29 November 2007

A Whole Lot of Random Things, plus a Challenge

• New favorite Dutch verb: tennissen, to play tennis. Ik tennis: I play tennis.

• Brave Moment of the Day: I killed a spider! Only minor hyperventilating, no tears. Sure, it was about a millimeter long, but this was a big deal.

• Newest decorations in my apartment: A Christmas tree made of wrapping paper, and postcards from Italy.

• Best cooking "invention": Putting powdered ginger in yoghurt!! I especially like it in fig yoghurt, but it's great in mango, apricot, kiwi, and strawberry as well.

• Hairstyle of the week: It's not intentional, but I've been wearing barrettes a lot. So today I did French braids (no idea how to say that in French) to shake things up.

• Thing I noticed about my French abilities: Today I noticed that I no longer notice when people are talking to me in French. They're just talking. And I'm just understanding. No difference from how my thinking feels when I'm hearing English.

• Current sadness: My Grandma's health is seriously deteriorating, and I'm really worried about her. It's to the point where my parents are ready to drop everything and drive to Montana, and it's hard to be far away at a time like this. They don't think she'll live much longer.

• Amusing memory that came to mind: Macs have a wireless card called "AirPort." When I was in Russia, I was checking to see if the Moscow airport had wireless, and upon finding that it didn't, I turned off my signal. When Alex saw me click "Turn AirPort off" he asked it that was a good idea, since we were still inside and were waiting for a flight. Heehee.

• Linguistic idea of the week: I had an idea. And I'm working on realizing it. It's a humongous challenge. The idea is this: when you whisper, you devoice voiced consonants. So if you whisper "buy" it'll sound like "pie." Here are the graphemes that correspond best to the consonant transformations (i.e. here are the letters that'll get my point across):

B --> P [buy-->pie]
D --> T [do-->too]
Z --> S [eyes-->ice]
J --> CH [gyp-->chip]
ZH --> SH [seizure-->see? sure]
V --> F [very-->fairy]

So my idea was this: is it possible to write a sentence (and once I manage that, a poem) that makes sense in one way when you speak it normally, and makes sense in a completely different way if you whisper it? And if you whisper it to someone, will they hear the voiced or the unvoiced counterpart?
I began by listing as many word pairs as I could think of. (I couldn't think of very many.) And I tried to put together a pair of sentences. (The first doesn't really make much sense.) And here they are, for your whispering enjoyment. In theory, if you whisper the first, you could hear the second.

The side of a very great good gauze, me bane.
The sight of a fairy crate could cause me pain.

I call it Whisper Poetry. If you find this interesting and want to try it (or even if you don't but it burrows into the back of your mind and you find yourself whispering random words to see if they work) tell me any word pairs you come up with. I especially appreciate pairs of verbs. And if you can come up with a pair of sentences, both of which make good sense, you win a prize. I'm not even joking about you winning a prize.
[To get you started, here is the short list I have of voiced words that have an unvoiced mate: goad/goat, buzz, do, aid, den, deem, vision, how's, Ben, been, state, buy, news, down, node, nod, raid, bend, ball, eyes, girl, gyp, jig, bane, band, bug, ride, dog, zoo, use, said, dime, good, gum, down, side/sighed, bard, kid, get, made/maid, bag, game, very, grade/great, gauze, doe, does/doze, wand, bored/board, add, big, Jap, wend, dry, bill, ghoul, grow, lead/led, door]

• Song I've been listening to a lot: And So it Goes by Billy Joel. I sing along with the harmony.

• Average snooze alarm time this week: thirty minutes. It's been rainy and dark in the morning, which isn't a great motivator for moving.

• Movies I bought very cheaply and have watched in French on my new DVD player: Sister Act, Bowfinger, Daredevil. Great movies, and great dubbing.

• Failed experiment: It's possible to make vanilla syrup. It's possible to make mint syrup. It is not possible to make cinnamon syrup. The cinnamon sinks to the bottom and it's too uneven to pour. Luckily, I put some vanilla in there too so the thin top layer pours and tastes good.

• Current soup recipe: mushrooms, peas, a tomato, a bouillon cube, some leftover Thanksgiving chicken, lots of cayenne, and dumplings. Yum.


Kristen said...

1. I love you.
2. I miss you.
3. I will be on your continent in about a month.
4. ::hug::

Rick said...

Was it a big spider - a hairy spider - black widow? Or an itzy bitzy one? Just how brave were you?


Kel Miller said...

It redefined itsy bitsy. So small it was barely visible. Literally the size of a pinhead.
But for an arachnophobic that still took a lot of courage!