Waiting for Spring

March 2, 2011

College is still the main focus of my life at the moment. We’re now well into Semester Two. So far, mostly good. We’ve just started the production of our major class project, Pacific Rim Magazine. The next two months are going to be busy beyond belief! 😀

The major highlight of the last few months was the extended visit of P, my boyfriend from Australia. It was his first overseas trip in about 30 years. During the course of his two month stay, he finally got to see Vancouver (and parts of Vancouver Island), met some of my friends here and witnessed the stress that comes with full-time college studies.

Having P be a part of my life over here for a while served to remind me of how much I miss him. Having one’s partner around on a day-to-day basis is something many people in long-term relationships often take for granted. When there’s long periods of enforced geographic separation between a couple – whatever the reason – it takes a lot to keep things going. Fortunately, for us, all is well and we’re keeping in regular contact. As I type this, we’re planning to meet up in Hawaii sometime in late August, once college is over. That will be a well-deserved vacation!

In other news, Vancouver recently had an unusual bout of freezing weather and snow. I’m hoping it’s the last blast of winter before spring kicks in. Apart from a recent trip to Bloedel Conservatory, I haven’t had many chances to get my camera out and about lately. However, I did grab some snow shots.

Here’s a panoramic view from my apartment of the snow-covered West End:

The aftermath of an overnight snow storm - West End (Vancouver), February 2011

Spring, wherefore art thou?


Creative Scatter

October 30, 2010

It’s after midnight, crossing into Samhain. At least three college assignments, a client project and a bombsite of a bedroom fight for my attention simultaneously. Yet, I have no desire to tackle any of them.

Concentration, focus and motivation have taken an extended vacation, perhaps to sunnier climes? I want to draw, be creative, get my shit together and WORK on stuff, be productive. There is the occasional burst of activity, usually brought on by a rare good moment or an impending deadline (hello, Monday!). Mostly, it’s just the grey buzzing of an overloaded brain. Trying to find inspiration in the world around me. Momentary flashes occur, but the well is dry at the moment. There seems to be no time for anything.

I look out to the drizzly skyline of Vancouver, the lines of Grouse Mountain lost in the haze of rainclouds and darkness. The occasional whistle or bang of fireworks and mischief-makers punctuate the night at random intervals. I want my loved one here with me, not halfway around the damn planet. Yet the phone is dead. Alas, life and it’s choices create random patterns and circumstances. Some make sense, others…what the hell?!

My social skills have deteriorated somewhat in the last couple of months. The mental overload that accompanies my studies – plus the madness that has been 2010 to date – have left me with very little energy and the loss of any ability to coherently express myself in any form. Sometimes I’m reasonably OK, other times I’m a stuttering wreck. I’m more – and want to be more – than what many see, but I’m stuck behind walls. An initial conclusion would point to certain events in the last 12-24 months as sources. The reality is that they are defensive barriers, erected to protect myself. If anyone really knew the full story, they wouldn’t blame me one bit.

I was reading a classmate’s blog earlier this evening. Reading their words struck a chord. I know what they mean, feeling like the proverbial island in the sea of humanity. The fear, the barriers, the money worries, the scattered nature of life as it currently stands. I wish I could say to them, “You’re not alone in feeling like this.” Yet, my current state of social retardation and the arm’s lengths at which we mostly keep each other will prevent that. Damn. Fuck those that hurt others to the point of emotional damage. It is said that karma will even the balance in the end, but there are times where it’s horribly tempting to play the Angel of Justice in this reality.

It’s times like this I’m grateful for dear friends. They know who they are 😉 Also, there is one within the professional sphere that is proving to be of great help, more than they know. Having someone take the time to listen and to care, knowing that they get it, they really GET it, even as I stutter to get the words and thoughts out…that’s a rare gift. Knowing that they’ll be willing to listen (and help, if possible) in the future is one little thing that makes these overwhelmingly grey days a tad more bearable.

