Friday, May 18, 2012

I'm old!

Since nobody seems to want to give me a job at the moment, I went up to Nottingham this lunchtime and got collared by the market research people who hang around the city centre quite regularly. So if they change the flavour of Walkers salt & vinegar crisps and you don't like it, that's my fault, sorry.

Thing is, the form they filled in had just two different age categories - 18-34 and 35-80! It is really, really terrible to be 35 and classed among the 'old people'. I'm just going to bed now, it's nearly two o'clock.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Memory competitions get scientific!

I'm reliably informed that the UK Memory Championship will happen on August 23-24, at the Science Museum in London.

That's an absolutely excellent place for a memory championship, and I'm very impressed that they've arranged it! In the distant past, apparently the pack of cards that Andi Bell memorised in a world-record time was once on display at the Science Museum - Andi once told me an anecdote about what happened when he went to see if it was still there, but to be honest I can't remember what it was. I'm sure it was funny, though.

I'm doing Science and I'm still alive...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

capital letters intrigue mungu

Hey, I've just noticed something today! The "teach yourself" books and things are now "Teach Yourself" books and things! Teach Yourself Capital Letters must have been a great success!

You might recall that I was my usual irritating and pedantic self about those capital letters when they asked me to adapt "How To Be Clever" into a "teach yourself", but perhaps now I should write to them and say I'll do it after all?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Brother Louie Louie Louie

I woke up this morning with the song "Brother Louie" by Modern Talking playing in my head. The funny thing is that this song has never penetrated my conscious mind in the slightest - I listen to Absolute Eighties radio every now and then, so I'm sure I've heard it in the background a few times, but I had to search on the internet to find out what it was and who sang it. I've got some kind of subconscious dream DJ in my brain with unusual tastes, obviously.

Anyway, I can't let this distract me from all the important things I need to do! I've got a post-it note on my coffee table with the following cryptic instructions on it:

Russian voice thing
French translation

And these are all things I've volunteered to do but haven't done yet. And there are other things I forgot to write on the list, too.

"LISTE", which may or may not actually be written with capital letters, is an art fair in Switzerland in which I'm going to be a work of art - memorising everything else that's in the exhibition as some kind of clever statement on how reducing art to its bare information is in fact an artistic process itself. Which is a brilliant idea, but I need to get to work doing the memory if it's not going to be like a painting that the artist forgot to colour in.

"Russian voice thing" is a little thing that I said I'd do for some Russian student acquaintance of Mike's, involving listening to various British accents and explaining what they sound like.

"French translation" involves the upcoming French edition of How To Be Clever that a French fan is generously working on as we speak - memory competitions still haven't really taken off at all in France, despite the efforts of a couple of individuals, so maybe this will be some kind of breakthrough!

"Othello" is that board game I talk about sometimes, the national championship for which I still need to settle on and book a venue for.

I'm also planning to arrange a Cambridge Memory Championship in the same place (Nottingham, not Cambridge) as the othello, at the same kind of time (September, but not the same weekend, because I want to be involved in both), but I wanted to wait until a date has been announced for the UK Championship, because there really needs to be more than a week or two between them, and there's also going to be the Swedish Championship at the end of September. Last year they only announced the UK event three weeks before it happened, but it was after Cambridge, so it wasn't really my problem - this year the German Championship is in July, so I didn't really want to do that this time. October might also be a possibility, depending on if and when the WMC happens.

I also need to find a proper job with some kind of urgency, because I've got no money, and the various memory things that give me money occasionally, while wonderful in themselves, aren't really a stable career. Let's face it, I haven't done any memory training for about six months, so I'm not going to win any competitions in the near future, there's only so long I can trade on "used to be quite good at memorising a few years ago".

As you can see, rather than sitting down and doing any of these things, I've chosen to write a long blog about it. I hope this inspires my readers to tell me to get on with things, and to check up on me regularly to see if I've done them.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Modesty? Self-deprecation?

Why when you go to eBay's homepage does it proudly claim to be "one of the UK's largest shopping destinations"? I mean, eBay is a pretty big deal, isn't it? Surely it could describe itself as "the largest" something or other without stretching the truth too much? No end of smaller shopping destinations do that!