Category: Personal

So sometimes I’m stubborn

I am pretty stubborn about some things.

A few weeks ago, I rebuilt by freelance website. I hadn’t really touched it since I first put it up two years ago. So I overhauled the entire site, which included adding some new plugins and widgets. Particularly, I wanted to update the security of my site by creating a secure admin login page.

I researched different ways to do this. I read about my plugin options. I made my decision, set everything up, chose a really clever page slug that I would totally remember.

Then I left my fresh site to collect dust for a few weeks.

Last weekend, I went to log in to my freelance site. But I couldn’t remember my new, clever, memorable login page address.

I tried a few different page addresses.  No luck. I tried typing random letters into my browser’s address bar, hoping that autocomplete would help me out.

It didn’t.

I opened up my browser history and went back to the weekend I did my site’s overhaul. I figured the login page must be listed there somewhere. I’d spent hours rebuilding my site. Setting up the new security protocols. Testing it. It had to be there somewhere.

It wasn’t.

Frustrated, I logged into my web hosting admin panel. I figured I would surely be able to easily find the information there. I poked around in my domain management portals. At the very least, maybe I could reset it if all else failed.

I couldn’t.

I was strongly starting to consider deleting the whole website. Throwing my laptop into the fire. And running into the forest, never to be seen again.

I started going through my site’s database, file by file. It had to be there somewhere.

If it was, it was hiding from me.

What an a-hole.

It was now quickly approaching 2am. My partner suggested that we go to bed and give it ago in the morning after I’d had a chance to sleep on it.

But that’s not how I work.

Instead of doing the practical thing, I queued for my web host’s tech support live chat. At 2am on a Sunday morning. And waited. And waited.

While I waited, I poked around some more in my site’s database. I opened every file. I read through so many pages that my eyes were burning. I was going to figure out what my admin page login was if it took all. Damn. Night.

Finally, my chat window pinged. I was next in line for the tech support chat.

At the same time, buried deep in the files of my website, I found what I was looking for. The URL to the secure admin login page.

It may have taken over 4 hours, a lot of cursing and the worrisome feeling that maybe I’d been gaslighting myself, but I figured it out.

This is my long-winded way of saying that the same stubbornness that kept me up all night trying to figure out my freelance website is the same stubbornness that keeps bringing me back to this blog.

I’m going to keep poking around until I figure it all out.

So yes. Still here. Hi, hello. Thanks for sticking it out with me.

 

Stream of consciousness tweets

I love Twitter, but sometimes 140 characters are just not enough for me to properly share what I’m processing. Because of this, I’ll end up tweeting a bunch of things in a row. I’ve taken to calling these my stream of consciousness tweets. This past Saturday, July 10th, a date that had been very significant to me in the past, went by without me evening realizing what day it was. It took me by surprise at first. And then I starting turning it over in my head, and… stream of consciousness tweets was the result. I want to share these tweets here, because I these words are import to me:

 

 

Falling for the public library

I’ve pretty much always been a reader. I would find an author or a series and read every book written, one after another. In the summers, my mother would take my brothers and I to our library to sign up for the summer reading challenges and I’d easily hit the book count within the first few weeks of the summer vacation. As an adult, I rarely visit libraries anymore and had been mostly buying books or borrowing them from my friends. Books take up a lot of real estate in our home, and it makes me a little crazy. I don’t like clutter or to feel closed in by a lot of stuff. So my book habit has dropped off, and with it, so has my reading.
I’ve been wanting to read more. Last year, I read maybe 3 books, tops. For the entire year. I didn’t really want to be buying books again. But I have a confession about borrowing books from a library… Library books gross me out. I have an irrational germophobia around certain things. Library books sometimes come with mysterious stains in them. There was a bedbug outbreak at our main library branch. And I can never seem to get this picture out of my head; the big stack of my friend’s dad’s library books on the toilet tank… So many germs. So my irrational germophobia says a huge nope to bringing those books into my house. Which in turn, has kind of curbed my reading habit of late.

Then, this past weekend happened. It basically rained from Friday night straight through until Monday morning. It was cold and gray and perfect spend the weekend with a stack of books weather. But I didn’t have a stack of books. I was complaining to M about my lack of reading material and he suggested I look into borrowing eBooks from the library. Freaking genius. Through a desktop and iPad app, I had access to my public library’s electronic library. I can finally enjoy reading again, despite my irrational library-book-related germophobia.

Dancing Ron

It also means I can borrow books from the library without having to interact with actual human people out in the world, but I’ll leave my hermit-tendencies for another day.

I love my public library again. And that’s a great thing.

