English Only

Building and inhabiting a Parallel World…

[February 2011] Ok, my friends, there are some changes to this site as I really wanted to have a special place for English stuff somewhere in this blog. Why is that? Since about 4 years I’ve been working for an American company with colleagues from all over the world and most of my daily communication is in English so I got to practice a little bit and refresh my school English. In addition, I’m reading a lot of books, all the time and everywhere I go, and most of them, as you might have guessed by now, are written in English. I can’t help it – all my favourite authors happen to be native Americans or Brits or Irish so why should I read their books translated if I can understand the original English just fine? Exactly! Sometimes – no, actually quiet often – I find myself even thinking in English, about what to say, for example, until I remember that I can actually talk in German to this person. Anyway, it would be very nice indeed if I could easily post on different pages, in German and then in English, just to play a little bit with the languages in general, but it seems that this is not as easy as I originally thought. And then, I don’t really want to make my life more complicated than it already is. So, from now on, I will use this page as Parallel World in my blog and add little titbits now and then. For those of you who don’t understand enough German and anybody else who’s a little bit curious about what I might come up with. There’ll certainly be a lot of Quotes from books further down on this page, that I can tell you already. But at first, there comes a simple list of English Words I really like because of their sound and/or meaning but, unfortunately, can very seldom, if ever, use in my daily conversations (with colleagues or clients):

bugger, snigger, giggle, jiggle, wriggle, wiggle, waggle, draggle, smuggle, snuggle, struggle, juggle, goggle, toggle, eyeballing, eaves dropping, bollocks, ragamuffin, street urchin, death cooties, drool, loo, wee, wheeze, sneeze, pudgy, chubby, hubby, honey-bunny, cutie pie, sweetpea, nitpicking, dribble, nibble, tummy, yummy, nerd, geek, gofer, dude, jeez, golly, gosh, friggin, chick flick, chick/lad lit, wobble, gobble, gabble, gibberish, goofy, dopey, clumsy, fussy, snotty, tipsy, scrunchie, thingy, snuffle, ruffle, grubby, sniffle, fiddle, shimmy, loony, cuddle, huddle, toddle, hobble,

This list is certainly to be continued here. Other new stuff will be added at the bottom of this page as this seems to be easier and sometimes I might even write a little post to notify you about additions and/or changes, but don’t bet on it. I’ll start with some Quotes from books I read in the past (and enjoyed very much) and try to choose some that are use a special kind of humour, language and/our style and therefore meant to be the building blocks of this parallel world. To make it easier for you to spot them and also to differentiate from my own ‚extraordinary creative and certainly incredible inspiring‘ writing attempts, which I shall occasionally add here as well whenever it suits me,  I originally marked them in blue but have since changed the overall design which make them easier to spot. And here we go…

Quote from the Author’s note in the book ‚Coyote Blue‘ by Christopher Moore:

„Pronounciation [of the word ‚coyote‘]

Noun: When the word coyote refers to a canine animal it is pronounced KAI-YO-TEE.

Proper Noun: When Coyote refers to character of human appearance, or in the name Old Man Coyote, it is pronounced KAI-YOTE.

Adjective: When coyote is used as a modifier, as in coyote ugly (if you wake up in bed with your arm under the head of someone who is coyote ugly, and you would gnaw it off rather than wake that person up), it is pronounced KA-YO-TEE.

Title: The title of this book is pronounced KAI-YO-TEE BLEW. Readers who have a problem with pronounciation might want to read it silently the first time through. This is doubly important if you are reading this on an airplane.“ 

