Friday, July 31, 2009

fractured friday

Hello everyone. It's just around three thirty this friday afternoon. My mom and I are finally back from a trip to the doctor's office. I haven't seen Dr. Slinger in around two years. I needed her to fill out a form for affordable housing. The folks there seem to need proof that I'm capable of living on my own and have a permanent disability. We waited something like an hour and a half for basically five minutes of her time. That must be excrutiating for people with full work days, kids, etc. For me, it was just a large chunk of down time in an unimportant day. The week has been a pretty slow one. We've had quite a lot of rain. I've hardly gotten out at all. Meeting Nadia was certainly a nice bright spot on tuesday. We have a good chat and enjoyed lunch in the food court of the mall. There were times when the noise was a factor but I think we managed quite well. Nadia is hard of hearing but can read lips. That must have taken ages to learn how to do effectively.

Yesterday, I listened to Grand Terino. It was quite a thought-provoking film. Clint did a good job as did the other actors. Culture can clash in so many different ways. I liked how Clint's character chose to give his life in order to help people who he initially had no use for. I just hope the lessons sink in to more people. So much of our potential is wasted on needless conflict and posturing. This morning, I heard the space shuttle land safely after quite a busy mission. We can do so much if we take advantage of each other's strengths and share.

Work on the game is proceeding but is going more slowly. I need more input to keep my creative engine going and just haven't gotten it lately. It's such a massive undertaking. Perhaps, this weekend will give that a much-needed boost. I wish I could just ditch my mounting frustration with how things are in general. It doesn't entirely fit the situation. I used to be better at being patient with what I couldn't change. Now, it seems to come and go. There are days when I'm absolutely fine with it and others where that oppressive drained feeling takes over.

Thankfully, this weekend promises to be excellent socially. It starts tonight as I'm going to have another guy's night out with Adam. I got a very good sleep last night so I should be able to engage fully with whatever game we end up checking out. Mark and Wendy also want to get together with me either tomorrow or sunday. As usual, there's church also. It's damned nice to have things lined up rather than just have the weekend blend so thoroughly in with the rest of the week. The rain ought to let up also.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

a quiet rainy saturday

Hello everyone. It's approaching four thirty on this rainy Saturday afternoon. Thankfully, I had an excelent sleep last night. It can make all the difference. I certainly would have enjoyed getting together with friends but I've had a pretty pleasant time of it nonetheless. I puttered around the Internet most of the morning and then made a couple of egg and bacon english muffins for a very nice brunch.

The afternoon started with me listening to a repeat of Quirks and Quarks where they went through ten ways in which the world could end. After that, I went to For-The-People which is a chat community for blind people that I'm registered with. There was a pretty diverse bunch of us from places as distant as Trinidad and Norway. We passed quite a nice piece of time in wide-ranging meaningful chatter. I didn't come away with anything very profound but it does take the edge off that lonely disconnected feeling.

Just before I started this entry, I listened to the descriptive version of The Bucket List for the second time. It's certainly one of those movies which really ought to be watched and discussed with either close friends or someone special. However, like a lot of such pleasures, I can either enjoy them alone or not at all. There's a great deal of wisdom and wonderful dialogue in The Bucket List. For me, I would rather have my pivital experiences and moments of wonder while I'm still in good health and have the rest of a lifetime to reflect and act upon them. Presuming I'm lucky enough to find a woman to love, I would hope to spend my last days with her, my family and friends. I don't think I'd feel good about going off for one last grand adventure like Carter and Edward.

There are certainly some experiences I'd love to have during my life. I'd love to actually be able to finish Enchantment's Twilight and may indeed ultimately succeed in that. To enjoy my travel desires would require either close friends and/or a wife/girlfriend to experience them with. Presuming such people plus the funds were available, I'd love to go:
1. To somewhere along the shore of an ocean when it was warm enough to actually get in. I've always wondered what it would feel and sound like to hear it live rather than recorded. Ideally, there would also be a town or city there whose people I could get to know a little.

2. To the peek of a mountain. I'd love to hear what it's like all that way up there. However, I don't particularly feel the desire to climb up or down it. I Imagine it might sound quite vast and interesting presuming wind didn't completely override one's ability to hear the surroundings.

