Category Archives: Off Topic

Tri(rant)fecta

Everyone is Standing on it?

Everyone in New York is doing it, it seems. They do it on the radio. They do it on TV. My daughter even does it, and it drives me batty. I’m talking about confusing the two prepositions “in” and “on.” Both are generally used to show the spatial or temporal location of a direct or indirect object, but they are not interchangeable. “In” implies that the object is at least partially enclosed or within boundaries, i.e., “I am in the city,” “I am in the car,” “I am in trouble,” or “I will see you in January.” “On” implies that the object is not enclosed but rather in proximity or just outside a noun or pronoun’s boundaries. “I am on the top of the building,” “I am on the carpet,” “I am on my way to trouble,” or “I will see you on Saturday.” That’s my understanding anyway. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

 

When you are using a computer and are accessing the internet, you are (indirectly) online (an adjective). When you are standing at the checkout and there are people in front and behind you, you are in line. If you are using your smart phone at the same time, you are online in line. If, after all that, you’re still not sure, you’re on the line about the difference between on and in, and you could(n’t) care less. Don’t get me started on that one. Continue reading

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New word of the Day: Lethologica

What’s that phenomenon for when you know something, you know you know it, but the harder you reach for it, the slipperier it gets? Like the red balloon being chased by a toddler, it skitters away again and again as it’s reached for, maddening close but never close enough, repulsed by chubby grasping fingers and clumsy feet that always beat fingers to their goal.

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Stupid balloons.

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Blame it on middle age, blame it on lack of sleep, or blame it on the pot you smoked in college, when there’s a word you comprehend but cannot apprehend, or a dream you remember but cannot recall, or a thought that is kicked away by clumsy churlish feet every time you grasp for it, you are experiencing lethologica. But don’t worry. It doesn’t appear to be lethal. Continue reading

Acronyms for the Aged

In Memorium

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Lost in Translation

The following is a set of “instructioins” my co-worker received with a replacement laptop battery, verbatim [my comments in brackets]. I was completely unaware that there is a circle of life for charging batteries. Maybe this is why they tend to catch fire in pressurized cabins. Apparently it is a very smart battery, and credit worthy, but beware. It carries a small amount of pocket change with it. If this battery loses this it will charge you into the poor house… Continue reading

Too Kool to Snuff the Red Man

I begin my battle with nicotine when my lungs are still pink, my teeth still white, and my fingers stained only with peanut butter and dirt. It is a battle to fit in, to be cool, and nicotine is fated to be my partner. For life.

I am about ten when my parents send me and my brother to summer camp for the first time. I am a quiet and withdrawn kid, so not so many friends. I tend to sit and watch, keeping my mouth shut and my eyes open. This does not earn me friends any faster, but I’m not a nose picker. I’m not a “retard”—a non-pc term we use back then to describe the kids who are nose pickers—and despite my less than fashionable dress, kids eventually gravitate toward me as someone who is a fairly safe bet. It is safe for me too. I never have to face rejection head on. If I am rejected, I don’t know it. I can ignore it. If someone does take a chance on me, I make sure not to let them down, either by actually picking my nose or doing something retarded like crying for my mother when I step in shit. It is a good system. It works for me anyway. It also means that I tend to be accepted by the socially rejected dregs of society. I can tell. I recognize my own kind when I see them. Continue reading

Doing Dumb with David

I almost killed my brother. I would very much like to postscript that statement by saying “once,” but that would be a lie.

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I have three brothers, all younger than me. My brother, David, is two years younger than me, my brother Ben, six, and my brother Ethan, nine. Ben was never harmed or ever in any danger—at least from me. Ethan I almost killed several times with malice aforethought, but he was a fast runner and that’s another story for another day. David, on the other hand, never gave me any reasons to kill him, yet I almost did several times for no other reason than that he liked to hang around with his older brother and see what adventures his twisted, creative mind would take the two of us on today. Continue reading