• Let’s All Learn Estonian

    How did I know what you’d decided to do this evening? Guess I’m just sharp like that… At any rate, having already posted handy and ground-breaking guides to French, Spanish, and German, (German, for example simply adds -ger to English words, such that in English you use a rod to catch a fish with a fin, whereas in German, the very same activity uses a ‘rodger’ and the fish has a ‘finger’. Nify, huh?)
    And so let’s move on to Estonian. Whether you’re planning a trip tp Tablisi (or whatever their capitol is) or just want to meet Nona here, spend a few minutes reading this and you’ll be all set.
    Estonian: Probably no other language makes such an efficient use of a limited alphabet. Hawaian comes to mind, but you seen one hula and one luau and you’re ready to move up… to ‘E-S-T-O-N-I-A’.
    Flag, so you know you’re in the right country:

    Let’s have a quick look at vocabulary, ok?
    Hungry? well, relish the TASTE of ONION on TOAST, served by TATIANA in native dress. And have no fear of verbs: food is to EAT. past tense is ATE, and later on you can regale the jealous stay-at-homes about the meal you’ve EATEN. Simple, huh?
    Punctuation is also similar to English. For example, the declarative sentence:
    “TANIA AN’ I SIT ON A TEN TON STONE AN’ TEST TEAS.” ends with a period as expected. Questions can take two forms, simple interrogative: “NONA SAT IN SEAT NINE, NO?” or conversely, the rhetorical question “AIN’T STAN A SAINT!” which takes an exclamation mark.
    Numbers, you will quickly find out, are simplified from the English system you are no doubt familiar with. Yes, Estonians make-do quite well with NONE, ONE, NINE, TEN, and NINETEEN. A few days ‘in-country’ and you’ll wonder why anyone needs the whole decimal mess of pottage.
    You will also learn to love TIN roofs, NEON lights, and with some study, even the poetry of the language. (The specialty is SONNETS, of course. The men, dressed in traditional garb write these at an astounding pace, sometimes a dozen a day. Probably an excess of TESTOSTANONE explains this amorous bent, who knows? Or perhaps this typical Estonian girl (below)
    But all in all, have a wonderful time there, and perhaps even print and save this post so it’ll be handy whenever you need it. My pleasure/ JS
    typical estonian

  • Oy gevalt, Xanga von’t let me type a “double-you”

    I vill not speculate on chust vy zis should be happening. And it’s not the vorst thing I’ve seen in my 64 years. I’m used to making do vis Sear’s ‘Good’ model of most items, so vy not also for veb sites?
    Hey, I greuu(sp?) up in a language vhere the ‘V’s vere habitually transformd into ‘double-you’s. My Mom, Verna (alias ‘double-you’-erna) vas famous for often saying “Vy, ve should be happy fer chust any-sing”. Und zo I got used to ‘our’ transistor radios having the ‘Tone’ knob just painted on, and unvorkable. Also accepted staring at all the fancy stuff pictured in pages 3 to 33 of the Erector Set booklet. All the interesting gadgets needed parts dat ve little country schmucks didn’t get for nine bucks and the Starter Kit.
    So yeah, no ‘double-you’. I’m kinda vondering vether I oughta email Eugenia, she vas so kind in reinstating my site.
    And of course BIG THANKSā™£ to my savior Zakiah, she restorerth my Xanga soul, amen. (..and hath generously purchased-eth my subscription.)
    All is vell in the troubled Middle East, I might add, except for tvelve inches of rain the last three days and ice on ze vindshield every morning since. Dat’s mein excuse, vhen I ferget vat I vanted to vrite.
    thanks for reading zis mess/ JS

  • Currently reading (?): “Goldie Locks the three bears in their room

         By a  “J.K.Laudenblase”.
    Yes, obviously a pen name. But the hints abound.Still it’s hard to call it ‘long-awaited’ when one knoweth not with any certainty on whom he awaited.
    There are parallels (below) and also non-pareils:
    Page 267:
    “Judy upended one of the thin dome-shaped chocolate wafers I’d brought as my part of the Soccer-Mom banquet. With a fingernail which cost more than the car I drive; her with that awful blue pixe cut. Is that to be the next big thing here in Pischerville? Her barely-concealed disdain dripped into the plastic dish: “Haven’t seen one of them for years…” As if discussing an aberrant case of polio.
    With only the smallest of nods, I moved down the line. Feeling all the more secure knowing I’d quietly penned a little ‘U’ on the bottom of the container. Seeing it tossed out by this creature later on would cost me, I know this, a couple extra glasses of wine before fitful sleep would rescue me from the horror. Dylan’s ‘Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift.” rang in my ears…..”

