Friday, December 28, 2007

Approaching the Finish Line

I’m a runner and so forgive me for using a running metaphor to describe what is surely a tender and joyous event: my wedding. For those that know me, I don’t have to say that I’ve been a dynamo of nervous energy these past few days (weeks?). I’ve been crackling with anxiety and vibrating with excitement. The friction created by my speedy footfalls super-heating any chances of cold feet. I’m sure FPL could light 500 homes with the rapid beating of my heart… But that was yesterday; right now I’m as calm and focused as a laser. As I zero in on this finish line called marriage, I’ve entered, what runners call, the zone. It’s as if I’ve broken the anxiety barrier and left all worry and anticipation a few miles back.

All I see now is the prize ahead and she's enough to push me to run a little faster.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Taino Speak

The other day some friends and I were sitting around talking about how language changes and evolves, not only over time, but over different countries. Eventually we got to discussing the Cuban version of Spanish. They were saying that they didn’t understand some of the words I used and they didn’t know how these words came about…. The answer is simple. These words are not Spanish at all, but Taino. It’s fascinating just how much the Taino influenced Cuba linguistically. Just for fun I’m going to compile a small dictionary of Taino words that are commonly sprinkled with Cuban Spanish (especially by my Dad):

Taino- Spanish- English

jicotea – tortuga- turtle

sanaco- idiota-idiot

caguama- tortuga marina- sea turtle

jutia - no translation- Caribbean rodent

maja- serpiente- snake

jimagua-jemelos- twins

mata- planta/arbol- plant/tree

guagua- bus-bus

guanajo- pavo- turkey

tiburon- no translation- shark

guajiro- campesino- farmer

jibaro- man of the forest

And of course, my personal favorite,

cocuyo- lucilirnaga- lightning bug

I’m not even including the Taino words that have been incorporated into the English language such as tabaco (tobacco) , iguana, manati (manatee), jurakan (hurricane). jamaca (hammock), canoa (canoe), barbacoa (barbecue) , maraca (rattle) sabana (savanna).

Friday, December 21, 2007

My DNA Revisited

I’ve got additional information concerning my own personal blue print. It seems my grandfather on my mom’s side was Haplogroup E3b, mostly associated with the Berbers (Moors) of North Africa and Spain. Even though I can’t really be tested for it, since I get my Y chromosome from my dad’s side of the family, my uncle got tested through the National Geographic Genographic Project. Ultimately, I am 25% Berber/Moor, which explains why I don’t look particularly Scandinavian as both my Y and Mitochondrial DNA suggests.

On a rather cool note, genetic testing of the mummy of Ramses II shows that he was also of Haplogroup E3b. It is also known that he had 110 children! If you increase that exponentially over time, chances are my grandfather (and myself) could very well be distant descendants of Ramses the Great.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Learing to Grow Up... The Not-So-Easy Way

To be perfectly honest I still consider myself a kid, albeit a big kid. I still eat my Lucky Charms while watching Saturday morning cartoons, but this year I’m going through two of those life altering rites-of-passage. 1) My fiancé and I bought our first home. 2) We’re getting married. After 29 cushy years of life I’ve finally entered the strange world of wives, mortgages, and responsibilities. So the most important thing I’ve learned this year is how to be an adult and so far it’s not as scary as I thought.