Something That Rhymes with "Maktaaq"
Seven years after first reading it, I finished reading Peter HÃ¸eg’s Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow a second time. It took me nine months. However, unlike the first time I read it, this time I understood the ending. I kept a notebook with the characters’ names, their distinguishing traits and most important actions. I crisscrossed back and forth in the novel until I finally learned who was who and why they did what they did. I was relieved that there were no aliens in the book.
I originally picked up the book because it was about someone who was half Greenlandic and far preferred the Inuit side of her heritage. I am not Inuit, nor have I ever even been to any polar regions. However, as is obvious with my Inuktitut pseudonym, I am rather more interested in Inuit culture than your average white person. More particularly, I reread Smilla because I wanted, besides getting the ending, to compile a list of the interesting Inuktun words:
Of course there is qanik – “big almost weightless crystals falling in stacks and covering the ground with a layer of pulverised white frost” – from the first paragraph of the book and quoted on the front of my movie cover edition. Once Smilla returns to Greenland, then the ice expert in her takes over:
Agiuppiniq: snow drifts across the ice
Apuhiniq: snow compressed by the wind into hard barricades
Avangnaq: north wind
Hiku: permanent ice
Hikuaq: a type of ice floe
Hikuliaq: new ice
Ivuniq: packs of ice forced upwards by the current and collision of the plates
Killaq: air holes
Maniilaq: ice knolls
Pirhirhuq: snowstorm weather
Puktaaq: another type of ice floe
Sikussaq: ancient black ice formed in protected fjords
Inuktun, the language spoken in Smilla’s hometown of Qaanaaq, is the most closely Greenlandic language related to Canada’s Inuktitut-speaking people. This must be why the words have all those Qs at the end. Ideally, these words will one day enter the English lexicon and hence be available for Scrabble players. I never find a spare letter I to make a qi. Inuktun words would do wonders for my Scrabble strategy.
Brilliant Idea #1
My idea is a new skit for Saturday Night Live circa 1989. It’s called “Tranny Granny.”
Pretty good huh? Any of you comedy scriptwriters can take it away. Go wild with my idea.
I’ll be waiting for the royalty cheques.
Matt suggested a bumper sticker for tranny grannies: “Old tranvestites never die, they just disrobe.”
It Cries Like a Puppy
Thursday July 05th 2007, 5:08 am
Filed under: Rodentia
This just in: my friend Ryan sent me an email about the origins of Dramatic Chipmunk. Turns out it’s in showbiz in Japan.
In all its glory, here is the pre-fame Dramatic Chipmunk.
Me vs. Kwik-E-Mart
Wednesday July 04th 2007, 3:43 pm
Filed under: Personal
I think I can speak up about this hurt I’ve been carrying for a month and a half.
I was very spectacularly dumped by my best friend a few days before my wedding. She was to be my bridesmaid, more because I wanted her nearby to hear her devilish brand of humour than for any traditional reasons. Instead she strung me along that she would show up, until I finally wised up the day before the wedding and told her that I knew I was being bullshitted and that she should go do whatever it was she really wanted to do and not bother coming out to my wedding.
Which she did.
Two and a half years of her living in Chicago, me in Vancouver, and she didn’t even care to see me. She couldn’t even wait a few hours for me to finish my shift at work before she was off to the Rockies.
Then there is the bridal shower. I didn’t really care one way or the other, but once she insisted on one, I thought it would be fun. Three days before, she announces to my family that I am too busy so we should scrap it. For some reason, I was disappointed and my family and one friend decided to forge ahead. Then disappointment #2.
None of my friends came, aside from the one helpful friend. Everyone complained about the location in the suburbs. Probably the price too – I remember being unemployed and carefully parsing out my funds, reserved for life-giving meals – but everyone seemed interested in coming until the address was spoken.
Family is really more important: I was instead surrounded by relatives, who “showered” me with cooking implements. The one friend who helped out and actually showed up – I knew she was great before but now I really know.
The reason I came out with this shameful story, that I am bestfriendless and people now suspect I made up a cool imaginary best friend to be normal and that furthermore I am, almost, friendless, is because of something that’s been bothering me for the last day or so.
It’s Kwik-E-Mart. More specifically, the one to which I formerly lived next door.
It’s out in the suburbs. It’s far away.
That doesn’t stop people from hopping on a bus and making the trek from downtown. I don’t know if any of my invitees went to Kwik-E-Mart. I don’t want to know. But I am pretty sure they wouldn’t bat an eye and forget that two months ago they balked at going anywhere in the vicinity.
None of them read my blog. It’s only conjecture that they may have said “Real Frosted KrustyO’s? Let’s take the 40-minute bus ride to the frontier and get us some!” But I am pretty sure they did. So I can be bitter.
I guess people are more attracted to a made-up cartoon family and its slick Hollywood marketing than me.
Now I know I am pretty well meaningless to most people. Yet now I know at least which people like me and that I should treat those people better.
Update: Who says I can’t help the Hollywood money-making machine along with every one else?
I am proud to be part of the zeitgeist!
(Thank you to Upside-Down Hippopotamus for introducing me to this madness.)