paraph.

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Paraph

       Part of speech: noun

      Origin: Late Middle French, 15th century

A flourish after a signature, originally as a precaution against forgery.

Examples in a sentence:

“My father’s signature was recognizable because of his ostentatious paraph.”

“I recognized the paraph rather than the signature itself.”

Popularity Over Time:

Borrowed from the French “paraph,” meaning “paragraph,” with both words based on the Latin “paraphus,” meaning “short horizontal stroke.”

Adding a paraph to one’s signature was an early means of attempting to avoid forgery, since the more ornate one’s paraph, the harder the full signature would be to copy. When a notary signs a document of obligation, such as a mortgage or note referring to money owed, the notary’s signature is called a “paraph.” In this context, a paraph is different from a simple signature, because it certifies the document as legitimate.

“art is the signature of civilizations.”
-beverly sills

 

credits: word genius

on maple street.

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one of my personal idols

brilliant writer and social activist, rod serling

wrote this story in 1960, as a prescient warning

“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs, and explosions, and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy; and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is, that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone. – Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone episode: The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street-1960

news about the cycle of life!

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according to turkmenistanian math

i am in the ‘inspirational’ cycle of my life

 heading toward ‘wise’

so i had better get on it!

if i was in the wise cycle

i would have

read all the way to the bottom

to see these cycles

only apply to turkmenistanians

so the pressure is off

now i can comfortably return 

to my blissfully unaware/immature cycle. 

“there is a savor of life and immortality in substantial fare. like balloons, we are nothing till filled.”

– herman melville

feelin’ moody.

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guess what’s back?

or maybe never left.

fashion fad of the 70s

a mood ring

popped up on my screen

when scrolling through amazon

 had one in high school

loved it

all my friends had one

we were constantly

comparing them

trying to get ours to change

to match the desired color/mood

slowly over time

our rings

broke, got lost, were given away

we returned to

just talking about

how we were feeling

not needing the rings anymore

but for a while

they were really something.

(in case you’re wondering, i’d be in the blue range right now, relaxed and calm)

(what color would you be on the mood meter?)

“i don’t need a moon ring, i have a face.”

-author unknown

 

 

image credit: amazon.com

“those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”-jmb

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a call came from a director

who had worked with my grandson

on an entertainment project

he and his crew were in town

to shoot a pilot for a new show

the idea is to surprise someone

but instead of pranking them

it’s focus is on thanking them

he was looking for locals to help with the show

those who know ‘afternoon delight’

a local breakfast/lunch spot

not fancy, with great food

an unchanged part of this town for many years

the surprise was to be for walter

a local, humble, and very deserving gentleman

who has worked there for 40+ years and refuses to retire

he lives without a phone

(the farmers at the market let him use theirs when he needs one)

he lives without a car

(the local pedi-cab guy gives him rides to work and whenever he needs one)

he’s never been on a plane or boat

he lives alone with his many plants

his family is the restaurant crew and all who pass through the doors

he shows up every single day, works hard, and is unfailingly kind to everyone

but his presence is so much more than that

he has touched so many lives over the years and in so many ways

after keeping walter at home a bit longer than usual

 worrying about being needed at work

everything was finally ready

the moment he walked in

he looked teary

saying, “i can’t believe my eyes”

with the sweetest smile

he thanked everyone for coming

and was told

“walter, we are here to thank you!”

for impacting the town and the people

he had a chance to talk to every person

as we each presented him with a plant and our story

he had walked one down the aisle

when she was a waitress there and didn’t have a father

the pedi-cab driver had worked there too

some had worked with him for many years

or had been coming in for many years

and one after another

each person thanked him

multiple generations had eaten there

and he listened and he smiled and he thanked them

for being such an important part of his life

 when he sat in the booth that now has his name on it forever

he told his stories

how things had changed over the years but stayed the same

how life had been hard at times but was so thankful for everything

when he first started it was bob dylan and joan baez stopping by after a concert

 each era brought new music and new people

along with people who continued to come in over and over

bringing children and grandchildren

while the food is very good

walter is what makes the difference

why people keep coming

as we said our goodbyes

walter climbed into the pedi-cab,

now with bubbles flowing, music playing, for a ride around town

his town

to celebrate his special day

before coming back to his other home

the restaurant

as i walked back to my car

someone saw my t-shirt

stopped his car and asked:

“is that for walter from afternoon delight?”

when i said it was

he told me he owns a nearby deli

 whenever he sees walter making his way down the street

he makes walter’s favorite sandwich for him

walter is a treasured family member to everyone lucky enough to meet him.

“there is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.

we sometimes lose sight of this…

then suddenly the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people,

who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”

-sir richard attenborough

at the school show.

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one of my favorite things

is to go to school shows

i love every kind of kid up there

 bored

nervous

awkward

moving

bouncing

spinning

hiding in back

 overly enthusiastic

staring straight ahead

giggling

belting it out

faking the lyrics

wearing mismatched shoes

in a fancy outfit

whispering to a stage neighbor

giving it their all

waving to family

looking proud

non-stop smiling

have their own rhythm different from the rest

whether

dancing

singing

acting

playing anything that makes a musical sound

performance art

athletic feats

comedy

any kind of talent show

poetry reading

costumed or not.

i am all in.

“sometimes I was in school plays,

but only when the kid they’d originally picked got sick and they asked me to substitute.”

-peter falk

“i remember acting in a school play about the melting pot when I was very little.

there was a great big pot onstage.

on the other side of the pot was a little girl who had dark hair,

and she and i were representing the italians.

and i thought: is that what an italian looked like?”

-al pacino

“i did a school play when I was 10 where I played a cold germ infecting a whole classroom of kids.

the play was called ‘Piffle It’s Only a Sniffle.’

i’d never had so much fun. It was a thrill.”

-kim cattrall

owls.

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 Meet the owls that lived in the Smithsonian Castle

These barn owls used to live in the Smithsonian Institution Building, AKA the Castle, in the 1970s.

The Smithsonian Secretary in the 70s, S. Dillon Ripley, was an ornithologist and thought the owls could hunt the rats attracted to the new garbage cans on the National Mall. He named them Increase and Diffusion—a nod to the Smithsonian’s mission of “the increase and diffusion of knowledge”—and they lived in the building’s west tower.

The pair hatched three owlets in the spring of 1977. One of those new owlets fell out of the tower, but was recaptured and brought safely inside by a staff member. After raising their family, the owls departed and never returned.

This Smithsonian Institution Archives photo shows one of the pair refusing to take a message.

(Not to be confused with the previous Castle owl residents, who were known to crash into windows and swoop down on guards on the National Mall at night, and whose extensive droppings caused the collapse of the floor of a tower. They remain nameless.)

In honor of International Owl Awareness Day

The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders at our quaint spirits.
-William Shakespeare

Read the full history of Smithsonian Castle owls from Smithsonian Institution Archives

Credits: Hannah S. Ostroff, Smithosonian