- It seems like one day I woke up and everyone was using the word
"trigger" and its adjectival friend "triggery."
Look at this link, but warning, it may be triggery!
I couldn't watch that movie — too many triggers!
Like we're all Manchurian Candidates just waiting for the signal to drop
into a haunted trance.
That said, it does tend to be the case that words catch on when they
designate a concept that people recognize but never had a single word for
And I have to concede that when I was watching a show in which someone
sounded a gong, and it instantly dredged up the sick feeling of being back
in meditation camp to such an extent that I was like "nooo make it stop,"
it was kind of triggery.
- On a happier note, the food at meditation camp was sometimes so bland
(e.g., brown rice with steamed unseasoned broccoli) that in an attempt to
give it some sort of flavor I added the only available condiment, which
was sriracha sauce.
It was the first time I had tried it.
Now I have a bottle in the fridge that gets pretty regular use.
- When I was a kid, the part of the "Puff the Magic Dragon" special in
which Puff rips Jackie Paper's soul out and throws away the rectangle of
paper that remains freaked me the fuck out.
- One evening I stepped outside and saw two raccoons mating on the
sidewalk in front of my neighbor's house.
Well okay then.
- On Solano Avenue Lizzie and I passed this car:
It's heartening to see that authorities are realizing that in our car-dependent society blind motorists can derive great benefit from the services of a driving-eye dog.
- Lizzie and I watched some episodes of the 1985 version of The
Twilight Zone, which I watched occasionally during its first
I loved the ways different set designers tried to signal that this was
The one with triangular mirrors was pretty good, but I think my favorite
was the one in which the family had a framed picture of a planet on the
- The '85 Twilight Zone also exemplified something I tried to
convey to the younglings when I took that apocalypse class back in 2006:
in the '80s everyone thought about nuclear war all the time and sort of
expected that at any point some international crisis might flare up and
by the end of the week the missiles would be flying.
It's interesting how the prospect of nuclear war is woven into the
background of so many of these stories in a way that seemed completely
natural back in 1985 but is now very noticeable.
- I was working on a scene that started with just a couple of seconds of
a character watching a TV show — I needed something that would
instantly convey "he's watching something unexpectedly stupid" to the
Thirty years ago the standard answer would have been The Three
Stooges, but that reference was dusty even back then; nowadays it
would convey "he's watching something a century old for some
I asked Lizzie for a modern equivalent and she suggested Two and a
I replied that she might consider that show stupid, but that what I needed
was something that functioned in the public mind as a byword for
stupidity — and that was when I realized that, fuck, I'm doing
semiotics for a living, aren't I?
- Hunter Walker on a New York City Council proposal to open municipal
elections to anyone who pays taxes in the city:
"New York would be, by far, the largest city in the nation that allows
non-citizens to vote."
New York is the largest city in the nation to do anything it does.
- (Which Talking Points Memo reporter is secretly working for the
Soviets? Find out in my new thriller, Hunter Walker Soldier Spy)
- On multiple occasions I have come home and found a pair of
eight-year-old girls swordfighting on the sidewalk in front of my
The swords look pretty fake, but the medieval armor they wear is
(Though I think actual knights took off their capes before wading into
- In the late '90s suddenly almost every product started listing the
company URL on its packaging.
Almost, but not all: when I moved back out to California I saw that the
cartons of eggs at the Berkeley Bowl bore a picture of a laughing bearded
man throwing his hat into the air and holding a sign reading, "THE HECK
WITH THE TELE.COM BUSINESS I'M AN EGG FARMER".
The cartons still have that picture.
Except now there's a URL next to it.
- I seriously couldn't believe that they would call it
"Super Bowl L" rather than "Super Bowl 50".
I still suspect they'll switch before it actually happens.
- I dropped the SD card with my music on it as I was getting out of the
car, and, bink, it disappeared.
I thought it might have gotten under the floor mat somehow, so I took the
floor mat out of the car.
No memory chip there — it turned out to have fallen under the
What I did find was the pocketknife I lost five years ago.
- If you're not following Stochastic Planet, now is a great time to start: I've seen the entire June queue and it's the best month yet by a significant margin.