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A Week of Detox

If I could name a theme for what I’ve been up to this week, I’d say it was “detox.” I feel like I went on Jenny Craig, but for other aspects of my life. No, don’t worry, I won’t be singing that awful “IF YOU WANT IT YOU GOT IT” bullshit jingle. Argh, I hate that song.

What the...?

Futonless!

Every university student or anyone who has gone through their early twenties will have had to had slept in/passed out on/thrown up over/stupidly purchased a futon of some kind. It’s as much of a staple to independent youth as it is living off Kraft dinner for a prolonged period of time. They come cheap, they fold up into seating, and they’re great for reading comics on your belly on a nice summer afternoon.

I had bought my own gem on my first year of living on my own, when I moved to a little bachelor suite in South Granville. It was a great companion, and we’d become good friends over the last little while. I even made it a little custom sheet to minimize the wear and tear.

And then it just kind of sat there; a floppy, awkward, hunchy reminder of years that I personally don’t find so exciting.

Today it was picked up, and I suddenly see my room in an entirely different and very spacious light. I’ve essentially gained about a plot of floor space measuring about 4×6 feet. I may or may not have made some carpet angels when I realized this.

Farewell, Cable Television!

There is a type of person that I dislike—not hate, as I reserve that for many others—okay, maybe not dislike, but I find kind of abrasive and annoying; and that is the guy who always makes it a point to casually mention that they haven’t had a TV for x number of years. And then later follow this up by saying that they just watch shows and movies on their computers.

In any case, that is exactly the same as this:

Don’t say you “don’t have TV” like it’s some kind of weird badge of entitlement, man. You know who else don’t have TV? The Amish. And monks. And probably some clairvoyants. Have you hung out with any of those guys? They seem pretty annoying.

You are not better than me because I greatly love Reba and Gilmore Girls. Those shows are absolute diamonds!

Anyway, my point is I got rid of cable. I still have the television, but no more afternoons of Judge Judy, Price is Right, or Judge Joe Mathis. What it’s getting me is an extra $50/month to spend on terrible things like Belgian waffles and hand creams.

Books, Donated!

I’ve given up on building my literary aspirations on thrift store finds and other terrible shit printed and bound. So many carried my dreams of becoming somewhat of a literati, yet each one dragged the disappointment of knowing that the books I loved the most weren’t the ones about mid-century art or short stories by Margaret Atwood, but the ones about Bigfoot and drunk animals at the bar.

It was a terrible realization, guys.

Until I got an eREADER.

Holy shit. “Amazeballs” is not even a fit enough word to describe how I feel about this thing. I debated with myself, whether or not to go with an eReader or a more multi-functional tablet, and I am so, so glad I went for the eReader.

The fact that it is built solely for reading is what I find so great. The interface is clunky, and reminiscent of those days when I had tutorials on MS-DOS (okay, maybe not), but the beauty of it is that reading is all you can do on this thing.

I’ve made a past admission that I am not a great reader. And I don’t know if it’s the lingering feelings of excitement, but I blew through a book in one night the first night I got it, and read my first Hunter S. Thompson book in three days. I’m now on my third literary meal, and I’ve shown no signs of disinterest or slowing down.

The amazing part for me is not the technology behind the e-ink shit garbage or 10,000-book storage, but at how well it motivates me to read. I can’t explain it very well, but this thing just really makes me want to drink in every page. It’s magic!

It also hooks up to the Vancouver Public Library’s e-publications online system, so I don’t have to haul my ass to the colosseum to find what I want. I don’t need to worry about late fees, either, as the file automatically returns itself or flies back to the VPL or whatever digital files do in space when you’re not looking. Completely amazing.

This must be what my dad felt when he first found out what an iPhone was. Christ!

In that vein, I’ve now been pulled to really examine my book collection, and separating the ones worth keeping from the ones that should have been thrown out years ago. Oh, this digital age! I’m all for it! Fuck you, old geysers still using the Encyclopaedia Britannica!

But, yes, I did end up keeping my Bigfoot books by Graham Romieu and Cats in Love.

Guys, this week of editing has made me feel great. It’s so awesome to be able to claim new space, new mental assertions and input, and new discoveries. It’s better than constantly moving my furniture around. Which I also did. Just today. Heh.

Café Working

Yesterday afternoon, I ventured out of the house/“home office” with my shit and decided to try out that thing where people work in coffee shops in the sunlight. Upon taking my seat outside on the patio, it took all of two seconds for me to realize that I would probably not get much done.

First of all, I had mistakenly ordered a sticky pastry. I figured if I was going to be staying at this place, I should probably get something more than a $1.80 cup of coffee. And so I ordered an extra thing. Which meant I had to eat it.

That fucking blueberry white chocolate scone. It was like someone thought it would be a great idea to mix the stickiest shit with powdered sugar and melt some white chocolate into a piece of bread. With my hands full/sticky/jammy, I couldn’t pull out my laptop, much less type or do anything that had to do with my fingers, so I thought I might as well get that done with and move on.

Don’t get me wrong, though. That pasty was gloriously delicious. It was as if Rodney Dangerfield crashed your baptism. Awesome! But not the right time.

Secondly, the place was milling with people, all having coffee and shoving baked goods into their mouths, some while still talking. Outside, where I sat, it took all no time at all for their pet chihuahuas and wiener dogs to form some kind of puppy fort around my legs. Across from me, children were squirming and screaming, women were “catching up” and old people, well those guys never really do anything, so they were okay.

I expected a few retired couples, maybe a stay-at-home dad walking his child on one of those monkey leashes to tire the little bugger out. But this place was packed!

Guys, if everyone is here, who the hell is in the office?

(cut to an office scene, one lonely intern checking his Facebook in the dark)

I tried my best to work with the flow of things, but I felt like bringing out my laptop might make me look like an asshole. And yes, there are times where I do feel like that. I then tried to just work on my notebook, as my main task was to come up with sketches for some more Sportsbutter visuals.

It didn’t last very long, especially after a man with a toddler sat by the window directly beside my seat outside. It felt like we were awkwardly sharing a table, but with a glass divide between me and them.

Cafe Working
UGH

Granted, he was mostly focused on feeding his little boy some kind of puffed oat cereal as he had a panini, but part of me felt like I was intruding on his time. And he was probably wondering why I was drawing crazy-looking birds of prey with very dilated pupils.

Birds of Prey
A snippet of what I was drawing. The bottom left is supposed to be a hawk, not a pigeon holding in its throw-up.

I admire people who are able to work in public spaces like that. I’ve tried several times, and I always either end up looking like an idiot or feeling like one. How the hell do you guys do it? All those distractions, the glasses clanging, people laughing and having a good time. Ugh, it drove me nuts!

It’s fine when I meet up with people or have small meetings at coffee shops. Or even if I just hang out there on my own. But there is something impossible about me sitting and working by myself in a public place. I don’t think it’s just coffee shops. Working alone in libraries kind of annoys me too. I just don’t get anything done, and I become consumed by the thought and excitement of just leaving.

Get me back to my quiet, shady and not-so-bright-no-melanoma-skin-cancer desk please.

Sportsbutter 2012

Some snippets of illustration work from the past few months of working with Mainsocial’s collection of fantasy sports apps, Sportsbutter.

nb. I didn’t create the awesome Sportsbutter logo.

Icons for the fantasy pool apps in the Facebook environment
Excerpt from the 2012 Media Kit
Excerpt from the 2011 Holiday Emails
Excerpt from the 2011 Holiday Emails
Background for Sportsbutter’s 404 Page (“Sorry, Cat Got Into the Butter”)