Tag Archives: humor

Notes to Self, II: Responses

Try not to say this.

Try not to say this.

As a supplement to last week’s post, I thought it might be helpful for me to list acceptable and unacceptable responses to typical social situations that I have discovered in my research…I mean in my social life. I mean in my “social life”. I mean…I have no social life, but I’m working on it! And this list will totally help me achieve that because this is how all human beings operate: observation, list making and careful deductive reasoning. So proceeding from that hypothesis, here we go.

1) Invitations: When one is at a get-together and someone says, “Hey, we should all totally hang out!” You might think the proper response is, “But aren’t we already hanging out?” I made the same mistake. Apparently this is a meaningless phrase used to express polite interest, not an actual invitation. Therefore, the proper response is, “Yeah, totally!”  Even if you hope to never see that individual ever again.

2) Inquiries: “How are you doing?” Answer: “Fine.” Only add “And you?” if you actually want to listen to this person —  who obviously hasn’t done their research or read my highly informative blog — go on about people you do not know and do not care about engaging in bizarre activities such as participating in organized athletics or the benefits of their new kale-only diet. Do not tell them about your asthma/allergies/sinus issues, how many panic attacks you’ve experienced in the past week and their intensity, that thing you’re working on, or the evolution of your crush on your favorite character in The Walking Dead (Rick!). And the answer to “Have you lost weight?” is “Yes.”

3) Fangirling: Occasionally you may find a subject in which you have genuine interest will come up. This is the time for self-control. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, the subject is Patrick Stewart. Take a deep, deep breath, count to ten, and in your calmest voice possible respond thusly, “Yes, he is still attractive. I appreciate his work very much.”  Yes, I realize this is a tough one. However, if someone else expresses a slightly higher level of interest, you may question them further, until both of you have long lost any other connection to the larger social group and are breathlessly recounting how you could totally see some of Picard’s butt when he was captured by that Cardassian in the “There. Are. Four. Lights.” two-parter.

4) Um, actually: No. No. No. No. No. Whether the topic be if global warming is caused by humans (Um, actually the consensus among scientists says that it is), or the “planet” the second Death Star blew up in Return of the Jedi (Um, actually it was a forest moon.) just learn to bite your tongue until it bleeds. Odd as it may seem, many people don’t really care about facts, and they also don’t care about the gigantic store of them you have neatly organized in your brain by subject and with cross-referencing through your Memory Web. Also, probably don’t talk about your Memory Web.

5) Bigots: Shut them down. Always and without prejudice. 😉 If they don’t like President Obama’s policies, they’re wrong, but that’s OK. What is not OK , ever, under any circumstance is to nod and smile as someone demeans an entire group of human beings out of ignorance, hate and fear. Grandma, the Moors were in Italy, get over it. You with the handlebar mustache, thanks for identifying yourself as a moron by wearing a T-shirt with the Rebel and American flag displayed side by side. Frickin’ idiots. And then run and do a shot or ten of the alcohol closest to you, and find some better folks to talk to.

That’s my summary for now. Although I must include a general warning against responding to every statement or question with a quote or reference, unless it’s to Star Wars or The Beatles. Actually, just try sticking to Star Wars and The Beatles, and you’ll do just fine. The only people who don’t like them are dead inside anyhow.

Notes to Self: Topics to Not Discuss at Parties


For pictorial reference

Recent social interactions have caused me to review what I consider topics of general interest. Apparently, not everyone finds my interests interesting. A fascinating revelation. So I’ve compiled a list of subjects and terms that I should avoid to better facilitate my desire to socialize.

1) Anything in the Tolkien universe that DOES NOT appear in the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies.

2) Linguistics in general. The history of the English language and Tolkien’s languages of Middle Earth in particular.

3) Referring to the Id, Ego, and Super-Ego as the “Bones, Kirk, and Spock”, respectively.

4) Referring to the Id, Ego, and Super-Ego, as well as Jungian theories, and  the works of Joseph Campbell.*

5) Making overly specific Star Trek references. Phasers, Red Shirts, and sexy green aliens, etc are acceptable. Avoid discussions of Klingon culture, the physics of Warp travel, and Data’s poetry.

That’s my starter list. Contributions are welcome. I look forward to adding to this list as I seek out and discover more blank stares and awkward silences!