3. To England. British stories and culture are pretty well woven into my life and I would love to actually visit that country. Ideally, I'd like to go with another person who actually hasn't been there and done that already. It would be damned refreshing to discover a new place like that along with someone elase who was keen and eager.

4. To a tropical island. I've wanted to do that ever since I read Treasure Island over two decades ago. That desire has only strengthened while I've worked on and thought about Enchantment's Twilight. I'd like to have a proper sense of the lifestyle and atmosphere. Chances are also good that the history of whatever island I went to would also interest me.

I would most likely find a trip to pretty much anywhere interesting so long as I did it in the company of other people whose reactions and conversation about whatever they saw I could hear and participate in. That's really what it comes down to for me; Being with people who are keen to get the most out of the excursion. Whether I ultimately get to any of those places or not is of secondary importance to me when it comes to overall life satisfaction. When you get right down to brass tacks, I'd like to look back on a life where I've been able to make a positive contribution to peoples' lives. Preferably, I would appreciate it if I could do so in a community where I actually lived. Having my own place which I could sustainably afford is definitely important to me. However, being a part of a loving marriage where I could meaningfully contribute to a woman's happiness is even more to be desired. Even if our economic quality of life was worse than mine is now, I've experienced enough of love to know how much that relationship can make up for in terms of other hardships.

Not much of a bucket list, is it? Many of my friends might find it strange that I can be such a deep thinker but have such basic ultimate goles. But then, that's the sort of thing deep thinking leads one to realise. It's around ten after seven now. My parents have come back vrom babysitting Ava and Amia. They're pretty worn out as usual. Those two kids plus two kittens can be quite a happy handful. We've had our simple supper of left-over KFC and I'm back up here in my room again. New age music is playing tcourtesy of Sky FM's new age station. It doesn't seem to be raining outside at the moment. Wonder how long this interlude between downpours will last.

Tomorrow should be much better on the social front. There's church in the morning. I presume we're having a different guest preecher this week. I've little doubt he'll be as good as the last one was. Something new to think about at any rate. Tomorrow evening, I'll be joining my parents going over to a party our neighbours are having. That'll certainly be out of the ordinary. On tuesday, I'll be meeting with Nadia at the Bramilee City Centre. I keenly look forward to that. Wednesday, I have another lesson. If possible, I'll head out on monday or tuesday to test that section of route that I'm a bit concerned about. I just hope it dries off a little over the next day or two. Tramping through puddles isn't exactly a thrilling prospect but I'll take that over getting rained on. Dad and I may also go out and get a new TV for me which is capable of receiving audio description. If I'm to be stuck as a single person who is largely housebound for the next while, I'll at least be able to take advantage of audio descriptive service when it's offered. Yet another one of those things I could cheerfully do without if my social outlook and transportation options were better. Paradoxically, I'm glad I didn't arrange to go to Lake Jo. That would be one week of excellent social conditions with no transportations issues surrounded by weeks of still sapping solitude. I'll be better prepared to appreciate such a trip next year when the chance for a completely different future which has so recently left me won't be so keenly felt and missed. It's been a rought ride.

Friday, July 24, 2009

these early hours

Hello everyone. It seems my victory over insomnia might well have been prematurely declared. As I begin writing this entry, the majestic swell of John Debney's new age piece Resurrection enthrals my headphone-covered ears at around three thirty AM. I couldn't sleep now if my very life depended on it. I was dead tired at around ten thirty and suppose I slept pretty solidly from around a quarter to eleven right through until near two thirty. I lay there hoping to drift back into sleep only to find I was propelled in the opposite damned direction for no good reason. Grump! Snap! Snarl! Roar! There. Got that out of my system. I feel ever so much better now.

