Saturday, June 09, 2007


I have a wonderful friend who sent me Pink Martini's "Hey, Eugene." Hadn't heard of the song, but she did introduce me to Pink Martini a couple years ago. (If you're reading this, Jaimie---HELLO!)

Anyway, apart from Portland (our biggest city), there are only an even two dozen cities over 20,000 in population in the entire state. And ten of those are suburbs of Portland, itself clocking in at only a little over half a million. Second to Portland is Eugene, Oregon where 143,910 people on this planet have decided to live and move and have their being. There is little doubt that the minority were born in Eugene, but I am fairly certain that very few of them realize that the name of their city is all about birth.

Sorry, Limers---they are only counting incorporated towns and, as you could probably guess, Wagontire didn't make the cut with their two person population.

You know who used to live in Eugene? Ken Kesey, that's who. You know who else used to live in Eugene? Johnny Prefontaine, that's who.

So I got to thinking about the name, Eugene. Yes, it's Greek. But first, a few words about words.

Anytime you see the "eu" prefix, you can just go ahead and translate it as "good." Other words that come with the territory are "nice," "easy," "pleasant." Anything in that realm works. Like "eucalyptus,"---nice covering; "euthanasia,"---easy death; "eulogy,"---good word; "euphoria,"---pleasant bearing (phero means to carry or to bear, as in the weight of something), "eucharist,"---good grace (gift), "eutectics,"---good melting (potters know the eutectics of various glaze materials and often flux the glaze recipe such that things will melt at a higher or lower temperature in the kiln).

From the word, "eucharist" comes the word for thanks in Greek. If you want to say "thank you," you say: "Eucharisto." But it is not pronounced "you-kuh-rist-o." It is pronounced, ev-khat-ees-TOE." When you get to the "kha" part of the word, you want to sound like you are about to hock a loogie. It's a sort of throat-clearing from way back on the tongue that produces that "kha" sound (as well as loogies). The "u" in Greek is given a "v" sound, therefore the "eu" is pronounced "ev." And from that, you can pretty much figure out how "euangelios" becomes "evangelist" in our own tongue. The Good News---the Gospel---is "evangelion." Literally, a good message.

So in comes Eugene. Easy now, huh? You are betting that the "gene" portion has something to do with our word for "genetics." And you're correct. So knowing what the "eu" part of Eugene means, you can guess what Eugene really means. But first a few words about the words "genestheto" and "thelema."

The word for "will" (as in, To Will something to be) is "thelema." No, not Thelma. But it does sound a lot like it and so, who knows? In Greek you lengthen all the "O"s. In the Lord's Prayer, "genestheto to thelema sou" is: Thy will be done. Literally, "may it be born out [of] the will of you." It is in the genitive---"OF you." But it is not a reflexive verb, so don't worry. That would complicate things greatly.

Here are some Eugene related words: Generate, generation, genetics, genes, genealogy (and by the way, it's gene-AL-ogy, not gene-OL-ogy---one of the most mispronounced words in the language!), general---it's all about giving birth, making happen, bearing out, bodying forth, issuing from the womb of whatever.

Eugene. Nice birth. Easy birth. Well-born. You name it---if it's about coming about in a good and a positive way, then you've got a Eugene event.

In Russian, the name is pronounced "yevgenny" (hard "g" as in "Gawpo.") There is a poet named Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Some of you, no doubt, have heard of him. I came to his poems via his book "Stolen Apples." I liked the title because I stole some oranges from Sophie Rhorer's tree across the street once and went to confession for it when I had attained the age of reason: 7. Gotta love being Catholic. I generated ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys for my kakagenic idea.

When Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, he lays on them the notion that they need to resign themselves to what we, nowadays, refer to as the driving principle of: shit happens. Or, as I posted once, "Mierda Pasa." What does a General do except "make shit happen." Whatever that phrase "God's will" might mean, it sure doesn't mean anything that can be planned by us. "Genestheto to thelema sou" is not only in the dative case, it is in the subjunctive, thus rendering the whole thing: "That it might come about the will of you." There's this sense that, whatever does come about, might not be what we want to come about. It's a matter of thy, not my. And I hate that sometimes. This doesn't mean that whatever comes about, comes about as the will of God, either. But how we deal with whatever comes about---now that's what that part of the Lord's prayer is all about. You know: "God grant me the serenity, etcetera"? Does any of that ring a bell?

