hmpf: (angsty)
It feels somehow fundamentally wrong not to have time to sleep. Like it should be against the law or something. Then again, of course, I'm only doing this to myself. Nobody's *forcing* me to keep on applying for jobs while doing a full-time internship. I could just ignore all those application deadlines and start job hunting again only after the internship.

Except I'm growing older and older, and with each month it's growing less likely that I'll be hired for any moderately interesting job. I have a feeling that 35 is the 'final frontier' - so I really, *really* need to make those eleven months count. I have to send out as many applications as humanly possible in those eleven months before I turn 35.

If only it didn't take me so frelling long to finish a single application. I've been working on the current one for six to eight hours - started yesterday evening, and it's still not done. And I may be already too late for that one, as it's for a fairly old job ad (nearly three weeks old by now). But it's a real dream job, so... Plus, when I called them last Friday, the job wasn't taken yet.

Life, perversely, just keeps adding to the stress level. I fell pretty badly a few days ago, so every movement hurts now (no serious injuries, thankfully, just sprains and bruises and abrasions all over). Our washing machine broke down a couple of days before that, so now I have to trudge down to the local laundrette with my Big Bag o' Laundry, and waste precious time (and money) there. The bathroom door just broke today, so now we have to pee in (semi)public - we can still sort of lean the door against the doorframe. And, of course, my Frighteningly Young(tm) roommates basically party in the living room next door practically every night, which doesn't really help with concentrating. I also just today ruined one fairly new pair of jeans by putting it in the dryer; it's a good size or two smaller two, and doesn't fit me anymore. So I'll have to waste time and money going clothes shopping soon. (I only brought three pairs of trousers.) I also ruined a beautiful new t-shirt by putting it over a chair to dry when there wasn't any space on the drying rack - the chair's colour wasn't waterproof and bled into the shirt.

Also, I recently noticed that the scans I made of my various certificates etc. look like crap when printed on certain printers. So I went on an epic quest to find a competent copy shop that could scan them for me in job-application-worthy quality, and spent insane amounts of time (and money) hunting around the city, being shouted at by copy shop owners, and making test scans everywhere, without really getting a good result anywhere. The most annoying thing about this is that I'd already sent the crappy scans out with several applications for jobs I really, really wanted. So I guess whatever chance I had there is gone.

So. Sorry, I'm whining again. I do a lot of random-breaking-into-tears these days. It sucks, but there just don't seem to be any sufficiently large stores of Happy anywhere, at the moment. I need a break. I just can't afford to take one.

Oh god I have to get up in five and a half hours to go to work.
hmpf: (Default)
Here's the skinny: the past three and a half weeks have been mostly exhausting and somewhat demoralising. This is not really my employer's fault. It's mostly my frelling complexes. Anyway, not terribly much fun has been had by me, so far - and what's a lot worse: I don't think I've made a terribly good impression, so far. I have two months to correct that. Hopefully.

Aside from work (which, in itself, could actually be kind of fun, if it weren't for my constant "OMG I'm so crap!!!11" complexes), I'm finding it difficult to live so far outside the city. I live so far out I actually have to take the bus to do my grocery shopping, and the shops close early, so on most days I have to hurry home after work without any detours for sightseeing in this theoretically exciting big city, to do my daily bit of shopping. (I have to go shopping frequently because I really can't store huge amounts of food here, due to lack of space, and also, fresh fruit and veggies and bread really don't store all that well for more than a couple of days. So I'm constantly running out of things, which means frequent trips to the supermarket.) Enjoying the city is further made difficult by 1.) the fact that we work very long hours, so there isn't many hours of daylight left after work, 2.) the weather has been nearly constantly very crappy since I arrived, and 3.) I really have to pick up my pace on getting out job applications, which means: at least four out of five evenings, I spend at the laptop, working on cover letters and the like. So, essentially, I have very, very little spare time that really deserves the name. Most days it's like today: I finish my work for the day just before midnight (or, often, even later), and after that hardly feel capable of doing anything but go to bed. (Of course, today "work" only means household work and job applications. I don't work weekends. Well, I do work tomorrow, but that's voluntary, and an exception.) - Anyway: the take-home lesson of *this* part of the experience is: I shouldn't ever move to the suburbs. I'm not made for that lifestyle. I kinda knew that before, but now I have confirmation.

