It's New Year's Day, and I have been awake for 34 hours straight. This is somewhat of a landmark for me. Never have I ever pulled an all-nighter and gone straight to work. Couple that with the fact that last night was spent heavily drinking with The Camaraderie, how I made it through the transitions of late night into early morning for work I might never know. I guess I'm quite capable of pulling from some inner reserve of strength I have a tendency to forget is there.
Driving home from work, a clarity so calm and clean enveloped me. It's January in Portland, and instead of being rainy and dreary, it's bright, cold and windy. Leaves were being swept into tiny little tornadoes as they blew across the street. Nothington's blue-collar were blasting out of my speakers and my weary voice, wrecked with too many cigarettes, a slight cold and bourbon from the night before hoarsely followed along.
After staying awake and on my feet the last day and a half straight, I'm sore and slightly dizzy, I've still got somewhat of a hangover. However, as much as the days might have beaten the shit out of me, I in turn beat the shit out them, too.
Now, I've never been one for resolutions, but this time around I'm gonna do things differently. 2011 had its moments, its days of glory. It also had abysmal lows and places that I never want to return to. I'm doing this not only as a favor to my personal well-being, but as a tribute the ones I love the most.
Here's my gameplan for the following year:
[ 1) Blog & write consistently. ]
For far too long, I've put off being inspired, putting observations onto paper or screen. There have been times when inspiration is coursing through me, but I always seem to end up sabotaging myself into not doing anything about it. No more. I'd much rather have a daily output of drivel then days and weeks and months piling up with nothing to show.
Robin and Lairen, through their determination, their drive and their creativity have shown me that blogging isn't a trendy, computer-savvy soapbox anymore. Intrinsically, it has the same value and focus that xeroxed and stapled zines have, without the obvious hard copy. Or the costs. With that being said, I am not only going to utilize blogging more, but to put more time and effort into getting my zines written, published and distributed. I'm sitting on issue 2 of EARN YOUR SLEEP, and I am extremely proud of it. I have several ideas for future issues, and also have loose plans for a novel. Working title: No Rest For The Restless.
[ 2) Change careers. ]
Maybe it's Robin talking about it, or maybe its the fact that I am so incredibly fed up with working retail, but I'm contemplating going back to school. I'd like to apprentice for a new trade. I'm thinking carpentry. Granted, I've spent almost a third of my life in the meat cutting trade, but I'm pretty fucking sick of it. Its time to get some new education and training under my belt while still upholding my ideals of blue collar work ethic and manual labor, all while maintaining a trade job.
I am going to look intro carpentry apprenticeships and see what's available. I think it will not only be fulfilling, inspiring at the same time. Thank you, Sean Carswell (again).
[ 3) Discover new authors and publications via the great resource of Microcosm Publishing. ]
Not only is it the most respectable and DIY publishing company there is, but its in such close proximity to where we live its a surprise we haven't been there in ages. I am very picky when it comes to reading, so there are only a large handful of authors I pay attention to. I am looking forward to finding new zines and authors. New voices to add to the mix of greats.
[ 4) Pay attention more to the bands that I've spent years listening to instead of always trying to discover new bands. ]
Over the past couple months or so, I have been rediscovering my love for bands I've spent years listening to. In going through their discographies chronologically, I have not only been reminded of why I started listening to them in the first place, but have uncovered many new songs that my ears may have missed along the way. This has been extremely rewarding. If I had a nickel for every time I've listened to Knapsack's "Day Three Of My New Life" in the last month, I'd have a shitload of nickels. The Replacements have also reminded me that some of the most passionate and heartfelt music is not only funny and tongue-in-cheek, but drunk and sloppy.
Those are the big ones. I'm sure there's more, but its a beautiful day, Robin bought me some cold brewed Stumptown and I've got a pizza in the oven. It's time to feast and sink into the couch for the next twelve hours.
Make it a good year, people. With The Camaraderie by my side and new friends joining our group, as well as some of the most important people in my life moving to Portland very soon, I couldn't really ask for more. I can only wish the same for you.