Volunteering, Weddings, A Wet-Sounding Word, A Good Blog, And Nightcrawler
I’ve managed to get myself entangled in organizing our regional book awards brunch, and without thinking, I volunteered myself to do one of the bigger jobs – I have to arrange seating, food, and general set-up for 200 guests. Yikes! I’ve never done anything like this before, and if I’m not careful, my little perfectionist self just might want to implode. I’m sure the whole affair will end up working out quite well, but knowing that doesn’t stop me from imagining mass food poisoning, or at least having the master of ceremonies getting up to find no microphone or podium at which to speak.
On Saturday night, the Fiery One and I went to a wedding. It was tacky as hell, and so wonderful. I never used to care much for weddings until I had one, and now it’s all very touching to see two people who actually like each other and get along make it legal. Despite the duke-em-out fight between the nearly married couple and a guy in a gorilla suit and a man in conservative clothes representing the moral majority, there was a sense of sincerity that you rarely experience most days (or weeks, or months). And since I eat that sort of thing up like butterscotch pudding, I drank too many rye-and-cokes and stared at the Fiery One all mushy-like throughout the evening and rubbed up against him on the dance floor in such a way that, if I wasn’t the woman he’s married to, would make me look like a two-bit whore. Ah, weddings.
Clatch. Cf. Scot. clatch a slap, the noise caused by the collision of soft bodies; prob. of imitative origin.] (Scot. & Dial. Eng.) (n.) A soft or sloppy lump or mass; as, to throw a clatch of mud. (n.) Anything put together or made in a careless or slipshod way; hence, a sluttish or slipshod woman. (v. t. & i.) To daub or smear, as with lime; to make or finish in a slipshod way.
I realized quickly that this was not the word I was looking for. “A soft or sloppy lump or mass” was not exactly the sort of word I was looking for to describe a certain group of ladies, although in my present mood, it almost seems fitting for how I feel about them. What I really meant was this word, which is not often used anymore:
Klatch (n.) A social gathering devoted primarily to small talk and gossip.
Etymologically it is derived from the German Klatsch, from klatschen, which means to gossip, or make a sharp noise, and is of imitative origin. The earliest date known for the usage of this word may be only as early as 1885, but possibly as late as 1941. Klatch keeps running through my head lately, because it has such a sound to it, like the slapping of wet skin. Klatch klatch klatch klatch klatch. Even better is Kaffeeklatsch. Cluck cluck.
I know that I have a permanent link to ftrain’s weblog, but this one is particularly good, so I thought I would draw more attention to it.
A dear friend of mine, Nightcrawler, moved very far away from me, and has since expanded the reach of and devoted her life to varying forms of performance. Here is an excerpt I found about her latest spectacle:
Nightcrawler’s untitled performance addresses racism operating at the level of the body and hygiene. Since the era of first contact, the so-called “odour of the other” has served as a pernicious means by which European colonizers stigmatized First Nations peoples. Reflecting at the edge of a fountain in Berczy Park, Nightcrawler recalls an episode in the life of Quannah Parker, the last chief of the Comanches, who once caused a stir by bathing in a public fountain. The artist will satirically confront the misconceived but persistent fiction of “cultural stench.”
I must add that her public fountain-bathing also included her own brand of opera. Her humour is razor-sharp and bubbling, a bit of the clowning that haunted our childhood nightmares admixed with mature exploration and the joy of expression. How fabulous to make a bit of a living doing the things that few of us ever have the courage to commit. I had to write this little blurb about her, because I’m hoping she’ll read it and be tickled, and also because I want her to be absolutely famous one day.
Saulteaux First Nations Facts and Links:
* The Saulteaux have a whopping fifteen reserves in Saskatchewan!
* The word "Chief" in Saulteaux is "Ogima-kan". Ogima literally translated into English means "somebody higher up", but is more adequately translated as "Boss". Kan translated means "the position"; therefor Ogima-kan means "the position of boss".
* This link offers a much more comprehensive overview of the traditional Saulteaux world view and beliefs than I will bother to type out.
* Amuse yourself with trying to sound out some common terms and phrases in the Saulteaux language.
* A little extra information in brief.