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On another new year [10 Jan 2011|10:45pm]
[ mood | sleepy...and hungry, maybe? ]

Once again, it has been a while. In addition to wanting to sort through my Yukon/Alaska pictures first, I just kind of lacked the inclination to post about much of anything. My life's been fairly active these last six months or so, but I just wasn't in much mood to stop and write about it.

I'm thinking I probably won't get around to posting the vacation pictures anytime soon - mainly because it requires sorting through 815 pictures to find my favourites. That is not a hyperbolic number, exaggerated for comedic effect. I actually have exactly 815 pictures from that trip. I've also had the chance to show off my favourites in person to a number of you, which takes away from the motivation to post here. But maybe sometime I will get a flash of inspiration to make my selections and compose them into a little travelogue here, you never know.

But I guess if there's any excuse to get back on the LJ wagon, it's the post reflecting on the previous year and contemplating the upcoming one. If you recall, my "theme" for 2010 was doing more of what I want and less of I feel I should. That's kind of a hard goal for determining success, seeing as it's not measurable - but maybe that's why I don't do resolutions, because it's not about a pass/fail goal. It's also the kind of goal that you don't always have control over, when work can sometimes require a fair bit extra from you. On the whole, though, I think this was a year of enjoying more of the little things in my daily life; I definitely had a lot of just appreciating where I was at that moment. More than 2009? Hard to say. But I don't think this approach stops now that the year is over.

There's quite a bit of positive I can say about 2010, but for some reason I left it - and came into 2011 - on kind of an 'eh' note. Again, it was good, but I have a feeling that 2011 is just going to be more of the same. I guess that's not so bad, but I like to keep moving (proverbially) and I just don't really know what to do with myself right now. But maybe that's just a sensation that will pass. I do have thoughts on my themes for 2011, though:

1) Write - It was sitting on the backburner for a long time, but I started actively applying myself to writing about two months ago, and I think I've finally found a method that works for me. So now it's keep it up for 2011, and dedicate myself to some real goals in that department.
2) Relax - In the last year I realized that I'm not and don't really aspire to be a junior executive anymore. So I've gravitated to a softer, more natural, less tailored look - less silver jewelry, more wooden, less rayon clothes and more cotton. It's led to me relaxing my hairstyles and I think even my posture just a little bit. I don't mean for it to carry over to my attitude, necessarily, but maybe it's all part of one trend.
3) Huh. I could have sworn there was a third one. But I'm sleepy, and it deserts me. Oh well, gives me a reason to post again later, I guess.

This post was getting too long anyway. But I do send you all happy thoughts for a good start to the new year.

5 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On catching up [02 Nov 2010|09:01pm]
[ mood | complacent ]

Still no pictures of the Yukon or Alaska, but I figured I was nonetheless overdue. Besides, stuff's been happening, and that seemed worth talking about.

First thing out of the way: Coming home! I fly in on Wednesday the 22nd, I think getting in at 10:40am or something, and I'll leave around 5:30pm or so on Saturday the 1st. I decided to fly out part way through the week instead of on the weekend because the office is only closed the week between Christmas and New Year's, and technically I used up all my vacation time on my trip up north. I mean, I can take off as much time as I feel like not getting paid for, but we go back into production in January and I did not want to flake out at a time when my presence might be of use to someone.

That taken care of, it's been a busy month. Much of it was spent seeing off Anna, who's now gone off to Spain for her post-doc in complicated physics things most of us could not begin to understand. :) And I GM'd my first game, which was pretty enjoyable.

Also went to the animation festival this month, which had its moments. Including this one:


Dancing statues make me happy, for some reason.

I had wanted to do up a sweet Hally-ween costume this year, but after a full month of not having a single free weekend, I eventually conceded that this was not feasible, and that made the latter part of this month much more managable. I actually got real cleaning done, no less, for the first time in about six months...

Guess what I get for my birthday this year? Daylight savings time! I realized this today and it made me happier than it should have. Having an extra hour for your birthday is awesome, and makes me think I should go out and do something zany the night before just because I CAN. Of course, knowing me I will be too sleepy to process by, like, 12:30. But STILL.

Goals for November? Keep the cleanliness levels of my place reasonably well-maintained. Perhaps finally watch the last season of Lost. Think about Christmas-y things.

4 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On stuff you should totally watch, because it's great [01 Oct 2010|10:03pm]
[ mood | sleepy ]

Woo. (Watch it full-screen, if you can.)


You should watch it. Oct. 9, 7pm EST (I guess that'll be 8pm for you Maritime folks, but they broadcast a different signal out west so it should still be 7pm there), TELETOON.

Okay, so I really owe you guys an actual update - I've been wanting to put together a nice, comprehensive run-down of the Yukon/Alaska trip with pretty pictures and everything. But it's been a pretty crazy summer. And early fall, for that matter.

Soon, hopefully. Soon.

3 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On Mountains [13 Jun 2010|01:49am]
[ mood | calm ]

Back from my trip to the Yukon and Alaska, as of very early this morning. And if there's something I took away from the journey, it's this: You can't take pictures of mountains. Even the best photographer with the best equipment could never capture what it's like to stand in the presence of a mountain. Yet all the same, even knowing how futile it was, I just couldn't stop trying. So all this is to say that when I post pictures, you'll have to look at a lot of feeble photographs of mountains. But hopefully some of it can at least begin to convey what it's like there.