The Story about Chris, also known as ‚The Author Guy‘: It all began in May 2008, on a probably nice and sunny day during my first holiday in the US of A. You must excuse me, but even though my memory is normally quiet good, I can’t remember exactly which day it was and have absolutely no clue about which place it was. What I do remember is, that on one very special day during our 4000 miles long road trip through the eastern part of the States I found myself in a book store looking for something nice to read in the car. I might be worthy of note that I don’t have a driver license so I wasn’t actually driving any of the 4000 miles, nor was I riding shotgun. No, most of the time I spent on the back seat reading and you need quiet a lot of books for such a long trip. Right, so back to this special book store, located somewhere in one of the bigger cities I guess, in New York or maybe Washington. I was strolling along the shelves searching for something that catches my eye. Actually, it seems likely that I was looking for a Terry Pratchett I hadn’t read yet. However, suddenly I noticed a book: Black spine with white and red font; on the cover: a red buggy with little skulls on it, out of it looking – well – another skull with a red hair ribbon and a little scythe. The title of the book: „A Dirty Job“. The Author: Christopher Moore. The story: You can look it up or, even better, buy and read the book yourself. I thought: Who’s that guy? Never heard of him before. Never seen any of his books around. Ok, who cares? I bought the book! And loved it! It is so funny and the cover even glows in the dark! Where have you been so long, Chris? I probably don’t have to tell you that „A Dirty Job“ didn’t stay alone very long. What can I say: I’m a serial reader and once I found something I like, I cannot stop! By now I’ve read all of Chris‘ books, some of them already more than once, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed all of them and am always looking forward to the next re-read. I’m not gonna say I love this guy – I mean, I never met him in person, so how should I know? But: He’s certainly one of my absolute favourites and probably the coolest Author Guy, just have a look at his Facebook page or website, and you’ll most likely find more quotes from his books here in the future.

*****end of story*****

Quote from the book ‚The Wee Free Men‘ by Terry Pratchett – Meet the Nac Mac Feegle!

„In the bushes by the door there was a muffled conversation. It went like this: ‚What did the wee hag say?‘ ‚She said she wants yon cat to stop scraffin‘ the puir wee burdies.‘ ‚Is that a‘? Crivens! Nae problemo!‘ […]

‚Flappitty-flappitty-flap! Cheep, cheep! Ach, poor wee me, cheepitty-cheep!‘ Tiffany ran over to the window. There was a Feegle on the path. It had made itself some crude wings out of a piece of rag, and some kind of beaky cap out of straw, and was wobbling around in a circle like a wounded bird. ‚Ach, cheepitty-cheep! Fluttery-flutter! I certainly hope dere’s no pussycat aroound! Ach, dearie me!‘ it yelled.  And down the path Ratbag, archenemy of all baby birds, slunk closer, drooling. As Tiffany opened her mouth to yell, he leaped and landed with all four feet on the little man. Or at least where the little man had been, because he somersaulted in midair and was now right in front of Ratbag’s face and had grabbed a cat ear with each hand. ‚Ach, see you, pussycat, scunner that y’are!‘ he yelled. ‚Here’s a giftie from t’wee burdies, yah schemie!‘ He butted the cat hard on the nose. Ratbag spun in the air and landed on his back with his eyes crossed. He squinted in cold terror as the little man leaned down at him and shouted, ‚CHEEP!‘… „

The story about Sir Terry Pratchett – or how I discovered the Discworld:  I need to think about this pretty hard and maybe do some maths to remember when I read the first book written by Terry Pratchett. I guess it was almost 10 years ago, I was working on my diploma thesis so still a student and didn’t have the money to buy as many books as I would have like to read. This meant that I had to borrow books from friends and let me tell you – I don’t really like to do this because I want to own the books I read so that I can read them again and again any time I want. For the same reason I don’t get books from a library but then, they wouldn’t probably have the books I want or maybe not when I want them. I’m not the most patient person in the world. However, let’s get back to the story and my first Terry Pratchett book, which I got from a friend. It were actually 4 novels in one book, all about Rincewind, the wizard, and written in German. Well, I must admit that I had some problems in the beginning and it took a while until I finished it. It was an ok read, but I wasn’t hooked, yet. Afterwards, I read another one, also in German and while I found it certainly quiet entertaining, I was still not fully convinced. The book that changed it all and get me addicted for a lifetime was „Guards, Guards“, the first novel around the Nightwatch in the twin city of Ank-Morpork, written in English. Only then I really discovered the discworld and the wonderful universe Terry Pratchett had created. The language he uses in all of his books is so rich of wonderful words and expressions, so funny and witty, that you can do nothing but enjoying and wonder about it. The characters he brought into being became soon very close friends to me and not only one time I found myself being a bit sad when I finished a book and had to say goodbye to them, if only for a while as there are many other books to read and other worlds to discover. Enter the discworld and you’ll meet dwarfs, trolls, golems, werewolves, vampires, Igors, heroes, wizards, witches, fairies, zombies, dragons, the Nac Mac Feegle and, of course, Nobbie. You’ll love it!

