My supervisor Slacked me yesterday with a rather humorous question.

Where do you learn your words?, she wondered. Or are they part of your dialogue?

I wasn’t even sure how to answer that. (Ironic: I was at a loss for words. Ha!). Turns out she had been reviewing an article I submitted earlier and had to Google one of the words. Now, I’m no sesquipedalian (person who likes to use big words) (and I suppose the use of that word constitutes more irony), so I felt bad that I was driving her to the dictionary! I try to make my writing easy to read for all, but I suppose more obscure words occasionally find their way into my articles. In this case, it was “boon,” as in, a thing that is helpful or beneficial. 

Or an American pioneer, explorer, and frontiersman.


I told her I’m an avid reader who has been drawn to books my whole life and that I excelled in English classes, but really, a lot of my vocabulary probably came from Stephen King stories.


To her credit, she ended her message with #alwayslearning, so it’s not like she was upset with me or anything. She was merely agog.


Post-COVID Business Opportunities

I’m now midway through my third week working from home.

It’s amazing how quickly we fall into routines. Now, the idea of an actual commute, and sitting at a workstation where there are other people nearby — hell, just wearing something other than sweats — seems so foreign. Don’t even get me started on happy hours in neighborhood bars and eating dinner from an actual plate at an actual table inside an actual restaurant, instead of dishing it out from a cardboard box and scarfing it down from the comfort of a recliner while watching Better Call Saul.

With the way businesses have been adapting to the crisis, maybe once this is all over I should open a restaurant where you do just that: park yourself in front of a TV on a comfy recliner. The dress code would be super relaxed, of course. Sweats or pajamas. I’ll hang a sign on the door. No Shoes, No Shirt? No Problem.

Or maybe I should work for the Croatian Board of Tourism. A blogger and tour guide from Croatia read my last post in which I extolled the virtues of his country without ever setting foot there and asked if he could share it on his blog. Being the type of person to never turn down free publicity, I told him to go for it.

Today, he posted to his blog,

When I was in primary school, our teacher used to say that our country had a shape of a bird spreading its wings. Later on, we used to kid that our country actually has a shape of a croissant – even the first three letters of Croatia and croissant suggest there is a connection (there isn’t). But I never thought I would find this description of the shape of our country: “It kinda looks like an alligator with its jaws open, ready to swallow Bosnia and Herzegovina whole.” Now, I can’t un-think of it when I look at a map.

Ha! Sorry for giving you a whole new visual perspective of your homeland, Dejan. To be fair, I do see the bird, now that you mention it. But I will also never be able to un-see the alligator.

Rollercoaster Rides

Monday and Tuesday, I opened up all the windows in the office house. Enjoyed sunshine-filled walks in shorts and a t-shirt. The weather was glorious.

Beautiful stroll along Rapid Creek yesterday.

Today, I had to crank up the heat. Our 74-degree weather has been replaced by blustery 40-degree conditions. And it’s going to snow again this weekend. Possibly a lot.

That’s hardly a surprise at this point, though. I’ve written about our rollercoaster weather far more often than I’ve ridden on actual rollercoasters.

Case in point: the photo on the left was taken Saturday. The one on the right was Monday.

Same backyard, less than 48 hours apart. At least the snow melts quickly this time of year.

Timing is Everything

I’ve been thinking a lot about how fortunate we are to have this great house. One year ago, we were living in a cramped apartment with paper-thin walls. My “desk” was either a TV tray or my lap. I can’t imagine being stuck WFH there for an extended period. I’d have gone stir-crazy by the end of that first week! Even when I was freelancing full-time while living there, I often made it a point to work from a coffee shop instead.

Hell, exactly one year ago, we had just begun our house search. If this had happened then, I highly doubt we’d have been able to buy a home. Real estate is kind of the last thing on people’s minds now.

Two years ago, we were getting ready for our cross-country move. How would THAT have played out in the midst of a global pandemic?!

