On Logging Off

One month ago today I stopped posting on my FB page. I pretty much stopped posting on there at all – I didn’t share anything, I wished 2-3 people a happy birthday (as opposed to the many others I did not – sorry guys), I left only a few comments and posted a thing or two on other pages. Even this blog is only posted to Twitter now. My notifications dropped to mostly game invites.

And no one seemed to notice. And I was glad.

Today is the 9th anniversary of the day my conjoined other half and I became FB friends, so they made us a little video, which I posted to our walls this morning. Then I changed my cover photo to the pic of Hudson and I that I love so, so much.

screenshot_2016-12-05-06-27-57

That’s not to say that I am back to posting regularly on FB, or anything, though. I’m enjoying the time apart.

Which reminds me, there’s really only a few weeks left of this blog! The end of the year approach-eth! I think it’s safe to say (as I’ve said before) that it’s been a complete and utter fail. Yesterday I actually found the blurb which had inspired me to try and write this every day, too, and while I’m not exactly sure why I’d started off with such a different intention in mind, I do think the notion still has merit. I have a few ideas for what I might try instead, and hopefully any of those will yield better results for me. Because it is supposed to be about improving myself, after all. Why I thought I’d take any steps forward with a blog like this – one which never bothers to even scratch the surface, let alone dig deeper than that – is truly beyond me, but I am glad it’s almost done. I feel like I’ve become so accustomed to NOT communicating anything valid or real that I’m not sure I’ll be able to when I need to, now, either.

Luckily my therapist pushes me, but it’s actually a habit now for me to not push myself. And I rarely see her, so yeah. I’m regressing, instead of progressing, I think.

Hopefully whatever I do next will be more rewarding and positive than this has been. And as always, there’s so much more that I want to do, or even just to try. I don’t make New Years resolutions or anything like that, but maybe this year I can at least work more towards that turning point I seem to be on the cusp of, and really push myself to become a more active participant in my own life. It’ll mean some hard choices, and definitely lots of mistakes and disappointment, but at least it’ll be more mine, and less the facade I present.

If I do anything at all. I guess I’ll see! haha

Mini Updates

il_570xn-880441533_1lec

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!

Mondays Are Stupid

I’m getting killed at work today, so working through my lunch instead of writing a proper post here.

Had a pretty decent day at the animal shelter yesterday, though it was really busy and I stayed longer than usual, despite already being rather burnt out. Hence I slept super hard last night, but it wasn’t enough. I’m a mess today.

Still, I got to hang with the skunks, watch some hedgehogs and various opossum eat (since they are nocturnal, I don’t often get to see them out and about), and finally got a good look at Banjo, the new-ish Virginia grey opossum who joined us a while ago, but who is always asleep when I am there. He came over to sniff me and check me out for a few moments before returning to his dish to eat. So cute!

Then I got up this morning to find that my pally had posted a sweet video clip of he and I with Hudson from Friday afternoon, and I scooped a screenshot from it, which is now my desktop wallpaper at work!

So that’s good.

Otherwise, though, Monday can kind of suck it.

Screenshot_2016-12-05-06-27-57.png

Ghost Radio Fun

The ole timey radio play we did last night was so much fun!

I kind of think it might have been my favourite so far, but I hesitate to commit to such a statement, as all of them have been ridiculous and had just as many laughs.

This one also had wine, though, so that might be part of it.

One thing about this one was that the script had far less racism and sexism and all the other -ism’s that make people uncomfortable these days. The scripts we use were all written and performed in the 30’s and 40’s, and while they are always a fun and fascinating glimpse into our past, they also highlight so much of what people now try to cover up – that we just aren’t very nice to one another. That we say less out loud now doesn’t mean we’re not still thinking things sometimes. And just because some laws have changed, practices are not as easy to alter. They are just less overt much of the time.

Unless you’re paying attention, anyway, which the majority of society seem not to be.

Anyway, there was less blatant racism and sexism, and more body shaming and ghost story telling in this one. And there was real life red wine to go with it. And an incredible cast of some of my favourite women on hand to perform it! Two of them had never done this with us before, and while not everyone knew one another going into it, they all played so well together! It was actually so amazing to watch that I kept missing my scant few lines in the script, and just enjoyed the show as performed by everyone else. I’m assuming it wasn’t really written to be a comedy, but they way these ladies played it was pure brilliance. Comedic gold, if I’m being honest. I’d love to get that same group together again sometime and see what else we can come up with, because they all worked off of one another so perfectly!

There were, of course, technical difficulties, and I am pretty sure we lost the whole night of footage from the tricaster. That means nothing from the microphone on the table was recorded. We did have a backup recording going, thank goodness, but only for the “official” read, so the practice read is, I believe, gone forever. It’ll just have to live on in the memories of those of us who were fortunate enough to be in the room.

As well, the audio from the backup recording was not likely able to pick up some of the quieter dialogue, but the majority of it should be okay, I think. And Tim did an audio-only recording with his phone on the table, too, so that will go up on iTunes, but again, only the official read, not the practice one.

Still, that final read was even better than the practice one, and so long as the audio turned out more or less okay, I think it’ll remain a favourite of mine for a long time to come. Those ladies all just killed it, and I am so thrilled with how it went!

I just wish the evidence of our evening had been better captured.

Also, Flynn is sick again with a urinary tract infection and I think the cold I had mostly fought off is roaring back with a vengeance this afternoon. In addition, I’m trying something I haven’t done in easily 2 decades. More later, maybe, after I see how it goes.

Taking Control

My Facebook memory feed today is filled with basically two things – the announcement that Tim and I were official Guinness World Record holders, and video clips of the Conjoined Twins of Terror. Both of those things do my heart some good, to the point where I can’t even really remember what else was in my feed. It’s funny to me that I was already promoting and planning the GWR attempt 2 years ago, and was verified one year ago. Everything came full circle, and I’m still so proud and excited about everything I achieved within that space of time.

It does frustrate me some when I think about how little I have accomplished since then, but also motivates me to get my butt in gear now.

Well, hopefully motivates me. It’s one thing to plan things out while I am distracted by my day job, but a whole other thing to actually get stuff done when I am at home.

I think the key is to stay angry. Haha

Mark Hamill’s autograph and photo op prices are up on the Fan Expo site, and even though they are crazy high, I was actually expecting higher, so now I am hopeful that I can get one of both, AND my usual photo op with Morena Baccarin. She and I met almost exactly 10 years ago – Labour Day weekend 2006 – which was also the first time I met Carrie Fisher. Seems perfect that she would come back now – Labour Day weekend 2016 – when I will hopefully be meeting Mark Hamill for the first time. I’m pretty freaking excited. If I end up being able to afford a photo with John Cusack, as well, all the better!

Found out a friend’s film is having its world premiere at TIFF this year, so naturally I need to be there for it. Gotta support my ladies, after all! And speaking of my ladies, Tatiana Maslany also has at least one film coming to TIFF (of course she does – I’m pretty sure she’s actually a clone, or never sleeps, or both), so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to snag a ticket to that one somehow, as well. Freaking September, man. Always so expensive! I’m trying to remain focused on the things I most want, though, and just letting everything else go. If I can make the few things that will most make me smile happen, then I can do without the rest. I just have to stay focused. On myself. Haha

Computer stuff at home is coming along quite well. I think I might start back into uploading clips from our GWR attempt very soon – perhaps over the weekend. It was becoming such a struggle with my old computer, but this one should have a far easier time of it, so I’ll hopefully finish getting all those things posted in the near future! The sound is a mess, because it’s all backup footage from one of the cameras, rather than the mics, but it’s better than nothing. It’ll be fun to revisit that stuff again!

I’m also trying to take Mind Reels stuff more into my own hands, because I am tired of waiting around for anyone else to do a damn thing. I just need more control in order to get things done myself. Freaking boys, man. I honestly do not understand sometimes. Geez.

In the end, I’m in the mood right now to take a more active approach in getting the things I want. There’s a lot on my list, but I feel like – if I focus and whittle it down into more manageable chunks – there’s nothing I can’t do.

11800582_10155889212210402_3762983581859731775_n.jpg

About Last Night

So, last night’s radio play recording was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.  I can’t remember when I last laughed that hard.  Heh – last laughed.  Say that five times fast!

Truly, though, it was exactly what I needed, and even made my headache go away for a bit.  Which is weird, but I’ll take it!  Getting to catch up with everyone a little bit was also amazing, and I think it’s safe to say that we are all eager to do it again soon!  Tim and I had a brief conversation about which script to do next, but I am trying to wait until I’ve started lining up guest cast and have at least calmed down a bit from an epic first episode of what is now my new favourite thing!

Initially, I had wanted to kind of rotate the genres of whatever we are doing each month, but at the same time, Flash Gordon will be super fun, too!

We’ll see.  I have a list of 9 more scripts for us to choose from – so far (there are many more coming) – and I want to at least go over them a little to get a sense of what each might entail.  Then I may very well select scripts based at least in part on the cast who is able to show up for that particular episode.

I also kind of want to do more than one a month, but that’s really getting ahead of myself, so I’ll try to just stick with the initial plan. Haha

Anyway, I am venturing outside of my comfort zone for the rest of the afternoon or so, and need to finish getting ready.

More soon!

PS The full video of last night’s ridiculousness can still be viewed at the LiveStream link (see previous post) for a limited time.

Stupid Stress

So stressed today, guys!

Too much going on, so I’m feeling kind of frazzled, or something.

More input than output, so to speak.

My little guy, Jack Bear, was throwing up this morning – I think for the first time in his young life – which was comical at first, but became less so when I realized he couldn’t stop. He kept bringing up bile until there was nothing left inside him, then he went to lie down under the bed for a few minutes. When he came back out, he meowed a greeting to me, and went over to rub against Brody. The puppy makes him feel better. He purred when I pet him, and slow-blinked with me, and didn’t seem to have a fever or anything when I checked his ears, so hopefully whatever it was is now finished. I’m hopeful that he’ll be back to his usual self when I get home tonight, though also a tad afraid of what sort of vomit-fuelled destruction I might return home to! Poor baby boy.

Leaving work early today to go to my volunteer orientation. All manner of nervous about that, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ll decide after if it’s really something I want to commit to. No idea what time I’ll get home, and I have a billion dishes to wash, as well as the need to make something I can bring for lunch tomorrow. Though also possibly a movie date with the bestie…with popcorn for dinner being a powerful added incentive for that, to boot!

It’s ridiculous the amount of guilt I feel about leaving work early and doing something for myself. Yet my computer issues from yesterday continue, making it harder to do my job effectively, and the frustration building inside me is absurd. I was considering just not going to the orientation. And just not volunteering. I’m already nervous about it, and now I feel guilty about leaving early when so many things are going wrong. It’s silly. All so silly. I’m trying to maintain the mindset that tomorrow is another day, and to just go to the orientation and lose the guilt over it. Easier said than done, but I’m getting there.

Regardless, it’s just one more day of work before the long weekend is upon us, so at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Somehow the long weekend has filled up with things to do, too, though. That ought to make next week extra long, work-wise!

Tomorrow, the Mind Reels will be recording our first retro radio play! I’ve been stressed about that, too, because it was starting to look like we’d have to change the date again, but we’ve managed to get enough people together to pull it off, and now I am just plain stoked for it! You can watch the whole thing unfold on live video here: http://livestream.com/accounts/10837752/events/5652277

The plan is to stream it online from start to finish – divvying up the roles, doing a read-through or two of the script and figuring out how to do the various sound effects that will be required, then making the official recording, which will be posted up on the Smithee.TV iTunes page soon after. We’re hoping to do one play a month, with a variety of different cast members each time. I’m already thrilled with the three people we have joining us for this first one, and I can’t even imagine how much hilarious fun it’s going to be! I’ve already been casting each of the main roles in my head, and am eager to see what everyone else thinks when we get there tomorrow!

I’m going to end there so I can focus on getting a few more things done before I leave work for the day. I want to make things as easy as possible for myself tomorrow, because pretty much everyone I rely on for help will be off!

More soon!

Stagnating

Hot Docs (Toronto’s amazing documentary film festival) is getting underway tonight, and yesterday evening, Tim and I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing some of the ladies responsible for the opening night film, The League of Exotique Dancers – director Rama Rau, and Legends of Burlesque Camille 2000 and Judith Stein.

Now, let’s face it, as soon as we heard we’d gotten this interview, Tim and I both knew it would be a lot of fun. What we couldn’t have predicted was exactly how amazing it would be! You can see our ridiculous chat with those wonderful women here.

Our second interview of the evening was also fun and amazing, but in a different way. The thing is, though, it made both of us want more. We left the hotel last night on an absolute high, having just spent an hour or so doing something we both love, and meeting some incredible individuals in the meantime. You just can’t beat that – the energy, the laughter, the moments of connection, conversation and shared experiences.

The handshakes that turn to hugs.

I think I can say that, for both of us, the evening strengthened our resolve to get things moving forward with the Mind Reels again. Or even get them moving at all, at this point, as we’ve been pretty stagnant for much of 2016 so far. I mean, we’ve been doing things. Tim’s posting on the blog every day at least once, and we’ve done some on-location interviews, like the ones last night, but they are always for events – like Comicon, the CSA’s and now Hot Docs. We haven’t gotten back to doing regular studio interviews or anything like that for a long time, and we have yet to really strategize some of the other features we are hoping to add to our brand, let alone implement them.

In other words, every time I think it might be time to get off the pot, I realize that I still want to shit.

So, operating under the hope that this feeling of resolve lasts past, like, today, here are some of the things we have in the revised playbook:

  • regular weekly video content – at least once a week, and while not always interviews per se, the hope is to have as many guests as possible, and some different fun things rotated in once a month or so. The main goal, though, is to establish some sort of routine wherein we are posting video content at least once a week. We need to get that going and stabilize it a bit so that we can branch out more in the direction we want to go
  • build our reach and fanbase – we want to get our stuff out there more, and try to break out of our circle of friends to grab attention from strangers around the world. This all started in part because no one was really covering the things we liked in the way we would have liked, so we started doing it ourselves. For sure there are others out there who just don’t know about us yet, but who would appreciate some of the things we’re doing, and thee ways in which we are doing them
  • having gotten our feet wet moderating some celebrity panels at Hamilton Comic Con last year, we’re hoping to do the same this year, as well as branch out to other conventions in the area. The more we do it, the better we get at it, and having the addition of a live audience to interact with only heightens the fun, really! It definitely changes the dynamic each time, and that’s a challenge I want to keep taking on, for however long they let me!
  • If we can get some sort of regular show format going, and build our reach more, then the eventual goal is to launch a Patreon page and try to start bringing in a bit of cash each month, even if it’s just enough to cover some of our brand-related expenses which are currently all out-of-pocket. I mean, I’m not foolish enough to hope that we could be like the two teenaged boys on there who pull in over $10k per month by making silly YouTube videos of them eating various foods and rating them on a scale of sour-ness, for example. But at the same time, why couldn’t we create content that people want to see enough to throw $5 a month our way, in return for said content and some pretty excellent rewards? That being said, though, while it’d be wonderful to make a living wage doing something we enjoy (see my previous post about adulting), I certainly don’t expect to. But I would love to have a little help paying for some of the things we use regularly as it is, and upgrade some other things to make our passion project even better than it already is.

