Friday, February 8, 2008


Redate. Thank god New York City can’t get it through its head that it isn’t a village, it's for this you always get a second shot at bumping into the same people twice. And in accordance with the ways of the piccolo paese, the provincialism keeps these townsfolk here, which means it may take eight years to bump into Sue Kim again, but eight years may also be exactly what you needed. Christ, how many sleepless nights did I torture myself for asking Sue “so what you doing later what you doing later?” seven times in the span of six minutes at that shit hole on the Bowery? “You already asked me that and I said ‘I dunno, what are you doing later?’” And my god how lonely must our gigantic village be for “Um, uh, I want to go to your place, how ‘bout now?” to have worked! Sue Kim and I ate face in the back of a cab while the sect Sikh kept tapping the glass divider so we’d get the hint to keep it secco. The stairwell to her apartment on Hester and Allen turned out to be where all the hairs of the world go when you flush them down the sink and made comfortable nests for the Beetlenut pits the Chinese chewed and the spat out as receptacles to cling the phlegm to as it lunged from their lungs between shouts. And as embarrassing as my clumsy approach to that bed was, I’m still dying to know who told Sue Kim moving up and down like a frog on its back out of water created any sort of refuge for a penis. Ooh and even now I get the shivers when it comes to me in burning awkward waves just how naïve I was the following morning when I asked from bed “So let’s go to a museum today, yeah?” When she failed to respond I kissed her on her cheek and she rolled back away under the covers. I slipped my clothes on, left the dirty socks at hers, and wandered slowly across the bridge back to mine making sure I had enough time to convince myself it was in fact fun before crashing in my own. Fast forward eight years ahead to a different Bowery, different wallet, and different us above the same soil in a hotel lounge where thank god this booze has pickled us eternally in our youth because, “Sue Kim, is that thee Sue Kim from Hester and Allen?” “I still live there, and wait ‘till you see the place now!”
“Well that didn’t take very long did it Sue?” “We have some doors to close my friend, don’t we?” Patience joined us in the cab, the Chinese neighbors had become New Yorkers, the frog became a bronco, and I slipped out without a clue in the morning according to cue.

-- Simon Henderson, Chris Leo

Rescovered is a vox super voltus, from the Latin for “overlooked words”. A VSV is a word whose existence (or lack there of) baffles most other River Plate definitions. While the bulk of the River Plate words are currently vying for validation between languages, rescovered is a word that could have very logically happened right at the heart of several Latin based languages, but somehow didn’t. Is River Plates the first to discover rescover? Doubtful. It seems unlikely this word could’ve slipped past the masses so close to "recover" since time immemorial, yet something about it makes it just not stick. Instead, we say “rediscovered”, thereby (seemingly) awkwardly prefixing a prefix with “re” + “dis”. One theory is that this is in fact not the case, that rediscovered is an odd combination of the Old Frisian “rede”, from where we get “ready”, joined to the Late Latin “scoperire” for “uncover”. The idea being that when something is uncovered a second time it is now officially ready. Think in terms of art, there's the avant garde and then there's the generation who copies the avant garde afterwards who reap the spoils of success. The populous is now ready only because it’s been partially digested already. Amongst ascetics there's the practice of drinking one’s own urine because many of the nutrients inside are now more readily available as they too have been partially broken down. Some think “religion” comes from the Latin “re” (again) + “legere” (to read). Again, there is this sense that when something is visited a second time it becomes something entirely different. Perhaps it is for this reason rescovered has remained a vox super voltus. Or perhaps it's because when you return to things a second time "different" does not always mean better; sometimes they are simply covered in the residue of leftovers, or rescovered.

-- Chris Leo

Resurrexit. L’espirit de l’escalier (the spirit of the stairs) is a French idiom for realizing the perfect comeback seconds too late. The idea being that one always seems to hit on the way down the stairwell of the house you just stormed out of. Resurrexit though is the American idea that it’s never too late. No, you storm right back up those stairs and give it to him girl. “And furthermore, this cur-ious quest for words you’ve embarked on is not only about the most unsexiest thing ever, but it’s also truly one failed endless attempt at rationalizing your juvenile and perverted core,” she resurrexited. “You can’t be juvenile and perverted at the same time,” I mumbled under my breath. “That just was!” she said as she attempted a fleeing once more. Well I let the door slam, opened it while she was racing down the stairs hoping for another l’espirit de l’escalier to hit, and filled in that space with my own words instead. I had to secure an end to more possible reresurrexits. “Run all you want Ahab, but I know you’ll never be through with my big white mobile dick, oh!” No no, in fact she was.

