March 29, 2008

buh-wha: year 5?!

this was the year i stopped, and then started again. there were some demons wrestled, some truths faced, admissions made, and some growth. it hasn't been easy, but i'm still here, and i don't see myself stopping again.


March 26, 2008

pressure valve

I am feeling bottled up lately; there are things missing and other things that haven't filled the void, people who I miss being tired of, and a general lack of a lot of people who I used to be in constant contact with, whose tangents have run in directions away from mine.

I am a sad panda, but not in the way I used to be.


March 18, 2008

glowing young ruffian

been thinking about space, again. spurred partially by Spook Country and its locative art phenomena - a response, presumably to the rise of ubiquitous computing [cue Vanessa, "Damn, girl, you biquitous!"] and so, the ability to access anything from anywhere becomes pared down again to being able to access certain things only in certain places; although the data floats freely, it only coalesces on specific spaces, dowsed out by the forked stick of GPS and EV-DO (or EDGE or HSPDA or whatever). I don't know if it's feasible, but it served as a bit of a starting and focal point for two separate trains of thought. (sidenote: it's a quick read if you haven't read it already, and you can borrow mine if you really want [paperback is probably due soon])

first: Entertaining idle thoughts about spaces and tags (graffiti and folksonomical), I ended up walking by SPEC, where I had the comedy-of-errors interview which led to me spending the afternoon on Kits beach, reading and eating Thai food and watching Jamie Bamber (aka Apollo) idly run by. Passing that, I hit the corner of Maple and 4th; across the street is the site of the post-ACF-12-cleanup dinner at Los Margaritas, down the street was Zulu Records, where I picked up the infamous Squarepusher ticket, and nearby was gravitypope, site of my temporary obsession with Medium Shoes (now, sadly, out of business).
There are a lot of places that each carry their own space/time association, and while they're largely welcome (and informative when they're not) they're largely inescapable for me, especially in the city.
There's a map in the comic Fun Home that lays out a characters life - born here, grew up there, died in this spot, and all within a relatively small number of miles of the same town. It's a fictional character, but it seems so plausible, and it's not a map I want to be trapped by, posthumously. It seems likely on some days more than others, and somehow it is both enticing and repellent; possibly reflective of a divided outlook on risks vs security or tied to the strangely logical notion of a fear of success (more on this later).
Either way, I have come to the conclusion that I want to markup another city; in the sense of extensible languages and not paint markers; I imagine it wouldn't be too hard given GPS-enabled cellphones and cameras; if cameras have become embedded in other technologies (of dubious quality most times, but not always) then GPS might not be far behind. Of course, given the space-bound (!) backbone required for GPS to make any sense, the location-via-cell-tower method could be a more usable stand-in.

fuck me, I'm rambling. Point was: I think I invest too much of my identity in civics; although nobody wants to be from Surrey, leaving so much of myself in East Van and on campus was hugely unhealthy. I don't know how to fix it, short of self-redefinition and the gentle restoration of self-esteem, but I'm trying.


March 13, 2008

the steep approach

I'm drawing again, which I think is a big deal; it was pretty much the first thing to go post-SNRI and between that and the photography/HTMLing, I feel a lot closer to myself. The diet, while occasionally difficult to moderate, has so far adjusted well to the white flour and sugar removals; next step is to up the leafy/dark green veggies which shouldn't be too hard, especially if I keep remembering to take lunch and not get stuck eating downtown, which (obv) is terrible for me, unless I go to the make-your-own stirfry place (and that's frankly just sort of disappointing.)

Work sucks; I won't deny it. I'm well liked and the job is easy, but I need to GTFO, or as Dan Savage would say, DTMFJ.

School... is okay. I've been avoiding it and I need to stop doing so.

I miss people.
I am seeing some folks and have also made new(ish) friends via the Ubyssey/new AUS kids/UBC Insiders, it's not at all the same; maybe I actually am turning into a curmudgeon.

Fuck it. Time for Smash Bros.


March 05, 2008

Project Unfuck

I wanted an easy way out; some sort of colossal "Unfuck My Head" that would basically set things up so I could knock them down again - no panicking, no nonstarter status, no endless feelings being trapped by myself.

