"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thinking Swedish...


So, lately I've become obsessed with the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series.

Being that I'm a writer, every situation in my life has a backstory. So let me catch ya'll up.

A couple months ago, I was hanging out with friend #1. Friend #1 loved the GDT series, and he was telling me how they just finished the original version of the movies in Sweden and how they were soooooooo good and now they are making the American version and whatnot. None of it made sense to me. From what little I gathered from the plot, it didn't seem like a story series I'd like. Well, A couple weeks ago, I was hanging out with Friend #2. Friend #2 wanted to watch a movie, and we picked GDT, the original. Now, being that I had already made up my judgmental mind about this series that I didn't like it, I obviously didn't want to watch the movie. But whatever. I figured we had nothing else to do and I could at least give it a chance.

So the movie starts, and obviously we soon realize its in Swedish, with English subtitles. So Friend #2 decided he no longer wanted to watch it. However, at that point we were 30 minutes in, and well.....I was sucked in to the series. So I watched the rest of the movie by my lonesome, and it was SO.GOOD.  As many of you know, I'm sure.

So after that, I bought the book right away at the airport on the way home from seeing Friend #2, and started reading immediately. Throughout the course of reading, the American version was released and I felt I wanted to see it in theaters while it was out. Then, I decided I was so entirely obsessed with this series, that I had to keep watching. So I instant streamed the entire swedish set onto my netflix account, and watched all of them back to back, in what little spurts of time I had (so naturally it took a couple days to finish).

What the entire point of this blog is, is that I discovered a new language phenomenon. Well, discovered is a strong word. I'm sure really smart people already know about this for a bajillion years now, but I just figured it out so its cool.

Since I had watched the series and nothing but the series (no tv, no other netflix stuff- just the series), I had this really, really strange experience. After it had been off, I decided to go for my weekly run . While running, I literally heard my thoughts in Swedish and my brain "saw" English subtitles for me. Now, granted, my "Swedish thoughts" probably made no actual sense in Swedish,  but my brain knew enough after hearing nothing but Swedish language and reading english subtitles along with the language, that my brain was able to string together some Swedish words that it had picked up. But how wicked is that!?

So I sat thinking about this, and realized that the brain also does another neat trick. You get SO wrapped up in the movie plot, that you no longer even REALIZE you're reading English subtitles as you watch the movie. In fact, I forgot entirely that they were even speaking Swedish. My brain didn't even hear the Swedish. I think, the brain is smart enough to adapt. It adapts so that you understand things. And after all this time of reading the English subtitles, my brain got so used to it that it started "forgetting" that it was translating, and my brain "heard" the characters talking in English, because thats what my brain was reading. Does that make any sense?? How crazy is that though? The brain is meant to adapt, its part of the human condition. If it didn't adapt, we would constantly be going crazy that we had clothes on- because our skin nerves wouldn't be able to adapt and "get used to" the fact that we had clothes on our skin all the time. Weird!

So, as a little sidenote, I wanted to share something else pretty funny.
Does anyone else sort of "pick up" the entire movie setting, characters, plot, etc., onto themselves after the movie is done? Particularly good, long movies. Particularly ones with characters we identify with or fall in love with. You find yourself so wrapped up in the movie, that when you leave the movie, you totally feel like you are you're own character in that movie, or maybe you feel like you ARE a character from the movie, subconsciously. For example, ever drive faster and take more stupid risks while driving after watching "The Fast and Furious"? Have you ever felt that you can totally cast a spell on someone if you need to after watching "Harry Potter"?   Ever started talking in an English accent after watching Hugh Grant? Ever feel like you live in Europe after some crazy good European movie? Ever felt like a super secret spy after watching "Bourne Identity" or "James Bond"?  Ever felt like you had to solve some secret mystery (like where the hell did all the socks go?) after watching "Sherlock Holmes"?

It happens in good books too. After reading a plot nonstop, you suddenly feel like you're in their world. After reading the entire Hunger Games series, I suddenly found myself acting like Kat, trying to survive in the dreaded world. Silly, I know. It lasted for like a day. But still. Does anyone else do this ? I think its fascinating how our minds can get so engrossed like that.

Well, point is- I spent the other day after I finished the "Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest" (Last one of the movies), impersonating Lisbeth Salander. Which, is pretty kick ass fun- being that I spent at least half the day with my hoodie up- acting all....moody (in a kick ass way), looking for super-killers in the supermarket, etc...It was awesome.

I hope this is normal and everyone (or at least the great vast majority?) of the human species does this, or at least has done this. If not, you should let yourself try it. Next movie you go to, see if you find yourself subconsciously adapting to the movie after you leave. Its fun.

Thats all for now folks! Off to work tonight, yay. 

With love,



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