polyglot in training

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.

Feelin’ groovy


October 12, 2014 :: 1:36 PM

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*

Absolutely ridiculous.

——

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.)

Look at how little he was!


October 05, 2014 :: 5:14 PM

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? 

Nope.

——

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.)

Cue “Twilight Zone” theme


September 28, 2014 :: 9:05 PM

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.

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