Monday, 27 April 2009

Focus.


A little reminder to myself as I was sitting here wanting to blog. I can't. I have to focus. Focus.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Tickets and tickets!


We booked tickets today (we being my mum, my brother and me) to see Paul Merton's Silent Clowns show in May. I'm very excited because the whole reason I'm doing the dissertation I am is because I watched his documentary on Hitchcock and was rather inspired. I've grown up loving Paul Merton in everything that I've ever seen him do. So him just happening to be in the next town over from us two weeks after I finish the dissertation he inspired me to write, well, it's rather perfect really!

We also booked Imax tickets to see the new Star Trek film, 'cause we're an undercover Trekky family and my brother's never been to an Imax cinema. I'm looking forward to seeing it. I haven't seen aaany reviews or trailers (apart from the teaser trailer a year ago), which is my favourite way to go see a film, without a clue what it's about. Yay.

And now back to writing so that my deadline can pass stress-free and I can enjoy all these lovely things properly!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

"Dear Windows Live User"

"Dear Windows Live User,

We are contacting you regarding your communication preference settings for Windows Live and MSN.

Currently, your settings do not allow Microsoft to send you promotional information or survey invitations about Windows Live and MSN. We would like to communicate important product updates to you, so if you would like to change your settings, please visit your account profile here to change your preferences.

Sincerely,
The Windows Live Team"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but surely opting out of promotional information should include information promoting the promotional information you've said you don't want..... right?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Globe Dancing

I stumbled across this online today. I love and adore this video. It's four and a half minutes of distilled fun, spontaneity and complete lack of worries and cares across the world.




The story behind it is here: www.wherethehellismatt.com

Monday, 20 April 2009

It turns out there's such a thing as Too Sure.

At work we have a coffee shop on our floor, and we have customer toilets. These toilets are of the most bizarre design I have ever seen. Very space-age. Only UV lighting, no normal lights at all, black walls, black floor and black ceiling. The door is huge, unmarked and locked, and we have the most delightful job of spotting confused people wandering around the floor and buzzing them through the door using our magic button behind the till. Oh, and then rescuing them when they can't work out how to get out again.


Yesterday my floor manager and I were standing by the till when a man wandered over from the direction of the coffee shop. He was looking around as if searching for something. He wandered over to the toilet door and the Filofax stand, and then away again, still looking around with a puzzled expression. This is typical customer-looking-for-toilet behaviour that we've seen a thousand times and pride ourselves on being able to spot.

"Through the door over there," we say as they open the customer opens their mouth to ask directions. "But.. we're looking for the toilets." they say. "Yes, just through that door there," we say knowingly, pressing the buzzer to unlock it. They look at us in awe, often asking how we knew before they said anything. We smile mysteriously and let them wonder. (This is how it looks from inside my head. It's probably a lot creepier from their point of view.)

So, this man was wandering around by the door looking lost, and V. called over to him, "Through that door, I'll buzz you in." but the man didn't hear him. V. pushed the buzzer and the door beeped loudly, but the man was now walking away from it and didn't seem to hear that either. I pointed at the door and said, "It's just that door over there". Still no response. V. said, "Excuse me!" and finally the man looked over at us. I said, "Just through that door." He looked at me with an expression that held zero comprehension. V. said, "That door, over there." The man was looking more and more confused now, so V. said, "Over there... toilets?" and the man said, "No... I'm.... looking for wedding cards?"

There was a second's pause as the situation sank in. It was one of those "must not laugh and make things worse" moments. We both failed and burst into fits of laughter. V. immediately attempted to placate the confused customer and went with him downstairs to show him exactly where the wedding cards are kept, and left me in stitches.

I think next weekend I may be a little less mysterious and a little more sure before trying to force someone to go through the giant, unmarked door by the Filofaxes.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Writing and fluffy friends.

37 days:
Last night my disconnection time meant that I had the chance to actually work on my dissertation without distraction. I went to bed early again, kind of, about 11:30. But before that I managed to get an elusive 700 or so words written and plenty of notes made on what I have to do next. It gave me a good kick into working, and I'm not so stuck as to where to start next time I sit down and begin to write.

-----

Rest of Life:
Spring is really and truly here. I went for a walk with my camera and spent about 45 minutes at the park lying in the sun yesterday. It felt so good! I'm going to try and get outside for as many walks as possible now that the weather is so lovely, I always feel better when I walk.

I made a little friend while I was out. As I was dozing on the grass, I sensed a movement by me and opened my eyes. A gorgeous fluffy black dog had dropped its ball by my head and was waiting for me to throw it for him. I did this, and he went running after it, then brought it back for me to throw again, which I did. This went on for a long time as he completely ignored his owner calling to him. He was the friendliest, playfullest dog I've met in a long while. Thoroughly adorable.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Procrastination. Again.

So here I am today, working on my dissertation. Can you tell? I'm hard at work.

