What’s the story, cupcake?

Sweet Dreams by Kirsten Lepore, Special Jury Award at SXSW 2009

Images and laughter help you learn, says Jo Westcombe, who sent this video and knows a thing or two about story telling. A fun assignment in a writing class could be to write this up in different genres: separate groups write a fairytale, a romance, a newsflash and report, a report in a scientific journal…

So over to you: What’s Cupcake’s story? Start watching, then stop the film. What’s going to happen next? At the end: Did you expect the story to end differently? What decisions does Cupcake make, and why? What’s your favorite scene in this story, and why?

Did you know that you can call someone you love “cupcake”? Here are more terms of endearment for your summer flirt.

Englischlernen mit Blogs is as easy as 1,2,3

If you are practicing English online by yourself, here are three lovely blogs written especially for you to start with. Each one is special in its own way:

1. Der Englisch-Blog

Dieser Blog von Markus Brendel ist auf Deutsch geschrieben und erklärt täglich entweder einen Ausdruck oder eine Frage aus der Grammatik. Gestern hat Markus beispielsweise das sehr aktuelle Thema “Dienstwagen” präsentiert, und ich habe mich total nach Washington, DC versetzt gefühlt, wo die dicken schwarzen “official cars” mit Tatü, Tata! durch die Straßen düsen. Nicht zu verwechseln mit dem “company car”, den Dolce fährt. Und heute geh’s um den Begriff “mad as a hatter” aus Alice in Wonderland.

2. Bite-Sized English

Toby features great topics of everyday life, like getting ready for a baby (which I think he is doing right now) as well as very practical, specialized business English topics. He provides a daily podcast and a worksheet to print out. Often he will feature the same topic several days in a row as a series, so you can really concentrate on it. Right now the topic is cars, or “Automotive English“. I wonder whether he’ll be doing something on having your car stolen?

3. Nik’s Daily English Activities

If you like gadgets and online tools and want to play with all of these fun things, Nik Peachey‘s blog is the place to go. He used to be a jazz guitarist, and I think it shows in his love for experiments. Nik’s very focussed on tools that really help you learn, and his blog for teachers is my main guidebook through this brave world of online learning. Learn to understand English accents, from America to India, using the best of the web, the Speech Accent Archive of George Mason University, in his latest post. Or, to stay on topic, play the eye-opening game in his post on “Driving and Listening to English“.

And those are just three to start with! There are so many, and I promise to feature more. Please have a look at my blogroll “englischlernen” for some of my favorites.

Wenn Sie etwas Spezielles suchen, kann ich Ihnen ja vielleicht einen Tipp geben. Auf Twitter (http://twitter.com/annehodg) folge ich vielen Lehrern mit tollen Blogs. Sie haben echt was zu bieten. Also: Fröhliches Surfen!

Sonic Youth: Antenna

Surfing round re Cunningham I came across several Sonic Youth videos. These old masters have a new record out, called The Eternal. I love the intro to this. But the lyrics are awfully melancholy. Well, after all, “she’s far away”.

my darling cruises the streets for pleasure
skyscrapers in the blood red dawn
throbbing blood mind selfless creature
forever yours and then she’s gone
radios play nothing when she’s far away
tv antenna nothing gone to waste
radio transmitting nowhere it falls away,
she’s far away

every corner creeping panic
freak lighting in her abstract mind
rubber stamps and dreams of cashflow
wild blood ecstatic crime
radios play nothing when she’s far away
TV antenna rusting gone to waste
radio transmitting nowhere it falls away,
she’s far away

every day I feel more like her
street magic in the burning dawn
out for blood my selfless lover
forever yours and then she’s gone
radios play nothing when she’s far away
tv antenna nothing gone to waste
radio transmitting nowhere it falls away,
she’s far away

song of the week :-) englischlernen mit liedern

Merce Cunningham: The only way to do it is to do it

Merce Cunningham (April 16, 1919 – July 26, 2009) was a choreographer who shaped the American avant-garde arts scene for over 60 years. Cunningham worked closely with composer John Cage, his longtime partner, and with visual artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Bruce Nauman, designer Romeo Gigli and architect Benedetta Tagliabue. His  YouTube channel features “Beach Birds 1″:

