Posts tagged blog

LOL sick, L.O. sad: Thoughts, ideas and changes

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.

This isn’t a new conversation of course and I’m far from the only one feeling overloaded.

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.”

And that was before the age of social media — when the internet as a primary mode of communication was still relatively niche.

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, 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.

This has nothing to do with anything but it's great.

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.

Some ideas:

- 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.

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:

Love always,

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Love, Style, Nick Kroll and Cherry Noir…

Seany Dubs, you are one heck of a sport.

Photo by Barbora Simek for Elle Canada

Excuse the weird hair. I was… trying something.

The above photo was taken for Elle Canada last week during a party celebrating the launch of Grey Goose’s new flavoured vodka, Cherry Noir (that stuff is dangerously good, for the record.)

Image via Pulp & Fibre's The Thread

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.

Love you? :)

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 (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. !

I die.

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!

For more on the Grey Goose Cherry Noir After Dark party at the Thompson (it was a solid one, for real – we got GEMS!) I recommend checking out SheDoesTheCity’s report as per yooje. Uje?


Night night.

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The blizzitch is back (with a giant pocket shirt!)

See what I did there by combining “blizzog” and “blizzitch”? Coincidentally, the weather’s been rather blizzardly all up over the upper half of this continent lately.

My website is hosted on a server in Florida, so I doubt this has anything to do with the troubles I’ve been experiencing this week. As a matter of fact, I KNOW it doesn’t because it was darn dang WORDPRESS updates messing with my database that was causing me grief.

I won’t bore you with the nerdly deets. It’s all good now, thanks to the ever-so-talented programmers at Surpass.

If you’re looking for a new web host, these guys are the guys (and girls, maybe? I’ve never spoken with a girl there but I hope there’s at least one employed. Computer girls, ftw!)

hehehe… get it?

I’ve wanted to blog about so many things over the past couple of days… almost in SPITE of my sick website. Some things, I’m kind of glad I didn’t write about because it’s not nice to be not-nice right?

#voluntaryburnvictims <- not nice... but true (and funny).

    Here are some things that have brightened my day(s) this week

- Work. I like my job. Busy as heck, but fun too. I’m a lucky girl. I spent yesterday afternoon editing thisand today publishing this (among various other things) I’m happiest when I get to play around like that.

- Gloria Shuri Nava’s hilarious Makeup Tutorials.

- The Time Out app for Macs

- Geek Gang Signs (I know it’s from 2008, shut up. It’s still awesome.)

- This web app that lets people anonymously describe you in just three words. I’ve got some sweet ones (seven-grain-bread ftw!)

-Jack Vale making people paranoid

- The Queen West 8 bit scroll

- Celebrity libraries (If Karl Lagerfeld didn’t have his books all wonky like, his would be the closest thing to Belle’s dream library on the list).

*sigh*, I’d totally schtoop a buffalo-wolf for that library.

A girl can dream, right?

Finally, it IS Wednesday so I must pose to you a question about whether or not you would rock something.

WOULD YOU ROCK… The giant pocket T-shirt?

That would fit my purse essentials nicely, and alleviate some of that shoulder pain I’m always complaining about so… Yes. I would rock this – but only in jest. Let’s be serious now…

How about YOU?

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