March 18, 2007

One finger parallel to the sky*.

Things that I have today that make me happy:

  1. A beautiful spring day which is probably so nice as to be illegal.
  2. No homework and, unlike yesterday, no workwork either.
  3. A bus pass purchased on the black market from my co-worker, for going anywhere I damn well please.
  4. Extremely short, sticky-out hair (but not a camera, so too bad, suckers).
  5. The Complete Sherlock Holmes.
  6. Pumpkin bread.
  7. A very nice regional park just up the hill.
  8. Sunshine everywhere I look.
  9. Nothing better to do than use #3 to take myself and my #4-6 up to #7 to lay in the #8 and appreciate the #1.

Sometimes I fantasize that I have readers in Minnesota who pore over my posts and sigh and stare gloomily out their windows at skies full of snow and rain. Then I realize that even if I lived in Minnesota I could probably find better things to do than read my blog.

*This line makes no sense. The sky isn't planar. It's a diffuse mass in three dimensions. Even if you take the view that it's more or less a hollow sphere which appears from ground level to be suspended parallel to the ground, then a) parallel to the sky could be more clearly expressed as parallel to the ground and b) that's like finger mustache position. I harbor suspicions that what the songwriter meant to say was something more like one finger pointing toward the sky. Perpendicular to the way it appears to be facing, that kind of thing. But it lacks a certain lyrical something.

Posted by dianna at March 18, 2007 12:57 PM

I was picturing it as: finger parallel to the ground, with heel of hand held in front of chin, index finger extended directly away from you, lips pursed, nose wrinkled, and eyebrows drawn down. It's hard to do without also hunching your shoulders.

All right, did you track in this nice weather?

Posted by: katie at March 18, 2007 06:43 PM

It's funny you should say "track in". I had to rearrange the numbers in the above list because originally my last item contained the phrase "lay in the #2". I really couldn't be having that.

Wait, wait. It's kind of hard to wrinkle your nose and purse your lips at the same time. I mean, when I start wrinkling the nose the lips try to unpurse themselves. But if I skip the nose-wrinkling and move the hand a little bit away from my chin then I get a very nice accusatory gesture, which I have to admit makes a lot of sense.

My original thought was something more declamatory, though. Finger perpendicular to the ground, arm bent (oratory) rather than straight (pointing at something), eyebrows raised but mouth held in a very serious line. Tilt head slightly forward for extra gravitas. How can you say no to extra gravitas?

Posted by: Dianna at March 18, 2007 07:08 PM

Before YouTube was forced to take all their Viacom-owned clips down, they had a great one from a Colbert Report episode of Stephen Colbert and a CNN anchor having a gravitas-off, in which they had to read nonsense headlines and stupid tongue-twisters with as much gravitas as possible. It was amazing.

You're right; "pursed" isn't it, I just realized. More like pressed into a little line. And yeah, the hand is a little bit away from the chin but about at that vertical level. Maybe my nose just auto-wrinkles when I do it. See? I've been practicing my facial grammar.

Posted by: katie at March 18, 2007 08:09 PM

Finger pointing, eyebrows low. Mouth in the shape of the letter "O".

Posted by: Jacob at March 18, 2007 10:01 PM

Red means stop, do not go. No. No. No.

There's a porn joke in here somewhere about facial grammar, but I'm going to go ahead and spoil it instead of making it.

Posted by: Dianna at March 19, 2007 08:40 AM

No plus no equals no. All no's lead to no, no, no.

I had halfway typed out my stupid joke about facial grammar, got stuck about why you would possibly need to use the subjunctive in a given scenario, and then decided to give it up because I knew for an absolute certainty that Dianna wouldn't be able to let it go without at least saying something about it, if not coming up with the joke herself. I knew it.

It would have been double points if you could have delivered the joke in ASL, with appropriate facial grammar.

Posted by: katie at March 19, 2007 09:31 AM

You know, I've learned a number of signs that would seem to be helpful in telling that joke.

Unfortunately, they mean, respectively, "computer", "orange", and "elevator".

Posted by: Dianna at March 19, 2007 09:40 AM

Would the subjunctive follow something like, "If you had warned me beforehand"?

Posted by: Dianna at March 19, 2007 09:57 AM

What you've got there is the subordinate clause or "if-clause" of a conditional statement, and what follows it can only be a conditional main clause. The only subjunctive I can come up with for that construction is, "I require that you warn me beforehand," which, while possibly useful in a facial situation, doesn't really seem to make the punchline of a very funny joke.

Also, I think I'm not enough of a geek to come up with a dirty joke involving a computer, an orange, and an elevator, although I am agog to learn those signs. Or, to put it subjunctively: Would that I were enough of a geek to come up with something.

Posted by: katie at March 19, 2007 11:59 AM

And, sorry, the reason the main clause can only be conditional here is that the whole statement is hypothetical, so you're necessarily talking about a sequence of events that only theoretically happen in an imaginary past: "If you had warned me beforehand, I would have closed my eyes." [This is really an abbreviation for "If you would have warned me..."] On the other hand, you could do the whole construction without the conditional at all, if it refers to a possible sequence of events which may still come to pass: "If you warn me beforehand, I will close my eyes." I could go on with all the possible tense sequences, but I think I've sufficiently disproved my recent claim of not being a geek.

Posted by: katie at March 19, 2007 12:10 PM

Snoqualmie's hit counts skyrocket. Film at 11. Uncensored version after the kids go to bed.

Posted by: Jacob at March 19, 2007 12:19 PM