Friday Fiascos #2: The Telepath, part 1

Friday, September 29, 2006

I started Friday Fiascos because I had too many irons in the fire and I wanted to strike a few off my list while they were hot. Here’s a story idea that came to me, oh, years and years ago that I never wrote. It’s only the first of about three parts, and it’s not very good, but wait ’til you see what I have for you next week. (I don’t know what it is yet, but it should be good.)

[20080328: I reread this and I realize it’s absolutely awful, so I’m burying it.]


The best-laid plans of My-an-mar.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

or, How do you solve a problem like Myanmar?

Question: How do you pronounce Myanmar?

Wikipedia tells me — well, it tells me a lot, none of which helps. Apparently, it’s supposed to be pronounced, in Burmese (not in “Myanmarese,” strangely), as “Myanma”, but all y’all non-rhotics gave the people of Myanmar the idear that they could tack on that extra “r” without affecting the pronunciation and make themselves worth more in Scrabble. I now know that the “an” is pronounced differently in Burmese depending on whether it is used as a noun or an adjective. It also tells me that

Opposition parties, although they oppose the English name “Myanmar”, do not oppose the official Burmese name Myanma, and no opposition party is proposing to use the colloquial name Bama as the official name of the country.

I’m a little tired, but I gather that “Bama” is pronounced to fit into

Bermuda, Bahama, / Come on, pretty Bama,

rather than

I can’t forget the glamour,

Your eyes held a tender light,

And stars fell all over Bama

Last night., another place I go for answers, helps me less. The dictionary gives the pronunciation as

Myan·mar (myän-mär, -mär),

and the encyclopedia as

Myanmar (myänmär, mēänmär)

and the “geography” as

Myanmar (myahn-mahr, meye-ahn-mahr)

I think I’m going to have to wait until I finally meet someone from Bama Burma Myanmar before I find out where this accent actually falls, and I get the feeling that I’ll have to endure a political spiel before I get my answer.

Instead, doggerel.

“We shall disembark in Burma,”

Mama said to Grandma Rita.

But when they reached terra firma

They found terra incognita.

Unbeknownst to dear old Mama,

She had misinformed my gran’mar;

They found neither Bur- nor Bama —

Burma had become Myanmar.

— Bry

PS: If y’all wouldn’t mind hanging on, I’ll try to figure out some way to work Yangon in.

The best thing about having no readers

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

is that nobody knows when I edit the timestamps to prove I’ve been updating daily.

Monday Aftermath #1: A Re-Retread

Monday, September 25, 2006

I can’t help it. It’s bad form, I know, but I’m enamoured of the sound of my own typing, and it’s so easy to talk about, and it’s a good excuse for starting another series every Monday. I’m going to wax rhapsodically on, wax off about my mind-clearing exercise on Friday, in a manner reminiscent of the old saw about sausage factories.

A Navel-Centric Examination of Friday Fiascos #1: A Retread
I enjoyed the process of writing this more than I enjoy the result, which I find to be more tin-eared than I had thought at the time.

I liked, and still like, the rhyme “chivvy us / oblivious,” but I doubt severely that I pulled it off as deftly as I’d hoped. (It sounds forced, which was exactly how I didn’t want it to sound.)

“Knowledge / College” is so hackneyed that it clearly demonstrates one of my particular failings, viz. not knowing how to end and running out of steam (it helps that the beginnings of my verses are typically written around midnight, while the ends are typically written at about 5 or 6 ack-emma).

I cannot think of a title, which is par for the course.

I’m content, though not happy, with this, and I’d grudgingly give it a B-/C+.

Friday Fiascos #1: A Retread

Friday, September 22, 2006

One of the several reasons I started this blog was that I had too many thoughts floating around that I found entertaining, and I needed a way to empty my brain.

(It can justly be claimed that I was doing quite well at that before the blog, to which I reply that nonetheless it is a necessary step in washing Mr. Miyagi’s car.)

If that were my sole justification, the blog would have already succeeded — as soon as I open a page to start a new post, my mind is completely blank.

It is rather embarrassing, but I have nothing newly prepared — the songs I hoped I’d have ready are each about a couple of stanzas and a decent arrangement away from an acceptable state of completion, and I’ll have to put those off for next time. Instead, I’ll empty not my brain but my storehouse of old verses.

