English As My Second Language


While it’s true that languages evolve over time, I didn’t realize in the short five years since I’ve been away, the English language has become barely comprehensible to me.

Roaming the busy streets of Manhattan, I picked up a Learning Annex flier. Another change I’ve noticed is that all you need is a plunging neckline in a V-neck sweater, lots of hair, and gleaming-white teeth to make a KILLING in real estate.

If only I’d been born a big-busted woman, I be raking it in scooping up foreclosures instead of ice cream!

On another page, a gentleman promised to ‘Unveil the Great Questions of the Universe’ for the low price of only $39. Now that, my friends, seems like the deal-of-the-century. Unfortunately I won’t be here and I’ll miss it, but if anyone goes, please let me know the answers. We can split it 50-50 and I’ll just have to be content with knowing a mere half of the secrets of the universe.

One I’d like to know is how Donald Trump keeps what’s left of his hair locked so firmly in place.

Other seminars include—and I’m not making any of these up—Knocking Yourself Up: How to Become a Single Mom (which they note is “For women only”, which seems obvious…unless something else has changed around here that I’m not aware of), How To Think Like a Thin Person (frankly, I don’t see the appeal of thinking like Kate Moss), Make Your Apartment 20% Bigger, How To Date Out of Your League (Does that mean anyone outside the NFL can date Tom Brady?), and my favorite, The Secret in Your Home.

That seminar promises you’ll learn…

  • How to place your visionboard in your personal success direction.

  • Creating the support of your environment for your wishes.

  • How to become the master of your universe by using your home or office.

  • How to reach an alpha brainwave by changing your desk position.

  • How to change the power of images to manifest your dreams.

  • How to align your inner dreams with your outer universe.

    Am not sure what a visionboard is—do they sell them at Bed, Bath and Beyond?

    And if I changed the position of my desk in my tiny Paris apartment, the only difference it would make would be that I wouldn’t be able to go outside anymore since the door would be blocked, which perhaps would require the support of my environment, which would be squarely in my personal success direction.

    But maybe if I placed my visionboard in line with my dreams, and manifest them, I could reach into the outer universe.

    Which would be right in line with my mastery of the universe.

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    • nan
      October 7, 2007 9:59am

      Hee. Soooo funny!
      I did notice that a free newspaper we have here (in a corner of the northeastern U.S.) that used to advertise legitimate therapists and nutritionists et al, now only has ads for reincarnated Egyptian princesses who talk to your dead grandmother and can tell you what sins you committed back in the Paleolithic that still have a karmic debt attached for you, blah blah blah. Page after page of this and no more legitimate therapists. Huh??? Is it because the culture is all about pharmaceuticals now?

    • nan
      October 7, 2007 10:00am

      P.S. — good luck with your plan to master the universe. I think we’ll be in good hands. :)

    • October 7, 2007 11:27am

      What? There was no dreamcatcher or talking stick involved? Damn.

    • Alexandra
      October 7, 2007 11:44am

      That was so funny!
      My favourite part must have been the thinking like Kate Moss. The whole “thinking like a thin person” idea seems to be very popular in women’s magazines these days and I always found it terribly funny.

    • October 7, 2007 12:24pm

      Argh. I could use the last course. I am working on aligning my inner dreams with my outer universe, but I am really getting stuck on reaching the alpha brainwave! Oh well, maybe someone has Cliffs Notes.

    • October 7, 2007 1:03pm

      And you know it’s only a matter of time before Bed Bath and Beyond is selling the vision boards.

      Designing your own vision is just too much work!

    • Debbie
      October 7, 2007 3:06pm

      Welcome to the new era of hokum…where even the crystal healing goodies are made of plastic.

    • Debbie
      October 7, 2007 3:11pm

      Oh. Wait. “The Secret” in your home? Another cash-in on that Oprah Club book that blamed cancer victims for not wishing hard enough. Right.

    • October 7, 2007 5:00pm

      and there i was, thinking a career in food was the non-plus ultra, or, lately, that i should be going in a different direction altogether. but if you can run seminars like that, surely you have reached the zenith of career contentment? or, to put it differently, if you can convince yourself to run seminars like this and deal with the people who would typically attend them (i imagine), your willpower is amazing and you’d be whistling happy as larry in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster…

    • Photolicious
      October 8, 2007 5:08am

      Did I hear you mention ‘tiny Paris apartment’? Woah, you should be so lucky living in Paris no matter the size! In Singapore, public housing is so expensive and terribly small (almost like pigeon holes). A simple 7m by 7m apartment costs about 175,000 Euros.

      La Republique Etrange

    • October 8, 2007 7:27am

      Do they even have courses like this in Paris or have an entire self-help section in their bookstores? I cannot see the book THE SECRET doing well outside of the U.S.

    • October 8, 2007 9:01am

      nyc: Frankly, I can’t see why books like The Secret do well anywhere. I mean, if it was that easy to get rich, we’d all be shoe shopping all day instead of working. I don’t think this has permeated Paris, although perhaps since my visionboard isn’t aligned with my outer universe, I don’t see them.

      Photolicious: Perhaps that course to increase the size of your apt by 20% would be in order. Or save the money and just buy a sledgehammer!

      nan: I do plan to master the universe…prepare for a few changes once I do. And I mean, big changes.

      But my first decree with be to increase the leg room in coach.

    • October 8, 2007 3:42pm

      Haha, love this post! People will come up with anything to try and make a buck. What’s even more scary is that apparently they succeed!

    • Connie
      October 8, 2007 4:05pm

      You just need to learn how to channel some spirit though your chocolate.

    • October 8, 2007 5:41pm

      HAAA! That’s just too good.

    • Tags
      October 8, 2007 6:00pm

      I don’t know about bed and bath, but that was definitely beyond.

      If you want to channel success these days, I’m afraid you’re going to need hydrogenated corn syrup crystals. Otherwise, the profit margin is too Kate Moss.

    • Laura in CA :)
      October 11, 2007 8:52pm

      Sooooo…I’ve just learned that while I can know the English language, there are times when the words are put together in ways that make it as understandable to me as….Swedish! :)

      I’m thinking that even if I took The Secret in Your Home seminar that it would remain a secret to me cuz I’d have no idea what they were talking about! LOL!!!

      Thanks for the smile, David!!

    • October 21, 2007 12:10am

      Can aynyone tell me where I can find good tires for my car??
      I live in New York.