Friday, April 20, 2007

Catching up.

Funny how a small change can lead to a big one. A few weeks ago I discovered that my morning backaches were being caused by - blogging in bed! I had developed a bad habit of waking up much too early and then hauling my laptop into bed.

So I stopped doing that - but that meant I also stopped blogging.

It's hard to find another time for cultivating Pratie Place. Now the sun rises so early, and I'm eager to be up and away. My projects are engaging me very deeply...

Yiddish class, for example, is delightful beyond words. It's just four of us: my teacher, Sheva; her husband Sandy; and her gorgeous and ridiculously amusing daughter Mira. Sheva is very serious, and so her husband and daughter have an ongoing project to amuse her and, if possible, to crack her up. In all the years I've known her, I don't think I ever saw her laugh until I saw this tag-team in action. They can get her to dissolve into helpless giggles. And in Yiddish, no less! For some reason, this makes me want to study all the harder.

The project of collecting, arranging, and in some cases writing music for the Pratie Heads' upcoming cd of murder ballads (and other songs of people behaving badly) has also sucked me in. It provides cathartic release of my disgust for the modern world. Wednesday at our monthly "Whole Foods" evening (we play there for two hours once a month) Bob and I tried out three of these new songs. One of them was a dud, but the other two had our audience unexpectedly enthralled. Heh!

(That same night another excellent thing happened - a woman bought one of our cds during a break and then left. She reappeared about 40 minutes later - because she had been listening to the cd on her way home and liked it so much she decided to turn around and come back to buy the other one!)

My telenovela blog, Caray, Caray! was short one recapper so I'm doing two nights a week now. That wouldn't be a problem, except I got hooked on the second show and now I'm watching two hours of Spanish melodrama every week night.

That's tiring, and ridiculous, I know, but at least my Spanish has taken a sudden turn for the better. You know how I know? Yesterday I had a house-painter come give me an estimate. He's the same guy who painted my house five years ago and I liked and trusted him and his team. Five years ago I had never spoken a word of Spanish in my life, and he didn't speak a word of English - his eight-year-old daughter translated for him. I remember wondering how on earth he could run a business that way. This time, I could speak with him completely in Spanish and we had a long, excellent conversation! Then I suddenly realized that, during these five years, he had learned English! So after a while we were switching back and forth from Spanish to English; it was extremely satisfactory for both of us.



At 9:48 PM, Anonymous susanlynn said...

Bravo, Melinama , on your wonderful improvement in Spanish. I still don't understand most of what they are saying on the telenovelas, but I was proud myself the other day when 2 students said something to me in Spanish and I understood. I have no idea about Spanish grammar. I should take a class. I can take one class free each semester at the community college where I teach. However, life is so full right now, I just don't know if I want to make it any fuller.

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Bad Kisser said...

Happy Anniversary!

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Alma said...

Melinama, welcome back, I've missed you!

I am very interested in your people-behaving-badly CD. Recently I've been immersed in a CD by The Decemberists called 'The Crane Wife' which has a similiar theme. I was initially taken aback by the content, but it's really grown on me.

Despite having an older brother, I've been the designated translator for my parents since about age 8. Very intimidating for an introvert like myself, but it taught me the importance of being bilingual and of overcoming my shyness-- still working on the second part.


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