Saturday, August 11, 2012

A story in Spanish

We had an assignment in Spanish, we received it the day before the final exam. Something like "write about Daniel and Sandra, they meet on vacation and fall in love then leave and go back to their respective cities". The resulting story I produced amused me greatly. The translation, at least the translation I meant, can be found after the story. 

Also, it sounds much more clever in Spanish. Not just because writing it itself feels like an accomplishment, but also because of things like Vazquez meaning shepherd. And there were a list of several phrases I had to use and a number of different tenses I had to use so, alas, I couldn't maintain full creative control. Does that make me brethren with Dan Harmon? Not for me to say, so I won't say no.

Daniel no está in ese cuento, pero Rodrigo Rodriguez está aqui. Sandra es Sandra Vazquez. Rodrigo Rodriguez es de David, Panamá. Sandra Vazquez es de Santa Marta, Colombia. Ellos son en un vacacional in España. Momentos, ellos en un oscuridad bar de humo. Se habla español. Se hablan.

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Hola chica. Me llamo Rodrigo Rodriguez. Mi apodo es "Hot Rod". ¿Qué pasa?"

Sandra Vazquez: "Hola. Mi nombre es Sandra Vazquez. Ese es un nombre ironico porque soy un pastora."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "¿Hablas con personas sobre Jesus Cristo?"

Sandra Vazquez: "No. Tú eres estúpido. Soy una pastora ni una clériga. ¿Hablas español?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Sí, pero estoy burracho. ¿Y tú?"

Sandra Vazquez: "No."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "¡Debe!"

Sandra Vazquez: "¡No puedo! Se hablan."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Lo siento. Por favor, bebe."

(Después de treinta minutos.)

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "¿De dónde eres?"

Sandra Vazquez: "Soy de Santa Marta. Santa Marta es en Colombia. Tambien, me gusta divertirse."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "¿Quien no les gusta divertirse?"

Sandra Vazquez: "¿Y tú? ¿De dónde eres?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Soy de David, Panamá."

Sandra Vazquez: "¿El nombre de tu papá es David y tú es de Panamá?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "No. Tú eres estúpida. Soy de la ciudad David; el nombre de la ciudad es David. El nombre de mi papá es Rodrigo. ¿Hablas español muchacha?"

Sandra Vazquez: "Sí, pero estoy burracha. No es la primera vez. Caminé a la baño a las diez de la noche, y ahora es las diez y medio de la noche. En aquel momento necesito caminar otra vez."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Sal al baño."

(Después de treinta minutos.)

Sandra Vazquez: "¿Qué pasa?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Pensando a año pasado. Tenía un empleo de la Servicio Nacional Aeronaval en Panamá. Estaba piloto."

Sandra Vazquez: "¿Qué ocurrió?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "A dame. Lo siento, hablo inglés y español. Una chica; su nombre es Brigid O'Shaughness. Ella estaba bonita y peligrosa. Ella fue muy peligrosa."

Sandra Vazquez: "Y... ¿Qué ocurrió?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Ella disparó a mi. Ella robió de mi."

Sandra Vazquez: "¿Y entonces?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "¡Entonces corría!"

Sandra Vazquez: "Necesito dormir. ¿Desee tu mañana?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Sí. ¿Ojalá a las diez de la noche?"

Sandra Vazquez: "Sí."

(Mañana, Sandra Vazquez y Rodrigo Rodriguez se reunen.)

Sandra Vazquez: "Te amo."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "¿Por qué?"

Sandra Vazquez: "Porque tu eres un chico mal."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Es la verdad. Soy un chico mal. O in inglés: "I'm a bad boy". Pero necesito voy a mi casa mañana."

Sandra Vazquez: "No necesitas vas hoy."

(Nota del editor: inapropiado.)

Un mes en futuro, Rodrigo Rodriguez hablando con Sandra Vazquez. Se miran por la cámara web. Este es la última ves se hablan.

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Tengo un novio. Estoy homosexual."

Sandra Vazquez: "Tengo una novia. Estoy lesbiana."

Ambos: "Adios. Vaya con Dios pecador."


