Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 round-up? Let's try a whole life

I was going to attempt a 2008 round-up but my memory is so poor it seemed like too great a challenge. When I tried it, well, this happened. My whole life story was pieced together in several seconds. Only one memory really belonged to 2008.

It's kind of sad when you can condense your entire life into one small blog image. But I guess, now that I've done it, it might serve as an introduction to anyone who happens to pass by my blog over the next few days.

I lost control in 2008. I also lost touch with a lot of the world. Didn't return calls, texts, emails. Not that I get a huge amount but I went a little underground, especially towards the end of the year. I started living with my only goal being day to day survival. That's not enough. Not for me.

Hey, perhaps this round-up is going to happen after all...

Okay, I'll go for it. Here's some stuff I liked and hated in 2008. See if you agree.

Best World Event: McCain Losing The US Election. I don't know if Obama is going to be fantastic, hence the negative slant on the event itself. But I can be pretty damn sure that an old guy who has been psychologically damaged by years of torture, backed up by a woman who makes the current US President seem smart was not going to be great for those of us in the rest of the world.

Favourite Film: The Dark Knight. I saw very few films in 2008 (part of the going underground thing) but this one exceeded my expectations. A great crime movie. A little removed from Batman, however. I almost think this film could have been even better without a guy in a rubber bat suit and just some hard-ass cops instead.

Favourite Television Show: King Of Queens reruns. Hey, I make my own rules with this round-up. I love sitcoms. Like, adore them. I think they are much more clever than most people give them credit for and they are like the perfect form of television - short bouts of light, easy viewing and perfect escapism. King Of Queens is one of those that gets better with each viewing. Kevin James and Jerry Stiller are fantastic comic actors and just make me laugh. John K often compares cartoon acting to live-action acting. I think he'd get a lot from those two.

Favourite Album: The Dears, Missiles. Yeah, I mentioned this before. I love it.

Most Used Item Of 2008: iPod Touch. This thing is the future. I mean, look at those bulky tricorders on Star Trek. With an item much smaller, I can hold a whole crate of LPs, a bunch of colour television shows and (wi-fi permitting) I can access information on anything all over the world, contact just about anyone, debate serious issues with other concerned citizens (mostly about animation and games), find out the weather and more. It hasn't left my pocket since the end of 2007.

Best Game: Gears Of War 2. There may well be better than this but I played it fairly recently and my memory doesn't allow more than a few experiences to stay there at any one time.

Worst Game: Metal Gear Solid 4. Okay so it may not be the worst experience out there but it's barely a game! Barely a game! And it's certainly not a great movie. So what is it?

Game That I Thought Initially Was Stunning But Then Grew To Dislike: Little Big Planet. Love the presentation, the music, the VO by Stephen Fry. Adored it early on. But the dodgy physics-based gameplay and weird plane auto-selection killed it for me and I realised the game just wasn't anywhere near as good as I thought. The level creation is a huge part of it but, if I don't like the main play system, why would I spend time on that?

Favourite Animal Of 2008: Zebra. Okay, I'm running out of categories here, aren't I? It's that failing memory. But, hey, zebra... they're cool, right? Like horses, only with stripes. Fantastic.

Worst Pain In My Ass Of 2008: Those Negotiations. Yeah, those negotiations I referred to a while back are ongoing. Basically, they're about my involvement in a project that could be great but people above me are determined to destroy. When I'm ready to throw in the towel on what could be one of the best projects of my life, especially in a time of recession, that must mean I'm really pissed off. It also means I care. More than they do.

I can't even remember the other things that pissed me off this year. That's not a good sign.

Anyway, almost over now. A fairly arbitrary calendar date is going to allow me the illusion of a fresh start. And I'm going to take the chance. A new approach for 2009. I don't quite know what it is yet but I know one major part of it and I'll tell you right now what it is -

I am no longer in animation. I am in children's programming.

I'll go into this in more detail at some point but, where the industry and the world is now, animation as a craft is dying. There are some great people learning and holding on to the skills, and I admire them, but it's like learning Latin. It may help you once or twice in your life but, really, it's a long time learning a dead language. It's unlikely that I'll get the time or budget to put my animation skills to good use and produce a piece of really amazing animation.

But, that doesn't mean I can't make a great show for children. There is much more to making a show or film than simply the medium it is produced in. That's only a small part of it. In the current climate, there is still no reason whatsoever why I can't be part of some fantastic children's programming.

