River Resistance Circuit

BONNANNÉE les zamiiis! Happy New Year! Feliz ano novo a todos!

  • Quelle chanson vous rend nostalgique à chaque fois que vous l’entendez?

Il y a une chanson qui me trottait dans la tête depuis que je suis toute petite, qui illustrait pour moi les années 80 et particulièrement les années où nous habitions à Hong-Kong. Ça devait passer à la radio à l’époque, mais le problème pour la retrouver était que je ne savait ni les paroles, ni le groupe. Je me souvenais seulement de la mélodie qui s’entrelaçait avec d’autres, du coup je ne savais pas si s’était une ou plusieurs chansons que j’avais mélangé dans ma tête ! Confusion totale ! Et puis ce week-end, par le pouvoir de la magie de l’internet et le plus grand des hasards, elle m’est tombée dessus (enfin, dans mes oreilles !)… Mystère résolu, et du coup je suis plutôt super contente que nostalgique en ce moment !

(Comme à peu près tous les clips des 80’s c’est un peu du n’importe quoi, mais faites comme moi, fermez les yeux, la musique est sympa!)

  • Pour quelle invention récente êtes-vous le plus reconnaissant?

Récente de combien de temps? Derniers 5 ans, 10 ans, 15 ans? Je suis extêmement reconnaissante pour toute la technologie qui est financièrement accessible (ici en Amérique du Nord). Pour à peine quelques centaines de dollars, je peux avoir mon propre studio d’enregistrement à la maison, de qualité professionelle, des éditeurs et auteurs peuvent me trouver sur internet, je peux leur envoyer des auditions, nous pouvons vendre des livres audio sur Amazon, Audible et iTunes, etc. Tout cela était un monde qui n’existait pas quand je grandissait dans les années 90. L’industrie du livre audio qui est en plein essort en ce moment était pratiquement non-existante. D’ailleurs, il a fallu que j’explique à mes parents que ce que je faisais était vraiment une vraie profession; les livres audio ne sont plus seulement des livres pour personnes mal-voyantes ou les enfants qui ne savent pas encore lire ! De nos jours beaucoup de gens écountent des livres en faisant d’autres choses. Incroyable mais vrai !

  • Si vous pouviez construire la maison de vos rêves, quelle serait sa particularité?

Ah, la maison de mes rêves a changé beaucoup de fois dans mon imagination!

Maintenant que nous sommes au Canada et non plus au Brésil, elle sera entourée de sapins et érables plutôt que de végétation tropicale, elle aura un jardin d’hivers (ou de grandes portes vitrées dans le salon) plutôt qu’une piscine… Mais surtout une bonne isolation du froid (la maison que nous louons en ce moment est pleine de courants d’air, je me gêle les pieds au sous-sol et nous avons trop chaud dans les chambres en haut) et un bonne insonorisation dans mon studio (il faut que j’éteigne le chauffage quand je fais des enregistements parce que mon bureau est juste à côté de la chaudière, et parfois j’oublie de le ralumer le soir avant de monter me coucher, et le matin le réveil se fait dans une maison plus que fraîche!)

  • Pensez-vous que les enfants nés aujourd’hui auront une vie meilleure ou pire que la nôtre?

Non, pas meilleure, pas pire qu’aujourd’hui, différente oui.

  • Quels sont les trucs les plus chers que vous ayez jamais achetés?

Nous avons toujours eu des voitures d’occasion, alors pendant plusieurs années notre plus grosse dépense avait été mon piano digital Roland. Mais depuis que nous sommes revenus au Canada, le prix de notre déménagement Brasil-Canada est ce qui nous a endettés pour les prochaines années… J’aurais largement préféré un “truc” plus chouette comme la maison de mes rêves par exemple, m’enfin bon…

  • Quelles sont vos résolutions du nouvel an?

Pas vraiment une résolution, mais j’espère continuer de travailler, d’aimer ce que je fais, et continuer de trouver du temps pour faire des activités avec mes enfants, et faire du sport régulièrement (oui, j’aimerai bien perdre les fameux kilos en trop, mais j’en suis au point où j’espère seulement être assez active physiquement pour ne pas me désintégrer et éviter mon mal de dos chronique) ! D’ailleur je viens de m’inscrire à un cour aquatique dans les piscines à vagues et à courant, suposément intense, que j’espère survivre.

Ça commence demain.

Anúncios

Above & Beyond

First of all, the title of this post is the name of a band that I have discovered some time ago. I wasn’t familiar with their music because I dislike the electro-dance-trance stuff that they usually produce (the heavy beats give me palpitations), but the acoustic concert that I’ve discovered by chance on Y*tube literally enchanted me.

I’ve been listening to the full concert (Here) quite regularly these past months.

It’s now time to finally write down what I’ve been up lately.

The weather has been fantastic for the past 2 weeks. Very sunny, but not too hot (around 20C) with a very agreeable cool wind. My kind of perfect weather. So it’s with great pleasure that I’ve kept my weekly program of biking along the river for about 15 minutes to the swimming pool, and swimming for about 45 minutes, before coming back home. I’ve been meaning to do this 3 times a week, but so far I’ve only managed twice a week.

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A lot of people fishing.
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A big boat passing in front of Detroit.
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The bike and my happy place. 🙂

You see, while swimming laps, I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I should do about earning some money while doing something interesting with my life. I love teaching, music, languages and reading. I could teach music and languages again, but after school is the time that I would need to be available for students if I did this again. For me it’s simply inconceivable that I would give up the time I have with my children to be with others… Plus, the house we live in right now is not fit to accommodate students, we don’t know how long we’ll stay here, and D’s working hours are variable. Teaching is a no go for now.

