It’s not so bad at all..

Wow, so can I just say that I spent almost ten hours working on my thesis today? Which I don’t think is anything I’ve ever done before.. In my time at uni.. On any assignment I’ve been given there.. Ever.. For real! So, yeah, that was new.. And interesting.. It really has been a tale of blood, sweat and tears, well, minus the blood but with a fair bit of cussing and frustration thrown in for good measure.. Along with a tiny Tina, some food, Big Bang Theory and a beer!

I kicked things off at home, at the crack of noon.. Because.. Well, I’d had some real trouble sleeping the night before so I got up a little late. I don’t know why, but sometimes when I’m really busy and have a lot of shit to worry about, I just keep pushing it ahead of me until I have time to sit down and worry.. Which, when I’m busy, usually coincides with when I find time to lay down and go to sleep.. Clever, huh? Either way, as a result, I spent the entire night and some of the wee hours laying awake and thinking of challenges to come.. Which is pretty dumb considering I could be spending my time sleeping and resting as to better face the challenges to come. Either way, that’s how I roll, and as a result, I didn’t get started on my thesis until noon. But hey, I did, then pull all the way through, working non-stop until around 6 PM when I had a “date” with Tina.

The idea was to get together, have some dinner, do some more work, then relax with a beer and some random activity.. And things did, sorta, work out according to plan.. Kinda. Well, to be honest it kinda went off track from the get-go. Both of us were pretty over-worked and pouty so when I met Tina, she was lounging about on the grass outside her apartment complex and catching a much needed break, we then retreated to her apartment to do some work while cooking some dinner.. Which really didn’t go according to plan because in the middle of things, I got entangled in a bitter fight with Microsoft Word which really didn’t want to do things my way and if there’s one thing that really rubs me the wrong way, it’s things designed to work in one way that suddenly choose not to work in the way they were intended with no apparent explanation or remedy for their actions. To put it mildly, I was fuming.. Like scarily ticked off in ways that were by no means good for my blood pressure, let alone.. Well.. Sane.. So dinner got pushed on the back burner for a while with the result that some things got a little too hot and others a little too cold.. A potentially dangerous predicament when you’re working with poultry. But luckily for our health it was the turkey that got too hot and the veggies that were a little on the cold, under-cooked side.

This, of course, did nothing to improve my mood.. But, luckily, I had Tina around to go “look, chill, we’re hungry and over-worked, we’ll just eat things like they are and then do over some other time” Well, not exactly in those words, but that was the essence of her words and gestures. And she was right of course.. And dinner wasn’t bad! We consumed the first half of it with each of us fuming or sulking for our own separate reasons, an activity that lasted for all of five minutes or so before the first joke was thrown and a few laughs and smiles emerged, it went downhill from then and pretty soon we were both laughing and smiling. I even managed to crack a joke about the absurdness of me getting so worked up over a piece of software.. But that’s still not to say I like you, Microsoft Word!

After we’d finished dinner and taken care of most of the dishes, we each went back to our separate chores for the evening. Tina went back to her thesis and her research for said thesis and I went back to cussing and fuming at Microsoft Word while trying to both make sense of it and get it to do things my way.. All while evidently stretching it to the limits of it capabilities.. My task of the evening was to add various bits, pieces and appendices to my thesis which apparently was to turn out to be somewhat of a nightmare. With my thesis already clocking in at over 200,000 characters and an even larger number of characters in the shape of code, scripts, documentation and various odds and ends being added.. Well, simple tasks such as cut and paste seemed to be too much for ye olde word processor in the end. It first ate my memory, then it started giving me weird error messages along the lines of “your document contains too many spelling errors for the spell checker to function” (umm.. kay!), then it ate a whole bunch of my virtual memory as well, and started responding very sporadically, meaning that many tasks had to be completed several times, paragraphs pasted in needed to be redone and reformatted and what have you.. In short, a two hour nightmare which stretched my patience beyond what I thought possible.. But was somehow completed in the end.. All to the tune of Slipknot which Tina, wisely, had put on after dinner.

The end result was a monster of a document spanning 345 pages, 565,611 characters, 56,567 words.. And other measurements as well!! And it’s not even quite done yet, it still needs a conclusion, a bibliography, some captions for various illustrations.. Oh, and proof reading of course.. Which should be a lot of fun considering that spell check has apparently decided to stop working. The document itself, apparently takes up 2.5 MB of disk space and should you be interested in opening it, you need about 1.2 gigabytes if memory. In essence, I’ve come pretty close to either breaking or severely confusing Microsoft Word! A task which in its own way, along with the troubles it had given me along the way and the mind-numbing statistics was enough to make me suspend my Macbook and go “Fuck it, I need a beer!” a statement which Tina luckily agreed with.

So, she put her work away as well, and I took out the treat of the evening, the famed Chili Tripel beer I’d gotten from my dad for my birthday which, like so many other things that day, was to prove interesting. Tina’s first words were something along the lines of “My God” followed by a some form of declaration of the beer being cloyingly sweet, but then, she does react to sugar even more violently than I do – which is admirable in its own way. I wasn’t too inclined to agree with her, the beer was sweet but not cloyingly so. To me it tasted more like a Tripel with all the characteristics of a Dubbel, the alcohol level of a Belgian strong/massive ale and close to no trace of chili which made me assume that somewhere along their way to innovate and impress, Danish micro brewers have gotten a little confused. It wasn’t a bad beer persay, it just really wasn’t what I’d expected. I was expecting something light in color, crisp and fruity with hints of chili, and I got something darkish brown with clear hints of dark sugar and spice, but close to no chili.. Huh! I was more surprised than I was disappointed, really. Either way, it went down pretty well after ten hours of thesis work.. And Tina, I’m sorry, I know it wasn’t your style, but then it clearly wasn’t the style I’d expected either. I’ll find something more fitting next time around.

Still, beer is beer, so it still made a nice side dish for the few episodes of The Big Bang Theory that we watched before I, completely destroyed by lack of sleep and long hours of fighting with Word saw myself defeated and turned my old, aching legs homebound. All in all, despite all the hard work, it hasn’t been that bad of a day. Apparently even thesis work can be bearable if done with good company, food, beer and a few laughs.. It’s been a long day, though, and it surely has rendered me completely spent.. And, for once, I say this before 2 AM! Maybe I should take advantage of that and get my ass to bed. It would appear that I have a long day of thesis AND work at GLS ahead of me tomorrow.


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