mardi 26 janvier 2010

Who was Roland Garros?

So the Australian Open (in Melbourne) is currently on, and I have to admit I don't particularly like watching tennis. The main reason for this is because I'm an impatient person and the matches can last hours and hours!! It's like waiting 3 hours for the end of a movie to find out the ending.

Anyway, the other night I found myself watching a match between the men's world #1 (Roger Federer) and Australia's #1 (Lleyton Hewitt). Needless to say, I'm sure there were a lot of viewers that night!

I was talking to my friend about all the different types of tennis tournaments, the tiers, and he told me that the top tier ones are:

Grand Slam tournaments
* The Australian Open
* The French Open
* Wimbledon
* The US Open

I then asked him why the Australian Open was held in Melbourne and not Sydney... of course he didn't know, but it's interesting because all the others are held in the largest cities of London, Paris and New York. Now, this is the interesting part! Even though I claim to have no knowledge or interest in tennis, I managed to pluck from the depths of my brain the names of all 4 locations! Somehow it must've infiltrated my brain through the media and stayed there. I 'love' how I remember random things like that but sometimes I can't remember the simplest (and most useful) day to day things.

* Australian Open - Melbourne - Rod Laver Arena
* French Open - Paris - Stade de Roland Garros
* Wimbledon - London - Wimbledon (obviously!)
* The US Open - New York - Flushing Meadows (I remembered this is where the 'Nanny' on the tv series came from too but I didn't know/remember the name of the stadium which is Billie Jean King National Tennis Center)

Since I knew that Rod Laver Arena is named after a tennis player (and it turns out Billie Jean King was too), I assumed Roland Garros was named after a French tennis player. I asked my friend and he didn't know so I just looked it up, and he was an aviator!

He has quite an interesting biography! Check it out on Wikipedia

Roland Garros
6 October 1888 – 5 October 1918

* He studied at HEC Paris (which, incidentally I was looking up the other day, for their MBA program and that costs €42,000!)
* He flew during World War I
* He escaped from a POW camp and was later shot down just before his 30th birthday :(
* Apart from the tennis centre in Paris, an airport (in La Réunion island) is also named after him

Lilou Macé

A few weeks ago I bought this book I LOST MY JOB AND I LIKED IT: 30-Day Law-Of-Attraction Diary of a Dream Job Seeker but only got around to reading it today.

When I first read about it (after a random browse through Amazon) I read the blurb and the favourable reviews, the fact that it mentioned the Law of Attraction, the fact that the writer is around the same age as me.. all these factors had me hooked! I had to buy this book!!

So now that I've started reading it, I discovered that the author is part French. She was born in the States to French parents, grew up in France, and then moved back to the States to work after graduating from university. After her time there she moved to London to work, and was later laid off (due to the financial crisis) which prompted her to write this book.

She has a website, a Blogspot blog and a YouTube channel. She writes about Well-being, Spirituality, Evolution, Love, Consciousness, Fitness, Health, Creativity, Relationships, Meditations, Open Heart, Universal Laws which are all topics that I'm highly interested in. She seems like a lovely person and her videos/messages are very uplifting. Unlike a lot of online or YouTube personalities ('celebs') she doesn't seem arrogant or egotistical or bimbo-ish either.

You can check out her videos (she has over 800!) and the fun thing is, a lot of them are only in French, so it's an awesome way to practise your listening!

Anyway if you're interested in any of the above topics check out her book, her website or her videos! Here's one to start you off:

Qu'est ce que la Loi de l'Attraction? Noel Wan

dimanche 24 janvier 2010

Borders, French purchases, So Frenchy So Chic, 2010 French Film Festival

I'm trying to fit a lot of topics into one blog post, but all the topics are somewhat related...

Not long ago I was at Borders and saw some calendars on sale at 50%. I knew if I waited a bit longer they'd go on sale to 75% off (which they have done now) but before that happened, I went to a sale at Myer (department store) and saw the exact same calendar I wanted, which was already at 75% off, so I bought it.

It's this:
Living Language French: 2010 Day-to-Day Calendar

It's kind of gimmicky and fun, and comes with a CD with some French music and some audio phrases. Admittedly I would not have bought it at full price but at 75% off it was a steal! and I get to learn lots of random phrases ;)

Today I went back to Borders and saw all these tables with books on sale at 50%. I love going through these tables and seeing what obscure things I can find. I did find some Lonely Planet travel guides and a book about Living/working in France but they get outdated too quickly. I did, instead, buy this quirky thing.

I once bought a magnetic poetry kit and gave it away as a present (to someone who never used it) and I kept telling myself I should've just kept it! But I never ended up buying myself one because they are so expensive. Considering this was slightly more affordable, and that the were only one of them (yet there were multiple Italian ones), I just made an impulse purchase! so now I can write messages to myself in French on my fridge, and my flatmate will be none the wiser! ;)

The final thing. So while I was browsing though some books at Borders in the study/career section (I really want to do a Masters but I am still torn about which subject to take it in). This section of the bookstore is actually quite good and it's situated next to the foreign language section too... however, I was looking for books on the GMAT and there were only 2 of them. Two! How appalling! Yet directly opposite, there were hundreds of books on IELTS and TEFL. I don't get it. Not only that, but a magazine on Masters courses around the world that I had just seen in the newsagent was not in Borders either (even though they have the largest selection of magazines of any store). Weird!

