- Many People Still Like Magic
- Children Usually Cry When They’re Excited
- I Wouldn’t Worry About That Apartment Fire, It Wasn’t Your Fault Necessarily
- Would You Like A Bagel – It Turns Out I Bought Too Many
- Do You Want A Ride To A Bus Stop?
- Do That One Card Trick Again, It Was Really Interesting
- Where Did You Get That Unique Shirt? So Many Collars!
- I Think People Were Just Into The Appetizers Is All
- This Weather Is Putting Everyone In A Bad Mood It Seems
- Magic Is An Ancient Art Form, Maybe Some People Are Intimidated By That Fact
Yell indoors noticeably less
Google Blair Underwood to explain role in Men’s Wearhouse commercials
Organize t-shirt drawer, put pit-stained ones on bottom
Throw out old condiments, probably save the one expensive mustard
Stop reading comments on sports articles
Mentor a wayward youth, have him lose his way again many years later, then find salvation by re-reading some of my advice in his journal
Cause a bus driver to say, “Hey, you’re alright, man.” to me
Ride a bike with a pizza in my hands
Write Harlem Globetrotters film treatment
Buy a coat without trying it on
Find a lost dog, spurn the reward
Hand a homeless person a pristinely-wrapped Subway sandwich
Punch Papa John
Think about how insects feel for a second before going apeshit on them
Urinate inside a Foot Locker shoebox without being detected
Really think SUPER hard this time about researching my genealogy before watching a Dual Survival rerun instead
Make a non-English-speaking friend and walk around the city with him, pointing and grinning
For some reason this cereal box copy haunts me. MORE GRAINS LESS YOU MORE CHEERIOS LESS REASON FOR YOU THE MORE FOOD YOU EAT THE MORE YOU RECEDE INTO THE BACKGROUND OF YOUR OWN LIFE THE MORE YOU CHEW THE MORE YOU JUST LET YOUR BROTHER-IN-LAW BASICALLY TAKE OVER YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY PLANS I DON’T EVEN LIKE PAINTBALL
Oh hell yes, there are two prime pieces of sourdough left. I thought all I had was that death-dry whole wheat that I only bought out of guilt. How did these two middle slices make it this long? I can’t even believe my luck. This is some kind of sandwich omen.
I know I def have some turkey dregs in the meat tray, OH SWEET it’s not slimy yet! I totally thought it would have a sheen but it’s still mostly appetizing. This is unexpected. OK, turks and sourdough. A spicy brown mustard drizzle. Not bad, not bad. A little basic but…
Well, wait now. Are there…YES we have some cukes left! From the fancy salad! I can’t even believe it. They’re even sliced already. Still got some crunch too. Someone even seeded and peeled these mothers. Let’s stack these up.
Looking like kind of a legitimate sandwich here. I think I need to get a plate at this point. This is a little more formal than I was expecting. Given this new height provided by the salvaged cukes, I can’t risk something flopping out the side.
Since I’m getting a plate, I suppose I can investigate a little more. There is some brick cheese that wouldn’t be too hard to slice into little chunks. I bought that recently to try and lure a mouse out of hiding. I mean, a sandwich without cheese is kind of embarrassing, really.
While I’m walking around the kitchen with a little cheese knife, is there something else I should slice up? Should I commit to this red onion I somehow have? Why not? You only live once! Why not really max out this sandwich event with the high-end tang of a fresh onion? I deserve it. The colors would really make it memorable too - the purple burst of the onion with the green flash of the cukes, the bright orange of the cheese clumps. Pretty appetizing! I would prob take a picture if my hands weren’t covered in mustard.
I wonder if there is a good side dish to slide onto this extra plate space. Make it a real meal. How about this pasta salad? Someone brought this over for our BBQ last May. I feel like pasta salad is like, preserved? Safely suspended in mayo? HOLY GOD FALSE THAT IS A FALSE STATEMENT.
OK, close the door. I don’t want to bother HR with this. This is strictly a marketing emergency for the time being. Sorry to cut into everyone’s lunch, but we don’t have a minute to lose on this.
Clonch has pulled together some consumer data on our recent product line of frozen chicken wing party-packs. He has compared our slumping sales figures to that of our main competitors, and broken it down by region and store. What he found is alarming. Clonch, can you advance the…oh, I just click Enter? OK, yeah I wasn’t sure if this keyboard was controlling…OK, I see. What he found is that our rank as number 9 Midwestern manusnacturer, number 8 in the sports-style snackegory according to some studies, is in real jeopardy. As the Creative Director, I’ve been wracking my brain about this all night and have determined there is only one way to right this ship…we need a more exciting way to spell “wings.”
