Tag Archives: anniversaries

A Hectic Morning

As has become tradition in the lighthouse, we like to celebrate the anniversary of this blog each year on February 9. Seven years ago now! Each year I wonder how much longer will this thing go on? At first, I thought: a year would be cool, then it quickly became two. Five seemed like a good place to wrap things up, but then it sort of kept going. Some months it is almost impossible to find inspiration and motivation to write anything, and other months see multiple posts. I’ve never missed a month in the past 7 years, (I don’t think), and I wear that minimal consistency with a bit of pride, I have to admit.

So here is our 8th “Morning” post. Looking ahead, maybe we’ll even make it to an even ten years? I think, looking back on this project, being able to say I’ve “maintained a blog” for a DECADE sounds way cooler than saying ALMOST A DECADE, right? Our daughter will be almost 12 by then, on the cusp of being a teenager. Probably a good time to turn the lens off of family life at that point, for her sake and ours. (I can hear all of you saying, “Darn, just when it’s about to get good!”)

But that means we still have three years together, you and I. (God willing). And to quote Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption, “And if you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little further?”

I called this post “A Hectic Morning” because in addition to one of my staff taking a “family sick” day, another staff person is super sick with a cold but still dragged herself in to do a couple of children’s programs (but most likely will head home after that) and most of my part-time staff are either working at other branches, maxed out on hours, or are out-of-town, so it may be the ol’ champ here this afternoon, manning the library/lighthouse singlehandedly. (Well, not actually single-handedly, but AT DIMINISHED CAPACITY). And yet I still find a quick moment to honour the day with a blog post. I have my priorities, you guys.

Speaking of our daughter, I overheard this little exchange on the schoolyard this morning that I thought you might enjoy it. It involves my daughter and one of her little pals, Marcos, who is in her grade (three) but not in her class this year. Marcos came up to her and gave her a big hug and said:

Marcos: “Hey A______, remember in grade one when we would talk all the time about Paw Patrol and then watch Paw Patrol? That was fun”.

Daughter: “Yeah”.

Marcos (a little hestitant): “Do you still like Paw Patrol“?

Daughter: “Yeah”.

Marcos (quickly and softly): “Me too”.

Daughter: “SORT of”.

Happy Anniversary, Mountains Beyond Mountains! There always seems to be another mountain to check out. Glad you are checking them out with me.

Oh, and Happy Winter Olympics, everybody! Cue the David Foster!

 

 

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Ten short years

“I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier.” The Killers

I realized this week that this Sunday marks ten years of me singing in our church choir. Ten years! Another way of saying that is a decade, or even a tenth of a century if you want to get fancy. (Who DOESN’T?)

Let’s slip into the ol’ TARDIS and have a looksee, shall we? The Black Eyed Peas were on the radio asking where is all the love, and Gwen Stefani was telling us that the SHIT is bananas. (It really was, back then. That just shows how far we’ve come as a scociety.) I had just bought tickets to see U2 in Milwaukee that upcoming fall, with the hope that I’d finally see “The Killers” open for them. (I was off by one or two dates. By the time the Milwaukee show rolled around, The Killers were replaced by some outfit calling themselves “Dashboard Confessional”. Right? I don’t remember them either.)

But in the spring all things were possible. The Blue Jays had a pretty scrappy team lined up, a team that Joe Torre of the Yankees said he “most feared” of all the teams in the American League East, and we’re talking about the spring after the Red Sox’s historic 86 year ending drought. Let’s just look at those Jays for a second. Gregg Zaun was our catcher, you guys! And Ted Lilly and Shea Hillenbrand were still there. That was before Shea wrote that mean-spirited message on the clubhouse’s chalkboard and before Lilly tried to kill his manager, as I recall. Well the joke’s on HIM, because he is long gone, and his manager? Well, his manager is none other than the CURRENT manager of YOUR 2015 TORONTO BLUE JAYS, JOHN GIBBONS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Also on the team that year? That walking douche bag Eric Hinske and the doomed Corey Koskie (the pride of Anola, Manitoba!). My personal favourite dude on the 2005 Blue Jays? Reed Johnson. That guy knew how to take a pitch, and he got hit by so many of them, I bet Billy Beane still thinks about him. Speaking of Billy Beane, I just googled him to make sure I got his spelling right and you know how Google tries to guess what you are trying to look for? Well the first thing that comes up is “Billy Beane GAY?” [caps added by editor]. Can this be true? I mean, he was married twice to ladies and has a daughter BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING IN THIS DAY AND AGE. I don’t want to be the one starting rumours, but if you’re reading this Billy, COME OUT OF THAT CLOSET! It’s 2015! You live in the Bay Area, for God’s sake!

