Or maybe the song’s about tumours. Who knows?

I miss my iPod. Not having a good portable media device is doing weird things to my already weird brain.

I’ve had a cavalcade of odd songs stuck in my head. For going on two weeks, I’ve had will i am’s verse from “My Humps” popping in and out of my subconsciousness. For those fortunate enough to have skipped it, check out my very real nightmare:

“I met a girl down at the disco
She said hey hey hey ya lets go
I can be ya baby, you could be my honey
Let’s spend time not money
And mix your milk with my coco puff
Milky milky coco
Mix your milk with my coco puff
Milky milky
Right”

It’s quite not good. The whole song is, truly. I’m way past the intentionally contrarian music tastes of my early 20s, but that song still sucks a big one. Anyway, I was biking home last night at about 1am, and the rest of the song was playing through my head. I got confused about Fergie’s nomenclature for her bits. While the song is called “My Humps”, in the chorus she repeatedly sings “my hump my hump my hump”. Singular, not plural. But then she also refers to her “lovely lady lumps in the back and in the front”. I’m guessing that means boobs and butt, but then what’s the hump? Singular? Does she have one fused buttock/boob? Or some kind of bony growth on her spine? Like, extreme scoliosis? If that’s the case and the song is all about her owning particular unconventional body growths, I might be slightly more on board. Somehow, I doubt it.

Since it was announced that Swamp Thing was making a prime time comeback, I’ve had the theme from the animated show moving in and out of my brain lobes. Unlike “My Humps”, it’s a goddamn delight. The whole thing is a rad as fuck riff on “Wild Thing” by The Troggs. Listen to this: Greasy 80s guitars, weird cartoony sfx, and a significant cheesy quotient (reminder, I’m into the Oxford comma now). It’s been kind of a blessing. I find myself singing it as I grind coffee in the mornings, or occasionally bursting into laughter in public because it’s still in my head, two months down the line.

“Down to the River to Pray” is another one. From the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. I know it’s weird not to have “Man of Constant Sorrow” tucked in there. It’s still a bop. Weirdly, I’ve been singing it with a closed mouth. I don’t know why. It’s this thing I’ve been doing for goofs lately. Like, I’ll have my mouth mostly closed save for a thin parting of the lips, and I’ll sing. Full articulation within my mouth. Actually pronouncing the words and everything, but muffled. It’s funny, sounds like you’re hearing singing from another room. I told my girlfriend and she was unimpressed. “They already have that. It’s called humming.” She’s wrong, I’m right and it’s funny. Or I’m just a goof, but I’m okay with that. In any case, I’ve been doing it with “Down to the River”.

Anyway, I need a new mp3 player. I sure can’t wait to get paid. But I will. Because I have to. In the meantime, at least I’ve got stuff to listen to in my head.

Like “In the Meantime“.

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Has Fortnite’s popularity impacted the dental profession?

I don’t think we as a society reflect enough on the fact that in New Radicals’ 1997 car commercial anthem “You Get What You Give” they threaten to kick someone’s ass in. Not just kick someone’s ass, but kick it in. That’s so specific, violent and incredibly funny. But given the content of the song and its Kantian ethics, maybe that’s what the singer wanted for himself all along.

I’m going to the dentist today. More accurately, I’m getting a cleaning. I just ate tuna, so I’m definitely gonna have to brush and floss before the dentist. It’s not fair to put her through the strife of my tuna stank breath. Her and I are chums. Maybe a little too chummy at times. She’s a little handsy, and not in a way that offends me enough to say anything. One time while we were chatting she had her hand on my leg, which I thought was a little familiar, but no sweat. A few weeks back I totally forgot my dental appointment, and came in 40 minutes late. I felt like a dingus. We rescheduled, and she put her hand up as if to high five. I reciprocated, and she pressed her hands to mine which I figure was fine, but then her fingers curled around mine to intertwine. I followed suit, but it felt kind of odd. So we were just standing there with hands clasped. Strange moment. She does a great job on my teeth though. If I smelled like fish, would it dissuade this kind of behaviour? Who knows?

I have an event I’m going to tonight. I was originally planning to pick up cheap tickets from a friend’s friend, but that fell through. I looked on the event page, but ticket sales had ceased, with only expensive door tickets left. I posted on the event seeing if anyone had spare (cheaper) tickets left that they could no longer use. No dice. I very quickly got an offer from a friend who runs the event, who said she could guestlist me instead. So I’m getting in entirely free. I don’t know why I’m being rewarded for being lazy and slow, but here we are. This is what falling upwards feels like. Maybe it’s just my week or something.

