rest in peace, coach
It’s been a whole lot of death and gloom around me lately.
Death apparently no longer happens in threes. It’s expanded to five, but we’re all kind of waiting for number six to show up.
It started with a co-worker’s cousin dying in a fiery car wreck. The body was so damaged, they had to use dental records.
Then, Coach Marshall died.
I’m still having a hard time processing that. I went to the memorial, and I thought that would give me the closure I needed, but it didn’t. Coach was a good man. A bit troubled, but who amongst us isn’t? The UConn hockey program wouldn’t have been the same without him and his stubbornness, that laser focus on proving that anything less than Hockey East wasn’t acceptable, the drive and determination to get the ice rink enclosed. I was fortunate to be there for so much of the early (later) days. I was instrumental in doing much of the groundwork for the fundraising of the indoor rink, and he taught me so much about kissing ass without actually needing to pucker up. I wouldn’t be the person I am without his influence…
It’s hard to think about the fact that there’ll never be another note, another email, another set of tickets left at the door because “I know you don’t have anything better to do this weekend.”
Maybe once hockey season is over, the wound will heal. At the very least, time and distance will numb the pain.
As if that hadn’t rocked my world enough, another coworker lost his son. Cancer. A bunch of us went to the memorial service, and it was suitably awkward. It’s well known that I don’t like to be touched by people, and I became the butt of a few jokes when Bob got in not one, but two, hugs. Fuck it. It made him laugh, and that’s what matters.
Found out today another co-worker lost his sister (sister-in-law?), and yet another service tech’s best friend’s sister killed herself.
Dear 2016, STOP FUCKING KILLING PEOPLE. You can make it to the end of the year, can’t you?
We’re going to Lviv in a few days. My Ukrainian is shitty, but I should be functional. I’m still missing some key vocabulary, and I’m not happy about it, but I don’t know what else to do. I’m taking lessons five days a week and cramming in homework and translating my Harry Potter fanfic whenever possible. I’m also trying to read other Ukrainian fanfics. I read a Littlefinger / Sansa pairing that was… eh. Right now, I’m working on a Littlefinger / Caitlyn Stark fic. Also ‘eh’, but beggars can’t be choosers.
The only thing that’s keeping me from totally losing my shit is the fact that my tutor thinks I’m doing extremely well.
Related - this last weekend, I wandered down to the Armpit of the Eastern Seaboard (New Jersey) for a Ukrainian genealogical conference. In a room full of 80 Ukrainians, it felt like I was the only one that understood Ukrainian. It was weird… a few of the presenters were like “Oh, this site is only in Ukrainian. Just google translate it! It’ll be close enough.”
NO. NO. NO. NO.
I’m not sure if that was the worst or if the Cyrillic handwriting class was. This woman kept trying to transliterate the letters. That’s all fine and dandy, but in my experience, leaning on transliteration when you’re first learning is terrible. You’re never going to understand the language if you don’t dive in and start using the Cyrillic alphabet. Sorry. That’s the only way to do it, if you want to do it properly.
In preparation for our trip, I even gave in and ate the kapusta and kielbasa, a vareneky, and some borscht. Unfortunately, both the borscht and the kapusta were too acidic for me (woo! acid reflux!), but I ate the entire vareneky. If you know what a fussy eater I am, you know how huge that is for me.
In other news, there’s drama at work (when is there not?). I’m not sure where I fit in, but I know what I want and I know how to get there. It’s just a matter of how many bodies will pile up as the drama continues… and I hope I’m not collateral damage. We’ll find out, won’t we?
Fuck. I just want a nice, normal, boring job.
Election Day is tomorrow.
I CAN’T FUCKING WAIT FOR THIS SHIT SHOW TO BE OVER.
OMG. I can’t even.
It was like a bad joke yesterday: a (male) Brookah, a black man, and a woman were holding signs for Trump. How the fuck can a black man support a guy who is endorsed by the fucking KKK? And let’s not even get into the whole sexual harassment / assault shit going on with the women.
To prove that the universe is paying attention, though, we have a neighbor that has a big Trump sign in his yard. Came home the other night to find that his pickup (with a massive Trump sticker) had been set on fire and melted some of the siding on his house.
I get a little weepy when I think about voting for Hillary, but I don’t know if it’s because she could be the first female president or if it’s because I’m so disgusted that she’s the lesser of two evils.
I really wonder what we look like to the rest of the world…
Святосла́в Вакарчу́к :: Океан Ельзи
We leave for Ukraine in about a month, give or take, and I am FREAKING out. I’m still not where I want to be with the language, and I doubt that I’ll ever be there. I’m working with a tutor five days a week and thinking about kicking my social anxiety in the ass and reaching out to find some language partners for the weekends.
