Hello Again

Today it is a month till Christmas and months since I last posted. Sorry! D: I don’t really have a very good excuse. I suppose school has played a part… but also just plain laziness and bad time management; often I could have blogged but just didn’t.

Rest assured no major tragedies have occurred. All my family members are in working order and school, while being school, is not too strenuous.

Since I last blogged:

  • School started and there was the usual shake-up of forms and teachers. While I was separated from some of my friends, I think I got a pretty good bunch this year.
  • Doctor Who started and ended. (Missy is so fine.)
  • I got a Twitter account. I’m pretty sure that, so far, all of my followers are either a) friends or b) people who ‘follow for a follow’, but I’ll just say they genuinely like my tweets. :P
  • I got Spotify… And may have gotten every so slightly addicted. More on this later! Or not. We’ll see. :P
  • Oh, I also did my Grade 4 Piano exam in that scary church I mentioned back when talking about my Grade 1 exam. But the examiner was really nice, so it was actually OK (although my sightreading wasn’t great).

This post is painfully short to me, but I’m just gonna go ahead and publish it because I’m tired (I swear at least 50% of my posts have been published after 22:30, and I’m not sure it’s healthy). I think the important thing is to keep posting. :)

Joe

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If life gives you cake…

It’s my birthday today! :D

 

I will deign to tell you my age (because based on the terrifying Internet safety shorts my teachers have shown me, there are an awful lot of creepy people on the Internet) but yeah, it’s my birthday! :D

What, you forgot?! D: It’s OK, I won’t judge you. *cracks knuckles menacingly and then grins sheepishly*.

I didn’t really understand the gravity of the situation either when I woke up at 7:00 this morning. I thought, “Oh, it’s my birthday.” Then I went back to sleep and woke up again two hours later. Even still, I felt pretty happy, although not bouncing up and down excited.

I should probably tell you that I am currently not living in my home – long story short, I, my sisters and my parents are with some extended family because of a tennis tournament my sister is in; it’s been lots of fun over the last few days.

Anyway, I went downstairs, got hugged by my mum and aunt and had my ‘Birthday Breakfast’ (i.e. normal breakfast with a hint of antidisestablishmentarianism). I also texted everyone I know, “It’s my birthday!” Then I went to a tennis court to hit with my cousin, sister and dad. I was really really bad. As in, terrible. But I got better I think, and by the end I was only really bad. :P

The cake currently lies waiting to be eaten, chocolate with buttercream icing. Because of my extensive allergies (eggs, milk and nuts) I don’t normally have cake – when it comes to other people’s birthdays, I often have one or two Jammie Dodgers.

It would be a lot of hassle to bake a separate cake (mainly for myself as few others will eat it) every time someone has a birthday. That would be far too much cake for far too short a person to consume. But when it comes to my own birthday, my mum makes a dairy/nut/egg free chocolate cake, which is nom nom nom without making me have a rash.

Allergic reactions are not exactly desirable.

*Cue musical interlude*

I’m breaking out in rashes everywhere,
I’m in a state of disrepair.
My skin’s turning quite sage, turning quite sage,
My skin’s turning quite sage, turning quite sage,
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m dermatologically reactive, dermatologically reactive!
Oh, no, no, no, no, oh, no, no, no, I’m dermatologically reactive, dermatologically reactive!

But I’m getting off topic. Birthdays.

Oh, forgot to mention presents. I had a much easier time than last year but I was still incredibly indecisive, so I only decided my birthday presents a few days before my actual birthday… when I was in someone else’s house (*facepalm*) so they haven’t arrived yet. I know what they are anyway though. :P

Turns out the book I got as a prize for Speech Day (another thing I need to write about) was really good, so I’m buying the other two books in the series; the book was ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’ by Patrick Ness, part of a series called ‘Chaos Walking’ – I highly recommend it. I also asked for the Lego Movie, because why not? :P No, my friends all said it was really good, so I thought I would see what all the fuss is about. In my mind, 2:1 is the perfect balance of books to DVDs, but that might just be me.

At the same time, I can be kind of frustrated with my age. Because I was born in August, everyone in my year has their birthday before me. In Britain the cutoff is August 31, so as my birthday is perilously close to it very few people in my year are born after me! -_- As a result, I feel kind of older than I am, if that makes any sense. Whenever people ask me how old I am near the summer holidays, I normally say “I’m in Year X.” rather than, “I am X years old.” because when I say the latter, people often underestimate me and it’s starting to get on my nerves. :\

Another thing that annoys me is when people say, “Before you were born.” It’s hard to say exactly why that is, but it’s as if they’re trying to surprise you by saying this. Guys, I already know that stuff happened before I was born – that is not a mystery to me. Plus it gives no sense of time whatsoever. A year before I was born? A hundred years before I was born? Gahhhh! I would rather you just gave a date, no matter how vague.

