Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Two months today!

This blog is exactly 2 months old today. This should be an accordinlgy momentous post so, obvioulsy, IT BLOODY WON'T BE!

Blogging
has turned out to be rather surprising and I've learned quite a few things about loads of things (e.g. being articulate is hardly the bee's knees). It's very addictive, for starters. But we already knew I have the genes for obsessiveness so it's no surprise - and if we didn't, WE NOW DO.

I
don't really care all that much abt being anonymous anymore. See, I'm too absent-minded to keep from outing myself regularly in the most blatant manner. I kept forgetting and bringing up both Anthropology and Vet school - and, in this country, there is exactly ONE person with an Anthropology degree that is now studying to be a vet, so that settles it. Pathetic isn't it? This is how small we are. I even put up a picture of me, albeit a disguised one. And what are the odds of someone I know finding this blog? Even if they do, well, bem-vindos and all that. Actually, the thing that worried me most was one particular someone finding it and reading one very non-complimentary post in native tongue. If it comes to happen, this is all I have to say: TAKE IT LIKE A MAN. You need the practice. Blogging is good for me on some other levels because I am very private so it's a way to slowly realise that opening up and exposing oneself IS NOT LETHAL. Not immediately, anyway.

I
have come across the most boring and aNNoYinG LitTLe blogs. Any blog with those supposedly cute but rather scary Japanese anime characters with the ueber-emphasised baby scheme IS unbearable - the non-existent ethologists among you may be wincing at my redundancy but I am dead serious, it's a frightening thing to behold, it's the MOTHER of all Kindchenschemen! So it isn't redundant, really. Just sad and a bit frightening.

I
have met the most amazing people, to whose blogs I am, you guessed it, addicted. They brighten up my days immensely, they make me feel that we do indeed inhabit one huge and yet essentially tiny planet and that wonders never cease. I'm amazed at how fast I've grown to care for a group of virtual strangers, pun and no pun intended. Only they're not strangers anymore. HI, YOU LOT! THANKS! *Very enthusiastic wave* I'm especially grateful for having found the Barren Bitches Brigade (particularly Tertia + Grrl + Julia + Julie) and I have a hard time explaining exactly why. Their posts invariably touch me. Because their courage is immense? Because they have not turned bitter despite the sad reasonableness of it if they had? I used to never cry on the internet but someone's brother managed to penetrate my defences.

A
nd I have come to realise the most amazing thing regarding Portuguese and English. WHY IS IT THAT YOU WRITE MAINLY IN ENGLISH?, you ask. No, actually NO ONE EVER ASKED ME WHY. Do you figure every foreigner goes around happily yapping away in English? And the answer to why I do it is not even obvious! I have always thought in English a lot, even without good reason - e.g. writing posts. I often use English expressions while talking Portuguese. I drive mysefl crazy trying to decide how to translate some words for which there is NO translation. And the influence of English is so pervasive and totalitarian that I do at times say the most horrific things in Portuguese and end up effectively sounding like an emigrant. English is an amazing language and much more adequate to my particular brand of sarcasm - and yes, we've also established I have a long way to go in terms of zen (and take it in its broader meaning, whatever that might be, it's bound to fit in here). So I do think better in English, I laugh better in English and I've become pedantic to the point where I absolutley CANNOT read a translated book bcs I often know what was written in the original version bcs the translation is so bad and it's such a waste of a perfectly delightful language - especially when it comes to British books (es, yes, I'm biased there as well, we also knew that already! But seriously, imagine Harry Potter translated or with any other type of English, or James Bond saying "I'm the Bondster." Can't be done.).

But
this blogging mania has opened up the world of Portuguese bloggers to me and the following have come to my attention: 1) A frightening number of Portuguese people cannot write, grammar and spelling are very obvioulsy optional; 2) Portuguese write mostly about politics - they'll say outright the blog is intended for deep political analysis (I told you everyone and their dog was a political analyst!), there's NO FUN TO BE HAD HERE, WE MEAN BUSINESS 3) Boredom. Most Portuguese blogs are EXCRUCIATINGLY BORING. When not politically boring, they're poetically boring. EVERYONE AND THEIR DOG WRITES POETRY AS WELL. Bad one. They will go on and on and on. Whiny little things, it's almost painful. Portuguese can be rather pompous and is not very incisive. It's more adequate for lengthy, intricate, obscure, emotion-ridden convoluted posts. This is well illustrated by the fact that I, having breathed saudade by the gallon due to my having grown here (this one is tricky to explain, a most nation-defining feeling. When you miss someone you feel saudades. It is something you HAVE, i.e., I have saudades of you. Add that to Fado, the national music, sang in our collective imaginary and in many special restaurantes by women in shawls and heavy black clothes - and the occasional moustache, all longing and loss and torment and pain and death and yes, saudade, you can well see why we're still struggling so hard to merely exist, forget abt being able to master national and international political and economical concepts. )(And did you know that Portugal is a Piscis? Must be relevant to something. Yes it is, we're still awaiting El-Rey D. Sebastião, O Desejado - The Longed-For One, taken from us one foggy morning of 1578 in Alcácer-Quibir, says the legend he shall be returned to us amidst the fog some blessed day and we shall be rescued and whole again.) So you see, lenghty, convoluted, obscure, intricate and emotion-ridden sentences IN ENGLISH are utterly IMPOSSIBLE. As I think I was saying, when homesick, tired, mostly sad, I will go back to my mother language for solace. With it you can create beautiful, fragile things. Some of our poetry is so exquisite I'm half convinced winged-dragons are involved. But it isn't right for when one's sharpening one's teeth and claws.

