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Showing posts with label Jared Woods. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jared Woods. Show all posts

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Dear 2019,


Dear 2019: A summary above all summaries Greetings.

The burden of this letter is not lost on me. Any year ending with the number 9 not only signifies the completion of one trip around the sun, but also a collection of ten of them, the neat grouping of a decade, so very human.

The difficulty comes where to draw the split. Do I focus on you, 2019, as a singular unit? Or do I broaden this piece to reflect upon the 2010s as a lump sum? The latter hardly seems fair on you. Your traits were uniquely yours, why should you not be treated as the individual you were? Every other year was granted such treatment. Although perhaps the strongest argument against this approach is how mental the overall decade was. So much so that, by the time you rolled around, we were stuffed on nuts and desensitised to just about everything. Politics still utterly fucked beyond comprehension? Ok. The environment still falling apart and we're all gonna die? Got it. 2019, you could manifest into physical form and pop a wheelie on an e-scooter and nobody would even notice.

Let them eat headaches. You and me, we shared a wink or two, didn't we? Fuck the haters, you were my bestie! Maybe I never said this before, but you were, and I'm not even embarrassed to admit it. If everything is going to shit, then I might as well enjoy it, right? Is that how I justify the CO2 that was vomited into your atmosphere on account of my endless flight miles? Can I use the vegetarian-turning-vegan excuse to balance out my footprint argument again? No? Whatever. My guilt is countered by the fact that my life was actually enjoyable this year, and I think given the opportunity, anyone would do what I did.

I travelled. A lot. I travelled without stopping. I had no home but I had money because my professional life went from strength to strength as if it was injecting steroids into its spinal cord. Jesus was by my side the whole time, whether I wanted him to be there or not. I finally figured out the roots to my own personal religion. And while my brain was known to pull a wonky on me every now and again, for the first time in my life, I had built an outside world which I can't imagine anyone else's life could beat. Peak Jared. Really achieved something beautiful here.

Maybe TikTok drove a further wedge between me and the kids. Maybe the ASMR habit of chewing into microphones brought us together. But whatever anyone's opinion, I thank you on behalf of everyone for carrying most of us to the end of your run in one piece. If the panic of the average voice is anything to go by, then we don't have many of you years left! Although we've been saying that for thousands of years, haven't we? It doesn't matter.

What matters is that this is the 11th time I'm writing one of these articles. I should have stopped at 10 because now what? It's fine, you deserve this, I owe you nothing less. Sure, this will be rushed⁠—these things are always more about content than eloquence⁠—but my passion is all here, starting in the German capital of Berlin, my Jarexit adventures only a month running at this point, my second stop after Copenhagen with oh so many more to go. More than I even knew at the time. It was here, 2019, that we finally met. And it was love at first sight.

Use the following key to find what you are looking for much quicker:

ICON DESCRIPTION
Personal stuff that relates to me.
Notable people who died.
General news, often of a political nature.
Some big event.
Disasters, mostly natural.
Internet related news.
Music related news.
Film/TV related news.
Science/Technology related news.
Award ceremonies.
Gigs I went to.
Trips I went on.
Books I read.
Articles I wrote/Juice Nothing related news.
Information about my Heartbreak book.
Scripts I wrote for Pencilmation.
Scripts I wrote for INFAQT.
Music I was involved with.
The Funpowder Plot related news (usually about my film).
Paintings/Art I did all by myself.
News about my quest for fame.
Money I won.
The King/Queen of 2018.
Mental Health Checkup.
My social media posts which I am the most proud of.


Dear 2019, January: Leaving Neverland sucks; 10 year challenge was a Facebook data ploy; an egg wins Instagram; evil man Jair Bolsonaro takes over Brazil; Huawei trade wars; Greggs made a vegan sausage roll

01 Jan
My New Years began with me high up as fuck on a rooftop watching the 360-degree view of Berlin fireworks. Truly insane, truly magnificent. I have never seen anything like that in my life, it was a good good starting point.
I spent the rest of the day with my old friend Brothers and some of his friends who quickly became my friends. We shared many stories and laughs and then all got naked in front of one another at the biggest sauna place I've ever been in. One of my favouritest New Yearses evers.
For the first time since the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, a bunch of works (bar sound recordings) published in 1932 enter the public domain.
Openly racist sexist homophobic anti-environmentalist Jair Bolsonaro becomes the President of Brazil from today for the next foreseeable four years, pushing Brazil backwards very soon.
Meanwhile, Austria legalises same-sex marriage, so we're still going forward in places, don't lose hope.
Pencilmation Script: Wishful Thinking.

02 Jan
Greggs launches a vegan sausage roll and the UK fucking loses their mind. The demand became so huge that the company struggled to keep up with initial demand owed, in part, to Piers Morgan behaving like the right-wing baby he is and "throwing up" the food on live television.
Stewart Robert Einstein was an actor apparently best known for creating/performing the character Super Dave Osborne. However, I knew him for his work in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development. Regardless, he's gone now, 76, cancer.
After finally getting back to my hostel and crashing out for an immeasurable amount of time, I awoke to find some cunt had plucked my phone from its charger from right next to my head and escaped with it to some other faraway land. Such a violation. Especially when you're travelling, your phone is your life. What kind of an asshole, really? God bless him but a plague on his mother's house, I wish bad things for him. The hours of creativity lost due to this one incident is endlessly heartbreaking. It also wasn't much fun making a statement to German police in a German police station when you were coming down as unhappy as I was.

03 Jan
From today and over three nights, the Surviving R. Kelly documentary aired, detailing the lengthy sexual abuse history of the artist. Whatever the show was trying to achieve, it probably got there, as R Kelly's name was completely fucked from this point on. Other musicians removed their collaborations with Kelly from streaming services (such as Lady Gaga, Chance the Rapper, Celine Dion, and Ciara), radio refused to play him, his label dropped him, and he was even banned from Philadelphia. R. Kelly denied the allegations and threatened to sue everyone ever on the planet. He was then arrested in July for all sorts of negative sex things.
Chang'e 4 from China becomes the first man-made thingie to touch down on the Dark Side of the Moon. Apparently there's nothing there.
Pencilmation Script: You Drive Me Crayon.

04 Jan
What a momentous day it was when the world_record_egg Instagram account uploaded a photo of an egg with the sole intention of garnering more Likes than Kylie Jenner's world record 18 million, held for the announcement of her daughter's birth. Within 10 days, it had already surpassed 28.3 million, so job done then. They have since used their power to tackle mental health issues, wins all around. More here.
The Bold and the Beautiful air their 8000th episode. Man, I used to watch this show alllll the time, so I'm stoked, keep it up, guys!

05 Jan
Battered and phoneless, I managed to catch my plane and I flew away from Berlin, Germany, to a much safer, calmer environment, known as Budapest, Hungary.
As far as trips go, Berlin had some massive highs but some definite lows (phone stolen, I repeat) as well as some impossible stockings to fill. 2016 was when I was last in that city and had the greatest holiday of my life with 10 of my best friends. Off the bat, there was no way I could possibly beat that. But I foolishly tried by booking myself a bed in a 10 person dorm situated within an already sociable hostel over Xmas and New Years. In theory, it could have worked. In practice, I had a revolving door of stinky men, ZERO connections made there, and did I mention someone stole my phone? Someone stole my phone. I also partied too hard and didn't sleep so well and Berlin is crazy enough as it is without the holiday season and it rained a lot and it totally tired me out.
But still, the friends I did make were worth it alone, and of course, Berlin is Berlin, with all its weird history and artsy vibes, I guess you can't go too wrong with it? I also went to Nico's grave, which is huge. Still, ready to move on for sure, and Budapest was waiting with open arms.
Read the full report on this list here.
Instagram summary here. Check out some photo highlights here and here.
Pencilmation Script: Off the Recorder.

06 Jan
The 76th Golden Globe Awards today. It was hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg, and I don't think they did the best jobs of it. Anyways, Green Book won three while Roma and Bohemian Rhapsody won two each. CONGRATS!

07 Jan
Today I released Chapter 2: Copenhagen, the second part of my web series/fictional travel vlog/eventual film called Definitely Not a Cry for Help. All of my creative juices in one basket.

08 Jan
You'll remember this one: today was the day that the first 10 Year Challenge post was posted, where users were urged to share side-by-side photos of their 2009 vs. 2019 selfies. You know an internet thingie is fucking massive when people start using it in arguments against climate change as well as Facebook privacy issues. I personally did not partake, purely because the concept of ageing terrifies me.
Pencilmation Script: Spice Guys Finish Last.

09 Jan
Gregg Rudloff made sounds for films and won Academy Awards for them, for example Glory, The Matrix, and Mad Max: Fury Road. At age 63, he dies today from a reported suicide :(
Finally, my new phone arrived! It was exactly the same model as my old phone (iPhone6) but get this... it only cost me £60! Let this be a lesson to you, kids: get insurance! I forgot I had done so but thank Jesus I did. It's also amazing that my phone got stolen in Berlin and I got a new one sent to Budapest from the UK. Special times.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (1/50): It is not enough for me to achieve all of my dreams. I must achieve all of your dreams too.

10 Jan
Venezuela president Nicolás Maduro 2018's reelection is declared "illegitimate" by Juan Guaidó, which caused a massive presidential crisis about who is actually in charge here. The consequences have been intense with protests and deaths and severed diplomatic ties with the U.S and other stuff. This is a story I could write essays about, but people already have, so maybe go read those instead. By the end of the year, 54 countries recognised Guaidó as the acting president. I'm not even sure how this happens.
Ross Lowell was a photographer, cinematographer, lighting designer, author and entrepreneur who will always be mainly remembered as the genius who invented gaffer tape. Death day today, 92.
A brand new #legoloaves arrives, the one which said "I Still Think About David Bowie Every Single Day", marking the three-year anniversary of the legend's death. [LEGOBISCUIT41-LEGOLOAF05]
Pencilmation Script: The iPodd Couple.

12 Jan
Pencilmation Script: Neither Hair Nor There.

14 Jan
Family Guy announces that they will be phasing out jokes against the LGBT community. As much as I believe that all's fair in love and war and comedy and art, the truth is that anti-gay humour just simply isn't funny anymore, so it feels like a smart move of progression.
Won the lotto! £4.9! Woohoo!

15 Jan
So much fucking Brexit news forever that it's difficult to know what warrants a slot or not without turning this entire blog post into a political piece, but today was a landmark moment when Parliament voted down Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement, 432-202. She kept trying anyway, but nobody was having any of it. More to come, obviously.
Zimbabwe, as in the entire fucking country, goes into complete shutdown. No banks, no schools, no transport, nothing. Even the internet was turned off, gone. Total blackout. This is due to Zimbabweans striking and protesting against heavy fuel price increases (130%). Things calmed down after three days, 600+ arrests, 172 injuries, and 12 deaths.

16 Jan
Teresa Marie Ryan (AKA Lorna Doom) was the core bassist for the Germs, a generally overlooked but highly influential punk band featuring Pat Smear (later of Nirvana/Foo Fighters fame). She died from breast cancer today at age 61.
Following on with the #legoloaves conversation, today I finally launched the long-thought about project of turning these digital pieces into branded materials, up for sale on my Red Bubble account. Excellent idea, even if thus far I've only sold one sticker (thanks whoever you were!). The recent David Bowie loaf was also removed immediately for copyright infringement, which makes sense.

17 Jan
The deadliest terror attack on the Colombian capital since 2003 occurred today when a vehicle-bound suicide bomb kills 21 people and injures 68 others.
Pencilmation Script: More Bang for Your Duck.

18 Jan
Some naughty idiots attempted to steal fuel from a pipeline in Tlahuelilpan, Mexico, which caused an explosion so big that 124 people died and 22 others were injured.
Boo Dog was a Pomeranian who was so fricken cute that the internet bowed down before him, amassing over 17.5 million Likes on Facebook by 2016. Sadly, his older brother, Buddy, died in 2017, and this broke his heart so badly that he slowly deteriorated, eventually passing today. RIP BOO DOG :(

19 Jan
There are many aspects worth highlighting about Hungarian's capital (the laid back atmosphere, the friendly faces, the awe-inspiring architecture, the financial breathing space, the comfort of a private room, drinking with Tanya and Simon, visiting Rezső Seress' grave (!!!), the snow etc) but truthfully, the whole trip was one glorious success after the next. Basically, it was flawless, nothing went wrong and it effortlessly became my favourite Jarexit place on the trip thus far. I think more than any other region, I tend to recommend it to people more because it checks the most boxes.
Basically, Budapest was absolute therapy to me. But my two weeks were up on this date, so I got on a plane and flew to Rome. I was very optimistic at this point. Getting pretty good at the travelling thing by now.
Read the full report on this list here.
Instagram summary here. Check out some photo highlights here and here.
Pencilmation Script: Age Against the Machine.

22 Jan
Pencilmation Script: Ship on Your Shoulder.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (2/50): I hear what you’re saying and it’s fucking stupid.

23 Jan
Riding high on his Bohemian Rhapsody success, director Bryan Singer came crashing down today as the Atlantic reported that this man had sexually assaulted four men who were underage at the time. As it turns out, Singer has a loooong history of such sexual advancements on minors, dating back to 1997, but somehow he continuously dodged lawsuit bullets and went largely unscathed despite the mountain of accusations. Anyway, looks like he got hit this time for real, his name has been notably distanced from the Bohemian Rhapsody project and he has rightfully lost work as a result.
Daddy Yankee & Snow upload the video for Con Calma to YouTube. Some 1.6billion views later, and we have the most streamed 2019 video on the platform.

24 Jan
Pencilmation Script: Dragon and On and On.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (3/50): Permanent happiness is an unrealistic objective. But with a little bit of strategic planning, perpetual excitement is totally achievable.

25 Jan
The 236-minute documentary Leaving Neverland is premiered at Sundance, and boy, did it go on to cause so much 2019 fuss! I mean, even though there was no new evidence presented, and even though the "victims" already testified the opposite for decades (making them liars one way or another) and even though they had a lot of finances to gain here and even though various comments were proven to be inconsistent with factual evidence and even though the docco had obviously picked a side without any space for contradictory interviews or opinions... suddenly, Michael Jackson's behaviour became hot topic again, pissing on a dead man's grave who already passed the raids and the court proceedings many yeard before, resulting in the removal of so much of his work even though it was based on the edited testimony of two people. This is #MeToo gone wrong. I watched the film and it certainly made me feel uneasy, it has some convincing points, but I'm not about to make my mind up when it could just as easily be untrue. Fuck this bias and badly made documentary, truly.
The U.S. federal government shutdown ends today after 35 days, the longest in history.
The Brumadinho dam disaster in Brazil happened today, releasing a major mudflow that killed 272 people.
Bruce Kendall Corbitt was the influential speed/thrash vocalist for Rigor Mortis, and he died today from oesophagal cancer at age 56.

27 Jan
ISIS claims the two bombs that killed 20 people and injured another 100 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Jolo, Philippines.

28 Jan
The U.S. Justice Department suddenly charges Huawei with fraud, because surely the U.S and China weren't already having a tough relationship. Huawei was banned in the country, causing the company to open a lawsuit against the matter.

29 Jan
YouTube announce the possibility of removing the dislike button from videos to combat "dislike mobs". The internet does not like this.
Pencilmation Script: Conflict of Internet.

30 Jan
It's not every day that a person who legitimately enhanced your life dies, but today was one of the days. Stewart Sanders Adams OBE was a pharmacist who helped develop the painkiller ibuprofen, now one of the world's best-selling drugs. He died today at the age of 95, I'm not sure of what, but surely not a headache. Thanks for saving all my hangovers, guy!!!

31 Jan
Harold Ray Bradley is in the Musician's Hall of Fame for good reason, having played a part on hundreds of albums from countless bands (often as part of the Nashville A-Team) which included names like Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and The Byrds. In fact, he has been officially called "one of the most recorded guitarists in music history". What's more, he lived all the way to 93, so you gotta respect that God loves some people more than others.
Gerri Lawlor died today, her greatest legacy that she helped invent the fictitious Simlish language used in The Sims video game. Despite being one of the best-selling games series of all time, it was still not enough to give Gerri the stardom she deserved, hence why her age and reasons of death are unknown to my limited Google time.
Pencilmation Script: Face Oddity.

Misc.
Coming to life December 2018 and growing during January was the Some of You Were Never joke format (aka And it Shows). Like all things, it was very funny only some of the time.
Mental Health Checkup: After the natural chemicals had restored themselves due to the predictable consequences of New Year's Day, January was quite a healthy one all around. Perhaps I drank too much, but a lot of walking and home-cooked eating was achieved, and of course, travelling does wonders for one's soul. There is also a lot to be said for Rome, which will be said shortly. Annoyingly, a heavy two-day crash was experienced at some point in mid-Budapest when I couldn't get out of bed much, so I simply didn't and watched sad movies and cried until I felt better and went at it again. I think for my own personal journey, it's important to just accept that these intense lows are a part of my process and I just gotta let them run their course. There is a lot of power in that alone.

Dear 2019, February: Opportunity Mars Rover dies; T-Series wins YouTube; Mark David Holli from Talk Talk dies; Simpsons break some other record; Karl Otto Lagerfeld dies; terrorist Shamima Begum loses British citizenship

01 Feb
Trump confirms that the USA are leaving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987, an agreement intended to eliminate missiles between the Soviet Union and America. Russia announced they were doing the same the next day. Wait, what?
An interview with ME about my band Sectlinefor is published on Battle Helm. I liked the part where I said that "I grow taller with each compliment" because it's true.

