Saturday, September 29, 2012

Solitaire.

Bonsoir- c'est Aurélie!
After going to see a ballet with my parents, I sat on my bed and began to read a Spanish grammar book that Julien let me borrow. Although I don't study Spanish at school (my two foreign languages are German and English), I'd like to teach myself some Spanish. In some ways, it is very similar to French, so I don't have a problem. The pronunciations can be tricky sometimes, but that's only because I'm not used to pronouncing the endings of words. I have that problem with English, too. 

After studying for half an hour, I shut my book. I was getting tired of how my life is most evenings- especially since Sandrine whined about that Siblings Day thing. All I did before I went to sleep was read, draw, or send emails to exchange students my family has hosted in the past. Of course, my evenings were different when I had Sabine spend the night, but I obviously can't have sleepovers every day of the week. I wish, though I'd never get sleep if that were the case!

I really wanted a younger sister. In fact, I would even be happy with a younger brother. I just want a sibling- somebody who would keep me company when I was just sitting at home and needed it. Sure, I was busy with ballet, private flute lessons, tutoring children, and giving private lessons, but I didn't always do those things. Sabine says that having siblings isn't that great, but I would do anything to have an older brother and twin sister like she does. I guess you always want what you don't have, though. I sighed at the very thought.

Sometimes, I still have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that my parents can't have anymore children. I sometimes forget that they struggled to even have me! It's a topic I rarely bring up with them, but when I do, they say that they understand how I feel. I mean, that's why we hosted so many exchange students. I loved hosting them and exchanging details about our cultures and countries.

I shouldn't think about it so much since I don't have any control or say. Do you ever think about things that you have no control over and/or can't change?

Gros bisous,
Aurélie

On the bright side, my parents said that they are planning something huge. I wonder what it could be?!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

National Siblings Day

Salut, tous ceux qui lisent ce blog! C'est moi, Sandrine.

To start this lovely post off, I heard from the Americans on Instagram that it was National Siblings Day yesterday or something boring like that. My feelings? Big deal.

Maybe it's just me, but I think I was "blessed" with the worst siblings possible. Sébastien barely even talks to me anymore, and Sabine is probably the most obnoxious person of the face of the Earth.
I'll begin by talking about my brother. Just in case you don't know the obvious already, he's four years older than Sabine and me. He has this girlfriend who tries to be friends with me, and I guess she is okay. The point is, the darn girlfriend gives me more attention that my actual brother does! Okay, yeah- I *might* have upset my brother, but that was FOUR YEARS AGO. I'm certain that Sébastien should have gotten over it by now. Oh, and get this. He always tries to lecture me on how I shouldn't argue or fight back when our mom says something I don't want to hear. He thinks I should just walk to my room and close the door. He clearly knows nothing. When I feel personally attacked, I will defend myself. I just can't walk away. It's easy for him to do that, but I AM NOT MY BROTHER. 

Moving onto Sabine...she's just Sabine. I'm not sure what more I can say. It's just really dumb that people make this big production over us being twins. Oooh, we are identical twins; we basically came from the same egg and have the same DNA. So what? What's the fuss? It's just like having a regular sister. People sometimes ask me if I like having a "clone". I laugh and say that I don't have a clone. I mean, I don't. I'm not part of some freaky, strange science experiment. Twins and clones are different. Um, Sabine and I are two different people, last time I checked. 

I also think the twin telepathy thing is stupid. I can't read Sabine's mind. I don't know what she thinks about...if she does think, seeing she has no common sense.

That reminds me. She totally used my favorite nail polish. Not only was it not on the shelf on which I normally keep it, but I opened it up to find a loose strand of hair. It might sound funny that I HATE loose strands of hair because I love styling hair; however, hair can be disgusting as well as fun and beautiful.

I guess I overreacted by shouting, "SABINE! JE VAIS TE TUER!"

Sabine came running over. "Qu'est-ce que tu veux?"
Then, I accused her of using my nail polish.

"You HAVE to be kidding me, Sandrine!" Sabine exclaimed. "You know that I rarely paint my nails, and when I do, I paint my toenails boring colors. I wouldn't use that electrifying shade of pink!"

Sabine shrugged and left the room after that, so I chased her down the hallway, still holding firm to the fact that she probably did use it. I mentioned the strand of hair, and she said that it could easily be mine since our hair is the exact same color. However, my hair is wavier, and this strand was straight!

Being the uncoordinated klutz that she is, Sabine somehow managed to trip. I kicked her and stepped on her- not hard, though! Our brother's girlfriend saw, and Sabine and I brushed it off as normal behavior. After all, it was. Our relationship basically consisted of dumb arguments and random happenings.

So, that was an insight on what our daily relationship is like. So, dear readers, answer this question by leaving a comment: What is your relationship with your sibling(s) like? Tell us!
Bisous,
Sandrine


Friday, September 21, 2012

Quoi de neuf?

