Monday, March 20, 2006

Welcome to my new blog. I'll try to keep the cursing to a minimum. I've not been so motivated to write lately...mainly because I'm busier which is a Very Good Thing. I'm switching from My Space because it really wasn't what I was looking for, which was just somewhere to post pictures and blah blah blah about my life.


The trip back from the U.S. in February was fine. Nothing special. I was nice and traded my seat so a couple could sit closer together and think that may be the last time I do that, as my new seat was right in front of the toilet. People would push on my headrest and have loud conversations right next to me, and what with all the toilet flushing, I didn't get so much sleep. But that's old news, and I don't like to complain.

Let's see...I am working between 15-20 hours a week. Yay! If all of my clients show up as scheduled, I'd have an easy 20 hours, but people get busy and cancel. That's fine with me from time to time as it gives me a little extra breathing room. The great part about my new schedule is that I like most of my classes, they're all different levels and keep me on my toes, and I love the income. The bad thing is that they're spread out all over 6 days and planning is torturously long. So be it. Today I made a little extra dough by serving as an examiner for oral tests...very easy money, so I hope that I can get some more of that work!

Simon is doing well...we've both been enjoying the sunshine on my day off. Many of our weekends include a 2-3 hour walk and a movie, either rented or at a local theatre. On the first Sunday of every month we go into Paris to catch a museum for free. For March, it was the Louvre -- Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. We saw the Venus di Milo, which had a long line and lots of Japanese tourists (male, mainly) having their picture taken with her. I was like, "Eh, it's okay, but there are other statues that were more impressive to me." Apparently the appeal is in her sensuous breasts and other words, it's a guy thing. Anyway, I did go ahead and rent an audioguide, but generally the Louvre is so well-marked that it didn't add a lot.

I don't have a lot of time to read (especially compared to before), but I think I'll include a weekly list of things I'm enjoying, just in case you are looking for something. I am way behind on my yearly goal of 1 non-fiction book and 1 novel in French in addition to my usual fiction per month, so in the summer I'll really have to catch up. Anyway, here goes:

The French book I just finished (for February, haven't yet started on March) was Zazie Dans le Metro by Raymond Queneau. I loved this book, but it was work for me. If you're going to read it in French, make sure you have a native speaker handy to explain certain things. I was able to figure out a few of his stylistic inventions, but didn't get through the famed first line: Doukipudonktan. I got "D'ou qui pue donc..." and missed the "tant." And I am not even sure of my spelling. Anyway, the storyline involves a girl (who cusses like a sailor, by the way) visiting her uncle in Paris over the weekend. Hijinks abound. And there's even a movie, which I've put on reserve at the local library. I tried to watch it before reading the novel and it was too weird. Now I'm looking forward to it.

In non-fiction (also for February): The Origin of Language, by Merritt Ruhlen. I recommend this book only if you are a novice linguist and are very, very interested in the controversy surrounding whether European languages are in a class by themselves or whether all languages arise from a common origin. I like it, but it's slow going. He presents his arguments in a very down-to-earth way...almost too simplistic in my opinion...but I do enjoy reading about all the hoo-hah surrounding this subject matter. Whodathunkit? The controversy over evolution extends to language...not that he has mentioned the Bible so far, but it seems that there are some old fuddie-duddies out there who are refusing to believe in the possibility of language evolution from a common ancestor. I'm currently on the 'gene' chapter. Exciting stuff.

In fiction: Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. If you are a fundamentalist of a certain religion -- perhaps more than one, actually -- then perhaps this book is not for you. If you enjoy mystical realism (think Gabriel Garcia Marquez), complex storylines with jumps in time, and are interested in the history of India, then this book may be what you've been looking for. So far, I am adoring this book. The basic premise is that the narrator was born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, which also happens to be the exact time when India became independent, thus closely intertwining both 'lives.' It's a little long, and if it's your first time with this type of book I recommend going slowly, taking a few notes, and not getting upset with the fact things aren't explained as clearly as they are in most books. It's meant to be that way. I think the fact that I live in a foreign country really helps me, because I'm used to ignoring stuff I don't understand and trying to pull meaning from the stuff that does make sense.

So, there you go. Later on I'll try to post about the weekend and add a few pictures. And now,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KLAIR, MOM, and ABBY! Sorry these are late wishes. I was thinking about you all!

No comments: