Tired

I’m way overtired and scattered today, guys, and have no idea what to write about.

I’ve decided to try introducing fish oil into the cats’ diets, particularly Piper’s. She doesn’t really like wet food, and while their dry food is pretty awesome (I switched them all to Blue Buffalo indoor cat formula and they all love it – noticed a difference in them within the first week), I don’t think she’s getting the same nutrients and such as the other two. I mean, what kind of cat doesn’t like wet food? Geez. She’s impossible to please, really, so I’m hoping to combine her favourite treat with a little extra healthy stuff and see if it helps get her coat back to its usual shine. We’ll see. I am excited to try.

I also discovered how much she loves being brushed! Flynn was jealous because usually she is the one getting brushed, being so fluffy and all. But Piper loves it, too, as it turns out, and the amount of fur that came off of her last night was ridiculous. Will try to make it more of a regular thing for both of my girls, I think! The silly thing is that neither of them can stand still or recline and enjoy it. They have to walk back and forth and meow at me for more – which I would apply more easily if they’d sit freaking still. Anyway, many more brushing sessions are in our near future, I suspect!

I got a lot of work done over the weekend in terms of preparing for the launch of the Mind Reels Patreon site, and I came up with a few more cool ideas to incorporate, as well. I watched stuff off my PVR, and the first few episodes of Quantum Leap on Shomi, just because I could. I started reading a new book – Born Weird – by Andrew Kaufman. I’m only a few chapters in, but so far I’m quite enjoying it. The chapter lengths are perfect for pre-sleeping time, too. I had several odd dreams (unrelated to the book, and more related to my actual life), and put in a few good hours volunteering yesterday. The animals made me laugh, and it was super busy, and then I came home exhausted to my own tiny menagerie of silly animals, so that was good.

I thought about writing a post yesterday – kept reminding myself – never did it.

I’m so freaking tired.

I haven’t been getting nearly enough sleep lately, and with the heat and weird weather I think I feel it a little more than I used to. However – I hope to create a better routine for myself overall, and eventually get caught up a bit, at least to the point where I’m not struggling so much just to be upright.

I of course had yet more ideas for things I want to try, or do, or try doing. But it exhausts me just to think about right now, so never mind.

I’m too tired to focus on making words right now!

Officially Amazing

According to my Facebook memory feed, it was one year ago today that I first learned I was officially a Guinness World Record holder. I started to cry pretty much immediately. Tears of happiness, relief, vindication – a myriad of emotions went through me in the moments following that message. I had to read it twice to be sure that it was real; that I had actually done it.

I actually had.

I needed to confirm a couple of things for them, and even then it would be a few days before the website reflected The Mind Reels’ official amazing-ness, so I decided to only tell a couple of people right then, and make it all more public later. Tim and I created an announcement video to thank those who had donated to our crowd-funding campaign prior to the event, but the majority of the celebration would have to wait until after visible proof was available.

I got home from work that evening and cracked open the bottle of craft beer that one of our lovely guests had gifted to us at the event. I’d told her that I would only open it once I’d heard back from GWR, and drink it either in celebration or to drown my sorrows.

Naturally, I drank it from my Guinness glass.

I’ve had mixed emotions about the whole thing all along, really. It was almost exactly a year between the time I came up with the idea to attempt breaking the record, and receiving the notification that I’d been successful. It was a bittersweet success, however, because I’d also learned a lot of hard truths along the way, and the toll it took on me – on every level – is still affecting me even now.

All the stress and anger and frustration and just staying awake for 55+ hours wrecked my body, of course, but it also did some damage to my state of mind, my heart, and my spirit. I learned that I am a terrible leader, in that I do not inspire confidence nor action in anyone else. I learned that things would likely go better if I just set out to do them myself from the start, because depending on anyone else to step up and help will only end in stress and failure. Most heart-breaking, though, was learning that I’m unable to get others to see my vision and work towards helping me to make it a reality.