 *****end of story*****

Warning: The next quote might contain a few cuss words. Hope nobody feels offended as there’ll probably be more, similar stuff coming later. And actually, the following is only a conversation between a woman in her mid-forties and a young man of 31, who recently discovered and lived out their feelings for/attraction to each other and have only some minor difficulties admitting it now.

 Quote from the book ‚Love and other near death experiences‘ by Mil Millington:

„I didn’t really know what she was talking about here. ‘That’s bollocks’, I said. (Always the best reply when you don’t really know what someone is talking about.) ‘All people will think is that I’m fucking you because you’re hot.’

‘Ugh.’

‘You’re gorgeous, then. People – as if I give a shit – will think I’m fucking you because you’re gorgeous. And I’ll know that I’m fucking you because I love you. If we love each other, that’s all that really matters.’

‘Ha! My apologies for assuming you were an unusually callow thirty-one-year-old man, Rob. I see that you’re actually a fuck-witted thirteen-year-old girl.’ She stubbed out her cigarette.

‘Oh, fuck off, you aggravating cow: do you love me or not?’

‘That’s not the point, you simplistic asshole.’

‘Arrgh. Just answer the fucking question. Christ – you’re such a condescending shit.’

‘Moronic prick.’

‘Arrogant bitch.’

‘Shithead. Yes.’

‘F─ What?’

‘Yes. You wank-brained twat.’

‘Then shut the fuck up.’

I rolled over and kissed her.”

The story about Mil and lots of things I’d like to argue about: Now, this is certainly the newest story I can tell as this author has only very recently been discovered in (or maybe I should better say ‘added to’) my very own universe. Until a few weeks ago, I haven’t even heard of him and didn’t know what I’ve missed so far. Then, in early December 2010, I decided to join the Facebook-Community. I was hesitant about making this step for quite a while, maybe a bit suspicious about what it will be like but then, I had nothing to lose, really, so I did it. I populated my profile step by step and suddenly found that, after I had added Christopher Moore as one of my favourite authors, I could read his postings and learn new stuff about him all the time. So, I had a look at his fan page and then also at his homepage, which I hadn’t visited very often in the past. On this page there is a category called ‘Chris’ Picks’ in which the author guy writes about books he read and liked. As he is one of my favourite writers anyway and I’m a sucker for good books and new authors, I read his comments with great interest. That was when I first heard about Mil Millington and how can you not be curious of a book that is called “Things my girlfriend and I have argued about”, especially after looking at the so-called website, for which Chris graciously provided the link as well. So, needless to say, I ordered the book from my favourite book dealer and, just for fun, two more by the same author because my book consumption is very high and their titles had also a very promising sound to them as they were “Instructions for living someone else’s life” and “Love and other near death experiences”. And I was not the least bit disappointed by one of them. Mil’s British humour is so refreshing, entertaining and incredibly funny – maybe a bit like Bridget Jones but from the male point of view. On almost every page I found something I’d like to quote and to some extent, I will most likely do so at one point. I really love a good story in a book, but the main reason why I’m reading so many English books is that some authors just have such a wonderful style of writing which you just can’t translate, while a good story is always a good story and you can probably only screw it up when you make a movie out of it. The story of ”Things my girlfriend and I have argued about” is not boring, a bit crazy and ends a bit of a sudden but this is not concerning you at all as it is so rich on witty dialogues between the main character (a British guy who works in a library) and his girlfriend (a German girl and mother of their two boys). They argue all the time about almost everything, mainly just little things that occur in day-to-day life because men and women happen to be a tiny bit different in what they do, think or say (D-oh! That news to you?), and interestingly I was feeling with the guy most of the time and found myself thinking: This sounds like so much fun what they have!  And each of the books, even though the love stories in there might seem a bit unconventional, has a very nice, funny and still happy end and I will certainly read them again. The only one of Mil’s books I haven’t read yet is “A certain chemistry” but considering all the fun I had with others, I will add it to my collection as soon as I can; maybe also because of its title which reminds me not only of my learned profession but also about what is important in life. And love. And that’s the end of this story, at least for now.

