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Fossilization

This should be a useful post, a good post. After a long silence, one should do that, I suppose, write something meaningful and pithy. But I’m instead going to write something very dull.

I thought this morning, as I was checking out different phone companies to switch to a cheaper contract, that maybe I should get myself a new phone with the new contract too. A budget smartphone instead of my old regular phone so that people would stop rolling their eyes when they see me take out my phone. I’m not totally immune to that. Also, the thing I’m missing is not being able to transfer photos to other devices more easily and having a chat programme, so I can do away with regular text messages with people who also use the same IM service.

Since I wouldn’t be using most of the gadgets that come with it, the cheapest models seemed to be the thing to go for. I don’t even care for high picture quality. Adequate would do. And if the device gets so little use for all its extras, paying a lot seems foolish.

I picked out two models that seemed okay, but the moment I checked their battery life, I went off the idea completely. Having to charge them every day seems extremely tedious. Particularly if I’d hardly be using the apps and things that take up all the battery. My old phone lasts 5-7 days without being charged and I suppose one could get used to it lasting a day, but given what I would get in return for this increase in discomfort, it doesn’t balance out. For half the price it might make sense.

So I’ll stick to my old phone until it stops working and continue annoying and surprising people with not having a smartphone. The discomforts that come with it are not daily, but occasional at least.

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)

Instagram

I should make myself an Instagram account. The extrovert in me often experiences a desire to share all kinds of little useless things. Such as photos of my new coat, the presents I’ve got, how pretty the seaside is, how I found a potential murder weapon in the forest, and what my wallpaper is going to look like.

I don’t really know where this desire to share good/fun things comes from, but whenever I’m very happy or pleased with something or captivated by something, I just can’t help sharing it with everyone who happens along.

And I think it is annoying. Because I can’t imagine who cares about my doors or the extremely awesome card my friend just got my cat (sic!). Posting these things on the blog seems a bit of a waste as well. It would lead to posting more frequently and cluttering up the space. It doesn’t seem like the right medium.

Conclusion is that I probably should make an Instagram account, so that I’d have an outlet for posting all the things I want to share. Right now, I annoy people individually with it and send them pictures or show them in person or make video calls. I love making video calls to show my stuff…

While writing this post, I’m waiting for a large file to download, after which I’m going to make my friend a video call to show him the extremely great leather-bound notebook I got….

I wish this was artistic exaggeration to get a better text, but it’s the plain truth.

With behavioural problems like these, Instagram seems the only solution. Except I’m not a typical Instagram person in other ways and I would actually prefer it to be less public. Which is why I’ve preferred individual sharing. Maybe I’ll figure something else out.

But this has lead me to see the benefit of Instagram. It gives people a choice whether to look at your outfit, food and holiday snaps or not. One can always just not look. Sadly, I haven’t given my friends the choice.

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.

New in: cat edition

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This is the only half-decent photo she allowed me to take

Kibble: Orijen with chicken

Canned food: Applaws with tuna filet

Snack: GimCat Sticks with beef

Claudicat’s package arrived this morning! And she was very excited to explore its contents. I got excited too, seeing her so happy and curious. She has previously been eating pet store brand foods (Proplan, Hills, Royal Canin, Gourmet), but the ingredients lists did not please me.  They are the cat equivalents of junk food. Salmon pate containing 4% salmon just does not sound right, does it? She also seems to have developed an addiction to kibble. If I gave her all the kibble she wanted, she’d puff up like a balloon from overeating. So diagnosis: Claudicat is a junk food addict.

Now, everyone knows that junk food addicts don’t eat healthy food. Claudicat is also not a fan of home food and it’s a struggle to get her to eat real chicken or fish, but we manage somehow. She eats them, grumpily, but eats. So I was quite apprehensive whether she’d eat her new kibble by Orijen, which promises to contain higher quality ingredients and be grain free. I’ve bought her higher quality canned foods previously and these she sometimes completely refused to eat.

But! She ate it up like a good cat! I was very pleased. Her package also contained canned tuna by Applaws and a cat snack for a gift. Isn’t it lovely when stores add something extra to the package? Claudicat was very purry about the extra too.

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This is the usual type of photo she allows me to take

 

Tragedy

I glanced over my posts….

And can’t but bemoan the state of my English. My vocabulary has declined and sentence structure is clunky.