It was a great trip - the North is as captivating as I always thought it would be. While there I saw a reference to "the spell of the Yukon," and I totally get it. Many of the people I met living there - and in Alaska - were not born there. They came on short-term contracts and then decided that they were exactly where they wanted to be. This leads me to the following theory: a) Some people are born Yukoners. b) These people are not necessarily born in the Yukon. And c) They only realize this about themselves when they arrive there, then they just never leave.

Personally, I'd be happy to spend a little more time there. I could go again to the same places and have a completely different vacation. As for the vacation I did have? Mountains. Green water. All kinds of glaciers - glaciers, by the way, are awesome in both the traditional and contemporary senses of the word. Gold. Trees of all kinds. Old-timey stuff. Bears, eagles, rabbits, seals, cranes...Planes, trains and automobiles (and boats). Reindeer sausages, caribou burgers, elk meatloaf, halibut, arctic char, salmon chowder and WAY too much sourdough bread (okay, there's not really such a thing). And a full 10 days without seeing the sun set.

There should be a more detailed update soon, complete with pictures of mountains, if all goes according to plan. But for now I should probably go to bed.

Oh, and I made a movie a few weeks ago. That was also pretty cool. No mountains, though.

11 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On adventuring [24 Mar 2010|11:01pm]
[ mood | tired ]

My mom was up visiting this past week. Okay, so that wasn't terribly adventurous. We mostly strolled around and went to restaurants that I already know and like, although we did go to a couple of places I'd been meaning to go to for a while. These new places did not disappoint.

And I ate altogether too much pastry, cookies, cakes and ice cream this past week. But still I show no signs of slowing down.

What we did do that was somewhat adventurous was attend a samba drumming workshop. This group runs drop-in sessions every week, that seem to be a mix of total newbies and regulars. It was quite a fun two hours for only $10.

Okay, I will concede that attending a drumming workshop sounds like something I'd do any old Sunday and is not terribly adventurous for me. You know what is adventurous though?

Alaska is.

It's practically the definition of adventure, really. And I will be going there in June! Alaska and the Yukon, actually. I've wanted to go to Alaska since I was a teenager. I think I saw an ad for an Alaskan cruise, what with stock footage of sprawling mountain vistas and silhouetted moose in lakes at sunset and whatnot, and I remember just immediately thinking "I must see this place."

My interest in the far north seems to come from my dad. He's always been fascinated by the Klondike and the gold rush, knows all kinds of stuff about Yukon history and can recite "The Cremation of Sam McGee" off by heart. He took his dad there after his mom died, then he and my mom lived there for a few months right after they got married. I think the place has a lot of sentimental value for him. So the two of us have been meaning to do this for years. It's interesting, because we separately came to the conclusion that we should do it this summer. As soon as we'd decided this was the time, dad got planning. It's kind of fun to see, actually - dad doesn't get excited about much and he's no event planner, but he's been looking up stuff like trains through the Chilkoot pass and chartering planes to check out glaciers on Mt. Logan. I think the next step is for us to find a route through Yukon and Alaska that we can do in 10 days, and that hits up as many cool things as possible. Including fish and chips in Anchorage. I hear the fish and chips are amazing in Anchorage.

Speaking of adventuring, I did a bit of a mental status update on my 2010 goal of goofing off and doing what I want more often. And I have to say, I don't think I've been applying myself to goofing off nearly as much as I could be.

In that vein, I saw this kind of interesting blog post the other day from personal finance personality Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Some of you know that I was a bit addicted to her show 'Til Debt Do Us Part for a while, although I always wondered if it was preaching to the converted - most of the people I know who like it are pretty financially confident. Anyway, the reason I find this intriguing is that measuring could help with some of the goals I'm struggling towards, even though they're not concrete like financial or health goals.

One of the commenters noted that when she writes down her visits to the gym on a calendar, she can see plainly whether she's slacked off for a week, or whether she's doing good. Either way it's motivating. Maybe this could be applied to writing - if I note down how much time a week I actually spend writing, I could see my progress in the form of the effort I'm applying, even when I'm not necessarily seeing results in the writing itself. I sort of like this idea because it takes pressure off the results side off things, and I think that pressure to generate a certain amount of output is one of the forces that intimidates me. If I focus instead on how much time I'm applying to it, then it becomes much more about the process - writing for writing's sake.

This sounds like a good idea to try. Even if it is rigid-ifying my life more, which is kinda sorta what I didn't want to do this year. But it's all in the balance, right?

All right. So very, very much bedtime.

3 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On friendly cities [15 Feb 2010|09:10pm]
[ mood | No attention span ]

Back from New York. All in all, it wasn't too bad. As a city overall, it was definitely more relaxed than I remember from when I was a teenager, although someone pointed out that this could be because last time I visited was in summer - when the place is already bursting at the seams with tourists and the locals are getting kind of fed up. I guess it's usually more chill there in the winter (pun totally intended).

I was actually pretty impressed that the locals I interacted with were generally downright friendly. It made me realize that much though people here protest otherwise, we actually are somewhat cold and aloof as a city. I don't think this is necessarily all bad, we just ought to concede that it's the way we are.

