please let us wake up on Monday to find it is still Thursday


I would have posted some weekend links on Friday, but I was too despondent to do a thing apart from be despondent.

Brexit. Heartbreaking Brexit. Tragic to me for selfish reasons – I have much skin in the EU game; and for humanitarian reasons – it seems to me that a huge dam has broken in these ever-rising floodwaters of western xenophobic fear-mongering. I’m disgusted that this is becoming our zeitgeist, and I’m terrified at the damage it will do and has already done. And I should leave it at that, because I’m not comfortable spewing forth my sadness and rage in such a public forum.

I will say this: the Scots have a sublime way with the English language. “Mangled apricot hellbeast” is so superhumanly charming and whimsical and imaginative — while simultaneously spot-on – that if I worked in publishing I would give the slinger of that inspired insult a huge advance to write whatever else her little heart desired. 

On that note, here are a few things I read over the past couple of weeks that didn’t leave me wanting to crawl into a hole and skip the next five to ten years:

This man. I love this man. I would PAY to be friends with this man. And here’s what he takes with him when he travels.

I share this article nominally because Leah Dieterich’s considerations of language and semantics are interesting but really because I love everything she does. (See here.)

Talk the-most-foreign-of-all to me: aliens.

10 must-watch TED talks for language learners

You will not catch me talking about squad goals, but this woman wishes she were allowed to use her kids’ new slang.

Ok, scratch that, I will use new slang just once and then never again.

Brexit: so not on fleek

happy weekending


After ten days straight of nothing but eat-sleep-edit, by this past Thursday I was feeling out of the woods enough on my video deadline to take a little break. During this little break, which has inadvertently extended to today, I have inexplicably decided to continue staring at my computer screen, to set down a few links that will go completely stale if I don’t share them soon. Also to post some pictures from the Dak’art Biennale, which I managed to get to just under the wire, on its last day this week.

First, the links:

Pick a country, pick a decade, and listen to the popular music of the era. My friend Jennie posted this link to Facebook a few weeks ago and I have been meaning to tell her since then that it has made me so so so so so so happy. Right now I’m listening to music from 1960’s Congo and it is amazing. I could spend the rest of my life blissfully down this rabbit hole…

Anthony Bourdain has lovely things to say about Senegal, and I agree with all of them.

There will be a refugee team at the Olympics. This is amazing, and there needs to be a documentary about it (and I need to work on it).

In Morocco I kept telling shop owners I was just looking but might come back to buy later, and without fail they would respond, “Inshallah,” which I found hilarious because I had just finished reading this article.

Hyperintelligent commentary on the usage and interpretation of “woke.”

The ostensible reason I am posting this article about getting chills while listening to music is because I like that the word for that sensation is French, but the real reason is that I love beyond measure that Air Supply was part of the study.

A reminder to stay positive while learning another language.

The end of sleeper train service in France. 😦

When West Africans dress, the fabric is the message.

Instead of renting one apartment, sign a (pretty expensive) lease that lets you live around the world.

On the pleasures of traveling alone.

The seven joys of traveling, from a joyful traveler. 

In English, double negatives make a positive, but that’s not true for all languages.

15 slang French words every French learner should know.

Along the same lines, 20 funny French expressions. (Can someone French please confirm that number 19 is still in common usage? Because I would like this phrase to come out of my mouth as often as possible.)

Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants? I refer to a foreigner intending to stay someplace temporarily as an expat and one hoping to stay permanently as an immigrant but I guess that is also fraught.

And now, some Dak’Art favorites:


The piece above, which at first glance appeared to be a sculpture wrapping around the gallery wall, turned out to be a photo-mural featuring real people. I loved it. The artist explains. dakart_africa


The above were all at the IFAN Museum of African Arts, which I intend to revisit soon to check out the permanent collection. I mistakenly thought that one of the other Dak’Art exhibition sites was at the old railway station that I passed by and went gaga over on one of my first walks in Dakar. It was actually only for performances, and there were none the afternoon I visited. But what there was… was the most spectacular train station in disrepair I’ve ever seen. This may be my favorite place in the city. Also, I am in love with the French phrase for railroad: chemins de fer, literally “routes of iron.”


And now I’m off to grab something to eat before getting back to editing. Enjoy the rest of your weekends!