My (Belated) Favourite 13 Tweets of 2013 and 14 Tweets of 2014

May 4, 2015

twitterjailHello everyone!

So the last time I was active on this blog, it was an annual tradition of mine to pick out my favourite tweets of the previous year as my first post of the New Year. Here are the posts for 2010, 2011, and 2012, if you have the interest.

Anyway, as I mentioned in April, I am starting up this blog again after a two-year hiatus, and I suppose that means I should go through the archives of @faceintheblue to see what jumped out to me. I’m skipping over a lot of my fury and scorn and disbelief and despair over Toronto’s former mayor Rob Ford for the sake of making this post more interesting to a general audience. I have also adjusted my rules a little from previous summaries: I’m no longer trying to evenly separate my selections across the calendar year –if I had four great tweets in November, why not highlight all of them?– and I’m also adding more explanatory notes where some context will be helpful.

Anyway, here are my favourites of the last couple of years. Enjoy!

My Favourite 13 Tweets of 2013

January 1

I just asked a fellow where he was for the Year 2000 ball drop. “In prison.” I changed the subject. #NewYear

February 21

Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” How do I become an arriving streetcar, Gandhi? It’s freezing out here! #Toronto

April 5

Okay, solid weather this morning, April. Good effort, nice hustle. Now give me ten laps and don’t you dare cool down or hit the showers!

June 13

Ah, buying beer from a corner store. Are you watching, Ontario? Did you note the lack of fire and brimstone smiting one of your citizens?

(I was in Colorado running a mining conference. On principle, I bought a six pack of local beer from a corner store, a luxury that will likely never be made available to me in my native province.)

August 2

Sometimes life’s stories don’t fit in 140 characters: Yada Yada Yada; Hide-a-key; Yada Yada Yada; I slept in a hallway last night.

September 7

The bouncer at a bar pointed out my driver’s license says I’m 170cm tall. I guess I was when I was 16? I’m over 190cm at 30. He bounced me.

November 1

Trapped in the elevator for 30 minutes with 5 coworkers and a mailman. I was THIS close to leading them in song to keep their spirits up.

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Starting this blog up again

April 19, 2015

Hello everyone,

bluedustydeskAfter a hiatus of more than two years, I have decided to get back into blogging. I don’t know how often I’ll update this site, but I have begun writing again in earnest, and this was always a great forum for me to change pace and work on something different.

When this blog was good, it was very good. The post about presidential knife-fighting became a runaway hit, with more than 300,000 views to date. I imagine I’ll try to do something equally hair-brained in the future if I ever hope to see those numbers again. I’m also delighted that so many readers of my two novels, Inca and Zulu, have come to this site to learn more about how and why I wrote them. You can definitely expect to see more of that, and hopefully my renewed enthusiasm for seeking our the elusive and possibly mythical third novel will offer much grist for the mill.

There are a few things that I did not do in 2009 through 2012 that I will likely do now: I can see this blog being a space for me to talk about current issues and events as I see them, and so moving forward I will not be so worried about the longevity and staying power of a piece. Better to write prolifically and have some content become stale than to sit idle for months for want of inspiration. I also suspect I will lean more towards many short posts rather than my more customary long and rambling essays. We’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, people start and stop blogs all the time. This was a longer break than I meant to do, but I was busy with other things in the last couple of years, and I have no regrets about how I spent my time. Now I am back, and hopefully we can have some fun with this.

Cheers!

–Geoff


My Favourite 12 Tweets of 2012

December 29, 2012

twitterHello again, everyone!

It’s been another great year, and I continue to enjoy Twitter –my account is @faceintheblue— beyond my wildest expectations: I’ve live tweeted political debates and playing tourist in foreign cities; I’ve complained about the weather and my distaste for shoe shopping; I’ve championed things I like and rubbished things I don’t; I’ve made new internet friends, and entertained some of the people I know in real life; most of all, I’ve killed time waiting for a bus, and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.

A few years ago I started a tradition as New Year rolled around. I blogged my favourite 10 tweets of 2010 and my favourite 11 tweets of 2011. Now another year has come and gone, and my foray into micro-blogging continues to distract and amuse me in odd moments that I would otherwise have wasted while waiting for something to happen. As I did last year and the year before, I’ve put together my top twelve tweets of 2012. Here they are!

January 27th

Who decided to give the CP24 traffic cam guy the ability to draw arrows on the feed? “No kidding? The cars go that way? Top-notch analysis!”

February 6th

What happened to you, Monday? You used to be cool. (Don’t ask me to cite examples right now. That’s such a Monday thing to do.)

March 7th

Just watched a baby snatch a set of jingling keys out of her mother’s hand and hurl them the length of a city bus while Mom wailed, “Nyet!”

March 31st

“Sara Three Cats: That’s a great name for a pool shark,” I said to Sara Three Cats as she proceeded to hustle me.

April 18th

Sorry, I never do this, but my April morning is cold: Please send it back to the kitchen, and I’d like to speak to your manager. #Toronto

July 17th

I’m not an incompetent hyperbolic scientist, but I play one on Twitter: If my calculations are correct it’s a billion degrees out today!

July 21st

Random Thought: If plants had ‘the sex talk’ it would literally be about the birds and the bees. Practice safe pollination, saplings…

September 14th

I just saw a squirrel panic at my approach & try to bury a nut into interlocking brick. Conclusion? Winter is coming & squirrels’re idiots.

September 19th

Cooking a premade frozen pizza that promises, “No unpronounceable ingredients!” I am not reassured: I can pronounce lots of awful things…

October 11th

The new guy at work just asked if I stayed late last night. I did. He laughed and said, “Classic Geoff!” Not sure how I feel about that.

November 23rd

Walking through a mall, my buddy mocking all the Black Friday shoppers. Mid-sentence he stops, and now we’re shopping for luggage.

December 1st

I’m sitting next to Typhoid Mary –patient zero of an Irish Wedding that saw dozens fall ill– but she coughs into her elbow, so we’re cool.

– – –

My criteria for the top tweets has evolved this year: They need to be self-contained and stand-alone, flippant, and ideally people enjoyed them on my Facebook newsfeed as well. There were half a dozen more that could have made the cut if only this were 2018. Ah, well. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just mind find you get what you need. I look forward to continuing with it in 2013. All the best to you and yours in the New Year!


My Top 11 Tweets of 2011

January 8, 2012

Hello everyone!

Another year has come and gone, and my foray into micro-blogging continues to entertain and distract me in odd moments that I would otherwise spend staring into space waiting for a bus. As I promised this time last year, I’ve put together my top eleven tweets of 2011. Enjoy!

November 5, 2011

Sudden thought: Why is there a jail in Monopoly? I’m playing a capitalist with huge swaths of real estate. My kind don’t go to prison…

October 27, 2011

Lipton could bottle today’s weather and market it with a series of claymation parodies (it’s brisk, I guess is what I’m trying to say).

(For those of you who don’t get the reference, here’s some context.)

September 6, 2011

My reaction to the first day of school: “That will take care of all those troublesome kids.” I think I’m becoming a Scooby Doo villain.

August 28, 2011

Got my good deed for the day out of the way early (caught an escaped dog for an older lady). Now I can dedicate the rest of my day to evil.

August 21, 2011

I’m in a used bookstore. Along one wall are shelves for Religion and for Science. The bookcase between the two is labeled ‘Unexplained.’

June 4, 2011

Things you learn at 1 a.m.? Card-carrying communists bring tambourines to karaoke. Who knew?

April 24, 2011

Bachelor achievement unlocked: I have worn out my can opener.

March 28, 2011

Geoff of the Future? Buy cat food. The natives are getting restless. Sincerely, Geoff of the Past (your biggest fan!)

February 14, 2011

I like the word lampooning: It’s like harpooning without the attempted murder. You’re only stabbing someone with your words.

February 8, 2011

Okay Tuesday *rolls head left and right until a pop-click sounds from both directions* let’s dance!

January 8, 2011

Had some company over to see the new apartment. Best compliment? “Now there’s the television of a man who reads books!”

– – –

Anyway, I make no claims to any of this being great writing, but I have a lot of fun with Twitter, and I look forward to continuing with it in 2012. All the best to you and yours in the New Year!


My 100th Blog Post: Faceintheblue, 100,000 Readers and Counting

November 8, 2011

Hello everyone,

I started this blog on October 24, 2009, at the urging of a friend who has also dragged my reluctant self kicking and screaming into an appreciation of hip hop, Twitter, and e-publishing. Apparently, I owe him a great deal of thanks for his well-meant browbeating: This is my 100th post in a little over two years, and sometime early next week I can expect to welcome my 100,000th reader.

