Song Lyric Spotlight: Halloween Twofer

It’s been a while, but Song Lyric Spotlight is back!

I was inspired because today is Halloween.

There are, of course, countless spooky and Halloween-themed songs floating around like so many ill-mannered ghosts.

Today, I am presenting two songs which take the concept of the lullaby and childhood fears and go in drastically different directions.

The first song is: Lullaby (lyrics) by The Cure from their Disintegration album.

This is an intensely creepy song about a man-spider creeping into the singer’s bedroom to devour him alive.

Some lyrics:

On candystripe legs, the spiderman comes
softly through the shadow of the evening sun
stealing past the windows of the blissfully dead
looking for the victim shivering in bed


The next song, is also a lullaby and it is a much more of a standard, reassuring one.

The song is The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (lyrics) by The Smiths from their debut album.

It is a song a father sings to his son reassuring that he will always be there to protect him.

Please don’t cry
For the ghost and the storm outside
Will not invade this sacred shrine
Nor infiltrate your mind
My life down I shall lie
If the bogey-man should try
To play tricks on your sacred mind
To tease, torment, and tantalise
Wavering shadows loom
A piano plays in an empty room
There’ll be blood on the cleaver tonight

Still creepy, but touching as well.


Word of the Week Wednesday: skullduggery

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: skullduggery.

Skullduggery is an uncommon and somewhat folksy-sounding word for trickery, deceit and dirty dealing.

Being that it’s close to Halloween, I figured a word that starts with “skull” would be fitting.

For me, I get a sense of mischief from the word.  It very much reminds me of the incantation for the Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter: “I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good.”

In truth, the word is actually quite a bit more serious than that, and tends to be used as such.  But it has a sound to it that I find hard to take too seriously.

Word of the Week Wednesday: sibilance

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: sibilance.

Sibilance is a word that describes a hissing sound.

While it’s just the sound we make for an “s”, the protracted hiss has a connotation of an angry animal like a cat of a snake.

When it’s not necessarily angry, it still suffers for the snake’s evil reputation.

Sssomething about a ssserpent, I sssuppose.



Overdue Toastmasters Update

It’s been an awfully eventful few months for me with Toastmasters as Area Governor.

I’m planning on using that as my excuse for being so slack in my posting of late.

As a result of these two phenomenon, I have quite a few long overdue updates.

In my last Toastmasters-related post, I mentioned that we were in our Fall Contest Season.  We are holding Humorous Speech and Evaluation contests.

September was Area Contest Month and I helped out in eight separate Area contests, during three of which I gave the test speech that the Evaluation Contestants evaluated.

After seeing how just about every other Area in Hampton Roads did it, I finally held my own Area Contest on a dark and stormy night at the end of September.

The contest went very well, mostly because I had a lot of help.


Today was our Division Contest, where all the winners of the various Area Contests competed to see who would move on to the contests to be held at our Fall Convention.  I’m proud to announce that the Humorous Speech contestant from my home club placed third.


Also at today’s contest, the winners of the Division-wide “Battle of the VPs of Membership” were announced.  This was a membership renewal contest to see which clubs could get the highest percentage of members renewed as early as possible.

Of the 24 clubs in the Division, two clubs in my Area (more than any other Area) qualified and one of my clubs took First Place.


Note: Not Me

This coming Friday, my company will be holding its semi-Annual Tech Expo where all of the sizable IT Department gathers together and, after a plenary session where the CIO and the various VPs share status and planning updates, we break into groups and attend sessions presented by different sub-departments to find out what new technologies are being developed and used.

I mention this because I will be presenting a brief overview and introduction at the Expo explaining what we do in our Toastmasters club.  The purpose is to sell the benefits of Toastmasters for both individual skills development and contribution towards the company’s success.


My last update is about the District Conference.  Because I’m in IT and have been willing to help, I’ve been asked to act as the “AV Guy”.  I’ll be in charge of the setup and maintenance for the entire conference.

I’m a bit apprehensive about this because it’s a really big job and AV is not my exact bailiwick.  I’ve made this clear, so hopefully not too much is expected and I have reached out for assistance, with some success.

We’ll be holding a dry run next weekend at the facility to work out the details.  Wish me luck!

Word of the Week Wednesday: schadenfreude

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: schadenfreude

Schadenfreude is from the German compound word for harm and joy.  It describes the feeling in taking pleasure in someone else’s misfortune.

It was in relatively popular usage some time back.

While it actually sounds pretty mean and petty, and can be, I’ve often heard it used with a certain feeling of justification.  In the sense that it’s actually a feeling of satisfaction at the cosmic justice of someone getting their richly deserved comeuppance.  For instance, seeing a motorcyclist who’s been weaving in and out of traffic get pulled over for a ticket.




Word of the Week Wednesday: penurious

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: penurious

Penurious means stingy or miserly.  But it can also mean poor or indigent.

The second meaning actually predates the first.

So, I wonder, does this imply a cause and effect relationship?

Is someone’s poverty caused by another’s miserliness?  Is someone a miser to avoid falling back into a previous bout of poverty?

Both states include a lack of sharing, one because of necessity, the other because of inclination.

I have no intention of getting into the politics of haves and have nots, but from a purely semantic point of view, it raises some interesting questions to ponder.


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