Posted in Education, elearning, Food, Japanese, Languages, Musings

Of all the gin joints…

Today was horrendously wet. No surprise to anyone who lives in Scotland but I think this is a sign that Summer and Frappuccino season is over.

I got up fairly early this morning and definitely slept better than the previous night (no more talking about work in my sleep), so I was more focused with what I wanted to do. Let’s just acknowledge now that my plans never always go exactly the way I want them to. I started with some more Gilmore Girls then studied a unit of Italian on edX (a great course if you are interested) though I’m doing the Advanced class as a recap before I start on the A.P. Italian program they’ve launched. It’s no end of amazement to myself at how quickly I am able to slip back into Italian… and have it make so much more sense than Spanish. But the years speak for themselves, 11 vs 5 🙂

After that I got ready and packed for the gym but also with a plan to hit a few shops in town for various things I have no time to pick up because of working at prime hours. And a stop to Starbucks to chill for a bit and read my book.

I also read on the bus. Didn’t notice a certain person getting on said bus, was hardly halfway through my journey. I’m not going to go into it much but let’s just say #awkward plus I didn’t get to read my book the rest of the journey 😦

Despite that, I got into town otherwise unscathed and managed to get the things I was looking for, necessities are expensive these days, aren’t they?! Ended up treating myself to Ichiban because I was suddenly starving and needed the carbs.

chickenyakisoba
Delicious Chicken Yakisoba!

The meal helped a lot and it’s quite inexpensive, even at the weekend. Next stop was Starbucks for what is probably my last Frappuccino until next summer – too damn cold to be drinking ice! Back to Caramel/Cinnamon Soya Steamers. My own creation way back when I was a barista.

The gym was fun, I managed a standard 15 minutes on the rowing machine that passed quite quickly and not as painful as before… I guess this means I’m getting fitter? I’m still taking everything slowly though, up to 15 minutes of various machines so I don’t snap, crack, or damage anything again. A couple of years back I had awful pain below my shins in the tendons that no one could explain, they were red and burning from the moment I woke up as well! Turns out my beloved zombie boots were too wide around the foot and the tendons were trying to hold my feet in place. Ick! Few months after that I ended up with Achilles Tendinopathy which I still haven’t managed to rid myself from, but I do enjoy the classical allusion. Then, of course back in April, I blacked out on my way home from work one night and landed full force on both my knees. They were black and blue (and agony) for months and are actually still quite tender on the knee caps.

I’m a walking disaster!

Weekend is over, time for bed! Work tomorrow…

e x

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Gilmore again…

Very lazy Saturday, studying Italian and rewatching Gilmore Girls again for the millionth time…. Still skipping all the California parts in the “Here comes the son” episode.

Also, how did they take a train from London to Ireland?

What a week!

This week was our first week unleashed from training to actually crack on with the job. Oh my, what a week it was! No one was kidding when they mentioned a steep learning curve, and yet I survived.

Just wish I didn’t keep waking myself up talking about it or dreaming about it on the weekend!

Posted in Memories, Music

1976-2017

Yesterday was the first time I was able to bring myself to listen to Linkin Park since Chester’s suicide. I listened to most of the Reanimation album (a few tracks were missing from my phone) since way back when it was my favourite LP album.

It’s hard to think back and remember how LP were such a massive part of my life when I was a young teenager. I had to have my own copies of the albums, Reanimation came out around one of my birthdays and was an extra treat, then Meteora dropped in 2003 and I swear I listened to that album everyday for about 40 days straight.

In November 2003 Linkin Park did their UK tour with their first ever date in Glasgow. I had already bought a ticket but I ended up winning a radio competition on Beat 106 and not only won 2 more tickets but also won backstage passes for my friends and I. It was the absolute greatest night of my life, the night before I turned 15, and solidified how much I loved LP and Chester.

I have fond memories of those few years, in the vacuum between albums I of course got interested in other bands like My Chemical Romance and Placebo (the latter to an obsessive point) and won countless radio competitions to win tickets for them and merchandise. The point is, despite school and reality, I had music to fall back on, I had my bands I could count on to make me feel better, to protect me in a little bubble world when I didn’t have the answers to the big things myself. The words Chester sang and screamed fit perfectly with my own feelings of angst and confusion and I am so much a better person for having been able to work through it all with his help. My only regret, and one I know everyone is and will be feeling, is that Chester didn’t get this same escape and closure to his angst and demons, or not enough of it, at least.

