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October 2005 was a monumental month for joseph.

and all because of *twinkle*...



Friday 30th September 2005 23:00 (GMT+1) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK

Friday Night, and it's all happnin'

Of course the good thing about living by oneself is that when one finds something that appears to be a large breadcrumb under the cushion on one's chair, one can actually consider eating it, even if it is a bit hard.

Ah, so it's Friday night, and the party is kickin'. There's laughter all around, accompanied by sporadic bursts of song.

Meanwhile, in the flat below, Joseph is sitting in front of his computer doing his homework.

I think it must have been Tuesday night then, no, Wednesday, when I had my first taste of alcohol in about a month. I got so drunk on half a pint of beer, unbelievable. The result of this was that I ended up offloading a lot of shit onto some classmates whom I never really got to know last year. That's metaphorically speaking you understand. I have better toilet manners than my friend's two pet ferrets who apparently have a habit of pooing just behind the door so when she gets home she has no choice but to smear it all over the carpet. Nice.

Yes, I think if I remain completely sober I can just about deal with the issue that lies at the heart of my frustrations. It's when I get drunk that I get all needy. Mind you, I think at the moment, these past few weeks that is, I am going through a particularly vulnerable patch, as you may have detected. It could be partly a result of my meds, it could be partly a result of the anticlimax. Or it could simply be down to the sheer abundance of arousing 3D images, the ones that come complete with hearts, minds and very cute faces.

Whatever it is, I wish it would pass.

This week has been a real shocker in academic terms. Of course, it's only to be expected that level 2 of our degree course is more difficult than level 1, but the jump is just way beyond our expectations. I mean, at one point this week, we were given a dictation exercise. When the passage came to an end we all just burst out laughing as none of us had been able to catch what was said - it was just a joke!

In addition to this, I am now doing 3 modules (as opposed to 2 last semester). Admittedly, Japanese is allegedly only worth 20 credits instead of 40, but that doesn't actually result in the workload being halved. The amount of reading required for my two lecture-based modules is also very disconcerting - I curse myself for not having done more in the holidays. I'm really in the shit.

I think the greatest shock for me however came when I enquired as to how much this year's results are worth in terms of my overall degree. The answer: 50%. Yes, 50 bloody percent. The 3rd year (in Japan) doesn't actually count towards one's final degree at all - it's just a pass or fail year. So it's just this year and the 4th year that count then, meaning I really have to knuckle down.

Japan society, much though I love it, has also been causing me a lot of stress. This time of year is the busiest for me as secretary, with membership lists to sort out and distribution lists to compile. Plus all the bloomin' emails that are pouring in - today I even had one asking me for a recipe for takoyaki (Octopus balls)!

The thing is, I dearly love making things happen, and I really want it all to be done properly. I'm a perfectionist, and it really gets to me when I see sloppy work. Others seem to have the happy ability to just let go and not care about the consequences; sadly I lack that, thus meaning that I often get lumbered with tidying up after everyone else. I am fortunate however in that the person who heads Japan society is possibly one of the most thoughtful people in Sheffield, and goes out of his way to try to ensure that I do not end up doing more than I should. He's a star.

Tomorrow I am going to see my two best friends. I have been promising to visit one of them, dear CJW, for well over a year, but until now have not got around to it. These two friendships go back a long long way, and time and distance do not seem to have weakened their strength. My excitement at the prospect of seeing them is marred however by my concern over how the hell I'm going to get all my homework done by Monday.

In a further bid to shoot myself in the academic foot I have invited a friend round for supper on Sunday. I've not known her long, but I really like her (we're talking friendship here), and I want to get to know her a lot better. She is similar to me in some ways, in that she feels guilty when she's not studying - maybe we can work on our issues together! I really would love to have some more close friends here at uni who I can really talk to. You see, I think that if I can develop my network of friends, I won't feel so damn lonely half the time, and I won't feel so in need of someone to take the place of my teddy bear.

Anyway, I think that's about all I wanted to say tonight.

Thanks for listening. I feel a lot better now.

Monday 1st October 2005 02:36 (GMT+1) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK

happy smiles

hahhhh. I had the most lovely weekend.

Not only did I have a free ride in a taxi with the nicest taxi driver in the world (Robert, a pilot that regularly flies jumbo jets for Air France, Lufthansa and British Airways, I kid you not), but also I was able to spend some precious 26 hours in the company of my two bestest friends. Time and distance will never come between us.