No if anything, it freaks me out when I find out things have happened during my lifetime which I had no idea about. The idea that someone found out they had cancer or started a now famous YouTube channel while I was alive makes me kind of uneasy, but I’m not entirely sure why. Meh. Those are my thoughts.

I don’t really know what else to write about. Perhaps I should’ve posted this near the end of the day just in case something surprising happens in the rest of the day, but unless my laptop dies in a tragic car accident in Blackpool, I don’t think much will happen that will be worth saying (besides, my laptop will be destroyed with only the Blackpool Illuminations for company, so I won’t be able to post anyway).

What do you think of birthdays? Are they a happy harbinger of progress into your life, guiding you into another happy year filled with happy unicorns and happy rainbows? Or a drab and dreary reminder of mundane everyday life, only reminding you how old you are and how little you have accomplished?

Sorry that got dark quickly.

Anyway, happy birthday to me. :3

Joe.

P.S. 101 posts! :D

A quick update!

The last you heard of me, I left a cryptic post that said ‘something is happening’. This doesn’t really mean much. For all you knew, I was posting from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after being kidnapped by teddy bear pirates wearing eye patches. Alas, this was not the case. I also left you with the word ‘abyssopelagic’, but this has nothing to do with anything – I just thought it was a cool word and wanted to share it. :P Incidentally, according to Wiktionary it means:

  1. Of or pertaining to the depths of the ocean; of the open waters of the abyssal zone.

You may have noticed it’s the summer. Or the winter if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere. Or maybe you don’t have four seasons where you live. Maybe you don’t have any seasons…

Ok, so it’s the summer in the UK. As usual, we complain how hot it is constantly and wish it could be Winter. When we actually do have Winter, we wish for Summer. We may not be the only country to complain about the weather, but it comes up an awful lot in conversation. Weather and tea are the things that binds all British people together in a mess of pessimism and patriotism.

For some reason, summer is the national season of getting stuff done that could have been spread across the year. People always leave the big events for summer and it causes a lot of stress. You go through the whole year and nothing happens and suddenly Wimbledon, the Commonwealth Games, the World Cup, your piano concert, my sister’s birthday, a trip to the Proms, Sports Day (I was actually in it this time!), a karate competition, Open Evening, a trip to France and the start of the Summer holidays are all within a season. I should probably make some sort of reference to buses here, but I shall decline.

I’m sure half of these things did not have to happen in Summer. In fact, the only thing that really needed to happen in Summer was the start of the Summer holidays. (The World Cup could have gone on perfectly well in Spring).

I wanted to write about these events, but there wasn’t enough time. The events piled up and I felt I couldn’t write about the new events without writing about the old events first, so the potential essay post got bigger and bigger in my mind. Eventually I realised it would swamp me so I’ve shelved it for now.

I hope I can write about these events in the future (probably in chunks), but if I do, they will likely be out of order and make zero sense. But hey, the important thing is to start writing again. :)

These events are actually pretty momentous though in terms of my bucket list. Now I have gone to an official karate competition and gone abroad for more two days without my family, two items on the list. As I said, I won’t write about these things yet, but I hope to soon. However I’m thinking of changing the list slightly. So far, it’s more geared to doing stuff than achieving stuff. For instance, going to an official karate competition didn’t feel that inspiring in itself – it was mainly a lot of waiting around, and very little karate. What the achievement should have been was ‘win a match at a karate competition’, or even more challenging, ‘win a medal at a karate competition’. Hence why the list no longer includes ‘join a social network’. I think I am at risk of putting reputation above actual achievement, which I can be very guilty of as I am a massive praise hog. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s a lot more meaningful to cross off one difficult item on my bucket list than five easy ones.

That being said, I have also completed a third item on my bucket list: gain 100 followers. :D

Now this is all kinds of awesome. Compared to other blogs around my *age* I have quite a pitiful amount of followers, but I guess I’m kind of to blame for that. Still, 100 is a lot! I mean, considering I’m almost as unsociable on the net as I am off it, I think it’s kind of weird I even have 100 followers.** :P!

Thank you. Thank you so much for putting up with my harebrained schemes and my tediousness and my erratic posts and my ramblings etc. Thanks for making the time to read (or not as the case may be, but to all the spammers and non-active followers, I like you nevertheless :P). Thanks for making the time to be sociable so I don’t have to. Just… thanks.

