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With the pending snow and/or ice, I just put on some lentils on to slow cook. No particular recipe -- just dumped lentils, tomatoes, stock, spices and assorted other stuff into the Instapot.


Snow is preferable to ice -- ice often brings power outages. And I've put some water in pitchers in the fridge, and turned up the heat a bit just in case.


The past week was fun -- dinner or drinks with several different friends!

One night, I had dinner with my Portuguese speaking friends -- I had a good time, and for the first time, I understood most of what was said!

Of course, these friends always slow down for me, which helped. But even when they spoke slowly, I often had trouble! But this time, I understood a lot, and they even commented on that! Also, I didn't feel exhausted afterwards. In the past, I often felt exhausted because it was such hard work to follow the conversation. But I did okay this time!
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I was looking for an old picture, and instead I found a screen capture from my very first conversation online with my Brazilian friend .... he has helped me a lot with my Portuguese! I sent him this screen capture tonight!

We first met each other in person at Tropical Smoothie café....he had said he liked fruit, and this was the only place I could think of that had fruit smoothies, lol!

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The forecast lately always seems to be "cloudy with chance of storms" -- it's amazing how much rain we have been getting! It's as if my house magically moved to the tropics! Since Jan 1, the 'official' measure is that we have gotten 34+ inches of rain, 15 inches above normal! The airport here set a record yesterday of 7 inches of rain in one day, causing it to close for a few hours.

I went out to dinner with a friend the other night during one of the deluges, and the restaurant we had chosen was closing for the night because an electrical transformer had blown, and the whole area was without power. So we ended up having a nice dinner downtown. I'm really glad I bought a rain jacket this past year!

Sadly, Charlotte VI didn't make it through all this rain. This is the last picture I got of her a week or so ago --
Orchard Orbweaver / Leucauge venusta


I took the opportunity of a dry day last weekend to get back down to the river -- I miss it when I don't get down there.
Cairn

Urban Ruins and Grafiti

Mirror Mirror

I noticed some Pawpaw fruits forming, but not as many as I had expected. Like my garden flowers, I think the plants are all waterlogged!


The other night, I went out for ice cream with my Brazilian friends, and I think they noticed my Portuguese was suffering because one of them asked if I were still doing my lessons, lol!

So just night before last, I went back online and started the lessons again and was very pleased at how fast I was able to go though some of them. My comprehension is improving (which is contradictory to what I just said about my skills suffering....maybe I was just having an off night?)

I think it was a good idea to take a break from the lessons though -- gives a chance for things you have learned to 'set' into place. Instead of lessons, I've been listening to music, reading news articles in Portuguese, and listening to Instagram 'stories' from a guy in São Paulo. I was more pleased than I expected to see this message on the lesson site:



This weekend, I'll be having lunch with the family...and then it'll be getting close to the July 4th holiday -- I'd like to plan a day trip out of town, but haven't done any planning yet.

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...or is it JUST ME?

Funny that I find myself muttering / talking to myself in half English and half Portuguese...like I was looking at the weather the other day, saying "Oh, it's gonna be raining no Sábado" -- It's gonna be raining on Saturday!

Stayed home sick today with some allergy symptoms. It's a little bizarre -- Spring came...with my accompanying allergies...but it's supposed to snow this weekend!

I needed a piece of 'home decor' in the living room, so I had a print made of a photo I took of a statue at the Grand Palace in Bangkok back in 2013. The trip is a good memory.

This print was delivered today. I think this is a Kinnara. Or maybe it is a 'Kinnon' -- male version of Kinnara.


I like hanging pictures in the house that I have taken myself.
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I like old Samba music...And it's good practice for me because it tends to be simple language sung slowly.


Interestingly, this singer has some serious political history, having been shunned by the student left, and arrested by the military junta and exiled...only returning to Brazil in the 70s.


This weekend was very rainy...which means -- horror movies -- Insidious, Insidious 2 and The Conjuring 2! And that inspired this selfie --
Rainy Day Selfie

I also made a quick trip to Hollywood Cemetery in the rain --
Hollywood Cemetery
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You might notice a change in the subtitle at the top of the page...'mostly vegetarian'.

Remember how when I traveled to Brazil, I was traveling with meat-eaters, and Brazil is a little hard for vegetarians anyway. And also, when you travel you don't get to taste the local food if you don't eat meat. So..I 'flexed', meaning I ate meat some days when we were there.