    This is the story of a fascinating couple. US Army Major General Ursus X. Day (‘Major Day’ to you, private!) and his exquisitely introspective wife Golda Meiner-Day, an accomplished appellate lawyer in her own right and an aspiring ‘In her own Write’ wordsmith. That, during the hours (minutes?) not spent taming their three young children. I suppose it was a natural for Ursus to start calling them ‘the three bears we’ve borne’
    J.K, the author tells the story in alternate chapters in first, second, and third person, which though troublesome at first soon becomes downright comfy.
         It’s a page-turner, let me tell you; by the end of the second chapter we already know, or are enjoying guessing, what will happen next.
    A tired Ursus, stiff uniform already half unbuttoned in the driveway, arrives home to his even-tired-er better half.
    “Where’s the bears?” he asks, noting the quiet (except for some banging on bedroom doors)
    “Goldie locks the three bears in their rooms” she says, in a voice as affect-less as Nicholson after the lobotomy. And adds, like the little boy in The Shining, “Goldie doesn’t live here anymore!”
    Major Day has seen this before, or words to that effect at least.
    “So they’re in bed?” he asks calmly.
    “Yeah, one was too hot, one too cold, and the third, just right, but just for spite. I
    ‘embedded’ them’”
    Something in the word sent a small shock through the General’s…ok… genitals. As if he knew what might be next.
    “Like your   embedded ‘Lisa’…..” Goldie pulled the trigger and watched the target crumple.
    But Ursus just stood there, like a man, shot through the heart, dead already but still at attention.
    ‘Lisa’? No one knew her real name, without having read their private emails…..after locking the kids in their rooms…? It all made sense.
    Assigned to his office to work on an officer’s recruitment brochure, he and ‘L’ Paulson had, let’s say ‘hit it off. On and off duty. The local innkeepers knew all about it, the chemistry was hard to miss. They’d even taken to calling him ‘Ursus, the Big Tipper’, of course after proper intoxication and permission. And dear Goldie, the ‘Little Tipper’, well, she’ll be the last to know, count on us, they’d wink.

    Ok, most of the next chapters take place in Colorado, thence back to Texas, France, and Afghanistan. You never see the end coming, I assure you, but don’t cheat, OK?
    I finished this gem in one sitting, twelve beers, and two missed days of work. Your needs may vary, but be warned, it’s a long-awaited pleasure. We just don’t know, for now, for whom we awaited.

     WU: What the Hell are you doing here, if I may ask?
    Me: Wuuzie! Long time no see. Simple answer of course.
    WU: Do go on
    Me: I’m just posting a fun parody of a book review, incorporating some aspects of folks I know and cherish.
    WU: So it’s all just made up? Your idea of fun?
    Me: From an authority no less than The Beatles. ‘And if you want some fun, read Obla-di-la-dah.”
    Wu: The infidelity scene? there is no basis in fact for it, if this story is in part autobiographical.
    Me: Duh, I know that. But y’know, sex sells. Gotta make a living somehow.
    Plus, who are you talking about anyway, Wu?
    WU:  Mum’s the word.

  • Xangadu: Much adieu about a hair-do- re-do

         I‘m as happy as everyone else about the ‘rumours of my demise having been exaggerated’ reprieve. I’ve enjoyed reading all the Good-bye Love Letters. Just for that we owe the coders at the Team a big thank-you. I’m hoping the new ‘Look and Feel’ preserves what it is that’s kept me here for 8 years.
    I suppose the only ‘anger’ one might have would be like unto that of a Mother whose kid wandered out into a neighboring park for 8 hours, requiring search teams and helicopters, and of course terrible hours of fearing the worst. For *that* the kid gets a rebuke when he is found.

    It’ll be interesting… very interesting, to see who stays on this site. Financially, paying up, for me at least, translates into two fewer beers a month. My people will be getting together with your people ASAP to discuss whether this is indeed possible.
    Love to all: JS

  • Sexually Ambigous Shopper logic

         Ok, This Didn’t Happen. Glad I got that off my chest.
    Yes, when pushed into a corner I write fictional accounts of my supposed life. For your amusement, and making sure everything is at least plausible.

