Thoughts

Feb. 7th, 2017 10:09 am
tealin: (Default)
I have loads of packing and pre-travel stuff to do, but my brain won't leave me alone about these things I've been wanting to blog about for years, so I'm giving it one hour to say what it wants to say and stop bothering me. These were going to be big long thinky-posts, but I'm forcing myself to keep them to one paragraph.

Piracy
Media piracy is a big deal, both for content producers (such as myself) and the consuming public, but I don't feel the current conversation is the one we need to be having. There are many grey areas in which limited theft ends up being for the greater good – essentially free marketing – but money has to be part of the equation at some point. The counter-piracy argument is always presented as 'if you don't pay for this film, you're stealing from the people who made it.' That is, essentially, untrue, as very few people who work on the film get any residuals from its profits. What you are doing is preventing things from getting made in the future. The rise of the box set has seen some fantastic television being produced, but it is being produced on the prospect that people will buy the box set, or digital equivalent thereof. Studios budget future projects based on what past ones have made, so if profits from Film B are down from Film A, they have less to give Film C, or decide that they can only make Film E, instead of Films D, E, and F as planned. I have been in meetings where the effects of this cycle are presented very matter-of-factly. When you pirate films, you are stealing from yourself, because your lack of monetary input means YOU will get fewer and lower-quality things to watch in future.

Politics
People argue endlessly about which approach to government is correct. There is no correct. There is only what best reflects your priorities. Everyone has a reason for believing what they believe. You can find statistics and studies to back up any argument you want to make, on any side. What it comes down to is a matter of choice. What kind of country do you want to live in? What kind of society? What do you want to put up on a pedestal as being the #1 Important Thing? A nation's government, in a way, projects back to the nation what it values. What values do you want those to be? What sort of people do you want to be allied with, or opposed to? What consequences are you willing to take? What sort of person does that make you? Are you OK with that?

Harmony

Feb. 5th, 2017 08:58 am
tealin: (4addict)
Barely 24 hours after I post those thoughts about how A Series of Unfortunate Events challenges us to stand up for the Baudelaires around us, Radio 4 has broadcast programmes asking us "Which character in the story are you?" and referring to Yeats' "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity."

I joke that I'm married to Radio 4 (and Cambridge, the physical embodiment thereof), but I'm starting to wonder if the fraying of reality is making that more true than I thought possible...
tealin: (writing)
Some fandoms are pretty universally popular, and some are so niche they barely qualify as fandoms at all. Snicket fandom falls somewhere in between. Some people are passionate fans, but quite a few dislike the books or 'don't get' them; it's interesting to figure out what it is in a person that clicks with A Series of Unfortunate Events; who ends up liking them and who not.

After much mental chewing on my own small sample group, the best conclusion I've reached on the subject is this: You are more likely to enjoy Lemony Snicket if you are aware of the darker side of life – not necessarily accepting of the darkness, but accepting the awareness of it. If you haven't suffered loss, or been uprooted, or been disappointed in someone you were counting on, or simply prefer not to think about depressing things like these, you are more likely not to 'get' these books and wonder why anyone does. But if you know that, at any moment, your life might be turned upside down and everything you take for granted – even abstract things like kindness, truth, and justice – cast into doubt, you are more likely to look at these maudlin tales of misfortune and have something in you say 'yes, that's how it is.' Overblown and dressed up in a silly costume, yes, but with a kernel of truth, around which the absurdity and poignancy and tongue-in-cheek narration are built up like layers on a gobstopper.

What We 'Get' About Them )

Now we find ourselves in a world where, on an abstract level, these ridiculous tales are suddenly not so far off the mark. This series was written mainly during the G.W. Bush administration, when the culture wars were already well underway, and the idea of educated, cultured urban sophisticates being locked in life-or-death conflict with ignorant and crude but more ruthless people was an entertaining hyperbole of the contemporary climate. Now we've had a US election where those wishing to stick it to 'the elites' have won, and similar forces are in the ascendency across the Eurocentric world. Last week I flicked between the Netflix series and Twitter, with its steady stream of outrage at the smash-and-grab first week of the Trump administration, contingency plans to save libraries, and this classic: “America is a tire fire. The resistance is led by Teen Vogue, Badlands National Park, and the Merriam-Webster dictionary.” ... and I thought, good grief, the ridiculous is now.