So. What else is there to write about? John Crowley's novel "Little, Big" really is as good as they say. Got it for my birthday and read it over the last three weeks on the train to work and before going to sleep at night, and enjoyed it immensely. Now, I'm reading Paul Bacigalupi's "The Windup Girl", which is also good but so far hasn't captured me as much as "Little, Big" did. I think "Little, Big" may be a book I'll put on my favourites shelf, next to my bed (well, technically, the shelf is part of my bed. And I've been meaning to post about it here, and about what's on it. Maybe when I'm back home.)

Oh, and to get to where I'll work tomorrow, I'll have to walk through this: Kinda excited about that!
hmpf: (angsty)
desperate measures: I've covered my windows with sheets of white paper. Let's hope it'll help to keep the temperature in my room a couple degrees under the 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) expected for this weekend... because I have such a lot of work to do, and I'm not sure I can work if my room gets that hot. :-(

Maybe I'll go to the library and try to work there during the day. It's air-conditioned... I hate working in a room filled with people, some of whom may know me and want to chat etc., where I can't eat or drink while I'm working, but it probably beats sweating to death.
hmpf: (Default)
what's next?

I think nature's trying to kill me, this week.

Okay, the earthquake earlier this week wasn't so dangerous. But the heat's hell on my circulation. I get dizzy all the time... The fact that I have crazy amounts of work to do doesn't help. Not that it's really possible to work. I'm permanently sticky with sweat all over (except for those parts of my body where the sweat just *streams* like miniature waterfalls. Typing-while-sticky is *not* fun. My fingers keep sticking to the frelling keyboard. It's frelling annoying. I can handle streaming sweat - it's the stickiness I can't take. I'm seriously thinking about putting wet towels in the fridge to cool them so I can then use them to periodically cool my hands!)

I'd love to live in a flat that *didn't* tend to equalise with the ambient temperature so quickly...

Hey: one more reason to stop Global Warming: save Hmpf from circulatory collapse!
hmpf: (angsty)
Yeah, okay, internship's almost over, so I'll get some sleep next week. But, gah, at the moment that feels like it's still a lifetime away. Don't get me wrong, I *love* the internship - but recently, and this week especially, it's eight hours of internship followed - *immediately!* - by four hours of uni, followed - with a short break for dinner - by homework, homework and more homework, and job applications, and All The Other Necessary Daily Crap like preparing next day's lunch, doing paperwork for this or that bureaucratic purpose, doing the dishes, doing the laundry, trying to get on top of my e-mail again, etc. Plus, loads of doctors' appointments this week (I'm taking time out of the internship for those), and to top it off, uni groups meeting to do even more homework, and a half-hour radio show to produce on Saturday, for which there's still research and preparation to do, etc. And on Sunday there'll be all the homework I didn't manage to do during the week; plus some really important, really *urgent* non-uni stuff that needs to be taken care of.

To sum it up: five hours of sleep is the absolute best I can hope for, these days, and I'm seriously beginning to feel it. I kept falling asleep, for a few seconds at a time, at work today. This is so. Not. Good.

(ETA: The good news is that when I finally *do* get to go to bed, I fall asleep like THAT. Out like a light. Seems my former insomnia *can* be conquered - by utter exhaustion.)
hmpf: (Default)
Gah. And I can't take the evening off from writing cover letters because these two applications absolutely have to be finished by tomorrow night. And it's not like I'll have tons of time for cover letters tomorrow.

(Even though I'm not even very confident if it's any use to send in an application so late that it only just scrapes by before the deadline. I never seem to manage any earlier, though.)
hmpf: (Default)
because there's a deadline for several interesting jobs on Friday. Gah.

And of course I have to get up at 7:00 tomorrow, i.e. I have to get up in less than eight hours - and I haven't even started writing those applications yet, because I only just finished making dinner and preparing my lunch for tomorrow.

