The Month in Review: Bah, Humbug, Tiny Timmy Ferriss!

Behind the Scenes

My uncle contacted me out of the blue this month and asked if I would translate a birth certificate for a relative of his. Since I didn’t have much planned for the evening, I sat down with a photocopy of the 200-year-old document and was blown away by what I discovered. This relative’s very great-grandfather was born in a French-controlled section of Germany in 1809. I was surprised because in all my years of studying and teaching French, I’ve heard every “we surrender” joke vis-à-vis France. But it seems Napoléon exerted his military muscles and extended the eastern borders of France, albeit for only 20 years. After all these years, France never ceases to amaze me!

If you have a document in French & you want it translated into English – an article, birth/marriage/death certificate in your family genealogy, or even a recipe you’ve seen on Pinterest, let me know – I can translate it for you with quick turnaround!

What I’ve Been Saying

I took a couple of my best blog posts from my old blog and put them up on If you want to read about one of my many dating disasters (which generated the most comments from the entire blog), you can view it here. Another entry deals with taking one ex-landlord to small claims court, which was an experience last year I hope I never repeat!

What I’ve Been Reading

So many people have read Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week, I thought I would give it a try. Ferriss claims to be a Guiness World Record holder in tango, a star on a Taiwanese TV show, a human rights activist and a college dropout. But read it further, you find out he merely twirled a tango dancer on Regis & Kelly, never mentions his Taiwanese TV show, only worked at a human rights think tank (a job he admittedly hated) and dropped out of an Ivy League school for 3 semesters but still mysteriously graduated at 21 or 22.

He is a shameless self-promoter with a *very* inflated ego, and he never actually tells you how to build a business. Much less a business you can run overseas! The only real takeaway for me was that you can create systems to make your work day go more smoothly: hire virtual assistants, control your emailing habits, don’t schedule meetings if you can help it, etc. Not all bad ideas, but this was a better blog post or magazine article instead of a 300-page “I’m awesome” manifesto.

On the Prairie

Enjoy the pictures of the Christmas trees at my parents’ house and where I work. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season!





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