Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in review

So this is my ‘End of 2012’ post. Four months on this blog and I like to think that I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve managed to rack up 10000 views, a small but loyal following and even more importantly several friends. It’s been so freeing to post and express myself on this little blog, and I just have to thank God and my lucky stars that I took the leap and started it. WordPress is a great site, and I really have to thank the WordPress team for finding my one post all the way back in August and helping me meet other great bloggers like yourself (yep, I’m talking to you. 😉 ) Thank you people. Here’s to a great 2013, no more Mayan prophecies and success in our never-to-be-completed New Years’ Resolutions. Happy New Year or Xin Nian Kuai Le!

—————————————————-

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Well, that was disappointing…but Happy Holidays!

Well, over here it’s around twelve in the morning on the 24th of December, and most of us are still here. Which means we still have to deal with money shortages after Christmas spending, having distant relatives over for holiday festivities and (for me, anyway) exams in the New Year. The world goes on.

The youthful face of worldwide disappointment.

ANYWAY. What with Nanowrimo last month and a few tests/exam preparation shenanigans this month, I find I now have a backlog of awards!

Very Inspiring Blogger Awardgiven by NicoLite

Sunshine Awardgiven by lespetitspasdejuls

Liebster Awardgiven by shelconners (I’m aware that this award comes with several questions to be answered, and I intend to address that in a second post.)

I’m immensely grateful to all three bloggers who’ve nominated me for these rewards, and every other reader who makes them possible by reading and/or promoting my blog. My journey in the blogosphere/Jonesville (TM’d by Emily) really just gets better and better each month. From ranting and rambling to writing, I’m really grateful to the response I get (even if I don’t always reply to comments speedily; definitely one of my New Year’s resolutions.)

Without further ado, the requirements of both the Sunshine Award and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award are to nominate other bloggers . To cut down on post size (sorry!) I’ll be passing on just the Very Inspiring Blogger Award to four bloggers whose blogs I find incredibly inspiring; they are in turn meant to link back to this post and nominate 15 (or any other reasonable number) other bloggers. It is entirely possible that I’ve nominated these people for awards before, but they most certainly deserve them. If you haven’t already, give these blogs a read.

Thomas at The Quiet Voice: Willing and unafraid to discuss tough or controversial topics, and discusses his life and opinions with a brutal and refreshing honesty. Blogs like this really make you think, or at least open you to the idea of discussion when it comes to the ideas you hold without really considering.

Lisa at A Gripping Life: You know how on television sitcoms, there are those characters who the writers try to show are ultra-professional at their job, even though a sitcom writer does not know enough about X profession to accurately portray it? Lisa is not that character. This woman is a professional at psychology, and you can see her experience in almost every post. And in every other post you can see the normal, human person behind the analytical psychologist. And all these posts are indubitably amazing (yes, that is a weird word and yes, I threw it in especially to confound you because my brain is full of Philosophy revision.) Read this blog.

RR at RegisteredRunaways: A blog from a happily gay Christian with inspiration and encouragement in every last word. I don’t think I’ve yet found a blog with more consistently positive posts than this one, and every one refreshes me and makes me reconsider my ideas on a variety of issues, whether pertaining to the LGBT community or not. Sexuality really doesn’t matter here, people.

Emily at The Waiting: Well, I’ll be mighty surprised if you haven’t heard of this blogger. And I’m fully aware that I’ve sent an award her way before. But if you’ve read her blog before, than you understand. And if you haven’t, than welcome to a mommy/mummy blog like no other. Upon clicking the link above, you will depart to a land of babies, Festivus and musings about life which more often than not shoot off in fantastically odd directions. Good luck. 😉

—————

Being well aware of other commitments outside Jonesville and the busyness of this holiday season, there’s obviously no need for nominated bloggers to respond to this in a rush. It may be a few hours too late over here, but Happy Festivus anyway my fellow bloggers, and tomorrow have a very Merry Christmas!

Gunmetal Grey

I’ve been thinking about the Connecticut shootings since I was sat in the middle of an appointment, watching the newest gun-related devastation on a television in the waiting room. I wanted to write, but I could not find the words. I did not know the words. I still do not.

God,” my mum had said. “Look. There’s another school shooting in America. Oh God.”

I looked at the screen and the first thing I saw was the word ‘elementary.’ “That’s primary school over here. Jesus. They’re just kids.”

Kids. They were just children. Too young to know the world and now forever deaf and blind to it.

Words are going around in my head about gun control laws in America and my worry that I will come out of this stupor and forget, but that is better expressed in the extremely powerful words of Emily at The Waiting. For now my words are gone and dried and dead. I read not less than an hour ago a list of the names and ages of the children involved. The number ‘6’ ran down most of the page.

