Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hola, Niñas y Niños

I've decided to start learning Spanish. I've always loved the sound of Spanish, and as much as French is supposedly considered the language of love, Spanish is the one that still sounds sexy, even when you're being yelled and/or sworn at.

I've wanted to learn Spanish for the longest time, and I always put it off, because I don't like classroom environments, and when a teacher is standing up droning on for any length of time, I get distracted and start writing stories to myself in my book margins. I learn best through reading, and then trying, not through being told. I think this ties into how much I desperately wanted to be home-schooled as a kid. I was under the impression if I were home-schooled they'd just send out a years worth of work and I could read through it all on my own and send it back when I was done. I was so disappointed to find out it didn't work that way.

My sister who has taken a Spanish course, because her sister-in-law is from Chile, has said she thinks I could teach myself from a book, and that she'd help me with pronunciation if needed.

I downloaded a book to the Kindle application on my phone, Getting Started with Spanish. It claims to be set out for use by homeschoolers, and it includes a website address to download sound clips of the words being spoken, if pronunciation is a problem.

I've read the first couple of mini lessons, and have learned how to say 'girl and boy' - 'niña y niño' 'the girl and the boy' - ''la niña y el niño'. I think one of the hardest parts may be remembering which form of 'the' to use. We only have one, they have a female 'the' - 'la' and a male 'the' - 'el'. Easy when refering to people, not so easy when talking about objects.

Still I shall persevere, and hopefully before too long I will be able to converse in Spanish.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's Award Season...

...and once again I wasn't nominated for a Golden Globe or an Oscar. I've been snubbed, y'all.

As is the case every year, when some people don't get nominated, magazines and websites everywhere start putting up slightly hysterical sounding articles outlining all the people who were 'snubbed' by whomever is choosing the nominees.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that when you snubbed someone, you deliberately excluded them with the express purpose of hurting their feelings, and then engaged in all kinds off passive-aggressive behaviours to convey the fact that they have been snubbed and they should feel bad about that.

I suppose it's possible that the people choosing the nominees are doing just that. That they each have someone they particularly hate, and now that they've successfully blocked the nomination, they are following that actor around Hollywood, laughing at them about how they could have been nominated, but they weren't, because they're not liked. I don't know exactly what goes on over there.

It just seems to me that it's far more likely, that when you only have six available spaces, and hundreds of actors submitting 'for your consideration' tapes of their work, some people are going to have to be left off the list. (Meanwhile can you imagine how hellish the Awards shows would be if everyone who submitted a tape got nominated. They're bad enough now with the six person limit.)

I wish that unless the media had actual evidence of someone not being nominated solely to hurt their feelings and make them feel left out, they'd stop saying people were snubbed. It's ridiculous.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm not...but...

Ever notice how often people will say "I'm not (whatever)" and follow that right up with "but (whatever)", pretty well proving they are what they say they're not.

"I'm not racist, but I don't trust Asian people." Guess what, you're racist. Not trusting an entire race makes you racist. And I don't want to hear what you're planning on saying after that opening sentence.

"I'm not homophobic, but I don't want me and my family to be around gay people. They'll probably try to convert us." You're homophobic. And I don't want to hear the rest of what you're about to say.

"I'm not trying to offend you, but you'd look so much prettier if you put on some makeup." You don't start a sentence with "I'm not trying to offend you", unless you know you're about to say something potentially offensive. Don't say it.

I don't know what kind of person you think I am, and I don't know how you got the impression that it's okay to say that stuff to me. Don't. I don't want to hear it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Buying One Should Be The First Thing You Get Fined For

Zooey Deschanel's current TV show New Girl, has something called "The Douchebag Jar". Basically if you act like a dick, you have to put money in the jar.
An American clothing company, Urban Outfitters, is now selling the jar.
And people are buying it. An empty jar, with a money slot in the top, that retails for $8. I can understand buying one of those money tins that you can't open just by twisting off the lid, because those are probably really hard to make. This is just a normal jar. For less than half the price you could buy a jar of spaghetti sauce, and after you've used it to make some delicious spaghetti, you can wash the jar, cut a money slot in the lid, and put on a sticker labelling it a 'Douchebag Jar'.

If you go to a store a buy one pre-made, your change should automatically have to go in the jar.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Shirtless Adventures In Mystery Land: Part 5

Because River reminded me I hadn't worked on this in a while.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
The mermaid's tail turned into a pair of legs. Really nice legs, Joshua noticed, as she stood, stretching nakedly, before walking over to an alcove near the back of the cave.