As predicted, I spent almost all my time at meetings in the hotel, so I didn't really get out to see the the city a whole lot. I didn't leave regretting this, though. I suspect that NYC just isn't my speed, somehow - the place is just not particularly intriguing or fascinating to me. I think New York and I are maybe destined to be like two people who get along just fine but will never really be friends. Contrast this with Tokyo, which felt like meeting someone for the first time but feeling like you'd been friends for ages.

This is strange, actually, now that I think about it. New York is a wealth of iconic imagery and rich architecture. Large chunks of Tokyo, meanwhile, are senseless hodgepodges of dreary industrialism and bleak concrete. This leads me to believe that maybe I just need someone who knows and loves New York to take me on a whirlwind tour of awesomeness like Daniel did with me in Tokyo, and maybe that would change my opinion of the place.

On a completely unrelated note (pun less intended this time), I just have to say that kd lang has a pretty friggin' incredible voice. As I mentioned in a comment on Jen's post about the Olympic opening ceremony, I suspect this taste means I'm secretly an old lady.

This weekend I went out to the 'Schwa, where there was Rock Band with fun avatars of us, Babylon 5, delicious oatmeal pancakes and overdue photos of a trip to France. Not a bad Valentine's weekend, all in all.

4 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On highly relevant things [07 Feb 2010|10:22pm]
[ mood | recumbent ]

It's been a good weekend. Got lots of stuff done, got to play some Arkham Horror and eat unbirthday chocolate mousse cake last night, and got to just chill a bit on top of all that.

As I was walking down the street outside my building yesterday, I happened to see a bird of prey flying low in the sky overhead. And it was then that the solution hit me for keeping pigeons off your balcony. That's right: Balcony Falconry. (Or, as Teya referred to it, the Bal-Fal.) I always thought falconry seemed cool. Now I have an excuse to take it up.

I'm supposed to go to a conference in New York this week. It's the biggest industry event in North America, so I should be excited about it; but for some reason, I'm just not feeling this one. I'm kind of in the mood to just stay home and do nothing for a while.

I fly in on Wednesday morning and out again on Friday evening, and I'm pretty much spending the whole time sitting in on meetings with my bosses. Ottawa was different because I had quite a bit of freedom to roam around and do my own thing - not to mention that I feel quite at home in Ottawa, so roaming around and doing my own thing was very natural. In my limited experience with New York, though, I found myself feeling rather not at home there. Maybe it's just high time I gave the place another chance (I was 15 that first time, after all, and only there for two days). But I'm staying in the same hotel where the conference is happening, so I probably won't be seeing much of the city anyway.

I still have not made it out skating. This must be rectified.

The other day, I was glancing over one of the industry newsletters I get in my e-mail, when something in the job postings column caught my eye. The job postings are formatted with location/position, so they'll usually say something like Montreal/Chief Financial Officer or Toronto/Producer. But on this day, the thing that caught my eye was a posting that read "Toronto/Octopus". I just too curious to not click. Turns out it's this. When you put it like that, octopuses are in demand everywhere nowadays, really. Do the wave, guys. Do the wave.

7 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On January [28 Jan 2010|08:22pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

First off, a little something for the Glee fans. (And, to a lesser extent, perhaps the sumo fans as well. Or fan, as there's only one of you here so far as I know - but maybe somebody will surprise me.)

I didn't know they even had Fox in Japan. Go figure.

Things proceed for me in a characteristically January-ish way. I felt the January blahs a little more acutely than usual this year - I suspect because the Christmas holiday was so lively and fun. It passed after a week or two, though, as it always does. But that has me wondering whether the post-holiday 'blah' feeling isn't actually gone, but if we just become numb to it. I find this a bit disconcerting. I'd like to be fully engaged in life for more than the 2-3 weeks out of the year that I spend on vacation.

I guess that goes along with my theme for this year (since I don't really do New Year's resolutions - or at least I like to tell myself that I don't). I'd like to stop and smell the roses a little more; to do what I feel like, when I feel like it, more often. I'm always so committed to productivity and getting things done, that I look at things like cafes and parks and video games and movies and think about how I'll come back and enjoy that later when I don't have something else to do. So I'm going to make a deliberate effort to be less focused on the task at hand and do those things when I feel like it. Although, does being deliberate go against the spirit of the idea?

I did get around to doing something this month, though, that I've been planning to do for a long time. When I moved to my first apartment in 2004, I bought the only mattress/box spring set I could afford, for under $500. Now that I can afford something nicer, I've been meaning for ages to splurge on a really nice mattress. Now it turns out that splurging on a really nice mattress, even without the box spring, is still pretty expensive. But I talked down the price a little bit by pitting two stores against each other, and got a high-end mattress marked way down on sale.

I'm still undecided on it. It just felt weird for the first couple of nights, although I later read in the accompanying brochure that you should give yourself two weeks to get used to a new mattress. It's getting close to two weeks now, and I'm definitely finding it more comfortable. I still don't sleep great, but I always had my doubts that this was because of the mattress in the first place. Although if I'm getting the same quality of sleep, I might have done just as well to pay less for a mid-range mattress.

