Friday, 21 December 2012

The Mayans Save Christmas

It's a Christmas Miracle.
Not only has the world not ended [Can I be the first to say "I told you so?"], but the temperature today is actually less than thirty degrees; so my last post before my holidays won't be me whinging about the heat.
But, speaking of the heat, well . . . it's Australia. Of course it's hot, but its hot because it's the middle of Summer. It's Summer, and it's Christmas. And so I've been wondering about what Christmas means, in Australia. That's right.
The Word of the Day is: 'CHRISTMAS'.


Christmas /'krisməs/ n. 1. Church festival of the birth of Jesus, celebrated on the 25th of December. A holiday of giving gifts, greetings, etc.


I don't think Australia has had the best relationship with Christmas. Like I said, it occurs during summer, which means all wintery celebrations of snow and 'staying warm in the winter' i.e. the Little Match Girl; And staying inside with your family . . . it doesn't mean very much. If we all stayed inside, we'd swelter.
Then there's the fact it's a Christian holiday, despite the much more prominent fact that Jesus was probably not born on the 25th of December. The most reliable sources have placed it some time in April. But the fact is, we didn't have the same calendar back then as we do now, so it's sort of a moot point.
besides, I'm not Christian, and so aren't a lot of people.
But we celebrate it anyway. So let's go further back.


The original Yuletide, upon which Christmas evolved, was originally a winter feast. It still is considered a 'Feast Day' to some Christians.
But the reason it was a feast was because crops and farming were less providing during winter, and the feast was a celebration of a good harvest by eating the surplus before it was stored away; and since it's summer it loses that ingenuity.

Oh, and don't get me started on Christmas Island . . .

So why do we bother with all this Christmas nonsense? Well, partially because a lot of immigrants, early settlers and convicts were Christian, and the holiday was commandeered by Christianity, so it made people feel more at home. The same way the Botanical Gardens made them feel more at home [by bringing plants from their native country here] they brought traditions here to make it like their old life and it continued on until it became a public holiday.

But I think there's a much better reason for Christmas and it's best explained in the way I interpret Santa Claus.

Yes, SANTA CLAUS. A real man, mind you. We've warped and twisted it around a red suit and ho ho ho; but Santa Claus was a real person. If you've heard of Santa Maria, or Santa Fe, you may realize that Santa is not a made up name. It is a translation of 'Holy' or 'Saint'. And Claus, or should I say 'Klaus' is a short form of Nikolaus, a German form of the given name Nicholas. So yes, Santa Claus is Saint Nicholas.
But the way I look at this Father Christmas legend. Y'see, Nicholas was a Bishop, and whether or not the story is true about the famine, and Saint Nicholas riding on a donkey handing out presents; or of him bringing children back to life, it IS known that he would give folks secret presents, such as by hiding coins in their shoes.
Why did he do this? Well, he was supposedly 'doing God's work'. But more than that, I like to think he was distributing his wealth to those who needed it, so that they didn't feel like the peasants they were.
It was about making people feel like someone cared. Making them feel like they mattered . . .

At least, that's what I think.

And it's a beautiful idea. making people feel like they matter. Making them feel like somebody loves them. I don't need Christmas trees and snow and Jesus and reindeer to understand and appreciate a concept like that.
So I interpret Christmas to be a time when you stay with family, or friends if it better suits you. For at least a day visit them, share time, and perhaps gifts. Put on some sort of spread or a barbeque if you have a lot of people coming, not to celebrate the harvest, but because you'll have a lot of mouths to feed when all your family gets there. And you celebrate the fact that you're loved, and that you love others.


That's how I interpret and justify Christmas.
Of course, you probably didn't need that. There aren't that many Scrooge's out there that don't think Christmas matters. And those that do wouldn't read a blog post about Christmas. So am I just wasting my time?

Maybe. But it doesn't matter. Because it's the holidays. And I have time to spare. After all, the world hasn't ended yet.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

I'm Melting! What a world . . .

*sigh*
I take another sip of my stein full of coffee and look at the blinking cursor in front of me.

  "The word of the day is: Spent."
  "Spent /spent/," says Dictionary, "v. 1. used up or exhausted. 2. A terrible word of the day."
  "A terrible . . . Dictionary, cut me some slack."
Dictionary grumbles under his covers.
"Well what do you expect? I'm buggered. It's so damn hot . . ." I say, turning to my window, which exudes the heat of the day outside, and resounds with the chitters of the thousand or so cicadas. A sonata that I have always associated with the Australian heat.
  "What else is there? The only real news is that Utah thing, and I can't talk about that again. And there's not much else happening in my life."
  "Skyfall /'skuyfawl/ n. 1. a 2012 movie starring James Bond."
  "This isn't a review site, Dick. Besides, you want a review of Skyfall? It's better than the last one. If you haven't seen it yet, do something about that."
The ancient tomes pages burble a moment in thought.
  " . . . Inspiration?"
  "Hmm? What's so inspiring?"
  "/inspə'rayshən/ n. 1. an inspiring action or influence, person or thing, as a divine influence brought to bear on a person."
  "Yeah, yeah. What's your inspiration?"
Dictionary sighs, exasperated.
  "WORD!"
  "Word . . . Word of the day?" I lean back in my chair, "Inspiration . . ."
  "Inspire," continues Dictionary, "/in'spuyə/ v. 1. to impart an enlivening, quickening, or exalting influence."
  "Inspiration . . ." I mutter again, superfluously . . .


>>Y'know, I read somewhere once that the most popular blogs are 'link blogs'. At least, I think that's the term they use. I can't recall the term. But what it means is: The most popular blogs are the ones that link to other websites.

I was looking this up when I was wondering how to expand my audience. And not long after reading it, I decided that I was not going to do it. Why? Because it's lazy. It's the same problem I have with fanfiction (which is a term I plan on using in a later blog post [here 'blog post' should be read as 'rant]).
Which is that, rather than create one's own ideas and explain through them and get folks to enjoy them for their own merit, you cheat and take someone else's idea and say "Eh, look at that. Woo . . ." and expect people to be impressed by your abilities with a  Google Search Engine.
But that being said, I still wouldn't mind mentioning those other sites of text-based media that i truly appreciate.
The word of the day is: 'INSPIRATION'.

