Z is for Zimmerman-Clayton


This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The triumphant, final alphabetic entry of Z – “zed” if you’re Canadian, or “izzard” if you’re Old English. And I know what you’ve been thinking: “Annie will probably talk about zebras. Or zest. Or zero.” But those are all too easy.

So then I started looking at unusual words that start with Z, and found some fantastic new terms:
zizz – a brief nap (only the Brits would call a nap a “zizz”)
zaftig – pleasantly plump (I’m looking forward to the day when “zaftig” is en vogue)
zonelet – a little zone (of course! how cute!)
zyzzyva – a South American weevil (this one will make me the Scrabble champion of all time)

But then it dawned on me: I have this friend. His name is Paul Zimmerman-Clayton. And he is worth blogging about.

Because there was this one time when our internet freakishly disappeared, and I, not knowing the difference between a modem and a router and a toaster, crumpled into a heap on the floor. “It’s hopeless!” I wailed. “We will never have internet again!”

Paul told me to pull myself together, and led me into the den where the modem and router reside. He told me the science behind them – or at least which lights should be flashing – and then quickly figured out that we had simply plugged them into an outlet that was wired to a light switch. Someone had turned off the light; our internet had no power source. He flipped the switch, and once again, peace, order, harmony, and blogging were restored to our household.

I was Clark Griswold, Paul was Ellen.

On Saturday, he found out that I had never really listened to the Counting Crows – because when they became famous, I was 12 years old and still obsessed with Amy Grant. And I’m still obsessed with Amy Grant. But yesterday, he presented me with my very own copy of “August and Everything After” to love and cherish – and I’m already well on my way. How have I missed out on them all these years?

When I recently found myself in a situation I didn’t want to be in, I asked Paul if he thought I could tell an outright lie to get out of it. He said that he could not endorse lying. I don’t know why. But he was right, and I listened to him.

He plays a lot of Tetris, which is weird. And he likes Robert Frost, which I don’t understand. But he’s studying for the GRE, and tells me about new words that he learns, which makes me want to take the GRE just as a (very expensive) vocab quiz. And he shares my incredibly nerdy love of solfege. And he’s a part of Running Club. And he’s one of my favorite people.

And it’s a good thing that his last name is Zimmerman-Clayton, because if it wasn’t, today you would have learned a lot about zalambdodonts.



  1. erin on January 26, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    i personally beleive that the GRE is the window to hell. that’s 4 hours of my life i can never get back that has subsequently lead to 4 years of soul-sucking graduate school.

    I can not endorse this method of learning. I simply can not.

  2. Greta on January 26, 2009 at 11:19 AM


    Paul: I hope you’re using the Princeton study guide. I found it the day before the test, and completely psyched myself out by trying to cram everything in that most-helpful book into my already fatigued brain which had BEEN fatigued by a most-lame book. And then I didn’t sleep. And then I couldn’t eat. And I totally fell apart during the math section. Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    But getting the scores instantly is great. Especially when they’re miraculously better than they should be, given the afore-mentioned falling-apartage.

    Go Paul Zimmerman-Clayton for being great. :) And go Annie for making it through all 26! What happens next Monday??

  3. Annie Peterson on January 26, 2009 at 12:46 PM

    That’s great that “Z” is a person!

    Although that last word there — I can’t pronounce it. And I don’t understand the definition, so an explanation may have been helpful. Maybe you could do “Z Part 2” next week? :)

  4. lizbiz on January 26, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    hmmm. this paul fellow that falls in the zimmerman-clayton category is decent yes.. but i think we’re all forgetting about the far superior zimmerman-clayton (not a hard title to claim since there are only two of us… BUT STILL)

  5. eric on January 26, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    i was actually looking forward to learning about the teeth of a certain type of mammal that only eats insects. how interesting.

  6. Rebecca on January 26, 2009 at 2:19 PM

    This Paul sounds like a good friend…August and Everything After is, in my opinion, one of the best albums ever!

  7. Tad on January 26, 2009 at 2:28 PM

    I don’t know, Golden Moles sound fascinating.

    Just kidding, Paul sounds like the kind of guy everyone needs to have around. And with a Hyphenated last name, he sounds sophisticated even if he weren’t studying for the GRE.

  8. duane on January 26, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    as much as i am also a fan of PZC, i was so looking forward to ‘zorbing’.

  9. Annie Parsons on January 26, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    Duane, ME TOO. It is one of our greatest ideas, and thus biggest regrets.

    2009 is long, though. And zorbing might happen yet. :)

  10. PZC on January 26, 2009 at 4:17 PM

    Wow, I am honored. I blush when I get a little footnote mention on Maundering Pondering, but a whole entry dedicated to MEEE?!? And I even get to be Ellen Griswold?!?

    By the way, my GRE obsession overwhelmingly trumps my Tetris obsession. And you probably already like Robert Frost, you just don’t know it yet.

  11. RickRack on January 26, 2009 at 4:51 PM

    A little late delurking here… but what about zealot? And zacation

    Keep up the great writing…it has not yet reached its zenith! (You could also take the French route — “Zees iz exzellent!”)

  12. Sarah on January 26, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    Golden moles are pretty (I’ve seen photos) and August and Everything After is one of my all-time favorite albums.

    Nice finish on the alphabet posts!

  13. Krissie on January 26, 2009 at 9:44 PM

    Round Here (not sure which album) is my second favorite song of all time. One (byU2) is #1.

    Sigh. Counting Crows. College Days. I’m old.

  14. AnnieBlogs on January 27, 2009 at 2:09 AM

    If anyone deserves their own post, it is PZC. Good man, that one.

    But I bet I can school him in Tetris. I’m just sayin’.

  15. marijke on January 27, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    what will you do now that the alphabet is over?

  16. Case and Los on January 27, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    Okay, so I became obsessed with all things Adam Duritz and Counting Crows in the early 90s. Their live in NY stuff rocks my world still, and Anna Begins is by far my fave song. I have literally listened to that one song on repeat for over an hour, analyzing it to death. It’s amazing.

    Happy listening. And happy having friends with hyphenated last names, as I used to be one, and then married one, and then we decided to forego having four last names and thus I became a boring one-named generic person.

  17. hootenannie » Blog Archive » Back on track on February 12, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    […] never fear: as is becoming a regular occurrence, PZC to the […]

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