- 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)
- Finishing up FFIV for 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
I am exhausted.
--this is a post that was supposed to go up yesterday but I had "one of those days" at work yesterday where people come down from Research to do things and I have to assist / chaperone (I am the highest-paid babysitter in the world some days) meaning I was on my feet manual labor from 7am-3pm minus lunch, which meant basically nothing else got done. I was so tired yesterday I had that grey ring of fuzz around my vision. Cool.
I am operating entirely out of my phone too because although I know where the computer is amidst the 31209487 boxes in my house, my dad packed up all my cords separately and neatly... somewhere in the third dimension apparently. Hopefully I will find them before it is August. This is a very helpful thing when you are running an exchange! >.>
I already love the house and being in the house. Even though my bedroom isn't ready and I won't have actually "moved in" to my own fucking room until this Sunday... I'm not entirely surprised to find that a partial but major source of all of the awful anxiety and depression I've been fighting lately is the should-be-familiar feeling of upcoming change, of not having an actual home, loss of foundation and safe place. Now that I've got that back, even though it's a fucking disaster world that doesn't look at all like "my place" and I'm not even in my own bed, I already feel more stable.
My everything hurts. Literally. The disc in my neck is sending spasming pain down my right shoulderblade; my lower back pinched nerve is sending electric shocks down my right ass cheek into my right hamstring like a glorified final boss. I have eleven bruises on my left leg, my knees hurt (???), I've gotten more headaches in the past three days than in the past entire year... I am apparently too fragile to move. good thing I will never do it again
I-- I swear I had more things to say but well this is what you get
edit: REPLYING TO COMMENTS VIA EMAIL IS FUCKING BOSS AS FUCK. DREAMWIDTH WINS
(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
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 )
I've been fighting bronchitis for two weeks now. Some of it is my fault: I came down with it the week the Japanese Overlords were here, so I really didn't want to take sick time off of work and leave my discussions and presentations to someone else; I ended up just taking a lot of drugs and cough drops. I'm also dumb because I continued to run and work out for the first week because I don't like admitting defeat to my own body. When it didn't start to clear up on its own I went to a CVS MinuteClinic and got me some drugs for it, but I think working/working out through it has aggravated it and made it worse. That's mostly my own stupidity, and I probably deserve it, but the bronchitis just had particularly bad timing this year.
I haven't done any kind of cardio (running, swimming, or elliptical) in a week, and I haven't even done weights since last Friday. I've also been sleeping like a goddamned fiend - last Thursday I took the afternoon off sick, took a 4-hour nap, got up and ate and read a little, and basically went back to bed and slept for 10 hours - so it isn't like my body doesn't know something's wrong. I pretty much slept away the entire fucking weekend. At this point I'll probably just rest right on through to the Marathon Relay on Saturday, other than PT today. It's going to be a pretty horrible race for me. :/ I'm sure it will be fun hanging out with everyone, but I'm really just not looking forward to the running bit.
PT doesn't seem to be doing much yet. Every time I seem to think things are improving, it then gets worse. I know from experience that this unidentified friend in my neck works in horrible synergy with the rest of me - so when I'm sick, or when I have really bad insomnia, it's way worse - so for now I don't know whether my bronchitis is compounding the issue by way of general aches and pains, or if it's actually worsening. I just -- I thought PT was supposed to provide some kind of relief (as well as fixing what's broke)? Other than the traction machine (which I may actually propose to) it doesn't really seem to do much in terms of relief.
I just get really depressed when I constantly feel like shit. (surprise, feeling like shit makes you feel like shit?)
I'm really ready to not be coughing and dizzy all the time, and I'm super ready to not have constant pain in my neck/shoulders/back. :/
In marginally less whiny news:
- I've contacted my advisor, I'm trying to pick up my literature search again, and I'll hopefully talk to her and go to some group meetings this month :/ (file under: other things I am not excited about)
- This weekend I somehow managed to pull together a decently respectable Terra costume for NYCC. There's still plenty of things which can be done with it, but it's more or less going a lot better than I expected. It would be nice to have one 'constant' cosplay that I can wear wherever. (file under: upcoming nyc drunk vacation)
- I'm almost finished with a stupid scarf I've been working on for like a year (I lost the pattern okay .___. ) and I have lots of epic plans for scarves and cowls and hats and fun things to knit for the winter. (file under: things i will not end up doing)
- Work is somewhat in a lull right now, which is both nice and epically worrisome. No further developments there right now.
