Out of my way: days 386 — 390

In which I ponder self-doubt and second-guessing myself. Or maybe I don’t.

I did not want to take another photo around the gym this Sunday!

And yet I was too busy watching old seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race to get out of the apartment in the afternoon, which left me with no daily photo by the time volleyball rolled around. I know, that’s no excuse, but there you go.

I did have vague plans to shoot 4th Avenue on the way home—all those street perspective shots still fresh in my mind—but what I ended up doing was stop on Cornwall by Trafalgar and go down by the water. I’d been there before, during the day, but it was perfectly safe with the light from my phone, if a bit wet. For my trouble I got a great view of downtown. Incidentally, it looks like this is pretty much the limit of my phone’s light sensitivity. Good to know.

Monday was Day 2 of Nicolas looking at things across the water. The cranes weren’t really the focus here, but the sky itself, partially clearing just for that day it seemed.

And then you’ve got No. 6 Fire Hall, at Nelson & Nicola. I know I’ve done it before, but not when a bunch of firetrucks were running their lights in front! It’s been a while since I walked through the West End. I need to do it more often (more about that later).

Okay, I’ll be brutally honest here: I’m not really happy with the next 2 photos. They were taken on the way back from work, wandering around east of Granville—but not very far out of my way, because it was cold and raining. Maybe that’s why I like them less? On Wednesday I walked by Emery Barnes Park, took a few photos I wasn’t 100% happy with, then decided to press on to Granville Bridge and shoot some more. I still wasn’t feeling it, but this is the best of the bunch I kinda-liked.

Same on Thursday, except I didn’t get as far as any bridge. And was second-guessing myself so hard I considered taking down that #dailypic a second after posting in, to do a bit of cropping and retouching. Which I didn’t do, but still, what the fuck? looking at it now, it’s fine. It’s got this element of motion which has been missing form pretty much all my photos. But really, if I’m feeling that way about a photo, I’ll just post a selfie like I said I would.

Also, I think the lesson is that I need to vary my commute. Fuck the second-guessing. If my brain’s going round in circles, that means my body is too. I need to find new paths to walk, and not fight myself when I get there.

A little perspective: days 381 — 385

In which I reminisce about high school art class and buy an imaginary penthouse suite.

I guess it was one of those days when I just didn’t see anything to inspire me… and then just as I was getting home and thinking I’d need to whip out another selfie, I came upon an abandoned couch with some foam thingies on it. So, that was interesting. I wasn’t crazy about the white balance, but it didn’t occur to me to fix it. Oh well. I passed by again two days later, and most of the foam thingies were gone, leaving a message…

The following day I was walking home, trying to find a good shot of Granville street. It wouldn’t be the first, but I was feeling lazy and needed something quick. Fortunately lazy paid off because I got a great shot of the multi-level store at Granville & Robson. It has a surreal, almost Tron-like vibe, and immediately Rush’s Subdivisions started playing in my head. Remember that song, and the video, which had kids playing Tempest?

Then two days with similar themes. I didn’t plan it that way, but I like how it turned out. First, a shot of the tree tunnel by the Law Courts on Hornby Street. I loved the composition, and the asymmetry of it. At first I wanted to crop that lone tree out, but nah. It stays. I don’t think this is the first time I shot this particular street, but hey, it never hurts to revisit old haunts, right? Besides, this phone makes everything so bright and crisp, even such a dreary morning.

The following day, a shot of Robson Street, looking south towards Granville. I had also taken a shot in the opposite direction, but I love this one the best. It’s the colours that pop out, the reds and yellows and blues and greens.

And now I’m thinking of high school art class. We studied linear perspective, and colour theory, and the use of colour in classical painting and all that jazz. M. Balsamo was a harsh taskmaster, but though I really resented the crap I had to do, I learned a lot from him. I’ve forgotten most of it, true, but maybe it’ll come back with this project? We never did photography… but the rules of composition can’t be too different from classical art, right?

