Tuesday, November 13, 2007

There's nothing wrong with being a bit of a dandy

For an explanation of this alphabet theme, see my first NaBloPoMo post.

For the first time since I started this whole Encyclopedia game, I am at a bit of a loss. J... J... Lots of things start with J! Why are none of them resonating with me enough to write a post about them? I am sure that immediately after I click "Publish Post," I will think of something perfect and then slap my forehead in disbelief at the obviousness of it, but right now, all I can think is, "Jury duty?" "Aunt Jemima?" "Justice League?" People, I do not even know who exactly was in the Justice League. Clearly that is not a meaningful J entry for me. And if I am stuck on a letter as prevalent as J, what in the name of Aunt Jemima am I going to do when I get to Z? (Go Zebras! Love the stripes! Keep on keeping on!)

I was thinking about this earlier today, right before I read Noelle's latest entry. She talked about mailing a letter at the grand and historical Poughkeepsie Post Office whilst wearing a jaunty hat, and I smiled to myself and said, "I love the word jaunty." I do! I mean, it's an excellent enough word on its own, but even better is that if you visit the dictionary definition, every word and phrase associated with it is fun as well! Consider all of the examples...

  1. Easy and sprightly in manner or bearing (to walk with a jaunty step)
  2. Smartly trim, as clothing (a jaunty hat)
  3. Crisp and dapper in appearance; natty

Smartly trim! Natty! Sounds lovely and dignified, right? Although I am generally opposed to all things fake-British (see: Gwyneth Paltrow's accent), I do on occasion enjoy some quaint Olde-Tyme British speak. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my sisters and I for some reason adopted the code-phrase "Tea and Crumpets" whenever we'd sneak downstairs for a midnight snack. We never had tea, and I doubt I even knew what a crumpet was, but the phrase amused us no end. "Do you want some tea and crumpets?" one of us would ask. "Yes; let's go!" the other would reply. And we'd crawl out of bed and rush downstairs for cookies or cereal or whatever else was on hand. Sometimes we would stop in our little sister's room on the way down to invite her; other times we'd leave her out and then lord it over her the next day. "We had tea and crumpets without you!" we'd say, just to torture her pointlessly.

I can't explain any of this. But it's funny what can trigger a random memory to resurface.

Anyway, jaunty. Fun word, no doubt. But to describe me? Not so much. In fact, today in particular I was anything but jaunty. Every time I looked down at myself, I had to wonder (out loud, on more than one occasion) if I'd gotten dressed in the dark. It's not that I was mismatched, exactly, but something about all the components I'd assembled just didn't work collectively. I felt like the frumpy, tragically unhip older woman I'm sure I'm bound to be someday, but I'm not quite ready to be there yet.

So I guess I'm not jaunty, which leaves me still without a J word. How about I just list some other J words I am not? I think I like that plan instead.

I am not a jackal, a jaguar, Jack the Ripper, or Mick Jagger. I'm not Japanese or Jewish and I don't particularly like jazz. I've never been on Jeopardy (but Oh! I love that show! That maybe could've been my J word...), and I don't juggle (well) or practice Judo. I don't believe in jingoism and I've never played in a jug band. I wasn't born in June, and I'm not a junkyard dog. I don't particularly like the smell of jonquil.

(Yes, I did just get out my dictionary. Was it really that obvious?)


Anonymous said...

By Jove- that is adorable!

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the "Friends" where Joey gets the V encyclopedia. "So, what do you guys want to talk about? The vas deferens? The Vietnam War?"

But don't you love Jaul Judd and Jethan Jawke?

metalia said...

I'll have you know that I too love the word jaunty. :)

Stefanie said...

Monkey--By jove! That's another fun one. :-) I also like calling people Jeeves. (Well, I don't call people Jeeves... you know what I mean.)

Nabb--Ha. I totally remember that one. And you're right: I even prefer to call Paul Rudd "Josh" (because I like that name better and it was his name in Clueless), and Josh starts with J. Yay! :-) (I already blogged about that back on Paul's birthday, though.)

Metalia--And I'd venture to say YOU actually ARE jaunty, my dear!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy I inspired you to think jaunty! In turn, you have inspired me to be more jaunty! No more of this hobbling around on crutches! I'm going to wash my hair, and swagger around! Right after this nap.

-R- said...

Did you ever have a remarkable experience while making a jack-o-lantern? You could have written about H because he has a J.D. and does jiu jitsu. Although it would freak me out you included my husband in the encyclopedia of you.

steve said...

Jolly good! Some other J words that I find amusing (hopefully you might, too):

Jiffy, jovial, jacaranda, Jasper, jerky, jag, jetty, jocular.

Okay... back to my cave.

Anonymous said...

Jaunty is a great pick! Although I also would have enjoyed a post about a jug band, especially if you revealed that you were in one currently.

Aaron said...

You can always fall back on my favorite, "jackass".

Weird: I just posted a random image of a "Justice League" cover on my blog. The image came up when I did a search for "jive turkey". Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. Like I should join the Justice League.

lizgwiz said...

There's always "Jingle Bells." You could have reminisced fondly about dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, laughing all the way, HA HA HA! While wearing a jaunty hat.

Stefanie said...

Noelle--When you say swagger, I think of a pirate instead of a jaunty, smartly trim girl. Pirate is certainly another way to go... That could definitely be fun, too.

R--Plus, his name does not start with J, right?

Steve--Do you often find an opportunity to use the word jacaranda? What do you talk about with your friends??

NPW--I suppose I could have written about my favorite radio station, which is awesome nearly all day but a bit hit-or-miss in the mornings. I once read someone describe the morning show by saying "Too many jug bands." I suppose that would have been a stretch for a J entry, though...

Aaron--I actually had Jackass in the list of J words I am not, but I think I was a little worried someone might be a smartass and dispute me on it. Plus, I already had Jackal and Jack the Ripper in there, and I like to mix it up a bit. That would have been too many Jacks.

Liz--You know, I considered telling a story about "Jingle Bell Rock" (a song I do not like one bit but for some reason chose for a piano recital long, long ago). And then I completely forgot about it when I sat down to write last night.

L Sass said...

Jaunty is a great word. But Jeopardy! (exclamation point, mandatory) would have been a great topic. I should have written my "J" post about my love of Jeopardy!, my annoyance when anyone tries to speak to me during Jeopardy! and my preference for watching Jeopardy! on the treadmill. Not to mention my fury when (a) all of the treadmills are full at 6:57 pm, and I risk missing precious minutes of Jeopardy! (b) I turn on Jeopardy! and realize that it's a "kids" "teens" or "celebrity" themed episode, and many of the questions will be easier than regular Jeopardy! questions.

L Sass said...

BTW, one time I was on the treadmill and the category "Minnesota" came up and I almost died from excitement. Seriously, it was the best moment of my television-watching / treadmill-running life.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not a junkyard dog". I swear...I mean...I always love your posts but there's always just one line that makes me almost fall out of my chair laughing. And that was the one! :)

Stefanie said...

L Sass--Shame on me for neglecting to include the exclamation point. I am jealous that you get to watch Jeopardy! at your gym. The TV viewing options at my gym suck. Jeopardy would make the time go much faster. Also, I hate to admit it, but I love the teen version! I always know twice as many of the answers, and it makes me feel super smart. :-) So... how did you do with the Minnesota category?

Stacey--Thanks. :-) I'm a little surprised that word was actually in the dictionary!