*****end of story*****

[March 2011] Ok, guys, I know that actually I still need to write two stories above and don’t worry, they’ll come very soon, that I can promise. But, not today. Well, as there are no dates on this site anyway, you wouldn’t even notice, right? And then, you cannot miss what you’ve never known, at least, that’s what I keep on telling myself. However, I don’t want to get carried away now as I meant to add another very special little titbit for you. Yesterday night I started to re-read one of Chris‘ books which is a little bit different from his usual stuff but not the least bit less funny and I just learned Mil Millington’s books had been a source of inspiration for the style and certainly for the choice of language being used. Okay, okay, I don’t want to keep you in suspense much longer and get to the quote now, which actually describes what the whole book is about very good. Have fun! And how can a book that begins with the words „‚Tosser!‘ cried the raven. There’s always a bloody raven.“ not be fun, huh?

Quote from the book ‚Fool‘ by Christopher Moore:

„‚Pretty,‘ said Drool, trying to wrestle back control of his tool. Mary had commenced to stirring the laundry but had neglected to pull her dress up. Had the git’s attention hostage, she did. ‚Right. She’s a bloody vision of loveliness, lad, but you’ve buffed yourself to a gleam already and we’ve work to do. The castle’s awash in intrigue, subterfuge, and villainy – they’ll be wanting comic relief between the flattery and the murders.‘

‚Intrigue and villainy?‘ Drool displayed a gape-tooth grin. Imagine soldiers dumping hogsheads of spittle through the crenellations atop the castle wall – thus is Drool’s grin, as earnest in expression as it is damp in execution – a slurry in good cheer. He loves intrigue and villainy, as they play to his most special ability.

‚Will there be Hiding?‘ ‚There will most certainly be hiding,‘ said I, as I shouldered an escaped testicle into his cod.

‚And listening?‘ ‚Listening of cavernous proportions – we shall hang on every word as God on Pope’s prayers.‘

‚And fuckery? Will there be fuckery, Pocket?‘ ‚Heinous fuckery most foul, lad. Heinous fuckery most foul.‘

‚Aye, that’s the dog’s bollocks, then!‘ said Drool, slapping his thigh. ‚Did you hear, Mary? Heinous fuckery afoot. Ain’t that the dog’s bollocks?‘

‚Oh yeah, the dog’s bloody B. it is, love. If the saints are smilin‘ on us, maybe one of them nobles will hang your wee mate there like they been threatening.‘

‚Two fools well-hung we’d have then, wouldn’t we?‘ said I, elbowing my apprentice in the ribs. ‚Aye, two fools well-hung, we’d have, wouldn’t we?‘ said Drool, […]“

There is still one story to write above (no, not anymore, I’m making progress!) and I’m also not quiet sure how to build the bridge from Christopher Moore to Bill Bryson – well, they are both Americans by birth, each of them with a very special kind of humour and really funny indeed.  I felt like adding a quote today and the very best introduction of this guy here would certainly be with a quote from „The life and times of the Thunderbolt Kid“, which is my favourite so far, but, as it just so happens, I lent it to a friend and don’t know when I’ll get it back. Fortunately, I’m halfway through another of Bill’s books, in which he is describing his hike on the Appalachian Trail a few years ago, and found something nice (and worthy) at the beginning of the book already so here we go:

Quote from the book ‚A walk in the woods‘  by Bill Bryson:

„…Imagine, if you will, lying in the dark alone in a little tent, nothing but a few microns of trembling nylon between you and the chilly night air, listening to a 400-pound bear moving around your campsite. Imagine its quiet grunts and mysterious snufflings, the clatter of upended cookware and sounds of moist gnawings, the pad of its feet and the heaviness of its breath, the singing brush of its haunch along your tent side. Imagine the hot flood of adrenalin, that welcome tingling in the back of your arms, at the sudden rough bump of its snout against the foot of your tent, the alarming wild wobble of your frail shell as it roots through the backpack that you left casually propped by the entrance – with, you suddenly recall, a Snickers bar in the pouch. Bears adore Snickers bars, you’ve heard.