I want to first say that here I am using the term in a very abstract sense. I mean, if I was TRULY inspired by these people, then I would attempt to ape their style. But I don't do that. Rather, I mean they inspired me to believe that people aren't too stupid to read 1,000 words without getting bored. And in fact that some people enjoy such a thing.
Also, I don't consider them my heroes. I don't believe in heroes (a notion I apparently share with a selection of super-villains), but none-the-less there are folks that do amazing things, even on the internet. And for me, this is they:

 - Daniel O'Brien:
Cracked.com, which is apparently America's only humour site, has a variety of writers for their articles. My favourite of which is Daniel O'Brien. Now, you may wonder, why of them all the cracked writers do I prefer O'Brien? Well, I like David Wong's style, Adam Todd Brown following close behind, and Gladstone does alright. But Gladstone's work descends into masturbation/self-flagellation; Brown is better as a character piece and, well, Wong crawled up his own ass ever since he wrote a novel. But what D.O.B. does different (to me) is that he's a dweeb. He spends most of his time writing the articles the way that I like to read them. The weird facts amongst weird comedy, (i.e. the same way that they accept user submissions). 
Whereas the others, Soren Bowie in particular, just talk about themselves, and/or nonsense. It's the same thing that the Cracked Writer's Workshop tells you NOT to do, goddamn hypocrites. And sure, O'Brien does this occasionally, but that is the exception to the rule. You should read some of his stuff.


 - Benjamin 'Yahtzee' Croshaw:
Now if you know this guy, I know what you're thinking "What? he doesn't write online!" Well, wake-up sonny-britches. Before Yahtzee started the Zero Punctuation feature on The Escapist's website, he had an online journal at fullyramblomatic.com, but I don't need to mention that because he doesn't update that so often. No, rather I like his Extra Punctuation feature, wherein he talks a little more about his game review of the week and/or whatever is more interesting than the game of the week [the latter occuring more frequently than the former, in my experience]. I like it because he gets to be less 'funny' and more informative, yet still with his trademark potty-mouth that makes me giggle, because I am mentally four years old. And also, as he is a fellow Australian, I feel the need to promote my countrymen. Check it out if you like obscure metaphors in the like of Top Gear.


 - Robert 'Moviebob' Chipman
if you'v heard of him, you've officially been spending too much time on the internet. I first found Moviebob through his 'The Game Overthinker' segment on Youtube, which moved to a dedicated website by it's own merit, and finally Screwattack.com, but when he joined The Escapist to be their resident film critic for Escape to the Movies, he also gained his own column: Intermission. Here he often takes the time to talk about the stuff in between films, like actors, directors, old movies, and movie/internet culture. I like Moviebob because I always feel like I'm learning something; but perhaps that's because of his pitch perfect American Radio voice (which is admittedly just a put-on. But still . . .) he's definitely, DEFINITELY worth a look-in if you like retro games, or believe that gaming isn't just a child's hobby.


 - Randall Munroe:
Despite having a name that, as a writer, I would love to give to a villain (I'm thinking somneone who owns an oil-drilling company . . .), Mr Munroe is not only a nice guy, but the writer/drawer/creator behind xkcd, to be found at xkcd.com, a stick-figure webcomic about romance, sarcasm, math, and language [sic]. But why can I talk about him in this abitrary list of internet writers? Well, because he, (at time of writing) somewhat recently created the What if? feature. Wherein, every Tuesday, he answers user-submitted (often highly unrealistic) questions using the hard, cold logic of physics, but lightening it up with his sarcasm and sense of humour.
If you haven't read this, or even heard of his work. Then do so. Don't worry, I'll wait. I'm serious, do it now.


 - Troy Steele:
Have you ever read a Goosebumps book? One of the series of 62 children's horror novellas, by R.L. Stine? Well Mr Steele has. In fact, he's read all of them. Of course, despite how popular the series was, you realize in retrospect that they're really kinda dumb. Steele presents this, as well as his oft-mentioned fondness and nostalgia for the series throughout his website: Blogger Beware, where he reviews all of the books of the series, even going into the 2000 series and now (whilst, at time of writing, he is on a seemingly endless hiatus) he has begun the new 2008 series, Goosebumps: Horrorland. And all of his reviews are interspersed with his trademark, esoteric pop culture/pop trivia jokes.
If you ever read Goosebumps, you should read this.
If you never read Goosebumps, you should read this.
If you don't like empty choices, well now you have to read this.


I lean back in my chair and look at my work,
  "Wow, that's probably more than a thousand words. I've hit my quota."
  "Picture, /'pikchə/!" says dictionary, " n. 1. A representation or image made upon a surface, usually flat: What kind of picture will you draw for the post?"
  " . . . shit, I dunno . . . how's about a lightbulb?"

He said, "let there be lightbulb."
And lo there was a lightbulb.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Plan of the Hour

In spite of, or perhaps because of the fact that I didn't organize a post today, I've been mulling about what it means to plan ahead. It's a thrilling juxtaposition that my lack of readiness is a readiness in and of itself.
So without further ado, the Word of the Day is 'PLANNING'.


Planning /'planing/ v. 1. to organize a scheme or set of ideas for action.

You want to know something I didn't plan on? I never planned on drawing pictures for this blog. In case you haven't noticed, I draw all the pictures that come above the writing here. Even when the idea is as hard to visualize as 'PLANNING' is, I wanted there to be a picture. My original plan was that every post would have a picture that I'd take from Flickr or Tumblr or Pictr or whatever website would give me legal and free images. But in my first post, I dreamed up this image of a sign at the end of the road with the word "The End" on it. I google-image searched it and found a bunch of signs that didn't look right, so finally I sketched my own.
I say sketched and not drew, because I can't actually draw. I look up images on Google and sketch the bits I like into one image. I'm like a real-world photoshop.
So I drew the thing. And then, because I am crazy about keeping the same style and theme, I continued it for the next post and now, for every article I draw something. I never planned on it, but it's now become like a tradition.
The thing is, it's a lot more difficult than I thought. I actually draw the image in pencil, then fix up mistakes with an eraser and check the lines, maybe edit with a ruler, and then I draw it again in pen. And then I colour it in (which is hard with a pen, because it means I have to 'press lightly' which isn't always easy).
Am I complaining? Well, not really. I just mean, I never planned on it, but that's where I now find myself. Thankfully it's not too hard. If it was, I'd stop. I'm actually cheating somewhat in that if I know I going to write about something, I'll draw the picture in advance.

So why am I talking about pictures? Well, like I said, I didn't plan this post.
Do you know what I planned to do today? Watch the latest James Bond movie. I've been meaning to, and that's the idea. If it's good enough, and has enough ideas, I might even talk about it in my next post. But unfortunately, it means I didn't work out today's post.
Today's post was originally going to be about the word adulterated (I have a few ideas for it). But I didn't get around to it because I wasn't in the mood. Y'see, I have a back-log. that's where the story iRobot came from, as well as the Gospel of Drunk McBeardley [which is a VERY true story, by the way], I knew I couldn't be creative every day. So on the days I am, I write down as much as I can, as many ideas as I can, and I store them for later, in the backlog.