Clearly, I still need practice at this 'full-time job plus continuous job hunting' thing.
hmpf: (Default)
if I can't even bring myself to open the frelling document before it's three a.m. and I have exhausted every other possibility of entertainment? I sort of sit at the computer all day, with the thesis folder open in the task bar as if I'm *just* about to open a file, and read the Engrish blog, and Cute Overload, and boingboing, and I Can Has Cheezburger, and half a dozen eco sites, and basically every timewaster site there is on the net. I'm not even writing fic, or spamming Mikey with comments anymore, which was at least a sort-of-useful form of procrastination... I'm really just killing time - when time is the last thing I can afford to lose.

Needless to say, my sleep rhythm is completely out of whack again, too. And I'm totally panicking at the thought of next week, which is a week where I have four hour shifts instead of my usual two hours, and those four hour shifts involve a type of work that does not really allow you to write 'on the side', as the two hour shifts usually do. Basically, I'll be at work all day (or what constitutes 'all day' if your regular day is only five hours long because your sleep pattern is fucked up) and only get home at about ten in the evening, probably somewhat exhausted, and then I'll have to make dinner and stuff, and *then*, at eleven in the evening or so, I will be able to start working. If I'm still able to work then, that is.

Actually, the more I consider this, the more sense it makes to just give in to my bizarre sleep rhythm and redefine three p.m. as 'morning,' at least for the next week, and possibly for the rest of the writing phase. That way, I'd get to go to work about two hours after waking up next week, and would have the entire night 'day' left for working on my thesis. I could go to sleep at, say, eight a.m. or so? One thing that really fucks me up at the moment is trying to fight my sick sleep pattern all the time. See, normally - I mean, 'normally' for a value of 'normal' that includes my current severe sleep problem - I'd probably go to bed after posting this - i.e. at a quarter to four a.m. or so. And then I'd spend several hours in bed trying to go to sleep - probably until around eight or so in the morning. And then I'd sleep until my alarm clock would wake me up for the first time - and because I'm constantly fighting my sleep rhythm, that would probably be at eleven or so, after only three hours of sleep. So of course I'd go to sleep again after the alarm rang. And probably sleep until the early afternoon.

I may as well give up on the pretense of being able to sleep before eight if I go to bed by four, and just *work* till eight; actually get a few pages of writing done.

Oh fuck. I forgot that I actually have to work early on Tuesday and Thursday. *sigh* There goes that plan.

Though I suppose I could go to sleep *after* work on those days.

That would be at about half past eleven in the morning. So... if I get up at half past four in the afternoon to go to work, that'd still be about five hours of sleep.

Hey, why don't I just stop sleeping altogether?


I can haz normal sleep pattern, plz? I'm not exactly the most efficient person at the best of times, but this? This is just screwing me up in so many ways, and it exacerbates the writer's block-induced inefficiency like nobody's business.

(Filename is now: Frankensteins_thesis.odt, because I've begun patching my various truncated attempts at introductions and whatnot together. So far, it's fifteen pages of fail.)


Oct. 28th, 2008 01:17 am
hmpf: (angsty)
I don't think either of the two fanfic epics I'm currently hooked on will update today. And I'm so badly in need of a pick-up.

(Yes, they're both angsty. Yes, angst gives me a pick-up. Yes, I'm strange.)
hmpf: (Default)
is that it's still about ten weeks till I have to register for my M.A., after which there will be another six to eight months of writing (hopefully just the six, as I desperately need those extra two months to prepare for exams)... yet I'm already consistently unable to sleep (two weeks and counting, now), and unable to find *any* time for anything except researching etc.

So... if I'm *already* unable to function in so many ways, what is it going to be like in three or, god forbid, six months?

The not sleeping thing is the worst bit, though. I can live on fast food and sandwiches wolfed down at the computer for a year if necessary, but I can't live without sleep.

What I really need (besides sleep) is someone knowledgeable about this stuff (i.e. sf and fantasy and comics studies) to have a long conversation with, to help me clarify my desperately vague muddled ideas. Alas, there is no one who can take that role.
hmpf: (angsty)
60% M.A. thesis fear
10% fear of not finding a job in summer/autumn 2009
5% fear of finding a job that will eat my life
10% awareness of precarious pecuniary situation
10% social guilt
5% frustration at lack of headspace for creative endeavours
100% insomnia

Though, to be honest, tonight it's more like

30% M.A. thesis fear
10% fear of not finding a job
5% fear of finding a job
45% awareness of precarious pecuniary situation
5% social guilt
5% frustration at lack of headspace for creativity

The result is still 100% insomnia, though.

