Thursday, June 03, 2010

Working from home

So I am now more or less officially* working from home as a freelance translator and editor. For the first few weeks, I was working from the dining room table, or the living room recliner.

Xmas sunshine!

Mr. Rich Italian Wienie

My back wasn't too happy with either of those arrangements.

It didn't take too long to realize that the desk I had bought Hannah was primarily being used as a horizontal surface for storing books, and ostensibly clean clothes, and anything that missed the floor. So I stole it from her and put it up in our sunroom, which is now doubling as my office. The chair is fairly comfortable, the desk surface extensive, and the view wonderful. I should be able to make a ton of money up here!

my desk

repurposing the garden furniture


view from the office

view from my office

*Note to self: time to send in some paperwork for this, that, and the other.

Forgetful Jones, part 2

I'd forget my head if it weren't for my neck...

Around the time we were initially discussing a vacation to Greece, a little volcano by the name of Eyjafjallajokull was closing air space all over Europe. Add that to the problems Greece has by itself--economy cratering, protests leading to fires and deaths, strikes, the annual summer wildfires, plague of frogs--and I was as nervous then about traveling to Greece myself as I am now about John traveling to Russia in a couple of weeks alone. (Well, with a group of linguists, but not with me.)

Google's ads are tempting him, though. Every time I am around when he checks his email, he informs me of the latest travel specials--Crete! London! Berlin!

We just found out that our friends are staying in Switzerland one more year, though, so I think the weekend trip we had been planning could easily be expanded to include a visit to them and a bit of a vacation to boot.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

On Memorial Day

Patriotism is proud of a country's virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country's virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, "the greatest", but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.
-Sydney J. Harris, journalist and author (1917-1986)*

*from the A.Word.A.Day email newsletter

Monday, May 31, 2010

Two eyes, four eyes, blue eyes, more eyes?

When I was in the third grade, I got glasses. I could once again make out leaves on the trees, and I got "most improved player" in softball.* By the fourth grade, I had already had my lenses strengthened twice, so it was time to go into hard contact lenses. Those also needed to be upgraded once or twice a year until I was in my late teens, but they were supposed to help slow down the deterioration. Since then, I have always had contact lenses, although I haven't always worn them. There have been several long periods--after Hannah was born, after moving to Germany--where I got new glasses and didn't bother to wear my contacts. Unfortunately, in all my years of glasses-wearing, I have never figured out the best way to care for them, and inevitably the lenses get scratched. That is very annoying, especially since the current batch of scratches is right in the center of the lens. In addition to that particular annoyance, I can't wear sunglasses while wearing my scratched-up regular glasses. That was brought home to me while visiting Legoland last weekend. We had a rare sunny spell, and it would have been a lot more comfortable with shades. (And a hat, but I have noted that for next time.)

So, with all that background now thoroughly explained, I am having to train myself to wear contacts again. When you first get them (hard ones, at least), you have to gradually build up to wearing them all day. I am up to 4 or 5 hours a day at the moment. Since I am working from home, and my work space is right across the hall from the bathroom, it has been a fairly simple procedure; it would be a hassle if I had to tote the supplies around with me. Tomorrow I have to take Hannah back to the orthodontist, so maybe I will get myself some new shades while I am out to celebrate my newly independent eyeballs.

*My improved visual acuity did not included improved depth perception, nor improved hand-eye coordination, so I was never going to play softball professionally, but at least I didn't completely suck rocks any more.