You Got to Be Kidding Me!

Rain and More Auld Acquaintances

Posted in Social Life by Stacy McMahon on September 28, 2006

I seem to be on a run with running into people I used to know. Riding Metro into my old neighborhood to pick up my car from the Subaru dealer this afternoon, the cold wind and rain were blowing sideways hard enough that there wasn’t any truly dry place on the platform, let alone outside. I therefore decided to take the elevator to the street level and stay dry for a couple more minutes. Wouldn’t you know it, over my shoulder I hear another familiar voice saying “Stacy!”, and turn around to see Darren, a former classmate at Virginia Tech who lives in Huntington.

We caught up a bit as the bus saved him from getting soaked on what would otherwise have been a 15-minute walk to his house, but I was mostly thinking “this rain is going to trash my balcony.” Had I been expecting a thunderstorm, I’d have taken down my hammock or at least brought the pillow inside and stacked the chairs. I’d also have taken the 36″ planter box off the railing since it will fill with water in a downpour.

When I got home though, it wasn’t as bad as I feared. Yes, the pillow is wet but it’s all synthetic so that’s not an emergency. The 24″ planter box on the railing was enjoying the rain just fine, as it should since I drilled drain holes in the side after the floods this spring. And my plucky little apple tree is still green and standing up straight. The 36″ box, though, and all the catnip in it are done. I guess it’s going to be time to plant those snow peas…


5 Responses

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  1. Clint said, on March 12, 2007 at 11:49 am

    What does “auld” mean anyway?

  2. Stacy McMahon said, on March 12, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    It’s a variation of the German “alt” which means “old”, modified through the magic of poetic license to make the lyrics to “auld lang syne” flow better than they would as the actual words “alt lang seit”. Also the same process by which we get “aldermen” (elders or literally “old men”) as a word for city council members.

    Yes I know way too much about this stuff 😉

  3. Clint said, on March 12, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Um…… wow! You sure do! If that answer was from memory, I am quite impressed.

    As a kid, I always mis-heard it as “old”. Turns out, I should have just left it that way in my brain, because that’s what’s really being said ANYway. Verrrrrrrrrry interesting.

    “old ->(German) alt -> (bastardization) auld -> (misheard as) -> old”


  4. Stacy McMahon said, on March 12, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Heh, yeah that’s the neat thing about languages .. I would say I have some natural talent at it but I think it’s really more pattern-matching, which is all you really need to get between the latin-based languages. Also, English and the various Germanic languages are very closely related. Alt/old, sister/schwester, bruder/brother, vater/father and so on. The Irish/Scottish accents even sound similar to a Scandinavian speaking english. One of the ghostly remains of the ancient Viking empire…

    And yeah, I did that by memory 🙂 A total of four years of German in school, plus my dad taught me a little bit as a kid. “Deutschland is ungefahr so weit wie die staat Oregon” (Germany is about as large as the state of Oregon) ..funny the stuff you remember.

  5. Clint said, on March 13, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Yea — I think languages are easy in the “figuring out stuff” department (where I do very well), but hard in the “memorizing random stuff” deparment (where I do very poorly)… Listening to Rammstein definitely helped me out with German (going from 0% to 1%, basically). I had lyric translations that I worked on for weeks, german next to english, re-arranging the english to be more literally close with the german, etc…….

    Lieben ist krieg!

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