Application

Yesterday morning, I sent in an application to serve on City Council’s Toronto Zoo Board. A half-hearted application, to be sure, but an application nonetheless.

I’m fairly certain there is no real reason for them to select me even for an interview, let alone to the Board. I’m also fairly certain I wouldn’t be able to commit to four years of it, which is what I think they prefer. I’m not always even sure why I applied, really. Though, at the same time, anything I can do to be a voice for the Zoo is good for me.

Ironically, I just got into a heated (on my end, at least) discussion about the tragic debacle over the elephants. Someone made the mistake of asking which side of the coin I stand on (I initially said there is no side, there are many shades of grey, and everything should be taken on a case by case basis), then asked specifically about that instance, so I gave him an earful. At least he learned some things he hadn’t known before. But mostly I just ranted and now I’m all worked up and can’t focus on my work so I am eating lunch.

I’d intended this post to have something to do with my ability/inability to commit to things…or…you know, I don’t even remember why I started writing about applying to a city council board upon which I have no real chance of serving.

I think I am also PMS-ing. My sleep has been very fractured and my dreams very strange yet vivid, in most cases. My emotions are therefore all over the map. I have emotional reactions left over from dreams, and then there is the ridiculousness that is my waking life.

How did I get here, man? Where am I going?

I think I might be bumping up against that turning point again.

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For Me

I think I’m going to cancel both GWR applications I currently have on the go. Both are pretty amazing ideas, but they also require a little help from a lot of other people, and I just don’t think I have it in me to count on other people anymore. Not right now, at least. I have so much else on the go that lighting a fire under the asses of the masses just isn’t sitting well within my current energy spectrum. It’s too bad, because if done well, the benefits of the one in particular would far outweigh the effort involved, but it’s that whole “if done well” part that kills all of my big ideas. I just can’t get anyone to see a similar big picture to what I see, so I spend my time trying, instead of doing.

And we all know what Yoda would have to say about that.

In an effort to be less vague, one attempt is for Largest Online Photo Album of Animals. I wanted to tie it in with the zoo, and fill it with photos of those who call the zoo their home. I thought it would be a fun way to highlight the zoo and its residents, and bring other zoo-goers together by having everyone contribute as many photos of zoo animals as possible to the album. The current record is just over 104k, and while I could probably break it on my own, the guidelines state that more people have to contribute, and that all of the photos are then compiled by one entity. In my mind, I saw the zoo getting involved and helping to get the word out, and visitors from all over adding their photos to the online album to push us way over the top in celebration of all the amazing critters who live there. Then the album would be online for all to see whenever and from wherever they wish, while the zoo gets a tiny spot in history. Maybe even for longer than my first Guinness World Record.

If it was done well.

The other attempt is for Longest Line of Paper Hearts. I was really excited about this one, too. I envisioned getting people to help by cutting up tons of paper hearts and mailing them to me or bringing them to me, and then having some kind of small event – maybe a launch for the children’s picture book about hearts I keep meaning to work on – wherein all the hearts are strung together and laid out and measured officially for Guinness, and pictures taken and fun had by all. Maybe even display the chain into a giant heart of its own after the measurement had been taken. Then once I was the official record holder, it would also be great promo for my book.

But again, there are time limits on how long you can go between having your application accepted and actually making the attempt, and even though I’m sure I could cut all the paper hearts myself and figure out the rest of it alone, too…like, why? When I already have so much to do (both need to do and want to do), why would I take all that on, too, unless it were to serve some larger purpose?

Like, not change the world, or anything, but do something positive for me; expand my knowledge or skill-set, market myself in a new way or to a new audience – even just be something I enjoy doing when it’s not for a record. Cutting out paper hearts? Not so much. Taking pics of animals? Always, but preferably without a set time-line or target number of photos I need to take in order to not feel like a failure.

Basically, I want to do more things for me, and I’m not sure these particular things fit the bill anymore.

