A Dog Driving A Tractor

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Overly Optimistic

Despite reading the news, I'm staying positive about 2017. I've got a feeling that this year I'm going to write the best novel I've ever written.

Because everything I've written so far has been fucking terrible.

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The Y2K17 Bug

When I posted my first entry of the year I was surprised to see it pop up with the date of 01-01-1995. I went back to the form and realised my dropdown date picker looked like this:

When I'd originally coded the add entry form I'd been clever enough to have it automatically select the current day for me, but for some reason (efficiency maybe?) I hardcoded the end of the loop of years to be 2016 (much more logical than $i <= date("Y"); )

I was even more surprised that the date range started in 1995. I wrote this code in 2004, so what was I expecting? That I would stumble upon some forgotten, handwritten scrawls from primary school and transcribe them into my journal? Did I really have more confidence in my ability as an eleven year old to write new journal material than in my ability to maintain the journal until 2017...

I realise I actually might have done this just to give myself something to write about twelve years later.

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2016 Music

As usual I will commemorate the end of 2016 by sharing my "Best songs of 2016" playlist (excluding all the songs that made it onto my 2016 Spring Mix and my 2016 Actual Spring Mix).

(You can listen to these songs on Spotify for free)

I don't really write about music anymore. I will say that the Jai Wolf track is like peak M83, and that the Mogwai song is a really satisfying slow build when you're paying attention.
The mix is 81 minutes long, because it's 2017 now. Take that CDs! I outlived your relevance!

As I'm the only one who cares about these mixtapes and hence will read this far, I'll say this: Brad, don't give up on your dreams no matter how hard it seems sometimes. You'll be right, and if not, we all die anyway. I hope you're having a good time in whatever future year it is and the technology that replaces Spotify has all of these songs in its catalogue.

2016 End of Year List
  1. Black Honey - Hello Today
  2. Weezer feat. Fitz of Fitz and The Tantrums and Nadya of Pussy Riot - Jacked Up
  3. The Naked and Famous - The Runners
  4. RÜFÜS - You Were Right
  5. Safia - Over You
  6. Pnau - Chameleon
  7. Miike Snow - Genghis Khan
  8. Dreamers - Sweet Disaster
  9. Grouplove - Traumatized
  10. CRX - Unnatural
  11. Dune Rats - Scott Green
  12. Mogwai - Pripyat
  13. Frenship feat. Emily Warren - Capsize
  14. Vallis Alps - Fading
  15. Jai Wolf feat. The Chain Gang of 1974 - Drive
  16. Excision feat. Madi - With You
  17. Odd Mob - Gassed Up
  18. THEY. - Say When
  19. Danny Brown feat. Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt - Really Doe
  20. ScHoolboy Q - Groovy Tony
  21. Run the Jewels - Talk to Me
  22. A Tribe Called Red feat. Yasiin Bey, Narcy, Black Bear - R.E.D.
  23. Zeds Dead feat. Jadakiss, Styles P - DNA

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Cameraphone Photos of the Year

To celebrate the end of 2016 I created a new phocumentary.

It's all on one page, because it's 2017 tomorrow. And we're all on the NBN, right? (Or browsing on the phone using work's fibre backed wifi while on the toilet).

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These two pots of Calla Lilies are bringing the lesson of 2016. A month ago these pots contained nothing but dirt and the dormant bulbs from last summer. By the end of spring both had green shoots emerging from the dirt. The pot on the right started with many shoots, the left pot had only a couple. A few weeks later the left pot had sprouted two proud, vibrant flowers while the pot on the right has nothing to show for itself but leaves on leaves.

The obvious moral is that if you diversify your attention and resources to too many things you're going to end up with a bunch of leaves and no flowers. By focusing on only a couple of candidates you're better placed to bring them to fruition.

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Glass Half Empty

I haven't touched any alcohol for almost a week now. I didn't plan that. I thought the end of work-Christmas-summer period would see me with a beer almost daily. Especially with 40 degree days, long sunsets and family gatherings. The week before holidays I even stocked up on booze thanks to an amazing Specials + AMEX Cashbacks + Flybuys Rewards + reusing online voucher for multiple purposes + Reduced to Clear stickers to pick up a case of half-litre Weihenstephan Hefe (cheaper than a flight to Munich) plus a carton of Squires Hop Thief, a Knappstein IPA four pack, a new variety of Fat Yak six pack and fresh bottles of Bacardi, Vodka and Gin. Add that to my existing random beer collection, the last few Hoegaardens from my 32nd, the (two kinds of) spiced rums I've got in the pantry, the Hennessy from my 31st, the single Sly Fox I've been saving for the start of Summer since April, the diet ginger ale that I bought (the best way to drink 12 year old whiskey) plus the Champagne, Aperol, Kahlua from 2013's Duty Free shopping... This is beginning to sound like a thrown away draft for a cheesy EDM rap verse.

Every day from lunchtime onward I think I should have or make a drink. Something always stops me. Maybe it's too hot, or I'm full of food, or I still need to go to the gym. The day moves on without me and then it's too late to have a drink and then I wake up and the cycle repeats.

It got to Boxing Day and I thought, maybe, I've reached this subconscious contentedness that belies the feelings of thirst and relaxation. Maybe I'm mentally unclenched, ascended, and found a new level of human existence where I'm buzzed on life itself.

Then I realised, when having yet another internal debate about opening a beer or making a gin and tonic, what was keeping me away from the liquor was not any state of higher feelings, but the exact same thing which fucks me whenever I run out of bulk lunch meals on work days and I have to pick a restaurant/food court/food truck from the thousands in the city. The days that I end up eating Weet Bix at my desk for lunch. Analysis Paralysis. I've accumulated so much booze that I am now unable to pick which one to drink first. It's the INTJ 1 Step Program.

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31 Seconds of Brain Activity

What's happening in Aleppo and Syria is horrible. I wish there was something I could do to help those people. I'm afraid the worst is already done. It was done decades ago and there's nothing that anyone can do to stop what's been started. Especially me, a dude on the other side of the world. I think I'll just be the absolute best human that I can be to every person I meet, and hope that others do the same and that it will all work out in the end. I also think I'll switch to roll on deodorant permanently. I seem to sweat less than with spray-on deodorant. First I'll have to clip my armpit hair. That kind of excites me. I'll have an excuse to groom myself. I know it's 2016, I don't need an excuse. But it's nice to have one in case someone thinks I'm vain for trimming my pits. It will also be more convenient when I travel as I won't need to pay for checked baggage just to transport an aerosol can of deodorant. My only concern is that roll-on deodorant might cause cancer. If the pores are too blocked up and sweat can't come out of them then maybe cancerous sweat cells will be trapped in my body and mutate and spread to my lymph-nodes. What an odd way to die. I assume no one has died like this already, otherwise I'd have heard about it. And they would have stopped selling roll-on deodorant. It could potentially become my legacy. They'd name the pathology results after me. It'd be my legacy for years, maybe decades or centuries assuming humanity survives that long and survives that long without curing cancer. I bet they won't survive that long. The whole human race nothing but a second-long flutter of a single hair on the back of this great, eternal beast known as the universe, which seems to exist only because if nothing existed it would be a mind-fucking conundrum and physics probably dictates that something has to exist just to prevent existential implosions of the metaverse. Fuck me. Life is so pointless. Ah, the cricket is back on.

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