Sunday, February 26, 2006

The End of My First Chapter

Well, pretty soon my February archive will stop taking in posts. My March, April, and May posts will follow, and these beginnings of my essay into the public digital sphere will be buried back in the strata, all the way at the bottom. Maybe it's because I didn't get much sleep last night, but this evokes images in my mind of something fundamental, primeval. It's like a seed. I wonder how it will grow.

I probably won't be able to post for a while. This week will be a week of tying up loose ends in order to start afresh. I found a translation project (thank you, St. Jerome). I have ideas for final papers in my other two classes, which I will discuss with professors this week. One last chapter needs cite-checking, then my prof's book goes of to the publisher.

Starting Thursday evening, March 2nd, I'll be out of town off and on, and won't attend class for the following two weeks (one of those is spring break, so I won't be too far behind). I'm actually amazed at the neatness of it all. Perhaps it will all come unravelled at the last minute!

So. Here's to the end of my first chapter. I do think beginnings are always the hardest . . .

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Welcome, Timothy John Haunsperger!!!

Congratulations to Doug, Teresa, and Lucas Haunsperger, on the birth of a healthy brand new baby boy!

Many prayers of thanksgiving for the health of both mom and baby. I'm so happy for you guys that I'm getting all teary-eyed! Many hugs, and many wishes for a wonderful new life!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Prayer to St. Jerome, patron saint of translators

So this semester I'm taking a class called Studies in Literary Translation. We're almost done with the reading essays and discussing part of class, and in a few weeks we'll switch to a workshop format, where we'll all comment on eachother's translations-in-progress. I'm petrified. Especially since I haven't found a work to translate yet.

The criteria? Ten pages of poetry or twenty pages of prose, written in a foreign language, previously non-extant in English. It's not that I haven't been looking. I first decided to look into works in French, since my two years of that are floating closer to the top of my consciousness. I had some ideas, none too thrilling, but then we read a Spanish poem in class and I realized how much better I like reading Spanish than French (turns out my three years of high school Spanish aren't as buried as I thought, as far as reading goes).

My first bright idea was to combine my love of Texas History with my need to translate something, and see if there were any memoirs, poetry, journals, even letters written by Mexican settlers. I tried a few leads for that, including e-mailing and writing to the president of the Alamo Heros chapter of the Daughters of the Texas Republic. Nothing doing, unfortunatley.

My next idea was to look into a chapter of a book published recently enough that other translators wouldn't have gotten hold of it yet. I finally found one that looked really interesting: Jose Saramago's "Las intermitencias de la muerte." I actually bought this book, and I think I'll actually read it in Spanish. But there's a catch for my class project. The Spanish version is a translation from Portuguese. D'OH! I don't know Portuguese, and translating a translation seems a bit . . . pointless. Why propigate someone else's potential errors, or even just their distances from the original. Sigh.

So TOMORROW I'm going to the library. I'm going to find the current periodicals section (never been there), find the creative writing journals (never seen'em), find the ones in Spanish (Dios mio), and find a short story or two (I am NOT translating poetry, I'm not that cocky!)

St. Jerome, patron saint of translators, pray for me . . . I REALLY gotta get started on this . . .

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Three Cheers for the U.S. Postal Service!!!

So, I discovered something rather embarrassing in my mail box today. Apparently, when I threw a bunch of outgoing bill payments and business letters in the communal outgoing mail slot, I managed to also ditch an envelope full of checks written out to me that I need to deposit into my checking account. Several hundred dollars worth, actually. The only reason I know I did this is because the postal worker that collected the outgoing mail and delivered the incoming, found my envelope, noted my name (which is written inside my mail box), and put my checks back into my box. I love them forever!!!

So I have a ton of Whataburger coupons for a free burger with purchase of fries and drink. Would a couple of these, along with an eternally grateful little note be an appropriate acknowledgement of my sincere thanks? Any other suggestions?

Monday, February 20, 2006

It's a Miracle! Or something.

So around 6:30 this morning I woke up a bit, looked at my clock, stretched, and thought, ya know, now would be a good time to take out the garbage. (My apartment has doorside pick up, if you place your garbage bag outside before 8AM on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays, so this isn't as random as it sounds.)

So I floundered my way out from under the covers, muddled my way to the front door, put out the garbage (grumbling to myself for the usual early morning reasons), and began to head back to bed until some more civilized hour of the day. That's when I realized . . . my teeth on the right side of my jaw were touching. No more spasm! I can cheeeewwwwww!!!!!!!

