Birthday and Belated Birthday Day

Okay guys, I don’t have a lot of time, but figured I could get away with a quick post about my tiring but ultimately awesome day thus far!

So focusing on the awesome parts, met up with my mom and bro for a belated birthday lunch at one of our favourite places, the recently-opened second location of The Smoke in Vaughan.  I haven’t been there too often yet, so am still working my way through different menu items each time, but damn…everything is SO GOOD!!! Today I had the W.B.B.T.L.C. (Wild Boar Bacon Tomato Lettuce Cheese…I think) with fries and tried the gravy for the first time and OH MY GOD!!!  It was all I could do not to drink the rest of it after I ran out of fries.

We even had the smoke apple crisp after, despite the fact that I’d eaten myself into physical pain by that point.

http://www.thesmoke.ca guys…locations in Collingwood and now Vaughan.  You won’t regret it.

Then we stood outside in the light rain so they could present me with my belated birthday present.  My brother lifted the rear hatch of the van to reveal a sweet new Sharp HDTV!  What?!  Apparently my mom, brother, niece and nephews had gotten together to get me a TV I could use with the Blu-Ray player I’d gotten for free quite awhile ago when I had to use up my Airmiles and switch to Airmiles cash before they expired.  Instead of slowly growing obsolete in its box, it’s now hooked up to this beauty TV, and now I can watch Netflix on it instead of my iPad Mini and I can watch the Shomi HD content and everything looks sooooo pretty!

Also, and this is bigger, it’s Brody’s 9th birthday today.  I got him a marrow bone for dinner which he’s been working on for the past 2 hours.  That boy’s mouth is going to be so sore.  Bless.

His mama has been on my mind a lot lately, and I haven’t been sleeping very much and I feel like I have only been home to sleep.

I need a vacation from life.

But holy hell is he ever cute.  He is the puppy I love most in the whole world, beyond all reason or measure.  I tell him all the time.  I love all the puppies – and there are a lot – but none more than him.

That munchkin is the greatest, and a bright shining light in my every day.  Just like his mama was.  ❤️

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There Is No Try

Once again, I’m too tired and distracted to really know what I feel like talking about. I can think of tons of things I don’t feel like talking about, but that doesn’t really help! Haha

I think part of the reason my weekend didn’t go well was a distinct lack of planning. I told the birds that it was possible that the only reason I made it out there at all yesterday was because it was the one plan I did have going into the weekend. Thus, it was the only thing I accomplished.

Anyway, my plan for this week is to pick a focus and stick to it. Fan Expo isn’t for another week and a half, so I can leave that a little longer. The only thing left to do ahead of time, I think, is to purchase the other photo op I want, anyway. So that can all wait, at least until I get a few other things out of the way first.

Wednesday evening, the Mind Reels will be recording our fourth radio play – a thus far all-girl (plus Tim) episode of Flash Gordon from 1935, I believe. I’ve got the scripts together, and have to email details to the awesome cast we have coming in. I also have to respond to a few of their questions before the day, too. Maybe later today, if I can find time.

We’ll also be announcing the fan-chosen winners of our very first awards show, the Reelies. That’s another project that got away from me, so I’ll be happy to have it done, at least for this year. It’s not ending up at all like I had planned, but little does. It should still be fun, however, and I’ll whip up a post to go along with the video link. Unfortunately, we won’t be going live for any of it, but there are a couple of things I can possibly do to keep people involved a bit on Wednesday night, and definitely after the video is posted, highlight our new Instagram account, and possibly even plug Patreon a little.

Speaking of Patreon, we are getting close to my target for launching the page, so I need to turn some attention toward getting that set up this week, as well. I am still hoping to launch on my birthday (because it’s the beginning of the month), but that hope fades with each passing day, so I’ll see what I can do between now and then. I keep battling the voice inside that says to just quit before I start, because the venture will likely be an abysmal failure, anyway, and why bother putting all this time and energy into something that is probably going to fall so flat? So I keep reminding myself – so what if it does? As with my Guinness World Record attempt and event, I have already learned a lot and stand to learn so much more by pushing through with it. As such, there will be more skills to add to my resume for later or just-in-case. And besides, if I don’t do it, I’m always going to wonder if I would have gotten anywhere with it, so it’s better to just try and see how it goes. I can always pull the plug later on, if need be.

