I’m glad I have skinny fingers…

Got to try this one for New Year’s eve…

– at least one card deck in centre of group of people
– go round circle, take turns to draw a card and turn it over.

Black Ace–>5 : Drink that many ‘fingers’
Red Ace –>5 : Nominate that many fingers (can be split up)
6: everyone drinks 2 fingers
7: Story card (go round circle, add word on to story after repeating previous words; when someone pauses too long or forgets, 2 finger penalty. Also may stop after a set number of words)
8: Toilet card : Keep this one. You can’t go to the toilet unless you use up a toilet card. Otherwise face a severe penalty..
10 : new rule. Either ‘global’ ie not allowed to say people’s names, or added to one of the unruled cards (9, J, K)
Queen : Everyone says ‘Hi Bitch!’; last one gets 2 finger penalty.

***

Okay, please suggest

– suitable drink choice for such a game
– new rule ideas

thank you!

Christmas

so. feeling okay, enjoyed seeing friends and pam, staying happy and helpful despite mother hiding in bedroom and granny in bitch mode. When I’m not immersing myself in whatever it is I’m doing, everything’s taking on a strange surreality – and it’s nothing to do with the champagne.

so. First thing I hear when I get picked up from the station is my mother telling me that Andrew was called into school earlier that week (week before?) and was grilled for 1 1/2hrs on drugs.

Turns out whatever he’s got himself involved in, it’s bad… currently he’s facing expulsion. permanent black mark, etc etc, education down the toilet.

I can not begin to comprehend my parents dissapointment. They’re hiding it -relatively- well.

I was asked by my mum to say whatever I knew, just to check or something, I don’t know. Problem number 1 : Andrew hasn’t told them everything. Problem number 2: I didn’t find this out till later.

So, as far as they, and the people grilling him know, all Andrew’s been involved in is cannibis. (jesus, my mum got angry with me when she found out he’d been doing this in summer and I hadn’t let them know) **I** ended up being the one to tell my mum that ‘he’s snorted speed and taken ecstasy tablets as well, but only once I think’.

and…boom, all remanents of trust they’ve had in Andrew are blown away. He told me later that he hadn’t mentioned the pills etc because he didn’t want to get my mum worried and make things worse.

and, well. stuff. And everything currently being -completely- ignored like nothings happened. But I think we’re all waiting to hear. Hopefully they won’t find out he’s not told them everything, and my brother remains as someone who was just ‘sucked in’ rather than playing any active part.

but. *swearword*. Once they start to suspect… (already gone on about how he must have got the job at sainsbury’s to pay for drug habit or some such other bullshit)

I dunno. Takes me back to Josie, who worked in youth drugs section at NHS talking about the ‘IBM kids’. (see this entry) It’s quite ironic that IBM is exactly where my dad works.

I’ve told Andrew the I accidently let it slip, and I -think- he still trusts me. I’ve also told him that whatever happens I’ll be there to support him, and I don’t care what he does, he’s still my brother. Sounds cliche comforting words, but the scary thing is I not only meant it, but feel like that to. And it makes me angry that the school is worried so much about it’s bloated reputation it will quite happily screw up the life of one of it’s brighter pupils for nothing more than ‘to make an example’.

Oh, and I got a really nifty camera for christmas. Hopefully be able to take nice pictures and things.

Lord of the Rings….

So. 12:15pm today, I got a call from Carl (friend who works in cinema) saying there were 4 tickets left if we wanted them… 12:45 Rachel, Marc, Zak and I were sitting in the cinema to watch Lord of the Rings.

On the release date. -BEFORE- Kay and Rob in America so -bleh- 🙂

It was the most amazing film I’ve ever seen. Had me tense, excited, crying, in wonder etc etc. I really can’t describe it, but it feels like this is going to be our generation’s version of the Star Wars trilogy… as Marc said, 20 years from now I’ll be getting annoyed with the 14 year old kids getting the whole 3 films in a box set and watching them continuously…

I’m going to go in a bit and actually read the first book -properly-. I would say I don’t know how avid fans will take the film, but still:

Go. See. Now.

***
(all work potential has been reduced to zero today, and probably for the next week.. on top of Shadow Realms (Live Action thing, which I’ve had dreams about continously) my whole mind is filled with fantasy orc-kicking action. oooh. I feel like I’m a kid again. GREAT)

Fear the Stats

wai! Text message from psychology people : “Stats mark: 93% (excellent!)”

