The Tweets
The Tweets

Entries in Growing Up (8)

Thursday
Oct132016

Starting over at thirty something 

It's a young man's game. That's what "they" keep saying anyway. So why would I essentially decide to start over again at thirty*cough*mumble*? More importantly, why am I asking this sitting at a coffee shop on Queen West after already splitting my life in half for the next three to four weeks?

I suppose some would consider me still a young man in the scheme of things, although these days I don't really feel like it. The past four months have taken their toll, and while I'm not exactly intimidated by my new life, I understand what kind of adjustments I will have to make over the next four months.

If I was one to look at signs, the way the MLB playoffs are shaking out this year would seem to say that I'm doing the right thing. Teams I loved from my past are colliding with my present (and future) just in time for me to enjoy them in person--or at least in closer proximity than ever before.

But mainly, this move just feels right, and it will make my wife happy once the dust settles. Maybe I should have inverted those two points, the implied cliché aside.

Selfishly, it's given my creative motivation a kick in the pants; hence my presence in this super hipster place today. It's ok, but my search for a new "spot(s)" continues. It's only really been two days after all.

Thursday
Nov052015

Apple (Music) is making me love it (music) again… a love letter from a lazy technophile that's really about something else

While this is incredibly late to be relevant anymore, I'm hoping this is far enough removed from relevance to avoid most of the "fanboy" tags from being thrown my way.

I love Apple Music, and it's really because I've become lazy in my old age. Oh, and because podcasts.

Let me explain. The main reason I realized that some kind of music service was for me happened on the day I realized that I was a) listening to podcasts exclusively and b) it was turning into a bit of a chore. The whole reason I love podcasts--yes,still in the present tense--was that it was an enjoyable way to get informed, be entertained or just spend an hour (or two, if you're listening to Never Not Funny or the Todd Glass Show). When it got to the point that I was slogging through things just to get through them, I knew that there was a problem. Part of it is my "completest" disease, but that's another story.

The other thing that came to mind is that I couldn't remember the last time I heard a song that wasn't playing in my own head. That really hit me hard because music was the podcasts of my youth. I wouldn't leave my house without a walkman, discman--later MP3 player, iPod and iPhone--in my bag or clipped to my belt. Yeah, I was that cool. So many of my memories, both good and bad are forever and inexorably linked to songs and albums.

Ironically, it was a podcast (TOAP) that really reminded me that I needed to find some way to fit music back into my life. I started to institute a rule for my weekday listening experience: Podcasts on the morning commute; whatever you want to listen to during the day; music on the afternoon/evening commute. Because there is a never ending rabbit hole of both podcasts and music, this has worked out well for me, and to my surprise, I've rarely broken the rule except when I feel the onset of podcast fatigue or alternatively if there's an amazing episode I can't wait to listen to coming up that only shows up in my feed at 2:00PM.

But I'm getting slightly off track; this was supposed to be a fanboy gushfest about Apple Music. So to undercut everything from here on out, if I wasn't all in on the Apple Ecosystem, this would probably be about Spotify or something. But I am, so it's not.

While incredibly easy, the biggest selling feature isn't the fact that I can search for any song that comes into my head, and there's a 95% chance that I can find it and add it to my library. Nor is it that everything is remembered/saved in the cloud so I don't have to physically (digitally) have the song to have access to it. What I love are the playlists: Playlists created by real people that actually make sense and take me back to 1997 or 2003. Playlists that I can trust will take me back to 1956 if I want.

Not that I'm incredibly important or anything, but I honestly don't have the time to recreate a skate punk mix that will remind me of the times I would sit on the asphalt of a skating rink turned basketball court in July listening to "The Bag," waiting for my friends to show up for a pick up game, but a quick scan of the plethora of playlists available to me, I can come pretty close to finding one in a few clicks and swipes. Curation is a wholly undervalued skill; something that I would love to do if I could make a living off of it, mostly because I wouldn't have time to do anything else.

In a (read: my) post radio world, I'm just very happy to have a place where I can still discover both old and new music, listen on my terms and not sacrifice some of my other audio based forms of entertainment after which I can easily share with friends and jumpstart a dialogue with another real human being in the real world?

And isn't that one of the best ways to use our innate selfishness for good?

Monday
Apr072014

What happens when you clear the mechanism for too long?

When a major--and unexpectedly maddening--life change happens, how do you keep from letting the rest of your life fall by the wayside?

When I was younger, I didn't have these types of questions in my head. Every life change was major--and unexpectedly maddening--so it only felt right that everything else would cease to exist until I came to terms with whatever issue was standing in front of me. That's when I was immortal and had all the time in the world to get back to the rest of the world.

Now I'm older, hopefully wiser, and much more aware of my mortality. Time doesn't lumber by anymore, it's decided to upgrade to a bullet train. Every day of the last couple of months have looked exactly the same--and that's not just the never ending Winter speaking. Even now, I see the light at the end of the tunnel getting slightly larger than a pinhole and I'm only starting to be aware just how much I've removed myself from, well, life in general.

I know that at the end of all of this, I'm going to be happier, definitely wiser, and more entrenched in my adulthood than ever--which is a good thing--but I'm not sure that I had to do it at the expense of enjoying the now (now being the past, I suppose). "The garden" hasn't been tended, so to speak, and even the parts that were, I can barely remember being the one holding the watering can. Bad metaphors aside, it stinks, and to the people who read this that it applies to: I'm sorry. Being a stubborn, "I don't need to ask for help" person isn't always the easiest to be friends with and I'm grateful to everyone who either doesn't see it that way or who doesn't care.

There has to be a way that we can grow as human beings without it coming at the expense of enjoying the journey and all the little side roads that come with it. I just haven't figured out how yet, and it's not like the road is getting any longer...

Monday
Dec232013

The ironing is no longer delicious

With the hipster reaching it's social peak (we can only hope) recently, I've come to notice just how much I've changed my tune in regards to irony. I think we all have phases where we are somewhat hipsterish; where we like things ironically and outwardly hate what we secretly love. I don' know if it's an age thing or just me being being sick and tired--more tired than sick, truth be told--of keeping up appearances, so to speak.

In what might come as a surprise to some, I actually like what I like and hate what I hate. I find it much less exhausting to just accept that I like something rather than trying to prove a point. I don't even have the time to devote to the things in life I actually care about, I can't even imagine taking the time to maintain a persona anymore. Part of me whishes I did, but that part of me is still sixteen years old with boundless energy and another part of me hates him.

I think that maybe we all get to a point in our lives where the trappings of youth get stripped away and you're left with the person that was forged in the fires of time. The best that we can hope for is that the human being you end up staring at in the mirror bares even a passing resemblance to the person you hoped you would grow up to be, even if they are nowhere near where you thought they would be.

Tuesday
Nov052013

Second curse evaded; this time with a ring

A few years ago I turned 28 and evaded the 27 curse. This year, I have my feet firmly planted on the ground and no stigmata on my hands or feet. My Jesus year has come and gone and not only have I made it through another arbitrary sign post and this time I'm pulling someone else along with me (metaphorically speaking).

Since I last checked in here, I have gained a few grams on my left hand--and a few thousand more around my waistline. I accept the extra poundage on my waist, but I adore the extra hardware on my left finger.

Being married is an interesting experience in 2013. It's not the obvious life changer that it was when you went straight from your parent's place to a shared dwelling, but it hits you in other ways. Mostlly by saying to your spouse "it's weird that we're married." It's one of the last barriers to cross before you can't deny being a grownup anymore.

As scary as that is, if I have to face the fact that I'm not a kid anymore, I couldn't have picked a better person to stare this new reality in the face with.