2015: Year in Review

The round rear-view mirror of a 1963 Mercury Meteor

This year everything changed. The way I write, the way I think, the way I see the world. I say this with authority partly due to the fact that I spent the better part of the last week of 2015 going through all of the photos I took this year, and that’s what they tell me now. What struck me most was how few of them I had even looked at again since I first took them.

Which leads to my next big 2015 change: I purchased a smart phone mid-year, which completely changed the way I communicate with my loved ones and altered my relationship to the Internet. It changed the way I take photos (IN SHORT: I take far more pictures, far less interesting ones, and never take the time to delete/edit). It wasn’t until I started searching for online traces and hints of what my life was like this past year, how I recorded the year in photographs or words, that I realized I hadn’t shared much; hardly anything at all. In all of 2015, I posted two photographs of myself to Tumblr. I posted in my livejournal account 6 times. Twitter, suprisingly, was the space that most reflected my realities, my ups and downs, mon quotidien en 2015.

This winter was the longest, with record-breaking cold snaps. This summer was the antidote, a joyful sun-filled summer which I celebrated from June 21st through ’til September 21st, fully. The digital documents reflect that: I took twice as many photos in the month of June as I did in the entire preceding five months. #calmdownparty was my mantra, and Instagram was the place where I shared selfies of my shadow, the view from our 1963 Mercury Meteor, the moments I chose to relish in after a winter and spring filled with (useless) anger and stress.

I did not leave the country once, after years filled with at least one plane trip and many, many long drives. I embraced my membership in the stay home club, socializing almost exclusively on my own terms. I made few new friends, but cherish the ones I did. I tried to not spend too much time pining for the wonderful friends I have across Canada/the world and instead made plans to see them. Montreal, 3 hours west of my home, 3 hours closer to many people I love, became a place of reunions in 2015. Travellers from Ottawa, Petawawa, Aurora, Seattle converged there.

Professionally, I accomplished things that would have seemed outlandish and absurd to me even just a year ago. Simultaneously, I dealt with the reality of an institution I love being slowly – and often, not so slowly – chipped away at. I cried a lot. I tried to channel my anger into productivity (keyword: tried), and learned to accept things as they were, and more importantly, slowly learned to let go. I thought of escape routes, but didn’t take action. I adjusted.

I indulged myself. Said fuck it, decided *I earned it* instead of steeping in old guilt-soaked habits. I became harsher, more demanding, of myself but more importantly of others. Ten years ago these thoughts and actions would have been unheard of. I think this could use some softening but overall I think this has been an evolution in the right direction.

Things will change even more in 2016, which I will only allude to in vague terms because that’s how I roll these days. I am fucking excited.

You know the drill: here’s a selection of key moments, readings, and music I experienced or enjoyed throughout the year. Since there are so many, you’ll often find a broken link or two, so please let me know if you encounter one. If you’re feelin’ like woah, holy shit Julia, that’s a lot of links, can you select just a handful for me? Check out the entirely bolded selections. Recommended readings in italics are audio/radio. Without further ado:

January

01 - jan

  • I can’t remember much.
  • Was blown away by Selma.
  • Was sick, read this book in 3 days.
  • Discovered and became obsessed with Geneviève Castrée, her art, her music.
  • Hosted/produced a one-hour radio show.
  • Read a lot.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Ô Paon – Fleuve

February

02 - feb

  • Maddy invited me to be a part of Femina Ridens, one of the best things I decided to do in 2015.
  • Simon et moi, nous avons tenu salon.
  • Played with robots at Mois Multi.
  • Started reading Sontag’s diaries.
  • My eyelashes froze.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker the Berry

War on Women

March

03 - march

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian at Best

Laura Marling – Short Movie

Young Marble Giants – Brand New Life

April

04 - april

  • CBC cuts, again. They never get easier.
  • By virtue, got sadder. Saw people lose their jobs. Lost mine, but ended up replacing other people. Hard.
  • Mourned the loss of Taueret.
  • Had a nervous breakdown.
  • Did some pretty nice journalism with some cool kids.
  • Was angry about racism in America, in Canada.
  • Was sad about movie theatres/drive-ins closing.
  • Saw my friend Jaime, too briefly.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Fiver – Dayton