It’s just a shame that this exam can only ‘count’ as 40%, so I have to do it again in the summer and probably won’t do as well..

Thanks and kudos to Rachel, if she reads this, for preparing the Stats crib sheets while I was a lazy bastard. I’ll make it up to you at some point… 😉

nneeeeeeh

^@_;^

I’ve done absolutley nothing of any use this morning so far. But I ahve had two very very strong cups of coffee, and am now on some sort of stupid caffeine rush. I’m sure it’s not affected me like this before.. I want to go running about in big circles now.. bzzt.

incidently, has anyone tried putting image maps on a web page and setting it as an active desktop? Can you get it to work? If so, how? (yes, I know active desktops are evil, but I really want to figure out how to do it now..)

The joy of work

mmmmmmm……brain been so filled with stuff I need to take a break from essay-work. I also need to catch up with journal writing; many many things to say. Hum. I wish I knew how to do that ‘for extra long post click here’ doohikey.

I’ll go and see, otherwise come back and edit this in a mo..

ah. Can’t figure it out right now, but you’ll have to forgive me because I’ve just stuffed far too much into my brain in the last few hours and it wants a break for a bit!
***************

Going home
I went back home wednesday for a few days, and was pleasantly surprised to find myself really being quite excited about seeing my parents again. I’ve been told that the relationship you have with your parents changes quite dramatically once you leave home; it took some time for me, but I now feel much more like a friend of my parents. Which is nice for -me-, because they actually give what I say some degree of attention and worth. And it is nice for -them-, because they don’t have to deal with sulky-teenager. Speaking of which, I have less than a month now until I’m 20!

It was also great seeing my brother – now mid-way through his A-levels and with the disturbingly well-toned body of a breakdancer. (He’s now got to head-spin stage, impressively enough). We’re also getting on much better now we hardly ever see each other, but the best thing I’ve found is that he actually seems to treat my advice to him with a certain amount of respect. Nice. I found out that since last time I saw him he’s taken some ecstasy and snorted speed, but I’m not as worried as I thought I would be since he’s intelligent enough not to try it again. At least, he’s assured me that’s the case…

Crainial-Oesteopathy
Thursday involved Zak and I going up to London from Fareham, partly for Crainial-Oesteopathy appointments, but mostly to have a good day out, despite overdrafts. The crainal therapy is actually going really well. Apparently my body is responding to it really well, which means I don’t need so many treatment sessions. It’s got to the point that Maria has actually started moving the bones in my skull a bit, starting at the back, releasing various pressures against the sacral system. (cerebro-spinal fluids etc). I actually feel -great- since wednesday, and certainly seem to be less stressed and energy drained than I have for a long time. Call it psychosomatic(sp??) if you want, but the point is that I’ve been feeling this good in what turned out to be the most PMTing part of my menstrual cycle. Which is -nice-.
As to Zak and his ADD treatment, apparently he’s less ‘fizzy’ inside that he was the last time, which has a lot to do with the change in diet more than anything else, because thursday was his first main treatment. He’s going to be looking into getting treatment down here though, because he needs at least one session a month, ideally more than that to get this problem sorted out, and going to london to do so it just not feasible. I’m seriously positive about crainial-oesteopathy helping him out after feeling the effect this treatment is having on me.

On London
I was quite glad to find myself enjoying london after the hell of commuting there in the summer. I love the atmosphere when you’re there to enjoy yourself; at least, for a certain amount of time and providing there are liberal coffee breaks.. Finally went to that Trocadero arcade place Rob and Kay keep blabbing on about; it’s -okay-, but out of 50-odd cabinets I think there were only about 30 different games.
Took Zak to see Cats musical, getting 25% off tickets by buying them on the day at this nifty clock tower in leicester square. We were rushing round covent garden (really fun in the evening) before the show looking for somewhere to eat – ended up inside that covered shopping bit eating jacket potatoes from polystryene plates. It was actually one of the better meals I’ve had though; purely because of the atmosphere of people rushing around, and small but good string group playing somewhere closeby. Sometimes when you’re cold and hungry, simple cheap food is the best..
As to Cats itself, it was really quite unique, and not really like any of the other shows I’ve seen. We had seats really near the front, basically the last row of the revolving stage seats, so when the cats went running about the place they went right behind us (got a few touches as well…*g*). Overall, it’s worth seeing if you want to look at people wearing funky (and somehow erotic?!) costumes, and don’t mind too much about the cheesey music or lack of plot.

