Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Buying text books, the kids and internet music. A day in the life blahblahblah

Into a neighbouring town, to get school books for the girls. Very limited success and a grumpy temperament. The list came sometime near Christmas...and I didn't go until today, the first full business day after New Years. What with being away and all, the husband didn't even think to go. Well, they have to order them, and they won't be ready until next week sometime....the school cannot be too uptight as this IS Spain, and this is normal. I am not at all bothered about this, and neither are the kids.

I may not bother buying the English language texts for the girls, indeed I am a little confused that they are going to be in the English classes at all, I was under the impression that they would be doing extra Catalan lessons at that time. They don't appear to be doing Spanish lessons at all, so I am a little confused. Why would they be taking English lessons from a non-native speaker, and not taking Spanish? I mean really. I am busily learning Catalan, but on a global level, Spanish is a far more useful language that Catalan, and I intend to start to study it pretty damn soon. If we can get the cash together I will try and take lessons while the kids are at school.

We will have to talk to the school about this.

The only book I managed to buy, I thought was a Catalan dictionary. Turns out it is a Catalan - English dictionary designed for Catalan speakers learning English. Great! I have managed to spend a little of our scarce cash on a book describing a language we already know in a language we cannot understand. Nice shootin' TEX

Might as well go back to bed. Shaping up to be one of those days where I am bad-tempered, and correspondingly nothing goes right. Stems from me I believe not the world. That doesn't seem to help though.

....later. Life improved, nothing like lunch and three or four cups of tea to change a person's outlook on life. Went off the the medical center to start the process to get health cards. Nationalized health care here. There are as many forms to fill out as you might imagine. To quote the two year old nephew, "yucky yucky yucky."

The younger daughter loves to play soccer, well, to kick a soccer ball around so went off to do that. Like a fall day here, sunny, just needed a warm shirt. Very nice. There is a great park nearby, it has a kids area with carved wooden animals for the kids to ride on, like those springy horses, but rough carved out of wood. Very cool. Never got the nephew's over there while they were here. That's OK, they'll be back.

Pandora...asked a question and got no answers, so here's what I found out when I signed up. It is a music sight, you sign up and can create up to 100 "radio stations" these are essentially random play of tracks that relate to music and musicians that you have selected. For instance we created a crooners station with Sinatra, Torme, Dean Martin, Dinah Washington.... and we get some from them, but also other performers that are in the same genre. You can get rid of individual performances and encourage others. So while you don't have any control over the individual songs, you can program the station to the kinds of music you like to listen too. That said, there appears to be no classical. It had never heard of Mozart. Nor does there seem to be much variety in the style of music beyond fairly mainstream. I'm having trouble getting the Cajun/zydeco station set up. It keeps getting confused. Maybe, once again, I am a weird nerd in my tastes, either that or I am just to old and it is aimed younger. Since we have no stereo, and essentially haven't had one for 4 years, and only have about 10 cd's (the rest are stored in the basement of our house, with everything that isn't stored on the boat....) this is a nice chance to hear some music, it is also a good way to find artists you may not know who play the kind of music you might like at least some of the time. I may not have much luck finding African and Caribbean drumming music though. Of course you can listen while you do something else, it's a seperate window.

OK, go here to discover that the Catalan's are not the only ones with some unusual-to-my-eyes traditions.


Beth said...

You may have your moments of being "bad tempered" but, boy, I find you to be extremely adaptable.
Have you tried downloading Limewire to your computer for "free" music? I usually buy from iTunes but when iTunes doesn't have the song I want, I use Limewire. Have never "caught" a virus from using it.

Beth said...

We use Limewire too, and have never had a problem with it.

Now do I understand this right?...your daughters, who speak english, have to take an english course to learn to speak english by someone who doesn't even speak english themselves? Or am I just nuts in the head? that doesn't make any sense to me at all.

Dorky Dad said...

I just steal my music. That way I don't have to worry about spending any money.

Actually, thanks for the site recommendation.

oreneta said...

Beth: I'll check out limewire, thanks for the tip. The pandora site doesn't play enough of the songs I want to here so far.

Beth: Yup, non-fluent english speakers teaching english to my english speaking kids. I'll keep you posted.

DD: No problem... my sister downloads from some russian site for about 3 cents a song.. a nod towards her feelings of guilt, but???

Anonymous said...

Your sister is laughing her head off, cause when I clicked on your link to Pandora an ad popped up for McDonald's - ha ha ha - ha ha ha ha! (Inside joke for the rest of you - sorry)

Nomad said...

Hoo...I get it...the inside joke I mean...

I tried Pandora too, but it did not recognize Buddha-bar may latest cool music thing...guess I'll have to try again...
Man we need a totally integrated, audio-visual-telephone-daytimer-electronic-alarm-typo-gadget to fit in all these internet possibilities no?

Your kids will be fine, bullying situations do not arise overnight, plus our experience has also been that the Spanish have been very warm and I am sure you will make a strong liason with the teachers who can help you if problems arise. Your kids are so great and so smart they will be able to handle whatever comes their way.
Plus good experience no matter what...relax you are a great mother wolf... :-)

It would be great if they could have one english contact person to help out in case of distress...?
Is this a possibilty? Even an emergency number to call like to Dad to translate if it gets dire. Just in the beginning, with my kids it was like a life line...the fear of not being able to communicate like "I really have to go pee" or simple stuff like that was really tough for them.

oreneta said...

Sister: Those pop up's know just what to do eh?

Nomad: Thank you so much, I will mention to them, there is an English teacher in the school who can probably be called in if things get dire. And I will give them their Dad's number at work sa well. The English teacher should do the trick though.

Do you still have skype?

Nomad said...

no, we do have a plan tho so if you want to chat call me and I can call you back. Does not cost ma any extra...