Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Shut-up Button

First off, readers, I'd like to take a moment to recognize that this is my HUNDREDTH POST! I honestly never thought I'd ever reach this number; I'm usually just too lazy to carry on anything for this long. So thanks to all the people who've supported/pestered me to keep it up, and I hope that I can continue to make way too big a deal out of very inconsequential things for a long time to come.
Alright, pressing onward:

I talk a lot. No, really. A LOT. I can get away with this when I blog cause people on the internet seem to enjoy my insane rambling for some bizarre reason, and if they don't, they can just ignore it. In real life, however, there is no such mercy. I don't speak much to people I don't really know cause I'm socially awkward. However, when I'm with people I associate with comfortably and regularly, I poke my head out of my cave, blink my beady eyes, scratch my head with my club, then open my mouth and emit a series of grunts and whines in order to exercise my ability to mash words together in my head and make them come out my mouth. This usually continues for some time, picking up steam until my face finally morphs into a gaping void of endless prattling from which there is no escape.

I've never been on the receiving end, but I'm pretty sure that this is what a conversation with me looks like.

It's not as though I'm trying to talk anybody to death; I just want everybody to get as much information as possible... (I'll have you know that I cut several rambling sentences explaining this concept from this post for your sakes.)

My mother has the good fortune of having access to a "shut-up button" in the form of the CD I use to practice singing. As I follow her around the house and prattle endlessly about my latest story idea or whatever my current thought-process is, she can, at any moment, switch on the practice CD. I, having been conditioned to respond immediately to this CD, will stop dead in my tracks and start running vocal exercises, and my mother is given a half hour of reprieve.

Lately, I've started taking this shut-up button as a hint that mom probably wants me to zip it for a few hours (unless I haven't been talking, in which case she just really wants me to get off my lazy hinders and practice my voice,) and I'll usually slink off to do something quiet and constructive for a while, like talking to the internet instead (that's constructive, right?)

I've been thinking about this, and I've decided it's really unfair that my mom gets the luxury of getting me to shut up so easily when nobody else does. For that reason, I'm going to establish a convenient shut-up button in the middle of my forehead. That way, if I've gotten myself into an infinite loop of rambling, my victim can just reach out, poke me in the forehead, and say "boop!" The hint will be taken and the yammering shall cease, without even having to listen to me do vocal exercises afterward. And there shall be much rejoicing.

In fact, there are a lot of people who ought to have a shut-up button. The next time somebody has you trapped in a corner as they endlessly flap their jaws at you, I dare you to go press their forehead and say "boop!" See what happens. Record your results and report back to me.
I think I may be onto something big here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sometimes I think about stuff...

I think that car headlights should be able to wink. No real reason, it would just kinda rock. I don't know if this has already been invented; I don't really keep up with all the latest car news cause I don't care, but I think it's a feature that ought to be seriously considered... They can pitch it as a "safety feature" to alert other drivers that one of their lights has burnt out or something, but really it'll just be there for the heck of it. Seriously. It'd be awesome. I can't think of a single reason that car companies shouldn't make headlight winking a standard feature immediately....

That's all. Just a thought. Don't really think I need to elaborate on it.

Anyway, Happy Single's Awareness Day, y'all (or S.A.D. if you're short on time, or if you just think the acronym is funny like I do.) Hope you had a good one.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wait... Does that actually work?

I don't know about all of you, but lately I've been seeing a lot of people with leg injuries wheeling around on those new little rolly scooter things that are supposed to be used in lieu of crutches...

Yeah... This thing

Maybe it's just me, but do these look a little... precarious... ish... to you?

Just an observation, but I think I'd rather just use the crutches.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Words That Suck

Words are awesome. I love words. A lot. Like, more than just friends.... Just thinking about words gives me pressurized nosebleeds. Back in the day when I still had to do vocabulary assignments in school, I'd read the lists aloud to myself, quivering with euphoria and drooling over the words like the creepy pervert I am. If you've ever wondered why it takes me so painfully long to say anything, it's because I always jump at the chance to use as many words as possible; this stuff is like crack for me. Keeping that in mind: There are some words that just suck. There must have been one day where the entire committee for making sure that English doesn't suck came to work completely hung over and managed to let a whole festival of cringe-inducing words slink past the radar. Really though, I don't know whose fault it was, but if I had a time machine, I'd use it to go back in time, find those people, and punch them. Over the past while I have been carefully compiling a list of the words that make me personally want to throw up and/or punch baby seals, and I feel as though I am now ready to share it with you and attempt to explain why they are so terrible. Here it is.