Three Months Later…

September 18, 2010

It’s been a crazy three months…

Shortly after my last post, I headed south for my annual summer pilgrimage to the US. Highlights included Arches National Park, a visit with a friend in New Mexico, day trips to Santa Fe, the old Crossroads Diner in Mount Olive, IL and a flying visit to Chicago before crossing the border to Toronto, Canada.

The two Rush concerts went off like frogs in socks, particularly the Molson Amphitheater gig. RushCon Toronto also went well and much fun was had. Being one of the organizers, there was a lot of running around to do both before and during the convention.

Somehow, I had the endurance to go north and west via Highway 1. On the way, I battled the torrential summer storm downpours in Ontario, stopped in at a friend’s for the night in Winnipeg, chased star trail and prairie shots in Saskatchewan and left my driver’s license behind in Canmore, Alberta (more details later).

Upon my return to Vancouver, I collapsed for a few days. Little wonder – driving over 10,000km (6,213 miles) over the course of a month does tend to tire one out.

Here’s a map of the entire route:

In August, I flew to Las Vegas for another Rush concert and RushCon Vegas. This was the first time we’d held the Con outside of Toronto. New city, new venue, a one-day only event…we were a little nervous about it! It turned out that we didn’t need to worry. The Con was a success! Many new faces, a lot of enthusiasm and so many attendees that we ran out of stars for our Charity Auction! 😀

The Rush concert at the MGM Grand that evening was deemed by many to be one of their best-ever shows. Another spectacular performance by the boys. Following the concert, a couple of Rush friends held a private party in their suite at the MGM Grand. Caught up with some old friends and (finally!) being able to put real-world faces to a couple of names in the virtual world. Good times. 🙂

Whilst the Sunday was a relatively chilled out day, I wasn’t able to sleep that night. As a result, I have it on very good authority that I looked like hell at McCarran Airport on Monday morning. Props to C for holding seats for my friend & I on the flight to Denver. I’d sat down in the plane and fell asleep almost immediately – I don’t even remember taking off.

My friend and I landed in Denver, proceeded to our hotel and had a nap before the Rush concert at Red Rocks that night. Despite a number of technical glitches, the boys went off, particularly Alex during  “Working Man”.

May I present the evidence:

Red Rocks itself is a spectacular outdoor venue. If you ever get the chance to see a show there, take it.

During all this Vegas/Denver madness, I’d also returned to college on a part-time basis for Digital Intermediate Photography. Unlike previous studies at Langara, this was an Accelerated summer course. Classes were held twice a week, rather than the standard one. My friend Cindi and I finally got the chance to take a class together!

Overall, I was quite disappointed with this particular unit. I didn’t really click with the lecturer, there was a lot of concepts repeated from the Basic levels and it ultimately turned photography into a chore for me.

During the Basic units, we’d gone shooting on location to places like Granville Island and Vanier Park. I had thought the Intermediate unit would be similar, but upping the ante. For instance, a late afternoon/evening shoot on location with models and lighting (set up by the instructor – can’t do our own lights until we’ve completed Practical Lighting).

Instead, we were stuck on the college campus. I can understand what the lecturer was trying to do, by forcing us to be creative in difficult situations. Such an approach, however, only dimmed my enthusiasm for the subject in general.

On top of that, I’d started full-time studies in Publishing in early September. The last two weeks of Photography clashed with Publishing classes, so I’d be at one class at 6pm, then bolting to Photography for 6.30pm. Yikes! It is not a scenario I recommend to anyone!

The Publishing Diploma is going to be a lot of work, given that it’s a 2 year course crammed into 12 months. Despite the intense workload that lies ahead, it’s going to be fun!

So, that’s the nutshell version of my life over the last 3 months. Much of my time is going to be taken up by college studies until August 2011, so travel will be limited at best. If nothing else, it’ll give me a chance to catch up on posting photos of these journeys…