I'm trying to at least enjoy the weather. Autumn is my favorite season, and I love that it's colder out. I love the way the air smells, and I love the colors that are coming out. I just wish I felt better to enjoy it. :/
 also I dyed my hair red. and that's really about it.
I've set an appointment with the visiting Overlords on Monday and I plan to basically bang heads against a table with my newfound understanding of the situation I am in until someone cries uncle and gives me what I want.
2. I just emailed my advisor. I am back in the game. Thesis complete and Masters Degree by spring semester 2013.
Because fuck everything.
3. I am super stressed at the moment. :(
4. Icon (DW) has never been more relevant.
It's strange, because this has become such a huge part of my job, and it has taken me until now to actually stop and breathe it in and find that communication of scientific data has just as much worth if not more than the generation of the data. You can't really have one without the other - my slides all tell you important things about my data, and if they don't, I delete them - but this is part of what moving up in the organization is: becoming a communicator rather than a generator. I quite like it, in a very strange sort of way. Or maybe it's just that my OCD really likes lining up all the text boxes and making sure every red is the same red and the fonts have stayed consistent between slides (not always the case when I am collecting drafts from 5 different people who should be using the same master template but aren't).
I am, however - disappointingly - starting to make slides like a Japanese businessman. AKA: CRAMMING 8000 THINGS ONTO ONE SLIDE COVERED WITH ARROWS AND AWFUL COLORS IN UR FONTS EVERYWHERE AND TONS OF FUCKING SEQUINS. I realize I am presenting to the Japanese so maybe this is a good thing, but I legit just had to step away from the computer because I tried to cram a series of text boxes into each other making them varying shades of (a very readable) blue. NO.
Seriously though, I wish I could show you guys these. But I can't, because I would get fired.
I was all excited about my new gym and Fitocracy and then this happened. Cool work, body. Tomorrow morning before I leave I'm hoping to get in at least an easy run if nothing else; I've had to take this week off so far completely (because I don't think it's recommended to run 5 miles with a fever of ~102) and the Relay is in a month and man, I'm gonna suck at it.
Work has not calmed down. It has gotten worse. We used to only have to meet with the Japanese Overlords twice a year, May and November, which was nice - preparation for these meetings can take a full week in itself, gathering data and making slides and remaking slides and sending your draft to the Overlords and then updating it based on eight peoples' suggestions, and now we're apparently doing this quarterly. It's supposed to just be a Project Review but the Overlords are all coming over here and their expectations are basically just like the (former) biannual meetings and it's just getting ridiculous. Basically this means that a full four months out of my year at this point are spent doing nothing but slides and emails and presentations and meetings and pre-meeting meetings and post-meeting meetings, rather than just two, and ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I'm so tired of my life
Went to physical therapy on Tuesday and as expected it felt kind of bullshitty. I'm not saying it's a waste because I know it isn't, really, but the guy gave me like two exercises to do on my neck and if stretching could fix this shit it would be fixed already because I actually stretch my neck out this way a lot, but hey, sure, I'll give it a try and maybe the $$$$ that I'm paying for PT will make it magically work this time. I don't mean to be so down on PT but it just doesn't seem helpful. I am a skeptical cynical fuck and I have no idea how this tiny shit is actually going to help the problem. I seriously feel like I should stop throwing money down the gigantic toilet of chiropractors and PT and instead just buy a goddamned shoulder massage every two weeks. It would be cheaper than all of this crap.
On the plus side, the August Chocobo Races will be ending soon, and this first month was fucking awesome. There are already 14 works and I'm hoping maybe a couple more will slip in under the wire. Plus, I actually wrote for it, which is amazing because I haven't been able to really write in months, but I managed to spin out some Lightning/Snow/Serah that's more of an idea and may spawn 20,000 words of its own if I can ever find my motivation again.
