Kabhi kushi, kabhi khan. Sometimes sushi, sometimes fun.
Fought with software, got a headache. Lost a glove (found it later inside the lining of my coat). Went to the gym, found out (in a magazine) that lack of sleep can cause cancer and I’ve gained weight (fortunately this was not told by the magazine). Desperately seeking Susan or some other brilliant graphic ideas. Nothing significant accomplished. By evening, can’t remember a word I read in the afternoon.
Well, that does it – no more need to come to work, at least not because of anything related to writing the thesis. The computer let out the smoke with such a flash and boom that my ears rang for a minute. I really hope the hard disk was not damaged – my backups are – of course – from Monday. And the work I did during the last 2 days was really painful…
I suppose I finally managed to take care of a few things – mainly because I found out that the manuscript absolutely has to be in press next week or it won’t be done in time, which, combined with the fact that my only computer capable of processing the needed files broke down, means that I should concentrate all my efforts on making it in time. Man, what an inspiration to do anything else! In a sudden need to avoid anything related to the manuscript, I more or less settled the question about my degree (237 study credits should be enough for the Ph.D. degree, which requires 200…), called a few people, wrote and sent two requests for offers from a potential party-site and for publishing of the thesis at the Yliopistopaino, spent a moment or two along the lines “a dress? hairdresser?”, read for the examination and baked bread. And even made an order for coffee/tea and cakes to be enjoyed after the defence (Is there really going to be an ‘after’?). So, at least there’s going to be something for those who choose to sit throught the talk. Or ar least the 60 first ones. Ha.
Two incidents, worth mentioning, since they surprisingly got me out of the ‘I hate everything’-moods I fell into yesterday. first, I got a present from my dearest 14-year-old teen ninja from our dojo: A cinnamon bun (pullapitko) made all by herself at the school 🙂 Later, I found an exhibition by my classmate, Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo. The works, as fragile and delicate as the artist herself, reminded me that there are beautiful and precious things in life, that completly miss our appreciation since they’re taken as granted…
But enought of sentimentalism. I still have the manuscript to finish, and an exam to study, and even need a picture to put on the cover of the bloody thing. Unfortunately, the hard disk was not damaged, so I can’t just point at destiny and revert to the ‘final’ version of last week.
At the end of the working day, I was steaming hate and anger and felt a burning need for violence. Usually in these cases it is best to go get it at the training. This time, after 1.5 hours of nice civilised practise, I got hit by a train – disguised in the form of a rather heavy-weight krav maga enthusiast. Ouch. Left elbow useless for a while now. I guess I got what I was asking for, but “You know, I don’t have the habit of giving girls any advantage” after the crush did not help.
OK. Don’t panic. Breathe.
When the Boss finally found some time to discuss my thesis manuscript today (which I left at his desk a week ago, for a final check-up so I could send it to press by last Friday), it became apparent that he had not read it thoroughly before. Major corrections. Significant re-writing needed. The ‘comments’ were embellished by demonstrations of how stupid I am and how my head is leaky – I can not remember things I’ve read a month earlier. I know that’s bad, but at present I barely can remember to take the keys with me in the mornings. 1 month and 4 days left, during which I should somehow dig myself up from this stress so that I could remember things I know, in addition to reading through at least major part of the 179 articles I am referring to in the thesis. And the Fil.Lic. Examination. And organise the damn party.
I wonder how bad a mistake it would be just to ignore the ‘final modifications’, as they were called. Send the bloody manuscript as it is to the opponent and everyone. Fuck them all. If I don’t know something, it’s not my fault. Nobody has been teaching anything here – not even students of undergraduate status. Gradoate ‘School’ of Neurosciemces – ha ha. At least at this end of the building.
… there’s the brighter side: the weather. Walked this morning for some time around the Vanhankaupunginlahti, the area where Helsinki (if I’m correct) was originally founded. Beautiful. You could not believe it’s October and not March. Very often it has happened so, that in March you wonder if it is October … still, it does not help a lot. Neither does the Menu of the local Unicafe:
Lindströminpihvi, sipulikastike (vl)
Tonnikalapannu ( l,g)
Kasvisherkku (vl, myösve) (I BET this is delicious)
I suppose I have to (again) skip training.
