In an effort to follow up on yesterday’s lesson in Italian slang, I asked my wife for some suitable Chinese examples with which to educate you al. Alas, she was only able to come up with two:
Heui-sei: Which, she cautions, is a very bad thing to say and translates to “Drop dead!”, and…
Chee-sin: According to Fondy, this one implies that “the neurons in your brain are disconnected”. Usually preceded by a “tsk” and a sideways glance thrown at the intended target.
According to Fondy, aside from the aforementioned expressions, another thing you can do to seem “more Chinese” is to make unwelcome comments about people’s weight. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve been to Chinese restaurants and had the waiter or waitress make a crack about the fact either of us had put on a few pounds. Once, a waiter noted that Fondy was looking “bigger” and, when she reacted negatively to the comment, he mimed weight-lifting as if to suggest it was all muscle. Just recently, at a holiday party thrown by my accountant, I was in discussion with another guest when one woman asked me how I kept in such great shape. I asked her what she meant. She jerked her thumb toward the other guest and muttered: “Not like him and his big belly.” There was an awkward lull in the conversation and then she laughed, apologized, and headed back to man the receptionist desk. Finally, my favorite “unwelcome weight” crack came several years ago when my sister-in-law was visiting Vancouver. We were at a Chinese restaurant and just settling in when the upbeat owner/server came up to greet. My sister-in-law requested a couple of chairs for her “two babies“, prompting the owner/server to happily correct her: “Three babies!”. Then, “One baby!” – pointing to my three year old nephew, “Two baby!” – pointing to my six month old niece, “And three baby!” – pointing to her belly. Unfortunately for everyone involved, my sister-in-law wasn’t pregnant at the time.
So I received an update from Lawren back in Vancouver. Apparently, the city has still not seen fit to plow our street so it looks like he won’t be seeing his car again until the spring thaw. Other than that, no incidents of note with the exception of the two hundred pounds of snow that slid off the side of our roof the other night. Lawren reports that it came down on the west side of the house which suggests that, sooner or later, it’ll be coming down on the south side – the back yard – as well. I told him to make sure that if and when it does happen, the dogs are nowhere near the area. Of course, now that I think about it, an even worse scenario would be having Lawren himself positioned directly beneath the avalanche. With our return to Vancouver another five days away and given the fact that our dogs are always hungry, it wouldn’t be long before they started feasting on him. Which, it goes without saying, would be a terrible thing because once dogs acquire a taste for human flesh, it’s very tough to shake them of the habit.
The other day was a Mallozzi family reunion of sorts that saw a gathering of cousins hailing from Boston, Tuscon, Houston and, of course, Vancouver. The afternoon lunch was hosted by my cousins Marilyn and Carolyn (yep, twins) and their dogs, so-laid-back-you’d-think-she-was-stoned Rosalie, and cute-as-all-get-out rescue pup Finnegan. Also in attendance: sis, mom (with her date, Felix the schnauzer), my cousin Jeannie, her boyfriend Dave, my cousins Matthew and Tanya (bulldog Bella and pet rabbit), and Marilyn’s cousin Robert. Lots of food and chat. I talked mead production and game-hunting with Dave, and discussed Tanya’s recent completion of an Ironman Triathalon in Hawaii. While 17 hours of non-stop swimming, cycling, and running certainly sounds like a blast, I can think of better things to do with my time on the big island (hint: it has less to do with bikes and bathing caps and more to do with beaches and those oversized drinks with the little umbrellas in ‘em, but takes about the same amount of time to complete – roughly 17 hours).
How’s everyone doing out there? From your comments, it sounds like everyone is having a good holiday. Before closing out this entry, just a few notes:
Those of you who haven’t done so yet should finish up On Basilisk Station. Author David Weber will be coming by to chat with us the week of January 14th.
And those of you who haven’t started on The Living Dead anthology, get moving (the first story, by Dan Simmons, is killer!). Editor John Joseph Adams joins us the week of January 21st..
And, finally, a gentle reminder that our third book of the month club selection for January is City of Saints and Madmen. Author Jeff Vandermeer will be taking your calls the week of January . Hey, Trish! Tell Allie to start formulating her thoughts!
Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday gal Pilota.