The rotten year 2012:
This was a bad year for I lost another family member to cancer. That is three in three years. Ross Stephens was a bit of a mentor that I wish I could have spent more time with. He introduced me to new music and books, he always had a unique perspective on the world. I enjoyed the Mustangs games, back yard barbecues and most of all his laugh. I may have referred to him as ‘Uncle Bootleg’ at times but he will be happy to know I shared Captain Beefheart with a friend.
The other negatives get put in a new focus when losing family. Depression, social anxiety and neurological disorders seem much more manageable. Ontario Works deciding the only way they can get me off welfare is to dump me on disability made for much stress. It would be nice if they could actually help people instead of adding to mental health issues. The constant poverty and the lost hope of finding a job without more debt add to the stress and social anxiety.
As mentioned above I have social anxiety. The fact I have done more social things this year than any previous year I remember is confusing. Social networks have lead to actual meeting people in person. I ended up in a book club called Word Nerds, spoke to a group at Pints and Politics, volunteered for vice president Policy for London-Fanshawe Liberals, went to an Idle No More rally and hung out with friends. I blame therapy, Twitter and red wine for some of this but when did I end up with friends? You guys aren’t imaginary are you?
We Tweet therefore we need WiFi:
This year online I have: battled Conservative Trolls, debated Senator Brazeau on accountability starting in Ottawa, made clear my frustration on the F-35, been insulted by arms lobbyists, helped spread the Idle No More message and the usual inane stuff that goes online. Of course I have played far to much of those Face Book games but hopefully that will change.
Okay some good things happened in 2012, such as communicating with my daughter online a bit and getting to spend time with her on Thanksgiving. I now have friends, I think, and not the online kind in another part of the world. I figured out I can submit short stories to the New Yorker magazine, haven’t heard back yet though. My book was going well but in the end I am rewriting it because it was getting unwieldy.
My favourite band is back together and released a live album, in fact The Tea Party is just one of the bands, artist to release albums this year. I saw Leonard Cohen live a second time, I went with friends so I didn’t get stood up this time. I discovered some old music that is great and some new music too and a new way to listen online. Movie wise I saw Hobbitses, and Les Mis recently and some others.
Thoughts on 2013:
I hope to see more of my daughter this year, I don’t know how that will work but will try. She is an amazing person and I feel bad for not being there for her.
Another wish is for Canada to reset the relationship with First Nations, this needs to happen before Chief Spence is permanently harmed from her hunger strike. Openly accountable government at every level would be nice but I doubt Canada has had enough of a cultural shift yet. Peace globally would be good but that would require arms restrictions or lost profits for those selling the arms.
It looks like 2013 is also going to be good for music and movies. I’m also looking forward to a good leadership contest in the Liberal Party. I will keep writing after all it may pay off someday. I will need help in the social area, still lots to learn and gaps in my socialization to fill in. An example would be; how do I avoid falling for someone who seems uninterested, without losing them as a friend?
Books read in 2012:
Champlain’s Dream David Hackett Fischer
Vital Secrets Don Gutteridge
The Book of Negroes Lawrence Hill
BOYD: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War Robert Coram
The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill Dominique Enright
Experience of War Robert Cowley edit.
Nation Maker vol 2 Richard Gwyn
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
Smiley’s People John LeCarré
Rick Mercer Report The Book Rick Mercer
Sharpe’s Havoc Bernard Cornwell
Wikinomics Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams
Catching Fire Suzanne Collins
The End of Growth Jeff Rubin
The Art of War Jomini
Sharpe’s Escape Bernard Cornwell
The Treasure of the City of Ladies Christine de Pisan
On War Carl von Clauswitz
Seven Pillars of Wisdom T.E. Lawrence
Rubicon Tom Holland
Snakes in Suits Paul Babiak & Robert D Hare
Expanded Universe Robert A Heinlein
Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook Scott Adams
The Roman Army Pat Southern
A Place for Us Glen Pearson
Starship Titanic Douglas Adams &Terry Jones
Churchill Wanted Dead or Alive Celia Sandys