I tried to make a table of contents for this, like a Wiki page. It would have been great. But I'm terrible at HTML and Blogger, so this...

I tried to make a table of contents for this, like a Wiki page. It would have been great. But I'm terrible at HTML and Blogger, so this pile of shit is what we'll have to settle for. Enjoy.

1. Introduction

I don't know about you (and frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn), but one of the things I notice everybody saying at the end of every year - along with 'Sweet Stevie Wonder, I hate New Year's Eve. I was the first person ever to say this, everyone else in the world who rabbits on about it is just copying my boring rabbiting' and 'Christmas is such an anticlimax, why does no one else ever realise this? Baahhhhhhhh humbug' - is this: 'By the beard of Brian Blessed, that was a shit year. I'm so glad it's over.' And yeah, sometimes I've even been one of the people who says this, because we all have shit times and sometimes they seem to be such long shit times that we're fooled into thinking they snatched the whole year from us. But this year, I decided I'd summarise the year accurately. I wouldn't be one of those people who insult a year, put it down and make it feel bad just because I had a bad month. I'd treat it nice, I'd hear it out, then I'd rate it, just like on Hot or Not - all dignified, like. In 2013, my New Year's Resolution was to rate every week out of 10, and write an article at the end of the year about the averages, the highs and lows, the summary of the year as a whole. And now, 52 weeks later, here it is, just for you.
Bet this is just want you asked Santa for.

2. Numbers, Graphs, Tables, Science

Fig. 1: the year's ratings.

Fig. 2: a quarterly breakdown, just like you were hoping for.

Fig. 3: a completely unrelated number.

3. Highlights and Lowlights

Yeah, it's nice to see a squiggly line plotting all the year's scores, but what do they mean? What are you supposed to take from this information? Well, here's what I've learnt from my highs and lows of 2013.

   3.1. Sockin' it to the Tattoo H8erz

I got my first tattoo and my second tattoo this year, starting a minor addiction that I plan to feed again in January 2014. No more of this small text, mind - the next one is a half sleeve, then one day I'll wear a suit of them. Tie and all.

   3.2. 100% Grumpster

Have you ever had a bad mood that stuck around for weeks, even months? I haven't. In general, I'm normally in a good mood - the way I see it, as long as I'm alive and have all my limbs, I'm a lucky guy. As one of my heroes said, there ain't no use in cryin'; it doesn't change a thing, so, baby, what good does it do? But at the beginning of this year, I was moody for weeks. A quarter of the year was eaten up by it. Nothing was cheering me up, not even all the women who fancied me or my trip to New York to see Gaga (in fact, this may have actually contributed - she cancelled the gig two days before we flew out). But one day, in week 15, it just disappeared. I still don't know the reason for my mood, but I know that I fucking hate winter and I always have, so this probably contributed.

   3.3. Everything Around Me was Destroyed or Damaged

This little lump here (no, not there, look at my face when I'm talking to you) marks the release of my book, Everything Around Me is Destroyed or Damaged. It was a little ambition of mine to release an eBook this year, since it's so easy to do (it really is - too easy), so I worked away for the first half of the year, polishing up old stories, digging some out of the Unpublished Even On My Own Website pile, and writing new ones... and on July 23, it was released to a critical reception that would have blown me away, had I been expecting less than a few polite compliments from friends and a 'well done' from my mum. But seriously, I have had some really lovely feedback - literally hundreds of copies downloaded (I was expecting tens at most, but it is worth noting that I have more Facebook friends than downloads, so there are some people I know who wouldn't even download my book if it was free, which it has been for limited periods - bastards!), 11 4- or 5-star reviews on Amazon, this lovely review from BookCunt... I'm very pleased with how it turned out. If you haven't got your copy, download it now! Please.

   3.4. 99 Problems

I've always had unusual relationships with women. One of my male friends calls me King of the Friend Zone, because I have very flirty relationships with girls, but it's pre-decided (often by me) that they'll remain platonic forever. I dominate The Friend Zone, he says, make it my home. Live there by choice. Unfortunately, this came back to bite me in August, when several of my relationships with female friends went all weird for a bit. A lot came all at once - eerie silences, showdowns, comments that made me go, 'say whaaaaaaat?!', and to top it all off, a big slab of gossip dropped right in my lap, specifically designed to play on my paranoid side. And all of it pissed me right off, because a general rule of mine is that unless you're family, I don't want to have to deal with your shit. That's what makes me such a good bad friend.
I won't go into it all here, because this is the Internet and the Internet is no longer the place for my dirty laundry to dry, but I will say this: the way I see it, being a friend is not about dropping gossip bombs to sit back and watch the fallout. It's not about playing Sexual Politician, and it's not about only maintaining a friendship in the hope that one day it will suddenly blossom into a marriage. It's definitely not about getting jealous when your friends make new friends, like we're still at fucking primary school or something. It's about enjoying each other's company and wanting your friends to be happy. And above all, for me, it's about being able to feel comfortable and relaxed around someone. Because what's the point in a friendship that makes you feel tense? 
It was a big deal at the time, I was in a right strop. But I'm over it now, and I'm trying to modify the behaviour that led to it. Part of that involves getting closer to my male friends, which, I suppose, has done me some good, because I'm becoming less and less camp by the day.