It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't affect my eyes and my back so badly. Unfortunately, after a few sleepless nights my eyes and my back are pretty much killing me, and while caffeine will help keep me awake and somewhat functional for thesis preparation purposes through the day, there's nothing that can be done to combat the back and eye pain.

Well, I guess I could take painkillers. But really, needing massive doses of caffeine to get through the day is bad enough. I don't want to get dependent on something worse than that.


Jan. 7th, 2008 06:07 pm
hmpf: (angsty)
Hungry, tired, exhausted. Not writing the paper I have to present tomorrow, and which should have been finished, oh, a week ago or so. Haven't e-mailed the prof about it, either, which I should have done, really. But what should I have told her? "Uhm, I'm still not finished, sorry!"?

Hopelessly behind on thesis research. Basically, no chance of getting there by February anymore. Which means another term of paying fees, and another half a year to add to my age when I'm finally ready to join the working population.

Depressed about writing (fic, that is). Yeah, writing-based depression is rare with me, but it still happens, occasionally. I think it's all those end-of-year memes I've been seeing in other people's journals, rarely listing less than a dozen of stories written in 2007. It's painful to be reminded repeatedly of my inability to learn faster. You learn writing by writing, and that means you have to write *lots*. But I'm still not able to write as much as I should, if I really want to improve.

And I really do want to improve. But to write as much as I would need to, I'd have to basically have several hours per day to set aside for writing, and I can't do that. Half an hour per evening or so gets me... three words, maybe a sentence on a good day. It's not enough.

The really sad truth is... I don't actually care much about uni, much of the time. I just want to write. Of course, I usually don't - the guilty conscience is efficient enough to stop me from writing. It's not enough to actually motivate me to work properly for uni, though.


I need to eat breat with almond cream now. And possibly some chocolate.
hmpf: (Default)
reading an 18,000 item bibliography to find out if it contained anything I could use. (Result: not a lot.) Got up at half past seven today; it's now twenty past eight in the evening.

So tired. Also, hungry, and kind of dreading the pile of dirty dishes that want to be cleaned.

Still not done with today's uni work, either.
hmpf: (angsty)
Twelve hits for Starving... from the 'gen: dark' recs thread at [ profile] lifein1973. I wonder how many of those readers liked it. Probably not too many.


My sleep rhythm is so out of whack it's beyond ridiculous. Tonight (The fact that I'm mixing up "today" and "tonight" says it all, really.)Today I had to work at a quarter to eight in the morning. I hadn't slept. I'd spent all night staring at my frelling Ambrose Bierce paper. So I just went to work without sleep. And when I came back from work, two hours later (I could try to explain the highly irregular shifts to you, but chances are you'd just be confused; heck: I'm confused!) fell into bed and slept until five in the afternoon. Then got pizza, and proceeded to stare at my paper some more. (Interrupted by two hours of Dexter.) Of course, the day and night before weren't any better, either. And considering it's 2 a.m. and I still haven't finished the friggin' paper this one doesn't seem likely to shape up any better, either.


Writer's block from hell. The paper's now five or six weeks overdue, and about one page and some footnotes from finished. It's been about that far from (or close to) finished for weeks now. It's not difficult, either. It's just... bleh. I don't know. I can't finish it. I sit there staring at the screen and nothing happens. Feeling incredibly stupid. And afraid of my M.A., for which I should be preparing already, if I weren't trying to write that frelling paper.


Less than three months left before I have to start writing my thesis.


Dexter rocks. So do fanvids.


ETA: I've figured out the problem with my paper. It's so fucking pointless. I've never been good at coping with pointlessness.


ETA: "Frustrated" is a bit of an understatement really. I feel like shit, actually.
hmpf: (fanatic)
And not just my brain - whenever I *try* to work on anything even remotely 'important', I *immediately* get *physically* tired - can't concentrate, eyes are burning, eyelids drooping, limbs feeling heavy... also, I'm freezing, which at 24 degrees Celsius is just a *tad* odd. And it's been like that for weeks. Months.

Anyone know that feeling?

