Friday, April 30, 2010

from Leonardo

"A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light."

~ Leonardo da Vinci ~

Monday, April 26, 2010

word of the day :: rapscallion

[rap-skal-yuh n]

a rascal; rogue; scamp.
1690-1700; earlier rascallion, based on rascal
"All kings is mostly rapscallions."
 :: Mark Twain ::

* Definition from

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

from Marcus

"A room without books is like a body without a soul."

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero ~ 

Monday, April 19, 2010

word of the day :: festoon


1. a string or chain of flowers, foliage, ribbon, etc., suspended in a curve between two points.
2. a decorative representation of this, as in architectural work or on pottery.
3. a fabric suspended, draped, and bound at intervals to form graceful loops or scalloped folds.
4. Dentistry. the garland-like area of the gums surrounding the necks of the teeth.

-verb (used with object)
5. to adorn with or as with festoons: to festoon a hall.
6. to form into festoons: to festoon flowers and leaves.
7. Dentistry. to reproduce natural gum patterns around the teeth or a denture.
8. to connect by festoons.

1670-80; < F feston < It festone decoration for a feast, deriv. of festa festa
"Most humans feel the transcendent temptation, the emotional drive to festoon the universe with large-scale meaning."
 :: Paul Kurtz ::
* Definition from

Friday, April 16, 2010

from Ralph

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! A national celebration of poetry and its place in American culture.

The Academy of American Poets has posted 30 Ways to Celebrate--one way to honor poetry for each day of the month. My favorite is to put a poem in a letter. We hardly send good old-fashioned postal mail anymore. I like the idea of making it even more special by including a bit of verse.

I don't read enough poetry, but when I do, I always enjoy it so much! Here are some my favorite bards:

What's on my to read list? Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I bought a beautiful used copy at this wonderful little bookstore near home. I have read snippets of it, but would really like to sit down and read the whole thing through. Whitman's journey through poetry is pretty fascinating. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

currently reading :: The Historian

The Historian

Elizabeth Kostova

When The Historian first was published in 2005, I purchased it as a birthday gift for one of my college roommates. She shared my love for reading, and she was a history major. It was only appropriate. She ended up loving the book, and so have many other acquaintances of mine who have read it. Ever since I read Dracula on the Kindle (more on that here and here) and thoroughly enjoyed it, I have wanted to pick up The Historian and read this modern vampire tale.

Summary: When a teenage girl discovers a medieval book in her diplomat father's library, he reluctantly confesses an unsettling story: his involvement, 20 years earlier, in a search for his mentor, who disappeared from his office only moments after confiding his certainty that Dracula--Vlad the Impaler--was still alive.

The search for truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dusty libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe--in a feat of storytelling so rich, so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled readers around the world.
Summary from and the book jacket.

Monday, April 12, 2010

word of the day :: bamboozle


–verb (used with object)
1. to deceive or get the better of (someone) by trickery, flattery, or the like; humbug; hoodwink (often fol. by into): They bamboozled us into joining the club.
2. to perplex; mystify.

-verb (used without object)
3. to practice trickery, deception, cozenage, or the like.

1695-1705; orig. uncert.
"It is well known what a middle man is: he is a man who bamboozles one party and plunders the other."
 :: Benjamin Disraeli ::
* Definition from