December 31, 2010

step-ball-change and a pirouette

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
got my braces off, was unemployed for four months, applied and was accepted for a job with a major corporation, stopped going home for three to five day stretches, went to the Yukon for a day on a press junket, went to Edmonton for a weekend for work, got drunk with my counterparts at another university, went to/covered the Olympics, got a real press pass for the Paralympics, went on a five-day bender, made plans to leave this city, agreed to shoot multiple weddings, housesat, kissed someone I knew better than to kiss, made out with smokers (ew), made ice cream.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't know, I don't think I made any. This year, though, yes: get out of debt, reduce the amount of stuff I own, buy only clothing that could be worn in the last 60 years without comment.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no. Close to someone I am close to, though, yes, and that was tough.

5. What countries did you visit?
The US.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
better life balance, a partner, better financial literacy

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
New Year's and Al cuddling, the Olympics from opening to closing and all the events, parties, press conferences, and mf'ing junkets in between; the trip to Edmonton; calling Keegan to tell him he'd won a Johnny; birthday and birthday bender; the last night in Ubyssey Haus; #kmac; quiet times with Lougheed at Benny's; bears, beers, weed and rejected advances with Al, Marielle saying she had cancer, Marielle saying she beat cancer, perogy night, pride with Kristen, ice cream adventures with Kristen, seeing The National, Sufjan, Joanna Newsom

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I survived the Ubyssey, I got my braces off, and I make a damn fine ice cream.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I continue to be unable to motivate myself without a fuckton of caffeine, I lost marks to anxiety, I fucked up at the paper, I'm paying off a $7k visa bill.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Does it count as injury when you're recovering from surgery?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
the ice cream machine, but maybe boots.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
They know who they are.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
They know who they are, too.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Braces, mortgage, debt, camera gear, jaw surgery, plaid shirts.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Music, freedom from braces, working for Apple, getting closer to being totally out.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
The National, "Runaway."

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier.
b) thinner or fatter? fatter, which I'm working on.
c) richer or poorer? richer, because current job pays literally twice what the old one did (not hard, mind you.0

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Admitting, working.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Commute, settling.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
At home, getting ready for Boxing Day family gathering.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Love no, like yes, crushes on dudes I work with a little.

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favourite TV program?
Community, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, a little Mad Men. TV's not something I consume a whole lot of anymore.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nobody new.

25. What was the best book you read?
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

honorable mentions: Zero History, Surface Matter, Excession, Momofuku, World Press Photo 2010, Oryx & Crake + The Year of the Flood.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Wooden Sky, James Blake, and Janelle Monae.

27. What did you want and get?
A job, rid of braces, a little more normalcy.

28. What did you want and not get?
A little more freedom, knowledge that things will function at home in my absence.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Inception by default; I don't think I saw anything else.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
25; it was a production night, so I worked late, then drank and played chatroulette bingo, and then drank some more.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I need to go back to UBC so I can leave it.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Threadless shirts, cardigans, corduroys, plaid, and selvage denim.

33. What kept you sane?
I'm not really sure.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, mostly.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
A lot of the stuff surrounding the Olympics, homelessness as a whole, and mental/health stuff.

36. Who did you miss?
Most everyone from AUS/ACF. We seem to have grown up and apart.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
More Ubyssey kids: Arshy, Virginie, Micki and David.
A bunch of people from the Gateway, as it were, and even more from The Company.

I spent time getting to know some people a whole lot better; Kristen, Keegan, Kai, and Lucas are all people I appreciate vastly more than I did this time last year.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
Save money. Even just a little. It'll come in handy.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Sorrow found me when I was young
Sorrow waited, sorrow won
Sorrow they put me on the pill
It's in my honey, it's in my milk

— The National, Sorrow


We see you trying to
Be something else that
You're not, we think you're nice

The circumstances
Of what I thought, I
Could see it now
I wouldn't be so
I wouldn't feel so

— Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz


June 20, 2010

last night, I was apologized to by someone who, during their time on AUS Council, voted to censure me as an ACF Exec after the whole fair shutdown fiasco... in the middle of a dinner party.

I hadn't thought about it in years, aside from thinking it was sort of amusing at the time, but, well, that happened.

(if it wasn't clear: I have no idea how to feel about this.)


