Thursday, 21 February 2013

My shoes got less sacred today

They've got less sole than yesterday.

People tell me I'm too serious, so I thought I'd lay my best joke out at the start so that it's clear I have a fun side.

In other news, today has been a total bust. I got up nice and early and spoke to someone in Australia and went through my emails (I'm getting to that exciting point where the novelty of receiving thirty emails overnight is no longer ego-inflating and is instead tiresome and frustrating). I've started using two apps which have changed my approach to working, and since nothing of any great interest happened today I'm going to talk about them.

I appreciate that this may not be what you came here for, so here's another video for you, and especially for +Sheila Bennett who requested the excellent piece in question.



For anyone still here, I've started using a sleep tracking app (Sleep as Android, 14-day free trial) to see if it can clear the groggy sensation caused by re-entry into this world from Morpheus' and an organising app (Astrid, free) to ensure I stop forgetting things. Sleep as Android has massively improved the way I get up, and for that I am deeply indebted to it and its creators. It has some way of tracking sleep and wakes me up at the moment that it will hurt the least, and does so gently. It could only be kinder if it made tea at the same time, and I am sure someone is working on that now.

What it has also done - and this is one of the negative points - is shattered one of the illusions I had about myself: it turns out I snore. Various girlfriends have mentioned this to me, and I have laughingly agreed with them, knowing that their tiny brains can not possibly the difference between fantasy and reality and that they were probably dreaming. I cannot so easily dismiss an android. The evidence is irrefutable, and the worst sort of embarrassment.

If you've ever listened to your voice played back to you then you have at least experienced some measure of this hideous phenomenon. It turns out that how we hear ourselves is not how other people hear us, and the voice that to you is as dark and rich as 80% cocoa solids is in fact very much more like the noise produced by stretching the neck of a balloon and letting the air out.

Now imagine the cultured and refined image you maintain day to day by plucking, brushing, shaving and bathing in asses milk. Fix that image solidly in your mind. Now let it shatter into a thousand pieces like a dropped wine glass as a snore, a throaty, meaty, dear-god-he's-trying-to-swallow-his-own-tonsils-snore, drills all the way through it. Nothing prepared me for this. I was still weeping in the shower twenty minutes later and giving serious thought to becoming a permanent bachelor, purely to ensure no unfortunate member of society should have to suffer through it.

Never record yourself sleeping. There is something deeply unsettling about the odd way bodies have a mind all of their own, and it is at night when that mind comes out and just messes about. I have learnt my lesson. Hideous.

The final low point of the day came during my French lesson, when I got my homework back and found it replete with awful, simple errors. There's nothing more frustrating, but I shall be triple checking future work to avoid them. It was only myself and one other student, and she's not as confident as me - her grammar is probably better (looking at my homework, I would be willing to put money on it) but she barely says anything, and so before long it was the Jonathan Kerr show - a show that is exciting and full of facts but helps no-one improve their French.

I bought some new shoes, I recorded two videos - one you see above, the other needs editing. Otherwise, as I said, this day has been a bust. On the other hand, I've my two lovely students tomorrow and teaching methods to research - so perhaps I shall do something useful after all.