Rant

 

Came to work this morning to find someone had taken the Coke I left in the fridge, so I had to drink the less-cold one I brought with me. I usually keep one in the fridge and swap it out with one I bring in, so I can always drink the colder one. But apparently I’m not deserving of enough respect for someone else to NOT take my stuff, so yeah.

Always good to know where I stand.

It has actually never occurred to me to take something from a common area that I didn’t put there. If it’s offered to me, that’s different. If I ask for it, also different. But otherwise, if I didn’t put it there, it’s obviously not mine, so I don’t take it. That’s the second time this week that’s happened – and keep in mind, today is Wednesday – but the first time there was a can of Coke in a different part of the fridge, so I figured whoever it was just got confused. Turns out there’s no confusion, just a complete lack of respect for other people’s things.

So now I have officially learned my lesson. I’ll just drink the less-cold Coke from now on. I guess I should have learned from last time, when the can even had my NAME on it and someone took it, but that person later replaced it for me, at least. This time my name wasn’t on it, so apparently that makes it fair game. Even though no one else puts their names on things, either. Apparently when it’s my stuff, it doesn’t matter if I label it as mine or not. I don’t get to be treated the same as the rest of them, regardless.

Anyway.

Seeing my therapist tonight. Which is good, though I am having trouble focusing on what I actually need to talk about. I’m distracted by an inclination towards complaining and whining and rage.

I’ve made a few notes to remind me and hopefully help me focus better once I’m in the room.

My goal is to become less needy so that I don’t feel like I have to talk to my friends at all, or at least not about anything important. Things I could and should be dealing with myself. If I can keep friendly conversation more surface level without getting frustrated and upset every time we hang out, I’ll be better able to listen when they talk, and therefore become a more valuable friend.

Right now, when I accidentally speak about myself and things that are on my mind, I feel like I am interrupting; like I’m an irritant. And if alcohol is involved, I can’t seem to stop myself once I get going.

Ironically, I don’t drink prior to therapy, even though it apparently makes it easier to get things off my chest. I think the value of doing so is greater when I can manage it sober, though, so there’s that.

So yeah. I have to learn to speak less and listen more, or I’ll continue to lose the ones who mean the most to me.

And I’m not sure just how much more of that I can take.

Now for a few more moon shots, this time from last night:

 

And, of course, Hudson the polar bear I love:

hudson-and-sticks

Photographic Memory

Throughout the course of human civilization memory has been transient, plastic. The girl who broke your heart can, in time, become simply the girl you lived with ten years ago. Given more time she becomes either the one who got away or the one you can’t believe you almost married. But now, in the reign of the photographic image, the past is no longer malleable. It can no longer shift meaning in order to facilitate the narrative of your present circumstances.

We are now, all of us, cinematographers for the movie of our own lives. Not the star. Not the director. Not even the writer!”

There was more to that tirade – part of a speech given by a character who hated photography, in a book I read recently. It’s far too weighty a subject for me to cover in one post, and certainly on a day like today when I am so easily distracted. But while it would have been easy for me to dismiss the whole notion, there was part of me that could see where the character was coming from, and even agree with parts of his reasoning.

For me, photographs have always been more of a way of retaining memories; of capturing and chronicling moments in time to preserve for the future. Not even, like, future generations, per se. But in large part because I am afraid of forgetting my life, and in seeking to retain as much of it as possible, I’ve always taken as many pictures as I can. It was different back when you couldn’t see your shot until you’d had the film developed, and the little counter on your camera told you how many photos you had left to take before you needed a new roll. I was more economical then.

Now, my freaking phone has a camera in it, so I take pictures of pretty much everything! And then store them in a digital space, invisible to the naked eye. That’s a transition I’ve made more slowly than most, and I still have a crap-ton of photos printed out and kept in albums all over my apartment.

However, delivery and storage methods aside, the pictures I take are usually done with the same intent – to preserve my life. Also, to show off my cool, creative eye. But mostly for the sake of retaining memories in a visual way.

