Once Upon a Tanbo

Archive for the ‘freelance translation’ Category

Today is my birthday but it felt like any other day unfortunately 😦 Actually worse than most other days… Sakura was up for a bit last night for the first time in a while which meant less sleep then I’m used to and then she didn’t nap a lot this afternoon and had a huge sobbing breakdown on the way home from th supermarket aroun 5:30 pm.

Needless to say I got her to sleep by 7 and am now “relaxing.” Ryohei brought me some flowers… not bought – brought. He had some business meeting today and they were extra left over Lilys. They smell nice but that was it. Such an uneventful day… I’ve heard that once you become a parent your own birthday sort of just becomes a non-event. So true… not sure how I feel about that.

I did treat myself to a Starbucks though! My beloved creme brulee is gone now but in just a few short weeks the Holiday Season drinks will start – I’m hoping the Gingerbread Latte will be back… I could consume those everyday and not get tired but of course my poor wallet and poor “get my body back” regime.

Sakura will be 3 months soon and now that things are more or less in some sort of routine I’m considering options for making a bit of money since that would be very helpful. I’m considering sending out some resumes to freelance translation agencies again but may wait until we get back from our vacation in Dec. Sakura will be 6 months end of January and I’ll feel more comfortable having her spend a half-day or two a week in the local kindy so I can get some work done. There are two that take non full time kids about a 5 minute from our house and both of them are fairly reasonable.

I’ll also be going to collect my “unemployment insurance” from Hello Work come January.. I was thinking of just going to “look and collect” but I may seriously consider something if I can find it although we’ll see if theres anything out there that would be a decent fit.

So for a Sakura update – she’s growing up so fast! Her neck is almost stable and I think in another couple weeks it will be completely there. She’s been drooling and “foaming at the mouth” recently. I can see where her two bottom front teeth are going to come in. They haven’t started poking through yet but there is a depression in her gums where they will be coming out.

She still is a relatively sensitive baby and we have a few crying jags daily especially towards the mid-afternoon and onwards. She seems to get bored easily and always wants some sort of activity or going ons to occupy her. It can be pretty exhausting… not that I would want a baby that just lays there staring off into space but when I’m trying to get stuff done and she’s getting bored and starts screaming her head off it can be quite trying.

At least her nighttime sleeping for the most part is good. She usually nurses until she is drowsy and then I can leave her to fall asleep and she’ll stay that way for the next 6-8 hours. Then nighttime feed between 2-3 and asleep until 6ish. Its really nice because I can get a lot of stuff done at night which is part of the reason if I took on a bit of freelance translation work I think it would be ok…

Ryohei has been so busy the last month.. I think that he must have worked at least 2-3 hours overtime everynight and then most of the weekends. He had his last busy day today but has a drinking party tomorrow and won’t be coming home so it will be just Sakura and me. The last time she was 6 weeks and we had a horrible 5 hour crying jag which ended in me just having to let her cry until she was tired… so praying that it won’t be a repeat performance. I put her to bed every night alone anyways but at least Ryohei is around in theory. Parenting overnight on my own still makes me nervous.

Things have been ok with us lately… with Ryohei being so late recently we haven’t really gotten to talk much or be together… and the last couple weekends he’s either been working or we’ve been with his relatives so we haven’t had much just the nuclear family time. I feel a bit distant right now – my life just feels like Sakura and me all the time. Since she goes to sleep so early she only sees him for about 30 minutes in the morning 😦 Oh well he should be getting home at a more reasonable hour starting next week but since Sakura goes to bed so early she won’t get to spend any time with him at night until she can stay up later. She literally HAS to been in bed by 6:30 – 7 or she goes insane… at least I know WHY I was having so many issues earlier in her life. She is just not a night owl and we were keeping her up too late.

Anyways I guess thats it… life sort of feels like its passing me by. I’m looking forward to going to Osaka at the end of the month to break up the monotomy of it all.


I’m working on my post from my visit to Shizuoka – it IS coming – but just taking a little longer to put everything together than I thought, so it will be up before the end of the week I promise!

In the meantime, I woke up this morning and somehow another year added itself to my age?! What was that all about… hahaha. I’m kidding. I’m not at the point where birthdays depress me, but its more of, if I can look back on that year and feel proud of myself/like I accomplished something. Unfortunately, this year was very lacking in terms of personal development. I’m pretty much where I am last year with a couple changes.

Work is the same – but I have made “efforts” to start translation, I had told myself I really wanted to have a project by my birthday but it looks like that goal has failed 😦 I do have a couple of prospects on the horizen since I am still waiting to hear back on the novel and I’ve heard there may be another one I am being recommended for, but theres nothing concrete.

I guess that “this year” will be my big year of change. By my 26th birthday I will have finished my current job, have made a big move to niigata, gotten at least a decent project or two in translation, and *crossing fingers* hopefully have a new addition to our family, or at least one on the way.

