This is one I’ve told everybody, but I actually had to re-tell it to defend myself the other day.
I Dunno and I were at this really good sushi bar for lunch a few weeks back because Mom was having a luncheon thingy. We had to get out of the house. We sat at the bar and watched the Japanese chefs cut, slice, dice, and prepare fish and all sorts of delightful meals for the other patrons. They mostly kept to themselves, but every once in a while would toss a few words at a co-worker in Japanese. Many of the menu items, however, were in English, so I Dunno said, “can you understand what they’re saying?” With a reasoning tone, I said “I Dunno, I don’t speak Japanese…” He said, “Oh, I thought they were speaking Chinese…” Because evidently I speak Chinese, too…
Secondly, another installment from someone I’m not going to mention (think think think). We’re in the car yesterday on a call. There are three of us: me and this person and someone else. The someone else commented mid-story-I-was-telling and said “it’s always cool to hear about the things you’ve read about or have seen, etc.” which isn’t much, but apparently this person’s interests in international stuff pales in comparison to mine. Duh. She continued to explain how last week we were discussing the state of affairs in North Korea, and an online travel guide I stumbled upon for those “lucky” enough to get in. We discussed communism in that country and how militant things were, etc. and the other person said, “Are they the ones that wear the stones between their eyes?” “No. Those are Indians.” “Well, what’s the difference between Koreans and Indians?” Imagine my surprise.
I proceeded to discuss the subtle differences in the two ethnic groups: the pale complexion as opposed to the darker skin, the minute differences in religion and worship, and the minor geographic discrepancies between the two areas. Not to mention the linguistic similarities between a language isolate and a country that contains more official languages than (I think) any other country in the world, with fifteen. After about an hour, I think we had it all cleared away. It’s just so funny to think that there would be someone on the planet that would pair THESE two specific groups together. All not look so same. And that, my friends, would be a useless website. Entirely. (But maybe not as much as previously thought).
I wish I could find it now, but I had saved in my favorites, at one time, on some computer, a dissertation by a linguist who (I think) was challenged to make connections between Tamil and Finnish. Tamil is the 18th(ish) most spoken language in the world. It’s most closely related to Malayalam, and is spoken in Sri Lanka and the southern portion of India. If you follow India up the east coast toward the Kerala region you’ll begin to find Malayalam speakers, but that’s irrelevant.
Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language, and one of the three major languages belonging to this group. All the others are extinct or spoken by so few people that they are hardly worth mentioning, and some even consider them to be dialects of the Finnish language. Anyway, Finnish is most closely related (albeit very distantly) to Estonian, and even more distantly to Hungarian, the highest estimates of mutual vocabulary or grammar to either being about 5%, as I recall. It’s also considered (by most) to be the hardest language in the world to learn. With fifteen noun declensions in the singular and sixteen in the plural, it’s quite possibly the most complex language on earth. Coupled with the pronunciation and length of words, it’s near impossible. Most Finns will learn a few other languages, so there are very few people that tackle that language.
Anyway, this linguist derived a number of similarities, through only one or two degrees of separation, and sometimes directly, between Finnish and Tamil. With loanwords, specific articulated sounds, or constructions and such, he was arguably able to draw conclusions that could not historically be backed. That is, the Finns never did actually settle and conquer in India, thus creating any kind of blending of the cultures.
This could go on forever. Do your own research.
Yup. I saw it this weekend. Ask H’n’B: I LOVE Curse of the Black Pearl. It’s good on so many levels: excellent plot; complicated at times, but accessible; swashbuckling, a fine balance of comedy, action, drama, etc. All in all, a very smart movie. It’s just well rounded and brilliantly done, which is why SO many people are looking SO forward to seeing the sequel: Dead Man’s Chest. (By the way, there’s no Plot Spoiler here. If you want that, ask me.)
