Monster

Beowulf and the Ever Growing Resume Hoard

I’ve been reading Beowulf. Correction: I am taking a class on Beowulf. That’s right. One whole semester on an English story written about a Swede who goes to Denmark to fight a monster.

We’ve bounced in and out of various translations: Liuzza, Heaney, Tolkien.

There’s this part where, when Beowulf is first introduced, he goes to speak for the first time, and the author says that Beowulf opens his “word-hoard.”

The eldest one answered him,

leader of the troop, unlocked his word-hoard (Liuzza, 258-59).

Old English is a fascinating study. It forces the reader to consider where words come from and what exactly they mean, and how these words have evolved through translation overtime.

Apparently, word-hoard is the forerunner to “vocabulary.”

Tolkien, in his Beowulf translation, says “store of words.” The idea is the same.

Old English was very object-oriented. People didn’t just have a vocabulary, because to them that wouldn’t make sense. They would need a physical place, or structure, to store the words. It’s interesting because, now, we don’t even consider what we mean when we say “vocabulary.” We just know that somewhere in our brains we’ve hidden all the words we know.

Personally, I’m going to say “word-hoard” from now on.

Segue Hoard

This is probably the worst segue of all time, but I checked my resume folder in Google Drive the other day, and I found about twenty resumes, all made within the last three months.

“Resume-hoard,” I said in an Old English accent.

The accent was more Scottish, but I do a terrible Scottish accent, so let’s just call it Hackney.

The point is this: I’m graduating in May. Since the start of the year, I’ve already applied to over thirty jobs. I feel like I should have some serious leads but I don’t. My wife and I are hoping for either Seattle or San Francisco. Only God knows. It could be Lithuania, really. (more…)

Open Letter to the Mysterious Animal Hiding in My Apartment

Dear Mysterious Creature,

Welcome. Out of all the windows in Rochester, you chose mine to climb through, and that is an honor. Thank you. My wife heard your ruckus in the living room, the other afternoon, during her day off. I’m sure you weren’t expecting us home. Anyway, the next day, I came across your marking on the window screen which revealed your entry and exit point.

Monster Screen-2

I guess you could say the gig is up.

Nevertheless, since we now share living space there are some ground rules to cover.

1. My wife is not a fan of mysterious creatures. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t like you; it just means she doesn’t know you, and that you two should avoid each other for the time being.

2. I, on the other hand, am a HUGE fan of mysterious creatures, proven—of course—by the sweet hum of The X-Files theme song, sweeping out of my bedroom nightly, and—no doubt—into your ears as you watched us from outside, below our bedroom window.

3. Label your food. Don’t eat mine, and I won’t eat yours.

4. If you want to borrow any of my books, please ask. It is polite. Also, I’m weird about the aesthetics and order of my bookcase, so don’t just return titles willie-nilly.

5. The bed is off limits. Though if you prove yourself, we can revisit this rule in time.

I’m curious, monster, where do you come from? Are you a cousin of El Chupacabra? Friends with the Jersey Devil? Are you on your way to visit Champ, the lake monster of Lake Champlain?

And I wonder what you normally eat. I found no food missing from the kitchen, which adds to the mystery. Can I get you anything from Wegmans? No doubt, we are almost out of Ben & Jerry’s; I can pick up your favorite ice-cream pint. Let me guess, Late Night Snack(more…)

Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors: Lake Placid, NY & Burlington, VT

Lake monsters, teddy bears, camping and ice cream—watch out, folks, this was the quintessential Number Kevin weekend. Megan and I have road-tripped and explored many new lands this summer, but this trip (I know I say this every time) was easily my favorite. It was my first time in the Adirondak mountains as well as in Vermont. Believe it, guys and gals, believe the hype.

Lake Placid

Our weekend began in Rochester, NY, where we live. Megan had Friday off, and I took a half day. This afforded us the extra time we needed to get into town and set up camp before sunset. From Rochester, Lake Placid is a five hour drive without hitting traffic or giant alligators. I’m referencing the monster movie, Lake Placid, of course, which was a favorite of mine as child. Sadly, the town seemed more interested in its Olympic history than its cryptozoology.

SIDE NOTE: IMDB told me the movie was actually filmed in British Columbia. Lucky for me, a neighboring lake held its own monster legend (but I’m getting ahead of myself).

As it turns out, the 1932 and the 1980 Winter Olympics were both held in Lake Placid, home of the “Miracle” USA Hockey Team which I found pretty endearing. Also, I found a bobsled.

Not yet sponsored...

Not yet sponsored…

The town itself was quaint and beautiful; its downtown strip was among one of my favorites yet. We filled up on candy-by-the-pound, got some coffee, and did a little magnet shopping for our travel fridge. Because cheesy married couples need magnets. We’ve accepted it. Moving along…

Lake Placid street 2

Main Street, Lake Placid

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