Something I’ve always done at each major turning point in my life is to write a very long, detailed thank-you note. I wrote this initially upon arriving in the UK and sat on it for the entire first semester, trying to make sure I remembered everyone I should mention. Now that it’s the start of 2012, and with no more additions to this list, I figure now’s a good time to finally finish and post it.

Without further ado:

First of all, thank you to my amazing and wonderful girlfriend Siyuan, without whom I would never have thought I’m capable of doing what I’m about to do. In addition to being my guiding light in terms of moving to the UK, she was also the driving force behind my quitting smoking, and is the love of my life. Babe, you’re awesome.

Secondly and somewhat obviously, thank you to my parents, who’ve put up with all my idiosyncrasies and bad behaviour this last half decade. Thank you for understanding why I do what I do, and for all the help moving. Thanks also to my sister, who has sat through more political discussions between my parents and I than any sibling should have to endure, and who spent her only week of vacation this summer moving my disorganized self out of the crater where I used to live.

Thanks to the friends I hang around most — you know who you are. In no particular order:

Special thanks to Brad Halasz for being the longest-running of all my roommates (and for picking up your stuff; New Brad’s cool too.); also, thanks for letting me crash on your couch for something like a month straight a few summers ago, and for getting passes to all those things for Hotbox, for all the crazy parties, Shambhalas and Motion Notions. Keep on Shponglin’.

Special thanks also to Ben Hoffman for being the chaotic-good force of nature that he is, for always being down with even my most ridiculous ideas, for totally destroying it with the loads to the dump during my move-out; also for still being the coolest person I’ve ever met at the Gauntlet.

Another special thanks to Jon Roe, for sharing a similarly-awful sense of humour all those years ago editing Spoof 2006 at the Gauntlet, for being the singly-most laid-back person I’ve ever met and for just being a pretty awesome all-around dude. Also, thanks for taking over the duties of party house post-graduation; I was feeling fairly antisocial there for awhile… Also, your roommates are awesome.

Thanks to Christian Louden for being an awesome roommate and friend; thanks also to Aldo Aguirre — I didn’t get to know you that well, but you’re in the uppermost bracket in terms of cool roommates I’ve had. Thanks similarly to Ben Taylor — dude, we totally have to grab a pint now that I’m in London.

Thanks to Cody Torgerson for starting the Campus Greens and getting me involved on some level with the environmental movement in Calgary; also thanks for all the times we’ve discussed technology over beers, it’s always fun.

Thanks to Chris Beauchamp, the hardest working man in the north Albertan creative media industry — in the bit over a decade I’ve been developing websites, I’ve worked with countless designers, and nobody comes even close to Chris’ level of professionalism, comprehensiveness and style. The work he produces is seriously bad-ass. Speaking as an outsource web-developer who has done quite a lot of work with Chris, his designs are a joy to put into code. Beyond that, thanks for being the first editor I dealt with at the Gauntlet and doing so much to help me improve my writing back then.

Thanks to Angela Larsen for the boilerplate contracts, for helping with photos at Motion Notion and for being there for Siyuan. The world would be a better place if everyone had such good friends.

Thanks to Barnaby Bennett for being a totally rad dude and for getting me into so many shows. Pints are on me once you finally get your ass over here!

Thanks to all the clients who gave me an opportunity to work on their website — particularly Fred Pattison, Karen Barry, Barry Blick, James Katalyst, Deekin at Quincy’s, The Purple Pixie and all the people I’ve done outsource work for. Thanks also to Tony Grimes (of Siteline Solutions, my other outsource partner) for giving me some interesting projects to work on, and for connecting me to the broader Calgary web-development community through Pixels ‘n’ Pints. Another thanks to Fred Pattison for giving me an awesome employment opportunity all those years ago and more writing material than I’ll ever know what to do with — really, much of what I’ve done in the last few years is a direct result of having worked at the The Next Level.

