SAHM the Libby
This week's word is a bit different, it's a Filipino word which I think we should adopt. There is a precedent for this, we have a Filipino word in our common lexicon, boondocks, which means mountain in Filipino, though our usage is a bit different you can see the progression. So the word is gigil (gee-gil), its meaning is that odd feeling you get when you're holding a kitten and it's just so cute you start talking high in pitch and you just want to squish its little face. Or your holding a baby and hugging him and his cheeks are just so plump and rosy you just want to chew on them. It's being overwhelmed by love or emotion or beauty. I've mentioned that my husband is from the Philippines, he will be hugging me and will squeeze me hard and say, "I'm so gigil for you." Or I'll be holding our baby and she'll bury her head in my chest grabbing at me and kick her legs like she wants to climb me and he'll say, "She's gigil for her mommy." It's a great word because it makes you feel like less of a weirdo when that feeling comes, and since I'm a new mommy it happens to me often, since its been legitimized with its own word.
SAHM the Libby
Sancho and his proverbs, but this one gave me pause. "The kettle calling the pot burnt-arse."
Hmmm...never heard it that way before.

I hope your thanksgiving looked like below though I don't know why Rockwell put celery on the table he could have at least covered them in marshmallows or cream of mushroom soup. Something healthy on a thanksgiving table, what is he thinking?
SAHM the Libby
SAHM the Libby
I just finished reading Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar . . .. Many of you probably already read it but I abide by Ralph Waldo Emerson's advice never to read a book younger than a year old. For those of you who don't know this book it is a brief primer to philosophy and a lot of great jokes. I thought my fellow beginning autodidacts would appreciate such a fun intro to a tough subject. It made an excellent bathroom book.


Claes Oldenburg, Soft Toilet

Ted meets his friend Al and exclaims, "Al! I heard you died!"
"Hardly," says Al, laughing. "As you can see, I'm very much alive."
"Impossible," says Ted. "The man who told me is much more reliable than you."

A woman reports her husband's disappearance to the police. They ask her for a description, and she says, "He's six feet, three inches tall, well-built, with thick, curly hair."
Her friend says, "What are you talking about? Your husband is five-feet-four, bald, and has a huge belly."
And she says, "Who wants that one back?"

A man with a parrot on his shoulder attends services on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. He bets several people that the parrot can lead the service more beautifully than the cantor. When the time comes, though, the parrot is totally silent. At home afterward, the man berates the parrot and bemoans his losses. The parrot says, "Use your head, schmuck! Think of the odds we can get now on Yom Kippur!"
SAHM the Libby
I got this one from Don Quixote, eructate: to belch.
SAHM the Libby
I'm still not done with Don Quixote but I'm going to amp it up. I've been carving out thirty minutes every night to read it but now I will try an hour because I want to be done next week. I'll be reading it again but a new translation and I am planning to read some critical works about it as well as that Arthur du' Morte book so I won't be done done but I want to move on to other things.
Next is Epic of Gilgamesh, and as I said I'll be starting next week so order your copy now, preferably here, which is the oldest selection on Ms. Wise-Bauer's list snd perhaps the oldest story ever written. Originally written in cuneiform around 2750 and 2500 BCE. It was written by (or probably for) King of Uruk, Enkidu. Written in ancient Sumerian. Sounds fun huh?
SAHM the Libby
I haven't posted anything on grammar in a while because I haven't had much time and English Grammar for Dummies hasn't been as helpful as I would have liked. I haven't forgot my goal to become a grammar curmudgeon though and so last week I ordered Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English which has turned out to be perfect for the beginning autodidact. It is clear and concise, concise being one of the more important aspects, because as I said, I don't have a lot of time. It's also occasionally funny which is always a plus. There is a glossary and there is a section on writing email. I am not a book reviewer but I will pass on books that I enjoy or found interesting. This is one I definitely recommend.
The problem of its versus it's: an apostrophe stands in for words that have been omitted, so if you replace it's for it is (or it has) and the sentence still makes sense then it is correct.
This rule applies to many such conundrums such as who's (who is) and whose and you're (you are) and your.
SAHM the Libby
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday dear me-ee!
Happy birthday to me.

Yup today is my thirtieth birthday. Don't worry I'm not going to whine about my youth being over or get prosaic and talk about how nice it is to get older because you become more confident in who you are because neither are true. The two most immature and self-loathing people I know are in their forties and fifties. Birthdays and senescence do not make you better, learning does.

Senescent (say-nes'nt): To grow old, growing old, aging.
SAHM the Libby
Love not what you are but what you may become.
Our incomparable Cervantes.
SAHM the Libby

From J.P.

First, it is helpful to know that Cervantes was poking fun at the chivalrous romances that were so popular in the middle ages, and even more so at the people who were reading them. If you have waded through Mallory’s Le Morte d’ Arthur (the whole shebang, or even a partial read of the original) you will appreciate the wit in DQ and the formula that he is both following, and yet at the same time rewriting. The other thing about DQ is that it is an incredible window into Spanish-life. So your complaint about it being more about everyone else in Spain is partially true – that is part of the author’s intent. The third aspect to remember is that the book is actually a novel inside a novel (Cervantes is one of the first, if not the first to do this – it is good to realize the novelty of this – no pun intended). In addition, between the two volumes of DQ there is a huge back story going on– After Cervantes wrote the first part of DQ, an anonymous author (many believe it was Lope de Vega with whom he had a big rivalry) released an unauthorized “second edition” of the book. Often, the second part of Cervantes’ DQ is a reaction and response to both the “unauthorized” version of his novel as well as the writing conventions of the age. Much of Cervantes’ genius was not recognized at the time that he wrote (just look at the entire canon of his writing if you are not familiar with it). He wrote in a number of different genres – some with more success than others, but he tried his hand at them and he came up with something totally new in DQ. Some of his most entertaining writings are his short stories. The second part of DQ was finished at the end of Cervantes life.

