Tuesday, May 13, 2014

100 Happy Days - Part 2

I'm taking photos of things that make me happy. I explain why in part one, here.

100 happy days list - hashtag 100


I was playing the new South Park game on my Xbox. It's like playing an episode of the TV show - it's slick, sick, and uproarious. Apart from some minor glitches and two incredibly frustrating moments, I have to give it top marks. No. Really.

One of the many, MANY, laugh-out-loud moments is when you finally get a passport and can go to Canada. Once there, the game switches from being hi-res, hi-def, lush 4k all-American beauty:

to stuck-in-the-80s backwards-backwoods-Canadian retro:

Complete with 8-bit music and sound effects. It's so gloriously silly it made me laugh for close to a minute. And then another minute when I met the dickish 'Prince of Canada'.


I discovered a series of videos where elderly actors recreate puerile internet conversations. The acting is brilliant. Imagine two craggy-faced old thespians using their RSC training and natural gravitas to deliver lines like, "Nicki Minaj is fake? Not as fake as Lil Kim's face." Or "Do you not know how completely mentally fucktarded you are being right now?"

I've put a link at the bottom of this post. If I put the link here you wouldn't read the rest of the text. 

DAY 10

Today I completed the South Park game. The ending was monumental. A CIA agent strips naked, one of your allies turns traitor, and the plot gets so silly, postmodern, and labyrinthine that Morgan Freeman has to appear to make sense of it all.

Kyle asks why Freeman's always the one who has to explain convoluted plots. Mr. Freeman replies, "Because every time I show up and explain something, I earn a freckle." And a new one appears on his cheek.

At which point Jen (my chick) comes into the room to ask if I'm laughing at the game or practicing my sea lion imitation.

Bonus happiness: I spelled labyrinthine without a red line appearing underneath.

DAY 11

Anyone new to the blog (click on the right for the Asterix links) will be glad to learn that I'm from Manchester and live thousands of miles away in Zurich. Zurich is superior to home in some ways: Train timetables are sold in the non-fiction section; a teenager pushing a pram is more likely to be the au pair than the grandmother; and there's nowhere that sells the Daily Mail.

Manchester wins on football, music, politeness, queuing, swagger, and - importantly - curries. Almost all Indian restaurants in Zurich are terrible, charmless, and overpriced, and with every bad curry experience I feel ever more homesick.

Thankfully Jen knows an Indian restaurant so good it might even get some customers if it were located in the Curry Mile.

Today we treated ourselves to a delivery from there and Jen announced that the 'pompadoms' were next to the garlic naan. She calls papadums that because I call them that, and I call them that because my family call them that. It's Jen's way of making me feel closer to home.

Dammit - here come the feels.

DAY 12

Today Manchester City won the Premier League. I'm a United fan, but I was happy that City won instead of Liverpool. When I tried to explain why to Jen she shook her head at me in a very female way.

"Why don't you support your team instead of hoping other teams lose?" She thought she was being reasonable. Amazing.
Perhaps she is too female and too Swiss to understand. "Look at this," I said, pointing at my screen and trying to communicate a thing that is hard to verbalise. "Look! That's City's captain, Vincent Kompany. He's amazing. He was supposed to go and pick up the trophy so they could start the confetti and fireworks. But he made them wait. He was waving at someone to do something. I couldn't work out who or what, until he practically dragged a bunch of reserve players onto the podium. They only play ten minutes here or there, but Kompany doesn't see them as extras. They play their part; they're family. They win and lose together."
I was on the edge of man-tears after delivering this speech.
Jen's reply was, "Who's that tall guy there? He has terrible posture."

DAY 13

My students sometimes do hilarious things, such as paying me to teach them. When they make mistakes with grammar or vocabulary I don't normally laugh, but in rare cases it's so funny I'm still grinning about it hours later on the train home.

Today I was trying to help someone fill in the missing word from a sentence. The word she needed was 'freshness'. She had 'fresh' and knew she had to add something to the end. "Freshment?" she said. "No," I said, wondering how I could guide her towards the suffix '-ness'. "What's the name of the monster from Scotland?" "Nessie." "There you go." She frowned and I could see her piecing the components together in her mind. "So... freshie."

But my favourite mistake happened a few weeks ago. It was a simple task. They had to look at this picture:

And change 'heavy' into 'heavier'. The second weight is 'heavier' than the first weight. Easy. Question 3 was the same but with the word 'slow':

My student wrote the amazing new word 'snailer.'

DAY 14


Progress after 14 days:

Mood: Flabby.
Compliments: "You're unbearable." "God, I'd hate to be one of your students."
Optimism: Meh.

Click here for part 3.



  1. Which Indian is worth getting pompadoms / food from?

  2. I think it's http://www.tandoorhaus.com/

    Pretty sure it's the best in town.

  3. dagenham2:48 PM

    dude, i cant find the place on the map? thats st.gallen already! :-)


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