Tuesday, 24 January 2012

In this theatre I call my own, I always play the starring role . . .

Today, I had my second proper exam, for GCSE Biology. I did two past papers the night before as revision, and going on my own personal mark scheme, I got 37 out of 42; so, that coupled with my near maximum marks for my coursework, leaves me eyeing up a solid A* for Biology. I can't actually believe how easy it was. I've had two controlled assessments for English Language, and hit the A* grades; and the next assessment is a "rant" using sarcasm. . . . ha; no guessing for what grade I'm going to get there. The English Lit exam, I reckon, I'm on for high marks; and I'm not usually confident. Physics exam is next Tuesday, so I'll be cramming knowledge this week. I really need to get my head around the Isotopes, and the half life shit. 

 I was thinking to myself the other day; I always was an under achiever. Always had so much potential, I did. All my school reports were the same throughout school; I was reading my year 11 reports, just last week; that basically said that I am a frustrating student; I'm very bright, creative, intellectual; but unable to spill it over into academic channels. This pattern went back to year 3.  I scraped through my HNC in music; paying little attention to the modules I had no interest it; and excelling in the ones I was interested it. I dropped out of university; essentially, the emotional trauma of an abysmal relationship, that I should NEVER have gotten into took it's toll. My drinking, and eating levels sky rocketed! Emotionally, I'm much stronger now. 

Nothing has changed really. I'm still putting things off. I haven't really gone to town, at least scholastically anyway. Everything is still rushed, and hurried; always at the last minute. I realise now; I can't keep getting these second chances. I'm doing really well at all my subjects, except Maths. I am trying though; I'm hoping that with my schedule I've made (10 hours per week of cramming on the Mymaths website) that it will all start falling into place. I want to be getting A grades in my mocks, by June; consistently! I am not confident at all; but it's what we've got to go with.   Next week; I'm getting tested by my tutor and we're going to identify my weak spots. My tutor Paul, is most excellent. He's dyslexic, so sometimes writes things he doesn't mean; but he's got such a great attitude towards it; it's hilarious-  he reckons he's got loads of boxes of pencils at home, and as part of his OCD; he likes to "keep them sharp". He's an excellent teacher though; very passionate about the job, always willing to help; and he's not much older than me. He reminds me of Bill, from Bill and Ted's various adventures. He seems pretty laid back; and seems to think I'll be okay with getting up to speed. I owe him one. Big time.  

 Now more than ever; I need to not be the person I've always been- somewhat defeatist, procrastination laden and unfocused. It pretty much haunts me on a daily basis. Ticking down the seconds, hours, days and months- June, and my maths papers. Calculator, and non calculator. I have 5 solid months to get it out of the way; and I'm thinking of asking the family, if they can chip in, and get me an hours tuition each Friday evening. I tend to storm through life, declaring that everyone else is such a retard; and people are morons. Well, Daniel, if you don't get this B grade, then YOU are the moron- A big fat moron at that!

Another thing I have to worry about is my weight- but it's nothing compared to the maths conundrum. I've basically gone up an entire stone from November up until now. I'm surprised it's not been more. Over the past 8 weeks or so, I've been living the 'good life' - not so much with the boozing; but with the take away food. then again, I was going the gym, and doing a lot of weight lifting. It could be that? I've got to lose 4 for August; to get myself past the medical. My BMI needs to be below 30; and losing 4 stone, will put me well under. Plus; I don't want to be overweight; or at least appear overweight, when I start my cadet-ship. Like I said; I'm not too worried about this; because I'm hella fit at the moment; and I can burn fat like no body's business. I've ridden 260 miles this year, so far. Hoping to get this up to 400 before January is out. 

I realised last week; that I don't want to be known. I get so uncomfortable around Birkenhead, in the shopping area. It might sound like a mixture of irrational thoughts, and paranoia; but, I just want to get out of town as soon as I get there. I worry that people know me, and that I don't know them. It sort of stems back to a few years ago, when one of my exes said "everyone knows about you and you're a prick" - and as funny as it sounds; this echoes in my head; I just want to get out of there. I'm okay over in Liverpool, and other places. I'm thinking it's either something I need to speak to someone about; or something that is normal. I guess that familiarity breeds contempt when you're me. 

