polyglot in training

What he said.


June 29, 2014 :: 7:06 PM

take that, [you fucking jerkface]

Sometimes, I wish I could say what exactly was on my mind, but… I guess growing old has woken up my internal censor.

Had a great time yesterday with my little brother and his family. Learned why we need to wear a helmet when we ride bikes… If you’re my friend on Facebook, you saw Logan’s first attempt on his new balance bike. I generally dislike children, but I’ve made a special effort to like Logan and it’s paying off in spades. I love that kid like I love my dogs. (So, you know, a metric fuck ton.)

Today, I went to lunch at Applebee’s with one of my many mother figures. Had a good time with her - she’s so much like my father and her kids are so much like me that I’m constantly amazed that we’re NOT related.

We talked about some of my struggles at work (stupid, petty, little things - nothing worth getting fired up about, but enough to need to vent about) and her kids. I may not have a (blood) family anymore, but I have one hell of a (real) family.

FAMILY DON’T END WITH BLOOD

That quote from Supernatural has been coming up time and time again recently, and every time it comes up, it proves itself to be more and more true.

——

Made contact with a tutor via italki… $6 for an hour lesson. Wish I had found out about italki BEFORE I paid for the other tutor. I loved this one so much more than the other one. Guess I’ll be paying for more lessons with her. At $6/hr, it’s not going to break the bank and will help me keep moving forward.

Learning Ukrainian is a priority, but I seem to keep forgetting.

Definitely something I need to work on.

*sigh*

My Ukrainian brings all the boys to the yard…


June 22, 2014 :: 5:14 PM

the most important lesson from any fandom: family don’t end with blood

SO.

Lang-8 and italki were mentioned as good websites if you want to find people to practice speaking with. There are a lot of people willing to chat to random strangers. A LOT. It’s a little scary.

I have seven friends on Lang-8 who I really haven’t interacted with yet.

I have four friends on italki who I’ve started to interact with.

Guess what the majority of those people are?

BOYS! In Ukraine!

As my friend, Jax, put it: HELLO, GREEN CARD!

Maybe I should put “I’M MARRIED” in my profile…

Learning Ukrainian by osmosis


June 20, 2014 :: 6:35 PM

suzy-q ukie fest, 2009

Alternatively, I could’ve titled this “How I’ve learned to embrace alcoholism”

I don’t think it’s a secret that I love music, so one of the ways I’ve been learning Ukie is by listening to Ukrainian music (ska/punk/rock). Listening / learning goes a little like this:

First listen: OH! I REALLY LIKE THIS BEAT!

Second listen: Wait. I think I understand that… something, something, something LOVE! Something about reading. Birds?

And so on and so forth until I feel confident in matching the sounds and can sing along.

The newest band I’ve been listening to, TIK, is one of the headliners at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival. (Which I will be attending and hopefully conversing mostly in Ukrainian. It’s good to have goals.)

Anyhoo, my first listen to “АЛКО голізм” went something like this:

OH. FUCK. Are they saying what I think they’re saying?

My second listen went like this:

OH. FUCKING. FUCK. That’s fucking catchy as fuck. Fuck.

My third listen went something like this:

Drink. Water. Alcohol. Where. Here. People. Alcoholism. Hand. Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink! There is not. Alcoholic. Vodka and beer. Drink. Yes (so?). You cannot. I want to live. You need to drink. Alcoholism. Hand. Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink! I do not know who is and I do not know who. No drink. Morning. Day. Soviets. Communism. Alcoholism.

OH. FUCKING. FUCK. *dies*

So. Yeah. Not only do I know more than I thought I did, but… I’ve become the walking definition of irony.

The girl whose parents both died from complications due to alcoholism’s favourite song is about drinking. With a chorus that’s basically Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink!

Seeing how my translation is rudimentary at best, I think I got the wrong idea. The band’s name is an abbreviation of the Ukrainian phrase “Тверезість і культура” which means “Sobriety and Culture”, and Google (and Bing) translate also make me think my original thoughts are wrong.

Either way, give it a listen. Let me know what you think.

Don’t you forget about me…


June 08, 2014 :: 6:08 PM

milk: it does a minion good.

