I KNOW the first 6 months are rough. I KNOW it will get easier. Doesn't make it much fun in the meantime, though.
I KNOW the first 6 months are rough. I KNOW it will get easier. Doesn't make it much fun in the meantime, though.
On a work day:
-get up stupidly early.
-feel too tired/groggy to eat breakfast.
-try not to fall asleep on bus.
-get lunch break at somewhere between 3 and 5pm.
-go home, eat something quick and easy (and not very healthy)
On a day off:
-wake up briefly at the time my alarm goes off on a work day.
-get up, drink some water.
-got back to bed.
-wake up some time around 2pm.
-stare at computer.
-maybe play some Witcher 3.
I have done pretty much zero writing, drawing, or even knitting. The stress of being qualified is immense, and while I DO love my job, it's hard to feel like things have improved much. However, tomorrow I get paid (according to HR), so at least some of my stress will be reduced by the knowledge that I will actually be able to pay off my bills this month.
I know that I will adjust to this and it will get easier once my confidence grows, but right now I'm such a mess that I just caught myself crying while watching Cyber City Oedo 808. That's a blood-filled, tough-as-nails cyberpunk anime that I have watched dozens of times, and for some reason I'm sitting here sobbing because somebody couldn't hack a computer fast enough.
So yeah. All good over here, clearly.
I got some amazing presents, too- a beautiful leather-bound edition of Dracula, a novelty computer mouse shaped like a pixelated hand icon, some kitchenwear in the shade of bright green that I like, a new tiny bonsai tree, and some awesome new headphones. I have been very lucky, and am very content with turning 31- apart from the fact that it makes me even more of an adult.
In order to rile against this fact, I went out and bought myself a Spiderman toothbrush today. Just because I could. ^__-.
In Other News:
I start work one week form today. The coming week will therefore be filled with cleaning, revision, and general panic. I have my first month's time-table, and as far as I know everything is ok with occupational health and HR (although I will be ringing both next week to confirm it. Still no word on my PIN from the NMC, though, so I will be chasing up uni on that, too.
Other than that... all is ok. I'm 99% sure my fussy bonsai has died, but the others are fine (as are my cacti), and the snakes seem happy. Opal is preparing to shed so she's a bit moody right now, and little Zip has settled in well. Rambo is looking very thin indeed, and I'll be attempting to feed him tomorrow, so fingers crossed he takes it this time. I have gotten him a supplement for his water which was recommended by some other owners, and hopefully it will give him some energy. Apparently it helps put them in the mood to eat, but he too might be in shed so he might refuse because of that. I am still worried about him, but there isn't much I can do- he has to eat of his own accord, there's no real medication to help with that. If he doesn't eat soon, though, I will be taking him back to the vet. -__-; he seems to be his usual self mood-wise, though, which is good, and he's definitely not dehydrated.
Anyway, to end on a more positive note- here is a picture of Little Zip looking adorable in the mini-skull hide I bought him (Opal's old skull hide was huge, and he seems to be happier in this tiny one):
First, we got Dark Elf out of customs, and he showed up today. I need to re-size the pictures of him, so he will get his own post later but he is a really stunning doll! The quality of his sculpting and casting is fantastic! I still need to give him a name, though....
Secondly, I went round to my tattooist's house, met his amazing collection of snakes, and came home with this beautiful little guy:
This is Zip. ^__^
Zip is an incredibly tiny amel striped corn snake- but don't let his teeny little size fool you, this guy's actually the same age as Opal!! O__O He came from an unexpected clutch of eggs about 2 and a half years ago, and he (like some of his oh-so-clever siblings) decided to go on a permanent hunger strike shortly after birth. >_> My tattooist has been assist-feeding them all, and in the last couple of months Zip and a couple of the others have finally got the hang of the whole food thing, and have started eating by choice. However, because of this delay to normal eating, he is TINY- about a quarter of Opal's length, possibly even less!
Even so, he should now start growing properly. He may always be small, thanks to his slow start, but there is a chance that he will catch up quickly and get to a fairly decent size. ^__^.
( A few more shots.... )
He's now in the process of settling in. ^__^ He's taken the move very well for such a little beastie- I'm very proud of him!
He was peering through the back grill of the viv at my bed. Staring at where I had been lying. He had obviously barrelled out of one of his hides with enough force to knock them both flying, and most of the kitchen roll was messed up too. And in the one spot where there was no kitchen roll, there was a massive glob of snake jizz.
That's right, folks:
Rambo woke me up with violent snake masturbation.
I.... I've got nothing. All I want to do is sleep.
Other than that... I cleaned out Opal and then I went out and bought wool for the vest I'm making Liz for her birthday. I hope I have enough time to do it, and haven't bitten off more than I can chew with this one. We'll see.
And that is my entire day.
Rambo kept me up most of the night rustling about in the newspaper I put down for him. He's recovered from his infection and has gone back to frantic mating season behaviour, which is really, really annoying. -__-; I did offer him a very small meal yesterday and he wasn't interested, so Opal had an early treat instead.
I really want him to calm down and start eating again. Also, I want him to be quiet when I'm sleeping. Because gods dammit but I need my sleep!!
The bigger one (first picture) is eating fuzzies and is much bigger than its brood-mates. It has a scar on its belly (hard to photograph on feeding day, apparently) from an accident when hatching, but it clearly isn't giving it any trouble, since it's growing, eating and shedding without problems. I like it's pattern, but I'm not a fan of the little white splotches- I would like it more if they were a bit clearer, I think, although that has no impact on it's personality or health.
The second one (photographed through a tub lid) is much smaller, but just as healthy. It is feeding on pinkies, as it got off to a slow start and is playing catch-up. It is now eating well, and has a very beautiful stripe pattern. Apparently it's a little more shy than the others, but that might just be because it's mini. I am leaning more towards this one, partly because of the pattern, and partly because I still have a strong maternal instinct towards tiny things that need love. <__<;
( Bubba snerks!! )
I feel like no matter which one I pick, I will be disappointed that I didn't also get the other one. Both of them are beautiful animals, and I have no doubt that I will love them no matter which one I pick.
I hate making decisions like this.
Here she is this morning, demanding food and/or attention:
I check him over once a week, as a general precaution, and noticed on Sunday that he was looking thinner than he aught to- still not as thin as when I got him, but his weight had dropped a lot since his last weekly check. When I picked him up he was frantic, clearly uncomfortable, and the cause was obvious: he has scale rot.
This is a condition that is normally caused by living on damp, dirty bedding, so I was at a loss: I spot clean every day, replace all his bedding monthly, and the humidity in his tank is kept to a minimum. All I could think is that his seasonal search for a mate had caused him to damage his scales to the point of causing small cuts/abrasions, and infection had gotten in that way. Male corns go off food during mating season too, so he might be lacking the energy to fight off bugs that he would normally not be bothered by. -___-;
Anyway, I stripped the tank, sterilised everything, and sacrificed a new set of pillowcases to give him clean, smooth bedding since I didn't have any newspaper and it was the middle of the night. I was up until 2am tending to him, then had to work two full-on shifts at work before I could take him to the vet on my day off on Wednesday. If I could have taken him sooner, I would have, but I was refused the time off work. ;__;
Here's the poor sod at the vet, clinging on to the side of the table because apparently even snakes hate being seen by medical professionals:
The Vet was amazing. He gave Rambo a good once-over, confirmed it was scale rot, and gave him a dose of antibiotics then and there. He sent me home with oral antibiotics which I have to administer every other day for 10days, as well as some antibacterial barrier cream and a treatment plan. I gave Rambo the first home-dose tonight, and he took it well. He is also starting to look better- he's due to shed any day too, which is good, as it will jettison the damaged/manky scales and help him heal.
The vet thinks the infection was probably the result of an underlying problem: he thinks Rambo has a weak immune system, caused by his previous poor treatment before I got him. -___-; He has recommended that I move him to a different, less dusty type of bedding, and that I monitor his weight more closely, including giving him some suppliments just before breeding season next year to help him through his fast (although the sudden weight loss now was almost certainly caused by the infection). There's the chance this could happen again, but if I keep on top of it, I should be able to prevent it. He did not think I was the cause of this, although I still blame myself, and probably always will since Rambo is my responsibility. >__> I know some things can't be avoided, but it still weighs on me. All I want is for my pets to be healthy and happy.