Bonjour, tous ceux qui lisent ce blog! C'est Sandrine, et je ne veux pas fiare mes devoirs! (Mais c'est typique...)

Because I don't want to do my homework, I thought I'd talking about things that are NEW. I'll begin with important new things first, such as clothes. My mom took my sister and me back-to-school shopping, which seriously wasn't that great since we had to be with HER. Mère is such a nag; it's almost ridiculous. She has this uncanny way of critiquing and criticizing everything, including how certain clothes look on us. It's not like I actually care if she critiques Sabine, but it really bothers me when she decides to nag on me. I'll leave it at that. It's not worth repeating what that awful woman actually says. 

I did, however, get a dress, boots, and sunglasses out of her! I love animal print, so I knew I had to get this dress as soon as I saw it. I also needed new boots for school, so I thought that these simple, almost-black-but-more-of-a-charcoal-gray boots would do the trick. I can wear them with so much.

I also needed sunglasses, so I chose these. They are stylish, yet they were on sale, so it was worth it. Now, I don't have to worry about getting wrinkles similar to my mom's when I go out in the sunshine. (Ha, that's funny...is there ever sunshine in Lille?!?!)

Since Sabine is extraordinarily picky, Mère is going to order some things online for her. How annoying. The fact that Sabine refuted everything our mom offered to buy her was just obnoxious! This made Mère's already terrible mood even worse which therefore provoked the incessant nagging. 

Now, here's another thing that is new and unusual. My brother actually had a normal conversation with me. It's been about four years, so it was clearly time for him to grow up and start acting like a normal person again. Here's the twist, though- after this normal conversation, he told me to stop provoking Mère and merely walk away when she gets upset. This probably made things worse with my brother, but I said that unlike him, I wasn't going to just sit around and act passive just to please Mère. If that woman says something that upsets me, I am certainly going to stand up for myself! If Sabine and I agree on anything, it's that our brother tries to hard to be the "perfect child". It's so annoying, especially since he's technically an adult (he's 18)...

Ugh, I have to go and try to coerce Sabine into doing my homework for me. I have half a day of that terrible thing called school tomorrow, and I'm hoping I can survive it.

Bisous,
Sandrine

Friday, September 14, 2012

The concept of "test driving"

Bonjour, c'est Julien.
When I talk about "test driving", I'm not talking about driving cars around before you decide which car to actually buy. I'm talking about dating many different people in order to determine your "type". I wouldn't call it serious dating. It's more like using it as an opportunity to get to know others.

This concept, however, is new to me. Sabine's friend Lilly brought it to my attention a few weeks before I returned home.

We were going to go out to lunch, but Sabine was sidetracked by a Miley Cyrus concert tour book, so I decided to talk to Lilly.

I've never really spoken with Lilly before because to be honest, she has always intimidated me. She is very social and outgoing, and I sometimes have a hard time reacting to that. While Sabine was reading, Lilly rested a hand on my shoulder and said, "So, I see you really admire Sabine."
I blushed. "Is it that obvious?"
Lilly laughed. "Dude, let's be real. It's obvious. You aren't hiding anything. I mean, nothing is a secret!"
I wanted a serious opinion, and I was also wondering if Sabine told Lilly anything about me. Even though I normally don't ask these types of questions, I had to ask, "Do you think I should ask Sabine out?"

Lilly grew very animated. "NO! I mean, I'm pretty sure she likes you but is in denial. She'd probably say 'yes' if you did. Hey, I'd say 'yes' if you asked me, but I just really want a boyfriend at this point in time. Here's the thing, Julien. You can't just date somebody who's your best friend. It could destroy the friendship if something happens, and you don't want that. Plus, you'll have plenty of time to date her when you're older. For now, you have to 'test drive'."
I looked shocked. "'Test drive'? What do you mean?"
Lilly nodded. "Hmm. It's simple. You date some other girls and see if they're your type. Play the field, get to know others...you know. If you don't like any of them, just date Sabine. It's just good to have experience with relationships."

Lilly then poked Sabine. "Did you hear any of that?"
"Hear what?" Sabine jumped, shocked that Lilly tapped her.
"That's fine," Lilly said quickly. I was actually thankful that Sabine was so absorbed by the concert book. I was afraid of how she'd react.

"Come on, Julien. Let's grab a bite to eat. I'm starving!" Lilly said. I nodded in agreement. I really was beginning to feel hungry.
"Wait for me! Don't leave me behind!" Sabine shouted, running behind us.

As we walked, I thought about what Lilly had said. Maybe I should give other girls a try? It's worth a shot, considering I don't really want to wreck my friendship with Sabine at this point...especially now that my dad is entering my life again...

-JH

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bonjour! Rencontrez-moi!

