aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)

I miss programming. It was the last thing I was good at. Which is not to claim any particular demonstrable level of skill or aptitude. But that one class I took in 2012 I worked hard at, and I got good grades for my hard work. I miss having something I could work at and feel I was making progress in understanding and skill. Unfortunately I keep being too occupied with work and school or otherwise insufficiently self-directed - as well as lacking in inspiration - to pursue further development in learning to program. Or rather, given the long gap of inactivity, re-learning to program.

As one might guess, today I did have some inspiration on a suitably scaled project I might undertake when I am able, and am writing this partially as a reminder to myself that I should do so. In this case I was wondering about where a stationary orbit around Ceres might be located and whether it would be stable.

I realised I could define a succession of more complex versions of the problem which I could automate the solving of. Simplest version would just take mass and rotation period for input and give an orbital radius as output. More complex versions could relate that to the Hill sphere of the synchronous-orbited body and identify whether the radius for a synchronous orbit falls within that range or whether it is outside (and therefore not stable). That would require additional inputs such as the ~planet's semi-major orbital axis and the mass of the star (or other parent body).

Then if getting that working, could add further complexity in trying to get a range of values computed, frex "as the orbited body's rotation is slowed, at what point does the radius of a synchronous orbit fall outside its Hill sphere?" or "at this rotation rate, how near to its parent body can this object orbit and still retain a synchronously orbiting satellite?"

Should be nice sort of project. Fairly simple, already solved problems (I could verify them with pen and paper), well-defined goals that are definitely outside my current skillset. I hope I will manage to get myself the time for working on this. Could feel proud of success.

aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)
Tried starting up a bookclub at the beginning of this year and it did not go well. I put a lot of the blame on having been swallowed up by work for nearly three weeks of the month, and on being struggling with school again. Even if I had been reading our first book (The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks) on my breaks I wouldn't have had the energy to be posting about it each week. And I wouldn't have been up for a group discussion on it this week at the end of the month either, because this is deadline week for half my grade.

Other people haven't been participating either. I put this down to my lack of doing my part as the organiser and instigator to bring energy and encouragement, at least initially to get things going. If I don't make a bookclub something people value in its own right and for themselves, they aren't going to put their own time and energy into it when I'm not up for that myself.

On the one hand that went quite badly. On the other hand, this means we have a fairly clean slate on which to try again for next month. Of course there is no guarantee that any of these problems won't recur or that new ones will not arise. However, the number and length of shifts I had in January is relatively rare and partly due to other staff being on vacation, and for me February will be between semesters so I am optimistic that we may be able to get some momentum going that will sustain the group through the next rough patch whenever that comes.
aesmael: (haircut)
I have actually been up to a few things lately, many of which have had to go unreported a time for various reasons. So it is a relief to now be able to talk about at least one thing I was up to, now that we have news to report of a successful outcome.

Yesterday I received in the mail my membership card for ALIA, which I had waited rather a long while to apply for. I'm not sure why I didn't do that earlier, except that I had no income to pay for membership.

But we have that now, so I get to be officially a member the Australian Library and Information Association. Along with a whole lot of other people. But now I can put that on job applications and do other library type things too. Whee!

This also happens to be the only organisation I know of where I am currently listed as Ms, but that's their fault for making me choose.

I think I forgot to mention a couple of months ago I did get to officially graduate and even collect from a perfunctory office a spiffy certificate proving so to anyone who can find where I hid it. That was nice too.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

I said recently I would make a daily effort to post (not a guarantee of daily posts) yet none have been posted or even drafted since then, until this one. Unfortunately I have not really felt myself to have the time available to devote to writing those posts I want to write. In between fiction writing and composing applications for jobs I don't seem able to manage some degree of accomplishment at which I would feel appropriate to divert effort to other, non-deadlined activities.

Well, I do say over and over that writing for me at least is something I find frequently difficult, and requiring much time for little progress if I am attempting something I regard as to be given serious effort. But this is, is it not, a space for saying whatever it is that I desire to say? And apparently to talk of not having been talking is at least a way to get started.