Odds
and ends: I have learned how to write some code for my blog (titles' colour, links to other blogs, quote from Douglas Adams, online counter, and the latest addition, one you can't see, there's a new sidebar link - which I've named PLIM! for the sound a magic wand does when, er, used - that allows me to go straight into a new post; that's Blogger's most recent invention, VERY handy) and am still VERY PROUD OF MYSELF! I love nerds and always have. They're so cute when they start lingoing. I also found out how to SEE someone's blog code ON MY OWN (I vaguelly recall Jay explaining it but it was hopeless.)(AHOY, anonymous ones who tell me my code looks cool, please take the time to EXPLAIN WHY! I find it rather lame and simple, actually. I'd love to be impressed as well.) Thanks to sitemetre I have discovered that ibm.com and virgin.net are quite the regulars, closely followed by attbi.com and pacbell.net - actually something is off bcs 66.146.130.# spent 89:47 in here in one single go. This can't be right, can it? Maybe they fell asleep. There's someone over in Hungary (that's what "hu" stands for, right?) who really, really seems to like me. Isten hozott/hozta! Hungarian is related to Finnish, I think (see how it keeps following me?). It's a pleasure to have you all. SERIOUSLY. BRUCHIM HA'BAIM! On a different note, I have found Anglo-Saxons don't give a damn if their text is not justified. I like to have the sentences all lined up. We are taught this, I think, but there's a chance I may just be a bit anal but not in the usual way - I'm not a hoarder, I'm not uptight, I am not uncomfortable with others for the most part - it's mostly language skills-related. Would you believe me if I told you I'm shy? I am, in that very unnoticeable way that makes others not aware of it so instead they assume you're just conceited and WHAM, your childhood and adolescence are the pits. Even as an adult it may cause you grief. (I really am not conceited. A bit pedantic and snobbish at times, but NOT CONCEITED! I am intelligent - and what, I need to apologise for that? Apparently yes and often.) This you do not know for sure, but I keep editing my posts, endlessly, even the old ones, and nothing annoys me more than finding typos. Language mistakes MUST NEVER BE. I have also discovered that I AM VERY FOND OF CAPS LOCK and CURSE A WHOLE BLOODY LOT! (More so in English than in Portuguese, this is for another post, has to do with language dynamics and meaning gradations and blahblahblah) Finally, who but people I meet in Blogland could urge me to VOTE BUSH? (Dude, you're still a freak but that was a VERY FUNNY moment!) (Now DON'T THINK ill of him, he seems to be a very nice man, the poor thing.)

And
I'll end with this story, not because it's connected to this anniversary but because they are so damn cute I love talking abt them: yesterday I fell asleep on the sofa - yes, the bright side of aging - and woke up REALLY COLD at some point and went into the office to get a duvet on my way to bed, yanked it off the sofa and almost sent the dog I hadn't seen curled up asleep on it flying - "almost" because she weighs 15 kg but she scares easily so she did the flying on her own, then found my way into the bedroom, sat on the bed to collect my thoughts re what to do next (when I'm sleepy my IQ suffers a considerable reduction) and promptly squashed the very dark-brown nearly-invisible-when-it's-dark tripod cat who was even less amused than dog and much more at ease with expressing it. But because she forgave me, she decided last night was one of those nights where she absolutely had to wash my hair and since it's longish and she got a literal mouthful several times, it had to be be spat out or, rather, bitten off, so even though I lack the genes I may be on my way to balding. Then the other cat, who stands out because of the lack of scars and limps of any kind (knock on wood!), had surges of "I adore my owner and she adores me and I know she'd be delighted to be woken up AGAIN to scratch my mentonian region furiously and look here she's hiding under the covers oh but I've found a way in so I'll just paw her about the face and head-butt her amourously and ACTUALLY lick her eyelids until she relents because frankly I can think of nothing better to do at 6 am and I JUST KNOW neither can she!" and I am so far out of the closet that I am even considering posting the story of how these charity cases found me and absolutely decided they had to have me, and I might even post some pictures of all of them and I am telling you lot right now I don't ever need to worry abt becoming the old lady with the cats (and dog) bcs it's happened ALREADY and I BLOODY LOVE IT but still, here's my message to the Mighty Sterilised Ones: dog, it will NOT kill you to be alone for more than 6 hours, SERIOUSLY, it's about time you learned I ALWAYS COME BACK, when have I ever not, and I would return in even a better mood if the sofa, shoes, credit cards, bras and mobile phone were to be INTACT, and to all 3 of you, STOP SHEDDING EVERYWHERE ALREADY!

