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Where's an e-collar when you need it?!

It's January in Ottawa, which translates to really freaking COLD. Chill you to the bone cold. Wind cutting right through you cold. And I spent the day at work, at the Public Library, and it was like working in a meat locker. Because the front desk faces the front door, and every time the door would open, we'd get this blast of Arctic air right to the face, sucking the very idea of the definition of warmth from your memories. When we checked the thermostat, it was -16 degrees Celcius *inside* our workroom. Which converts to what? 3 degrees Farenheit. We almost had to go and put our winter coats on. But I digress.

The drop-boxes were literally covered in frost, and we huddled around little space heaters like extras in a movie set in the Depression. Most unpleasant. Now I understand, people gotta come in, and people gotta go. And I have no problem with that. My extreme irritation comes from those people, those perfectly able-bodied people, who insist on slamming their fists into the handicapped door opener, who stand there and wait while the door slowly swings open, before leaving. Now, this is particularly irritating on a day like today, because the door stays open for minutes at a time, each and every time it's opened.

But it's actually the sheer principle of the thing that drives me crazy. That people are so lazy, and apathetic, that rather than using their own strength to merely push the door open, they abuse the assistive technology to the point that it breaks down. Frequently. Not only at the library, but at a number of other places I've been to, as well. And when those mechanisms break down, then who's affected? The very people that *need* that accessibility. It's so outrageous that I've seen, on at least 3 or 4 different occasions, with completely different individuals in different places, people in wheelchairs being forced to try and accelerate forward hard enough to push the doors open themselves. With great difficulty. If they're lucky, there might be someone close by who could rush to assist. But that shouldn't even be necessary in the first place.

So I'm sitting there at the front desk, watching it happen over and over again, and I just want to say "Use your hands, and open that door yourself!!" And "Don't touch that button!! Don't even think about it, Mister!!!" We were discussing that what we really need is something like an e-collar, only it's something that  wouldn't have to be worn by the recipient of the gentle "warning". And it could be activated remotely. Just zap 'em once or twice to curb the urge and keep them moving. And it could be used in all sorts of situations.

Just last week, we had a guy with anger management issues, who was upset about something or other, and after shouting about teaching us to leave his "stuff" alone, he hauled off and threw a full styrofoam container of pasta and sauce at the front desk. Unbelievable. It didn't hit any of the staff, thank goodness, but it exploded and splattered *everywhere*. Took us over an hour to clean up. Windex is our friend. That e-collar would come in really handy in a situation like that. Take that, Pasta Bandit. Or was it Pasta Perp they decided on? *g*

I keep telling myself that 95% of the people we serve and help are all right. And some of them are downright awesome. But that 5%, man. Do they every linger like a black cloud of toxicity. That's why it's important to have happy places to go to, whether it's puppies, or paintings, or porn. Or all three. *g* Oh well. Someday the spring will come. And in the meantime, I have the internet to keep me warm. :) 

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Buck Brannaman, I think I love you ...

I watched something so beautiful and moving tonight. The documentary "Buck", which tells the story of the original horse whisperer,  Buck Brannaman. It was recommended to me by a co-worker. And I fully expected to enjoy it for the basic fact that I love and respect horses, even if I don't have anything to do with them in my life. 

But I wasn't expecting to be captivated by the way that this man was so genuine, with such great wisdom, and a vast kindness. You hear people speak of someone having a gentle soul, but it's actually something very rare to see. And just watching Buck on screen, and listening to him talk about life, and the choices we make, just brought me to a quiet place where I wish we could all have a little piece of this man's character. He spoke about how horses are the mirrors to our souls, and how sometimes we don't like what we see in the mirror. But sometimes we will. And how life is too short to add to our baggage by dwelling on our mistakes, but how we should learn from them, and get on with the business of living, and being as happy as we can be. 

Some people have very jagged auras, and bring restlessness and frenetic speeches with them wherever they go. If not outright trouble and strife. This is someone that you could sit down beside, and stay a spell, and it would be like sitting by the shore of a cool pond on a summer's day. 

It actually does my heart good knowing that individuals like him are out there in the world, forces of goodness and light and peace. When the world's getting a little crazy, and I find myself gritting my teeth, and thinking dark thoughts, I'm going to try to think of Buck. And try to remember the true value of patience, and of stillness, and of just being in the moment. Not just swallowing down the words but still emanating irritation, and impatience, and judging some of what's going on around me. I've come a long way over the last few years in letting things go, and approaching people with an open heart. But I believe that this could take me even further down the road on this journey that is life. Funny how these lessons can come out of nowhere. 

My heart is feeling full tonight. Maybe I'll have good dreams tonight... It's funny. I remember that when I was very small, and lying in my bed at night, feeling anxious and watchful for things that might come in the night. And I knew that I needed to go to a better place. And I would travel in my mind's eye to a sun-drenched field, with tall grasses waving in the breeze. And wild horses grazing and standing with their manes blowing gently in the wind. And along the borders of this field were colourful wildflowers and roses. And it was so beautiful and peaceful and perfect that I could instantly feel my body unclench and my heart ease. What a magical place. Maybe if I open my heart to it, I'll find that peaceful place again. I hope so. 
It seems as though everywhere you look these days on the Internet, on Twitter, etc., people seem to give in to the worst aspects of their natures. It amazes me to see how, in choosing to take the time to comment on a post, a vid, a story, what have you, they are choosing to let loose in anger, or ignorance, or intolerance. Not always, but often enough that I just want to look away. In my mind I hear Newman, from Seinfeld, shouting "Oh the humanity!!!" 

For my part, I don't believe in putting that sort of thing out into the universe. It's not to say that you can't have opinions, or that you can't disagree with, or dislike something. But even contrary opinions can be offered up with respect, and courtesy, and reasonable discourse. I may be Old School, but I try to make sure that whatever I put out there, into the void, will be words of thanks. And appreciation. And maybe a kind word, now and then. 

It may seem like a small thing, but so many times that one word of kindness, or that one smile, can make all the difference. And maybe remind someone that there are many, many quiet participants in the dance that is fandom and fascination. Quiet people who look to your stories, and graphics, and vids, to help them make it through a sleepless night. Who need a laugh, or a good cry session. Who take comfort in the things that you've put so much time and effort into making. But who simply don't have the words to say, or who maybe don't feel as though they have the right to intrude on what they feel is a private conversation between friends, or people who they feel are much cooler than they are. 

I know that I may not have the chance to meet most of the people that I interact with in the various communities I participate in. But even if I never hear anything in return, I know that if nothing else, they will know that they have touched somebody's life. Made them think, and made them feel. Painted pictures with their words that can take on lives of their own, as the story comes to a close. Made an impact on someone's heart. Which is what binds us all together. 

Things I Have Learned in the Past Year...

That 2 people, even when you think you know each other really well, can see and experience the same event in *completely* different ways. Like being on different planets, you see things so differently. Weird...

That physical change can come, if you're willing to do the work. Which it is. Hard. Work. But your body thanks you for it later. Even if you have to re-commit, and then re-commit again, because time and real life seem to get in the way of loftier aspirations.

That having one person say "I see you. I see what you're going through. I'm going to help you." can make *all* the difference in the world.

That rediscovering my love of reading actual books can be like coming home again. Like your brain coming out of hibernation, and your imagination winning the sweepstakes.

That turning 40 means feeling better than I ever have before. And that I'm *still* figuring out this "Growing Up" business. *sigh* But I am also more content with myself than ever before. So that's a win. *g*

That I have been blessed with the greatest of friends, and am therefore a most fortunate one.  

2010 The Year of Transformation

So last year was pretty hard for me. I was stressed out, and frustrated, and depressed. Just trying to make it through the day. And then to make it from one day to the next. And I could feel myself getting somewhat ... bitter, I guess is the word ... or more cynical, at work, for numerous reasons. And all I could do was just hang on until I had some time off at Christmas. When, for the first time in a long time, I slept a lot. And took it easy. And saw my friends part of the time. And just cozied up at home, the rest of it. And suddenly, so much of that burden of stress was gone. And I was happy most of the time. And I decided that I didn't want to give up that feeling. I didn't want to be a hardened version of myself. I wanted to re-connect with my better self.