We Are All The Baudelaires )

It's not too hard to find a modern parallel for Count Olaf, the egotistical entertainer who will get what he wants by any means necessary, or for those who hitch a ride on his ambition. But is that where we should be looking? )



CODA

This popped up from my favourite singer/songwriter today, which seemed relevant:

There is a kind of elegant, uncomfortable wisdom to these times too, no? We are shocked and horrified by the uncovering of hidden hatred, but dormant love and generosity and courage are also coming out of hiding. I think we are all in some version of “hiding", more or less, and in this world it’s becoming harder and harder to hide. Maybe that’s a good thing?
tealin: (catharsis)
This is the exact moment I knew I was in big trouble:






On one hand, I don't know how I'd've gotten through last week without this show ... on the other I can literally (literally!) feel the dopamine coursing through my veins when I'm watching it, which ... is a little alarming?

Back on the first hand, it's good to have something to take the stress off and bring on the happy, even if it's a neurochemical kind of happy (though, what isn't?). But on the other hand again, maybe actual coping strategies are of more long-term value than hitting the escapism again? But then, on a foot, this is, in a bizarre way, helping me process things? (More on that later.)

Other foot as yet unclaimed by a rhetorical standpoint. Stay tuned.
tealin: (catharsis)
For a few minutes, let's escape to a completely fictional universe where kind, noble, intelligent people are pressed by conviction and circumstance to make a stand against violent, greedy, ignorant ones.

I've been a fan of Lemony Snicket most of my adult life, but never imagined his books would help me parse current events. How lucky we are the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events should come along just when it should be so bafflingly relevant.

A Little Background )

I wasn't immediately excited when I heard Netflix was going to do a serial adaptation of the books. The 2004 movie got some things right, but some more important things wrong, and having worked in high-profile mainstream entertainment in the meantime, I didn't believe they'd be allowed to film the books in a manner faithful to both story and tone. Too indefinable! Too idiosyncratic! Too intelligentsia! But when the first promotional material for the show came out, they seemed to know exactly what they were doing – more came out and I lost hope again – then at last I semi-reluctantly gave the first episode a try, and within ten minutes was completely sold on it and reverted to the giddy early-twenty-something who ran around Vancouver taking blurry black-and-white photos and cracking up at apparently random things.

I'm not going to go into a point-by-point of likes and dislikes, as that will take all afternoon, and the only person interested in it is me. Instead, here are some general statements from an avowed fan and someone far more familiar with the audiobooks than any adult ought to be: Items. )

If this series has been your introduction to Lemony Snicket, then sleep easy – it's been a good one. If you like it, you'll probably like the books. Might I also heartily recommend the audiobooks, for long car journeys, or non-word-related workdays, or just a bit of company as you unwind from a day of fighting injustice and bad taste in your off-the-grid safehouse far up in the mountains. You can probably find a few of them at a local public library. Support your library!
tealin: (4addict)
It's been a disorganised couple of weeks, and I'm afraid the radio list reflects that somewhat, but there's some good stuff out there so don't miss it!

DRAMA and READINGS
Cadfael: Monk's Hood - The television adaptations of the mystery-solving medieval monk were a big part of my teenage years, but the radio adaptations are good enough that I can suspend that attachment and appreciate them on their own right.
Homage to Catalonia - Orwell's memoir of fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War, dramatised by some of the top talent at the BBC drama department. Probably my favourite dramatisation of any Orwell work that I've heard.
Giselle - Counterintuitively, a ballet on the radio. I haven't listened yet, but "a story of hidden identities, thwarted love and deceased brides who dance men to death" sounds pretty good.
Pinocchio - Whaddaya know, another source material whose deeper content was stripped in the Disney version.
(From Sunday) The Pedestrian - The short story "The Fireman" is often cited as the germ of Fahrenheit 451, but it could be co-germ with this story about someone arrested for walking, in a city dominated by cars and TV.