    Sooo, I was in one of them-there big stores that’s got everything. Waiting forever at the counter behind a pair of Thai workers. We have maybe a half a million of them in our country of 7 million. They’d only bought 6 bags of rice and a pair of headphones…to listen to while enjoying the nightly meal of rice and native song-bird stew. Or threatened sea-turtle goulash. We’ve lost 90% of our native fauna since they were ‘invited’ to work here.
    Anyway, the Thai language is somewhat familiar by now. Not that I understand more than a word or two, I mean, the sound of it. Almost didn’t pay attention when one said to the other “Kun chun, khun chum, khun cham.” At least that’s what I heard. My buddy just gave me a discreet off-camera hand-motion, running his finger in a circle as if to say ‘Repetitious, ain’t it?’ I quietly agreed.
    Meanwhile, here come, in the next aisle, a pair of gender-neutral(?) fellow humans, Russians, I presume.
    I drew a major blank. I mean, they both reminded me of that ancient SCTV routine where the joke was “Is it Pat or Patty. Or Patsy?” A thoroughly impossible-to-pin-down actor/actress goes on and everybody is trying with exaggerated manners to somehow ascertain his/her gender.
        Anyway, the ‘mystery’ pair had been busily acquiring a half a cart of stuff: work boots fit for Paul Bunion (sp?, unless they don’t fit well), two ‘V’s Secret’ knock-off bras, an inexpensive but powerful-looking cordless impact driver, after-shave and feminine-hygiene products (I typically averted my eyes).. and a pin-up poster of whas-his-name, Bieber?
         But it was while they did the sorting, for separate billing, that the plot thickened.
    Absolutely equal amounts of stereotypically male/female items were laid out on two moving belts. My buddy, again with the hand-sign language, gave me that motion so familiar here in a land of surprises: hand alternately palm-up/palm down, and an eye-roll/head-move skyward. Translation: ‘Still haven’t a clue. You?’

    Punch Line:
    And I thought a second…. about how Thai sounds so redundant to the foreigner, which we’d both just minutes earlier noticed, and then carefully told him, perhaps with a louder than normal volume:
    “They’re ‘BI’, thereby their ‘buy’ makes perfect sense.”
    The Thais only glanced uncomprehending; the Russian ‘whatever’s’ were not moved or offended, and I’d made my point.
    OK, a small one.  Coulda been better if those Ruskies woulda bought, each of ‘em, the Parfum Valu-Pak. Yeah, ‘Brut+ Princess of the Nile’ The display says: ‘Sensible scents for just cents!’
    Or even one or the other ‘Pat’ holding up the ballet-suit he/she just bought, asking
    “Is this impromptu tu-tu too ‘Teutonic’ for my bone structure?”

    ADD: Anyone guess? I’ll be here till the lights go off. My stoopid WP site is Jxsolberg, But don’t go there until you, G-d forbid, have no other choice/ JS

  • Positively Juarez Revisited: Bob Dylan & Me

         OK, this will be my first try at a ‘cross-post’. Yes, it’ll take me ten(10) minutes to perfect on Xanga, and then, if the creeks don’t rise and the poppies bloom, 19 hours on ‘Sword-press-ure’, or whatever they call that demon-site.

    Basically, Mr Dylan seems to have had a less than perfect time on a trip South of the Border in the mid-sixties. I figure it’s never too late to revise the lyrics a bit.
    For anyone too young to know the original words like the back of his/her hand, I’ll include his pessimistic version verse-by-verse.
    Next Challenge, probably after I’m safe in a rest home, is to record my own  version and upload it. I’ve sung my  words and they work just fine, for meter, rhyme, and rhythm. Something to look forward to, huh?
    JS/Lost in tel Aviv

    ‘Just Like Tom Thumb Blues’

    When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez And it’s Easter time too
     And your gravity fails And negativity don’t pull you through
    Don’t put on any airs when you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue
    They got some hungry women there And they really make a mess outta you/

    GPS on the train to Jaurez, and still on Eastern time too…
    Four bars on the lap-top. Positivity, through and through
    I’ll be putting on airs by tonight, down on Rue Morgue Avenue…
    They got some Hungarian women, who say they’ll ‘Really make a man outa you..’

    Now if you see Saint Annie Please tell her thanks a lot
    I cannot move My fingers are all in a knot
    I don’t have the strength To get up and take another shot
    And my best friend, my doctor Won’t even say what it is I’ve got

    If you see Saint Annie, please tell her ‘Thanks a lot!’
    We both felt the Earth move; I’m thinking maybe tying the knot
    Yeah  I may have the strength, might even give it another shot.
    And as Best man, my Doctor; he’ll surely tell me what a whiz I got

    Sweet Melinda The peasants call her the Goddess of gloom
    She speaks good English And she invites you up into her room
    And you’re so kind And careful not to go to her too soon
    And she takes your voice And leaves you howling at the moon

    Sweet Melinda, the Pheasants call her the ‘Goddess of Plume’
    She speaks good Pidgin, and invites ‘em up into her room
    And the hens are so kind, and careful not to lay their eggs too soon
    just this one stupid rooster, who insists on crowing at the Moon

    Up on housing project hill It’s either fortune or fame
    You must pick up one or the other Though neither of them are to be what they claim
    If you’re lookin’ to get silly You better go back to from where you came
    Because the cops don’t need you And man they expect the same

    Look up ‘Housing Project Hill dot com…. check out ‘Fortune’ or ‘Fame’
    You can choose one or the other, or click-on both; yeah they’re everything they claim
    Get as silly as you want to, you can always click ‘Back’ to from where you came
    Just say ‘Adios’ to the nice policemen, (they probably already said the same.

    Now all the authorities They just stand around and boast
    How they blackmailed the sergeant-at-arms Into leaving his post
    And picking up angel who Just arrived here from the coast
    Who looked so fine at first But left looking just like a ghost

    Now all of the authorities, they just stand around and boast
    How you can e-mail the Sargent of Arms, a perfect man for the post
    He’s the Gaurdian Angel of every newbie coming in from the coast
    Who arrive looking so scared, and leave gushing ‘Man Ur da most!’

    I started out on Burgundy But soon hit the harder stuff
    Everybody said they’d stand behind me When the game got rough
     But the joke was on me There was nobody even there to bluff
    I’m going back to New York City I do believe I’ve had enough

    Well we started out at Burger-King, soon got their ‘harder stuff’
    My friends said they’d watch me try to chew a meal that tough.
    But the joke was on them; the Salad Bar was nothing more than fluff.
    Still, why go back to new York City, when Mexico is …quite enough?

  • JFK Tower- We’re going down!”

           I believe there’s something about knowing you’re gonna die within days, minutes, or seconds that is a Particularly Shitty Life experience. I mean, like Rosenberg, sitting in the chair,like  un-numbered handcuffed souls on the gallows, rope around their necks, or… like Caryl Goddamn Chessman, on the cover of f*cking Time magazine when I was only, like twelve, sitting in the octagonal sealed room at San Quentin waiting for the end. Jezuz, if that don’t scar a guy, what does? I often have horrible nightmares to this day of a guy on a slowly-sinking ship, waking from a peaceful night’s sleep during which he dreamed of ‘life as usual’. He awakens to re-realize that he is, in fact,  gonna die, which makes the dream even more sad, among other adjectives.
    Airplane drivers“, as all my pro pilot friends love to call themselves, are less rattled by the End. They realize that every minute aloft is a little gift from Bernoulli & Boeing, perhaps in that order. Thus the last words of a 737 going down are remarkably ..calm?

         OK, I’ve had nothing going on in my brain except Death and Doom ever since I read, like millions of others, that Xanga was in trouble. It all started from, I presume, a single e-mail from Server-Svc-NJ-Inc. which said, in brief, ‘Dear Xanga.com, we would love to continue our relationship with your concern, however the $60K arrears you have sadly accumulated, makes this problematic./ Sincerely

    ASIDE: A DEEP AND HEARTFELT THANK-YOU TO ALL WHO COMMENTED ON MY PREVIOUS POST CONCERNING WORD-PRESS. I am just too busy dealing with my personal life/ bankruptcy, to reply to each and every lovely commenter individually, which is my style here.
    Not to mention the incessant helicopter traffic overhead. Who really knows what kinds of cameras they have mounted thereupon.

    Bottom Line: I do hope and pray that there will be something recognizable surviving from XANGA after this weekend.
    None of us deserve to watch yet another beloved entity die. I think of my final seconds aboard US Air Flight XXX, heading nose-down for the slum-houses of Bayonne, New Jersey, and screaming: “OMG, my Xanga Pulses: I forgot to Archive my Pulses.”


