Every year on this day, for some years now, I have composed and sent a birthday greeting to the girl who was my best friend in high school. Though I haven’t seen her in person since I was about 20 years old, I still feel a connection to her that is tangible, and informs my life still in an immediate and meaningful way.

I can’t say exactly what motivates me to reach out over distance and through time to acknowledge her – to let her know I still think about her – I simply yield to the impulse and tell her that I hope things are going well in her life.

I would do so with other people drifted far afield in either temporal or tangible space, but something about her temperament and the quality of the friendship that once was between us makes the approach both easier, and I suspect considerably more satisfying, than other attempts might prove.

I decided the day that I met you that you were the love of my life

I decided the day that I met you that you were the love of my life

I am an inveterate sentimentalist, nostaligiarian, and sap. Even more than that – both in this instance, and generally reflective of my current frame of mind – once I have bestowed my love upon someone, it is essentially never withdrawn.

Dangerous this, for a girl who cannot help but believe in love at first sight, having been afflicted times beyond recollection. My heart makes up its mind all but immediately and ignores all evidence to the contrary, no matter how compelling it might be.

What I’ve decided, for a variety of reasons, is that this isn’t the shortcoming I have always thought it was. It speaks, not about the worthiness of the person upon whom I have bestowed this love, but the quality of the love itself. Rather than shame or chagrin that I have lavished this feeling regardless of merit, I am proud of my enduring capacity for love in the face of all challenge. That this love can persist through years, past separation, and beyond irreconcilable loss. It is a gift to bear a love like this, no matter its cost.

The returning call of that kind of love is full of music I am fully delighted to hear, time and again.

I wonder how we became friends. Not, I mean, how we met. I probably remember that. Less likely that I can point to the moment, or the time where we crossed that ineffable border from knowing each other to being friends. But, I realize I want to, and that I think it is important and meaningful.

Like falling in love, though it happens gradually, there is usually also a moment where it strikes like lightning, that this is now so; true and without question.
I realized this while mulling it over this morning, just how it was that the godmother of my child and I made that transition. I knew in the more general sense; we met on the speech team my first year of college. We weren’t  debate partners and so we didn’t initially spend that much time together. We were in the same orbit, but moving at different speeds and in different trajectories.

After consulting her, we decided it was probably when, at a team dinner, I announced that I wanted to go to the beach and she and her then boyfriend were game for taking off to do this, even though it was already 10 pm. We loaded into the decrepit  VW Bug he was driving and rumbled off to Cannon Beach. The moon was fullish and low and orangey. We lay there on the sand together amusing each other, until about 2 am when I heard a very unfortunate rumbling coming from my midsection. Fucking Montage. I hate that place.

It is no small thing to wander through Seaside at 2am with someone you don’t know all that well desperately searching for facilities. The security guard at the Shilo Inn was sympathetic and let me scamper by at top speed.

When I came back to the car there was some fear that I would be upset to discover that it wouldn’t start, and needed a push. You see, they didn’t know me well enough at the time to know that I come from a long line of finicky cars with all manner of ailments, and that push starting was old hat to this girl.

It is my stated belief that you cannot help but bond with someone after both your car and your bowels fail you in the same evening together.

And now that I think about it, I suppose I can say with surety when I claimed certain other people for my own; Lyza and Emma came to Kah-Nee-Tah with me. Getting drunk in a tee-pee with someone may be unconventional in this day and age, but it was effective in this case. Jeanne spent my birthday with me on a fruitless but nevertheless totally enjoyable quest for hot springs into the gorge. I dragged Hilary to a strip club. Pretty sure I got Catherine that way too…

I like to gather people in, and I like to think about how it was done. To turn over in my mind the wondering about what brought us into the emotional proximity we now enjoy. The work of time is taken to account, but to acknowledge as well the undeniable elements of circumstance that drew us together, that bound us to each other, at last.

If you remember, or have a theory, do tell…

There is musical accompaniment to this post. 

When I was a senior in high school, our conductor elected to have our choir perform a particularly ambitious piece for our state championship tournament. It was so not only for it’s difficulty, which was acknowledged as generally well beyond the capacities of the average high school choir (which we were decidedly not) but also because the piece was quite new; it had been written within the previous several years and the conductor was still living. This chorale also included a solo of a particularly demanding sort; a soprano had to maintain one constant note throughout the entire piece. This tone had to be sung with great sensitivity to nuance and exacting control. More, the singer had to manage with one voice, through an entire chorus of seventy others not to overpower, but to pierce.