Once again, I want to slap the guy I got Rambo from. This poor, lovely animal has been permanently damaged by that guy's actions, and that is just not on.
Meanwhile, Opal is happy, healthy, and out on the prowl for food even though she doesn't get fed until Sunday:
My end date is the 27th. I then go into uni on the 28th to hand in all my stuff (along with my student ID badges and uniforms), and then I have a blissful month off to recover, and prepare myself for work. I will probably spend most of that month trying to cancel my student bursary and registering with the NMC. If it all goes to plan, I start orientation on the 1st of June.
Suddenly, it feels like everything is moving very quickly. O_O
In Other News:
2 week countdown to new snake baby! ^__^. I have the old tank cleaned out, a new mat and stat on order, and I have washed Opal's old hides ready to be sterilised. Skelly (my tattooist) has several babies on offer, but from his descriptions the current faves, in my mind, are the runt of the litter (which is risky- it's only just started eating after nearly 12 months, and might not make it), or a slightly bigger dude who was injured on his way out of the egg, and has a scar. My gut is telling me that scar might be the way to go- he's obviously a fighter, after all, and I'm worried that moving the tiny one to a new environment if it's only just starting to get established might be too much for it to handle. >_>;
I'll be heading over to see them all some time in the next couple of weeks, so we'll see. ^__-;
Also in Other News:
After literally YEARS of not being in the hobby, I have a new doll coming! He will have to be bald and in his box until work starts, but I can't wait to get him- a 51cm Batchix Dark Elf! No name, yet, but I'm thinking of going with a slightly cyberpunk-ish theme with him, so we'll see what he says about it when he gets here....
Not to self: if you must light a prayer candle, don't then stick your hand in it 30 seconds later. Doing so will seriously damage your claims of being a responsible, normal adult human being. >_>;
Still no news on the doll, and my tattooist has been busy so no snake baby pictures yet. I remain hopeful on both counts. ^__^.
Also waiting to hear back from the anthology that I want to submit a story to. I asked them a question about formatting, and have yet to get a reply. The submission date is the 15th, so I'm planning on submitting it on Tuesday (14th) so I'm hoping they get back to me soon. >__>;
So far, it's not going well.
My character is very pretty but completely vapid, I appear to be trapped in the starting area (literally trapped. If I try leaving my character walks backwards away from the exit, because apparently he's too clueless to turn around like a normal person) and the music is so overwhelming (and weirdly retro) that it has given me a headache. I haven't even gotten into combat yet. -__-;
I can't see myself carrying on with this. Even if it was a free-to-play model, this is just a touch too much for my liking.
In Other News:
I have procured and put air holes into a transport box, and later on I will be ordering the new thermostat and heat-mat that I need. Once they arrive, I need to re-sterilise and decorate Opal's old tank, and we're good to go. ^__^.
All that will have to wait, though: tomorrow begins the 2 week stint from hell, where I will be overworked, overtired, and generally feeling very sorry for myself. Apologies in advance for my whinging during this time. >_>;
I may have to find a new place to buy Rambo's bedding from, too. -__-; Blegh.
The biggest shame really is that I usually try to support local businesses. Yes, I can get the vivs cheaper online (and I will), but supporting local shops is a better idea in the long run, IMO. Just... not bigoted ones. I can't be doing with that.
This thing is a snake thing.
Specifically, I have agreed to take on a small-for-age yearling corn from my tattooist, who had a surprise clutch a while back and has been reluctant to send them out to unknown homes. He's been asking me to take one for a while, actually, but I've not really been in a position to do it. However, once my job begins I intend to upgrade Rambo and Opal into bigger vivariums (more on that later), so I'll be doing a big furniture re-arrange anyway to fit in the new bigger homes. It will be the perfect time to slip in a new addition.
The yearlings in question were slow to start feeding, so apparently they are still pretty tiny. He has a few, so when the time comes I will go and pick one out. Hopefully it will be a girl, because I'd really rather not deal with ANOTHER horny male during breeding season, given how much grief Rambo has been lately, but if I fall in love with one then frankly the sex won't matter. >__>; He has some amels (orange/yellow) and some classic corns, from what I've seen of the pictures. Either way, they have the potential to be very beautiful animals. I am quite looking forward to meeting them and seeing which one is going to be coming to its new foreverhome here. ^__-.