That whole thing was intended to be an event to pull the entire channel together, raise our visibility in the public eye, and propel us all forward as a team. Instead, it ground everything to a halt, and even a year and a half later, we are still struggling to get started back up again. Those of us who are struggling at all, I mean. Most just seem to have stopped all together.

I couldn’t even get local media interested, even though I was trying to shine a light on Canadian talent, among other things.

Learning that we are no longer the official record-holders made me want to take another run at it – to make it bigger, stronger, better – rather than feel defeated by it. I have SO MANY ideas for making the attempt epic – even more so than the first one was envisioned to be – but it would require a lot of teamwork, and I do not have the ability to inspire that in others. I can’t even get my own little show going again, let alone something on that grand a scale.

And this isn’t me being down on myself, really. Maybe a little, but I feel like it’s mostly me being down on everyone else, and just trying to be nicer and more polite about it than I actually feel much of the time. Since the GWR attempt elevated my awareness of how things are, I’ve been constantly torn between asking for help to make other visions a reality, and just doing things myself/not doing them at all. Even small things require effort, and while I am no stranger to putting in said effort, I recognize that I can’t do everything myself. Not well, at least. So I’m not sure whether to focus and do one thing as well as I am able (despite my admittedly mediocre talent or ability), or do a few things half-assed, or accept offers of assistance, even though I no longer believe in anyone’s ability to follow through.

That’s pretty much the crux of it, I think. I don’t know what it is about me that makes those closest to me not believe in me, as I’ve proven time and time again that I am stubborn enough, at the very least, to do what I say I’m going to do. From where I sit, it’s everyone else who is falling short of the example I set. From a relatively young age, I’ve tried to lead by example, in fact. Yet for some reason, however, no one follows. It often makes me frustrated and angry, yet it’s an impotent anger – the kind that lets me cry and yell and stamp my feet and even slam the door…but still go to my room.

Maybe it’s time for me to focus on finding the source of that disconnect; the reason that I don’t inspire the confidence in others that I feel in myself – that I start off feeling in all of us, until I am let down yet again. I think I need to figure out what it is about me that holds people back from believing in me, and also determine why I keep giving out second chances, hoping for different outcomes, and whether or not I should continue to do so.

I broke a Guinness World Record, guys. Just imagine what else I can do – and how much more we could do together.

Because I imagine it all the time, you know. And it’s amazing.

Sometimes I even feel sorry for some of you, because you can’t see it, too.

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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.

Foggy Dumb-Dumb

So, I had an idea of what I felt like talking about here today, but I’ve completely forgotten, so will just babble for a few minutes, instead.

You see, I was at the doctor this morning getting some blood work and the like done, and because it had been over 10 years since my last tetanus booster shot, we decided to just get that out of the way while I was there. Then I went to work.

Now, naturally, I feel like ass.

And since my brain works on par with being a foggy dumb-dumb right now, it’s not really worth the effort it would take for me to try and say something intelligent, anyway.

I had a lovely afternoon/evening with the critters I live with when I got home from Toronto Comicon yesterday. The sun was out, so I took Brody for a walk. The treats lady he loves was also out with one of her dogs, so we all went around the block together. We bumped into several other doggies along the way, of course, and there’s nothing much more awesome than doggies saying hi to one another, AND doggies saying hi to me! There were many love fests to be had, which made all of us happy.

