More Me Now

I am terrible at remembering to refill my MS medication prescription until the day I take the last pill I have on hand. Luckily, Rexall remembers for me, so I can usually just go in day of and it’s ready to be picked up.

I did such a thing last night, but the additional cool part was that – for the first time – the pharmacist ringing it through asked how the meds were working out for me. He asked how it was going. We chatted about it for an extra few moments before I headed for home. No one’s ever asked me that before, outside of my neurologist. It was nice.

I haven’t posted on FB since last week, the day after the election. Not even this blog goes up on there anymore. I go on just to see my memories for each day, especially on days like today. It’s the sixth anniversary of the day I had to have my Kate kitty put down, and while the memories in my feed today are ultimately sad, there’s also a lot of good ones, because I’ve posted a little tribute to her each year since.

Well, not this year. Or not on FB, at least. I did post a little something elsewhere, though, including some of my fave photos of us together:

kate-1997-2010

The thing I’ve noticed about being on FB less in this past week is that I have far fewer interactions, and since this blog isn’t being posted there, I feel sort of liberated and like I can be a bit more open about things. We’ll see how long that lasts, of course, but for the time being, I actually feel like expressing a bit more on here than I have in the past. We’ll see. We’ll see.

Yesterday, I saw the dental surgeon guy who did my gum surgery. He was very pleased with how the healing is coming along – I think pleased with himself most of all, but pleased nonetheless. He approved me to go ahead and get the crown, so I’ll set that up with my regular dentist very soon. I look forward to paying for THAT over the next year or so of my life. Haha

My work day yesterday was ridiculous. A lot of entitled attitudes walking around here, it seems. I’ll no doubt complain about that another time.

Today is almost as bad, but a little over the top because my polar bear is out at the Toronto Zoo for the first time in 4 years, and I am stuck here instead of spending time with him again at last. The other thing is that I’ve been feeling so disconnected lately that I am sad about how little I’m affected by all that right now. I should be more excited to see him. I should feel more things in general. Instead I’m still just…swept away.

I’m sure that’ll change whenever I do see him again. It’s just sad that I don’t feel like I have even that to look forward to anymore.

Another FB memory that popped up was one I’d kind of forgotten about. I’d been challenged one time to list a number of things that most people wouldn’t know about me. It was fun to go back and re-visit that, so I thought I’d share it again here.

So here you go – 11 things about me that most people don’t already know:

  1. I am obsessively partial to odd numbers. I’ll …have to find a way to make my biological imperative overlook this list of 8, for example. (Note: I was later challenged by another friend so was able to add 3 more to the original list, to total 11.)
  2. I had a spoon collection when I was younger, thanks to my grandmother, who gave me her Charles and Diana wedding spoon to start things off. I’m trying to figure out where I put it, now, actually.
  3. When I was little, I wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up. Then I wanted to be a Jedi. Finding out I could be neither was almost as disappointing as finding out that my parents couldn’t give me the older sister I’d asked for.
  4. I was painfully shy as a child, but then I figured out that shy people got made fun of, so I faked it in the hopes that I wouldn’t draw attention to myself. Today it’s just as hard to leave the confines of my apartment, but I am way better at hiding it, and I bet no one has any idea now. Oh…crap…
  5. One of my biggest fears as a kid was giants. Sweetums terrified me. Technically, I’m still nervous around things that are bigger than me, but am able to be awed by some of them, as well. Like whales and bears.
  6. My mom says I used to cry every time I heard the theme song from the Littlest Hobo. I actually still get a little misty-eyed over it now. Ah, doggies.
  7. My bedroom walls and ceiling are partially covered with glow-in-the-dark stars. I’m 41 (Edit: 44 now), and I love them. I purposefully charge them up every night before going to bed, so I can fall asleep in my tiny universe. At least the ones Flynn hasn’t peeled off. I had to move a bunch up out of her reach. Ah, kitties.
  8. I was Valedictorian of my high school graduating class. There were, like, 11 of us, I think, and I made the least stink about being nominated. My class had the coolest idea ever for a gift – we were creating a time capsule to be put on display and then buried on school grounds to be dug up in 50 years or so. We had a whole list of stuff we were each contributing, but in the end, we never finished it. So our gift to the school was actually nothing at all, which sort of sums us up rather well, really.
  9. I have – and still listen to – the first Alanis album on CD. Not Jagged Little Pill – the FIRST first album! “Never too hot, never too cold, ya take your best shot, too hot to hold! Never too young, never too old….you gotta go for GOLD!!!”
  10. I really really really miss plugging quarters into video arcade machines. I miss going to the arcade and playing my faves, usually with my brother. And I absolutely miss playing games that you can’t really “beat” no matter HOW good you are. Eventually, that little frog is going to take a misstep, or there will be too many asteroids to deal with, or the Pong ball will bounce faster than you can react. I miss that.
  11. My walls, like many pre-teen and teen girls, was covered in pinups of my fave celebs. I was a regular reader of Bop, 16 and Teen Beat magazines, and was provided with more than enough fodder for my obsessions. The biggest one – and I’ve never really out-grown it – was for Ricky Schroder. Others included Ralph Macchio and most of the 80’s Menudo line-up. And the entire cast of Outsiders. And Mark Hamill. But mostly, I was and am all about the Ricker.

Finally, I’ll end with a few shots of the supermoon I took last night. ‘Cause why not, right?

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.

Another Off Day

What is it about vacant old buildings that maks me want to go inside and take pictures?

I saw a deer from the window of the GO train I was on earlier.  So freaking beautiful!

I think I need to try and figure out what I want, and then find a way to do those things mor often than just going along with what everyone else wants. And learn how not to feel guilty about it.

