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Prime time for fraternals…

I took some time off earlier this month and had a chance to catch up on some reading – fiction, non-fiction, and blogs (oh, my!).  Here’s a quick look at the highlights:


According to a leading entertainment trade publication, the AMC network has given the greenlight to a new series titled Lodge 49, which will be executive produced by Paul Giamatti.  The drama tells the story of Dud, an “aimless but affable ex-surfer” from Long Beach who joins a fraternal order following the death of his father.  According to an AMC spokesperson, “Lodge 49 is, at once, a show about a lovable loser, the idea that life can be magical if you look at it from the right angle, what it means to be on the fringe, and the importance of community.”  The AMC statement goes on to say that, The members of Lodge 49 will learn something from Dud’s casual lifestyle, while Dud will steep himself in the camaraderie and peculiar milieu of men’s clubs – including terribly embroidered nylon bomber jackets, fez fashion trends, charity fundraising, trade union collusion, and renting out function halls for wedding receptions.”  I don’t know if they are looking for cast members, script writers, or production consultants, but those interested might want to contact AMC immediately.  I smell a hit!

Recommended reading:

OJ: The Run of His Life oj– This is the book by Jeffrey Toobin that formed the basis of the recent television series.  I’ve never read any of the books on the horrific double murder or the televised trial that forever changed American jurisprudence, but I found this one particularly insightful and tightly written.  If you’ve forgotten many of the detail of the OJ story, this will refresh your memory.

altamontAltamont – It was intended to be the “West Coast Woodstock,” but the tragic events that unfurled in December 1969 on a dusty racetrack between San Francisco and the San Joaquin Valley was the beginning of the end of the 1960s.  A great little read.

A Gentleman in Moscowgentleman – An incredible novel and one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read in a very long time.  I literally could not put it down and did not want the story to end.  The author’s use of alliteration should be taught in every writing class in every high school and college in the U.S.  READ THIS BOOK!

To thine own self be true:

All of us probably remember struggling with “Romeo and Juliet” in junior high and high school.  And quite honestly, I was not a huge fan of Shakespeare until I saw “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” performed in Stratford-Upon-Avon almost 40 years ago.  Since that time, I make it a point to go to a performance of one of the Bard’s plays at least once a year.  And every time I do, I realize what an impact old Bill has had on our everyday language.  But it wasn’t until I came across this list that I understood the almost daily encounters we have with Shakespeare.  Take a look and let me know if there’s a day that goes by without you quoting him – directly or inadvertently…

What’s in a name:

And in closing, a bit of humor.  Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words.  Fair warning, a couple of these are a bit bawdy – but goodness knows they are funny.  And in the end, it’s much ado about nothing…

The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are
run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

The Washington Post’s Style Invitational also 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 this year’s winners:

1. 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.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

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

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

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

9. Karmageddon (n): its 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.

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

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

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

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

15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you’re eating.

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.


3 Responses

  1. Well done Joe … and you are actually at your very best when you take the role of storyteller, teacher, leader … that is what you should do and see what happens… now take it to video and audio too!


    Stan >

  2. Hilarious list! Number 16 is here to stay I’m sure.

  3. Here is a take on neologisms for Fraternal Benefit Societies:

    Regulation (v)—the feeling that occurs at the end of the State Examination

    Underwriting (v)—the only way to describe life insurance on Twitter

    Compliance (adj)—synonym for Sisyphus’s stone

    Fraternal (adj) – description of the length of most lodge meetings.

    Albeit (v)—how fraternals find volunteers

    Volunteer (n)—the emotional reaction to the realization that you did such a good job, you will have to run the event every year now.


    Go Tribe!

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