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!!

jeudi 24 juillet 2008

How I wish I was a demolisher, with flowers in my hair...

There's a building in front of my office window that is having a really tough time today. Only it's not quite in front of my office window, it's a little to the left and I can't witness its being slowly and methodically demolished, which really is a pity because there are huge windows on it, and I so wish I could see them shattering and crashing down on the pavement, instead of just hearing them. I love demolitions.

Don't get me wrong, reader, I am not heartless, I think demolition signs are sad (like when they say "This building is scheduled to be demolished on August 23rd, 2008"), because all you can do is try to imagine the ugly hole instead of that old building which has (probably) seen so many thrilling exciting events and (maybe) been the theatre of some of the most beautiful and moving love stories of our era, and kind of finally became part of the landscape and you suddenly realise that it was a symbol for the meaning of your life and you don't want it to go anymore...

But when the time comes to actually tear the thing to the ground... Yinhin (and here, imagine the dark and scary laugh of the emperor in Star Wars, just before he says "you can't just stand here forever, empty, old and crappy Saarbrückian mall!"). I just love seeing the bulldozer crunching big chunks of cement with its huge shovel, or carefully tweezing pellets of cable and wire with its freaky tweezers up front... I sooooo wish I would get to drive a bulldozer...

Maybe if I don't get into that Brussel school in year 2 I'll go crazy and start studying demolition. I'm not too much into swinging those big heavy boulders into buildings, that's not subtle enough, and besides, it can't be used in cities, for obvious safety reasons. But the crazy things you can do with a bulldozer, when it's all safe and everyone's wearing a helmet? Come on. HOURS OF FUN!!!

Aaaaaaanyway.... This post was as lame as they get, with a title from a stupid song (A punk rocker? With flowers in their hair? Are you crazy? Dead kittens, maybe!) and apparently I am about to mutate into the incredible Hulkette. I don't know where all that negative energy is coming from, but it does need to come out. Yinhin...

mardi 22 juillet 2008

Paperback writer...

Another questionnaire about books !

1 - What do you remember about learning to read ?
I remember my dad asking me to read signposts and ads.
I remember waking up my mum when she was sleeping one day and asking her to tell me how to spell "crocodile". She was not exactly overjoyed.

2 - Your favourite books, as a child ?
Homecoming. No hesitation. Not even for a second.

3 - Do you like reading out loud ?
I sometimes whisper when I read, especially in German. I hope it helps my pronunciation. But I don't think it does, really.

4 - Your favourite fairy tale ?
"Le Diable Ricouquin", but only if my sister F reads it. With her BIG VOICE when the devil is speaking. (O.ô + gggRRRAAARRRGgg = F), (^_^+ hysterical giggles = me)

5 - Best adaptation of a book or play ?
Crap, I can't answer that ! That would take a whole top 5 ! I must mention "The Princess Bride" and also "Sense and Sensibility" though. For Inigo Montoya and Hugh Grant dressed as a a penguin.

6 - Do you learn some poems, lines, extracts by heart?
Never, I hate it. Except maybe when bits stay stuck in my head, like "he would not rue his bloody blunder more than I now rue mine" (Jane Eyre) or
-Death First!" (The Princess Bride, at its coolest)
or "But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue" (Hamlet). I think that's the most beautiful line ever written, by the way. Makes me shiver, even out of context. So beautiful it is.

7 - Do you have books or magazines in your toilets?
No, I don't. What's it to you, anyway???

8 - Are you reading several books at the same time at the moment? How many? What books?
I am, sadly, not reading anything at the moment. Decided yesterday evening to give up on the book I was reading. Going to buy a new one as soon as I get out of work tonight.

9 - The poet you'll never get tired of reading over and over again?
Here. And also some song lyrics.

10 - The book you read the fastest? the slowest? (I know that's not English, by the way, I can only pray that you understand...)
The fastest... might be "Gone With the Wind". The one that took me very long... I guess might be Lord of the Rings, because there was an interval of, like, 6 years between the day I tried the beginning and the day I finished the third volume. Even though I liked it in the end, I must say Tom Bombadil kind of killed the thrill. It took Viggo Mortensen to get me interested again...

