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Friday, January 13, 2006

And they yelled as they danced, "Look around you! The Vikings must have won the Super Bowl!"

Several weeks ago one of my co-workers was complaining about toe pain. Apparently the big toenail on her left foot was in the early stages of ingrown-dom and was causing her much grief. "My word," she sort of said (I'm paraphrasing in hopes of keeping this a family-rated blog), "my toe is certainly causing me more than a bit of discomfort. I wish there was an easy way to alleviate said pain."

Well, one of my other co-workers pointed out, there are doctors who specialize in such things...

"Actually, though I mean no disparagement of the medical profession in general," she didn't say but the gist was the same, "I consider doctors to be the sort of people I wish to avoid, as a general policy. In my years working as a registered nurse I've oft seen things to leave me somewhat unimpressed."

Well, said another one of my co-workers (up to this point the only one aware that this blog existed), have you read Charlie's online dealie about fixing his toenail?

I had hoped, actually, to stay out of the conversation, but there was immediate demand to see said online dealie so I dutifully pulled up this post from my early days of meaningless musing. People read it, there was general consensus that I was a big freak, and we went on with our night's work.

I never gave it more thought, until a couple of weeks ago when the same co-worker came up to me and said, "Well, I tried your toe-fixing technique."

I was completely floored - had no idea what she was talking about, at first. But indeed, as she told the story, she'd printed the blog entry out so as not to skip any steps and taken Swiss Army knife and pliers in hand and by heck done a little do-it-yourself podiatry. "It was remarkably discomfort-causing," she more or less said. "I spent some time thinking back on various events in my life that have caused me physical anguish and this experience certainly ranks high among them."

But, in the end, she concurred that the short-term discomfort of cutting into her own toe with a camping knife and then ripping part of said toe off with household pliers was absolutely worth it. She said she'd kept a copy of the post in case she ever needed to suggest the therapy to anyone else.

Which makes it seem as if this blog has actually done some good for someone. Which is, to say the least, a daunting concept.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

So This is Christmas, What Have You Sung?

Well hello there and a happy 2006. I hope you all had dandy holidays - I certainly did. I heart family-oriented holidays, and at least in my family there's no holiday family-er than Christmas.

Looking around Blogistan it looks as if resolution lists are the order of the day, but I'm somewhat disinclined to publish mine (other than, of course, a firm commitment of a post a day for 2006!), so instead I'll ask for your help with a Jule-ish problem that's bugged me for the last couple of years.

Specifically, today we're going to be discussing Christmas carol lyrics. There are two classic Christmas hymns that offer themselves, I think, to different interpretations. Certainly they've always caused me some confusion, anyway. Absent any way to actually ask the composer what his intentions were, I'll do it in the form of a poll (or a "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" Ask The Audience lifeline). I'll provide the lyric in question and then the various interpretations and you cast your votes. We'll call the results canonical, so vote carefully. Choice A on each is the way I've always interpreted the lyric.

Lyric 1: Hark, the Herald Angels Sing

Hark, the herald angels sing/glory to the newborn king!

Which of these is the most accurate rewrite?

A - A shepherd says, "Hark! Lookit over there at those angels singing! Praise to this king they're singing about, whomever he may be!"

B - A shepherd says, "Hark! Lookit over there at those angels singing, 'Glory to the newborn king!'!"

C - Several angels (some of them possibly but not necessarily named Harold) sing "Hark! Glory to the newborn king!"

Lyric Two: The First Noel

The first Noel/The angels did say/Was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay

Which of these is the most accurate rewrite?

A - Angels, reminiscing sometime after the first Christmas, talk about how the very first Noel they ever Noeled was to some shepherds.

B - The first Noel the angels said was said to a bunch of lying-down shepherds.

Weigh in, cast your votes, help clarify things for my poor widdle brain! Your opportunity for a little civic service this fine rainy January day.

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