November 4th, 2008

1950s Lower Class Slang

Setting: 1950s, somewhere around Manhattan-think Newsies

Questions: So I have a character from New York who grew up pretty much an orphan in the mid-late 1950s. What's some common slang I could use?

Also, how could I write out his accent-nothing major just subtle things?

Research Done: Googled "new york street slang" "1950s street slang" Wikipedia'd "slang dictionary" Also, I browsed this
Random - Flowered Books

3 Questions: Medicine, Politics, and Paparazzi

Hey! I've got three questions, but don't want to spam the community, so I'm putting them all in one post!

Question 1:
Topic: Medicine
Research: I've asked my mom, who is an ER nurse of 35 years, and my boyfriend, who is a chiropractor, but they both lack the real world experience of rehab to really answer it decisively.

My character, Nate, is going to take a bullet (9x19 Parabellum from a Beretta M9). Placement is high in the left shoulder beneath the actual clavicle. It's a through and through wound, so there's not going to be any issue with a lot of secondary tearing, but the placement makes it likely that his scapula or clavicle is going to be broken from the force of the bullet.

What I need to know is this: What sort of rehab will be necessary to restore function to his arm? How long will the rehab take to restore function? After four months, would it be believable that he is beginning an exercise routine once again? This routine would include both pull-ups and pushups (he is ex-military), and before the shooting, would have been no trouble at all. How much difficulty is he going to have, getting his body back to a pre-shooting state?

Question 2:
Topic: Politics
Research: My Google-Fu is falling short...

When running for United States House of Representatives (specifically, California's 48th district), how soon before the primaries does one submit their paperwork to actually run? How does one go about doing this? I understand that this is a primarily Republican district, so do the requirements shift depending on what party the candidate is a member of? I was planning on making him a Dem, because he's a closeted gay man, but he's also very conservative, so I could totally make him a Republican.

Question 3:
Topic: Media/Paparazzi
Research: Google-Fu

In California, are there specific laws preventing Paparazzi from coming within a certain distance of a celebrity/politician? Can restraining orders be put in place to protect those celebrities? How likely is it that a political candidate (one who, in the story, is drawing as much attention as Obama was during the 2004 Sentatorial election) might have a random photog snap a picture of him every now and again? How easy is this to ignore?
karel; a cloud hangs over

Withholding return of a rare book

This is another NaNo question, which I'm sure you're getting a lot of, but I really don't have the first clue on how to go about searching for this.

As a plot point in my project -- kind of a big one -- I need to have the main character lose a rare and old (and magical) book by having it accidentally returned to the library by a well-meaning but rather unobservant side-character. The book isn't marked to be a library holding, but it's written in a completely unintelligible language to everyone but the MC. It's magically preserved but is bound and written in a foreign and quite old style.

What I need to have happen is for the library to refuse to return the book to her when she goes to ask about it. There can be suspicion of foul play or illegal acquisition of the book or anything else, but I need to know if there would be any possible reason for this to happen. The reason for this plot point is that as the MC reads the book, she starts having hallucinations and the only way to get them to stop is to finish reading the book, or so she hopes, and so losing the book makes life very difficult for her. She'll get it back eventually by breaking in (small town library, very little security) due to the fact that her hallucinations are driving her crazy, but I just need an initial reason they'd tell her no.

Setting is modern day US of A, but the state is really up in the air, so if a specific state has special laws regarding this, then the setting can be moved there. I'd prefer southwestern, since that's the region I'm most familiar with, but anything is fine. Suggested Google searches are also awesome, because putting in "library refusing to return a book" and the like only gives me stories about people refusing to return controversial books to libraries, which, while amusing, isn't quite what I'm going for. ^^'

[edit] Thank you all so much! I think I definitely have an idea of how this is going to go down now! (wow I love this community! ♥)

laws regarding baby names in Canada

Time: present day
Googled terms: Canada, "Canadian law", law, rules, "baby name", "baby naming", and so forth (I get name sites and adoption sites...)

Question: Are there laws in Canada about what babies can be named? If so, what are they? For example, "No numerals and symbols" (can't name the kid Why@), "No obscene words", etc. As well, is this up to the local city hall? (i.e., one municipality might reject 'Devil' but another accept it).

As well, when must the child's name be registered officially? (Here in Japan, we have 14 days after birth to turn the 'Report of Birth' in at city hall)
Ms Clifton! Ms Clifton! Ms Clifton!

Catholic Weddings in the United States

Time Frame: Late 50s

Place: United States - California specifically

Basically, I'm trying to find a straight forward outline of what a Catholic Wedding would be like at that time.

So far I searched Google with every term I can think of, but I can't find any solid information and I'm a sucker for detail...

So, would the service be pretty much entirey Latin?

The bride has converted to Catholicism, but her family is still Protestant so would they be allowed to come?

Would the Bridesmaids, Best Man and ushers have to be Catholic? (Some sources say yes, some say no)

Would the Mass include Communion? (Some sources say that it wasn't usual to have it, others say the opposite!)

If anyone has any first hand accounts that'd be really helpful.


ETA 9:37pm: Bonus question: What was the process for converting to Catholicism in the 1950s anyway? Did it take as long as it does now (Google tells me it takes about 12 months) or was it shorter. This isn't that important to the story, but I'd like to know!