I remember hearing or reading somewhere that taking a picture actually makes a moment less retain-able in the memory banks than observing it with your own eyes. As in, not through a lens, and not on a screen, but actually watching it and even interacting with it. That statement made me worry that I may have been doing things wrong, so just in case, I now try to do both – to watch and also to chronicle the important moments I want to keep.

This book’s character goes even further with it, however, and suggests that we’re not even a part of our own lives anymore; that we’re merely filming our lives instead of living them and forging them and creating them. That goes well beyond being able to remember things down the road, and instead states that we’re actually outsiders in our lives. Just watching life happen between the frames, so swept up in what’s passing that we’ve forgotten to exist in the now; to take hold of and manifest our own now’s.

Not the star. Not the director. Not even the writer. Memory is all but carved in stone via a photograph, and we’re unable to grow and change and evolve past things that happened, because we’ve made them permanent fixtures. We’ve made the past – and all of the emotion caught up in it – a permanent, unchangeable part of the present. The stories of our lives are being told through the eyes of everyone else.

Maybe all we’re really doing is watching it pass by.

Making Things Better

Wow! At last count, my photo is still in the lead with 135 votes so far! Voting ends Sunday night at 11:59pm, so if you haven’t already, please go vote! Mine is the CN Tower reflection on page 8, and you can find it by scrolling to the bottom of the photos on the first page, then clicking on page 8 in the list. You’ll see my photo at least halfway down the page, if not closer to the bottom. And I think it’s still in the middle of the row, though people keep adding more pictures at the front, which shifts things around every once in awhile. Anyway – please vote for mine! I’d love to win that GoPro, among other things!

In related news, a co-worker asked what the first place prize was, and when I showed him, he started mocking the GoPro, because it’s not the latest model, or something. He didn’t even look at the rest. I was, like, “Well, it’s more up-to-date than the none I have now!”

Not that I actually said that. I thought it, though. At least he’d already voted for my picture by then.

Moving forward with planning a radio play reading for next week, as well as the beginning stages of a proposal for applying to set a new Guinness World Record. My bear should be visit-able any time now, my new legit credit card should arrive any day now, I started my day with a spoonful of buckwheat honey and honey butter (okay, not a spoon-FULL, but a taste), I have to find time to get my thoughts on Carving The Light together before I meet with the Writer in Residence next weekend, and follow-up on a few more projects that I’ve started but haven’t really moved on for quite some time. I’ve realized that I could probably do well at a couple of things if I really focus on them, but I keep spreading myself too thin in trying to do bits of too many things. So if I can force myself to really do it, I will hopefully trim down my list of projects and things to try and just starting focusing much more deliberately on the ones with which I think I can have the most success.

Part of my difficulty is that I like trying things. I like learning and experimenting and I love accomplishing something, even when it’s something small. From breaking a Guinness World Record with an event I’ll always be proud of, to a sweet little display of Star Wars (mostly Luke Skywalker-themed) stuff in my apartment, to raising wildflowers from seed for the first time…I find I’m always trying to make my world – my every day life – better. More me, if you will. More attuned to the thoughts circling through my mind.

I don’t know if I’ll be good at something until I try. Unless it’s sports or otherwise requiring athleticism and/or grace. Then I know I’m not going to succeed at all.

On another note entirely, I think I expect too much of some of my friends, and should get back to seeing my therapist regularly. Maybe that will help me be a better friend all round.

Debating Equality And Stuff

My photo is still in the lead – with 4 more days left to vote (including today)!

http://snaptoit2016.pgtb.me/m3SM8X/lnt7l

As well, my appointment to speak with the library’s current Writer in Residence has been booked for next Saturday afternoon! I am nervous but excited for that. I want to familiarize myself with the book as it currently is, but also be as prepared as possible to talk about the changes I want to make. I’d like to get the most I can out of this meeting, and hopefully find myself at a point where I can move forward with it all very soon. We’ll see. At least now I have a target date to be ready to talk about it all with a perfect stranger! Haha

My order from The Honey Bee Store is out for delivery today, too. That will hopefully make up for the rainy dreary day we’re having!

