Brad Fitzpatrick (brad) wrote,
Brad Fitzpatrick

Iowa, report #2

Still in Iowa, now at my mom's parent's house. They don't have a computer or any form of Internet access (hell, my Palm VII and cell phone don't even work ... too rural) but my dad's laptop works great. I just have to use it at night when they aren't expecting phone calls.

I'm in the middle of the basement now, between the table, where one of the two phone jacks exist, and the side wall, where there is a polarized power outlet (everywhere else in the house is two-prong). The basement is dry (read: not humid) and cool (read: not hot as hell). There are three bedrooms upstairs, one of which I had to myself, but I've decided to take up this room as my sleeping quarters... so much more comfortable.

Man, driving my grandpa's red '69 convertible was a blast today .... I'm sunburnt from having the top down all day, and my ass is probably burnt from sitting on the hot black leather after leaving it parked outside a few times, but it was worth it... people were looking at it everywhere I went. I got trapped in a few blocks by a funeral procession and while I waited for it to pass by, every person turned and looked. The car is absolutely beautiful. I went to my cousin Jessica's softball game and took the car there. The parking lot is gravel (of course, right? :)) and there were no lines so I just parked it a ways off by itself. I mean, I knew that if I were to get as much as a fingerprint on the car, my grandpa would kill me ... actually, I did wipe my fingerprints off later from when I opened the trunk. Anyway, I came back later when the parking lot was full and the line of cars were packed together, except near the convertible, where both the cars on the left and right side were a half-car or so away from it. They probably knew too that if they or their kids were to open a door into it, they'd catch hell too. :)

Did you notice the phrase "catch hell" in there? Yeah, I'm working on my Iowa-speak. I'm not using it in full force yet, but I'm making notes on my Palm Pilot whenever I hear a new Iowa-ism that's new. I have a list of 20 or so that I've now classified in different categories. They consist of verb changes (usually past tense to present), sentence prefixes, sentence postfixes, and even entire transformations (shorted directed declarative senteces to interrogative).

Example time. Take for instance these few made-up sentences:
So I said to him, "you're not planning on going out with those dirty hands, are you?" And he said, "You're right. I should wash them first. You're so sanitary."
Now, applying several rules to convert this to Iowa speak:
And so I says to 'em, "you's not planning on going out with them dirty hands, are ya?" And he says, "Shit, you're right. I should warsh 'em first. You're a sanitary one, aren'tchya?"
That example is actually quite poor. Looking back, I realize about a dozen rules I didn't even use. When I get back to Oregon one of the first things I'm going to do is sit down and write a dialectizer for Iowa-speak. With Perl's HTML::TokeParser it should be a breeze ... that's how I remove JavaScript from people's LiveJournals and it works really well. (or, in Iowa-speak: "really good")

Oh, and Steve --- I know you're probably reading this, being the only one with Internet access, so don't go telling all the relatives just yet... it'll spoil my research, having the subjects knowing that they're being observed. :-)

My relatives, parents, and brother Ryan all went to the Indian reservation to go gambling. Ryan wants to go lose $100; he thinks he's Matt Damon in Rounders. Cole and I are probably going to go watch Cinemax now, what my grandpa told me was "channel 22, the horny channel". Heh.
Tags: perl, tech

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