After our intial “scare” last month, we’ve decided to start trying for a baby – I’m not sure how fast that’ll come, but its in the works now. I’m not sure how much I’ll write about it in the blog, but maybe once in a while there will be a reference to something .( And yes I am on vitamins/folic acid since early last month.)

So that is that I guess! Off to work ;_;

Finnnnnally it is Saturday! About time huh? I’ve been waiting for the weekend all week. For some reason this month has gone by really fast. Next week will begin the start of October my favorite month of all time!! For such reasons as my birthday and Ryohei and my anniversary!!

Right now I’m sipping some Carmel milk tea and just enjoying the light breeze coming in! The other night Ryohei and I were comparing sunglasses. We tried on each others sunglasses and decided that we were going to switch since his look better on me and mine look better on him!!

We even took pictures to compare!

What do you think? He is the owner of the light yellow sunglasses and I am the owner of the black ones.. but he told me he thinks the black ones are too big for my face… any female opinions out there?

Also some good(?) news… I may be getting my first big translation assignment. I submitted a sample through my agency and while I was initially told they were going with someone else, I just got an email yesterday saying they’ve decided to submit mine to the publisher for further review… It would be a really big break… a series of novels.. that would probably take me a year or so to complete in entirety… anyways still not sure but this is a big step! Farther than I’ve gotten before 🙂 I’ll know more in another week or so?

Anyways thats about it for now!!

Things have been up and down as of late.
Having been shocked into thinking twenty million miles a minute at the beginning of the month, things are starting to slow down and become blah again.

Especially work is bllllaah. I found myself just sitting there staring at the clock around 3pm yesterday. *sigh*
I’m continuing the ongoing debate in my head about when/if to quit early. Theres a lot of different possibilities and to be honest its hard to weigh the pros and cons altogether. I may have to post them here and get some outside advice as obviously ending quickly would be my personal choice, but I tend to make stupid decisions so I want to make sure this one is thought out and there won’t be any future repercussions.

I’m wondering if my translating will pick up in the next month too… I guess that would be a big factor in quitting or not. I do have to get myself out the door but I hadn’t posted in a while so I wanted to at least throw something out there!

This has been a relatively fast week considering that I haven’t done too much. Maybe being on vacation helped because I actually had stuff to do when I came back to the office!! About double my normal work load… (not saying too much)

So we’re back in the midst of my dearly beloved waiting game. Well by this time next week we will have the results of Ryohei’s second test. I’m trying not to be too hopeful because after the disappointment of the last one, I don’t think I could deal with it again. The more that we’ve looked into this new department the more it seems like it would be really good for both of us. First of all the pay is much better than any other komuin job. Not that money is one of my biggest concerns, it would be reassuring to know that occasionally we would be able to splurge on things after we’ve saved up for a couple years like a trip to the London Olympics or a massage chair (I’ve always wanted one!!) Another thing is that from April we would have to move to Saitama for Ryohei’s 4 month orientation/training. I have quite a few friends in the Kanto area and I know that if we went it would definitely be less lonely than it has been here. Not to say I don’t have a couple really great friends here who I will miss a lot, but I know that Ryohei and I don’t have the ties to stay in this region forever. The nice thing about Japan is that it is a relatively small country so I know I’ll be able to come back and visit especially if coming in from the Kanto area.

The tax agency has regional offices scattered about Northern Kanto and 1 bureau (located near Omiya in Saitama), apparently overtime at the offices isn’t too bad but at the bureau where a lot of the newbies end up it can be pretty rough. However, apparently you get transferred quite a bit so it would only mean 1-2 years of putting up with it before going somewhere a little less busy/urban. So… yah… for me, this set up is pretty good. (Much better than moving to the scary inaka right off the bat) so I’m really really hoping that Ryohei gets a better score than the stupid courts offices (sour grapes much, lol) Gah… I’m scared though because this really is our last chance. Well… there is the city hall… but I’m still really ambivalent on that so I’m trying not to think about it right now. Then theres the possibility of him not even getting that and having to spend one more year at this job…. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I’m actually taking a day off next Friday (day of the results) because I know if he doesn’t pass I am going to be too upset to sit around at work all day, and if he does pass I want to be there to see how happy he is when he sees the results.

So that’s him. How about me… well we have a little progress. It seems that FINALLY my persistence is paying off. I’m not sure how clear I’ve made this so far but I am mainly trying to work with two places. One is a literary translation agency and one is a direct publisher. For both I’ve been accepted as a translator, its just a matter of getting work. After trying to get in contact for almost a month now the agency just got back to me today and gave me my first project!!! Its very very small… but I’m hoping this is them just testing me out as a translator. They do a lot of Japanese novel and Japanese comic translations so I’m hoping that if I do a good job on the first little things they give me.. and by little I mean like a paragraph or two.. that I will be getting my first BIG FISH project in maybe a month or two. My contact said they had some book projects coming up for September so I’m hoping that I will be considered for one of them. The timing couldn’t be more perfect if this all works out since hopefully I would be ending this job at the end of September. I could transition into doing literary translation work part-time while Ryohei starts his new job!

