Happy Birthday, Kristi!!!

Dear Kristi,

I didn’t really intend to write anything more on this blog, but it was initially to have been an Inventory of Everything, after all, and hence I could think of no better spot to post my birthday wishes to you.

The circumstances under which we met…I hate.  But you, I loved even before that moment, as you know, and getting to know you since then has been a true treasure to me.

You are treasured by me.

And so, I wish nothing but love and joy and happiness for you, on this, the day of your birth.  Every day, actually, but also I’m realistic-ish.  haha

I’m glad you were born, lady, and I am so honoured and grateful to have you in my life, then, now, and always.  I have no words to express what your friendship means to me.

And even though they say a picture is worth a thousand words, there will never be enough pictures to express it, either.

But maybe this can be a start.

I love you, lady.  Happy birthday, my friend.  ❤

Sue

2016

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This is it, guys!  My final post!

Thank goodness!  haha

In recent previous years, I’ve made a list of things I’d accomplished over the year, the number of which would match whatever year it was. This year, though, the general populace seems intent on bringing me down, so I’ve altered the plan a tiny bit.

Oh, I know it’s not intentional, necessarily, but regardless – y’all are ruining my zen thing, man.

So this year, I’ve instead made a list of the 16 best things to happen for me in 2016.  The original list was quite a lot larger, but I’ve managed to whittle it down to the following, in no particular order:

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  1. Mark Hamill

Luke Skywalker is my earliest and longest-running heroes, from about the age of 5 years, or so.  I mean, it all kicked into high gear when I was about 12, but my love for Luke and Star Wars had already been brewing for several years before that.  So it was a near-lifelong dream come true to finally be able to meet the man who brought the character to life.  I’d rehearsed everything in my head leading up to those few precious moments I’d get to spend interacting with him – and ended up doing none of it when the time came.  But everything that did happen was so much better than I could have hoped, and even the group photo op I had done with my awesome niece and nephews was perfect and priceless.  I wouldn’t change a thing.

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2. Hudson

It’s impossible to explain to another person my absolute love for this polar bear.  When he was a little guy, I found myself getting up in the morning after an injection night (they were terrible – not much could get me out of bed the next day) and trekking out to the zoo just so I could spend some time with him; watching him, and getting to know him.  There’s just something that happens to my heart every time I see him.  When he was moved to Winnipeg, I was devastated, and knew that, even if I ever saw him again, it wouldn’t be the same.  I wouldn’t be able to see him all the time anymore.  Until now.  2016 saw the return of Hudson and his brother Humphrey to the Toronto Zoo, and I have been out there almost every week since their quarantine ended.  I spent some quality time at the window with him one day, and since then, he’s back to greeting me upon arrival, just like he used to!  He’s now the biggest bear I’ve ever seen, but that thing still happens in my heart when I see him.  When we make eye contact, I pretty much explode.  The giant fool is truly my spirit animal, and even though our time together is temporary, I am making the most of it.  No regrets this time.

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3. Dark Matter Set Visit

Mind Reels on a spaceship, guys!  Every bit as amazing as you’d think…and more!  Of course, that’s really all I can say right now.  Keep an eye out for the S3 premiere, when we should finally be able to talk about our day on set!

4. Bowling For Kids Sake

An all-star team put together by actor Ennis Esmer challenged fans to help raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto by donating and/or building teams to compete against one another in the Superhero-themed bowling night event!  Two “civilian” teams took on two all-star teams and basically had such a ridiculously good time that we have been thinking ever since of trying more things like that in the future!  So much fun, and all for a great cause!

5. Good Credit

When I learned that my bankruptcy would be cleared from my record with one of Canada’s two largest credit agencies after just 6 years instead of 7, I went online one day to find out how I was doing.  I’d gotten myself a secured Visa so that I would have SOME credit, instead of no credit, once the 7 years after my discharge had passed.  I got my credit report done, and was surprised and excited to find out that I was already squarely in the GOOD section of the scale!  Before I knew it, I was pre-approved for far more credit than I wanted, so I talked the guy down to a $500 Scotiabank Scene Visa, and have been happily earning more Scene points AND improving my credit rating ever since!  That’s so huge, guys!

