Archive for the ‘history’ Tag

Id possum tollere   Leave a comment

I’ve started on Chapter 6 of my Wheelock textbook, trying to relearn Latin. I’m focusing a lot more on the vocabulary this time around. It’s helping! I’ve never had difficulties understanding the grammar of foreign languages, but applying it practically has always been difficult, because vocab is hard. I drill myself a few days a week on it.

For Chapter 6 one of the vocab words was salvus, -i, and the definition given was safe, sound. This immediately put into my mind Capital City’s “Safe and Sound”.

I thought, Sumus salvus. I then began humming the ending of the song, which is basically “We’re safe and sound” over and over. They have the same amount of syllables, too. Suuuumus, sumus salvus — suuuuumus sumus salvus! Because I am a huge nerd. Then I tried translating the whole thing from the beginning, and then I got frustrated because I don’t know enough Latin grammar, basically.

I could lift you up Te possum tollere
I could show you what you want to see Te possum exhibere oh no I ran out of room
And take you where you want to be Et te word for take? It can’t be carpere, that is the figurative use of “take”, could it be “bring”? Is that in the subjunctive or is it ablative or what?

So I gave up and went back to studying Wheelock. But the first sentence took me a surprising amount of time. I couldn’t find a word that fit with “lift”. There isn’t a direct translation for the word, as with most English:Latin vocabulary. Latin is a very direct language. It doesn’t allow for much poetry. The first word I found that I sort of liked was “atollero”, and it took me forever to find proof that “tollere” was the same word (it has one less syllable). So the word stuck out in my mind.

So this morning I picked up my biography of Cicero. I read about the success of Marc Antony’s march on Mutina (he wanted the governorship of the Cisalpine province for strategic reasons, but Decimus Brutus already had the position, and anyway it was a big conflict between the people who wanted the Republic to stay unified and those who wanted it to have a stronger central command — an imperator or a dictator at its head). I came across this paragraph:

If the Consuls had survived and his strategy had succeeded, as it very nearly did, Cicero’s attitude towards Octavian would surely have been very different [Cicero had praised Octavian and pushed for honors and complacency towards the boy, hoping to appease him], for his usefulness to the Senate as its protector against Antony would have been at an end. In this connection it was most unfortunate that Octavian learned his “father’s” true intentions. Never one to avoid careless talk if a witty remark or a pun occurred to him, Cicero had observed that “the young man must get praises, honors–and the push.” The Latin is laudandum, ornandum, tollendum; the last word had a double meaning: to “exalt” and to “get rid of”. Towards the end of May, Decimus Brutus warned Cicero that someone had reported this joke to the young man, who had been unamused, commenting tersely that he had no intention of letting that happen.

I thought about how terrible of a Latin translator I am. And how weird of a coincidence it was that the word I had struggled over yesterday, tollere, turned out to be the central word in a pun by Cicero written two thousand years ago; and that I happened to have read that pun the day after I learned about the word. Then I thought how weird it was that Latin had a word that meant both “exalt” and “get rid of.” How often do those situations come up together?

Middle of October 2014   2 comments

I realized something about myself tonight. When required to answer something I have been trained in, I stumble over words.

Customer: Hey, are you able to give me cash back?
Kelsey: Yes, you can get the…the things when you do the thing, with the swiping, the cashing, with the debit card. You have to have a debit card to get the thing. The cash.

But when I improvise…

Kelsey: Oh, I like the teddy bear mask. Very scary. Is it for Halloween?
Customer: No, I just want it wear it every day.
Kelsey: I respect that.
Customer: *laughs hysterically*

Or alternatively:

Kelsey: I see you got skeleton-themed paper plates and towels. Are you preparing for the Skeleton War?
Customer: No, I’ve never heard of that.
Kelsey: On Halloween, the skeletons are going to rise up and make war on us all. It’s all over the internet.
Customer: I didn’t know. We’ll be completely unprepared.
Kelsey: Oh, don’t worry! Now that you know, you’ll be able to prepare.
Customer: Good.
Kelsey: Although, since we all have skeletons inside us, will we not be fighting ourselves?
Customer: That got deep.
Supervisor: That got creepy.

Anyway, when I made my last post, I expected to update later that day with a most important post about how I spent my weekend. Alas, my weekend was so much fun and so exhausting that I ended up passing out instead of writing the blog entry. I am now going to fix that.