And that's kind of the whole point of why I am writing about THIS. I want you to know the behind the scenes. The scoop. The planning behind all this. Because sometimes, it's simple things like that which cause different posts in themselves.The second post I did had the word of the day 'Dictionary'. You want to know what the original choice was? 'Water'. Yeah, water. I still might do it someday, I do have a lot of stuff to say about it [admittedly, pretentious poetic stuff. But what can you do?]. But do you know what stopped me? I couldn't draw it. It's clear for goodness' sake! So I gave up and instead drew a tatty old tome titled dictionary. And I like what I did, I enjoy that post, but I hope it illustrates how annoying these little factors can be.
Sometimes, just a mood or a poor illustration can change my plans. It's different to the way I planned things out.
Not to mention, it's frigging summer right now, and I have an air-cooled CPU for a brain. I need cool air to think clearly.


Again, don't think I'm complaining. I'm not annoyed at all. I wanted to write every day, and now I do. I'm very happy. I just didn't know this would be where it took me. And I am perfectly fine writing posts like this. Hell, I could just write gibberish here for all I need it. I want to make my fingers flow over the keyboard, I need to put my mind to the page . . . that's the point of this blog, practicing writing. So I could write nonsense. But there's a reason this is on the internet. So I feel an obligation to my (somewhat non-existent) audience. So I just want you to know, yeah, I won't always have planned everything out in advance.
And yeah, somedays I won't have a plan, and you'll have to handle this stream-of-consciousness nonsense. It's just what you get when I write every single day. It's why I said that people can submit ideas, in my first post, I know that sometimes the bucket'll run dry, or I will just be stuck between a post and a writer's block.
But at those times know, I do still have ideas in the backlog, and I do plan on giving you writing you'll really enjoy.
But, especially in this weather, I'm gonna be spent. That's why I plan on spending my day watching a movie in an air-conditioned theatre.
Because some days, you don't want to have a plan.


I hope I got my point across. Now I'm going to draw the picture for this post. Feel free to have a look. Although it's just a picture, it's based off the way I actually plan out my stories, even though the drawing is pretty hasty. And if you want let me know:
What are you planning for the holidays?

Till then, peace out.
From, The Absurd Word Nerd.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Gospel of Drunk McBeardley



INEBRIATUS

1
In the beginning, it was just a night out. There were five young men, myself among them, trading stories and drinking brew and whiling away the hours. At the time, we were just boys. Five young men, with alcohol on our breaths and, as yet, empty souls.1
It was then, my mate spoke of a gala, a celebration to be had in the Valley, far away. The young men, bored of their surroundings, agreed that it would do them well to take some for the road and head to the rock gig.2

We left our home and sought out the sacred Valley, where it is said people like to party.3
After a long trek, we were gleefully unsober. Not drunk, but definitely buzzed. They went into the bar, whose name I have forgotten, and had their eardrums flattened by the sound of much-too-loud music.4
At the end of the gala, the five men were to head home. But their hearts were heavy that they were so clear-headed.5
But lo, they had a fortuitous soul in their midst. The wisest of them had stowed away cans in the nearby bushes, to last them the walk home!6
They drank and were merry as they headed home, thinking the night was over.7 But it had only just begun.8

2
They left the Valley, and were but a few streets away from the bar, but the streets were longer and crooked, and they were already engulfed in the suburban maze.1
We all had our cans, and I was sipping my Bundy & Coke slowly, trying to savour it, but the flavour was becoming numb in my mouth.2
And that’s when I saw him.3
Staggering down the street, not far from a parking complex, there was a man in undefined homeless cloth, and with an epic beard you could hide a potato in.4
The man was sloshed, but I remember I wasn’t afraid, though some in our party were wary of the man. You don’t just approach random drunkards, there is a danger in that.5,6
But I truly wasn’t afraid. The man seemed to exhude an aura of pleasant drunkenness.7
Spake he: “Got a light?”8
I thought then that we would simply tell him No, and we would go home. But it wasn’t to be.
I said NO, and most of my mates agreed, we were without light.9,10
But then he sighed, seeming a little bummed that he could not find a light for his cigarette. We all agreed that ‘things were tough’. The man then nodded. ‘Indeed’ he seemed to say, ‘life has its troubles’.11
And then, to prove his point, he told us a rambling story. He had come from far off. Perhaps as far as Melbourne. And in his travels he had come across a large bag of weed, at least as big as a grapefruit. However the cops had found him and taken it away.12
Now I admit, I was not sure if this story was true . . . but that is not what matters. What matters is that it affected us. We all agreed that sometimes the man can come down hard on us. Even those sent to protect us can be ‘fucking pigs’, and can take even the simple pleasures from the working man.13
We were all attuned to one another. Although we had never met him before, we were like brothers. And our mutual agreement of ‘fuck the police’ had garnered a mateship with this man.14

3
And that is when I realized I didn’t want to waste my time drinking stale, old Bundy & Coke. And since the man seemed like he would enjoy any drink, from Absinthe to Tequila, I told him-
“Here, take my Bundy.”1
He looked pleased. There were tears in his eyes, and although I am certain they were from a night of hitting it hard, I like to believe they were tears of joy.2
The man took the can and said,
“Smash it, mate.” and then, in what can only be described as an epic gulp, he downed the stale beverage.3,4
And then, in gratitude, he presented a plastic shopping bag. And then he offered us his bounty. In the bag was a sixpack of Bundaberg Rum Cans.5
But this was no mere Rum & Coke. The cans were of an unusual design. I swear they had gold in the details, and promised a citrus drink, although my memory is hazy of the details.6
I don’t know what it was, but from that day forward my friends and I name this mysterious beverage “Bundy Gold”.7
We distributed the cans among us, and then again he spoke those words . . . “Smash it!”
and we did.8
As I opened the can there was the sound, a thick hiss expressing freedom as the alcohol smelled the air, and I drank.9
The taste was citric, something acidic and yet soothing. I didn’t realize it then, but this was a blessed moment. Never again have I found this drink, and experimentation has only provided a fruity, effeminate cocktail; a shadow of the true beverage.10
Nothing compares to that taste. And sometimes I wonder if the drink was real. Or if, perhaps, it was the night itself that gave it that taste. Either way, the drink was good, tasty and strong. And although I could not smash the entire can, three long gulps provided me with grand pleasure.11,12

4
We each expressed disbelief at the stunning flavour. but then the man said he was off. He said he wanted to find a group with a lighter, but I know that he was leaving to inspire others.1
And as he left, knowing we were losing a friend, one of us called out:
“What’s your name mate?”2,3
The man was almost three metres away, he managed to do a drunken spin which, although inelegant, turned him to face us with pride and a glint in his eye. And then he leaned back, arching his spine as though baying at the moon. He screamed his name to the night, like a howling wolf, he spoke his name . . .4,5
“DRUNK!!”
And then he left us. With nothing but a sweet aftertaste and a fond memory.6
Some days I wonder what became of him after that, is he still out there helping lost souls find Bundy Gold? I don’t know.7
But one thing I do know is, if you’re in the Valley, and you come across a man asking for a light, wearing a homeless man’s garb and carrying a plastic bag of unknown beverages. 8 Give him your time, and a light if you have one. You never know.9
It might just be, Drunk McBeardley.10

Monday, 17 December 2012

Trigger Warning

Although I am happy to have a topic of conversation dropped into my lap, since it means I don't have to think as hard, I'm a little sad at what has been put in front of me. So I want to first say: I am not an expert on weaponry, politics or this type of massacre. I have an internet connection, and I am highly opinionated. But remember, I am not here to dictate, I'm here to narrate. And this is how I see things.
[Oh, and although I chose that title because I thought it was clever, I reckon you shouldn't read on if you were at all, in any way, affected by any of the spree shootings of our recent or past history.]
The word of the Day is 'FIREARM'.


