Monday, April 18, 2016

Wha la, another thing coming and the Trojan Horse

Well, I have to climb on my "English major" soapbox for a few minutes.

First, someone on one of the needlework chat rooms to which I belong posted a photograph of a completed project, noting "wha la."  I think that's "voila".  Not sure how you could hear "voila" often enough to know what it means without knowing how to pronounce or spell it.

Another error I run across with some frequency is an author having a character utter the phrase, "well, if you think that, you have another thing coming."  What?  How does that make sense?  I think the authors in question need "another think coming."

And the third item: we're studying "Pericles" in this spring's Shakespeare class.  We're reading an edition that has lots and lots of notes to the point that I feel like my intelligence is being insulted.  I'm guessing the edition is designed for college students (the play wouldn't fit in high school), but if current college students need this level of explanation, we're in big trouble.

Case in point: Pericles says in Act 1, Scene 4, when he arrives in Tarsus:

"And these our ships, you happily may think 
Are like the Trojan horse was stuffed within
With bloody veins expecting overthrow...."

This text is accompanied by the explanation, complete with picture, that the Trojan horse was "an enormous wooden horse, stuffed with Greek soldiers who burned down Troy." 

As for stitching, a big catastrophe this week.  I sat down and went to position my magnifying lamp to begin stitching, only to discover that my lamp no longer was self-balancing, that is, the swing arm did not stay at the level I put it.  The lamp ended up falling to its lowest level, which meant it was literally in my lap, and there was no way to stitch under it.  Well, when there's a will, there's a way. Since I couldn't adjust the lamp, I needed to adjust the stitching area.  I raised the lamp base on a pile of books (still too low), then on a low end table (too high), and finally used a small stool I had in the closet (just right).  So I could continue stitching while I ordered a replacement lamp swing arm attachment.  It arrived today, so I can send my original lamp swing arm back to the factory for repair. What can I say but voila! (or is that wha la?), I'm back in business.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote

Why am I writing Middle English, you ask?  Well, I was remembering back to High School English class, and reading the Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Middle English, in Mrs. Ham's Senior English class.  And not only did we have to read it, we had to memorize the beginning lines.

For some reason, I still can easily recite the first eight lines, which begin, "Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, The droghte of Marche has perced to the roote...."

What brings this to mind now is that this spring's Shakespeare class started yesterday.  This year, we're studying "Pericles," which I do not remember reading previously.  As a handout to the first session, our professor gave us the source material Shakespeare used, the original "Tale of Apollonius of Tyre," written in, you guess it - Middle English.  As I first looked at the handout, I thought, oh no, this is going to be difficult. But it wasn't!

I Love Easter...

We spent Easter in Dubuque, with Dad at my brother and sister-in-law's home.   Renee's sister and brother-in-law joined us, and we had very interesting conversations around the table.  Delicious ham dinner, with choice or pie or cake for desert.  John and Renee set the table using the napkin rings I had stitched for them as a Christmas present.  Looked very nice, if I do say so myself.

I belong to several needlework chat rooms, and one day before Easter, someone posted "I love Easter," which I thought was a nice sentiment until - wait for it - she completed the sentence, "the colors are so yummy."  Of all the reasons to love Easter, the pastel colors that signify spring would not be my first choice.