Posts tagged blog
Heads up, hilarity seekers — this is an emo post. If you want something funny, nyaw. If you’re ready for my ruminations, crank one of these here songs I used to cry to back in my skater-shoe days and get on with it. (For the record, at least one of those songs made me cry only because I wanted to schtoop the man who sang it so badly it broke my heart. *cough*)
Dearest readers, homies, and people who just randomly stumbled upon my blog through a Google Images search on the term “mershed perderders” (I see you, what up) — I have some things to say.
I have a lot of things to say, actually. All the time. Every single minute of every. single. day. Even when I’m sleeping.
Is anybody else finding it hard to focus lately?
I’m so overwhelmed by number of the things that I want to do and accomplish and create that I’m becoming paralyzed — unable to start, let alone finish, any personal projects…Sometimes, I feel like I can’t keep up with the person I’ve worked my butt off to become anymore.
I don’t know if it’s the winter blues or an identiy crisis or if I’m just overexerting myself at work, but I worry that after so many years of burning the candle at both ends, I’m actually burning out. Is that even possible at 27?
The digital deluge
I fear (as others do ) that we are a sick society.
Scroll, scroll, internet K-Hole, 90 browser tabs, 85 blog drafts, one grillion thoughts competing for the light but nothing gets out for the traffic jam in my brain. Nothing can.
And so I shop for shoes and surf the junk web, pounding diet ginger ale while sweaters pile up around me and my bed feels colder than my chair ever will.
It’s easier to go down that rabbit hole and read Wikipedia for hours than it is to concentrate on any one thing for more than 20 seconds — including my own blog. Perhaps that’s why I like Twitter and Tumblr so much.
Psychiatrist E.M. Hallowell wrote about the “sustained negative neurological effect of information overload” in the Harvard Business review back in 2005, calling it Attention Deficit Trait, or ADT.
“It isn’t an illness; it’s purely a response to the hyperkinetic environment in which we live….” he wrote. “When a manager is desperately trying to deal with more input than he possibly can, the brain and body get locked into a reverberating circuit while the brain’s frontal lobes lose their sophistication, as if vinegar were added to wine. The result is black-and-white thinking; perspective and shades of gray disappear. People with ADT have difficulty staying organised, setting priorities, and managing time, and they feel a constant low level of panic and guilt.”
For all of the information we’re bombarded with on a secondly basis (and if you work in online news, like I do, it is quite literally a matter of being pelted with information every second) we’re not getting any smarter — or at least healthier — as a species.
Wrote Sarah Houghton-Jan, ever so poignantly in 2008:
“Information flowing in from the multitude of devices, organisations, and technologies distracts, pressures, and stresses us. And yet we continue to produce information for ourselves and for others. Every time we send out information, information returns to us, usually two-fold. We deal with both interruptive and non-interruptive information every day. When constantly interrupted with that information, we never have those periods of time when you can think, plan and ponder. As a result, our ability to push our lives and our institutions forward has been greatly compromised.”
I know. This isn’t the type of rant you read my blog for.
You want funny internet things and cute pictures and, if you’re one of the companies who send things to my mailbox, you want me to write about those things.
But I just don’t have it in me right now, or anymore at all when it comes to the latter.
The future of Lauren Out Loud
This website was never my end game and it was never intended to be. I most certainly never wanted it to become a platform for thinly veiled advertorials that I don’t even get paid for.
When I started getting serious about laurenoutloud.com, it was, at its core, a launching pad for my career — an outlet that I could use to practice and refine my web publishing skills, show off my work, explore my interests and build up an audience as I graduated from university and set off to be a SUPAHJOURNO.
It served that function well – but so did my education, my talent, my professional accomplishments, my hustle, my skills, my wit and other things. I don’t owe my career to my blog, and more importantly, I don’t owe my blog to anyone. Not even myself.
I used to feel guilty on days that I didn’t update my site, like I had to keep up or something… but with who? And at what expense?
The world I live in and what I do in it has changed so much in three years.
I’m not a university student or relatively friendless new-to-Toronto copywriter who spends her every Friday and Saturday night editing videos about shopping trips and events and concerts anymore.
Man was that stuff ever fun though I would like to start vlogging again. I’m just… so… BUSY!
I’ve got a lot more going on now, socially, (which is a good thing!) and more importany, I work full time, every day, writing (and talking into a camera) about web culture, current events and buzzworthy world happenings — the kind of things I used to love blogging about here.
