Messy Monday

I think this is the first time that all five skunks were in their enclosure while I was spot cleaning. It’s also the first time I’ve put more dust into one of the chinchilla dust baths, and the first time I’ve seen a chinchilla go in immediately thereafter, flip over, and start rolling in it. So cute!

Got a bit of sad news here and there over the weekend.

Also got to hang out with an old friend for holiday/catch-up/goodbye drinks last night. So much awesome in that! I’ll miss her, but maybe someday can get myself down to Texas to visit. Can’t hurt to dream, right?

Today has been a mess so far – a comedy of errors, if you will – and I am having trouble focusing on everything that’s going on in my mind lately. It was a very busy weekend, in more ways than one, and I am still processing a lot of it.

There’s just so much to do.

Mini Updates

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I purchased something online last night, right before I left work for the day. It’s something I’ve been wanting for quite some time now, and for which I had starting searching almost exactly two years ago. It needed to be perfect, and yet would never be enough. It didn’t need to be very large, yet the value of its intended content is measure. It hurt my heart to place the order, yet at the same time, made me feel like I’d accomplished something important. Finally, after everything.

I did something, and yet still feel just as unbearably sad.

Anyway.

At the beginning of the month, I received an email from Canada In A Day – an update on the video footage I’d shot. Given how disappointed I’ve been in myself for pretty much all of it, I skimmed through the usual form letter about how grateful they were for all of the amazing submissions and that there were so many, etc etc etc. I waited to get to the part where they let me down easy as they gently reject my particular submission.

I had to read it twice to understand that “provisionally accepted” meant the opposite – that there’s actually a chance something I shot might make it into the final film! What?! There were a bunch of releases to sign, and get signed by others, which had to be scanned and emailed back to them within ten business days.

I then promptly forgot – and just remembered this morning!

It’s the 8th, and we had a weekend in there, so it’s not completely down to the wire, but much closer than I’d intended. I scrambled around and scanned my heart out and signed everything I needed to (I hope), then emailed it all back to them a mere few hours ago.

So – that’s done. It’d be cool if any of my stuff could make it in. I had a full day planned – not even intentionally – and plus there’s Brody. Who wouldn’t want his cute self in any film ever, really? I don’t think anyone will know whether they made it in until the film airs next summer, so I guess it’s a good thing I was planning on watching it, anyway.

Now I’ll also just be keeping an eye out for myself!

Coming Up and Something New

I mean, the one good thing about my trip to the specialized dentist guy the other day (aside from learning my tooth can still be saved) was that the receptionist in particular had a hard time believing I’d just turned 44. She actually said the words, “I can’t believe what I’m seeing”. Though she also said I must have good skin, which is the opposite of reality, so she was probably just tired. Haha

Still, it was a nice thing to say.

I continue to be exhausted, still battling a cold – which is currently still a stalemate, with neither my cold nor I willing to give ground, but neither gaining any, either. I’m trying to get through today but also starting to plan out how tomorrow will go. It’s Canada In A Day day, so I’ll want to video as much of it as possible, while also getting everything I need to do done.

At some point soon I need to get promoting the Mind Reels Patreon page. The first month promotion is only on until the end of September, and it’s already the 9th! Maybe no one will get a signed script, at this rate, let alone 5 people! I just need to buckle down and focus my energy on it much more than I have been able to thus far. I knew it would be hard to launch it at the beginning of September, but hopefully once TIFF is over, I’ll be able to put more into it for the back half of the month.

http://www.patreon.com/TheMindReels

Hoping enough people will see fit to donate even $2 per month ($24 a year) so that we’ll reach our first goal, and beyond that, we’ll be able to take our show to the next level! With any luck, at least. And since luck has gotten us this far, I’m not without hope that we’ll be able to continue to grow as we move forward.

I’ll also need to start setting up that next radio play, but will wait until after TIFF to even start trying to pick a date. More potential guest cast schedules ought to be a bit more open toward the end of the month, too.

I’ve started trying to write about past relationships. I’m not sure why, exactly, but in going back and reminiscing about the first one – trying to find words for it – I’m discovering a kind of thrill or excitement around the act of writing it all down. I mean, each one of course ends in heartache for me, so that won’t always be great to re-live by writing about it. But so far, focusing on the good things about the beginning of a relationship is kind of working as a pick-me-up today. I only started yesterday so I don’t even know if I’ll keep it up or for how long, but today, at least, it feels like a good thing.

I will, of course, run out of material, as my relationship life is finite and came to an end at a particular point. Officially at least. Still, there’s a long way to go before I get caught up, to be sure!

Plus, it’s probably not a horrible idea to revisit the notion of liking people, and enjoying being around people, just in case I don’t feel like being a hermit for the rest of my life. Remembering that I used to not hate so much is maybe a good thing.

The trade-off for having more rage than I did then is that I hurt less now, but maybe I can temper some of that by remembering the good moments I had with people, too.

As always, we’ll see. Or I will, at least! haha

A Couple Of Things

So, I think today was my favourite volunteer shift so far.  I got there on time, it was beautiful outside, there were four things on my part of the board’s To Do list, and for the first time ever, I got them all done!  That never happens.  Not until today, at least. One task was even new to me, and another one I generally suck at.

Again, until today.

The first thing I did was spot clean the small animal room.  This is the one I usually don’t do very well at, so I was glad to get it out of the way first.  I talked to everyone while I worked, which I usually do, but today seemed different.  Today  I felt a little more bonded to the critters, and a little more confident.  I even managed to get both ferret pairs locked in the upstairs part of their cages so I could clean the downstairs part without getting bit.  Haha

I was super proud of myself, because I’ve never managed to doc very good job with one pair, let alone both.  First time for everything!

Up next was changing the small parrot papers, which has somehow become my favourite thing.  The first guy had just had a bath, and was still pretty soaked.  I laughed and laughed!  He looked nothing like himself, but when he dried off, he was back to super handsome.

I talked to all of the birds more than usual, too.  I was chatty today, apparently.  They were all actually pretty good today, too.  Even when I was vacuuming, the “murder birds” didn’t try to get at me at all.  Even Blue seemed more like he was just watching me rather than plotting something.  It was cool.

Somehow I like birds now.

The new thing I got to do was to spot clean the lemur shifts.  Well, their shift and two others for their enclosure mates, Lilly and Kinka.  Bigger poo than the birds or small animal room, but not too bad.  Plus, the lemurs were staring at me through the door the whole time.  As they do.

AND, to top off the whole day?  Willow the capybara was taking a bath outside the whole time!!!  The back doors were all open and she was happily rolling around in a tub in the sunshine and looking so cute and content I could hardly stand it!  She kept flipping her little ears like a hippo.  I melted.

Vaccuming the parrot floor was actually the last thing I did, and while I usually like it, this time the vaccum cleaner stopped sucking.  Which is its one and only job.

But *I* fixed it!  By myself.  Didn’t even discuss with Tiffany first, I just fiddled with it, figured out the problem, and carried on.  So I was there a bit longer than usual, but I rocked it so I didn’t even care.

And lemurs.  And capybara bath time.  And no one trying to tear my flesh.

It was good.  I was sore and hungry and exhausted and in desperate need of a shower when I got home, though!

In other news, when someone you love is hurting, and you can do a whole whopping zero to help…it sucks.  And kinda hurts in sympathy, too.

 

Fear Itself

I’ve been making a few sad realizations of late, most recently last night.  It’s actually thrown me off my game today, and I’m having trouble figuring out what to do.

So I’m currently doing next to nothing.

I just can’t focus.

I mean, I’m also hella tired and it is crazy hot outside.  Brody and I went to Pet Valu earlier and I’m not sure which of us was more over the heat by the time we got back.  He got to see some of his favourite people, though.  They make such a big deal over him there.  I love it, and naturally, he does, too.  Also, there’s no shortage of treats, and today we met a dog as big as a pony.  Bless.  Munchkin.

I have so much to do, and I thought I had a plan, but I can’t remember now, and I’m too distracted by sadness to sort it out.

Actually, no, it’s not even that.  I think rather than sadness, it’s more a tentative resignation.  I’m not sure…like, I feel like a few days ago, I had a certain confidence in my choices and the path I was following.  I don’t feel that same confidence now.  I’m not certain that it’s wrong, but I’m no longer sure that it’s right, either.  I feel like I keep making decisions now, and then second guessing myself.  THAT makes me sad – on top of some of the things I’m realizing – but the uncertainty isn’t caused by sadness.

I think it’s more likely caused by fear.

What if I’m going the wrong way, after all?

Highlighting The Positive Side

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I don’t really feel like writing today. Over-tired, heavy heart at losing Leo the lion, and a myriad of other feelings. I have the feels, but what I don’t feel is like writing. Haha

Instead, I’m going to highlight a couple of things.

Our latest Mind Reels Ol’ Timey Radio Play reading from earlier this week – we’d recorded back-up audio and video for the “official” read, and the video is now available to be viewed here. So much ridiculous fun! I’m not sure I’ll ever forget Josh Vokey’s performance in particular, both as Mrs Umney AND the Ghost! I actually can’t wait to watch it back as a way of remembering all the awesome! I feel like they just keep getting better and better, and while I’ve already got the next script chosen (to hopefully do at some point during the week after next), I am already looking to choose what the September script will be, too! I’m so excited about how these are going that I keep forgetting to work on booking interviews, as well. Balance! I must remember to seek balance!

Hopefully links for all three radio plays, and most recent interview, will go up at Smithee.TV’s sites soon, too, since everything was recorded properly for those, and using back-up methods for ours.

I am also much closer to being ready to launch a Patreon page for The Mind Reels! The inital goal is to basically get enough support per month to help cover the site-related expenses we’ve been paying out of pocket all this time, and then hopefully to be able to grow and expand the podcast even more! I have a lot of ideas, and I am excited to launch this so that fans and friends and supporters all over the world can get even more involved and interactive with the Mind Reels experience as a whole.

I think a Patreon page will add another level to it all, really. In case you are wondering, Patreon is a model of crowd-funding which allows people to sign up as Patrons to support their favourite projects on a monthly basis, usually in exchange for various rewards given back to them each month. For the Mind Reels page, we will be accepting sponsors at a wide variety of tier levels, with the lowest being $1 per month, and the highest being $15 per month (though I have a possible idea for a cool $20 tier reward if I can get things running smoothly for a few months first). The rewards get better and more interactive with each increase in tier level, and while Patrons can cease their sponsorship at any time, I am hoping that many of the rewards will entice people to stay on and enjoy the ride with us! From simple thank you’s and Twitter follows to entries into monthly draws all the way up to being named as an official presenter of an episode each month and unlimited access to video footage of full episodes via private links (the public video links are generally only for the abridged versions of the full episodes), which can really be a lot of fun to watch, too!

So we’ll see. I really want to put some effort into making the whole endeavour a success, so am going into it assuming I’ll be doing it more or less on my own, and then if I get any extra help here and there, all the better!

I also just today discovered this Canada In A Day thing, and I totally want to participate! I’ve only glanced through it, but already my mind is coming up with some fun ideas to try, so I fully expect to have even more thoughts come to me once I’ve had a chance to go over all of the submission details and the like! Such a cool and fun project – even more so if I am a part of it! Haha

That’s pretty much it for now, I think. I am very heavy-hearted over losing Leo…like, to the point where I can’t talk about it out loud or even really think about it at all without crying, so at least there are plenty of distractions in my work day to keep me focused on other things. But not talking about it doesn’t mean that it’s not affecting me deeply, especially right now. I just can’t let that be my main emotion, so while I’m allowing myself to feel it when I can, I’m also making sure to let myself feel other things, too.

Balance, right?

Also, one more thought – Brody invited me to play with him last night, for the first time in quite a long while! I of course accepted. It only lasted a few minutes because #heatwave, but the happiness it injected into my heart when it lie broken was much needed and appreciated.

He’s such a good boy, that #BrodyGraham. ❤

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I Don’t Know

I don’t know, guys.

I don’t know what to say.

I can’t keep doing all your thinking for you.

And America – you need to be put on a time-out. Immediately. The whole lot of you, except for your President and his fam jam, because I am sure they could use a break from your shit.

I know I could.

Frustrated by more ongoing stuff I can’t talk about.

Mostly I am just PMS-y, though. Sad, angry, defeated, hungry, tired, grumpy, whiny…the best of the seven dwarfs, really. That’s where the idea for my fractured fairy-tale, Ebon Black and the Seven Dryads, came from, anyway.

Why weren’t they called ‘dwarves’? Is it like the Toronto Maple Leafs? Or is English just weird?

Know what else are weird? Feet. Especially toes.

I paid bills this morning and I’m going to pick up shiny new litter boxes tonight. I’m pretty much having a banner day.

There will, of course, be beer.

Accept The Journey

Man, I am so distracted by something I can’t talk about that I’m having trouble thinking of something to talk about.

I allowed myself to be hypnotized once. Well, I guess twice, but I don’t really remember the second time very much.

It was at a convention of sorts, and one of the guests was a friend of mine (IS a friend of mine, but WAS a guest), and on the side he was getting his certificate, or whatever it’s called, to be a professional hypnotist. He needed to do some practice sessions on groups, and so the convention people put in a time slot for him on each of the event’s two days.

I started off in the audience with everyone else, but then somehow ended up on the stage as part of the volunteer group of test subjects.

Now, I was always pretty sure that hypnosis would not actually work on me. Not as an ego thing, but rather due to the impression I have of my mind always being so active. I’m not good at quieting it and focusing only on my own breathing, for example. Believe me, I try and fail every night before I fall asleep. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to slow it down enough to think about only one thing at a time ever, and definitely not while sitting on a stage in front of a packed room full of strangers and friends.

Here’s the thing, though – I’d neglected to take my over-active imagination into account. My very creatively visual mind, coupled with the fact that I really like the sound of my friend’s voice made me a pretty perfect candidate for hypnosis, as it turned out! Enough so that I was even asked to be one of the volunteers for the next day’s session, as well. But that’s the one I don’t really remember. The first time, though, I remember – at least how it felt – very well even to this day.

I found the hypnotist’s voice to be soothing, and calming, and it made me want to please him. Not like THAT, guys. But I wanted to do the things he asked; wanted him to be proud of me. And after the heavy books and such, the main imagery was all stuff I really wanted to see – and could see, in vivid detail, in my mind. To the point where I was actually quite sad when it was over.

It’s definitely a trust thing, I think. For me, at least. I trusted him not to embarrass me, or have me do anything for which I’d be ridiculed after. In fact, it felt for the most part like the whole thing was about me – about calming me, and about giving me a nice visual and emotional experience aboard one of my favourite spaceships. It felt peaceful, like a brief respite from every day life, and that feeling lingered long after. Still kind of now, as I look back on it.

I think if I had fought against it, mentally, then it would not have worked. The difference was that I really wanted it to work; I wanted him to be proud and I wanted to take the journey he was offering me. I think as sad as I was when it was over, I’d have been even more sad had it never started in the first place.

Which, really, is probably something we should all keep in mind as we journey through this thing called life, isn’t it?

Zoo Day Okay

First day of a four day long weekend for me, so tried to sleep in a bit, then went to the zoo for a while.

Headed out later than usual to avoid the school crowd, and that actually worked out pretty well.  More people were leaving than arriving, by that point.

I’m still not in a good space, and even he happiest place on Earth couldn’t cure my blues, but it still had its moments.  I decided to not visit the pandas because I needed something more immediate than a half hour wait for thirty seconds of time, so I headed straight for my friend, Juno, the polar bear cub.  Back in her big brother’s day, it was the Tundra Trek where I spent the beginning and end of my day, so it seemed a better fit.  I tried taking a few deep breaths once I was in the relative quiet of the Core Woods, too, just to try and wash some of the “me” off of me.

Juno is really freaking cute.  She spent a lot of time trying to get her keepers to bring out some more food once she had emptied her bowl (saving some on her nose for later like the delicate flower that she is), but did come over closer a few times, and I got some golden shots of her adorable little face.  She’s getting good at taking a running jump up onto her rocks, now, too.  I still have yet to see her in her pool, though.

I swung by to check on a few other friends – the giraffes, white lions, Watusi, penguins – but I spent a great deal of time with the gorilla troop.  I was even there for most of the keeper talk, and then spent several minutes chatting with the keeper more after, too.  I love being around that family.  They never fail to just calm the world down.  My heart was so down today that I had tears in the corner of my eyes more often than not, but still…they are just so much love.  And Charles is such a big kid when it’s treat time during the keeper talk.  Totally chill, but so kid-like he makes me heart explode sometimes.  Don’t even GE me started on Nneka, either.  That baby girl, man.  She is really something else.  I will miss seeing her and Nassir together, but she’s really growing into a sweet, hilarious, Independant youngster, and I’ m enjoying watching her interactions with everyone else, now, too.

Baby Lynx, a  zoomobile ride through Eurasia, Dairy Queen, time spent with a friend, and then home to the critters I love most.

With the very real possibility that I’ll do at least some of it again tomorrow.  Maybe by then I’ll be able to enjoy it more, too.

Boxing Memories

Had a bit of a nightmare last night. Or, not exactly that, but a highly unpleasant dream. Not frightening in any way, really, but definitely left me feeling heavy after; a feeling which won’t be departing any time soon. The details aren’t important, and while the content of the dream I had after I went back to sleep was much more enjoyable, even that added to the heaviness when I awoke this morning. Just in a different way.

I’m resigned to this feeling now, I think. At least to sit with it for a time, and see how things go.

I’m not up to fighting it anymore right now.

I wish I could write more truth. And write it better than anything I am able to write now. The book I am reading currently is filled with snippets of truth laid out so simply before the reader that one could easily look right past it without pausing to take it in and realize what it actually is. I started taking pictures of certain passages with my phone; moments that ring true to me and that I want to remember beyond the pages of the book itself.

I considered finishing the book last night before bed, but I’m not quite ready to be done with it yet. I also haven’t decided what I’m reading next. So I dawdle.

There was a line about catching a brief glimpse of the contents of a box, and while not able to list off each individual item, seeing enough to realize that it’s all “the things a person in love collects when she’s not loved in return”. I read that line and my mind immediately went to all the little boxes of random items collected during past relationships of my own. At the time, they were mementos, which turned into painful reminders of what was lost after the relationship ended. And yet kept in a box at the back of my closet…or wherever…I think there are a few of them, but all scattered about and buried under other possessions. For what reason would I, or anyone else, keep such things?

I mean, definitely a large part of it is my irrational fear of forgetting my life. Even though I know I won’t likely forget any of those people (they are part of who I am now, and most of them are still in my life, to some degree or other), and even though I could look at many of those random items now and have no idea what the fuck they are supposed to be reminding me of, or what memory they are tied to – even though I logically know all this, there is still a feeling of comfort in having those things around. In knowing that I could look at them if I wanted to, and that at least some memories are still in there.

I imagine there is also some sort of therapeutic value in tucking everything about a person from your past away into a box and putting it out of sight, but still within reach. Not burning the bridge, but not using it anymore, either. I’ve never been the sort to try and forget a person, especially not if their only crime was in not loving me back the same way I loved them. It’s not usually an anger-inducing feeling, on my end; more resignation, and a sense of “well of course not – why would someone like you love someone like me this same way” sort of thing. Which isn’t meant to come across as mopey as it no doubt sounds. I tend to view it more as a confirmation of something I already know, or at least suspect. I have a hard time holding it against other people, when it’s something I already feel myself.

I realize there is the whole self-fulfilling prophecy argument to be made, too, but again – logic doesn’t really dictate feeling, at least not in my experience. So I get it – but I don’t feel it, so save your breath on that one!

