Unproductivity and the Great British Bake Off

After my birthday, I woke up the next day with the Birthday Blues. As in, I couldn’t get out of bed for a few hours. And since then I have been incredibly unproductive. And on the day as well. And before. Basically I am and have always been kind of lazy.

Why? Why?!

Although this summer has probably been better than last summer, when I spent every waking hour hunched over my laptop, I haven’t done anything of great significance in the first half and I’m started to get… bored.

I’ve spent most of today on my computer, but I don’t know what else to do? Whenever I make to-do lists, I just cross off the items on my list that I want to do and leave the ones I don’t want to do alone. D: I have been reading a lot more though, which is great, and editing my story after almost a year break, which is great, but mainly just watching YouTube. I need help.

So any tips for productivity would be well appreciated. :3

As a side note, Great British Bake Off started again recently. (Sorry if this is very Britain-centric, you can try and make it a game to puzzle out what I’m talking about). So many innuendoes it’s ridiculous.

Ah, the Great British Bake Off. So laid back and British. The contestants can hug and exchange pleasantries, Mel and Sue made banter, and no one batted an eyelid. Martha is my favourite by far (she’s just so friendly!) but a few are starting to get on my nerves, although I have no dislikes just yet. Unfortunately I only came in halfway through the first episode, so I missed all the Swiss rolls, but it was still very entertaining. Nothing mindblowing just yet, but I expect more technical stuff in the coming weeks.

But by far the best thing is this conversation between BBC 1 and 2. For those not in the know, BBC 2 is a much more lower-key channel in UK television that BBC 1, so when the Great British Bake Off changed channels from 2 to 1, this was huge.

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I don’t really know what exactly to post about, so this will have to suffice. :P Stay tuned!

Joe

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A quick update!

The last you heard of me, I left a cryptic post that said ‘something is happening’. This doesn’t really mean much. For all you knew, I was posting from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after being kidnapped by teddy bear pirates wearing eye patches. Alas, this was not the case. I also left you with the word ‘abyssopelagic’, but this has nothing to do with anything – I just thought it was a cool word and wanted to share it. :P Incidentally, according to Wiktionary it means:

  1. Of or pertaining to the depths of the ocean; of the open waters of the abyssal zone.

You may have noticed it’s the summer. Or the winter if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere. Or maybe you don’t have four seasons where you live. Maybe you don’t have any seasons…

Ok, so it’s the summer in the UK. As usual, we complain how hot it is constantly and wish it could be Winter. When we actually do have Winter, we wish for Summer. We may not be the only country to complain about the weather, but it comes up an awful lot in conversation. Weather and tea are the things that binds all British people together in a mess of pessimism and patriotism.

For some reason, summer is the national season of getting stuff done that could have been spread across the year. People always leave the big events for summer and it causes a lot of stress. You go through the whole year and nothing happens and suddenly Wimbledon, the Commonwealth Games, the World Cup, your piano concert, my sister’s birthday, a trip to the Proms, Sports Day (I was actually in it this time!), a karate competition, Open Evening, a trip to France and the start of the Summer holidays are all within a season. I should probably make some sort of reference to buses here, but I shall decline.

I’m sure half of these things did not have to happen in Summer. In fact, the only thing that really needed to happen in Summer was the start of the Summer holidays. (The World Cup could have gone on perfectly well in Spring).

I wanted to write about these events, but there wasn’t enough time. The events piled up and I felt I couldn’t write about the new events without writing about the old events first, so the potential essay post got bigger and bigger in my mind. Eventually I realised it would swamp me so I’ve shelved it for now.

I hope I can write about these events in the future (probably in chunks), but if I do, they will likely be out of order and make zero sense. But hey, the important thing is to start writing again. :)

These events are actually pretty momentous though in terms of my bucket list. Now I have gone to an official karate competition and gone abroad for more two days without my family, two items on the list. As I said, I won’t write about these things yet, but I hope to soon. However I’m thinking of changing the list slightly. So far, it’s more geared to doing stuff than achieving stuff. For instance, going to an official karate competition didn’t feel that inspiring in itself – it was mainly a lot of waiting around, and very little karate. What the achievement should have been was ‘win a match at a karate competition’, or even more challenging, ‘win a medal at a karate competition’. Hence why the list no longer includes ‘join a social network’. I think I am at risk of putting reputation above actual achievement, which I can be very guilty of as I am a massive praise hog. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s a lot more meaningful to cross off one difficult item on my bucket list than five easy ones.