Dr Uphaus told me he had never even considered anyone else for the job.

And so we went to state. And we didn’t win. But, one of our adjudicators was Dr Bruce Brown who was at that time the musical director at Portland State University. He made a point to compliment us on the execution of such a challenging piece of music. He also told us that the composer Arvo Part* was coming to Portland with his choir to perform THE VERY SONG with the Portland State Choir at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and should we so choose, we were welcome to join them.

So, I and a few of my cohorts decided that would be swell. We toddled on down to PSU for 3 or 4 practice sessions. On the first of these Dr Brown cast around the room and said

“Is the young lady that sang the solo for state here in the group?”

I raised my hand, slightly terrified.

“Oh, grand. None of my singers can quite manage it. You’ll help us practice, yes?”

Of course I would.

Over the next few practice sessions, I just naturally assumed that M. Part would be select one of his own singers to perform the coveted solo. It turned out, rather, that he had wanted to leave that honor to Dr Brown, his host. When he was preparing us the night before the performance, Dr Brown turned to me with complete aplomb and said

“And naturally Autumn will be managing the solo as usual.”

I was completely, utterly, and in every way paralyzed by this pronouncement. I had not prepared myself in any way for this possibility, and I was in a paroxysm of terror in anticipation of it. I sat there in my plastic chair for ten full minutes after the larger group had broken up and wandered away, gripping the sides till my knuckles were white and my breath came back, though in gasps. It had taken all of  my will and every bit of my strength to stand up at state, with my own dear choir at my back, and lift my voice to this purpose. To do so instead, with hundreds of strangers (most older than myself and some professionals at their trade) and no less than the composer of the piece to witness was beyond reckoning. For you see, I had near crippling stage fright. Don’t laugh, It is completely true.

And so. I had to approach Dr. Brown and tell him that though I was deeply honored by his confidence in me, I could not redeem his choice by accepting it. I was too scared, my voice would not rise as it should, and I would fail him. He tried his best to change my mind, but I refused his persistence and cried over my mortification. He let me go, expressing his deep regret, not only for the performance, but for me. He knew then, as I did not, how much I would eventually lament my choice. Someone else sang the solo. The show went on without me entirely. I couldn’t even bring myself to go, I was so ashamed.

And in many ways, I still am.

I am not a person who lives with many regrets. I fuck up, things go wrong, I learn from them and usually see these detours with some equanimity. This too, taught me something tremendously valuable; I am afraid and I might falter, but I forge ahead nevertheless. In truth, this has probably lead to more emotional pain than any other philosophy I subscribe to, but I do not ever find myself dwelling on how things might have gone, should my courage have not failed me.


*There needs to be an umlaut over that a, but I can’t figure it out.

For those of you who were in the Gresham High School Concert Choir in 1995, you know what I’m talkin’ bout. As this does not (probably) account for an appreciable portion of my readership, I’ll expand…

Every year we went on a retreat together to work more effectively as a group, improve group dynamics , and partially disrobe in front of each other. As this event was usually conducted at a church camp, they were always happy to see us coming, but much happier to see us go. In fact, the third portion of the tradition was so throroughly exercised* my senior year, they asked us not to come back. But I digress**

My senior year, I was a section leader. As such, I had certain “responsibilities” which I interpreted as “abusing authority over younger more vulerable people, preferably until they cry. Unless you like them, in which case don’t.” What this meant, in practice, was that when we were preparing for retreat, I was in charge of creating the trust exercises*** and I used this opportunity to think about how best to create an environment of safety, foster the growth of intimacy, and cherry pick the people I wanted to know more about and put them in my own group.

Cut me some slack, I was sixteen for chrissakes.

SO! Boundary breaking that year was like, epic. Everyone said so. It was pretty well acknowledged that there was crying IN EVERY SINGLE GROUP EVEN THE ONES WITH THE FOOTBALL PLAYERS. I took this as a mighty personal triumph to make the majority of a 70 person group of people cry all at once. In a good way, though.

