Some Exciting Updates

Wicked headache, still leftover from yesterday. It’s kind of distracting, actually.  Even my friend Extra Strength Advil isn’t quite taking the edge off anymore.

So, let’s see…some quick updates…

Young Jack Bear seems more himself now after his bout of puking yesterday morning. Last night he even helped me untie my shoes, just like he always does, so that’s good. His appetite has not waned at all, either. He’s huge. But still handsome. My baby boy.

My volunteer orientation session went pretty great yesterday. Got some questions answered and some concerns assuaged, and realized while I was still there that I was already a good 95% decided that I would give it a go, which is a far cry from the urge to just not go to the session and back out before it had even begun. Now that I’ve been there, I have a much better feel for everything, and the fact that nothing is set in stone makes me feel a lot better about it. I feel more confident that I’ll be able to contribute and enjoy the volunteering experience there. I have to work one shift before committing to any sort of schedule, but the flexibility factor is huge for me, especially given the fact that my body doesn’t always like to cooperate the way I want it to. And being able to do weekend shifts is huge – that way I won’t be gone from Brody for so much longer than a workday. The place is remote by transit, so timing of shifts is definitely a factor. It also sounds like tasks we’re asked to do on our shifts will be somewhat catered to each volunteer’s strengths and preferences, with a ton of room to learn new things and develop skills in other areas.

I’m still not going to discuss the “where” until after I have worked the first shift and am certain I’m staying on there, but suffice it to say that I am probably the most excited about it now than I ever have been, and am hopeful that the excitement level will only build the further involved I become. It even gave me a vague idea of how I might potentially take better care of my fur family (including Brody, although he has hair not fur), which only fuels my eagerness all the more. They told us not to decide right away – to mull it over – and since this weekend is insanely busy, I’m going to wait until Monday to contact them to let them know I’m in. I suppose I might change my mind in the meantime – I’ll definitely be thinking about it a lot – but if that ends up being the case, then better to actually make a decision than waffle back and forth on it after telling them one way or the other first. I don’t think I’ll change my mind, though. I haven’t really volunteered for anything like this before, except for Big Brothers Big Sisters, but there is a lot more here that just feels right for me. A ton that I am worried about, but after yesterday, I am even less concerned about that. I feel like it’ll be an amazing learning experience but with the fear of failure pushed more to the back-burner, because they want everyone to succeed, too. It’s much easier to ask a billion questions and have your work double-checked than it is to fix a mistake once you’ve made it, and I kind of like the idea of being a help but also being coached to do better. The opportunities that will be available as time goes by – assuming I thrive somewhat – are actually endless.

I’m excited!

Another thing I’m excited about today is that we’re finally recording our first radio play tonight! The details are falling into place (at least on my end – haha), and the link to watch it live online is being promoted (you can see it all unfold here:  http://livestream.com/accounts/10837752/events/5652277), and my mind has been mulling over not only this one, but future episodes, as well. Now that the moment of this first one is nearly upon us, I have far more confidence in my ability to successfully pull it off, and start planning the next one! Already I’ve got new ideas cropping up, and I’m eager to dive into it all with everyone this evening. It’s going to be so much fun!

Yet another thing I am excited about today – even though I heard the rumour yesterday, it was confirmed today – is that MARK HAMILL is coming to Fan Expo! What?! I have no idea how to afford it, but if there is one thing I get for my birthday this year (which happens to be that weekend, as well), it will be that man’s autograph on the same picture that Carrie Fisher signed the first time I met her. It was one of the ones from my fan club membership kit, and it’s in terrible shape from hanging on my wall, but I love it all the more for that. And once she had signed it, I knew that would be the one thing I would want if I ever met him.

I’m also pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Had anyone ever asked me which guest I would most like to meet at a convention, my answer would always have been Mark Hamill. He has been a part of my life – a huge part – from the time I was 5 years old. He’s it for me. More than Carrie Fisher (although I cried when I met her, Leia was more my passion as I got a bit older), more than even George Lucas himself. Luke Skywalker has always been my guy, and will always be my guy. My gateway to the Force; to that galaxy far far away; and the reason I love it so much.

It’s him. And he’s coming here at last.

