Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dva Vodkii, Pajalsta

Playing on the iPod: David Arkenstone, "Spirit of Tibet"
Meters swum today: None. I was busy driving around town picking up expert witnesses at the airport. No, really.

World travel: I does it. Or I would do it if I had any money, which I do, but it keeps getting chewed away by stuff like mortgage payments and groceries and IRAs and cat food. It sucks being a responsible adult sometimes. However, Joan and I have managed to break the surly bonds of this continent a few times. We've been to London. We've been to--no, not France. Ireland. Twice, in fact, the first time getting cut a bit short when Joan got deathly ill and spent a week in a hospital in this little town called Ennis. Sans Joan, I've also been to El Salvador, Guatemala, parts of Mexico, Canada and Sweden. Yeah, I know Sweden doesn't fit on that list, but where else am I gonna put it? I am dying to see Iceland, India, Tibet (or maybe just northern India--the Himalayas, anyway), southern Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Japan, maybe China, and Thailand.

So with summer coming and north Texas pausing for breath between the deep freeze and the blast furnace, talk turns of where to go next. For some reason I was stuck on Spain. Joan was stuck on Scotland. Scotland: I've been there. Three times. It's cold. It's wet. It's occupied territory. Yeah, it's very pretty and all that. I couldn't seem to sell Joan on Spain, either, except that I wanted to see the running of the bulls in Pamplona on July 7. (I think Joan's afraid I'd jump in there and run, too. Can't imagine why she'd suspect me of such a thing.) Then suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, Joan said, "How about Russia?"

BLING!! That was the sound of my brain converting to Cyrillic letters.

People don't know this about me, but I took a semester of Russian in college. That foreign language requirement thing. I already spoke Spanish, they didn't offer Arabic, and I've already tried once to learn German, thankewverymuch. (Joan speaks German. Joan is also a member of Mensa.) So I took Russian, and everything was fine until the nouns started changing their endings. Somehow this messed with my brain, and I barely scraped through with a C. So back to Spanish, for the easy A. But I always liked Russian. The alphabet, especially. Besides looking totally cool, all the letters sound like exactly what they are. If you're dyslexic (and I am; I words spell order in wrong the), this is the perfect alphabet for you. No guessing required, except the hard sign versus the soft sign, and most Russians are pretty much over the hard sign by now, so if you guess the soft sign, you're right, unless you're in the Ukraine.

And so, as we ponder Volga River cruises and excursions to the Hermitage (in 2009, realistically speaking; this won't be a cheap trip) yours truly and Joan will be attempting to learn some Russian in our copious spare time. I've already remembered the sixteen words I learned and am adding a few more. Joan's worried about the alphabet but she shouldn't be; the Queen of Pattern Recognition will be fine once she knows the basic sounds. So if anybody out there has the Rosetta Stone software in Russian, buzz me, okay? I'll give you a good price. Pravda. Spaciba.

Now, if we can just get those pesky nouns to stop changing their endings...

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