seventhe: (SAZH)

What the fuck happened to 2015.

I feel like I can capture 2015 in three stages:

  • Jan-April, where my life was dominated by work; I was working (solo!, since it was confidential, rather than in the team of 8-10 the project should have had) on the engineering work to produce the first draft-stage of my new pilot plant
  • May-September, where my life was nothing but work: this was the site shutdown, which happened for some very serious reasons I won't blog about, in which I was given a strict budget and a strict deadline and told that if we didn't have the plant running by X our ability to, well, stay here in Akron as a place of employment would be severely hampered, and had to work a miracle with only one other co-project-leader and some contractors. Literally I did nothing but work during this time period, 60-80 hours per week maybe, evenings and weekends all morphed into additional office hours. Health suffered; house suffered; I drank a lot, picked up a life partner almost by accident, and in the end we saved the site. It's 20% of what it used to be and lumping along slowly on broken rims and superglue, but it's running.
  • October-December, during which I realized just how much my own health - physical, mental, spatial (my well-being is severely affected by the state of my own home), emotional - had suffered from the previous 9 months and started the long slow job of digging myself out of a black hole. Also, child care, as my second niece was born and both she and my two-year-old niece (and their parents) needed my help and love and time. Have you ever had a two-year-old as your best friend ever? It's quite nice, she's fucking hilarious.

2015 was also an odd year personally;

  • My grandmother passed away in August. She was the greatest. She was my best friend. I miss her so much. We all knew her health was failing - it had been for 5 years, acutely in the most recent year - but it's still a Hell of a Thing when someone goes. She and I had a special bond: she was what I will be like when I am 92; I was what she would have been like born into a different generation; as the sole grandparent and the sole single grandchild we spent most family gatherings together, and she was just my favorite. She was horribly tactless, incredibly impatient, occasionally directly rude, insatiably stubborn, very demanding, overbearing, sometimes overemotional: and I fucking loved her for it, because she was me in so many ways, and also because she just didn't give any more fucks. I'm still reeling from the loss.
  • As I said, my second niece was born late this year. In the process of helping out there I've become much closer to my first niece, and I like it; I love all my aunts, but wasn't ever really close to them in this way, and I've realized that I really do need to be in her life (their life). Family comes first. Our relationship is something special, because I'm not a parent or a grandparent, so I'm... exempt from a lot of the expectations there, so I just get to be whatever I want to her and with her. I'll do the same for the younger one as well. Realizing how important this is was surprising, but shouldn't have been. I'm quite keen on kids even if it seems cooler to hate them these days; they're more honest than adults and usually more fun. (What I hate, I'm finding, are shit parents, but that's neither here nor there.)
  • relationship - hmmmm. Not sure if the word applies. I have a something. It's complicated. And private. But there. Something very odd happened during the Shutdown Months and I found someone I quite like and enjoy who feels the same about me -- and that's enough for me, for right now.

Every year I say "this is the year I got my ass kicked by work" but this is the year it really truly happened: I hit my limit, I found the edge, I have located rock-bottom and I have absolutely no intention of ever going back there again. Working in a 72-year-old chemical facility doesn't make this easy, or a thing I have control over; but I do have control over my own energies and I have always been very. very good at saying no.

I'm looking at this year as a real learning experience: a lot of it was, frankly, awful as fuck, but I know I've learnt and grown from it. I like who I am right now, even if I'm still working on portions of my life that aren't great (social life, for example, what the fuck is that and who has time for one with all the working and the sleeping). I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that fibromyalgia, immunodeficiency, arthritis, asthma, anxiety, OCD, depression - that these things need to be considered, that I can't ignore them and plod stubbornly forward: so instead I'll stubbornly deal with them and balance my life better as I go.

That was a very, very odd year. I'm proud of what I've done, but I miss my life.

seventhe: (Quistis: Bad Day)
I am fighting a losing battle to make this entry about something other than work.

I had a tiny, tiny bit of a breather in October in which I realized I have forgotten what it's like to have hobbies. I consider hobbies something I'm actively involved in, even if it's minimal: things like sewing, knitting, writing, those are hobbies; watching Netflix, reading Tumblr, browsing Pinterest, those are not. (Gaming is an interesting crossover, because sometimes it actively involves me like a hobby and sometimes it tunes my brain out like a relaxing non-hobby - depends on the evening, my mood, and what I'm doing in the game.) I have - or I had - many things I considered hobbies: writing, knitting, and sewing being the ones I've been attempting to pick back up, but one can also toss in drawing, photography, blogging, house projects, even running and swimming in some lights.

I've forgotten how to have hobbies. I've lost the ability - the energy - to come home and relax via activity: my relaxing time comes strictly from inactivity, ie watching Criminal Minds reruns on Netflix, or lying on the floor. Part of this is the chronic pain, the exhaustion, the fibro fog -- when playing a video game feels like a chore, I'm pretty sure that's rock bottom. But part of it is just being so overwhelmed and overstimulated by my job that I don't have even 1% of battery left to engage in any kind of creative pursuit.

The realization came, as they do, right on the back of a mental epiphany for the future universe I have planned in which I write a series of horribly trash novels about lesbian werewolves in space. I was driving home from the seminar I gave at OU and my brain just randomly decided to figure out how the magic works in the universe, which was the push I needed to sit down at my desktop for something other than Dragon Age.

It was a very confusing feeling. I have the memory of wanting to write, of having an idea, of sitting down and generating notes and plot outlines and sometimes just spilling words, sentences, strings of thoughts and ideas filling up the screen (in abundance, sometimes, because let's face it, I can be the tl;dr of abundant wordcount) --but I had forgotten how to - saying "how to write" isn't exactly it, because sentences and ideas were still coming to mind. I had forgotten how to reach the mindset of "hobby".

I've since then been trying to reclaim it, in the interest of the genderqueer vampires who want to fly spaceships, but it's a slow process. The weirdest bit has been realizing I lost it in the first place.

When you forget how to have a hobby, I think that's a pretty good sign you need to reevaluate your life choices.
seventhe: (chocobo: hey bb)
I come home from work every day with the intention of working more. I realize this sounds dangerously pathetic or pathetically dangerous - choose one! - but it's the way I get myself out the door: go home, just bring this one thing, NOT EVERYTHING, just this one thing; working from home is much more comfortable and productive than being in the office anyway, you can have no pants on and cats get in your lap and there is always wine and music and more comfortable chairs and your wife the hot pad! don't you love your wife? DON'T YOU LOVE YOUR WIFE SEVENTHE DON'T YOU

it's a fine compromise that I am actually more than willing to make: the workload never stops, but it's much nicer working from home, PLUS it's much nicer to come home and be able to focus and do a much better job on something. it's nice to come home to an hour of catching up on email, or 45 minutes of pulling data into a report: I don't work all night; it's just small individual tasks I can get done in a low-key and helpful way.

But lately. BUT LATELY: lately, I come home and my brain just won't focus on the work. I have this report about all of the kerfuddlefuckery that has taken my plant down for four weeks already that the CEO asked me to write and I am all yes sir please let me hand-deliver this horrible news to your office, shall I seal it in my blood now or later like I actually do want to write this report and show what we are doing, what we are fixing, what we are facing - what the dumb godsbefucked people before me left to us, what I have sacrificed the last fucking six weeks to defeating which is like running a thousand goddamn marathons all at once on three hours of shitty sleep because I have been up at night worrying about my plant and my people because everything is goddamn fucked right now and -- and anyway, I want to write this report. But I get home and I open it and my brain gives this long-ass, horrible groan-sigh noise just like : reeeeeeeally, Sev, we are going to do this?

I am not going that way. No.


