Archive for February, 2012

AMSCO, and One of the Few Things I’ve Learned from it…

03 Feb

If you do not know what AMSCO is, AMSCO is a curriculum that helps Floridian students prepare themselves for FCAT. It is, to some, a very informative book, and has helped many people achieve their goals regarding FCAT. Luckily, I have never had much of a problem with FCAT, and have thus not held a great value to the AMSCO curriculum. There is, however, one very important thing I did learn, and that is the steps to writing a story.

The first step is the exposition. This is where you introduce the readers to the main characters and the setting.

The second step is the inciting incident, which is the happening that begins the action and first captures the readers interest. .

The third step is the rising action. This is the part of the story where the level of stress and suspense begins to rise.

The fourth step is the climax. This is the confrontation between forces and the part of the book with the highest level of interest.

The fifth step is the falling action, which is where everything leading up to the climax is resolved. This step may also be known as the resolution, or (depending on the intricacy of the book) they may be separate.

So there is a year of learning summarized. Everything else… If you don’t know it, then hope through hell and high waters that you’re never confronted with an FCAT. If you do… I slept through forty-five minutes of my first FCAT, which is twenty-five minutes more than I slept during my first PSAT. And I got a 211! (on the PSAT)

Sarcasm- The Lowest Form of Wit or The Wittiest Form of a Low Blow?

03 Feb

Funny Sarcastic Insults Through the Ages:

(Some are marked as direct quotes)

You are not even beneath my contempt.

You are not obnoxious like so many other people, you are obnoxious in a completely different and far worse way.

You grow on people, but so does cancer.

You have an inferiority complex and it is fully justified

You should do some soul-searching. You might just find one.

You would never be able to live down to your reputation, but I see you’re doing your best.

Your mind isn’t so much twisted as badly sprained.

You’re a habit I’d like to kick – with both feet.

I try to stay open minded… but not to open minded or my brain falls out.

“Sometimes I need what only you can provide: your absence.Ashleigh Brilliant

“It’s always darkest before it turns absolutely pitch black. Paul Newman

“It’s a catastrophic success.Stephen Bishop

“I feel so miserable without you, it’s almost like having you here. Stephen Bishop

“History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.Abba

“No, Groucho is not my real name. I am breaking it in for a friend. Groucho Marx

“How do you feel about women’s rights? I like either side of them. Groucho Marx

“A man is as young as the woman he feels. Groucho Marx

“A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five. Groucho Marx

“Marry me and I’ll never look at another horse! Groucho Marx

“If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do it for you. Groucho Marx

“Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.Groucho Marx

“I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.Groucho Marx

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. Groucho Marx

“I have had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it. Groucho Marx

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.” Oscar Wilde

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. Oscar Wilde

“I am not young enough to know everything. Oscar Wilde

“Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.Oscar Wilde

“He was happily married – but his wife wasn’t. Victor Borge

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it. Mark Twain

“Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat. Mark Twain

“Honesty is the best policy — when there is money in it. Mark Twain

“Familiarity breeds contempt — and children.Mark Twain

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.Mark Twain

“I would like to live in Manchester, England. The transition between Manchester and death would be unnoticeable. Mark Twain

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure. Clarrence Darrow

“If you ever become a mother, can I have one of the puppies? Charles Pierce

“You have delighted us long enough. Jane Austen

“A modest little person, with much to be modest about. Winston Churchill

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” William Faulkner

“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? Ernest Hemingway

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know. Abraham Lincoln

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator. Irvin S Cobb

“He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.Forrest Tucker

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music. Billy Wilder

“The old system of having a baby was much better than the new system, the old system being characterized by the fact that the man didn’t have to watch. Dave Barry

“It is not necesssary to understand things in order to argue about them. Caron de Beaumarchais

“Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.Ambrose Bierce

“Love: a temporary insanity, curable by marriage. Ambrose Biercs

“Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victems he intends to eat until he eats them.Samuel Butler

“I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you don’t like? Jean Cocteau

“The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights. J Paul Getty

“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.Eric Hoffer

“A good listener is usually thinking about something else. Kin Hubbard

“Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.Oscar Levant

“Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in memory as the wish to forget it.Montaigne

“The trouble with a kitten is that it eventually beomes a cat.Ogden Nash

“I wish we were better strangers.

“I’ll always cherish the original misconception I had of you.

“I tended to place my wife under a pedestal. Woody Allen

“As the poet said, ‘Only God can make a tree’ — probably because it’s so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.Woody Allen

“I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves. Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions. Frank Lloyd Wright

“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time. Vince Lombardi

“A narcissist is someone better looking than you are. Gore Vidal

I’m impressed, I’ve never met such a small mind inside such a big head before

I’ve come across rotting bodies that are less offensive than you are.

Pardon me, but you’re obviously mistaking me for someone who cares.

People would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity.

She’s the first in her family born without tail.

That man is cruelly depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

There are several people in this world that I find unbearably obnoxious, and you are all of them.

What he is lacking in intelligence, he more than makes up for in stupidity.

Whatever it is that is eating you, it must be suffering horribly.

This is an excellent time for you to become a missing person.

I’m busy now. Can I ignore you some other time?

When I look into your eyes, I see straight through to the back of your head

A sharp tongue does not mean you have a keen mind.

Anyone who told you to be yourself couldn’t have given you any worse advice

Are you always this stupid or are you making a special effort today

Do you want me to accept you as you are, or do you want me to lie to myself and try to like you?

Don’t let your mind wander, it’s far too small to be let out on its own.

Don’t thank me for insulting you, it was a pleasure.

Don’t you realize that there are enough people to hate in the world already without you putting in so much effort to give us another?

He always finds himself lost in thought; it’s unfamiliar territory.

