Holes in the Map

About an hour ago I had a snapchat from a very close friend of mine. It was a reasonably good picture, without the caption I still would have recognised it. The image was of the Grand Canyon. This thing:

Note: This is obviously not the image sent to me.

The thing that made me stop was this; it was taken from the bottom of the canyon. A beautiful, ancient monument to the glory and power of nature.

And people can snap from it.

Fuck sake, what has happened to the world? Yes, it is full of glorious things. Wonders created by the power of humanity, or the force of the elements. This planet has seen unimaginable beauty and horrors beyond reckoning. Every day brings something never seen before, or never heard; as the dominant race we continue to scar and change this world. And snap from the bottom of canyons.

The fact that we’re at the point where this is possible is pretty cool. We’re more switched on, connected, and aware than ever. Our technology is advancing at a terrifying rate. But what this is doing is having consequences. We’re running out of wilderness.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some greenpeace, let’s go save a tree and plant some whales bullshit, what I mean is that the true wild places of the world are shrinking. We drew our maps a long time ago. Labelled things. Eventually we were only left with the inner edges, holes where somebody just wrote ‘rainforest’ or ‘canyon’ and shaded it in. Now even they’re measured, counted, and tracked. It’s easy for me to write this, sheltered and warm, all that knowledge at my fingertips, not a shadow on the explorers our forebears were. And again, I’m fully aware that there are some extremely clever people out there, mapping and measuring planets, taking steps to put our race where (it appears) no other race has ever been before. Yeah, that’s pretty wild. But the time has passed where to go someplace new was a journey achievable by everyone with stout boots, a light heart, and an implacable will.

Because let’s face it, we’re not all clever enough to calculate rocket trajectories or approach vectors. Plus everyone is so busy simply trying to make ends meet that exploring new worlds is not a priority. At all. Food on the table is. A roof overhead is. Space travel? Idealistic pipedream. Ambitious? Yes. Practical? No.

Do I want to be involved? Fuck yes.

Month 10


Image result for buenas dias fuckboi


Yes, yes I’m excited. I like skulls and scary times, and all the Nightmare Before Christmas merch (hinthint if anyone’s getting me a Christmas present), all the 3spoopy5me memes, even all the little spawn in their adorable costumes chucking eggs at houses and asking for candies,

I’m also excited because there are a couple of other things happening this month too. The first; I’m starting a new degree.

Yes I know the last one turned out SHIT, but this time I’m doing it from an interest in the subject, as well as bitterness at having let myself down last time. Besides, anger can keep you warm at night, and wounded pride can spur a man to wondrous thingsI’m angry at myself for it. And the pride thing is obvious. I’m a proud creature. It’s not the usual reason to get a degree, I am aware, but the motivation of having failed before is a sweet little agony.

I’ll also be planning a new little story for NaNoWriMo, which I’ve had a little gush about before, how the deadline, community, resources etc etc inspired me for a while whilst I was writing. Sadly, last time didn’t go too well and I hit maybe 6,000 words, which isn’t a great deal. This time, will be slightly different, as I’m going to be having a little tête-à-tête with my good friend Ad, who belongs to this. I’ve got a little excerpt on there as well, very pleasing. There will be a forfeit to this as well, and I’ll likely keep posting little progress updates, and if I get anywhere with the story (which of course I will, having decided to crush him) I’ll put that up too.

Unless it’s really long and I like it, in which case I’ll put a chapter up and try to sell the rest. Anyway. Busy month.

That’s all for tonight, keep well.

Monday Shambles

For all that I’m coming off what was effectively a three day weekend into a payday week, today has been pretty shit. Down, lonely, grey, and dreary. Thankfully it felt like it moved fairly quickly.

But that got me thinking, why would we be thankful for that? We’ve got what, 80 years or so? A child for maybe a quarter of that, too old to be as active as we’d like for a quarter of that, asleep maybe a third of the time,  and we can be glad a day went fast? This was a thought that made me stop in my tracks and take a good look around. I don’t want to waste my time. I want to get up and get out. Do things. Feel things. Don’t waste days.

Millennial Drama

I’m willing to bet my right testicle that you’ll be aware of, have read, seen, sniffed, or heard of an article concerning millennials and what they love/like/hate/are destroying. Or something like that. I genuinely love them. It’s a fact. They’re great.

A ‘millennial’ is the generic handle given to someone born roughly between 1980 and 1995. According to Wikipedia, anyway. You get a pretty broad spectrum in there, but mostly, the thing binding these people (hereafter reffered to as ‘us’, even though I have issue with catch-all terms, probably a shortcoming of individualism, but whatever) is the fact that they grew during some of the most impacting technological advancements. We grew up as certain technologies did, we remember dial-up, a time before Google, we only got mobile phones as we reached adult-, or early-, adulthood. There are loads of stuff that happened during our formative years. Loads.

I don’t know if we’re seen as a popular (read: easy) target for news outlets, reputable or not, but we seem to get a bad rap. Apparently we’re inherently lazy, yet are killing off golf, retailers, the NFL, the 9-5 workday, Canadian Tourism, banks, the wine cork and crowdfunding, to name but a few (thanks buzzfeed, which we’re probably going to kill soon). I find the last one pretty confusing, personally, as I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t exist in the same format without us, the generation raised on the internet.

We’re also entitled. We want everything right now, handed to us on an organic platter. We’re mercenaries, switching jobs to get a better title or more money, or an office closer to that taco place down the road. Please not if any office near any Wahaca restaurant is after a lazy, entitled millennial who occasionally writes shit, please, get in touch.

I’ll agree to the switching job thing. Definitely. I haven’t stayed anywhere longer than 2 years. My first switch came about when I fell out with my boss over holiday entitlement. The second I found something with more prospects for advancements, better training and more sociable hours. The third when I moved to the other end of the country. Just the sheer effort of moving jobs so often debunks the ‘lazy’ claim, I think.

I love as well the stuff millennials are, from popular belief, meant to like. My old company actually did a video on it:

I’m not in it, just so you know. Probably hard at work being a lazy, spoilt, entitled brat somewhere. Drinking a latte. Out of an avocado. That’s an ironic thing now.

I’m not sure I have a point with what I’m writing tonight, probably just adding to the host of ‘Millennials are….’ posts out there. I just genuinely think it’s funny what people say about us. Some of it is baffling. Most of it is hilarious.

But we are the future, however you treat us.

Stay tuned to find out if millennials are vengeful, what happens next may shock you!


pstscrpt. I’m sorry for the phrasing above, I really hate those fucking irritating clickbait articles with taglines like ‘What happens next will shock you’, ‘You’ll never look at x the same way’, and ’10 reasons why x is y’. Horrible little arsey things. To say nothing of pretty much any social media post that starts with the word ‘when’.

pstpstscrpt. Fully aware I linked a buzzfeed article. I know I’m a hypocrite. Pshah.

Incomplete To-do List

As I so often do before I leave work for the day, I wrote a small to-do list for this evening. Most of the time they sit there on my desk, forgotten, but this one was about the right length to be actually achievable. Especially given that it was only about ten steps long, and one of those was to make and eat dinner (always gonna happen).

The reason I include those things that are virtually guaranteed to be done is that when something gets crossed off a list, it gives you a little boost. That tiny hit of dopamine combined with the Zeigarnic effect (tldr; incomplete tasks are remembered better than complete ones; completing tasks sequentially means your memory performs better on the next task etc) boosts productivity. At least to me. There’s probably some more neuroscience in there that gives you reasons and figures and stuff, but in essence, to-do list = good.

Image result for to do list

Excuse the stock image.

