Sunday, March 29, 2009

Falling Mist

That describes the weather on Saturday.  Chilly and damp, but still busy.  

But first, this somebody I've been talking about actually wants to be named and said it was ok to put our picture up from the embassy.  As I think many of you have looked it up, I'll wait until the next photo op.

I thought it would have been fun to give him a nickname, that favored blogger thing to do.  Zigzag because he doesn't walk in a straight line?  Freckles because he has some (and they're cute)?  Bonsai boy because we're small?  But he says I can use his real name, so everyone, meet Jeff.


Second, I've just realized many of you are wondering how the interview went on Friday for the position of translation quality control specialist.  I feel really good about it.  I think I answered their questions succinctly, and to the best of my ability.  I even got to use the word "circumspect" :)  

The two tests they gave me were fun and easy (though I am sure many would be bored to death by such work), so I hope that shows.

The first one was comparing a source English user's manual to the target German user's manual.  If I saw anything at all that needed changing or correcting, I had to make marks and was also allowed to mark the source to aid the next person.    Layout, formatting, spelling, etc.  After I go through it, a native speaker would recheck my work.

The second test was formatting a target body of text in Word, dotted with notes to the editor, to resemble as closely as possible the finished source document in my hand.  It was a translated first page of a Russian nuclear contract.

I really had fun doing those.


On to the Saturday adventure.  J. picked me up in the falling mist and we went downtown to see some kites.  Since it wasn't technically raining, the 2009 Kite Festival went on by the Washington Memorial.

Walking through the courtyard of the Ronald Reagan Building of International Trade and Commerce.  I took this photo because it reminds me of the gate of the Royal Academy where it exits to Piccadilly in London.

Passing by the Warner Theater, we saw all these signatures in the sidewalk:  Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Eric Idle, Englebert Humperdinck, Tommy Tune, Liza Minnelli, Twyla Tharp, and many others.

Kites in the gloom - can you spot the Lincoln Memorial in the misty distance?

In the Smithsonian Castle gardens:

There are many different types of sakura - these are in the Magnolia family

Gate of Heaven - entry into a small tribute to the Garden of Heaven in China

Standing under a weeping cherry tree

Leaving the garden

At the US Botanic Garden:

A baseball cactus in the Desert section, and a stella type plant in the Bromeliad family (of which pineapple is a member.)  OH!  I forgot to take a pic of a pineapple plant!!

L:  Looking down from the second level in the Jungle section.
R top: Pink Powder Puff - yes, it was called that and J. is certain it is my favorite.
R bottom:  Orchids are his favorites.

We went to the neighborhood of Adams Morgan for dinner, and chose a Himalayan restaurant.  The weather demanded spicy food and a warm atmosphere, so we chose well.  I forgot to take pictures of the food, so he reminded me to take this one of the gulab jamun we had for dessert.
Starters were crispy puri with seasoned aloo (potato), chickpeas, and tamarind sauce.
For mains I had some spicy Himalayan dumplings with chutney, and he had lamb rogan josh.

Afterwards, we went to a bar called The Reef, which was filled with aquaria.  We had chocolate martinis and watched an iridescent fish and a yellow fish.  I claimed the iridescent one because it fascinated me - J. named him Walter, and his yellow one was called Sunshine.  Sunshine was well-behaved and polite, but Walter was a rabble-rouser.

I also had a nuts and berries drink that I likened to drinking cake.  Then we had a second dessert (!) of lavender cake.  Lavender, I tell you!  All in all it was a wonderful day, sun or no sun.


michelle G said...

1st comment! sweet, tell Jeff, I say hi! lol

loved the garden pics!


Anonymous said...

What a lovely adventure you had! :)

Jeff sounds like a nice person. And, I'm glad he's been doting on you, as a gentleman should.

The greenery is amazing. I <3 gardens, plants, and posies of all kinds. The kites, were the frosting on the cake.

Olivia said...

Mich - *Gold Star* to you for being first!

Next time I see him, I will tell him you said hi, and how long we've known each other and how we met!


Miss Fluff - yes, he is a gentleman in the truest sense, which is very rare these days.

I've seen this before: <3
and have only just figured out what it is. A heart!

I am sorry you couldn't see the kites in a blue sky to show up all the colors, so maybe next year.

michelle G said...

lol, its a great story.

The Moody Minstrel said...

I actually like the scene of the kites against a grAy sky in a sentimental sort of way. I am a native of the Oregon Coast, after all!

