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Saturday, December 14, 2013

More Random Thoughts

Tomorrow is Desolation of Smaug with my fellow Richard Armitage fans. Then Tuesday is Festival of Trains with a look at the replica Traverse City, my hometown. And somewhere in all the action I am going to be taking lots of photos and writing lots of blog posts across both blogger and wordpress. I had a tough we with MidWinter Depression sitting on my chest like a 500 pound cat. And it isn't even MidWinter. Hell.... technically Winter hasn't even started!

And if we have learned anything from Uncle Wil and Aunt Jenny it is that depression lies. It lies like a Politian. Fortunately I only had one really bad day where I actually believed its shit and was able to recover with the celebration of a life passed & "kibbutz" with my pen pal. Which reminds me:

I found the book I want for Christmas. It's Ben Schott's new book Schottenfreude. I saw a snippet in USA today yesterday and thought it was perfect since my pen pal and I just had this conversation about awesome German words for things that the English language is too afraid to admit to.

For some reason, the Germans are much more honest about the human condition than we are in America. Oh, make no mistake, we will show off with the use of big fancy psychology words that we learned from any number of TV quacks experts. And we will pretend we know exactly what it means and that we are correctly applying the terms. We will go to a therapist to learn these terms and feel smarter about both ourselves and mental issues because we can throw a big word or complicated concept at it as if we were Hermione Granger waving a wand over Ron's head and shouting "Expeliarmus!" (Because that trick always works.)

I think that my Grampa would probably have rolled his eyes right out of his head by now at my need or desire for regular therapy sessions. He could always tell me what was wrong and why. And he didn't need to have a fancy degree (which he did. In engineering.) or an office (which he did. The garage.) to be able to pronounce the diagnosis & cure. He just had to do what Germans do best: observe, plan & execute the plan. We Americans are very good at pretending that nothing is wrong with us while we cry about every little thing on facebook. We distract ourselves so much on the outside that we can never really be honest about anything on the inside. I think we might be the least authentic people on the planet... collectively. There are some stunning examples of honesty and compassion that most of the world will never know.

The Germans have words for things that most of the word won't admit to doing: looking up dirty words first when learning a language, weight gain from grief eating, the feeling you get from a cold pillow.... yep. Pay attention to your sleeping habits and you will know what I mean. You haven't paid attention. Your face on a cold pillow feels so happy that your skin could dance. You feel the feel and ignore it not thinking to acknowledge it. Much. And the Germans have a word for that!

I love that language. Mark Twain and every other language bigot can hate on it all they want to but it is truly expressive if somewhat blunt while doing its best to eliminate ambiguity that the American English loves. And it encourages one to be aware. Of course you can take awareness a little too far and singlehandedly be considered the father of mass suicides or suicide bumps.

I still want Speckschild to be a word. (Eating for protection from elements, economic scarcity or violence.)

But really I want Schottenfreude for Christmas.
We'll see how the finances go.

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