-- Chris Leo

Rich Linklater is an American troppopomo eponym. It’s a shame American English recycles its eponyms in time for the droll headlines of tomorrow because some of the greatest British words still in use today come from long forgotten namesakes, of both the great and ultra ordinary. Yes, it’s overly romantic to believe that every time someone says “guy” the residue of failed incendiary Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up Parliament and from whence we get the pronoun “guy” is felt, but the idea that it is not still felt may be just as romantic. Richard Linklater directed the films Slackers and Dazed and Confused, which is already enough to make his name both synonymous with and archetypal of troppopomism. Since then it’s also become a code for excluding an unwanted third party from the hang. “Henry, I heard Rich Linklater claims the new 4:20 is quatre-vingt, whadda you think?” means “Henry, let’s ditch for a drink later and link back up at 8, what say ye?” Or “I dunno, I think I’ll just go home tonight and pass out watching a Linklater on pay-per-view” means “I dunno, how 'bout we meet for a drink later and pass around the paper dude?”

-- Giorgio Grappi, Chris Leo

Ricottage is cheezy to the nth exponential; it is cheeze cheezed. While Italians claim “ricotto” means “recooked”, the English claim “cottage” implies something homemade, and the Scottish are still complaining that someone not only dropped the ‘s’ off the beginning but ceased frying it as well, the impartial eye knowingly senses that both cheeses’ curd-like wet consistency makes them obvious relatives. Regardless (though the Italians are probably most right), fortunately there is a France between that allows us to hear the “age” as the “related to, belonging to” we need. Being therefore cheezishly cheesy, ricottage isn't just cheezy, it's prepackaged manufactured cheeze you've already tasted before.
-- Chris Leo

Ridiculo is the humiliating final argument of a debate. If the points from the other side of the table have become so lowly and loose that proper oral rebuttal need no longer be honored, a well ripped ridiculo combined with a noncapitulating stare will leave you as triumphant as the trumpet you just blared and them as flat as the flatulence declared.

ridi ("you laugh" in Italian) + culo ("ass" in Italian) = ridicule through ass laughing.

-- Chris Leo

Rockognized. I dusted off my guitar and took it in for a set-up to get ready for a Van Pelt reunion show at SXSW.
"Does the 'VP' spray-painted on your case mean 'Van Pelt'?"
"Uhh...well yes. You remember us?"
"Oh yeah, oooh yeah, awwwwzzzzmmm."
And next thing I knew warm Santa Anna winds had blown down the Februarily frigid Ludlow Street wafting the doors of the shop open! In rode Rick Rubin who desparately needed to know where he could find that Van Pelt/Radio to Saturn split 7" with the hand-screened sleeves and the clerk from the Princeton Record Exchange was right in toe reminiscing about the one month run our "Sultans of Sentiment" album had on the "staff picks" rack back in '96 and followed that with "yeah, but I always thought your sister was the most talented member of your clan, but how's your Cousin Johnny doin' anyhow?". The yellow bricks of Santa Monica kept a rolling all the way through the store down the back staircase into the basement where the guitar tech actually slapped my hand and patted my back and said he knew I'd "need some subtle action so the strings could breathe a bit"! I fielded a million more questions on my way out the store about the bloody pick-ups on Brian's telecaster, Neil's spearheading of the mallet movement when everyone else was using shakers, and Sean's foray's in my other brother's bands.

When I returned the next week to pick up my guitar I was sure to bring my girlfriend along in case she needed a little reminder of my long dormant but still utter dopeness. I dragged her through the snow expecting to show off prints of my hands in a concrete slab on Ludlow, but instead arrived to an empty store without a single similar face, found my guitar in a pile of a million other guitars with spray-painted monograms on their cases too, was informed that in fact my neck was not mahogany but a bizarre polymer concoted in Delaware and that "sometimes cheap gits like that are fun to kick around with". Upon receiving the bill I turned to gf and asked her what pixie put the "poor" in the "porridge" we'd be eating tonight and "do you like sloe gin? Because I think there might be a bottle of it tucked deep deep into the pantry we could eek a little alcohol out of yet".

-- Chris Leo

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