I’ll have you know it feels soooooo good

October 19, 2014 :: 3:01 PM

my childhood copy of winnie-the-pooh vs the ukrainian e-book version

This sounds REALLY weird, but I’ve enjoyed reading the Ukrainian version of Winnie-the-Pooh on my iPhone’s Kindle app. (Well, it’s not really reading. Yet.) I’ve been highlighting words I know and adding the definitions just in case I flake out. The more words that get highlighted, the better I feel. The better I feel, the more motivated I feel. Eventually, I’ll be able to string the words together and make sense of them.

The italki October challenge is going well, also. Amazingly enough, the combination of the italki lessons and Winnie-the-Pooh led me to have a great breakthrough this weekend: I’m learning garbage. Who needs to be able to count to twenty when you really need to know how to say basic verbs and nouns?  I couldn’t write a sentence right now with what I (feel I) know. I can spell nineteen like a champ, though. (дев’ятнадцять) What the fuck do I need the word nineteen for? How many times do I use the word nineteen? (Three so far, but this is different. Well, four if you count the Ukrainian version.)

What I need to know are the verbs to know / to write / to speak / to work / to sleep.

What I need are adjectives like depressed / tired / happy / sad / cold.

What I need are nouns like dog / work / husband / music / friends

What I really need (REALLY) is the word fuck in all it’s wonderful and varied forms.

Those four lists are pretty much the basis of everything I write here, so those are the words I need to focus on.

And that’s what I’m going to do.

Fuck rote memorisation of words I don’t need right now like nineteen (five times).

This isn’t a new discovery. All the language bloggers who promise quick fluency in a language, they all tend to agree on one thing… Speak first, learn the details later.

It’s a weird idea and not nearly as easy as it sounds, but it forces you to learn the language. Yeah, you might sound like an idiot (tarzan-speak: I to read book vs I read a book, for example: Я читати книжка instead of the correct Я читав книгу.), but - theoretically - you’ll learn the grammar as you go along. Naturally. Without needing to memorise conjugation tables.

Well, I’m not keen on speaking (shy/introvert/social anxiety), but I am keen on writing. And so, I’m going to start trying to write. Even if it’s just two sentences about my day. It will force me to learn the proper noun cases and verb conjugations and it seems to be just as interactive as memrise. I’ve been learning the hard way that I just can’t do flashcards. They’re boring. I need to be involved. I need an external force to tell me if I’m right or wrong. Guessing an answer on a flashcard isn’t interactive enough…

So. Yeah. I will write more. I write a lot (Я пишу багато) any way - so why not try to do it in Ukrainian? 


Speaking of feeling better: had a long talk with a few co-workers about the situation at work.

Needless to say, I felt MUCH better. I’m glad that people are noticing things and acting on them.

Because of this new intel, I talked at length with my Drug Dealer about the meds and the mix. It was decided that I would continue supplementing my current meds with the anti-anxiety meds. Well, I guess I really do just need to take the edge off. Temporarily. Once the situation settles down, I should be stable again.

At least, that’s the hope.

Feelin’ groovy

October 12, 2014 :: 1:36 PM

suzy-q, july 12, 2014

It’s amazing how good I feel since my discussion with BK on Friday. (Possibly related, I’ve had a BAD craving for Burger King’s onion rings since Friday. And their chicken fries which aren’t available here! And also missing from their website… Were they blink-and-you’ll-miss-them?)


Since hope has been restored, I actually started feeling motivated to pick up my Ukrainian books. The italki October challenge has helped, too, but it’s amazing what can happen when everything is good.

I have to see my drug dealer next weekend and I’m thinking about asking her to adjust my meds. My moods have been out of control recently due to the work stress and I don’t know how much longer I can keep them in check. Not that I’ve been doing a very good job as of right now any way.

I’m also wondering if my pattern of letting work get to me and triggering major depressions is a sign that I need to quit and go on disability. That scares me, though. I was just as bad when I was unemployed and didn’t have anything better to do than write fan fic and play on tumblr.

Maybe I’m just really broken. And unrepairable.

So… meds. Last resort, maybe, but who knows. I’ve been on the same cocktail for years now. My last cocktail failed miserably after a few years and I’ve been on this mix much longer.


I wrote a really long, really cathartic entry on my Ukrainian blog, to circle back to the having hope thing. I’ve got plans for that blog in terms of writing in English and Ukrainian and I’m pretty excited. I’m sticking with the old design for now while I figure out if I want to continue to invest the time in the new design. It feels like a stalling tactic. And it probably is.

Also, fucking auto correct keeps insisting that my grandparents’ village was in Turnip, not Ternopil. *sigh*

Absolutely ridiculous.


It’s time for my Speaking Bootcamp webinar. Today is about more tricks to retain vocabulary. WOOOOOOOOO!

No. Seriously. I am that excited about it. There just aren’t enough fun learning websites for Ukrainian. Maybe I should go back and do French. Or learn Russian. (HA! NEVER! I shouldn’t even joke about that.)

hockey hockey hockey hockey HOCKEY!!!!!!!

October 10, 2014 :: 8:46 PM

Well, I was on my way to this gay gypsy Bar Mitzvah for the disabled, when I suddenly thought, “Gosh, the Third Reich’s a bit rubbish — I think I’ll kill the Führer.” Who’s with me?

My employer is playing the Assholes from the Hill on teeeeveeee tonight. I’m listening to the school that should have gotten all my money and I’m following the school that did get my money via a college hockey app.

IT’S HOCKEY SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The buzz in the office was amazing. The first home game of the season. The team’s newest rival in the house. A sell-out (or damn close).

Despite the shit that’s been going on, deep down I do still love where I work very much.