Though he was in a wheelchair in later years, he premiered a “birthday” piece called “Nearly Ninety” this April. It was set to new music from Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, Sonic Youth, and Japanese composer Takehisa Kosugi. Art blogger Artravels made a film:

Merce Cunningham:

  • “The only way to do it is to do it.”
  • “I was told that I had to give grades to the students, which I wasn’t particularly interested in doing.”
  • “My dance classes were open to anybody, my only stipulation was that they had to come to the class every day.”
  • “The most essential thing in dance discipline is devotion, the steadfast and willing devotion to the labor that makes the classwork not a gymnastic hour and a half, or at the lowest level, a daily drudgery, but a devotion that allows the classroom discipline to become moments of dancing too…”
  • “You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive. It is not for unsteady souls.”

Movie questionnaire

It’s the summer that wasn’t. So let’s settle down into the movie questionnaire I found on the Army Of Dave blog.

1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.
10 times?? Maybe the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, but I wasn’t counting.

2. Name a movie that you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.
“Rocky Horror”, natch. “Stars Wars” first series IV – VI (2nd time w/ Helmut)

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.
Clive Owen. Kevin Spacey. For different reasons.

4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.
Jim Carrey.

5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.
The Pythons. “The Wizard of Oz”.

6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
“Rocky Horror”

7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.
The Wizard of Oz. Rocky Horror. The Pythons. Am I repeating myself?

8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.
Juzo Itami’s “Tampopo” – and it’s on YouTube with German subtitles

9. Name a movie that you own.
“American Beauty” . “What Women Want”.

10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.
Do stage actors count?

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in?
Didn’t see much of the film. Don’t remember the boy, either.

12. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t yet gotten around to it.
“Volver”. I have the DVD, too.

13. Ever walked out of a movie?
Yes. “Dirty Dancing”. Bored me to death.

14. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.
All of them? I even cried during “E.T.”

15. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?
“The Wrestler”. It’s been a while. Coming up: “Moon”.

16. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?
Thrilling off-beat comedy. Is that a genre?

17. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
“The Jungle Book”

18. What movie do you wish you had never seen?
“Clockwork Orange”. I was too young and had nightmares.

19. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
Kurosawa’s Macbeth, “The Throne of Blood”. Genius!

20. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?
“The Shining”

21. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?
Billy Wilder’s “One, Two, Three” and “Some Like it Hot”

And now, your turn!!! Here: movie-questionnaire

Question: What’s your summer read?

americangods_massmarketpaperback_1185415388I’m strapped for time this week, with lots to do before we take off for Drummond Island. Three weeks with my husband! I can’t remember when we last had a break like that. I think it was ten years ago when we last went to the States together, just before we moved here to Munich.  Anyway, things are pretty busy, so let me cut to the chase: I’d like to know what you’re reading this summer.

The book I’ve started and that is calling out to me is Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”. I’m going tell you about it and read you a short passage from it in this week’s podcast.

American Gods is a combination of Americana, fantasy, and ancient and modern mythology. The central idea is that the gods exist because we believe in them, and they thrive in traditional society. But when immigrants to the United States brought their dwarves and elves and spirits and gods with them, their power was diminished as people stopped believing in them. They were replaced by the New Gods of America, media and technology, celebrity and drugs.

As the story begins, Shadow, who is as moody as his name, is just getting out of prison and looking forward to seeing his beloved wife again. But then he hears that she has died in a car accident, and his dreams are shattered. On the plane to her funeral he has a “dream”… (reading from pages 19 and 20)

This book hooks an adult reader the way books on, say, dragon slayers won’t, because the world of magic is so near, just around the corner, in the next stranger you meet. Thank you very much to Katja for lending it to me.

So what’s your summer read? What genre is it? What do you like about it? Who is the author? Have you read anything else by him or her? How did you find out about the book and the author? Where and when do you plan to read it?

Was ist das Blogprojekt? Mehr dazu unter Englischlernen mit Anne!

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