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!!

lundi 23 février 2009

Ode to joy

I spent the summer in a crap-town
Called Saarbrücken in Deutschland
I've been bored and I've been broodin'
From June up to homecomin'

I lived with ugly slugs
My room was full of bugs
I hated life, I wanted home
Drank vodka out of mugs
But one mornin', came a'rollin'
Straight from heaven
Tanned and dashin'
The Bus Seventy-Seven !

Oh, bus driver, my bus driver,
I'll never forget thee
You were the sunshine of my summer
But d'you remember me ?

I've seen you once, I've seen you twice
And then you disappeared,
"Timetable change" was my demise
It shouldn't have interfered

If I could've, then I would've
Looked into your eyes
But you were looking at the road
Which probably saved my life

And each mornin' I sat waitin'
Dressed up to the nines
For you to come a'rollin'
In that big bus of thine

OOOOH, bus driver, my bus driver,
I'll never forget thee,
I wish all other drivers
Would be so nice to me !

PS : Dear reader, I hope you enjoy this magnificent bit of high-profile poetry. I've just had a brilliant week-end with my sisters, and I'm in a great mood. Here's to you, F and M !

vendredi 20 février 2009

Mmm mmm mmm mmm

(That's a song, by the way. Crash Test Dummies, as I'm sure you'll have guessed)

Anyway. I have been, once again, reading that blog, which has been recommanded to me by my sister M, and now I want to eat this, more than anything. I want to eat this when it's still nice and warm, and I want to bake it before, and I want to smell the smell of the hot chocolate in the pan, and I want to smell the smell of the butter melting, and then I want to feel the icing under the knife, and then I want to eat the cake. Eat the Cake. Eat the Cake ! Eaaaaat the caaaaake ! It has replaced all other ambitions. It has become my purpose in life, and my sole obsession. My quest.

But apart from that, I'm OK.

So since I don't have chocolat, or butter, or sugar, or pecan nuts or vanilla, or eggs (in fact, all I have is a pack of flour, and a longing heart) I figured I'd come here and tell you about the cake of my dreams. Some day, I'll go buy some groceries, and that day, reader, I shall be avenged.

Right now, I'm trying to fight off bankruptcy and overweight (why not kill two birds with one stone, after all, let my being broke have a silver lining !), but soon enough... soon enough... I'll go to the Delhaize Express downstairs, and buy all the ingredients. And when that happens, I will take pictures and post them here.

But apart from that, I'm OK.

Have a nice day, reader, and forgive that silly post !

mercredi 18 février 2009

If there's a rocket tie me to it

Is that not a brilliant song title, reader ?

Well, well, reader, it's late again, and I can't sleep again, and I don't know why ! No green tea today, nothing that could possibly explain why I'm more awake now than I was this morning during my German class. I reached a new German-class low today, and got my teacher to say that I annoyed him. I would try and be a smart-ass and say that's what I was going for, but I must admit, it would not be true.

I was drenched in cold sweat and praying to make it out of the room alive, and then I forgot all about declination and grammar. And the teacher actually said "it is really getting on my nerves." In so many words (only in German). I do believe I had managed to convince some teachers that I was a hopeless case (with the cunning use of swedish verbs and a completely radom declination system) ... I remember one in Graz, who had told me my grammar was as bad as my vocabulary, and that she really did not see what she could do for me... But never had I in fact managed to make them personnally feel annoyed. (Hey ! My very first auto-link to the single most self-pitying post in the history of this blog !)

But honestly, though, it did not bring me down too terribly, since I really felt that I had done a good job in the simultaneous translation that we had done moments before, and since I knew I had done a very bad job while he was listening to me.

Somehow, when I feel I've done a good job, I'm never the one that we listen to, and today, as I was even considering offering my candidacy for the correction, we realised that the booths had a problem and our speech had not been recorded...

