Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What is up with the New York Times?!

The paper has been riddled with grammatical mistakes lately (I've seen articles talking about a little girl who was "six-years-old" and a couple who got married at an "alter" made of candy) and today they violated my number one rule: if you don't know what a word means, especially if it is borrowed from a language you don't speak, don't use it!

Here is the violation in question:

"Still, for the hard-core on the right, the exits of Senator Arlen Specter (from the party) and Supreme Court Justice David Souter (from the national stage) were probably occasions of celebration, as both had been considered Republicans-manqué for a long time now (if, indeed, Souter, who was nominated by President George H.W. Bush, was ever really a Republican at all)."

In this case, "manqué" is an adjective that is borrowed from French. French adjectives have to agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify. In this case, the writer used a plural masculine noun but a singular masculine adjective, and that doesn't work. So, for future reference: you can have one Republican-manqué or several Republicans-manqués, but those are the only choices you have. No mixing and matching of the two.

Thank you.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Good thing I wore jeans to work today

Normally I wear nice pants or a nice skirt and leather high-heeled shoes to work, but I was feeling lazy this morning and threw on jeans and sneakers. About halfway through the morning I saw one of my coworkers digging around under her desk, splayed out in quite a comical position... it turns out that the contraption that holds all our wires out of the way had fallen down. It took both of us rooting around on the ground like pigs to get it all back in place!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yom HaShoah

Tonight is the start of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). How very shocking to see this picture on the front of the papers this morning:

That's Swiss president Hans-Rudolf Merz with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad is here to speak at the Durban Review Conference, which also starts today. He met privately with Merz yesterday. Oh, by the way, did I mention that Ahmadinejad is an outspoken Holocaust denier?

Sometimes you just don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Of all the things to go dumpster-diving for...

Last week I got caught up on all my filing (bills, bank statements, paystubs, school stuff, etc.) It had been several months since I'd last done any filing because my binders were full and I was too lazy to go buy a new one at school on a Monday afternoon before the weekly student government meeting. I don't have a file cabinet, so I have to punch holes in all these papers to store them.

Among the vast quantities of papers that I filed was the receipt half of the bill for my new room (anybody out there want to help me move on July 1st?) The bill had to be paid by April 7th, and I got that done well within the deadline, but I realized this week that I haven't gotten confirmation that the dorm director has received the money. This means that as soon as the library opens tomorrow, I need to photocopy the receipt and send it to the director to make sure they know I paid on time. No biggie, right?

Well, wouldn't you know... the hole punch punched out the day on the postmark stamp, meaning that I wouldn't be able to prove I paid on time. Unless the little hole I punched out was still in the trash (along with a few hundred or so of its brothers and sisters)...

Yes, that's right. I dug through my trash and sorted through a bazillion paper punches to find the one with the postmark day on it.

And I found it! Crisis averted.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

So many things to write about...

...and too much stress to do it. I meant to spend all day in the library doing some investigating for the last chapter of my thesis -- but it's closed. Not a happy camper.

So I find myself reading blogs, reading the latest book that was lent to me (which is set in Fredericksburg, TX, 20 minutes away from the town where I lived for five years -- it's so weird to be that familiar with a book setting), rehearsing Mendelssohn's Psalm 42, and stressing. It's hard not to stress when you're facing a looming thesis deadline, working 20 hours a week on a contract that ends in two months, uncertain about whether the place you've found to live for the next year is actually yours yet, needing to find a job, starting to go to synagogue, and uncertain about whether you'll be working or in school again next year. All at once.

I could so use a hug right now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Musical buses not a great game to play when there's a very agitated mentally disturbed man on board -- I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Funny little duck

All the lake birds have been pretty happy this week -- the weather has been gorgeous, which means that people are hanging around and feeding them. There was one little duck in the river near Bel-Air who was so absorbed with his enormous hunk of bread that he didn't realize he was being carried swiftly downstream by the current. Once he realized that he was rapidly leaving his friends behind, he started trying to swim upstream, but that attempt was doomed right from the start and he just ended up going downstream backwards. So he gathered all of his force and started flapping his wings and paddling his feet as furiously as he could, and he ended up running across the surface of the water all the way back to the other ducks.

(And they lived happily ever after.)

Friday, April 10, 2009

So proud of myself

I went to my first-ever Friday night Shabbat service this evening. I'm not Jewish and I know only five words or so in Hebrew and it's only the third time I've ever been to the synagogue, so my goal for the evening was to get lost as little as possible during the service. (The prayer book has some of the Hebrew transliterated into the Latin alphabet, but not all of it.) So imagine my surprise when a woman who I know has never seen me in the synagogue before asked me what page we were on -- and I knew the right answer. (Page 114, for those of you who are curious.)

It's the small victories in life that count...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

French grammatical mistake of the day

Combien nous devons donc reconnaissants à l’Eternel pour les bienfaits dont Il nous a comblés.


Saturday, April 4, 2009