So I decided that there was going to be a change. I want to be happier and healthier. In general. To feel better. About myself, and the world. Because I can't change everything at work, or the people around me. But I can change how I approach them. So I set about taking baby steps. Like promising myself that I would get at least 7 - 8 hours of sleep every night. Which for an inveterate insomniac is a HUGE thing. I used to get by on 3 1/2 - 4 hours of sleep. Not by choice, but by natural habit. So far, so good. I'm more well rested, which means I have more energy. I'm achieving a deeper sleep, which means I'm dreaming more. I don't remember the dreams, but I'm *aware* that I'm dreaming more. Which is a good thing.

Other things I've done. Breakfast every morning before work. Taking my vitamins. No Diet Coke at work. (Also HUGE because this was my total addiction.) Down to one glass only  allowed per day. (And sometimes none.) And I'm throwing out the clutter. I'm Clutter-busting!! Out with the old, to make room for the new. Old clothes will be donated. Old books, etc. as well. Sometimes we have to let go of the past, because it's just weighing us down.

It's going to be a long road to change, but I've taken the first few steps. It's all starting to take root, and make for permanent changes. So fingers crossed that this continues. Because I feel totally different. I am happier, and that makes the people I meet in my job happier too. Life is just easier this way. So I'm keeping my eyes on the road, my head forward, and my heart in a positive place.

Oh let's play a meme game ...

So Meg has passed this meme on to me, oh my gosh. Answer a bunch of questions with your thoughts on a person/character of the tagger's choice. She selected Michael Weston for me, from "Burn Notice", baby. A fine choice, if I do say so myself.

1. Do you like this person?

He is like the coolest of the cool. Bad-ass spy-guy, with a dry, dry wit. Smart and funny, and hot like burning, the short answer is YES!!! Not only do I want to *be* like Michael Weston, I'd also like to *do* Michael Weston. (So ably played by Jeffrey Donovan.)

2. How do you call this person?

Mostly just Michael, but sometimes I like using the full name. Michael Weston. Just because he seems like the smooth type, where his full name just rolls off the tongue. Smooth like butter. *g* 

3. Which color do you associate with this person?

I think like a Mediterranean Blue, because he's like a body of tropical water. Light and playful on the surface, with depths unseen, and some dangerous currents and riptides that can catch you unaware. But beautiful and awe-inspiring, all at the same time.

4. What do you like best about his/her look?

Hmm... I'd say his eyes. Because he has a dark and piercing gaze that can stop in your tracks at twenty paces, while radiating intelligence, and when he's amongst friends, can suddenly be full of wry humour or goofy glee. Although his physique is nothing to sneeze at, either.

5. Looking at his/her character, what blood type do you think he/she has?

I think O, probably, because all those years when he was involved in covert ops, and had to have less than adequate health care, he wouldn't have made it without being able to accept any and all contributions of blood transfusions. Beggars can't be choosers, after all.

6. What do you want to tell that person?

That he is a constant source of information, entertainment, and inspiration. That he's bad-ass, and not to let anybody get him down. And wish him good luck, because he's gonna have his hands full with Fiona. *g*

7. What do you want to do with this person: hug, kiss or shake?

I'd love to get a really good hug from him. I think that it would be a very rewarding experience. *g*

8. Pick three (or five -- I'm kind of cheating) of your friends and pick one person for them:

    1) hopefulgenius : Spencer Smith
    2) epicflailer : Jensen Ackles
    3) nightingale_12 : Archie

More "Burn Notice" to watch. Want Season 2 now. Yay. :)

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Jeebus...more than a year since my last post. Well, it's been a bit of a rough one, so I've been keeping my head low to the ground, and working on getting through, day by day. However, I've been feeling rather uplifted and optimistic lately, so rock on. Woot. Working on maintaining my zen, and letting go of some of the things that have been dragging me down for too long. Slowly changing me into someone, or something, that I don' t want to be. So I'm taking a step back. Re-shuffling the priorities. Thinking about my dreams and goals. And what makes me happy, and glad to be alive. Gotta get back to *that*. And reminding myself, that hey, guess what? Sometimes, life's just not that damn bad. Have some fun. So that's my home-work, this year. And y'all have been helping me with that, a great deal. So thanks for that. *g*

Have discovered the awesomeness of some great T.V. lately, which has rekindled the flames of inspiration and imagination. It's all good.

You should all be watching:

1) The Closer. Because Kyra Sedgwick rocks like nobody's business. She's smart and savvy, and goofy, and funny, and ballsy, and take-you-down-with-your-own-lame-ass-excuses tough. Her team is fascinating to watch, and in many ways, I feel as though I'm watching a play every time out of the gate. Bought the first three seasons on DVD, and watched them all through in a week or so. With time off for sleep and work, and well, life. But it is full of awesome.  Love it.