I didn’t get much watched off my PVR, unfortunately, but hopefully the upcoming long weekend (aka Easter) will allow me to get more caught up. I can’t even remember what I did end up watching – Blindspot, How To Get Away With Murder, a re-run of Mom…I can’t remember what else. #foggydumbdumb

Anyway, while I was watching TV, I finally got started on felting! Or, at least, trying to teach myself how to do it. I’d decided to start with just making a ball, and then made a smaller ball, then was in the process of attaching them to one another when I realized I should probably go to bed. So far, though, I really like the act of poking the needle into the roving. It’s the soothing kind of repetitive task that I love because it helps me wind down. Except that, because I do love it, I run the risk of losing track of time, but we’ll see how it goes! For now, I shall just continue to work on my little blue felted snowman (hopefully a little every evening, more or less), and then try practicing on different shapes until I get the hang of things. I have several ideas for things I want to make, but for now I’ll just work on learning, and experiement with other ideas later, if and when my skills develop! At first blush, though, I am digging this whole felting thing, even more than the clay thing. It’s a bit easier on my hands so far, for one thing, because with clay, but the time I’ve kneaded it into a softer, more malleable state, my hands are already sore and tired. I’m not sure if one crafting process is faster than the other yet – because I am slow at both – but I’m pretty excited about how the initial felting test went, and can’t wait to do more!

Speaking of exciting, I got some news this morning that I’ll reveal when I have more details, but suffice it to say that I was so happy that I got a little teary for a moment, then came to work and submitted a vacation request for a couple of days!

So we’ll see.

I’ve had lunch and been drinking a lot of water, but so far I’m still all #foggydumbdumb. Still able to get things done…just a little slower than usual. And with more double-checking. haha

Coming Up

Well, I’ve completely forgotten what I wanted to talk about today, and now I am in project gear yet again, so I guess I’ll talk a bit about that, instead.

For starters, The Mind Reels will be covering Canadian Screen Week for the third (?) year in a row! So excited! I think this is actually my favourite event ever, and it seems Tim and I do a little bit more each year that we’re there, so I am really looking forward to doing even more with it this year! My goal is to share even more of our experience with the fans – more from the press room, the galas, behind the scenes on the big broadcast night, and – for the first time ever – we will be covering all the action as the stars arrive from our vantage point on the red carpet!!!

We’ve always posted lots of photos, and covered everything we could via blog posts, but this year we hope to do even more. More video, for starters! Hopefully a couple of quick hello-type chats, and definitely some little behind-the-scenes segments detailing what we’re up to before, during and after winner announcements each night, and possibly even some short bits live on Periscope! On top of that, we will of course continue our tradition of posting lots of photos on social media (including as many goofy selfies as we can manage), and will post full write-ups of all the goings-on on the Mind Reels blog after each event.

Basically, we’re aiming to have more of everything than we’ve ever had before!

There will be many more details on all of that over the next few days as we get things put together, but first we will focus on the big Bowling For Kids Sake event we’re participating in tomorrow night, fundraising for Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto! We’ll be joining a couple of teams featuring various Canadian film and television stars, as well as a ton of teams featuring superheroes all in their own rights in a fun time, all to benefit the kiddos!

Just in case, there is still time to donate and share the link to my team, and help us reach our goal!

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There is also some discussion happening now of the direction we would like to take The Mind Reels in going forward, what we want to focus on, and how to make it all happen. Tim and I both have ideas, we just haven’t had time to talk about any of them in depth, so we’ll take some time next week to delve into it all a bit more. I’m looking forward to taking our next steps!

Beyond that, I have (as always) several other projects on the go. New crafts I am desperate to try if I can make the time. I have a list of several different Guinness World Records I want to try and break or set. Most of them are quite different from one another, with a few pairs that are similar thrown in for good measure. Some involve writing, some involve photography, some involve craft-like activities. All are things I like. I think I have open applications for two of them right now. No…three, technically, but one was an application I applied and was approved for last year. I just haven’t made the attempt.

Not yet, anyway. 😉

All of the ones I am interested in can possibly be done on my own, but there are several of them that I would love to have a small team, or at least one other person, making the attempt with me. It’s more fun that way, especially when it goes well. I’m just a bit gun-shy now about thinking people will help and then having to scramble at the last minute to pull it together on my own. None of them will be the big event that the Longest Uninterrupted Live Webcast was, but I am mostly okay with that. Part of me worries that anything else will feel kind of like a letdown, but most of me feels like it’ll all be good practice for the next big event I plan, be it getting that record back again with a week-long extravaganza, or something else entirely. In the meantime, though, I liked being a Guinness World Record-holder. And I want to test myself, to see what else I can do. So we’ll see.