I adore what I do, but think about it — if you were a professional pizza eater, would you really want to come home and eat pizza for dinner too? (That’s a bad analogy. Pizza is awesome and I could eat it for EVERY MEAL OF LIFE. You know what I’m saying.)
I look back on my posts from three years ago, when I was just finishing up school and moving to Toronto, and I see so much passion and creativity and promise and life. I’m proud of that girl and who she was – but she’s gone now. I see that in my posts over the last 6 months. They’re funny at times, but the raw joy is gone. I’m jaded.
I don’t feel guilty about skipping my blog to hang out with friends or stay late at work anymore, and I don’t really miss staying up until 4 in the morning on a Sunday night to write about which branded parties I hit over the weekend.
Sure, I could slap up a weak 2 paragraph post and some photos in 30 minutes, but that isn’t what I do or who I am.
My posts are long and they take time. My readers and my reputation deserve no less. As much as I appreciate getting invited to events, and will ALWAYS blog about the BEST of them, I’m not about to change who I am — or more importantly, cause anyone who matters to question my journalistic integrity — to satisfy some PR company for two drink tickets and a photobooth.
So how am I changing things?
I’m not yet sure. I want to start blogging more regularly — whether that be shorter, more creative posts several times a week, one long essay every sunday, daily 30-second-long video rants, I’ve yet to decide. But in order for anything good to happen, I need to feel passionate about this blog again.
- A blog redesign: this is number one on my list of priorities. Just trying to find a decent quote (or chunk of time to source art, make art, figure out how to code it myself.)
- Update my portfolio and demo reel: In a BIG way. They’ve been pretty much dormant since 2011.
- Get a new space to blog: It’s hard to sit down and work here, where I’m living now. I’ve noticed a lot has changed in terms of my productivity since I moved into this cushy loft. Zero privacy, lots of noise. Fortunately, I’m moving out of Liberty Village in May and getting my own little pad – surprise!
- More longform original storytelling: My blog is the space that allows me to tell stories I can’t in a traditional news setting. Stuff like this.
- Try some more short posts: anecdotes, jokes, videos, ONE hilarious outfit instead of 3. Not everything of value has to be looooong. See: Neatorama.
- Enlist contributors: This is an iffy one for me. I’d need to redesign something fierce if I ever go magazine-style, but someone to cover these events I don’t have time to hit would be cool. Hollah if you want some candy.
- Monetize: A big part of the redesign. I’ve always said I’d never have advertisements, but really… I do have them. They’re simply not overt. It’s time to ditch the campaigns (when the ones I’m working on currently wrap) and get on with selling ad space. I’ll work harder if I’m both interested in what I’m writing AND making more money.
- Start vlogging again: I really like to do it. When I move into my new place, this will be easier.
- Stoke my creativity offline: This is a big one. I’m losing interest in a lot of what once entertained me and need to delve into something real. More comedy classes? Travel? Dance lessons? A side job bartending this summer? We’ll see
- Real stories: More funny stories from my own life, less aggregating funny photos from around the web (but you know I’ll still do that too. It’s part of who I am.)
I don’t know if I should publish this, or even why I’m writing it, but I don’t want any of you to go away. Don’t stop reading or inviting me to your parties or taking my picture or asking me to review cool gadgets – I won’t say no to something I enjoy, like meeting new people and doing fun things.
Just understand that my blog is not my job. My job is my job, and my free time… well, I’d like to claim some of that back to make new friends, do some freelance writing, even start on that book I keep meaning to start on. GAH.
I read something in a magazine at the gym yesterday that kind of hit home.
“Done is better than perfect.” — Lauren O’Neil (@laurenonizzle) March 1, 2013
Easier said than done for the type A clique, but sheeeeet. I’ve got to break free of this deadlock and move. Emo isn’t cute at 27. It’s sad. Hot dang do I ever need the summertime back.
In my next post, I’m going to clear out some of that aforementioned draft backlog and tell you what I think about some things that don’t have to do with me me me me me me me me ME ME ME MY FACE LOOK:
I was getting my hurr did.
I’d love to hear what you guys have to say and think about this post… if you’ve read this far, surely you have some insight? Hit me up in the comments or by email (laurenoneil at gmail dot com) if you’ve got time. I could use the cheer and guidance
Now, to send you off on a happy note, this is my favourite video of the week by far:
Seany Dubs, you are one heck of a sport.
Excuse the weird hair. I was… trying something.
