Wednesday, April 20, 2005

the fish over water & its effects on language

perhaps you'd ask why anyone would drive many hours to Niagara Falls for an afternoon. perhaps not. if you did i'd say, to retrieve a linguist & his pal, of course. i can't decide if J is my best friend or the little brother i never had--i mean, i have a little brother, but he hasn't been a pain in the ass in over a decade--but either way, J's been out in Vancouver taking elicitations from salish-speaking squamish natives--or are they squamish-speaking salish?
& i don't get to see him much, proof of which is that all i knew about his work can be summed up as "never trust a salish vowel." (not to say this isn't excellent advice to be taken directly to heart.)

anyway, over the weekend they must have installed some huge electromagnet set to "linguist" frequencies (they're not far on the scale from "ludicrous speed" or maybe the pretty blue lines in a spectral analysis) in Buffalo, because linguistic types from all over the globe (which makes sense, if you think about it) were clustered about Buffalo to cream? or the linguistic equivalent of 5 am? ah yes, this is the point where my language breaks down.
& lo, my linguistical friend was drawn forth, to (almost) the east coast. tomorrow he's on the west coast, but that's a different story.

since i don't like wings (to eat, i mean) & i do like water, it was determined that the best thing to do with Buffalo is drive 20 miles west to the falls.

there's no way to describe them. (the tourist buttons try, though: "Niagara Falls--it just keeps going!" or something to that effect.)

the American Falls & the Horseshoe Falls, Niagara, NY (that's Canada over the water there)

there are any number of bridges & towers scattered about for more elevated perspectives (you can actually walk to Canada, over the Rainbow Bridge, but we didn't.) & of course it's a park too--supposedly the first State Park in the country--so there's paths & rails & statues & monuments, along with the "Cave of Winds" which was really the "walk of crap" reached via elevator. supposedly when the base of the falls (the Bridal Veil, in particular) is not covered in thirty feet of snow, this little tour gives a rather stunning view from below the falls. in reality, as we experienced it, one gets a rather stunning view of a rather stunning number of seagulls shitting everywhere & trying to mate on the cliffside (you can't see this from the park proper, you have to take a scary industrial elevator down to a "cave" (ie institutional-looking concrete hall). it smelled like a petting zoo. i commend them on there effort to provide for tourists, however, as exhibited by the 2 little yellow lawn sprinklers they had running in an effort to melt the aforementioned bank of snow.
what surprised me most was the color of the water--rivers, in the US northeast anyway, can be expected to emanate tones of green & brown & sludge--er, sediment. the water at Niagara was positively aquamarine.
& now i've learned about the plural possibilities inherent in morphemes (not to be confused with morphine, which is a word i've heard more often than usual today) & met a muppet linguist whose name i can't spell but sounds like Jgyergen.
more photos will be added to the tourist over the next few days as i cull through a hundred pictures of running water. already there are photos from the 2 gigs Happy Anarchy played (yes, yes, i know, that band makes up far too much of my social life) featuring girls little & girls dancing, & boys with instruments.
now i must research the topic of gays in the military & change out of my scrubs. dinner, also, is in order, with maybe a nice local merlot...& it's warm & for no good reason i smell leaves burning, & the wind dislodged every plant & window decoration in my absence today. damn spring wind.
or maybe it's a house burning.
end transmission.

1 little fish:

Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

When you talked about going to the Falls I didn't think about the fact that there would still be snow up there this time of the year. The pics look beautiful...I'm sure its amazing any time you see it...I was surprised to hear about the water color! The 'cave' sounds like it was a bust but glad you had an enjoyable trip anyway!

10:52 AM  

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