Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

28 April 2016

A Potentially Incomplete List of Things I Keep Lists Of

  1. Tasks, organised by type (freelance, personal life, money owed, money loaned, etc. Long-term projects get their own special separate lists)
  2. Shopping list
  3. Things to pack for a given trip
  4. Talking points for given events... or just to have a handle on what I want to say if I have my hand raised
  5. Things I'd like to watch, and who referred them
  6. Things I might read, and who referred them
  7. Books I've read—the longest list running in terms of seniority. I think it's about six years old?
  8. Shows I'm currently watching and have completed, plus notes on who referred them and how I generally feel about them
  9. Articles or stories I'd like to write
  10. Articles or stories written on a given day, and the word count (20.000 words at MIP alone!)
  11. People I hang out with (full name, current job title, date, location, what we discussed, photo)
  12. Things I may like to buy—a list I often forget about, but that's by design. When I open the list again, sometimes years later, I buy the thing if I still want it and the timing is right. Or I delete it, because it's otherwise taking up room on the list
  13. Potentially cool book ideas
  14. Potentially cool business ideas
  15. Patterns I'd like to knit—possibly my youngest list
  16. Things to be grateful for—not often updated, but generally updated in times of duress. It's a good exercise
  17. People to buy presents for, and/or presents to buy people, and why 
I think that's everything, but I can't really be sure. Written out like this, it seems a bit manic. But the funny thing about lists is that they become religions, planets around which I orbit, gravitational anchors to keep from spinning into chaos.

It's possible that I do this because, like marketing people frenetically counting Likes, it's an easy way to mark progress. And maybe at some point, these small demarcations of a life will yield a deeper thing I'm trying to keep track of but can't quite put a finger on. 

That's about all I have to say about lists.

03 March 2016

Inklust #21: Fake Eyelashes + Alligator Tears

Decorous weeping was another of those arts I never mastered, like putting on false eyelashes.
Lady Oracle, Margaret Atwood


What is "Inklust"? Boy am I glad you asked. Here's the manifesto: part I and part II.

17 February 2016

Thinking About Ms. R

The ad above was made by RPA to advertise the Honda Accord, with help from the imagination of a four-year-old named Ethan, who transforms the Honda into a rocket to save a princess from a dragon.

The first feminist treatise I ever heard was when my fourth-grade teacher started ranting at us about how maybe the Mushroom Princess in "Super Mario" doesn't want to be saved. I can't remember what brought this on. In my recollection, we all stared wide-eyed while she spat and sputtered about the lame fictional heroics of our favourite Italian plumbers. A girl sitting next to me leaned into my ear and whispered, "I don't think she knows about Bowser."

I am probably a little older now than my teacher was then, and I get what she was trying to convey. The message would perhaps have had the chance to stick if she didn't do other weird things, like try teaching us about mass and density with an example about when she can, and cannot, fit into her boyfriend's pants.

Too soon, Ms. R, too soon.

Anyway, all this is to say that very little has changed, apart from that more little girls are perhaps more willing to say "I don't want to be a princess" and "I don't need to be saved." But there are still little boys who want to save princesses from dragons, and there are still advertising agencies who still imagine the default princess as a curly-haired blonde in a pink prom dress.

Great job, everybody, great job.

30 October 2015

Inklust #20: That is Your Role

When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.
The Night Circus, Erin Morganstern 

Image via.


What is "Inklust"? Boy am I glad you asked. Here's the manifesto: part I and part II.

09 July 2015

Inklust #19: Gives and Tells

There were a few stipulations she had written into his standard contract that Mark had balked at: lemon rounds, not wedges; hypoallergenic makeup; fair-trade green tea. These, she explained, were gives—items that he was not to insist upon, which lack of insistence would make him seem like a much more reasonable person than his contract made him out to be.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, David Shafer

Here's a neat story: Van Halen was renowned for having a stringent, vaguely insane and crazy-detailed contract, one of whose stipulations included the demand that the band be provided with a bowl of M&Ms with the brown ones picked out. If a single brown M&M was found, Van Halen could cancel the concert at the full expense of the promoter—right then and there.

This is usually told as an anecdote to illustrate how debauched and ridiculous rock-stardom had become. But there was actually a really good reason the clause existed.

Van Halen's concerts included some of the most complex and advanced pyrotechnics of any show at that time. A successful show required a number of safety precautions and precise technical measures.

If the band found brown M&Ms in the bowl, chances were high that the contract hadn't been read. It significantly increased the likelihood of an onstage accident or technical failure.

The brown M&Ms weren't a give; they were a tell.


What is "Inklust"? Boy am I glad you asked. Here's the manifesto: part I and part II.

Today I left a book on the métro.

Even after six years in France, it's hard to shake off the metrics that used to drive me: Start a company. Get rich in five years. Vacations waste time. Weigh every moment against your net worth.

A good friend who's enjoyed more success than I have, lived longer than I have, and is now fighting a much tougher battle than I am, recently told me that money, power and stuff make no difference in the scheme of things. What he cares about now is leaving ripples of happiness among the people he loves—making a difference to them.

And it isn't just an insular thing. Even in his work, he seeks to be a force for good.

I was moved by this. But knowing he's fundamentally right is insufficient to unteach years of conditioning.

I try to be a force for good in my work: To lift people up, share credit, see opportunities to help. But today I thought, What if every day I did a small, enriching thing? Something that improves the lot of a stranger and doesn't just improve my work environment or fuel my socnets?

So today I left a book on the train. I read it, I liked it, and I happened to be carrying it with me. It seems small and insignificant but I'm weird about books; I have always needed to own them. I like touching the spines on my shelf. They benchmark my life. They're my great treasures.

One less thing for me, one more enriching thing for somebody else. It's a baby step. But it's a reminder of how little I need and how much I can give. Doing it once is insufficient; it's one of those things worth relearning every day.

I think that's what makes us better—the act of taking a lesson and manifesting it physically, as often as possible, until it simply becomes nature: A thing that ripples into everything we do. To change, it's important to undo even the small things that make us who we've been. It's only old skin.

My hope is that with time and the aggregation of these small acts, my metrics will change. My vision of success will change. And I'll no longer feel the compulsion to gauge how well I'm doing by how much of anything I have—not money or posterity or the capacity to disrupt. It will have been enough to be a force for good—to have been curious, to have learnt about other people and enriched the place where I was, and to have passed those pieces along.

I'm just a word in a very small chapter in the very short story of humanity—a story the universe, in its vastness and indifference, will not even realise occurred. Life is an accident that will end in a flutter.

It's enough to have been here.