Word-mangling like a boss.

Way, way back when I first started fooling around with the grubby little man-whore that is Facebook ( It’s not a love affair, there’s nothing meaningful in our trysts, it just drags me into the stationery cupboard , uses me for its own devices, and completely prevents me from getting any work done ) one of the very first things I laughed at and re-posted was a list. You may well have seen it knocking about online, but for those that haven’t…this is it:

“The Washington Post’s Style Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Here are this year’s winners:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

5. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

6. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

7. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

8. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

9. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you’re eating.

[And the pick of the literature:]

18. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

…. all of which I still think are superb 4 years later. My particular favourite is #18 which I occasionally use, mumbled under my breath, in social situations where such creatures freely roam.
I wish I’d thought of any of them. I’d be triple espresso smug with a squirt of whipped smug on top. Alas, no.
But you can probably see why this sprang to mind when faced with today’s Daily Prompt. So without further ado, here are my efforts :

Lickorich allspurts – The act of sucking up to someone with a vast fortune that culminates in a sudden climactic financial deposit.

Piesmograph – Electrical apparatus used to measure how much my stomach rumbles in response to the promise of pastry.

Pomfetti – the tiny little bits of coloured paper Brits like to throw at Australian weddings.

Hawkward – the very close scrutiny you get from your partner when you bring up the name of an attractive colleague from work during conversation.

This prompt hurt my head.

Repulsion. There might possibly be a bit of swearing at the end.

One of the things I like most about the Daily Prompt is that it gives me the opportunity to really think about a subject I wouldn’t otherwise bother with, and every now and then it gives me some sort of insight into myself that probably would have eluded me otherwise. This is usually a good thing, or I’d probably not be quite so keen on it. Nobody would be particularly thrilled to sign up for blogging prompts and suddenly find themselves realising that they have a deeply repressed urge to stalk the neighbourhood in the wee small hours skinning the local cats. That would just suck.

Today’s prompt was one such eye-opener.

“Think of something that truly repulses you. Hold that thought until your skin squirms. Now, write a glowing puff piece about its amazing merits.”

Firstly, I had to look up “puff piece”. I gathered from context a rough idea, but if I’m going to write about something I think the least I can do is make the effort to look it up for an accurate description. And yes, admittedly, there was a very small part of me that was slightly disappointed it wasn’t a porn industry term… cos that would have been kinda fun for WordPress. Ho hum, maybe next time.

Then, knowing what I was aiming for I looked carefully at the wording. And that’s when I had my glowing moment of self revelation.

Repulsion. That’s kinda strong. And I just don’t feel it.

I have things that I hate, things that make me angry, things that sicken me, lots of things that have horrified me… but complete repulsion? Nah, not really.
It’s not like I’ve lived a particularly sheltered life. I’ve seen stuff. More stuff than I should have really, but I’m a curious gal with an internet connection..it happens. But repulsion… true repulsion… that’s pretty big.

That’s not to say that there aren’t such huge things out there, because there are… However, I’m guessing that WordPress are pushing for amusing or insightful pieces about nasal mucus, spiders, or midget clown porn.

OK, possibly not the last one.

What they aren’t expecting is glowing commendations on the merits of , for example, paedophilia. You just…can’t. And if you can I’d really rather you go away and quit reading my blog. A quick skim through my blog search engine stats will reveal I’m pretty big with the perverts, but consider the line drawn. ( As an aside… if you really want to up your page views include the phrase “lesbian catholic schoolgirls” in your posts. It’s my number one page-draw, which makes me wonder exactly whether people who ended up on here continued to read, or just got very frustrated that the post where that phrase featured didn’t actually have any such action… red hot or otherwise. Suckerrrrs. )

So, we’re looking for a subject that’s a bit icky, but not utterly abhorrent, that I can waffle about briefly…and I’m drawing a blank.And what do I do when I’m grasping for inspiration? Facebook. Dear Sweet Facebook And It’s Assorted Internet Freaks Who Usually Have An Opinion On Everything.

