– 2010 In Review Part Two: The People And Places –

As I said yesterday it would be impossible to completely sum up such a long period of time in my life into a single entry, even breaking into a couple of entries will not do it proper justice.  I know that there will be some aspect of the year that I will end up leaving out, and if you are reading this and think there should have been something about you then I offer my sincerest apologies but for now I will go with what I can remember.

Disclaimer: Just because you were not mentioned in this entry does NOT mean that we are not friends or you are not important.  This is merely an observation of the changes in my life over 2010.  Eden, Carrie, Elaine, Chrystal, Kim, Bonus, Paul, James, Misty, Kelli, etc etc.  I’m not naming every important person to me here.  But Hopefully you get the idea.

I think one of the most surprising turn of events that happened in 2010 would not necessary involve a person, but a place.
Clancy’s Pub

Clancy’s Pub – September 2009

Going into this year Clancy’s was my home away from home.  Before I lived in Stephenville I am pretty certain that I spent just as much time at Clancy’s hanging out than I did in my home in St. George’s.  It was comfortable there and I felt like a member of the family.  Unfortunately, my regular routine of doing open mic was starting to weigh on my sanity.  I was learning new songs (or at least printing off new songs because no one can learn that many new songs in such a short period of time) but the problem is they were all getting overplayed because of how often I played.  I was getting tired of it all, and the customers were no longer even registering that I was playing anymore.  There are obvious exceptions, but for the most part I was stale.  Anytime word got out about someone else hosting I felt like there was a better crowd and better critique from the regulars.  So I quit.  Before the summer started I needed to find real work so I quit doing the open mics.  Of course since then I’ve done a couple when they needed someone and to this day I attest that I still will step in if they were in a spot… but for the most part I’m not considered anymore in those decisions.  My old role has been assumed by Kim Nippard.

This is all fine and good, but the problem is that now that the mentality has shifted to me being a patron, I’m just another face in the bar. I don’t feel overly close to any of the bartenders anymore.  Sure they are still pleasant and talk when there are not busy, but it isn’t the same. Clancy’s just doesn’t feel like home anymore.  This is by far the biggest surprise when I look at the year as a whole.

Now it’s time for the people who I think were noteworthy in 2010.  I’m going to clearly have to start this off with the Golden Age of course.
Jeff Vineham & Evan Willoughby

Jeff Vineham, Evan Willoughby, and ShallopNewf

I’m going to admit here, this combination took my by surprise.  I knew Jeff from mutual friends at CNA and we somewhat “bonded” I guess over poker in Corner Brook.  One random night I am going out to Corner Brook to hang out and Evan Willoughby (Who I was working with over the summer)  gets invited to come along… for the next month and half or so the three of us begin what Evan dubbed, “The Golden Age.”  Me and Jeff kind’ve just went with it.  But it’s true, Epic weekend, after Epic Weekend.  Misadventures in Corner Brook, trying to educate Evan on the behavior of women, and lots of alcohol being drank.  Jeff did state many times over that it was the best summer he has had, and I am inclined to agree it was pretty amazing.  The post-golden age friendships were tested though.  I’d still be okay with considering Evan a good friend but he has since left Stephenville and we hardly talk.  Jeff ended up finally getting the girl he wanted and him and Carrie have been together ever since, some drama between then and now threw a monkey wrench in our friendship that only now seems to be slipping away… Jeff was in contention for being my best friend during that summer, and even now I still wouldn’t say he’s far from it.  New friends are always a plus when reviewing a year eh?

Stacey Green, Kelsey Sibley, Nicole Delaney.
These are the three women that I have been linked to since the break up with Candace.  Also where I got the milf-tamer reputation since at the time of the “relations”  they were all single mom’s.  It’s funny to look at this now because they are all in relationships now, well Nicole is practically.

Nicole Delaney & Jude

Nicole’s note worthiness in 2010 comes from the fact that it prides me to see that she has gotten control of her life and seems to be on the right track.  She is “getting to know” a great guy (as far as I am told about him), and she’s back in school.  This is a far cry from her life in 2009 when she was working in the Call Center until she gave birth to her son, Jude.  Going out with Jude’s father who was, (in the spirit of the holiday season I will not be as negative as I would like to) far from Mr. Dad.  Nicole’s turn around is something to note in my review of this year because of the pride I have in what she’s accomplished.

Kelsey is a bit of a different case, worth mentioning in this entry because it was only this year where I met her. Randomly going to see a movie with her in Corner Brook blossomed into a very unorthodox friendship, but a close friendship none the less.  To be completely blunt on this topic, I don’t feel that we’re very close anymore, partially my own fault because of drunken conversations, but if nothing else I received an education in my friendship with her.  Basically I know that it is important to know what you want and what you have to do to get there.  The things that hinder her progress seem so trivial to me, irrational mentalities…

Kelsey Sibley

but in reflection I look at myself and see the same.  People observing my own detrimental behavior could say the same.  So in essence it was through the friendship with Kelsey that I learned that you gotta overcome any mental or social barriers holding you back.

Then, that leaves Stacey.  I’m sure I could write an entire entry about her in and of itself so it’s going to be difficult to sum everything up.  Meeting outside Clancy’s by her essentially bitching about me not inviting her camping when I invited Eden.  That should have been my first clue that she was going to be a bit different.  Anyway, over the first half of the summer and extending well into the post-golden age era Stacey actually surprised me.. as I did with her.  I’m usually a very observant guy and most of the time I can tell someone what they are feeling or explain why it is they do what they do when they don’t even realize it themselves.  I do not know if Stacey will admit to this but I’m pretty sure I’ve displayed this observation skill to her a couple of times throughout our friendship, knowing her a lot better than she thought possible for someone she met a month prior.  However, she still intriguing in that she still can surprise me.  That isn’t an easy feat.

Stacey Green & Her Boyfriend Tyler

I’ve made no secret about this, but yeah Me and her starting getting closer, but it ended up going nowhere.  I really wasn’t ready for any kind of relationship at the time and she had already had the foundation set for what is now her current relationship.  If I had come around a month earlier, and if I wasn’t going through a break up at the time who knows.  All I know is that 2010 brought me friendship with the female I needed in my life.  She is the female equivalent of myself when it comes to advice and dealing with dramatic bullshit.  The same counsel I would offer someone, is the counsel she offered me during a few times.  Stacey & Jeff remain the top two new people in my life this year.

Living In Stephenville – Johnny Pardy & Jawsh Nickerson

Finally getting out of St. George’s and having my own place in Stephenville.  This has made an incredible amount of difference in my life.  Instead of a gas tank lasting a week, I can stretch 20 dollars of gas over two weeks… a full take

Johnny Pardy, Jawsh Nickerson

might last me a month.   Living with Johnny was something we had planned for quite some time anyway. But Jawsh is the surprise.  Eden was our intended third room-mate but she backed out to go to Residence with Mandy, so we picked up Mr. Nickerson.  This is something that I believed worked out impeccably.  Disclaimer.. Jawsh…. Is… Gay.. okay, now that’s out-of-the-way.  The living situation is great, we have some issues of cleaning and money management but all in all they are without question the best two room mates one could ask for.  Considering I didn’t really know Jawsh all that well at first had the potential to be a terrible thing but no.. the guy is epic.  The first thing I remember hearing from him, was to say “I hate fags”  coming from a gay guy… this is when I knew we’d be getting along.  I’m looking forward to this semester.

Sabrina Barrett

Sabrina Barrett

I guess it would be unfair to leave Sabrina out of this post.  I mean, for a period of time she was the closest thing I had to a girl I could talk to  about shit.  We were good friends, and saw eye to eye.  There was one terrible night though, I completely broke down.. it was the eve of my epiphany that put me on the right track.  I broke down with everything going through my head with Sabrina, in the midst of her arguing with her ex-boyfriend.. it was not a good night.  I crashed on her floor, left the next morning, and we have not been as good of friends ever since.  I’m not sure if it is coincidence or if the night had anything to do with it, I just notice that this is when it started.  I could describe Sabrina as the same as Stacey in that she offers counsel similar to what I would provide someone, I guess that’s why I felt close to her.  I helped her when shit was on her mind, and she helped me… until that night.

Fast forward to today… again it’s the same, we’re not overly close.  We barely talk except for when I do show up at Clancy’s and even then it is only for a moment’s conversation before that is finished for the night.  I’ve only really received two texts from her in the past few months, both times when she was upset.  Which I do find a little flattering, I mean our friendship somewhat dissolved, but she can still come to me when she needs someone.  Couldn’t really ask for more than that.

Surprise of Steve Squires
This completely floors me.  I mean, I knew Steve for a while now this isn’t new.  But I mean, I would not have gone as far as to say that I talked to him frequently.  But, working over the summer at the Marketing building, there were very few people online, one of them would be Steve Squires.  He also usually gives me a Facebook chat message after each entry I put up back then.  So, we usually end up in a conversation about the topic matter of the entry, and I am completely dumbfounded at how alike we are when it comes to thought process.  Almost everything he says is a thought of mindset that I shared myself, and a while ago I learned he is also a huge avid WWF fan.  Yes I said WWF.   The man knew who Jack Tunney was.. So, Steve has elevated from, a guy I know that I talk to when I see him.. to a guy I’ll actually just talk to.


Leah Swyers

Leah Swyers
This one actually strikes me not as a surprise, but it’s without question the most random occurrence of the year. Late night, nobody online, I randomly send a message and we chatted.  Been chatting every since.  Along with Squires, Leah here is probably one of the big contributers to me still finding the energy to keep this blog going.  Not to mention the insights and discussion that she offers surpass almost all that I have experienced before.  I can’t believe I did not include this paragraph in the initial entry, I also cannot believe that I only started talking to her as she left the province.  Sharing a similar sense of humor, interests, and outlook on life she’s pretty interesting to say the lease.  Definitely unexpected but still, one of the most pleasant surprises that 2010 brought.

The Epiphany & The Clean Slate
Psychologically I am far from impervious.  In fact a lot of my problems is that I do not understand the reason I do the things I do or why I feel the way I do.  2010 was a year of inner thought and reflection.  I feel more complete now after everything.  That being said, there were two events this year that I believed shaped the mindset that I have right now.  One happened over the summer. April 29th, 2010.  The day I ceased to be the fool I’ve been and the demise of the uncertainty that plagued my mind.  April 30th, I became who I am right now.  I let go of the past, I embraced the future, and I started enjoying the present.  I started enjoying the freedom of Single life, and I no longer carried with me a dark shadow of remorse that followed me everywhere I went.  Hell It was this epiphany and the subsequent Facebook Note that I wrote that paved the way for this blog.  Still going strong body and mind.