Not that boundary breaking was the only opportunity for tears. Ohhhh no. We also traditionally played what was affectionately called “The Kissing Game” but would have been more accurately called “Rugby + Sexual Angst & Terror” We all LOVED this game, and I took home a semi-serious injury every year I played. Basically the deal was, someone was “it” and sat in the middle of a giant circle of hormone crazed teenagers. That person would call out a number (to indicate a girl) and a letter (assigned to the boys) and those two people would rise. The object was for the opposite gender person to attempt to kiss the person who was “it” BEFORE the same gender person could kiss the attacking opposite gender person. Whoever failed, was then “it” and so it went. Mother of god. It was not unusual to see a adolescent girl clinging to her male counterpart like she wanted to be Queen of the Rodeo. Legs flinging around madly; channelling her inner leech. This game is by its nature pretty gender-biased, but we had some TOUGH BITCHES in that choir, so the girls did usually hold their own with surprising facility.

Then we’d walk outside to the natural amphitheater and sing; The beauty of that moment would quieten the laughter and violence both. Our voices would ring out over the water and return to us augmented by the stones and the trees and we would feel powerful and alive and part of something amazing. In such contrast to our silliness that we were humbled by our own wondrousness.

Wait, what was the point of this post?****

Ah yes, I have been pondering the nature of boundaries lately, and why I don’t seem to have any sense of where they might be in other people. I’m much better at breaking them than I am recognizing or respecting them. I was going to talk about that. And I think I will, but not today. Because this just ended up being funny and making me happy, and causing me to miss a whole bunch of those tough bitches and football players a whole lot. I wouldn’t want to muddy that with my typical maundering. I’ll save that for later.


*Literally. We were  playing shirts vs. skins touch football. This was especially interesting because a) many of the starting line up for Gresham’s football team were in concert choir and b) many of the “skins” were girls. I wasn’t playing, but took my shirt off anyway to provide much needed moral(?) support.

** As is my wont.

***Which were different in that nobody took any of their clothes off. I think.

**** Shit, with the digression again.

Not everyone was as fortunate as I. Some people had to grow up Other Places and as such, a good lot of them missed out on some truly awesome things about Portland which are no longer extant. If you were a child in Portland you will certainly remember:

Ramblin’ Rod:

This was the quintessential local children’s show. Ramblin’ Rod Anders would come on KPTV-12 every weekday morning and introduce Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, and Tom & Jerry cartoons. He rode out from backstage in a tiny little boat and wore a sweater FESTOONED with buttons given to him by audience members. Said audience members were children who ranged in age from Still-Drooling And Apt To Cry If Addressed Directly to I Am Almost A Teenager And Must Affect Chagrin But I Have Waited My Whole Life To Sit On These Bleachers.

Once during the show, the camera would pan the audience looking for the winner of the coveted “Smile Award” and only the truly hammy could hope to achieve this pinnacle of childhood recognition. It was also classic Portland tradition for children to celebrate their birthdays in Rod’s audience and recieve CITY-WIDE attention for the pleasure. I alas, missed this opportunity.

The Meier And Frank Monorail:

My primary cohort in lifelong Portland residency and I were talking about this today and it turns out, we had the same sense of the monorail being something we had hallucinated as small children. It wasn’t in fact until I had a hodie of my own, that I was looking for likely Santa interaction events that I realized this had been a real thing. More, it was about to happen to my kid. The old anchor Meier and Frank on 5th and Morrison has been co-opted by Macy’s and The Nines. On the whole, I approve of the changes they’ve made as imporovements for the downtown district in general. However, I will always feel nostalgia for what used to be one of the most bizarre Christmas traditions imaginable. The top floor used to be transformed into the domain of The Cinnamon Bear, and children could come frolic and delight at the Christmas trees and general festivity. But even more than that, they could survey the tableau from a monorail in the ceiling. Why this had anything whatsoever to do with Christmas is utterly beyond my capacity to imagine. But it was a good way to terrify the kiddies into behaving themselves:

“Smile for the camera Sally or we’ll put you back on the monorail!!”

It was at a dizzying height for anyone small enough to fit into the damn thing. Really.

Expose Yourself To Bud:

Yes, yes, yes. I know the poster was from the 70’s thanks very much. But the subject of the poster didn’t become mayor of our fair city until the 80’s. Bud, not the statue. I have no idea what her political ambitions might have been…

He was a character, in the truest sense of the word. A tavern owner who stepped forward to run when no one stood to oppose the terrible encumbent. No political experience left him refreshingly candid and open to ideas that other people would have rejected out of hand. He created and administered The Mayor’s Ball for his entire term in office as a fundraiser that became one of the hottest tickets in town. He ushered in the Convention Center and lobbied hard for MAX. He also had some of the most awesome facial hair in the history of politics. For reals.

