I’m like a bi genderfluidish person but I’m like so happy when ppl include me like I’m a gay man or a woman. I’m like practically speaking more of a gay man than a bi man and practically speaking more a man than a woman . anyway I’m gonna go to a sex party next Friday

The walls were pristine grey, the color of a storm cloud as it formed, Cole’s dazzling blue eyes like the only patch of clear sky before the rain.  His gait was strong, assured, motions all practiced finesse speaking of carefully controlled power beneath.  The clack clack of dress shoes beat out a familiar rhythm, steady as a heartbeat as Cole strode up to the secretary that was waiting at the desk.

Long fingers brushed a bit of stray hair from his otherwise perfectly coiffed hair, a practiced smile coming to his lips as his head tilted in greeting tot he woman.  “Hello.  I’m here to see the candidate,” he greeted, voice that low, sultry timber without any effort at all.

The girl flushed at his probing gaze, shaking her head as she checked the man’s schedule.  “Uh, I’m sorry sir but I don’t have him scheduled to see anyone in his office today.”

That same predatory smile played on his lips as he leaned in, arms crossed over the counter, the scent of his cologne strong enough to reach out and entice.  “I’m sure you must be mistaken.  A meeting with Mr. Breckenridge today, five o’clock on the nose.  I’ve just arranged it last night.  I spoke to him personally,” he lied without a hint of deceit.

“I don’t…  I don’t see that name on the list, nor has he told me anything about it,” sh answered, clearly flustered, but more at herself and the predicament than the man before her.

His same winnign smile returned, perfectly straight teeth bared as he spoke with confidence, “yes, but he’s going to want to meet me.  Do you really wnat to be the girl that turned away an important meeting simply because you didn’t hear him well enough or forgot to write something down in his appointment book?” he said before straightening up, fixing his suit as he turned towards the door.

“Well…” the girl started, scared now, “you can wait here for when he returns.”

“I’ll wait in his office, it’s unlocked I presume?” he said, barely waiting for a reply in the affirmative before briskly heading towards it. Walking inside he left the door cracked so he could hear when someone was approaching, eyes raking over the decor.  Sparser and less lavish than he’d expected, but then again, his primary dealings with mayoral candidates had been with what he hoped was a much different sort of man.

Taking a seat in the mayoral candidate’s own chair he swiveled it around, checking his phone for any messages as he waited.  When he heard a noise form behind he turned, a smirk settling on his lips as he sized the man up.  “I was wondering when you’d finally arrive.  I hope you don’t mind I’ve occupied your seat, only for the time being of course,” he said, gesturing towards the seat as he stood and walked around the chair.  “Cole Breckenridge.  You’re a very hard man to get a hold of, thought I’d take matters into my own hands.  That’s always been the best course of action in my experience.”



Any Afrofuturists in the building? Anyone in the building wondering what Afrofuturism is?
On this week’s installment of Practically Speaking, we revisit Afrofuturism with artist and educator D. Denenge Akpem. Afrofuturism is a cultural movement that combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, and Afrocentricity, in order to critique present-day dilemmas of people of color. It also tries to remix and re-examine the historical events of the past.

We also hear from avant-garde musician and composer David Boykin about the new cultural movement.  

Plus, host Audra Wilson profiles visionary Science Fiction author Octavia Butler.

Tune in this Friday at 11am on 89.5fm (NWIndy) and 90.7fm (CHI).

UPDATE: You can hear the entire show here.

lance sending hunk lots of selfies along with awful pick up lines in spanish bc he thinks it’s a girl he just met’s number and hunk is like ‘sorry man, wrong number. you look nice though’ (in spanish, bc he probably knows like four different languages and doesn’t know if lance speaks english) but lance doesn’t believe him so hunk sends a pic of himself and lance is dying bc this guy is the cutest but hey is that the garrison uniform in the back of the pic? and turns out they’re both going so they end up talking for hours until they finally meet in person a couple days later

omg we have new neighbours that moved in yesterday and apparently one is a trumpet player…i can hear them loudly playing also sprach zarathustra right now and by loud i mean i can hear it clearly from the far side of the house


Birds as Omens

Today, my boyfriend inspired me to do a post about birds and what they are as omens. He got freaked out because he said a black bird came and pecked him.

