Romanian Pronunciation, Fuzzy Texas Caterpillars, & Tiny Liquor Bottles

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When researching topics from other languages, I always look up the pronunciation. Knowing how to pronounce words just makes them stick better. Many times, though, no one has recorded a native pronunciation and put it online—particularly for somewhat obscure folklore. Whenever I encounter this problem, I always submit a request to for a native speaker to record themselves.

I just had one of these requests from September 2023 fulfilled for a Romanian word: Vântoase. I wrote about Vântoase a while back. And now, you can hear a native Romanian pronunciation of Vântoase, so the word can stick in your brain a little better, too.

As acompletelynormal living human creature, I had my phone volume on full blast, listening to the Romanian word Vântoase on repeat while skittering between shadows to avoid the baleful sunlight, and Ihappened across an interesting sight: a fuzzy caterpillar.It's been a while since I last saw one, so I watched it for a while, taught it some Romanian, and snapped a photo.

A black fuzzy caterpillar on a concrete sidewalk.
Fuzzy Texas Caterpillar. Speaks fluent Caterpillar and beginner Romanian. As you can see, it also has at least a 16 in charisma.

A general rule of thumb for fuzzy caterpillars is to not pet—err, touch—them because many are venomous or poisonous. I'm fairly certain it was a not-so-dangerous saltmarsh caterpillar (one of eight types of woollybear caterpillars). Obviously, I didn't touch this one because studying Romanian requires concentration. 

In other news, I went to a (not-writing) convention for work, and they were handing out tiny liquor bottles. When did that become a thing? It was a bit surreal, especially because I was surrounded by people all talking about how hungover they were from drinking so much the night before—with plans to do it again. So...I've decided to hang out with more caterpillars.

What's New?

  • Some stretches of time leave you wondering how in the world you ever get anything done at all. I'm in one of those right now. Hopefully, I'm nearing the end of it.
  • Upcoming Into Horror History: Strange tales of ancient Welsh ruins.