Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Second Favorite to the Darwin Awards

Yeah! The 2007 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest winners have been announced. Read through the Vile Puns winners and dishonorable mentions and see if you can keep from rolling your eyes and possibly groaning. Fun!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Making a Buck Off the Bust

The real estate bust. Not my bust. Geez, get your mind out of the gutter....
We've all heard that the real estate boom is over and that the repercussions are being felt throughout the economy. Bad news for a lot of folks, but not necessarily for me.
I've recently been offered (and accepted) a freelance paralegal-type assignment working on foreclosure related documents. The work itself is not so tough. At least it's all in English. The pay rate is decent and it seems the work is being offered on an as-much-as-I-want-when-I-want-it basis for now. It also counts as actual legal-related work experience, which could distinguish me from the crowd on my translation resume or when I talk to potential translation clients looking for a legal translator.
I earn more per hour translating, but I also have to use my brain a lot more. If I did either job on a full-time basis I suppose I'd have to decide which I prefer: more pay and harder work, or easier work and less money. Good thing I get bored so easily and am apparently incapable of doing any single job on a full time basis.
When I was at the law office getting the low down on the assignment one of the legal secretaries asked if freelance legal work is what I did full time. I was somewhat appalled as I heard myself explain that actually I teach and translate and am picking up this legal stuff as another side gig. Does the word "enough" not exist in my world view of employment? But when you freelance you are subject to the phenomenon that when it rains, it pours; and when it doesn't rain, you're stuck bone dry. Might as well make the most of the opportunities and make hay while the work pours and later on, when it dries up, kick back in the sunshine. Or something like that.
Many freelancers extol the benefits of multiple work sources and how it's really more secure than relying on just one employer. Looks like I'm taking that concept and expanding it to cover multiple fields. If the teaching somehow doesn't work out, I have the translating to fall back on. If the translating ended up driving me nuts (which it could), I could work as a freelance paralegal. This should probably make me feel secure in my ability to earn a living. Instead I think it just makes me sound scattered and twitchy. Which is dumb because it's not impossible that I could be good (or at least competent) at all of them.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Tomorrow will mark the first time in 17 years that July 27 will not be my wedding anniversary.
Seventeen years.
That's crazy.
That's a hell of a long time.
And sometimes it seems like it all happened in another lifetime. I don't think I'm that same person anymore. The one who chose to behave badly in reaction to a bad relationship rather than be courageous enough to leave it. I don't regret the choices I made because I had to make them based on where I was at the time (and the way the laws work there). But now it doesn't seem possible that I would ever convince myself it was worth staying so unhappy for so long.
Sometimes I'd like to go back and smack that old me upside the head for hiding my head in the sand. Except that playing woulda-coulda-shoulda is such a waste of time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Cat's Head Smells Like...

My cat smells like Borax. It reminds me of my grandmother's house. She used to have powdered Borax soap in the bathroom. There's a box of Borax in the cabinet under the sink in the downstairs bathroom. Maybe the cat hangs out there sometimes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hiking with Buddha

Today was a gorgeous summer day and the Girl and I finally started up our seasonal hiking with a trip to Mt. Major. Since Wonderful Boyfriend was at work and has been having knee problems anyway, it was our first girls-only hike. Except I guess it really wasn't girls-only since the Girl's Pocket Buddha came with us. (She has the pink Peace Buddha and carries him around on a daily basis.)
We took the Boulder Loop trail, which starts on the left side of the parking lot, for the ascent. It lived up to its name and was full of rocks and boulders. There were some pretty steep sections in the boulder field, but the last 0.4 mile to the summit was an easy stroll across rocky ledges surrounded by tons of low blueberry bushes. I like it when the last spurt to the summit is a stroll rather than a heart-bursting ordeal. The views from the summit were superb and we spent about half an hour eating gorp and jerky and taking in the scenery.
I thought about taking the Brook Trail on the way down, but the Main Trail has such great views of Lake Winnipesaukee that I figured we might as well enjoy them a little longer. The Main Trail is steep at the top but the latter part is pretty easy. I managed to get to about a half mile from the end of the trail before my knee started twinging, so I didn't even bother with my knee brace.
It was a great warm-up hike to break in the the Girl's new boots. Next week we're heading up to Holderness to do the Mt. Morgan/Mt. Percival loop.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I Hate Pretentious Japanophiles: Part 7 Million

Sushi for Two - New York Times
Oh, let's be pretentious and stupid! Obviously this guy hasn't taken check of the Japanese sushi restaurant industry in the last 20 years because in this article he is completely ignoring the proliferation of cheap kaiten sushi restaurants (the conveyor belt places) that have brought sushi to the level of the masses in Japan. I suppose while we're discussing enforcing cultural correctness overseas, the Japanese really ought to do something about their interpretation of ice cream and pizza. ("Ideal taste of sea goodness and mayonnaise" anyone?)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Joy of Translation

Don't you just love it when an eight-line-long sentence contains a parenthetical phrase that is seven and a half lines long and that first parenthetical phrase contains another four line phrase in parentheses?
That is why it can take me twenty minutes to get through one sentence sometimes. It's also why I usually just ignore the larger set of parentheses, when it's feasible.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Global Premiere

Well folks, you can say you saw it here first. My girl and I have run with the flash of inspiration that struck me the other day and have created a documentary of our own making. It's titled, "Kiddie Size Me".

I may later edit this further so it's short enough to post on YouTube, but for now I like this version and I just wanted to put it up here so people can see it.

I did cut about a minute out of the embedded version and added music to the ending credits. If anyone's interested, check it out here.

Just a Bit of Microprocrastination to Sweep the Mental Floor Clean

One advantage of a having a nearly adolescent child on summer vacation is that I can get up at 6:30 and do 3 or 4 hours of translation work before she wakes up in the morning. Then we can go and enjoy the rest of the day.
There's something kind of crazy in the works now. Watch this space, ice cream lovers...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Overheard in a Chinese/Japanese Restaurant

Guy sitting in the booth behind me to waiter: "Is the octopus real octopus or is it squid?" (repeated several times while the waiter tried to understand the question)

Its growing on me:
Is that beef real beef or is it pork
Is that tofu real tofu or is it yogurt?
Is that salmon real salmon or is it tuna?
Is that Kleenex real Kleenex or is it a paper towel?
Is that muffin a real muffin or is it a cupcake?