So, lets delve into that for a bit.

Black birds such as crows and ravens have this stigma attached to them that somehow they’re “bad luck” or that they bring death and all sorts of superstitions of that nature. This is probably due to the fact that predominately in literature and even movies they’re glamorized as an animal of misfortune. Just read a story by Edgar Allen Poe lol

This is far from the truth. Black birds are actually a GOOD sign. They’re a sign that prosperity, passage, and/or protection. In fact, I told my boyfriend that the bird was probably just trying to get his attention because the bird’s probably like hellllloooo dude, I’m trying to tell you something good is going to happen! Pay attention to me! So he got pecked lol. They are tricksters too, after all! When we think of animals, a lot of the time we just think of fellow creatures who inhabit and share the earth with us. But they’re sometimes more than that. They can act as familiar and spirits of the Earth.

Owls on the other hand? Yeah, they are the ones who are actually an ill omen. Owls are beautiful. They’re majestic. They hold an air of mystery. However, if you see an owl or one comes to you, usually that means that there will be an impending death to someone you know. Not you, necessarily. But someone you know.

If you see a blue jay, it’s time to rethink your life. It’s a sign that you’re doing too much at once and you need to commit to one thing instead of stressing over a bunch of different things. It’s also a sign to stand your ground with others around you and can even mean someone close to you is lying or trying to pull something over on you.

Cardinals are known to be encouragers. If you see a cardinal, it’s letting you know to stay confident and believe in yourself. You’re on the right path.

Hawks bring blessings and good news as well.

A dead bird in your path signifies turmoil and personal destruction coming to an end. So, it’s actually a good sign. It doesn’t mean you’re going to die.

Of course, everyone’s own experiences are different. Sometimes, you just have to listen to what nature is trying to say and inform you. If you have any questions about a particular bird or want to add anything to the list, let me know! Or you can just reblog anything you would like to add💚

Much love to all of you 💚🙏🏼💚🙏🏼

How to Avoid Miscommunication

Have you ever talked with a friend about a problem, only to realize that they just don’t seem to grasp why the issue is so important to you? Have you ever presented an idea to a group, and it’s met with utter confusion? What’s going on here? Why does miscommunication occurs so frequently, and how we can minimize frustration while expressing ourselves better?

The fact is, even when face to face with another person, in the very same room, and speaking the same language; human communication is incredibly complex.  But the good news is that a basic understanding of what happens when we communicate can help us prevent miscommunication.

It’s possible to think of communication between people as a game of catch. As we communicate our message, we receive feedback from the other party. Through the transaction, we create meaning together.

But, as humans, we can’t help but send and receive messages through our own subjective lenses. When communicating, one person expresses her interpretation of a message, and the person she’s communicating with hears his own interpretation of that message. Our perceptual filters continually shift meanings and interpretations.  In that case, maybe communication is more like a game of catch with a lump of clay. As each person touches the lump of clay, they shape it to fit their own unique perceptions based on any number of variables; like knowledge or past experience, age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or family background. So, as the lump of clay goes back and forth from one person to another; reworked, reshaped and always changing, it’s no wonder our messages sometimes turn into a mush of miscommunication.

Luckily, there are some simple practices that can help us all navigate our daily interactions for better communication.

1: Recognize that passive hearing and active listening are not the same. Engage actively with the verbal and nonverbal feedback of others, and adjust your message to facilitate greater understanding.

2: Listen with your eyes and ears, as well as with your gut. Remember that communication is more than just words.

3: Take time to understand as you try to be understood. In the rush to express ourselves, it’s easy to forget that communication is a two-way street. Be open to what the other person might say.

4: Be aware of your personal perceptual filters. Elements of your experience, including your culture, community, and family influence how you see the world. Say “This is how I see the problem- but how do you see it?” Don’t assume that your perception is the objective truth; that’ll help you work toward sharing a dialog with others to reach a common understanding, together.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How miscommunication happens (and how to avoid it) - Katherine Hampsten

Animation by @rewfoe

I can = Я умею

I can smth in Russian is я умею.

  • I can dance = Я умею танцевать.
  • I can swim = Я умею плавать.
  • I can’t ride a bike = Я не умею ездить на велосипеде.

