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Your marriage essay

Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]


Mon, 1 Sep 2008 16:14:08 -0700

[Jimmy was kind enough to mail me, out of the blue, commentary on an essay I wrote recently, http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Essays/marriage.html .]

Quoting Jimmy O'Regan (joregan@gmail.com):

> 2008/9/1 Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>:
> > Quoting Jimmy O'Regan (joregan@gmail.com):
> >
> >> I just read your fascinating essay 'Kudzu and the California Marriage
> >> Amendment'; one niggle, however: 'Stanlislawa Walasiewiczowna' should
> >> be spelled 'Stanislawa Walasiewiczowna' (or, with full Polish
> >> diacritics, 'Stanis?awa Walasiewiczˇwna')
> >
> > Thank you, sir.  I was copying a third-party source, and it didn't look
> > quite right, but I forgot I had a Polish-speaker I could check with.  ;->
> >
> 
> I actually found your essay while trying to take a break from Polish -
> I'm currently wading my way through 'Pan Tadeusz', first in English,
> then in Polish, proofreading the scans as I go to possibly send to
> Project Gutenberg. It thus came as something of a minor shock to find
> yet more Polish in your essay - and I was already in 'error checking
> mode', so... :)

It's good to hear that the tragic historical trainwreck caused first by the "liberum veto", and then by Poland being in harm's way and attempting to be a liberal parliamentary democracy midway between three of the most powerful of Europe's autocratic dynasties (Catherine the Great, Frederick II and Frederick William II of the Hohenzollerns, and several Austrian emperors) produced something good.

Anyway, one of the reasons I hastened to finish that essay is that my family is going on holiday, starting tomorrow, on a cruise ship. We're going to be visiting London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Talinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, and London again, and arriving back on Sept. 19th.

My apologies for not having had time to help copyedit the September _Linux Gazette_: I've been busy getting ready to leave.


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Jimmy O'Regan [joregan at gmail.com]


Tue, 2 Sep 2008 00:59:31 +0100

2008/9/2 Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>:

> [Jimmy was kind enough to mail me, out of the blue, commentary on an
> essay I wrote recently, http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Essays/marriage.html .]
>
> Quoting Jimmy O'Regan (joregan@gmail.com):
>
>> 2008/9/1 Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>:
>> > Quoting Jimmy O'Regan (joregan@gmail.com):
>> >
>> >> I just read your fascinating essay 'Kudzu and the California Marriage
>> >> Amendment'; one niggle, however: 'Stanlislawa Walasiewiczowna' should
>> >> be spelled 'Stanislawa Walasiewiczowna' (or, with full Polish
>> >> diacritics, 'Stanis?awa Walasiewiczˇwna')
>> >
>> > Thank you, sir.  I was copying a third-party source, and it didn't look
>> > quite right, but I forgot I had a Polish-speaker I could check with.  ;->
>> >
>>
>> I actually found your essay while trying to take a break from Polish -
>> I'm currently wading my way through 'Pan Tadeusz', first in English,
>> then in Polish, proofreading the scans as I go to possibly send to
>> Project Gutenberg. It thus came as something of a minor shock to find
>> yet more Polish in your essay - and I was already in 'error checking
>> mode', so... :)
>
> It's good to hear that the tragic historical trainwreck caused first by
> the "liberum veto", and then by Poland being in harm's way and attempting
> to be a liberal parliamentary democracy midway between three of the most
> powerful of Europe's autocratic dynasties (Catherine the Great,
> Frederick II and Frederick William II of the Hohenzollerns, and several
> Austrian emperors) produced something good.
>

The Lithuanians like to claim Mickiewicz as their own, citing the opening line of that book - 'Lithuania, my fatherland' - conveniently ignoring that the /rest/ of the book is a paean to the ways of life of the Polish nobility. Interesting topic in itself, but I mention in to introduce this:

The Polish Prime Minister was summoned to Moscow, to meet Brezhnev:
'And what of this Mickiewicz, this Polish writer, who writes that
Lithuania is his fatherland?'
'But he's dead now!'
'Ah. I like how you work'

Anyway, I've put a small excerpt from book one online here: http://joregan.blogspot.com/2008/08/pan-tadeusz-book-1-1.html

> Anyway, one of the reasons I hastened to finish that essay is that my
> family is going on holiday, starting tomorrow, on a cruise ship.  We're
> going to be visiting London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Talinn, St. Petersburg,
> Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, and London again, and arriving back on Sept.
> 19th.

Stockholm... Oslo... you're not going to stock up on lutefisk, are you?


