:) Ho, ho, ho!
They did a spinal tap and tests came back NEGATIVE (I asked three times, so I’m certain). So, I don’t suffer from MS (Multiple Sclerosis), just a catastrophic B12 deficiency.
After so many hypochondriac tales and so much money wasted, B12 rules, my particular Occam’s razorâ€¦
In my future, more shots (at least one monthly) and loads of patience, because we are talking about an 18-to-20-month recovery and it’s been only 14. B12-deficit recovery is usually much faster, but in my case all alarm systems failed, so I’ve been breaking up for 5 years before starting treatment.
Patience! (It’s a virtue, so they say…)
(I am sorry you haven’t heard a peep, but I was not feeling great… :) I feel much better now, and I feel vindicated!)
I truly believe health is the only thing you actually need to fight for all is worth it: love, justice, work… So, lots of health to all of you and guts to fight for the rest. :)
Still here, fighting. I donâ€™t write (at all) because my hands are awakening to sensations and typing feels cumbersome. My handwriting starts looking better. :)
- I have been in treatment for 3.5 months. (My neurologist said Iâ€™d need 6.)
- Iâ€™m recovering strength in my legs and I walk better.
- Still going for my B12 shot every Friday.
- I am totally bored.
- I donâ€™t read too much. (I finished yesterday the 2nd volume of Flash Gordon.)
- Itâ€™s truly cold.
- I sleep and rest quite a bit.
- I have read that low levels of B12 are linked to depression.
- :) Did I tell you I am truly bored?
Hang in there. I hope to return with the new year.
I’ve reached an impasse. The only thing I can do now is to will time to go by quickly. I am doing my homework in the meantime:
1. I am still going for my weekly B12 shot (I’ve got my balance back)… :)
2. I am still undergoing all imaginable tests (today, Saturday, I have a MRI of my left knee; on Monday I have an EMG (electromyogram) of my legs [needles and electricity, sounds like torture])… Ouch!
3. I started physiotherapy twice a week. Thanks to it, I don’t use a wheelchair at home any longer…
4. On the 29th, I hope to go out for dinner with my husband and some friends. It’s been too many months in my cage.
At least, I have fun with my TV. I bought my husband a box-set of “The Sopranos” (FULL!). I see the episodes in English (I have some advantage over him) and then we watch it together in Spanish. A good TV series… I love it!
Richard Wright has died, one of the people I truly admired in the music world.
Just by his name you may not know who I am talking about. But if I say that Pink Floyd was never the same after he left, you’ll know I am talking about one of the brains behind the band, whose last contribution was “The Wall”.
Taking about Pink Floyd means traveling down memory lane back to when I was 15 (1977), when I bought my first album of the group (for the amazing amount of nearly 1,80 euros). That record is still my favorite among theirs even although it is not considered one of the great ones. I am talking about “Animals”. And I still remember the lyrics.
I also remember watching “Live at Pompeii” on TV my first year at college.
Pink Floyd taught me English, the vocabulary nobody bothered to teach me: razor blade, tourniquet, cop…
And thanks to Pink Floyd, I also ended laughing my head off with my mother a few times, like that time she entered my room to look through the window and see the helicopter that seemed to hover over the house. It was just “The Wall”, really loud.
I saw Pink Floyd in concert at the end of the 80’s, at the Silverdome in Pontiac, but Wright and Waters had already left and their trademark sound was missing…
Pink Floyd is still my nightstand music, the music I can always count on, like “Wish You Were Here”…
Until I play with the new template, we are condemned to this one… :(
Taken from a Spanish newspaper. It literally says:
Held onto a pole to avoid being blown away.
Ike lashes against Galveston
Under this title, and seeing this pic, we expect the worst. We are moved to believe that this guy is holding onto a lamppost (or whatever) for dear life…
Then, if you start analyzing the pic, you see the guy is “playing flag”… How do I know? It’s simple:
1. The water at his feet is not enraged, and it does not follow the direction of his body. In fact it is actually taking a perpendicular line to the flag boy. :)
2. His top arm, the way it is curled around the pole, the way that index finger is pointing to the ground…
3. That bottom arm, bent into the stomach to support his body weight…
And then a few more details Spanish visitors have pointed out:
1. The calm trees in the background
2. His dry T-shirt, his unruly hair…
3. Who is steady enough to take a perfect pic???
We have been taken, as simple as that.
I still have to iron out a few things, but here you are the new theme I’ve chosen for visual impact and readability. I hope to be back in the saddle writing next week, so exercise your patience (liberally, if I may say so).
Have a lovely weekend!
Realizing something was amiss (her address), that considerate woman spammed me today. Again.
Please note that my correct e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Be careful. :)
PS: Another address for our friend: email@example.com
I received the following message this morning:
I am contacting your company because I have been working as a freelance translator for nearly five years and would like to offer my services to additional translation agencies.