I suppose the first thing to do is to update everyone on the few things which have actually happened over the past couple of days. The mobility lesson went pretty well Wednesday. I got a good recording of the route back from Symposium on my digital recorder. Whether our attempt to get it properly into the Trekker Breeze was successful remains to be seen. There was a part relatively near to home where the GPS seemed to lose me for a bit. I hope it hasn't recorded that erratic stuff as part of the route. Thank goodness it's during a stretch which is relatively simple where I don't really need its guidance so much. Still, it would be better to have both ways recorded properly before I'm done with these lessons. My memory of the route might not hold up so well over the Winter when I expect it'll be too dangerous for me to walk it. I shudder to think of crossing Battleford under even rainy weather let alone snow and everything. It's one of those six-lane monster crossings. It's somewhat like Trafalgar in Oakville but doesn't impart quite the same sense of being inches away from death as one crosses. It's just too damned wide. I'm getting more used to it in good weather but wouldn't ever feel comfortable crossing something like that in rain or snow. I was going to go out and test that earlier part of the return route which I worry hasn't been correctly recorded by the Trekker Breeze but the weather is against me. It rained quite a bit yesterday and is supposed to do likewise today. The air has a stuffy humid quality which seems to be effecting me more than it has in the past. I hope I can see some friends this weekend. I haven't seen anyone other than my instructor outside of family all week. I dearly need a more active social life. Online chats and the forums on Plenty of Fish have actually been quite interesting this week but it all begins to seem very empty. Is there nothing more out there for me? There must be! God must have something more in mind. I just have to try to be patient and positive despite feeling simultaneously like time is dragging along at a snail's pace and my youth is slipping away without its full potential being tapped. As usual, I've been provided with just enough interesting material to keep chugging along.

I've heard back from a woman who i contacted regarding a transportation service which sounded promising. It still ultimately may turn into something I can use but isn't at all set up for that right away. They're focusing on getting people to and from all-day programs for various cognitive and physical disabilities. However, she was apparently impressed enough with my email to want to share it with other people. Maybe, some good will ultimately come of it. I can only hope my online efforts eventually open up more of the offline world to me. It's becoming more and more tempting to forego shaving and such these days. Other than my general dislike of feeling too scruffy, there seems damned little point when you never interact with people and nothing changes. If somebody comes up with a treatment which forever obviates the need for shaving other than something extreme like death, I'm all for it. My only reservation would be any side effects caused by not manufacturing all that facial hair. Where would all that extra protein end up?

Yesterday, I thought I'd look at:
I heard what I believe to be an abridged version of a book on Sherlock Holmes. This included the thoughts of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Interesting in and of itself, I was moved to look in the CNIB digital library for more on Doyle and Holmes. Two items caught my immediate attention. One was a book on the science behind Sherlock Holmes's mysteries. I'm saving that one for an occasion when I'm in desperate need of something new and captivating to dig me out of a theoretically blue funk. Such an occasion may not be all that far off if the rain and lack of social life continue. Additionally, I found "The Complete Sherlock Holmes" available in mp3s and actually read by a very good narrator. There were something like a hundred files to snarf down but I did it immediately and backed up both excellent finds. I've read A Study In Scarlet as well as the preface which was quite well done indeed. It's good to have the complete stories as well as the audio dramas. I should have looked for The Complete Sherlock Holmes ages ago.

It's around a quarter after five now. I've been anything but brimming with industrious energy these past couple of hours. However, I've attained that state of consciousness where it might be possible to get something done. My body is telling me in no uncertain terms: "be grateful for the modicum of sleep thou hast enjoyed and count thyself fortunate!" As always, I'll attempt to do just that and make the best of another very long day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

another monday

Hello everyone. It's been a good morning so far for writing but my creativity has given out for the moment. This afternoon should also prove productive though. The weekend was alright but there were some damned slow boring hours there. On Saturday, I went with my parents to babysit Ava and Amia in Hamilton. They're certainly full of energy. We were all kept pretty busy by both the kids and their two kittens Pickles and Pumpkin. There were times when all four of the small creatures named above were around me wanting to examine my netbook and bag. Curiosity is certainly a trait widely shared in my brother's house. For a while, we went outside to their backyard where I pushed Ava and Amia together in a swing they have set up there. You could almost call the backyard a miniature park with its swings, sandbox, playhouse and three small slides.

Sunday started off pretty well with church. We had a guest preecher do the sermon. He's another fellow who works with The Dam, a nearby organisation which tries to help youths who are living troubled lives. I tried to volunteer for that organisation but was turned down because I couldn't commit to two years. I have no way to know for certain that a call from the folks in charge of affordable housing won't come before that long although it's probably a pretty safe bet that this will turn out to be the case. They're certainly in no rush to find me a place to live on my own which I can actually afford on ODSP. The only commitment I would be in a position to make would be one which either involved a secure fulltime job which let me afford my own place and got me off ODSP altogether, or a volunteer commitment somewhere which I could leave whenever affordable housing at last becomes available to me. If transportation there and back were provided, I would cheerfully offer whatever assistance I could as long as it gave me the opportunity to interact with people in person rather than through a damned keyboard. There are simply no such doors open to me. Slowly but surely, this frustrating circumstance is chipping away at me. It's eating away at my desire to even keep trying. The rest of Sunday crawled by uneventfully. My father has found a pre-mixed kind of Margareta which comes in tall thin cans. It's quite good and I enjoyed one over the course of the afternoon while chatting with people online. The DNTO podcast on flawes was also an interesting half-hour or so. I deeply miss having a special lady in life to go out and do things with especially on Summer weekends.

I just looked on eHarmony to see whether anything new had happened over the past while. Big mistake! That site is going to eat away at what little sense of fool's hope I have left of finding someone special. I just can't work up the motivation to check on that site regularly. I've started this guided communication process with well over sixty women now. All of them seemed quite promising from what they wrote in their profiles. However, pretty much all of them have found reasons to close off communications. I spent a good fifteen minutes going through and completing the closure process on my end for something like eleven or twelve of them this morning. I'm still technically waiting to hear from three or four but frankly don't ever expect to. Seeing as I paid a fairly high entry fee, I feel compelled to keep checking in and seeing whether anyone has so much as noticed me. It seems pretty damned pointless to invest time in looking for more people to fling multiple guess questions at. I'd merely be setting myself up for yet more rejection. The whole setup seems so badly out of kilter with its objective. It's so utterly demoralising. To engage in it is to truly stare one's sense of hopeless futility full in the face. Still, I suppose I ought to try it with a few more of the matches it throws at me if only to keep the balance of universal justice happy.

Meanwhile, I've posted my blog entry about my trip to Chicago on the Dating4Disabled site and have so far gotten pretty positive feedback. I have yet to hear from anybody close enough to have any hope of actually meeting but that seems to be true of most people whose blogs I've read on that site. They've formed a kind of online community of friends. That isn't at all what I'm ultimately after. However, on the off chance of striking it lucky, I'll keep posting my writing there once in a while. It seems to interest some of the folks and a lot of them seem in need of such distraction from their own solitude and boredom. There's just so much untapped human potential out there. I'm also still communicating with Nadia. She found me on another dating site which I was very close to abandonning. We hope to get together next tuesday. She's in the process of learning how to drive a modified car with hand controls since she's paralised from the waste down. Again though, the only reason that it's possible at all is my mother's willingness to take me out to a mall in Brampton. I'm very thankful that she's willing to do this but it certainly increases the nervousness of whoever decides to meet me. Nadia has to use Wheeltrans to get there so there's no room for being spontanious. It's damned frustrating not having my own place where I can invite people and not to be settled in a situation where I could more easily get around a community on my own meeting and interacting with people on my terms. I'm going to listen have another listen to the route my mobility instructor Ray and I finally succeeded in recording properly last week and then try to go father towards Symposium this afternoon. I helped my father close the cover on our swimming pool and it seems nice enough out there. Once I'm back from that, it'll be time to return to the design document of Enchantment's Twilight. I've come up with another approach to what could be an interesting early stage of the game. Until now, I had thought of players as each controlling a character in the wizard's trusted circle of leaders who form the island council. However, it might be interesting to have each player control a couple of possible candiates for these positions of honour. They would then have to go around the island earning favour, respect and popularity so that they might be chosen. Presuming I can contribe circumstances which properly balance cooperation and competition, this could indeed be a suitable way of introducing more randomness into the arc of the epic.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

new beginnings

Hello everyone. Today has been quite a good day. I met a new friend. My mom drove me out to Sherrway Gardens where Sarah and I spent around an hour and a half in conversation while mom did some shopping and looking around the mall. With both of us needing to coordinate with other people for rides to an from such meetings, we won't be able to see each other too frequently but it should be possible to do sometimes. She appreciates me being patient as she tries to get her thoughts out. I get the sense that a lot of other people don't always take the time to fully understand what she's saying. I got her laughing on several occasions. She's got a perfectly good sharp mind and I can confidently say that I've indeed found a very good friend.

I got all the way out to Battleford today when I tried to practice my route and met an elderly lady who was trying to sell a VCR as well as a fountain. How's that for a strange combination? She had them up on a little table on her driveway. I couldn't remember what I was supposed to do once at Battleford so I decided to turn back at that point. My next lesson is tomorrow.

To top all that off, I hear from Angela, a long-time friend who has now settled in a new house in Woodbridge along with her musical fun-loving husband Tony. Angela's also getting a Trekkor Breeze shortly. I hope to see her for a coffee or something in a couple of weeks or so.

This evening, I listened with delight as the space shuttle Endeavour at last was able to launch successfully. There are now two Canadian astronaughts in space for the first time in history. Damn if that isn't the coolest and I got to hear it live via the internet. It was the first launch I've been able to catch on my new Bose speakers and it sounded absolutely splendid. They'll be docking with the spacestation on friday.

So far, I haven't had any luck at all when it comes to anything more serious than possible new friends. However, Adam, my good friend, has apparently had somewhat better luck there. I treeted him to an Extreme Peta last night and we spent an enjoyable evening playing Civ IV together. Not having insomnia imparing my judgement during this cession, my country performed somewhat better and I've recaptured some of the territory I previously lost. On the down side, I'm currently at war with a couple of countries at once. So far, I seem to be holding my own thanks to my alliance with Adam's ultrapowerful country.

Work on my own game is moving forward again but the book I just finished from MIT press has given me a lot of food for serious thinking. I'm trying to come up with a cast of characters which will divide up the responsibility among one or more players fairly equitably. The player who fills the role of the wizard will still be ultimately in charge but the other players need to have enough scope for their own decision-making within the overarching goles the wizard sets out. Balancing that so that everyone has constant fun is going to be a pretty tall order. It'll probably take some time to come up with a new cast of characters who properly accomplish this. I'm very thankful not to have that sense of utter powerlessness I've suffered with these past weeks. I may be chipping away at a very large iceburg but at least the axe is chipping off small shards from it once again. .

Saturday, July 11, 2009

a family weekend

Hello everyone. It's just approaching seven thirty on Saturday morning. Yesterday, I spent from pretty much noon onward out in the back yard with the family and assorted company. My grandmother arrived from Winnipeg Thursday evening. There was a mix-up on when her flight was arriving but we used my computer to sort that out and get there in fairly reasonable time. The main event was definitely yesterday though. Dan and his family came over. Ava and Amia were as cute and chaotic as ever. Ava seems to be entering a bit more of an awkward phase where she changes her mind about what she wants to do more often. Amia wants to do what her big sister is doing until she actually gets the chance to. In the case of going in the swimming pool while wearing a life jacket, she wasn't all that thrilled. It was a pretty fun afternoon and a chance to get all caught up with each other's news. We also saw a couple of our neighbours and two out of a family of four who we've known for years. We ordered Chinese food for dinner which everyone seemed to enjoy.

