Tuesday, September 25, 2012

stress-related frustration

It's very clear to me, it's crunch time. Like for many people I'm sure (hello grant writers!). There are some HUGE deadlines looming close in the future. Hard deadlines. Not the "oh I can be a little late and sneak in and take a 10% deduction on the points on the exam". No. The type of "you hand it over at date X time Y or not at all"... which is "not an option" by the way, in case you wondered. Neither is "handing in sub-par stuff".... which means that you have to increase the time and/or cost (The project triangle - quality/time/cost - if one decreases, the other two need to increase in order for the Project (area inside the triangle) to be the same. Problem arises when the quality is fixed, and so is the time... Fun times.)

My main concern with all of this right now? "The other people involved". Ah well, better get right to it and stop feeling frustrating about the road blocks thrown up by others, the snafus that keep turning up, since the time spent on fretting about it is taking away from what I should do effieciently and quick. And most of all, stop thinking that it would be easier if I just did it all myself since that will not happen! This is team work, and I need to stop working over time as much as I have lately. Guess I need to remind myself of that especially since I'm not that the only one who can do this [enter slightly cynical snicker since so far, there are some who have no problem going home "when clock strikes X" and leave work for next day... "surely someone will pick up after them/no my problem/it's there tomorrow too" I call it, The joys of group/team work.]

Thank goodness I was at the gym early this morning and worked out. Endorphines are kicking in, adrenaline got out, and tomorrow I will be too sore to worry about anything but trying to walk ;)

Friday, September 21, 2012

things I can't say

Things I wish I could say at work but since I'm in PC country it doesn't work well... But I still thing thek are funny and since the other blog posts I want to post are still in "development" and "processing" this is what I've got for a Friday like this.

I think it speaks for itself...

And then the one that's obvious if you know me...

And this one is just for kicks. I'm not as funny as The Hermitage on a friday (it's a new time going now, Fridays are not going to be as happy there) nor am I trying, but it brings a little joy to me on a day like this ^^

There is another one that I can't post since it has to have a big explanation to it, but it you look at e-cards and 'password'. I think it might be obvious (think bad gender biased in women and partners) but I find it on point, maybe because I think it is non-gender-specific in reality. Key idea "it's a password named password")

Now, back to watching 24 :) I'd forgotten that I never finished the last seasons...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I'm missing words, like 'småpåve' ...

Sometimes this "second language" business is more frustrating than others, sometimes I just miss my own language with the nooks and crannies of distinctions and nuances that I don't have in the English language. This especially not "right there on the spot" when I'm bubbling words and sentences and want the flow of words.

Swedish is one of those languages that has a wonderful option in which you can make a new word out of combining two or more other words... plus the fact that this historically has lead to that some words have one obvious meaning, but also that when you read the two (or more) words by themselves you see the root of the other word meaning. I'm not sure I am making myself understood, therefore I'll give an example.

Example of combined word: Swedish word for love - this wonderful word - could actually be translated into two words depending on how you use it.
(att) Älska - (to) love
Kärlek (-en) - (the) love

I'm mainly thinking about 'kärlek' since this is one of my favorite words (gah, I know, just bear with me) with this "hidden underlying context".

Kärlek can be devided into two words; kär (dear/loved) and lek (play/game). This to me makes a slightly different connotation than 'älska', which is the word traditionally used when saying "making love", "I love...", I ... wheras 'kärlek' is something more generic (as in floating around in the world....). Although, I guess it's more complicated since you say 'jag är kär' - for "I am in love" and not always 'jag älskar' since you need an object after 'älskar'...

Ah well, it's not really my main thing, just a little sidetracking of the thoughts I've had about some words I have been wanting to use the last couple of months but realizing that I don't know the English equivalents of (and when asking some of my fellow Swedes living in UK/US/Canada, they are stumped as well.).

I figured I'd give a few examples of these words that have come up lately, like a mini-'smörgårdsbord' of frustrations.

First, 'småpåve' (or plural 'småpåvar') - literary 'little Pope'. Meaning a person who thinks they are in charge and important but really doesn't have that much power in real life; like a regular worker acting as an CEO in terms of trying to decide stuff. Or trying to impose "this is the only way to do it", but it's really a choice on how to do it and they just want their way to be the only way. My guess would be that this Swedish expression might even stem back from the days of reformation and kicking the Pope out of politics/kingdom of Sweden. I'm not sure know what to use instead of that one? "Imaginary CEO" doesn't have the same ring to it, nor does Queen of Hearts (but I've thought about that one).

Second, 'lyteskomik' - crudly 'lyte' (cripple/disability/handicap) and 'komik' (humour/comedy). Maybe partly based on one of these odder (?) things in Swedish, one of the worst things are to be thought of as stupid/easily fooled. Traditionally insults in general are either invoking the devil on someone or calling them various versions of stupid/headless/pathetic and showing emotions (key concept; "not being in control" which is bad). Not many sex-related insults, apart from calling a man who can't keep it in his pants 'horbock' (whore buck/billy)... and the regular 'hora' as for women, but nothing of the sorts  of "ask your mother why I was late" etc...

Anyway, I digress, the 'lyteskomik' is a badly viewed part of comedy, much less common today since it's not funny making fun of a person who isn't aware that you're laughing at them. Best example might be, you do a skit about a person who is intellectually changed and then set up situations where they fail all the time and make fun of it, but you knew all along they couldn't do it.

Main reason for me thinking about this word now? A new reality TV show that's gotten a bunch of attention here in the US called "Honey Boo Boo". It's a reality show about a family with children, where the main star is the six year old girl who won a lot of pageants and now the show depicts her family in all their redneck glory.... And yes, if you think this is like Little Britain, it's fairly similar... but this is REAL and with children so... for me that's more of the 'praying on the week ones'.

Third and last example, 'skadeglädje' - 'skade' (damage) and 'glädje' (joy/happy). I know, the German Schadenfreude is an alternative, but I feel the Swedish word is so much better with its hard SKsound and the real implication that you are truly happy about the failure of someone someone else. Not the best example to end the smörgåsbord, since it sort of has a "word" I'll make the third example be two halfsies....

Therefore, the last third example is 'skenhelig' - 'sken' (shining/reflection light) and 'helig' (holy). The English words to use for this word are sanctimonious, canting or hypocritical. Usually you'd get an image of the fake halo that would burst around someone who is indeed holy... but it's a fake light... hence, it's not a truly holy person/thing but they would like to be viewed as one.

Ah well... as usual I fail a little to bring the story home. I need to work on the ending, I think I've gotten the start and middle part done. It's the header and ending that needs work. Where do I want to go with this? What is the point of the piece? Now there's a good exercise for me. Writing a directed piece where I have the plot figured out before I start writing! :) All I wanted for now was to share my few words that have been missing for me lately. And see if anyone has suggestions for what to use in English for them?!