Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

B.S. Word of the Day

March 11, 2011


There’s no such thing. By calling something unspeakable, you just spoke of it.


There Goes My Literary Hipster Street Cred

January 26, 2011

It’s been entirely too long since anything new popped up here. Deciding to remedy that situation this morning, but not wanting to attempt any actual work involved in creating a real blog post, I began running old entries through the I Write Like web site, which purports to analyze writing samples and match their word content and style to those of well-known (a.k.a., real) writers, to see what would appear.

The site claims the overwhelming majority of posts I’ve run through it match David Foster Wallace most closely, with a couple of stray entries each mirroring Chuck Palahniuk and Cory Doctorow.

The kicker is that while I’ve heard of all of these guys, I’ve never actually read any of their books. Hell, I’ve never even watched the movie version of Fight Club, despite my wife’s continual attempts through the years to make me see it.

There goes my literary hipster street cred. Maybe my status as some literatus with a B.A. in English is tracing thin ice these days, too.

The problem is that while I read a lot, most of what I read for fun is stuff that’s old enough to easily fall into the realm of public domain. Maybe I should start catching up with the twentieth century now that it’s over.

You Searched For What?!

September 15, 2010

There have been some extra weird search engine queries taking people to this site over the last week:

  • Turkey bidet toilet combo” — As much as it baffles me that someone would be scouring the Internet for this word combination, I was even more confused by my inability to recall ever having used the word “bidet” here. It turns out my memory was wrong: here it is, from November 2008. The same post begins by mentioning High School Musical. I must have a sicker mind that I previously believed.
  • Continuing with the international theme, “German Slanket” — I’m not sure what would make a Slanket German. Would it be in the colors of the German flag, or would it yell, “MACH SCHELL!” if you don’t flip through channels using your TV remote quickly enough?
  • Pennsylvania Dutch food humor” — Exhibit A: Scrapple. Exhibit B: Cup Cheese. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t actually eat any of those things; we just like seeing tourists wince at the sight of them. The funniest of all are the tourists who decide to be brave and eat them; the joke’s on you, folks.
  • Chemistry funny” — Yes, chemistry is very funny. I found balancing chemical equations to be a delightful hoot in high school.
  • Chupacabra Crossing sign poster.


    Chupacabra crossing signs” — I never thought of such a thing before seeing those words together just now. Now, having seen them, I’m not sure how it’s possible for my life to go on without one. I MUST HAVE A CHUPACABRA CROSSING SIGN FOR MYSELF!

  • Quotes about long winded stories” — I once knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy’s cousin who’s twice-related sister-in-law’s mother’s daughter knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who once said something about Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones. But to put it into proper context, we’ll have to go back to the War of the Austrian Succession . . .
  • Mechanical parrots” — Unlike the chupacabra crossing sign, these are things I could really do without.
  • The best Yugo” — Speaking of things I don’t want . . .
  • la-veterana@hotmit.liver” — This can’t possibly be a legit email address, unless the nation of hepatitis has its own domain now.

So there’s a rundown of some of the search terms that have brought some really twisted people to this site over the past week. Luckily for them, I’ve been twisted enough to have somehow created content that would send them here in the first place.

Thanks to this post, it’s only a matter of time before I start getting hits for “hepatitis” combined with something else weird, too. Now that I think about it, “nation of hepatitis” is a weird enough phrase on its own.

What would be the most utterly revolting restaurant name ever? I vote “The Hepatitis Bidet.”

All Your Base Are Belong to Chivas

September 4, 2010

The Google Translate Logo.Google Translate can be surprisingly amusing. Guffaw inducing, even. Don’t get me wrong; being a typical product of the United States’ educational system, I’m very grateful for its existence since English is the only language I can read in any manner vaguely resembling competently. If you don’t have the luxury of grabbing someone at your leisure who can speak a language you don’t understand and demanding that they tell you the meaning of what you’re attempting to read, a computerized translation program is really the only way you can get the basic gist of some text written in that language.

So it was that I was looking at the web site of the Mexican Premier Division’s C.D. Guadalajara the other day ahead of the team’s game here against the Philadelphia Union. The site is, naturally, in Spanish, so I had to call on Google Translate to come to the rescue. Hilarity ensued.

For starters, the club’s site had a page with helpful info for its fans about Philadelphia. While I’m sure its contents are perfectly coherent in its original language, here’s an example of what The Google’s high-tech algorithms do to it:

It is the largest historical, cultural and artistic in the United States, and in the same way an important industrial port on the Delaware River, extending to the Atlantic Ocean.

Philly extends to the Atlantic Ocean? AWESOME! I always suspected that in some dank pit in a long-forgotten government archive building exists some highly official 18th century document explicitly spelling out how New Jersey has no right to exist. What do the folks in Chivas Guadalajara’s front office know that we’ve all forgotten here? Ed Rendell needs to get on the horn with them pronto so that we can seize all of Atlantic City’s gambling revenue for ourselves!

The C.D. Guadalajara logo.

The Goats, Keepers of the Knowledge of How to Rid the World of New Jersey.

The Philadelphia primer page has nothing on Google’s mangling of the match report, though:

Because although it seems difficult to understand, the Herd did most exhibited the collective game of ball control and arrivals at goal, but it was the Union that after a defensive inattention rojiblancos, used to mark which ultimately would be defined as a victory for the MLS table.

From the start of the match, Guadalajara showed a greater collective game, which immediately paid off in opportunities in the area of the Americans, since only two minutes of the meeting, Omar Bravo hit a ball in the crescent, which tried to resolve by half scissors, however your shipment was just above the cabin of the Union.

What is this mysterious “shipment,” and when did sports teams start getting hunting cabins in Potter County? Would half of a pair of scissors be a letter opener, and did Omar Bravo use one to try to deflate the ball? How the heck is that legal? Google, please enlighten me, because right now, it seems difficult to understand.

And now, mostly just for my own amusement, here’s the first paragraph of this post after being run through Google Translate from English to Spanish and back several times over:

Google Translator can be surprisingly fun. To induce laughter. Do not get me wrong, being a typical product of the U.S. educational system, I am very grateful for their existence since English is the only language that can read in any kind of responsibility vaguely similar. If you do not have the luxury of having someone in your free time you can speak a language and demanding that they do not understand the meaning of what you say you’re trying to read a computer translation program is really the only way to ensure that basis of a text written in this language.

International understanding is truly just a click away.

xkcd’s Key to Successful Blogging

June 3, 2010
Cartoon of man giving a presentation and talking to someone in the crowd. Here's the text: "The key to making a successful blog is building a relationship with your readers." "I thought it was 'make your updates so good people will want to read them.'" "We'll discuss content generation in part three." "Awesome! I LOVE content."


Clearly, I have not followed any of the advice here. Yet people still look at this thing. Weird…

Random Thought of the Day

November 18, 2009

I shudder to think about what Marcel Proust might have done if he’d had access to a camera phone that shoots HD video and unlimited hard drive space.

Long-Winded Quote of the Day

October 3, 2009

“The madman’s explanation of a thing is always complete, and often in a purely rational sense satisfactory. Or, to speak more strictly, the insane explanation, if not conclusive, is at least unanswerable; this may be observed specially in the two or three commonest kinds of madness. If a man says (for instance) that men have a conspiracy against him, you cannot dispute it except by saying that all the men deny that they are conspirators; which is exactly what conspirators would do. His explanation covers the facts as much as yours . . .

“Every one who has had the misfortune to talk with people in the heart or on the edge of mental disorder, knows that their most sinister quality is a horrible clarity of detail; a connecting of one thing with another in a map more elaborate than a maze. If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections. Indeed, the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading one. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.”

— G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Unfortunately, those words could apply to a lot of people making noise in what passes for our political dialogue these days.

Ineluctable Modality of the Visible

June 16, 2009

Eat with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls in celebration of this fine day, and spend tonight hanging around some insufferably pretentious kid!

The heading on my old Myspace page (which I’m not sure if I even have any more, since I haven’t checked it in about half a year) says (or said): “All wind and piss like a tanyard cat.” I got that by opening a copy of Ulysses sight unseen to a random page and jamming my finger down upon it. That was the sentence my finger pointed to. It seemed like an appropriate enough statement to sum up anything I would put on the Internet.

If you ever wondered what the original Bloomsday would have been like had it taken place 105 years later, here it is.