Also In The 80’s:

Farrell’s! Ice cream shop that, apart from Ramblin’ Rod was THE place to be on your birthday. Had a dish served in a pig trough, that if you managed to finish it, they would strap a pig snout upon your person with much fanfare.

Senn’s Dairy!  The last dairy in town that still sold milk in glass bottles closed during the 80’s. If only they’d been able to hold on, they’d be sitting pretty right about now…

Lloyd Center Was Still Open Air! This was mostly cool because the skating rink was open to the sky, and it felt more adventurous to be skating outside, somehow.

My Mom Worked At The Zoo! Okay, this wasn’t something everyone could enjoy, but for me, it kicked ASS! We got to go in through the kitchen, even after the gates were closed, and have as many corndogs as we wanted. Apart from all the other awesome things about growing up in this town, I had that. Jealous much?

Of course you are.

During the actual awesome 80’s I was a bit of a cultural retard. We were pretty much dirt poor. We got the government cheese and peanut butter. We also did not see movies very often (I had a long list of films from this decade that certain people were appalled I had not seen; working on it one Alien movie at a time) only rarely had a car, never went on vacation, and didn’t have a telephone in the house until I was about 13. Moreover, my parents, god bless them, had what I now recognize to be less than totally sophisticated taste in music. Mom’s love ofZeppelin and The Beatles is totally understandable, but Andrew’s passionate fondness for Firehouse still leaves me sort of mystified.

It was a lot of Foreigner, Journey, Pat Benatar, and Metallica around the house. On cassette. I mostly wanted to listen to stuff that I could sing, and with the notable exception of the boys And Justice For All, I was well satisfied by the situation at the time. I had no idea that other FAR MORE AWESOME kinds of music existed. But then…

I went to high school and met people who were not so deprived. I was introduced to all manner of movies and books and music I had no notion about in my young life. I vividly recall taking home Pretty Hate Machine on tape and seeing the look of fascination turning to disgust and rage when Andrew heard

And the devil wants to fuck me in the back of his car

come larking out of the speakers. That was a liberating moment, let me tell you. Though I knew, even then, it wasn’t so much the reference to the devil that bothered Andrew as the homoeroticism implied. Apparently fighting off dudes at shower time in county left him a little tetchy about the subject.

Even admitting my dim understanding of pop culture it is hard to know how I had come by the impression that The Cure was a speed-death metal band of Pantera’s ilk. But I had. And so I was sure to hate them. And whevenever anyone suggested we should listen to The Cure, I objected vociferously (as was my strident way in those days; believe it or not, I’ve mellowed considerably) and thus managed never to actually hear  The Cure until I was parked in front of MTV one evening and the seminal LoveSong  came on.

I still consider this to be one of the best songs in existence. And in the way of all codgers, when it was remade recently by Jack Off Jill, I was deeply offended. This song was perfect. It needed nothing, and was diminished by tampering.

Even still, I didn’t listen to the whole album until about 6 years ago, when I was feeling particularly sad and lonesome and isolated. I decided to adopt the attitude Paul Simon proclaims

I have my books and my poetry to protect me

I always expand it to include music. It seems like such a sane and enriching strategy, but doesn’t work for shit. I suppose my readers have this failure to thank for the material they are enjoying(?) now, but still.

At any rate, the opening strains of Plainsong  became a cue to my battered heart, to accept a small respite in the form of a musical analgesic. And all the rest that followed was a beautiful plaintive reminder that everyone suffers, that I am not so singular in my pain or my longings, and I somehow found this comforting. There are moments dark and bright, but never lacking an essential communicativity. It is a hand reach out toward you, rendered in song.

This album made being melancholy more tolerable by glamorizing it just enough to make it seem like a choice, rather than a condition from which I could not escape. I understand explicitly now, that this is what goth is all about; embracing the darkness such that it cannot overwhelm you. The owl tattooed on my spine is testament to the idea that embracing pain can make it beautiful and instructive, rather than simply something to be endured to no end. The music on this record is truly a aural manifestation of this same truth.