11 - Do you like paperbacks better than originals? Why?
Paperbacks of course. Lighter, easier to read and to transport, and paradoxically tougher. Also they hurt less. No hard corners.

12 - The book(s) that always lie around in your room?
All my books always lie around in my room.

13 - Physically, how do you read? Do you lie down, sit, stand up to read?
Mostly, either lying in my bed or sitting in a train/bus.

14 - Do you comment on what you read with a pencil?
Never, no. I hate it.

15 - Ever give books as a present?
Very very seldom. Happened twice, maybe. One of these persons did not like it, the other one never read the book (absolutely no hard feelings though). Not much incentive to give books.

18 - Any authors by whom you read all the books ? (Not English either... "Any author you read the complete works of"?)
I do not think so. Maybe Jane Austen, though I doubt it. Maybe the Bronte sisters? But only maybe. I tried to read all William Goldman books, but I failed, because I couldn't find them all.

19 - A book that made you laugh?
"I capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith

20 - A book that particularly moved you ?
Lassie (about the collie dog, yeah. By Eric Knight. Read it over and over again as a child.) I Capture the Castle. Jane Eyre. Sense and Sensibility. So many many moving books...

21 - The book that most terrified you ?
The beginning of "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. Couldn't turn the lights off. Then he lost me completely.

22 - The book that made you cry ?
I don't cry much when I read, except for "The Cider House Rules" by John Irving. Ooooh how I cried... I started at page 1 and did not stop until the end.

24 - The most striking, original, clever title?
I don't know... I don't know... I'm sure I know but it doesn't come back to me right now...

25 - Describe your library.
A big bunch of books, lying around in my room.

26 - The book you decided to get rid of in the end?
A german book, featuring gross sex scenes, and starring the son of Anastasia the Russian princess and a woman who could communicate with a tiger by the sheer power of her mind. Book For The Dimwits. The only one I ever got rid of.

27 - The most original place you read in?
I don't read in very original places, I must say... The train, I guess? Does "reading in a train" qualify as original? I hardly think so.

28 - What would you read or re-read if you had only three days left to live?
Homecoming. And Jane Eyre. And "A suitable Boy" by Vikram Seth, only it would take me more than three days. Maybe it would buy me time ?

29 - Your favourite art's book?
I don't really read art's books. There are some I like, though, at my grand-mother's place. Amazing books, weigh a ton each...

30 - The ideal library?
A really really big one like that of Dublin's trinity College I visited with my sister M. Books up to the ceiling. Only you'd add a huge huge armchair.

31 - The beginning that most struck you?
"I am writing this sitting in the kitchen sink" (I capture the castle). M pointed this one out to me. it is brilliant.

32 - The ending that most struck you?
I've never been good with endings...

mercredi 9 juillet 2008

A little less conversation...

Hi reader...

Lousy news from Saarbrücken Germany (again...) I kicked myself out of most of the Internet, thanks to my own outstanding silliness, and am now banned from using MSN... MSN my only love, my link to the outside world and the faithful companion to most of my evenings here... Guess I'm gonna have to replace it with something... I'm thinking Tequila, since I'll soon be done watching Dr Who...

It should be good news for my social life I guess, stopping me by force from becoming a complete no-life, but I somehow tend to get worse, don't speak to people, grunt instead, drool and show my teeth when addressed, stopped washing, go to bed at 8.30 every evening and cry myself to sleep.

I haven't done the washing up since monday and am thinking more and more seriously about guillotining (is that even a verb?) myself with my French window, since jumping from it would'nt help me much... (Ha ha ha, what a Froggy way to die, guillotining myself with my French window...) Might happen if I once again have to pluck one more lyophilized slug (!) from my floor first thing when I wake up. It's not a nice experience to make, reader, I can tell you that much... --Its little antennaes were still sticking up... only it was all dried up ! I could have painted it and dressed it in a little iron suit, and then sold it as a World Of Warcraft miniature... Hin hin hin... See what it's doing to me ?? I am POSSESSED !!--

Well, I'm just going to get back to work now, work work work. Life's a bitch and then you die.

