Archive for March, 2012
It seems I’ve been remiss in updating for a few weeks. In my defense, I’ve had a lot on my plate. I’ve still taken photos (almost) every day, so will update those at some point soon. Maybe Sunday afternoon I’ll do all of them from the last 3 weeks.
I’m also thinking that I might attempt BEDA for April again this year. I always debate and go back and forth with myself about it and in the end I always end up doing it, so I think you know where this is heading. Look for me to post on Sunday.
OH and I got the photos back from the photographer who was at Homecoming. There will be new photos posted soon at the photo blog, but I’ll post a couple of favorites in a separate entry right after this to make them, y’know, easy to find later if I want them.
So, four years ago J and I were in Ireland for Saint Patrick’s Day.
It is a religious holiday.
And then at noon, they party.
It reminds me somewhat of Mardi Gras, in that all the little towns and villages and things have their own parades the weekend before the day itself, with all of their kids and local clubs and things, and the giant parade/party is in Dublin. I still think New York, Chicago, and Boston have the really out of control stuff, though.
That being said, I spent Saint Patrick’s Day four years ago touring a crystal factory.
Then a marble factory. I suspect we might have stood out as tourists. Maybe. A little.
Then we hung out out at the hotel with the rest of the tour group, which (as we’d made friends by then) was fun. Not bad, really. Just much quieter than you might expect. I had remembered going to a little pub and watching a live band, but looking back at my photos, that was apparently a couple of days prior. As the trip sort of blurs together, it’s sometimes hard to remember what happened on specific dates. I definitely remember the crystal and marble, though, because we were the only people there. Ha.
We did meet Saint Patrick, though…
This last week was a little strange for me. We’ve had a really high volume of rain in the last couple of weeks, especially this past week, and everything is saturated to the point of constant sogginess. Some parts of this island (not where I live, thankfully) and Kauai are under almost perpetual flash flood watches and there was hail on the windward side where my cousins live on Friday (they are fine, it just damaged their porch plants), not to mention a waterspout that came on land (highly unusual) and took the roofs off of two houses over there. There are jokes about it being 2012 all over the place, but really it’s the weirdest weather I think I’ve ever experienced. The only thing I can say about it is that now the island is lush and green and we got to see some really amazing sights along the Koolaus.
In the middle of the rain, we had bulk trash day and, after the beetle infestation that had lived in part inside of it, we decided at last to part with the red furniture we’ve had since we got married. It was handed down to us from a neighbor and was good for starter furniture, but it’s been in the garage the last 2 1/2 years and I doubt we’d use it again. Between the faded cloth, worn cushions, and the beetle business, we couldn’t donate it. So bye bye, red furniture!
Recently I’ve started paying attention to various ways our everyday language is strange (being in a place where people commonly don’t quite understand one another even though we can all speak “English” does that to you). Our use of expressions and idioms, for instance, must confuse some people not from the US to no end. I give you: “That joke kills me!” as an example. It’s extreme sounding if you don’t know that it’s meant as a metaphor.
I’m not talking about accents, either, though I will say it took me a minute to tell the nice Australian gentleman at the zoo yesterday where to find the “taoy-gahrs” that were enjoying the rain as large, stripey cats who like getting wet do. Once I realized he wasn’t talking about a type of turtle, it helped a lot.
Back to my point, though. One of the things I’ve noticed lately is how many pop culture references we make every day and it got me wondering: How many things do we say all the time without even thinking about its original reference point?
Example: today I used the phrase “Alrighty then!” and then had to stop and think because it struck me that I was quoting something but couldn’t think what. It didn’t matter because it’s become a common expression and no one finds it strange, nor do they find it funny because unless you ask someone to really think about it, they won’t come to the realization that I’ve just quoted Ace Ventura any faster than I did. I mean, that movie is old by pop culture’s standards. A lot of people haven’t seen it. And there are people like me who haven’t seen it (or haven’t seen the whole thing) and know it best because of its being referenced in pop culture.
There are a lot of phrases we use that are from movies, TV shows, music, and what have you for which I’m sure the vast majority of people don’t even know the original things being referenced. There are also things where I’m guessing the reference is better known than the original thing itself.
- “Wink wink, nudge nudge” is used to humorously make someone aware that you’re hinting at something. It comes from Monty Python (as a huge number of our pop cultural references do) and an innuendo-laden sketch from Flying Circus.
- “Beam me up, Scotty” is maybe one of the more famous examples of this; though most people know it’s a Star Trek reference, most people don’t know it wasn’t actually said in the original series. Although for knowing that, I might be one of the people being targeted by this (often making-fun-of-geeky-people) phrase.