As may be plain by this time, I have a large tender place inside full of fondness for movies of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy ilk. And though I am prone to enjoy them generally, I am also aware that they vary wildly in their quality. Plot and production value all contribute to the relative merit of any film, but the differences are especially marked in this particular mien.

Which is why perhaps, this movie stands out as such a fine example of the school. This film lacks for nothing; it is dramatic without being overwrought, well-paced and consistently amusing. The cinematography is deftly executed and beautiful. A score by Alan Parsons (SCORE BY ALAN PARSONS I SAID!) is joined with sets and costumes which provide great compliment to the storytelling, and the cast is simply superb.

We begin with Matthew Broderick even before his Ferris Beuller days. As Phillipe, his face is young and earnest and full of a remorseless glee in his own cleverness. He first becomes the only man ever to escape the dungeons  of Aquila, and then swept up by his own adroitness, proceeds to ramble straight home to boast of his exploits, never suspecting he might find trouble waiting for him there. Quite soon, the soldiers sent to kill him are well on their way to doing just that.

Rutger Hauer is at his inscrutable delicious best. He arrives just in time to save our hapless Phillipe. The very line of his jaw conveys his strength of character and just intentions. In this opening fight scene, he does not kill anyone by design: this is to alert you to the fact that he is a good guy. Wrapped in black and leather, he is no less than the epitome of a hero cast into darkness.

Michelle Pfeiffer is luminous. Her beauty is utter simplicity and breathtakingly devoid of glamor. The object of the desire of nearly every man in the film, she earns her place with a remarkable poise. She fairly glows, her innocence is so strongly conveyed. The grace of her form and features have done her no favors here, in that they have called upon her the attention of our villain, and all the sorrow thereafter.

John Wood is the delightfully terrible Bishop of Aquila. I mean really, who doesn’t love a man of God gone bad? In a rather bizarre take on “if I can’t have you, no one will” his grace made a pact with the devil to keep them from each other forever: By day the beautiful lady becomes a hawk, while at night our hero assumes the form of a wolf. They are with one another evermore, but may only meet in the brief moments of dawn and twilight.

Always together, eternally apart.

Who doesn’t like a little opposition with their romance?

In the end, our lovers are reunited in the very place the evil was done them, and rejoined in a rarest moment of perfect eclipse. If only every love story was that easy to resolve…

I admit to being an Octophile. Lots of things I love came from there. I am going to spend the next little while talking about some of them.

In this case: C-64

i am not likely to be elected spokesman for any video gaming company. i have terrible hand eye coordination and lack the obsessive devotion to repetitive tasks so necessary for video-game mastry. however, when i was a young thing, i was madly in love with the commodore 64. and i am willing to bet i would still have a kick ass time playing with it, if i had one.

a few games in particular stick out in memory as being extra-strength awesome. my absolute favorite was REALM OF IMPOSSIBILITY.  Hells. Yeah. this game consisted of threading your way through various levels of mazes to obtain keys which would then allow you to access other levels of mazes. pretty sweet. you were hampered in your attempts to obtain these keys by pesky zombie dudes who were all up in your shit like the SECOND you came into the place. and your only recourse was to keep away from them. you could hide behind structures, but you had no weapons to speak of, you were only slightly faster, and if they touched you, it hurt til you died. your one means of protection was to drop behind you, as you ran away, a trail of little crosses which would impede the zombie progress for a while until they eventually disappeared and once again leave you vulnerable to zombie touching. it was best to play with a partner who could also participate in the cross dropping, but you had to be careful cause you couldn’t leave the screen area without your homey and if they died the mission was a fail. so, if you were, say, my older sister, who’s approach was to view her “partner” as nothing more than an expendable cross dropping pack mule of sorts, this was not necessarily the most effective strategy. i never actually managed to beat this game, as the final level, the Realm of Impossibility, was, well FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE. so.

another gem was RACING DESTRUCTION SET this one was neat primarily for the level of customizability built into game play. not only could you select your car, you could build a unique track out of a variety of surface materials like ice, dirt, mud, or asphalt in any configuration you chose AAAAAAND select the degree of GRAVITY you wanted your track to have. so you could pick moon gravity and be flying all AROUND the place, or pick jupiter gravity and stick to the track like glue. was fun stuff.

and then there was ARCHON which was like wizard’s chess.  your pieces would move across the table and attack each other in interesting ways based on what kind of mythical critter they were.i liked being the Dark Side since the snakes and nasties were way more entertaining in terms of the wickedness they would unleash.

