Hello everyone. This has been yet another largely solitary period lately. There have been a few exceptions. I had the first meeting of our church mens' group. It'll be on mondays this year. The next one will be at my apartment. It looks like we'll be getting together every second week. It'll be good to have an actual group of people in here for once. I can't count the times I've heard or felt my couch and chairs reflecting on how utterly devoid of anyone but me they've largely remained since I've moved in here. For one evening at least, that will finally change. It'll be interesting to hear what they think and also get a sense of what my apartment actually sounds like when there are a good number of people present. Adam and his young partner in Journalism class showed up one morning last week to interview me for an assignment. I trust the writing went well for them. Hopefully, they got hold of a couple other game developers.
Another thing which happened this week was a meeting I went to with a few of my church elders. I took the time to explain to them the challenges I face when trying to find new friends and when looking for opportunities to volunteer in the community. Now that I've gotten my bearings at least when it comes to my building and immediate surroundings, it's time to take yet another crack at finding somewhere I can make some sort of positive difference which involves people rather than this keyboard. I absolutely need to find more opportunities for social interaction. I need to have at least the ghost of a chance for making new local friends for whom picking me up or coming round for a visit isn't such a damned big deal. I'm fed up with everyone else being too busy and yet not having anywhere other than this computer where I can share my gifts. If people are so damned overworked, then there should be a job somewhere for me that I don't have to search years and not find. I don't want to end up as alone and cynical as Sandy is but if nobody lets me into more of life's experience and company, I can see it happening. Creatively speaking, I'm already running on fumes here. I've gotten a few messages of interest on the online dating sites I belong to but in all cases, it has now been over a week since I've heard from any of them. I'd dearly love to have a new lady in life but without finding more to do in the community, my chances in that area are exceeding slim. I have just enough hope to keep me from closing my acounts and simply not bothering with it anymore. There have been so many brief flashes of hope followed by disappointment when you don't hear back and know that they've lost whatever brief spark of interest they once had. It's like I'm being stretched out on a rack nearly to the point of destruction. There's just so much empty solitary time. Perhaps, now that a few people who know something of my potential and realise my difficulty getting around are going to take a crack at helping me find somewhere, things may get better. I still find that I'm able to hope. God knows how long that's going to last. There are two places which they thought of and where they could put in a good word for me. The first and likely best one is the Dam. It's at the Meadowvale Town Centre so I could walk there and back myself. I was rejected two years ago when I applied there mainly because I couldn't walk there and back competently and wouldn't be able to commit to the required two years. Now, barring any outright miraculous or disasterous changes, both of these reasons no longer apply. The other idea would involve getting to and from Square One and wherever inside that large structure the Open Door centre is housed. I'd need someone to take me to and from that place. It's absurdly large and confusing even for sighted folks. However, if that were possible on a regular basis, I might also be able to volunteer there. In the former case, I'd be helping to mentor youth who are at risk. I believe I could do that well once whatever guidelines and such The Dam wants its volunteers to stick to are explained to me. My online leadership experience would possibly be useful there. My patience, ability to diplomatically solve desputes and calmness would, you'd think, be valued assets. The Open Door is a place which tries to help immigrants and other disadvantaged people. I would expect my language skills would be useful there. Here's hoping something works out. I don't fancy the mainly solitary Winter I'm in for otherwise. Nor do I relish the idea of next Summer being as damnably empty of company as this first one here turned out. I need to find a way of participating somehow.
Over the past week, I read an excellent book by the now dead author Michael Crichton called Pirate Lattitudes. It was a terrific story about a spectacular privateer raid on a Spanish fortress and treasure ship. The detail he went into was wonderful. He always did his research. Definitely a book I'll keep around for future reading. I believe I stil have a few sections left of Acquainted with the Night to finish off. It can slow down at times but has on the whole been a very interesting read. I just began a book of short stories about the Battle of Brittain called That Eternal Summer. The first story was about a man who came up with the bullets used by the Royal Air Force. Doubtless, the other stories in the volume will prove equally good reading. I also read the book The Taking of Palem123, and was somewhat disappointed. The recent remake of the movie with Denzel Washington was far better and more engaging than the book. I don't often come out with remarks like that being a life-long reader. However, it's true in this case. Hard to beet Denzel and John Trevolta squaring off. Dialogue and sound-wise, it was quite simply a fantastic film.
My free copy of Get Lamp, the documentary I was interviewed for a few years ago, arrived in timely fashion to brighten up the last weekend for me. It was quite good. I found it just as fascinating as I had hoped to hear the voices of the people who created the text games I've enjoyed throughout my life. A bunch of very smart and thoughtful folks. Jayson Scott has done a fantastic job with it. Thankfully, I didn't come off sounding as worn down as I was afraid I might given what I was going through at that time. It came with a collector's coin that feels pretty nifty. I got number 238. It feels a lot more substantial than what I expected.
The Mosen Explosion was on and filled my otherwise empty sunday afternoon quite nicely. I thoroughly enjoyed the half-year celebration of the station. It certainly doesn't feel like it's been part of my life for the past six month. The big surprise I was so curious about turned out to be some new professionally done jingles for broadcasters to use on the station. A very classy addition indeed. It really gives a whole new polish to how people come across on air and has certainly seemed to put a spring in everyone's step. I took a listen to their broadcasting tutorial. I simply don't know enough about music to do a regular show based on that. A talkshow might be possible for me. The last thing I need in life is yet another online commitment. However, if my current campaign to find somewhere around here to pitch in doesn't go anywhere, perhaps I'll reconsider as solitude takes its toll on me. One way or another, I can't let another year go past without doing something which will have a more immediate impact than my two long-term projects. I'd ever so much rather that impact be on people here in my neighbourhood.
This week ought to be less solitary. My grandmother is coming for a visit. My birthday is on friday so I'll be doing things with my family at least on thursday and friday. We'll doubtless pay a visit to the casino, this being my grandmother's favorite activity. Typically, we go out for a birthday dinner and have cake. Mom always makes a good cake. Baking one myself has never appealed to me. On saturday, I'll be seeing my Aunt Kay in Bright Ontario as we drop my grandmother off at her sister's.
Having a birthday draw close unfailingly makes me reflect on where I am in life. I had always pictured myself happily married at age 36. By now, I'd have a wife and a good group of friends close at hand to do stuff with. Didn't think I'd find myself a fairly new and still mostly isolated member of a community at the very beginning of the process of building a less solitary life. Yet, here I am. I kept myself well stocked over the whole summer hoping for guests I almost never had. These days, I've all but given up on the possibility of unexpected visitors. People just don't seem to drop in on each other anymore. I used to make certain I had my cellphone with me when away from my desk. These days, I'm just as likely to leave it plugged in on my desk and then have to race out and grab it when I win some cosmic lottery and the thing rings. Listenning for a knock at the door is also something I don't really do anymore. At times, I'll hear what I think is a knock only to open the door on an empty passageway. Wind and pressure differentials will at times cause my door to rattle in a manner which I can mistake for knocking especially as I usually have music or other sound coming from my computer speakers. Somehow, I have to change things this year. I thought finding friends would be so much easier than this in a building full of people and finally with a long-term place of my own. I'm blind, not extraterrestrial. There's a difference!
When visiting my parents last weekend, I got one of my birthday presents early. It was a much-needed new vacuum cleaner. At some undetermined point in the recent past, my old one had ceased to suck.[Not a good thin in this case.] Not knowing precisely when this happened, I'm very glad to have a brand new Dirt Devil. Now, I find I'm obsessed with making up for God knows how many useless cleanings. What crums might be lurking on my floor? This time, I'm feeding this paranoya somewhat. I'll do another round later this morning when I won't risk waking people up at this ungodly hour. I can say with absolute certainty that this vacuum cleaner absolutely sucks.[A very good thing.]
Surprisingly, despite a mix-up with my voter card, I ended up voting yesterday in our municipal elections. Hazel is our mayor once again. She still sounds pretty capable. I followed some of the election coverage on Rogers Cable last night. Hopefully, the new council will get stuff done. Now that this community has given me a place, I'll try to do my part and be more observant and use my voting power as conscientiously as I use any power given to me. One of the members of my church ran for school trustee but was unsuccessful. I think he could have made a good one. I meant to check up on who won the Toronto race for mayor but never got around to it. Doubtless, I'll hear the news at some point today and fill in that blank.
It's just approaching four thirty on tuesday morning. I fell asleep pretty quickly at eleven but woke up at a little past two. Got a bit of work done on a surprise I've been working on. You'll find out what that is pretty soon now, faithful reader. Finally got around to trying a new tin of hot chocolate I purchased quite a while ago. It certainly hit the spot. However, I'm starting to feel like it just might be possible to get some more sleep so I think I'll give it a go. I'd do a whole lot better at staving off insomnia if there were more to do in my days and some sort of routine in my weeks. Here's hoping more people let me into their lives so that can become a reality and not just a pipedream.