But I digress, obviously.

It was the spring of 2005 and I somehow got dragged into ushering one Sunday at this church near our house. We had been attending off and on in the two years previous, but nothing too serious. I had some family connections at that church and that was about it. How I came to be ushering on Palm Sunday remains lost in the mists of time. But I’ll never forget a shortish lady approached me after church and asked me if I could sing. At this point, I hadn’t sung in a choir for over a decade, since high school. The choir director at our old church was a bit of a dick and I didn’t want to be involved full time. I’d join for the odd “big thing” but that was about it. I think I kind of stammered. “Um, yeah. I guess.”

“Well, why don’t you join our choir?” It turned out this shortish lady was Helen, the choir director.

“When do you practice?”

“Thursdays.”

“Oh okay. Well, maybe I’ll think about it and join after Easter.” My old church started practicing Easter stuff way back in January and it would have been unheard of for a “Johnny Come Lately” to join up the week before Easter, on Maundy Thursday, no less.

“Why wait? You could come on Thursday and sing on Easter Sunday.”

My first Sunday in the choir being Easter Sunday with only one practice? It sounded crazy, but you know what?

I did. And that’s how I joined the choir.

At my first practice, a lovely older man, John, came up to me with a twinkle in his eye and introduced himself. He really took me under his wing and got me a folder and asked me if I was tenor or bass. A slight shadow passed over his face when I told him “bass”, but we soon got past it. I learned that my choir debut wasn’t going to be Easter Sunday, but the very next day! Good Friday! John made sure I had a gown that fit me (more or less) and from the very first day I felt loved. I also soon remembered how much fun it is to sing in a choir, and how much I actually missed it.

What I wasn’t expecting was how much this choir would become such a loving source of fun and friendship over the next ten years. [Editor’s Note: This is the part of the blog post where we mention God, so feel free to go to the kitchen and make a sandwich or put the kettle on, or just skip ahead to the next paragraph.] In addition to the challenges and joys of learning new pieces together, it provides an opportunity, for me at least, to connect on a spiritual level to something bigger than me. To God or whatever, as Jesse Thorn might put it. [Editor’s note: you can come back in now. How’s the sandwich?]

A couple of years later, we were doing a combined service with the Anglicans down the road. My wife entered the wrong door, and instead of ending up in the sanctuary, she walked right into the hall where the combined choirs were warming up. That’s all it took for her to join the choir! Before she knew it she was filing onto the chancel . After church, some people approached my wife and expressed amazement that she was in the choir. I don’t think anyone was more amazed than she.

My wife, the more outgoing one, quickly made friends with the altos on either side of her, and those friendships have remained strong to this day, transcending the choir and even the church, despite the fact that my wife hasn’t been able to sing in the choir in a number of years due to her work schedule. She still has a gown, though.

Time is odd. Sometimes an hour-long dental appointment lasts for ever, and other times you can blink and ten years have slipped by. Where will we all be ten years from now? I’m not even 100% sure what I’m having for lunch today. I hope that I still get together with friends for meals and general goofiness, and I hope I’m still singing somewhere, even if it’s just in the shower.

Newsflash! Billy Beane and Reed Johnson were reportedly married in a quiet civil ceremony over the weekend. Vin Scully presiding.

Newsflash! Billy Beane and Reed Johnson were reportedly married in a quiet civil ceremony over the weekend. Vin Scully presiding.

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A perfectly normal morning

You know, there was something about Feb 9th that seemed important to me, but I couldn’t figure it out and it was BUGGING me. It started last week when we had a discrepancy in the work schedule. On most of the schedules, (work talk, you guys), we had our part-time reference person coming in at 5 pm to work the evening shift, but on one of the schedules we had him coming in at 1 pm. Now, the only reason we would have him come in early would be to cover the desk and the number one reason we would need him to cover the desk would be because I would be away busy somewhere. This disturbed me, because I had no record of any meeting for the afternoon of the 9th, and so either the schedule was wrong, or I was missing out on something important. (I’m not the greatest at remembering meetings, sometimes, although I rarely miss one. That’s usually due to the fact that a coworker will email me a day before saying something like, “Do you want to get lunch before the meeting?” and then I panic and click around and see what the hell is happening and then I casually write back, “Sure, sure. Where?”) But this phantom meeting was proving to be a stumper.

