A humorous look at the little things in life

I’ve been remiss in writing, but it was NOT because of omphaloskepsis November 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 11:21 am

Recommended wine for today’s entry: Conundrum, a California white table wine blended from five different grapes. It’s a great choice with Thanksgiving turkey! As Wine Spectator described it: “This delicious blend of five white wine grapes is one of the best of its type from California.  It’s a complex wine, with an array of ripe, concentrated flavors—pear, honey, fig, vanilla, peach and nectarine, finishing with lots of character and a dash of spice.  Delicious.” And from Wine Enthusiast: “Rich and lush, full-bodied yet silky on the palate.  This unusual blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon,Viognier and Muscat grapes lives up to its name.”  And best of all, I LOVE the word conundrum! Your assignment: try some Conundrum and use the word in a sentence today! (But not too much wine first — it’s a tough one to pronounce while slurring.)

In Core class in seventh and eighth grade, we used a book called Word Clues, which basically taught Greek and Latin roots and their meanings. It was a very valuable, albeit dull as all hell, learning tool that obviously stuck with me, yea these many years hence. I often find myself using those learnings.

It’s really helpful when I’m doing a crossword puzzle, because I often know part of the word, thanks to knowing the roots. For example, I recently threw away a half-finished puzzle. The clue for 21 across was something like “marine dweller with prominent head.” Well, because in like 1972 I learned that “cephal” meant head, I tried cephalfish, but the “fish” part was clearly wrong, so I erased it and tried cephalclam… wrong. Well, by the time I threw it away, I had filled in everything emanating from the c-e-p-h-a-l part of it and had erased giant holes in the last four letters. Actually, just before I tore through it, it said cephalshit, which I’m not proud of, but sometimes the things we do for relaxation wreak havoc on our blood pressure.

Anyway, my self-imposed rule is that once a puzzle has a hole drilled in it or a cuss word, I have to throw it away.

The whole reason I began to ruminate (ah, excellent one) about words was this gem from’s word of the day (this was awhile ago, but I had bookmarked it and forgotten it…)

Omphaloskepsis. Do you know what it means?

Well, if you don’t, you are obviously a poorly educated dolt. Or you have never sought wisdom from studying your own belly button. 

Seriously? There is really a word in our language that not only is about 7 letters too long for anyone to learn to spell, but it honest to God means “contemplation of one’s navel as part of a mystical exercise.”

I have a couple problems with the whole concept.

First, I think belly buttons are stupid and, quite frankly, gross. They serve no purpose once the doc severs that cord, so at least in my opinion, I think that immediately after delivering a baby, the doctor should snip, tuck and sew the whole area shut tightly.

Not only does this prevent a new mother lifting her baby-powder scented newborn with the perfect little fingers and toes from the crib and having a dried-up, bloody stump of umbilical cord drop onto her foot, but it would also benefit humanity for years to come. Imagine never having to see every fat guy’s giant outie protruding from his too-tight T-shirt at the State Fair. Or never having the whole discussion about belly button lint ruin another dinner party. And as an added bonus, there’s one less place for your teen daughter to pierce. Done.

Second, WHAT KIND OF PERSON FREAKING STARES AT THEIR OWN BELLY BUTTON and what mystical exercise are they talking about? Like are there witches who contemplate their navels while chanting some spell? Or is it an important activity at a nudie colony, so they aren’t ALWAYS focused on personal parts?  Alright everyone, it’s Sunday, so we’re not gonna be sicko sex addicts today — today we only look at navels. With enough contemplation, perhaps we shall find the answers to why we walk around with our ding-dongs dangling the other six days of the week.

I don’t mean to be curmudgeonly, but if I had my way, there’d be no more belly buttons. Or weirdos who contemplate them. Or nudist colonies.


9 Responses to “I’ve been remiss in writing, but it was NOT because of omphaloskepsis”

  1. Kim Keeley Says:

    I have to admit, I googled this word, shocked that it existed. Do you think there are clubs for these egotistical people? You have put a new twist, and made me think, more than I ever have about the belly button. There has to be a medical reason, why for hundreds of years, we have walked around with holes on our stomachs. And I’m wondering if Ashley Rosen could be the one person to go to the medical association, and put a stop to it? I vote that you go to a plastic surgeon and have yours sewn up. This could be the latest craze! I love how your mind works, now I think when I go to my OB next week, instead of harping on my missing hormones, I want an explanation for the whole on my big fat gut!

  2. Mary Ingmire Says:

    Have you ever put the tip of your little finger into your innie, twirled it, and then sniffed it? Phew! Good hygiene demands an end to belly buttons. Find another focus for contemplation.

  3. ashleyolsonrosen Says:

    ALL RIGHT LADIES! Thus begins the CAMPAIGN TO END BELLY BUTTONS! I think I might be able to sew mine shut myself…

  4. Stacie Says:

    Okay, how come I don’t remember this from Core classes at Kammerer? (Amazing that I can remember how to spell that, by the way.)

    The comment about sniffing one’s finger after twirling it in one’s navel…priceless.

  5. JoAnn Olson Says:

    I always heard that that was where God poked you to see if you were done. I like my story best.

  6. ashleyolsonrosen Says:

    Stacie, maybe you repressed it. (I repressed most of the middle school experience.) I had Mrs. Runge – a nice woman whose glasses were at least twice the size of her head. And as for the premise of God checking to see if a baby’s done is heartwarming; I only wish He could have let my doc know about Alyssa before they gored me with that sword that they called amniocentesis. It really hurt.

  7. cebette Says:

    Although I hated it at the time I must admit word clues was about the most useful thing that I picked up in my public school education. Has helped with crossword puzzles, anacrostics, Trivial Pursuit, the SAT verbal section, and playing along at home with Alex Trebek. Ok, I guess the reading, spelling, and basic math were helpful too.

  8. Jackie Says:

    I loved word clues! And to this day, I cannot tell anyone what middle school I attended – since I still cannot pronounce Krammerer.

    • ashleyolsonrosen Says:

      I think Krammerer comes from the Latin root “to cram” which, when added to the suffix, means, “a place where those who entered puberty early go to cram those who did not enter puberty early into 6-inch-wide lockers. And stomp on their glasses.”

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