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January 8, 2012



Gallows Hill and Andersonville

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 8, 2012, 12:40 PM
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Artificial Heart; Jonathan Coulton
  • Reading: Forever Odd; Dean Koontz
  • Watching: Hal The Misinterpretive Porn Star
  • Eating: Venison Omelet
  • Drinking: Gatorade

"When we do not know a person -- and also when we do -- we have to judge his size by the size and nature of his achievements, as compared with the achievements of others in his special line of business -- there is no other way."

-Mark Twain

Hey Everybody! :)

Well, by now, 2012 is upon us, and we're all staring down the barrel of another year.
Of course if you're inclined toward other-worldly mysticism and the infinite wisdom of the now-extinct Mayan civilization, or, like me, you're a hopeless Obsessive-Compulsive and you can't let a sticking thought go, no matter how bug-shit insane it is, there's the perpetual sword of Damocles hanging over our head about an alleged, unspecified end to this world come December... something.
Although if we're going by the ACTUAl account of the end of the world in Mayan lore (and no one I've talked to on the subject is anyway) The world has already endured 3 destructions by fire, water and jaguar respectively (Yes, the world was destroyed by an elusive and retiring jungle cat) And now we face the 4th and final destruction by earthquake...
... Look it up, if you don't believe me. :P

So, we're a week into 2012, and we've all acclimatized ourselves to the new year. We've all gone through our little rituals, either of spending eight months worth of rent obey onto a party where it's too loud to hear people talking and you have to hold your date's hair while she tosses her cookies in a dirty bathroom, or, if you're smart, you just stay home and listen to the countdown on NPR and then sleep in all day next day.

As for me, I never had much of a New Year's eve ritual. My folks always considered New Year's day to be the big celebrating point, so that's kind of where I've set my stock.

For me, New Year's is a time when I reflect on the previous year to see what I accomplished. A tradition I blatantly, shamelessly stole from an episode of "3rd Rock From The Sun"

Last year I had a hell of a lot to be happy about. I left Florida behind for good, I met one of my best DA friends EVAR face-to-face, I moved in with my high school friend and his wife and made a happy living arraignment with the three of them, and I got a job where I was paid better than I'd ever been in my life and I finished writing my second novel.  

This year, though, I realized I had quite a lot less to be proud of.

-Establishing myself on my own, living completely, inexorably on my own for the first time in my life.

-Finishing work on my third novel.

And that's about it. Those of you who saw my whiny, over-emotional Thanksgiving journal know I'm now in not-enviable Financial straits. Not Dire Straits mind you but still less-than-enviable.

But then I remembered one of the other accomplishments I achieved this year: purchasing and reading all five of Sarah Vowell's published books.

I love Sarah Vowell, I really, really do. Enough that when I saw that DA was aggravatingly deficient in a 'plz' account for her, I took the liberty myself.
From her accounts of pilgrimages to artifacts of the three assassinated American Presidents of the 19th century, to her search for the Pilgrim founders of the Massachusetts Bay colony to her search for hands-on Hawaiian history to her musings on putting on Goth makeup to try and get a better feel for the subculture, I've really come to idolize Miss Vowell as one of the great, understated, intellectual giants of our lifetimes.
But perhaps the best lesson I've taken away from any of her books was from, perhaps my favorite; "The Partly Cloudy Patriot."

"My motto in any situation is "It could be worse!" "It could be worse!" is how I meet every setback. Though, nothing all that bad has ever happened to me, every time I've ever had my heart broken, or gotten fired or watched an audience member at one of my book signings have a seizure as I stand at the podium trying not to cry, I remind myself: "It could be worse!" In my self-help universe, when things go wrong, I whisper mantras to myself; mantras like "Andersonville", or "Texas school book depository".
"Andersonville" is a code-word for "you could be one of the prisoners of war, dying of disease and malnutrition in the worst confederate prison, so just calm down about the movie you wanted to go to being sold out".
"Texas school book depository" means that having the delivery guy forget the guacamole isn't nearly as bad as being assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald as the blood from your head stains your wife's pink suit.
Though, ever since I went to Salem, I'm keen on "Gallows Hill". As in, "being stuck in the Boise airport for ten hours, while getting hit on by a divorced man with 'major financial problems', on his way to his to his twentieth high school reunion, is irksome but not as dire as swinging by the neck on Salem's Gallows Hill".
So, if I have gleaned anything useful from reading and day-tripping through the tribulations of the long dead, it's to count my blessings — to try and quit bellyaching — to buck up. Can't you just hear the children's song?"