02 Feb
Even though I felt ready for it, today I left Rome with a new lease for life and travelling and God. Without a doubt, it was my favourite city I'd ever been to for multiple reasons. I think I just wasn't expecting it to be what it was, I only came for the cheap flights, man! But the locations were like films sets, it was everything I'd ever imagined Rome to be except SO MUCH BIGGER, I was genuinely awe-inspired for perhaps the first time in my life, with so many sights to see that I regrettably underestimated this city and did not manage to tick every box. And my hostel was a social goldmine, I met new people over glasses of (free!) wine every evening, literally like a hundred glasses and a hundred people, some of whom I was heartbroken to part with. I still follow and am fascinated by many of them to this day (Legend R.G. hostel, use it!). And, I guess most importantly of all, travelling is like anything. It takes practice. And by this point, I had a good grasp on how to build quick routines and an immediate level of certain comfort. The dirty streets didn't bother me because it brought me back to reality. I got intensely sick for a couple of days (30th and 31st of Jan for those keeping track at home), but even this downer did not lessen the experience (although I was hallucinating and glued to my bed by sweat, unable to work). All you need to know was that Rome changed my life on a fundamental level, and I no longer felt it necessary to seek out "my favourite city" because I was certain I'd found it here.
There were an infinite amount of highlights but nothing... NOTHING... hit me like the St. Peter's Basilica. It changed me on a level I can easily explain but it would take too long, hold the line, ask me in person. But Jesus finally made sense on a conceptual level and I decided in these breathless moments that I was going to take steps towards becoming a better person. It's not even a religious thing. It's simply a stopping thing, a thinking thing, a choosing the right path thing. I promptly purchased a Bible too, but that's unrelated, I swear to God.
Anyways, FUCK, Rome! So good! But it had to end at some point, and today it ended as I boarded a plane and made my way to Athens, amped for a slightly slower pace especially because I had been there before so I kinda knew what to expect.
Read the full report on this list here.
Instagram summary here. Check out some photo highlights here and here, with a specially tailored St Peters Basilica batch here.
Pencilmation Script: Science Fair and Square.

03 Feb
Super Bowl LIII, where the New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams, 13–3. Maroon 5 performed the halftime show which was called "omg the fucking worst ever". The short SpongeBob SquarePants segment is worth mentioning though, a halfhearted attempt at appeasing the 1.1 million signatures asking for a Stephen Hillenburg tribute because the creator of the show had passed away the year before.
Cool guy Pope Francis visits Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, now the first pope to ever go to the Arabian Peninsula. What a guy!

05 Feb
During an Afghan–Taliban peace talk in Moscow, the Taliban attacks, killing 47 people and injuring 12 others. Dick move.
Guy Michael Webster was a celebrity photographer who shot some classic album covers, most notably (in my opinion) Simon & Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence, Nico's The Marble Index, and The Doors' self-titled debut. Others include The Rolling Stones, Captain Beefheart, the Byrds, the Beach Boys, Tim Buckley and lots with the Mamas & the Papas. Today he was no more, as diabetes and liver cancer took him away at 79.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (4/50): Getting upset is the fastest way to declare that you’ve lost control of the situation.

06 Feb
After being renewed for its 31st and 32nd seasons, The Simpsons was set to be the first-ever American primetime scripted series to pass 700 episodes (with 713).
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (5/50): I regret how I’ve treated some people in my life, and if I could go back in time, I‘d check out the dinosaurs.

07 Feb
Definitely Not a Cry for Help - Chapter Three: Berlin. Despite the continual trend of each episode garnering fewer viewers, I knew in my heart that this was the next level for my little series and I was super proud of it. I feel like it was from here that the story began to pull itself together and I was getting a clearer vision of what I wanted. I'd watch it again, basically.
Albert Finney was an actor known for large roles in films such as Tom Jones, Annie, Erin Brockovich, Big Fish, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy, and Skyfall. Finney won BAFTA, Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild awards, as well as being Oscar-nominated five times, but sadly never winning. Time's up! He died today at age 82 from a chest infection.
Pencilmation Script: Stiff Upper Lift.

09 Feb
Pencilmation Script: Past But Not Least.

10 Feb
61st Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by Alicia Keys for some reason. Kendrick Lamar topped the nominations with 8. Childish Gambino and Kacey Musgraves both won four, This is America was called Song of the Year while Golden Hour was called the Album of the Year, both of which I surprisingly wholeheartedly support, good work!

12 Feb
The Republic of Macedonia becomes the Republic of North Macedonia, which ends a dispute with Greece that's been going on for decades. Eyes on joining NATO and the EU now apparently.
Pencilmation Script: Hansel and Regretel.

13 Feb
After running away from the UK in 2015 to join ISIS in Syria, British-born Shamima Begum announced that she was going to return to the country to birth her child. The UK was like, not a fuck Shamima, and they stripped her of her citizenship. This was such a legal grey area (not to mention a moral one too) especially after the child in question was born and then died. Still, I mean, without sounding like an incompassionate jerk, maybe she should have thought about these consequences before joining a terrorist organisation?
A suicide bomb vehicle attack kills 27 Revolutionary Guards in southeastern Iran, one of the deadliest attacks of terror in Iran in years :(
Opportunity (Mars Exploration Rover – B/Oppy) was a robot rover who landed on Mars in 2004, its sole purpose to collect data for us. Initially only predicted to last a short time, this was the little machine that could, and Oppy lasted for 14 years, 46 days longer than anticipated (55x the projected lifespan). But after travelling 45.16 kilometres and then being hit by a heavy dust storm in June 2018, NASA could no longer communicate with the rover, and on this date, it was officially declared dead. Sleep tight, good boy. You did so well.
Without telling many people about it, the Pencilmation crew quietly released our first video for a series called INFAQT today on our Pencilmate Live channel. It's more of an "interesting thoughts" type of project, and I wrote this first one titled What if The Sun Never Set?

14 Feb
After years of work followed by lengthy conversations with Unbound (a crowdfunding/publishing company), it was today, on Valentine's Day, that my first self-help book was announced. Titled "Heartbreak Sucks! How to Get Over Your Ex in 30 Days" it was a work I was very proud/precious of. Hence why certain compromises that the company demanded did set off some red flags... but, still, it was an absolute encouragement that a proper publisher had faith in my work. As is their business model, the campaign went live seeking to raise moneys to get the book into stores, and I was pretty excited about the whole thing at this point. More coming soon.
Another day another suicide bomb vehicle, this one in Kashmir, killing 40 Indian security personnel, the worst of its kind in three decades.
Pencilmation Script: The Shower Must Go On.

16 Feb
Unbeknownst to the social media world, I tip-toed out of Athens on this day all the way to Cape Town of which my little sister was the only resident aware of my arrival. My whole life I've wanted to do this. Surprise visit my parents. See their faces as their son drops in on them unannounced, looking for a flicker of hatred in their eyes to betray their actual feelings for me. No such flicker existed! And I have video proof, look at my mama's reaction!
Athens itself was rad (my private room alone was worth the visit, I would live there) but the city never stood a chance after the preceding Rome adventure. The persistent slight rain didn't help. Neither did the lack of cool tourist locations to visit (I had to limit myself to one a day just to not run out). And, of course, the fact that I had done those streets before did blunt any massive potential wow factor, which is my fault, not the city's fault.
Still, the time flew by and the slower pace was appreciated, I felt comfortable for the first time on my whole trip. Plus, the sights themselves are monumental, so mad with their historic value, it's impossible not to get some sort of a funny feeling. Oh, and I do love the Greek people. They don't give a fuck about anything!
Read the full report on this list here.
If you wanna see what I saw, click over here and here.
An awesome review for my band Sectlinefor's previous record appeared on the Dutch site Metalfan. They gave us 70/100, which is far too low.
Pencilmation Script: Closet Encounters.
In other Pencilmatiom news, we hit 8 million subscribers.

18 Feb
Wallace "Wally" Smith Broecker was a geophysicist, best known as the guy who coined the terms "global warming". He also developed the concept of a "conveyor belt" effect on the global ocean and I don't know what that means, I only put him in here for the global warming thing. Anyway, he escaped the death of the planet by dying himself today at age 87, idky.

19 Feb
Shows how much I know about fashion, but when Karl Otto Lagerfeld died today, it was the first time his name fell on my radar. Apparently, he was a fairly famous deal, known for some groundbreaking designs, completely reviving Chanel after Coco's death, and generally being a controversial figure who said many blunt things about fat people, Muslims, different races, and the #MeToo movement. Anyway, dead now. He was 85 and it was pancreatic cancer.
Pencilmation Script: What Goes Pup Must Come Down.

20 Feb
2019 Brit Awards hosted by Jack Whitehall. The 1975 and Calvin Harris won two each. Probably going to stop noting this ceremony in future blogs.
After a pickup van and a private car collided, a gas cylinder exploded right next to some buildings storing crazy flammable chemicals, followed by a fuckoff huge fire breaking out in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 80 people, injuring 50 others.

21 Feb
SpaceIL launches Beresheet, a probe missioned to the Moon, the first privately financed of its kind.
Peter Halsten Thorkelson AKA Peter Tork was the musician/actor, best known as the keys and bass behind the Monkees. After battling adenoid cystic carcinoma for over a decade, he finally lost the war and died today at 77.
Pencilmation Script: All Thumbs.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (6/50): I'm just trying to be a better person. A better person than you.

23 Feb
The 39th Golden Raspberry Awards tonight, honouring the worst of the worst, which (according to them) was Holmes & Watson winning four awards including Worst Picture.
Pencilmation Script: The Cart of War.

24 Feb
The 91st Academy Awards were tonight, without any host after Kevin Hart was dropped due to homophobic jokes. Green Book won Best Picture and two others. Bohemian Rhapsody won four awards including Best Actor. The Favourite was nominated for 10, Olivia Colman winning Best Actress (which was a win for the whole of the UK as she's royalty in our eyes, glad the world is catching up). Roma was also nominated for 10, winning three, which is pretty big for a Netflix flick. There was a 12% increase in viewers this year, which is surprising. I thought it was a dying scene.

25 Feb
For 10 minutes, the YouTube channel T-Series (a mostly Bollywood music label) surpassed internet personality PewDiePie with the most subscribers on the platform, something like their 86,671,507 vs. his 86,669,390. PewDiePie took the lead again, but this race was not over, the two often head-to-head throughout the year, T-Series eventually taking the win completely.
Roundabout here, the freaky Momo creature gained a second life as it was further associated with the Momo Challenge’ Suicide Game. To combat this, a few days later people started to spread Wholesome Momos, while the original sculpture was destroyed in March. As you can tell, there's a lot to this so catch up here.
Mark David Hollis was the co-founder/singer/main songwriter of the pioneering post-rock band Talk Talk. It's a pity that I was only a casual listener at the time, but his death did spur me on to cover their entire catalogue and I totally understand the accolades, they deserve all of it, they're an incredible band. He was 64. The cause isn't fully known, some illness or other.

26 Feb
Round about here a pretty decent memage thing came out from my home country of South Africa! It was called "My Fok, Marelize," showing a video of a girl riding a bike which ends with that very special line. If you have Saffa friends on the webz, then you probably came across it as it spread like wild, suddenly becoming a general response to when anything goes wrong (which in that country, is quite a bit of stuff).
Pencilmation Script: The Princess and the Fraud.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (7/50): When people tell me that I’m being dramatic it makes me want to kill myself.

27 Feb
Today and the next was the second North Korea–United States summit, where Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un met up for a chat. What aaaare you guys talking about?

28 Feb
Throwing a slice of cheese onto things is nothing new because, well, humans. But today, Twitter user @unclehxlmes upped the game by nailing a baby with the food item, and the child variant was born. I found it hilarious but I do wonder what Scientology's official stance on the matter is.
André George Previn is someone I (perhaps embarrassingly) was not aware of during his lifetime, but I came across him when researching for this article and knew he deserved a mention. As a composer of Hollywood film scores, Previn has won four Oscars and 11 Grammy Awards, which is a lot more than anyone you've met probably. He died at age 89 today.
Pencilmation Script: Sweet Genes.

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: This month, was weird, man! Rome was so great but left this new spiritual awareness in me which resulted in a curious craving for a deeper connection to God, something which severely affected my year in a very profound way. Then the seclusion of Athens got me feeling a little lonely, which was knocked right out of me as soon as I hit Cape Town, suddenly surrounded by an immense amount of people. It sounds great, and it was, but due to my constant exploration of my mental state as well as how Cape Town always makes me feel a little sideways, I ended this month with a slight tap from the depression monster on my shoulder. But surely nothing to worry about, right? Hahaa, right? Right...?

Dear 2019, March: Hong Kong protests kick off; Keith Flint DIES; Scott Walker DIES; MySpace's music library DIES; trashtag is the best; Jacinda Ardern is an inspiration

02 March
German site metalogy.de wrote a piece about Sectlinefor's latest album, Don’t Make This About You. According to Google Translate, they like it!
Pencilmation Script: Talent Show Off.

04 March
Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai forms in Africa and runs amok through Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi for 17 days. With well over 1,000 deaths, countless more missing, 3 million affected, and $2 billion in damages, this was currently the third-deadliest tropical cyclone ever. The total death toll is said to be incalculable and will never be fully known.
One of 2019's biggest casualties was Keith Flint, the vocalist and trademark face of the legendary British electronic outfit, The Prodigy. I got my septum pierced 18 years ago because of the guy, which is only one of the many ways in which he directly influenced my life. The Fat of the Land is an album I've reviewed plenty of times as one of the greatest 90s records easily. Anyways, there is some debate on what exactly happened, but his band members reported that Kieth took his own life today at age 49. The UK fell to bits immediately following. What an icon, gone so soon, alive now only within all of us.
Due to Kief's aforementioned passing, anyone else who died on this day were kinda squashed in the press. This includes Luke Perry, the teen idol actor best known for this role in Beverly Hills, 90210. After two massive strokes, his family turned off his life support and he died today at age 52.
And finally, very low on today's lengthy death pecking order, I still remember you, King Kong Bundy. He was a WWF wrestler, and he died today from undisclosed causes, at age 63.
Out of nowhere, Bolde publishes an article I wrote over a year ago. Cool, cheers for the paycheck. I'm actually quite stoked with this one too. It's called 9 Good Reasons Your Boyfriend Might Not Want To Get Married, According To A Guy, educate yourself.

05 March
For the second time ever, a case of sustained HIV remission is reported thanks to ol' stem cells. Let's fucking beat this thing!
Pencilmation Script: Live and Let Dine.

07 March
2015 may have been when the #TrashTag first came into existence, but it was around today that it entered mass global consciousness, inspiring people all around the world to select a heavily littered area and clean it up. This is the world we live in now. It hasn't all gone to shit. People are fighting and you can too.

08 March
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (8/50): Girls can do anything that boys can do.

09 March
Nearly didn't include actor Jed Allan, but due to his 18 Beverly Hills, 90210 episodes, his 26 Lassie episodes, his 102 Days of Our Lives episodes, and his 1,089 Santa Barbara episodes, I figured some people probably cared a lot. He was 84.
Pencilmation Script: Kicked in the Class.

10 March
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, killing all 157 people on board. It's the deadliest Ethiopian crash in history. Due to a similar Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash in 2018, various airlines and governments pulled the model from the sky, which I support even if I want to die in a plane crash when I grow up.

12 March
When my Heartbreak book failed to take off in quite thy everyone had hoped, I crumpled into a dark depression. Today, I pulled the plug because I was smart enough to have not signed a contract. I wrote an extensive blog piece a few months later detailing the whole story, so slip off over there if you're curious.
Pencilmation Script: Elvis Impressely.

13 March
After apparently actively molested children since 1978, Australian Cardinal George Pell is finally sentenced to six years in prison, now the most senior official from the Catholic Church to be convicted of this common crime.
Today Facebook fell over and took Instagram and Whatsapp with it, a massive social outage for roughly 24 full hours. The funniest part was how the company were forced to use Twitter to give its users updates haha. It was reportedly their worst downtime in history.

14 March
Pencilmation Script: Catch Me If You Cannon (written with Joe West).

15 March
Here's another fucking horrible thing: the Christchurch mosque shootings. A gunman first attacked the Al Noor Mosque then the Linwood Islamic Centre mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, live-streaming the first attack on Facebook, asking viewers to subscribe to PewDiePie before killing 51 and injuring 49, the deadliest in the countries modern history. Just another white supremacist fighting for the forever growing extreme alt-right scene.
If there is any good to come of this, then we can see it glowing from the country's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. Unlike so many, she directly referred to this as a terrorist attack and asked people to refrain from speaking the killer's name, an admirable request which I have chosen to follow. She cancelled all of her meetings and went directly to speak to the victims and their families, promising to pay for all 52 funerals. She wore a hijab for solidarity. And she pushed for stricter gun laws, including the introduction of semi-automatic firearms with only 10 rounds (which was passed by the government) and setting in motion the ban of assault rifles completely. Admittedly, I was not aware of this political hero until now, but she gives me so much hope and we desperately need more of her in the world today.

16 March
Dick Dale was a pioneering guitarist of surf music, known as "The King of the Surf Guitar". He achieved a lot, but I think the use of his version of Misirlou in Pulp Fiction is what latter-day humans will best recognise him for. Heart failure and kidney failure led to his death at age 81.
Pencilmation Script: Bathroom for Improvement.

17 March
My bandy wandy Sectlinefor got another album review for Don’t Make This About You, this time by House of Prog. And to say the piece is absolutely glowing would be an understatement. And to say the piece is undeserved would be a humble lie. 9/10, fuckers.

