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!!

dimanche 30 novembre 2008

It's not easy...

Well, I've written a post some time ago about songs in movies and series, and then I wrote another one about movies that make you cry, and after being (once again) reduced to a pathetic soup after listening, in a row, to all the great, great songs my friend H gave me (they always have that soupifying effect on me, but I've had a sad, sad week this week too, so it kind of soupified me ²), I decided to tell you about one particular song, which is kind of part of the soundtrack of my life, and always makes me feel better.

The song, reader (yeah, that suspense was killing you I know, it's about to end, pretty soon. By the way, did you know that it snowed in Colmar this week ? Amazing, innit ?) is called "Superman". Hence the "soundtrack of my life" comment, since you know by now that I have superpowers, an amazing strength, and a thing for capes. Nah, just kidding (about the superpower thing, I do think capes are the ultimate classy accessory, and they should be made compulsory from the age of 20 onwards). The only superpower I have is that of helping old ladies reach the can of peas on the top shelf in grocery stores. And I often demand to get paid.

Anyway. "Superman, It's not easy" is a song by the Five for Fighting, which, as soon as I steal the secret of the deezer.com widget from M, I will link here, for you to listen to. It was used in many soundtracks, because it's so beautiful and cool, and it's about Superman and how it's not easy to be great. It makes me feel better for two main reasons :

-It goes "It's not easy to be me" and "even heroes have the right to bleed" and stuff, and it's a bit like someone going "now now, darling, you're just great, it's OK to crack down once in a while" like that. Handy to have someone like that in your MP3 player for nights of desperation...

-After listening to it a little while, it makes me laugh, because as I stated earlier, I have no superpowers, and my life is pretty easy. So I exaggerate the drama queen aspect of crying to a song, laugh a little at myself, think about why my life's so easy, and then I always feel much better. I had to change the next track on said MP3 player though, because it was a song by Francis Cabrel, whom you probably don't know if you're not French, but who is a disease which can only be cured by two lexomils and a triple vodka. Now the next track is Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca". Thank God for Ricky Martin.

Anyway. A song I wanted to share with you, so that maybe it works on you too. Have a nice day !!

mardi 18 novembre 2008

You're so cute, when you're slurring your speech...

How weird I can be sometimes... I've been studying in Brussels for months, and neveer even told you about either the city or the courses I take. Now as far as the city's concerned, I do have excuses, insofar as I don't see much of it, since I live right next door to the university. I don't even have to wear a coat in the morning, I just jump out of bed, and straight to my interpreting booth. I must say it's a nice change from having to wake up 2 hours before classes start, walk to the station, wait for the train, then take the tramway to the university. But still, as a consequence of that, I don't see much of what's happening in the city outside my little neighbourhood (as well as that of my sister M, where I spend quite a lot of time as well...)

As for the courses I take, there is no excuse for not telling you about them (except maybe for the probable fact that you're not even interested, but to hell with modesty, my life is absolutely thrilling, you're going to read about the time I spend locked in my booth in Brussels wether you like it or not. Read on, faithful reader, I can see you through the screen. And stop scratching. Wash. -Private joke for my fellow Alsacians...)

Sooo, what can I say. Booths are nice. Booths -boothes ? offer privacy and shelter. They make you feel like you're all alone, and like you're the unseen being who sees it all. However, even though it is sometimes very tempting, you must never forget that though unseen, you are definitely heard, and that can cause inconvenience...

-You can't comment on what you see. And for someone who is as fond as I am of giving her opinion aaaaaall the time, more particularly when no one gives a damn, it is extremely annoying. You can't even let a "yeah right" slip when someone says something you find daft, because in a real life situation, it couls start a land war in Asia. And if there is something I learnt from The Princess Bride, it is that you should NEVER get involved in a land war in Asia.

-People actually hear you when you try all articles in front of a word in German. You can't go "Ich gehe in der die das den dem Küche" like you do in your head when you're writing a paper. People hear you think. Mostly your teacher hears you, and though he might be kind-hearted enough to acknowledge the fact that for a change, you did not just pick one by chance and pray for the best --I never do that, by the way, reader, believe me--, he still will laugh at you, and who could blame him.

-I have come to ask myself radical questions about my career path last friday when I was struck by a terrible pollen attack just before going to class. That or the bloody raw carrots in the durum I had for lunch. It was terrible anyway, my nose was running, my eyes were swollen and my voice was going. Glam effect² in the headset of my teacher. But I would hate to gross you out.

