Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thanks for the Mama-Mammaries...

Today's confession, for those who haven't figured it out already... I'm a major geek. My head is literally chock-full of tons of random, insignificant trivia. I just didn't realize how much useless crap was crammed in there, until this past Christmas, when someone gave me, 'The Book of Totally Useless Information'.

About an hour after everyone opened their gifts, someone picked it up and started to read bits of trivia from it, out loud. That's when two really sad things occurred. The first 'sad' thing being that I discovered I already knew most of it, and the second, ( and perhaps even sadder bit ), was that I then felt utterly compelled to dispute or elaborate on each and every one of them. :^/

Fortunately, thankfully, I stopped myself when I noticed the growing silence around me. And believe me, I don't think for a single minute, it was out of any kind of awe, either. I think these people were thinking exactly what I would've been, if I were them.

Wow. Why would anyone want to know all of that useless crap???!!!

But it's not like I study this stuff or anything. I swear. It just gets stuck in my head. Alright yes, I do probably look up more things on google than most people. And yes, embarrassing as it is to admit, my favorite childhood bedtime reading material was, indeed, sigh, the World Book Encyclopedia. ( I even had favorite volumes. 'B' was always a goodie, lol. )

UBER-geek!!! :^/

Sooooo, you may be wondering, if I find all of this so sad and embarrassing, why am I openly admitting it here, like this?

Sigh. Because the other day someone left that annoying, 'Useless Info' book lying around the house, and idiot-moi just couldn't help myself. I looked at it. And now, having read something absolutely inane in it, I have no one to whine to about it. ( My family, as you can probably guess, tunes me out on such things, most of the time, lol. )

So, that's where you come in. Lucky you. ;^)

Anyway, this is what that ridiculous book says , more or less: "The word 'mama' originally comes from the word 'mammary', as in the 'mammary glands'. " ( For those of you who may not know, the mammary glands are a woman's breasts. )

Puh-lease!!! If that's the case, then every baby ever born on this planet, is an even bigger geek than I am, lol. Can't you just hear all those wee babies thinking to themselves, "Hmmm. She has big mammaries. I think I'll nickname her, 'Mama'." LOL.

No, if anything, it's the other way around, and 'mammary', obviously comes from the word, 'mama'.

So, if they're wrong, ( and they are ), then where does the word, 'mama' come from?

The word, 'mama' comes from one of the first utterances made by all human infants. There's a reason that 'mama', or some variation on the 'ma' sound, represents 'mother' in almost every language on the planet. One of the first sounds a baby makes, if not the first, is the 'm' sound. It's an extremely primitive sound that occurs directly as a result of nursing or oral stimulation. Mmmmmm. The sound of pleasure. ( Even now, as adults, we still equate this sound with it. ) And for a baby, a full belly is one of the most pleasurable of all his or her experiences. Therefore, this sound is most likely to occur in it's mother's arms, during a feeding. And what happens when baby is making this sound and the mother removes the bottle, or the breast? Or if the baby is vocalising and smacking his or her lips together for more? Mah. Or more often, 'mah mah mah' in a string of syllables. This, of course, gets immediately reinforced by the delighted mother. "Baby just said, 'Mama!' ". Thus, baby learns, very quickly, uttering 'mah mah mah mah mah' , gets the mother's joyful attention and brings all the wonderful comforts that go with it. In other words, 'mah-mah' rapidly becomes the sound forever associated with the person who makes baby feel good.

And, if you've stuck with me 'til this point, I will offer this to you, as well. 'Nuh', or the 'n' sound, ( as opposed to 'm' ), is the universal sound of displeasure. Why? Because it physically breaks suction with the nipple and pushes it away, with the tongue. 'Nuh' says, at the most primal level, 'I don't want this. ' ... But, if uttering it still fails to send the signal that a feeding is definately not wanted, it is then followed by the baby's head repeatedly turning away from it... mostly moving the head from side to side...

Bet you can guess which universal word comes from that. ;^)

So there you go. My strong belief that it was babies who actually gave humankind, our very first 'words'.

Mmmmm. ;^P

I feel soooooooooooo much better now that I've gotten that off my mammaries. ;^)

-Marlene :^D

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Yinglish as a Second Language

Language is like a living thing. As long as there are speakers who use it, it will continue to evolve and change over time, creating new words and/or meanings, and discarding ones that have become no longer relevant. A perfect example of this evolution, ( or de-volution, as some may say ), is the language called Yiddish.

