Question: What’s your favorite project this fall?

It’s Labor Day weekend in the States and back to work in earnest for many families with children after the summer break in most parts of the world, now or in the next few weeks. Perhaps you’ve got a lot of things on your plate. But if you look at them, which one stands out most?

  • What do you hope to achieve?
  • Where do you expect the challenges to be?
  • How are you going to measure whether the project is a success?

Was ist das Blogprojekt? Mehr dazu unter Englischlernen mit Anne! islandweeklycover300 Subscribe to the Island Weekly podcast by RSS or in iTunes.

Fall fashion 2009

Fall-2009-Fashion-Week_articleimageFall fashion 2009? Reduced. Not humble, but beyond showing off. On a supremely beautiful body, in this age of the computer bean bag. After all, if anybody’s still got a body we definitely want to see it. The looks on the runway are all virtual reality – draw a stripe across that leg, attach a second top over this t-shirt, ach, take it all off and slap a bit of junk on that dame / dude. Project a picture on that body. Or, no, wait, get rid of color entirely. Friends, this fall just go out and get a body stocking.

My computer is killing me

Sometimes I feel almost chained and shackled to the computer. I’ve been back for 4 or 5 days and am typing away to meet deadlines, and already my feet are swollen and my body is shouting at me to go out and move. As much as I love writing and feel I’m growing in the new worlds social networking has opened me up to, I’m clearly losing the natural balance I used to have between being very active and slacking off. At the computer my brain is hyperactive and my body is dead. The Cro-Magnon was not designed for this kind of life. I’m really frustrated about what it is doing to my body. I’m not planning to become one of those monsters on a personal mobility device. How do you organize things and stay in touch with your body??

My Brightest Diamond

Shara Worden, aka My Brightest Diamond, is my soundtrack today. Her introspective mood, soaring voice and melodies and gritty guitar are right up my alley (= exactly what I like.) She comes from opera and still records chamber music. In this interview she talks about how very different it is to write and to perform, to the extent that she realizes, on stage, that a certain song that is perfect when she’s got her earphones on in the studio is simply not going to work with an audience. That’s an experience I can relate to. You think you’ve got it all worked out, it’s perfect in your imagination, it’s perfect for you anyway when you measure it against all of what you know, and then you try it out and while you’re doing it you get that reality check. So there’s simply no replacing experience, and lots of it.

So since the “Song of the Week” slot is already taken (and her lyrics aren’t great, anyway), let’s call this one “mood of the week”.

yet another song  🙂 lieder zum englischlernen

“Like” in spoken English

“Like” has become one of the most popular words in spoken English. It was a marker I heard frequently this summer in the States, originating in teen-talk, but now firmly established in informal language. Just listen to My Brightest Diamond singer Shara Worden making small talk with fellow musicians Lisa Hannigan and Molloy Share (from 2:55).
She says, “I was at the Green Man Festival in Wales, and they had tons of kids there, and it was so muddy, it was muddy muddy muddy everywhere, and the kids were just having a great time in the, you know, playing in the mud, and the adults were, like, “Uh, uh, we hate the mud.” And the kids, like, really knew what to do with mud.”
Later, when she’s surprised to be hearing Radiohead in the background (10:15), she comments on her own surprise, in retrospect, saying, “And I’m, like, ‘Wait a second!’ ”
So she’s using “like” as a random spacer and as a comma before quoting someone. Other examples from the Urban Dictionary:
Spacer: “He was, like, about the same age as me, but, like, I wasn’t sure what he, like, wanted to do with me.”
Comma before a quote: “I’m, like, ‘Let’s do something together.'”

Junior Brown: The Highway Patrol

Forget that Bruce Springsteen guy, Junior Brown is The Boss. Love how he gets down on his hybrid electric and lap steel guitar and makes you forget that this is, technically, country music. Here he’s the Law and Order man, just a-doin’ his job, he’s the Highway Patrol. I’m not exactly a Law and Order fan, guys, but it is most definitely one of those very central cultural tenets (Werte, Glaubenssätze) in the States. BTW Bruderherz, have you got your driver’s license back yet?

Junior Brown, Highway Patrol Lyric, from the album Guit With It

I got a star on my car and one on my chest,
A gun on my hip and the right to arrest
I’m the guy who’s the boss on this highway
So watch out what you’re doin’ when you’re drivin’ my way
If you break the law, you’ll hear from me, I know
I’m a-workin’ for the state, I’m The Highway Patrol

Well, you’ll know me when you see me, ’cause my door’s painted white,
My siren a-screamin’ and my flashin’ red lights
I work all day and I work all night
Just a-keepin’ law and order, tryin’ to do what’s right
If I write you out a ticket, then you’d better drive slow
I’m just a-doin’ my job, I’m The Highway Patrol

I’m the highway patrol, the highway patrol,
My hours are long, and my pay is low
But I’ll do my best to keep you driving slow
I’m just a-doin’ my job, I’m The Highway Patrol

If you’re drivin’ too fast like you shouldn’t do,
You can bet your boots, I’m comin’ after you
If you wanna race then get on a race track,
‘Cause if you try and run away I’m gonna bring ya back
I’m here to keep all the speeders driving slow
I’m just a-doin’ my job, I’m The Highway Patrol

I’m the highway patrol, the highway patrol,
My hours are long, and my pay is low
But I’ll do my best to keep you driving slow
I’m just a-doin’ my job, I’m The Highway Patrol

I’m just a-doin’ my job
I’m The Highway Patrol

song of the week 🙂 englischlernen mit liedern

Thuja, or the White Cedar

Don took Larry and me on a nature walk on one of our last days on Drummond Island. He’s a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin and a specialist in evolution, with a special interest in how the forests are changing and what needs to be done to conserve them. He showed us how the deer are eating the little cedar saplings, the thuja (the “th” is pronounced, unlike in German or French), as soon as they come up over the level of the snow, so that the thuja, so distinctive to the region, are dying out. One of the things that need to be done, he says, is to reduce the deer population by changing the hunting policy to include the does.


Tiny cedar saplings with verbena

It’s been an unusually rainy summer, so we saw a startling array of funghi. And the moss was lush. See the stream of selected photos on Flickr.