Saturday, January 26, 2008

If I Had A Hammer ...

Today's moment of sublime quixotica was submitted by S.M., of Arlington, VA.
S., a legendary wordsmith in his own right, is fluent in French, can dunk a basketball (I think) and does a mean "worm." Spencer was an original member of The Awesomes, an epic rock supergroup that toured the greater Lake Ridge, VA area in the early 1980s. Other former members of the band include Chris "Iffy" Kreutzer (guitar/vocals), David "Hoover" Gignilliat (triangle/recorder/air guitar) and Craig "Zog" Milligan (not sure). Alas, The Awesomes' eclectic style was never fully appreciated in its own era, so now their legend and their music must live on through the written word.

But who could forget their live performance at the 1986 Governor's Court 4th of July Crab Feast, which included an impromptu breakdancing competition, a dirt-bike decorating contest and pointing illegal bottle rockets at neighbor's doorsteps.

I think some Vans shoes and Playboy logo socks were involved too.

Back to business. Thanks for the word, S. We hope to hear more Quixotica from you in the future ...


adj., literally, French for "hammer," it is a phrase used to describe a state of extraordinary intoxication due to heavy (and often rapid) consumption of alcohol, often to the degree that most mental and physical faculities are noticeably impaired. Common symptoms may include slurred speech, impaired balance, poor coordination, flushed face, reddened eyes, reduced inhibition, hiccuping, severe beer goggling, and other uncharacteristic behavior

Examples of marteau'd behavior could include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • making cats fight on the streets of Georgetown (Washington, DC)
  • stumbling out of a bar with hands in coat pockets,crossing the street with considerable momentum, andcrashing through a wooden fence (Charlottesville, VA)
  • casually flicking cigarette ashes on your friend’shead and then violently throwing up in his toilet (Blacksburg, VA) ... Done by

And for no reason whatsoever, here's a rare photo of Mr, Quixotica ( during his halcyon, formative years. Note his prescient sense of style -- the lavender Izod polo, black-and-white checkered vans and OP plaid shorts. And don't forget the "Mom, I forgot my bookbag face." Or is it the "why doesn't anyone want to play with me" face?

While the expression “marteau’d” did not catch on nationally (yet), it is still used by a small number of 30-somethings in and around the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Here's some more "marteau" time on the World Wide Web:

Did You Know:
The French are not the only ones who like to have a good time. The Brits like to call bar-hopping "going out on the tiles," ... though I think the "tiles" is where you end up after a long night of carousing. Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham inspired the song "Out on the Tiles" (LZ III) with his epic -- and ultimately fatal -- consumption.

Friday, January 25, 2008

More Junkies Lingo ...

For those of you who don't live in the thriving metropolis of Northern Virginia, the Junkies are four regular dudes with a popular radio show on one of DC's most popular FM stations. If you had to fit it into a category, you'd call it sports talk radio. But a lot cooler. See for yourself ...

By popular demand, more tasty slang nuggets from WJFK's The Sports Junkies
(Excerpted from

Derived from a gambling and poker term, meaning to have little or no money. As used by the Junkies, it describes something that is undesirable or of low quality because of its small stature.

For example, Cakes had to park his rented pickup truck on the street because it was too large for his nubbins garage. A small mobile phone would not be considered a nubbins phone, however, because smallness is a desirable trait in mobile phones.

Nubbinsville, attending Nubbinsville State, and being on nubbins street refer to being poor.

a short fact or piece of information. Another variation is "nug-let".

The number of partners a women has had. See “Whore or Bore.” As with the "sportcenter" generation, the alternate Spanish interpretation of "nombre" is also socially acceptable.

Okey doke
Someone whose been tricked or duped

Beating someone really bad. "The Lakers pummeled the Jazz."

Put forth little effort, as in a segment, full show, interview, etc. Although the term is used by people all over and is not necessarily "Junkies lingo", the Junkies do often substitute the names of NFL kickers for the word ("I'm going to Hunter Smith the EP", referring to Indianapolis Colts punter Hunter Smith).

Ricky is actually a euphemism used sporadically in PG County some 20 years ago. It is the shortened version of Richard. While the obvious nickname would be Dick, Ricky serves as a witty device to go the long way and refer to someone as a "dick".

In years past you might hear Lurch refer to another as "Richard Cranium", that is translated to "Dick Head". Usually pronounced "Riiiickay". Alluding to former Miami Dolphins football player Ricky Williams, this Junkism refers to any person who makes poor decisions, such as Williams who has been repeatedly suspended and fined for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Biscuits and Gravy ...

Today's moment of sublime quixotica was submitted by a Mr. John Krauss. Mr. Krauss hails from historic Cheverly, MD and grew up on the mean streets of Prince George's County. In his spare time, John enjoys long walks on the beach, gangster rap, writing haikus about Star Trek and keeping it real.

He has been known to wear the occasional cloak, uses the phrase "BTW" religiously in everyday human-to-human conversation and claims some distant relation to bluegrass vixen (and hottie) Allison Krauss. An active gamer, John (or "Icey J" as his friends call him) maintains a challenging second life on Second Life, where he goes by the name of Grease Coakes.

Check him out at , he's sui generis (that's a real word actually)

biscuits and gravy
[bĭs'kĭtz and grey-vee]

n., an exclamation indicative of a state of quiet contentment, usually as a result of some fortuitous and unexpected turn of events; usually preceded in everyday speech by the "it's all ..." sentence fragment; for the purpose of brevity during conversation, the "it's all" component can also be eliminated while still retaining the same meaning

Synonyms include "it's all good," "all fruits ripe," and "sweet"

I guess there's just something special about the harmony that exists between a small cake of shortened bread leavened with baking powder or soda and the fat and juices that drip from cooking meat, often thickened, seasoned, flavored, etc., and used as a sauce

"But you were supposed to pick me up an hour ago at the Farragut West Metro. At first, I was kinda mad, but then I started talking to this chick who likes to play World of Warcraft. We exchanged screen names and I'm going to call her next week, ... so it's all biscuits and gravy."