This job-hunting thing is being frustratingly difficult. I've yet to meet anyone who said ey liked writing cover letters, and if job-hunting were being easy it would be because I don't have to play this game because I'm not finding any jobs I can try for. So either it is hard and frustrating, or hopeless and frustrating. I guess this is the better situation.

Mostly what I have been trying to for the past week (longer! @_@) is put together an application for a job explaining how I meet their selection criteria. It has been hard, yes. Exasperating. I do struggle to do such things. Well, the impression is just about everyone does. Consequently most of my relaxation, my voluntary activities for this time have been reading and watching television to (mostly) calm down. After all, if I am writing, shouldn't I be working on that instead of posts or stories? So despite having things to say, and wanting to say them, this has felt a very unproductive period of time. At least there is little to go, and today there is the intention of busyness.

At this point we sigh.

If I do not first wind myself up in anxiety to the point of being unable.

aesmael: (haircut)
For a couple of days now I have been back on my laptop, since it came back repaired. For almost the same time I have been back in Vista, because there were people who wanted to talk with me on Skype and the company has let its Linux version lag very far behind the current state of Skype-art.

Am likely to continue using Vista a while again because I am somewhat relying on the calendar app for the Google Sidebar to keep myself on track in my life. If I don't have something that pops up alerts without my input then I fairly completely lose track of time and lately especially I am feeling the need for being reminded to take some breaks, get some space and distance. Having that definitely does not completely fix things, and I often do not act on it, but merely having that there in my sidebar reminds of these things.

So I think I am better off for now using Vista than Ubuntu.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Appointment today, went well. It turned out I was mistaken about having to have my birth certificate available on account of having been registered for jobseeking assistance in the past. But it is still useful to have.

Meanwhile the jobhunting itself continues to not go well. Hopefully one I am qualified for will turn up soon.

Back using laptop, which fortuitously turned out to have a problem only in the AC adaptor cord and not the machine itself. That ended up being cheap to replace and hopefully this cord will be amenable to not twisting itself up and breaking. Still intending to get backup information storage soon and later (but much less urgently) a new machine entirely. Battery still not fixed, RAM still meagre relative to operating system, else not so cheap to be using again.

Other things elsewhere.

aesmael: (haircut)
Been locked out of my usual laptop due to what seems a final and total failure of power. Don't yet know when that will be resolved, or what the cost will be. Fortunately we were availed of some small degree of foresight and backed a few of our more crucial files - mainly fiction and resume - onto a USB flash drive from which we can comfortably operate awhile.

Attempts at industry have persisted, perhaps even been heightened. Some progress has been made in seeking work, though I fear the job found so far is beyond my qualifications. It is at least some renewed practice at the art of application. Hopefully that will serve well; library jobs seem fairly few and searching more often turns up programming jobs than anything else. I did actually consider today that I might undertake some course of study to render myself qualified for those as well, but I would be either employed or devoid of income for some long time before that could come to pass, which seems presently highly inadvisable.

Of less pressing activities... for the minor, I had resolved to fill my original intention and leave off playing roguelikes until I have done with the other games in my collection. Mainly because of the high difficulty and so forth they seem less exhaustible, less conquerable than games with more repeatable paths. Without our accustomed machine they have been turned to again as the amusement of our idle moments for now.

I think I shall play light, and take them in turn - a single game of each we collected and move on to the next in rotation, come death swift or slow. But there is always allowance for a change of mind as fancy suits, this just is what seems fun for the now.

More major accomplishments, to at least myself. Today has seen some story editing, enough perhaps to call two stories of mine 'done', perhaps as finished as they shall be, though one may yet bear further tweaking on future tweaking. We at least know where and in which direction, waiting only its precision for that presumed final amendment.

This goes with our other project, the pretence of publication in the form of a set of HTML files, as if a little website. In that there was also some great satisfaction, sense of triumph, as with the aid of loved ones in sociable discussion I found the path to some desired improvements in presented format via CSS which had previously been a source of much frustration.

Am very pleased with the accomplishments of the previous two paragraphs, having been vexed some long time by them and only yesterday to see some finalised resolution to them at the next opportunity. It is rare that I feel I have done well, that I consider myself to have done any worthwhile thing, even to myself, and I intend to savour this, to take advantage of it if I can.