Not that cost was ever an issue, but it became even less so today. My boss came into my office this afternoon and told me that I was getting a raise effective 2 weeks ago. I was taken aback by this but obviously pleased; not because I need the money, but because this just further reinforces that I'm actually very useful to these guys. I still have some work baggage left over that keeps me second-guessing myself a lot, and things like this help me to relax and bask for a bit in feeling successful.

I need some more adventures this winter. Who wants to go adventuring?

10 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On extended vacations [02 Jan 2010|09:03pm]
[ mood | stormy ]

Alas. Snowed in. Not so bad, though, since there's nothing I really need to be back for - it would just be nice to have a day to myself before going back to work. As it is, I fly back just in time for work on Monday. But, got to watch Wall-E again tonight with my parents as a result, so it all works out. I did like it quite a lot the first time around, but found I appreciated it more on second viewing.

So holidays were good, if still unexpectedly ongoing. Caroling for the community kitchen with the gang around Katie and Dan's neighbourhood was definitely a pre-Christmas highlight. Inexplicably, so too was seeing "New Moon." It was proof that laughing is sometimes more fun when you're trying not to (loudly, anyway). (Here's a pretty accurate recreation of the movie, in fact.)

Christmas Eve day was the annual ski trip with Dacia. Skiing on Christmas Eve day is often the best thing ever, since nobody goes that day and you practically have the hill to yourself. Conditions were great, and I'm most definitely improving at the sport - I'd say my per-trip enjoyment-to-panic ratio has gone from about 50/50 to 70/30.

Christmas was nice. It was quiet - Christmases tend to be, at my house. I got to spend some time with Mr. Gibbs, the kitten next door, who is soft and cute and also has an excellent name, as you may have noticed.

Perhaps the most unexpected adventure of the break was our plan to go dancing. Except that it turned out to be the Sunday after Boxing Day, which around here apparently means there is no dancing allowed. With not many pubs or similar hang-out/drinking spots open, this resulted in a large group of people wandering the wet, icy sidewalks downtown in search of a place to go (and encountering other groups doing the same). We eventually found ourselves reluctantly going to Dooly's, only to have a pretty decent time there.

Following that was a trip to Moncton, to see Hillary and play mini-golf at Crystal Palace. The following day we painted some ceramics, before heading for the Chinese buffet at the Dip, since Daniel and I had both been craving it for some time. The great/terrible thing is that it hasn't changed at all from what I remember 10 years ago. Then it was off to Liz' for an evening of Rock Band. Have I mentioned that I could play Rock Band for one million years?

New Year's Eve was pretty good, with some Risk, an outdoor scavenger hunt (Go Team Last Place!), and sliding in the backyard. Nice work Dan and Katie on building some fine sled runs. And the next morning, a good number of folks made it for breakfast at 9am. That night, I finally learned how to play the Battlestar Galactica board game at Joe's, meaning I now understand why everyone always talks about how great it is. There sure are a lot of things to count in that game, and yet gameplay is surprisingly uncomplicated.

This morning, even with the prospect of a flight out of town tonight, there was an unprecedented second ski trip of the holiday with Dan, Katie and Dacia. I felt unusually prepared for it, having broken in my ski legs for the year already. It was weird having someone there who was even more rusty than me, but Katie did really well! Four stars.

Around all this hubbub, other themes for the break included lots Dr. Mario at Dacia's, busting out my old SNES and watching Super Mario World in action, and teaching myself to half-assedly play guitar from my mom's learn-to-play book. Oh, and for some reason, "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen kept coming up.

Assuming there's no monumental events tomorrow, that's pretty much the summary of my holiday. I feel like I could say more about the New Year in general, but this entry is too long already. For next time.

6 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On things that I like [14 Dec 2009|10:26pm]
[ mood | busy ]

First, let me just say that the He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special is like gold made out of magic. That was very nearly the highlight of my weekend, but not quite.

I think it was beat out by a last-minute engagement for the taiko group (or three members thereof) to lay down some audio for a TV ad that's going to air nationally in a few months. On Saturday, Erez, Joe and I brought some drums to the Glenn Gould Studio, where an orchestra had already recorded the main track. We worked with the composer to come up with the taiko part, which was really simple but sounded very good with the track afterwards.

It was funny how mutually star-struck everyone kind of was - us with being part of a professional record, and the composer and audio producers because they had never really played with taiko drums before. It was really cool for everyone involved, I think, and not a bad gig for an hour and a half of a Saturday. We weren't supposed to know what the ad was for, but there were enough clues that we were able to suss it out.

It's been a good month-or-so: I discovered that I could pretty much play Rock Band all-day, everyday; I watched Mean Girls twice - it's really quite a funny movie; Anna made me an awesome Rainbow Brite birthday cake - plain white with Twink on top, and Happy Birthday written in rainbow sprinkles (Anna or Rod should post a picture, so people can admire it in all its glory); had a successful Christmas shopping trip to Pac Mall, and in fact have successfully completed all my Christmas shopping; and the taiko group re-skinned a drum, which is a cool thing to realize you can do.

Oh, and speaking of Christmas gifts, check out my present from Anna!Collapse )

Here are some more fun things to look at:
- I was in a fun, trendy little store when I heard a very catchy, cool song playing. Some of the lyrics seemed a little nonsensical, until I looked them up and realized the song is called Love Letter to Japan. And now I like it even more. After a few years of denial following my new age phase, I think it's time for me to just embrace my love of pop-electronica already and get over it.
- I first heard the song "Going On" by Gnarls Barkley earlier this year, but I've only just been able to find the very cool video on YouTube.
- When I saw this video on a free preview of a Bollywood music channel, I thought it was just a very silly stand-alone music video. It appears to actually be a sequence from this comedy movie, Rocket Singh - Salesman of the Year. But that shouldn't stop some of you from enjoying the sheer, unabashed silliness of it. I think it appeals to the part of me that still harbours an affection for Weird Al.

Know what I like? Christmas.

6 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On insanity [16 Nov 2009|10:48pm]
[ mood | sleepy ]

Pure liquid insanity. That has been my life for the past month or so, albeit in a good way.

So what has this insanity consisted of? To sum up, October started with two days of shooting on the project I'm helping with at work, which was then immediately followed by Thanksgiving weekend with my parents, who came to town for the week. Then that was immediately followed by my first trip to the animation festival. Yes, I finally got to go! (I only went to school there for, what, four years?) It was great, although it may be a while before I need to watch anymore animated shorts.

When I got back, that gave me two weeks (with one weekend) to finish the short story I submitted to this year's CBC Literary Awards. But I got it edited down from 21 pages to 9, and got it in, and that pleases me. And I even found time to throw together a Halloween costume. Segue time!

On Halloween...Collapse )

So I had barely recovered from Halloween when it was time for that other special day exactly one week following: My birthday! The day started with pancakes at my place, and ended with Hot Fuzz, which is pretty much my definition of a perfect day right there. And in between, there was a visit to the park where I actually learned to both catch and throw a frisbee (note: I am much better at catching than throwing), some terrible traffic, some great Indian food, and some Rock Band/Sing Star. The weather was unseasonally gorgeous. It was a great day.

See how nice it was...Collapse )Then the day after my birthday, my mom stopped by to visit for a few days on her way to Winnipeg, and proceeded to spoil me to an almost embarrassing degree with birthday/Christmas shopping. It was a nice visit, though.

Anyway, now that THAT madness is over, my goals for November (or what's left of it) include: Eating my usual wholesome food again for a while before Christmas indulgence sets in, sleeping, getting a start on Christmas shopping, catching up on some movies I ought to see for work, and sleeping. Oh, wait, did somebody say sleep? I could go for some of that right about now. I think that's what I'll do.

Oh, but first - I'm home for two weeks this holiday, for those of you who don't know. My flight gets in the mornin' of Sunday, Dec. 20th. So I will be seeing you then.

EDIT: Uh, except of course for the many people who read this journal and who don't live in my home town. I do believe I am in need of sleep, indeed.

1 Bonta-kun| Bonta-kun?

P.S. [30 Aug 2009|10:43pm]
Ha! YES.
1 Bonta-kun| Bonta-kun?

On summer [30 Aug 2009|09:27pm]
[ mood | gourds! ]

Okay, so it's been a while since I've posted...There's been plenty to post about, but when I've had the time I've lacked the inclination, and when I had the inclination I didn't have the time. But since the LJ summer hiatus has become a sort of tradition of mine, I'm not going to bother apologizing for it anymore - you people know what to expect. :)

The big news of the summer was that I found myself with the enviable problem of having to choose between two perfectly good jobs, for the second time in my life. (Take that, Recession!) I decided to change things up from the last time this happened, though, by staying where I already was. And long story short, they offered me a one-year contract. I've even got an office, with a big desk and a phone! (Phone lines are actually at kind of a premium in this place.) No windows, alas, but I'm not complaining.

Besides work stuff, this summer was a pretty decent whirlwind of fun. Said fun included: A Dan and Katie visit, some entertaining movies, a Chinese wedding reception, a homemade strawberry shortcake, an afternoon of Rock Band, taiko drumming galore (culminating in a public performance, which was then followed by an excellent hamburger), slightly more nerd gaming than is maybe healthy, and probably a whole additional load of awesome that escapes me at the moment. If you've got an especially great memory that I've omitted (or can make up a really good one), please feel free to comment.

In another summer tradition, the usual Fall itch set in right on schedule, around the middle of August. Naturally, it's typically brought on by my urgent need to escape hot, humid weather, so it's subsided a bit since things have blissfully cooled down. But I'm still definitely feeling ready for September. Let's see some gourds around here!

1 Bonta-kun| Bonta-kun?

On today [09 Jun 2009|10:49pm]
[ mood | smelly knees ]

My knees smell bad. I had an ultrasound done on them today, because I took a nasty spill on the sidewalk in February - and with the pain still kinda lingering a few months later, I figured I should actually mention it to my doctor. I'm sure it's fine. But man, that ultrasound...The technician had to turn down the lights to see the monitor, and it must have been the low light, plus the perfect temperature in the room, along with the ideal incline of the bed, but I think I could have fallen asleep. The whole thing took a good half-hour, and it was way more relaxing than a medical procedure should ever be. Except now my knees smell like that gel they smear on you.

Anyway, in far more relevant news, I also got a cell phone today. If you'd asked me on Sunday, getting a cell would not have been on my list of things to do this week. But the work I'm doing is now switching over to a more full-time-like thing, as I help these guys go into production on a specific project. They need me to have a cell since I'm probably going to be in transit between meetings quite a bit, and initially I was going to pick the plan and they were going to sign up for it under the company name. But it's occurred to me in recent months that it really is essential for this business, and I was seriously considering getting one for personal business use before the year was out. So rather than eventually ending up with two phones, or canceling one, or having to transfer it over to my name, it was simpler just to suck it up and get my own now. The company's footing pretty much the entire bill anyway, since the daytime minutes will be used primarily for them (while evenings and weekends are unlimited). Not a bad deal, I guess.

So, The Phone Company. You win this round. But this isn't over. For those of you who want the number, I'm sure you'll come by it eventually. If you're a real keener, though, you can e-mail or call my regular number and I'll maybe give it to you if you can answer three questions or something.

In much more random news, when I got back to my apartment after taiko tonight, I was quite surprised to see a cat sitting at the end of my hallway. Like, this is a high-rise apartment building. And there's this cat, just hanging out in the hall. I felt I should go introduce myself, and I even tried to take a picture of her with my new camera phone - but she wouldn't stop coming towards me and curling up on my lap with the purring and all. I can't begrudge her that. She didn't have a collar, but I heard a door opening a little while ago and she isn't there anymore, so I'm guessing she has a person. I should hope so anyway, a cute cat like that should have a home.

7 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On the week that wouldn't quit [31 May 2009|08:48pm]
[ mood | exploded ]

Seriously, there was no stopping this week. It sort of exploded on me. But not in a bad way. It was just one of those weeks where I figured I had just enough time to squeeze in everything...Right up until stuff started flying at me unexpectedly from the bushes, and then I threw up my hands and just surrendered.

A big part of it was that I had taken on another script consulting gig, which is excellent. But somehow I nonetheless decided I could do things like play games at Joe's place with Matt and Phoebe (one of Joe's roommates) on Saturday, and go see X-Men Origins on Tuesday with Anna, Rod and Samuel (Anna's brother). The movie was enjoyable, once you recognized that it was going to be a total cheese festival; and to the movie's credit, it clearly established the cheese right from the get-go so you could acclimatize yourself.

Then there was also loads of taiko to be had - albeit it not as much as there was supposed to be. The group had a barbecue on Sunday, where we watched some videos for inspiration. Then we had a very rigourous practice on Monday, which caused me to spend the next few days teetering around like a fragile robot. There was another practice on Wednesday, too, which I was quite rarin' to attend. But about an hour before it was time to leave, I was ambushed by someone from work who had found out that we were getting a special extension to submit a funding application - due the next day! Hooray! Did I mention that it was my old boss who pulled for us to get the extension? Thanks, old boss. :p (Nah, he's still awesome, and it is great that he did this for us.) So I spent Wednesday evening filling out a form and planning all the documentation to be submitted along with it. It wasn't actually too bad, but I was looking forward to going to practice that night. I'm really starting to get into the taiko thing. It's gotten to the point where watching a video of it gives me a craving to get up and do some, and try out new moves, and maybe start tossing batchi (drumsticks) around in a way that makes me a hazard to myself and others.

It's probably good in the end that I had to stay in on Wednesday, though, because that allowed me a few more hours to devote to writing script notes. Thanks to the application thing, I also worked a few more hours than expected, which is great on a lot of levels but not so much for the script consultation. I managed to get an exhorbitant amount of notes together in time for the Friday afternoon meeting, however, and it went very well. I should really charge more for the service, but I'm specifically targeting writers who are new to the business, and someone with less confidence that their efforts are going to pay off will probably hesitate to hand over $100 for a consultation.

Then Friday night, it was off to an evening of MURDER. Or rather, to some mystery dinner theatre with Anna, Rod and Dave D. Anna, Rod and I had been wanting to do this for some time, and we went on a special two-for-one night, because it's a bit expensive. But completely worth it. The food was delicious, and the performers were hilarious. AND I not only guessed the right answer to the mystery (everyone writes out their guess on a ballot during the second intermission), but I was one of five people with a correct guess who won a draw at the end. So I now have a hat that I don't want. But I still got to stand up and wave to the room as a WINNER, and that was a victory in itself.

In other "this week" news, I'm gardening! It's thrilling. So, plants and I, we don't have the best history. After a lifetime of sporadic attempts at growing them/keeping them alive largely yielded zero results, I had lost just about all interest in the past-time. But for Christmas this year, Dacia got me a whole bunch of flower seeds that she had harvested herself, so I figured, okay. I'll give it a shot. So last Saturday, I faced my nemesis, Heavy Lifting, and got myself a handful of planters and some potting soil for the balcony. Then I threw in a bunch of seeds as best as I could figure you were supposed to, and doused the whole to-do in water. All week I carefully kept an eye on moisture and sun levels, and - to my total and utter shock - come Friday morning, there was a little tiny shoot in there. My actual reaction was to point at it and go, "Ooh!" Two days later, I've now counted a total of five shoots springing up. And, I gotta say, actually seeing it happen gives me an appreciation for the enormous amount of energy that a plant puts into growing. I mean, for that tiny little sprout to push its way through all that heavy soil must be tremendously hard. Or maybe I'm just over-dramatizing the whole process because, let's face it, for me just accomplishing this much is pretty dramatic.