The Good: Cap’n Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner, “Bootstrap” Bill Turner (father of said Will), and many more of the characters from the first make their appearances, so there’s a great amount of continuity. Some of them are also rather surprising in their new roles. We also get some new scenery (but this appears in the “bad,” section as well). The score for the movie isn’t so heavily themed on swashbuckling, and there are a number of different styles worked in by Mr. Zimmer, and one in particular MAKES the scene. You’ll know which one it is. Bill Nighy (super cool actor, not to be confused with Bill Nye [the science guy][both last names pronounced the same]) plays Davy Jones himself, and is a rather cool villain. Also worthy to mention that his “beard,” or whatever is entirely computer generated. This is cool because it actually retains (believe it or not) Mr. Nighy’s facial features in among all that ~googly~. There’s a lot of action and you get some backstory as well. There are times when the movie progresses extremely well, and you feel that quite a lot is being accomplished. It’s nice. Visually stunning in more ways than one. Oh, also, more Jack Sparrow-ish over-complication of explaining very simple things. Quite humorous.
The Bad: It’s incredibly dark; NO, not nighttime dark (well, yes, at times), but very ominous and almost morbid. CBP (Curse of the Black Pearl, unlike a Cambodian Cong) was unique (I think) in that the colors and cinematography were all very rich, and not very bright. This one is just very very dark. There are times when we move onto land and enjoy a brighter scape, but it’s pretty well-roundedly a dark film. Quite slow at times, and some parts are quite unnecessary. Some of these scenes are things you’d think you would see on the “deleted scenes” DVD, but apparently they decided not to, and most of them seem to be directed toward a younger audience. They’re playful and goofy, and more Disney-ish, but not without a happy helping of pirateness to make you feel not so stupid for watching it. The plot (and I’ve heard some say “what plot?”) becomes redundant at times. The dialogue begins to falter at some points, but it’s not terrible. You got the general idea that the story (i.e. the information and characters and any progression of plot) were necessary for the third movie, but did not sustain themselves quite as well as a movie unto itself.
The Ugly: First, the literal: some of the characters were quite grotesque, and it was a step up from the undead pirates in the first one. I grew to love them, but these are beastly and quite disgusting. Takes some getting used to. There are some mystical overtones (or undertones, whichever is more subtle), but no more than in the first film. My biggest complaint with the movie is the ending. Again, I say nothing to spoil, but anyone that went to see this film knew BEFORE WALKING INTO THE THEATRE that the third film was already in production. By saying that I mean to argue that it is unnecessary to set the third movie up by means of the second. That’s shameless plugging of a film. Therefore, my complaint is that they divided DMC and what is currently called “At World’s End,” (or some variation thereof) in one of the worst possible places. I’m still getting over the shock and disappointment, and they DO let you know that IT will be fixed, repaired, and all brought back to normal (hopefully), but the feeling you get when leaving the movie is not one of accomplishment, resolve, or completion. It’s of a horrible lack of closure; now, I’m no Dr. Phil patient, but CBP finished with some resolve. You left satisfied and content. I would have left DMC both satisfied and content if I had been assured to see the follow-up as soon as I got home, but I am reminded that it was three years since the first one came out, and to wait until 2009 to see how (holds hand over mouth) ____ gets rescued by the ______ from the ______ in the ______ is just far too long to wait in my opinion. I should have just waited another three years and seen them both together. I don’t need to carry around all that baggage.
All that having been said, I REALLY wanted to like the movie, and if I saw it again, I probably would. It’s more of an acquired taste.
For those of you that don’t know, I’ve been all into running lately; well, not entirely lately, because I only ran once this week. I usually run thrice, at around three and a half or four miles each time. I missed Monday and Wednesday because my knees really hurt, but got down there today (the treadmill) and did it. I have a playlist I run to, and will explain that later, as in not in this post. I had my shoes on, had stretched, turned on my MP3 player only to realize my right earbud was blown. So thus for the next forty-five minutes I enjoyed some seriously driving and loud music with ticks in lieu of thumps on my right side. It was okay. I was disappointed though, because I really like Apple’s headphones: I acquired a pair a while ago and they’ve got good sound quality (as far as I’m concerned) for their size, they’re small enough that I can listen to them while lying on them, and not have them feel like they’re boring into my head, and they’re cool looking. The sleeping on them and not boring into my head part is especially nice.