So the difference at first is merely a label change. But I think it will be a move in a more postive direction. A move from beating my head against a wall (trying to produce quality animation in a world that doesn't allow for it) to positively contributing to the lives of children by helping create fun, good and enriching television. If they're going to sit in front of that thing, it may as well be something good, right?


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's the one thing I always wanted

I have a void in my life. No, it's not dignity. Fuck dignity, who needs it? No, it's the Big Trak. The "six-wheeled tank with a front-mounted blue photon beam headlamp, and a keypad on top", as wikipedia describes it. It was the tank that could do everything. Everything.

Each year, I asked Santa for it. Each year, I was disappointed.

Did you see the Big Trak ads when you were a kid? It could bring you stuff! Like, say you wanted an apple, you could programme it to go get it. A tank that would bring you an apple. Wow. And that was a long time ago. Probably almost 30 years. Back then, a child's toy could bring you an apple.

And now at the very end of the Space Year 2008, we don't have robot butlers?! What the hell?

I'm not sure what I was thinking with the picture. I mean, waking up on the street with a Santa suit on and a bottle in my hand would be a sign that I broke out of the day to day rut and went and did something. That could only be positive. I suspect the part of my brain that draws the images is a whole different beast to the part that writes these words. Otherwise, I would have known that when drawing it and the whole idea would have been very different.

Almost 2009... I almost feel I should do an end of year round-up but then that's what the archive is for. Maybe tomorrow I'll do a little one. Are you all evaluating your year? I have some serious evaluation to do, I'll hopefully be approaching 2009 more positively by looking at the negative of 2008, as demonstrated in the book I'll never write - Life Stinks. Now Fix It!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Trying to find a moment

I'm sitting trying to figure out how I can post to my blog using my iPod Touch. I got an application called BlogPress but for images and formatting it seems to want me to work in HTML. What am I? A programmer all of a sudden?

No. No I am not. Though I used to be able to mess about with BASIC back in the day. I made a text adventure game once about a doll that comes to life and murders people. It had multiple endings and everything. Even a graphic title page. Pretty fancy for its time.

But, no, I'm not a programmer.

So this won't have the image I wanted to post and may well just be a wall of text with no formatting. I'll post that pic later or tomorrow. It was about an important Christmas wish.

Hope you all had or are still having good holidays. Mine have been tiring. Soooo sleeeepy. But they haven't been too bad.

I'm having a real productivity crisis though. That's something I touched on before and it's really building to a crescendo. I need time. Time to achieve. Time to do more than just survive the day. Something is going to have to change.

Anyone seen that Sita Sings The Blues? I really want to see it. You guys know I'm not Flash's biggest fan but the fact that one person can make an animated feature with it is amazing.

Man, I hope this doesn't turn out to be one huge wall of text. That's my real Christmas wish.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I saw the cutest little puppy today. He was tiny, scruffy and full of fun and life. For a moment, I thought he might be my Christmas present. He wasn't but that's okay - it would have been a slightly crazy gift. But still, there's nothing like a puppy to put a smile on my face.

When it comes down to it, it turns out I'm easily pleased.

It hasn't been a great couple of weeks. Partly, that's just because I love Christmas. I love the lights, the atmosphere, the same old Christmas songs, Jingle Bells and mince pies. But, this year, I haven't had a chance to enjoy the run up to it.

But it's Christmas now.

I can enjoy it. I can eat those mince pies. Stare at Christmas trees. Yeah, I really miss old friends and my life feels very different to where I was this time last year, not all in good ways, but I'm here and, as it turns out, I have people who like me. Or at the very least, don't actively dislike me.

It is a good time of year.

If you pass by my blog and read this, well, firstly I'd like to thank you for stopping by. It means a lot that some people can relate to some of the things that seem to fill my head. It really does - it means I'm not alone and, as I'm sure you know, sometimes it's very easy to feel alone in a crowded city, even a crowded room full of people who know you. But, here, I often don't feel alone.

And, secondly, I'd like to wish you all a very happy Christmas, or any event or rituals or just plain ol' generic holidays that you're having. Even the Xenu people (do you guys have a Christmas equivalent?). I hope you spend time with people you love and who love you and have a peaceful and fun time (sometimes those are mutually exclusive so it might just be one or the other).

