30 in 30: Day 15

I'm at my parents' place for the long weekend, so since I don't have access to my own computer until I get back into Halifax on Monday, I'm not writing these until late at night when I have a moment to myself and a free computer.

I didn't really do anything today; I slept late with a cat curled up on my legs, watched some Bob's Burgers and BoJack Horseman with my sister, and tuned into the new episode of SNL with Amy Schumer: I thought it was considerably weaker than the premiere, especially that last 10-to-1 sketch screamed Anderlette to me. That's the thing with SNL...sometimes the booking everyone's excited for ends up being a huge disappointment (Looking at you, Robert DeNiro).

I get stir-crazy whenever I'm in Miramichi, but I can't really bring myself to leave the house when I'm up here, especially without firm plans. I feel like this is something I've said countless times before. Give me the anonymity of a larger city over a tight-knit small town any day.

30 in 30: Day 13

Another late night submission. I'm going to try to make up for the last two days with this post; I supposed it was bound to happen that I would have a few "off" days where the energy or will to write wasn't there.  Then I have days like this one where the will's there but the time isn't: between my bus getting caught in traffic (which also made me regret trying to go straight home after work instead of dawdling at Scotia Square for dinner), a post-dinner nap, and some other things I needed to get done tonight, I didn't get around to writing this until well after midnight.

A few entries back, someone asked me what I thought of last weekend's SNL premiere with Miley Cyrus. I know this is subject matter more fitting for the other blog on the site, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It was easily stronger than the last two years' premieres, and the overall vibe of the show reminded me of the 2011 season premiere with Alec Baldwin and Radiohead: not a flawless show, but the atmosphere was relaxed without coming across as too lazy. Taran Killam's Donald Trump was OK, although the writing for the cold opening came across as a little perfunctory; the Hillary Clinton cameo sketch I found to be executed much better. I was actually surprised by Miley's performances though: I knew she collaborated with the Flaming Lips on her new album and guessed they may appear with her tonight, but "Karen Don't Be Sad" actually sounds like a bit of a return to form for them as opposed to just being a pleasant-on-the ears Miley Cyrus song (The Lips kind of lost me after Embryonic). "Twinkle Song" was a little more polarizing, with the repetition of "I had a dream" and "What does it mean", the odd piano dressing, the screaming and the crying, but I thought as a whole it worked.

One of my favorite blogs is AJ Ripley's Trans Canada (My Way). They update weekly (with new posts every Wednesday): it's an unflinchingly honest account of their transition in the one province in Canada that doesn't fund transgender procedures, and it's amazingly written. They participated in a documentary for Vice Canada called On Hold: Investigating Transgender Health Access in Canada, and I urge you to all watch it. I lived in New Brunswick for 13 years; it can be a wonderful place, but it can also feel like a bizarre disconnected alternate universe.

But that's another post. 

30 in 30: Day 10

I'll be honest; I'm feeling a little blocked tonight, so I'm just going to get all meta in this post. I've been thinking about the following: Do I keep using this space for first-person navel gazing, or should I try to attempt to break out of talking about myself in the coming 20 days? Should I work dashed-off pieces of fiction and abstraction into the mix? If I mention people I know, should I come up with decent aliases? (Let's just say I have a lot of friends with interesting names). 

You know how sometimes a specific piece of music takes you back to a specific time and place? I actually remember feeling that with a particular episode of Saturday Night Live a while back. It was a show that aired years before I started watching the show myself, but when I put on a VHS recording of a cable rerun of the Bruce Willis / Neil Young show (originally aired September 1989), it brought me back to Miramichi, NB, spring 2000, and everything I felt around that time seemed to be embedded into the experience of watching Neil Young do takes of "Rockin' In The Free World", "The Needle and the Damage Done", and "No More" that made the album counterparts seem a little too polished and clean. I remember that was a difficult winter and spring, but that particular year brought me to a lot of the people I've been fortunate to remain friends with for over 15 years. For someone who moved around quite a bit when growing up, it stuns me that these people have been a part of my life for almost half of it. 

I don't know if music (or other media) has the same power to root itself to specific memories in the last 10 years, though, which is the length of time I've been out of university. I also ended up buying too much music in that period of time before I move to Halifax three years ago, so that may have something to do with it. It still happens, though; the last year is going to be tied to these specific songs  (links below take you to Spotify, except for the last one):

Do any of these songs evoke anything for any of you? Is there a common thread, atmosphere or mood that holds this list together? I know this is a bit of a fish for comments, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

Hell, I managed to work through this block after all.

30 in 30: Day 8

I read a few good graphic novels in the last little while: The Complete Essex County by Jeff Lemire and Photobooth: A Biography by Meags Fitzgerald. Both were very good and emotionally affecting in different ways. The middle story in Essex County, "Ghost Stories" was the one that stood out for me: it's the one about the two hockey player brothers in the 1950s. I found that one especially sad and haunting, particularly the whole thread of loss and regret that carries the whole narrative.

In a way, Photobooth also deals with loss. Fitzgerald's book serves as a history of the devices, a eulogy for the obsolete chemical booths, and an examination of her own relationship to her long-time hobby. The sense of having a connection with an object or experience that's gone was something I could especially relate to...I kept thinking of all the time I used to browse the racks of long-closed mall music stores, and how that's just something that won't ever happen again. There are the indie stores, but there was something specific about browsing a chain store in a mall with a well-stocked and diverse back catalogue selection that I miss. Yet it occurs to me that it's a weird thing to get wistful over.

The end of the book, where Fitzgerald reflects on what she's gained and lost from her fascination with the booths, also gave me pause, specifically about my own relationship with Saturday Night Live. My interest in the show and its history has connected me to a number of interesting people over the last 17 years (over half my life ago), but I couldn't help but relate when Fitzgerald mentioned her fear that her "glimmers of resentment" towards photobooths would grow for what she gave up to chase her passion. I sometimes ask myself what I'm hoping to get out of my interest in the show.

I've long had an interest in doing a collaborative narrative comic or graphic novel (I would write, someone else would take care of the art stuff). I don't know what it would be about, though.