Anyway, I CANNOT continue listening to the sound of a ticking pen while I’m trying to enjoy Jack Johnson, Tori Amos, or Led Zeppelin (or even Air Supply), so I had the bright idea (after getting those proverbial “creative juices” flowing) that I would Ebay them.
Long story short: THREE pairs (one white, two black [thus matching my MP3 player]) of APPLE headphones, all for almost exactly sixteen bucks. The headphones (all of them) cost only $2.26 ($2.25 for the two black pair, and $0.01 for the white pair). Shipping was the killer, but I figure any good pair of headphones would cost that, and Apple sells those things alone for twice that or something.
Also, they’re new; all of them; still wrapped; comes with the foamy jackets; that way I won’t be getting foreign ear juices in mine while enjoying Rod Stewart, The Format, or Howard Shore.
The Wiki Kingdom has everything, and I've now decided it has more than that. On the Wikitravel page, there's a "Travel Topics," link and one of them deals with finding work, especially if you're taking a Gap Year trip (also discussed). One of the most popular jobs for people traveling from U.S., U.K. or Australia is teaching English. Turns out there's a whole page on how to go about this and who does it and how to get accredited and what countries offer the best opportunity to get a job teaching English to the natives, etc.
I want everyone to think for a moment about how awesome it would be to move to a foreign country, and besides doing what I'm doing now here, with the foreign literature and stuff, (but focusing obviously on Russian, or Chinese, or Estonian [icky]) but also teaching the natives English. This would be outstanding.
Also turns out there's an entire page for people to put out lesson plans and such for TESOL. It's called Wikigogy. Very cool page, obviously written by TESOL (that can be singular or plural because otherwise you'd have to write TsESOL and that's stupid) where people share methods and things. Check it out.
What impressed me was a section on using English movies to teach your foreign students English. Not using only movies, of course, but it shows your student dignity, and can make them feel more a part of the culture. They explained all sorts of things about the criteria that a movie should have (obviously appropriate content) such as physical humor as opposed to plays on words or more BBC type stuff, so the student can understand it more readily. They also mentioned that newer movies use far more slang and improper English, and the teachers have found it advantageous to steer away from these and use older movies. There's a list of ones that they've found especially helpful, but one of them was particularly interesting because it makes SO MUCH SENSE, because I really like the movie, and because it's not super new and hip (thus it has somewhat normal, casual English): Groundhog Day!!!
The inherent nature of this movie is perfect for a setting like this (and I think it should be a GSAM feature): it's repetitive (Duh), so gives the student plenty of time to realize what's going on, gives a glimpse into the more average (albeit still Hollywoodized) live of Americans, with their jobs and recreations and weather and stuff, and the humor is also much easier to grasp even if you can't understand any of it. There's room for more difficult words and curriculum, such as the names of the places and towns in Pennsylvania (my point exactly).
(as a small side note, do some research on who was first offered Andie MacDowell's role in that movie... the answer may surprise you. Hint: it wasn't Bill Murray).
The Piano is here.
It's actually not that far out of tune, but when it cools off in the AC of our living room it may be a little bit sharp. We'll have to wait and see. If it is, I'll have to wait until about mid-August to get it tuned.
It's not exactly (at all) the same model as Affie's, (hers is more [although (I think) not] like a cabinet grand) and is quite a bit darker (like actually brown instead of a light color), but goes with the furniture in the room, so Mom's not up in arms about it. This has changed my afternoon now. I was still working, and horribly interrupted by four hoodlum-types at my door. After it was moved, my house had a funk-smell and a few more flies than we had before (which means they let at least one in). I was planning on working late, but my definition of late has changed drastically in the past half hour, and I'm gonna be digging my piano books out and plugging away. Yippee.
