To be honest, I have to say immediately that, of course, in comparison with the main characters of Four Weddings and a Funeral, I am just an absolute beginner. And yet, about eight years ago I reached that wedding age, in which one starts to get at least a couple of wedding invitations every year.
If you are going to reply that you started going to weddings when you were six, please stop. That is not the kind of weddings I am talking about.
I am talking about the weddings of your friends, of your schoolmates, of your ex boyfriends, of your flatmates, of your colleagues... Weddings of people in your age or even way younger than you.
[The amazing cast of Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
by Mike Newell, from left to right:
Kristin Scott Thomas, Hugh Grant, Simon Callow,
Andie MacDowell, Charlotte Coleman, John Hannah, James Fleet]
Yes, exactly that kind of weddings. And even if I have never been into weddings and I never actually thought seriously about getting married, each time I can't help to feel the social pressure while being stuck in a sort of nice and yet somehow nightmare-like scenario.
Getting a wedding invitation. Another one.
Choosing the dress. Choosing the shoes. Choosing the make up. Doing my best to look great.
Going to the wedding. Being asked when I am going to be next one. From a guest. And another guest. And another one. And finally from the mother of the bride.
Being forced to compete with other women for the throwing of the bouquet. Actually getting the bouquet (it happened more than once already...) and then being asked again when I am going to be the next one, then.
I am surrounded by married friends and acquaintances, married colleagues, married schoolmates. I am even already surrounded by married friends and acquaintances and colleagues and schoolmates with children. Even by married Tandem partners.
But... every time when I start to think that everybody is married and that I am not going to get another invitation... I realized that I just forgot someone. Someone who is going to marry soon, of course.
Strangely enough, I still love going to weddings. I still love getting the wedding invitations. I still love seeying my loved ones being nervous, excited, fancy dressed, touched and ready to spend the rest of their lives with someone.
But what about me? Well, it is just not my piece of cake.
A good way for learning a foreign language is watching movies in that language, no matter if in original version with or without subtitles. The subtitles offer a lot of different solutions and combinations, for that matter.
While watching the movie in German, we would have at least these options to choose from:
#1. German version without subtitles;
#2. German version with subtitles in German;
#3. German version with subtitles for hearing impaired in German (if available);
#4. German version with subtitles in English;
#5. German version with subtitles for hearing impaired in English (if available);
#6. German version with subtitles in your native tongue, if different from English (Italian, in my case);
#7. German version with subtitles for hearing impaired in your native tongue (if available);
#8. German version with subtitles in another foreign language you would love to improve as well (French or Spanish, in my case);
#9. German version with subtitles for hearing impaired in another foreign language you would love to improve (if available).
You got the point, right?
While watching the movie, paying attention to the story and reading the subtitles at the same time, it will be easier for you to remember certain words or idiomatic expressions, to focus on the pronunciation, to understand in which occasions you should say something like that. Or in which occasions you shouldn't say something like that at any cost.
It all depends on you and on which aspect of this method could be the most interesting and useful for you. I like for example to discover new idiomatic expressions and figures of speech while seeing immediately in the movie when and how I should use them.
[One funny German expression I learned from a movie?
Holla die Waldfee!,
old-fashioned way for meaning What a surprise!]
You can mix the combinations, you can opt for subtitles in your native tongue or in English if you are a little tired or the movie is a difficult one, you can switch to the subtitles in the movie language or in your second (or third...) foreign language if you are familiar with the subject or if you know the book or the comic or that special book-to-film adaptation.
What about you?
Do you watch movies in another language for improving your language skills? In which combination?
Nonostante le migliori intenzioni, qualcosa nella vita puÃ² andare storto. Possiamo fare o dire qualcosa di sbagliato, essere insensibili o maleducati senza accorgercene, piantare in asso qualcuno nel momento del bisogno. Possiamo ferire gli altri. Possiamo deludere i nostri cari. Possiamo dimostrare ancora una volta, a noi stessi e agli altri, di non essere perfetti, dopo tutto.
Harry ti presento Sally... (When Harry Met Sally..., 1989)
di Rob Reiner]
Ha senso chiedere scusa se le scuse sono sentite. Ha senso chiedere scusa se si Ã¨ sinceramente dispiaciuti e si desidera chiarire la situazione. Ha senso chiedere scusa se non lo si fa giusto per educazione, tanto per dire, per puro amore del quieto vivere.
Altrimenti non sono scuse, ma solo un modo per salvare la faccia con se stessi, ma non certo con gli altri. Chi crede che l'altro non possa capire se le scuse appena ricevute sono sincere o meno, di solito si sbaglia di grosso. Se non si Ã¨ sinceri, meglio tacere del tutto.
