blacklilly: (Angsty)
Hmm.  Not being Japanese?  That's pretty hard, though liberating in equal measure.

No, I think the hardest thing for me is having to deal with practical things in Japanese.  I can hold a conversation with most people, but when it comes to getting the electricity turned on, or dealing with residence tax, I can't do it at all.  It's partly a nerves thing, partly that I ended up with some form of linguistic PTSD after dealing with estate agents to get my apartment.  After that exercise in torture I'm rather inclined to let someone who knows what they're doing help me out.

And that's Day 14.  I'm still chipping away them!!

I still feel a little numb about the Peace Boat.  Occasionally, I feel excitement approaching.  Then I think of all the forthcoming hassle of vaccinations, embassies and pre-departure training, and the excitement goes away.  Plenty of other people are excited for me though, so hopefully it'll become infectious.

Last night's vegetarian interview was wonderfully catered.  I had a vegetarian sausage roll, vegetarian cornish pasty and veggie lasagne - none of which I've eaten for YEARS.  The tofu scrambled egg salad with delicious and the chocolate cake for dessert was lovely and squishy.  During the interview I also managed to get myself a writing and photography gig for one of the upcoming issues!!  Go me.  Yesterday was a good day!
blacklilly: (A Vad Day)
First, a little something on physical responses to emotions - something I seem to be particularly sensitive to.  After I split up with Gideon I spent the following days vomiting  up anything I ate, and dry-retching the rest of the time.  The poor guy even took a special trip to the chip shop to get me chips which I just pushed around a plate, ate a few of and then promptly met again in the bathroom.  (In fact, the heartbreak diet helped me lose almost a stone in 2 weeks.) It still happens now - that horrible tugging on the metaphorical heartstrings, may not be so metaphorical after all...

"When people have their feelings hurt, what is actually happening inside the body to cause the physical pain in the chest?

Robert Emery and Jim Coan, professors of psychology at the University of Virginia, reply:

Terms such as “heartache” and “gut wrenching” are more than mere metaphors: they describe the experience of both physical and emotional pain. When we feel heartache, for example, we are experiencing a blend of emotional stress and the stress-induced sensations in our chest—muscle tightness, increased heart rate, abnormal stomach activity and shortness of breath. In fact, emotional pain involves the same brain regions as physical pain, suggesting the two are inextricably connected.

But how do emotions trigger physical sensations? Scientists do not know, but recently pain researchers uncovered a possible pathway from mind to body. According to a 2009 study from the University of Arizona and the University of Maryland, activity in a brain region that regulates emotional reactions called the anterior cingulate cortex helps to explain how an emotional insult can trigger a biological cascade. During a particularly stressful experience, the anterior cingulate cortex may respond by increasing the activity of the vagus nerve—the nerve that starts in the brain stem and connects to the neck, chest and abdomen. When the vagus nerve is overstimulated, it can cause pain and nausea."

From Scientific American Mind

The reason I'm on the website is because I taught a lesson tonight on scientific research on how people fall in love.  We teach the Headway Advanced text book, which has a whole sick-making chapter on love, and which I am completely and utterly bored by (as are some of my stoical students, bless 'em), so I come up with my own stuff - usually a mixture of older lessons and free stuff from Macmillan Publishing.  Today, though, I was hoping to get them to do some soul-gazing and hugging, but we ran out of time.  Next week, instead of struggling through a sonnet by Shakespeare, I've promised them some Keats and a bit of "Bright Star", which ties in nicely with the idea of love making you more creative.  

Speaking earlier of pain, I've been grinding my teeth in my sleep again.

I sent the designs for my business card off yesterday evening, but got a phone call this morning asking me to resize them, as I had cropped them too smal for the printer.  So I tried to resize them, which didn't work.  So I tried it another way, which also didn't work.  I emailed my Adobe Illustrator guru, who was probably still asleep, and then magically stumbled across the correct tool whilst huffily stuffing a piece of toast in my mouth (yes, I was having breakfast and messing about with graphics at the same time - computers and crumbs...)  I got them back in time for the 1pm deadline, so am expecting a delivery on Friday.  They should be pretty sexy.

Wedding photos went in yesterday, so expect pictures and a write-up sometime over the weekend.  I also hit Inokashira Park in Kichijoji for a Hanami party on Sunday, so maybe so photos from that too.  It was freezing cold and overcast, so maybe not so pretty...


blacklilly: (Default)

April 2011

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