That’s not my cat but then again, that’s not my mat, either. Our next-door neighbors, the ones who put a cat-sized hole in their fence so our cats could move freely between properties, sent me this photo. That’s their back patio, and that’s Odie, who lives across the street. Odie visits us both. He flirts with the neighbor’s cats and he comes to our backyard to rile up Taffy with his “Quien Es Mas Macho” attitude. As you can see, he’s really handsome and you can’t help but like him, but he’s also a bit of a jerk.
This (below) is a photo of my dining room table when I am doing my Korean language homework. I will be finishing my 60th Korean class next Friday, giving me a grand total of 60 weeks/90 hours of instruction, equivalent to four college semesters. I have never, ever had to think this hard about anything, ever, in my life.
I am so proud of myself. This is what I wrote (using Korean’s 14 consonants and 22 vowels) for homework for Lesson #59 this week:
잔 녁 에 제 가 읽 은 책이 오 늘 친 구 가 저 한 테 준 책 보 다 재 미 있 었 어 요.
I’m going to explain why Korean is rated as the most difficult foreign language to learn. If you’re not into philology, you can skip to the memes about the English language (slightly below) and we’ll meet you there in a sec.
This sentence (above), is the most sophisticated sentence I’ve ever written in Korean. It means, “The book that I read last year is more interesting than the book that my friend gave me today.”
I’m color-coding the parts of speech so I can explain how they work in Korean.
“The book that I read last year” and “The book that my friend gave me today” are both relative clauses, which in Korean are written before the noun, so that it’s more like: “Last year read book” and “friend to me given book“.
The main verb — the only “real” verb — in this sentence is not “is“, it is “interesting” (which in the English version of this sentence is an adjective) because in Korean, there is a verb that means To Be Interesting. As the only verb in the sentence, “interesting” is the only verb that is conjugated, and like all Korean verbs, it goes at the end of the sentence. So the whole sentence goes something like this:
Last year read book compared to friend to me given book is more interesting.
The compared to in this sentence is not actually written, it’s only indicated by a little particle that signals “comparison” that has no equivalent in English. But, because of the particle that has no English equivalent, the reader of this sentence knows which book is more interesting (the one I read last year).
But that’s not all.
You’ll notice that each of these relative clauses contains a verb: to read, and to give. In Korean, these verbs are indeed conjugated, but not like regular verbs because only one verb per sentence can be conjugated like a regular verb. Verbs in relative clauses have special conjugations that are only for relative clause verbs, unrelated to the regular verb conjugations, and they have different forms for present, past, and future that make them behave a lot like adjectives (which are also conjugated in Korean, but differently).
Fun Fact: In Korean, every verb has a regular form and an honorific form, and some have two honorific forms depending on whether the action is going to a person higher than you, or to a person lower than you, because of Confucianism. Since this sentence is about a friend, who is my equal, I am using the non-honorific forms of the verbs.
Each of these relative clauses also has a subject: in the first clause it’s “book“, and in the second clause it’s “friend“. In Korean, you have to put a subject particle after each subject noun to let the reader know what’s what, such as, in the case of the second clause, “The book that my friend gave me today”, the subject is “friend” and not “book” (which is the object).
More Fun: The subject particle changes depending on whether the last letter in the subject noun is a vowel or a consonant and, in this sentence, one of the subject nouns ends in a vowel and the other subject noun ends in a consonant, so I have to use two different subject particles.
Also, Subject particles are different from topic particles and while a sentence can have both a subject and a topic which require particles, this sentence does not. So, whew.
One more thing: there is a time particle that has to go after “Last year”.
P.S. There are also object particles, which are used when it is necessary to clarify which noun in a sentence is the subject and which one is the object, but in this sentence there is no such confusion because of the comparison particle, and by the way there is another set of comparison particles different from the one I’m using in this sentence for when comparisons are not explicit, but only implied.
So, in conclusion:
잔 녁 에 제 가 읽 은 책이 오 늘 친 구 가 저 한 테 준 책 보 다 재 미 있 었 어 요.
Last year (time particle) read (relative clause verb conjugation) book (subject particle) friend (different subject particle) to me given (relative clause verb conjugation) book (comparison particle) is more interesting (regular verb conjugation).
P.S. For some reason, WordPress is screwing up my color-code in the published version. Sorry about that.
Any way, that’s why it takes 90 hours of Korean lessons to learn how to write this sentence.
I know what you’re wondering and No, before Korean Lesson #59, I had no idea what a relative clause was. And to answer your other question, Probably Not.
(Would you have started learning Korean if you had known that every fucking thing is conjugated and there were all those fucking particles?)
Is anyone else here acquiring a new skill? How’s it going? Anyone got any tips for teaching an old brain new tricks? Please?
My Korean teacher assures me that her learning English was harder than my learning Korean. (Wait. Did I get that right? Does anyone know other it’s “my” learning Korean or “me” learning Korean?)
But you don’t come here for Korean lessons. You come here for cold hard news of the week so let’s go!
“Budgie” is Brit-speak for “parakeet”. This little fellow was found on the deck of a UK Fisheries Protection vessel in the Cletic Sea, 25 miles from the Cornish (southwest English) coast by the chief engineer on board. The chief engineer simply put out his hand and the parakeet hopped on. He says the bird was clearly exhausted and seemed relieved to go inside.
“It’s very comfortable around people,” the chief says, and the budgie has been climbing on his shoulder and head. The crew has been feeding the little guy various things, with peanuts being the budgie’s clear favorite.