Talking of harebrained schemes, remember that plan I thought up to celebrate my blogversary? It detailed me changing one thing in my life every week so that I would be a new person in a year and it was kind of ambitious. It’s kind of worked, but kind of not – mainly because I am unwilling to give myself punishments and am finding it difficult to think of things to change. :P Again, another thing for another post, sorry about that.

I am now slightly under a week into the summer holidays. It’s flying by far too quickly and soon I’ll be back to my daily dreariness. My birthday will be very soon (yippee!) so prepare your presents.

Excitingly, I have also started editing my novel again after a year where I didn’t do much creative writing. Of course, I did stuff relating to writing in that break, like reading about writing and making some character biographies, but no actual editing of my first draft (which was by the way very very rambly). I was hoping to get it done by the Summer holidays, but I’m not sure this will be the case anymore. Even still, it’s brilliant I’ve started again, and hopefully I’ll be able to get some momentum running. :)

I’m not entirely sure how to end this, but I like the idea of ‘here’s a cool word’ becoming a feature. So:

*NB: these things did not happen in the order listed.

**To elaborate on this, I’ve kind of settled with my own small group of bloggin’ friends (most of whom have blogs a year or less old), and I’m always reluctant to make new ones. My blogging schedule has also been kind of erratic, which can’t have helped my rise to fame.

P.S. My room is also a mess. So much of a mess that I feel it would be irresponsible not to tell you. Basically lots of paper accumulated, was released in an attempt to organise it, and ended up just being left around. Maybe I’ll clean it up. Maybe. :P

P.P.S. My end of year exam results came back and it all turned out well. :3

It was around this time

It was around this time last year that a Scottish English Catholic Indian called Joe was revising for his end of year exams and needed something he could use to procrastinate.

It was around this time that his friend’s blog, [insertnamehere] got 1000 views, and inspired Joe to make a blog.

It was around this time that he got some feedback from one of his previous blogs and wanted to try again.

It was around this time he published his first post, Welcome Earthlings, which was as follows:

Ahem. That was bad. But you’re still reading aren’t you? Unless you were put off…

Anyway, this is my first post. I love technology, and this will mainly be a technology blog, but keep in mind I may post the odd titbit every now and then. ;) I’ve done multiple blogs before, but none of them have really been successful. Recently I made a post on an old blog with my cousin, and I was surprised to find the post was recommended by another website.

But um… I didn’t want to continue on that blog because it had an *ahem* embarrassing URL. So here we are. By the way, my name’s Joe.

Hope to see you around. :)

It was around this time last year that he got his first like.

It was around this time last year that he got his first comment from [insertnamehere].

It was around this time last year that he had his first blogging interaction with someone he didn’t know in real life – Aliyaaaa.

It was around this time he got his first award.

And so forth.

***

WARNING: MUSHY STUFF

Thank you so much. I am very very happy. Probably one of the weirdest things is looking back on ‘past me’, that ever-naive person who blogged every day when he was meant to be revising (ah, bless) and thought this was going to be “mainly a technology blog”. (Is it OK to refer to “past me” in the third person?)

I do feel kind of ecstatic for obvious reasons that I’m not really sure of. At first I thought:

But then should I be happy? I mean, it was going to happen sometime. If I had never posted on this blog and left it as barren as my other ones, I still would have had this achievement. And yet the fact that so many other blogs (namely mine) have been abandoned but this one has not makes me feel quite… happy.

I suppose I should thank people. Mind this is not an exclusive list. But anyhow:

Thanks Aliyaaaa – you were the first person who legitimately took an interest in my blog who I didn’t know in real life.

Thanks [insertnamehere] and pessimistic leprechaun, for being my friends off and on the internet.

Thanks to the Indecisive Eejit, who followed me as the Geeky G4mer, and has given me, a young ‘un, lots of laughter (and some well-directed advice).

Thanks to Professor VJ Duke, for being generally professorish.

Thanks to Charlotte M, for showing me that I am not very good at fandoms.

Thanks to JED, for providing lots of post inspiration.

Thanks to mushroomsup, for nominating me for my first award and being hilarious.

Thanks to deepbluesandseafoamgreens, for despite being my most recent blog friend, her quirky posts and comments are pretty awesome.

Thanks to everyone who has ever commented, liked or followed. Thank you.

***

So I woke up this morning looking eagerly at my notifications to see if WordPress had presented me that shiny “Anniversary” trophy that everyone talks about – but it was not there. When I realised that I had to wait until 7:40 for my award, I did. BUT IT WAS NOT THERE.

And then an hour later I got the award. Phew. You almost scared me there WordPress. Why so cruel? D:

Unfortunately this means I started this post quite late and I still have quite a lot to go. This may hark back to the days of essay post Joe, so you have been warned. :P

How do I put this?

