Thursday, April 23, 2009

Carolynn, our wallaroo translator, has been here about a week now. She hasn't taught us much about Australia or Kookaburraton yet. She claims that she needs to settle into the rhythm -- become a part of the family first. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that's working out so well.

Her first move was to try to become something of a nanny for Elaine. I liked the idea, and her assistance did make it easier to finish editing "Otters In Space" and write a good cover letter for it. However, Elaine really isn't willing to accept the authority of a fuzzy marsupial, barely taller than her. Every time Carolynn tries to help Elaine with something, Elaine just shouts her new favorite word, "Self!" Meaning, of course, that she wants to do it herself.

After Carolynn gave up on the nanny idea, she tried bonding with the dogs, but... Well, I'm not completely sure how it happened, but let's just say that Trudy and Carolynn are about evenly matched in a boxing match. Dale tips the scales.

So, now, Carolynn mostly sulks around with the cats. Theresa, who's always cold, hides in Carolynn's pouch, and I think Heidi's taking lessons on being a kangaroo. She's always been a versatile cat.

Well, at least one of us will be prepared for our new life in Australia...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's interesting how Daniel's and my careers have followed similar paths while we've lived in Seattle. We were both published for the first time in the summer of '05. And, this spring, while he's been finishing up the research for his dissertation and applying for postdocs and jobs, I finally finished up the editing on my first novel and have started looking for an agent. We've been aware of the similarities between our jobs for a while -- they're both creative and amorphous. However, there's a substantial difference between having an advisor and working completely alone. I've had a great deal more control over my work than Daniel has had over his. There were many times when I would have traded that for a little guidance, but, in the long run, I think the lack of guidance may have caused me to build a stronger individual vision for my work than I would have otherwise.

At any rate, I now have a novel making the rounds. If only I could find a little more time to work on the second one...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A big truck just pulled up in front of our house, and a big, fluffy wallaroo hopped out! I had been hoping she'd get here last week, so we could dress her up as the Easter bunny... but, oh well. She's here now! I can see her through the window, hopping up the front steps... So exciting!
Elaine's language skills have been progressing fantastically albeit patchily. She clearly understands a vast number of words, and she can say quite a few. However, her pronunciation often leaves something to be desired. She has a few standard babyified words -- "doot" is milk, and "shoop" stroller. (She came up with both of those herself, but they've stayed consistant for months.) And there are some words she can say perfectly like "hot soup" and "shoes." But, then, there's the third category -- words she tries to pronounce properly and yet completely fails at. These can be tricky. For instance, if we're in the kitchen talking about things to eat, it can take me a while to work out that "suit" means spoon. Or, if it's late in the evening and Elaine suddenly insists that she must have "taupe," there are a lot of possibilities to work through before discovering that she's substituted 't' for 'cr' and the 'p' is really supposed to be a 'b'.

So, she stayed up half an hour later than she might have if I had only known "taupe" meant crib. I'm looking forward to her being better able to enunciate.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

We've ordered up a wallaroo translator. I know they speak English in Australia, but there are bound to be cultural differences. And these wallaroo translators are supposed to be entire cultural guides, familiar with the most minute customs. It's all the rage -- indigenous animal guides. So, since it'll be a week or two before our wallaroo gets here, we went to the zoo to show Elaine some of the wallabies and wallaroos there. Pretty cute. Not as intelligent as the genetically/cerebrally enhanced wallaroo that we've ordered -- but, then, you wouldn't want to put one of those in a zoo.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's a lot farther away than I would have liked, but Daniel's really excited about the job... And, in the end, that's what's really important to us. So... We'll be moving to Australia this summer!

It's really peaceful to finally know where we'll be living next year.