To cap off the week, a little gayming night where I played the ultimate whitebread normal™ game, for the first time in years and years. I lucked out at first and got to be a doctor, but then I lost that career and transitioned to a star athlete—which paid almost as well. And then a couple other bitches found buried treasure and won in the end. Oh well, it was good silly fun, and I still made enough to afford a lovely penthouse suite. Only $700K, a ridiculous steal in Vancouver!

And then a step to the right: days 376 — 380

In which I reminisce about commuting to the suburbs and enjoying foggy vistas

I said I’d take a selfie if I wasn’t feeling inspired and couldn’t find a good subject, and here we go. It’s… ehh, I never thought I was especially photogenic, but I like it. It exquisitely conveys my irritation at the cold and the rain, and also how I hadn’t shaved in like three days.

Friday, I decided to shoot a bit around Canada Place, and eventually decided on the West Coast Express station from up high. It was remarkably popular (relatively speaking) though I don’t quite get why. Don’t get me wrong, I do like it, mostly for the nostalgia value. 10 years ago, it was, when I took that train between PoCo and downtown, to work at Accenture (2007) and then Waterstreet Technologies (2008, until I moved downtown in May). The train rides were fun, the scenery was gorgeous (yes I took quite a lot of photos), though it was still a long commute especially at night. And if I had to work extra late, and the Trainbus was full, then the commute by bus was extra gruelling.

I remember one time, staying on the train past PoCo Station and getting off at… Maple Ridge, I think. I didn’t really plan it that way, but it turns out that was the last station before we got seriously in the sticks and I wouldn’t even get normal bus service back home. The only enjoyable part of that extra trip was going over Pitt River—who doesn’t like going over bridges in the dark, with Highway 7 just off in the distance?—but everything else was… bleagh. Maple Ridge was just as suburby as PoCo, even more so, and to torture myself even more I ate at a McD. It was a weird time for me.

But hey, look at me now! Living the life downtown, and even when getting over a cold it’s just a short stroll to Granville Island—or at least to a spot on the Seawall where I can gaze at it across the water. Had I ever visited Granville Island back then? I must have, at some point. But I don’t know, those were dark and troubled times, and I’ve blocked some of them from my memory.

I do remember back in those days I couldn’t have dropped into Competitive, even if I’d had the skill. Such a long trek in the morning, with no guarantee of play? And then do it again at night? No, that would have been too much. I would have missed the foggy sun over the field. And later after my nap, I would have missed Burrard Bridge in all its misty glory as well as the West End Inukshuk. My god this city is beautiful.

Beautiful in fog and in clear skies. This Monday I wasn’t 100% ready to go back to the gym, so I thought I’d take a bit of a scenic walk down Pacific and then… I forget, up Hornby, maybe? I stopped at Burrard and Pacific, snapped a couple of pictures… it was magnificent, but not quite right. So I took a few steps to the right, into the bike lane, and voilà!

The moral is: if the photo doesn’t look right, take a few steps to the side and try again. You’d be amazed at how much of a difference it can make.

PS: I’d originally entitled this post “Beyond The Farthest Suburb” as a shoutout to the Star Trek: TAS episode “Beyond The Farthest Star”. It seemed clever, but kind of obscure, and a Rocky Horror shoutout is better.

The view from the bridge: days 371 — 375

Here’s a pattern I’ve noticed for a while: I generally don’t have a lot of interesting pics on Sundays. I play volleyball (or try to) in the morning, go home, eat, nap, come back in the evening. And I end up mostly just taking photos around the gym. Some of them are great, of course. Like this one, which could have come straight off the cover of some lurid gothic horror novel, with the haunted moors and the family secrets and the locked room you must not enter…!

So… I need to either (a) get off my butt and go somewhere else on Sunday, or (b) not be so self-conscious about taking photos around the gym. Either will take effort. And what the hell, how about we do both?

Like for example, asking if it’s okay to take pictures of the eye machine thingy when getting my eyes checked. Hey, why not? The optometrist said yes, and showed me a drawer containing the dozens and dozens of individual lenses that go in the machine, and are used in eye clinics that can’t afford them. That was cool. And it just goes to show, it never hurts to ask. I’m not sure I would have had the nerve to do it this time last year, when I was just starting out, but now… Well, now I’ve got da noive (to quote the Cowardly Lion). It feels good.

