Saturday, 29 March 2014

Just because

I may or may not have mentioned a friend of mine who is just... odd. In the way I am odd but those who know me know that my intellectual je ne sais quoi comes with an additional baggage of self esteem of a dead lab rat, depression, social phobia and no people skills to speak of but for wishing less than nice things to people.
While Pete is suave. Well-dressed, well-behaved, at home in every company, going to events, meeting people, not screaming at them, omgwtfddt, meeting people and going places with them and enjoying it. Somehow, we get on well together, which is a proof that the gods, or random movements of Universe, or whatever may be the reason why the world exist, is pretty wicked. So, this guy chooses to hang out with me from time to time although he could get better company by crowds even though he's already been subject to my outpours of nastiness.

He's a language freak, too, which is a thing we hold in common. Well, he has an actual degree in assyriology while I only got as far as to professors wondering why the hell I speak Florentine when I'm not a natural born one. As Pete would say, there is the special theory to it and the general one - the special one being the actual circumstances: I landed in Florence of all places without any prior knowledge of Italian, his department had too much funding so they opened a course of Yiddish just the semester when he had nothing better to do on Thursday afternoons. The general theory is general for both and all other cases: just because.

Hear hear, there is another person in the world who doesn't wink at my acquisition of tidbits of Catalan, Provençal and other Romance languages by howling along with Jordi Savall's Hespèrion (by means of which I learned of the existence of Cantigas de Santa Maria and other things that rock), and who actually considers it as perfectly normal. Compared to fellow Medievalists back in school who snarked at me for actually reading Medieval Latin poetry because I found it nice, or to muggles who don't know a thing and don't care... and no, I'm not being Captain Obvious. Just now, I could use some nice Fennougric curse, as Pete graciously sent me a textbook of Ingrian and double-sided printing decided to be my Nemesis. I have a colour printer in my office, because one of the ex-idiots ranted that it would be pretty if we could print our flyers, Teh Boss went off to buy a colour printer, then I threw some of the graphic art created by ex-idiot and said This or me, Teh Boss agreed that this would not work and I ended up with a colour printer I don't need at all. Asking me whether I could use some gadgets would result in saying Duplex printer, NAO, but nobody asked so I turn papers around to find the same page printed on both sides, and Fuck it all just doesn't cut it. But, I only ruined 40 sheets of paper, could be worse, pages 120 - 258 are just fine. The thing is, Pete sent me an Ingrian textbook and instead of doing my things, such as throwing objects at underlings or hiding under the table and crying, I'm printing it out. It's written in Russian which is another language I'm not fluent in, but one grows with their tasks. And finally, I'll have a greater joy in reading the Nykysuomen etymologinen sanakirja, known as That would be a cool blue doorstop. Because, comparing words to other words is fun. Hey, Amazon says it's out of print. Guess it was 60 euros well spent. Back in the day when my brain was turning inside out while being poked and prodded by Finnish, because language and thinking are one, and because I'm bound to think Indo-European, I decided that there is certainly more to it. And that I should learn more and observe how it gets learned, for the sake of science.

Another digression: I wonder how many people observe themselves thinking. Not many, regarding how many people are not thinking at all anyway.

And because Estonian is too mainstream... and then I mentioned it to Pete who is even worse hoarder of things and data, got the .pdf thrown at me. Well done.


  1. I always said things choose us, we don't choose them. Can't say that for your friend (he's a person), but languages could be picking you, you know. :-)
    I briefly contemplated learning Sanskrit when a freshman in the university, attracted no doubt by the stupendous information shared on World Civilization class (which was so intense and demanding it left us all marked); the peninsula of Hindus was a very critical part of it. Maybe that's why.

    ADORE Savall and the kind of music he delves into! (Renaissance and Baroque are so soothing to me, does it make sense?)

    Hope you're going as well as can be.

  2. I'm doing my best so the damage to environment consists of an octogonal depression (paper door meets heavy glass) and a series of scratches on the cupboard where the keys hit. The cardboard box used for papers sustained some key damage, too, but that doesn't matter, cardboards are not hard to come by.

    I should get some other glasses, the sound of breaking glass is very soothing.