18 March
Partially a music thing, partially an internet thing, partially a FUCK thing, today it is revealed that MySpace accidentally lost all of their data from 2016 and before, meaning 50 million songs are gone forever, no backup. I checked my old band's account (No Better Ego Trip) and, yup, sure enough. we'd been erased, completely eradicated from the only place you could access our one EP. I can't even fathom how this happens. As if Myspace weren't already a dirty name, this is truly their death. Let us never speak of them again.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (9/50): I love meeting new people because it means that I can start all of my stories from the beginning again.

20 March
With a $71.3 billion slap on the table, The Walt Disney Company consumed 21st Century Fox, one step closer on its mission for complete entertainment world domination.
Due to Google freezing out online advertising rivals, the EU fines the company $1.7 billion, bringing the total fines thus far to $10 billion.

21 March
Xiangshui County, China. An explosion at a chemical plant is so hectic it registered as an artificial earthquake. 78 people dead, 617 hurt.
I watched The Cure! In Cape Town! I never thought that would be a thing. It was legit lit. Being such a unique event for the city, they built an entire festival around the visit featuring a bunch of local bands, and almost everyone I've ever known from my school years was there. Unfortunately, due to our over-eager anticipation, we all went far too hard the night before, so we smacked the ground crawling, but nothing a few more intoxicants couldn't fix, and by the time The Cure stepped out, we were revved up and good to go. Their setlist was impenetrably solid, hit after hit after hit. I left thinking, Jesus, how good are this band??? So fucking good! One of the best! Some photos hidden in this post.
Pencilmation Script: A Force of Signature.

22 March
Not much hurt as much as this: today was the day that Scott Walker died at age 76 from cancer. It's so frustrating because I had just finished listening to his enthrallingly versatile discography from back to front and was amped for an even longer romance. But no, off he goes, and here I am, sad. He truly is one of the most overlooked greats that our musical history has to offer, his early work and later work could not be any more stylistically different and yet it's all so impressively good. Anyone who's anyone was greatly inspired by his talent. Listen to my 66-song 5h04-long playlist here if you're ready for a mind-blow.

23 March
Al-Baghuz Fawqani, Syria, is reportedly liberated from ISIL, the organisation's final territory.
Roughly 400,000 people march in central London against Brexit. I was there in spirit! And by spirit I mean Likes.
After one month and one week in Cape Town, my wallet, vitamin D and social life had been rehabilitated. Jarexit continued, off to Bangkok, Thailand.
Cape Town was mixed vibes and decidedly the least exciting stop of the whole trip, but this was fairly predictable because I used to live here. I also wasn't on my best form, as I always revert to an outdated version of myself when I visit the area. Standard. My family rocked my world though and I got laid a bit, so that's good!
Read the full report on this list here.
Summary here.
Instaz here, here, and here.

24 March
First Tweeted around here, the Tuxedo Winnie the Pooh meme grew quite strong during 2019, as an image used to illustrate some sort of sophistication.

26 March
EU Parliament votes 348 to 278 in favour for certain internet copyright laws including Article 13 which forces sites to take responsibility for copyrighted content on their platforms, OR ELSE. On the one hand, certain content creators praised the idea as it would stop people from profiting from their works. On the other hand, this will completely fuck user-generated content, such as any sampling or covered songs on YouTube etc. There was also a lot of talk about how memes would get struck by the change, but it has since come to light that these will be unaffected as they fall under "parody" fair game. Small win there.
Pencilmation Script: Citizen Train.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (10/50): A lot of my friends put x’s after their messages but then get upset when I try to kiss them.

28 March
Today I started something brand new: #throwback #legobiscuits! This was a great idea because (1) it meant I could go back through my years upon years of best Twitter posts and illustrate them; and (2) I now had one day off every week where I didn't have to think of something fresh. Work smarter not harder! Everyone wins! Hooray!

29 March
Worth noting that today was the original intended Brexit day, but due to some panicked negotiations throughout the month, D-Day was extended to the 29th March. Meanwhile, Theresa keeps swearing that a second referendum vote is undemocratic while continuously pushing for more votes for her agreement in parliament. She was defeated for the third time on this day, her final fart on the matter.
When Nipsey Hussle was shot six times today, I had no idea who he was, but the love pouring out from other artists and people I knew proved that he had something to him. Apparently, Jay-Z once bought 100 copies of Nispey's mixtape Crenshaw, for $100 each. His 2018 debut Victory Lap was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. All of this, now over, at age 33.

31 March
After introducing the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens began to protest, demanding police misconduct investigations and democratic reform. Numbers rose to the millions, there was violence and destruction, and the government really felt the pressure from "the worst crisis in Hong Kong" since 1997. This went on for the rest of the year and continues today.

Misc
I have literally no idea where to put this, but there was a continuous rise of the nobody meme until the point that it was everywhere you looked and became yet another overused piece of internet space. Like so:
Nobody:
Everybody: Posts a nobody meme.
Did I do it good?
Mental Health Checkup: Cape Town made me feel weird. The Heartbreak book failure damaged my ego and I just felt a little out of place due to memories which covered the entire city like a blanket stitched from previous lives. Even worse was my pursuit of analysing myself as if I was a therapist, eventually unveiling a deep narcissism which, in turn, made me doubt all of my abilities. Perhaps the only reason I didn't realise I was shit was that I had a personality disorder? Who cares? So instead of trying to locate the root of my self-absorption, I opted to fuel it which truly made me a much happier person by the end. Truthfully, I think I just stayed in South Africa too long, and the depression was born and died during this period, no harm done.

Dear 2019, April: They took a photo of a black hole; Julian Assange is finally arrested; Sonic the Hedgehog trailer LOL; Notre-Dame Cathedral burns; Billie Eilish takes over the musical world; Titanic Rising is my favourite record of the year

01 April
As is this date's tradition, people around the world tried to make other people look like fools. Some of the more notable trickeries included The Sun claiming there would be new coin designs based on emojis; the Daily Star who claimed that beer would become available via the NHS; LEGO announcing an app which could spot specific colours of pieces in a pile; McDonalds promising sauce-pot sized milkshakes; Google Tulip; Google Screen Cleaner; Tinder's height verification feature; and BBC’s iPlayer “skip the sex” button.
Me myself I managed to convince plenty of my Facebook friends that I had become a pescetarian for the duration of my Thailand trip due to the frustrating lack of vegetarian-friendly cuisine. It was so deeply inspired by the truth that it took quite a few hours before someone called me out on it.

02 April
Pencilmation Script: Mind the Cap.

03 April
The Ah Shit, Here We Go Again meme started to gain super momentum around here as a response to repetitive problems, even if its roots have existed since 2004 from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (11/50): Life is short. Tell your friends that you love them. Watch as they awkwardly feel obliged to say it back. They don't really love you. Nobody does. Cry. Kill yourself. Life becomes even shorter.

05 April
Weyes Blood releases her album Titanic Rising, decidedly my favourite record of the year.
Pencilmation Script: Belly Idol.

06 April
My two weeks in Bangkok came to an end today and it goes without saying that it blew my freaking mind. Truly one of the greatest periods of my life, I went balls to the wall and spent all the money without a shred of regret. I fell in love with Thailand just like everyone said I would, so much so that I decided to let my £70 flight to Singapore fly without me as I ventured further into this country's wonderment. I took a vote on Facebook and under my friends' guidance, I happily boarded a bus and boat to Koh Tao, arriving the next day. TBC.
Big shout-out to Angela and Henry for showing me around!
Read the full report on this list here.
Read my Insta summary here.
Other Insta snaps here, here, and here.
Pencilmation Script: Turn that Crown Upside Down. At over 90 million views, this was my most watched script of the year.

07 April
Billie Eilish's debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, hits number 1, making her the first musician born in the 21st century to do so. Well deserved! Her album actually lived up to the hype somehow!

09 April
Another #legoloaves hit the interwebz today, namely the one that said "I Might Not Be Perfect But I'm Still The Best". [LEGOBISCUIT01-LEGOLOAF06]
As per the mental health discussion at the end of March, I decided to document my recent spelunking into my neurosis via this blog. It explains everything that I was feeling recently in much greater detail, so if you consider yourself a Jared specialist, this is a must-read. It's called Narcissism.
Pencilmation Script: Gingerbready or Not.

10 April
SOMEHOW scientists manage to take an image of a black hole using the Event Horizon Telescope. It was located in the M87 galaxy, obvz.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (12/50): I find it funny that some girls are self-conscious about their vaginas when they could literally bring down empires using that one thing alone.

11 April
Ecuador decides to withdraw Julian Assange's asylum status and the man was arrested right away after seven years of hiding or so. He was immediately found guilty and sentenced to 50 weeks in a UK prison with further United States charges on top of that. Reportedly, he's very sick right now.
Pencilmation Script: Wool Me Once.

12 April
Honestly, of all the internet things that became popular this year, nothing was as dismissive and to-the-point as the phrase "ok boomer".
Tens of thousands of youngsters marched the streets of the UK (and globally) demanding the government act against climate change. I dunno, we might actually get somewhere with this momentum. The kids will fix us.

14 April
One week in Koh Tao done and it was time to keep moving, hopping on a boat and venturing to Koh Phangan, once again at the suggestion from Facebook friends.
Koh Tao though, shew, what a paradise! Unreal. Quite literally, it's not real life. Everything stops and does not exist, time evaporating in its own beauty. It felt like a proper holiday, total therapy in every way and even though I was ready to leave at this point, I'd go there again right now. Take me back!
Read the full report on this list here.
Read my Insta summary here.
Other Insta snaps here.

15 April
A big angry fire attacked the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, swallowing the roof and the main spire. Thankfully, this damage was considered minimal and could have been a lot worse.
You've probably never heard of Les Reed OBE, but you know his work well. It's Not Unusual and Delilah by Tom Jones? The Last Waltz by Engelbert Humperdinck? The Marching On Together Leeds United FC anthem? All of these were his compositions. In fact, he wrote around 60 charting songs in his time including stuff by Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley. Anyway, he died today at 83.
On 22 September 2017, I started this thing where I would title my Strava runs with a line or two, each one building on the last, telling a short story via the platform. Surely I'm the first to do this ever, and yet no one cared. Regardless, I stuck to it, and today after 100 bits were told, I finally completed the tale. Start here if you wanna (in the activities section). Otherwise, just wait for my next fictional novel, as an adaptation should find itself onto those pages.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (13/50): I just don’t want to end up dying alone. I want you to die with me.

16 April
Pencilmation Script: Easter Egg-scapade.

18 April
Lorraine Rita Warren (of Ed and Lorraine Warren) was a famed paranormal investigator whose endless stories have served as inspiration for plenty of horror scripts, such as The Amityville Horror and all of the Conjurings. Today, at age 92, she died and joins the ghosts she's been pestering all these years.

19 April
Pencilmatiom reaches 9 million subscribers, obviously.

20 April
Pencilmation Script: Sumockery.

21 April
Eight locations in Sri Lanka were attacked by bombs on Easter Sunday, including three churches. 253 people were killed with over 500 injuries.
Ukranian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky runs for president... and wins! 73.22% of the vote! Haha politics is a literal joke.
Steven Golin was a film and TV producer responsible for such brilliant films as Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Babel, The Revenant, and Spotlight (for which he won the Best Picture Oscar). He died today of Ewing sarcoma at age 64.

22 April
Broke and broken, today I left Koh Phangan to go back to Bangkok for one more night, then leaving for Da Nang the next day, overstaying my visa by 24 hours and getting a naughty stamp in my passport. I was so battered but a much better man for the experience.
Thailand is as good as everyone ceaselessly goes on about, but focusing on Koh Phangan in particular, it wasn't all that in my experience. It was partially my fault, for while my accommodation was such high value for money, it was fuck off nowhere and it took a long time to get anywhere. This is particularly bad when you know about the island's dogs, who HATE foreigners and will run at you with snarling teeth, surrounding you in packs, ready to tear pieces off of you for keepsakes. Plenty of websites warn you about this, teaching you what to do because if you get bitten, there's nothing they can do except ship you back to the mainland. This caused a lot of stress in my life, forever trying to remember my training as canine snarls hovered around my every move, and it completely ruined my experience, it's all I associate with the place. There was one night in particular, walking down a pitch back road, couldn't see anything, dogs barking in the distance, aware that if someone or something killed me here, they'd never find me. It was the most terrified I've ever been in my life.
It's not all bad though! Full Moon Party was wicked and I enjoyed playing pool with hookers!
Read the full report on this list here.
Read my entire Thailand Insta summary here.
Other Insta snaps here.

23 April
Pencilmation Script: Truth or Hair.

24 April
After a looong struggle, I finally finished up and set free Chapter 4: Budapest from my web series/fictional travel vlog/eventual film called Definitely Not a Cry for Help. I tried to make this episode more of an explanation piece to clear up some of the story's more complicated elements but, according to feedback, it's still really confusing. Oh well, I'll just embrace it, "confusing" is its thing now.

26 April
Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin meet to discuss nuclear stuff. A lot of power in that room. Not even scared.
Taylor Swift released her single ME!, somehow debuting at #100 on the Billboard Hot 100 then leaping up to #2, making it the biggest jump up the chart's history. It also broke Vevo's 24-hour record. I thought it was her worst single ever.

27 April
After an already testing couple of days (more on that later), I was on my way out to explore Da Nang's nightlife when I realised I didn't have a condom. Rushing back into my room, I tripped over my Macbook's cable and it came crashing face-first into the ground, half the screen gone, no longer visible. I tasted my heart and my initial thought was, well, it's been good, but now I've fucked up beyond belief and I have to go back to London now, the dream is over. I went out and drank until the pain subsided and then spent the next day running around to repair stores, trying to find an English speaker who knew what to do. Eventually, I found a place which said "no problem", swapped the screen, charged me £220, and all was good again, just in time for Monday, my boss never even needed to know. THIS WAS A VERY GOOD FEELING.
Check out more about this story here, if you feel for it.
Pencilmation Script: Shake It Till You Make It.

28 April
Victor Vescovo dives 10,928m within the Mariana Trench, making it the deepest dive any human has ever achieved.
John Singleton was a film director/screenwriter/producer who is known for being the first African American and youngest person (24) to have ever been nominated for the Best Director Academy Award, for Boyz n the Hood in 1991. Just under two weeks earlier, he fell into a coma and was removed from life support today at age 51.

30 April
The original trailer for the Sonic the Hedgehog film was released today. The reaction was so bad that the studio delayed the film to completely redesign the character. This is good. They listened.
Based on a 2017 Google result for "can cats eat salami", the image macro series Cats Can Have a Little Salami was born. Not the biggest meme-o of the year but I felt it.
Peter William Mayhew is best known as the actor who played Chewbacca in pretty much every Star Wars film ever, from the 1977 original to 2015's The Force Awakens. He had a heart attack today and died at age 74.
During a wave of inspiration in Koh Phangan, I posted a quick Facebook rant about procreation, which today I moved over to my blog for all the world to see.
Pencilmation Script: Once in a Brew Moon.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (14/50): Don’t let religion ruin God for you.

Misc.
I don't know who needs to hear this but, despite existing since like two-thousand-and-fucking-thirteen, the I Don't Know Who Needs to Hear This format really exploded around this month.
South Korea becomes the first country to super embrace 5G, with 88 other countries investing mass interest. Meanwhile, areas like Brussels went in the opposite direction, halting all tests amidst health concerns with reports suggesting links to "brain cancer, infertility, autism, heart tumours and Alzheimer’s disease". Maybe we should look into that first.
Mental Health Checkup: Following on from the slight Cape Town spiral, I pulled myself together in Thailand, exercising a lot, keeping a keen eye on my diet, and ultimately getting over the whole Heartbreak book tumble. Plenty of life-highlights were experienced during this month and I can't overlook that. I was having so much fun!
But the end of the month shattered me into tiny fragments, and my mental health sunk to a new 2019 low point while I was in Vietnam. I wasn't eating properly, I was struck by days of heat exhaustion, I got into MASSIVE online arguments about spoilers (Facebook is a dangerous place with both Avengers and Game of Thrones coming out at the same time), my laptop smashing sucked, and I just felt an overall loss of connection with "God" or whatever. My entire existence felt like it was coming apart like a badly knitted blankie and I see that I made a note in my diary which reads "I need big changes or I am going to die". Eek, pretty bad then. Really bad, actually. About as low as I've been in a long long time.

Dear 2019, May: Theresa May resigns as UK Prime Minister; women yelling at a cat becomes a big deal; Caster Semenya is too much like a man apparently; Abortion laws go crazy in the US; Prince Harry and Meghan have a bebe boy

01 May
Despite the two images existing separately for quite some time, today Twitter user @MISSINGEGIRL put them together and the Woman Yelling at a Cat meme was born. It's weird, I actually remember this original post for once and was surprised at how big it grew before it disappeared for a bit. But then it suddenly exploded the fuck! Like, the biggest meme of 2019 maybe, it's still everywhere, a permanent skidmark on the internet, completely lost its punch now but still worthy of the attention. It's an original piece! Really funny to begin with!
The 2019 Billboard Music Awards. Drake fucking won 12. Cardi B was nominated for (a record-setting) 21 but only won 6. Mariah Carey received the Icon Award. It feels like there are not enough musicians out there.

02 May
Christopher Reccardi was a storyboard artist who worked on some of the biggest animated shows in your recent memory including The Ren & Stimpy Show, Samurai Jack, The Powerpuff Girls, Tiny Toon Adventures, and SpongeBob SquarePants. Today he died at age 54 from a heart attack while surfing in California.

03 May
A sniper fire from the Gaza Strip injures two Israeli soldiers, provoking Israeli Air Force to retaliate with an airstrike which killed two Palestinians. Gaza decided to one-up this move by launching hundreds of rockets into Israel, then Israeli Air Force did much the same while increasing their troop presence near the border. A ceasefire went into effect on the 6th.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (15/50): Facebook: It’s your friend's birthday. Let them know you’re thinking about them!
Me: But I’m not thinking about them.
Facebook: YOU ARE NOW, MOTHERFUCKER.

