Still here, and still weird


I’m not really going to get a chance to burble till I’m back at uni. But all kinds of metamorphosic stuff has been happening, which is fun and a little scary.

Rachel is now in tenerife. I hope things are going okay, I think about her a fair bit. I had a very enjoyable weekend at her house, and she is now the only person to possess a drawing of mine where I made a reasonable attempt to draw a *background.*

I am test-driving tiny pants Since I’ve been perplexed with the claim that thongs are more comfortable for some time, I decided to buy some and see for myself. The jury is still out on this one, but so far seems fairly good. If nothing else it’s an incentive to really work on my bum at the gym next year 🙂

Even more oddly, I’m test driving a limited amount of make up. And, like my opinion of clubbing, I have decided it’s actually kind of fun. I was treated to a ‘facial’ and have added it to my list of lovely things to do… so relaxing, and with a face/head/neck/back massage thrown in it can’t be bad 🙂

I’m really getting somewhere with this crazy intuition/spiritual stuff. Whether this means I’m actually getting more insane or closer to some truth I’m not sure yet. Last night I had to jump out of bed and talk excitedly at my mother because I’d connected together some important truths about Love. And relationships. IT’S ALL STARTING TO MAKE SENSE!! 😀 😀

I will write in more detail later because I think it’s important. Right now i need to start packing.

Apparently my animal medicine is as follows:

Timetable notes

For future reference my timetable next semester looks something like:

Monday: 11–> 1 (Theology Seminar (Science+ Religion))
Tuesday: nothing
Wednesday: 11–>12 (Theology Lecture)
Thursday: 11–>12 (Theology Lecture)
Friday: 2–> 4 (Philosophy Seminar) (replaced sem. 2 by 12—>2 Neuroscience/language seminar)

Looking good. Of course the main bulk of my work will be my Project and Dissertation. Which is why the idea of lectures at 11am seems really nice – they come at a very unobtrusive time, allowing me morning and afternoon to work on my own stuff.

4 hours of theology though. I’m going to come out of this year as a nun. ^_^ (I wonder what theology *lectures* will be like??)

In just about every philisophy/Cognitive lecture I went to at the Festival of Science There was this old bloke that *always* made the same point about something called ‘metatheology’ which pissed of the philosophers no end.

With the aim of accumulating similar intellectual arsenal, next year is going to be fun.


Kestrel (and more unneccesary symbolism)

Walking round the lake at work today I saw all number of things. Heron (unusual – flew overhead), rabbits, blue and red dragonflies, crows, magpies, seagulls, sparrows/housemartins (not seen them before either) All number of things crammed together in a 20 min walk.

I also found a very ill little rabbit; it’s eyes were swollen and puffy, and I stood over it for a good few minutes before it decided to hide under a bush a foot away. Right near it were, bizarrely, two wings that had presumably been ripped off by a predator. Looked like they had belonged to a mostly-white pigeon.

I’m not sure what was wrong with the rabbit.. I found myself wishing that I knew how to kill animals quickly because I don’t think it’s going to live much longer. And NO animal should sit so lethargically with a human standing right over it. (I also, annoyingly, found my inner mother saying ‘ergh, you don’t want to touch that you don’t know where it’s been and you might catch something’)

As I walked past a big patch of grass completely covered with molted canadian geese feathers, one little feather in particular caught my eye. (not too sure why, since it’s mostly the same colour as the geese). I picked it up and currently have it sitting in my pocket.

Its like nothing I’ve seen before. Looks like a secondary or tertiary flight feather…yellow/gold on one side and a sort of tan/white stripes on the other.

My first guess is that it was a griffin feather. Then reality caught up (a little).. now my best guess is that it belonged to a Kestrel.

This makes me happy..recently kestrels have been catching my eye (and mind) in the same way the crows and wolves and butterflies have. I even drew a picture of a kestrel-costumed girl hovering mid-air earlier this summer.

following my recent fascination with totemism and shamanistic ideas I had a quick look into ‘kestrel energy’ 🙂 Seems fairly useful and weirdly appropriate right now.

more than you need to know about kestrels

“Boys in the girls room..girls in the mens room…”

“You free your mind with your androgyny….”


“It’s well known that you get more men becoming surgeons than women… But it’s not just down to the Y-chromosome. All the male surgeons we tested achieved a high score on psychological masculinity tests – as did the female surgeons.”

