A series of fortunate events

Digging around in my recently-resurrected computer bag today, I rediscovered the safe place I’d put my engagement ring last November. I was pretty dismayed when I couldn’t find it back then, and spent quite a while asking around in the places I’d been, but to no avail. But I was sure I hadn’t ‘lost’ it, and I’m very happy that today it’s been shown that I was right to think so. It means a lot to me. Of course it does, it’s an engagement ring…

I was reading that Paul McKenna book tonight, the one that gave me a funny reaction. I’ve since found that I can go into that somewhat magical state of being (30,000 volts passing through me) just by practicing deep breathing for several minutes. I guess it’s just a physiological thing that we can all do, although if that’s the case I’m surprised that I’ve not heard of it before. Whilst the hallucinations are a product of my mind, the ability to move into that state where they move so freely and without interruption from the outside world is also probably connected with changes in the blood or oxygen supply to whatever part of my body is connected with their production.

Or perhaps it’s all a product of spirit. 🙂

Anyway, reading chapter two tonight, which teaches how to create a physical switch to instantly bring on a certain feeling, I realise that the series of events that brought me to read this book – my father being ill which resulted in my spending time with an old friend which led to a mention of the author and beneficial effects of his techniques, and then the birthday amazon vouchers and the £15 minimum order fee thing which led me to buy a book that would never normally consider buying, have all been perfectly timed for the speech competition! This technique is just what I need! Although it takes time to perfect, even in the space of a few hours, I can already feel it’s beneficial effect.

Don’t you just love ‘coincidence’ …

Anyway anyway, I really am off to bed now. Have to be up early for a jog in the morning sunlight – Spring is on the way!

[edit: aahhh. ‘Hyperventilating’. that’s what you call it!]

We’re diamonds, covered in horse shit, with a layer of nail polish on top

Something funny happened to my lock jaw a couple of weeks back. It had steadily been getting worse, to the extent that I couldn’t eat things like apples that required wide mouth-opening.

Then, one morning, I woke up, and found that that side of my jaw was really painful, as if it had been through a very traumatic, perhaps violent incident. Since then, the pain has slowly faded, and now, it doesn’t really hurt at all. But, the odd thing is, I can’t ‘click’ it anymore. What I’m thinking is that that night the joint jumped back into place, or perhaps out of place, or something like that. I think it was a good thing.

It’s not back to normal though. Now, whilst it doesn’t hurt, it does make a noise like a creaky bed. A bit odd, but quite nice to be reminded of *Twinkle* every time I eat breakfast.

We talked today. That was nice. Been so busy this past week we’ve not been in touch so much. Hhhmmm. I feel very close to her.

I’ve been feeling a little disturbed this week by the extent to which we are robbed of our selves through the socialisation process. As children, we are not afraid to express ourselves, and we do not care about the opinions of others – and then look at us by the time we enter college! Is this a necessary evil? Yes, I think it is – but only to a certain extent. I think we take it waaay too far.

“Inside, we’re beautiful diamonds. Then, as we grow up, we bury ourselves in horse shit. Finally, in order that other people like us, we put a coat of nail varnish on top of the horse-shit, and live our lives with our true beauty hidden from the world, under a protective gloss coat and insulated by horse shit”.

I was thinking tonight that perhaps one outcome of a Steiner education is a slightly thinner layer of horse shit. I don’t know much about anthroposophy in education, but I do know that one aim of a Steiner education is to nurture the inner child, with less of a focus upon academic achievement. Perhaps it does encourage children to not feel so in need of horse shit.

I was also thinking tonight about the Daily Mumble’s role in my personal attempt to cast off the nail varnish and coat of manure. It’s been truly instrumental in helping me along the road towards abandoning attempts to look pretty in the eyes of others. I can vividly recall my reaction to negative comments received in late 2006 – it was positively painful to read that others (whom I respected) thought I was very mistaken, stupid even, and that they thought I was making a fool of myself. More recently however, I’ve been able to process those kinds of comments in a far less serious manner – these are just the opinions of others, and they have no more weight than my own words. To try and live up to the expectations of others is possibly one of the most miserable (unobtainable) fates one can choose for oneself.

Whilst the person I’m thinking about hasn’t commented for many months, I now feel that were they to re-appear, I would no longer spend hours mulling over what they said and feeling dark. Those who deliberately set out to un-constructively criticise or hurt aren’t worthy of such respect in the first place – why aspire to please someone who works out of fear and antagonism?! (I’d just like to assure Anon that I am not referring to you here either. You are my nice little fluffy devil’s advocate whom I love very much, and I know that secretly you are Louise Hay).

