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Rekindle Your Wild Joy and sense of deep Belonging through spiritual ecopsychology and the arts, incl. bioregional awareness, animistic perspectives, strategies for simple living, & low/no-tech DIY fun.

Yogi Explains Jazz September 23, 2015

Filed under: All My Relations,Arts,Humor,music — BrujaHa @ 6:15 pm
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RIP Yogi Berra, whom my friend Steve Gaddis rightfully calls “America’s unintentional Zen master.” Yogi_Berra_1956

By way of example, here’s his take on jazz – in which he captures its spirit better than anyone I’ve ever heard:
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Yogi Berra Explains Jazz
By Steve Chalke

Interviewer: Can you explain jazz?
Yogi: I can’t, but I will. 90% of all jazz is half improvisation. The other half is the part people play while others are playing something they never played with anyone who played that part. So if you play the wrong part, its right. If you play the right part, it might be right if you play it wrong enough. But if you play it too right, it’s wrong.
Interviewer: I don’t understand.
Yogi: Anyone who understands jazz knows that you can’t understand it. It’s too complicated. That’s whats so simple about it.
Interviewer: Do you understand it?
Yogi: No. That’s why I can explain it. If I understood it, I wouldn’t know anything about it.
Interviewer: Are there any great jazz players alive today?
Yogi: No. All the great jazz players alive today are dead. Except for the ones that are still alive. But so many of them are dead, that the ones that are still alive are dying to be like the ones that are dead. Some would kill for it.
Interviewer: What is syncopation?
Yogi: That’s when the note that you should hear now happens either before or after you hear it. In jazz, you don’t hear notes when they happen because that would be some other type of music. Other types of music can be jazz, but only if they’re the same as something different from those other kinds.
Interviewer: Now I really don’t understand.
Yogi: I haven’t taught you enough for you to not understand jazz that well.

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Thanks to Michael DeLalla for introducing me to this Berra interview. His fingerpicking guitar wizardry can be heard at fallingmountainmusic.com

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Dances with Klingons July 20, 2015

Klingon from Affliction (Star Trek Enterprise)At a recent contradance, my day was made when someone jokingly wondered how to say “thank you for the dance” in Klingon* – and someone else actually knew. Daniel Morse, who translates Chinese texts for a living, turns out to also be fluent in Klingon. Without batting an eyelash or pulling out a device, he explained the following.

Ma mi/t mo/ qatlho/  = Thank you for the dance

Ma = we together, Mi/t = dance, mo/= due to, or because of that, qatlho/ = I, to you, thank.  Note his knowledge about grammatical structure differences between Klingon and English too.

I was pretty surprised by the idea that Klingons dance, so even though I trust my friend, I did do a bit of Internet research for confirmation and maybe a scandalous video showing their moves. Indeed, many of these same words appear when calling upon Saint Google.

Another juicy tidbit also arose: several scholars pointed out that while qatlho/ (I, to you, thank) is a Klingon word,  it is not one used by Klingons. So what would Klingons say? “I’m sorry I didn’t stomp hard enough on your foot”?

Whorf

Klingon in the News

You know how interesting things often occur en masse? Around the same time I was delighting in this, applied Klingon language appeared in the news. An UFO was sighted in Wales, and a magnificently nerdy government spokesperson responded.

From the BBC:

Welsh government responds in Klingon to UFO airport query

“Klingon was the chosen language for the Welsh government in its response to queries about UFO sightings at Cardiff Airport.

While English and Welsh are the usual forms of communications in the Senedd, it opted for the native tongue of the enemies of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk.

Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar had asked for details of UFOs sightings and asked if research would be funded. A Welsh government spokesman responded with: “jang vIDa je due luq.” The Welsh government statement continued: “‘ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH devolve qaS.” In full it said it translated as: “The minister will reply in due course. However this is a non-devolved matter.”

It is believed to be the first time the Welsh government has chosen to communicate in Klingon.

Mr Millar, shadow health minister and AM for Clwyd West, submitted three questions to economy, science and transport minister Edwina Hart about UFO reports around the airport and across the rest of Wales.

“Responding to the government’s unusual diversion into trilingualism, Mr Millar said: “I’ve always suspected that Labour ministers came from another planet. This response confirms it.””

