Today, I am posting some photos from their coral reef exhibits.
Like a good turkey dinner, this is worth repeating
(Today at Siuslaw News, we are short-staffed and on early deadlines, with many of us suffering the lingering effects of tryptophan and alcohol. The result is an extremely small staff of tired, hungover reporters trying to put out today’s edition. Being that I am the tallest and least hungover, I am suddenly an integral part of assuring today’s success — which is a stark contrast to the role I normally play in the newsroom. What does this all mean? For those who recognized the title of this week’sNickel’s Worth on Writing, you already know it’s a repeat from a year ago regarding what it means to be a writer. For those who never read this post or, for reasons of their own, blocked the experience from their minds, this will be new to you. In either case, whether reading this for the first time, a second…
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I love aquariums, both the smaller home version and the larger amusement park versions. Thus, after bemoaning the absence of one in Toronto (the largest frickin’ city in Canada), you can only imagine my enthusiasm when the Ripley’s company said they would build one in Toronto near two other major city landmarks, the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre.
Well, last month, the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada finally opened, and on Wednesday, I finally visited it.
Over the next few days, I will display some of the photos I took at the aquarium. Today, I’ll focus on the amazing walk-through shark tank.
Still waiting for the conversation that begins:
Native American slowly walks up to POTUS and kind of shuffles his feet, looking everywhere but at POTUS.
POTUS: Hey sweetie, whassup?
NA: Hey Anglo. You know I think the world of you, right?
POTUS: Oh, oh.
NA: I was sooo excited when I invited you to move in.
POTUS: You made me so happy that day.
NA: Yeah, we were going to do so much stuff together. Discover the world. Make new friends. Redecorate the place. It was going to be great.
NA: Yeah. *pause* Look, you’re a great people and all that…
POTUS: Spit it out.
NA: It just hasn’t worked out like I thought it would.
POTUS: What’re you talking about? We’re having the time of our lives!
NA: YOU! You’re having the time of YOUR life. You shut me out of everything.
POTUS: Sweetie. *attempts hug*
NA: Don’t touch me! This is hard for me to say, but it’s… it’s over between us.
POTUS: This is because of that football team in Washington, isn’t it?
NA: Don’t try to trivialize this!
POTUS: So, you just want me to move back in with my mother?
NA: I don’t care where you move. I just want my place back.
POTUS: Come on. Look at me. We can work this out.
NA: Fine! I didn’t want to tell you this. But I’ve… started to see the Chinese.
POTUS: What? *laughs*
NA: What’s so damned funny?
POTUS: I started seeing the Chinese, too!
NA: *laughs* Oh, my Earth Mother! Are we a pair or what?
They hug and when POTUS is at work the next day, NA throws his stuff onto the front lawn (in Canada).
(Image is property of owner and is used without permission, so deport me!)
A friend of mine recently posted the above sign on her Facebook page, and I had no choice but to share it with my Facebook community (and now you). Although I find the sentiment a little negatively toned as worded, I completely agree with it.
As many of you know, I jumped off a cliff about 18 months ago, completely turning my life upside down in pursuit of the dream of being a screenwriter. To do that, I have made a large number of sacrifices to the way my life was, but in the interim, I have discovered some wonderful things—about me and my friends—that I might never have learned if I hadn’t.
Last week, I had drinks with another friend, someone who had made a similar jump to mine. Like me, he has had some wonderful times during this phase of his life, but he is also struggling with doubt and the sense that the years of effort haven’t paid off as he would have liked. Doubt is a thing I understand.
At this moment, I have no doubt or at least not about my dream. It seems as real and viable as ever. Its realization is simply a matter of time in and work on my part. I revel in these moments and wish my friend could feel the same way right now.
When doubt does creep in, however, I do my best to give it context.
The doubt: Can I afford this conference? Is this screenplay any good? Have I made a mistake? Am I a fraud?
The context: What is the alternative?
I look back at my life before I made the jump and I realize that I can’t go back to that. This is not to say that it was all miserable…I had love and support; I enjoyed aspects of my jobs; I met wonderful people. But in many ways, all of those positives were for naught back then because I was miserable.
I was living my life for other people. I based my identity on my job and what I did for other people. I was only as good, as valuable, as loved as other people told me I was, and deep inside, I truly suspected they were lying. Through no fault of theirs, I couldn’t have faith in them because I didn’t have faith in me.
So, when I finally jumped off the cliff, I realized that what I was risking was a life of well masked misery and distrust. Hardly much of a risk from my perspective.
I understand that others cannot always jump as wholeheartedly as I did. They have responsibilities that I did not have.
I have no children. My wife and I were separating for other reasons (nice to say she remains my strongest and most loving advocate and supporter). My family responsibilities had all but disappeared. My jumping would leave no one in the lurch.
