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February 28, 2009

My New Favorite Welsh Idioms

I have, thanks to the lovely BBC and their insistence that they help me on my quest to be a better Welsh speaker (and not just me, but also everyone else who uses their website as a Welsh-learning resource) two new favorite Welsh idioms. The first is hel straeon which literally means "to collect stories". One could say, Dw i wedi hel straeon. and one would idiomatically mean, "I have been gossiping." Not that one would ever have a reason to say such a thing.

My second new favorite idiom is: fel melin bupur which literally means "like a pepper mill". One could say Mae hi'n siarad fel melin bupur. And, one would be saying, in effect, that "She talks non-stop." Again, not that one would ever find occasion to do so.

Given my love of both idiom and Welsh, I expect that this newfound discovery of an online archive of Idiomatic expressions in Welsh will both be a source of inspiration and a way for me to pester my Welsh-speaking friends.

February 23, 2009

They're so cute when they're disruptive and destructive!

I just realized that I don't have a category for all my cat stuff. This surprises me. I like creating categories for things.

I have two, fun crazy cat lady stories to tell.

First off, I have a new alarm clock. Two of them actually. My Cooper clock likes to sit by my head and nuzzle his way under the covers, purring like a maniac at inappropriate times of the night. Adorable. My Kingsley clock likes to hop on my chest, start purring and occasionally whack me in the face with her paw. At five in the morning. And, its always five in the morning. Because I obviously need to be awake at five in the morning, particularly on Sundays.

Now, onto my second crazy cat lady thing.

I keep catching Cooper shimmying up the curtains and back down. Like its the rope from gym class. I walk into the room, I say his name, and he shimmies back down. I don't know what purpose this serves for him, but I'm considering hanging a rope from the ceiling so that he'll have something all his own (and not my curtains) to climb.

February 16, 2009

Some songs for Monday Morning

  1. Country House-Blur
  2. Existentialism on Prom Night-Straylight Run
  3. (I Just Wanna Be) Your Steve McQueen-Eytan Mirsky
  4. Hey There, Delilah-Plain White T's
  5. Take Off-Wakefield
  6. Geography-Kathryn Musilek
  7. Galileo-Indigo Girls
  8. Good Night's Sleep-The Starting Line
  9. The Model-Belle and Sebastian
  10. I'd Kiss Him if He Were You-Aaron McMullan
  11. Forty-six and Two-Tool
  12. Our Favorite Song-Reasons for Leaving
  13. Divorce Song-Liz Phair
  14. Buildings and Bridges-Ani DiFranco
  15. Pennies in My Pocket-Mandy Moore
  16. El Sorcho-Weezer
  17. Code Monkey-Jonathan Coulton
  18. Catch a Tail by the Tiger-Fraggle Rock
  19. Out of Habit-Ani DiFranco
  20. Tiger Woods-Dan Bern
  21. Just Like Jesse James-Cher
  22. I Finally Decided to Give Myself a Reason-I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business
  23. Letters to a John-Ani DiFranco
  24. Violet-Hole
  25. We Belong-Pat Benatar
  26. Freak Scene-Dinosaur Jr

  27. I fair amount of Ani, and a fair amount of repeat from other lists, but each of these songs had something in them that spoke to me this weekend, so I put them together to give them a listen.

February 15, 2009


I took yesterday as a day of quiet contemplation. Love is something you should think about, and "love" in the form of Cupid and candy hearts and roses is pushed this time of year.

I contemplated by starting at the beginning. Who is Valentine? So, the story goes that in the Third Century in Rome, the Emperor Claudius was having trouble getting men to volunteer to join his army. Shockingly enough, no one wanted to leave their family to go and fight in the Emperor's stupid, stupid war. Claudius hatched a lightning bolt of a plan, if men weren't married, they wouldn't have families to leave. That would make people want to join up, right?

Some people that the plan was stupid. Some people, like the priest Valentine (or Valentinus, if you want to go for the Authentic, Roman feel), thought that the notion was so ridiculous that it needed to be flouted. Who was Claudius to tell the young lovers of Rome that, no matter how they felt about each other, it wasn't legal for them to get married. So, he married them secretly. And, of course he got caught. If I remember my Saint's lives correctly, he was clubbed, stoned and then beheaded for defying Emperor Claudius.

This got me thinking about the nature of Valentine's Day, with its conversation hearts and sappy cards and big boxes of chocolates (an aside on this: Godiva often runs spectacularly contests with their big heart-shaped boxes. A few years ago it was a ring from Harry Winston. They'd be on sale today, so if you eat chocolate and are out and about, you should have a look.) and I think the way we celebrate it misses the point. Valentine went against the law in order to marry people who would not otherwise have been allowed to be joined, making the statement that love trumps government.

After my day of quiet contemplation, I've come to the conclusion that Valentine's Day should be a day of protest any place a state makes unfair laws about who is allowed to marry. Love is sacred and it should be beyond the power of any governing body to regulate it.

In addition to this, I feel it is a little myopic to simply celebrate romantic love. Love, in all its forms, should be celebrated by everyone who sees it, by everyone who finds it, everyday.

(And, yes, I am aware that "love" and "marriage" are not the same thing.)

February 12, 2009


I was mildly aware that weather was taking place whilst I slept. Not because of the weather, but because the weather scared my cats. There is really nothing quite like taking a kitten to the chest while you are sleeping (even if said kitten is only around six pounds.)

I didn't look at the clock, so I can't say for sure what time it was, but Cooper pounced on me, stuck his little kitty face in mine and mewed his distress at the swirling winds. I thought, "Well, the weather channel did say we might get some snow," rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. However, kitten distress trumps sleep. I rolled over, Cooper followed me and again stuck his little face in mine and mewed his distress. His sister then climbed on top of my shoulder and joined him. Aren't they lucky that they are indoor cats now and that they weren't out in the elements? Everyone was comforted and eventually they calmed down and we all went back to sleep.

This morning, while I was puttering around my kitchen making coffee, I noticed that we had lost power. So, I guess its a good thing I didn't look at the clock as I wouldn't have seen the time anyway.

February 06, 2009

Back on the Wagon

So, I bit the bullet and started a diet today. I've been trying to do this/talking about doing this for nearly a year now. And, now I've done it. I joined eDiets, which is convenient in that it tells me exactly what I'm supposed to eat and prepares a shopping list for me. Usually, I like that part of things. Its fun to plan meals and decide what you're going to eat. However, this semester I have a lot on my plate so instead of letting my health and well being continue to slide, I'm outsourcing.

Good for me.

This is, technically, my first full day on the diet. I signed up yesterday, so last night was the first "on the wagon" meal. I made my own turkey burger. This is going to sound bizarre, but its nice making your own burger patty. Its therapeutic, chopping and mashing things together. I didn't use my fancy blender/food processor last night to chop the onions for the burger, but in the future I will. I'm pretty proud of myself for taking this small step. Of course, I'm also pretty pissed that I put all this weight on in the first place and that this step has to be taken at all. Ah, well. Sometimes, you have to take the good with the bad.

February 01, 2009


I have a sudden and inexplicable want to learn Russian. Maybe that could be this summer's project? Because, I won't already be doing enough this summer as it is.