Back here in Sheffield, I have spent the evening with someone who I feel so utterly blessed to have met. I don't mind the fact that I'm yet to get to bed and I have a lecture in 6 hours, her friendship is worth every minute of lost sleep.

Life is great.


Thursday 4th October 2005 23:54 (GMT+1) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK

in shock

Had a bit of a wake-up call this week. We're not talking any ring of an alarm clock here. No, we're talking a 15 kilo sledgehammer brought down with great force on my goolies.

This university degree course is more demanding than I could ever have imagined.

This week I failed my kanji test. I got the lowest mark I have ever had for my weekly essay. I was sat down in Sensei's office and gently warned that my level has dropped pretty dramatically.

Pretty depressing stuff, but at least it's happened in Week 2, and not Week 12. I am now faced with the challenge of somehow getting back on track.

There has been great happenings in other areas of my life this week too, but I'm not prepared to discuss them here. You'll have to wait for the film and book.

Anyone want to write a Japanese essay for me?

Tuesday 11th October 2005 08:38 (GMT+1) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK

no longer at this address

this is going to take some getting used to - the move out of Singletown and into Coupleville.

I like it round here though, it's nice, and cosy, and makes me feel very happy.


Wednesday 12th October 2005 20:38 (GMT+1) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK


Can't get over how lucky I am. I'm being so coy about it all as it's such early days, but I really have a good feeling about this.

Ohh watched Wasabi last night, brought tears to my eyes. As wasabi has a tendency to do.

Friday 14th October 2005 10:35 (GMT+1) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK

this is love

Ah, a week is a long time in love.

Of course the big problem is this: Now that I am no longer lonely, now that my desire to be utterly loved by someone who is utterly lovely and loveable and loving is being fulfilled, I can no longer winge on about being lonely and in need - so does this make The Daily Mumble redundant? Teddy had already had to accept the fact that his place in my bed is no longer guaranteed.

So what do I write about now?

Oh Flippin' 'eck! I forgot about my porridge!

a few minutes of smoke inhalation later...

Well, that saucepan didn't need a bottom anyway. Thank heavens the smoke alarm didn't go off triggering the evacuation of 300 students. Although actually, I suppose thinking about it, it would be more reassuring if it DID go off considering the fact that the kitchen was full of smoke.

Anyway, I've now opted for rice - can't go wrong with a genuine Suihanki (Japanese rice cooker), which of course switches itself off when it's done. I so love my new suihanki, given to me by a departing exchange student.

Of course having a website that details one's entire life history can be a little problematic when entering a new relationship. Heaven knows it causes me enough grief at times when I'm not involved with anyone but myself. Thankfully, she, who is not the cat's mother in case you were about to ask, is rather prone to be super-intelligent, understanding and open-minded, in addition to being willing to voice her concerns. Also, I have told her everything I feel is important that she know at this stage - honesty and openness is the only way.

It's a really interesting learning curve. An adventure.

I need to eat my rice.

Sunday 16th October 2005 20:37 (GMT+1) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK



It was our anniversary today. 1 week anniversary.

Congratulations Us!

Our celebratory meal took the form of white rice, a bit of soup and 2 Marks and Sparks scones, with cream and jam. Oh yes, we know how to party.

I have a few photos to share with you of the lucky girl. They're here, here and here.

For legal reasons I can't reveal her name, so instead I shall twinkle when referring to her. So yes, here is *twinkle* with teddy.

Anyway, I've had a lovely weekend, and as usual now find myself on a Sunday evening with only 3 hours to learn about 100 kanji compounds. Great. Entirely my own doing. I mean, the shower did need scrubbing, I did need to completely re-organise my computer's filing system and install some new anti-virus software even though the old one wasn't due to expire for a month. Ah, curse the fear of failure, curse the fear of success.

Anyway I REALLY want my camera back now. It's been almost two months since I sent it off for repair, and I miss it terribly.


ooh I'm all over the place tonight...

Oh did I tell you I have someone to hug at night now and she's utterly lovely? I did? Oh, sorry, I forgot. But she is you know. (you may want to reach for this at this point)

Wednesday 19th October 2005 21:42 (GMT+1) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK

my name is Tony

I received the following email today:










Hhm, thanks Tony. That's a very kind offer. It's just a shame that you didn't come along two weeks ago, as I was single then. Damn shame hey? We sound so compatible.