I think I left it in the box of wine
Anyway there is a lot of awesome small fandom and overlooked character work in there, and I am loving it. Next month's theme is going to be soooooo awesome I am super stoked for it >.>
What else do I do
OH YEAH I have been replaying FFVI in small-ish chunks. I've been reminded of a bunch of things I love about this game, and I have to admit that the story ideas at least are flowing madly. I've been mostly talking about it on Twitter, although this week I was way too sick to actually play and type on my phone at the same time. By the way, the World of Ruin and Kefka's Light of Judgment are mad fucking trippy when you're already hallucinating from fever. There were little colored worms at the edges of my vision and when the screen flashed it felt pretty damn strange I put the DS down shortly after that and just went to bed because it can't really be good but in retrospect it's kind of hilarious.
So yeah, that has been most of my week.
So despite the ridiculous number of emails blowin' up mah phone today, this has seriously been one of the busiest AND most productive days I've had in, probably, 5 weeks.
I wrote two reports. I organized some stuff. I cleaned out the gremlins growing in my reactor after shutdown. I was "approved" to spend $5K on shit for my lab. i ran a batch. I answered important emails.
I'm never going to another meeting again.
- I am no longer allowed to come in for meetings on Fridays, because I do not work on Fridays. If anyone truly wants me at a meeting on a Friday, they have to go through my boss so that I can have permission to change my work schedule. This is not only to scare off people who don't want to deal with my (admittedly terrifying) boss, but to also help me feel less guilty about not being able to attend an important Friday meeting. I love how this man deals with me.
- I am being heavily encouraged to start saying no to any other meetings I do not think are necessary, and if someone disagrees with my judgment, they are to go through my boss.
- I am also allowed to put batch work aside if I feel that meetings - ones that encourage communication and collaboration and my project and other actual work things - are more valuable at the time. He and I both expect this to be the case for the next ~6 months -- which doesn't alleviate my meeting schedule, but it does cut the weight of the other project work I have had sitting on my shoulders by a good bit. I should not feel guilty about only attending meetings if they are actually helpful and productive - meetings are work too.
- I have been encouraged to selectively accept collaborative work from certain people (who will actually further my project's goals) and not from others (who may be giving it to me simply because then they know it will get done, rather than actual relevance to my project). These lines have been - rather humorously - clarified by my boss.
We still haven't worked out the Overlord Issues yet (I'm not sure I even bothered to post about the upset two weeks ago which basically completely contradicted the directions I was given six weeks ago, threw my entire schedule and project sheet into upheaval, and put a recurring biweekly meeting on my calendar every other Monday for the rest of my life -- at that point I might have just given up posting about everything), but he's at least aware of it, so while I have no more authority than I did previously (already in the negatives), I have increased awareness, and actually increased motivation to stop giving a fuck and just do things whether I have the authority to or not. Forgiveness and permission, etc.
The down side to all of this was that it was bartered on condition of me finishing my fucking thesis and getting my stupid Masters, so now I get to fill up all of the time this gives me back with godsbefucked grad school. I fucking hate school so much. But maybe I can be done with it, soon, and try to have a life that involves a reasonable bit of actual relaxation and shit.
I have to say, though. Completely platonically and in a way that is as non-creepy as love from Sev gets: I officially adore my boss more than anyone else in the world.
Today I ended up - unplanned - talking to both my boss and his boss about the situation. And there's some tentative hope on the horizon.
I've been reassured, multiple times, that the amount of frustrating stress and overwhelming workload I've been facing on this project is not usual. This is a very new project, but carries stuff from some older projects which were divided out and shut down, so it's a really complicated place to be: I got caught in the middle of a really, really tough situation, combining super aggressive short-term timelines with vague and nebulous future roadmaps, which is why I feel so lost. It involves relationships with four internal branches of the company that don't usually all talk to each other, which is why there are so many meetings. Most of what I'm suffering from isn't indicative of "a project leader", but of being this project's leader in specific.
(Dear management: Thanks. You fucks. Love, Sev)
Even just hearing that this isn't normal was a little reassuring for me. If I'm crumbling under pressure, I like to know that it's super!!!amazeballs!~!!badass pressure, not Everyday Joe Baloney pressure. I feel better that way.
