Yoga Rage

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Last night I went to see Jon Kabat Zinn at the Friends’ Meeting House in Euston. It was hosted by Action For Happiness.

It was billed as  “An Evening With” and pitched at a general audience so I didn’t expect it to be anything I hadn’t heard before, and it wasn’t. It was more like going to see a supergroup and hearing their old standards or a well loved comedian and hearing beloved punch lines. The familiarity of his words left me  just noticing how he structured the talk a lot of the time – and it was pretty much what anyone would do – an overview of mindfulness, a led meditation, further elucidations, a couple of poems, and then Q&A. Just with a much bigger audience than usual. I liked the way that, with a show of hands at various points in the talk he managed to make nearly a thousand people feel like a group, but the content was nothing new. You can hear a version of what he said by going on youtube and watching pretty much any of his videos. He’s good, but the main thing about him is that he did a good thing. Thirty five years ago he stripped down buddhist practices for a secular audience and brought the world MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction).

part of the audience – he said there were 1000 people there, i thought 800, either way though, not a small crowd

So, what did I get for my £15 and my journey several hours out of my comfort zone? (I NEVER go out – not in the evening, it’s not a thing. I am in bed by 7pm most nights and asleep easily by 10.)

Mainly, I got uncomfortable. Yes, yes, it was physically uncomfortable, this was the Quaker’s gaff, and not a theatre, but it was more than that. I started feeling something I used to, in my more physically trim days, call ‘yoga rage’.

I loved yoga. I used to go two or three times a week. I’d done swimming, and then tai chi, and eventually I pitched up at yoga, which is something I always thought I would like, and I did. It’s nice and stretchy. I still do a tiny amount at home, but I do have to be careful. I digress.

At one point in my yoga journey I used to go to an excellent class in Brighton with my friend Nic. Jim Tarran still teaches, indeed he has his own school. He is brilliant. He keeps you in poses for bloody ages so you have to do loads of internal work. It’s a bit boot camp, but in a different way to, say, ashtanga or bikram. Anyway, the first time we went, we were standing still with our eyes shut following his instructions and he went silent and then said “What is yoga?”

Afterwards we giggled about it, because Nic said he nearly answered, which would have been WRONG because it was rhetorical, and it was something he was going to talk about while we stood there, fire in our muscles, working to stand straight and relax at the same time. Oh, and breathe, you have to breathe as well. Anyway, we were hooked, and there being the two of us, naturally we discussed him ad nauseum and all aspects of the classes as we went along. We also did impersonations of him, which I know were funny at the time, but I don’t remember all the catch phrases now. What emerged over the weeks was that we discovered in ourselves something we dubbed ‘yoga rage’ which was a feeling which arose when we were trying to be all OM about it all, and someone, some one would do something annoying.

They might breathe funny or very loudly in what sounded like a showy offy way or be annoyingly keen (not like us, no no, just because we were early and at the front and LOVED him, that didn’t make us annoyingly keen, not one bit of it) or grunt, or fart, or, and there was this one time when this person INCENSED us by doing the poses all wrong because he was clearly a dancer and he was being a poser. And wrong. He was doing it wrong.

Like every other detail of the class we discussed this at length. The thing about yoga rage that differs from road rage or any other kind of rage is that you absolutely know you are wrong while you are doing it. It’s an aspect of what buddhists call dukkha – or ordinary everyday suffering. Not special suffering. Just normal. Normal unfair irritation with people whose breathing, farting, or yoga style is none of our damn business and makes no impact on how we do our own yoga.

Here we are, in a hall filling with people who are passionate enough about mindfulness to buy tickets and turn up and sit uncomfortably for hours and I am irritable as hell and I am super aware of it. Annoying bloody people wanting us to budge up. Annoying people who probably bought their tickets way after we did sitting in the comfortable seats. Annoying lovey dovey couple fondling each other – GET A ROOM!

All of these people irritated me twice as much as they would have done in any other room for any other speaker or performance or whatever because I was super aware that he was going to talk about KINDNESS and as a meditator I am trying to be kind. In thought and deed. And failing.

It wasn’t all like that, but the feeling spiked up now and then and I just had to accept it. As JKZ said in his talk “The present moment is the curriculum”. And it was. And it is.

My friend Al joked on the way in about ‘taking a moment to arrive’ which is a cliche in mindfulness/meditation circles, for the very good reason that we are often not fully present, so it’s a useful tool to bring people’s attention to their own experience in the moment. We snorted a bit when he instructed us to arrive in the room.