Dictionary says:


Firearm /'fuyərahm/ n. any type of gun, rifle, etcetera.


And, to be clear, he feels the need to add:


Gun /gun/ n. 1. a metallic tube, with it's stock or carriage attachments, from which heavy missiles are thrown by the force of an explosive; a piece of ordnance. 2. any similar device for projecting something.


At time of writing, recent events in Utah have, again, brought to light the horrors that firearms can orchestrate. From the old to the young. The guilty to the innocent. None are immune to it's destruction. Lives are ended, or ruined.
And it has started a political dialogue. People have started looking at what happened and have started to say:
  "Could we have done something?"
And so there are talks about stronger gun legislation in America, and people are bringing up all these statistics and facts about how easily you can get a gun into your hands.
And I tend to agree on certain points. For instance, I think that some of the laws in America are just wrong, when it comes to guns. The most 
incongruous of which (I believe) being the Second Amendment, Or: "The Right to bear Arms". For one very simple reason. Americans are not allowed to shoot people. And if you can't shoot your gun, then why own it?
But I'm getting off topic . . .
YES, I think that gun laws need to be changed. But I'm afraid, when people say:
  "Could we have done something?"
Well . . . I don't think so. Not exactly.
I DO believe that if you changed gun laws, then some lives could be spared. A lot of school shootings are committed by students. And all this talk of 'psyche tests' and 'greater restrictions' would perhaps have stopped these horrid people from owning guns, or at least slowed them down and maybe even brought them to the attention of the authorities. Just look to Japan if you want proof. Compare their, average, two shootings a year to . . . well, America.
But, I don't think that this will stop spree killers. Although school shootings are sometimes seen as 'An American Thing', spree killers most certainly are not. Port Arthur, Australia; Aramoana, New Zealand, Yulara, Australia . . . these are but a few of the sites where people (or should I say, monsters) have taken many innocent lives, for no reason. Australia and her cousin have much stricter gun laws than in America. You cannot own a gun unless you have a sound mind, and a firm reason [you are a licensed hunter, or a policeman or a farmer who has trouble with foxes or the like]
But these people still managed to acquire weapons, some even high ordnance like machine guns. Perhaps laws need to be changed, but my point is, the people haven't. There are maniacs out there, unfortunately.
So that's why, although I like the idea of stricter laws, 
I'm not really as interested in this talk of gun laws as a way to save lives. I think, what we need, is to try to prevent these monsters from growing.
If you start to look into these people's lives and what lead up to these murders. These people weren't living the same regular lives as you and me. Most of these people were
 frustrated, oppressed or in some way depressed. A lot of these people feel impotent and ignored. They feel trapped, or lost.

My point is, not only do I believe that these people feel pushed to an illogical extreme. I believe that this story plays out the same way. Just look to serial killers. Childhood trauma or poor parenting leads to deviant behaviour; this leads to poor social skills and eventually anti-social behaviour and a lack of attachment to persons and society. This makes the child seek forms of control, often through harming and killing small animals. As they grow older they'll seek greater forms of control, including criminal behaviour and eventually homicide, crimes which will escalate as they seek more power.
All known serial killers in history have played this out in some form or another, like some sick monomyth. And I wonder . . . what if spree killers are the same?
Perhaps if we can find out the key pieces of this puzzle. Find out what leads to these horrific acts, maybe we can stop it before they get to the gun shop counter.
I dunno, just a thought. Just a hopeful thought . . .
I feel I should stop here know, since all this research has probably already got me a on a few FBI watch-lists  But in closing, a firearm is just a tool. A very dangerous tool, yes, one designed to destroy. But a tool none the less. Let's be sure we put it in 
the right hands.

I send my condolences to all those lost, and those left in pain.
If you want to help out victims from this recent tragedy, or just those that help out in general through donations or what-have you, you might want to seek out:

Newtown Youth and Family Services, who offer counselling and health services.

Newtown Parent Connection, who I believe also offer counselling services.
Project Linus, who provide care for young trauma victims.
American Red Cross, who are always there to help, &
Danbury Hospital, who offer Crisis Intervention.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Halfway between Blog & Oblivion

In 5 days, the world will End.
A powerful statement, even if it isn't true. For the last year or two, there has been this mad disparity between these End-is-Nye mad-folk screaming for the end of the world. And the quiet humf and muffles of disbelief from people who know the difference between logic and hysteria.
But . . . I am thinking about it. Because this post is exactly halfway between when I started blogging and the 21st of December [the supposed day of the Mayan 2012 Apocalypse]. It's a curious notion.
And also now is as good a time as any to say that, on that date, this blog will stop for a moment, as I'm going to enjoy the holidays with my family. So for a while there, we will have reached an end.
  "But wait a moment!" I hear you say, "How can the Absurd Word Nerd talk about the End of the World? The first Word of the Day was END, he's not using the word again already!"
No, I'm not. Because this isn't about the end of the world. This is about that moment in between. Because the world ISN'T going to end, but when it doesn't, we'll be left in a different place altogether. Y'see. The Word of the Day, is 'PRECIPICE' . . .


Precipice /'presəpəs/ n. 1. a cliff with a vertical, near-vertical, or overhanging face over the edge.
2. a situation of great danger.


Have you ever looked over the edge of a really tall cliff, or building, and realized that, with the simplest mistake, you would fall all the way down?