Things I Love About October

October

It’s October 1st and I can’t believe how much October love I’ve seen today. Autumn is by far my favourite season and September and October are by far my favourite months. Here are some of the things I love about October:

  • Leaves changing colour: When I lived in Australia, I didn’t get to see the same colour change in the leaves in the Autumn (plus, October isn’t Autumn in Oz). I love the colours of autumn, especially the oranges and reds of October.
  • Cooler temperatures: I love sweater and scarf weather, and while I’m not a huge fan of the frigid winter temperatures, I love the cooler, cozier weather of October.
  • Saturday trips to the country: Nothing beats a trip to the farm markets, apple orchards or pumpkin patches in October. I love buying harvest produce, going apple picking or choosing the perfect pumpkin. As a kid, my parents would take us out for walks in the fields, tractor rides and to play in hay bale mazes. Not going to lie, I still love doing all of those things.
  • Thanksgiving: Canadian Thanksgiving falls in October. It’s one of my favourite holidays, because it’s not as chaotic as Christmas, not as busy as Easter and is the first long weekend after things go ‘back to normal’ after summer. When my brothers and I were in college and uni, it was also the first weekend when we’d all be home from school. Oh, and there’s always pie.
  • Halloween: I love the fun of Halloween; decorating, carving pumpkins, going to Halloween parties and handing out candy to trick-o-treaters. Not to mention scary movie marathons and the Simpsons’ Tree House of Horror specials.

Do you love October? What are your favourite things about this time of year?

Remembering a friend on WSPD

Green balloon

In high school, I didn’t have a specific clique that I belonged to. I was on the athletic council, had geek friends, art kid friends, drama and music friends. But I felt most at home with the outcasts.  The group of friends that were self-proclaimed misfits, the ones that didn’t really fit into any of the stereotypical boxes our high school hierarchy tried to fit them into.

These people were odd, but they were genuine, kind, smart and creative. There was always someone around to talk to, and we had gotten pretty good at being supportive, while trying to leave out any form of judgement. It was easy to just be yourself around them and that was a safe, comforting thing when someone was fighting through the ups and downs of high school.

Today, I’m thinking about one of my friends from this group in particular. He was thin and lanky in high school. I remember noticing him because I thought his taste in music was odd. Techno. Techno of all kinds, but he had a certain love for French techno. He always wore these huge headphones and was happy to share them with anyone that would give his favourite music a try. He was a fringe art kid in high school. Creative, artistic and he had an excellent eye for photography. His sense of humour offbeat, he was a bit goofy.  He was a kind soul, even though people weren’t always kind to him, because he was different.

I last saw him in person a few years ago at a friend’s wedding.  Still thin and lanky, but it suited him. He looked comfortable in his skin. He seemed happy and was just as kind and genuine as I’d remembered.

A few weeks ago, when I read the message that he’d gone missing, I felt an ache in my heart. When I heard he’d passed away, my heart broke.

It was once again a reminder that so many people suffer in silence.  Even if someone seems happy and comfortable and settled, that doesn’t mean they’re not suffering. It doesn’t mean that they’re okay.

My heart breaks that someone who seemed so happy and was kind and such a great friend was hurting so intensely. That he felt he had no one to go to, that he felt it wasn’t going to get better.

I wish I’d told him that it does get better, that he is loved and even if he didn’t believe it, there were people who would’ve dropped anything to help him fight. I  would’ve, even though we hadn’t been as close as we used to be. That no matter what, he was never alone.

I tried writing about this sooner, but to be honest, the emotions were too raw. I needed some time to get my head around it. To work through the guilt and anger and frustration that the world has once again lost a beautiful human being to the epidemic that is depression and suicide.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is never easy to talk about, there is still a huge stigma attached to it. But the World Health Organization says that more than 800,000 people commit suicide each year. That’s about one person every 40 seconds. It’s an epidemic. So we need to keep talking about it.

 

 Suicide Prevention Resources:

Canadian Association for the Prevention of Suicide
National Council for Suicide Prevention
The Trevor Project
International Association for Suicide Prevention

 
photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photopin cc

Siblings

Siblings

Yesterday I went out to get bagels at my favourite bagel shop.  There used to be a lot more of them around, they are a franchise.  But they never had the franchisey feel.  Growing up, on Sunday mornings, usually after church, we would go to our local bagel place and we’d either eat in or get a dozen takeaway ones for Sunday brunch.  Our local one closed years ago and the closest one to my house is actually in another town.  But the nostalgia has me heading out there every so often for bagels. (more…)

Why I Love Basketball

hoop

 

When I was 14, my dad was hit head-on by a drunk driver. We were so very lucky; my dad survived the horrific crash. He suffered broken ribs, a cracked knee and a brain injury.

At 14, I didn’t fully understand the complexity of brain injuries. I didn’t realise how big of an impact this injury would have on my dad’s life, my mother’s life and the lives of me and my siblings. (more…)

What I Learned When I (Temporarily) Quit Twitter

I decided rather spontaneously to take a bit of a Twitter break to recharge after finishing Veda this year.  Because the break was something I decided to do five seconds before I did it, I hadn’t really thought about what, if anything, I’d learn from the whole experience but turns out there was a lot to learn.  So in no particular order, here’s what I learned from my brief break from Twitter: (more…)