19 August 2005

Catalan word of the day: gronxar

I spent the morning with M's nieces, and by "spending the morning" I mean pushing two-year-old Sora on her swing while six-day-old Seyna slept. Some time ago I learned the words "gronxar" (to swing) and its relation, "gronxador" (swing), from Sora, who likes to ask anyone with available hands to put her in her swing and give a push. She insisted today that I push "més fort," and she entertained me with several songs, with renditions in Catalan, Spanish, and French. In return, I taught her "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" in English. She got it, but it was tough to remember the words, and she lapsed back into "estrellita" most of the time. Indeed, little girls *are* estrellitas, especially this one, who we sometimes think could head straight to Hollywood, once she has dominated "Twinkle, Twinkle" and the rest of the English language.

The dynamics between a center-of-attention girl and her new little sister are interesting to observe; when I was holding Seyna, Sora immediately ran to get her own pacifier and tried to get my attention by pouting, two-year-old style. But I have a feeling once Seyna gets a bit bigger, Sora is going to love showing her the ropes. And I mean that literally: the bucket-seat gronxador is a rope swing, and it's just estrellita size.

17 August 2005

I never thought I'd be a blogger

But here I am. For the moment, this blog will remain anonymous, while I figure out how I feel about having a web identity. After a couple of days perusing a few blogs, some by people I know and some by people I don't, I'm ready to make a semi-public debut. I know I want this blog to be interesting, varied, and uncluttered with mountains of links to other sites. I might post some of my poetry, I'll surely post travel and language adventures, some political commentary, and plenty of arts criticism, but I won't post *more* than you wanted to know about my personal life.

I'm already wishing I started writing sooner, because a summer full of travel and experiences has nearly passed. We've been everywhere, it seems: Brussels, Strasbourg, Barcelona, Tarragona, Boston, Jericho (Vermont), Tallinn (Estonia), Ghent, Leuven, Sant Feliu and Tossa (Catalonia, Costa Brava). Two new babies have been born, my nephew and my boyfriend's niece. Lots of time with family, lots of time on the beach. Not enough time writing, poetry or otherwise. My Catalan has improved, and my Spanish has gone downhill. Today I'm writing from a slightly overcast Barcelona, and the breeze is perfect. I'm about to leave for lunch with my boyfriend's family, who live outside of the city. It'll be our last chance to spend with his little niece before we head back to the states.

Which is a theme I'd rather not contemplate, given that it involves lots of preparation for the new school year, getting my syllabus ready for the poetry course I'm teaching at the local community arts center, and the literature class I'll be teaching to undergrads in Bloomington. (But you know I'm secretly looking forward to it: who can resist the lure of fall, with the requisite buying of new notebooks and pencils, checking class schedules, and settling back into the semester's rhythm? Besides, the House of Love awaits. And what is the House of Love, you ask? Stay tuned.)