Barbora was searching the Thompson for Stylish couples to feature, and being that I’m a major Elle fangirl (and compulsive attention-seeker) when she asked me if we’d be down I didn’t even hesitate to say “Yes, of course!” to her and “WE ARE TOTALLY DOING THIS YOU HAVE NO CHOICE” to Sean.
He really didn’t have a choice (do boys ever in matters such as these?), nor did he quite understand what was going on (again – do boys ever in matters such as these?)… until the next week when the resulting image and blurb popped up in the FlipBoard accounts of half the people in his office.
Walshie could teach a course in plus-one-ing, I swear. The best I ever had.
We had a pretty low-key Valentime’s day this year, just as we wanted it (minus the working late); Dinner at Fresh, flowers and chocolate, funny teevee, snuggles… I also wore EARRINGS.
This is rare, but I bought some little red hearts when I was 13 that I never ended up tossing out. Thus:
Earlier that day, I got to chat with some online dating website CEOs in a special Valentine’s Day episode of CBC News Live Online.
Jerry of FarmersOnly.com (Which is a real, super successful dating service for, well, farmers only) made my day with some of his comments. You can take the girl out of Chatham…
I also wrote about some particularly fun things this week: A Tamagotchi App (!!!), Thirsty Marco Rubio, Internet feminists vs. trolls, Lighting striking the Vatican hours after The Pope’s big announcement, Pluto, a disabled goldfish’s wheelchair (!!!) EX-CETERA.
And while I’m spontaneously rambling on about my week, I crushed some madddd errands too.
It’s kind of nice to walk around the city in the morning, getting things did. I snapped this photo on my way back to west-downtown after hitting St. Lawrence Market.
A whole newwww worrrrrrrlllllld.
OH! And Nick Kroll tweeted back to me yesterday. Like, actually. !
@nickkroll will you go to the poutine dance with this hoser?
— Lauren O’Neil (@laurenonizzle) February 16, 2013
— nick kroll (@nickkroll) February 16, 2013
You should probably watch this to make sense of that… and also because it’s hilarious. One of the funniest things I’ve seen in a very long time, actually. Not sure if it’s because I’m Canadian or not.
Lastly, please enjoy the RIGHTEOUS (and semi-deserved) mean mug I’m getting in the background of this shot. Too good:
Homie’s throwing me mad shade for that silly duckface in my mind, and I can’t say that I blame him. Few things I love more than funny background people in any photo, let alone the ones I’m in!
I thought long and hard about what I wanted my first blog-word of 2011 to be, until I realized that thinking long and hard about such a thing is really quite silly. So Meow it is.
That’s the first photo I took of myself in 2011. It was in a bathroom stall at Wrongbar around 3:00 a.m. A few hours later, this photo was taken at my friend’s apartment:
I took a lot of photos with my iPhone last night, but those were the only 2 “Lauren” ones and that felt kind of good.
2011: more photos of other people, less photos of myself in the mirror.
Easy to say, hard to do when you’re a stark raving ego-maniac.
That one doesn’t count because I didn’t even know it was being taken. The cat who took that photo is probably rolling his eyes right now because he knows that I am totally lying. I always know when my photo’s being taken. It happens when I say “HEY – TAKE MY PHOTO AND I’LL PRETEND I’M NOT LOOKING SO IT’S CANDID-STYLEZ, K?!”
All douchebaggery aside, last night was one of the best NYEs I’ve had in a while – which is only fitting as this is my first year living in the big ol’ city for December the thirty first.
We couldn’t decide on a place to go, so we freestyled the evening and ended up hitting 5 different parties and one doity dancy club. Doity is a good thing, just so you know. Stellar doity beats. Deeeeep.
The first party we went to had fine champagne and fancy cheese.
It was at the lovely home of Seany’s good friend Tim. Hilarious guy with a gorgeous place, a fiancee, and friends who have babies and stuff. One his friends actually brought a baby to the party. Seriously.
They tried to make us look at the baby and it was really, really awkward so I cracked jokes about soft spots and wine corks. Sean and Tim put on wigs. All was so wrong that it ended up feeling right.
I felt a little bit out of place wearing a paper-thin upside down cross dress next to all of these real grown-ups, but I kept in mind that George Strombolopous liked it and acted as though I were wearing jean pants and a sparkly cardigan.
Next, we hit this wild hipster house-party on Manning. It was effing awesome. So jam packed. Someone told me one of the dudes who organized it works at Vice or something… so you can imagine the type of crowd.
