One Year Ago & One Year Later
2013 wasn't a bad year for me. Things got a little grim here and there, suffering through depression on and off, but it wasn't a bad year. It was actually a pretty good year, especially compared to 2012 and previous years. Usually by the end of the year, the winter depression sets in so hard that it washes away anything good to remember about the whole year, but surprisingly, it hasn't happened this year! I spent a lot of time making art, reading more, hanging out with friends or hanging out alone-but-out-of-the-house, and improving myself in work and life.
So here is my year in recap form (this started a lot more detailed, but really needed to trim it down).
January: I began the year with a shaven head and a lovely wig (which was quickly destroyed and eventually cut short because it got too tangled under the winter coat). I hung out with Ross a lot, mainly to drag him out to sushi and Park Ave Comics, which sadly closed its doors (I thought it was funny that I always listened to Dan go on about each issue of Glory I bought, all the while Ross lives literally in plain sight of the store, and so I started dragging him to the store to chat it up with his superfan).
February: I attempted to fight the power with a couple of supporting friends when an 'artist' ripped off comic book artists at Lux, which didn't go as well as I thought, resulting in one of the famous artists that was ripped off just saying "huh, I've been Lichtensteined." Got to see some great student films, including "The Lead" starring my two favourite Rochester actors Jeff Miller (Charles's brother) and Ron Dufort (I've mentioned both a number of times in the past few months, in case you weren't sure they're the same).
March: I got my first phone call from a drunken ex (voice mail), which I kept, because it is a hilariously long song which I assume is called "I'm a drunk guy you used to kiss, doo daa doo daa". I got ditched by someone I helped out extensively the night before, for a big convention, and I drowned my sorrows in gummy bears and fabric shopping, but I feel like I forgave her too easily. I got a new iMac desktop!! I paid more than I should have for it, because as it turned out, I was ebay-battling CHARLES for it (the guy matched our fight on the records and gave me a few bucks off).
April: I started hanging out with Ron on a regular basis, and I become star-struck every interaction, as he tends to reveal one more magical detail about his fascinating life each time I see him. I became pen-pals with an inmate in Virginia, and still have no idea how she found my address. My beloved pet fish Cornelius (named for the animator) died by choking on a piece of tank gravel. I was very sad for a very long time, and still can't bring myself to replace him. Ross and I saw Bella Morte at The Haunt (I can't believe they haven't been back since- are they really down to once a year now?). Amazing Spiderman 2 filmed its big Rhino's Rampage police crash scene in Downtown Rochester and I got to walk among the wreckage late at night. I loved looking at all the signs and posters and fliers and stuff they put up all over the place with fake info. I drew a 2-page comic based on the Zombie's Run mission "A Voice in the Dark" which people on tumblr loved. I painted a giant cock on a neon pink canvas, conveniently stationed facing the (always open) door of the studio. I was pushed into submitting it to the graduate show, because they have to allow at least one piece from each grad into the show. It was immediately rejected, and all of the supporters I had suddenly disappeared and basically said "well what'd you expect" at me. I also had a contest on my social networks to guess what I'd paint on the pink canvas. A lot of good and fun guesses, but finally at the last minute, someone (Muffin) guessed right! And I started my 5 page final comic for comic class, which wowed my teacher.
May: TCAF as usual! I met with my Toronto Whitechapel friends for the first time IN PERSON. Robin, Ian, Mike, and Lucien took Charles and me to a couple of pubs, and ended the night at Thirsty and Miserable, a hole-in-the-wall bar with a certain charm I'd never have otherwise seen hiding in the middle of the Kensington Market. On the 17th, at 4pm, I officially ended my reign as a professional student and graduated with honors. I went to the Dansville Castle with Brendan, Casey, Cliff, and Charles, lost my favourite sweatshirt, and got poison ivy and inhaled dirt that caused me to get very sick. I had a package stolen from my porch, which contained my bridesmaid dress for Emily's wedding. I hope the person who stole it dies a horrible death while wearing it (not because I actually wish them harm, but because they made me feel so violated).
June: Listened to Australia's Triple J radio Top 100 countdown of mostly 90s tunes while live-tweeting with Jenny, which was like being on a little road trip or something while listening to the radio in the same room. Started designing my art professor's website, which delightfully took up most of my summer and was paid with two very large original and hilariously offensive prints of his, framed (I finished by fall). And within one week, I cut myself on a vegetable, a computer tower, and a ping pong ball. That's right. A ping pong ball.
July: The Pickpockets played at Pandaman with live painting by Caitlin Yarsky, in their final month of business, and I saw a kind of people I'd never seen before in my life. Purchased an Artist Alley table for Voltaire's Wicked NecroComiCon in February (which, now that Xmess is over, I have begun preparing for)!! I joined the Y on Monroe Ave, but haven't been often either due to depression, due to Charles not joining me to help me learn to lift free-weights, or more recently, because I lost my member's card and am either too lazy or depressed to go back. That will change, as tradition dictates, in January.
August: Had a double date with Ross and Aaron (from the comic book store) and Aaron's girlfriend Amy for the best sushi night ever. Ross had just given up his vegan card, so it was extra special, so I bought us a LOT of sushi and dessert! We also explored the eerie uncharted lands of the Village Gate while we waited for our table. I attended Ron's annual OCHO picnic party for the first time of what I hope are many. And said farewell to Meagan, who went off to England for 3 months.