  • Word press Sucks!: A Xanga Public Service Announcement

    Or course your mileage may vary, but the experience of this reasonably tech-savvy Xangan bears stating:

    No one can even repay me for the two nights I just spent exploring digital Hell. You will quickly re-discover how lovely Xanga is as a platform. And find the couple bucks it might take to keep it and your sanity alive.
    Basically, nothing there works. Not that you can ever find it twice. The Editor for posting is a horror-show. One Theme I tried was readable only with an electron microscope, the other one  a garish mess of out-of-position indecipherable icons. The photo I tried to post insisted on being basically a thumbnail in an ugly sea of WP-chosen background color I didn’t order and can’t return.
    No way to ever know what’s where, or, where any of your posts went to die.
    I was stuck in no-exit routines so many times; the only way out is to kill the program back to your desktop and start over. only to find what was supposed to have been your post printed upside-down. Seriously.
    With Xanga I also, of course, remember a learning process; getting photos to the correct placement, learning the navigation. But good heavens, I never came even close to the WTF rage I feel toward WP so far.
    I suppose the Bottom Line is: You never know what you had till it’s gone. Pray that won’t happen. 

    (I just posted this in four minutes… as opposed to nine WP hours last night with nothing but tears of rage to show for it.

  • Why’s “Y’s Wise Words” off line? here’s a story cut out for him:

         Just noticed that my delightfully-redundant and mythical ‘friend’ ‘Y’ has shut his site down. Maybe he reopened under “Wise ‘Y’s Words” though. I do remember him vacillating between the two titles…
        Reason being, I just heard this fascinating story about a pair of Wild-West heroes, and ‘Y’d probably love to read about it. The guy can’t resist mindless repetition in language:

    Anyway, as the story goes, Elliot Ness and his loyal sidekick, Lester (the molester) were going through some hard financial times. Right there I already empathize with the guys, being broke, or badly bent, myself lately.
    So Lester led off:
    “We penniless, Ness” said Lester,a dour look on his battle-scarred face.
    “Don’t say ‘We penniless, Ness’, Les.” Ness replied. Perhaps he was in partial denial, (just like me)
    Lester, though,  as a true side-kick is wont to, was at his best when seeing the bright side of life. He immediately replied:
    “Why cain’t I say ‘We penniless, Ness.’, Ness?”
    “Oh.. mebbe on account of how come we do have a case of Guinness” Ness reminded him.
        Alcohol, as we all know by know, is both the cause, and the solution, to most of  Life’s Problems.
    “Right you are, boss.” Lester yes-man-ed him. “Guess I got lucky when the fire broke out, knew just what to save.”
        Elliot and Lester pondered, (if wild-westerners ponder?) the mysterious conflagration which had caught them un-awares in the camp just a week previously.
    “You saved the Stout, buddy, gotta hand it to you… but three cases of Yuengling Beer blew up like the 4th of July while we watched helplessly.” Ness said, always seeing the half-empty cup.

    “Well, I had to choose, Boss. Two minutes to decide. And although I despise beer-less-ness, Ness, I can abide Guinness-less-ness less, Ness.”
    Elliot wanted to pursue the matter to the bitter end, and so he asked:
    “Why did you just say you ‘abide Guineness-less-ness less, Ness,’ Les?”
    Lester was flommoxed. Whatever that word means. He’d realized, even as a child, that the real Meaning of Life, (with due respect to ’42′), was Man’s ability to create sentences never before spoken, to use punctuation which even Xanga’s Editor may never have imagined to be necessary. I dearly wish I had a side-kick like Les….who quickly said:
    “Nessie, when you just now asked, “Why do you say ‘I abide Guinness-less-ness less, Ness’?',Les”, I died inside. Along with several kittens. I actually considered perhaps teaming up, ok, in some future World, with some other boss. ‘Jsolberg’, fer example. He’d appreciate what I go through to spice up the dialogue.
    “You actually envision a life, of, y’know, ‘Ness-less-ness’!?” Elliot was taken aback. (wherever that is)
    Lester knew when to cease-fire:
    “Not to worry, Ness. Drain a pint on me, and then back to the real world, y’know, bullets.”
    (Hugs all around) End of story.

  • jsolberg contact info

    I do intend to stay with Xanga, possibly in parallel with the wordpress exiles. I love this site and its open-ness like crazy.
    But since the possibility exists of a ‘go-to-black outcome. here is a handy refrigerator-magnet calling card. Just Right-click and ‘save Image’. or transcribe. CYA’ALL.
    (Oh, and do pray for Wes @TexasTidbits while they fix his heart. The ‘meat’ part, I mean, the rest of it is working wonderfully for like, centuries.