April 2, 2008 question

If you thought the lack of trivia yesterday meant the end of trivia, April Fools!

If you thought I just didn’t get around to it because I was too busy in the transition . . . you get full credit for yesterday’s question, "Why didn’t I get trivia today?" Congratulations. Now, a few housekeeping matters:

I don’t remember who got the question right on Monday. But the answer was March 25, which actually happened this year in Japan. And, yes, it was March 25 in Japan and in the U.S. when the game started. I also neglected to send the answer for Friday, which was Harvey Ball (the designer of the Smiley Face and the sport played by invisible rabbits). Nobody knew that one. Now, on to the first question of the new trivia regime:

In the credits of the movie Harvey, starring Jimmy Stewart, who is credited as playing the role of Harvey the invisible rabbit?

Choose Your Own Adventure, Only Dorkier

I actually like reading the dictionary. It’s quite well written. As a father of a four-year-old inquisitor, I know how hard it is to put a word’s meaning into words without actually using the word itself. In case you can’t tell by the numerous links on this blog, Merriam-Webster is my favorite to read.

I don’t read it cover to cover, though. I read it like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. I look up the meaning of one word only to find another fascinating word in the definition. So I look that one up and find a word I don’t even know. Then I see that word has a related word in its etymology that simply must be looked up for its etymology. It’s quite fun in a “what would Nancy Drew do if using words incorrectly were a crime” kind of way.

Tonight, I looked up repartee only to find that A) I had spelled it wrong, B) it demanded none of the accents ague I thought were necessary, and C) it had four possible pronunciations. Then I was caught off guard by the word adroitness. Then I discovered a phonetic mark I didn’t know the meaning of, and that led me down a useless rabbit trail. But I was also interested to know that dexterous was a synonym of adroit, because I thought dexterity was more of a physical thing. But, as it turns out, its primary meaning is more about having a quick mind than having fast fingers.

I could go on, and sometimes I do. But I stopped at dexterous. I can’t wait to start reading again tomorrow to see how this bad boy ends.

Customer Service Departments

Dear Adam,

I noticed strange characters appearing in speech bubbles above your head. You know, the ones that appear when you hold down the shift key and push numbers: !@#$%. What gives? Is there anything I can do to improve your experience?

CS Agents, Everywhere

Dear CSAEs,

I’m sorry you misinterpreted my actions. Muttering under my breath is my way of saying, “Thank you,” for acting like you were doing me a favor just by coming out to the actual customer service desk. It’s my way of saying, “Nicely put,” because I’m just so impressed with the witty repartee you’ve got going with your friend on the phone. Muffled curses are how I express my appreciation for trying to sell me every service your company offers while I’m trying to cancel the one lousy service I actually agreed to pay for in the first place. All of that is awesome. Normal letters don’t capture my admiration for your knowledge of neither your company’s products nor the English language. Only *&$^# can adequately state how valued I feel by the phone connection that is intelligible only when the world’s cheesiest on-hold music is playing. I can’t tell you how much I hate being treated like a human being; you never let me down.

So, my advice to you? Since you asked (not), just keep doing what you’re doing . . . and enjoy Circle 5.

Overheard . . . The Meaning of Life

Addison is starting to get all profound on us. As we were driving by the funeral home this weekend, he says, “Is that the die place?”

Heather: “That’s the funeral home and the cemetery. That’s where we buried Grandpa Jim. But do you know where he is?”

Addison: “Jesus’ house.”

And then this morning, the first morning of my freelance-only career, I asked Addison if I was at work at Moody. He replied hesitantly, “No. Where are you going to work?”

Me: “Here.”

Addison: “You’re going to work at home? This is gonna be fun.”

And a few minutes later, he looked at me with his arms wide open and said, “Daddy, believe in your life. I am here.” I’m not even sure what that means, but I was inspired.

This is gonna be fun.