Avec Corrections

Rewriting the whole thing with the corrections will help me understand the grammar better. Posting it on a public blog will help me face my constant feelings of idiocy. I need the practice. The account below is a true story in my head; I may have taken artistic liberty with some of the details. I will say the professor likes my writing style, and that may have kept my grade from plonger.

Before you skip the rest of this entry, let me report: Day 1, no cookies; I only picked a little bit on my left thumbnail, and I already totally oopsed on the profanity. No one heard. Well, except You Know. I’m working on that.

Un Noël Blanc

J’avais treize ans. Quelques jours avant Noël, je suis allée à la fête d’anniversaire de mon amie, car son anniversaire était la veille de Noël. Il faisait plus froid que d’habitude ce soir-là, mais j’avais assez chaud chez mon amie. La fête était amusante, et je ne voulais pas aller dehors. Quand je rentrais, mes parents et moi avons parlé en voiture du temps froid; les arbres étaient nus mais du givre couvrait les branches. C’était une beauté bizarre. Nous avons arrêté de parler. Les phares coupaient le noir mais le silence a persisté jusqu’à ce que nous soyons arrivés ches nous. Ensuite, nous sommes allés au lit.

C’étaient les vacances de Noël, pourtant mon petit frère et moi nous réveillions tôt tous les jours. Le matin, nous regardions des dessins animés, et puis nous mangions le petit déjeuner. Quelquefois, nous faisions nos devoirs. Parce qu’il faisait trop froid cet hiver pour jouer dehors, nous sommes restés dans la maison. Parfois, nous jouions à des jeux d’enfants. Plusieurs cadeaux étaient sous le sapin, et nous essayions de deviner ce que c’était. Ensuite, ma mère nous disait de nous habiller et de faire nos tâches ménagères. Sans nous plaindre, nous obéissions.

Après  deux jours de plus, c’était la veille de Noël. Cette année-là nous avons mangé un grand repas la veille de Noël. Mon père a fait deux tartes: une aux citrouilles et l’autre aux pommes. De plus, il a rôti une dinde et a fait de la purée de pommes de terre et du maïs. Tout était divin. Notre famille avait une tradition d’ouvrir un cadeau et de lire l’histoire Noël de la Bible. Quelquefois nous chantions des cantiques, mais nous n’étions pas très bons chanteurs. Cette année-là, nous avons aussi conduit dans des beaux voisinages pour regarder les lumières et les décorations. En les regardant, des flocons blancs ont commencé à tomber du ciel. Ils ont gentiment flotté à terre, où ils ont disparu. Alors, mon père a conduit lentement pour notre sécurité, mais surtout pour que nous regardions la neige.

Chez nous, mon frère et moi n’avons pas dormi pendant plusieurs heures. Au lieu, nous avons fixé les toutes petites étoiles qui descendaient. Le clair de lune faisait luire les nuages. Nous avons regardé comme si c’était le meilleur film que nous n’ayons jamais vu. Finalement, nous sommes endormis.

Le jour suivant était Noël! Nous nous somme réveillés et avons ouvert les cadeaux qui restaient. Je suis certaine qu’ils étaient génials, mais il y a des choses plus importantes, comme le temps. C’était la Floride! Le temps était plus significatif que le bavardage habituel. Une couche blanche couvrait la terre et des petites stalactites de glace étaient suspendues aux arbres. Notre jardin avait l’air pur. Il neigeait toujours; les flocons étaient plus grands. Mon frère et moi avons mis un tas de vêtements et nous sommes allés dehors. Sans gants, nous avons fait un petit bonhomme de neige. Nous avons joué jusqu’à ce que nous ayons froid, environ trente minutes.

J’appelle Jacksonville « la région froide de la Floride » parce qu’elle est au nord, mais il n’y neige pas tous les jours, alors nous sommes allés dehors après nous être réchauffés, après nous avoir bu du chocolat chaud. Les garçons qui habitaient à coté sont aussi venus dehors (mais ils n’étaient pas mes premiers amours, au fait), et ils se sont battus contre nous (mon frère et moi) avec des boules de neige. Nous avons joué comme ça toute la journée. Nos cils ont blanchi et nos bouches faisait des petits nuages quand nous parlions. C’était mon premier Noël blanc. C’était un jour magique.

Le Château de ma Mère

Notre classe lit le livre qui est l’histoire de ce film. Aux trois prèmieres minutes de cette scène, j’ai pleuré. Tous les hommes de la famille Pagnol sont très beaux, n’est-ce pas? La campagne et le voix du narrateur contribuent à la nostalgie puissante,  et c’est me fait penser à mon enfance. Je me demande où sont mes amis, et les ans passés me rendent me sentir vielle.

Quels bons souvenirs.

J’irai La Voir Un Jour

The first time I heard this song was in April 2007. At a Patty Griffin concert. My very first one. It was at the Beacon Theatre, and I had never been to that venue before. It’s one of those moderate-sized halls that happens to feel intimate at the same time.

This song combines Patty Griffin and French, two of my most favorite things in the world (though French is starting to slip in the rankings these days).

Patty introduced this song as one her grandmother sang to her when she was a child. Simple tune, simple lyrics, but beautiful and touching. It was just her and the piano for this number. Her voice, her memories. Her music causing my tears.

It makes me think about love and family and eternity. It makes me think of my own grandmothers, whom I didn’t really know. But I interacted more with my mom’s mother, and I never knew my grandmother on my dad’s side.

My mom’s father was a very gentle man from what I can remember, and my dad’s father was stern.

