What I Hated the Least Today 247/365: Embarrassing Translator’s Problems

What I Hated the Least Today 247/365: Embarrassing Translator’s Problems

As a translator, I learn a huge amount of marginally interesting and completely irrelevant information. Thanks to my translating practice, I have in theory acquired skills including but not limited do:

  • How to help a dog deliver puppies. Which is ironic, as I’m a cat person.
  • How to take care of female hygiene during a hike. Which is ridiculous because I neither hike nor do I need to be told in which direction to wipe my ass or how to use wet wipes. Why the fuck does someone write such things and even have them translated into another language?
  • How to use a compass. See above. I was pretty lost when translating this one and so will be any readers of my translation, I suspect.
  • How to pick a Damascus knife. I don’t think I’m the target group for a Damascus knife. I own one universal knife which is probably made of toxic metal.
  • [I can’t think of point number five though there certainly is one, so I’m leaving this bullet empty and will face my OCD about it.]

As a translator, I also ask a large number of weird questions bordering on the perverse. First, I ask myself; then, I ask Google; and finally, I pick the phone and start calling people in my address book to ask them. My recent queries included the following:

  • What is the sheath of a dog’s penis called in my language? I didn’t crack this one because not even the cynologist I have on speed dial knew. I ended up terming it what loosely backtranslates to English as “furry container”. Cute, right?
  • Are trade unions what I think they are? Is it even legal nowadays for workers to unite? Are there trade unions for freelancers? If so, how do I join one in case I wanted to demand equal pay (equal to or greater than my elementary upkeep)? My questions remained unanswered, but I ended up desiring a job in the company whose bulletin I was translating. They looked like they had strong unions.
  • What is the part of the car called which gets warm, is located somewhere under the car and attracts  cats and martens who perch there and chew on the wires and cables?  My Phone-a-Friend friend knew exactly what I meant but also knew nothing about cars, so I called it “engine” and was done with it. I’m aware that a car’s engine is probably not located under the car but it was the only car part I could name. Also, the idea was that you should keep your pet away from it to prevent burns.

I guess I suck as a translator.

What I Hated (the Least) Today 246/365: What an Awesome Morning

What I Hated (the Least) Today 246/365: What an Awesome Morning

I’m having an awesome morning. Awesome in the sense of fucked up.

I wake up and have a sore throat. This confirms the Slavic superstition that sitting in draught gives you cold. Draught happens when you open windows at the opposite ends of the flat. I did that yesterday because of the heat wave. A pretty badass action. My mother would kill me if she saw that. No need though because now my sore throat is effectively killing me.

As I go to the kitchen drawer to get something for my throat, I open the top drawer so carelessly that stuff in the bottom drawer gets caught and falls behind the drawers. There is so little space around the drawers that I can’t possibly fit my arm in and retrieve anything that falls behind them. My arm is practically a bone wrapped in skin, as I’m underweight, but now I probably need to lose weight to fix my drawer problem.

Things fell behind the drawers before. I had a friend who is a cabinet maker come over and dismantle the drawers so I could take the things behind them out. He couldn’t dismantle the drawers because he said he never saw such a fucked up hinge system before, but he could loosen the drawer enough for me to stick my arm behind it. I learned nothing. I overstuffed the drawer again, and now I’m stuck with a drawer that doesn’t close because of the rubbish behind it. It’s literally rubbish because I use my bottom drawer to store recyclables before taking them out.

Sufficiently discouraged, I go to pee only to step into something sticky and wet. The cat missed the toilet. I don’t know what her problem was this time, this only happens when she’s upset, such as when I leave her home alone. It’s her subtle act of revenge. So off I go to get a bucket, rubber gloves and Savo. You wouldn’t know Savo. It’s an aggressive chemical routinely used in Slavic world for cleaning toilets or, alternately, for sniffing. It’s probably illegal in developed countries. Now my whole flat smells like a meth lab. The cat acts like nothing happened.

As I sit with my knees bent and talk on the phone to the suicide line – not an actual suicide line but a friend who serves me as a suicide line – I notice a drop of sweat trickling down my calf. WTF. I don’t sweat. I perspire. And I don’t perspire. Except under the knees when I bend them. It’s disgusting. I unbend my knees and watch the drop roll through the patch of hair on the calf that I missed when shaving. Like I say, it’s disgusting. While the suicide line suggests that I laugh it off, the cat starts to pole dance round my legs. Her tail wipes off the drop I was watching. Show is over. What a fucked up way to start the day.


What I Hated (the Least) Today 245/365: Weather Radar

What I Hated (the Least) Today 245/365: Weather Radar

Oh, hi, why, I’m new your weather radar.

I’ve discovered that my depression is best pals with weather. When it’s rainy and cold, my depression manifests sympathetic behaviour and I get cryiy and icy as well. It’s good to know, but otherwise it’s idiotic because it’s erratic.

Yesterday it was windy, rainy, stormy and generally ugly. As per usual, I slept most of the day and spent the rest in frustrated attempts to work. Twenty minutes working, thirty minutes staring in the wall. Probably trying to make the brick melt by the power of telepathy.

Today it’s the first day of what is forecast to be a heat wave. Yes, please, yay! I got up early and got a lot of work done. Nothing special, but no stare-offs with the wall either. Also, I managed to zen myself out during my usual morning yoga. (Which on bad days I perform with utmost disgust but stick to the routine to prove to the cat that I can.) Also, I got a foodgasm when I was drinking my favourite coffee-flavoured yogurt drink. (The cat thought I was being obscene.) Also, I cleaned the whole fat and no longer disgust myself. (Which reminds me I forgot to lint-roll the shedding cat.) Also, my cat loves me:

What else is there for me to wish for? (I mean, besides earning enough to pay the rent, having a human company, not being a psychotic loser and a bunch of other things.) Nothing. I could die happy today. Or live unhappily until whenever I’m scheduled to die a natural or unnatural but not self-inflicted death. Currently I’m going with the latter.


What I Hated (the Least) Today 244/365: Bug Infestation

What I Hated (the Least) Today 244/365: Bug Infestation

I’m afraid of bugs. Really afraid. Irrationally afraid, as most rational people are. Don’t try to explain to me that bugs are harmless. Whatever sends me in a hysterical fit that makes your hysterical ex look like a sensible, calm and balanced person is the opposite of harmless.

In latest news, the bugs of the world are closing in on me. They have united for a common goal: to kill me. Or, at least, to make me quit smoking because they aggregate at the balcony which I use solely for smoking. I put up a BEWARE OF INSECTICIDE sign but the bugs ignore it because they are dumb. Or they are clever and know that I’m too scared of them to use insecticide on them because it doesn’t kill instantly.

It started creepily with a creepy spider. It would creep out on the balcony each night, for several nights in a row, and disappear with the morning dawn. I’m not sure that I want to know where it went at daytime. Probably to the nearby cemetery to sleep in a coffin because it was obviously a vampire spider. Not only did it prefer the night but it also sucked, that’s why.

Then the spider disappeared for good and my balcony graduated to a moth. While I could tolerate the spider without excessive hysterics, a moth is more than I can bear. That’s what I’m most scared of. The trouble with moths is that, like me, they are hysterical and suicidal. You know how they spend their whole lives madly fluttering around a source of light until they merge with it only to get incarcerated.

The moth also frequented the balcony for several nights in a row. Its presence didn’t prevent me from smoking but reduced me to a ruin. I’d smoke with my eyes fixed on the moth, lest it should move and come for me. At one moment, I thought it was actually plunging itself at me and I jerked so hard and fast that I pulled a muscle in my shoulder.

Totally freaked out, I looked at my hand and thought the moth was sitting on it. Of course, I started flailing frantically, agitating the moth that was actually sitting on the wall, and then I realised the dark something on my hand was my tattoo.

Ready to die from fear, I quickly slid inside, making sure the moth didn’t follow. Unnerved to the extreme, the first thing when I was inside was to step on the cat, who has the bad habit of being always under my feet. I screamed, the cat screamed (nothing happened to her, she’s such a drama queen) and I proceeded to take an anti-anxiety pill. Not minding what I’m doing, I nearly took a sleeping pill instead.

It’s not like I’m for genocide but please, universe, make all moths die. It’s either them or me.

What I Hated the Least Today 243/365: The (Post) Office

What I Hated the Least Today 243/365: The (Post) Office

Ventured out today on a big trip. To the post office. I live next to the post office.


What I Hated the Least Today 242/365: Home Vista

What I Hated the Least Today 242/365: Home Vista

Haven’t posted a photo forever, so here’s a perfectly bland and uninspiring view out of my window.


What I Hated the Least Today 241/365: Weirdo Dreams

What I Hated the Least Today 241/365: Weirdo Dreams

I usually have realistic nightmares, which I remember in great detail and wake up confused whether it actually happened or not. However, today I had something between a dream and a nightmare, which was utterly unrealistic (obviously, you don’t know that when you’re in the process dreaming it) and which amused me wholeheartedly.

My 65-year-old-mother gave birth to a baby. I found the newborn in the sink in my childhood home. We were deciding whether to keep it or toss it (I know, WTF). I was for giving it away, but the baby looked cute, so I thought we could just as well keep it. It was a girl whom my mother insisted on calling Jiřina, which is an idiotic name that I can’t even pronounce (though it’s in my mother tongue), so I was having second (third) thoughts on keeping her.

Cut to the last day of school. All fellow students were present and the programme was to watch a movie in an open-air cinema. I arrived in my wheelchair, though my legs were fully functioning. As I wheeled in the cinema, a nurse grabbed me to give me a urinary catheter (double WTF). While it didn’t hurt, I didn’t enjoy having the procedure performed on me in public. A classmate whom I considered actually disabled joined me in her wheelchair, which she would however leave periodically to walk around.

Still sulking about my catheter, I was about to leave early, but another nurse stopped me. I wasn’t recognising her, but she insisted I wasn’t allowed to go because of my history. Apparently, I would be always leaving classes to have a smoke or overeat myself with chocolate. Since I indulge in both of these evils, I didn’t protest, despite my amnesia, and felt duly deeply ashamed.

A spatiotemporal discontinuity happened and I was just about to leave home for the last day of school. My father offered me a lift but I’d have to go right away. I immediately freaked out because I hadn’t applied my make-up yet. I categorically explained to my father that going out without make-up is not an option. Then I fell in a hysterical fit of anger directed at those who own cars and have no clue what it’s like having to walk everywhere. I got myself quite worked up.

I wonder how the dream ended; I either got a stroke in it or I just stopped dreaming it. I also wonder how the fuck my brain comes up with this crazy stuff. Some motifs make sense though and can be explained, I think, in the sense that the dream seems to reflect my real-life fear of not being in control and my anxiety about being always perfect. Also, I probably needed to pee, hence the catheter. Is it me or do you also have nonsense dreams like this?


What I Hated (the Least) Today 240/365: Friday Evening

What I Hated (the Least) Today 240/365: Friday Evening

Meanwhile, on a perfectly uneventful Friday evening, I’m chatting with my anxiety.

Me: Why are you making me shake?

Anxiety: *shrug*

Me: Seriously, why?

Anxiety: No reason.

Me: There’s always a reason!

Anxiety: *evil laugh*

Me: But everything is as it should be.

Anxiety: Exactly. So why not throw a shaking fit?

What I Hated the Least Today 239/365: Long Live Lexaurin

What I Hated the Least Today 239/365: Long Live Lexaurin

When I was admitted to the mental hospital, I was clean, as of not using any medication. When I was dismissed seven weeks later, it was with a budding addiction to prescription drugs. The irony.

When I moved, I had to change my psychiatrist. My current psychiatrist is a jerk. Most psychiatrists are, in my experience, but this one is even more so. His solution are prescription drugs. The addictive kind.

From my most recent psychiatrist appointment, I returned with a prescription for Lexaurin, the anti-anxiety drug. It’s a present-day version of Valium. In other words, something you don’t want to get addicted to. Inevitably, you get addicted when you use it because, duh, it’s an addictive substance.

I’m supposed to have my Lexaurin for emergencies only. Except it’s always an emergency. I’m trying to avoid abusing it, but it’s rather tempting because the effect is practically instant. Imagine you’re shaking like a vibrator (for lack of a better comparison) and when you take the pink pill, it stops.

It’s awesome. I imagine that’s how normal people feel on a regular basis. I suspect being normal is rather enjoyable. Obviously, when you’re normal, you don’t appreciate it because it’s normal for you. So what’s the point? Dunno. Probably that there’s something bad (like addiction) to everything good (like Lexaurin)?


What I Hated the Least Today 238/365: Shit Crazy Cat Ladies Do

What I Hated the Least Today 238/365: Shit Crazy Cat Ladies Do

Though I’m owned by one cat only, I’ve recently noticed that I act like a full-time crazy cat woman. This is what I do with my cat on a daily basis:

  • Asking the cat questions like I expect an answer (Did you miss me? What’s up? Have you finished eating? Are you being good? Have you been to the box? What are you seeing?)
  • Telling the cat things while talking about myself in the third person and referring to myself as mummy (Mummy’s going out now but will be back soon. Of course that mummy loves you! Mummy’s going to eat now, but you eat at 7:30, ok?)
  • Answering the cat’s random meows with Hush, kitty, mummy knows.
  • Pulling faces at the cat while she is staring quietly and wonders if her human went nuts.
  • Singing to the cat, in a terrible voice, improvised sing-songs featuring the cat (You’re my kitty, little kitty, favourite kitty, lalala…).
  • Rolling on the floor and playing with cat toys because it’s beneath my cat to play with them and they’re just lying around.
  • Being actually pleased as I struggle to get up and the cat has her face in my face, with her look saying, Get the fuck up and make yourself useful!

I know, I should get a life.