The Bright Side

I feel like I’m flailing in my French fluency goal. I am studying every day (almost), but I don’t know if I’m getting anywhere. It’s difficult to know without tests of some sort. And there is also no plan. I guess I follow my study book chapter by chapter, so there’s that. But how do I test my improvement? How do I know if I’m really advancing? I still can’t understand most of my favorite French movie (Priceless). I understand some of the French YouTube fashion videos that I watch, but not enough to celebrate or anything. I’ve started increasing my listening time, and after about forty-five minutes my brain fights me every step of the way. After an hour, my brain is like

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and I can’t cajole it back into submission. Maybe if I split up my listening sessions–one hour in the morning, one in the evening? I don’t know–it’s pretty annoying. IT’S MY BRAIN! It should listen to me! Understand this fucking language, brain!

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I gave up sugar four days ago, so I’m taking everything a little harder than usual.

I bought a French decor magazine a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t know like seventy percent of the words in it. How is that even possible?! That’s probably my fault for limiting my French listening to Barbie and Caillou. Not the most sophisticated vocabulary, right? But…everything else is so hard to understand!

Today I hung out with my friend, Julie, who is French, and that helps a lot because I can understand her and when I can’t she explains things so that I can. It’s just bizarre to me that I can understand a lot of what she says, but everyone else is so difficult to decipher. Why won’t my brain stop betraying me? I’ve always been so good to it.

I should really switch the narrative and frame all of this in a more positive light, huh? I understand some French YouTube videos. I can talk with Julie in French. I can listen to forty-five minutes of French. I know thirty percent of the words in my French decor magazine. I can understand a lot of Caillou and Barbie en français. These are all things I couldn’t do a few years ago. Perhaps my brain is not betraying me. I mean–it is being stubborn…but then look who it belongs to.

Okay, yeah. I should learn to be more positive. That’s just really tough to do on your fourth day without sugar!

À bientôt !

The City That Never Sleeps & Pilates

This past weekend we went to New York on a whim. I love New York, but it’s not a city for introverts like me long-term. A short trip is perfect, though, and I love dressing up in glam clothes and pretending like I’m a native New Yorker. It’s one of the few times my (faux) fur jacket and (faux) leather pants make it out of my closet. You can be anyone you want in New York! I choose to channel Tracee Ellis Ross. And Rihanna.

The city was even crazier because of Fashion Week, but I don’t know–maybe it’s always like that. I’ve certainly never seen it calm! Part of its appeal, I guess. Mostly all we did was walk around, eat, take pictures, eat, and walk around. I finally got to dine at Balthazar, which is a French restaurant that’s been on my list for a while. It was magnifique and worth its spot. New York is filled with French restaurants, and I have about twenty-three on my bucket list. That’s gonna take more than a weekend, though!

Back at home, I went to Pilates this evening. It was fun, but I don’t understand why Pilates classes have to be so extortionate. Like gimme a break–a girl’s just trying to lift her ass and cinch her waist.  I bought the most beautiful yoga mat a few weeks ago.

Screenshot_2019-02-11 NO KA'OI Yoga Mat

Look at that red! I live. This mat was the subject of much controversy among my group of friends. A couple of them thought the price was ridiculous for a yoga mat and so I shouldn’t get it, and a couple of them thought the price was just right for something so stunning. Guess which friends I listened to.

Yep.

You guessed it!

Alright, it’s late and I still have to watch an episode of Barbie in French. I read this article a while ago that said things you learn right before you fall asleep, you are more likely to remember. I need all the help I can get.

À plus !

Aesthetics & French

Guys! IKEA has black matte flatware now. Black. Matte. Flatware. All of my aesthetic dreams are coming true. How long have these been a thing and I’ve not known about them? I was watching this YouTube haul and they were one of things that Suzie bought. Love at first sight. So I went on the IKEA website to read the reviews, and they’re pretty good except that a few people say the black finish has started to rub or chip off, and that would really piss me off. So, I’m looking at reviews from other stores trying to find a set that holds up to wear because BLACK MATTE FLATWARE! I guess I should have known that these were a thing because a while back when I went to price refrigerators, black stainless steel fridges were making a splash.

Did I just say “making a splash”?

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Anyway, for an hour today I’ve been working on French pronunciation and mouth and tongue placement. You have to really enunciate, practice in a mirror if possible, and do speaking exercises like just saying “oooo” or “eeeee” continuously. I’m home alone right now, and I’m still embarrassed. But what’s a little humiliation when trying to reach an important goal, right? What’s gonna be really embarrassing is if at the end of this year I’m still having to think about and translate everything I want to say in French. So…discomfort now. Happiness later!

My For-Real, For-Real New Year’s Resolution

C’est presque la nouvelle année !

It’s almost the new year, kids!  I have a ton of New Year’s resolutions that I’m probably going to forget about around January 15th, but…BUT…there is one that I’m really going to keep. I’m going to speak French so well that I don’t have to think about/translate every single word I say.

You see how I’m just spitting out words right now with no thought and no hesitation and I’m just talking and talking and I could go on and on and on about my new reed diffuser or how my car got scratched or that I lost about thirteen Chapsticks this year? That’s how I want to be with French. But less annoying and more interesting, obviously. And even if it takes me all the way to December 31, 2019, I will succeed!

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Right now when I have to form a complete French sentence
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Me forming complete French sentences by the end of the year

Soyez prêt !

I hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve, whatever that means for you! And for the love of God, don’t all of you descend upon my gym on January 1st and take all of the treadmills, mmkay? I already don’t want to be there, and I ain’t waiting 45 minutes. I’d just give up and go home to eat croissants. Don’t do that to ya girl!

Bisous !