That test really does sound like it would be a lot of fun. In my own work I deal a lot with students translating Japanese essays into English and vice versa, and I try to approach it artistically, i.e. how best to express the same nuance as a unified whole rather than simply translating each word as a separate item. Language is so much more than a list of vocabulary and a collection of (often illogical) grammar rules. Even the dreariest of translation assignments can become a puzzle or a work of art if you make up your mind to approach it as such, and that can make it very enjoyable (as I found out in my German literature classes in college)!

Jeff certainly seems to be a welcome spot of color in that otherwise grAy and damp excuse for a Spring, rather like those sakura and orchids! And since colors look even better against a bleak background, it's probably all the more welcome. Anyway, best wishes, and please say hi for me!

Olivia said...

Minstrel - notice I didn't mention the color grAy, just so I wouldn't have to abandon the e.
I have seen it spelled with an e here. You've been away too long!!

Jeff has promised to read this blog tonight, so perhaps he's seen y'all say hi for himself!

Glo said...

Hi Liv and Jeff ;)

Just loved this post full of colour (yes even the mist had coloured flapping things) and happiness!

I think my favorite photo is the one through the Gate of Heaven, but they're all gorgeous and spring-like!

Sounds like you are both enjoying yourselves so much and had a perfect day and evening :) My blessings :)

Jo said...

Fantastic adventure!

Love the gardens, and the cacti!

Pineapple plants are so cool. I saw my first when we went to Key West, had to get a picture of it! Seems so unnatural that something called a pine-apple would grow so close to the ground!

Oh, and hi, Jeff! :D

Carol said...

sounds like a wonderful weekend! thanks for the beautiful photos, and glad to have a name to put with this gentleman, he sounds great!

random Carol note: I was in the Cherry Blossom festival parade one year in high school. So I was able to see the cherry blossoms that year, gorgeous!

Olivia said...

Glo - I'm so glad you enjoyed the pictures. I think my favorite pic is of Smithsonian Castle seen through the weeping blossoms.


Jo - the amazing thing about the pineapple is that it grows on a stalk and is higher than I'd expected. All the bromeliads grow on a stalk that way. So strange.

Did you know that the substance in pineapple that's good for digestion is called Bromelain?

Olivia said...

Carol - that is so cool, that your school in Houston went to the Festival!

I don't remember seeing cherry blossoms in H-town though there are plenty of magnolia trees.

Flighty said...

Lovely post and photos!
Hail and sleet here on Saturday.
Cactii are such fascinating plants.
Fingers crossed that you get offered the job. xx

nikkipolani said...

Do you know when you'd hear back about the job op? Or a second interview maybe? Sounds like something you might enjoy sinking your teeth into.

I'm loving those big sweeps of pink blooms you're photographing. There's something magical about being in the midst of them.

You and Jeff sound very well matched and I'm so pleased you've found someone who appreciates you for who you are :-)

Olivia said...

Flighty - ooh, too bad you had horrid weekend weather.
Do you have any cacti?


Nikki - I will hear back within the next two weeks, hopefully a week. There's no need for a second interview. You know me well enough to know it's exactly my cup of tea.

I can't wait to return to the blossoms on a blue-sky day so I can really revel in them!

Thank you for the third thing you said :)

steve on the slow train said...

I'm one of those strange types who appreciate a cloudy day. That amazing picture,in which makes the kites appear to be shooting off like rockets, simply woudn't be possible on a sunny day.

Greetings, Jeff! You're obviously a very special guy.

Christopher said...

Again you have posted such wonderfully beautiful photographs!! I love all the trees in bloom! I'm also stoked to see Mr. Cash on your page as well!

The crocus and daffodils are finally in bloom here, and I think in just a couple of weeks we will have a full on explosion of trees in blossom...I cannot wait.

I have been taking pictures of the city for you, as you inspire me. So keep coming by from time to time...sending lots of love...xoxo

Flighty said...

Thankfully it's been really nice since then!
No I haven't but I keep thinking that I'll try growing some from seed! Perhaps later on in the year I will when it's less busy on the plot! xx

Olivia said...

Steve - ah well, you like each his own, eh?

I do like how all the kite tails are pointing one way.


Kissy - thanks for the compliment. I shall come round and look at your pics soon.


Flighty - oh wow! Growing cacti from the seed? That seems an interesting process. The English ground isn't too wet for them, is it? xx

Flighty said...

They're grown as pot plants for indoors here. xx

Olivia said...

Indeed, we had a couple on our windowsill when I was growing up. They lasted for years but stayed small.

Pandabonium said...

Wow. Those weeping cherry trees are wonderful.