Monday, May 3, 2010

Birthdays and Other New Starts

Hello everyone. It's a somewhat humid Sunday afternoon as I start this blog entry. My ride to church didn't materialize this morning. That's happened quite rarely with this church. They've been excellent about the whole transportation thing. Stood out there for just shy of half an hour enjoying the outdoors. I don't mind the humidity as much as a lot of people seem to. Had to use the AC a little yesterday when I got back from Ava's fourth birthday party just to take out some of the heat and stuffy ness. It seems to be quite a good little air conditioner. Nice to know it'll be there when I finally cave in and need it. Having been married to a woman who got all out of sorts in the heat and then lived with parents who liked the windows closed for most of the Summer, I'm pleased to at last be somewhere that I can actually enjoy the hot season for what it's supposed to be. I just hope my social life warms up a bit.

And what, you may wonder, did I decide to do while I thought I would have been in church? Elementary, my dear reader. I satisfied my long-standing curio city about how Hollywood chose to interpret Ann Rice's book Queen of the Damned. Deliciously unexpected and delightfully twisted of me, wasn't it? Admit it. You'd never have guessed in a million years. Sadly, any redemptive elements found in the book were summarily dismissed by the film. I might have known. My optimism has received a number of small kicks in various areas lately so why leave out that incurable hope that says not to entirely give up on those multi-million-dollar creations? Glad I waited until I got the descriptive file and didn't waste money on that one. Avatar was quite a nicely done movie but essentially, it was Dances With Wolves in another time period all over again. The acting was excellent as was the music. However, you'd think marines would be equipped with energy weapons or something other than machine guns by the time we explore other worlds. Laser weaponry is being worked on right now for crying out loud.

What other small kicks has Mike's legendary optimism received lately? The update for the Trekker finally arrived. I took it out for a test with Adam coming along in case things went cocky. It was a damned good thing I didn't just march out there alone. Things went pretty well until we went under Glen Erin. From that point on, it thought we were off-route. My landmarks eventually got us to the Meadow vale Town Centre but the routing instructions didn't ever catch up with us. What did work extremely well was my Blue Snowflake microphone and netbook as recording apparatus. Soon, there should be an update to the maps used by the Trekker Breeze. Mine must be at least a few years old now so that very well might be part of the problem. That new feature which searches for nearby points of interest will point you in the general direction but I wouldn't trust it unless I had no other choice or was in a different less urban area. It may route you to the Meadowvale Town Centre but don't expect it to get you to any of the store entrances on the outside of the mall. Later this week, I plan to go out with my father and give it a fair crack at redemption. An attempt to go to Symposium Cafe on my own didn't go so well either. I had originally wanted to just walk around the lake but a passing bicycle rider informed me of a bee's nest on the path. I didn't want to chance giving accidental offence by unwittingly tapping on their home so I change my plans and headed out to the mall. I actually remembered a little more of the route than I thought I would but the GPS didn't call out direction despite numerous resets. I needed to ask three people for help on the way there and was thankful that Peter, a custodian in my building, happened to be heading back and offered to take me back also after my drink. The fruit freezie was splendid as always. It would be so damned nice to actually have a girlfriend to enjoy those with.

As dubious luck would have it, what would have been my first gathering of new friends in my apartment fell apart on me. Chrissie and Angel had to go elsewhere despite their having picked Friday night to visit Sandy and I. I had been keenly looking forward to having them all here. It would have been an indication that my social life had at last truly taken a turn for the better. It would have meant a great deal to know that I had at last found a couple of ladies around my age who found me worth taking the time to hang out with. I know how busy life can get for sighted folk so I refuse to take it personally. Circumstances just didn't pan out this time. They gave us lots of notice so it's not like I ordered extra stuff that would go to waste or anything. I told you. "a couple of small kicks." Not a knockout blow. Even if this Summer does turn out to be a lonely one, I still consider myself well ahead of where I was not even three months ago. So much solitude while being near so many people is going to eat at me and will doubtless frustrate me to no end. There'll be countless times when I go to Symposium Cafe, try, and fail not to dwell on the fact that nobody else is sitting at my table. That won't stop me from going there. "Build it and they will come." the saying goes. I'm making both myself and my apartment as ready for friendly company as I can make them. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, they will come. Before I pass any long-standing judgements on how things are going to go here over the long haul, I'll keep doing what I'm doing for at least a year. That ought to give me at least enough of a baseline to start adjusting stuff to deal with whatever foundation for long-term happiness I've managed to build by then. Who knows? Perhaps, Plenty of Fish will even startle the wits out of me and cough up another interested special lady who happens to be close enough to actually get to know. That's one area where my optimism is truly starting to fade. It's been over a damned year now.

I haven't seem much of any of the new acquaintances I've made lately. Cesar came over for help with another essay. He gets a little better at it each time he writes one of those. I've pretty much given up looking for a shortcut for him. It'll just take more practice and exposure to proper sentence structure. Time, unlike company my own age, is something I generally happen to have. It certainly beets helping people I'll never meet. There's actually some friendship growing there. He's a good man with a whole lot on his plate. Lela and Fernando have been pretty busy also. I bumped into Fernando on his way to a dentist appointment. Now there's a trip I seriously don't envy anybody. For the most part, my teeth have been surprisingly good to me especially when you consider my love of sweets.

