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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”

 

 

Drivel

So I was watching this mafia series and had a thought. In most films, everything aligns with the general vision: the music, the scenes, the costumes, types of actors used and so forth. When someone is waiting at the airport and hears their child has been shot, you get appropriate background for that sort of news to align with the emotion you want to convey. In real life, you might have I’m a Barbie Girl playing in the background. So what I wanted to say is, I’d like to do that kind of thing in writing. Set the scene and then add a touch of jarring realism AND then reign the thing in again, so it won’t turn absurd or grotesque or banal. Not just to disrupt, but to bring back home and pull off a serious scene with I’m a Barbie Girl playing in the background, metaphorically speaking.

I don’t know if the ability to do that is sufficient for good writing, but one has to learn to compensate for one’s weaknesses with one’s strengths.

 

Idiocies

Would someone please, please tell Google not to give me endless pages of Chinese (and other) machine-translated websites when I search for things in my native language. A filter, please, for omitting machine-translations from the results.

#2019 #sucks #googlesucks #discrimination #money #pleasestop

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)

Language fun

“Most people come to exchange language and attraction”

(source: someone on the internet)

 

That phrase is too good not to be put down here. There is a certain delightful freshness in how non-natives use English and what they sometimes do with it. I’m a non-native too, so I know I occasionally do things a native wouldn’t. I’m not able to detect my imperfections myself, unless I put them there on purpose, but when those whose language skills are poorer than mine do it and hit upon a particularly good phrase by accident….I’m not outraged, I don’t think their English sucks, I find it wonderful.

Now I’ll go and exchange attraction with a book. I hope some of its charm will pass on to me too.