Thoughtful Thursday – Wars

I struggled to figure out what to say all day yesterday. We were told that unless things are settled by this Sunday, the teachers are striking as of Monday. 
This isn’t something I can do anything to stop. Just like I can’t do anything about Mr. Pumpkinhead to the south or his Korean counterpart. 

But there are other battles I can fight and win. I can read my books and scripts and use the information to help me write my assignments and continue learning. I can clean my home. I can fight for relationships that are important to me. I can do the things I’m supposed to that are recommended to keep my Sjogren’s in check. I can use tools like Tylenol Complete to help me get through the last day of class this week. I can make good choices that help me accomplish the goals I have like reducing my sugar intake and exercising. 

There’s a lot I can do to get through the chaos in the world right now. The biggest thing is keeping a positive attitude. Yes, I know strikes can last months, but they can also be resolved in a day or two. 

I can also be supportive of the teachers. The media tries to paint a picture that it’s about pay, but it isn’t. Many of the issues are things like the colleges trying to give themselves a loophole that would let them make all teaching positions part-time  contracts, so they never have to give teachers things like benefits. So when they offer a pay raise and ignore all the actual issues, they’re being shitty and trying to make the teachers look greedy. Imagine an entire faculty where no one has job stability and can be fired with only two weeks of notice no matter how long they’ve been working there. 

The whole situation sucks for the students either way. Who would choose to teach except the less experienced under such a system? 

There are many other things they are fighting for that are listed here

It’s time to get ready for school. 

Guid cheerio the nou,

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Life

Sorry for not posting yesterday. I’ve been incredibly busy. I’ve reached the point in my schooling where one assignment is completed and replaced by three others. It’s the point where I’m also doing extra things like lining up work placements. Noticing I’ve been falling behind in readings, I cleared a space for that on my dining room table. 

I’m getting closer on having the rest of my place clean. At least, I keep telling myself this. Usually what happens is exhaustion. We do have a long weekend this weekend in Canada. It’s Thanksgiving on Monday. I’m not visiting family because I did that in September instead and I can’t afford that kind of time away from my studies. 

At least my plumbing issue might be fixed now. That was earlier in the week. I have a few more things to get done this week like returning the case I ordered for my tablet as the wrong size came. My proper keyboard cover is here, but I can’t pick it up until tonight according to the slip. I also need to drop off the cheque for the seminar space tomorrow after I meet with a man at a TV company about potentially doing some of my placement hours there. They’re in the same end of town. 

Hockey has returned. I’ll likely be tuning into the Habs game this evening. 

All this busyness doesn’t distract me from the bad stuff going on in the world. What happened in Vegas was horrifying.  When mass shootings happen in the US, I always wonder how a culture so similar to ours can be so different. There are a lot of people with guns up here yet the frequency that mass shootings happen is so much lower. Is it because it’s written in their constitution? Is it because their population is larger? Do they just not know how to solve problems without bullets? 

I also question a lot about the event itself. So much doesn’t make sense. The man was a multimillionaire who had no taste for weapons. He liked to party and enjoy the finer things in life. You’d think there’d at least be someone at a shooting range who knew him if he was this into guns. Also, how does anyone break glass that is supposed to stand up to hurricanes? His lack of military training to pull this thing off is strange too.
I suppose all of this and the recent sudden loss of an old friend is what had me wake up at 5AM in existential crisis fearing my own death. I feel like I’m close to finally really living my life. I’d really like to do that. 

I don’t have a lot of answers. I’m actually leery of people who are overly certain about such things. There are too many variables to be certain in my opinion. I suppose some choose a side if only to avoid waking up the way I did this morning. Some questions don’t have answers and others I know I’m not the right person to answer. 

That said, it’s time to get ready for school. 

I’ll try to at least post a picture or link on the days I’m too busy in the future.

Guid cheerio the nou,

R~

Remembering 9/11

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On that day in 2001, I was studying Social Work at Canadore College in North Bay. My friends and I had just gotten off the bus. The student centre lounge was on the way. Someone yelled about what was on the massive projection screen. We crowded around to see the live unedited footage of bodies hanging out of buildings that were on fire. We watched as people began falling. We stayed there until it was time to go to class.

We didn’t learn anything in our classrooms that day.

