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 Monday, April 3

Oh, I wish it would rain already. It's been crappy gray suicide weather all day but none of the precip we need to get all those little shoots fully sprung. The crocuses and daffodils are up if they're in the sun; the ones in the shade are lagging behind but all green and sprouty. Buds all over everything, and all the Bradford pears in the neighborhood are in different phases of popcorn ballness depending on how much sun they get.

Got the day off, I guess, since I haven't heard from the slack job. I've already made a dent in the kitchen; after yesterday's Meat Fest (Default Chicken and some carnitas which = crazy delicious) it needs a good hose down, and those plastic bags aren't going to wash themselves out or hang themselves up to dry, are they. Once this tea hits my system I'll take another whack at it.

Read a friend's blog post about language learning, which reminded me to post about my own recent Fun with Lingvo. I finished the Greek course and was going to do Amharic, but the materials I have for that are no good at all for the way I want to use them. It's way more about reading the written language, and lots of anti-learning charts and grammar. If I ever find myself laid up in bed for a while I'll do it then, but for now I am trying to make the most of my pedestrian commuting time. So it's back to the Pimsleurs. I did a quick refresher bounce through Dutch, and was pleased to find I've remembered it very well. The words which have shifted in my mind all went to German for some reason; make of that what you will.

After I went through the Dutch course I selected the next one pretty much at random, but it's a good one: Swedish. It's so fun. It's like candy. The thing is, it's like Italian in that you kind of feel like you're making fun of the accent if you do it right, so I feel vaguely guilty as I walk along, bork bork borking to myself. I'm sure the guys who live in the tent village on the side of the hill think I'm nuts. The timing on the Pimsleurs works out perfectly; the reading exercise comes at the end of each session, and that coincides neatly with my arrival at the train station. So I do that part on the train. The Pimsleur Swedish is interesting in that the two speakers pronounce things completely differently from each other, and tend to change their pronunciation themselves fairly significantly from repetition to repetition. I take that to mean I have a bit of leeway. The man's accent is closer to English or other familiar languages, but the woman does this thing of rolling her tongue way back in the mouth in a Kermit-The-Frog-meets-Molly-Hatchet way that's quite an exercise to duplicate. Here's the man saying the word for "little", and here's the woman. Cool, eh?

11:32 AM

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