Sunday, February 28, 2010


This is a word game. You take one word and transform it into another word of equal many letters. You replace one letter at a time, but make sure that you're always creating other actual words until you arrive at the desired end word.

It was invented by Lewis Carroll.

An example: Cat into Dog


When you're bored, try thinking of some yourself. It can be fun and mentally challenging and doesn't require even a pen and paper.

A Broken Funeral, Of Sorts: A play in four acts. Act 1, Scene 5.

Daniel, Mortel, Caroline, and Melody sit in the living room after the dinner party guests have abandoned the manor. The storm continues to rage outside. Daniel looks his sickest yet. Caroline holds candles in both of her hands. Melody has something she's hiding under the coffee table that she clearly wishes to surprise the others with.
Caroline: I'm so sorry, Daniel. I thought for sure the party would make you feel better.
Mortel: I told you it wouldn't.
Caroline: Well, you're not a doctor so I don't see how your opinion mattered.
Mortel: The doctor said to keep him resting in his room.
Caroline: That is neither here nor there. Melody is clearly uncomfortable with all this.
Melody: The storm sounds as though a million tiny feet were trampling over the estate!
Daniel: Good Lord, truly?
Melody: It does.
Daniel: The feet of what?
Melody: Faeries or goblins, I suppose. Daniel grabs Mortel's arm.
Daniel: We must ward them off somehow.
Mortel: Ward off what?
Daniel: The goblins.
Mortel: Oh, of course.
Caroline: I never understood the goblin philosophers.
Mortel: Denser than Kant, that's why.
Melody: Do they teach them at the university?
Daniel: They offer a single course. Sometimes they are brought up in other classes. Usually only as footnotes.
Mortel: You took the course?
Daniel: I took many courses. Courses. Plural. You know it's plural because I added an "s" at the end. I don't enjoy doing that. I did it for your benefit.
Mortel: My sincere apologies. What do the goblins think?
Daniel: On what?
Mortel: On anything.
Daniel: That's vague.
Mortel: It's meant to be illuminating.
Daniel: Then ask what do they think on metaphysics. Or morality. Or logic. Or some branch of philosophy. Melody reveals she's been holding a crystal ball underneath the coffee table.
Melody: This allows one to communicate with the goblins.
Daniel: That is only necessary when they're in Arcadia. They're trampling over the estate now.
Caroline: No, you misunderstood. That is only the rain.
Daniel: Goblins disguised as raindrops.
Caroline: What is wrong with Daniel?
Mortel: His senses are beginning to fail him. Even metaphor is beginning to fail him. Soon he will exist only in pataphor.
Melody: Condemned to be twice removed from reality. Is it insanity?
Mortel: No. It's an unique linguistic skill that for whatever reason only the French value.
Daniel: Time is a river. I am in time. I sink into the river. I'm drowning. Help! Help! Daniel begins flailing his arms as if drowning. Mortel and Melody go to help him. Caroline puts the candlesticks down.
Caroline: He'll have to be committed.
Mortel: To France?
Caroline: To an insane asylum.
Melody: Nonsense. We'll take him to a French University. Daniel knows French.
Daniel: Truth is beauty. I and all those around me are hideous. Monstrous.
Caroline: We should use the crystal ball.
Melody: To contact the goblins?
Mortel: I'd like to know more of their philosophy.
Daniel: Goblin philosophers stand on chessboards when they argue. They make spacial movements similar to chess pieces that best represent whatever statement they just said. A goblin rhetorician is one who regardless of what he says moves instantly - or sometimes subtly - towards checkmate always. Other goblins are more noble and will concede defeat in debate on the chessboard.
Caroline: Is that true or is that pataphore?
Mortel: I have no idea.
Daniel: I know. I have all ideas. I am idea. I am words on page. Nothing more.

The stage lights go dim. End of Act 1, Scene 5.

Happy Thoughts

The boy’s room was dark but for the fairy’s glow. The fairy smiled at him. “Do you know how to fly?” the fairy said.