Announcements were made advising us to head home as the college would be closing until more information was available about the attack on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers.

That campus is near the military base. Since North Bay was a major NORAD location, no one who was born in the city was surprised we were being sent home.

All we knew was that a major North American financial institution had been struck and that many Canadians also worked there. We went home to watch the news because it was all we could do. We didn’t have cell phones to check if our loved ones were OK. The Internet wasn’t as huge then. We mostly watched flash videos and did research for school assignments in those days.

We had seen war on TV before, but it was always footage from distant lands.

On that day, it was close to home.

It was affecting our daily lives.

Many thought our base could be a target as well.

We didn’t know if or when school would be open again.

All we had was each other and the news.

Several other locations were targeted and many lost their lives that day.

It’s been 16 years since that day, but there is a lot of turmoil going on and I’m nervous as I head off to school once more on September the 11th.

R~

Theatrical Tuesday – R.I.P. Jerry Lewis

rest-in-peaceWatching the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon was a tradition around my house growing up. I was young, so I don’t remember it vividly, but they often had performers on it or did comedy skits to help raise money. To see the kind of programming they did in between pleas for funding, check out the Muscular Dystrophy Association channel on YouTube.

One of the films we enjoyed most was The Disorderly Orderly. He played a hospital orderly who was always dropping things and making mistakes. I was young when I last saw it and I think it’s time to rewatch it because the plot description and what I remember are rather like opposite cliffs of the Grand Canyon. I just thought he was clumsy or squeamish.

He did a lot of good while he was here and I’m sad he’s gone.

More on his passing here.

Rest in peace, Mr. Lewis.

R~

Frisky Friday – Hope

L4BB3-67RLK3J_RoyRNormally, I write about sex on Fridays as you know. As you’re also undoubtedly aware, it’s been a hell of a week.

I wasn’t originally intending for Fridays to only be about sex, but also generally fun.

Today, however, I want to announce a new main section of my site.

It’s a place that holds links to stories that offer hope in the fight against racism through non-violent methods.

It’s in the main bar, but I’ll link it here as well.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Charlottesville

thoughtfulEvery time I have sat down to write this post, I have struggled to find the words.

A woman was killed. She sounded like a nice person. I didn’t know her. She was younger than me and probably had a bright future.

It’s sad, but not shocking as it was only a matter of time. Actually, I thought it would happen sooner.

A lot of white people are being stupid about it.

When I was a child, I used to wonder why wars happened at all. I used to think the two sides should just talk things over and make some agreed upon concessions then live and let live.

I’m not a child anymore, but I’ve always seen this as an option.

Some don’t believe that option exists and prefer bloodshed.

There’s a movement in Charleston, South Carolina by people on both sides agreeing to debate openly rather than taking to the streets with weapons.

Anyway, this isn’t a political blog and I have no intention of turning it into one.

I hope they can set an example that brings about peace.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

 

Thoughtful Thursday – On Editing

L4BB3-67RLK3J_RoyRSometimes a contract falls through and it’s the best thing for all parties. Editors and authors can have vastly different visions of what a story should be and sometimes an artist needs to stay true to their vision.

This is a good time to officially say that going forward, I will be extremely choosy about writing short stories. They are very time consuming and I’d much rather be working on a screenplay or a novel or a novel adaptation as those are where my heart is.

Don’t worry. I’ll turn that little story into something. I think a different medium will truly let it shine.

Stay true to yourself and you will never go wrong.

Salut,
R~

Morose Monday – Floods

flood-989081_640Cars have been swallowed. Stop signs are barely visible. People use boats to travel. This isn’t the start of a story. This isn’t a description of Venice. All over Ontario, people are being forced to leave their homes due to floods. The situation has hit a critical point and the army is being deployed to rescue citizens. In the Ottawa area, Gatineau and Rockland are the hardest hit. CTV is reporting live on the situation.

I find it hard to stay positive while I worry about those I care about. Others are unhappy that it is now snowing, but this is a good thing. “New snow is composed of a high percentage of air trapped among the accumulated snow crystals. Since the air can barely move, heat transfer is greatly reduced. Fresh, uncompacted snow typically is 90 to 95 percent trapped air.” (Source: https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/science/characteristics.html) Snow is better than more rain at this time. Sure, I’d prefer sun, but right now it’s just not an option. They’re predicting more rain… I never thought I’d be scared of rain.

