Oh For

12 February 2002

Mark was practicing his use of "oh for" when we were hiking Saturday. So that people won't laugh at him when we move back to the Upper Midwest. Actually most young people don't use "oh for," but we won't be young people forever....

"Oh for" is a Minnesota thing, as far as I can tell. It slurs into "Ofer," and its structural use is similar to "Oh, how." It needs to be followed by an adjective. Example: at a baby shower. "Oh for cute!" Admiring your friend's new jewelry. "Oh for nice!" Looking at your aunt's vacation pictures. "Oh for fun!" Leaving your keys in your other purse and having to return to fetch them. "Oh for dumb!"

When we were in Minnesota in October, my cousin Cathy used "oh for" when we told her we were going out for teppanyaki. "Oh for fun!" And we all smiled: yes, this is what it sounds like to be home.

Last night I just wanted to say "oh for cheap." The Canadian pairs figure skaters, Sale and Pelletier, were robbed of their gold medal, after having skated perfectly, by a pair who did well but not fabulously. It seems like every Olympics they have to blatantly cheat someone out of a medal. It was the little Rumanian girl in the '00 summer games, and that was bad enough. It's bad to cheat small stubborn women. (Isn't it, Michelle? Don't try it, folks.) It's a little tough for me to hear voices that sound that familiar, while we're living out here. But when they took the gold medal from a woman who sounded a lot like our friend Marte, well, that was doubly hard. I know she was Canadian, but she sounded like she could maybe have been from Duluth or maybe International Falls. And it just made it all worse. Not in intellectual indignation, just in emotional impact.

(The curling announcer is also the biggest Doug in the world. We just sat here and reveled in his vowels, r's, and s's. Actually, some of us reveled in the curling. But I'm not going to reveal names.)

I woke up early this morning, and I was going to roll over and go back to sleep like a good M'rissa. Huhuh. At that point, one of the cars in the near part of the parking lot got bumped or brushed, or else it just decided that its alarm hadn't gone off in awhile. Just as I was dropping back off to sleep at 5:30. That was it. I firmly believe that car alarms serve the opposite function to their intent: if someone was ripping off a car quietly, I'd probably be concerned and look a little more closely. But if a car alarm is going off, I don't care if you're the rightful owner, as long as you can make it stop. Especially at 5:30 in the morning. Nobody is going to rush out at 5:30 in the morning and shout, "Are you the owner of that vehicle? Cease and desist! Freeze in your current position! The law enforcement officials will soon arrive!" They just want it to shut up. (Also, most cats don't fear the law, and that's most likely what set it off at 5:30 a.m., a cat or a plastic bag or something. Or one of the passing security officers on patrol. Sigh.)

So a note on yesterday's ethnic slurs: there are slurs of other ethnic groups that I find just as offensive as the k-word. But I write Jewish characters fairly often, and I have more Jewish friends than any other frequently-slurred ethnic group. So it's more immediate. There are other ethnic slurs that I would also avoid. It's just that that one hits me particularly hard.

Michelle asked for it, so I'm going to include the recipe for Magic Potato Casserole in my recipes page. How is it magic? You can put any meat, any vegetables, any sauce, any cheese you prefer, and if you like the combination, it will work out. Mine has chicken, ranch dressing, tomatoes, mushrooms, and mozzarella, but you can use hollandaise, ham, broccoli, whatever you want. (Those were in the original recipe.) Maaagic.

Mark got spam yesterday asking if he wanted to sell Chinese forklifts. I think that beats my septic tank spam for the most random spam of the year.

Yesterday was made up of lots and lots of errands. Took Timprov to the chiropractor after our walk, and now he feels muuuuch better. (Assuming he didn't sleep on it wrong. I'm still the only one up.) Mark and I went shopping and to the library, and I read Alvar Aalto and Mixed Magics at the library. It was amazing to note how many of the lines and design elements that look so familiar were new and daring with Aalto. Also how much Gustavus' architecture has borrowed from him. Now that I've finished the book on Aalto, I have read literally every grown-up book the library has with "Finland" in its subject index. I think that's a little depressing. Ah well. Mixed Magics was charming fun -- short stories from Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci universe (multiverse?). I finished Kate Wilhelm's Children of the Wind,, too, and decided that Wilhelm is a good person to read right after A.S. Byatt. Now I'm reading Hungary and the Soviet Bloc, borrowed from David.

And working. I have Things To Do, and yesterday I did some of them, but mostly I handled the Places To Go part of the list. I'd like to have most of the "to do" list for the house finished when Scott gets here. Ah, hahahaha. Good joke, but seriously, there are some parts of the household to do list which I do not know how to do. "Refill flamethrower." I just don't know where to go for that. "Take sax in for pads." Again, not my sphere of influence. (I don't know if Mark's going to want to wait until he's got somewhere to play regularly again before he does that, though.) So there may be a few outstanding items when he gets here. Most of them certainly won't get done this week -- the writing list is Rather Long, with more deadlines than it usually features. So. Off I go.

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