Because we live in Brazil and my children go to Portuguese speaking school, we are continually amused by the things Brazilians say when they try to speak English (as I am sure they are amused at times by our Portuguese.)

For example, at my daughter’s graduation from first grade two years ago, the school did a special presentation for the outgoing dean of students who happened to be in his 70’s.  The theme music for this wonderful video montage? Marvin Gaye’s celebratory Sexual Healing.  I, being one of only two fluent English speakers in the room (the other being my husband who was absolutely no help keeping me in line), had to get up and leave because my riotous laughter was impeding others from paying homage to a dearly loved man. Based on the hopeful way they sent him off to his golden years, I have a feeling he is enjoying his retirement immensely.

Also, English curse words do not carry the same weight in Portuguese. I should not have been surprised when my 8 year old daughter came home from school today with a very expressive song that they had studied in English class. I was quick to point out that while we wholeheartedly agree with the message of the song (which is that most of the world is far too materialistic when there are many truly needy people in it), there were a few words that might not be appropriate to include in her everyday English vocabulary. And it might be a good idea not to use those words around her grandparents. And maybe while we’re at it, we just won’t use those words at home either even though most of her Brazilian friends will think they are fine. You know. Just to avoid developing a habit that we might need to break later. Because not all cultures are the same.

I think this is what you call a liberal arts education, folks. 🙂

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kellyrfineman has me in such a poetic mood lately! Jumping from the springboard of her great post yesterday (with a lovely Gertrude Stein quote to boot), I give you:


When lofty phrases fail to impress
the sharpest of minds, the
warmest of hearts, 
when only one word will work its magic,
will leak its power and shape its meaning to 
fit my thought and yea, even dare to think more…
that, my dear pen,
is a poem.

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Wouldn’t it be cleverly?

Clever is as clever does
though sometimes clever oughtn’t.
Whenever clever tries too hard
She comes off less than prudent.
She shows her face without much grace.
She’s preened and mussed and fussed.
Wherever clever’s overworked,
We find she simply isn’t. Just.

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I love it when we do this

I can’t remember who posted this last time but I loved reading all of them. Close your eyes, pick up the nearest book (don’t scan for the most interesting title). Open at random and write down the fifth sentence on that page.

Mine: From The Miraculaous Journey of Edward Tulane page 88, fifth sentence:

“Who having known him before, would have thought he could be so happy now, crusted over with garbage, wearing a dress, held in the slobbery mouth of a dog and being chased by a mad man?”

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On Words

Hallowed dust of communion,
Sacred stones of multi-faceted worth,
I sift you through my mind
to see where you fit,
to find your intent.
I study your surface
then tilt you on a slant against the light,
manipulating your meaning
all the while knowing,
I am your 
I will go where you lead.

It’s a Party!

Brace yourselves! thatgirlygirl will be supremely jealous that I ran across it first. We should have a party. Tomorrow is officially Consecutive Numbers Day? At 1:02:03 am on 04/05/06 all the numbers line up in a nice little row like that for us to practice counting to 6. Isn’t that nice? Check it out for yourselves.


Can you call it a successful Sunday morning when you’ve killed off one of the favorite characters in your WIP? (Well, she’s not dead on paper yet but I know what needs to happen and I’ve died to her in my heart.) It’s a mournful process but it has to happen.