Dinner alone, or my (significant other) is still at work …

You know that thing about being late for an appointment; or spending all day in your room; or pfaffing around and then looking at the clock and having to rush out the door? It’s a symptom not of lacking time sense but an inability to change state; you don’t mind being here, and you don’t mind being there; but leaving one state-place for the other is problematic. There’s a feeling of ill-ease that manifests as brain fade, so you potter around and lose track of time.

So. What if that’s the problem with work-aholics. Not that they have trouble leaving the work, itself, but the state change that exists is the problematic thing. They can’t leave work because there’s always some i to dot and t to cross; some spreadsheet to fill, some person to contact. Something to do that is worthy, makes them feel wanted and part of a bigger thing; some sense of purpose, some calming effect on the self.

To leave is to cut the ties, hurt the self, increase the unease. Moreover the change from one state-place, work-where you are one type of person, to home-where you are another type of person, is not instantaneous. It’s frightful in and of itself; travel, have you got everything; have you forgotten anything; will the homecoming be comforting; is there angst on the horizon. Travel, in and of itself is frought. It’s not relaxing, it’s time consuming for seeming no result, you are not surrounded by friendly support and you can not multi task, i.e. carry on the work just left. Technology has helped to change this of course; lap tops, phones, the inter webs have helped people meld the one state-place into the other work/home or home/work by connectivity. Which can be useful, because it melds the change, making it easier; and yet it removes the down time that travel can provide letting the body/mind relax and change focus from one state to the other.

One wonders how those who manifest many states cope. Are they ever with time to be their own true selves?


What the heck is ASMR?

Hmmm; I’ve learnt a new term. It popped up while on youtube watching this crazy Japanese guy make ‘the sharpest ever … something’. Now, on the face of it, it’s hilarious; the titles are sharpest wooden knife, plastic knife, drill bit knife, but he wanders into the realm of the absurd too: The Sharpest Underwear knife, milk knife, rice, seaweed, jello, ice. And it’s brilliant; because you can think ‘how ancient man made cutting tools’ and put it in perspective. Of course it’s in a modern setting – you know, 21st century an’ all. But the milk knife was using the protein of milk, the seaweed too; and the ranking system is oddly surprising. Kiwami Japan is the title and the methods he uses are chemistry, science, technology, and a perseverance to the task (the hours he spends simply grinding and sharpening edges, is mind blowing) and this is the big thing; no words. Absolutely no speech; with mime and show and tell and the use of sound he lets us watch as he makes stuff. Now, he’s whimsical too, he uses water (a lot as you would expect) and always uses a cow milk jug, after a few videos you see he has a number of these, a love of cute toys, and tells the story of his frustration and joy with his hands, and the sound. Now this, apparently, has a name

“Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. It has been compared with auditory-tactile synesthesia and may overlap with frisson.”

On the face of it, though, I’m not sure it’s the same thing. It does seem that, typically, it’s a response to the spoken word, but lots of the followers are sure that’s what’s happening. I find that the sound is wonderful, whimsical, and soothing, yes, but more a part of the story telling. He uses, for instance, a small bear with sound pick up in it’s ears to give right/left sound collection to your ears, if using head phones, this is extremely and amusingly, cute.

So, I looked, and the number of videos under the ASMR tag line is incredible. However, and it’s a big, big, but, top hits for pages and pages are young women. So, predominantly it’s a sex thing; but a calming soothing thing too; some women just tell a story in a whisper; some just touch and play with tactile sound for hours and it’s credited with having a calming influence, to get you to sleep, stop you from climbing the walls, soothe you after a hard day; help you feel in charge. The mild sex play, mouth movement, finger touch, young female bodies, pretty faces, is undeniably part of the genre, but since it has a place (first I heard of it and there are thousands upon thousands of youtube channels, with millions of viewers each, and years of accumulated videos) it’s one of those ‘things’. Some are just sound, some are whispers, some are just everyday noises just on the edge of hearing for hours on end. And one of my favourite you tubers is Primitive Technology; as it turns out, an Australian guy in Qld with a penchant for archeological recreation. All his vids are with out the sound of speech. Just the sound of what ever  he’s doing, the river he’s collecting rocks from, the mud slapping on the ground, the rock axe he just spent hours grinding to perfection, smashing against the boll of a sapling and the cut tree falling to the ground. There’s the fire play to make pottery, the small hut for sleeping, the digging for yams. So, it’s a thing. And it’s a very pleasing thing

So, for me, you ask? Turns out my ASMR is this … Seven Nation Army / We Will Rock You on a ships whistle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y_pMtkOiEc

Anger, real red-hot anger, is not okay for females …

A friend told me that he saw his girlfriend put a knife through the stainless steel sink, my mom put an iron through the new table-top my Dad had just finished,

Men get really antsy around when they think they have done something wrong.  I can’t figure it out – after all, I’m female, small, round, have no power, am not withholding sex. Sometimes I’m not even any relationship to them – I ACTUALLY HAVE NO HOLD OVER THEM. Yet, they dissemble, hum, er, blush, and generally carry on like a toddler caught out stealing the jelly beans from the kinder store cupboard jar.