I was also offered an organ today; NOT a kidney, liver, or heart (although that woulda been nice), but an electric organ. Long story short is a brother in our Hall whose sister is selling the house they grew up in has rather inherited a huge organ. His father used to play, and he said it's got the pedals, three levels (or whatever) of keys, but comes with a not-so-extra feature: some static in the sound. The organ is FREE, and also HUGE. This man is definitely one for numbers, a sciency, crazy professor type, and he couldn't give me a good round figure on the size of this thing. I casually mentioned to Mom that the office downstairs now has some free space and is fairly screaming for more furniture, nay, a gynormously large electric organ. But alas, despite my best, most casual and confident efforts, all hopes of acquiring a piano and an organ in the same month were washed down with mother's words (among her other reasonable arguments): "I hate organs." So that's out. But I haven't lost hope that any of my dear readers (counting them on one hand, and crossing them off of this list just as fast because none of you want it) would be interested in having an enormously large (and yet quite professional [save the static (which is probably easily fixable)]) organ, thus also arguing that I could reasonably visit someday for some food, if not (for the sole purpose) to play said organ. I leave you with that thought. All of my readers can readily contact me if they are interested. Thank you, and goodbye.
1) Dust covers. This is widely known and explanation of WHY is entirely unneeded.
2) PEOPLE LEAVING MUSIC on their Answering machine as the "Please Leave a Message" message instead of A REAL MESSAGE.
If I had wanted to hear your crappy music (which is made exponentially crappier by the fact that you held your phone so close to the speaker that I actually heard it cry for help, thus making any prayer of actual sound quality entirely hopeless) I would have spent [wasted] money to buy the music, not call you. Have some dignity; be proud of who you are and at least pretend to show the tiniest bit of professionality. I'm also afraid that you are worried why you don't get any voicemails, and if you do, why they have the smallest [most obvious] overtone of disdain or displeasure; please realize that I called to speak to you. There are a series of disappointments here, and by the time we get to the proverbial beep (the place where I'm supposed to begin speaking) I am so let down that I don't care to discuss it at length right now.
1) I called and it rang more than a few times, which leads to
2) You actually not answering at all, which is disappointing because I have something to say, and realize now that this will not be resolved. That leads to
3) The overwhelming sensation that a voicemail is in my midst, only compounded by
4) Your horrible [stupid and childish] music begins playing in my ear instead of your message, or even the nice woman that Cingular has hired to give the song'n'dance about leaving a voicemail or paging the recipient.
I then hope and pray that you will return my call lest we rinse and repeat tomorrow...
Turns out I had to mow the lawn as soon as I was done. No biggie, right? Usually. The grass was longer (thicker) than it seemed and the blades were set so low I could hardly push it DOWNHILL, forget uphill. I wasn’t going to raise it and have to mow everything TWICE, so I dealt with it. I looked like an absolute dork trying to wrestle with this thing that couldn’t have weighed more than twenty pounds (and nearly twice that when the bag was full [which I had to empty probably twelve times]), but I got ‘er done.
The lady at the hall yesterday: long series of circumstances as to why she’s been wanting to come for a while but can only now come to an afternoon bookstudy; been studying for a while, yadda yadda yadda, very professional type lady, clearly a devoted student, etc. We got to talking (about everything, and discussed her situation, and it was good, because good people were there; I’ll give you details on it if you want them later) about her travels. Because of her husband’s employment, they got assignments throughout the world: Singapore, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Benin, and a few places in Europe. There were more, but those are the ones I remember. Obviously, I jumped on the opportunity to speak something with her, but all she spoke (aside from English) was Spanish, and the tiniest bit of Arabic. She told this story about how she had asked a professor or somebody about learning Arabic (I think she said this was in Bahrain) and the woman, very respectable, etc., said it would be a waste of time because nobody speaks classical Arabic, and she shouldn’t worry about it. Turns out they moved to Riyadh next, and she realized the whole “don’t learn Arabic, you won’t use it” shpiel was crap. She was disappointed. She explained her experiences living in Muslim countries and what life was like in the Nigerian bush, as they were not in big cities like Lagos. It was all fascinating. She said Singapore was amazing and it’s not at all difficult to live there, but that could be because her husband worked for a billion-dollar corporation that could shuffle them to and fro at the drop of a hat. Ain’t no thang. So we talked about travel, and the people, and a good time was had by all.
Still having issues with my computer, and H’n’B, maybe you can help me here. I’ve got this new notebook (actually Dad’s old Toshiba, but not an old Toshiba), and the hard drive was JUST replaced because the old one crashed. Yippee. Dad got a new machine and loves it, so I have this one. To work from it, we have to set it up on the server downstairs so I can sign in to the network and work off of that. That doesn’t conflict with being able to access my local hard drive, blah blah blah. They may have worked before, and I wish I could remember, but now my USB drives, (not 2.0) do not recognize (or are somehow blocking) any external storage device from functioning. When first connected, my MP3 player is recognized by saying “this device can perform faster, blah blah blah,” but is not seen by Windows Explorer, WMP, or the software that came with it. I cannot sync my digital camera or my palm to the notebook, BUT a keyboard and mouse I use thru USB, as well as the printer, work fine. It’s driving me crazy now. At first it was like, “eh, I’ll figure it out tomorrow; no big deal.” But now it is. I need more podcasts, and I can’t get them on my device. Yargh. More on something else later.
How many almost-but-not-quite-American Idol shows can there be?
America’s Got Talent
Master of Champions
So You Think You Can Dance
That’s only three, I know, but they all JUST debuted. How many performance competitions can somebody really care about? I think America DOESN’T Got Talent, and that’s why they’re fascinated with those that “have talent,” if you’d like to call it that. NBC is on right now, and I can’t find the remote and won’t be walking to the television, so it’s muted right now. Icky; I really like Regis Philbin, but it’s just too bad he’s stooped to new levels. I have not much more to say at this moment, and will continue later.
I had a nice Russian conversation today; I have also gained two new linguistic adventurers: a Russian and a Chinese.
I also discovered Flash Card Exchange from a link on a Wikibooks site and started building some Turkish flashcards because that’s what I had on hand. Check it out. It asks you if you will be adding images to the flashcard, so you can use Chinese characters and stuff as well. You can print, study, file, etc. and it’s really cool.
But alas, Mythbusters is on, and I don’t know if it’s a new episode, or at least one I haven’t seen yet. I bid you adieu.
Before I do that, I’d like to remind you to remind me to tell you about the coolest Coolest COOLEST woman I met today at the hall. Remind me.
I have committed to Affie to do something. I mentioned to her that I Dunno and I have started watching this particular show, and I watched the series premiere last Monday. The second episode came on this past Monday, and I convinced my bro to watch it with me. Afterward he committed to “definitely” watching the series with me. I’m not shy about what I watch on television, and am even proud of watching things such as Parental Control despite its absolute lack of (any kind of) value. Everyone needs some trash television (not of content, but intellectual or material worth) to sit in front of on occasion. HOWEVER, I’m a little disappointed to say that I have begun to enjoy a television show that comes on, not MTV, not Animal Planet, not VH1, and not even Lifetime, but ABC Family.
The show , like I said, started last Monday. The thing I told Affie I would do is to fill her in so she’s up on the show and can watch it next Monday. So here’s what happened. I missed the first few minutes of it, but was readily apparent that:
This kid is about 16 years old and fell from the sky, like, literally. He found himself all slimy (and naked) in the woods, but keep in mind he doesn’t know what slimy, naked, or the woods are. Long story short is he was confronted by a snake that hissed at him, found himself still all naked and slimy, but in the city, and was promptly arrested and sent to juvie.
