Category Archives: grief

Funk • y


Funk • y [fuhng-kee]

funk (1) Look up funk at“depression, ill-humor,” 1743, probably originally Scottish and northern English; earlier as a verb, “panic, fail through panic,” (1737), said to be 17c. Oxford University slang, perhaps from Flem. fonck “perturbation, agitation, distress,” possibly related to O.Fr. funicle “wild, mad.”

  1. cowering fear; state of great fright or terror.
  2. a dejected mood: He’s been in a funk ever since she walked out on him.

verb (used with object)

  1. to be afraid of.
  2. to frighten.
  3. to shrink from; try to shirk.

funk (2) Look up funk at“bad smell,” 1620s, from dialectal Fr. funkière “smoke,” from O.Fr. fungier “give off smoke; fill with smoke,” from L. fumigare “to smoke” (see fume). In reference to a style of music, it is first attested 1959, a back formation from funky.

funky Look up funky at Dictionary.com1784, “old, musty,” in reference to cheeses, then “repulsive,” from funk (2) + -y (2). It began to develop an approving sense in jazz slang c.1900, probably on the notion of “earthy, strong, deeply felt.” … The word reached wider popularity c.1954 (e.g. definition in “Time” magazine, Nov. 8, 1954) and in the 1960s acquired a broad slang sense of “fine, stylish, excellent.”

For more fun with words, see the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Dis • cour • aged


Dis • cour • aged

discourage Look up discourage at mid-15c., discoragen, from M.Fr. descourager, from O.Fr. descoragier, from des- “away” (see dis-) + corage (see courage). Related: Discouraged; discouragement; discouraging.

  1. to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit.
  2. to dissuade (usually followed by from ).
  3. to obstruct by opposition or difficulty; hinder: Low prices discourage industry.
  4. to express or make clear disapproval of; frown upon: to discourage the expression of enthusiasm.

courage Look up courage at c.1300, from O.Fr. corage (12c., Mod.Fr. courage) “heart, innermost feelings; temper,” from V.L. *coraticum (cf. It. coraggio, Sp. coraje), from L. cor “heart,” which remains a common metaphor for inner strength. In M.E., used broadly for “what is in one’s mind or thoughts,” hence “bravery,” but also “wrath, pride, confidence, lustiness,” or any sort of inclination. Replaced O.E. ellen, which also meant “zeal, strength.”

Two birds



My sweet Alexandrine Parakeet Caesar died tonight after a sudden illness. She was a beautiful parrot, often a pain in the ass, but I loved her so much these past 8 years.

She suddenly showed signs of extreme illness yesterday afternoon. Today, the vet found nothing wrong except for extreme anemia of an unknown origin. She was given fluids along with iron and B vitamins, and put on oxygen all day long.

This evening, I was driving to pick her up to bring her home for the night. Suddenly, on the side of the road I saw a struggling animal. It was a mallard duck who had just been hit by a car. He was upside down and his feet were waiving frantically as he struggled. I quickly turned around, thinking, “I’m driving straight to the vet anyway—a vet that often takes care of injured wildlife – and I will be there in 5 minutes.” I arrived, and immediately at my shoulder, was a small, gentle man who told me his name was Chico. He too, had come to help the bird, after seeing somebody hit it and then drive off. He said he lived nearby and that basically people suck because they treat animals like they are disposable—and that is why he and his wife have 10 dogs. As we bent over the bird, we quickly realized that he was already gone, his neck laid open with a deep gash. We talked for a little while. I thanked him and said there was hope if people like us would stop to help this bird. He wondered what to do. I said I could take the body on with me, but then he decided, no, he would bury it in his yard. I gave him the towel I had brought for Caesar, and he walked off with the body of that once graceful bird.

Late Night Snack

Late Night Snack

I arrived at the vet a few minutes later, thinking about Chico and that duck. I washed my hands of potential blood and germs, as I wouldn’t want to pass anything on to my already very sick bird. They told me Caesar had begun hiding in the back of the cage, burying her head, and she would crawl back there with all the strength she had left. I could tell from what the vet tech did say and didn’t say, that she thought she was dying. And I knew, because the vet, who I’ve known for years, had let me take her home—not insisting she stay on oxygen overnight. He said she hadn’t moved all day. I brought her home, set up her cat carrier with a warm bean bag and turned the space heater on in the bathroom again. I tried to bring her out to say goodbye, but she struggled, and went immediately back to the corner.

Then I went to the studio for a few hours. She died while I was driving home, shortly after my husband had last checked on her. I hope so much that she felt immediately free, that there is somewhere she can fly with other birds and scream and call to her heart’s content. I failed her badly in so many ways—I hope too, that she can forgive me.

Two birds, two deaths, one day. A reason to grieve, and a reason to hope.

Guilty TV, various shades of blue, and what to do with celeriac


Ahh. Guilty pleasures: Biggest Loser and Parenthood on Hulu. I’ve hardly watched any TV at all this summer, but now at least I have a few things to watch other than The Daily Show, to shut my brain off once in a while. And soon: Glee.

We’ve had such a beautiful warm Fall. And we deserve it after the long, cold, crappy spring and subsequent very short summer. Today I hiked Pilot Butte at lunch and every time I got to the west side I was amazed at the clarity of the mountains against the endless blue sky. I should get out in it every day, because so soon it will be biting cold. And/or snowing.

I’ve been a little down these last few days. Not sure what it is: Change of season? Finally slowing down a little with no travel planned? Processing and reacting to the culture clash of the Portland vegan world versus my everyday world? Extra time on my hands and time to myself because the kids are back home? Something seems a little empty, a little off. It will probably right itself one of these days.

In the meantime, I’ll keep baking bread {like the aromatic kalamata olive bread that just came out of the oven}, and loving on my hubby and animals. Also, I bought celeriac at the farmer’s market today, just to try something new—it smells so good! Can’t wait to use it in a soup or maybe a slaw, which was a suggestion from the stand worker.