P.S: Я могу means I’m physically or morally capable of doing smth. Я не могу убить человека - I can’t kill a man. Я умею обрабатывать раны, но я не могу видеть кровь. I can treat wounds (= I was trained), but I can’t see blood (= I faint).

How To Get Germans to Speak German To You

One of the most common questions I hear from you guys is how to deal when other people refuse to practice your target language with you. I’m excited to present some awesome advice from Anja at The Germanz in Australia.

Matching this awesome topic, I’ve created the new guide Make Your German Sound Amazing, featuring 26 Key Phrases For Conversations with German Speakers. Just click on the little black button here to download it and use it alongside Anja’s tips.

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Germans and their love for English

When you get lost in Australia, the States or the UK and ask for directions, people will most likely answer in English. When you get lost in Germany, people will most likely answer in English too. 

Studies suggest that (only) 62% of the German population is actually able to hold a conversation in English and most movies and TV shows are still dubbed into German. In fact, most German customers still prefer things the German way and speaking German is still a necessity no matter where you live in Germany (with the exception of Berlin).
So why is it that German learners complain that Germans respond to them in English? 
What if I told you that you don’t just have to take it? No doubt, you can help Germans stay on track and chat away in German for ages. 

I’m German myself and I’m going to tell you about a few easy things you can do.

Why Germans Switch To English

Germans switch to English for three reasons. 

  1. Sometimes they want to help you
  2. Sometimes they want to help themselves
  3. Sometimes they just prey on the vulnerable and make you the practice tool

But most of the time, they just don’t know any better. 

1. They want to help you

Sometimes Germans simply think it’s being polite. They want to help you communicate more efficiently.

When you ask them, “How goes you? I not finds the station train”, they will most likely help you out in English without speaking a word of German. ‘Oh, that’s cool, they tried in German. They’ll probably understand better when I tell them where to go in English!’, the efficient mind will think.

Germans love speaking English, even when speaking German. Even though many Germans learn at least one foreign language in school, some of them fail to remember that only practice makes perfect.

Additionally, some seem to forget that the comprehension skills of a learner usually outweigh their speaking abilities.

The innocently English speaking German simply doesn’t get that you may understand, that it would be polite and helpful to respond in German. It’s like they buried their teenage memories somewhere in the deepness of their minds, along with that sneaky first kiss behind the school building.

Germans will think you just want to break the ice by saying a few words in German. They will return that favour and will try to make the conversation as unconditionally comfortable as possible for you. In English.

2. It’s easier for them

But Germans are not always driven by lovely innocence. Some Germans are simply not patient enough: ‘It will be quicker and easier if I just tell them in English. I’m almost late already!’
If their guesstimate places your German skills below their own English proficiency, they might respond in English.

For Germans, it’s all about communicating efficiently. No overexcited small talk, no politely beating about the actual topic, no exchange of unnecessary information, but rather direct communication, cutting to the chase and getting this question answered as accurately and quickly as possible. In English.

3. Germans want to practise their English skills

Of course, let’s face it, a few Germans simply want to practise their English on you because they know how awesome it feels to finally speak in your language of choice. 

Moreover, they want to show off how good their English is to impress you (and others). They are going to take advantage of you. 

Imagine how convenient, they don’t even have to leave their country to get what they crave. Speaking English. ‘Perfect! This guy from England gets to speak German every day; doesn’t he live here in Germany?’ 

They quickly forget that a lot of others see their opportunity as well, and this poor guy from England and his German skills fall by the wayside.

Here’s what you should do, as well as what you should avoid, to keep up the conversation in German. 

How to Make Them Speak German

How can you fulfil your dreams and get those Germans to speak in German to you? Embrace these two rules that everything boils down to:
1. Speak no English to Germans


2. Make your German sound better than it is.

These two rules are the magic tricks that will lead to a happy life in Germany. 

Let’s have a look at how to put them into practice with concrete examples and workarounds.

Respond in German

To really cash in and get the Germans speak German, you want to stay away from English as much as possible.
Certainly, it will take some courage especially when you think your German is not good enough. But you know what? The Germans will work it out. If they don’t get what you mean, they will ask (in English or German, it doesn’t really matter). 

