Quit Facebook… get a teapot.

New Year is finally here. Thank fuck for that. I always find the build up to Christmas stressful and then end up eating and drinking far too much, to the point that it’s no longer any fun between Xmas and New Years Eve but a kinda ‘Man Vs Food’ marathon that I’m starring in. I can finally draw a line underneath all of that stuff and get on with life. Yes I am a grinch, it has to be said. I can’t wait to take the tree and the decorations down and give the house a good old vacuuming and cleaning, don’t you find the place never seems that clean with all of the crap of Crimbo everywhere? Maybe it’s just me?

Well with a New Year comes resolutions and a lot of people think they are stupid, and I can understand that. If I had wanted to give up smoking and drinking I would have simply done it rather than hang on for extra weeks and months until the New Year to try. But I make them anyway. Usually I go for really silly ones like write a book and make millions of pounds but this year I’m keeping them simple.

The first thing I’m doing is taking down my Facebook page for good, why? You might well ask. Well I find that my main enjoyment of the internet is ranting and waffling on about things that please or annoy me, and I find when I don’t have enough bile to sit and write about on wordpress I leave little sore-mangina opinionated updates on Facebook and would you believe it, it turns out that many of my family and friends and acquaintances aren’t interested and even take offence? I can understand that! They have to see these posts in their feeds and as it’s a friendly place mostly, a place for friends and family, it’s odd to keep seeing mentally ill rants and downright crazy talk from me. So it’s gotta go. Which is a shame. I’ll lose touch with a few people I have only recently re-made contact with on the site, I’ll also lose touch with several writers and creative souls I’ve also had the pleasure to engage with in recent months, and of course I’ll lose out on getting tagged in a photo where I appear way back in the distance and you can barely make out a figure (Oh I shall miss that!) But if it repairs relationships with people who I know and who openly shun me for having strong opinions then it’ll be worth it. At the end of the day if they seek out my stand alone wordpress blog which is written under an assumed name and then read it and then get offended that is up to them. I’m no longer infecting their Facebook feeds and their Facebook experience. They can go back to updating the world hourly about what they are eating/drinking/what road they are stuck in traffic on. Riveting!

Also I’m doing the perennial resolutions this New Year. Stopping smoking, which should be relatively easy as I’ve quit hundreds of times before, and I’m raining in my alcohol intake, which will also be made easier by the best Xmas present I had this year, no not Modern Warfare 3, but a teapot! Yes the humble teapot makes it easy for me to go back two or three times and fill up my cup when I’m thirsty. Usually I’d make it with a bag in a cup but I find one cup never quenches the thirst, and as I’m lazy and would rather just lean into the fridge and grab a can, this tea pot solution will cure my evening thirst needs. Gotta get back into the old routine:- Fridays and Saturdays are for alcohol, every other evening is a school night!

Wish me luck in my new Facebook and Tobacco free, tea filled 2012.

Happy New Year everyone.

And Peace!

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2011 in review.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

It’s Christmas! Time to reminisce about 2011.

What a year it has been. Especially for dictatorships! After the Tunisian government fell the Middle East came alive with freedom and social networks got the credit, is there nothing Facebook cannot do? After liberating Egypt from Hosni Mubarak, twitter and iPhone then liberated Libya and made sure that Col. Gaddafi was dead. Wow, the power of the internet!

Although two thorns in the West’s side have also gone the way of the dodo with no help from Tumblr or Friendster. Osama bin Laden had his bedroom redecorated a lovely shade of grey and red by some Navy Seals and North Korean short arse Kim Jong-il died suddenly only this morning, perhaps the international news from 2011 managed to leak into the Stalinist state about all of these totalitarian, terrorist dictators falling worldwide and he shat himself to death, I hope so! I’d hate to be Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran right now he must be wetting himself with fear, as for President Assad of Syria… I’d give him six months tops before we see his corpse being dragged behind a Toyota pickup.

So most major global news stories this year have been about the fall of tyrants and more recently the full withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. All pretty amazing and positive for the future (hopefully). I guess it’s only a matter of time before the Israelis and Palestinians put aside their difference… no actually that is a step to far isn’t it?

In May my beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers managed to stay up on the last day by giving half of the fans a massive heart attack caused by the in-the-bottom-three, out-of-the-bottom-three movements on the last day with Wigan and Wolves both escaping dramatically and Birmingham City sinking like a stone with West Ham and Blackpool. Sadly this season is Groundhog Day and Wolves haven’t grown or moved forward. With Christmas and New Year approaching we are fourth bottom and losing games we should win, like Stoke at home last Saturday. Sort it out Mick!

