Only Tuesday

My eyes are watering furiously. It’s probably leftover from the fry bread experiment last night–I found a recipe and went all in. I’m thinking I want to do it in shortening instead of canola oil next time, and further thinking I want to work a little something into the dough to make it a teensy bit less stiff. Not a lot, because that’s how you get the pockets, but a little bit.

The Princess, not to be outdone, went to work on this marshmallow recipe after dinner. So, this morning there’s the smell of frying and a whole pan of springy, fluffy marshmallows. I’m not sure what it means, other than the fact that the Princess is coming into her own as a candy maker. She’s going to Willy Wonka the world, I can just tell.

She never used to like working with meat or high-temperature sugar cooking, but flour is a gateway drug and now she’s in it to win it. I’m surprised she isn’t chocolate-dipping the marshmallows. Half of them are going to go to a friend’s house, which is good, and if there are any left on Sunday I’ll be having a giant mug of hot chocolate STUFFED with homemade mallows.

All in all, things are pretty quiet here despite my deepening cough and the dogs’ insistence that running around screaming constitutes exercise. I could take them for a run, but I’m not sure my ankle would hold up. On the other hand, Sir Boxnoggin will be getting a bath today, and that will tire him out more than any amount of running and yapping.

I’m on my second jolt of coffee and thinking about another scene between Friar Tuck and Prince John today. I’m also hoping that when I go back to HOOD yesterday’s efforts will not be in vain. I mean, I’ll probably have to throw out half of it, but that’s better than having to throw out the whole thing, right?


Anyway, that’s the news that’s fit to print. This upcoming weekend is for more Lightning Bound (I kind of want to do a big banquet scene again) and for a hot date with Caesar’s Gallic War, because my Latin is rusting and I need to get back with it. Unfortunately it’s only Tuesday, so Latin, the witch and the storm god, and homemade marshmallows have to wait.

It’ll just make the indulgence sweeter when I get to it. Or so adulthood tells me.

I hope that’s not a lie. Over and out.

Silvas, Occulto

Caesar admires the Nervii, even though he’s got to fight them for Rome. One gets the idea they were at least a worthy adversary. And here’s an elegant little sentence.

Intra eas silvas hostes in occulto sese continuebat… -The Gallic War, Loeb Classical, p112.

“Within these woods,” Edwards translates, “the enemy kept themselves in hiding.” Silvas for wood, of course, related to sylvan; and in occulto–something hidden. It pleases me, while reading aloud, to make the connections, tracing a word through centuries into my own mother tongue.

Engagement, Choice

Caesar continues to delight me.1 This time it’s a wonderfully brief sentence, still in the battle near Bibrax.

Acriter in eo loco pugnatum est. The Gallic War, Loeb Classical, p. 102

Edwards translates it as “Fierce was the engagement fought there.” Acriter, which is of course has descended to acrimony from its root which means “pungent,” but in adverb form is “fiercely, strongly.” Then the one-two-three punch of in eo loco2 and the hinge of the sentence, pugnatum, from whence we get pugnacious. To sum it all up, the lovely est, bringing a consonant and the Latin habit of making you wait for the very last breath of the sentence for emphasis.

Part of the joy is the translation, too, keeping some of the rhythm but sadly losing that punch at the end. Fierce was the battle fought there is how I’d have done it, but I think Edwards chose “engagement” because this is just one small part of the ongoing battle at Bibrax, which Caesar has been telling as a whole. I can’t argue with the translation, but I did stop and think “battle would be more poetic, wouldn’t it?”

Of such choices are translation made.

Caesar, Sibilant

More Latin. During the day it’s Caesar’s Gallic War, when I go to bed it’s at least one page of Pliny. Right now, the Belgae are besieging Bibrax, and one of the things I like about reading aloud from a Loeb Classical edition is sometimes I hear a fellow writer using words for effect. Case in point:

Cum finem oppugnandi nox fecisset, Iccius Remus, summa nobilitate et gratia inter suos, qui tum oppido praefuerat, unus ex eis qui legati de pace ad Caesarem venerant, nuntium ad eum mittit, nisi subsidium sibi submittatur, sese diutius sustinere non posse. The Gallic War, Loeb Classical, p.98

By the time we get to “subsidium” Caesar’s having a bit of fun, and throws the alliterative sibilants down with what I imagine is a languorous dinner-party wave of one manicured (but manly!) hand. The entire page is really a joy, especially once one catches the rhythm. Sentence by sentence, one gets a sense of a man who liked writing almost as much as he liked winning battles.