2) Burn Notice. Again, rocking the smart and funny, with a side order of hot-ass ass-kicking and wise-crackery. Jeffrey Donovan is *amazing* in this role. It's funny, I never really cared for  him before, but now, all of a sudden, I am bowled over by his dry, dry wit, and his put-upon airs. A spy, given the heave-ho by his former superiors, and dumped in Miami, now dealing with a gun-crazy ex-girlfriend, Fiona, Bruce Campbell as his sarcastic friend, and his crazy family, while he works to get by. Took a chance, bought the Season 1 DVDs, and now cannot wait for Season 2. Seriously awesome stuff. When you need a little something on the lighter side. Love it.

3) Life. OMG. Damian Lewis just takes my breath away in this role. A cop wrongfully-accused of multiple murders, sent away to prison for 12 years (!!!) and finally exonerated, back on the force. Paired up with a recovering alcoholic/drug-addict, Reese. This show is quirky, and yet relentless. It's got a driving style, a thumping heartbeat, and it constantly leaves me on the edge of my seat. It's smart, and funny, and gut-clenching, and when it's over, I immediately want more. Now, now, now. 2 extraordinary seasons so far. I hope for a third, really hope for a third. But if it doesn't happen, then the Season 2 finale works for me. LOVE IT. Yes. And the music is outstanding. I'm constantly going to look for the songs featured in the show, because they're new and I have to have them, so that I can listen to them again and again, and lose myself in them. Gah. So good.

4) Southland. OMG. Michael Cudlitz (from Band of Brothers - Bull Randleman - and a TON of other things, including Life - total Hey It's That Guy) rocks my world in this role. He just owns the screen. And his partner is Ben Mackenzie (Ryan from The O.C.). And he is magnificent in this role. Quiet and understated, but powerful. Like he's really coming into his own here, and actually has the material that he deserves. The whole cast just comes together as this dynamic force, just being unleashed onto the screen. But again, in such an intelligent way. And it goes from scenes that are quiet and understated, to BAM, life on the streets with a shocking event just exploding out of nowhere. I'm not kidding. We're only 3 episodes in, and I am totally and completely hooked. Highly recommended. 

And I have somehow, mysteriously, inexplicably, stumbled into an obsession with the finalists from last season's American Idol, David Archuleta and David Cook.  Which I don't even know how the hell *that* happened. I despise the show, and find myself actually *incapable* of watching it. Like most reality shows. All I can say is that my flist has a lot to answer for. And somehow, as an "outsider", completely ignorant of their "origins", I have become fascinated with them. I believe that they're both really funny, decent, interesting people, with very dry wit and actual talent. Their musical styles aren't even remotely similar to what I would normally listen to, and yet I'm happy that they're doing something that they love. And I truly believe that they're going to go far. And I'm sort of watching their evolution, and waiting for the moment, a few years from now, when they're playing a massive festival with tens of thousands of people watching, and I can watch them and think that I saw this happen. Step by step. It's insane, I know. And sometimes I think that my brain is rapidly dissolving, but you know what? They make me *HAPPY*. They truly do. So I'm just going to own it, and enjoy it. Yes. *nods decisively* 

And by the way? I love you all. I really do. You make my life immeasurably better, with the stories, and the snark. Not to mention the porn. As my BFF and I say: God bless the Internet. *mwah*




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Phil Collins said it best ...

I wish that I could be like my friend, the dolphin, floating and frolicking in clear blue waters, under sun-lit skies. Zipping through space, leaving all my worries behind. And maybe finding some of that elusive peace, going down deep under the waves. (All of a sudden I'm reminded of Luc Besson's French movie "The Big Blue". From 1988. 20 years ago now. OMG. The scenes in the water, with the free-diving and the dolphins, were mesmerizing. The scenes with Rosanna Arquette, not so much.) Suffice it to say that I'm in need of more than a little zen.

I feel as though I'm in a holding pattern, right now. But change is in the air, and although it's likely going to be a good change, a positive change, it still points to a certain amount of upheaval, which I generally try to avoid. But sometimes we just need to take that leap of faith, to reach the next level, where we're supposed to be at. So if anyone is feeling so inclined, keep your fingers crossed for me, that I can find the courage and the wherewithal to proceed. Your good thoughts would be much appreciated.

