In Between Dreams

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Sleep.

Yesterday I slept for 14 hours. My monthly “crash” if you will. I used to track my sleep using an app on my phone. I realized pretty quick that it was less a helpful tool, than it was a symbol of how bad my insomnia has grown over the years.

In high school, I wager I got about 6-8 hours of sleep every night

In my binge drinking days, closer to 5-7.

If you believe the last app readings, which were back in November: 4.5 hours/night.

Of course, the app isn’t wholly accurate. It only starts calculating from when you start the timer. It doesn’t factor in how long it takes you to doze off after activating it. It also doesn’t account for waking up frequently throughout the night. Let’s not forget, this is also an average measurement. As previously stated, I usually have a crash once or twice a month, where I binge sleep. My body just can’t handle the fatigue anymore. You could probably safely assume I indeed only sleep on average 3-3.5 hours every night.

My mind doesn’t have an off switch. It’s not that I lead an overly exciting life; the thoughts buzzing are certainly not screenplay worthy. Frets and worries of a near 30 year old are pretty bland, truthfully. I have school registration in roughly 12 hours to contend with, currently. I also have a ticket to a concert tonight that I’m pretty jazzed about. It’ll be the first concert I’ve gone to alone in, pretty well ever. Earlier in the evening, I was challenged to list 5 “Nice Things”. My brain doesn’t typically  lean towards positive things, particularly lately. Since I can’t seem to find sleep though, let’s give it a whirl. Who knows? It may just clear some clutter…

  1. West coast rain on my face. Especially in the morning when it’s still cold and I’m barely awake.
  2. The fact that as the years go by, my handwriting is slowly looking more and more like my Gramma’s everyday.
  3. The hum of a tattoo gun; the bite it delivers into the skin.
  4. Beers that wash over your entire palette.
  5. The unmistakeable sound of a home run.
  6. The perfect snap a baseball mitt makes on a beautifully thrown 2-seam fastball.
  7. A book so good, you have to re-read it immediately since you can’t leave the characters behind…because they are not characters, they’re friends.
  8. Sour-cherry cheesecake.
  9. A seamlessly conceived playlist.
  10. Rhubarb rock candy.
  11. The first cookie from a freshly baked batch.
  12. The first autumn wind.
  13. Cherry cola.
  14. The fizz that tickles your nose, from a freshly poured soda-fountain drink.
  15. The cold-side of the pillow.
  16. Coming home from camp and not being able to wash the campfire smell off your skin.
  17. Not being able to sleep the day before a big trip, while still being able to get up early to get your butt to where you need to go.
  18. Plaid
  19. Being the first to toe the rubber on a freshly groomed baseball diamond
  20. Ocean spray, on a summer day at the beach.

(…so I got a little carried away)

-DFP-

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Daisy Chains

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The year is quickly approaching its halfway mark.

I had big ambitions set in motion for 2014. It’s not to say that it’s too late to achieve them. It’s just that things got thrown on their side, leaving a less clear roadmap. There are still many days left on the calendar, most importantly: Summer Days.

I’m guilty of measuring the success of a year, by how much I enjoyed the summer. I think it stems from the expectations the weather builds. In the winter, you’re given a built in excuse to be a hermit. Most people won’t blame you for wanting to curl up indoors, with a nice book or cheesy movie. There are no excuses in the summer. How can you NOT want to go out and explore?

Last summer was, ok. I can’t really speak to any big events, big discoveries, or any exciting adventures. The closest was when Casey visited. He came in the Spring time however, so while it gave 2013 a decidedly sweet taste, it didn’t contribute to an awesome summer. Cue 2014.

Summer 2014 is all about re-connecting.

With nature:
I’ve been guilty of wasting opportunities to convene with the great outdoors. I live in a beautiful city that is surrounded by nature and wonder. School played an early part in this disconnection; excuses are so 2011 though. Hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, are all on the menu for this year. There’s also the promise of finally learning how to bike. (I may no longer have to be the only living boy in Vancouver, who can’t bike!)