It really makes getting to the next stage quite difficult. You can’t solve the problem if  you can’t figure out what the problem is … much like this post, really. As it turns out, Nevada Barr, a writer whom I enjoy, has it all sussed. Here might be the problem …

“The second bell brought Mrs. Williams to the door.  She wore that harassed angry look nice women get just before they go ballistic.  Anna was familiar with the phenomenon.  Anger, real red-hot anger, was not okay for females.  Most learned to repress it so successfully that they didn’t even know it was there till it erupted full-blown. It was one of the many things that made dealing with women more challenging than dealing with men.  Women’s anger went from zero to a hundred in sixty seconds-no warning signs, no time to get out of the way.”

Nevada Barr: Deep South p. 324/5

If mothers are like this with boys, then boys grow up in fear. I can’t imagine that being a boy-child and living with this is a good experience. Growing men in this way leads to a whole load of problems.

But further, not letting women access their anger, making them bottle it up until it erupts like a geyser and sprays boiling hot liquid/steam all over the place is certainly not a useful way to address issues; societal, relationship, personal.

Constraining women’s anger, it seems, is an overall cultural band-aid that is part of the problem. Not part of the solution.

How Valerie of the Buddhists ….

I have always known that I had no religious or philosophical inclinations. However, was made to think seriously (alright, not that seriously) about it when one day I was waiting at a bus shelter in a sunny patch of a rainy day.

There was an ant in the large pool of water in front of me, struggling to get to dry land, or any land at all.  I lifted it out of the water and put it beside me on the wooden seat to dry out.  It started wandering around trailing a drop of water in its wake.

A young woman came to sit down and wait for the bus.  I was embarrassed but managed to laugh and ask if she could sit further over and not on my ant because,

“It would be a shame”, I said, “If after having been saved from a watery death that he should be squashed”.

She exclaimed, “How very Buddhist of you!”

Expect the unexpe … what the??

I took a picture of a poster advertisment because it said “Expect the Unexpected” and I was thinking, ‘How can you expect the unexpected? By its very nature the unexpected is  . . . unexpected, of course you can’t expect it!” Yes, I really do think like this sometimes, sad, I know.

And it turns out what the poster actually said was “Unexpect the Expected”.  Equally dire, I’m sure you’ll agree but . . . totally not what I expected.

Maybe I don’t have a reading disability just a thinking one.

Worse it’s an ad for a bowling alley . . . they have gone all up-market and there’s a bar, karaoke, and laser tag. You sorta wanna go – they do have laser tag after all.

But it’s still a bowling alley.


Here’s one I prepared earlier …

Sometimes I loose my wallet. Lots of times I loose my wallet. But that’s it. I – loose – my – wallet.

But you have to go to the police to report it so you can get your driver’s licence. Well, maybe you don’t but they always ask if you’ve reported it to the police so I just used to go. Now, since the only reason to go and report the loss was to be able to say ‘yes’ when they ask if you’ve reported it to the police, going to the police to report it gets rather tiresome. And so, because it shows, you look like you’re wasting police time.

But you need the report, so you do it.

And you just want to get it over with  – and anyway there wasn’t anything irreplaceable in the wallet and you just want to get out of there, and you really understand that it was your fault the thing was lost/stolen. Because you didn’t follow the rules of safety – “keep your back-pack closed, don’t put your wallet down and forget it, watch it closely so it doesn’t get moved, or get dropped out of your pocket, or just left behind somewhere”. As it turns out, I just loose my wallet occasionally.

So, while the driver’s licence people want you to report the loss (of wallet and licence) the police talk to you as if you are wasting their time.

Neither of you are happy about being with each other.

Focus .. I mean, really … *rolls eyes*

Self control, apparently there’s an app for it .. http://selfcontrolapp.com/

We are, of course, talking about the myriad of ways there are to waste time when a dead line looms.

Douglas Adams, who knew, even before it was a thing the many, many ways to milk one piece of writing; radio, tv, the trilogy of five parts, the game, the film, the website the … but you get the idea by now. DNA knew the glorious joy of dead lines.

“I love deadlines” he said, “I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

Goals, aims and self control, these are the things that we require to get us from the start of a project to the end – that heady space of emptiness where there is no more to do but bask in the glory of a job, if not well at least competently, done.

Most of us, however, are not that focussed. We pfaff about on the small stuff hoping for inspiration, for that spark of brilliance to hit us in between the eyes and provide us with all the finished work. As it turns out though, there is a whole business arm set up for this contingency

That’s what editors are for, that’s what bosses are for, that’s what PhD extensions are for …

In short … self control? Who needs it? But if you do, I recommend this … it’s got sex in it.