Archive for November, 2008

I only have one brain…

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

When I did my undergraduate degree, I took a minor in Soviet Studies. This means I took ten courses studying a nation that doesn’t exist anymore. But it could have been worse – I could have been a Classics major and taken 20 courses on nations that don’t exist anymore.

One of the benefits (?) was I took three years of university-level Russian language. But, given I had no opportunity to practice it, it’s pretty much gone from my brain, except for a few words and phrases. And I find that when I’m listening to someone speak Russian, every once in a while, a word or phrase jumps out. It’s kind of like the cocktail party effect; no matter how loud the room is, you can always hear your own name.

So, having not learnt my lesson about studying languages generally only spoken on the other side of the world, I’ve been taking a Japanese course this fall. One or two nights a week, I take my textbooks over to Starbucks and study for a few hours.

This afternoon, I was sitting outside in the nice warm sunshine, studying and drinking my cappuccino, when suddenly a large group of Russian people sat down at the table next to mine and started talking. And I suddenly discovered that I seem to only have one part of my brain that can handle foreign languages; I’d be merrily studying away, I would overhear one Russian word, and my brain would switch from Japanese to Russian.

Weird Dreams

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

It was the last day of high school, and for some reason, I was pushing a shopping cart up a hill. A girl upon whom I’d had a crush walked by and offered to help. Next thing, we were then at the top of the hill, me pushing the cart and her pushing me.

I say “I didn’t actually have to move the cart. I just liked having you close to me.” She replies “Does this mean you’ll finally ask me out?” I answer “you mean this is all it took? Why was I so afraid to ask you?”

Next thing, I’m meeting her parents. She introduces her father, who is for some reason German and has a goatee, as “Doctor something-or-other.” I shake his hand and say “Nice to meet you Doctor.” He replies “Undt you are?”

Somewhat in shock that I’m meeting her parents and yet she apparently has never even mentioned me to them, I say “I’m Darren Holloway.”

He replies “Ah! Are you the Darren Holloway who has the produce stand that sells fresh chickens?”

This is the point I woke up. Obviously this dream is telling me that the reason why I’m still single is because I’m shy, and because I don’t have a shopping cart. Perhaps I should try homelessness as a strategy for meeting women.


Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

I decided to investigate the amount of spam email that I actually receive in a month. For October 2008, it was 3,741 messages. 37% of these were missed by my spam filter, and needed to be manually deleted.

Breakdown of Spam I received in October 2008

And no, this graph was not just an excuse to experiment with a new font. :)