Category Archives: Writing Challenges

June Blogs By Numbers – Six Quotable shows

Ms Mel and ODNT know there is strength in numbers – so write a numbered list this month and they will link YOU up! You have 10 minutes – or as much as you need before June 30th! Ketchup With Us

When looking for wise words and quotes that will get you through each day, or make you smarty-pants level, you should forget world leaders, activists, poets, and definitely forget  anything a celebrity says, or a Facebook meme.

That’s what TV is for and about!

In keeping with the June by Numbers prompt, I took a few shows and quotes that I manage to work into everyday conversation. Chatting with me is a unique experience indeed.

This is just a small sampling. Seriously, I can go all night (That’s what she said), and with that…we begin!

1. The Simpsons. Though I no longer watch new episodes, the early seasons of the show were a gold mine of quotes, and were perfect for the immature teenage/young adult years that I have recently outgrown (that’s a lie, I still use these daily).

“Worst episode ever!”– ‘Episode’ can be substituted with any verb, noun or situation, ever.

What he meant was, Monster Island is actually a peninsula. Best used when someone misunderstands some fact or situation.

Boo-urns. Anytime something is boo- worthy.

D’oh! Need I say more?

2. Family Guy. Another Fox show, Family Guy debuted within reach of the new millenium, was cancelled, then came back bigger than ever a couple years later. It pushed the envelope, and though it is the norm these days, crass un-pc humor is still abound here.

“Vile Woman!” & “Victory is mine!” – Pretty dated at this point, but they served their purposes well.

“Buzz Killington” – Refer to any person who kills the good mood/vibe, as such, or just the situation at hand, as if he had recently been around.

 

3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sure there are quote from Life of Brian, and the Meaning of Life, but HG is a goldmine of catchphrases. As someone who has pretty much memorized the entire film, including the opening credits, there are just too many to get into at this point.

From migrating coconuts, killer rabbits, French insults and questioning the ruling of kingdoms, yeah there’s just too much. I don’t even know that I fit the quotes into everyday life. That’s a lie, I know exactly how.

“I got better!”. Glad to hear it!

“You tit/silly sod! I fart in your general direction!” are fitting insults for the idiocy/rudeness of others.

If someone asks if you need anything, “Another shrubbery! And place it a little higher for the two level effect and a little path” is a good response. (Keep in mind that you will not really get past the first sentence if they have no idea what you just referred to. If they do get it, the second sentence will elicit even more laughs – if THEY say the next sentence, let them, and bask in your new friendship).

“There are some that call me…Tim?” I use my own name in place when introducing myself (note to self, not at interviews!) But I would sit around with friends and quote randomly, laughing like nerds in our own genre

I should add that I  have not one, not two, but three shorts that make references to the film, mashed up with other themes. Can you figure them out?

5h1rtz
You can thank teefury for that.

4. Star Wars . 

Any place that looks sketchy gets the “you’ll never mind a more wretched hive of scum and villany” treatment.

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” Again substitute ‘droids’ for the object of your choosing.

“She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts.” – Never refer to a woman in this way. That’s not what you want your last breathing words on Earth to be.

“I am wondering…why are you here”. Any/everyone who comes to your desk or office. Especially company Presidents. Or security, even though you fully know they are there to escort you off the premises. Leave ’em laughin’!

“Use the Force”. Hey it might help!

“Scruffy Nerfherder!” Yeah that’s right, I went there. Want some lotion for that burn?! As a reply to someone who gave you ‘french’ insults from Monty Python, you might not actually be arguing, rather doing a nerdy mashup worthy of a teefury shirt.

5. Regular Show – I have just started getting into this show, but already I am hooked. Yes I know you have liked it for longer than I have.
“Free cake!” is a great quote to celebrate by. Even if there is no cake around, you never know, some might appear. If you use the Force.

6. Archer . A newer FX/Netflix instant show with plenty of cursing, crass humor and drinking.

“Into the Danger Zone!” A ‘suffix’ for any (in your opinion) extreme activity coming up.
“This is how you get ants!” Referred to any messes (even non-food items) that are around.

That’s all I can fit into past 10 minutes – what are some of your TV/movie quotes?

 

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Filed under Blog Posts BY Number, General Nerdliness, Life, Lists, Quotes, Writing Challenges

Eight H Songs

So I am double linking this idea for maximum exposureness, and also because inspiration came from all angles!

First, would be for From My Write Side, who in turn linked from Ambling & Rambling. Songs with an H theme. Since H is the 8th letter of the alphabet, my twist is 8 songs/albums/bands that start with the letter H.

Also since this is a numbered list, it goes along with Ms ODNT and Melmags in their June Blog Post by Numbers Month activity (and you thought they were just about Ketchup and angry letters.)

