Archive for September, 2007

The Most Untranslatable Words

September 30, 2007

Scholars and professional translators have determined that “ilunga” — a word in the Bantu language of Tshiluba for a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time; to tolerate it a second time; but never a third time — is the “most untranslatable word in the world. “Shlimazl”, a Yiddish word for a chronically unlucky person, and “radioukacz”, a Polish word for a person who worked as a telegraphist for the resistance movements on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain, ran a close second and third. The most untranslatable word in the English language was voted to be “plenipotentiary”, which means a special ambassador or envoy, invested with full powers.

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Router Running

September 30, 2007

Router went out on Friday. There’s been enough going on that I didn’t actually miss it all that much. I don’t know which I found more amusing: that we couldn’t live more than 2 days without one (Steph and the Old Man picked it up today), or that once I logged back in, nothing of interest appeared to have happened anywhere the entire two days.

Perhaps the world is slowing down.

Whether You Acknowledge it or Not…

September 28, 2007

Yes, you take it with you.

Being top of the pile means that whites are peculiarly and uniquely insensitive to race and racism, and the power relations this involves. We are invariably the beneficiaries, never the victims. Even when well-meaning, we remain strangely ignorant. The clout enjoyed by whites does not reside simply in an abstraction – western societies – but in the skin of each and every one of us. Whether we like it or not, in every corner of the planet we enjoy an extraordinary personal power bestowed by our colour. It is something we are largely oblivious of, and consequently take for granted, irrespective of whether we are liberal or reactionary, backpackers, tourists or expatriate businessmen.

I Really Should Get Back to Writing…

September 28, 2007

Really, really.

I need to find some angst to funnel. I know it’s there. I’ve just been too good at distracting myself to deal with it.

I’ve got to review my writing schedule for the year, too. Black Desert isn’t going to get done all by itself, and right now I open it up every day and it just sits there and stares at me. It’s like that world is a thousand miles and three lifetimes away.

Maybe I should distract myself with some other writing project.

I feel sort of adrift, writing-wise, these days. Been that way since mid-August, which may not sound like a long time for some of you, but not writing, for me, is really tough. I’m usually a much saner, clear-headed person when the words come.

Joanna, Fire

September 28, 2007

And of course, her name is Joanna….

The Honesty Divide: Is Brutal Honesty Brave or Hysterical? Check Your Gender

September 27, 2007

None of these revelations [from men] of personal weakness seem to undercut the esteem in which these male critics are held. Nor has there been expressed an air of disappointment that they failed to live up to some bloodless, bileless ideal of who they are. Because stoicism is expected of men, their personal revelations — the more embarrassing the better — register as brave and honest. When women do it, they are merely confirming the worst suspicions about their gender. How, then, is a woman to write honestly of her experiences that do conform to gender expectations? If she is to maintain respect in public realms, must her public evocation of her private life be a lifelong performance? A series of lies, or at least omissions, constructed to leave an impression of unyielding strength and impenetrability?

To sum up: “….it’s time we grew up and realized that it is possible to exhibit both intellectual strength and personal weakness simultaneously.”

Amen.

Classic Cards to Know and Love

September 26, 2007


More here.

Grow Island

September 26, 2007

I’m getting better. I beat this one in, like, an hour.

And, By the Way…

September 26, 2007

The podiatrist cleared me for kickboxing.

I can start up again next week!

All Quiet on the Western Front

September 26, 2007

Things here have been all quiet on the western front, mainly because I’ve been out and about a whole lot. I knew there had been some sort of odd turn when I realized that I hadn’t read my LJ list in several days and didn’t particularly miss it. I finally understood that what keeps me spending loads of time on the internet is, often, lonliness.

And I’ve been desperately lonely for a long time.

David and I bowed out of our year-long distance relationship a couple weeks before I went to Switzerland, and even so, we spent a grand time together there as friends. Though the ending of the relationship wasn’t my first choice, I respect and understand his decision. I think you can build a mutually fulfilling relationship over distance, but both people have to want to do that, and have to want to work at it, and the passion for doing that was, alas, one-sided.

So it goes. Nobody you can blame for that.

So you get up. You rebuild.

And in this case, what that means is that I’ve been out a lot doing this bizarre “dating” thing that, apparently, the majority of people do in this country.

“Dating”… ha ha.

When was the last time I actually fucking “dated”? I mean, really?

You know, I’m so bad at “dating.” If somebody makes it past three dates, it’s either cause I’m serious or… well, OK, really, it’s only cause I’m serious. Or bizarrely attracted to them even though I know we’re not good for each other.

I’d like to say that it concerns me that I don’t “get to know” more people, but you know, I get to know a lot of people everyday – at work, on line, at cons – I figure those are as much casual dating experiences as actual dating, only without the uncomfortable “interview-like” atmosphere of a first date, which I appreciate (there is nothing, NOTHING worse than one of those first-date “interviews”). I think my preference is always to be friends first. Then there’s less pressure, and you’re already familiar with some of the more standard quirks by the time you end up making out.

Anyhow, lovely as it’s been to get around Dayton and actually eat out and see shows, I’ve come to realize that DATING IS REALLY EXPENSIVE.

Sure, splitting most expenses while traveling to see your SO is also pretty fucking expensive four times a year, but going out three times a week? Pretty fucking expensive. Expensive: all the time.

But!

But.

Hanging with somebody and laughing ridiculously all the time?

Having somebody around who holds your hand?

Engaging in Shakespearean-like insult wars?

But anyway, dating = good but expensive.

Also, dating = less writing time.

But that’s OK, because the dating is distracting me from the cold hard fact that my book’s on the examining table in two particular places right now, and it’s something I have no interest in dwelling on. Or thinking about. Or, in fact, writing about.

So I’m going to eat some Chipotle, read some books, and go be silly somewhere.