Kelsey and Lacey’s Excellent Adventure

Lacey came down to visit me for the weekend! Not only was it the first time I saw family in like two months (how did I go that long??? I’m not used to that!) but also it was the first time I had time off in like ever.

She drove down on Friday night for the long Columbus Day Indigenous People’s Day weekend. I made lettuce wraps and she, James, and I played Robo Rally. I chose Robo Rally because it’s the least board-game-like board game we own. You navigate a bunch of robots around a map, as they crash into things (such as other robots) and get caught on conveyor belts and shoot at things and it’s a lot of fun, 10/10 would recommend. Lacey loved it.

The next day, we knew I had to close Petsmart in the evening, and I really wanted to go to a corn maze, so we chose a corn maze just down the road from Food Lion to go to. It really amazes me about North Carolina; we’re in the middle of suburbia, and you turn down a road you always turn down, and then you go like two minutes farther and suddenly you’re in farm country? Or maybe there’s a large working farm smack in the middle of suburbia? Like there’s apartments right across the street from a working farm?

Most of the activities were for families with little kids. There was a moon bounce, farm equipment to climb on, pony rides, a fenced-in area with a few things for kids to climb on but mostly a place for them to run around and scream. There were activities for older kids — a strongman game, a mechanical bull, a trail ride. Lacey and I started with the corn maze, because that had been the main attraction for me.

IMG_20141011_112252_130IMG_20141011_112300_829
IMG_20141011_114750_507IMG_20141011_120535_188

They had given us a map and shown us where the entrance was on the map. We hewed very closely to the map, and so getting through the maze was a breeze. We were supposed to find ten checkpoints. That was not so easy.

After an hour, we had found seven checkpoints and decided to call it quits. The sun was hot in the sky. The ground was muddy. We had both dressed in long, dark jeans for some insane reason. We knew where the exit was. So we left and sat in the shaded eating area and drank water and checked facebook and chatted for a bit.

We decided to do the trail ride next, although they were in the middle of a trail ride, so we decided to do the strongman game in the meantime. You guys know what a strongman game is. I’m not going to explain it.

IMG_20141011_123646_597
IMG_20141011_123648_900
IMG_20141011_123643_792

Lacey was able to get “Minor Blast” while I couldn’t get past “Fizzle Out”. I fumed at my lack of strength. Lacey explained how my swinging technique was wrong, and I tried again, this time scoring “Low Power.” And that was great! But it was time to get on our high horse and ride.

IMG_20141011_124404_856
Uh oh, she’s figured out I’m taking pictures.

They gave the horse that I wanted to a little boy, I guess because that particular horse was calm and easy. Why couldn’t I get the calm and easy horse? Instead, I got a generic brown horse who had decided that he was sick of walking the same loop around the property every day. Didn’t anyone ever bother to ask the horse what he wanted to do? He was the one actually doing the walking, and what he wanted to do was eat some delicious, delicious grass.

Yes, while I was feeling trepidatious because the last time I rode a horse I nearly fell off, the horse was just feeling hungry and bored. We started walking, and the horse immediately veered to the left to get some grass next to the entrance. Fortunately, I guided the horse roughly back to the group. I muttered to the horse, “Don’t you want to be with the other horses? Aren’t you a herd animal?” He chose not to reply.

For a moment we walked on the trail and all was peaceful and well. The sun warmed my skin. I gained an appreciation for all those comments about riders being “saddle-sore” in all those fantasy books. I didn’t hurt, but my skin was being rubbed, and I could see it getting worse if you rode for several hours. I also thought it was pretty cool, you know, sitting on something and having it go without you pressing on an accelerator or something.

The trail was a big loop around a big grassy field. The horse went for the grass. But he was smart; he acted like he wanted to stay on the road, but just not next to those other horses. But slowly, we started angling more and more onto the grass and less and less onto the gravel. Then he stopped. He straight up stopped, and bent down, and started eating grass.

“No,” I said. “No, horse. No.” I tried kicking his belly, but the horse continued to munch away. I weakly flicked the reins. I wondered whose idea it had been to let me operate a horse. I looked around. Lacey was riding next to the ride leader, laughing, making friends like she’s so good at doing. Behind them was the little boy on the pretty horse. I couldn’t see anyone else. The horse pulled at a particularly tough piece of grassing, rocking me from side to side.

