Tuesday, August 08, 2006

hello dear, how was your day?

Today was a very strange day. From unexpected packages to Indonesian poetry written in my honor (no I'm serious) it's been a very strange day indeed.

First the package. I'm an editor so people send me stuff from time to time. Most of it is books (whoo hoo!) Now if I could just convince that powers that be that we should run a book club on the site so publishers would start sending me fiction... I also receive samples. Sometimes it's really useful stuff like shampoo or band aids, other times CDs from lounge singers (yes really) or the most memorable of all -- a lightbulb filled with paper clips (I have no idea). Today I got in to work and there sitting right in the middle of my desk was a huge box containing . . . . . . home pregnancy tests.

Um, thanks. The box's contents were emblazoned across the package. I've been at a conference for a week so who knows how long this thing has been sitting on my desk. Let the rumours fly. Not exactly what I anticipatedsetting my latte down beside this morning. I currently have no need for such tests, even if this particular variety is digital and lights up in different colours. (Again I have no idea.) If it could be of use to you, let me know, I've got the hook-up.

Then a Dilbert from a few days ago got me thinking:

He uses schadenfreude in a cartoon, just one more reason to love Scott Adams. (PS, if it helps, schadenfreude is defined as " a malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortune of others.) The reason the cartoon got me thinking however was that there is another German word that refers to a general sadness over the state of the world. I couldn't remember what it was and it was driving me crazy. It sat there, niggling away at the back of my brain. Several attempts to Google it were unsuccessful (it does happen to me some times). We have dictionaries where you look up words to find definitions, why don't we have reverse dictionaries where you can search by definition to find a word? Fortunately, finally I hit upon an better phrasing of the question (editing is everything) and found the word:

Weltschmerz.

How could I forget such a delicious word? I breathed a deep sigh of relief. And then the thing with the poetry happened.

Towards the end of the day, Leah, my co-worker (and friend) called over the cube wall, "hey Claire, there's an email you need to take a look at and I want to see your reaction when you do." Oh great, I thought. Usually I handle all of the upset reader email and things get handed over to me for bulldogging. If someone's waiting for a reaction it often means a particularly colourful wacko, I mean, valued reader, has decided to drop us a line. In a thousand years I could not have guessed at what this email held.

It turns out that one of our readers in Indonesia was doing some research and came across one of my articles and was inspired to write me a poem. It's an acrostic of my whole name and according to the email that came with it, it is supposed to be sung to the tune of Josh Groban's "You lift me up". Wow. And very cool.

I don't think anyone has ever written me a poem before. Years ago a friend of mine wrote me a song which was pretty amazing. If you ever gets your hands on a copy of Achilles' Lament, it's track 6 "I'll fly Away". I'm in the liner notes and everything. Sweet. But for Indonesian poetry, this was definitely a first. I have to admit I tried singing it in my head and I can't quite get the lyrics to scan. Maybe that part is getting lost in translation somewhat.

Like I said, it was a very strange day at the office. I think I'll work from home tomorrow.

5 comments:

dr riptide said...

Free pregnancy tests! You can send some my way...seriously. Well, you can send them to AZ and we'll pick them up when we're there later this month visiting my parents. This is not because I think I'm pregnant, or because we are planning on having kids soon... but if I should need a test for whatever reason, better to have a free one then have to go out and buy one! Thanks =)

The poem you got sounds special! I'm happy for you. Any chance of putting that on the net??

-Rachel

Marco said...

What are German-speaking friends for? Next time you forget Weltschmerz or Schadenfreude or aren't sure how to spell Weltanschauung, fire an eMail my way.

Patricia said...

You should put the poem up as a post.

Katinka said...

Yes, you should definitely post the poem!



(Love the henna designs, by the way. I had this done at a friends wedding some time back...on my fingers, but now I wish I'd had it done on my feet and legs!)

Anonymous said...

gidday, could you tell me any more about Achilles Lament? I happen to have downloaded that song back in the days when MP3.com hosted truly free music - but can't find out anything about the band - or album name etc. email: strange_kiwi@yahoo.com cheers kindly, K.