 The life that I'm trying my damnedest to get; will hopefully be worth it. Working, travelling on boats, seeing the world. In my time off; cruising on a live-aboard yacht. I'm so serious about this, it's not even funny. I've got it all planned out. Qualify, save, and buy myself a 30ft yacht! While I'm doing my cadet-ship, I'm going to invest in some RYA courses- in fact, there's a Coastal Day Skipper course running at my college, starting next month. The price on the poster is £395.00- but it's been blacked out. I'm going to certainly look into it. I've done all this quixotic bullshit "idea" stuff before. Getting things in my head; being intensely into it, then the bubble would burst. Not here though. No way. I've always wanted a Yacht. I've been trying to get in the Merchant Navy for 4 years or more. I've been cycling relentlessly for 2 years. I think this is one aspect of my personality which has changed. A bit of resolve has been instilled upon my persona.  That's all I'm about really. Becoming Cpt Bibby, Living the cruisers life, and Cycling. 

Cooked myself a nice roasted veg cous cous earlier. I slow roasted my cherry tomatoes, with garlic slices on them,  mixed peppers, and red onion for 3 hours on a low heat.  The peppers and onion were over cooked; but tasty all the same. I put some chicken stock in with the cous cous; and hey presto. Next time, I'm going to add a bit of curry powder, to give it a bit of a kick. 

Up at seven, in bed for ten.

10 mile walk tomorrow; and a trip to IKEA. 

More to say; but, bed time.


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Fuck you social networks. I don't need any more Oxytocin!!!!

I write this 'blog' on the day after my English literature examination. Finally, I  finished Harper Lee's "To kill a mockingbird" - After months of procrastinating. I can't say I was too impressed overall. I mean; I see why it's sold so many copies; and people can relate to the characters; Atticus, in particular. Yes; he's graceful; nonchalant; aware; morally sound; and is a decent person, with characteristics we all should aspire to possess; but- and this is a BIG but; I just feel that, Maya Angelou's "I know why the cadged bird sings" is a better book all around; probably because I'm a naturally assuaged from fiction as a whole.

My questions on TKM were, firstly, to comment on what message Miss Maudie was trying to get across from a passage in the book. I basically said, the underlying ethos that was suggested; was that their society at the time, was at a transitional stage of progress; where the eradication of prejudice was quite a long way off'; and that although a forlorn fact; there are some redeeming features in the way of various characters act that are against the consensus view that blacks are a somehow worth less than whites. I obviously babbled a bit more; I'd say this was my weakest answer.

The next answer on Lee's novel was to the question "How does Lee create the feel of what life might have been like in a town like Maycombe in 1935(?) - This one, I pretty much nailed; big time. I used the quote "Atticus said naming people after Confederate Generals created slow steady drinkers" when referring to the Ewell's - I basically pointed out that this was historically plausible; and that Lee used it; along with other quotes to create authenticity- as a lot of white people in the south back then; still had an axe to grind; and the bigotries had filtered down through the generations from when the civil war (although now, thinking about it, I cited the war of independence....shit!) ended (and white people in the vicinity had a lot to lose) I also pointed out the Maya "Layafette" Ewell has possibly been named after the French general who was an ally to the states in the war of independence. I also made a note that it was interesting that Lee's message basically contradicted the "confederate" views even though she is actually a descendent of the General Lee from the civil war....again, I think I said the war of independence....I'm hoping the moron who marks my work won't actually check these facts. I commented on the dialect/dialogue for adding authenticity; and the relationships between the town folk, and social standings....I might have tried to be a smart arse too much here...

My question on "An inspector calls" how does Priestly get the message across about responsibility- I basically used Birlings opening quote; the essence being about how you should fuck everyone else; and look out for your self (I pointed out the use of the bee hive analogy); then used the complete paradoxical quote of the Inspector the "we don't live alone; there are millions of Eva Smiths" - Social responsibility covered; I then went on to ramble about personal responsibility; and backed that up with a few quotes that Mr Birling had made; the horrible cunt.

As far as righteous characters go; I'd say that Goole (Inspector calls), shits all over Atticus(TKAM), and I really enjoyed watching the BBC play (1982) on youtube; although; I prefer the one from the 50's with Aleister Sim.