I’ll freaking cry again. Gah. So ridiculous.

I mean, my ultimate interview guest for The Mind Reels would be Ricky Schroder. I have no idea if I’d be able to play it cool, or if I’d turn into a 12 year old again. But interviewing him would be a dream come true. I used to fantasize about doing that when I was reading all those teen magazines. I imagined what questions I’d ask and how awesome he’d think I was and how I would write my article about it. Well, screw THAT dream – now I want to interview him live online and…hopefully not revert to being too childish! At least not the whole time.

So yeah. Mark Hamill. I need to start saving money now in the hopes that I can scrape together enough for one signature on one decades-old picture which would pretty much complete my geek life as far as holy grails are concerned. Of course, I’d lose my mind for a photo op, too, but they are about 2 seconds long and while it’d be amazing, I feel like this time the autograph moments would mean more to me in the end. They did with Carrie Fisher, after all. Just the chance to shake a hand, make eye contact with the man who brought my biggest lifelong hero to life…

And say thank you.

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Girlfriends

Went Bowling For Kids Sake last night, in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto, and had even more fun than I could have possibly imagined! Beyond the two teams I was there with, there were some familiar faces – more than I’d been expecting to see, actually – and everyone seemed to have a great time together. SO much fun!

Of course, I am much more hungover today than I’d been planning, as well, so there’s that. Still worth it, though.

On the way into work yesterday morning, I was talking with a coworker friend about the fact that I’d be bowling that evening (I think that was my first time with the big balls, too, actually), and she started telling me about how she used to bowl in an Italian Women’s League years ago, and how much fun THAT was! Apparently the women had all known one another for years, and they’d get to telling stories and laughing a lot, then go out for drinks after and tell even more stories, and make each other laugh all the harder.

It got me thinking about how women should do things like that much more often in our general lives. Spend time together in a group and just be silly together. My team last night was all girls, and even though everyone didn’t know everyone else at the start of the evening, we all still had an amazing time playing together. We also talked about how cool it would be to make a semi-regular thing out of it. Maybe bowling, maybe something else, maybe incorporate a few different things. Just to go out and be goofy and not subconsciously be trying to impress anyone else the way we do when there are other kinds of relationships around. Family, work, romantic relationships – they all have different dynamics than just straight up friendship, and even the dynamics between men and women in platonic friendships are usually much different from what men have with other men, or women have with other women.

There are of COURSE exceptions to all of that, but what really got me thinking was about the kind of friendships that can develop between women specifically, and how I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced it first-hand. I have seen it with others, and have caught shades of it in my own life, but not nearly to the degree that I was thinking about yesterday and last night.

Not like an Italian Women’s Bowling League.

I’ve been trying (and largely failing) to nurture stronger one-on-one friendships with other people recently, but this group dynamic was suddenly just as fascinating to me. It’s different somehow, in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s a kind of release, when there’s less of a need to keep one’s guard up. It’s so habitual I wouldn’t even say I notice it until I’ve let it down without even thinking about it or trying. Suddenly I’m just a little bit more myself, and it still feels safe. For the majority of the evening last night, I’d completely forgotten there was another entire set of lanes on the other side of the room! All of those people just ceased to exist all together. As did the others bowling on our side, save for the 3 other teams I was there with.

With whom I was there. Haha

And while we all went back and forth to visit and chat with people on those 3 other teams, it was still my particular group that made me feel the most like myself, including the ringer I had to deal off to one of the other teams because mine had too many. But she spent enough time with us that she still felt like part of my team, anyway. She was part of that same dynamic in a way that none of the others were.

I’m curious to see what prolonged exposure to feeling more like myself would do for my public presence overall. To my sense of self. Would I start being more me all the time? Would I ever let my guard down completely in a group like that, and just not give a flying crap about trying to impress anyone else (thus making me all the more impressive)? Would that feeling extend back to closer one-on-one relationships and let forge stronger connections that way, too?

There’s something there, for sure. Something different. Something fun.

Something that makes me want to be an old lady giggling with my old lady friends and making everyone who sees us together jealous of our unique friendship, and wonder what the hell we’re laughing at.

That thought alone makes it worth taking a shot, don’t you think?

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