I translate from French into English and also provide proofreading and editing services.
Do you require translators to complete an application form? Do you require tests or samples? What range of rates do you typically pay?
Colleagues of mine may also want to offer their services to your agency. What other languages do you require.
Please let me know if you would like to me send my curriculum vitae.
Thank you for your interest.
French - English Freelance Translator
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I am used to receiving this type of messages asking for jobs (someone put me right in the middle of a directory, or so it seems), so I’ve answered the following:
Please, do check my web site, right where it says: “I work exclusively into Spanish, my mother tongue“. That means I do not outsource.
Best of luck,
Pilar T. Bayle
Traductora EN-ES Translator
And then I’ve received the following message from my server:
This is the mail system at host hl20.dinaserver.com.
I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be delivered to one or more recipients. It’s attached below.
For further assistance, please send mail to postmaster.
If you do so, please include this problem report. You can delete your own text from the attached returned message.
The mail system
: host mx.videotron.ca[126.96.36.199] said: 550 5.1.1 unknown or illegal alias: firstname.lastname@example.org (in reply to RCPT TO command)
So I’ve started googling. That Â«adrianaÂ» sends viruses. Please, be careful.
Time seems to last longer these days. Hours seem to plot to slow down their seconds, and everything seems to move in slow motion, as in an aquarium. Maybe I am already feeling impatient because my cast will come off on July 24, two weeks before they said.
Still, things happen, as the landing of the iPhone in Spain, that became known as the iBrick since the iTunes servers to activate them are down. :)
I also saw a very interesting, very sad documentary. It’s called “The Bridge” and it’s a daily recording of the Golden Gate, place favored by people who desire to commit suicide, that we see jumping off the bridge.
I ascertain the huge pain suffered by those who stay behind. Also, I seem to perceive remorse for the action taken, once it’s too late. It’s tragic and totally sad.
Just a quick note: I am starting to notice an improvement in my bad leg, the one affected by the B12 deficiency…
In case my B12 deficiency was not enough, I raised the bar on Friday, by several yards… My left ankle is broken, the one in my good leg, that now it’s the worse leg.
I still have shots, although now I am getting anticoagulants (heparin) instead of B12, and this time they are daily shots in my belly. I am having B12 in sublingual tablets and hope for the miracle of being fine when the cast comes off.
Call it virtuosity or whatever you like, but I also managed to break my ankle by myself, at home, without taking any impulse, without jumping, without falling from a height. I was standing next to the door, ready to step out. I took a step back to swing the door open, lost my grasp of the handle, lost my balance, fell and landed on my leg.
Good thing is that they didn’t have to manipulate my fracture, because it was totally clean, without displacement. So they got it into a cast and that’s it!
Six weeks of full rest (I sleep a lot, until I get fed up of sleeping): I am resting, I am watching “The West Wing” again (almost done with the 5th season) and I am back to reading again… After all, every cloud has a silver lining…
The bridge exists. It’s not just a dream even though it seems to vanish in mid air amidst clouds, fog and pollution. It’s in Harbin, China. (See I Feel Vindicated)
:) B12 still suits me better than fine.
We have started this week with a general strike of transportation, that joined the existing strike of fishermen, that started last week.
This afternoon markets were still well stocked, since it was just the first day of the strike… I have gone to the supermarket to pick up a couple of things and people seemed stressed and panicky, as if fearing a shortage of food. In my case, as my husband said: “You bought things you had a whim for, not something you really needed”. And but for a couple of things, he was totally right.
The fish shop was closed. I guess they sold out all the stock they had and then they had to close their doors. Nevertheless, I have enough fish, meat and greens at home, both in my fridge and in the freezer.
All those years that I lived in the US, fearing getting cut off by the snow have paid off: They developed my don’t-buy-just-one philosophy.
I hope it won’t be too hard on all of us. I hope it will be solved soon (in favor of truckers). I hope prices won’t go up again, they are already too high (a gallon of milk is more expensive than a gallon of gas… Go figure!).
Or so they say. Nevertheless, the only one who experiences bliss is the poor ignorant who doesn’t even perceive the need to learn. The people around just experience a certain desire to ring his or her neck.
Today I am going to be a little bit nasty with translators, group in which I include myself. Everyday, I see problems among my colleagues, who show a certain degree of ignorance and too much daring when facing translations. So, let’s repeat some whopping great truths, that are basic and crucial if we want to project a professional image.
1. We must behave properly in professional mailing lists. We cannot be cute and greet everyone, and then forget to provide context or to check the most common dictionaries. When we ask for help, we must facilitate the job to those who provide it. We must write proper messages, and that means no orthographical mistakes, for instance… We should show some command of our mother tongue, at least to be taken seriously. We should also abide by the rules of the list. We should not EVER forget that some of the list readers are agencies and can offer us a translation.
