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Bits and bobs - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
Bits and bobs
We had a really laid-back lazy weekend for a change. It was HEAVEN. The most productive thing I got done at home was to rake the cat-garden (polite term for "giant outdoor litterbox") and run through one load of washing. Less productive but more enjoyable things we did included playing some Wii, reading, lounging, sexing, cuddling, and eating ice blocks.

The most eventful thing Joey and I did was catch up with Liz / niaid, who is up from Canberra because someone down there has made her very sad. I haven't seen her this worked up... well, ever. Big tight hugs were administered. Stories of bunnies and Foolish Men and good friends were traded. The three of us went to a Mysterious Screening of Something in West End. The Mysterious Something turned out to be an experimental film called Decasia (http://www.decasia.com), a jumble of old footage on film which had been allowed to decay naturally, then had been pieced together on top of a genuinely creepy soundtrack. Like most (all?) experimental films, it was an exercise in the endurance of boredom. The three of us sat together in a darkened bookstore surrounded by strangers, watching the odd images flicker and grind over the projection screen, wondering if everyone else was bored too, enjoying the thought that everyone else was probably wondering the same.

Thanks to a university education, Liz had been forced to endure a number of films like Decasia, but it was a first for Joe and I. Our boredom cycled up and down - at times grindingly unbearable, at times relaxing and hypnotic, and we all found our minds wandering to unusual and very creative places through the course of the film. I'm not saying I enjoyed the film, but strangely enough, I enjoyed the experience. Generally when we're bored we have the option to get up, walk away, and find a new amusement... It's rare to be in a situation where you are forced to make peace with your boredom. Liz called it a kind of meditation.

I went to pole practice on Sunday! Woohoo! Motivation, I has it! Now I feel a little more confident about the routine. Haha, I'm so incredibly uncoordinated, even if I do manage to remember all the moves I'm going to look completely retarded doing them. BUT it is good excercise and good fun, so no complaints. Plus I got to use the spinner pole! (I think I shouted "wheeee!" the first time I jumped on it.)

Requiring music to keep my rhythm while I went through the routine's moves, I popped my ipod on (tucked it into my bra) and proceeded to practice to the tune of 'Birdhouse in your Soul'. Leave it to me to de-sexify poledancing.

Today at work, I started on a new game. I'm pretty happy about this one! As per usual I'm not permitted to discuss the theme or, well, anything - but it's a theme that's pretty cool and a style and colour scheme I can really dig, so I'm happy.

My French Coach on the DS tells me I have progressed from 'Baby' through 'Toddler', 'Kindergartener', and am now smack in the middle of a 'Grade One' rating. Hooray! I am a five year old French child! My reading ability has gone way up. I get the gist of written news stories now, not ready to tackle Harry Potter just yet, but my auditory skills are still crap, so I'm practising extra hard with the flash cards on 'hard' mode - that test works by saying the French word, and giving you four written meanings to choose from. You have precisely two seconds to choose the correct meaning. It's good, but at the same time, I feel that having the options in front of me is a real crutch. As a schoolkid I used to love multiple choice exams. They're practically cheating... I mean, the answer is RIGHT THERE. Choosing it correctly is more a matter of logic than actual knowledge.

I'm thinking of making a bunch of flash cards with the answer written on the back and having Joe flash them at me... that way I have to KNOW (and be able to pronounce) the answer, not just pick it out of a lineup. I figure this is an important difference. In Real Life, should I go to French-speaking areas of Canada, or France itself, there's not going to be a helpful local holding up four options for me to choose from whenever I start to speak.

Also, conjugating verbs is a bitch! I never stopped to consider that it's equally tough in English... like everyone else I never had to think about it, we just picked it all up contextually as we grew up immersed in the language. But learning it in a new language is HARD. For example, in French, the verb 'to be' is 'etre'.

Now in English, there's a whole crapload of words you need to know just to communicate this concept. So there's "I am", "He/She is", "We are", "You are", etc. "am", "is" and "are" are all the same word, essentially. So in French, there's "Je suis", "Il/Elle est", "Nous sommes" and "Tu es" (plus the formal "Vous etes") as equivalents to the English ones I listed above. That's just for ONE verb... in present tense. Augh. Then there's the past tense, with "was", "were", etc...

So yeah, lots and lots to learn. But I'm hooked, so it's a pleasure. I tend to learn in 45-minute chunks before my brain starts shutting down and I have to take a break. I think if I do 45 mins of learning, then 15 of rest, then another 45 mins of learning, this would be the ideal pace for me. Right now I do it on the bus to and from work, in bed at night, and for chunks of time on the weekend.

Despite my patchy memory I've managed to properly memorise days of the week, numbers up 100 (still wobbly on some of those, you should see how the French count to 90!) and the months.

In other news, this Saturday we're catching up with Damo (was meant to be last weekend but he was working), checking out his shiny new portfolio that will surely get his foot in the door at Pixar, and having a Wii-kend with he, Hammond, and some wine and cheese. Also, Joe and I are going to another Rock Band and booze party at Aaron's place on Friday night, and on Saturday night (if we're not dead of exhaustion by then) we'll be going to the Elysium to keep Hammond company. I promised to buy him a drink if he has to mop up another drunk's pee from the unfortunately-located doorway again. D:

I should be going home now, but there's a cyclone off the coast somewhere and it's pissing down rain. Must dash for bus!
5 have fought ~ fight the power!
stardustshine From: stardustshine Date: March 9th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Tu es" is actually the informal usage; "Vous etes" is used in formal situations or for multiple people. At least, that's what I was tought.
tania From: tania Date: March 9th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are indeed correct - my awful memory strikes again. :( Fixed!
stardustshine From: stardustshine Date: March 10th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't mean that to sound quite so short, someone came up to me as I was typing and I hurriedly hit post, and I didn't realize how rude I 'sounded' until later. :oP
tania From: tania Date: March 10th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Heehee - I'm not THAT easily offended! Don't worry about it. :)
c_eagle From: c_eagle Date: March 10th, 2009 10:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I love that conjugationary stuff!... Glad to hear how it's enticing yoooooo.....
5 have fought ~ fight the power!