Anyway. I'm sure I answered some of the key questions you were asking yourself about studying interpretation. You're welcome. Have a nice night, I'm afraid it's more than time for me to go get some sleep too... Tomorrow's simultaneous into German (he heehehehe, I love saying that...), and I have shivers running down my spine already...

dimanche 16 novembre 2008

Haribo macht Kinder froh, und Erwachsener ebenso

Guess what, reader ! Yeah ! I've been watching another episode of Dr Who tonight (season 4 finale, for any of you who might be a fan too), and now I'm all blue for all kinds of reasons (I've seen a lot of my family this week end and now they've all gone back to their own abodes, --I'm afraid Claire misses her pillow and the smell of her own house--, one of my housemates screamed at me for no reason, and oh *hopeless and withered sob*... David Tennant *sob again*... broke my heart twice over *sound of glass shattering*-he's leaving the show and he... well I can't tell, spoilers, you never know.)

Anyway, my post tonight will be about sweet sweet songs and movies. Sweet Sweet Songs and Movies being, of course, a genre in itself. OK, I'm not the last one to laugh at High School Musical, I'm not the last one to laugh at anything, for that matter, and I am a very cynical and sarcastic being, I must say. But, still, in my opinion, all this silliness, this melted marshmallow and stuff, does help to make the world go round, and I sometimes wish I could stand by my opinions about all that a little more.

Bollywood musicals, musicals in general, in fact, having cute little rabbits pinned on my wall, liking pink, liking Pink (actually, I just realised, Pink illustrate about the diametral oposite of the point I'm trying to make, but I still like her...), liking all those cheesy movies and stuff, being naive -be it consciously ;) being an optimist, it's sooo nice once in a while.
Sometimes, I even think it's more of a stand to make than being a punk or a revolutionnary. It's also not so funny as being cutting and ironic, I have to say. Sweet and soft-brained is not a state I would like to be in all the time. But it is something I love once in a while. Often, actually. And I STAND BY IT, world ! Looove it what makes you go round! Sweet sweetness, faith, beauty and heroism. And songs. And beauty. Did I say beauty already? Well, you get my point, hopefully.

However, since I am not even sure of the point I wanted to make, I guess I'm just going to go now and get to sleep, because I've been living a crazy life these days. Enough craziness. Craziness makes me blue and soft in the brain. And a poor blogger. Have a good night, reader! Sweet, sweet dreams ! Involving music and love, and beauty. Did I say beauty?
As for me, Mr Dreammaker, if you hear me, let mine involve a doctor and a blue box, would you?

lundi 10 novembre 2008

Because I'm a material girl...

Lo reader !

Just a little post tonight, from my little room, to tell you about my great friend M who has started selling her creations in a shop in Strasbourg. It's pretty, it's original, it's smart, in just one word : It's as cool as she is. Don't hesitate to go have a look at her blog, she's got photographs of her masterpieces there, and I'm sure she'll add new ones to her collection soon !!

PS for my friend M : Sorry about stealing the photograph of your trademark from your blog. It was in the sole purpose of spreading your genius through the blogosphere, pleaaaase, pretty please don't sue me, cause I don't stand a chance !! ^_^
PS for my beloved reader : I don't know if you've ever heard the Scissor Sisters' "I can't decide", but if you have not, then do go to Deezer.com right now, and check it out because it's really cool, though it doesn't have anything to do with anything.

dimanche 9 novembre 2008

Don't go breaking my heart

Well well well, reader... I've been watching an episode of Dr Who again (what do you mean, "get a life"? I have a life, reader, I went to Bruge today with my friend A, and it was brilliant. But still, generally speaking, it's nice and boring, and I can watch all the episodes of Dr Who I like.)
Anyway. As soon as you stop making impolite comments about my social networking skills, I'll be able to tell you the subject of today's post, i.e. The Top 5 Works of Filmed Fictions that Broke My Heart so Bad I couldn't Stop Crying Even After the Credits Were Over. A long title. As always, this list is not classed in any way, nor is it exhaustive. It's just the one I came up with tonight.

1. Moulin Rouge. Broke my heart. Made me cry and cry, and after I came out of the cinema, I wasn't happily ashamed of myself, like I was at the end of Amelie, when me and my sister M gave a big, loud and simultaneous sob as soon as the movie was over. I was down and sad, and it didn't go away until I reached home. Then I remembered the Elephant Love Medley and Ewan McGregor's teeth and all and I felt slightly better (also I went and saw it again and again -and again- with my best friend V, and then I was so focused on his eyes and his eyebrows smiling before he did in "Your Song" that I mostly flew home and sang The Beatles' "Till there was you" all the way). The first movie by far that touched me that much, as well as one of the first of a huge lot of great movie-going experiences with said best friend V.

2. The Dead Poet's Society. Saw it once, didn't understand any of it, saw it when I was old enough to relate, and now I still get shivers when I think about that O Captain my Captain thing when they all climb on their desks. (Yeah, I know, that's not very original, but it's definitely in my top five I think, even in the classed and exhaustive one). It's that sense of waste and the good things that are said about human nature that do the trick in this case. Faith and regret and love. I like it.