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

May

05 - may-edit

  • Bare legs! The snow finally left!
  • Turned a corner emotionally, work wise.
  • Rewarded myself by surviving winter 2015 with the most gorgeous, wonderful bicycle. First new bike of MY LIFE!
  • Discovered No Better than Apples, the best zine I’ve come across in years.
  • Went to see DEERHOOF at the FIMAV and cannot put it into words how fucking awesome that was.
  • My best friend Karina got married! It was amazing! I was the officiant! We spent a whole week together beforehand!
  • Montreal was a nice distraction but I was still sad, as you can tell in these photobooths.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Yamantaka/Sonic Titan – Hoshi Neko

Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj – Feelin’ Myself

Adult Mom – Survival

June

06-june

  • Lilacs, love and laziness

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Frazey Ford – Done

Leon Bridges – Coming Home

The Weather Station – The Way It Is, The Way it Could Be

July

07 - july

  • Did my final arts report, a weekly look at contemporary art across Quebec, which was my favourite journalism/what I think I am/was best at. I think I’m the only one who misses it, though.
  • Interviewed Douglas Coupland which was fun
  • The aforementioned cuts slowly came into effect.
  • Said some goodbyes, and good riddance.
  • Saw Future Islands/Operators and Owen Pallet. Samuel Herring is a BEAST. Amazing dancing.
  • Spent every weekend in the summer sun, dodging thunderstorms.
  • Lost my glasses while swimming in a river.
  • Simon bought a 1976 Dodge Tradesman camper van. She is named Nuage. She has her own hashtag.
  • We went on a 10-day roadtrip through Quebec and Ontario, with nice stays in Prince Edward County and good quality family time.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: A Tribe Called Red and Buffy Ste. Marie – Working For the Government

Rihanna – Bitch Betta Have My Money

August

08 - august

  • Saw belugas, whales and seals. For real. I gasped aloud.
  • Met up with Iris and Duncan in Montreal
  • Admired sunsets, skies, clouds, late night bike rides.
  • Hosted the morning show I’ve been working for for nearly 5 years. Did it for a whole week. Surprised myself.
  • Was sad to hear of the untimely death of Svetlana Boym
  • Was the happiest I had been in a long time.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats – I Need Never Get Old

Hell You Talmbout featuring Janelle Monáe, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, and George 2.0.

September

09 - Sept

  • Went swimming in rivers, lakes, in September.
  • Saw Garbageface on the last super hot day of the year.
  • Read a lot of poetry.
  • Tried to adjust to big changes at work.

Recommended reading:

 On repeat: Katie Moore – Fooled by the Fun

October

10 - oct

  • Was “diagnosed” with stage 3 burnout. Started working 4 day weeks. That ended up lasting… a month. And didn’t change much.
  • Went to see Roxane Gay in Montreal with Rachel.
  • Rachel made her cookies. They were amazing. We gave them to her. She loved them.
  • Elections elections elections all the feelings thank god its over.
  • Started contributing to Songs You Need to Hear, stretched my writing muscles.
  • The world lost Chantal Akerman.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: The Burning Hell – Fuck the Government, I Love You

Laura Sauvage – You’ve Changed

Lianne LaHavas’ Tiny Desk Concert

November

10 - october

  • Shared joyful news.
  • Took a much-needed break from Facebook.
  • Visited my family in Petawawa.
  • Contributed to this.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Steve Lambke – Days of Heaven

December

12 - dec

  • My friend Steph came back to Quebec City briefly, after spending most of the year in Chile. So good to have a friend in the city.
  • Really enjoyed Spotlight, which featured one of the best representations of a female journalist I’ve ever seen onscreen (which is kind of fucking sad)
  • Maddy came to Quebec City!
  • I took time off (aka demanded, insisted) during the holidays for the 1st time in FIVE YEARS.
  • Celebrated by 30th birthday.
  • Contributed to this.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Arlt – Deableries

Anna B. Savage

C’est tout. Maybe I’ll have more to share in this space in 2016. Thanks for reading.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/ycbTni][img]https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5733/21130021951_b389440d68.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/ycbTni]Grange fest, août 2015-21.jpg[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/106805210@N03/]Simon Dumas[/url], on Flickr

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “2015: Year in Review

  1. Thank you so much for your blog Julia – I’ve actually cited it several times in my dissertation! You are always so thoughtful and creative and your posts really make me think. I love that I can get so much out of a critical fashion blog! Happy New Year!

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