That being said, I have also completed a third item on my bucket list: gain 100 followers. :D

Now this is all kinds of awesome. Compared to other blogs around my *age* I have quite a pitiful amount of followers, but I guess I’m kind of to blame for that. Still, 100 is a lot! I mean, considering I’m almost as unsociable on the net as I am off it, I think it’s kind of weird I even have 100 followers.** :P!

Thank you. Thank you so much for putting up with my harebrained schemes and my tediousness and my erratic posts and my ramblings etc. Thanks for making the time to read (or not as the case may be, but to all the spammers and non-active followers, I like you nevertheless :P). Thanks for making the time to be sociable so I don’t have to. Just… thanks.

Talking of harebrained schemes, remember that plan I thought up to celebrate my blogversary? It detailed me changing one thing in my life every week so that I would be a new person in a year and it was kind of ambitious. It’s kind of worked, but kind of not – mainly because I am unwilling to give myself punishments and am finding it difficult to think of things to change. :P Again, another thing for another post, sorry about that.

I am now slightly under a week into the summer holidays. It’s flying by far too quickly and soon I’ll be back to my daily dreariness. My birthday will be very soon (yippee!) so prepare your presents.

Excitingly, I have also started editing my novel again after a year where I didn’t do much creative writing. Of course, I did stuff relating to writing in that break, like reading about writing and making some character biographies, but no actual editing of my first draft (which was by the way very very rambly). I was hoping to get it done by the Summer holidays, but I’m not sure this will be the case anymore. Even still, it’s brilliant I’ve started again, and hopefully I’ll be able to get some momentum running. :)

I’m not entirely sure how to end this, but I like the idea of ‘here’s a cool word’ becoming a feature. So:

*NB: these things did not happen in the order listed.

**To elaborate on this, I’ve kind of settled with my own small group of bloggin’ friends (most of whom have blogs a year or less old), and I’m always reluctant to make new ones. My blogging schedule has also been kind of erratic, which can’t have helped my rise to fame.

P.S. My room is also a mess. So much of a mess that I feel it would be irresponsible not to tell you. Basically lots of paper accumulated, was released in an attempt to organise it, and ended up just being left around. Maybe I’ll clean it up. Maybe. :P

P.P.S. My end of year exam results came back and it all turned out well. :3

What’s in a name?

LOTS OF THINGS.

You might not think I come into trouble with a name like Joseph. In fact, as an Indian, people only get surprised because they expect me to have a more complicated name. Once I was in quiz match, and the quizmaster asked for my name. When I told him, he looked a little bemused, and then told everyone a funny story about how some other kid a while back had replied, “Call me Abs.”

Most of my moans come from whether or not to use Joe or Joseph. It’s not really a matter of which I prefer – I don’t even realise the difference when people talk to me and I only realised my sisters called me Joe after a decade or so. :P It’s more the first impression it gives.

Each name has its setbacks and advantages. Joe is more casual, easier to pronounce and less conspicuous, but I’ve always thought Joseph sounds classier. Besides, Joe (believe it or not) is more confusing to spell. In Yr 1, I made the mistake of asking my teacher to call me Joe. Every single time she was marking my work, it was written Jo, a girl’s name. This annoyed me greatly and I tried not to make the same mistake again.

In Yr 3, there was already someone called Joseph – so rather than mess about with initials, I was called Joseph and he was called Joe. I preferred it at the time, but in hindsight “Joe” got the better deal.

Then it came to secondary school. I thought I could reinvent myself, so I became Joe. I think it’s worked pretty well, but now after I’ve gotten to know everyone it doesn’t really make much difference. Joe, Joseph… it’s all the same to me really.