There will be resolution at the end of part II, but part of the reason it is so long is because of the “quest” inside the quest that is going on, and because Cervantes uses second volume to reply to the unauthorized version that was written (think early literary criticism). I will say that the first time I read DQ in my humanities class I did not enjoy it nearly as much as the second time through (in many ways it just seemed like a crazy guy writing a crazy story…and what was the point). Granted the second time through I read in the original Castilian – and I was living in Spain (so could appreciate the window into the Spanish life). More recently (last year) I waded through Le Mort d’ Arthur and gained a whole new appreciation for the entertainment of DQ – which I have been reading in parts again in English when I have time (I homeschool my kids, so I have to set aside my pleasure reading often).

Cervantes books usually combine an element of the autobiographical, many references to classical works (he does this as a critique of the accepted formulas for writing different genres that were common at the time – and actually REQUIRED to be published). All that to say, I think you will probably be frustrated with the story if you don’t want to explore some of the additional levels of story going on both within the story and outside of it. If you get a good translation with ample textual notes, it will be helpful to that end. It can be read just for itself – but I think much of the pleasure of reading it comes from “getting” many of the inside jokes, because it helps you to appreciate the genius of the man and the skill of his writing. At least that has been my experience with Cervantes.


I am so happy to get some input from a reader. I haven't enabled comments because a, I don't know how, b, I want to make sure that all the comments are only about the books, and c, that everyone plays nice. I welcome emails but reserve the right to reprint it unless you ask me not to I will not print names unless asked but will abbreviate. Thanks J.P..

SAHM the Libby
I have just ordered Nabokov's Lectures on Don Quixote and there are several books on the Don that I intend to read. I have a feeling that Don Quixote is one of those Swimmer incidents where there is more the deeper you dig. Also being that Cervantes is the inventor of the modern novel I am wont to call him a genius and cut him all kinds of slack out of gratitude and respect. I am planning to begin reading from oldest to youngest rather than through each genre so the Epic of Gilgamesh is next but expect Don Quixote to keep popping up as I am planning to make him a project of mine.

SAHM the Libby
I am taking an Archeology class and we are talking about an ancient town discovered in Turkey. As far as we know thousands of people lived in Catalhoyuk but none of the homes are larger or more opulent and all of the burials are the same signifying that this was perhaps an egalitarian society. For this size that is rare. Also there are no streets. People moved from one home to another over roof tops and entered in through the window. That's kind of fun don't you think?

Also, I just discovered Library Thing and am obsessed so welcome if your following me from there. I really want this to be a buddy reading system. I have been debating and debating on whether or not to have a comments feature. Being right there would encourage more response but from prior experience this can open up a whole can of worms. For now just email me. Let me know if you think there should be comments or not.
SAHM the Libby
Stentorian: Loud and powerful of voice. Origins in Homer, Stentor is a herald in the Iliad.
SAHM the Libby
While I am still enjoying Don Quixote it seems to be less about him than every other person in Spain. I am hopeful that all the side stories will relate to Don Quixote, that they will reflect and be a counterpart to the story as the second story (I forget their names) in Anna Karenina showed how leading a chaste and moral courtship would lead to happiness while the adultery of Anna led to misery and despair. But I am a little afraid that at least some is simply to stretch the story out. Don Quixote was published as a series and, as can be imagined, a writer would wish to have as much story to publish as possible. My worry is that if he is in fact padding the story with these sub-stories then isn't he giving in to the tastes of the masses for sensationalist nonsense that Don Quixote pokes fun of? I am only half way through the book so I am still hopeful of a satisfying resolution and eager to get on with the story of Don Quixote instead of all these maidens, Dorotea, Luscinda, Zoraida, and the other one, each more beautiful than the last (gag).
SAHM the Libby
One nice thing that happened during my move was that I got to drive through the Columbia River Gorge which I always enjoy. Besides being beautiful it is the site of fissure eruptions which is an unusual occurrence on continental crust, it usually happens under the sea in oceanic crust. A fissure eruption is where the entire surface cracks and lava bubbles up and spreads out like pancake batter. So when I'm driving through the gorge I look up at the cliffs and think 'Lava, miles and miles of lava.' It astounds me. It has also seen another geologic event. During the ice age a finger of a huge glacier held back an enormous lake, bigger than the great lakes, and when the ice damn broke the water flooded western Washington and Oregon and the water escaped to the Pacific through the Columbia River. This happened about forty times. Here is more about it and here are some pictures of its loveliness.
SAHM the Libby
Mendacious men-dey-shuhs; a flaw, shortcoming, not truthful; lying or false
Mendacity: the quality or state or being mendacious 2. a lie; falsehood
New World Dictionary