January 16th, 2004



2 minutes ago, if they left on time, my husband and children drove away from the house with a giant camping cooler full of food, way more suitcases and duffels than one would think 3 people, 2 of them pint-size, would need for a week away, and various snow activity equipment including skis, snowboards and plastic sleds. Karin had a slight fever this morning but was in good spirits. Ain't nothing going to stop her and Martin from going to ski school, no sir.

They'll be gone until NEXT Saturday night. My boss, upon hearing this, said 3 days. A friend said 1 day. I said 7. The betting pool is open on how many days it will take me to start seriously missing my family.

Last year, I was cutting work while my family was gone on their ski trip, to watch the European Figure-Skating Championships live in Malmö. This year, I have almost no plans for the 9 days they'll be away, except to veg out, enjoy the peace and quiet, enjoy the house that will stay CLEAN and picked up for 9 entire days, read like a fiend, get some web stuff that's been hanging over my head done done done. I would feel like a bad parent for feeling this way, but lord (and Anders) knows I need the break.

The sky is threatening snow. I love that phrase. Threatening. Snow. "Yo punk, don't mess with me, you want weather on your ass?" Threatening ceased to look like a word remarkably quickly when I re-read that last bit. What amuses me more is the tendency I have, after staring at it for a minute, to read it with a Swedish pronunciation: tray-a-ten-ning. The Swedish word for threatening is hotande, pronounced hoot-and-eh, just in case anyone was wondering.

Useful additions to my Swedish vocabulary in recent days: skavande (chafing), olidlig (intolerable), hygglig (reasonable, decent, nice)

English words/phrases I've been called upon to explain recently: hoot (as in "you're a hoot!"), plethora

I've had 2 people call me up in the past two days to ask me English grammar and punctuation questions because they consider me an expert, and one of them was another American. heh. Flattering, for sure. I DON'T think I'm an expert, by any means. I just have an editor's heart and a really good feel for English. I love English. Word origins make me happy. Reading the dictionary is a frequent activity, although I don't indulge as much these days. My brother and I, long ago, had several long-distance conversations which consisted of one of us looking something up in relation to our conversation and spending the rest of the time on the phone reading the dictionary to each other. It's like eating potato chips. You can't read just one entry. Each one leads you on to another fascinating fact. Did you know, for example, that stent, the short metal or plastic tube that is inserted into formerly blocked arteries or the like to keep them open, was named after an English DENTIST named Charles Thomas Stent, who died in 1885?

Hmmm...upon trying to Google Mr. Stent, I found 6 pages that mentioned him, and not one of them was in English. One was in Icelandic, though, which was cool because it's full of spiffy* characters like ð and þ.

*fine-looking, smart, first used in 1853, which would mean Mr. Stent probably regarded it as newfangled** slang.

**attracted to novelty, of the newest style or kind, 14th cen. from Middle English newefangel meaning new + to seize. See what I mean about that potato chip thing?
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