romancing the book

I am a romantic. That’s putting it mildly. No, not your teenage crushing on stars and the pumps in the store window kind of a romantic, but the other kind. That doesn’t mean I don’t crush on some spectacular set of abs or the pretty elegant non-flashy sari costing a neat chunk of my husband’s salary. I do. This is a different kind.

The kind where you add a soft glow to reality. Cushion it to make it look pretty, so you can tuck it under your arm and race into nowhere-land with it.

So on occasion, I also dream about doing things that go with the romantic trip.

Like messages found in bottles along the beach (am always searching!) handwritten little notes (not necessarily lovesies) in the most unexpected spots, and stuff like that. I’ve always wanted to at least drop a bottle with a message in it. Just for kicks to see if it would reach anyone, anywhere at all, or would it just sink and perish undersea or among some rocks. Or to take my fantasizing a step higher maybe there are some unknown creatures who live down under and who’d take one look at my bottle and go “whoa, all hail the scribbles” – I know, I’ll stop.

So, with that little background in my head, when I can across a tweet proclaiming what a fine thing folks here (bookcrossing.com) were doing, I had to peek and hey presto! all the right musical instruments went off in my head. What a fine initiative and to think that folks actually took it to the level they did. Just check the number of folks from so many countries participating! They must be on to something?

So here’s the deal.

We go buy (own) a book.

Then we register it at the site – bookcrossing.com

Then I suppose we would read it.

Then we go quickly and silently give it away. Either to a friend or someone who also shares similar reading passion, or leave it at the library or mail it out.

In some weird ways that the world would work in, they will also do the exact same with that book.

Read, Register, Release

..and each “owner” will run to their system and login to the website and see where their book’s been traveling.

It’s exciting? I think so.

What I think would be cooler would be add a little signature or a handwritten note on it, each one of course, so there’s a personal something on that book. I think it would be cooler if it made its way back,but that’s probably pushing it if left to chance. If its staged, yes, that would be fun!

I snooped around the site a bit, and was quite amazed to see the large numbers of people who actually play this game. There must be a charm about tracking and knowing where a book’s been I guess.

So who is in? Anyone? I will do one book, and I may just do an Agatha Christie, just coz I love her and believe its a genre almost anyone would like, except for some nerdy guys who read non-fiction.

Go ahead and let me know below if you want it. The only promise I will want from you is that you pass it on to someone who will treat this teeny exercise as seriously as well, I do. Yeah?

ps: No, this is not an endorsement and neither did I get paid to write this. I wish i did, but no, just really liked the idea.

adding on the Plus

So I am on Plus. 

I’ve been living in a cave, my own domestic cave complete with carpools, schools, basketball, dance, sore knees and cooking godawful dinners and maybe an occasional book or two. I heard about the Plus in passing, just a few days before it got launched to this special trial audience. It was a Google product. How could I not be excited?!

Before I launch into anything, I’ll be clear about my loyalties (or the lack thereof) towards anything gadgety-tech-little-things-that-make-your life-just-a-bit-more-exciting-at-least-for-a-day :-)

I am a hard-core consumer and I will have no qualms in calling a very excited highly rated product a compete flop if it does not work for me. Period. No, oh, my cousin works there or my best friend loves this aspect of it and or the whole world is using it excuses. I’ll try it however. I am not biased about anything and if I see it new and shiny on the shelf, I’ll pick it up and play with it for a bit. Sometimes depending on the tool’s versatility, and it’s ability to keep my ADD brain occupied, the bit could be defined from a week to forever.

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tag 22 – gotta love english

This is somewhat of a tag from three years ago, down to the date!

I didn’t get tagged, but this seemed like juicy a punishment to lay on fellow blogger, which was the norm those days. Read the very first comment on it by yours truly and you will know the kind of wicked person I was. Am an angel now. ;-)

Those days (and I must sound like a wizened old woman rocking on her front porch chewing tobacco, with a far off glaze covering her cataract ridden eyes) tags were fun. Maybe they are still fun, I wouldn’t know coz I’ve quit doing tags, or accepting any. Nothing to do with ’em tags, just grew out of them I suppose. I mean, one can’t keep digging up 10 more secrets from within (aren’t they called secrets for a reason?), or favorite songs, movies etc. It does get repetitive and after awhile one has used their blog so much as sounding board, that it seems a bore to wrench them from the dregs and display again.

Like pulling out old leftover cold sambar from a week ago, reheating it and adding a dash of curry leaf and passing it off as new. You see where I am going with this.

English is a crazy language, but when it starts off almost close to your first language, then it’s brilliant, flawless and perfectly logical to you. You will not have an explanation on why two exactly alike words can be said differently, while two differently written words are pronounced the same! Someone, mostly folks who are learning it or bratty truthful kindergarteners will point it to you, and you would scratch that head and blink a bit, and perhaps shrug your shoulder and say “I don’t know, that’s how I’ve always said it!” I have tremendous respect for teachers of any kind, but for an English teacher, I would bow my head.

Like the irrational cranky old grandpa that you’ve grown to love and can’t imagine him any other way.

So when I came across this in my drafts, it was as wicked as it was challenging and quite tempting. I attempted it, and I managed to stumble through without much hesitation when done in even speed and tone. Kick it up a notch and your mouth feels like u have pebbles swishing around within. But, it has been fun and I wondered why I never really got down to it till now!

In any case, this here is a Youtube version of a native English Speaker.

I had a lovely audio version of mine all set to go, but been having technical difficulties and so I am forced to record again with a blank video and load it. The things I do for this blog. If it were a human, it owes me big.  Anyways, it is not perfect. So, be kind. Be very kind!

Read along with my attempt:

Gerard Nolst Trenité’s “The Chaos” (1922).

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’ s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

***

Loved it? Crazy if you ask me. So who’s crazy enough to join me? :-)