Meanwhile of writing itself, though a backup was made, it was some couple of days previous to our most recent writing of the current story, which thus is locked away for now. Am treating this as a vacation from the story particular but do not feel content to cease writing entirely. Therefore a new tale is sought, one which would hopefully be light enough to write in a state of reduced access. I don't ever seem to find that easy, but right now the best chances for it seem either comedy, erotica, or fanfiction. I might take this as a freedom to right whatever takes my fancy of the moment, with no care for now to focus with the aim of steady completion.

Seems quiet since clearing out of flist, peaceful. Tempting sometimes to add people back but I don't know why, or if for motives I'd call worth following. Quietly frantic indecision when the subject arisen.

If I am going to be learning and doing more of HTML or coding, really ought to find a tag for that.
aesmael: (tricicat)
Mainly that I at last was assessed at my placement and came out better than had been my expectation, a tremendous relief. Even to say as happened last time with different person that I might proceed into the full librarian degree.

Very surprisingly to me, was rated quite competent. I thought I had been passable at best. If this keeps up, may have to accept a reassessment of myself as 'not entirely incapable / worthless'. That could be nice.

Still, that assessment aside there are still some things which need to be taken care of before I am done. Two last days at placement. A final cataloguing exam next week. Two last assignments to be turned in. It is mainly the assignments I worry about, am stressed by. Assignments have never been something I handled well, so if I fall down anywhere it will be there.

We hope, hope.
aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)
There's a thing about executive functioning issues often associated with autism. And I've noticed my hygiene doesn't seem to be taking care of itself. Sleeping too. I thought I could manage those since I seemed to go okay when I was younger.

I don't know, but I've identified two factors which, being addressed, should help with this a great deal. One is making time specifically for these necessary activities, the other is disengaging from what I am doing when those times come up to go deal with the scheduled important thing instead. Because I like being clean, and well rested, I just keep forgetting to make those happen.

The second part... I don't know how to make happen yet. Am hoping a mere conscious choice to put aside and do will suffice. As for the first part, that's a bit easier, and why my personal calendar is going to be for a while experimentally marked with such peculiar instructions as 'shower'.
aesmael: (tricicat)
On the day itself it was uncertain, would there a honeymoon be? The answer turned out yes, so from this morning to unknown we've a house minus two of its major regular occupants.

I'd messed up sleeping again last night, so had only three hours rest and still was late to class. Came in halfway through test, fortunately still passed and fortunately was only practice. Still, important to show, and learned some things which will be helpful for next week's real test.

In the afternoon our class is indexing and producing abstracts. So far only the indexing, producing from newspaper articles lists of relevant terms for it to be found under in searching. I approach this from the view of a mystery story, and try to mark terms which would be helpful if someone were investigating a mystery or following a series of clues: if I were investigating something related to [potential indexing term], might this resource be useful if it showed up?

We did a practice test which went well, although I feel more uncertain of this subject still than most. Also found out where we would be having the next placement, which is starting next week. Is actually the science and technology library at the university where I was studying astronomy, the library I spent a lot of time in researching for assignments. Also it turns out Q has been assigned to the other library at the campus, the one with all the literature and humanities. I talked with her a bit about ways to get there by public transport since she wasn't very familiar with that particular university. Might offer transport, depending how things work out.

Went and fed dogs, they did not seem interested in eating. Ninja cat has finished testing nomming tools, has now moved on to evaluation of rocketpaws. Am very impressed with Monroe's patience, for not snarling or snapping at him as he gnaws on her legs and leaps at her face, and the frequent pouncing attempts.

Was intending to do some writing too, but had not much sleep. Going to get some soonish, tomorrow call contact person and find out what hours they want me to show, etc.
aesmael: (tricicat)
About a week ago my laptop gave up on being useful. Today it has been partially repaired. The problem with the adaptor has been fixed but the battery is still nearly useless, so until I can get that replaced I am still confined to wherever I can plug in. But this is still an improvement, definitely.