From behind me, someone said, “Pull hard on the reins. Show him who’s boss.”

“Won’t that hurt?” I asked.

“Not if you only do it briefly. He won’t want you to do it again.”

I trusted his expert advice and yanked on the reins. Then I yanked again. And a third time. Finally, the horse’s head went up, and he walked along, chewing. Then he swallowed, and stopped, bent down, and started plucking at the grass again.

IMG_20141011_130445_723
IMG_20141011_130449_482

Here are some random pictures that I took on the farm. That is the King of All Goats in case you are wondering.

Lacey and I picked out our pumpkins and headed home. We watched Nightmare Before Christmas before I had to leave for work. She was out with some Raleigh friends of hers when I got home.

The next day, we went to downtown Raleigh. I had never been to downtown Raleigh before. It was a cold and misty day, completely the opposite of the day before; I had wore cloth shoes even though it was clearly going to rain any second. We were going for the Raleigh Museum of History, but we stumbled upon the Food Truck Rodeo, which I had completely forgotten about even though it had been advertised pretty much everywhere in the Raleigh area constantly, including on our toilet paper probably.

IMG_20141012_132356_508
IMG_20141012_134641_331
I like how few food trucks are featured in these images, despite them literally lining the streets.

Lacey bought a shirt and a cupcake. I bought some crab rangoon and veggie rolls, some cupcakes, and a whoopie pie. Then we headed to the museum.

IMG_20141012_142054_037

IMG_20141012_142400_950

Now admittedly I have been spoiled rotten by growing up near DC. I compare all museums to the Smithsonian Institution. Those are huge, grand Neo-Classical buildings. The Raleigh Museum of History was small compared to that. Not super small — not Bath Historical Society small — but small. There was only one gallery on the bottom floor, along with a theater and a gift shop. Upstairs, there were four more galleries. The one on the bottom was a rundown of North Carolinian history from the indigenous inhabitants to the 1990s. The section on pirates was smaller than I would have preferred, just a small exhibit with a model ship, Blackbeard’s flag, and a few signs about Blackbeard. The section on the Civil War was large, as you would expect in a former Confederate state, I guess. Lacey and I found each other in there, and we discussed women in the Civil War for a bit before wandering off separately again. I sat down and watched a video on the hostile takeover of Wilmington. I was sort of shaken by the whole thing and had trouble concentrating for the rest of the tour. I was surprised by how strong my reaction was. It felt sort of like that moment when I learned that Napoleon Bonaparte sold the Louisiana Territory to Thomas Jefferson. History suddenly felt real to me. It suddenly had real-world consequences. Oddly enough, I feel uncomfortable researching modern-day history, precisely because it is so close to me. Wilmington was very much that to me, and yet I found myself wanting to know more.

Then we went home and played board games with James and his friends. We played Robo Rally again (it’s very zany with seven players), and introduced Lacey to Resistance. It’s difficult enough playing that game, but Lacey was playing against six veteran Resistance players, and the final round came down to her. The spies kicked our asses.

After we cleaned up from board game night, Lacey and I watched Princess and the Frog, determined that the lack of direction and ill-thought-out characters (particularly the female characters) meant that we didn’t like the movie.

On Monday, we carved pumpkins:

IMG_20141013_150529_968

Combined Starbucks and smokey barbecue:

IMG_20141013_112947_980

And visited a lumber yard, and basically had a very North Carolina sort of day. We watched Brave (we both enjoyed that film more — Pixar just really knows how to write well-rounded characters, you know?) and then played Arabian Nights (in just a few rounds, Lacey’s character was a depressed talking ape on the run from the law). Then Lacey had to go home. I started missing her about two minutes after she left.

Ah well. December then.

  1 comment

So I’m driving in between radio stations with absolutely nothing to do but let my mind wander. It went to a conversation Lacey and I had last week, inspired by watching Belle. I started talking about marriage and courting conventions of the time and how they applied to Belle and her two suitors, Oliver Ashford and John Davinier. This turned into how our situations would look in the 1780s. Here is what our situation would be:

For one thing, I aged everyone down 10 years.