In fact, if I had been single, I think we would definitely have had a future together. That is, except for two minor points.

  • You are a man, and as a general rule I do not fancy men. You would have to have mighty fine butt cheeks to bring about a change of policy.
  • I can't stand it when people WRITE IN UPPERCASE. What's the matter with you for heaven's sake? Is it really that much effort to press the Caps Lock key?

So, my dear Tony, I fear that we are perhaps not quite made for one another. And besides that, I have the most gorgeous girlfriend in the whole world - if you don't believe me, see the links above.

In other news

I am absolutely shattered. Once again I have been taking too much on, spreading myself too thinly, not looking after my body. The result? A couple of attempted minor epileptic 'episodes' today, suppressed by my meds. Still, it's nearly the end of the week, and my baby is looking after me. She's really good for me you know, and I'm not frightened. Whether its a universal phenomena or not I don't know, but when getting involved in the past I have sought to find fault with the person or the relationship to assure myself that in the long-term it wouldn't work, to reassure myself that I don't have to commit, commitment having scared the hell out of me ever since the days of Joe and Ruth.

It's different this time. I feel no fear. What's even more reassuring is that my judgment is not being clouded by rampant lust (no, really!) or guilt. In addition to that, we don't live together thus we have precious breathing and thinking space. It's just all so comfortable and nice - I really couldn't have wished for anything more perfect than the relationship that we have.

Anyway, I must be off. The doorbell's just rung, and looking out the window I can see a man on the step with a badge on. It reads,

"My name is Tony".

...Now, where did I put that chastity belt with the external 240 volt security mesh?

Sunday 23rd October 2005 10:51 (GMT+1) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK

jewel in the crown

Whilst carrying out a mini-review of my current state of affairs last night, I was delighted to discover that I have actually managed to achieve pretty much everything I set out to do on entering uni. To avoid the risk of sounding like a big-headed wombat up his own bottom I shall not list these achievements. I shall however (once again) mention the jewel in the crown, my dear girlfriend, *twinkle*. Today is our two-week anniversary. Ahhh, could a Sunday morning be any more perfect? Waking up and finding that instead of teddy, *twinkle* is beside me, all snuggly and warm. I think back on the previous evening... we went out to the birthday party of a mutual friend, who neither of us know particularly well. It was nice, although the restaurant was absolute pants. I tell you, if ever you want to eat Latin American styleee in Sheffield, do not go to Las Iguanas, as the portions of overcooked (and in some cases, burnt) food are as small as a very small pea that had just spent a week on a health farm, and the prices are as high as the restaurant's ceiling, which was obviously constructed in such a manner that customer complaints would be lost in its lofty heights. Flavourwise, I think if there was a battle between Las Iguanas' "cuisine" (a term I use in the loosest possible sense) and a rotten leather boot found washed up on an Irish beach, the boot would win, even without a smattering of ketchup.

[update: I sent an email to Las Iguanas to tell them of our dissapointing experience, and received by return of post £50 worth of vouchers. Our following visit was great - delicious food, served promptly!]

Still, all of this was made up for by the presence of *twinkle*. It's quite exciting letting people know that we're together you see. This is, I think, for various reasons, but one that I am willing to mention here is that in a way we are both "trophy" partners to one another. You know why she is such to me, I mean, she's super-intelligent (as demonstrated by her ability to identify something that simply cannot be missed), on my wavelength in many many ways, super sexy and gorgeous, cute and editor of The Daily Mumble. (no no, only kidding...). Why should I be a 'trophy boyfriend' to her though I hear you ask? Well, after I have finished spanking you for being so rude, I would maybe liken my notoriety at uni to my notoriety on the WWW. Although at uni it has nothing to do with 'horse cocks', I assure you.

I mean, if you put the words "Joseph" and "Japan" into Google, whose site appears at Number 1 in the results? Yes, Yours Truly. And that's out of over 23 million....

Now take this kind of notoriety and apply it to a Joseph at Sheffield University...

Anyhow, I digress. What I was getting at is that I feel that I feel very very fortunate to have been given these opportunities, and that everything has worked out so well. ne.

Anyway, must get on with my homework. It's a translation of my hitch-hiking by freight train epic, as recorded here.

