9 May 2017

Today has been a super productive day so far.

I woke up at 5:20, got up around 5:30, drank coffee and chilled for half an hour, then did subtitles work for 2 hours straight.

And translated exactly 425 lines. You may not know how much that is, but it’s a massive amount. I usually average just above 100 lines per hour.

In minute terms, I was taking 4 minutes to translate each programme minute. That’s like a million light years away from my speed (as of Saturday) of 1 programme minute every 7 minutes.

That’s like… WOAH.

Then after that I prepped my class for tomorrow; I’m teaching two students at 7:30 and 10am. I finished prepping the first and outlined the steps for the second. Then I got tired of working so I stopped. It was about 10:47am. (Ok fine, it was exactly 10:47am.)

So I did one-third of my current subtitles project and finished more than 60% of my class planning in less than five hours, with a half-an-hour break in the middle watching Hannibal.

That’s an incredible improvement on the 4th of May, which I wrote about here. I blame George Lucas. The Dark Side must have been at work.

So yes, I had an amazingly productive morning, which I’m super happy with. Then I got ready and left for town.

I decided to take the bus the whole way today rather than the usually bus-purple line-MRT-BTS combination, and lo and behold, it was faster! At a fraction of the cost! I’m only taking the bus from now on outside rush hour.

And here I am now, one hour away from my “Amazing Service at Reception” training, blogging in a café. I wonder what they’ll train us today. I’m prepared to be amazed.

After the training my friends from school are having dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I haven’t seen them in many months, so that should be nice too.

Today’s set to be a good day!

Time for me to go work on my second short story. It’s called “One Seventy-Two” courtesy of my friend.

Love,

Val

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2 January 2016

I can’t sleep.

I went (came?) to bed eight hours ago, and I am now more awake than ever. I tossed and turned. I counted sheep. I lost count of sheep. Nothing worked.

Why can’t I sleep? That’s the question I’m asking myself. And I have a pretty good idea what the answer is.

The blended Thai milky tea I had at half past six yesterday evening, is why. I knew I was asking for trouble, but I went for it anyways. I have nothing but my gluttony and lack of self control to blame.

Talking about those two things, this holiday season is going to be the death of my weight loss progress. I’ve been stuffing myself silly using the holidays as an excuse. And I’ve gained so many kilos (well, two, to be exact – might not sound like a lot but takes hell to lose). Monday will be a rude awakening. No more carbs. No more sugar. At least until the next weigh-in at the monthly hospital visit.

Oh why oh why do I live in extremes. Moderation is certainly not my strong suit.

Now let’s move on to better and brighter things…

It’s 2016 babeh!

Two good things are happening already in 2016. (Three if you count intaking a lot of cakes and cookies and various other forms of calories.)

One: I have my first French student. How is the teaching going, you ask? It is slowly taking shape. I am learning to branch out, try different techniques, and set the right prices. Price setting has been the biggest challenge so far. But hopefully the latest adjustment has solved that issue for the time being.

So yes, first French student. And an online one at that. Exciting days! I can envisage how the lesson is going to unfold, and I can’t wait for next Saturday to see the class through. Fingers crossed all goes well and the student is happy with how I handle distance teaching.

Two: I reached out to the people I wronged in the past year, specifically during my mania in December 2014/January 2015. Apologies were made, sincerely if somewhat awkwardly. I feel like a school kid trying to make up in the playground after knocking over another student’s lunch. It’s weird apologising for what you only vaguely remember you did. But blaming it all on brain chemicals didn’t seem like the right way to go. So yes, I said sorry to a number of people. And I hope that they will forgive me. If not, then there is nothing I can do but graciously accept that that’s how things are going to be.

Oh I do hope that at least some of them will be understanding. None of them have read my message yet. I am most certainly going to be reduced to a pile of nerves when I check in on the messages later today. Thankfully it’s still the holidays and my parents are both home. So we’re going into the city and exploring the new mall. That would take my mind off the dreaded responses a little. Imagine that this time tomorrow I will have found out whether I’ve alienated some of my closest friends for good. That is a terrifying prospect.

Better not think about it now. As Scarlett said, “I’ll think about it to-morrow”.

