I ran into one of my favourite high-school professors the other day and when I told him that I was a translator it knocked his jolly mood right out of him. Cuddling his beer, he wistfully reminisced about the high hopes he used to have for me. He went on to inform me that one of his former students was now working for a celebrity fashion designer and another was god-knows-where but filthy rich.
In an atypical moment of mercy, he offered me a chance to redeem myself and asked if at least I was translating movies. In retrospect, I should have said yes. But, having completely misjudged how the world perceived the merits of my chosen career, I didn’t. When I told him that most of my work involved scientific and technical translation, which meant he wasn’t likely to see my name on TV unless I messed up spectacularly, he aimed an accusatory look at my man and demanded to know if he was the one who killed my spark. (Yes, really.) My guy laughed it off while I was silently beating myself up for not having said I was a company manager; it’s technically true because I’m incorporated but it was too late for that now. I tried to regain some value as a human being in my beloved professor’s eyes by mumbling something about how I had great clients and my work was actually interesting and rewarding but he wasn’t buying it.
Then, with a pained expression he recalled how some even smarter girl he used to teach disappointed him even more bitterly. I learned that the poor thing had unwittingly knocked on his door with a copy of The Watchtower in her hand. You need to know that my professor is a vocal atheist – basically he’s a hate preacher but for atheism – and Jehovah’s Witnesses have always been his second-favourite target of ridicule, right after Mormons. So yeah, I’m not the biggest failure he could think of but I came pretty, pretty close. That look of sadness and disappointment in his eyes haunts me to this day. Okay, our awkward encounter took place only this Thursday but still. I’m struggling hard not to wonder if my friends and family are ashamed of me too.
Well, now that I have been informed what an utter waste of space people think I am, I’ve arrived at two resolutions. First, I’ll start charging more for my services because I desperately need to buy myself a large dose of self-respect. Second, the next time someone asks me what I do for a living I’ll tell them I’m a prostitute. In contrast to us translators, these professionals seem to command some respect, probably because they have the sense to charge for what the rest of us do for free. And I refuse to be seen as a loser again! I am deeply passionate about my real work but as it turns out, some passions are best kept secret.
The second I let my guard down I become prone to having highly unusual stuff happen to me, ranging from outright embarrassing to downright pathetic. It’s not all that bad really as accomplished klutzes like me seem to have the power to draw quite a fan base, which leaves me with the hope that I’ll make a name for myself someday. My best shot at fame is probably the Darwin Awards website.
My special talents became evident quite early. When I was little but big enough to swing an axe – those were happier, relaxed times when kids wouldn’t dream of suing their own parents – I was sent out to chop some firewood. So there I was happily hacking away, Continue reading Stuff that can happen only to me: Accidentally assaulting your own forehead
I never know with the Americans; do they even realise how wonderfully cynical they are? The current USA ambassador to Slovenia, His Excellency Joseph Adamo Mussomeli, who has earned quite a reputation for frequently voicing his opinion of our bickerings, recently said something like ”In the USA, politicians pretend to hate each other, but your politicians hate each other for real”.
(You gotta love this guy. He’s outspoken to the point of being brave, brilliant, with a great sense of humour. He succeeded in ticking off more people than all other ambassadors to Slovenia present and past combined. One of the few things about him that sort of fits what I’d expect from a diplomat is his undeniable charm and his skill at wooing the press – though he assures us that the media are always going for his throat.) Continue reading Methinks: Politicians, Part II
Our former prime minister made it to the front page of Wikipedia recently, even if for all the wrong reasons:
A flattering picture btw. Continue reading Methinks: Politicians, Part I
The machine converts various plant materials into semi-dry pellets. It’s self-propelled, runs on eco fuel exclusively and it is easy to activate by placing raw material anywhere within its reach and wait for the impressive array of sensors to point it the right way. The input material is taken up at the front end, broken down into smaller bits and finely ground. The machine then proceeds to process the resulting pulp by extracting fluids and compressing the remaining material into pellets which are ejected from its rear end.
The pellets are of two types: the hard pellet that is considered the final product and as such ignored by the machine, and the soft pellet that is picked up by the machine almost instantly and dutifully recycled. The previously-extracted fluid is excreted at the rear too, usually at the lowest point of the plane accessible to the machine, and if it happens to be a soft surface you’re either standing or sitting upon, the fluid will be deposited right where your foot or your butt, respectively, is parked. Continue reading Guess the Machine