So maybe it's time I took a reflective look and said to myself;

"Being a pathetic, single twenty six-year-old with limited financial means is unfortunate, but not nearly as troubling as being a crewman on the Essex in 1820, having my ship struck by an indignant, eighty five-foot bull sperm whale in the middle of the Pacific, necessitating a 91-day voyage in tiny lifeboats and eating the flesh of my fellow crewmen to avoid starvation and being picked up by a British ship as a starved, skeletal husk of a human being."

So, 2011 wasn't terribly stellar for me. But that doesn't mean I can't turn things around in 2012. In fact I do intend to turn things around and have several plans to potentially implement to actualize said goals.

I hope you all are having safe, happy, productive New Years, that you can look back on 2011 as times of happy accomplishment and frivolity and can look forward to 2012 with cocksure grins and girded loins... You hears me. :XD:…

It's raining so hard
And the cabs, they won't stop
But compare and contrast for one moment...
To the Montgomery bus boycott  

Gallows Hill and Andersonville
It could be, it could be worse
Gallows Hill and Andersonville
It could be, it could be worse  

You're hosting a party
And you ran out of beers
And your guests, they left early, now, didn't they, but...
That's no Trail of Tears  

Gallows Hill and Andersonville
It could be, it could be worse
Gallows Hill and Andersonville
It could be, it could be worse

You asked for baked potato
And they brought you fried
But that's not as sad now, is it...
As The Day The Music Died?

Gallows Hill and Andersonville
It could be, it could be worse
Gallows Hill and Andersonville
It could be, it could be worse


Gallows Hill and Andersonvilleby SilverVulpine

Journals / Personal©2012-2014 SilverVulpine
Add a Comment:
This year WILL be better, youll see :hug:
You are AWESOME and awesome things happen to awesome people..
Its lifes nature :)
SilverVulpine Jan 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Aww, Anya!!! :aww: :heart:

You really are a sweetheart, in every sense of the word, and I love you dearly for it.
Thank you so, so much for being so kind and loving... you manage to make the dark void my life can seem a little brighter.

I'm looking for new jobs tomorrow, and I'm honing my novel to try and sell it, so we'll see how the year plays out.
Thanks again, so much, my Mexican artist friend with a heart of gold.
:XD: Its only the truth :) :hug:
Im honored ot have such a smart, gifted and lovely british young man as a friend! :heart:
Its just a matter of time sweets, dont stress it out :)
You could always write for comic book companies as a last resourt :)
SilverVulpine Jan 17, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
You really are a sweetheart. :heart:

And you know just how to flatter me. ;) :aww:

And I do hope you're right. Speaking of which, I've got to go work on editing my novel. xD

And I may end up doing that one of these days. ;)
SinistrosePhosphate Jan 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You know... I have to admire your ability to see the "Gallow's Hills" and the "Andersonvilles" in life. And I have to say that I have met very many people in life, but only a handful can see the "Texas school book depository." There are times when I wished I had known more people like you. (It means I might be out of a job doing suicide and self-harm counselling, of course. But that hardly matters - it's a side-job that I am very happy to give up knowing that there is no more demand for it.)

Either way, I wish you all the best for the new year. It seems that you've got a number of things listed to go and every one of them is worthwhile and commendable (third novel, you say! That's quite an accomplishment already.) With someone as optimistic as you are, I foresee a happy and successful future for you. Keep your chin up. This just might be the year your luck changes.
SilverVulpine Jan 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
It's really a brilliant observation Sarah brought up, and it's a damn good philosophy to live by.
(and I'm sorry to hear that you're potentially losing your side job, but, like you said, maybe it's a good thing there isn't much demand for a suicide hotline counselor.)
I wish you best of luck in the new year, too, my friend. :tighthug:
SinistrosePhosphate Jan 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, dear me... I think an explanation might be in order here. ^^;
You see... I've told you that I'm gainfully (?) employed in the healthcare field but I've never really told you what I do for a living. All I said was that artworks and drawing comic books is something that I cannot do professionally anymore. The reason for that, you see, is I'm going through my residency program in medicine to becoming a general surgeon. Outside the day job as a first year intern and the artworks you see here on dA, I also counsel people (mostly through dA) on issues regarding suicide and self-harm. I am not being paid for these consults... it's just something I do as a part of my dA presence. I call it a "side-job"... but it's one I wouldn't mind losing - as long as the reason for losing it is because my services are no longer required.

On that note, my friend... I'll need all the luck I can get in this new year. Heaven knows, I still need to learn how to take out an appendix in a half-hour or less! ^^;
SilverVulpine Jan 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh, I see.
Sorry for my misunderstanding. ^^;
SinistrosePhosphate Jan 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Aah, well... nothing to worry about.
I was being deliberately vague, I believe.

... really, what's the use of telling everyone I'm a doctor? ^^;
SilverVulpine Jan 12, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
No worries. :hug:

Well, there's the prestige. :XD:
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