Thursday, September 18, 2014

...on teaching English.


I’m teaching a friend of mine English.

It’s easy to do, conveniently, because he speaks English nearly fluently already.

It isn’t his first language, granted, and there are certainly gaps, but he speaks it well enough to get his point across with zero confusion, I’ve never once had to ask him what he meant while we was speaking, and the number of times he’s had to ask me to slow down can be counted on my fingers.

Which is impressive. I talk fast and use a lot of slang, I can only imagine what a nightmare I’d be to someone for whom English was a second language.

It’s the slang, in fact, that I’ve been tasked with teaching him. The idioms, the colloquialisms, the cute little turns of phrases and clichés and expressions that a culture accrues to itself over time, that outsiders to that culture, looking in, don’t have the context or perspective necessary to understand.

He feels that as a writer I know about such things.

He’s probably right.

So whenever he hears a word or phrase he doesn’t understand, he writes it down and brings it to me, so I can explain it to him.

And, to the best of my ability, I do.

I try to, at any rate.

Some phrases are hard to explain, some hinge on a shared bit of collective history or reference to pop culture, but I do what I can to make the meaning of each tidbit as clear as is meaningfully possible.

A task made even harder by the fact that I know I could tell him literally anything, just to fuck with him, and he’d believe me without question and add it to his personal lexicon.

And that would be hilarious, to me.

Because I am a bad person.

Still…

I like the dude.

I’m trying to be good.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Vice

http://oneadayuntilthedayidie.com/?p=26448


Vices
By Christopher Munroe

We all have vices.

The drink too many at the pub, the cigarette habit we can’t seem to overcome, an annual trip to Vegas that always winds up over its initial gambling budget…

…some, out of our mind on hallucinogens, might kill a stranger with our bare hands because it’s the only way we can achieve orgasm.

I, out of my mind on hallucinogens, kill strangers with my bare hands because it’s the only way I can achieve orgasm.

But that’s beside the point.

The point is, we all have vices.

So how can we judge the vices of others?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

On Effort


My mother was five foot one.

Looking back, I can only imagine how much trouble that must have caused for her as she chased my brothers and I around the house, trying to keep us corralled and, by the time we were twelve, shorter than every last one of us.

We were a hyperactive brood, and she was a tiny, tiny woman. It’s shocking that she managed to raise us at all, if you think about it.

But there she was, day after day, week after week, doing the things a mother must do, working harder than anyone out to have to, carrying the weight of the family on her shoulders and never complaining.

She inspired me in a lot of ways, she was an inspirational figure, but most of all I think it was this, her work ethic, the way she never gave up and never gave in, that I took from my childhood and went forward into my life with.

It was the dedication with which she applied herself to the task at hand that I now most seek, in my life as an adult, to emulate.

And that’s why, in every job I take, I make sure to do the mini-Mum amount of work possible.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Fork

http://oneadayuntilthedayidie.com/?p=26437


The Chef
By Christopher Munroe

His massive eyebrows furrow as he throws himself, body and soul, into his work.

Chef’s hat set low upon his brow, moustache twitching in concentration as he slaves in his kitchen, so devoted to what he does that it has become all that he is.

Did he once have a name? Bjorn? Benny? It’s lost to him now, in the haze of food and creation.

But it’s all worthwhile, in the end. He’s the best there is at what he does. And such delicacies he creates…

But what utensil to use to sup upon his grand creations?

Fork fork fork!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

On Autumn


It’s that time of year again. There’s a nip of chill in the air,  the leaves on the trees are turning brown, everything suddenly tastes of pumpkin spice (as is mandated by federal law) and a young man’s thoughts turn to one thing…

…his Halloween costume plans.

I’ll be going minimalist this year, tan trench coat, white button up, black tie. Deliberately disheveled at the beginning of the night, more organically so as I inevitably drink to excess.

I shall be Castiel, you see, of TVs Supernatural. I only got around to watching the show this year, and it was the first thing I noticed as I viewed it. “Holy shit,” I thought, “I totally already own that dude’s coat!”

And the rest of the costume built itself. Simple, yet it manages to immediately convey the essence of the character I’ll be portraying. Should Halloween go well, it shall also provide me a quick, easy piece of cosplay at conventions next summer, which shall no doubt be a fun way to fly the stripes of a show that, while only viewed recently, I did quite enjoy.

Also, fangirls might want to sleep with me. Which, while in no way a vital part of my Halloween tradition, is a nice little perk. Finally the opportunity to, rather than simply lusting after people based on their costume choices, become the object of that vaguely nerdy lust. It ought to make for an amazing Halloween.

Obviously, should I learn at any point that somebody I know and like is going as Zatanna, this plan is out the window. In that event I’ll be dressed as John Constantine. It’s the exact same costume, plus a cigarette. In fact a lot of different characters dress like that. It’s a simple yet distinct look that conveys a very specific meaning, supernaturally speaking. And all you need to play it is a tatty tan trench coat.

I heartily recommend you look into picking one up…

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Ace

http://oneadayuntilthedayidie.com/?p=26400


On Companions…
By Christopher Munroe

Fans argue their favorite Doctor, passionate about their preference, but there’s less discussion with regard to a Whovian’s favorite companion, and I don’t understand why.

The companion is, after all, as vital to Dr. Who as the Doctor himself, as much part of the flavor of the show.

For me, it’ll always be Ace. My first, and to this day my preference. Smart, sharp-witted, independent, everything a companion ought to be, and forever possessing a place in my heart.

Also; She beat a Dalek nearly to death with a baseball bat for calling her short. Let’s see Clara do that…

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dance


…it’s one of those phrases I’ve heard time and time again, yet never properly understood.

The point of dancing, after all, is to commune with the people around you and interact with a piece of music, to express yourself, your truest self, fully, not just to yourself, but to the world at large.

While you are alone you are unjudged, yes, but you are still inhibited. There can be no expression, after all, without someone to express yourself to, no freedom without something to be free FROM.

We risk judgment to show the world, to show ourselves, that we don’t fear judgment, this is what makes us truly free.

The people with whom we dance, then, whether a partner or a crowded nightclub floor, are every bit as important, in this way, as the music, and to try to ignore them, to try to behave as though they were not there, prevents us from fully losing ourselves in music and movement and laughter and life.

And without the ability to lose ourselves thus, why bother dancing at all?

So let’s take this opportunity to retire the old cliché once and for all. It serves no purpose, it aids us in nothing, and it prevents us from living our lives in the fullest, most vivid way we can. And in this way it does us a profound disservice.

We are not shy, we are not introverted, and let us celebrate life rather than hiding within ourselves on the advice of some old, outdated adage.

Let us, instead, pledge to do its opposite.

Dance like EVERYONE’S watching.

And then don’t give a fuck what they think…