I had this moment earlier where I complimented a team member, but it was weird. I saw her walking towards me and I opened my mouth to comment. Then paused, closed it, and commented that her outfit was really working today. She said thanks and went to her seat. Maybe she didn’t think it was as peculiar as I did. I had to take a sec to work out the beats, then come back to her with an explanation. So I told her that when I saw her walking, the blue of her pants really stood out to me. I have bright blue pants myself, so this made me happy and I wanted to let her know that I was cheerleading her all the way.

Then I realised that she wasn’t wearing particularly bright blue pants, just average blue jeans. It was her top that was doing it. She had this sorta dark mustard polka dot top that created a big sense of contrast. The top made her garden variety blue jeans pop, and I thought this was remarkable. So much so, that it deserved a remark to clarify. She took my compliment on her sense of composition as it was intended, and we both learned a little bit about how my brain processes information.

In any case, I need to leave to get to the dentist. Which means I’ve got some flossing and brushing to do.

DARE to resist pun and meme posting

On my birthday this year, I turned off posting to my Facebook wall.

Please be aware, that this will be one of the pettier posts I’ve made. Y’all have been warned.

I was deep into a solid depression, and birthdays are usually kind of messy, fucked up times for me. I hated the idea of people wishing me a happy birthday, when all I wanted was to not be living anymore. Strange juxtaposition, y’know? So by turning off posting, I wasn’t faced with a ton of well-meaning jovial messages that would only make me hate myself more for not being well or jovial. It worked, and took a lot of strain off. Then I just kept commenting off. I didn’t forget, I kind of liked how peaceful things got.

Here are some things. I make puns. I love puns. I’m known for my puns. People know that I love puns, and whenever friends would hear puns they’d reach out and post them on my wall. This all sounds fine so far, right? Here are some more things. I have very specific tastes in puns. I’m into weird, niche puns that need hyper-specific contexts to work. I’ve heard a lot of puns in my life. I’ve made a lot of puns in my life. There’s a certain threshold where puns just don’t impress me much, or rather, rarely the Twain shall meet. Not everyone has the same needs in a pun that I do. Am I a snob? Probably. I don’t begrudge others enjoying puns. Rather, I encourage it. At the same time, I get all kinds of NIMBY when it comes to people making puns that they just assume I’ll like. I’m on the internet a lot. I’m in a few pun related groups. I see a critical mass of internet content, because I’m a goddamn addict.

So, back to my wall. People love posting puns they’ve heard on it, and I entirely get where that sentiment comes from. They’re excited about a pun and want to share it with me. That’s a sincerely lovely gesture. On some level though, I believe there’s something else to it. Yes, they think it will bring me joy, and since I’m a pun guy they probably think that friends of mine will be pun people who will enjoy it too. At the same time, because I’m known as a pun guy, they can post the pun and get my approval in a public space. I’m not saying that I’m such a wizard of wordsmithery that my approval is tantamount to glory. I am saying that there’s part of the equation where they’re getting public acclaim for it. In my head, if that’s what they were looking for, why not just post it on their wall? Why would I need to be included? If it was a good pun, I’d see it in my newsfeed and I could give it a like. Most people probably aren’t thinking about that. I am because I’m a petty sombitch, but I wouldn’t entirely discount the idea on a latent level. If people just wanted me to see their pun, why not message me directly? It’s very personal, and shows a thoughtful touch. It’s private, with entirely pure motives. By turning off posting to my Facebook wall, I took the choice out of their hands. They could message me directly, or just post on their own wall. It’s been working.

The gross and mercenary side to this, is that there are elements of personal branding tied up in it. Like it or not, we’ve all started curating our own online spaces. We shape how we appear online, and package that for others. I want to try and make my Facebook wall the purest distillation of who I am. I post dumb puns, strange personal observations, weird internet articles I find to be interesting, and specific nostalgic stuff I experienced. It’s kind of like this page, but on Facebook. I’m pretty honest on there, because that’s important to me.

When other people posted, assuming my sense of humour, I’d end up with a bunch of things that didn’t personally resonate. It felt weird. Why were ideas that didn’t jive with me taking up my personal online real estate. To be clear, I have no issue whatsoever with people commenting on my stuff, having discussions, etc. That’s all part of it, because I can curate that and learn new things. There’s no reason why I can’t repost things people have sent me on messenger, giving them full credit. At the same time, I find it to be weirdly presumptuous for others to decide what they think should represent me. On some level, that’s peculiar, right? It was peculiar enough for me that I nipped it in the bud. I’m so glad I did.

Was this a bizarre and pedantic thing to do? Of course it was. Do you think I’m totally off-base? Well I haven’t turned commenting off on this site. Let me know below, if you… dare?

I bet when JVDB is groggy in the mornings he’s all “I don’t wanna wake”

What did James Van Der Beek say when he was asked what he wanted to do for a part time job?

I don’t wanna wait.”

Thank you, I’ll be here for the next 30 minutes.

I lied. I wrote that, then talked to my parents for an hour and a half.