Tarra for now, much love.


p.s. my camera will be making a comeback next week after two months of having its circuits interfered with. :-)

Thursday 27th October 2005 21:27 (GMT+1) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK



The board of a large company were working on their mission statement.
"What is your fundamental purpose?" asked Nasrudin.
"Our mission is to create constantly increasing dividends for our
shareholders," they declared.
"To what end?" asked Nasrudin.
"So they make increased profits which they will want to
re-invest in our company" they said.
"To what end?" asked Nasrudin.
"So they make more profits," they said, becoming somewhat irritated.
"To what end?" asked Nasrudin nonchalantly.
"So they re-invest and make more profits."
Nasrudin pondered this for a while and thanked them for their explanations.

Later that week they had arranged to visit Nasrudin's house to work further on
the mission statement.They found him in his garden stuffing oats into his donkey.
"What are you doing?" they asked."You are giving.that poor beast
so much food that it will not be able to go anywhere."
"But it is not meant to go anywhere," Nasrudin replied.
"Its purpose is to produce manure."
"To what end?" they asked.
"Because without it I cannot grow enough oats in my small
allotment to feed this greedy beast."

From The Wise Fool's Guide to Leadership by Peter Hawkins, published by O Books, UK, £7.99






The following is an extract from Resurgence (November / December 2005) "Welcome" - Satish Kumar, Editor

* * *

THE TWENTIETH CENTURY was dominated by two opposing ideologies: communism and capitalism. Communism collapsed, as practised in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. What is left in China is not communism: it is an authoritarian state with a capitalist economy. So capitalism seems to rule the world. It claims to be the only system capable of solving the world's problems. Mrs.Thatcher, one of the great apostles of capitalism, claimed, "There is no alternative."

In his radical and controversial article, Sir John Whitmore questions that claim. He shows that not only is capitalism incapable of solving the problems of humanity, but in fact hunger, pollution, the breakdown of social fabric, human unhappiness and many other problems are caused by capitalism. In his view there is no such thing as good capitalism or compassionate capitalism or capitalism with a human face. Without beating about the bush he states that capitalism is bad, bad, bad! Sir John comes from a capitalist background, and is a coach for many business leaders. So we need to pay attention to what he says.

All past efforts towards a free-market economy, world trade, globalisation, industrialisation, the pursuit of high living standards, unlimited economic growth and every other form of capitalist endeavour have benefited only a small minority; the big players. As far as the vast majority of people around the world are concerned, capitalism has brought loss of livelihood and destruction of their environment. The promise of happiness and high living standards for all is a distant mirage, a mere promise for tomorrow. Even where money and material goods are plentiful, selfishness, greed, competition, crime, violence and frustration prevail. Capitalist societies are left with increasing rates of cancer, obesity, depression and stress. Capitalism has failed in human terms. But even more drastically capitalism has failed in terms of the natural environment.

Capitalism is rapidly destroying soil fertility, biodiversity and the atmosphere. So capitalism founded on the ideology of unlimited economic growth and industrialised mass production is not only unsustainable — it is blatantly harmful.

Many of our readers may not agree with this position. But we at Resurgence think that this is an important area for debate. We would welcome letters from our readers on this subject.

It would be good to take Sir John's arguments further and develop a coherent alternative. In the age of ecology even socialism is not enough. It too is anthropocentric and eco-destructive, and it too advocates industrial mass production. It offers an economic system of the old paradigm. Now, if neither socialism nor communism nor capitalism, then what? We need a new system for the age of ecology, a system which is embedded in the care of all people and also in the care of the Earth and all life upon it. We need a system which replaces our capitalist worldview with a naturalist worldview, and which shifts our society from capitalism to 'naturalism'.

The speech by the Prince of Wales to the Institute of Chartered Accountants also touches on this theme. Accounting must concern itself with more than the bottom line. Counting money is not enough. Money is not wealth: it is only a measure of wealth; the real wealth is people, communities, cultures, land, forests and rivers. Accountants therefore need to take all these elements into account. The bottom line has to include social and natural as well as financial loss and gain. What kind of future would it be if we had plenty of money but a planet denuded of beauty and wild?



Sunday 30th October 2005 21:43 (GMT) The Courtyard Cupboard, Sheffield, UK

Tea with Mr. Darcy

*twinkle* and I popped round to Mark Darcy's place today, Chatsworth House. It tipped it down, but we had a lovely time. There's 68 photos in my October album, and a select few below to wet your appetite.



oh, and check out this banana I found in the GM section of the supermarket today.

oh, and you MUST have a look at these eggs yolks

The Daily Mumble October 2005 Archive



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