Farmers’ Almanac

I often heard that the Farmers’ Almanac is pretty reliable as far as weather prediction goes, but it’s SO FAR OFF this year for Atlantic Canada that I’m not inclined to trust what it’s saying for my favourite season. Although I wouldn’t be disappointed with some of the hottest temperatures around the time of my birthday…

A Generation of Hate

The CBC aired Shelley Saywell’s “A Generation of Hate” tonight on Witness.

Sure, it is essentially anti-U.S.-war-on-Iraq. What it drives home is the fact that the Gulf War has never really ended, and that innocent civilians, not Saddam Hussein, are the ones who are suffering as a result. It also leaves no doubt that Saddam Hussein is a ruthless man whose actions are only compounding that suffering. However, it is clear for those who don’t already know that an escalation of hostilities will only make matters worse. I find hard to comprehend why it would be so difficult to get ONE man without causing any “colatereal damage.” (What’s that you say? Oh, yeah… Osama bin Laden. There’s one man who’s been tough to get. Remember him, W?)

I wish those who are so in favour of more bloodshed in Iraq would watch this documentary with an open mind — not dismiss it because it doesn’t support their current position on war. More than 45 percent of the population of Iraq are under the age of 18 years, and all they’ve known in their lifetime is war with which the U.S. was somehow connected. Yet you still have some people in America who wonder “Why do they hate us so much?”

I mean, Duh!

NOTE: I’m just venting generally, not at ALL Americans or the readers of aMMusing. I just find the whole thing senseless, scary, stupid, and sordid.

Tricky Weather

It’s pretty bad when -3C (26F) feels warm, but that’s how it was for me when I walked around Point Pleasant Park around 3:00 this afternoon.

That’s a feeling I keep forgetting about winters here. The first few times the temperature drops near or below freezing in the fall, we find it awfully cold. Then we have a cold snap like the one we just had, which reminds us that exposed skin can freeze in a matter of a few minutes. And after that, the mercury climbs back up to near the freezing point and it feels like Florida (at least according to David)!

French Lesson #3: The Suffix -oune

The suffix -oune — as in “Poupoune,” — is not common in standard French but is heard a lot in colloquial French in Canada, especially in Quebec. I’m told it can also be heard more in Belgian-accented French.

First, let’s consider pronunciation. The closest equivalent I can think of in English would be the verb to croon. Better still, think of how you would pronounce Wunderbar! Knowing that now, do you think you pronounce Poupoune like Pou-poon or Pou-pun? In other words, you realized all along that a terminal E is silent in French, right? 😉

Second, the only -oune-sounding suffix I can think of in standard French would be the word clown. Indeed, it should rhyme with Poupoune.

Now for some uniquely French Canadian -oune words…

baboune: noun, feminine. Pouting, as in “Faire la baboune.”

balloune: noun, feminine. A balloon. Example: “J’ai achetĂ© des ballounes pour la fĂȘte de ce soir.” (“I bought some balloons for tonight’s party.”)

foufounes: noun, feminine. (Usually uttered by a child.) Buttocks. Example: “J’ai tombĂ© sur mes foufounes.” (“I fell on my bum.”) NOTE: There is (or was until recently) a nightclub in Montreal called Les Foufounes Ă©lectriques, which some claim is a good place for sighting poupounes.

guidoune: noun, feminine. A whore. Example: “Regarde don’ la guidoune!” (“Will you look at that whore!”)

minoune: noun, feminine. 1. A feline-like poupoune. 2. A wreck of a car that its owner loves dearly. Example of (2): “Il est arrivĂ© dans sa minoune.” (“He arrived in his bessy of a car.”)

moumoune: noun or adjective, feminine. Silly, campy, or “faggy.” (Pejorative except if used as a tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating descriptor.) Example: “Des fois j’agis comme une grosse moumoune.” (“Sometimes I act like a big moumoune.”) NOTE: Think of a mu-mu and how camp that is!

noune: noun, feminine. What Babel Fish wrongly translates foufoune to, except that noune can apply to either a male’s or female’s. (Yes, we’re talking genitals here…)

nounoune: noun, feminine. Sister or female relative of ti-coune (see below).

pijoune: noun, feminine. Booze.

pitoune: noun, feminine. An “ultra-femme.” Example: “Il est jamais sans une pitoune Ă  ses cĂŽtĂ©s.” (“He’s never without a pitoune by his side.”) NOTE: The masculine of pitoune would be pitou but would only be used to refer to a male dog or as a pet name. For instance, the only grandfather I’ve known, who died in 1977, didn’t recognize me in his death bed until I told him that it was Pitou.

poupoune: noun, feminine. A “chick” or “babe.” Also, in some circles, a “lipstick lesbian” or “ultra-femme.” Example: “Le salon de coiffure Ă©tait rempli de poupounes.” (“The beauty salon was filled with chicks.”)

ti-coune: noun, masculine. Usually a not-so-bright, slightly challenged male.

toune: noun, feminine. A good old French Canadian hit song. (Usually used as a putdown of said toune. Possibly derived from the English, “tune.”)

toutoune: noun, feminine. Affectionate way of referring to a bitch (i.e., a female dog). Example: “La pauvre toutoune est fatiguĂ©e.” (“The poor [female] dog is tired.”) NOTE: The masculine of toutoune would be toutou.