So that was nice.

Still taking the piss.

Time Passes, Shit Happens, and Poppet is Opportunistic

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Sometimes it doesn’t matter how borked you are, you go ahead and do stuff anyway. Largely speaking, if you spend all day in bed you’ll get more pain anyway. Plus bone loss! As an added treat.

(For anyone not following my gripping life on fb, I fell quite badly on Sunday and now have the classic ‘pain in all 4 quadrants’ AND some. The weirdest thing is the whiplashy thing going on with the muscles at the front of my neck. If I am lying down and want to move my head, I have to do it with my HANDS!)

Also, I suddenly realized TIME IS PASSING and if I want to have a chance at this PhD application I better get my academic boots on, FAST. But I soon found that migraine isn’t a great space to be trying to understand shit from, so I gave up. I hoovered the bedroom and changed the bedding, and Poppet approved.

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I’ve been listening to this so many times over the past few days that I probably account for at least half of the 2,054,639 listens.

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It turns out that my loopy listening may have stood me in good stead, since I learned today that I am being hauled in to the workfare farce tomorrow morning. I don’t know how scared I should be… but at least I have BUDDHA SKILLZ in my pocket. As it happens, I had just joined a G+ group “Wildmind” who are doing a 100 days of meditation thing – bit late to the party, but so was someone else, so we decided to buddy each other. What’s been interesting so far is less that it has given me a discipline to meditate every day, because it turns out I pretty much do that anyway, but it’s more like when I blogged for Migraine Awareness Month – writing about your practice, even briefly every day for 100 days is going to make it extra conscious. Plus, the support is nice, particularly because I don’t go to an IRL sangha any more.

Although she is speaking about DLA rather than ESA, this clip gives a fair snap shot without being too miserablist.

So, without further ado, I give you Francesca Martinez

So that was nice!

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After writing my previous post I tweeted the link to Sh! and they asked for a version for their site. So that was nice. The enbiggened version is here.

What else? Well, today me and Al finally got around to tidying up our Training With Awareness enough to allow it out into the world. It’s not perfect, but it is live now, so any feedback is welcome. We are going to put our mugs up there somewhere soon, maybe friday. There is plenty to add, but the main thing was to have capital letters at the beginning of sentences and so on, so that’s done and done.

We are planning to do some voluntary gigs to get ourselves warmed up, so if you are in London or the South East and you represent some worthy group or other then we’d be pleased to hear from you. Voluntary work will be Wednesdays or Fridays. Thanks to everybody who has ‘liked’ our facebook page – it’s good to hit the ground running with the widget on the site showing some love.

***

I’ve been insanely ill lately, thanks in no small part to effing up my medications and then seeing a different doctor and changing too many things at once – something my real doctor advised against… anyway, luckily I have enough in hand just to go back to the original dose, and last night I had the first decent night’s sleep in ages, and woke up at just before 6am raring to drink tea and faff around on the internet.

***

My new hobby is passive aggression.

s  big pile a’crap, yo

See? This is me making a PILE of recycling for Ten to deal with. Actually, he noted my protest and proceeded to do other stuff instead, so it’s all in a bin bag in the garden now. If I was spending any time in the garden just now then it’d be away in the recycling by now, but Ten likes to clean and micro sort recycling whereas I don’t bother.

I am in a bit of a quandary about the garden just now because of the imminent MEN and SCAFFOLDING. Is there much point in doing stuff if they are going to mess it up? I don’t exactly know, but we will have to move the bench and probably the plants which are in my designated nursery space for the scaffolding, and I suppose I will think about those issues then. Meantime the MEN have not arrived yet, and it is getting pretty cold out there, so random Ten hobbies are tolerated.

FOR THE TIME BEING.

elaine4queen is unwell

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The journalist, Jeffrey Bernard was a notorious drunk. He was the subject of a West End play called Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell because this is what was printed without any preamble in the stead of his column for The Spectator when the writer was too drunk or hungover to hand in copy.

Sadly, for me, my ‘hangover’ is from my big day of two medical appointments and attendant traveling.

tilda swinton in cornelia parker’s ‘the maybe’

Last night I was kind of wired, and even though I listened to an hour of guided meditation I found I couldn’t sleep. Today I couldn’t get up, and Ten has had to do EVERYTHING.

I am now going to watch some TV, and if that doesn’t work I will find some radio.

Today is canceled.