6. Hands On Exotics

I had tried to volunteer at the Toronto Wildlife Centre, because I really wanted to feed baby squirrels in the nursery, but the schedule didn’t work out for when I was available, so I went a different direction, and began volunteering at an exotic animal shelter, instead.  I was taking it week to week for a long time, as I wasn’t sure how I’d do over the winter and such.  Plus, it’s a lot of cleaning poo.  Then there was a boatload of upheaval, and I wasn’t sure what was going on or how things would work moving forward.  The past couple of months, things have settled down a bit, and I am doing better with the routine.  I’m getting to know some of the animals, and they are getting to know me, and to be honest, it’s starting to feel a bit like therapy now.  My usual team and I work well together, and we get things done quickly so there’s a bit of extra time at the end to visit with our favourites a little longer (an in the example photo below, with young miss Cricket, the baby kangaroo).  And oh, the stories I can tell!  I’m hoping to continue to make new ones as we move into 2017!

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7. Grandma

This is a story I don’t wish to go into, so I’ll just say that I’ve started writing letters to my grandmother.  By hand.  At least once a week, but usually more.  That’s all I have to say about that.

8. Reconnecting with old friends

2016 was a good year for me in terms of reaching out and reconnecting with people who used to be in my life with much more regularity.  I started going to some WLU Toronto Alumni events, which – I graduated in 1995, and have been in Toronto since late 1997 – why have I not been going to these?!  So much fun!  Especially with my gal, Izzy, and her guy, Phil (who went to Western – boooo!  haha), and my hope for further reunions with my fellow Laurier alum may actually come to pass!  As well, I got reacquainted in a big way with one of my Rogers boys from back in the day.  We fell into our same old rhythm with each other – and then changed things up a bit, as well.  Right from our first conversation, it was obvious to me how much I’d missed him, though, so now I’m doing my best to make sure he and I don’t drift apart like that again.

As well, I started seeing my therapist on a regular basis again.  We also fell into our same old rhythm, but this time it seems like everything is more heightened.  We are connecting on a much deeper level than ever before, and as difficult as it is, I couldn’t have asked for more.  It’s exactly what I need.

What’s more is that I’ve spent more quality time in 2016 with more recent friends, and made at least one amazing new one, to boot!  Maybe my obsession with stronger connections is starting to pay off.  Also GO HAWKS GO!

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9. CSA’s Red Carpet

The Mind Reels has covered the Canadian Screen Awards (aka The Candys) to some degree each year since they began.  We’ve been extremely fortunate to have been invited to do so, and to have as much access as we’ve been given each year.  This year, however, was our first time on the broadcast gala’s red carpet, chatting with the talent as they arrived for the big night.  We were squished into a spot at the very end, and while many of the big names walked right by after having done their required time with the big media outlets, just as many amazing peeps actually stopped to talk to us – and many of them weren’t people we already knew!  This was our most incredible year at the CSA’s by far, and I am eagerly awaiting the chance to apply for accreditation again for 2017, because it’s quickly become one of my favourite events in the city all year!  Besides, we were told by one wonderful woman that we’re a relief to see at the end of the red carpet – that people feel like they can just relax and enjoy themselves while they’re with us, and that’s got to be one of the biggest, most humbling compliments I think I’ve ever received.  More chances to make that happen, please!

10. Crown

This may seem like a weird thing to include on a Best Of list, but I was finally able to have my first dental crown put in, and I couldn’t be happier.  After a root canal, gum surgery and getting my mold taken just under the lab’s holiday deadline, I am now – for the first time in years – pain free.  Well, as far as my mouth is concerned, at least.  And for me, that’s a huge good thing!

11. Creativity

Figured I’d lump a couple of things into one spot, just to help whittle down my list!  From my Etsy store (where I sold my first felted item), to my meeting with the Toronto Library’s Writer in Residence (who made me excited about my book again), to my first attempt at shooting footage solo throughout my day for the Canada In A Day film that gets broadcast next year.  I was pretty disappointed with how mine turned out, but I still got a few emails saying that some clips may or may not make it into the final film, so I signed all the required releases and sent them off into the ether.  We’ll see what happens, but either way, I learned a lot just in that one day, so with any luck I can carry that forward to bigger and better things soon, too!

