I killed it. Someone get me a starting gun

If I started a sports league for anxious people I’d totally commence the proceedings by saying “worriers, come out to play-ay”.

If I started a cocktail competition I’d totally commence the proceedings by saying “let the games be gin!”

If I started an assassin training school I’d call it “Murder she rote”.

If I started to learn Finnish I’d Finnish what I started.

I’m finished.

I dunno. It’s been a long, active day. I got up, went for a run, then helped a friend move. I think I’ve deserved feeling tired. Let’s just see what comes with it.

Oh, maybe ten minutes ago I saw the best thing. A church up the end of the street was having a car wash fundraiser. Hyped white folks yelling at passing cars to get a $5 car wash. Biggie’s “Hypnotise” playing in the background. A couple of people were losing their shit to it. Another few gormless individuals holding signs, but kind of bopping their heads to the tune. It was such a bizarre scene. Kind of adorable. I got the sense they rarely let loose and it was nifty to see it happen. At the same time, It Was A Scene. Such a mixture of folks, smooshed together with varying energies. Still, all united under Biggie.

From the corrections department, I want to issue a broad apology to the Chinese/Polynesian place that’s down the road from me. I was not sober when I went there last time. I was sober when I went there last night. This time I ordered over the phone, they told me there’d be a 20 minute wait, so I got there 20 minutes later and picked up my food. It was a very normal, mediocre Chinese takeout experience. The gawky white dude wasn’t there, but the overly friendly guy was. There was also a kindly old Asian woman in the kitchen who smiled and waved. It was very pleasant. The food was still as generic as I expected, but very affordable. No complaints. I discovered that when I thought I’d ordered sweet and sour pork and found a bunch of deep fried bones in it, turns out I’d ordered spare ribs. Quite reasonable. It’s a wonder what a little perspective can do.

It may still be a drug front. I’m not willing to budge on that yet.

TIFF last night. Nekrotronic was a riot of a Midnight Madness film. YMMV and manage your expectations, etc, but it was a heap of fun. First off, surprise Monica Bellucci (who I just realised I’ve been pronouncing “Monica Belushi” my entire life), who hammed it up brilliantly as the villain. The whole plot was pretty contrived and I really don’t want to ruin anything. It was a neat lark. While the general plot was nothing original whatsoever, that’s a far cry from saying the film was unoriginal. Lots of great lines and explosively cheesy action. It looked and sounded great. It wore its influences on every scene. A big ol’ mashup of every action movie trope you could expect. Can something be entirely predictable and filled with unexpected sharp turns? If the answer is yes, Nekrotronic is your answer. If it gets a wide release and you want to see the epitome of a popcorn flick, get into it.

Speaking of getting into it, I’ve got to get into the shower. I’ve got a comedy show to catch.

So in the words of Jesus, “It Is Finished.”

Advertisements

All the subtlety of wax to the head

I make a fair amount of puns.

That’s news to nobody who’s been here before. It’s more than a daily occurrence and you’d be hard pressed to find any entries without them. Even (especially) the title. The thing is, they’re often shoehorned in. It’s not hard to make a pun, but it is hard making a good pun. I recently appreciated this article a friend sent me on the topic. Towards the end, they mention a couple of loose personal rules people have:

“The four types of bad pun, according to him, are those that suffer from bad timing, are too obvious, have no second meaning or are too earnest.”

I found myself furiously nodding in agreement. It was like someone was reaching through the page and speaking right to my face. I’m not saying I don’t make puns that suffer from the aforementioned trappings, but that they’re often throwaway or meaningless to me. My Facebook is a graveyard of cute wordplay. I don’t make a habit of jotting down decent ones anywhere, but it feels like they live in on my heart, if not my memory. Sometimes though, the bones of a good pun rest in pieces within me. It’s like I can sense how they should come together, but they’re missing a crucial adhesive. Part of it is my construction method. So often I’ll hear or think of a word and it’ll spark something. Maybe my brain will begin absent mindedly collating homophones, homonyms, etc. Then I’ll start reverse engineering ways to bring them into being as puns. My favourite kind of puns have a certain subtlety to them. Maybe they’ll rely on an esoteric double meaning. Some work better verbally than written (as the link talks about above, the hyphenated puns in writing look like you didn’t try hard enough).

I rarely compose puns of this magnitude. Instead I end up producing clumsy clusterfucks that rely on a contrived set up. Hell, it’s fun sometimes seeing just how out of the way I can go in order to make it work. Mostly though, it’s not clever. People might think it is, but really wouldn’t work without the convoluted foundations you put in place. I’ll give an example:

When you’re killed by a candle, is that a fatallowty?

I desperately want this to be a good pun, but I know in my heart it isn’t. If you’re requiring the audience to do too much legwork to arrive at the punchline, you haven’t structured your pun correctly. Most importantly, “tallow” isn’t a super common word. Expecting people to know that a) tallow is rendered animal fat and b) that it’s sometimes used to make candles is pretty unfair. By merely giving them the category of “candles”, their immediate thoughts would go to wax. Secondly, it doesn’t sound like it looks when it’s spelled. You can hyphenate it into “fa-tallow-ty”, but then people are gonna assume it’s a fa la la kind of sound. As its written, most people will probably opt for a pronunciation that starts with fat as opposed to fey.

Is there a solution that makes it work? I guess there’s the option of forcing it to be even more convoluted. Want to ensure people use the correct pronunciation? Make them.

When you’re killed by a whimsical candle, is that a feytallowty?

So now we’ve locked in the right pronunciation of the first syllable, but “tallow” is still a hard sell. Okay, here goes an exercise in inelegance (like repeating the sound “in” so close together as part of that sentence?).

When you’re killed by a whimsical animal fat candle, is that a feytallowty?

Here’s the thing. At that point it’s in a flaky half measures limbo. It’s all or nothing time. We’re gonna force the audience into our perspective no matter how shitty and amateur it looks. Let’s make this clumsy as a stubbed toe. Here goes everything:

When you’re immolated to death by your shirt catching alight on a whimsical animal fat candle, is that a feytallowtee?

It has a rhythm and a cadence. It’s certainly not even close to a good pun. Does it work? Almost. I wish there was some way to imply flame in the pun itself. Try as I might, it’s not coming to me.

I guess my hopes will remain extingwished.

What’s this about? Some kind of words myth?

How do you pronounce the word “pronunciation”?

English is tricky and it doesn’t get any easier when you only half read words. I don’t know when I stopped saying “pronoun-ciation”, but I do know it was after being called on it. I remember being dismayed that “Kayne West” was opening for U2 before I’d heard anyone say his name (circa 2006). To this day, I consider it a pretty cool alternate spelling of Kane. You can’t tell me nothing otherwise. “Omnious” also got corrected on the back of a call out. In my head it kind of made sense. Like some kind of all pervasive evil. I don’t know how “ous” as a suffix brought “omni” into ill repute, but until my friend gave me shit about it, I thought it more often than I said it. I literally just realised the connection between “ominous” and the word “omen”, a lesson that only came a decade and a half too late. Just think of the face I could’ve saved.

How many people pronounced “Hermione” right first time? Did Rowling give any kind of pronunciation guide in the story? Surely she couldn’t have known it’d become such a global phenomenon and get umpteen movies. How would people have known if not for that? It’s all sorts of unintuitive. I went with “her-me-own”, but I’d say “her-my-own” would be defensible too. It sure doesn’t look like a four syllable name. Then again, it’s a world of magic and the supernatural. A polysyllabic central character was hardly the most outlandish thing in the series. May I remind you once again that they wasted a time travel device on a chimera?

I raised the question on Facebook and friends chimed in with their unintuitive pronunciations (A.K.A. We’re All Idiots Or Maybe English Is Just Difficult). The military was highlighted as having particularly tricky titles. In full honesty, I’m gonna try to spell a word before looking it up. Ready? Colonel. Did I spell it right? YUS. FINALLY. I don’t know how many times I’ve spelled it “coronel” or “colenel”. It’s especially damning considering it’s pronounced “kernel”. The whole “lef-tenant” (lieutenant) thing still doesn’t make sense to me. Not to mention “sergeant”. The “a” is in the last syllable. Shouldn’t it be “sargent”? Definitely not “seargent”, which sounds like someone piloting a BBQ grill. Also while we’re there. Why BBQ? One of those “B”s is right, but mind your “Bar”s and “queue”s good “ser”.

Wait, “cue-oos”? Who the what now? Where do we draw the line?

Really though, I’m kind of in love with English being such a backwards bastardly language. So many contradictory rules and single serving usages that are unintuitive and lend themselves profusely to nimbly worded loops and shit. Even poems don’t need to rhyme, and when you want them to, you can manipulate tenses for the best sounding schemes. I’ve mentioned it before, but a former French flatmate once told me how much larger the English dictionary is than the French. I’m not in favour of things being needlessly convoluted for the sake of it, but boy howdy I do enjoy how expansive this language is. How it lends itself to neologisms and reformation, to updating and expanding. Now that’s not limited to English. Language in general is a living thing and I think that’s kind of beautiful. English, however, is the language I know best. I’ve been speaking it for ~30 years at this point and I’m still learning more about it day by day.

That’s either important or impotent, or both simultaneously.

