Archive for February, 2008

Année bissextile

February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

I ran across this little lottery poster on the way home this evening… notice anything wrong with the cherry in the back?



I voted!

February 24, 2008

In the Texas primary, not the Swiss referendum!

But while we’re on the subject of the referendum that was held today, here are some of the political posters that have been up around town for the past month.

Posters for the public smoking ban:

Posters supporting free public transport:

A poster supporting an even stricter version of Geneva’s already-strict dog laws:

And a poster opposing it:

Today’s turnout was a record high for a referendum in Geneva — over 61%. The smoking ban, which was supported by several interest groups and all but one political party, passed with 80% of the vote (hallelujah!) The law on “dangerous” (60lb.+) dogs passed, too, and the initiative for free public transport failed. (Not surprising — there wouldn’t have been enough funding to be able to maintain the current standard of service.)

Now, for those of you in Texas… early voting is under way! Vote now and avoid long lines (and unforeseen impediments to voting — bad weather, working late, etc.) on March 4th.

A week in the life

February 23, 2008

…of a traductrice apprentie.

  • 20 hours of class — general, legal and economic translation from French and from Spanish into English, plus beginning German
  • 10 – 15 hours of paid work
  • 50ish pages of reading from an economics textbook
  • 20 or so pages of translation homework (about 40 hours’ worth) — an excerpt from a WTO dispute settlement case, a chapter from an economics textbook detailing the role of the Swiss National Bank in international monetary policy, the first two chapters of a Pennac novel, a blog post detailing the similarities between Société Générale’s rogue trader and the Chairman of the Board of Directors at UBS, a newspaper article on illegal immigration to Spain, a newspaper article on excess liquidity, an excerpt from a telephone company’s service contract, and an opinion piece on global urbanization.
  • German grammar exercises
  • a freelance editing job (my last freelance job this semester!)
  • and, if possible, thesis research.

Life is crazy. I have no free time. My neurons are shot and my synapses are no longer firing…

This freaks me out.

February 22, 2008

It’s the new milk products commercial that’s being shown on French TV. I’m scared of skeletons, aliens, and gushing fountains of milk emanating from giant cows, so it’s no wonder the commercial gets to me.

Buttons, revisited

February 21, 2008

I made my monthly pilgrimage to the post office to pay bills today. It was really busy, so the ticket machine let me know that my estimated wait time was 12 minutes.

I didn’t have much to do but stand there, so I did. After awhile, I realized that I was fixating on their button system. Here’s how it works: each postal worker works at a window from A to K. When they’re ready for a customer, they push a button. Immediately you hear a buzzer and see a new, shiny, bright red number pop up on a screen. Then the customer belonging to the number goes to the screen and carries out his transaction. Instant gratification for the button-pusher.

I need to seriously rethink my choice of career…


February 20, 2008

There are several American TV shows that I watch here that never did interest me back in the States. Heroes, Boston Legal, 7th Heaven… you get the idea.

I saw an episode of Deadwood for the first time this evening. The show’s premise seems to be to cram as many instances of the word “f-ck” in an implausible Wild West town as possible in 45 minutes or fewer.

I think I’ll be skipping this one in the future!

Back to school

February 17, 2008

Today is the first day of the spring semester — yay! It’s going to be a busy four months… eight 2nd year MA classes, a job, and a thesis… plus German and job hunting.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!


February 17, 2008

I am a button-pusher. If a button is there, I can’t not push it.

It’s my grandmother’s fault — I inherited it from her. When my mother got her a life alert button a while back, the first thing my grandmother did when she got it was push it. Oops.

So is it any wonder that I love being the first person in the bus to push the button for the next stop? If you’re first, the light above the door pops on for you and a little buzzer at the front of the bus beeps.

I wish I could push the button for every stop!

Die Mäuse sind…

February 16, 2008

More German prepositions (and declensions) in class today. But this time they were a lot warmer and fuzzier… we had the cutest little cartoon mice teaching us!

I love mice.

Don’t Mess with Texas

February 14, 2008

Or little old ladies from Texas, either.

Click here to find out why. And have a very happy Valentine’s Day.