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. 🙂

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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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This Day, Though

Ugh this day, man.

I was able to go back to sleep after taking Brody out and feeding everyone this morning.  For, like, an hour.  Still so over-tired.

Managed to get some things done today, though, so there’s that.   Worked out my remaining budget and I think thus far I am on point.  Bought the photo op that’s been tradition for every con we’ve both been at.  It’s been probably four years or so, though.  I hope she still remembers me this time.

We’ll see.

If no further unexpected expenses come up this week (I’m looking at you, emergency dental bill), I should be okay to pick up the last remaining items I most hope to get at Fan Expo over the weekend, and still pay rent.  That list includes the Mark Hamill autograph I’ve been craving most of my life…or at least since I got Carrie Fisher’s auto on the pic of the two of them ten years ago.  I shall shortly turn my attention to being more press-like, and write up a post or two forThe Mind Reels about what to expect from Toronto’s biggest geek show.

Brody and I went around the block today, which we haven’t done in a while.  It was just supposed to be a quick loo break, but he seemed so happy, I decided we may as well just go for it.  He got a bit over-heated, but not too bad at all, and it didn’t take long to cool down again once we got back inside.  So that was nice.  I like hanging with that little guy.

The other big thing I accomplished today was to get the Mind Reels’ Patreon page more or less ready to launch on Thursday September 1st.  I’m pretty pleased with how it’s looking now, too.  I had a couple of ideas yesterday to make it look more how I want it to, and was able to implement most of them today.  I am super excited to launch, but also nervous to see what level of fail I may achieve this time.

I’ll be running a contest for anyone who pledges at or above a certain level each month ($7 to be precise) to see if I can drum up a little incentive early on.  We’ll randomly draw from those Patrons to win a signed script from one of our first 5 radio plays!  Which is kinda cool, I think?  On top of all the regular rewards that come with each pledge tier level?

Anyway, I’m nervous but doing it, anyway.  Www.patreon.com/TheMindReels is where we will be once we launch.  I can’t find a way to set a date and time to activate it, though, so I’ll have to do it manually in the morning when I wake up that day.  It’ll also be my birthday, so I’ll probably remember to do it!  Haha

Tomorrow is a volunteer day, and then I have a few more things on the To Do list to take care of.  Hopefully not too many, though.  I tend to be really sore and exhausted after my shifts.

And I’m already pretty sore and exhausted as it is.

Taking Control

My Facebook memory feed today is filled with basically two things – the announcement that Tim and I were official Guinness World Record holders, and video clips of the Conjoined Twins of Terror. Both of those things do my heart some good, to the point where I can’t even really remember what else was in my feed. It’s funny to me that I was already promoting and planning the GWR attempt 2 years ago, and was verified one year ago. Everything came full circle, and I’m still so proud and excited about everything I achieved within that space of time.

It does frustrate me some when I think about how little I have accomplished since then, but also motivates me to get my butt in gear now.

Well, hopefully motivates me. It’s one thing to plan things out while I am distracted by my day job, but a whole other thing to actually get stuff done when I am at home.

I think the key is to stay angry. Haha

Mark Hamill’s autograph and photo op prices are up on the Fan Expo site, and even though they are crazy high, I was actually expecting higher, so now I am hopeful that I can get one of both, AND my usual photo op with Morena Baccarin. She and I met almost exactly 10 years ago – Labour Day weekend 2006 – which was also the first time I met Carrie Fisher. Seems perfect that she would come back now – Labour Day weekend 2016 – when I will hopefully be meeting Mark Hamill for the first time. I’m pretty freaking excited. If I end up being able to afford a photo with John Cusack, as well, all the better!

Found out a friend’s film is having its world premiere at TIFF this year, so naturally I need to be there for it. Gotta support my ladies, after all! And speaking of my ladies, Tatiana Maslany also has at least one film coming to TIFF (of course she does – I’m pretty sure she’s actually a clone, or never sleeps, or both), so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to snag a ticket to that one somehow, as well. Freaking September, man. Always so expensive! I’m trying to remain focused on the things I most want, though, and just letting everything else go. If I can make the few things that will most make me smile happen, then I can do without the rest. I just have to stay focused. On myself. Haha

Computer stuff at home is coming along quite well. I think I might start back into uploading clips from our GWR attempt very soon – perhaps over the weekend. It was becoming such a struggle with my old computer, but this one should have a far easier time of it, so I’ll hopefully finish getting all those things posted in the near future! The sound is a mess, because it’s all backup footage from one of the cameras, rather than the mics, but it’s better than nothing. It’ll be fun to revisit that stuff again!