Hundreds of people – people spilling out onto the streets with plastic cups and tallboys of Steamwhistle or whatever. So much plaid. So many toques. Stache galore.
It was like an American Apparel catalogue, except all of the clothes were from Value Village – which, while similar to AA in style differs significantly in terms of price-point. These were real, authentic hipsters. It was too dark for me to take photos so I ripped these from American Apparel’s website instead.
A lot of the girls there were wearing fur (vintage, obvs) which delighted me to no end as the beaver coat I was wearing received some subtle nods of approval and envious glances as opposed to the usual sneers. The times, they are a changing folks.
This was on the wall in one of the rooms I bounced into. I was loving on it so hard.
After that, it was over to another friend’s house for a bit of chilling and chatter and then we stopped into another house party nearby to see Brocky spin – but on the way there *DUN DUN DUN* some crazy spizz went down!
We were just turning onto Portland from Queen and some dude comes flying out of an alley screaming “WE NEED THE ***** COPS! SOMEBODY GET THE **** COPS! NOW!”
Figuring it was some stupid townie fist-fight drama, we continued on (with a cautious eye behind us). I would have stayed and rubbernecked, but Walsh wasn’t having any of that.
Long story short, it was a stabbing.
On the way to Wrongbar we passed the scene again. Lots of people were crying and shaking so I figured it was kind of serious, but had no idea somebody had died until we read about it on thestar.com this morning. Bummer.
Moving on. Dirty, DIRTY beats at Wrongbar. So good. We danced and we danced and then we ducked up out of Parkdale to Ossington and Dundas-ish. Ended the night with more beats, peeps and treats.
Bedtime came around 6:00 a.m. and that’s that. Today we rested, gymmed and worked.
HERE ARE MY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS (slash list of things I’d like to accomplish by the end 2011)
- Cut back on the aspartame
- Cut back on the parking tickets
- Complain less
- Spend more time developing real live friendships
- Start a Sunday Brunch club with John
- Say “no” when I can’t commit to something instead of saying “yes” and then flaking later
- Prioritize sleep. Seriously.
- Go to Yoga more often.
- Visit more. Blog less.
- Use my crockpot to make real food.
- Write my 10-year bucket list
- Write out my 5-year plan
- Go to Los Angeles
- Get a Canon 5D Mark ii and work that baby hard
- Learn how to do badass things with Final Cut Pro
- Snowboard at least 10 more times this season
- Check out those cliffs east of Toronto I’ve heard about.
- Skydive (My birthday present. It’s going down this summer!)
- Start creeping the music blogs regularly again to discover new stuff. I’ve not been keeping up.
- Start an original web video series.
And on that note… some things will be changing around these bloggity parts in 2011. Now that I’m running blogs and doing social media stuff full-time for a living, I find coming home to post on laurenoutloud.com each and every day has become more of a chore than a joy.
This pains me incredibly because I LOVE to blog here… but ya know. I’m getting burned out. Maybe you can tell.
I intend to focus more on video in the new year. Build up my Youtube channel, my presence there. I don’t know if it’ll take, but it’s worth a shot. I’ll still be writing here of course, just not every single day. Only when I’ve got something to say or show. LIKE THIS:
ZOOM! Starting 2011 with some fresh white teef, I am!
I’m still working on my “Best of 2010″ post because it was a huge year for me apparently. It’ll be done by Tuesday, this much I can promise. Not like you care about my shameless gloating anyways. Or do you? WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE!? Go kiss your cat. I’m about to do the same.
Love you so much, dear reader. For real. Happy New Year
PS - Looking for some New Years Resolution inspiration? I posted some fun ideas on the vitaminwater canada blog today. Maybe you can learn how to cut a mango. And then give it to me, HAH! Mangos rule.
… is what I would have been saying, had my cartoon counterpart’s betrothed not dissed Homer’s sweet piggy cufflinks and proved himself to be a big ol’ British JOIK right before the wedding.
Mad props for ditching that D-bag before you got all nuptualized, Lees. You’re way too good for him, anyways. Plus, you’re only 23 years old! That’s too young for a smart blonde cookie to settle down… right?
For a fictional wedding that didn’t actually happen, the Simpson-Parkfield affair sure is making some waves in the blogosphere. Some might even say it’s the wedding of the weekend…
Others, not so much.
<3 Lauren Marie O’Simpson-Parkfield.
I’m currently sitting at a most fabulous coffee shop in downtown Toronto next to a most fabulously moustachioed old woman who just so happens to be rocking salt & pepper pig tails with denim overalls and hot pink jelly sandals.
