Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's a mad, mad world.

I love my job. It's only temporary but it's great. Editing a book for a European project on high altitude platforms (electronics...). I don't understand much of it but it's fun to learn. I think I'd be quite happy to be an editor/proofreader.

Walked home today, was a lovely afternoon. Half way home I was walking past these three young lads who were raking leaves. One of them was sat in (under?) a big pile of leaves, leaning down into it so you couldn't see his face. The other two were raking and kept looking at me, giggling. Cue paranoia ;)

As I came past the lad sitting down he jumped up, wearing this scary red mask thing. And they all burst out laughing. I wish I'd been quick enough to take a picture, it was funny.

That's the sort of fun we used to have (back in my day...heh). Most groups of kids/teenagers seem to have as their aim to be as annoying as possible. No. That's not fair. Not most. But they're the ones you notice, sadly...

Anyway. I did take a photo of this outside Morrissons:

You might not be able to see it very well. But the mini behind our car has a jolly roger flag on top. I thought it was awesome...

Speaking of awesome:

Yes. Yes, I really am sad enough to upload a photo of my finished dissertation to my blog. You'll survive, I'm sure.

Over and out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sleep is.. is...

I'm nearly done. A few more hours to go. A few more hours of worrying until I start worrying about what mark I'll be getting.

I am sorry that I go on and on about this dissertation. Not only on the blog, but in general. I'm bored of it. Not the topic, as such. But the deadline. The assignment.

I want to go to bed but I don't think I can. I'm one of those annoying people who whinge and moan and worry, I'm afraid. Especially when I'm this tired ;)

Am working tomorrow. Fingers crossed it'll be a fun job! It's only for a few days. Am actually quite excited though.

After work I'm planning to either go swimming or go straight to bed. I'm afraid I know me this well: I'll wager it'll be bed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I've always relied on the kindness of strangers.

The other day I was waiting for the bus up to uni. It was one of those crisp, amazingly sunny September mornings. This man kept looking over at me. I didn't think much of it, but after a while he was just staring... So I looked back at him, you know the way you do when you really just want to say 'what the hell are you staring at?!'

He came over, and said 'I'm sorry - you have a bee on your head'

Eek! Instinct tells me to run squeaking away from bees. Or freeze. I froze.

He said 'Can I.. do you mind if I touch your head?'

I said of course not. He proceeded to waft it from one side of my head, over across the top and near my ear on the other side, and then give it a little slap so it fell to the floor. He then said 'it's there, can you see it? I'm really sorry, I don't like killing living things.' I said that's fine, and we concluded that it was probably too cold for the bee to start flying around any time soon.

It strikes me how you can jump to conclusions about people like that. He was only trying to stop me getting stung by this bee, and I'd already started to conclude he was a weirdo, and wondering why on earth he kept looking at me.

I don't like judging on first glance. But I know I do it. I'm not the worst kind though; I'm open to having my mind changed radically.

I'm actually not sure if it was a bee or a wasp. Either way - I didn't like it sitting on my head. And I would've liked getting stung even less. So thank you, nice man.

I wanted to share this photo I took on campus that same morning. Lovely, I thought.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's that pondering time o' the night.

It's 4am. I've not been up all night in a very long time. It's odd, I used to do it all the time. Dad used to get up at 5 or 6 and I'd try to turn off computer quickly and quietly and rush into my bedroom, hoping he'd think I'd been asleep all night. I don't think it worked. NB.- if it did work: Dad, I'm making all this up. I slept a good 8 hours every single night!

In my first year of uni I didn't sleep much. And when I did it was usually in day time. It wasn't just that I was 'turning the day around', I'd be up for a few nights/days and then get overwhelmed by sleep.

I remember sitting on that scratchy blue chair by the window looking out at the courtyard, the other windows... it was a depressing sight. I did some of my best writing sat on that horrible chair, wrapped in my blanket.


Here's one. Don't judge too hard; I was a creative writing student after all...


I stood still, staring into the headlights
hypnotized and full of fear
but also, admiration.
And I put another pound coin into the slot,
pushed hold, hi and lo a couple of times
   just to make sure I'd unlock all possible features
and gently, slowly, with as much confidence as I could gather
I pressed start.
Start, again.
Hi, re-spin,
lo, unlock megafeature
another pound coin
still hypnotized by the lights
  "Nevermind The Jackpots"
I couldn't move
     another pound coin in
press start, push nudge, and again
Hi or Lo, Continue or Lose?
  And suddenly it all went black.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's a lonely, lonely night.

Well, not really. I've been in the lab a large number of hours today and am getting quite a bit done. Was hoping to get a draft finished today but might not happen. Finishing the chapters on AR/SR and disfluencies tonight though. Tomorrow is all about the voice quality and conclusion. And other fun bits.

Don't worry - all of these bits I'm doing are virtually done. VQ needs a lot more work but it's all starting to look hand-inable. Not writing anything from scratch now, lol.

I've also done all the fun bits like abstract, acknowledgements...

It's all coming together. And I'm so damn hungry. But don't think anything is open on this end of campus still, still Summer hols really... Oh well. Mike'll have to make me something.

Took some photos of the sunset through lab window - it was really pretty but the photos look so depressing. I guess after being here this long you start seeing past the ugliness of most of the buildings... Will upload the photos later when I get home.

Over and out.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Joanna films Czarinna.

Make Up Store launch of Autumn range at Berns in Stockholm. Click the link and enjoy Joanna+colleague's handiwork!


I'll fill you in on a little secret. I'm bored. I'm lazy. I've zero motivation. If things don't work the first time I tend to give up. If Mike didn't push me to keep trying I'd quite happily just not.

Actually, I don't know if that's true. But it sure feels like it.

Didn't get to sleep til very late again last night. This morning there was a massive spider in our bedroom. Not what you want! But I suppose it being alive and well in the morning means it didn't creep into my mouth overnight and I didn't chew on it.

3 weeks til the big ball & fair now. World Mental Health day is coming up! If you're in Nottingham on 10th October come check it out! Nottingham CVS on Mansfield Road, 11-3!

I've no idea what to wear to the ball. Not going to buy something new - if I manage to gather some motivation I might make something. If not, I'll wear the green dress I wore to Mike's cousin's wedding. Not very ball-y but it's a pretty dress!

In just over a week it's my great uncle's 90th. Amazing. Most of that side of my family have lived to be nearly - or around - that age. Some time I'll write about them. But for now I just have to remember to send a card. A nice one.

Today I'm sat in the lab again. It gets boring. Not so cold today though! The plan for the day is to look at voice quality. And figure out why my VSA&VAI results are so messed up. Stupid things.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nim Jiom, Kan Jang and other lovely things.

I've been sorely missing Kan Jang here in the UK. Nowhere seems to sell it. Granted, I hadn't tried the Chinese supermarkets and health shops...
It's a herbal type thing you take a spoonful of every day to prevent colds. It works quite well - plus it's yummy... Here, people suggest cod liver oil as an alternative. I'll tell you right now - it's no substitute. Ok, it may be immensely good for you and I know it can cure oncoming colds, but it tastes foul. Even just writing about it I'm almost heaving. So - I take cod liver oil in capsule form, and save the liquid stuff for when I'm actually ill/getting ill.
Cod liver oil capsules...

...and the liquid gold...

I was complaining to the lovely QQ that I couldn't find my Kan Jang anywhere. So, what does she do? Goes out to buy me some Nim Jiom!

It's like Kan Jang but honey based - so it's thick and very very sweet. But from taste (and my very limited knowledge of Chinese ;) ) it's exactly the same herbs - something liquorice-y is overwhelming. Tastes lovely. Though it says to take 3 spoonfuls a day! Not been doing that - 1 or 2...

Great substitute for sweets. I can see myself getting addicted to this stuff. Thanks QQ! <3 (for picture sources click the pics!)

Work, blog posts and the... future.

Work is finally going really well. It's a pain finding appropriate sources but I'm working on it.

I've lots of blog posts in my head but not the time to think them through, work them out. So the ideas are scribbled in my polka dot notebook, to be written out properly in time.

Am looking forward to starting work. Where is the only question. Applying for some stuff...

Am pondering doing a CELTA course. Got money to do some sort of qualification but not sure whether to do the 5 (?) week full time one or the evening one which lasts 20 weeks or so. It's hard to decide before I know more about work... If I start the 5 week one and then get a job offer I'll miss out on that, but if I don't do it full time I bet I'll be unemployed for a while. Just out of spite - the universe is funny like that.

However - doing the full time one would mean I could do some temping as a teacher and it'd probably help in getting TA type jobs at all levels.

Oh I don't know. Not a fan of decisions.

In other news, people are so lame. I hate having to interact with people who are hell bent on being difficult, and people who don't think before they speak. A bit of niceness never hurt anyone, right. The world's not going to do you any favours so if you want something for nothing just suck up a bit and be nice, usually works for me. There's a difference between being assertive and aggressive. I'm getting better and better at the assertiveness (yay!) but some people see it as weak to not be on the aggressive side.

I'm rambling. But I don't feel like explaining - the above is an amalgamated rant at several different people who have pissed me off in the past few weeks. 'nuff said.

Righty-oh, I'm off to write a bit more before bed. Toodles!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cold thoughts and cigarettes burn.

It's so cold. I'm sat with heating blasting and my coat on. Am in the lab so of course there are no blankets, no duvets and no cups of tea to warm me. Stupid autumn.

When I was waiting for my bus this morning a lady sat down in the bus shelter and lit a cigarette. Fairly rude to start with, enclosed space etc. But it gets worse. She flicked her cig and some glowing ash flew at me, landed on my sleeve. I had to brush it off quickly to make sure it didn't ignite my jumper. She was looking at me, fully aware of what had happened but said nothing. Had that been me I would've jumped up to make sure I hadn't burnt the poor girl or the poor girl's sleeve.

Oh well.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ill. For a change.

Today has been a weird day.

Went up to the lab for about half past 8. Got a fair bit of work done. By half 1, 2pm I was feeling so rubbish and feverish I couldn't stay. It was terrible, and kind of sudden (tickly throat + ears all day though). So I went home and have been curled up on sofa trying to do work since. It's not the right time to get ill. I wonder if the air-con in the lab is making it worse...

Mike's gone to ASDA to get something for dinner. My head's so fried I couldn't even think of what I fancy eating - that's not a good sign. Will see what he comes home with.

I'm doing another 1000 words tonight - flu or no flu.

The weather has been weird too. Cloud, rain, beautiful sun... and very hot throughout.

Lovely Mike and photos of the home.

Mike decided to rearrange the office so I can work better in there... look how great it turned out! :)

The walls do look a bit bare in the photos but it honestly looks better in real life...

We've also moved living room about a bit - new sofa cover, new TV (finally!), desks in the office (as you saw above...) and it's a much more relaxing room now!

That's all from me for today. I'm feeling rubbish, feverish and clammy with a sore throat. Not the right time to be getting ill...


Friday, September 04, 2009

Rainy thoughts and trash TV.

BBC Weather says it's going to rain today. Lots. At the moment it's nice and sunny.

Doesn't matter; it's not like I've time to go out and enjoy it.

Our new TV arrived the other day. It's good to have a proper one finally, after a couple of years of only having a tiny on or one that constantly flickers...

There's too much in my head at the moment - can't write just now. Tune back in a week.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I'm a dissertation monster.

New plan!

By close of business Wednesday: Lit Review + section on undershooting articulatory vowel targets will be done.

End of Thursday: Section on non-fluencies will be done.

End of Friday: Section on consonant durations will be done.

End of Sunday: Intro, conclusion will be done.

Please hold me to this!

Bitty writing.

8.46am. Busy day ahead - am on just over 4000 words and will get to 6000 today. At least. Not been sticking to my plan at all (no surprises there!) but that's ok. This is manageable. Or is it managable?

The presentation went well. Am quite pleased.

Tomorrow is Mike's birthday. We've bought each other a TV as birthday present - it will arrive tomorrow. Our old one gave up (imploded!) just before we went to Sweden 6 weeks ago. It was rather undramatic really - the light kind of went smaller and smaller dead quick, then there was a pop and it wasn't working. So we've been using our old little one. Looks ridiculous in our rather large front room.

I miss sewing. When I've handed in my dissertation I've got a number of things on my to-do list... Sewing. Format my hard drive and sort out all files/programs. Find a job. And so on. Probably in that order as well.

I've been reading Pauline's blog and it makes me want to write more. But every time I do it ends up like this. Bitty. Not very interesting.

Oh well.