Photo Lingo

I helped out on a little photo shoot today.

I always learn something new at these, which is great, but I always enjoy them just for the fun of their being an event: a photo shoot.

Photo shoots aren’t just an everyday nothing, really… usually, they are, to some degree, a little or big to do, an event that requires at least one someone’s best up-do, and then some.

Today’s, though a small shoot, was no different.

Those being photographed were clearly in their best getup for the occasion, make-up done to a T, and several costume changes at the ready.

It was, as I mentioned, an event.

Now, this was fun, of course…, especially some of the silly things that happened throughout the photo shoot.

However, the little nugget of surprise delight and God-granted satisfaction popped up when we had a few quick comments from the photographer to one of the models, who was the husband of someone there.

The photographer was giving a few specifics about how to do something, if that model was doing it, and then somewhat simultaneously asking the model to come throw something in the background of the photo.

Now, the husband of this model, in a moderate accent, said to the model, “Entiendes?”, which is Spanish for, ‘Do you understand?’

The husband then gave an iffy explanation, still in English, of what the photographer had been saying.

I could tell that neither one of them was getting what the photographer had said, not even the English-speaking husband…, and so I went ahead and, in a quick aside, verified with the photographer for myself when he had wanted communicated.

I then, while still standing atop a large ladder, broke into the conversation between the husbands, addressing the Spanish-speaking one pointedly.

I asked him a few questions in Spanish, told him the first the the photographer had said, and then communicated the answers to the photographer in English.

I then explained to the model, again in Spanish, the second topic the photographer had mentioned (i.e. throwing those objects), and asked if he could do it.

He asked for some clarity on specifics, and then readily agreed.

Problem was solved, and amazing photos ensued.

When that model was then in photos, I let him know to tell me if ever and whenever he did not understand… he agreed, and proceeded to check with me on just about everything that was said to him.

At the end of it all, it had become very clear that he was relieved to have had me there, and everyone was grateful for my surprise super-helpfulness in the form of Spanish, whipped out of my back pocket.

Might I point out that I am dirty blonde, pale, and blue-eyed, – obvious German heritage of which, one could imagine, Adolf would have been proud – an outer shell that does not boast a likelihood of speaking Spanish?

But it is situations just like these that send a delighted tickle to my core when they arise, because everyone is simultaneously flabbergasted and relieved that I have this oh-so-unexpected skill.

I love having my languages be of use.

When I went for that “Super” trip the other day, it felt like a relief and a blessing that the person selling turned out to be a German guy, with whom I was able to interact in German… it made things feel ever so slightly more ‘right’, like I was on the right path.

It really felt today that this same sort of thing was happening – the World, God, was making a sign to me that I was (and am) in the right place.

I want photography to be the right place, and it increasingly feels more and more like it is the right place for me to be and to be putting my efforts and my love and my passion right now…, so this whole Spanish thing today was like a super-blessing from God and the World.

So, yay!

Thank you, God.

Thank you, World.

Thank you, Universe.

Help me to continue on this beautiful path that is meant for me to create and travel, that I might share the beauty and the love I have to offer the World. πŸ™‚

……..

In a separate note, I found myself wondering this evening: How can a couple be married, and not really be able to communicate in the same language?

From what I saw today, the one guy’s Spanish is super limited, and the other’s English is very questionable… so, how do they communicate?

Is it really more like the idea of mail-order brides that caught on back when I was little, than a naturally-occurring relationship?

But then, perhaps their language is presence, and words are in the works…

I know fully well that speaking the same language fully isn’t exactly a requirement for wanting to be with someone.

I even had a time (with one of the acrobats) in which I declared this guy and I could not date until we both spoke the same language fluently (though, I didn’t care what language that ended up being), and I, eventually, followed my declaration (after, of course, passively ignoring it, and, essentially, being in an informal but distinct relationship with him for about six weeks)…. (We had a great time, but too many problems began to arise due, mostly, to language issues, but also to cultural differences.)

So, they very well could be that way, where words are not the language of the now relationship, because they just absolutely hit it off without the words, but the words are in the plans for the future of the relationship.

