Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Christma-Thanksgiving

My holiday with family in Belleville:

(Where Pennsylvania lives up to its stereotypes.)

Bugged family.

Devoured too much popcorn.

Visited a country store.

Had my camera stolen several times by this one.

Played a rousing game of White Elephant Christmas exchange.

And, as always, ate way too much food in my Mema's garage.

And a Merry Christma-Thanksgiving to all the Werner family!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And we shall call him Scruffy

Yesterday Kara and I were dreaming on Skype about the day that we return to South America.

Our dreams are very concrete:

Kara: Lets get a dog when we live in Buenos Aires.

Me : Ok, we'll get a dog! I don't know what types of dogs they have in Argentina...

Kara: Oh! Can we get an ugly dog? I love ugly dogs.

Me: But I love wrinkley dogs! (pathetic face)

Kara: They are ugly.

Me: Fine. An ugly wrinkley dog.

Kara: Good. But you know we'll just end up with a stray or something...

Me: You can't take in street dogs in South America!

Kara: Well, a mutt then. Oh! And we have to find friends to leave it with when we go. Or just leave it with one of our ex-boyfriends.

Me: We'll have many. Or the dog can just be our excuse not to go back: "Nope, sorry, how could we leave? What would the dog do?"

We didn't get to naming it. C'mon now. Choosing a name already would just be ridiculous.

You can't just plan every detail of life like that. :)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some PA Dutch dialect that needs preserved

Recently in my linguistics class we've been discussing dialects, different ones used across the US and our own.

And so ever since I got out of my linguistics class this morning I've been thinking about (And consulting the great oracle Google about) the way I speak, the way my grandparents spoke, and the different words and phrases I associate with the older PA Dutch folks in my church.

Cause that's what my family is, Pennsylvania Dutch through and through, (see the different clothing my relatives are wearing up there? Picture stolen from my Aunt's facebook page. Thanks Rachel!) but a lot of the dialect has been watered down and lost as the Mennonite community loosens up, moves away, and just generally integrates.

I've been bothering my apartment mates all morning with "Do you say it like this? Do you use this word?"

Here's some of the things I've come up with, most of which I never really thought about as coming from the Pennsylvania Dutch heritage before:

Dippy eggs: eggs you make in which the yolk isn't firm and you can dip bread in them. Really, it shocks me that you've never heard this before!

Dersn't: Dare not or better not. You dersn't eat all the scrapple now.... your Dad needs some yet!

Outen: To turn off. Can you outen the lights when you leave?

"Set" : To be idle, or to be for show. "On Tuesdays, Rachel comes just to set." "We use those candles sometimes, but these are just to set."

"All" to say "gone." "The milk's all" instead of "The milk's gone."

"Yet" like still. "The milk's gone but there's yogurt yet." Or, "I have to finish this paper yet, and then we can play."

"Sooner" and "as" in place of "rather" and "than." And not in the dramatic movie start "I'd sooner die!" way, but the ordinary "I'd sooner stay here as go to the store" way.

"What fer" often to say "what type," "What fer car was he driving?" But also as "whatever" and sometimes just thrown in there for good measure... "What fer book are you reading?"

"Once" not as in "one time," and not as in "once upon a time" either. This usage is hard to describe. I think it usually creates a condition before you do something else. If a child's crying: "Oh, now, I'm sure it's not that bad. C'mere once and let's see." Or if you're indecisive about purchasing a car. "Well, let's get to the dealership once before you make any decisions."

And, as in the title, the leaving out of "to be" before verbs, especially after "need." "The bed needs made. The table needs set. The floor needs swept."

Some of these I say, and some I don't. But now that I've thought about it, I may start reviving some of them again.

Think about it once, and I'm sure that what fer dialect you speak needs examined too. And I'd sooner sound a little strange as lose it completely!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Josh Groban and I

I went to this guy's concert on Wednesday night.

With mostly strangers. When I should have been in class. Until late at night.

Does that make going to a Josh Groban concert sound cool and dangerous? Well, cool does not control me, so there.

In any case, my new acquaintances from MIT and I, and all the other retired couples there, had a lovely time. I'm not so much a fan of the newest CD, but he sang a lot of the old stuff. And Josh's a pretty hilarious guy. A real dork. A funny, gorgeous dork with the voice of a god. We're soul mates.

And it was HI-larious how the second Josh came out onstage the audience lit up with the lights of dozens of little phones taking pics. Look Bob, see that little, the right, kind of longish...yeah! That's Josh! I thought I would die he was so close.

The guys from MIT were all in an acapella group called the choralleries. They were remarkably like the guys in my high school choir: odd voices, making up songs, inside jokes, drama drama drama.

I do nooot miss that.

Except these boys seemed a little afraid to talk to me. There are
girls at MIT, I'm fairly sure? Like, more than the two that I met personally?

Notes on Josh Groban concert etiquette: I don't care if the song is your favorite of all time or how much the spirit moves you, do NOT sing along.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lessons from vendredi

1) You've been shopping in Thrift stores too much when you think:

I know that I've been looking for jeans for a couple weeks now, that these are the exact color I wanted, that they fit almost perfectly, and that I wouldn't need to wear a belt with them unlike every other pair I own, but $13? Who do you think donated these, Kim Kardashian?

2) Complaining will get you everywhere:

We're buying tickets to dance at Royale in Boston. The lady at the counter says it's gonna cost us $20.

We protest that we thought that ladies got in free before 11.

Only if you're on the guest list, she says.

But how do you get on the list? I protest. Because my friend sent our names on an email before and it didn't work.

The cashier looks like she's not in the mood for me and tells me to take it up with the people who are controlling the guest list.

She maybe thought I would let it go. Oh no, my friends, I was not raised to ignore a faulty system that charged us each twenty bucks. There were principles at stake.

So I go over and tell the people at the table the same thing. Not the principles thing, the "we've tried that before!" thing.

So how are we supposed to get on the list if the emails won't go through? (Huh, huh, people? That's right, I'm pushing this issue....)

They also look a little we-don't-have-time-for-you-ish. They give me the name of the email again, and then pull a free pass +1 from the secret stash of things-to-shut-up-people-who-are-complaining.

Of course, we still paid $20 each. And if we figure out how to work the freaking guest list email, it'll be free anyway.

But it was a small victory.

Looks kinda like Aladdin's palace, right? Slightly louder maybe.