One of the things that has been so frustrating about my current project is that we are working on undefined things without any really clear targets. I'm going to do an analogy here, to try to explain: let's say you work in a kitchen and you have a cookie recipe that's problematic. It's a flavor a lot of your customers want, but you have trouble baking it just right. The Chef Overlords give you this project, and they say, "Develop and improve this cookie recipe." So, okay.
You start looking at your cookie recipe. But no one told you where exactly you are supposed to go improving it. Do you want the cookie to be healthier? To taste better? To be easier to make? To have less expensive ingredients? If you replace one ingredient with another and it improves the taste but is less healthy, is this an okay tradeoff, or no? If you can make the cookie easier to bake, but then it's more expensive, is that okay, or no?
But no one will answer that. You ask the people who sell the cookies, and they say, it has to taste good and be cheap. You ask the people who do maintenance, and they say, it has to be processable, if we can't bake it you don't have a product. You ask the customer, but each one says a different thing, and no one's sure who is actually buying these cookies anyway. You think, well, I'll try to improve all of the things. But first you are not actually made of time, and second there are some trade-offs -- like tastiness vs health, and you don't know how to decide what's a worthwhile balance there.
You ask your Chef Overlords, and they just say, "Improve the cookie." Then they say, "Oh, we want you to look at all our cookies." And there are some cookies made with vanilla, and some with chocolate, and some are gluten-free and some are low-fat and some are bargain cookies and some are designer cookies and some are really simple and some are super complex and they say, "Improve all the cookies."
So you're stuck fumbling around with 8 different directions to go in, and you can't focus your work forward, because any or all of those things could be target improvements - and maybe should - but no one will tell you what's a good range for acceptable trade-off and what's a target range for final product and maybe where you should start first.
That's my project, except that it's worse because there are no cookies here at all.
The first piece of good news: So right now, because I made a really good case / big stink about this at the meeting with the Japanese Overlords, the project is in somewhat of a holding pattern / waiting period, while the Overlords do some internal investigating and discussing and decide what our targets are on both short- and long-term. (I threw a very professional and polite fit and 'refused' to work on a lot of this stuff until we know where it's going, because I feel like we're wasting our time. We spent six months basically looking at a special baking soda until somebody (who wasn't the Overlords, even -- but since the Overlords were having fun with their thumbs up their asses, I decided that any guidance was better than joining the thumbs-up-asses club) decided what they really wanted was tastier chocolate chips, and then we spent six months looking for better chocolate chips before this somebody changed their minds again and said, fuck, we do still want the better baking soda, the chocolate chip taste may not be important and actually what we really want is not better tasting chocolate chips, but ones that don't melt.
Fuck. My. Life.)
The first bit of this decision is deliverable to me by September, according to our agreement. So for the next ~3 months, possibly longer, I get a bit of a break, because there is a lot of work that will be put "on hold" until we have some targets with which we can prioritize and determine direction.
The second piece of good news is, my boss has put things in motion for me to get a co-op of my own, hired by me, working specifically for me, in my lab. And not just a co-op, he is working to get a co-op position installed there, meaning when one co-op goes back to school I will have hired another to take his place, and I will basically always have a set of hands to support me, until I move on to other responsibilities.
The baddish news is that that won't be able to happen until January, because it's the end of the school year and most engineering students who want to co-op have already lined one up.
The goodish news is that if the workload actually decreases for the next couple months, I think I can survive until January. And if the workload ramps back up at the end of the year, by January I'll have a co-op to help me with some of it.
Sure, it isn't an immediate solution. And I need to have a more serious talk with my boss about my Masters degree and this workload in general. Before I continue to commit myself to this job, for example, I'd like to make sure I don't get handed a SURPRISE!!!!COOKIE!DISASTER project every two years, or there will be no vodka left in the world. But as for right now I really do feel like maybe there are some paths out I can take to help deal with all of this shit a little bit better.
