Bill Murray on feeling stuck

29 11 2012

credit: Esquire June/July 2012

Jeff Sutton, rest in peace, told us about meeting Bill Murray one Christmas a few years after high school.

Jeff and a fellow cadet were down in the city from West Point. the guys walked past a restaurant and saw Bill Murray inside, so they waited in the cold for an hour, until Murray came out. seeing the guys in their uniforms, Murray stopped to talk to the cadets, then walked them down the street to a hotdog stand and bullsh!tted with the guys for an hour before heading home.

i love that story. and i love you peter venkman.

from today’s NYT:

When I feel like I’m stuck, I do something — not like I’m Mother Teresa or anything, but there’s someone that’s forgotten about in your life, all the time. Someone that could use an “Attaboy” or a “How you doin’ out there.” It’s that sort of scene, that remembering that we die alone. We’re born alone. We do need each other. It’s lonely to really effectively live your life, and anyone you can get help from or give help to, that’s part of your obligation.”





labor laws in the ROK

29 11 2012

although korea is a member of the OECD, which implies adherence to some basic labor practices, you see these kinds of ads every day:

only boys need apply

only girls need apply

no old farts

you cannot apply for a job in korea without submitting a recent photo and your DOB.
let’s not talk about the personal questions that come up in interviews:

“are you married?”
“are you going to be?”
“are you going to have kids?”
“do you like to drink alcohol?”
“now, can i ask you a personal question?”

my HR friends would have a conniption.





colorful kyoto

26 11 2012

if the ents rise again, i’m fairly certain they’ll be fighting with the japanese.
look at the devotion supporting these trees.

@kyoto gosho, the imperial garden

foliage decorating a hollow trunk

coaxing entlets @shiramine shrine, the soccer shrine

what a gift to see this tree. i felt it bloomed just for me.

fiery maple and electric gingko outside chionin temple

“but only God can make a tree.”
nanny would have loved kyoto.





American Thanksgiving, pass it on

24 11 2012

‎Karl Rectanus suggested sharing American Thanksgiving. “it’s a tradition that travels well.” So my hashing, traveling friend Ate Ball said, “Happy Thanksgiving” to it turns out, the only other American in our Osaka hostel.

Here’s 18-yr-old Hector on his first backpacking trip before he heads back to Maryland next month to continue his electrical engineering studies.

This is the changing face of America–young, brown and international.
Hector 2032.





sacrificial virgins

18 11 2012

so i asked my coworker changhee what she thought about the sentence below. delete or don’t delete? might give westerners the skeeves.

“The legend says that it (jizo statue) was made from the burning on the stake of the innocent virgin.”

changhee looked up the korean translation, which reads:
“The Jizo statue is famous for saving an innocent girl from burning.”

nuanced difference, no?





lost in translation redux

18 11 2012

here’s one of the 200-300 cells we’re editing each day:

J6260
toumyouji\
Contemplation of the Mount Koya Shingon School in the midst of Yata hills. Toneri Shinno generously enshrined Primary Monuments known to be produced in the Fujiwara era, the Wooden Medicine Buddha sitting statue, wooden Standing Statue of Kitshoten (both Important Cultural Properties of Japan), etc. In addition to the Main Hall, there is a 4m 15cm seven-story pagoda handed down from the Kamakura period. There is a temple treasure ‘Kaminari-samano Heso’ that is estimated to have been handed down in time.

my brain is fallow. i want to slit my wrists.





overpromise, underdeliver

15 11 2012

our 7th floor windows open just so far, so my skinny @ss won’t fit through.
we’re editing 200-300 english translations every day, so the importance of prose is dwindling daily.

this project is a massive compilation from the Japanese government of 14,000 tourism tidbits. our company translates Japanese into Korean into English into readable English.

while the runway on this project was ~3 months, extra staff were only hired these past two weeks. that’s another essay on Western project management vs. Eastern  supplication. why not tell the client you need more time instead of waiting until the 11th hour?
i doubt there’s a korean translation for ‘benchmarking’.

my Canadian / New Zealandaer co-editor and I have only been pulling 12hr days for a week, so we both feel sheepish b!tching about the content quality and long hours. the Korean staff have been logging these hours for two months, but that doesn’t make it right. it makes everybody here wrong.

until the 20th, we will duck our heads down and continue to turn out drivel like this:

before
Katsuura Fishing Port is the second biggest coast•deep-sea fishery base after Choshi. There are abundant seasonal seafood such as bonito, tuna, snapper, mackerel, squid, abalone, shellfish, Ise shrimp and more. Among those, bonito takes more than 90% of annual catch. Bonito piled up in Katsuura fish market are only sold to the wholesale merchants. This energetic market is always full of energy. People are encouraged to visit Katsuura Morning Market with over 400 years of history and the fish store in downtown to buy fish.

after
Katsuura Fishing Port is the second biggest, deep-sea fishery after Choshi. Seasonal seafood include bonito, tuna, snapper, mackerel, squid, abalone, shellfish, Ise shrimp and much more. More than 90% of the annual catch of bonito comes from this 400-year-old port and is only sold to wholesale merchants.

that’s not even one of the gnarly graphs. there’s a balance here between high output and comprehensible content. our canadian manager Lex asked me not to cut so much, but what are you supposed to do with:

“This energetic market is always full of energy.”