FACTUAL
Slaughter of the Innocents - a profile of the Christian commemoration of the children killed in Bethlehem following the birth of Jesus (which may or may not have happened), the history if its celebration, and relevance today.
The Orwell Tapes - A complicated profile of a complicated man, through interviews with people who knew him.
The Reformation - A brief but excellent look at the religious and social change that transformed Europe in the 15th/16th centuries, with particular attention given to the complicated situation in Britain.
The Novel of the Century - How Victor Hugo's Les Miserables came to be written

COMEDY
John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme - There's yet ANOTHER episode. Blessings come in bundles of six, apparently.
The Unbelievable Truth - John Finnemore turns up again on this panel game where bald-faced lying is the pretext for comedy, instead of national governing policy.
21st Century for Time Travellers - In which the early 21st Century is promoted and explained as a destination for holidays from the future.
Time Spanner - I've linked to this before, but there's just over a week left to listen, and given Radio 4's track record for rerunning one-offs, it may be your last chance. It's hard to describe, but a bit like if the people who made FLCL did a Douglas Adams pastiche?
tealin: (catharsis)


Things I am doing to distract myself from how badly I want to watch The Miserable Mill:

1. Drawing something else entirely
2. Drawing about that exactly
3. Writing this blog post
4. Going to bed

You guys, this is a problem.

I mean there's only that book left and then the current series is over! And there won't be any more for me to move on to, at least not immediately!

But that also means that, if they get a next series (please please), that series will contain – breathe – The Ersatz Elevator AND The Vile Village.


OMG



This has been Snicket faff. There will be a more considered post at the conclusion of the series. Tealin is in full cognizance that 'going to bed' is laughable in her current state and means that purely in the abstract.
tealin: (Default)
Given that medical insurance Stateside is going to be up in the air for the next couple of years, a friend of mine who lives there has compiled this very useful list of low-cost, mainly independent health care resources, and generously given me permission to share it. I hope this information can be valuable to someone!

Free/Low-Cost Medical & Dental Clinics:
http://www.freeclinics.com
http://www.freedentalcare.us

Requires free registration for full details, but users can get contact info for all listed clinics without registering.


Teaching Clinics:

If you have a college/university in your area, check to see if it has a teaching clinic that handles your health issue. Most teaching clinics charge very low fees, and some offer ongoing treatment. Medical students help doctors provide the care. Usually you'll have to let a few students observe at least part of your assessment or treatment in exchange - confidentiality laws apply.


$4 Drug Program
http://www.4dollardrugs.com

Program run by several major US stores. They offer lots of generic meds for between $4 - $10 per month. Includes most major mental health meds, epilepsy meds, and non-stimulant ADHD meds. Most member stores also include birth control, diabetes meds/supplies, and meds for a wide range of physical illnesses and disabilities.


GoodRx
http://www.goodrx.com

Searchable nationwide database where you can find the most affordable pharmacies for a particular medication in your area. Covers meds for both humans and pets. Also offers pharmacy coupons and prescription discount cards.


NeedyMeds
http://www.needymeds.org

Searchable nationwide database of free and low-cost medical and dental clinics; prescription assistance programs; pharmacy coupons and prescription discount cards; discount programs for certain medical procedures; and medical bill mediation resources. Covers meds for both humans and pets.


Partnership for Prescription Assistance
http://www.pparx.org

Database of all US drug companies' prescription assistance programs. Qualifying people can get many medications for little or no cost through these programs. People can apply for them through the site. Also has a nationwide database of free/low-cost clinics, including mental health services. Users must set up an account to get most of the database info.


