dictionary with letter A

Anatomy: (n) — the branch of science concerned with the bodily structure of humans, animals and other living creatures, especially as revealed by dissection.

“To thine own self be true.”

I think the quote is attributed to Shakespeare.

Pursuing that path of candor, let me tell you that I often do a terrible job keeping up with my own anatomy.

For a season in my life, I went to the doctor regularly, as good Americans should do. It is also the only passage of time when I went to the hospital, took tons of medication and became overly concerned about my mortality.

It is also my understanding that normal people go to the dentist every six months for a good check-up. Fearing your condemnation, I must honestly inform you that I go to the dentist if I have a toothache.

It’s not that I fail to respect the complexity or fragile nature of my human anatomy. I am fully aware that disease, conditions and difficulties can arise without my knowing it from merely peering in the mirror. Cancer can even be growing in my body at this moment without me having placed an order or granting permission.

It’s just that I’ve reached a certain age … where I’ve reached a certain age.

What I mean is that in some ways I have exceeded my expectation for longevity, believing at one time that by now I certainly would have taken the “Great Leap” into the abyss.

But I haven’t.

And I do know that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life discussing medications, consulting with my doctor or going onto web sites to track my symptoms.

What do I want from my anatomy? What do I desire my body to do for me?

1. Respond to my actions.

If I eat a double pepperoni pizza, my body is allowed to have revulsion over the concept. But if I eat well, I certainly anticipate quid pro quo.

2. Help me to exercise sufficiently for a man my age without believing that a shot of testosterone will turn me into a twenty-five-year-old male stud.

3. Be so kind as to warn me before killing me.

Yes, if my body would just send an eviction notice, giving me thirty days to “raise the rent,” I would greatly appreciate that.

4. Help me learn how to do “me” better.

I’m not telling you I will never go to a doctor. But case in point: upon arriving at a car dealership, it is very difficult to leave with your old vehicle without somebody trying to either replace it or update it.

The same is true with medicine. They are good at what they do, so they find things wrong with us.

It’s just that if it isn’t a “sickness unto death,” well … maybe I don’t need to know.



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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix


dictionary with letter A

Amphetamine: (n) a synthetic, mood-altering, addictive drug, used illegally as a stimulant and legally to treat ADD in children and narcolepsy in adults.

Thirty seconds to explain what it does and thirty seconds to scare the crap out of you over the side effects.

That is the construction of the normal commercial on television advertising a new drug.

We need to get away from the concept that drugs are miracles.

Perhaps they are miracles in the sense of describing the Grand Canyon if you’re only viewing it from a safe distance or in some sort of slide show.

But if you’re standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and leaping head-first into the abyss, it loses some of the glow of its “miraculous.” Then it just becomes a bunch of rocks smashing your brains.

Here’s my truth: use as few drugs as possible.

For me, this became fairly complicated when I was diagnosed with diabetes. They recommend you try to keep your blood sugar down through diet and medication. But with this particular condition, the doctors began to introduce other peripheral possibilities which they decided to pre-medicate by giving me additional drugs, which, separate from their helpful tendencies, are basically poison.

Just as ministers want to make you a sinner and politicians want to put you into a voting block, physicians feel useful when they discover ailments in you.

I don’t hold it against them. It’s their profession. After all, in the process of being paranoid, even crazy people avoid obstacles and difficulties.

But drugs are nothing to mess with–especially amphetamines. It is beyond comprehension that we pump our children full of chemicals to get them to be attentive when it used to be handled in the schoolyard at recess by somebody throwing a ball at your head and saying, “Wake up, Billy!”

It’s not that I recommend the crude treatment of children to one another. But I am not convinced that rattling the human body with deadly potions is a better alternative.

I am not an individual who places great faith in holistic medicine.

I am not against prescribing cures for those who are hurting.

It’s just that I think the truly mature human being needs to step back from any diagnosis, and before popping a pill of purpose, ask if there is any other way.

Because when drugs get done with human beings, they mostly addict us and hurt us.

Therefore, we should only welcome them temporarily … and cautiously.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Ale: (n) a type of beer with a bitter flavor and higher alcoholic content

There are three important words that must be understood, otherwise each one of us teeters on the verge of falling over the cliff into the great abyss of obnoxious.

If you don’t know the difference among these words, you will start using them interchangeably, which renders you ineffective and nearly inert.

  • Prejudice
  • Opinion
  • Insight

When I looked at today’s word from the dictionary, I realized that nearly everything I would write on this subject was not only irrelevant, but certainly should be cast into the great vat of useless.

I don’t drink beer. So since ale is stronger, it hasn’t passed my lips. Therefore, for me to pontificate on this subject would not only be ridiculous, but harmful to the general good of those ale-drinkers  who are much wiser in their tastes than me, and who would be willing to offer insight instead of producing opinion and prejudice.

I have often told people that my one and only experience with beer led me to believe that it tasted like what I thought fly spray would be like if I was stupid enough to ingest it.

I am weird. I don’t like to put things in my mouth that don’t taste good–which normally, to me, is sweet or salty–just to prove that I have the kind of buds located in my tongue that are versatile and universal.

Mine is not a moral objection; mine has no social implication. Beer and ale just taste like beer and ale to me, which honestly, leaves me ailing.

So please forgive my lack of contribution to this topic. What I tried to do was avoid opinion and prejudice as much as possible, while admitting my lack of insight.

Now if we could just get people in academia, pulpit and government to do the same, we might arrive at our ignorance much more quickly … and alleviate it through education and experience. 


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbbacy: (n.) the office or period of office of an abbot or abbess.

There are so many words there I don’t understand that I don’t know where to begin. So instead of beginning, let me do what most politicians do and just talk about stuff that comes to my mind that I really don’t understand.

My vision of an abbot is someone who wears robes and works in a church. That other word sounds an awful lot like Abyss, which was a really cool movie about a huge water snake coming in, staring at a girl and morphing into her face. (It’s too difficult to explain unless you’ve seen the movie.)

The other Abbot I’m aware of is Bud Abbot. He joined with Lou Costello to form, of course, Abbot and Costello.

I am dating myself to put these names into the article. Most people today would be completely unfamiliar with Abbot and Costello, so to focus in on Bud Abbot would be to double the potential for obscure and confusing knowledge. But for the record–he was the straight man–which I guess, WOULD describe an abbot,right?  Is there such a thing as a comical abbot? I suppose if YOU had to walk around all day in woolen robes, with a funny haircut, consume large portions of porridge and say prayers all day, you might feel like you were IN an abyss.

Which brings us back to where we started.

I don’t know what I’m talking about.