Ukrainian

Reignited passion


May 16, 2020 :: 10:31 AM

writing fan fiction in a nutshell

I mentioned my interest in re-focussing on Ukrainian a couple of entries ago. I think - I remember talking about how much I hate Spanish, but I’m too lazy to go back into the archives.

Anyhoo.

I picked up Duolingo again. I don’t understand the point of using it as a type of formal language instruction. If you’re on the mobile version, it doesn’t seem to show you anything of value.I already had Ukrainian and Polish… and Spanish on there. I had used it to keep myself busy at BU hockey games and added Spanish for when I was super bored after we moved here.

The Ukrainian is easy, despite the fact that I haven’t seriously studied it in a long time. The Polish is OK, except for the fact that I can’t spell worth a damn. All those accents on the letters! Dangly bits! Lines through the L - which totally look like a T! It’s near impossible for someone with a shit memory like me.

But because I don’t torture myself enough, I added Russian. FUCKING RUSSIAN. Now, I have a complicated family history with Russian. Back in Ohio, after my dad died, when I was still speaking to THAT aunt, I’d mentioned wanting to learn Ukrainian, but I couldn’t find anything to use. The internet wasn’t what is is now, remember. This was 2001/2002. Napster was still around a little bit, and other file sharing services were popping up, but there wasn’t a Facebook. MySpace didn’t exist. There was literally nothing except Barnes and Noble. (I don’t even think Amazon was around then, but I’m too lazy to check.)

So, I casually said I was thinking about learning Russian because they’re similar.

Jesus Christ, did she tear into me. It was disrespectful. Did I know what the Russians put Ukrainians through? Did I know what they did to my family? (No. No I didn’t, I would find out years later. Long after we last spoke. Holodomor. Forced labor in Germany. Chornobyl.)  So. Yeah. Fuck Russia and the language.

But, you know, fan fic demands that I learn some Russian in order to write about a Russian teenager, his Russian coach, and his Kazakh boyfriend (who also speaks Russian). I’d go as far as to play with Kazakh, but Duolingo doesn’t offer it.

All that to say, a few years ago, I bought a book titled “Get Started in Polish.” I have had this burning desire to actually crack it open and focus on Polish for a while.

So… I think that’s what I’m going to do.

I am so fucking disgusted right now


May 03, 2020 :: 3:34 PM

THIS IS NOT OK

My friend posted this on Facebook the other day and I literally got sick to my stomach.

Here’s the thing: we’ve known for a long time that he’s incapable of holding the job.

Every single day he shows a complete lack of empathy for what’s going on.

Every single day, he treats the presidency like it’s one of his businesses. Like it’s a reality show.

And it’s just getting worse…

The protests of people who think getting a fucking haircut is more important than my life, storming state capitals with fucking guns… it’s too much for me.

The selfishness of these people is unfathomable.

The fact that a bunch of WHITE guys storming a state capital with MILITARY GRADE weapons is upsetting to a level I don’t even have the words for. (And let’s not forget that if they were black… well….)

AND THE FUCKING PRESIDENT IS CHEERING ON THE PROTESTERS.

I can’t fucking wait for November.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

While I’m completely outraged, let’s talk about the book I just read.

It was about Chornobyl and written by a guy who was pretty obsessed with it.

It started out promising: a full overview of the mechanical and operational issues that plagued Russian nuclear reactors and submarines since the very beginning. A detailed, blow-by-blow description of that fateful night.

And then he started to describe his trip to Prypiat.

Dude, I could see his hard on.

His awe at seeing the ruins of the city verged on inappropriate. He was gleeful to be there.

It was so disrespectful that I wanted to smack him. With a brick. Repeatedly.

I ended up deleting it about halfway through. (Thank God it was on Kindle Unlimited.)

My memory is fuzzy - partly because I was 11 when it happened and partly because I blocked out a lot of my childhood - but I swear I remember sitting there in my grandparents’ house watching it on the news. I also remember hearing that we had some relatives in that area, family that died.

Whether or not that’s true, the fact remains that people died.

It’s not a fucking theme park.

I mean, when I went to Highgate Cemetery to see Douglas Adams’ grave, I treated it with the proper respect the dead deserved. There’s a time and a place for fangirling and the middle of a place of the dead is NOT it.

I don’t know. I’ve been in a shitty mood this past week and everything is just amplifying my unhappiness.

*sigh*

Христос Воскрес! (like bread dough)


April 12, 2020 :: 6:14 PM

station of the cross :: lviv, ukraine :: november 2016

So… in Ukraine, for Easter, you say “Христос Воскрес!” - literally, Christ is risen.