You guys rock. All of you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All I want...

I've barely noticed Christmas coming this year. I think that's why I left the Christmas shopping so late. Work has been really busy, leading to the attempts at cancelling the holidays (my response took the form of a middle finger extension) and home life has been tiring and overwhelming and that plague I contracted didn't help matters.

With Christmas coming and, with it, the end of the year, all I find myself thinking about are the things I haven't done. The never-ending list of failed or, more usually, unattempted goals. And then I think I have to let myself off the hook and give myself a break but it's doing that that led to so many of them being left undone in the first place.

I am my own worst enemy. I should bomb myself from a great height in the name of freedom or something.

Next year, I'd like to hate myself less. I think for that to happen, I need to achieve something. Anything. This year, I achieved nothing. Yes, I need to get something done and make some progress next year.

If I don't, I'll just find myself wishing the world into oblivion for yet another Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's the first time I've ever won anything

So I'm a recipient of one of what I think is the first batch of A Hoy awards. Susan from the 'If You're Going Through Hell' blog awarded it to me, which is really very nice of her. At first I thought it might be an insult. I mean, A... Hoy... I thought it sounded a little like A-Hole. But, no, it seems to be a compliment and, looking at the other blogs on the list, I'm in great company.

So huge thanks for that! Almost makes me feel like I have a real blog.

I managed to get my Christmas shopping done, which is great. It's going to be a lean Christmas this year though. I'm broke and, well, it's recession time. It's odd that some people, mainly economists, advocate spending like there's no tomorrow to keep the economy healthy and turn around this recession.

Doing that is like risking being the last guy in a pyramid scheme. You see, there is a tomorrow. And you could have lost your job by then. You want to be the guy who just spent his latest paycheque on a pair of fancy shiny Italian shoes? Will the boost you gave to the economy be any comfort when you can't pay your rent or mortgage?

And I call it 'recession' because that seems to be the accepted term for what's happening but that's not the reality where I am. It's simply that things are returning to more realistic levels. The economy over here was completely false. It was unsustainable. Built entirely on fantasy. The cost of living went sky high, house prices went utterly ridiculous and people got themselves up to their ass in debt all the while shouting about this great time of boom. When reality kicks in, it looks like a recession but it's simply the world returning to a state of normality.

But the thing about the economy is that it is a man-made system. And people get rich simply by manipulating these arbitrary made-up rules. But economists are full of shit. They're like cult members. They spend years in college being conditioned that the world is a certain way and they totally believe it because they have to - if they didn't, their world would mean nothing. And so they have a massive vested interest in making a reality out of their teachings, just like cult members I guess.

Thing is, a good economist can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that their systems work.

Because they prove it by enforcing their own set of conditions.

I think one thing is important to bear in mind: the world we are born into is one that we, humans, created. Our cities are not built to a divine plan. Our economic systems, our political systems, our societies were not set in stone at the moment of the Universe's conception. We made the world this way. We created it.

And, if we created it, we can always tear it down and start again.

So, yes, for me it's a more lean Christmas this year. It has to be. That doesn't mean it can't be a fun, warm Christmas spent with family and, if I had them, friends.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Things are just shutting down everywhere

In spite of my earlier bravado, things are actually looking quite scary around here. This recession is kind of like the Nothing from that Never Ending Story film. It's just sweeping through the streets. I don't really think I've seen anything like it in my lifetime.

Every day, I see another empty office, another set of 'To Let' signs, another shuttered shop or restaurant. The buildings around the studio are vacant. The car parking spaces empty.

It's getting eerily quiet. You know, as opposed to peacefully quiet, which would be a good thing.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still hanging in there

Yeah... it feels like that sometimes.

When I was off earlier in the week, I noticed while stuck in front of old episodes of MASH that funny things seemed much funnier. And sad things more sad. It was like the illness had stripped away part of my emotional defenses.

MASH really is one of the best shows ever made. Even the ones that weren't as good as the earlier ones were still really great in their own way. A truly great show.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So I'm back at work. That's nice, eh?

