31

This Day Is Your Day, This Day Is My Day

I turned 28 years old today, and it was hectic but otherwise completely unremarkable.

Just the way I like it.

A beautiful morning for some gym time, barely making it to Humanities in time to administer the midterm, after which Steffen and I sang the theme song from Maude (because, why wouldn’t you?). Then I taught 2 classes about commedia dell’arte, the highlight of which was during my first class when a student almost cracked his forehead open in an improv game, and then when I broke a piece of chalk while writing on the board, and then proceeded to lambaste the broken piece for not being a team player.

Then, when I thought things couldn’t get any better, my parents showed up (well, I knew they were going to), and then we went to dinner at Naf Naf and to the Union to see Arlo Guthrie in concert. Our seats were in the nosebleed section, but singing along to “Alice’s Restaurant,” “The City of New Orleans,” and “This Land is Your Land” with my mother (and Arlo, at the opposite end of the room) was one of the sweetest gifts of all.

I have been celebrating my birthday wrong all these years. It took me 28 years to realize this, but now I know how do it. It’s not about how I celebrate, or it being my day. It’s not even about growing up or getting older. It’s about being with the ones you love, and just celebrating life in general. For me, it is a happy birthday when the ones I love are happy being with me.

Quote of the day:

ME (to my class, after the commedia game): Good job everyone, that was fun. Did you have fun? Well, I had fun, and that’s all that’s important, because I’m a selfish person and that’s really all I care about.

Happy birthday, everyone everywhere.

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7

Bye, Bei, Bye

Now that I finally have a moment…

Here’s another pet peeve of mine.

The sentence “we stayed by my grandparents’ last night” is something that a Jewish person might say.

It is also horribly grammatically incorrect. I never actually noticed it until a few years ago when my dad pointed it out, but if you think about it, it makes sense.

By means via, as in “by train”, alongside, as in “pass by a house” or “sit by a window,” or indicates a creator, as in “a painting by Picasso”. It does not mean over, at, or with.

“But why do you call out Jewish people, Jacob?”

Because they’re the only ones whom I’ve heard use it that way. I used it myself until my dad corrected me.

Actually, it has a linguistic meaning. In German, the word bei means “with,” therefore making its usage in the aforementioned sentence about staying with grandparents grammatically correct. For some reason, this word kind over traveled over and became a false cognate in English speech.

For some reason, though, it irks me more and more each time I hear someone use it incorrectly. I don’t know why it does, but it is grammatically incorrect. One time, I tried to correct someone, and was greeted with a blank stare, so it is not something that I try terribly hard to change about others’ speech patterns.

But don’t start saying it now.

That, or singing the Maude theme song in public, or else Lady Godiva will be freedom riding through your brain for the rest of the day.

2

If LinkSys Smart WiFi is So Smart, How Come It’s Sitting in the Neighbor’s Car?

One hour, thirty-eight minutes and two Filipina technicians later, I have wireless internet in my apartment.

Talk about an ordeal.

More of the story as my sanity reappears.

Finally an update…five days later…

So, I purchased a LinkSys wi-fi router at Best Buy, and I knew it was trouble when the salesman tried to explain exactly what it would do. All I needed it to do was maintain a wireless internet connection.

I get home, and follow the three “easy” steps. Plug in power, plug in internet cable, go to a website and voila, hello internet.

Of course, I do all these things and nothing happens. I put the manual CD thing in, and all it is is the same thing in the packet, only in PDF form with useless hotlinks that don’t work BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE INTERNET.

So, I do the next best thing (okay, the SECOND next best thing, getting drunk would have been the first) and call the hotline. After only about 20 minutes of waiting, I say mabuhay to a Filipina named Dianne. She puts forth her best efforts, but one hour and several options later, I’m no better off than where I was. Dianne suggests I return the item to the store, and I ask to speak to a manager. Supervisor Michelle comes on the line, with a much better command of the English language and fortunately, a big heart. She does the override thing that usually solves everything, which they say is only for warranty-registered customers but she’s doing it for me for free because it’s now been an hour and a half. Of course, it’s one setting that’s wrong, and my device is not defective, as previously thought. Thanks, Dianne. But sincere thanks to Michelle, who after two excruciating hours delivered and helped me get on the Internet.

This is the first time I’ve set a connection up by myself, so I got to name the network. What do I pick?

“I Love The Wi-Fi I Got To Boogie.”

Thanks, Alicia Bridges!

See the inspiration for this post’s title here: