better blog than never

I missed yesterday, in case anyone noticed.  I cooked a lot (guests for dinner) and then I talked a lot (one of the guests stayed and we finished the bottle), and by the time I cleaned up and started the dishwasher it was 10 to 12, only  ten minutes left to I went to bed. (I made shrimp gumbo, in case anyone wants to know, and buttermilk cornbread and spinach salad with Clementines.) And I slept well.

So here I am, blog-less. I don't feel like writing. I feel like scunging.  I had to insist on that word; the predictive editor wanted to change it to skunking. So I looked it up and it's not in the online dictionary. Oh dear...

So I started looking in my dictionaries, of which I own a number.  I started with a couple of esoteric ones; The Endangered English Dictionary: Bodacious Words Your Dictionary Forgot,  ed. David Grambs (W.W. Norton, 1994); and Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words, ed. Josefa Heifetz Byrne (University Books, Inc., 1974). Not there, but I had to stop and enjoy a few. Then I went to the big guns: my big two-volume, magnifying-glass edition of the OED -- nope. But the Supplement, Volume III and get your own magnifying glass, had scunge (alt.spelling skunge).  It didn't have quite the same meaning that I apply to it.  The copy refers one to sponge or scrounge as similar, and the meaning, to live off someone else is close but not quite. 

My father used scunge to describe, that is, to accuse me of lying about doing nothing - on a day off, I might add, when scunging was admissible.  If it was, indeed, a day off, then the accusation was playful. If it wasn't, then GET UP!  I guess I was scrounging, at that. After all, I was living at home and he was supporting me.  So, back to scunge. Now I'm the one supporting me and I'm harder on me than my father ever was. It's called self-castigation. I looked that up, too.

Castigation is related to chastity and it involves some punishment, self-administeed.  Anyway, this is from the online dictionary:

"Self-castigation is applied by the repentant culprit to himself, for moraland/or religious reasons, notably as penance."

That's what I get for skunking.  Scunging, that is.