Well, I'm in a book club that also includes dinner...and there's usually meat (usually chicken) and a salad...so in someone else's house at a dinner like that, I usually eat some of the meat -- I 'flex'.

So, it just felt like I should update the subtitle on the journal!


***
Had dinner w/ my Brazilian friends...was nice. My listening is better, but still not there. Their English is amazing!


***
Hanging out w/ Nh tomorrow -- coffee, talking, stuff. It's a long 4 day weekend, so looking forward to just hanging out!
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Thinking about the previous year...
  • It was generally a good year for me, which is a good thing, and will be remembered mostly as the year I first visited Bisti in New Mexico -- https://www.flickr.com/photos/spunkybart/albums/72157682248929603.

  • I got the trim on the house painted, and got one rotted window replaced, but there were no other major house or other expenses (knock wood). (Although I do note that I can see a major expense coming, which I am girding myself and my budget for!)

  • Made a new friend, lost a friend, so the year netted out in that respect. Family generally in good health (matching their respective ages), so good on that front.

  • This was the first year in a while where I only had 1 job -- I tend to be a rolling stone, so I change jobs pretty often.

  • Been thinking about retirement and what that might look like. It will be a while yet, but my thoughts are moving in that direction.

  • I've been listening to a podcast that finished up several years ago, called The History of Rome. The political turmoil of this past year with a demagogue disgracing the presidency, and with all the tribal warfare between the citizens reminds me a lot of the political and military machinations during the late Republic -- the first time that Roman legions fought other Romans instead of an external 'enemy'.

  • My Portuguese has improved. I still am very slow to speak and have trouble understanding spoken conversation at a normal speed. But I notice that I hesitate less for vocabulary when I am speaking, and I hear more and more individual words in others' speech. So, it's improving!
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My Portuguese 'fix' for the night --


I just made some Pimento cheese for the Thanksgiving thing at work tomorrow --
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I like Portuguese that I can (mostly) understand --

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Decorations out front --


Sadly, no trick or treaters (doces ou travessuras in Portuguese -- sweets or tricks) tonight! But fun to sit with a friend and drink wine, talk and eat some candy!

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I saw this phrase -- Olhasse tudo, tim tim por tim tim -- in a song today, so I asked my friend about it. He said it means "Did you see / check out all, to the smallest details?"..

Ok, and that made sense in the song lyrics. So, then I searched for the phrase, and the page I found confirmed that meaning.

What's funny is that tim-tim by itself means, according to below, 'each of the testicles.' lol.. So the image I have is that you can see ALL the details of each of the testicles...lol

tim·-tim
(origem duvidosa)
substantivo masculino
1. [Portugal, Informal] Cada um dos testículos. (Mais usado no plural.)

.tim-tim por .tim-tim
• [Informal] Minuciosamente, com todos os pormenores, sem nada omitir.

https://www.priberam.pt/dlpo/tim-tim
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I'm pretty proud of myself tonight...

#1 -- I asked my Brazilian friend about a phrase I had read -- he answered in like 5 different messages. I understood probably 95% of what he said.

He had been speaking slowly -- the way he does for me -- and he asked if he should speed it up...I said 'a little' (um pouquinho)-- after that I was probably only getting 30%..but still it shows improvement!

#2-- He also advised me that I was speaking in the Rio accent -- which made me feel good -- that he could tell.

I told him the reason was because all the people in the lessons are from Rio! He laughed at that!

I don't know if you'll be able to play this -- I seem to be having trouble finding a format that everyone can listen to! (Close/ignore any Dropbox 'create an account' boxes...) It's me explaining that all the people in the lessons are 'Cariocas!' -- 'from Rio!' --
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jhnwydw50c33o6q/eusei3.mp3?dl=0

Now, don't get me wrong -- I was NOT speaking fluently. But he just advised me that I was pronouncing things like the people in Rio, lol! But I'll take it! It means I'm improving!

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I made my Brazilian friend laugh tonight...Usually, when I want to say 'how cool!', I say 'how legal!' -- 'que legal!' But I've been doing my Portuguese lessons, so I said a different word -- maneiro!, which means 'light' -- like 'not weighing much'.

He didn't know I knew the word, so it made him laugh. And he confirmed that I used it correctly. But he also gave me additional phrases to use...meaning I think the others would have been a better fit.

But it was good practice, and I like making him laugh with new words I learn!
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I go weeks between Portuguese lessons...This morning at breakfast, I went back online, and the lessons started me back at a quiz that I failed the first time....I have a vague memory from a few weeks ago of it being late at night and me getting exasperated and not re-trying the quiz again.