One other thing I realized today is that I need to learn to delegate better. I need to stop looking at things other people have done and deciding that I could do them better and that that means I should just do them so that it's done right the first time. I need to stop claiming lots of work for myself because I want to do it my way. I need to learn to better trust people, and let them work on things in their own way -- and if I think they're fucking up, I need a better way to deal with it other than ripping it out of their hands and finishing it myself. (Sadly, sometimes this is the easiest way to do it, because I work with a lot of equally stubborn assholes who think they're right - this is Research - which means they don't listen to me; doubly so because I don't have a ~sacred PhD~.) Even if it takes more time, even if it seems like more work having to redirect and guide people, I need to learn how to do it. I need to learn to let go. I need to learn that even if someone else doesn't do something 100% perfectly, that maybe 85% is actually okay. I'm very invested in a lot of the things I do and I need to take a couple steps back.
The problem here is a) I am a control freak; b) I don't work well with others (despite the surprising trust of my management) and I don't like talking to people; and c) I actually legitimately don't trust about half of the people I work with, because they are either c1) idiots or c2) ambitious backstabbing assheads. But I need to find a system I can work with, and learn to delegate more.
I really shouldn't be, because I've experienced this phenomenon once before, when I was still working my full-time long-day 40-hr-week job and also attending a 20-30-hr-week graduate lab class: if you literally spend every spare minute you have doing something, it's a lot of work. (And I mean it. Sometimes I see people posting, "I'm soooo busy~!" but if I've seen you posting 10K in fic in the last week, or reblogging tons of stuff on Tumblr, or otherwise hobbying-- maybe you're busy, but that isn't actually spending every legitimate moment you have on work-like things. I realize this makes me a judgmental ass and I'm sorry.)
But really, I'm still continually surprised at how much you can actually work in one day. Because I have basically spent every free hour I have had in the last 7 days helping to basically remodel a basement which is my responsibility to fix. I don't even have time to tell you everything handyman that I've done. But I'm just still for whatever reason surprised at how BUSY you can actually get. When you come home from work at 6:15 and change and eat and then drive up to the house at 7:00 and work until 11:00 and then come home and make a lunch and do the dishes and go to bed at 12 and get up at 6:30 and go to work at 7:30 and then do it all over again, for an entire week? I mean it, there is busy and then there is, "life sat on me." They aren't even really in the same order of magnitude.
Had I known the level of fucked this problem was, I wouldn't have started it now. But you don't know what's under the carpet until you pull up the carpet.
I thought I was busy before. Turns out, there were plenty of hours in my day that could be filled up with things that make me miserable.
I am stressed as fuck, I have gotten absolutely nothing done this week, my exchange ends this weekend, I am leaving tomorrow afternoon and I have not yet finished packing. This week has been just awful.
Some day I will turn this experience into a "Handyman How-To" post because I've actually learned a lot of fun shit. Today is not that day.
- - -
I just printed out all my itineraries and reservations and flight info and blah blah and it's basically a short novel, I've killed a tree doing it, it weighs more than my laptop, etc etc.
This trip-- I am not even looking forward to it. i'll be honest. Work is so awful right now, and there are a bunch of due dates WHILE I AM GONE, so I have to work ON my trip, and just. ugh ugh ugh first world problems etc but.
I carry my stress in my shoulders and neck, and I nearly can't drive a car right now. I am pretty sure my back is about to leave me for another woman.
Whirlwind tour of the US is as follows:
- to Boise this weekend for my cousin's wedding
- fly to Vegas Mon with family, night in Vegas
- drive to Grand Canyon Tues, two nights in GC
-- work due Wednesday, have to work Mon and Tues to submit Wed
- return to Vegas on Thurs, night in Vegas
- Fri, fly directly to Houston, spend weekend weeping in a pillow fort
- Sun, pick up Japanese BFF at airport and head off to the plant
- Mon, tour of plant with guest
- Tues-Wed, work at the plant
-- work due Tues, will have to work the previous week to compile it
- Thurs, return home
- THE FOLLOWING MONDAY, submit a report of the work I did on the plant trip to the Overlords because
- THAT WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY, our biannual meeting with the Overlords begins
- probably every day forever: cry into beer, from stress and frustration
- date of freedom: 20 June
- 21 June: lose self in Diablo III for three consecutive days
I am trying for serenity now and I'm not sure I'll make it. OH GOOD. When can I give up on everything and be a crazy cat lady hermit hobo who never goes anywhere?
