Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Frida and Diego

I wish I could read faster in French. Its such a vicious circle- the only way to read faster is to read more, and I can't do that because I barely have enough time to read as much as I'm reading already. (Note to self- never read Bridget Jones diary again, even if suffering from v. v. bad hangover (or any more children's books until after I graduate. In fact, nothing but serious lit crit and French novels) but I digress.) Its a very interesting book by JMG Le Clezio (are so many initials really necessary when you already have a double-barreled surname?) about Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. I have learnt many things about Kahlo that my soppy GCSE art teacher neglected to tell me. Its great- but... thinking it would encourage me to read the 270-odd pages I had left (yes, out of 307) I volunteered last week to give a (graded) book presentation to my French class tomorrow. Zut! I've been reading away all week, but I'm only up to page 150. They've only just got bloody married, for God's sake! I've written a page of presentation, I gues I can either wing it or bunk the class. That class will cost me £36 when I actually have to pay my student loan back. (I just worked out its £18 per hour and not £13 as previously calculated). So the thought of wasting £36 of my future earnings is intolerable. Damn it, why am I blogging when I should be preparing? Goodbye, loyal readers (Jack). I may be gone some time.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lost Week

I've now given up on getting anywhere with this week. I learnt about articles today, it went a bit better than the subjunctive despite my constantly pressing control tab on my keyboard to flick over to more exciting things, ie the internet. But I did manage to stay in tonight, despite Sonia's best efforts (getting us on the guest list to some indie gig). I guess if we hadn't gone to the pub yesterday we might have gone to this -doubtlessly more fun than the Eclipse- event. I was knocked off my bike into a parked van coming up the hill by Homerton station this afternoon. Maybe the weather conditions really are adverse: Yahoo summed up the seriousness of the days events with one on its classic headlines-
'Storms and gusts of 99mph sweep across UK causing several deaths and damage to Lord's cricket ground.'
Thanks for putting it into perspective, Yahoo. Its not that I don't take monsoon weather and hurricane winds caused by global warming seriously, its that I can't stand this bloody blitz spirit induced by the media everytime anything goes remotely wrong in mainland Britain. Immediately every radio report and newspaper goes into panic mode, completely ignoring all world events and focusing on interviewing mad people who have found themselves delayed at Kings Cross and have therefore decided to bulk-buy bread, toilet paper and bottled water. Just bloody walk home to Swiss Cottage, folks. It'll take five hours but it might just blow your mind. Think of Thoreau.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

my generation?

My French teacher was talking about May 68 yesterday and made a comparison with the fall of the Berlin Wall. He said 'who remembers seeing it on television?' and everyone looked blank. So he asked 'How old were you guys in 1989' and someone went 'one'.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Zut alors, est-il possible qu'il soit le subjonctif?

I no longer have a life, it's official. The furthest I have got from my house this weekend is our friends' house in the next road. And they'll probably never invite us round again because I just told them they spookily resembled Captain Haddock and Tintin and they should recreate the homoeroticism of the aboves' relationship. And I've been to the pub on the corner of our road three times in the past three days. Its main attraction is that you don't have to change out of your slippers to go there. But it was all mostly Sonia's bad influence. At least I've learnt that bastard subjunctive. Il fallait que je le fasse.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Excuses for not working #87-145

Wow, the internet! How does anyone get anything done anymore? There's so much to look at- I can check my messages in myspace and my friends in facebook (i still don't actually know what facebook is, but I'm definitely on it), find out what's top of the singles charts in France (this was actually homework, and the results are not pretty) and distract myself with dozens of hilarious French movies about Zinedine Zidane on youtube (once French people find something funny, they stick to it. Screw Current events) and chat to people on msn messenger- not all of them people who live in the same house as me! some of them live in other cities! It's all so gloriously pointless, I can't help myself. On my shiny new laptop (thanks Gordon. I promise I'll spend the third installment wisely, if I live that long.) that doesn't have microsoft word. What, am I old-fashioned or something? Is no one using microsoft word anymore? It has some kind of shitty word processing programme, but that doesn't have a French dictionary. You cheap bastards, microsoft. If I fail my degree I'll sue you. (Actually I'm less likely to fail my degree now I'm not using spell-check to conjugate all my verbs for me, but Bill Gates doesn't have to know that) The other major distraction I have at the moment is my new petit Larousse. Yes, a dictionary that is more interesting that the whole of the world wide web! My dad kindly got me a cool, illustrated combination dictionary and encyclopaedia, so I can't look up a single word without finding something really exciting ( a brief history of bandes dessinées, a chart showing the different ways roots grow, an article on italian etymologies in French, pictures of how kidneys work- the list is endless!) with colour photographs! I was in the pub the other day, and someone said, quite seriously, 'I've always been passionate about bricks.' (I cried with laughter, but under the table so as not to be rude) That's how I feel about my dictionary. It's a guilty pleasure. I want to read a page every night before I go to sleep.

Monday, January 08, 2007

same shit, different qualification

I promised myself I wouldn't pull any of that up all night, write two thousand words of garbage at the last minute shit now that I'm paying a grand a semester for the benefit of learning... but what could I do? I had a fever! I went to hospital again on saturday and wrote the fucker last night. I'm sick. Actually I'm really sick, because what made me churn the bloody essay out was actually Sonia saying she would take me to the pub on the corner if I finished it. The barman there looks exactly like Captain Haddock and is in love with Sonia. I really really want him to say 'Billions of blistering blue barnacles' but I'm too shy to ask. We met our friend who lives round the corner there and took him home to our spooky basement (we're not allowed down there but luckily our landlord is back in Romania) to drink babycham. He is twenty-six and has never been in a relationship. We were fascinated but he seemed slightly offfended when we asked if he was a virgin. I cycled to college this morning, first exercise in three weeks, and it's blown my mind. The essay makes just a little bit less sense than the above passage. A grand a semester works out at £12.82 per hour of class.