Today was also a jobby sort of day. A local city library likes to come in once a year to collect resumes and quick, informal interviews from senior students they may want to employ casually. While waiting and immediately after I thought of some more ways I could improve mine to be more comprehensive, appealing, and still less tainted by filler. I do think it went okay though, and while I don't expect to be called upon, it still helps to have a bit more interviewing experience and to be reminded that I am possibly employable.

In conclusion, cats are adorable.
Last night I realised that I might be better able to sleep if I had a lamp by the side of my bed. Then I could alleviate some anxiety by being able to turn light off or on without having to walk across to the far side of my room. It would be an easy way to feel safer when fearful thoughts come upon me, especially if I also kept a book by my bedside for distractive reading. Or something to settle down with awhile before I sleep.

My mother is not the best with mental health issues, and when I tried to explain my idea that a lamp might help me get to sleep before sunrise she pointed out I am nearly 25 and not a baby, but she did offer to help procure a lamp (mostly I wanted to know if we had one already I might use, or if the broken one I'd had under my bed before the Great Room-Cleaning could be repaired). I had thought my family rather aware of the importance of mental healthcare and facilities, but perhaps I'd be more accurate in saying they know the importance of locking people away from society so society is not bothered.

And I should learn to stop trying to tell people of the small triumphs I get pleased about; most don't care and it just opens me up to criticism or being reminded of past shortcomings. That, and to articulate myself better. I'd not wanted to describe exactly why I want a lamp but if I'd done better maybe the response would have been better too.
aesmael: (haircut)
Thanks to not sleeping I finally managed to complete a project I'd set myself a couple of weeks ago.

I'd wanted to increase my familiarity with HTML, for reasons of school / work benefits and also especially on account of wanting to, so I set myself the task of creating a bundle of pages which held my stories. A sort of book, an anthology of my work shaped like a website.

I am always surprised at how long HTML takes for me to put together. Especially as once I learn the tools for the task the actual putting it together goes rather quickly - most of the time on this project has been reading up on the subject itself, and only the past few days attempting to sort layout. I am pleased to have learned a teensy bit of CSS for this too, but only a tiny bit of skipping ahead because I want to avoid use of any deprecated elements or attributes if I can.

And now it works. Not any glaring errors I have seen. Pleasant to look at, but not spectacular in even an understated sense. It works, though, and I can call the first version done to enough satisfaction for me to say so. First version, which I have playfully* decided to call v0.1, is done. Nine and a half very small stories and nine poems; eleven and a half stories if you count the version with erotica included. That seemed so few in collection, and they so short, I just had to give a correspondingly low version number, to show how far and how many places we have to go.

Jayde, I ended up excluding. She's something different and does not intersect with this at present (later, that changes). And all my larger stories, those are yet in a state of incompletion. There is at least one, maybe a couple of others I might have included, but they would have required further organisational thought to find their places and I wanted first to establish a version of this story bundle as something that works and exists.

And now it does, and I am happy with my little accomplishment. I did have, starting out, a vague idea that I might share this with people as a sort of writing sample or collected work. May as well go through with that and offer a copy, either version, of this little thing to them as would like one. Everything included is available on my journal already. And this makes another incentive to keep working on other stories as I want to work my fingers in them, shape them, tell them, and now having another place to keep them too, somewhere to arrange and enjoy what I have made, that I have made.

*and sleepily, but don't forget the playfully!
aesmael: (sudden sailor)
Got my results back recently. Seems I have at least passed everything (mostly distinctions and most of the rest credits), even some things I thought I had received non-completion for the previous year. Only one was marked as 'withdrawn, no penalty', which puzzled me because I made no application for such. Tends to make me worry I am getting special treatment, which I often fear I am and wonder why that would happen.

Fortunately that class was about basic web design and I did complete the project, just failed to turn it in. So I should be able to address that easily enough (and maybe take the time to improve it a bit too, not satisfied with what I did). And if that works out then I get to graduate after the first semester this year, which hopefully will be a big relief.

I'll actually have qualifications for skilled work and a salary I could support myself with. That's sort of... I am a bit teary-eyed to imagine the prospect; it seems that is something I'd mostly given up thinking of as a possibility. I hope I don't mess it up.
aesmael: (tricicat)
The past few days have been pleasantly quiet. Relatively few people around, leaving me more time to myself. Been trying to take advantage of this to focus more on taking care of myself and my projects.

