Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chinese: Day 1

I work with 2 Chinese employees who are more comfortable speaking Chinese to each other than English. Understandably so, if I were in China, I’d be speaking English whenever possible. Sometimes it is interesting to listen to them speak, and other times I wish I knew what they were saying. So this has sparked my quest to learn Chinese…

(cue inspirational music like “Eye of the Tiger”) Oh yeah! Rock out.

Learning other languages has always piqued my interest, but I have never learned a language proficiently. In school, I took 5 years of Spanish, 1 year of Chinese, and 1 year of Latin. I know a few things in French thanks to MKD, but these are things that would probably get me jumped in France. Oh and I know one Russian curse word thanks to my Russian stalker back in the day.

So this Chinese language undertaking is a pretty overwhelming task. According to one of the people I work with, there are only around 3,000 characters. Pshaw. I can totally absorb that in my sleep!

But to not overload the 3.57% of my brain that I actually use, I am going to concentrate on the oral stuff. Heh.

Given that MKD and I be po’ from the house/wedding (AKA “sudden death” in financial terms), there will be no investment in nifty learning aids like the Rosetta Stone. No, no, I must learn things via the Internet…the free (and sometimes inaccurate, unreliable, and just plain frightening) web o’ knowledge.

I did find this site which has audio features since I suck at deciphering diacritics. So I learned how to describe the color of clothing I was wearing today…hui, lan, and hei. Of course when I relayed this new learning to my co-worker, she thought it was hilarious. Apparently, after saying words like color names, you add a “se” sound at the end. Hmm…seems like an important/practical thing to have conveniently omitted from this website. Bastards.

So if anyone wants to throw money at Rosetta Stone for me to learn Chinese that would be greatly appreciated. I tried to get my co-workers to start immersing me by only speaking Chinese, but they wouldn’t go for that. I guess I would not be very productive for like a year trying to figure out what was being delegated to me.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sweet Home Alabama!

So I am here in Alabama in a really huge hotel room with free Internet access! My room is equipped with a kitchenette, sofa, chairs, desk, tv, king size bed, and a huge bathroom. Plus, there is free breakfast in the morning. Pretty awesome.

Being from the D.C. area, one can really appreciate large living spaces. My hotel room in Chicago was nice, but I had a view of a brick wall and had to pay for Internet. Plus, I didn't have as many amenities as I have here in AL. Here in the "country," everything is cheaper and there are wide open spaces (but not much to see/do). I would never live in the south, but visiting is just fine. But the small plane used to get here was not fine.

BTW, I think I am in love with my laptop. It is so great to have on the plane and then in hotel rooms. Makes me wonder what I used to do without it. Just like my cell phone...I have a hard time remembering how I functioned before it.

This is my second business trip ever and I am getting used to being in a hotel by myself. But one worrisome thing was when I started choking on my water a few minutes ago. I could have died. Seriously. I guess the walls are pretty thick because no one has rushed to my aid. It also doesn't help that I am still sick. Hopefully I can get some sleep and not be up all night coughing like I have been.

Well, I need to shower the plane off me and get some sleep. I am meeting up with people bright and early to "get to work." It's sad that I had to play hooky from my main job to come to this job. There's something very wrong with that and I believe it has to do with me not being home cuddled with all my babies. Speaking of which, there has been a new addition to the family...a very fat, black cat with different color eyes. She's 11 years old and we are hoping we can be her "forever home."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

On the go

Just when I think life cannot get any more hectic, it does. Just got back from my first business trip to Chicago, and then I am off to Alabama next week for more business related travel. I am not too big on traveling via plane, so I am not looking forward to it. But I did recently get a laptop (finally all of MKD’s electronic desires have been fulfilled for the next 48 hours!) so that has helped keep me occupied on the plane.

I realized the other day that I have 3 jobs now that pay me money. The main one is the one where I sit in a cube and get free benefits. The second one is why I have been travelling so much this month. Then the third one is helping students out that MKD used to know. Based on how well she knew/liked them is how my pay scale has been going.

Coupled with work, comes the wedding planning and general house stuff. So tired. Also doesn’t help that I have some sort of cold/flu. Trying to kick it in a day so my life can resume at lightning speed. Drank two cups of tea in a half hour. Must pee. Now!
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