Ukraine is full of religious icons, absolutely gorgeous ones, all over the place. In public! Oh, I was so scandalised by that.

Ukrainians - at least the ones I know - often have altars. My grandparents house had a Virgin Mary tucked in the corner. The relatives I met in Ukraine had one, too.

All that to say, I am not the least bit religious.

So, I find an inordinate amount of joy in the fact that wishing someone a Happy Easter in Ukrainian is basically a reference to a man I don’t believe ever existed, let alone rose from the dead.

I’ve been focused on what it means to be a Ukrainian more than usual lately… and it’s been weird.

Mostly because I wasn’t brought up as Ukrainian. My mother wasn’t having any of it, so I was only exposed when I was at my grandparents’ house. I have a lot of fuzzy memories… stuff that comes to the surface when it’s triggered by something: a news article, a blog post, a random word on a website. Sometimes, I remember things that surprise me and sometimes I wonder how I never put two and two together before.

Wow. I’m in a rambly mood tonight. Possibly, a wee bit manic. (Wanna know a secret? The tone of my writing changes. (I get very parenthetical.) I ramble.)

Back in 2013? 2014? I decided I needed to find myself. (The last time I think I said that in all seriousness was the time I’d told my father that I didn’t want a summer job… that I wanted to take the summer off to go find myself. We’d just thrown my mother into a hole in the ground and gotten served with a restraining order. I was trying to wrap my brain around all of it and being stuck working retail didn’t sound like a place I needed to be right then. Well, he grabbed a napkin and a pen. Drew a map of the house. Put a BIG FUCKING X in the kitchen and told me I was found. God, how I miss that man.)

So yeah. Finding myself.

Fun fact: There’s a book out there called “Losing Your Parents. Finding Yourself.” It was given to me as a gift after I was orphaned. I ended up setting it on fire in the backyard. ( Here’s why.)

Pyromania aside - the title, and the little bit I read before my mother’s ugliness was put out there for all the world to see, really resonated with me. If they hadn’t used my mother’s FUCKING WILL to prove a point, I might have read the rest of it. I might have found solace in it.

But… fire. Fire is good. Fire is cleansing.

Like a phoenix, I rose from the flames.

(Oh, shit, maybe I should take an Ativan and calm down a little bit. Nah, fuck it. If you can’t handle me now, you don’t deserve me later. Better living through science, amiright?)

Anyhoo… My father’s side of family appears to have sprung out of the ground in Nowhere, Maine. A town so small that it doesn’t even qualify for the Census. So that left the other side. HER side.

I’d shied away from everything and anything that reminded me of either my mother or my aunt, and then decided FUCK IT (and, oh, if you didn’t see that coming, I’m utterly disappointed in you.)

I decided to learn the language, re-learn the culture, discover myself.

I’d been a casual learner, Even when I went to Ukraine, I wasn’t anywhere near fluent despite all the lessons.

I’d kept up the lessons when we got back from Lviv, but then we moved to Florida and everything went arse over tits.

Now, at my temp job, I’m surrounded by Spanish speaking people. Instead of making me want to learn Spanish (God, I hate that language. I took Latin and French so I didn’t have to take Spanish.), I’ve been inspired to re-focus on Ukrainian.

And now, it’s fucking Easter.

The last time I spent Easter with a family member (Ukrainian or not), was the year we went to LL Bean to buy kayaks. A certain family member called me, yelled at me for not going to church like a good Ukie, and then asked me to come to Easter dinner. Blocking that phone number was one of the best things I ever did.

But, I digress.

Again.

A few months ago, I got a weird Facebook “call” from my youngest cousin. Shocked that she’d reach out to me, I assumed the worst. Nah. Nothing that exciting. But before I knew it I was FB friends with her, her sister, and my godfather’s daughter.

All of whom are the children of Ukrainians.

My cousins have been slaughtering the Ukrainian language lately in their excitement to celebrate the coming of the Easter Bunny. I fucking hate when Ukrainian is transliterated. I hate it more when it’s transliterated and spelt incorrectly. If you’re going to use the language, use it.

Fuck, half the time, they don’t even know they’re actually speaking fucking Polish.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Polish, mind. My grandparents spoke both interchangeably, but at least I can tell the difference between the two.

OK. Rant over. I’m going to go watch a stupid horror movie and continue reading this amazing Scorbus fan fic. It actually makes the events of Cursed Child almost acceptable. Like if this chick had written CC? Oh, it would have been a beautiful addition to the canon instead of the trainwreck the actual CC was…

The kotyonok and his asshole


December 21, 2019 :: 8:50 AM

it is hard as fuck to slow burn two characters you desperately want together

OK. So. Fun stuff first.

