It's been a good year. Scratch that. It's been a great year.
Lots of good things, good adventures, good opportunities, old and new friends.
I'm really grateful for all my readers and visitors here for helping make the site work. So, I just blocked out 10 hours for calls from the 27th to the 31st of this month.
I'll give you a link in a moment, so you can book a Skype call with me. Before I do, please read these instructions and make sure they're suitable to you:
1. This is my first time using this software, it might not work correctly, and you don't get to be a jerk if it gets broken in some way. I'm trying to do a nice thing here and I tested this, but if it breaks, well, we'll roll with it but you don't get to be a jerk.
2. Please note that the times I blocked out are 8AM to 10AM Malaysia time. You need to convert this to your own timezone. It's 7PM to 9PM New York time and midnight to 2AM London time. But it's up to you to convert the time you booked into your own timezone.
3. Please include your Skype ID in the "comments" field. I don't care about any field besides Name, Email, and Skype ID in the comments.
4. I'll confirm with you by email from email@example.com if all goes well. If you don't see an email from me within a day, write to me to confirm. Don't just trust the software's automatic email. This is my first time using it. Look for a confirmation from me personally.
Okay, finally - I blocked out 20 minutes for each call, so it might be a good idea to pick one or two things you're working on or curious about before we get on the phone, because it could go fast. My internet is pretty fast and stable here in KL, so I'm not worried on that score.
I think it likely we run out of time slots, so you probably want to hurry if you want one.
Thanks for reading and happy holidays.
For those who can't do the call (like if you live in Europe like me), I recommend doing a 20 minutes "consultation" with yourself. Chances are that you already know what you want to do in your life. Of course talking with someone else can help tremendously, but remember the "self" in self help and you'll be fine.
On the 24th of December, I wrote a post "Happy holidays. Let's have a Skype chat."
It's something I'd thought about doing for a while. Hey, why don't I take open hours to chat with people, and offer my take on anything a person is interested in. I've had a few other bloggers and website runners express curiosity with how it went, hence, this post -
The Good -
I connected with a lot of interesting people. In the guidelines to that post, I wrote "I blocked out 20 minutes for each call, so it might be a good idea to pick one or two things you’re working on or curious about before we get on the phone, because it could go fast" - most people did, in fact, have a couple items when they called, and we wound up covering a lot of interesting ground.
I wasn't sure how 20 minutes would work, but it worked surprisingly well. There was minimal chit-chat and how-are-ya's at the start, which is cool. I've never been a fan of smalltalk, and have always made an effort to move past it into interesting things as quickly as possible in real life.
Grab your spangly feather boa and your rainbow flag; it's pride season!
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Many places around the world have already celebrated pride this year, with many events taking place in the UK over the next month. Belfast Pride takes place this weekend and for the first time in a couple of years I'll be attending. There is an almost carnival atmosphere with some great events lined up every year and it never fails to disappoint on an entertainment level, but pride never fails to cleft me in twain; and here is why.
I have a major issue with the name of the event: Pride. Remember when you were younger, and you'd mention a recent achievement and that one sarcastic person would retort, 'What do you want? A parade?' This is very much how I feel about pride events. What do we have to be proud of? I'm not proud of the fact I'm gay, but that doesn't mean I'm ashamed. What it means is that I don't consider my sexual orientation to be a defining feature of my personality. It almost feels like we're flaunting our innate homosexuality at everyone else going, 'Hey, hey you! See me? See all these colors? I'm different from you. My people are so special we need an annual parade!' To me that isn't pride, that's arrogance. We should be remembering the years of hardship people had to endure to allow us the freedoms and rights we have now. We should be continuing our fight for the rights we don't yet have. We should not be ogling at semi-naked men dressed as angels and disco balls atop ridiculous floats and treating the day like a mini-festival. When it comes down to a basic level, we are no different than anyone else, so please stop pretending we are.
If the suffragettes marched today, do you think they would do so out of vanity? or the promise of some mediocre Gaga tribute at the end? Of course not. They marched to make change, it seems pride parades these days march to get laid, or at least drunk. I'm not saying do away with pride. I'm saying lets refocus and actually use it to get our voice heard further, to bring about change. If we're gonna be proud about something, why can it not be something actually worth being proud about?