24 juin 2006


If you haven't read Jenn's words, or seen her photos, you've been missing out - hugely. A beautiful mind, a beautiful young woman, a beautiful person.
Jenn passed away Thursday night. There is nothing that can be said here that will ever make this even close to bearable. She was robbed of her whole life, her loved ones were robbed of her whole life.
Jenn was one of the truly amazing people I am lucky enough to have met in that unlikely cyberworld. Of course we'd never actually met, but does that even count? She said to me recently that "when i end up in paris again one day i (will) bang on your door & demand that you drink wine with me...", and I so wish I could tell her that she's not off the hook...
Jenn showed me that writing could be a thing of joy, even in sadness.
Not this time.
It dawned on me yesterday that everytime I snap a picture of anything, everything, I think of her. Jenn showed me that photography was retaining a little of your childhood spirit, and letting it loose in the world. And I wish I'd told her that I am so very grateful to her for that.
It is possible to miss people that you've never met. I didn't want to know that.

16 juin 2006

Whatever happened to the "global village"?

I was watching a documentary the other day, The Yes Men, about two guys trying to undermine the WTO from the inside - pretty funny, in a Michael-Moore sort of way - when suddenly, disaster struck.
The translator doing the subtitles was obviously working straight from the video and didn't have a script. And when, at some point, one of the guys said something like "every columnist in the US", s/he didn't understand. Or rather, s/he understood "communist". And of course proceeded to translate "communist".
Now. A translation usually goes through a quality control. Subtitles supposedly go through a quality control too. That means that at least two more people didn't think there was anything wrong with that.
The same kind of annoying thing has already happened several times - let's face it, it's easy to spot mistranslations in subtitles, especially when you're, like me, actively looking for them, but still... - but the one that also stays is when some alleged translator had misunderstood "when he'd been wronged" and translated "when he'd been wrong". Which I'm sure you'll agree does alter the meaning slightly.

There's a job offer that keeps popping up on my e-mail: a very, very big company in NYC is currently looking for a French translator. In fact, they're looking for me, but they're in denial. Someone with my experience, in my field of experience, etc. Me, right?
Except they're not going to hire me. And believe me, I've applied. Three times. And I'm going to apply again. They said they were looking for the right person. Based on their ad and my resume, I can only assume that the right person will already have the right to work in the US because they're not going to sponsor. As they've been looking for a couple months now, they'll have to settle soon, because nobody looks for translators for ever. So they'll hire someone who doesn't meet their requirements, but hey, at least they won't have to sponsor. (By the way, I'm not saying I meet their requirements. I'm saying they could
at least bloody check.)

So there you have it. That's the main reason why I haven't really been updating this thing quite so regularly as in the past - nice little bit of understatement, that. I'm not, in fact, a big fan of the bitchy whiny attitude - no, I'm not... - and it seems that all I want to be doing these days is bitch and whine. And it's going to last a while, I can tell.

13 juin 2006

They'll probably name a disease after me, you know

Or a particularly nasty and vicious neurosis. Something.
Apparently, I am, at certain times, hypersensitive to sound. All sorts of sound. Especially the disbelievingly non-stop PA announcements or whatever they're called that they were killing me slowly with on the train.
They were telling us that we were going to be 35 minutes late. Now that's annoying but we can deal with it like adults, I'm sure.
Yeah, at first I could.
And then they started translating everything they were saying into 3 more languages. All the announcements we had, we got them in French, Dutch, German, and English. All of them starting with the annoying Thalys jingle. All of them. Some of them were told on the oh-so-obvious spot by the train guard, who oh-so-obviously didn't really speak either Dutch or English. You'd think that while we wait in the scorching heat in an unventilated train is not the best of times to increase our blood pressure like that, wouldn't you? The Thalys people, they don't seem to mind. They must like living on the edge.
Especially as the train is crowded, and of course, of course, there will be people trying their mobile ringtone, making sure that it is loud enough - not to mention silly enough - to be heard in such a loud environment as a train. Because the mute option is taking too much of a risk, isn't it. One might miss a crucial phone call, and one certainly doesn't want to have to wait a whole 90 minutes to talk loudly and self-importantly.
By the end of the sound-testing phase, I was ready to gouge some eyes out.
Which is the exact moment that one of the guys out for a teenage romp in Paris with his pals, a couple of seats up, chose to start shuffling his deck of cards (no, that is not, in fact, a metaphor) repeatedly, getting ready for some devilishly daring game of solitaire (still not a metaphor). I just had to shoot him a look. And not a come-hither look either. Which he didn't see anyway because he was sitting with his back to me. Yeah, I was murderously annoyed, but not particularly brave. But his mate saw me and said a couple words to him. The shuffling stopped and I tasted power. It is good.
A couple minutes later, the shuffling was back on the cards. Power is also fickle.

08 juin 2006

So that's my excuse, huh...

You know what, it's kind of hard to write anything when Blogger is so obviously up the proverbial creek without its trusted cyber paddle.
Even if I did think of something funny to write about - which I don't, so don't hold your breath here, 'cause, well... you'd die - the fifteen minutes and four refreshes it takes for each page to load up on my screen before I even make it to the "new post" thingamajig do tend to make me let go of the plot entirely, as proved by the single string of profanities that seems to be going round on a loop in my head. And I've watched Deadwood, so that's a single, long, string of profanities we're talking about here. It is in fact possible that part of said string escaped the confines of my head and made it past my usually pristine lips. They're probably tainted forever now.
Yeah, so maybe my lips weren't so pristine nor my grasp of the plot so perfect to begin with, but I'll blame Blogger anyway.

01 juin 2006

Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

A funny thing happened yesterday. Not funny strange, funny ha ha. Well, not really funny ha ha, more like I-really-want-to-rip-your-bloody-throat-open-with-my-nails-bitten-raw funny.
You see, the people I'm talking to about a potential job are dangling the opportunity in front of me, but they have perfected the "tantalisingly close" thing to a work of art. So yes, but not quite. Or maybe but we're not completely ready just yet.
Also - or should that be hence - I am in the shittiest of moods today. You'd think that that could have happened when I was at my parents' and I had people to get angry and snap at for no reason except the intense satisfaction of seeing a look of utter incomprehension on their faces while their mouths opened and closed in a near-perfect impersonation of a fish that racks its brains for a killing repartee but can't find one, wouldn't you. No, surprisingly, that went quite well. And now, I'm back in Paris, where the weather is an absolute crime against my humanity, and there's no one around that I can calm my nerves on.
Well, I guess I am simply going to have to pay the unemployment agency a visit tomorrow and kill someone, then.