This Is Not a Post, Just Ramblings.

Oh my gosh. It’s been forever since I last posted. I have started a bunch of drafts but just have not felt at all motivated to crank something out. There’s tons of interesting stuff that I’ve been contemplating lately, I guess I’m just experiencing writer’s block and keeping lots up in my mind instead.

I did come across this clever little tip jar sign at a coffeeshop:

ImageI appreciate little play-on-words like this. What was difficult was explaining the meaning to my French language exchange partner, Will. Sometimes when I speak to him in English and I watch him listen to me I get really self-conscious and decide I have no eloquence at all when I speak. I don’t think I enunciate enough, and it must be really frustrating when Americans pronounce words like “latter” and “ladder” exactly the same way. I feel like I mishmash all my words together. But I had an eighth grade math teacher who over-enunciated everything and it drove me nuts (she also insisted on writing on the chalkboard in script, which is a) annoying in most situations and b) frustrating when writing out complicated formulas. She was pretty old-school. Martha Stewart is also known for having a tight-lipped way of talking.

So here’s what I’ve started writing about and what I plan on writing about. Maybe if I plan it out like this and remind myself of what I’ve started I’ll get the ball rolling again:

  • Bad accent consistency in Game of Thrones
  • The worst and most-unforgivable movie accents ever (Anne Hathaway, I’m coming for ya!)
  • Why fantasy movies and bad guys always have British or Eastern European accents
  • New Orleans English…the history, the neighborhoods, the real meaning of “where y’at?”, how Brooklyn and NOLA have more in common than you think, lagniappe, makin’ groceries, laissez les bon temps rouler
  • Nuyorican English
  • Names. Black names. White names. Awesome names. Weird names. Names so wrong kids get placed in government care. Tie in to Freakonomics.
  • Translating things that cannot be translated. Or can they? Will focus on Woody Allen movies, Arrested Development, and Family Guy. Can New York neuroticism really be translated into another language?
  • The fact that people from the 1930s and 40s had funny ways of talking.
  • The way girls (including myself) text with extra letters. Heyyyy. Kk. What’s upppppppp.
  • Counting. There are lots of languages that essentially have words for one, a couple, and many. This says a lot about their culture and surroundings, and makes me yearn for a simpler life. I need to go to Brazil.

So, you see, I have ideas. I’ve got ideas churning up there. I’ll get around to this.

Just got back from Nick’s graduation in New Orleans. I love it down there. Went shopping Uptown and didn’t want to curl up in a corner like I do shopping in SoHo. Friendly storekeepers just smiling when you walk in, asking “How y’all doing today?” I’m great thanks. Also helped that on Magazine Street it was the Champagne Stroll, meaning all the boutiques offer you champagne when you walk in. Don’t mind if I do. I wish I had a  little Southern twang, not a drawl or a heavy Texan accent, but just a little something that would make me sound a little sweeter. Girls from the North have raspier, deeper voices, I find.

The trip down to NOLA was short, and I’ve started (and almost finished) reading Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers, a true story about a Syrian-American who helped rescue people in his canoe in the aftermath of Katrina, only to be arrested, tortured, and illegally detained by the American government for suspicion of participating in the looting that went on in New Orleans, but mainly for being a terrorist. Makes me sick to my stomach. I didn’t realize it was a true-story til about half way thru the book, and googled Abdulrahman Zeitoun to find out more about him. Unfortunately I found out that he was arrested last year for domestic violence against his wife, which is going to make finishing this story a bit weird, because a lot of the plot is about how he and his wife, Kathy, are such a team and the enormous effect that his disappearance and arrest have on his poor family. I’m going to try to put it out of my mind.

It’s crazy to read about New Orleans during Katrina. I was 16 when it happened and it all seemed so far away. But reading the parts of this book where Zeitoun is literally canoeing for days around my old neighborhood is unsettling. New Orleans is making an amazing recovery, but many things, ie race relations, poverty, government corruption, city planing have a long way to go. I’m just really upset now. Reading about how the government was just so uncoordinated and absurd in such a telling time and how that led to the destruction of innocent lives…it makes me angry. These stories need to be told.

Just another source of disillusionment with the American government these days. What with no nation-wide gun control laws passing since Newtown, birth control not being available to all girls and women, insane anti-abortion laws, Guantanamo (sounds like the prison in LA from Zeitoun)…Why are we such bad guys?

All in all, I do hope to move back down to New Orleans. What a beautiful, soulful, inspiring place. The ever-present scent of the magnolias, whirr of the streetcar whizzing by, cicadas buzzing, a lone trumpet playing…

Listening to Bonobo, missed them at Tipitina’s but just bought tix for October in NYC. Can’t wait for Governor’s Ball…most looking forward to Kings of Leon, Crystal Castles, Pretty Lights, Erykah Badu, Feist, and Bear Mountain. Hopefully will be heading to Gathering of the Vibes, even tho it’s in Connecticut. I’d like to see the Revivalists again.

Oh! I am also employed. Got a jobbbbbb. It’s May. That means it’s almost June. So things are looking good.

Will write more later!

About alicestockwellegan

Language and culture enthusiast from New York living in San Francisco.
Aside | This entry was posted in America., Books, Dialects, Just for Fun, Musings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to This Is Not a Post, Just Ramblings.

  1. gortari says:

    Alice! LOVED your super interesting ramblings! Keep writing! You’ll win against that writer’s block!! xxx

  2. Emily says:

    Can’t wait to read your blog about names. They are so interesting. U know how if you say a name over and over out loud, it sounds weird?

  3. Congrats on the job!

    Magazine Street is one of my favorite places in the world. I bought a great silk dress at Trashy Diva and got compliments every time I wore it. I love the light, scale, history. I have a photo on my wall I shot in NOLA last visit (Jan. 2012) with one of the street names in tile — Aline, which is my middle name and was my grandmother’s first name.

    I buy my personalized stationery at Scriptura, at the very, very end of Magazine Street. Love that place.

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