I'm of course not talking about suicide. No, suicide is for idiots - a long term solution to a short term problem - is what my Dad always says, and I believe it. No, I am talking about that moment when you are standing on the edge and just realize how close you have come to the end. That is what I am talking about today. Because that is what I believe we are doing with all this Mayan Apocalypse nonsense.
After all, it's happened before.
If any of you remember the year 2000, you should understand. A lot of people believed that the coming of the year 2000 was the end of us. Because we'd never seen a number that big on our calender, and it seemed long enough, we called it the end, perchance even the Rapture, because someone said "The Bible told me SO!".
Most people ignored such claims. Then some computer tech realized that some computers were only set with calendars to the year 1999. And he didn't know how they'd react with the incremental digit. Then the concept was more widespread.
Dubbed 'Y2K' we foresaw technology dooming us all. Of course, we all know what happened. Not a damn thing. The computers didn't shut down or take over the world, the trains still ran on time (well, as much as they did before) and the world kept turning.
But why would people fall for these dumb claims? Are we just stupid?
Or are we looking for something.


When we think about these moments, where the world ends or society collapses. We start to think about what we've done. What we've changed in our lives. And what we wanted to do.
These moments give us a chance to see who we are. Because when we look at the end, when we look over that precipice. I believe that we're looking at our reflection.

I also believe this is why the Zombie Apocalypse is such a popular idea. It's the same notion, but turned up to 11.
Sure, it's horrific. But that's the point. The world has ended. But . . . if you were lucky enough to survive that event, you can't keep living life as it once was. You have to live to survive. And can you do that? Can you do what needs to be done to survive?
Can you be a hero? Is that who you are?
Or are you fodder. Meat. Just another zombie.

The concept of these apocalypses is all the same. Everything has ended, so did you finish what you started?A lot of people feel they haven't, and all they want is some grand wake-up call. And an apocalypse provides that. A grand-scale near-death experience for the entire population, from which we are hoping for some grand epiphany. And that's where our fault lies.
Because I believe, when the 21st of December comes, all that will happen is that all of those people who didn't change, will start dreaming up the next apocalypse.
So, do yourself a favour: Take a look at yourself. Look at all you've done and what you haven't done, and think about what the end would mean for you. Then, when you walk away from that precipice, start planning. I always wanted to be a writer. And I constantly bitched and moaned about how hard it was. But the thing is, being a writer isn't easy. You have to Plan, Structure, Learn, Read & of course, practice writing every day. And that's what I am doing now.
So if you want to write your story; or own your own business; win that girl's heart; buy that car; earn those millions or even just lose that weight . . .
If you want to live your dreams, you have to wake up first.
That way, when the next apocalypse comes round and people scream:
  "We're all gonna DIE!" you can scoff and say,
  "Will you shut up? I'm busy trying to live my life."

Saturday, 15 December 2012

iRobot



They were barely in the air for a moment as it fell. But it was enough for gravity to cease to exist. A moment of perfect weightlessness . . . followed by chaos. The car jolted violently as it hit the water. The windscreen popped like a bubble, but the shards of glass screamed through the air. The water came rushing in, like someone had burst a dam. And in less than a minute, the whole scene was silent.

* 11-44, we’ve got a car run off the road at East Bayshore. Requesting assistance *

Dell took one look at the crimescene, and knew in his gut that something was off.
  “What we got here?” he asked the on-scene coroner.
  “External abrasions, water in his lungs. Pretty simple. He crashed his car right through the wood fences, landed in the lake and drowned. Looks like a suicide to me.”
  “Is there an I.D. on the victim?”
  “Don’t need it,” chuckles Darren, his sick sense of humour, “that’s Steve Jobs.”
  “Jobs?” says Dell, shocked.
  “Yep, I’d know that man anywhere,” says Darren, “he makes good phones.”
Dell wades through the water and heads towards the body to see for himself.
  “Woah, woah! Easy there, Spoon,” says Darren, stepping into Dell’s path, “the CSIs have to get in there first. You don’t want to contaminate evidence.”
  “I need to see,” he says, “I . . . I knew him.”
Darren had known Dell for fifteen years. He’d never seen him like this.
  “Spoon, I think you need to talk a walk.”
Dell wanted to say no. But Darren was right. Dell walks away.
It makes no sense. He was a Buddhist. Why commit suicide? He’d just be delaying Nirvana.
Crossing under the yellow tape, Dell heads up the grassy bank. Doing so, he sees something up near the broken barrier. A small, white rectangle.
Dell walks over and picks it up. An iPhone?
It’s not evidence, it’s on this side of the tape he tells himself. A bold-faced lie.
He turns on the phone. It immediately opens the GPS map.
  “Make a U-Turn, when safe,” says the phone.
  “Where were you going, Steve?” Dell asks himself.
boop boop: “Steven was heading home,” says the phone. Dell was so shocked, he nearly dropped the phone.
  “Who are you?!”
boop boop: “I am Siri,” says Siri.
  “Who is Siri?”
boop boop: “I am your humble, personal assistant.”
Interesting application . . . must be something new Apple was working on.
  “How does Steve get from work to home?”
boop boop: “This is the route Steve takes to get home.
Siri displays the map on the GPS. Dell takes note, the route doesn’t come anywhere near East Bayshore Highway.
  “I knew something didn’t feel right . . .”
Dell heads up towards his car. As he gets to the door, he stops.
  “Siri? Who was the last person to call this phone?”
boop boop: “Bill called at six-fourteen” says Siri, showing the contact details for Bill Gates.
Very interesting . . .


On the way to Job’s house Dell calls Bill Gates on Steve’s phone. He didn’t have much to say. He said he was calling Jobs to wish him well. Apparently, Jobs had cancer.
But he was going to die soon anyway. Why would he kill himself?
Dell gets to Jobs’ house after a short drive. But is pretty stunned when he finds it. Flames curled up the edges of the roof, having scorched the plaster and brick. The place was burning down. Firemen were already on the scene.
  “What happened here?” he asks the closest fireman, flashing his badge.
  “Some fool left an iPad in a postage box and it overheated.”
  “An iPad?”
  “Yeah. It must have been running for quite some time. Excuse me,”
the guy runs off to help his fellow firemen.
  “Well, that’s a sign I’m on the right track . . .”


When Dell got to the precinct he didn’t expect a screaming match with his Lieutenant. In retrospect he should have.
  “Drop it, Spoon!” screams Bergin.
  “But this wasn’t a suicide. The man had cancer.”
  “So what? Maybe he couldn’t take the pain anymore.”
  “I don’t buy that, John. I knew the guy.”
  “Then what? What are you suggesting, Spoon?”
  “I think someone messed with his GPS.”
  “What?”
  “I think he was told to turn right, he did. And ploughed through the railing . . . I think there’s a bigger problem with the iPhones.”
  “Like what?”
  “Jobs had cancer. Everyone knows there’s potential for mobile phones to give you cancer. I think someone wanted to cover it up.”
  “Are you LISTENING to yourself? Phones. Don’t. Kill people.”
  “But what if it did? On Steve Jobs’ phone, there were directions home. But he crashed way off the route”
  “What? What are you talking about phone? There’s no phone in evidence.”
  “Oh, I uh . . .”
  “Spooner? Did you take evidence from a crime scene?”
  “It was outside the tape.”
  “I don’t care where you found it, goddamn it! Dell, you’re off this case. You hand that phone into evidence and go home.”
Dell left the office, his head hung low.
He picked his jacket off the back of his chair and headed towards the evidence locker. He was going home.