Did You Know?:The phrase "it's all good" has a downright fascinating history, traced here with vim and verve by author Rebecca Mead in a 2001 magazine article. And be sure to check out Rebecca's other original work, especially her razor-sharp take on the business of weddings in One Perfect Day, available at The New York Times thinks she's the cat's meow. Or is it the ant's pants

Excerpted from RebeccaMead.Com

... This is, of course, arguable, but the adoption of "It's all good" does confirm that phrase's omnipresence in the contemporary lexicon. The expression got a big push into the mainstream this spring on "Survivor: The Australian Outback," when it was used by Alicia Calaway, the buff personal trainer, who informed twenty-eight and a half million Americans that, even though she had not won a million dollars, her experience had indeed been all good. And when Puffy Combs was asked by "Entertainment Tonight" about his painful breakup with Jennifer Lopez earlier this year, he resorted to the "It's all good" formula to explain how he would always have a place in his heart for J. Lo.

According to Weinstock, the meaning of "It's all good" is straightforward. "It means 'no worries,' " he said. "If Disney were to use it, they would say 'Hakuna Matata.' " Actually, "It's all good" is often more nuanced. The original popularizers of the expression were rap performers, including Hammer, who in 1994 released a song entitled "It's All Good." A year later, Tupac Shakur employed the phrase in his hit "California Love," on which Dr. Dre announced, "Diamonds shinin' lookin' like I robbed Liberace / It's all good from Diego to tha Bay." In such contexts, "It's all good" serves as a statement of defiance rather than complacency; things are clearly not all good, for example, if you happen to be Liberace.

The phrase continues to be reflexively used in the rap world, and it has now been adopted ironically by upper-middle-class white people, in whose parlance "It's all good" is usually a way of preëmptively closing a conversation--a discussion of the final episode of "The Sopranos," for example--and segueing to the next topic: where to find the best sushi in the East Village.

But the most widespread use of "It's all good" seems to be among people who have recently discovered yoga and meditation. For this demographic, "It's all good" has become a kind of New Age, neo-Buddhist mantra, one with a peculiarly American flavor of optimism. (As Mark Epstein, the author of "Going On Being: Buddhism and the Way of Change," points out, a truly Buddhist view would be "It's all suffering.") It means that every reversal--breaking up with your boyfriend, getting downsized from your dot-com--is also an opportunity for personal growth. Admittedly, this usage has greater appeal if you are a laid-off, newly single dot-commer than it might if you were, say, an Afghani refugee or a resident of southern Sudan.

Stephen Cope, the author of "Yoga and the Quest for the True Self," explained by telephone last week that he often hears the phrase in the halls of the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Massachusetts, where he is the senior scholar-in-residence. Cope said that although he believes Americans often need a corrective to an embedded Puritan world view--which might be characterized as "It's all bad, especially you"--the phrase does, nonetheless, raise his hackles.

"There is a way in which that mantra can lead to a fatalistic view of life, and can leave out the incredible power of choice," he said. The first time Cope heard the expression was shortly after he arrived at Kripalu, twelve years ago.

"My car had broken down in the middle of a nor'easter, and I ended up having to walk home through the storm and got pneumonia," he said. "I remember someone proposed to me the notion that this was all good, and I definitely had a reaction to it: it is not good being sick, and it would have been good if I had had a cell phone. The only thing that is definitely all good all the time is anything that comes in a blue box from Tiffany."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Need A Word For ...

Getting sucked into to viewing an informercial at 3 in the morning. You're minding your own business channel-surfing and then some host in a contrived talk show set sucks you in. There's lots of smiling and clapping, ... and next thing you know, you've killed 30 minutes learning about how to get your Beach Body in just 90 days.

If you submit a word within the next five minutes, you'll receive a second copy of the as-of-yet unpublished Quixotica absolutely free. Yes, that's right.

I wish there were a channel of nothing but old infomercials, ... kinda like an ESPN Classic for cheesy advertisements. After all, who can deny the power of the Flowbee? Or the sharpness of a Ginsu knife? Don't you miss watching Jack LaLanne drinking carrot juice? He's still alive, BTW, and will turn 94 later this year.

Remember the one with a British guy in a bowtie that sets a car hood on fire, ... and then waxes the car's hood to a like-new shine? And I feel like I've grown up with Carleton Sheets and his no-money down system for buying real estate. And who could forget Don LaPre and his empire built on classified ads. My Rich Dad wouldn't.

But wait, there's more

Did You Know?:
The word infomercial is a portmanteau.

A portmanteau (IPA: /pɔrtˈmæntoʊ/), plural portmanteaux, is a word or morpheme that fuses two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded meaning. A folk usage of portmanteau refers to a word formed by combining both sounds and meanings from two or more words (e.g., spork from spoon and fork, animatronics from animated and electronics, guesstimate from guess and estimate, wikipedia from wiki and encyclopedia, or ginormous from gigantic and enormous). Typically, portmanteaux are nonce words or neologisms. Portmanteaux are commonly used in science fiction for a wide variety of technical words, such as cyborg from cybernetic and organism.

Thumbing through the Quixotic archives, I believe that urgasm, obloof and tryptophantasy would be considered portmanteaux.