Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Improving vocabulary

I remember when my cousin was two or three years old my aunt taught her to say, "I have an extensive vocabulary."

Nowadays, I pay attention to vocabulary because it helps me communicate in more than one language. (I really need to increase my foreign language vocabulary.)
And because I teach vocabulary lessons to kids.

One day the boys' mom said she noticed her older son was using the word "disgusting" a lot lately, and he seemed to be using it correctly. She didn't know where he'd picked it up.
"That's from me," I said. "I say that all the time." And yeah, I'd noticed that both of them had begun using this new vocabulary, especially about penmanship.
Can't fault their usage, though.

Another word I heard the older boy use was "whatever". And I have my suspicions that he got that one from me, too. I cringed when I heard him say it to his neighborhood friends about their latest soccer 'rules'. Oh, he used it correctly, all right. He had the proper attitude behind it to imply all he meant to say. I'm really hoping he picked that up from someone other than me--can I blame it on tv?
But I very thoughtfully accept the responsibility of at least introducing the term to him, and also very thoughtfully consider being much more careful about saying it myself. Especially when the attitude I convey is: "whatever you say doesn't matter, listen to me".
Hmm. Not very nice.

The younger brother has started beginning his sentences with "actually..." I might have to take credit for that, too.

Ah so. Vocabulary. Good and bad.
I wanted you to know that I added a nifty thing to this page called AnswerTips. So if you double click on any word on this page, it should bring up the definition for you. Pretty cool, huh? I thought so.
I highly approve of positive vocabulary improvement.
If your looking for another way of improving your vocabulary and feeding the hungry, visit http://www.freerice.com/.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The early morning elf

This is the elf.

This is what the elf did:
He woke up at 6am. Lonely, as the only one awake in the house, he decided his hair needed trimming. Then he decided it was time for me to get up, so he yelled and banged on the door until I came out and looked at him.

Then, this is what the elf said to me very quietly: "I tried really hard not to wake up my brother."
That's fantastic.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lost parking pass

I went with my two roommates to a movie and we took their motorbikes. When you enter the parking lot, you have to take a parking pass. It's not to pay anything, but to make sure your bike is secure. If you loose it, though, there's a $3 fine.

Well, Roommate#1 misplaced her parking pass, couldn't remember where she put it or maybe dropped it in the parking lot. It was gone.

So when we left, Roommate#2 volunteered to pretend it was her who lost the pass and to try to get out of the fine. But it wasn't quite that easy.

There was a form that had to be filled out with passport and driver's license information and registration.
Bad news: Roommate#2 didn't have any of that along!
So Roommate#1 handed over hers to the guard.

Then he wanted a phone number.
More bad news: Roommate#2 didn't know her number and didn't have her phone along.
Roommate#3 (that'd be me) didn't have hers along either.
So Roommate#1 went to get her phone and look up her number, but her battery was dead! It died right there in front of the guard.
No phone number for him.

Did we have the money for the fine? Yes, that Roommate#1 could provide.

So, yeah, it's a somewhat serious thing to loose your parking pass at the mall.
But if you think about it, it was just a silly little piece of paper, so we shouldn't have been treated too harshly, which we weren't. But we didn't have anything the guards needed to keep track of us if we were stealing a motorbike. :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Songkran is the Thai new year celebration.
And it's a city wide water fight.
In the city here the celebrating/water throwing lasted from Friday to Wednesday.
People lined up on the side of the road to throw water on passing cars and motorcycles. People in trucks drove by throwing water back at them. From old to young, everyone was in on it, with their squirt guns, hoses and buckets.

It's the hottest time of the year, so it must be nice to have a good reason not to go to work and to run around throwing water at each other.