Bonjour! C'est moi, Aurélie! C'est la première fois que j'écris sur ce blog, et je vais vous dis des choses de moi. 
For those of you who do not speak French, my name is Aurélie Faubert. It is pronounced like "oh-ray-lee foh-bear". Of course, this pronunciation guide is not perfect or exact because many of the sounds found in French are not the same as the sounds found in English. I tried my best to get close, though.

I guess I should start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I am an only child, and I have always wanted a sister more than life. Because of this, my parents have hosted various exchange students from various countries. I am always fascinated to hear about their home countries because I love traveling and learning about other cultures, just like Sabine. Anyway, my parents are in the process of trying to adopt, and I hope that it works out.

I enjoy traveling, shopping, fashion, photography, playing the flute, ballet, tutoring children who are struggling at school, and giving children private ballet and flute lessons. Let me elaborate on these hobbies.

I am interested in traveling because there are so many interesting places in the world, and if you stay in one place or area your whole life, you are truly limiting yourself. I have been to Belgium, England, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy since they are relatively close to France. I have explored various cities and regions of Germany, obviously, because my dad is German teacher at Sabine, Sandrine, and Julien's collège! I am dying to visit Ireland, Spain, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Austria. Oh, and I really want to visit the United States the most...especially New York City! It sounds magical. 

Shopping and fashion are sort-of linked together. I enjoy clothes, and I think they are a work of art. I am interested in haute couture, but not because of the labels or because it is haute couture. I'm into the design, quality, and craftsmanship. I'm teaching myself how to sew because I'd love to design my own things! I have a fashion sketchbook in which I draw my ideas for outfits and stuff. My favorite things to design are wedding gowns or dresses for events like film festivals. I would be honored to one day see my work being worn by actresses at the Oscars or César (France's version of the Academy Awards) awards! I also, of course, like shopping and putting together new outfits. I try to mix and match what I have in my wardrobe to create new looks.

I'm also really into photography, especially fashion photography. How cool would it be to see your photos in fashion magazines? I love to dress my friends up and take them to various beautiful places in Lille for "photoshoots". I only have a basic digital camera, but I would like a DSLR. I'm saving my money for one. I'd also like to improve my photo editing skills; they aren't too great right now.

My favorite two hobbies are ballet and playing the flute. At age six, I told my parents that I wanted to play the flute. I saw a young woman playing it on a TV show one day, I thought it looked fun and more glamorous than the other instruments. I began to take private lessons, and I fell in love with it. I quickly mastered my major and minor scale, memorized my circle of fifths, and was able to play a chromatic scale two octaves. There were times I felt like calling it quits, especially when I couldn't master playing sextuplets...ugh. However, giving up is lame because good things take hard work and practice. I didn't just start out sounding amazing when I began playing. With an hour of practice each day for a month, I was able to move my fingers fast enough to master those pesky sextuplets. It felt exhilarating.
When I was around age 4, my parents took me to see Don Quichotte performed by the ballet de l'Opéra de Paris at the Palais Garnier. When the show began, I tugged on my mom's jacket and said, "Maman, je veux danser!" She enrolled me in my first ballet classes later that year. My instructors thought I was very good- potentially good enough to dance with l'Opéra National de Paris. I was en pointe by age 12, and it wasn't just because I was a "natural", as my instructors often called me. It was because I worked hard. 

Working hard is one of the main reasons why I like to tutor children in school or give them private ballet and flute lessons. I am not academically gifted like Sabine and Sandrine are; I am more along the lines of what one would call an average students. However, I don't settle for average because it's just not me! I work hard in school and study a lot because I want to get high grades...even if that means pushing myself to the limit. Seeing myself struggle and overcome obstacles made me want to tutor children. I tutor them in most any subject. If I don't understand it myself, I'll work with myself to "get it" so I can explain it. My best subjects are probably math and German because like I said, my dad is a German teacher. My mom is a math teacher, and that's why I'm good at math. Math and German aren't my favorite subjects, though. My favorites are English and history, even if I did have to work hard in English. I also give children private flute and dance lessons, and they are usually so happy when they see an improvement. It makes me smile, too.

Idealistically, I really want to dance professionally or play flute professionally. It is when I'm dancing or playing the flute that I come alive and break out of my little shell. My parents are very quiet people, and I guess I inherited the shyness and quietness from them. I don't feel as alone when I dance or slide my fingers across the cold metal keys. In both cases, I get lost in the music. I either dance my heart out or blow my heart out until I cannot breathe. 

My loneliness is what caused me to want to work with children. I was the only child that my parents were able to have for medical reasons, so I try to make up for that by working with kids. If I cannot dance or play flute professionally, I want to be an English teacher and sponsor school trips to America. 