Slow progress so far, but a lot of what I need to learn is persistence and discipline, so sticking with it and building better habits is important. That, and learning more to be free, but that freedom perhaps ironically seems to stem a lot from gaining organisation and focus. As I've said a few times by now, having structure with which I can confidently reach for my goals will make departures easier - I will be able to have confidence that doing so is not failure or ruination and awareness to judge my actions. Everything going well enough? Great, no problem taking a spontaneous diversion or few this week. Things falling apart a bit? Better work on shoring up the foundations... unless the alternative is worth that risk.

So, I am trying to put these pieces together. Structure writing time, avoid distractions. Finding this hard. Quite hard. Think it worth learning. Once I can manage that, might be able to add time for other activities too. Learning things I want to learn, doing things I want to do. Should do for schoolwork too; I have a whole month to practice focus in.

Some things are too important to leave that long, though. Living maintenance work, things like housework, healthcare, finance. I need to add those in too. Harder than scheduling writing, but maybe not much more. Maybe not at all, once I get used to what they are and what they demand.

I am finding this quite hard, but still believing I can do it. Streamlining, allocation, awareness. Fluency built from practice. If I can't do it, how would I know?

And this was going to be a different post, but the above is divorced enough from the intended subject it gets to be two instead. I don't normally do the 'turn of year, year in review' post type thing, but there are a couple of different reviews I have been meaning to write for a few months now. Those should be done and posted over the next couple of days.
aesmael: (friendly)
Just pretend nobody reads this.
aesmael: (writing things down)
A couple of months ago I set about organising my life better by marking times on my calendar for working on tasks I had to accomplish, including a regular nightly time for writing. To an extent that fell apart when some of those tasks proved beyond my then capabilities (and home life factors were seriously disruptive at points) but I still think that was helpful for me. I did manage a significant amount of writing during that trial period.

Unfortunately November happened and I realised I needed to set aside writing to work on my assignments (this entity thus far is incapable of both at once). I managed that but have not been writing since, feeling overwhelmed by other things I am trying to get on top of. Except a lot of that is actually listless idling... so if I could learn to focus and direct that focus I could do a lot more of what I want to. I think I am learning this, slowly, with frequent backsliding.

And where does that lead this post? I had been intending to work on tSOW after finishing my assignments. At the beginning of the month I devised a plan which would hopefully see me both writing regularly and bringing projects to some state of completion . According to this plan I would write tSOW for a month, then in January I would edit Epic Fantasy into a more polished state.

I would continue from there, alternating between writing a project for a month (later revised to aim for a minimum of one month, but continuing until some suitable part of the story for stopping is reached [the end would do nicely]) and editing the story produced by a previous cycle for another month or two. My aim is to be productive by focusing on one project at a time, for long enough to accomplish some significant progress, but also avoid burning out by changing my focus every few months and getting me to actually produce finished stories.

Possibly I could even set something less than a full week for myself, leaving a day or two for other projects, maybe even rest and have a day of nothing in particular... that might work if I can get other areas of my life like work and school organised too. If I am getting done what I want to get done, I think I would not feel guilty about taking a day off for other things sometimes.

I was going to work on tSOW during December, but December is nearly done. New ideas, of a smaller sort just recently I have had, so the plan is to finish out the calendar year, begin the next by writing out those. Not going to name them though, make promises, until we see if they will be anything. Then we see about giving tSOW its time.

Tasks

2008-12-13 03:57
aesmael: (haircut)
I have two main tasks set for myself. Fix up my resume to incorporate my experience and lessons from this year, and persuade my bank to give me a card I can purchase online with. I consider these tasks to rate moderate to hard for me personally, so tomorrow I am going to be investigatory and see what is involved.

My goal is to have them both done - my end of them at least - in a week. Cheating a bit, it is Saturday a.m. now, so I want to do these things by the end of the next Saturday. If not, then it will take longer, but if I can make it in a week that will be something to feel proud of.
aesmael: (haircut)
Have been for a while really, since October at the least and my brush with insomnia. This year I have been increasingly reluctant to sleep as my dreams discomfit me, and for years I have been in the habit of staying up until the early hours of the morning, until sunrise even.