There’s the Reelies Award show The Mind Reels is hosting. I think there are still about 6 more rounds of voting to get through, and then it’ll all be capped off by a special awards episode of The Mind Reels, wherein we announce all the winners. Hopefully with some special guests in attendance, too.

And, of course, the year is now kicking into high gear, and it won’t really let up until, like, next winter or so. Conventions, film festivals, Canadian Screen Week and much more – there’s something for everyone, and we’re hoping to cover as much of it as possible.

So stay tuned!

Note: Apparently I’m actually in Mind Reels mode right now, with some GWR ideas thrown in for good measure!

Sleepy Wired Mind Day

Okay guys, I can’t figure out what I feel like writing about today, and I am so tired and hungry right now I can’t see straight, let alone think, so I’m just going to babble while I heat up and eat my lunch.

Cool?

Cool.

First, and update on my post from yesterday about my now-broken Guinness World Record. It’s funny, because part of me agrees that I should at least suggest to GWR that perhaps a separate category should be created for teams that work in shifts to break the record, versus individuals or small groups who participate in the entire event. There are channels streaming live and uninterrupted for, like, years, and I don’t know if that should be setting the bar for an event like ours, during which the on-camera participants were awake and involved the entire time.

On the other hand, though, Tim and I have taken it on in our minds as a bit of a challenge! Haha

We were on the streetcar going home from work last night, and were joking about doing an attempt for a week to beat the existing record. We joked about how to fill the time, even with all of the Smithee.tv channel involved in shifts the whole time. Then I made a suggestion that was intended as a joke, but the moment it was out of my mouth, we both looked at each other and said, “Actually…that’s not a bad idea!”

Suddenly it went from something funny to something potentially unbelieveable – and our minds kept turning over ideas long after we parted ways! I guess that’s why it’s still nibbling at my mind even now as I eat and try to come up with other things to talk about today. But it’s different from yesterday, even, because now I suddenly have this list of related ideas that I actually want to freaking try! I won’t go into details right now because it’s too vague and I of course don’t want some random stranger reading my blog to steal my awesome ideas and preemptively gain my former future glory! Haha

Anyway. Obviously no plans yet, nor have we talked to Smithee or considered other potential teammates to make it a reality, but the wheels are definitely turning. Again. Good grief.

Also, on the subway this morning (remember I am extra tired today for some reason), I got it into my head to start a comic strip – called Downtown Abby.

I have no idea what it would be about. I just thought the title was funny.

I’m good at thinking of great titles but I don’t have the content ideas to live up to them. Like Downward God. That was another one I don’t … actually I might have just stumbled on a potential idea for Downtown Abby.

My brain, man!

What else? Still getting my butt kicked at work. Still stressing about money, and yet considering trying to afford a subscription to something nerdy cool, and probably putting a small yet awesome pre-order purchase on my credit card as soon as I have a moment.  I also had a lovely evening on Tuesday with some good friends I’ve not seen in awhile.  It was very much needed.  I think I’m fairly settled on my next tattoo, too, but more on that later.

And now I am well into one of Tim Horton’s choclate caramel donuts of sin that Generous George brought for me earlier and that I saved for dessert after eating my actual lunch! So good!

And filling.

So yeah…this was mostly about Guinness again, but it’s apparently the only exciting thing on my tired brain today.

Oh! Before I sign off and get back to work, I fidgeted with my settings yesterday and there should now be two ways to follow this blog! Both are at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar. One is a Follow button I think is for WordPress users, and above that there is a spot where you can sign up for emails every time I post. Follow away, if you like! I’ll try to be extra interesting sometimes, to make up for days like today! 😉