Ouch

Those of you who read  my blog from this morning will know that I had trouble a) falling asleep and b) staying asleep last night.
Not only that, but it seems that when I actually was asleep I was either lying in an extremely weird position or having incredibly active dreams. My upper arms and lower back have been aching all day. The arms thing isn’t so much of a problem really, but my back… ouch is too mild a word for it. Luckily the walk to the tram stop this morning seemed to help a bit and as long as I made sure to sit really straight in my chair it was quite bearable, but even now it hurts. Hurts much less (I even managed to meet friends for coffee this evening), but it still hurts.
So after all the lovely tips on sleeping I would now really appreciate it if someone could give me some advice on getting my back to stop hurting. Baths won’t work I’m afraid – all we’ve got here are showers. I would have begged the boyfriend for a massage tonight but he’s decided to stay at home so he can do some work *sigh*. He’ll be here tomorrow but I’m hoping the pain will be gone by then (I may just beg for a massage anyway though, pain or no pain).

So dear readers, help me out again would ya?

Christmas in February

I’m going out in a minute. It’s my work’s Christmas meal. Yes, I am aware that it’s now February – we had planned to have it in December but the day before we were due to go two out of the four of us were off work ill so it seemed like a good idea to cancel it. Now it’s taking place tonight. We’re going to a fairly posh restaurant. At least I think it’s fairly posh – I’ve never actually been before! It’s in Ettlingen, 20 minutes from here on the tram (10 minutes from where I work). Usually I tend to go to restaurants in Karlsruhe – unless I’m pretending to be posh, in which case I go to the Brenner’s Park Hotel in Baden-Baden for a six course meal (actually I’ve only done that once, but it sounded good!)
Normally I’d be quite excited at the prospect of going for a fairly posh meal, but tonight I really just want to go to bed. It hasn’t been a good week on the sleep front. And I’ve been busy, busy, busy at work – regular readers will be aware that I even stayed for an extra half an hour on Tuesday. Sooo tired. Unfortunately the bed thing is not an option, so instead I’m off to brush my teeth and attempt to make my hair look presentable. It’s gone all weird and stringy despite the fact that I washed it this morning. Apparantly it’s time for me to change shampoos again…

Tossing and turning

I was in bed before 10:30 last night. Very sensible, no? Actually, me being me it had nothing to do with good sense and a lot to do with that fact that I couldn’t think of anything else to do. After 5 hours of looking at art and books online even I couldn’t bear to spend any more time on the computer so I decided I would go to bed early, get a good night’s sleep and be all refreshed for work this morning.
Ha! I wish it had worked like that…

At 20 past ten I snuggled up in bed and turned the light out. The next 15 minutes I spent trying to get warm. 10 minutes later I was too hot, so off went the extra blanket I had put on top of the quilt. Then I was thirsty, so I drank half a bottle of water only to discover 2 minutes later that I was still thirsty. More water. Lots of tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable followed. When Jan sent me a text message at 11:30 I was still awake. At 10 past 12 I got up to turn the radiator down. At 12:30 I drank the last of my water and got up again to refill the bottle. I supose I must have fallen asleep not long after that – the next thing I remember is waking up at 2:30 desperate for a wee. Not really surprising after all the water, but still unbelievably annoying. After all, at this point I had spent more time tossing and turning than actually sleeping. The last thing I wanted was to go through it all again. Luckily this time it only took me about 15 minutes of trying to get comfortable before I fell back to sleep and managed to stay that way until 6 o’clock. If this is what I get for going to bed at a sensible time in future I’m not even going to bloody bother…

Is it bedtime yet?

This day seems to have gone on forever, and unfortunately it’s still far from being over.
Soo… on the advice of my boyfriend I went into work this morning and told my boss I wanted to take the job he offered me but still go to Stuttgart for the interview. He said he was busy then, but we would need to talk anyway and he would come and get me. About half an hour later I went back to his office and thus followed the longest 20 minutes of my life.
I won’t bore you with details, but basically the outcome was that if I couldn’t persuade him then and there that I want to stay in my current job his offer would be withdrawn. So it seems I’m taking his offer and not going to the interview on Thursday. I’ve just written the woamn from the Stuttgart company an email and feel horribly guilty for messing her around.  But I just couldn’t risk taking Thursday afternoon off for the interview, having the boss telling me that by going I’d blown my chance and then the Stuttgart people not wanting me either. I would probably have ended up taking my current job anyway, but it would have been nice to at least feel it was my choice. Hmm, ah well. As Jan pointed out my contract is only for one year (for now). It’ll be over soon enough and if I discover I really don’t like this job there’ll be plenty of time to look around for a new one then. Still all a bit weird and awkward though. Ick.