The Clean Slate, I can’t remember the exact date, I’m sure I could run through Facebook status’ and find the exact date.  The relevant thing is that sometime in the fall of 2010 I proclaimed everyone will receive a Clean Slate from me.  No more holding onto shit that bogged me down with my friendships.  Of course this is unprecedented for me because once I lose trust in someone, we are through.  This is the first time in my life that I sent a mass forgiveness for untrustworthy behavior.  So far it worked out.  As I said, I’m back to having a friendship with Samantha Stone, the Jeff and Carrie fiasco has subsided and as long as everyone leaves me out of their drama I’m sure it’ll be mended.  These two events are the biggest contributions I would give credit to for my change in mental age over the year.

That is basically it.  There was a piece written on Candace, but despite my original claim to not censor this blog, I refused to include it.  I think it would just spark more complications and right now I don’t need anymore of those.  So, There you have it.  That is my 2010.  Part 3 is going to be up tomorrow, but that is most likely going to be a mission statement for what I’m hoping and planning for 2011.

To those of you going out and having tonight, I hope everyone has a good night, and best of luck in 2011.

Welcome 2011!

– Farewell 2010, Welcome 2011 – Part.1

A year is not a very small quantity of time.  It consists of 365.4 Days.  This entry is one that I knew I was going to write, and yet feeling the daunting task of trying to sum up the last 8769.6 hours of my life into one entry is very overwhelming.  It could very well become a two-parter, which will be a first time for me.  There are so many observations I want to make, involving the people who have shaped this year, the new relations that I have discovered and the old friends that I no longer have that connection with.  There are certain themes that have presented themselves to me over the year, certain trends that I have taken notice of… trends that have shaped my entire life to date.  It is with a newfound clarity and understanding of my own core personality that I look towards 2011.  So, without any further adieu, I present to you, the reader… my 2010.

Goodbye 2010 by Onlydipu @ Deviantart.com

The year didn’t start off all that strong.  I spend the first few moments of 2010 sitting in Mark Lidstone’s basement playing a bunch of rented Rock Band-ish games with Candace and their clique.  The night itself was rather enjoyable, especially considering that there was no drinking involved.  The reason I say that it didn’t start strong is because I was still rather clueless as to what I was doing with my life.  I just finished up my first semester of Journalism so it was clear that I was at least on the right track, but I was still pretty much a child.  I was in a failing relationship even if I didn’t know it at the time, and my life had no direction.  This ties me into my overall opinion of the year itself.  For you see I believe that 2010 and 2011 are basically already established as the years in which I finally realize the potential that everyone has been talking about for 25 years.

Since I was a child I have been told and made to believe that my intelligence is profound, and that there really is not anything that I would find difficult if I applied myself.  The issue is that up until the year 2010, I didn’t truly believe this because there is a fatal flaw with this observation.  In order for me not to struggle with an objective, I need to apply myself to it and frankly I never put any effort into anything in my life up to this point.  2010 is the year that I looked back on my life and looked at the challenges that actually defeated me, and I realize that they were so simple… so easily conquered.  They only got the better of me because I didn’t put in any sufficient effort to overcoming them.  University courses were a breeze for me, and when I attended it was a cake walk… Making friends was no sweat at all, usually only requiring a conversation of more than 5 minutes before someone felt comfortable enough with me that all their most cherish secrets became something that they shared.

I’ve never had a proper challenge.  There is a part of me that has always wondered that if I have all of this untapped potential, then how come everything I try always end up being an epic fail.  2010 is the epiphany year where I became enlightened that my problems were my own doing all along.  There is no better evidence then how it ended, but I will get into that a little later.

Here’s the jist ladies and gents.  Walking into to 2010 I was still the arrogant yet completely lacking in self-confidence child that I have always been.  2010 opened my eyes, it gave me a few glances at the man who I can become if only I tried.  2010 was the year that I grew up.  I removed my child-like mentality and decided that it is finally time I started taking the responsibility for all the fuck-ups in my life.

2010 has been the year of Growth, where I see that need to step up, and indeed I started doing so.  2011 will be the year that redefine who I am and become the man who I was always supposed to be.

Sounds preachy doesn’t it?  Sorry.

It’s true though, I’ve spent 25 years being a child and making excuses for everything that has gone wrong.  Always saying, it’ll be better “next time”, I’ll do it right “next time”.  I kept a defeated mindset through all challenges, therefore I was a failure long before the fat lady sang.  2010 changed that for me.  Albeit yes, essentially this entry is another large proclamation that “next year will be better.”  With 2010 coming to a close I’ve seen flashes of what I need to do, I’ve done things that defy all precedents for me.  Instead of giving up, I fought.  Instead of lingering, I acted.

This has been one of the hardest years of my life since the nightmare days in my second year of Grenfell, but looking back on it I am actually proud of most of my actions.

Crying On The Floor by MetalChicken @ Photobucket.com

In March, I did something that caused a lot of pain.  I’ve labeled myself as a villain to many for a long time because of an action, but do I look back at it and regret it?  Not quite.  There is a part of me that believes if the variables would’ve been different things may have ended differently, but looking back on what happened I have no shame in it.  I broke up with my girlfriend, and it crushed her.  I felt like a complete disgrace on humanity because even though she didn’t converse with me through this time, I still heard the tears.  I saw the crying face every night in my dreams, most of the time causing sleepless nights.  Just about every day I fought to maintain composure.  Sometimes it would take so much energy to prevent myself from calling and asking for her back, that I couldn’t spare the willpower to fight back tears of my own.  I never wanted to hurt anyone, I tried to build a lifetime of relieving people of pain not causing it.

However, I knew that I couldn’t pick up that phone.  There’s no way I could get back with her because the way things were, we were two different people.  As I said in a previous post, it was never a question of did I love her or not.  That is something that will never change, but I refuse to risk having to put her through anything like that again and at the time there was no way I could see our relationship succeeding. We needed to grow, we needed to advance to the next stage in our lives, something that I DO believe happened to us both.

What the future holds for us, I do not know.  But, although I was the bad guy, and I don’t think anyone will ever agree with this viewpoint, but I did the right thing.  Both for myself, and for her.  She is happily with a guy who from what I can tell provides her with all that I was not able to, and me.. well.. you’re reading this. So you know where I am with my life.

Academics.  This is probably the most significant area in my life where I have always been told of my potential and yet I never realized it.  There is nothing in school that ever challenged me and this year is no exception.  I breeze through assignments and concepts as if they were trying to re-educate me that 2 + 2 = 4.  Sometimes it floors me to see classmates struggling with certain concepts, but I’m not trying to make myself sound a lot more conceited than I actually am.

This year brought about a very oddly timed wake up call.  You see I am not a stranger to failure.  There are courses that I have failed in University, they were entirely due to the fact that I just didn’t show up to classes and in some cases I didn’t even show up to the final exam but, never the less I was numb.  I felt bad because I know how devastating it was for my parents to understand how intelligent I am, and yet I’m not passing courses.  It was most likely especially embarrassing for my mother who was a teacher and prides herself on the importance of education.  Her child prodigy of a son was not passing some University courses… that was a crippling blow to her.  Her expectations of me with a Masters making 6 figures a year was destroyed in those years and now she just aims for me to finish something and get a decent job.  This does break my heart in a way, because she was right.  I am quite capable of going to med school and excelling, I could be an attorney and be a success.  The issue is that for all of my intelligence I just didn’t have the ambition.  I was not looking ahead.  This year I did five courses in my third semester of Journalism.  Of the 5 courses in all five I left out a percentage.  In three of them that percentage equals more than 30 percent of the course.  Think about that for a moment.  This means when we look at the averages of my class, when everyone is out of 100, I am out of 70.

Death By Homework by Otaku_essy @ Deviantart.com

The last two weeks of school, it crept on me and almost actually caused an anxiety attack.  I was hitting my slacker stride and was about to throw in the towel yet again.  I didn’t even believe that it was mathematically possible to pass some of these courses, or at the very least I would need 90+ on all my finals to succeed.  That was it, I was done.  There was something different though, I wasn’t comfortable with throwing in the towel.  I did NOT want to be a failure again.  There were some major assignments that required a near endless amount of work in order to get them done.  Getting them done before deadline was near impossible, but I was faced with the task of needing to do well in them.

I was referred to counsel because of my lackluster attendance, and I met her.  I even, for the first time out loud, expressed my opinion about how I truly feel there is no mathematical way to pull this off.  After that meeting and a discussion, it was yet another example of a complete stranger that has been talking to me for no more than 10 minutes, being able to see my potential.  She said herself, looking at the progress thus far and the marks required to even pass this semester, under normal circumstances she would just tell the student to leave and try it again in the new year, but I gave the impression I was capable.  I could’ve pulled this off.  Oddly enough, hearing this from a complete stranger did lift me and help me carry myself towards this semesters finish line.  It was a grueling two weeks with minimal social contact, and even less sleep.  But when it was all said and done, I did it.  It was the greatest academic comeback I have ever achieved and I have no intention on slowing down.

My plan for 2011 is simple.  As I said, it is finally time for this 25-year-old man, to start being the man he should have been 5 years ago.  2010 opened my eyes to what I need to do, and gave me the first examples of me living up to my potential.  2011 is the time when I show everyone else that this turnaround for me is not something temporary or to be taken lightly.

2011, I vow that I will be top of the class in the program.  If I stay motivated, I apologize because this WILL sound arrogant, but there is no one in there that can come close to my performance if I actually decide to perform.  2011, I vow that with a few key exceptions, Alcohol will become something that I “used to” drink, this applies to McDonald’s, KFC and fast food in general.  Soft Drinks are gone too.  Actually the fast food and soft drinks have been gone now already, I haven’t drank soft drinks in a few weeks and I had fast food once in the month of December.

By December 31st, 2011. I will look in a mirror and for the first time in my life I will not be ashamed of the reflection.  I am not going to see wasted opportunities and lost dreams… I am going to see realized potential.  2010, showed me this goal is reachable and for that I am thankful.  Now it’s time to bring on 2011.

Part Two of this entry will be up later, probably by tomorrow.  I have a feeling this is going to be a three parter.

– John Lennon Was Wrong –

All You Need Is Love – The Beatles (From Across The Universe)

There is a reason why I used the Across The Universe of this song to reference in this entry.  Simply put, I understand that Lennon originally wrote this song as a social commentary about what the world should be doing in the hopes of ending wars.  Lennon was telling planet Earth that we don`t need to fight, All we need is love.  In Across the Universe it is used in the more literal sense with Jude singing to Lucy (who he doesn`t know can actually hear him)  It is in this context that I made my entry.