She came back to the pond carrying a large, shiny sword. Joshua felt slightly panicy seeing it. Was she going to kill him? What did mermaids eat anyway? Before he could get too carried away with his own thoughts, the mermaid nakedly offered him the sword.

"You'll be needing this on your journey," she said. "The key to your castle has been taken by a nasty tribe of Brownies."

"...little chocolate cake things have my key?" Joshua asked hestitantly.

The mermaid laughed at his question. "Brownies are a type of faerie, somewhat related to goblins. Ususally they're nice, helping people with harvests and housework. This tribe has gone bad, we don't know why. Don't lose the sword Joshua, you'll need it."

Joshua sighed nakedly as he weighted the sword in his hands. It was a good fit. Well balanced, felt like it would be easy to swing and stab. He'd just prefer not to have to use it.

"Good luck Joshua." The mermaid smiled, leaned forward, and kissed Joshua softly. There was a flash of sparkly light, and suddenly Joshua found himself standing shirlessly in a forest, holding his sword. (Not a metaphor).

He was a tiny bit disappointed, as he'd kind of been wondering what mermaid sex might be like. As long as her legs stayed legs of course. Joshua shrugged shirtlessly, adjusted his messenger bag so it was sitting more comfortably and headed off through the forest.

Nearing the edge of the forest, Joshua shirtlessly came across a stream with a huge waterfall. Pausing to stare at the breathtaking image, he decided this would be a good place to take a break and eat lunch. Shirtlessly setting down his bag, he was knocked off his feet by a small, slender man with very sharp teeth. The small man sat on Joshua's shirtless chest, biting his flailing arm.

Realising this must be one of the Brownies he was meant to find, Joshua heaved himself upward, forcing the man away. Five more Brownies rushed at him, trying to knock him down, biting him anywhere they could.
Joshua scrabbled for his messenger bag, managing to snag it, and retrieve his sword. Backing away from the rabid-seeming creatures, he swung the sword menacingly.

"I don't want to hurt you," he shirtlessly tried to explain, "I just need my key. If you give it to me, I'll leave you in peace."

The Brownies ignored this, snarling and advancing on him, looking to attack. Reluctantly he stabbed at the nearest one, spearing him in the chest.  As it fell to the ground, the five remaining Brownies shrieked and leaped on him, biting and scratching. Joshua fought back stabbing and swinging the sword.

Finally Joshua stood, shirtless, wounded and bleeding, surrounded by the bodies of the dead Brownies. He turned away, horrified by what he'd just done. What he'd had to do. Joshua walked down to the waterfall, standing shirtlessly under the cascading water, washing off the blood. He stayed there long after he was clean, until he felt he could face the bodies again.

Joshua shirtlessly searched the Brownies until he found a large iron key hidden in the clothing of the first Brownie to attack him. It warmed in his hand and seemed to be pointing him in the direction he needed to go to find his castle.

Joshua started walking.
Hopefully this time it won't be a five-month wait before the next part.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Taking A Break From My Break... bitch about stuff, and also ask a question.
The bitching first (because obviously that's more important), and just to note when I use the word 'you' it's in general.

You may be the nicest person in the world. Every single thing you have to say may be fascinating, and maybe I'd be crying bitter tears of disappointment and regret if I ever found out what I didn't get to hear. Maybe you're lonely and want someone to talk to. I'm not that person. (I understand that makes me sound horrible).

If I'm sitting at a bus stop, wearing headphones, and reading a book, don't tap me to get my attention, start yammering about your kids/grandkids/pets/whatever and then get offended when I politely say that I don't feel like talking and I'd just like to listen to my music and read my book. I'm wearing the headphones for a reason.

Question time (reason for question first) I have a running joke thing with a few people where if one of us says something that could be considered mean or offensive if it were said to someone else, we respond with 'that's going in my diary'.

I've never kept a diary. I made a few half-hearted attempts here and there because friends were keeping them, but I could never get past a couple of days. I've never understood why someone would write all their dreams and secrets down in one place, where someone else might be able to find them and read them. I like to keep my secrets in my head, where they will stay secret, unless of course, the government and/or aliens have mind reading devices. (some might suggest a blog is a diary, and for some people it may be. I don't put any of my really personal stuff on here so I don't think it is for me.

So today's questions are: Did you ever keep a diary? Why? Do you still keep one? Are you ever worried someone will find it and read it?