Confuzzledom

Just a place for me to gather my thoughts


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The latest from my life

In between recipes and throwbacks to when I was cute, I thought I’d give you a few updates on how my life looks right now…

  • I logged on to Facebook this morning to find that my dad’s cousin has become the father of a little girl and one of my cousins has got engaged. Meanwhile, I’m over the moon that my boyfriend managed to make time to come to a party with me at the weekend…  How does this committed, long-term relationship thing work again? Cos I’m pretty sure I’m doing it wrong.
  • My grandpa was moved to a different hospital just over a week ago – one in the same town where my grandma lives, so it’s much more convenient.  The doctor there has said the way he’s looking now, it could be weeks rather than days but nobody can really say for sure. He could still go at any time… or he could hang on until after his birthday (he will turn 80 if he does).
  • I’ve actually been given a  “nice” (i.e. interesting and challenging) text to translate thanks to my colleague being on maternity leave and everyone else being busy. Now I’m terrified I won’t do as good a job as said colleague and will have to spend the rest of my life translating only technical and financial texts. Aaargh, the pressure! (I am a good translator, but my colleague is an amazing translator, so she usually gets all the texts that have even a chance of reaching an audience other than IT support people.)
  • I’ve been cross stitching lots of cards recently. I’ve just finished one for my grandma and started on a Mother’s Day card for my mam.  I’m actually quite enjoying stitching the smaller designs – it means I get to finish them before I get bored!

And that’s it for today. I hope you weren’t expecting more. If anything truly interesting had happened I would have blogged about it before now…

 


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All around the Internet

I don’t really have anything to say today, so have some links from around the web instead:

And finally, a video. The translators among you will appreciate this the most, but everyone should check it out. Make sure to watch it all the way to the end!


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My life in music

I stole this idea from The Laughing Housewife, whose version you can see here.

Put together a musical playlist of songs that describe your life, including what you hope your future entails.

I was born in 1983, precisely 18 days after my mum turned 20 (product of a teen pregnancy. Shock, horror!)

My dad and later my step dad were both in the army, so the family moved around a lot. I got used to always being the new kid.

When I was 12, my step mum died. She was only 29 years old – the same age I am now!

A year later, I moved up North to live with my dad.

For university, I went to Nottingham (half way between my parents at the time!) to study German and International Relations. My degree included a year abroad. I came to Karlsruhe – the first time I’d left the country by myself!

After a turbulent three month relationship with an American (who I’m still friends with – he’s now married with his second kid on the way), I started a relationship with Jan. Six months later, he went of to the US while I returned to England to finish my degree.

After nearly two years of long distance relationship (after graduating I moved to Austria for 10 months), I moved back to Germany to finally be with Jan. I had been a language assistant in Austria and loved it. In Germany, it was hell and a major part of why I decided becoming a teacher was not for me! So I signed up for a Master’s in Translation instead.

While I was studying for my Master’s (online), I did an internship at a translation company, then got a job as a translator, which ended after 10 months for economic reasons, before ending up at the translation company where I work now just over three years ago.

And my hope for the future?

(Apologies if any of the music doesn’t work – for some reason the sound isn’t working on this computer).


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More Friday letters

Yep, it’s that time again! I haven’t really had much to post about this week (as you may have noticed…). January is such a blah month, don’t you think? Nothing really seems to happen – at least not in my life. Nevertheless, here are my Friday letters for the week…

English: Wormgate letterbox 19th century lette...

19th century letterbox in Wormgate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear snow. You are very pretty, but must you also be so slippy? I’m sure I’m going to break my neck before long!

Dear self. I know Amazon is really tempting with its e-mails full of recommendations and ridiculously cheap second-hand books, but  you really need to stop spending money… at least until pay day!

Spending Money

Spending Money (Photo: 401(K) 2013)

Dear weekend. I’m so glad you’re here! I know we’re going to have lots of fun together.

Dear exercise DVD. I have done a circuit from you three times this week (I skipped Wednesday for no other reason than laziness, and tonight I seriously don’t have time! Been home long enough to type this and as soon as I’m done I’m off to put some washing on and start cooking tea). When do I get to start seeing results?

Dear self (again). The answer to the above question is when you stop allowing yourself a treat every. single. day.

Dear new gloves. You are soft and fluffy and, most importantly, warm. I think I’m in love!

Dear brain. One day you are going to produce a translation in which my colleague doesn’t have to suggest stylistic changes in every other sentence. Please work with me on this because seeing so many corrections every single day is starting to make my wonder whether I’m actually in the right profession.

Dear lips. I know it’s cold outside and central heating sucks the moisture out of everything, but please could you stop being dry and chapped and sore? I can only put lip balm on so many times a day, you know!

Dear tea. You (and chocolate) have kept me sane this week. Thank you!

For more Friday letters, see: http://www.thesweetseasonblog.com/2013/01/fridays-letters_18.html

Happy weekend, everybody!