Not to be forgotten: RUSH N ATTACK (get it?) this game had the worlds most annoying precussion sound track. i can still hear it in my head: dat dat da da da DAAT dat dat da da DAAAT. it played relentlessly overtop your rambo style recon mission of doom. there was a lot of running, and jumping, and leaping from the tops of tankers to the tops of bulidings and the occasional stabbing action. i do remember liking the bazooka and flame thrower quite a bit.

i also remember playing something i want to think was called DREAM HOUSE. it was like playing dress up, but with paint and furniture. i remember being excited BEYOND ALL REASON when i discovered you could ANIMATE the scene by hitting the correct sequence of keystrokes. this mean the kitty would swing its tail, the clock would tick, and the fire in the grate would flicker. awwww yeeah.

thinking about it, i’m pretty sure the reason video games dont appeal to me anymore is cause they are no longer so basic and limited by technology. for me, the more simpleminded the better. ahh for the old days…

i work in a doctors office and we have a handful of books in the reception area for the childlings to enjoy while they’re waiting. one of my coworkers picked up “The Gingerbread Man” and started flipping through it. glancing over at the pages a wave of nostalgia washed over me as i realized: this was the first book i ever read.

well, not this book. not even this version of this book, but it was The Gingerbread Man. i remember because much was made of this feat. i was not quite three, and pronounced a prodigy. my sister, who was three years older and had stage-mother syndrome and lots of time on her hands was the primary motive force behind this marvel, but i was happy enough to bask in the temporary glow of admiration being a smarty pants conferred.

who remembers their first time? of course, it doesn’t literally have to be the very first thing you ever read, but maybe, the first thing you read that left you with that sense of triumph (you know the one i mean) that you had read a whole book by yourself!

i have been noticing lately that i have a strange reflexive reaction to say, like a litany, certain phrases that i’ve picked up over the course of my life.

they’re embedded in my consciousness. there are a bunch of em. they are lines from movies, commercials, things my friends or lovers have said to me, generally the verbal detritus of life. and they slip past my lips with virtually no active effort or awareness.

par example:

from The End of the World: “but i am le tired”

i say this all the damn time. most net savvy people get it and snicker. my child, on the other hand, just assumes this is how one announces one is done in. when she’s ready to crash, she is always “le tired.” ha.

from Natural Born Killers: “holy shitfire Leroy!”

this is an all purpose expletive. this one comes into play when i am feeling particularly incredulous. i find it comes in handy in an array of situations.

from my former spouse “fuckow my cigarettes”

this one may make less sense, overall. basically, whenever anything went wrong, my ex would say “fuckow my cigarettes.” and for some reason this seemed to sum things up pretty succinctly in most cases. i generally adapt the phrase for more specific purposes; “fuckow my tattoo,” or “fuckow my uterus,” occasionally “fuckow the black toenail of doom”

from The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon “you can do it Duffy Moon!!”

when i was in middle school we were forced to watch this bizarre after-school special style commentary on self-esteem. our hero Duffy Moon is confronted with no end of difficulty in his daily life, and he suffers the concomitant self-doubt. every time he begins to question himself a chorus of high-pitched celestial voices chime in and say: “you can do it Duffy Moon!” and he is thus reassured. so, more than a decade later, i relentlessly hear this same chorus of voices whenever self-doubt rears its head. but knowing Duffy Moon can do it doesn’t really tend to make me feel better about myself, somehow…

from Super Troopers: “(holy) mother-of-god”

ok, to be fair, i kinda got this from my friend steph, who said it way before, but as i suspect people may be more culturally aware of super troopers than of, well, steph, i’ll give them the credit. as a fairly irreligious person it always seems to stun people when they hear this one come out. however, as a person who customarily curses like a drunken belligerent sailor with an angry rash, i find sometimes it behooves me to express my consternation/anger/shock/pain/etc in some way that is unlikely to cause mothers to cast foul glances in my direction. the “holy” is optional, when added emphasis seems appropriate. it often does.

i know for a certainty there are more of these rattling around in my head, but i can’t bring any more to mind at this moment. this one is likely to turn into a series… as they come up, i’ll be adding them to the roster.

and you? what’s snuck into your vernacular?