What is this blog all about?

The main purpose of this blog is to give an overview of the things I do, in my everyday life, in order to improve my English. Since I am a very lazy person, I mostly read, and watch movies, and do things which make it possible for me to improve my vocabulary, my grammar and my accent without getting bored... So this blog is going to be about the books I read, the movies I watch, and some other things which I find relevant (or not)...

I hope you'll like it! Don't hesitate to leave comments if you have any suggestions concerning what I should write about!!

mercredi 31 octobre 2007

Et j'ai crié, criéééééé Aline...

Today, reader, is the day of the angry post. I have, once more, wasted 2 hours of my life on a perfectly worthless movie, and been the victim of so-called mythical-ness.

Could somebody explain to me what's so wonderful about Stanley Kubric?? Because I really fail to see anything interesting at all in any of his movies. I watched The Shining yesterday, and I must say that I was very very disappointed. After Eyes Wide Shut, which gave me a headache, Barry Lyndon, during which I fell asleep, and that other movie with a flying bone in it, which made me very sleepy as well, I think I'm just going to give up on his movies!

What's so great about The Shining, honestly? OK, it's really terrifying at first, what with the little guy talking to his finger and things, and I must say that I was kind of tense. Very frightening. But it's only because of the scenario, the directing is really bad! I mean, first of all, the casting. The whole point of the story is that anybody can become a terrible serial killer. My point, why take Jack Nicholson, who looks like the worst psycho, and his strange looking wife? I would have taken a cute couple, nice and innocent looking. I don't know, say... Brad Pitt and... Nathalie Portman. Well, the Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman of the 1980's, I don't really know who that might have been, but you get the picture, don't you reader. Then it would have been freaky and unexpected!!

Besides, The Shining, what is the point of The Shining? The kid can read in thoughts, right, that's pretty cool, but why make this the title of the movie? I think it's weird!

Besides (again), and this will be my last word before leaving in a hurry because I'm supposed to be cooking right now, Why Oh Why that half an hour long scene at the end, with only three lines repeated over and over again? Well, let's say 4, if you take into account the kid's heavy breathing. That old Indian guy (is he black or Indian, by the way? I thought he was Indian because of the thing with the Indian cemetery under the hotel, but I'm not sure, so tell me if you know!) screaming "hello? anybody in there? -If you want to stick you axe in my heart, psycho-guy, I'm over heeeeeere!!!" for half an hour, why, oh Why? We get the picture with just once or twice, you know!! Why are you there at all, by the way, weird Indian guy? You come, give an ice cream to the cool kid and then you go, I don't really see why anyone took the trouble of including you in the scenario...

And then there are the crazed parents screaming "Daaaaaannnyyyyyy daaaaaaannny!!!" For heaven's sake, Danny, get axed, and let's get on with it! My ears were already bleeding from all the bleeping and hyper-high screeching of the music (By the way, why did those great great contemporary composers (Bartok, Ligeti and another one whose name I can't remember, but who's well know as well) want to hurt us so much??? What did I do wrong, mister Ligeti??

Anyway. As I said, I'm in a very hurried hurry, so I'll just go now! Have a nice day, and don't watch the Shining, because it sucks. Sorry Mr Kubric.

Have a nice day, reader! Don't watch The Shining!

lundi 29 octobre 2007

I don't like your girlfriend...

Hey reader!!

Just wanted to tell you (once again) to go check out my cousin's site because it's really great and poor S got some computer trouble and needs some support! So go on, go see the site, it's really worth your time!

Apart from that, not much to say, I'm on holidays and trying hard not to sprain my neurones, so i'm not doing much, mostly sleeping and being bored... It's a nice change, really! Friday night's LEA party went really great (though it made me a little blue, I must say), and I'm surer than ever that this schoolyear is going to be great! Really cool people in my group this year, the more of them I meet, the more I know it. I'm actually not too sad at the thought of going back to the university next monday! A miracle, I guess...
Well, I'd better go now, maybe finish tidying up my room (Lord, guys, my suitcase from Graz is still not fully unpacked!! I guess I must have some kind of mental sickness that makes me turn any room into a remake of Armaggedon in less than 5 days. Very annoying. Impossible to fight.)
Have a nice day! (what's left of it...)

vendredi 26 octobre 2007

Hey ho, hey ho, it's off to work we go...