Erin's list of words that suck and need outlawed immediately:
(Keep in mind, this is merely my personal list. Feel free to disagree or form your own)

1. Moist : adjective
slightly wet; damp or humid.

From what I can tell, a lot of people really hate this word. And why shouldn't they? It's creepy. It sounds like it was invented by a panel of creepy uncles for the sole purpose of being creepy. It has the power to immediately transport the hearer to a damp basement apartment full of newspaper clippings where the speaker is breathing heavily down their neck. Anyone who needs to use "moist" frequently in common speech should probably be put on some sort of national registry. I don't care what they're describing. If that piece of cake you're eating is "so moist!" then it's creepy cake and I'm going to expect to see it snapping pictures of girls from a basement window sometime soon.

Similarly awful words: Juicy, Lubricant, Slurp, Gleak

2. Flaccid : adjective
soft and hanging loosely or limply, esp. so as to look or feel unpleasant.

This is an awful AWFUL word. Thankfully I don't hear it spoken much, but that doesn't mean it isn't used in writing all the time. No matter what it's applied to, "flaccid" takes the word "limp" and adds an element of... moist... to it. Imagine, if you will, an empty glove hanging over the arm of a chair perhaps in a way that looks slightly awkward. Now, if I tell you that the glove is flaccid, I dare you to try to keep that glove in your head from suddenly becoming damp, slimy, or breathing, and possibly trying to violate you in some way.

Similarly awful words: Cuckold

3.Fecund : adjective
producing or capable of producing an abundance of offspring or new growth; fertile.

Of all the words I hate, this one may be the worst. I don't actually know how it's pronounced, but that doesn't matter because any possible pronunciation of this word that I can think of is just terrible. Imagine taking a step onto something you though was solid ground, but instead sinking knee deep into something warm and mushy, the smell of which makes you really prefer not to know what you're standing in. Now imagine trudging through a humid marshy area full entirely of that substance... Add a few thousand minuscule, squirming life forms to the whole mess and you've pretty much got an idea of what I imagine every time I encounter this word.

Similarly awful words: Gonorrhea, Larder

4.Gullet : noun
the passage by which food passes from the mouth to the stomach; the esophagus.

If you've ever attempted to gag down something whole and slimy like a raw egg without chewing, you were putting it down your gullet. That is the only way the pathway from the mouth to the stomach can ever be described as a gullet. Think about turkeys, swans, and geese... If you've ever watched them eat, they snap the food up, then throw their head back and gag it down almost invariably. These animals have gullets. If you want to write about somebody shoveling food down his gullet, the mental image is going to be of him horking food down like a turkey. "Gullet" is even a perfect description of the low gagging sounds one might make in such a situation. No small wonder it makes me want to blow chunks... and Speaking of which...

5. Chunk : noun
a thick, solid piece of something.

Sweet mercy, this word is nasty. While I love things like cottage cheese and tapioca, actually thinking about the small pieces, or "chunks," that make it up is more than enough to turn my stomach. Any dubious substance, once receiving the description of "vaguely chunky," becomes infinitely worse. Even the idea of taking a "chunk" out of something feels gross. That chunk is almost assured to be dripping with something unpleasant, be it lard, blood, or vague translucent 'eww'. If I were to offer you a "chunk" of chocolate, I'm betting it'd lose its appeal pretty fast. Then again, that's just me...

