dictionary with letter A

Anvil: (n) a heavy steel or iron block with a flat top and concave sides, and typically a pointed end on which metals can be hammered and shaped.

I took a long moment to think this one through.

I like things that make me think because thinking is admitting that you don’t know and you aren’t afraid to learn if any information is actually available.

Here’s what I came up with:

You’ve got one big piece of metal in your hand in the shape of a hammer that’s hitting another piece of metal really hard to put it in shape, while a very sturdy piece of metal beneath it withstands the blows and remains firm so as not to inhibit the shaping of the object.

They’re all metal.

Some of them just have to be stronger than the others to sustain the pressure.

I know that appears to be too philosophical, but if you pause for a moment, it really isn’t. It’s just practical.

For a brief season, we have children who are brought into this world and must be molded, guided and shaped into human beings. I must warn you, they do not arrive human, but rather, as self-centered, egotistical, overly intelligent little monkeys who need to be removed from their jungle environment and taught the ways of true humanity.

There’s a lot of debate today on whether there’s some hitting and beating needed in that process.

Let us agree on the following four points:

1. There are moments in raising a child when you are well prepared to kill them, and if you got the right jury, who had also parented, you might get off for time served.

2. Since the sensation is common to us all, what sets us apart from those who end up damaging their children instead of helping them is what we might call “holy restraint.”

3. Holy restraint is not achieved without pursuing something holy. To do that means you need to invest your brain more than your brawn. The advantage we have over children is that they’re just not as smart as we are yet. And the second advantage is that we control the macaroni and cheese.

4. A child who learns is like a piece of steel that is squeezed between the hammer and the anvil. Since both of them are stronger, he or she will eventually find a reason to comply.

Now, I realize the analogy doesn’t work well because the hammer actually hits the steel against the anvil. But since our children are made of flesh and blood instead of iron and alloys, it might be a good idea to adjust the strength projected to the object addressed.

As flesh and blood, they need wisdom and guidance from people who know how to outsmart them.

Parenting is more about trickery than it ever is … about spanking.


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dictionary with letter A

Anus: (n) the opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which waste matter leaves the body.

There are many standards used for friendship.

Actually, the word “friend” is used quite loosely in our daily lexicon to refer to anyone who is present in our midst and whom we don’t want to offend by calling an “acquaintance.”

But I have one major criterion for true friendship. I know that I am finally in the presence of someone who is my lasting comrade when we are able to discuss bowel movements with each other.

It’s not something you can force (pardon the expression).

But most relationships are somewhat constipated until you feel the freedom to, shall we say, “let it all hang out.” There is something liberating about being able to discuss one of the more tangible evidences of one’s daily life and progress with another human being without fear of ridicule or grossing them out.

I can honestly tell you that I’ve only been able to achieve this with less than a handful of people. I have attempted it with other folks, only to see our interaction quickly go from friendship to stranger.

Yes, they considered me very strange because I took one of the more important bodily functions which produces some of the greatest relief and attempted to make it a common topic.

I have an anus.

I have never used it for anything other than relieving my bowels. Well, I guess I do sit on it. But it is ridiculous for us to be nervous about discussing the dispelling of waste or the clogging up thereof.

Yes, an anal definition of friendship would be the ability to discuss the anus and its production level without fear of being incriminated or considered gauche.

And of course, you know you’re in deep levels of intimacy when color, texture, frequency and flow are free game for your profitable dialogue.



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dictionary with letter A

Antsy: (adj) agitated, restless or impatient: (e.g., he was too antsy to stay in one place)

It reminds me of the story of the man who went to the doctor with a surprising case of adult acne, and after tests were conducted, the physician informed the gentleman that the acne was a symptom of a cancer which was growing in his liver.

The man replied, “But can you clear up my skin?”

You see, that’s what I think about “antsy.”

Antsy is one of those superficial symptoms we address with a topical solution, by distracting ourselves, trying to be patient or fidgeting around, hoping nobody will yell at us.

But “antsy” is actually the emotional acne that appears because we are aggravated. And aggravation is what crops up when we’ve allowed the cancer of arrogance to take root in our being.

Even though many folks may disagree with this, insisting that their own form of nerves is caused by a high metabolism or an energy which has dogged them from their youth, I find that people get antsy because they’ve allowed themselves to become aggravated, which is brought about because they feel they deserve special consideration or they’ve been miscast.

It’s amazing how quickly your acne clears up when the cancer is addressed. Of course, many people would rather take care of their pimples than their tumors.

But the condition of aggravation is a damning state which never gives you peace of mind, nor any celebration over accomplishment.

I started solving a lot of my problems when I realized that I was arrogant. It’s not that I’ve escaped all of these prideful bursts of self-infatuation, but I am fully aware that I’m susceptible, and only in remission.

So because I address my arrogance, I get a whole lot less aggravated, and find that waiting is not only necessary, but powerful in most situations.

I don’t need to be antsy.

So unless you want to die from cancer of the liver but with beautiful skin, and you want to be known as a fussy individual because you never addressed your true addiction to arrogance, it’s a good idea to go back and track down the source.

How do you avoid arrogance? Well, it’s really quite simple.

Since there are eight billion of you on this planet … you really can’t be that special.


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dictionary with letter A

Antonym: (n) a word opposite in meaning from another. (e.g., bad and good)

What a simplistic example by Webster–bad and good.