I decided that someone must have got the weeks wrong (we DID need our part timer in early last week to help out in a program) so maybe that was it?

We left it at that, and hoped all was well.

But wouldn’t you know, no one thought to call the part-timer to confirm his schedule, and at 1 pm today, as I was walking in, so was the part timer. Of all the schedules he had to consult (the schedule must be posted in like 6 different places in the branch) he found the one that had him starting at 1 pm and ran with it.

I had just finished apologizing/explaining that we didn’t need him and he was halfway to his car in the parking to return home until later tonight when one of my other staff told me they were feeling sick and would very much like to go home early. Well, just like Basil Fawlty, I ran out into the parking (without a jacket, you guys) slipped twice on the ice before catching our part timer just as he was getting to his car. Well, he was happy to get the full day in, despite the fact that I looked like a boob, but I’m okay with that. By the grace of the LORD everything was covered and all was well.

 

But what was it about February 9? February 5 used to be my parent’s anniversary, February 2 is Groundhog Day, and those are all the February days that I know about.

So it took me by a bit of surprise when I logged into WordPress just now to see this:

Wordpress Anniversary

Four years ago I visited my gum surgeon and didn’t have to pay for parking! You can read all about it here.

So I guess I have THREE things to remember in February now. Interestingly enough, Feb 9 is also the day that Hershey’s Chocolate company came into being (1894) and the American National Weather Service was established (1870). Before that day, America didn’t have any weather at all. Or should I say, no change of seasons. It was always about 22 degrees Celsius by noon with a slight breeze from the west REGARDLESS OF THE TIME OF YEAR. Also, before 1894, if you wanted Chocolate, you could only get Cadbury’s FRUIT AND NUT bars. (It’s not even fruit, you guys, it’s raisins).

And before February 9, 2011 there was no Mountains Beyond Mountains. The internet was a rather flat and dry place. We’re like a cross between a nice piece of dark chocolate (no raisins) and a stiff breeze coming in off the coast. A chocolate breeze, if you will. (Please don’t go to the urban dictionary from here.) We here at the ol’ lighthouse strive to keep you informed and entertained (with varying degrees of success, obviously), but we are definitely grateful for all the readers, whether you are regular or casual. I appreciate knowing that you are out there, reading these goofy ramblings, and if they put a smile on your face or even cause an occasional “laugh out loud” then that makes it all worthwhile.

And apparently February 9th is also “toothache day”, whatever that means. which also seems oddly appropriate since it was a visit to my gum surgeon that kicked this whole thing off four years ago.

 

Also, I hear that toothaches are the leading complaint resulting from a “chocolate breeze”. (Don’t look it up!)

birthday cake

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Bi-centennial

I put “Bi” in the title of this post, you guys. You know why? Well, let me tell you. This modest scribble marks the 200th blog post written here at Mountains Beyond Mountains. In a little less than a month from now we will be celebrating our 4th anniversary. Yes, it’s been almost 4 years since that fateful “Perfect Morning” that launched 200 stories (so far) and while this blog seems to ebb and flow a bit, it seems to be really flowing these days. We should perhaps consult a doctor about this.

(I know, I know. Some of you are wondering what happened to the second part of “A sort of homecoming”. Don’t worry, friend. It’s coming. It’s mostly written, and I hope you enjoy seeing me return to my ancestral spiritual home after more than a decade in the wilderness. Spoiler: it’s not all that interesting).

But for now, I thought I’d tell a little story that may be appropriate on this 200th birthday.

I knew this milestone was coming, because every time you hit “publish” on this thing it tells you how many you’ve written. I knew I was creeping towards 200 last fall and I started to think about what story I should tell to mark the occasion. A part of me thought I could time the 200th post to coincide with the beginning of the new year, but then I caught the flu before Christmas and my production went down and actually the story I had in mind will keep for another day. In fact, it’s a story I’ve been working on since last summer and it involves something that happened way back in the mid 1980’s and it has ties to the present day. (I’LL SAY NO MORE) except to say that every once in a while I really work on a story: edit it, rewrite it, shape it, you know. And this will be one of those stories (unlike this post which has already taken on a bit of the ol’ ramble, hasn’t it?)

Well, let’s press on, shall we? Today, for our 200th post, I’d like to tell you a little bit about Mrs. Campbell, a lady who coincidentally enough, is celebrating her 100th birthday today.

