Saturday, October 29, 2005

63 hours of work since last Saturday morning complete. Wrists and back...OK. let the en-giraffenization commence!

Edit Edit: What was I on and around Halloween, you ask?

You might be sorry you clicked on at least one of those links.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Browsing Wikipedia, and ended up at Placeholder Names and was delighted beyond recognition to find, among the list of placeholders for out of the way, backwards locales, the following:

"Sainte-Clotilde-de-Rubber-Boot in Quebec."

Perhaps it's lack of sleep, but this strikes me as brilliance itself.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Did some inquiries today on the phrase " the dickens," which dates back to Shakespeare and there Dickens, I learn, is originally just a euphemism for "the devil," which makes sense, given "what the deuce," etc. etc.

What precipitated this inquiry, however, was an odd attempt at the phrase rendered by my office manager, "I know you've been working like the Dickinson." It didn't immediately strike me as being a reference to the poet, certainly enough, though I have been working in seclusion most of the week, but rather as a mis-hearing...perhaps this woman extrapolated the phrase as being this early in life, maybe she just stutter-stepped and that's what came out.

In other news, I bought one book today purely based on the title; Agatha Christie's "By the Pricking of my Thumbs." The wise idea was to shelve it next to my copy of "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (followed by my copy of Macbeth, probably, no doubt originally influenced by this lovely work. [Pity Yeats was lamenting the decline of royalism, though, and somewhat obsessed with this cyclical history-as-gyres business] Much to my chagrin, however, I find I do not seem to actually own a copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes, though I would have sworn I did.

The best laid schemes o' mice and men, I suppose...

Saturday, October 22, 2005

If anyone (unlikely) has gotten to the offhand mentions of von Neurath, there's a new footnote I've added recently:

58: The Czech svobodný means either “free, unencumbered” or (more commonly) “bachelor,” depending on the context. Here, it assumedly refers to von Neurath’s minor title of Freiherr (lit., “free lord”), and is therefore translated as "lord.". (p. 72)

This replaces the foolish choice of "bachelor" on two occasions, and boy had that been bothering me a lot. If only I'd gotten it out earlier in the week. Hélas, eheu, ach běda...alas, in other words.

Later edit: Would I be so utterly unjustified in adding a "Fremen" aside? Probably. But the temptation is there.
Tidbit of the night: Tonight, if they have not done so already, the members of Jurassic 5 are enjoying tiny boxes of GM cereal, and an assortment of Doritos, that I have handled and scanned, as a former neighbor of mine purchased them on a local college's credit card for placement in the dressing room.

Small world, apparently.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Finished up my prelim draft of Fuks #1, sent it out between shifts on Wednesday...and have succumbed to a head cold/stomach bug thing since then. Related? Who can say, but I was showing inklings of being sick before I got off my ass and "finished" editing this thing so I could give it to people. (number of niggling typos in the first three pages pointed out so far: three)

Since then I've called in to the morning job twice (yesterday, today) with chills and aches and stuffed-up-edness, and had to leave the second job yesterday early (well, by only a half-hour) with some sort of stomach thing to boot. By which I mean gnawing on raw ginger because some of the other co-op workers said it'd be a good idea stomach thing. (Actually, it wasn't too bad, and it seemed to work...some)

So I've been sleeping twelve hours a day as opposed to five and feel like I'm on the mend, though I have two co-op shifts left before my weekend of sorts starts tomorrow at five.

Nevertheless, I now feel comfortable saying I've finished translating a book (the rest is window-dressing) and I may start the second here in a minute. New notebook, new pen...why not? Perhaps not having a translation project is what my body is reacting to, after all.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Things that have come to my attention recently:

Scarf-wearing is still something to be looked at askance, although people seem to like the FC Brno one.

The New Family Guy movie took several watchings to become funny. Quotable, but light on plot.

It's "Doctor Jones! No time for love! We got company!" in spite of what popular culture has to say on the matter. No big surprise that a slightly edited quote could become the standard, but still. Also, that movie's really weird. None too flattering towards the Indians, either. Not that that's _really_ a problem for me.

