31 January 2010

completion: word: bacon

[ original assignment ]
[ previous word ]


What better way to finish the week than with bacon? (No better way.)

And what do we learn from the etymology book about bacon? That bacon has pretty much just always been called bacon. (p. 52)

bacon n. About 1330 bacoun, borrowed from Old French bacon, bacun (perhaps through Medieval Latin baconem), from a Germanic source (compare Old High German bahho side of bacon, Middle High German bache ham, bacon, modern German -backe, as in Hinterbacke buttock, and Middle Dutch baken side of bacon, from Proto-Germanic *bakon-).

Auf Wiedersehen.

30 January 2010

word: marshmallow

[ original assignment ]
[ previous word ]


Might as well continue the food theme that I seem to have developed here. (p. 459-460)

marshmallow n. Before 1400 marshmalue kind of mallow plant which grows near salt marshes; developed from Old English (about 1000) mersc-mealwe (mersc MARSH + mealwe MALLOW). Marshmallow the confection (1884) was originally made from the root of the marsh mallow plant.

[ next (and final!) word ] 

29 January 2010

word: avocado

[ original assignment ]
[ previous word ]


I will never look at an avocado the same way ever again. And now, neither will you. (p. 49)

avocado n. 1763, avocato, avocado, earlier avogato (1697); borrowed from Spanish avocado, alteration of an earlier form similar to aguacate, from Nahuatl ahuacatl testicle.

[ next word ] 

28 January 2010

word: ventriloquism

[ original assignment ]
[ previous word ]


(p. 855)

ventriloquism n. 1797, formed as a descriptive noun to ventriloquist, with substitution of the suffix -ism. The word has replaced older ventriloquy. —ventriloquist n. 1656, formed from English ventriloquy + -ist. —ventriloquy n. 1584, formed from Late Latin ventriloquus ventriloquist + English -y. Late Latin ventriloquus (Latin venter, genitive ventris, belly + loqui speak) was patterned on Green engastr√≠mythos, literally, speaking in the belly.

Wait, whaaaat?

[ next word ]

27 January 2010

word: raspberry

[ original assignment ]
[ previous word ]


Today's word is dedicated to my grandpa, who spends evenings in his easy chair next to his minibar, doling out mixed nuts and homemade raspberry wine to guests. (p. 636)

raspberry n. 1623, formed in English from earlier raspis berry (before 1548); also raspis raspberry (about 1532); possibly related to, if not developed from raspise a sweet, rose-colored wine (before 1475), earlier rospeys (1440), from Anglo-Latin vinum raspeys (compare Old French raspe and Medieval Latin raspecia, raspeium raspberry), of uncertain origin.

[ next word ]

26 January 2010

word: gobbledygook

[ original assignment ]
[ previous word ]


(p. 323)
gobbledygook n. 1944, American English; formed in imitation of the gobbling of the turkey cock.

[ next word ]

25 January 2010

word: forte

[ original assignment ]

So, we're going with stick people illustrations. Because I am so good at them. First word: Forte (p. 295).

forte n. something one does very well. 1648, strong part of a sword blade; later fort strong point of a person's abilities (1682); borrowed from French fort strong point, fort, from Middle French fort FORT. The final -e was added in the 1700's, on analogy with Italian forte strong.

[ next word ]

project: etymology



Confession: I'm a complete nerd. Word nerd, to be specific. Well, I'm a nerd about other things as well, but that's beside the point right now. I subscribe to the Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day email. I own two copies of The Elements of Style. I still use my (real books) dictionary and thesaurus regularly. WORD NERD.

So you can imagine how nerdily excited I was when my new The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology arrived in the mail this weekend.

This week will be dedicated to my new guilty pleasure. Every day I'll pick out a word from said treasure and somehow illustrate it. Yet to be determined exactly how I'll illustrate them.

[ word 01: forte ]
[ word 02: gobbledygook ]
[ word 03: raspberry ]
[ word 04: ventriloquism ]
[ word 05: avocado ]
[ word 06: marshmallow ]
[ word 07: bacon ]

24 January 2010

completion: invites designed

[ original assignment ]


These are the four design ideas I gave my clients this weekend. They wanted simple and elegant, and I had to design with the knowledge that they'll be printed on letterpress.

They'll choose their favorite direction, and then we'll tweak from there. My favorite of these is the third option (type block).

See you tomorrow.

(Update: They chose the fourth option. We'll be debossing the little shapes with no ink, rather than the blue shown above.)

18 January 2010

project: design invitations

And so we start another week.

Thus far in the existence of Project Do, I've kept my project life and work life separate. This week, however, I've decided to let them intersect; partially in the interest of my sanity, and partially because I think this work project will be fun enough to feature here on the bloggyblog.

