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Nostalgia

I won’t say what I’ve been doing. I will instead fill in this quiz from my teenage years once more. It’s supposed to be done at new year but what the.

 

1. What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?
Wanted to dance in a public place. Put putty on a wall and did a shoddy job of it. Ate foie gras and got a trauma for days. Felt a lot of things I have never felt before.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, will you make more for next year?
Obviously not to both.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Luckily not.

5. What countries did you visit?
Latvia.

6. What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?
Clarity of vision about what I want to do with myself and how.

7. What date from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, why?
I don’t remember the dates, but my diary could refresh my memory on them as they ended up having an entry.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Writing a poem that wasn’t terrible.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Continuing indecisiveness.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I injured my back. And then there is the usual anxiety and mood slumps.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My laptop, albeit practical, is pretty good after all.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Definitely not mine.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled, depressed?
Mine.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Household stuff.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Who can remember all such things? I suppose the times when I felt past could be shed and there is hope and magic ahead still. The times I forgot and lived in the present. The time I wanted to dance and went from one concert venue to the next, hoping to find a crowd I could dive into, but everyone was so passive. I was hyper though.

16. What song will always remind you of 2019?
I’d rather not say. It’s not a very good song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter
iii. richer or poorer? richer

I’m doing the classic middle-class man’s curve of life here, lol.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Written. Socialised.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Lying in bed in apathy or just lazying around doing nothing.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my family.

22. Did you fall in love in 2019?
Who knows.

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I didn’t watch anything.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, but I like and appreciate some people who I didn’t last year

26. What was the best book you read?
Les Miserables.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
That Pina Colada song was rather fun. I also liked one pretty classical piece but never found out what it was.

28. What did you want & get?
Um. Can such things happen too? Okay, realm of trivialities: I bought a new laptop. I realized I hated it. Then it broke down within a month. I handed it in to be fixed and hoped it was quite irrevocably damaged so I get to pick a different model. Yes. Yes I did.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Did I watch the King Ludwig movie this year? If so, that.

31. What did you do on your birthday, & how old were you?
It hasn’t happened yet.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Possibly: being asked by one person to do something.  Winning the lottery, of course. 10 000 would do.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019? Tru bohemian. I have never had a style and wear what I like, from dainty and girlish to messy and ill-fitting.

34. What kept you sane?
I did.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Charlton Heston. I’ve been faithful to him for many years now.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Elections, I guess.

37. Who did you miss?
J.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
With new it is too early to say. No one stands out particularly.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019.
That personality is fate and in combination with the environment one is in, there is very little one can do to turn the tables, precious, precious little. I also learnt that my English has improved massively in 10 years, so keeping at it pays off.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“I’m in love with a fairy tale even though it hurts. I don’t care if I lose my mind, I’m already cursed”

 

 

Things photographed in 2018

The time of ice departing is always quite photogenic at the seaside.

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Spring was early and very warm. I spent it romancing this book.

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I also discovered a solitary daffodil at the seaside.

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….and had an all-around good time there. They hadn’t fenced the meadow in yet for the cows, in spite of it being early May, so there was ample space and practically no one else there. I got to run barefoot and all.

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Then came summer. It was very hot and uncomfortable.

I stayed in this old-fashioned room.

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Then came the best autumn my eyes have seen. It was the warmest. I went exploring the woods and discovered an egg up the tree. It’s not chicken. DSC03090

Then I made this composition with my forest finds.

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Some creature liked me.

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Some creature had died at sea and been washed to the shore.

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Then it finally stopped being very warm.

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When November came, I was very cheerful about it. So much warmth and sun made dreariness a novelty.

Also, my cat did some modelling for pet products.

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Shameful

Like the two springs before, I’m reading Jean-Christophe. This time it’s the second book. The first 50 to 100 pages I was a bit tired of the story. There seemed no development whatsoever, just the same type of things repeated over and over again: criticism of the local (French) music and art scene, Christophe alienating everyone, gathering enemies and falling into troubled relationships with women, and other people. The way this narrative repeats itself in just slightly different forms IS tiresome. It’s very predictable that after the artistic commentary and struggle chapters comes an infatuation chapter.  And not only that but there is no change in either either. This is not a typo. But anyhow.