I was thinking – instead of trying to elevate the status of women to make them more equal to men, we might be more successful if we instead lowered the status of men. Pay men what women in the same job position make, and see how quickly things change. Find ways to make men walk – literally and figuratively – in women’s shoes.

I mean, obviously it would be impossible for them to gain any sort of real understanding of the female experience in this society, let alone in any others. They won’t have grown up putting limits on their dreams, because no matter how amazing they are at, say, a particular sport, they won’t inherently know that they will never have the chance to play in the World Series or fight for the Stanley Cup or earn that shiny Superbowl ring. None of them had to stop playing and go help make dinner and set the table while their brother was allowed to keep playing Lego. Because we had to learn how to be good wives one day. Yet none of them had to learn to be good husbands.

They won’t really understand about going to public washrooms in groups, or walking alone on a dark street clutching keys between the knuckles of one hand, or even wearing clothes that were designed to fit snug to the body – just not necessarily your body. I guess if they had to walk around in a tight bodysuit all the time, they’d get kind of an idea what it can feel like, but not really. They won’t have lived with it every day.

It’s like that whole FB meme when Trump whined about how Clinton was given more time during one of the debates than he was, when in actual fact, he was given about a minute and a half longer than she was. It’s just that, to men, being treated as equal to women feels like they are being ripped off; as though it isn’t fair.

Even much of the language surrounding women in politics is designed to strip them of a bit of their power and presence; the same power and presence we allow the men in politics to retain. Referring to Wynne as “Premiere Mom”, or to Hillary by her first name as opposed to Trump by his last. ‘Cause he’s just one of the guys, after all, right?

As a side note, I don’t watch the debates or even really pay attention to anything he has to say – except to laugh at him – because I don’t feel he’s worth my time nor energy. His ‘y’ chromosome makes him genetically inferior to me, so I figure I get to decide who’s worth my spending some of my finite time on this planet with, and he’s not one. He’s an orange footnote with bad fake hair. How’s that for equal treatment?

And yes, I know it’s not all men, and not all women, and a lot has changed even as nothing will really ever change. I get it. I see it. I know it. I keep believing that the general public is at least intelligent enough to hold a conversation which doesn’t reside solely in absolutes, but admittedly the general public is almost always the first to prove me wrong, so whatever.

It’s just some of the things I’ve been thinking about.

Tick Tock

My vote count in the photo contest has gone over 100 today! So awesome! I’m still in the lead – I think the next person closest to me as around 80 votes – so now I just have to stay there until Sunday night at midnight! I realized earlier that I was so obsessed with the possibility of winning a GoPro that I’d forgotten the other awesome aspects of the first place prize – tickets to the CN Tower and having my photo featured in the 2017 magazine and coupon book. Those are pretty fantastic, too! I haven’t been up the Tower since I was here in Grade 8 on a field trip with my class.

So if you haven’t yet, and you have a Facebook account, please go vote for my CN Tower reflection photo on page 8 at this link: http://snaptoit2016.pgtb.me/m3SM8X/lnt7l And tell everyone you can think of to do it, too! Let’s get me a GoPro to play with, and the chance to take even more photos than I already do! 😉

I was also thinking I might (one of these days) re-jig my Flickr account to highlight what I feel are my best photos from over the years. I am far from photographer level, but I might be able to convince people I’m an amateur, at least. If in turns of having an eye for some things, rather than the equipment or the training or the consistency in talent. Just a vague occasional visual sense. But it could make for a pretty cool Flickr page.

On my way home from work last night, I had a pretty cool idea for a possible Guinness World Record attempt. I was having trouble determining what the actual title would be, and there wasn’t anything that I could find on their website that was similar to what I want to do, so I emailed the basic initial idea to Tim this morning, and he got pretty excited about it, too. Part of me wants to try setting something up even if GWR doesn’t approve it as an official attempt, just because it would be cool marketing and something different that I don’t think has really been done before.

I keep wanting to do things that are a little different, apparently. It’s always been there, that desire to be a little extra creative and stand out in certain ways (not in some ways, though, hence my attempts to be invisible as a kid). I find the ideas and passion behind them are coming more frequently now as I grow older. I keep feeling the need to leave my mark in positive (or just super cool and creative) ways.

Maybe that’s my version of a biological clock.

Please Support My Stuff, And Other Goings On

If you are on Facebook, please go vote for my photo in this contest: http://snaptoit2016.pgtb.me/m3SM8X/lnt7l

Scroll to the end of the first page of pictures, then jump to page 8 of submissions. Mine is the CN Tower reflection. I really want the GoPro, so please vote and help me win it! I could put it on Brody sometimes to get his view of the world, even! I think I am tentatively in first place at the moment, but I have to keep that going until Sunday night at midnight! So please help!!!

#GoPrody! 😉

Also, if you can spare $2 per month (or even $1), please consider supporting the Patreon page I created to help fund some of The Mind Reels’ expenses: http://www.patreon.com/TheMindReels

We’re just over halfway to our first goal, and if everyone chips in even a little bit, we’ll be able to accomplish so much more moving forward! As well, the higher tiers become progressively more involved in our programming, which should be fun! But mostly I just need help getting the word out, especially because I’m so busy trying to organize more content for our show that I have been remiss in getting my promoting hat on more regularly! Haha

Now that’s out of the way…I think something bad happened at the place where I volunteer. Like, internally, I mean. A huge shift in management and many of the staff are gone – almost everyone I’d met so far, in fact. Some of the animals are also gone, I think. Lots of changes. I don’t know what happened or why, but it was a very different vibe when I was in the other day, and I am not sure how things are going to go. We’ll see. I’d already missed the previous two weeks due to gum surgery, and was considering just not going anymore, but I’m glad I eventually did. I at least wanted to see how things were there now. I knew the other volunteer who was in when I got there, but everyone else I met for the first time. I also got to give Edward the Micro Pig some love, and gave a few quick pats to Willow the Capybara after her bath. I miss the animals when I am not there, but…yeah. I don’t know how things are going to go. It’s always such a struggle and battle with myself to go in every week as it is. We’ll see.

I took Brody to get groomed for the first time by myself over the weekend. I think we did pretty well, but I hated leaving him there, and was counting the minutes until I could go pick him up again. I also learned that I should actually plan distractions for myself while I wait next time, because I think I ended up getting a new credit card. Which…I was going to apply for this particular one next year, after the bankruptcy is completely off my credit history, so I guess it’s okay. I kept saying no but the guy kept offering different cards, and once he hit on the one I wanted anyway – and gave me the lowest possible limit I asked for – I decided to go ahead and accept it. Assuming nothing changes in the meantime, I should have my first actual credit card since declaring bankruptcy within the next week or so. My plan is to activate it and use it, then cancel my current secured card, get the deposit back, and put that towards getting a crown for the tooth I’ve been trying to save.

Will have to see how that goes, too. So many things up in the air. So many half-started projects. So much uncertainty.

Ain’t life an adventure and a half, sometimes?

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.

Last Day of Vacay

Hot day, cold beer.

Uploading photos to my poor old computer, which will then be backed up into an external drive, then deleted from said computer, because poor and old.

Once I’ve posted some of the better ones online, I’ll reformat my card and begin anew.

Lately, I find many of my dreams involve trying to capture moments on film.  Or…digitally, but same feeling driving the intent.  I like taking pictures.

Day drunkenness means I won’t likely get anything else constructive done today, but so be it.  Maybe I’ll at least stop all the hatred and anger and hurt.

Except physical hurt.  That’ll just have to heal up in its own time.

Made a new playlist for a new (to me) MP3 player, but can’t get my poor old computer to recognize the device, so just listening to it on speakers while pics upload.  I haven’t done that in a long time, just put music on and veg.  I used to do it all the time.  Every day.

It was like a wind down for me.  A chance to be alone with my thoughts, my rhythm, and my eclectic musical tastes.

