If you can’t say anything nice…

September 18, 2015 :: 10:23 PM

hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home

Over Labor Day weekend, I dragged the hubby to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, at Universal Orlando.

It was, without a doubt, once of the best vacations I’ve ever been on. Butterbeer! Hogwarts! The Hogwarts Express!

I felt just like the little 12 year old fangirl I really am. (Of course, all my good Harry Potter shirts are Doctor Who crossovers… and holy fuck! There were probably as many Whovians as there were Potterheads walking around.)

Harry Potter was my introduction to the world of fandom, but I wasn’t ready for it back then. Once I was ready, I’ve embraced it with open arms. The fan fic alone is nothing short of incredible. I’ve published two - one was way more popular than the other. And I have to agree with the citizens of AO3… the first one is the better one.

I even began knitting a Quidditch sweater. Of course, Pottermore sorted me into Ravenclaw… which - if you’re a book nerd like me - is absolutely shitty. All the fucking merch is based on the movies. Ravenclaw’s house colours are blue and bronze. NOT blue and silver. Our crest features an eagle. NOT a raven. So yeah, long rant short: I’m making my own Ravenclaw things.

——-

I’ve been quiet because 1) knitting that fucking Quidditch sweater has been taking all of my free time and 2) I’m being bullied at work.

Yeah. I’m 40 fucking years old and I’m being bullied.

I can’t defend myself the way I want to (adulting is hard), but I am defending myself. In my review today, the only bit I scored poorly on was “plays well with others” because of this person. In my defence, my boss only circled the lower score because he was being honest, but we all know why I don’t play well with others. It’s a long story and there’s a lot I can’t say so…

There you go.

Knitting. Harry Potter. Fan fiction. Working.

———

I’ve taken a break from actively studying Ukrainian for the summer (see: Quidditch sweater), but I’ve been listening to a lot more pop music. I’m catching more words which is amusing because I still have the vocabulary of a newborn. I also managed to fight through three chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Ukrainian during the flights to and from Florida. I missed probably 90% of the words, but I recognised enough words to make myself feel good and follow the story.

I’ll start again in October. I just needed a break - I feel like all I’m doing is studying, but I’m not making any progress.

I also received the Hunger Games trilogy (finally!) from a Ukrainian bookseller and I’ve gotten through the first chapter of The Hunger Games with relatively little trouble, amazingly enough. Even without the vocab.

I’ve pretty much decided that I’ll be translating my good Harry Potter fan fic to Ukrainian. I want to do it for a bunch of reasons, but mostly because I want some practice in writing. Writing will also drive the vocab home and will probably force me to contact someone I don’t know to help with the slang.

I guess we’ll have to see. Life isn’t going anywhere near the direction it needs to be going in… but I’ll survive this. I always find a way.

 

 


Mailman fan fiction

July 11, 2015 :: 6:27 PM

back to basics: kids’ books (and some ridiculously cheesy vampire disaster)

I love that the hubby tolerates my complete obsession with male/male fan fiction. Although there are moments when I’m not sure if he’s trying to change the topic, be funny or is actually deaf… We were watching a commercial that said something about self-publishing books and I said out loud, I wonder if they’d publish male/male fiction. He said, “Mailman fan fiction?”

I think I love him more every day.

Which is either pretty awesome or pretty gross.

——

I’m having a good (too good?) time on Facebook playing with my friend’s husband. We’re both huge Potterheads, horror fans and like ghosts and other scary things, so we’ve been bonding. She’s not into any of the paranormal / horror stuff and has a great sense of humour regarding our shared obsessions.

It’s nice to have friends that understand that not everything is flirting, or sexual in nature… even if it includes writing mailman fan fiction.

——

I have to go to Pittsburgh for work next week and I’ve been slacking on the Ukrainian learning for a while. We have a new employee who has made my life a complete and utter shitshow. I’ve fallen so far behind at work that I’ve been working late and going in early. All because of one person. It’s insane.

It doesn’t help that one of my coworkers - one I thought I was friendly terms with - became an uber bitch because I moved downstairs to work with my department. She’s keeping important accounting data from me and thinks she’s my boss. Riiiiiiiiight. There’s been some arguing as to who can lay claim to me: service or accounting. I have pushed hard for service, since I have very little to do with my fellow accountants. It shouldn’t be like this. The worst thing is everyone hates that coworker. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. Dude, if I’m ever her boss, I won’t be. Firing her will be my first official act as controller.

So… as always, I push the Ukrainian aside because it’s not a priority. It’s a want, not a need. It’s hard to balance what I should be doing with what I want to do. And what I want to do is write more Drarry fic and knit my Quidditch sweater. Not study. Especially not after a shit day at work.

Anywhoooo. I bought those books in the picture for the flight to Pittsburgh. I figure they’re small, they’ll travel well, and they’re right at my vocab level, give or take.

Now, I just need to decide if I can live with just my iPad or need to drag along my laptop. I have a feeling I’m leaving both behind and surviving with just my phone. It’s four days and I have a lot of Ukrainian to try to catch up on. Same with the knitting. It’s just that it’s HARD to write pr0n on the iPhone and it’s even harder to publish. (10 kudos so far on the new one! WOO!)

*sigh*


Добредень!

June 07, 2015 :: 1:59 PM

snape does a shot… love it!

I think this is the best thing I’ve ever read:

I really loved the way in which Harry & Draco got together at first, not really talking just being there for each other.

Then being arrested and losing hope.

And then Harry’s testimony! That part totally had me crying for Harry & Draco.