   3.5. I Was a Teenage Harajuku Girl

If you haven't been to Tokyo, you have to go. I spent a week there this October, and it's shot straight into my top 5 places in the world ever. The lights, the music, the excitement, the arcades, the toys, the fashion, the excitement, the good looking people (every-fucking-body!), the food, the politeness, the excitement, the culture... I'm out of breath just thinking about it. Highlights included Akihabara, where every other building is an arcade; the comic stores where every graphic novel is a sexually graphic novel; Shinjuku; Harajuku, where I bought the coolest, most colourful (woman's) shorts ever for myself; all the restaurants where service means pressing a button on a vending machine; and Mount Fuji, which was way too misty to hope to see the top, but that didn't matter when we had such a hilarious tour guide.
Oh, and I also hit Hong Kong. That was very nice too, but it had a lot to compete with in Tokyo.

   3.6. Up and Down

Yeah, I noticed that this section looks pretty all over the place. One minute I'm down, the next I'm ecstatic, and then I'm down again. I'm afraid I don't have anything juicy to share (unless you want to hear the boring story about the dragon eating my baby) - there was a bit of shit around the house (owning a flat and/or a car is overrated, I'm sure of it), and things didn't go how I'd have liked at work one weekend, but other than that, it was alright. In fact, I was more than alright - at the end of November, the PS4 was released, hammering in even further the Writer's Block that had been clogging up my Creativity Hole for months. This actually highlights an issue with the rating system - since I rated every week on Monday evening, if something dramatic hit at the weekend, then the rating would often be skewed, as I rated it with a bad memory fresh in my mind. Short of attaching gadgets to my brain and measuring my mood every minute throughout the year, I can't think of a solution to this problem, so I didn't try to solve it at all. Deal with it.

4. Music

2013 was a fantastic year for music, and anyone who says it wasn't is a fucking ballbag. As well as discovering Charli XCX and falling madly in love with her, I was kept constantly erect by releases from Queens of the Stone Age, Paramore, Panic! at the Disco, Nine Inch Nails, Eminem, Little Boots and Depeche Mode, until I was dizzy with all the blood not reaching my head and fell unconscious at the end of December. And though I'd love to add Lady Gaga and Katy Perry to that list, I thought that their albums were wank. Soz, loves, I love you both, and you can still come over mine for an omelette and some kissing, but I'm not a fan of your newest stuff.
The year's best album was, by a long way, ...Like Clockwork (with The Marshall Mathers LP 2 coming second); and the best song of the year was obviously Still Into You. SuperLove almost clinched it though.

5. Films

I was going to write about the best films I'd seen this year here, but I can't remember which films came out this year and which came out last year. It was easier with songs, because I could just sort my iTunes library by Year. Ah well, fuck it; you didn't come here for film reviews anyway. Iron Man 3, Kick Ass 2, Despicable Me 2, The Way Way Back... I know I enjoyed those this year. Was Django this year too? If so, that one.
Oh wait. Anchorman 2. Yes. Incredible. That they can make a film which is pretty bad, but still beats every other comedy this year, blows my mind. I lolled most of the way through. Is lolling a verb yet?

6. Writing

As I've mentioned (again and again and again), I wrote and released a book this year. But apart from that, how is my writing going? Well, as you can tell by the time my last post was made (and its apalling content), I've been struggling to find the inspiration to write any more fiction in the second half of this year.
I force myself to do it sometimes, and sometimes that stuff is even fairly good; but it hasn't been flowing like I'd like. I've had months like this before, so I'm not worried; I'm just sayin', don't expect that short story collection sequel any time soon. And any writers out there that might stumble onto this page, if you have any tips for beating it, let me know, won't you?

7. Relationships

I'm not talking about sexual or romantic relationships here. I mean, I could, but just like my romantic encounters, this paragraph would be a rushed, clumsy affair that would be over way too quickly, leaving behind only shame and an awful, sticky, tearful mess to clean up. It's more friendships I wanted to write a little bit about. This year I've made a few new friends, I've reconnected in a small way with some friends I pushed away back when I went mental that one time, and I've even managed to keep most of the friendships I started the year with (despite their best efforts to get away from me). It feels nicer to have positive relationships than it does to have negative ones, so I'm glad that I have a few more; but I'd like next year to bring even more. I used to think it was really important to have a small, tight group of friends, but I'm definitely converted now to the view that having as many friends as you can possibly find is the way forward. About tools, my brother always says, 'It's better to be looking at it and looking for it.' I think the same of friends. Because, why not? So, make friends! Okay, great. #sowise
Oh, okay, I'll talk about romance too. I used Tinder for a bit this year (even though it doesn't have a Windows Phone version, so I couldn't use it on the move), and while it was fun, I just don't see how one can forge lasting relationships on it. For me, the best way to get to know someone is to see them face-to-face, have real life interaction. I thought for a while about writing an article on how hard it is to meet exciting, new people these days, and how it's a shame that we have to resort to apps and websites like this... but then I realised I don't really know what I'm talking about, so I didn't.

A wonderfully positive message I found on a wall in Tokyo.

8. Conclusion

What's the year average again? 6? *Checks*… Close enough. 6 is good, right? It's above 5, so it's certainly at the positive end of the scale. And, yeah, I think I have had a good year. I certainly don't feel bad about it, and with the paranoia that was eating me alive in 2011 and 2012 pretty much gone, the only way was up. I enjoyed the year, I feel good about it, and I think I can make 2014 even better. Because that's one thing I'm really focused on at the moment - we're masters of our own destinies, we can decide how our lives go, we are in control. 2013 was a good year because I made it a good year, and 2014 will be even better because I just said so. You should say so too, and then we'll all have a fantastic year together. Yeah!