Similarly awful words: Globule, Polyp, Lump

6. Comfy : adjective informal

I have no quarrel with the word "comfortable." It's quite nice, actually. It's just when it gets taken the one extra step too far that it hovers on the line between annoying and creepy. Annoying because it sounds 'cute' -- I take issue with making words cutesy by shortening them and tacking a 'y' on the end -- it's like something your squishy great aunt who thinks you're still five would say. Creepy because it goes a bit too far beyond soft and comfortable. Imagine your squishy great aunt pulling you into a big warm squishy hug. Nice enough, yes, but now imagine that you're beginning to sink into the soft rolls of her skin, being consumed by the warm folds, and realizing far too late that you are being drawn deeply into a comfy prison of aunt flesh, never to be seen again.

Similarly awful words: Weenie, Guppy, Brownie

7. Loaf : noun
bread that is shaped and baked in one piece and usually sliced before being eaten
idle one's time away, typically by aimless wandering .
I'm not entirely sure I know how to justify my hatred for this one. It's just an unpleasant mush of sounds that strikes something irrational in me, and I can't quite put my finger on it. Try saying it aloud slowly and maybe you'll see what I mean.

Similarly awful words: Hoi Polloi, Glean, Goober

8. Luscious : adjective
having a pleasingly rich, sweet taste : a luscious and fragrant dessert wine
richly verdant or opulent.

It seems as though words describing the quality of food somehow manage to end up under the umbrella of terrible words a LOT. If I were to take a big bite of a peach so that peach juice and saliva were dribbling down my chin, and then I began to describe to you, with my mouth entirely full, how good the peach is, THAT would be comparable to what the word "luscious" is like. And if you ever use this word to describe a person, I'm pretty sure it counts as sexual harassment, a physical threat, or both. You may be prosecuted.

Similarly awful words: Scrumptious, Succulent, Yeasty, Crisp

9. Supple : adjective
bending and moving easily and gracefully; flexible .

This is the sort of word that almost makes you feel perverted just for using it. I'm convinced that the most common usage of this word is in depraved fanfiction to pad out disturbing and unnecessarily detailed descriptions of young girls. The second most common usage would be in the basement lairs of wheezy, twitchy maniacs with beady eyes who blink too much and whisper disturbing and unnecessarily detailed descriptions of the young girls they have tied up in the corner. Beyond that I think it's used to describe young trees... in disturbing and unnecessary detail.

Similarly awful words: Lush

10. Sessile : adjective
fixed in one place; immobile.
I had never even heard this word until my good buddy Beth brought it up when I was helping her review for a test for her class -- which was bizarrely titled "Living with Plants." If there's something I've come to learn, it's that plant words always seem to come across as vaguely sexual, usually in the creepiest possible way. A lot of the words on this list are like that, which makes me think that plant scientists are kind of perverted. This word takes on the same sort of tone as "flaccid," and manages to be uncomfortable in exactly the same way.

Similarly awful words: Cockle

11. Flesh : noun
the soft substance consisting of muscle and fat that is found between the skin and bones of an animal or a human. (Oof... even the definition sounds horrible)
If we were to lump together all the words on this list that might be used by clammy weirdos to describe something disturbing, they would likely all fit nicely under the gross word-blanket of "flesh." "Flesh" is a vast umbrella of terrible that can conjure up all sorts of scarring images. Mostly I think it's used by serial killers but it can also pop up in the work of pretentious writers who are trying to be poetic but inadvertently manage to give horrific connotations to their descriptions of fruit at harvest time. Basically any horrible skin-related thing you can think of falls nicely under the shadow of this word.

Similarly awful words: Goiter, Carbuncle, Loins

12. Facetious : adjective
treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.

This is a word whose suckitude is far removed from it being in any way unsettling. The reason this word it terrible is because it's pretentious. I can't tell you how many times I've had somebody say to me (after I've called them on a particularly dumb statement) "I was being facetious." I would like very much to punch these people. If you feel the need to inform somebody that you were being facetious, you're obviously not doing it right. Perhaps there's some sort of deeper reason behind my hatred, but all I know is that this is the sort of word that one might hear of the type of wormy know-it-all that I used to beat up in Elementary school.