2. We have to avoid translating into a different language from our mother tongue at all costs. Yeah, yeah, I know you are truly fluent in Spanish, sure, but no matter how fluent you are, it’ll never be your mother tongue, and verb tenses will prove the foreigner you are in 2 seconds flat.
3. We all have to go through a learning process; none of us was born knowing a bunch of things. So it is not weird to translate things that we have a scant knowledge about. What we cannot do is to accost someone with a list containing 100 words, for example. In order to defeat our ignorance and learn (our ultimate goal, I believe), we can do the following: a) find an organism in our country equivalent to the one that overviews what we are going to translate, and read a few documents to get a flair for the language; b) find a good proofreader whose specialty is our topic and pay for his/her services.
4. Let’s not take in too much work. Some times I read some statements that leave me totally flabbergasted, such as “I translate 7,000 words daily, technical texts”. Come on! Review what you do. If it is technical, and you want to do a GOOD job, you won’t go beyond 2,500 words daily, and that’s already a lot.
5. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. So do NOT lower your rates as if this were a flea market. I know there are many guys that would have no scruples trying to make a profit from you, but there are also very good clients. So, DO your homework and find good clients. Do not be afraid to ask for higher rates; there’s always time to negotiate if needed.
6. We should experience certain reserve about asking terminology in public. It’s good to ask for help and I certainly do it from time to time. But one thing is to ask for help, and a very different thing is to prove the world that you have not bothered to do a proper search, or that you don’t know how to. For example, use the “define:xxxx” function provided by Google. This way you’ll know the exact meaning of a word, so that you can request precisely what you need in your language.
It seems I am done for now. If you have any suggestion, I’ll be happy to reopen this issue.
My 17″ TFT screen has just died after 5 long years of dutiful service. Suddenly, it started flashing (now you see, now you don’t) and that’s it!
Fortunately, I received my last computer yesterday. I confess I don’t care about the latest cell phone, or the most advanced photo or video camera, or anything like it, but I die for computers: More or less, when I buy, I always have the latest and most advanced hardware; software is another thing altogether, and I don’t change programs unless the new ones have been properly tested, you can trust them, and they are rid of quirks. For instance, I still use my Office 2000 to its full potential, knowing nothing bad will happen with it.
My new computer has 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and quad processor. Now you have an idea of what I mean, I guess. And with my computer, I also received a beautiful 19″ TFT screen. So I switched screens and I am still working with my old CPU, until I run it away from my desktop this coming weekend.
I changed neurologists (I didn’t like the previous one) and was able to get an appointment for May 14, instead of the original one I had for October 30. Spain is a country well known for its long waiting lists…
When I crossed the door into her office, she asked for a few minutes while she reviewed my records. First thing she said was “Low B12, huh?”
She looked at all my MRIs, she did some tests on her own, she was nice, but above all she ordered a B12 substitution treatment. The way it works is injections for quite a bit until they raise the levels of B12 in your body, and then injections basically become chronic (once a month). This week, I have daily injections.
Although she pointed out I will take about 6 months to feel totally fine, I start feeling much better: I feel more energized, I tire out less, I walk with more stability, several mechanic functions have become regulated, my skin looks fresher and better… Obviously, I was dying for some B12.
Something that has knocked me out cold is dreaming again. In fact, I saw the image of a Chinese bridge that led into thick fog/dense pollution. I was convinced I had seen it in the news, so I was looking for it to show it to my husband (it was very eye-catching: the bridge seemed to disappear in mid air). Then I realized it was just a dream. I was looking for it all day long and I could not find it. It was not in Google, it was not in my Internet History. it was just nowhere, vanished in the fog that cut through it.
I read yesterday a complaint about a good client that stopped being good: Payment for the last couple of invoices is overdue by two or three months. The author of the message asks for ideas/advice to get paid. The agency is located in the US so it is not feasible to wait for the owner at the door.
There were several ideas, some quite soft, some a little bit harsher, but what knocked me off my socks was the author’s reaction: He doesn’t want to denounce this agency to the Better Business Bureau or post an unfavorable review at any of the payment practices lists because the agency is a good client and pays good rates, although it is not answering his mails demanding payment…
Let’s review something very basic: What’s a good client?
Good clients depend on the translator and the agency/direct client. Together, they’ll reach a consensus on several key points.
I read quite often the following: “He is a good client, but rates are low”… No, no, no. Rates depend on the translator, his/her savoir-faire to negotiate them, and his/her desire to accept whatever s/he is offered. Let me explain what I mean: If I ask for 10, get offered 6, and I take it , those low rates are to be blamed on me exclusively. When I am offered low rates, I always have an ace up my sleeve: “Thank you very much, but no, thank you”. I know some translators feel sick at the thought of saying no, but guess what: You need to learn how to say NO.
