An unexpected lesson

A quiet, peaceful stroll on Utah Beach.

The beach was far from crowded, but there were some people braving the wind and the colder-than-seasonal temperatures. Some were there for a quiet walk, and others were there to remember or commemorate. It was not the same Utah Beach that greeted lookouts for the German army on June 6, 1944. The sleepy Normandy countryside and breezy, sandy beaches were being overrun by American forces as the D-Day invasion of France began. Continue reading

Bête Noire #2: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

(If you need to catch up, check out Bêtes Noires Three, Four, and Five.)

Raise your hand if you remember when Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was released in 1991. Remember how great it was? How it totally blew you away when you first heard it? And how, three months later, it had been played exactly 23,452 times on every radio station and you swore that you’d throw up if you had to hear it one more time? If you’re too young to remember this happening to Nirvana, then just substitute whatever media darling du jour is being ruined by the evil of overexposure. Continue reading

Now, I’m not one to preach, but…

It’s time for another Friday Word of the Week. I started this topic to help myself learn more words and to give myself motivation to expand my reading and put more challenging authors into my reading circulation (Hello, Nabakov!). I also found that the intense focus on a word helped me truly learn it in a more complete way than simply looking it up and trying to remember it.

In this journey so far, short as it’s been, I’ve learned some brand new words and explored the origins of familiar words. There’s a third kind, however, that needs to be included as well: words that I recognize and should know, but whose definition, for some reason, escapes me. These are the words that prompt me, when I see them, to think, “Oh, I know that word. It means…um…uh…oh yeah, it’s about…Okay, fine, fine! I’ll look it up. Crap.” I trot off to consult a dictionary. What usually happens next is a sharp slap to the forehead and an exclamation of “Well, duh!” And then comes the forgetting. Lather, rinse, repeat. Several times. Continue reading