Does pre- matter?

I translated a word that would be "pre-wash" in English. As I was typing it out, I wondered if the spelling should be "pre-wash" or "prewash" (one word). When I was learning spelling, usually the prefixes were supposed to be followed by a hyphen. However, it seems like they don't have to be anymore. But I don't know if I want to make it one word because the concept of "before" is emphasized by the hyphen--it's a PRE-wash, not POST-wash (though there really is no such word).



Bruce lives in Markham, which is in Ontario, and sometimes says he's from "Markhong". Since I'm not from Canada, I didn't even think to ask what town that was--I just assumed it was a real town.

But he says that he's merged the two words "Markham" and "Hong Kong" because there are many Chinese immigrants from there, and while it's hard to pinpoint a specific article (unless I spend a lot of time researching it) that describes that situation, then the Pacific Mall could be proof of it: it's the largest Chinese mall in North America.


Interesting quote

I was watching Tom Wolfe speaking on Book-TV, and when someone asked him a question that he wasn't able to formulate a solid answer to so quickly or thoroughly, he said, "my brain is so full some things fall out."

At least he has plenty of outlets--books, TV, lectures, social life, etc.--that allow him to use his full brain.


Killing radio stars

I was watching Video Killed the Radio Star, and everyone knows it was the first video shown on MTV. I didn't have cable until a couple of years ago, but I remember seeing that video back then on my grandparents' TV. I wonder if it was during that debut year--or maybe I saw the video on non-cable TV, announcing the launch of the new station.

Well, I'm not the first person to come to this conclusion, but when I saw the video and heard lyrics such as this:

Pictures came and broke your heart.
Oh-a-a-a oh
And now we meet in an abandoned studio.
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago.
And you remember the jingles used to go...

and this:

In my mind and in my car,
We can't rewind we've gone too far,
Pictures came and broke your heart,
so put all the blame on VTR
You are a radio star
You are a radio star
Video killed the radio star

I thought, "iPod and internet killed the radio star." I've said this before, but when people can get internet capability in their cars, then they'll be able to access a lot of interesting online stations, which will mean more splintering of the audience. And it's a lot more fulfilling to find out about good music from a friend than to listen through commercials and bad music to find some gems. But I still find out about music that way, though radio stars are now few and far between.



Today is Thanksgiving--I would've done a post about it yesterday, because I wanted to post a link to the Thanksgiving Quiz I created last year, but I totally OD'ed on my computer. I've been using it so much, so intensely, that yesterday after I did some work and read stuff and chatted and emailed, I just had to say "enough".

So now I'm back on it, and even though I have to work some very crazy hours for the next couple of days, I have to say that one of the things I'm extremely thankful for this year is working in radio, even if it's still only part-time (almost impossible to get full-time work in it). I love it, I love where I work, my coworkers are great, I just feel very lucky. In the past, I would say that I'm thankful for my health, my husband, etc., but this year, I'm extra thankful because I have not felt so alive in years.

And the person to thank for getting me on this path is Rick Kogan, who's got the best media gig around.


Psalm 65

My favorite Old Testament translation is by the Jewish Publication Society. Actually, they'd be mad that I'm using the term "Old Testament"--they call it the Jewish Bible, though a more preferable and generally acceptable term is the Tanakh. Whatever--it all has the same contents.

I stumbled upon Psalm 65 yesterday, which is just so deep--unfortunately, I have to type out the translation because I can't find it online, though there are plenty of other translations of it here.


Addicted to desire

I'm surprised there's no movie or book or short story or poem or whatever out there with the title "Addicted to Desire." I wouldn't write about it, but I'm surprised no one else has, really. I know that some people have written about the topic--sort of, but within the fiction world, it seems to be absent.

So I guess I'm offering a free bit of advice--it's a cool title.


Rich and Strange

This past week, I got home really late but couldn't fall asleep, so I turned on the educational channel where they usually show really old movies (usually British) late at night/into the early morning. Usually, they're sort of odd, but I was fascinated by one: Rich and Strange. The shots are great--they show different ports and countries, and each scene seems painterly or like a good quality photograph. But what was also interesting was the interaction--even though it was in the early 1930's, the characters seemed modern, which helped get me into the story. I felt like I was a part of their trip, though the editing was choppy and the sound was awful. Apparently, from what I've read online, none of the versions seem to have good audio.