Anyway, I had another one of those, "Gee I must be going mad moments" because... I could hear French music playing in the store. I noticed it because it changed from a normal English pop song. I made a note to myself to ask the person at the counter (when I paid for the magnet kit) what CD it was. He said he didn't know but I could check some little stand and it has the CDs they play and apparently it gets changed weekly. There were only 3 CDs on the rack (and I find it hard to believe they would only play 3 different CDs for an entire week!) but I found what I was looking for. It's a CD called....

Cartell Music : So Frenchy So Chic 2010
You can also buy it from : So Frenchy So Chic 2010

which is a compilation of fabulous French songs by French singers, and it's also a sponsor to the 2010 French Film Festival.

How gorgeous is this So Frenchy So Chic 2010 cinema trailer?

Track Listing:

Disk 1
1. M. - Belleville Rendez-Vous (Version Francaise)
2. Revolver - Get Around Town
3. Carmen Maria Vega - En Attendant
4. Java – On
5. Amandine Bourgeois – L’Homme de la Situation
6. Phoebe Killdeer – Looking for a Man
7. Mickey 3D - Yula (Ma Fiancée Galactique)
8. Marina - Tout Me Revient
9. F.M. - Certain People
10. Smooth - Music (feat. Amélie)
11. Lilicub – La Belle Vie
12. Coeur de Pirate - Comme Des Enfants
13. Charlotte Etc. – Label Societe
14. Emilie Simon - Rocket to the Moon
15. Doriand – Tombe Pour la France
16. Rose - Yes We Did
17. Charlotte Gainsbourg - Irm

Disk 2
1. Julien Baer - Le La
2. M - Le Roi Des Ombres
3. Nouvelle Vague – Under the Flag (Previously Unreleased)
4. Emmanuelle Seigner - Le Jour Parfait
5. Ridan - Passe a Ton Voisin
6. Charlie - Le Sapin
7. Babylon Circus - Le Fils Caché du Pape
8. Rachid Taha (With Gaëtan Roussel) - Bonjour
9. Congopunq – Candy Goddess
10. Vanessa Paradis - Dès Que J'te Vois
11. Sophie Hunger - Round and Round
12. Ariane Moffatt – Je Veux Tout
13. Jean Corti & Lola Lafon - Gottingen
14. Hindi Zahra - Beautiful Tango Claire
15. Denamur - Le Prince Charmant
16. Alys – Sam Brook
17. Djeuhdjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson – Cool L’Etang

Which brings me to the next and final topic! The 2010 French film festival. I CANNOT WAIT. I love foreign films and I don't believe I've ever been to this before (although I've been to the German one and Japanese one in previous years).

You can view the virtual brochure of all the movies they will be screening here:
Alliance Francaise French Film Festival of Sydney 2010 programme

And as an Alliance Française member I even get a pretty good discount. Woohoo! I want to see them all but there 3 I definitely want to see, and I'm pretty sure I've talked about them all on this blog already ;) Tickets go on sale 28 January.  Je ne peux pas attendre !

Micmacs à tire-larigot
Serge Gainsbourg, vie héroïque

Quelque chose à te dire
Le père de mes enfants
Je suis heureux que ma mère soit vivante
LOL (laughing out loud)
Non ma fille, tu n'iras pas danser
Le premier jour du reste de ta vie
Demain dès l'aube

Pour elle
La première étoile
Dan tes bras
Commis d'office
Le dernier pour la route
Le hérisson
Je vais te manquer

Le code a changé
Rose et noir
Le petit Nicolas
Neuilly sa mère !
OSS 117: Rio ne répond plus
Fais-moi plaisir!

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Jusqu'à toi
Mademoiselle Chambon
Les Regrets
Je l'aimais
Les herbes folles

À l'origine
Korkoro / Liberté !
No pasaran
La journée de la jupe
L'armée du crime
White Material

La véritable histoire du Chatte Botté
Les enfants de Timpelbach

Air France charges almost double for obese passengers

I first read this article on my own paper The Sydney Morning Herald and went in search of the original article (in French) on (here).

I then later read that Australian airlines won't be taking up this practise which leads me to believe that perhaps they aren't doing it because there are far more obese Australians than there are obese French, or that the decision makers are obese themselves???

I have flown extensively throughout my entire life (and on very long flights) and the issue of weight on an airline has always been a sore point for me. The reason is because I weigh far less than an average adult, yet if I want to bring on a little bit of extra luggage I'm charged an extortionate amount, PER KILOGRAM. This has always angered me because if I were to somehow swallow my goods or tape them onto my body, then I'd be allowed to have them on the plane for free. But if they are not attached to my body I have to pay a lot of money extra. (yes let's not get onto the fact that if I had stuff taped to my body I'd be highly suspicious and have other issues to worry about with airline security staff ;) )...

I'm sorry, that is just not fair. If they are going to charge luggage by weight then surely people should be charged by weight too and if that is deemed discriminatory then the solution is simple: allow the heavier people less luggage, and the lighter people more luggage, and in the end it all evens out anyway!

But if I was an obese person I'd rather just pay extra for business class rather than paying 1.75x the normal fare for 2 seats in economy class!

But on a long flight, I'd rather be sitting next to a slightly obese person than beside a screaming toddler (this has happened) who proceeds to scream for the entire 9 hour flight, or in front of a young kid who won't stop playing with the table and/or kicking my chair (seems to happen often to me too).

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