With music:
I wouldn’t say I’ve detached from it. What would be more accurate, is that I’ve not immersed myself as wholly in it as in the past. Summer is great for music in Vancouver, and you can bet your boots I’ll be taking full advantage. There’s also Take #3 on a music blog. New blog, new vision, new collaborator. Someone who has the same creative excitement for this project as I do. Check it out if you fancy: Mellon Collie and The Infinite Playlist.

With writing:
Returning to this blog is hopefully the catalyst. I haven’t written consistently since high school. When I was battling the usual teenage angst and confusion, writing helped a lot. It’s soothing, relaxing, and can really help remove the clutter. This summer, even though I have no designs on being a published author, it’s time to re-connect pen to paper.

That leave the most important one for last:

People.

I don’t mean it in the literal sense of re-connecting old relationships. People come and go in your life, and while it’s hard to cope with at times, it’s just a part of being human. Re-connecting with people this summer means re-learning to make connections. This last year I’ve been a bit more reclusive; I’ve been far more closed-off to others. There are a number of reasons why, and it’s left my soul hungry for close human bonds. It can be very difficult to become transparent with others; I’m not usually one to show vulnerabilities. The thing is, when you are constantly surrounded with such amazing, loving, beautiful people, it becomes really difficult to keep your guard up. Why should I in any case? When you’re blessed enough to have great people in your life, you should only want to let them in.

One by one, I’ll find myself back in love with the things and people that fill my heart. One link at a time, until there’s a perfect crown of chains fit for a prince.

2014 is all about re-connecting.

It’s all about…

Grand things.

-DFP-

Calm East Word Slinger

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I used to write a lot.

I wasn’t very good by any means. I mostly wrote what you could loosely consider poetry. It started when my high school friend Tim and I decided to start a band. The way I figured it, I had to write 100 songs before I even picked up an instrument. Cover band wasn’t an option; we were going for broke from day one. It’s funny looking back on it, I wish I still had those old notebooks to be able to have a good laugh.

One classic I can only remember by title, was “One-Legged Camel”. After our band dreams were crushed, it was a natural transition into calling my writing “poetry” instead of “songs”. I was particularly fond of acrostics at the time, so the transition was pretty natural (yes, the “Camel” song was an acrostic). I guess I always liked following what I thought was bizarre structure. I fell in love with Bukowski as I started to find authors who’s styles spoke to me. I couldn’t write enough. I always had a notebook handy. At the bus stop, in class, at home, visiting extended family; I never let pen and paper stray too far. It was a pretty good outlet for teen angst.

In Grade 12, I took a creative writing class. This really let my pen do some serious scribbling. Now, what I had been spending all my free time doing, could be applied to classwork. I also had an amazing teacher (and enormous crush) Ms. Riddell. I started the class a few weeks late for reasons I can’t remember. I might be over-sentimentalising here, but I felt like she took me under her wing. She would have me stay after class and go over things I was writing apart from school. She pushed me to challenge my thought and creative process. She loaned me books and CDs and shared a lot of her creative influences. I became her peer helper for Grade 11 remedial English, and she even eventually wrote me a letter of recommendation for UVic’s prestigious Creative Writing program.

Then the well dried up, and I let her down.

I stopped writing regularly for a good year. There were bits and pieces that I would conjure up randomly, but for the most part, it all escaped me. I would have a small period of rejuvenation after moving to Edmonton, but that was quick to vanish. I would go approximately another 8 years without any kind of creative writing.

Cue Xmas 2013. k and I had barely started seeing each other, but I still wanted to make an effort for Xmas. I got her and her sissy each a blank card from Betty and Dupree; they do lovely stationary. The second I saw these two cards an idea struck me. They were fairly simple; blank on the inside with an illustration of a person on the front. They were a bit quirky (k’s and j’s) and suited my dislike for anything overly Xmas themed. For each card, I made up a story for the character on the front. Alliteration (which makes my motor purr) was unapologetically rampant in both. Suddenly, the writing bug had bit me again.

A few weeks ago, k asked for a bedtime story. While I’m usually pretty quick on my toes for a story, I felt immediate mental block. The Virgo in me makes me a perfectionist at heart, so even if the story was lame and predictable, I still had to have a framework established before I could start. She gave me a prompt, and immediately I knew it would take more than a few sentences to tell this story.