I wish I knew them all better. But I will.

I will see them one day.

J’irai la voir un jour
Au ciel dans la patrie
Oui j’irai voir Marie
Ma joie et mon amour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai mourir aux anges
Pour chanter ses louanges
Et pour former sa cour

J’irai la voir un jour
Cette vierge si belle
Bientôt j’irai près d’elle
Lui dire mon amour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai près de sa tombe
Recevoir la colombe
Dans l’éternel séjour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai loin de la terre
Sur le coeur de ma mère
Me poser sans retour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour.

Ironic Quote from Class Yesterday

“Are there normalforms for the pronounciation [sic] of words?”

Then I said under my breath, but loud enough for the person sitting in front of me, “Like the word pronounciation?”

Then the person in front of me turned her head and whispered, “That word is so ironic.”

When I was in third grade, my young brain was just starting to make associations between words. I knew the word pronounce, and I figured its noun derivative describing the act of pronouncing would be pronounciation. When I heard my third grade teacher, Mrs. Hamlin, say – or, pronounce – it,  I thought she said it incorrectly. You see, Mrs. Hamlin got me into watching Jeopardy!, which came on right after Wheel of Fortune. This was especially fun, because it lengthened the TV lineup on Tuesdays, which included Who’s the Boss? (with Growing Pains and Perfect Strangers the next year) and on Fridays, which aired Webster and Mr. Belvedere.

Anyway, I couldn’t imagine my teacher being wrong, because Jeopardy! is awesome with all their smart people, so I made a mental note that it was pronounced “pronunciation.” Just like how it’s spelled. No O for a blended vowel sound. My tender, eight-year-old brain absorbed that.  My classmate was right to imply how people mispronounce a word describing how words are uttered. And it seems that the person who posed the question holds to what I consider my third-grade association. And when I look up the pronunciations of the word in a current dictionary, two are correct, one of them being the wrong one.

And that’s because everyone else got stuck in the third-grade place in their brains, and somebody got tired of correcting everyone else, so some grand arbiter of the dictionary allowed the faulty pronunciation. I can make some concessions in the evolution of our language, but man, I feel so sorry for English.

So, yes, classmate. My normalform for the pronunciation of pronunciation also happens to be the only true pronunciation in my mind. All others are corrupt and incorrect. Which is what normalform means.

Agency, à la Lewis Carroll

I must have watched the Disney version at least a dozen times when I was a kid. None of the characters made any sense. They were irrational and outrageous, and every single time, I hoped that somebody – the Cheshire Cat, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, even anyone in the Queen’s court – would be merciful to Alice. She just wanted to get back home, but the maze became increasingly tangled. This was a major study of human behavior for me, though I didn’t realize it when I was eight years old. Disney seemed to run and rerun this after bedtime, but I remember not getting in trouble for staying up late to watch it. So it could also have been during the summer, or my parents may have used the underlying moral of weighing the consequences of our actions to teach me a few lessons about life. Which, as you know, none of Alice’s consequences in Wonderland made any sense.  It may be responsible for my inability to make decisions. Or at least think any choices I make would worsen any situation. On the other hand, this animated film probably warned me never to do drugs. (However, I really liked the drowsy dormouse, but that doesn’t explain why I also liked the croquet set, especially the seemingly sober hedgehog. The point of the movie was never to explain anything, anyway.) But it never stopped me from sneaking MTV while my parents weren’t home: maybe I had a secret crush on Simon Le Bon, and Madonna was the coolest, with her 80s eyebrows. Alice in Wonderland may also justify my juvenile (onset, progressing to adulthood) pyromania and my love for academic teams.

The video came from this link, which a friend on facebook shared. I thought it was cool.

I Will Always, Always Love Sesame Street

You have no idea how much I love this show. Since I was three years old. It’s probably responsible for teaching me to read. And my love of monsters. I love the details of the sound of the clam splashing into the water, and the little Sesame Street tune whistling at the end. Plus, Grover wearing a towel? and pants? Hilarious.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

New Height Standard

Why aren’t I studying for my French midterm? Because I don’t want to.

Is that weird grammar, why aren’t I? Why am I not? Why amin’t? That last one works. Stress the first syllable, schwa the middle vowel: /AM-ənt/.  Pretty easy, yeah? And quite useful.

Why amin’t studying for my French midterm? A friend sent me a photograph of her newly-turned 3-year old yesterday. He was sitting behind a huge chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting on top and three candles staked into it, aflame. This was pre-consumption, obviously. I called this friend last night (before my hike at Rock Canyon) to wish her child a happy birthday. I’ve known this friend since we were 10 years old; I was her maid of honor. She calls my mother “Little Mom.” Her kids call me “Auntie May-May.” The least I could do was be a good aunt and get the update on the cupcake. Over the phone, it sounded like it turned into a performance art installation: chocolate smeared everywhere, on surfaces, little faces, pudgy fingers. I couldn’t be sure, but there also seemed to be interpretive dancing that included water guns that ARE NOT ALLOWED to be filled inside the house. In the name of art, mom, just this one time.

Anyway, when my friend was growing up, the children in her home weren’t considered “big kids” until they were taller than their grandmother. While the grandmother’s loving memory tarries, she has passed on, and so now my friend says that her children aren’t “big kids” until they’re taller than Auntie May-May. I told her I’d be more than happy to fill those shoes.

I had to write about it.

If by next year the then-4-year old is taller than me? SO not fair. Son’t fair at all.