Learning German with Duolingo

Duolingo 

I mentioned that I found my father’s family and I discovered I had a brother who happens to have been born in Germany, and he is currently living in Germany in the same city he was born. Luckily he speaks English, so there is no communication issue, but I am interested in learning German so if the day ever comes when I can visit him, I would like to know the language so I won’t be lost in translation if I decide I want to do some sight seeing when I visit. I also have an aunt and uncle who suddenly switch to German every now and then, and it does get frustrating when you’re the only person in a room full of people speaking German.

So I went to Google a little over a month ago to find a website or a program I could buy that would teach me German. I thought for sure I would find something that was overly expensive, but I was surprised to find Duolingo was free.

I’ve learned “Basics 1” which was pretty easy. “The” which I think I’ve finally really mastered. There are certain times that I’m still learning when to use certain “the” words, but I’m getting it. “Basics 2” was a little difficult, like there are some words like we are that translate to wir sind, you are which translates to ihr seid, they are which is sie sind. They also taught ich trinke, du trinkst, er/sie/es trinkt, wir trinken and ihr trinkt. These all mean like I am drinking, you are drinking, he/she/it is drinking, we are drinking and you are drinking. These are still a little confusing because there are 5 ways to say that someone is drinking lol. I have to keep in mind the different ways, which brings me to accusative case which teaches not just drinking, but eating bread and read a book or newspaper. This stuff is hard. Phrases added several new words which I finally learned, and learning words is easier than learning the many different ways to say a verb. Then I did Intro which teaches many different ways to say the word speak, understand, is called (meaning like He is called Karl) and someone is from somewhere.

Learning a new language is hard ya’ll! But I’m more than happy to learn a new language. I have a learning disability, so I have to do the practice lessons for several days after I master a section, because even though I have the golden icon, I still haven’t really mastered those sections. I also have to speak into the microphone in these lessons so they can tell if I’m saying the words or phrases correct. So not only do I have to learn how to spell German words, and learn the words and what they mean, but I also have to learn how to pronounce them correctly so I don’t sound like I’m saying the wrong word(s).

I could learn any language they have to offer, and a lot of people I’ve spoken with on the website are learning multiple languages at the same time. If you thought learning one language was difficult, try learning 5 or 10 lol. Yeah, I think I will stick to one language for now.

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Legitimate Facebook Friend Request

facebook friend request

As of today, I will no longer be accepting friend requests from people on Facebook.  It seems that every time someone sends me a friend request, they either never talk to me, or they won’t leave me alone because the only reason they sent the request was because they want to have sex with me.  Facebook is not Grindr.  If you want to have sex with people, get a cell phone and install Grindr.  Here is a link to Grindr.  Use that, don’t use Facebook to look for sex.

Last night someone sent me a friend request and I gladly accepted because it said we had 1 friend in common, but then he sent me a DM asking for sex.  When I told him I was in a relationship, he asked me to help him find someone who is single.  No!  I’m not going to help you hook up with my friends.  That is not what Facebook is for!

Awhile ago, someone sent me a friend request and I gladly accepted because it also said we had 1 friend in common.  He sent me a DM and we chatted, and then suddenly he told me he was in love with me and that he wanted to be my boyfriend.  You can’t possibly be in love with me after 10 minutes.  I knew I should have ended the friendship right then and there, but he seemed suicidal and I didn’t want to be the reason that someone ended their life.  I think I have finally made it crystal clear that I am not the person for him, but I shouldn’t have to go through that.  I should be able to live my life guilt free without worrying that someone is going to kill themselves.

Speaking of which, I am always saying that if you need a person to talk to because you are suicidal, send me a DM and I will be a shoulder you can cry on.  So these people who send me a friend request then DM for sex are ruining it for those who legitimately want to talk to me because they need someone to talk to.  That’s a real shame that those people have made me not want to accept friendship requests.  Although, if someone did legitimately need someone to talk to, they can send me a DM first and then I will accept their friend request.

My reasons for being on Facebook is to talk with my friends and family.  To see their pictures and read their funny and or corny jokes and see pictures of their barbecue with their families and friends.  To me, Facebook is a website for friends, and that’s it.

I am not a prude, I like sex, but as I said before, I am in a relationship that has lasted for 19 years and I would like to get to 20 years.  I am not your boyfriend and I am not your friend with benefits.  I am just Mike and that’s it.  I save my friendship for people who actually want it.

So from now on, unless you have sent me a message saying who you are and what your intentions are, I will deny all friend requests.  I wish I didn’t have to get to this point that I have to write a blog post explaining why I will be denying friendship requests.

Ding Dong, AVON Calling

My cousin Tabitha just recently started selling AVON.  You remember AVON don’t you?  My mother used to go to AVON parties in the 70’s and we always had AVON products in the house.  All of her make-up was AVON and I think I even remember AVON bubble bath.