And then the dull thought – oh, God – that perhaps you brought the Snickers bar in here with you, that it’s somewhere in here, down by your feet or underneath you or – oh, shit, here it is. Another bump of grunting head against the tent, the time near your shoulders. More crazy wobble. Then silence, a very long silence, and – wait, shhhhh…yes! – the unutterable relief of realizing that the bear has withdrawn to the other side of the camp or shambled back into the woods. I tell you right now. I couldn’t stand it…“

The story about Bill Bryson or my glorious adventures with the Thunderbolt Kid: …will be added later, don’t have the book at hand at the moment and need to add a quote in this story.

[April 2011] Right, let’s get on with this now, it’s been a while and the parallel universe is rapidly expanding, that I can tell you for sure. I don’t know what it is and where it suddenly comes from but I’m bursting with ideas and have difficulties to keep pace with my mind and bring them all into reality. Could be that not everything I imagine will actually work out but so what? Probably one of the currently last points on my to-do or wish list is to give online dating a new chance and maybe find somebody interesting for travelling time and space,  sharing (some, not all) ideas and thoughts, and – probably most important – laughing and being goofy with. However, after three weeks so far I got the feeling this is not really going to work out. Maybe the right guy is just not out there, browsing the web. Some pictures are ok and maybe even the profile but still. I’ve tried it before and it never really worked and then, if you just write somebody you haven’t met, you are different. Well, I know that I am different. I can write things I’d never say and that’s ok to tell stories but not necessarily to get to know somebody because you might find that when you finally meet in person, it’s just not the same. You think you know this person, have a feeling for him but when you finally meet, you’ll have to start from zero and it might not be as easy as you thought it would be. Just a single look in his eyes can tell you ‚No, that’s just not right‘ even though you could have sworn before that he is your soul mate. There is a chance, there must be a chance, to continue and intensify it in reality but it never happened to me before. Well, I’m not complaining (no, really!) and at the moment I’m kinda optimistic in more ways than I thought could be possible. There might be somebody sitting in front of a screen looking for somebody just like me but I don’t know if that’s the way I want it to be. I want it to be real, to get a feeling for somebody and just see what happens next. And as I’ve already mentioned above, the stories told by Mil Millington made relationships really sound interesting and kind of fun to me so let’s see how it goes in the future. To show you what I mean, maybe, there will be a quote, of course. It was quite difficult to choose one as there are so many so I’ll just close my eyes and pick a page…here we go!

Quote from the book ‚Things my girlfriend and I have argued about‘ by Mil Millington:

„…‚What are you thinking?‘

‚Nothing.‘

‚Liar.‘

Ursula appears to have an, in my opinion, unhealthy obsession with what I’m thinking. It can’t be normal to ask a person, as often as she asks me, ‚What are you thinking?‘ In fact, I know it’s not normal. Because I’m normal, and I virtually never ask her what she’s thinking.

I’m apparently not allowed, ever, to be thinking ’nothing‘. Odd, really, when you consider the number of times – during an argument over something or other I’ve done – I’ll have ‚I don’t believe it! What was going through your head? Nothing?‘ thrown over me. The fact is, I find thinking ’nothing‘ enormously easy. It’s not something I’ve had to work on, either. For me, achieving a sort of Zen state is practically effortless. Perhaps ‚Zen‘ is even my natural state. Sit me in a chair and do nothing more than leave me alone and – dink! – there I am: Zenned!

