I let myself marvel over our bungalow at Puri Wisnu this morning. It really was a lovely layout, with lots of exotic plants growing everywhere around the courtyard. I took a picture of Heliconia rostrata, known as "lobster claw" or "false bird of paradise." It's very striking from a distance, but when I got up close … Continue reading Goa Gajah and Yeh Puluh
We Arrive in Bali
We took some time to fill out the Customs forms for entering Indonesia and boarded the final two-hour flight to Denpasar. We were seated beside a rather twitchy guy with leathery skin, prominent cheekbones, and salt-and-pepper stubble over his scalp, dressed in a wrinkled sharkskin suit. My overactive imagination made up all sorts of stories … Continue reading We Arrive in Bali
From SFO to Singapore
It all worked out in the end, of course. All the stress was behind us, all the obstacles of troublesome airlines with deplorable customer service was left back in another nation. And if you believe that... After spending the night in the MSP airport, we arrived very early in San Francisco, too early for Red … Continue reading From SFO to Singapore
Things are moving along swiftly and are about to wrap up: in four days, my wife and I will be flying to Denpasar, Indonesia, and we'll begin training to teach English. We got our passports back in the mail from the Indonesian Consulate in Chicago, all visa'ed up, and we sold the car yesterday morning. … Continue reading Poor Timing?
Still working on building this place up. Just added another project to my Portfolio, one I'm particularly proud of, and added the Resources page as a toolbox for editorial/literature resources. Always handy to have that on hand. Drove out to Chicago last Sunday, just got back last night. There, my wife and I applied for our … Continue reading Visa Application
My wife and I are packing up our apartment and getting ready to store, donate, or recycle all of our property: in four weeks we'll board a plane to take us to Denpasar, Indonesia, where we'll attain TESOL certification to teach English and then look for teaching jobs in South Korea. (Actually, I hope to … Continue reading Transition
Nuance and Semantics (Get It?)
It seems that when people break into new fields, they desire to quickly establish themselves as resident experts to their peers. Send two Americans to Japan and each will return an expert on the ritual preparation and service of sushi, arguing with each other about whether or not the wasabi is properly mixed in the … Continue reading Nuance and Semantics (Get It?)
As part of my ongoing campaign to learn new words and enhance my comprehension, indulge me as I take a moment to analyze a certain word I’ve seen several times in the last decade yet whose specific meaning has eluded me. “PhotoSketch picture software wins plaudits,” is the Telegraph.co.uk headline I read today, sparking a … Continue reading Definition: Plaudits
Why Is It Wrong To Be Right?
I don’t relish the false dichotomy set up around linguistics and language: in terms of Living Language, “yer eether fur us ‘r agin’.” Am I a prescriptivist? Sure. Does that mean I’m opposed to the formation of new words, the evolution of the language? Absolutely not. I think some vernacular trends—born of online-speak—are stupid and useless, … Continue reading Why Is It Wrong To Be Right?
Previously in Priority
Just to sort it out in my own head, I’ve got to write about the usage of prior versus previous. Prior comes from Latin for “ancient” and previous from “leading the way,” but both share roots with prae, “before.” I already know these words mean roughly the same thing: on Merriam-Webster Online, the phrases “prior … Continue reading Previously in Priority