Thanks to the entire CJSW crew for always killing it around the clock, day after day, week after week. Big special thanks to Joe Burima for getting me involved with CJSW’s web stuff in the first place, and also for writing me an awesome reference letter. Thanks to Paul Kennett for also writing me a reference — very much appreciated. Thanks to Mitch Bundy for being one of the most awesome technologists I’ve met; Chad Saunders, Kat Dornian, Hayley Muir, Nathan Taylor and Marc Affeld for just being incredibly helpful and friendly — y’all rock. Thanks also to Lotus Queen and Tokyo Eyepatch for doing their thing and providing some much needed bass to the Calgary airwaves. I could go on; CJSW is one of the best things Calgary has going for it right now.

While I’m on CJSW people, thanks to Kat Lord for being one of the single most friendly people I’ve met; I didn’t really get a chance to talk to you or Charlotte given how crazy the going away party was, but I hope both of you are doing well in your new environments. Thanks also for setting that up, that was fun.

Thanks to all the cool people who influenced me in some way at or via the Gauntlet (in no order): Emily Senger, Kyle Francis, Dale Miller, Kris Kotarski, Joelle Robichaud, Dan Pagan, Katy Anderson, Garth Paulson, Alan Cho, Jeff Kubik, Ben Li, Ryan Pike, Kate Foote, Jordyn Marcellus, Chris Tait, Cam Cotton-O’Brien, Remi Watts and Amy Badry, and my short-statured nemesis, Sarelle Azuelos. A few others come to mind: Amanda Hu, Paul Baker, Danny Kirk, Chris Pedersen and Noah Miller — y’all are cool too! Additionally, extra thanks to both Chris Beauchamp and Katy Anderson, who both always encouraged me to write news — I’m probably much more competent at what I’m doing now from that experience.

Thanks to Sara Hanson and Wendy Pringle for being great roommates and for putting up with my shenanigans when I originally moved into 2816. Best of luck with whatever you’ve got going right now.

Thanks to Jasmin Frederickson for pushing me in some interesting directions and being an unusually chill person. Also for really being the first person I’d met who was also into electronic music.

Thanks to Deb Courchene for being the first person I really knew in Calgary — I might not have moved there in the first place had I not known you. Also, thanks for all the chats online while I was still in high-school; I’m probably a more balanced person now having known at that time that there’s intelligent life outside Moose Jaw.

Thanks to Becky Schnurr-Howsam for all the chats; you always have a tendency of giving me good advice when I need it the most.

Thanks to Keith Fagin for getting me involved with some interesting technology projects and for always fighting the good fight. Thanks to Marco Renda for giving me the opportunity to edit at my very first magazine and for caring deeply about a topic very few understand. Thanks to Katrina Mary Jade for letting me work on some cool projects — while I’m not sure where those calendars will fit into my life’s œuvre, I’m glad to have had the opportunity to work on them. Thanks to everyone who worked on Hotbox with me; I know it didn’t really pan out like we expected, but I certainly see value in the work we did.

Thanks to all the teachers who made taking a Communications degree at the UofC worthwhile. Allison Dube, Ron Glasberg, Bart Beaty, Paul Kennett, Barry Cooper (I disagree with you on nearly everything you espouse, but I enjoyed your class regardless; the segment on Voegelin was fantastic.), Gwendolyn Blue, Brian Grant and, frankly, anybody who ever gave me an extension — most people on that list, actually.

Thanks to my friends in and from Moose Jaw — Joel Kreutzwieser, Gordon Runn, Vince Langevin, Kurt and Trish Gillett, Tony Wong and the rest — for setting up our yearly LAN party and keeping that going as one of the things I know I can always look forward to every Christmas.

Thanks to Steve Watkins for staying in contact while in Edmonton and being great to visit with.

Thanks to my extended relatives — I know you generally have no clue why I do what I do, but I appreciate that you at least attempt to understand it.

Thanks to Ishkur and everyone on the Ishboard, moot for 4chan, Kirtaner for 420chan — you’ve all influenced me probably more than I’d care to admit. Thanks to the Drupal, WordPress and Joomla! communities for all the free software and support — you’ve paid my rent on many an occasion. Thanks to Kyle for setting up the Minecraft server I play on — it’s one of the few collaborative, creative enterprises I have with people in Calgary, I really do appreciate the effort.

Yeah, that’s about it. If I forgot you, please respond angrily in the comments section and I’ll address it as soon as possible!

Thanks again!

-Æ.