I'm trying, I want to, I'm in a comfy chair with the laptop on my lap right now. Come on, fucker. I just need an hour of your energy and we'll be ok.
seventhe: (FFEX: In the shadows)
  • Had my last surgical injection on Thursday. Turns out that it's pretty easy to forget that just because these things aren't hella invasive does not mean they aren't a big deal; I spent Friday attempting to do a bunch of physical-labor-type stuff around the house and was reminded that my system is still full of anesthetic aftermath at about ~3:00 when I seriously just... burnt out, like my body crapped out, like literally just stopped functioning, like someone had repeatedly punched me in the everything and left me for dead. Whooooooops. Lost a lot of the weekend recovering from that too; turns out overproductivity results in less productivity when your body sucks like mine does!

  • greeted with a 3-hour 3-meeting back-to-back boredom extravaganza this morning at work (boredom being relative; two of the three meetings were informative and the third gave me a platform to complain loudly about stuff so it wasn't really a waste of time; just not the way I like starting off my Mondays)

  • tired

  • Finishing up FFIV for [community profile] moogle_university; have been reminded why this game is special to me. It isn't that it's the "best" of the FFs or the best game I've ever played; it's just the correct combination of [nostalgia points] + [characters and plot points highly relevant to my interests] and will probably always be my favorite, which just proves that I have horrible taste in life.

  • HAS ANYONE / EVERYONE STARTED THEIR DOINK FIC/ART/WORK??? Every year I swear I'm going to blog more about the exchange and then every year I'm like, I'm just too tired. I have so many thoughts and they are all living in giant apartment complexes on the corner of "You can't talk about that in public Sev" and "no1currr" and so I look at that and go back to my fic and monitoring of our inbox and sigh, heavily.

  • I'm finally living in my own room...? I have my new carpet and the paint job is done and it's set up in a way that makes me feel happy and comfortable, and ... I like it? I've felt and been transient for years and I'm not sure I have words for how comfortable and safe I feel finally putting down roots in a place that is mine, that I own, where I am the one who gets to have final say on everything, where I have my own space and my own dominion and all things I've needed for years but haven't prioritized, where I can do whatever the hell I want. Including paint my study leaffire-orange and yellow, because I am dumb. Not having to answer to anyone is apparently the space where I am the most comfortable with myself; it is also a completely appropriate adult goal. don't question me.

  • where am I

  • oh yeah lunch
seventhe: (SAZH)
A quick update while I've got a few seconds'-worth of a breather here at lunch.

(edit) QUICK UPDATE ACTUAL LOL i have managed to turn "quick lunch update" into gigantic emotional tl;dr diatribe god I am the best/worst blogger in the history of the internet

general
I've been excessively shitty lately. My workload - not just job but life, because apparently the amount of general bullshittery around me increases directly proportional to my stress load due to specific work bullshittery - has been godawful. I actually started typing out a list of the many things I'm trying to handle right now but deleted it because a) it was depressing me and b) it sounded like I'm playing Stress And Workload I Am The Busiest Ever Olympics which isn't ever really what I want to sound like. Suffice to say I was up to item 12 before I stopped, and that hadn't even covered work; if you'd like to play Olympics with me I guarantee I will win, which actually means I lose, I think.

additional rambles that got long )
seventhe: (Ondore: he lies)
In no particular order:

  1. Had an alright weekend. Rested up. My lingering bronchitis cough and related flu are finally starting to admit defeat. Having said that I expect to violently cough up something disgusting the second I post this entry.

  2. Vicodin is sweet.

  3. My MRI is scheduled for this Friday morning.

  4. I've been knitting a lot. I should probably take some photos, to update on Ravelry if nothing else.

  5. I purchased a new blanket this weekend (to be honest, I purchased like four new blankets this weekend because I'm incapable of making decisions - two are blankets for my bed and two are throws for over the bed, and I'm likely to keep at least three of them) and it makes getting out of the bed even more difficult. Fuck.

  6. Met with my advisor on Friday. More on that in a future post. The plan is to have the literature search completed by the end of 2012, and graduating in May isn't necessarily too much of a reach. Also, she offered me an undergrad who I could take as a co-op to LIGIT do all of my thesis work, although he wouldn't be available until May. Talking to my boss about this, some time this week.