For years I’ve been doing translations, but my university degree is in Music, not languages. To earn credibility and some regular clients, I would need some kind of diploma, which costs time and money, both of which I’m short of these days.

All these thoughts were rolling around my head while I was splashing back and forth in the pool.

I am really enjoying the odd projects that my friend is giving me for her Youtube channel. I am translating her cartoons into French and recording some voice over for her. It’s fun, interesting, and pays a bit of money. Maybe I could open a Youtube channel too? It has worked for her and her family, why not me? Ha! What would I talk about? How many languages I speak? (I’m pretty sure there are people out there who speak more than 6 languages. Just do a Google search, I’m nothing special).

I wish someone would pay me to read books. Since I joined Goodreads a couple of years ago I realized that I am reading between 50 to 100 books a year. Not all of them are prize worthy works of literature, but I’ve had nice surprises. Maybe I should seriously start reviewing books. Yeah right, I can’t even keep up with my blog, who am I kidding.

Laughing at myself here, while pedaling on the pathway along the river.

Wait. Aren’t there people who read aloud for audio books?!! I could be using my voice (which I trained for so many years, might as well use it), while reading (which I usually do anyway), recording at home, in the quiet hours when everybody else is either at school, working or sleeping… And eventually earn some money for it!?? I don’t know why I’d never thought of it before.

Anyway. So, after many hours of online research and instructive videos, here I am. I bought a decent microphone, dug myself a makeshift recording studio in the basement, created a profile on ACX (audiobook creation exchange), uploaded a couple samples, sent auditions a few times (fiction in French, English with a French accent, and language instruction), and ta-dah! I am now working on my first audio book project! Quite exciting. It’s taking a lot of my time because I have a lot to learn, not only to record (I am distressed at how much I can hear myself breathing), but also all about sound editing and mastering (erasing the aforementioned offensive breathing!). Hello learning curve.

Obrigada, vizinha

Stress, emotions, don’t think.

The last weeks have been once more a whirlwind of activities around here. We have sorted through all our belongings, decided what furniture to sell, what few piece to include in our move, what to donate, what to toss in the garbage, what to give to the in-laws, what to keep for the next 2 months, etc. What exactly will fit in the luggage at the end of the 2 months is still a mystery, but one step a time is my motto these days.

Stress, emotions, keep going.

I have donated boxes of children’s books to the schools libraries. They were surprised to receive donations, and didn’t seem to know what to do with it, but I told myself that giving books to the public schools will give more chances for the said books to be read.

Stress, emotions, I feel lighter.

A box of young adult fiction novels in pristine, near new condition, in English, have been sold for a ridiculous low price to the language schools where I teach. Better than nothing, I guess. We would have paid too much to have them moved back to Canada anyway.

Stress, emotions, that’s OK.

I gave bags of clothes to charity. Clothes that I used to wear in Canada before moving to Brazil 5 years ago. I could probably have used them again in a couple of months, but I needed to get rid of extra weight, of extra volume, and my old layers of skin.

Stress, emotions, I don’t care anymore.

 

When it came to sell furniture, I didn’t know how to approach the problem. In Canada, it would have been as simple as posting pictures on Kijiji (or Craiglist, if you are in the States) and that’s about it. I did the same here, but to no result. Then I posted a public post on FB. A lot of shares and interest, but only one or two sales from it. Finally, talking to a very friendly neighbor (she knows the whole street on a first name basis) and her sister (who has lived in Australia and Italy, and now works as an ESL teacher here) (I gave her two dictionaries– she was very happy), they have spread the word to their large family, friends, students and neighbors and are responsible for selling most of my furniture… I am very thankful!

Stress, emotions, I am grateful!

On the week prior to the move, our oldest cat (Malok-the-cat) got very sick. We still don’t know what happened, but he simply stopped eating and drinking to the point that he was unresponsive when D called his name (he is usually like a dog and comes running when you call his name, especially hubby, ‘his’ special human). So D had to bring him to the vet and he stayed overnight with intravenous. After some tests, there is apparently nothing much wrong with him, except that he is old and stopped eating. So we need to force-feed him every day… (If you have ever done that, you know how increasingly difficult that is).

Stress, emotions, please move back with us.

The movers have come on a Friday.

D and I were both extremely sick with an ugly flu/ conjunctivitis combo, so we were all the more grateful for the packing team (half a dozen employees) that came with the truck, container and all the packing necessities. We were basically there only to supervise. In a couple of hours, they had already packed all our stuff! I was so out of it that I didn’t even bother to stay until the end, I left after lunch time for a nap, and D was there only to sign the inventory.

Stress, emotions, I thought I was dying.

The following days were a haze of accelerated back and forth between the “green house” (that’s how the kids call it now) and my in-laws house (where we are now sleeping), emptying our kitchen of all food, bringing over all the small stuff that we will still use  during our stay, then leave behind. The green house is empty of our belonging, and all cleaned, but we still have some furniture which is slowly being sold. I will most probably call the second-hand store to come pick up the left overs by the end of the week.

We have booked our plane tickets. D is now gone to Canada. Over here I try to maintain a bit of normalcy with the kids, going to school every morning, until we leave ourselves in two months.

The following piano piece has nothing to do with anything, except that is what I’ve been listening to.

Stress, emotions, relax.