You can’t really think of Mrs. Campbell without including Mr. Campbell. The Campbells. Some couples inevitably get identified by their “couplehood” more than their individual personalities, and this was certainly true for them. Hugh and Margaret, if you want to make it a little more personal.

The Campbells, Hugh and Margaret, lived across the street from our family all the years that I grew up. Mr. Campbell worked for the phone company and Mrs. Campbell stayed at home. They did not have kids. They were fun neighbours, in the sense that they were friendly to my brother and me, and also because they attended our church so we knew them from there. Come to think of it, they probably knew Mr. Pauls, too. SEE: THERE I DID IT. I WORKED MR. PAULS INTO THIS BLOG POST. THAT’S THREE IN A ROW. IT WILL BE FOUR WHEN YOU COUNT THE NEXT ONE. Gosh, that man held more sway over me than I realized, huh?

In any case, I should tell you that Mr. Campbell suffered from polio as a child, and as a result had “no use of his right arm”. That’s always how my parents put it. He had “no use of his right arm”, and I sometimes took that as he has “no use FOR his right arm” as if he could have used it if he wanted, but he didn’t see any use for it and got by quite well with just the one. Like someone who could afford to own two cars, but only drove one regularly. The “useless” right arm hung limp by his side and he always tucked the useless attached right hand into his pants pockets, which always gave the impression that Mr. Campbell, was either a) super casual or b) scratching his nuts all day long.

You know, as far as I could tell, he never let his disability get in the way of enjoying life. I remember him outside with a spade digging his garden (one handedly, obvs) and oh man you should have seen the way he would eat a burger. The Campbells would be over for a BBQ a few times in the summer and he was able to get that burger up in his one good hand and he just ate the FUCK out of it. These are the things that I remember as a kid. I also remember one time being over at their house and for some reason going downstairs into their basement and somehow catching Mr. Campbell unawares and he had his limpid hand out of his pocket you guys. And I totally felt like that scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Admiral Piett walks in on Vader and he is in his chamber with his helmet off and Piett is all like “oh shit, do I stay here and wait until he gets that helmet on and pretend I didn’t see anything?” That was me in the Campbell’s basement that day. He hastily stuffed his hand away when he saw me, but it was too late. I had already seen the unnatural paleness of it, and the weird way his fingers all seemed to go in the wrong directions. I’m telling ya, that image stayed with me for a long time.

This is probably a good time to introduce you to Mrs. Campbell. She too, lived with a disability, but it was worse in a way, she was born without much of a right arm and hand at all. I don’t know what’s worse. Having an arm you can’t use, or not having one at all. Her arm started out fine at the shoulder but then it quickly narrowed and withered into a bit of a stump when you got to the elbow. She hid it very well, because she told my Mom one day that she was raised by her parents to always hide her disability to avoid teasing on the schoolyard. She hid it so well, in fact, that all the time growing up I had NO IDEA she was missing the better part of her right arm. SHE WAS REALLY GOOD AT HIDING IT, YOU GUYS. In fact, it wasn’t until I was in my mid 20s and I had graduated from university that the whole story came out. My Mom had a little “graduation party” for me at the house, and the Campbells, although no longer living across from my Mom, were invited to the party. I noticed the disfigurement partway through the evening and when I caught my Mom alone in the kitchen I said, “Geez, what happened to Mrs. Campbell’s arm?” and my Mom looked a bit stunned and said, “You’re joking, right? She was born that way.” And that was that.

Although I was blissfully unaware of Mrs. Campbell’s situation, the Campbells always looked out for me and my brother. I remember in grade 9, Mrs. Campbell called my Mom to ask if everything was okay with me. I just didn’t seem to have my old “bounce in my step” going and coming to school, as she put it. I don’t think my parents really ever noticed that there was something wrong with me until that moment, and when they asked me, I guess I said I was just really tired and had no energy. It went on for a few more weeks until my Mom finally took me to see the family doctor. He said he couldn’t really say for sure but he thought maybe I was just getting over mono, and that was how we characterized those first two or three months of grade 9. Even now, the story goes that it was the Mrs. Campbell who noticed when I had “mono”. Looking back on it now, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that was my first experience with clinical Depression. I don’t think it’s completely unreasonable to think that someone as young as that could suffer from it, because the symptoms were exactly the same then as they were for me in the fall of Grade 11 and again three years after that when I was eventually properly diagnosed and hospitalized. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if that “mono” was actually my old nemesis, Depression, showing up unannounced and unexpected. It was the fall, after all.

