Overall Discoveries of 2009

I’m doing a Musical Discoveries of 2009 post, but so much happened in 09 I figure an ‘Overall Discoveries’ list is a good idea as well.  Please note: from 06 to 08 I was behind the ball a bit…my ‘discoveries’ list would be focused mostly on TV shows, alcoholic beverages, and serving customers in a diner.  Sad.  Some of these discoveries are things people found years ago…but this is my blog, boiee.  This is what *I* discovered this year:

Malcolm Gladwell

My biggest discovery is this great thinker who, coincidentally, comes from Elmira, Ontario.  In the grand scheme of things we were raised in neighbouring towns even though they’re a drive apart.  The school I attend brought him up A LOT.  Eventually I came around to checking him out, and have since read all his books but one.  ‘The Tipping Point’ is mindblowing, ‘Outliers’ is fascinating, and ‘What the Dog Saw’ was pretty much my favourite read of 2009.  His way of looking at complex topics, giving them a completely unique point of view, and making them easy to read make him my favourite thinker…ever.  If I say one thing…it’s read one of his books.  That’s my gift to everyone for 2010.

Marketing

I should preface this with a caveat: I’ve always ‘hated’ business, marketing, and all things advertising…all my life…forever.  In high school I saw business courses as breeding grounds for douchebaggery.  Who’d have expected I’d become fascinated with marketing in 2010!  Thanks to my instructor Dan Broome and books by Seth Godin I now see that there IS a huge relevance to how you communicate your ideas to the world.  It always seemed like I’d just tell people and they’d listen.  There’s so much more to the process of interesting people in what interests me.  Applicable to music, to the summer camp, and to any sort of interpersonal communication…I discovered marketing in 09.  I guess I’m a bad person now.

Hometown Tales Podcast

Gene and Bryan crack me up. The stories are great, but it’s the hosts who make this a great discovery.  These guys need a show, seriously.  And a show they can dick around in as much as they do in their podcast.  I’ll admit…it was a growing process.  It took a few listens but now I look forward to my subway rides when there’s a new Hometown Tales podcast to listen to.  The title tells it all – strange stories that come from all over the world – but it’s the hosts who make the show.

Furry Literature

There are LOTS of horrible writers in the world, and I pretty much swore off amateur writing after having to slog through even the SHORTEST stories recommended to me by friends.  In the end, I was wrong: there’s some amazing stuff out there, and some of it is furry!  The best fiction I read in 2009 was ‘Out of Position’ by Kyell Gold. My next read will hopefully be ‘Thousand Leaves’ by Kevin Frane. I’m looking forward to it! Especially since the next book on my desk is The Fountainhead…to which I have nothing to look forward.  Required reading, my ass.

School

…let’s call this a rediscovery.  When I decided to go back to school, ten years after I finished University, the reaction from friends was the same across the board: WHAT COURAGE!!!  Courage?  It just seemed like a logical step, but apparently returning to school in your thirties is a crazy step to take.  It was like riding a bike to use the lamest comparison of them all.  It took a week to remember how to take notes, but it only took orientation to get excited about learning again.  After a decade of mental sleepwalking it was a great change.  I highly recommend to everyone that even something as simple as a night course or correspondance is a good idea.  Choose something that’s always interested you and learn something more about it!

What will I discover in 2010?  I expect a lot of strange things considering I’ll be embarking on a new career path…and I’ll have this new fandangled blog to document it all.  In 2003 my life consisted of managing a coffee shop, doing a webcomic and a published comic in a children’s magazine, acting and directing plays, and I was the workshop coordinator for a summer camp up north.  Now, in 2009, I’m at school, am trying to get back into performing music, RUN the summer camp up north, and am pursuing a career in the music industry.  What…happened?

Each year in between I discovered a lot of things, and they’ve all led me to this point.

There are a few other things I’ve discovered that I haven’t either given enough time to or given enough thought to – iPhone apps, mopeds, LinkedIn, Adobe InDesign, typography…maybe in 2010 they’ll become more important and a year from now I’ll be chatting about them.  Until then…looks like I have some Ayn Rand to read…*sigh*

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