It’s a hard thing. One usually buys waterfront property to enjoy the beach access. Walls might help protect these homes, but cut them off from the beach.

This is climate change. Pure and simple. The water continues to rise around the globe. Homes will either be lost completely or need to be raised. Basements are going to become a thing of the past.

I feel fortunate that I can’t afford to live near the water and that I’m on the 3rd floor of a condo building. My area is fairly dry. With hundreds of thousands of sandbags deployed and the military there aiding what citizens are left, there isn’t much left to do but wait until the water recedes. I’m thankful for messaging applications that let me keep in touch with loved ones. Sometimes being there physically isn’t possible, but supporting them emotionally can be just as helpful.

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In the rest of my world, I’m plodding along on my goals:

  • Screenplay: 6.5 pages have been written.
  • Novel: Rewritten 3 chapters because they were godawful and I couldn’t continue writing the rest so terribly.
  • Short Story: 6/11 pages edited. I need to kick into high gear on this as it’s due by the 15th. When I get stuck, I work on my other writing projects or cleaning.
  • Kitchen Reno: The drawers are not cooperating at all and I might need to replace the bottoms with the same crap they were originally made of. I don’t want to spend the money, but I also want to have my kitchen whole again. I’ll be putting it on hold until later this month as I don’t have the extra cash for it. Someday I’ll be able to paint. I have a colour in mind.
  • Sewing Business: I’ve made some marketing materials. I’ll be focusing on this more in June once the short story is completed, Comiccon has passed, and my annual martial arts weekend is done. I haven’t begun my inventory yet. I’ve just been too swamped with the rest and I suppose a little scared.
  • Martial Arts: Trying to be prepared for the seminar and grading weekend. I have a large amount of my clothes packed and pretty much just need to worry about food and clean and pack my keikogi and hakama sets.
  • Newsletter: Haven’t progressed on this. I’ll make this a priority once I’ve finished the short story and handed it in.
  • Fitness: Between reno and rain, I haven’t been doing great at this.
  • Cleaning: I’ve been cleaning everyday and it’s starting to look better in here. I noticed this improves my ability to concentrate on important things like writing.
  • Bento Boxes: I’m reading a lot about bento lunches and trying to make rice balls later today. They are freezable, so I can make them now for my two busy weekends. I’ve also read about orange juice carrots and chicken “ham”. I think these will be a good start and need some easy filler ideas like pre-made cookies, fruit salad, etc to complete my bentos for the seminar weekend.
  • Guitar: I just got my guitar back from the shop and have only had time to play a couple of songs. I need to rebuild my calluses and I just caught my pinky finger in between my chair arm and keyboard tray, so today might be a wash.
  • Reading: I haven’t been doing well on this. Why? The novel I was reading wasn’t enjoyable. I switched to Linda Poitevin’s Sins of the Angels and read 7 chapters. The damn thing is hard to put down. I was hooked from the opening sentence. I felt a mix of things while reading Sophie’s World. One thing I felt like it was too much of an academic story. The other was that it is very much from the perspective of a young girl, but not wholly realistic in the way she acts. I just couldn’t connect with it and felt like it’s just not the right time for me to be reading it. I didn’t expect that. I generally like philosophizing about things, but it just isn’t working for me. Maybe with the flood and how much decision making I have going on, I just need something more fun right now.

That’s all I have. I hope wherever you are that you are safe and dry. I hope the forecast that includes more rain is wrong. I hope that people will have homes to return to.

Salut,
R~

Merry Monday – Good News!

pen_and_bookOn Saturday, I was informed that I’ve been accepted to college! I’ll be studying Scriptwriting at Algonquin College in the Fall. The program has me more excited than any other I’ve taken. I’ll be learning about the history of film in Canada, how to write for actors/digital media/broadcasting/screen, basic video production, the business side of script writing, and there’s a field placement. I also read about how they often have a field trip where they take students out to pitch scripts to people who make movies happen. I think it might actually be at the Toronto Film Festival. I’m super eager to start the course! Seriously, if I had the books I’d already be reading them and like Hermione know a lot of the answers on day one…

It’s good that I don’t have them yet as I have to prepare financially for this. One of the things to decide is whether or not to get the laptop I really want or to go with something cheaper to save cash. I really want one that coverts to a tablet, but I think I could save like $400 or so going with less. Decisions… I mean eating and my mortgage are pretty important, but gadgetty goodness!

