Thursday, February 19, 2009

Laissez les bon temps roulet maintenant!

Um, did I spell that right?

I got confused this last weekend about when Mardi Gras was, thinking it was two days ago (still Thursday here in the place where time stood still), and got all nostalgic. So what does a Paca do to celebrate anything, nostalgia-related or no?

Food, of course!!

It hasn't been really a New Orleans or Cajun fest as much as a southern Winnsboro, Louisiana style fest. Things that have graced the household this week include:

Fried catfish (corn meal and spice breading and pop it in the grease!)
Chicken and Dumplings, this time with frozen southern biscuits as the dumplings, not Korean duk (rice cakes)
Cheese grits souffle (good, but a lot more work than cheese grits and only a bit better. Still it looks cool presentation-wise, so it could be an entertaining dish).
Green beans and corn

And I think I'm forgetting something, but you get the idea. I had to go looking for the catfish, but found some at Costco, and now, since Costco things are always huge, I've got another couple meals stashed in the freezer. My birth town is the home of the Franklin Parish Catfish Festival, but I've never been. They launched it in 1988 (apparently) in April, but that was my... 10th grade year at boarding school in New Jersey. And so I've never been in the Boro in April in the 20 years since.

Speaking of which, on Tuesday, I gave another department lecture, this time on the Korean apology stuff. At the beginning, the prof wanted to introduce me and asked where I was from. Couldn't answer that. Anyone else have this problem?

Louisiana is a decent answer, but I haven't lived there full time in at least 20 years. I could say Tennessee, but again that was for only 8 years, and I don't know for sure I'd move back there, though I like the place. I could say Hawaii, but this might be temporary as well. For better or for worse, I'm largely in a career path where the job determines where I live, not the other way around. Or to put it in another way, the chance of moving to a place I liked and then finding a linguistics job are slim to none.

Anybody else from nowhere/everywhere?

I now answer the question based upon the context of the question. If they want to understand my accent, I would say Louisiana. If they want to know where I live, it's Hawaii. But if it's just, where are you from? Shoulder shrug. I guess I'm pretty firmly American, however. No crazy McKoala-type international wanderings. Yet.... There are some decent jobs in Korea.... And an announcement for a couple cool postdocs in Leipzig.


Sammy Jankis said...

Hmmm, that is a good question. When people ask where I am from I generally reply Leesville (hometown). But I've technically now lived in Baton Rouge longer than I resided there. What defines where you are from?

EBeth said...

I would say you are from the southern united states and if people want more details you can give them the longer answer.

sylvia said...

At the beginning, the prof wanted to introduce me and asked where I was from. Couldn't answer that. Anyone else have this problem?

At 6 years old, my son answered that question with "Why do you want to know" and really upset a shopkeeper. When told that this was rude, Connor said "Well, did he mean where was I born or where do I live or what country does my passport say?"

I have full sympathy for the dilemma. My answer to the question varies every time, based entirely on mood and context.