We’re all just walking each other home

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We’re all just walking each other home.
— Ram Dass

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

To be brutally honest, I am often brave. Getting through the day with chronic migraine knowing you’ve got it all to go through again and again is far braver than anything else I have ever done, I do it often and I tend to do it alone, without any witness. I appreciate people who really see me suffer because even that experience is ineffable once it is past.

On the other hand, what looks brave might not really be brave. While ordinary acts like leaving the house might take real gumption, I, for instance, rather relish public speaking whenever I get the opportunity. Yes, I was physically ill the first time I gave a lecture, but the buzz is amazing and ‘nerves’ are really the same thing as excitement.

Acts of kindness can feel brave – one does not know in advance how they will be received. I think I was fairly brave to volunteer to visit a senior Buddhist Order Member who had had a stroke – I thought he would quite possibly find me naive and annoying. As it turned out it was a teacher I knew from my earlier days of learning meditation, and I had rather a good rapport with him but I didn’t walk into the hospital knowing it would be him. And I certainly didn’t expect to ‘get’ anything from the experience, but I did. He was an amazing man. While he was teaching there was this one time when he said he couldn’t remember which meditation he should be teaching and he mentioned in passing that this was probably because he had a brain tumor. I didn’t see him for a few weeks, so when I did see him I was relieved that he was alive! I asked about the tumor. He said that he had probably had it for years, but that it had only been recently diagnosed because he’d blacked out and someone thought to look. It seems that when he was younger he found it difficult to read, and was considered rather dim. His story humbled me so much, and heartend me, too. I’d just recovered from several months of near constant brain fog, after my health tanked and I had been signed off from my job. I couldn’t even follow radio or TV programmes, I just had the radio or TV on for company. I had really prized intellect in my former life, and considered my brain to be my best investment. Yet it didn’t save me from becoming ill. I was so relieved to find something I could learn that rather bypassed brain work, and to meet someone so very wise who was intellectually challenged.

When he died he had fallen out of bed. At the head of the bed was the commode that he used. It is entirely possible he spent his terminal moments on this earth with his face on rather a grubby carpet with a view of the underside of his toilet. For some people this would be a very upsetting experience, but I wasn’t in the slightest bit worried for my friend.

At the funeral there was an open coffin. It was the first time I had seen a dead body. I really wanted to get close and have a good stare, but I didn’t dare. A lot of people spoke about how he had been rather a harsh teacher, but that wasn’t my experience of him. To me he was only ever kind. I can only imagine he approached people on a case by case basis. His sister was too upset to attend, but his niece managed to say a few words on her behalf. She spoke about how, one new year’s eve, he had suggested a bike ride – the pair of them rode their bikes into the new year. What a lovely imagination he had, and what a lovely memory for his sister. I sat with the niece after the funeral and we talked for a while. Afterwards I received a letter from the sister, and wrote back as best I could. We wrote back and forth for a short while.

As well as being a sobering experience, spending time with him in his final days was such an honour.

*** 

I was looking for a quote to share with you and found myself collating an enormous collection of them;
elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2012/11/13

click through for lots of thoughts from lots of different sources.

***

How many Hindenburgs?

Today is kind of a Category 2 Hindenburg. Last night I realized that if I didn’t take a triptan before I went to sleep I’d be waking up migraining like crazy and have to spend all day dealing with things from that starting point, and that tends to mean I have to tread gently on the next day. Not just that, though, I am extra tired possibly because you can nip the pain in the bud, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are not having the migraine. There’s a lot more to migraine than headache.

So, while I have a little rest and listen to Front Row here’s a picture of Poppet I took yesterday.

she isn’t always entirely elegant

Let or Hindrance, Tiger Worms, Meditations, and Berzerking.

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I really did try to post every day, I promise… but I just went into this incredible migraine and allied trades wormhole and am only just crawling out of it now. You may have seen or got sent a link to about a dozen attempts to post the other day, but for some reason I couldn’t get round the fact that wordpress wouldn’t publish it in full. Very weird, and I tried lots of ways round it. Eventually I was just so exhausted I gave up and just saw it as part of the continuing cascade of things that go wrong. Hopefully this post will behave itself, and I will be able to share my thrilling insights with you without let or hindrance.

I am not entirely sure what let or hindrance really means, but it’s in the UK passport;

Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.

Which is sort of nice, I suppose. I wonder if I went abroad I might get better assistance and protection than I do here? Perhaps I will go somewhere nice and get asylum.

Anyway, bollocks.