There's still a little stiffness, a little soreness, and some popping if I transition from closed to open-wide, but my jaw muscle appears to have given up on whatever it was protesting. Thanks thanks thanks to Amy for sending me websites on TMJ stretches. I think doing those before I went to bed was what really helped. I'll be continuing that routine all week, I can tell ya.

Happy Presidents' Day! I think I'll go get some solid food!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Looooooooooooooooooooooong Week

Heh, so I've put together a break-down on the project that made this week fairly hellish for me. I was doing a detailed check on quotations and reference citations for a book one of my favorite profs is writing. He's very happy with my work, and nitpicking is really one of my strong suits, so looking back, I'm satisfied with my incredible productivity! But boy was it a CHORE!

  • NO clue what I was doing to start off with. . .
  • 3 bibliographies to wade through. . .
  • 5 different ways to spell "cynic" (3 in ONE poem, stupid non-normalized 17th century spelling). . .
  • 10 hours as his estimate of how long it would take me. . .
  • 33 hours is how long it actually took. . .
  • 58 BOOKS arranged on my coffee table as sources to verify. . .
  • 82 manilla folders of copies and printouts of OTHER sources to verify. . .
  • 107 pages of manuscript. . .
  • 140 FOOTNOTES, O . . . M . . . G. . .
And that was all for . . .
But hey, he paid me, so I can pay my credit card bill much more painlessly, AND I'll be in the Acknowledgements! *Huge grin*

I let him know on Monday what my time looks like next week, because he would like my help on two more chapters. He's assured me that they will all be in modern English, and have less footnotes; the worst is over. He also thinks I have a real knack for this sort of thing, and is thinking of who I can talk to about getting into technical publishing. Intriguing! He's also just dying to give me recommendations galore, so I think I'll take it. Besides, I like the guy. He's an awesome prof.

In other news, my jaw is spasming, so it hurts to chew! This happened my junior year in college. Apparently when I get stressed I clench my jaw in my sleep. Yay. Last time they gave me valium. (heh heh!)

No poetry today, but I'm going to post an edit to the one I put up on V-day. If you have an opinion, you're welcome to share. Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy . . . er . . . Day!

I find it hugely amusing that no, today is in fact NOT St. Valentine's Day. Poor guy, what have we done? Hallmark seems to have run him out of the calendar. Well, for whatever reason, St. Valentine no longer has a day, and today I ask St. Cyril and St. Methodius, ora pro nobis.

True, my mother's parents and her brother David chose this day to get married on. Of course, Popo and Aunt Glenda have passed away, leaving Momo and Uncle David widowed, so not exactly happy. But I find a blessing in having been a part of their lives, and I rejoice that they are with the Lord. Popo and Aunt Glenda, pray for me.

However, since the rest of America is love struck, I'm trying not to be too much of a downer. I'm wearing pink and red!!! And in honor of the day, here's a little original verse. Someday I'll know the answer . . .

Can I be the magic in your soul,
The sparkle in your eyes?
Can I be the flame that drives your heart,
The sonnet in your sighs?
Can I be your music for a while
Beguiling all your cares?
Can I be your muse, the inspiration
That whispers in your ear?
Can I be the touch of poetry
That moves your life?
Can I be this to you, can you to me?
I'd like to try.
The ending seems awkward. I'll work on that.

Well, I'm off. I fortunately have the evening completely free to do citation checking for a chapter in a book one of my profs is writing. Wish me luck! I'll be in the acknowledgements!

Monday, February 13, 2006

The OED Says . . .

[f. SCRIBBLE n. + -DOM.]

The practice of ‘scribbling’.

1887 M. B. BETHAM-EDWARDS Next of Kin Wanted II. xvii. 221 Without any apprenticeship to the sublime art of scribbledom, she could write sweet, unalloyed, rustic English.

Why Scribbledom? Being an English major, of course I have a reason. This is my little kingdom of words. Some of them will be hasty, others will be well considered. I expect very little consistency; it will all depend on what mood I'm in. I expect to hang a few little poems out to dry and whiten in the sun here after I've scrubbed and wrung them. I'll probably go off on a few rants, which will most likely be cathartic for me and amusing for the rest of the world. I might even be able to keep my friends up to date on how I'm doing, though I spend so much time IMing with them that they probably already know my current trials and tribulations as well as I do (I love you guys!). At any rate, we'll see where this goes! But not right now. I have reading to do and errands to run. To be continued . . .