Category Archives: Language

Language: Norman Fait Des Videos

I recently asked acquaintances for recommendations in order to practice my French.
And one of the suggestions was Norman Fait Des Videos.
Win! These videos are HILARIOUS (and very weird).
And, they are amazingly good French practice.

NORMAN – PRENDRE L’AVION

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Music: Stromae

I first heard Stromae when Alors On Danse came onto the French language station I created on Pandora.
His beats and rhymes are so smooth and addictive.
Plus it’s good for my French comprehension.
He’s Belgian and his parents are Rwandan.
His music has so many deep emotions flowing through it.
Basically, he’s a lot of fun to listen to.

Alors On Danse

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Books: NPR Summer Books 2013

I love the NPR Summer Books list. I look forward to it every year.
Most of my reading list comes from NPR recommendations.

The books I have added to my reading list this year (and the NPR critics’ list they came from):

  1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane (from Secrets Of The Universe: 5 Great SF And Fantasy Summer Reads)
  2. The Shining Girls (from Secrets Of The Universe: 5 Great SF And Fantasy Summer Reads)
  3. Love Minus Eighty (from Secrets Of The Universe: 5 Great SF And Fantasy Summer Reads)
  4. We are all Completely Beside Ourselves (from Secrets Of The Universe: 5 Great SF And Fantasy Summer Reads)
  5. Missing Links and Secret Histories (from Secrets Of The Universe: 5 Great SF And Fantasy Summer Reads)
  6. I Await the Devil’s Coming (from Lost And Found: 5 Forgotten Classics Worth Revisiting)
  7. Waiting for the Barbarians (from Making Art From Art: 5 Nonfiction Reads For Summer)
  8. The Curiosity (from Summer Adventure: 5 Thrilling, Chilling, Far-Ranging Reads)
  9. Exercises in Style (from Lost And Found: 5 Forgotten Classics Worth Revisiting)
  10. One Thousand and One Nights (from Lost And Found: 5 Forgotten Classics Worth Revisiting)

Obviously the entire list of SF/Fantasy reads makes up the first 5.
And, typically, as I read the description of each one I thought to myself “OMG That sounds really good!”

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Feminism: Sexual Assault and Not Understanding Social Cues

“He might be on the spectrum.” But what about me?

“It’s like the sun rising in the east: Whenever the subject of harassment or stalking comes up, you invariably get a bunch of dudes barging in, insisting that the guy who followed you and screamed at you for not paying attention to him, the guy who groped you, the guy who tried to follow you home, the guy who kept looking you up and down when you were wearing a turtleneck at brunch with your friend, the guy who refused to accept the “no” and the “I’m not interested,” the guy who waited for you outside of your place, the guy who told you how the way you look gave him a boner, might have had Asperger’s or was somehow autistic. He just had problems understanding social cues/rules.”

Interesting article. It throws into perspective the excuse of “He’s really a nice guy”. If you have to explain away someone’s experience with a statement like that, I call BS. He may be a “nice guy”* most of the time, but in this instance he was not being “nice”. I think it’s scary how pervasive the dismissal of a woman’s experience of sexual harassment is in this day and age.

*tangentially related to the feminist definition of the “Nice Guy” phenomenon. Posts about that at a later date.

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Travel: Shakespeare and Co

Shakespeare and Company is an amazing bookstore in Paris.

I found the above video, via Bookshelf Porn, here.

While in Paris I bought a couple beautiful editions of books there.
I just love being in that bookstore, it feels like home.

Antiquarian books at Shakespeare & Co., a Paris literary institution.

Antiquarian books at Shakespeare & Co., a Paris literary institution.

Everything here encourages creativity. A tiny enclosed bureau, lined with rugs and a blue painted chair, bears the sign: “Feel free to use the typewriter for your lovely writing/creative ventures.” Notes from customers are scrawled in all languages. “A friend told me if I ever felt lonely to come to Shakespeare & Company,” one says. Visitors are so effusive that a few years ago George installed what he calls a “mirror of love”, where hundreds more scribblings are pinned, from the surreal to the touching: “Dear Granny, I would like you to come to Paris with me”, reads one. “Books insulate this nest of wandering dreams”, reads another, “there should always be a place where stories reign over commercial enterprise.”

Shakespeare and Company, a Creative Sanctuary

Shakespeare & Co.

Walking into Shakespeare & Co.

Opened in 1951 by George Whitman, it was originally named “Le Mistral” but renamed to “Shakespeare and Company” in 1964 in tribute to Sylvia Beach’s bookstore [the original Shakespeare and Co.].[3] Today, it serves both as a regular bookstore and as a reading library, specializing in English-language literature. The shop was featured in the Richard Linklater filmBefore Sunset and in the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris.[4]

Its premises, the site of a 16th-century monastery,[10] are at 37 rue de la Bûcherie, near Place Saint-Michel, just steps from the SeineNotre Dame and the Île de la Cité.[10]
Wikipedia

On the third floor of the bookstore Shakespeare & Co. in Paris

On the third floor of the bookstore Shakespeare & Co. in Paris

If you’re ever in Paris and get the chance, swing by this Parisian institution. Shakespeare and Co. is home to beautiful books that cover it from floor to ceiling. A true gift to the ex-pat community in Paris.

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Books: Bookshelf Porn

I’m still obsessed with Bookshelf Porn.
Probably because I’ve always been obsessed with books and bookshelves.
Also, don’t worry, it’s not actually porn.

I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite blog of all time.

Bookshelf Porn: Literature versus Traffic by Spanish art collective Luzinterruptus.

Bookshelf Porn: Literature versus Traffic by Spanish art collective Luzinterruptus.

Bookshelf Porn: Bookshop Selexyz Dominicanen

Bookshelf Porn: Bookshop Selexyz Dominicanen

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Music: Camille

Camille, is a French singer songwriter whom I love.

I bought her first 3 albums on Amazon:

Le Sac Des Filles
Le Fil
Music Hole

I heard about her from a friend of mine in my French program when I was abroad for a year in Paris.
And I think Camille is great, so check her out!

Camille – Paris

Camille – Vertige

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Language: Duolingo

I was a French major in college, and I picked French in order to study and live abroad for a year.
I originally picked French as a language to study when I returned to the states in middle school.
French is a truly beautiful language, and I feel so proud of myself that I am able to speak it.
Sometimes I don’t realize quite how much work I have put in to learning French and learning about French culture.
While back in the States after my year abroad, and my subsequent graduation from college, I almost never have an occasion to speak French. Thus, my French skills have begun to deteriorate (at least that’s how I think of it).
Then a college roommate of mine told me about Duolingo. This website is awesome.
You get to translate the web while practicing (or learning) a language! They have languages other than French as well. I may use it to keep up my Italian.
And what I really need the most practice in is my written French because it informs the grammar of my spoken French.
So I just wanted to share what a cool new tool I am using and it’s already flexing those French language muscles in my brain. It’s lovely.

My heart aches for Paris. Sigh.

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