Good clients are also defined by their payment policy. It is important they follow their own policies, so that I can trust I have my money in the bank to pay my mortgage or my car. I personally give my clients net 30, which is the most common terms, but I don’t mind accepting net 45 if the agency is fine-tuned that way. Besides payment periods, we need to know whether they prefer an invoice per project, a monthly invoice… With newer clients, I usually issue an invoice per project; with clients I know well, I issue monthly invoices or invoices when I reach a minimum amount.
After the two previous considerations, treatment is a deal breaker for me: Are they nice? Are deadlines reasonable? Are projects interesting? It is important to collaborate with someone who is nice, helps you solve terminology problems, and is genuinely interested in the quality of your work.
For me, these three conditions are sine qua non. If any of them is missing, the likelihood of collaborating with that client evaporates, because our relationships with clients are based on trust. This doesn’t mean a good client may get behind with payment, that’s quite common. What’s truly devastating is that they don’t bother to reply to your mails inquiring about the delay.
Going to bars has become very boring since I have an acupuncturist concerned for my well being. I don’t order coffee with milk, but machine-made decaffeinated coffee with milk (the other choice, powder Ã la Nestle is not for me). And what about coke? It has become room-temperature coke. Nevertheless, what pisses me off is the waitress asking: “With ice?” This question has made me wonder, and I’ve reached the conclusion that there is a band of marauders wandering around in Madrid, who prefer the watery-flavored coke that has been chilled by the ice in the glass…
Please, let me answer: NO! I DON’T want any ice!
I read yesterday in one of my history magazines that they have finally discovered the composition of Mayan blue (yeah, that blue that Mel Gibson never ran out of in “Apocalyto”).
Weekend full of surprises for Renault. When everybody started thinking the season was lost, Alonso got a sweet second place on the starting grid… I’d like to remind those of you who underestimate Renault that the first two world championships Michael (Schumacher, yeah) won happened in cars with Renault engines (Williams Renault and Benetton Renault). So, get rid of the idea that Renault is a newbie and doesn’t know what’s doing. To top it all, they must have made really good promises, because Alonso actually glows. :D
Two weeks ago, I saw “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” again. It’s not a great movie at all, but it was handy and it didn’t require too much thinking. Sometimes you can find something truly redeeming in this type of movies. In this case, the gem is the sentence Vince Vaughn utters when he is awoken by the people who are asking him to kill his friend: “I don’t get out of bed for less than”…
The idea we must make ours is not the million dollars or whatever ridiculous price he quotes, but the minimum conditions we must have discussed and agreed upon before switching the computer on to do a job for any client.
Before we sit at the desk, in front of our computer, we must have discussed and agreed upon the following:
2. Word count for the job
3. Delivery deadline
4. Payment method and deadline
5. The way we may ask linguistic questions
I know it sounds appallingly basic, but because it’s a basic part of our job, we should always take into account these minimum conditions that must be always present before we start working.
I want to add a last piece of advice: don’t you EVER take a job on a Friday afternoon for a new client. It simply spells disaster… :)
I DON’T need House any longer, almost certain. What’s causing all my troubles couldn’t be simpler, though they couldn’t tell for my age: Vitamin B12 deficiency, that’s all.
Since I’ve been reading about B12, here you are some advice:
1. If you have had part of your intestines removed, have your B12 checked from time to time.
2. After 50, have your B12 checked from time to time.
3. If you have tremors, or you feel unbalanced, etc., before they talk about senile dementia or Alzheimer’s, have your B12 checked…
It’s that important, seriously, even though we only need a couple of MICROgrams per day.
It’s great to be back among the living. :D
PS: This was a clear case of hearing hooves and thinking of zebras…
I still have problems. I am still pain-free, I am still seeing my acupuncturist, I am still partial to fish, I am still smoke-free… But I still have this weakening of “my lower extremities” (nasty medical way of saying legs).
Yesterday I lost my last big hope of getting better quickly. I went to see a good chiropractor that, after checking my MRIs, told me that my problem is not in my back, but it’s neurological in origin.
Sometimes I dream of House, and it’s not even a raunchy dream… :(
A new year has just begun and, like always, I’ll suffer from temporary memory loss upon writing dates that will take me back to 2007. This only happens for a few weeks. :)
Fortunately, last year is over and, for a while; I can entertain the idea that this new year won’t be as treacherous as last one… At least, some things have changed. They were not my New Year resolutions, since I introduced those changes back in December: I don’t smoke, I don’t eat meat, I don’t drink coffee, I don’t have cold beverages, I don’t date nasty men… :D
Here you are a true representation of my feelings about going back to workâ€¦
OK, OK, so it’s not crystal clear, huh? Fine! HINT: Don’t they seem to be running away FROM something?