Today, the festivities continue with a trip with my father and grandmother to a casino, her favorite activity. I'm limiting myself to twenty dollars of my own money. I'd much rather have money on hand for meeting new friends with. I'd love to think that someone interested in going beyond friendship would come along but begin to doubt that'll happen any time soon. Before things kicked off yesterday, I managed to cancel my subscription to eHarmony so I won't get charged again in September when my current one expires. I believe I'm now down to three, or possibly four matches who haven't closed off communication but from whom I haven't heard a peep. Plentyoffish has been rather placid with week also with no really interesting conversations happening in the forums. I'm going to meet up with one lady next week for a coffee and cookies. She's looking for new friends and has CP to contend with. Eating anything else is apparently more messy and tricky for her. We've had some pleasant chats over the past while. She has a bit of an easier time getting places and has found somewhere to volunteer a couple of times a week. It looks like I most likely won't meet Nadia for quite a while yet. She seems a bit more open to a more serious relationship but is in the proces of learning how to drive a car with adapted controls. Schedules and availability of transportation just aren't going in our favour. She told me about a new Passenger Assisted Program launched fairly recently in Mississauga which will apparently let someone like me make use of it. There's quite a waiting list from what the article she directed me to says but it could finally opens some doors for me around here. There would still be a matter of figuring out where I could actually go either to socialise or help out in the community but at least I'd finally be able to do things more on my own terms and not just when family or friends can give rides. I won't get my hopes up. There are doubtless limitations like range and such. However, it would be damned nice if this pans out.

Later on, another couple of long-standing family friends who I haven't seen in quite a while are coming for dinner. They're seriously into wines and travel quite a bit so the conversation can get very interesting. My parents have known them since before I was born.

At long last, I've started working on Enchantment's Twilight again. I just couldn't get anything worthwhile started when it comes to short stories so I started reading the ebooks I bought a while ago concerning game design. That lead to me starting to tweak and change the design document for Enchantment's Twilight and that eventually sparked some new ideas for the game's story. I just hope enough new things start happening in life to keep me fresh so I don't bog down again. The lonely routine here needs a more stable counterbalance of interaction with people who just don't seem to be available. Damn it! I should be either married or in my own place by now! It's damned hard working on a project which is supposed to show people how important we all are to each other when you're essentially barred from so much of community life! I find myself almost glad to think that this economic recession might actually give enough fully able people a taste of what they've unwittingly inflicted upon me to at last possibly offer me some faint hope of real change. I hate being driven to think like that but there you have it. When people are forced to stop living at warp speed and find that money truly doesn't offer the security they think it does, perhaps then, the qualities I can bring to the table will actually start to be worth a damn again.

Monday, July 6, 2009

a new week begins

Hello everyone. I feel very refreshed and awake this Monday morning. I'm pleased to report that having had good sleeps for the last four days, that I believe this latest long-running tussle with insomnia is at last behind me. I can't say I'll miss it at all and I know it'll doubtless come back sooner than I'd like. For now though, I can look forward to days lived within a more normal framework of time. The weekend was a most enjoyable one. Our neighbours held their Canada Day party on the American holiday. Dad and I went over and spent around four pleasant hours with them. I don't usually see this bunch of people anywhere other than these gatherings but still managed to have plenty of interesting conversation. The sunshine and fresh air has, I think, contributed to this victory over insomnia.

Yesterday was also very enjoyable. A large portion of the church congregation was away camping. However, the rest of us ended up going on a tour around Lake Wabukayne which is right near the church. I've gone on the tour once before but we had a different leader this time. Nikki Hall has been doing everything humanly possible to protect and foster the ecology which has developed around this man-made lake. It was very interesting to hear her take on things and some of her stories. She's clearly been at this a long time. The ducks are so familiar with her voice that as she talked, a bunch of them would swim to a point near where we stood and remain there quacking away until we moved on. It was remarkable to actually hear a relationship like that in action. True testament to the positive impact people can have on nature if they work at it. After this walk, I had a chance to talk with Nikki and get to know more about her life. She seems keen on keeping in touch with me. I think there's a possibility that some of the audio games made for blind people may be of interest to her daughter. However, I'd need a far better sense of where she is mentally and physically before I could be certain of that.

The barbecue we had after this unusual service was a very pleasant way of passing what would normally have been a slow and solitary Sunday afternoon. The food was good and so was the conversation. People who are close enough to visit are actually starting to get to know me more. A damned refreshing change from chatting and emailing people I'll in all liklihood never encounter in any other way. If I'm ever going to find an opportunity for employment or change my life circumstances in some other way for the better, it isn't going to be by sending resumes. I've lived too different a life for that. It's going to be because someone who has taken the time to get to know me is able to connect those dots and show me a place where I can truly fit in and have a meaningful impact.

On the dating front, things are getting a little more interesting. A lady in Niagara Falls seems interested in getting to know me as a friend. She's actually willing to drive all the way from there to meet with me. Another woman who is paralised from the waste down is also interested in meeting me. Apparently, something has come up for her which will prevent us from doing so tomorrow as we had initially hoped to do. However, she's actually taken the time to read some of my writing. The conversations we've had have also gone well. I think she'll turn out to be a good and interesting friend at the very least. Meanwhile, there are at least six hundred presumeably fully able women within ten square miles of me acording to Plenty of Fish. They could come around and take me out for a coffee or dinner on me without breaking a sweat. Nor would they have to bother dressing up for the occasion. None of them have shown the slightest interest in me. Go figure. Other factors seem to be well and truly trumping geographical proximity. eHarmony is showing yet more signs of having been a complete waste of cash. At one point, I had initiated communication with something like twenty-five matches whose profiles sounded quite promising despite hearing them in male British synthetic speech. All but five of them have found reasons to close off possible communication. I'll keep going through the motions but believe the next three months are going to pass without even one set of multiple guess questions coming my way. At least on Plenty of Fish, the forums provide for some honest open conversation. I don't feel like I'm getting absolutely nothing for my efforts. In contrast, eHarmony is already starting to feel too much like my years of job searching which have only served to give me a clear conscience about not doing that anymore.

Now then; I've been nibbling on some pecans while I've typed all this but it's past time I had the rest of my breakfast. There weren't too many podcasts this morning but there's the Big Ideas lecture awaiting my attention. The speaker's name rings a slight bell and if I'm right, the lecture ought to be interesting. After I take that in along with some food, it's time to take another crack at smashing through this writer's block. I suppose I've probably cheered some people up and helped a number of folks with technical troubles over the past while. However, I keenly miss being able to work on one or more of my writing projects. They haven't lost their sense of worthiness. If I manage to finally finish the game or autobiographical book, I know they'll have a positive impact. I haven't been getting anywhere with attempting to write short stories so I may actually try to kick-start work on the game again. There's also the small article for the church bulletin about my trip to Chicago. After the lecture and breakfast, that'll get my first attention. The latter part of this week is going to be more busy. I have a mobility lesson on wednesday. It's been two weeks since the last one and due to rain and insomnia, I haven't gotten any practice in. My grandmother is coming for a visit on Thursday. I know we're going to see some other family friends while she's here but can't quite remember who and when. Guess I'll find out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day

Hello everyone. Happy Canada Day. It's just approaching one o'clock PM. Yes, folks. I've actually had a fairly good sleep last night. Over the past while, I've tried to completely back off from the struggle against writer's block and just enjoy life. The effort has only partially worked. I ended up listening to most of the LOTR trilogy yesterday as well as chatting with a couple of people online. It was certainly enjoyable but it's just been too long since I've managed to write much of anything. I get a kind of frustrated powerless sense that I ought to do more but just can't. It overshadows damned near everything. Not so much today though. I normally take it easy on Canada Day.

My parents and I went out to Hamilton to visit with my brother and his family. During the drive, I listened to this month's podcast from Freedom Scientific. Jonathan Mosen did a spectacular interview with my favorite author, Robert J. Sawyer. What an absolute treet to listen to. Definitely a keeper. It was a shorter visit as they've got other plans for today which I hope Ava and Amia enjoy. We arrived just as everyone had gotten up. Since the last time I saw them, two very small and friendly kittens have been added to the household. Their names are Pickles and Pumpkin and they're both male. Perhaps, they look different visually. The kids seem to be able to tell them apart. From a tactile point of view, I couldn't tell who was who if my life depended on it. The kids are learning how to be more jentle thank goodness. The kittens are displaying a lot of patience and good will. They're very friendly with the kids and other strangers like yours truly. Thinking back, I can't remember the cat I grew up with, Tiger, ever being anywhere near that little.

Ava and Amia were very good during the visit. In contrast, we now have an amusing picture of mom having to take a timeout for going against the wishes of their mother. She fed Ava some cookie before she had any breakfast. *Bad!!!* I had some quality time with both Ava and Amia. Ava's still interested in all my gadgets and for a while, I had both of them pushing buttons on my netbook on either side of my chair. Ava wants to have her own computer with pictures on it. She wasn't too certain whether she wanted hers to talk though. Very cute indeed. Amia seems to like me quite a lot. She brought me over a number of books and wanted me to lift her up onto my lap while I pretended to read her the book and turn the pages so she could see the pictures. She's starting to try and say words more these days. I do my best to encourage this.

I have CBC Radio1 on a lot today. While I was writing this, I've paused to take in a new episode of White Coat Black Art. That'll certainly add some interest this Summer. Dr. Goldman does a very good job of looking at the health system and making it interesting. There was also a show called The Hidden City. I've never heard it before. Perhaps, it's a new show for the Summer schedule. Again, something I'm going to thoroughly enjoy taking in when I catch it. The Writers and Company episode featured Alice Munro who I'm afraid I'm not a big fan of. So, for now, CBC is bannished from earshot in favour of my own music collection and/or other Internet radio. I'll keep checking in on CBC Radio1 today though due to the special occasion. Other than that, this Canada Day will pass in fairly ordinary fashion for me. I hope that I finally luck out and find someone special to partner up with before I get too old to enjoy going to things like Canada Day celebrations put on for the public. There's so much of life like that which I would dearly love to experience with someone my own age who was also keen on it. Even presuming it was possible for me to go to such events alone, I don't know for certain that I'd do much of that. I've never had an actual opportunity to find out and on days like this, that does frankly annoy me. Finding enjoyment in the abundance of solitary entertainment I have here is more difficult because of that sense of missing out on the bigger community picture. Still, there are so many people worse off than I am that it's hard to be terribly resentful. At least here in Mississauga, I don't have to contend with the smells of rotting trash which Torontonians are now assaulted with due to the civic workers strike taking place there.

From my position, I have a tremendous amount of difficulty having any sympathy for the striking workers. They at least have jobs and therefore, the opportunity to participate more fully in life. Had I the ability to, I would absolutely have jumped at such a job. They've collectively decided to completely screw up the Summer in Toronto. All sorts of stuff has been cancelled. Right when kids need them most, parks are being turned into dump sites. It's not like everything's just going to snap back to normal once a settlement has been reached either. Some things should really be made into essential services so that people can't hold each other hostage like this. It's one of these things which makes you wish greed could take a back seat and people would get a proper sense of proportion. I wonder if even a small fraction of these people realise the scope of effects their action has had on their neighbours. The tourist trade will take a massive hit. That's for certain.

On an individual level, I'm still enough of an optimist to think that a greater degree of collective human consciousness is slowly emerging. The trip to Chicago I've recently had, my camping trip, and pieces of news I've come across recently all contribute to this sense. More of us are developing a greater appreciation of just how interconnected our individual happiness truly is. It's an ever-so-slow process, but it definitely seems to be happening. The bottom line has turned out to be a stairway up to a gallows for a whole lot of people over the past while. Perhaps, it's just a fool's hope. I've certainly been called worse before, though not for a while. However, I believe we've reached a point where we're truly starting to learn about empathy as a species. I'm happy to live in a country known world-wide for such empathy and kindness. Granted, there are days when I wish just a little more of that would find its way to me. I'd love to have an apartment of my own before I turn forty and/or someone to share life with. However, I couldn't in good conscience kick out another person equally deserving of such acommodations or even envy them very much. It's impossible to be totally unaffected by envious thinking but for me, it never lasts very long at all. Envy is based on a whole lot of assumptions and unknowns when you think about it. What might person X have sacrificed for that fancy car? It gets even more complicated when it comes to envying actual people their lives. There are just too many factors and possibilities.

Well, it seems to be just after four o'clock. I hope you've enjoyed these various afternoon ramblings. I believe I'll see what's on TV. CBC is airing an episode of Quirks and Quarks which I've already heard. Oh well. There's always next hour. I've also got a number of emails to deal with. I hope all my readers are enjoying today. See you again soon.