Daniel is not in this tale, but Rodrigo Rodriguez is here. Sandra is Sandra Vazquez. Rodrigo Rodriguez is from David, Panama. Sandra Vazquez is from Santa Marta, Colombia. They are in a beach vacation resort in Spain. At this moment, they are in an obscure smoky bar. Spanish is spoken in the bar. They (Sandra and Rodrigo) are speaking to each other.

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Hello girl. My name is Rodrigo Rodriguez. My nickname is "Hot Rod". What's up?"

Sandra Vazquez: "Hello. My name is Sandra Vazquez. It's an ironic name because my job is to be a shepherd.

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "You talk with people concerning Jesus Christ?"

Sandra Vazquez: "No. You're stupid. I'm a shepherd, I'm not a member of the clergy. Do you speak Spanish?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Yes, but I'm drunk. What about you?"

Sandra Vazquez: "No."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "You should!"

Sandra Vazquez: "I'm unable to! We're talking with each other."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "I'm sorry. Please, drink."

(After 30 minutes.)

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Where are you from?"

Sandra Vazquez: "I'm from Santa Marta. Santa Marta is in Colombia. Also, I like to have fun. [note; not part of translating: we had to include the phrase "me gusta divertirse" which is roughly "I like to have fun".]

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Who doesn't like having fun?"

Sandra Vazquez: "And you? Where are you from?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "I'm from David, Panama."

Sandra Vazquez: "Your father's name is David and you're from Panama?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "No. You're stupid. I'm from the city David; the name of the city is David. The name of my father is Rodrigo. Do you speak spanish girl?

Sandra Vazquez: "Yes, but I'm drunk. It isn't the first time. I walked to the bathroom at 10pm and now it's 10:30pm. In another moment I'll have to walk again."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Leave to go to the bathroom"

(After 30 minutes.)

Sandra Vazquez: "What's up?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "I'm thinking about last year. I was employed at the National Sea and Air Service in Panama. I was a pilot."

Sandra Vazquez: "What happened?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "A dame. Sorry, I speak english and spanish. A chick; her name es Brigid O'Shaughness. She was pretty dangerous. She was very dangerous."

Sandra Vazquez: "And... what happened?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "She shot at me. She injured me."

Sandra Vazquez: "And afterwards?"

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Afterwards I ran!"

Sandra Vazquez: "I need to sleep. I wish to, will I see you?

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Yes. God's will permitting at 10pm?

Sandra Vazquez: "Yes."

(Tomorrow, they meet up.)

Sandra Vazquez: "I love you."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "Why?"

Sandra Vazquez: "Because you're a bad boy."

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "That's the truth. I'm a bad boy. Or in english: "I'm a bad boy". But I need to go to my house tomorrow."

Sandra Vazquez: "You don't need to go today."

(Editor's note: inappropriate.)

One month in the future, Rodrigo Rodriguez is talking with Sandra Vazquez. They are looking at each other through a webcam. This is the last time they will speak to each other.

Rodrigo Rodriguez: "I have a boyfriend. I'm gay."

Sandra Vazquez: "I have a girlfriend. I'm gay."

Both: "Goodbye. Go with God sinner."

Monday, August 6, 2012

I just don't get it.

There's something wrong with the world and I don't know what it is. Perhaps I simply shouldn't turn on HBO and see se7en when I can't sleep.

I don't know the word I need. Triviality? Banality? Evanescence? That emotion evoked when looking at a photo album of someone's vacation and while you couldn't care about the fish they caught using a special fishing rod in Jamaica but you nod and feign interest.

Somehow most people have figured out how to be content thinking:

At work I prepare chicken sandwiches which usually isn't hard but sometimes if the wrong manager - Dave, man he's so horrible, you know he only got the promotion because he's related to someone? - is working then sometimes it's hard but that's not because preparing the chicken sandwiches have become more difficult rather it's harder to because harder to work when someone is suuuuch a micromanager and doesn't just let you do your job, I mean I've been preparing chicken sandwiches for almost a year now which might seem like a short time but really it's a long time because all the contents come pre-packaged and there's even timers and everything, the key is to keep rotating the oil otherwise the chicken sandwiches will be soggy and who wants a soggy chicken sandwich? plus even the good manager - Dan, he's so awesome like he "gets it" he knows that letting me just do my freaking job is the way to manage - will get mad at you if you let the chicken sandwiches get soggy, most people wouldn't care but I really love my job because of the people - the people is what makes a job worthwhile if you ask me, I once worked at Whataburger and the people there were just terrible, worst job ever - but they also care about making sure the chicken sandwiches aren't soggy in fact I once had a woman bring back her chicken sandwich because it was soggy and she said she would never buy from us again although we all know she will because the chicken sandwiches are almost never soggy thanks to me.

