Untranslatable

When I was younger I was so fascinated by etymology and language that I thought I might like to become an etymologist or a linguist. I still have moments when I suddenly realize that two words share a root and suddenly their meaning makes so much more sense. I remember driving in Regina one day, after four years of film school, and suddenly piecing together why the word “nickelodeon” existed. Nickelodeons were places people could go in the early days of moving pictures to see a film. I learned about them in my film history class and for some reason it never clicked that they were called this because a nickel was the cost and an odeon was essentially an ancient greek theatre venue. When I tell my friends about these moments I wind up feeling a bit embarrassed because they all give me that look, and say things along the lines of “Really? You just figured that out NOW?” Deep down, I think they have moments just like this and only react this way to seem smart in front of other people.

In the long run my grammar didn’t become as strong as it should have and I feel like my vocabulary isn’t nearly as wide as I would like it to be. This is something I’m working on. I have an ongoing list of words that grows every time I read a book. New words to add to my vocabulary as I try to expand my knowledge of language and become a stronger writer. Despite the fact that there are so many words in the English language it manages to fall short in some ways. Ways that I don’t even realize until I do the research. There are quite a few ideas that English fails to find words for. We have long, awkward phrasings trying to describe certain sensations or feelings. We all have these strange, emotional moments that we understand conceptually but don’t have a word for. Or a type of person we are not quite able to describe. Once in a while, when I watch a quiz show or do a bit of reading, I discover that other languages have found words for some of these things. I get downright giddy when I read these words and realize that not only do other people experience these things, but enough do that cultures have found words for them. I really hope to add a few of these to my vocabulary until English manages to catch up.

Some of them are incredibly poetic.

Komorebi (Japanese) The sort of scattered, dappled light effect that happens when sunlight shines in through trees.

Gokotta (Swedish) To wake up early in the morning with the purpose of going outside to hear the first birds sing.

Aware (Japanese) The bittersweetness of a brief and fading moment of transcendent beauty.

Some are downright practical and efficient.

Tretar (Swedish) The second refill (third cup in a row) of coffee. (A patar is the first refill.)

Prozvonit (Czech) To call a mobile phone only to have it ring once so that the other person would call back allowing the caller not to spend money on minutes.

And some, to an English speaker, seem sort of funny.

Gattara (Italian) A woman, often old and lonely, who devotes herself to stray cats.

Age-otori (Japanese) To look worse after a haircut.

Tingo (Pascuense) The act of taking objects one desires from the house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them.

These are a few I found that I thought were particularly interesting. I think all of them are beautiful simply because they manage to express an idea that English has been unable to. Most of these are singular things and ideas but for some reason, in its fumbling and awkward way, English fails to describe them efficiently. I’ve seen other examples around (and I’ll post the links where I found these below) but these caught my interest today. Hopefully as I read and research in the future, I’ll find some words to describe my own complex feelings. A word for the excitement of suddenly realizing the origin of a word. Or maybe a word for the kind of people who pretend to know things that you mention to them, just so they can look smart around others.

http://www.boredpanda.com/cute-illustrations-untranslatable-words-marija-tiurina/

http://www.boredpanda.com/untranslatable-words-found-in-translation-anjana-iyer/

My Take on Loki

As I’ve mentioned before I am currently working on a web serial based on Norse Mythology. I’m going to try to avoid major spoilers, but one of the main ideas behind the story is that Loki is in no way the villain. The most popular versions of the character seem to be those produced by Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios. When most people think of Loki these days they picture Tom Hiddleston. I love the Thor comics and I think Hiddleston is a great choice for their version of the character. It is important to note, however, that the comic book and movie versions of Marvel’s Loki, as well as the rest of Marvel’s Norse Myth inspired characters, are very loosely based on the actual myths. Loki is not Thor’s brother or Odin’s son in the myths. Thor is usually described as having red hair and a beard rather than being blonde. Obviously there is nothing wrong with making your own versions of the characters when adapting mythological characters. You don’t have much choice with the Norse Myths considering how confusing and inconsistent the sources tend to be. I have always found it interesting, though, that almost every version of Loki is painted as the villain. In a sense Loki is seen as a villain in some of the myths but it is interesting to consider in which specific myths this is the case.