I hate being sick.
I hate that I'm in the place the sickness came from.
I hate that people are 'encouraged' to come in and infect others.
I hate that I wanted to get in here as quick as possible this morning.
I hate that I can't get a straight night's sleep at home.
I hate that I don't have a peaceful place to go to.
I hate that crap going down from my nose into the back of my throat.
I hate that I can't stand up without feeling dizzy.
I hate bagpipes.
I hate that I no longer feel in control of my life.
I hate that, if I made a list of things I don't hate, it would be a much smaller list.
I hate that I take a grand total of about three sick days in an entire year and yet they have the balls to email me work stuff while I'm out.
I hate that I still haven't got any Christmas shopping done.
I hate that my life feels like absolute hell right now.
And I hate that it's not going to get better any time soon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This is the best thing I'm capable of right now. I have been cursed with the ultimate lurgy. I believe it may be sweating sickness. Or some sort of rather large animal flu. I've got a full-on chest infection and, even after several days, have a fever.
I'm ill.

It does think the studio's policy of encouraging people to come in when they're sick needs revisiting. Staying healthy in there is like trying to... well, it's like... something to do with a leper colony. I don't even have the energy to string a decent sentence together.

My apologies. There was something I meant to post this week too. In my head, it was important. At least it was last week when I thought of it.

I haven't done any Christmas shopping either. I'm so screwed.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'm still alive

I made it through the night, lucky to see the morning. From here on in, every moment is a gift.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Me, that's who.

Or at least, this was how it was supposed to play out. But the truth it, I left myself unprotected. Vulnerable. And now I have contracted some hideous disease from my co-workers/plague rats.

I'm dyyyyyyyyyiiiiiiiing.

Is it me or is the common cold a hell of a lot more common? Is that just here where I am? I get several colds a year. I figured that's because I'm getting older but it's not just me. It's everyone. All through the year, people around the studio have colds. I can't think of the last time there wasn't at least one person snivelling through their day.

In ten years time, will everyone have colds all year round? Will it be our default state of being? Are there scientists working to cure the cold or is it more likely that there are scientists being paid large sums of money to make sure that our colds get worse and far more frequent?

Paranoia? Well, how much do you think the cold/flu remedy business is worth, with their Lemsips and Panadols and decongestants and all? It's like the computer virus protection business. It can only function if there are viruses out there. And the business can only grow if the viruses get more frequent and more dangerous.

And it's worth a bloody fortune to a lot of people.

But this thing I've got now... this isn't just a cold. It's an attack. The beginning of a war. I'll be lucky to survive. This could be the start of something like that film Outbreak, only I'm the monkey. Or someone in the studio is. There's definitely a monkey involved.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

If they give you what you want, is it a bad thing?

It's a question I asked but didn't really give an opinion on in this thread - many people who promise a better outlook or say they can give you happiness or success are just trying to take your money. Money-based cults (or religions if you want to call them that for tax purposes) are a more extreme end but it could be true for people giving seminars or writing books, audio cds or whatever.

If they give you the results you want, does it matter?

Does it matter if they're just getting rich out of it if you walk away happy and successful? Actually I've probably partly answered something there because that question presumes you can walk away. That you're not then paying more and more until you're broke or dead. One of these groups that, to me, seem like a money-hungry cult I wouldn't be so sure about when it comes to walking away. Okay, so someone could throw out the bullshit overused mantra of people who live to shaft other people and say they aren't holding a gun to your head. I don't know that they aren't but, even without that, mental reprogramming, threats of lawsuits and whatever don't amount to free choice.

Does it speak volumes that I'm actually not mentioning them by name? They scare me. And they scare me because I've spoken to them. For hours. And they can be very straight up about the lawsuit tactics, telling me that the idea isn't actually to win a lawsuit. It's to keep it going long enough that they bleed their subject dry and destroy them. For me, that would be about six minutes (I know what lawyers charge).

But, hey, even that particular group seems to deliver on its promises. It does seem to make its people happy. And we know many are hugely successful so it's not just turning them into lifeless sheep. So, in a way, you could say people are getting exactly what they're paying for. Is that wrong?

I knew someone that was in a different group, one that seems to be more of a self-development group (yet calls their top people 'wizards' for some reason and I think is possibly still classes as a cult in Germany - I'd look it up if I could remember their name). I asked about the amount of cash they were taking, because it was pretty damn expensive. I was told that unless people pay for the help, they won't put any value on it and it will mean little to them.

Well that's convenient.

I'd also call it bullshit, personally. If you've got real gems that can help people, give it away. Help even more people.

And then there's the self-help gurus. The Anthony Robbinses and even the nice Dr.Phils. There are varying degrees of these people and some promise to make you a millionaire which sometimes reeks of bullshit too but I have far more respect for these people because they seem far more honest about what they're doing. They aren't classing themselves as religions. They aren't trying to 'convert' people. They're gathering clients. Is that just a difference in terminology? Possibly but I think it's a bloody big difference.

They're running a business. They're making a living and when you go to one of those guys (or girls) or buy one of their books, you do so in the full knowledge of what transaction is occurring. They aren't making up some stupid-ass excuses as to why they aren't giving away their tips, they aren't making out like they have all the secrets to the Universe (well, most of them aren't) and they aren't based on the machinations of a science fiction writer with a documented interest in mind control hiding their dumb-ass alien shit until you're conditioned enough not to laugh your ass off when it's brought up.

What I find kind of weird about the aforementioned group/cult/whatever is that when they take you in and try to suck you in, much of what they show you in the videos or whatever are a bunch of people running a business, using all-business terms in business departments. I can't help feeling if they just came out and said, "okay guys, it's not a religion, it's a business and we're making a fucking fortune but we can actually deliver this, that and whatever", they wouldn't come across as scary bastards.

Or not as much.

For me, I have spent a large amount of money on animation books, a grand on a Cintiq, who knows what on computers, Flash and stuff like that, and stupid amounts on cartoon DVDs.

Paying money to make more of my life. I'm not sure that it is really any different.

But even I'm not going to allow myself to get sucked into the depths of paying a million pounds (or whatever it is) for that 16-DVD Richard Williams set. That's one step too far. That's for the people who have demounced their family and have pledged their allegiance to the Almighty Roger Rabbit or the Great Gazoo or some other crazy deity.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oliver Postgate 1925-2008

Oliver Postgate died aged 83.

Oliver Postgate created Bagpuss, the Clangers, Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog, Pingwings and more. He was one of the top figures, if not the top figure, in a Golden Age of UK children's programming. It was a time of creativity, a love of fun and all things silly. It was a time when the sole aim was to put smiles on the faces of children. To make them laugh.

And that's exactly what Oliver Postgate did. Over and over again.

His importance, for several generations of smiling children, can't be overstated. Even now, thirty and forty years on, mentioning one of his shows will bring people right back to their childhood. The Clangers has become a common language for fun, for carefree times. Mention Bagpuss and a room can fill with warmth. For those of you outside the UK and Ireland, this effect is truly amazing. Look inside to the playful innocent child inside someone who grew up in Britain or Ireland from the 60s on and, somewhere in there, you'll find some or all of Oliver Postgate's characters.

He inspired a generation of artists, creators, animators, illustrators, writers, dreamers and free thinkers. Anyone with an ounce of imagination.

We may have lost a legend but his influence will be felt for decades, possibly much longer.

Goodbye Bagpuss. Goodbye Clangers. Goodbye everybody. I'll miss you all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Why Buddhism isn't sitting quite right with me

Mr. Trombley has been educating me in the ways of Buddhism and it sparked me to have a look around to see what else I can find. It does seem like a branch of the whole self-help thing pulls a lot from Buddhism and I'm beginning to think that it's those elements that just aren't sitting quite right with me.

Attachment leads to suffering. Or so the enlightened might tell me.

But what the hell is the point if you aren't attached to anything? Or anyone? Remove all attachments and you're just waiting for death (as well as being a Billy-No-Mates). That won't be long too if you remove your attachment to food and water.

Or is it okay to be attached to those things?

Let's have a look at the Four Noble Truths according to Buddhism from the Big View site. There are many other places you can find these but they seem to amount to the same thing.

1. Life means suffering.

And I thought I was negative.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

Okay, well there's a bit of sense here. If you are attached to something, not having it or losing it will lead to suffering. But... then having it will lead to pleasure. Satisfaction. So this is being a bit 'glass half empty' about it. A bit negative.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

Well that's more like it! A bit of positivity. Let's move forward and see what we can do to end suffering. Oh, you end suffering by "attaining dispassion". Yeah, dispassion. Apparently that gives you "freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas". Well, I like ideas for one thing but it also gives you freedom from fun, love, creativity and, by definition, passion. You know, like slipping into a coma. Coma patients have achieved this third point. Should those of us still awake, still alive, strive for "dispassion"?

