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Next year folks, I hope to give up 2008 - permanently! - Stephan [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Next year folks, I hope to give up 2008 - permanently! [Dec. 31st, 2008|07:33 am]
The heading, which I find highly befitting, is actually a near-quote from the Goon Show episode "The Battle of Spion Kop" : http://www.thegoonshow.net/scripts_show.asp?title=s09e09_the_battle_of_spoin_kop - (note this website is occasionally unavailable)

Well, here's my review of 2008 from the position of Stephan J Cottrell aka the sour foxaroo. It's been a thoroughly lousy 12 months for many people around the world, and very much for myself as an individual.

Healthwise I've endured the ongoing problems with my neck, and in February the tendonitis in my left shoulder. The shoulder was excruciatingly painful and for over a week prevented me from raising my arm to the upward position (although that doesn't sound so serious, it was quite difficult to don my shirts). The neck remains an occasional pain, now identified by the MRI as a slipped disc / misaligned vertebrae (whatever the correct medical term is - I'm recalling by memory from the consultation with the Neurosurgeon) and it sometimes causes twitching in the fingers of my right hand due to the spinal cord being lightly pinched.

The operation on my shoulder is still scheduled for 6th February, and everyone please remember that I'll be completely away from the internet for three weeks (6-28 Feb).

Work wise… Fundamental changes have been made to the procedures at a national and a departmental level, both of which have made my job a lot harder. While in most cases I can grasp the wisdom or logic in such decisions, frankly I think these have been total blunders because they show no indication whatsoever that the goals have been achieved - quite the opposite in fact.

Family… the less said the better. One of the reasons I haven't posted in my livejournal recently is that I've been holding off in the hope that more people would comment on the revelation of my brother stealing rent money from me (in 2001, 2002 & 2003) because his mother claimed he needn't pay rent when absent. This was the source of immeasurable difficulty for me, since at the time I was between jobs and his subsequent absconding before the nationwide rent crisis has left me paying the rent of two people ever since. Spending time with my family in February will be awkward, but hopefully I'll be with my grandmother most of the time.

Financially. I wont know until after the shoulder operation. If the cost stays within the scheduled fee then all is well. If not, then my plans for 2009 will need to be radically reassessed.

Comicwise. I looked at the date for the most recent episode of my comic and I nearly choked - September 2007. Have I been so busy that I've not realised the time that's elapsed? The comic WILL resume. I've learned enough of GIMP to be able to manipulate the images suitably, and I'll be studying drawing technique from my books during my February absence. The materials for the next episode have actually been ready for months, but I can't complete the following episode until a very complex object is finished. Otherwise it would be an awful tease for the audience.

...and not forgetting that I missed out on the only Ponycon I would have been able to afford to attend.

My humble opinion about the global financial situation. I would urge everyone to exercise level-headed caution and to encourage the same in their friends, and their friend's friends. History has shown that desperate times have drawn desperate choices from people, and they become willing to accept the radical in lieu of the conventional. These same circumstances made a nation look toward national socialism, and the outbreak of a horrific war, and despite Tora Kioshi's rebuttal to me in the Suburban Jungle forum I still say that it could happen anywhere anytime. Here in New South Wales we endured ten years of a state Premier who turned out to be a waste of space, but knew how the political game was played. That's all it takes.

[User Picture]From: carlfoxmarten
2009-01-01 09:33 am (UTC)
I'm not sure what can be said.
On a legal level, I don't think it was legal at all, but because there was no contract or similar legal document between the two of you, I'm not sure there's anything that can be done about it.
(aside from the usual: avoid family whenever possible and don't board with them, even for one night, no matter who pays)

Global financial situation:
I'd been thinking about this a little bit (because that's how much I think it affects me, a little bit), and somehow I figured out that maybe if I could buy a few tiny things more (and everyone else managed to do the same), things might improve a little bit.

However, I'm not entirely sure what train of thought I'd been on when I had this, so I make no guarantees that it makes any sense at all...

I hope 2009 brings you all the best, and none of the worse!
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-01-02 01:48 am (UTC)
I was hoping to have more comments from people, which I would then have been able to take to my mother & brother to show them. In the past I've been able to make them see sense, but not when I'm arguing against them alone.

My mother has made a lifelong habbit of drawing the most illogical conclusions, and then with her conclusions interfering with my life. On that occasion she manipulated me through my brother, by telling him something that isn't true, and making HIM believe that I was "trying to get a bit extra" as he so described it. Even now he doesn't understand that he was stealing from me. I don't expect to ever recover the money, but that's not important. These days with the adequate income I earn it's a trivial sum of cash, but their actions caused me to spend three years in a truly soul-destroying job, and five years paying the rent of two people. If my savings hadn't been so slim back then, and if I'd been warned that he was moving out, I could have arranged to move home BEFORE the rent crisis hit. I would also have locked the door to my room so he couldn't have stolen my bed.

Thankfully I have on my side the family member who told me about this, but even the two of us aren't able to confront my mother and brother.

Had I any choice I would really like to avoid going near my family, but I can't afford accomodation elsewhere for three weeks, and plus I'll have my arm in a sling all during that time.

With regard to the global financial situation, what I'm more concerned about is people voting in favour of anyone making radical promises, or of looking at extreme alternatives to the capitalist market. I'll admit that capitalism has it's flaws, but it's still the only system to date with a proven track record.
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