It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable ride so far. I am still impressed with the number of people who run a Google search for ‘Guns used during the Great Depression.’  I remain less enthused at the lack of interest in my long and rambling annecdotes, but as those are the bread and butter of a personal blog I’ll keep putting them up as the spirit moves me. One day, someone is bound to enjoy them half as much as I do.

I marvel at some of the people I have met through this site. Thanks to my post about one of my ancestors founding the town of Kenmore, Ontario, I got in touch with a 102-year-old fourth-cousin four-times removed who helped me trace one branch of my family tree back to 1720s Scotland. My deep and abiding appreciation for the Beatles on Ukulele project has put me in contact with the organizers and some of the artists. I’m long overdue for a new post on that site, and I suppose I’ll have to set aside a Saturday this December to do it justice. I’ve also connected with several people whose fathers and grandfathers served with my grandfather, Murray Anderson, on the HMCS Drumheller during the Second World War.

There are a number of things I’ve been proud to share with you all over the last couple of years: My grandfather’s eulogy, the publishing of my first novel, my love of notable quotes, everything I know about dancing, how men feel about barbers, and just about anything I have to say about poetry. Your positive feedback has meant a great deal to me, and  I would like to encourage you all to add your comments whenever you like. I write for me, but I’m also writing for you, and I’m happy to produce more of what speaks to you, whether that’s Canadian history or Russian art or things I’ve eaten with my fingers. I’ll do what I can to give value for your visits.

Anyway, that’s the update from FaceInTheBlue 25 months in. It’s been fun so far. Thank you all for reading. As I said in my 1000th Tweet, “Without you, I’m just whistling in the dark.”


My Top 10 Twitter Tweets of 2010

December 31, 2010

Hello everyone!

I wish I had posted more this month: I’m afraid between my recent move into a glorious new apartment and killing my last netbook with a careless spill, this hasn’t been a blog-friendly December. Still, I have recently joined the 21st Century in acquiring a smartphone and creating a Twitter account. This foray into microblogging has been even more fun than I was told, so I thought I might mark the last day of 2010 with my Top 10 Tweets, out of a total of 260 so far.

To qualify, a post has to not be a retweet and not directed at any particular individual. I also narrowed down the finalists to cover all four months of my participation. I imagine this will be a much more difficult process in the future, and so you can look forward to a ‘Top 11 of 2011′ and a ‘Top 12 of 2012′ and so on until either this blog or my involvement in Twitter dies out.

Enjoy!

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I’ll be trying my hand at NaNoWriMo this year

October 19, 2010

Hello everyone,

As part of my endeavours to get back into the habit of writing regularly, I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. It’s an internet community project where thousands of people around the world try to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1st and November 30th. Last year’s contest saw 165,000 participants, more than 30,000 of whom succeeded in crossing the word count threshold by midnight at the end of the month.

Because of the limited time frame, the emphasis is on getting words onto (virtual) paper, rather than polishing a well-rounded, carefully editing work. The idea is to inspire creativity, without worrying about the end result. I expect to write tens of thousands of words of dreck, but I’ll have fun doing it, and that’s the main thing. Normally my genre is historical fiction, but in a format like this I hope a stream-of-conscious approach inspired by Kurt Vonnegut might see me through to the end. I don’t want to give away too much at this point, but I have a hazy idea for a plot involving a man who has been alive since the last ice age meeting and falling in love with a physical incarnation of death. It will definitely be a departure from anything I’ve done before, but it should be an enjoyable experience all the same.

Wrimos, as we are apparently called, keep in touch through the website, blogs, and hopefully meet up in early December at bars all over the world to commiserate and swap war stories. In that spirit, a friend of mine has set up a blog, Stranger Than Truth, and I’ll be submitting my content there, here, and hopefully on the NaNoWriMo website as well. My profile on the site is also called Faceintheblue, so I should be easy to track down; I encourage anyone reading this who is also doing NaNoWriMo to add me as a buddy. A community is only as rich as its members, after all.

I also encourage you to follow me on twitter here, as I’m bound to complain heartily over the course of the month, and everyone likes to hear colourful rhetoric in the place of thoughtful prose from time to time.

For anyone who’s interested but not already involved, you can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Perhaps we’ll fail spectacularly together, but I suspect we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.

Good luck to you, to me, and to all of this year’s Wrimos. Cheers!


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