Mr. and Mrs. Hancher of Broad Run have run into financial trouble; because of that, their eldest daughter, Cathrine (affectionately called “Katie” by those who know her), became a governess of a house in Leesburg. Fortunately, she met the tutor of the elder sons of the house, a Keith Hughes, and it became love. Mr. Hancher had some objections to the marriage, as he was thoroughly Irish and not Anglican at all, but his heart was won over by the clear affection between the two and he agreed to the match.

Since the wedding, the two younger Hancher daughters, twins named Virginia and Sharon, have been let out into society. This is not much of a change for Virginia, who has been active in church since she was thirteen years old. She is beautiful, intelligent, and charming, and her parents hope for an excellent match for her. Since her coming out, she has caught the attention of a patent clerk named Brian King. Although not a member of the Broad Run church, his family is known to the the Hanchers. Altogether he would provide a comfortable middle-class life for Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Hancher have high hopes for the marriage.

The other twin, Sharon, has been sickly since birth. Mr. and Mrs. Hancher would love to see her become a wife, but fear her poor health would prevent it. She is being courted by a baker’s apprentice, James Meyers. This has scandalized the Hanchers, as they wanted to marry their daughter to a man who would be able to provide all the comforts for their frail daughter; not to mention Mr. Meyers’ position as a tradesman. Sharon claims to have great pleasure in his company, and unbeknownst to the Hanchers, the Meyers own land in Carolina and also lay claim to land out West past the mountains. As the sole male heir, Mr. Meyers stands to inherit a lot.

Posted July 31, 2014 by agentksilver in Personal

Tagged with , , ,

Designo (I draw)   Leave a comment

Be this how it may, both Curio the Elder and Curio the Younger reproached Pompey for having married Caesar’s daughter Julia, when it was because of Caesar, whom he had often despairingly called `Aegisthus’, that he divorced Mucia, mother of his three children. This Aegisthus had been the lover of Agamemnon’s wife Clytaemnestra.

But Marcus Brutus’s mother Servilia was the woman whom Caesar loved best, and in his first consulship he brought her a pearl worth ` 60,000 gold pieces. He gave her many presents during the Civil War, ‘as well as knocking down certain valuable estates to her at a public auction for a song. When surprise was expressed at the low price, Cicero made a neat remark: `It was even cheaper than you think, because a third (tertia) had been discounted.’ Servilia, you see, was also suspected at the time of having prostituted her daughter Tertia to Caesar.

…wait what?

By the way, if I had been born in Roman days, my name would probably be Tertia. BUT I SHOULDA BEEN SECUNDA.

A few more things I’ve learned from Tranquillius: when Caesar was in Africa, everyone thought only a Scipio could win a campaign in Africa. So he took Salvito Scipio with him to Africa. Salvito had horrible hygiene and manners, so Caesar spent the entire campaign making fun of him. I’m about 2/3rds through this reading, and I’m already making a movie montage in my head about Caesar. Now he has a fat, sloppy sidekick name Salvito Scipio.

Further cast members will be created as I continue to do research for my presentation.

So today I walked from my apartment to the Circus Maximus!

It occurs to me that I never show you the ugly parts of Rome. I'm wondering if I should fix that.

It occurs to me that I never show you the ugly parts of Rome. I’m wondering if I should fix that.

I just love the random Virgin and Child image on an electric box in the middle of a bunch of motorcycle dealterships and car parts stores, across the river from a great ruin. It just...it's just meaningful.

I just love the random Virgin and Child image on an electric box in the middle of a bunch of motorcycle dealterships and car parts stores, across the river from a great ruin. It just…it’s just meaningful.

The Tiber River. I know, not a good picture, but I wanted to make sure I had a picture of.

The Tiber River. I know, not a good picture, but I wanted to make sure I had a picture of it.

This picture is included because I think it is pretty.

This picture is included because I think it is pretty.

My first hint that my walk was actually leading somewhere.  The sun behind the shadowed ruin helped.

My first hint that my walk was actually leading somewhere. The sun behind the shadowed ruin helped.

Look both ways before you cross the street!

Look both ways before you cross the street!

Now look the other way.

Now look the other way.

Annnnd the other way.

Annnnd the other way.

There's priests and nuns everywhere in Rome.  I guess it makes sense, but, uh, really, everywhere.

There’s priests and nuns everywhere in Rome. I guess it makes sense, but, uh, really, everywhere.