Artwork by Alan Aldridge found at http://www.mrmusichead.com/artists/aldridge19.html

All you need is love is a very nice concept, but I apologies to all the hopeless romantics out there, this ideal does not hold any weight when it comes to real world execution.  Love alone is not enough in and of itself, there has to be more.  There has to be compatibility, there has to be like-minded ambition, I mean the list is near endless.   When I think back and take a look at the relationships that I know of that stayed together simply because “I Love them”… I think of abusive relationships that I’ve seen where the victim would always respond with those words every time someone would ask them “Why don’t you just leave?” … I think of the couple that is fighting all the time, never see eye to eye on anything, they have nothing in common and they can’t stand to be in each others company, and yet they stay a couple because of love.

Maybe I am being too cynical, maybe instead of ranting about Love not being enough on its own I should analyze the concept of people not truly knowing what Love is.  For the most part those examples I gave could yield the same responses when the person has simply conceded to submission which doesn’t mean they are sticking around because of love, it is more so because psychologically they don’t believe there is another option.

All You Need is Love by Ry Spirit @ Deviantart.com

I think I’m going to far on a tangent though.  The focus of this entry is a rant about how although you cannot have a true relationship without love, it is not the only pre-requisite to happiness.

The muse of this entry?  Well, I’ve never been one to not be honest on this sight so I guess I should fill you in on what the inspiration of this entry is eh?  Well, I was at Clancy’s last night, there were loads of people there, friends and strangers alike.  I started looking around, seeing couples.  Some happy, some not-so-happy.  I started thinking about my own past experiences in that area.  For some reason the Beatles came into my head and I got this song on repeat in my mind ever since.  I think it stuck with me because I’m old enough now and went through enough to speak from experience when I say that Lennon had it wrong.

There is no evidence more clear to this fact than my previous relationship when as I told everyone and continue to tell everyone, Love was never a concern.  Love was never the emotion in question.. it was the relationship.  If you talk to anyone who even moderately knows me you’ll get the same response for the most part.  Everyone knows that I was in Love, but at the same time they will admit that the relationship was fail.  It had to end, tragically it means that about 9 months ago I had to pull the plug on a relationship where both parties involved were in love… but it was for the best.  Her life is better, and I’ve got another learning experience under my belt.

I’m hoping this does not come off as preachy or whiny or anything because that really is not the point.  As I said this is just a long-winded rant that is easily summed up in the title of the entry, “Lennon was Wrong.”  I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, with my lack of Christmas spirit and my general mellow demeanor lately it’s been a struggle trying to figure out what’s going on in this mess of a mind of mine.  All signs go back to one simple concept… one that is increasingly difficult to admit.  But, well… The only conclusion I can draw is that I am just really tired of single life.  I’ve had some times over the last 9 months and the freedom is indeed intoxicating.  The ability to come and go as I please without every truly having to explain myself to anyone for any reason is incredible and although it isn’t a liberty I am eager to sacrifice… I think I’m too social at the core to keep it up and find any real kind of happiness.  So, after 9 months and various female exploits, I think I’ve actually hit the point where I am ready.

I told this to Gerard last night in what started off as just a normal conversation, but since then has blossomed into a moment of clarity.  Single life was fun, but I’m ready to get back into the sharing of it with someone else.  Strange enough for me to be saying this, especially considering the last few months… but I am finally ready to starting seeing people again.

So now begins to tiring process of keeping both eyes open and waiting to see what comes along.  Granted this does not mean that I am about to turn into an old perv that is going to hit on anything with a vagina that says hello.  I still stand by my non-creepy tactics.  Besides, I may be finally ready to be with someone, that does not mean that I am making it my priority to find someone.  There is a  lot I need to get through first, School needs to take the forefront of my priorities this semester, as well as I need to fight the battle of living a non-takeout/alcohol/soft-drink live that I experimented with for the last three weeks successfully.

The credits are beginning to role on this season.  I would say in my expert opinion of noticing the changing seasons my this life…  The next season begins next week, as soon as school is back in session.

It’s almost time for me to write my Farewell to 2010, and make my mission statement for 2011.

Tis The Season… Already??

It is December 25th, 2010.  Christmas Day.  My phone is blocked with text messages that read “Merry Christmas”, Facebook is littered with status wishing everyone seasons greetings, and yet I can’t find it.  The spark that once burned in me when it comes to the holiday season.  Today is Christmas Day for most of you reading this, and yet for me… it’s just Saturday.  I don’t know what is the cause, or why I feel this way but I was not able to find any glimmer of Christmas spirit this year.

The View Outside My Window

There’s only two things I can think of that may be the culprit in this caper.  The first is something that pretty much all of you can see if you look out your windows right now.  If not for the cold it would be difficult to believe that we are even in the month of December, let along waking up to Christmas Morning.  This is something with an importance that I couldn’t fathom before.  I never considered the significance of a White Christmas… until this year.  We’ve had a green Christmas before, but this is the first green December I can ever remember.  Snow is apparently key to the build up of the Christmas Spirit for me… I guess this means I have something to adjust to if ever I decide to live in the Southern US eh?

So lesson learned this year, Snow = Crucial for my Christmas spirit.

Damn global warmi… err climate change.  I really hope this doesn’t become a habit.  December is usually my most uplifting month of the year.  Legitimately I used to feel the warm fuzzies that people talk about when they talk about Christmas cheer.

Besides the fact that we didn’t have really any snow this year, there is something else.  I’m not sure how big of a role it has played, but it has to be mentioned.  This is my first really single Christmas in Four years.  The reason why this is even worth mentioning is because up until about four years ago I didn’t really get any kick out of Christmas.  It was just a time when I would be able to get some extra stuff if I wanted it.  I was getting bored with Christmas before then.  I didn’t even ask for anything really for a couple of years up to that point.

The point is, it was about four years ago that I had my first Christmas being of the “In A Relationship” folk.  As soon as late November came around I started to feel it, and December 1st marked a time when nothing but Christmas music would be heard coming from my old Neon, and Christmas specials were watched over and over again.  I loved it.  But, this year is different.  I’m single.  There really isn’t anyone other than my immediate family that have me in their thoughts on the “big day.”  Sure, I have friends that wished me Merry Christmas, and I have extended family like aunts, uncles, and cousins who all wish me a happy holiday, but it isn’t the same.

I think up until this point I’ve severely underestimated the impact that the girlfriend variable had on my Christmas cheer.  This isn’t me whining about not having a girlfriend, as I’ve told a couple of people repeatedly.  I’m actually not in the market for one.  I still am of the belief that I cannot handle a full-fledged relationship at this point and time in my life, there is still far too much work for me to do.  I’m just drawing attention to the realization that I think my Christmas spirit exist within me, in a hole that can only be filled by the accompaniment of a female.

Does this mean that this is something I intend on remedying next year??  Quite possibly.  That is all going to depend on how much I can accomplish in the other aspects of my life between now and then.   It’s soon time to write-up my send off to the year 2010.  I’ll go into more detail about the “accomplishments” I’m hoping to achieve in the send off.  Truth be told this is one year that I’m more excited about New Years than Christmas.  2011 is going to be interesting to say the least.

THIS is what Christmas should look like.

Anyway, to those of out there waking up and having your turkey dinner with all your loved ones, I will wish you all a Merry Christmas, just because I can’t find the cheer doesn’t mean no one else can.

– I Don’t Need To Date Your Family… Or Do I? –

Why does it matter?  This is a question that sparked my interest today while having a discussion with a friend of mine.  Is a normal family really a requirement to find a suitable partner?  So often have I heard of a great couple that are perfectly compatible with each other but friction with the family brought about an unsettled end to the romance.  The question I pose is Why??

Before I begin I leave my usual disclaimer.  I say “Girl” in this entry because obviously I’m a male and that’s who I would be courting.  However, this does work both ways, it isn’t gender specific.  And As always this is completely opinionated.

Ackward by Sorceressmyr @ Deviantart.com

If you were to meet the girl of your dreams, she was everything you could ask for in a girlfriend and a little bit more.  Would the fact that she has an unorthodox or crazy family really prevent you from being happy with her?  I guess there are lots of things to really look at here on this topic eh?

First I must say that I do understand that when it comes to family, first and foremost you will have it in the back of your mind that in order to be with this girl you are going to have to be at least in a small way, a part of her family as well.  Seeing them at social functions and family traditions.  So in a sense the family is something you will have to endure, so therefore you need to weigh whether or not the agony of dealing with them is greater or less than the joy you feel from being with her.  Then I guess you also need to consider where the relationship is going, especially if she is a girl that you really feel strong for.  If you have even the smallest inclination of marriage, then that family will now become your in-laws and thus the likelihood grows that you will be seeing them more often.

I’m still not sold on the idea that someone becomes no longer a viable candidate for courtship just because you have issues with her family.  It’s still not decidable yet, because it isn’t the family that you are going to be in love with, it’s the girl.  I still don’t think that family issues should trump romantic interest…

…that being said.  I just got a flashback of my time in St. John’s and I have discovered something that I didn’t think about thus far.  Family issues plagued me back then.  Looking back I’m pretty confident in saying that I’m sure that the first (and most frequent) fights that would take place between myself and my girlfriend was concerning her family.  I had the strongest feeling that for some reason they didn’t like me and tried to not be around them too much, in turn I think they actually didn’t like me because I refused to be around very much.

The real kicker is that I really didn’t have any problem with her family, I was just intimidated.  This was back in a day when I was still coming out of my shell, in the infancy of the ShallopNewf you all know.  The loud, outspoken, I’ll even go as far as to say charismatic creature that you all know today.  The relationship in St. John’s broke me free of my timidness in most aspects of my life, and yet for some reason her family still fell into the “I’m Scared to talk to you” category.

Thinking back, the friction started there and just continued to get worse until the relationship was over.  Of course it would be foolish to say that we didn’t work because of the inability I had to get along with her family, but it certainly didn’t help.

Embarassassment by Anneeatsworms @ Deviantart.com

In light of this maybe family is more important than I was giving it credit for.  What does this mean though?  That you can’t be with someone if the relations with the family is shaky.  No, I refuse to believe that.  I think that the problem can be easily smoothed over by just paying lip service and biting your tongue.  There still remains a problem with that plan though, biting your tongue can only last for so long before the mountain of opinion overwhelms and comes out.

Here’s an interesting point though.  If you have issues with her family then the best thing you can possible do would be to bite your tongue but still vent later.  Now, if this girl is everything that you’ve built her up to be, she should be able to handle your criticism about the family and help you with it.  Now, if you are to vent to this girl and she is to be offended that you don’t get along with her family and you get the response of “but you’re not giving them a chance” or “why can’t you just get along with them… for me??”  How is that helping.  There is even the possibility of her being anger or offended.  If this was to happen, you should ask yourself, “Is this really the girl for me?”  and if she isn’t then what was the problem.. was the problem simply that you didn’t get along with her family, or was it that you two just weren’t compatible?

I am of the opinion that you do need to give the potential future in-laws the benefit of a doubt, you can’t walk in with your guard up because, as human beings, they will sense that.  It’s easy to tell when someone is being defensive.  So, walk in with an open mind, disregard any “warnings” given to you by your significant other and just be yourself.  If they don’t like it, then you have to figure out how you want to proceed from there, if they do then no problem.

Whether you decide to bite you tongue, and vent to your girl… or even go down to the tavern and vent to your buddies (which can be a very volatile method if she finds out).  Or if you just confront them right then and there.  It’s been clear the more I type and the more I consider all of the variables that family relations is indeed important, and how you deal with them can sometimes be crucial to the harmony of a strong relationship.

There is one other situation I want to touch on.  Let’s say you’re involved with a girl who comes from a not-so-ideal family background.  This isn’t a case where you are going to have to go to Christmas dinner with them, or family reunions, because she has somewhat distanced herself from them because of a really shady past.  This is a factor that one needs to look at when analyzing the family impact on dating, mainly because I know lots of people who would be spooked by this, and truthfully I do not understand why.

An estranged relationship with the family is indeed unorthodox, but hardly something difficult to deal with.  Family members causing trouble in her life will require you to step up and be there for her at times, but other than that why should it matter how insane her family is, ESPECIALLY if they are not in the same timezone.

I think when it comes to relationships, everybody spooks way too easily.  Everyone is looking for that perfect, harmonious relationship without any issues.  I’m sorry you are not going to find it.  You are only going to find those with sketchy histories, cracks in their persona due to trauma, the commitment phobic, the completely introverted, and other imperfect characters.  Thing is, in my opinion, it is this issues and these quote unquote “flaws” that define a good relationship.

It is the similarities that provide the romantic foundation, but it is the differences that build the walls and structure and it is how their flaws mesh together with your flaws that furnish the interior.  This is how a relationship is born.

Family or no Family, you need to find the person that is right for you.  Once you do, nothing else matters.
So final conclusion: It would be naive to eliminate the family factor as a contributor to a healthy relationship, but it would be foolish to throw away the relationship strictly based on it.

– I Am The Hare –

The Tortoise And The Hare by Beavotron @ Deviantart.com

Through all of my high school years, three years in Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, and now into my second year at the College of the North Atlantic I have always known about my mentality when it comes to school work.  To be honest it seems to be the mindset that I carried with me through just about everything I’ve done.  It only dawned me the other day while preparing for my Ethics exam that there is a near perfect representation in literature for my approach.  The Tortoise and The Hare. I am the Hare.

I’ve said this numerous times that there is nothing that I have come across in this current program that I felt was even remotely challenging.  It is a boast that I still cling to today.  I have not been challenged at all by the work itself, but merely by the window of time I left myself to do it.  Nothing was challenging, but the assigned work that required a great deal of time was left to the last-minute.  So albeit it was easy, it was time-consuming and unfortunately my superb procrastination did not leave me enough time to complete these objectives to optimal quality.  I talk a big game when I say that of all of my classmates, I should be at the top of the class, there isn’t anyone that can match me when it comes to all around ability.  It’s true individually I’m probably not the best at everything, but I have more of an ability to excel in just about every aspect of this course more so than my peers.  I’m not trying to sound arrogant, but I know that this is true.  My abilities are what get me through when it comes to crunch time.  At the 13th hour when it would be too late for the average person to even dream about catching up and getting through the year, I find myself in a position where all that is required is an effort.

Thankfully it IS an effort that I was able to muster.  I am going to pass this year, and I will be back after Christmas to finish this program.  The embarrassing part is that someone with my comprehension should not be worrying about passing courses, not these courses.  I should be straight-A’s not barely getting by.

Just to map out my hell week.  In the span of one week there was so much to do.

A Presentation on our research paper.  This research paper was supposed to be started in September, we should have been working on this all through the semester.  The night before we had to give a 10 minute presentation on our topic I found out that I had less than 18 hours to get my presentation ready.  Problem was, I didn’t have a topic.  I submitted a topic idea to my instructor and by midnight I started researching my topic, “The Ernest Harmon Air Force Base.”  By 9:30, not only did I have a presentation ready to go, but I believe that I did extremely well in the presentation.

Then the research paper itself was due Wednesday, once again this is something that was assigned in September.  I managed again to pull an all nighter and get the assignment in.  I’m not ecstatic with the final product but I believe I should have done okay.

In Ethics, the course I was in fear of failing, I had to write a court story but unfortunately I wasn’t in attendance when the class went over weeks ago.  I took Adam and Paul (two classmates) with me and we went to the court on Tuesday to sit in on a decision, then proceeded to go back and write it almost as soon as we returned to the school.

