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Hemlock B. Bootsalotta

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I missed my calling as an international man of mystery [Dec. 9th, 2017|12:56 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, ]
[mood |itchy feet]

Axel discovered on the way home from his last LARPing trip that he had been crossing the border all summer on an expired passport.

So I checked mine and yep, I have to renew both of them. Irish one expired six months ago, Canadian one expires in four. Not that I have the money to go anywhere, but it's such a pain in the ass to get a new one if you let it lapse that it's worth it to me to eat the cost of renewing them now.

(It suddenly occurs to me that now I'll have to get my English passport as well because of Brexit. And that one lapsed so long ago I'll have to start over. Buggeration. Well, that one can wait.)

So I must seek volunteers to be my references for the Canadian one. And I hope that's not a requirement for the Irish passport, because I honestly don't think I know anybody who isn't a relative.

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the pornographer's dilemma [Nov. 27th, 2017|02:27 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
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Because of Getting Rid of Stuff reasons, after I read my books I usually put them out in the free library on our front lawn.

There are a lot of kids in our neighbourhood, so I'm reluctant to do that with the porn. I'm trying to figure out what to do with them instead. Anybody want them?

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2017 books: 51-54 [Nov. 25th, 2017|02:43 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
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here there be pr0nCollapse )

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2017 books: 45-50 [Nov. 12th, 2017|09:14 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
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At some point over the summer when I was walking home from the bus stop I passed a house that had a boxload of books out for the taking. A large chunk of them were about Ireland or by Irish writers, so I filled my knapsack with as many as I could haul.

from the box of booksCollapse )

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NaDruWriNi 2018: An Observation [Nov. 5th, 2017|01:42 am]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
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[mood |you know it's true (oo oo oo)]

When given license to post about whatever is on my mind, mostly I take it as an opportunity to bitch about shit.

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NaDruWriNi 2018: Just Sayin' [Nov. 5th, 2017|12:37 am]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
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[mood |it's all advertising]

You know, I would take Netflix's current principled stance against Kevin Spacey a lot more seriously if they weren't also airing Mike Tyson Mysteries.

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NaDruWriNi 2018: Intermission [Nov. 5th, 2017|12:14 am]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
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Current alcohol count: Ready for my next drink. I will live to regret this.

I have run out of topics. What shalkl I talk about next?

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NaDruWriNi 2018 Chapter Four: A Country Divided [Nov. 4th, 2017|11:30 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
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Current alcohol count: I am never going to finish this fucking g&t, seriously he made it in a pint glass.

[personal profile] elusis brought up learning French in my languages post and reminded me of something that has pissed me off for decades.

In theory, Canada is a bilingual country. In reality, we have one bilingual province, (New Brunswick, population approximately 750K) and one bilingual city. (Montreal, population approximately 1.7 million) When I call them bilingual I mean that most of the population speaks both languages. The rest of the country speaks either English or French but not both.

Two of my co-workers speak to each other in Punjabi when they are trying to figure something out quickly and it's just the two of them because it's so much faster. This led to a conversation with one of them about how many languages he speaks. (Five) "But you speak French, don't you? I thought in Canada you all learn to speak French."

I don't know about the rest of the country, but let me tell you about French education in Toronto.

I started off in Scarborough, which is one of the suburbs of Toronto. There they started French classes in grade 6. (I would have been 12.) An hour long class, once a week.

Halfway through grade 6 I moved to Toronto proper, where they start French classes in Grade 4. Two hours a week now. Since I was obviously two years behind I had no idea what was going on and my teacher made it very clear she had no interest in catching me up. I literally did not learn a single word. I tried a couple of times in High School but... well as previously explained I don't have a language brain and it didn't really take.

The fucked up thing is that I have friends who did French immersion when they were growing up. (That's a school where every class is taught in French.) They are completely proficient in French - as long as they are speaking to somebody from France. Because apparently Quebecois French, the language spoken by the largest French-speaking population in Canada, is completely different than the French that is taught in our schools.

This blows my mind. That you can go to a French school in Canada and they will teach you French - but not the French that is actually spoken in your own country.

