Thursday, 2 April 2015

First Quarterly Review of 2015

Many a blogger has in their time provided a list of New Years Resolutions; many a blogger has quickly forgotten of such Resolutions or pretended that they were never made.

This is the cynical and ritualistic mockery of self-help that takes place at the beginning of every year. January rolls around and we make a host of promises which we know we will never make good on and everyone else pretends that these promises were made sincerely and not as part of a perfunctory process of promise making and inevitable violation.

By contrast, being the edifying figure that I am, I have deemed it necessary to review my progress and show you "how it's done".

Here I will list the attempts I have made to improve the rather sorry state of affairs that I seem perpetually locked in and briefly muse on their efficacy. This will be a positive blog post focusing on my sucesses. What I will not mention is all the other promises, not made on this blog, which I have broken that would otherwise vitiate a perfectly good opportunity to wax so smugly.

#1 - All Non-Fiction Makes Jack a Dull Boy.

My reading schedule is quite eratic. Primarily because I am often left with the impression that I am not as well read as I should be. The crux of it is that there is a list of classic literature (both fictional and non-fictional) which one is sort of "expected" to have read and an ever expanding set of literature that comments on these classics. Upon encountering this ever-growing scholastic mountain I tend to adopt a rather sporadic style of reading that involves switching between wildely different time periods and genres. As a side note, I often fear that this denies me the benefits conferred by a specialised familiarity with a particular area or theme.

The catch being that the more time I take to read the extensive list of classics the less time I have to keep on top of the things written about the classics, or worse still I miss out on the birth of potential new classics.

Irrespective of this little quandry I have managed to branch out more. Franz Kafka, Albert Camu, William S. Burroughs have all been added to my list and completed in some small way and I have enjoyed it so far. The past couple of months of fiction reading has piqued my interest and I look forward to familiarising myself with and experiencing first hand the various waves and styles of literature that I have heard so much about.

Most of what I have read in terms of fiction has been "modern" rather than "contemporary" as at the moment that is where my interest is but I might start searching further afield. As with poetry I will probably need to ask some friendly afficionados for recomendations on contemporary work.

#2 - Get Up! Get on Up! Get on the Scene! Like Some Sort of Machine!

Started running regularly, drastically reduced my smoking habit to the point where it is almost non existant and re-vamped my diet. Things are going well in the health department. A couple of strategies have worked particularly well. Cooking healthy food in large quantities and freezing it in tupperware containers has made healthy eating a breeze. Also when quitting smoking do not make the common mistake of adopting an absolutist "never smoking again" purge style approach, the negative suggestion and accompanying psychological pressure will get you everytime.

#3 I Need to Get More Boom Ba Doom Doom Boom Ba Doom Doom Bass.

I have been listening to more swing music, mainly ripped straight from Fallout series, but also  I have been hunting out more electro-hip hop and rock stuff. Turns out the 90's were really good for alternative music. I also went back and listened to some of the stuff I used to listen to like Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon... it made me cringe with embarresment. Black metal is so pathetically camp at times and the worst part of it is that most of the musicians are completely oblivious to this fact. Still, it makes for good listening when travelling by Bus through the Highlands.

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