In most of the Norse myths we know of Loki is a trickster and nothing more. He is never violent and doesn’t kill anyone. As far as I can remember he doesn’t even kill any giants which is extremely common for a god to do. The most “nefarious” deed he seems to commit is cutting off Sif’s hair while she slept. Even then he finds a non violent solution to the problem and gets her hair, as well as five other important artefacts, constructed by dwarves. He is not a malicious villain or murderer. He is just a trickster. With one important exception.

It is predicted by the Norns (Norse Mythologies equivalent to the fates) that Loki will kill Baldr by guiding the blind Hod’s aim with a bow at the god of beauty. After essentially murdering Baldr, Loki refuses to shed tears for the most beloved of the gods and is punished. He is tied by his own innards beneath a mountain while a snakes venom drips onto his wounds. This is his state of being until Ragnarok begins when he breaks free and leads the forces of chaos to war against the gods. Obviously these myths don’t follow the most solid of narrative structures but this kind of leads me to a burning question. Why is a mostly harmless trickster turned into a murderous villain in this apocalyptic myth? He is a trickster and a clown in almost every case except this one. The answer may have been more clear if we had more of the myths on hand. Since this is the case I have decided to make this a major part of my web serial. I hope to play with the idea that fate has decided a good person must be a villain. Ragnarok is destined to happen and Loki is destined to, whether he likes it or not, murder a god and fight a war. What does he think of his fate and what will he do about it? That’s what this piece is all about. I look forward to sharing it with you soon!

Back to School

In the fall I’m going to be taking online classes through the University of Regina. I already have a BFA in Film Production and a minor in Religious studies. I became fascinated with religious studies in my second year of university and once I realized that all of my electives were going to be RS classes minoring in the subject became an easy decision. I decided recently to see how many more classes I would need to get a second major in Religious studies and noticed it was only going to take 24 credit hours. That’s eight classes which I could easily finish in a year. I don’t want to move back to Regina or take out more student loans so I opted to take online classes. Since I’m living with my parents I won’t have to worry about breaking the bank to take a few classes. I won’t be taking a full course load but I will probably be a full time student (3 classes). I’m a bit excited but also a bit nervous. Online classes don’t have a schedule and I can be bad at procrastinating. It’s going to be entirely up to me to keep up on my readings and assignments so it may be a bit of a challenge. Having a regular schedule forces you to get things done. That structure definitely helps. I think I’ll be able to do it though.

I am definitely excited to explore some more aspects of religious studies as well as a few faculties I didn’t have the chance to try in my first degree. I have to take some language credits, a natural science, and an indigenous studies class. I’m very excited to take indigenous studies 100 in the fall. I feel, as a Canadian, it is incredibly important to be educated on the subject and I unfortunately didn’t have time to take it until now. I haven’t decided what my natural science course will be yet but it looks like my language credits will be Cree. I’ve never felt inclined to learn Cree before this but it’s the only language class available online. I’m definitely excited to give it a shot! My actual religious studies course next semester is going to be Gender: Theory and Practices. It’s basically studying Women and Gender Studies from a Religious Studies perspective. This is a hugely important subject to me and one that I think will be central to my work as a filmmaker in the future. Gender, queer issues, and their relationship with religion is constantly changing and being talked about. Hopefully I’ll be able to have a stronger understanding of them after this class.

I like to think, if I keep my grades up, I might be able to get a master’s degree in religious studies someday. It is definitely the subject I enjoy thinking about the most and I am constantly trying to be more critical of the religious aspects of my world. It can be a hot button issue but it is definitely an important one. I look forward to expanding my knowledge of it in a few months!

