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Wistfully Thinking

Well, I got my orders, and I’m off to Salt Lake City today. I’ll be there a day and then I’m going to Pocatello, Idaho (Hi-Dee-Ho, Neighbor!), where I’ll be making money once again. There ain’t nothing like work to make a man feel important. Well, I guess being elected to something makes one feel important too, whether he works or not (see City of Houston- Mayor White and New Orleans- Mayor Nagin (both work more for themselves than for their respective cities)), but Mike has already posted about that.

I am a bit melancholy at the moment. But I don’t really like to think of melancholy as being depressed or despondent, but more like sadness with a touch of nostalgia, yet excited at the same time to be going on to the next chapter of life. Is there a better word that encompasses all that? Bittersweet doesn’t really do it for me. Perhaps wistful works a little better. Be that as it may I am glad to be going to a new job. This one is only through the end of October, but it is work nonetheless. And so close to Yellowstone National Park! I can’t wait to go there some weekend.
What I am thinking about has to do with linguistic fireworks! Just like the other night when I saw a comedian stumble a bit so bad that he made jokes about how badly he stumbled. And we laughed. Partly at him, but mostly because it was funny. He started going on about something and the next thing he knew he had gotten all mixed up. Like me when I tell pretty much any story. Only he is able to get people to laugh about it when my friends just look at me as if I were speaking French. And we all know that I don’t speak any French, oui? C’est la vie, perhaps I will have to learn something exotic like Croatian or Czech. Or maybe Russian. Then Basim and I could talk about anything in front of other people as if it were really important and we didn’t want them to understand, all the while knowing that if there were someone who could speak Russian nearby, she would just laugh at how silly we were being and how bad my accent was. Oh well, what do you expect? I can’t speak Russian anyway!

In fact the only language besides English that I speak at all is Spanish, and in that I am not fluent. I speak well enough to get by, and they tell me that my accent is pretty nice, but I don’t know what that means other than they say that I don’t speak with a strong American accent. But it sure is hard to do. That’s what impresses me about some of my friends in Europe. Although they were not raised as native speakers, many of them speak English pretty well. Some less than others, but they try hard and I appreciate it. My friend from Italy makes common errors, but only lately with a new job does she speak English with non-Italians with some regularity. The Germans by and large do better with it because many of them study English for many years throughout school, and some have spent time in English-speaking countries as well. But even then it is not always easy to deal with people like me because I am such a stickler for grammar and punctuation, as well as usage and syntax. I won’t admit to being a stickler on spelling because that is not something that I have ever liked (see Brian Regan’s take on the spelling bee). That to say, I appreciate my friends who make such an effort to write to me in a language not their own. Thanks, cheers, gracias, grazie, vielen dank, obrigado, ???????, and ?????.


Comment from Dovie
Time: 13 September, 2006, 7:08 am

If you spoke french, we could play the same game. Jay wouldn’t ever do that with me because he said it was rude (and, to be fair…I guess it is…but doesn’t it have to be VERY rude does before it trumps the ‘fun’ element?)

It made me sad because the one thing in the world at which I ever have hope of doing better than Jay Bruce is speaking french. Dangit!

(um, yeah…so I guess it wasn’t ever really about being able to speak french with a friend then, was it?)

Competitive? Me?? Nah…

Comment from dennis
Time: 13 September, 2006, 12:36 pm

well if I did speak French, I would be more than happy to speak it with you, but the idea would be to do that when around straners rather than excluding friends from the conversation, as that could be considered rude. But I guess that’s a moot point…

Comment from A Lurker
Time: 13 September, 2006, 2:04 pm

This post felt very “stream-of-consciousness.”

Comment from dennis
Time: 13 September, 2006, 2:58 pm

well James Joyce I am not, but it seemed good at the time, especially when I said that what I was thinking about was so interesting and then never really got into what it was. I just went off on the whole linguistics tangent. Or did I maybe do that intentionally? Perhaps.
Perhaps you don’t want to know what a river-of-consciousness is, but suffice to say that when a person is manic, they talk in a steady stream of sentences that don’t always make sense when put together, or at least it can be a challenge to follow.
Maybe I’ll rename the blog…

Comment from Elizabeth
Time: 14 September, 2006, 9:09 pm

Baie Geluk op Pocatello. Ek weet dat jou idee kalmeer. Maar ek verstaan totaal die goor gevoel…Interessant hoe dit dikwels kom by opgewonde laat en lewe. Mag nie het totaal verstaan nie die “linguistic fireworks” maar en vier fees van watookal dit is….my Suid Afrikaanse vriend vertaal bly vir my!

Comment from A Lurker
Time: 18 September, 2006, 2:17 pm

I am just so glad that I actually clicked on the “manic” link. Na-nu-na-nu.

Comment from the honored
Time: 19 September, 2006, 6:57 am

haha, you made it! you included all the words required!! Congrats!

Comment from your humble servant
Time: 19 September, 2006, 9:43 am

thank you! I had hoped that it would meet your expectations, and although it rambles on a bit oddly, it does actually mention almost everything. Except for the Agony Auntie. I missed out on that one…

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