the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

Filtering by Tag: just for fun

Abigail Dancing (Video)

I know I said I would put a video of the house tour up next, but I lost that video so instead you get more video of the baby :) Lori shared with you a while ago that we have been showing the Signing Time series in the village to teach English and Sign Language to the Akha children. Well, it turns out that Abi loves the movies as much as anyone, especially the theme song.

Back at home she will watch it over and over, dancing and "signing" as she deems appropriate.

We put a video together of her dancing, but that's really all it is. So unless you are a grandparent, family member, friend or stalker that really wants to watch the baby for three minutes, it will be pretty dull for you. All of you can go check out a slightly more interesting video.

For those of you who are still on this page, here's Abi!

Isn't she cute?

Mister, You Made My Day

"Wawawow-wee! Che bella!" My American girlfriend and I were walking through the market in Mae Sai yesterday when an older farang gentleman walking towards us on the crowded path began passionately exclaiming to us in a language we didn't understand (that is to say, it wasn't English, Thai or Akha). It wasn't until after we had passed him that I realized he was speaking Italian and I did, in fact, understand what he was saying! Excitedly, I said to my friend, "That guy thought we were pretty!"

Motherhood can sure do a number on your self image. It's not that I feel ugly, it's just that I don't really feel pretty! Most of the time I couldn't tell you the last time I had proper shower. My clothes almost always have some baby related stain and now that Abi has entered an extremely "grabby" stage, it seems that every time I see myself in the mirror, my hair is no longer in a tidy and smooth pony tail, but a frazzled mess! I'm really not complaining, I'm just stating the facts: A mom's life is not glamorous!

So, Thanks Mister Italian-guy for thinking I'm pretty; it made my day!

Geek Envy

Hotel @ MIT

I just ran across this page at listing the Top Five Geek Hotels in the World. While I can totally respect the LOTR and StarWars hotel inclusions, I have to say that the Hotel @ MIT has to take the cake. Yes, I assert that it is even geekier than the number one ranked istudio at the Tribecca Grand, because, as we all know, the kings of all geeks are the engineers. I mean, the MIT blankets have equations on them and there are chemistry cartoons in the bathrooms; seriously, that is hard-core geeky.

Let me clarify, lest you misunderstand me. In the past, the term "geeky" may have been understood as an insult, but in recent years, geeks of the world have become decidedly cool. I became acquainted with the utter coolness of geeks during my college years when I spent most of my free-time with engineers from the Colorado School of Mines Campus Crusade for Christ group. It was then that I began my personal journey towards geekiness and developed the geek-envy that still plagues me to this day.

Back in those Crusade days, my geeky friend, Andy Engdahl, used to wear a t-shirt that had a message on the front written in binary code. My gullible and curious nature always got the best of me, forcing me to ask him what it said, only to be reminded that it said "You are stupid." A classic geek joke! I mention it because that shirt, like the Hotel @ MIT, remind me that there are some things in this world that I will never fully appreciate because I am just not geeky enough (read smart enough!) However, I take solace in the fact that at least I can recognize something that should be appreciated (even if I myself can not!)

Finally, on a completely different note, a blog entitled "Geek Envy" simply cannot conclude without mentioning my good friend Molly Stanberry.

Molly Stanberry

In the past year, Molly's geek levels have far surpassed mine, making her my newest object of envy! Not only is she a female gamer (a title earning much reverence in the geek community), but she has a super-cool vidcast and is quickly becoming a sought after expert in the WoW community. Molly, I watch your vidcasts and am in awe of your nifty WoW lingo and video editing skills, but I fear that you have joined the ranks of things which I cannot fully appreciate because I'm just not geeky enough!

Now that's Amazing

It's a quiet morning in the village (except for little Mi-Yo making her presence known to the world by using our bamboo platform as a trampoline). We are waiting for an Akha Foursquare friend of ours to come visit. In the relatively peaceful morning I caught up on some tech news and found an amazing article. It seems that the sharpest object in the world has been made - and at the tip of the 'needle' it is one atom wide.


My Super Cool New Ringtone

I just put O-Zone's Dragostea Din Tei on my cellphone. In the past I haven't been too particular about ringtones; if it let me know my phone was ringing, it was good enough for me. But this song has changed everything! Everytime my phone rings, I just want to dance! I'm even in danger of missing the call, because I want to keep listening to the song. Don't worry though, I'm still a "people person" at heart and can't stand to miss a call!