Sorry for the super-long entry, but it's been a super-long week. Man, I haven't even mentioned the part where I found out that my cousin - who I've never met and whose existence I only discovered two years ago - just moved to town, and so I had to get in touch with her this week as well. Extended family is this foreign, novel thing to me that I don't really know how to handle, because I never had it growing up but always sort of wanted it. So it's always kind of surreal for me to meet relatives; these people who you're supposed to feel kindship with even if you've never met them. I'm going to meet her on Tuesday, though, and I'm looking forward to it.

1 Bonta-kun| Bonta-kun?

On Impetus [10 May 2009|08:41pm]
[ mood | lazy ]

I had plans for today, really. I think I was going to try and make it to this comics thing that was happening downtown. So I got up, made breakfast, showered and got dressed, and was all ready to execute these plans. And then my impetus did this.Collapse )

So I took a nap on the couch instead. I mean, that's not all I did today. But it's as memorable as anything else I did today. I think it was probably needed at this point, though. I've had a pretty busy few weeks, which I hope explains the rather long absence from LJ. I don't remember all what kept me so busy, although the almost-last-minute trip to Ottawa in April stands out, as well as a few get-togethers with various folks. But this weekend is still pretty fresh in my memory, so I'll recount that.

On Friday, Teya, Joe and I went out for some 50s dancing, which was tragically cut short by a power outage at the venue. So we ended up at a late-night sushi place having all-you-can-eat sushi at 1:30 in the morning. It had to happen, really. Then on Saturday, I saw Coraline in 3D with Anna and Rod, which was followed by an extensive conversation about eye strain, and then by hanging out at my place with Teya and Samit. We talked about ghetto baking. Ghetto cake? Ghetto cookies? It was ghetto something, and it sounded like it should be the name of a cheeky cosmetics line. Oh, and Teya brought me more awesome salt water taffy from California. I have eaten far too much of it today.

Work keeps me busy, as well. The part-time job I was doing has morphed into another part-time gig helping them out with development - which is perfect, since that's exactly what I want to be doing. And I've been told it's something that could potentially become full-time. In the meantime, though, there's the possibility of stuff on the side, too. A contact of mine suggested I do some freelance script consulting, since she'd received pitches from a few people and wanted to offer them assistance somehow. So last week, I wrote up notes on a pitch and script for someone. I didn't charge a lot, and it was quite a bit of work, but it was pretty fun. I wouldn't mind doing a few more, and then maybe upping my rate.

On top of that, the same contact also recruited me to write a synopsis for a preschool show last week, with the prospect of getting a paid job writing the full series bible. That's admittedly a little daunting, since curriculum-heavy preschool shows require a large amount of research. It would nonetheless be a pretty good job, though, if I can get it. We'll see.

So, on the whole, I continue to do well. May is lovely, and there are trees with pink blossoms outside my building now. I think I should try to get outside more, before it gets too hot. Maybe another day, when I have more impetus.

4 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On abundance [29 Mar 2009|10:13pm]
[ mood | abundant ]

Well, another fine weekend has come and gone. Friday was Ethiopian food, followed by an acapella concert - and I'm happy to report that both were unquestionably excellent.

Saturday was very nearly a write-off. I had many well-laid plans for the day, only to discover that 4pm had rolled around and the biggest thing I had accomplished was making a salad for lunch. But that was soon rectified with a last-minute trip to Teya's place so I wouldn't have to observe Earth Hour sitting alone in the dark. At Teya's, I ate an exceptionally good hamburger off the barbecue, then we frosted cupcakes in the dark and roasted marshmallows over candles. By the way, roasting marshmallows over candles is even more fun than it sounds, and allows for some serious precision roasting. You and I should do it sometime. (Unless you are Teya, in which case we just did it and probably don't need to do it again for a while.)

Today I racked up some moving karma by helping Anna and Rod pack up the last of Anna's things to move to the 'Sh'wa. It started out rainy, but the sun came out soon enough; and while it was windy, it was undeniably pleasant. When I wasn't busy hauling things into a van, I was almost learning how to hoola hoop - which is leaps and bounds ahead of how far I got with hoola hooping when I was a kid. Anyway, it was a nice thing to be part of. I'm really happy for Anna that she's moving on from that apartment and can now settle into Rod's house. There's a sense of something unsettled finally coming to rest. But maybe that's just me.

I was thinking about abundance the other day. I was throwing some leftovers together into a meal, and thinking about how much food I had in my fridge, and that got me thinking about how much I have in general. And there was this surge of satisfaction and well-being at that knowledge. I guess that sort of goes back to my food-and-friendship post, in many ways.

Although with all this food and friendship happening, I REALLY need to do dishes...


On food and friends [19 Mar 2009|08:20pm]
[ mood | optimistic ]

I daresay that it's been a good week. (In the Wednesday-to-Wednesday sense, anyhow...This week isn't over just yet.) The title says it all, really - those two components really made up the bulk of the highlights.

Last Wednesday, the friend was Joe and the food was milkshakes (long overdue milkshakes at that, given how long we had been discussing milkshakes). But before the milkshakes was a tour of the recently renovated art gallery, which was mighty enjoyable. Now I often enjoy art galleries more for the buildings than the art - case in point, the National Art Gallery - and this one did not disappoint, sirs. Not that the art wasn't worth it, but it's hard to beat winding staircases. That's just a given.

