dimarts, 31 de desembre de 2013

New Year's Resolutions for 2014

2013 has been a hell of a year. It has had good things, of course, but overall I'm really tired and it has felt veeeery long. I can barely believe that this time last year I was homeless (in Austria, at least), but, looking back, a lot has happened since January 1st 2013. Let's see if I managed my New Year's Resolutions for 2013. Remember:

blue = "99% or 100% accomplished"
green = "well, kind of"
  red = "mission: impossible"
purple = "didn't even try".

1. Take dancing lessons. No idea what kind of dancing, but my body is asking for it like a drug. Although I've stopped going because of other stuff, such as trying to make more money via tutoring high school kids. But I took an intensive Zumba course in July, then enrolled into another Zumba course in Salzburg, and managed to go to 3 classes of standard dances, also in Salzburg.

2. Fisish reading all pending books before buying new ones. I'm considering including this one as my yearly April's fools' joke.

3. Save up money to travel outside of Europe or at least to be more at least a whole week on holiday. Well, I did save up money, but it's still not enough for outside of Europe nor a whole week away... But with that money, we're going to Saarbrücken in February!

4. Learn a new language! I'm taking French again. It's not a new language for me, but it was so rusty that we might as well count it there... The courses for Italian and Swedish were already fully booked when it was my turn to enroll.

Not bad, is it? No red at all, and the "didn't even try" one was an obvious "didn't even try". Here go the ones for 2014:

  1. Go back to the weight I had when I was 18-20.
  2. Finish as many of my uni courses as possible so that I can finish as soon as possible.
  3. Make more money.
  4. ... it's a secret ;)


dilluns, 30 de desembre de 2013

Jesus liebt mich: the book vs. the movie

I have this sort of non-written tradition by which I like to watch certain films during a specific holiday season, for example Love Actually during Christmas time or Life of Brian in Easter. While not strictly Christmas-themed, I'd wanted to watch the movie adaptation of David Safier's book Jesus liebt mich since I found out that it existed because I'd read it and quite enjoyed it, but streaming Geman movies has proven awfully difficult (probably because I wasn't looking in the right places, but still). But I finally found it.
The story is pretty much the same as the book: Marie is a thirty-something disaster of a woman who is about to marry Sven but leaves him at the altar only to, shortly after that, meeting and falling in love with no other than Jesus Christ himself, who is back on Earth because the apocalypse is planned for next Tuesday. 

While the movie is a good comedy, the book had a lot more tiny details that made it better and even funnier. I missed the sub-plot with Marie's sister, whose comic stripes work as sort of conscience for Marie so that she will realize that her problems are easier to solve. I was disappointed to see that they cut the matter-of-factly conversations between God and Satan about the end of the world, although it doesn't really interfere with the development of the romance, but still... At least they kept most of Marie's hilarious inner thoughts through a voice-over and the character of Gabriel, the archangel that became a mortal man out of unrequired love, and added a scene in which he teaches the Bible to a group of primary school kids.

Overall, I'd recommend this movie to people who have read the book, as the adaptation is quite good and has a couple of little details here and there that get a smile on your face (like Jesus clicking a glass full of water and turning it into wine during a family dinner), or even to any of you who are looking for a decent, light-hearted romantic comedy for a couch-and-blanket evening. The only problem is that, so far, I've only been able to find it in German and I'm not sure if it's dubbed.

divendres, 27 de desembre de 2013

[Peripècies austríaques] 16. Per Nadal, com els torrons

Com més gran em faig, menys m'agrada el Nadal. Crec que és un mecanisme d'autodefensa en ser el tercer any que, per a mi, les festes comencen a meitats de novembre. De fet, tècnicament, aquest any podríem dir que la imposició de l'esperit nadalenc ha començat a finals d'octubre, que van començar a aparèixer decoracions a aparadors i carrers com bolets. No ha nevat de la manera espectacular que ho va fer l'any passat per aquestes dates, ha estat un advent força calorós (cal especificar que és una cosa molt relativa, això del fred i de la calor, però vull dir que les temperatures s'han mantingut per sobre zero, en general). 

Consideracions climatològiques a banda, aquest és l'any que crec que menys esperit nadalenc he tingut. He tingut un calendari d'advent i una corona d'advent, però no hem cantat nadales amb la coral (amb els alumnes vaig aconseguir fer-los cantar Santa Nit en castellà) ni tampoc no n'he escoltat a casa, només he anat una vegada al Christkindlmarkt de Salzburg i a dos mercats de Nadal més, no m'he estressat especialment a la recerca i captura de regals, no he posat gens d'atenció al sorteig de la Grossa, no he menjat torró fins el 24 a la nit... 

Tot va tornar a una certa normalitat aquella nit, però: això del torró fa molt de Nadal. Ja ho diu l'anunci, que per aquestes dates tornen els torrons i tornem els que hem marxat. Després d'un plat de sopa de galets de mida considerable, del gall rostit, dels canelons, de les neules i dels torrons, ja em sento més adaptada a l'època. I, és clar, canelons és sinònim de Sant Esteve i, automàticament, del concert de l'Orfeó Català, que aquest any he hagut de veure per la tele perquè les entrades estaves esgotades (increible!).

Des del sofà és molt fàcil criticar i riure's del maquillatge exagerat d'algunes cantaires i anunciar amb sarcasme que les festes no comencen fins que els cors infantils no han cantat Sant Josep fa bugada per enèssim concert de Sant Esteve consecutiu, però hi ha una cosa que, com a emigrant, m'ha tocat la fibra i m'ha fet desitjar, malgrat tot, ser a l'escenari. Un acord, el primer d'El cant de la Senyera: això és tot el que m'ha calgut per posar-me a plorar com una magdalena.

Bones festes.

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