However, this – I think you’ll agree – incadescently impressive reasoning would ching ogg Ursula into the sightless horizon like a bullet off a tank. ‚Nothing‘ is simply not a thing I can possibly be thinking. For a while I did try having something prepared. You know, a stand-by. A list of things I could fall back on when caught with my synapses down. Thus:

‚What are you thinking?‘

‚I was wondering whether we will ever, truly, get a unifying theory in physics. Or whether the divisions between Newtonian principles, relativity and quantum mechanics will always defeat attempts to craft a mathematically complete, always applicable whole.‘

‚Liar.‘

So, another idea arcs into the waste bin, then…“

How often do I wish I could think ’nothing‘ but it never works. Not even when I’m sleeping as I’m always dreaming, a lot, and remember most of it afterwards. So, maybe it’s just one of the differences that comes with the double X and the reason why we’re rather the ones asking ‚What are you thinking?‘ than the ones being asked this question. Well, we’ll never know for sure, right?

Hold on, just noticed that the last change on this page was made almost a month ago. A whole month! What the heck happened with all the time? I guess I’ve been a bit lazy or maybe just not the little Miss Sunshine I normally am. Haha, funny, isn’t it? Ok, ok, i’ve not really been all that lazy as I’ve written a few posts in English and just didn’t get to link or tag them properly. Better late than never, huh? Currently one of my favorite english posts is the one I wrote late last night about the first Throx Sox Adventure.

Please apologise this looking a bit messy at first (though has now been fixed) in here but I still have to find out how to use the tools that were given to me for free by the powers that be (wordpress). Another one I quiet fancy even though it is a tiny bit inspired by my daily bread-earning work is this one. I was just making some cookies and there are some days in life where a story seems to be biting you in the leg all the time. There might be one or two others around but if I remember back to the good old times in which my blog was born (which was actually not even 3 months ago come to think of it), it all began with a quote, in english, about love. And the reason why I mention this now is that I’d like to add another quote which is not from Mil Millington but also about love somehow and the longing for somebody.

Quote from the book ‚About a boy‘ by Nick Hornby:

„…‘But I don’t know. I think I ought to look for someone less-‚

‚Less rude and mad? Less violent? Less bloody stupid? There are any number of lesses I can think of.‘ This contribution was from Ellie’s mother.

‚Less different from me,‘ said Marcus diplomatically.

‚Well, good luck,‘ said Katrina. ‚There are a lot of us who’ve spent half our lives looking for somebody less different from us, and we haven’t found them so far.‘

‚Is it that hard?‘ asked Marcus.

‚It’s the hardest thing in the world,‘ said Fiona, with more feeling than Will wanted to contemplate.

‚Why do you think we’re all Single?‘ said Katrina.

Was that really it? Will wondered. Was that what they were all doing, looking for somebody less different? Was that what he was doing? Rachel was dynamic and thoughtful and focused and caring and different in more ways than he could count, but the whole point of Rachel, as far as Will was concerned, was that she wasn’t him. There was a flaw in Katrina’s logic, then. This thing about looking for someone less different…It only really worked, he realised, if you were convinced that being you wasn’t so bad in the first place…“

[April 2012] Oh boy, I’ve really been a bad girl as this page has remained more or less untouched for almost a year and even though I often thought about adding something here or making changes to the format, photography and other things took up so so much of my time that I never really got to it. I was even thinking of breaking this page up into pieces and just smuggle them into the blog as various posts but in a way I like to write this as one big piece over time, maybe fresh it up a bit with pictures or just take time every now and then to add things. It doesn’t happen very often that somebody finds his way to this place here but it still happens so I’m hesitant to remove it completely. I shall try my best, please bear with me.

4 Replies to “English Only”

  1. Just found your BLOG site… fantastic… really, tons of great stuff. Impressive!!!

    1. Thanks, honey! It really makes me happy to know that somebody read this page as even though I’ve been neglecting it for quiet a while now it’s one of my favourites 🙂

  2. As an english speaker, I can say you’ve collected some fine works here! Great read … esp the Pratchett

    1. Thanks a lot! I’ve neglected this page for quiet a while as I got quiet sucked into photography but hope to continue this later. Still trying to figure out how to combine German and English best.

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