While learning or improving your language skills in a foreign language, it is important to read a lot in that language. In this way your passive vocabulary will become bigger and you will learn useful expressions used by native speakers.
While doing it, it is a good idea to read books, magazines, articles on the Internet etc. about topics that you like and are important and appealing to you. So I read for example tattoo magazines, in English and in German, and today I stumbled upon a difficult and yet interesting question for tattooed people:
How many hours have you been tattooed so far?
My first reaction was... Oh well. Gosh. So let me check. I guess... I would say about... No, maybe...
You got the picture. I had no idea. Not the the slightest idea.
I got my first tattoo almost twenty years ago, when being tattooed was not so common for a girl in my age, and since then I collected a lot of questions about tattoos. But in the end they are almost always the same and people usually ask me how many tattoos I have, which one was the most painful one, which one is my favourite one.
So far anybody asked about how many hours I spent while being tattooed. And yet it makes sense and it is actually a very good question, because having a lot of small tattoos and having for example both sleeves and the full back tattooed are very different stories, in my opinion, so knowing how many hours people spent in a tattoo parlour so far is way more explanatory than how many tattoos people have.
[Canadian body artist and model Zombie Boy (born Rico Genest)
with Lady Gaga as a zombie lady
So Zombie Boy, how many hours have you been tattooed so far?!]
What about you?
How many hours have you been tattooed so far?
Did anybody ask you this question before?
Tags: Tattoos, Questions about tattoos, Learning a foreign language
Every human being on Earth has 30 basic kind of rights, listed in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created in 1948 by the United Nations in order to promote "universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms".
At least on paper.
The reality is very often far away from what proclamed in the Universal Declaration and a big percentage of human population can't enjoy these rights at all.
The right to life, the right to freedom, the right to a fair treatment while in a court, the right to privacy, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of thought, the right to freedom of speech, the right to social security, the right to education are among the basic rights that should be self-evident for everybody.
That's understood, right?
Happy Blog Action Day 2013.
Tags: The Butler, Django Unchained, The Paperboy, Human Rights, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Blog Action Day, Blogging
About six months ago I started to practice Bikram Yoga.
Berlin is a very yoga-friendly city and yoga studios are everywhere. Bikram Yoga studios are, however, way more rare than other kind of yoga studios, because not every studio has the right equipment for Bikram Yoga classes.
We are talking about a kind of Hatha Yoga that people practice in a room heated to 40Â°C with a humidity of 40%.
Also known as Hot Yoga, Bikram Yoga is practiced in classes that run for 90 minutes and consist of 26 postures (called "Asanas") and 2 breathing exercises. Tools of the trade are only a yoga mat, a beach towel and a water bottle with at least 500ml beverage, since itÂ´s normal to sweat a lot.
[My yoga mat is Purple, of course!]
The name originates from the founder of the system, Bikram Choudhury, and while writing this post I have discovered that Bikram Yoga is very "in", as it has been practiced by Hollywood stars, famous singers, burlesque beauties and David Beckham in the last couple of years.
I am not very good at it, so far, but this is not a big deal at all. While practicing yoga one has to stay focused on the Asanas, to live in the moment, to not compare himself or herself with other people. So it is not so important that I am not a very talented yogi yet and that other people are better than me, since I have to focus on my own experience, on my own body, on my improvements.
Invested time, regular exercise and constant repetition of the postures makes the master, so I am on my way to become a better yogi, class after class. No pressure, no stress, no dissatisfaction. As they say: the journey is the reward, the path is the goal, the way is the aim. And so on.
After some experiments, I have found out that Sunday morning is the perfect time of the week for me to practice yoga.
So today in the morning I was in a new yoga studio, about to start a new class, and I noticed a blond, skinny girl with a pink tank top and sunglasses. Sunglasses in the bathroom of the yoga studio?! At the beginning I found that a little bit strange, but then I realised that she was visually impaired.
In the class I was practicing not far away from her and even if I focused on my Asanas, I looked at her often, with great admiration for her courage and determination.
I was happy to have her in the class and more than once I found myself thinking about how often we are used to complain about problems and barriers, even if our barriers are - most of the time - not real.
Her barrier - not being able to see, not being able to look at the teacher's postures - is real, and yet she has the courage of being the better version of herself, to run a normal life, to do what she wants.
To be the only visually impaired person in a room full of people who can see her, while she can't see them.
A Bikram Yoga class is very rewarding, but also exhausting and goal number one is always staying in the room for the whole 90 minutes, even if one is not able to complete all Asanas. The girl stayed in the room the whole time. She was quiet, motivated and she did every posture, without help.