My last Ukrainian class was yesterday. It feels weird to know I never have to get up ass early again. I’m kind of going to miss my teacher, too.

She considered the class a success because we were able to have a conversation with very little English yesterday. I still consider MYSELF a failure for not putting in the hours and struggling with the vocabulary.

But.

I have an excellent foundation and two more ‘teach yourself’ books in my collection. I should be able to work my way through them, but my teacher has said she’ll be available if I get really stuck.

I’ve also managed to find a couple of really good tools to use for flashcards and am reaching out on some social media sites to find people who are willing to tolerate my shitty Ukrainian in exchange for practice with English.

The learning must go on because…

It appears that I can claim Ukrainian citizenship simply because my grandfather was born there. But… I need to be at least conversational or fluent, though, and I’m not even close to conversational.

——

Other than that, I purchased the Harry Potter series in Ukrainian. It’s my goal to read all seven books during the summer. It’s probably not feasible (I see a lot of quality time with Google Translate or a dictionary…), but I’m going to try. I’m also planning to buy the Hunger Games trilogy.

Hey, if I’m going to struggle through the books in Ukrainian, I might as well read a story I’m familiar with. It will help fill in the gaps. I’ve already mastered the first sentence in the first Harry Potter book. How many more to go? I don’t know, but I know it’s a metric shit ton and then some.

——

Work is slow. And boring.

We’re doing some tiny projects around the house since I’m finally employed and can afford to do them.

I’m going to at least two Ukrainian festivals this summer and probably a few more, depending on timing… I’ll have business cards made up with my email, blog, and skype information, so I can give them to the people I meet while I’m out and about (if they’re open to conversing with me, that is).

My Ukrainian blog is up and running. It just needs some content. And some more tweaking… the site breaks on my iPhone and there’s a few features I need to add, but I’m satisfied with where it is. For now.

I’m still alive… just boring.

Tour buses and tractor trailers


April 29, 2014 :: 7:47 PM

i love martin freeman’s partner

From time to time (especially now since hockey season is long gone), it’s easy to forget that I work in an arena.

Today, I could barely get into the parking lot because of all the trucks and tour buses.

I had to flash my staff ID at a security guard so I could get into the building.

FUCKING!!!!!! AWESOME!!!!!!

I have no idea who the bands are that are playing tonight, but I heard their sound checks. Oh, sorry, “line checks”. The data sheet from the producer was very clear that they weren’t doing sound checks. Dunno. They sound about the same to me. Anyhoo… The acts are classified as EDM (electronic dance music, whatever the fuck THAT is), so we can’t sell alcohol. This type of music brings out the “Molly” (or X for us old farts) users, so we keep them hydrated. Lots of water located around the arena and nothing else available. Fascinating.

On Friday, we’re playing host to “The Justin Bieber of Country Music”. His show starts early and there’s a pre-show meet and greet which means that early Friday afternoon (3-ish?), shit’s going to get CRAZY.

Teen aged girls running amok in my building. Being teen aged girls.

Fucking. Awesome.

Seriously though, I love my job like I can’t even put into words.

When I interviewed, I asked what the vacation time was like and I was told I get 365 vacation days… I seriously thought he was joking, but I love what I do and where I do it so much that every day is like a vacation day. No false advertising there!

——

I’m halfway through my Ukie lessons.

That’s both good and bad. I’m still struggling to learn what I feel are basic concepts (nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns) because they have different spellings determined by gender and case. It’s a hard language to learn, and as I’m fond of saying, the Cyrillic alphabet is adding a new level of complexity.

*sigh*

——

There’s a new all-age drum corps starting up this year. I was interested in joining it, but I cant be bothered to fill out the paperwork and send it in.

I guess that means that I’m not as interested in joining as I thought I’d be.

I’ve been thinking about starting up my work outs again, but I don’t want to pay for the trainer and I’m not going to the gym. (I’m too self-conscious and awkward to be comfortable at the gym.)

I’ve been thinking about starting fencing again, but I don’t want to compete, so what’s the point?

I looked into grad schools again.

I don’t know what I want right now…

All I know is that I’ve got a bad case of wanderlust and nowhere I really want to wander to.

*sigh*

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