UsedHME
http://www.usedhme.com

Nationwide site for people to buy/sell secondhand home health equipment. Items include wheelchairs, scooters, mobility aids, lifts, ramps, beds, batteries, wheelchair vans, and daily living items. 3rd-party site - items are NOT checked before resale.


Zenni Optical
http://www.zennioptical.com

Use your glasses prescription to order eyewear here. Most glasses are under $30/pair. Also handles bifocals, prescription sunglasses, and many complex prescriptions.


SAMHSA Services Locator
https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
1-800-662-4357
1-800-487-4889 TDD

Government program's database of mental health and addiction treatment resources nationwide. Call, or search the database, for options in your area. Includes free peer support and self-help groups, as well as clinics and other places that charge fees.
Database and any resources getting SAMHSA funding may be affected by any future changes in health care laws.


Health insurance for people who were in foster care:

https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/healthy-foster-care-america/Pages/Health-Insurance-Foster-Care.aspx

If you were ever in foster care in the US, and you are between 18-26 years old, you can automatically get state Medicaid health care until you turn 27. Follow the directions at this page to sign up.
This program may be affected by future changes in health care laws.


12-Step Programs

Use the meeting locators on these sites to find an in-person meeting in your area. Many of these programs also have online and phone meetings. Note - these programs had a Christian religious basis, but being Christian/religious is NOT required; some groups will discuss religion more than others

Addiction:

Alcoholics Anonymous: http://www.aa.org
Narcotics Anonymous: http://www.na.org
Al-Anon/Alateen: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org
Nar-Anon: http://www.nar-anon.org

Other:

Adult Children of Alcoholics: http://www.adultchildren.org
For people who grew up with bad parenting in general - not just alcoholic parents

Overeaters Anonymous: http://www.oa.org
For compulsive eating, anorexia, bulimia

Emotions Anonymous: http://www.emotionsanonymous.org
For people with mental/emotional health issues: depression, grief, compulsive behavior, fear/panic disorders, anxiety, anger problems

Co-Dependents Anonymous: http://www.coda.org

Eating Disorders Anonymous: http://www.eatingdisordersanonymous.org


Refuge Recovery
http://refugerecovery.org
1-877-959-0220

Anonymous peer counseling and meditation groups for addiction and codependency treatment. For any addictive behavior, not just substance abuse. Buddhist religious basis, but being Buddhist/religious NOT required. Use meeting locator on site to find a local group. Online and phone meetings also available.
tealin: (Default)
Tonight, I am at a crossroads.

I can either go out and get groceries (which means dinner, lest I go all night on the digestive biscuits with cheese I had at 4), or I can 'watch' Wolf Hall for the second time in a week while tying down animation until 1 a.m.

I think we all know how this story goes.


ETA: PLOT TWIST

I'm actually hungry and my shoulders are stiff and I am foolishly optimistic that the newly-returned students have cleared out of Sainsbury's by this time of night. (It's probably the low blood sugar.)
tealin: (catharsis)
No spoilers this time. I was working through this episode so maybe didn't pay close enough attention to think much about anything, but I'm inclined to think I got the better end of the deal this way.

Breakups are always a handy device for drama – shouting, weeping, the tragedy of what might have been – but what doesn't get dramatised so often are the relationships that end with both parties basically going 'Yeah, you know what, we probably would both be happier going our own way.' I don't know if that's a happy ending, but it's a peaceful one, and best for all concerned. That's how I feel, anyway. 'Leave them wanting more' can be a bit overrated.

We got the Shipping Forecast and another completely gratuitous aviation callout, so, you know, not a total loss.

It's been a real slice. We'll always have series 1. ♥

Listening

Jan. 12th, 2017 08:42 pm
tealin: (CBC)
I'm in the middle of an unexpected but short bout of freelance animation. I love animating, and for the most part it pairs symbiotically with my love of radio. Unfortunately there's one stage in the animation process where you have to concentrate really hard and scribble the movement down; when I'm doing this rough pass I don't have any brain cells left over to process what the radio is trying to tell me, so I can't listen then. But I find it had to stay focused without something on in the background, so I'm once again streaming Radio-Canada (francophone CBC) in yet another attempt to improve my French comprehension.

