Saturday, October 27, 2012

More Words That Suck

Some of my readers may recall the post I wrote a while back about words that I hate in which I thought way too hard about unimportant things (which, all things considered, describes my entire blog.)

At the time that I made the list, the words I used were, for the most part, entirely devoid of context and were just awful on their own. However, I have since learned that context can make a word just as awful as the word itself being genuinely gross. It is for that reason that I feel as though I need to add two more entries to the list of Words that Suck. Here they are:

1. Lush: Adjective

(of vegetation) growing luxuriantly : lush greenery and cultivated fields. See note at profuse .
opulent and luxurious : a hall of gleaming marble, as lush as a Byzantine church.
(of color or music) very rich and providing great sensory pleasure

This is a word that I never particularly liked, but I also never thought particularly awful. That is before Twilight's fourth installment, Breaking Dawn, hit the shelves. I have not read the book entirely myself, but I have had the pleasure of reading the particularly horrific gory scene in which the heroine is giving birth to the demon child of her vampire husband. It is told from the perspective of the jealous best friend/spurned lover/werewolf as he watches the vampire try to spare her life after her vampire C-section by turning her into a vampire as well. And it contains this gem:

"It was like he was kissing her, brushing his lips at her throat, at her wrists, into the crease at the inside of her arm. But I could hear the lush tearing of her skin as his teeth bit through, again and again, forcing venom into her system at as many points as possible..."

Upon reading this I was overcome with a powerful urge to crawl out of my skin. Lush tearing? Eww. Gross. This scene was graphic enough as it was, what with the heroine "vomiting fountains of blood" and her spine snapping. I did not need to be able to hear the exact sound that teeth sinking into skin makes, thank you very much. I will put off my growing need for a year long shower for now and proceed to the second word. 

2. Cloying: Adjective
disgust[ing] or sicken[ing] with an excess of sweetness, richness, or sentiment

I came upon this word in the lesser known title Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne. The particular instance in which this word is used for great evil is during a scene where the young Prince Maric is in the woods wrestling with one of the soldiers who had just murdered his mother, the queen, in front of him and is trying to secure the same fate for Maric. Managing to get the upper hand, Maric, frightened, desperate, and angry, begins hitting the man's head repeatedly against the root of a tree. That is where we get this special little something:

"Tears welled up in his eyes, and he choked on his words: "She was your queen and you killed her!" He slammed the head again, still harder. This time the man stopped fighting back. A cloying, meaty smell assaulted his nostrils. His hands were covered in thick, fresh blood that was not his own..."

So um... ew? This wasn't even a word I knew existed until I read it here, and then it immediately made me want to die. Is it even possible to think of a less pleasant way to invoke the smell of this man's brain juice oozing out all over a tree root? I had to put the book down for a while before the heebie jeebies calmed down. 

So there is my extended list, in which I learn that context can murder a word. And now I am going to go scrub my skin with bleach for a while in hopes of being clean again. I will leave you with a couple more words that I feel deserve an honorable mention on the list as well: 


Put them together in different combinations for extra horror that's fun for the whole family!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Chefs

Ever since I reached the age of independence several years ago, I have shared a lot of meals. Most of these meals were from boxes. And over the course of that time, I have found that single people, particularly the college sort, revel in the idea that they are some cooking guru when it comes to making boxed foods. 

So it goes like this: I will be standing beside the stove, leaning on the fridge and waiting for water to boil. Cardboard box in hand, I stand ready to pour the mac and cheese noodles within into the water as soon as it hits boiling point. As I raise the box to pour, whichever individual (be they visitor oroommate) that I happen to be sharing with steps up from behind.
"Oh, let me do it! I make the best mac and cheese." They say with confident assurance

I blink at them incredulously and say "It's in a box..." 

"No, really, trust me. Everybody says so," they insist, proud and sincere. I shrug and hand over the box to them where they step forward and proceed to make this odd show of preparing the boxed macaroni. They sweep around the kitchen like they're being filmed for a cooking show, grabbing spoons to stir and artfully draining the water off to prep the pasta for its sauce. Finally it comes down to the moment of truth. I watch from the counter where I've been leaning this whole time to see what sorcery they might be working there. They stir the butter in, waiting the exact amount of time for optimum melting before adding the cheese powder, which they mix slowly and carefully. Then they add the milk. This must be where the magic happens, because, there's always an overly fancy flourish of the milk jug and a few more quick stirs, and then it is declared to be done. 

I continue to stare at them as I take my bowl of entirely normal tasting mac and cheese and begin to eat as they watch, smiling happily and ask "See? Isn't that the best?"

This has happened more than once. And each time it is exactly the same as a normal recipe with the one exception being the roommate who enhanced her mac and cheese with sliced hot dogs and what I think might have been copious amounts of cayenne pepper (looking at you, Heather.)

I think this happens because the norm for any group of single adults is inability to cook (or lack of motivation, which evens out to about the same thing,) so everybody is clamoring to distinguish themselves as the one friend who can cook. While it's usually not true for the interceptors of boxed meals (except maybe in the case of Heather, who, apart from the mac and cheese, kept me from starving for a good two months,) it is important for those who truly believe their mac and cheese is somehow better than everybody else's. 

I am often tempted to shoot those people down when they look at me so earnestly and ask if their boxed mac and cheese isn't the best thing I've ever tasted. I could be sarcastic. I'm good at that. I could look at them and say "Wow, Chef Boyardee! You certainly are the best adder of milk and cheese powder to noodles that I ever did see!" I could say that, but I don't. This person is single and as of yet unsure of what they want to be in life. They are lost and desperate for attention, just like me. This is all they have. And so instead I just look up at them and smile and say. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Angriest Bird

So, readers. Let's talk about Angry Birds.

Angry Birds is a wildly popular touch screen game involving the launching of disgruntled looking birds at towers to destroy the mustachioed pigs within. It makes more money just by releasing an update than most people could even dream of winning in the lottery. 

I have never really been much of one for playing Angry Birds, which I think legally means that I still have a life in at least a couple states. My nephews, however, would never ever stop playing Angry Birds if we didn't pry the iPod out of their hands to make them go eat and sleep. This is where most of my knowledge of them comes from. I have become intimately familiar with each of the birds as I have had their details regaled to me and been made to recreate them in crayon many many times. In general, as one who is entertained by fat cartoon birds with no limbs I am a fan of the designs of the birds and their varying levels of anger. However, over the course of my Angry Bird-ucation, one bird has stuck out to me for all the wrong reasons.

Let's talk for a moment about how supremely creepy the blue bird is.

Look at him... He's just... staring...

He clearly hasn't slept -- or blinked, for that matter -- in years and years, if ever. Why is he staring? Nobody knows. Maybe he's seen some stuff. They don't tell us. He's just staring. And where on earth are his eyebrows?

Just imagine for a second waking up in the middle of the night to see this guy staring through your window. Except since this is the bird that multiplies into more birds when launched, it would more likely be a whole bunch of them. Just... think about that for a minute. 

We're getting all up on some Hitchcock nonsense now.

Sweet dreams