What I Learned This Week: #107

Monday, June 10 – Sunday, June 16

The Week in Enchanted – Large Format: Intermittent storms tormented me all weekend, but I snuck out during a clear spell on Sunday for a long walk and ended up at the Taft Museum. I apparently hadn’t been to this part of town in a longer while than I thought, as I was surprised and literally delighted to come upon large stick structures on the Taft lawn. The Taft website says the installation has been there since April 2018, so I’m late to the party. Well, better late than never. It’s the stick version of a Flintstones neighborhood.

The Week in Enchanted – Miniature Format: I’ve been collecting miniature figurines since I was about 12 years old. That was about the year my Mom said I could collect anything I wanted as long as it fit in my room. (My Mom was still bitter about the basement being taken over by beer cans during the beer can collection faze of the early 1970’s.) Anyway, on a family trip to Gatlinburg, TN we walked in a Christmas store (already an enchanting idea – Christmas ALL THE TIME) and I came across a display of miniature animals that were, as I recall, supposed to be used in Christmas scenes either for trains or for mini Christmas villages. Like many 12 year girls, the miniature part fascinated me. And like many pre-teens coming to grips with finance, I realized I could afford to buy what I wanted.

I bought a momma deer, a baby deer, and an owl with my own money. I think all three together cost 30 cents. I few months later I bought a miniature elephant soapstone carving from the Indian booth at the International Festival, and a collection was born.

42 years later, I have around 1000 pieces (not cataloged) and I largely stick to my original thrifty draw to collecting. I can buy expensive pieces, but I still like the thrill of finding interesting, super cheap stuff. I spend a lot of time on Ebay where people bid pretty high on miniatures I’m interested in. Those I let go. But every now and then, I find a bargain that isn’t getting a lot of bid action. This week I got a couple dozen new items for less than $13 (including shipping) and I swear to you, the thrill is the same as the day I walked into the Christmas Shop in Gatlinburg.

The Week in Enchanted – Musical Format: Opera Season has begun in Cincinnati and this week I went to see The Marriage of Figaro, performed in the traditional style. The opera is one of the most recognizable and most performed of opera’s repertoire and for good reason. Its a funny, bawdy show.

By the way, I like the opera but I’m not terrible knowledgeable. For example, I thought that the Marriage of Figaro was the opera where a man comes out and sings “Figaro…Figaro…Fig..a…ro.” It’s not. I had to come home and Google “figaro figaro figaro” to get schooled that that song is the aria called Largo al factotum from Barber of Seville.

The Week in Being Schooled – Part Two: I learned about Figaro this week and I learned about Jail, or as it used to called, Gaol.

For years I’ve been reading old English novels where characters were coming and going from the GAOL, a word no longer in use, so a word I’d never heard pronounced. I want to pronounce as many of the letters as possible, so in my head, characters have been coming and going from the Gah-Owl.  I knew Gaol (no matter how you said it) was a jail; I just took Gah-owl as an old-time pronunciation. This week while reading Tale of Two Cities, one of the characters is talking about the Gaol and I decided to look up the pronunciation. It’s Jail. Gaol is pronounced Jail. There’s isn’t an old and new pronunciation. Sigh.

Gaol = Jail



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