The crew are going to be on patrol for a while but another Fisheries officer, Madeleine Bradshaw, is scheduled to rendezvous with the ship. That officer will take the budgie back to shore and look after it until the owner is found. Failing that, the bird will have a new home with Bradshaw.
It is rare for domesticated budgies to fly away from their homes because the outdoors make them anxious. Because of this, they usually do not know how to get back home because they get overwhelmed with nerves.
Now, the Arctic Tern, a 4-ounce bird slightly larger than the American Robin, migrates every year from the North Pole to the South Pole, a round trip of 18,681 miles (30,000km), and no one gets excited but one budgie flies 25 miles from home and it’s international news. Go figure.
In other hard-breaking news, the police are still acting like pigs. Except that pigs are nice animals that we shouldn’t eat, whereas I’d have no trouble making cat food out of a few of these cops, except that I would treat my cats to better grub:
The “pop” being the sound of her arm breaking when the cop threw her against the patrol car.
In June of 2020, inLoveland, Colorado, 73-year old Karen Garner, who has dementia sensory aphasia, which impairs her ability to understand and communicate, was confronted by a Walmart employee for trying to walk out of the store with $13.88 of merchandise in her bag. She offered to pay for the items, but the employee confiscated her bag and called the cops, even though the store had not suffered any loss — Karen didn’t steal a damn thing.
The police found Karen walking down the road two blocks from her home, picking wild flowers. They pushed her to the ground and handcuffed her. After picking her up and slamming her against the squad car, he officer’s body cam shows Karen appearing to be confused and fearful as she pleads, “I am going home.”
The arrest fractured Karen’s arm, sprained her wrist, and dislocated her shoulder.
The police then took Karen to the police station, where they put her in a cell while they gathered around to watch the body cam video. They were filmed by cameras inside the station, which showed them laughing about the arrest.
“I love it,” one officer says, with a laugh. “This is great.”
Another officer asks the arresting officer if he had read Ms. Garner her Miranda rights. The officer says he had not.
“I can’t believe I threw a 73-year-old on the ground,” the officer says.
“Hear the pop?” one officer says.
“What did you pop?” asks another.
“I think it was her shoulder,” the first officer responds.
Fuck the cops, and Fuck the Walmart employee, too. Lawsuits are pending and I wish the Police Union would be liable for damages instead of taxpayers.
Let’s go now to the shit bags who tried to overthrow the government on January 6, 2021:
The FBI has video of Mark Middleton (the shit stain in the red MAGA hat) grabbing a Capitol officer and pulling him towards the mob. Beside him, wearing a Trump beanie, is his wife, Jalise Middleton, who also grabbed the officer with her hands. Then another officer stepped in, and Jalise Middleton assaulted him, too.
The Middletons continued to strike officers and jab flagpoles at their faces until one officer sprayed them with a chemical agent, which forced them to retreat.
It’s on tape. I hope they get years behind bars.
He’s been arrested in Arkansas for trying to overthrow the government and for leaving a threatening message for Speaker Pelosi:
In a recent court filing, Barnett’s lawyer defends Barnett from the charges that he threatened Speaker Pelosi, saying he didn’t call Speaker Pelosi a “bitch” in the note that he left at her desk.
The lawyer explains:
“Instead of writing the accusatory “You bitch” as the government falsely states, it only says “biatd” and without the word “you”. On information and belief, the “d” was meant to be two letters, “c” and “h” with the “c” connected to the “h” to spell “biatch”, which is a slang and less offensive word for “bitch”.”
But wait, that’s not the only stupid thing a MAGA defense lawyer has written this week.
Remember MAGAt Rachel Powell?
Her lawyer made a groveling apology to the Court, citing the Lana Del Rey defense, arguing that Powell was copying the face mask used by pop singer Lana Del Rey, who had a mesh face covering with a clear plastic lining so her fans could see her at a small get-together:
Her apology was accepted by judge Royce Lambert, who let her off the hook but warned that she would have to wear a cloth face mask from now on. Judge Lambert, who presides in Washington DC, is from Texas and is a Republican appointed by Ronald Reagan so I suspect’s a crypto-MAGA sympathizer because Rachel Powell’s ass should be in jail. But wait, there’s good news to come!
The best news of the week is that Trumps’ lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had his Manhattan home and office raided by the Feds of the Southern District of New York:
We are getting more details on this story today, Friday April 30, that I don’t have time to delve into but I hope by next week we have some hot juicy charges for federal crimes that have mandatory sentences!
This is also breaking this morning, about Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, the guy whose head is firmly up Trump’s ass, and his best buddy, a guy named Joel Greenberg, who seems to have turned on Gaetz and given the feds some incriminating info:
I, for one, am hugely looking forward to the news this coming week.
This past week, on his 100th day in office, President Joe Biden made his first speech to a joint session of Congress, and it was pretty hot stuff:
It does my heart good to see Vice President and President of the Senate Kamal Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presiding over the joint session of Congress.
And now, for the usual shit:
I need this sign:
And this sign:
Remember that I called this week’s post That’s Not My Cat? We’ll end on that note, but first, let’s start with That’s My Cat, But That’s Not My House:
Not My Cat.
That’s it for today, Dear Ones.
Have a great weekend, everyone. If you happen to have a bad day or feel a bit blue, just remember that the Feds are thiiiiiiiis slice to getting Giuliani, thiiiiiiis close to getter Gaetz, which means that they are thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to getting Trump. Maybe America isn’t totally in the shitter after all.
And if that doesn’t cheer you up, remember that there is always wine, and cats, and wine and cats.