***
(at this point got taken out shopping by Rachel, have now got back and am busy cooking dinner. I’m sure there was something mightly important to write, but it’s gone now…)

It starts…

So, -finally- kicked myself into working on my cognition essay. (after doing laundry, tidying room, and sticking more pictures on my wall for no real reason). I’ve written a letter to Fumiko, my Japanese teacher, and in doing so really had to get my head together over what the essay is about! So, before I stick it in an evelope, I’m going to retype it up here… feedback encouraged!

Writing this letter has been amaxingly helpful. By the virtue of the fact I HAD to put it in a way she can hopefully understand, ensuring -I- had to understand it to write the thing..

Also, had a great weekend (and days before hand, infact) getting into the world of -decent- live action roleplay. This means flexible, essentially simple/common sense rules, people that are there for an enjoyable game, not to be poncy and power-gaming, and social beer drinking. I’ll probably write more on the adventures I had as a woodelf with Rachel and Marc, including the joys of gorse bushes, if I can get over the fact that it makes me sound terribly, terribly sad.
Anyway, Japanese:

****
Dear Fumiko,
Thank you and you husband very much for the offer of help and advice on my essay – it is already much appreciated. I’m finding myself getting very interested in what you’ve been saying on the Japanese language-culture, which is perhaps a little dangerous since I really need to be thinking about the rest of my course!

The basic idea behind my essay is to discuss the question “to what extent does language affect the way we think?” The main psychologist to suggest that language and thought were very much related was Benjamin Whorf (1956). However, his ideas have since been criticised as too vague or blatantly incorrect. (Whorf’s strongest idea is that your language -IS- the way yo think, down to the most intrinsic levels. The view now is that all people, regardless of what language they use, think the same on a mental level ‘below’ language)

However, I still think that language, while not the ultimate ‘form’ of thinking, is a powerful tool by which culture and -WAYS- of thinking, acting, or just viewing the world can be manipulated or constrained. This, hopefully, will be the essay’s conclusion.

I don’t know if you’ve read the book ‘1984’, but George Orwell wrote about individuals in a fictional (if prophetic) society who were slowly being introduced into using a government-created language (“Newspeak”). This was expressily designed to cut down the words people could use, or more importantly, think and express concepts with.

Newspeak was designed to ‘brain wash’ people into esentially being good little society robots, that despite what they may be feeling, have no real way of expressing it to other people or even think about it themselves.

Obviously the Japanese language can not be directly compared to Newspeak. For a start, Newspeak reduced words to a minimal number, whilst Japanese, as you have told me, has many, many ways of expressing the same thing.

However, both you and Tsuguya (more on him in a bit) have expressed fears of Japanese people being somehow ‘brainwashed’ and becoming less creative or able to argue.

I would like to look at reasons behind this – particularly those to do with the language system, the effects of teaching Japanese, the need to be polite, and english-translation causing a reduction in Japanese forms of expression.

Of course, my main problem is that since I’m not Japanese and it is very hard to find literature about this subject, I don’t have much information to go on! What I have found is a collection of ‘reflections’ made by a man called Tsuguya Sasaki which he has put on the internet. Not only is he a native Japanese person who left Japan for a few years and so has an ‘outside view’, but he’s also a linguist! This means a lot of his reflections are on the Japanese language – very useful for me! ((note to self – particularly since they’re in english!!))

I’ve included a selection of extracts from these reflections, from which (with Tsuguya’s permission) I will quote in my essay…(Cut stuff about asking Fumiko for help assessing validity..) .. and perhaps write down a few thoughts of your own. I’m especially intrested in the problems with learning/teaching English, and the affect it’s had on Japanese.

(cut niceties at end)

******

Useful bits
“the purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world view and mental habits proper devotees on Ingsoc (english socialism) but to make all other modes of thought impossible”

comments from fumiko that can remember:
– haven’t got past perfect.
– variation in kids speech goes down due to ‘translation’ method of learning english for exam to get into highschool.
– constrained by context-senstivity (need to know how polite to be before you open your mouth)
– behaviour very different ‘outside japan’. Note amount of inside-outside words in language..outside ‘group’.
– JET scheme??????
– deliberatly done by government (reckons fumiko)!!
– leads to lack of questionning, arguing, criticism (or ability to deal with it appropriatly)
Links:
http://www2.gol.com/users/tsuguya/reflections/200107.html
http://www2.gol.com/users/tsuguya/reflections/200111.html
http://www.geocities.com/japanfaq/FAQ-Primer.html

***
phew.. better go and get food now!