Driving was never an issue for the Campbells. While Mr. Campbell drove all the time, he had no use of his right arm and hand, so Mrs. Campbell would put the car in gear for him when they started out and would move the transmission into “Park” when they reached their destination. I’m sure if the auto insurance company knew that was going on, they would freak, but it always seemed to work for them and as far as I know they never got into accidents. They completed each other, not in a cheesy, Hollywood style sense, but in an actual, physical, nuts and bolts, “let’s drive this car around town” kind of sense. Also, they travelled all over Scotland in a rental, but I suppose that would have been easier with the gearbox on the left hand side of the steering wheel for Mr. Campbell. Fun fact, when Mr. Campbell decided to give up driving, I bought his car off of him and it was my first real “car” (aside from my Dad’s car that I just sort of started driving after he died.) and in fact I drove the Campbell’s car right up until we bought our current car, the Corolla, 7 years ago or so. I had it for 10 years.

You may wonder how these two people found each other. I’m told that as children they were both sent to “cripples camp” when children with disabilities would hang out together, because I guess if you have a disability you really like to see other kids that are also disabled and then every one can have fun, or something. I don’t know. But there they met, (I’m not sure if they were actually children when they met. I’m guessing they were teenagers, or young adults. I don’t really know. For the purposes of this blog, the one that never lets the truth get in the way of a good story, let’s pretend they were little children when they met and then they met again when they were in their late teens and that’s when they fell in love).

The Campbells were definitely a part of my childhood growing up, part of the “fabric” that made up our block. But as things go, things change. When Mr. Campbell retired, they decided the house was becoming too much for them and they moved into an apartment downtown. My Mom kept in touch with them and became a bit of an “unofficial” daughter. She would take Mrs. Campbell grocery shopping, and they would have her back for supper. They often left jars of things on the counter for my Mom to open when they were too difficult for them. They had a favourite fish and chips place and for their birthdays my Mom would pick up supper for them and bring it over to their place. When Mr. Campbell got sicker, my Mom became their power of attorney and executor. My Mom was happy to do it. My Mom is a helper by nature. If she’s not helping someone (or worse, if she feels unwanted somewhere) she feels useless. This is why I play the role of an incompetent boob. I’m actually quite a self-assured, capable, organized man, but I act helpless and useless some times FOR MY MOM’S SAKE. I’m told I’m quite good at it.

So eventually Mr. Campbell passed away. Despite his life-long disability, he lived well into his 90s. He told me once, “Never get old”, and I didn’t know how to take it. I think I was suffering a bit with Depression when he gave me that advice and I might have taken it as an encouragement to end things early, but I’d like to think he meant ‘Stay young in your heart” because despite his health issues, which only got worse as he got older, I never got the sense that he lost his sense of humour or his sense of adventure.

Mrs. Campbell lived on the apartment for a few years after Mr. Campbell died. My Mom continued to take her out for her weekly grocery trips, and she started to take 2 or 3 of Mrs. Campbell’s neighbours at the same time! It became quite an outing: my Mom and her 3 older charges marching through Safeway or even worse: buying special “hose” at the Bay or confusing the young sales clerks with requests for “dusters” (apparently that is a term for weird old-fashioned apron dress things that Mrs. Campbell liked to wear), but eventually this too came to an end when Mrs. Campbell was eventually moved out of the apartment and into a personal care home. This happened within the lifetime of this blog, within the last 4 years or so, because I remember helping my Mom clean out the apartment and helping her get rid of Mr. Campbell’s old LPs and a few CDs too. One of the CDs was full of old Scottish folk songs but it had such a sad title. “When you are too old to dream”. I thought about writing a blog post about the Campbells then and using that as the title, but it seemed so sad and I wasn’t sure what kind of shape it would have taken. So I guess I filed that away until today, on Mrs. Campbell’s 100 birthday. She didn’t want a party. She didn’t want to draw attention to herself, apparently. But she agreed to a small gathering of all the “January birthdays” in her home so she wouldn’t be alone. My Mom’s going over there today. She bought Mrs. Campbell a corsage. My Mom likes to help. It’s what she does. And as long as Mrs. Campbell has my Mom, she will never been alone.

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Campbell.

(and happy 200th blog post for us. Thanks for reading, you guys. It would be too much work if I just sent you all long weird personal emails).

 

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Happy Anniversary!

“The future, always so clear to me, has become like a black highway at night.” Sarah Connor, Terminator 2.