It's like everyone is caught up in a system where 95% of the thoughts expressed are nonsense thoughts that everyone expresses. The triviality is just shocking. I mean, I had someone once suggest that we get rid of NASA because "the cold war is over". We're sentient animals trapped on a rock in a tiny corner of the galaxy and they're content to say "hmm, I better not let this chicken sandwich get soggy" before heading home and doing it all over again. I had another one suggest that "we should never question the right thing to do because we should already know it". The lack of caring about anything meaningful is flabbergasting.

I just can't understand the fascination with trivialities while ignoring everything that (should) matter. It fundamentally doesn't make sense. Although, again, maybe my perspective at 5:40am is different from one later in the day.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-A; Living in Texas

Chick-fil-A is still, thankfully, in the news. As such it's one of the things that people talk about while waiting for class to begin. But because that means shortly after sunrise at 7:45am, I rarely have the energy to bother to argue with 20 people who disagree.

1. This isn't new news
2. This isn't discrimination
3. People have the right to say what they want
4. I don't care; their chicken taste good in mouth

These seem like very curious responses. Inscrutably curious indeed.

At first I agreed with response 1. I thought it was a sort of statement on how odd it is that certain things tend to rise into the collective consciousness when the underlying issue had been there all along. It wasn't until later that I realized it was intended to mean "this issue has been there for a long time, therefore there's no need to address it". Which is just... an odd response once you think about it. One thing does not follow from the other.

Or take response 2. It generally takes the form of "they still sell their products to gay people so what's the fuss?" I don't understand what prompts that either. It's possible for a business to engage in bigotry while selling products to the people they're supporting discrimination against. No one ever claimed that Chick-fil-A refuses to serve people based on their sexual orientation (although why that's a metric that comes into many people's mind is somewhat troubling). The issue is that they influence the government to prohibit marriage equality. That is the discrimination referred to. The odd state of affairs where the government is prepared to grant marriage licenses, then stops to check to make sure their sexual orientations are opposite. "Would you like to start a family and marry your loved one? Oh, sorry, one of you needs a wang otherwise we just can't do it :/".

Response 3 is just plain weird. It seems very obvious that, yes, people have the right to have opinions even when those opinions are bigoted and discriminatory. I'm glad we have that right. But there's an apparent difference between "the government can't take away my right to free speech" and "no one is allowed to disagree with me because Free Speech". It's a tactic that's more often in Internet forums that in college hallways. And yet that distinction appears lost to, well, almost everyone I've talked with or overhead. Just because someone is legally allowed to express an opinion, or to influence the government to discriminate against people, doesn't mean that everyone needs to say "well, it's legal, so really we legally can't consider the content of their speech".

To be honest, response 4 is the worst. It's the Britta of responses. Being wrong is one thing, choosing to life your life in such a way that you don't care about the rights of others is another thing. It's exemplified by the fact that someone said "can you believe that it's mostly straight people disagreeing with Chick-fil-A?" Followed by collective astonishment. That people only care about the rights which affect them is rather depressing. It wasn't too long ago that I wouldn't be expected to share a water fountain with some of my classmates, the fact that it's expected I would say "well, I've got the good water fountain so really it's fine" is just depressing.

Apparently my local Chick-fil-A has to schedule a lot of people for double shifts because they've been swamped. Which is the meta story for all of this: a member of the 80% of the population complains about being victimized by the 20%; they take a "brave" stand for what the law already is; they claim they're willing to suffer the consequences; they actively push for the government to enforce bigotry; members of the 80% celebrate the government enforcing bigotry by buying more from the business; the right wing complains they're being victimized further.

I just don't get it. And now I'm 10 minutes behind in my morning schedule. But hey at least I'm slightly more centered mentally.