I will tell you right now–there are antonyms in our generation that did not exist a hundred years ago, but because of the introduction of the lifestyle of mediocrity, we have gradually eroded certain virtues, causing them to lose their rich soil. Let me give you some examples:

Religious and spiritual.

Although once considered synonyms, they are now on the other side of the room from each other, throwing doctrines. Being religious is pursuing a form of godliness, and being spiritual is finding the power in believing and making it practical.

Shall we try again?

Politician and statesman.

At one time they might have been used in a press release to describe a senator or congressman. But after eight or more years of governmental deadlock, we now realize that a politician is someone who is voted into office and a statesman is an individual who embodies the office.

I guess I have time for one more.

Men and women.

We have convinced ourselves today that they are opposites. It was fully the intention of the Creator to make them synonyms, complementary to one another. But because we find communication so exhausting and understanding passé, we would rather conclude that the two sexes of our species are doomed to derision.

We must be careful about this word, antonym.

For instance, simply calling it a “war on terror” does not keep it from being a war.

And insisting that people are born with certain attributes does not remove the responsibility we all have … to improve and grow out of our crib.



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Antony, Mark

dictionary with letter A

Antony, Mark: (83-30 B.C.) Roman general and triumvir. Following the assassination of Julius Caesar, he took charge and established his relationship with Cleopatra.

How shall we be remembered?

I guess it doesn’t cross your mind very much when you’re twenty-one years old. Matter of fact, in your forties, you’re still trying to gain some footing and clarify your position.

But somewhere along the line it occurs to you that you have lived more of your life than you have left to live.

Once you get over this startling realization, you can ask yourself a valuable question: “Three months after I’m dead, if someone mentions my name, what images will it conjure?”

I think about this as I consider Mark Antony.

He obviously was a very powerful fellow. When the Roman Empire went through a brief season of having three “caesars,” he was one of them. Pretty impressive.

Yet what will be his heritage is the fact that he fell helmet over sandals in love with the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.

She had some sort of magic that allured men her way, and certainly Mark Antony was not immune. So much so that he abandoned his loyalty to Rome and began to believe that it was his mission to conquer the world with his “flower of Egypt.”

Here are the questions he did not ask himself:

  1. Just because she’s good in bed, does it mean that she knows what to do with an army?
  2. How much am I giving up to be with this woman?
  3. Can we actually pull off conquering the world together, or is it just overwrought pillow-talk?

Because bluntly, the union of these two souls who enjoyed each other in a carnal way–Mark Antony and Cleopatra–was quickly brought to nought by the Roman legions.

So how is he remembered?

As a love-sick puppy who ended up looking like a dog.


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dictionary with letter A

Antler: (n) one of the branched horns on the head of an adult (usually male) deer, which are made of bone and are cast off annually and regrown.

As is often the case, I will now expound on issues I know absolutely nothing about, but still manage to muster an anemic opinion.

I have gone hunting but am timid to mention it because around those who actually have a “Daniel Boone mystique,” I would appear to be less than a novice and probably considered a “dandy.”

But hanging around a lot of people who have hunted animals with antlers, I have discovered that the male of our species has succeeded in projecting its own insecurity about the penis onto the head decoration of the local, assumed macho, deer.

So supposedly, it is much better to shoot one of these animals with seven points than it is one with five.

I would assume the deer have obviously learned not to be so presumptuous to tout their prowess of being “boneheads,” knowing full well that come spring, they will have to start all over again.

Actually, to the deer a set of antlers is very similar to the savings account of the average American family–just when you think you’ve got a good start, it falls off.

So I do not think there really is “antler envy” among this deer species. It is something we attribute to them because of our male insecurity about our own growth potential.

Maybe we’d be better off if “it” fell off every year … and had to grow back.


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dictionary with letter A

Anti-type: (n) a person or thing which represents the opposite of someone or something else.

  • Everybody has sex, but not everybody’s allowed to be considered sexy.
  • Everybody should learn the politics of our generation, but not everybody is comfortable being political.
  • Everybody’s a human being, but not everybody is treated as human.

Everybody is loved by God, but not everybody is ushered into the ranks of the religious.

Perhaps the most unseemly part of our human race is our penchant for wanting to “box things up” and label them, only to end up stacking them on the shelves for storage.

So whenever I hear the words “can’t,” “shouldn’t” or even “won’t,” I have the tendency to want to challenge them. I am fearful of leaving my brothers or sisters out simply because they don’t fall within the boundaries of the prototype.

Yes, they are anti-type.

For instance, I am a big, fat guy who is bald and aging, who happens to like to sing. When I do this vocalizing, I am always astounded that it often takes me much longer to get an audience’s attention simply because I don’t fulfill the stereotype of the typical crooner.

It sucks. But that fact that it sucks does very little to stop the insanity of the prejudice. So I sing without permission, becoming the anti-type of the pop world.

For I’m not so sure that without anti-types we will be able to progress the Adam’s big family much further.

  • We need people with enough confidence to know they are sexy but who are not runway models or six-pack studs.
  • We need politicians who escape the garble of glib and instead, simply impart their message with a bit of candor.
  • And we are certainly desperately in need of people who love one another and God without ever sniffing of religion.

It takes courage.

It also takes a sense of humor.

And I do believe … it will take time. 

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