May 25, 2010

clear cache

not so much a facelift as some lesser surgical refreshing on the front; I didn't toy with structure so much as I fiddled with web fonts and css shadows and altered coloration.

the name is from only skin (but you knew that) and it's likely to change.

that said, it took me something like three and a half years to fiddle with the look of this since the last time I said I didn't like something, so it's perfectly possible that I won't touch this until, um, January 2014.

also: if you're still reading this, leave a comment? I feel like I'm shouting into the dark here (and that's not always a bad thing) but knowing someone's out there would be nice.


May 22, 2010

i know your mechanisms

using this as a thing to do instead of working on that thing I wanted to work on.

damnit, old habits.


May 18, 2010

things I didn't say today

"the last time I put any real effort towards what you feel are priorities for me I ended up not only wishing I was dead but taking steps to get there, so you'll have to forgive me for not giving a fuck about what you think I should be doing with my life. if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go babysit your daughter now, as she is demanding my attention."


May 14, 2010

terrible idea du jour

art show, all from/of/on buses/skytrains/etc.

the name? sic public transit gloria mundi.

I'm terrible, I know.


swallowing the shine of the sun

it's one of those stupidly gorgeous days in Vancouver, and where I should be shorts-clad and out in the sun I am shorts-clad in a library, sitting next to a stack of books and in front of a computer, where I've spent three hours, now, half-heartedly applying for jobs in between researching someone else's cancer.

there's a photo project coming out of it, too, and I'm more than a little worried about how to approach that whole gong show, but for the time being, I'm going to get my head around one thing at a time.


May 10, 2010

got another thing comin' undone

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sorely tempted to play World of Goo instead of typing this up, or even closing the laptop and calling it a night, but it's been a while, and frankly both gaming and sleep are overrated.

I've been job hunting again; neatly stacking experience and skills into little hireability towers before placing them in front of faceless employers on the other end of an ad and waiting to see if their inquiries topple said buildings, or if they remain, wobbly but triumphant and hopefully bearing an offer of work. So far, it's been all crumbled towers (and self-esteem, a little, alongside.) It's maddening, in it's own way, and as I watch the number in my chequing account steadily dwindle, I push up metaphorical sleeves (chalk it up to another disproportionality or just a dislike of fabric on my wrists, I guess, but my sleeves are generally rolled up) and spew resumes, not so much tilting at windmills as much as emulating them.

In the midst of this, I started thinking about all the skills I can't ever put on a resume but have served me well, or the ones I have but wish I didn't. Take, for example, the reading of body language; there's no place on my resume for the phrase "will read how you react to things by the set of your shoulders, where you put your weight, and where you're looking," but it's a thing I can do (and is sort of convenient, to be honest.) More dubious is the whole closet-related skill set; pronoun management, event detail alterations, the occasional obvious checking-out of someone who's uninteresting but convenient, and, of course, the lying. Telling the big ones, the little ones to keep the whole thing plausible, the occasional obvious one as to suppress suspicion as to how unfortunately good you've gotten, quietly fearing the day the center stops holding and the gyre swallows you alive. Worse than those are the ones I barely admit to even myself, the mental equivalent of circling wagons or of a herd of elephants enclosing the vulnerable members inside a circle when predators surface.

I think it's elephants that do that.

Regardless: present me with a rising tide of anxiety or wait until one presents itself, inevitably at some inopportune moment, and it's like someone puts me on autopilot: occupy the head in figuring out what the trigger is, and move quickly enough to satisfy the body and lizard-brain desires for flight. It's my own personal rodeo, but it's inside my head, and falling off isn't an option.

I found myself riding one today on my way to shoot a concert; disembarking from the train and idly wondering if I would make it to the venue in time, and the next thing I know, I'm on the street weaving through a crowd of jersey-wearing Canucks fans; the tunnels and escalators simply erased from memory while things got handled. It's not the first time it's happened on my way to a show in the recent past, and I'm more than a little worried that it won't be the last, which is darkly funny since, well, I'm worrying about an anxiety disorder.

On the upside, I suppose: if I'm in a dark comedy, I'm not in the soap opera. Small favors, right?


April 23, 2010

it continues to weird me out that I can string sentences together with a minimum of fuss while I'm walking around, but park me in front of a desk, fingers hovering over home keys, and I am suddenly rudderless, requiring nothing short of miracles to get things out. Is it the notion of moving words through fingers, transforming one set of electrical impulses from inside my head to another set broadcast freely into a cloud of data, with the exchange point being mediated by pure physicality or something else entirely?

stranger, though: this was the first Thursday morning in which I've woken up in my own bed since the end of December.


April 03, 2010

You live again
in the shuddering light
of these images
this valediction:
you are running from a rising tide

I have 10000 images to process, but there are words.