Let
me tell you, for a non-momentous post this took THE LONGEST TIME TO WRITE!

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14 Comments:

At 13/10/04 21:29, Blogger CarpeDM said...

This was absolutely great. I loved it. Especially the cats and dog part. This was very fun.

I am so happy you blog. You know, I don't know why I haven't asked why you post mainly in English. I'm just glad you do because I wouldn't understand a single word you say and then I would not have the joy that I get when I read your blog.

 
At 13/10/04 23:26, Blogger Lala said...

Imagine if you posted in Portuguese and I had to put it all through Babelfish to understand it? Oh, what fun that would be!!!

Two months and going strong.

 
At 14/10/04 00:38, Blogger Viscondessa said...

Thank god for your blog, oh _______-san.

Dá para matar saudades. Especially of your apartment, the menagerie, and most of all your sleep-deprived 3 AM rants. I for one am thrilled to get my Lioness fix even here on the other side of the world.

(Yes, folks, she's really just like that in the flesh! In the privacy of her own home, at least.)

Keep it up!

 
At 14/10/04 01:09, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dahling, so nice to have you here, welcome! (Did you create a blog just so you could comment? Now there's loyalty! Suprising username though, how ever did you come by it? Sua SONSA! :DDD!!!)

 
At 14/10/04 01:15, Blogger The Lioness said...

V., I have a Blog Description suggestion for you: "My manor may be gone but my manners are still standing - bow in awe THIS VERY MINUTE, you silly silly man!"

 
At 14/10/04 01:20, Blogger Viscondessa said...

SONSA? Eu? [can't you just see me batting my eyelashes?]

Of course I made the username just so I could comment. I joined the fan club, that's all.

Now kiss the ring, there's a dear, and fetch me some ice cream. Oh, and get some sleep, would you?

 
At 14/10/04 01:25, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so surprised by Viscondessa's arrival I lost track of everything else, plus it's 1.22 am and I'M NOT SEEPING so anyway, DM, your Blue Stiffy will forever remain an Unforgettable, Lala, stay away from the light, Jay did it a lot and nearly ruined my life! Thanks for being regulars, it's my pleasure really.

 
At 14/10/04 01:37, Blogger Viscondessa said...

One more thing. About your preference for writing in English, I just saw a quote that I thought you would find apt.

"Harryette Mullen [a poet who gave a reading on my univ campus last week] admits to being 'licked all over by the English tongue.' "

Well, that about describes it.

 
At 14/10/04 01:48, Blogger The Lioness said...

That about does it, yes! That and the kibbutz cows - but I'm partial to English myself.

 
At 14/10/04 08:14, Blogger The Sacramento Blog said...

Yes I am that strange Bush supporter and no I dont take offense to your post :). Everyone has thier own beliefs and boy are your's wrong. LOL. kidding. Have a great day......and yes indeed, VOTE BUSH ;)

 
At 14/10/04 16:29, Blogger Noorster said...

WORD on being a non-native speaker AND thinking in English all the time. I spent the better part of the morning looking for the word for "stem cell research" in my first language (yep, it's one, long word we have for it).
Oh, and congratulations on keeping your British vocabulary intact. I was also taught British English at school, but lately I've been picking up Americanisms. Kind of disturbing.

I'm addicted to your blog. Never stop blogging. Never.

 
At 14/10/04 19:57, Blogger Dale said...

Happy blog-birthday O greatest of Great Cats!

What they all said. This has rapidly become one of my favorite blogs.

 
At 14/10/04 20:40, Blogger The Lioness said...

Hey Queen Noor (I'm laughing now, DON'T hit me): on Friday I had a friend who studied SOCIAL SCIENCES provide "células estaminais" bcs I couldn't think of the translation either! Everyone's been watching debates, I see! Dale, like you too!

 
At 14/2/05 12:58, Blogger Michael said...

Had I come across your blog sooner, you can be certain that my first question would have been, "Why do you write in English?"

I like your answer.

I think every language has it's own ta'am (not a pun on the name of my blog, but a partial perush on the name of my blog)-- some are good for x, some for y, some for z.

*

They say that Yaakov refused to stop grieving for Yosef because, with only circumstantial proof, something in him wouldn't accept that Yosef was gone.

And he was right.

I hope that you, too, will arrive at peace in your heart, and I hope that it will be because Uzi is still alive.

With blessings,
Michael

 

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