My sister actually went through something similar when she was living in Switzerland. She took German classes to try to become proficient enough to get a job while she was there, but the only language classes she could take were in High German. Not in the Swiss German that was actually spoken in Zurich where she lived. So even if she passed the course with flying colours she wouldn't be employable because she wouldn't be able to communicate with her co-workers who were all speaking Swiss German.

I don't get it.

You know what? Fuck both official languages. Rightfully we should all be learning Cree and Inuktitut anyway.

I wonder how hard they are to learn.

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NaDruWriNi 2018 Chapter Three: The Aristocats [Nov. 4th, 2017|10:25 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, ]
[music |Pennywise]

Current alcohol count: I'm still working on my second g&t but in my defense, Axel makes fucking enormous g&ts.

I make jokes about coming home from a weekend where D is alone in the house and finding out we have 4 additional cats. Because seriously, man. He is the cat whisperer. He sits on the porch to smoke and every cat in the entire neighbourhood has figured out that he is a hopeless soft touch and will feed them if they give him big kitten eyes.[1]

And that is how we ended up feeling responsible for the welfare of a tiny grey tabby feral tom cat[3] who has developed the habit of sleeping on our porch. Last weekend's project was to dig out one of our unused plastic storage bins, cut some entry holes in it and line it with styrofoam to make a winter shelter. This is now sitting on the far corner of the porch. We taped some plastic across that corner of the porch to try and create a sheltered area but it seems to just trap the rain water, so we'll have to come up with something better.

We are such suckers.

I give it a year tops before he's living in the house.


[1]He's also on a "neighbourly nod in passing" basis with every skunk and possum that lives in the 'hood.[2]
[2]Not the raccoons so much. They're assholes.
[3]I have dubbed him "the Ghost". He's very shy.

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NaDruWriNi 2018 Chapter Two: Speaking in Tongues [Nov. 4th, 2017|09:31 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
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[music |Soulscraper]

Current alcohol count: My second g&t

Many years ago I decided I was going to learn German.

It was a good idea at the time. Axe speaks German so we could start speaking it at home and that would help me practice. English is partially derived from German so the vocabulary is super easy. And you know, German Industrial bands and all that.

So that was the theory. As you know Bob, theory and practice - sometimes they differ. I started with a lot of enthusiasm but I kept getting bogged down. German vocabulary may be very similar to English but their grammar is (to me) very different and therefore feels complicated and I never really got my head around it. Axel speaks it, but he doesn't really understand the grammar very well - his family moved to England when he was pretty young and so his German is kind of stuck at the elementary school level - and my plan to practice at home never really took off.

Probably the most proficient I ever felt was when I was visiting Italy with BC and when I was sleepless from jet-lag I would watch their one TV station that broadcast in German. I could mostly follow along with what the story was about although the details were lost on me. After that it was all downhill, I just got too busy with other things to practice regularly and it fell by the wayside. Then when I was actually in Germany with Axe a couple of years ago I mentioned to his cousin that I had tried to learn German at one point and he said, "What for? Everybody here speaks English anyway."

Sooooooooo maybe you can call it short attention span, but I recently made the decision to give up on German. And gave all my German books to my daughter[1], who is hella enthusiastic about it. Good for her.

But me, I have a new love.

Spanish.

I figure it's a language that's a lot more likely to be practical. There are many, many countries, some of them ones I can drive to, where a variant of Spanish is the main language and people don't necessarily speak English as well. Of the Latin-derived languages it's probably simplest, only two genders and no silent letters. And it's accessible. Even Sesame Street has a Spanish component. (Well in my country it was French, but YouTube is thing.) The vocabulary is very close to that of Portuguese and Italian - at least according to my Portuguese, Italian & Spanish-speaking co-workers who are constantly talking the piss out of each other in their respective languages. AND my dad's wife is a Spanish teacher.

I have no idea how long this particular project is going to last. But every night on my way home from work instead of pulling a book out of my knapsack I slap my headphones on my ears and open duolingo on my phone. I'm having fun with it and that's the thing that usually drives me to keep going on a new project.



[1]Except for Struwwelpeter which Axe wanted to keep because of childhood memories and seriously that is a book you give to children?! What is wrong with German people.

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