Posts from 01st Jan 2005 to 31st Jan 2005.
My last exam for this semester was this afternoon and it went really well, I feel. I finally get a week's break (ish - I've got loads of stuff planned which means I'll have no time to chill properly).
And I can't be arsed with saying anything more than that.
I have decided that my favourite sounds are bars 13 to 24ish of Led Zeppelin - No Quarter.
I want to be able to replicate the beauty!
My first two exams went alright, I think. I've got painful sitting for just under 2 hours in each of them so left moments before the last 15 minutes in each. But I've been confident I've finished.
But I've got my AI exam starting in just over an hour. And I've given up on it. The area of computing interests me, but it's been taught extremely awfully and the lecturers notes are really quiet crap. The book associated with the course is fantastic, it's well written and easy to understand. But there's lots to read and I've only read about half the modules information from the book in a week's on/off revision. So there's half the course where all I have are the lecture notes which have just confused me and made me forget all about the material I had learnt.
I'm about to walk into the hardest of my career of 25 exams (so far) at University.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, I'm concentrating on my drinking this year, in January in particular. I also said that I'd be weighing myself, not because I wish to loose weight or feel I need to, but because I'm interested in the effect on my weight drinking so much has/had.
At the start of the year I was 12st 7lbs. I'm now at 11st 12lbs. Which is quite surprising as I've been making sure I don't alter my non-alcohol-based diet.
More importantly, why on earth is pounds abbreviated to "lbs"? This language is odd.
In a remarkable change of luck, Clare's Richard, Little Richard and I managed to get third place in the SUSU Big Quiz last night. We got two points short of the top two teams, who tied.
(Un)fortunately Jenny wasn't there to do her sports round so the Sports round was dropped this week. (This may be the reason we did well.) However, we decided to answer the questions anyway and had our answers read out as the official answers at the end of the quiz:
1. Norman Lamont
2. Paula Radcliff
5. 523 points
6. Manchester United
7. Cross country snooker
8. 10 Pin Bowling
9. Nude Quadbiking
On both counts, go us.
For as long as I remember, and I think my parents would confirm this, I get ill probably no more than twice a year. And usually, it's just a day or so of flu symptoms. So you'll understand my pissed-off-ness at being ill during the week running up to exams.
It started with me being tired all day. Despite how much or how little sleep I'd had the night before, I'd only be able to concentrate for about an hour before I felt I needed a full nights sleep.
Then I started to get painful and achy. Every single bone in my body aches with random stabs of pain occasionaly occuring in my hands, arms, shoulders, shoulder blades, back, hips, legs, knees, feet and especially my head. I can't move my eyes much in any direction without them becoming very painful either.
It was worst on the uncomfortable train ride back from London on Saturday when I wasn't far from tears it was so cronic. But it's still not much better, I can't stay in one position for more than 10 minutes without getting very uncomfortable.
But most importantly, it's been a huge hindrance to my revision. I've not been able to concentrate and anything I do read (or learn) doesn't seem to sit in my mind for more than an hour or so before being forgotten.
It's been a while and there's so many things I've been meaning to say here recently. But I'll start with a rant about public transport.
On Saturday I went up to London for the afternoon and evening to celebrate Hitchin Tom's birthday. We had a brief look around Camden Town Market and Stables and then went to the lovely drinking hole "The Purple Turtle". It was really nice to get away from revision, Uni and stress for a while.
But getting to London was a struggle. I wanted to catch the University bus service to the station to catch a 12:38 train to London. The U1 bus service left the end of our road at 03 and 33 minutes page and it was 5 past already, so that was out of the question.
So I checked on the First Southampton website for their 101 service. Apparantly it left at 17 minutes past from the same place. So I promptly left the house to wait for that. It didn't turn up. And apparantly, despite the timetable being available on the website the 101 service has been discontinued.
So I didn't panic, I thought I'd just wait for the 33 past U1. But it didn't turn up until 51 past. It was well over quarter of an hour late, which is appauling.
I then got to the train station and wanted to buy a travel card to London. I had forgotten my Young Persons Railcard, but it was out of date anyway. So I said I'd like to buy a new one, even saying "please". I had proof I was under 25, I had my card ready to pay the £20, but just because I hadn't got the photocard part of it, they wouldn't sell me a sodding annual update thing.
So I ended up paying £30 to get to London and back. The train then, due to Engineering works, was scheduled to take an extra half hour or so to get into London as it plodding along at what seemed walking pace. But, surprise surprise it was late into Waterloo.
I ended up saying "For Fuck Sake" in a poor cleaners direction when he reminded me that, after all the problems I'd had and despite paying through my teeth to the train companies, I still needed to pay 20p to use the toilet.
And the Government are trying to convince us that despite the convienience of a car, we should be using public transport more? Bah.