It definitely won’t go anywhere if I don’t even try, right?

Or…just do it. There is no try.

So Reelies/radio play, Patreon finishing touches, and Fan Expo. That’s mostly all just Mind Reels stuff. I don’t know if there is anything pressing in my real life – I have to keep careful track of my budget for the next little while, as the slightest mistake could spell more trouble than I can fix. I’m seeing my dentist tonight so she can have a look at my split tooth and possibly patch the pain away ahead of my actual appointment set for a couple of weeks from now. I’ll have to check into my volunteer schedule because I won’t be able to do it over the long weekend, as I’ll be at Fan Expo for most of it. But that can wait. This week – just regular stuff – budget, groceries, dishes and other little cleaning tasks at home, perhaps re-planting some of my wildflowers into bigger pots (though that also likely won’t be this week, so never mind), hopefully getting more sleep because I am really struggling right now. Nothing too special. I guess the Mind Reels takes up most of my extra time, at the moment. Which is fine, as it’s usually more interesting than my real life, anyway.

I have a lot of questions in my head; things I need to sort out about myself sometime soon. But not today. It’s Monday, and there are other things I also need to do. Sometimes it’s just difficult to tell which is more pressing. Which is closer to living life as opposed to just awaiting its inevitable end?

Maybe someday the gaps between the personal and “professional” – between private and public – won’t seem so far apart.

Noo Doobt Aboot It!

The title actually has nothing to do with the post – I just think it’s fun to say sometimes.

I also don’t know what to write about today. My mind is way over-tired and all over the place, to boot (not “to bout”). I was asleep and dreaming when my alarm went off this morning, and I’ve been confused ever since.

My horoscope told me to be myself in social situations, and another one told me to stop being so indefinite. So there’s that.

I can’t even sort out what that would mean, if I were taking it more seriously.

I did manage to nail down a date for The Mind Reels next radio play, though! We’re doing an episode of Flash Gordon from 1935, I believe it is, and at the moment, it’s an all-girl cast, which rocks. Well, all girls and Tim, but let’s face it. There are many times when I bring more testosterone to the table than he does! Haha

I think we are also going to use that opportunity to announce the winners in each category of the Reelie Awards, which should be fun, and long overdue! The Flash Gordon script is on the shorter side, so we should have a bit more time to do the Reelie announcements, then delve into the ridiculous script. I’m really hoping the LiveStream will be working for it, but if not, we will work around it, like always. I’ve learned enough to have a back-up plan for everything, now, anyway. It’ll just be far more fun if it’s live.

I’m excited to see my dentist on Monday. Haha Never thought I’d ever say THOSE words! But one tooth is causing a ton of pain now, and I want to talk to her about what we should do with it before I make any decisions. As well, I’m hoping she can do some kind of quick patch-up job to at least help keep the pain at bay long enough for me to enjoy Fan Expo and my birthday and crap, and get me through until my regular appointment comes up early in September.

My dentist is the best. I have faith in her!

So that’s that. Still keeping my eyes on the Skywalker prize that is Fan Expo/Labour Day/my birthday weekend, and hoping that the near-constant budgeting I’ve been doing will help me through to next pay day and beyond. It’s stressful, but I have hope. Things have a way of working out.

I’m missing some people. There isn’t much I can do about it, but maybe there’s a way to balance things out in my daily life so that I miss them all a little less.

Maybe.

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.

daisy-ridley-and-mark-hamill-recreated-an-iconic-star-wars-image-and-fans-are-having-a-field-dayeonN0fp

Learning To Make New Choices

I love the sound of a cold can of pop being opened. Or beer. Or pretty much anything cold. Popping that tab just sounds refreshing in my brain.

And coconut rice from the place down the street, which I am eating right now.

Not sure what to talk about today. Haha

I’ve been thinking more about how I can’t do everything. Like, obviously, because few people can, if any. I mean, we spend so much time doing things that we don’t necessarily want to do, that we don’t have enough time to do more of the things we want. Factor in finances and it seems pretty much impossible sometimes.

I think part of my problem is always trying to do too much. I spread myself too thin and then can’t fully enjoy some stuff. I try to do little bits of lots of things. I still make choices – let go of some things in favour of keeping others. More and more sacrifices have been made in the past couple of years, but they don’t really seem like sacrifices, which is good. It’s usually been a choice between something I’ve always done, like TIFF, for something I want to do more, like break a Guinness World Record or spend more time with friends or go to the zoo or a baseball game more often.

I think another part of the problem is in my ability to plan realistically. Like, I used to have everything mapped out for the year. I knew when the time would come to buy TIFF packages or Fan Expo passes, and I knew how those things fit into my budget on an annual basis. But lately there are so many different things coming up; things I didn’t do before. Things I didn’t know to plan for before. My priorities have shifted, and I find myself making different choices than I used to. Which is great, definitely. It’s just that I have a harder time planning far in advance now, I think. I’m okay saving for short term goals, but the longer term is more difficult, because so much changes in the meantime. I knew last year sometime that I wouldn’t be able to go to the BLT’s 15th birthday party this summer, for example. At some point, I realized that any money I had been saving had gone to other things. I wasn’t always thinking, “It’s this or the BLT but not both”, but I’m not sure it would have made a difference. It might have, but definitely not in every case.

I can’t even remember which specific moment caused me to actually choose between getting there this year or postponing it another year. It might have been renewing my zoo membership, or something Fan Expo-related. I think it was in the fall when I realized there wasn’t enough time left to start saving for a trip that would last longer than a day or two. There was whatever I was paying for at the time, and then the holidays stretching out before me, and birthdays and anniversaries and…it just got to be too late. I have very little to work with that it’s one of those things I have to commit to saving for WELL in advance; as far in advance as possible, really.

But I also think I need to change what I’m deciding between. Like, some of my monthly expenses can be altered or disposed of, and that would make a little difference each month, but a large difference overall. I think changes need to be made more in lifestyle than in individual expenditures. I need to actually figure out what’s most important to me, and focus more on those things.

Last year was the first time I didn’t go to any TIFF screenings because I couldn’t afford it, I didn’t take the time off work like I usually do, and there was just so much going on that I couldn’t even think of adding more to my plate. And yet, was it the end of the world? Not even remotely. I hadn’t even really looked into what was screening (except Midnight Madness because I wanted to go to one with my friend, Jen, but couldn’t even make that much happen), so I didn’t feel like I was missing much. I was focused more on other things; things which took priority over film screenings. Hard to imagine, even now, in a way, and yet there you go. There was too much on my To Do list so I whittled it down to something more manageable, and I didn’t feel like I’d really lost out, or gone against my instinct. I’d just changed some, and had other things calling to me more.

Things like that are all short term, too. By not spending money on a TIFF pass, I had more left over to do other smaller things, instead of that one big thing. And it was okay. I enjoyed myself.

It does, however, bother me that I won’t be at the boys’ birthday party next month. Something has to change just so that I don’t feel this way again next time.

Now I just have to figure out how to transfer that over so that it’s the other way around. Give up some little things and save up for the larger thing. It’s harder now because the little things are all kind of new, and I haven’t had a chance to really prioritize them into what I can and can’t do without. That in itself is a good exercise, whether there’s an end goal in mind, or not. I’ve been cruising along on my path of always-the-sameness for a long time; afraid to deviate lest I make a mistake and have to file for bankruptcy again, or something. However, I think I can make some changes and move things around without having things suddenly go that far, and some of the always-the-same things aren’t things I can’t do without, anymore. They served their purpose, and got me through when I needed them, but I’m not the same person, and I should spend less time trying to still be that, and more time trying to sort out what kind of person I am now.