My best friends are Sabine, Julien, Gérard, and Étienne. They go to a public school. I don't mind that I attend a different school than my closest friends because I still see them all the time on weekends and occasionally after school. I do have friends at my school, but they are more of people to talk to. My closest friend at school is named Laurine, and she is originally from Belgium. I have close friends at my dance studio, too; they are twins and have the tendency to be overwhelming, but I like them nonetheless.

I do not get along with Sandrine. We have a lot in common, but I could never be friends with her for various reasons. To say the least, she makes things very, very, very difficult...
I'm still nice to her, though. I don't hate her, so definitely don't think that. 

Oh, I guess I should also add that Sabine is my best friend in the whole entire world, even if we go to different schools (I go to a private Catholic school). I guess I could call her a sister, especially since we know each other so well and spend TONS of time together. She would argue that I'm not shy and quiet because I guess I'm a little louder and more talkative when I'm with her. She's not boring at all, and I like the excitement. We like to sing Miley Cyrus songs together, even though I cannot sing at all. It's just fun.

I'm not as big of a Miley fan as she is, though. I do, however, like most American pop music like most French people my age. I also like older music, like the songs sung by Edith Piaf. Maman played her songs all the time when I was little, so I grew up with them. Actually, La Môme is one of my favorite movies. People even say that I look like Marion Cotillard, the actress who played Edith. That is such a compliment! She's my favorite actress! She was in Nine, too, and Inception. Both were awesome movies.
That's just a little bit about myself. Sorry it was so long; I guess you really can't believe that I am super shy and reserved now. I am, but I like writing a lot, and it is a good way for me to practice my English. I'll stop writing now, and hopefully, you'll hear more from me soon!
A bientôt!
-Aurélie 

PS- Be sure to check out my profile page if you want to know more about me! Also, I have an account on the online game InnerstarU. My username is Camille561 if you want to add me! I couldn't use my first name (it wasn't a choice), so I used my middle name.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Been Here All Along

Salut, tout le monde! C'est Sabine, et j'ai décidé d'attendre ma meilleure amie.
This particular friend happened to be one of my best friends. We've been through a lot together, and like Julien, she was there for me when things were difficult...even if we didn't go to the same schools. I haven't seen her in forever since she is always very busy, but I decided to go to her house and wait for her in her room. Her parents agreed to it, and they said it would be the perfect surprise. I "hid" near a window, and I waited for her to walk in. 

I waited longer than I would have liked, but then again, I'm probably one of the most impatient people on this planet. I'm assuming that my friend was either at a ballet class, a private flute lesson, giving a child a private flute or dance lesson, or tutoring somebody. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that waiting would be worth it.
Suddenly, somebody opened the door, and it startled me. A familiar figure entered, and she was thinking out loud about. "Zut!" I heard her say under her breath. "J'ai oublié mon stylo préféré!”

Then, her eyes met mine, and she dropped her belongings in shock. "Sabine, c'est toi?" She said in her normal soft, hushed voice. Later, her voice grew slightly louder. "Je suis heureuse que tu sois là!"
That was her happy, excited voice. Normally, she is very quite, shy, and reserved, but seeing as I am her best friend, I can normally make her come out of her shell and be over-the-top social.
  
We proceeded to catch up on each others' lives. She told me that she has been spending much of her free time with studying, ballet, flute lessons, and tutoring children or giving them private lessons. The reason she was late coming home today was because she was tutoring her neighbor's children in German. I figured that much. Then again, she said that she had no idea that I would be waiting for her; otherwise, she would have left earlier. I told her about Lilly and Melanie, and she said that she would love to meet Melanie because she has many things in common with her. I agreed. Melanie is very shy and reserved, too, plus both are great flautists. I promised her that she could meet Melanie someday, and she said that she would love that.

I then presented my friend with a small "gift": three $1 US bills. She thought American money looked strange, so I decided to give her the bills as a joke. We laughed over this, and she told me she wished the money was worth exchanging for euros so we could get some ice cream or something fun.

She then smiled and said, "Nous irons nous amuser! Bon retour, Sabine!"
I agreed with her. We were going to have a lot of fun, especially when we get together with Julien and the other guys. It will be just like old times. We can do all the old things that we used to love.

So, I am sure that you are asking yourselfs, "Qui est cette fille?" That was one of my best friends, Aurélie Faubert. Aurélie will be joining Sandrine, Julien, and me in posting on this blog. Look forward to a post from her soon in which she will tell you more about herself. She's working on a profile page, too.

I'm looking forward to you getting to meet her...and I'm looking forward to hanging out with her. The title of this post is the title of a Miley Cyrus song, "Been Here All Along". Aurélie is a Miley fan, too (though not as big as me), so we determined that song accurately described our friendship for the most part. If you knew the lyrics, you'd know why. 

C'est tout! I'm actually spending time with Aurélie tonight, so I have to go!

Sabine