Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Legend of G'nay

In the Idiosyncratic Ways of the Family Shep Department:

Dadoo Shep is the king of the verbal tic. He has a habit of latching on to a nonsequitur and repeating it ad nauseum until it becomes white noise to us. Which is confusing to new visitors to the Shep Chateau, but we'd like to think of it as part of the screening process (see also: enthusiasm for backyard songbirds, punctuality at cocktail hour, tolerance of pets that hump things in mixed company). Previous Dadooisms have included "Har" (like a pirate) and "Goddamn right!"

[editor's note: I don't usually edit after the fact, but if I left out "Ah yes, the munchy nuggets!" and "Right you are, Ken," I'd never forgive myself.]

Dadoo was in 'Nam, by the way. I'm just throwing that out there. He can kick your ass.

Anyway, his latest favorite, new for 2010, is "G'nay."

Rhymes with the Australian greeting "g'day." Only not. It's meaning is a bit profane. Suffice to say it's an abbreviation of a two-word phrase consisting of a verb and a vowel, especially popular in the northeastern U.S., especially in Eagles bars. I looked it up on the Internet, and can't find many documented uses of it. Which makes it fairly special.

And have I stopped saying it in the month since Christmas? No, no I have not. I also find it makes a wonderful Twitter hashtag. #gnay

When to apply it? Whenever you damn well please. To whit:

"Can you hand me the fish sauce?" "G'nay!"
"I think I have a polyp." "G'nay, dude."
"I'm pregnant." "G'nay?"

See? It's so versatile! Try it! You'll love it! Guh. Nay.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Conan and the Revenge of the Nerds

Let's be clear. I know there are more important things going on. I have friends helping out on the ground in Haiti. I'm up to my elbows in Gitmo at work. I've made my donations, am doing my part, and am something of a connoisseur of all things Terrible, Awful, and Serious.

That being said, let's discuss Conan for a just a minute.

In my teenage years, my heroes weren't rock stars or politicians. They were odd, brainy, bizarre comedians. Chief among those were the geniuses behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Conan O'Brien. I would tape his shows every night and watch them every day before doing my homework. I saw him live seven times. While other girls read Seventeen and obsessed over Dawson's Creek, I devoured Entertainment Weekly and New York magazine articles on Conan's improbable rise to fame. There was just something about the story of a bookish redheaded misfit done good that spoke to me. Go figure.

So even though I'm a grown-up now, and I haven't been watching quite as regularly, I've been a wee bit emotionally invested in the late night debacle at NBC. I'm of the opinion that Conan got screwed, and while I know this is not life-and-death stuff, it kinda shatters the fable of my youth. Be smart, work hard, do good...get hurt anyway. Not gonna lie, people, I took it an eensy bit personally.

But Conan's farewell speech was a master stroke. Classy, sincere, emotional and optimistic. It's worth five minutes of your time, so I'll post it below. I was particularly struck by his line, "If you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen." Hey, it's not Shakespeare. It ain't even Oprah. But it was simple and true, and a lovely example of grace under fire. Well-played, Conan. Hope to see you soon.

And well done on that $45 million payout, playa. NERDS!! NERDS!! NERDS!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

NYC: Toldyaso

"It is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal. Its politics are used to frighten children. Its traffic is madness. Its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it - once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no other place is good enough." -- John Steinbeck


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

DC: Toldyaso

"It was a 'wild' town, as are all American towns, with the possible exception of Washington, D.C., which is neither wild nor domesticated, but is dying of boredom and captivity in the cage of radiating avenues in which L'Enfant enclosed it." -- Claude Levi-Strauss

I know, right?