This is one that few other than I have seen (even its subject hasn’t seen it as of yet, which I hope to rectify by a well-placed e-mail). Said subject is Paul R. Katz, who wrote an editorial in January in which he satirized the pretensions of his schoolmates.

This satire, of course, was taken literally by a large number of said schoolmates, with far-reaching consequences, the most notable of which was that I spent a night composing this bit o’ doggerel:

Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve been hit by the

|   TRUCK     |
   oo    oo

You have enough time to think, “Wow, that’s the most beautiful truck I’ve ever –” before you bleed to death beneath its wheels.

The following gem just came to me suddenly, and I realized at once that it proves a barrier to my ambitions of novel-writing, for whenever my first book were published, I should flip through its pages with regret, whether regret for not having included it or regret for having included it I cannot tell.


Q: What did the shoplifter take for his upset stomach?

A: Klepto-Bismol.

You may find this post more meaningful if: You caught the hidden bonus pun.

Update: Google, as expected, tells me this is unoriginal. I want to say that I am relieved (and I am), but you wouldn’t believe that I didn’t intend the extra pun.

Form follows function.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My thought process while preparing for the treadmill the other day:

  • The satellite dish is still wonky. What shall I do while jogging?
  • Other than hold on to the handrails for dear life, I mean.
  • I suppose I could listen to music.
  • All my music’s on audio CDs.
  • I guess that means I’ve gotta use my portable CD player.
  • Trouble with that is, it’s too big to fit in my pocket. How inconvenient!
  • I wonder why they don’t make CD players smaller and slimmer, like mp3 players. Why would you want a CD player to be so round and inefficiently shaped?

Hello, and welcome. I am your humble host, “Bry” (n.b. That is the last time any reference to me on this blog can truthfully include the description “humble.”).

As you see, I have decided to start a blog, although I’m not sure what content I have with which to pollute the world.

From what I can tell, the principal subject of blogs is “things my cat did that are funny, interesting, or entertaining only to me.” I don’t have a cat, so my blog’s going to have to feature things that I did that are funny, interesting or entertaining only to me. The drastic reduction in cute this causes is offset by a roughly proportional surge in smug.

I’m struggling to find a pithy description of this blog that isn’t tautological. This is going to be a creative blog — but then all blogs are, to some extent, I suppose. And of course it’s essentially a vanity blog — but then, ditto.

I guess the best mission statement for this blog is that it’s a place to post entertaining things I write, where “entertaining” means “entertaining me,” not “entertaining you.” (This mission statement will be changing frequently.)

Things like, naturally, badly written light verse:

To close this post inaugural,
This neoteric blogger’ll
Compose a bit of doggerel,
Sing, hey! for the birth of a blog.

I’ll post with regularity,
Although urbane hilarity
Will be a dreadful rarity,
Sing, hey! for the regular blog.

I’ll strive to be satirical,
And muse in manner lyrical,
If you see any sense, it’s a miracle —
Sing, hey! for the typical blog.

I’ll pump up my vanity
(It’s astronomical),
Blather inanity
(Thinking it comical),
Try different media
(Choices are numerous),
Link Wikipedia
(It’s much more humorous),
Try innovation and
Joke around airily,
Lose inspiration and stop arbitr

“Entertaining” also means that while there’s going to be quite a lot of me, there’s not going to be anything much about me, except maybe that I’m too easily amused.

Well, enjoy yourselves (once you get here; I haven’t actually invited anyone yet). More later; I’m off to find a bottle of champagne to break against my laptop.

— Bry

I should mention: As you may have noticed, my nom de blog is, imaginatively, Bry (actually, it is a little imaginative in that hardly anyone has ever called me Bry before). Anyone who reads this will probably know my True Name — if so, and if something compels you to comment, you may use whichever name you prefer, although I shall respond (“in character”, as it were) under my blog alias.

I have decided to adopt this name because I hope there will be a rather pleasurable frisson in maintaining the fiction that it is not I but this fictional “Bry” who is wasting so many hours writing blog entries. (If it influences your decision, addressing me by this name would help me perpetuate this fiction.)