I'm glad my first proper exam is out of the way. I reckon I'll be in band 4 at least, which equates to a B/C grade; I can pull my finger out for the next exam; and try and get into band 5. Overall, I need a C; something I think in English; I should be able to get with my eyes closed. Come to think of it; I think I got a C anyway first time around; so should I fail; I have that to fall back on. I don't think it's likely though. I have a Biology exam coming up, and I've been getting B's in the mocks, with little revision. I'm sure I boost it up to A's in the coming week; with half an hour each evening doing the practice papers; I've already got an A* on my coursework for biology; so it would be nice to continue that form into the exams. The same fundamentals apply to my physics, minus the coursework; but I'm sure I'll get high grades there; as it's on electronics; at uni, I managed to build my own functioning synthesiser; so I think I'm in with a shout at 'sprout' level. Both my English Language assessments to date, have gotten me both band 5 marks, which is essentially an A grade, and my third and final assessment is basically to rant about something; and I apparently get marked for being sarcastic. This is essentially something that I do on a daily basis; in fact, I'd say it was more frequent than that. There's not an hour that goes by, when I'm awake anyway, where I'm thinking to myself, "how shit is that?" or "what a load of bollocks" I've a feeling I might get FULL marks on this one.

 I wish I could say the same about my Maths. Although, since I started, I've learnt most of the remedial stuff ...again; bare in mind, when I started, I'd forgotten long division, subtraction, long multiplication,working out percentages, percentage changes, working out area, perimeter, volume, no clue about standard form, or what algebra was, I really was at a remedial level. While I'm still pretty shocking at maths; I've managed to get myself up to near C grade stuff; and I'm just starting to take on B level answers. Although, in honesty, I need to go over ALL of it. I'm made up that I have the use of MyMaths; a very good website; that can sometimes explain things to me that my maths tutor can not. I will be doing 45 minutes a day on this website from now until June; my numeracy tutor is letting me sit in on the GCSE support sessions; so I'm getting 2 hours a week tuition there. I may get a maths tutor; for two hours a week, 6 weeks before the exam date. I need to nail this; I'm ready to begin my merchant navy career THIS September. I can't be waiting another 6 months; or another year!

Check out 'pig' in her swanky new coat.

I've been off facebook for 2 weeks now; and to be honest; I'm not missing it as much as I thought I would. Fundamentally, facebook is a good idea; but then the reality of it is; that it causes more harm than good. Pederasts use it to groom young' uns', quite a few young girls have been killed with the assistance of facebook; then there's the ones who have been bullied over a facebook, and decided to end their lives, a tragic conclusion, that HAS happened!  Efforts aren't made to meet with people any more either, and hours are wasted, yes WASTED; and you can't put a price on wasting a man's time, can you?

Personally, and I don't think I'm alone here, am I? - I used to spend hours each day on facebook; just sitting and staring at the god damn screen looking a updates of people I'm hardly even interested in! Compelled to log in! Why!? I think I ended up hiding most of the people on there anyway by using the following policing policy; talking about your kids all the time? Hidden! Grammatically inept? Hidden! Using the word "am" instead of "I'm" - compulsory euthanasia!. . .well, maybe not to that extreme, but you're getting deleted at least!  Morons on there who have their "Just been to the toilet-esque" posts- hidden! There's the cretins who allow things like "Daily Horroscopes" to be posted every day - who instantly get hidden! Like I want to know about YOUR astrology readings! Astrology is a mugs game . . give me astronomy any day of the week! Liverpool/Everton fans having a pop at each other? Hidden! Racist overtones? Hidden . . possibly deleted or blocked, depending on how extreme. Opinions about 'X-factor', yes! You guessed it!  . . . . HIDDEN!

So, even though we know it's turd, and it's a total waste of time, WHY are we so addicted to it?

Well- There's a study out there, that suggests constant use of social networking sites, in particular the faux "relationships" that we have on-line are having a considerable effect on the release of the hormone Oxytocin, which is referred to in the field of Neuroscience as "the cuddle drug" -which incidentally increases trust, and reduces fear; not good if you're an impressionable teen! Surely not? It also produces a calming, soothing, pleasurable effect that is chemically measurable in the brain. Now! If you take this in to consideration, maybe my question of "Why!?" has been answered. Go me!  Essentially; it wouldn't be the acme of foolishness to make the statement that, social networks are chemically addictive- unnatural quantities of Oxytocin are being released, every single time we log on. So . . . like caffeine, or heroine, social networks are fundamentally addictive.  Maybe not as addictive as heroine, but addictive all the same.  Tangent alert! Office workers, and teachers fall into the caffeine abyss on an idiosyncratic scale;  without even noticing. A cup before breakfast; a cup before they log on, a cup before the break, a cup in the break, a cup at dinner, an afternoon tipple...maybe two? Do the maths; and count how many you have in a week; a month; a year! Look up the effects of prolonged use of caffeine! Exactly!! Back to Facebook anyway- When you're not logged on, you want to be; because of the chemicals in your swede!

 Anyway; all this ranting about facebook is doing my head in. I'm going to take my dog to the park now. Anyone remember parks? The places where you can actually  WALK to, to get some EXERCISE and FRESH AIR, and maybe actually socialise with REAL people; not just sitting on your swivel chair; for hours; in a dark gloomy room; in your underwear; with your empty pot noodle pots over flowing from your bin; til' the small hours.  Go on; turn your computer off; and get out there! Maybe I'll see you there?

Right; basically; I'm going to use the shit that I wrote about facebook just there, for my English "rant" - in case you were wondering why I went off the rails from my usual ranting 'modus operandi' - swearing and that, being offensive ETC. Also, since when do I give a flying fuck about teenagers going missing or topping themselves? Exactly, NEVER.  You're talking to the person here; who a few years ago, bought a blond wig, and wanted to borrow his brothers everton shirt to go to a fancy dress party . . .you do the math! The mark scheme is to be ironic, use sarcasm, and a broad range of punctuation and literary "styles" - give me my fucking A now please? Although; if anything is to be taken from the above; all the shite about the chemicals in the mind; it's all real shit; you can read up on here; although, the one that was conducted in the states was much better; the results were clearer, more conclusive; and they used slightly more scenarios, delved a bit deeper if I remember rightly; but I can't find it at the moment.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Time killing, and more time killing. If time killing was a crime. . .

It's hard to put in words what goes on in my head when I walk in Birkenhead park with Guinness; so when Chris was walking with me earlier today; I asked her to take some photos. 

I've been doing a fair bit of time killing on the internet over the past few days so here's some of my "finds".

Perhaps the most saddening; is of an account of a sailing disaster that occurred off the coast of Wirral in Victorian times; involving an unquantifiable loss of life due to a drunken captain; and some bad weather. Report posted here, from The Liverpool Mercury news paper.

Here is a link to a fascinating account (click the brochure here ) of a German bomber, shot down by a trio of Hawker Hurricanes over The Wirral; noted as one of the fastest kills in aviation history. The flight commander; landed back in Speke and drove his car through the Mersey tunnel to Bromborough to take a momentum from the incident. There's some background information here; on the incident; and the pilots here)

The story of a Spitfire being 'restored' and put on show in a Hoylake Garage forecourt(The site of the current Sainsbury's) It was sold, and appeared in the film "The Battle of Britain"  and after that, was sold, and restored to  actually fly. Notice the engine in this plane is actually a more bigger and powerful engine than in the original Spitfire (5 propeller blades, rather than 4) It was used in the modern film "Pearl Harbour". It's actually a mixture of two spitfires built up from scrap.
More pictures, and further information. here and here

I also read on wiki wirral's history page that a chap used to have a Vampire jet (pictured below) in his garden in Vyner road. That would have been some sight! Not been able to find any more information on it though. Typing in "Birkenhead Vampire" didn't help. Just cemented the fact that there are a lot of people out there relying on escapism for their existence. 

So, as you can see; I'm really looking forward to going back to college; and cracking on! I've taken my facebook page down after much deliberation; so from one utterly pointless waste of time to another. Chris has got desperate scousewives on, and I am actually lost for words. I've looked at some of their twitter pages; and all of their "about me" sections contain details of their management. Desperate indeed. Is it real? I'm confused. These cretins are one of the reasons I hate society so much. People want fame for being brainless, and talentless. They need to just fuck off and die; and so do all the people who are interested it; this ball bag claims he's "Britain's most brutal blogger" - I can't believe I spent 60 seconds on his site. No comments; about as brutal as a bag of kittens; and the content; well...it's basically a poorly written Internet version of one of those god forsaken "goss" magazines.  Confusing as it is; ultimately; it does not matter if it's real or not. What matters is that I temporarily stop typing and leave this room.....

...and continue writing out of the way of that monstrosity of a programme- god bless the wireless age. What's even more important; is that I NEVER WATCH it again. I'd seen the adverts for it, and felt embarrassed for Liverpudlians; but fuck me. What is the world coming to?  Utterly contrasting eh? Blathering on about Spitfires one minute; and then talking about plankton brain TV the next. I'm ashamed of myself. I really am.