Dr. Fauci and another medical specialist used a word in response to interview questions yesterday that sounded, to me, a bit “stuffy.” The word is “efficacious,” a synonym for which is “effective.” Had I been the one speaking to the press, I would have used “effective,” but I am not a medical doctor. The website, etymonline.com, defines it as “sure to have the desired effect (often of medicines),” so I suppose it is not used to demonstrate superiority of the speaker. Perhaps I’m just a thin-skinned skeptic who prefers his own sesquipedalian usage. I hope not, though. I do like to use words with which I am either unfamiliar or only moderately familiar; it helps build my vocabulary, though my memory is fighting against that endeavor. For example, I’d forgotten the word for “given to using long or multisyllabic words.” I had to look it up; once I saw sesquipedalian, I remembered. But if I saw the word without a definition attached, I’d probably recognize it as a word I once knew but no longer remember.


This post was not expected. At least not by me. I wrote a second post yesterday to take the place of this one, which I thought I would not have time to write. What with showering, shaving, and tidying up the house for the bi-monthly housekeeper, I thought I’d be hard-pressed to finish my “chores” before it was time to leave the house. Wrong. If I’d get over my penchant for cleaning up in preparation for the person I pay to clean up, I’d have more time. Or if I can’t stop myself from cleaning up, maybe I should stop paying someone to re-do what I just did. I know I am not alone in that absurd habit. Am I?


I watched another couple of episodes of the Danish series, Warrior, last night. It’s not especially good, but it’s entertaining and sufficiently action-packed to keep my attention. Plus, I get to hear people speaking Dutch. That’s not common in Central Arkansas, so it’s worth a trip into the bowels of Netflix to get enmeshed in another culture and language. I find films and series in which characters interact in Spanish and French and Arabic to be just as interesting. Dutch fears of Afghans and vice versa flow just under the surface of the series, at least under part of it, and that’s an interesting tension to watch and hear.


Once again, out of the blue, I got horrific leg cramps in the middle of the night last night. I was in the midst of a dream in which I felt awful pain in my legs; when I woke up, the scene was different but the pain was real. I hadn’t been using good leg-cramp-avoidance practices; I got up (finally, after painfully forcing my legs to cooperate) and drank a few big swigs of tonic water. Maybe it helped. Or maybe it was the stomping of my feet. Or perhaps the profanity had something to do with the subsidence of agony. Damned leg cramps.


A British doctor with a Middle Eastern name presents, on a BBC video, his theories about seduction. It’s an interesting piece, though it has been a few weeks since I watched it. He defines seduction in a broader sense that most of us do and he claims seduction techniques work to achieve desired results in any number of endeavors, from romance and sex to job promotions and getting hired. Seduction plays a part in every part of our lives, he says, suggesting that the better one gets at seduction, the more likely it will be that the person will enjoy success in all aspects of his or her life.

I’m probably written about Leon Redbone and his song, “I Want to be Seduced,” before. I like that song. It’s so straightforward; incredibly direct.  Here are some of the lyrics I find appealing:

I want to be seduced,
I want a woman to take me out to dinner for two
I want to see her eyes gettin’ moody,
Flirtin’ with the thought of what flirtin’ can lead to
I want to act real cool, have her think about gettin’ little me in bed
Have a chat about Magna Charta, or Puerto Vallarta, or somethin’ Gandhi said
I might demure politely,  falter slightly, if she starts to fondle my knee,
But I’m relatively certain I’d compromise if I know me

I think the appeal is in the last line; “But I’m relatively certain I’d compromise if I know me.” Brutal honesty; but, then, that’s the way he begins the verse and the song. Nothing different, no surprise, but still it’s a flash of honesty that labels him in an unflattering way.


Time to go. Off to Hot Springs.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Unexpectations

  1. Mick says:

    For your leg cramps try Magnesium Citrate 250mg (2 pills once a day with food). Gail’s been on it for a couple of years now and it has really helped.

  2. David, what’s one more pill when it seems I already take the entire stock of a pharmacy every day? I’ll give it a shot!

  3. davidlegan says:

    John, in addition to stomping your foot when you get a cramp, start taking potassium. When we road raced motorcycles, in Texas summers, wearing twenty-five pound leather suits, we got a lot of cramps and ate a lot of bananas in self protection. Potassium supplements are easier, and just as tasty. Take twice the recommended dosage, and do it for two weeks. Then take one a day – forever.

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