“Fairy dust and happy thoughts,” the boy said. He leapt from his bed and the fairy sprinkled gold dust all around him. The fairy led the boy to the open window and flew out. The boy followed. Falling two stories, he did not die but was in the hospital for some time. The fairy laughed at him all that night till the ambulance came and would wake him every night in the hospital only to laugh some more.

definition: Tidfink



  1. When an adolescent boy or a middle aged woman* goes through a process of self discovery yet this ends back at the same place as they began, but now in a state of discontentment. Example: "Shelia realized there was more to life than being her brother's secretary and watching soap operas, and for a few weeks she was reading self help books, some philosophy, but in the end she tidfinked and is doing the same things she's been doing for the past eight years, but now she seems so unhappy about it." 
  2. To recognize that one dreams bigger than what one is capable of achieving. 

*Special Note: This verb is often criticized by feminists for suggesting that men go through a process of self discovery at an earlier stage of maturity than women.

The Utilitarian's Promise

I seek to sin.
Sin is pleasure.
Pleasure is right.

And to begin,
in good measure,
I'll sin tonight.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

definition: Lothenza

1. A rarely used structured form of poetry that consists of any irrational number's length of lines. Lines 1 and pi end in rhyme. Subject matter of traditional lothenzas include: unrequited love, freshly baked bread, social norms of 17th century Italy.
2. A disastrous attempt at pretentious literature. Example: "God, Linda, he worked on the fucking novel for years. He honesty thought he was the next James fucking Joyce. Can you believe it? After three fucking years he finally realized the whole thing was a lothenza. Gave up. Dropped out of the mfa program, and joined the army. Can you fucking believe it?"
3. A hummingbird mid-flight after a large meal.

A Broken Funeral, Of Sorts: A play in four acts. Act 2, Scene 3.

Daniel, recovered from the disease, now stands sickly in the parlor near the fireplace. Mortel is reading a novel. Perhaps by Jane Austen. We join them mid-scene. Daniel has clearly interrupted Mortel's reading session. 

Daniel: I once owned a watch that in addition to telling time would tell me how happy I was. 

Mortel: That is a strange feature. How did it work?

Daniel: I don't know. I didn't make it. It didn't work properly though. 

Mortel: You were swindled? Someone told you a normal, everyday watch possessed this near supernatural feature?

Daniel: No, it had the feature. It was three hours off. I didn't know this at first, but one afternoon my dog was hit by a car and I was terrified by the fact that it still told me I was happy. 

Mortel: Did it cause you to question yourself? 

Daniel: Explain. 

Mortel: I mean, did you maybe trust the machine over your own feelings? Think that you truly were happy but somehow unaware of it at a deeper level. 

Daniel: Yes, I suppose that did occur to me at the time. 

Mortel: Tragic. 

Daniel: Thank you. It was. 

Mortel: What happened to the watch? 

Daniel: I gave it away as a gift years ago. I forget to who. A cousin of a friend of a friend. That kind of thing. I didn't explain that feature. They likely think it is a broken second hand or something of the sort. 

Mortel: What must the watchmaker think - to have such a unique work, lost, forgotten?

Daniel: I don't follow. 

Mortel: How can you not?

Daniel: Your train of thought. 

Mortel: I've never liked that metaphor: thought railroaded. Set in place. 

Daniel: May I ask you a question? 

Mortel: I'm terrified of revealing my own ignorance. 

Daniel: That's not what this concerns. 

Mortel: All questions are ultimately about ignorance. 

Daniel: Or knowledge, if you'd like. 

Mortel: They are never what I like. The question mark symbol frightens me like a child is frightened of the threat of a monster under his bed or in his closet. 

Daniel: You ask questions well enough.

Mortel: To relieve me of my own ignorance. 

Daniel: That is not what this is about. 

Mortel: All questions directed at me are attempts to find my ignorance. To find a chink in my armor. 

Daniel: What armor?

Mortel: That is a question!

Daniel: Human interactions occasionally necessitate questions being asked. 

Mortel: If I wrote Genesis it would not be a snake in the garden of Eden that betrays Adam and Eve but the question mark. 

Daniel: The snake could be shaped like a question mark. And they eat from the tree of knowledge. One could argue that the snake represents inquiry. 

Mortel: Had I been St. Augustine, this would be the interpretation of Christianity spread across the world. 

Daniel: Perhaps it is. 

Mortel: Perhaps. I have not read the bible. Not since childhood, at least. 

Daniel: That is the chink in your armor?

Mortel begins to shiver. The light in the fireplace dims. The curtain closes. End of Act 2.