Life & Con Crud

Ah, there it is. The dull scratchy pain at the back of my throat; the vague tightening in my chest; the sense that my body is a little more broken than usual.

Con Crud is settling in.

Next weekend is starting to look like it’s going to be just as busy, too. I’m basically never going to sleep again!

Patreon page is up and running at http://www.patreon.com/TheMindReels

I’m trying to get as many people as possible to sponsor us for $2 per month, as $24 per year doesn’t seem like that much, yet would make a ridiculous difference for us if enough people signed up! We’ll see.

I’m also sitting on yet another amazing/geeky/artistic idea that I need to put out into the world before someone else does. The trouble, of course, is that I have none of the skills required to bring it about. I either need to learn to draw, or befriend an artist type who can help bring my seedling ideas to a more concrete fruition. Because damn – I should be pretty rich by now.

Anyway.

The fog brain is still going strong today. Definitely struggling. Hopefully I can get to bed – and sleep – at a ridiculously early hour tonight and feel somewhat refreshed by morning. I’ve got stuff to do!

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Fan Expo Canada 2016 Preview

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Thanks once again to Touchwood PR, The Mind Reels will be covering Fan Expo Canada as press! I am particularly grateful this year, as it’s the first time since 2005 that I haven’t been able to purchase a pass for the weekend, and was not sure if I would be able to attend at all. Much to my surprise and delight, I won a day pass for the Saturday, so I at least knew I would be there for part of it. But then Mark Hamill was announced as a guest and I knew I needed to be there while he was around for as much as I possibly could. Thankfully, Touchwood came through for us yet again, and now Tim and I are gearing up to cover the largest event of its kind in Canada!

The guest list is insanely impressive across the board this year, with big names known in the realms of Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Gaming and Anime all descending upon the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for four days beginning on Thursday September 1st and running through the majority of Labour Day weekend. It also happens to be my birthday weekend…er, well, the event kicks off on my birthday. The rest is just bonus, really. Thank goodness for that holiday Monday!

I have my wishlist all ready to go as far as photo ops and autographs, so now it’s just a matter of waiting for the schedule to be released, along with preparing for whatever Touchwood may have in store for us again this year!

My personal goal is to basically stalk poor Mark Hamill as much as possible – definitely need to meet him, get my photo signed, get a pic taken with him and my awesome nephew…and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be heart-broken not to get into his Q&A, if he has one. I’m hoping to be able to park my butt in that line-up for however long I need to in order to secure myself a seat inside.

I mean, it’s Mark Hamill. Top of my dream guest list. I want to experience this as much as possible, especially since he’s essentially been an enormous part of my life since I was 5 years old. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. A long time. (See what I did there, Star Wars fans?) I am so excited to see him that I have to keep reminding myself that it’s only August 5th! Gotta wait a little while longer yet!

In the meantime, however, the Photo Op schedule is up, and tickets will go on sale starting Tuesday here. But before you can snag those, however, you need to buy event tickets here!

As well, you can check out all the most up-to-date information on the event’s official website here. They also have a Facebook page and Twitter account to help you keep on top of things. The incredible guest list aside, there are also about a billion other things to do which would keep anyone busy all weekend long, not the least of which is the show’s retail sales floor, and gaming areas. Here’s a basic breakdown of what’s happening, but that will be fleshed out far more as the magic date draws ever closer.

So start getting ready now, Toronto and visitors! Fan Expo Canada is coming – and it’s going to be pretty epic, if I have anything to say about it!

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Some Exciting Updates

Wicked headache, still leftover from yesterday. It’s kind of distracting, actually.  Even my friend Extra Strength Advil isn’t quite taking the edge off anymore.

So, let’s see…some quick updates…

Young Jack Bear seems more himself now after his bout of puking yesterday morning. Last night he even helped me untie my shoes, just like he always does, so that’s good. His appetite has not waned at all, either. He’s huge. But still handsome. My baby boy.

My volunteer orientation session went pretty great yesterday. Got some questions answered and some concerns assuaged, and realized while I was still there that I was already a good 95% decided that I would give it a go, which is a far cry from the urge to just not go to the session and back out before it had even begun. Now that I’ve been there, I have a much better feel for everything, and the fact that nothing is set in stone makes me feel a lot better about it. I feel more confident that I’ll be able to contribute and enjoy the volunteering experience there. I have to work one shift before committing to any sort of schedule, but the flexibility factor is huge for me, especially given the fact that my body doesn’t always like to cooperate the way I want it to. And being able to do weekend shifts is huge – that way I won’t be gone from Brody for so much longer than a workday. The place is remote by transit, so timing of shifts is definitely a factor. It also sounds like tasks we’re asked to do on our shifts will be somewhat catered to each volunteer’s strengths and preferences, with a ton of room to learn new things and develop skills in other areas.

I’m still not going to discuss the “where” until after I have worked the first shift and am certain I’m staying on there, but suffice it to say that I am probably the most excited about it now than I ever have been, and am hopeful that the excitement level will only build the further involved I become. It even gave me a vague idea of how I might potentially take better care of my fur family (including Brody, although he has hair not fur), which only fuels my eagerness all the more. They told us not to decide right away – to mull it over – and since this weekend is insanely busy, I’m going to wait until Monday to contact them to let them know I’m in. I suppose I might change my mind in the meantime – I’ll definitely be thinking about it a lot – but if that ends up being the case, then better to actually make a decision than waffle back and forth on it after telling them one way or the other first. I don’t think I’ll change my mind, though. I haven’t really volunteered for anything like this before, except for Big Brothers Big Sisters, but there is a lot more here that just feels right for me. A ton that I am worried about, but after yesterday, I am even less concerned about that. I feel like it’ll be an amazing learning experience but with the fear of failure pushed more to the back-burner, because they want everyone to succeed, too. It’s much easier to ask a billion questions and have your work double-checked than it is to fix a mistake once you’ve made it, and I kind of like the idea of being a help but also being coached to do better. The opportunities that will be available as time goes by – assuming I thrive somewhat – are actually endless.

I’m excited!

Another thing I’m excited about today is that we’re finally recording our first radio play tonight! The details are falling into place (at least on my end – haha), and the link to watch it live online is being promoted (you can see it all unfold here:  http://livestream.com/accounts/10837752/events/5652277), and my mind has been mulling over not only this one, but future episodes, as well. Now that the moment of this first one is nearly upon us, I have far more confidence in my ability to successfully pull it off, and start planning the next one! Already I’ve got new ideas cropping up, and I’m eager to dive into it all with everyone this evening. It’s going to be so much fun!

Yet another thing I am excited about today – even though I heard the rumour yesterday, it was confirmed today – is that MARK HAMILL is coming to Fan Expo! What?! I have no idea how to afford it, but if there is one thing I get for my birthday this year (which happens to be that weekend, as well), it will be that man’s autograph on the same picture that Carrie Fisher signed the first time I met her. It was one of the ones from my fan club membership kit, and it’s in terrible shape from hanging on my wall, but I love it all the more for that. And once she had signed it, I knew that would be the one thing I would want if I ever met him.

I’m also pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Had anyone ever asked me which guest I would most like to meet at a convention, my answer would always have been Mark Hamill. He has been a part of my life – a huge part – from the time I was 5 years old. He’s it for me. More than Carrie Fisher (although I cried when I met her, Leia was more my passion as I got a bit older), more than even George Lucas himself. Luke Skywalker has always been my guy, and will always be my guy. My gateway to the Force; to that galaxy far far away; and the reason I love it so much.

It’s him. And he’s coming here at last.

I’ll freaking cry again. Gah. So ridiculous.

I mean, my ultimate interview guest for The Mind Reels would be Ricky Schroder. I have no idea if I’d be able to play it cool, or if I’d turn into a 12 year old again. But interviewing him would be a dream come true. I used to fantasize about doing that when I was reading all those teen magazines. I imagined what questions I’d ask and how awesome he’d think I was and how I would write my article about it. Well, screw THAT dream – now I want to interview him live online and…hopefully not revert to being too childish! At least not the whole time.

So yeah. Mark Hamill. I need to start saving money now in the hopes that I can scrape together enough for one signature on one decades-old picture which would pretty much complete my geek life as far as holy grails are concerned. Of course, I’d lose my mind for a photo op, too, but they are about 2 seconds long and while it’d be amazing, I feel like this time the autograph moments would mean more to me in the end. They did with Carrie Fisher, after all. Just the chance to shake a hand, make eye contact with the man who brought my biggest lifelong hero to life…

And say thank you.

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Monday

Had a lovely bout of 3am anxiety again this morning, but eventually went back to sleep after about an hour and a half or so, I think. I can’t really remember what I dreamed about, only that I did dream. Of course, I’m also pretty tired, and that makes it hard to think.

Man, I just don’t know. There’s so much I feel like I can’t talk about. Not just to you guys, but to anyone. Sometimes it all builds up and spills over a little. It’s frustrating.

There’s a lot coming up this week for me, I think. Got some news at work this morning which will directly affect my role, although I’m not sure how much or how little. Will have to wait and see, I guess. The Mind Reels is potentially doing our first radio play later in the week, but I’m still struggling to find people who can fit it into their schedule this week, so may have to push it to next week. I’d rather not, just because it’s already been changed a couple of times to try and accommodate various shooting schedules, but if we can start off this new segment of the show with a strong cast, I think it’ll really have some legs. So as much as I’d hate to reschedule yet again, I know it’d be worth it to get the caliber of performers I’m hoping to. I also have my volunteer orientation at the place I’ve been thinking about volunteering. I’ve also been thinking about backing out, but I’m determined to at least see how the orientation goes before I make any actual decisions on that front.

I’m also aware that it’s one thing to commit to something like that in the summer months, and an entirely different affair to remain committed once February hits. We’ll see. I stress out about this kind of thing ahead of time, trying to contemplate all possible scenarios – which, of course, is impossible. But I try, anyway. I figure there is at least an attempt to meet life halfway if I manage to not make any decisions until I’ve actually checked it out, rather than deciding based on my initial freak out period.  Plus, all signs are pointing to the notion that I should do it.  Fingers crossed for a shift in my life that changes things for the better.

I can’t remember if I mentioned before that my most recent neuro appointment went well. It was probably one of the best yet, actually. I’m not having any flare-ups or relapses, my bloodwork was fine (because I didn’t drink the night before this time), and my MRI, while just of my brain, showed no new lesions forming, and no growth in the ones already in there. My neurologist actually exclaimed, “Yes!” when he looked at the scans. I thought for a moment he was about to hi-five me. He was pleased, so I was, too.

Just messaged a couple of more possible guest cast members for the radio play, just in case they are available on such short notice. The hope is to do this first one, and then do a second one soon after, when even more people are potentially available to join us. It wouldn’t get posted on iTunes until late July, but if we could get the first two episodes recorded and in the can quickly, that would set the tone and I believe it would all just grow from there. If need be, we’ll push the first one into July, but if we can do it this week instead, I’ll be thrilled.

Technically, there is a fuck ton of just Mind Reels stuff to do, and the sooner the better. The next voting round for the Reelies has to get started, there are a handful of guests for regular interviews that we need to schedule, we’re trying to do the Mind Reels Minute once a week, and get this radio play thing going. I’m pretty excited about all of it, too, so it’s hard for me to focus on any one thing, rather than flit about and try to do it all.

As I do, apparently. Geez. No wonder I can’t sleep.

Oh! I also heard back from GWR about a question I’d asked regarding one of the attempts I’ve been approved to make. This one I am doing with a partner, so I can at least now talk to him about it more and start actually planning and working towards breaking that one. More details after he and I confirm that we’re actually going to try for it, but I’m more hopeful than I was before I got the clarification email from GWR. Much more, actually.

I’ve also been waffling on the other attempt I’ve been approved for, but at the moment, I think I’m not only going for it, but I’m also thinking of putting it out into the world and enlisting assistance from basically everyone I know. If not everyone they know, as well. Haha

We’ll see. I just formulated a vague plan yesterday while I was day drinking, so I’ll wait until it’s more clear before I talk about it in detail.

That’s it for my lunch break. I have a lot of work today because I was just off for 4 days, and while much happened in my absence, just as much did NOT happen, so I best get to it.