I dunno… anything is possible, but I know that I, personally, need to speak the same language fluently as my partner in life, whatever language that may be.

Post-a-day 2019

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Cultural Villainy

This afternoon/evening, I found myself discussing various voice and talking style stereotypes in American English and in Japanese (from Japan, of course*).

It all started with seeing the film “Aladdin” in the cinema this afternoon, and then, over ice cream afterward, we veered onto Disney music and its composers a lyricists (and how amazing some of the greats are[!!!]).

Then we branched into the Japanese versions of this music, as the friend with me is Japanese, and she grew up only hearing the Japanese language versions of the songs.

We discussed differences I had found in the music, and why I thought each one was so… now that she has been living in the US for about a year, she saw exactly what I meant and genuinely understood.

“Colors of the Wind” sounds somewhat stressed and so compounded and busy in Japanese, yet the English sounds so open and contemplative, filled with deep breaths and space through the notes and the words… there are just too many syllables in the Japanese, and too many consonants in between all the vowels…

An American likely would be appalled at hearing the Japanese version of Scar’s voice, because the voice doesn’t match the type of villain that he is… it is not entitled and brooding and, almost like serial killer style, the voice of someone who is biding his time until his plot can unfurl perfectly to his advantage – until, at last, he is granted his dues, as Scar says.

To American ears, the Japanese Scar in pathetic and angry and holds no weight behind his short-man angry yelling of a voice, desperately hoping someone will listen to him and do what he wants others to do.

And yet, to Japanese ears, the Japanese Scar is exactly right: He is the stereotypical ‘bad guy’ voice and has that same ‘bad guy’ and ‘villain’ manner of speaking… the English version would sound just ‘American’, and have nothing special tied to it for Japanese ears.

And my friend was able to see and hear just these things, and mainly because she has become accustomed to hearing so many different ways of speaking that people have here in English (unlike Japanese English in Japan, which is pretty much always the same).

And, somehow, I found the whole situation to be fascinating and utterly fulfilling… I had never really thought quite so much and quite so pointedly about the translations and the voices of actors until today, though it certainly was not my first or, even, tenth time considering it all.

It had me feel an almost silly passion for Disney and, in particular, “The Lion King”, and yet I couldn’t find a reason not to care so much about it all – I love languages and music and seeing things in new ways, and these Disney movies had huge impacts on my childhood and, therefore, my life as a whole… they are a part of me… and I care about and love myself.

So, I guess I get to love those Disney films, too, silly little perfect details and all. πŸ™‚

By the way, I went into “Aladdin” with an attitude of its being a different film and perspective of the same story as the animated version…, and I thoroughly enjoyed the film – it was wonderful(!).

And it was filmed in Jordan(!)… how cool is that?!

I don’t often go to cinemas these days (in the US, anyway), but I am glad I went today – it was a lovely experience. πŸ™‚

*Does Japanese have a culture of native speakers anywhere else in the world?

Post-a-day 2019

Some Nights

Some nights, we are calm and at ease, for we know we have accomplished our expected tasks for the day.

And some nights, we are not, because we haven’t…

Tonight is one of the latter “some nights”… The thing is, though, I’m actually really interested in all of this research I’ve been doing for this paper… I just don’t want to hassle with putting it all together in a paper… you know what I mean?

I think I do, anyway…

Well, back to the paper organizing, so I can get to the actual writing… which is due to be turned in and then presented tomorrow… oops πŸ˜›

HashtagΒ I’mANutJob, right?*

*If you haven’t seen it, check out Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s skit on hashtags… that’s what was on my mind just now with that line. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Lingo-bot Life

Occasionally, I feel a bit lame and down about my seemingly lessened and lowered Japanese skills. Β But then I have experiences like tonight, where, when speaking with a Japanese man, he was unable to come up with the right Japanese words immediately or at all – we all take longer to process, when we aren’t using a language all the time; even native speakers. Β When it happened tonight, I told of the many times I, myself, was unable to come up with an English word while living abroad. Β When immersed in one language, it id much more difficult to recall another, native or not, language. Β So, I just need to immerse myself more often in each of my languages, and that will help significantly – it is all still there; it just needs a bit of encouragement and exercise. Β πŸ˜›

Not that this is news to me – it was merely a welcomed reminder. Β πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Road trip, again

“Okay, butterfly woman, let’s go.”