Then on Saturday, the friends were Anna and Rod. But Saturday was not just any day; it happened to be Pi Day (March 14, or 3.14). So the food had to be pie. And of course, this being Anna, buying pie would not suffice. It was time to make pie. Pie that looked...like this!

That's mango, peach and strawberry, by the way, because the recipe just called for frozen fruit and that was the best combination available. Needless to say, it was delicious. We savoured it along with the last four episodes of Avatar, which rounded out a great day.

Then on Sunday, Joe came over for pancakes! Combination blueberry, banana and chocolate chip pancakes, at that. This is excellent, as I love making pancakes but rarely do, since it makes too many for one person. In fact, breakfast/brunch is my favourite meal to share, so if anyone ever feels like company for breakfast, you know who to call. And more often than not, I can help supply the breakfast part.

But the fun doesn't stop! Tomorrow is Teya and peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies day. Which would be vegan except for the Hershey's Kisses, but we're not going to count those. The ultimate achievement in all this would be if I could actually get my brother over for dinner, what with his birthday coming up this weekend. You know, I should call him about that...

On a note only vaguely related to food or friendship, I actually managed to read Twilight, thanks to my repeat sicknesses. And I'm sorry to say it didn't grab me in that it's-terrible-and-yet-I-can't-look-away train wreck kind of way. I was admittedly hoping for that, but maybe I was hoping for too much after hearing people talk about it. I think my problem was with Edward. I didn't necessarily dislike him, but he's just too perfect for me to feel the infatuation that the author obviously has with him. And he's condescending.

Twilight is excellent, however, for the laughs you get to share with your fellow readers. Sorry to everyone who hasn't read the book and therefore possibly won't get this, but I made this for all you Twilight "fans" (I use the term loosely). Based on a conversation with Teya...Collapse )

I'll still give the second book a shot, since I often don't realize I'm hooked on a series until the second book. Meanwhile, I'm about two-thirds of the way through Coraline, which may be one of the best books I've read in some time. It's all full of things that I like, and is creepy in a way that often reminds me of Silent Hill - which I admit is creepy in an extremely effective way, and that's why I admire it in spite of the terror it has inflicted upon me.

Job stuff goes well too, by the way - and for once, it's not the only thing really preoccupying me. In fact, the job situation is hardly worrying me at all. I've been putting a fair bit of effort into this project and was a bit concerned that it wasn't moving fast enough, but the guy who I'm primarily working with told me today that everyone thought I was doing a good job of it. And in mid-April, there may be another part-timey gig with another company doing something close to the vein I'd like to be in. I look forward to it.

Sorry for the long entry. It was all full of little things that I'd wanted to mention for a while, but then got all piled up into this big one that had to be let out all at once.

27 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On the impossible (or highly unlikely, anyhow) [05 Mar 2009|07:31pm]
[ mood | ugh ]

Sick two times in a week? How can this be?! It seems that my health right now must be in direct correlation to Katie and Dan's proximity to me. I was felled by something last Thursday, but a regimen of sleep and fluids had it pretty much gone by the time Katie and Dan arrived on Saturday evening. Then, while I felt fine when they left yesterday morning, my condition slowly deteriorated over the course of the day until I was unquestionably sick again that night - all throat-swollen and cold and exhausted, with ballbearings rolling around in my head. Come back, Katie and Dan! Apparently I need your miraculous healing presence!

Perhaps the visit just exceeded my allowance of fun for one week, and I needed to be sick again to compensate. It was near-illegal amounts of revelry going on, between eating candy and watching movies, Niagara Falls, Korean food, karaoke, Chinatown shopping, Chinese baked goods, Tower-visiting, home-made quesedillas, okonomiyaki, foreign accents and board games, to sum it up briefly. Katie has pictures. You should go talk to her.

Not to sound arrogant, but you know, being sick was actually sort of a novelty for me when it only happened once in a blue moon. On repeat, it's not very nice at all. But I think I may be the last person ever to discover this, so I won't dwell.

8 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

On things that are over before they started [23 Feb 2009|07:31pm]
[ mood | busy ]

Gee, unemployment, I hardly even got to know you. It seemed like you just got here. Hey, but it's only temporary, and we'll still be seeing each other - maybe every few days or so, and we might get to hang out on half-days, depending on how things go.

My strategy of talk-to-everybody-then-wait-for-something-to-fall-in-your-lap pays off once again! One of the partner companies from Old Work (as it shall henceforth be known) called me up on Friday asking if I could come in and help them get a presentation package together, just something with company bios and examples of their work that they could hand out to potential clients/buyers, etc. He said it would probably be a part-time thing, basically just putting in whatever hours are needed to get the job done - although having met with the guys about it today, I'm beginning to have some doubts that getting the job done will necessarily be a part-time undertaking. We'll see how this week goes.

The film shoot over the weekend was good, although I am still very sleepy. I am also very glad to not be spending large chunks of my day outside in the cold, doing little more than standing guard, which is largely what I did. :) Because I needed sleep for the meeting today, I didn't get to stay for the whole thing, though. I hope wrap-up and tear-down went okay, Rob!

In other - very exciting - news, Katie and Dan are coming this weekend for a few days! I really need to clean and do laundry! Hoorah!

4 Bonta-kuns| Bonta-kun?

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