  7. Work is work.

  8. I'm doubting I'll be able to come up with anything for Chocobo Racing, although I'm still trying. There's a really great Lightning and Sazh buddy prompt that I really want to write, but. Words. Sigh.

  9. Thinking of doing a mini-NaNo in November with [livejournal.com profile] safety_caesars: 25,000 words (each). We were talking about it the other day and I've really been thinking about some of my original fiction again. Prediction: I hit it hard for the first week and then get sick again. Lolsob.
seventhe: (Rydia: sparkle)
I've struggled a lot with working out / staying fit / being healthy in 2012. My biggest problem has been consistency.

On the short term, my mindset looks like this:
  • [Sunday] I'm going to be so healthy this week and work out all the time! I go to the gym. I go to the grocery store and buy awesome high-protein breakfast and lunch ingredients, and awesome fresh simple high-protein dinners, and do a lot of cooking.
  • [Monday, Tuesday] Still kind of motivated! Hit the gym! cook more.
  • [Wednesday, Thursday] I'm getting burnt out and exhausted from my stupid exhausting job!! I don't have the energy to go to the gym today. I'll eat these leftovers. Maybe have some wine. Sit on my ass. Today sucked though.
  • [Friday, Saturday] I'm still exhausted! And I deserve a weekend break from life! I'm not going to the freaking gym, these are my days off!
  • [Sunday] I'M STILL A CHUBSTER? HOW DO DIET. WHAT ARE RUNNING. Okay. Fine. I'm going to be so healthy this week...

*REPEAT FOR MONTHS*

On the long term, I've been set back by arthritic busted toes, my trusty neck/shoulder knot, a lingering bad ankle, a travel schedule that just won't quit, and the overall underlying sense of exhaustion, fatigue, and hopelessness that you find at the bottom of the barrel of fucks.

Neither of these situations are good for consistency. If I can't get momentum up over a week, I'll never keep it going long-term; if I can't stay healthy and motivated, what's the point of even doing a week.

I can't build up a decent running base because of this -- every time I get up to even 8, 10 miles a week, something happens - either exhaustion, injury, business, or busy-ness - and I'll go a week without running at all. And you can't do any kind of weight training program without a consistent schedule and a consistent base. I'll up my squat load 10lb, but then I won't make it back to the gym for 8 days to do more squats, so I'll stall and gain nothing except pain and more exhaustion.

Workout weekends )

Not that anyone but me cares about this lololol. But hey. If I spent as much time actually working out as I did reading about fitness and training plans, I'd be an award-winning marathon runner and a certified yoga instructor whooooooooooooooooooooops
seventhe: (Quistis/Rydia: Yeah I Ship It)
ongoing to do list under the cut )

seriously I'm so tired. I'm running out of exciting ways to say it. I slept a ton this weekend and it's like it didn't go anywhere. It never gets stored anywhere. I feel so burnt out.

THIS IS A HAPPY POST. CAN YOU TELL.

I'd like to have the energy to write again.

In other news, how is March almost over. Seriously.
seventhe: (JECHT: humps life)
In absolutely no order at all:

  • Had a pretty good weekend full of friends, fireworks, and drunkenness. Got chased by the cops (yes, we are all 30 years old), did some amazing karaoke with [livejournal.com profile] safety_caesars as Edgar and Locke, watched Lithium play an awesome show, and sewed. A lot.

  • Finished my Azula costume for our Avatar group at Otakon 2011. The costume's functionally finished - I need to give it a good smoothing over (tightening hems, adding fancier trim, some flashy buttons for fun, etc) but at the moment I could wear it and be okay with it. A good afternoon's attention to the details will make it very awesome. Still to do:
    • Wig
    • Bitty Collar (the piece right around her neck; I've done the two more floppy collars already)
    • Ribbon / trim for the boots (I have boots)
    • Fancier gold trim or buttons for the bigger collars; gold trim or fabric paint for the symbols on her ~loincloth~
    • General Smoothing and Touch-Ups

  • Made decent headway on my Porom costume (again for Otakon 2011). I have most of the materials in hand; it's mostly just a matter of construction, as it's one of those great costumes which a) defies real-world physics and b) isn't even canonically consistent if you compare the art to the FMV to the sprite. Go Squeenix. You jerks. This costume is going to be really, really hard to pee in.