But if you’re asked, you’ll get a second chance to say it. You may even get some valuable feedback.
More importantly, when someone starts speaking English to you, just keep responding in German. 

If your German is already good enough, try to translate the English response into German and say it back to them in German. Be patient and stick to German to get them back on track, no matter what.
If you don’t understand, ask them what it means, in German

Once more, under no circumstances switch to English.
If you can’t remember the word and you really need to know it, do the following:

Describe the word in German and ask them about the correct word.

  • Was heißt nochmal das eine Pedal im Auto? -Nein, das andere. Ach, ja, das Gaspedal. - What would you call that one pedal in the car? -No, the other one. Ah yes, the gas pedal.) or

Ask them for the translation in German.

  • Wie heißt nochmal ‘dog’ auf Deutsch? - What’s the word for ‘dog’ in German again? 

Work on your pronunciation

As Germans like to switch when they think that communicating with you might not go too smoothly, how about you make your language skills less of a problem? 

If Germans think that you’re comfortable speaking in German, they are less likely to switch.
One way of making your German sound better than it is, is to be amazing at pronouncing things. Just practice the proper pronunciation and know how the intonation pattern of a sentence works.

Use phrases and conversation fillers

You could also use phrases and conversation fillers to make your responses sound more natural. 

The idea is again that we want to make our German sound better than it is. It’s like saying, “Keep going, nothing to see here”.
To keep up the flow when speaking, it’s a great idea to have handy the vocabulary you will need. But also don’t forget that natives use clichés and filler words, and they say ‘uhmm’ a lot. 
Here are some examples:

  • Ach wirklich/Echt? - Ah really?
  • Cool!
  • Macht nichts!/Kein Problem. - That’s alright!/No problem.
  • Hört sich gut an. - Sounds good.
  • Ach so. - Ah yea.
  • Stimmt!/Genau - I agree./Yeah, that’s right.
  • Na ja, vielleicht. - Yeah, maybe.


Let’s face it, sometimes there’s no way that subtle hints will get them back on track. 

Please don’t take it personally, they might not even notice. The only thing that will help here is to be very clear about your goals, about genuinely wanting to learn proper German.
Apart from saying “Bitte nur in Deutsch”, you can decide to blitzkrieg and offer a language tandem. Your compromise could be
One hour speaking in German, another hour speaking in English.
 If you see them every day, you could agree to speak English from Monday to Wednesday and German from Thursday to Sunday.
If the two of you agree to correct each other properly and also provide alternatives for certain sentences and phrases, you could both benefit from the language tandem quite a bit.

Make (new) German friends

As your language skills progress, you’ll be able to chat away on more and more topics. You will be developing your ‘German You.’ It may be the same as — or completely different from — the English-speaking you.
With your ever-improving skills, making new German friends will become a lot easier.
If you have moved to a German-speaking country, you’ll hit the jackpot by joining a club (der Verein) in the German countryside, but clubs can be found anywhere across Germany, even in the big cities. Similarly, you want to get involved and lend a hand at the local Tatort night, the German-speaking weekly handcraft meeting or the local climbing hall.
Try to maintain a healthy ratio of English-speaking and only-German-speaking friends. You have a choice among about 100 million German native speakers in the European Union alone.
Don’t forget, the more you get to speak German, the easier it gets. Just let Germans know you’re up for a challenge. They will be up for it as well. 


In summary, please don’t get turned off by responses in English, keep learning German and remember these two fundamental rules: 

  1. Don’t speak English to Germans.
  2. Make your German sound better than it is.

On a concrete note, you could:

  • Always reply in German.
  • Ask for missing words and explanations in German.
  • Improve your pronunciation.
  • Use conversation fillers and ‘uhm’ a lot.
  • Compromise by offering language tandems.
  • Move to the German country.
  • Make (new) German speaking friends.

You’ll find more nifty tricks on learning and speaking German on my German language blog. 

Don’t forget to tell me in the comments about your favourite strategy in dealing with English speaking Germans. 

This article was written by Anja. Anja lives in Melbourne, Australia, is originally from Germany and writes about the German language and culture on her blog when she is not busy teaching German language classes. Hang out and have a chat with her on Google+ or Twitter.

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