ON THE PLUS SIDE, I now have an app on my phone that can send a postcard photo from anywhere for $0.99, so if you want a really dumb postcard from Vegas or the Grand Canyon, email me your address.
ADDITIONALLY ON THE PLUS SIDE, I've written 4 Korra drabbles in the past few days. On my phone. While in meetings or otherwise working. Seeing as I haven't written a thing since December, this is cool.
I HAD ANOTHER PLUS but I have forgotten it so.
The information here is a lot about me and my experiences. I come across as a really grumpy asshole. But guess what! That's who is interviewing you. I don't come to work to make BFFs, I come to get shit done. I recruit in the same way. Lots of other people do too. Here's the list of ~secret~ things we're really looking for, and how you can make even a grumpy buttface like me want to bring you into my company. SPOILER: They're not so secret.
( Some Information On Interviewing From The Other Side Of The Table, or: What Too Much Of Sev's Job Has Become and How You Can Hopefully Make My Life Easier When I'm Hiring. )
All of this advice can be boiled down to the following: We want to hire someone who wants to be hired by us for this specific job. We are not looking for people who want "a job", "any job". We're a puzzle piece looking for a piece that fits well, that improves us, not just any piece that's close enough. Your job is to use the interview time to determine whether or not you are a good fit, and if you are, to show me why you're the best puzzle piece out there. Because there are a lot of other puzzle pieces very similar to you, and if I don't see that tiny two-pixel difference between you and the last person I spoke to, I may throw you both into the "meh" pile.
I win at analogies forever.
Enjoy. And good luck. And if you have questions, or you want to hear the horror stories, just ask.
...Also I pick on Taco Bell a lot in this and I want to make it perfectly clear that it's just an example and I love me some shameful 3:30am TBell just like every other engineer in the world.
- I'd forgotten how much I like my actual *job* -- I mean working my reactor, running batches, synthesizing polymer, the job I've been doing for 7 years now. I was just out in the lab prepping bottles for new chemicals and I realized I was humming to myself, just a little, and I actually stopped with the bottle still in my hand and realized how content I was at that moment, how satisfying it was to be doing things with my hands again, to be testing a new chemical myself. It was surprising, because it's a very mundane part of the entire polymerization process - chemical prep - and it's boring and a well-trained monkey could actually do it; I've been impatient with it before. But now, it was like a little moment of zen.
Unfortunately, my job now isn't the job I've had for the last 7 years. Things change. Bitches get promoted. And today has definitely not been anywhere near a great day at work. But it was nice to have a moment of, "hey, this isn't actually the fifth level of hell."
- WHY IS BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE SO FREAKING GOOD????? delicious new afternoon snack: 1 package mozzarella balls, 1 package sliced bitty tomatoes, absolutely drowned in 1 tpsb olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic. Keep telling self: this has to last me three days, this has to last me three days...
- I very randomly this afternoon was - very ridiculously, very hard - pinged for Beacon, the original story-world I'm creating/writing with my brother. I haven't touched it in over a year, but I was doing something completely unrelated in a thesaurus and I had the most absolutely amazing idea and now all I want to do is leave work immediately and go home and start pouring out words.
I haven't been actually *inspired* to write since, I am pretty sure, January.
Signups are still open! Join us!
- - -
I'm pretty sure between work stress, Doink, and the fact that I've run 3.1 miles every other day for a week, I'm just running on empty.
Work got really bad this week. I don't even want to talk about Monday. I need to be more emotionally detached from this shit. It's funny because I am such a different person at work / in my work life than I am online. There I'm smart as fuck and hardworking and serious and driven and capable and intelligent, and I'm emotionally and intellectually attached and integrated to everything that I do. (here I can reply to 6000 words of gay fanfiction with "FFFFFFFFFFFFF" and often do just this because I don't give a fuck.) Monday was bad, this whole week has been awful, I am so tired. I'm too tired to talk about it.
I keep wondering when the fuck this shit's going to stop so that I can work on my goddamn thesis and get my fucking Masters. Never go to graduate school part time. Just don't. It is the worst idea I have ever had.