September: Travis Betz, one of my all-time favourite directors, featured my fan-art of The Demon Jeez (from his film Lo) on one of his videos. I also wrote a quick reactionary review of his film The Dead Inside on my Facebook, which caught the attention of a very audacious woman who tried to tell me to clean up my language and threatened to report me (again, on MY facebook, and no, we are not, nor have we ever been 'friends'). She DID report my friend Sabrina for no reason. Nut job. Speaking of favourites, I got to see Voltaire in Syracuse (albeit, in my least favourite city). And I began a new Audioshocker podcast with Nick and Justique called Animatic Attack!
October: Submitted a story pitch to Iron Spike for the anthology Smut Peddler II (rejected, but still planning to make the comic in the spring). Accidentally deleted my systems folder from my mac. Went on a lone adventure of the Walters building on a dare: Brendan, Casey, and I went to dinner at Victoire, and upon returning from the restroom, Casey said it was a maze back there, with elevators, and Brendan dared me to take the elevators, resulting in an exploration of the top floor, and returning with 'garbage' I found, which included financial papers of various properties around Rochester, and photos of the insides of abandoned buildings. We paid the bill very quickly get out of there, and called Troy to tell him about it (they've never been more proud of me). I went to NYC for the first time in about 5 years and spent the day in SoHo. Tried to drag Voltaire out of his busy day, but couldn't manage. I celebrated my 10 year anniversary on deviantArt. I lost my Halloween Spirit, but regained it after hearing great spooky/club music on the radio, and then hearing the screams of frightened children in the Halloween store. I made a costume (Princess Mononoke) and wore it to work, and later to Vertex, where I made it into round-2 of the costume contest.
November: I quit Facebook. Not for good, but for mostly (trying to avoid it except once or twice a month, as it is a very addictive distraction from real life). Dealt with a friend's death- Tony, the door guy at the Old Toad, died suddenly, in his car outside the pub, and I was pretty upset, because he was a NEW friend. I still wonder if I'm cursed in that respect. I also got my official rejection letter from Spike about the Smut Peddler submission, and also was transferred to a new job that day. Performed as an extra in an RIT thesis film with my friends Jeff (who had a cameo role) and Jill (a fellow extra). We played super-fans of a washed up child actor in a film called Here or Two Go. I attended Ron's annual dinner party E.A.T. (Early Annual Thanksgiving) Feast. The best part of the month, though... I wrote a letter to Stephen Gammell, the genius behind the illustrations of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and HE WROTE BACK!
December: Attended Snow Fest at RIT, and helped my friend Cathy with her Ball-joint Doll panel. Went to Boulder with Ron and had a wonderful, peaceful evening of chat and art; and the next afternoon, I went to Spot with my beloved mentor Tony and had a cup of coffee and shared a snack and talked about Buffy and books and his dissertation. Both of those dates really helped me to keep it together. Was finally able to spent a few nights with Ross, which I needed. Celebrated 3 Xmesses (one with family, one with Charles, and one with Ross). Visited my friend Brendan (different one, not my adventure buddy) in the hospital because he began violently vomiting up blood! He lost almost all of his blood (down to 1&1/3qt)! I offered my blood (we are a match) but he'd had 5qts by the time I got there, and was finally beginning to regenerate his own.
Here is a list of things I did, saw, read, discovered, or whatever, for the first time:
Stuff: kale chips, bath bombs, stout shampoo, lazer tag, roller derby, brown paper, copic markers, Darien Lake (theme park), Dumbing of Age (webcomic), Welcome to Nightvale (podcast), Parov Stelar (music), Letterboxd (site)
Shows: Gravity Falls, Being Erica, Game of Thrones, Clone Wars, Cartoon Hangover, Broadchurch, Welcome to the NHK, Orange is the New Black, Hemlock Grove, Adventure Time, Rotting Hills
Movies: Tomorrow When The War Began, Event Horizon, The Possession, Punching the Clown, The Girl Next Door, V/H/S/2, Riddick, The Dead Inside, The Conjuring, Samsara, Baraka, A Talking Cat, The Baby, La Leyenda de la Llorona, Star Trek Into Darkness, Mum & Dad, Movie 43, From Up on Poppy Hill, ParaNorman, Hungry for Change, Warm Bodies, Prozac Nation, Augustine, Lost and Delirious, Pink Ribbons Inc, Gravity, Catching Fire (probably others I can't remember off the bat)
Books (read, not including comics/GNs): The Girl Who Would Be King, The Bookseller of Kabul, R.U.R., Call of the Jersey Devil, Warm Bodies, The Windup Girl, Gun Machine
Games: Batman Arkham Asylum, Batman Arkham City, Silent Hill Homecoming, Alice The Madness Returns, Bioshock I & II, Zombies Run 2, The Simpsons Tapped Out, Divekick, LA Noire
Crowdfundings: Save Todd & the Book of Pure Evil, Joshua Hoffine's Last Stand, Save Bedlam Bedlam, Stabbers, Vacant, Dead Meat, Brick By Brick, Lovely: Girls of Animation, Raised By Bats, Love & Monsters
And that's about it. Oh wait...
In no particular order...
(right-click to view bigger)