04 May
A little relieved, I boarded a plane to get the fuck out of Da Nang, arguably the most testing stop from my entire journey. My chosen destination was Kuala Lumpur purely because it was half a step closer to Australia. I remember clearly thinking, "Ok, Malaysia is going to suck, but if I can just get through these next two weeks, I'll be in Aus and everything will be cool". That's how travel-fatigued I was. I wanted to go home.
Still, I fought through it pretty valiantly, proven at how I got a fuckton of stuff done in spite of my brain wobbles, and if nothing else, my photography reflection looked great on social media. I am in no rush to go back though, even if I saved a ton of cash completely by accident due to currency differences!
Read the full report on this list here.
Read my Insta summary here.
Other Insta snaps here and here.
Pencilmation Script: In the Long Run. This was a bit of a special one as it's pretty much the only Pencilmation cartoon where my name was credited on the opening title card, woohoo!
Won the lotto! £2.9! Woohoo!

06 May
Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, have a baby boy and they named him Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services reports that over a million species are now threatened with extinction all because of humans.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (16/50): All of my mates are falling in love with their girlfriends, and here I am, falling in love with their girlfriends also.

08 May
Effective today was the ruling that all athletes with sex development disorders would require to take certain medications in order to suppress the overactive hormones. Quite understandably, most people called this out as a direct attack on female runner Caster Semenya, whose testosterone level was so high that she was shattering every record previously put into place by athletes more "chemically female". The uproar was loud and I literally couldn't tell where I stood on the matter. Can we really penalise Caster? Was she maybe not just blessed with a genetic upper hand? Then again, is this fair on other competitors? Will Caster's records only get broken when some other woman with higher testosterone comes along? Where do we draw the line? I don't draw the line because I don't have to, but I'm sure the other girls in the race were pleased by the outcome.

09 May
Pencilmation Script: Between a Sock and a Hard Place.

10 May
The 25% tariff hike on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports kicks into effect today by the United States.
Frederick Gordon Brownell is the guy who designed the flags for Namibia and South Africa, the latter of which is not only mine and Frederick's home country but is also one of the coolest flags ever made, IMHO. He died today at age 79 from pancreatic cancer.

11 May
Sad about the death of Peggy Lipton who was an award-winning actress for many things but I loved her most for her role in Twin Peaks as Norma Jennings. Today, at age 72, colon cancer killed her.
OMGGGggggg I saw noise-pop masters Deerhoof this evening in a tiny KL venue and they were amazing and inspiring and I met them all afterwards and they signed an album for me and we took photos and they were so nice and AAARGHHHHH!!!! Total 2019 highlight, I still buzz when I think about it. I proceeded to groupie-spazz out the next day on social media the next morning and they saw it on Twitter, which was slightly embarrassing.
Pencilmation Script: The Big, the Bad, and the Piggy.

13 May
The fact that Doris Day was still alive to this day was actually what surprised me the most here. As one of the biggest Hollywood stars of the early 1960s (as well as the singer for one of my favourite songs ever, Que Sera, Sera) it's safe to say she had an interesting life which reached higher heights and outlasted most, concluding today at age 97 after contracting pneumonia.

14 May
Tardar Sauce was better known as Grumpy Cat, an online celebrity due to her miserable facial features caused by feline dwarfism and an underbite. A true internet legend with countless merchandising under her name, sadly passing away today from a urinary tract infection at age 7.
Mike Wilhelm was a founding member and singer/guitarist of the hugely influential folk/psychedelic rock band the Charlatans. He was 77 and then he was no more, passing today from cancer.
Pencilmation Script: Gum and Gummer.

15 May
As yet another worrying sign that we may be regressing as a society, Alabama signs the most insane anti-abortion laws in modern American history, banning the procedure unless the mother's life is at risk or the fetus has no chance of survival. Louisiana signed a similar bill 15 days later, outlawing abortions if a heartbeat is detected. Missouri and Georgia followed close behind. None of these made any exceptions even in cases of rape or incest and can result in prison time for both the female and the doctor. Naturally, many protests and even business boycotting took place. This is still an ongoing battle and, as it stands, abortions are thankfully still legal in all 50 states.
A man killed himself after appearing on the Jeremy Kyle Show and ITV decided enough is enough and pull the plug. Honestly, that show is such trash, this should have happened a long time ago.
In hindsight, what happened here can only be called an actual meltdown although it was more like a melt-up if anything because I felt great! Basically, after a few good friends got all up in my face about that same old spoiler song and dance (as well some other people crying about this #legobiscuit), I suddenly realised that the root of all my depression stemmed from Facebook. My solution was genius, and I swiftly unfollowed every single person and page except for music-related accounts. Suddenly, I no longer had to even think about other people and instead, I had this incredible music resource hub at my fingertips! I also stopped reading all comments and swore I'd never post anything personal again, this social media platform turning into one of pure artistic submission, nothing but a gallery of my work! Brilliant! More on this later.

16 May
Today was a special day where I went on my second Tinder date ever and, much to my surprise, it ended in the best way possible: with sex stuff! She doesn't like me talking about that. Anyway, this local girl stole my broken heart with her emo-ness and apathetic demeanour and super super cute face, she made my tummy dance in all sorts of jellyfish ways. Our time together was so potent that when we said goodbye (late the next day) I was actually really gutted. I made a plan right then and there that we would see each other again very soon.

17 May
Taiwan becomes the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage.

18 May
Today I left Malaysia completely renewed, grateful for the time I spent there and finally ready to take on my mission again. Jarexit was coming to an end with only the final country left: Australia (Melbourne, more specifically).
But before we rush into that, I must pause to pay respect to Kuala Lumpur as a high functioning city with ample stuff to do and the most amazing weather I could have ever asked for. I definitely snapped out of my bleakness pretty quickly here, engaging my depression in combat, running a total of 33.55km and eating nothing but health over the two weeks. That's all you have to do, really. It's simple biology. Of course, seeing Deerfhoof and getting laid were a big part of my recovery too.
Read the full report on this list here.
Read my Insta summary here.
Other Insta snaps here, here, and (one again) the exclusive Deerhoof evidence here.
Eurovision Song Contest 2019 finals. Netherlands won with "Arcade", performed by Duncan Laurence. It's the country's 5th win.
Pencilmation Script: I'm With Cupid.

19 May
The trade war between China and the United States becomes even more intense as Google pulls Android update support for Huawei phones.
The final Game of Thrones episode is broadcasted and may I speak for everyone when I say THANK FUCK. So much time wasted! The last seasons were uber crap and this episode was like taking a giant crap on top of that crap. I haven't heard a single positive review yet. Regardless, 13.6 million viewers did make it the most watched episode of any show from HBO ever.

21 May
Today the two-panel Me Explaining to My Mom image macro entered the meme game and did quite well all over.
Pencilmation Script: What's All the Hoopla?.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (17/50): Use your depression for ideas. Use your anxiety to run with those ideas as fast as fucking possible.

23 May
After Yuka Takaoka attempted to murder her lover by stabbing him a few times, she confessed by saying that she "loved him so much, I just couldn’t help it". Couple this statement with the surfaced photos showing the attractive 21-year-old sitting casually smoking a cigarette covered in blood, and the internet fell in love with her. Of course they did. This led to much fan art on the one side of the fence, while the other half screamed at how far we've all strayed from God's light.
Botswana ends its five-year ban on elephant hunting. But why?
From here until the 26th, the 2019 European Parliament election took place. I don't know how it works but Manfred Weber from the European People's Party led the votes but the council overruled it and Ursula von der Leyen became the Commission President? Idk. Anyway, the results did reflect the state of the world as centre-left/centre-right parties lost a lot of power, while environmentalist, pro-EU centrist liberal, Eurosceptic and right-wing populist parties grew.
Richard Ashcroft from The Verve announces that, after 22 years of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards receiving ALL of the royalties from his song Bitter Sweet Symphony (due to sample use), the Stones finally signed the rights back to him. Took a while, eh.
Despite resulting in a slightly more complex piece, Definitely Not a Cry for Help - Chapter Five: Rome fell out of me much faster than usual and everyone agreed that it was the best episode yet. I'm still quite chuffed with it. If you've been skipping over them, now would be a good time to sit back and watch the whole journey thus far, it's loads of fun.

24 May
After much speculation, Theresa May announces her resignation as the UK Prime Minister. About five minutes of celebration was quickly followed by a deep dread, as everyone knew that Boris Johnson was pretty much going to be the next face in line. And this would only mean one thing: we were only about to get more fucked than ever before.
9 days after cutting myself off from Facebook, I returned, purely because of the news above. I wanted to see what everyone thought! I wanted to share my thoughts! If only there was some place to do that oh that's right.
As I said, this was a bad reflection of my mental state even if I was blind to how bad it was. However, I'm glad it happened for multiple reasons, including the fact that my newsfeed is still much cleaner as a result and it also showed me how much of an egomaniac I had become. I lost a lot of support points from friends due to this cyber freak-out and while I didn't care at the time, it has since helped me to readjust my stance of just where I fit in with everybody else. I guess sometimes you've got to run full force into the boundary to calculate where the happy medium is? Sounds legit.
Venezuela: a prison riot left 29 inmates dead and 19 guards injured.

25 May
Pencilmation Script: Receding Airline.

26 May
More prison riots today, this time in Amazonas, Brazil. It lasted two days with 55 inmates killed.
When you travel extensively, the perpetual reorganisation of your schedule means many of the weaker links get dropped in favour of more imperative excursions. This includes reading, which is why it was today, over five months after starting it, I finished my first book of the year, namely The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It's a super popular self-helpie, and let me tell you, that's for good reason! It's genuinely one of the most beneficial types of texts I've ever shoved into my memory sacks, realigning my pathways and still serving me to this very day. Read my extensive Goodreads review here.

27 May
I was in like four minds about posting this but, fukkit, full-disclosure: today after a visit to the clinic, I was informed that I had contracted chlamydia. The original source should have been obvious but as I shamefully retraced my steps (and received a varying display of responses) one by one, these females came back clean. My theory is that I touched something bad on the night of a pub crawl then took my contact lenses out with infected fingers, shoving the bacteria into my pupils. Because that's where my symptoms were! Yup, that's right, I had chlamydia in my eyes, it was super gross, always watering, fused shut by gunk every morning, the works. Annoyingly, they tested me all over and then just gave me the concluded one-word result: you have chlamydia. Soooo I don't actually know if my trusted willy was ever exposed. Regardless, Australia rules. the clinic tested me for everything in all sorts of ways then gave me every med for free. I was clean again before I knew it. My first STI! What a special time.

28 May
Pencilmation Script: Don't Give a Dam.

29 May
T-Series becomes the first YouTube channel to hit 100 million subscribers.
And, weirdly, on this day our own Youtube channel reaches the massive landmark of 10 million. Woohoo!

30 May
I finally got my thoughts together on the topic and wrote an extensive piece detailing exactly what happened between myself and Unbound over my Heartbreak book.
The 2019 Cricket World Cup kicks off today, ending up with England vs Wales, won by England. Wohey.
Pencilmation Script: Pretty Fly for a Pencil Guy.

Misc.
From May until June, India and Pakistan experienced a heatwave hotter and longer than anything either had on record. Probably around 200 people died.
Mental Health Checkup: After picking up the shattered pieces from Da Nang and glueing my life back together in some sort of recognisable shape, KL cracked the skies open and let the sunshine on my face until I felt really good again. That 7 Habits book helped me analyse myself in a different way too whilst the determining of Facebook as a problem also helped me to approach the platform with a little more caution.
In the end, May was a month of redirection, making decisions and walking towards them. So much of my life, I've relied on epiphanies to get anything done, but I think here I began to view the progress as a slow calculated process, which is a far more stable procedure. And then I reached Melbourne which was like a sensory deprivation chamber of chill, the end-of-month healing pretty much automatic. Good!

Dear 2019, June: Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have some chats; Bottle Cap Challenge happens; Jay-Z becomes a billionaire; Pencilmation rules the world; iTunes is murdered; Universal Studios burnt a bunch of music

01 June
In what can only be described as "a very successful visit," I boarded a plane and left Melbourne for a quick jump to the Gold Coast, pretty much exclusively to meet up with one of my all-time top mates and fellow Funpowder Plotter, Ash.
Melbourne may have been colder than the last few months of my life (it was their winter, after all) but it was crazy how much I managed to cram into these two weeks without a shred of stress in my body. This is because, as everyone knows, there is literally no such thing as stress in Australia. It doesn't exist!
I met up with old friends, I met some new ones and I left happily without any recollection of what exactly had happened back there? My hostel was fucking rad though.
Read the full report on this list here.
Read my Insta summary here.
Other Insta snaps here, here and here.
And then out of nowhere, musician Jai Paul officially releases his debut album which originally leaked in 2013. This came with two other singles but, unfortunately, the album had dated a bit in my opinion. It messed with the mystery, didn't it?
Colin Thackery wins Britain’s Got Talent. At age 83, he's the oldest person to do so.
IFAQT Script: What if Men Could Get Pregnant? (this was the first official INFAQT release, so exciting)
Pencilmation Script: No Chess for the Wicked.

03 June
During a sit-in Sudanese protest, the military opened fire intended to disperse the crowd. They ended up killing over 100 people with the actual numbers hard to determine due to Sudan blocking the internet directly following the incident, many bodies quickly disposed of in the River Nile. Apparently there were at least 70 rapes involved too. It became known as the Khartoum massacre.
The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. They announced a bunch of stuff I no longer care about. BUT, it's worth noting their grand unveil of the Apple Pro Stand, literally just a stand for your screen, which will set you back fucking $999! It's a stand! The crowd audibly gasped and laughed at this. Apple are taking the piss now.
On this same date, they also told us that they were killing iTunes, splitting its functions down into smaller apps such as Music, Podcasts, and TV. People mourned, forgetting that they don't even use iTunes anymore. Still, it's a legendary death all the same, RIP iTunes.
Jay-Z is certified as hip hop's first billionaire. H to the Izzo!

04 June
According to TubeFilter, Pencilmation was the 25th highest watched channel this week (102.8 million views) on the entire of YouTube! I MEAN??? At what point do I pull back and realise how many of my dreams have already come true. Now!
Pencilmation Script: Scary-Go Round.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (18/50): They say that men need to talk about their feelings more, so here goes: I feel like you’re a fucking idiot.

06 June
After the Finnish elections in April, a new government is formed, made up from 58% women.

07 June
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (19/50): #NotAllMen!
I mean, definitely all of the men that I’ve met, sure. But there’s probably a decent one of us out there somewhere, right?

08 June
Officially 6 months working from homeless today.
Pencilmation Script: Romesick.

09 June
My one-week ride through the Gold Coast slid to a stop here, concluding my entire tour as I got on yet another plane, now homebound back to London.
Gold Coast, by the way, was everything any Australian city should be; endless beaches, busy nature, and hundreds of smiling Australian faces. Truly a magical conclusion to the best extended period of my life up until this point. Despite being winter, it was hotter than your average London summer and I couldn't have asked for a better host better than Ashley himself. Ash told me to come back soon. I said you have no idea, mate.
Read the full report on this list here.
Read my Insta summary with photos here.
And that's it! Six months, 13 cities, 10 countries, and four continents later, achievement unlocked, I did exactly what I set out to do. It's an impossible experience to summarise because, even if you don't leave your house, six months is a long time with many moments and it's always difficult to shove it all under one blanket. But I did leave the house. That's all I did, with new cultures and new foods and new laws and new faces each and every single day. It was epic as fuck. That said, I was pretty stoked to check up on London, for she is my first love after all, and after 27-hours of travel, I was finally walking back through the door of my old apartment.
The 73rd Annual Tony Awards. Hadestown won eight, The Ferryman won four awards. James Corden hosted. Most people agreed that it was somewhere between lukewarm and poop.

11 June
11 years after a fire destroyed a large section of Universal Studios Hollywood, The New York Times Magazine discloses just how extensive the damage actually was, including master tapes by Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., Les Paul, B.B. King, Ike Turner, Neil Diamond, Sonny and Cher, Joni Mitchell, Captain Beefheart, Cat Stevens, the Carpenters, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, the Eagles, Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Iggy Pop, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Police, Sting, R.E.M., Janet Jackson, Guns N’ Roses, Sonic Youth, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dogg, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Hole, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, and the Roots (to name very few). My heart cries blood! Lawsuits naturally (and understandably!) followed. How was this kept a secret for so long? A sickeningly tragic loss.
Homosexuality is decriminalised in Botswana.
Pencilmation Script: Hair Force One.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (20/50): Babies are an interactive art piece where humans have collaborated with God.

12 June
Born with Microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II, Bridgette Marie Jordan was in the Guinness World Records for the smallest living woman at 2 ft 3in. She died today at age 30.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (21/50): Be good to your friends so that they cry more at your funeral.

13 June
To pay respects to my Great Escape tour, I put together a little blog piece detailing those crazy six months. I called it Worst to Best: Jarexit.
Pencilmation Script: What a Maroon.

15 June
Amidst the protests which had turned into full-blown riots, Hong Kong announces an indefinite suspension of their extradition bill. But the protesters were not satisfied! They demanded total withdrawal as well as Chief Executive Carrie Lam's resignation! The fight goes on...
2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards. Avengers and Game of Thrones were nominated for four awards each just in case you were wondering how tasteless one could possibly be.
Pencilmation Script: Three Hikes, You're Out (with Joe West).

