Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Russian – Vladmir Nabokov describes it best: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”
Yagan (indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego) – “the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start” (Altalang.com)
Indonesian – “A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh” (Altalang.com)
Inuit – “To go outside to check if anyone is coming.” (Altalang.com)
Czech – Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, remarked that “As for the meaning of this word, I have looked in vain in other languages for an equivalent, though I find it difficult to imagine how anyone can understand the human soul without it.” The closest definition is a state of agony and torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.
Japanese – “A mother who relentlessly pushes her children toward academic achievement” (Altalang.com)
Scottish – The act of hestitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name. (Altalang.com)
Tshiluba (Southwest Congo) – A word famous for its untranslatability, most professional translators pinpoint it as the stature of a person “who is ready to forgive and forget any first abuse, tolerate it the second time, but never forgive nor tolerate on the third offense.” (Altalang.com)
Czech – This word means to call a mobile phone and let it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving the first caller money. In Spanish, the phrase for this is “Dar un toque,” or, “To give a touch.” (Altalang.com)
Brazilian Portuguese – “The act of tenderly running one’s fingers through someone’s hair.” (Altalang.com)
German – Quite famous for its meaning that somehow other languages neglected to recognize, this refers to the feeling of pleasure derived by seeing another’s misfortune. I guess “America’s Funniest Moments of Schadenfreude” just didn’t have the same ring to it.
German – Translated literally, this word means “gate-closing panic,” but its contextual meaning refers to “the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages.” (Altalang.com)
Japanese – Much has been written on this Japanese concept, but in a sentence, one might be able to understand it as “a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.” (Altalang.com)
French – The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country.
Pascuense (Easter Island) – Hopefully this isn’t a word you’d need often: “the act of taking objects one desires from the house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them.” (Altalang.com)
Danish – Its “literal” translation into English gives connotations of a warm, friendly, cozy demeanor, but it’s unlikely that these words truly capture the essence of a hyggelig; it’s likely something that must be experienced to be known. I think of good friends, cold beer, and a warm fire. (Altalang.com)
17. L’appel du vide
French – “The call of the void” is this French expression’s literal translation, but more significantly it’s used to describe the instinctive urge to jump from high places.
Arabic – Both morbid and beautiful at once, this incantatory word means “You bury me,” a declaration of one’s hope that they’ll die before another person because of how difficult it would be to live without them.
Spanish – While originally used to describe a mythical, spritelike entity that possesses humans and creates the feeling of awe of one’s surroundings in nature, its meaning has transitioned into referring to “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.” There’s actually a nightclub in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion, where I teach, named after this word. (Altalang.com)
Portuguese – One of the most beautiful of all words, translatable or not, this word “refers to the feeling of longing for something or someone that you love and which is lost.” Fado music, a type of mournful singing, relates to saudade. (Altalang.com)
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Smith Westerns really got that modern Ramones look and the art of the simple lyrics like down-pat! The video is all lumberjacking adventures x 90s sit around eatin' junk food trying to pick up girls sounds like my kinda weekend.
Monday, December 13, 2010
he would have been able to fall in love
with Christina Ricci
in Buffalo 66
and he would have fallen in love with her
and made a box
or dozens of boxes for her
perhaps collaging images
someone had printed for him
off the internet
if he had only lived this long
and he would have ridden the bus
and thought he had seen her
on every street corner
talking on every cell phone
to someone he could only hope
was not Vincent Gallo
but better yet
the ghost of Cary Grant
whose character in North by Northwest
Vincent Gallo’s character
in Arizona Dream imitates
running away from an airplane
if only Joseph Cornell had lived this long
Since I'm vibing that 'Heartbeats' by Xavier Dolan is going to be my film of the year (and 'Bang Bang' the song of my Summer) it looks like I should totally check out Francois Ozon's 'Summer Dress' which is on the love triangle x Nancy Sinatra tip.
Monday, December 6, 2010
When it is a beautiful starry night Mr Palomar says, "I must go and look at the stars". That is exactly what he says- "I must"- because he hates waste and believes it is wrong to waste the great quantity of stars that it is put at his disposal. - "Mr Palomar" by Italo Calvino
Buy me one from here
After Po Chü-i and Burton Watson
Not too old, not young anymore,
almost three dozen years gone by.
Not a failure, not a success—
my first real job, a job to grow old in.
Some potential, too lazy to use it:
I’d watch TV but I like the window more.
My money gets spent when I have it;
cheap food tastes good too, and a small room’s enough.
Even a smaller room would be fine,
a shelf of old books, guitar with no amp.
The books I just flip through and don’t worry about too much,
the guitar is for noodling around on my own.
Mornings on the bus; I get to the office late.
Evenings it’s back home, go to bed early.
Working out’s too much trouble, and my body’s all right,
some belly to keep me company.
So there you have it, day by day, month after month.
Rereading this poem taped to the wall—
that’s the only reason I wrote it.
No genius, not stupid either.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
To fall in love with someone at an inappropriate time or mistake a repeated hookup for a serious relationship.
"The instant they start to catch feelings
I start to stealin they shit
Then I'm out just like a thief in the night
I sink my teeth in to bite
You thinkin life, I'm thinkin more like - whassup tonight?"
Two of my new favourite words - one is a disease and one is a world view - make of that what you will:
Anhedonia: Loss of the capacity to experience pleasure. The inability to gain pleasure from normally pleasurable experiences. Anhedonia is a core clinical feature of depression, schizophrenia, and some other mental illnesses.
An anhedonic mother finds no joy from playing with her baby. An anhedonic football fan is not excited when his team wins. An anhedonic teenager feels no pleasure from passing the driving test.
"Anhedonia" is derived from the Greek "a-" (without) "hedone" (pleasure, delight). Other words derived from "hedone" include hedonism (a philosophy that emphasizes pleasure as the main aim of life), hedonist (a pleasure-seeker), and hedonophobia (an excessive and persistent fear of pleasure).
Manichean: adjective: Of or relating to a dualistic view of the world, dividing things into either good or evil, light or dark, black or white, involving no shades of gray.
'I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With' is one of my all time favourite titles. Apparently it makes Larry David uncomfortable because it ends with a preposition - 'with' (just in case you were wondering) - which is amazing to know because Larry David uncomfortable is about as unfathomable to me as time travel.
This movie contains a lot of my favourite things like Second City and stars both Jeff Garlin (of 'Curbed') and Sarah Silverman (of awesome-town).
If you in anyway doubt Sarah Silverman's devotion to cheese please watch the below.
Also she recently published a novel(!) called 'The Bedwetter' which is about well, pee from what I can gather - you can read the first chapter here.
ALSO she recently got dissed on via Twitter by the TED/AOL crew for her TED talk (which no one will ever see I guess but you can get the lowdown here). Peep the Twitter back and forth - kinda shows why you don't get into a pissing contest with a former bedwetter right?