Follow Up from Last Summer

I wanted to follow up on my progress from last year to see how well I did. Some might even include this summer, but given the year I’ve had, you can’t blame me. 😉

1. Go Camping – CHECK. We did get to go camping for one weekend last summer. Though we didn’t get to do this again this summer, I think we’ll make up for it next year.

2. Have Garage Sale – CHECK. We got rid of quite a bit of stuff, so I’m pretty happy about that. All before I even knew we were moving to Hamilton.

3. Visit friend on Georgian Bay – CHECK. Got to go for a weekend, but didn’t get to see my friend. Need to check in on her this week.

4. Get Gainful Employment – So-so. Started my own consulting gig and I’m really enjoying it.

5. Complete 5 WordPress installs/clients – CHECK. Have done a couple of my own and most for clients. The biggest one is for the Malvern Red and Black Society, coming soon!

6. Post once a day on any of my three blogs – So-so. Getting better at it and it goes in waves.

7. Go on at least 3 dates (with the same person or different people) – FAIL. Dates? What are they? It’s a type of fruit isn’t it?

8. Get ready for September grading by training at least twice per week. – FAIL. Moving has put a bit of a damper on the training front. Getting better at taking a walk at night and doing training in the park.

9. Lose 10 pounds (would love 20, but lets start there). – CHECK AND FAIL. I lost about 20 pounds, but mostly due to CO poisoning. I think I might have put it back on by now.

10. Read 5 books off the bookshelf – CHECK. It took me a little longer, but I actually took up the 50 Book Challenge. Though I may have succeeded from my list here, I’m quite far behind on it.

Bonus: Visit a museum or gallery – CHECK. Went to the AGO for my birthday.

Sunset on the beach in Tiny

Sunset on the beach in Tiny

What I Want To Be Remembered For

Topic: What do you want to be remembered for?

I attended a funeral yesterday for a woman that had lived a very long, fruitful and successful life. I had only seen her a few times, but her son is a friend of my brother’s. One thing that everyone said about her is that no matter how much pain she was in, or what kind of day she was having, she would ask, “How are YOU doing?” It made me think about how I conduct myself in meeting new people and in those I already know. I have changed that immediately.

There were two pieces that were read at her funeral that I believe exemplified who she was. Here they are:

She Is Gone

You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

written 1981
David Harkins 1959 –
Silloth, Cumbria, UK

Philippians 4:8-9
New International Version (NIV)

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I’m not a religious person, but I’m spiritual. The first one celebrates the life that this woman has led, not her death. The second describes a king leaving his people and though he is gone and may not return, they will be able to continue because of the lessons he has taught them.

I should only be so lucky as to have my life memorialized in such a way. That the lives I’ve touched have been forever changed and hopefully enriched by having done so. Peace.

Assemble your dream dinner guest list

Assemble your dream dinner guest list.

This shows most likely how this dinner party would turn out to be

This shows most likely how this dinner party would turn out to be

The Challenge asked for 6. I’ve decided to go with 12. Here’s my list:

1. Miyamoto Musashi – the best swordsman that ever lived. Much of what I train in was derived from him. Would bring wonderful insight.

2. Jeremy Piven – One of my favourite comedians (and there are a few here). One of my favourite roles was when he played Cupid in a show of the same name. My favourite quote: “Coffee without caffeine? That’s like sex without the spanking!”

3. Gordon Korman – I have always loved his books and his I would never put down. My favourite: No Coins Please.

4. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – One of my favourite characters of all time is Sherlock Holmes, so why not invite his creator. I could see him, Musashi and Christie all chatting over a drink somewhere.

5. John Cusack – I never miss one of his movies. He and Jeremy Piven are like the Fry and Laurie of North America. Can’t invite one without the other.

6. Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are next to Sherlock in my books (no pun intended). Can’t have a dinner party without her.

7. Stephen Fry – He and Hugh Laurie are geniuses of our era along with Rowan Atkinson in comedy. Putting these three in a room is sure to be a hoot.

8. Hugh Laurie – Been mentioned already, but really adore his comedy with Stephen Fry.

9. Lynda Carter – My female idol from having played my favourite comic book character, Wonder Woman.

10. Simon Pegg – British comedy for the new generation. Rowan, Hugh and Stephen are more my generation if not a little older. Simon brings the new comedy.

11. Rowan Atkinson – Not because he was Mr. Bean, but more for his work in Black Adder and more for his skits in various stage productions such as “We Are Amused”.

12. Zhang Ziyi – A wonderful actress. I never miss one of her performances whether in Chinese or English.

Revisit a topic you wrote about in January

Revisit a topic you wrote about in January.

How funny this is? I wrote about Bridget Jones back in January. The movie came on again a couple of weeks ago and I wrote about it again here. So, challenge done! Read away.