3. Well, there we go, I talked about it, I'd better write about it now, Dr Who's "The Human Nature" and the follow up episode called "The Family of Blood". Now I know I might well sound lame, it's just Dr Who, it's for kids and all, but these two episodes are simply something else. The Doctor becomes human for a change, he quits being a Time Lord (you don't need to know nor understand the reasonsfor that, really, they really are lame), and he forgets all about what he used to be. The episodes are mostly about Martha Jones, his companion on the Tardis, starting to think that even without their love being impossible, it still would be. It's one of these occurances when the screenwriters just went too far. It's too sad to be enjoyable, and it quite simply depresses me, but they still are my favourite episodes of Dr Who ever, because they say so much about the characters and they say it so well, and you know me, the Doctor, Martha Jones, I think they're just brilliant, the both of them. I must admit this might not be on my top 5 in 2 days' time, but I saw these episodes tonight, and I just HAD to tell you about them, because they are such good GOOD episodes.

4. Devdas. Oh, yeah, Devdas. The lady and the tramp (only it's rather the prince and the lady-tramp, only calling Aishwarya Rai a tramp simply won't do, not on any occasion, not even a lady-one), but which would end terrrrribly wrong. The worst ending in the history of cinema (in that it is terribly sad, of course, not in a Matrix Revolutions kind of way). Plus music, plus costumes, plus curry, plus Chandramukhi. I love it. The movie is 4 hours long, more than worth the time if you watch it on a big screen. Allow one good hour to get over the heartbreak (oooh, the heartbreak, break brrrreak, chanananan). And do not forget to take one big sister with you, it's a sine qua non condition, you definitely cannot go alone.

5. Buffy's Acathla. I'm actually still not over it. It's too mean to do that to a character, it's cruelty for the pleasure of being cruel to your character. It's beautiful and great and I loved every bit. Actually, now that I come to think of it, I'll make number 5 a global award to the amazing works of Joss Whedon : the Acathla episode was brilliant, the one when Giles leaves for England left permanent salted-water stains on the carpet of the living-room, Spike alone would deserve an entire top 5. And let us not forget the regretted team of Firefly, who managed to make me cry when watching the bonus material. I so wish we could have seen more.

There you go, reader. A new top 5. It is now officially 4 in the morning here in Belgium, and more than time for people like me to get their beauty sleep if they do not want to look like the whole cast of Dawn of the Dead rolled into one tomorrow morning (Ghrrrruuuuuuhh). And I'd like to know more about your own top 5 ! Tell me more, tell me more!

mercredi 5 novembre 2008

Build a Whole Bunch o'them

Well hi again ! See ! Internet in my room and I'm getting crazy already...

So, I wanted to write the necessary post about the American election, without getting all political beacuse I'm not informed enough to have an educated and clever opinion. Just wanted to say some random stuff I've noticed during the course of this election:

a) I'd rather like for our French journalists to quit talking about Obama by saying 'the first black to..." or "the black candidate". Ok, it's really cool that he was elected whatever his color, but that's my point exactly. He was elected, whatever his color. So how about we talk about something else, for a change? I don't know how it is in other countries, but it's something I also found extremely annoying with Ségolène Royale during our election, they talked about her being a woman aaaaall the time. I have eyes, I can see she is. Now how about changing the subject a little?

b) I'm afraid I'm a sucker for great speeches. Something I've noticed about me, in fact, during this election. Get me a good orator, and I'll be teary eyed in seconds, and then all my objectivity will be lost forever. Well, a good orator and a kind message, there still are some limits to how gullible I am, no matter how good they are in front of a crowd. I kind of knew McCain had lost when I heard him say "As for power plants, let's build a whole bunch o'them".
A whole bunch'o powa plants, really ?
A whole bunch?
Whereas Obama, in spite of his talking about his parents incessantly, which I can't help but find a little patronizing (I would like it better if he did not try so hard to be moving), still had me convinced. Has to do with the message, of course, but also with the voice and the words and the order he puts them in. Like Yoda. He wouldn't be as cool, not sound as clever if he said "Yeah, he's ya daaaad, Loook" in a normal voice.

c) Political or not, I'm just going to say it, I'm glad he won.

d) One of the aspects of globalisation I like most is the interest people have for people in other countries. I set my alarm clock at 3 this morning, to see who had won, because the suspense was killing me, but I was too early, so I went back to bed. As soon as the results came in, there were so many people down on my street screaming and partying that I was woken up again at 5.
I think it's great, and not (only) because I was glad he won, too, but mostly because it's great that a bunch of Belgians should get excited about the future of a country to which they do not belong. Ok, the US is kind of special in this way that it has a huge influence over the whole planet, but still, I think this has changed in recent times. I remember, during the crisis in Tibet, just before the Olympic Games, a bunch of people had organized a little demonstration in my hometown. It's small and old and rich, not exactly the revolutionary kind, but still. They were touched, and they said it. I think it's a pleasant feeling to know that even if it's far away, and even if they're not directly concerned, people actually care about what happens to other people.