Music and I go way back; probably to when I was still in the womb.  I grew up with it because I had good parents, and can’t remember a time when I didn’t have some song or other in my head.  It’s part of the reason I have a hard time falling asleep, so I’ve trained myself to switch to a particular song, which helps regulate my breathing, settle my mind, and like a bell to Pavlov’s dogs, condition my response to be one of sleepiness once I get the song going on repeat in my mind.

I have a hard time falling asleep TO music, but have adopted a couple of background noises which help.  I remember sleeping next to one person in particular and I was so attuned to her breathing that I would wake up at the slightest change in its rhythm.  Yet going back to NOT sleeping next to her didn’t really take after.  Maybe that’s why I need the background noise now.

Even living in the city so long means I can’t sleep when it’s quiet.

It’s annoying…I sort of had plans for today, but while I wasn’t committed to them, I also didn’t make an alternate plans in the event that the main ones didn’t pan out.  Which, I’m thinking, they probably aren’t, at this point.  That comes with a whole batch of different feelings, but none stronger than the other.  In the back, though, is an old distrust of myself.  Mistrust?  Whatever.  I have a habit of hurting myself, sometime intentionally, and sometimes – like this weekend, actually – more of a lack of caution to avoid hurting myself.  Which is usually just a matter of semantics, really.  It annoys me.  I annoy me.

Anyway – music.

I was tempted to fill my Facebook feed with lyrics from the WIDE variety of songs that are in today’s playlist.  I know everyone likes to think they have the furthest ranging taste in music, but I actually do.  Haha  See what I did there?  Okay, so maybe it’s not the literal furthest, but it’s pretty huge.  I love music.  Most days, my very cells are listening and singing along.  There are memories, emotions, fantasies…everything I am can be tied to a song or a melody.  Sometimes I listen to fuel my mood; other times to change it, or create one anew.

I should open a bar that has alternating karaoke and lip synch nights.  I’d be all over that shit  – in theory.  In reality, I would only be all over it alone in my living room, like right now.  Minus the non-humans who live with me, except they were a bit disturbed when I was dancing with myself earlier.

Fuck…how is THAT song not in this playlist?!

(Edit:  False alarm – it totally is)

Holy crap – the photos are done uploading!  All 8000-something of them!

I think I had more to say, but screw it.  Tomorrow is another day.

Even if it is a back-to-work day after this abysmal failure of a vacation.  At least day drunk is a good thing!

 

 

Thought Potpourri

This post will just be a hodgepodge of things – a mix – a potpourri, if you will, because there are a few things on my mind that I should probably delve into deeper at some point, but which for now I’ll just gloss over so I remember for later.

Since I got a phone with a camera, and for every phone I’ve had with a camera over the years, I stopped taking an actual camera with me in day-to-day life. Special occasions, I might take one, and the zoo I always take one, but I find that the best photo opportunities come when least expected, which is problematic, because I never have a real camera with me. I always, however, have my phone. It’s just the photos aren’t that high quality beyond sharing on social media, which is usually fine, until I want to do something more than that with them.

Take Brody, for example. I am always taking pictures of him, especially when we go for a walk, because he’s so flippin’ cute I can barely stand it. Just this morning I took this sweet shot:

Brody 2

However, I’d love to have a photo that was so awesome it ended up getting picked to be in, say, the annual Pet Valu calendar. He’s easily handsome enough, but my phone isn’t skilled enough to get a high quality snap, nor do I have a real camera handy when I am indoors. I tried over the weekend to take pictures of him with one of my actual cameras, but this was the best I could do, so I entered it on their website here.

P1080868

Not a horrible shot, but far from the attention-grabbing amazingness that he deserves.

Some day, maybe.