I hope that I'll be able to continue with my writing this year. So think good thoughts on that front as well.  The words, and thoughts, and images, aren't generally the problem. It's being able to focus, to sit down and apply them with purpose and direction, that's the trouble.  And also,  the incredible aggravation that comes from reading the constant (yes *constant*),  mis-use of "to" and "too" and "lose" and "loose". (Among many, many others.) Seriously. Spellcheck is irritating me to no end. Just because a word exists, does not mean it should be used in that context. But I digress.

I'm going to try to take a little mental vacation, if nothing else. I watched "Supernatural" tonight, and was reminded of just how much I *love and adore* my boys. That made me happy. I lost my favourite pair of gloves, in a taxi, the other day. (The best gloves I ever owned, from "Roots", with faux-fur around the cuffs, and a thick inner lining, keep my hands warm no matter how cold it gets.) I thought that I would never see them again. And was sad. So sad. It was kind of like the final straw. But today the driver saw me, and recognized me. And he got my gloves out of a clean box, in the trunk of his car. And I was happy. Sooo happy. It just goes to show. You never know.  *Nods and thinks deep thoughts*

And with those completely original words of wisdom, I am off to try to get some sleep tonight. 5 hours really isn't enough, but it's better than the 3 and a half I got last night. So sleep well, everyone. Happy Valentine's Day to you all. Belated though those wishes may be. May you feel love in your hearts for friends, and family, and most of all for yourselves. :)

Now, seriously folks...

You must watch "Raines", Jeff Goldblum's new turn as a homicide detective. It's SO good. The writing is excellent. It's sharp, and intelligent. I feel as though I'm watching the very best kind of theatre, every time I see an episode. It has a film-noirish quality to the story-telling, but the cinematography is full of bright, sun-filled exteriors. Jeff Goldblum is superb, and his trademark wry humour is on full display, along with a surprising sensitivity and gravitas.

His character is fascinating, intelligent and thoughtful, and just a little bit crazy. It's a fine line between madness and genius, after all. Not exactly an original thought, but exceptionally displayed here. And the mystery is not only in the search for the killers. When Raines sees and interacts with the murdered victims from his homicide cases, it's never clear whether he's actually seeing the ghosts, or pulling them wholesale out of his imagination. He believes the latter, and attributes it to his writer's imagination. But really, the viewer is left unsure as to whether or not that's true.

All of the secondary characters are diverse and awesome, as are the witnesses and suspects. It has been a LONG time since I've been this excited about a new show. I still love and adore "Supernatural" and "Stargate: Atlantis", for obvious reasons. *g* But this is a true writer's show.

So. Highly recommended. Please, do yourselves a favour. Give it a try.

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Can I just say how much I love and adore my show? Supernatural = Fabulous. And the boys really do seem to be in a bit of a bind there at the end. But they are together, and a team. And that's what counts.

Warms my heart, it does. Which is a good thing, because it's cold as anything out there. -30 degrees Celcius, with the wind-chill factor. So it's a tad brisk out there. That's like -22 degrees Farenheit. Brrrr... It's the wooly hat season round these parts, once again. I kinda like it. Genuinely feels like winter, which you can't necessarily say was true of the past couple of months.

I have to say that my vacation in the Southwest seems to have done me a world of good. Like I re-charged my batteries. Since I've been back at work, I've been getting along *really* well with the public, some of whom have actually *thanked me* for being so very helpful, etc. Not that I wasn't helpful before, but it's possible that my aura may have been somewhat...combative. I don't know. Nevertheless, I've been enjoying my work-time recently in the kinder, gentler, mellower version of me. So that's all to the good. And my friend Marilyn has secured a promise from me that I'll go down that way again next year. Which gives me a boost, because it's always good to have something to look forward to.

Good friends, interesting places, some changes in scenery. These are the things that can keep you going, when you're plodding along, day in day out. So here's to seeing more of L.A, and Arizona, and revisiting my friends, old and new.

And now I have to sleep. I'm starting to get a little loopy. Having only had just over 2 hours of sleep, last night. I'm totally starting to crash. So goodnight all. Stay warm. Stay safe. :)