The Life of Liz

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Life of a Wandering Troubadour

Doe, a Deer, a Female Deer:

Back in the day, when I was a kid, both my parents played guitar, so naturally I took a whack at trying to learn. I promptly gave it up for a couple of reasons. One reason is that, for my size, I have rather small hands and feet (obviously the small feet thing doesn't really affect my ability to play guitar, unless I decided to take up the life of a wandering troubadour). This meant that any song that included chords other than D, A and Em required a level of dedication and determination that far exceeded my level of interest. So to sum up: tiny hands; too lazy to practice.

Fast forward fifteen years and suddenly, I have taken up the guitar. My brother-in-law, Jonothan, is teaching me as a kind of thank you for teaching him English. He, by the way, is the most talented guitarist I have ever seen (and I know a lot of people who are really quite good). Mom can back me up on this one. He showed me most of the chords and then gave me a crash course in music theory. If you've ever been exposed to any quantity of music theory you probably already know this: it's not easier to understand in Spanish. I did my best to follow but it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. If I can't see the pattern with my hands, it just looks a lot like an incomprehensible wad of mathematics.

Fortunately, my usual method of learning is less theory based and more Monkey See, Monkey Do. Or in this case, Monkey See, Monkey Practice Incessantly Until She Grinds the Lesson into Her Tiny Talent-less Hands. In all fairness, I'm actually not too bad, especially at finger picking. However, I am a sad sack of terrible when it comes to strumming. Meanwhile my husband is waffling between pride and excitement at my learning guitar and profound sadness that I cut all my pretty nails off. Stay tuned.

Moving on Up to the East Side:

Big changes for Mr. and Mrs. M are a-coming tomorrow. We are all packed and ready to move! Sometimes not owning anything (at least not within a 2,000 mile radius) comes in super handy. This has got to be the easiest packing/moving job I've ever been a part of. Namely because we have no furniture, just a couple of boxes of clothes and our rockin' fan. I find it terribly ironic that I finally have at my obligatory disposal about 20 muscular dudes to help me move and I don't need them!! Where was this when I needed to move a washing machine?

I'm getting slightly off-topic here. We found a great studio apartment in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of Managua. Our reasons for moving are thus: for one thing, we'd really like to live by ourselves for at least a tiny portion of our marriage before children invade our household. For another, the house next door to our current residence is unoccupied, which means that no matter how many traps we set or how much Raid we spray, there is no winning the battle against the mice and cockroaches. Not only is it difficult for my puny immune system to stay healthy in this kind of environment but I'm pretty much over getting up in the middle of the night only to find the toilet paper crawling with baby roaches. No one should sit on the toilet and think, "huh, is THIS what is feels like to go insane?" But the main reason is simply that our current barrio is getting progressively more dangerous and it's time to make like a tree and cut bait.

I am so stinkin' excited about our new place. It's got a little loft area with a second bed if we want to have a guest (hint, hint, come visit us!), it's fully furnished, clean and quiet. Birdies chirp in the courtyard 'neath the coconut trees. And check this out: there is water all the live long day!!! Starting tomorrow I no longer need plan my bathroom activities around the available water schedule. Seriously, you just don't even know how happy I am.

The English Rant:

This week's installment of Why English is Hilariously Difficult to Learn comes to you courtesy of the word "laundry." Think about it, what is laundry? It's clothes (or sheets or towels), but only under certain circumstances. You don't wear laundry, or shop for laundry, or make your bed with laundry. Clothing only exists as laundry when it is about to be, is in the process of, or has just been washed. Except wash is never the verb we use with laundry (nor, for that matter is launder). You can wash your hands, your car, your dog, and yes, even your clothes - but laundry is something you do. I suppose it's only right to stick an unnecessarily specific noun with the world's blandest verb. 


Maeve's Momma November 20, 2011 at 7:03:00 AM MST  

1530s, from O.Fr. lavanderie, from L. lavandaria, pl. of lavandarium "things to be washed," from lavare "to wash"

See, that's why it's stupid word. It's from the French.

Kath November 21, 2011 at 11:10:00 AM MST  

Hooray for furnished apartments with chirping birds and 24/7 running water! Take pictures!

And Hooray for guitar teachers and students!

Marissa November 22, 2011 at 11:17:00 AM MST  

Yay for moving! Also, yay for guitar-playing! Btw, Mike wanted me to tell you that he still can't play bar chords. He was very impressed by you.

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A brand new mom trying to navigate the crazy world of mixed families, babies, and working full time. Phew! Just writing that makes me want to lie down.


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