Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yesterday, and today.

My Spanish conversation class was a riot. We twelve women are like our teacher Rey's harem. Rey is very short and he's full of energy. He talks constantly. Yesterday he tried to get one of us to adopt a lost dog his Italian wife had taken in. He passed his cellphone around with a picture so we'd see how cute the dog is.

He's retired from IBM but has many entrepreneurial enterprises going. For instance, he sells barley in little foil-wrapped tubes (for making green barley-water). He also sells magical magnetic shoe insoles which are supposed to give you a lot of energy. They cost $60 a pair. Here's how he tries to convince you they work: he has you stand on the insoles (you can leave your shoes on) and make circles with your index finger and thumb and he tries to pry the fingers apart. Then he has you step OFF the insoles and he pries again.

Conclusion of an adorable Brazilian woman who is taking our class: "He doesn't pull on your fingers as hard when you're standing on the magnets."

We go around the circle, in a haphazard way, and talk about whatever's on our minds.

I complained, when it was my turn, that my Yiddish studies are confounding my attempts to speak Spanish, and then I advertised the telenovela website I started (Caray! Caray!). The Brazilian woman said, "Oh we have those novelas at home. I can't watch them. The women are always crying."

We got a lecture, in Spanish of course, from a Botanical Gardens volunteer about pulling out the invasive weed called Japanese Stiltgrass, right now before it's finished flowering.

I weedwhacked like crazy when I got home - in order to thwart that Japanese Stiltgrass.

I have a new arrangement with a friend who's interested in learning to sing - he gets a lesson, brings groceries and makes me dinner in exchange. This is excellent because as an empty nester I am too disheartened to cook. After dinner last night he showed me the new keyboard he bought - it's so fancy it can play tons of music for you without your having to do anything at all except press "start"!

This morning - a Yiddish lesson and then a big day at the recording studio. Bob and I did four recordings in the 80s, but this will be our first try since getting back together. I'm quite out of practice - for ten years I did a recording with one group or another every year, but it's been years since the last one (Mappamundi's "Music Our Way.")

Trust Bob to have an alternate type situation. He built a fabulous house in Satterwhite - it's a tiny community far north of here, the town center actually consists of one boarded-up general store - and then he built an in-law apartment onto it - because his nonagenarian Finnish aunt wanted to live there with him. But it turned out she couldn't hack the intense quiet of Satterwhite after living in Los Vegas most of her adult life! So he rented the empty space to a guy who turned it into a recording studio. Bob's built a lot of stuff for the guy so we're getting a bunch of free hours to see if we like his style.

You have to be both confident and well-rehearsed to do well in the studio - at the moment, I'm not either. But you gotta start someplace.

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At 1:14 PM, Blogger novelera said...

dSo nice to hear something personal from you. Lately your blog has mostly been postings of articles which, while interesting, don't appeal to me as much as what's going on in your life. I'm the West Coast Sylvia who did a couple of Alborada recaps for you way back when. I haven't participated at all in Caray Caray because I'm not watching of the novelas on Univision. I am watching two on Telemundo: Tierra de Pasiones y Amores. Your Spanish conversation class sounds somewhat like mine, except my teacher, Graciela, is a very refined, well read Mexican woman. When I first moved into advanced Spanish I was terrified to speak up, but she's so nurturing that I've come a long way. Again, great to hear what's going on with you!

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have an interesting life. As I said before, you are a true Renaissance woman. I can take a free class every semester at the community college where I teach and I should take a beginning Spanish class, but I am too lazy. Instead, I watch ''Alborada'' and ''Amor'' over and over and try to pick up what they are saying. I seem to get more each time I watch, but the horses and Fernando some times cause me to lose focus on the learning part of this experience. What instruments do you play? Susanlynn

At 10:08 PM, Blogger melinama said...

Hi Susanlynn,

It's time for YOU to tell us more about yourself! What do you teach? Where are you? Are you really watching Alborada over and over?

I sing and play concertina, fiddle, viola, and bad piano. I used to play really bad accordion but I gave it away to my daughter Melina.


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