When I told my friend about how interesting and cutting edge it was for that time, he said that it was probably a Hitchcock film, but I doubted what he was saying because Hitchcock usually did mysteries. But yes, it is by Hitchcock, which explains why the style is relatively sophisticated.



Sometimes I chat with Bruce--he's a Canadian, so he uses British spellings, including "tonne," as in, "I have tonnes of work." It makes it sound so fancy. We simple Americans keep it short--we say "ton". So if I write that "I have tons of work" it really looks as heavy as it sounds. But "tonnes"--come on--that implies white gloves.



I was going to do a long, self-pitying post about writing because I'm trying to successfully untie the knots I created in my previous drafts, but I got home, cranked "Confessions" for the umpteenth time, and I'm in too good a mood to write anything darkly introspective. But I just want to let folks out there know that I'm on Yahoo IM now, and while I'm still using AOL (the IM name is listed in my profile), my name for Yahoo is different--it's the name of this blog (lower case).


Madonna does not need any more publicity than she's already had for the past several years, and she doesn't need people to talk about her because she is already so insanely successful and rich, but I just have to mention her because I cannot get enough of her latest CD. Someone gave me a copy of it when I was in San Francisco. Amazing--I've heard it several times in just a few days. I think I'm addicted. It has excellent production and sound quality, an international style, it's deep, uplifting, fulfilling dance music. Not like the pimp and ho-laden stuff that hip hop offers. I like the sound of hip hop, but the lyrics are disgusting and the images are so sleazy and misogynistic. Madonna's latest stuff sounds empowered and positive.



I spotted a new word that Language Hat (aka The Great One) used: blogovial. I'm posting it here for posterity, because it just might spread, and as of now, it's not anywhere else online. I guess it means that a blog exists, because he says, "the blogovial existence of..."

So a new word: blogovial.

Refresh this blog

If you've been reading my blog and you've noticed some problems, it's because I switched to Blogger Beta, which is a new version of Blogger. Someone had a problem posting a comment, but that shouldn't be happening.

So what you should do is refresh this blog by pressing the "Refresh" button in your browser so that you will be able to comment and not get any weird messages. And even if you get a weird message after you post a comment, it should show up because I tried it with another comment and it worked. Unfortunately, it may still say "0 comments", but it should still be there.

So press the "Refresh" button and hopefully the Beta problems will go away. Hopefully.


Online foreign language stuff

Mad Minerva mentioned a huge online library of books, including foreign language resources. They also list a lot of English stuff.

It will take a while to wade through all of that, but I want to take the time to check it out. Just another detour that moves us away from paper books.


Suffering shins

I'm back from San Francisco and had a great time. That is one city that I could easily live in--I like the "vibe", the variety, the buildings, water, islands, cuteness. But there's one thing I'd have to get used to: walking up those hills. My shins are hurting. I walk a lot in Chicago and have walked miles at a time, but it's flat here, so there's no pain. But in SF it's just so hilly, it can be quite a challenge. Even though I'm walking again on flat surfaces, I still feel the San Francisco pain. But I definitely want to go back. :)


Going to SF

I am finally going to San Francisco--I've wanted to go there since this summer, but the airfares were too high, and my work schedule was odd. But I have this weekend free and I managed to find a slightly lower fare. However, in order to get that fare, I have to change planes in L.A. and fly back very early on Monday in order to get to work on time that night. But even those long travel times will be worth it because I need to get away! The only other time I had a vacation this year was when I went to New York for a couple of days for a wedding.

I'm going to leave tomorrow after work and will stay with a friend out there. I will also probably meet Mahndisa, who I only know via her blog. I might also meet up with another couple I initially met online but who I met in real life last year. Yes, there are some real losers online, but I've been lucky to connect with some quality people.

(pic from here)



Jon Konrath (great read) mentioned the word "eurotrash," which made me wonder what it exactly means. Sometimes I hear people use it, and never ask them why they're using it or what they're talking about.

I checked out the Urban Dictionary to see what people have said, and there are a lot of definitions over there.

Here are some blunt ones: "Pretentious, narcissistic, metrosexual Europeans" or "inept and often uneducated europeans who waste their families' money in exotic places that want nothing to do with them but need the money."

