Every now and then, I drink too much coffee (which for me, is more than a cup in one sitting) and something out of my control happens to throw life out of whack, and I get all het up about it and yell or throw things around like a gorilla. (I’ve never yet thrown poop, though, so at least I have that going for me, although now that I think about it, it’s possible that most gorillas don’t actually throw their feces, and it’s just one or two gorillas spoiling for the rest of us. Uh, them.)
Anyhow, after I explode like a non-vented potato in the microwave (which, after a quick search online actually seems like it might be a myth but I’ve always liked mythological creatures so I don’t mind comparing myself to one), I solemnly vow to never imbibe coffee again, and to live a calm, emotionally exemplary existence wherein I am always centered and cheerful and helpful, and basically make the Dalai Lama look like a slacker. This goes on for awhile, and then I realize that, without coffee, I am sapped of my will to do anything beyond basic survival.
So, then I start drinking it again. This time, though, I’m following a kind of weird policy of only drinking when alone, so if I do get a little chihuahua-hyper, it only affects me, and our Labrador, who actually benefits from bursts of energy, because it means our walks get longer.
In addition to lending me the ability to be ambulatory, coffee also gives me the energy to learn new things. This time in the Cycle of Caffeinated Sorrow and Productivity and More Sorrow, I’m attempting to learn Aikido and Spanish. Aikido’s not going so great – I’ve missed a couple classes lately, and since I only drive the half an hour there and half an hour back once a week, that’s half a month of lost practice time. Happily, although they both share Japanese roots, the dojo is very different from Howl’s Flying Castle, and will stay in one place for long periods of time, so I can just pick things up the following week.
Spanish, however, is going really well. I think it’s possibly because I see it as an excuse to rewatch Australian Netflix sensation Dance Academy again (but in SPANISH), so there’s that, but really, it’s been taking up a lot my mind lately. (Here is a list of Netflix shows with Spanish audio or subtitles, por cierto.)
Everyone be excited with me for a moment, because, apparently, there is a movie that wraps up the show, which ended somewhat unsatisfactorily.
In addition to Netflix binge-watching, I’ve started using Busuu, which is great for learning and has a kind of unique social aspect that lets you post written or spoken sentences and get feedback on them from native speakers who are also learning various languages.
The only drawback to Busuu is, if you get bored with one language, there are 11 more to play with, and if it’s late enough and your brain is hours away from the last coffee, you might decide to learn Russian and then you post a Russian comment and then six people reply and you have to paste their replies into Google Translate one Russian character at a time because you can’t figure out how to copy/paste from the busuu app, and after minutes of arduous labor and much confusion with the Russian keyboard you quickly downloaded to assist your stellar idea of learning a new language that you have zero familiarity with, you find out they’re just telling you to capitalize your name.
It’s a good test of the app, though, to see if I will actually be able to learn Russian with no other outside knowledge of it.