Anyway, I’m probably not gonna make my way through the whole list. Couple of reasons why, first off I managed to smash my phone today. Properly take it out of commission. Which has led to me making time to see what is more financially sensible – upgrading early or paying for a screen fix. Oh, and find a temporary replacement so I’m not fully out of contact. Another was to actually call a friend I haven’t spoken to in a long while, which obviously isn’t gonna happen (sorry Liz) until the replacement actually starts working, which could take a while.

But that’s okay though, because all of those things are things that needed to then be done, hence listworthy, and were done, hence crossed off the list. My productivity is still ticking over, ‘cos I’m still moving towards the end of that list. The stuff I won’t be able to do? Straight on tomorrow’s list, which will then be ticked off, one by one, and the cycle will continue. I’m pretty sure I’ve gushed about how much I fucking love lists before (link was meant to go here but I can’t find it) and it will always be true and not far from the front of my mind.

Sometimes you’ll find you’re in the wrong mood, or mindset, to do something that you’ve been planning all day, or week, or weekend, to do, and that’s okay too! It’ll just carry forward, not forgotten, until the day comes when you’re finally ready to do the thing. Which is the whole point I guess.

Pathetic post, but now I can cross it off my list!

What a lacklustre performance

– this is quite literally what I’ve just been thinking to myself, reflecting on my evening. It’s not too often I have one fully on my lonesome, and when they do happen it’s usually a blur of productive positivity, blissful relaxing, and soothing quiet. Take yesterday for instance; I managed to update my linkedin and reed profiles (not linking them here, but feel free to let me know if you fancy hiring me), add a little to my ‘about me’ and ‘this blog’ pages, added a picture, made dinner, tidied up. I even managed to go to the gym and do a food-shop.

Tonight, in comparison, the most productive thing thus far, has been having a bath and remembering to eat. Hooray for adulthood. It’s definitely all in my head then, all external interaction has been virtually the same, other than the gym. And weather. Yeah you could argue that the rush of positive endorphins lasted the entire evening and aided clear thinking and creativity…except I’d done half the shit before I went there. I didn’t even want to go, the only reason I ended up there is ‘cos I was already dressed for it.

am a believer that the way you dress subtly alters the way you think. For instance, if I’m not sat down relaxing I will always have a pair of trainers on (light as possible), in which I will potter about, doing a fair few things at once. And I’m happy like that, most of the time. But despite this, there do come days where one just…slows down. Goes a bit numb. Times when simply having dinner and getting washed feels like an achievement. Like tonight.

Yes I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself. But I’m also pretty pissed off.

I came in from work full of good intentions, a smile on my face, ready to do something that would positively impact my life or mood. And I didn’t. I wasted my night.

Tomorrow will be better.

Other People’s Titles Are Really Intimidating

Seriously. I open up WordPress and this is what I see. That’s really off-putting. I’m never going to be able to write something that serious and intellectual-sounding. Ever. I get that it’s probably the writer’s full time gig, which takes some of the pressure off me (even if I’d like to be a full time writer I’d probably never be that knuckled down or clued in).

I even went for a run tonight in search of inspiration. I vastly misjudged the distance and found only pain, sweat, and heat. It did give me some nice fresh air and a reason to shower, however, which was relaxing enough to get my brain nice and loose, able to tip from one idea into another fairly easily.

A fairly good example of this is right now, when all of a sudden I’m thinking about making some overnight oats. Bit of a non-sequitur, but that’s pretty much what it’s like. It’s now too late for me to make overnight oats. And I’m nicely sat down just chillin’. So screw that.

Did anyone catch that leaked GoT episode this week? Don’t worry, it’s rhetorical. The question, not the leak. Yeah, I both did and didn’t. Managed to accidentally navigate the jungles of the interweb to it, then decided, yeah nah I want to wait and watch it with the missus. Points for me, ‘cos I heard it was fuckin’ amazing. And people cried. Possibly died.

Elsewhere in life, it’s practically Friday so I’m practically chilled out. My goal for Friday is to get some pictures or something up in here because I imagine just text posts are pretty boring to view. Sorry about that.