Well, that was helpful.

*sigh*

Here goes….

Dog shit… it’s brilliant!! No really, I know what you’re thinking ” public menace, irresponsible pet owners, scraping your shoes on the curb for half an hour before you can go into your own house, all the charm of fish paste & cauliflower cheese mixed in a big bowl with a side serving of cat vomit *wince*..” but hear me out.
Have you ever considered it’s excellence in the field of crime prevention? One huge steaming pile and everyone’s going to be walking *around* your neighbourhood instead of through it. No noisy kids, no car thefts. No pedestrians of any sort really.
And you know what? The bigger the better! Smaller dollops acting as fertiliser for oft-neglected sidwalk greenery… larger megadumps are an eco-system in their own right.
Stand behind a pile in case of a nuclear blast for full protection!
Climb inside a mountain of the stuff for insulation in case of a sudden ice age!
Form it into bricks, allow it to harden, and fashion it into a second residence. Don’t let the fact it shot out of a dog’s arse dissuade you from building your own property portfolio.
Dog shit. It’s low in calories, and brown is slimming. Acquire some today.

 

Vital advice, especially if you’re prone to putting things into your bottom.

Advice is easy. Anybody can give it, and there’s no quality control system in place to filter the life-enhancing gems from the plain stupid Captain Obvious stuff. I, for example, have a broad spectrum of advice of varying usefulness on the tip of my tongue should anyone come asking.
Try me, go on.

  • Don’t buy a dress size down with a view to slimming into it, you won’t. Embrace your beautiful outer insulation and just get something in a size that isn’t going to cut off your circulation from the hips down and strip you of your dignity.
  • Don’t rob banks. It increases your chances of multiple unplanned holes in your body, and most banks these days don’t contain any actual money anyway.
  • Don’t give away your virginity too easily. Religious beliefs aside, it’s a rite of passage that deserves thought… cos Lord knows you’ll think back on it in the future. I know someone who lost her virginity in a car park bent over a shopping trolley. That’s a heart-warming tale for the grandchildren.
  • Don’t stick things up your bottom when there is even the slimmest possibility they won’t come out. I have absolutely nothing against folk who want to anally insert items of their choice per se but I’ve worked in a hospital. 9 times out of 10 when you see a small huddle of doctors around an x-ray screen they’re looking at holiday snaps from someone who’s using their rectum as a storage facility.

And so on.

However, I feel for advice to reach it’s maximum usefulness it has to apply to all, and not everyone is going to “slip in the shower and end up with a bottle of “Head & Shoulders” inserted. Mr or Ms Average need to read it, nod, and realise they might just have dodged a bullet for having done so ( which admittedly would apply in the bank robbing example ). I also strongly feel that advice only reaches it’s full potential when it comes from real personal experience… and I’ll leave you to work out which of the above that applies to in my case. No clues.

So what is it that I’m going to share with you in response to today’s Daily Prompt? Well, it’s common sense really. Sadly, however, common sense often flies out of the window on this one… but I think it bears repeating.

Do not, no matter how tempting, get involved with someone who is married to somebody else.

I’ve been there, and the life lesson it taught me was this “You’re great, but you’re just not that great. If he cheated on her to be with you, you can bet your life savings ( literally, in my case ) that he will cheat on you to be with someone else.
I know it’s tempting. Temptation always comes in the most wonderful of lickable packages, but keep your tongue in your mouth… and your mouth only … and you’ll be fine. There are people who cheat, and there are people who don’t. And really, is that all you’re worth?
People fall in love with the wrong people all the time ( Holy cow, I could write a book on that one ), but if you take a step back and garner some perspective you will see it for what it is.