Well, reader, I think I'm getting a little foggy, so I'll just go do something which involves some amount of walking around, or at least an upright position, because what with all this getting up twice in the middle of the night, if I don't do that, I'll fall asleep right here where I'm sitting. That wouldn't be cool.

Have a very nice day, and please, do check my new blog roll. I gave up on my ex-colleagues' blogs, which is sad, but they were kind of not getting updated anymore... I added new stuff, however, like Boulet, which you definitely have to check out if you're French-speaking, because he's just brilliant.

lundi 3 novembre 2008

Kissing all the girls and blowin' the bad guys away...

Hey reader !

I'm all ecstatic and glad and happy because guess what: I have internet in my room ! I am right now writing from my little room in Brussels, and I don't even have to spend a penny on coffee ! How about THAT! I've been in a brilliant mood ever since I came back anyway, because I've had great holidays in Alsace, and I've seen all my friends and partied, and slept and laughed, and I feel great. Also, I did not have classes today, so I pretty much spent all day sitting here watching Torchwood and eating grapes, until I realised I had access to the net, at which point I pretty much came directly here. I guess I might be high on vitamin C, I eat so little fruit, usually... Also I've seen James Marsters, in Torchwood (you know, Buffy's Spike?) and he always makes me smile.

Anyway. So yeah, I'm back, and I can write the long awaited post about Quantum of Solace. (Long awaited by me, since I've been wanting to see the bloody movie ever since the credits first rolled on Casino Royale). I am not going to write some more about the shower scene in Casino Royale. I'm just going to mention it, because it's so great. I'm also not going to write some more about how cool Daniel Craig is. I'm just going to say, if I marry one day, I have a list from a previous post about being 7 feet tall, liking curry and wearing a cape, well, now, he'll also have to be able to lift up a moped + its rider single handedly. That was just SO cool Mr Bond, really.

But let me not be diverted from my holy mission by any weird looking Englishmen, however good they may be at lifting stuff off the ground: Let's get back to Quantum of Solace.

It is the male equivalent of a musical if you ask me. Replace the songs and dances by (truly amazing) stunts and wild chases, and leave the rest as it is. Well, nearly. It was pretty good, and really funny, once or twice, but it's a good thing that I had actually seen Casino Royale before, because the scenario is a little blurry, and it's all mostly about Vesper and revenge and understanding what happened exactly. Vesper, whom I missed a lot, because if you ask me Eva Green really did set really high scores as far as James Bond girls are concerned. She's just absolutely brilliant. Her successor is pretty good, but not nearly as good as she was.

Also, it was really moving at times, only I couldn't really concentrate because

a) I was too distracted by the weird looking Englishman's putting on his coat/wearing beige trousers/smiling (once, maybe, I think)/being extremely cool and sleek and great on every level.

b) I was too busy trying to understand what the hell was going on with the evil, rat-looking French villain (I saw the movie with my friends V and A, and some details still escaped us after putting together our different understandings of the scenario.)

c) I was too distracted by the stupid stupidheads who came to see the movie just so that they could annoy other viewers. Honestly, could anyone tell me why these guys pay for their tickets? They spend their time calling each other (on the phone, yeah), playing video games (on the phone, re-yeah) and going in and out of the cinema...

d) I was too busy trying to understand why they had chosen such a weird, uncomfortable title. Kind of understood why in the end, but I still wish they had called it something dumb like "Don't die until tomorrow", "Diamonds are nice and shiny" or "Go ahead and shoot people". Hee hehe. Daniel Craig in "Go ahead and shoot people". Now that's appealing.

Well, this post is getting really really long, so I'll just stop now, and maybe go for a walk or something, because all the oxygen in my room will soon have been used up completely. Just two things before I go:

a) Here's to F, who's in Japan. Hope you're having a truckload of fun! Two truckloads ! A lot and a lot ! Sleep a little, if you can, and go see James Bond when you come back, I'm pretty sure you'll like it. Not quite as inspiring as the first one, but there still are interesting stuff about raw materials ;)

b) David Tennant has stepped down as Dr Who. He was, is, and will probably always stay the best Doctor in the Galaxy. I hope we'll get to see him in plenty and plenty of other stuff (I hear he's going for a career in theaters now, which is great, but come on, what about me? I'm in France, I can't go all the way to London to watch you!) However, if you hear me, David T Russel, I know of a guy, he's brilliant, would make a wonderful Doctor, and keeps playing in verry verrrrry bad movies in recent times. I'm sure he'd be delighted of the opportunity. A guess, anyone ? -yeah, that one's really hard...