Add Homonym

March 11, 2010 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Spanish 116 views

duckyToday during bathtime, I was trying to teach my daughter to say “hola“. I’ve decided that “hello” is more complicated because of the H sound, and a Spanish salutation is going to be more useful around town, so we’re starting with Spanish. Her big problem is that the O vowel sound still eludes her, so I make a special effort to exaggerate the O, showing the shape of my mouth when I say it. OOOOO-la!

I was repeating, “Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola…”

Rather than repeat after me, she made a big movement, pushing her body out of the water and letting it fall back, sending waves up over the edge of the tub.

“Not that kind of ola,” I said.

For, you see, the word for a wave in water is “ola“, which sounds just like the greeting with the silent H, “hola“.

Monte Real Castle in Baiona, Galicia

March 11, 2010 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel 1,034 views

Harbor from castle wallsTo take a break from the 517th Annual Arrival Festival, we walked up to the Monte Real Castle that looks out over the Baiona harbor and also towards the Atlantic Ocean. It houses the Parador de Baiona, which is a ritzy four-star hotel and restaurant. A double room with a view is only 266€ per night! Their marketing video is very well done. What had been an overcast day opened up and shed sunlight on most of our visit to the little peninsula fortress. Once we got up to admire the view, we found a stone bench to sit, and then lie, down on for a short siesta in the sunshine. All that walking, wine and octopus really knocked me out. So I can honestly say that I slept at the Parador de Baiona. Cat nap over, we continued all along the castle walls. Medieval castles are a lot of fun.
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Fiesta de la Arribada – Baiona

March 09, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel 1,670 views

Bayona 1493On Saturday, March 6, 2010, I attended the 517th annual Fest da Arribada (“Arrival Festival” in the Galician language) in Baiona, Galicia. In the port of that small town, 517 years ago, on March 1, 1493, a boat called La Pinta returned to Spain bringing news of a New World to the west, filled with bizarre mostly naked humans, corn, potatoes, peppers, tobacco, tequila and cowboys. It was the first of Christopher Columbus’ ships to return, and, should your childhood textbooks be believed (they absolutely should not!), the first proof that the Earth was not round. Normally Spaniards need little to no provocation to have a celebration, so there’s been no stopping this party for half a millennium!
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Vigo

March 09, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Spain, Travel 571 views

Octopus PlateThis past weekend, we went to Vigo, Galicia, on the Atlantic coast of Spain near the Portugal border. On Thursday morning, we got up early, left The Wee One with my in-laws, and drove seven hours west to the province of Galicia. That afternoon, I worked like normal, feeling extra worldly burning a charred spot on a hotel desk with my laptop, while Marga studied for a test about Project Management or some such thing. On Friday morning, she went to take her test and I worked all morning, except for when I when I went out for a brief cafe con leche and a palmera pastry for breakfast. Friday afternoon, I worked some more and then went out to meet Marga and walk around the city.
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Patética Fonética Debut

March 02, 2010 By: erik Category: Colindres, Funny, Spain, Videos 591 views

Native Speaker of U.S. EnglishLast month, I was asked to participate, as a native English speaker, in a videocast from the local language school, Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Laredo, about English pronunciation. The man who filmed me and is the brain of the whole videocast, Rodolfo, is really annoyed at his students’ (and, in general, all Spaniards’) lack of care when pronouncing English words. Rather uniquely, Rodolfo has specifically chosen American English as his pronunciation goal; he has worked really hard, and his pronunciation is superb. This is the third installment in his videocast. Here are the first and second.
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February Hurricane

February 27, 2010 By: erik Category: Colindres, Complaining, Damn, Nature!, Scary, Spain 201 views

23 C in FebruaryThe weather today has been very, very odd. Everyone is using the word huracán for what is in store for us tonight. Nora and I spent much of the afternoon outside in the unseasonably warm temperatures and brisk breeze. We saw several dumpsters that had been tied down to keep them in place. There were a few strange occurrences, such as when it rained from a perfectly blue sky.
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Drug Deal

February 26, 2010 By: erik Category: Funny, Politics, Spain 158 views

The other day I took Nora to the doctor to get her cough and recurring fever looked at. Actually I went in just to get an appointment, but as soon as the receptionist heard the F-word, she passed me right along to the pediatric waiting area. Eventually the doctor saw us, probed and prodded a screaming Nora, and gave us a prescription for a cough and fever medicine. We headed straight for the farmacia.
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Eleven Months Old

February 25, 2010 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Photos 165 views

Eating a cookieWell, Nora, yesterday was your last cumplemes that we’re going to celebrate. From now on, it’s just once a year. We weren’t going to do much of a party this time, but in the morning your Aunt Belén called and informed me that she was bringing your grandmother and great-grandfather to see you for your 11 month birthday…and that they expected there to be hamburgers!
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Cutie Pie

February 23, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos 636 views

Wispy HairThis morning Nora was looking particularly cute, and I was itching to put the flash back on my camera and take some photos. The result was a little impromptu portraiture session starring a little blond-haired blue-eyed lass sitting lazily on the sofa.
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Learning To Eat

February 21, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos 101 views

thumbSometime in the past few weeks, Nora has left her “I must put everything I can touch into my mouth!” phase, and is now often content to hold objects in her hands, passing them from one hand to the other. This shift has coincided, unfortunately, with the introduction of self feeding, whereby she is given a small piece of cookie to pick up and eat. The first few times, she didn’t understand what the cookie was for at all, and she picked it up and dropped it, picked it up and dropped it, just like she does with most things. Eventually she figured out that it was for eating and put it in her mouth…but she didn’t understand that she needed to let go of the cookie once it was in her mouth, so she was just sucking on it with it pinched between her fingers. We’ll keep working with her on this.
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