Reading Russian

Does anyone else think “man, I really wish I could read Russian?
I don’t even need to write in it or be fluent, yet. Just read it.
As some may know, I’m in the process of learning a few foreign languages. One thing they have in common is a familiar alphabet. Whether or not I have learned the words I can come upon any paragraph, sentence, caption etc. and have some idea of what it could be saying. Attempting to read words I don’t understand is an enjoyable process for me because it feels like it’s adding something to my brain.

Not so much with Russian. I mean sure, I’ve seen the alphabet thanks to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but it’s left my head just like anything else that has to do with Winter Olympics.
“You bet I’ll keep up with all the international figure skating competitions!” an eager fan once said.
I even looked it up online to get a more thorough idea since they were so fast during opening ceremonies. Unfortunately, without having any real grasp on the alphabet or the language, it might as well be Japanese.

Why do I wish I could read it?
Because just like any other culture in the world, there’s beauty in it and it’s a way to connect. Be it through art, literature, music or just thoughts. And when I follow or interact with people who share their art and parts of themselves, I don’t scoff and think “wish they’d write in English sometime.” I think, “dammit, wish I knew more languages.”


Remembering Llamas on the Lam

Image via and tweaked by L.A. Lanier

Image via and tweaked by L.A. Lanier

When I was still a teenager, I went to the zoo. I came upon some llamas, they were chillin’ in some shade of their habitat. I looked upon their placard of information and their Latin name. Reading this made me wonder to myself out loud: so is a llama really a yama? Those around me giggled and laughed. And that was that.

Facebook Shenanigans

Facebook can be a pain in the arse.
I took a hiatus, and would log in so I could reply to messages or skim things quickly. I rarely bothered with any kind of updates. This week, I made a return resulting in a warm welcome. But something already started to peeve me, and that was how the News Feed operated. There’s a feed for Pages and other categories. Which is nice, but almost every thing from a Page I liked was in my News Feed and I wasn’t seeing much of anything from friends and family.

Thinking myself clever, I created a status that began “Dear Facebook,” And proceeded to ask what was the point of the Page Feed if everything else was in my standard News Feed. I also included the request of could they maybe cut back on it and put in more from my friends, then signed it with my name.

I read articles that revealed the kind of experiments and social “research” they conducted recently, and have operated on the notion that someone affiliated with their team sees everything at some point. Whether your profile is set to friends only or public.
I didn’t think much of my status.
A few friends liked it and I went on with the session, but after a refresh. I noticed something.
It seemed that almost every Page post was gone and several friends’ posts in a row appeared. Even if some of them were hours old. Had they “heard” me and were attempting to oblige and satisfy a customer? Or were they really making a statement: Yes, we do see everything you do and say?
Neither option I find comforting. Regardless, I’ll continue to conduct myself in a way that recognizes their privacy is an illusion. I think I’ve made peace, and from this point forward will use it for communication purposes and to start promoting myself and my writing.