I can't really say how well I'm doing in achieving that aim – yesterday was pretty good but today was just so much babble again – but it's all right because they have great taste in music, the news is so much nicer when you can barely understand it, and whenever Donald Trump speaks, someone in a calm voice starts talking over him in French. I do get amusing little tidbits, though, between Montreal traffic reports and interviews about artisan cheese in the Ottawa valley.
  • the French for 'witch hunt' is chasse aux sorcières which is WAY cooler.
  • it's not 'Aryan' it's aerien which means 'aerial', calm down.
  • there's always a really interesting discussion at about 9-9.30am local time, but I can't understand enough to look up the programme on the website.
  • London, England, is Londres as it is in Continental French, but London, Ontario is still London, just in a French accent.
  • the programme titles I can understand are often puns in some way; I assume the ones I think aren't puns are just puns I don't get.
  • the further away from Montreal someone is calling, the more twang there is in their accent
  • I can understand either the words people are saying, or the overall topic under discussion, but not, it seems, both
  • I seem to have conditioned myself into feeling worky in the auditory presence of French; this was pretty funny when a French song came on the music in a restaurant...


But even that got to require too much brainpower, so now I'm listening to this and getting REALLY EXCITED about not having any time at all to finish my analyses. Sigh. Back to work.
tealin: (Default)
Last year I had the joy and privilege to work on Ethel & Ernest, an animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs' graphic novel about his parents. It is exactly the sort of animated film that would never get made Stateside, and exactly the sort of film I always wished I could work on, so you can imagine how chuffed I was to be a part of it.

It was animated, for the most part, by freelancers across Europe (mainly in the UK, but some elsewhere), and so the scenes were divided up in a way I've never experienced on another animated film: we each got a sequence, in whole or in part. My first sequence was the Christmas decoration scene, which takes place in the middle of the war, when young Raymond has been evacuated to the countryside.

Something else I've never experienced before was, whenever there was a question about how something should be interpreted, the director would reach over and say "Let's check the book..." No surer way to a girl's heart.

Here's the book:



And here's my sequence:



If you're in the UK, or have a way around geolocking, you can watch Ethel & Ernest on the iPlayer until January 26th or so; the rest of the world can get a Region 2 DVD from such online retailers as they wish (e.g. Amazon) – if you have VLC Player it'll play multi-region DVDs.

Of course you know what this means ... I am a content provider for the BBC! \o/
tealin: (Default)
Well, it's the start of another workweek, and if I know anything (I do), one of the best opiates on the planet is excellent radio!

I haven't been able to do much listening over the holidays, but there were some really outstanding things you ought to catch before they expire:

CHRISTMASSY - If you want to hold onto that holiday feeling just a little bit longer
John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme Christmas Special - The new series started on December 27th, which called for a great pile of brightly wrapped Christmas sketches. And a song.
Some Hay in a Manger - A playful and surprisingly sweet retelling of the Nativity, from the point of view of Mary's donkey and one of the Wise Men's camels. Brought to you by the Warhorses of Letters team, proving cultural divides are only what you make of them.

NEW YEARSY - If you're still writing '2016' you are still in the New Year
Dead Ringers: Alternate 2016 - Imagine if things had gone differently at almost every occasion ...
Topsy Turvy Radio 4 - On January 7th (which is not, actually, Twelfth Night, but close enough), John Finnemore invaded Radio 4 continuity and there was much silliness.
The New World - A series of documentaries taking stock of where we are, on a number of topics, as we face 2017. Maybe not the most cheerful listening, but interesting, and probably important, even if you've elected to spend this year under a rock.

JUST GENERALLY SORT OF STUFF - But still really good, otherwise I wouldn't go through the trouble!
Time Spanner - I was lucky enough to be at the recording of this pilot, and was worried the final broadcast version wouldn't be as great as it was in person, but somehow radio magic happened and it's even better! In it you will find other dimensions, time travel, angels, a self-storage facility, a dropped call, and a robot, but that's beside the point: more importantly it's got that balance of silliness and heart that sets the special things apart.
Cabin Pressure: Abu Dhabi - Radio 4 Extra is rerunning the whole series from the start, so if you've wanted to know what the big deal is, or would like to revisit for fun, jump on this crazy train! Episodes Boston and Cremona are also currently available.
Desolation Jests - Picking your favourite comedy shows for your post-apocalyptic bunker is a notion close to my heart, and now they've made a show out of it, only it's all made up. Still funny, though! Oh, 11pm comedy slot, where would we be without you ...
John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme - The rest of the new series is not holiday-themed, but is just as funny. And new! We should be so lucky.
tealin: (writing)
Well, why not make it a thing this series.

I'm going to try to be short, because I have to get back to work. (Hah! Short.)

Immediate Impressions of the Just-Aired Episode of Sherlock, Series 4 )

Back to francophone radio for me now; have fun out there, fandom.
tealin: (Default)
Completely unscientifically produced, from the data sets Confirmation Bias and Previous Experience.

United Kingdom, eastern portions
Chilly, then frigid, snow beginning around the 11th and lasting about a week, then clear and windy. Gradual warming with occasional snow turning to rain, until spring-like temperatures return around the 26/27th.

Vancouver and the South Coast of BC
Cold and snowy to start, then an unseasonably dry warm spell beginning around the 10th, with the return of an arctic high pressure system around the 18th and heavy snow the weekend of 25/26th.

Southern Alberta, western portions
Typical winter weather until the end of the month when a Chinook should see temperatures rise by 30°C

Los Angeles, California
A return to expected winter patterns early, with a building high pressure system that should bring in hot sunshine for the second half of the month. Possible storms late.


(In other words, I've booked my plane tickets.)

(And I'm genuinely curious to see to what extent this holds true. The Southern Alberta forecast directly contradicts the Farmer's Almanac.)
tealin: (Default)
Frank Debenham was junior geologist on the Terra Nova expedition, under fellow Aussie T. Griffith Taylor; as such, needing to be where the rocks were (so, not on the Barrier or the Polar Plateau), and suffering a couple of badly-timed knee injuries, he wasn’t included on the major journeys of the Expedition and therefore tends to get left out of Expedition narratives. This is understandable but unfair, as it’s in his diary that many of the amusing character anecdotes are recorded, he was official photographer the second year so the pictorial record owes a lot to him, and it’s thanks to Deb’s vision and curatorship that we have SPRI, which makes understanding and retelling the Scott story so much more possible. In a way I suppose he’s the Horatio of the Scott Expedition – not part of the action, and easily overlooked, but a good, stable, supportive guy to have around, and keeper of the flame.

After struggling so to get a decent take on Crean, I’ve budgeted myself a full week for each person’s preliminary design pass. While I acknowledge there were mitigating circumstances with Bill, I was still concerned that my pace with him was a negative indication of things to come, so it was a great surprise to find that Deb turned up almost immediately I sat down to draw him, and I filled five good pages in two days.

Deluge of Debs )

The part of me that likes a good story suggested that my ease in drawing him was because he was so happy for someone to be paying attention to him that he was as cooperative as he could be ... but I rather suspect it’s because he looks enough like a Disney prince that he ‘fits well under the fingers,’ as string players like to say.
tealin: (think)
Dr. Edward Adrian 'Bill' Wilson is, in my humble estimation, the most wonderful person ever to have lived; he is, for certain, my one great hero, and needless to mention my favourite person on the Terra Nova Expedition.*

Drawing him has proven surprisingly difficult. )

Next on the list is Deb – I've tried him out before but he needs a proper systematic approach – and then maybe Gran; I'll come back to Bill and see if I've shaken off any of my intimidation.


