I don’t want to post today

I’ve been writing all day, so I’m just going to post this Easterfest selfie here. This is what we all look like this very moment:

Easterfest group selfie

Tara and Ethan and me and Mitto. So fetch.

Also I just want to say, Tessa is an outstanding performer and I’m very glad that I get to write a profile on her and Shawna for Journey this month.

Serious business.

Serious business.

Yaaass Janelle yaaass

One of the greatest moments of delight I’ve had in recent memory is when I found out about Buzzfeed’s style guide. It’s well worth perusing, even if you think you’re normally too good for that sort of thing. Just now, for example, I consulted it to check the correct spelling of “Yaaass”. Turns out I’d been doing it wrong. Thanks, Buzzfeed!

The reason? Janelle Monáe and Kimbra are coming to Brisbane next month and I’ve got tickets. I can’t wait to go Dance Apocalyptic at the Convention Centre. It’s going to be so rad. I’ve been a devoted cyboy for years and I’m ready. Yaaass!

Janelle Monae and Kimbra

Good morning cyboys and cybergirls!

Like, for some gays Lady Gaga is their patron diva. For others it’s Lana Del Rey. For me it’s always been Janelle Monáe. I’ve been hers ever since ‘Tightrope’ and she’s never yet put a foot wrong. She’s still tippin’ on it.

Everyone needs to know about her! She’s just the best. I’m less familiar with Kimbra’s stuff (besides her part on ‘Somebody that I used to know’ obv) but I’ve just bought her album so I can pretend like I’ve known all along. I can’t wait for this! What will I wear? Will I go for tuxedo or dancing gear? Or maybe android costume! Planning must begin immediately.

Speaking of musicy things; this weekend I’m going to Easterfest for the first time in a long time. The plan is to keep blogging as per normal. I’m bringing my laptop (I’m not camping, don’t worry), so let’s see if we can make that happen.

My pants are BEDA rahhh

My pants are BEDA rahhh

The internet is for cats

I’m not a massive cat person, that is, except for on my Facebook cover photo because the internet is for cats. But yesterday I changed my cover photo to yet another cat and not a single person liked the post.

Cat cover photo

What isn’t to like?

Is the cat not funny enough? Will people think I really, unironically love cats? I have that problem enough when I post silly pictures of cats, like cats in tights, wet cats and cats eating spaghetti. It doesn’t matter how silly the cats are, some people think I just like cats because they are cats!

These cats are not weird enough.

Unacceptable.

But no, I only like weird cats. I like them because cats take themselves too seriously, but they are very silly animals. This is the inherent humour in cats.

Trust me I have thought long and hard about this. No other animal quite captures the simultaneous pride and folly of cats. Beautiful cats just don’t do it for me. They just don’t capture the true spirit of cats.

But like I said, I’m not really a cat person in the sense of cat people people. I’m not into cats the same way I’m into chickens, for example. I just think they are kind of weird.

Release your inner cat!

That’s a little better.

I mean that’s what the internet is for, right? Sharing strange, interesting things. What is the point of not-weird cats! Did I make a bad cover photo decision? Was my cat not weird enough?

I think I need to find a new cat for Facebook. I need to find a picture of the quintessential cat. A paragon of feline foolishness! Because that’s what the internet is for. It is for cats.

It might take a little while though, because like I said, I’m not really a cat person. I just think they’re funny. It’s not like I search Google for cats all the time or as if I regularly take selfies with a cat. I don’t want everyone to think I’m obsessed with cats. I’m just doing it because it’s the internet and the internet is for cats.

Bruce is a cat

I’m not really all that into cats.

If anyone finds a good cover photo suggestion I’d really love to see it. Clearly I need all the help I can get.

What is this dog doing here we were talking about cats.

What is this doing here we were talking about cats.

I am not cool it is an illusion

I don’t have much to say today so I’m just going to post this comic:

My self esteem is better than it used to be I'm doing pretty good.

Some people think you are cool. IMPOSSIBLE.

(I’m pretty sure these drawings were originally made by this Tumblr user.)

I’m fairly certain this is how everyone feels all of the time. I know I do. See also: body image, general knowledge, writing ability and professional confidence.

SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

It already says BEDA on it why did you write it again

A misleading tweet

Whoops I missed a day there. You’d think it was for a good reason, but no. Yesterday I went to see Captain America (which wasn’t as good as everyone’s saying it is btw) and then I just clean forgot to blog.

But today is Sunday and I’ll get back on the wagon. My boyfriend and I went to my old church on the Gold Coast today, and now I’m out of time for a full-length post. Here’s a not-so-full length one.