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Resolutions time

I am back in Karlsruhe, it’s 2013 and so it must be time to post my new year’s resolutions…

  1. Get back to doing my exercise DVD. What with illness then the stress of Christmas I’ve been neglecting it lately, and I can tell! I feel weak, sluggish and some of my clothes are getting tight. Must get my Jillian on again this year!
    Little N Large

    Little N Large (Photo: Will-Joel-Taylor)

     

  2. Keep on top of the housework better. I’m a firm believer that life is too short to spend it cleaning, but over the past few months the flat has looked bad even by my standards.
  3. Become a better translator. I want to improve my style this year and maybe get at least one or two translations back from the proofreader without any corrections or style suggestions. Maybe then I will also get to do some nice translations for a change, instead of always being responsible for the technical ones!
  4. Finish visiting 30 German towns before I turn 30 and blog about them. I believe I am up to 7 blogged about (although I have visited loads more!) so I have a lot of work ahead of me…
  5. Save up and do some OU courses. I have a whole list of short courses that sound interesting and this year I actually want to do a few.

That’s all. I think 5 is enough for one year!
Now that I’m back I’m going to atempt to visit all the blogs I read and see what I’ve been missing out on – providing this computer will let me! If you don’t get a comment from me it’s probably because Mr. Computer has taken a dislike to your blog and decided to freeze rather than actually loading it…


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Four month review

Now that the year is one third over (What? How? Why?), it seems like a good idea to see how I’ve been doing with my resolutions for the year. Sooo lets take a look at what impossible tasks I set myself this time ;-)

  1. Eat more healthily! I said that this one didn’t have to involve giving up the things I love, but I did want more of our meals to feature actually vegetables. And I have to say I’ve been doing rather well on this one. Almost all of our meals have involved some form of veg, even if it is just peas from a tin, or some chopped up cherry tomatoes (yes, I’m aware that tomatoes are technically a fruit). And I’ve discovered that I actually like more healthy foods than I used to think I did. I swear parsnips taste different over here…
  2. Think before I speak! Well, I have at least been trying… That counts, right?
  3. Improve my translation style. I went to a seminar that I hoped would help with this. It turned out to be useless. Oh well, I still have another 8 months to get someone to compliment me on a translation well done…
  4. Visit my friend in the Netherlands. Done! After a mere three years I finally made it to Delft. And I loved it! :-) Read all about my trip here.
  5. Keep up with my blog. I shall let you be the judge of this one, dear readers…

For those who missed the original resolutions post, you can find it here.


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Maybe I AM a cliché after all…

A few years ago I joined a group on Facebook called “British Forces Brats”. Somebody has posted one of those “You know you are…. when” lists on there. I’m sure you all know the type… “You know you’re a student when”, “You know you’re German when”, “You know you’re a child of the 80s when”… that kind of thing. This particular list was “You know you’re a forces brat when…”. I thought the list was pretty accurate until I got to an item that read something like “You get restless if you have to live in the same place for more a few years”. Naaah, I thought. That one’s not me. I’ve been in Karlsruhe for a while now and I’m not thinking of moving any time soon. If anything, I’m glad not to have to pack everything up again for a while! I was forgetting though, that despite living in the same town for a while (5 and a half years now – the longest I’ve lived in any place in one stretch ever is six years!), at that point I had just started my fourth job since moving back here in 2006. I’ve now been in that job for 2 and a half years, and although I still love it, recently getting up at 6 a.m. to get ready for the day has been getting harder. I’ve actually got into the habit of setting my alarm for about 20 minutes before I need to get up because it takes that many snoozes for me to drag myself out of bed! Here we go again, I think as I’m leaving the house each day. Same old same old. I wish I could do something new for a change! (It doesn’t help that most of my translations are for the same 3 or 4 customers and mostly involve the same technical or IT-related topics – the interesting stuff which involves some degree of creativity tends to go to my colleague, who is a better translator than me – at least in terms of style and the number of mistakes made). Maybe it isn’t living in one place for a while that causes forces brats to get so restless, but seeing or doing the same thing day in, day out for weeks, months or even years. Most people need a break from routine once in a while, but perhaps it’s more extreme in those who are used to only being in one place for 5 years at the most. In which case, I guess that item on the list does apply to me after all…


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The obligatory resolutions post…

Wow, fourteen  days into the new year already and I haven’t even mentioned resolutions yet! That must be some kind of record!  But, of course, I do have some. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t make some kind of resolution for the new year! And obviously they can’t possibly be official until the whole world knows about them. Or at least that part of the world that reads my blog…
After years and years of setting myself vague and probably not even achieveable goals (“be a better girlfriend”, “learn social competence”), this time I decided to go with things that I might actually be able to stick with. So here goes:

  1. Eat more healthily! This doesn’t mean giving up chocolate and cheese (mmmm, cheese!) and all the other yummy yet fattening stuff that I love. But I do want to make an effort to cook us healthier meals… ones that contain actual *gasp* vegetables. (To be fair, I’m not actually that bad to start with, but I do want to start making more meals in which vegetables are the main component rather than an afterthought). I’ve already got off to a good start on this one, as our meal of “vegetable ratatouille” from the other day will testify. Mmm, doesn’t it look delicious! And it was, believe me. I’ve got a whole load of other healthy recipes to try out as well. Last nights effort was roasted aubergine – basically aubergine stuffed using the bits of itself that I chopped out of the middle and yellow peppers with chunks of (low fat) goat’s cheese sprinkled over it. Sorry, no pictures of that one!