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Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]


Mon, 1 Sep 2008 22:37:19 -0700

Quoting Jimmy O'Regan (joregan@gmail.com):

> The Lithuanians like to claim Mickiewicz as their own, citing the
> opening line of that book - 'Lithuania, my fatherland' - conveniently
> ignoring that the /rest/ of the book is a paean to the ways of life of
> the Polish nobility. 

He was also clearly thinking of the historical identity of his country as the "Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth" under which the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Polish kingdom (including parts of present-day Belarus, Latvia, Ukraine, Estonia, and wester Russia) were united for over 200 years, and was arguably Poland's golden age. It was common to refer to the united state as Lithuania, even though Poland was the dominant partner.

> Stockholm... Oslo... you're not going to stock up on lutefisk, are you?

I'm hoping to foment strife between the lutefisk and surstr├Âmming people. Two birds, etc.


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Jimmy O'Regan [joregan at gmail.com]


Tue, 2 Sep 2008 10:23:40 +0100

2008/9/2 Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>:

> Quoting Jimmy O'Regan (joregan@gmail.com):
>
>> The Lithuanians like to claim Mickiewicz as their own, citing the
>> opening line of that book - 'Lithuania, my fatherland' - conveniently
>> ignoring that the /rest/ of the book is a paean to the ways of life of
>> the Polish nobility.
>
> He was also clearly thinking of the historical identity of his country
> as the "Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth" under which the Grand Duchy of
> Lithuania and Polish kingdom (including parts of present-day Belarus, Latvia,
> Ukraine, Estonia, and wester Russia) were united for over 200 years, and
> was arguably Poland's golden age.  It was common to refer to the united
> state as Lithuania, even though Poland was the dominant partner.
>

I've heard quite a lot of the history, from both Poles and Lithuanians :) The area where the story takes place was traditionally part of Lithuania (and is again), though at the time, populated almost entirely by Poles. My friend's father hails from somewhere close by, from where he was repatriated after the borders changed.

>> Stockholm... Oslo... you're not going to stock up on lutefisk, are you?
>
> I'm hoping to foment strife between the lutefisk and surstr÷mming
> people.  Two birds, etc.

:)


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Ben Okopnik [ben at linuxgazette.net]


Mon, 1 Sep 2008 22:16:41 -0400

On Mon, Sep 01, 2008 at 04:14:08PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:

> 
> Anyway, one of the reasons I hastened to finish that essay is that my
> family is going on holiday, starting tomorrow, on a cruise ship.  We're
> going to be visiting London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Talinn, St. Petersburg,
> Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, and London again, and arriving back on Sept.
> 19th.
> 
> My apologies for not having had time to help copyedit the September
> _Linux Gazette_:  I've been busy getting ready to leave.

Rick, I hope you and yours enjoy the trip - it sounds like it's going to be an amazing experience!

While we're (peripherally) on the subject of not having time, though: since the Okopnik family is 1) in Florida, 2) on a boat, and 3) in the midst of the hurricane season - and it's a king hell bastard of one, with tropical depressions spinning up into storms and becoming hurricanes at record speeds - please excuse the long delays in mail response, etc. Crew and ship safety take precedence over everything else.

Incidentally, Michael's 1st birthday was on August 20th - and he had a rather boisterous (and unwelcome) guest come to visit.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2008/graphics/al06/loop_3W.shtml

We weathered Fay just fine, and Gustav passed us by - but at this point, the predictions are for Hurricane Hanna to visit us, and Tropical Storm Ike is already spinning up out there in the Atlantic. It feels a bit like being at the wrong end of a shooting gallery... I'm more than ready for this hurricane season to be over.

-- 
* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://LinuxGazette.NET *


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Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]


Mon, 1 Sep 2008 20:51:21 -0700

Quoting Ben Okopnik (ben@linuxgazette.net):

> Rick, I hope you and yours enjoy the trip - it sounds like it's going to
> be an amazing experience!

I expect so! I haven't ever been the St. Petersburg, but I have been to Leningrad. I even stayed at the Hotel Astoria, the place Herr Hitler had earmarked to host his reception ball. (It seems they lost his reservation, though.)

There was a classic Soviet-era joke, about a city-dwelller's answers to a set of survey questions:

Q: Where were you born?
A: St. Petersburg.
 
Q: Where did you go to school?
A: Petrograd.
 
Q: Where do you live now?
A: Leningrad.
 
Q: And where would you like to live?
A: St. Petersburg.
> We weathered Fay just fine, and Gustav passed us by - but at this point,
> the predictions are for Hurricane Hanna to visit us, and Tropical Storm
> Ike is already spinning up out there in the Atlantic.