Today a photo of Tony Abbott has been floating around:

I pledge that this pledge was the original pledge Tony pledged.

I pledge that this pledge was the original pledge Tony pledged.

Each of those promises have been broken! How embarrassing, right? I retweeted it because I recall him saying things to this effect during the campaign, but once I got a look at this photo on a screen larger than my iPhone I realised it is obviously photoshopped.

Here’s the original:

Tony Abbott: the real pledge.

I pledge that I will double-check the veracity of government embarrassments even if they seem kind of believable.

I dunno if the photoshopped image was made by an overzealous leftie or by a right-winger who just wanted to show how overzealous lefties can be. So, sorry. I tweeted a wrong thing. Hopefully this post makes up for it.

On a side note, what’s with capitalising “Pledge” and “Carbon Tax” in the original image? Stahp, Liberal Party, stahp.

I pledge that I will do my best to BEDA properly from now on.

I pledge that I will do my best to BEDA properly from now on.

My charmed, gay life

Tonight I went to Freedom2b, which is a support group for LGBTI people from Christian backgrounds. I don’t always go, but this month we watched The Cure—a documentary about gay and lesbian Christians who went through ex-gay programs.

It feels strange for me to go to f2b sometimes, because I’ve lived a pretty charmed existence as a gay Christian. Watching the movie, it really reinforced the sense I have that I dodged a bullet. I never wound up in an ex-gay program. My parents weren’t openly hostile to gay people while I was questioning my sexuality and took my coming out really well. I even had a primary school teacher who set me up to handle coming out in a Christian environment (although I didn’t realise that’s what was happening at the time).

How did I get away with it? I didn’t do anything to make any of this happen. How could I?

Perhaps it was divine intervention. Perhaps I was just lucky. Either way, my gratitude is so deep I’ll never be able to fully express it.

Also, it’s not over yet. Charmed lives don’t always last.

Are you coming to VidCon?

This evening I bought travel insurance so I can go to VidCon. Yay VidCon! For VidCons past I’d have everything organised by now, but this time around my normal practice was disrupted by moving house. Also I’m still surprised by how much time a full-time job takes up. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that.

So I still have confirmation emails to send, domestic flights to book and videos to make among other things. I don’t even really know who is going to be there or not. A lot of my friends seem to not be going this year, which is sad, but at least I get to hang out for a weekend with Steve!

If you are reading this, chances are I want to have a coffee with you and also give you a hug. If you’re going to be at VidCon this year it means we have an opportunity to do one or both of those things, so please make yourself known.

Beda venerabilis.

Bede is probably not coming to VidCon.

Round the world trip

Here’s another tweet-based post.

BEDA  prompt: If you can do a round the world trip, what 10 cities would you visit & why?

Listicles are cool.

I love traveling! So I get on a plane and east to west:

1. Portland

I’ve always wanted to go to Portland—Seattle as well. The American Pacific Northwest is supposed to be a magical, rainy place where everyone is vegan and/or gluten-free, and the politics are so left-wing even I’d be run out of town as a fascist.

2. Montreal

As much as I’d love to do the southern United States, Canada gets my next stop. Montreal sounds really interesting to me, because people speak French there, which makes them interesting, no?

3. Bridgetown

South America is gonna have to wait while I take myself off to Bridgetown in Barbados. I hear the food is amazing, and also it makes me think of pirates.

4. London

I was trying to only go to cities that I haven’t been to before, but I just love London. Like, Londoners hate London, but I love it. Can I just be in London all the time? I love London.

5. Berlin

I hear it’s got incredible nightlife and there’s heaps to do. I’d stay in Berlin for at least three weeks. At least.

6. Istanbul

It’s the gateway to Asia, right? And I’m told it’s cheap but really enjoyable with heaps to see.

7. Addis Ababa

Once I saw Addis Ababa on The Amazing Race and not only did it look like a good place to travel, it’s got a fun name to say. Also Ethiopia was the only African nation to avoid imperial subjugation. What a bunch of hard nuts. I’ve got to see them for myself.

8. Taipei

Once I had a 10-hour layover in Taipei. My airline didn’t give me a hotel room (stingy!) but the Taiwanese government gave me a free tour of the outer parts of the city! I got frozen yoghurt there and everything. Their cunning plan worked and I’ve wanted to go back ever since.

9. Seoul

It’s no secret that I almost went to Korea to teach English. Now I write magazines instead. Seoul will always be somewhere I want to go, though. I’ve heard too much about it to leave it unexplored.

10. Tokyo

Who doesn’t want to go to Tokyo I mean come on.

Runners up!

Cape Town, Amsterdam, New Delhi, Honolulu, Santiago, Barcelona, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Washington, Suva, Marrakech and OF COURSE New York City I mean it practically goes without saying.

San Beda College, apparently?

I don’t know where this is but add it to the list too.

Editing Journey

It’s only the 8th and it’s already happening! I’m running out of material to blog about. Lucky Twitter exists.

I'd love to know a bit about what it's actually like being an editor, the ins and outs of it. And how it feels being back in Aus

I would tell you but I would have to kill you.

So. My job.

According to my business cards, I am a “Cross-platform editor/producer”, which is a job title that confuses people no end. Basically, I’m a magazine editor, but I do other stuff too.

The magazine I edit is called Journey, which is operated by the Uniting Church Queensland Synod. It’s distributed across Queensland through Uniting Church congregations, faith communities, hospitals, schools and aged-care facilities. Journey is published 11 times a year and has just increased its circulation to 14 700 copies. I’m also the editor of JourneyOnlinewhich has a little more content than the print version. I read Journey for years before I ever started working there, so it’s a pretty cool gig for me to get.

My professional life (and to a certain extent, my personal life too) revolves around my monthly deadline. In the weeks leading up to deadline, I’m assigning stories to various staff members and sourcing contributors from elsewhere in Queensland. I also write one or two stories in each edition including one of the feature articles, so I’m often doing research and conducting interviews for those, too. I also have an editorial column.

Once the deadline passes I chase my contributors to turn in their content (c’mon!) and then edit their submissions. Sometimes it’s just line editing, but other times I need to give the whole thing an overhaul and almost rewrite their content so it fits house style. Sometimes I send a piece back to the writer with feedback and get them to resubmit it.

Once I’m happy with each story, our graphic designer lays it out. Once the whole thing is on the page, our volunteer proof-readers come in and cover the pages in red pen. Then I read through their corrections and approve or ignore each one. After those corrections have been made, other staff members read it, make corrections and I read it again and approve or ignore those corrections. Then I read it again and make corrections of my own. Then I usually read it two or three more times.

I read each edition of Journey at least a dozen times during its production.

It’s a pretty hectic process which is never really finished. We have an unmovable deadline for sending each edition to the printer, so most of the time it’s a case of knowing it’s good enough and letting it go.

After it goes to print I film a video editorial which goes out to churches to promote the magazine in their services and I also notify our digital subscribers that the PDF version is now available.

There’s other internal promotion that happens too, after which it happens all over again the next month. I’m usually working on the next two editions at the same time, but I’ll call an editorial meeting and assign stories for the upcoming edition and make sure I haven’t missed anything important.

That’s just the production process—which excludes the other stuff I do, like making videos for other parts of the Synod and being part of discussions about branding and marketing generally. I also field the unsolicited submissions and press releases and decide if they are appropriate for Journey or JourneyOnline. I’m also a contributor for a series of workshops about communication skills we’re launching for Uniting Church congregations.

Haha it doesn’t seem like that much except for when I write it down. Journey always gets done and I’ve never been really worried it wouldn’t happen. The communications team I work with are all marvellous.

And that’s essentially my job! It always challenges me to be better at what I do and I really love it. Magazines are such a great medium and I’m so lucky to be the editor of one!

Hold still!

Hold still!

Seasons change; I’m growing up

Tonight the weather turned kind of wintery, which isn’t even a Game of Thrones reference—the first episode of the new season of which I surely will not watch until it is good and legal to do so.

No, the folk up north of the equator are apparently starting to break out their shorts, which means here in Queensland we’re bracing ourselves for about two weeks of colder-than-normal mornings. I’m trying to decide if my winter fashion should be “cardigan-wearing dandy” or “Silicon Valley hoodlum”.

I’m also trying to work up the courage to dye my hair this winter. Last time I did that it was so I could dress up as Harry Potter and it stayed black for more than six months.

It also means I’ve been back in Australia for nearly one year now, which is weird because in a lot of ways it feels like it’s been far longer. I’ve moved house twice in that time, and I’ve done two work trips and a holiday to Sydney with my boyfriend. My life is just very, very different to what it was 12 months ago.

I’m still blogging almost exclusively in April though. That part’s the same.

But I’m living in a place, cooking my own meals and paying bills like a real life adult. That’s kind of nice, as is the realisation that I can still do all this while unashamedly listening to k-pop and wearing colourful socks at work. Sure, I thought I’d have joined a gym by now, but I’m just going to take it one thing at a time.

I think he sees us.

I think he sees us.