He is now in the slammer. He cannot speak, has no name (but now has clothes), and doesn’t know how to do anything. Oh, he also has no belly button. So in his attempt to understand life, he stares at others to do what they do. He understands no speech, but learns by imitation. In one scene, this cocky ringleader type kid is the object of his attention because they’re at lunch and he’s never actually paid attention to anyone eating before, and this kid is eating a muffin. He imitates what the kid is doing and realizes that this soothes the pain in his stomach. He learns “eating.” While learning, the kid becomes aware that he’s getting stared at and is offended (naturally). Everyone else seems okay with the new kid except for Mr. Head Honcho. He confronts the new kid, and is promptly reprimanded by one of the guards. Later, however, he takes his chance to teach a lesson to the kid who cannot understand or speak. When this happens, the new kid gets scared. He is punched in the face, falls to the ground and urinates on himself out of fear. The comment is made by the narrator, the boy himself, that that function makes him feel better also. Two things learned: eating, and relieving. Verdict: both good.
Long story short (whatever!) the doctor at the facility takes a look at him and realizes he’s strange: calls his friend, a psychologist, to come take a look. The psychologist is a happy wife and mother of two. She comes to investigate, gives him a name (Kyle), and she decides (with hubby’s consent) to let him live with the family for a few days, until the missing persons report reveals who he is.
A few things when he gets home. He learns how to play a kindergartener’s game on the computer, wanders off to watch the neighbor’s girl play the piano, startles her, and is later accused of breaking in to “attack” her. The girl takes a liking to him, though.
Geez, it’s a big deal summarizing TWO episodes of a child’s drama series.
(The world cup finals are officially over and I know who won).
Episode one also includes the young child being caught with a nudy magazine, and Kyle finds it for him after his mother hides it. Kyle also follows the psychiatrist’s daughter when she sneaks out to a party and he gets stone drunk. He fights off a policeman that crashes the party, rescues the girl and carries her home. He performs some amazing programming/reading really fast scrolling text thing and fixes a computer that the husband is trying to fix. The family decide he can stay. So boring for those of you that don’t care.
Ya know what? Forget it. Check out the page above and browse around. It's better anyway. Because people pay them to write that stuff...
The reason I haven’t been blogging is because I like to shy away from minor but severely irritating problems that do not demand immediate attention. Like the fact that we set up my new notebook computer as a network machine so I could work off of it, and then all my personal settings were thoroughly lost, after having spent days transferring everything to the notebook from my old desktop. I couldn’t get online or check my email, and I’m still trying to find the correct .pst file to run my Outlook account from so that I can have all my settings the way they should be. My music library is still in a bit of a tizzy even after talking to Suzanne (names have been changed) from Wal-Mart’s music download department. She was incredibly helpful and restored all of my licenses since my compy was being too dorky to do it itself.
I’ve also had issues with the newbie compy recognizing ANY device from a USB port. My mouse and keyboard, etc work fine, but the digital camera and MP3 player are immediately recognized as being connected, but instantly “hibernate,” or something on the computer side so that no device can be found. Strange. So that’s what else I’m working on, which means my podcasting is on the fritz until I get that all worked out.
I was at Horse’n’Buggy’s to watch both of the games on Sunday, and was disappointed to see England lose, although the game was a good one. Happy with the results of France’s upset over Brazil.
Too bad Rooney had to come out, though, because that could have been the losing moment for them. I’m not so sure, but even if it wasn’t they STILL could have won if it weren’t for Callagher’s overexcited PK before the whistle. That ruined their chances. It was the last nail in the coffin for the ol’ Brits.
Thrilled with the way Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry played to pull it off against the always-favored Brazilians. Enough about soccer, but only after I say that I Dunno and I played last night for quite some time and a good time was had by all. Also that he and I will be making it to H’n’B’s for the Germany/Italy game on Tuesday since I have off work, and that the title Bend It Like Beckham maybe didn’t have anything to do with how ANYONE plays soccer.
Family has been in town, but only until tomorrow. More family (other side) came in last night, and they will be coming and going for probably the next eight weeks or so. Affie and her sister came for GSAM (special Saturday edition) and stayed with H’n’B now that Xoomie is exactly that. ‘Twas a small group, but a good time was had by all.
Nothing else of consequence, except that tomorrow before the Semifinals match I’ll be going to see some of My Favorite People in the World for lunch. Yay me. And again: Yay me.