Saturday, May 31, 2014

100 Words a Day 622 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 19/27

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I pressed myself to the wall to more fully hear the muted sound, music like nothing I had heard previously. The mysterious player was creating harmonies previously unknown to me. Their unknown instrument possessed a bright timbre and otherworldly tone, generating notes that were monsterful.

I returned every night that week to the small crawlspace where I stored my objects of sentiment and out of season clothing to be serenaded by that fascinating sound. Each night the piece was different. As the week wore on, the sounds became dark and ominous, finally becoming so terrifying as to preclude my returning.

Friday, May 30, 2014

100 Words a Day 621 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 18/27

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“You’re such a beef-witted douchenozzle!” Cassidy shouted at Grady, who stared at the floor.

“Don’t you have anything to say? How could you do this to me? I thought you loved me.”

Grady kept silent.

Cassidy continued her tirade against her contrite boyfriend until she was interrupted by her phone. It was her friend Sara.

“Sara, you will never guess what happened. I found lipstick in Grady’s pocket. I can’t believe he was cheating on me.”

There was a pause. “What? Yeah, it’s an Avon product.”

Another pause.

“What! He’s been selling Avon and was too embarrassed to tell me?”

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bad Ass with a Mysterious Past

Shadow, Wolverine, Boba Fett. Everyone has their favorite antihero or villain with a mysterious backstory. They are rugged, independent, pay lip service to the law, and don’t play well with others. Basically, they are everything a social outcast, (i.e. a nerd, before it was cool), from a country of pioneers that revolted against the motherland would want to be. While their mysterious past is rarely the main appeal of such a character, it certainly is a key part of what makes them interesting.

It would perhaps be wrong to say people love mystery or they love to solve puzzles. Rather, people have a need to figure things out, an urge to find some kind of resolution. The desire is so strong that it compels them to create the missing pieces of the puzzle, or it drives them insane. For evidence of this, look up some of the theories about the secret meanings of Don Quixote.

This compulsion has the unfortunate tendency to ruin characters for whom mystery is part of their allure. When Shadow, from Final Fantasy Six, is first introduced, we are informed that “he’d slit his mama’s throat for a nickel,” and “He owe allegiance to no one, and will do anything for money. He comes and goes like the wind.” If one finishes the game without learning his backstory, they are left with little beyond this initial impression, and the less said, the better. It allows the player to imagine a vague backstory as they will while focusing on the core of Shadow’s character, his awesome ninja skills and killiness.

When the player learns Shadow’s backstory, he ceases to be this ruthless badass with some vague past and becomes a guy who robbed a train, fathered Relm and then ran from his guilt over abandoning his partner in crime. He moves from being an awesome, killy ninja assassin guy to a man fleeing from his past, which detracts from his characterization as a badass. It leaves the player with a vaguely unsatisfied feeling when Shadow’s background fails to live up to the nebulous backstory they have constructed for him. The same is true for Wolverine, Boba Fett, or any other character antihero or villain with a mysterious past.

So, let’s leave the background of the badass, independent guy alone. It’s better that way, unless you want him to turn out to be a clone, or a depressed train robber, or a farmer from Canada.

100 Words a Day 620 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 17/27

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It was a puzzling case, the one that currently had Inspector Colt perplexed. It looked like a double murder and a suicide, but something did not add up, as these things tend not to when a protagonist is involved, and that bothered Colt. The narrative of events seemed a bit too obvious, the kicked in backdoor, the note, even the placement of the weapon.

Colt paused in his walk when he reached the lakefront. He removed his pipe from his mouth and refilled it with sweet tobacco. After relighting it, he set off again, continuing his lunting and his thinking.

100 Words a Day 619 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 16/27

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I emerged from the dark recesses of the forgotten cave and found myself in the red and purple twitter-light. The mountainside was silent, but that meant nothing. Many explorers had learned, to their folly, that the natives of this terrible place could move as shadows when it suited. I squinted into the fading light. Seeing nothing, I bent all my efforts to penetrating the wall of silence, hoping to hear the sound of shifting stones that would indicate another presence, I heard nothing. It was when I reached my climbing gear that I heard a pebble bouncing down the mountain.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

100 Words a Day 618 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 15/27

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I arrived to the station to find chaos, everyone rushing about. Every desk was covered with papers, some loose, some in three-ring binders. Someone had forgotten to close the blinds in the conference room. It was obvious they were engaged in furious debate on the current crisis.