Anyway, the thing which struck me more about the whole sentence in the book and how it relates to my life is in the idea that one can know they are not loved in return, and yet choose to love, anyway. Choose to allow themselves to love. It wouldn’t just be a risk, then, but a foregone conclusion that the relationship – friendship – whatever it is, will come to an end. Not necessarily in a permanent, no contact ever again kind of way, but that whatever it is for each person will change, and not be the same again for either of them. Maybe they grow apart, maybe they betray one another in some way, maybe they have an explosive break-up and really do never see one another again. Maybe they grow to hate the one they once loved. There are all kinds of ways that love dies; and all manner of reasons. But choosing to love, anyway, even when you already know you’re not loved back the same way – it could be a bit noble, or needy, or outright dumb – but the fact is that someone chose love, and maybe the box of random memories serves as more a reminder of having made that choice, rather than of the specific circumstances themselves.

Or I could just be trying to make myself feel better about saving so much crap, and justifying that to no one who asked. Well, except myself.

It’s funny, too, how much space is taken up with mementos of relationships past. One of my best and arguably healthiest relationships – which I don’t really talk about because it’s hard to make someone who wasn’t there understand – is pretty much relegated to the pages of a journal I kept at the time, and a framed photograph that hangs on the wall. I don’t think she got a box, and yet the few physical items I do have are some of the most personal and…intimate, but not in the way you’re thinking…items I’ve kept from pretty much any other relationship I’ve had. It’s not much, but it’s some of the most powerful.

My last relationship is literally everywhere. There is a bin in my closet of things, but that’s mostly because there’s just not space to put everything where it can be visible. Believe me, plenty of the memories we created together are visible. From a hanging over my bed, to some of the clothes that I wear, to a ring on my finger – moments of ours are all around me, and very much a part of me, even now.

Maybe more now than then, in many ways.

One ex is kept almost entirely in a shoebox – but a nice one. It’s decorated.

My first actual relationship is I believe in an empty Kleenex box. Or two. That plastic window with the slit makes it easy to add small objects and paper notes. Like a piggy bank but not. I think there are photos and letters in one of the folders or envelopes on my bookshelf, too, but it’s been so long since I even looked at them that I am not exactly sure where they are now, or if I even still have them.

Friendship stuff is even more scattered, but just as important, and just as much a part of who I am now. All through school I boxed everything up together by year. After graduating with my first undergrad degree is where things get a little sketchy; strewn about and less organized.

I’m pretty certain I still have a pop cap that a boy I liked gave me (as a joke) in first year university, though. It meant nothing, and yet still something, somehow.

My most recent best friend has finally found herself a nice new one with a penis, which is amazing for her, as it’s what she’s been wanting for a very long time. I’m honoured to have been chosen as the one to hold his place for him until he could get there, though a little sad for myself now. Haha The important thing is that she’s finally happy, and I am better at intermittent friendshipping, anyway, so I don’t have to worry about failing nearly so often now. That’s definitely a good thing. It was making me sad to constantly come up short, so while I’ll definitely miss our time together, I know that everything is much better for her now. She’s finally in the kind of good place she deserves, and that makes me happy. 🙂

I meant to write more about truth than I have, but I got distracted by boxes of memories and why I would still keep them. I am not even sure I’ve completely delved as far into those reasons as I could or should, but this post somehow got long again. I will say that I’ve been struggling much more lately about how much truth to reveal to those who know me, as well as which specific details should be shared. I don’t think I understand, like, normal human interactions. Haha

I often try to mimic or match what I see from others – like if someone tells me something personal, I try to return that by sharing something equally personal about myself. If I can determine a proper scale of personal-ness, of course. It seems more difficult to me lately, though. I don’t know if that’s because I have more things that I could speak openly about that are different from before – like current events instead of just the past – or if I’m getting less from those around me so I’m not sure when I’ve crossed the TMI line, and thus stay silent more often due to more uncertainty. I don’t know. I don’t know.

For some reason, so much feels new to me now. It’s not like I’ve never had friends or relationships before, but either I’m different or they’re different or, more likely, both. I haven’t figured out how to navigate the world, I guess. The way I used to doesn’t work for me anymore, and I have yet to discover a way that does.

I’d probably have more luck if I spent less time talking to a dog and three cats, huh?