***

One thing I have been *doing* off and on for the past few days is creating a multi-storey worm bin as inspired by new-to-me blog The Good Life. I already have bins, albeit that they are see through. All I needed to do was drill holes in them and play house with the tiger worms. In a house with two electric drills you’d expect there to be drill bits at the ready, but there was only one little one to hand so I asked my dad to bring one over. Which he did, but it was so blunt it was like the butter knife of drill bits, so on my way to my Bowen appointment yesterday I stopped in at the hardware shop on Broadway Market and got a nice sharp new one. When I get my wriggle on I will be completing the worms’ new home and I think I will feel quite pleased with myself.

the tiger worms when they first arrived. there are quite a few more now, i think they are having a good time.

***

Okay, that was weird, I just had another spooky wordpress moment there… I just posted a load of links about meditation and tried to save and the whole lot got eaten. Maybe by the worms? Who knows, but it’s beginning to freak me out, because I usually have ZERO problems with WP.

Here’s what I want to SHARE WITH YOU FFS!!!

1. Vidyamala’s Three Minute Breathing Space

Also highly recommended – her Body Scan and Kindly Awareness CDs here.

Good free stuff from Audio Dharma For beginners I’d recommend Gil Fronsdal. I particularly like Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Also, not to be too shallow, but he has a lovely voice.

I made a 20 minute Body Scan myself which is free. You can get that here.

My favourite teacher is Ken McLeod at Unfettered Mind. I follow him on facebook. This works pretty well for me. Sometimes I spend a day listening to a whole course.

Now, please WP, let me publish this before you send me completely berzerk.

on mute

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in an argument between the mind and the body the body will ultimately win. FACT.

damien hirst

was it really only last week that i had the botox injections (31 of them) for my migraine? okay, it was 10 days ago, and it feels like a lifetime, because after i had them i went straight out and started living. i went on holiday – i traveled, i drank wine, i stayed up late, i missed meals, i said “yes” without thinking. it was WONDERFUL.

when i got home i carried on – i went long walks, i saw friends, i went swimming. i ignored the headaches, the neck pain, the stomach pain, the leg pains as best i could, i medicated and i blanked the information feeding back from my body – help! help! it squealed. and i blithely ignored “it”. my body. talking to me.

the swimming on friday was when i finally acknowledged that i had to slow down. before botox i could swim for five minutes at a time and pacing was a matter of restraint. this time round i had to break in the middle of the 5 mins and i could not do more than 10 in all. i had hit the wall.

rewind, then, my friend, to when dr elrington SAID you had to take things easy. you had to pace things. and start again.

by yesterday i had decided that i really must do a LOT less. and build it up. i could have told myself that. so why didn’t i?

it’s simple. i was being human.

it’s so counter intuitive to live without hope, without plans, to stop and rest before feeling tired, to stop altogether when allotted activity has been done. to recognize constraints. to respect limitations.

Ron Gilad – Mirror, 2011

happily for me, i have my buddha skills to turn to. because the visit to the land of hope and energy had me job hunting, house hunting, dreaming, and planning. all the while denying that – yes, i was still taking triptans. i was still flaring up all over. the botox gave me an inch and i had taken a mile without stopping to think about how, after the push, comes the crash.

i had a brief glimpse of who i could be, who, perhaps, i would be… if if if. if only. and then i came back to reality. just like all those people who play the lottery do every week. the truth is that the botox is good. i doubt i could have swung into denial for over a week if it wasn’t. i am still taking triptans, but i am responding to them better, i still get aches and pains but i can exercise more, i still get exhausted, but the fatigue doesn’t lay me so low or last so long and has less disastrous consequences. it’s good, it just isn’t that good. the magic bullet of fable is just that. and why should it be more, really? i suppose having paid £600 for it i want £600 worth of well. and i am getting it, it’s just not perfection.

and there are other avenues to explore – i’m not finished yet. dr elrington said that i could up my dose of venlafaxine (effexor). he looked it up, and it seems that the max dose is 5x what i am taking. my migraines went from daily to approx 3 weeks in 4 when i started taking it, so there is margin for treating it as a serious contender for migraine relief. for my part, i have to jiggle that with an antipsychotic to ward off mania, but knowing about risks like that is half the battle. (i take quetiapine these days, for anyone who is interested in the particulars).

i’m kind of sad that it is probably unrealistic to start looking for work just yet, but in all honesty i need to get generally fitter to be a contender as such. i have three weeks of lifts to the swimming pool with stephen before he goes on holiday, and my intention is to join the gym they are building nearby, so i can work on specific things, like strengthening my back.

back to life, back to reality…

who da boo boo? intransegent weed, and wicker woes

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we just had a little VISITORRRRRR!!!!!!!! this is charlie, poppet’s bestest friend.

he’s an 11 month old english bull terrier/pit mix. and WHAT a lovely boy. he’s a bit bigger and more boisterous than poppet, but she’s been a mummy, so she keeps him in line. they are actually hilarious together, though. this morning i was doing some weeding and the pair of them started digging in tandem. funny little clockwork brains they’ve got.

now that he’s gone we have retired to the bed and poppet is snoring her head off. she had the best time and now she’s exhausted.