I made my way through the tangle of people, hearing snatches of conversation as I did so. Most of it had to do with what would come to be called The Event, but as I passed the water cooler I heard two of my coworkers brabbling furiously over some morsel of celebrity gossip.

Monday, May 26, 2014

100 Words a Day 617 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 14/27

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Curglaff, that is what I experienced when I did a cannonball into the pool at the Parador in Jaen. It’s a hotel in a castle on top of a mountain, or tall hill I suppose. I wouldn’t really be able to tell you the difference. The pool was without a doubt, the coldest body of water I have every experienced, even in the summer; though I am sure this is no longer the case as their more upscale clientele no doubt demand warmer water. And I am saddened by that. Nothing made you feel tough like jumping in that pool.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

100 Words a Day 616 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 13/27

“I’ve become a regular jollux,” Jeff said.

“A what?” Sara asked.

“It means I’m fat,” he replied.

“Ah, baby, you’re not fat!”

“Yes I am,” Jeff insisted, cupping his belly and giving it a jiggle. “Look at this.”

“Oh stop it,” Sara said, rolling her eyes. “I still think you’re sexy.”

“But when we started dating I was in great shape. Now I am doughy.”

“I like you with a bit of pooge,” Sara said, laughing at her boyfriend’s sad face and rubbing his stomach. “You were nice to look at back then, but I really prefer this cuddlier version.”

100 Words a Day 615 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 12/27

“Man, did you see Becky today?”

“Yeah dude, she is looking super hot. What did she eat over the summer?”

“I don’t know, but I am definitely sitting next to her at lunch. And probably getting her number.”

“Whatever dude, there’s no way she’s going out with you.”

“Why not? She certainly won’t pick you over me.”

“Maybe not, but she thinks you are a huge douche.”

“I can make her change her mind.”

The two boys fell silent. After a moment, Josh spoke again.

“Man, she used to be such a howler.”

“Yeah, but she’s a regular snoutfair now.”

Monday, May 12, 2014

100 Words a Day 614 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 11/27

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“You would be lucky as to end up with a man like me!” Gary declared at back of the attractive woman walking away from him. The other patrons of the bar turned to stare.

“Keep on walking. If you can’t recognize quality in a man, you must be trash yourself,” he continued.

Two large bouncers floated through the crowd towards him.

When they were in front of him, he spat a series of vitriols at them.

“Your short ass is out of here you little cockalorum. It’s up to you if you want to leave with all your teeth intact.”

100 Words a Day 613 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 10/27

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I rounded the corner of the jungle trail and found myself frozen. Before me stood a panther, long and sleek. Its large eyes met mine and I was gorgonized. It continued to stare as it sank back onto its hind legs. My brain demanded that I turn and flee, but my muscles failed to respond. Once it was ready to spring, the cat shook its tail, which reminded me of how my housecat looked before it jumped on a toy mouse. It leapt through the air and sailed towards me, but was blown to the side at the last moment.

100 Words a Day 612 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 9/27

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I was eating breakfast in the small cabin’s kitchen. I had slept great. The walls were thin but neither the abundance of nature outside, nor the two couples, Jeremy and Jessica and Ricky and Veronica, had made any noise. It left me hopeful. If an isolated, romantic cabin wasn’t eliciting the behavior the movies said it normally did, maybe she wasn’t as enamored with him as I had feared.

The bubble of hope welling up inside me was instantly deflated when Jeremy and Jessica entered. The elflocks running through her hair left no doubt they had been doing last night.

Friday, May 9, 2014

100 Words a Day 611 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 8/27

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Once everyone had their coffees and lattes and whatnots, it was time for the morning twattle session.

“Did you see that Eric is wearing the same outfit as yesterday?” Sharon said to Veronica, titillation evident in her loud whispering.

“I did!” Veronica responded. “And Susan is looking very relaxed today,” she continued, casting a glance across the room at one of their other coworkers.

“Psh,” Sharon said, leaning away and putting a hand on Veronica’s shoulder. “You look very relaxed today too, Veronica.”

Veronica turned bright red before putting her finger to her lips. “Shhh, don’t tell anyone,” she implored.

100 Words a Day 610 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 7/27

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“I don’t understand Chicago weather,” Krissy said to Lizzy.

“What do you mean?” she responded.