Actually, no, I'm going home!! It's the holidays!! Freedom, beauty truth and love! (Well, freedom, mostly, for the rest, we'll see later on...)

I'm really happy that this week has finally come to an end, because I am really tired, and a week of holidays is just what I need right now. I finished my presentations yesterday, no more feminism for Claire before quite a while, isn't that good news ? It went pretty well, except that I was a little panicky (I don't know why, I'm always pretty calm during presentations, but yesterday, I was all stressed out... I guess it had something to do with the audience, once again, I'd hate to look silly to all those cool people!!) But then again, the debating part went well, people were really nice and talkative, so I think, all in all, it went well. I don't really know why I'm telling you all this, reader, especially since I should be writing an ad for the translation group I'm in... I kind of lack inspiration, so I figured, "go to your blog, and tell your poor reader about your life, I'm sure it'll help you".

I just came out of a "work interview" by the way! Isn't it great? The university needs some people to do some tutoring for first year students, so I applied! I do hope it works!! Then I'll have cool stories to tell you about how I torture my students and things like that... Yaaaay!!! Can't wait! First goal: get them to call me "master". Second goal: try to get them to bring me cookies. Third goal: try to make them do my German homework. Fourth goal: try to make them stop calling me names...

Well, seriously, though, I do hope I get the job, because it would be so cool! I've got plenty of ideas about what I could do and things, and I'm sure it'd be great. I figured I could try to introduce blogging to French students, as a matter of fact! Would be a cool way to make them write things, and an easy way for me to have access to their work (and the contents of their weak minds ^_^) I could make them listen to music, and help them with their presentations, and make them do grammar exercises at home, and... yeah. I know, I don't have the job yet. But still, no harm in being enthusiastic, isn't it?

I guess I'll stop writing now, and maybe do something useful (dream on!)... or maybe I'll just go back to the over-heated language library and doze off, like I always do... hmmm... I'm so sleepy!! I have no classes this afternoon, but I'm staying at the university because there is a special dinner event tonight, and I've missed enough parties as it is, so I'm going to this one, even though it means getting bored for three hours! But the good thing is, then I can go shopping with my friends before dinner, and that sounds like a good plan... freedom, I said!

Have a nice day!!

mercredi 24 octobre 2007

My beloved monster and me...

Hey reader!

I noticed yesterday that my "general" file was getting fuller and fuller, and everything else has been a little let down ever since I don't have to write serious things from time to time in order not to look like I'm having too much fun blogging in my vererated English teacher's eyes... So today, I decided it might be a good idea to tell you about the book I'm reading right now, which is in English as well as really cool.

Besides, I should be working for an English presentation about Feminism, and since it's tomorrow, I figured it might be a good idea to start doing something completely different, so as to be sure to go to bed at 2 a.m. tonight and look half dead during my presentation tomorrow (maybe pity can win me one or two points?) -By the way, reader, if you wonder why I chose feminism as a topic when it drives me so mad, I thought it would be a good idea to know more about it (in order to sound less radical and more composed in my argumentation), and besides, since I have an actual opinion on the subject, I thought it would be easier to get my fellow students to talk about it. Anyway. So much for my presentation's topic, let's get back to the book!

It's called "Wicked" and was written by Gregory Maguire. The main reason why I bought it (at the airport in the US) was because I liked the title. Besides, it looked cool (the pages are bright green) and I had just finished reading Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor's chronicle of their motorcycle trip around the world. That was really cool, by the way, and the title is "Long way around" if anyone is interested. Pretty cool book. Particularly the scenes describing Ewan McGregor singing "Running to stand still" with a guitar around the fire. Marshmallows, anyone?