I can be worth knowing. 🙂

Birthdays

Today is my mom and brother’s birthday! Mom is turning 75 years young, and my brother is still younger than me, so we’ll leave his age alone! Haha

Or whatever – he’s 41 today, I’ll be 44 in September. So there.

Anyway. Growing up, I was always pretty jealous of their joint birthday celebrations. This was especially true when my grandfather was around, as it was also his birthday, so there’d always be a big deal made for the whole thing. I thought for many years how cool it’d be to share a birthday with someone in my family. How nice it wuld be to celebrate together. I mean, celebrations are usually more fun with others, anyway, so I always believed it’d be essentially double the fun, if there were two of us being celebrated.

Add to that the fact that I was never in school for my birthday – that it instead fell at the end of summer so not only had I not seen my friends for months, but most of them were not around to celebrate with me, and then by the time school started up again, my special day was already old news. In contrast to the triple treat that was my brother, mother and grandfather’s birthday, my own often felt like kind of a lonely affair.

Or rather, I often felt kind of lonely, and that just added to the sensation.

When I got older, it obviously became less important, and by the time I was in my 20’s, the school year was no longer a factor. I’d party with my work friends and whoever else was around. Sometimes my birthday falls on the last long weekend of summer, which is great in a way, but also crappy because my now-adult friends are often out of town. But still, I have much better luck finding someone to go for a drink with me now than I ever had available to come to a party then.

For my 30th, I was away at a softball tournament, but didn’t get to play at all on my actual birthday. Just rode the bench the whole time. Kinda depressing. For 35, I remember being at my go-to bar and many of my friends were there, anyway, so it was pretty awesome. I posted 35 pictures from my 35th birthday on Facebook, if I recall. Good times. And there was one spectacular year wherein I attended my very first Jays game. My friend and, at the time, roomie, Guy had incredible seats right behind home plate, and when he found out it was not only my birthday but also my very first big league game, he went all out to give me the perfect ballpark experience. Hot dogs, peanuts in the shell, giant beer that gets warm too fast – it was perfection. I’ve been hooked on that ever since, too! #LetsGoBlueJays

I kind of stopped celebrating not long after that, though. At least, I stopped trying to plan anything for myself. It’s not like I need an occasion to go for a drink, after all. When 40 rolled around, I wanted to do something a little special, so I went to the zoo and then headed to Jungle Cat World the following day so I could pet an Arctic Wolf, feed blueberries to ring-tailed lemurs, and snuggle a baby skunk. My goal had been to pet a tiger, but I’d wait another few years for that mind-blowing experience! Still, of all the people who’d initially planned to be a part of either day with me, only one actually showed up. Which was good, because you need at least two in order to do the behind-the-scenes experience at JCW. I would have been gutted if I’d had to cancel due to lack of attendance.

That’s partly why I don’t really plan anything anymore, I think. It’s depressing when no one shows up, and as I get older, I prefer one-on-one time or small groups to big loud fiasco’s. So if the one doesn’t show up to the one-on-one, then it’s just me, anyway. And it’s both cheaper as well as less humiliating to drink at home with the cats and dog, you know? Haha

Besides, when I can’t spend it with the particular souls I most want to spend it with, it feels less like a celebration to me. It makes me more sad, usually, because the thing I want most from those few individuals is time. Good, quality time, just being ourselves. And when it can’t happen, part of me feels like I’m just not worth it, not the way they are to me. Or when it happens but not with the people I want – the rare people who like me for me, regardless of who that is at the time – I feel emptier inside. All of which is are silly little things, but they contribute to the sadness, regardless.

It really is much easier to focus on doing the things I want to do, and if those people can make it, too, great. But if not, I’m still just doing my thing. For me – lately, at least – that’s what celebrating my birth is all about.

Right now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Note: How narcissistic does one have to be to make a blog post about someone else’s birthday all about themselves, instead?