I used to have big plans to have lots of different species of thin-bodied snakes, but the more I think about it, the more I realise that I just love corns. Yes, there are a multitude of amazing animals out there to choose from, and I would still sort of love a mexican black king snake or one of the longer species of rat snake, but corns are just... well... they're adorable, and even the grumpy (like Rambo) ones are actually pretty sweet natured. I have no plans to end up with dozens of snakes filling up my home- my max is 4- but this will be a good addition to the household.
I already have a tank and Opal's old hides and stuff, so all I need is a heat mat and another thermostat, and the little one will be able to come home.
In Other News:
Provided the landlord agrees to it, Ad and I will be staying in this flat for another year while I settle in to my job and build up my finances. I was originally going to wait until I moved to upgrade Rambo and Opal into bigger vivs (I'm hoping to get them a pair of 6-foot ones, so they have maximum wiggle room since corns are so active and inquisitive but I may have to settle for 5ft ones unless I can find a custom service. -___-; Apparently 6ft vivs are rare, and rarer still if I want something aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.) However, if we're here for another year, then I don't want to wait. Opal is growing fast, and Rambo- while his enclosure is adequate- is a very active boy and would probably love to have more room to roam. Corns cover a lot of ground in the wild, and I always feel vaguely guilty about keeping them in vivs that are so small compared to their natural habitat.
Overall, I'm expecting to spend a fair amount on snake housing. As well as the basic vivs themselves, heating, decorations, and lighting are going to add up. If I buy flat-pack, the whole thing will still probably cost less than a high end BJD, but it's definitely not throw-away money. When it does happen, I intend to make them the best damn snake-homes that I can manage. We're talking multiple hides, shelves, thick bedding, tubes and logs and fake plants everywhere. Cleaning them will be hilarious, but it's worth it if it means having happy, healthy snake-minions.
In Other News:
I am fast approaching the end of my course, but of course it's not going to be plain sailing, is it? Got an e-mail today saying I need to do more hours on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where I am rota'd on next week. NICU had no idea I was turning up when I rang them on Monday, so I need to call them tomorrow and get some shifts allocated. Also, I am only down for one week, but uni wants me to do two weeks, even though there is no time left for me to do this. So I need to also call uni to ask them WTF I can do to sort this out. I only technically need 2 weeks more of hours to finish my required hours on the course, but I still have a couple of small things I need to finish on labour ward. So I might end up doing a whole month, just to fit in both. I dunno.
To be fair, though, I would walk through broken glass barefoot if it meant I could qualify, so I'll work something out. I just might not get a gap before finished the degree and starting work. >_>; I was hoping to have a couple weeks off to gain my energy, but I'll just have to take things as they come.
Other than that... I am ok. My bonsai are ok. The snakes are ok. Life is ok. I've also nearly finished knitting the jumper I'm making Dad for his birthday (half a sleeve left to go... :D), which is pretty cool. Pics of that to follow when it's done, too!
Oh, and I watched the first episode of 'The Flash' and hated it. Am I getting old, or is everybody in it way too young and pretty? -___-; I know it's a fantasy-type superhero show, but seriously? Why do they all look like they're twelve? Even the sort-of-professor-X-but-not guy and the world-weary cop look way too young to me.
When the hell did I get so middle aged??
Subject to the following conditions:
-that I get the rest of my competencies signed off.
-that I am cleared by Occupational Health.
-that my references don't screw me over
....I GOT THE JOB!! ^______^;
I'm due to start on July 1st. I still have work to do before this becomes real, so to speak (see above), but I honestly couldn't be happier. This is HUGE, because it means I can actually plan to stay in Portsmouth properly, rather than worrying about having to move as soon as my course is over. Also, it will be at the hospital I have been training at, which- while it's certainly not flawless- is exactly what I was hoping for.
Also, I'm not broadcasting this on Facebook because when a friend of mine landed a similar position she got a deluge of people going 'omg why you want to work there/why you want to be an NHS midwife/you must be crazy' and frankly I'm not in the mood for anybody to shit on my parade. ^__-. There will be times when the job will do that for me, thanks very much....