Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More language

Stuff I forgot last night.

push Means "push" and also "sit here." With assistance. (And insistence.)
map These last two courtesy of Dora the Explorer.
Hello! Anyone home? - Said on coming home, or, for comic effect, on walking through any door in the house. Or opening any cupboard or closet door.

icky, yicky
pflah!       - On being offered unacceptable foodstuff
eat, eating
I did it!
tree        Also used for any stick or branch

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Lots of new language since I last posted a glossary update in May. Glossary would be too narrow a concept to continue to use now, I think. 

In general, he's using language more than he was earlier this year. Not just having more words.

There might be overlaps here between the earlier word list posts, because I'm not meticulously checking back and forth. I'm no longer spelling out all pronunciation quirks; just noting instances where he seems to consider the word to be different than we do.

ice cream         replaced "nana" and "nana coke"
'mote                remote control
vee-vee           TV; was "shee-shee" until recently
tooth, teeth
moon                 means both "moon" and "night"
Wallace             as in Wallace and Gromit
Chicken! Good!  From Mila Jovovic's line, The Fifth Element
Buzz                   was "Butch" or "Annie" for Buzz Lightyear
Woody               was "Hatch" (he wears a cowboy hat)
Betty Boop
Ring around the rosy ... fall down!
fall down
toothbrush     (For every kind of brush!)
No touch!
No back!             Don't go, come back
work                    Where I go off to in the morning
voda                     Serbian for water
Bless you!            After a sneeze (we never do this)
nuk                       Nursing -- he originated this.
That way!
button                All meanings -- clothing, electronics, etc.
Go away
bee                      Various flying insects can be a "bee"
beep...boop..beep beep... What a robot says
mine                  mine, or "I am interested in that"
cocoa                 coffee, or chocolate
coffee                coffee ice cream
soap                   (I heard this for the first time today.)
one, two , three, four
ready, go
go                       go, also a flag (from racing)
race, racing

Last Saturday, when a loud plane went by, he swished a fly swatter at the sound and said, "Go away, airplane! Go away!" When I laughed, he looked at me and smiled, and laughed heartily.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Walkin' for a Northside pool

This morning I got up around six and had the place to myself for a couple of hours while the guys slept in. I got everything ready to yoink U out of the house before he had a chance to settle into any other agenda, then plunked him in the car and headed to Warner Park for the fundraiser for the Northside Pool. Thank goodness, the rainy weather finally broke and it was sunny and breezy for the 1+ mile walk. We saw some folks we knew -- from James Reeb Universalist Unitarian, from Northside neighborhood organizations and elected office.

About a quarter of a mile into the walk, Ulysses had enough walking. Did I mention that Ulysses has refused to be placed in a stroller since he learned to walk? We don't even own a stroller anymore. I saw the choice of carrying a child 1/4 mile back to the starting point, and carrying a child 3/4 mile forward to the finish point. Which are, of course, the same point. I picked him up and started back.

Wah!! No, no, Mama! Ulysses had caught sight of the train crossing a few hundred feet from where we were. I carried him to it. Railway! Track! Lights and an "X" sign and a red-and-white striped traffic bar, just like the little one he has at home! U wanted to set off walking along the track, but that I put the kaibosh to. The only other direction U would go peaceably was forward.

I realized that my options were really this: dragging a screaming child 1/4 mile, or carrying a happy child 3/4 mile. I decided the latter would take less energy. And be a better setup for the day ahead. I made up my mind to appreciate the workout. It was fun!

Along the way, we saw some of the same berries we'd seen in July on our hike through Cherokee Park, where I'd explained, through earnest pantomime, the concept of poison. Ulysses caught sight of the berries. He clutched at his throat and made choking noises, then wrapped his arms around his belly: "Aaagh!"

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rain, rain

After what feels like months of drought, it's been raining nearly every day. Today I thought I'd take a stroll after eating lunch -- I got to the door just to see that it was pouring!

Fortunately, Don and I both got to take our morning walks this AM. He got in from his around 7, and I high-tailed it out for mine. I poked my head in after the first lap -- oops! Ulysses spotted me. He had already awakened. So I called it a morning and came inside.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A visit with Cindy

We went to Cindy's house, on the shore of Lake Kegonsa, to meet her new dog. Both Brads (Cindy's husband and our other friend Brad) were on a hardcore bicycling trip. Cindy's friend, a scientist from Mexico, was also there. The idea was low-key just hanging out, but Cindy made enough food to feed an army -- or at least a dinner party for 30. She had just taken a Morroccan cooking class at L'Etoile, and she made us a delicious chicken tagine. As well as lots of other stuff!

Click the picture below and choose slideshow to see more pix and 2 short movies.

2007_0812 Lake Kegonsa in Cindy's Backyard

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Double Fest

Today U and I went to not one, but two summer festivals on the Northside.

The first was the Savor the Summer Festival at Troy Community Gardens. U and I went two summers ago, but missed the one in 2006.

A co-worker who went to the 2006 fest told me, the following Monday, that she'd seen the sign in the gardens with my picture on it. There are signs all over with color photos of various people -- somehow I got to be one of those people. I'd never seen the sign, although I looked all over for it at the 2005 fest. In fact, I'd come to the conclusion that there wasn't really a sign with my pic. However, since hearing about it in 2006, I've been dying to get back and look for it.

Shortly after we walked onto the grounds, Marge Pitts, one of the driving forces behind the gardens, hailed us and mentioned the sign!. She led us partway there; then U and I hiked through the restored prairie till we found it. There I was, smiling and weeding, wearing a black T-shirt, khaki shorts, and trail boots. My hair was pulled off my face with a burgundy-colored patterned kerchief rolled into a hairband and tied at the back, under my hair.

Amazing! In this five- or six-year-old photograph, I was wearing the exact same shorts and shoes that I had on at that moment! My hair was pulled off my face with a black-and white patterned kerchief rolled into a hairband and tied at the back, under my hair. I had been wearing the identical outfit two days earlier -- black T-shirt and all. Just then, a knot of people happened by. One was a fellow named Steve, who had been weeding alongside me in the gardens that very day. He took a picture of me standing beside me.

OK. Ulysses and I rode on the hayride all around the farm. Bouncy fun!

There was a kiddie pool filled with bubble soap. Ulysses played with the bubble wands for a good twenty minutes, while I talked to people I knew from my old Northside neighborhood association days in the late 1990s, and we listened to music of the Kissers, Irish roots music. Terrific!

I bought Ulysses some ice cream. I gave him two dollar bills and held him up while he handed it to the guy behind the table, who signaled to a woman scooping ice cream in the rear of the booth. I could see on U's face, when the man made no further motion, the thought, "So where's the ice cream?" and then "What did I just give you two dollars for?" The ice cream arrived soon enough, of course.

The ice cream purchase was made with the idea U'd be happy to sit by me and eat it while I watched the Hmong cooking demonstration. Unfortunately, there was no vanilla, and he didn't like the flavor I picked for him, Blue Moon, which tasted kind of like bubble gum. (The only other flavor was raspberry sherbet -- maybe that one would have worked, but who knows.) U only ate a few spoonfuls, and then was done with sitting still. So I got up and followed him. The ice cream went into the trash -- bye bye, two dollars. I wasn't about to pour all that sugar into myself just because of the $$.

On our way out, we passed the chicken coop, and spent maybe twenty minutes hanging out with a nice teenage boy named Jacob who was doing a summer internship at the gardens, and four hens named Pearl, Carmella, Oreo, and Regina Marie. Ulysses communed with the chickens, and marveled at the contents of the nesting box, where the chickens had laid several eggs. "A chicken lays an egg about every 25 hours," Jacob told me. "Every 25 hours? You mean, if she lays one at 3 o'clock today, tomorrow she'll lay one at 4?" We laughed together at this, and he explained that a chicken lays 340 eggs a year, so the 25-hour figure is an average.

After the chickens, we sat and listened to the band playing in the Children's Garden, an old-timey band called Moldy Jam. Wonderful. Ulysses sat rapt all through their first number, and applauded wildly with the rest of the audience. Then he jumped up and left. One-hit wonder, I guessed.

Driving past Warner Park on the way home, I was toying with the idea of going to Shopko and taking advantage of that sale on socks and underwear. An exciting Saturday afternoon, indeed! Then I noticed a sign for the Africa Festival in the park this very afternoon. So we pulled in.

Wonderful music. A band from Senegal was playing while we were there. Women with beautiful, flowing, brightly-colored dresses and matching headscarves were everywhere. Men with bright, flowing tunics and matching trousers, and pillbox shaped hats, were all around, also. I fancied I could tell who was actually from Africa, from the ease with which they wore the bright clothing, and the beautifully erect posture.

A little girl, perhaps Ulysses' age, was dancing in the grass. She wore a long, patterned dress, and she held out the skirt and swished it back and forth as she danced. Her curly, reddish hair was pulled atop her head. Her skin was an unusual, exquisite creamy hue, like nutmeg and strawberries (Later I saw her brown-skinned mother and white father, a fair-skinned redhead).Ulysses, hot and tired, was lying on his back in the grass, close to crying from sheer exhaustion, and frustrated that I wouldn't comply in carrying him away from the festival and off towards the lakeshore where he had seen people fishing on previous park visits. "Look, Ulysses, dancing!" I said. I wanted to watch the little girl, so graceful, moving so beautifully, creatively, to the music. She was glorious.

"No dancing!" he said, petulant.

"Dancing, look!" I persisted.

"No! No dancing!" Then he caught sight of the little girl.

Ulysses did a double take and sat straight up. He stared at her, transfixed, smiling wide. It was like watching a cartoon character in love -- I could practically see a valentine-shaped outline beating from his chest. A few minutes later, we were sitting behind the girl and her family watching the Senegalese band play under a tent. Ulysses, curled in my lap and becoming sleepy from our hours in the sun, didn't notice he was near was the same person who had caught his eye before. But I found myself wanting to approach the mother and say, "Do you mind if we give you a call in about 15 years?"