Just the Beginning

Just when I feel like I'm beginning to understand German, I discover a new grammar rule or conjugation that flips my mind upside down. The perfect tense for instance. There is no past perfect or present perfect. Just perfect tense which, in everyday speech, is used to communicate past events. There is simple past, but that's considered unnatural or pretentious, except for certain forms of actions (I think). The syntax and conjugation of perfect tense is also really weird.

Example of present tense: Ich mache zwei Hüte. 
Literal translation: I make two hats.

Example of perfect tense: Ich habe zwei Hüte gemacht.
Literal translation: I have two hats made.

Another thing that's thrown me for the loop is the syntax of paired phrases. Let's say I wish to write, "So long as I play disc golf, I am healthy."

German translation: Solange ich Disc-Golf spiele, bin ich gesund.
Literal English translation: So long as I disc golf play, am I healthy.

Direct objects come before the verb, and the verbs and the subject switches, and adverbs come after the subject, and is it now evident why this language is in a level of its own?