I think she may be a crack-head. I dig her all the same.
I’d take a Twitpic but I’m not THAT much of an asshole. Actually, I totally am – but my BB is dead
So, I know it’s been about eight katrillion (er… four) days since I got back from ROFLCon and Boston, but I just finally got a chance to catch my breath.
Things have been hectic around these parts to say the least.
Between moving, writing, interviews, cover letter composing, job board creeping, unpacking my mountains of shite, driving back and forth between the 3 cities I’m living between for said interviews and ya know… social obligations… I’ve barely had time to watch my teevee programs, let along blog! (I have some serious Gossip Girl, Simpsons, ANTM and Big Bang Theory to catch up on. Thank Jeebus for ninjavideo!)
But now, NOW dear loyal readers, I am finally ready to share my ROFLcon experience with all 7 of you!
I would provide you with a long, colourful, comprehensive account of all the awesomeness that went down last weekend at M.I.T. right here on this very blog, but I spent many many hours over the past couple days attempting to compile such a post for the Toronto Star’s Intern blog.
“And Ceiling Cat said… Let there be Lolz” is now live – if you’re interested in reading all about the conference, go on over and check it ootskis – or better yet, Google “roflcon 2010” and read the scores of other articles that have been written this week.
Enough with my incessant rambling. Time for photos!!!
Let’s start from the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start.
After I finally got myself to the Teedot Thursday morning, we set out on our epic 8 hour car ride (which was actually more like an 11 hour car ride when you factor in all of the rest stops and an unfortunate jaunt through Utica, New York. Ew.).
Fortunately, we were well equipped with a laptop full of flicks and this sweet little car outlet device that @frikshun picked up for 15 bones on sale at The Source. SCORE!
When we got to Boston, we drove around downtown for a while and got just a little bit lost, so we didn’t hit the hotel until like, 2:00am or something. I was deliriously sleepy by this point, so I just turned on the TV (late night Huxtables! hellllz yeah), exploded my suitcase, and flopped into that dream of a king sized bed.
The next morning, we walked to M.I.T. bright and early to register and all of that noise. I blogged about that part already.
Some photos were taken on campus on the way to the building. It was the beginning of an adventure and I was photo happy. Don’t judge.
After registering, we had to go get coffee at Starbucks. What a coincidence – just as I was pouring some milk into my Americano, I received a call from AXE Canada! Oh joy and rapture, the moment I had been waiting for all month was finally here! Did I get the ridiculously sweet summer gig?!
No. No, I did not… but that’s another blogpost in and of itself (forthcoming – I swear).
Anyways, this may explain why I looked so very unhappy upon my return to campus – despite the coffee in my hand. Frikshun was all smiles though – an endless well of positivity, that one!
Of course, it wasn’t long before my frown was turned upside down. I mean, I was pretty much swimming in awesomesauce.
I met a freakin’ UNICORN and got a free sticker!
And then I cracked open a magical SPAM FORTUNE COOKIE!
I also talked to about a gazillion of the coolest people ever – including Mr. Aaron Peckham (creater of THE urban dictionary), Jamie and Kenyatta from knowyourmeme.com, Little David from David after Dentist (he was shy), and Taryn Southern from G4 who gave me the best career advice ever when I asked her how I could get her job (step number one = MOVE TO Los Angeles – stat.)
Oh and uh, guess who else I met?
He was disappointed about the AXE gig too… seeeee?
And here are a bunch of awesome photos that I ripped from the ROFLcon Flickr Photo pool that I would totally credit individually if I wasn’t a lazy jerkhole.
I’ve got FOUR incomplete draft posts in the queue. No joke.
I’ve been trying to keep up with my “blog every day” New Years resolution, but it’s the end of the semester and time is tight. Give a kid a break, okay?
In lieu of my temporary absence from the blog-o-verse, I will open up the floor to questions from the audience.
I may not have time to straight-up blawwwg for the next couple of days, in light of exams and mega-papers and end of the year BBQ parties (hooray!), but I can always make time for formspring.
And Tumblr, apparently. But that’s less of a conscious effort to produce content than it is a shameful, all consuming, late-night addiction… TO HILARITY! shashashashasha:
And because I don’t like picture-less posts (who does?), here are a few of my favourites from the J-School semi-formal the other night at Aroma (the most beautiful restaurant I’ve been to in this city).
Full album to be on FB soon:
(Family portrait with C & B!)