Friday, December 09, 2005

Why I am considering a career move

Yesterday was the last day of school. We went over to José & Yolanda's after the girls got out, had some lunch and hung around because we hadn't done that for a few days. I read my book in the sun while Julia colored and Robin and José played an invented game where she writes a string of numbers in her notebook, he adds them up in his head, then she comes over to ask me if he got it right.

My cell phone rang and I heard--for the first time in several weeks--the dreaded voice of my contact at the PR agency (my most frequent translation client). I like the guy very much, but am invariably disappointed to hear his voice on the line.

He said he had just E-mailed me a page and a half and how soon could I have it back to them. Although I told him I was not at home and that I couldn't have it to him until the next day around noon, I did in fact start to move in the direction of getting home so I could download it and get it out of the way.

For some reason, the size of the document is almost invariably understated - as if by telling me it's only five pages long they can make it take less time than if they admit it's seven. But in this case, the document was in fact just a page and a half long...less, in fact, because it was a page and a half in finished form, with a large photo and many small ones, and the text itself sort of poured in around it.

So the page estimate was accurate, but the text. Oh, the text.

It was a brochure of background information about a young artist who has a photography exhibit coming up. I like art. Who doesn't? But just imagine the artist's statement for a guy whose brochure shows him riding a (no doubt artistic) contraption made out of a unicycle and a barstool:

Se mueve en el plano de la física, del tiempo, de la topología, de la ecología de las ondas de luz para transformar la escena en un objeto "chic poscontemporáneo". Existe una enorme tensión entre el empleo crítico y estético del arte y lo que el lector aparenta entender, pero explícitamente no observa, lo cual provoca contradicciones interpretativas. También, se apropia de los rincones inobservados o de espacios lúdicos de expresión.

These images inhabit the plane of the physical, of time, of topology, of the ecology of light waves, transforming a scene into an object of “post-contemporary chic.” We sense an enormous tension between the critical and the aesthetic use of art and what the viewer is given to understand but does not explicitly observe, provoking interpretative contradictions. The artist also appropriates unobserved corners, lucid spaces of expression (...)
The translation of this particular passage cost $4.02. The whole thing ran to $22.32.

In my dream job, I get to keep reading my book in the sun as long as I want. At my own convenience, I spend a morning or an afternoon dyeing fabric. I take it to the quilt shop (Costa Rica only has one large one) or put it online (probably both).

My first batch of dyes gets here next week (it's already been shipped to Alex, who will be here on the 18th). I already have 5 yards of fabric to experiment with. Assuming I enjoy the process, and assuming the fabric comes out pretty, hand dyed fabric will be my newest venture.

We'll see about marketing; I haven't spoken with the ladies at the quilt shop yet, but they used to carry some hand dyed fabric and don't anymore because the person who used to make it has moved on to other things.

The online part is subject mainly to my own initiative in making it happen, and to the assistance of my handy Silent Partner, who could manage the distribution at such point as I had an actual inventory to send up to the US, and orders to fill.

It has been suggested to me that, since Costa Rica does not produce textile arts like the molas made by the Kuna people of Panama, or the Mayan weavings of Guatemala, there should be a market for fabrics that somehow reflect Costa Rican themes, for instance by stamping on fabric using local plants. I am sure this will prove to be true, if I am able to reach the appropriate audience, either online, in local fabric or gift shops, or at physical locations at stores or shows in the US.

I'd love to be able to gently withdraw from translation over the course of 2006.


A click a day for good causes

The Hunger Site The Breast Cancer Site The Child Health Site The Literacy Site The Rainforest Site The Animal Rescue Site

Added 6/12/06

  © Blogger template 'Personal Blog' by 2008

Back to TOP