Tuesday January 26th, 2016

Q: How often do we dream ?

AMost of us dream every night and most of us dream throughout our various sleep cycles; however, researchers have suggested that the most vivid and memorable dreams occur during the REM cycle.

So say the experts. Thankfully they also say that it’s no big deal if we can’t remember our dreams. This is good news for me as I probably remember a dream twice a year.  Maybe less !

This isn’t something new for me.  I’ve never been able to remember dreams. If it wasn’t for the medical “fact” at the beginning, I’d believe that I simply don’t dream. I get quite jealous of people who not only remember a dream, but can recall the colours and smells and just about everything about them.

Having said all that, it’s probably not surprising that, hand on heart, I can say I’ve never had a nightmare. I do occasionally have some sort of a night terror to do with being about to die and I generally shoot out of bed and shout loudly in some sort of way to prove to myself that I’m not……dying that is. Thankfully I don’t go far from the side of the bed on such occasions. I am awake after all, so I just climb sheepishly back into bed and usually drop off to sleep right away.

The irony of this is not lost on me.  Given the condition of my heart, or at least the plumbing around it, the very act of proving to myself that I’m not dying by suddenly leaping out of bed from a sleeping state may in fact cause me to have a heart attack…..and die !

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On a happier note, I had lunch out today with my friend, Daphne. We went to our favourite pub, The Lord Darcy, partly because it’s a 5 minute drive away but mostly because we love the food there. It’s simple fayre but that’s what we like.

Daphne generally has the steak and I generally have the salmon; we saw no need to change that today.

Afterwards we came back to my place to chat, have coffee and look at some photos and video footage I took when we were in Italy in 2010. It was great to be able to watch the photos on the tv instead of passing physical photos between us.

Maybe someone can tell me……if I got one of those low powered laser pointers, could it damage the tv if I used it to point out things when viewing photos etc ?

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Back in 1970, this was a very important day – as I got into the worst spot of trouble in my 7 years at boarding school. I’ll try to make this short but a little bit of background is necessary !

If a boy was sick, and on this particular day I was that boy, he had to let matron know. Ohhhh matron !  (Stop that now, this is serious). A boy was tasked with walking the various corridors every morning and the invalid was supposed to call out that they were sick. I know, right !

The boy in question was one Donal Laverty and he never heard my call.  This was partly because, being in the Upper Sixth, I had my own room so had to shout through a door but also because I was really (a little bit) sick and didn’t call out loudly. You can see already it wasn’t the best of procedures but back in the day, it was what it was. I managed to call in another boy, Micky Hannon, and asked him to go and tell Donal and then I settled down to have a nice day in bed while waiting for matron to call in.

She never did.

Knowing something had gone wrong, I struggled up at lunch time and was quickly told that my French teacher, Jock, was mad at me as no one knew where I was. Clearly my name never made it onto the sick list. The Dean of Discipline, Fr. Kerr, was also mad at me for the same reason and demanded a full explanation, in writing. After lunch I collared Micky who claimed that he HAD told Donal so I never managed to get to the bottom of what went wrong. Several times during the rest of the day, Kerr nagged me for the written explanation so I finally settled down and “did my thing” and wrote what I regarded as an amusing story to explain what had happened, clearly indicating that I was totally blameless for what took place.

I typed it up and pushed it under Kerr’s door and thought that would be the end of the sorry matter.  But it was only the start of it.  What happened next actually took place several days later, on Monday February 2nd to be precise.  So as I have to keep these blog posts in a strict timeline with the events of 1970, you’ll just have to wait to find out what happened !  Da-da-dahhhhhhh.

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Given all the PoC (People of Colour) kerfuffle over the Oscar nominations this year, I wanted to see if one of the movies that “they” say should have had at least one nomination was worth it.  IMO of course.

The movie was “Concussion” and some people reckoned that the lead, Will Smith, should have had an Oscar nod.

ConcussionPoster

It’s based on the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu who was the first person to publish findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football – basically stating that bashing heads together, even wearing helmets, thousands of times in an NFL career can seriously damage your health, or at least the health of your brain. Seems obvious to me but then what do I know !

As with the similar story about the fight against the huge tobacco companies over the dangers of smoking, this movie vividly portrayed the importance of football in America and the lengths the powerful NFL could and did go to if someone tried to damage the brand.

It was a fascinating movie and at times I found it hard to remember I was watching Will Smith (it didn’t even look like him) and wonder if the same applied to the Oscar committee. Smith may have suffered for his comedy beginnings and mostly lightweight roles since then. But in the end, IMO of course, his performance here certainly deserved a nomination nod.

Certainly more than Matt Damon in “The Martian“.

And although it’s only one person in one category, that should be enough to embarrass the Oscar hierarchy.

 

 

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