At some point on Tuesday I got the idea of walking out on Burrard Bridge to take a picture of Sunset Beach. I used to do that for a while, in the summer of ’08, after I moved downtown and was still working at Waterstreet Technologies down in Gastown. Oh, apparently I continued, on and off, until 2010? Neat. Anyway, I had a hankering to reproduce that, and to see what it looked like in the dark. It looked pretty good. I was especially fascinated by the little island of light around the ferry dock…

…and so the next day, I went down there to take a closer look. I wasn’t feeling well, but this would keep bugging so what the hell. The dark Seawall was a bit intimidating—there are supposed to be lights!—but I got a satisfying view of Burrard Bridge and a nice closer view of the dock, taken from the dog beach at the foot of the bridge. I was nervous heading out on the beach by myself… maybe it would have been safer to bring a buddy? I’ll have to think about that. Nothing happened, and there was adequate light so I knew no one else was nearby, but you never know.

And now I’m thinking: this daily shot of Sunset Beach, is that something I want to pick up? I could do it, too. Something separate from my daily pic hashtag… still on Instagram so I can’t do an album, but I could do a special hashtag, yeah? Honestly, I’m afraid I won’t have the discipline to do it every day (or I guess every weekday) at the same time, but I said that about my dailypic and look where I am now!

So, who knows? It’s definitely something to mull over. No rush. I’ve got all year to tweak the format.

A second beginning: days 366 — 370

I was really tempted to call back to my very first photo on this account, but smartly decided against it. As cool as it might be to repeat last year’s story beats, I want to strike out in unexplored directions. Besides, a bowl of Froot Loops™ is much more interesting, right?

I went back to Ottawa that same day, and flew home on the 2nd. No shot of the Rideau Canal this time—way too cold for that, sorry!—but I’d decided on a selfie. Night selfie, which was new, but my phone could handle it. And it would be here, celebrating my return home. That’s important.

I think I need more selfies. I want to put myself out there more, and that includes my face on my social media. I think that any day I’m not feeling inspired, instead of shooting Davie Street, I’ll shot my own mug. Deal? Deal.

The next couple days saw my return to the gym. Callback to my January 4, 2017 photo, kinda? Yes, but this new one is taken much earlier, when it’s still darkish outside. It’s allowing me to work out longer, and still get to work on time. That’s one of my resolutions, to stop being late for things, and to kick it up a notch at the gym. BAM!

On Friday, I felt like walking up to Bute and cutting through Davie Village. Haven’t done that much since I changed jobs… Figured I’d take a nice night shot of the tree-covered streets, but it’s Rand House that ended up catching my eye.

And now’s the time to look forward. How will I sing of this year? In pictures and words? Hey, what about videos? That would be different, wouldn’t it? Something more focused in content, with themes and things? Maybe… right now I don’t have any ideas, but that’s okay. What I’m doing now does not need to be the template for the coming year.

The year in pictures: days 1 — 365

It’s been a year, folks. It’s been a good year. Let’s look back on it with a selection of my favourite photos.

New Year’s Day

In 2016, some friends were doing a photo-a-day challenge, and I tried to do it too. However, I couldn’t keep up the discipline. Part of it was that I’d never done this kind of thing before; in the past most of my photography had been in surges: taking a lot of photos at a time for special events, posting them, then waiting for the next big thing. Also, I think I was making it too hard for myself: my first plan was to post it to both this blog, and Flickr at the same time. But posting a photo to WordPress just takes too many steps, and the Flickr app’s UI is horrible. I needed something simple and quick.

So I decided to dust off my Instagram account, which I’d had for a while but never used. On New Year’s Day, after waking up in my brother’s apartment in Montreal, I took a picture of the street outside and posted it. Based on my history I didn’t think I’d continue, but I figured I should give it one more shot.

And here we are. One step at a time, one day at a time.