Now I have the exams. My hell week has concluded, and now I look ahead with only one exam left.  Depending on how bad I did in the research paper, I may need a decent mark in the exam to scrape by, but when I conclude this blog I will get at studying for that.

I crammed so much work into such a short time, running on two hours sleep at times.  Sure I woke up Monday afternoon and didn’t get to sleep anymore until late Wednesday night.  My body hated me during this time but I achieved my near-impossible goals and I hope that I have actually learned my lesson this time.  I haven’t come this close to failing before.

Now for the Hare reference, for those that have not heard the story before.  The story of the Tortoise and the Hare is the origin of the line, “Slow and Steady wins the race.”  I’m not going to go into the entire story but the premise is basically that a tortoise and a hare has a race.  The hare doesn’t take it seriously because he knows he’s going to win.  During the race the hare decides that he’s so far ahead he has time for a break, and falls asleep.  He sleeps too long though and the tortoise ends up winning.

Procrastine by Sp1nderella @ deviantart.com

That’s what I have been for the majority of my life.  I’m the hare.  I don’t take anything overly serious because I can always recover to matter how far behind I find myself.  The following will be an attempt to say this without sounding completely conceited;  there is no one in the second year or post diploma journalism class that should achieve a higher GPA then me.  However, especially this semester, I will probably be of the bottom of the class.

Why?  Well, because I “took a nap.” If I would’ve stayed on top of things from the beginning of the semester I do not believe that anyone would be coming close.  Hell, look at it like this.  I left out between 15-30% in every one of my courses by simply not passing in some assignments, and yet I do believe I will end up with competitive marks to that of my classmates.  Imagine if I would’ve at least completed those assignments, not even considering if I did them well or not.

I took a nap while the class continued the race, and as they approached the finish line I am waking up only to sprint towards the end to at least finish this race.

I’m 25 years old, maybe it is time that I start doing something about this.  We’re always told that admitting you have a problem is the first step in recovery, but one thing someone should remind us is that there are more than one step.  This is a problem I’ve been admitting too for about 20 years, I think it’s time to more to step 2 and start doing something about it.

This isn’t just when it comes to school, my physical fitness falls into this category as well.  I make a lot of plans, and admit that I have an issue that I want to fix… but again it’s a problem I’ve admitted to for years, just never seemed to do anything about it.

Both of this issues are going to be resolved.  School can’t be done until next semester, but I’m predicting next semester is going to be the one that I truly show Mr. Frank Carroll what I am capable of.  Fitness-wise, well I’ve already given up soft drinks, and despite some temptation by That Mexican DJ – I’ve managed to fight off all thoughts of going to McDonald’s for about a week now (even though the thought frequently crosses my mind.) I also don’t drink anymore, and truth be told I don’t really even miss it.  Weird Eh?

Anyway, It’s time to round out this semester with hopefully a good mark in my last exam.

– Goodbye Boob-tube, Hello Youtube! –

CNA’s Christmas Formal was held last night at Razoolies. After careful deliberation I decided not to attend; I didn’t really have appropriate clothes. I found myself not motivated to get any review done for internet journalism and I drifted around from watching Nostalgia Critic reruns, to Zero Punctuation game reviews, and a considerable amount of time on College Humor.

It dawned on me that the internet has become my cable television.  It is the most prominent form of mind-numbing entertainment.  Do you remember looking at old programs or hearing stories from the older generation saying that Comic Books do nothing but rot the minds of the upcoming generation.  From there, the label was placed on television.  I remember growing up in front of the television screen, as I’m sure a lot of people did.  It was such a good friend to us.  Saturday morning cartoons, YTV’s The Zone after supper, and then all the good prime time programming.

I realize that I can only speak for myself however, I believe I am not alone.  Cable television was an amazing companion on lonely evenings.  However these days, I live in an apartment where we didn’t even bother to get cable.  Internet alone suffices for us.  This is what I want to talk about now.  If video killed the radio star, I’m convinced that eventually television will be bested by the internet.

Death To Television by hackneyedthoughts @ Deviantart.com

Just take a look online, you will find countless web series’ that cater to every demographic one can imagine.  If you have an interest, It is likely that there is a web series to cater to your needs.  I spent the same amount of time watching webisodes of various series that I came across, that once upon a time I would’ve spent in front of the television set.

Thing is, there are still great television shows, however actually having cable television is not required to enjoy them anymore, I mean I still keep up with Dexter, Supernatural, Nikita, Smallville, The Human Target, Lie To Me, and the Walking Dead.  Hell occasionally I’ll watch WWE and TNA programs through my computer.

But as much as I enjoy television shows, I realized that there are so many series that are online that grab my attention too.  Besides those mentioned above, there is The Key of Awesome‘s music parodies and batman videos,  The Guild which is hilarious even if you don’t play an MMO, The Angry Video Game Nerd, and I really could keep going.

When did it happen though.  It’s like I just snapped to it last night and noticed that this has been the trend for a long time now.  Television used to be the WMD in the battle against boredom.  The running gag on the Simpsons that we all used to watch, was that the television was a member of the family.  Time’s are changing.

So I guess maybe this is just my send off to television.  It was a hell of a time we had, but apparently, at least in my life, you have gone the way of the audio cassette and the VHS.  New technology, replaces old technology… that is the nature of the human race and our obsession with advancement.  I never thought for one moment that television could every be replaced, I spent many hours in front of that screen… and yet here we are.

So I guess nothing is impossible.