I got the first one, at least. As for the others, I came to realize that there might be more to this than I thought at first. There's no telling without visiting a proper shrink and getting a proper diagnosis as to whether I am just an enormous underachiever or if it's ADHD or something equally buzzwordy and ridiculous.

It came with a healthy dose of side effect, both physically (metabolism down, weird cravings up) and mentally (weird things to sex drive, no creativity) and generally wreaked havoc, with the only upside being that I felt in control of myself, again.

So I stopped. Tapered down, and realized that I spent a year and a half on pills that were helpful, but not a cure-all (though they were explained to me as such) and also that I needed to do this the hard way.

...which brings us here.

This marks a beginning, I think, of several things. The first of which is the abandonment of the mild superstition I have of writing things down here, because then they don't happen. The second is a concerted effort to make shorter-term goals and deadlines that are within a longer-term framework; I tend to do one without the other, which curtails effectiveness.

    The Longish Term Goals (end of year)
  1. Lose the gut. Get back down to a 32

  2. Get back into school, kick its ass.

  3. Derive sole income from web, photography, and concert production work

  4. Restart sensible savings plan

  5. Clear out personal debt

  6. Get back money I am owed (by insurance, mostly)

    This month's short term goals:
  1. Take meals to work

  2. No more refined flour or sugar

  3. Go to gym.

  4. Finish off current distance ed classes, figure out next 9 credits thereafter

  5. Put up portfolio site, get business cards made, finish pro bono projects

  6. Move GTFO money into high-interest savings account

  7. Write (and stick to) budget.

  8. Get forms and receipts for sending off, send off.

wish me luck.


March 01, 2008

toes, dipping, waters, so on.

As Rob once pointed out, we default to talking about music now, when previously it would have been the weather; at least within the people I know (and like enough to regularly talk to). Accordingly, then, it would only make sense that I fall back on a music post as a reintroduction to the medium.

Thus: Five in Heavy Rotation - Post-Leap-Day edition.
It's five songs I've had on repeat, or I've been listening to in my head, or singing in the shower; heavy rotation doesn't always mean that it's in a form that is trackable via Here they are, and also a little bit about them.

Okkervil River Song - Okkervil River
Newest addition to my Okkervil River collection (surprising, I know) - I've listened to it six times in a day and will probably do so a couple more times until I know the words. I've heard it in podcasts, and once live, but it becomes something else when applied directly to the skull. It's a paean to unsustainable self-reliance (which a certain person has previously yelled at me over MSN about), lost love, and the importance of working towards dreams. Plus, it made me tear up a little the first time I heard it.

Racing Like a Pro - The National
For some reason, this album is tied tightly to my Murakami binge, and the weird alienation plus sub versus conscious mind motifs that the author loves carries through into this particular track. I love the palpable tension and the careful use of strings in the background. It's also a reminder to not settle, which was a New Year's resolution I made with Al, and probably the one I will end up keeping to more than the others.
Plus, for the longest time, I thought the chorus was "your mind is racing like a pronoun" which made no sense but appealed to me anyway.

Bitches in Tokyo - Stars
cross off all the ways I failed you
because I failed you
but I'm still in your blood
you're still on my blood.

[if you have to ask...]

Gouge Away - Mogwai (Pixies cover)
"Hey! You got Scottish post-rockers in my early-90s pre-grunge!" It's perfect; sludge and accents nailed to serious drums and Old Testament allusions.

Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down - Interpol
In Pattern Recognition, William Gibson writes about "psychological prophylaxis", or the act of restoring emotional normalcy by resuming daily tasks; it seems fitting that the act of reading the book (and listening to an album that I played while reading it the first of countless times) would act as a normalizer on my part.
Lately, though, this song makes me miss a trio of people, all of whom I have gone from functionally constant to now sporadic contact; two through circumstance and one through some sort of weird clean break on the other party's end.
At the end of the day, I guess there's nothing to do but wonder about ducks in faces at 240 knots and move on.

Downloads up here. It'll come down in two weeks.


I think, sometimes, I don't write because I don't want to augment future memories of this time; I'm not happy with a lot of things.

At the same time, it seems a bit like cutting off my nose to spite my face and ultimately having a record of mistakes made and lessons learned would only be useful in the longer term.

I guess I'm back, then.