I am also bloody tired as a result of sleeping badly last night. I kept dreaming about spreadsheets (thanks to a horrible proofread I had to do yesterday that was in Excel) and waking up roughly every hour. Ugh! All I want to do is curl up in bed with Eeyore in my arms (since the boyfriend isn’t here tonight) but instead I have to go to a Heimvollversammlung (full house meeting) in my building. There are two per semester and we get to decide on things to do with the residence, for example at one we decided on whether to buy a new photocopier and at another the decision to have a roof terace built was made. None of the decisions are really relevant to me this time since I’ll probably have moved out by the time anything happens anyway, but everone in the building has to go – unless they hand in a written excuse beforehand. Those who don’t how up without a good reason are fined 15 euros. So guess where I’ll be tonight. Ooh the excitement is killing me! The meeting starts in half an hour so I’ll be off now. Need to email the photographs I took of my contract to the boyfriend so he can give it a read through for me. Oh to have a scanner!

Great start

I hope you all noticed the sarcasm dripping from my title. It would never do for anyone to go around thinking I’d had an actual genuine great start to my first day back at work…

So, I might as well not have bothered going to bed last night. I would probably have got as much sleep and at least that way I might have been able to get something productive done instead of tossing and turning and waking up every few hours because I was too hot or too cold or needed the loo. I think I managed about 4 hours of actualy sleep in the end, which wouldn’t be so bad if those hours were at least all in a row rather than in little half an hour and 45 minute bursts. Understandably I am now exhausted. Ugh. What a perfect start to the day. And now I have to go outside into the cold. It’s minus 8 out there people. That’s coooold!

It’s my sister’s birthday today. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read this but just in case Happy Birthday Sis. Hope it’s a good’un!
It’s also Ukrainian Christmas Day today. I know this because my Grandad was Ukrainian. So Merry Christmas to any Ukranians who happen to stop by. And to anyone else who happens to celebrtae Christmas today as well. Orthodox Russians perhaps?

Right, I’m off to brave the cold now. Pray that the tram’s on time so that I don’t have to spend too long waiting for it…

Stuff that has annoyed me over the past few days

1. Not being able to sleep. The most annoying thing is that I’m actually really tired – too tired even to read, but as soon as I switch out the light every trace of sleepiness goes away and I’m left lying there, tired but wide awake. Grrr. The boyfriend is coming over tonight though, perhaps that will make things better.

2. The announcement on my tram yesterday. “Crackle. Hiss. Passangers. Mumble, mumble. Fizzle. Karlsruhe. Mumble, mumble. Crackle. Thank you.” You’d think by now someone would have invented a tram announcement thingy that could actually be understood!

3. Shop assistants. Why is it that they only ever offer assistance when you’re perfectly fine on your own. No, I do not help to walk the six steps to the other side of the shop and pick up a roll of sellotape thank you very much. But when you do need help they all seem to magically become incredible busy or get kidnapped by aliens.

4. Finally finding the perfect present for one of my relatives only to discover that none of the shops in Karlsruhe has it. Not one! It has now been ordered from Amazon, meaning I have to pay extra because of postage. Again, grrr.

5. The fact that I forgot to put a book in my bag yesterday and had nothing to read all the way to work. And all the way back. That’s an hour’s worth of tram journey with no reading material. Dooom!

6. The presenter on the radio station we listen to during our lunch break at work. She’s just so goddamn cheerful!
And just to balance things out a bit, here are some things that have amused me today:

– When you type in “subject to German law” on Google UK, the second link to come up is about strip searching. (In case you’re wondering why I typed that into Google it was to do with a translation I was proofreading.)

– They played Teenage Dirtbag by Wheetus on the radio today. The word gun was blocked out but they left dick and ass in. That’s Germans for ya – bad language is fine but please don’t sing about weapons! I know, not that funny but it amused me. Simple minds and all that…

5 signs that you haven’t had enough sleep…

1. The text in the document you’re supposed to be proofreading starts swimming in front of your eyes

2. You’re afraid to blink in case you can’t manage to open your eyes again

3. Your head feels like it’s stuffed with rocks which are dragging it down towards the desk while at the same time feeling so light it may just float away

4. You’re freezing to death despite the fact that it’s not even cold because all the energy you should be using for warmth is being expended on staying awake

5. Your eyes feel sore and you’re convinced the bags under them stretch all the way down to your nose

By the way, can you get repetitive strain injury from rolling the mouse wheel? Just wondering…

On sleeping and waking

I actually managed to get myself out of bed at a reasonable time this morning. Reasonable in the sense of it gave me enough time to have a shower and get ready I mean. In the sociable hour of the morning time sense it was not a reasonable time.
It’s not that I’m not a morning person. Actually I quite like mornings. But 6:30am isn’t morning. Any time that begins with a 6 is still the middle of the night. Yes, I am aware that there are people who get up even earlier than that and do so every single morning without complaint. Much respect to them. I couldn’t do it. On the few occasions that I’ve had to get up at rediculous hours of the morning to catch flights and stuff I have managed it. It wasn’t nice though. For me the day doesn’t start til at least 7:00, preferably 7:30. Before that it isn’t morning yet. And it this time of year it’s particularly bad. At 6:30am it’s still dark. And darkness means night-time, right?