Similarly awful words: Peeve, Sumptuous

So there you have it; my personal list of words that I believe should be outlawed.
Now that you're good and horrified, let's all wash the taste out of our brains.
Here are some words that do not suck:
Afoot, Scalliwag, Constable, Silly, Anaphylaxis, Skirmish, Luminious, Transcendent, Nebulous, Eponymous, Outlandish, Cavelier, Ubiquitous, Scoundrel, Antelope, Caribou, Cortex, Obsolete, Diabolical, Basilica, Stigma, Facade, Contessa, Conundrum, Incredulity, Enigma, Grumble, Voracity, Boistrous, Tomfoolery, Galumph

Feel free to comment with your own terrible words and reasons for hating them. Always fun to know what my readers are thinking.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Crossing

Another post already?
Yes, my dear readers. I have recently emerged from a very deep depression and am beginning to see the world anew. Naturally, my response to this is to leap online and restore the flow of nonsense from my fingers to you brain. I gots priorities, dudes.
On to business:

There is an eternal battle going on between myself and the cars on the road when I come to a crosswalk. I'm talking about the kind of crosswalk that isn't at a stop light, btw -- the kind where the cars are obligated to stop and wait for you just because you're walking there. There is a special kind of awkward that exists between you and a driver when you're making them wait on you to cross the street: They see you waiting on the corner and slow to a halt. You look at them and they look at you and then you give an uncomfortable little wave and hurry across the street with your head down, all the while feeling the eyes of the driver on you as they calculate the precise moment when you'll be out of the way so they can gun it. I hate those moments. So much so that every crossing of the street becomes a battle of wits.

The game is to trick the driver into thinking that I'm not going to cross. Sometimes I'll bend down to tie my shoe at the curb, sometimes I'll slow my walking before I reach the curb, and sometimes I'll round the corner and then double back to the crosswalk as soon as the car has passed. It's a subtle art because if the driver perceives in the slightest that you're going to try to cross then they'll slow down and you'll be forced to do it. Even if you're walking past the crosswalk but your gaze is set on the other side of the street, the driver will sense it and that means they win.

There is an inordinate sense of triumph that comes from winning this game. If I can get a car to pass without stopping as I approach the crosswalk then it is a cause for great smugness, followed by a mad dash across the street before the next car comes -- An ever raging struggle between pride and paranoia.

This exact same battle takes place when I'm going through a door behind someone closely enough to obligate them to hold it open for me. I've been known to alter course or slow way down to avoid such situations.

I'm pretty sure this all stemmed from my extreme aversion to making people wait for me (because I'm just an awesome person, dangit!) but eventually over time it's warped into a fierce competition. But that's totally the drivers' fault; they can sense I don't want them to stop and they do it anyway. Those jerks.

And I'm totally not the only one who does this. I can name a whole... one or two other people who have imaginary battles with cars just like me. I'm not crazy, I swear!

The Back Row

No, I did not neglect my blog again for several months. Shut up.
... And now for something completely different:

I sit in the back row at school. It's what I do. Not because I'm a slacker; I can just see better and it makes me more comfortable. Also, I'm a slacker. Anyway, because I occupy this space so frequently, it's given me cause to observe the behavior of my classmates in regards to the back row.

In the beginning of the semester, I'm able to slink to the back of the classroom unhindered whilst my peers all crowd the desks toward the front row, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as peers are wont to be (the free-range peer is most commonly identified by these characteristics, as any experienced peer-watcher will know,) leaving several empty desks between me and my nearest classmate. However, as the semester progresses my fellow students begin to slowly creep toward the back of the classroom until the entire class is flattened against the back wall like a pack of frightened rabbits. At that point it becomes a battle for the back row; survival of the fittest, as it were.

I am currently writing this from the second-to-last row. I dropped my guard and am now paying for it. I don't mind it really; it's not as though they're usurpers, they're just frightened and have nowhere else to turn. I've had the opportunity to observe this migration time and time again, and it's become something of a source of amusement to me, particularly because I'm almost invariably the only one with the foresight to start out in the back. It's an interesting social observation -- I can literally track the mental state of my classmates as they move toward the back, right on down to the precise moment when their souls collapse under the pressure.

Classmates are so adorable. I love school sometimes.

... I sat in the back before it was cool.