“It’s December. It’s cold. That makes sense. But one day it’s zero out and the next day it’s thirty five with enough apricity to melt a glacier.”


“So? That’s not normal! Everywhere else it gets colder gradually, with a little variation, through the winter and then gets warmer then.”

“I guess. We are just tougher in Chicago. We roll with the punches.”

“Ooooor people in Chicago are crazy to live here.”

“Psh, you suburbanites are just soft and squishy, getting lost in a cul-de-sac.”

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

100 Words a Day 609 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 6/27

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On the way home from the airport, my dad started telling me about some book he was trying to read.

“At first I was having an okay time of it. But I’ve been jargogled by string theory. I can’t wrap my head around it.”

“It is a bit weird that string theory says the universe is made up of music,” I replied.

“Yeah.”v “Even weirder how people like Tolkien had things like the primordial melody before string theory was conceived.”

“Yeah, or those monks in that Terry Pratchett novel.”

Having run out of literary examples, we turned to other topics.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

100 Words a Day 608 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 5/27

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When I left the house, it was warm enough for sneakers. I smiled when I felt the unseasonably toasty sun. As I worked, I saw the sun vanish, hidden by dark clouds. The stereotypically ominous clouds made me apprehensive. It turned out to be apprehension well founded; it started snowing. Oddly, the evening warmed up enough that the snow, which had been sticking during the day, began to melt. Consequently, I found myself walking through grey slush, the snowbroth quickly saturating both my shoes and my socks. The squishy sensation would have been pleasant, except that my feet were freezing.

100 Words a Day 607 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 4/27

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Anna staggered into the bright kitchen with gummy eyes, a haggard face, and disheveled pajamas.

“Late night?” Jennifer asked in a cheery voice.

She received a grunt in reply. Jennifer nodded. Anna was as grumpish as she looked.

“How late were you up last night?” Jennifer asked, maintaining the sickeningly sweet tone from before. It continued to grate on Anna.

Another grunt.

“I hate you,” Anna said, pouring herself a cup of coffee.

Jennifer hummed as she washed her dishes and cleaned the stove before preparing for work.

Anna stewed in the kitchen drinking her coffee and slowly cheering up.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

100 Words a Day 606 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 3/27

Check out the article here “Ugh,” Shane said after the first half mile of his and Larry’s morning run. “I feel really crapulous today. Overeating and getting loaded last night was definitely a mistake.”

“We can run slower if you want,” Larry said.

“No, it’s cool. I’ll be fine,” Shane managed to get out between huffs.

Larry made a skeptical face, but refrained from commenting on Shane’s unusual pallor.

They ran their usual circuit, Shane’s misery from overindulgence slowly transforming into misery from exercise. By the time they finished, the color had returned to his cheeks and he did not look like he would vomit.

100 Words a Day 605 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 2/27

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The magistrate entered the courtroom. He moved through the ritual at a stately pace, as befitted the circumstances. His polished boots gleamed as he passed in front of one of the numerous windows illuminating the hall, the sunbeam warming his face, but failing to penetrate the layers of clothing his office demanded of him. When he finally reached his chair and sat, the charges were read.

“Nicholas Flannigan is accused of the most serious crimes of arson and murder, which were brought to the attention of the Justice after he was found hugger-muggering in an dark alley near the fire.”

Friday, May 2, 2014

100 Words a Day 604 27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived 1/27

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Day[9] was hungry. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that it was lunchtime. And he was in the school cafeteria. And everyone else was there, eating.

His stomach growled and his mouth watered. His mother had given him money for lunch, but he was saving it to buy a pizza on Saturday.

He sat at the short end of one of the long lunch tables. At the other end was Felicity.

She looked up. “Do you want some of my sandwich?”

Wordlessly, Day[9] went and sat next to her.

“I couldn’t stand you sitting there groaking at me.”

Thursday, May 1, 2014

100 Words a Day 603

“Do you know what the May Pole represents?” Krisy asked me, giggling and leaning towards me.

I ran my along her side and let it rest on her hip. “No, but I’d love to hear about it,” I responded.

“Well, let’s just say I can’t show you at the bar. We’d have to go someplace private.”

“I can think of a private place we can go where you can show me,” she said, continuing to giggle and rubbing her foot against my calf.

“Yeah?” I said. “Where’s that?”

“My place,” she replied, grinning.

She leaned forward and I grinned back.