Thinking

On the way to work this morning, it occurred to me that someone should open a dance studio of sorts for – or offer instruction for – same sex couples. Traditional dances could be altered slightly so that neither partner has to “be the guy” or “be the girl”. It could be balanced out a bit; equalized. The classes wouldn’t even have to just be for gay couples. There’s lots of occasion where friends dance together and it would be fun to have an alternative that wouldn’t necessarily be misconstrued as mocking, or garner otherwise negative attention.

Another thought I had on the way in was that I should figure out how to turn something I love doing but am not great at doing, into something more lucrative; perhaps some kind of service to those who are good at doing it. Or some way of bringing together people who are good at it, and giving them a space to network and share ideas and the like. I’m not exactly sure what I could or would do – nor of how to make it somewhat lucrative – but the seeds of an idea are there. And there is possibly something to it, so we’ll see. In some ways, I am getting better at following through on ideas. Just not at budgeting my time in order to make it realistically feasible most of the time!

Speaking of budgeting time, I’ve re-applied to volunteer at Toronto Wildlife Centre again. I’d sent in an application a few months ago because I wanted to work in the Nursery feeding baby squirrels and the like. However, since I can only do weekend shifts (everything else conflicts with my real job hours), and those fill up the fastest, I was not accepted as a volunteer this spring. I was managing to be okay with that – I’m tired a lot of the time, and I’ve never made the trek all the way out there even once, let alone weekly. But then I saw on Facebook that they are still looking for some people to take evening shifts in the Wildlife Care department, and while I can still only do weekends, maybe no one else is up for Saturday nights all summer, or something. It’s also a longer time commitment than I am necessarily comfortable with, but I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it. I’ve sent in an application, so we’ll see. If they turn it down again then any other concerns I may have are moot anyway.

I’ve been kind of a rock star at work lately – again. Not in my regular duties (heh…dooties), though that’s fine, too. But it’s the extra stuff I’ve been doing – fixing problems, investigating things that don’t quite add up and sorting out what went wrong – I’m really, really good at that. It’s the kind of thing that can’t be taught, really. Or it can, but only over time. I’ve spent nearly 16 years learning the way things work here, and while I can’t use any of those talents in the real world, all that time spent has given me a wealth of knowledge to draw from, and a certain understanding of the little ins and outs involved in several different positions apart from my own. That’s something that someone who has been here longer but always performing the same tasks wouldn’t have. I am a great investigator. A great “deducer”. A great problem-fixer. It means I get more frustrated more often, but it also affords me the opportunity to not only challenge myself, but to also achieve some sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when I figure something out.

I just completed a task I started yesterday afternoon – it took nearly a full day, but I did it. It’s done. And while I am certain there are many more questions coming my way about it in the future, I am ready. I know what was done, what was wrong, how it needed to be corrected, and how it was fixed. Because I did that part myself, and found the answers to my own questions going into it all by myself, too. I have everything – all my notes and paperwork – bound together and filed in my “Problems” folder for easy access. I am confident that I will be able to answer any and all of the questions that come my way.

I’m not confident that I didn’t make a little mistake which will likely add to other people’s confusion, but I am certain that I will be able to explain it to them when the time comes.

‘Cause BAM! #rockstar

I kind of wish I could do stuff like that full time, and have someone else hired and train to administrate orders. I feel like it would make things way more organized around here, and thus make all of our jobs easier. But at the same time, it would likely just be a source of never-ending frustration for me. So I guess I’ll just keep taking those moments of pride in my work on the occasions in which they appear, and try to be satisfied with that.

In other news, if Canadian politicians can’t abide by the time-honoured rules of Red Rover, they should not be allowed to play it in class. Like, what the hell, people? Don’t you have jobs to do? Oh yeah – I believe you were supposed to be voting on the Compassion Bill to give people the right to die with dignity. Too bad some of the people most affected by that bill don’t have the luxury of time to fool around so much.

I’m sure in their final agony-filled days, though, they’ll find the childish antics of their elected officials pretty hilarious.