Sorry but I will not link these up to Youtube or something, because coding gives me headaches sometimes. If you are curious go for it!

1. H. by Tool – From the CD Aenima, it was one of my favorite albums of the mid 90’s. I played this straight through pretty much every day, and then the favorites over again. My friends and I put our own interpretations on the lyrics, a typical fawning gesture. Yet we were the same people who rolled their eyes when people would go on in the same manner about Radiohead. Looking back, yes we were those obnoxious fans. Such is life. Anyway H. is about inner conflicts, ‘the snake’ is mentioned throughout the song, likely a symbol of temptation and self-serving choices, which even if good or bad for us, are to our benefit first and foremost. With the drowned snake at the end, we have regret. The song fades into the sound of a record reaching the end, and the needle cycling through white noise.

2. Hope Tonight – a new CD (and a title track) by my friend Melanie Penn. What’s it like? Well I’ll tell ya…

Maybe things haven’t been going so well lately. After a gloomy end to 2013 (from Fall through November), and a snow filled start to 2014, as early as February, things may have looked to be just more of the same. Even the few nice days have been bookmarked by rainy weather. We deserve more. A song perhaps. One that doesn’t force rhymes, and that doesn’t take too long to learn.
But now it’s Spring (I think it is), the days are lasting longer, and now something else has come up among the flowers. Right now, you can purchase “Hope Tonight”, Melanie Penn’s sophomore release! It will remind of you of the hope, happiness, bittersweetness you have, and how much wiser you are from family and your own experiences. I was lucky enough to get a copy some time ago, and it is absolutely brilliant.
So download, listen, listen again, and you’ll hear it, see it, feel it.
It’ll turn around.
Things always turn around.

3. Hurt – Nine Inch Nails. Later Johnny Cash offered his own rendition, probably the best cover of any song, IMHO. The Downward Spiral was brilliant in its raw sound, which I don’t feel they duplicated afterwards. Like with garage bands, when the tech production goes up, and songwriting becomes a process, that cheap, dirty anger gets buffered. Still, this haunting track completed an incredible dark concept album.

4. Heaven Can Wait – Meat Loaf. Bat Out of Hell was a brilliant record. Yes record. I still have it, salvaged from the ol’ heave ho that your record collection rightfully deserves. Anyway, Heaven Can Wait, is the first of two love ballads on the record that are ironically sandwiched in between songs about horny teenage boys and bad bikers looking to score and split on innocent girls. Still, the emotion and sincerity stand out for Mr. Loaf, and I’m sure this song made it’s way onto many wedding dance floors back in the day.

5. High and Dry – Radiohead. The other band that has the annoying fans. The Bends was a foreshadowing of the complex style and vague lyrics that would grow (at least to me) incomprehensible, or at least an in-joke that I wasn’t going to pretend I got. Released in the midst of grunge, it did not fold to that pressure or sound and that’s why its still listenable.

6. Hung – Napalm Death. My first deep foray into grindcore/death metal and it happened by ‘accident’. At the time, I was into Metallica, pretty much the first step in any teen’s basic metal comprehension. Megadeth, Iron Maiden and Sepultura were also staples. Slayer was harder, faster and darker. So when we came across a cassette given to one of us, we put it on and were dumbfounded by the guttural vocals, chaotic guitars and lyrics that were sputtered out, and would stop mid sentence. We smirked, shook our heads, and were going to eject it, when I convinced everyone to just give it a few more minutes. After all what the hell else did we have planned that day? No foreign diplomats were waiting on us to arbitrate any peace treaties. So we sat there, and suddenly, as the song chugged along to the 2:50 mark of the song, the riff comes in. Jaws dropped. Heads banged.

7. Hats off to the Bull – Chevelle. An obvious reference to bullfighting and rooting for the underdog, this album and title track are built around the state of society and culture these days tied in with a traditional ‘sport’ that is criticized for its cruelty and machismo. Probably my favorite CD by Chevelle since Point #1, as they seemed to return to those roots indirectly, but keeping the sound fresh and perfectly done (see my note on NIN about stale, repetitiveness).

8. Head Down and Half – Both off Soundgarden’s Superunknown. This came out 20 years ago and damn I remember buying it with some of the last crumbs of my lean college student budget. The rest I spent on dinner out at Pizzeria Uno’s with my friends, while we listened to it on my portable CD player. I nod and smile just thinking about how dated that sounds. Anyway, those songs in particular were written by bassist Ben Shepherd, and were seemingly out of place among Chris Cornell’s memorable riffs and structure. It took me a while, but I would later get into them, as I would refrain from hitting the ‘skip’ button. That button made things much easier – no need to wear out the ‘ffwd’ button.

