I have been a busy Senior Senior this days.  There has been work (which has been crazy lately), and the hilarious (but in no way germane) Chuck Norris obsession which has taken hold of many of us in the Linguistics Department.  (It’s The Translator’s fault – he started it).  Oh, and classes, too.

And my Ambiguous Friend GSS has flustered me.  Yesterday, I check my e-mail and he has e-mailed me not once, but twice (and by that, I mean he initiated contact, instead of replying to me).  I would be sky-high, were it not for the fact that the e-mails were on a specific topic that he thought I might be able to help him with (as opposed to my e-mails to him, which are often random bits of sarcasm/whimsy).  Still, I consider him to be a friend, not just an Ambiguous Friend.  And if any friend e-mailed me with a, “hey, do you know what’s up with this?” question, I would do my best to answer.  (As Puppy Mama knows well).  So I futzed around with his question, and thought I might have come up with an answer, which I e-mailed to him last night.  Today, I was at work, talking to one of my regular students, when GSS interrupted and joking said, “You can’t talk to [Senior Senior], I get to talk to [Senior Senior] first.”  This particular regular student usually just does his homework, and asks me questions as they arise, so he deferred to GSS.  So GSS and I go over what the problem is, sitting close.  This was very distracting to me, as he smelled particularly good, and I thought idly about how I would like to kiss his neck.  Then he gets his laptop out (pardon me while I muse on the double entendre aspect of that statement…but no, I mean his computer), and when I needed to type something or whatever, I kept making errors (which I blamed on the unfamiliar keyboard, but which I suspect was due to extreme-GSS-proximity syndrome).

Long story short(er); we managed to figure the bulk of the problem out. 

GSS and I had had a briefly multilingual e-mail exchange the week before – he had, because of the smart-ass that he is, written a response in a language that he knows, but I am not even slightly familiar with.  I asked him a couple of times for a translation, which he (smart-ass that he is) refused.  Using a couple of on-line dictionaries, I plugged and chugged the words (which was difficult, as said language has a lot of morphology), and came up with something I could work with.  Earlier this week, I put forth my translation, but never got a response.  So I asked him.  When he had read the e-mail, he hadn’t put two and two together, so he reread my translation and found the e-mail with the original “furrin” language.  I did pretty well (although I whiffed the last part), and he said he was quite impressed.  What I’m parsing:  he skimmed the e-mail with the translation and originally did nothing with it (not good), but he has kept my numerous other e-mails (good), and when he was searching, he had a pretty good recollection what the topic was of each one – at least, as good of a recollection as I did (also good).  Meaning?  Who knows.

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