A trinket on Nelson Street, March 28

Looking back, this is the first photo I feel really happy with. Before, I was just sort of feeling my way—and yes, kept trying and got some good photos, but no great ones. None them really spoke to me.

This one did, though, and still does. The framing, the colours, the mystery of how it came to be there, it’s all a perfect package.

PS: the trinket was still there the next day, so I took it home.

Cherry blossoms, April 10

I got off the bus at Denman & Georgia and took a lot of photos waiting a while for the setting sun to hit the trees just right. I didn’t know what “just right” would look like, but I hoped I’d know when it happened. I’d say it was worth the wait.

Flying to Amsterdam, May 7

My first trip out of the country in decades! It was a big step and I was nervous, even though intellectually I knew I had no reason to be. It all turned out fine, and my family and I had a lovely time in Belgium and Amsterdam.

During those two weeks I took way more than one photo a day, of course. Here are just a few of my very favourites:

Top of the Bruges belfry, May 8

That was a fun trek (also, good cardio) and the photos were well worth the effort. Bruges is a gorgeous town, from ground level or high up.

Antwerp Cathedral, May 12

What’s unique about this cathedral was the white or very pale stone, coupled with windows whose glass largely wasn’t stained but clear, adding up to a space positively drenched in natural light. It looks like the altar received even more light from directly above.

Amsterdam’s Golden Bend, May 13

First day in Amsterdam, and I was already in love with the city. We had a few hours to kill after arriving, so we took a canal tour of Amsterdam right after checking in at the hotel. Everything was gorgeous, from the houses to the boathouses to the churches to the little pedestrian bridges. I don’t remember exactly where I took this photo, so it might not have been the actual Golden Bend. Still, this looks like a super-expensive house, so we were probably pretty close.

Zaanse Schans and Volendam, May 15

We took a day trip to visit some heritage sites north of Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans with its windmills, Edam with its cheeses, and the quaint little fishing village of Volendam. That was a lovely day. The Dutch countryside is beautiful, and I’m amazed that such a densely populated country still has so much open green space. But that’s because (a) there’s none (or almost none) of the car-centred suburban sprawl we take for granted in North America, and (b) the Netherlands have very strict rules about development and preserving green & heritage spaces like these. As they should.

Banquet at the Crossbowmen’s Guild in Celebration of the Treaty of Münster (1648) and Portrait of Marie Jeanette de Lange (1900), May 18

On our last full day in Amsterdam, we visited the Rijksmuseum. Oh, the Rijksmuseum! Full of so many amazing works of art, and not just the Golden Age masters. I took many, many pictures, most of them closeups of artwork.

Here are just two: one commemorates a treaty marking the end to the 80 Years War with Spain, as well as official international recognition of the Dutch Republic as a sovereign country. I cannot get enough of this exquisitely detailed, almost photorealistic, work. The second is a portrait of an early feminist activist, done in dots of lovely bright colours.

Tulips in front of the Rijksmuseum, May 18

Three photos from the same day? Sure, why not? This being my last #dailypic in Europe, I wanted to make it special. The tulips weren’t my first choice, but my elaborate plan to shoot the statue of Mercury at sunset fell through. Still, I’m not mad. This both screams “Holland” and commemorates one of my favourite days in the city.

Flower core, June 3

Don’t just look at the petals, folks.

According to Google this must be some kind of poppy. They all have a similar star-like structure in their centre.

Mole Hill rose, June 19

On my way to work I spied some pretty-looking roses in front of the Mole Hill houses on Bute Street; after many tries I found the perfect angle.

Summer evening, June 23

This summer I decided to quit running the Sunday afternoon dropin at Sunset Beach. Part of me felt a little bit guilty, but (a) I wasn’t on the board anymore and (b) I’d been doing it for years, so why not let somebody take over? Turns out, with VGVA also running beach vball there weren’t enough people to make it worthwhile. However, a few players owned nets and set them up in the evenings. So in addition to regular league play, I got to enjoy late evening vball several times a week.

When I took that picture I hadn’t started my new job, but already I was marveling at the amount of free time I could have, and what I could do with it. Being more social and physically active and less stressed? Bring it on.

