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The end of 2014 is fast approaching and with it inevitably will come end of the year blogs, “keeping to your goal” tips and articles that look forward to 2015 with a certain degree of cynicism. The following has most of the first and a bit of the latter but I can assure you it will contain no weight loss tips. It will, however, contain a picture of me (Kat) and Pepsi (my cat) they will not be labelled and thus I apologize if you can’t tell the difference.

Pepsicomputer

This year hasn’t exactly been an easy one for me. I came into 2014 without a job and no real leads for finding one. The hotel I had been working at closed down and everyone lost their jobs. The building, once apartments in the 70s and then hotel suites now exist as one and two bedroom apartment/condos. I was (and still am) done with hospitality and had my mind set on one of two options: administrative or back to working with animals. I had many sleepless nights as anyone who has been unemployed can attest to, finding a job is depressing and boring and worrying. Everyday without a job can feel like a step towards being that way permanently. I constantly thought, “what if I don’t find something? What if I have to settle for something bottom of the barrel just to make ends meet?”

Job wise I eventually found something, a job I never even considered for myself but that fits like a glove with an amazing work environment. It’s not working with animals but sometimes all the other perks make up for that fact. It allowed me to wipe that worry out of my mind and take stock at what I wanted to do, and not what I needed to do.

pepsimonorailcat

This has been the year of lost and found. Of looking around, realizing I’m terrified about what’s around me and looking inside to find something to shield myself with. A lot of the internal soul-searching has happened in this year mostly focused on trying to “fix” bits of me that I didn’t like, ie: my ability to give up the moment the going gets tough, my ability to avoid groups of people I didn’t know like they have the plague and my fear of new things.

I found Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the mandolin; I’m not good at them but I still enjoy pretending I am. Despite the hardships both have posed I’ve been confident that someday I’ll be less than horrible in them. I’m enjoying learning and failing. I discovered new fandoms and wonderful people within them welcomed me in when I said how much I loved what they loved. I went to my first NHL game, saw Book of Mormon in Los Angeles at the Pantages and I went to my first convention by myself, Vancon, a Supernatural convention in Vancouver. I made friends at that convention that I talk to everyday and plan to go stay with one of them when I go to another Supernatural convention in Seattle next year.

richmevancon

I found music, which now seems to permeate every waking moment that I can have it playing. A day hasn’t gone by since I bought my turntable where at least one record hasn’t played on it. I found the assurance that I can be who I want to be. I’ve always believed a person should dress the way they want to but seeing it in practice inspired me to actually do what I want to do. Wearing clothes that feel comfortable and inspire me makes a huge difference in the way I walk, talk and interact with other people. It’s funny to think a pair of Doc Martens can influence your life but they do for me.

In 2014 we lost good people who shouldn’t have had to go both on a famous level and a personal level. Fans of Rik Mayall amazed me at their passion. They came together to have watch parties, create successful petitions to name a bench in his honor and demand TV channels run memorial retrospectives. As a community this year we stood up and said what needed to be said and mourned together through twitter, tumblr, facebook and in person across the world.



Rik Mayall Memorial Bench in Hammersmith, London brought about by a fan petition and a lot of determination.

As this year ends we look forward. There’s still lots to look forward to and that’s half the fun of living right, remembering you’re alive?

I’ll let Joe Strummer say it better:

“Don’t forget you’re alive. ‘Cause sometimes when you walk around the city and you’re in a bad mood, you can think, hey, wait a minute, we’re alive! We don’t know what the next second will bring and what a fantastic thing this is. This can get easily forgotten in the routine of life, and that’s something I’m trying to bring to my attention at all times. Don’t forget you’re alive. We’re not dead, you know. This is the greatest thing.”

It’s going to seem cheesy but the part I look forward to most in 2015 is friends. I’ve always considered myself fairly anti-social but maybe I just wasn’t willing to make that step and strike up a conversation. I have an amazingly supportive partner in Chris who also does the podcast thing and who shares in some of my interests and somehow manages to listen to me talk on and on about the others. Interacting with people who share some, most or almost none of the same interests as me is the best part of my day.

I have a novel started that I’m excited to complete with characters brought to life through gorgeous artwork.

I look forward to continuing to podcast as part of Verity! Podcast and I hope it continues to receive the kind of comments it has up until now where people feel inspired to start their own podcasts or give their opinions about the show. A fandom can only be as good as the stuff people put back into it and that’s one reason Doctor Who fandom is so fantastic.

Lastly, aside from good health I look forward to discovering more in the things I enjoy and annoying others when I constantly talk about it. With music I have so much yet to listen to and question. I’ve barely even scratched the surface of early punk music and there’s still so much after that.

I’ve learned something very important to me this year. Whenever you start a new hobby or realize your love for something is more than just casual you go through a stage where everyone knows more than you. It’s humbling and frustrating but you keep listening, keep watching and keep reading. You learn so much and by sharing your love for this thing and your “new to you” discoveries you let others know you want to learn. I’ve found people who like what you like will start to recommend things that they like because we all want to share

So I’ve compiled a playlist that influenced me in 2014. This is me sharing what I like in the hopes that one of these songs will spark something for you like it did for me. Each song led me to another artist or another song or made me change an opinion I had. Like a lot of punk bands it all started with the Sex Pistols for me then took off from there. I only included a couple songs by them but honestly I recommend all their songs.

Remember: Any Chance to Experiment is Good!

Spotify & Grooveshark are slightly different playlists (neither site had everything I wanted to include) but below the cut I included the YouTube links for both listings. It goes without saying the best thing to do is buy the artist’s work (digital, CD, vinyl) to support them or go see them live, if possible.

What did you discover this year? Did you make any conscious decisions to change things? Do you have New Year Resolutions planned? Leave a note in the comments.

Youtube:
Jungle Rock – Hank Mizell
Deaf – Crispy Ambulance
Waterfall – The Stone Roses
Drunk on a Bike – SNFU
Alternative Ulster – Stiff Little Fingers
DisUnited Kingdom – Carbon/Silicon
Seventeen – Sex Pistols
Kick Out the Jams – MC5
I Hate Music – The Young Canadians (formerly the K-Tels)
I Want U 2 Want Me – Propagandhi
The News – Carbon/Silicon
Rudie Can’t Fail – The Clash
Train in Vain – The Clash
Trigger Finger – Louden Swain (fan recorded video)
Electric Vandal (Session Outtake) – Big Audio Dynamite
Born Slippy (Nuxx) – Underworld
Seventeen – Sex Pistols
She’s Lost Control (2007 Remastered) – Joy Division
Keys To Your Heart – The 101ers
Ferris Wheel – Owls by Nature
I Don’t Love You – the Dishrags
EMI – Sex Pistols
Friday Night, Saturday Morning – The Bad Shepherds
Anarchy in the UK – The Bad Shepherds
I Turned Out a Punk – Big Audio Dynamite
Swastika Girl – The Viletones

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