AND BOOM, here we go, we’ve shifted into a spontaneous brainstorming meeting. HOW CAN WE SPELL…This marker is garbage, I need a new marker WHY are the markers never in their little holder…OK, HOW CAN WE GET WINGS TO TAKE FLIGHT? I just made that up right now. I have a few ideas to get the juices flowing:
That last one is more of a cipher, something to really get consumers to stop and puzzle it out, feel some real intrigue. You know, to get the target demographic of teens at Target to stop in the freezer aisle, pull out their ear buds, and be like “Hold up, what’s the deal with these? Hey, mom, check this out!” Ploop, in the cart. OK, seeing some blank faces, maybe it’s a little early. We should get some coffee pumping. How about Wayangz? I thought maybe there’d be some implied, but legally defensible, connection to the Wayans brothers. I don’t think it’s “racist” so much as “racy.”
Meredith, you always have good nuggets to throw out. Any wing nuggets? We can’t be traditional here, folks. The traditional market is already cornered by your Tysons and your Perdues. We need to reclaim our place here. Are we still the rebel snack lover’s go-to brand? The self-styled leper king of medium-to-large sports-themed party buffet foods? I feel like I don’t even know anymore.
OK, let’s take five here. Check your emails, mill around a bit, get some air. Then we’ll reconvene and start really jamming or else we might as well burn down this whole building.
As I stand here in this damp basement, humbled and not without a modicum of shame, I issue forth a challenge. Though it may seem daunting, and it will involve effort from all of us, I henceforth decree, though we live in the same building, that together, we can successfully ignore each other’s presence completely. It may not be a model well represented in many condo associations, but I know, based on numerous occasions where we have displayed extraordinary stubbornness toward one another, that we can, without exception, pretend that everyone else is dead or nonexistent.
You may be saying to yourself, “How?” “How is this possible? I hate everyone else in this building so much, and with such an abnormally aggressive vigor! Though it would represent all of my wildest dreams come to life, how can I pretend that every other resident died in their sleep while I laughed and pranced around my corner unit?” Well, I will not lie to you. It will not be easy. It will not be easy to ignore Miguel’s assaulting Norte music blast around midnight, or to not gag instantly when Michelle apparently broils turds for dinner every night. It will not be easy to not scream with rage when Dennis spray paints the concrete walkway white as he clumsily tries to re-finish his kitchen cabinets. And no, it will not be easy to not topple to your death when the Kendall’s choose to litter the primary stairwell with oversized children’s toys. But persevere we must, for it is in our best interest. Otherwise, someone here will probably murder someone else. None of us want to speak to cops or testify in a trial. Mr. Manesh, I’m looking at you, because you would likely be killed first since your wet, old person coughs rattle the very infrastructure of the building, leading many to have already fantasized about your death in lurid detail while folding laundry in the first floor common area.
OK! I believe in us. I have personally seen you all do things that are reprehensible. We none of us should be living this close to other humans, and in some cases, allowed to walk the streets freely. However, while we cannot always decide our fate, it is always worth attempting to thwart it. Especially when the new person in 3F is constantly leaving the outer door wide open for anybody to enter. Or when the Cardonza twins are apparently staging a production of Noises Off with all the needless door slamming.
Assuming we’re all on the same page here, let’s bang out some action items before adjourning. I’ll write them on the boiler room door since everyone else seems to have declared this door a public art project. First, nobody look at anybody else, unless it is sternly. This is key. Ambiguous eye contact can lead to empathy and ruin everything. Next, don’t make any sounds when outside your unit but within property lines. Third, any personal belongings left unattended on common area will be immediately destroyed and thrown into the brown Dumpster out back. We’re all going to have to chip in on that one. Last, for now anyway, is to strongly consider moving far away from this building. Use the internet to research a different neighborhood or city to live in, one that will miraculously tolerate your disgusting habits.
Also, suicide is an option, as long as no mess is created on the property. Mr. Manesh, this one’s for you. What? We’re just spit-balling.