2011 was ‘The year of the Blog’ for me. I’ve really enjoyed writing regularly and posting blogs here on WordPress. One of the most exciting things to occur from my blog was a mention by Ricky Gervais on his blog about my answers to his questions about art. His mention drove a lot of extra traffic to me (in the short term) and improved my posts positions in Google searches and gained me several new regular followers. Also this I’ve year made a few good blog buddies such as Vicki Flavell and Docdenbow. Go check them out.

I started my blog in December 2010, just after I had gotten the writing bug following my failure that year to complete the 50,000 word challenge that is NaNoWriMo. Well this November just gone I had another go at NaNoWriMo and this time managed to secure the 50,000 words in 29 days. Not bad going even if I do say so myself. It was a great challenge and it taught me a lot about the craft of writing. Well it mostly taught me that you have to sit down and write rather than procrastinate all of the time about it. Simple lesson on the face of it, but so many people who want to write neglect to write regularly. Take my advice wannabe writers… you gotta keep hacking away every week, every day, whenever you can!

I haven’t been very active on Youtube this year, apart from my NaNoWriMo video diaries on my second channel, but I’ve continued to follow and support most of the people I’m subscribed to. This year I’ve enjoyed such viral videos as Ted Williams, the homeless guy with the voice of a DJ, the awful (but she is just a kid) Friday music video by Rebecca Black (who now has a proper music career and friends like Katy Perry so boo to you haters) and the more recent Fenton the dog chases deer and gets chased by his owner screaming “Fenton, Jesus Christ!” It’s funny to watch old men get stressed, but I don’t know why.

Also, in November the Youtube community lost a great guy. Musician, writer, gay rights campaigner and all round nice guy William Cardno passed away after taking his own life. What a tragic waste he was a promising talent. His passing raises the issue of mental health and depression and highlights how serious the effects are when things are unspoken, untreated or ignored. William was a great Youtuber, a funny, interesting, articulate and talented bloke who’ll be sadly missed.

Well as it’s almost Christmas thoughts turn towards festivities. Food, alcohol, friends, family, presents, hours sat stuffing ourselves with Quality Street and Mince pies, watching god awful rubbish on TV or repeats of Willy Wonka that we’ve already seen a hundred times before. Yes I’m introducing this years Youtube Christmas Collab video by Gibbo1988, and here it is.

Thank you all for supporting me and reading my blog throughout 2011. It is very much appreciated. Can I wish you and your families and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’ll see you all again in 2012 but for now this is Bilstonjay signing off.

Take care each!

I feel sick and disgusted.

Last week £180 was stolen from work after the MD left it lying around. He didn’t call the police or confront anyone, and I’m disgusted by it all. If I’d been in charge I’d have called everyone together and called the police and asked the question, where has the money gone, who has taken it and why would you do it?

It makes no sense that he wouldn’t call the police, it makes no sense that only three people have access to the safe but one of them would open it and leave cash lying around and it makes no sense the cash was left lying around after we began countersigning everything cash wise in a cash book months ago to prevent this.

It makes no sense that everyone (from the top down) was nonchalant about this theft and it makes no sense to create an environment of suspicion and mistrust. Until now I trusted everyone at work but because of this it’s safer not to trust anyone. I can only be sure that I didn’t steal it because I know I didn’t but one of the lying, cheating scumbags that I work with did and they are happy to let the MD not call the police and not kick up a fuss about it at all. Like I said I’d have gone mad.

I’m glad it happened when the MD was on a day off work for his birthday so it didn’t ruin it but I’m confused he hasn’t done anything about it since so the culprit, who ever it may be, can just go free and have £180 quid for Xmas.

It makes no sense.

I have my ideas who did it, do you?

The future is bright… you know that light at the end of the tunnel.

The future is something I often contemplate when I’m feeling sad and down and ill which is what I’m feeling right now. It’s a terrible thing to feel sorry for yourself and feel the whole world is against you, I know that, but still I feel sorry for myself and I know the world is against me. Well maybe not the entire world, just the small one I inhabit in the West Midlands.

But with Christmas only weeks away and the New Year approaching fast I’m already making plans for 2012. I’d like to think it was going to be the year when some publishing executive stumbles across my websites and blogs and tweets and says, “I’ve gotta give that guy a five book deal with a £100k advance and movie options!” but of course in reality it’ll be another year spent going nowhere and achieving little outside of my garden.

Reality always bites me and bites hard in the winter. I find long cold dark evenings to sit around and think about life causes serious low points that I’d describe as depression but as I’m aware of it I know to try and keep it in check and not slide into a mire of self pity and hatred. I have an over active imagination and often over think the simplest tasks and all I do is worry and panic and stress over silly things that aren’t worth stressing over. My much more clued up girlfriend always says (and she’s right) ‘Worry about the things you can change not the things you can’t!”