So yeah, I’m still tired. Probably doesn’t help that I couldn’t sleep for ages last night. I tossed, I turned, I counted sheep. Nothing helped. Do you realise if I wanted to get 8 hours sleep, the amount that we supposedly need, I would have to fall asleep at 10:30pm every night. And that’s just the time I would need to be asleep. Obviously I’d have to be in bed before that to give me time to fall asleep. I don’t even get home from work til around 6pm, and that’s on the days where I don’t have to go food shopping on the way home. If I tried to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night I would get even less done than I do now! Stupid scientists, don’t bother to think about the fact that people actually have lives and responsibilities. Who out there actually has 8 spare hours in their lives that they could use for sleep.

So another blog about sleep, or rather the lack of it.
I’m starting to feel like a stuck record…

Squeeee!

(WARNING: This entry is going to be a  long one!)

There was a mosquito in my room last night.

I had turned out the light and was snuggling down to get some well earned rest when I heard that distinctive mosquito noise next to my ear. Bloody things can’t just buzz like normal insects. No, it was that horrible high-pitched squeeee. Pathetic I know, but that sound terrifies me. I instantly sat up, one hand flailing around my ears in an attempt to get it away from me, and switched on the light. No way was I going to sleep with that thing in the room. And thus began the great mosquito hunt of 2008.

tasting blood
Tasting blood (Photo credit: Vilseskogen)

Unlike my boyfriend I can’t just squish insects with the palm of my hand (it’s disgusting! And what if it manages to get me while I’m trying to get it?), so the first thing to do was find a suitable mosquito squashing implement. A paper plate left over from my birthday picnic seemed perfect. Then came stage 2 – finding the stupid creature. Suprisingly, it didn’t take long. There it was above my bed. Lurking. Waiting for me to turn the light back out so it could squeeee it’s way past my ear again. Psychological warfare, that’s what it is! Well I wasn’t going to let him get away with it, was I? BANG went my paper plate on the wall. Naturally I missed. I always miss. So off I went again to find out where his evilness had hidden himself this time. It wasn’t so easy second time round, but after turning on the big light and pacing the room twice I spotted him on the wardrobe door. BANG! “Where is he? Did I get him?” Mr Mosquito was nowhere to be seen, but neither were any mosquito remains. Time for another patrol of the bedroom. After a few minutes of unsuccessful searching I decided to hope I’d managed to get him and return to bed.

Of course the evil git wasn’t dead was he. No, he was just hiding… waiting for the right moment.
As soon as I’d got snuggled up nice and cozy and was starting to doze off the high-pitched squeeee came again, right next to my ear. Aaarggh! This time my first reaction was to hide my head under the quilt. Then after a few minutes I slowly crept out, turned the light back on and reached for my paper plate. The bloody thing was nowhere to be found! I walked up and down the room, peered into corners… I even walked up and down on the bed to try and get a different perspective on things. No mosquito. By this time it was 20 to 1. Less than 6 hours til I had to get up for work. I went and lay down on the bed, this time keeping the light on and my eyes open, then when I was so sleepy my eyes were starting to close I switched off the light. I actually managed to get to sleep, for a while. Then I was woken up by shouting from the bar. Yes people it was bar night again. Sigh. And shortly after that… squeeee. Aaarggh!! Again I couldn’t find the bloody thing anywhere. After 20 minutes of searching I finally gave up and went to bed. The good news is that was the last squeeee of the night. The bad news is that the people in the bar chose that moment to turn the music up reeeally loud. It was after 4am when I was finally able to get some sleep. And I had to be up at 6:30. Wonderful.

If the bloody mosquitos would only wait til I was asleep before coming out it would be fine. Sure, they’d bite me and it would itch in the morning, but that would only be annoying. It’s not like I live in a country where I’m likely to get malaria. But that high-pitched squeeee just can’t be ignored.

One good thing about autumn being on its way… soon all the mosquitos will be dead and my room will be all mine again!

More reasons to get me out of here…

I went to be at 11 o’clock last night. Nice and early. I wanted to get a good night’s sleep so I wouldn’t be too tired at work today. After all, it is only my second week. HA, like that was going to happen!
At 1am I was still awake. Why, you ask? It may have had something to do with the music that somebody, somewhere was blasting out. It seemed to be coming from one of the rooms above me, but I couldn’t tell which one. Even when I went to the toilet I could still hear it, so really it could have been coming from anywhere in the corridor above me. And it was loud. Now loud music isn’t that much of a problem for me these days. I live above the bar. Every Thursday my room is invaded by loud music. Most weeks I still manage to get to sleep after about half an hour (although last week I escaped to Jan’s with a headache). What really bothered me last night was the singing. The singing was even louder than the music. And it was terrible. It sounded like a bunch of cats being strangled. If I had had any way of knowing which room the music was coming from I would have phoned them. But since I didn’t my only option was to lie there with my eyes closed thinking of various ways to kill the cat’s choir. I finally fell asleep at about 20 past 1. The music was still on, but by that time I was so exhausted I would probably have slept through a fire alarm.

And people wonder why I want to move out of this building.