*Some references to Joseph Campbell are allowed when speaking of Star Wars, or in the company of screenwriters.

Tesla Tribute Day

Wizard (adj.) see above

Wizard (adj.) see above

Nikola Tesla: born July 10, 1856, died January 7, 1943

Scientist and engineer; didn’t always shoot lightening from his fingers, but when he did, made sure he looked dead sexy doing it; lit lamps by touching them; destroyed buildings by amplifying their resonant frequencies; claimed to have discovered a free, inexhaustible source of energy and means for global wireless distribution; designed plans for a ‘Death Ray’; name associated with various conspiracies theories surrounding cataclysms such as the Tunguska Event;  so preternaturally cool they had to get David Bowie to play him in the good movie about magicians; engaged in an Epic Rap Battle with Thomas Edison; awesome, futuristic car named after him; in fiction, often found working with/against the likes of: Sherlock Holmes, Superman, Mark Twain, etc.; struggles with Edison described by a drunk man;  inventor of our modern Alternating Current system of electric power generation and distribution, wireless transmission and reception of electro-magnetic signals, and radio-guidance and control; played the historical long-game against the hardest hitters of his day and won big; pigeon fancier.

Happy birthday Nikola Tesla.

Lord of the Things

Lord of the Things

Oh Say, Can You Sing?

Shut up, kid. I'm trying to hit the high notes.

Shut up, kid. I’m trying to hit the high notes.

World sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics make me cringe. Not because I hate sports. I hate the American National Anthem. And it’s during such world-wide displays when this awful truth really red glares.

Before anyone gets all jumpy, let me say that this has nothing to do with love of country or patriotism, or any of that. It’s just a terrible song on so many levels. It’s embarrassing.

First, no one can sing it. You have to hire someone to sing it at events, while everyone else just stumbles through this ridiculous, octave-jumping, un-melodic mess. Happy Birthday has a catchier tune.

Second, what’s it about? Some guy’s impressions of a naval engagement during the War of 1812?! I guess that was an important conflict, but, seriously, I remember the Maine better. Oh, and those ‘rockets’ red glare’ everyone gets excited about? The British were shooting those off.

Third, it’s long-winded doggerel. ‘Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming’? Lost me already.

And there are so many better choices! How about America the Beautiful? Nice tune and I know (some of) the words. Columbia the Gem of the Ocean? My favorite one to sing in school was Woody Guthrie’s catchy, upbeat This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land. That’s an ‘everyone join in and clap your hands!’ kind of song. Sing it around a campfire or on a long drive. It’s fun!

Or, how about something with some guts like The Battle Hymn of the Republic? ‘Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord/ He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.’ Awesome. Makes me picture a giant, super-Lincoln striding across the land dealing righteousness. It’s rousing, and anyone can sing it. A bunch of men marching off to war could belt that out. And they did, in various forms from the Civil War to WWII. The only way to sing that song properly is standing or marching.

I mean, let’s face it O, Canada talks about the nation. ‘The true North strong and free!’ Put that in Latin and stick it above your town hall. The French have the gloriously strong and defiant Marseillaise. I can’t think of one classic movie scene where people sang down Nazis with ‘Oh say, can you seeeeeee?’

I guess I feel worse for the British. Here’s a nation that has Rule, Britannia! There’s a rousing one. Britain rises from the sea, and, while other nations will fall to tyrants,  ‘Britons never, never, never, shall be slaves!’ Heck yeah. But what do they have to sing? God Save the Queen/King. Kind of an ‘FU’ to the British people, really.

In the end, I guess no one can top the Russians. I have no idea what they are singing about, but whatever it is that song makes me want to pick up the gun of my fallen comrade and rush to the defense of the Motherland. I’m not much of a nation-state chest-thumper. My favorite theme is the one to Star Trek: TNG. But until Roddenberry’s Vision is realized, can we please have a national anthem that we could all at least get together at a ballgame and sing?



The Godfather BC

Take the cannoli

Too soon?

Say My Name

Say my name.

Jessica Lack-is.

Raises gun.

Jessica Lahk-is.

Cocks gun.

Jessica Lake-is?

Lowers gun.

You’re goddamn right.


Heisenberg Cookies

I'm the one who knocks!


Girl Scouts: the Walter White of the cookie world.

Han First

han solo


And the “Han shot first” in Star Wars!






%d bloggers like this: