I need to get out more…

March 30, 2014 :: 3:40 PM

oh, series two, i miss you so much

Yesterday, in my quest to find Ukie podcasts and websites and music that I could use in an attempt to learn better / quicker / faster, I poured through Facebook and iTunes.

In addition to several albums whose covers I recognised when I was growing up (which were in my mother’s collection, but never played), I found Ukrainian ska.

SKA!

So, yeah, I spent a few quid and downloaded the album. (Abusing my UK iTunes account - I didn’t think that the US store would have anything, so I didn’t even try. Thank you, Platypus!) (Holy crap… I really need to read fanfic based on American shit for a bit. I need to write fanfic based on American shit. I should probably lay off the BBC / BBC America combo, too. I think I need a twelve step program. Or a tier two visa. My anglomania is out of control.)

As I said on FB, I was really into ska (what’s considered the 3rd wave) in the 90’s, which is also about the last time I had any real exposure to my Ukrainian family. Oh, irony… or coincidence, whatever floats your boat.

I also joined a Ukrainian group on Facebook. There’s a nice mix of transliterated, Cyrillic and English on there. And - holy fuck - the Bing translations are twelve different types of awesome. Everything’s mostly political / local news right now, which is nice. The best part was that there’s been at least two conversations about tracking down relatives and citizenship. Both topics that are near and dear to my heart…

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long, but everything in it’s own time, I guess.

——

My adopted boys are playing The Evil Ones From The Outhouse On The Hill today.  Please, please, please let my boys win - a trip to the Frozen Four in Philly is on the line and I do not want those fucking bastards from Newton having a chance at another national title.

I’m really, really glad I didn’t put together a hockey bracket because it went to shit during the first night of the playoffs.

I might have done better with basketball this year, but I opted to keep my $10.

Oh well. Live and learn.

——

I watched both “Vincent and the Doctor” and “Doomsday” today, because I needed a good cry.

“Doomsday” didn’t do it for me for the first time in a gazillion rewatches, even though the lines “I’m burning up a sun to say goodbye” and “Rose Tyler…” get me every time, but “Vincent”? Fucking “Vincent”? The feels!!!! The ugly tears!!!!! Such a beautiful episode.

And… big surprise: “Vincent”? NOT a Moffat episode. Neither is “Doomsday”.

I’m still not sure about Capaldi, but I’m sure he’ll grow on me just like Matt Smith did.


I need to watch this again….

March 29, 2014 :: 8:35 PM

i really fucking love this picture (and the episode it was inspired by)

I’ve posted these two before, but I wanted to quote them again:

The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant. - Eleven

The Doctor: Between you and me, in a hundred words, where do you think Van Gogh rates in the history of art?

Curator: Well… um… big question, but, to me Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all. Certainly the most popular, great painter of all time. The most beloved, his command of colour most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world’s greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.

——

Got an email that said someone made a comment about me on their blog… Eh. If they think I’m still reading their blog, they’re delusional. I can’t even be arsed to find out what exactly was said to make that person think the blogger was talking about me.

Nice to know I’m being thought of, though. (I don’t care what you think as long as it’s about me…)

——

Been watching college hockey all day and the one fucking game I want to watch isn’t on.

Fuck you, ESPN.

By the way, if I hear one more mention about “Johnny Hockey” and how wonderful he is, I’m driving to Bristol and kicking shins.

——

J went to go get chicken-chicken-bawk-bawk for lupper today at our favourite wings place. The owner made a point to thank him for the thank you card I sent a few months ago and ask him how the job is. I can’t remember if I’ve told the back story before - but here it is:

We found this little wings place the day I took possession of the Forester and we’ve been wicked loyal customers ever since. A few months ago, we stopped in to pick up dinner and the owner asked us how things were. I blurted out that I’d been unemployed. He gave us a $20 gift certificate and wrote “good luck ” on it. That seemed to be exactly what I needed because I got the offer from my current employer a few days after that. I made a thank you card and thanked him for being the type of business owner that actually cares about his customers… Today cemented that. He cared enough to ask the hubby how I was doing. He cared enough to thank us for the card.

More business owners need to remember their customers are people and not walking dollar bills…

——

To end on a WTF note—my little Cabin Pressure trilogy is popular again. I’ve been getting “You’ve got kudos!” emails recently. Not enough to write home about, but enough to put a smile on my face. I’m not sure what sparked the new found interest in it (maybe the announcement of Zurich?) but I’m thrilled to bits.


I wanna… drive the zamboni!

March 29, 2014 :: 2:14 PM

...and that’s why I love this damn show

Two Ukie lessons in and I am LOVING it.

I remember more than I thought I did, and making flashcards / using transliteration is totally helping.

I’ll be completely functional by the end of my 30 hours. Maybe not exactly literate, but functional.

I bought two more self-teaching Ukie books, and stickers for my keyboard. Although it might have been easier just to buy a damn Ukie keyboard…

I’m having fun though and despite the fact that I had a lesson on Thursday and a lesson this morning, I retained more than I thought I would given the time I worked on memorisation.

I’ve also decided to try my hand at making a babka or a paska this year for Easter. I don’t remember my baba’s babka looking like that, so I was probably thinking of her paska when I was looking for the recipes… Either way, a trip to the Polish deli in Salem, an attempt at pysanky (again), and some sort of yeasty/bready/cakey thing, and WOO! Ukie Easter less the basket blessing.

Am I the only one who thinks it sort of sad that I wasted so much time trying to learn who I really am? If my mother weren’t dead, I would so kill her for denying me this… (OK. Maybe that’s a wee bit exaggerated, but seriously. Looking back now, I feel so robbed.)