On February 9, we will be celebrating Mountains Beyond Mountains’ first anniversary. A paper anniversary for a paperless blog.  A year ago I wrote about a perfect morning, and from there on in just continued to post things on an almost weekly basis. Almost a year to the day I will return to the gum specialist for a check up, and if my experience tells me anything, it’s that I can never have two good appointments in a row with her. Let’s hope for the best. When I started this blog, I sort of set a goal in my head to blog every week for a year and see what happens. I think I pretty much kept to that goal. In a couple of weeks I will have fulfilled that obligation to myself.

Why did I even start this blog? I think it was inspired by a couple of things.

The first thing was that my employer, a large public library system, was launching its own blog and I was asked to be one of the regular contributors. I had never “blogged” before and although I follow a few blogs through Google Reader, I never really thought about blogging myself. Being asked to blog on a regular basis meant that I had to be at least a little bit familiar with “how to do it”. What better way to practice and screw around with it than to actually start a blog myself? Since my library was going to use WordPress, that made the decision as to which blog platform to use easy. I’m sure Blogger, Tumblr, and many others have many good things to offer, but since I’ve started with WordPress, it’s WordPress for me here on in.

Another reason was that a couple of years ago we became friends with a new circle. It happened just around the time our daughter was born, but I don’t know if that had much to do with it. I think it was more of a happy coincidence than anything else. It’s funny when you start hanging out with people who have known each other much longer than you’ve known them. You have to play alot of “catch up”. There are years of stories that are taken as givens by the group that I’m hearing for the first time, and  I found myself referring to things that happened to me when I was younger and just absent-mindedly assuming that everyone knew what I was talking about. Being able to write these blog posts allows me to provide some of the shorthand as to what I am all about, and may help get some of those old stories on record, for what it’s worth. As time goes by, my friends and I will  surely develop our own shorthand, in-jokes, “you had to be there” moments, and shared experiences. It’s already happening. Like anything organic, you can’t rush it and it will happen on its own time in its own way. These blogs just fill in some of the gaps.

Finally, I do it because it’s fun. I’ve always liked writing; I’ve kept a journal off and on since age 16, and as early as elementary school I was writing little stories. I even got to go to a “Young Author’s Conference” in Grade 6 where I met my hero, Gordon Korman. He even signed my copy of “I Want To Go Home”, which has a place on honour on my signed books shelf. At university, I was the “Features Editor” of our school newspaper. It was a great position. I had to fill two full pages every week, but no one seemed to know with what I was supposed to fill, so I used it like I use this blog. I wrote about whatever caught my fancy. Sometimes it dealt with the goings on at school, but most of the time it was just fun nonsense. I don’t think the other more serious editors (news, sports, entertainment) knew what quite to make of me, but the copy editor was happy that two pages of every paper would always been filled, regardless of the content. In more recent years, I’ve come to greatly admire writers like Bill Bryson, David Sedaris and David Rakoff. They can find humour in almost anything, and are so good at getting that across to the reader.

My first signed book! The beginning of an obsession.

I’ve been sort of treating this blog as if it were an actual job. Is that weird? I set a goal of one blog post a week, and for the most part I’ve been keeping pretty close to that. I’ve had almost 4000 views since I began, and my most visited post is the one I did on Ireland back on March 14, 2011. The single most popular day was May 4, 2011 when I had 102 visits. My blog on U2’s visit to our town received the most comments. I can’t explain any of this. Since I’m my own boss, I’m not too hard on myself if I miss a week here or there. I’m happy to report I’ve rehired myself for another year. I hope I stay on my boss’s good side. He can be a bit of a monster sometimes.

I thought for year 2 of “Mountains Beyond Mountains” I’d go with a different layout. I’m not so sure I like the look of it, but I love the name of it. It’s called “Kubrick”. I think I miss the Tintin graphic at the top. The theme is kind of plain and doesn’t really say what the blog is about, which is probably just as well because I’m not sure I could adequately articulate what I’m trying to do here either.

I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my posts and for those who are brave enough to leave comments. Although I write primarily for the fun of it myself, I also write for the fanbase. You know who you are.

What will year 2 bring? As Sarah Connor tells us, the future is a dark highway. Will I wake up one day with a bad case of writer’s block? Will I eventually tire of the challenge of coming up with something witty? Will I lose this narcissistic delusion that people actually want to read what I have to say? No doubt that day will come, but until it does let’s just carry on, shall we?

Who wants ice cream with their piece?

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