It’s a quarter to six. The sky outside is still dark. I am waiting for the first light to go downstairs and officially start living my Saturday. I will be operating on zero sleep, but there’s nothing I can do about that now. Also there’s nothing much left to do. In the eight hours that I’ve been in bed, I have been so productive that I finished most of the tasks I had to do before Monday.

I guess the productivity spike is one good thing about sleepless nights. If only I could sleep properly and spread the productivity throughout the week though… Life would be so much better. I would certainly feel much better about myself.

2016. It’s an arbitrary new start. A fresh page to write my story. I think I know what I have to deal with first: no more mid-day naps and putting off my learning and teaching tasks. More productive days will do wonders for my recovery, and it’s about time I fully recover from my mental setback. I can’t be a floor potato (new word!) forever.

Side note: sleeping on a cold hard floor is strangely very satisfying. Don’t ask me why. It just is.

2016! I hope it turns out to be a wonderful year for all of us. As wonderful as the last, and the one before, and the one before, so on and so forth. One’s life can never be too full of wonder.

It may seem like my life has been on standby, but I’ve come a long way in 2015. Mentally. If not yet physically (diet goes on…).

Let’s continue to move forward in 2016.

Love,

Pig-bellied Val

5 July 2014

I’m flying to Brazil tomorrow.

Which is why I’m watching Brazil vs Colombia right now. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that Brazil wins. I don’t have anything against Colombia, but arriving in Rio two days after Brazil leave the World Cup would just be bloody depressing.

And extremely unfortunate, given the World Cup prime I paid on those flight tickets. #Capitalismisabitch

(I realise I’m being inconsistent in my use of singular/plural in the second paragraph. To be honest, I have no idea which is correct. I just went with what sounded right in my head.)

I also realise I haven’t been the most regular of bloggers. I would apologise, but I don’t want to set a dangerous precedent (of making myself feel guilty for not blogging). So I won’t.

I hope you understand.

I’ve been busy. And I’ve been not busy. I think it’s the latter that’s the problem.

The past two months have more or less confirmed a crucial piece of information that I have suspected about myself for a while now: it’s all about routine. I won’t be elaborating on this just yet. I’m sure I’ll get round to it in a future post.

For now, let me catch you up with what’s been happening in the life of Val:

– I graduated! (big news no. 1)

– I am officially at the end of my seven-year scholarship! (big news no. 2)

– I moved back to Bangkok! (big news no. 3)

– I’ve travelled a decent amount around the UK. I intend to blog about these travels. Most likely on my other blog. After I’m back from Brazil.

[Aaaargh… the match is getting intense.]

#brb

WE WON! BRAZIL WON! WOOHOO THIS MEANS I GET TO WATCH BRAZIL VS GERMANY IN RIO ON TUESDAY. WITH MY FRIENDS. THIS IS AWESOME.

OK. I’m going to calm down now.

So yes, that’s what’s been happening with me these past months.

My 25th birthday is in three weeks. Just a few days after I’m back from Brazil. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.

I hope my granddad is planning an extravaganza. He always wants to have a big celebration. Not because I’m special, but because he has lived enough years to know that any such occasion should be celebrated and enjoyed.

And for once, this year, I’m not going to be a bitch about it. I’m not going to be the teenager who resolutely refused to graciously accept the effort and thought that went into the planning of the birthday lunch. Year, after year, after year.

I’m going to embrace it and be grateful there are people in my life who want to make my birthday special.

I am looking forward to it.

I am happy.

And that’s really all I hope to be. 🙂

Until next time,

Val

p.s. I’m not bringing my laptop to Brazil. And I doubt I will be blogging from my phone. I’m considering short daily travel updates, but then…

 

6 April 2014

Val’s list of priorities as of 6th April:

1. Revise.
2. Exercise.
3. Socialise.
4. Write.

It’s my last week in Bangkok before I jet off to London, where my final undergraduate exams will begin in less than a month. *shivers* Given this imminent departure, I’ve tried to schedule in seeing all my good friends this past and coming week. And since I can’t do two things at once, I’ve had to revise my priorities list from 25th March.

To be completely honest, though, in my head, the priorities seem to be: revise, revise, revise. At some point this week, I suddenly realised that I’ve officially entered the final stretch of revision.

