. We're still recovering from the swine flu. I was blessed enough to be bypassed, but have this nasty cough and drainage thing going on, so I'm going to leave a lot of things undone today and just drink lots of fluids and rest.

Have a wonderful week.