Seeing her being the better version of herself gave me strength.
I hope to see her next Sunday. I am going to be there.
Tags: Bikram Yoga, Hot Yoga, Courage, Being visually impaired
Pane e tulipani (Bread & Tulips, 2000) by Silvio Soldini
starring Licia Maglietta and Bruno Ganz]
Discussing and arguing and fighting about it with superficial people is just not worth my time anymore. I am not going to make them change their mind and I don't want to either. People can accept and be respectful towards diversity only if they want it.
But... if you don't want to be rude while doing the same with someone else (maybe at the next party...), remember three fundamentals of diversity management:
#1. Each person is different, special and unique. Do you know someone else who is exactly like you?
#2. Each person is not only part of a community, but also an individual with individual needs and thoughts. Do you agree with each aspect of your culture and tradition or do you have ideas on your own as well?
#3. Each person deserves respect and attention, no matter how different from you the person could be - or just appears to be. Are you sure that you don't have anything in common with the person?
Sometimes one can have the impression that every other person is more happy, more successful, more cool, more lucky.
Sometimes one can have the impression that it will rain for ever.
Sometimes one can have the impression that everything is going wrong, that one is wrong, that nobody loves anybody, and so on.
[Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in Groundhog Day (1993)]
But each day, no matter how terrible it is, lasts only 24 hours. This is the magic of life.
Well, at least if you are not Bill Murray as the grumpy reporter Phil, trapped in Harold Ramis' masterpiece Groundhog Day, that's it.
But let's say that it would be a very extreme situation.
How can one survive?
I can't speak for everybody, but I can speak for myself. When I have one of those days, just like today though, I tell myself that tomorrow everything will be fine. That I just have to keep doing what I am doing (learning German, working, reading, writing, exercising, eating well, watching a movie, whatever) at the moment, without getting stressed.
That I should enjoy the moment.
That I should appreciate everything I have achieved, everything I have done, everything I am.
That I shouldn't be too hard on myself.
That I don't have to worry about the future.
So basically I just tell myself to relax, to stay on track, to stay focused. And then I do it. Hour after hour. Without getting stressed.
Are you practicing the four steps of Nonviolent Communication?
I hope so!
While using the steps of Nonviolent Communication to face conflicts and difficult situations in a respectful and pleasant way, it's very important to create the right frame for your discussions, in order to make it easy for you and for the other person to ride over the problems without getting stressed and without losing the face.
[The right frame is essential,
while discussing an important matter]
Here you can find 7 easy and useful tips, related to emotional intelligence, perfect for creating a peaceful and "productive" frame for a meeting, a discussion or a gathering:
#1. Don't try to discuss a very important matter with someone if you are upset or angry;
#2. Calm down and connect with yourself before doing it.
#3. Ask someone when he/she has time to discuss the matter with you and be open to his/her suggestions.
#4. Discuss the matter with someone in a neutral environment, if possible;
#5. Discuss the matter with someone in a place where you can be sure of not being disturbed by others.
#6. Discuss the matter with someone in private and not in front of other people who are not involved;
#7. Schedule a "feedback" meeting after a week (or after a month, it depends on the matter), if necessary, for discussing improvements, changes and further topics.
Nonviolent Communication is becoming a second nature for you? It's a great news, even more because today we are going to discuss the last step of the communication process invented by Marshall Rosenberg.
I have extratcted this
post from my spirituality
blog. For much more on
life, etc, please visit
my blog by clicking or
copy and paste on the
following link below:
In Aurora Colorado in the
US, not far from th...
Here in Whitehorse there
is a dog named Trevor who
has suffered a great deal
and has lived at the
local humane society for
over 2 years. He is
well cared for and goes
for daily walks and even
sometimes is allowed to
go out of the shelter
with a ...
Nuclear is Too Dangerous
and Dirty for America's
Future Nuclear waste is
piling up all over the
nation. At 104 nuclear
reactor sites, we are
worried about floods,
seismic activity, and
cooling pools that are
filled to overflowing
Sorry, but for me
Valentine's Day became
another symbol of
consumerism. We should
show and share our love
to humanity and the
environment seven days a
week, every day and every
week like we do on this
"special" day.Love and
January 11, 2011
In Memory of Federal
Judge John M. Roll
On January 8, 2011, U.S.
District Judge John M.
Roll was shot and killed
in an indescribable ...
In 1952 a town in Sth
west England had 252
times the amount of rain
they normally had. Before
the rain two RAF planes
were spotted, were they
spraying silver ionised
crystals into the clouds
? The first British HAARP
excercise had been