I have not cried in a very long time.

I don’t know what it is like to lose a child of my own. I’ve lost a sibling and I’ve lost a friend but I still don’t know. And I hope that I never have to. Today, tonight, I am trying to think of all the children that lost their lives. But all I keep seeing is a gun. It’s almost funny, because I’ve seen plenty of children. But in all the years of my life, I’ve never seen that gunmetal grey outside of a Hollywood film.

 

A Three-Part December: Christmas, Festivus and Hanukkah

Yes, it’s a gif. A GIF. And don’t tell me you don’t recognise what the holiday armadillo is.

Ah, December. The great month when the weather decides it hates car and bus commuters over in the Northern hemisphere and screws with our morning school/work journey by depositing slippery, seasonal ice all over the sidewalk and our vehicles. The month where it’s 2am and you’ve just licked a hundred envelopes filled with Christmas greetings because it’s a godforsaken popular social custom, and then you realise there’s that one friend who is Jewish/a Jehovah’s Witness/XZKian and you scramble to find the ‘Seasonal Greetings’ card. The month where you air your grievances in front of a metal pole–

Wait, you haven’t heard of that one? What. You don’t know what Seinfield is, either? Ooh, boy.

Google the word, ‘Festivus.’ Google it right now (or click if feeling lazy.) If Google loves you, you’ll see this:

But I thought Google always had a metal pole next to the search results...

But I thought Google always had a metal pole next to the search results…

Festivus! A seasonal celebration devoid of commercialism, pressure or religion. For a more detailed explanation, as always, we go to Youtube.

Good, now that’s done. Now, we move on to Hanukkah. Unless you’ve just emerged from a lifetime of living under the sea (and heck, even Aquaman could tell you what it was), you’ll know what Hanukkah is. But just in-case, we’ve got another video for that too. And I know that nobody likes clicking on things but this is F.R.I.E.N.D.S. we’re talking about. Clickity-click. (Don’t you just love sitcoms and Youtube?)

And finally, ultimately, last-but-not-least we have Christmas! Which, depending on who you ask, is either a secular holiday promoting gift-giving and commercialism, a Christian holiday celebrating Christ’s birthday which happened nowhere around the actual date, or an I-don’t-care-for-the-origins-as-long-as-I-get-my-turkey/presents holiday. I’m in camp three, by the way.

Oh, what’s that you say? So many sitcoms have done a Christmas episode I couldn’t possibly pick one to stand out from the rest? Well, I have the perfect solution to that. Heck, this video is more Christmassy then any other video out there. That’s right.

It’s the Coca-Cola one.

Now you know it is officially Hanukkah/Christmas/Festivus! Seasons greetings, people!

The Artist

2222101730_0f5cd08367_z

A novel excerpt, before I resume post-NaNo posting.

The young man called Aurel paints but he isn’t very good. So he writes instead. Letters and letters, some of which are never sent. Most of which are. He is thinking about why he is alive on the earth and the writer and the irritating dripping sound of his leaky tap.

He is often not working. His boss doesn’t mind. She is in her mid-forties, and she was once a model. Her beauty is still in her eyes and the single dimple in that sad smile she makes after he has escaped her bed. She doesn’t mind that he doesn’t work when he should.

Instead he sits at home. Empty takeaway cartons and unwashed everything and dust-laden floorboards. He sits in a defeated old armchair which was once red, staring at the reflection of himself in an opposing mirror. He hardly recognises the person staring back. Dishevelled black hair and bags under his eyes like a coffee-addicted boxer and a face of loose skin which is gaunt and dead. Sometimes he wishes that he was dead. Sometimes he thinks he is. Existing as a some sort-of half-corporeal being still haunting the place of his last days. Perhaps to wish to be dead is to be half-dead already.

He smokes a lot and he is smoking now as he watches himself in the mirror. He runs a hand back and forth through his ragged hair dislodging bits of wool and dandruff and making sure the smell of the smoke gets caught in his hair. One of his last remaining pleasures in life is waking up in the morning (in the chair, because it is the only place he can fall asleep now) and turning his head casually to the side and inhaling the strong musk of cigarette smoke. Not that his whole apartment doesn’t smell of it. But he likes to think that smell from that one source is strongest.

So he is smoking and he is thinking about his remaining pleasures in life and his worsening appearance and the woman he is having an affair with and how bad he is at painting. And at some point he realises that the window is wet with rain and his face is damp and the tap still drips and there is a draft in his living room.