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

This point just seems to be a more long-winded version of point 3. Could have really wrapped it up in 3 points. The Three Noble Truths - that doesn't sound too bad, does it? But, in this, we have the word "progress", like striving for the coma-patient ideal is a positive move forward. Having evolved from single cell beings who seem to me to have achieved all of this already, I can't help thinking of it as a bit of a step backwards.

Yeah, this Buddhism thing just isn't for me.

It really sounds like somebody just got really down one day and wallowed in their misery for a bit too long. Like a teenager sitting in a dark room. Nobody loves me, so I'm going to shut myself away from the world and listen to Morrissey, as it would have been in my day. If I feel nothing, nobody can hurt me.

I would call that being ruled by fear. And those four (well, three) Noble Truths seem to be motivated by fear too: fear of suffering.

So I think my response to the Four Noble Truths has to be -

Cheer up, mate. It might never happen, eh?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The inevitable end to the story

Red Pill Junkie left a comment on the last post. You should read it. I like the attitude of "The Tiger" he mentions in the comment: "If people want shit, I give them shit". I met a guy years ago who had a multi-millionaire friend. I asked him how he got so rich. Apparently, one day, he just decided to get rich and, to do so, he would put aside all morals. He started in porn imports and went from there.

I've done that in the past. Not imported porn, but given people the shit they asked for in the knowledge that I was being paid and I was keeping a client happy.

But I can only do it with projects I don't care about. And it's on the projects I do care about that I do my best work, not just for me but for the clients, and especially for the audiences. And, in this business, you're really only as good as your last job. If I give people shit, I'll be the guy who does shit.

And that has to negatively affect my career.

I don't do shit. I haven't done for some time and don't plan on doing so again any time soon. As Red Pill Junkie asks, what point do you walk away?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Now I need help

Here's one area where 'Life Stinks. Now Fix It!' won't help me. It's the 'a' category of self-development - people skills, or how to persuade your fellow man to get what you want.

I have a problem. An all too familiar problem. The, eh, 'client' (not really a client, more of a minority partner in the venture but for the purposes of business, client will do) wanted one thing. I wanted another.

Client wouldn't budge but actually seemed to have some clue as to what they were doing and why they wanted what they wanted so... I agreed to give them what they wanted. Somewhat reluctantly but I made peace with the decision and actually grew to like what it was... that thing they wanted.

You can see what's coming next, right?

Anyone who has been in this business or probably even any business has to know what's coming next.

They changed their mind. Yeah, what they wanted wasn't what they wanted any more. What they wanted became something that was a bit of what they previously wanted and a bit of something entirely different. Like asking for a fine wine, then chucking in half a pint of beer into it in an attempt to hook the beer drinkers. A recipe for success? Or something entirely undrinkable.

And I can't in all good conscience give them what they want. Because what they want is a poxy piece of crap. It's a job I really wanted to do but I have to now talk them round to either what I originally wanted or what they originally wanted or I have to walk away and let it go.

Ah, yes, stuck in the 'giving what they want until they change their minds on what they want' trap. It's all too familiar. This is where I need one of those self-development 'how to shaft your fellow man' books.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rough morning

I like me. I am wonderful. I am a great human being. I have boundless energy.

Okay, these affirmations are bullshit. It would take a lot more than a little self-delusion to make me feel energised on a Monday morning.

I have this idea for a CD actually. Or mp3s, whatever. I'm actually reluctant to post it because I think it's such a bloody good idea that it could make my fortune and, if I post it here, I'm going to lose out. But you see...

I am a man of action.

That's a total lie so it's not like I'm ever going to do anything with this idea so I may as well post it here. It relates to my proposed self-help book, sort of. It's a CD of affirmations. Okay, so that's nothing new. But these affirmations wouldn't be either sleazy salesmen affirmations or New Age hippie affirmations. These affirmations... would rock.

And (and this is the genius, the thing that would make my fortune) they would be set to loud 80s Journey guitar solos. Screaming guitars and kick ass affirmations:

I rock! I rock so goddam hard! I'm a badass motherfucker!

And so on.

I'd call it Journey's Affirmations For Kick-Assery of the Soul. If anyone from Journey happens to pass by my blog, get in touch and we'll totally do this. We'll be millionaires! Well, you probably are anyway, but I'll be one too, hopefully.