My 2019 Queer Film Fest schedule

This one is coming a bit late, but here goes:

August 15

Just one film at the premiere, a sweet love story in 1980’s Saigon

Final choice: Song Lang

August 16

I’ve got either: earnest meditations on gayness and Christianity (Gay Chorus Deep South; The Gospel of Eureka) or… a lot of horror (Queer Fear; Lizzie).

Right now I’m leaning towards the gayness / Christianity ones. I did enjoy The Wise Kids waaaay back in 2011, and The Gospel of Eureka in particular should be a hell of a show. The horror shorts do look good though. So! Since International Village and SFU GoldCorp are only 5 minutes apart, and Eureka starts much later, couldn’t I split my viewing? Yeah, I think I could.

Final choice: Queer Fear & The Gospel of Eureka

August 17

Here I’ve got either women-focused stories (Shift Change; Tell It to the Bees) or youth-focused stories (Coming Into Our Own: Youth Shorts; Night Comes On).

Hmm… it’s Night Comes On that’s speaking to me most, so off we go to SFU GoldCorp again!

Final choice: Coming Into Our Own: Youth Shorts & Night Comes On

August 18

My first break. I’ve got a beach volleyball tourney in the morning and early afternoon, so realistically I wouldn’t have much energy. Add in a pre-indoor-season BBQ where we get to learn who else is on our indoor league teams, and modeling new jerseys? Sorry, no movies for me

August 19

So it’s a choice between queer & trans sci-fi and… nah, you had me at “queer & trans sci-fi”. This being a weeknight I probably won’t stay for the late show. Good thing it’s playing in my ‘hood!

Final choice: Transfinite

August 20

Either several shorts on intersectional queerness (Queer And…; Queer Diaspora) or a film on creativity and blindness followed by shorts on “longing, loneliness and parallel lives” (Vision Portraits; Have We Met Before?)

Huh, this is a hard one. I’m leaning most towards the second one, though

Final choice: Vision Portraits & Have We Met Before?

August 21

This is the Centrepiece Gala! Or, I could watch Song Lang again.

Final choice: José

August 22

It’s either The Coast Is Queer, or a second showing of José. And of course I never miss The Coast Is Queer. What’s the late show? A “slow burning indie drama”-slash-“coming of age”? Sure, I’ll take it. Or maybe I’ll go home early cos it’s way out on Commercial.

Final choice: The Coast Is Queer & Jules of Light and Dark

August 23

Hm. This is a tough one. A lot of dramas with no particular themes that I can see. The indigiqueer showcase is always good education for this settler, and I’m quite drawn to the late show as well.

Final choice: all our relations: explorations of indigiqueer kinship & The T

August 24

Again, more dramas. At first I had my eye on the collection of shorts on queer love lives (The Spark)… and then, a love story rising from the ashes of the Kosovo War (The Marriage)? Maybe…

But the other shows look good too! The story of an undocumented immigrant trans woman (The Garden Left Behind) and a college student’s struggle to reconcile modern life and family traditions (Fish Bones).

Final (ish) choice: The Garden Left Behind & Fish Bones

August 25

It’s the Closing Gala!

Final choice: An Almost Ordinary Summer

The art is to show off the art: days 921 — 938

All the colours in the world

Two weeks ago I let my inner artist out for to play and mess around with paint. I’ve doodled with pencil and pen lots of times, and designed a couple of my tattoos in Illustrator, but drip painting is a whole new medium. It was hella fun in spite of the frustration because I honestly didn’t know what the hell I was doing.

But hey, isn’t that the whole point? To let go of all my doubts and second-guessing, and just go with the flow. Yep, absolutely. And did it work? I’d say it did! And I’ve figured out a couple new ideas to try for next time. Because I want there to be a next time.

A week later I celebrated my own birthday. Actually, I celebrated it twice; one dinner on the exact day of, in a place I’d never been before but came recommended, and later in a rather more familiar restaurant that could accomodate a larger party. I always get a bit twitchy around my birthday; maybe part of it is having to count the years even though I don’t actually feel any older, and part of it is having to plan social things, which I don’t feel I’m very good at. Yeah, you’d think dinners would be straightforward, but it’s quite a workout when you second-guess every detail.