WordPress ladybug, June 26

I was just headed to work in my WordCamp Vancouver 2015 t-shirt, minding my own business, when a ladybug landed on me. I managed to quietly turn my phone around and take a picture. A random little fun thing to brighten my day.

Gossamer Threads, July 4

The other big step this year: a new job, beginning July 4. Between being contacted by the recruiter and signing the contract, things happened very suddenly in just a few weeks. My head was still spinning at that point, and I was equal parts terrified (of this massive change and new challenges) and elated (at this massive change and new challenges).

Pride bling, August 5

The Storm Crow–both locations–are hella neat people, super-inclusive and queer-friendly. When some friends and I had lunch at the Tavern on Commercial after the Dyke March, they handed out a couple of these big square Pride buttons to each patron: classic 6-colour rainbow, trans, ace, genderqueer, and a few others. I was surprised to see the new Philadelphia Pride colours, with the additional black and brown stripes, but quite happy to wear it that weekend.

Not the trans one, though. That didn’t feel right to me. I’ve still got it, though, so maybe I could regift it?

Pride parade, August 6

Every year I wonder if maybe I wouldn’t have more fun just watching the parade—preferably somewhere in the shade with a cool drink. But every year, I march. There’s a rush that only comes from being in the parade, from being the centre of attention—yes, little introvert moi—and, dammit, call me stupid idealistic, but I believe Pride means something, commercialised and sanitised though it be, and I want to be part of it. I think it’ll mean a bit more next year when uniformed cops are banned, but that’s a whole other conversation.

Dirty tattoo, August 13

I don’t think I’m ready for a full shirtless selfie, so for now this is all you get.

Before this summer I hadn’t played beach vball in many years. I had a hard time getting used to it again—the sand was way hot, and too hard in most places. That day though, everything came together perfectly: it had rained a bit the night before, so even though the sun was out, the sand was nice and cool. So for the first time this summer I had fun diving and rolling and getting dirty.

Solar eclipse, August 21

I honestly don’t remember ever witnessing a solar eclipse before. They must have happened, right? Just maybe not where I lived? Anyway, we got a 90% or so total solar eclipse in Vancouver that day, and most of the office went up to see it, with all the rigs you’re supposed to have to avoid watching it directly. The science is absolutely fascinating, but the actual experience was a little underwhelming. It did get somewhat dimmer and cooler, but less than I expected for 90% totality. The distorted shadows were hella neat though.

Sunset on English Bay, September 21

My god this city is beautiful.

Downtown from Granville Bridge, October 4

The perfect, magical, time of day where it’s light enough for my camera to get details, but late enough that everything is a bit mysterious and golden.

Mellow yellow, October 17

Since I’ve got cherry blossoms I can’t ignore autumn, can I?

Strathcona at night, November 17

One of the last photos I took with my old Galaxy S5. It looked a bit too dark at first, but I love it. It’s got a warm, homey feel, and a chiaroscuro kind of thing going on.

Gastown steam clock, November 28

I was still getting used to my new phone, so I could not believe how well this photo turned out. Of course I took care to shoot it right (many times), waiting for the steam to drift in the most photogenic way possible… but damn. That there is a gorgeous pic, I tell ya.

Morning on Nelson Street, December 11

Good morning to you too!

Sienna Blaze and Stephen Scaccia, December 14

I knew going in that I’d be posting pictures of the VGVA Xmas party, and I figured I probably wouldn’t post just one. Here are the evening’s main entertainers spreading some Christmas cheer. I’m not used to taking photos of people so I’m quite pleased how they turned out. Also pleased to have a proper camera in my phone because my old one would not have done these fine people justice.

New Year’s Eve

And the whole thing starts again next year…

Dreaming of a white Christmas: days 356 — 364

It’s a low-key kind of time, between Christmas and the New Year. I’m hanging out at my parents’ place; I’ve seen both my brothers (plus sister-in-law and nephew), and I’ll go to my twin brother’s place in Montreal for NYE, as per our custom. Christmas happened a bit late, because it wasn’t until yesterday that we all got together and exchanged gifts. We’re not huge on gift-giving, so it was mostly the nephew receiving stuff.