My main annoyance is when people don’t use Joe or Joseph but something entirely novel that I have not authorised. This one time I was at karate and a girl kept calling me Josh and then everyone starting calling me Josh. Luckily I protested and people have started calling me Joe or Joseph again.

I have had various other nicknames, but these have never been as wide spread. In school one of my friends used to call me Ioseph and Jsph (these are actually some real nicknames). Another calls me average Joe (or when I do something good, above-average Joe). Once a teacher (yes the same one from Year 1) called me ‘the baby of the class’ due to my summer holiday birthday.

On the internet I haven’t had many names, but I suppose technophile9 and techno-Joe count.

However most of my nicknames come from my family. Jojo, Mojo Jojo, Bro, Mini-Boy-[sister’s name] and Josephine are all the handiwork of my sisters. My parents used to call me a monkey, but not as much nowadays.

However most of these are ‘extinct’ nicknames, save Joe, technophile9 and more recently bro. I guess I’ve never been much of a nickname person.

What about you? Do you like nicknames? Undoubtedly I have missed some, but I think I’ve listed most of them.

Joe.

Note: Joseph means ‘God will increase’, which I like. :)

Hello Again

It’s the half term! Unfortunately for schools around the world, summer half term is not a holiday, but an extended cramming session. There is no respite. No break. Only tears. Only cramming.

My end of years will start the week after I return to school. Toodle pip. Jolly ho (yep, that’s a thing). Yippee. Such fun….

Help me please.

To those who have supported this blog from its humble beginnings, this will sound very familiar.  It is because, only last year, I did a similar post moaning about how terrible my end of years were.

Here we go again.

This time I prepared a revision timetable and everything… but I lazed around the whole day today. That’s fine though. I’ll just move my rest day from tomorrow to today and start my serious revision tomorrow. Right?

I am straining to think of something I can talk about, but I just went to a confession so let’s blog about that. I’ve never really liked the wait before a confession. I like people to think the best of me, so it seems strange to blurt out my flaws to a stranger. In some ways, confessing your sins to an acquaintance can be better than confessing to a stranger, because although your friend has seen your good and bad sides, the stranger’s only impression of you is that you stepped on a cat’s tail last week.

I know what I should do. I should walk through London, tap someone on the shoulder, confess some sin, like “Oh hi. I’m a narcissist.”, and then walk away. It would make for a brilliant YouTube video too.

But being me, I couldn’t do that without trying to gain some sympathy. In reality, I would apologise profusely before confessing, and then afterwards I would say sorry again and wish them a nice day.

*facepalm*

It’s not that I’m that nice a person, I just hate making a bad impression.

On the other hand, you can’t disappoint or surprise a stranger. They have no idea what standards they should judge you by. In real life, the saintly person who has, I don’t know, burned down some building would be severely frowned upon, but the priest brushes it off – he’s probably heard worse. Or the reverse (i.e. a madman who has become a born again Christian of late and has very little sins to confess).

After the confession I felt very light and all that happy stuff, so it all worked out well. ;)

What do you think of confessions in general (i.e not necessarily in the religious sense)?

Joe

P.S. My one year anniversary will be very very soon. Stay tuned for a new feature and a lot of reblogs.

Philosophical stuff!

In the last year, I have found myself becoming more and more philosophical. Therefore this post may be, as my friend called my last post, slightly ‘boring’. Be warned!

This will be about philosophy stuff, and is more of a rambling brain fart than anything else. It was meant to be quite a serious post, but I’m writing this as I watch Eurovision and it’s hard to be too grave. :P

When people say, “Be yourself.” it’s not really that great a piece of advice. True, stay true to your interests and the like, but it’s much harder to follow through with the way you act. For instance, the way I act with my friends is not the same way I act at home or the way I act alone. I suppose people would classify ‘being yourself’ as how you act when not around other people, but when I’m alone, I’m generally very unsociable, lazy, and a bit messy… which is generally not the side I want to present to people. :) I suppose it’s more unconsciously showcasing different sides of your personality to different people, and not even on purpose.

Recently, I have also become incredibly self-aware. Like I sometimes think (excuse the excessive cheesiness) “I am me, and I will never be anyone else.” #YOLO. Unless you believe in reincarnation. In which case #YOLOUYBIR.

You have no idea how weird that is. Let me try and express it better, so you fully appreciate it better. Because you don’t.

You may have heard of these strange things called ‘Other People’, but you will never truly know what that actually feels like. For instance, you could be in possession of an extremely rare condition called, for example, the Joseph Condition. However you will never know, because you have no idea what other people’s lives are like. Like seriously. Who’s to say that other people are just constructs of your imagination? Or actors? I am the most paranoid person in the world – ever since I saw the Truman Show, I have been constantly on the lookout for any stage lights. This isn’t really helping.

I mean why am I me, and not some Mongolian sheep herder? As far as I’m concerned, my reality could be the only one. (And they call me egocentric…) And if that is the case, then “lies, damned lies, and statistics“. I mean, even if the chance of getting hit by lightning is 1 in 3000 (seems surprisingly easy to be hit actually) there has to be at least one person that is hit to fill that statistic. Why not you?

Or perhaps over time we have become so desensitized to *living* that we don’t really realise the gravity of it… until we do. It’s like… sorry, I’m making no sense. But that’s philosophy for you. ;)

Another post tomorrow, because I missed posting on Friday. Oops. :P

Joe

P.S. The anniversary of this blog is this month! Be prepared. ;) Still haven’t decided what I’ll do yet, but I’ll do something for sure.

Palm Sundays, Bucket Lists, Inactivity and more!

To make up for my absence this will be a mutant, hybrid, and quite possibly massive post, comprising religion, my inactivity and bucket lists. And anything else I can think of.

Today was Palm Sunday, which commemorates when Jesus made his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem and everyone waved palms around. We all get our own mini-crosses (made out of palms) which are blessed so we can’t throw them away. The problem is that we now have many many crosses mislaid around the house that have been accumulated throughout the years. I suppose we could send them off to be cremated for Ash Wednesday… in our wills. :P I kid.

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, because in a short space of time you also have Maundy Thursday, when Jesus and his disciples had the Passover meal (i.e. the Last Supper) and Good Friday, when Jesus was brutally punished for crimes he didn’t commit in order to save the world. Hence the ‘good’. :P

On Maundy Thursday twelve people’s feet are also washed by the Priest because (as you guessed) this commemorates Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. I have eczema so I’m not going to be a foot model any time soon. I was a bit nervous at first signing up, but it’s a good step to become more confident, and… dare I say it? Sociable. Which leads onto holiday inactivity.

Holidays turn me insane. For most people they are fun, productive times in the sun or relaxing hours spent in bed. My holidays are generally less of the former and more of the latter due to my self imposed isolation. Perhaps it’s all part of my bigger unsociability? Outside of school I have very few acquaintances. I was friendly with most of my primary school classmates but I barely see them, let alone talk to them. This lack of other friends means that I have even less things to do. Hence me spending most of my time on the Internet. I know some people can happily waste away the holidays, but whenever I do such things (as I often do) I end up feeling really unfulfilled by the end of the day. Which leads us to my bucket list.

Guess what I did this time! No I did not bungee jump. Though I’ll probably do that next. I actually did something even more exhilarating. I solved a Rubik’s Cube.

In need of something to do for the Easter Holiday’s, my dad and sister decided to learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. I joined in and, after a number of days, I can do it! We used this series of Youtube videos by a guy called Math Meeting. I have two things to say about him. One, he can be a bit confusing at times, and he doesn’t  mention all the scenarios, so experiment a bit. And two – it’s maths America. Please.

I’ve decided not to do it again for a while because I always turn into a zombie when I try for too long. :P But do try it. Seriously.

This is all part of my new aim – to do five things on my bucket list by the end of the year. Go check it out every now and then – I’ve deleted some of them for being a bit too easy and added some new ones. By the end of the year, I hope to have also gone abroad without my parents, programmed a game and gone fishing. And another mystery one! We’ll see.

Joe.

