Going Gossip Girl crazy

Step One: Fall in love with Blake Lively.

Step Two: Watch Gossip Girl, simply because it stars Blake Lively (but also because I am stuck at home alone and feel like I have no friends, since we aren’t supposed to socialize in real life right now, and watching the show makes me feel like I have friends in whose lives I am invested and everything).

Step Three: Fall in love with Chuck Bass, the character.

Step Four: Fall slightly in love with Ed Westwick, the actor who plays Chuck Bass.

Step Five: Discover that Ed Westwick is actually British, and fall a little bit more in love with him.

Step Six: Pointedly ignore the fact that these are all people I never will meet, be it that they are either fictitious or absurdly famous – whatever the case, they are basically unreachable by me – as well as the fact that I am in love with the character people are supposed to dislike and almost hate.

Step Seven: Daydream middle school obsessively about them all, and even consider putting up posters on my wall of a tanned, slightly unshaven Ed Westwick.

Step Eight: Acknowledge that my love is absurd, determine not to be worried about it, indulge happily, and accept confidently my own silly and delightful absurdity that truly helps to pass the time well.

Step Nine: Do near-absurd levels of research of Ed Westwick interviews online, and enjoy it thoroughly.

Step Ten: Get over it all suddenly and entirely, and move on with ease, almost forgetting that it was ever even a thing, and preparing mentally for whatever shall come next in life and personal fancies. 😛

Gossip Girl Crazy

Post-a-day 2020

32,000 troops in New York Harbor

I just e-mailed a history expert in order to find a possible answer to two questions my mom and I had out of watching “Hamilton”.

1) How many men would have been aboard each ship?

2) How long was the journey from England to New York in 1776?

We wanted to know how many ships were in the harbor in order to produce 32,000 troops, as the line in the song says, and realized that we had no idea how big the ships even were and what their capacities were for men (and ammunition, etc.).

And that set of thoughts led us to wondering how long they had had to spend at sea.

And so, rather than put forth lots of effort in researching myself, I figured it smartest to reach out to an expert first, and doing further personal research second, if needed.

Why does this even matter?

Because we are total nerds in my family, and we care about things like this. 😛

I mean, what else would one be asking after watching “Hamilton”? Haha

Post-a-day 2020

Doi!

Do you ever have those super obvious facts and connections that just never occur to you until you ask a blatant question about them (and then feel kind of stupid for asking about something so obvious)?

They happen to me somewhat often, I think.

It’s like the other week, for example: I was watching one of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, thinking about how they have British accents, and I suddenly asked myself, ‘Where is Port Royal, anyway?’

Immediately, upon asking myself the question, I emitted a sort of guffaw-snort sound, declaring it a duh question – I thought to myself, ‘I mean, come on: Pirates of the Caribbean?’

It was a good moment of absurdity, and not at all a foreign one. 😛

Post-a-day 2018

A famous professor

I received a letter from a man on whom we did a presentation in one of my classes… it was kind of surreal.

He has a whole, long Wikipedia page and everything, in addition to articles and all that jazz having been written about him over the years… plus, he, himself, wrote articles and books, and grew rather famous for them.

And he wrote and mailed me a letter. 🙂

Post-a-day 2018

My real voice

In college, I spent a summer studying in Germany.  It was a language school setup, filled with foreigners, but in such a small town that everyone knew that we were studying German, and so everyone always spoke to us all in German.  I had already studied abroad a few times before this adventure, and I had learned firsthand about what works and what doesn’t work, in terms of language immersion.  I was dedicated to learning German, and so I made sure that I only spoke in German with others, even if they spoke to me in English.  This made friendships hard among the people in my program’s group, since they all used English together; I came across a bit snobby, but I was just really committed to learning German.

I made friends with other foreigners rather easily, though, and especially ones in higher levels of German, which was even better for me.  My German was improving immensely.  But this led to a unique situation one day.

One day, near the end of either my time at the school or my friend Paul’s time there (he’s British), I found myself faced with a desperate Paul, actually begging me to speak English.  Why?! was my repeated question to his pleas.

“Because I want to hear what you sound like!”

I don’t know if he was pleased or not by how I sound in English, but I spoke a little for him.  And it was way weird, using English with him, despite the fact that I’d heard him speak English loads, and that it’s our common native language.  I had just never used it with him.

And then this brought up a unique and interesting sentiment.  He wanted to hear me, and that meant speaking English.  I can guess that my native tongue was the one in which Paul believed my identity to lie.  I know that it felt like I was setting aside a sort of mask when I switched to English with him.  I even felt a little called-out… as though I had been hiding somehow, and it had been behind German.  The real me (I) lay in English, in the English part of me.

Yet, years later, here I am, missing the parts of me that belong to these different languages in which I have lived.  A part of me, true me (I), exists only on German, and others in French, in Spanish, and in Japanese. So much so that the real me (I) is this whole combination of languages – I feel a huge emptiness and feel not myself when I am using only English in my daily life.  I listen to Spanish-speaking radio when I’m in Houston, mostly because I don’t get to use Spanish often enough.  I read every night in French, and trade off an English book for a German one at times for my evening reading, too.  I regularly pull out a Spanish book to read, or my German audiobooks.  And I have noticed that I have been searching for a tolerably satisfying way to have Japanese in my near-daily life, too.  (For now, it has just been the occasional music, and a perpetual repeat of a certain song being stuck in my head.)  When I don’t have them all, it is as though a part of me is missing, and suddenly getting to speak with someone in them, almost reminds me of that mask I was setting aside in Germany with Paul… like I am again setting aside some mask I have been wearing.

Perhaps it is now a mask of monolingualism, pretending that I only speak English, while I long for the world to talk to me in several languages, all the time.

Anyway… I’m exhausted.  And I miss Paul.  He was studying opera, and was a really great guy.  I wonder if he’s been really successful with opera these past several years.  Maybe I can go see him perform one day.  That would be awesome.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017