There’s no getting around the fact that this situation flat-out sucks, and the longer it drags out, the more it’s going to suck.

However, I can’t help but think of silver linings like those mentioned above. I may complain about being stuck in the house now, but at least I’m not stuck in an apartment, or stuck in another state.

Proof that if you search hard enough, you can always find the positives.

26 thoughts on “Sesquipedalian

  1. I also like words, having developed a vocabulary from reading books. I like to use my words, but have found that some folks are not so keen on those of us with large vocabularies. Just an observation…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t mean it like that, ha. But we would be in an apartment because we couldn’t afford a house, and Tara would have lost her job long ago. It’s best that we got out when we did!


  2. I love unique words (I read one book per week, so I’m with you) but try to not be obnoxious in their use.

    That’s cool that the Croatian guy enjoyed your post and commented on the shape you saw. My DIL told me once that she was from the ‘center of the rooster’ in China. Now go look at China on a map!

    It was 74 glorious degrees today. I put on my swimsuit and laid out on the deck like it was 1983, baby. Cause I have just about as much to do right now as I did back then!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we’ve all been transported back to those carefree days of the ’80s!

      OK, I’m looking at a map of China. Not seeing this “center of the rooster.” Where should I be looking? Chengdu? Xiao?


      1. I meant look at the entire outline of the country. The rooster’s head is the top right corner. She just meant that her hometown is in the middle of what looks like the rooster.


  3. Mark, it’s so funny that you mentioned about so many businesses adapting to the crisis, I was thinking that same thing. Even some friends of mine who having been working for companies for years and years in retail and are on furlough, they are still selling (at home) for their companies on their smart phones and internet. Over the years, retail has been heading that way anyway, so I think this break is only making retailers realize that they can do so much from home, while saving money.

    And congrats on being featured on the Croatian Tourism blog. That’s awesome!

    Your weather is most definitely a rollercoaster, I have never seen such drastic (and quick) weather changes. But hey, you know me…I would never turn down SNOW 🙂

    Have a grrrrreat rest of your week, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really makes me wonder if there will be long-term changes to the way we do business in the future moving forward. Maybe in some small way this will improve the economy in the long run. Then again, that’s me: ever the optimist!

      Hope you’re doing well and enjoying plenty of wine, my friend!


  4. I read Anne Rice from the time I was ten. It was actually one of the first books that Mathair every bought for me. I devoured her entire Vampire Chronicles in very little time and ended up speaking like the 18th century Lestat de Lioncourt. I completely understand having a vocabulary that would make a lot of people hesitate. We live in such a ‘short, sweet and get to the point’ kind of world that speaking any way other than monosyllabic, tends to catch people off guard. Love the post.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sometimes I surprise myself as I’m writing up one of my blog posts and a word or a phrase or an idiom just pops out of my fingertips. Words I’ve never said out loud in my life, yet my brain picked it up somewhere and held onto it until that moment. Then I wonder “What else is in there that I don’t know about????”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I notice the fancier words roll off my fingers more easily than they roll off my tongue. At least I think they do. Maybe it’s because I have more time to think about what I’m saying and all those books, magazines, blogs, memos, and all the other reading I’ve done have a chance to jump up and say hello.

    Fess Parker for the win, BTW.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m the same way. Then again, words always roll off my fingers more naturally than my tongue. I’m a writer, not a public speaker!

      I have to admit though, “sesquipedalian” is a very fun word to say.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Beautiful photo of the rarely seen Outside 😀 Where you’re stuck is truly important. It’s so important to be stuck where you like with person(s) you love.
    I am happy to have gone back to working at work. I am also thrilled the phone rings much less. I don’t mind being essential because working at home was not working for me. I will say, I haven’t been wearing makeup or dressing as well, but that’s because I still don’t feel like myself.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yep. Can’t tell you how glad I’m not in Georgia, where people will soon be having haircuts, tats, nails, and bowling with their pandemic 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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