I have a lot on my mind today, but am also running on less than 4 hours of sleep, so having trouble focusing.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

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!

 

 

Beauty In Pain

Today’s thoughts are brought to you by a random series of non-events which ended up leading me down a bit of a memory lane trip this morning, and it wasn’t actually too bad.

First off, I was looking for some kind of long-sleeved shirt to wear over my t-shirt, because my body temperature is always all over the place at work, depending on where I am and what I’m doing, so I usually bring layers. I had already worn the two that were light enough for today earlier this week, so I went digging in my closet in search of something else that could work.

I glanced past my many plaid flanel shirts and landed on a rugby shirt I’d bought over a decade ago, but had rarely worn. It seemed to be the right amount of layer so I threw it on and left for work. On the way in, though, I realized something – the shirt kind of fits me again.

It’s definitely more comfortable than it used to be. I bought it before I gained 40-ish lbs over a school year, and it just never felt like a good fit again after that. Not until today, anyway. I mean, it’s not my new old favourite shirt, or anything, but I definitely noticed the difference in how it feels to wear it today. The collar is still all un-ironed and flippy, and it still wasn’t really created with breasts in mind, but it definitely feels more comfortable and less awkward than it has in a very long time.

I was reminded of a photo taken of me (and some zombies) from 2007, after a Midnight Madness screening at TIFF that year. I’ve always loved the picture and hated the picture, and I’m wearing the same shirt in it while trying to look less overweight than I was.

Horizontal stripes, guys. There’s no winning that battle.

Anyway, it took a while, but I finally found the photo in question, and put it alongside one I got taken today:

That Was Then

I realize it’s not that huge a difference, but to me it kind of is. And regardless, that’s not really what I wanted to talk about. In searching for the zombie photo, I came across my old, sad, secret blog, and tumbled down the rabbit hole a little bit as a result.

I’d created it to vent and to just kind of work out some of my overwhelming emotions in a way that would add to the work being done in my therapy sessions each week. In other words, I needed it to be real and true to whatever I felt like saying at the time – unedited – but not hurt or alarm anyone who might read it. An online dumping ground. I didn’t make it private because I felt like some other person in the world might relate to it on some level and I didn’t want to deprive them of that, but it wasn’t something I really advertised, or anything. Not even to my therapist, because sometimes I also talked about her. Haha

I’d stopped writing much on that blog for a few reasons, the main one being that I’d started posting other things on it, as well, and didn’t want anyone finding the sad just because they wanted to read what I thought of a particular film, or what was going on with my possible (at the time) MS diagnosis. I still wanted people to be able to read that stuff if they wanted to, but without having to deal with me depression and whining and the like. So I created an author blog, and an MS blog, joined up with the Mind Reels and eventually created this one as more of a catch-all for all of that. For most of it, anyway. I still don’t feel like bringing the secret one on board, and very rarely post anything there because I am always posting here, instead!

Scrolling through those posts this morning, though, looking for the zombie pic for a comparison, was kind of an exercise and a half. There was so much I’d – not forgotten, but hadn’t thought about in a long time – that I revisited, and it was rather remarkable. So many sad photos I’d found online to represent how I was feeling, and so many memories I hadn’t realized I’d written down. I used to keep a journal occasionally, but this was my first attempt at essentially journaling in an online forum. One that was essentially public, no less, and which contained more pain than anything else.

Some of it was actually rather beautiful.

There’s a couple of devastating posts about when Kate the Kitten died – one which declared basically just that; that I’d lost my best friend and was truly alone – and one that I wrote to remember our last hours together. I didn’t want to forget a single detail, if I could help it. I also didn’t want to re-read it this morning as my work day began, though, so I kept scrolling.

Apparently, I’d written a poem for my therapist for her birthday. I had completely forgotten about it until I saw the post for it today. I wonder if I ever gave it to her?

There was at least one sad haiku, memories of things past that were resurrected in that present and linked within posts. Most just described what was going on in my outer world, and how they affected my inner life.

I found myself expanding several posts and reading them with the years of hindsight that developed in between. Seeing things that were said to me and interpreted one way at the time, but viewed in a slightly different light now. Not better, necessarily – this isn’t one of those “if I’d known then what I know now” kind of things. In some ways, it’s actually sadder now, but that’s not the point.

The point, or one of them, is that the pain is kind of beautiful – in its honesty, its rawness, its lonely desolation. It’s interesting to look at it now, and remember how it felt, and realize that I still feel the same, but not as low down in the pit. I mean, I’m also medicated, so there’s that. Sometimes self-medicated, too, of course. I’m the same person as I was, but I’m not. Have I grown wiser? No. Do I wish I could go back and choose to not do any of it? Not really, because I wouldn’t be who I am now, and Lord knows who I would be, so yeah. Glad it’s all hindsight and not foresight.

That line in the Garth Brooks song, “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance”…I always felt like that was me; that I’d love to not hurt so much sometimes, but I don’t want to give up the happy moments just to avoid the unhappy ones. Now, though, looking back at how starkly beautiful even the pain can be, it makes me think maybe I don’t want to miss any of it.

Maybe embracing both, and accepting both, is how we get strong. Maybe that’s how we get beautiful.

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.

Canadian Screen Awards 2016 – Gala 2

Just a few of my favourite photos from last night’s amazing awards gala!

Emily Hampshire for Schitt’s Creek (performance)

Dan Levy for Schitt’s Creek (writing)

Wendy Crewson – Lifetime Achievement

Michelle Nolden – Saving Hope Digital Content (Psychic Healing)

Christine Horne for her fierce guest star performance on Remedy – and the thrill of both her and young Shailyn Pierre-Dixon (Book of Negroes – performance) at finding one another on the winner’s red carpet!  Those pics aren’t great, but look how excited they are!