Dragostea Din Tei is a Romanian pop-song that came out a few years ago; I don't know if it ever became popular in America, but we hear it everywhere in Thailand. If you don't know it by it's proper name, you've probably heard it called the "Numa Numa Song". You can hear the song at the O-Zone MySpace page . By the way, if you're curious about what the lyrics mean, you can find the "real" translation by clicking here.

Regarding Space Travel and a Prostitute

The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy

Since we've gotten to the field, I've become one of those people that devours books, especially what Paul and I call "candy books" or books that are just for fun. Lately I've been reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series, by Douglas Adams. It originally started out as a British radio comedy program in the 70's, quickly progressing to the book format, then becoming a British TV program in the 80's. Just recently, it was made into a movie. The story centers on Arthur Dent, an Earthman, who's planet was casually demolished to make way for an interstellar by-pass. What follows are his adventures traveling through space with only the pajamas on his back and a towel to his name, meanwhile encountering all sorts of odd things (like the space ship powered by Bistro mathematics) and narrowly escaping horrible fates against all probability. This British comedy series is a must-read for any sci-fi nerd or sci-fi nerd wanna be!

Redeeming Love

From the other end of the galaxy, literarily speaking, of course, comes another book I just finished. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is a re-telling of the Book of Hosea set in the California Gold Rush of the 1850's. Sold into prostitution as an orphaned child , Angel's hardened heart is patiently and lovingly restored through her unexpected marriage to pioneer-farmer Michael Hosea. In the past, I've avoided romance novels (unless you count classic romances like Pride & Prejudice), thinking that all contemporary romance novels were either trashy or unintelligent; neither of which I was interested in reading. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was neither. It was written with the skill of an award winning author, and told a beautiful, honest love-story without sullying the mystery of intimacy. While this book is marketed to women, Rivers captures the male character so amazingly well, I think that either sex will be entertained and edified by this book. Hope you get a chance to pick it up!

More Fun with Language

I'm always whining about how difficult it is to learn a tonal language, especially a tribal one without classes, books or cds. (See, don't you feel sorry for me?!) Tonal languages are notoriously difficult to learn for ....well, anyone who's native language is not tonal.

Anyway, my last post reminded me about another funny language compilation. I say "funny", but I'm sure that if I were learning English I would call it "infuriating!" All these homonyms make me wonder how the English language has made it all these years without tones to differentiate between them. See for your self...

  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  • We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  • Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  • A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  • When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  • Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
  • I was proven right that I had the right of way

(Click here to read more "Reasons why the English language is hard to learn.")


Fun with language

In my recent desperation to overcome a serious case of writer's block, I did a google search on "tips for writing". Somewhere amidst the flurry of clicks, I ran across this silly page about How to Write Good. While it didn't automatically cure my writer's block, it did give me a needed break from the somber post I was writing. Just "follow these tips, and you'll be writing gooder in no time!"

A few of my favorite are:

  • Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  • Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  • Parenthentical words however must be enclosed in commas.
  • It behooves you to avoid archaic expressions.
  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  • Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake
  • Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors - even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  • Hopefully, you will use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

Finally, in honor of my high school writing teacher, Mrs. Trow, who made us write excruciating papers without a single "to be" verb....

  • The passive voice should not be used.

I love these things! Does that make me a total nerd? Oh well!


Things that make you go "Hmmmm"

The use of the term "blog" is a fairly new web phenomenon. But still, I was pretty surprised as I was recently posting a story and doing the final spell check, when the Blogger spell check program didn't recognize the word "blog". It suggested that I use "bloc," "Bloch," "blows," or "bloke" instead. Of all the spell check programs in the world, don't you think that Blogger's own should recognize the word blog ? Now, if that's not ironic, I don't know what is!

How do you say EGG?

My husband is always teasing me about how I say certain words... like "egg" and "leg". (I say them with a long "a" instead of a short "e" ...which he insists is the proper way.) We've always been curious to unravel the mystery of my little accent , so this silly little questionaire, which supposedly tells what type of American English you speak, caught my attention. Here are my results...

My Linguistic Profile:

70 % General American English
20% Upper Midwestern
5% Midwestern
5% Yankee
0% Dixie

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

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