I'm Talk'in Here.
I like how some stories can transport you to different times and places. I recently listened to an audiobook that seems to perfectly encapsulate the 1950s Middle America era the story is set in. The book is called ‘The Executioners’, a novel by John D. MacDonald. Although you’ll be more familiar with the 1991 film adaptation ‘Cape Fear’ directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro. The film differs from the book, as is usually the case. As I was listening to the story, I almost felt as though I was transported back in time. It’s a cleanly written story. Dark, dramatic, suspenseful, but can drag on a bit at times, such as when the boat club the main character Sam Bowden is a member of is first introduced.
My favourite aspect of the story is the dialogue. Listening to how the characters speak to each other in 1950s American English spoken at the time. I’m writing this blog post in Toronto, Canada, in 2022, and I found it interesting how differently they speak English from myself. I found it direct and yet more dramatic. Even though you can understand what they were saying, it sounds like they are speaking in code.
Phrases such as: “As far as rackets, this town is out to lunch.” “All around here is small timey…” “… I started the wheels rolling on your old buddy.” “…give you the shakes.” “He’ll keep on look’in for it and any time he want’s to, shake loose….” “Work him over with some bicycle chain.” “I’m pretty well snowed under out here.” “He’s as mean as a snake.” “Let’s stop the run-around, Maxi” “I bet he’s sour at himself for miss’in.” Just to mention a few.
Obviously, due to lack of context, some of these lines from the story may be hard to understand. For example: "As far as rackets, this town is out to lunch." "Rackets" refers to illegal businesses operated by a criminal organization to produce cash profits for members. "Town is out to lunch" means there is little to no illegal business operating in the city.
Next: "He'll keep on look'in for it and any time he want's to, shake loss…." This refers to the story's antagonist's intelligence and cunning. He knows when he's being followed and how to then disappear.
Finally: "… I started the wheels rolling on your old buddy." This means the protagonist's co-worker did a background check on the antagonist. Just to name a few.
The story also tries to set itself in the real world. One chapter points out tropes in noir/pulp or thriller/crime fiction. The story is not for everyone. Listening to it, I thought, how interesting that setting was and amazed at how much the world has changed. In how we live our lives now compared to how people lived back then, especially how we speak English..
Review of: Into the DEAD 2
I downloaded the game "Into the Dead 2" for my iPhone. As a fan of zombie content, I wanted to try it. I've been playing for a few months now, and I enjoy everything about it. You're immediately immersed in the game, needing to run a set distance to complete the level as you try to fight off an endless stream of zombies.
You're slowly collecting bonuses to upgrade weapons as well as ammo and animal companions. It's a fun and simple run-and-gun type game with a great main storyline and side stories. I enjoy the excellent selection of weapons and fun daily challenges. My weapon of choice is the M2020 Harbinger that I have upgraded to level 13 with a current zombie kill count of 40,000+.
To be honest, I'm not a big gamer, so the simple control handling is something I appreciate. As well as the unique challenge of running over ammo deposits to reload your character's weapons while trying to avoid being eaten alive definitely requires some strategy. Having an animal companion fighting the dead with you is also a nice bonus, especially when you find yourself hopelessly outnumbered by a wall of the undead in front of you. There's more to the game that I didn't cover, and I can't think of anything about this game I don't like. "Into the Dead 2" is a game appropriately named as advertised.
Not a Trinacria
I do not know much about emojis. I understand that they add another layer to texting to convey emotions or shorten longer written messages. Maybe even pass on a secret code. I also don’t know what goes into making emojis. Furthermore, I have no idea what goes into getting an emoji design passed and added on as an option on your phone and apps. However, I think it’s time to add another one to the vast existing assortment. I think it’s time for a trinacria emoji.
I will explain for those of you who don’t know what that is. The trinacria is the symbol that represents the largest island in the Mediterranean sea. The Italian island of Sicily and its people. The trinacria has a few variations, but the main one is depicted on the Sicilian flag. It’s the head of Medusa, the gorgon in the center with snake hair and a set of wings. Then three bent legs create a triangular shape, referencing the form of the island. This is followed by each of the three legs representing a cape city around the island. Passero is located in the south, Peloro is located in the northeast, and Lilibeo is located in the west. Ending with three stalks of wheat added in during Roman times when Sicily was a major grain producer for the Roman Empire.
Currently, one does not exist. However, I think it is necessary because the three-legged symbol being used in its place is the flag representing the Isle of Man. For those of you who don’t know, the Isle of Man is entirely surrounded by other much larger islands. Located in the middle of the United Kingdom. Encircled by Northern Ireland, Ireland, England and Wales. They have a population of under 100,000 people, which makes me wonder how they even got an emoji flag as an option.
In contrast, Sicily has a population of 5 million people, not including the diasporas abroad. So, of course, I’m not writing about getting a Sicilian flag emoji. Instead, I’m writing about getting a trinacria emoji.
I don’t think I’m the only one thinking this. When I see people on social media comment about Sicily or being Sicilian and, in some rare instances creating Sicilian-themed content, the flag of the Isle of Man is used to represent Sicilian people and culture. I think Sicilians should have a trinacria emoji versus redefining the meaning of someone else’s flag. Other Italian-themed emojis already exist. Aside from the Italian flag, there’s the plate of spaghetti with the fork; pizza slice, malocchio, the (what) hand gesture, and the (two horns) hand gesture. I don’t think a trinacria emoji being created is that much of a stretch, and the people from the Isle of Man can have their flag as a symbol correctly represented them.
A battle for the northeast.
The NFL playoffs are starting, and there is one game, in particular, I have my eye on. Today is Saturday, January 15, 2022, and at 8:15 pm eastern time, the New England Patriots get another chance to prove they are the kings of the AFC East. Facing off once again the Buffalo Bills in the NFL wild-card round. After finishing the 2021-22 season in second behind the Buffalo Bills in the division.
The last time these two teams faced off was on Sunday, December 26, 2021. New England was coming into that game, having won their previous encounter with Buffalo at a score of 14-10. That game also marks the Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's historic 800th game as an assistant, coordinator and head coach. However, to the delight of Bills fans and the horror of Patriots fans losing at home in Foxborough. Ultimately the result of that game determined who took the division. The New England Patriots will also be hungry for redemption after losing their last regular-season game to another AFC East rival, the Miami Dolphins.
Their last game against the Buffalo Bills was a battle all the way until the fourth quarter. With the Buffalo Bills fighting for every inch, going for it on 4th and 1 yard four times during the game and converting. Including a few players on the Bills starting line posting career high numbers leading the Bills to prevail 33-21 over the Patriots'. Now for the tiebreaker, and in this game, everything is on the line. Today will find out which team's road to the Super Bowl gets to continue and who's going home.
Writing About Toronto.
I enjoy writing about Toronto and not just because I'm from here. It's because Toronto is the type of city where anything can happen. My first novel: North of the Dead, is set in Toronto. Currently, I have two short stories posted on my website: 'The Bird War on Acorn Ave' and 'When the Resident Called.' Both stories also occur in Toronto and contain elements from events I have experienced here or experiences I have heard from other people.
Working downtown in various hospitality positions over the years, I have seen many things, both good and bad. I have talked to a good number of people that have told me all kinds of stories and experiences. Crazy situations I did not think were possible in Toronto. Some stories prove to be true. So I picked out the elements of truth to write entertaining works of fiction.
The city itself has a district look to it and a mosaic of people from around the world that adds to the city's character. All things considered, I feel comfortable saying anything can happen here. That gives me a lot of good material to write about.