Monday, December 21, 2015

Impromptu Vacations, Irish Accents, Dates, and Harassing Professors

This is obviously not my actual professor, but he bears an eerie resemblance to this TV buffoon who was never a judge in real life but plays one on TV. He's no Judge Alex.

I'm on vacation with my family. It was an unexpected thing, at least as far as I was concerned. My dad walked into my room early Monday evening, announced that he was making reservations for the next morning, and asked if I wanted to come along. I didn't have many plans, so I said yes. So did my brother and the cousin who lives with my parents when he's not in school. We'll be home in a few days. I'll share more about the trip when I return.

We're in a bar that has an open mike format. My dad borrowed a guitar and played two songs. If my mom gets sufficiently wasted, she may perform as well, though I doubt she'll drink enough tonight to be persuaded. It's not at all that she's reticent about performing, but more the idea that she doesn't typically sing in bars. Right now Matthew is singing. He's seriously not bad. I'm jealous. I'd never noticed this before and don't hear it at all in his speech, but he has a bit of the Irish dialect, particularly audible in his vowel sounds, when he sings. My dad commented on it a moment ago.

My mom's mom was from Ireland and immigrated to the U.s. when she was seventeen. She supposedly never really lost her accent. My own mother spent probably a combined total of five years in Ireland while her dad was deployed to various [mostly southeast Asian] locations where an air corpsman wouldn't necessarily take his family along with him. Between being raised by a mother with a relatively strong accent and actually living on the Emerald Isle herself for a significant portion of her formative years, my mom has a slight but discernible brogue going on.

When Matthew and I were very young, singing on-key came quite easily to me. Matthew's singing was essentially atonal. It freaked my mother out that one of her offspring might be tone-deaf, so she spent a lot of time in those very early years singing with him and getting him to match her pitch. by the time he was maybe three-and-a-half, he could more or less stay on-key if he was singing along with someone else or with piano accompaniment. Matthew presumably picked up just a bit of an accent from her as well. Whatever. It will probably make the ladies think he's all the more charming. One of them is hitting on him right now.

I have a date for Wednesday night. A guy in my cohort lives just over a hundred miles from where my parents live. He texted me and invited me out for dinner and a movie. Other than the Star Wars sequel fiasco, which I haven't followed and don't intend to start now, I don't even know what movies are out now. I will not go to the Star wars sequel, but I'll suffer through anything else the guy chooses.

I didn't mention this earlier, but I played piano for a faculty event during finals week. It was a non-paying gig, but it's politically wise to do a few of those events when asked. Anyway, the annoying professor (the one who looks like Larry Bakman) who thinks I roll my eyes too much and questions my overuse of the words fiasco and debacle was in attendance. He predictably could not leave well enough alone and had to wander over to the piano to harass me. I was playing without music (it was just Christmas and light classical music that the chairman of the event wanted; who needs printed music for that?), and he asked how I knew what notes to play. I couldn't resist. I told the guy that God tells me what notes He wants to hear. The guy backed away looking spooked. He's a masochist. He had to know how I would answer his question.

I'll probably post again before the big day, but if not, happy Christmas to all and to all a good night, God bless us everyone, and merry fucking Christmas.


  1. You are hilarious... Too bad your family wasn't in Switzerland to entertain us on Saturday night.

    1. Yep. Your lounge singer sounds like she's even worse than I am. I at least know not to sing in public for the most part unless it's a theatrical role. my mom never sing, which was just as well. he repertoire isn't all that suitable for a lounge act. you should've commandeered the microphone and could have just sung a capella. even sans accompaniment it would have been much better than what the listeners got to hear.

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  3. When we spoke on the phone I noticed that you enunciate your words very clearly. I can see how that would be the case in regards to your mother's roots and your parents' educational background. Enjoy your vacation and your date :)