(You can retake the quizzes over and over until you pass -- the questions change a little each time. And you have to pass the quiz to continue to the next lesson.)

Problem with this course is that sometimes they ask me things in a quiz that I have NEVER heard! So, what happens is that I might miss that question and then see the correct answer. But this particular quiz had A LOT of things I had never heard. I tried the quiz about 4 times before I finally made it through!

Anyways, I've been doing the 'Portuguese' thing this morning, including listening to some Bossa Nova --
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I enjoyed my Brazilian friends' 1 year old's birthday party tonight...at least at the end.

I am an American. We are generally pontual. Brazilians? Nope...not so much -- not pontual -- nope, not at all! The invite said it started at 4...so I got there when? At 4 of course, lol!

But that is NOT when it actually started!

As a side note -- my Portuguese is probably only level A2 in the European Common Language Level. Meaning, I cannot understand full speed Portuguese!

When I got there -- early by Brazilian standards -- my friend had to LEAVE and he didn't come back for like an hour, lol! So, I sat there, by myself, texting friends on my phone -- I didn't know anyone and didn't speak the language! People were all around me...talking...laughing...and then there is poor me, by myself, lol!

Anyways after he returned, I enjoyed myself...but it was pretty darned uncomfortable for an hour or so!

Needless to say, I am tired...but I'm glad that I can put myself in uncomfortable situations!

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Had a very nice time with a friend at a wine bar last night. I was tipsier than I expected -- one of the wines was (do I remember the server correctly...) 14% alcohol?

Dinner with some other friends later this week. Should be fun!

I'm trying to re-start my social life a bit. A dear friend has been more and more unavailable to me for the last few months. He and I have always been sort of an 'odd couple'...but somehow we (maybe it was just me that..?) made it work for several years. But it has made me sad...And now I have to decide what the f**k to do with the small birthday present I bought him, which is sitting on a chair in my house!


Even when I don't get the words...I still listen to Brazilian music -- I figure if nothing else, it 'trains' my ear to the sound. And in this song, I looked up the lyrics..and there are a lot of words about Carnival that I don't really get...nor do I get the storyline. But it's pleasant music.



Headed over to the the fine art museum here to snap a few pics of Chloe -- the gigantic head outside of the museum. She's pretty eye catching! And flat from head on!
Chloe @ VMFA

Chloe @ VMFA
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
In addition to the Flash cards, I decided to learn more parts of the body. So I printed out some skinless medicinal images of a body and began labeling them.

My friend laughed at me -- I was using Google Translate, which sometimes is NOT my friend, lol. I typed 'calf'. And Google gave me the word for a child of a cow....a calf...but not the 'leg' kind, lol!

The same thing happened with chest! Google gave me "o baú, but my friend says "o peito"!

So I had to correct several of the words I got from Google!







Então, tem cuidado! Be careful what you get from online translation services!



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Until I get a handle on the verb tenses, I'm afraid my Portuguese is always gonna be very mediocre.

They are just hard for me! In French, I had many classes over many years, all drilling le plus-que-parfait or le passė simple and many more into my thick head...But I don't have that in Portuguese, so I am now reduced to flash cards, lol! I printed them myself, and I intend to keep adding to them.

This morning, I chose 10, and I got 6 right....but the 4 I got wrong -- I really got wrong! So today I've been specifically practicing the 3rd person plural of present, past and imperfect of the verb fazer (to do/make): nós fazemos / nós fizemos / nós fazíamos.

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I don't even have words for Jabba...I see the end game (#Russia)...but it's being executed in such a stupid way...


And these people are completely insane....

It was a fricken typo, and Jabba was careless and let the tweet stay up for hours....but when I listened to the audio -- Spicer seems to be saying it was perfectly fine because a small group of people knew what he meant.

I mean damn -- EVERYONE KNEW WHAT HE MEANT -- from the context. The point is that this yokel typed a completely bad tweet...and didn't check behind himself...and doesn't have aides who would double check for him.

And if Spicer had just said it was a late night typo, it would have been odd...but not completely INSANE sounding! https://t.co/w998vxHd3J


One nice thing about having my language prefs set to Portuguese is that apps present a lot of Brazilian search results, etc. to me. When I clicked to see Tweets tagged with #covfefe, these were in my first page or 2 of results.

These Tweets made me laugh...






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karmicdragonfly

February 2019

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"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."





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