There are times when I feel like I am put in the position of arguing one side of a debate, simply because I can see more than one side, but whoever I’m talking to can’t. I kind of hate that, because I feel like it takes away from my ability to move past that level of comprehension and onto the next. I mean, I suppose it’s my choice, really. I could instead choose to just agree with whatever the other person is saying, because I can see their point usually, and usually even agree with some of it. But I also hate not challenging things when I can clearly see other points to be made, as well. To me, it seems like blind acceptance to not challenge something when it’s obvious that the issue is not so black and white as someone else may think. I try to push them, but for the most part, I am pushing myself, as well. Which is good, except when I get so frustrated at arguing the other side – a side I also don’t fully agree with – that I end up just playing Devil’s Advocate and lose sight of my actual thoughts involving all sides. I end up feeling angry and silently blaming the other person/people for putting me in that position, but not-so-deep down I know it was my own choice. I like to be thorough, I guess.

It’s interesting, my buddy that I hung out with over the weekend, I’d forgotten what our conversations could be like, and how much I loved them. His brain works a lot like mine does, in that we have our own thoughts and opinions, and those don’t always mesh, but our desire to talk things through from multiple angles is…rather invigorating. It really is a wonder we ever got any work done, sometimes.

Last week, a current co-worker asked one day if I had any writing projects on the go, because we hadn’t talked about any of it recently, at all. This was my response, more or less (including stuff about this blog and the possible resurrection of The Mind Reels podcast):

Carving The Light – My intent is to re-write the whole thing as a feature length screenplay. I also want to add in more unpredictable drama to flesh it all out more. The end will be the same, but the journey there will be more emotionally harrowing.

Ebon Black and the Seven Dryads – I keep toying with the idea of re-writing it in some way, skewing it for either a younger or older audience, maybe. Or turning it into a cartoon-type of format. Or maybe just shopping it around to agents and/or publishing houses to see if I can find a home for it. Regardless, it’s far back-burner at the moment!

Untitled Young Reader book about Ellie Skye – This is only a very rough first draft right now, but I really want to go back and take another pass or two at it. Eventually it’d be targeted at readers aged 9-12-ish, I think. Especially girls who need more heroes and adventure stories involving girl protagonists.

Suffer The Fury – My first attempt at a young adult novel, and would make an excellent series. I have done a few drafts, but it still needs more work before I can really try to do anything with it. I entered it in ABNA back when it was still going on, but didn’t make it far enough to get in-depth reviews of the whole manuscript. I got pretty good reviews from readers of the first 10 pages or whatever it was, though!

To Whichever Comes First – I wrote my first screenplay for a short film! I wrote it for a contest because I wanted a deadline I was forced to meet, but I also kept it super simple, so that I might actually be able to shoot it for a very low cost, if I ever get around to it! It all takes place almost completely in one room, and there are two main characters with, like, two other side characters that they interact with briefly. It could totally be done, I think! In my mind, I’ve even been casting it with people I actually know!

Sometimes I See Hearts – My first attempt at writing a picture book for children, again with a little girl as the protagonist. It even rhymes!!! Not sure if I should keep it in its current writing style or go back and Dr. Seuss it up, instead, but I’m content with the first complete draft, so far!

So there you have it. A few of the myriad of things swirling around my brain right now, in addition to finally getting approved to make an official attempt at another Guinness World Record. Got that news this morning, so still have to find time later to really go through the guidelines and see what I can sort out as far as a plan of attack goes. We shall see! More on that in the coming days, I think!

Before my alarm went off this morning, I was dreaming that I was having trouble waking up. I woke up at work, for some reason, but then everything went backwards, in a way, and I was horrifically late for work at the same time. Regardless of where I was, though, I could not keep my eyes open; couldn’t focus on anything. I think there were Muppets at one point.

So exhausted on every level today in waking life, and yet no Muppets to at least make things interesting. Geez.

Life can be so unfair.

Orange-Tinted Memoirs

Sometimes I wonder what I would write about, if I were to write the story of my life. What would I include? What would I consider to be my defining moments? What would I have forgotten about and then remember suddenly along the way, during the process of writing it all down? What would I deliberately leave out and why?

Actually, I can already think of more things I would leave out than I can of things I would include, if I’m being honest.

The story of my life would…well, the things I’d include would be true, at least from my perspective and to my recollection. But the lies of omission would be many many many.

