I propose to elevate the status of "conversate" from a Biggie-perpetrated malaprop to a legitimate member of the lexicon (though I think it could be argued, ye prescriptivist tightasses, that there is really no such thing as a "Biggie-perpetrated malaprop," only usage and syntax that we did not yet know was correct until he uttered it. I feel the same way about R Kelly; this is why I know for sure that it's "butt-" and not "buck-naked").
I was admonishing my American male model colleague for having lived in Paris for almost a year and not learned a lick of French. His defense: "Why try? No matter how much you learn, there's always going to be the point where you go [comical shrug of incomprehension]." What a ridiculous and wrongheaded way to live, but what an apt definition of "conversatation": a conversation destined for eventual incomprehension by virtue of one or both parties' incomplete grasp of the language in use.
I'm not going anywhere with this; I just thought about it a lot during my last couple of days in China as I strove to conversate in Mandarin. My tiny mental magnetic poetry set of verbs and nouns provided a surprisingly wide variety of mix-n-match meanings, but it was still frustrating how quickly I reached the [comical shrug] point in all conversatations. Also, I studied Learn Mandarin audiotapes on my iPod and had a couple of sentences memorized with impeccable tonality, giving some people the impression that I really spoke the language; I hated being aware of the realization slowly creeping over someone that, "Oh, this bitch is just conversating."
Anyway, it was such a good month (physical discomfort on jobs notwithstanding). Did you know that the way to say "owl" in Chinese is "cat head hawk"? Excellent little tidbits like that made every leaping ladypose in every bedazzled acrylic turtleneck so, so worth it.
Last few pics from China.
Hot frog oviduct soup in papaya, anyone? It's "good for the skin"! (I think my date ordered this to shock me; however, I had already seen it in 7-11 and didn't blink. Taste was neither froggy nor eggy, just spongy and bland; if not told, I never would have guessed that it didn't come from a plant).
If you won't have the soup but are still craving something genital: a MONS beer.