Spoiler alert, I cried.

Hey everybody
Posting may be spastic until I can get a few looming tasks out of the way.  Recently, though, I acquired a copy of Final Cut Pro so I'll be trying to figure that out and get up the latest video I shot as soon as Erinly possible.
I've been doing a lot of downloading lately and as a result gotten my hands on those big Oscar flicks. So far I've seen Lincoln and Amour.

The Stephen Spielberg film is going to be the final word on Lincoln in American classrooms and homes all over the world for a long time to come. I would be last to deny that my views on the captivity and enslavement of humans were not shaped by motions he passed in congress. But the Abraham presented in the film doesn't mesh honestly with the man who wrote this letter:
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. 
Full Letter, New York Times.
Do I still respect him? Am I grateful towards him and what the Republican party stood for in that point in the History of the United States?  Yes, of course on all accounts. But Slavery was bad for business in the North and real abolitionist were freeing themselves and freeing others before it ever became a matter for the boys in the Federal City.
Speaking in terms of its capacities as a film it was elegantly shot. Abe looked exactly as I would have expected and was just as folksy as advertised by my fourth grade history text.
My favorite moment in the film had to be the George Washington reaction shot. That was just golden. That and the two references to women's suffrage were also tastefully done so I was in the end not wholly dissatisfied with the film.

Amour was particularly hard for Sebastien to watch what with the similarities to his grandparent's situations on both sides of his family. But for my part, I was pleased to understand literally everything that was said. I've really arrived. Srs, I was laying on my husband's chest thinking that he's the very reason I can appreciate this film in the original language without subtitles. It made me feel so close to him.
But the film is just. so. French.
OMG, yes, it's well framed. The color palate is exquisite everything that should be there is. You even see a little back story existing between the daughter and her English speaking partner--there is some depth there that didn't need to be. Wonderful. However, during the scene  where said daughter is having a private talk with her father I wanted to see his face. Would he be as mortified as I would have been? Gawd, that's so French. And the twist? Really? REALLY?
So French.
But so good. Seriously, I won't give you more than what I have because it's your homework to see it.
I may watch the film again just to study it. As I said, I understood everything that was said, but I don't phrase things as they were in the film. This would really go a long way to getting me closer to verbal fluency.

I've been getting up earlier and working a little harder on my language acquisition. I do French in the morning and Chinese in the afternoon.  That said, if you're interested in learning Mandarin, my friend Tim recommended this incredibly useful and free program. You can completely customize your learning experience. It has my full endorsement. And so does Tim--check out his Blog on life in China. It's a great read.

Don't get any crazy ideas about me, because Mandarin is super hard. I honestly feel a little awkward trying to pronounce words correctly. My childhood was filled with people doing fake Asian...uh, speeches (?)  I don't know, whatever you call the racist form of speaking in tongues. As a result, everything I say feels a little embarrassing. I'm very excited by the challenge, though and I'm really going to apply myself to it.

Due to recent budget cuts, I've been making miracles in the kitchen for much less. (And with only half the amount of pasta you might expect.) Ongoings lately have included an awesome dinner on Valentine's day. We did it on the cheep but cheese fondue is always super yums. We also had a party the other weekend with about 40 to 50 people in ugly sweaters. The nay-bores didn't even complain so we must have done something right. I posted a few pic's taken with my coloc's camera over on my flickr account if that's the sort of thing you want to see more of. There are a few nudes but the airbrushing was truly top shelf.

That's it for now--watch out for that video blog, it's going to be a double blind taste test of a popular American drink and its European counterpart. All my best friends are scientists so they did there best to  scoff at my methods and make me cry. I think you'll like it.
Spoiler alert, yes, I cried.
Have a great week

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