I am a deeply flawed human being (that was hard to write). And I thought I could do something like Lollipop Tuesday where I do a challenge every week… except this time each challenge would last a week, every week, for a year.

I could become one of those slightly spammy blogs that talk say things like, “YOU can improve YOUR life with this simple blog feature. I used to be so bad at life until I discovered this one weird trick! Life doctors hate me!!!”

So to avoid that, this will be a bit different from most sites that advocate ‘trying new things’. While that’s important, when it’s done wrong (and I would do it wrong) it can probably sound somewhat smug. I’m already quite the praise hog, so I would probably end up boasting of my new talents and putting everyone off.

So rather than learning new things, I will be fixing old things. Every week (starting now) I will flaunt my flaws to the public and have you laugh at me as I try and sort them out.

Yippee.

If I’ve planned it right, each week will focus on a particular flaw, like “procrastination” or “door slamming” or “bursts of nonsensical singing”. Each one will have a certain task attached to it, like “do your homework the day it’s set” or “don’t slam the door” or “have a sponsored silence”. Each week will have a reward… and a punishment. My family are all too happy to get involved with the punishment side of things – as for my friends, I know some of you will be eager to join in. ;)

I’m unsure how far this will go. The thing is, I haven’t actually made a complete list, so I’ll be making a lot of these up as I go along. :P Being the narcissist I am, 52 flaws might be a bit of a stretch for me to think of, but we’ll see.

At the end of this I could either be a  changed person, the same as I ever was, or a complete nervous wreck. Possibly all of those three.

Undoubtedly as I publish this at 11:00 very few of you will be reading this on the day, but that’s what you get for posting late. ;)

Here’s to another year!

Joe

P.S. This week’s challenge is “Exam Preparation” – I must revise at least two hours every day for a week. Normally the challenges will start on Monday, but this will start tomorrow because I haven’t actually done much revision today. :P The reward: undecided as of yet, but I’ll think of something. The punishment: one hour without the internet the day after if I break my revision streak – and the hour has to be when I’m on the computer, not when I’m doing something else.

I told this to my family, and the reaction was slightly more mixed than I expected. Some of them were on board, but another said that I’m training myself with operant conditioning. I’m not sure if this is inherently bad, but it was used on rats to make them press buttons in labs. o_O Not entirely reassuring, but I won’t be deterred.

Going on a break…

The family is leaving in the afternoon for the prayer conference. Though it only starts tomorrow, it’s ages away, and we need to go to our rooms and get dinner and unpack and the like.

It turns out I got the dates wrong earlier. What this means is that instead of seeing you back on Wednesday I’ll be able to post on Tuesday. Yay!

I thought I would just say what’s coming up. I have a song analysis of Skyfall, I have just found out I have been nominated for the Lovely Blog Award by Juls from The Geeky G4mer (a great blog, check it out), I’m finally going to do another technology post (you’d think I would find it a little easier to live up to my namesake), I’m going to post on all the various DIY projects that have happened over the summer, and I’m going to comment on the current climate of the financial situation in Europe that’s it.

Thanks. I’ll be back on Tuesday!

Joe.

o_O What just happened?

So since yesterday I’ve gotten six new followers, and nearly 100 views today (admittedly three of them were my own – but they were all accidental I promise)!

What happened?

Thanks to mushroomsup from Funny For Nothing, because I really wasn’t expecting it, or its repercussions. Or it could be a coincidence. But I don’t think so. Thanks to all my followers so far, and the people who read my blog. I think a few days ago I manually changed every post on my blog to only show an excerpt instead of the whole thing so I could get more views because I wasn’t quite happy with the blog’s growth. Now I feel really guilty! -_-

This was just a quick update. Thanks again everyone! I’m not sure how many of you followers actually read my blog, but I’m grateful nonetheless.

Joe.

So I now have 13 followers…

o_O Is this a reason to be happy? I’m not superstitious, but I’ve noticed some strange things recently. For one, I broke the record for views per day yesterday, and got 28 views in total. Now this may sound measly to you, but I’m just starting out, and this is pretty big. What I also found was that this happened on the same day I published my 28th post.

Maybe I’ve started to believe this thing. I mean… 13 is a lucky number right?

LOL… JK. Thanks guys. For putting up with me. And reading my really long posts. Either that or you skimmed through them. That’s OK. I understand. Not everyone has time to read essays in the morning.

Joe. (I have also found that the majority of my followers are running these really inspirational self-help blogs. I’m not sure why this is…)

Edit: On the same day I published this, I gained another follower. So this was pointless. :P Also, when I said I had 13 followers, I didn’t include myself… because that would be cheating, right?