Gwendoogle Part CXXV – Second Thoughts

GwendoogleAnswers served with a spiffy new haircut! … Which none of you can see

E-boy searched: How many times do you need to say “down” without it making any difference before a cat is misbehaving?
Well, this sounds familiar.

However, the answer is quite clear concerning cats: Zero.

The cat is misbehaving before you say anything. The cat is always misbehaving. The cat is plotting your demise  and the only question is whether you’ve just caught it in the act or if it’s just a distraction.

Edit upon a second thought: It is also possible that the answer is “infinity.” It’s possible that the cat will never be misbehaving. It’s smarter, and knows the law better than you do.

Kate Kearney searched: What is the difference between exhausted and tired?
Exhausted is a past participle adjective, conjugated off the verb exhaust. Tired is also past participle adjective, but it’s conjugated off the verb tire. (Because it would take some complicated linguistic gymnastics to get tired out of exhaust. It would be easier to get toast.)

Tired comes from the Old English teorian, which means “to fail, to cease; to become weary, to exhaust.” Exhausted comes from the Latin exhaurire, which means “to draw off, take away, use up, empty” or, more specifically, “to draw up water.” (Which would make exhausted the more metaphorical of the two, which may or may not be related to the fact that it also has the stronger reputation for dramaticism.)

Exhausted first entered the English language in the middle of the 17th century. Tired arrived in the 15th century, beating exhausted soundly.

Tired is the sluggish feeling at the end of a sweet day, the feeling that tells you to go to bed, but can be ignored for one more chapter of a good book. Or, it’s a dull sadness, dull frustration, dull resignation, all the sadder, because you know you should have been able to summon more fervor, but you’re just… tired.

Exhausted is collapsing at the end of the day, muscle-sore and a little sunburnt from hauling your body up the mountain side. Or, it’s crying because you don’t have the energy to do anything else anymore.

Kate Kearney searched: Do you have a favorite scent?
One? No. But a good vanilla candle is sweeter than sound, any kind of mint is instant ease, and either lemon or grapefruit is guaranteed to either make me smile or decide that now is the perfect time to do the thing.

And scents other those? I don’t tend to notice. I’ve wondered sometimes if I have an under-active nose.

Kate Kearney searched: Should I buy more calendars?
One day, I’m going to have a room of the house that is completely wallpapered in calendars, for three reasons:

1) Because there are thousands of calendars produced each year, and I don’t think I should have to choose between:

  • gorgeous landscapes
  • kittens hiding in strange places
  • inspirational quotes from writers
  • Shakespeare lines that sound like bad pick-up lines out of context
  • that amazing fan-made art for that television show that I didn’t realize I was so in love with until right stinkin’ now

2) Because I loose track of time the way kids loose balloons, but I think it would be comforting to see that many days on the wall, as if time were actually infinite.

3) Because the first day of every month, I’m going to be really flipping happy when I get to flip all those pages.

So, yes: buy more calendars.

Edit upon a second thought: I have just realized what my life could be like if I wallpapered a room in daily calendars. And I think I’m wearing that smile that most people think is so frightening.

Kate Kearney searched: What is your favorite style of chocolate chip cookie?
Chewy, the size of my palm, as thick as my finger, with big, square chocolate chunks. And I really shouldn’t be given any, because they turn me into a fuzzy, blue monster.

Ducky searched: Tell me about the word “sept.”
In Scotland, it refers to a branch of a Clan. Anthropologically, it refers to a group who consider themselves to be derived from a common ancestor. Archaically, it’s synonymous with Clan.

In the 1510s, it was used as “a division of a nation or tribe.” Scholars theorize that it was variant of sect. However, thirty years later, in the 1540s,  it was used to mean “an enclosed area of land,” borrowed from the Latin septum (“fence, enclosure, partition, hedge”).

Kate Kearney searched: Who is that peeking out from behind the stable corner?
That’s the Mental Director of Unstable Enterprises. She’s hoping to find a little balance for her life. Please don’t tell her that there’s no hope so long as my mind is still her place of employment. (She’ll figure it out eventually.)

Kate Kearney searched: Is there a place where one can gain perspective on life?
Well, I’ve been to Mexico, Canada, Germany, Greece, and forty-one of the fifty United States, and I’ve found a perspective on life, but I’m not sure that it’s the one you’re looking for.

It’s a sort of happily off-kilter, 20-400 sort of perspective that says I don’t need sleep if I have a good supply of gummy worms, and that it might be beautiful to invite two-year-olds to draw me a crayon mural on my living room wall (so long as I get to control what color crayons they use).

It’s also the sort of perspective that tells me the best way to answer this question is to give the name of a place where I’m dying to go, in the hopes that it will trick someone into believing there is a good excuse to drag me there. So: Thermopylae?

Kate Kearney searched: Did you miss my horse of questions?
I did. However, if I understand correctly, horses like that don’t do much good when they’re locked up in the barn.

I hear they need to wander a bit, get lost, get found, and that they come back with questions like slightly less annoying burrs. The more lost they get, the stranger the things you find clinging to their tails. So, I suppose, I was glad to miss your horse.

Have a question for Gwendoogle? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back next week to answer it.

The question bucket currently has: 9 questions


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