Thursday, December 31, 2009

Epic wrap up of 2009

Take a seat bloggers (Or at least get comfortable as I’m sure you’re already sitting!) this is going to be an epic wrap up of 2009 + a story I promised Scoman.

Alright, around this time of year people make a resolution to eat less, exercise more, drink less alcohol, drink more water etc – otherwise known as new years resolutions. Which generally last a week sometimes a month, and then people just go ‘fuck it it’s all too hard’ and go back to eating whatever they want, sitting on the couch, and for some they will utter the words ‘I’m never drinking again’ most Saturday mornings!

At the beginning of 2009 I decided that I’d make a New Years resolution for 2009, and it was to read more books. As a writer I’ve not read a great deal. I’m a very visual person, and I enjoy being entertained by my eyes. However in the world of books your eyes allow you to create the worlds in your head. Which is something that I miss as I read a lot as a child, and I’ve re-gained a healthy new respect for reading and books in general (Read - you best buy my book should I ever get one published!!!)

So the following is a list of books I’ve read in 2009. You can skip it if you want – I won’t be offended. It also has a little explanation as to why I read it.

Twilight (Needed to see what the hype was about)
New Moon (Needed to find out what happened next)
Eclipse (See New Moon)
Breaking Dawn (Not yet finished got bored about 300 pages from the end)
The Road (Recommended to me by a Uni classmate)
The Reader (Recommended by a friend)
Let the right one in (Got a little hooked on the vampire thing)
Hater (Seen an interview with David Moody in a magazine, he seemed interesting as did his book, bought it loved it, can’t wait for the next instalment – have hunted high and low on the net to find his other earlier works)
The Tempest (Compulsory book for Uni)
Jane Eyre (Compulsory book for Uni)
Wide Sargasso Sea (Compulsory book for Uni)
Flaubert’s Parrot (Compulsory book for Uni – Skimmed through it)
Mrs Dalloway (Compulsory book for Uni)
The Hours (Compulsory book for Uni)
White Teeth (Compulsory book for Uni)
Fig Tree (Compulsory book for Uni)
Beloved (Compulsory book for Uni)

I had originally planned to try and read a book every two months. Thus six books a year. However with the books for Uni being compulsory to read having to write papers on them in relation to their postcolonial themes! I’ve expanded my reading list! The others I read simply because I wanted to read something I chose (If that makes sense) However all this reading has increased my ability to read quicker. Which is something I needed to do, as I’m probably one of the slowest readers on the planet!

Uni in general for me was good this year. However the shorter semesters they introduced to the Uni I attend didn’t help. Usually 15 week semesters got cut to 12 (Still paid for 15!) thus pushing more information into a smaller slot, increased work loads, less face to face teaching time (Which is bullshit) Overall though. I did the best work I’ve ever done in Semester Two this year – getting Two Distinctions and one High Distinction! Which I was super SUPER happy about.

Life in general is the same. I lost my grandfather in June. He was in end stages of Parkinson’s which left him unable to walk, talk or feed himself. (Or do anything for himself in fact) I NEVER want to get to that stage. If they told me tomorrow I’d die of a slow degenerative disease by the time I turned 40. I’d go out do all the things I wanted to do, and then come home say my goodbyes and check out. The day I can’t wipe my own arse (With the exception of short term impairment such as two broken arms!) is the day I NEVER want to have to get too!

I’m a avid supporter of Euthanasia. We do after all treat our animals in a way that should they be terminally ill or injured so severely that putting them down is a better alterative. Then I seriously believe as human beings we should be allowed the same choices. We are all going to die that is a given, how long each of us may live varies. However when you’ve watched enough friends and family die of terminal diseases such as Cancer, Parkinson and Liver failure. You’d not put your pet through that, so why should we put our family members through it?

On a much nicer topic. The internet…. I can remember a time when computers weren’t in every house, and the internet wasn’t as it is today. However it’s through the aforementioned technologies that I’m writing in this blog right now, and you’re reading it. It’s through the technology such as Twitter that I’ve met an expanse of people I’d never have met without the internet. Whilst the majority of these people are ‘on-line friends’ it doesn’t mean I have any less time or respect for them compared to the friends I get to see in real life. In fact some online friends are better friends to me than those you get to touch and feel. Actually as I write this they have just advertised on the news how technology has been the driving force of the 00’s which is the story coming up after the break. I’ll be interested to see what that says.

**Update** They just had this story on, and spoke about the internet, use of technology such as mobile phones and how they have expanded to hold music, have a camera in them, that we no longer ‘print’ photo’s the way we did ten years ago with film development and that technology is improving so fast, we’re struggling to keep up! I think that particular line will always be used when they talk about the improvements to anything from technology in a mobile phone through to a machine that can offer a heart to pump while they do by-pass surgery. As the world develops, its expected we will expand on all fronts from technology through to the use of natural resources, and needing to put in an infostructure for alternate fuels because one day I maybe writing a blog that says… ‘I remember a time when you filled your car up with petrol!’ and some one from a future generation will say – “What you mean you didn’t plug them in?”

Anyway for 2009 I’ve had a quiet yet very productive year. I started and have almost completed my first Novel which started out as part of the Nanowrimo novel competition, and is now sitting on about 57,000 words with Scoman being my proof-reader / critic / feedback wing man I’ll be able to edit out mistakes, FINISH the story, and get my one free copy published as part of finishing Nano for 2009. Will I do it again next year? Hell yes I will. In fact I’m in the planning stages now for what I’ll write about! (Now that’s planning ahead!)

One thing that was noticeably absent from 2009 was my best friend Mr X (See Not Happy Jan and Edited Entry) for a catch up on who is Mr X . As followers of my blog and those who follow me on Twitter (Gratuitous plug there) will know I was to be away for x-mas and new years but as I explained in my previous post – plans change. Now I did know what Mr X was going to be in the same place as me over the new year period (We went to high school together, our parents live in the same town) so I was well aware that I could potentially run into him at say the video store. However I’d left the ball in his court since the ‘incident’ as he was clearly not comfortable about what had happened. I was pleasantly surprised today when my father answered the door and I heard a voice I recognised well, confirmed more so when he asked if I was here. My father let him in, and we chatted in the kitchen about everything and nothing. But the moment I knew everything was ok between us again was he walked straight up to me and hugged me, those hugs you get from loved ones who are genuinely happy to see you. It was like everything had been wiped clean, and we were literally ready to start over. He’s coming back this evening to hang out and just generally catch up, which will be great. I’ve missed him more than I realised I had until today, and to have him back in my life once again is a very welcomed last day of the year gift.

Speaking of reminiscing…. The follow story is for Scoman. We talked on twitter about ‘trials’ and he thought I meant drug trials, which he was happy to be signed up for, which reminded me of a story that took place re my brother and him being in med school.

This is the digest version:

My brother was in med school and the girl he was seeing at the time (She was a bitch!) literally lived around the corner from me in Brisbane – so at times (and I use that term very lightly) when he’d come over to see her, and she was either a) not ready or b) not home yet, he’d come around the corner to visit me. (Our relationship has since changed for the better since those days) Anyway… He was at the point in his studies re gynaecology and they needed ‘recruits’ they were paying $50 a smear for women to be used as ‘practice runs’. Now my brother knew I worked two jobs and studied, and told me about it as he thought it was a quick way of making some money. His words were ‘It’s $50 a throw, each time they touch you with the speculum that’s $50!’

As tempting as it was, there was NO WAY IN HELL I was letting a group of med students just like my brother ‘shove’ that bloody metal duck bill up me even if it was $50 a go! (It sounds like an amusement ride as I re-tell it in words!) Long story short a friend of mine was over at my place at the time my brother dropped in to offer me this ‘work’ and well she’s an adventurous girl! So she agreed. My brother gave her the details of who she had to contact and off she went into Pap smear probing cash reward heaven! (I might add this was a legit operation through the hospital, and a tax file number was needed and TAX was required to be paid on this ‘educational training!’) So first day my friend we’ll call her Ms W comes over to my place smiles all around she’d made herself about $300 (after tax) for about 2 hours work, said there’s nothing to it etc etc. Next week same story, she’s made about the same amount of $$ and was heading back for more. Three days later she arrives at my house sitting down ‘very gently’ I asked her how much she made, “Not enough!” was her grunted answer. When I enquired more it seemed that part of the spectrum had ‘caught / pinched’ her lip (We’re not talking the ones on our mouths here people!) and got stuck! The intern couldn’t ‘release’ it and it was ‘ripped off’ she got two stiches and was thanked for her time! Whilst I was cringing at the thought I couldn’t help but laugh… ‘easy money’ turned into danger money’, and I’m quietly confident she’d never really been the same about pap smears since!

How does this all hook back to Scoman and the drug trials…. Sometimes when it comes to science and health, its better to let someone else be the guinea pig, than risk the consequences that ‘easy money’ can get you for being a lab rat.

With that story out of the way…. I wish you all a very happy new year. I shall blog again next year, which is about six and a half hours away. Until then

That’s all I’ve got.


ScoMan said...

Loved the epic round up. Especially seeing as I was mentioned a few times, and I am my favorite topic.

It's great that you were able to keep Mr X as a friend after the incident. Especially seeing as it doesn't sound like there was any awkwardness at the beginning. It was just a smooth transition. You couldn't ask for a better outcome there.

I haven't read any of those books you mentioned. I haven't really even heard of any of them (except the Twilight ones)

The story at the end.. yeah, just ignore any emails you get regarding trials "you" signed up for. You don't need that sort of thing happening to you.

Happy New Year Sal.

Hillbilly Duhn said...

I own and read the Twilight books, but haven't read any others on your list. Been thinking of doing a sort of post like this today, but haven't sorted it out just yet.

I'm sorry for the lost of your grandfather.

quillfeather said...

Great post Sal. Sadly the only book I've read on your list is, Twilight.
Must rectify that...

All the best for 2010 honey :)