Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Ineffable Palm Tree

I have been very bad about blogging lately, so to make up for my negligence I am writing a very long post on Rich's computer Aquinas tonight. I'll start with the title: one night at the OTHER choir practice, I spotted a golden calf in the coat closet and said, "A graven image? I always knew you Lutherans were heathens!" The choir director pulled the golden calf out of the closet and read the lyrics to the upcoming musical it was for, something the youth group is putting on. Last week I noticed several inflatable palm trees in the coat closet, presumably for the same musical, and when I showed them to the choir director and said, "I want one of these for Christmas next year," he said, "An ineffable palm tree?"

This weekend T came up for Rich's birthday party, and we were searching for some chocolate we had previously purchased but I commented that it might be a "quixotic" quest. Since I assumed this word comes from Don Quixote, which is pronounced kee-hoe-tee, I said the quest would be kee-hoe-tic. T said, "What?" She insisted the word was pronounced kwiks-ah-tik, so we agreed to look it up in the dictionary. However, this search also proved to be quixotic, however you pronounce that word, because I own a French dictionary, a German dictionary, a Portuguese dictionary, a Spanish-to-Basque dictionary, and a Swahili dictionary, but no English dictionary. T said, "You don't own an English dictionary???" and I said, "That's not strictly true. I do have an Anglo-Saxon dictionary." Eventually we looked up "quixotic" in the German dictionary, which said it was pronounced "kwiks-ah-tik," but when we looked up the German word it was translated as, it said the English translation was "Airy-fairy." Now I have spoken English for a score and fifteen years, and never have I heard the term "airy-fairy," so I felt the pronunciation guide was also suspect. However, today we looked "quixotic" up in Rich's enormous Oxford dictionary of every English word ever spoken, and it did say it was pronounced "kwiks-ah-tik." So there you go. Rich was as surprised as I was.

T came up with the theme for Rich's birthday this year, which was "Presidents' Day," since he shares a birthday with Abraham Lincoln. We decorated in red, white, and blue streamers (and oddly almost every shop in town was out of white), tied a flag balloon to his chair, and made him wear a flag-patterned hat. I dreamed that I made him a birthday cake that looked like a penny, so I did make one! See the results below.

Famous Hat

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