Friday 5: Performance Evaluation

In what way do you maintain a tidy and efficient workstation?

My dad bought this plaque for me when I was in high school and it says it all.

I make a concerted effort to keep my documentation collection lean and only keep things that seem like they might reasonably be necessary. That way, even if things aren’t always 100% organized, I have a good chance of either still knowing exactly where something is or of finding it right way if I don’t.

In what way do you maintain positive relationships with others?

I consider myself extremely easy-going and empathetic. There’s not much I take personally and I’m willing to extend the benefit of the doubt.

What effort do you take to be punctual?

I generally overestimate the time it takes to commute somewhere, and by which I mean, I leave a buffer for things like walking to and from the station, missing a train, etc. But now that we live on a new subway line, and a little further from the station, I have to readjust my default buffer. I’m still working it out, so I’m either five minutes late to things or forty-five minutes early.

What are your strengths and challenges in communicating effectively?

I have the best words.

Just kidding! I consider my words very carefully, though. Even when I’m not working, I tend to abide by the four C’s of editing: concision, clarity, coherence, and correctness in all of my communication. The challenge comes in with the fact that it takes me a long time to craft even the simplest email or message; I overthink things regardless of how important they are. I haven’t tracked how much time I spend compulsively re-reading emails before I hit “send,” but I’m sure it’s a not-insignificant amount of time.

What will be your focus for growth in the coming year?

Shifting into professional, full-time translation and leaving behind copyediting and EFL instruction.

Friday 5: Acromony

Pink magnetic plastic letters on a white background

When were you recently SOL?

My main computer, an HP Pavilion named Regan, has generally aged well and continued to perform well, fan replacement aside. But one issue seems to haunt this model of laptop, and that’s a crack in the left hinge, or in the case near the left hinge, and according to the guy who fixed my fan, there’s nothing to be done except replace the entire case. Between that and the new fan, I’d be halfway to a new computer.

So Regan will just continue to stand open, a desktop replacement rather than an actual portable computer, and I’ll hope that the problem is then a non issue for me until she gives up the ghost!

What was a recent SNAFU?

We moved over the summer, and we happened to move during some track renewal and repair on the Stockholm subway line. Unfortunately, we happened to move from the one unaffected green line to one of the two affected green lines, which added probably twenty to thirty minutes and two train changes to what should have otherwise been straightforward commutes.

From what social gathering were you most recently AWOL?

I missed this week’s Stockholm Writing Group Meetup to attend a lecture on Korean politics instead. This is the first Meetup I’ve missed since I stepped up as co-organizer, so I think I deserve it!

When has someone reminded you to MYOB?

Probably my sambo, just because we spend most of the day together.

What might get in your way this weekend as you TCB?

Take care of business, I presume? And I don’t know what might, really. Weird commutes to tutoring. Our move also entailed that what was once a simple 5-minute subway ride is now a 45-minute odyssey requiring overshooting the destination just to get on the right subway line or a meander-y local bus route to the right subway line. Sigh.

The Road to H E Double Hockey Sticks

What are some titles in your to-read stack?

My “to-read” shelf on GoodReads currently has over 200 books. I won’t name them all here; you can browse them yourself.

What are the highlights of this weekend’s to-do list?

I have a rush editing job to finish. (I should really be working on that now, I suppose! But I’m warming up a bit with some blogging now that I have my main computer back.) I also have some items to drop off at the secondhand store, and an old TV to take to the electronics recycling hut.

Which current or upcoming movies are you looking forward to?

I’m really curious about Paul Feig’s adaptation of A Simple Favor. I love his comedy, so it should be interesting to see what he does with a thriller.

What’s something you meant to do this past week that will have to wait until next week?

Trips to the secondhand store and recycling the old TV.

What’s an unfinished project (unrelated to media consumption) you haven’t touched in at least a year?

Something can’t be unfinished if you never started it! But I had grand plans for a bunch of chainmaille gel electrophoresis bracelets and DNA bracelets in different colors years ago  and then never did anything with it. The rest of my unfinished projects are less than a year old. 😉

Friday 5: Happy ARSLIT

What are your favorite and least favorite nuts?

I love pistachios! They’re delicious, but I also love the satisfaction of ripping them open and dislodging the actual nut. Most other nuts I’m pretty neutral  on. I like peanuts, of course, but they’re not nuts.

What are your favorite and least favorite berries?

Strawberries are the best berries, and I love Swedish summer, when Swedish strawberries are in season. Oh, and bananas: they’re technically berries! Otherise I love most other berries, though, except for blueberries.

What are your favorite and least favorite tropical fruits?

What counts as a tropical fruit? I love mangoes and pineapple, and when I’m in the right mood there’s nothing more satisfying than a Jeju orange. I don’t think I’ve met a tropical fruit I didn’t like, to be honest.

What are your favorite and least favorite varieties of M&Ms?

Original is best, peanut is the worst.

What are your favorite and least favorite raisin-containing foods?

Raisins are a delicious treat on their own! I don’t think there’s much that’s improved by adding them. The worst is that oatmeal raisin cookie that looks, at first glance, like chocolate chip. BETRAYAL.

Friday 5: Scattergories, Part 8

Chocolate chip cookies on a black plate on a white counter.

I have been extremely unprofessional lately and let the blog part of the website slide. With all due respect and love to Samwise the work netbook, he’s not cut out for doing much web-related work. And I’m a bad freelancer and don’t schedule too many posts in advance, all told. So we’ll see how many posts I have the wherewithal to write and schedule in advance when it takes me half an ice age just to find and then insert a good image!

Anyway, my assigned letter for this round of questions is C. It’s for cookie, and that’s good enough for me! (Insert joke about European privacy law update here.)

What’s a movie you love whose title begins with the letter?

As you might have surmised from a recent post here, Clerks.

What’s a popular tourist destination whose name begins with the letter?

Cambodia. I never made it there while I lived in Korea, but maybe one day.

What’s something whose name begins with the letter you do when you’re very happy?

I’m tempted to answer “color,” but I don’t save that for when I’m  very happy. (I was into adult coloring books before it was cool.) The same could be said about “chatting with friends.” But if we’re going to focus on very happy, I would suppose “cry”?

What’s a frightening animal whose name begins with the letter?

Cougar! Cheetah!

Who’s a person you admire whose name begins with the letter?

There were a wealth of Katherines and Catherines among the radium girls, and I admire all of them for their strength of character and perseverance.

Friday 5: Gear

A white person working at a crafting bench, surrounded by pliers, brushes, wire, and snips.
Photo by Kelvyn Ornettte Sol Marte on Unsplash

What kind of specialized equipment do you own for a specific non-electronic hobby or job?

I have a small collection of jewelry-making pliers, as well as a bead reamer (kind of like a file in the round: you use it for gently opening up holes in beads that are just a little too small).

In what way can this equipment be upgraded or souped-up, and how difficult or expensive would the update be?

It can’t. You just buy newer, better pliers. There are a variety of price points, depending on how professional you are and how much money you want to drop.

Things like drills or torches you can buy different attachments for, but I don’t (as of now) have those particular pieces of equipment. Getting a Dremel is on my short list, though. I have a whole bag of Korean coins I want to drill for a bracelet and some pendants.

In your fields of interest, what’s the gear envy like?

“Envy” is a strong word. When I worked at the jewelry store, customers were always just excited about someone’s new purchase. But in terms of always wanting another attachment or another stamping set or whatever: yeah, that definitely happens.

What’s something you own the old version of because it’s better than the new version?

It’s not gear per se, but I have very strong opinions about bead-stringing wire. SoftFlex is my preferred brand but sometimes it’s really hard to find because everyone’s carrying Beadalon instead!

Lortone rock tumblers also are, from my understanding, still the highest quality brand of rock tumbler around.

What’s a hobby you don’t engage in that intrigues you mostly because of its equipment or tools?

Welding and blacksmithing are kind of natural off-shoots of jewelry making, inasmuch as they’re all about metals. The tools do largely the same work, they’re just scaled up for macro-level projects. Electronics also involve some of the same tools, since it’s work on the same scale. Both of those are things I’d like to learn more about but there are only so many hours in a day!

Friday 5: Opposite Day

A white van parked in front of neighboring rowhomes, one red and one green.
Photo by Abraham Wiebe on Unsplash

What food, normally eaten cooked, do you prefer uncooked?

I don’t know if it counts as “cooked,” or if I would say “prefer,” but I’m comfortable having my bagels untoasted.

What food, normally eaten uncooked, do you prefer cooked?

When I was a kid, all I could think about every time I made (or helped a parent make) cookies or brownies was how when I was an adult, I would make cookies or brownies and then just sit down and eat the whole thing raw.

Now that I’m actually an adult, I have zero desire to do that. Licking the spoon after I’m done scraping out the last of the batter for the cookie sheets or brownie pan is more than enough for me.

What food, normally eaten cold, do you prefer hot?

We only serve beer cold because the temperature dulls the taste of crappy beer. Anything good should probably be served at room temperature.

Also, have you heard the good news about pineapple on pizza?

What food, normally eaten hot, do you prefer cold?

Again, “prefer” is a strong word, but I can live without having my kladdkaka straight out of the oven or warmed up in the microwave. Especially in the summer.

What are your favorite dinner meals to have for breakfast and breakfast meals to have for dinner?

I don’t like to have anything dinner-like for breakfast. I generally skip breakfast anyway, since I’m not hungry in the mornings, but anything like a dinner would be too much heavy food too early in the day. The closest I get would be dumplings, maybe, but that’s it.

But I’m all about breakfast for dinner, though. Brinner. Pancakes? Omelettes? Waffles? Cereal? Yes. All of it. In my mouth.

Friday 5: With A Capital T

The movie poster for The Music Man

What kind of trouble are you getting yourself into?

I’ve been really bad at time management this summer. I’m on some long-term projects that don’t have immediate deadlines, but nonetheless I should be further along than I am. I guess, if I were to be fair to myself, I would point out that I’m using this low period to invest in some professional development (aka reading up on translation theory).

There’s an old saw about how work expands or contracts to fit the amount of time you have, and I’m finding that to be the case. I’m only as efficient as my workload is heavy.

What was your most recent car trouble?

Ages ago because Stockholm is a walkable, car-optional city!

What’s a rhyming phrase (such as “work jerk” or “poo shoe”) to describe something causing you problems lately?

Sun fun. As in, I want to have too much of it.

What’s something that needs loosening or unsticking?

I’ve straight up body checked the automatic doors at Gullmarsplan in between the bus stops and the subway station multiple times because they open so slooooooooooooowly.

What’s your favorite board game involving rolling dice?

I don’t know if Munchkin counts, since it’s a card game and not a board game. If not, then Settlers of Catan.

Friday 5: Esprit

Close up of berries on a juniper bush.
Photo by Steve Richey on Unsplash

What’s your spirit animal?

I’m going to back away from that specific terminology because I’m not even remotely Native American (no, not even 1/64th Cherokee Princess). But as for an animal I relate to, black bears spring to mind. I just want to nose around the forest and eat fruit and berries all day (and as I get older, my “fur coat” only seems to get thicker and darker, sigh…). But I’m not nearly as dangerous as an actual black bear when provoked.

It was my birthday yesterday, which makes me a Cancer in the Western zodiac. According to the stereotype, Cancers have a hard, tough shell to protect their squishy and vulnerable insides. That sounds about right.

What’s your spirit tree?

I can’t relate to any tree specifically, but my mortal enemy tree is pine trees. I have a pine (and fir) allergy, which means I’m allergic to Christmas and pesto sauce. Are there other trees that hate pine trees?

Given my stature, I’m not even really tree-like at all. I’m much more of a shrub. I’ll go with juniper, I guess. We had a bunch of juniper bushes lining our driveway for years. My dad was actually planting them when my mom went into labor with me.  (Mom: “My water just broke, we’re having this baby.” Dad: “Make some sandwiches while I finish getting this one in the ground and then we’ll go to the hospital.”) Those plants are no longer with us, but there are still a couple juniper shrubs (bushes?)  elsewhere on their property, and they remind me of home.

What’s your spirit food or beverage?

“Bullsky,” or equal parts Red Bull and whisky (the cheapest bottom shelf stuff you can find). This is not an actual cocktail you can (or should) order anywhere, or any kind of actual “thing” except with a couple members of my trivia team in the US. But it’s an oddball, low-class combination with a distinct flavor that’s not for everyone. Just like me!


What’s your spirit weather phenomenon?

Clear skies, bright sun, 28 *C temperatures, a touch of humidity. I’m a wilting tropical orchid.

What’s your spirit passenger vehicle?

I am absolutely an off-brand knock off Mini Cooper.

Friday 5: Break of Day

A pair of broken windows in a white wall.
Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

When did you last break something made of glass?

Years ago. I had a whiskey glass from the tour I took of the Jameson distillery when I visited during spring break in 2008. It survived decorating my college dorm, but when I came home it slipped out of my hand and didn’t survive its meeting with the concrete garage floor.

The friend I had visited in Dublin gifted me his later to make up for it. Friendship goals!

When did you last break something ceramic?

I don’t know that I ever have, actually.

When did you last break something electronic?

After really good luck with smartphones for years, I finally dropped and cracked the screen on my smartphone last year.

When did you last break a non-traffic-related law?

I’ve definitely had more than my allotted amount of liquids on a flight.

When did you last break a promise?

I promised one of my students I would bring Dixit around for our next lesson and then didn’t. I’m not usually that forgetful…!