08 May

homeboy or homie

Who taught: Phil, Shawn and Jake

Homeboy (source: http://faloutboylover.deviantart.com/)

While living in the U.S. for the last 6 years, I have made very good friends. Many of them work or used to work at Vivisimo, my previous company. About two weeks ago, IBM announced to acquire Vivisimo. Wow! Great news! As employees, my friends and I got some stock options. Due to the acquisition, we got to know that we will make some money. To be clear, it is not a lot at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, as we heard the news, Phil tweeted about drinking out of a brown bag. I replied one of his tweets and he said, “Don’t forget to pour one for your hommies.”

My initial impression was that it has to be my wife. Hommie sounds like “home” and my wife and I live together at our home. So, I thought it means wife. But, to make sure, I replied to him, asking “What is hommies?”

A few minutes later, Jake replied, “It’s spelled “homie”. Short for “home boy”. OK… sounds good. But then what is home boy? Here is what I thought. This should definitely mean my children, especially my son. Hmm…. I do not have a son. This does not make sense at all again.

So, I replied again, “What is home boy? Are you my home boy?” Shawn replied to this tweet, saying “I am most definitely your home boy.”

At that point, I had to look it up. As I was seeing the definition, I was like, “Oh…. I get it.” Can you guess what it means? It means a close friend. It makes sense, right? If you have a very close friend, you would spend a lot of time with him at your home or his home, right? A home boy! Nice expression, huh?

My last question! How about girls? Do people also say “homegirl”?

Phil, Jake and Shawn, you are definitely my homies! Patrick.. don’t feel left out. As you can see from the pic, you are my homeboy too. ๐Ÿ™‚

26 Aug


Who taught: Pat and Jessy

Coaster (source: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/)

When Jessy and I first arrived to the U.S., Jessy was not even able to order food because her English was not that good.

Now, after more than 5 years, she is a lot better. Sometimes, I am amazed by her English. Many people think if someone lives in the U.S., he or she should be able to speak English really good. This is not necessarily true.

Jessy did work hard. She has watched a few TV shows over and over, trying to memorize all of the possible mostly-used sentences. (I mean it was really over and over and over.) Also, whenever she has a free time, she tries to read books that are written in English. Finally, she really tris to spend a lot of time with American friends so that she speaks English as much as she can. All of these are not easy to do and need a strong commitment.

Jessy! I am proud of you!

As a result, these days, she even knows words or expressions that I have no idea about.

For example, she knows English words that are mainly used in kitchen. One example is coaster. Do you know what it is? Usually, “coast” means the part of the land near the sea or the edge of the land, right? In this context, coaster should mean what? It means a ship used to carry cargo along the coast. What does then coaster mean in house? There is no coast in house. Why people use this word to mean something in a house?

Whenever you have guests in your place, you are supposed to give them food and drink.

For drinks, especially cold drinks that are in cups or glasses, you are not placing them on table without a coaster. Actually, that is one thing I have noticed here in the U.S. It looks like it is a kind of manner to use a coster when you put cold drinks on a table.

By now, you should know what coaster is, right? To be clear, here is the definition in this context.

a protective disc or mat for glasses or bottles.

In fact, you will hear this word mostly in this context. Almost all of the restaurants in the U.S. use coasters every time they serve drinks. Also, your guests might ask a coster to use for their drinks. So, buy those for your house.

Do you know why people use coaster to mean this mat or disc? It is because you, as a host, turn around the egde (coast) of the table to put these on the table. Interesting, isn’t it?

Anyway, I am not sure you need to ask where a coaster is before you put your glass on a table when you visit your friends’ house? Is it one of the manners to have in the U.S.? That is what I felt.

29 Jun


Who taught: Pat


Let me introduce you a song that I am really addicted these days! One of my students, Kelvin, got me into this song and I love it.

It is a song called moves like jagger by Maroon 5, featuring Christina Aguilera. In fact, I am listening to it as I write this post. This song makes me want to dance. (Am I dancing now? Probably in my imagination.) ๐Ÿ™‚ You will enjoy it this summer. Finally, summer is here, yay!

On the contrary, let’s talk about winter. One of the things I do do enjoy during winter is snowboarding. The feeling that I get to have when I ride very fast and jump over big mount of snow is amazing and hard to describe. Last winter, I went snowboarding a few times with my friend, Pat. And, one time, we went and stayed over a night at Kerry’s cabin that is located close to the resort.