My great-grandmother started writing down her memories, and some dedicated family members typed them up and printed them off into book form, one of which gratefully found its way into my possession. I haven’t read the entire thing from cover to cover as of yet, but I have perused it on more than one occasion, and I have to say, it’s a fascinating read. The woman lived to be 100 years old, and the things she saw and did throughout her life are nothing short of remarkable to me. She lived in a whole different world than I do, and her recollections bring that world alive, even if just for brief segments, in her own words.

I wonder sometimes what someone decades from now would think about my memories of growing up, of becoming an adult, and the often-failed attempts at adulting which I now make? Looking back, the world I grew up in was vastly different from what we’re navigating now. No cell phones, no internet, no blogs, computers took up an entire room for a bit there, we left our doors unlocked when we were out, we played outside and rode our bikes around, we (perhaps naively, but still) trusted news media, we read books more than we played video games because for several years, we had to go to an arcade to play video games. And they cost a quarter, which was expensive. I wonder, sometimes, if someone who only learned of those times through impersonal history classes and the like, would be as fascinated by my first-hand accounts of it as I am with my great-grandmother’s stories.

This morning, I was trying to figure out what one of my earliest childhood memories would be. It wouldn’t necessarily be important enough to include in an autobiographical kind of collection, but I was interested to see how far back I could remember. Memory is a crazy thing, really. So much of it includes what we’ve been told, or photos we’ve seen, or video…there was no video when I was little, either. Kids now grow up on camera. We had film. Film that had to be sent away to a lab for developing, in most cases. And my family had a projector upon which we watched home movies and…I want to say there was also a Keystone Cop adventure of some sort. I remember a car getting stuck on some railroad tracks, and the train was coming, and at the last second, they pulled the car in half, let the train pass, then pushed the halves back together again. My brother and I would make our dad play it backwards and forwards again while we laughed and laughed, because it was the greatest thing ever. Never got old.

Anyway.

That’s an early memory, but I don’t really have anything to pinpoint how early it was. It was more of an ongoing thing, anyway. Projector nights, with reels of film that had to be placed properly on the projector for it to play. I wish we still had that, actually. I would like to experiment with it a little, now that I think about it.

So, while that’s definitely an early memory, I do have one that’s earlier, and that I can pinpoint almost to the date. The year and month, anyway. It would have been September 1975, probably early in the month. And on a Sunday. We were at a park – I forget the name – in Orillia for the then-annual Maynard Family Reunion. I was eager to show off my new baby brother, who had been born in April. He was born on my mom’s birthday, but at the time, I only cared about my birthday, if that, and didn’t really know when anyone else’s was. He was dressed all in blue – very manly, but for the bonnet – and when some family members came over to say hello, I decided to display my amazing skills at big sistering, so I tickled him a little.

He cried.

I was sure I’d never been so humiliated in my whole life (I was, by that point, 3 years old). I was pretty sure I hated him for embarrassing me, but on some not-so-deep level, I knew I’d tickled him too hard, and that it was actually my fault, and that what I was feeling was guilt, and not hate. I just didn’t have words or understanding of complex emotions yet. All I knew was that I felt bad, and that it was related to something he’d done (as a result of something I’d done, but whatever). Fortunately for both of us, he was cute – if bald – and generally a pretty likeable little kid.

Oddly enough, that is my only memory of my brother as an infant. Every other memory of him is after he got a bit older – probably because he could then play with me. Before that, he was probably really boring. Cute, but boring.

I think I totally have a picture of us from that day, so if I can find it tonight, I’ll add it to whatever I end up posting tomorrow. It was the 70’s, so everything is probably quite orange in the photo, but that’s how we rolled once we moved from black and white to technicolor. Our memories became tinted with orange.

Also kind of odd is that I can’t remember anything from before my brother was born. I remember wanting to show him off a few months after he came along, but I don’t remember being an only child, or my mom being pregnant, or anything. I don’t remember a time when he wasn’t there. He would go on to piss me off many many more times after that (and I suppose I would piss him off, too, but not nearly as often, I’m sure), but I find a certain comfort in not being able to remember a time when he wasn’t around to irritate me.

Maybe that’s what sibling love is all about.