P.S. My other aims is to read 20 more books on the BBC Big Read list. This probably sounds like a mammoth task, but my tactic is that 13 of these will be by Jacqueline Wilson, whose books I can read in a day if they’re all the same length as ‘Double Act’. The main reason I’ve kept away from these books in the past is that they’re considered girly books. But you know what? They’re on the list. I was going to read them anyway. So why not now?

Also I accidentally published the post incomplete, so if you were one of the lucky few who saw it in it’s draft stage, good for you!

Important… things.

 

A week and a half ago, it was  Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is basically the 40 days in the lead up to Easter, where you’re meant to be generous, pray, and fast. Most people (try) to give up at least one thing to fulfil the fasting obligation. Easter, but it seems sort of lazy to me, like being a vegetarian, but only on weekdays. Even still, I suppose 40 days without chocolate would drive someone insane. ;)

I don’t really have anything I can give up, due to my raft of allergies, and even if I wanted to, my mum would expressly forbid me from becoming a vegetarian (you’re a growing boy!) so my sisters have set me the challenge of ‘bulking up’. -_- In previous years I gave up sweets (which I never eat anyway) and gaming (which I never do), so it’s better than nothing. We’ll see how it goes. If anyone is actually giving something up, feel free to discuss below!

There was also World Book Day! I assume this is celebrated internationally for obvious reasons, so hopefully I won’t need to explain.

Wait… turns out we celebrate it at a different date to everyone else. XD Us British are funny like that aren’t we? I was going to say something like, ‘what did you dress up as?’, but I guess that’s useless if you don’t live in the UK. Unfortunately our school doesn’t celebrate World Book Day, but I have fond memories of dressing up in primary school. In memory, I went as Harry Potter, Tintin and Half-Moon. One of them proba0zbly twice.

Ukraine has also been… happening. But you’ve probably heard enough of that. If I’m honest, I haven’t really been following it. My friend helpfully explained, but I’m still unsure on some points, so I don’t want to mess things up. :P

WWIII press here to start

From CGP Grey’s video, ‘How Many Countries Are There?’

It was also Pi Day yesterday – at least, it was for some people. Most people were meh about it, but as one of those weird people who likes maths, I think it’s a pretty good idea. Unfortunately, here it was 14/3, rather than 3/14, so I didn’t get to celebrate, but there’s always next year. :)

Most of these things are pretty normal. They happen every year, and will continue to happen every year – although hopefully not the Ukraine conflict. I hope that doesn’t become an annual thing.

But probably one of the most interesting things for me, because it happened to me, was that I graded in karate to brown belt with one white stripe. *victory dance*

 

I am now two belts from black belt. As in, the belt after the next belt is black. I therefore predict that I will be a black belt by at most 2016. This might sound pessimistic, but some people in my group have been on the belt before black for more than 2 years. Although they’re not really meant to be – it’s analogous to those 40-year olds who are living with their parents – hence the at most.

The grading was scarier than usual as this time we had two examiners. Once seemed to be superior to the other, as he took the class. The sidekick sensei (for want of a better phrase) was in my opinion scarier. At first glance, he looked like a bit of a lumberjack – the grey beard, almost bald head… until you realised he had a braided ponytail the thickness of a string! Somewhere between the hair strands in Avatar and the hair-styles in Prince of Egypt.

Most of the grading we were mucking around. We spent two hours in the changing rooms waiting for the first few belts to be graded. Though it sounds pretty boring, it was nice to get to know people better. I mean, once you’re trapped in a small enclosed space with people you haven’t really talked to before, you kind of have to be social. ;) When I actually got to it, I was terrified, even though I’ve been through it before. They only put you through if they no you’re good enough – so our club has never seen anyone fail a non-black grading. I know that should be reassuring, but you don’t want to be the one who changes that statistic. Obviously I passed, so it all ended out fine.

Umm… yeah. Sorry I haven’t been posting as much. I just haven’t had the time. :/ I had another post in the wings, but I accidentally deleted a lot, so I’ve had to start again from the middle. If I can, I’ll get it out on Sunday, but this may not be possible.

Joe. :)