This is a snippet of conversation I caught after a psychology lecture on attention last week. The guy talking was an animated professor, or doctor, or something…obviously intelligent, amused and automatically interesting. We were all on our way over to a wine reception. (I went to lots of these; free drink..)

“So when these experiments look for gender differences, they should ignore physical gender and look for psychological. This where the differences lie, and their effects are being largely obscured.”

About this point I made an apology for eavesdropping and asked him a few more questions. Whilst not denying the effect of physical body, hormones etc on the mind, this isn’t the be all and end all of ‘gender’. Interesting.

My ears pricked up at the phrase “Psychological Androgyny” which apparently is now a defunct concept in modern day psychology. (ie it doesn’t exist). I’m not too sure about that..although maybe it’s because everyone is tending towards androgynous thinking as the most adaptable??

I asked him about these ‘gender tests’ and he pointed me towards The Measurement of Psychological Androgyny – Sandra L Bem (1974).

“Bem views Androgyny to mean both highly masculine and highly feminine, rather than neither masculine nor feminine (i.e. midway between the two extremes). It’s better to be androgynous in today

This is a little out of date by today’s standards (?) But I just took the test anyway.
I got a score of -8 (probably plus or minus 2 or 3) .
Androgynous is defined as ‘-9 to +9’ and nearly masculine starts at ‘-10’.

So seems fairly indicative of my mental state, and perhaps explains why I get on with men easier than women ;-). Still, I’m not putting much emphasis on this..however I’d be interested to see how other people score



I have a part of a wisdom tooth poking through at the back of my mouth. This has obviously been brought on by all that thinking last week.

The latest tangent to come crashing into my mind is trance music

I’ve found some interesting articles here. I also spoke to a few ‘music psychologists’ at the fesitival. My take is this : if I’m going to have to write a dissertation next year, god damn it I’m going to make it interesting. (ideas at the moment combine music, meditation, plant pharmacology, spirituality and bilingualism. And all this in a neat cognitive science package. At least, that’s the plan.)

I’m also becoming fascinated by dragonflies (seem to be replacing the butterflies this time of the year) and Kitsunes.

I want:

  • A skipping rope
  • Some really good music to trance to. (not neccessarily from the ‘trance genre’) . Any ideas?
  • A REALLY GOOD SET OF HEADPHONES. yes; I’m looking for near-total immersion.

Tears of Pearl

“these tears show you that I feel something real, more than words can express. But, and in some sense this is more important : they hold a mirror to my soul and let me see, and feel, and know there is a depth greater than the purely intellectual”

Last week was amazing in a sedate, thoughtful, intellectually energetic way – I feel like my eyes have opened in ways I expected and in some I did not. I’m working on the report about my experience of the Festival of Science which I will of course make available. 🙂

Such a concentration of intelligence. My mind spent a week heavily in the balance of ‘thinking’ rather than ‘feeling’. This often gives me a weird sort of rush, although never have I had such a sustained period of this mental activity. I loved being completely independant of everything but my own thirst for more knowledge.

The side effect of this though was the gradual quitening of the parts of me which know they are real. I ended the friday with a burning desire for confirmation that I still existed. PHYSICAL CONTACT. MUSIC. DANCING. LIFE. EMOTION.

No doubt I will try and explain this later. For now the simple observation that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live in a state unbalanced either way. I need the illogical to counteract the logical.. and I’m not sure I’ll ever fully appreciate why. (but sometimes you don’t need to)

In a slightly tongue-in-cheek nutshell : “The more I think, the greater I lust”

Take off the the Mask and look in the Mirror : who are you really?

I guess it’s wanting to be more than we are that keeps us in the fight at all. to do what you want actually takes more personal courage than you might give it credit for. so that might be the greatest freedom of all – to have the courage to be yourself… (Jakreven from This thread)

I agree with this despite how I may have sounded in my badly worded post on freedom.
Freedom is the courage to be yourself.

This also means the courage to look at what yourself is, and the ability to move on even if it means complete metamorphosis.

Freedom is also the courage to be nothing. I mean: to courage to let everything else drop, the past, the future. To let the dust settle and simply observe what is there. To not use your achievements, your mistakes, your habits, your parents even (because they always lurk in there somewhere) define who you are. I can’t do this yet. I have to have my labels, and I have to have my achievements. I need to grasp and cling and not let go of my Mask.

I’m scared. Scared to know what I really am. Scared by the possibility I might, in fact, be nothing.