So I’m writing again.

I actually took a small break from what is quickly turning into a novella, to blog. I’ve been a bit neglectful of this. We’ll see how it turns out in the long run, but it’s nice to have the inspiration back for the time being. It even spawned a playlist over on decibelsinthebelfry (Yup shamelessly plugging the other blog!). Before I even had anything written down, I wanted to get a bit of a mood set for what I was about to create.

So here’s to a lady that has helped me regain my love for a long lost passion…

Seamus and Selkie

-DFP- 

 

Double-Shifting

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I’ll be curating a second blog.

Music oriented, it’s a bit of a playlist project my best gal and I will be engaging in. You could say it was born out of the Music Monday posts, which I may just use to pimp the new blog.

If you’re interested, you can find it here:

decibelsinthebelfry

DFP

Music Monday (Airport Blues)

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I have Mondays off for January at least. It’ll make this weekly post a lot easier to stay on top of.

This one ties in with my earlier post today, Peripheral Prompt (Airport Blues).

I thought it’d be pretty interesting to try and think of songs I would want to listen to if I were going on a flight today. For the longest time, I didn’t have the benefit of an mp4 player. I’d have to pack a collection of CDs in my little wallet. This would take the longest as I would often reconsider which I chose. It’s a lot more convenient now obviously. I went with a decent mix of what I’m listening to right now, stuff I could easily listen to 2-3 times if necessary. I like to do crosswords on the plane. I can’t read, it makes me ill, so music is a necessity.

Airport Blues

DFP

Goalutions

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Resolutions are funny.

I feel like we use the term “resolution” to escape responsibility. It’s easier to blow off a resolution than it is a goal. When you make a goal, you have to sit down and really think about it and plan. Resolutions are vague. Goals are specific and action oriented. Resolutions are full of ambition but no real true focus. Goals start small and grow into larger, more positive things because they create a pattern of responsible behaviour.

Here are my 2014 RESOLUTIONS:

-Use the word “kajigger” more frequently.
-Enforce the usage of the term “Ocelot’s Overalls”. This NEEDS to replace “Cat’s Pyjama’s”.
-Acquire more sweaters and cardigans.
-Start referring to my footwear fetish as a “hobby”.
-Discover no less than one new band a month.
-Drink less but better quality beer.
-Drink less but better quality wine.
-Drink less. (Which frankly I have already been quite good about lately.)

Now for some 2014 GOALS:

-Find creative ways to be more active.
I’m starting dance (tap) classes next week. I feel like this could be a great stepping stone. The gym is super unappealing. Hiking more this summer is GOING to happen. I live in a city that has access to so many wonderful trails. Time to start taking advantage.

-Write more!
I’ve already started this by finally committing to blogging. It’s been going pretty good so far. The Regional Assembly of Text might be another avenue to peruse. I will NOT be deterred from pen-pal’ing by Canada Post. DELIVER THAT MAIL!

-Cut down on take out.
It’s appalling how much of it I eat. I would honestly say it’s almost an addiction. I originally put “fast food”, but it’s not fast food that is at the heart of the problem. There are several restaurants and cafes around my work, that make delicious, healthier, foods that i indulge in far too often. My wallet needs a break.

2013 was a mixed bag.

There were times when I really questioned what I was doing, where I was going, and sometimes if I would even make it to a point where I wanted to be. On the flip-side, I did some fun and exciting things. I met some great people who really taught me how valuable being surrounded with love is.

There are many mountains to climb this coming year, I’m going to conquer them all.

DFP

Music Monday (Noisetrade Mix)

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Well, it’s TECHNICALLY Monday.

I discovered a site awhile back, www.noisetrade.com.

It’s an awesome site where you can download music from up and coming artists. It’s completely free, though you do have the option to donate for each download. You know, support the artists. I’ve found a pretty nice assortment of music on there, so I thought it would make for a good mix.

I’m glad that I could post this, I’ve been a bit lazy about blogging lately. I have a few things on my mind for posts though, so the new year should be plentiful.

Noisetrade Mix

DFP