Say the weird thing

Yeah, we’re more about reps now, and it is effective. You’re making me think of going back to my glory days eating habits: lean proteins, complex carbs, plenty of fruits and veggies, and no eating between meals (which included an afternoon small meal or snack). I never felt like I was dieting.

Last night I was having trouble falling asleep (jet lag), , so I cracked open my grandfather’s 1930 Chinese dictionary (revised 1940s edition) (he was born there on 1912 to an American missionary doctor and wife: the family left when he was fourteen, and was among the first to return as a tourist in 1976 — not sure how or why he acquired the dictionary circa 1945 — maybe he was hoping to return sooner…)

…and, in the two hours before I slept, I learned quite a bit about Chinese writing (and spoken words, including tones), such as how most characters are formed (radical for basic meaning plus “phonetic” portion for sound resemblance — but many English “words” require two or sometimes three such characters — there are nuances and exceptions, but that’s the idea)….

…and I also leaned several specific words (and words derived from them), to the point where I could make a few successful predictions about how a certain idea might be written, or what a certain character (or sequence of two) might mean or sound like…

…which led to several fascinating discoveries about unexpected, poetic associations and metaphors (ALL languages operate this way, as I discovered when I recently read a Doper-recommended, life-changing book: Metaphors We Live By, by Lakoff and Johnson)…

…just one example: a character (number 4518) that means “the appearance of the sky in autumn; merciful,” composed of a radical (on the bottom) meaning “literature; polite studies; elegant; refined” (it looks like a walking dude carrying a tray or a pole on his shoulders) and (in place of the usual phonetic clue, which in this case would be something reminiscent of “min”), a second radical on top meaning “sun” (looks like a calculator’s number 8) ….

…so, autumn skies have elegant light (I couldn’t agree more), but why “merciful”? The example phrases give a hint: “compassionate Heaven as overshadowing all things below — Heaven pities the fall of all things into winter decay.”

I felt like a character in a Borges short story.

I’m sort of obsessed with a guy who died in 1619. It’s gone on for a year. I might be writing a novel about him. But probably just a really long fanfic.