17 June
Three suicide bombers attack a Nigerian football game, killing 65 people. No one knows what their message was. According to Wikipedia, this was "the biggest mass killing this year by suicide bombers in Nigeria" which is a weird sentence to say. What kind of measurement is that? What kind of a world are we living in?
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (22/50): I don’t think I’m better than everyone else but I am definitely working on it.

18 June
Pencilmation Script: Bus A Move.

19 June
Desmond Daniel Amofah aka Etika was a YouTube personality who posted a video today titled I'm Sorry, in which he talks about his mental health issues. Many took this as a suicide note which turned out to be exactly the case, as his body was found in the East River, New York six days later. He was 29. It's a bleak thing.
French musical duo Cassius are only on my radar because their track I << U So is mine and Ammr's song, awww. Anyways, they ended today when Philippe "Zdar" Cerboneschi ended today. He fell from a 19-story building in Paris, dying at age 52, two days before the release of their fifth (and now final) album, Dreems.

21 June
Something I had been aching to do while I was away was to purchase a pair of limited edition official David Bowie vans before they sold out. Today, that ache was relieved.
Hit my 300th #legobiscuit. Very few of my creative projects give me such a healthy emotion of stability. I am so grateful for their place in my life, and I could not see a future without them.

25 June
For the first time in over 10 years, I shaved my head. The feeling of relief was instant and I have kept it short ever since. I think I summarised it best on Instagram but it's worth noting that I've definitely unlocked an easier level on Tinder because of it.
Taekwondo instructor Farabi Davletchin kicks a bottle cap off of a bottle and thus began the Bottle Cap Challenge with tons of celebrities and boring people joining in around the world. I saw a girl do it with her boob too, that was nice.
Pencilmation Script: No Man's Hand.

28 June
Amazon delivery! Three books specifically chosen to assist me in my quest to acquire fame. What took me so long to make this move is beyond comprehension, but better late than never! And in many ways, these three publications set in motion a mission which grew substantially as the year went on.

29 June
Pencilmation Script: Do It Yourselfie.

30 June
During the 2019 Koreas–United States DMZ Summit, Trump becomes the first sitting U.S. president to step over the border separating North and South Korea. Everyone also agreed to keep negotiating about denuclearisation.
Getting right back into the swing of what makes London so important, I rode on down to the O2 Academy Brixton this evening to witness Rolo Tomassi and Gojira play live. Heavy stuff! Rolo were ok but the shitty sound at Brixton didn't do their dynamic style any favours. Gojira, on the other hand, slotted right in with their one-note onslaught complete with big jets of fire, woooo! Check my Insta shots here!

Misc.
This surreal meme apparently existed since 2017 but for some reason, Stonks really took off this month. It's used to denote bad business decisions. I'm really into these types.
Mental Health Checkup: Traveling depression often stems from a lack of socialising, which this month did not suffer from whatsoever. Gold Coast was one part of that but then the London Summer exploded as it always does, hanging with the best of the bests.
Unfortunately, health and social don't always get along. I drank a lot. Other bits joined the party on one occasion. I wasn't keeping an eye on the overall picture, and by the end of the month, I started to feel... strange. It was a sense of being lost. This grand adventure was behind me, so what now? I couldn't stay at Ammr's forever. But where did I belong? Was I actually done with Jarexit? Why the fuck would anyone be done with that? Idk. I was a little confused. A little uncomfortable. But still pretty good! Pretty good is good!

Dear 2019, July: Old Town Road is the biggest song of the year; FaceApp steals your face; Boris Johnson is the new Prime Minsiter - fuck him; Cats trailer freaks everyone out; Mad Magazine shuts down; Belle Delphine sells her bathwater

01 July
After withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission, Japan resumes commercial whaling after 30-years off. We're moving forward! No wait, this is backwards!
After 23 years with the band (if you exclude the cheeky 8-year hiatus in the middle) Janet Weiss leaves Sleater-Kinney with no real exciting reason given.
For a short but effective period over 2019, online cosplay personality, Belle Delphine, was freaking everywhere. She rose to fame due to her ahegao face technique and then tricked 1.8 million people to Like an Instagram post with the promise that she'd make a Pornhub video account. She followed through, but it featured content such as her stroking cocks (actual roosters) or squirting (a water gun). Her 15 minutes hit their hottest today, however, when she opened an online store selling various items including her used bathwater. The fucking thing is though, she is HOT. I would do whatever.
On this date I realised I may have been taking the piss by crashing at Ammr's and Andy's for so long and I relocated to Tanya's house. She's one of the best (if not the best) girl that I know and her house matched this perfectly. Very chilled environment, lovely company, felt super chilled and grateful to be there. I love Tanya!
After MySpace shat and killed the biggest music library on the internet, I took it upon myself to honour my former Cape Town band, No Better Ego Trip, by uploading our only EP, You Will Never Understand (the Secrets of the Scary People), to Soundcloud. And we existed once more!

02 July
Why I love London is this story: I landed back in my home city and was listening to a playlist when a band called La Dispute came on. And I remembered they had a new album out, so surely they were touring? Were they coming to London? I looked and, yes, they were coming soon, so I bought my tickets and I went on this day. Magic! And, I mean, like, real magic, the band nailed it, as emotional live as their albums tell and kinda on a level above everyone else. Milk Teeth opened. Here's my full review.
With the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Marvel Cinematic Universe became the only to gross $22 billion, beating its own previously set records of $21, $20, $19, anbd $18 billion.
Pencilmation Script: Prophet Margins.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (23/50): If homosexuality is a sin then suck a dick for the devil.

03 July
Finished reading Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon as part of my Get Fame Quick trilogy. Short and sweet with lots of useful advice, it was the perfect stepping stone towards the world of reaching a greater audience. (3/5) Read full review on Goodreads.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (24/50): I love you from the bottom of my heart. You know, the anus bit? Where the shit comes out?

04 July
Todayish, there was the sad announcement that Mad Magazine was basically over, no longer purchasable on newsstands after 67 years, only reprinted old material available through direct mail order. I grew up on this stuff! Mad made me who I am!

05 July
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (25/50): I liked your post to remind you that I exist, hi.

06 July
IFAQT Script: Crazy but true, I first started writing this script on the 25th of July 2017! I wrote it before I even started at Pencilmation! And now here it is, finally! What If We're Eating Too Much Gluten?
And then... just like that... INFAQT was pretty much over before it began. Bossman realised that the production time wasn't balancing with the views, so we "paused" it and moved on. But who knows what will happen in the future!

09 July
The Russian application FaceApp releases a new feature today where you can see what you will look like as an elderly person. Suddenly, our newsfeeds were filled with our friends except they were all old and shit, ew. The conspiracy theorists jumped in shortly afterwards, detailing how Russia could be using this data to breach your security. All the while I didn't even install the thing because why rush?
Besides having the coolest name in Hollywood, Rip Torn was also an actor with 60 professional years under his belt, which includes an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and six Emmy nominations (winning one). He died today at age 88.

10 July
After like 80 years of service or something, the final Volkswagen Beetle ever is made, no more will come into this earth.
Spreading the Jed love far and thin, I moved out of Tanya's today and ventured to the very outskirts of what could even be considered London (Kingston upon Thames) to my mate Clint's house. Vincent stays there too, and these brothers make up the "horrorcore" act named Mensvreters. If you've been paying attention, I post about them all the time, and their house was exactly what you'd expect it to be like. I took some photographic evidence here. It was an inspiring stop, these guys are on another level and I was in awe of what I witnessed every day.

11 July
Pencilmation Script: There's Snow Globe Like Home.

13 July
Quite a thrill to be at Mensvreter's house then travel with them to a gig of theirs, helping them to set up and then watch them perform their dark gross magic. Their show was sick, and I mean that quite literally. The amount of attention to detail that they put into each performance goes above and beyond, everybody should see them live at least once in their lifetime. My mate came and he told me that he had legit nightmares that night. I drank a bit excessively though, more than any man really should, the hangover lasted days. Worth it? Yes! Would I do it again? I'd drink less next time, sure.
Today I launched my email-capture newsletter page, where people could exchange their mailing address with a promise of a better future. It was a while before the monthly newsletters started coming out but it was just yet another step in the right direction towards snagging that elusive fame (according to the books).
Pencilmation Script: An Inconvenient Tooth.

15 July
Alan Turing is announced to be the face of new £50 note. I learned about him from The Imitation Game!

16 July
You've got to be South African to full appreciate and mourn the life and death of Johnny Clegg, a musician who was a staple figure of my youth, fighting apartheid with the power of his music. Dude was such a legend, I feel like he did a lot more to soften racism than most people realise, hence why it was a sad day today when he passed at age 66 from pancreatic cancer.

17 July
After many many years of trial and error, Mexican Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán is sentenced to life in a U.S. prison. He is famous for exporting more coke/meth/weed/heroin to the country than any other trafficker in history whilst also shoving loads of gear into Europe. There's a good chance that if you take illegal narcotics, you've put some money in his pocket before!
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (26/50): Who called it "digital nomadism" and not "working from homeless"?

18 July
A 41-year old man named Shinji Aoba sets fire to the Kyoto Animation studio, killing 36 of the 71 people working there. It was one of the deadliest massacres in Japan since World War II.
The trailer for the Cats film was released and everyone agreed that it was "terrifying" and "bad".
The final family to adopt me were my good good good friends, Adam and Didi. Best. After the accommodating creative whirlwind that was the Mensvreter's boys, this place could not be more opposite, with a greater focus on healthy food, positive conversation, essential oils and correct posture practices. I felt like I was being taken care of which is something I desperately need in my life. So much love to these two!
Another step in the "work less without anyone noticing" ethos, I swapped out Monday #legobiscuits with drawings of famous quotes hidden beneath the #mondaymotivational hashtag. It works! Reddit love these things.

20 July
Spongebob memes at it again, this year with Ight Imma Head Out.
Pencilmation Script: Score Loser.

21 July
After raking in $2.7902 billion within three months, Avengers: Endgame beats Avatar's $2.7897 billion as the highest-grossing movie of all freaking time.

23 July
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (27/50): I Liked your status but jokes on you, I don’t like anything.

24 July
Boris Johnson assumes office as the UK Prime Minister. And things went from fucked to fuckeder, until forever.
Marking the exact mid-point of the film and here comes Chapter 6: Athens of Definitely Not a Cry for Help. This piece was complex as fuck, featuring two mini-films within the film each with varying styles. I'm still extremely happy with it, the work that went in was obvious and I felt no shame in taking a break from the project for the rest of the year, this being the final 2019 piece. I had to focus my energy on wrapping other pursuits, but never fear! My mind continues to warm these eggs and 2020 shall be the year where it all comes together.
At 63 years old, Trudy was the oldest known living gorilla in the world, but not anymore.

25 July
My type of disaster: a heatwave hits the UK, reaching 38.1C in some areas, just missing our all-time record. It was glorious!
And then in a weird alignment of stars (or, rather, the aforementioned sun-star), on this exceptionally hot day I also threw my farewell party (more on that shortly) which coincided with the only Sectlinefor gig of the year (my band). It was bittersweet. The gig was incredible, it was the first time we got to play material from our newest album Don't Make This About You. That record is so strong to my ears that the thrill of the perfomance should have been enough of a reward. However, the turn out was dismal! At least 15 or so friends confirmed their attendance and never showed up. I'm sure the heat played a role but still, it was like... my gig and my farewell party? And you still won't come? Where am I on your list of priorities? And... actually, what makes me think I should be on your priority list in the first place? I suck! Regardless, my decision to adventure again was even easier after this. Really such a pity more people weren't there though. The gig was really good. Photos here.
Finished reading I'd Rather Be in the Studio!: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion by Alyson B. Stanfield. As the second of my "quest for fame publication trilogy", this one went much deeper into self-promotion from all sorts of textbook angles. Not exactly riveting reading but I am still pursuing advice from it 'til this day. Invaluable, really. (4/5) Read full Goodreads review here.
Pencilmation Script: Cruisin' for a Bruisin'.

26 July
Russi Taylor did voices, many of which you've heard. Minnie Mouse? Huey, Dewey, and Louie from DuckTales? Pebbles Flintstone? Martin Prince from The Simpsons? All her. She died from colon cancer today at age 75.
Won the lotto! £4.9! Woohoo!

27 July
I have no documentation to indicate when exactly I made the decision, but I guess I always kinda knew that my Jarexit travels were not over. Why would they be? Who in their right mind would intentionally severe something so incredible? I had to run this thing dry! And so I set off on a train today to do just that: Jarexit Part II. First stop: Glasgow, Scotland, to visit a friendly (and very pretty) face named Giulia.
I wrote a long Insta summary about my London visit and it wasn't exactly a glowing review. A good argument could be made that my ego was still wincing from the poor attendance of my gig two days previous. Regardless, London is still my first love, even if 2019 tested our relationship massively, not only in terms of personal connections but obviously, the UK politics too, which further tainted the country more as the year went on. Anyways, let me run away from all of that!
Pencilmation Script: Battery Will Get You Everywhere.

29 July
No other 2019 music story was quite as fascinating as that of Old Town Road by Lil Nas X. It's such a modern tale of awesomeness, and it goes like this: a producer named YoungKio sampled 34 Ghosts IV by Nine Inch Nails to make an instrumental beat, which Lil Nas X bought for $30 then recorded this song in one day, releasing it on December 3rd, 2018. Thanks to video-sharing app TikTok, the track fucking exploded, going on to hit number one then holding that position for seventeen weeks on this date, breaking the record for the most weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in history, eventually becoming the fastest song to be awarded diamond certification EVER as well as going on to earn Trent Reznor a Country Music Association Award because of the sample. Hahaha! It stayed at #1 for another week following this too before Billie Eilish knocked it off, setting her own record as the first person born this century to have a #1 single (a song which was recorded in her brother's bedroom, by the way). So rad. This is exactly where we are. I love it!!! Biggest track of the year for sure.

30 July
This is absolutely mental, but have you ever heard about triple talaq? It's where a Muslim man says the word "talaq" (Arabic for "divorce") three times in a row and it instantly means he and his wife are now divorced, a completely legal procedure, very popular in India. How is this even the thing?? Thankfully, the powers that be agreed, and from today, it was ruled illegal. I should think so!
Pencilmation Script: Xtracurricular Activities.

Misc.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that July 2019 was the hottest month on record globally. Yup, our death is coming and it's gonna be nice and warm.
Mental Health Checkup: Looking over my mental health diary and London was great! Weird how I hardly remember it?
I ran a lot. I ate healthily. My social life was buzzing. And even if there was this underlying unsettling self-imposed emotion that I was invading people's home I still felt great because Sun + London = best city in the world.
On a spiritual level, I started to realise the connection of where the vibe you put out is the vibe you will receive. I'm still working it all out but the key is LOVE and HELPING OTHER PEOPLE. It sounds obvious and cliché but this concept has continued to guide me as the year's gone on. The root answer is in there all along, just like everyone said.
Anyways, the end of July was pumped full of exciting fuel and I was ready to take over the fucking world. Jarexit Part II. This time, it's personal. Lol, nrly. But I was in a good mood.

Dear 2019, August: Amazon rainforest is on fucking fire; Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself; El Paso shooting; Tool finally release a new album; Tumblr sinks; Hurricane Dorian destroys

01 Aug
Worrying reports come in that a large spike in Greenland ice loss took place over July, with 11 billion tons melting in one day and 197 gigatonnes during the month gone gone gone.
I'm quite proud of how I've maintained a strong stream of productivity as I galavanted around the world, but it's easy to see that this blog suffered the most from neglection. I finally addressed this from the same sinking platform using a piece called Juice Nothing is Dead?.

02 Aug
Typhoon Lekima begins here and goes across China, killing 90 people and causing $9.28 billion in damages.
The United States withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, but I'm sure it's fine.

03 Aug
Walmart, El Paso, Texas, U.S, and a 21-year-old white nationalist gunman shot 22 people dead. It was the deadliest mass shooting of the year.
Pencilmation Script: I Know What You Did Last Number.

04 Aug
One quick week in Glasgow done and off he goes again! Italy bound! Pisa!
Glasgow was perfect, not only because I got to hang with Giulia (and Kate and Dan and Emma!) but also because it was the ideal transition point away from London, where the language and the money were the same but also completely different. It may have been quite rainy (they tell me that's standard) but that didn't stop me from seeing tons of stuff and really getting a feel for this naturally-beautiful area. Plus I embarked on a self-designed Trainspotting-spotting tour, which was just the type of crazy shit that I'm into.
Read my Insta summary here.
Check out some photo highlights here and (the Trainspotting collection) here.
13 hours after the Walmart shoot-up, and a 24-year-old opened fire on Ned Peppers Bar in Dayton, Ohio, killing 9 people. 'Murica!

05 Aug
Announced around here: anyone who had visited North Korea since March 1, 2011, would no longer qualify for the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, forcing them to apply for a tourist visa instead. This bummed me out as I was actually planning to visit the country in October but decided against it due to this very reason.

06 Aug
Trying Kombucha for the First Time becomes a whole new thing.
Pencilmation Script: Good Goldfish.

07 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (28/50): Life is not about the number of Instagram followers you have.
It’s about the number of accounts you are following, subtracted from the number of followers you have cos that’s your actual score.

09 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (29/50): You guys say that you’re depressed but then get all weirded out when I suggest a suicide pact, you fucking posers.