Click here to read the full account.  See, I didn’t make this up.

More!

The crazy late night search for Klingon dancing terms gave me another moment of linguistic delight before going to bed: there is actually a site dedicated to informing people how to say the vital phrase, “My hovercraft is full of eels!” in multiple languages, from Afrikaans to Zulu.

As if this homage to the bad Hungarian phrasebook in Monty Python’s Flying Circus weren’t enough, as a bonus, the wizards at Omniglot include the phrase in several invented languages – yes, including Klingon.

Klingon:  lupDujHomwIj lubuy’moH gharghmey  (Click here to hear it spoken)

For those of you who may need distraction from insomnia or deadlines, or those with really cool travel plans, here’s how to say it in Quenya, the language of J.R.R. Tolkien’s high elves:

Quenya:  Venenya vilyanirwanen ná quanta as angolingwi

Really, Klingon and Quenya seem no weirder than Welsh or Yiddish:

Welsh: Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod

Yiddish: מײַן פּראָם (שוועבשיף) איז פֿול מיט ווענגערס     (Mayn prom (shveb-shif) iz ful mit vengers)

…I suppose they’re also no weirder than a search for how to say this phrase in the first place. Or to praise your dance partner in Klingon. Ah well. Thanks for reading.

Qapla’! (Success! Good-bye!)

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* For the non-nerdly among our readers, “Klingon” refers to a fictional alien (planetary alien) people and language from TV’s Star Trek.

 

Autocorrect Fail o’the day August 6, 2013

Filed under: Adventures,Humor,Tales & Blarney — BrujaHa @ 11:55 pm
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My iPhone autocorrect fail of the day, sent to my neighbors who are currently away:

“Would you be able to water my plants along with yours after you get back? If so, will leave monkey in yr apt.”

Ha ha! — MY KEY, not a monkey.

That would be quite the welcome-home surprise.

monkey butler

 

Weird animal news: shark falls on golf course October 27, 2012

Leopard Shark

Leopard Shark

And in today’s weird news… an osprey protest?

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (AP) – “Nobody yelled “Fore!” at a Southern California golf course when a 2-foot-long shark dropped out of the sky and flopped around on the 12th tee.”

The 2-pound leopard shark was apparently plucked from the ocean by a bird then dropped on San Juan Hills Golf Club, said Melissa McCormack, director of club operations.

“Down with golf courses! Bring back the wetlands!” the osprey was heard to think. (Okay, no, I made that part up.)

Still, can you imagine being there? Talk about a golf hazard!

This incident reminds me of the wonderful collection of weird phenomena collected by Charles Fort. His books, compiled in the early 20th century, center on exhaustively documented ‘puzzling evidence.’  These run the gamut from events of Biblical proportion like sudden plagues of locusts or rains of blood, and what would today be called UFO phenomena, to small surrealistic moments like this one.

The best part of this story is that the golf course workers managed to save the little shark’s life! One noticed it and took it to their office, where they quickly stuck it in a bucketful of water. Then they suddenly remembered, hey, this is a SALT water creature. So they mixed in some table salt (!) and transported the shark to the ocean. He initially just sat there, stunned, but then flipped his fin and swam off.

Read more from ABC.com:  Shark Falls From Sky Onto California Golf Course

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P.S.: There are many kinds of sharks. The one we usually think of, thanks to the movie Jaws, is the Great White shark (pictured grinning below). Leopard sharks (pictured above) are much smaller and sleeker in design, and their skin features cute spots.

Another big difference is that leopard sharks have not acquired a taste for human flesh. However, just to set the record straight, given the choice, Great Whites will overwhelmingly choose other fare too. Apparently, we just aren’t the choicest dish in the sea. (I don’t know about you, but knowing this brings me a combo of relief and petulant wondering why not.)

 

Happy Birthday, Tom Lehrer April 10, 2012

Filed under: Arts,Singing — BrujaHa @ 12:18 am
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  This post is a celebration of irreverent creativity.

