A good bit of today's activities (There weren't many, as I worked last night) centered around doing a bit of translation & interpreting for David. The positive aspect of this is that it's good practice for me. The negative side is that it serves as a reminder of how little I get to use my Spanish. Of course, it doesn't help when I'm talking to someone in Peru who is speaking both softly and rapidly - I often find myself hard-pressed to understand even English in such a situation - but when a language isn't used readily, it begins to deteriorate. This was brought home to me when, as a student in Spain 18+ years ago, I began forgetting common English words.
I have been speaking Spanish for over half my life now, so most of it is unlikely to fade away, but some words I was asked to translate - "inbox", "handfeel" - were never part of my vocabulary as a student to begin with. E-mail was, for all practical purposes, nonexistent in 1988, and textiles were not part of my training. Add to that the effect of regional dialects, and it becomes a tricky path to navigate. Fortunately, I thought to try changing the language for my G-mail account and found "inbox" translated as bandeja de entrada ("tray of entry"), which I shortened to bandeja for an e-mail message David wanted to send. For "handfeel", David told me that he often receives e-mails from Peru referring to it as "touch", which is a much easier translation to tacto.
My wrist was behaving fairly well yesterday - enough so that I was able to crank out four more mouse skins. That brings my total up to around 20. I'm hoping to get at least another 30 or so done before Rhinebeck, in hopes that all will sell so I can do some serious stash enhancement. I may even consider a new wheel.
I've kind of been looking at the Hitchhiker from The Merlin Tree. Cate, I believe, has one, and I know she enabled JoVE into buying one this year at NHS&W. Aside from being extremely portable, they're also wicked cunnin' and personalizable.
I'm not going to elegize - others can do that. To be honest, for as much as I share his enthusiasm for and love of the world around us, I found him kind of annoying. Still, it was an incredibly freakish way to die, and I feel badly for his family, particularly his 8-year-old daughter, who is old enough to grasp the enormity of what she's lost. That he didn't have a lingering, painful death is probably little consolation to her.
I think what has struck me the most, though, is how upset people are over his death. Had he not been a celebrity, would anyone have noticed? The completely bizarre circumstances might have merited mention in News of the Weird, but his fame is what has made this story.
Maybe those folks in Darfur just need to get a TV deal.