What do I know today? I bought a PlayStation Classic, the much-dunked-upon mini-console with 20 games built in. They were $110 when released last year, and greeted with a pretty resounding “meh” by reviewers and fans alike because…well I mean, Sony kinda rushed these out. Slower versions of certain games, really bad filtering effects for 2D graphics (that aren’t toggle-able by default), and an odd selection of titles. Since the reaction was so lukewarm they started dropping in price immediately, until hitting our local Wal-Mart for a paltry $40.

This still might not have enticed me BUT Sony’s lackadaisical approach to these consoles means that they are: very hackable! And yes, you can do more and better things with a Raspberry Pi or something, but you cannot beat this price. So I was up late last night playing with a USB-loaded game launcher, and then playing Intelligent Qube, which comes with the system and turns out to be really good.

I recently came across a post on tumblr that’s been making me think; it’s about the distinction between loving yourself and loving being yourself. Maybe this seems like semantic or crunchy granola nonsense, but I’ve found it interesting to consider. I’m thinking particularly about struggling to change my perception of my own body, and how I can spend time trying to look at myself uncritically and with a caring attitude but still not feel like I’m “getting anywhere”. To borrow the words of the post, it’s an issue of…

…trying to summon the “correct” feelings towards yourself or fashion yourself into something you can approve of. 

And of course, looking at what I’ve been learning this year about accepting things as they are rather than forcing them to be a certain way; the way I’m trying to go about it probably isn’t going to work.

One other thing I read a while back but didn’t note here was to pick a point in your body where you know you carry stress or tension; for me, it’s sort of in the middle of my chest, which tightens up as I get stressed. And then, as often as you like, check up on that point. How’s it feeling, and what does that say about whatever you’re experiencing at that moment? Whether the experience is positive, negative, or just neutral, it’s fine. If it’s negative, don’t freak out or worry, but just…notice it. Maybe make a mental note about it as something to address in the future.

Now, with this new thing in mind, I can try to look at that point in my chest a little more holistically, and reframe the question to ask about whether or not I’m enjoying Being Me at that moment. It’s a small thing, but an acknowledgement that I’m not just observing this stuff from outside myself, like the post says.

Thing I Saw: So many dogs! As the weather finally gets warmer around here, people are out walking their doggos and I love it.

Thing I Learned: I caught the last few minutes of the Blue Jackets / Lightning hockey game last night, and apparently I witnessed a little bit of history. I learned this morning that Tampa Bay was the first #1 seeded team in 81 years to get swept out of the playoffs in the first round. So that’s neat. Mostly I wanted the game to be over so I could use the TV again to play more Intelligent Qube

I’m Grateful For: Slowly improving weather.

No reason, it’s just been in my head lately

Running in Circles

I think I managed to disable comments on new posts. It’s not that I don’t want to hear back from anybody, but it’s more like…nobody human was commenting. That sounds way more exciting than it really is. Anyway if you have comments/questions/concerns please come find me on twitter or something.

Like many of you, I had dreams of watching the entire MCU again on account of it being 1.)Ten years? TEN! YEARRRS! since it started and 2.) Endgame is coming to cap it all off. And hey, since my afternoons at work are generally a little quieter I can just have the movies on my 2nd monitor while I do other things. Unfortunately, the very first film, Iron Man, isn’t available for streaming like Iron Man 2 and many films afterward. I could “rent” it from a digital store, sure, but I already own it on Blu-ray at home. And I don’t want to rent a movie I already own. I could watch it at home, but when I have time to watch something at home there’s things I want to see more. So that was where I got stuck and never recovered, on the very first film. Maybe I’ll reconsider in 2029.

Noting here for posterity, and if say it out loud more times I may actually do something; Sunday morning at church was very busy for me, and I came away from it saying that I need to drop one of my volunteer activities there. That’s actually rare — because I’m so averse to even potentially upsetting people, I hate to drop things I’m a part of, or say no to things.

Anyway, what happened. It was basically just a perfect storm; Lori was working so I took Cassidy there alone, then let her get handed off from volunteers to her grandparents as I ran from Sunday School (reading story & lead singing) to the projection area of the booth (to run that during the service). Then it was off to the basement to get ready for a small potluck / meeting being held by the Music Committee on which I serve and had to present at, and also for which I needed to get my own dish prepared. I felt, and later said to Lori, that if church is meant to be a place to slow down, breathe, and let my soul find rest and preparation for the week ahead? Then I’m doing it wrong.

Already I’m rationalizing and telling myself that it’s So Rare for all these things to come up on the same morning, just give it time, it’ll calm down. On the other hand, I’ve brushed off previous Sundays when I’ve felt like this, and I can be pretty confident that it’ll happen again.