- The Ninja Turtles are, of course, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Rafael. They are all famous Renaissance artists, but my guess is that most (I’m being optimistic and giving people credit for knowing Michelangelo and possibly da Vinci, if they realize that it’s that Leonardo) folks think of the Ninja Turtles first.
- “Drinking the Koolaid” is another one that gets used, usually to mean that you’ve bought into an idea. I doubt many people in my generation or younger know it’s referring to the cult leader who got his followers to drink a flavored something and commit mass suicide, which was essentially mass murder. Not a good reference, though it has now become so commonplace that the dark edge has been removed from the expression itself. Reading about what happened is, of course, still horrifying.
- Just the other day I said, “What we’ve got is a failure to communicate,” and received a blank look from someone. I think people still use and get this one, but it’s definitely not a younger-generation expression.
How many things do we say every day that make no sense out of our cultural context, and how many more don’t mean the same thing any more? Expressions and slang are always evolving our language, and have been since the roots of English began over a thousand years ago. It’s interesting to see it happening in the here and now, though, and not just in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (which starts the shift from Old to Middle English).
Yeah, I’m a nerd.
Well, my Christmas tree is finally in its box, in the garage where it belongs. It went there on Saturday.
Yes, I know it’s March. Yes, I know Christmas was 2 1/2 months ago. And I tried, I really and truly tried to put it away. December 30th I actually started pulling down all of the Christmas decorations and on January 1st I started putting them back into storage. See? I blogged about it.
But the tree was the last thing to get taken apart and stored because it is, of course, the largest and heaviest decoration I had. I figured I’d need help to take it apart (though I’d managed somehow to put it up on my own), but I could at least take all of the ornaments off of it and get the box inside, right?
Later that same weekend, I wanted to take a break from undecorating and head to the beach for a bit, so I opened the garage door (where the Christmas tree box is kept) to get my beach chairs….
…and was met with a wall of teeny tiny CRUNCHING-UNDER-FOOT things. As I moved they started to fly into the air… and then I got close enough to see that they were thousands upon thousands of BEETLES.
Keep in mind that I am in my BATHING SUIT (with a cover-up, of course, but STILL) and holding a beach bag and there are THOUSANDS of little insects everywhere. And then I discovered their NEST– inside my emergency supplies and snuggled up next to (and INSIDE OF) our garage furniture.
The next door neighbors had moved out that week, but the garage was opened and I assumed some workers were over there (they’d been replacing floors all week), so I walked next door to see if THAT garage had beetles. One of the other neighbors was sitting there with another guy I assumed to be one of his friends. I asked them if they’d seen any beetles. They said no, but wanted to know WHY.
So I showed them the garage.
The neighbor scooped some into a cup to take to a guy down the street who does pest control, but we had an entire conversation (again, with my IN MY BATHING SUIT and HOLDING A BEACH BAG) about the SWARMS of BUGS in my HOUSE.
Then it occurs to me to introduce myself to the new guy (since I’m already the crazy lady with the beetles).
“Hi,” I said. telling him my name and shaking his hand. “Do you live around here?”
“Yeah, I live right here,” he said, pointing at the OTHER HALF OF THE HOUSE. “I’m your new neighbor.”
“OH!’ I said. “Well, you should probably get CURTAINS. Just, y’know, because all the windows here are level with each other. And the noise isn’t too bad, but if we’ve both got our bedroom closet doors open, we can totally hear each other. Just so you know.”
And then I drove off to the beach.
Later I realized that I must’ve seemed like not-the-sharpest-knife. I mean, of all things… Neighbor lady shows up dressed for the beach and tells you her half of your shared house is INFESTED WITH BUGS and then tells you that you need CURTAINS and about how you can hear through each others’ closets?
It’s a wonder the poor guy has spoken to me since then. (He does seem nice, though, and not too thrown by the fact that I made possibly the worst first impression ever). It helps that he has a dog. Dog people are usually nice.
Later that week I attacked the beetles with my good bug spray. It took three applications to GET them all, but I finally managed it and this weekend (exactly two months after the whole process began), J and I put away the Christmas tree. In the garage. With no beetles.
This week has been one in which I accomplished a lot and worked very hard on several projects. My photos are mostly of things related to them, with a handful of other randomness.
Monday I cleaned the bedroom and started getting things together to make a deployment shadowbox and scrapbook for J. He collected some patches, so I had them spread out on the bed… and Caspian decided they were his.