What would a polytheist talk about first?

Puns. Today is puns, at least until it isn’t.

As an aside, I’m ashamed it took me this long to start calling my wrist cast the “Infirmary Gauntlet”. Anyway.

If you were psyched for a play session with a dom, but you turned up and they were timidly masturbating, would that be a batin’ switch?

I asked this to my Facebook friends, and one chimed in that it’d happened to her before. Immediately I was moved to action. I told her that she had to admit, their shenanigans were a master bae shun. But also…

  • Sounds like a jerk move.
  • Guy wasn’t Onan his shit.
  • Wait, more like a jack off all trades. Master of none.
  • Did he pull a fast one on you?
  • Better ejaculate than never?
  • Surely you got the jizz’t of it by now?
  • Suffice to say, I’m in a seminal mood.

Then I wondered, do those ignorant folk who still believe female ejaculate is urine consider it the Piss De Résistance?

After Fargo won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, why didn’t they call them the Co-win Brothers?

Why do they call it tempo and not ear conditioning?

When the smoking gun is finally pulled on Trump, will he be considered Dead to Rights?

Where do old female monkeys go to drink? Barnanas.

Why do they call them pancakes and not flatjacks?

Technically aren’t all whales sperm whales?

If France wins the World Cup, will they drink Le Monde-ade out of it?

If the World Cup was anybody’s game, would that make it a Fifa all?

If someone burned incense despite their friend’s aversion to strong smells, would that make them incensitive?

Like a candle in a dark room, I’m out.

When pregnant partygoers snort coke, do they call it a baby bump?

If you eternally felt like you needed to shit, but nothing ever came out, would that be pooer-gatory?

If you were subjected to scenes of tortured crocodiles until the end of time, would that be poor-gator-y?

If you were forced to eat a dish of feline prepared “hunter style” (with onions, herbs, usually tomatoes, often bell peppers, and sometimes wine), would that be purrgiatore?

If your torment was to spend eternity under the purview of Gator Law, would your existence be as per-gatory?

I’m done with that game for now.

I want my arm back. I know I have to wait, but like Veruca Salt, I want it now. I want to not have to think about which arm gets strapped into my backpack first. I want to no longer consider whether or not I can be bothered blowdrying my arm post shower (and if not, keeping my arm clear of the stream). I want to use a can opener stress free. I want to open doors without considering which hand to use. I want for my arm to not smell like old rot. I want to be able to prop myself up on my elbow without pain. I want for removing my socks to not be a process. I’d like to see my forearm again. I want to lift and throw things with my right arm. I want full range of motion when using a spoon. I want those careless days back where I had no immediate worry of damaging bones/ligaments through regular use. I want to climb surfaces. I want an unencumbered life back. I want it all, and like Freddy Mercury did, I want it now.

But it’s still two weeks until I get my cast off (which doesn’t even mean it’s cleared for regular use) so I can’t have any of that. I’ve got one day of anti-inflammatories left, so things will become interesting. Typically it starts throbbing around 10.30-11pm each night. It hasn’t been a pleasant sensation. I’ve got no idea what it looks like under there. I’m imagining it’s a pale harbinger of doom, withered and misshapen. After all the time I’ve spent in the sun, at the very least I’ll come away with a mean tanline. Best case scenario I get super powers, but that’s a fail-safe best case for any scenario.

I know this is not realistic, which is why right now I’m hoping fate will settle for delivering me this bum bomb tout de suite. It’s a normal bodily function. Is that too much to ask for? Hell no.

Oh shit, maybe I’m pregnant.

Try walking a miel in my shoes for once

After a long weekend of sun, I’m tapped out. Expect nothing and you’ll still be disappointed.

I’ve been sitting here for two minutes, staring at the page. I have yet to find a thread that’s worth pursuing. Oh wait, some dude just walked past my desk offering free ice creams. That went from zero to absolute zero in an instant.

I’m saying it was “cool”, folks.

I was thinking this morning (while on the toilet, in full transparency, where all good ideas come from), of a fun comedy set idea. I’m 99% sure it’s been done before, but if not, I like the cut of it. Rule of 18, straight up. The basic set up is to tell a cheesy joke that’s unlikely to get much response. Then, after your chilly reception, you go overboard into explaining it. Then dive deeper. Then start to go into your next joke, but interrupt it with another thought on why the joke was worth more than it got. Lather, rinse, repeat, but getting increasingly more abstract each time. I sorta feel like it’s an art to make the inital set up enough that you have fertile terrain for mining. Then again, perhaps I’m just aping something Rory Scovel did when I was half awake. Maybe the set ends by closing with the initial bit? In all honesty, there’s absolute zero chance I’ll actually do this ever.