Anyway, anyway, let's get back to "Wicked". It might well be the most difficult book I've ever read, the vocabulary is terrible (even worse than "Jaywalking with the Irish", guys, do you believe this?) and I sometimes don't really get the necessity of the political analysis of the situation in Munchkinland, but it's still a very good book, with lovable characters. It takes place in the world of Oz (remember the Wizard of Oz?) but you don't need to know anything about the original book to read "Wicked" (as for me, I only ever heard about "The Wizard of Oz", and know some stuff about a cowardly lion and a heartless plumber. Or something like that.)

The main character of "Wicked" is the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba (if I understood things right, she's the big meany in the original book), which was born green skinned, and is a very funny character. She is some kind of a geek, and I like her cynical humour and attitude to life. It's not as if she were disillusioned or anything, it's not a depressing book at all, she just sees through things easily, and I like the way she behaves.

Anyway, it's a really good book, though I'm not much of a fan of talking Animals and weird fantasy lands, so if you don't know what to read, you can read that! I have to run now, the little bra-burning people of Cixousland are waiting for me!! Time to stop talking about "Wicked" and be a good girl! Have a nice day!!

lundi 22 octobre 2007

Ja dieses Schunkeln kann ich nicht ausstehn...

Hey reader!!

I have two hours to kill before I can go and eat with my friend V, and I'm already very hungry, so I thought I'd come here and write a post in order to make time go faster. I really don't like the university's computer rooms, reader, it's cold (because the window's open, not because of the inherent coldness of information technnologies or any such thing), and nobody speaks because they have been trained since birth by all librarians on the planet to NOT TALK when in a big room full of people. Most of the people I can see from here are actually doing the same thing as I am (i.e. checking their mail, checking up their favourite actor on the IMDb...), and I hardly see why we couldn't enjoy a little chat while we're here, but hell... We know what happens when you try to play this little game with the librarian, reader! Death awaits! Pain, first, then death. The Nazgûl librarian lurks behind his (its?) desk with his (its?) sharp teeth and beady eyes! Keep silent!
Anyway. I finished my "Referat" on thursday, and I was just soooo happy that it was over that I felt like singing a little song. I did not. But I felt like it. Besides, I was all stressed out, because there are really cool people in my group, who speak perfect German, and to whom I would really hate to appear stupid or dull, and they were not there! So it was OK, pressure off! And the teacher liked it, and so I'm pretty happy. Besides it's over! It's the over-ness I like best, I think.

While I'm talking about German presentations, I figured I could tell you about the Wise Guys, which I heard about during a German presentation. I don't know, some of you might know them, but it's all German-speaking, so you need to speak a little German if you want to be able to enjoy the music. Yeah, because they are musicians. Their "particularity" is that they only ever sing, they do not use any music instrument. I've never been a big fan of beat-boxes, I always figure it's kind of disgusting and can't help thinking about how much they must spit, but then again, with the Wise Guys, it's OK, it's not as bad as it could be. They have one particular song which made me laugh a lot, it's about people in Germany who can't help swaying from one side to the other as soon as some music's playing. The lyrics talk about sea-sickness and lemmings, and wonder why people don't just get up and dance, which I've always wondered myself. Granted, it's not overly clever, but still, it's funny. Well it makes me laugh. And for once, I actually listen to some music in GERMAN, which is something close to a miracle, so I thought I'd tell you about it! (I seem to have become too old for such phenomena as Tokyo Hotel, and "99 Luftballons" is cute, but it's just the one song. And the Fool's Garden only ever sing in English, which is not helping my German much...)

Anyway. I guess I'd better go now, I wanted to write a little add for the translation project I'm in this year (we need to find actual customers, so we need to advertise, of course), and if I don't get started now, I probably never will!!

Have a nice day reader!

vendredi 12 octobre 2007

Om mani padme...

Hey reader!!

First things first, congratulations to my sister M who now has a master in journalism!! congratulations! congratulations! Yeah yeah yeah!! You're the best!

I have not been writing in a very very long time, because I have been travelling, and very very busy. My summary of the last two weeks would be "I love America and resent the French Universities". But as my Yoga teacher says, "Everyday, every aspect of my life gets better and better". Good news, innit?

