Writer's Words, page 8


Near the end of that movie classic “The Wizard of Oz”, the wizard stands in the gondola of a hot-air balloon and bids farewell to the people of the Emerald City. He is embarking on a journey, he explains, “to confer, converse, and otherwise hobnob with my brother wizards.”
What's in an Economic Forum? Visitors, Police and Protests By Dan Barry. The New York Times. Source
hobnob = To drink familiarly; To associate familiarly.


Dave Wahl, an art director for Ogilvy & Mather advertising in Los Angeles, seems equally resigned to traipsing outside his office building whenever he wants a few puffs. “You can't deny it's a dirty habit,” he says. “If someone wants to smoke, they should be forced outside.”
The Butt Stops Here By Christopher John Farley. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980572-4,00.html On smoking ban in California.


…which was located in an unprepossessing brownstone at that address.
unprepossessing = creating an unfavorable or neutral first impression


If Sun was a sumo wrestler, then NeXT was a runty kid barely tall enough to kick it in the shins.
Probably: “Steve Jobs & the Next Big Thing” (1993) by Randall E Stross. A book on NeXT Computer Inc.
runt = Any animal which is unusually small, as compared with others of its kind. Runty = well below average height.


…the company [Sun Microsystems] was perfectly positioned to sustain its vertiginous rate of growth.
Possibly: “Steve Jobs & the Next Big Thing” (1993) by Randall E Stross. A book on NeXT Computer Inc.
Turning round; whirling; rotary; revolving. Affected with vertigo; giddy; dizzy.


In an era in which so much political art borders on the bombastic, Maya Lin's sculptures speak quietly but always evocatively, reminding Americans of their common bonds.


I am an old ASCII fogey, and don't use CIM.
CompuServer poster m.j.vasko
ASCII is a computer encoding, here means plain text. CIM stands for CompuServe Info Manager (≈1994), which CompuServe's then new software using Graphical User Interface (somewhat like today's web browser). CompuServe is a online service predating internet's popularity.
fogey = fogy = A dull old fellow; a person behind the times, over-conservative, or slow.


…amply supported by the public's craving for the latest swill.
End of the Winter's Tale By Martha Duffy. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980264,00.html A essay on Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding incident.
swill = wet feed for pigs.


Handsomely scruffy, beguilingly elliptical Jordan Catalano is familiar to legions of smart teenage girls. Playing Jordan, the obsession of Angela Chase on ABC's acclaimed drama, My So-Called Life, Jared Leto has become a heartthrob.
The Boy Girls Hate to Love By Ginia Bellafante. Time Mag.
Jared Leto is a actor, playing Jordan Catalano in the TV teen drama My So-Called Life (1994).
scruffy = shabby and untidy.
elliptical = leaving out information essential to comprehension; obscure or ambiguous.


There's the rub: The sexual encounter between Douglas and Moore teeters on the brink of risibility.
Probably Time Mag review on Disclosure (film).
risibility = laughable.


As a COBOL programer in good standing, I take umbrage with your remarks about languages other than C.
umbrage = The feeling of being overshadowed; hence, suspicion of injury or wrong; offense; resentment.


SAM ROTHSTEIN (ROBERT DE NIRO) favors sports jackets in blinding solids — sometimes in the primary hues, sometimes in less-than-subtle pastels. These he color-coordinates with silky haberdashery and alligator loafers dyed to match. But underneath his sight-gag plumage lives a gray, watchful, calculating spirit. He's a professional gambler, always looking for an edge. Or, once the Mob makes him manager of a Las Vegas casino in the 1970s, the preternaturally alert defender of its edge over the assembled suckers.
High Stakes By Richard Schickel. Time Mag. Review of the movie Casino (1995).
Haberdasher = A dealer in items of men's clothing, such as hats, gloves, neckties, etc.


I am furious at Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania's career-senator. He's played the game so long he's forgotten the goal. He thinks his job is to stay in his job. He's a toady and he'll do anything for the GOP. Need a Republican to repeal the laws of physics? Get Arlen.
Time Mag?


They [vampires] are enslaved by bloodlust: every night a little death. They lean into the victim's necks and give them the hickey from hell, the infernal overbite — the kiss that bleeds.
Toothless By Richard Corliss. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981862,00.html Review on movie “Interview with the Vampire”.


A generous retirement package helped persuade Lee to leave his comfortable sinecure in Berkeley [as a professor] and take on the challenge of leading Academia Sinica [in Taiwan].
Tigers in the Lab By J Madeleine Nash/Taipei. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981858-2,00.html On Yuan T. Lee, a Nobel Prize chemist.
sinecure = Any office or position which requires or involves little or no responsibility, labor, or active service.


Jack Barry, host of Twenty-One, rehearses to himself before the show like some hammy dinner-theater thespian.
Why Quiz Show Is a Scandal By Richard Zoglin. Time mag. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981600,00.html Review of the movie Quiz Show.
thespian = a theatrical performer. Pertaining to Thespis — said to be the first actor.
hammy = affectedly dramatic; overacted.


BoingBoing reports that digerati loser R.U. Sirius is now writing interview material for one of those nutritional supplement marketers.

It's perfect when you think about it. The self-promoting, fuzzy-minded bullshit that the Wired Magazine generation laps up, all in one package: bad science, cheap new age philosophy, hucksterism, logrolling, and greed. Now in a familiar form known as “vitamin fraud”.

I await their announcement that spamming is a new form of blogging, to be called “splogging” no doubt.
logrolling = act of exchanging favors for mutual gain; especially in politics. Originally the word is used among loggers of rolling logs to stream which floats to sawmill or market. See also: Logrolling.
huckster = A dealer in small articles, or in petty bargains; a seller of shoddy goods; peddler, monger.


…the two were instantly captivated with each other when they met at a party in 1986 and subsequently engaged in sleep-overs at the princess's [palace]…
Time Mag? 1990s? About princess Diana.
captivate = To attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence. (AHD)


“He will say and do anything to get elected.” — Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Tom Scott on his opponent John Rowland.
(More) Secrets of Highly Paid Campaign Consultants Revealed! It's Not Hard to Figure Out What Candidates Are Being Told to Say Time mag. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981731,00.html


Doglegs of decrepitude: John Updike's fine new book of stories looks at boys grown old.
Time mag caption , on John Updike's book.
dogleg = angle that resembles the hind leg of a dog.
decrepitude = The broken state produced by decay and the infirmities of age; infirm old age.
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