If you don't speak German often, It's all but guaranteed that you're going to screw something up ("Shit, how many goddamn verbs have to be thrown onto the end of this sentence?" That's the one that frequently gets me). Most native Germans are not forgiving about it. The nicer ones will detect your accent, and reply to you in English; on the whole, their English is damn good. The meaner ones will taunt you by asking ,,Was?" repeatedly.
I had no idea whether the conversation group was populated by native Germans or not. I also knew that they requested intermediate to fluent speakers only. And, the articles for this week's discussion were about Germany's atomic energy policy and the rising trend of domestic violence committed by females.
Was I intimidated? Hell yes. Here I hadn't exchanged a ,,Wie geht's?" in however long, and I would have to try stumbling through advanced topics. Well, I figured, it's a group discussion. I'll probably be listening most of the time anyway, and can just chime in whenever I feel brave.
So I went... and at the beginning, the moderator and I were the only ones there. I seem to have this uncanny ability to scare away regular members whenever I attend a club meeting for the first time. The moderator basically interviewed me about our topics. His German was very good, but I couldn't tell if he was a native speaker or not. I understood most of what he said, more than I could say back, but I held my ground. A couple of other girls showed up later to help round out the discussion, and I wound up having a pretty good time, even though there were several points where I had to stop mid-sentence because I didn't know how to phrase what was in my head. As my mom says, though, you just have to keep trying to spit it out. The next meeting is in two weeks, I'll definitely be going again.
On Tuesday, our friend Nick ("Apples") and his fiancee made a stop in Pittsburgh for a night- they're moving from upstate NY to Denver, CO. We took them out to dinner, and had a great time. I hope for the best for them in Denver. Visiting them out there one of these days should be awesome.
Remy was sick from Wednesday onward, unfortunately, but he's better now. Still, this counts as one of the more social weeks I've had in a while.
Otherwise, some random stuff I've been up to...
* Neverwinter Nights 2. Remy and I are playing jointly with a lawful good male elf ranger, which is working out pretty well. For fun, I started a second game, making my PC a neutral good female half-elf cleric. Playing as a good cleric is insanely fun, given the high number of undead to be found in this game.
Shadow Priest> Go forth, my minions! DESTROY THEM!
[multiple zombies and ghouls rise from the earth, shamble toward the party]
Me> ::uses Turn Undead ability::
[zombies and ghouls are instantly destroyed]
Shadow Priest> ...shit.
* I've started making pizza from scratch, instead of buying freezer pizzas. I make the sauce the night before, then mix the dough before work, let that sit in the fridge all day, then take it out a little more than an hour before I need it so it can get back to room temperature. I use half whole wheat flour for the crust, so the final product is very filling.
* I started a new "policy" with myself with regard to writing: I make myself add something to my existing draft(s) every day. Even if it's just one sentence, or a tweak to something I wrote earlier, that counts. The important thing is forcing the every day habit, even when I'm not feeling it.
I find that this has made me about a thousand times more productive than before. I have an original work in progress that I've been messing with for over a year. In around fifteen months' time, I managed to accrue about 120 pages of a first draft, with a long way yet to go. Then, I implemented my new policy. Two months later, 80+ pages of new material. I am not fucking around anymore.
* After years of abstinence, I'm working on a costume for Halloween. I bought a sewing machine and everything. This year, we live in a house that might actually receive some trick-or-treaters, so I figured it would be fun to dress up. We'll see how this goes...