Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 IN REVIEW

Well here it is before us, 2012.

I considered doing a resolution piece, but thought better of it. I’m not a fan of the term; it always comes with the same two-faced defeatist connotation, as if to say, “My resolution this year is to (Insert Lame Idea Here), but you know what that means, so if it doesn’t happen then (wink-wink), oh well.”

I prefer the terms “objectives” or “goals” more. At least with them there is, philosophically speaking, a deeper sense of committal. Besides, my goals for 2012 are pretty mundane, anyway, and aren’t very much different than 2011’s, since I still didn’t do very well towards achieving them no matter what way I choose to describe them. But (wink-wink), oh well. Besides, I just don’t feel like it.

So then I thought, what did I learn this year? Therefore, my minions, that is the subject of this post.

I learned that…

…being unemployed really sucks.
Yep, it does, and the Tucson job market didn’t help that much either, especially when it comes writing jobs. There’s a reason why some people have come to call the Ol’ Pueblo, “The next Detroit.” Sobering, but true.


…being your own boss is awesome!
Even if it doesn’t work out in the end, I recommend the experience to everyone. Yes it didn’t work out in the end, but I think in this case it was more along the lines of the journey being more important than the destination. Still, between the unemployment-caused depression and the elation of when I had freelance work to do, things were a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me. Almost bipolar, even. In the end, though, I don’t regret it at all.

…while getting fired is terrible, the ultimate revenge comes when you are re-hired, especially if the new job is a thousand times better than the old.
This goes double when you know the person who fired you is still there and just as miserable as you were. Of course, it would have been icing on the cake if any of those labor lawyers had called me back, too. Just sayin’. I don’t think I’ll ever get use to wearing a tie, though. It goes against my nature.

…JRR Tolkien didn’t create his fictional languages to fit into his stories. He wrote his stories to put his (already created) fictional languages in proper context.
ISN’T THAT ASWESOME?! There’s a reason why his languages sound and feel so real as well as why so many other fantasy writers’ fake languages sound so, well, fake. Tolkien’s great passion was linguistics, and it showed in his work. Everyone else is just trying to rip him off, and poorly at that. One of my own writing rules, especially when it comes to fantasy, is to NEVER fall into the hole that so many have done before and try to create a fictional language. I’d just as soon learn Klingon. jIH 'oH Maztor toy'wI''a' Daq jIH jIH Qaw' lIj qa'!


…there’s no shame in asking for help.
This is one of those lessons I’ve learned repeatedly over the course of my life, but for some reason it has never stuck for long. I can be pretty stubborn at times, even bullheaded I’m told, and sometimes I need a kick in the ass. Maybe it’ll stick this time.

…I’ve put off my fiction work far too long.
I’m 43 now, and I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be with my fiction career by this time. Hell, I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be at 33, for that matter! This includes both reading and writing, I’ve let both slide off to next to nothing. That is unacceptable.

…a burqa is a perfectly acceptable way for a teenage girl to dress, especially if she dresses in the alternative just to piss me off.
Don’t get me wrong. I consider the treatment of women in the Middle East to be just awful. Still, while I don’t condone it I have come to understand why women in ancient Rome were married off at 13!

…Hemingway sucks.
Granted, I’ve known and said this for a long time. It just bears repeating. As many times as possible.

…the best office I ever had was the library in Pima Community College’s Northwest Campus.
Having the kids at home during the summer, and all the yelling, arguing and fighting that goes with it, was not condusive to a proper creative environment. The library gave me great views, a small but thorough collection of reference material and a cafeteria downstairs. And it was close to the house. The staff gets a little pissy about food and drink, though.

…dealing with unemployment and food stamps is almost more trouble than it’s worth.
It edges ahead by just a nose. Do you think it’s deliberately set up like that?

…losing weight is harder than it seems.
I love food and have never had a bad body image. Together with the fact that I was self-medicating my depression by eating, they don’t exactly inspire one to drop the pounds. Oh, the irony! But really, it’s my metabolism. Yeah, that’s it.

…our elected officials just can’t seem to pull it off.
I’ve written about this before. Instead of getting better they only seem to get worse. No wonder their approval ratings are all in the tank! Of course, that didn’t stop Tucsonans from re-electing that ship of fools on the City Council. Maybe we do have the government we deserve.

…pro baseball is dead in Tucson.
I had hoped, when the Toros came back, things would turn around. Guess not. I wonder if the city will be as considerate (meaning, not!) with the Tucson Padres. Hell, does anyone know if they’ll even be here for the 2012 season?! And I won’t even start on Spring Training!


…our culture should take the tradition of the siesta with greater seriousness.
I’m willing to bet that people would be a lot less uptight and consumed with work, while at the same time more productive if they just took an afternoon nap.

…not being able to go out and have fun, even once in awhile, isn’t all that great.
Some people think I’m a hermit. I’m not. I’m broke. There’s a difference. It speaks to intent.

That’s all I can think of for now. I’m sure there’s more, so maybe I’ll write a follow up. Or not. Kinda depends on how I’m feeling at that moment.

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