Linguistics and Lashes

I turn into a 3rd-grade Asian boy when I fall asleep

Hey cupcakes. So, second week of classes ended, and I’m in shutdown mode. Perhaps, someday in the hazy future, I’ll learn I need to sleep more. I’ll get to learning that just after I finish my reading assignments and transferring my notes.

But methinks it’s something I need to learn, as when I get tired, I tend to nibble on things that make me feel crappy in the morning, and do nothing for my thighs in skinny jeans.

Right on pooch, tap those Z's.

Ok, bitchery over. Despite my crabbiness, I like the activity of school, I like the people, and yes, I even like having to read more. Because that feeds into one of my loves.

Words!

But that's just fucking creepy

You’ve heard the phrase “a picture says a thousand words.” Give me a few words and I can show you as many pictures. Most of my successes in life have come down to my ability to wrangle words into something that sounds decent. That can be an article, story, or conversation.

There are many great essays on what words do. Words can hurt, inspire, start bloody revolutions, etc. But I see less of what words are.

  • Words are colors.
  • Words are sounds.
  • Words are feelings.

They are more than just tools; words are their own little packages.

And those words are a particularly fine package

But neither do words stand alone. What makes words so brilliant is how they meld with other elements. Depending on those elements, words can form something even more beautiful.

A prime instance of this is in music. The current song stuck in my head is “I Am Stretched on Your Grave” by Abney Park. Because I’m a cultural imperialist, check ‘em out…for demonstrative purposes.

I’m an anti-romantic. Give me a song about someone all woobie about his/her dead lover and I’m more likely to roll my eyes. But gosh, the lyrics:

Do you remember the night,
The night when we were lost,
In the shade of the blackthorn
And the chill of the frost?
Oh, and thanks be to Jesus
We did what was right,
And your maidenhead still
Is your pillar of light.

The thing is, Abney Park did not write this song. It’s a very old Irish poem, and has also been sung by artists such as Kate Rusby. The other thing is that these lyrics could still make for a mediocre song. With the wrong tempo, music, and voice, the same verse could sound like melodramatic emo-kid slosh.

I don’t even like the Kate Rusby version, because it makes me fall asleep. Abney Park, however, taps into the song’s sad, weary passion. The singer’s deep voice, the racing and elegant melody, all allow the words to take on a color that’s dark but gleaming, and a sound that’s sad and beautiful. But without the right words, you would have no story. And, ultimately, it takes a story to create an emotion.

Though Abney Park tells a story all by their damn selves

Now that my cultural imperialist side is galloping around on a charger, I’ll pimp out another song that refuses to bend to my “no lost-lover bullshit” policy: Kamelot’s “The Haunting (Somewhere In Time)”

There is so much to say about words that I couldn’t cover it all in one post. But it is something I’d like to come back to. When I have fewer words to read.

But you know how they say “choose your words carefully”?

It’s totally true. You can say something that’s hurtful or false. But before that, choose words by how they tell your story. What do you want to really say? When I take the time to think about my words, my writing and conversations are always much better.

Of course, choosing the best words requires practice. But what makes words so cool is that you don’t need to just read them to understand them better. Listen to music and hear how the words influence the melody. Look at a painting and think about what words pop into your head.

Cuz "pretty" doesn't always cut it

Ok, now I’m just getting wordy.

But before I settle in for a Labor Day of reading, I’d like to share a bit of fun, to prove I’m not a total granny. Words are smexy, but so are pictures.

Trying some interesting foods, largely because of Sophia

Cheese Sandwich with Gouda, Caramelized Onions, Jalapeño Jelly, Apples, and Almonds

Red Miso Short Rib from USC's new Lemonade

Might as well pimp the review Sophia and I wrote for it…

Which randomly inspired me to make a Ginger-Nectarine Omelet

Hitting up Danish bakeries...

For some for realz Danish baked goods.

Now inundated to the pastry-savvy Danes, I was in for another ethnic adventure. Today, Sophia and her housemate Kenny took me on a jaunt down to the San Gabriel Valley to Asianfy my little white-girl palate. The game plan? Authentic Chinese food!

Sophia takes our food jaunts very seriously.

No sesame chicken or chop suey here!

Those mushrooms pwned all

But really, the best part was hanging with friends!

Of which I am the only one who can look into the sun for a photo-op

8 responses to “Linguistics and Lashes

  1. Fuck. Look at my food belly! lol!!!

    But laugh my freaking ass OUT at the pic of me “lecturing” Kenny. I forgot what I was nagging about, but his expression is priceless.

    hmm…I shouldn’t have started out with a curse word in response to a post about choosing words wisely, but hey, let that be a lesson to whoever who reads this. ;-)

    p.s. That first pic? It’s a KOREAN boy. I’ll have you distinguishing between Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Viet, Thai, Mongolians, Burmese, etc. soon yet!

  2. hahah girl you’re hilarious. I’m a pretty blunt (honest) person so I’m always learning how to pick my words carefully!

    New words I’ve added to my vocab: smexy.

  3. Great post! That sandwich looks amazing by the way. I saw it on Sophia’s blog and I have to make it one of these days!

  4. It’s official. I have seen that sandwich, and I will not be happy OR satisfied until I make one myself.

    I am on a quest for gouda this week!

    P.S. I share your love for words, too.

  5. I am so impressed with the offerings at USC now…I mentioned it on Sophia’s blog too! We used to have Carl’s Jr. and Upstairs Commons that was pretty much it. Oh, and Wolfgang Puck too which was nothing to write home about. You guys are lucky!

  6. aw yeah – san gabe is da bomb!

  7. BAHAHA your eyes are the only one open in the picture :)
    Seriously, school is starting to pillleeee upppp. Glad you’re still enjoying it though!!

  8. Pingback: Coffee, Chocolate, and Realpolitik | Gingersnaps

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s