My last day of work for the year started out super dramatic, cloud-wise. I chose a shot including a bare tree, to remind myself this was also the day after the solstice, and the days would get longer and warmer from now on.

Speaking of work, can’t forget the office dogs: Donut (pug) and Spoof (Samoyed). They were the centre of attention, as pretty much every remaining employee was crowding around them taking pics or videos. I’ll miss them for sure. I could have used some of Spoof’s fur in Ottawa. As much as I love a white Christmas, I’m just not used to Ottawa winters anymore.

It was nice to see the old ‘hood again though, either taking as quick photo as we got home, or taking a walk in the wintery twilight.

And of course, this is the season to see movies with the family.

And go to a museum with the little one. Last year it was the Museum of Nature (you know, the one that looks like a big old castle) because what 3 year old boy doesn’t love dinosaurs? This year it was all about machines and stuff. I’d been there before, many times, but only once since I was a child. In my head I still picture the big locomotives as absolutely gigantic, 100 feet tall at least. Oh, the good old days, when I was tiny and everything towered over me.

Speaking of good old days, my parents have a bunch of really old books in the living room. I love reading L’Encyclopédie de la jeunesse. Yes, the stories are sanitised and bowdlerised and the whole thing is seriously racist, sexist, classist and overall 100 years behind the times, but… y’know, it’s fun to read how people thought. Or at least how people thought upper-middle-class French kids ought to think.

Plus it was still really cold and I didn’t feel up to going outside to take a photo.

Tomorrow: New Year’s Eve in Montreal.

new phone who dis: days 316 — 355

Happy solstice! I’m actually writing this on Christmas Eve, but I want to keep the retrospectives in multiples of 5 days. Gotta follow the rules! Even rules I made for myself months ago. 2018 will probably different. Still haven’t decided how.

We’re starting out with more night shots: some wet fallen leaves; some cool fountains I discovered while taking a walk; a lovely shot of Strathcona and an alley in Gastown while culture crawling. The Strathcona one’s among my favourites. It’s fairly dark, but it looks like something out of a postcard, all warm colours and welcoming windows. Strathcona’s a lovely neighbourhood, day or night.

And on November 19, I replaced my pokey, cracked old Samsung Galaxy S5 with a snazzy new Pixel 2. And oh my fecking gawd, the pictures that thing takes! Much better resolution, and amazing light sensitivity. Look at this photo, taken right outside Pacific Centre where I made my purchase. Look at this other photo taken the next day, of downtown from near Canada Place. Look at False Creek from Granville Bridge! Look at the Gastown steam clock!

I know, it’s a poor player who blames their instrument, but this phone is a quantum leap forward for me. And I’m not the only one who thinks so: I’ve noticed a consistent increase in the number of likes and comments on my IG since I switched. Not huge, since it was never that big to begin with, but it’s there. It feels nice.

It’s not just night pics, though. I’ve taken foggy morning pics and sunny morning pics and delicious sushi. I’ve captured the partying at the VGVA Xmas party at Junction, complete with drag queen entertainment and live singing by our resident golden-voiced star.

(I guess the Junction counts as night shots too. The light’s dim enough, and I remember having a hell of a time with my old phone. I could never done Stephen or Miss Blaze justice five weeks ago. I liked the experience of putting people front and centre in my photos: shoutout to my vision board, it’s a rare mix of the Social and the Artistic.)

On December 21, the solstice, I popped over to Granville Island to do all my Christmas shopping in one go. The Kids’ Market closed at 6 (when everything else closed at 7) but I managed to get great presents for everyone, plus a delish salmon chowder pot pie + strawberry bubble tea for myself. Not slush, it’s strawberry + green tea. Wasn’t 100% sure, but it’s yummy.

Coming up soon: the rest of my daily 2017 photos, a selection of my faves (and why, in some cases), and a look back at the year. Haven’t done one of those in a while.

