Thursday, August 13, 2009

Odds and Ends Thursday 23

I remember after a long winter out of the pool, the first couple laps of swim practice were the easiest. The water felt smooth and comforting and the strenuousness wouldn’t seep in until the second half of warm-ups. So it is with school starting up again after the two week ma’i pua’a break. These first couple days have been shockingly easy, but I’m guessing it should start feeling like more of a grind any day now. Here are some other odds and ends from the week:
  • It’s unclear how widely acceptable the Samoan phrase ma’i pua’a (literally “pig sick”) is used. On one hand, when it’s used, everyone knows it’s supposed to mean “Swine Flu,” and I’ve heard it used with a straight face. But just about every time I’ve used it—in front of Peace Corps and Samoans—it’s yielded big laughs. I’m used to getting snickers and looks of confusion whenever I speak Samoan, so it’s all good and I can roll with it. But I find the social linguistics aspect interesting.
  • Speaking of linguistics… Hey, Anonymous, Wikipedia says “the term ‘monkey wrench’ is… used colloquially (and inaccurately) to refer to the pipe wrench.” Just FYI, in the caption to < href="”">this picture from last Friday’s post, I wasn’t being inaccurate. I was being colloquial. So there.
  • It’s been difficult to communicate the urgency of the upcoming CAT to my year 13 class. I had an afterschool practice session today and none showed up. Really, their confidence is impressive.
  • When my host family picked me up last Friday, they noticed the pumpkin patch, and I casually mentioned to my host mom, Mele, that I had made siami maukeni, pumpkin jam. I showed her the jar and in Samoan she said, “Wow! Can I have it?” Sure you can.
  • The narrator of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is narrated by an autistic character who, among other things, is obsessed with Minesweeper. Austism schmautism. My highest score is 9 seconds faster than his.
  • Yesterday during Interval we were served sufa’i, which I’d never had before. It’s essentially vaisalo with mashed banana mixed in. Vaisalo is like coconut porridge. In any case, sufa’i was pretty awesome. Today we had beef curry over rice, which was surprisingly meaty.
  • As an addendum to yesterday’s post, smells during training were seemed intense and they strongly ingrained themselves into my memory. The smell of bug spray or a whiff of an ula takes me right back there. Since training, new and exotic smells have become less intense.
  • I made more jam. I’m not all obsessed with it or anything, but:
    • My host family took the bulk of my first batch;
    • I still have jars, and lord knows I certainly still have pumpkin; and
    • I have copious amounts of time on my hands.
    This second batch is less ginger-y and less thick, which is good, I think.
  • At the dance club on Saturday night, the DJ broke out R. Kelly’s “Ignition”, which I haven’t heard since Summer 2002, I think. I remember there was confusion as to what was meant by “twenty-fours,” similar to the controversy over what Sheryl Crow means by “my forty-five” in the last line of “Soak Up the Sun.” Ehhh… really it was only controversial to Ryan who was sure she was packing heat.
And on that note, I’m going to head out. 3 weeks until Amanda gets here!

I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

My 11.1 class was crazy today! This kitten walked across the room. Apparently it was being passed around from student to student. Poor cat.

I also had to confiscate this red balloon a little while later. It was kind of fun. I just wish we had 98 more of them.

This lizard jumped out of my stove when I went to turn it on last night. Good reflexes.


Matt's Samoa Blog Lurker said...

24 inch rims.

Anonymous said...

i love it love it love it.

Amanda said...

3 more weeks until I get to play with kittens & lizards!