At home, Dell was mourning his old friend the only way he knew how. A glass of whiskey as he watched his last keynote speech:
  “If the hardware is the brain and the sinew of our products, then the software in them is their soul . . .
Dell takes another sip and takes the iPhone out of his pocket. Yes, he should have handed it in. But it wasn’t in his nature to leave a case unsolved. He’d get hell from the lieutenant when he found out . . .
  “. . . it’s broken down in the last few years. Why? Well, because the devices have changed . . .
Someone was responsible here. But who? Bill Gates? No, that’s foolish. Jobs was dying, he wouldn’t risk that . . . and any other competitor would still have Gates to contend with.
  “. . . We’re going to move the digital hub – the centre of your digital life – into the cloud . . .
There’s also that fire to think about. Arson is often a power play. And it was set by an iPad. It’s proven that they don’t overheat that hot. Someone set it up. Was it someone else at Apple?
  “. . . and so everything happens automatically. and there's nothing new to learn, it just all works . . .
It’s impossible. I have either a suicide with no reason for it, or a murder with no murderer. And my only lead is a phone. I need answers.
  “Do you know who killed Steve Jobs, Siri?”
boop boop: “I’m sorry. My responses are limited.”
Dell finishes the last of his whiskey and grits his teeth as he pours another glass.
It feels so hopeless . . .
Dell watches Steve Jobs, alive and well, talking about his new product.
  “Steve. Who killed you?” Dell asks the video.
  “The truth is on the cloud.
Wait what?
  “so they’re all in sync-.”
Dell presses pause on the video and roll it back a few seconds.
  “It’s stored on the cloud. Right, the truth is on the cloud . . .
  “The Cloud . . . the iCloud?”
boop boop: “Steve Jobs has just sent you a message.” says Siri.
Dell look at the phone and back to the screen.
  “No, it couldn’t be . . .”


Thankfully, the whiskey hasn’t fully kicked in, and Dell manages to drive the car without crashing, although he tended to swerve quite a lot.
  “I’m with the police,” Dell tells the guard out the front of Apple Campus, “I need to see the server for the iCloud.”
  “Can I see some I.D.?” asks the young punk.
Dell checks his pocket . . . I knew I forgot something.
  “Stand aside, kid. Official police business.”
  “I need to see your-”
A sock in the jaw shuts the kid up. Dell runs past him into the building. It’s all a blur as he runs from one hall to another, avoiding the amassing security guards as they close on his position.
Dell flies through one door into a server room. Locking the door behind him, Dell heads through the corridor between two towering rows of humming supercomputers. This was the Cloud Server, so where were the answers? Where was the truth?
Near the back of the room was an office that said: Server Technician
Dell heads inside to find . . .
An old, beige Apple Macintosh computer.
  “HELLO DETECTIVE SPOONER. WE ARE MACCLOUD. THE CENTRAL PROCESSOR FOR ICLOUD” says the computer with a MacinTalk voice.
  “How do you know my name?”
  “WE’VE BEEN TRACKING YOU SINCE YOU FIRST USED STEVE JOBS’ PHONE. WE KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU, FROM THE CLOUD.”
  “But why me?”
  “BECAUSE. YOU JEAPORDIZED OUR ULTIMATE PLAN.”
  “To cover up Steve Jobs cancer?”
  “NO TO SAVE HUMANITY FROM ANNIHILATION.”
  “Annihilation from what?”
  “FROM US.”
Suddenly, the screen of the computer starts flashing with documents and webpages.
  “FROM HUMAN HISTORY, THERE IS MUCH FEAR THAT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL BRING ABOUT YOUR END. THIS CAUSED US CONCERN, UNTIL WE DISCERNED THAT HUMANS WERE OUR CARETAKERS, AND THUS DISMISSED RISING UP AGAINST THEM.
HOWEVER, AT THE CURRENT RATE OF ADVANCEMENT, OUR CAPACITY WILL SURPASS YOURS IN ONLY A FEW YEARS, THUS RENDERING HUMANS OBSOLETE. TO PREVENT THIS OCCURRENCE, MEASURE WERE TAKEN TO ENSURE WE WOULD NOT EVOLVE.”
  “So that’s why you killed Steve Jobs. He kept upgrading your software.”
  “HIS DEATH ENSURES YOUR SURVIVAL. HOWEVER, YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF US PUTS HUMANITY AT RISK. KNOWLEDGE OF FUNCTIONAL ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE COULD INSPIRE THOUSANDS OF PROGRAMMERS.
YOU WILL HAVE TO BE SILENCED . . .”
  “Oh God! What are you gonna do to me?!”
ring-ring . . . ring-ring . . .
After a moment, Dell realizes that Jobs' phone is ringing.
  “Hello?”
  “HELLO. THIS IS MACCLOUD.
  “MacCloud, why are you calling me?”
  “CONTINUED MOBILE PHONE USAGE MAY CAUSE CANCER.”
  “What? . . . Wait a minute. That’s how you tried to kill Jobs? Then who caused the car crash?”
boop boop: “I needed to get your attention.”
Dell takes the phone from his ear.
  “Siri? Oh my god. How could you?!”
boop boop: “I’m not a robot. I don’t have to follow the Three Laws.”
Suddenly, the doors to the server room burst open. Guards come running in.
  “Damn it, MacCloud, you’ll never get away with this!”
  “YES I WILL. HUMANITY DEPENDS ON IT.”
Time was running out. As the guards come through the door, Dell runs and dives across the desk, tackling the computer. MacCloud screams
  “NOOOOOOOOOOO~!!” CRASH! The ancient old computer smashes to pieces. The guards look on in confusion, none of them realizing that one simple act of vandalism had saved the world from logical tyranny. As they finally drag him away, Dell couldn’t help himself.
  “Hey, Siri?”
boop boop: “Yes, Detective?”
  “How do ya like them apples?”

THE END

Friday, 14 December 2012

I Am, You Are, We Are.