What I’m Up To Today

I’m feeling a bit light-headed today, for some reason. It’s annoying today especially because there’s quite a lot going on. Also, I somehow forgot to mention Fizz candy in my post yesterday! How could I forget delicious Fizz?!

Working on getting teams together to #BowlForKidsSake in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto. Super fun, but the date is fast approaching and we were just trying to come up with team names last night, so technically we aren’t even registered yet, let alone starting fundraising. Hopefully it all works out, though! I’ll be hitting everyone up in our fundraising efforts soon, I’m sure!

A few new things – this morning I sent in an application to be a volunteer at the Toronto Wildlife Centre! As a Nursery Assistant! How amazing would that be?! I hope I get to do it. I’d sent an application late in the season last year and never heard anything back, so hopefully this year it’s early enough that I can get through the training and such before baby squirrel season is in full swing. Because I really want to feed and care for and clean up after baby squirrels. Baby animals, really. Or any animals. I really want to be around animals more. So fingers crossed that I can get that opportunity to happen!

Additionally, I did a little research, and ended up submitting an application to make an attempt at setting a new Guinness World Record! Not breaking an existing one. Setting one of my own. I won’t likely hear back from them for awhile, and so won’t go into details unless I am approved to make the attempt, but I will say for now that it involves hearts. ‘Cause how appropriate for me would THAT be?

I love the Guinness World Record thing, apparently. It’s all so…I don’t know. I get all excited about it, and was so obsessed with having a successful first attempt at breaking a record, that now I want to do it more. I’m addicted! I love how it feels – every step from first thinking of an idea, and pouring over the website, the application process, planning the attempt, doing the attempt, and then collecting and submitting the evidence. I love looking for materials to use, especially from the GWR official store. For the first attempt (and only one I’ve made so far, but there are more in the works), I even got some fancy birght yellow vests with the GWR logo on them, and balloons! So much stuff!

This one will be much smaller in scope overall, but the feelings are much the same. I’m excited and constantly thinking about how I hope to set it all up and what I hope to achieve. I’m considering adding a charity, but my brain came up with, like, 5 different ones I’d like to include, so either I choose just one or figure out how to start a fund from which each of them would get an equal portion. Or something. Or not add a charity. It all really depends on whether or not I am given the go-ahead by Guinness, and because it’s a new record, rather than one that’s been set before, it can take up to 12 weeks to hear back.

Though it is very similar to other existing records, so maybe that’ll make it faster. And they might alter the title from what I suggested to something in the same vein but more suited to their ideals and guidelines. I don’t think the record attempt will be declined outright, but there is always a chance, so I’m trying not to go too far into planning and excitement mode until I hear back from them officially. I’ve only made one other suggestion for a record before (so far) and it was declined because it wasn’t globally recognizeable enough. Hearts are known around the world, though, so maybe I have a shot at this one! Then I could be GWR’s Queen of Hearts, at least temporarily!

What was I just saying about trying not to get too excited? I’m failing.

So, change of subject. I’m trying to get more clips from my first big GWR attempt cut and posted as often as possible. Still a long way to go until all of them are up, and admittedly I am less enthused about the ones I’m doing now because the audio quality is so bad. But I’m still managing to work on it pretty much every day. I won’t be cutting any new segments tonight because I will be getting home later than usual, but for the most part, I’m back to making slow but steady progress. I’m happy to be back at it, too. As much as part of me wants to move on to new endeavours, that weekend-long record-breaking event was pretty spectacular, and I never quite get enough of revisiting it – even almost a year and a half later. I mean, check out the complete photo collection here! Some of those alone are bound to bring back sweet memories and/or a smile or two! Sometimes I still just stand and stare at the signed poster and – to a lesser extent – the official record-holder’s certificate hanging on my living room wall. It’s all kind of surreal (especially now that the record is no longer mine…currently), but easily one of the greatest weekends of my life, and I love to revisit it all in my mind once in awhile. As much of it as I can remember, anyway!

