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yes brain, you can has

April 2015

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The Blogger's Prayer

Lo, there do I see my posts.
Lo, there do I see my tweets.
Lo, there do I see my gifsets and my picspams.
Lo, there do I see the line of my blog, back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them on the Internets,
Where the geek may live forever.

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astro_noms: (send in the clones)
I'm trying to find a design for a business card (just a simple calling card, really, something I can hand out to people with my contact info on it), and I can't find anything that I really like. I was looking at moo.com, but it's like, 25 EUR for 100 cards, and if I go with something in Poland, it's like 10 PLN (about 3 EUR). Except that none of them are really catching my eye and yelling "me, me! pick me!" *sigh* I'd try designing my own, but my design-anything mojo is thoroughly dead these days and everything I try to do ends up looking like crap. I should try and get the website up and running before I do up the business cards - so I dunno, they can have some consistency - but every time I sit down to do it, I end up poking at WordPress for a few minutes and then getting distracted by something else. I went on a long-ish bike ride with G. on Saturday, and oh boy, am I ever out of shape. Actually, I'd go so far as to say I have no shape (as opposed to being in or out of one). Add "get out and move some more" to the neverending list of things I need to do. Although I guess it could have been worse - I get tired quickly, especially riding in the sun, which exhausts me no matter what I'm doing, and I'm still having trouble with my throat, so breathing through the mouth = dry throat = coughing = too many stops on the way. I need to take the bike in for a tune-up, though, because right now it's dirty as hell and there's a bunch of things that need to be replaced/tightened/fixed in order for it to be usable in the long run. That and I need to get a gel padded seat, because ow, my ass. On a bright note, I got an e-mail this morning with the billing for March, and it was really nice to confirm the amount that will be coming in in a couple of weeks. Since I'm working with G. these days, we split it 50-50, but it's still a lot of money. Like, almost twice as much as we made in February. April is going to be probably similar to February, but that's the downside of working freelance - you never know how much work you're going to get in a given month, and then you have to wait 45 days before getting paid. I was thinking of trying to find a job right away this summer, but with my mom coming to Poland in August and expecting me to spend time with her, and then the internship in Brussels in October, I'm wondering if maybe it wouldn't be better to stick to freelancing for now and then start looking in the fall. IDK, I have to think about that. There are some translation projects coming our way for the summer, so I think we'll be OK money-wise, but it'd be nice to have something regular and consistent to fall back on. And now, I'm going to go finish the work that's due today and then go to my phys-ed class. Maybe I'll even take my bike there instead of riding the tram across town. :D
astro_noms: (dinosaurs can love too)
  • shopping therapy really does help a bit when you're feeling like crap
  • I'm starting to find it easier and easier to stick to the "I'm not afraid of colors" mantra when shopping - mostly evidenced by this bag I got myself today
  • my cat is (for some reason) terrified of balloons - like, run and hide under the bed scared - I was hoping he'd enjoy playing with it for at least a while, but nope, not happening
  • going off the antidepressants I'm taking for my PMDD-related troubles actually helps me with my libido and not feeling like I'm either numb or so sensitive that the barest touch leaves me feeling like I'm bruised
  • if I want to get off the antidepressants I'm taking for my PMDD-related troubles, I'm going to have to find some other way to deal with it, because being able to get off and not feel bruised isn't really worth the emo-fest I go through every month
  • the emo-fest makes it really hard to function in the real world, because even the slightest inconvenience/frustration/sad thing/cute animal makes me want to curl up and cry until I pass out
  • there is something equally frustrating (especially when your iron is as crappy as mine), embarrassing (because seriously, who does that anymore), and satisfying (because ahhh, sliding in under the nicely covered duvet) about making the bed with freshly ironed sheets
  • the feeling only lasts for a day or two, and then the sheets get all wrinkled and covered with cat hair anyway
  • bullet point lists are a good way to get out some things that I want to get out but don't really feel like talking about in detail
  • I can't wait until it's warm enough to sleep with my windows open again
astro_noms: (i shall call him squishy)
I woke up today with a migraine, took half a pill, felt it kick in (or rather, felt the side effects), but it wasn't until I realized I was trying not to cry from the pain that I figured I should probably take the second half. Spent the rest of the morning in bed with the drapes drawn and the cat locked out of my room so I could rest. Which means I'm still a little woozy and mostly feeling wiped, and in absolutely no shape to do any challenging work. Which means that the translation that's due tomorrow morning is going to require extra careful proofreading, because when I'm like this, I'm prone to making lots of stupid typos and errors.