So, if good and caring people (such as you and me) discern what might happen to be the opposite of Eugene, namely, Kakagene (literally: Shitgene), then we need to fight to make it right; we need to take what comes and give birth to good by how we handle it. Whatever might come about, it is all we can do to pray that we will accept it as best we can and treat it as---Eugene.

Now for the entertainment portion of our program. I love this song. Crank it up. It has been viewed by nearly as many people as live in Corvallis, Oregon, just slightly north of....Eugene.


At Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 5:53:00 PM PDT , Blogger Sheila said...

Με καταπλήσσετε με τη γνώση σας..! Είναι όλα τα ελληνικά σε με..!

At Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 6:10:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

SHEILA: How did you DO that! I now recall that you know Greek.

Something about knowing you (meaning me), then the infinitive for "to be" Greek--then you me. I don't know what PLESSETE is, but the KATA prefix is up or toward or according to. It is in the second person singular, so I suppose it means me, not to mention the "you" that the "sas" is.

Let's have it! Good work, Sheila. I will look forward to some email regarding how to figure out how to type in Greek on my Mac. Kalenukta!

At Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 6:12:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

Oh, I get it now. You are saying that my Greek sucks.

At Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 6:29:00 PM PDT , Blogger vicci said...

I non Sa circa Greco....but quie' il mio....Did che italiano controllate ultimamente la vostra scatoladi PO ????? ed e-li spediro per posta con una domanda presto circa un calcolatore per l' aeroplano ????? So che e' cryptic !! In ogn modo....e' tutto il GRECO a me :-)

At Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 6:39:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

VICCI!!!: Ha!!! I am dying here. Thank you for your kind words. Yes, it is all Greek to you. But of course. Some of your Italian is also Greek to ME. lol


And to answer your question, I am planning on flying down to Turlock at the end of the month for my niece's baptism. I will keep you posted.

Look what Sheila has started. Sheesh. But I love it.

At Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 6:56:00 PM PDT , Blogger Candace said...

When I lived in Madison, Eugene was pronounced YOUgene. I think that was only the cracker-ghetto pronounciation cuz of where I lived.

How's that for trivial?

At Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 7:13:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

CANDACE: Trivial, meaning informational, not little nor insignificant. Eugene is often pronounced YOUgene here, too. One time, when we was huntin', we was up on Palmer Loop and we seen this herd of, oh, 'bout 10 elk and five of 'em was bulls. Well, Jimmy had him a cow tag so he busted one. So we called YOUgene and he come up from his house so we could winch that cow that we shot that was down in a hole.

(sorry, LOGO!!!!)

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 5:28:00 AM PDT , Blogger goldennib said...

I don't know any latin or greek, so I can't play, but I loved learning all of the new stuff.

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 6:13:00 AM PDT , Blogger lime said...

what latin and greek i know i could fit in a thimble so i rather loved this because i'd actually like to study both of them. i also need to thank you because it is sunday and i am dreading going to church a bit amd having to listen to some rambling incoherent blather from a man i have lost respect for. it was a refreshing thing this sunday morning to read you and have my spirit fed a bit. would it be right to say thanks for the good word (eu-logo)?

big hugs coming your way.

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 6:20:00 AM PDT , Blogger somewhere joe said...

Thanks to the Franciscans (I adored sister Mary Chuck) I'm thoroughly versed in Laughing and Grief, as well as their many dialects, derivations, tenses, cases, and slang. For which I'm thoroughly eucharistic.

And breaking virtual bread with you this morning, brother po...

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 7:34:00 AM PDT , Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

As God is my witness, I knew none of this. I am enjoying the song as I write this. And I was just about to bug you for a new post!

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 9:41:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

NIBBY: Words, in any language, are fun. And I find them meaningful. lol

LIMERS: I wonder what the word for "thimble" is in Greek. Church is: "Eklesia," literally: Called Out(i.e., from). So, in high school, when you wanted to fight that girl for looking at your boyfriend, you would "church" her; you would call her out.

Yes, it would be right to say it that way. You could also say: Evchatisto para tou evlogo sou "thank you for your good word."

SOMEWHERE JOE: What purpose would cultivating a sense of humor serve if not served up with cultivating a profound sense of grieving? I love that!

Peace be with you, Joe. Let us pray...