Puppies' Spooning (source : http://shabamzy.blogspot.com/)

We had to share a bed. As we were getting into the bed, he said to me, “No spooning!” I did not get what he meant. I was like, “Dude, are you hungry? We are about to fall asleep here.” So, can you guess what spooning means here? I mean, we know what spoon is, right? I do not even need the definition here. The point here is the shape of a spoon. As a person, can you make your body look like a spoon? Yes, you can! As a matter of fact, you might do it every night, especially if you got married. At this point, you need to think two spoons are put together in your kitchen drawer. How do they stay together? They stay very close to each other since they have the identical shape, right? That said, here is the definition of spooning with regard to people.

A form of affection between a couple. Where the man lays front to back with the girl. They fit together like spoons.

It is a good thing to do with your wife/girl friend or husband/boy friend. But, with your friends with the same gender? No,,, no no…

So, please no spooning in cabin with your friends, if you know what I mean. ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S: Do people in the U.S. use spooning to mean using a spoon to get some food from a bowl or something? I kind of doubt. Could you advise me, my American friends?

06 May

hammock and banana hammock

Who taught: Sangeetha, Alex, Phil, Pat, Mark and Kelly

banana hammock (source: http://www.sampa.com/)

Last Saturday, I moved all of my stuff from my old apartment into the new house. Many friends showed up to help the move. I would like to thank all. It was a lot easier with their help. Luckily, the weather was also amazing. To take advantage of it, I bought hot dogs, pizzas and some drinks to have a small spontaneous party at my house.

The move was done pretty quickly and we hang out in the backyard. Hack ya! That was something I have always wanted to do with my friends when I buy a house. Yay! Finally, it happened. And, I am sure there will be a lot more parties. It was so great to have them in my place.

At one point during the party, Phil said, “You guys should sling a hammock in the backyard here. That would be perfect.”

Do you guys know what hammock is? Here is the definition!

A bed made of canvas or of rope mesh and suspended by cords at the ends, used as garden furniture or on board a ship.

I am sure you’ve seen this when you were on a vacation at a resort. The most important thing you should keep in mind is that the shape of hammock, especially if someone lies in it. It becomes very narrow because of the weight of the lying person and its shape is very round. Can you imagine? I am sure you have a great imagination here.

As we talked about hammock, Sangeetha said, “Hey, speaking of hammock… Terry, have you heard the expression, banana hammock?”

I said, “I have but I totally forgot what it means. Does it have something to do with sexual stuff? Oh, does it mean a banana-shaped penis?”

Phil said, “Good guess but not that one.”

Actually, I was pretty close because it has something to do with penis. So, instead of telling you the definition of banana hammock, let me remind you of the shape of hammock when you lie in it. Imagine yourself being a penis, then what is hammock? It is something men wear but very tight. It’s a speedo or male thong.

What a great expression! It is so perfect. I am sure somebody, looking at the shape of a hammock with a person in it, thought of speedo or thong that men wear. Don’t you think they look exactly same?

Now, what if I go to a department store and ask a sales person like, “So, I am looking for a banana hammock? Do you carry them?” Would they understand what I mean? Would they look at me like a crazy person? Probably yes in the U.S., right?

21 Apr

in the cards

Who taught: Austin

tarot cards (source: http://tarotreadingsdc.com)

About two weeks ago, I went Stella’s baptism event. Stella is my friend Pat’s daughter. She is amazingly adorable. I believe she got all of the best things from her parents. There is no doubt that she will become so smart.

At the event, Jessy and I met Stella’s grand parents. After the official baptism event, we drove to the venue of reception. As we have food, we had a chance to chat with Pat’s parents.

During the conversation, we talked about our work and our passion in software development. Naturally, we mentioned that many of our friends are working together to develop a new web application that is possible to make a big difference in the world. As Austin, Pat’s father, heard that, he said, “Two of you should also do it in addition to your main jobs.” We said, “Yeah, maybe we should. We can make something cool.” And, Austin said, “Great! That is in the cards. Hope to see you something amazing.”

From the context, it was not that hard to understand what Austin meant by saying, “in the cards.” It should mean, “something possible to happen.” That was what I thought. And, as I always do, I tried to think about its etymology. For that, I thought it has to be related with cards in connection with playing card games. What I mean by card games is the ones you can see in Las Vegas. I mean I do not know how many games exist but they all use the same type of cards to play very different games, right? It does not matter what game you are playing because there is always possibility of having bunch of different cards from a set of cards. That is exactly what I thought for this expression’s etymology.

What do you think? Do you think I am correct? The answer is not really. I looked upon its etymology and it says the expression is from a specific type of cards, which is tarot cards. What is tarot cards? Based on what I found, it is:

a set of cards with pictures representing different parts of life andย that are believed to be able to show what will happen in the future.

Isn’t it interesting? They are believed to be able to show what will happen in the future and that is why this expression is here with us now.

I would love to see those cards for real. Never seen it so far. Now, do people play games with these tarot cards?

Now, what are the things do you have in your cards? Hope they are all good ones!