I’m sorry as the years went by and communications became easier, I’m sorry I didn’t just tweet or message the profound impact he and his band had on me. They made me want to do better, to work harder and more passionately. And they proved that dreams do come true. I’m still struggling to tie this happy part of my teenage-hood with the harsh realities I’ve faced myself and understand as an adult, I don’t know that I ever will, and I don’t know that I need to; the happiest memory I have is what will keep his memory alive.

e x

Posted in History

3700-year old Babylonian tablet may contain the world’s oldest known trigonometric table — Realm of History

When it comes to the history of incredible inventions, advanced mathematics was one of the major developments that came out of Mesopotamia. Pertaining to this ancient scope, the Babylonians had been in the forefront of devising fascinating new mathematical systems, including what we know today as the sexagesimal (base-60) numeral system. And now, as it…

via 3700-year old Babylonian tablet may contain the world’s oldest known trigonometric table — Realm of History

Please have a read of this if you are at all interested in history like I am! I’ve been reading a lot about Babylon and Near-East civilisations and the script the tablet was written in is Cuneiform. It was written using a wedge shaped reed and consisted of angled markings pressed into wet clay, the text followed guidelines much like our modern day lined paper!

Yes, I have a book on this, check out Irving Finkel’s guide to writing Cuneiform. I bought clay and tools from Hobbycraft.

e x

Posted in Education, elearning, Musings, University, work, Writing

Balance

If there’s one thing I’ve never been great at it’s balance. Not just in the literal sense of standing on one foot but in terms of what I’m doing in my life, e.g. work or uni, and what I’m juggling with secondary interests and socialising/relaxing.

Especially within the last few weeks this has become my aim to work on achieving a better balance despite working full-time and travelling around ten hours a week to-and-fro. One of my most important challenges has been to prepare enough new and original content for this blog, and as an exercise in discipline to flex my writing muscles even when I’ve little time or inspiration.

Very soon I’ll be starting my new Masters degree, which I’m really excited about but also slightly anxious about being prepared and inspired even if I’m drained from work. I know what I’m getting back into having just finished full-time uni; deadlines, stressing over grades, never feeling I’ve done enough, etc, but I’m planning to plan better and work on my biggest hurdle: TIME MANAGEMENT! This has never been my friend, ever, but I know now more than ever that I need to work on it so I have time to review, revise, and edit drafts efficiently, prior to submitting, so that I can be certain I’ve handed in my best work.

I’m pretty certain I’ll naturally be more inspired to submit creative writing pieces rather than essays. No matter how much I love to write, I’ve never quite gotten the essay writing process down! All lecturers wanted a different style, format, or I really struggled to grasp what they actually wanted me to submit. I did always try to find a hook or an angle to trick myself into being interested in essay topics (apart from classics courses, no tricks were ever needed), but my resounding feeling during honours years was that nothing I wrote was ever good enough.

This course will be different. I’ve been writing since I was 2. Yes, two! Since I could hold a pen I would scribble on paper or forms, (the wall occasionally) and feel exactly the same as Scout Finch, that writing is as natural as breathing. It’s no more spectacular than the respiratory system but is as absolutely critical to life as air.

In the evenings I don’t really have much chill time but I’m starting to get used to my routine and have been able to better utilise what time I do have. I’ve signed up to a few MOOC’s on Coursera, Edx, and OpenLearn which are all free to study and follow but with the option to pay a small fee for an official certificate/qualification. I’ll post soon about the courses I’m doing with some early thoughts and feedback.

There’s also my massive TBR pile, which I’ll get to at some point and review my recent reads.

As a final thought for tonight, I know it is important to take one day at a time, but it is also just as important to make plans and time for the things you really want to do during your free time, so you don’t end up sitting dejected on a Sunday night remembering all the things you wanted to do! (Too many times!)

My schedule changes by an hour next week for a few weeks but I’m going to create a full rotating schedule of activities to slot in around work…

… just keep swimming!

e x

P.S. I’ve added a new Photography page, which I’m planning on adding much more to soon, have a looksie!