I have a freelance project to design invitations to a wedding party (not the wedding itself, which is taking place out-of-country, but for their "We're back now from our glamorous vacation-slash-wedding, and we'd like to party with you as a married couple!" party). It's to be a swanky cocktail party with live jazz, and the invites are going to be done on a letterpress. Anyway, I'm due to give them 3-5 different design ideas by this coming weekend, so... project on!

[ completed project ]

15 January 2010

completion: mixtape, volume two

[ original assignment ]
[ sneak peek ]

Volume Two! Slightly more mellow than Volume One. Volume Three should be an even more mellow folk mix, methinks.

Videos below for your viewing/listening pleasure; found videos for all except the Vetiver song (boo).


This Side Up, Vol. 2

01  Sissyneck / Beck
02  Our Swords / Band of Horses
03  Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? / She & Him
04  The Ballad of John & Yoko / The Beatles
05  Me and Jane Doe / Charlotte Gainsbourg
06  White Winter Hymnal / Fleet Foxes
07  Candy / Paolo Nutini
08  Past In Present / Feist
09  Fighter Girl / Mason Jennings
10  Prizefighter / Eels
11  Speak for Me / Cat Power
12  Ingrid Bergman / Billy Bragg & Wilco
13  He's Frank (Slight Return) / BPA featuring Iggy Pop
14  Blue Driver / Vetiver

01 Sissyneck / Beck


02 Our Swords / Band of Horses


03 Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? / She & Him LOVE this video.


04 The Ballad of John & Yoko / The Beatles


05 Me and Jane Doe / Charlotte Gainsbourg


06 White Winter Hymnal / Fleet Foxes LOVE THIS VIDEO ALSO.


07 Candy / Paolo Nutini


08 Past In Present / Feist


09 Fighter Girl / Mason Jennings


10 Prizefighter / Eels


11 Speak for Me / Cat Power


12 Ingrid Bergman / Billy Bragg & Wilco


13 He's Frank (Slight Return) / BPA featuring Iggy Pop


14 Blue Driver / Vetiver
(no video)

sneak peek: mixtape in progress

[ original assignment ]


I stare at a computer all day for work, so whenever there's a way to do something by hand, I pounce.

Above, case in point: this is my brain mid-mix-madness.

Prepare yourself for the final product in a few hours. Just telling you so that you have time to freshen up beforehand. And stretch out before the inevitable, uncontrollable grooving that will follow. And... OK, I'll stop now.

[ completed assignment ]

11 January 2010

project: mixtape, volume two

[ Volume One ]

I'm feeling the urge to make another mix this week. Will include my current fave: Charlotte Gainsbourg's new "Me and Jane Doe."

That is all. Goodbye.



[ sneak peek ]
[ completed project ]

09 January 2010

completion: short story written

[ original assignment ]

Saturday greetings to you. I'm well into a story, as assigned. It has over two thousand words so far (it's a short short story), and there are still a few things I want to add, plus I have much editing to do. I'm not going to post the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:

I'm not really one to plan my funeral ahead of time. That's more Jake's style. He likes being morbid like that. He's always talking about the cool ways that he could die. Like the other day: there was a thing on the news about a guy that died while trying to fly off the side of a mountain. He had done it before, I guess, with skis or a parachute or something, but this time his parachute didn't open, and splat. He died. And for the rest of the night Jake said maybe he should take up flying off mountains too because then he'd have a cool story about how he died. Personally, I thought the flying dead guy seemed like a good reason why you shouldn't take up flying off mountains, but then again I don't really care how I die. I'll be dead anyway, so I figure what do I care how people will describe how I got to be that way. 

Now I just have to stay on task and polish it up, to see if it can ever reach a point where it's worth submitting somewhere. But for now I'm off to enjoy my weekend. Ciao.

04 January 2010

project: write a short story

Happy 2010!

My first project of the year is (drumroll, please...) to write a short story. Now, if you'll remember, I had a bit of trouble eeking out a poem in a week's time. I got it done, though, and in order to not set the bar too outrageously high, I'm going to qualify this new writing assignment with this: it does not have to be a completely polished, publish-ready story by the end of the week. It does, however, have to be a complete story, and be in good condition to easily polish up and submit somewhere later on.

Here goes nothing.

[ completed project ]

03 January 2010

side project: henna tattoo




Decided I was in the mood for a bit of henna this weekend, so doodled on my sister's hand, and then my own. The first shot is of the dried henna while the dye took yesterday, the last two show my subsequent tattoo earlier today. It should keep turning more brown in the next few days.

By the way, do you know how hard it is to take photos of your own hand without it looking like a wacky mangled appendage? Very hard.