But now I’m back
From outer space
I just walked in to find myself with this sad put upon blank space
I should’ve written earlier, my fingers dancin’ ‘cross the keys
If I’d thought ahead to realise that my night’s currently stymied
So here I start, in hopes to end
This goddamn entry
Before my brain just atrophies
Why’d I think it smart to write lyrics of a song?
Did I think I’d triumph?
When I was doomed all along?

Oh no, not I, at least I tried
Oh, as long as I make these daily you’ll know I haven’t died
I’ve got all my life to write
And I’ll do things that are this trite, I have not lied
Oh wait I lied, oh shit.

Remember? I lied a sentence or two before I decided to dedicate my time to clumsily aping “I Will Survive”. You know what? That actually took way longer than you’d think it would. I had to keep checking the beat, syllables, thinking up synonyms to find words that fit my rhyme scheme. I totally dropped the ball rhyming “entry” and “atrophies”, instead of rhyming the “atrophies” line with “end” like the real song does. I’m not a professional [obviously -Ed], but that was a fun little exercise. Maybe I should try song stuff more often. It’s a neat creative quandary to make it all work out. The song was also true in some parts, I’ve got shit to do tonight and I want to get onto it. It actually just hit half an hour, which should give some indication of how stupidly lengthy that process was. I guess that’s what happens when I try to improv. It needs improv-ment.

So I’m off to eat dinner, because like Dawson himself, I don’t want to wait.

Nothing grows here

I need a post Pride holiday.

What a brilliant weekend of sunny, vibrant revelry. I danced, drank, dressed and dallied to my heart’s content. I did very little sleeping, and very lots of socialising. VERY. LOTS. I crashed a bunch of pre-parties, which were perfect occasions to meet friends of friends. I spent a ton of time moving with groups between venues, ordering Ubers and being the logistics fella who kept loose plans on track. I also spent way more time outside than I usually do, and I think that’s tuckered me out more than anything else. Today I have no time or capacity to give fucks. Like Van Morrison when he made that absurd contractual obligation album. I want to go home and zone out with food, however it’s taking all day for work to finish. Y’know, the work day and all…

I don’t know how many plain crackers I’ve eaten today, but the answer would astound you if I knew it. I’m reverting to primal urges. It’s only a matter of time until I throw a stick into the air and it morphs into a satellite. If this keeps up, I’ll probably end up making roast pork for dinner, then tearing it apart with my bare hands. I’m not even suggesting this would be a negative outcome. It sounds fun as hell. Hand held foods are the best type of foods, hands down.

My brain feels so flat today. I walked into the office in a fugue, and I’ve barely talked to anyone in my waking hours. Except, of course to tell them about Van Morrison’s contractual obligation album. It took a litre of coffee for me to regain some semblance of composure, if of course composure can be measured in how readily you rant about the improvised album Morrison recorded in a single day. I’m well-composed, by that margin.

Did you know that Van Morrison had a contractual obligation album? I didn’t know if I’d mentioned it. The thing is bonkers. The first few tracks are mostly identical, but swapping verbs readily. I’m sure there’s an elegant difference between “Twist and Shake”, “Shake and Roll”, “Stomp and Scream”, “Scream and Holler”, and “Jump and Thump”, that I’m just not discerning enough to notice. In this clusterfuck of a recording session, he does a song about ringworm. He does a song about going to the bakery. He talks shit about the label and their demands. It’s the epitome of sowing salt, and I’ve seen few moves so inherently salty.

Did you know that salt has no calories?

All this talk of salt is making me hungry. Maybe it’s time to put aside the plain crackers in favour of something a little bit flashier. Saltines, here I come!

Being chatty is my cross to word

I talk to strangers in public a lot. Definitely more than is advisable.

It’s fine, that’s my own eccentricity playing up and I’ve made peace with it. I like making one time friends or having unexpected experiences. It’s not like I’m accosting folks and making them chat to me. I’ll often just throw out a conversational crumb and see if they bite. When you’re making a flippant comment to someone in a retail store or on the street, they generally have somewhere to go. If they don’t, I leave them alone and continue with my business. I do this considerably less often on public transit. In the situations mentioned above, they can escape, right?

On public transit, people are kinda trapped there with you. If you throw out a morsel and nobody picks it up, it just sits there stinking up the place. The air becomes stale, and you’ll both feel that tension. Also I generally assume that people hate being interrupted on their commute. When I’m heading to work I need time to myself. On the way home, I need to power down. I can only assume this is pretty universal. I double down on this when I’m engaging with women, because I have some (most likely, just the tip of the iceberg) idea of how often they’re getting harassed. I don’t wanna make anyone feel shitty or uncomfortable. I just like engaging with others.