Harvard mathematician Tom Lehrer had the chutzpah to make a song out of every tabu subject you can think of: the arms race leading to death by atomic bomb (“We Will All Go Together When We Go”), BDSM sex (“The Masochist Tango”), the Catholic church (“The Vatican Rag”), racism (“National Brotherhood Week”), Nazi scientists (“Wernher von Braun”), the Boy Scouts (“Be Prepared”), herpes (“I Got It From Agnes”), and the composition that must win the Nerd’s World Cup hands-down,  the Periodic Table of Elements set to music.

Tom Lehrer’s music became quite popular during the 1950s, but by 1965 he stopped performing because he allegedly grew bored of singing the same songs again and again.

Singing two of former the good doctor’s songs at a high school assembly got me, an honor student, sent to the Principal’s office and put on probation. This had the opposite effect of what the administration likely hoped.

I love his smart, irreverent humor still. If you aren’t yet familiar with it, I’m very pleased to be the person who’s about to ruin you. (Grateful thank-yous involving chocolate or bad puns always accepted.)

Happy 84th birthday, Prof. Dr. Lehrer.*

And thank you.

Click on the following links for videos or audios of TL performing:

Poisoning Pigeons in the Park

Masochism Tango

I Hold Your Hand In Mine

Be Prepared

We Will All Go Together When We Go

The Vatican Rag

Here are a bunch more lyrics.

NOTES:

1) *His dual career was surely fated: Lehrer means “teacher” in German.

2) I have no idea why WordPress won’t let the links appear as embedded videos. I’ve scoured the forums and done everything they suggested, but no luck. I guess I’m still a technopeasant. Or perhaps Coyote is in charge of the cybergods. WordPress gurus, consider this the Bat Signal for help! Sigh.

3) Thank you to the fabulous Julie James for making me aware of this most auspicious day.


 

Science Fiction Holidaze January 16, 2012

This post is for you lovers of science fiction and mythopoetic fantasy literature. As one myself, these made me laugh.

1)  When I first saw this sign, I thought it was a clever joke – but no.  Klingons kicked Stormtrooper butt in this ultimate nerd showdown held for a good cause in Portland, Oregon on New Year’s.

“New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are not holidays people typically think of to give blood,” said Steve Stegeman, CEO of the American Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region. “We have to get a little bit creative.”

You can read more about it in the Oregonian.  I just can’t help but wonder what blood type each of them are…

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2)  Then there are the Xmas ornaments.

My dear friend Burnie, who taught science fiction and fantasy to two generations of brilliant misfits in her high school English classes, has collected Hallmark’s Star Trek ornaments for years. Some of them light up; others even talk. She is amazed to realize that this goofy collection has so increased in value that it may well now form the bulk of her childrens’ inheritance.

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Here she is, in a photo taken a few years ago by her porch with me and another close friend.

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This cool retro rocket ship night-light is what I gave her this year. The red liquid inside contains glitter that roils around when it heats up from the light. Sometimes a person needs a booster rocket to get to the proper dreamland.

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Star Trek is one thing; Lovecraft would be quite another. Would you open a present found under a tree with this on it?

Ornament made by Etsy seller Michelle Scrimpsher

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3)  Although the holiday season can bring great joy, you might be surprised by the number of folks who feel relief that it is now past.

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Happy January!

 

alt.vegetable January 7, 2012

I love being a grownup. Unlike in childhood, if someone at work beats you up, they go to jail. Adulthood has so many perks, mainly to do with freedom: staying up as late as you like; listening to any music you like; hanging with the friends you like, no matter how bizarre; having your own car so you can all go wherever you want while blasting the aforementioned music out the window for your weirdo friends to sing along to at all gawdawful hours.

To the child still awake in me, one of the best perks is that if you don’t want to eat your vegetables, you have many viable options.

You can wear them…

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You can glue them to your car…

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…or morph your car into one  (although the interior might be a bit seedy).

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You can play with them…

Party guests made these fanciful beings as part of the celebration of Damien McAnany’s birthday in Santa Rosa, CA. Yep, we played with our food!  (The ginger-footed critter is mine.)

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…Or you can literally play them.

Introducing the Wien Gemueseorchester (Vienna Vegetable Orchestra).

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Here they are again, featuring a live performance on carrot.

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If you get inspired by this post to make your own animistic vegie sculptures, music or couture, please come back and share stories/links in the Comments box below.

Vegetables can be both good for you and fun. Who knew?