Peanut Butter & Jellyfish / Crema de Cacahuete y Medusamermelada

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

A COUPLE OF weeks ago, I was on the beach with my pal Luke, his little brother, and their parents when we noticed that a very large jellyfish had washed up. A man was closely examining it and, since we didn’t know what type of jellyfish it was, Kathleen asked the man (in Spanish). “What is it?” “A medusa,” was his response. That’s what locals tend to call all jellyfish. So, Kathleen continued, “Is it Portuguese (I suppose wondering if it was a Portuguese Man of War).” But the man laughed and replied, “No, it’s Spanish.”

It became obvious the jellyfish was dead. Luke found it fascinating and, since we didn’t know anything about it, we explained the potential dangers of jellyfish. Meanwhile, the man tried to push it back into the water, which caused part of it to flop onto his bare foot. We gasped, but nothing happened.

I’ve done some research and I think I’ve figured out what kind it was. Rhizostoma luteum. It was once thought to be rare but scientists then determined that it was being misidentified as other rhizostomas (there are three species). Although it’s more common than it was thought to be, it doesn’t appear to have a common name. Then again, Rhizostoma luteum DOES flow off the tongue. I’ve read that their sting is not NORMALLY harmful to humans, but it’s best to keep your distance. (NO KIDDING!) And, as we had already explained to Luke, jellyfish can still sting even if they’re dead.

I suggested to Luke that we could take it home and have peanut butter and jellyfish sandwiches. He laughed and rolled his eyes. He’s not yet 4, but he gets me.

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HACE DOS SEMANAS, estaba en la playa con mi amiguito Luke, su hermanito, y sus padres cuando notamos que había una medusa muy grande. Un hombre lo estaba examinando detenidamente y, dado que no sabíamos qué tipo de medusa era, Kathleen le preguntó al hombre (en español). “¿Qué es?” “Una medusa”, fue su respuesta. Eso es lo que los lugareños suelen llamar medusas. Entonces, Kathleen continuó: “¿Es portugués?” (supongo que me pregunto si fue una carabela portuguesa). Pero el hombre se rió y respondió: “No, es una española”.

Se hizo evidente que la medusa estaba muerta. Luke lo encontró fascinante y, como no sabíamos nada al respecto, explicamos los peligros potenciales de las medusas. Mientras tanto, el hombre intentó empujarlo de vuelta al agua, lo que provocó que parte de él cayera sobre su pie descalzo. Nos quedamos sin aliento, pero no pasó nada.

He investigado un poco y creo que he descubierto de qué tipo era. Rhizostoma luteum. Alguna vez se pensó que era raro, pero los científicos determinaron que se estaba identificando erróneamente como otros rizostomas (hay tres especies). Aunque es más común de lo que se pensaba, no parece tener un nombre común. Por otra parte, Rhizostoma luteum fluye de la lengua. He leído que su picadura no es NORMALMENTE perjudicial para los humanos, pero es mejor mantener la distancia. (¡NO HAY RODAJE!) Y, como ya le habíamos explicado a Luke, las medusas aún pueden picar incluso si están muertas.

Le sugerí a Luke que nos lo lleváramos a casa y comiéramos bocadillos de crema de cacahuete y medusa (en inglés, una medusa es un “jellyfish” que significa un pez de mermalada). Luke se rio y puso los ojos en blanco. Todavía no tiene 4 años, pero me entiende.

OK. The guy had small feet, but that was still a big jellyfish! Bigger than San Geraldo’s feet.
OK. El hombre tenía pies pequeños, ¡pero eso todavía era una gran medusa! Más grande que los pies de San Geraldo.
As we all repeated, “Not too close.”
Como todos repetimos, “No muy cerca”.
My original “LUKE!” — the jellyfish (with a rainbow). And he wrote his name entirely by himself. Including the exclamation point! This came with a note he dictated that thanked me for the gifts I brought from New York for both him and his little brother.
Mi “LUKE!” original: la medusa (con un arcoíris). Y escribió su nombre completamente solo. ¡Incluyendo el signo de exclamación! Esto vino con una nota que él dictó que me agradeció por los regalos que traje de Nueva York para él y su hermanito.

The Educated Cat / El Gato Educado

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

TODAY, 1 JULY, is the eighth birthday of Moose and Dudo. They were born 11 days before we arrived in Spain and taken to a shelter along with their mother and three littermates. The littermates were tabbys and were adopted quickly, while Dudo and Moose remained at the shelter for 10 more months until I saw a video online and told San Geraldo they were the ones. They spoke only Spanish at the time, but are now fluent in English, as well. And Dudo has completed a course in surveillance at the National Intelligence Centre (if we can believe him). I’m so glad they waited for us. We got the two smart cats in that litter.

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HOY, 1 DE JULIO, es el octavo cumpleaños de Moose y Dudo. Nacieron 11 días antes de que llegáramos a España y fueron llevados a un refugio junto con su madre y tres compañeras de camada. Las compañeras de la camada eran gatas atigradas y fueron adoptadas rápidamente, mientras que Dudo y Moose permanecieron en el refugio durante 10 meses más hasta que vi un video en línea y le dije a San Geraldo que ellos fueron para nosotros. En ese momento solo hablaban español, pero ahora también dominan el inglés. Y Dudo ha completado un curso bilingüe en vigilancia espía del Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (si podemos creerlo). Estoy muy contento de que nos hayan esperado. Tenemos a los gatos más inteligentes en esa camada.