Is their relationship working ?   Yes : Avoid.     No : Proceed to next question.
Are they separating?               No : Avoid       Yes : Proceed to next question.
Are they separated?                No : Avoid       Yes : Proceed to next question.
Are they a huge festering boil of unresolved issues, and prone to unrelentingly talking about their ex?                                        Yes : Avoid      No : Proceed to next question.
Are you just drawn to that which isn’t yours?      Yes : Avoid       No : Proceed to next question.
Wouldn’t life just be easier to find yourself someone who will be yours alone from day 1, because adulterers have a lack of respect that doesn’t change just because you’re a great guy / girl ? Yes : Yes. Proceed with life.       No : No. Just..no.

It’s not easy. Sometimes life conspires to screw you over like that. But take heart in the fact that every now and then someone will leave a relationship that isn’t working and tie up their loose ends before moving on. Those sort of people won’t leave you behind the local supermarket with your knickers around your ankles, which is always a bonus when relationships are so dreadfully tricky in the first place.

Photo post, totally devoid of photos.

Sometimes I find that if you need answers then asking someone else for their opinion and then passing it off as your own often works at a push. (  I say potato, you say Plagiarism … and totally ruin the song). Occasionally some moderate re-wording is involved, but basically all that tedious thinking stuff is bypassed, which is something I’m all in favour of… especially when I’m sleep deprived / hormonal / slightly mental / all of the above.

Cue the arrival of today’s Daily Prompt :
“Take a subject you’re familiar with and imagine it as three photos in a sequence. Tackle the subject by describing those three shots.”

Sorry… what ?

I’m familiar with a lot of subjects. My children’s bowel movements, for one, but I doubt very much you’re gonna want photos. Or you might. There are a lot of very strange and depraved individuals on the internet, or so my Mum tells me. But then she also tells me that you can catch a cold by not wearing a scarf, so she might not be the world’s foremost authority on Things You Should Take As Gospel.

So I read this prompt and thought “I know! I’ll ask the family”, though I thought for the sake of clarity that I’d simplify things a bit by asking them “What am I good at?”

Big mistake.

After a long and painfully contribution-free few minutes my children came up with these gems:
Brandon : Playing games on the pc. Papa works. You play.
Lily : Picking food out of your teeth.

Well, cheers guys. No really. No chance of my ego spiralling out of control any time soon here, no siree.
Hubby, on the other hand, has had considerably more experience with delicately tip-toeing around any potential emotional minefields, so he came up with a list of things that he thought I was good at and that wouldn’t shove me headfirst into a mudslide of floundering self-esteem issues. Good save.

None were quite right though. Gesture appreciated, however.

It came to me an hour or so ago. I was going to skip this prompt, but then I came up with an idea. An idea which isn’t particularly humorous ( sorry about that ), or witty ( oops ) or even entertaining ( *apologetic look* ). However, it is honest, it isn’t stolen and refurbished, and it isn’t 3 snapshots of broccoli-infested gums.

What am I familiar with?
I’m familiar with Depression.

Every now and then I write about being a teensy weensy bit mental, and in all honesty I’ve made my peace with the whole issue. It’s not something I’ve done wrong, I do my best not to be a complete nightmare for everyone around me, and I think I cope pretty well. In my opinion, all you can do is cope, and some times you do better than others. Some days it isn’t even an issue and life can be good and fluffy and sugar-coated-doughnutty. And then there are the days that are huge and crushing and there isn’t a pastry in sight… and those are the ones I’m familiar with.

So here are my photos.

Photo 1 :  Black. Nothing to see. Just endless, soul-mashing, lonely, unfathomable black.
Photo 2 :  More Black. It doesn’t end. It just doesn’t. Not ever.
Photo 3:   Black….. with the tiniest spot of grey in one corner. Because whilst the black is still huge and painful, there is hope. There is always hope. Sometimes you have to wait one photo for it… sometimes a whole album. But it’s there. So don’t give up, because you’re not the only one sitting in the dark… there are other people too, you just can’t see them. But when the tiny dot of grey comes you’ll realise that you were never truly alone. You just have to wait.