Yiddish is a language that arose about 1,000 years ago from Middle High German. It was spoken by the Jews, and as they lived and travelled throughout Eastern and central Europe, the language picked up many different words along the way. Therefore, many words in Yiddish are also of Polish, Russian and Slavic origin.

Before WWII, Yiddish was spoken by more than 11 million people. Today, it is estimated that it is spoken by less than a tenth of that, if that many. This is mainly due to the fact that as post-war Jews assimilated in America and elsewhere, Yiddish, ( the language of the 'old country' ), fell more and more into disuse. Their children spoke English, and while these second generation Jews heard occasional Yiddish in the home, they were very rarely fluent themselves. This ultimately resulted in their subsequent children, the third generation, knowing little, if any, Yiddish at all.

Which is a shame. Yiddish is a highly onomatopoetic language, which gives it a distinctly humorous-sounding quality. It also tends to be rather comically descriptive and often rich in metaphor. Most interestingly, and perhaps because of what is often described as the Jewish sense of humor, there are also a great number of words that describe various levels of ineptitude and stupidity. In fact, there's probably more words in Yiddish for 'moron', or for 'penis', than the Eskimos are said to have for different types of snow.

Of course, living in New York, where a great many Jews settled after the war, it's almost impossible not to hear occasional bits of Yiddish. Quite a few words have now become part of everyday speech here, whether one is Jewish or not. Perhaps the most common ones that have crept into the American lexicon are 'schlep' ,( to drag ), 'schmuck', and 'putz' ,( both of which actually mean 'penis', but are used as a general insult, as in calling someone a jerk... or worse ).

But an interesting phenomena has occurred. Much in the way that Spanglish, ( a mix of Spanish and English ), has evolved amongst American-born Latinos, a new form of Yiddish, sometimes called Yinglish, has developed, as well. These are words or phrases, used by modern day English-speaking Jews, that 'sound' like Yiddish, or have some element of Yiddish in them, but aren't Yiddish at all. Or, it can even be an entirely English phrase, but of Yiddish origin, as in this expression that I heard several years ago:

A friend of mine was recounting a story about a particularly aggressive salesman, when she suddenly uttered the peculiar phrase, "He was totally hocking me to China!". I thought it was funny, and since I had never heard this phrase before, I asked her about it. She then informed me that it was Yiddish, and you say it when someone is really handing you a load of, well, you know what. And, as it turns out, she was right. 'Hock me to China ' was Yiddish. The original phrase being, 'hock mier en chinik', or literally, 'bang on my tea kettle', ( an expression used when someone is making a lot of noise, or giving you a headache with their constant jabbering. ) . Therefore, it was indeed Yiddish, once, but it had been morphed into a kind of strange, non-sensical English, by a generation that, like young children often do, hear an unfamiliar phrase or word, and turn it incorrectly into something that makes more sense to them.

But I will end this with my favorite example of Yinglish, because it always gives me a bit of a laugh. My friend Roni and I were outside the local pet store, watching our husbands take our dogs through obedience class, when this very odd girl of about 17, came up to us and started rambling on and on and on about how much she loves puppies. This is not an exaggeration. It was just plain strange.

"Ooh!" she squealed, "Don't you just love puppies? I love puppies! I want a puppy. I want a puppy, but my mom said, no. But I'm sooooo going to get a puppy one day. I am so going to get one. I just looooooooove puppies. Don't you love puppies? How can anyone not love puppies... "

And this moronic diatribe went on for at least ten minutes or more. Meanwhile, Roni and I, not wanting to encourage her further, just politely nodded and smiled, but never said a word.

Finally, mercifully, she walked away. It was then that Roni turned to me, looked me straight in the eyes, and with pity in her voice, offered this Yinglish explanation for the girl's odd behavior.

"Nisht ge-finisht".

Which, as a favorite blogger of mine, Francis Strand* would say, is my Yinglish 'word of the day'.

It means, undercooked.

-Marlene ;^)

*Francis Strand is the author of the popular blog, 'How to Learn Swedish in 1000 Difficult Lessons'.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Google, why hast thou forsaken me?

Before I began this blog, I made a 'fake' one, on my website. That is, it 'looked' like a blog, but it didn't allow for comments or anything...

But once I started this one, at blogspot, I de-activated the fake one. Afterall, what was the point of it?

Anyway, every day since, I've been checking google search to see if my blog comes up, but noooooope. Day after day there's nothing. Anywhere. Not even here at blogspot. :^/

But today ... finally ... something came up! And I was all 'Yay!' and 'Yippeedoo!!!' .

That is, until I clicked the link. Guess what it took me to?

Yup. The fake one. The de-activated one... In other words, the one you shouldn't be able to see it at all!