I may go home tonight and play FFVIII because why not.
My to-do list hates me.
How many fucks do I have left.
This has been your daily depressing entry. Move along now.
EDIT: I forgot -- today I'm spending the entire day working on the AIChE presentation I'll be giving in two weeks to an audience of 300-400 chemical engineers about my job. COOL
The October Prompt-a-Thon is underway for Chocobo Racing at ff_exchange / ff_exchange! The mighty TEAM CACTUAR is ahead for September, so let's not let evil Team Tonberry catch up ...!
2. I'm going to another career fair tomorrow. Whee...? Although this time I actually get to recruit a co-op, fuck yeah! Downside: Dealing with Mr Douchebag. Upside: free lunch.
3. I officially got a FLU SHOT yesterday. This is my first flu shot, so, here's hoping it works. I realize it won't ward off my usual strep throat and chronic bronchitis (yearly visitors, yay?) but maybe it can keep away some of the other shit flu weeks I deal with every stupid winter. All fingers crossed.
4. And because I really did need another medical ailment like I need a hole in my face, I have TMJ problems. Temporomandibular joint disorder, to be exact, is inflammation of the guy that connects your jaw to your facebone. My mother has suffered from TMJD before, and I've had it once in the past, so I was pretty sure that was what was going on, although it took me a while to put the clues together.
My symptoms were jaw pain and snapping; sharp/severe occasionally when chewing; jaw sensitivity; weird noises in my ear; the feeling of water being stuck in my ear when there ain't; tinnitis; and loss of hearing.
Went to the doctor yesterday, got the TMJ-D diagnosis confirmed, and now I'm on a steroid nasal spray (to tamp down inflammation from the inside) and a handful of other over-the-counter stuff (to attack it elsewhere).
TMJ problems are often brought on by stress. A few weeks ago I was eating nachos with Becky when my jaw did the initial (severely painful) pop-snap. A few weeks ago I was under a ton of stress: shit at work, my move, Becky's move, Ira's everything, Dad's job, Gramma's surgery, ~relationship~ stuff, the marathon, PLUS two handfuls of "lesser" things eating at me. No fucking wonder. Jaw grinding and tension in the neck. I know I need anxiety pills.
Although this from Wikipedia made me froth in rage:
Regular exercise such as running for 20 minutes 3 times a week, is extremely efficient in alleviating TMD brought about through stress-induced bruxism. Exercise essentially burns away the chemicals like cortisol and norepinephrine that cause stress so the unconscious mind no longer feels the need to relieve its stress through jaw-clenching.
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY FOR EVERY PERSON. When this happened I was running 4x/week, a total of like probably 5 HOURS OF RUNNING/week, and I was STILL so stressed out I popped a ligament IN MY FUCKING MOUTH. God in heaven, nothing can set me off quite like preachy people who think "exercise cures all! Fix your anxiety easily! What are you waiting for?" NOPE. SORRY. I THINK I KNOW MY BODY BETTER THAN YOU DO, AND IT DOES FUCKNUTS NOTHING. Running has never done a single fucking thing for my stress levels or my anxiety attacks. I should know; I've tried to give it every last chance I possibly could hoping that it would do so. Extremely efficient my gigantic ugly ass.
5. I am up for a new phone and am really pretty severely ogling the new Blackberry - it's a combo touch-screen and keyboard model, it ran really sleek in the store, and it is getting fabulous reviews. However, I can't help but feel like Blackberry as a whole is on its way out, and I can't pull the trigger on a new phone for 2 years just yet when I feel like the company isn't going anywhere. The thing is, I... I don't really want an Android or an iPhone. They both just feel way too freaking zazzy and fancy and flashy and complicated to me. What I like about my Blackberry is its business-like simplicity (I am a boring person okay). I went through the Verizon store and played with all the phones and they just didn't feel like what I wanted.
6. I require more coffee.
Have returned from one whirlwind (BUT AWESOME) recruiting-birthday-visit trip, and leave on another one on Wednesday. With the FFEX deadline looming on Sunday, not only for my own work but modly-wise.
Am alive, but won't be around much. Email me if you need me.