(Hidden Track- various) Ahhh you see what I did there?! Hidden tracks are fun things. Nothing was a better sight than when the track listing was different than the listed version. Even better was when there was no extra track, just the last song having seemingly endless minutes of silence before these odd outtakes or messages. There’s an angry parent calling Marilyn Manson’s hotline, a poetic, if not disturbing phone message 15 minutes after track 69 (as if ‘Disgustipated’ wasn’t disjointed enough, and yes we waited those extra 15 minutes- see #6 again for our work schedules), “Iron Gland” stuck between songs on Alice in Chains’ Dirt, a hidden track before the firts track on Korn’s See you on the other Side and Nine Inch Nails, who on Broken, dragged you out to tracks 98 & 99 for the last songs.

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The Spices of Life

I noticed this daily wordpress prompt, and was immediately inspired. Like the Ketchup prompts have instructed lately, I wrote this in exactly 10 minutes.

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Growing up, I was never a fan of spice. When my dad made his famous chili it had to be mild or no one would eat it. I would sometimes get into BBQ sauces and they were a little vinegary, but as far as heat, I didn’t even put pepper on my food. Even in college I wasn’t so daring. I do admit going through a bottle of KC masterpiece sauce every month during those days. In fact by the end of that time, I was also popping pepto-bismol and dealing with what would be severe acid reflux. I had to do on a bland diet and upgrade to Prilosecs for a while, and blandness became a habit. Pretty much was my personality as well!

Then I turned 30 and everything changed. Suddenly I loved pickles. And suddenly I loved spices.

My girlfriend at the time made a mean salsa verde. Essentially smoked jalapeno peppers cilantro and other ingredients. I went to Indian restaurants and insisted that the Shrimp Vindaloo be extra spicy, essentially not to tame it down for the white boy. One time after stressing that the Pad Kra Prow be cooked with extra chili oil, the Thai restaurant waiter ‘playfully’ taunted me with the pitcher of ice water, which he would pour into a very small cup.

To bring the point home, if the adrenaline wasn’t pumping and I was not getting a food ‘high’, it wasn’t hot enough. Even my father couldn’t believe it, and by that time, his own tastes had kept the chili milder. His signature dish, and my mother’s chicken cutlet batter began receiving spoonfuls of chipotle sauce, and sandwiches got a dab mixed in with the mayo.

In my recent trip to Chicago, I went to Frontera, and with the boldness of a blood orange margarita, I generously slathered the house bottled chili sauce on my tortillas, and while spooning up the last of the salsa provided with my appetizer, I belatedly thought – waitaminute, this is habanero sauce isn’t it. Survey says – number one answer. Or number two. Yeah WordPress you wanted to know.

I have calmed it down a bit these days, but I do like my spice. Pepper is now a friend. I make a nice buffalo sauce for wings (but really its easy) and a little Franks or Durkees is on hand for a slice of pizza.

It’s still about the flavor though, spicy doesn’t have to be deadly.

Then again, I haven’t taken the challenge at Brick Curry house. Doubt I will. The description I got from a friend was something along the lines of ‘hurting’. But hey, he got that t shirt.

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Ketchup With Us #39 – Four For 4/4

Ms Mel and ODNT Want a linkup, new or old. Maybe there was some awesomeness that went unaccoladed – now’s your chance! Ketchup With Us

I used this chance to revisit a fun thing I do. Four things on the Fourth day of the Fourth Month.

Also I decided to do it in 10 minutes and so each one got the fair shot of rambling, each bit was 2 minutes 30 seconds.

Mr G I will let you know about burgers soon. I have already met with other ‘online friends’- a term that was dubious back in the 90’s but is absolutely acceptable these days. Still I carry a whisper of that doubt, as I guess people see that I get along with so many people in the real world that it is still somehow different. Let me tell you there are people in your own company that you have worked with for years and never met. One professor who starts after I leave for example. We could have stood next to each other at an event and never knew it, when I met him, I realized…that wasn’t true. Anyway, so there are plenty of burger places and apparently a bar hidden upstairs from a five guys. I think though we’ll be going for ostrich burgers and a Guinness. My ending point being that I traveled to other cities to see some friends now time to make a day for the ones right here. Also you others need to come see us.

So I went to Chicago and Dallas and they were both great. I am exhausted and there is too much laundry waiting to be done, but I am glad I did it at this time. It leaves me open for more travels (that is after the next fiscal year rolls over and or after my tax refund comes back in). I got into the restaurants I wanted. I ate well, rested better, and saw the museums. Two things that I rate a city by, and glad to say that both cities passed. Dallas streets have few people and less litter. I spend way too much on souvenirs. I didn’t spend a lot on coffee, and I got some damn good deals on rooms that were right in the middle of town. One more US destination and then I look overseas. In the meantime my passport application sits in my bag, un-mailed. This weekend. I promise.

