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It's December 31st.  In just hours, 2008 will pant out its last breath, simultaneously breathing new life into 2009.  All the news broadcasts and morning shows are reporting on the festivities about to begin.  This annual ritual inevitably includes the broadcasting of several and various people attempting to sing "Auld Lang Syne."  Attempting.  This song must surely be the most unknown of all well-known songs.  Here in the U.S., we've had decades of opportunity to learn the lyrics since Guy Lombardo started using the song on his New Year's Eve broadcasts, especially given most people only ever sing the first verse and chorus, anyhow.  Learn the words, folks!  (Only half) tongue-in-cheek rant now over.


So, just the first verse and the chorus... pretty please.  Eight simple lines.

N.B. - Most Americans will sing the last line of the first verse as, "And days OF auld lang syne," and the first line of the chorus as, "For auld lang syne, my DEAR."  These changes are acceptable to my curmudgeon's ear.  Welcome, even, compared to some of the things I hear sung, year after year.... after year.

Just eight simple lines.

Current Location: i' the burn, 'twould seem
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Auld Lang Syne" - Robert Burns

I feel like I've been neglecting my study of the Italian language.  I really like to practice a little everyday.  Something... doing exercises in textbooks, using Rosetta Stone or other software, watching Italian T.V. on RAI, reading an Italian newspaper, listening to opera.... but something!  If I miss more than a couple of days, I start to get uncomfortable.  And, well, it's been almost a week!  No good reason, just that I've been busy.  So, yesterday I felt I really needed to get back to practice.

Awhile back, I registered on the Livemocha web site (http://www.livemocha.com/) that a friend had told me about, but I never really used it.  I decided yesterday I'd give it a try, as something different to do.  It's actually pretty fantastic.  The teaching method is somewhat similar to that of Rosetta Stone, though I think Rosetta Stones lessons are much better.  But the thing I love about Livemocha is that you can add friends and submit your exercises to them for review.  For example, I'm learning Italian, so I've added mostly friends who are native speakers of Italian and who are learning English.  Thus, we can give each other feedback and help each other improve and progress in the study of our targeted languages.  Awesome!

Another tool in the toolbox... or another weapon in the arsenal, depending how one looks at the study of language, I suppose! 

Current Mood: psyched!
Current Music: "Come back to Sorrento" - Ernesto DeCurtis, sung by Dean Martin

This morning I had my first eye exam in ...let's just say WAY too many years.  Yep.  Bifocals.  I really am old.  The whole experience was actually quite pleasant.  I really like the doctor I saw.  He's the same doctor I saw on my last visit... WAY too many years ago.  I don't know why I've put this off for so long.  Life just gets in the way, I suppose, and I didn't make it a priority.  It should be.  So, my friends, if you've not had your eyes examined recently, as in at least the past couple of years, or yearly if you already wear glasses, do it!  I know, most working folk's insurance really sucks.  Mine, too.  But it's worth it.  Might save your eyes, and you might just walk out with a nifty new pair of goggles, like me!  Okay... they're Polo, but I still call 'em goggles.

Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: "I Can See for Miles" - The Who

I just created a new journal, bardawulf  , for posts relating specifically to my practice of Heathenry.  Bardawulf is the name bestowed on me when I gave my gesithcunde oath to the GFS.  I thought I should use that name for my "Heathen Journal", rather than the generic "Yahoo! Group" name, Bealdordash, that I've been using.

I'll continue using this journal for more general and random posts, for anyone who has friended me here and is interested.  Of course, if you're reading this, you're most welcome to friend the new journal, as well.  There's not much content there, as yet.  And be warned... I may migrate some of my Heathenry posts from here to there, so you may see some posts you've read before!

Thank you, that is all

Current Mood: pleasedpleased

I don't get home often enough.  Once a year, usually, sometimes twice.

My niece is growing like a weed!  I get pictures, sure, but it's still a shock to see in person just how much she's grown between visits.  My grandmother will be 96 years old next month.  She's been in a nursing home for several years now as she cannot care for herself and requires too much care to be able to be home.  She hates being there, and I hate that she has to be there.  I'm always glad to see her and spend time with her, but it can be hard sometimes, especially when she's not having such a good day.  The visits this time went pretty well.  She laughed quite a lot, and she only talked about wanting to come home once.  Mom and Da' have both been relatively well, thankfully.  But as each year passes, it's always harder to say good-bye when it's time to leave.  I wish I weren't 500 miles away and could see them more often.