Anyway. I won't tell you about my journey to the US, reader, I took that big decision yesterday, after realising that I was so worried about what I would write that I did not write anymore, so let me just tell you how wonderful and great it was, how sunny and warm, and how welcoming all the people I met were. I just loved my 5 days there, and hope I can go back some day. With all my siblings, again. So nice to see them all, reader, really! We should do that more often! (said the girl whose plane ticket was paid for by her parents...)

The subject of today's post, therefore, will be yesterday's yoga lesson. My very first yoga lesson! My shakras are all nicely open, and I constantly feel like I am walking in a perfumed indian valley, with sunbeams massaging my shoulders and an inner peace close to nirvana. Oh, yeah, and a little guy from the Appalachians playing the flute in the background. See, reader? That's my problem with yoga, I just can't let go of my cynicism. (cinicism? ssinissizem?). I enjoyed the yoga session, and I'll go back again next week with pleasure, and any opportunity given a human being to lie down on the ground, under a soft blanket and gently doze off should be accepted with gratitude.

I think it's the position that's the ultimate cause of all problems. You have to lie still on you back, and I guess it's a nervous bypass or something like that, it always makes me laugh. Or, more precisely, if something makes me giggle while I'm lying flat on my back, it very quickly degenerates into terrible fits of laughter. So yesterday, I was kind of stressed out, because I did not want to start laughing alone during the yoga lesson and break the quiet and sacred peace of the room by snorting and coughing, so I tried to concentrate. And it worked. But still, I could not make my inner voices shut up. I had no idea so many people lived in my brain, and I figured maybe I should seek professional help. There is first of all "Serious" the one who thinks nothing should be halfway done, and while I am in a peaceful yoga-sancutary I should clear my mind of all silliness and concentrate on my shakras. There is "Stupidhead", -very loud little voice- which can't help giggling when the teacher says "perineum". There is also "Sleepy", which only ever snores, but who's very very loud as well. Next time, I'll put earlplugs on as soon as the relaxation session starts.

Besides, it might keep me from hearing my stomach growl. I don't know why, I don't know how, but my stomach seems to like its own voice very very much, so with its little stomachial ears, he listens very carefully for the most quiet moment possible before lauching into a very nice aria. But at least I did not fall asleep and snore during the relaxation session, which sadly happened to another student.

It happened to me when I was in kindergarten, we were trying to relax (I guess the teacher was mostly trying to make up stop throwing things at each other) and I fell asleep. It was very embarrassing, so much so that I remember it today, and I was only, what, 5 or 6 when it happened... The poor yoga student must have been at least 40! But then again, I don't suppose he recalls snoring.

I hate falling asleep in the wrong places. I remember having to fight off sleep at work this summer sometimes, and it just drove me crazy! Your head falls down, and you think "wake up, wake up, wake up, someone's going to see you, you are going to get fired, and you'll look stupid, wake up, wake up", but it still doesn't help! Why can't I fall asleep in my bed in the dark, but still can't stay awake when I have work to do? I think it's the same area of my brain which makes me be happy to do boring things instead of learning interesting lessons for my exams. The whole fun lies in making me helpless and ridiculous. I guess the worst place is in the train though. In the train when you have a neighbour, and you can see yourself, with your mind's eye, looking very pale and green and brown around the eyes. Then you think, damn my neighbour, I'm tired, I'm going to sleep. But then you feel you mouth open slightly, and you start panicking about starting to drool or something like that, or breathing noisily or something, and then you think, Wake up Claire, wake up! Wake Up!! But of course you can't, because that would be too easy. So you try to keep you head up straight, but it still keeps falling down, and in the end, you arrive in Strasbourg and you're fuzzy-brained as never before, and you wish you'd stay home.

Anyway. Life is tough on sluggish people... I have to run now (I have a terrible paper to write about "Integration of languages in Germany", I am supposed to talk in German for 2 hours, and I am considering, once again, changing careers completely...). Maybe some day I'll have time for a "how to end a post properly" course, but apparently not today! The call of duty, you know how it is!! Better be off! Have a nice day, reader!!