Just for the record: *Really* about to finish the two essays/papers/thingies now; one of them is total crap, but I don't care. That one also happens to be six months overdue, so chances are the prof won't accept it anymore, anyway. The other one's about three weeks overdue and slightly better. Also, I have a *really important* exam on Wednesday for which I should have done *massive* amounts of revision, yet I haven't done *anything* yet (reasons: see above). I mean, I haven't even *opened* a book yet. Tomorrow I don't have time to do any revision because I have classes followed by work; can't skip classes because I skipped them last week already because I was feeling quite ill (and frantically trying to finish my papers/essays/thingies, as well); can't skip work, either - they're not that flexible there, and I *do* need the job. Tuesday I can't do much revision either, because I have classes again, again followed by work. So I'll probably fail that exam. I may be fairly smart, but I do need to revise before exams.

And, you know, failing that exam isn't the end of the world because I can try again, but it *will* set me back another semester I can't really afford. Then again, I *should* have finished a third 20-page essay by now already, anyway, *and* gotten the topics for yet another two, and I haven't even been able yet to drag myself to classes...

Friend of mine with experience in psychological crises says I should go and see a doctor, get a note that I'm having a bit of a crisis and can't have that exam right now. But then, I figure, I don't really have much to lose by sitting it - I mean, the worst that can happen is that I'll fail, and, as I said, while vaguely embarrassing, that's hardly the end of the world. And if I *do* manage to somehow scrape through, then that will be one more hurdle taken.

Maybe I'll get a doctor's note yet try for the exam anyway. Hmm.
hmpf: (angsty)
I'm actually a really crappy archaeology student. I just have absolutely *no* clue what I'm doing. It's a bit sad to contemplate, really, because a) I'm not *actually* stupid, and b) I'm far too old, and far too advanced in my studies, to change subjects again.

Okay, I said I shouldn't post. Probably true. But I need to vent, because the frustration is killing me. So. I'm reading these texts. I'm supposed to draw information about the beginnings of metalworking in the eneolithic period in certain parts of Slovakia from it. The texts are short, and very dense. *Extremely* dense. The shortest is essentially a list of prehistoric cultures and cultural groups of the period in Slovakia and its adjoining countries. The geographical attribution is... vague. Especially for someone who does not have a very precise idea of Slovakian geography. There are no maps included. Of course, I have a map of Slovakia, but since a lot of the geographical attributions aren't of the kind you're going to find on a normal map, it's not much use. But even if the geography weren't as much of a mystery... Oh, I dunno, I think I'll have to give you an excerpt from my notes, although probably only [ profile] tryfanstone and a certain Mystery Reader of this journal will be able to appreciate their uselessness. Anyway, here it is:

Read more... )

So, I sit here with my notes, and I wonder: What the *hell* am I supposed to do with that stuff? In two weeks I'm supposed to *talk* about this to my fellow students, so what am I going to tell them? Is there *anything* valuable in this for them? If I just throw all those names at them - unpronounceable names they've most likely never heard before (neither have I) - they'll fall asleep or at least forget about it in less than five minutes, and I couldn't blame them - I would, too.

So what do I do? Look up every single one of those cultures and groups and whatnot, compile typical inventories, chronology, cultural connections, and drown them in details they'll quite probably never need again - or if they do, won't remember from my talk, because hearing something like that once, in passing, isn't enough *by far*?

What is the fucking use in that?

And what am I supposed to draw from this for *myself*? What do I learn from this? That Slovakian place names are a hazard to your tongue and keyboard? Thanks, but I think I suspected that already...

Whenever I try to work on this damn paper, it feels as if my internal computer is about to crash. Too much information to process, and too little of it seems to be of any use in relation to what I'm supposed to talk about.

Maybe I'm overlooking something obvious. Maybe all the above *actually* isn't relevant, and I was supposed to find something a lot more useful in those texts. Or maybe the above *is* useful and I just lack the archaeologist's eye to see it. Anyway, it's frelling frustrating, and it makes me feel like a total beginner without a clue. I wish actually asking my prof about all this wouldn't make me feel like an idiot. I wish I were back in Birmingham - there, I didn't feel like an idiot when I asked fundamental stuff like that.

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