Yareyare. I get the permission for press (painatuslupa) on 13th of November (so that I could not have sent it last Friday anyways). Thesis has to be published&pressed 2 weeks before the dissertation, that is, 17th of November at latest. If lucky, the publishing can be done in a week. Houston, we have a problem. And, NO ONE seems to know how to do this thing, been running around all kinds of coordinators and secretaries, and the only help I get is ‘you should check it in the net, there’s some information’ and ‘shouldn’t it be enough for it to be as a .pdf in the net by that time’… Well yes I’ve read through the pages, but already heard that they do not cover everything, especially the paperwork is completly omitted. Most distressing are the rumours I’ve heard from several directions, that even the things that I should not worry about will not be taken care of, at least not in time, if I won’t personally remind the persons responsible twice a day.
I’ve got this urge to spend rest of the day staring blankly at the wall and listening to the happyhappy-joyjoy music by the Japanese cute-boy-group V6. I’m not going to get everything done properly anyways.
I realised that if I just delete all the sentences where some re-writing would be needed, it all gets much more clear. The shorter the thesis, the less things for the opponent to hook on. *manic laughter*
Weekend has not been filled with studying. Trying not to panic.
Went to see the Whale Rider, liked it a lot. Spent long hours having fun with the dog, some ducks, and even some people (*gasp*!). Saw the Whale Rider, wanted to go diving again. Ate pseudofood, attended to an afro-dance-class (definetly not my thing – I have upper back as rigid as a wood that now hurts). Wrote letters to my best friend Peetu and to my sister. Ate pseudo-food. The exam book is glaring at me from the desk.
But at least I’ve done some thinking – …
e-mailed to Japan and informed the folks back there I’m coming back. Now that I think about it, it seems as the only reasonable thing to do. I just need a lot of time to see through my decisions… I suppose the job would start in the beginning of next February, and I’d expect coming back after 3 years
So everything’s fine? There’s too much going on to even sit down and think about the future, really. There’s so much I’m gonna miss (the slush of snow, water, dirt and salt is not one of them) – but I suppose we’ll all manage. I’ve got a plan.
Today would be my father’s birthday. I wonder often how different my life would have been, had he not died. I might be already married with a couple children. Or whatever.
Anyhow, I learned today he was in RUK (the Officer School of the army or something) together with Arvi Lind. He loved nature and horses and photography. Allergic to seafood, like I am. Tried to teach me good manners, to speak in a civilised way, and to take care of those around me. In a year, he’d be retiring from Yleisradio. … These days, several of my friends are in the age when my father was found to have badly developed brain cancer. … Even I should remember to enjoy life more. You never know.
Graveyards are always chilly.
First snow! Even though I know that in a few months the frozen wet thing,
usually with a matching color with cars’ undersides, does not induce any
spontaneous exclamations of happiness any more. Maybe it’s one of the last
things that childhood leaves in us: the every-year joy of the first snow.
Most likely it usually dissipates very quickly, especially if the person in
question the proceeds to scratching car windows with a credit card and
cursing the whole drive to work for not having changed the winter tires in
time. (But, I trust, all of you have done it in time? Right? And if not, do
it right away, this evening or maybe tomorrow morning at latest?)
Very appropriately for today, the mail brought me the package I sent to
myself around there,
containing some Japanese magazines (the Tokyo Walker and Saita), the
previous tome of Robin Hobb’s Tawny Man, the J-pop CDs and the books for
learning Japanese language. (For reference, they only took 52 days to
arrive on camelback or whatever means the Surface Mail uses….)
Appropriate since I definetly should concentrate on reading and not reading
anything like that. I have a mile-long todo-list, from the obvious (getting wise and studying for the Fil.Lic. Examination) and urgent (doing something to the terrible layout of these pages) to not-so obvious (cleaning the attic) – until now, I’ve managed to read some 10 pages and be good for the birds.
