Thursday, June 21, 2018

8th of Tammuz

A few days ago, I noticed that I only had roughly 350 mb left of available storage on my phone. Not much. I thought about deleting apps to make space, yet I don't have that many apps on it. Then, I decided to delete and redownload the largest sized apps to see what would happen. Facebook was the biggest space sucker, which was just over 1 gb. Interestingly, after doing this with several apps, it freed up a ton of space. A little over 3 gb's. It's running much smoother now. I'll have to remember this next time I get the notification that it's low. 

Duolingo's Chinese course isn't very good. The German course was a lot better developed. Chinese is a tonal language, so you'd think they'd have more speaking exercises for that than German. No, they don't have any. They just spew out a bunch of vocabulary, spring sentences on you early without breaking them down, and there's no writing out what you hear in Chinese. Sure, they write out the pinyin (romanization of characters) for the characters and they have you match the sound, but that's not much. I did learn a little bit, but not much this way. So, I searched for reviews of other apps. 

HelloChinese sounded the best, so I got it. It's free, too. It looks similar to Duolingo. There's a trek through the course with bubbles for units. They start with a Pronunciation unit. They go through an intro for pinyin, syllables, and tones. They really break that stuff down. They also have you pronounce things as you go. They let you hear every part if you tap the pinyin. I missed a few, but still passed the quiz for it. I'm actually surprised how many I got right. Especially with the speaking part. Next, I went through Basics 1. This was quite different than the first, and seems to be the setup for the rest of them. They introduced vocab like: mama (mother), baba (father), wo (I/me), ni (you), shi (is/are/am), etc. They did it with 'cards' similar to what Duolingo does. There are sentences to translate. A lot of speaking exercises. There are video recordings of native Chinese people speaking. (They have normal and slowed down speeds.) You have to pick which sentence they said in Chinese. You also get to draw the characters. Has a lot of good stuff packed into it. Types of stuff most language learning apps should have. Hopefully, they'll have a typing in Chinese part soon. That would be good. I apparently did so well in Basics 1, I didn't have to do the last part of it. They put a leaf on it after I passed it. It looks like there's a plant that grows as you progress. Next, is Basics 2. They also have a training game. I haven't played it yet, but it sounds interesting. I'll go through their course, then switch to another language in Duolingo. 

I finally decided on a pride shirt. I ordered the Aro Ace Get Out of My Face one. It has skulls, arrows, a spade, etc. It looks a lot cooler than most of the others. A lot of the aro ace stuff is cutesy. While I like that sometimes, I'd rather have something that looked badass. It should be delivered by the 27th. I won't be able to wear it at a few events in between, but there are a couple later. I'll also have something I can wear year round. I wanted that even more. The only pride shirts I have right now are the local Pride organization's official shirts for the last 2 years. That's not really specific to my 'identities' though. Going to get a 3rd shirt from them later today. I like them, and they're good for general Pride stuff. I just want to be out as aro ace and agender as well. I didn't find any good agender pride shirts. It's like we're even more invisible than aros and aces. 

Tomorrow is Seattle Trans Pride. I liked that a lot last year. There's a parade we march in that meets back up into a park. The park has vender booths and live music. I'll get to bring my little genderqueer flag this time. It was nice to see people I hadn't seen in a while. There were so many marchers last year, and it was cool to see the people on the sides cheering us on. 

The 2nd local Pride picnic we're going to is on Saturday. Then, there's Seattle Pride on Sunday. I'm unsure if I want to be in that parade. Last year, it was really hot, had to climb a steep hill to get to the 'staging area' to meet up with the group, and it was really crowded. This year it's supposed to be much cooler, so that's one plus this time. I can use my little genderqueer flag instead of my huge ace one. A little better. The local Pride group will also be in a local 4th of July parade. I'm unsure of this one, too. There's the local Pride fest towards the end of next month. 

I'm thinking of dropping Bordertown. I still can't tell if I've watched the whole thing, and it's not that great either. Even though I only saw one episode of Bad Guys, it was much better. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

International Picnic Day!

This holiday was on Monday. Such a summer thing. Perfect for this time of year. I'll be going to another Pride picnic on Saturday. Seems like it'll be a bigger to-do than the last one. There will be live music, food trucks, and various vendor booths. Sounds fun. It was also National Sushi Day. I love kappamaki and tekkamaki, or cucumber and tuna rolls. Egg ones are good, too. (Just not as great as those.) There are a lot of different types of sushi out there I can't have. Some I just hate the ingredients of. Like, California rolls. So, I might seem picky when it comes to sushi.