Two pieces of advice that I’ve come across in the past few months that are coming to me now, when considering what to keep, what to move on from, &c:

  • “Am I being led by love, or pushed by fear?” (yes fear, mostly fear, honestly) (thanks Emily)
  • Know that your decision may upset others, but will it actually harm them in the long run? (from a recent sermon at WMBC)

Guess I got some thinkin’ to do.

Thing I Saw: This, and I’ve been a little obsessed over the past two days since watching it:

Thing I Learned: From above, there are now 812 pokemon in total I guess. I used to pore over the original 150, and after that my knowledge drops off precipitously.

I’m Grateful For: A loving God, who has a plan, and to whom I can give my anxieties and pointless ruminations.

The non-acoustic version is also quite good.

What’s That

It was Wednesday afternoon and we were about to leave the house for the banquet. Cassidy was headed to my brother’s house, on the next street over. She had her jacket on and was looking out the front window as we gathered a few things. Suddenly she asked “What’s that in the sky?”

‘That’ was this:

The school that’s under construction near our house was on fire. Not a serious one and nobody was hurt, but somewhat alarming nonetheless. I ran outside to take pictures and overheard some teens on the sidewalk singing “schooool’s out! for! ever!” which made me smile.

Evidently, somebody working on the roof set down their torch and forgot about it. Police and firetrucks were there quickly, and as much as we all would have preferred to stay and watch, we did have to leave in order to get to Winnipeg on time.

It’s an uncomfortable feeling to leave your house when a fire is close by, but it was already dwindling as we drove away and was out before we even left Winkler. It was just so out-of-the-ordinary that it felt odd not to see it through to the end.

The banquet went well, in case you were wondering. I’m not a “networker” but I know how to make conversation, and Lori and I were treated to a delicious meal and a unique evening out with people we’ve never met and likely never will again. I’d do it again!

Thing I Saw: Besides the column of smoke? Um…let’s see, the banquet was emcee’d by former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Obby Khan, who was funny but also odd and awkward and not really very smooth at all?? Like me, he seemed to have no internal monologue and yet he was enjoyable. Gave me an idea for a side hustle: I’m going PRO EMCEE BABY

Thing I Learned: We’ve lost our ancestors’ original word for ‘bear’, because they were terrified that saying the name would summon them. It’s in an article about euphemisms!

I’m Grateful For: This might sound very posh, but my massage therapist. Years of bad posture and computer usage were taking their toll on my wrists, but regular visits to her have kept my carpal tunnel symptoms at bay! Plus she’s pleasant to chat with and has a table with a warmer built in.

This gives me such 90s computing nostalgia that I have to just lay down every time I hear it. Well maybe not, but it IS good

A Good Dog

I’m not usually one to share my dreams, but I had one last night that’s stuck with me throughout the day and I want to talk about it here.

I was at a university and waiting to speak to a certain professor. This professor was teaching a class, so I went to wait near his office to meet him on the way back afterward. There was a lounge area nearby with dark wood paneling and some armchairs, so I sank into one to wait. There weren’t many other people around.

A dog came sauntering around the corner. It had orange fur and was about the size of a border collie. This picture is reasonably close:

Image result for orange border collie

The dog walks up and stops directly in front of me. Of course I begin talking to it, and it approaches so I can give skritchies. This goes so well that in a smooth motion it climbs into the chair with me, settling easily in my lap. Like a cozy blanket, the feeling is wonderfully warm and calming. The dog does my favourite thing that dogs do, which is to sniff my ears, and I’m giggling crazily and continuing to skritch, and then we both calm down and sink a little more into the chair.

I’m warm and peaceful now, completely present in that moment, and it feels so nice that I begin to fall asleep in the chair. The professor I’m waiting for returns from class with his colleagues, and I barely care as I begin to doze off. As my eyes close I notice that he’s motioned for one colleague to take a picture, and they do.

I don’t remember where it went from there, but at moments throughout the day I’ve been thinking about that dog and the sense of complete peace and warmth. I almost started to choke up telling Lori about it in the morning. And in a somewhat stressful and lengthy day, as this turned out to be, returning to the memory of it has been pleasant. I’ve no idea what it means, but maybe all it was supposed to do was contribute a little more peace to my heart on a Tuesday.

That’s a pretty good outcome for a dream.

Thing I Saw: An episode of Homecoming, a pretty fantastic thriller on Amazon Prime Video starring Julia Roberts and directed by Sam Esmail, of Mr. Robot fame. Apparently it was adapted from a fictional podcast and I keep thinking, like, if I were the people that made that podcast? I would be pretty excited about the thunder being brought on the TV version.

Thing I Learned: I thought I didn’t have a “business casual” outfit for a banquet I’m attending tomorrow, because I don’t really know what “business casual” even is?? But it turns out Pinterest is a really great place to get ideas. I thought I would have to buy something but I found out that I already have the things I need. The power was within my closet…all along!!

I’m Grateful For: This blog, actually! An outlet for my thoughts from time to time.
Time for sleepy time for me too