Bits and pieces
So I went back to work at the researcher place, and it is going well, though I can clearly see the cloud hanging over the project, since they didn’t schedule enough time to finish it. (And by the way, what kind of company sends ALL its IT people to the same weeklong training? Having a tech-dependent company w/no IT? Genius.) And school has started again, with raindrops of Dutch presumably contributing to the net linguistic content of my language reservoir, hopefully faster than they evaporate. The long days are familiar friends, and I sleep without waking until the second or third slap on the snooze bar.
This busyness has a haze of footnotes swirling around it, so if you don’t mind, I will jot them on here and hope they feel satisfied.
I feel like the parent of our water heater. It is one of those tankless ones that heats the water as you need it, which is a way better method, but I think it is an adolescent. All of a sudden it’s acting out, like it no longer enjoys the activities (i.e. heating water) that it used to, instead it now barely participates, doing only the bare minimum necessary to avoid punishment.
At least it’s not getting pimples. I still have a monopoly on those. Although the current one (okay, two) is probably a result of the kinda dirty water we went kayaking in this weekend.
Kayaking is awesome! The Ardennes (in Wallonia, southern Belgium) are beautiful! I love GREEN. Growing things, the sound of running water, the absence of car racket. With a couple friends and their dog, Kadee, we paddled 22 kilometers of the Lesse River. It was relaxed, still water, the only time we got wet was the two little damns to go over, including below a rather epically European castle/manor house.
Awhile back my friend Chandra asked me whether “fly” was used first for the animal or as the verb. I love shit like that. I wish I knew! My guess would be that it was a verb first, and the noun first described any flying beastie, but eventually got slimmed down to just the most common (like how “meat” used to mean any food). Though people often still refer to gnats and whatnot as flies, in addition to house-flies (or deer flies, horse flies, tsetse flies…)
After some googling, it looks like the verb derives back to an ancestor language (Indo-European) where it meant any rapid movement, not just airborn. That makes me think the beastie came second, though apparently that meaning dates back to a prehistoric Germanic word. But since (I think?) the term “Indo-European” precedes “Germanic” then I am going to posit that it was a verb first.
And the opening in your pants came waaaay later. (That may come from something like a tent flap being used to keep out the bugs, that then got applied to the smaller scale of one’s pants.
And speaking of word oddities:
The Dutch word for “nail” applies to both the vestigial claw on the end of your finger and the thing you hammer into a wall, just as in English. I find this odd, since I see no obvious connection between the two nouns, beyond that unfortunate occurrence of aiming with a hammer at the latter and hitting the former.
The Dutch term for peanut butter translates as “peanut cheese.” While my beloved peanut paste is not really a cheese, neither is it a butter. What do you think, which comes closer?
The Dutch expression for pubic hair translates as “shame hair.” That’s messed up. And I bet you can guess what “shame lips” are. That reminds me of the extensive post on religion and sexual guilt I am deliberating whether or not to post…
I decided not to post my rambling about the degeneration of hip-hop from a forum for social commentary into a platform for short-sighted bragging, and the insane disservice this is to a socially brutalized demographic. That’s basically it though. Plus a dig at McDonalds.
Speaking of music, it’s one of the awesome/bizarre things about Europe. Most famously, this is the only area in the world that thinks techno is a really good idea, even when one is not 14 and screwed up on ecstasy. You have pasty Belgian “gangsta’s” cruising around with NN-ss-NN-ss-NN-ss rattling the windows of their wee Euro-cars, though to be honest I find them no more ridiculous than their US counterparts.
But also, the radio here doesn’t forget songs. Whereas the US pattern is for a song to come out, be tragically overplayed, and then forgotten, those songs hang on here. While grocery shopping this weekend, the tinny radio played The GooGoo Dolls, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Hootie and the Blowfish, and, much to my utter astonishment, to the degree that I stood next to the chips and just sort of smiled: Snow. Remember that guy? Informer? Aliki boom boom down? Yeah, that one. I couldn’t believe I was the only one who stood stupefied. Agog and aghast.
But man, that Hootie song is actually pretty awesome. I scavenged it up from the depths of my burned CDs and put it on my ipod. Let her cry, if it tears fall down like rain, let her sing, if it eases all her pain, let her go, let her walk right out on me, and if the sun comes up tomorrow, let her be. Sing it, Hootie baby.
A few months ago I bought a wee Venus Flytrap plant, which I fully acknowledge is only still alive due to K’s maintenance. The other day it flowered. I am so proud! It made up for the embarrassment I think we all felt when it’s little claw head clamped down triumphantly…on itself. It caught it’s own leaf. I think that is a new definition for embarrassing.
Dude, you’re like a venus fly-trap that can only catch it’s own leaves.
Harsh butt, bro.
You still have Hootie and the Blowfish stuck in your head, don’t you? You’re welcome.
And it’s Springtime baby! Luckily the allergies haven’t really been a problem, just occasional sneezes. The sky is still visible, cerulean blue, as I ride home from the train station at quarter to ten o’clock at night. The spider’s egg nest on the hinge of the garage door hasn’t hatched yet, though the mother’s body has long since faded to a thin brown scab of carapace. I’m simultaneously looking forward to it hatching, and very much NOT. Man, my bike is going to be a festival of little crawlers.
Let ‘em hatch, let the bugs fall down like rain…
Springtime is here, and now I know what I’m going to do with my summer…but that is another post…