“A New and Fairly Promising Trainee”

Self finished the Francisco Goldman novel (The Divine Husband) around 1 a.m. (Three out of four stars!) and immediately began reading the next book in her pile, a book that was on The Economist’s list of Best Books of the Year 2005, A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WW II. Self was so riveted she had to force herself to stop reading, around 3 a.m. If not for Gracie’s whining to be fed, self would have been late for her tutoring at the Writing Center: she didn’t get up until 9:30! Then, after scrambling into her clothes and hot-footing it to Belmont, self was informed that school hadn’t started yet, the first day of class wasn’t until Wednesday (!!). So she went home and resumed reading her book. And — let’s just say, self’s at page 61, and her jaw’s already dropped several times.

The subject of this book is a mysterious Romanian named Vera Atkins who was one of only two female officers working for Britain’s World War II spy agency, SOE (for Special Operations Executive). So far, in Part I, her job seems to consist of Read the rest of this entry »

The Life of Sugar

Self still reading (along with Francisco Goldman novel, The Divine Husband), Modesto P. Sa-Onoy’s History of Negros Occidental.

On p. 83 she encounters an assemblage of terms which self remembers hearing when she spent childhood summers in Bacolod. Here are a few of them:

bagasse: fibers left after juice is extracted from the sugar cane
cawa: a large iron vat where the juice running from the sugar presses was collected
panocha: raw sugar

And here are some Ilonggo word whose meanings self still remembers:

kapoy:  tired (This she heard frequently)
karon:  later (As in: I will do it karon)
lain:  not good (And that’s about the best self can do when thinking about this word)
law-ay:  ugly
lumpat:  jump (Why does self remember this word?  Perhaps because she heard it so often?  But why?)
subong:  now (As in:  Do it subong!  Or subong gid:  immediately)

And, self’s all-time favorite Ilonggo word:

ngaa:  Why?

Self also learns that the Church of San Sebastian, which faces the main plaza, was blessed on January 19, 1888.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Most Jaw-Dropping News Item of the Week

In today’s New York Times, self read in an article on p. 9 (by John F. Burns) that Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi called Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, “my friend.”

(Self only buys the Sunday New York Times every other month or so: what a shock to learn today that the price for the paper is now $6.00)

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