And a seemingly positive one: "ultra-urbane sophisticated inimitable style which others try to copy"

A friend of mine tends to agree with this definition: "A derivative of the phrase 'white trash,' Eurotrash refers to Europeans who have become subservient to low-end American cultural ideals."

So what does it mean, really?


Often times

Maybe I'm paying attention more, but it seems that people are saying "oftentimes" more often.

For instance, some would say, "Oftentimes, I think about my mom."

Isn't that redundant? "Often" takes care of that concept, so the addition of "times" is really integrated within the meaning of "often."

It's so unnecessary, it stands out when people use it, and then they just keep on talking as if it's not a big deal that they are being redundant.

Also, why is the official spelling one word? It seems like it should be two words: "often times." But that's a secondary concern because I hear people say it more than they write it.


Voting day

Tomorrow is our time to vote, and even though the choices aren't stellar, I have to remind myself of that trite idea that not all countries throughout the world allow voting. I've met people who are in their 40's who have never been able to vote in their entire lives. They have to become citizens of other nations in order to vote. Can you imagine never being allowed to vote or campaign for anyone, or say your political opinions, or post them online?

I'm going to vote, but I'm also going to do other election-related stuff: I'm helping a guy I haven't seen in a long time campaign for alderman (those elections are in February). Basically, Chicago is a kingdom, where Daley is our king, and the aldermen are his knights. So it's refreshing to meet people who aren't like that. The weird thing is that I found out he's running for alderman via an article about him hacking the Board of Elections website. I was very surprised to see his picture on the cover of the newspaper, and then hearing him being interviewed on the radio.

Tomorrow night, I'm going to help gather election returns and info for the news staff at a radio station--that should be incredibly fun. I did it for the primaries earlier this year, and had a great time.

So tomorrow is going to be a full day of election goodies. I just have to be sure to ingest enough caffeine.


Annoying accent

There is something annoying about Debbie Travis' accent. She's originally from England and now lives in Montreal, and has probably traveled around because of her television and modeling work, so her accent has probably been affected by her surroundings, and since Montreal is French-oriented, she probably speaks with people who speak French and English.

The "problem" is that her accent is not totally British, but it's hardly North American. It's way more British than North American, so I'd say it's an altered British accent. On her shows, she seems busy and quite stressed, so that could affect the way she speaks, and also, she's speaking for television, so she's putting on her "performance" voice. It just sounds nasal and the words are blended and flat, but not in a Canadian way nor in an "international" style. I wonder what her accent used to sound like before she left her native country. It was probably more pronounced and grating, but less annoying than whatever blend she has now.


Might not do it

I said that I was going to do Nanowrimo, and was making pretty good progress, until I came upon a story about a participant wearing a costume while writing in a store window. And then I wondered why I was doing it.

I have my own story that I have to finish editing. It's painful to go through it and work out all the problems and write new scenes and try to make it good. I don't want to be grown up about writing, I just want to have fun. But finishing rewriting a book will be more satisfying than writing thousands of words that aren't going anywhere.

I wish I hadn't read the interview with the costume-wearer, but it made me prioritize. I've been trying to figure out for the past several hours how to successfully digitize some vinyl I have, and am now tinkering with my third audio editing software. I'd rather successfully complete a podcast of digitized records than spend that time doing Nanowrimo, so I guess for now I'm not going to do it. I still have time to go back and resume that project, if I feel like I have to take a break from maturity.


Fiction is lying

I'm sure I'm not the first one to say this, and I don't have time to look it up right now, but sometimes writing fiction feels like lying. For instance, I started on this month's 50k-word project, and I wanted to start with a "what if" based on stuff I'd experienced, but realized if I continue along that path, then it wouldn't be fiction, so I started "lying." I know there are authors out there who've gotten big-time recognition for fiction that was just thinly veiled non-fiction, probably because they wanted to communicate a theme that was based on their seemingly interesting reality. Or it could be that they were too lazy to create fiction with the things they'd learned from their bizarre experiences. There's one local author who's of the more intellectual group, and when I read his stuff, I thought that there was nothing fictional about it--it was just a bunch of essays, posing as short stories and eventually as a loosely-constructed novel. But an agent saw his work in a literary fiction publication and was impressed, and they've milked the guy's background enough to make him into a name on the lit fic scene. It's one of those things that falls under the L.I.F. category (Life Isn't Fair).