I’m also trying to take Mind Reels stuff more into my own hands, because I am tired of waiting around for anyone else to do a damn thing. I just need more control in order to get things done myself. Freaking boys, man. I honestly do not understand sometimes. Geez.

In the end, I’m in the mood right now to take a more active approach in getting the things I want. There’s a lot on my list, but I feel like – if I focus and whittle it down into more manageable chunks – there’s nothing I can’t do.

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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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Editing & Aging

Confession time!  Despite my declaration that I would be honest in this space, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t keenly aware of the possibility of an audience, and therefore self-edit as I write.

There are people I hope read it, as often I am trying to learn to talk to them in particular.  There are some I hope don’t read it, for various reasons depending on the circumstance.  There are billions I just don’t care one way or the other about.

Though having a billion views would be insane and cool, now that I think about it.

Anyway, it’s not that I’m intending to spew falsehoods here.  But I definitely don’t intend to tell the whole truth every time.  And there will always be way more that I don’t write about, because, you know, life.  But if you find I reveal more to you specifically than I do online in a more public forum like this, then you’ll know you’re someone I trust with more of me than the norm.  And as someone who writes creatively from time to time, the mere fact that I don’t write several drafts of each post prior to letting anyone read it is proof that this is all at least more raw and real than my other works!

So, moving on, lately I’ve been thinking about aging.  Not in terms of getting old, but in terms of getting older.  The hate directed at Carrie Fisher for whether or not she has “aged well”, for example.  What does that even mean?  How does someone age well?

I already know I can’t age gracefully, because grace is not a word that would ever be ascribed to ANYTHING I do.  Graceful, I am not.  There is no reason to think it could be a way I’d age.  Or even walk.

But to age well?  How does one do that?  Does it mean fighting the effects of aging in an attempt to appear as though one has not aged at all?  Because that would seem to be without grace or doing it well, as your attempts still won’t stop it from happening, nor will it stop the Earth from turning, so ultimately you will have failed.  And failing does not mean you did something well.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

So aging well must instead mean embracing the process and accepting the things you can’t change, while simultaneously understanding that every line, wrinkle and scar is there because you lived.  You’re living.  You’re alive. You grabbed life by the balls and participated in it.  Created it.  You got on the ride and held on for dear, well, life.  You laughed, and cried, you loved, and lost, you smiled and frowned.  You worked, you played, you created and destroyed.  You were here, and you have a story to tell.  Even as your story is still being written.

And when you look in the mirror, you see someone you know and love looking back at you, but it’s weird because that person is WAY older than you see them in your head.  The you in your head is young and vibrant and in many ways still just a child, but with the ability to legally purchase alcohol.  Maybe you even have children of your own, or pets, or a plant, yet there is the occasional quiet voice in the back of your head that’s, like, “Who’s brilliant idea was it to give ME a kid/dog/hibiscus?”

Maybe on the inside, none of us ever age.  Maybe on the inside, we are forever young, and no matter how old our bodies are, we still want someone to take care of us when we’re sick, or fix things for us when we’ve been irresponsible, or just go out and play with us for awhile.

Carrie Fisher said her body hasn’t aged as well as she has, and those words ring very true to me.  I spend my days in an unpredictable body that I barely recognize as my own, thanks in part to MS, and when I look in the mirror I’m usually startled to see what the outside world must see when they look at me, because it’s just the very surface of who I see in my head.

Maybe aging well means finding the balance between those two realities, and then finding a way to express that balance.

I’m thus interested to see how well a generation of selfie-takers age.  Will they do better or worse than those of us who didn’t grow up taking photos of ourselves every day, keenly unaware of what we look like most of the time?  I wonder.

In the meantime, though, it’s Sunday afternoon and the sun is currently shining.  I’m gonna take Brody the doggie to go outside and play for awhile.  After I wake him from his nap.