I FORGOT TO TELL YOU THAT THIS HAPPENED TO ME. The ol’ loose shaker lid bit! Perfectly executed by some cunning diner, I was the ideal mark for this classic prank: overeager to eat, a haphazard condiment sprinkler, chronic pizza tunnel vision. I really wanted the waiter to appreciate this display more than he did. He def let me down with his completely bored glare.
“Lord, take us now.”
“This table wasn’t really meant for this many people. Derek, could you…?”
“Let me apologize in advance for my Brussels sprout farts.”
“Not a word of this to your grandmother. Not a word!”
“If you are listening to this now, it means that I have been murdered.”
“Dennis, hand me my copy of The Silmarillion.”
“If you look up, you’ll notice that the entire ceiling has been coated in mistletoe…”
“Please try not to clink too hard, Russell is a light sleeper.”
“I’d like to thank everyone for their tweets while I was in surgery.”
“I feel some of you should actually be at the vegan table in the living room, no?”
“I would start by thanking Ken, if he weren’t sleeping with some whore in New Mexico.”
“This Popeye’s smells wonderful!”
“Santa is a dangerous myth created by the weak.”
“Someone has thrown all the stockings into the fire. Me. It was me.”
Not to get too personal, but this is my favorite lightbulb to change in my house. It can be reached comfortably from the second step on the basement stairs with only a slight lifting of your arm. The only uncomfortable thing about this story is that I sometimes try to blow the bulb out on purpose by flipping the switch on and off really fast, so that I may again revisit the joy of changing it. I apologize for my candor.
An Elf’s Lament - Bob Dylan
Chimney Sh*tz (Clawz Y’all) - Wiz Khalifa (feat Big Donga)
Could Anything Ever Be More Wonderful Than This? I Sincerely Doubt It! (Christmas With All of My Loved Ones And It’s Snowing) - Paul McCartney
The Earnest Warbler Comes Home - Train
Santa n’ Mrs. Claus Sex On The Ice - R. Kelly
Joyous Noodling (Extended Take) - Trey Anastasio & Friends
Bells Bells Bells Bells Bells Bells Bells Bells! - Hall & Oates
Hey Now, I Think I’m In Love With Seasonal Coffees - Michael Bublé
Shopping On Christmas Eve (Since When Do We Buy Gifts For My Cousins?!) - Duncan Sheik
Kringle Kreepin’ - Waka Flocka Flame (feat. P-Dring, Ainsley Happenstance, Slipped Knip, and The Calculator)
Snow Shoveler’s Apprentice - John Prine
You Refuse To Admit That We Are Missing a Box of Ornaments - Jack White
Ricky Lost His Gift Receipt - Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
Miniature Ice Scraper Blues - John Mayer
Unexplained Flight Delay - Death Cab For Cutie
These Gloves Aren’t Meant For Snow - Buddy Guy
Office Party BJ (Holiday Mixx) - Nicki Minaj (feat. Justin Bieber)
This Fire, This Sweater, This Cocoa (Warm Country) - Blake Shelton
Death In The Snow - Diana Krall
Mall Santa (Our Final Hope) reprise - Arcade Fire
- Imperceptibly Annoyed
- Cool and Neutral
- Split-Second Flash of Rage
- Half-Heartedly Smarmy
- Sustained Chortling
- Jarring Subject Change
- Medium Dramatic Eye-roll
- Instinctual Arm Swipe
- Sincere Hand Clasp
Consider this fair warning, everyone. I’m about to lose it on this Deluxe Turntable Edition of Scrabble. If everything goes according to plan, all of your letters will go flying in your eyeballs. Maybe a vowel or two will land in a lemonade, and, if I’m lucky, Dan’s disgusting blank tiles will hit him directly in his giant forehead, hence knocking that Triple Word Scoring grin off his friend-of-a-friend face. And, Gail, if you think just adding a “di” on the front of my “agnostic” is some kind of dazzling grammatical display, then here’s a diagnostic for you: you are a stupid idiot and these candles smell like constant, tiny farts.
I have flipped more than my share of game boards in my day, so as you can guess, this is not a joke. This turntable will just make it easier for me to ruin everyone’s fun, and hopefully, the entire night. I am also considering following up this violent show of anger by dumping the velveteen bag of remaining letters directly into the garbage. The image of Lonnie rooting through my pork chop scraps to collect his beloved “J” tiles is actually making me smile. God, Lonnie, I think I’d do just about anything to humiliate you. That knowledge calms me, it really does. Even so, I’m still spinning this mother in like t-minus a minute. Cover your teeth.
Also, Lisa, I’m sorry to say it, but your house rules suck. Abbreviations I can live with, but acronyms? Are you nuts? You single-handedly let Gail slip into second place with her little “REM” maneuver. And the best part? She has never even heard of the band. She meant it as rapid eye movement. I’m sure if Michael Stipe were here he’d have slapped her hard on the mouth. Well, we’re all about to see some rapid movement of these tiles as they fly irretrievably into your radiator.
Still think I’m bluffing? Ask Lisa how last October’s Monopoly tournament ended. Answer: in tears. And I caused all of them. Her kid brother Mac is still scared of me and I take that as a compliment. That’s what he gets for being a slumlord. People get paid for passing go and he robs them blind with his shoddy housing complexes. Lisa, tell them about how I carefully tore each Community Chest card in half while you all watched in fear? Oh, wait, I just did.
Tell you what. I’m heading to the mini-fridge to palm a lukewarm Diet Dr. Pepper. When I get back I hope that everyone will have suddenly regained their sense of justice, logic, and gamesmanship. Obviously I doubt that will happen, so consider this the last benefit of the doubt I will every grant you.
I’ve Been Tracking Your Pronunciation Of “Giardiniera” And I Think You’ll Find The Results Intriguing
Let me be the first to admit that my methods are non-scientific. I’m just a layperson with no reliable scientific equipment or laboratory to conduct my experiments. But I have taken a keen interest in your pronunciation of the word giardiniera, and at the risk of sounding immodest, I have to say that my findings are certainly worthy of a second look. Come on, sit down - I’ve printed out a copy of the analysis that we can go over.
Let’s start with the executive summary. This one-sheet breaks down my conclusions by heading. First off, you’ll notice that the most surprising discovery is the wild variance that has been occurring from instance to instance. This was chief among the unexpected results. Going in, my hypothesis - that’s this deck here - was that your delivery would experience slight differences in tone and inflection, but that core pronunciation would not deviate very much from the mean. You can see that here in red. Right, CP is core pronunciation.
Well, imagine my surprise when, after the first week, there didn’t seem to be anything like a core pronunciation! It began an irrelevant standard by which to compare subsequent instances. I know, I was really surprised. I had no idea how your speech patterns determined what syllable the emphasis should go on, let alone if there would be any silent vowels!
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start here. This bar graph is probably the most striking visual indicator of the trends I observed. You start off with a fairly predictable “zheear” sound. This seems to capture all the letters of the first syllable, and from what I could tell, did not prove difficult to emit. That’s why it gets a 1.2 on the difficulty scale. Comparably, it got a 4.6 on the PPSS, or post-pronunciation satisfaction scale. That measures your relative comfort immediately after saying the word, as indicated by facial expression, posture, and hand placement. It’s an aggregated score from those factors.
Then here…here, you change your pronunciation inexplicably. For three instances straight, you use a more rudimentary “jar” sound to begin the word. The crazy part? Your DS and PPSS scores mark no significant deviation! I couldn’t support any reasoning for the change during my etymological research, so I decide to just wait and see if a pattern would develop. Boy, was I wrong!
Results for the pronunciation of the second syllable were more stable. Only once did you clearly saw “dee” instead of the usual “dih” sound you usually uttered. I noted this anomaly but really feel like it’s not indicative of a larger trend. Jar-DEE-nera! I made a note about its marked hilarity.
On page 19, we see the results of the concluding syllables. Again, we’re back to the erratic patterns we saw earlier. You’ve got several clear instances of “neh-ra”. This is commonly observed among different test cases, and registers very mild to moderate levels on the PPSS and essentially nothing on the DS. I pretty much thought this was a standard, until here…where we see you very overtly switched to a three-syllable pronunciation of this section - that’s right, “nee-air-a”. At first I thought it was a mistake, maybe brought on by a cold or that time you were sad about your bike being stolen, but I soon realized it was definitely a conscious choice. And, as you’ll see here, with essentially no trace of self-doubt or embarrassment! I was flabbergasted. Were all words malleable to you, or just ones with a foreign origin, here documented as forigin? Were you just hedging your bets by using a range of all possible pronunciations?
So that’s basically it. Next step is to go back and update my hypothesis, then shop it around on the journal circuit. As a follow-up, I was pondering doing a study on your treatment of lettuce-clippings; I’ve just casually noticed everything from disgust to eager consumption and I just bet there’s a bigger story to tell. Sign this release.