Autistic…Artistic…Sounds pretty close.

My father put this article in front of me this evening: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/nyregion/children-with-autism-connecting-via-bus-and-train.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=autism&st=cse

Oliver, left, and Ravi Greene, who are regular visitors to the New York Transit Museum.

Oliver, left, and Ravi Greene, who are regular visitors to the New York Transit Museum.

There are three things about this article on the surface that are eye-catching to me:

  1. I have a brother named Ravi
  2. He has autism; and
  3. He likes trains

I wonder how much of a coincidence this is. Now, if I dig deeper into the article, I am reminded of the sessions that I attended at the Art Gallery of Ontario on Saturday. Though I did not attend this particular discussion, I wonder if this museum has touched on a great idea.

One of the interesting things that I heard about at this event is the fear of some parents with small children that their little hands might touch something they aren’t supposed to. I also know that there are movies for mummies where they have an afternoon showing of a movie for mothers with small children without fear of babies crying and disturbing someone else.

So why not have a day for families that have people with disabilities? I know that sometimes, people with disabilities feel uncomfortable, but so do some of those around them. In a place like a gallery, many expect to have a quiet atmosphere, but some can’t control it, much like my brother who has Tourette’s Syndrome. Have one day a month or something similar where families can view the artwork without worrying about disturbing anyone else because everyone else is doing it too. This would not only set the minds of those with the disability at ease, but also those who care for them. Couldn’t hurt to have others around that might learn how to integrate those with disabilities into their lives as well. Just a thought…

My Fun Saturday – The Teaser

It was definitely a busy day yesterday. On Friday I just chilled out knowing that it was certainly going to be a whirlwind on Saturday. And I was right! I got full use out of my metropass!

My day started out with a great event at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was intended to get feedback from the public about the Gallery. I’ll be posting more on it tomorrow, but you can certainly follow the discussion on Twitter by watching the hashtag #AGOChat. The photos from that event are posted here. I know that Rannie will certainly have wonderful photos posted from the event soon. As a thank you, we walked away with some pretty cool swag. Definitely setting the bar on that one!

My Andy on his first day out

After finishing at the AGO, I rushed over to the Liberty Noodle for the HTML5

Barbecue. This was done jointly with the Toronto Google Technology Users Group which I attended two weeks ago where I won my Andy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there until it was almost finished, so I won’t have much on that except to say that it was a packed room and a great bunch of people. Even after the presentations were done, there were some great discussions and of course cool swag. 😉 You can follow the Yorkville Media Centre for more details on this, the #TOGTUG group and of course, AndroidTO coming up in October.

I’ve posted the photos from the Stella Artois Block Party here. Please feel free to tag at your leisure. This was another great event where I got to see some old friends and meet some new people that I might have seen on Twitter, but hadn’t had the chance to meet in person. Many thanks to @StellaArtoisCAN for throwing this great event. Follow the hashtag #BlockParty from last night to see some craziness.

I’ll be writing on these topics more in the coming days so stay tuned!

What Would You Like To See Me Write About?

Quill PenAfter reading a post about How To Get More Traffic, I decided to look into at least one thing that I had not yet done and that was ask you, my readers, what you would like to see me write about?

I have such a diverse background and have great stories to tell. I’ve been doing a lot of Post A Day from WordPress, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, but is it what you want to see?

Many of you have heard me tell a story or two (or more). What story would you like me to tell? Is it one I’ve already told? Is it one that you haven’t heard before, or one for which you didn’t hear the ending? That doesn’t mean that I’m going to change everything, because I will still write a thing or two from Post A Day.  Maybe I’m missing a story about my personal endeavours or my work experience. You tell me.

When did you realize you were an adult?

When did you realize you were an adult?

I moved out of my father’s house when I was 20, a week after I finished high school. I moved in with my friends Emily and Stephanie to an apartment at Yonge and Eglinton. They had moved in two months earlier and I followed after I was done school.

I worked at Parks and Recretaion, started working at a cofee shop, cleaned an apartment and sold roses on Church Street. I’d stopped working at the comic store a few months earlier. I made just enough money to pay my rent, buy coffee now and again, and cover my groceries. I was finally on my own. But I wasn’t a grown up, despite having been a fairly mature child for my age.

About two months in, I realized that I needed a more regular job. I applied to work in a women’t clothing store in the Eaton’s Centre. I started during their end of summer sale so the dress was pretty casual. I cam in the next week wearing similar clothing to the previous week. Big mistake. They’d changed over to the fall collection and no one had told me. My manager took me to the back room and had a chat with me. She said that most of the girls still lived at home and didn’t have to worry about bills and rent like I did. She held a few items back from the sale that I could purchase to improve my wardrobe and gave me a great start.

I worked there for about six months when I moved into my own apartment…alone. Shortly thereafter, I began working for my father. I had my own bills, my own place, my job and no one else was going to do the dishes for me. I was finally a grown up.

Top 5 Celebrity Tweeps I’d Like To Meet

I decided to do something a little different for Follow Friday. These descriptions and reasons are a little bit longer than a tweet, so I decided to make a post out of them. I started with a neat short list and then there were so many that I had to break them up and even extend them a little. Some I may some day meet, some never. But what if we don’t have dreams what have we got.  I will have a few more lists in coming weeks but for now, here is my list of celebrities I’d like to meet in no particular order.

Stephen Fry on TwitterStephen Fry (@StephenFry) – I have always loved his work, with and with out Hugh Laurie. I watched an interview with him recently while he was in Toronto by Jian Ghomeshi of the CBC (@JianGhomeshi) and part of it dealt with his view on Twitter. I highly recommend you go and watch it. He seems like a real and amusing human being.

Rick Mercer on TwitterRick Mercer (@RickMercer) – Here’s some Canadian content for the day. Love watching his show, “The Mercer Report” on CBC. Also had the pleasure of watching him host “A Night of The Stars” for the Toronto Association for Community Living one year and he is a hoot. He is to Canada what Stephen Fry is to England.

George Stroumbulopoulos on TwitterGeorge Stroumboulopoulos (@Strombo) – I’ve just recently started watching his show and I’m ashamed that I haven’t watched it much before now! He is an incredibly great interviewer and seems to be a really nice guy all around. I’m sure that if I met him in a bar somewhere, I’d be starstruck and he’d just take it as it comes.

John Cusack on TwitterJohn Cusack (@JohnCusack) – He has some really weird tweets sometimes, but as an actor, I love what he does. One of my all time favourites of his is “Say Anything”, but this post is even based on one of his movies where the term “Top 5” is used many times, “High Fidelity” which is my second favourite.

Nathan Fillion on TwitterNathan Fillion (@NathanFillion) – Really interacts with his followers and seems to have the whole Twitter thing down. He sends a lot of pictures through Twitter of the set that he might be working on, introduces celebrities that are new to Twitter and just loves what he does.

Honourable Mentions:

Tim Roth on TwitterTim Roth (@TRHooligan1) – Always liked him as an actor, but really got hooked on him in the recently chopped “Lie To Me”. I adore the fact that he used his real accent and the part really seemed to be how I would imagine him in real life. His tweets are really interesting discussion starters and his pictures of either New York City or his eye are different than most you might see. The only thing is that even though he has almost 4,000 followers, he’s not following anyone else. So, he’s got to pick up his game a little.

David Krumholtz on TwitterDavid Krumholtz (@DaveKrumholtz) – Just recently joined Twitter but has a really fun time with it. Love watching him start to get the idea of how to use Twitter. Loved his role in “Numb3rs” and currently going through by seasons now. He’s a nerd cutey.

Change the end of any famous story, true or fiction

 

Change the end of any famous story, true or fiction. I just did a post last week about writing a book, so this is a bit of a follow up to that.

Neuromancer

First edition paperback cover (Ace Science Fiction 1984)

Feng Shui Roleplaying Game

Feng Shui Roleplaying Game

I took an English course at Ryerson University in Science Fiction. I didn’t think I would enjoy it because it was my third choice. The other two didn’t have enough enrollment, so I settled for this class. Boy was I pleasantly surprised! We were charged with writing something creative in the style or based on one of the books that we read during the semester. I was inspired! A few years earlier, I’d been party to a role-playing game that we called “Shadow Shui”. It started out as a Shadow Run campaign, which is a cyber-punk style based on the William Gibson book, Neuromancer. Part way through, we changed the mechanics of the game to a system called “Feng Shui”, but continued the main story line, hence Shadow Shui.

Shadow Run Roleplaying Game

Shadow Run Roleplaying Game

This was one of, if not my favourite campaign. I loved my character and did my best to never miss a session. I even recorded everything in Excel spreadsheets to make sure I had everything at hand. We had to take a break from the campaign because some people’s schedules changed. We were almost finished and could have probably finished it during a long weekend. I bugged the game master to finish it for years. One day, I asked him again when we were going to finish it and another player who was standing beside us said, “Are you going to tell her?”. The game master decided not to finish it and let everyone write their own ending to the story. I was dumbfounded! He couldn’t do that! Well, he did or rather…didn’t.

This was my chance! The prof loved my proposal and off I went. Hence, Shadow Shui: The Story was born. I got a great mark on it and was truly interested in writing it. I joined a writer’s group at a local bookstore run by a friend of mine. After the store closed, I put up shadowshui.wordpress.com. I hope you will enjoy the story’s “end” since I hope to continue it further someday.

UPDATE: I’ve just realized the difficulty with my blog link. I’ve just corrected it. Sorry!