Also, I splurged recently on a copy of Robert Lee Wolf's "The Balkans in Our Time," one of the required readings for a pair of courses I took on Balkan history with a delightful Greek man. Bringing back a lot of memories, this. I think I used it in a couple of papers. And it's an excellent look on the history of Albania, Yugoslavia, Romania and Bulgaria through communization. Ah, Livanios' classes.

Weekend was great, am tired and either just dehydrated or coming down with something. Hopefully the former.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Things clarify...

I finally got one clue as to something specific that makes me sound foreign: I, like my brother, have picked up the habit of using "yes" and "no" as bare tag questions, unconsciously, and fairly frequently. Examples from today: "You're working until seven, yes?" and "I get my break soon, no?" Apparently this strikes the typical native English earn as quite foreign. Which makes sense, as I picked it up from non-native English speakers. Of various European ethnicities. So that's one symptom down.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

More fun at work today:

It was our Harvest Festival, so our local vendors came in a big tent outside and gave away free local things; I spent my whole lunch break out there, met a lot of folks who worked with me, and scored free pie, bread, cheese, chocolate, milk, etc. etc. The beer-mustard was great, and I was really cheerful going back into work for a change. Good stuff, that.

Also, in the continuing "you're from where?" saga one of my early-morning customers paused in the middle of our banter and hesitantly you have some sort of accent? Apparently I look and sound like a foreigner yet again. Her hesitant guess was "German," which I don't quite get. My co-workers chimed in with "maybe English, 'cause he looks like a Beatle" (yes, I need to get my hair cut, am working on that) but, joking aside, it was puzzlingly comical, as usual.

So far, that's Lithuanian, Ukrainian, German, Russian, English (to Americans), and Czech. (to some Slovaks to whom I was, admittedly, speaking Czech) Clearly my appearance is somewhat unusual, assumedly mainly as a result of the height issue. I do look very Slavic, and my tone and cadence may be odd...but it's still bizarre to me that I flag so many people as vaguely foreign. Mainly that guy in Providence who was convinced I was English, or putting on a really good English accent for show.

*shrugs* And now, the weekend.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Four things made my day today, both of them in the long and waning hours of the shift.

In order: A girl came through my line speaking Polish on a cell phone. I stopped her conversation with a "Dzienkuje bardzo," some discussion ensued (her English was fine too) followed by a "the guy in the grocery store speaks Czech" back into the cell phone in Polish. That was fun.

Some time later, two guys came in who were either pledging something or had lost a bet; both in jean shorts and aviator sunglasses, sleeveless, one in demin with a fake AC/DC tattoo drawn on his bicep, and the other one in a pink T-shirt advertising a seafood restaurant, I guess, with the words "I EAT 'M RAW AT GARY'S" It was the 'M that got mel; I couldn't stop laughing for minutes, and had to go outside.

Then I busted out the iPod to play "Hey Jealousy" for a co-worker and used its picture capacity to show me with short hair; which everyone agreed would look awesome, so I should do that, even if it's getting cold.

And then I segued somehow, in response to a "do you sleep in socks," to recounting the night of May 10th or 11th when I slept in five shirts and a jacket in the Vienna bus station with classes the next morning the next country over. It's nice to be able to convince your co-workers you're more than than new guy who seems decent enough but has never really told any decent stories.

Good times all around. And, at 3:30 tomorrow, I'm done until Monday morning.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ah, nothing like thirty-six hours of work in an eighty-hour span. I love my Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Just coming up for air since the time between my shifts today precludes a nap; I'm holding up fine, but only because I'm just at the beginning of this stretch.

Trying to find time to finish the book, since without readers it's just an enormously elaborate form of masturbation, and staying read as much as before shifts and breaks allow. Slogging my way through V., (maybe I'll try Mason & Dixon for the third time after this) and have watched Johnny Dangerously and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

I'm going to go continue gorging myself with food and girding my loins for round two today.