One day I hope I can loose the mask, and find a mirror that will reflect the truth. And when I do I hope I will not be disgusted (or dissapointed) by what I see.

(I meant to talk about something completely different but it’s too late now. I need to bleed the thoughts out while they’re there, otherwise I’m scared the pressure of them will cause some sort of internal mental explosion 🙂 )

I still can’t remember that word. (Autumn)

.. you know the one I mean. You must do. It’s something you put into english literature GCSE exams to sound like you know what you’re talking about. When the weather reflects the mood.

Today it really feels like autumn. Even *smells* like autumn. And as always when I acknowledge the change of season I catch myself thinking “’s (insert time of year). I love this season.”

I don’t have a favourite season, not really. But I do like the awareness that things are changing, and being able to see the good points about every time of year.

I like the sound of spring, the warm growth of summer, the damp crisp smell of autumn and the dormant anticipation of winter.

Over the last couple of years, it gets to about this time and I’ve felt bitter. Bitter because my whole summer was absorbed by an air-conditioned office. (the problems of working July to October after a year of outdoor scampering)

This year I don’t feel bitter, because almost every day I’ve taken myself on the mile and half walk round the lake here at IBM. And I’ve looked, and enjoyed and considered all the value I could from this patch of wild constrained 3 sides by motorway and the other by buildings. And I’ve seen a lot.

When I started it was summer. Bright yellow or gentle pink meadow flowers were in full bloom, and after a few weeks surrounded by butterflies. There were baby moorhens that looked no more than small scraps of black fluff. EVERYWHERE there were canadian geese, and molted feathers. Now the grass is longer and faded (rabbits find it easier to hide); the geese dissapeared , and then some came back. I saw a fish. (it was **this** big!) The now juvenile moorhens look gangly and awkward; as with so many creatures their feet have grown *first*. There are only a few butterflies left now; replaced it seems by shiny dragonflies (damselflies?) Which fascinate me too with their designs and colours. (outside it starts raining again… I’m reminded of the song about lovers going into the autumn forest while the rain falls down around them.)

And always I watch the crows.

*sigh* there’s so much to see, and to watch, and to listen to if only you pay attention. Onwards now to work and caffeine. Next week I will be gone to leicester to expand my mind and my overdraft

YOU ARE NOT FREE! (or, Cat’s clumsy attempt to explain the universe. Again.)

“the greatest freedom is the freedom to do what you want.”

Sounds fairly reasonable first pass. And if the basis for your country, or your life is to have such freedom, fine right?

I don’t think so. I think “the freedom to do what you want” is a dangerous thing. And probably not in the way you’re thinking.

Main conjecture: Always being able to do what you want means you never have to stop and think about it. There is no natural break out of the circle.

Now, by want in this sense I do not mean what you desire. I’m thinking more basic than that; kind of like an arrow going from one box to the next in those schematic computer program / cognitive psychology style diagrams. Almost like a emotional if-then.

feeling hungry—want—> one of those biscuits
just woken up —want—> to feel miserable —want—> to go back to sleep
see happy couple –want–> to feel sad —want–> to be jealous –want–> to get angry

basically I’m thinking of ‘want’ as the link between moments in the processing of any habits. Or personality traits perhaps.

On a larger scale it’s the reason why, or how, people can go through whole days and nights on a series of routines. I’ve done it myself. Shift into work mode. Go home. Have cup of tea. Eat crisps. play on playstation. Have dinner. get annoyed with parents. go to bed. call zak. go to sleep. repeat.

What I’m trying to say is : you can live your entire life without EVER thinking about what you’re doing, because there is no need to! Time-sapping devices like T.V and Computer Games (and even Work in some cases) all make this easier.

Why is this a problem? Essentially because you are constraining development of your very Self to endlessely repeat and reform, and deepen habits that for the most part will have derived from nothing but ‘wanting’.

You want to change? You want to even be AWARE of your self, and it’s limitations, or its good points, or how you can improve bad habits – you have to consciously sit and think and look. But the first step is to realise the circle you’re stuck in, and see where to get out.

Not convinced: look at what happens when you have the extended freedom of being a university student, and one of your rehearsed habits is -not- a good work ethic! Nothing will stop you from playing computer games all day…

Myself, I’m becoming aware of things, slowly. But the ironic problem is that one of my habits is mulling over and over and over things with clouded speedy thoughts. Maybe that’s even what I’m doing now. ^o_O^