You'll be forgiven if you don't like Ike. http://www.hakes.com/item.asp?AuctionItemID=15969


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Ben Okopnik [ben at linuxgazette.net]


Tue, 2 Sep 2008 20:29:36 -0400

On Mon, Sep 01, 2008 at 08:51:21PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:

> 
> There was a classic Soviet-era joke, about a city-dwelller's answers to a
> set of survey questions:
> 
> Q: Where were you born?
> A: St. Petersburg.
> 
> Q: Where did you go to school?
> A: Petrograd.
> 
> Q: Where do you live now?
> A: Leningrad.
> 
> Q: And where would you like to live?
> A: St. Petersburg.
Heh. During the Soviet era, that kind of an answer would definitely get the respondent a different place of residence... somewhere with a northern view. In every direction.

In a similar story, Aleksandra Yablochkina (one of the great Russian actresses whose career included the pre- and post-Revolutionary periods) was asked how she visualized life under communism. "Oh, it'll be marvelous! There will be plenty of food, everyone will have their own house, people will be respectful and polite, the streets will be clean and neat... In general, just like it was in the Tzar's time..."

Oddly enough - whether due to her immense popularity or because of her reputation for naivete and plain speaking - she was not, erm, "sent away".

> > We weathered Fay just fine, and Gustav passed us by - but at this point,
> > the predictions are for Hurricane Hanna to visit us, and Tropical Storm
> > Ike is already spinning up out there in the Atlantic.
> 
> You'll be forgiven if you don't like Ike.
> http://www.hakes.com/item.asp?AuctionItemID=15969

Nor Josephine, if we're looking for historical antecedents for these things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_de_Beauharnais

-- 
* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://LinuxGazette.NET *


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Jimmy O'Regan [joregan at gmail.com]


Wed, 3 Sep 2008 03:03:54 +0200

2008/9/3 Ben Okopnik <ben@linuxgazette.net>:

> On Mon, Sep 01, 2008 at 08:51:21PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
>>
>> There was a classic Soviet-era joke, about a city-dwelller's answers to a
>> set of survey questions:
>>
>> Q: Where were you born?
>> A: St. Petersburg.
>>
>> Q: Where did you go to school?
>> A: Petrograd.
>>
>> Q: Where do you live now?
>> A: Leningrad.
>>
>> Q: And where would you like to live?
>> A: St. Petersburg.
>
> Heh. During the Soviet era, that kind of an answer would definitely get
> the respondent a different place of residence... somewhere with a
> northern view. In every direction.

I try to not tell Russian jokes - especially not those I hear from Russians! - since the last time I retold one of your jokes (also about Brezhnev, IIRC) in a pub, and, upon finishing, received a tap on the shoulder from a tall, stern looking gentleman who stared me down for a few minuts, before declaring "I'm Russian"; waiting, staring me down (as I mentally ran the gamut of English swear words in my head, finding it lacking) - before finally bursting into laughter. Mere jokes shouldn't provide that 'uh oh' feeling, dammt!


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Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]


Fri, 12 Sep 2008 07:25:04 -0700

Quoting Ben Okopnik (ben@linuxgazette.net):

> Heh. During the Soviet era, that kind of an answer would definitely get
> the respondent a different place of residence... somewhere with a
> northern view. In every direction.

The story told (somewhat nervously) about Yuri Andropov that, from his days in Hungary and then running the KGB, he'd grown to absolutely love political humour -- to the point that he not only collected those jokes, but also those who told them.

(Just got through seeing Peterhof, Catherine's Palace, the Hermitage, and the Church on Spilled Blood, and then defecting^W taking the cruise ship to Helsinki.)


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Ben Okopnik [ben at linuxgazette.net]


Fri, 12 Sep 2008 11:19:18 -0400

On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 07:25:04AM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:

> Quoting Ben Okopnik (ben@linuxgazette.net):
> 
> > Heh. During the Soviet era, that kind of an answer would definitely get
> > the respondent a different place of residence... somewhere with a
> > northern view. In every direction.
> 
> The story told (somewhat nervously) about Yuri Andropov that, from his
> days in Hungary and then running the KGB, he'd grown to absolutely love
> political humour -- to the point that he not only collected those jokes,
> but also those who told them.

They used to tell that one about Khruschev, as well. In fact, Nikita was responsible for a large percentage of all political jokes - even after his "retirement"...

In 1965, the city of Odessa (a city with a large Jewish population, and thus a city justly known for its sense of humor) petitioned the Soviet government to reinstate Comrade Khruschev. When asked why, they responded "better ten more years without food than even one more year without laughter!"

> (Just got through seeing Peterhof, Catherine's Palace, the Hermitage,
> and the Church on Spilled Blood, and then defecting^W taking the cruise
> ship to Helsinki.)

For some strange reason, I don't recall any Russian jokes about Finns. Or Swedes. :)

-- 
* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://LinuxGazette.NET *


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