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12. The final 10-15 lbs

The majority of the weight I gained following The Betrayal was lost slowly over the course of the following decade.  I’d resigned myself to just staying at one particular point because I couldn’t seem to get the scale to budge any lower – until late January 2016.  Suddenly, the weight started coming off and the final 10-15 lbs – also the most dramatic pounds – dropped away by the end of March, or so.  Not only am I now back to my pre-gain weight, but so far I’ve kept it that way without too much trouble.  Okay, fine, maybe not the past couple of weeks, but it’s the holidays.  If all goes well after this weekend, things will get back to normal soon.  It’s nice to have a glimpse of my former swagger back, too!

13. Melissa O’Neil on stage

The weird thing about this is that I watched Mel on Canadian Idol back in the day, and may have had a little crush on her even back then.  Seeing her in Dark Matter has been an absolute joy, and getting to chat with her via The Mind Reels was a bit of a dream come true, as well.  The fact that I get to know her a little in real life is just…above and beyond.  So you’d THINK I would have taken the opportunity to see her perform on stage – to sing live – at any given point before now!  However, better late than never.  And so completely worth it that she gets her own spot on my personal Best Of list for the year.  Also, the wee crush lives.

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14. Ole Timey Radio Plays

These are pretty much the best thing ever!  For Mind Reels, Tim and I started bringing in random handfuls of actor friends and reading old radio play scripts from the 30’s and 40’s!  So much ridiculous and hilarious fun – to the point where we all but stopped doing regular interviews, even!  Don’t worry, though, I intend to get interviews going again, AND radio plays, AND maybe a few other ideas I have all put into play in the new year.  those radio plays, though.  We knew they’d be fun, but everyone continues to go above and beyond, every time, and that I am always in need of facial traction due to the amount of hard laughter each time is indication of exactly how special these things have become.  I can’t get enough!

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15.  Kate Tattoo

I’d seen an ad on Facebook for a new local tattoo parlour with a deal for small black and white tattoos available for $50 for a limited time.  A friend suggested we get one for “our girls”, meaning our doppelganger cats, both of whom have passed on and who are deeply missed.  I thought that was a great idea, and then, thanks to my very best friend in life, the whole experience ended up being more than I could have hoped for!  I love, love, love my homage to wee Kate the Kitten, and am naturally itching to get more ink done as soon as I have some kind of extra cash again!

16.  Lil Bub

Last but certainly not least, 2016 was the year I finally met Lil Bub in person.  I barely managed to hold back the tears, but I got to pet her wee head and we took terrible selfies on my phone and I love her so much I have a need to see her again someday!  What a remarkable little beast she is, that Lillian Bubbles.  She has no idea how much, really, which just makes her even more incredible.  I’m so grateful I got to spend those few wonderful moments in her presence!

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So there you have it!  My best moments of 2016!  Honourable mention goes to the ongoing shininess of my Firefly LootCrate subscription.  And the daily joy of living with my three wonderful cats – and this guy:

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I’m not going to say I’ll never post here again, but it definitely won’t be as often.  I’m sure I’ll get the urge to write once in awhile, though.  It’s who I am.

To that end, I am starting a new blog project, which I hope will work better for me moving forward.  It’s called My WildLife Awakened, and you’ll be able to follow along with it here.

I’ve been thinking, and will leave you with this one tidbit – almost advice-ish, really, though I hope I can take it, myself, as well.

As we cross into 2017, there may or may not be much to look forward to, so I’m going to try instead to make great memories to look back on this time next year.

Let’s see what happens!

Oh – and happy new year!

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Intention

When someone accidentally causes me pain, it seems to leave less of an emotional scar than when one hurts me deliberately.

It’s in the intention to hurt, where the more pain lies, I think. Unintentional pain can still be crippling, of course, but when it’s coupled with the fact that the person wanted you to feel that way?

Intention isn’t everything, but it certainly is a lot.

Winding Down

Sometimes I marvel at how this species has survived so long under the direction of men. Good grief.

I’m not sure I really know how to friendship. It’s been a recurring theme for quite some time now, I realize, and I’d apologize for it – but I’m not really sorry, so what would be the point?

Anyway, I just can’t find the balance at all. If I keep quiet and listen, I’m distant and disconnected…or – those aren’t quite the right words. I feel closed off because I am putting all of the focus on another person. If I babble on too much about myself, I feel selfish.

It just never feels balanced to me, this whole relating to other people thing.

And I’m strangely okay with that, actually. For the moment, at least!

Nothin’

I feel, as we drawer closer to the end of the year and, thus, the end of this blog, that I should be saying something more…profound. Or meaningful. Or enlightening. Or something.

But I’ve got nothin’. Sorry!

I sent a particular tweet to Carrie Fisher’s dog, Gary, last night, and was both pleased and heart-broken when whoever is running the account “liked” it. It did make me snuggle Brody all the more after, though.

As if I could snuggle that guy more than I already do. Haha

I love that puppy dog so much.

I did a tiny bit of work on my resume yesterday, which was fun. Well…not FUN, exactly, because I sort of hate it. But as I’m not planning to go out and find another job any time soon, re-vamping my “brand” feels kind of fun. Coming up with new ways of expressing my innate awesomeness. Kind of fun. Part of me wants to craft an amazing resume, then send it to my HR department, just to add to my file. You know, since they don’t really know the extent of my awesomeness yet. Neither do I, of course, but still. I wonder if they’d think of me any differently?

I made a cursory list of great things that happened in 2016, and will whittle it down to the top 16 in time for New Years. Like, great things that happened in my life, I mean. I don’t care about what the world thinks was great. Certainly not about making anything great again. #justsayin

Anyway, unlike a lot of people, I am not excited for the year to be over. I’m not “done with it” or blaming the calendar for all of my woes. Remember when everyone was freaking out about the end of the Mayan calendar, because the idea of it starting all over again at the beginning was unreasonable, but vague impending apocalyptic doom was probably on the horizon? Flash forward four years to 2016 and people are freaking out about celebrities getting older and dying (apparently Gen X is just realizing now that we’re not immortal), and praying for the year to come to an end already. Because…I guess…no one will die in 2017?

I’m doubtful. But what I do know is that a) my rent is going up again, b) the cost of a metropass is going up again, and c) my income is not going up. Still.

So screw everybody who’s clamoring to race into the new year. For the moment, at least, I am over YOU. 🙂

General Princess Warrior

I was going to write about the past couple of days, because I didn’t write at all over the weekend.

But Carrie Fisher passed away this morning, and I don’t feel like writing about anything today.

To her mom, her daughter, and her sweet-faced service doggie, Gary – not to mention her many friends and other family – my broken heart goes out to you all.

To 1956 – thank you for ushering such a unique, dynamic, amazing and loving woman into our world. I’ll never forget her.

And I’ll love her forever.

“To me, she’ll always be royalty.”

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Dentist, Etc.

I love my dentist, guys.

Like, truly.

She and I came full circle last night. The first time I went to her, it was because I was in so much pain, I’d needed a root canal. My second appointment was said root canal. I was so impressed with her and how she and her whole office treated me that I quickly adapted my life-long poor oral hygiene habits and became a person who takes care of their teeth.

Dentally aware”, we called it last night.

Now, after the root canal and gum surgery and multiple temporary fixes, a few years of constant pain (though varying degrees), I’m now completely pain free. As far as my teeth are concerned, anyway.

I almost started to cry last night when I was leaving the office. I haven’t felt this good in so long, I’d forgotten what it was like to not hurt. There had even been a piece of tooth which had chipped off and was rubbing against the nerve every time it moved, causing pain under even the temporary crown. My awesome doc cemented the fragment back into place, then put the crown on top and made sure all was well before fastening everything in permanently.

And THEN they gave me a discount because they’re amazing beyond words and knew my insurance wouldn’t cover the crown. I’d increased the limit on my credit card because I was ashamed at how little I could afford to pay right now, and wanted to at least cover the majority of it right away. Now there is a distinct possibility that I can pay the remaining amount in January, and I couldn’t be happier/more relieved/grateful than I am right now.

In other news, it would appear the only friend I feel I can talk to at the moment is the new one who barely knows me. Haha

I don’t know WTF.

Life can be so stupid sometimes.

At least I always have a friend when I need one. I just wish once in awhile it would be the same one.

Aside from my therapist, of course. I wonder if she’s around next week?