thu 28 feb 2008 14:49:40 witte de withstraat
protolinguistics and paleogenetics
i dunno what the real terms are, i'm just making up words to describe what we were getting on about monday night after work. first i had dinner at nachtwacht with marina and hg. then i walked over to mulligan's and saw jk and mb and that lady [ __] who recently decided to be friendly to me -- in fact now she thinks we only first *met* a few months ago, not three years ago when she hated me without knowing me. and now i'm getting backrubs in the bar from her. time wears on, the place empties out, and we're arguing, me and gareth, about whether the rate of change in language is due to increasing mobility of people. seems like a no brainer to me, but he doesn't think so. "it's not as simple as that, because there's so many fucking people around!" he says. and uses the expression "i can gimme chicken soup" as an example of how creoles get started (with children) after pidgins (parents). grammar becoming. and we also talked a lot about genographics or whatever they call it -- how they can look at lots of DNA samples and start guessing whose ancestors came from where and by which route. in a way the two subjects are related, both aspects of the study of humankind. then it was closing time. i took a taxi from the rij near muntplein.
on tuesday evening i stayed home working, then we ordered in a pile of sushi from "sushi me", for whom chico and menna both work as motorscooter sushi-deliverers. so we got to see menna. pani came to eat sushi with us and we were happy, we were glad to make it happen before she goes to ireland tomorrow. two of marinka's bulgarian girlfriends were here to get their hair cut and colored, and one boyfriend named costas. the bulgarian girlfriends also speak polish because they lived in poland for awhile, so pani could talk to them equally in polish or english. polish people don't have an easy time understanding bulgarian, but apparently serbians can converse with bulgarians just fine.
on wednesday night i had a long render going as we had dinner here with the neighbors, marina cooked and i helped a little bit with the potatoes and the washing up after.
one of the last things my mother ever said to me, before they wheeled her into the operating room that fateful september day in 1994:
"i am not a cook." and she held up two peace-signs like nixon.
so i tell people not being able to cook is a family tradition with us. last night i wasn't taking any shit about not being a cook, was in no mood. listen, i figure it normally takes four or five guys to do what i can do. i can write, direct, shoot, edit, composite, design, compose the damn music for the film, and i'm a dillettante-level PHP programmer, and for fucksake i like to scrub pots and pans. so in other words, i do plenty. i don't have to be a cook.
i told all this to marina out on the back porch when we were smoking. "i can't do those things," she said, "but i can cook". which is true. both she and jk are fantastic cooks in my opinion. it's real gift, the way some people have with the vocabulary of ingredients.
by the way, something is wrong with shterion's hair clipper, back in pomorie. and he's having no luck with the service dept because it turns out the one he bought was sold to him by an unauthorized representative (probably some crook who stole it and sold it). so we are planning to buy him a new one and send it to him.