  • Started Dragon Age as a distraction. It is a successful one.

  • Realized there are only 12 weeks until the Akron Marathon Relay! At which I would like to be A LOT FASTER >.> So, I have constructed a training plan with the help of SmartCoach on RunnersWorld.com. The plan is pretty interesting!~ It looks very in-depth, telling me pacings for my intervals and tempos and stuff like that, and even though I still hate running I'm kind of excited to try it and see if it works. For $15 I can get a month of access to the "Master Training Plan" on their website, and I am thinking about doing that too, because $15 isn't that much for a month and I could just print it all out at the end of the month. I have really been lazy about running recently, although part of it has been letting this awful tendonitis thing heal itself, so I can't take all of the blame entirely.

  • Mostly: yup awesome


How was everyone else's weekend?
seventhe: (Tifa: bad)
Okay, so the good news is that last Friday was the last lab and since this lab is the last class in my Master's that means I'm done with classes, I will never have to take another class in this Master's again.

The bad news is that, of course, it isn't that easy. I still have 2 lab reports due this Friday, a review 22 April, and a final 29 April.

(Lab Final. I've had lab finals before in undergrad but this graduate lab was such a joke, I am really not sure what in seven hells they're going to be asking us.)

The even worse news is that while I started out with 98s on these lab reports, my grades have been slipping, and here's why: #1, I'm really just running out of shits to give, I am scraping the bottom of the barrel of fucks, my spoon drawer is completely empty. It's to be expected, after four months of 70-80 hour weeks (yeah, I did the math), I only wish I could have held on for another month.

But #2: these last few labs have not been helpful either. There have been a lot of labs where different groups in the class ran different catalyst amounts, or different times, so that we could analyze the data as a whole. However, that often meant we didn't get the data until, say, Monday before a lab is due on Friday. So instead of having 2 weeks to write each report, I have 2 weeks to write my intro and my background and then 4 days to write the meat of the analysis.

In addition to the extremely crunched timescale: the last few labs have been, uh, "creative" labs. Let's try something new labs. This isn't in your lab manual labs. So all we have to work off of is a 2-page handout (usually shitty, written by someone with no english skills and missing half the information, because who the fuck cares, right) without any of the questions or error analysis guidelines or anything else that helps us to write the report. We also don't usually get the whole thing until, yeah, the Monday before the lab is due. Plus, because they're "new" labs, they don't work. The last two experiments haven't really done what they were supposed to do, at all. So I'm struggling to do a full analysis on broken data using some idiot student's terrible instructions. Error analysis: this lab sucks and that's why it's wrong, there's your error analysis.

And even the ones in the manual have been so poorly written -- for example, on the last lab, I thought an example in the manual was part of the introduction section (there is always an introduction filling us in on the science involved in the experiment) and as it turns out it was an analysis we were supposed to do. Well, I didn't know that, because it doesn't say that in the manual. It doesn't, I'm not being a liar, I checked. However, because all the other (full-time) students are part of research groups who have this ladder in place, they all got to look at reports from last year, so they knew exactly what analysis to include.

For real: I've seen their reports come back with the complete wrong list of chemicals/materials, with giant circles saying "THIS IS FROM LAST YEAR, WE DID NOT USE THIS IN THIS YEAR'S LAB" so it's really obvious that they just copied last year's lab from someone -- and they get, what, -1. I omit a section because the manual doesn't tell me to do it, and I get -5, while everyone who copied that section gets the points. Is this fair?

So one of the reports I'm doing for this Friday is a makeup report, an optional one that will replace my lowest grade; I don't need to do it but I need to do it because once again, being a part-time student has ended up hurting my grades.

Like it always does.

So that's awesome. I can't even really celebrate being done with class because it isn't really "over" yet - plus there's that final - and I am so ready to just put my head down and not move for a month.

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