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Journal :: November 2004
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03.11.2004 (wed)
I felt really bad all day. I think my blood pressure's really low or something because I get dizzy a lot, even when I'm sitting down.
I'm also very emotional and seem to start sobbing for no reason on occasion. It's really tough to work while crying but I try. I refuse to give in to hormones or whatever stupid thing this is. I'm stressed but don't have anything else that's enough to get like this so I just try to ignore it.

I scheduled a meeting for next monday that may result in new work. I still have to find out where the meeting is supposed to take place. I checked on the map and couldn't find the street. I hope it isn't anywhere weird.
And there's another possibility for a really big job starting soon, but I won't know for sure until next week. Either way it seems like I'm going to be busy for a while longer.
Hubby has some vacation time in a month and now I'm starting to feel like I may have to work through it. I can't say I've rested a lot this year but then I had extra time off last year so I can't complain.

I'm just sad I don't have time or patience to work on my websites or do movie reviews. Anything that requires too much thinking or extra computer time is off at the moment. My neck and hands hurt constantly and since I can't take breaks during the day, when I stop at night I really have to stop.

I managed to get a lot of administrative stuff done this morning. It had been pilling up for a while now and there's always stuff I need to do at the beginning of each month, so I finally decided to steal some time to do it.
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04.11.2004 (thu)
I haven't written in ages. I want to but during the week I have no time and on weekends I just want to sleep, not think about what I did all week.

I'm so completely stressed out I can't even begin to describe it. And from what I can tell it's only going to get worse...
So, as a sort of reaction to it, and because things were starting to pile up, I've decided to take care of pending business in the mornings. It means I have to work faster or later but it's worth it.

This morning I did a lot of little things before going out. Then I went over to my parents flat to ask my mother for a prescription for my contacts. We talked for a bit and then I went upstairs to Pedro's grandparents place to pick up some documents before going home.

Then I got to work again. My brother has been helping me out and we spent a lot of time on the phone today trying to finish one of the more urgent things.

Despite the fact that new stuff kept coming in all day I was able to complete it a little before 7, which is better than usual. Not that I couldn't find other stuff to do if I wanted to, but my head is mush by now, so I won't try. There's more tomorrow :)

Some of the phonecalls I got today made me panic for a bit. I seem to react very strongly to things when I'm already stressed and trying to focus. I had to jump up and down for a bit to try and calm down. It must have pissed off the downstairs neighbours but who cares.

I've been listening to the 'Once More with Feeling' CD (the Buffy cd, not the Placebo one). It always manages to make me smile whenever I have a minute to pay attention to what's actually playing. When I finally got fed up with it I put on the new Bjork cd. It's really great but I don't think it's the kind of music I can listen to all day.
My music requirements when I work are very different from when I'm just relaxing. I need something I can put on repeat and forget about it and it can't be depressing, it can't be too repetitive or annoying. NIN is good if I really need to focus on something. The rhythm gets me going. But it may get a bit loud after a while.

OK, now I'm going down to the coffee shop to meet my parents and then I'm coming back to see ER. I'm getting addicted to ER. It's what I get for watching it every day.
And it's also because I've been feeling bad and that's when my obsessive modes come on.
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05.11.2004 (fri)
The day started on code red. I got a lot of new stuff to do and kept getting mail asking why it wasn't done yet. So I worked straight through my lunch hour into the afternoon until it was done and then there was a second panic attack - thanks to a flaw in communication a print function is not doing what the client needs. It's a lot more complicated than I thought it was - from what I was told it seemed a simple 'print page' command - and so there's some programming involved and it turns out to be a crucial thing for the client.
I know I worry too much about this sort of thing and it really wasn't my fault anyway but I can't help it.
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06.11.2004 (sat)
I wake up on saturdays feeling 'I finally have some time to myself' but then I feel so tired that I don't have the energy to do anything. It's like the stress caused by all the work is the only thing that keeps me standing during the week and when it finally stops I realize how depleted I really am.

So I did nothing. I just watched movies and folded clothes, read a bit in the bath and tried to rest.
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07.11.2004 (sun)
We were supposed to go to the movies today but Pedro got sick. He had a tough morning and we ended up staying home. He also has a swollen eye for some reason and had to start treating it with antibiotics. Not a good sunday...

For me it was ok except for the fact that I was looking forward to get out of the house for a bit. I spend my days here and I feel myself going insane when its been too long.
So at night we went for a little walk. It was close enough so that we could come back if he started feeling worse but enough for me to breathe some air.
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08.11.2004 (mon)
Pedro has been ill and so he's home today. We woke up really early cause he wasn't feeling well - his throat was hurting a lot apart from the other stuff - and so I was awake from that point on. I started thinking about all the stuff I have to do today and ended up getting up cause I couldn't take it anymore.

A client called soon after with something urgent but that was simple enough to do.
Then I had a few errands to run, including ordering my contacts, going to the drugstore, the bank and so on.

It was noon when I got back.
I need to talk to my brother because of the work he's doing for a client but he had an urgent call this morning and will be out probably all day, so I'm in trouble.
Plus I have a meeting this afternoon which means I won't be able to check if there's any other last minute corrections to be done. I just hope the meeting doesn't take too long. Not just because of work but because I don't want to leave hubby all alone when he's ill, in case he needs anything.

The meeting went well but it had a weird moment. The guy in charge of the project is ill and couldn't be there. There were two other people who explained everything really well and I got enough notes to be able to have a good idea of how large the project was going to be. But then I asked about hosting for the website and they called the other guy, who thought the meeting was probably not being conducted correctly and said everything all over again, on the phone. Plus, if this is the guy I'm going to have to deal with, things are going to be complicated - it was really difficult to complete a sentence or make myself understood. I've had enough bad experiences in the last couple of days about misunderstandings to want to avoid any more in the future.

Nothing much happened while I was out and by 5 PM I was back. But then things started to go wrong and that means tomorrow is going to be a hellish day - I can feel it!
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09.11.2004 (tue)
This was a stressful day - well, more than usual is what I mean.
Last night one a form on the site I'm working on stopped working suddenly and it took half the day to fix. I was getting calls and email from the client the whole day and I had to write a really long email explaining that this sort of thing happens a lot when we're creating specific software and it needs testing and patience until everything is working properly.

The problem with clients that don't know much about what makes a website work and the difference between programming and simple html is that they expect any addition to the site to be done at the same speed regardless of complexity. Explaining that there is a difference can be a very tricky thing. I hope I managed to do it correctly.

Hubby is still ill, with a fever and severe cough and looks like he's going to have to stay home another day.
The bad thing about staying home when you're sick is that you don't get paid but can't exactly enjoy the down time either cause you feel too bad to be able to do anything fun. But I guess that's the point - if you could enjoy yourself that would mean you could also work :)

And yet, in this crazy time we live in, it has become usual to go to work even when you're sick. I guess people think that's a good thing, to make that extra effort, like it shows loyalty to the company or whatever. But it's incredibly stupid and they don't even think of the most obvious thing: apart from the fact that your productivity level goes down anyway, if you have a virus and go to work, you'll probably infect everyone around you as well. So in the long run you're actually costing the company money by making other people miss work because they also got sick. It's funny how some of the most basic things seem to escape people's attention these days.
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10.11.2004 (wed)
As is becoming usual this week, the day started with a phonecall a little after 9.00 AM. The good news is that this time it was about something that I could do easily enough.

If all goes well there's going to be a lot of stuff to finish today so I'm getting ready for that. But at the same time, the mess that's been going on the last couple of days has had a positive effect. I think I'm handling everything a bit better.

The bad news is that although I don't feel sick, exactly, I'm starting to have a few a few tiny symptoms of what could be a cold - nose dripping, a bit of a cough, etc. It could also be allergies (fingers crossed). It would not be a good time to get sick, that's for sure.
But hubby's still ill so it's not too surprising if I get it as well.
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13.11.2004 (sat)
I wasn't feeling so good today so I just wandered around the flat in my bathrobe all day doing nothing much. And since I didn't have my usual energy, hubby thought it was the perfect time to move furniture around - something I've been meaning to do for weeks. It's a form of torture to me, to have stuff being moved and not feeling up to it. I've been known to move entire rooms by myself, so to just sit and watch is hard to do :)
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14.11.2004 (sun)
We got up late and went to the movies to see Sky Captain. I was waiting for it to suck but, although the story is fairly ordinary and there are no big surprises, it wasn't so bad. Visually it's quite beautiful and I liked the 1940's Sci Fi feel that it has.

During the previews I had a really hard time not laughing out loud. I know there have been a lot of really bad movies being done over the years by my bad movie award, even without seeing the actual thing (who would?) must go to Anacondas. I mean, can you think of a more stupid plot than a bunch of mercenaries looking for an orchid that is the source of the fountain of youth and therefore will make them rich, and then are attacked by a bunch of gigantic horny snakes. I mean, really! Who comes up with this shit? Orchids? It might as well be alligator pyjamas! it would make just as much sense - Anacondas: the hunt for the alligator pyjamas!
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17.11.2004 (wed)
I had a dentist appointment in the morning. It was supposed to be at 11 but I had to wait an hour. It hurt and I have to go back in two weeks. This is the reason I've been delaying it for so long :P

In the afternoon I had lots of things to do, for two different clients. It wasn't much for a full day, but because of the delay in the morning I had to rush slightly.

Plus, one of the things I had to do was record some data CDs to send to a client but my CD recorder is ancient and the discs I bought were useless. I had to finish it at night when Pedro got home - it worked on his computer but by the time I remembered to try it was too late to mail the stuff. I'll have to go tomorrow.

We went to bed early and completely forgot to watch 24.
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18.11.2004 (thu)
It's getting really cold for November, for some reason.
Well, I know it gets much colder in other parts of the world, but here 8 degrees is cold.

I checked my email to find out what my work for the day was then I went to the post office to send some CDs and stopped over at my parent's so my mother could give me a flu shot. Last year it didn't work but I'd rather do it and have it fail than not do it and be absolutely certain I'm going to get sick.

Work was fine. There's still stress but since it's nothing I can solve faster I'm just trying to not panic every five minutes. I'll let you know how it goes.

I've been really anxious and slightly depressed for a while now. I think it's because I don't go outside much - no sunlight means I don't get my daily lithium fix and I don't reset so it all feels like one really long day with a few naps in the middle. And now that the days are getting shorter it's getting worse.

At night I was feeling bored with nothing to do so hubby gave me my first guitar lesson. I learned a few chords and picked a song to practice and now I have to overcome the excruciating pain on the fingers and wrist that everyone needs to go through to play the guitar. But it's fun because I can actually start off with a real song just to to practice changing chords, so it'll keep me interested for a couple of days at least. Every time I've tried this before I've dropped it pretty fast because it hurts. I'm hoping this time I can keep it up. Somehow I feel I might because my motivation is slightly different. I think it's fun to learn something new. It's not just s means to an end. The actual learning process is the objective. Plus I'm less shy about looking stupid than I used to.
And as much as I love the piano, it's not exactly portable. I can't just sit watching tv and practicing. It demands that rigid posture thing that I don't feel up to at the end of an exhausting working day.
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21.11.2004 (sun)
I went to see new second Bridget Jones movie and must say I'm a bit disappointed. The second book wasn't as funny as the first but they managed to make it even less interesting by completely removing it's funniest bit, which was the interview with Colin Firth, and keeping the prison thing that nobody likes and always seemed terribly contrived. Oh well.
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23.11.2004 (tue)
In between waves of work I had the time to finally add some stuff to screengazing. I hadn't written anything in a month because I've been so busy and tired, but today I really felt like it.
It was good to have some time for my stuff again. The project I've been working on for the past couple of months is finally slowing down and I'm expecting to hear something about a possible new project by the end of the week so in the meantime I get some time to do the stuff I enjoy. About time!
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24.11.2004 (wed)
I haven't had any work lately (thankfully), so I spent the entire day writing a little story. It was a lot of fun and made me think about picking up the other one that I left halfway through (well, not even halfway, actually). I got stuck a couple of times but, because I wasn't trying to come up with anything brilliant and didn't really intend on showing it to anyone, I was able to find ways around it. Then at 12 pages I got to a point where I felt it was done.
I have to do this again sometime. It was a really fulfilling day.

At night I went out with my parents. They went to dinner and since I wasn't hungry (cause with the story thing I forgot to eat so I only at lunch at 5PM) and I went to buy a couple of presents for people who have birthdays coming up.
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25.11.2004 (thu)
I had a little work today but nothing major -a couple of phone calls and some changes to a page.
For the rest of the time I was working on screengazing, and especially the gallery section, which I haven't had the time to put up yet.

My doll house arrived today! The UPS guy rang the bell at about 4PM, with two huge boxes!
I opened up the smaller box, that had all the accessories and everything looks great!
The house itself is made of MDF and seems pretty solid. The only problem was that one of the stairways had a couple of broken steps. I probably should say something but haven't quite decided yet.
Tomorrow I have to try and assemble it. They say you should put it all together without any glue first, so I'll do that just to see what size it's going to be.

At night I watched a movie I really liked called Laurel Canyon. Another one to add to the wishlist. I'm going through a bit of a Christian Bale phase and it was the perfect movie to watch.
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26.11.2004 (fri)
I've been sleepy all day. I really should have gone out (I need to go to the bank and buy stuff for the doll house) but couldn't bring myself to do it. So I started bulding the doll house. It's easier than I thought it would be and I was able to assemble it all quite quickly. Then I took it apart again and started over, for real this time, gluing it together.
At six o'clock I finally went out and bought some more wood glue, brushes and paint. I'm still missing a few things, like one of those really tiny rollers, cause they didn't have the handles for them.
It's good to have a hobby :)

At night we had a slight cat emergency. Jones has this terrible habit of eating anything in sight, especially things you're not supposed to eat, like string. He's particularly fond of bathroom rugs and coconut fibres from the plant support poles, so tonight he was having a hard time passing the indigestibles. When we tried to grab him to try and figure out exactly what was going on, he went into this hysterical fit and we couldn't even go near him. We decided to call the vet for an emergency consultation, because he at least could sedate him. This was around midnight and I was already in my PJ's getting ready for bed.

So I got dressed and we waited for about half an hour because the vet doesn't live close by. When I went back in the kitchen Jones had calmed down a bit and I was able to put him on the floor (he had hidden in a corner, on top of the microwave) and yank the fibres sticking out of his butt. But since we had already bothered the vet, we went anyway. He didn't even look at the cat, who was growling every time someone even looked at him, but only charged us for the trip. I felt guilty anyway but I'm glad it wasn't anything too serious.

Still, not entirely the quiet end of the week I had been expecting.
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27.11.2004 (sat)
I woke up early. But even if I hadn't, the hammering that was going on next door since 9 AM would have woken me up. For some reason I cannot comprehend, they only seem to hammer between 9 and 11 AM. Why?

We went to see The Incredibles but stopped at my parents house first so I could pick up medication. I have a damn urinary infection. I didn't have one for years and I certainly didn't miss it.

The movie is great and we had the theatre to ourselves, almost (there were only a couple more people at the back).
Then I bought a couple of DVD's (that I have to remember to remove from the wishlist) - American Psycho and Laurel Canyon.

I also bought my first Christmas present but am still not in the Christmas mood and the Mall was packed by that time. We were going to buy some milk and things that we ran out of but there were so many people that we just gave up. We had a hard time getting out of the parking lot because there were so many people arriving.

When we got home I folded clothes and watched American Psycho. I laughed my head off again. It's a really funny movie for such a creepy subject.

At night we went to a birthday dinner party. My sister-in-law took her new puppy. He's a light brown cocker Spaniel and is absolutely delicious - he's gorgeous and his fur is so incredibly soft. It's more like a teddy bear than a dog. He slept on my lap for a while, in between peeing on the rug and biting people's boots - when you're a cute baby people forgive you anything :)
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28.11.2004 (sun)
Woke up at 6 AM and was really nervous for some reason. I eventually got up - before the hammering started - and went to see a movie. Then I felt like working on the doll house. I continued sealing the wood with diluted PVA glue and papered the roof. But now I can't do anything else because I need to paint some parts before assembling them and I don't have the right paint or mini-rollers. I guess I just need to be patient.

I also added some reviews to screengazing and left a couple more in draft mode.

And the other night I came up with the continuation for one of my stories and was really looking forward to write some of it down today but time just goes by too fast. I guess I'm accumulating too many hobbies at once :)

At night I took a bubble bath and then fell asleep on the sofa watching Inspector Morse, before dragging myself to bed.
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29.11.2004 (mon)
Pedro has a week off and so we woke up early and went shopping. Not that we could have stayed in bed: the construction work next door is sure to get us out of bed everyday by 9 AM anyway.
I felt like banging on the wall and screaming 'shut up or I'll use your liver to make soup!'. Not that I like liver, or soup, but it just popped into my brain. I guess I shouldn't be watching American Psycho while this sort of thing is going on.

After returning with food for the week we went to Lisbon for more shopping, of a different nature: hubby got a guitar and I bought the supplies I still needed to finish the doll house. It was fun but I got really tired.

When we got home I still had to clear the bedroom because the new furniture arrives tomorrow morning. Between all the shopping bags full of paint, glue and so on, the cardboard covered in bits of wood from the doll house and things I had to move out of the bedroom, the flat is now a complete mess...

On top of it all I had to work (so much for my first vacation day). It took almost 2 hours to complete the work I had to do and by the time it was over, it was way past midnight.
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30.11.2004 (tue)
I went to bed late last night and had a tiring day, so getting up at 9 today was tough. 45 minutes later I woke hubby up and we dismantled the bed. The men delivering the furniture arrived maybe half an hour later. There was a slight mix-up regarding the stuff we ordered for the wardrobe but I called the store and got it straightened out. The whole thing was done in about an hour or so and then we had to get the mattress on the new bed and start moving stuff back in.
Hopefully my parents will come over soon to pick up the old furniture because I don't have enough room for everything and still be able to open doors.

I had lunch at half past two and then started to crash. But I can't go to bed - I just can't calm down enough to sleep.

At night we went over to my sister-in-law's birthday dinner and ended up staying till way past midnight.
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