This morning I had the best drive ever for reading for the Fil.Lic. exam. After days of avoiding seeing the books, I started propmptly on page 1 and after a while found myself wondering – what was I avoiding? This is the science I love, and the book deals precicely with questions I have always been fascinated by.
Then I decided to be a good girl and go to work. Where nothing worked out as it should have and in addition I forgot to take the office keys, in result of which I spent most of the time on the corridor. Spent it in a completly irrational panicky state I seem to fall into each time something goes wrong. No need for mentioning I could not read a single paragraph any more.
On the good side, I got some very valuable advice that should make some of my near-future decisions easier to make. Like, what to wear. (‘väittelijällä tulee olla mustat liivit’, as I was told by my supervisor…) Speaking of which, the mere thought of organising the
after-party and deciding whom to invite makes me wanna hide under my bed.
(Where have I lost the true love for the field? When did that happen? I was asked today, if I am certain this is the career I want, since it requires a hellovalot of drive to do. I’m depressed, since this is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my life, and I have a vague feeling I already prioritise the Career over everything else… and if someone supervising me does not see that, or thinks that it is enough – what can I do?)
38 days left.
45 minutes straight of excercising upper and lower blocks does good to anybody.
Fresh soba-noodles work much better than dried regular egg-noodles in raamen.
A wise man does not walk around with take-away-latte with the cup left uncovered. Especially if the coat is white.
Spent a good part of the evening in da cardiomachina at the gym, reading Nitobe Inazo’s Bushido, and theory&practise of seppuku. The describtions, written with a naturalist’s attitude for details, kept me entranced while doing away 11 kcal a minute.
(from a physician’s diary, about the seppuku of three brothers, aged 24, 17 and 8)
“When they all were seated in a row for final despatch, Sakon turned to the youngest and said – “Go thou first, for I wish to be sure that thou doest it aright.” Upon the little one’s replying that, as he had never seen seppuku performed, he would like to see his brothers do it and then he could follow them, the older brothers smiled between their tears. – “Well said, little fellow! So canst thou well boast of being our father’s child.” When they had places him between them, Sakon thrust the dagger into the left side of his abdomen and said – “Look brother! Dost understand now? Only, don’t push the dagger too far, lest you fall back. Lean forward, rather, and keep thy knees well composed.” Naiki did likewise and said to the boy – “Keep thine eyes open or else thou mays look like a dying woman. If thy dagger feels anything withi and thy strength fails, take courage and double thy effort to cut across.” The child looked from one to the other, and, when both had expired, he calmly half denuded himself and followed the example set him on either hand.”
Surprisingly good morning. I suppose it was a good decision yesterday to skip training and just come home and sleep .. after 12 hours of dreaming I have almost forgotten yesterday’s frustration about getting nothing done. At last got around to do some cleaning – it seems I have to vacuum-clean the apartment at least once a week or get allergic to dust.
And, as an innovative solution for the problem ‘sitting at work and getting nothing done’, I decided to stay at home and do the reading – I left the Thesis MS at Boss’s desk yesterday, and most likely won’t hear a word about it during this week. Anyhow, I found I have serious holes in my knowledge about 1) neuropeptides 2) serotonin and acetylcholin transmission as well as 3) neural projections into the hippocampus; and since I am making some claims about these subjects in the introduction, I better check out at least that I am not completly ruining the whole thing…
I have a vague memory that years ago, being still an honest student, I was able to read and memorize 100 pages of rather heavy bioscientific text per day. I am afraid it’s closer t 20, these days – so, I might end up spending the whole day cleaning up the attic or playing violin or swinging the shoto. But I try not to get overstressed even if that happens.
Jei! Monday! With first morning frost this winter. The mail brought me Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Fate, the last part of her Tawny Man-trilogy, that I’ve been waiting for some time already. Of course, don’t have time for reading fantasy at the moment, but I put the book on top of my monitor – to remind me there’s life after the Bloody Thesis Business ™.
I don’t know if Hobb’s books are considered to be Puppafantsu or not, don’t care..
‘Don’t care’ seems to have become my motto?