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Monthly Archives: January 2009

For a new year, it should be relatively slow going. Lots of those “indoor chores” that got ignored during the rest of the year start piling up. Like, eBaying things I’ve been putting off selling. Ugh, I’d rather go out and shovel some more snow.

Progress on the language acquisition is … progressing. Afrikaans is an interesting language in that it has just enough words in common with English, like “hard”=hard but pronounced differently, and “voet” = foot, just spelt differently. And then there are those words that have no relation whatsoever to English, like “vordering” = progress. There’s no way on earth I can remember that without resorting to a mnemonic. Oddly, I can remember “pisang” = banana without a problem! My memory is an unpredictable thing.

Here’s my latest musical discovery. I know, they’ve been around for a good number of years now, but I’ve always been a dollar short and a day late.  Their names are David, Carlos, Sebastian, and Urs. No, not a successor to the Beatles, but close. Collectively, they’re known as “Il Divo.” I like their music, and their voices, and I enjoy popera.

I confess, Urs is very easy on the eyes. He reminds me of Keanu Reeves. It must be the long dark hair and the almond-shaped eyes. Then there’s that moment in “The Power of Love”, punctuated by the four quick camera shots,  he takes a sharp intake of breath and looks like he’s stalking for the kill. You Urs fans know, what I’m talking about, eh?  (at 3:36) Swoon!


We all know Urs is a metal rocker underneath the Armani suit 😉 .  I would never have guessed he was Swiss. My initial thought was that he was Spanish.  I took David for a German, but he’s American. And I thought Sebastian was American, because he looks like a self-centered jerk whom I know. Seb himself seems like a sweet fellow.   Tanned Carlos, Brazilian? No, Spanish. I am a lousy judge of nationality.

So, I’m at the ticketing website, agonizing over where I should buy their concert tickets. Do I drive three hours to Boston for a smaller venue, to see them up closer, or one and a half hours, and have to battle crazed New Yorkers on the dreaded Long Island Expressway, at a huge venue. Same price, different driving conditions.

Or should I go for curtain number three: a new 10x optical zoom digital camera – the Panasonic DMC-TZ4/5 with their lovely Leica lens, or the Canon SX 110IS with their consistent SLR quality? Besides the technical details, there’s the mechanical.  I’ve hefted the Canon in my hand, and I don’t like the chunkiness of the AA batteries.  I like the metal in the Panasonic body.

Argh, decisions, decisions, decisions.

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One month. It’s been one month since I embarked on my journey into Afrikaans. There are many theories of language acquisition for adult learners.  No matter the theory, I must still rote memorize common words.  I try to think, hear, read, speak it as often and frequently as I can.  I discovered that I can absorb certain words without thought, and  not just the ones that sound like English words.

I can understand very short written sentences. With dictionary in one window and an article in another, I struggle with reading articles from Die Burger every day, to get a feel for the sound and the grammar.   I am making snail’s progress in my book, covering about four pages a day,  in conjunction with repetition of dialogue.

Rome was not built in a day.