You don’t see too many AVON parties anymore, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still have them.  You also don’t have to go to an AVON party to buy AVON products.  You can go to their website and buy directly from there and have it shipped to your house.

Here is the link to buy AVON from Tabitha Vavrick.  youravon.com/tvavrick

When she told me that she was selling AVON, I took the opportunity to browse through the website and found that they have a lot of great deals.  They don’t just sell women’s products, they sell stuff for men too.  I bought NATURALS & Bubble Delight Cucumber Melon 5-Piece Collection (image) for only $9.99.  I also bought 2 Ironman® Glory Roll-On Anti-Perspirant Deodorant’s for only .99 cents each and a bottle of Core Elements Ice For Him Hair & Body Wash for $6.50 because I know how much Darrin likes the ice body wash during the summer.

I received the order today via UPS.  I was actually quite shocked because the shipping cost was only $3.  I thought for sure it was going to come from the post office.  It was quite a heavy box for only $3 shipping too so that was awesome.

I already used the roll-on deodorant and I actually like it better than the stick I’ve been using which drags across my arm pit.  I hate that.  I have to put it on right away when I get out of the shower before I have a chance to dry my armpits because it feels horrible when it’s dry.  I like that it was only $1 each compared to I think $4 or $5 that Degree is.

I haven’t taken a bath in years because I just don’t have time to sit in the tub, so I only take showers, but I have wanted to take a bath for such a long time.  Now that I have some bubble bath I think I’m going to take advantage of that.  A good soak is nice once in a while because it is so relaxing and it is the perfect place to meditate, which I need to do.  So maybe I will skip the shower and start taking a bath more often.

Next time I get some money I think I’m going to buy a few more of those 5-piece sets so I can put them in baskets and give them to friend’s and family for Christmas.

Our Trip to San Diego

We went to San Diego this weekend to celebrate Chips brothers 50 year anniversary with his wife.  We left Bakersfield on Friday before lunch time, got gas, got food, then got more gas from the food then drove down to San Diego.

Because the I-405 was closed all weekend, the I-5 was congested more than usual.  It’s normally always congested due to LA traffic but it was even more so this time so it took us about 7 hours to get there.

The night we arrived there was nothing to do but talk and reconnect with who was there for a couple of hours before everyone went to bed.  We all got up at 6am and had breakfast before setting everything up for the party.

Since they live on 1 acre of land there was a lot of work to do.  There was setting up tables on the front lawn and setting the tables with the champagne glasses (for Martinelli’s hehe) and the plastic silverware that actually looked silver but felt plastic.  I had all the plates on the table put down before being told it was buffet style, everyone had to grab their plate at the food table.  Oopsie.  No big deal getting the plates stacked up again.

There were candle centerpieces which weren’t really lit up since the sun didn’t go down until after the dinner was all eaten.  There were Chinese lanterns with battery-powered lights in them.  There were 3 large Styrofoam boards with pictures stapled to them which were all screwed to the garage door.  The buffet table had tons of great food to eat.  It was a great party.

They have this block of cement on the side of the house that is meant for a flat even surface for like a picnic table for summer BBQ’s but it’s big enough to use as a dance floor so they rented a wooden floor to put on top of it.  It was really cool and the couple had their first dance on it, actually they shared 2 dances before anyone else came to dance on it.  At first there weren’t anyone on it but eventually there were many people on it.

I don’t dance.  Plain and simple.  In order for me to dance I must have 1 thing, Rhythm, which I don’t have.  I was being dragged to the dance floor and was like whoa, hey no I uh, I don’t think so.  Of course that made her a tad upset and disgusted with me but whatever.  I don’t dance, especially with girls lol.

I sat on the bench near the dance floor watching and people were telling me to come dance and I had to decline.  No means no people!  I did eventually do the cabbage patch in my seat which is about the best I can do.  I’m not a complete fuddy duddy.

The party was very fun and even though I was a bit antisocial because I didn’t really know 85% of the people there I still had a good time.

The cake that you see in the image above was made by one of the family members who is a baker.  She used fondant which I have never actually had before.  I’ve seen them using it on all of those cake shows on tv but I’ve never actually tasted it before.  My first thought was, boy this stuff is hard.  It was very difficult for the person who was cutting the cake to cut it because of how hard the fondant was.  I mean she was having a heck of a time.  I think she needed a serrated edged knife like a steak knife to cut it.

I did like the fondant though, it wasn’t too sweet, although Darrin would disagree with me on that one because he said it was too sweet, then again everything is too sweet for him.  The cake was good too, I don’t know what was inside of it but it had a texture of like pudding in the middle.

I got lots of pictures and I got a few things on video which were very dark since there wasn’t a lot of lighting out there so I’ll have to fix all that in editing on my desktop.  I would like to get other people’s pictures and make it into a slide show with some music and add the videos into the slide show then put it on a DVD and send it to them.  They can add that to their photo album.