I was thinking though, if I picture my friends (all 2 of them), I can’t actually think of that many people who are overtly pessimistic and often advertise a severe lack of faith in their own abilities. Perhaps it’s a case of very good applications of nail varnish on top of the horse shit, or perhaps they never accumulated the social coat of manure in the first place.

Anyway, I can see I’ve chipped a bit off my right knee – best patch it up before I turn the light off.

I’ll Be Dead Soon

This video dates back to 2005, but it’s only today that I found out about it. It’s the first time I’ve heard Apple CEO Steve Jobs talk about himself, and found it pretty relevant.

Quotes I like from this:

‘Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.’

‘Every day, I get up and look in the mirror and ask myself, If today were the last day of my life, would I wanna do what I am planning to do today? Whenever the answer has been “No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.’

Whilst we’re on the subject of Macs, I am happy to announce the arrival of a second in the family. By next week, mum and dad, who have until now been using a Windows ’98 computer once a week to download emails via a dial-up connection, will be surfing the web and Facebooking everyone over a wireless broadband connection, using a lovely new sparkling Apple MacBook.

One of the main features we’ll be using in the early days is the superb screen-sharing function, whereby I can take control of the computer remotely and show them how to do stuff. Like send emails and browse the internet, create podcasts, and edit feature-length movies… (I just hope they manage to open the instant-messenger application that launches Screen Sharing).

Now just to get the rest of the family to join the gang…

Scag and Twatface Wilksy

Ha. I just love that film. The Bourne Ultimatum. Love it. I love the technology. I Love his cunning planning, and I love the way the baddies are made to pay for their crime at the end. It would be fantastic if that sort of thing happened in real life, and people like Bush and Blair were made to face the consequences of their war-mongering activities.

So, speaking exam over and done with – and all that work, both in terms of preparing answers to questions, and in terms of teaching myself that I was going to be fine and I could relax – paid off. When they review the video tape they may notice me grinning madly at odd moments as I told myself, “I’m loving this, this is great fun!”.

Following that I had a run through of my speech. I was surprised by my sensei’s reaction, I learnt quite a bit there…

Today’s speaking exam experience has demonstrated to me that the speech contest needn’t be a Big Monster. If I put the time in to learn appropriate responses to the kinds of questions I anticipate will be asked, I’ll be fine. In the speech exam, we were given a list of about 30 questions that might be asked (with only 5 appearing in the showdown) – I learnt approximate responses to them all, and so in the event, didn’t panic once. This was such a huge change from our mock exam last month, when I literally fell to pieces, and had to be hoovered up.

Also, in the event that I do get an interview at the embassy, I’ll be prepared.

On the train back tonight I was joined by a gang of yooves, on their way to a wicked party at Scag’s place. Turns out Scag is a real cheeky c***. Got some of that coke last week, but his mum found it and flushed it. He’s unreal though, goes out with the stuff all over is face. He said he shagged his last girl 4 times every day for 2 months, then got bored so took a month off. Well, that’s what girls are for innit? (“No it ain’t! says the only girl in the gang, sitting opposite me).

…I ain’t got caned for ages, gonna have to have a good smoke tonight. You ‘ear about Twatface Wilksy? yeah, he got 6 months last week for knifin that little squirt… …ah, that’s what I want, a slimline laptop (nodding in my direction, before asking me in an extremely polite and well-spoken manner…) “Excuse me, so sorry to trouble you. Could you tell me how much your computer cost?”

I tried to stifle my laugh, seeing such a dramatic change in character. I wonder if his parents knew about the kinds of stuff he got up to with his mates – bet he’s the angelic son at home!

Anyway, I’m back in Wales now. On with the study.

Wig sees me through my first exam

That was gooood.

In the league tables of non-panicky exams, I think that was number 1. I don’t think there was a single moment when I thought “Crikey O’riley, what on Earth does that mean?!”

Hmmmm, I am very happy to declare it a success. Not based on outcome, because we won’t know that until next month, but based on satisfaction with performance, and in my book, that’s what counts most. None of those horrendous moments of realisation after we’re told to put our pens down.

I stuffed up the precise translation, and the final bit which involved writing a terribly polite email (I’m not too hot on polite Japanese, I accidentally told the recipient to “sod off”), but the newspaper translation, comprehension and job application bits went very well.

I was on a bit of high as I went in anyway, as I’d just picked up my essay on Women in the Japanese Workplace: 74%! I think that’s the highest I’ve got for any essay since the first year (where marking is less stringent).

Wiggy wig indeeed.

Next: The Japanese Language Speaking Exam. Tomorrow @ Midday.

Fingers crossed.