Uphill battle

April 05, 2014 :: 12:36 PM

i fucking hate conjugating verbs

Three types of verbs in the Ukrainian language, with three different types of conjugations. Does the stem end with a vowel? A consonant? Is it irregular?

Fuck. Me.

I’m trying to remember if it was this hard with French and Latin, and all my memories are that they were easy. Of course, they used Roman letters. I’ve been banned from using transliteration, which means I’m pretty well fucked. I can’t remember how to pronounce the letters without a cheat sheet and it’s easier for me to use transliteration to do that.

However, that doesn’t fly in the ‘real world’ now, does it? The odds of finding transliterated official documents - like those needed to get a copy of my grandfather’s birth certificate - are slim to none. In fact, I know that they don’t exist… I already downloaded the forms I need.

Making matters worse—my idea for the different keyboard was BRILLIANT - however, I’m back to hunting and pecking. The Cyrillic ‘O’ is the same as a Roman ‘J’ on the Mac keyboard. The ‘T’ is on the ‘N’ and so on… This is impeding my forward progress and that is not cool.

This would be so much easier if I could lean on transliteration.

But.

I’m a big girl. I’ll put on my big girl panties and deal with it, but I’m definitely going to bitch about it. I need to vent or I’ll explode. I know this is a choice I’ve made, and I’ve invested a lot of money, so I’m going to do this right… but wow.

Difficult language is difficult.

To put things into perspective for myself, Latin is difficult, and I never got anything less than a B in that class. (Of course, I got As in French, but I actually had French speaking neighbours at that point.)

Maths is difficult. I still struggle with it, despite the fact that I work with it every single day. Being an accountant is about logic, more than it is about being able to add, subtract, multiply and divide. I was told, point blank, by my father to never become an accountant… well, guess who graduated with a 3.89 and loved all her classes?

(And, apparently, I’m learning British English… but that’s more by osmosis. ‘Maths’ looks so weird, but I know it’s correct.)

So… this shouldn’t be that hard once I get out of ‘what the fuck did I get myself into’ mode.

I just hope I get past this soon.


So. That’s that, then.

April 03, 2014 :: 7:25 PM

i am so fucking wicked smaht sometimes

*walks up to hornets’ nest with large stick*

*looks at hornets’ nest*

*walks inside*

*hops on tumblr and fangirls over the Cumbercutie*

Yep. I’m in CONTROL of my own destiny and tumblr’s way more important than that hornets’ nest.

(Oh, did I say tumblr? I meant some terrificcally filthy Drarry fan fic.)

(For what’s it worth, I’m laughing my ass off about this whole thing. Thanks, girly, for the gossip!)

——

And now that that’s out of the way… it’s time for something completely different.

I talked to my teacher this morning and we’re in agreement that a book is needed. So, a book shall be purchased.

She told me that I was smart and had a good handle on what’s been taught so far. That came as a bit of a shock, to be totally honest, because I’m so NOT feelin’ it.

I decided to buy some keyboard stickers so that I could begin to blog in Ukie without having to use the keyboard viewer thingy that comes with my Mac.

Thus began the great dilemma of Wednesday: do they go on the laptop? Do they go on the iMac’s keyboard?

Nope!

They went on the little bluetooth keyboard I primarily use with my iPad - it works with both the MBP and the iMac, so that’s a great compromise.

Wicked. Smaht.

Yep.

——

Another good heart to heart with the boss today.

I’m liking this place… so good to finally find a place to settle down and grow some roots.


я не розумію

April 02, 2014 :: 8:32 PM

literally! benedict timothy carlton cumberbatch, to be exact

I’m already over my Ukie classes… after having two.

I can’t read the cyrillic and I’m struggling to pronounce the words properly on my own. I’m using flash cards like a mofo, but I put the Cyrillic and the pronunciation/transliteration on the front. I only know it by pronunciation…. *sigh*

To make matters worse, we’re starting with the same basics as every other teaching company out there, but three different ‘teach yourself’ books have completely different ways of dealing with the subject material.

I’d like to learn Ukie the same way I learned French and Latin - with reading and writing and homework. Using flash cards is only good for freaking me out because I struggle to memorise when I don’t know what’s around them. (Verbs, cases, etc.)

*sigh*

I’m going to talk to her tomorrow and see what there is to see about changing things up, because this isn’t working.


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 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?

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