Whole wide world: days 291 — 315

The 300 day deadline came and went. The 305 day deadline came and went. It looks like I still need to work at this “blog every five days” challenge. I think the key is getting into a rhythm, a routine, but I’m not there yet. I take photos religiously every day, but I don’t think about what to write about until the deadline’s already passed, and then I kind of panic.

Let’s break it down. My first draft for this post covered 25 days, and we’ll stick to that for now. For a lot of those days it didn’t feel like I had much to write about. A lot of fall pictures, sure. A lot of nighttime city pictures, definitely—the latter because I’ve been getting out of work quite late lately, plus, well, it’s November. I do like this one I took outside the the Public Library. I don’t even know what it’s about, but it absolutely caught my eye on a night when nothing else did.

The real highlight was October 31st, Hallowe’en night, in which I celebrated a friend’s birthday by making a vision board. Well, part of one. All we had to work with was a single copy of Vogue—which didn’t really do the trick for me vision-wise, I guess I’m not the target demographic—so I figured I’d be a little more creative. I split my board up, and worked first on the corners. Each one represented a part of my life I needed to work on: career (web development, represented by stark monochrome geometric shapes); fitness and health, represented by a growing tree; friendship and romance, represented by this network of warm-coloured nodes; self-expression, represented by an explosive rainbow and a bunch of wavy lines. And then, I decided to make the main part a world map. My trip to Europe in May, the first in many many years, will not be the last. I’ve got a bucket list, folks.

The whole thing was rough, of course, but that was okay. The idea (in my head) was that I’d fill it in with inspirational stuff like a traditional vision board.

I still haven’t done that. But more worryingly I haven’t blogged about it till now, even though I loved it and got a real charge out of the process.

The question is, why? My first reaction was to blame myself. I’m still getting used to this new commitment. I’m still working on the discipline. I’m still working on being present and open to inspiration for more than the time it takes to scout out interesting photos.

And yes, that’s all true as far as it goes. I’ve got a ways to go, and it’s okay to stumble when trying new things. But also: did you miss the part about working late? Looking back, I think part of the problem was that my work / life balance was out of whack. Physically and emotionally I felt mostly all right: walking to and from work helped, and the project I was working on was super interesting, challenging and stressful in all the right ways. Yes, I did deal with the occasional bout of imposter syndrome, but I figured that was a good sign too. However, it looks like all this was still taking its toll: my inspiration dried up, and my brain got caught up in the job 24/7. That was not healthy.

That means I need to pay close attention to how all the things in my life are balanced: technical, physical, social and artistic. If I want to excel at all (or indeed, any) of them, I need to be constantly mindful of how all the different aspects of me interact, and how to nurture them properly. Still not sure how I’ll do that in practice. It’s a work in progress, of course. But then, aren’t we all?

Fire and water: days 286 — 290

Why is it that both my voting selfies this year were take in the rain? I like this one better, though. There’s no dedicated selfie wall complete with hashtag, but I’m actually smiling and I’ve lost a little bit of weight since May. So that’s nice.

It’s been a interesting five days, weather-wise, alternating sunny and rainy. And half of those sunny days were only sunny in the afternoon, mornings being cold and rainy and yucky. Vancouver in the Fall, man.

But Vancouver in the Fall still means foliage burning gold and red. Like Here, corner of Pacific and Burrard. I was on my way home from work, and saw how the sun was dipping down, so I took a slight detour to see what I could see.

Sunday the 15th, I hung around for a bit outside Jericho Community Centre before and after volleyball, hoping to get some nice shots. And I did! Good thing too, because the weather turned bad again in the evening. I’d hoped to get some cool evening light, but the sky was already overcast. Oh well.

Monday: rain rain rain. I was a bit desperate for some good photo opportunities, but I spied the intersection of… Granville & Dunsmuir, I think? Pretty good. Enough light for my camera to work with.

Tuesday: back to sunshine (after a dank morning), walking around Canada Place. A massive cruise ship was parked there, and I took a couple photos of it… but of course the daily pic had to be a fall foliage one, and here we are.