So, maybe you can’t jump like I did. I’m not suggesting that it is right for everyone. But to not jump at all in pursuit of a passion is folly.
Every day you maintain the lie, whatever your personal lie is, is another day you risk it all.
It will be scary. You will have doubts. But you’re not doing anyone any favours, least of all yourself, by continuing to pursue activities, attitudes or a life that is crushing you.
I hope my friend relocates the wonder in what he is doing and continues to explore his adventure. If he will let me, I am happy to help him in any way I can.
He is a very lucky man because he is surrounded by love and support from a community of people who adore him and want him to be happy. I hope he can take energy from that. I know I do.
AMAZING! Thank you all, so much.
As of earlier today, my blog post updating the story of Little Joe’s Heart had received 500 views.
My gracious thanks to all the people on Twitter who have and continue to retweet my original posts and to friends on Facebook who shared the post on their Facebook pages.
Together, we are raising awareness of the need for organ donors.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Be A Donor (Canada)
Donate Life (US)
In the shadow of my approaching 50th birthday, at 1:44 pm EST on Saturday, November 16, 2013, I officially became old.
Worse than the first time I was called “Sir” or visited my old graduate department to find it populated with children, I was verbally punched in the gonads when a young man (early 20s?) offered me his seat on the westbound subway near Coxwell Street station.
Adding insult to injury, the subway was not busy—there were other seats available—and I was only carrying a notebook while he was burdened with a large knapsack, a cardboard box and a binder.
I graciously thanked him for his offer while refusing it and then proceeded to die a little bit inside.
Now, if he’d offered me a senior’s discount at the liquor store, well…
As some of you may recall from a previous post (A parent’s call in the darkness), I told you about a friend of mine whose infant son is in desperate need of a heart transplant to keep him with us.
Almost a month and a half later, I am happy to report that Joe is still fighting, refusing to give up, but am sad to say that he is still waiting for a donor.
Word is getting out, though, and even if Joe cannot be helped in time, his parents’ efforts to raise awareness of the need for organ donors (including this YouTube video) is having an impact.
Like this recent report on Global TV News: Parents Pin Hopes on Heart Transplant
Or this retweet and plea from actress Shannon Elizabeth:
Or this message of support from Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo:
And of course, the continued love and support from hundreds of people worldwide.
Please do what you can to support organ donor registry in your area. None of us may be in a position to help Joe directly, but we can all do something to help other families going through the same turmoil and fear.
Please reblog this post to help spread the word. Joe and his family (and I) will be ever so grateful.
Where do you find inspiration? What causes one moment to pass completely unnoticed and another to trigger a flurry of activity?
Truth be told, I don’t think inspiration comes from outside but rather from within. The exact same moment viewed at different times by the exact same individual may result in completely different responses depending on the openness of the individual to inspiration.
When you are open to inspiration, you witness and experience life through a completely different lens, one that sees connections and patterns between events and objects that do not necessarily exist in the forms themselves.
The priests sitting in the bar become a foil for the man trying to pick up women. The dog urinating on a building becomes the unwitting initiator of the death of 275 people in an office tower. The crows on the telephone lines become dark angels surveilling the land, awaiting the arrival of a malevolent spirit.
The irony of inspiration coming from within, however, is that it is something you cannot really will into existence. You can easily sit for hours with pen poised over paper, awaiting inspiration’s wafting arrival, only to realize that days have gone by without result. And trying to force your way through artistic constipation only seems to worsen the situation as you strain against the blockage by forcing invisible connections. Rarely, if ever, will inspiration make itself known to you in this way.
All you can really do is till the soil in which inspiration will implant itself and hopefully germinate. Rather than clear away all distraction, you may find it better to envelope yourself in distraction. By allowing the mental and spiritual noise to flow over, under and through you, you remove the hard edges of the real world and let the boundaries criss-cross in chaotic flux, searching for new patterns that your mind’s eye can mark.
It may also be helpful to engage your mind in someone else’s art, whether of the same medium as yours or no, but remembering to also give your mind permission to wander.
There is no exam at the end of the novel you’re reading. No request to reproduce the painting you are viewing. No critical essay to argue once the concerto has ceased.
So let yourself go and let yourself respond—consciously and viscerally—to the art. Let a word, image or note ricochet through your mind until it attaches itself to an earlier thought or feeling. Don’t try to define or even understand the clusters that form but rather observe them until the need to create takes hold.
Inspiration is about the initial amount of discovery, not the final product. An ephemeral spirit, inspiration is likely to dissipate at your first attempt to put a leash on it. You cannot present inspiration with a road map and expect it to clear the path ahead. Rather, you must follow inspiration as it meanders, bearing witness to the miracles it triggers.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere and anywhere, when you are ready to let it be seen.