Monday, June 11, 2012


It has been more than a month since I quit drinking coffee.
After three days of intense withdrawal headaches passed, I became calmer and less anxious.
In retrospect, coffee is a poor substitute for sleep, comfort, or food.

 I am more alive and alert, and I've lost about five pounds by quitting coffee.  My environment stays cleaner.  No more coffee spills in the car, or coffee stains left wherever I set my cup.  I save money, and time.  The best part of life without coffee is that I am less reactive.  I don't experience small annoyances on a visceral level, and I snap at my children less frequently.

Good night my drug of choice for twenty six years.  Sometime, out with friends and when I know the coffee is going to be primo, I'll enjoy a cup of joe.  I just won't let it become my support system again. I've cut the iv connecting a continual drip of mediocre 7-11 coffee to my life.


Monday, June 4, 2012


I cast out demons with each freestyle stroke through opaque layers of ocean. It's good to keep going, eyes clenched against benthic distractions. No strategy works long against such unreliable currentsone must continually find new muscles and movements, and I do. 

  Pulling torso forward stroke by stroke,  I trust my blood to navigate toward solid ground. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Expanding circle

Who owns English? If you can use it, you own it.     Kachru

It's been a while since I posted.  At the moment, I'm sitting in a hotel on Korea St. in NYC.  Tomorrow, I'll do some observations for a class that I'm taking, and meet with friends.  Then it's (sigh) back on the train to Gloucester.  It is wonderful to be in the city.   This is one of the biggest cities in a country where English is the de facto official language, but listening in on my long walk through Manhattan, I heard only a handful of people speaking English.  Very few places are monolingual; even in rural Gloucester one can hear other languages these days.

A current topic in a Sociolinguistics class is the evolution of language in countries where English has been become a major language often as a result of colonialism.
I'm seeking information for an assignment.  Below are two questions; I would be delighted to have your input.  If you have good examples showing how English changes because of the influence of local languages or vice versa, please share them. The more specific, the better.  Even if you don't have any personal experiences with living in a multilingual (more than one language spoken) community, I welcome your response.

Now for the two questions:

!.  How has the introduction of English influenced your country, or region of your choice.  What are positive and negative changes?

2.  In a multilingual community, how have different languages influenced and changed one another.  Have new words, or grammar rules been adapted?  Has status of any of the languages changed since the introduction of English?

I hope to hear from you!

Saturday, December 31, 2011


Annual checkup indicates that I gained 24 pounds in the last 18 months.
 I'm not surprised.
Besides belly dance and sometimes Zumba, I rarely exercise.
It's generally dark when I get home from work.
Plus, between work and school, I've spent an intolerable amount of time hunched over the computer.
I've relied more than usual on take out food....never as healthy as home cooked.
Other excuses: stress, stress, and stress.
Well, enough with the excuses.

I like my body right now. My stomach is firm and muscled.  I have no flabby parts, though few parts are  as toned as I prefer them to be (ego ego ego).  If I could go to work naked.....ah, but that's not in the stars.

Anyway, It's time to shed a few pounds....
Not as a New Year resolution, just to get my edge back.
I want to be more mindful of what I eat, and how I live in general.

It's time to initiate new patterns of behavior: more vegetables and
 neighborhood walks.....Fewer meals over the computer.
What goes on can also come off.
Starting now,  my clothes will fit better each week.
My energy and focus will grow.
I'll need all three to accomplish my goals for this year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving break

Thanksgiving vacation always comes at the right time, just when I feel that I'm about to break.  I look forward to a chance to sleep, and to read a week's worth of old newspapers on the train to NYC.
It will be fun to cook a turkey, do Madlibs with Tzippi, and maybe catch up on housecleaning.

I turned in a paper last night, one minute before it was due.  I didn't think that I had procrastinated, but the paper wasn't finished when I submitted it.  It is disorganized, light on evidence in several places, and oh, I just wish that I had had three more hours to tie things up.  It's not a great feeling working that hard and turning in something that doesn't come together. Considering my recent schedule; however, I think that I did the best that I could with the given time.

Where to get the time that I need? What is it about me that requires such a saturated schedule of responsibilities and other events?  I've been thinking about how I could better manage time so that I don't feel crazy-overscheduled all the time.  What could I cut?  What would I cut?  And an even better question: If I had all the time that I need, would I use it wisely? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


  I resisted owning a computer for many years.  Now my shiny ( recertified) Macbook pro is the possession I most value.  I don't mind schlepping the children to endless birthday parties if I can connect to the universe and get some work done.

Recently,  our other computer, the family PC, crashed exactly at the moment when I was saving a document.  Ever since Hurricane Irene blew through, the machine has been out of sorts; I think that this latest crash signifies the end.  The machine has become unreliable, so I ordered a recertified one from  Newegg.  I don't want to spend the money or utilize more conflict metals, but it will be nice to have a shiny new (or at least new to me) portal through which to enter many aspects of my life.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Standard Pronunciation

I've been talking and reading about accents and pronunciation a lot lately.  The really cool thing to know is that everybody has an accent. Even those folks who talk on NPR, even  members of the British royal family have accents.

I just spent two hours playing around with the International English dialects on this site and on this one too.