The good thing about the translation work is that I'm getting more jobs these days, and I had an e-mail from one of the project managers stating that she'd like to "establish closer cooperation" with me. I'm not sure what this means exactly, but I'm hoping it'll translate (heh) into more work coming more regularly, which will give me a bit more financial stability.

I also got into the internship program, and I get 120 hours starting in March at a language school as a translator. I'm not holding my breath on the internship turning into a contract for full/part-time work, but maybe I can make some contacts that'll get me some additional freelance work. *fingers crossed*

Ugh. Being an adult is overrated.

Also, if someone could please tell me how to make my cat STFU and stop yowling, that'd be awesome. The pheromone collar doesn't seem to be working anymore, and he goes into the other room from where we are and sits there, crying for attention. But when we try to pet him/play with him, he acts like we're insulting him. #catsareassholes
astro_noms: (keep calm)
So we (G., a friend from school, his brother B., and I) are looking for a place together. We've been calling around, and gone to see a couple of places now. I can't wait! They're good guys, and we get along famously. We were thinking of getting a few more people from out year together and trying to maybe rent a house, but the girls decided that they're not ready for the hassle of moving right now, so it's just going to be the three of us, unless B. finds someone to share a room with him, and then we'll have a few more options.

I'm supposed to give 30 days' notice where I'm living, but it's 30 days from the end of the month. So since the hammer came down on the boys' end and we need something for June, I figured I'd try and find someone to rent my room and that way I wouldn't have to pay for June, which the landlady agreed to. I also told her that if it doesn't pan out, I'll pay for June, because what the hell, I'm not gonna stiff an old lady her money.

And then she pissed me off, three times within the space of two days. I went to visit my grandparents on Wednesday, and came back Friday. I was at G.'s, looking at ads for apartments, and my roommate calls me up, because "Mrs. R. is worried about you, and she wants to know where you are, because you just disappeared." I'd known she was paranoid about stuff like that (something about her neighbor renting a room, and her tenant committed suicide, and "she just lay there for four days before anyone found her, and then she had so much trouble with the police, and the coroner, and everything!"), but seriously, this is just fucking ridiculous. So I told A. that I'd be back later that evening and thought that was that. Then yesterday afternoon, I came home, and Mrs. R. was there, cleaning out the boiler room (they have access to our place, because their boiler room is here, etc.) So she calls me over, all "come over here, please, I need to have a word with you," and proceeds to tell me off for not letting her know where I was. I managed to keep calm and not tell her that I'm not going to report in to her every time I leave the fucking house, because I'm not a goddamn kid, and even if I was, I'm not *her goddamn kid, and just kind of sidestepped the issue. Closed my door and fumed a bit because SERIOUSLY. Then I went out in the evening, and when I came back, she came down, all "have you put up the ad for the room yet?" and it's like, "I *told you, I'm going to do it tomorrow, I need to take pictures, and I haven't had the time to do that" and on top of that, it's 9:30 in the fucking evening, so GTFO my apartment and stop bothering me.

*deep breaths*

Don't get me wrong, I like this house. The room is just right for me, and the area is nice and quiet, and we have a nice garden, etc. But living downstairs from the owners, without the ability to lock my own apartment and prevent anyone from coming in is getting on my nerves. I appreciate the fact that she gives us herbs from the garden, and when Magda was sick, Mrs. R. brought her food and looked in on her, and that from time to time, I get an invitation for coffee or cake or dinner. But seriously, just because she's renting us rooms doesn't give her the right to butt in so much. If I wanted to have every aspect of my life scrutinized, I'd have stayed at home with my grandparents.

So yeah, I'm very much looking forward to getting out of here. We just have to find something we can all live with, looks-, location-, and cost-wise, and then everything will be hunky dory.

*siiiigh*
astro_noms: (all a little mad here)
I've been trying to put together a year-end mix, but it's just not working. As usual, it'll probably end up coming together at the last minute. *sigh* Nothing is working right now. *pokes brainmeats*

For the first line of the first post of every month thingy, I skipped my upload posts and any posts that didn't have text (like photo posts in November). And there's a couple that start off with one word, so I included the following sentence as well.

Let me sum up. )

We have a new roommate! We decided that we didn't really care if it was a guy or a girl, so I changed the ad I put online, and got mostly guys calling/writing about it. I came back to Wrocław on Saturday, and while I was on the train a guy called, and we arranged for him to come over in the afternoon. He came by, he liked the place, and decided to take the room. Which means Magda and I will no longer have to spend an extra 325 PLN each to pay for the extra room, yaaaay. Artur seems like a solid dude, so here's hoping it all works out, because I really don't want to have to move before the end of this school year. And he doesn't mind cats, so Operation I WANT A CAT might still happen.

I called a medical clinic today and booked an appointment with an ENT. Ostensibly, we have public health care in Poland, but if you want to get in to see a specialist, you're in for a long wait if you want your visit paid for by the system. If you're willing to pay out of pocket, however, you can call on Monday and get an appointment for Thursday, which I was definitely willing to do, because FFFFFFUUUUUU SINUSES. My cough is starting to come back, and I'd like to get this taken care of before I develop another case of tracheitis and have to take antibiotics. I don't really want to miss any more school, since I missed three weeks because of the surgery and recovery and the lingering sinus infection already. Here's hoping this guy will be able to help me out and soon.

I got absolutely NOTHING done over Christmas. It wasn't actually that stressful, since I was able to get away and do some calming breathing/tension relieving screaming into a pillow/walking the neighbors' dog when I needed it. I think I'm still a bit frazzled from the translation, but I need to get my ass in gear and get back to work. I'm floundering a bit over my MA thesis, but I'm hoping that once I get back into the swing of things, everything will sort itself out and I'll get back on track. *deeeeeeeep breaths*
astro_noms: (coffee coffee coffee)

I'm not really much for new year's resolutions, because I inevitably fail and then feel even worse about myself. But in the tradition of making grand pronouncements and commitments at the beginning of the year, there are some things I'd like to try. I'm pretty sure that if I managed to incorporate all those things into my life, I'd be doing pretty freaking awesome.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Tangents and Digressions.

astro_noms: (fly away)
Is there a name for that feeling of "what do I do now?" that comes with the end of a work project that previously took up all your time and now that it's done, you have other stuff you want to do, but you just don't have the motivation? Because that's pretty much how I've felt this week. I have fun stuff I could do. I have school stuff I need to do. I have movies to watch and TV to catch up on. And all I've done is go to class, get through the day, and then come home and nap. :\

I know it's probably normal for my brain to need to rest, but it'd be really awesome if it could also shut up with all the ideas and little reminders that yes, my thesis advisor is going to expect me to come back from the Christmas break with at least a few pages of the first chapter written, and hey, I'd better get on that, pronto. Every time I look at my computer, I'm reminded of all the stories that I haven't finished, and all the ideas rattling around in my brain for new stories.

I had a meeting with my advisor on Monday, and while I didn't come right out and say "I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing," I kind of hinted at being a bit lost, and he helped me lay out a bit of a path, so there's that at least. Hopefully I can actually manage to pull my shit together over the break and cobble together an outline and maybe actually start working on the first chapter. Because our MA seminar group was assembled after the semester started, we don't have any formal classes with him this term. I asked him what his requirement for our grades is going to be—some seminar groups have a 10 page research proposal due, others have a title and a bibliography, others just have to have an idea about what they're going to write about and start putting things together. He said "I don't want you to just talk about what you're going to do, I want you to do it." I'm going to aim for an outline and getting the theory basics down into something coherent, and possibly go and see him after the break to make sure I'm on the right track.

My author sent me another partial payment for the translation, but since she lives in France, the bank transfer takes a while, so I've been sitting here, refreshing my bank website, waiting. She sent it through Monday night, which means it was sent through on Tuesday morning, but it takes, in the words of a bank customer service rep, "up to four business days" for them to go through. I'm pretty sure the last time it took like, a day, but I could be wrong. I just really really really hope it gets here tomorrow, because I'd really like to be able to get some food and also get a ticket to go home for Christmas. I was hoping it would get here today, and had been considering getting a small Christmas tree for the spare room with some random decorations for it, but it's probably a good thing that it didn't, because if I'm going to be gone for over a week, the thing would just dry up and shed needles all over the place and nobody wants to clean that up.

[redacted "ugh, going home for Christmas" rant because nobody wants to see that, including me] Let's focus instead on the possibility that I might (MIIIIIGHT) be able to swing going to New York for the winter break in February. I've never been there in the winter, and I imagine it might make a nice change from the OMG DYING heat of July/August. And if I can manage the tickets (next month, though, so the prices will probably go up, but alas, I can't afford it right now), I'm totes calling it a birthday present to myself. Cross your crossables, folks!
astro_noms: (you sparkle; we should frolic)
So for a while there, there was only the barest trickle of translation jobs coming my way. The translation company in Krakow went silent, and there weren't any big jobs or anything. Then I got the book translation contract, and the author recommended me to a friend of hers who does marketing texts and stuff (and OK, that one is only a theoretical future thing, but it could turn into something). I fell pretty far behind on the book translation while my mom was here, so I'm scrambling to catch up. The contract says November 1 as the deadline, which haaaa, no, but the author has reassured me repeatedly that that date is not set in stone and she's fine with it taking longer. Which is all fine and good, but the longer it takes to finish, the longer it'll take for me to get paid. And then today I got an e-mail from the Krakow company with an offer of getting in on a big translation project for another museum. They want to know how many pages I can take this month with an October 4th deadline and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhh I don't know what to do.

My mom says "TAKE IT OMG!" My grandma says "be careful that you don't take too much on." My brain says "take on a bit, because it'll be money coming in sooner than the book." But I'm starting school in three weeks, I still have to find a place to live, and I need to go to Wrocław within the next 4-5 days, so that's going to be another whole day I don't get any work done in, and lord knows that while my grandparents have finally started to understand the whole "I'm not here, I need to *work" thing and have mostly stopped calling me down for trivial things and distracting me, there's still a lot of everyday things that *do distract me, and I still don't get as much work done as I should be getting, and all of this is starting to get a bit overwhelming and waahhhhh, my life, so hard.

Objectively, I know that if I'm going to make it as a translator, I need to get used to having to work faster and on multiple projects at the same time, and that I can't not take a job because I've got a lot on my plate, because money is money, and as long as I'm a freelancer, I'm not exactly flush with cash on a regular basis. Objectively, I know it's a pretty good sign that the translation company is calling on me with big projects like these, that they know they can rely on me, and that I've built some kind of rep with them. Subjectively, I'm terrified that the book translation sucks, and that I'm going to take on too much and crash and burn miserably and be an utter failure and oh god, school starts in three weeks, and that means I'm going to have to start thinking about a dissertation topic and I think I'm going to go breathe into a paper bag for a while...
astro_noms: (improving morale)
Woot, final grades today:

- an A in translation ("Thank you," I said. "Don't thank me, you deserve it," he said. I wasn't the only one he said it to, but it's nice to be appreciated.)
- an A in conversation class (Marta and I led the class discussion on "the role of the arts in contemporary society" and then we got our grades.)
- a B in French (I had to make up the vocabulary part, and bumped it up to like, 96/103 points. I'd have been happy with a C, because I just wanted to pass the class, but it's nice to keep the solid B across all terms over three years.)

Also this week, I got an A in one of my proseminars, and a C+ in integrated skills (vocab and grammar), because while obviously I have no trouble using the English language correctly, I suck at solving crossword puzzles and fill-in-the-blank exercises, and the last test was the only grade I had this term, so there was really nowhere to go from there. We'll have to see what I get in the other proseminar tomorrow, whether she's going to grade solely on material prep and class participation, or whether the fact that I what I had to say about the stuff we read didn't really line up with what she wanted to hear will affect my grade.

My grades this year won't be high enough to qualify me for a scholarship this year, even if by some miracle I were to get an A on the history of English exam, so I'm kind of breathing easier. There's nothing I can do to change it at this point, unless everyone else somehow fucks up royally. I guess I can still apply, but it'll probably be like after the first year, where the woman in the scholarship office was all "lolno, why are you even bothering?" (at which point I was like SHUT UP AND TAKE MY APPLICATION DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO). I'm not sure exactly how the BA figures into the average, or even if it's counted for this year, but whatever, it's not happening.

While the French instructor was marking my test, I asked her about the rumor we'd heard that the new MA program they're supposedly introducing will have a semester of a foreign language, and she confirmed that as far as she knows, it's happening. While she may not be the most reliable source of information, I'm going to guess that in this case, she probably knows what she's talking about. Which, fabulous. Because what we really need in the second last semester of an MA program is a foreign language class. Maybe if we're lucky they'll stick it in earlier, but knowing the university and their track record of fucking us over, I'm not going to hold my breath.