I've made an addition to my mp3 collection today. Though a long and uninteresting story I ended up this morning being given a version of Hall of the Mountain King by a band I had never head of.
They are a three piece band from Finland, playing "heavy cello thunder" music whilst calling themselves Apocalyptica
Their style is rather unique, to me at least. They have a sort of metalish rocky sound produced entirely by these three cellos. They're great to listen to, surprisingly.
But what's more interesting is that rather randomly I'm going to see them. Looking on their website after hearing this track I was given earlier, they had a news item:
Apocalyptica will be the support act for the Rammstein concerts in February 2005. For more info take a look on the Rammstein homepage: www.rammstein.com!
I just happen to be going to the Rammstein gig in London on the 6th. Fantastic, for once I'll have heard of the support band and I already know I quite like them.
So, at the end of today it'll have been seven days without alcohol. This must be a first for me, quite seriously probably since I got to Uni. Even when I was on holiday enjoying myself in South Africa, I drank. When I'm at my parents, I often go to the local pub. I'm always drinking at Uni, of course. When I'm visiting friends, I'm always offered alcohol or we go out to the pub. I've really not gone a week without alcohol in nearly three years. Frightening.
I've already noticed having much more time available in the day. It's great, I can do work in the evenings rather that sitting there like pissed as a fart
However, the novelty of this whole non-drinking thing is already beginning to wear thin. I've sobered up and got used to the news I received on New Years Day. There are three occasions where I'd want to drink this month.
- The first is tomorrow at housemate Chris' housewarming party.
- The second is next weekend at the wine reception after the Multimedia Conference I'm part-organising.
- The third is for home-friend Tom's birthday, clubbing in London
All in all, I'm struggling to maintain the mindset that a month off alcohol is a great thing to do.
Just four days in and I'm suffering from a headache. I've not had a (non alcohol induced) headache in as long as I can remember. Perhaps my body is reacting to the lack of alcohol to remove from my blood stream.
Can livers, in the absence of anything to do, inadvertently start removing helpful things from the blood stream? Like anti-headache hormones?
As a little experiment, I'm going to be weighing myself on a frequent basis over the next month or so. I have no intention of losing weight, I don't feel like I need to and I'm certianly not going to be changing my diet in anyway, I like the foods I eat.
Ever since I was a wee kid, I've been able to eat what I want without putting on a pound. But when I first arrived at Uni, I started to put on weight. I'm interested to see whether the sudden rise in alcohol intake was the main factor in me putting on weight or wether it was a combination of other things such as a change in diet.
I understand from my Mother that one is not mean to weight themself in the evening but rather just after waking up. Still, I wanted to find out my rough starting weight and this evening I read exactly 12 stone 7 pounds, which kindly places my BMI at 25.1 just edging into the "overweight" category.
Just as a thought, it would take my liver, removing 1 unit of alcohol per hour, just under 2 months of work to remove the alcohol I've drunk in the past 5 months. Perhaps that explains the headache, my poor body.
I bet almost every blog on the internet has said "Happy New Year", so I won't. I shall instead give you the results of my 5 month experiment with Laura. She has been logging my alcohol consumption on each and every day between July 26th and December 26th.
The whole idea spawned when another friend of mine, Lookie, claimed that I drank far too much. Originally I was not able to drink on any day if I hadn't texted the drink from the night before to Laura by noon. This was thankfully relaxed as the months went passed. But I did ensure she got as true a log as I could give her.
Looking back on it now that I have the results sheets, I think I've missed one or two drinks here and there. However, the whole idea was to make me realise just what I'm doing to myself with my drinking. Without adjustment, the results do just that.
So, if you've followed the whole thing I've been doing, you'll be as dying for the results as I was. I'm in the process of making some graphs and stuff to show the variety of drink and the trends over time, so for now I'll just give you the simple totals.
The totals for beer were 226 pints and 217 cans. That all adds up to about 788 units. I drank 44 glasses of wine aswell as 17 total bottles. Those add up to about 284 units. Then there are many many other drinks which I'll tell you about in my big results post soon.
In total, I drank roughly 1330 units over the 5 month period. This equates to 66.5 units a week. All students will know that the recommended intake of units for a male in any week is 21, which means I've been drinking over three times the limit, nearly 10 units (or 5 pints) every single day.
If I were to not drink and count each day along with the five months, it would take over 300 days to bring my average under the Government's recommended amount. In 5 months, I've drank enough for well over an entire year.
I felt quite quite drunk when I got the news. And I am worried about the effect it's having on me. Not only on my health, but also my wallet and the time I have to spent on Uni and paid work... It must have taken a long time to drink all that.
So with a little suggestive help from my friends who were visiting for New Year, I'm not drinking a drop of alcohool for the month of January. I'm currently on my second day.
God this will be hard! :/