I didn’t win Nano, but the complete re-write of my YOI fan fic is going particularly well.

Telling it from the point of view of a fifteen year old under extreme amounts of pressure has been interesting. My headcanon for him is pretty brutal, but - shockingly - it’s not as bad as I’ve seen in other fics. I’ve given him anger issues, anxiety, everything fifteen year old me experienced long before it had a name. I’m not necessarily making him bipolar, but he’s definitely got issues. I’ve also given him an amazing version of his already pretty awesome grandpa, though. And brought in some of my experiences growing up Ukrainian. A lot of that cultural knowledge has been lost to time - and the swiss cheese my memory has become due to some of my meds - but I’m able to remember enough to google what I need and then find a Russian translation for it.

The biggest issue I’ve had is not digging up the ghosts of my past brushes with undiagnosed mental illness, but instead the fact that Yuri is 15 and Beka is 18. I hate the aged up fics because it feels like Barcelona is just foreplay. The whole side story of Beka meeting him five years prior to the Grand Prix final gets lost when Yuri is suddenly 18 as well. Beka’s a patient man. He’s been waiting FIVE YEARS to spend time with this boy, and instead of it being creepy, it was so well written that you know Otayuri is going to be canon. Later. It’s a slow burn of the slowest type.

I’m not the best with writing slow burns because I’m impatient… but it’s important not to rush this. Granted, the age of consent is low enough in all the concerned countries where it doesn’t matter, but American readers are often squicked out by it. Yuri is considered underaged, which is why he’s aged up by other impatient writers.

It’s challenging to write a young boy who wants everything NOW. Who wants the acceptance of this skater he looks up to. Who actually likes him. Despite the walls he’s built due to his backstory, he really wants Beka in his life. He thinks he loves Beka… On the flip side, Beka’s waited five years. I don’t see any reason why he can’t wait another three. I’ve made it obvious that he has a crush on Yuri, but he has the self-control required to not devour the boy.

It’s been hard, and it’s gone off the rails a few times, (I’ve rewritten one chapter multiple times!) but it’s better for the additional edits.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

OK. Serious stuff now.

Trump’s been impeached.

And he’s not going to pay the price of essentially breaking the law. (Gross simplification. I’m not a political scholar.)

I understand WHY it became a matter of parties. I understand WHY a lot of people say that the Dems wanted to undo the 2016 election.

Hell, I’d been wondering what it would take to impeach him and remove him from office - WHILE HE WAS STILL RUNNING.

He’s an absolutely shitty person and his followers… obviously have no morals. No sense of right and wrong. And his own party condones his shitty behaviour. TWITTER condones his shitty behaviour because his tweets are “important” and “historical”. He’s sexually assaulted women, announced that he could kill someone and people would look the other way, has attacked multiple people for really, what amounts to no good reason. (I mean, John McCain wasn’t necessarily one of my favourite people, but he didn’t deserve to be treated so harshly by Trump.) The reporters, the girl speaking out about the environment…there are so many I can’t list them all. OH! What about wanting to hold the G7 Summit at his PERSONAL property? Emoluments clause, anyone? (Not that that’s the only time foreign officials have visited a Trump property…or that the taxpayers are putting money in his pocket since his visits to Mar-A-Lago are essentially paid for by us.)

And the most mind-boggling bit? The part that drives me up the fucking wall? Trump attacked Greta Thunberg not once but TWICE. His fucking wife who has this anti-bullying campaign, has stayed fucking silent about the fact that her husband, the fucking PRESIDENT, is bullying a SIXTEEN year old girl with Asperger’s. Especially when people think he’s lashing out because she’s Time magazine’s person of the year.

Yeah. That pisses me off.

You have no idea.

I have been hoping and praying that they find a way to remove him from office since day one.

Unfortunately, being a shitty person is not one of the impeachable offences.

He handed the Dems exactly what they needed, but because Trump has visibly pissed the Dems off since day one, it’s definitely caused the impeachment to fall along party lines.

I’m disappointed that the Republicans have decided to protect him at all costs.

I’m disappointed that the Dems can’t figure out how to get a decent candidate in front of the American people… I hate all the front runners, for multiple reasons, some of them - admittedly - not rational.Call it the gut check. I could never verbalise why I hated Clinton and Sanders, either. I just knew I didn’t like them.