All of this is merely preamble to say that yesterday I took a chance. It was on the subway too. I was sitting next to an older woman who was going through her crossword. I’m not good at crosswords, let me get that out of the way. She looked like she was significantly better at them than I have ever been. That said, there was a long word that she had a bunch of letters filled. Curious, I looked at the clue, then back at what she had. This word spanned almost the entirety of the puzzle, and had a ton of different clues running through it. I realised that the answer she was looking for was “wickerbasket”, but the first word she had guessed was gonna throw her off. I really didn’t want to interject, but I also didn’t want her to ruin her entire puzzle because of that one word. I chimed in. “Excuse me. I didn’t want to interrupt, but I’ve been snooping over your shoulder and I really think that word is “wickerbasket”. I was worried having the wrong word there would mess up your other answers.” She looked at me, looked down at her puzzle and responded “oh, you’re entirely right.” She smiled.

She angled the puzzle towards me, and started to work out clues out loud. It was awesome to see how quickly her mind was ticking over, coming up with solutions. “Y’know” she said “my husband gets very territorial over his crosswords, he takes them quite seriously. I always thought they were more fun to do together.” So we did. I say “we”, but she was doing the bulk of the work. As I said, she was very speedy. I helped a little with spelling in some places where I could, but her brain was ticking over much faster than mine was. “I’m an editor” she remarked “I should be much better with this, but it gets harder after a whole day of work.” Soon enough it was time for me to leave, so we said farewell and she went back to her puzzle. The whole experience was goddamn delightful.

For at least four stops I made a new friend, and it made my entire day.

That tunnel ain’t so secret no more

Greetings comrades, who’s ready to maintain the status quo?

I don’t think I’ve run out of things I like (though to be fair, it’s an evergreen topic) so let’s get back in that saddle:

  • Evergreen trees.
  • The colour green.
  • Referring to people being “saddled” with things, when implying a burden. It makes me feel like a cowboy.
  • The fantasy of watching Deadwood someday, despite knowing how unlikely it is that I’ll get around to it.
  • HBO’s twitter presence.
  • Sarcastically using the radio advertising trope of “it’s our birthday, but you get the presents”.
  • Working remotely.
  • The board game Dixit.
  • Becoming instant best friends with strangers I know I’m never gonna see again.
  • Saying “keep the change” when it’s silver coinage.
  • Not taking pamphlets from people, and telling them I’ll check it out online instead.
  • Saying “I’m not here to kink shame” when people talk about their hobbies.
  • Homes that feel lived in, rather than overly showy.
  • Petrichor.
  • Finding out that I share a birthday with someone.
  • Hanging out in kitchens or hallways at parties.
  • Pretending to have an American accent and showing people how good I am at doing a New Zealand accent.
  • Billy T. James’ laugh.
  • When I’m wearing costume glasses, pushing them up the bridge of my nose and feeling like I’m smart.
  • Earned physical exhaustion.
  • Being so tired in bed that I can’t even pronounce words correctly.
  • Getting goofy with intimate partners.
  • Saying “did I stutter?” mock aggressively in a wholly unimportant conversational.
  • Inflatable floaties in pools.
  • Having permission to break things.
  • Eating too much with friends, then lounging around watching a movie. Sometimes naps are involved.
  • Walking very fast, and weaving in between slow movers.
  • Retaining coordination while drunk dancing, but with ALL OF THE ENTHUSIASM.
  • Coordinating caffeine and alcohol to get the perfect buzz on a Friday/Saturday night.
  • Remembering on the Sunday that it’s a long weekend and there’s no work the next day.
  • Finding an old joke I wrote and losing myself to guffaws.
  • Slapping my knee out of laughter.
  • Meeting up with old friends and instantly feeling like no time has passed.
  • When I’ve done a shitty job tying a tie, and someone fixes it for me.
  • The sound of a kereru whomping its wings, then landing on a creaky branch with a thud.
  • Seeing shitty people get what’s coming to them.
  • When four legged animals rear up on their hind legs.
  • Effortless conversations that flow naturally, without people speaking over one another.
  • Shouting “HEEEEEEY YOOOOOU GUUUUUUUUUYS” like Sloth from The Goonies.
  • Scratching the “L” off signs that say “Public _________”.
  • This sign that my dad and I would drive past all the time. It used to say “We’re not fast, we’re old” but someone scratched off letters to make it say “We r  ot fast, we’re old.”
  • Sarcastically using condescending words like “pedestrian” or “banal”.
  • The word “myopic”.
  • Having my low expectations be utterly bowled over.
  • The knowledge that my Neopets aren’t truly dead.
  • Having someone understand a really “clutch” reference of mine.
  • The bit in The Wedding Singer when the guy says “THEY WERE COOOOOONES.”
  • Cosying up and rewatching Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • The “Secret Tunnel” song from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Finishing up my writing so I can listen to the “Secret Tunnel” song a bunch more times.

Adios.