Thursday, October 22, 2009

FF: casse-cou

Fun Fact (FF) o' the Day: The french word for daredevil is "casse-cou", which literally translates to "break neck". Fun times!

PS: Don’t even try to ignore the adoreableness of this koala. Don’t you dare!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Say cheese!

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I thought of the phrase "say cheese" and wondered who coined it. I still have no idea, but I wanted to share how brilliant I think this idea was. The entire word causes you to form a smile-like look with your mouth. Che-es-e. Totally brillz! I wondered what word would be used to produce this same effect in French. Valise? The "va" part doesn't really jibe. Cheese in French is "frommage", which certainly doesn't produce a smiley face while being said. I consulted my favorite oracle, Wikipedia, on this important subject and found some goodies.
Say "cheese" is an instruction used by photographers who want their subject to smile. By saying "cheese", most people form their mouths into what appears to be a smile-like shape. Additionally, the absurdity of saying "cheese" for no apparent reason can incite glee in some people. (INCITES GLEE!!! Hilarious!)

In other cultures
Perhaps due to strong Western influence, especially in the realm of photography, and perhaps due to increased numbers of Western visitors after photographic equipment became widely available, the phrase "Say cheese" has also entered into the Japanese language. However, the word "say" is almost always dropped from the phrase, resulting in the phrase simply being "Cheese." This is usually pronounced in Japanese (and written in katakana) as "chiizu".

Other languages have adopted this method, albeit with different words that sound similar to cheese to get the desired effect of shaping the mouth to form a smile.

In China, the word used is 茄子 (qie2zi), meaning "eggplant."
In Korea, one says "kimchi."
In France and other French-speaking countries, the word "ouistiti," meaning marmoset, is often used.
In most Latin American countries, the phrase used is "Diga 'whiskey'" ("Say 'whiskey'").
In Spain, the usual word is "patata" ("potato").
In Brazil the phrase is "Olha o passarinho" ("Look at the little bird") or "Digam 'X'" ("Say 'X'").
In Denmark, "Sig 'appelsin'", meaning "Say 'orange'" is often used.
In Sweden, "Säg 'omelett'", meaning "Say 'omelette'" is often used.
In Finland, "Muikku" is the word often used by photographers to make people smile.
In Thailand, "Pepsi" meaning same a popular soft drink produces is often used.
In Japan, "Sei, No..." meaning "1 and 2" is often used.
In Germany, food-related words like "Spaghetti" , "Käsekuchen" (cheesecake) or "Schwanz" are used, mainly to make children laugh for the picture

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Twenties Girl: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella

Twenties Girl: A Novel Twenties Girl: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Just as I can count on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson for a laugh, I can count on Sophie Kinsella for a sweet book with a happy ending. This was a cheerful little cupcake of a book and I enjoyed it to the last morsel. This type of novel isn't life-changing, but it sure is mood-changing when you could use a little positive boost! I had to stop myself today from emailing someone at work to let them know I'd "rung up" so-and-so, or that so-and-so "pitched up" at my desk. The British colloquialisms used in her books are infectious and adorable.

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Happy 1 Year Anniversary, JCB!

Here are just a few things I love about you, in no particular order:
1.) Your hearty guffaw
2.) Your willingness (er...suggestion) to wear bright yellow stuffed crabs to a hockey game.
3.) The fact that after spending most of the day helping me move, you then went to the store and brought back a bag of essentials like paper towels, TP, cream, sugar, etc.
4.) You were handicapping horses at age 5.
5.) Your excitement when I use Splenda.
6.) Your wonderful listening ear and the great advice you give.
7.) Our mutual love of "whopping cranes". Not to be confused with whooping cranes.
8.) Your love of Candice Olsen's designs.
9.) Your loathing of work cakes.
10.) Your love of both Neil Diamond and Metallica.
11.) Your super crunchy smile.
12.) Your generosity and kindness.
13.) The fact that you chop onions for me so I don't have to cry over vegetable emissions.
14.) When you showed up with a rotisserie chicken when I'd had a bad day.
15.) Your verbalocity!
16.) Your honesty.
17.) Your ability to analyze hockey footage and stats that scare even Bill Tiller.
18.) Code Mayo!

Here's to another year of fun and love, sweets!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Humble Pie by Gordon Ramsay

Humble Pie Humble Pie by Gordon Ramsay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
We listened to this book on the way to Ocean Isle Beach, NC for a wedding and it was the perfect thing for a 5 hour drive! I learned so much about Chef Ramsay; from his unstable childhood and unsuccessful career as a “footballer” to his early days busting his hump in the culinary world he would one day be a major player in. It was wonderful hearing his book read by him; his voice is very enjoyable and the smattering of unique curses and English idioms really kept me on my toes (and enlightened me to some great expletive combinations)! I really liked him before this book, but now I have an even deeper respect and admiration for him as a chef, a businessman and a person.

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