So we’ll see how things go. Once Hot Docs is over, I have a list of first steps to take, and we’re hoping to set up a meeting with our producer soon to go over a few ideas, as well. Once the flush of excitement from this week and next wears off, we might go back to stagnating again, I know.

But, then again, we might not.

Missing The Movie Theatre Experience

It’s super busy at work today so I’m taking a shorter lunch and leaping back into the fray when I am done eating, so instead of writing about what I’d been planning to this afternoon, I’ll write about something less involved, instead.

I miss going to movies. I can’t remember when the last time I was at a theatre was, but it feels like a long time ago, for me, anyway.

I remember a former roomate and I challenged ourselves to see one movie a week in the theatre for a year, not including film festival time, and the like. I can’t remember how we actually did, but it was definitely fun! These days, I have two theatres down the street from my apartment, so every time I get a hankering, I usually just head to one of those and see whatever I’m in the mood for.

I’m not sure if I have seen anything yet this year…which would be ridiculous, but…I of course saw Star Wars a few times. And Mockingjay. But yeah…I can’t think of anything since, and those were both out in December. Maybe I saw either or both after New Years, but still. Sad!

Growing up, movies were a treat, especially the ones in movie theatres or – even more so – the drive-in. The closest theatre was a half hour drive away. The Gayety in Collingwood. They eventually opened the comparatively huge Cinema 4, and there were a few theatres available in Barrie, as well, but it was a further drive. When we leaped into the 80’s and got a VCR, going to the theatre became less of an option, reserved for when there was more time and/or money to go around, since we could rent a video (or several) for a fraction of the price.

My decision to move to Toronto was, in a small way, determined by movie theatres, and having access to movies the first day they were released. No longer would I have to wait a week or more for something to be released in a theatre near me. Here, it felt like all the theatres were near me! I even started off in a neighbourhood with a theatre, a Future Shop, a Silver Snail and a Toys R Us. And my doctor, at the time. Basically everything I need to live. Even my first job was in the area.

Things changed – I moved around the city, held different jobs, and while I now live back in that same area, much has changed. I now have two huge theatres to choose from, Future Shop is now a Best Buy, my doctor no longer practices – but I have a dentist in the same building now. Toys R US is still there, but the Silver Snail moved out long ago. Still, though, a lot of Sue necessities. Plus, the area has felt like home pretty much from the get-go, even when I didn’t live near it.

Since I moved back, I’ve been known to go to the movies just so I can have popcorn for breakfast. There’s just something about movie theatre popcorn that can’t be replicated (though John in Colorado does a damn fine job when he makes it at home, I gotta say!), and the same goes for fountain soda. So ridiculous, but sometimes I just have a hankering for that delicious syrup and water in an overly-large, ice-filled cup.

I’m a weirdo.

But going to a movie theatre is kind of my jam. I prefer it to watching something at home sometimes. There are things I prefer to watch at home, of course (ie anything that makes me cry; not porn if that’s what you’re thinking), but often I get an urge to sit in the dark with strangers (either a bunch or a few, I don’t care, because I forget about them, anyway), eat popcorn in a way which suggests I’d starve to death otherwise, drink my fountain pop, and just let someone else’s mind take me away for awhile. There are very few distractions, and I can just be somewhere else for a couple of hours.

And previews! I love previews! I’m actually glad for the initial commercials because I am of course often late for movie screening times, too! So the commercials give me a buffer, without worrying about missing my beloved previews.

They often help my plan my next trip to the theatre, after all!

Okay…that’s about all the time I have. But I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention how much I now miss my current movie dates with Kristi – layered butter on the popcorn, whatever tasty treat we get with our combo, and taking turns between tickets and treats for two! I don’t even care what we see, lady – we have to go soon! 😉 ❤