Wednesday, December 23, 2015

20-Minute Topic: Modern

      “Ah, modernity”, he said whilst twirling his mustache, which is, I've determined, is really the only way to USE that specific conjugation of the term. If you don't have a mustache, it's just time to get out of the business. The business of being an erudite mid-century gentleman. If there is anyone who, in their heart of hearts doesn't hold that concept dear, I don't want to meet them. I guess that might need some clarification? Probably not THIS century. I think they valued glabrous skin above all back then, as I understand it. Actually, wait...this isn't the 90's anymore? Well THAT explains all these wireless telephones and bathing going on everywhere. I'm referring to mid-18th-century. They were all about cigars, mutton chops (of multiple varieties) and of course, being considered modern. And legal cocaine. Let us never forget that.
      I'm pretty hazy (not from the cocaine this time) about what actually constitutes being modern. I mean, it's obviously characterized by a lack of outmoded attributes. But things can be post-modern, and it doesn't mean “From the future”. At my best guess, post-modernity is just something hipsters and turtle-necked college professors say while twirling their significantly more passé handlebar mustaches, when flannel or also turtle-neck wearing girls are nearby. But that still leaves gaps in my linguistic discernment. I think I'm just going to pretend that it does indeed mean “from the future” and not “self-referential and lame”. Though, I do like self-reference. I'm like my own bibliography over here. If it ain't something I've said, I want no part of it.
      I guess you could make the case for modern simply meaning “not obsolete”, which I guess is something we can all get behind. I don't know that anyone takes pride in being obsolete. At least, no one who speaks English and understands what the word means. Free of context, it is a pretty cool-sounding word. Hmm...this might make a good “scientific” “study”. I expect results by next Thursday at the latest, and don't give the that “But it's Christmas” excuse again. Good help is hard to come by in these, our modern days. HEYOOO!!!
      I think there are probably a lot of people out there who think they can break down exactly what modern actually means in a given context. Like, I know it's a genre of music, an art style etc, but I don't think any of them could break it down nearly as well as I just did. If you don't understand what I mean, maybe I should go back to talking to hipsters and various other people with Birkenstocks and Neckbeards. I'll...let YOU fill in the band name there. Me? I'm back to my very own brand of modern living, which integrally involves Tobacco and Lamb-Flesh.

Monday, March 16, 2015

20-Minute Topic: Methodical

         And, we're back! Took a few days off, I guess, to accomplish...things...anyway, let's begin, shall we? This is going to come as a surprise to many of you, but I would definitely describe myself as a methodical person. If your only exposure to me is this series of blog posts, allow me to give an illustration of what has to happen here. The manic coke-addled squirrel ramblings aren't the norm. I have to metaphorically remove my brain from its housing, and place it into a vat of various fluids and essential proteins that keep it alive while the rest of me “contributes” to “society”.

     What came as a surprise to me is that this odd sort of cranial compartmentalization is nigh impossible for some other members of our species, while for me, it's as easy as blinking back the nonexistent tears jerked by the drama section of your nearest women's movie store(site). Holy crap, that was one rambling metaphor...Where was I? Ah, yes. Methodical. In essence, the exact opposite of stream of consciousness-style writing. Is it appropriate to classify what I do as a mental super-power? I'm going to go ahead and do so until someone proves to me that I shouldn't. And then I'll probably rationalize it until I can ignore said proof and carry on, my wayward son.
     To be methodical is to do things according to pre-established formulae or sets of procedures. Analytical, efficient, painstaking, deliberate, meticulous, precise or systematic. And, believe it or not, that describes me quite well, when operating under ordinary parameters. What I mean by all this is that I'm human too. Just like all of you. So please treat me as such. <Sniff>. Okay, I'll turn off the water-works. But before I do, you should consider that the ability to cry is about as human as it gets.

     All this talk of disembodiment and super-powers and weeping makes me wonder if writing blog posts is the only thing I get up to while my brain isn't in attendance...Ooh, or maybe my brain does things while my body isn't on deck, as it were. No, wait...if it was my brain, I think I'd probably remember, right? Yeah, probably. The way I see it, though, there are basically only two possibilities Well, three. The third being “do absolutely nothing”. First, I might go on murder-sprees. Second, I might generally obstruct justice by trying to solve murder-sprees. Either way, I think I should probably design and build myself a flashy costume and position it just so it catches my eye next time I go a-wanderin'.
     I guess, before the end, it should be noted that the word methodical is also sometimes associated with being neat or tidy. These adjectives do not describe me in the least. My stuff is where it is because that's where I left it, and by golly, that's where it's going to stay until I need it next. Or until I trip over it in the middle of the night and kick it to a different location altogether.I'm not picky, which is, I suppose, sort of the point.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

20-Minute Topic: Transference

     I want you to go ahead and try to imagine the word transference in a positive fashion. Go ahead, I'll wait...Nope? Didn't think so. Did it conjure into your cognitive facilities visions of bald, tattooed men reciting dark incantations? Ghosts preparing to enter a willing (or unwilling) mortal vessel? Fallen wizards laboring over golems made of flesh and steel? If not, you clearly haven't had enough culturin'.
     I don't know if this was always the case, mind you. The best we can do is just guess at this point. I think we need a better language, at this point. Just, like, a new one. This one is getting too hard to keep track of. Give me the bare necessities. I need words for like 6 things. Sandwiches, bathroom, sleep, pork-chops with garlic/butter sauce, underpants and technology. Sigh...I don't know how many people would actually agree with me there, though. I think we either need to simplify in the extreme, or else divide the current set of words into multiple parts based on the number of generally accepted meanings. This one has at least two that I know of.

     First, as may suspect it just means the act of transferring something from something into something else, something something something. You get the idea. The second meaning is the where its rep gets established. Huh...Didn't think I'd get to the bottom of that mystery so quickly, Scoob. Oh well. There is a whole laundry list of possible sub-definition associated with that one, and none of them scream “pleasant”. It's a psychological term used to describe various phenomena. Wikipedia them, if you want. I think I must have closed off those dark halls in my mind shortly after they were first opened back in college. Shudder...And now, they've been dredged up. So, thanks for that, I guess. I think we were reading about...Freud? Carl Jung? Sounds right. What an *******. Who's an *******, you ask? Yes, you are correct.

     Granted, one of the examples I recall seems both appropriate and just generally useful. Someone could, potentially, transfer feelings of mistrust or anger to another person because they resemble their ex-wife, that harpy. Why did you ever get married to her in the first place? Now you have a mental disorder that Jung diagnosed. But, now you've got to sleep in the bed you've made. Just make sure you don't make it someone like her again, if you catch my drift.

    Sigh...Let's talk about wizards again. No, wait...sigh...Now all I can imagine is an elderly, white-bearded fellow with a pointy hat, wearing a smoking jacket and discussing when a magic staff was and wasn't simply a magic staff. This is all your fault. Also, I think someone should probably draw that image and send it to me. Oh, and make sure he's wearing pants, too. Realized someone might take those instructions too literally. In short, I hate you all, and thank you for the horrible memories.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

20-Minute Topic: Recompense

    Apparently, we're doing this again? I guess? I mean, that's two in the same week. All (both) of the portents agree, we are doing this again. like that word? I don't like that word. I don't think I'll ever use that word again. AHEM! Anyway, I really feel like I should be getting paid for this. I mean, I've got like a third-degree black-belt in lexiconographical jujitsu, and that's GOTTA be worth something. Does Wal-Mart still accept Mad Props as...RECOMPENSE?!? How'd you like that segue? Worked the concept in TWICE in one paragraph. Though, by most standards the ebb and flow of ideas in meanings in that paragraph was likely sufficient split it into multiple paragraphs, amoeba style. Before you ask, no, my all synthesizer Devo cover band called Amoeba Style never really took off, and no you can't have a free copy of our EP.
   Whew. That paragraph break was WAY overdue. Still in the dark? Allow me to illuminate you so you don't accidentally step on a metaphorical Lego in the dark. And no, before you ask, my all-percussion Nine Inch Nails cover band called Lego in the Dark never took off either. And stop asking me for free stuff. I demand RECOMPENSE! W00t! Three already!

   Okay, for real this time. Today's word is recompense. If you hadn't guessed that by now, you're probably an inanimate object, or drunk. Or both. Which is the name of my...huh, no joke forthcoming. Usually by that point in the sentence I've got something, but it never came. Oh well. You can't win them all, I guess.

   While yes, I think the above examples are amusing, they aren't quite accurate in reality. The difference being, I'm in no pain or under any coercion to write these things other than the type I inflict on myself. In reality, recompense is close to reparation than simple payment by way of literal translation. Colloquially, however, people, or maybe just myself, use it fairly interchangeably when talking about a particularly difficult or painful purchase. Shopping at Wal-Mart using imaginary money has potential to be both incredibly rewarding, AND...taserific. So maybe it DOES apply in the literal sense, too.

   Lest anyone misconstrue my meaning, however, I DO want you to throw money at me. I'm thinking...$7.50/post. That seems well worth it to everyone. From my perspective you're getting a serious bargain. Where else can you go to this kind of insightful elocutionary commentary? I would have loved to read this stuff when I was your age. You're like 20, right? Somewhere in there? Man, that would have been helpful. Or at least intermittently distracting, two things which were definitionally interchangeable to me back then. You just can't put a price on a quality education. Except, I just did, didn't I? A few sentences back? $7.50. A good education is like budgeting for an apartment in a metaphorical way that isn't coalescing in my mind the way I'd hoped when I began that sentence...yeah...A quality education is worth $7.50, plus room and board. If you pay more than that, utilities not included, you're probably getting ripped off.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

20-Minute Topic: Exuberance

         This morning, I awoke fresh from the Field of Dreams. Except, no baseballs and hardly any fields. This is getting out of hand quickly. Anyway, awake did I, having dreamt that I was a halfling. And also a nurse. And also possessed of a minigun. Needless to say, I was exuberant at the cumulative prospect of living under the circumstances brought about by these three conditions. Or at least, I presume I was. It's sort of hard to tell while dreaming, to be honest. I never trust ANYONE while they're asleep. Especially not myself. Shudder...'96...Anyway, then, the unspeakable happened. I was demoted. I am still unclear whether this means I was no longer a nurse or no longer a halfling, but the result was the same. Loss of exuberance. As a side-note, does anyone know what is directly BELOW halfling on the corporate ladder? Anyway, then I woke up and wondered what in the hell was WRONG with my brain. All in all, an average Saturday night.

    For a mental condition to suffer such abrupt and immediate seizure and destruction was a traumatizing experience, let me tell you, but I think I am stronger for it. For one thing, halflings suffer like a -2 on STR checks. In case you weren't able to read or aren't able to's word is “exuberance”. This is another one of those words with more than one meaning that you will never ever EVER need to know. If you can't use it in a sentence already, or hear it and sort of intrinsically know what it means, don't try. It's not worth it. Plus, if you use it wrong, you will likely get laughed out of the Junior Prom ladies restroom. For the sake of the fact that I still have like 12 minutes left, I'll go ahead and elaborate on its meanings, though. First, and the one you are probably familiar with, is defined as being marked by a being full of energy and excitement. To have Ardor, fervor, vigor or zest. All of which would (and probably DO) make wonderful generically fresh-smelling bar-soap brands. Ebullience, not so much. Maybe a misguided attempt at a cheap Men's cologne? Or maybe cognac. Colognac? Faux-French any way you slice it. Preferably diagonally, though, so you can can dip it in the syrup dish. I digress, which, I think I have discovered, is basically how I choose to live my life.

     The SECOND meaning, and the one you should only pull out if you want to confuse people, relates to plants...somehow. I think it's the same but different. Like, it means the same thing, but maybe you MEAN it differently if you aim it at plants. I don't really know. Wait, nevermind. I cheated. It means that something is basically growing WITH exuberance, whatever that means. As much exuberance as a plant can display, I suppose, Seymour.
     I guess my point is, this word is dumb. And if you use it to describe anything but a small child on Christmas or a dog, or a small child on a dog on Christmas, you're dumb too. Me? I'm going to go work on my colognac recipe. Drink it, wear it, I don't care!