***

today’s weeding was just superficial stuff, stopping the mare’s tail from strangling plants. it’s a lovely ferny thing, which belongs on a riverside, but with only a tiny garden, i don’t want a monoculture so i just keep pulling it up when it wanders over from it’s designated spot.

yesterday’s project was this evil object. it took a LOT of work to wheedle up, and i am not even sure i got all of it.

on my birthday i was outside with my friend nic who has gardened for a long time, and he said that i’d have to dig it out. this might be the work of moments in an ordinary garden, but the bloody thing’s got the longest tap root, and after a couple of inches of topsoil it’s london clay and riverside pebbles all the way down. i was literally ferreting around in there with my fingers like a surgeon whose lost his scissors in someone’s innards. regular soil behaves itself if you water it a bit. it softens and yields up roots, but this clay  is sludgy and the pebbles seem to be all locked together.

i don’t even know why people bother with computer games when there’s weeds to be tackled.

die, FOE!

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i very desperately want this

it works like this

and is effectively the same shape as my meditation cushion, so i can see that it’s a good design. i actuall feel a little ill from the wanting, looking at it. sadly for me, though, the designer’s site doesn’t even have prices. so i guess it’s POA. this means ‘Price On Application’, though a friend once translated it thus: ‘Piss Off Anyway’, which might be nearer the mark.

wonderful me, meditation and two cats

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Migraine Awareness Month #13: “You Are Beautiful.” Write yourself a love letter. Tell yourself how wonderful you are. Remind yourself of the things you have accomplished despite Migraines. There are times when we need to be reminded of the good things about ourselves that others see that we may have missed.

okay. you do realize i am british, right? this question is mostly made of squirm, for me, but i do get the point of this so i will BRAVELY push on…

  • this blog.
  • i have learned and taught meditation.
  • i have a good relationship.
  • i look after my dear little doggy.
  • i make friends and cherish friendships.
  • i manage my own household, perhaps not perfectly, but still, could be worse!
  • i am compassionate towards others.
  • what else? i dunno! isn’t that enough?

enough already. bring me treats and sing to me while i eat them

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.”

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if you are interested in using meditation techniques to help manage pain i can recommend these talks and led meditations. don’t worry about whether you have ever meditated before or not.
these are free to use, and if you want to make a donation to audiodharma you can. there are a lot of other links on that site if you get enthusiastic, but for painiacs as much as anyone else pema chodron’s advice holds true “start where you are”.

***

my wonderful myofascial release guy, ron, is moving home. due to circumstances i won’t go into here, he needs either temporary or permanent homes for his two cats, pearl and hannah pretty urgently. they live happily together, but could be homed separately. he might not get settled for some months and he doesn’t want to disrupt them too much, so understands that it might be better for them to be rehomed permanently. he is willing to continue to pay the health insurance and bills for the rest of their lives.

i’ve got klout

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klout is a very humbling site. no matter how much i use it i have never really understood it.

as far as i can usefully see, it’s, i don’t know, some sort of marketing thing? anyway, you are supposed to be able to measure how influential you are in various topics, which might be impressive? to someone? (either someone who has heard of klout and knows how it works or else someone who has never heard of it and who is easily blinded by the sheer effervescence of internet thingumyjigs.) if i use it at all it is to try and give someone K+ points for something silly which klout doesn’t have, so twisting their categories round for fun.

in the meantime, i have lots of KLOUT. i am just hooching with it. i have a steady score of about 50. whatever that means. apparently my ‘true reach’ has gone down. aaw. it’s gone from nearly two thousand to under one thousand. why and why? as fun as it may or may not be to look at graphs that mean nothing to me, i have to say, my favourite thing is the randomness of my TOPICS.

i am currently influential about 20 topics. thankyou thankyou thankyou.

top of the pops, in at number 1 is…

tea.  well, this is reasonable enough, since actual people have given me K+s in tea. so it makes sense. plus i do mention tea a fair bit on twitter, and klout gets it’s info on me from twitter and fb.