*The others wouldn't mind me saying this; he was all their favourite, too.
tealin: (Default)
Just watched 'The Six Thatchers' – first reactions –
Super Spoilery Sherlock Somethings )

And that's the point at which my recollection expires ...

Lest you think I am being too critical, I did really enjoy watching it, which to be perfectly honest I was not expecting to do. It's a nice feeling, that buzzing of the fannish nerve; I thought it might be a thing of the past. There have been so many media disappointments, and it seems prohibitively difficult to carry a franchise on this long without dropping the ball somehow, especially when it's got an enormous and very vocal fandom which is tempting and/or rewarding to pander to (or mess with). They've walked a very narrow line with this show and so far done it remarkably successfully ... we'll see if it lasts the whole series!
tealin: (Default)
Well here we are, at the end of another year, and what a year! As well as all other commonly held notions that it set out to shatter, it also disproved the idea that perception of time slows down to fit in more stimuli (e.g. why a long weekend of travel feels equivalent to weeks of sticking to your normal routine). This year was a non-stop news barrage, and my own life was filled with all sorts of things, yet it feels like just a few months ago that I was watching the last light of 2015 fade from the sky.

I have formerly been in the habit of writing a year-end blog post, but I didn't really know where to start with this one – it's pointless going over what made it a remarkable year because you were all there, too, and everyone is doing that anyway, no use adding to the pile.

In looking back over my own personal 2016 I realised that a common thread was starting things and not finishing them. This has always been something of a theme for me, but 2016 brought it to the fore, as I opened more and bigger boxes this year than in years past and none of them have been fully unpacked; some hardly started. Current ongoing business includes:
  • Ireland travel journal
  • Scotland travel journal
  • Academic article (going on two years now)
  • Something like a semi-official relationship with SPRI, only just begun
  • Lots and lots of information gathering with no synthesis or organisation
  • The Mini Big Project which took up most of the summer, which needs revisions before I can share it
  • So many thinky blog posts I've started in my head
... and that's just what I can think of right this minute. I will try to finish these before I open anything new in 2017, but who can say how successful that will be ...

On identifying that aspect of my 2016, though, I found that it could be applied to 2016 globally. It's been an awful year in lots of ways, but – hate to break it to you – lots of those ways are in fact just opening boxes of more awfulness, that will have to be unpacked and sorted in the years to come. A hurricane can sweep through in a day, but it takes years to recover, and the recovery can be harder than weathering the storm in the first place. We've had a lot of shocks this year, but the hard work is yet to come, and will require a lot from all of us.

If this notorious pessimist has any hope for the course of things to come, it's that finally the passionate, fierce, intelligent, interconnected rising generation has something to fight for and against – when things were going their way, they turned their energy on each other, but there's nothing like the unifying power of a common enemy to rally and motivate the troops. There's a lot of potential out there. Every so often humanity is tested on its progress: this appears to be one of those times. I'm no great fan of humanity, but I hope we pass.
tealin: (catharsis)
I made this three years ago – almost exactly, though I don't remember the precise date. It's finally time to leave it by the side of the road, lest I drag it through another year. 2016 may have been cosmically crappy, but 2013 was far more horrible on a personal level. Glad to dump the last of it, and leave it in a year that won't notice one extra turd.


The Rest... )


It was a very important thing to have happened, and I think I've processed it enough that I've refined it almost entirely into positives – there's a lingering emotional distrust, but let's be honest, that's always been there. Maybe it's just been reinforced a little. I don't know what to do with kindness, it's confusing.

The only lasting bitterness I have regarding this episode is that the parcel in which I sent this sketchbook home, to join the rest of my stuff in my parents' basement, before I moved to the UK, got lost in the mail. As my sketchbooks double as journals, and free me from having to remember my life at all, I feel like I've lost a whole six months – a pivotal six months – and will never get it back. I scanned all the drawings before I sent it, but there's a lot of writing that's gone forever. USPS!!!

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags