Sunday, March 28, 2010

Come on Down Price is Right Style

So one of the things I've always wanted to do since I was a little girl was to be a contestant (or at least in the audience) of the Price is Right!

And today I partially fulfilled my dream. I ordered 4 tickets to the April 7 taping! I wish it was with Bob Barker (please remember to spay and neuter your pets) but Drew Carey is ok too.

I'm trying to devise my strategies how to get picked. I've heard if you wear a stupid T-shirt like "I love Drew" or something like that you have a better chance. I'm considering going for it.

I haven't watched the show in years but my favorites were Plinko and the Mountain Man (is that the right name?)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Words that are better in Spanish and words that are better in English: Parte Dos

As I continue to meander along the road called "Learning Spanish", I often come upon words that are better in Spanish than they are in English but just as likely I realize that there are words that are much better in English.

Here's one of my ongoing lists:

Words that are better in Spanish:

Cicatriz (see-ca-treez) = scar. I love the romantic sound of cicatriz. It conjures up swashbuckling pirates (hello Johnny Depp) full of cicatrizes.

Ojo (oho) de Pescado = wart. This may be Mexican Spanish because my Puerto Rican/Cuban husband was like WTF is that (because it literally translates to "fish eye") and both he and my dictionary insist the word for wart is verruga. But I prefer the fish eye.

Entonces (en-ton-says) = then. I love this because it reminds me of Toonces the Driving Cat from those ancient Saturday Night Live skits.

Agua Muertes = jelly fish. I like this because it translates to "dead water". Pretty accurate I think.

Rompecabezas = (jigsaw) puzzle. This to me is hilarious because it translates literally to "head breaker". Rompe is the word "to break" and cabeza is "head".

However, there are several words that are much better in English.

The least not being The Pope. In Spanish, it's El Papa but you have to be careful because if you say La Papa you're talking about a potato. This is the same in Portuguese because the first time I heard anyone say it was a Brazilian student of mine and even though he was speaking in English, he kept saying Papa and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why he was talking about a potato.

Rustling. There's something about this word that just evokes what it means. If I say, "The wind is rustling in the trees" you can't help but thing about an autumn day. The Spanish is "Hacer susurrar" which means to make a whisper. This is beautiful in itself but doesn't quite match up to the English.

Tomorrow morning. In and of itself, this isn't so great but when you learn the Spanish equivalent is mañana por la mañana" you appreciate the English brevity.

That's about it for this list but I do want to point out that, despite everyone's claims, Spanish is not always phonetic.

If it was ciudad (see-u-dad) meaning city would be pronounced the same as cuidado (que-dado) meaning careful.

Hubs nearly wet himself when I made that mistake.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Last Day in Europe

Ok this will be a short entry because:

A. I've milked the hell out of my Europe trip

B. Since it happened almost 3 months ago, I don't remember most of the details.

On my last day in Basel, we tried to keep it low key. Earlier we had drunk (drank?) a bottle of local wine with a picture of this awesome looking water castle on the label.

So we decided to go visit.

It's called Bottmingen Schloss and it's right in Basel itself. Although it's a fine dining restaurant now and not so much a castle but still impressive to see.

(Side note, apparently Roger Federer lives in this district. I like how Wikipedia has to just randomly throw this in. But from having talked with my previous Swiss students and the overabundance of RF posters about town, it appears he's a pretty fricking big deal in these parts).

Next we went to this abbey which had the chapel literally carved out of rock. Mariastein. (Mary's Stone)

It looked like a totally normal church (albeit one that is hugging the side of a cliff) until you get to the chapel, which is hewed out of the side of the rock. Pretty amazing. You get the feeling of how it would be to attend services during the time when Catholics weren't so welcome around those parts. Switzerland is partially home to the Protestant Revolution after all.

I wish I had taken pictures but I would have felt a little awkward, being that there were quite a few people there praying. (this one was stolen from the Internet). I don't have exact directions here, but do know that you will need a car and a driver who knows where they're going.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stained Glass Mafia

A few weeks back I decided to take a beginner’s stained glass course at a local art studio.

Let’s just say the experience has been one to remember.

On our first day, me and a few other girls were crowded around one of the two big tables in the studio listening to our 70-year old instructor set down the ground rules.

Our first little lesson: Your hands are going to get cut at least once during the next 6 weeks.

Our second little lesson: You can bring “Red Juice” to the studio during your class. Oh, red juice is what we call wine here, he says with a little wink.

Interesting concept. Cutting class and drinking alcohol. Not sure if I’m board with that one yet.

As the instructor was going over the basics with us, this huge fat woman at the next table over was talking so loud it was like she was shouting. Then she’d throw in a couple loud guffaws for good measure every once in awhile. Me and another girl were like WTF? We can’t even hear our instructor over this loudmouth.

Well, I did some checking around and it turns out this woman comes to every class they have. She pays and comes even if she’s taken the class before. Apparently, it’s her big night out for the week or something.

Since she pays, the owners not only put up with her but give her special treatment and pretty much let her do whatever she wants.

But wait.

It gets better because the word around the kiln is that you don’t cross this woman or else you may come in next time and your glass will be all smashed up!

Apparently this happened awhile back to some poor girl who questioned this stained glass Nazi.

What did I walk into here? Who knew an art studio was going to be so political?

I say political because there are 2 types of glass class that happen there: stained glass and glass fusion (which is where all the “cool regulars” including the stained glass Nazi were).

Us newbies were the stained glass lepers at the other table.

And when I say lepers, I’m not joking. Not one of those women deigned to look over at us or acknowledge us in any way.

In fact, once I was waiting in line for the glass grinding machine and one of them cut in front of me. I said excuse me and she just looked at me and was like, “my stuff was already in here”.

What was I supposed to do? You can’t punk someone out or throw down at an art studio. That would be too sad.

Feeling like a tattletale, I mentioned it to our instructor but he was pretty much like that’s the way it goes.

Maybe being the stained glass instructor, he’s low man on the totem pole too.

I guess that’s why he was hoping each week that one of us brought the red juice to share.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blogger Etiquette

After having spent the better part of a week dealing with a computer virus and not having access to the Internet all weekend, I got to thinking about blogger etiquette.

This came up because I saw I had a new follower who invited me to follow her blog. She had some sort of restricted access on it and I couldn't read it, so needless to say, I couldn't follow it.

Within a few days I noticed she had stopped following my blog.

What is that? Retaliation for not following her blog? lol. I'm still not sure, but if anyone out there has any ideas, shoot them this way.

Personally, I feel bad when I stop following someone's blog. Almost like I'm being somehow rude to someone who I've likely never met and likely never will. What gives with that?

This is why I'm now following like a million blogs (even if the person stopped writing months ago). I really need to spring clean my following list.

One thing I've been lucky to have been spared so far are any nasty comments. (Watch, now I just jinxed myself).

I've seen some pretty snarky hit and run comments on people's blogs and think this is pretty stupid.

There is a little thing called Freedom of Speech, so if you don't like someone's blog Stop Reading It.

Anyone have any thoughts on blogging etiquette?