27 January 2009

I am really excited to see what this post does for my referral stats

by Cecily
So I was thinking about the title I put on that post about the Chinese hotel bathtub rule and wishing I had titled it something else. I know, I know, life's too short for regrets, don't cry over spilled milk, what's done is done, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye, you can't squeeze blood from a turnip. But listen! if you don't consider your mistakes and shortcomings how will you learn and grow? And by "you", I mean "me".*

Anyway I titled it thusly:

Attontion! Crazy Germans!

but it occurred to me today that a much better title would have been

Attontion! Naked German Tourists!

This would have been incrementally more pithy and entertaining and also a more accurate reflection of the post's content (which included mention of people who were German, who were naked, and who were tourists in China, but did not make any explicit reference to these people's state or states of mental well-being and/or lack thereof).

Oh, well. Life goes on. You win some, you lose some. The beat goes on. Don't change horses in the middle of the stream. Never trust a man in a blue trench coat, never drive a car when you're dead. The point is, you know what would not have been a good title? This:

Attontion! Naked Tourist Germans!

This is interesting** because "German" is a perfectly good noun in English, as well as being an adjective. And "tourist" can be an adjective too (examples, more examples). So I do not know why "German tourist" is so much better than "tourist German". It is a mystery! A mystery for the syntacticians to solve and then write incomprehensible papers about. Potentially a mystery that has already been solved and written about incomprehensibly by the syntacticians. Since I don't read syntax papers I will probably never know, and by extension, neither will you. Too bad for both of us.

In conclusion, what I really should have used for the title is

Attontion! Tourist German Nakeds!

Sorry guys. I'll try to do better next time.

*Actually I probably mean "I". Possibly "you", though. Maybe all three. In reality, it's usually kind of hard to tell what I mean. I don't worry about it too much.

**Interesting to ME. Why? Who did you think I meant?

24 January 2009

Olive wins

by Cecily
You might think your baby is cute, and, all right, fair enough, it probably is. But does your baby have a heart-shaped birthmark on its cheek?

Well, Sarah and Brian's baby does.

19 January 2009

Holy Moses!

by Cecily
Last night my neighbor friend hosted a Burning Bush party.

people standing around a backyard bonfire

We all watched Bruce and Pete on the big tv and got teary eyed and patriotic, and then yelled while we put things on the fire, and then had a dance party.

backyard crowed with Mission Accompished banner on a wooden fence

I contributed a Bush to burn.

woman and man flanking papier-mache GWBush head on a stick

Yay! America! Woo! Fire!

fire in a firepit, people in the background

photos by Holly, as usual.

16 January 2009


by Cecily
Dear internet,

A. okay have you guys seen this game? it is so, so great. I can't stop doing it, much to the sorrow of all my piles of un-dealt-with-other-things. All (or no, depending on your attitude) thanks to Michael.

B. the district is finally a state! A state of emergency that is. Ha ha ha ha ha. Good luck if you live around here and have to leave your house between now and Wednesday.

C. My friendly neighborhood neighbors have started a food blog, to which I might sometimes contribute something if I ever get off my high horse and write any blog entries at all.

D. My little sister got into vet school at Cornell. She is going to be an Ivy League Large Animal Veterinarian. I don't have a link for you about this topic, but I would just like to point out that my little sister is SO MUCH more badass than your little sister.

That is all.


10 January 2009

family update: almost-a-dog-napping* edition

by Cecily
Remember Oscar?

Oscar has apparently been having adventures, over there in Mozambique. My father reports:

Oscar got lost the other day. In piecing together the various bits and pieces, it seems like he was outside in the afternoon when a mechanic was working on our "new" car. (We just bought a second car, and the belts needed to be replaced.). When the mechanic took the car out, Oscar apparently ran out. There was a new guard (Yes, we have 24-7 guards at the house, as do most people. It's a little strange walking around. I'm not sure if greeting all the guards on the sidewalk is a standard civility, or an intrusion.), who wasn't able to call Oscar back. That evening, I was walking around with the guard looking for Oscar, and left my phone number with some people saying we'd pay a reward for his return.

The next day, I got a call and from a guy who said he had a lead. It looks like there was a young guy who found Oscar, and took him to his employer's house. (She seemed to be a nice woman who likes dogs, not a Dog-napping Queen.) The person closest to sleazy was the go-between. He seems to be basically a street-savvy hustler. His role, I suppose, was calling around to his contacts to see who had a dog fitting Oscar's description. He was a sharp-dresssed guy, crisp white shirt with cuff links, crisp pants. His vehicle was unusual, by my experience. It was a small Japanese or Indian truck/pickup, one of those flat-nosed jobs, with a big flat bed and sides that come down like a tailgate. It was clean, and had sporty wheels with low-profile tires. An odd combination of sporty-looking and utilitarian.

Anyway, Oscar had a couple of wounds, apparently from encounters with other dogs. That suggests to me that he wasn't just stolen as soon as he got out, and that he got spooked, wandered around, and eventually the kid picked him up, figuring that there'd be a reward for him. (One of the local peculiarities is that there are street dogs, a lot of people who are unfamiliar with dogs, and a recognized stolen-dog market. People go there to shop for exotic dogs, and perhaps to buy their dog back.) When we got to the place that had Oscar, and then we were waiting for a while, I called the US Embassy, and they sent an investigator (Mozambican) over to inquire about the situation. (The local security guys like to know about strange things going on.) He came, and had some police friends come, too. None of the participants, except us, were very happy to see the police. They explained that we didn't have to pay anything, but that we could if we wanted. In the end, we decided that Oscar really had been found, not stolen, and paid rewards.

It's probably all because he is so famous on the internet.

What a ridiculous animal.

*Did you notice how this hyphenated term results in some ambiguity? It could mean there was almost a dognapping. On the other hand, it could mean an almost-a-dog was 'napped. Hell yeah I did that on purpose. I have a Master's Degree in Linguistics!

06 January 2009

Attontion! crazy Germans!

by Cecily
my stepdaddy took this picture in a hotel in... somewhere in China.

a sign on a door with Chinese characters followed by semi-English ATTONTION if you want to take a bath, must be with normalaze open/close the door. Thank you!

Elizabeth, my resident neighborhood expert on Sino-Parental Affairs, says that the Chinese part actually tells you to be clothed when you have the door open.

She adds "probably because of all the naked German tourists", but I think this was commentary and not actually included in the text*.

*Do we call characters "text"? Or does "text" only mean alphabet-style phone-based writing? I should probably learn the answers to these pressing questions.