Posted 2 Days Ago
Tune: Er, take a wild guess. Elektra keeps singing it, so I might as well make up some words.
We met her in a parking lot up Erie way,
Where the skies were grey, and the sign said, 'Drink Coca-Cola.'
She trembled a bit 'cos it was cold,
And I asked her name, and the lady said it was Lola,
Well, we're pushovers for tiny balls of fur,
But when I saw those brown eyes, well, I fell for sure for Lola.
We were kind of in a biological fog,
She was the size of a squirrel but barked like a dog, oh my, Lola,
We drove her to the Petco and ransacked the shelves
For food and treats and stuff,
And we got some sweaters just to keep her warm,
She's just a four-legged ball of fluff.
Well, we're not prone to baby talk,
But when we call our little dog
Then we sort of coo, 'Hey there, Lola.'
Cats will be dogs, and dogs will be squirrels,
It's a mixed up, crazy shook up world,
And then there's Lola.
Now we can't write you a monograph,
Just google 'Shorkie' and prepare to laugh about Lola.
Posted 3 Days Ago
A landed in Erie, Pennsylvania, today.
It dropped off Lola, the Shorkie.
We took her home. We now have a small, salt and pepper dog. The dog is MUCH smaller than the s, who nonetheless are in hiding from the alien menace.
We weighed her: 4.5 pounds of trouble. She's a Christmas gift from a sister.
NaJoPoMo Coming Up
Posted 4 Weeks Ago
Are you ready for NaJoPoMo? It starts tomorrow. (US citizens, take note: you have one extra hour to prepare, as the clocks are going back tonight, as soon as the trick-or-treaters leave.)
My starter A-space will be at A87862242. It's also the archive page for the NaJoPoMo journal, which this year is called 'Freebie Film Tips #3'.
How startlingly original of me.
However, I've got some good films and surprising short subjects lined up...something for everyone, promise.
The Welcoming Culture of Cologne
Posted 5 Weeks Ago
Among the people we're pulling for today: Henriette Reker, the newly-elected OB (Oberbuergermeisterin, or Chief Mayor) of Cologne. Praise to the Koelner, because they elected Frau Reker while she lay in hospital in an artificial coma. Her recovery is expected to take some time.
Last month, Cologne was supposed to have a mayoral election. They put it off when officials realised that the ballots weren't right, so they had to reschedule when the printer got back to them. On the original ballots, the names of political parties were huge compared to the names of the candidates. Very confusing, particularly since the frontrunner, Henriette Reker, was being endorsed by five parties, but didn't 'belong' to any of them. She's a cool lady, and if you read German, you'll enjoy her bio:
She's married to an Australian professional golfer, and she loves Carnival. She also works really hard. Her previous job was figuring out where Cologne's going to put its shared of all those refugees - up to 1.5 million may be coming. It's urgent: lots of families are stuck on the Croatian border, with no shelter and nowhere to go, and winter's on its way. Winter. In the Balkans.
As Nietsche said, 'Wohl dem, der jetzt noch Heimat hat.' In other words, you'd better find housing for the winter. I'm suspecting that the good people of Cologne are down with finding shelter for those people, if only because Grandpa is yelling at them about what the winter of '45 was like when they huddled in the ruins. I'll bet he remembers, and if he got even one CARE package, he knows what it means. This might explain why so many are showing up at the train stations and welcoming them.
One man wasn't, and on Saturday, the last day of Cologne's mayoral campaign, he showed up at the market and stabbed Henriette Reker in the neck with a Bowie knife. She's in hospital, he's in jail. The next day, Cologne elected her mayor. I'm not sure whether she knows that yet.
I like the new German word: Willkommenskultur. And yes, there are a lot of problems ahead. Watch this space.
But hey, Cologne and Frau Reker. You're a class act. Kölle Alaaf!
Homeland is a watermelon, and other translation imponderables
Posted 6 Weeks Ago
We've all been there. Being bilingual in a situation where others are not, and don't get the joke. But this time, they've hit Hollywood where it lives.
As reported with delight by Stephen Colbert on last night's Late Show, the 'Homeland' debacle:
The action show is notorious for misrepresenting life in the Middle East - portraying an upscale shopping street in Beirut as a slum, etc, etc. This time, they filmed a 'Syrian refugee camp'. The location was on the outskirts of Berlin, where clever artists live. Clever artists who were hired to paint Arabic graffiti on the walls of the camp, thus adding verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. They wrote, 'Homeland is racist.' They also wrote 'Homeland is a watermelon', which is funnier in Arabic. The set designers failed to notice because...surprise, they didn't read Arabic.
Much amusement has resulted:
People strolling through the Plaka in Athens used to chuckle over the exchange-student-designed t-shirts. And then there was the great Dan Pita movie, 'The Prophet, the Gold, and the Transylvanians', with dialogue courtesy of visiting Fulbright scholars. Dig this clip from the Romanian classic Western:
Of course, there are the tourists who got drunk one night and woke up with a rude Chinese tattoo...or one drawn from the takeaway menu...
The moral is: Hire decent translators with a sense of ethics. And don't rely on Hungarian phrasebooks.