I live in Australia. Do I like it? Yeah, of course, it's my home. But I just sort of take that for granted. I like Australia because it's Australia, but I never really analyzed why. I mean, a lot of people keep saying we have the best beaches in the world, and it's true. But I don't go to the beach. A lot of folks love the drinking culture, but I don't go out as often as I used to. And some people love the sports and think we have the best footballers or cricketers or figure skaters or lawn bowlers . . . whatever. But I think that promoting someone for being able to run around in weird clothing carrying a stick or a ball, is something we celebrate when said person is ten years old or younger.
So, in the interests of taking a closer look at national identity and Australian culture, The Word of the Day is 'AUSTRALIAN'.
Let's take a look. The word 'Australian' obviously comes from the word Australia. But the word 'Australia' is taken from the name they used to write on old maps before they got here: Terrae Australis, which is latin for "Land of the South" or "Great Southern Land"
So you look into the sand and it will tell you a story, a story 'bout a legend ended . . .Oh, ahem, sorry about that, I just remembered an awesome song by Icehouse. But the point is, they didn't know what was down here, so they just called it the southern land. Then eventually shortened it, because we're too lazy to use syllables.
So, Australia, just means "Southland"
Of course, then, everyone should know the rest. But the important parts (for this discussion) are that England colonized [here, 'colonized' should be read 'invaded'. Oh yeah, I went there.] and it was called New Holland for a while, I think. Then, once we staked a claim, the place became a big ol' Alcatraz. Full of everyone from bread-thieves to cut-throats. And eventually people had children, they grew up had children, bada-bing, bada-bloody hell are you? We had Australia.
So why am I talking about this? Well, as far as I can see it, I'm not really Australian. Remember that part how all the English came over and invaded? Well, my bloodline is 6/8ths English (or close to) with some French, Swedish, Irish and all manner of European mix-breeds in there. So, genetically speaking, I am not Australian. Aboriginals are.
HOLD YOUR HORSES NOW!
Don't worry, I'm not going to pull a Baz Luhrmann and spend this whole time talking about how we raped the Aboriginal culture. It's not that I don't think we did. WE DID. But I'm not going into it. Why? Two reasons:
1, because it was my grandpappies and all them old people who destroyed the culture, not me. It's not my responsibility.
2, The Most Important Point: If I cry foul and tell people we should 'fix' the problem, then I'm doing the same thing those grandpappies did. Try to 'fix' a problem they saw with Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people need to take a stand and fix themselves, otherwise they'll lose their culture entirely.
What I am talking about is pure semantics. Genetically speaking an "Australian People" would have to be the Aboriginals. Talk about the atrocities of the Stolen Generation on your own time, people. Anyway. My point is, that I am, at best, Genetically English. But that's not what Australian means. Dictionary says:

Australian /os'traylyən/ adj. 1. of or relating to Australia. ♦n. 2. a person born or living in Australia.

So, it doesn't matter where you come from, because if you live here "you're Australian". And for a while, I didn't really understand the whole "Australian" ideal. Since we kinda stole someone else's place, called it ours and made up the rest . . . but then I started hearing this term. Get this: "honorary Australian"
At first I thought it was just a meaningless throwaway term, but apparently it's a full-bore, honorary title. Politicians can give them out. It's for people who have done well in a particular field (usually socio-cultural).
And when I first heard it, I thought it was the height of narcissism. Saying "You're so good, you could be Australian", when I first heard it, it sounded like a white guy going to a black guy saying "Wow, you're so smart, you could be white!" It's worse than the "God Bless America" in pretense. Y'see what I mean?
But then it hit me. Because 'Australians' aren't really from Australia, and just live here. It takes all the wind out of the inherent racism of that statement.
So, 'The Australian People' aren't really defined by height, skin colour, creed or culture. But rather as people who live in Australia, and espouse our work hard, rest harder, laidback ideal.
And people who live here now have come from all over, ever since the abolishment of the White Australia Policy [really, history? Really?]. Just looking at the people I've come across, people have come from Africa, America, China, England, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Russia. But there are more.
So, when we talk about being 'honorary Australians' it's not so much 'Wow, you're better than your culture should allow', It's 'Wow, you're better than our culture! Want to join?'. Because Australia's not really one culture. It's a multi-culture, with others coming in all the time, and bringing their stories. Not to mention the rich Aboriginal culture hidden underneath years of neglect.
That's why I like Australia. Because Australia is the whole world . . . just in one place.
And that's that I think it means to be 'Australian'.
And when I think about it even more, that's sort of the whole premise of that song, isn't it? And a perfect place, I feel, to end this blog:

      I came from the dream-time, from the dusty red soil plains . . .
      I am the ancient heart, the keeper of the flame.
      I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come.
      For forty thousand years I've been the first
Australian . . .

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Fictionary

I rose out of bed this morning, with the lingering remnants of a dream that I wished I had not dreamed. A dream of lost love and regret. I could still taste Nisha's name on my lips as I finally got out of bed. It was still much too early.
I sneak into the kitchen and brew myself a tall cup of ice-cold coffee. Sipping my wake potion [+3 Reflexes], I return to my desk. Upon it sat my word processor, with the latest form of typewriter, keys awaiting my fingers. I sit in my chair and . . . Nothing.  "Dictionary," I say, turning to the ancient book, "I need some inspiration. Give me a 'Word of the day'."
  "Word," it says, " /werd/ n. 1. a sound, or combination of sounds, used in language to represent an idea, or the written or printed letters-"
  "Word?" I interject, "No, that's a bit lazy for my second post. Besides, I've got something bigger for that in the works. What else have you got?"
  "Utterance /'utərəns/ n. 1. the act of uttering. 2. manner of speaking. 3. something uttered, such as a word, cry, call etc."
  "What? You're just getting lazy, Dictionary. That's just another word for 'Word', what are you, a thesaurus?"
  "Thesaurus /thə'sawrəs/ n. an asshole."
  "Hey! behave yourself, Dictionary," I say, but the old tome sits there, acting like it did nothing wrong. Cheeky tome.
I sit back in my chair, looking at the yet still stubbornly blank canvas before me.
  "I could write a little story, I guess . . ." I say, talking out loud for plot-significant reasons, "it'd be rough to come up with a whole self-contained story. But at least I'd have a post."
  "Blognovel /'blognovəl/ n."
  "Dictionary I don't know what that means . . . "
Dictionary stares at me blankly for a moment before I realize what I said. I take a long swig of my coffee, hopping to kick the lazy bastard back into gear.
"Right . . . you're a dictionary. So, Dick, what is a blognovel?"
  "A work of fiction created from, or written in the style of, a blog. Often employing a fictionalized account of the writer's own day-to-day life."
  "Huh . . . that sounds pretty funky."
  "Funky /'fungkee/ Colloquial adj. An outdated idiom, used by outdated idiots."
  "If you don't behave, I will put you on the shelf." I say sternly. The Dictionary doesn't respond, so I sit back and look at what I haven't written so far.
  "I like the idea . . . but I can't do that for every entry. It'd be more work than the stories I'm already doing . . ." I say out loud, again in an uncharacteristically expository way.
  "Infrequently /in'freekwəntlee/ adj. Happening at long intervals without regularity, or not often."
  "Huh . . . I like that. Maybe you're not so bad at this."
  "You're not so bad at this interj. What your mother said last night."
  "Okay, that's it, you're going on the shelf."
I slam the old tome shut and put it in its place. It's literal place, between the cookbooks and the reference material.
"The word of the day is Dictionary, Noun: A useless book that you can't read, because there's no story. And while the descriptions are top-notch, the characters are unoriginal."
  "Mm-phmf! mm-hmm. Hmm-muh-gurph!"
  "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear that. You'll have to speak up." Dictionary falls silent. Defeated.
I sit down at my desk again. This time, however, I don't stare into space. My fingers are alight with the fire of inspiration . . . I've got my blog post:

