Call me Rosa

Aula de educación infantil

Started my Spanish class last Tuesday. As soon as I sat down, I  realized that I had brought neither pen, pencil nor paper, which is not an indication that I am a digital native so much as a marker of how long it’s been since I’ve been in a classroom.

While calling roll my new professor suggested Spanish names for us based on our actual names. I was delighted when he chose Rosa for me – it has the same old lady ring as Ruth but with a Hispanic flourish that brings to mind a cute little abuela. My eighth grade French name was Sabine, and I’ve taken to imagining her as Rosa’s sex kitten granddaughter with a heart of gold. Who knew language classes could breed multiple personality disorder. Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day!

One of my favorite love stories:

From StoryCorps: “In January 2007, Rachel P. Salazar and Ruben P. Salazar were living 9,000 miles apart and completely unaware of each other’s existence. But when an email meant for Rachel accidentally went to Ruben, it wasn’t long before an ordinary mistake began to look like an extraordinary stroke of luck.”

And in the same vein… a beautiful clarion call about love in the age of Tinder (which includes a tale of learning a foreign language and moving abroad for love, so it’s totally relevant here).

happy weekending!

la samaritaine

This weekend I plan to take advantage of the frigid temps to finally – and I really mean it this time – burrow in at home and compile all my French vocab words into one specially formatted file that will (eventually) become an Anki deck. I say “eventually” because making the actual deck will probably take me another six months to get around to.

For those who are also hunkering down this weekend… here are some interesting reads and little tidbits to keep you company: Continue reading

Paris Je T’aime

Paris Je T'aime Alexander Payne

The only vignette I enjoyed in “Paris Je T’aime” is also one of my favorite pieces of film. “14e Arrondissement,”Alexander Payne’s contribution, so perfectly and beautifully captures the unexpected jolts of emotion when traveling alone – the moments of feeling simultaneously connected and cut off, joyous and contemplative, full of wonder and full of solitude. It’s a fairly addictive experience.

The movie is old but I was reminded of it upon my return from Paris, where I didn’t get much alone time but nevertheless found myself in the headspace of a solo traveler, in all the best ways.

(get over the) hump-day inspiration: Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog inspirational quote

Today’s words of wisdom come from an unlikely source: my favorite anti-hero, Werner Herzog, who reminds us that life is violent and painful and that the times we’re living in are particularly banal and bleak. It’s very freeing, actually.

Unfortunately I cannot take credit for the inspired creation above. It comes from this Tumblr of Werner Herzog motivational posters. Best Internet discovery in years.

More brilliant madness by and about Werner Herzog, if you ever need a giggle:

One of my favorite pieces of writing, ever.

Continuing an interview after being shot by an air rifle.

Laugh out loud musings on adventure.

I can’t believe this is what I’m reading now

Tomorrow Is Another Day by Lori Nelson Spielman

After weeks of laboring through one inscrutable page per sitting, I finally finished my French Patti Smith book and was ready to move on to something kinder and gentler on my French reading disposition. While in a convenience store at Charles de Gaulle on the way back from France, I realized that the airport would be the best spot to find exactly what I was looking for: super easy and formulaic chick lit whose thread I could not possibly lose even in a foreign language.  Continue reading