It’s funny. The middle stretch never arrived. One day I was in my early stretch (25th March would be one of those days), then suddenly I was in the final stretch. There doesn’t seem to be a middle stage where you’re just revising merrily along. You’re either super cool and collected, thinking ‘I’m way ahead. I started so early’, or a wreck of nerves, with ‘OMG I’M NEVER GOING TO FINISH REVISING IN TIME. THERE’S LESS THAN A MONTH LEFT‘ on repeat in your puny, overworked, and overstressed brain (which pretty much describes the me of the past week).

My solution for this surge in anxiety has been to exercise like mad. I’ve gone to the gym more often this week than any other week. Having my imminent departure as an excuse to spend more time with friends also helps. The exercise and the company distract me from the stress of revision, but the latter is never far from my mind.

I wonder what it’ll be like once I arrive in London. I can already foresee my stress levels shoot right up. It’s a good thing I’ve got that Lake District trip planned. God knows I could use some away time to clear my head.

On the other hand, though, it’s four whole days where I won’t be able to revise. And there’s a lot you can revise in four days.

This is really not a productive train of thought, so I’m going to stop myself there.

Objectively, I’ve done a lot this week: substantial revision progress was made, visa was acquired, friends were met, body was subject to rigorous exercise. I just don’t feel like it.

And that’s the problem.

It’s all in your mind. It’s all in my mind.

If only the mind were easier to tame.

Maybe I should start meditating.

But now I should get started on that French exercise, so I have time to wash my car before it gets dark (and the mosquitoes come out to play).

Thanks for reading,

Val

p.s. I meant to write a post about how flexibility and duty are inherently incompatible concepts. I’m not sure what happened. I started writing and this came out.

p.p.s. This is quite therapeutic. I should really write about more substantial things though, more concrete topics, with analysis and insight. And there goes the over-exigent mind again.

 

 

28 March 2014

Oops. Someone forgot to write a post yesterday.

Well, I did and I didn’t.

Allow me to explain.

As you may know, I write these posts at the end of the day. Usually after 5pm. Often much later.

Yesterday, I had a work appointment at 5pm.

Arises the question: do I blog before? Or do I blog after?

(Two questions?)

In my blissful ignorance of what the evening held in store, I decided to leave it until after. After all, I didn’t have many hours to spare before my 5 o’clock. And if there are two things I don’t like, they’re 1) writing a post in a hurry and 2) going to a meeting in a hurry.

So it was settled. I would come back and write the post in perfect tranquillity. Free from worries and time constraints.

I went to my meeting. By 5.30pm everything was done. Then, realising how much time there was left, I decided on a little detour. I went to a department store to run some personal errands and do some off-location revision.

So far, my revision has taken place a) at home and b) at my sports club. I thought a little change of locale would spice it up a little.

So I happily installed myself in a café in the department store. Having walked around the floor twice to make sure I didn’t miss a hidden spot (I can be neurotic like that. Especially with cafés. Don’t ask.)

And started on my French exercise.

Then I thought I’d check in with the outside world. (Thought always occurs while revising. Hmm. Interesting.) So I went on my messaging app. And realised that some of my friends were headed to the very same department store.

I think you know where this is going.

No regrets though. Do you know what’s better than a meal with friends? An unplanned meal with friends.

I had the best time.

So, that’s why I didn’t forget to write the post. I simply misallocated time due to an unforeseen event – an information asymmetry, if you will.

The dinner lasted a good long while. By the time I got back to my sports club (my base for yesterday), it was late and all the facilities were closed.

I thought to myself: ah well, I can always write it at home.

So I drove home, with the intention of getting down to blogging before I go to bed.

I got home. And forgot.

Turns out my brain isn’t perfect after all. *exaggerated gasp*

Anyways, here I am today. Using today’s allotment of post to explain my failure to produce yesterday’s post.

I call that creative substitution.

(Yes, I’m throwing Economic vocab in here and there for no good reason. I’ve been reading so much dry Economics stuff today. I am adamant that I be allowed this indulgence.)

Creative and convenient, given that I haven’t done much worthy of reporting today. Unless you find European unemployment and protective labour market institutions particularly sexy.

Not a fan of Economics? How about hierarchical and political incommensurability of values? (My studies do take me to weird and random places…)

Nope. Didn’t think so.

I can actually feel a slight vibration in my eyeballs. I take that as a sign that I should stop staring at the laptop. (I’ve been reading on Mendeley all day.)

So I shall retire to my comfy bed.

Have a good evening,

Val