Thanksgiving dinner was nice.  As always, there was way too much food.  There was a lot of laughter, most of it instigated by my youngest sister.  She's definitely the commedienne of the family.  On Friday and Saturday, I was able to visit aunts, uncles and cousins, and see some old friends who still live in the area or were also home for the holiday.  On Sunday, the normal 8 hour drive back to Boston took 10 hours.  Weather, holiday traffic and the added football traffic (the Patriots had a home game, which they ended up losing 33-10!).

Overall it was a very nice holiday.  Family, friends and food, lots of laughs tinged with some sadness and some frustration.  Pretty much a typical Thanksgiving, I suppose.

Current Mood: contentcontent

Hitting the road early tomorrow morning for the eight hour drive home to Pennsylvania.  Hope to be on the road by 4:00 o'clock a.m., so will need to hit the hay a bit early tonight.  This also means I'll be offline at least through the weekend.  Hope all of you who celebrate it have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Current Mood: sleepysleepy

Io son disonorato!  Per te tradii la patria!

Last evening was the final class of the "Opera Lirica in Italiano" class I've been taking.  We studied, then listened to the section of Aida, Act III, where Radamés and Aida talk of fleeing together to Ethiopia, Aida tricks Radamés into revealing the planned route of his soldiers to her father, Amonasro (who is hiding, and evesdropping, nearby), and up to where Radamés turns himself in to Ramfis for having commited treason.

Aida was written by Giuseppe Verdi, and first performed in December 1871.  The language is a bit more archaic than the Italian of some of the other works we've been listening to in previous classes.  Some of the phrasing was a little difficult to figure out at first, especially in trying to see the nuances and why, perhaps, certain words and verb tenses were employed over others. 

One example: At one point, Radamés sings, "Numi! che dissi?", "Gods! what did I say?"  The class instructor asked if we had any ideas about why "dissi", the passato remoto of the verb dire was used rather than having Radamés say "ho detto", the passato prossimo of dire, given that Radamés had only just spoken his teason moments before. (the passato remoto is generally used to express actions completed in the more distant past).  My thought was that "dissi" may have been used because, even though it references a recent past action, it (the speaking of this treason) was over, done with, there was no taking it back, a "the toothpaste is outta the tube" situation, a fait accompli (to switch momentarily to French!). 
Who knows, really?  It could be as simple as the librettist wanted two syllables, not three.  Still, it's interesting to think about, and it's one of the reasons I love language.

This class has been so much fun!  I'm sorry to see it end, but at least I'll have a little more free time on my all-too-brief "weekends".  Another class may be offered in the spring, so there's that to look forward to.

Current Location: On the banks of the Nile?
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: "Ritorna vincitor" - Aida, Giuseppe Verdi

My Greataunt Violet has passed on.  She lived a long and happy, if oftentimes hard life, raising her four children in rural Pennsylvania.  In addition to caring for her own children, she also did what she could to help look after some her sister's six children (my father and his siblings) when her sister and brother-in-law divorced and couldn't adequately provide for them all.  In many ways, Violet was the glue that held everyone together when times were toughest.  May the Idesa of our family greet her warmly as she takes her place among them.  May she find her rest, though I know she'll yet stay busy looking after us all.

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: "After You're Gone" - Iris DeMent

I held my Winterfylleþ blétsung last night.  As it was just I, it was a small, quiet and much more introspective observance.

Cut to save friends, read more here...Collapse )

Current Location: At home, on "The Point"
Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: "The Lark Ascending" - Ralph Vaughan Williams

While I've long been enamoured of the píob mhór, I've more recently become enthralled with the uilleann pipes.  I honestly don't know that much about them, other than that I love their sound.  I really need to look into the feasibility of acquiring a set, or at least a "practice set"... cost, availability etc.  I'd really love to give them a go!  Maybe this (getting a set, and beginning to learn to play them) can be my project for the coming winter months?

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Current Mood: curiouscurious
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