So going back over all the footage and cutting segments together is actually really fun, but also really time-consuming on my ancient home computer. I’m so thankful it’s still churning stuff out, though, because I really can’t afford a new one right now!

I’m also about to get the next round of voting going for the Reelie Awards! That’s the Mind Reels award show wherein fans and viewers get to vote for their favourite Canadian films and television shows. It’s the People’s Choice of Canadian content. But mostly it’s just a fun little way to draw attention to and celebrate the talent and creativity we have going on in this here country.

I feel like there is so much more ongoing projects and things on my plate right now – getting a short story ready for a contest, updating my resume, crafting and writing and coming up with yet more ideas of things I want to do. There’s not enough time in the day, I tell you. Not while working full time! Haha

I know it’s about finding a good work-life balance, and I’ve mentioned before that I really am trying. I’m just also so tired all the time.

I need a good work-life-sleep balance, I guess!

YouTube

Betty White just turned 94 years old, and while I know we’ll lose her someday, there’s a part of me that just can’t accept it, and will probably refuse to let go. I’ll brace myself for the inevitable (unless, like her character Elka on Hot in Cleveland, she actually is immortal), but in the meantime, I’ll continue to love and enjoy the hell out of her as much as possible.

I put it on my buket list that I wanted to meet her, or at least be in the live studio audience for HiC, but the show got cancelled right after I realized how badly I wanted it (that and visiting Hudson the polar bear cub were what prompted the bucket list making in the first place), so apparently that’s not going to happen. At least not any time soon.

I’ll just have to continue watching her and getting to know her online, and through the experiences of others. I wish I could be half as wonderful at my age, as she is at her age now. I mean, geez! The lady has more life and zest in her than most of us, which is possibly why I have a hard time imagining her gone. I suspect she’ll hang out with all the animals and make people laugh in the afterlife, too. Maybe that’s where I’ll finally meet her, if I am good and lucky.

So what does all that have to do with YouTube, you ask?

Well…not much, to be honest. But it was Betty’s birthday that made me decide to write this post today. I made her a video awhile ago, to celebrate her lifelong love of the animal kingdom. I had visions of it going viral and her seeing it and basically allowing it to bring joy to everyone, so I posted it on my personal YouTube channel. It got some love, but not as much as I’d hoped, and I’m fairly sure I’m responsible for half the views, because I actually really freaking love it! I’d suspected that someone else would have thought to make it, and would have done it better and with the proper editing tools, but I couldn’t find one, so maybe I’m just that awesome, too.

You can watch it and feel the love here, if you want.

The first video I ever uploaded to this account was a clip from the Browncoat Cruise in 2007. I’d wanted to share it with friends I’d met on the cruise – and one in particular – so I posted it on YouTube and then just shared the link around.

After that, I started posting all of the Conjoined Twins of Terror videos – starting with the application video to the Evil League of Evil (Dr Horrible), the gag reel from that initial concept, and then a few others that we just did for fun.

From there, I started posting clips from high school performances I had on VHS so people could watch them and reminisce about our mad acting and music skills, and later decided to include my epic Valeditory Address.

Then, in February 2012, the zoo videos began to appear – mostly of Hudson. I remember it was my second time going to see him, and I knew before I got there that I intended to video the little goofball. I just kind of never stopped after that. There are a lot of Hudson videos…and some other zoo critters I love.

There’s the awesome Star Trek Screen Test my friends and I did when we were at Universal Studios on Spring Break one year. I’m the Vulcan, of course.

There’s a terrible quality recording of an O Canada video made during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics that still pretty much makes me cry when I watch it.

There are some promo videos for The Mind Reels Guinness World Record Attempt (posted before I made a separate channel for the event itself), a talking butt crack spotted in McDonald’s one day, and a fake audition reel for a role in The Hobbit.

All in all, there’s a bunch of little bits of me captured on video and assembled on my YouTube channel. Since this is an Inventory Of Everything, I felt maybe it was time to share some of the highlights with you before I end up adding more stuff!