Have a nice day.

PS: Yeah, Mr IT guy from the University, that post's for you. I do hope you feel very guilty.

PPS: I'm actually still my sunny, happy-go-lucky self, in case you were wondering, this is plain emotional blackmail.

jeudi 3 juillet 2008

I want it all (pouinouinouinnnn) I want it aaaaaalll....and I want it NOW!

Hi reader!

Tis me again! Today, I will not be complaining about next year, because, guess what, I have found another, a bigger thing to complain about. Is that not great news? Luckily for me, it has got nothing to do with my personal life.

I have been surfing the Internet lately, and I have read quite a lot about actors and actresses, because as you know, I am interested in cinema. (Who said "is cinema French for gossip?" in that sarcastic tone? It's not nice. Not nice at all. If you keep on being mean to me, I'll start crying about not being in Year 2 again...)

I have thus been able to read plenty of articles calling a great variety of actors and actresses "the greatest movie star ever". This has annoyed me a little on Hollywood-related websites. Please, people, do get together and decide who the greatest movie star ever really is (more to the point, decide that Paul Bettany is), because this is getting extremely confusing and unprofessional (especially the fact that you very seldom recognize that it is Paul Bettany). I am not here talking about fan-blogs and the like, because they are obviously entitled to call the object of their long, loving posts "greatest movie star ever", of course (except maybe when they are writing about Scarlett J.... OK, OK, I'll leave her alone...). I am talking about serious newspapers.

This seems to reach unprecedented frequency in articles about Bollywood stars. Writers of articles about Bollywood seem to either have no imagination whatsoever, or to rely solely on fan-blogs to write their articles. Find me, please, reader, an article about a specific indian actor or actress who has not been called the King, Queen, Prince, Duke, Count or Baronnet of Bollywood. Ben Kingsley does not count. And neither do Lost's Sayid nor Heroes' cute Doctor (Aaaah, Heroes' cute doctor...). I am only talking about Bollywood actors.

First of all, royal family comparisons are really lame, and completely unoriginal : "The King of this" and the "Queen of that" should be used only by matress outlets in lousy shopping centers.

The only good thing I find about it would be that, provided we take the title a little seriously, it would be a good idea to ask their highnesses to behave a little more nobly. "Hoy, King Khan, put that shirt back on this INSTANT! This is not allowed by the protocol" like that... I'm sure it would make Indian cinema more popular, more serious and more interesting all of a sudden. A real royalty could make it look a little less cheap. I mean, look at Devdas if you want proof: Noble families who take themselves reaaaally seriously, and poof: the least cheap-looking indian movie ever shot!

Anyway. That was today's rant by the self proclaimed Baronness of the Blogosphere. Have a nice day (and I mean it! Have a nice day!)

mercredi 2 juillet 2008

Row, row, row your boat....

Sad post today, reader...

I did not manage to get in the year I wanted in the interpreting school I was applying for. It's a bit depressing, really, but Year 1 is pretty good too, so I'm not quite hopeless... Just disappointed is all... going back to Year 1, even though it's not the same branch as the Year 1 I did last year, seems a bit like a waste, but then again, it's not that bad, because the program of Year 1 Interpreting sounds very very exciting, and it's got nothing to do with the program of Year 1 Translation. (Yes, I am aware that this post is about as clear and as interesting as the instruction book for your last Ikea wardrobe, but well... I'm still writing it!)

I am going it give it a try in a Belgian school of interpretation too, who knows, maybe being hopeless is also going to make me less stressed, hence more efficient and more convincing at the interview over there ! Watch out Brussels, here I come! Now I know who Jean Pierre Jouyet is, I'm invincible!! I'll show you what I'm made of !!

I just reaaaaally hope I'll still get to be an interpreter some day, even though I'm not supergirl.

Anyway. I just wanted you to know. I'll go back to work now.