“Just a second – I’m holding a box of dogs.”

I made it home to Houston on Saturday afternoon, and delighted in my new home Saturday night and all yesterday.

I haven’t even unpacked everything, and I still love it… I even stayed up until two AM last night unpacking boxes, because I was so happy about where I now lived that I wanted to get things set up as soon as possible.

Tonight, I am back to an odd sleeping situation, sharing a sort of shack-like room – an average-sized room that stands alone in someone’s backyard – with my aunt, a family girlfriend, and a box of puppies, all in what feels like the middle of nowhere (aka Oklahoma).

(No offense to Oklahoma here – it just feels like the middle of nowhere to me, quite similarly to how I say that the college I attended is ‘in the middle of nowhere north Texas, almost to Oklahoma’.)

What a January if absurdities and adventures, eh?

P.S. I saw a super Texas Chevy truck yesterday, while out riding my bicycle (looking for Target, and taking about an hour to go the estimated 16 minutes that Google Maps thought it would take me), that had a vanity license plate with “NHL EH” on it, and then two hockey stickers on the back window. ❀

Post-a-day 2019

Future reasonableness

People ask me what I’m going to do with a Master’s in English, whenever they hear that I am in grad school…

I’m never too sure what to say to their question, because I mostly only plan to have it be a fun fact that people discover out of nowhere about me, and that then surprises and impresses them…

So, essentially, I plan not to talk about it and to be awesome… beyond that, I’m not sure yet – it’s another year and a half away from now.

At some point, I would like to be my own sort of JK Rowling, going from super struggle to extreme financial success by writing.

Somehow, I don’t see most people accepting that as an answer to the question of what I see for myself in my future… the unreasonable has almost always seemed reasonable, even standard and normal, for me.

But it’s what I am aiming, dreaming, and striving toward, the unreasonable….

Well, here’s to the unreasonable being normal for me:

Cheers! πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2018

English…?!

Whenever I tell people that my master’s program is for a master’s in English, I’m always surprised at their reactions – or their lack thereof, really.

I do not see myself as an ‘English type’.

My family and I (on my mom’s side, that is) are really rather scientific and math-y about things, and we are total nerds and dorks about the things that interest us… and we also do loads of research on things just about all the time.

If we love something, we also are semi-experts on it – that’s how much we look into things with our research and how much we love learning.

Tonight, I happened to mention that I have read 45 books so far this year (It was relevant, but I don’t presently recall why.).

My friend said that I was and English type, because those were all [insert super famous, depressing-topic novels from around the world that have at least a version in English], and I made a face, cutting her off with, “No, not that crap.”

We both halted at what I had just said, and saw that I had unconsciously called what is considered some of the most important things in the world to an ‘English type’ crap.

I wasn’t intending to be rude to those books or those people, but it was straight from the heart and head, what I said – I love to read, but just not much of that stuff that everybody seems to say is necessary and kind of the only part for caring about literature.

I had even given an ‘ugh‘ of distaste at an overheard conversation earlier on, in which someone was naming some of those famous novels (thereby making me mentally gag).

Just as anyone likes one thing over another, I like certain books and book genres and styles over others – it isn’t that I see no value in the famous novels – many of them certainly are the foundation for modern-day styles and rhythms and topics on a regular basis – , but it is that I see value in other novels, too… more value than the English buffs ever seem to give them.

That’s why one teacher wasn’t sure what to do about my thesis idea – there is no teacher at our school who has a background that is entirely relevant to the author and books I’ve selected to research and discuss as valuable, because they are too new and too radical in the world of English buffs and, therefore, degrees in English.

That’s okay – I’m part of the tiny minority of caucasians at a black university… I’m accustomed to doing things differently and making them work.

Post-a-day 2018

P.S. Is it weird to anyone else that we’re almost finished with 2018 already??…. I mean, it feels like the end of September right now, maybe early October…