Off to a Good Start in 2009

Now that the dust has settled on the holiday season, the discarded Christmas trees have been removed from the sidewalks of the world, and your inboxes are no longer overflowing with well-wishing missives, let me add mine to that rapidly depleting (or is it “deleting”) pile.

Happy New Year to everyone.

And with that out of the way, on to other news.

My own transition from ’08 to ‘09 was an excellent one.  As in the past, I spent the final days of 2008 in New York, visiting friends and family.  The weather was sufficiently cold to temporarily forget the balmy warmth of Southern California and I even ventured out of the city and got to play in the snow upstate.  Having been a child in Scotland, the sight of snow makes me regress to a much more innocent age which gives me license to misbehave, at least a bit.

Returning to LA, my sights are squarely set on what is just around the corner.  Specifically, I have been invited to attend the Berlinale Talent Campus in February.

For those of you who do not know, the Talent Campus is a week-long “creative summit”, i.e. conference, for filmmakers, and runs in parallel to the film festival.  Having screened at the festival last year, I am excited to return to my most recent favorite city and reconnect with everyone I met last February.  That, and meet a whole new crop of great people, do some deals, and finally get a feature or two underway.

To top it off, I’m also learning German.

Last year I had every good intention of learning at least a little of the language before I got to Berlin, but somehow I never found the time.  This year, even though my plate is fuller than before, I’m making the language a priority, thanks in part to my newly acquired iPhone.

So as I shuttle back and forth between work and home, or walk around the neighborhood on a break from writing, I find myself repeating things out loud like:

“Ich verstehe ein bisschen deutsch.”

or

“Was möchten Sie jetzt trinken?”

I may not be fluent by the time I touch down in Berlin, but I’m going to cram in as much as possible so I can do more than ignorantly and somewhat arrogantly ask, “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” every time I interact with someone.

Oddly enough, I’m finding German to be an interesting mixture of English vocabulary and Hebrew grammar.  Something about the syntax makes it make more sense to translate the German into Hebrew as a way of understanding how to form sentences.  Who knew?

So there you have it.  2009 is shaping up to be a most fascinating year, and I wish you all the very same.

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