Thursday, September 28, 2006

Suffice to say . . .


I have been too consumed with my new responsibilities to post (or think), and am grateful to those who have kept checking in.

On the personal front, I have been dealing with ongoing habitational matters. When I first arrived here with the children, the new (dream) house was not habitable, as the folks we had contracted to complete necessary work on the place had not only not completed their work, but also caused significant damage in the process (hello, upstairs toilet leaking in the kitchen. . . . ?! lovely). That was the first week or so -- and then, as you know, our moving truck was, well, in Illinois. . . in Illinois . . . in Illinois . . . and then managed to arrive three weeks later. At this point, we've got all our stuff -- but the folks who did complete work want to get paid (er, have I mentioned we *still haven't sold the house in Chicago? it's pretty thrilling to have mountains of debt in two countries. . .).

Just as stressful, if not more, I have been trying to settle our children in the best possible school situations. My readers in the US might not know that four-year-old children in Ontario (though not all Canadian provinces) attend Junior Kindergarten, aka JK. Despite my best efforts, it did not appear that JK in the public school system here would be best for our Ollie, and we have identified another private school more ideal for him, and have been trying to transfer and situate him most peacefully there (all while weighing whether and when his sister should join him, having endured, now *successfully, what was initially a tough transition for her to Grade One in her local public school).

Suffice to say. . . my head feels as though it might explode at any minute from the rigor of deciding what is best for my children.

We can thank the New York Times, however, for some material to allow me briefly to return to old form. There is an article today about the nation of Kazakhstan's ongoing indig•nation at the comedic turns of one Sacha Baron Cohen, the British comedian whose character Borat "visits" America on its "behalf." As the Times reports:

Now Mr. Cohen has a feature-length film, opening Nov. 3 in the United States, called “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” with a title as malapropos as Borat’s sendup of Kazakhstan as a backward land of poverty, prostitution and bigotry.


I know I will sound like Borat when I say this (and I hope to, somewhat), but: tell me, what is this word, "malapropos," I do not understand, eh?

Is it intended, as spelled (from the French), as mal-à-propos, or "inappropriate"? Or is it related to the dear Mrs. Malaprop, of the Sheridan play, The Rivals, whose droll mal-locutions in English led to her namely addition to our language (via the French etymon)? After all, the "title" of the film conveys Borat's own wayward way with our words. Might the Old Grey Lady indulge in some jouissance -- which sounds more like something Ali G might fancy -- in conjuring several such meanings and associations at once?

Ah, yes, the pleasure of the text. . .

(Can you tell I'm an English professor now?)

1 comment:

uncle mike said...

cygsay what?