Εχθρός της δημοκρατίας: Funny how the word for "Republic" is "Demokratia." Phonetically, your blog name is rendered: Echthros tees deemokratias. Be sure to hock your loogie when pronouncing the first syllable of Echthros. Use the accent marks. Those are, by the way, referred to as "acute" accent marks. When they point the other way, they are called "grave," but that is pronounced "grawv." Crap, I'm full of this stuff. I'm just shocked that I remember any of it. Maybe Dubbya should call that to mind on occasion. Your fantastic brain is a joy to see here. As always. And now I have you AND Arm to reckon with for new posts. I like the nagging. I love it, actually. It provides motivation.

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 11:07:00 AM PDT , Blogger Paul said...

Hey, Eugene.

Are you there?

That was a verbose introduction to a song.

I said, "hello."

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 11:12:00 AM PDT , Blogger Paul said...

Eugene. I've actually been there. I flew into and out of Eugene on my way to several business meetings in Roseburg. Both big cities, by Oregon standards, I guess.

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 12:11:00 PM PDT , Blogger LisaOceandreamer said...

Ok, so maybe I'm just in a silly mood but I flashed to Gus in My Big Fat Greek Wedding....always having a Greek derivative to every word! Do you use Windex too?
I haven't been to Eugene in years.

WHAT? you may be coming to Turlock and you weren't going to tell me????
When and for how long?? G and I would come to meet you!

Hugs and kisses,

p.s. I am 1/4 Greek, my maiden name is Greek!(although not its original spelling)

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 12:38:00 PM PDT , Anonymous Jackie said...

Interesting! I've heard about this thing you have with language (a little Chikken told me!) Eu-post.

P.S. Part of my heart is in Eugene. And it's my brother's middle name. I like that!

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 1:05:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

PAUL: Dang! I was going to go to you last night and ran outta gas. But I love seeing you here. And over there. Anywhere. Yeah, what a great intro, "Do you remember me? I'm that chick...." Love it.

PAUL: You have been to YOU-gene? Cool. You were in the second largest city in the entire state. Where would you have to go in your state to accomplish that, I wonder. New York, right?

Come on out again and you will be received and embraced into a great adventure.

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 1:19:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

LISAOCEANDREAMER: Coly HOW! That would be awesome. I just wrote Vicci and told her that I will most likely just make a special jaunt up to Peace Town (Latin translation of where she lives) from Turlock. And we would LOVE it if we could all get together. We could even choose a place central to all three of us. We could meet in Diesel's orchard. (that outta get a response! lol)

JACKIE: Mother of Chikken! Hello there. Yes, doesn't surprise me she would blab that to you. I love the city of Eugene as well. Wink.

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 1:22:00 PM PDT , Blogger lime said...

i'm a lover not a fighter....;) oh and a serious word nerd. i love this stuff.

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 1:22:00 PM PDT , Blogger LisaOceandreamer said...

Just tell me when!! We're there!
p.s. (I've emailed you)

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 1:39:00 PM PDT , Blogger ARM said...

All things Greek! I've been working on my chronicles of my Greece trip this afternoon and then during my break I come here and the first comment is in Greek!

Good history on the meaning of words - you should be an etymologist like J.K. Rowling is (or so I believe she is to be)! Many of the names in her books can be linked to so many things from history. Also, good video. She has a nice voice.

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 4:22:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

LIMERS: I constantly parrot that back from: "I told you Paul, I'm a lover not a fighter." GAWD I LOVE YOU!!!! Mwuahhh!

LISAOCEANDREMUH!: Yes, looks like the pudding will be all over the proof. (Wuh?)Guess that means we're having pudding when we meet. There will be pictures galore, fur shur.
By the way, I loved My Big Fat Greek Wedding. And when I saw the Big Fat Greek father doing that word stuff, I fell in love with him.

ARM: Wowzers! Serendipity Doo-Dah, Serendipity-ay....

J.K. Rowling? Who is that? Race horse jockey? Talk show host? One of the writers on CSI?

(am i dead yet?.....)

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 6:36:00 PM PDT , Blogger Claire said...

As usual I love the wandering ecclectiveness (is that even a word?) of your posts! I think you would enjoy reading Rev. Kate's post today about faith. She's on my blogroll. I don't know how to embed a link in my comment -forgive me, I'm a technotard. But anyway, Gawpo I heart you!

At Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 9:53:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

Oh, CLAIRE: And I heart you, more than ever at this time. I will go to Rev. Kate on the morrow. I see her often in your comments. XO---G

At Monday, June 11, 2007 at 4:33:00 AM PDT , Blogger lime said...

dons my sunglasses and rocks side to side with a big grin on my face

At Monday, June 11, 2007 at 10:57:00 AM PDT , Blogger mindy said...

i used to like a guy named eugene. i wonder what happened to him. i like the song also, i think i could have borrowed it and inserted the name "?" well.. sad, i already forgot his name.

