20 June 2007


Frenchy got back from France yesterday and brought me my present. I'm glad he's learned that he has to bring me something every time he goes home. This time it came from the shop that sells Chti paraphernalia.

Here goes. The shirt is a play off the famous opening lines of The Little Prince, where the Prince asks the narrator to "Dessine-moin un mouton," or "Draw me a sheep." Hence the sheep, and the cultural reference for any French speaker.

Except! In the north of France, they speak a regional language known as Chti, or Picard. (It's kind of like Provencal is to southern France.) One of the more famous chti words is "chicon," which means "endive." (Don't ask.) In any case, that's what gives this shirt its local reference. Got it? I thought so.

17 June 2007

Grammar Police

I realized many years ago that my habit of correcting people's grammar was, to say the least, irritating. Now I only do it in the context of helping Frenchy to improve his English.

However, I have to say: You're either leery [liri] or wary [weɘri] of something. You cannot be weery [wiri]. If you mean weary [wiri], that's another feeling entirely. Got it? Good.

11 June 2007

Desultory Thoughts, Numbered Smartypants-Style

1. Today a man on the street offered to untie the scarf around my neck. If Frenchy complains, I'll just tell him that if he's going to be gone nearly two weeks and not call me, then I'm justified in considering my options.

2. Really, he's been gone for 11 days and has called me once (when I was at work and therefore not able to answer the phone). I don't even know what day he's coming home. Isn't this something you're supposed to tell your roommate, who is coincidentally also your girlfriend?

3. Apparently I was either a hoity-toity librarian or Victorian aristocracy in a former life. Possibly both, at the same time. Viz., and to wit:

A few of us at work were discussing who we might have been in former lives. I couldn't think of anything clever, but one girl filled in my blank for me. "You were one of the genteel Victorian proper ladies, with bustles and big pompadour hair. Or you were a librarian that was proud of the fact that you were a Librarian, Keeper of the Knowledge." Now that I think about it, both of these scenarios are very possible. I have long felt that I was more at home with historical figures in upper-crust England than I am with my middle class current self. My coworker may be onto something with this.

4. Yesterday was Puerto Rico day. As I live in the Puerto Rican neighborhood, consequently there was much celebrating and Latin pop music until the wee hours. Many people tucked Puerto Rican flags over and into the hoods of their cars. As festive as that may be, is it really safe to put flammable, flapping fabric right on top of a combustion-driven engine with many moving parts?

5. I don't know whether to ascribe it to the fact that they live in small dark apartments, to Hispanic culture, or to Brooklyn stoop-sittin' tradition, but all the Puerto Ricans in my neighborhood spend their afternoons on the sidewalks. They'll bring out folding chairs, stools, or just lean out the window and participate in the fun. The streets I take to get back from the subway seem to be fiesta centrale, with groups of old people, herds of teenagers and lumps of little kids riding scooters. While I was walking to the grocery store on some side streets, however, I only saw a couple people by their lonesome. I wanted to point them over a few streets south and whisper in Spanish, "The party's over there! Go enjoy yourself!" I wonder what they would mutter under their breath about the crazy gringa.

--skorky64 properly cites her sources

06 June 2007

Make new friends, but keep the old

So much has happened since the last time I posted. We've almost stopped arguing about how we'll decorate the new place, Frenchy has gone back to France, I've made other business trips, and so forth.

Right now in my life, we have a new coworker in town. As I learned in Missouri, it's not necessarily the best idea to dishearten them from day one, so when I went to pick her up from Penn Station, I tried to focus on the positive. Since then, she's had plenty of time to observe for herself the truly messed-up way we function. I invited her over for dinner today. We had pasta and I made her look at my scrapbooks.

This evening, I also met up with some friends. Actually, it was a friend of Frenchy's sister and her fiance. I had met them once or twice, and I was kind of afraid that we would have nothing to talk about. As it turned out, we had no problem talking about New York prices, French cheeses, Frenchy's family, the American system of dating, and many other things. I may be able to come to their wedding in September. Is it bad I told them I'd never been to a French wedding, even though I have? Twice?