Saturday, July 12, 2014

Caravan

I'm listening to the Juan Tizol composition as I write the beginning of this post. The version I'm listening to is from Monkey Jungle, an album that featured Duke Ellington playing piano with bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach. It's probably my favourite jazz record. I like how chaotic is sounds, with the musicians' different styles playing off each other.

Anyway....

End of the academic year (June) was not unexpectedly a busy time for me. Aside from the usual testing and administrative tasks, I was also tasked with creating a "celebrating success" booklet and an end of year video. Got both done, but it meant that at the end of the day I had little focus left to write a follow-up June's blog post.

So I'm here now, twelve days into the new month. Applied for a job, went through three rounds of interviews and didn't get it. Silver lining - don't think I would have been terribly good at it.

So now I've got the summer to focus on "me" projects (as promised in my last post). Here's my public list:

  1. Continue with my current regiment of two hikes a week, averaging between 22 & 25 kilometers a week. So far I've been doing good, not injuring myself or doing anything terribly silly. This needs to continue for the next month and a half.
  2. Cooking at home more often, even if this means going to the grocery store two to three times a week. The last couple of weeks have been bad, and it's affected my budget. 
  3. Listen to some new music. Been better about it lately but need more new music. 
  4. Create new ideas for next year (including getting learners to create audio podcasts).
  5. Buy and create my personal website (maybe even business cards). This will be an area where I can write and create documents, tasks, and resources for my portfolio.
That's the short list. There are other things like organize my comics but I'm less sure I'll get that done with my three weeks of scattered "vacation" time. 

Oh, saw two acts during NXNE - St. Vincent & Run the Jewels. Both were excellent, but St. Vincent was on another level. She's fantastic and it made me love her newest record even more. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Prepaid for the movie

I've had a tons of random ideas recently. Can't remember any of them, mainly because I didn't write anything down. I believe they most revolved around the ideas of what I should be doing with my time. Need to focus my spare time, especially with the summer coming up. Small goals. In the next couple of weeks I'll put together a list and then I'll publish it to keep me honest.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Interaction

How do you interact with people online? Short and sweet. I'd publish this on tumblr but that's where I'm having difficult navigating the etiquette. You can follow people, like things, and such BUT like in real life, how can you do so without it being awkward. That's the question. I don't expect an answer or anything. Just wondering. I'm taking the approach of being overly cautious and polite, which is my standard approach.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Drafts

I'm considering creating a professional website to beef up my presence online. I mean, I'm on all the social networks using various aliases mainly so that isn't the first thing that comes up about me online. It wouldn't be terribly difficult for someone to figure out who I am. So, I need something with my legal name on it beyond a LinkedIn and Twitter account. A website sounds great but I don't know what I'd do with it. Can't just have a website without a purpose.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Manic Pixie Dream Girl Revisited

So... Here's a poorly written blog post from 2005 where I doing a poor job of expressing what would later become the manic pixie dream girl theory. Re-reading myself, I come off  at the very least problematic and at the worst incredibly sexist. I was a naive and a little off with the "girl's don't make mix tapes like that" point. What I was trying to get at was the scenario seemed... unlikely? No, that's not right. Elizabethtown went against everything I had experienced as a young person dealing with others in those semi-romantic/more-than-platonic-friends situations. There was a lot about Clair (Kirsten Dunst's character) that seemed unrealistic to me, but specifically the commanding taste in music. I realize now I lacked the necessary language to express my thoughts without sounding like a jackass. I think it's the "... and she's pretty to boot" part that makes me cringe the most. What does how she looks like have to with anything relevant? Or is it relevant to everything since it's in the context of a Hollywood movie that exploits her femininity? I'm unsure. If I'm being kind to my younger self, I saw some part of this and just filtered it through the lens of the music selection. If I'm not, I was just another sexist 20-something boy who couldn't imagine a woman applying a vast knowledge of music and history to create what in my mind was a work of genius.

Maybe I'm making things worse. I don't know if I have all the tools necessary to express myself properly without coming off like an ass. I fully admit that I have under examined my privilege concerning gender issues. I've been called out about this in the past. It's difficult to confront but I'm trying.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Lie to me, I promise to believe

Love, however, has its own dialectic. There was a young girl I was once in love with. Last summer at the theatre in Dresden I saw an actress who bore a deceptive resemblance to her. Because of this I wanted to make her acquaintance, and succeeded, and then convinced myself that there was a quite considerable difference all the same. Today I met a lady on the street who reminded me of that actress. This story can go on as long as you like. 
Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or, pg 344-345 (Penguin Classics)

I picked the title because I found a clip of Lorde and Haim doing a cover of the Sheryl Crow song "Strong Enough". 

I then randomly opened up to a page in Either/Or. That's the first bit I saw. Not sure if they relate to each other but it's certainly interesting. 

Give me a couple of days to think about this. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Soda, Pop, Cola, & Soft Drinks

In an effort to be healthier person I'm giving up soft drinks. It was something I had been meaning to do for a while but always found some reason not to. It was never a good reason, but there was always a reason. So for my birthday last week I decided to go cold turkey and I haven't had one since. So far it's been going well. My goal is to avoid drinking any soft drinks for two months but I'd settle for a couple of weeks.

I was inspired by my partner who has been making lots of lifestyle changes recently (last year or two). She's given up caffeine, going to yoga class two to three times a week, and incorporated more vegan dishes into our diet. None of these changes has really affect my quality of life so they've been easy changes. I think when I finally try to tackle meat consumption and dinning out that I'll really feel these health choices.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Double Digits

Quick trip down lane.

11, 1992 - 5th grade. Wasn't my best year. Picked last for everything, not doing terribly well in school and basically super nerdy. Things changed but I don't recall being very happy for my 11th birthday.

22, 2003 - Third year of undergrad. Went to dive bar. One of our friend's birthday was the 16th (or maybe the 18th... I don't remember) so we did a dual party. It was a good time surrounded by all of my university friends. 

33, 2014 - Had to work. Didn't sleep well the night before. Best part was being taken to a surprise restaurant for dinner. Also made a resolution to stop drinking carbonated drinks. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Visiting Another World

Just got back from a short trip to DC. It was great. There was so much to see along the Mall and you can pretty much walk everywhere. All the museums and galleries  are free, which is great because you don't feel forced to stay in them longer than you want to justify the admission. Going to DC really gives you an insight into the American psych; what the founders, and their heirs, want the people to believe America is about. I thought I understood the idea of American Exceptionalism but I really didn't. It's something else. And I'm not sure it's for me. I get you can live in a country like the US and not buy into the propaganda. Washington is built to make you believe. They were in the business of myth making, something that Canada lacks. Now I want to visit Ottawa to compare. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Days like these

In an attempt to be creative, I'm ditching work tonight to write on my blog in order to keep my promise of posting something longer at the end of the month.

...And I can't think of anything to write. I know I'm not a writer. I've read a bunch of posts on tumblr from different writers talking about the craft (yes, I'm using something on tumblr as an authoritative source in this matter). I don't have the compulsion to write everyday. I don't have stories bursting out of me or an inquisitive mind that needs to report on some troubling aspect of the world. I'm an amateur and that's the way I like it. It's nice to have moments to write something to keep to myself. 

Saw The Stories We Tell a couple of weeks ago. It was fantastic. Got me thinking about memory, stories, and persona more so than usual. Not reliving my life but thinking about WHAT happened (Did I construct parts of that event? Did it happen the way I think it did?), HOW it affects me now, and most importantly HOW I remember it (Has how I think about it has changed over time?). These are fundamental questions of human existence; the unexamined life and all. 

Ok, that last paragraph is a little bit of a mess. I'm going to leave it in as a quote. Here's what I was trying to get at - I take the Socrates quote regarding the unexamined life seriously. The only thing I can truly control is HOW interpret my memories into stories I tell. I pick and choose what parts of my life fit with my current personality and discard the rest. You do need to, from time to time, reflect and sometimes confront who you were. This is how we build self-esteem and have self-worth. I'm not an anxious person but like everyone I do have those random embarrassing memories float to the top of my mind every so often. All I can do is acknowledge them and move on. Regardless on how this sounds, I think this process is necessary in order to be an interesting person. 

Guess when given enough time I can find something to write about.