I have read too few books in English of late. And a re-acquaintance with advanced level grammar materials wouldn’t go amiss either.

Arrrrrr. It is actually surprising that while I do use English daily, the vocabulary and self-expression skills decline if I don’t expose myself to literature.

Very random and unimportant

Long absence due to mental exhaustion from stressful life events. But hopefully things are looking up now.

And then there’s the writer’s block. A number of ideas, but not the words to put them down with.

Spring is almost here and my dream of a house has not come true. The real estate market isn’t playing ball this year. And god knows if I’ll even qualify for a loan with my part-time pay in the future. Optimistic side of me thinks: maybe there is a purpose in that delay. Maybe some other wonderful thing is about to happen for which I need my savings more. But, this isn’t a fairy tale. This is my life. Nothing THAT wonderful ever happens.

At any rate, I feel trapped. Greeting spring in a city flat has always been a painful experience. No less this year. It is like being a bird whose cage has been placed on the terrace. Hearing others rejoice around you, while you may smell and feel, but not fly with them.

Or the flight is such effort that it spoils everything. I could rent a house for spring, but it is not the same. I could walk outside and admire other gardens and public parks, but it is not the same. I can’t just lie down under a lilac tree and expect to get away with it. Passers-by would interfere, thinking I was drunk or had an accident. So much for romance.

Point is, as much as I love spring, its arrival is always painful. More painful each year that I cannot express my love for it in the manner that my heart most wishes.

 

A list of things that annoy me without good cause

In other words, what an arse I am.

1. Nitpicking and pedanticism. I find it mind-boggling, for example, that people can fight on internet forums over comma use and call each other imbeciles for putting commas in the wrong places. Detail is important, but I dare say not equally important in all contexts. I’m more of a “can’t see the trees for the wood” person.  A misplaced or missing comma seems a very trivial thing to me, provided its wrongness isn’t glaring.

 

2. Excessive and constant frivolity. You know, people with whom you can never talk seriously about anything. People who make light of your problems for god knows what reason. Perhaps to cheer you up, or more likely, because they can’t deal with seriousness. People who are like butterflies, without any substance to them, although they may have great charm and beauty. People who don’t put their heart deeply into anything.

 

3. Superficiality. Read above, I suppose.

 

4. Being too grown-up. Having no magic in one’s life, but careful, plan-based living like Soviet economy. People who are too grown-up would never do a thing that was impulsive, silly or not regarded among the accepted grown-up activities and behaviours. Their success is measured through the possession of a partner, house, car and a career. Having a reasonable amount of money in the bank is essential. A too grown-up person looks down upon young people and their sincere emotionality and dreams. Sadly, sincerity and ability to lose oneself in something pleasant has been lost for them. They are matter-of-fact, disgustingly unromantic and non-idealistic. No wonder they rub me the wrong way!

If it were a list of things that annoy me WITH good cause, middle-aged sex tourists would be the next item.

 

5. Being dull. This is something I always feel a little bad about. It isn’t really fair to dislike someone because they are boring. I’m especially bored by people who are too grown-up without a spark of fun or mischief in them, by people who have mediocre hearts and mediocre minds. Given a choice between getting to know a dull person or a bad person, I’d take the latter, provided they are not a complete heartless maniac. I don’t approve of this preference and often hit my fingers with a ruler to reprimand myself.

Not a real ruler, of course, an imaginary one.

Le Sigh

And here I go again…

I spotted in my study materials the following delightful pairing: emotional disorders (sensitivity).

It was probably not meant quite so badly, but nonetheless. Sensitivity! For heaven’s sake. It wasn’t even hypersensitivity, it was plain sensitivity.

But it is not to rant I want, it made me think instead. Of what a healthy person must be like according to these unrealistic standards. And how utterly dull such a healthy, perfectly balanced person must be.

Formal e-mails

Has anyone else encountered the feeling that many formal e-mails read like someone is having a bad day and taking it out on you? Or am I just hypersensitive and not right in the head to get that feeling ever so often? Probably that. Just wondering if anyone else is so sensitive.

In face-to-face and informal communication, people have tone of voice or smileys at their disposal to express and infer attitude from. In formal writing, all of that is missing. You may write the e-mail with a perfectly friendly and kind tone in your mind, but it can read like you are telling the recipient that they suck and you dislike everything they do.