I somehow got over this. The other day I felt a pleasant kind of cosiness to pick this book up again and be in the company of Christophe. This will sound sentimental – I’m trying to think of a way of phrasing it so it will sound less so – because it isn’t so – it’s a very down-to-earth sort of feeling, but he is like a friend to me. Reading this novel is like interacting with a friend, keeping an eye on his life and doings. A gentle, earthy sort of pleasure. Like touching moss or tree bark.

That was my first emotion and mood. But it got worse. I noticed I was slightly falling in love with me him – (if ever there was a Freudian slip, this has got to be the master slip…). When his appearance was described, I noticed it particularly (no, he isn’t beautiful). I’m also becoming to understand his strength. In the first book, the narrator kept referring to Christophe’s strength, but I failed to see a neurotic like that being particularly strong. Now I can see it more, though his type of strength is hardly my prototype, which probably made the suggestion laughable at first. One lives and learns.

Admiration and adoration of fictional characters is something I do sometimes, being of such a temperament that adores, but I don’t recall ever falling in love with them. I can’t say I have done so now either, but I noticed the gentle buds. So yes, I obviously have a screw or two loose.

Oh. And I think trees and moss are my favourite things in nature.

Parendamine

Tõlgin parajasti ühte teksti, ja mõtlen, kas ma peaks kasutama sõna “parendama”. Sest see on just selline koht, kus üks laialdase kogemusega tõlkija seda kasutaks. Sest mõeldud on ju tõesti, et too asi X teeb head veelgi paremaks. Enne oli ka hea. Ja nüüd tehakse veelgi paremaks. Ma saan erinevusest aru, aga…. keegi ei räägi ju nii? Ainult tõlgitud lepingud ja kasutusjuhendid on parendamisi täis. Et jah siis. Tõrgun.

Ei suuda seda sõna trükkida. Eneseirooniaga, pihku itsitades suudaks. Aga no tõsimeeli. Minu sõrmed ei paindu. Või teeks ikkagi naljaga. Ega keegi aru ei saaks. Iseendal oleks siiski parem.

(ranting about my highly personal, language-specific translation struggles)

Wodehouse

“He has the most distorted ideas about wit and humour; he draws over his books and examination papers in the most distressing way and writes foolish rhymes in other people’s books. Notwithstanding he has a genuine interest in literature and can often talk with enthusiasm and good sense about it.”

Dulwich College report on P.G. Wodehouse, 1899

 

I want to write foolish rhymes in other people’s books too. It sounds like a charming thing to do.

 

Out of this world experience

I switched off the light last night to go to bed, thought of something for a couple of minutes and then turned the other side. Little did I expect to have my first and only otherworldly visitation that night.

I saw two tiny silvery spots on my sheets next to the pillow. They looked like glitter and were placed symmetrically like eyes.

I thought what the hell and tried to rub them off, assuming they were glitter. They wouldn’t go. I thought WHAT THE HELL and tried looking away in case this was an optical illusion of some sort. Still the glitter eyes stayed next to my pillow. I removed the sheet in case something was glittering under it and could be rubbed off this way, but to no avail.

And this is the last I remember….

I’ve had trouble falling asleep these days, so I’m really surprised I fell asleep instantaneously after messing with the glitter eyes. Maybe it was my sleep fairy. In which case, sleep fairy, I am most truly sorry for mistaking you to be glitter and trying to be rid of you. Please come again and glitter next to my pillow. #waitingfortonight

Old opinions

On academic writing

I want to cry, I cannot write in this bloody awful language of the academia and discourse theory. I feel it in me to write a great piece, but I’m stifled by my lack of academic lexicon, my inability to bend my thoughts to come forth in such dull robes. In wreaths of roses and white lilies would I have them come. Or in some smart and elegant dress, modest and dazzling at once in their wit and originality, but not in the dull greys of academic speech. Oh, I’d rather write in curses. The tongue of the vulgar comes more naturally to my lips than the language of the academia. So help me God. Invest me with thoughts possessed by others, so I could do my home assignment and not fail miserably for my lack of academic ability.

(early university days)

Job market absurdism

I saw an ad for the job of a translator, translating technical and legal documents.

The requirements – and yes, requirements – included having a positive attitude to life.

I don’t think pessimists would make for any worse translators. The only place where they would not be great is the service sector.

So who do I complain to about this sort of personality-based discrimination? It has nothing to do with a person’s actual skills and ability to translate.

Why, what with all manner of discrimination types being discussed to death, has practically no one pointed out the extreme discrimination that goes on in the job market? Why is it okay to discriminate based on some qualities and not others?