2012 & All That
Dear reader, we have survived the Baktun rollover. Deemed by many as the Y2K of Antiquity, the most devastation we saw were a few arrests in China and dry-run bunker sleep-outs. CGB Spender was wrong, unless David Icke’s theory of increased reptilian presence in the White House retains its camouflage. The Mayans and their pop-cultural snowball melted when we all woke up on the 22nd. The End will keep.
As such, inspired by the great DM Scheer‘s 2012 review, I want to – on a less exciting and much less poetic level – recount the year in quick bullet points for those keeping score at home. If you DO find yourself with a tally at the end, it might be time to adjust and upgrade your interests and social proclivities.
I am currently at the inlaws for New Years celebrations – queue boozing, feasting and bad TV in equal measure – so this is being composed on a phone. Technocracy or inanity unleashed?! You decide.
Onwards and in no particular order:
- The shmultzy position of seeing young Charlotte grow on all levels during 2012. From basic capabilities like holding a pencil correctly and using utensils to kicking off her bilingual journey and showing great strides in using consumer electronics and problem-solving, it has been a slightly more wry Hallmark moment around every corner and at each milestone. Going to kindy, end of year performances, the usual stuff. And making her old man feel like he’s an overbearing stooge when all he does on Facebook is update with photos. Hopefully, there was enough humour in this year’s effort to avoid disdain taking root.
- A prodigal return to the homeland. While the journey and weeklong stay in Olde Hobart Towne had a couple of hiccups, it was the highlight to see family and friends again. Especially the old comrades who honoured me by making treks from elsewhere in Australia. Humbled.
- Getting over artistic reservations and spiking self-fulfilling prophecies. I attribute this to the double whammy of DM Scheer laying it down and being commissioned to design units for a science-fiction boardgame. The former was the kick up the date I needed and the latter the impetus to put lessons learned into psychological practice. That, and putting together the long-haul team for the OPSTAN project, permanently changed gears for the better. The nib may not move as quickly as it once did – due to the obvious family/work duties – but it moves with more purpose. Cannot be happier!
- Writing for Pete Davison‘s site, GamesAreEvil. And they aren’t evil. Unless it’s in a fetid, mid-Nineties “So good it’s bad!” way, uttered while scarfing Big M milk on your California cruisers. Getting to interview developers, preview and review games, write columns and even engage with heavyweight folks like Troy Goodfellow…really exciting. While my writing needs a veterinary needle of clarity, nothing makes for better writing than simply doing it. And hell, simply interacting with independent developers in places like Estonia and Holland and finding out various creative processes and influences does wonders for perspective.
- Continuing learning the ropes of rural responsibilities. Servicing a rice combine harvester and operating the drying oven. Prepping, making, stacking and deploying the Shiitake logs. A cursory introduction to charcoal making. And so on. All valuable, practical lessons that – should the Mayans have buggered up and called Doomsday a touch early – will come in handy sooner, rather than later!
- The usual teaching business. Had a great year with students both young and old. Great progress with the kindergarten kids in both English and Art. The adults hit it out if the park as we discussed everything from Japanese political enfranchisement to superstitions and eschatology – perhaps all are the same thing!
That, and squaring up a new job has been the cherry on top of a very fine working year.
With that, and missing a lot of the details, dear reader, I want to thank everyone everywhere and wish all a solid and successful 2013. To a bright, bountiful and forward-thinking New Year.