I normally don’t like Fics where they fall for each other so quickly, but the way you wrote them, it felt right, and believable in the “fic” world.

So thank you very much for a different outlook on the immediate aftermath of Draco & Harry post war!

Many kudos and I look forward to reading more of your work.

——

Working on a 12 hour italki language challenge and a 90 day language challenge… That’s a LOT of Ukrainian filling my week, but at $97 to enroll in the 90 day and over a hundred bucks in italki tutoring, I’m finally seeing some results. I’ve got two different tutors right now: One I’m very comfortable speaking with and one that I’m sure will be good to go over grammar drills with, judging by the amount of written homework she keeps assigning. The 90 day challenge cumulates in a 15 minute video conversation so speaking has to be a major priority, but that tutor’s only available at 5 AM. The Grammar tutor is available in the afternoons. I really wish they were switched, but… 

My major driver right now, is that there’s airline tickets on the line. I could fly to Ukraine for free if I “win” the challenge. I’m assuming the major thing is to completely rock the challenge and be as fluent as possible, so I’m going to kill myself learning the language if that’s what it takes.

——

Using the feedback from that comment above has lead me to tear apart the second Drarry fic I was almost ready to publish. I definitely have trouble with the two of them suddenly forgiving each other and falling into bed within hours of reconnecting when I read it in other fics. It’s a huge issue in any fandom when you’re writing about characters with a lot of history. They already know each other so all the verbal/emotional foreplay has been had. In my first Drarry fic, I had to put a bit of a fast-forward on the enemies to lovers thing because of the timing of the post-War events. I can’t imagine the Wizarding World would have waited to capture and put the Malfoy men on trial, but it was important that Draco and Harry had a solid relationship BEFORE Draco’s arrest. In this second one, I have more time to play with, so I’m going to drag it out until the last chapter.

I spent the eight hours in the car, driving back and forth from Woodstock, thinking about how to make it real between them at a ridiculous snail’s pace. I think I nailed it, but I can’t wait to tear into the draft and fix it.

——

Speaking of Drarry, I’m going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a long weekend! I’ve been sorted into Ravenclaw on Pottermore (and several other website quizzes), so I decided to knit myself a Quidditch sweater! I’m so excited to knit such a big project for myself and one with such a tight deadline. This will be so much fun! I suppose I could buy one, but the movie colours are not the same as the book colours and I’m doing this by the book, as the saying goes. (HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA)

On that note - maybe I should go read some Harry Potter (Ukrainian version, of course) and work on some vocab…

The fun never ends.


It’s over. Woo!

January 18, 2015 :: 8:01 PM

^^^ this. so. much. this. ^^^

I’ve pretty much been working nonstop since jackass’s last day. Seven day work weeks. Twelve hour days.

It’s ridiculous. Really fucking ridiculous.

I took this job because I didn’t want that type of responsibility. I didn’t want to work that hard again.

The good news is that I was told that Saturday was my last day of OT.

So… I’d throw a party and shit but I’m too fucking exhausted.

——

The italki New Year Language Challenge is on! Luckily (?), my tutor was on vacation for the first week of the challenge, so I haven’t started yet. I say luckily because if I had scheduled any classes for the first two weeks of January, I would have had to reschedule them.

No more OT = more time for Ukie classes!

——

Which totally reminds me about a whole thing going on in two of the Ukie Facebook groups I belong to. Simultaneously.

One person in one group brought up that they hate Ukrainians being called Ukies, and then someone else brought that discussion to the second group.

I didn’t know what to think at first…

I mean, I grew up with the word ‘Ukie’ - it’s who I am. I went to Ukie school (before my mother pulled me out), I went to a Ukie church, attended Ukie weddings, and my mother is buried in a Ukie cemetery.

Shit - for my birthday, I’m getting a personalised license plate that says UKIE on it. (And maybe a tattoo. Don’t tell J. I’ve always hated them, definitely hate the idea of something on me that I can’t take off if I grow tired of it, and don’t like the one on him… Turning the big 4-0 is definitely fucking with my head.)

Anyhoo.

One of the Ukrainian-Ukrainians - not a member of the diaspora - took offence to it. Compared it to the N-Word.

Seriously?

I think that’s taking it a tad too far, but since I’m in the States I’m probably not the best judge. The Canadians don’t seem to mind it either, so maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that we’re here and not there.

Dunno.

——

Knitting a test sock so I can try the fish lips kiss heel. I am so sick of working on the gift socks and having to tear them back because the pattern I’m using says that row gauge doesn’t matter. The fuck it doesn’t.

The only problem with test knitting is that I LOVE the test socks and want to finish that pair first. *sigh* I don’t think the gift socks will ever get done.

Maybe by the recipient’s 40th? (Happy birthday! Here’s some socks!)

——

In other news, Guinness had a thing on his nose that went from a bald spot (like he rubbed it on a door handle / gate latch a little too hard) to HOLY-FUCK-IT’S-SWOLLEN-AND-INFECTED in the space of a few days.

Since neither of us could take Monday off with a clear conscious, we went to the Emergency Vet last Sunday night.

He’s on some serious antibiotics and it’s starting to look better, but it was looking pretty rough for a while there. We had to deal with the cone of shame which is always fun. Big dogs without peripheral vision and no concept of spacial relations always make for a rip roaring good time. His first cone is held together by duct tape. His second cone is pretty much pristine because he figured out that picking at the scab means he has to wear the CoS.

I swear, that fucking dog is going to be the death of me.

 


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.

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