Today alone, I worked with some flashcards in Memrise, struggled to translate a few sentences in my Drarry fanfic and am currently putting off attempting to read Harry Potter.
I think it’s safe to say progress is fucking sloooooooooooooow. But at least there’s progress, and it’s measurable.
I got a little pissed off at fencing the other night. My coach / instructor is Puerto Rican and I happened to mention that I was Ukrainian. He told me that I wasn’t because I didn’t grow up speaking the language. Oh, excuse me. I didn’t realise that not growing up in a Ukrainian household changed the components of my DNA. (And let’s not discuss the fact that he isn’t American, but thinks he is… GRRRR!)
In other news:
Work is bothersome. The depression still hasn’t left. Fencing doesn’t make me feel better. I’ve changed my diet and I’m not losing weight.
And I’m beyond terrified of the current situation in the States. This whole Trump candidacy feels like one big nightmare we can’t wake up from… I can’t live in a world where he’s the better choice to run this country. I can’t do it. I don’t like Hillary, either, and I think the third party candidates are wasted votes… All I can do at this point is try to figure out how to leave the States and not come back. Hopefully, the husband comes with me, but it probably wouldn’t be a deal breaker if he didn’t.
Yeah. It’s that bad.
And on that cheerful note, it’s time to get back to Гаррі Поттер.
I just came back from a week in Phoenix and I AM DYING.
I went on this business trip with an extroverted co-worker and even though we had separate hotel rooms and were in separate classes, she was like this huge energy vampire whenever we were in each other’s company.
I got home well after midnight last night and was just so emotionally drained that there was no chance I would be functional today.
I’m pissed and disappointed, but judging by the amount of energy I’ve had today, I definitely wouldn’t have survived. I lost $75 if they won’t let me reschedule. I don’t mind losing it; it was for the best.
I also cancelled my trip to the Putnam Den to see Black Mountain Symphony.
In happier news - here’s a kick ass cover of Okean Elzy’s “In Heaven / In the Sky” (depending on the translator, I guess)
Life is weird.
A lot is going on at work… I’ll be there a year in April, and it’s been a rough year in about a thousand different ways. I’ve been re-evaluating my position there regarding where I want to be, where I am, where I’ve been. It hasn’t been looking good for them, and I’ve seriously been thinking about updating my resume and putting it out there. Just in case.
So. Of course, the controller has to take a new interest in me.
We’ve actually talked. Had real discussions about the service department’s accounting practices and procedures. Things that make me think I want to stay… for at least another six months.
I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I’m not planning on doing much in Camp, but I do want to try translating my best Drarry fanfic. Even if it’s something as simple as finding and replacing every instance of Harry and Draco’s names with the Ukrainian equivalent. I’m also thinking that I’ll dump in whatever words I know and worry about verb tenses and cases later. It’s a start. There’re a few authors who have done Ukrainian fanfic for Potter, Teen Wolf, and Supernatural. Worst case scenario, I’ll leave a comment on a recent story and ask them to beta read.
I turn 41 tomorrow and Mom’s 24th (!!!!) anniversary was yesterday. It was rough this year. The uptick in Ukrainian lessons and finalising the trip to Lviv have been kicking my ass - emotionally as much as mentally. It’s been a strange few months.
I’ve been working out and running from Zombies. Doing things I never thought I’d do, like eating fucking yogurt and ENJOYING it. I’ve even been cutting back on the Coke. Me. I used to have a three can a day habit. Now I’m maybe having one a day.
I even managed to break the treadmill so we replaced it with a Bowflex Max. I didn’t buy into the hype - but it’s a stair stepper / elliptical thing that doesn’t take up a whole lot of room and it was the same price as a nice treadmill. That thing is a bitch. I can’t even do the “MAX” interval training thing: 14 minutes 3 times a week and you’ll lose a billion pounds in a month! I’m basically walking on it for a half hour at a whack. It’s much harder than a treadmill, that’s for sure.
I even decided to sign up for GORUCK University. It’s a bunch of classes on how to create a rucking environment and then there’s a GORUCK Light Challenge and a 5K Ruck. 7 hours of Good Livin’ in MAY. MAY 2016. LIKE TWO MONTHS FROM NOW.
I am so fucked.
But, I’m doing something right: I’m down almost 10 pounds in like two weeks and I don’t feel like it’s been a huge change to get there.
So there’s that.
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.