20 May 2008

My friend Andrew was stabbed at Union Square.

 My thoughts keep returning to my friend Andrew who was mugged Thursday on the uptown 4-5-6 platform of Union Square station. He found himself in Brooklyn Hospital with a stab wound in his hip, a gash on his head and a broken pelvis. It’s particularly scary as I and many of my friends use that station frequently, and a particularly close friend uses that platform particularly often.

 Andrew is a fixture at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center’s Dance 208 series and can also be seen at numerous bear events and venues in New York City. (Although I first met him at Lucky Cheng’s through a mutual friend, I mostly know him from the Eagle and “Woof!” at View Bar.)

 (Andrew, I wish you the speediest possible recovery. החלמה מהירה ורפואה שלמה.‏)‎

 If you have not already done so, read the shocking story of the assault in Andrew’s own words.
• Andrew Jónás, “I’m a Statistic!,” Andrew MySpace Blog, 19 May 2008.
• Andrew Jónás, “Pain Is Not Even Close…,” Andrew MySpace Blog, 20 May 2008.

Update (21 May): I understand now that the title of this article is likely inaccurate. Andrew was assaulted at Union Square, and he was stabbed, but the police believe the actual stabbing occurred elsewhere. Also, he has published another article, this one about nightmares resulting from the attack: Andrew Jónás, “And Here We Go….Dreams and Stitches…,” Andrew MySpace Blog, 21 May 2008.

A version of this article is reproduced at webcitation.org/5eVG6nrtq, as well as on Facebook.

13 May 2008

“The Mesopotamians,” by They Might Be Giants.

This song from last year has been in my head and emitted by my computer speakers aplenty the past few days. I am very pleased that Sumerian and Akkadian names can be found in a popular song along with a reference to cuneiform. And yes, for the most part, Mesopotamia corresponds to modern Iraq (العراق).

Update (14 May): How unlike me to not cite my source! I had no idea this song existed until I read Justin Mansfield, “Another One for My ‘Ancient Themes’ Playlist,” The Mad Latinist’s Journal, 18 October 2007.

12 May 2008

Jott’s error: “One drink with her to go necked(?).”

Jott is funny. I recorded a message they interpreted to be “One drink with her to go necked(?).” I had actually said “Wondering whither to go next.”

Ḥāmēẓ vs. ḥummuṣ.

 Yes! Despite their appearing to be spelled identically and both referring to food, Hebrew חמץ (ḥāmēẓ, in Yiddish xomeʦ) unleavened bread, and Arabic حمص (ḥummuṣ) chickpeas are from two different roots. While it is true that the Hebrew letter צ (ṣāddî) corresponds to the Arabic letter ص (ṣâd), it also sometimes corresponds to the Arabic letter ض (ḍâd) which is the case here. חמץ comes from the ḥ-m-ḍ (חמץ׳، حمض) root meaning sour, and is thus cognate with the Arabic حامض (ḥâmiḍ) sour, حمض (ḥamḍ) “a bitter plant, sorrel” and حميض (ḥamîḍ) “tract of land abounding in bitter herbs.” (The quotes are from F. Steingass, A Learner’s Arabic-English Dictionary [Beirut: Librairie du Liban, 1989]. Thanks also to John Wortabet and Harvey Porter, Hippocrene Standard Dictionary: Arabic-English English-Arabic [New York: Hippocrene Books, 2000].)

 Dave Curwin (DLC) suspected as much in his Web log article “chametz,” Balashon - Hebrew Language Detective, 12 April 2006. A comment on that article nearly a year later by Justin a.k.a. The Mad Latinist, 7 April 2007, confirms it. However, in his article “Chickpeas,” The Jewish Daily Forward, 21 October 2005, Philologos appears to be forcing a connection between ḥāmēẓ and ḥummuṣ where it doesn’t actually exist: “The reason for this, as you will know if you ever have left chickpeas or hummus paste in the refrigerator too long, is that both have a tendency to sour quickly.”

10 May 2008

The 29th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival.

Festival banner while Yosakoi Dance Project was performing. Photograph by William Eng (eggrollboy).

 I had a great time today at the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans29th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza in Turtle Bay. Music, dance, cultural and political organizations, food and sexy men were in great abundance. I bumped into a number of friends including my neighbor and fellow GLYNY alumnus Glenn D. Magpantay who introduced me to a number of volunteers from Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY). Not only present but performing were Makalina and Virgil, my former co-workers at Waikiki Wally’s, together with the Lei Pasifika group. My other favorite performers of the day were DVL Dance Vietnam (who truly know what to do with hats), Yosakoi Dance Project, Caron Eule Dance (performing “The Crane Wife” featuring dancer Hasi as Kinzo) and Bollywood Axion. Kudos to Rainbow Yuen, Bibs Teh and the rest of CAPA for a smashing event, although the black ink on the covers of their programs was unstable, and both my copies have ugly smudges on them (as had also been on my fingers).

Media already online
Photographs by William Eng (eggrollboy)
Photographs by Ina Bixade
Video by Ami (amilee2)