Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bloggers' Block

Hmm… Long time between drinks. Few half backed excuses – the most recent being that I have had bloggers’ block, something which can only be overcome by writing about it.

Prior to suffering the blockage, first I was sick (I was out of commission for about two weeks with a flu/cold combo which left me energyless, exhausted and braindead). Luckily I had accrued enough flextime to get to work late and leave early. Am better now.

Then came the intervention. I had to organise interpreters for many of the community visits which was quite stressful, and filled with many hiccoughs. The stress left me functioning at a bare minimum when I got home, and it was all I could to do lift the remote, turn on the TV and vegetate. A pretty poor excuse for not keeping in touch as much as I’ve been meaning to, but I think I was still getting over the dregs of the cold. Anyway, that’s nearly all over now, and I’m learning all sorts of new and wonderful ways to cope with stress. I must be far down the road to superherodom in that regard (own horn: toot toot!).

If you are interested in reading first hand accounts of some community visits, Wamut and Jangari give their accounts at that Munanga Linguist and Matjin-nehen (the 'h' is pronounced as a glottal stop) respectively.

The most exciting thing happening now, is that I’ve finally been doing some linguistics. And I’ve started on the road to learning a language that has only two fluent speakers left – two sisters. Learning this language involves such wonderful outings as going fishing and recording stories and songs by the river. I have been instructed by the ladies that I must make recordings and listen to them on tape at home, as a previous anthropologist did. Aside from that, after this post I am going to stick posters up on my walls of all kinds of funky pronouns and grammar. You’ll know when I’m starting to feel more confident about it all when I change some of the headings of this blog to language headings, as Jangari has done.

At the moment I’m reading the Diary of Anne Frank. It’s amazing. Highly recommended to anyone with eyeballs.

Another thing I’ve been doing is volunteering at the Book Exchange. I sit in there for 2hrs on a Sunday morning, spending my ‘time of worship’ amongst the books – fitting, think not you? Sometimes it’s busy, sometimes hardly anyone comes through. But you never get bored because you’re surrounded by everything from Romance novels – titles include Indiscretions, Practise Makes Marriage, Husbands on Horseback – to spiritual healing books, children's books, history, geography, science books. I spent this morning reading Here Comes Snoopy – very cute, inflicting all kinds of nostalgia.

Oh, and I have been learning to be hospitable in my new environment – night before last, made a pavlova, and last night had ppl over for DVDs. Thanks Mum: the DVDs you sent up finally arrived this week.


Anonymous said...

Hey Eug.

You are so funny! I have eyeballs but I have to admit I've never the Diary of Anne Frank. Will have to put that on my list of 'musts' which with the Masters is just getting way to long.

You sound really busy - sorry to hear you were sick.

Just arrived home from a long weekend away. Luke, Sarz, Jules and I went to Brigh, skiing at Falls Creek, eating giant pub meals, drinking, sleeping etc. Great fun!

Can't wait till you are down in Oct! What are the actual dates?

Love Kel

Anonymous said...

Oh god....I just re-read and picked up at least 5 spelling / grammer mistakes. I'm tired. Sorry (and what was my masters in again.....).

Kel xxx

Hooch said...

Thanks Kel. I will be down in the first week of Oct - driving across from Adelaide from 29th Sept. but not sure when we'll be in Melb. as we are travelling the tourist route. Hopefully Monday 1st Oct. Then will be leaving Melb on Sun 7th Oct after AJ's Partay.

xx Lots of love.

PS. Have you changed your mobile no.? I tried to call the other day and couldn't get through.

PPS. Pls don't stop commenting jst cos I've commented.

Jangari said...

Yo Eug,

What is this language with only 2 speakers left? Is it one of the 'manic' languages? I found out a little while ago that my main speaker claims to speak Dagoman, which I find interesting, but I haven't been able to ask him for any, as yet.

And yeah, Wagimanifying my blog was a good move. You'll be at ALS/ILC in September, right? I'll see you there (won't be able to make it to Katherine before I leave on Monday next week).

Hooch said...

Yeah, I'll be at the conference. The language is Mangarrayi. A Dagoman speaker! That's exciting; I was just talking to Glen about Dagoman this morning.

jangari said...

Well perhaps when Glen(n?)'s here on Friday (thanks for the news, by the way) we should try to jog my speaker's memory...

I don't believe there's very much known about Dagoman at all, but I could be wrong about that.

Anonymous said...

Hey Eug,

It must have been while I was away....I was out of range. Luke had reception but I didn't. Didn't make sense as we are both with Optus.

Look forward to seeing you. Haven't heard about AJs?

Love Kel xxx

Daniel said...

Superherodom may be still some way off but you are surely a bit of a hero. Whatever one thinks of the Intervention, helping those concerned to understand WTF is happening is a fantastic thing.

Bron & Kate hosted an afterparty following the MonUCS Annual Dinner last Friday and they have some cool maps on walls. A few of us were looking at them and comparing notes on who has gone furthest.

I never knew that Katherine was so far north. I had somehow imagined it further inland. Still the scale is such that I expect you are very far inland compared with anything a Victorian would experience.

Adam said...

Hey Hoochalina!
Post something!