Struggling

My new day job has me feeling exhausted almost all the time. I’m not a morning person at all and even when I get a solid 8 hours of sleep I feel exhausted all day. The most frustrating effect of this is the fact that when I get home from work I don’t want to do anything. I’ve been struggling to write and be creative because I just want to sleep all the time. Even right now I’m seriously struggling to get something written for this blog. I was hoping to write every day, or close to it, and I haven’t been pulling that off. I’m going to keep trying, though. I hope to have some actual work on my web serial started by next month, but I need to really keep myself motivated if I’m going to do that. I love writing but being creative takes a lot of energy. And being creative often enough to make good, consistent content can tire you out as much as a job does. But I’m not going to give up, and I’m going to keep trying!

This is an exceptionally short post because I am honestly struggling to type these words. My mind feels to tired to get words written down. Hopefully I can get into a better groove and keep things going once I get used to this new schedule.

My First Roll of Colour FIlm

On the trip to Whitkow I posted about last week I didn’t just take Instax photos. I took some pictures on my Pentax K 1000 as well. It’s a 35mm film camera that I bought from one of my classmates in university while I was taking a photography class. That class was a black and white photography course but the first roll I got back from Don’s photo was a leftover roll of colour film. The roll was off 200 speed Kodak colour film, which I haven’t shot since my first year of university. This is the first time I’ve shot colour 35mm as a part of my photography hobby and I was really excited to get the roll back. The pictures are far from perfect, which is exactly how I like them. There’s a lot of grain and I’m getting to chance to see some colours in a way I never have before. I’m still waiting to pick up 2 rolls of black and white film which I will pick up and post in a week or so. I have really been enjoying black and white film but now that I’ve had some fun with colour I think I’ll start shooting more of it.

I’ve chosen not to caption these ones. These are my favourites from the roll and if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask!

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My new job

I haven’t posted in a while because the last week has been pretty hectic. I was going through the process of being hired by the Sask Liquor board when I made a somewhat impulsive decision to take some online classes in the fall. I put a post on Facebook asking for advice on which professor to choose for a class and a friend of mine saw it. She sent me a message offering me an interview for a position as a summer student at the Western Development Museum. I was hired the same day and dropped my job at the LB. My new job is specifically taking photos and shooting videos for the museum. I’ll mostly be shooting stuff for ads and promotional videos but also possible some short documentary kind of videos. I’m really excited to do this, obviously, because I have a film degree and documentary is a serious area of interest for me. I will have the opportunity to interview some people about the history of Saskatchewan and some of the artifacts in the museum and am incredibly excited to do so!

Today and tomorrow are “Museum Days” which entails hundreds of students from the North Battleford area coming to the museum, seeing the exhibits, and watching demonstrations. Part of my job is helping out in the gift shop so I did some of that, but a good chunk of my day was taking photos around the museum. It was a bit frustrating, though, because we didn’t have signed release forms for any of the kids and therefore couldn’t take photos of them for promotional use. I gave up on trying to get video footage because everything interesting going on had kids involved and running through the shots. So I spent most of my day, and hopefully I’ll spend most of tomorrow, talking photos of volunteers and animals at the petting zoo.

Overall it’s been a pretty cool experience so far. I am feeling a bit of anxiety over the fact that things I create are now being viewed by an employer. This position was created just weeks ago and I’m the first one to have it so there will likely be a lot of leeway but I can’t help but feel a bit nervous about how my work will turn out. I’m employed full time to do this and will probably have my inner critic screaming louder than ever about my stuff. But this is a really great opportunity and it will hopefully improve some of my skills in a big way. My biggest challenge now will be to keep writing and working on creative projects while I work. I have trouble sleeping some nights and I tend to forget to write (like I have the past few days) when I get really exhausted. I am, however, determined to keep going! I have this blog to keep up with and my web serial to work on. I hope this summer will be one where I get to work in my field as well as create some really fun art! Wish me luck, everyone!

Bonus photo!

Here’s a little bonus picture from Calgary Expo 2014! I took a few others that I may post later. I like the idea of keeping some of these photos non digital, so they’re more of a special experience to share with friends. But I do like to show off the ones that turned out really well. This was one of the best images I shot at the expo. The light was perfect and the cosplayers had so much personality!

Ghostbusters 2014 Instax 210 Wide