At Monday, June 11, 2007 at 10:59:00 AM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

MINDANCE: Yer killin' me here! I love that. I was just talking to a friend about how when a woman is done with a relationship, she is DONE with the relationship. Guys, however, are never really ever completely done. That's the theory, anyway. But you---you go and forget entire names. I love that. Proves my theory to the max. LOL

At Monday, June 11, 2007 at 12:25:00 PM PDT , Blogger Blue the Spa Girl said...

I had no idea you had posted. I kept checking to no avail...sigh. And here I visit and there are 27 comments already!
I love that you are so into WORDS.
Werds. Makes you a WERD NERD, G.
I love that about you!
And thanks for the Eucharistic Blog Posting most HOLY. I am always fulfilled after reading one of your educational, and informative yet still Totally and Completely interesting posts.
xoxo Much love G.
Oh! And Evidenced...I thought "dent" may be some type of latin for Impression, or impress? Make sense?

At Monday, June 11, 2007 at 3:30:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

BLUE TSG: Yeah. I do the same thing over at your (and others') post(s). I check back---nuthin'. Check back---87 comments! Sheesh.

I love that you dig the wordage, Blue. I hope you enjoy my most recent CSI-ing. I love what Joe says about it. Ha!

(yes, that does make sense....shhhhh)

At Monday, June 11, 2007 at 3:56:00 PM PDT , Blogger Nana-g said...

Hurray, I still get to run naked through the streets of Dallas:
Check your reply to Mindy...
I too think when women are done, women are done -
I don't know about men, I will take your word for it Gawpo, you are my go to for 'men questions'.
love you~

At Monday, June 11, 2007 at 4:47:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

NANA-GEE: I will check that out. So out. And yes, you can run through any streets of any town under 20,000 and still feel Well Born.

Yes, when women are done, they are done. Men are the hanger-on-ers. I think.

love back atcha, G!

At Monday, June 11, 2007 at 6:03:00 PM PDT , Blogger Kai said...

Are you there, still jamming to that song.. Groovy greek post there.. :)
Peace, Kai

At Monday, June 11, 2007 at 7:08:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

KAI: Yeah, isn't it just the best song for driving down the road, singing along? I love it. And love seeing you here, too, as always!!!!

By the way------KAI means "and" in Greek. Have you ever heard of that before?

At Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 6:03:00 AM PDT , Blogger ARM said...

Wait a minute...something is different here...must figure this out for it will bother me all day.

At Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 7:14:00 AM PDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! :) Thanks for sharing it with us! :)

At Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 8:46:00 AM PDT , Blogger ARM said...

You changed your template!

At Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 5:46:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

ARM: Grrrrrr!!!! Yes, I lost my entire Blogroll trying to add a link. Crappers!!!

ANGELA: YAY!!! You made it over here! I love your beautiful posts, Angela. Thanks for being here. xo--G

At Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 6:05:00 PM PDT , Blogger jaimes said...

:) hello! they'll be at the zoo this summer, too. thanks for letting me know about David Letterman tonight. Great article in The Oregonian about China about a month ago.

At Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 8:20:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

JAIMES: Yaaaay! You found the post. I am so glad. Yes, the Zoo (thought of you, of course), Corvallis on the 20th, and there's a free concert in Roseburg, too.

I wonder if they will just be the music, or if they will get to be interviewed as well......we shall see, huh?

At Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 8:24:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

JAIMES: uh-HEM. A certain someone just clicked on a certain someone else's name and went to that certain someone's page and didn't see a certain ANYTHING.

You should post, Jaimes. Snap some pics and get their butts posted! Dragonboats?! Hel-LOOOOOOO-oooo!!!

At Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 9:37:00 PM PDT , Blogger jaimes said...

hehehehe.......I do have some good db pix!!!! what a race last weekend. Exceptionally fun. We did great.

At Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 10:00:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

JAIMES: Well then??? Are we going to see some? Huh? Well? Huh? PLEEEEZE, Jaimes.....pleeeeeze????

At Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 10:09:00 PM PDT , Blogger jaimes said...

look in your email thing. I'm a computer dork

At Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 10:10:00 PM PDT , Blogger Gawpo said...

Ok. Ha! It just chimed in there this instant. See you there!

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