Only in the past couple of months, however, have I been actively avoiding sleep. I think it likely I have been subconsciously avoiding sleep; only recently did I realise I have a habit of looking for more and more to to do and read so I do not have to sleep, until I am too tired to stay awake any longer. Lately though I have been feeling increasingly anxious after and around midnight. I feel scared and upset, not conducive moods for sleeping. Mostly I have been pushing myself until it becomes too much effort to be awake.

I think some of it is not wanting to be alone, but I think there are other reasons too. [and right now I want to cry out loud for someone to help me] I don't know exactly what it is. Maybe I am just not happy overall and feel it most at night when everyone being asleep emphasises how alone I am, don't know how to find happiness.

Speaking of happiness, what am I going to write for today's happy post?

I am going to try and find some fun stuff to do. Maybe watch a fun show, read webcomics, work on stories. Also some busywork. Busywork is good. Probably the result will be exhausting myself to sleep again but that is not the goal. Goal is to feel good so I can say "Today has been a happy day, this is the feeling I wish to carry with me into the next day."

It might help too if I start going to bed earlier, probably after my mother but before my sisters so I can feel comforted there is still someone up and about. Maybe stay up overnight tonight and sleep early tomorrow. Requires discipline to continue sleeping early. Maybe I will learn to restrict myself to activities which are at least one of productive and enjoyable, so when I put something down to sleep I can look forward to picking it up again the next day.

Same old, same old goals really. Pervasive problems, pervasive solutions seen from many angles. Learn to have fun and learn to do what I need to do in order to improve my life. Set aside that which helps neither.

Staying up tonight is risky since I would like to have some time with [livejournal.com profile] pazi_ashfeather later, although I think I have neither asked it of nor promised it to her, so at least it is only myself who would be disappointed so far.

Overall, even though there are plenty of good points my life is a pretty sad mess and I have a lot of work to do before I am happy participating in it.

Can I post this public? Yeah, I think I can. In the right sort of mood to believe the world benefits when people show vulnerability as well as the hard stuff. What's that called, grandiose? I often don't feel human, but do think I care enough about them to try as hard as I can to be one.
aesmael: (sudden sailor)
The night before last, I ended up not sleeping. This hampered my plans for writing yesterday. Fortunately I did get some words out of my previous sleepless night, including the final ones of the story. Now I just have to build for them a place to go.

It does feel as if yesterday did not happen, as if a period of time was removed from my life. Not that I am making any accusations, but this is why I want to say "Yesterday, I was surprised to realise..." when a more accurate phrasing would be "Two days ago...". But isn't that just an awkward phrasing? Doesn't flow or feel right at all.

Yesterday, I was surprised to realise how much I have been writing this month. Well, I say 'this month,' but the period in question slips into October too. These things are fuzzy. I was surprised to realise how much I have been writing this month, considering these past few weeks have included what currently feel like some of the worst experiences of my life.

It did not seem at the time like I was writing so much. I have still been having the same struggling to get started as before, but after a hundred or so words until I realise I have consistently been doing significantly more than I would normally have to struggle for. A lot of the lower totals are coming from a lack of distraction-avoidance, I think, as well as occasionally realising I do need to sleep rather than not-write. And this month has included probably two of the three writingest days of my life, certainly since I started counting, and even including the time before that they are almost certainly among the best days of it I have had. There have been higher totals marked but those were often achieved by transcribing longhand stories, which is sort of like cheating.

I still suspect this is helped by focusing on a single story at a time, even if I still get excited about others and want to write those too.

Epic Fantasy
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11,298 + 577
(5.1% more)


Edit: I suppose I have a bit of a problem with sleep. I keep pushing myself to stay up late and find things to do so I do not have to sleep. At least in part because I keep feeling like I have not done enough to justify rest and leaving the day incomplete, like I need to do and accomplish more or else the day was wasted or over too soon. Another part is just not wanting to sleep. Even when I do not have nightmares (I very rarely have nightmares, certainly less often than I live them waking) my dreams are typically unsettling, disturbing. I don't like sleeping if that is what I have to face when I do.

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