Other good news? I will have an article published soon in Onder Magazine about how composing music and writing stories are similar activities. I’ll let you know when you can get your hands on it, as soon as I know 🙂

I will also be part of another Eighth Ripple Press anthology, which is slated for October. Steamy Cogs is an anthology of Steampunk Romance stories. This is my current WIP. I only have most of it left to write and I have to type it sans my left index finger as I cut the tip of that one. I learned how to type with injured fingers that year I successfully completed NaNoWriMo. It feels weird to do it though. And I keep forgetting it until the pain shoots through my finger. That happened the NaNoWriMo time too. Didn’t learn the lesson the first time…

One sad thing. I accidentally killed a bird when it swooped under my car as I exited a highway ramp on Sunday. Poor birdie didn’t have a chance. RIP little pigeon 😥

I’m off to memorize a book report in French before tonight as our teacher wants us to present this one without notes. Though I hate presentations less than I used to, this one is in another language, which adds a whole new layer of yuck. I think he wants to see how well we improvise. He might have us repeat it too. Extra yuck.

Oh, I have a small book around here on writing scripts. I can read that before school and then give it back to my friend…

French first though.

Salut,
R~

Merry Monday – Ghosts and Deadlines

rest-in-peaceOn Saturday, I awoke around 7:00 AM without an alarm. I went on Facebook and for some reason, my aunt showed up in my suggested friends list. This was strange to me as last year I had tried to find her and some of my other relatives online without any success. Three hours later, my brother texted me to let me know my aunt had passed away. It would simply be a strange occurrence, if this type of thing hadn’t happened to me on two other occasions. On those other occasions, before finding out that friend’s fathers had died, I saw someone that looked exactly like them in a public place. Before I could say hi, the strangers disappeared.

Yeah, I know what that sounds like.

One of my aunts is a registered clairvoyant. She’s helped police solve cases.

I know what that sounds like too.

I also know scientists say there’s no way ghosts can exist.

My grandma died in our house when I was 6. One day shortly after, I don’t know exactly how many days after, both my brother and I heard our grandma open the china cabinet to get a tea cup as she always had, so we both rushed to the kitchen. He was in the basement, and I upstairs. We didn’t see her, but it doesn’t change that two of us heard the same sound at the same time.

My personal experience tells me that there is stuff out there that science cannot yet explain. In fact, science will currently say that the existence of ghosts is impossible while also holding to a model that suggests the same amount of energy is always around. I’m fully aware that others have different experiences and I have no right to impose my own beliefs on them.

The rest of Saturday was split between crying and trying to distract myself. I couldn’t eat all of my supper because choking led to throwing up part of it. I was pretty scared and wondering if I was going to be done in by a piece of steak and some red wine. Later, I made a cookie and dropped half of it on the floor. I said screw it and picked up the wayward pieces of cookie and ate them anyway. Then, I watched TV because it was the safest course of action given how the rest of the day had played out.

What followed next was an editor letting me know that my proposal for an article was accepted. This was wonderful news despite having fewer days to write it because the email got lost somewhere in the cyber cosmos. I have much of it done, though the last two sections are difficult as they involve elements I’m not confident I’ve fully grasped myself, so who am I to be writing about such things. Ah, the imposter syndrome. What would any artist be without it?

At any rate, it’s close to finished. Going to sleep on it and see if anything comes to mind tomorrow.

I wasn’t looking forward to French today. I had hardly practiced during our week away, I was tired, and the whole reason I took French was because the last time I saw my aunt and that part of my family I could barely communicate with them. Now my aunt is gone and I guess part of me feels like what is the point of it now. Yes, I know I live in Ottawa and being able to speak French is a good thing for future jobs, but I felt like giving up today and that isn’t something I do. We get another break around the 13th. I’m hoping to catch up on the homework soon.

Anyway, I need sleep. Maybe everything will look a little bit better tomorrow.

Salut,
R~