libraries are next highest on the list. now, it is possible i might have posted an article about libraries on fb? otherwise i don’t know how i got all the klout. it went straight in at number two with no people giving me K+s. it’s a mystery. i did review a book on goodreads that i read about 20 years ago, d’you think that’s what it was about? i mean, i like libraries, but i haven’t used one in years.

tumblr is at number 3. fair enough. i am on tumblr, and i tag posts where i mention it, so that is fair enough. am i INFLUENTIAL though? possibly. i remember helping someone once with a question about tumblr… oh! wait! i wrote a blog post called pinterest v tumblr so – where’s my damn klout in pinterest, eh?

at 4 is photography. back in the game here with an actual person, our ken, of lahikmajoe fame (his blog is right there on the side bar, no i am not linking to it, just look yourself!) gave me K+s in photography. which is kind, since he can obviously actually do photography in a way in which i am not even a good amateur. i know what a good picture looks like, but cameras are way too technical for me. i tend to turn the flash off, and that’s about it for my technical skills.

klout believes i am influential about the olympics. well, okay, i’ll bite. it is true that i have posted a number of articles and blogs about the snipers and missiles and the protests around the olympics. bless them for thinking that that IS the olympics. or maybe they are ahead of the curve, maybe the social unrest and private police forces ARE the olympics, now?

oatmeal. really? oatmeal? do you mean PORRIDGE? klout, this may be the first time i have ever mentioned porridge. ever.

animals. klout believes i am influential about animals. well, if you count posting pictures of laughing foxes and videos of talking dogs as being INFLUENTIAL then yes. yes i am!

berlin. i have mentioned berlin in this blog. i posted a photo of the cosy wasch next door to my hotel, once. i went to berlin ages ago to have an operation to fillet the frown muscles out from over my eyes. the woman in the next bed got 100% better from having this operation. me? nada. i got nothing but a couple of chances to practice my schoolgirl german.

oh yeah, and a face like this for a week.

hunger games. well, i have actually done a whole blog post about the hunger games so that seems reasonable. though whether i actually influenced anyone with my review i would rather doubt. still, nice of them to notice. i put rather a lot of work into that.

for some reason i am equally influential about peanuts. have i ever mentioned peanuts before? i strongly doubt it. unless i am leading some sort of jekyll and hyde existence and THE OTHER ME is posting stuff about peanuts. you would tell me, right?

next up is blogging. i feel i do know some things about blogging, though i would not call myself a social media expert. i have failed, so far, to comprehend or use even a tiny bit storify, which i would like to do. i have started an account. i am following people. i want to use it, i do! frankly, storify frightens me. i need someone to literally show me how, i think. and not on a yootoob video either. i have tried looking at them and they make it worse.

klout believes i am influential in meditation. that’s nice. i would like to be more influential in meditation. i would like to hold a class. but i have to be content that i have managed to put one meditation online. the bodyscan i put on soundcloud has had 90 listens and 14 downloads. i wish i would get off my arse and do more.

dogs. fair play. i do have a dog and talk about her all the time. poor poppet was bitten on the ear today. its made her all trembly. she’s really wary of me because i keep wanting to look at it. does having a dog make a person influential? possibly, a bit.

wikipedia. sj! why am i influential about wikipedia? you gave me K+s!

social media. well, i use it. er… so does everyone else. don’t get that one, although, to be fair, klout only believes i have about half a centimeter’s worth of influence.

japan. ken has given me K+ in japan. why? ken? why?

books. it is TRAGIC how little influence i have about books, tragic.

fashion. even less for fashion. and that’s after i had a healthy score for fashion then it dropped off my list and I had to put it back on there MYSELF. it’s barely hanging on!

bacon. THANKS SJ! it’s nice to be in with the bacon crowd, even if it is entirely undeserved.

and all the way down at number 20 is ‘pets’. why i am influential about dogs and animals and not so much pets i don’t know. there was a time when klout believed i was influential in ‘cats’ which was sad because poppet had just been involved in the manslaughter of a cat. it was a sad passage in our lives. she never learns. she looked into the canal at the dead cat as if to say ‘we’re not playing anymore then?’

so, that’s all my klout topics reviewed for the moment. it’s all very gripping. give yourself some K+ in some sort of topic which implies tenacity if you made it this far. you won’t be able to have ‘tenacity’ itself, that would be way too simple. i once tried to give ken K+ in dog vomit because he’d heroically made a dog sick who had eaten a load of chocolate. i had to give him K+ in chocolate instead. disingenuous? perhaps. welcome to the world of klout.