Tag Archives: Humor

The Ostentatious Writer

I think all of us who have the writing bug have put on at least one of the affectations of the writer. This can be something as small as always writing in a coffee shop (which admittedly I’ve done twice today), to something as gauche as a beret (though that’s more of a poet than a prose thing).

Here’s a list in no particular order of some of the writer-y things I’ve succumbed to from time to time (and some of the realities afterward):

– Walk out in the middle of the night wearing a trench coat looking to observe the world after dark. Spend evening in Buckeye Donuts only to later regret eating a gyro at 2am.

– Write while drinking whiskey.

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– Write when you’re really tired.

– Try to write all night, end up playing video games instead.

– Buy fancy notebook with a leather binding and a Celtic cross pressed into the leather. Fill maybe 10 pages of this, then keep it on your shelf saying you’ll finish it someday.

– Write naked. Stick to pleather office chair.

– Write out on the porch while it’s raining.

– Get yourself all moody by listening to sad music, then write a depressing scene.

– Write without a censor (punch the keys damnit)!

– Write after drinking yourself jittery with caffeine.

– Keep a writing ideas notebook by your bed. Eventually pile Kindle or comic book on top of it.

– Scribble notes on random scraps of paper. Be unable to decipher notes afterward.

– Grow a beard, or a mustache.

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– Talk to yourself.

– Talk to yourself in a public place.

– Talk to yourself and hold both sides of the conversation.

– Carry around a binder filled with a thick copy of your latest draft. Take out a pen and start marking it up. Frown occasionally, sip coffee purposefully.

– Write outside under a tree.

– Pull out three tablets and be checking your draft on all of them.

– Look up to make sure people wonder what you are doing, even though everyone is typing with laptops.

– Drink more whiskey, it’s been a long day.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying one, or even all of these. In fact the writing life wouldn’t be fun without our little pretensions, the things we do to actually feel like a writer. Part of this is about ego, not just the ego that makes us think anybody will want to read what we have to say, but also that we have the creative temperament, that we stand apart from the crowd.

That said, make sure at the end of the day you’re actually doing some writing, and not just playing at it.

*For the record, writing naked is awkward, not so much because of the naughty bits, but because I have a very hairy chest and it’s kind of distracting.

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Pull Your Pants Up, Or Else

Ocala, FL has enacted a law imposing a $500 fine or up to six months in jail for anyone wearing (or barely wearing) saggy pants on their streets*. As you might suspect, this is a law that disproportionately affects young people, and men of a certain racial persuasion. NPR’s Code Switch does a great survey of the potential racial motivations and consequences involved, and the history of clothing discrimination throughout American history.

Not being able to speak with great authority on this side of the issue, I’ve chosen instead to suggest new laws that might counterbalance any perceived racial motivation, and target items of clothing that are no less a threat to our fashion decency. Feel free to contribute any suggestions of your own.

Tiny Fedoras – Unless you’re this guy, or living in the 30s.

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Endless Scarves – You’re just hurting the economy. We need scarf turnover so we can keep the garment industry afloat. Scarves were meant to have a beginning and an end.

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Hipster Glasses – Unless you need them to see, are this guy again, or are a girl (which admittedly is pretty cute). This picture actually contains two violations.

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I would have mentioned Crocs, but wearing them is punishment enough, as my co-worker who sliced his foot on a rock whilst wearing a pair of these can attest.

I’d love to hear your suggestions. And seriously, check out the NPR post. This stuff is kind of nuts.

*In case it wasn’t abundantly clear from the tone of the post, I find this law ridiculous and potentially harmful to whole groups of young people. I might yell at a guy to pull up his pants (and often they’re white in my area), but I’d never throw him in jail.

 

 

 

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Subtitles

One of Brian and my favorite pastimes when we go together to the bookstore, is to point out strange or unusual books or book titles, often speculating on the true contents of said book, or proposing alternate titles.

We came across one last weekend that really sums this up nicely:

How To Watch Birds: A Bird Watcher’s Guide

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Not the book we saw, but I like the 60s artwork.

Now at first you might be thinking, of course it’s a bird watcher’s guide, what else could it be? Well, Brian and and I had a few ideas.

How To Watch Birds: A Cat’s Guide

How To Watch Birds: Or What To Do When Your TV Is Broken

How To Watch Birds by Alfred Hitchcock

How To Watch Birds: A Guide To Being A 1940s Misogynist Stalker

How To Watch Birds: A Sparrow’s Guide To The Dating Life

How To Watch Birds: Oh, look! There’s a bird.

How To Watch Birds: They’re Always Watching You

How To Watch Birds: Or A Plane, Or Superman

How To Watch Birds: As They Spin On A Rotisserie

How To Watch Birds: A Coming Of Age Story

How To Watch Birds: 25 Years Of Sesame Street

Or here’s a more existential one I found looking for the book cover on-line:

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Why Indeed?

Here are some other titles we came across:

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

Psychedelic Origami

Any thoughts as to some good subtitles? Leave them in the comments, or tell us about other weird books you’ve come across.

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Two more days

It’ll be my 29th birthday on Friday.

The plan for celebration is simple, get together with my monthly poker buddies, drink craft beer, eat Youngstown pizza and play dozens of hands of poker all while trying to win a $7 trophy. There may even be cigars.

I’ve been trying for the last week to remember specific birthdays of childhood or just life, just to see what if any details my brain can pull out of the ether.

I remember putting on a magic show for one of my birthdays as “The Great Trubini”, and becoming a little upset that one of the kids at the party guessed the trick before I had a chance to perform it.

I remember crawling through tunnels and ball pits with my friend Chris pretending they were the Jeffries tubes on the starship Enterprise (remember those “discovery” play places, basically big versions of the play areas at McDonalds?)

I remember putting some of the stickers on my MicroMachine toolbox fold up city, and getting the river a little wonky and needing my Dad or my grandpa to fix it.

I remember when Don Pablos was pretty much the only Mexican restaurant in town and that it was fun to go on your birthday and get your picture taken wearing the huge sombrero.

And I remember year after year (including probably this year) of sitting at my parent’s kitchen table behind that years cake, taking a picture before blowing out the candles.

My early twenties are a little easier to discern because many of the best involve the little red haired girl.

My own 21st birthday is hardly worth mentioning, so I lived vicariously through my girlfriend (now my wife’s). I didn’t know what fancy drinks I should order (even something simple like a Jack and Coke) so I ordered a Manhattan (one of the only drinks I’d heard of and apparently something only Grandpas drink). I still order them, as well as Godfathers.

My 22nd involved a great surprise party thrown by my wife with all my friends and a video created by the talented Mr. Buckley (involving the song “What is love?” and an unspeakable amount of inside jokes).

A few years ago my wife and I drove to Dayton to hear Over The Rhine play in a bar, the way that band is best enjoyed, especially while sipping whiskey in a jazzy smoky room.

There was the “naked cookie day” year which I believe needs no explanation.

There were crazy candy cakes and lasagnas (mine and Garfield’s favorite pasta) and forcing my wife to watch really bad b-movies (knowing I’d pay for it half a year later on her birthday).

I was thinking earlier that I was happy that this was the last birthday of my twenties, that I was kind of an idiot in my early twenties and I wouldn’t mind putting some of that behind me.

But truthfully, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

And maybe next year I’ll get beaten up by a goat.

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