10 Aug
The night before this date and I had a lovely phone chat with a London girl I used to see. She seemed really happy. I missed her a lot. I started wondering if I'd made a mistake. I started wondering if I should go back. She expressed similar sentiments.
These wandering wonders were swiftly answered today when her boyfriend obviously found out about our convo and he defaced a painting I had gifted to her before I left last year. She completely took his side too. Idk, if you want to hurt me, destroy my art and spell my name wrong in the process, good move. It's a declaration of war in some circles, but in the end, I left it. He's obviously very secure and I wish them the best. I can't focus on this shit, it holds me back and there is work to be done. But I still miss her, and I want her to know that.
After convicted sex offender and notorious celebrity confidant Jeffrey Epstein was arrested again, many powerful people with secrets yelped. And then, on this day, at age 66, Jeffrey "hung himself do death" according to the medical examiner. ALTHOUGH DID HE? If his layers and/or the entire internet has anything to contribute about the matter, it's "Epstein Did Not Kill Himself!". It became a running joke, a punchline, raising awareness while also laughing over the fact that a man who abused countless little girls has just bee murdered as a cover-up. Still, it's a fascinating story, definitely something weird about all of it. Maybe they'll reopen the case. There's a lot of pressure from literally everyone.

11 Aug
At least 114 people die in the monsoon-related floods of India.

12 Aug
As microblogging/social networking site Tumblr continued to spiral (losing about 100 million visitors in two years or so) it was sold to Automattic (an operator of WordPress) for $3 million. Considering Yahoo originally bought it for $1.1 billion, that's quite a loss lol.
Today my Instagram balanced out to have 420 Following and 666 Followers. That didn't last long but life is all about these fleeting moments of beauty.

13 Aug
Mr. Bungle announces a reunion for a couple of shows. OMG COME TO ME I WILL PAY ANYTHING YOU CAN SLEEP ON MY COUCH.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (30/50): You say “constructive criticism,” I say “I’m never fucking talking to you ever again”.

14 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (31/50): I’m not saying that bread leads to paedophilia, but when considering Jared Fogle and the Catholic Church, the theory does check out.

16 Aug
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is basically the best movie ever made, so I need to pay some quick respects to Richard Williams, the animation director for this film which lives deep within my heart. He passed today at age 86.

17 Aug
Clocking in at 10:21, Tool’s new single Fear Inoculum becomes the longest song to ever chart on the Hot 100.
So, as it turns out, two weeks is a long time to spend in a tiny city which only has one thing. Did I see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Yes. Like, every day.
Truthfully, it is a cool building, I dug it a lot and the lack of notable landmarks granted me much breathing room to work my ass off and make decent headway towards building my empire. The sunshine really helped too!
That said, it wasn't all leaning towers and creative projects, as I did find my fair share of ways to kill hours, including spending a day in the near town of Lucca and eating vegan ice cream with Ella. Regardless, I did feel like my Italy time had been cheated so I opted to board a train and get a better experience in Florence from here. Wish me luck!
Read my Insta summary here.
Check out some photo highlights here and here.
Won the lotto! £2.4! Woohoo!

18 Aug
It's kinda weird and concerning when 100 people throw a funeral for a glacier, but that's what happened in Iceland today. Okjökull glacier was the ceremony star, now completely melted away even though it was once 15.5 square km in size. Uh oh.
I never have time for side project art anymore but thanks to the free time of Pisa, I knocked up this piece which stood as the perfect representative of what I'm all about, still my profile pic everywhere.

19 Aug
Billie Eilish's Bad Guy hits #1 of the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first artist born in the 21st century to do that also.

20 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (32/50): One thing every country has in common is a picture of Cara Delevingne somewhere in their airport.

21 Aug
The Amazon rainforest is on fire! Like badly! About 906,000 hectares lost. Global warming is one reason but primarily this was an intentional deforestation move for agriculture space. Everyone on Facebook was freaking out, posting oh so many posts but then they all forgot about it and kept eating meat. With Jair Bolsonaro in power, we have a lot more of this to look forward to unless YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR OWN LIFE.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (33/50): I know God did the very best he could but the human knee was a pretty shoddy design.

22 Aug
So once it came to my attention that the Amazonian fires were intentional, a clearing process to make room for more livestock farming, I realised I no longer wanted to be a part of this industry. And thus began my slow and painful journey towards cutting out dairy from my diet. I'd already quit milk, so my next order was to cut out the most difficult two: cheese and chocolate. I stumbled on numerous occasions, but for the most part, I only ate cheese that was bought for me out of politeness, although I once bought cheese and picked it off the sandwich. Another blunder was when I bought a chocolate McFlurry because I was depressed. Baby steps though! It's really difficult cos I don't actually want to do this, but it's for the bigger picture.

23 Aug
One could easily write an entire blog this length about the Hong Kong protests all on their own, but I did particularly like this point today when 210,000 people formed a 50-kilometre human chain stretching along both sides of Hong Kong harbour. How can you not support something like that?
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (34/50): Always aim for the stars so that you suffocate and die without oxygen.

24 Aug
Hurricane Dorian kicks up a brutal storm starting today, lasting for 17 days, over the Bahamas. It was considered the worst disaster in the country's history, with 80 fatalities and $4.68 billion in damages. God wins again.

25 Aug
Talk about intensity, I crammed so much into this Jarexit week that I briefly changed my name to Florence. Such a magical city, a true Italiano experiencio, so rich with culture that I nearly spewed a masterpiece onto the sidewalk. This city is a miracle. I looked at pieces from all the Ninja Turtles. Naturally, such inspiration doesn't come cheap and I spent far too much cash here, but it was worth every penny to feel so insignificant as an artist.
When considering the art and the religion and the pizza, it's no surprise that 2019 totalled 5 of my weeks in this country and I still can't wait to go back. But for one year, this was enough as I packed my bags and flew off to Bucharest, Romania.
Read my Insta summary here.
Check out some photo highlights here and here and here.

26 Aug
2019 MTV Video Music Awards where Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish all won three each. Girl power! I'm fine with this.

27 Aug
And then it happened: I launched my first newsletter! And I continued to do so, one a month, until right now. The listeners are small but strong and it's just such a godsend to have a little secret plain where I can talk directly to ears without the usual noise.
The whole concept is tips on promotion, artistic potential, and pursuing fame. The idea is for me to learn and teach at the same pace, passing everything on and hopefully illustrating how it's done by example. It also includes a monthly random prize draw as well as first dibs on everything I do, so I like to believe it's worth the email address. Do you? Join the party if so!
Pencilmation Script: The Birth of a Crustacean.

30 Aug
After give or take a million years (13) Tool finally release Fear Inoculum, their fifth record. People who didn't like it missed the point: this could have been really bad! It wasn't! Be fucking thankful!
This also coincided with their arrival to Spotify which was a relief, and I quickly devoured their entire catalogue in chronological order. It was good!

31 Aug
Won the lotto! £2.4! Woohoo!

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: August was revolved around spiritual fulfilment, which is something I struggle with and am always lacking. Truth be told, I was looking for it in all the wrong places, like in Italian Christian churches or as I read the Bible every day obsessively. Still, in spite of my agnostic ways, I did click deeper that the key to true spiritual connection is to help your fellow man, which doesn't come naturally to me, but as the year went forward, I found a lot of happiness in this pursuit. My notes betray a small sliver of emo-ness about a lack of intimacy, but all in all, I was feeling sparky with a wet nose of joy.

Dear 2019, September: Greta Thunberg screams the adults down; Robert Mugabe croaks; nobody storms Area 51; Daniel Johnston passes RIP; vaping kills; Thomas Cook implodes

03 Sep
Pencilmation Script: Never Letter Me Go.

04 Sep
Hong Kong protesters score a huge victory today as Chief Executive Carrie Lam announces that the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation has been officially withdrawn! A study was also announced to look at inequality within the area.
One year smoke-free! There were occasional vaping-incidents here and there but I could count those on one hand, and by all accounts, it was a cold turkey success. Let it be known, however, that I miss that sweet tobacco every day and I would never recommend quitting to anyone.

06 Sep
Speaking of smoking, a lot of reports were coming in linking severe lung illnesses and 47 deaths to vaping, especially in America. Everyone pointed fingers in every direction, India banned the sale of the products soon afterwards and I just sat here with a bittersweet smugness. For so long many of my friends claimed vaping was the healthier option while stating they had "quit smoking" whilst still inhaling massive clouds of fruit steam from the robot dicks. I always told them that we didn't have the data to support the effects, and here we are. Also, you have not quit smoking if you're vaping, dumbass! You're still shoving nicotine into the craving hole! You don't know what quitting is like!!!!
How does someone sum up a figure such as Robert Mugabe? Like so: the man was the President of Zimbabwe from 1987 to 2017, praised as a revolutionary who helped free his people from British colonialism/white minority rule while also being a dictator who destroyed the economy and was responsible for many crimes against humanity. I know many Zimbabwean citizens and they were all happy to see him die today at age 95.
Finished reading Fame 101: Powerful Personal Branding & Publicity for Amazing Success by Jay & Maggie Jessup. And thus ends my "get famous by reading books" trilogy. It went well, and I really did enjoy this one as it was less concerned with "promotion" (although that was there) and instead massively pushed for fame as a formula. Plenty of motions were set and continue spinning until this day thanks to the Jessups and while I'm not famous yet, I believe a lot of what they said to be true (4/5). Read full Goodreads review o'ere.

07 Sep
Bucharest, Romania, done! And what a wonderful time it was! The weather held it together with warm arms and the nightlife life was vibrating, all the while I got a lot of exploration done! Along with this, I had my own private space, I ran a lot, I ate healthily, and I got tons of work done. Of all places I'd been to this year, I don't think I ever quite hit the balance as perfectly as I did in this city. Oh, and the urban decay? The best I've ever seen.
By recommendation, I also spent some time in Brasov but I didn't find this to be as cool (except for the "Hollywood" Brasov sign, super lols!). Oh well, off to Dubai then! Also, hi, Ina!
Read my Insta summary here.
Photo sets here and here and here (the last batch includes Brasov).
Pencilmation Script: Hangman's Not.

08 Sep
The first winner of my Newsletter Lottery was a guy named Danny, his random prize being "a cartoon drawing of his favourite animal performing his current occupation". He requested a "honey badger as a network maintenance guy" and so be it.

09 Sep
After attempting to enter a football game at an Iranian stadium as a woman (illegal!) and facing six months in prison, Sahar Khodayari (aka Blue Girl) decided to protest by setting herself on fire in front of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran. She died one week later (today) from her injuries but her death was not in vain, as Iran agreed to allow women to attend the games now, lifting a 40 years ban. Amazing what a little self-immolation can achieve.

10 Sep
Despite the work that needed to be done, The Parliament of the United Kingdom was suspended by Boris. MPs were in an uproar as it seemed like a sneaky tactful move to slip his Brexit deal through, many refusing to support the shutdown. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that this move was unlawful and void.

11 Sep
Astronomers find water on exoplanet K2-18b, the first habitable area around a star that we know of. This might mean nothing. This might mean EVERYTHING.
This one didn't really reach me like it did some people but every "Best of Internet 2019" list seems to feature it, so here you go: Sorry To This Man. It is funny.
This was a biggie for me (and many people). Daniel Johnston passed today at age 58 from a suspected heart attack. He's pretty much the poster boy for taking genuine mental illness and accurately reflecting it into artistic genius. He's the true king of DIY lo-fi pop and there never was nor will there ever be a musician like him again. The Devil and Daniel Johnston is probably the greatest music documentary I’ve ever seen.
Quick shout out to Mardik Martin, co-writer to some of Scorsese's biggest films, such as Mean Streets, New York, New York, and Raging Bull. He died today at age 84.

12 Sep
How lovely it was to be part of this four-way comic collaboration with three artists I love and respect muchly. More of this please!

13 Sep
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (35/50): I once didn’t kill myself because I couldn’t word the suicide note quite right.

15 Sep
Ric Ocasek was the lead vocalist/songwriter and rhythm guitarist for the Cars. He died today at age 75 from hypertensive heart and coronary artery disease.

19 Sep
With probably the most impressive set of nominations since 2015, Dave wins the Mercury Music Prize 2019 with Psychodrama. I'm fine with that. It's a good album.
I hated this: today the first example of the Gonna Tell My Kids meme was posted and it became one of the laziest macros of the year. So much unfunny. Shame on you if you perpetuated this lameness in any way.

17 Sep
Pencilmation Script: Tonsil and Regretil.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (36/50): “You guys need to be more environmentally conscious and quit supporting the livestock industry,” scoffs Jared as he boards his 15th flight of the year.

18 Sep
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (37/50): It’s fascinating how quickly we will trust someone enough to put our dicks between their teeth.

20 Sep
For three days, (mostly) young people protested before the UN Climate Summit, demanding climate crisis action. We're talking about 4 million strikers worldwide.
After 2 million people agreed to attend the Facebook event "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us", the day had finally arrived. Due to the countless memes spawned as a result, you'd be forgiven in thinking that this would actually be a thing but it wasn't. 150 humans turned up at the gates and two lame festivals tried to cash in on the hype, but nothing was stormed, no one was shot, no aliens were freed.

21 Sep
Dubai was unlike anything I'd ever seen, I still can't really believe it exists. I guess that's what happens when you build a city from scratch in the desert? Sure, there's a strange vibe like you're always being watched and one of my friends very arrogantly pointed out that there's still a slavery problem there, but if you view it from a standpoint of a traveller, then it's truly a feat of modern-day construction. Everything is the biggest and the best and tallest and the fastest in the world. The skyline is like a sci-fi flick. And the weather... was way too hot! Nearly 40°C some days, it felt like death was lapping my heels! I met some great people though, I went on a few Tinder dates and I weirdly saved money because everything is so expensive that you don't even try. Total success! Travel highlight! I will never forget it! I really miss it! Off to New Delhi next! Keep the party moving!
Read my Insta summary here.
Photo sets here and here and here.

22 Sep
J. Michael Mendel isn't exactly a famous name but he did win four Emmy Awards for his production work on The Simpsons and Rick and Morty. He died from "natural causes" at age 55.

23 Sep
The 2019 UN Climate Action Summit is held in New York City. Greta Thunberg stole the show with her speech which was so firey that it even got Trump's attention. The 73-year old man sarcastically mocked the 16-year-old,calling her "a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future". This means she's doing something right. She then changed her Twitter bio to that exact quote, which was a classy move on her part.
On that note, there could be no other Queen of 2019 other than Greta Thunberg. Her 16-year-old face became synonymous with the fight against climate change and it seems like she's handing the title with all the stern power it needs. Millions of people are following her inspiration and she is all the proof you need that one person can make a huge fucking difference. Time Magazine agreed, naming her the youngest Time Person of the Year ever, while she's also up for a Nobel Peace Prize. It's certainly a relief for me when the biggest personality of the year is this obvious.
Thomas Cook airlines go bankrupt, 600,000 tourists suddenly stranded worldwide. I flew with them once. They were great! :(
Russia joins the good side and adopts the Paris climate agreement.
Robert Hunter is a behind-the-scenes legend, having contributed lyrics to many of the Grateful Dead's signature tunes. He was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame despite being a non-official member! He's dead now, 78.

24 Sep
The formal impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump is announced.
Pencilmation Script: License & Sensibility.

25 Sep
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (38/50): I’ve started to refer to myself as “Mr. President” within my internal monologue and it’s completely transformed my life.

27 Sep
There's no real reason to post this, but my good mate Clint sent me some snaps he took of me when I was in London for my Tinder profile. I didn't end up using any, but the response from friends was positive, so here those are.

30 Sep
Often an unsung art form is that of film title sequences, but as far as the best go, Wayne Fitzgerald was way up there. You know his work if you've seen any of the following films: Rosemary's Baby; The Godfather: Part II; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; The Deer Hunter; Apocalypse Now; Annie; Sixteen Candles; The Breakfast Club; Basic Instinct; White Men Can't Jump; and Groundhog Day to name A FEW. He died today at age 89.

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: By some miracle, September was yet another stable month. Impressive! Could it be... the sunshine?
I did have another Facebook hiccup where I once again connected any depressive thoughts to social media, but it's all about learning (I even spent a week only responding to comments using emojis which I thought was genius). I was also feeling quite overwhelmed with all the work I'd shoved on my plate, but that's hardly where I suffer the most. So, yeah, September was good, and even if New Delhi was a different pacing, I was still loving my brain at this point. Was this some sort of a record? Maybe!

Dear 2019, October: My birthday in Tokyo; Ginger Baker died; Elon Musk does some stuff all year long; My Chemical Romance get back together; John Witherspoon dies; I read the Bible

01 Oct
Pencilmation Script: A League of Their Gnome.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (39/50): My trick to being a decent male is to not listen to any of the things that my brain tells me to do.

02 Oct
Kim Shattuck has quite the rock resume, most notably as the frontwoman from the Muffs as well as replacing Kim Deal in the Pixies for a few touring months. It took everyone by surprise when she died today at age 56 from ALS complications, a condition she never disclosed publicly.

03 Oct
The excellent film posters for Alien, Rosemary's Baby, and Downhill Racer were designed by a man named Philip Gips. He died today at age 88.

04 Oct
Typhoon Hagibis forms in Japan and fucks around the area for 16 days, causing $15 billion in damage and killing at least 95 people. It was the worst typhoon to hit the Kantō region since 1958. Thank goodness I wasn't planning to go to Japan any time soon. Oh wait! I was! Shit! Spoiler alert: it turned out fine.
Hong Kong bans the wearing of masks in public to immediate effect.

05 Oct
Whew, so India was a trip. Truth be told, I found the experience to be rather exhausting which shouldn't be surprising because I've been here before and last time I found the experience to be rather exhausting.
New Delhi is harassment city, where every corner hides a new group of people who try to sell you stuff and practice their English on you and take selfies with you regardless of your consent. It's like being famous and I hate it, which is a bad sign of things to come. It's also so dirty that I can't even think about it without washing my hands.
But there is a certain magic here that no other city holds. In hindsight, it's the insanity which leaves the strongest impression and I legit crave the place. I was so excited to leave and now I just want to go back. And there was a lot to love, like making some legit good mates at the hostels who I'm still in contact with, and making sexual intercourse with a Tinder girl. It's also hilariously cheap which was needed especially considering I was off to Kuala Lumpur which proved to be anything but.
More on that shortly.
Read the Instagram summary here.
Photo sets here and here and here.

06 Oct
You may recognise actor Robert Forster from many places, including Jackie Brown, Mulholland Drive, Breaking Bad, or Twin Peaks. Decent list. He died today at age 78 from brain cancer.

09 Oct
Following on from the success of our last collaboration, those involved brought more people into the mix and we created a nine-artist comic piece for Instagram! It's really rewarding to see everyone's styles clash, working together without even knowing what our faces look like, this is the wonderment of our modern world!

11 Oct
Second annual Pornhub Awards. I tried to find out more information but I ended up just masturbating furiously.
This was a biggie: Ginger Baker was the drummer/a co-founder of Cream and if you actually listen to the guy's style, he is surely one of the most inventive drummers in rock history, probably my favourite. He was a super mad character too, just watch the docco about him called Beware of Mr. Baker, it's something. So sad then that he died today at age 80 after many years of health issues.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (40/50): We all essentially want exactly the same thing: more.

12 Oct
Roundabout here, Instagram bugged out for all iPhone6 users, crashing when you tried to post anything. I was one of its many victims and, boy, was it frustrating! I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn't the end of the world because it legit felt like it. It took over a week for them to sort it out too, #pain!

13 Oct
After the onslaught of India, you would think the private space of Kuala Lumpur would be a godsend, but you'd only be half right.
If you've been paying attention, my reasoning for revisiting Malaysia for the second time in one year should be obvious. There was a girl here and I fell for her HARD, more than I even realised at the time. My mission was to impress her so I dropped a lot of money on the flight and even more money on a fancy room where we could lock ourselves away from the world and play marriage for a week. No such luck. A week before I arrived, she passed on the information that she had found someone else, and all my fantasies were promptly set on fire. We still hung out a lot and my feelings for her developed further as I paid for her every drink and completely bankrupted my budget in hopes that she would uproot the security of her relationship for me, Jared Woods, some Tinder guy who has nothing worth investing in, about to leave in a week.
In hindsight, that wasn't fair and I ended up driving her away, our friendship still damaged. But I was heartbroken! And I spent most of my days feeling sorry for myself in my fancy hotel, watching the rain smashing it down like some symbolic reflection of my inner turmoil. Oh, but I did see the Joker here! Film of the year surely!
Anyways, it doesn't matter, I eventually got over it and this helped: ON THE WAY TO TOKYO, BABY!!!! DREAM COME TRUE!!
Read the Instagram summary here.
Photoset here.
In what might be called "the best shit I've ever seen in my life," TikTok users start uploading videos under the self-explanatory title Dancing to Voicemails From My Ex.

14 Oct
Singer/actress Sulli may have only been a huge star in South Korea, but she was a REALLY huge star there as a member of girl group f(x) and her role in the film Real. She was the most Googled person in South Korea in 2017. Sadly, due to reported cyberbullying, she couldn't take the stress anymore and hung herself to death today at age 25.

15 Oct
Pencilmation Script: Pick Up the Pastry.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (41/50): People tell me to "never give up!" as if I haven’t already.

16 Oct
My birthday, and the first time in my life that I was ever completely alone on this date. I actually had one of my best ones! I walked 24.6 km and really got to know the Japanese capital, visiting loads of places, nowhere I'd rather be. Furthermore, I also posted a long eloquent request for girls to please send me nudes for my special day and the response was epic! Thank you to everyone who got involved, it's the gift that will keep giving forever. So much love!!!

18 Oct
Unchallenged as the most gruelling and substantial undertaking of my creative 2019 was to read the entire fucking Christain Bible and analyse it in great detail, ultimately writing a review then picking out all of the verses which seemed significant to me. It took all year, including many months where I followed a strict daily schedule towards getting it done, but finally, on this day, I released the blog article named I Read The Bible So You Don't Have To. As far as pure effort goes, this is probably the piece I will remember most fondly of the year. It took over my life!

19 Oct
Around one million people march in London, demanding a second Brexit referendum.
Pencilmation Script: Pencilmating Call.

22 Oct
Pencilmation Script: Law & Disorder.

23 Oct
39 dead Vietnamese people are found in a truck container in Essex, England. A 25-year-old Irish man was arrested.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (42/50): The only thing better than getting woken up with a blow job is not getting woken up at all.

24 Oct
Little sister arrives in Tokyo to join the fun.

25 Oct
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (43/50): I’m so good at arguing with you when you’re not around.

26 Oct
Pencilmation Script: Better Date Than Never.

27 Oct
Trump announces that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, was killed during a U.S. special forces operation. He was 48.

29 Oct
John Witherspoon was an actor best known for playing Ice Cube's dad in the Friday film series. I watched the first movie again recently and omf it's way funnier than I ever remembered, with this character stealing a large portion of the show. Unfortunately, he passed away today at age 77 from a heart attack.
Pencilmation Script: Full Housemate.

30 Oct
Twitter says "fuck this" and bans all political advertising worldwide.

31 Oct
Literally, the main reason for going to Tokyo was a late-night party conversation I had two years ago with a girl I don't even know the name of. She informed me that Halloween in Tokyo is better than anywhere in the world and I was sold. Today, I found out firsthand that this is absolutely true. Outside Shibuya Station THOUSANDS of people in the most elaborate costumes flock together, taking photos of one another and just having a wild time without any alcohol. I was blown away even if it was overwhelming and impossibly claustrophobic. Here are some photos to give you a tiny idea. Best Halloween ever! Shit, you gotta do this!
My Chemical Romance announce their reunion. On Halloween too. So gothy!
For a long time while writing this article, I couldn't think of anyone worthwhile to be considered the King of 2019. But, eventually, Elon Musk stepped out with a noteworthy enough year to wear the crown just fine. This blog is criminally absent of his name but here are some highlights: he became the longest-tenured CEO of any car manufacturer this year; he unveiled the trippy all-electric battery-powered Tesla Cybertruck in November; he won the defamation case that Unsworth sought against him in December; he released a rap single in March called "RIP Harambe" under the name "Emo G Records" which has been streamed 2,000,000 times; and he's still reportedly fucking Grimes. But, more than anything, in this climate-changing climate of fear, it's his push towards environmentally sustainable products while also donating $1 million to planting trees on this very day. I feel good about my decision here. He's a weird dude, but I like him.

Misc.
Around mid-October, an acquaintance I've had for over 10 years sent me a message. I sent her one back. And this conversational tennis continued, basically every hour of every day from that point until right now, the end of the year, still going. She's become a staple of my existence, someone I currently consider as the highest grade of human, and her words have kept me sane throughout the final parts of this decade. No matter what this is or what comes of it, I value it all so highly. Just a little bit of a crush, I swear.
Mental Health Checkup: For the first time in many months, my October brain did the wobble thing and slipped into a brick wall. How this happened is an obvious series of events: India wore me down until I was a vulnerable little boy. Then my trip to KL ripped my heart out and amplified my loneliness, my person crumbling into an emotional wreck. Then Tokyo overwhelmed me and confused me and I was soooo done with this stupid travelling shit.
Thankfully, once I got into the Japanese swing of things, I shot right up, my October mental health actually coming off on a MAJOR high by the end, which is great! And, even though I stop-started-crashed a lot, I still worked my ass off, so fuck everything, I live on!

Dear 2019, November: South Africa smash the Rugby World Cup; Baby Yoda takes over the internet; Prince Andrew can't sweat; Instagram remove Like counts; I stab my hand; Slayer play final show

01 Nov
Rage Against the Machine announces that they will be reuniting for the second time. Good! We need you now more than ever!

02 Nov
So after 3 weeks in Tokyo, the time had come to pack my things and leave, taking a plane-machine back to Bangkok, my previously dubbed "Greatest Jarexit Stop Ever" even if that's no longer the case.
It took a while to find my footing in the crazy Tokyo city (in hindsight, culture shock is probably the term for it) but I say without reservation that this cartoon world is by my far my favourite area that I've visited in the world. I love big cities and this one is on another level, so advanced in every aspect with such a respectful culture and the girls? I can't deal with that. I look back at these memories in utter awe, my happiness reached a level sideways of what I recognised, and I am certain that some slice of my future destiny lives in these parts. I have to go back out of a matter of urgency.
Obviously, nothing is great all of the time, and there were certain stains upon the experience. My little sister and my energy just couldn't seem to sync up and we ended locking horns over the smallest of things, so much so that I slammed on breaks and swerved my adventures away from the South African leap I had planned for December. I guess travelling with people is difficult when the people have such different perspectives on how to do it, but whatever will be will be.
Another downer was how much money I spent! Too much! I had already dropped the financial ball in Kuala Lumpur and now it I was fumbling worse and worse, never quite recovering before falling further down, chipping out a very little thing from my savings account. Uh oh!
Still, some things can't be priced and Tokyo was a lifelong dream of mine (and everyone) so I have no regerts. Best ever 100%.
Read the Instagram summary here.
Excessive sets of photos here and here and here and here and here and here and here (Halloween batch). Here's my Halloween costume also.
Quite a strange alignment of events between my own life and the world today. In Tokyo (which I was just leaving) the2019 Rugby Union World Cup final was played between England (where I consider home) and South Africa (where I was born and raised for 2.5 decades). It felt like no matter what happened, I would win, but when South Africa took the prize, I was secretly very happy.

04 Nov
America officially begin pulling out from the Paris agreement today.

05 Nov
11,000 scientists publish a BioScience study which reads "planet Earth is facing a climate emergency". We know!
As if an answer to the above, parts of India report new record levels of air pollution.

07 Nov
Instagram starts to hide Like counts as an experiment to curb depression from social media pressures, encouraging people to react based on content rather than some popularity competition. Shortly following this, Facebook rolled out the same thing as a test in Australia (while I was in Australia!). I can only imagine that this failed their expectations because (at least on my side) both have returned... for now...
After developing a sudden obsession with Marianne Faithfull, I got my mom to send her autobiography to me for my birthday. I devoured it quickly and I really enjoyed it, she's definitely one of the coolest chicks in musical history. (3/5) Read my full review on Goodreads here.
Robert Freeman is famous for his work with The Beatles, most notably their album covers With the Beatles, Beatles for Sale, Help!, and Rubber Soul. He died today at age 82 from pneumonia.

08 Nov
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (44/50): Of course I’m being dramatic. I am a writer. It is literally my job.

09 Nov
Riding high from Tokyo and ready to repeat the glorious adventure that was Bangkok in March, I hit the ground running and proceeded to drink my ass off for three days straight. My hostel was right next to Khaosan Road which meant I'd walk out of the house and BANG! I was at the party. That's where the trouble started. I nearly died on the back of a scooter slipping around the tar during a thunderstorm and later filling a plastic packet with vomit in the back of a Grab taxi. I played pool with a hooker and she stole cash from my wallet. Money problems dug even deeper and then my phone's wifi antenna suddenly broke and I fell down.
The depression smashed me hard in the face here. Really bad. I didn't leave my room for many days. I worked from my bed. But even though I felt like my soul had been sucked out of my ass through a straw, I was able to keep a rational head about it. I knew it would pass and I just needed to ride it out. Reflecting on the last few months, I had my foot flat on the accelerator. Dubai to New Delhi to KL to Tokyo to Bangkok is an overload, it's insane that I managed to keep my engines running for as long as I did. But that died here and I no longer feel like Bangkok is a good place for me. I made eye contact with the devil. I was looking at me.
Thank Goodness I was off to the Gold Coast for the second time of the year! Oh please save me gods of the sun and the ocean!
Read the Instagram summary here.
Other photos here.

12 Nov
After Disney+ premiered the first episode of The Mandalorian, fucking Baby Yodas spread across the internet like herpes. It's only just begun too. They are still growing in numbers.
Pencilmation Script: Jokémon.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (45/50): I talk to myself a lot because I'm fucking hilarious.

14 Nov
Italy declares Venice in a state of emergency because it's fucking flooded, man!

16 Nov
Talk about car crash TV, Prince Andrew was interviewed on Newsnight where he candidly chatted about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He denied that he had sex with Virginia Roberts, an underage girl who stated otherwise. He "proved" her accusation were fake because she said he was sweating whereas he was unable to sweat due to an "adrenaline overdose" during the Falklands War. Basically, everyone was like wtf Andrew and, even if he didn't fuck little girls, we now all reckoned he did because he seems like a fucking freakshow.
Pencilmation Script: In Lifeguard We Trust.

19 Nov
Google launch Stadia, a cloud video gaming service.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (46/50): Every lesbian porno passes the Bechdel test.

20 Nov
400th #legobiscuit right here! I love them! I love you! I LOVE ME!
Douglas Lubahn is on this list due to his work with The Doors, playing bass on their albums Strange Days, Waiting For The Sun and (some of) The Soft Parade. He was 71 today when he died.

21 Nov
Always playing with my emotions, the Oxford Dictionaries' 2019 word of the year is "Climate emergency". But... that's two words? Is nothing sacred anymore???
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, is indicted for reasons bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

23 Nov
As soon as I hit the Gold Coast, my body knew it was safe and finally crumpled into a deep overdue sickness. It sucked, but it was obviously necessary as I slowly regained my strength thanks to the love and friendship from Ash and Kez and Little Ash and Al and Rebekah and Luci and Emily and various other smiley faces who I am honoured to call my mates.
The alcohol was a little excessive, but otherwise, I consider this trip to be one of pure health. The abundance of (the often-lacking) social juice was one part of it, but the sun played a role as did the therapy one can only find along endless stretches of beaches and beaches and beaches. I touched exotic animals, I partied for my bother Ash's 40th, and I realised that I was happier here than perhaps I'd ever been. There were times I'd turn and look at Little Ash and he'd look at me and we both just shook our heads. This was fucking it, mate. I miss it so bad. It's a paradise in those parts.
Anyways, I left rejuvenated AS FUCK, I could not have felt any more powerful, Jarexit full of beans and off to Barcelona, Spain. Woohoo!
Read the Instagram summary here.
Photo highlights here.
A non-binding referendum in Bougainville voted overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea.
Barbara Hillary! First known black woman to reach the North Pole! She was 75! At 79 she reached the South Pole too! First known black woman to do that! First known black woman to reach both poles! Today she dies! 88! Long problems with cancer! Cancer sucks!

24 Nov
47th Annual American Music Awards. Post Malone was nominated for 7. Taylor Swift won 6. Could have guessed this probably.
On my quest for a better understanding of spirituality, I was lucky that my friend Didi had previously passed me a book called The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success by Deepak Chopra. It took me a while to get round to it, but today I finished it and I got a lot of joy from it, taking extensive notes and using it to develop a strategy next time I felt spiritual deficient. (3/5) Read my extensive thought on the book via Goodreads here.

26 Nov
2019 deadliest earthquake took the reigns today in Albania, a 6.4er which killed 51 people and injured around 2,000 others.
In a move to smooth out the Billboard playing field (and I wholeheartedly support this), the powers that be changed the rules for bundling merchandise with album sales. So many artists were selling shirts or concert tickets with a download of their album included and this was shooting their "album sales" through the roof. To counter this, a new policy was instated where "all the items in the bundle must also be available for purchase concurrently and individually on the same website" plus "the merchandise item sold on its own will have to be priced lower than the bundle which includes both the merchandise and the album". Albums sold with tickets need to be intentionally redeemed to count towards sakes too, effective January 3, 2020. Makes total sense! Fuck the cheaters!
Of my very few complaints when it comes to permanent travel, one of the worst is that I hardly ever get to see any gigs even if I check the listings of every single town I visit. Hence why I was so thrilled when I arrive in Barcelona around the same time as Kate Tempest, an artist I am no short of IN LOVE with, despite never seeing her live before tonight. And, goddamn, what a show. The surrounding Spanish people loved it, but as she speaks from the broken heart of Britain, I feel like I connected on a much more painful level. I feel no shame to admit that I wept on that floor. It was incredible. Full review on Instagram.

27 Nov
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (47/50): Everything that happens to you can be amazing. It just depends on how well you tell the story.
Somewhere around here, I surpassed 1,000 Instagram followers. It's happening, I think!

28 Nov
One of the final worthwhile webby things of the decade was Are You In The Right Headspace? kinda poking fun at the safe space climate we find ourselves in or at least that's how I laugh at it.
The Book of Law by Aleister Crowley arrived in the mail (after ordering it twice before, yet never receiving it, bad omen?). This will be 2020's religious text analysed by me. For some reason, Instagram were most excited about that, blessing over 100 Likes for the announcement. Weird people.

29 Nov
After having the best day ever in Barcelona, I attempted to separate two frozen vegan burgers and plunged a knife deep into my palm, obviously damaging a nerve as my ring finger went completely numb. I ran around to a couple of hospitals but the quotes and waiting time was insane, so I decided to just moan on social media and see what happens.
It took days for the wound to close but after a few weeks, the feeling began to return to my finger and, as I type this, it's about 90% there. At least it's my left hand and my ring finger, don't really use it much. But still, this marked a turning point for Barcelona. I no longer felt invincible, I was worried and scared that I'd fucked up majorly and I couldn't quite regain my happiness levels, this leg of the trip slowly spiralling back down to where I was before Gold Coast. Damnit!
But my stabbing was nothing compared to that asshole on London Bridge today who attacked five people with a knife, killing two. The cops then shot him dead. Naturally, ISIS said they did it.
Irving Burgie never got the respect he deserved as he penned 34 songs for Harry Belafonte, eight of which were on Belafonte's album Calypso (the first record to sell a million copies EVER), not to mention Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)? He wrote that too. He died today at age 95 from heart failure.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (48/50): I don’t know who needs to hear this, so I won’t say it.

30 Nov
Villa Unión, Coahuila, Mexico: Two innocents, four police officers and 16 drug dealers are killed in a shootout. It's the biggest such incident in the country's history.
Slayer play their final show ever at the Forum, California. Quite relieved I saw them a couple of years ago! Wait, I'm still sad :(

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: Up... and down and up... and down and...
Everything has already been documented above, I'm basically repeating myself and I'm really unsure what the purpose of these bits are but anyway, here's what I said in a nutshell:
Bangkok was a 2019 lowlight crash, I spent days in bed incapacitated and feeling oh-so sorry for myself. I arrived in Gold Coast and was really sick which didn't exactly spice up my life, but I slowly healed and then grew 10 feet taller and felt probably better than any point of the year.
There was also quite a push for spirituality this month again, which had a hugely beneficial effect, assisting me to hit Barcelona from an elevated point of holiness. Then I stabbed my hand and I began to fall back down near the end of the month and everything sucked again.
Wait, it's the sun! Although, I swear it's also got something to with drinking? Drinking makes me feel so bad now!

Dear 2019, December: Trump is impeached; Boris Johnson wins election by a landslide; YouTube Rewind featured Pencilmation; Tekashi 6ix9ine tells on everyone and still goes to jail; Marie Fredriksson of Roxette passes; I release my book The 250 Best Albums of the Decade

03 Dec
Pencilmation Script: Less is Moral.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (49/50): All of my ex-girlfriends claimed that my workaholism was ruining our relationship. To which I always replied: what the fuck did I say about talking to me when I’m on my computer??

04 Dec
I would have put money on Jay-Z being the last artist in the world to add his catalogue to Spotify because, you know, he owns a directly competing company. But not so, as today, on his birthday, there he was. Right! So who's left? Joanna Newsom?
For the first time in my life, a #legobiscuit got banned from Instagram. I'm taking this as a good thing? Such a shame though, it was a goodie, Sam even said it as my best. It's still on Twitter, if you're keeno.

05 Dec
So erm this is kind of a big deal. YouTube release their annual Rewind video for 2019 and Pencilmation was featured! We were recognised as the third most viewed creator channel of the year, with 2.8 billion clicks under our name. I can't express how high I felt seeing this, it's mindblowing everything that happened professionally this year and this was a massive cherry of validation, one the whole internet could see. Even PewDiePie registered our existence, I can't breathe.

07 Dec
Pencilmation Script: Newborn this Way.
Won the lotto! £5.7! Woohoo! This brings my grand total lottery wins of 2019 to £23.20, almost the cost of two months playing! But we do it for the HOPE!

08 Dec
One year homeless today! I wrote a long speech on the matter over here. Of course I did!
The only reason I know of rapper Juice World is because he'd come up whenever I'd google my blog. Apparently he was bigger than I thought as many people mourned his easily-avoided death today. Reportedly, the dude was on a plane about to be searched for drugs, so he swallowed a bunch of his Percocet pills to hide them. He then went into a seizure and died at age 21. Not a good way to go.
Known for playing Big Bird plus Oscar the Grouch in Sesame Street (1969 inception until 2018), puppeteer Caroll Spinney died today at age 85.

09 Dec
Marie Fredriksson changed my life as the singer for Roxette, proven by #4 of this blog I wrote in 2013. After fighting a brain tumour for 17 years, she died today at age 61. Quite a sad one this here.

10 Dec
Pencilmation Script: Live and Let High-Five.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2019 (50/50): I don’t know if it’s me or if it’s the cocaine but it’s definitely me, I am the fucking greatest!

12 Dec
The 2019 United Kingdom general election. Everywhere I looked, there was nothing but a hopeful buzz. Maybe Labour could really edge their way in this time? Maybe we could stop Brexit and save the NHS?? But, no, somehow racist Boris Johnson smashed it, winning 43.6% of the vote while Corbyn lost his party 60 seats. And, with that, I officially turn my back on politics. This is the death blow to the country our love. We fought hard but we were defeated and there is nothing we can do. Britain will sink and I will pay it no attention until I ultimately drown myself.

14 Dec
After three weeks of Barcelona trapped in a room with 6 - 8 snoring individuals and a gaping wound in my hand, I was ready to leave. I felt horrid for reasons I can't fathom (because Barcelona is amazing!) and when I attempted to drink them away, I only felt way worse. What was happening to me!? Am I dying?????
Still, in life, we can always opt to remember the good times and Barcelona has many (which I did appreciate, especially near the beginning). Strangely, my favourite feature was the architecture by Antonio Gaudí. It's all over the place and it's so incredibly specific in its style that I fell in love with it and hold it dear to my experience.
I've been to Barcelona four times now and, as a result, it is a special place to me, almost like a home away from my home away from home. Hence why I'm careful to ensure you understand that it's not the city, it's me. My emo switch flipped AGAIN and I blame only myself. Because Barcelona offered me a lot. And I took it, exploring the area in a way I never had before, without spending any money, which was the true winner here.
Read the Instagram summary here.
Photo highlights here and here and here and here.
SO ANYWAY, I left for Madrid today but took a little detour to visit the smaller city of Zaragoza and the even smaller town of Borja. It was a lovely little sidestep and it filled me with a joy I hadn't felt in a couple of weeks. In particular because... I got to see... the Ecce Homo aka the Ecce Mono aka Potato Jesus at the Sanctuary of Mercy!!! Such a long mission for such a little funny thing, but I was in hysterics to the whole way there and back. What a lovely life we live in. Some photos of that adventure here and here.
Pencilmation Script: At My Zits End.

15 Dec
Josh Klinghoffer leaves Red Hot Chili Peppers only to be replaced by... John Frusciante!! This will be the third time Frusciante has come in to serve as the guitarist, and if the last times are anything to go by, Chili's are about to make another massive classic comeback album! APPROVED!

16 Dec
Pope Francis fights paedophilia by removing pontifical secrecy from sex abuse cases and raises the definition of "child pornography" to 18 years old (it was 14). I've said it once and I'll say it again, he's a decent catholic if there ever was one (and there are probably one or two).

18 Dec
Big day for me! After 10 years of work, I finally mustered all of my musical knowledge and spewed forth a full book titled The 250 Best Albums of the Decade. I released it as a free download with the option to donate as an experiment. What value do people put on this type of work? As it turns out, just the right amount because I hit my target goal! Thanks to everyone who helped out! Muchly deeply woohoo! I really reflect with so much pride on the whole business. It's my second book. It's there forever. No one can take that away from my name. DOWNLOAD IT FUCKING NOW! It's rad!
Fellow Funpowder Plotter, The Freewheelin' Troubadour, finishes off his mini-tour where he opened for The Libertines, busting poetry for the masses. Fucking epic, I'm jealous but also well proud of the guy, he's totally deserving of the audience.
Donald Trump becomes the third president to be impeached in the nation's history. Probably nothing will come of it but it's the first bit of decent political news we've had in the last four years.
held off writing about this all year (even though there was plenty of news items along the way) but, basically, last year November Tekashi 6ix9ine was arrested for conspiracy to murder and other criminal stuff. On February the 1st 2019, he pleaded guilty and proceeded to testify against everyone and anyone to help lower his sentence, earning the immediate reputation as a snitch with plenty of memes Due to this cooperation, the life in prison he was facing was reduced to two years, sentenced today.

21 Dec
Since August (and even when I was there), major bushfires smashed through Australia. It was the only thing on the news and you could see it in the air. They continue on today, with 3,000,000 hectares burnt up, 700+ houses destroyed and nine people dead. It's been declared a state of emergency.

22 Dec
After the Cats film was released about a week earlier and promptly torn to shreds by critics, Universal urged cinemas to download a new version of the film with updated effects, replacing the old one, changing the movie when it's already out. This has never been done before, it's actually a pretty awesome move.

23 Dec
As part of my plan to kill Jared with work, I forced myself to finish reading the book Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion by Alan Flusser, then I wrote a long review about it. I was hoping for some fashion tips and got very little. (2/5) Read said review on Goodreads here.
Just slapping this in here: after I dug a massive hole into my savings account to fund my Asia adventures, I formulated a desperate plan to sort that out by the end of December. The goal was to scrape together £800 which still wouldn't eradicate the damage, but would turn the wound into a dent. My approach was simple: spend much less from my December paycheck, pray that people bought my book, hope for some sort of a Xmas bonus, and consider getting a side freelance job if needs be. I even got offered a new job to write a sex column for 40+ year old men, but I turned that down. In the end I scraped together £731.19 after tax, which was a little short, but do you think I feel like a failiure? Hell no! Imagine I achieved this every month?? I'd be rich! I just gotta work out how to write 12 books a year, and I'll be golden.

24 Dec
And here is this very blog article! Thanks for being a part of it!
But before we conclude my lengthy endurance test, I would like to take a moment and pay my respects to Madrid, otherwise, how unfair?
Thankfully, this change of Spanish scenery did me a lot of good. I left my stabbed hand trauma in Barcelona and I ran around this city in awe of how vibey it is. I know it isn't fair to pick favourites, but speaking from this honeymoon period, Madrid actually impressed me more than Barcelona. Don't tell anyone!
It's good to round things off on a high and (even though I have a sharp pain shooting down from my neck to my shoulder blade from the EXCESSIVE computer time it took to get all my end of year shit done), I am in a good place, thanks for asking. Consider that my official December Mental Health Checkup statement.
I'm launching this blog early this year because tomorrow I fly to Peru! Cheap flights on Xmas day! No more work from this point! Hooray, I nearly died! Keep an eye on Instagram for the Madrid summary and a Merry Xmas/Happy New Years to you all! Oh, and my deepest apologies to any celebs who die before the 31st and aren't recorded. You deserve better!
Check out some photo highlights here and here.

And that's that! 2019, hey. Look at you, look at you.

So yeah, what can I say other than what's already been said? Best year of my life ever, even if my happy-sacks occasionally had their own agendas. Brains, eh? Can't live without 'em. Regardless, I'm a furiously jealous person and I'd be sick to my stomach if anyone else was living the life I am living. I'd struggle to accept that someone was writing cartoons for money and visiting new countries on a monthly basis. Thank God I don't have to worry about that. Because, somehow, this is my life. I worked very hard to get here but damn, wtf. So grateful.

And even on the internal world topic, I've developed a system now installed within my mind. I work on my mental health every single day and I've made some seriously important discoveries. Sellable discoveries. Discoveries that can become a product. Perhaps I've illustrated this accurately enough. I've researched spirituality and I've turned my life into something hugely impressive. When you couple this with the maintenance method I've designed to keep the smiles above water, then you may begin to understand the core principles behind the religion I am developing. I've been chatting about it for years, but in 2019, it has come together as a cohesive singular piece of thought. It will still take a few more years to nurture into the full philosophical and ritualistic practice it deserves to be, but it has begun. If this isn't the biggest thing I am remembered for, then God's sense of humour runs deeper than I anticipated. As a reward for those who have read this far, then you're hearing this here before anyone: my religion shall be known as Panthojoyism.

Reflecting over my past articles from the same vein, it's surprising at how lost I came across. So many unfulfilled years grinding myself against jobs I hated. So many years mourning the loss of certain lovers who couldn't even slot into my life now if they tried because they'd get eaten up and spat out so fast it'd be embarrassing for them. I've always been honest about my shortcomings and 2019 is rife with them, anyone can see that. But my focus and my mission is orange juice concentrate right now, it's never had such purpose and momentum. I've become a machine of creative production which exists on an ever-moving plane, crossing the globe whilst shitting out projects, no longer concerned about the opinions of others, free. The element of romantic loneliness needs some essential oils, sure, but considering the speed of the ride, it's going to take a very special female to have the tools required to hang on to this, and so I'm just going to have to patiently wait for that to manifest. For now, I meet enough people anyway. I met more people this year than any other year of my life. Some of them were really cool too.

Just quickly, I must give a flash-glance towards the decade as a whole and say... omfg. That was legit insane. I was an egg 10 years ago! I had just moved to London! Look at me now! I feel like I'm made out of high-fibre bran flakes. Moving fast. Very strong. How did this happen? Where the fuck am I even going?? The next 10 years are going to be... hahahaha.

Ok, so for my own records and for some sexy flexing, here is that same boasty bit I do every year. Sorry about this! But when it comes to Jared + 2019, here is what was achieved...

I wrote 112 scripts for Pencilmation episodes this year (according to my IMDB profile anyway). It's hard to know exact numbers, but it's beyond fair to estimate that my work for this company was viewed over a billion times. Probably closer to 2 billion if we're being honest. The third highest viewed creators channel on YouTube, eh. This is my job. This is what I get paid for. Writing a kid's cartoon show. A dream of mine came true and then grew even bigger. Fucking wow, man. I glow energy.

Along with these, I wrote some other scrips and articles here and there. This includes 8 Juice Nothing articles. Dear 2019, is one of them. An entire analysis of the Bible was another. Sadly, I usually write a lot more personal stuff, but as I flourished as a professional writer, that creative itch was scratched and I used my artistic energy on other endeavours.

For example, how about an entire book I wrote called The 250 Best Albums of the Decade. It's my second book ever and I'm super proud of it. 10 years in the making, a lot of knowledge came to a summit here, that's a real achievement. Furthermore, I actually finished writing a third book (Heartbreak Sucks! How to Get Over Your Ex in 30 Days) during 2019 too, and while the publishing side of that got a bit tangled and tripped up, it's still here. It's still coming.

Another huge 2019 project was my film/web series/fictional travel vlog, Definitely Not a Cry for Help. Five chapters came out this year, making it six in total, meaning we're halfway. I can't wait to tick off "Made a Film" from my to-do list.

I guess now would be a decent point to look at what dominated my 2019. Travel. I visited 24 cities in 16 countries in 4 continents. 8 of those counties I'd never been to before (Hungary, Italy, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Romania, United Arab Emirates, and Japan). Multiple countries I visited more than once. This breaks any previous records quite effortlessly, and it's not even done yet. My ticket to Peru is booked, I leave tomorrow. That makes it 9 countries I've never been to. 17 countries in total. 5 fucking continents in one year.

Of course, when you're forever unpacking and packing and learning how to say hello in different languages and converting currencies and crying in supermarkets because you don't know what you're buying... well, a lot of time is accounted for. It was inevitable that much of my output would suffer as a result and it did. But not as bad as anyone would have guessed. Here are some small dips worth noting:

Music and paintings are very difficult art forms to express while you're travelling with luggage weight limits, but during a visit to London, my band and I (Sectlinefor) did play a gig! Plus #legobiscuits continue hard and strong via Instagram, with 215 of these little guys coming out over the last 12 months. Speaking of which, I also opened a Red Bubble shirt store based on my #legoloaves (which are #legobiscuits except full Photoshop versions). Soooo my art remained stable despite the obvious obstacles.

I only saw six artists live, which is way less than usual, but once again, the travel factor excuses that well, I thought. Gives me something beatable for next year, I guess.

According to Strava, I accumulated 57 runs over 50 hours, covering 391.6km in 2019. Sounds like a lot but it was actually 122km less than last year. Although I must repeat, all of those runs took place in completely different countries. I was very busy but I made time. Numbers that high are not something to be bothered by. And, even crazier than anything, self-administered toxins were probably the lowest they've been since I was 15. Drugs were hardly on the menu. Alcohol has never been cut down so hard. And I didn't smoke a single cigarette this year. Not one.

My goal was to read one book this year. It was a joke goal. I came out the other side having read eight. One of those was written by me, granted, but another one was written by GOD, apparently (the Bible). I usually try to read 12 but we are adjusting. Let's see what next year does.

But more importantly than all of this, is that I finally woke up and decided to stop spending so much energy on making art that nobody looks at and rather dedicate half of that energy to forcing people to look at the art. It was a huge epiphany. Let's chase fame itself rather than hoping the work would bring the fame home to me. And while we're still in the baby stages of working this all out, I foresee a very interesting year coming up in this regard. My Instagram followers are already indicating that something is bubbling.

And I guess even more important than this, is that I obeyed the first rule of Jared Club. I didn't kill myself. It's so fucked that I can't shake that nagging voice, but it's still there, still daring me. I avoid talking about it too much because no one likes a downer, but in regards to 2019, it's good we survived. Because, mark my words, when all is said in done, it won't be plastic that kills me.

What a bright and sparky way to end, haha! Let's quickly save it with an explosion of positivity: 2019 WAS THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE, HAND'S DOWN. I ALREADY SAID THAT EARLIER BUT I SAID IT AGAIN AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN STILL: 2019 WAS THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE, HAND'S DOWN. I did not know such a glorious existence was possible and, what's more, I think I'm only now getting the hang of it now. One can never predict the future, but my 2020 plans are so unreasonable that they make 2019 look like 2003. Some massive secret projects are already marching forward, just waiting to be released. Many plane tickets have already been planned quite far down the line. It's going to be a challenge, but maybe... maybe 2020 will be just as good as 2019? Or even better? Surely not. Right? :)

Regardless, 2019, you stand on top of the podium. Of all my 35 years, you've won. How does that feel? Do years feel anything at all? Do you even know who I am? Hey, whatever, buddy! I bow down and I thank you. Your time is coming to an end, but your influence was as potent as any and our personal relationship will be treasured by me forever. Full marks! Five stars! Two thumbs up! Heart emoji! Crown of candy! Jetpack of pleasure! Jug full of encouraging adjectives! End of letter!

Yours sincerely, lovingly, grateful,
Jared Woods