It's funny, because yesterday I was all alone in class, since my two classmates had an internship, and once again, I had no chance of escaping the scrutinous ear of my teachers... that's when my stupid brain decided it was time to launch into one of those great ocular migraine crap sessions, where you can't focus and see bright flowers all around and get tingles in your cheeks. Let me tell you I had a great time convincing them I was not on cocaine. ("No, it's like a migraine, only it doesn't hurt, and it makes me see things... and sometimes I get all.. allif... afuse... acon... a little ! confused ! With ! Wordjjjz !")

Anyway. Apart from that, there is not much to say of my life in Brussels, it's been dreadfully dull lately, and I've been spending a lot of time watching movies. I have watched one today, in fact, called Dor, it's an indian movie, and it's brilliant, but the subtitles are only available in English.

So I figured, Claire, my dear (yeah, I call myself my dear, especially when I have annoyed my German teacher, and when I'm out of chocolate), why don't you translate them yourself, so that your French-speaking friends can watch it too... So I downloaded a sub-titling (sub-titleing?) programme. Then I spent about three quarters of an hour trying to work on the first three minutes of an episode of Dr Who (I was just training. Don't sigh. I'm not watching the whole series all over again a third time. At least not this month ^^).

Of course, I did not get very very far, but you never know, maybe tomorrow !

In the meantime, reader, good night, sweet dreams, and à bientôt.

PS: Here's to my sister M who also had a headache today. Hope you're feeling better !!

samedi 7 février 2009

Keep myself awake...

Hi reader ! Good morning ! It's eleven past five a.m. here in Brussels, and I have been struggling to get to sleep for hours, and I still can't, so I figured I'd come and tell you some stuff about what I did lately !

I've not been writing very regularly recently, somehow, because I've had quite a lot of internships (Ha ha ha. Who am I kidding ? I've been doing a lot of nothing, watching series all the time and reading the Twilight books. Much as I hate to admit it here in public, they are quite good, and really badly addictive. I just wish she would stop talking about his "muscular chest" and how he "looks like an angel". Because it makes me laugh, and it spoils the mood. Oh ! And I've also been reading this blog which has proven to be addictive too, and then I had used up all my daily screen time and had none left to come here and tell you my opinion about everything...)

But still, I've had a lot of internships, a "fake" one at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (which was really cool, because it was an internship in a prestigious European institution, but I still felt a little like I was on holidays because I could go on seeing my French friends and family), a magic one in The Hague, which was as cool as they get, mostly because of the Shakespeare-quoting Irishman for whom we got to work and the fact that we generally had a lot of fun, while it was still interesting and possible to follow and well-organized. Please, hire me again, people !

And then today, I had another one (a fateful one, should I say), in Brussels, for my own school, which had organized a "Chinese New Year" event.

As you might have guessed, I was the interpreter for the "tea" workshop, and have been, therefore, drinking Oolong, Pu-er and other weirdly-named beverages for pretty much 7 hours non stop, and now I am hyper. High on caffeine. Oh, and I also had a double espresso on my way home at around 7 p.m. because I was feeling a little sick and wanted to sit down some place warm before actually going to bed.

Good idea, Einstein.

But the workshop was really interesting, I learnt plenty of stuff about tea, actually enjoyed a cup of tea without sugar in it, and it was all very lovely. Also I liked the way there were some complete ignoramus (ha ha ha, ignoramus... that's why I like dictionnaries so much...) on the one hand, and some very educated people trying to do things by the rule on the other...

The lady who presented her rare and precious teas, and said things like "smell the herbal and flowery flavour that stays in your mouth as an aftertaste" or "it is very herbaceous". She was handing a little pot with the wet leaves in it for us to smell, and to compare and indeed, even though I am not one for warming up the cups before pouring the tea (what difference could it possibly make, honestly), they did all smell a little different... and the temperature too ! It actually made a difference ! I was beginning to see things ! I had entered the Matrix (or whatever)!

And then a weird old man said "OOOOH ! CA SENT LES EPINARDS" very very loud. So the tea-woman looked at me with question marks in her eyes, so I felt I had to translate... "he says it smells like spinach," I said, and I was very subdued... and then he went on to say "yesss, spinage, spinage, it's comme les spinage, ha ha ha" and she was all confused and not a little annoyed.

He he he. I do love that future job of mine.

Have a nice day, reader !