Friday, March 17, 2006


Who uses it: Georgetown University (est. 1789, ad majorem Dei gloriam)
What it means: "What." Really. According to tradition, Georgetown's football team used to be called the Stonewalls. The students cheered them on with the chant "Hoya Saxa," which is the Greek word for "what" and the Latin word for "stones," or "rocks." Eventually, the team became the Hoya Saxas, and then just the Hoyas. Georgetown still uses the "Hoya Saxa" cheer, which is call and response -- so if someone (not me, of course) leans in your face and yells, "HOY-AH!" you yell, "SAX-A!"
How you can use it: See if you can get a round of "Hoya Saxa" going in your place of business, around 2:30 this afternoon Eastern time. It couldn't hurt.

Answer Girl's NCAA bracket picks: 10-6. Not bad, especially since I was looking like a genius for picking Xavier, for most of that game. It's turning out not to be such a great year for the Big East -- so far -- but we'll see how things go today.

Dizzy and I are in Freeport this morning, and getting ready for a busy weekend. This afternoon, Jen and I are going up to Gardiner to watch the Georgetown game at the Kennebec Brewing Company, where we will all partake of Frank's corned beef-and-cabbage feast (I skipped meat on Wednesday, in anticipation). Then we'll roll by the RV and Camper Show in Augusta -- I'm not kidding about this, Jen really wants to go (and I do too, for the anecdotal value), before returning to the pub for more basketball and beer.

Tomorrow I need to run some errands, including picking up a giant Whoopee Pie to be auctioned off at the Literacy Volunteers of Augusta's annual fundraiser on Sunday afternoon. It's a dessert party at the Senator Inn, and we'll be auctioning off signed first editions of books by Maine-based or Maine-affiliated authors, including John Connolly, Tess Gerritsen, Linda Greenlaw, and Julia Spencer-Fleming. Gerry Boyle will give a short talk, and it should be a grand time. Tickets are $10, available at the door.

What I Read This Week

Thomas Perry, Nightlife. It's been more than three years since Thomas Perry's last novel. On his website, he says he's spent the time "learning how to write a better book," which was hard to imagine, because his earlier books (Metzger's Dog and the Jane Whitefield series, among others) are terrific. But Nightlife was worth the wait. Charlene Bruckner reinvented herself as Tanya Starling, a woman any man would want, in order to get the life she wanted. When things don't work out with the man she'd chosen, she kills him -- and then has to kill again, and again, to keep herself safe. Pursuing her is homicide detective Catherine Hobbes, who's been on her own quest for safety. When these women finally meet, the ending feels both inevitable and abrupt -- but only because we've been so completely drawn into their world. Bravo.

David Prerau, Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time. I actually wish this book had been longer. It's a quick and fun history of the adoption of DST, or Summer Time, and includes some good anecdotes about the confusion of the 1950s and '60s, when every U.S. locality was allowed to make its own decision about changing the clocks. But because I am a nerd, I'd have loved to read more about the politics of it -- particularly the 1984 bill that was the last big national debate over it, and inspired a newspaper contest to see who could save the most daylight.

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