The majority of this post was written on Tuesday night, from about 11:30 onwards. I was wide awake and extremely restless. Which doesn’t really seem like blog-worthy news; realistically, a third of Vancouver was also probably awake. But, since Wilf and I live like an old married couple, being awake past 10 p.m. on a weekday (hell, any day) is, actually, quite a rarity. And it all started at about 8:12 p.m. when I had a coffee post-dinner. I didn’t think 200mL of drip-brewed house blend would have an effect. Should have known better. Should have trusted gut instinct and life experience. But, I suppose the reprieve from sleep gave me time to reflect. And, ultimately, share that reflection with others.
At the end of my entry yesterday, when I mentioned our Wednesday dinner/blog arrangement for the year, I wrote that Wilf and I are aiming to eat a wider variety of sustainable seafood in 2014. And although this did not transpire last night (more on his culinary creation later), it did get me thinking about New Year’s resolutions. (If you don’t want a pep talk, skip the next two paragraphs.)
Like many, I don’t really like the term ‘New Year’s resolution’. I absolutely believe that change is good, but having a resolution implies that something needs to be fixed, that last year wasn’t good enough, that you’re doing something wrong with your life. Not only is that an unfortunate outlook, for the majority of people, it’s also wrong. The other interesting thing about resolutions is that for some reason, once you’ve made them, it seems like if things don’t go as smoothly as you would have liked (e.g., you miss three workouts in a row, you keep postponing the tuna painting you want to start, &c.), then you’ve failed. For me, this typically happens around January 10th. (Which means that come January 11th, I feel great about life again.) But I think that the biggest problem with resolutions is that they feel like an obligation. Which is why I like to use the term ‘goals’ instead. It’s less finite, and much more motivating. What I also tend to find is that goals are constantly being created, regardless of the time of year. It’s like you’re building on an already wonderful and appreciated you. Ok, well maybe that’s a bit much…
This will likely be one of the more sentimental entries that I ever post. As such, it might be too mushy for some. But at least now you have been warned.
I actually wrote the important part of this post a while ago. I was supposed to be packing for a trip last December, but was simultaneously Skyping with my friend Caitlin (the very same Caitlin who suggested eHarmony). And while we’d always known it, for some reason, it was clear during this conversation that our views on guys and relationships were quite different. So, once we were done talking, instead of folding clothes, I found myself writing my thoughts on love. Why? No idea. Not something I would really ever consider doing and I thought it was actually pretty lame while I was doing it. Still, I guess it didn’t hurt, as it was probably just my way of trying to better understand my own behaviours and thoughts toward relationships.
Typically, when I start writing about the situation regarding the decline of bluefin tuna*—which has been primarily driven by demand from the Japanese sashimi market since the late 1970s—my go-to introductory sentences include the words “luxury”, “expensive”, and “wealthy consumer”. The use of this terminology stemmed from a personal belief that bluefin was part of the upper echelon of gastronomic extravagance: the marine equivalent to a Kobe steak or Périgord truffles. Thus, you can imagine my complete surprise when I was in Tokyo this past month and saw it on the menu of every seafood restaurant in which I ate, or passed on the street. Literally, every single one—from 49th floor fine dining establishments, to curbside take-out lunch stands. I honestly could not believe that this fish was still so ubiquitous and, in many cases, inexpensive, when there is so much international pressure to reduce catches and allow for populations to recover.
Let me preface the following by saying that I initially wanted to title this post #YOLO. Hashtag and all. I then realized I’m no longer fifteen. Nonetheless, in my typical habit of crazy ideas and impulsive ambition, the following is very much an example of me YOLOing it up. And it all started at the beginning of August when, way out of left field, I got the idea to e-mail the UBC varsity field hockey coach; a last ditch effort to accomplish a goal nearly a decade in the making.
Tomorrow is World Oceans Day. Today I am eating apricots. These small, pastel orange fruits always remind me of warm evenings at the beach. And, I’m not quite sure why (although I assume some higher level organic chemistry is involved), but the delightful taste produced when the sweetness of their flesh mixes with the saltiness of the air seems to provide me with the best circumstances for contemplating life. But, while one would probably assume that my current thoughts are organizing themselves into an exciting post in honour of this special day, the truth is, they’re not. Because I don’t really know what to say. Of course this dilemma is not for lack of want, or knowledge of the subject matter; it is because—for the first time in my life—I am trying to decide how I feel about the ocean. Well, not the ocean itself. More specifically, the future of the ocean. And how young fisheries scientists, like myself, fit in.