See… this is why I have to control myself.. cause if I get to excited and things come crashing down then I will be in a world of sadness. I’ve always been really optimistic by nature… it seems to be my default state. I’ve had my fair share of bad luck and good luck.. but I’m really hoping that next week is gonna change the tides for everything.


We just got back from Niigata this morning. I didn’t have much internet access while I was at Ryohei’s parents so I’m way behind on checking blogs as well as posting in my own. I do plan to do a re-cap of our trip, but I’ll wait until I’m at work because it will be long and a good way to kill some time there.

Right now I’ll just generally update on the state of things for us. Both bad and good news.
Well first the bad news, Ryohei didn’t pass the final stage of the court officer test. His name wasn’t on the final list. As you can imagine we had both thought he did really well, so it was a bit of a shock. Thursday was a pretty rough day, and I cried most of it.

But besides that there has been good news as well.
First of all Ryohei found out that he passed the first round test for this local city hall. He will have an interview in about 3 weeks for it. Actually we got in a bit of a fight over it, because I’ve been pretty vocal that I don’t want to live in the middle of nowhere for the rest of my life, so we decided that if that does end up being where he will work for the first 4-5 years we will move to Nagaoka City (second largest city in Niigata) and he will commute 35-40 minutes to work everyday. However, there is another piece of good news. Ryohei received a call from the other agency he passed, the tax center. Apparently they call you a couple weeks before results come out to make sure you are still interested. Getting the call doesn’t mean you’ve passed 100% but it does show that they have interest in you. Not only that but it came from his number one choice region which means if he passed we would be living in (Nagano, Niigata, Gunma, Saitama, Tochigi, or Ibaraki) Not bad! Anyways we are hopeful for the tax center (it actually pays the best of all komuin, but there is some overtime grrr…)

And I also had some good news!! I finally heard back from the major publishing agency, apparently they really liked my work!! However, right now they don’t have anything available but my contact said that my name was put in the “good” file and will be showed to editors who are looking for a new translator for their projects. He also said to check back in every once in a while if I don’t hear anything, which is also good. So… it may be a couple months but seems like eventually I may get work from this company!

Anyways like I said this is just an update on us! Niigata trip will be up in a couple days!

Its very hot! Sometimes I wish that I was the opposite of a bear so that I could just hibernate all through the summer months. In particular, the span of mid-July through mid-September.

Thankfully my A/C unit which was on permanent strike last summer, is being semi-well behaved for the most part and I’m able to turn it on for an hour or two while I’m going to bed since hot sticky body in bed means no sleep. I’m ok with just a fan while I’m up and about but I already have a hard time getting to sleep. (I’m one of those sleep-thinkers, the type who needs to get all the static and events of the day out of my brain before I sleep… if I’m really tired I can fall asleep within 5-10 minutes of going to bed, but some days it can take upwards of 2-3 hours) So added heat makes it even harder to relax.

I would have to say that last week, which if you noticed had no posts from me, was honestly hell on earth. I reached quite a low last week between not hearing back from my prospective company, the heat, and of course, soul-sucking work (or, perhaps not work). I used some of my vacation just to take off the afternoon on Friday because I couldn’t stand to be sitting at my desk doing absolutely nothing for one more second.

This week I am hoping will be a little better. For one thing, July is OVER. And this month, will be when everything goes awesome or terrible. We’ll hear back in only a week and a half about how Ryohei’s first test went. We’re also leaving for our week long vacation on Friday night, even if it is only up to the PILs, anything that gets me away for a while is greatly appreciated. I’m also hoping that I’ll hear back from the publishing company by the end of the week, but we’ll see. I don’t want to get too hung up on it anymore because of the crushing disappointment that I had every day I woke up to an empty inbox last week.

At least I figure maybe it will be good news when I do hear back… since if my work was totally awful I would have received the polite “thanks but no thanks” mail by this point. I sent in an email last week to my contact asking how things are going and haven’t heard back yet so I’m assuming if they didn’t like my work I would have heard back then. I’m just hoping I haven’t heard anything because they are trying to get paperwork/permission and stuff from the higher ups and/or trying to find me a project to work on before they get back to me. (Yes, I may be over thinking things, but I really have no patience and if it took all this time just to hear that I failed I’m going to be really frustrated)

Also coming up this week is my second Japanniversary. I landed at Narita on August 6, 2006. Hard to believe that two years have passed since I first arrived. But here I am… and it doesn’t seem like I’ll be going back anytime soon.

I already know that this month is going to be a pretty crazy one, so keep tuning in to my blog as I’ll be updating as soon as I hear stuff. Keeping my fingers crossed that by the end of the month both Ryohei and I will have our respective “jobs” lined up, I’ll have turned in my letter of resignation, and we’ll be starting to look at options for moving and a new apartment in whatever city we get placed!