I think the impeachment is going to hurt the Dems come this next election and that pisses me off… I wish there were a fair trial coming up instead of this fucking shitshow.

Then again, if I’m going to waste my time on pointless wishes, I might as well wish to go back in time and not move to South Florida. Or I might as well wish for the bipolar behaving itself and not getting fired from my dream job because I had a complete breakdown and couldn’t function. (By the way, I was protected by the EEOC, but they found a loophole. Long story and you’re never going to get the full story here.)

Whatever…

I’m off to binge the Mandalorian… I’m only allowing myself to watch it if I’m on the treadmill. Six episodes at about 30 minutes each is about 3 5Ks or 9 miles at my slower pace. That’s not too bad. I could also make it a game: run full out when Baby Yoda does something adorable or when Mando shows emotion… but then I might be running full out for the 6 episodes. (How the fuck does Pedro Pascal manage to convey so many emotions when you never see his face?!?!?!)

And yes,  I know there are 7, but I’m not allowed to watch it alone and the husband not’s home right now.

Rah! Rah! Ravenclaw!!!!


December 04, 2018 :: 7:23 PM

hogwarts running club :: ravenclaws :: universal orlando fun run :: 01-dec-2018

So. A lot has happened since September, but succeeding at my three words is the one thing I’m most proud of.

My three words for this year were 5K, fandom, and language. It’s only the beginning of December, but I have crushed those.

1) 5K - let’s see… this year, I’ve done three IRL 5Ks. I’ve logged a ton of miles since joining the HRC (79.64 to be exact). That doesn’t count the hundreds of miles I’ve walked around Universal. (Yes. HUNDREDS.)

Between the Hogwarts Running Club and the Whovian Running Club, I’ve earned 7 medals. I’m impressed with myself - that’s a total of 35 miles. Which means, if you’re doing the math, that I logged 44 miles more than I gave myself credit for. My rule is that I have to walk the miles in consecutive days (if it’s a longer race) to earn the medal and unfortunately, the dog’s walking route is only 2 miles, so there’s a lot of days that don’t count because I can’t always take him for a walk on consecutive days no matter how much I want to.

Doesn’t matter because 80 miles is 80 miles more than I would have done without the HRC.

Crushed it.


2) Fandom - hmmm… well. That photo up there? Those are the Ravenclaws. From the Hogwarts Running Club. (Harry Potter fans until the very end.) I didn’t meet many of them in person - damn anxiety- but I recognise the faces from their FB profile pics. I also friended one of them on FB, which is huge for me. I don’t friend just anyone, but I completely love Alexander. He’s good people. Too bad he’s in Belgium because I would totally adopt him.

I’m still writing fan fiction. Still mostly Harry Potter because Drarry is my thing, but I branched out to Teen Wolf again and I’ll be starting a Yuri!!! on Ice one soon. (Holy shit, dude. WHY was it only 12 episodes?!?! I am obsessed with that damn anime. Do you hear me? OBSESSED.)  Plus, I’m hanging out more in a FB Harry Potter fan fiction group. No friends there, yet, but there’s potential.

I cosplayed several times as a Ravenclaw student… And, and, and I’m learning how to sew for more cosplay options. Not to mention, I have a whole crap ton of Harry Potter themed fabric that is making its way into my closet in one form or another.

Crushed it.

3) Language - this one was hard. I didn’t meet my goals, because reasons. BUT in the last two months, I’ve picked up my Ukrainian studies with a vengeance. I’m currently addicted to learning cursive which is a nice way to mix things up. I’ve gotten in this terrible habit of writing down vocab words in cursive and then looking them up later. Hoo-boy, is it a struggle some times to read what I wrote. Cyrillic cursive looks like a drunk 5 year old writing prescriptions, but my handwriting is getting better because I have to focus so hard on the letter forms.

I’m also fighting my way through the first chapter of Harry Potter for the third (fourth?) time. I’m remembering more words and am getting better at deciphering entire sentences without constantly looking up vocab. I will say this much - character names look very different in Cyrillic than they do in English.

I’m thinking about skipping forward to see how “I am Lord Voldemort / Tom Marvolo Riddle” works out. The French translation is different (Tom Elvis Jedusor) and there’s a lot of people out there who say it should have been “Mr. Tom, a dildo lover”. So, yeah. Curious as to how the Ukrainian translation handles it.

Late to the game, but I’m giving myself the win because lately, I’m kicking some serious ass.

Crushed it.

(HA HA HA!!!!! I spelt “drive” wrong - it’s прівіт-драйв, not прівіт-дdайв (because that is decidedly not a Ukrainian letter!)

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