And despite the email I received the other day, this interest in my nationality has been going on for a very long time - pre 2009 - and it’s only now that I’m doing something about it. It bothers me that my timing coincides with the possibility of a civil war / WW3 (depending on who you listen to) in my grandparents’ homeland. It also bothers me (a bit) that the final push I needed to jump into learning all this Ukie culture and language stems from the very fact that my grandfather’s Polish place of birth has wound up in Ukraine* and that I need to be as fluent as possible in order to deal with the Consult in Kyiv to get his birth certificate and then make a play for citizenship.

Not that becoming a Ukrainian citizen will do me much good if they continue to stay out of the EU… but even if that never happens, it might be worth it. 

Speaking of, Ukraine doesn’t allow dual citizenships, so that’s a bit of a problem. They don’t seem to be very strict about it, though.  I did joke at one point that losing my American citizenship would require me to get a spousal visa so I could stay in the States. Leave it to me to do every thing ass backwards, you know?

*Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve always known I’m Ukrainian and not Polish - despite the fact that my baba was quiet fluent in Polish when she was freaking out at the nursing home before she passed. Apparently, I reminded her of someone she didn’t like very much. *sigh* It’s tragic that that and the fact that the hearse had to be pushed through the cemetery (snow + hill = bad) are my last two memories of her.

But I digress - I’m a Ukie even if my grandparents were born in what USED to belong to Poland. (I’ve always wondered how that works… Ukraine didn’t really “exist” as a country for a very long time. So how did Ukrainians even happen? ‘Tribes’ and all that? I have a lot of research to do….)

——

SuperWhoPotterLock is ruining my life at the moment… It seems I can only write fanfic on my phone during business hours. Such a fucking pain in the ass… but I guess that’s what happens when your commute is over an hour and you spend most of that sitting still, waiting for the Massholes to realise that you can’t just merge into moving traffic. You have to take your time and wait for an opening.

Or, I guess you could be like the guy we saw on the highway on our way to Wahlburgers last weekend:

Dude was within arm’s reach of a fucking Wal-Mart truck. There was absolutely NO FUCKING WAY he did NOT see the truck. He literally could have reached out and touched it. Instead of doing the smart thing and wait for the truck to pass him, he drives right into the side of it.

I’m serious as a fucking heart attack.

He went to change lanes and bounced off the side of a fucking semi. He did severe damage to the front of his car and he was lucky he didn’t snap his mirror off. Neither one of them stopped to see what happened. I’m assuming Mr. WallyWorld had no idea that a Honda CRV wanted to move over so badly that hitting his truck was an option and part of me thinks that the Honda driver didn’t want to pull over and admit to his stupidity.

Massachusetts drivers are the worst in the world. Their stupidity knows no bounds…

——

And with that, I’m off to do homework. I think I’ve done more homework since graduating with the first bachelor’s degree than I did in all of my schooling prior to 1997…

What the fuck is wrong with me?


Stories to tell and no hours to sleep

March 26, 2014 :: 6:15 PM

*snickers*

So.

Let’s count on our fingers how many of my male friends have serious mental illnesses.

One.

Two.

Three.

Let’s count on our fingers how many of them have been hospitalized in the past month.

One.

Two.

Three.

Holy mother of fuck… I don’t know what’s more upsetting: the fact that I know so many severely mentally ill people that I look well adjusted / healthy compared to them, or that the three of them all had breakdowns within a few weeks of each other.

Bad shit happens in threes, right?

——

My birthday was nice and there’s a lot of stories I need to write down, but they won’t go here. Some of the better ones aren’t mine, sadly.

However, remind me to tell you about the Great Walhburgers Adventure of 2014… not happening tonight.

——

I’m off to bed soon—the one and only Ukrainian teacher I can find is based in the UK.

There’s a five hour difference between here and there, so guess who’s getting up at the ass crack of dawn to Skype with her?

*sigh*

I guess that proves just how badly I want this.

G’night all!


Feeling better… kinda

March 16, 2014 :: 10:42 AM

this is how i will always remember him

My birthday’s coming up on Thursday, which makes me a bit melancholy. 22 years without a mother and my 13th birthday without my father.

The universe has decided to remind me that I’m old and has gifted me with the early birthday present of a sore back. It’s right at my hips, so movement is… decidedly not recommended. I’ve been using my Ativan instead of a normal painkiller. As an anti-anxiety med, it relaxes everything. Including fucked up back muscles. I’ve used it for my heart on occasion, too.

I bought a replacement hard drive yesterday. I took a chance this morning and moved the USB cord on the shitty hard drive from the USB 1.0 hub to the last available port on the iMac and - wouldn’t you know - for the first time in months, the damn thing started working like it’s supposed to. It’s not like it hasn’t been plugged in there, or the keyboard, or the hub, or even my MBP… Files are FLYING to the replacement drive.

I’m doing spot checks to see if things are moving and I found a lot of old blog skins. Some of which I still really like. I may bring at least one of them back. I dunno. Currently, I’m thinking about starting a new blog which will not only chronicle my efforts to become a citizen of an EU country, but one that I will also try to write in Ukrainian. None of those skins will work, however… *sigh*

Speaking of blogging in Ukrainian, my Ukie lessons are going to be done via Skype, which terrifies me. My office is a mess. Again. I’ve decided that I’m going to spend an hour - and only an hour - every week night cleaning up something. Maybe a half hour - I’m assuming there will be insane amounts of shredding in my future, and I’m not sure the shredder can handle it.

*sigh*

Today there will be lots of sitting at the iMac, watching files move, watching more shitty horror movies and writing more fan fic.  It dawned on me the other day that Harry Potter fan fic was my first exposure to fandoms (and specifically m/m shipping) and that I found it absolutely disgusting. My, how things change.

Your giggle / earworm for the day:

 

You’re welcome.

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