The word of the week is intangible.
Feb 12 – Fuzzy Feet Feelings
When I first started this blog, I promised myself three things I would do: I wouldn't repeat myself intentionally, I wouldn't use it as a forum for complaints, and I wouldn't talk about socks... because making much of the mundane means that you've run out of things to talk about in a meaningful or interesting way.
Well, I'm reserving the last stipulation for today, as this is too amazing NOT to share. John's Crazy Socks is the kind of brilliant company we should all aspire to be a part of, and not just because our feet would be warm and cozy:
Feb 13 – Aliens, The Ride?
As many of you know, I'm a fan of the Aliens series of films, though the third installment isn't exactly on my rewatch list. The universe the films inhabit is extremely well-thought-out, and I thought today I'd share some of the incredible things that have been created inside its imaginary boundaries. First up is a WILD ride through Aliens: The Ride... as a roller coaster:
This second clip shows how the fantastic roller-coaster sim above was made, which I think also illustrates the dedication and talent of Aliens fans:
Then we have The Making of Aliens, which has incredible details about the film's production that show the gobs of hard work and forethought put into its creation:
Finally, we have the full cinematic walkthrough of Aliens: Colonial Marines, the game, which plays out much like its a cool new film in the franchise:
Feb 14 – Love
I feel damn lucky in love, I tell you.
Here I am, an older guy with little relationship history to speak of, and yet I've managed to find the singular woman on earth who fell for me, just as I am. Truthfully though, she found me, and she's a thousand kinds of wonderful... It's like hitting a hole-in-one from the far side of the solar system, and a million other metaphors describing what having the nigh-impossible happen feels like.
Here's what she made me this Valentine's Day, hanging in front of my Golden Wall of Happy at work - a fabric heart with an original poem she composed:
|I think of those as Golden Tickets on the wall...|
What amazes me about how we met is that we were both pursuing our interest in writing, and that brought us into the same place at the same time: the local writing group that I'd just started attending the previous year and which I now co-run. Just like that, our mutual love of the written word led to love in the real, and I couldn't be happier about that fortunate coincidence!
Which also brings up pet names in relationships: why? I found this an interesting read about the subject, and while I don't use pet names myself( apart from sweetheat, my love and other endearments )it's a great insight into how relationships work at that level.
Feb 15 – Passion Pursuit
Doubt is a writer's constant companion, day in and day out.
Aside from Imposter Syndrome, one of the things you worry about as a writer is "Am I improving, or am I just fooling myself that I can make it?" which often enters a doubt-feedback-loop when you're slogging away alone without anyone noticing: no publications, just rejection and a slow crawl towards your goals.
This week I came across another writer's experience on being a writer late to the game, and about having a belief in oneself that's unshakable in the face of doubt:
The key takeaway:
The bottom line to this is significant for all of us: We’re smarter than we think. Don’t give up on an ambition, or a passion, because you think you can’t pull it off. You do not want to get down to the final years of your life and wonder what you might have achieved if you’d tried.
I'm persistent, and I forget that as long as I'm still moving forward, my goals are still in reach: I just have to persist, and not give up. The small encouragements I receive from friends, family and especially other writers, published or no, keeps me going.
Feb 16 – Gun Horror
NOTE: Skip this entry if you don't want your week spoiled.
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Valentine's Day this year was a horror show for the students at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida: a student shot 17 of his classmates dead and wounded many others in the 18th mass shooting in the USA in 2018 - one every two days.
Apart from the tragic aspect of the shooting, one thing has stood apart: anger, leading to action. The students of Stoneman High aren't stepping back from the cameras, but rather looking INTO them and screaming for answers, as well as action, from the US Government to address the ever-present fear of guns in America. I've spoken about this before, regularly, and been disturbed by the reactions; one in particular from a friend of mine stood out, where I was told to 'man up' after expressing my fear of travelling to the USA due to the incidence of gun crimes.
Man up... really?
Is that what the students of Stoneman should do to deal with what happened? "So sorry all those kids were killed and wounded, but you really need to Man Up: it's just the price America pays for Freedom, you know!"
Fuck that assinine statement, to which I say:
|These are just a fraction of the images appearing this week in the USA re: Gun Control|
I've examined this subject for years, while I could go on at length, I believe a big part of the solution is dealing with repressed white male rage, as well as the easy availability of guns in the USA, as this image shows comparatively:
I'm worn out from caring this week, about a neighbouring country where a good number of my friends live, and that I'd like to travel more of, at some point.
But not when there's a likelihood that I won't come back alive.
Feb 17 – Big Debt = Tiny Home Action!
I talk about tiny homes a fair bit, but it's just talk, while other folks are making their dreams a reality. Such is the case of a young couple right here in Victoria, who decided to change their lifestyle completely in order to get out from under a crippling $90,000 debt load... which I can relate to:
While the couple acknowledges that they had a fortunate set of circumstances that allowed them to get into tiny home ownership, the fact remains that they DID it, in the main through good financial choices, patience and plenty of hard work.
Inspiring and local: love it!
Feb 18 – Blocked? Me? Why?
Well, this is a first for me: yesterday I was Blocked by a friend for expressing my opinion, ironically after blogging last week about friendship.
Which I stated rationally, calmly and logically... apparently it was easier to get RID of me altogether, then for this person to ask themselves why posting their cute gun meme was an issue:
|So MANY memes out there are DESIGNED to dismiss opposition with cute non-analogous comparatives...|
I didn't post it as invitation to debate it, by the way: I'm worn out from this week's events, and by people refusing to see their own mental roadblocks. I've got an open mind, tempered by the knowledge I've gathered from MANY years of knowing the subject matter inside and out. In this case, it's the issue of Gun Control in the USA, which I more than understand pushes some people's buttons...
Yet even studying the issue for as long as I have, I've not come up with any concrete solutions: more national regulations, insurance and other ideas are all out there... and I am certain that there MUST be changes, BIG changes in the US, if they're going to come to grips with these horror shows.
If you're going to Block me on FBook, then at least have the decency to tell me why, first... because if it's just due to my having an opinion you don't like and expressing it like an adult, then it matters to discuss the reasons why, if only so I don't repeat my mistake AND learn from it. Developing one's critical thinking skills along with empathy, learn to see different perspectives, keep an open mind, and above all, don't let your emotions take control over your reason: all of these things are important to me in both the public and private space. This is a learning experience for me, one that's not happened before, and I understand that it's not about me being right as much as it is me expressing my frustration on the first target I see, be it friend or stranger... and that's something I know I still have to work on.
I appreciate all of you, friends and family both, and you must know that I don't take ANY of you for granted, despite some differences. As should we all.
This week and weekend have been damn busy: I've been doing a line-by-line critique of a friend's 80K-word YA novel, as well as working on a story for a contest submission, both due ASAP. The weekend was especially challenging, as car problems ate up previous time On Saturday( parent's van sunroof stuck OPEN while RAINING! )and I broke my girlfriend's car door thanks to a HUGE blast of 90kph wind out of nowhere that snapped the limiter rod - DAMN! All these things and more have been wearing, but I've dealth with them, and am now on to a new week... and new challenges.