I didn't blog the last couple of days because of the heat. I went to a couple of places to cool off on Monday. Wasn't thinking much about blogging while out. It got up to 90 degrees. That's too warm for me. 80 degrees is usually the cutoff point for it being too warm for me. The hottest temp I've experienced was close to 120 degrees in Scottsdale, Arizona. At least it's not like that here. Yesterday, it got up to around the same temp. Today is supposed to be a little cooler, although it's heating up pretty quickly. Tomorrow and on looks like it'll be much nicer. Ranging in the high 60s to 70s. 

When in any vehicle (cars, ferries, planes, etc.) while in motion, I've always had a hard time staying awake. As soon as I feel that motion, I have a strong urge to sleep. I can't control it, and it's gotten worse over time. Loud music doesn't help. Sometimes digging my nails into my skin or having an exciting conversation might slightly help. However, those aren't very effective most of the time. I'm starting to worry a bit about it, so I searched for something like it online. I didn't think I'd find anything. 

There was one thing that has the same symptoms: sopite syndrome. It was originally discovered through various experiments by the military. It's a type of motion sickness. I didn't realize there were other types. When I hear 'motion sickness', I think of someone that gets nauseous and may throw up. I've never felt 'sick' or nauseous because of it. With this one, most people don't. If they don't fall asleep, they may become drowsy, groggy, depressed, or cranky. I usually feel really drowsy, groggy, and rarely might feel irritated. So, it certainly sounds like me. I'm thinking of bringing this up with my primary the next time I see her. I didn't realize it might actually be a thing. Just something weird that I would do. 

It's different than when people fall asleep because of how long the trip is, they're fatigued from other things, the constant (supposedly) white noise in the background, it's too monotonous, etc. All that would be 'normal'. This will hit me right away, and I can't control it. It happens whether I'm fatigued beforehand or not. I've actually felt refreshed and awake just before it happens. Doesn't matter if there's interesting scenery or not. There were a couple of relatives who tried to relate to it on fb, and I do like that they tried, but it wasn't the same. They started talking amongst themselves about sleep apnea at one point. Aside from the 'sleep' part, that had nothing to do with sopite syndrome...

Wanted to get back to writing Alliance 3 this week, but since it's been so hot, I've kept my desktop off. My room gets warmer with it on, and that room gets the hottest in the house. I guess I'll get to it either at the end of this week or next week. I have a lot of ideas for it, though. 

Started learning Chinese through Duolingo on Monday. I had gone through all of their course for German, and at least half the units were at level 3 or above. I felt I needed to try something different. I've always been curious about Chinese. I think it's Mandarin specifically. They don't actually say. I know there are many different dialects, and Mandarin is one of the most common. 

The first one was on hello, goodbye, and good. They had the transliteration for them, too. The accents on those words reminded me of Hebrew trope. In fact, hearing the way they're pronounced, made sense that way. It's very interesting. Without the accents, hello is nihao. Hao is good. Zaijian is goodbye. Also, went through the first Numbers unit. 1, 2, 3 is yi, er, san. (3 is the same as in Japanese.) I probably should get the Chinese keyboard. Started the Names unit yesterday. This one has been a little more difficult. I know they use the surname first system, but in Duolingo you have to switch it to the surname being last when you translate it. Also, they're going over saying 'you are (name)' and 'I am (name)'. For this they lit. say 'call' instead. So, it's like 'you're called...' or 'I'm called...' It's a little awkward. 

I'm also doing things a little differently with this one. I've decided that I'll start each time with going over more levels from previous units, then continue. They didn't have the 5-level system when I started German. So, this might be a better way to incorporate them. Plus, it'll be like I'm keeping the previous stuff 'fresh'. So far, they've only used a male voice and no illustrations of people. That might be different after I get past the beginner's stuff. With German, the main speaker seemed female. They haven't gone over the pronunciation part yet, where they tell you to repeat what was said into the mic. Maybe that'll be later, too. I would think that's even more important for a tonal language. Also, they don't seem to go over as much grammar as German. At least looking at the visible units. That's interesting. There might not be as much to their grammar. After Names there's Greetings 2, Food 1, and Occupation. That's the end of the first section. I don't think German had a food unit until at least the 2nd section. The occupation one was even later in the trek. Interesting to see how this one goes. 

Finished watching The Break. I correctly predicted who the killer was towards the beginning. It seemed really drawn out. I'm watching Bordertown on Netflix now. It's a Finnish detective show. There's some Russian spoken as well, since it takes place in a 'border town' between Finland and Russia. I already watched some of it a long time ago, but it wasn't through my account. So, I wasn't sure where I stopped. I'm about halfway through it. It still feels like I've watched the 'current' stuff already. Maybe I've actually watched the whole thing already? Oh well. I'll finish it soon again. Next will be the Korean show Bad Guys. I've seen the first episode of that, and it was good. It'll be interesting to go back to.