But I still find myself getting stressed and annoyed by people. For example I cannot understand why everyone at work takes it all so damn seriously. It’s just work. I like to turn up and do what I’ve gotta do, rub along with people and go home. We aren’t soldiers or doctors or nurses. As long as we do a decent job everyone should be happy.

Anyway, the future. With a New Year come the usual failings that are resolutions. It’s time to eat better, stop smoking and drink a lot less, as well as write that book and get a new job or improve my current one, relax more and blog less. But I know that few of these things will happen. Sure the – “eat well drink less regime,” always takes off at first. I can stop smoking any time I like, I smoke little Hamlet’s and they are easily given up, but then I eat more. But there is only so much vegetable matter you can consume… oh fuck it I’ll have a Burger King and so the fail begins before it starts.

At least it’s nearly Christmas. It’s nice to have a break and see the family and see friends and relax and eat lots of turkey and stuffing and watch the same old crap on the TV as last year. It’s nice to give presents and receive presents; it’s nice to put up a tree too. I used to find it an effort but you’ve gotta aint ya. Christmas aint Christmas without a tree.

But of course it’s also a time that reminds me of lost loved ones, my mum and dad and my nephew Simon. The years don’t lessen the ache you feel in your heart when all you want to do is say Merry Christmas to someone and you can’t. But I’m lucky to still have my sisters and their families and my girlfriend and her daughter and family around too. It makes for a livelier time and its fun to be around people at Christmas. A few years ago I’d have never said that. I preferred solitude and loneliness. I think I was probably depressed back then too, I just never realised it.

Actually there is no future, only now, we can make plans and hope for things to be different or better but we have no say or control over what might be around the next corner. Each morning the sun comes up on another day and before it sets again you just never know where the hell you might find yourself.

Well… you’ll probably find yourself in bed. Or reading this on a laptop or a phone.

Well if you have, thanks very much, I’ll speak to you all again soon,

Peace!

Only atheists can cry at funerals?

Atheists are thinkers, they expose themselves to a world that largely believes in a god or gods, but they are growing in number every day. If atheism was a religion it would be growing at the same rate as Islam with its ferocity. This is why: Atheists like Muslims believe in an absolute faith. One is an absolute faith in God and the other is an absolute belief that god doesn’t exist. Opposite, but very much the same. Both as exact and clinical and certainly held in the hearts of their individual believers.

Both are good. Islam gets a bad press in the West but you’ve gotta admire Muslims for their total, unshakeable belief in Islam. I admire people with conviction and they certainly have that in spades, so fair play to them for being so devote.

Christians also have faith. They have it for an hour or two on Sunday mornings, or for a few kneeling seconds before bed and to bless you when something bad has happened or someone has died. But they show no soul despite claiming to have an eternal one. They claim to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ but if he could come back today and see what they had done to his doctrine he’d probably become a Muslim or an Atheist. (Technically he’s none of the above as Christianity was born out of his life and teachings after he had died and rose again but still… for the sake of argument…) Jesus turned the other cheek, he helped the poor, the needy the sick. Today Christians are neo-conservative assholes bombing people for oil, they don’t turn the other cheek they shoot first and ask questions…. Er never. They just wave away the inquiry into there war crimes and retire to a ranch for a life of plenty… just like Jesus would have done… WAIT A MINUTE!!!

Have you ever been to a Christian funeral? I have. It’s always a shame, it’s always a sad and sombre day. I cry when I’m at them and for one reason only, the person who I’m there to pay respects to has gone, gone for ever. I cry because I will never, ever again see them, talk to them, laugh with them or receive a funny email from them. They are gone. They aint in heaven, they aint in hell and they certainly aint in purgatory. They’re dead and it guts you, when you have little or no faith it pains you to the core. But why are Christians standing around me at the funeral crying too, wailing, sobbing and passing out? Explain please Christians?

They might be physically gone, but surely you can drop in on them in the afterlife, you know when you’ve got eternity to just chill with God, open up a twenty four pack of Holsten Pils and chill with Sky Sports (I’m guessing Rupert Murdoch has managed to get a nice subscription deal up in heaven). Don’t cry, REJOICE! They’ve made it into heaven, they have beaten you to the ambrosia (if you’re ancient Greek of course) and they look down on you with open eyes, even though they have no eyes anymore, just a vapour/dust/steam-like/invisible soul that equates to their being and brain and memories and love and sub-total as human beings on Earth. Yeah.

At least the Muslims have paradise and loads of Virgins to fuck over and over again until you got bored of fucking…. But then that’s another blog post of ridiculous! Sorry Muslims, I am an atheist.

Enjoy heaven, paradise or whatever you think you’ll deserve.

I’m looking forward to maggots eating their way down my Japs-eye, cus that’s all any of us will get.

Peace!