Jul 21

A Suffocating Dread

A few days ago I wrote about being in a rather nasty funk. I’m afraid it’s getting worse. I was awakened today by a text message at 6:30 p.m. A couple things kept me from going back to sleep, namely the knowledge today’s blog entry wasn’t done, and a nasty feeling of shortness of breath.

inhaler

The latter being extremely unusual for me.
Image credit: net_efekt

I must say, it’s very hard to concentrate on fantasies when one is having trouble breathing.

Continue reading

Jul 04

Did I Write This?

I’m becoming increasingly nocturnal. Today is a perfect case in point. It’s 10 p.m. as of this writing and I just got up.

ayeaye

Yeah, that’s about right.
Image credit: Frank Vassen

Or at least I THINK I’m up ….

Continue reading

Jun 22

Sleep: Why Bother?

A couple months ago I attempted to reset myself by staying up all night and throughout the next day. It didn’t help much, but at least then I did it on purpose.

Today’s “reset” was totally inadvertent. I tried to get some sleep earlier, but weird dreams are all I have to show for it.

hippiesusesidedoor

As usual I don’t remember details, but they involved wearing remnants of Georgia State Route 40.
Image credit: Bill Futreal

Continue reading

May 07

Idaho Has an Accent?

I spent my entire childhood in the 2T. I didn’t live outside of Idaho until I was well into my 20s, when I spent almost a year in the Chicago area. I suppose that means I grew up with an “Idaho accent.”

800px-Windenergy

It also probably explains why I have recurring dreams about wind.
Image credit: Wagner Christian

I personally don’t think the Idaho accent is much of an accent at all. For what it’s worth, corporate America seems to agree. Purportedly they¬†base call centers in Boise and other cities in the region because of our friendly, “neutral” speech mannerisms.

That said, I’ve always been intrigued by the differing accents and dialects in the English-speaking world. Indeed, there are obvious differences in accent between the 2T and places like Chicago and Philadelphia, both of which I lived in at one point. I lived in Las Vegas too, but I didn’t notice much of a difference there.

During my time out of state I began to pick up on several different accents I wasn’t exposed to as a kid, notably the Boston and Long Island varieties. In my estimation the Philadelphia accent wasn’t as “strong” as those, but it was stronger than the accent heard in, say, Washington, D.C. As I noted when I lived in Philadelphia, it seemed like the further northeast one went up, the thicker and more unintelligible the accents became.

nordlogo

Until one eventually hit Francophone Quebec.

Earlier today I came across a terribly interesting site created by linguist Rick Aschmann. Aschmann has exhaustively researched and mapped the various English accents and dialects spoken in the United States and Canada. It’s an impressive work. Unfortunately, like many other works of a national or continental scope, it’s a bit lacking when it comes to Idaho-specific material.

Mike_Crapo_Official_Photo_110th_Congress

A Mike Crapo speech sample? C’mon, people, we can do better than that!

Now I could sit here and complain about it, because that makes for good blogging material. However, I could also do something about it, which … makes for good blogging material. On his site Aschmann asks for voice samples from native American and Canadian English speakers like me who spent most or all of their childhoods in a particular place. I was happy to oblige, especially since the ever-so-slight Chicago and Philadelphia accents I used to have are long gone.

Naturally, I pointedly informed him there is no “Z” in “Boise.” I’d be horribly remiss if I produced something like this and failed to do so.

I also read him a bedtime story. You’ll probably fall asleep too.

This turned out to be a fun afternoon project. I encourage others to try it as well.