Free movies, any book I want and they'll order it, plus free foreign language conversation groups...It's an incredible resource for a big language nerd like myself if such a term exists. And why shouldn't it? I'll say it loud and proud: I'm a nerd. A card-carrying, lifelong, big language nerd. Yesterday I watched HBO's About Face about aging supermodels on the recommendation of my favorite feminist blog, and I loved what Cheryl Tiegs had to say about staying beautiful through the decades: "The key to feeling beautiful is educating yourself, always learning something new, having something to say for yourself." Yes. And so I'm back to learning Spanish.
If you've ever lived in New York, you'd understand why I'd want to although the downside is understanding when people discuss you. Two women in a bodega once called me La Blanquacita con los ojos verdes. "The very white one with the green eyes." I decided to take that as a compliment. If you speak Spanish better than I do (which most likely you easily do), please don't disabuse me.
In college as a comp lit major I tried to learn four or five languages at once-- Latin, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, Greek-- and failed at actually learning all of them. Now I've learned the wisdom of focusing on acquiring one language at time. I've been driving my husband crazy insisting on turning the Spanish subtitles on for every program. Viva los olympicos!
Speaking of focusing I just realized here I've gone on and on, and I still haven't told you the news. A bit more backstory first regarding my honeymoon this summer, or well lack of one. Instead of a honeymoon I spent two weeks helping my sister move across country from Colorado to Maine, where she's a new professor of hydrology. (I wish mere type could convey my pride in her.) We drove from New York to Colorado and back, and oh boy, it was painful doing so, packed into her vehicle with all her worldly goods en tow much like shrimp in a tin can, but on the plus side I discovered I loved reading stories aloud to my sister, and what was even better...she loved hearing me read them.
Well, my great, self-effacing, honeymoonless virtue was rewarded twice over. I wrote a haibun about that trip which is going to be published August 7. I'll have a link for you then. And also around that time I saw that Every Day Fiction was looking for people to record podcasts. Inspired by my experience of making endless, infinite Kansas cornfields whizz by simply through the power of reading stories aloud, I applied, and they said yes, hooray! First I recorded two of my own stories which you can see..or rather hear... here and here. And then I recorded two whimsical and hilarious stories written by other authors that will be up on the site and available on iTunes this August.
Barbara A. Barnett's "The Little Things", an utterly hilarious tale of the travails of internet dating, will be up Monday, August, 13 and Madeline Mora-Summonte's whimsical, clever story "Back Roads" will be available Monday, August, 20. I have to admit I enjoyed reading other people's work much more so than reading my own. I felt much less self-conscious and had a lot of fun bringing the characters to life. I hope you enjoy them, too. I'll post links closer to the dates.