It was only a twenty-minute walk across the river, or so said Google Maps, but it turned out to be a thirty-minute walk, plus an additional twenty minutes of wandering around trying to find my art class. At one point I crossed the street and there was Chelsea and Allison, who were also wandering around trying to find the Circus Maximus.

Some graffiti on the Circus Maximus (now that I know it's the Circus Maximus)

Some graffiti on the Circus Maximus (now that I know it’s the Circus Maximus)

“Why is it not this gigantic ruin?” we kept wondering (some of more coarsely than others Chelsea), despite all the local’s insistence that the Circus Maximus was not the gigantic ruin. Eventually we realized that the Circus Maximus was the gigantic field right next to the gigantic ruin. The gigantic ruin was the Palantine Hill. Also, our classmates were sitting on the opposite side of the Circus from the ruin. As it turns out, that side of the Circus is the best place to draw the Palantine.

What I was supposed to draw.

What I was supposed to draw.

What I drew.

What I drew.

This pigeon hung out by my feet long enough for me to try to draw it. It walked away once it realized that I was starting at it, so I couldn't make it detailed.  But still, a very pretty bird who was my buddy for a minute.

This pigeon hung out by my feet long enough for me to try to draw it. It walked away once it realized that I was starting at it, so I couldn’t make it detailed. But still, a very pretty bird who was my buddy for a minute.

What I was supposed to draw.

What I was supposed to draw.

What I drew. (please ignore the trees, guh, once I started I couldn't stop even though they were just awful)

What I drew. (please ignore the trees, guh, once I started I couldn’t stop even though they were just awful)

What I was supposed to draw.

What I was supposed to draw.

What I drew.

What I drew.

What I was supposed to draw (for homework).

What I was supposed to draw (for homework).

What I drew.

What I drew.

President’s birthdays   2 comments

Historic Mount Vernon’s Facebook Page broke the news today that Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, has signed an official proclamation that in Wisconsin, February 22 is “George Washington Day”. That reminds me as well that my representative in Congress, Frank Wolf, is spending my tax dollars and I guess my time trying to get George Washington’s birthday made a Federal holiday again — no more of this generic “President’s Day” crap. Admittedly, the first two federal holidays in the country was July 4 and Washington’s birthday, but times have changed. We found a second awesome President with a February birthday (Lincoln). President’s way is a way to acknowledge both Presidents.

I find it weird that Walker and Wolf, two folks who are into small government, are trying to get us to celebrate a friggin’ Federalist. First President who won the Revolutionary War or not, he did not agree with their politics. The Founding Fathers were men, not symbols. That’s what makes them so interesting, so fascinating. The Constitution was not handed down to us from on high, but reached over several months of compromise. The Declaration was primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, but it was still written in committee. I find myself insulted by this movement to honor George Washington as a way to demonstrate patriotism, just as much as I’m concerned about Texas’ attempts to downplay Jefferson’s role in history. History is like science.

Anyway, if we’re going to mess with President’s Day, why would we stick with just honoring Washington and Lincoln? What other days could we choose? To that end, I made a list of every single birthday of every single President.

presidents bday first pic

presidents bday second pic
Sources: Wikipedia and filibustercartoons.com

I ended up having to draw my own scatterplot graph of the information, which was easier to mine for data. Some interesting factoids:

-More Presidents were born in October than any other month (Jimmy Carter, Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur, Dwight David Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, and John Adams)
-More Presidents were born on the 29th of every month than any other day (Andrew Johnson, John F. Kennedy, John Tyler, William McKinley)
-The only day on which there have been two Presidents born is November 2nd (James K. Polk, 1795, and Warren G. Harding, 1865)
-Calvin Coolidge has the most Patriotic birthday, July 4, 1872 (I wonder if he used that to his advantage?)
-The average age at the time of their inauguration was 55 years.
-Grover Cleveland was only 48 at the time of his first election — the first President under 50. No wonder he came back four years later, he had time!
-We’ve had 6 Jameses, 3 Georges, and 4 Johns.

If we’re going to start picking arbitrary Presidents Days, I would go with either November 2 or October 29. And if your name is James, your birthday is November 2 or October 29, and you’re 54, you should probably start running for President.

From JoCoPedia:

Following the 2008 election, renditions of the song were updated to “W’s reign of terror’s finally over; Obama is pretty excellent so far”