I’m saying if anyone wanted to steal this idea, that’s cool, folks.

If French Stewart made a fortune off honey would that make him a miellionaire?
If I made a fortune off windmills would that make me a mill-Leon-air?
If Miley Cyrus was paid $1,000,000+ for a televised appearence would that make her a Miley-on-air?
If Meek Mill never made a million dollars would that make him a Mill-eo-ne’er?
Did the creator of a popular hair removal product make a Million-on-Nair?
If someone inherited a million dollars would that make them a million-heir?
Would the owner of Weber grills be Char-Millionaire?
Would a Pokémon plane be called Charmeleon-air?
If someone had their arms replaced by morays and suspended in mid-air throughout eternity would they be be arm-eel-eon-air?
If someone travelled through time, was conscripted in the Roman army, obtained priceless artifacts and sold them in the present day would they be an army-legionnaire?

That turned out sweeter than I thought. More like amieli-alright!

In my day, we had flesh and blood corporeal forms and reproduced sexually instead of memetically.

I feel like I’ve been using the word “perfunctory” a lot lately. Is that a reflection on my life choices? Or just a recently expanded vocabulary leading to unnecessary shoehorning of an otherwise innocuous word?

I’m leaving for the airport in an hour, so the word seems particularly apt.

This trip seems unreal. I don’t mean that in some wide eyed dreamer style ZOMG ALL MY LIFE I’VE BEEN WAITING. Rather, it’s been shoved in the back of my mind for so long, it looks a little messy holding it up to the light. I feel like I just came back from Austin and now I’m jet setting off to London. England, not Ontario as everyone around here has assumed. I’ve done very little in the way of planning. My girlfriend and I have been particularly laissez-faire (is that a euphemism for “negligent”?). We have no itinerary outside of a wedding, and a beer/curry catch up with some friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made a colour coded interactive Google map with an assortment of activities and coffee spots, it’s just that we haven’t pinned down particular days to anything. We’re as free as the wind, or Willy the whale.

It’s also meant that today has been a shitshow. Not because there was an overwhelming amount of stuff to take care of. More so that we created hurdles for ourselves to then o’erleap. I’ve created this bizarre tradition where, before a big flight, I create an enormous sandwich to take on board. I figure in flight meals are excessively costed, so why not have a little fun and bring something made with love… and a gratuitous amount of deli meat? The plus is, that since I’m not travelling alone this time, I have someone to share it with. We bought a gluten-free loaf (for my GF GF) and hollowed it out a bunch. We’ll use the innards to make gluten-free stuffing at Thanksgiving. First up was the mayo layer. The mayolayer, if you will. I mixed a healthy spoonful of mayo (is that an oxymoron?) with sriracha, then spread it across the base. I sprinkled lemon pepper, then grated in some sharp cheddar. Then it was meat time. In went 125g of aged black forest ham and 75g of paio hot salami. I folded the slices in half on the borders of the sandwiches, crescent side pointed inwards. Then I made little bi-folds and did a centre line to keep a dense consistency to the sandwich. I ain’t no schoolyard sandwich architect. Then a layer of gouda to break up the meat selection before tossing on 100g of smoked chicken. I wanted a little more moisture on my half, so I put in some chipotle barbecue sauce. My girlfriend opted to leave it au naturale. Next came slices of sour dill pickles and sundried tomatoes. One layer of dijon mustard on top and we closed the lid on it. It must’ve weighed about a kilo.

I must stress, that sandwich was the most planning we put into our entire trip.

Then I decided for some reason it’d be a good idea to go for a swim. I hadn’t swam in a few years, but why not then, right? Turns out it was an excellent idea. My muscles (and back in particular) were munted from going all out at the Kpop party on Friday. The swim really sorted everything out and I left feeling relaxed. That was maybe two hours ago. I came back and at the consummate protein packed lunch: A tin of tuna tipped into the remainder of our cottage cheese tub. If it was gonna go off while we were in London, why not, right?

I came home and decided it’d make sense to start packing. As always, I put too much stuff in there. Imagine the horror of wanting a yellow hoodie and not having one? Madness, right? I learned once more how to fold a suit, remembered to stuff in both of my knee braces and most importantly, packed my bluetooth keyboard. It’s been a godsend for travel writing. One day I’ll tell my future grandchildren how their grandfather used to write by hand on his tiny little phone screen.

They’ll be like “hey grandad, what are phones?” “What’s typing? You mean you weren’t all connected on a grand scale mindmeld? How archaic and inefficient.”

Then I’ll tell them about how I boarded a plane and the thought of non-instant teleportation will blow their sweet little minds asunder.

“How perfunctory” they’ll say. My grandkids, after all.