ETA: I just check the website of the university's language learning institute, and there's an announcement from the rector stating that we have a mandatory semester of the foreign language we picked at the beginning of our program. So much for my brilliant plan of "I'm going to learn another language, ANYTHING BUT FRENCH." But I'm definitely going to see about either classes at the institute, or idk, private lessons somewhere. I can't take another semester with this woman.
astro_noms: (we all float down here)
So I get money from my parents while I'm at school, right? My dad sends it through Western Union, which means I have to find somewhere to pick it up, and there just so happens to be several places within walking distance of my new flat, including a branch of the place I usually go to. However, the place I usually go to has some political connections I'm not exactly fond of, so I figured I'd wander a bit farther and see what else there was. So I walked into a bank I've used before to pick up the money transfers, and the teller helping me was so nice and so helpful, that when I complained that my bank's branch next door had been shut down, and hey, it's not like I could pick up money transfers there, he suggested that I try opening an account with them to see if I liked it better. And I know that it's standard to offer an account to a non-client, but he was just so damn nice about it that I ended up unable to say no, and consequently half an hour later, I walked out with a new bank account. Which, given that I've had twinges of dissatisfaction with various things my bank does, is perhaps not the worst of ideas.

I'm slowly acclimating to being back in classes here in Poland, and things aren't going too badly. There is a meeting regarding the translation internships in a little while, and while I already have the required hours (through the stuff I did for the translation company last year), I still need them to give me an officially signed piece of paper validating it, and then I can get the signature from the internship coordinator and get that out of the way.

I've been thinking more about the MA program, and I've realized that I'm not sure if I really want to do a translation MA. Chances are any thesis I wrote for a program like that would involve theoretical analysis of translations of... whatever, but the thing is, I don't really want to do theoretical stuff. I realize I have to learn the theory so I can be a better translator, but actually writing a whole master's thesis on it isn't something I'm particularly inclined towards. I suppose there is always the possibility of arranging an alternate MA project, and doing a translation of my own, but I have no idea how that would work and the prospect of having to fight through several layers of bureaucracy to get to someone who'll give me an actual meaningful answer is daunting. Once I get fully settled in, I'm still planning on setting up a meeting with someone who can give me more info about how the whole thing works, and hopefully I can sort out something soon.

All of that will have to wait until I'm not feeling like my insides are reenacting historical battles on an hourly basis. /o\
astro_noms: (vote plague)
It's just after 3pm, and it's getting dark outside. Mostly because it's getting cloudy (quelle surprise), but still, it's gone from bright and sunshiny to dank and depressing within the space of an hour. BUT. WE HAVE HEAT AGAIN. The heating dudes put in new copper pipes and a new boiler over on the landlord's side of the house, and now we all have proper heat controls in our rooms, so we can regulate how warm things are. YAY. We were without heat yesterday and last night, which I'm thinking did not do my cold/flu/plague any favors, because I'm still feeling like crap. I though the exhaustion that made me go to sleep at like 8pm last Saturday was stress, but it must have been an early sign of the oncoming plague, because I've been sick pretty much since Sunday. I haven't been to the doctor, because I don't have a fever and it's been mostly coughing and a runny nose, and I don't want to get put on antibiotics again. So I've been trying to kill this with LemSip and Sudafed and painkillers. Granted, that course of treatment hasn't been entirely effective, but enh.

I'm supposed to go to London on Saturday for an ash-scattering ceremony for a friend of my mom's, but if I'm still feeling this crappy tomorrow afternoon/evening, I might just not go. Sightseeing when one is sick is no fun, and a trip like that probably wouldn't do my system any favors.

Today, Marta and I went to an Evidence of Identity interview to get our national insurance numbers, in case we want to try and find part-time jobs to pick up some extra cash. The interview went smoothly, we should hear about the decision in about 10 days. The landscapes - gently rolling grass-covered hills, sheep grazing here and there, and tiny adorable towns along the route - as seen from the train did nothing to change our impression that we live in Middle Earth. One of these days I'll actually get around to doing that picspam I've been planning for the last month, and then you'll all see. IT'S SO PRETTY EVEN WHEN IT RAINS (which is pretty much ALL THE TIME).

No doubt you've heard about the latest round of LJ fuckwittery, what with implementing one style of Tumblr/Facebook-like friends feed for everyone (it's in beta right now, but it's going to apply to everyone eventually), and the plans of doing away with paid accounts (features will be available in packages, paid and permanent accounts will remain and be considered "premium" with extra features available - at least that's what I got out of the information posted). More and more people are switching to DW - or at least crossposting from DW, which is what I've been doing. If you have a DW account or are considering switching, come and see me! I'm [personal profile] astro_noms over there. Also [twitter.com profile] astro_noms at Twitter, and [tumblr.com profile] astro-noms at Tumblr.

Also, if anyone needs an AO3 invite, I have a few spare ones, so drop me a line and I'll hook you up.

If you're on DW, the lovely [personal profile] moonwolf is hosting a DW friending meme! Go! Spread the link! Make new friends!

And now, I think I shall go and have a nap, because I am le tired.
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