Now how the hell am I supposed to turn off a page, that's already turned off????

Grrrr.... So now I've had to make a note on the all-too-visible 'invisible' page, saying it's NOT my blog, and to please click the place that says, 'My Blog', that actually IS my blog.

Sigh..... :^ /

I swear, sniff, sometimes it feels like the google gods are smiting me. It'll be a miracle if anyone ever finds this thing!!!

Lost in Google Hell,
Marlene ;^)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

P.S. I Love You

S'mee again.

When my blog got linked to my website, I lost my YouTube video that I had previously posted.

What it is, is a slideshow of some of the really fun things you can do with Photoshop. Plus, it also shows how some seriously godawful photos can also be rescued with just a little know-how. ;^)

So here it is again, for those of you that may wish to see it.

Hope you like it and get inspired to play with Photoshop yourself, sometime.

Till next time...

-Marlene :^)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Nose Encounters ( of the nasty kind )

You know how sometimes you do something totally totally totally brainless? Like your brain just suddenly stops functioning and switches onto auto-pilot? And then, ( and it's always a second too late ), it kicks back on and it's, #&%@!!! ( For instance, picking up the burning hot frying pan you've just used, but without a mitt...and yeowww!!! ) Well, that's pretty much what happened to me the other day. I did something so moronic I'm almost too embarrassed to admit it.

We were out of pony biscuits, ( I have 3 ridgebacks that are so big, I affectionately call them my ponies ), and I was looking for something delectable in the fridge to give the hungry beggars. So, did I give them cheese? Nope. Did I give them leftover chicken? Noooo. That wasn't 'special' enough. Sigh. No, Brain Stem here, suddenly remembered seeing a box of defrosted Trader Joe's blueberry waffles in the bottom bin. So I went for those. And me, part bloodhound that I am, ( I can probably tell what cologne your daddy wore, on the night you were conceived, lol ), guess what I did? I opened the stupid box, held it up to my face and took a nice, big sniff. At the same time, just as I was sniffin' in reeeeal good, I also got an eyeful of it's lovely contents. ( By now you've probably guessed what kind of horror show was inside. But you'd be off. Way off. ) Because I kid you not. Idiot moi got a giant smelly snootful of the crustiest, creepiest, skin-crawliest blue and white mold, I have ever seen. Ever. I'm tellin ya. It was that bad. Let's put it this way. There was nothing any longer even remoooooooootely resembling a blueberry waffle in there. Except the blue part, that is. I swear. This was a whole new life form...Moldus Wafflus Fridgidensis...

Actually, now that I think of it, I'm surprised I didn't see a bunch of wee eyes in there, all blinking up at me...or perhaps even some captive cherry tomatoes ...


And the smell. Omigod. I can still taste it. Seriously. Because that powdery putridity went right up the ol' schnozzola and directly to the back of my throat. And ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Bee-yond horrible. I'd say it fell somewhere between ammonia mixed with bleach...and rotting meat... brrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Oh and it had texture, too. Think about that one. When was the last time you sniffed something that your tongue could actually feel?

Yeah. That's about the time I started gagging and retching uncontrollably. That was special, too. Wonderful thing, retching.

And that's when my helpful, ever-loving hubby says, "What's wrong with you??? Why the hell did you sniff it???!!!!!".

Gee, I dunno, Wayne. Because I'm a walking brain stem? Because I want to be on the cover of the National Enquirer?

Merrick Woman Sniffs Mystery Mold And Grows 10 Foot Tentacle... Out Of Her Nose!!!! ( see shocking pix... p.6 )

Sniff......................ow :^(

Soooooo here I am today...feeling bloody awful. My face hurts, my front teeth ache and my chest feels like Mount Vesuvius is in there, just about to erupt.

Can't wait to see what other wonderful things this has in store for me.

Oh well. On the bright side, if I suddenly grow another face, at least that one will be younger.

- Moldilocks ;^)

The Virgin Experience

So here I am, writing this, my very first real online blog, and the battery on this lappy is surrrrrely going to croak at any given minute. :^/ ( insert nail-biting smiley )

Tick Tick Tick...

Talk about pressure!!!

But, hmmmm....

Now that I think of it, this being my...ahem... 'first', lol, it does seem suddenly strangely appropriate that this experience too, should come with a fair amount of uncertainty...and then abruptly get cut short. ;^)

Soooooooo... before we have an incident of bloggus interruptus, ( and no, telling this wee Dell's battery to think of science or geometry doesn't help ) , I will say, thanks for dropping by and hope to see ya next time!'