There you have it. It’s not particularly well worded, and in all honesty it’s not even a new concept, but it is easily forgotten. So if you find yourself sitting in the dark one day, remember that there’s a chance there’s someone else in there with you who’s also having a crappy time of it. But at least you’ll have less mashed vegetation between your teeth, and that’s gotta count for something.

Favouritism.

Y’know what’s really great?

WordPress bring back their daily prompt and it *totally* gives you a “Get Out Of Shame Free Card” where you can start posting again and pretend that the 10 month gap since the last post was completely intended, and that you were in fact too busy in some sort of Bohemian whirl writing the next War and Peace ( except a lot shorter and actually read by people instead of just pretend-read by people ).

So consider me flouncing back all kinda arty and we’ll just exchange nods and just leave it at that, shall we? Marvellous.

So… today’s prompt was :
“You have three hundred words to justify the existence of your favourite person, place, or thing. Failure to convince will result in it vanishing without a trace. Go!”

Firstly, I don’t like being told to Go! , especially after a 10 month absence. It makes me feel like I’ve crashed a party ( which I’ve done before, but only so my best friend could mash lips with some guy she’d had an eye on for a few months. It didn’t end well. Turned out it was a guys-only party and they were all sitting watching porno in the living room when we walked in. Apparently group porno sessions for guys is ok… but with 2 girls in the room who aren’t professional lesbians it becomes kinda embarrassing. Who’da thought it? )

Secondly, the words “Failure to convince will result in it vanishing without a trace” only served to highlight the particularly wide Machiavellian streak I have. I read it as “Don’t mention a ton of stuff and it’s going to suddenly disappear…” which is a whole lot more interesting. Like a lot of folk, I have a big ugly rucksack full of baggage I could happily not mention, followed by happily not grieving at it’s sudden disappearance…and eventually happily not porno-ing at the celebratory party. In fact, so great is my hope that this is a genuine Divine offer that I’m not even going to mention it in this rambling unfocused pre-post bit.
But I do have a devious streak. Have I ever mentioned how I usually win at Monopoly? I work out exactly who needs what, bide my time…. and then pit all the other players against each other.
Me : I’d like that card please. I’ll pay the going rate for it.
Sucker : Haha! No… You give me the card I need and then I’ll give you this one.
Me : No. You give me the card I want now, or I give the card you want to Sucker #2 who is also trying to collect that row and then you’re buggered.
Sucker : You’re a horrible person. You know that don’t you?
Me : Yup. Cough up the card already.

Nobody will play Monopoly with me anymore.

Thirdly, ” justify the existence of your favorite person, place, or thing.”
Ooh, that’s harsh. It’s like saying “You can mention a KFC Bargain Bucket, but it means you’ll never have another doughnut again”. I just can’t make that sort of sacrifice. And suddenly I’m wishing I’d skipped this prompt and come back tomorrow when hopefully they’re not going to hit us with something else of “Sophie’s Choice” ramifications. And favourites ? I don’t really do favourites. Favourites imply the ability to make a decision, and I’m not sure I’m up to that much pressure.

And finally, 300 words. 300. That’ll involve counting, I’m guessing. And whilst I’ve probably waffled on way past that count already, the fact I’ll be actively having to count. every. single. word. will just bug me. It’s bugging me now and I haven’t even started.

Curse you DailyPrompt and your forced literary arithmetic!!! *shakes fist*

Anyhoo… I figure I have up to 300 words, right? It doesn’t *have* to be exact, and if you’ve made your point then it’s all well and good to just stop there and cut the excess blathering. And besides, you might be facing a particularly stressful and hectic day and a few less words to read through might be exactly what you need… so less than 300 would be more of a blessing really. A gift. Maybe not a Ferrari kinda gift, but possibly better than socks.

So here it is. Brace yourself.

After a long period of thought I have decided that the thing that I am going to  justify the existence of that I would like to avoid vanishing without a trace is, in fact, panties.

It’s coming up to winter here and I don’t like chapped lips.

[ 47 words. You’re welcome. ]

Day 2. Dust, my old nemesis.

Day 2. Pretty damn impressive, eh?

So… I’m lying in bed doing my pre-sleep writing thing last night when it occurred to me that yet again I’ve said I’ll do something that will most definitely clash with my core personality trait of “Person who doesn’t do stuff with any semblance of regularity.”
I like to think that it’s not that I’m lazy ( though in all fairness I would really, wouldn’t I? ) I just can’t seem to do actions consistently.

Take, for example, dusting. People in houses generate dust, this I know. More people, more dust. Excess dust makes me wheezy, so to stop my respiratory system shutting down for giggles I’m aware that regular removal of dust is pretty much what I should be aiming for.

Do I?
Pfft.

Often I can spend weeks wondering why the tv signal isn’t as crisp anymore, or come close to a skin-flake avalanche nearly claiming one of the smaller children before I realise “Hold on… it’s a bit dusty in here, isn’t it?” ( The standard retort to which is “No shit, Sherlock” in this household. )
I just don’t see it. Well, obviously I *see* it, but the response of “Hmm, you really ought to do something about that, you don’t look terribly attractive when your lips turn blue, you wet yourself in an asphixia-induced panic and keel over…” just doesn’t kick in.

Luckily, my other half is very understanding and will often go fill a bucket of water and go do the cleaning himself. This invariably kick-starts the Housewife Failure Guilt Spiral, which would be devastating to my sense of self-worth if I had any sort of functioning memory. In actuality I just end up feeling monumentally bad during the dusting process itself but have completely forgotten about it the next day. Except for maybe glancing around now and then and wondering why everything looks so much nicer, whilst being unable to put my finger on exactly why.

Incidentally, I’ve tried Googling for handy housekeeping planners and reminders but the most popular ones seem to involve such delusions as “Only 10 minutes per room per day!”, which I’m gonna have to call BS on. You can NOT clean a room in 10 minutes, hell …it can take me 10 minutes just to get a day’s worth of debris out from underneath the dinner table. At absolute very best you’re wiping crap from one place to another. Wiping does not equate to cleanliness. I wipe my arse on average once a day but that doesn’t mean it’s sparkly clean and ready for you to eat your dinner off it. Not that you’d want to. An arse-sized plate, who could possibly eat that much ??

Anyway, I digress. I thought for tomorrow I would attempt a book review. Of a book I haven’t read yet, ’cause that would hopefully be slightly more interesting than a rough outline that anyone who’s actually read it could spit out.
Plus, it seems that this blog has a bit of a running theme of general avoidance goin’ on, so it makes more sense to write about a book I’m avoiding despite forking out real actual cash for it.

I’ll go rummage around the bookcase-shaped living room dust and see what I can come up with 🙂

 

 

Day 1

In her latest post the really rather spiffy Phrogmom lifted a quote from one of her subscribed blogs “Maze A Day” ( which, incidentally, is one of those blogs where you read the “About” bit and instantly subscribe merely on it’s inspirational fabulousness ).. and the quote was this :

“There are two kinds of people, those who finish what they start and so on” Robert Byrne

Which, after I made my initial snurf-type noise ( I’m a wee tad congested at the moment, me being on my 2nd cold of the year already ) I realised with sinking heart and other internal organs that I’m a so on. I’ve always been a so on. And the peculiar thing is that if anyone else ever said to me “You’re a bit crap, you’ll never finish anything” I’d be in an uproar about it. But because it’s me, that’s ok, I’ll just take it as gospel then, thanks for pointing it out.

That annoys me. It’s the background radiation of my soul that tells me that the nuclear reactor at Self-EsteemVille went cablooey some time back and now nothing grows in the gardens there and the rats all have 2 heads and a fluorescing tail. Something needs to be done. Not on New years, not next month, not even tonight… but now. Ambition scares me, responsibility makes me hide under the duvet and pretend to be asleep, and expectations? That’s a 3-changes-of-pants deal easily. But if I don’t keep going for ME then it will always be ME that lets me down worst.

So.. here I am on Day 1.

I’ll try to post. I’ll try to take photos. I’ll try to make something arty… it doesn’t really matter. It’s the trying that counts. Not to achieve a goal ( goals scare me ) or to impress anyone ( people scare me too ) or even because I’m terrifically talented and should be a billionaire novelist dictating from a beach in the Bahamas ( that one actually doesn’t sound that bad. I don’t have a secret fear of sand or strawberry daquiries ). Then I’ll have a go at Day 2. Then possibly Day 3. And assuming I don’t crash again I shall proceed to… can you guess? And so on.

But hold on, What happens when I cock it up again? Ahhh, well the brilliance of not having a long term goal and a cazillion short term ones is that even if I screw up today there will always be a Day 1 to start again tomorrow. With a bit of luck I’ll get into double figures. Triple figures, however, would probably make my brain implode as that would be far further than I’ve ever succeeded at anything before.

Today’s goal is doing this. See how brilliantly this is going already? Hubby was all in favour of jumping straight in and writing a book, which I consider a little ambitious. It currently takes all the brain power I can muster to remember I left a cup of tea brewing in the kitchen, so character interactions might be a bit of a stretch. But I’ve been thinking about it all day and I shall continue to think about it until I can come up with something, and in the meantime I shall do this. Brace yourself for lots of Day 1’s, and thank you for not unsubscribing despite my very long period of absence.

Michelle x

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Mr Nobody turns out to be quite something.

Prompt : “Write a review of a movie or product”

The concept of an individual’s fate hinging on one particular moment is hardly a new one. After all, it happens every single second of the day for us. Eat an extra doughnut now, 5 years later die of blocked arteries. Take a sick day from work and miss the office typist going doolally and wiping out the entire floor with sharpened staples. If you grasp the concept of dimensional physics you probably believe that all possible outcomes are occurring simultaneously in response to every single decision you and everyone else on the planet is making in that same miniscule sliver of time.

It’s really not something you want to think about with a hangover.

So obviously, this premise is going to pop up in movies now and then to differing degrees of success. Tie it in with the whole cause & effect time-travel paradox hoopla and you’d have a hefty chunk of celluloid to wade through, though admittedly a lot of it is utter drivel. It might, therefore, come as a bit of a surprise to know that one of my all-time favourite movies deals with exactly that hypothesis .. multiple outcomes from one single achingly critical moment.

The film is Mr Nobody, and it was directed by Jaco Van Dormael, and released in 2009.

Never heard of it? I’m not surprised. It had a limited release in a handful of countries, and that just breaks my heart because the movie is truly beautiful, in my humble opinion. Of course, I’m not claiming to be any sort of expert on films, but I know what I like. And I liked this very much indeed.

A young boy is given a choice when his parents separate, to live with his mother or father, and it is this pivotal moment from which sprout the possible outcomes. How many outcomes is a matter of debate and depends entirely on your interpretation of the story. Yes, it’s one of *those* films. It’s a Thinker. But don’t dismiss it as another artsy-fartsy euro offering, the acting is top-notch and the cinematography is often hypnotising in its artisty. At core though, it’s a story about love. Love between a child and it’s parents, love between man and woman, obsessional love, commitment, loss, eternity.

The film doesn’t hand you anything on a plate. In the beginning it can be confusing, but as the narrative unfolds and the main character Nemo Nobody tells his stories you can’t help but be drawn in and wonder what 9 yr old Nemo means when he says “You have to make the right choice. As long as you don’t choose, everything remains possible.” It’s not a complex film, but it does require , and deserve, attention.

I don’t want to give any more details away, I want you to see it.  10 / 10 .

 

The Official film website.