Speaking of… I had a long talk with [someone] about [something] this morning. Things fell into place. The world was set right.

I feel better about things than I have in a long time.


I had other things I wanted to talk about, but it all pales in comparison.

I do love me some Burger King. (Not the restaurant, the person who let me vent and let me know I wasn’t alone… who just happened to remind me of a fast-food restaurant.)


Thatcher Demko is a fucking sieve tonight which means that this hockey season is off to an awesome start.

Fuck ‘em up! Fuck ‘em up! BC SUCKS!!!!!

Look at how little he was!

October 05, 2014 :: 5:14 PM

guinness as a wee lad

The italki October challenge has begun and I just scheduled the rest of my 12 hours. Thankfully, $20 of those fees were a ‘gift’ from a webinar I signed up for. More importantly, I’ll get back my original pledge plus some extra. It doesn’t make up for the hit on my credit card, but it will help pay for future sessions.

Because, in true me fashion, I decided that the $6/hr tutor wasn’t the right fit to move forward with and the $12/hr one was.

Either way, I’ll get in my 12 hours and will hopefully get somewhere farther than where I am now.

I’m tired of beating myself up about not putting in the time and not putting in the effort… I just need to suck it up and actually DO something. Even if it’s five minutes a day.

That said, do you think I did my homework from Wednesday yet? For Monday’s class? 



That webinar I mentioned is actually a speaking ‘bootcamp”. It’s main purpose is to help us find the right fit for speaking partners by helping us really narrow down what we want and making that clear to the people on the different conversation exchange sites. So far, I’ve gotten some good ideas for my profile, some decent tricks to reduce the stage fright, and a list of phrases to translate, like “I don’t understand”. (Я не розумію - I’m a pro at that one!) Is it worth the money? It wasn’t too expensive, but I probably could have found the same information for free on the web. Eh, I wanted to be spoon fed and he’s doing it. (Plus, British accent!)

Sadly, I’m more likely to do his homework (send him a list of those phrases - I don’t understand, could you please speak slowly, etc) than I am the italki tutor’s one because I’ve already learned those phrases.


I never heard back from the second immigration law firm.

I don’t know what to do to move forward, except literally move. Five years in Ukraine in order to get a passport? Seems easier every day.


In more news, J got a new car this weekend. (His was paid off, too, so why not? *sigh*)

An orange Crosstrek. ORANGE!

We’re on our third Subaru each, so I guess we’re a Subaru family after all.


And now… it’s time for ice cream!

(Or морозиво if you really want to know what it is in Ukie.)

Так! Я люблю Україну!

October 02, 2014 :: 7:27 PM

i’ve always loved sunflowers…

The more you know:

I grew up LOVING the colours blue and yellow together. Maybe it’s because I saw the Ukrainian flag so much growing up?

I also grew up loving sunflowers. I never knew why, but I think this might have something to do with it… I wish I knew where I found this. It was in a random word doc I found in my Dropbox. (I have got to stop Googling shit when I’m drunk. LOL)

Sunflower in Ukrainian folklore and tradition is the symbol of the solar energy, of the vigor of life and of well-being. In Ukrainian heraldry, the sunflower symbolizes fertility, unity, solar power and fecundity.  The sunflower keeps turning its head as it follows the progress of the sun across the sky, and when the sun hides behind the horizon, the sunflower’s head droops sadly, and ponders the profound issues of life. The sunflower reminds us that the sun should be respected as the life- and light-giver, and that the humans should respect their native land in a similar manner.


Related: when I heard this on the radio during my commute, I burst out in tears. It’s basically a love song to Ukraine. (Link is to Google Translate’s passable translation).

At any rate, what struck me / strikes me about this song is not so much the actual lyrics, but the overwhelming flood of emotion I felt in Toronto. Getting to hear TIK perform this, the crowd singing along, the Ukrainian flags being waved…

It pisses me off to no end that it took me almost 40-something years to learn what’s in my DNA, but I’m enjoying every step of the journey. Even if it makes me sob ugly tears.


Там, де трави вмиваються росами.
Де поля золотяться покосами,
Де живе в моїм серці едина, -
Там вона, там моя Україна!

Я не хочу писати віршів сумних
Про те, як живется в Ріднім Краю.
Я не хочу тлумачити кожному з них,
За що я люблю Країну Мою!

І дивно чути від знайомих людей,
Що з цієї країни потрібно тікати.
Я не емігрант, я маю Батьківщину,
І я не боюся в голос сказати:

Так! Я люблю Україну! Я тут народився і тут хочу жити!
Так! Я люблю Україну! Сильно люблю і буду любити!
Так! Я люблю Україну! Свою родину, свою сім’ю!
Мені є, що втрачати, є кого любити.
І я сильно ціную те, що люблю!

Можно змиритись із втратою.
Ми завжди цінуємо те, що втрачаємо.
Живемо під вічною вартою.
Маємо волю, а право не маєм!

І хтось мені скаже: а ти що співаєш?
Де твоя зброя? Народ підіймай!
Я просто перезаряджаю набої,
А ти коли хочеш - зі мною співай.

Так! Я люблю Україну! Я тут народився і тут хочу жити!
Так! Я люблю Україну! Сильно люблю і буду любити!
Так! Я люблю Україну! Свою родину, свою сім’ю!
Мені є, що втрачати, є кого любити.
І я сильно ціную те, що люблю!

Так! Я люблю Україну! Я тут народився і тут хочу жити!
Так! Я люблю Україну! Сильно люблю і буду любити!
Так! Я люблю Україну! Свою родину, свою сім’ю!
Мені є, що втрачати, є кого любити.
І я сильно ціную те, що люблю!

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