I'm finding it difficult to start today. I'm flicking through webpages (about to force myself to shut them down), buying some music that was recommended to me yesterday, then falling asleep listening to said music because it's very lovely but awfully drowse-enducing, thinking that maybe I should tidy my room before starting (you know, because I'll be so much more productive once I've spent several hours sorting out this mess...) and thinking that perhaps I should cook as well before starting so that I don't have to do that once I'm into the whole writing thing.

Then I thought, okay this is ridiculous, I've got to stop. Oh, I know, I have some interesting things in various books about procrastination and how to avoid it, maybe I should read some of those and get some ideas on how to deal with it. It was at that point that I realised just how bad it had got, about as bad as bad as it can get. Well, almost. As-bad-as-it-could-get actually hit the moment I loaded up my blog to write about my efforts to not procrastinate.

Right. Time to write. Yes. Write.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Reclaimed Mornings

37 days:
I have discovered a wonderful new side to my challenge. I am now not only reclaiming my evenings for myself, I'm reclaiming my mornings as well!

On Saturday morning I got up an hour earlier than I had to (something I very rarely do) and left for work an hour early. Once I got there, I sat across the road in Pret for an hour with hot chocolate and granola, and my trusty moleskine. I got lots of very much needed head clearing writing done before wandering back across the road and starting work. A good start to the day. For some reason I've never done that in all my time of working there. That's something that will have to change, it's a routine I would really like to set for myself. I loved having that time to myself instead of rolling out of bed and onto the shop floor.

Then last night I shut down the internet at 10 on the dot, sat around for a bit, then realised I was very tired. Half an hour later the lights were out and I was listening to a radio show before bed, 15 minutes after that I'd given up on the radio show and had turned that off also, 10 minutes after that I was fast asleep. I can't remember the last time I fell asleep so fast and slept so soundly. I think winding down earlier in the day helps me a lot.

Today again I got up an hour early, naturally no less, I opened my eyes to check the time seconds before my alarm went off. Again I had a lovely leisurely morning and was ready for work by the time I would have been dragging myself out of bed normally. Then it was out into the gorgeous sunshine.

I love having the chance to go to bed when I'm actually tired, instead of keeping myself up to read "one more" post, watch "one more" youtube clip, stalk "one more" person on facebook (not that I do that a lot... ahem). It's making a big difference in the way I live my days.

I didn't expect my slightly less internet time to spread its change across the whole day like it is.

Friday, 3 April 2009

37days + Filming

37 days:
Last night I bent my rule a little. I was talking to Becky online for the first time in way too long, and for the first time since she was in London and I didn’t get to see her. It didn’t feel right to cut off a way overdue conversation midsentence, so I shut down all my main internet windows at 10 o’clock and let myself stay signed into my messenger for half an hour longer to talk to her. Then after that I shut everything down.

I’m going to go back to my 10pm cut-off for everything and not make a habit of changing the rules, but having that touch of flexibility makes the whole challenge a little more real for me. Not real as in more of a challenge, but real as in making it a part of my life. If I said, “Whoops, okay, got to go, sorry, talk to you in another couple weeks,” and signed out at the final bell-toll of 10, I think I would resent the challenge and would have spent the night texting her phone anyway. As it is, the experience is developing into something I can learn from and gladly live with the results after these 37 days are finished.

----

Rest of life:
Our filming went fairly well on Wednesday. Actually, it went fantastically. A lot, a lot of fun. Our actors were very lovely, the weather was gorgeous like I haven’t seen for a long time in England (we all came away sunburned) and the park was the best place to be on a day like that. I’m a perfectionist so there are things I’m not sure about in terms of shots etc, hence the “fairly well” at the start, but I haven’t seen the footage yet. I’ve been told it’s good, so I’m hoping to lose my pessimistic edge once I do see it later today.

This was our final uni shoot. The final project. The end. Such a strange thought. But after all the many disasters with groups and filming that I’ve had throughout my time at uni, I couldn’t have had a more perfect ending to it all. I love my group very much and there’s no one I would rather be working with. The project, even with the flaws I’m pessimistically predicting, is so very much ours and I love it holes and all. Like the group, there are no projects I’d rather be working on. And there couldn’t have been a better last day of filming, lovely people, weather, fun. It has completely made up for all of my nightmares from previous projects, I get to leave uni with great memories instead of regrets. I’m very much satisfied.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Another day.

37 days:
My internet was out last night, so the challenge wasn't much of a challenge really. I'm still liking my "own time" rule, although it's tricky to get all my internet time crammed into a couple hours when I get in from being out all day. I suppose a good idea would be to look at where my time goes on the internet. Much of it is very pointless. Although.. an unexpected side-effect of doing this (or it could just be me being headachey and grumpy) is that I don't actually feel like random browsing at the moment. Even before 10pm, I've been opening my usual internet pages out of habit, then leaving them sitting there untouched while I get on with something more interesting.

Time for internet-off now.