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.
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*
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.)
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.)
A little more genealogical research led me to a really fucking weird coincidence…
The root of my grandparents’ last name, Rohatyn, is also the name of a city in Ukraine.
From Wikipedia: “However, the town crest has a horn of a deer which gives the first part of the Slavish name of Rohatyn or Rogatyn - “Rog” (“Horn”). The second part “Tyn” can be connected with a word which means “Stacket”. Together these two words give us “Horn Stacket”.
Also there is a legend connected with the image of the deer horn of the town crest. It is said that a wife of the Duke Jaroslav Osmomysl, being lost in a forest, met a deer. She survived by following the deer out of the forest. A fort was built with name “Rogach” (“Deer”) on the place where the duchess supposedly stepped out of the forest.”
My father worked for the Hartford Insurance Group. The logo of the Hartford is a stag.
My dad used to joke that he worked for the company with the Moose. This was a joke that would last my entire life, culminating in the engraving of a stag on the box his ashes are held in.
There’s no way in hell that either he, nor my mother, would have ever known about this coincidence.
But I do… and it makes me feel good.
Everything my father said about my mother (the woman he knew, not the one I knew) right before he died makes even more sense now.
*sigh* all that work… headed to the frog pond
My first socks done toe-up and TAAT are headed to the frog pond. Somewhere, somehow, I screwed up pretty badly and there’s laddering up the borders of the pattern. It looks terrible on the needles and even worse on the foot. I’m not sure if it was because I did them two-at-a-tme, I counted completely wrong, or if I managed to drop a stitch on both socks in the exact same spot. All of which are, sadly, very likely to occur and may have even happened simultaneously. That’s how bad they are.
I don’t want to frog them, but as I looked at how fucked up they were, I realised that - more importantly - I hated knitting that fucking pattern. I mean, REALLY hated it.
I love the way Hermione’s Everyday Socks are knitting up, even though I’ve just started a pair in that pattern. (Socks for a friend, unfortunately.) I think it will look equally awesome in that red. And HES isn’t nearly as boring to work on.
It’s really weird how that happens - both are four row repeats, both are relatively simple combinations of knits and purls - but one is infinitely more fun to knit than the other.
I ended up buying a new Forester last Friday and broke it in by heading to Woodstock for Black Mountain Symphony’s record release party. 492 miles from the Subaru dealership, to Seabrook Town Hall, to my house, to Woodstock and back to my house - I’m already at 1,000 miles.
Have I mentioned I’ve only had the damn thing a week?
It was a hard decision and one I didn’t make lightly, despite how it may seem.
My dream car - my BMW - doesn’t come in a stick until you get to the 335, and I need an X-Drive (all wheel drive). When I found one, the sticker on it was $51K. FIFTY ONE THOUSAND. FOR A CAR. I still can’t get past the fact that my very first house was only $32K and I still can’t justify buying a car that costs more than a house. (Even though my current house has an insurance replacement value of $289K, I can’t use that for comparison. I just can’t.)
I know, I know… and I did know it was going to be ugly. I could go down to a 320 / 328, but I don’t want an automatic that thinks it’s a stick. I refuse to drive anything but a stick.
So… my car had had these ongoing issues with the fuel line. It kept throwing up “Check Engine” errors and the dealership was kind of playing hit or miss with the repairs. The first time, it was $500 for a new gas cap and some kind of fuel container thingy. This last time, it was $300 for a stupid gasket. (There were some tests, but seriously? $300 for what ended up being a $6 part.)
When I got it back, the car stunk like gas, but I was told that it was natural and the smell would go away. I didn’t have anything to worry about unless the check engine light came back on.
I don’t know about you, but worrying if my fuel line was going to go while I’m on the backwoods of MA / NY isn’t my idea of a good time. Worrying about whether or not the car would spontaneously combust wasn’t particularly enjoyable, either.
Maybe those are stupid concerns… but the car was paid off. If it hadn’t been, I’d probably still be scared shitless to drive it, but sucking it up until I could afford to pay it off.
I got a brand new 2015 Forester - approximately the same exact car (minus the horizontal roof rack thingies), with technology befitting a car seven model years newer - for the same exact payment as my old car.
I suppose I could have done a lot worse.
I have mixed feelings about it, which sounds completely weird, right? I love it - I really do - but it’s just that I didn’t want a damn car payment.
I have mixed feelings about Black Mountain Symphony’s new album. It sounds ‘flat’. I thought it was my speakers in the new car because I hadn’t tweaked them, but my iMac, iPhone, and Jamie’s car confirmed that it just sounds flat and shitty. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard the songs live a bazillion times and that energy didn’t carry over? I don’t know, but the first album sounded so crisp and clear that the mix on this album is really disappointing.
My other complaint with this album - and it’s definitely petty - is that I wasn’t listed on the liner notes, but someone’s dog was. We all joke that I’m the #1 fan, the miles I’ve put on my car, the amount of money I’ve put in tip jars, the fact that I’ve let them stay in my house (not once, but twice)... all of those are testaments to my dedication to them. I know they sincerely appreciate me. I’ve NEVER doubted that. Not for a second.
It would have been nice to get a public thank you… and there are quite a few others who are surprised that I was left off.
Especially in light of someone’s fucking DOG being thanked.
I’m not going to lie. It hurts.
I’ll get past it because it is so petty and minor in the grand scheme of things, but for now, I’m just going to let it bother me so I can get it out of my system.
I contacted another immigration law firm this morning. I laid out the reasons why I think I can claim citizenship and asked them simply if they thought I could and how much it would cost for that privilege.
I guess we’ll see…