Forced me to clean up my apartment for guests though, so that was some good self-care.

And speaking of social, I went back to Quests and Queers at the Storm Crow after quite a long hiatus. I’ve missed it, and learned a fun new game!

Speaking more of social, I attended Black Lives Matter’s March on Pride last Saturday. I do enjoy the main parade, but I want to support the alternative events too—East Side Pride, the Dyke March, and this. I mean, it’s time I put my money and feet where my mouth is, because (a) I’ve been meaning to go since last year, and (b) I’ve gotten in enough arguments about BLM and police presence at Pride parades, and I figure being an ally also means doing stuff. I’ll admit I was kind of nervous during the march, but there was no incident. Before the march, though, I did witness the organisers get hit with a racial slur. Good thing we’re not the US and therefore OK, or I would have totally taken that the wrong way.

But on a more reflective notes, I’d like to mention two street shots I’m extremely happy with: Richards Street on July 19 and Denman Street on July 21. Different as they are in colour and feel, I think one thing that ties them together is the people. Anonymous people, unidentifiable, but they give these shots a dynamic oomph I’m really enjoying. I’m usually really twitchy about taking photos of people without their permission, but I feel this is safe and not intrusive. And you can’t argue with the results!

Fun fact: I almost didn’t post the July 19 photo, or any of the other ones I took that evening. I already had my daily photo; and I was tired, I think, not really in the mood for creative expression. Maybe the volleyball helped? In any case, I’m glad I told myself “ehhh, I guess I’ll post these.” There’s a time and place for self-editing, but I can definitely take it too far.

Post Volcano Time: days 871 — 920

Forward!

It’s funny, I also didn’t blog for the longest time after my Belgium & Netherlands trip two years ago, the big milestone that made me start again being, of course, joining Gossamer Threads. The 2-year anniversary of that blessed day has come and gone without much fanfare (so far; there may be cake or something at some point) but it’s still a huge deal to me because this remains an awesome job that keeps pushing me to grow as a developer and learn new technologies. It’s been mostly WordPress, sure; but lately I’ve also gotten into Vue.js, Laravel and AWS, plus a quick dip back into Drupal 7. Good stuff.

Confession time: in hindsight I think I may have settled into a comfort zone with being a backend WordPress developer. Yes, that’s what I was hired for, and yes, being specialised is not a bad thing, but I need to take a step back and look at the big picture. There’s a whole world out there! Besides, playing with UI stuff is a hell of a trip. We move forward, ever forward. Twirling towards freedom.

Another way I’m moving forward: volleyball. For many years now I’ve been stuck in the Intermediate division, apparently juuuust on the cusp of Competitive (the next division up), and feeling super frustrated about it. This year I didn’t get in the division I wanted, the newly-renamed Competitive 2, formerly Competitive (more or less) but neither did I end in Intermediate again! With the division restructuring I get… the newly-created Competitive 1 (between Int and C2). Is that disappointing? A little bit. It does mean I play until 9PM on a Sunday night, but apparently the skill level will be comparable to last year’s Competitive, so that’s all right. To be honest, I don’t feel I played my best during tryouts, so I was terrified I’d be stuck in Intermediate again. And if I did, would I ever be good enough to move up? I’m not getting any younger; was Intermediate the best I could get?

But poop on those self-doubts, because I am getting better and now I have the invitation to prove it. Again, not not quite like I hoped, but this feels like RuPaul telling me I was safe after a hard challenge. And I have new hope I’ll make it in higher divisions next year.

Photo-wise, what else have I been up to? A bit of nostalgia for the parts of Iceland I never got to see—but overall I was glad to be home. Iceland was beautiful, but far too grey and brown, even in late spring. I need myself some green!

A nice walk on Lions Gate Bridge; some hella gorgeous sunsets; a lot of flowers; some pretty pictures of grass volleyball; enjoying one of the few Studio Ghibli movies I’d been missing; enjoying East Side Pride and getting all political; hiking clear around Stanley Park for the first time in years, and zooming in on my crabby neighbours; and still taking photos of Sunset Beach.

That’s only going to last a couple more weeks. Looking forward to the change. Looking forward to the change. Looking forward to Pride, and the Queer Film Fest. Looking forward to all the things pulling me forward.