Tag Archives: humor

I’m officially coining the word “Conversationist”

You will so get why I chose this image in a minute.

You will so get why I chose this image in a minute.

I despite the word “conversationalist.”

According to the internet–and the internet is never wrong–the word “conversational” means appropriate to informal conversation. Thus, a conversationalist must be someone who “practices appropriateness to informal conversation.”

No, that doesn’t make a bit of sense, which is the reason I despise the word.

“Conversation,” on the other hand, means the exchange of ideas by spoken words. A conversationist, therefore, is someone who exchanges ideas by spoken words, which is crystal in its clarity and explains why I have been using the term for years. Which, in turn, explains why people frequently correct me and say, “You mean ‘conversationalist’?”

No, I bloody don’t mean “conversationalist.” I meant what I said, which was “conversationist.”

No one can make a logical case, on a semantic level, justifying “conversationalist” as a legitimate term. I bite my thumb at this abomination masquerading as a dictionary entry. All that badass stuff Ricardo Montalban said to Captain Kirk at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? That’s what I’m saying right now (go watch it if you haven’t. It’s a lovely bit of acting).

Remember well this day, my friends, because it will be looked upon by history as The Day the World Changed. It is the day a new word is born, courtesy of Eric John Baker:

Conversationist.

Book it.


My Man Crush on Sean Bean

Per urbandictionary.com:

Man Crush – A man who has a crush on another man without sexual attraction.

Notwithstanding the subject misplacement in that definition (a man can’t be a man crush), a man crush is a real thing. I know, because I’ve had one on the English actor Sean Bean for ages. It can lie dormant for a year or two at a time, but then I’ll see a trailer for a show or a movie featuring the hardworking thespian, and I’ll be like, “Damn. That Sean Bean has got it goin’ on.”

Like in this new TNT show, Legends, which I now have to watch:

The good thing about a man crush vs. a real crush is that there’s no anxiety and you don’t lose sleep over it. You can’t be rejected, either, because it’s not like you’re going to ask the guy out. Sean Bean won’t take my calls anyway (jerk), but the point is, having the man crush is the end in itself.

Man crushes are also fun because they freak out homophobes and those vehemently anti-gay folks who secretly wrestle with feelings they want desperately to repress. The latter usually open gay-conversion clinics and other such silly institutions, and they tend to add a lot of noise to otherwise intelligent conversations.

Sometimes a machine gun is just a machine gun.

Sometimes a machine gun is just a machine gun.

If you are a man and think you might want to share my man crush (another great aspect: no jealousy. The more the merrier. It’s like polyamory where no one touches anybody), check out Sean Bean in HBO’s Game of Thrones, the suspense thriller/remake The Hitcher, the first Lord of the Rings movie, Fellowship of the Ring, or as the villain in the James Bond flick Goldeneye.

Note: Man crushes should not be confused with “bromances,” in which two or more dudes are really close and hang out together all the time but are not romantically or sexually attracted to each other. I tried to explain the difference to a gay friend once, and he said, “I don’t know. I just went out and got myself a boyfriend. It’s less complicated.”

So guys, who’s your man crush? Ladies, have you got a lady crush you’re willing to admit to? Gay and lesbian readers, have you ever had a non-romantic crush on a member of the other sex? It can happen! Another gay friend told once described his other-sex crush on Kirsten Dunst. For reals.

Talk to me.


The OTHER Top 7 of All Time List

top 7 redhot

7. Frank’s RedHot Original (I can’t believe I forgot this last time)

 

top 7 helena

6. Helena

 

Nile Rodgers and Duran Duran

5. Nile Rodgers Producing Duran Duran’s Next Album (Rodgers was the producer behind some of the 1980s biggest hits by Duran Duran, David Bowie, INXS, and others, and he co-founded the seminal 1970s funk/disco band Chic)

 

top 7 without4. Trashy 80s horror movies and their accompanying posters

 

 

3. Japanese heavy metal guitarists named Akira Takasaki who are amongst the most incredible fretmasters who ever lived yet get almost no recognition because they don’t have western-sounding names. Even if you hate heavy metal, you have to be dazzled by this dude’s chops. At least watch the beginning and then the solo at 3:20.

 

Lost Moon of Poosh

2. The Lost Moon of Poosh Here represented by desert balls. I can’t show you the actual moon for obvious reasons.

 

Robin Williams

1. Robin Williams. Peace, brother. You were loved by millions.


Help Me Name My Car

munster car2

I finally ditched the old Chevy in favor of a Nissan yesterday. Did you know that cars have power windows now?

I kid. The Chevy had the latest gadgets of its day, but at 10 years old, it needed replacing before it started transforming itself into a money pit. Like the pet piranha I owned for 7 years (true story), the Chevy never got a nickname. None of my cars have ever gotten nicknames.

That ends. Tonight.

Please choose your favorite option below. In the interest of transparency: This poll exists for purposes of entertainment and humor. Just as author and blogger Kevin Brennan did when polling to choose a name for his new novel, I am going to ignore the results and pick the one I want anyway. In essence, a vote here counts as much as a vote in North Korea, but at least I won’t send you to the dungeons for not selecting the one I prefer.

Note: I joke about power windows, but my first two cars had hand-cranked ones. And I’m not that old.

Another note: Kevin Brennan decided to name his novel Occasional Soulmates, which is a pretty bitchin’ title.

dr seuss car


The Top 7 of All Time List

S’mores Pop Tarts

pop tarts

2

Reptiles

Reptiles

3

This cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” by Cake

4

1960s Soul Singers in Sparkly Dresses

The Supremes

5

Contigo Bottles

contigo bottles

6

Clara

Clara Oswald

7

Korean Red Bean Fish

Korean red bean fish


Summertime Blogging Blues – 2014 Edition

What is it about summer and blogging?

It’s not as if my days are appreciably different this time of year. I’m doing mostly the same stuff, only in short sleeves. Who the heck is staying up all night at beach parties listening to Beethoven and dancing with space robots? Not me. I work every day.

Still, I’m not alone. I’ve read your “I’m burnt out on blogging and taking a break” posts. They always seem to crop up in June and July.

Being that this is a writing/editing blog, I’m ever mulling over ideas for future posts on the subject. Fact is, though, composing such pieces is time consuming. If you’ve got the summertime blogging blues, you don’t always feel like hammering away at one for three hours (especially when you’ve got a second draft deadline for your future best seller coming up in 7 weeks).

Since I have abandonment issues, I shan’t be “taking a break,” lest you forget me. What I shall be doing is indulging whimsy. If you were here last summer, you know what that means: countdowns, limericks, random observations, and other fluff is coming your way. Fluff is easy! I bet I can still make you laugh.

I recognize that this post did not offer worthwhile content. Nothing brilliant, insightful, or even interesting if you think about it. I’d go as far as to say it was 255 words of drivel. To make up for that, I share with you the unique genius of Mr. Trololo. 19 million YouTube viewers can’t be wrong.


Writing in a Corporate Environment

superman typing

We are lucky. As writers, we have many avenues for expressing ourselves. For example, we could start a blog post with a long, boring list of poetry types and fiction genres and so on, which is probably where you thought I was going with this third sentence. Please slap me if I ever get that boring and predictable.

Nay. I assume you’ve already heard of Haiku and will now move on to the steak and potatoes.

Being a bestselling novelist is the top of the pops for writing cachet. Successful screenplays will get you more free cocaine and hookers, but the average consumer is unlikely to know who wrote the latest Transformers script. They certainly know who Stephen King and Dan Brown are.

For most of us in the real world, getting noticed for our work, much less getting paid, is a challenge. Going into journalism is perhaps the most obvious path to writing for money and getting your name in lights (if people’s laptop screens count as “lights”). Unless you have been living on an island and thought the Panama invasion was still going on, you know that staff journalists are an endangered species and that most bylined writers are freelancers now. This is great for everybody. The news and entertainment organizations don’t have to pay health benefits and can grind you up like old newspaper in a shredder, and you… Okay. Maybe it’s just good for them.

However, the least glamorous, most anonymous and unheralded writing you can do is corporate writing. It’s also the steadiest paycheck.

Corporate writing doesn’t earn you a byline. Chances are, the reader will never know your name. You write training manuals and reports and summaries and evaluations and proposals and other documents read by other people in other office buildings. No one cares about your personal expression. Your writing voice is The Company.

Then, every two weeks, they hand you a check. And you go, “Yeah, boy,” because now you can pay rent and stock up on cupcakes and buy stuff you don’t need on Amazon.

If you’re thinking of taking your writing skills to the corporate world but need more 411, here are some pros and cons:

Pro: Duh. I already told you: paycheck. And you don’t convince anyone to let you write for money. They give you stuff to write.

Con: They give you stuff nobody else wants to or can write.

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Con: You know how sometimes you just don’t feel like writing ‘cause you’re tired and not in the mood? Guess what. Deadlines don’t care about your mood, and neither does your boss. You gotta suck it up and write for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, or they’ll find someone else.

Pro: You learn to meet deadlines. There’s no procrastination when a client needs a report by 2 p.m. and you got the assignment at 1 p.m. You’ll end up managing your personal writing time better, too.

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Con: Sometimes you hit The Wall, and I don’t mean that quasi-religious song by Kansas (it’s on their Leftoverture album). I mean, sometimes your work is repetitious in ways you can’t imagine if you’ve never done cubicle writing. Like last year when I had to write about 85 unique evaluations based on 85 nearly identical data sets in one week. My desk still has the indentation where I smacked my forehead into it around report #60.

Pro: You learn discipline. You power through, and you feel like a professional knowing that lesser humans would have cracked.

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Pro: Everyone thinks you’re smart. Unlike math experts who don’t get to show off their number skills very often in conversation, writers have opportunities to strut their stuff every day. During a recent meeting, I fumbled in search of a word, and a co-worker from another department was so happy. She said she feels nervous speaking in front of us and was glad to know we have our inarticulate moments too.

*

Pro: You are often surrounded by like-minded people who can’t find a damn agent, either. Misery loves company?

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Pro: You learn new writing skills, like composing the dull-sounding stuff I described above. Hey, you can do something you couldn’t do before!

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Con: After staring at a monitor all day, the last thing you want to do at home is stare some more.

Pro: I have no pro. Trying to get motivated after work writing all day is my biggest struggle, only ever overcome through discipline and inconsistent bouts of inspiration. Then again, I haven’t tried the cocaine-and-hookers route yet.

 

Talk to me!