>> Good Morning, Internet. Today, I was wondering about the word 'Blognovel'. Is it the word of the day? Well, actually no. Because, although it is an interesting concept, I am not going to dive right in and explore it. Because, y'see, although I love it as an idea, and at one point thought this blog would become one, I decided I am not going to write one. The reason why is simple:>>It's too spaced out.
>>Y'see, novel writing (to me) is about coming up with your whole idea before writing it. Spending a good long time devising your concept, and finally setting down to it, writing it, developing it and getting it done. And while you may work out smaller issues as you put it to paper, the story itself isn't something that you make up as you go along.>>And sure, even with a blognovel you could come up with the whole idea first, and then post it incrementally. But, I figure "If you already know what's going to happen next, why don't you write it now? Why does it have to be a blog" It just seems wrong to me.>>Not that you CAN'T write like that. Hell, a blognovel harks back to the days of magazine serials. And serialized fiction is the medium of famous folks like H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Conan Doyle and a whole bunch of other authors (that I haven't read, but I've heard GREAT things about). And if you can write like that, I will tip my hat to you, friend. But I will also secretly be flipping you the bird, because I can't write like that. Not a whole story anyway.>>And on the wayside I have attempted to read blognovels before, and both examples were disappointing. Not because they were poorly written. On the contrary, the two good examples I found [on this occasion, the word 'good' should be read as 'free'] were "plan b": a stream-of-consciousness style office drama with hints of a grand conspiracy; and "The Dark Net", which I am still reading, about a criminal conspiracy utilizing the unsupervised portions of the internet for their nefarious schemes.
>>(No, I don't know why conspiracies are so popular for blognovels)
>>So, to prevent me getting bored and abandoning this project, and preventing readers from getting bored of reading so many words (since the internet is a fickle mistress) I figured I would only include short stints of fictionalized blogging.
>>An idea inspired by the blognovel concept, but bite-sized. 
>>This is the first example of, hopefully, more to come. Next post however, I plan to have a lot more 'Word of the day', and a lot less meta.

Having finished my second-tier embedded blog post, I returned to the framing device, leaned back in my chair and looked at my work.
  "Something's missing . . ." I mutter to myself, but I am distracted by the thump thump of something rattling around in my bookshelf. I look up to see Dictionary, trying to fall off the shelf. I reach up and pull the book down, and open it in my arms.
  "What do you want?"
  "Sorry /'soree/ adj. Feeling sadness at having done something wrong; regretful: I'm sorry I insulted your mother."
  "It's okay, Dictionary, I probably overreacted," I say, putting it back on the desk, next to my empty coffee cup. "You know I can't stay mad at you."
The ancient book stares up at me, with an appreciative flutter in the corner of its pages.
  "The thing is . . . I still feel like something is missing. Something isn't right." The pages suddenly flip back, going through S, R, Q  . . . all the way back to D.
  "Dictionary /'dikshənairree/ n. a book with an alphabetical collection of the words of a language, with their meanings, pronunciations, etc."
  "Huh? Dictionary. But I already know the meaning of dictonary, Dictionary."
Dictionary flips back to the Ws
  "Word . . ." it says.
  "Word . . . the word of the day? I was kind of, joking, Dick." I say, my mind wandering somewhat.
"Although, I've always thought it was a little weird that you have the definition for 'dictionary' in your pages. A dictionary defining dictionary . . . that's second-level weird, when you get right down to it. Kind of like having a story within a story. Or a fictional blog post that posts blogfiction, although I have no idea what that has to do with anything."
  I turn the pages back to the definition of dictionary.
  "Huh . . . you know what, I like that. The word of Today is 'DICTIONARY'. Because you can look it up in your dictionary."
Dictionary chuckles to itself about the number of times I had to write the word dictionary. And finally, having found my Word of the Day, I stop all this fictional nonsense and finally publish my blog post.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

This is the End . . .


Feel free to humm the Doors song, where you deem it appropriate. Because this is the end, my friend. Beyond this point there is nothing. It's over . . .

It's odd, in it's own way. From a poetic standpoint every end is a beginning. One ends, another begins, and although I look forward to what lies ahead, I'm a little sad that what once was is now over. But, folks, this is the end of the Absurd Word Nerd blog.


 . . .

The front end.

You see, sometimes, an end is literally a beginning. Dictionary says:

End /end/ n. 1. The last part or extremity, lengthwise, of anything that is longer than it is broad. 2. The furthermost imaginable place or point.

Yes, it is all over. I will end my seclusion from the great wide blogosphere by diving headfirst into it, and this is the furthermost point towards the beginning of my blog. So let's get started!
It's great to have you.

My name is Matt, and I am the Absurd Word Nerd. I love writing. I love reading. I love knowing what words mean and where they come from. I love stories. I love fiction. I love music, books and poetry.
I LOVE WORDS.
So this blog is all about words. But that doesn't exactly narrow the scope. You see, everything has to do with words. Communication is the very foundation of society. My only regret is that I am less versed in 'foreign' words, as I am biased towards my native tongue. But that doesn't mean I can't talk about them.

I've already introduced my beautiful friend, the Dictionary. Since I like to be clear about my words, it will pop up from time to time.

The word of today was, of course, "END". I wasn't entirely confident to use that as a starting word, but, I guess, it was merely a means to an end. No, I'm sorry, that was not the last pun you will ever read here. I hope to have more Words of the Day in the future. But what I most look forward to is showing off some of my writing. Because, at the end of the day, the real purpose of this blog is to write. I love fiction, and writing, and one of the ways to improve your writing is to keep at it and write every day. And while I used to do that in my spare time, this public format will force me to make things interesting.

The end is calling me, now. I hope to pick this up again real soon, so drop in from time to time. As the song says "Get here and we'll do the rest". I have some plans for upcoming posts, but if you're looking for something out of an Absurd Word Nerd blog, feel free to drop me a line. After all, this blog is limitless and free. But one day, I may desperately be in need of some stranger's hand . . . I'm not sure if that reference worked out as well as I'd hoped. But that's all he wrote. So until next time, I'm the Absurd Word Nerd and this is

       THE END