I bet you get bullied a lot.

I can tell that you are lying, your lips are moving.

I don’t know what makes you so dumb but it really works.

I don’t mind you talking so much, as long as you don’t mind me not listening.

I don’t think you are a fool, but what’s my opinion compared to that of thousands of others.

I know you are nobody’s fool, but maybe someone will adopt you one day.

I like you. People say I’ve got no taste, but I like you.

I used to think that you were a colossal pain in the neck. Now I have a much lower opinion of you.

I will defend, to your death, my right to my opinion.

I would have liked to insult you, but the sad truth is that you wouldn’t understand me.


03 Feb

Don’t you hate 404 error messages? I’ve been getting them recently every time I try to log on to The Hidden Archives to add some new stories and puzzles (and clues). But don’t worry! I’ll figure out how to get it up and running eventually… For now, I will simply continue to glare at the error message until I get a flash of brilliance.

BANG HEAD HERE    —->      (It relieves stress and is one way of getting rid of those annoying error messages)

The Field

03 Feb

The two men glared at each other, their gazes level, their eyes narrowed. There was no telltale twitch of the finger or slight of hand, there was only the opponent each faced. Each man was convinced he was right, convinced that his way was the only way. Each held his weapon steady, no sign of hesitation or wince of apprehension. Neither jumped when the guns went off. No one cried when the two bodies hit the ground. Empty eyes stared into the distance, echoes of smiles on their lips. Both were certain, even to death, that they had won. Both had died for what they believed in.

In the empty field atop the bloodstained grass, what did it matter which side they were on? As lifeless fingers fell against the dirt, did it matter any longer who was right? What did their actions change, blank faces seemed to scream into the sky, but there was no one to hear them. There was no answer.

Looking at the scene, it could not be said, here lies a Nazi soldier and there lies an English soldier, or here lies an American and there lies a terrorist, or here lies a Democrat and there lies a Republican, or here lies a Catholic and there lies a Protestant, or here lies a free man and there lies a slave, or here lies a good man and there lies a villain. When it came down to it, there were simply two dead men, and as their blood soaked into the soil beneath vacant eyes, there was nothing to show for it. Here lies one dead man and their lies another. And still the world doesn’t change.

Ten miles away, a Jewish man holds open the door to a pub and settles down to a pint. A man comes up beside him.

“Mind if I take a seat?”

The German accent is heavy, but the Jewish man doesn’t notice. He smiles amiably and gestures to the chair beside him.

“Go on ahead.” With a quick wave of the hand, he motions the bartender over. The bartender, without so much as a glance, throws down two beers. Both men reach for their wallets, but the German man just smiles.

“I’ve got this one, but the next is on you, friend.”

As if they had known each other for years, the two men enjoy a comfortable silence as they sipped their drinks, sometimes exchanging a few words. By the end of the night, they bid each other a hearty farewell and pass on good wishes, a certain respect and camaraderie easing their steps.

In a way, by not conforming to past hatreds, the two men have changed the world.

Down the road, an elderly  Protestant  woman is gathering her money for tithe, stalling until the moment she’ll have to labor her way up the steps and into the church, when someone bumps into her from behind. The single action sends her purse sprawling, the contents  littering the steps of the church behind her. The man who bumped into her is blushing furiously and stammering out an apology.

“I didn’t see you there! I’m so sorry!” He hastened to help her gather her belongings. When they were done, he stepped to the side and opened the door for her, helping her up the steps and into the church.

The woman thanks him profusely, and he apologizes once more before going on his way. A few minutes later, rosary at hand, he enters his own church and settles down to pray.

A few blocks away, the woman is entrenched in her own prayers, thanking God for the young man who helped her make her way into the church.

In a way, by not conforming to the enmity of the past, these two people have changed the world.

In the grocery store, a Christian man holds the door for a Muslim woman.

In a parking lot, the Hispanic man waves at the African American man as he passes by, letting the other man through.

In a school yard, a little boy in his pristine uniform with his polished shoes kneels on the ground to help a little girl in her only ragged uniform up off the ground from where she fell. He doesn’t seem to notice that while he has so much, she has so little. All he sees is that she needs help, and he offers her his chubby hand, his face plastered in a grin that shows the gap where his two front teeth used to be.

These people change the world. It is their kindness that makes a difference. We are all humans. We all fall down sometimes, whether black or white, rich or poor, Muslim or Catholic. It is not our ancestors feuds that make us, it is our ability to rise past them.

As the two men lie dead in the dirt, who was right?

The men in the pub. The man and the woman outside the church. The people in the grocery story. The men in the parking lot. The children on the playground. That is right.

As the two men lay dead in the dirt, we are all struck by the tragedy. Like a reoccurring nightmare, history has been caught in a loop. As the two men lie dead in the dirt, we know that things must change.

The two men glared at each other, their gazes level, their eyes narrowed. There was no telltale twitch of the finger or slight of hand, there was only the opponent each faced. Each man was convinced he was right, convinced that his way was the only way. Each held his weapon steady, no sign of hesitation or wince of apprehension. They lay down their cards.

“Two aces, I win!”

The other man concedes with a sigh.

“Up for another round?”

Somewhere in the world is an empty field where no men lie dead. Instead, there are two houses, both very different from each other, but inside each is a happy family and a loving wife who cooks dinner or reads a book while she waits for her husband to come home from his poker game. There is love in the patient glances towards the door. There are smiles as the woman cooking gently reminds her children that she is the only one who should be “stirring the pot.” When a knock echoes at the door, joyous cries will answer and there will be hugs and “how was your day, honey”‘s and warm, soft smiles.

Somewhere in the world, a field lies empty, and that is what is right.

RA Spyder:The Official Site

"Through Me Good Will Prevail."