. . . yes I said yes I will Yes.

Creamy, Yummy, Marshmallowy White Space

May 21, 2009

I feel as though I should write something here, since it’s been several days.

So, here goes. Something to write . . . something to write . . . while gaping into the maw of a screen full of beautiful white space. Creamy, yummy, marshmallowy white space. Such a shame to mar it with text — so would say a graphic designer. But, on the Internet, content is content is content, and these black lines and sqiggles called letters are what I string together best. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to see me attempt to draw a picture on here. Or even a diagram.

That’s a funny word, diagram. It sounds kind of like diadem, which is another funny word. But, if you lost a monarch’s diadem and offered a diagram as a replacement for it, the monarch in question would most likely not be amused.

Monarchs were generally not very amused throughout history, except for queen Victoria. She was endlessly facinated by CD jewel cases and moonwalk castles. I wonder if you could put a moonwalk castle on the moon. You could get some insane air on one of those there. Or could you? There isn’t any air there, after all.

Why is it that “airy” is a synonym for light, breezy and well ventilated? The air here is really humid, sticky and heavy feeling right about now. It feels like somebody managed to open the mouth of every gaseous molecule within five miles of here, stick a fire hose in it, and turn the hose on at full blast.

For all you kids out there stumbling across this while avoiding working on reports or research papers, it will aid you greatly to know that scientists have recently discovered that the molecules making up our atmosphere do in fact have mouths. If anyone questions this basic truth of science, you can simply tell them it has to be true because you saw it on the Internet, and you can refer them to this site, a well known tome of knowledge in its author’s mind, as evidence. But really, do you actually need evidence when you already possess certainty? Of course not. I’m certain of it, and so are you, because you’re a bright kid.

Gaseous molecules do have mouths, and their mouths are essential to our sense of smell. What happens is that the molecules go on all-night drinking binges and forget to brush their teeth (previously known as “quarks”) before they pass out in a vodka-and-Jäger induced stupor (because Jägermeister will mess you up, even if you’re an inanimate covalent bond). The stench produced by these passed out molecules which snore loudly with their mouths open is what we interpret as scent, and it produces the winds which drive the Earth’s weather patterns.

What does this have to do with anything? Everything.

In closing, staplers are generally made of metal, although many now have plastic parts as well. A few lucky ones even contain genuine rubber.

Meditate on that, and ye shall reach the eighth and penultimate astral plane, also known as the Spruce Moose, also known as “Billy” to his friends and “Rufus” to his co-workers.

More Phrases Only Found Here

January 3, 2009

Since it’s been almost nine months since I last made one of these lists, here is my latest installment of phrases found nowhere else on the Internet, save for this blog, according to The Google. Because The Google is always correct.

  • the google is always correct
  • help you bloody colonial
  • fear the nav system
  • absurdly Pennsylvania Dutch
  • bees who swallow your soul
  • soul through a straw
  • businessperson/crook
  • dress like Orko
  • you or the pile
  • overdose of meta twists
  • Palin goes all David Lynch
  • Na out of NaCl
  • Egyptian pyramid heiress
  • world apparently does not include Japan
  • frenzy of disappointment and confusion
  • apotheosis of free floating hostility
  • doofus with the push mower
  • sonorous strains of Disco Duck
  • fecund sources of unintentional comedy
  • severe anger and hypertension
  • German-teaching clown
  • Scolari mumble wanker
  • seat slinging skanks
  • all your base are belong to Oprah
  • whither Jim Bunning
  • bizarre Congressional rants (yes, this phrase and the previous one are connected)
  • simultaneously classic and infamous
  • meet other hamsters online
  • hip, groovy, cool, and cosmologist
  • ostensibly inflexible alignments (see, I can sound highfalutin-like when I wants ta.)
  • Mr. Uncreative Stereotype
  • Ward Cleaver is a sniveling pipsqueak
  • WiMAX went wonky
  • GPS camera toasters
  • oozing with concerned gravitas
  • Father Knows Squat vibe
  • generation gap regenerates
  • sucked from a skull (from the even weirder sentence, “Everything tastes better when sucked from a skull.”)
  • ritual goat-sucking
  • goat-sucking break-dance
  • depth of canine stupidity
  • Bunnicula and our baby
  • ergo this blog blurb

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