Reading and discussing San Geraldo’s books — entirely in English.
Leyendo y discutiendo los libros de San Geraldo — íntegramente en inglés.
Dudo detects a bug.
Dudo detecta un bicho.
Apparently, we have to pay for the advanced spy class if we want him to know what to do once it’s detected.
Aparentemente, tenemos que pagar por la clase de espía avanzada si queremos que sepa qué hacer después de que se detecte.

Snoring Logs / Roncando Troncos

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

It’s no wonder San Geraldo gets confused when he speaks Spanish, I’m still trying to teach him English.

San Geraldo woke up from a siesta. Moose loves to join him. He told me, “Musy [that’s Moose’s official name] is still snoring logs.”

“Sawing logs,” I corrected.

“What?” he asked.

“Sawing logs, not snoring logs,” I said, thinking he would realize his error.

“Why sawing?” he asked, as if it were the most ridiculous phrase.

I mimed cutting a log with a saw and making the noise that goes with it.

“Oh, it makes the same sound!”

It’s not the first time I’ve corrected him, but it is the first time I’ve explained it.

No es de extrañar que San Geraldo se confunda cuando habla español, todavía estoy tratando de enseñarle inglés.

San Geraldo despertarse de una siesta. Alce le encanta unirse a él. Me dijo: “Musy [ese es el nombre oficial de Moose] todavía está aserrando troncos”. (Nota: La expresión en inglés es “aserrando troncos”, que significa roncando (porque suena como el ruido que se hace al aserrar troncos.)

“Serrando troncos”, corregí.

“¿Qué?” preguntó.

“Serrando troncos, no roncando troncos”, dije, pensando que se daría cuenta de su error. [Nota: En inglés serrar es “to saw” y “roncar” es “to snore.” Suenan similar.]

“¿Por qué serrando?” preguntó, como si fuera la frase más ridícula.

Imité cortar un tronco con una sierra y hacer el ruido que la acompaña.

“¡Oh, hace el mismo ruido!”

No es la primera vez que lo corrijo, pero es la primera vez que lo explico.

Listen to the audio (full volume if you dare). It’s San Geraldo “snoring” logs.
Escucha el audio (volumen completo si te atreves). Es San Geraldo “roncando troncos.”

Another photo of Moose and Dudo. Dudo doesn’t snore. / Otra foto de Moose y Dudo. Dudo no ronca.

The Watercolorist

After reaching the heights of the Moorish District of Frigiliana on Monday (see yesterday’s post), we came upon an artist’s studio. Above the door was a sign that read “Acuarelas” (Watercolors). The works displayed outside were so intriguing that we decided to go in for a closer look. (Click the images for the color enlargements.)

KLAUS HINKEL.

We were greeted by a charming man who turned out to be the artist, Klaus Hinkel (check out his website here). Klaus has had his studio in Frigiliana for 20 years. During our entire visit, I kept thinking how much My Mother The Watercolorist Dowager Duchess would have loved Klaus and his work. This was a day I would have enjoyed sharing with her.

San Geraldo and I very quickly fell in love with a large, framed, fine-art giclee print. Klaus painted the original during one of many trips to Morocco. The original painting now hangs in Boston, Massachusetts, where San Geraldo and I first met.

Judyshannonstreetwhat chose three small, unframed Frigiliana street scenes.

When Judy wondered aloud how she would get a large framed painting home to Seattle, Klaus said, “Oh, it rolls.”

We all looked perplexed and imagined attaching wheels to the bottom of the frame.

Judy followed with, “And then what, it would just fit under my seat on the plane?”

Klaus laughed and said, “I mean, I take it out of the frame and it rolls [up] in a cardboard tube.”

“PACIENCIA” (PATIENCE). 75 X 63 CM (30 X 25 INCHES).
PROUDLY DISPLAYED IN OUR LIVING ROOM.

Klaus and I initially began to converse in Spanish and he asked where I was from. When I told him I was American, he was surprised. I’ve been told at times I speak Spanish with an Italian accent. But Klaus, originally from Germany, told me he thought I was either Swedish or German. Ach du lieber and Swedish meatballs! Swedish or German? Italian and Spanish are at least both Romance languages!

These are called “panqueques” in Spanish. Or, as I pronounce it, Flappen Jacken Hooten…

Whiskey And Soda, And Rock And Roll

Our favorite pizza place (we don’t eat Spanish food every day) — here in Los Boliches, Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain — is another great spot just a few minutes from home called Pizza Maestro.

Pizza Maestro, although in Spain and serving excellent Italian food (and thin-crust, very healthy tasting pizza), is Finnish. Well, Finnish-owned.

Everyone speaks Spanish. One of the waiters hails from Morocco and his native tongue is Arabic. Some people find English easier. But the language one hears most often is Finnish.

They’ve been playing great music lately. Perfect atmosphere.

This afternoon while we shared, of all things, a pizza Hawaiana, San Geraldo blurted, “Listen. It’s Klezmer!”

“What?”

“They’re singing Yiddish!” he exclaimed.

Here’s what was playing (for the umpteenth time, by the way). Yiddish?

(The translation isn’t the best, but you get the idea.)