When I was younger I was apparently cute or precocious enough for my parents to see if I wanted to try out modeling/acting. I landed a few tiny things like textbooks, none of which I read or to my knowledge learned were defaced with devil beards and horns, until I landed an interview with some lady for a movie. “Why do you want to do this?” she asked. “Because my mom wanted me to.” She laughed and I made a good impression. Apparently also I made the short list for a movie about two boys who suddenly grew older and had to deal with this new situation. The script was changed, the movie was Big, and the woman who interviewed me was Penny Marshall. She never gave me a callback. Ah, well at least I am not on any terrible reality shows or dating late 80’s playboy models. And hey I got a paycheck. That’ll do.

So I now have one week until my windows XP machine is somehow no longer worthy of upgrades by Microsoft. I will be simply disconnecting it from the internet and using it for offline activities like games and writing, as I am sure that there will be a field day on XP machines. Well why not just upgrade they say? Well because in buying the upgrade to 7 or 8 and having to upgrade the hardware which is outdated, I will have to spend more than if I bought a new system. So why not just buy a new system, Good idea. I’ll switch to mac like everyone else is doing these days. So, well played Microsoft. Its days like this that I wonder why I got rid of my commodore 64 in the first place. THAT had Zak McKraken on it- which was the best game ever (shout out?). And dot matrix printers only less noisy than modems would be in later years.

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Ketchup With Us #38 – Homeward Bound

Ms Mel and ODNT Are giving you 10 minutes to write something, anything. Ketchup With Us


I’m on my way to Chicago tomorrow morning, returning home Friday. I will post pictures and stories upon my return. Until then, I began to think about whatever travels we go on, we somehow seek home again.

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What is home to you- Where the heart is? Where your hat is hung? The newly defined dwelling that love turns a house into?
For me it was an apartment building where I spent my formative years. 18 years to be exact, and we lived on the 18th floor. We had 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a balcony. I would sit out there on summer afternoons and ‘plane spot’ – the route to one of the airports was along the way and I would read the rear wing design. Most were American Airlines, sometimes I would see something unique. Alaska Air had an Eskimo on it. I even went to the liberry once and found a book with an entire index of them. The Concord would roar by at 8 or 10 am on weekends, cutting through the air sharp as it looked.

I’ve moved several times since 1995; lived in a house for 3 years, then my parents bought a co-op. I would buy one nearby a couple years later, where I still live. Still in Brooklyn.
I am a vivid dreamer. Colors, words, sounds, the whole shebang. Emotions and tension as well. A vividly detailed dream can be over-stimulating even if it’s a good one, and for someone who watches horror/thrillers, played Quake almost exclusively for several years and used to listen to death metal all the time, you can imagine the types of dreams I had. Sometimes I had to get home – for safety, or pick up something, a home base…not sure. It could have been any of those reasons. It was, many times, run-down. Not always post apocalyptic. But something that fell into disuse and disrepair. Things did change when we were moving, criminal elements started to move in and we really were forced to get out asap. Not the terms we wanted. But still there was something that made me go there. Nowhere else. I would reach my floor and sometimes just reach the door but never got in. Never got to that balcony again. Never looked out my parents window at the NY skyline with the twin towers still standing.

Guess I never truly made it home again in those dreams, maybe the new ones became more real .

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Ketchup With Us #35 – Breaking the Bank

Ms Mel and ODNT want to know in 57 words or less, the last time you scored big! Ketchup With Us

Though being the “We have a winner!!!” on Mr G’s Friday Foolishness makes your week complete, and is only slightly edged out by winning the Friday night lottery drawing, I was reminded of this one from a while back…

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At a local fundraiser, there was a table selling pull- tab instant win tickets- ‘scratch offs’ without the scratch. So I buy a couple- in support! – and…jackpot! $50!

However they had just started and didn’t have that much cash yet, so they had to pay me from their own pockets. Only I can completely defeat “fund-raising”. 

 

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Trifextra 101 – Life 101

On to this week’s Trifextra challenge. This week we’re asking for 33 of your own words inspired by the following picture. If you use the picture on your blog, you MUST give proper attribution to the photographer by providing a link to the photo, not just to Trifecta. Failure to comply will eliminate you from the challenge.


Thomas Leuthard / Foter.com / CC BY

She’d watch everyone else come in through the semesters, the black elixir providing energy if not inspiration. Followed their progress, learned their drinks, and they moved on. Now it was her time…

“Break’s over.”

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