I’m glad we went there to share their happy day with them.  I applaud people who have shared 50 long years together.  It’s very rare to find a couple who can last more than a few years, let alone 50.  So that’s pretty cool.

We were given an alternate route to go home which was a really good route too.  We didn’t have to stop once.  I mean, besides stopping at the gas station and jack in the box for lunch.  The traffic wasn’t at a stand still which is what it usually is on the I-5.  We got home 1 hour earlier than we would have if we had gone the way we came.  I’ll definitely have to keep those directions for future visits.

Edit: I don’t know why I said “40” in the first paragraph, it was their 50 year anniversary.

The Search for Childhood Friends

When I got my first internet enabled computer in the late 90’s, I figured it would help me find all of my childhood friends. The ones that I could remember their names anyway. I joined websites like Classmates but they weren’t a huge help because you have to pay them every month. I can’t afford that.

So I’ve basically just been doing a search every year since 1997 and usually with no luck until now. Last year I found 2 friends from the late 70’s, Marla and Jeff. When I was 9, Marla was 5 and Jeff was 10. I considered Marla to be my best friend at the apartment building and I didn’t really get to know Jeff until maybe months before we moved away but when I did get to know him he was my best friend. It was too bad we moved and didn’t become even better friends. I feel like I really missed out on a good friendship.

But I also had a best friend from school named Larry who I’ve searched with no results until last night. Just like when I found Marla and Jeff, I went to Facebook and typed Larry’s full name and I found him. He has been on Facebook for a whole year and I didn’t know. I think that I did find him last year but he didn’t have enough information for me to decide to email him. Also he is a jr. and his name doesn’t say that in his Facebook profile so I wasn’t sure if it was him or not.

I emailed him asking him if he is who I think he is from the late 70’s living in my city and going to my school and even cub scouts with me. He said it was him but he needed more information because he could only remember 2 people from back then. I sent him 2 pictures of me from 1979, 1 in cub scout uniform and another lounging with my older sister. Plus I gave him a huge email explaining why things happened the way they did with me quitting the cub scouts and us moving etc.

That was last night at like 1am and I was tired so I might have over shared with maybe a little too much enthusiasm but I’m sure it didn’t scare him off lol. I tend to do that to people, freak them out with my enthusiasm. I don’t mean to though lol.

I haven’t heard back from him yet but I’m sure I will hear from him tonight and see if that really is him or not. If so then I am so happy that I finally found him after all these years.

Thank you internet and Facebook for bringing people back into my life.

All 3 Stockings Finished

I am beyond happy right now at this very moment because I finally finished the last stocking today. Well, I finished it yesterday but today was the daunting task of sewing all the pieces together to form actual stockings.

The Noah stocking was all felt that you cut out and sew sequins to and then stuff them as you sew them to the stocking. It was quick and easy and since he won’t be a baby for that long it’s more like his baby stocking. He won’t want this to be his stocking in his teens, trust me lol. I have more stockings that I can make that will be more grown up for him in his later years.

The Jordan and Andrew stockings are both by the same company and they are the same style of stocking, just different pattern obviously. The kits were so old that the yarn was constantly falling apart throughout the process. I had to take my sweet time with them to make sure I chose pieces of yarn that would work and not pull apart as soon as I yanked on it when embroidering them on.

Before this, I had no experience in embroidery. When I was 18 years old I bought some embroidery stuff and tried to learn but it was just too boring for me so I gave up before I could even learn. Now look at me.

Well, all I have to say is I hope these kids appreciate the work I put into making these stockings for them. They are probably too young to even tell the difference if I spent months on them or if I bought them at Wal-Mart lol. That’s ok, the adults know the difference and that’s all that matters. When the kids get older they will probably ask about them and then they will appreciate them a bit more.

Friends of the Snowman Stocking is Finished!

I started making this earlier this year in May (you can see the date and time on the left) but halfway through making it I got bored with it because this was my 3rd stocking that I was making. So I figured, I still had about 7 months to finish it, I can certainly wait until November or early December to continue working on it.

I started working on it a few weeks ago but I could only do so much in one day because of my back. What I thought would only take me a couple of days to finish ended up taking a heck of a lot longer.

There are probably a few flaws in it like the fox’s mouth for example, I just could not get it right and that was my 5th attempt. I figure if this is the only way I can get it to look then so be it. I can’t make it any more perfect than that. After close examination of the picture I see that I missed a spot on the fox’s ear lol. I ran out of that color so I had to use the same color as the face. Screw it lol.

Tomorrow I will sew all the stockings to their felt backs then I will get another picture of all 3 of them together. I’m too tired to do that tonight because my back is absolutely killing me. I have one more day to go before time is up but I will get it done tomorrow.