    Vegetable ratatouille

  2. Think before I speak! A large proportion of my problems come from me opening my mouth without engaging my brain first. Whether it’s an argument with my boyfriend, a sarcastic comment that came out sounding really, really bad (entirely unintentional!) or another instance of me interrupting someone without even realising… if I could just control my impulse to just say whatever pops into my head immediately many things would be so much simpler.
  3. Improve my translation style. I am a pretty good translator (even if I say it myself). My texts are generally correctly translated and read pretty well. But I quite often receive corrected texts back from my proofreaders in which most of what’s been corrected isn’t actual mistakes, but matters of style (using a different, nice sounding word, phrasing a sentence slightly differently…), and I have to admit most of the time their version really does sound a thousand times better. My goal for this year is to get at least one person to comment on how well one of my texts read, rather than just saying it was “fine”.
  4. Visit my friend in the Netherlands! I’ve been meaning to go and see her since she moved there 3 years ago, and now she’s planning on relocating to the USA I really need to get my act together and go see her! (I’ve actually started arranging this one as well. We’ll probably be going there in February, so I can use up my remaining holiday from last year before it gets taken off me).
  5. Keep up with my blog. I went through several periods of not blogging last year, mostly because I was busy actually having a life. Unfortunately this means I have no record whatsoever of some of the things I did last year. Obviously I still remember doing them (for now!), but I do like to have a written record that I can look back over occasionally. This year I really must try harder with that!

And that shall do. Five resolutions is enough for one year, don’t you think?


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The first day

Yesterday afternoon and evening was spent getting ready for the new job.
I went into town and bought stuff to make sandwiches for today’s lunch. I found everything I needed to take with me to ensure I actually get paid at the end of the month. I made sure my train ticket was in my purse. I sorted out the clothes I wanted to wear. And I went to bed at a reasonable time in preparation for my early morning. It all worked out beautifully… apart from the last one.

Insomnia or login to sleep illustration

Log in to sleep (Photo credit: HikingArtist.com)

I was in bed by 9:40 pm. I’d been tired since about 6 so I thought falling asleep should be easy. Wrong! I tossed, I turned. I was too hot, then too cold. I was thirsty. When the clock somewhere outside chimed 10 I was trying to get comfortable. At 10:15 I was wondering why I didn’t actually feel tired any more. I heard the clock strike 11 as I was on my way to the toilet – the after effect of drinking an entire bottle of water. At 11:30 I was still awake. I didn’t hear the clock strike 12 though, so I must have fallen asleep some time before 12. It’s just a shame I was awake again in time to hear it strike 1… and 2. I think I got about 4 hours sleep total. So much for being alert and refreshed for my first day! Surprisingly the tiredness is only beginning to make itself felt now. I guess a combination of first-day nerves, excitement and adrenaline have kept me awake for most of the day.

I arrived at just before 9 am and the very first thing I learned was how to use the coffee machine. Very necessary after a night of tossing and turning! Then a co-worker showed me around the office. I’d seen most if it on my trial day but this time I got a proper tour. The I went into the office I’m sharing with a second English person, H – at least for the next few weeks. A room downstairs is currently being renevated and once it’s finished everyone’s going to be moving around again. The rest of the morning was spent getting acquainted with the file system, learning where to find stuff and reading the information that employees need to know – an entire ring binder full of stuff! At 12:30 we all ate lunch together then in the afternoon I started my very first translation (for this company I mean… obviously not my very first translation ever). it was so nice to have something to translate again. And to have someone to talk to (remember, I was alone this weekend). All in all it went pretty well… although all the information was a lot to take in and my poor brain is feeling a bit fragile now. I’m sure I’ll figure everything out soon though.

And now I have to go. The boyfriend is supposed to be coming home tomorrow (whether he actually does depends on what’s happening with his family stuff) and I need to something about the state of my living room just in case he decides to come here…


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How far is too far?

Yesterday I was asked to do a practice translation for one of the companies I applied for a job at. It was a hard translation, but I think I did ok. Then, after I’d sent it off, I decided to find out where exactly this company is up to now all I’ve had is the vague knowledge that it’s “near Stuttgart” and Stuttgart is “only about an hour away so I suppose this other place can’t be that far.”

So… a two hour* commute to work. That would be manageable, right?

* Actually, the train journey is anywhere between 1 hour 35 minutes and 2 hours 9 minutes depending on which speed train is running and how many times you have to change… worst case scenario being 3 times!! At least the company appears to be close to the train station there – only 15 minutes walk according to Google maps.

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