The Random Word Generator Diaries: Bittersweet

*Every week (Not including my 3 year absence) Rick uses a random word generator to pick a topic, and rambles on about it using related stories, thoughts, and questionable facts he thought he heard somewhere.  Once finished he’ll look up the actual definition and see if he was in the ballpark.

   random word: Bittersweet

    This is a compound word, easily dissected.  Bitter means ‘ugh’ and sweet means ‘w00t.’   I believe that bittersweet simply means its something nice, but maybe not that nice.  Happy with just a taste of sad, or vice versa. 


It’s a word that was made up because life used to be simply good or bad, but then there started to be shades of gray within that (upwards of 50 I have heard.)  Someone decided that sometimes things aren’t just good, sometimes they are bad and good at the same time.  I’m sure there was a lot of New Coke-ish branding that went into it; Try New and improved,  Bittersweet!  The same joy that you love, but with a fresh zing of crappy.

  • Coffee is a pretty bittersweet thing (I take mine with cream and sugar to soften the bitter.)  I am dancing around the idea of switching to tea because I hear it makes you die with less urgency, but I love coffee so much!  No matter which I end up choosing, it will be bittersweet because tea is awful, but if I live longer that’s probably for the best, though it will mean more days lamenting my lost love of coffee.  If I stay with coffee I will be happier, aside from the knowledge of my impending doom.
Words to live by. (via

Words to live by. (via

  •  I hate a lot of stuff (mostly a-hole comedians) but I like that I hate that stuff (especially when they move to LA and I don’t have do deal with them any more.) 
  • Is anyone else a fan of REM, but only post – “Automatic for the People?”


1:  something that is bittersweet; especially :  pleasure alloyed with pain
2a :  a poisonous Eurasian woody vine (Solanum dulcamara) of the nightshade family that has purple flowers and oval reddish berries and is naturalized in North America
b :  a North American poisonous woody vine (Celastrus scandens) of the staff-tree family having clusters of small greenish flowers succeeded by yellow capsules that open when ripe and disclose the scarlet aril.

This is some Anthony Kiedis stuff (music is his aeroplane.)  And hey, while we are talking about nightshade I’m gonna go jump on Facebook and make sure those a-holes are still in LA before the sun comes up.  If you are still reading this, thank you for reading this.

Rick Canavan is a stand up comedian. You can see him host a pretty fun show every Friday night at the Comedy Studio in Harvard Square.

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