On Thursday, I joined John in Sandy's apartment and we managed to get a scanner working in tandem with Kurzweil1000 on Sandy's computer. At last, there's something simple I'll be able to teach him to do with his computer which ought to truly benefit him. That's one project for this coming week.

Another project has come up in the form of an old friend and reader of this humble blog. She wants to try a collaborative writing project with me. As far as story and such goes, I've been dry as a post for quite some time now. On that unexpectedly empty Friday night, she hooked up with me over Skype. We were pretty good friends in secondary school. I remember spending many happy lunch hours in the school cafeteria with her and the rest of our small group. It did me a whole lot of good to talk with her again. As usual, she's way to far away to hang out with and perfectly happy single. She sounds a whole lot like I remembered her sounding but different than I would have expected. A very pleasant person to talk to just as she always was. I won't say too much about our project until I'm firmly convinced it's going somewhere. She has somewhat more faith in my writing ability than I do at the moment. Enchantment's Twilight hasn't gone anywhere lately. Perhaps, working in a new universe with a thoughtful and intelligent partner will kick start my writing engine again. At this point, Summer is looking pretty empty unless I get something going. Short of shooting myself in the head to impart motive energy to my brain cells, I'll try damned near anything to shake off this creative paralysis. It's a nifty opportunity and it might even ultimately be published. If she's willing to give it a try with her busy schedule, I'll certainly do my best to hold up my end. I guess that's what it all comes down to. I just have to keep ready and open to whatever opportunities present themselves. Sooner or later, I have to believe it'll all lead somewhere less solitary but hopefully just as comfortable as where I am now.

Ava's fourth birthday party was this weekend. It seemed to go quite well. I brought my netbook and Blue Snowflake microphone along. The recording turned out quite well considering the unfavourable acoustics. I'll have a bit of a job editing the 108 minutes down to some of the highlights which recorded nicely. Goldwave and I are slowly becoming better acquainted but sound editing will never really be my art. Just hearing those kids run around the place was exhausting. Initially upset at the prospect of turning four, Ava ended up really enjoying the party with her friends. Amia wasn't left out as I thought she might have been either. They all enjoyed it. So did her Uncle Mike. I'll try to get more events recorded as she continues to grow up. She'll have more than pictures and I'll have a little more to work with than fading memories. I'll have to acquire more shirts with pockets. I found it ever so convenient to just stick the mic in there and have both hands free. Also, the cable leading to the netbook doesn't interfere with my cane at all when the pocket and netbook are on the left side. It's not stereo but I'll happily settle for very good omnidirectionarl mono recording.

It's now a very pleasant Monday morning. I had an excellent sleep. I've just enjoyed a couple of cinnamon crunches plus a bowl of pineapple for breakfast. Perfect when followed by the wonderfully aromatic hot cup of chai tea I've just polished off. Things feel very fresh and new today. Last evening, I indeed went to church as planned but ended up taking the first of the membership classes I had thought started somewhat later in May. So far, things are tracking with what I remember from the Oakville CRC church. It's been quite a while so these classes are a very welcome opportunity. Pastor Sam is keen for our group to get to know each other which, as you may imagine, suits me just fine. It's a good group with thoughtful people spanning all of life's ages. Last time I took membership classes, we were all around the same age so this ought to be even more interesting. If nothing else, it's something stimulating to end the next several weekends with. Very welcome indeed.

After returning from church, I thought I'd take a stroll on my balcony. My cane struck something unexpectedly soft and large. I stood still waiting for the squawk of some injured bird or animal but nothing came. Bending down, I discovered that either a small set of track pants or perhaps a heavy shirt lay at my feet. It must have blown or fallen off a balcony above me. I knocked on my neighbour Red's door to see if he knew where we were to take found objects in the building. He was busy cooking dinner and looking after one of their kids. Despite that, he was still up for sharing a couple of drinks and some very welcome conversation. He shared some wine with me and I brought over a beer which he seemed to enjoy. I got to know Marco a little. He's feeling a little under the weather but still enjoyed his father's cooking and was a very pleasant and polite young lad. Hopefully, he got a good sleep. I was able to inform Red of some of the places he might enjoy taking his family. I hope he manages to find work soon. He and his family are very conscientious hospitable folks who are eager to learn about Canada and its culture. I'll cheerfully do whatever I can to be of help to them. Events like last night's unexpected get-together do a great deal to brighten my outlook on the future here. There is a real chance for me to build a more robust social network for myself here. It'll just take time, patience, and the odd stray or mysterious article. Think I'll head down and check my non-electronic mailbox. Later, folks.

Not a whole lot is happening in the world according to the news I just heard at noon. Writing hasn't gone overly well this morning but the day's only half over. I have my balcony door open and there's a nice breeze coming in. Apparently, there may be some thunder more towards the evening. My father and I are planning to go on a walk tomorrow with the Trekker Breeze. Hopefully, we won't find ourselves wading through wet stuff.