Category Archives: Life

So Much Happening!

I am not dead! But I feel like I’ve mostly disappeared from a lot of social media, though I do talk on Twitter and Facebook regularly. I have news, though. And this is something I’ve been hoping for since returning to Canada from Japan.

I won’t be mysterious about this. I’ve returned to teaching English! I taught English for 11 years in Japan, and now I’m starting again in Canada. The focus is on business people this time, and I’ll have to help develop a lot of the curriculum, so it’s going to be an interesting challenge.

Due to the hours of this job, I have less opportunity to record videos, unfortunately. And since I got a new car last month, my commute isn’t a one hour bus ride. Unfortunately, I get less time for reading, because I often read on my commute. I’ll figure out ways to get reading in, and I might do it during lunch breaks.

I still have so much I want to do: write, read, make videos. I’ll find the time for them all. And this blog, too. When I was living in Japan, this was my big project. This was my baby (other than my daughter). I devoted a lot of time on this blog, and there is absolutely no way I would let it die. While I’m settling into my new job, I’ll probably be busy with preparations, but once everything is routine, I’ll have time to get back to everything I enjoy doing. I know I’ve said I’d be back to blogging earlier this year, but I found I was getting tired and unmotivated about so many things. Now, I feel energy again. I’m definitely back, and soon!

I’m Back!

Let me update you on what’s been going on. You may have noticed that I stopped the A to Z Challenge, as well as a lack of posts other than Authors Answer. And the last one wasn’t even posted! Well, a lot has happened.

Early this month, I caught a cold that completely stole my energy. I still cough because of it, so it’s not completely gone. At the same time, I lost my appetite, and often felt sick to the stomach. I couldn’t eat a full meal for two weeks. I’m glad that’s over. But that’s not all!

Since April 14, I’ve been working every day. Today was my last day (ten days in a row) during this stretch. I was working more than 8 hours a day, as well. And the work I was doing was very physical. I came home exhausted and sore. I tried working on Authors Answer two days ago, but I was just so tired I couldn’t focus on it.

Now that this is over, and I have some time off, I’ll be back to the blog! Don’t worry about Authors Answer. It will be posted today. The first time in 129 weeks I missed posting on schedule. I’ll also continue with the A to Z Challenge and complete it, although not on schedule. I’m hoping to get the remaining 22 videos and posts done within the next couple weeks.

And you know what? I missed this month’s Commentition!

So, that’s what’s been happening. Expect a lot of things to happen.

My Daughter’s St. Patrick’s Day Project

Tomorrow, my daughter has a project due for her kindergarten class.  It’s a Leprechaun trap. And this is what we made together.

She did a lot of the colouring herself. The rainbow is hers, as well. Those yellow circles are gold coins. You see, a Leprechaun climbs the ladder, follows the coins, sees a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and falls through a trap door.

It’s not a masterpiece, but she loved making it with me. I even found her keeping it near herself while she watched My Little Pony on Netflix. She was protecting it. She’s pretty proud of it. When it was time for bed, she wanted to take it up to her room, but she’d just be distracted by it.

Tomorrow morning, I just have to remember to dress her in green.

Speaking on Camera

I make a lot of videos these days. I appear on camera for people to hear what I say. My top video that I appear in screen has almost 800 views. That many people have watched me talk about fantasy novels I’m anticipating in 2017. 

But think about this. How would you feel if people you know are watching your videos? They could be friends, family, and even coworkers. A few years ago, I would have said there’s no way I could do that. But now? It’s not a big deal for me anymore. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I don’t think about it. Even though I’m thinking about it now, I’m so used to it that I really don’t care if people have a negative opinion. I do it for those who enjoy that type of video. 

I also do a lot of public speaking now. 15 years ago, I couldn’t do it. Then I became a team leader in a call centre. I spoke to groups of up to 50 briefing them on projects. Then I taught English for 11 years to groups of up to 8-10 people. Now I speak to groups of up to 40 several times a day at work. And I have no problems doing it. I would’ve had terrible stage fright several years ago. Now it’s not a big deal. 

How do you feel about speaking in front of groups?

Unpopular Opinions

We all have our likes and dislikes. Most of the time, people have likes and dislikes that are pretty common. But sometimes, we may have some unpopular opinions. Let’s start with some literary ones:

  • My favourite fantasy series is Terry Brooks’ Shannara series. That’s probably not a very common opinion. I just love the series.
  • My favourite science fiction series is Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. Many people think it’s fantasy, but it’s not. I will argue that it’s science fiction, because it is! But I doubt that it’s a common favourite.
  • I loved Shakespeare in high school. Pretty sure most people didn’t like it.
  • My favourite book read in school was The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham. Despite the blatant deus ex machina, I really enjoyed this book!

And now for some non-literary opinions.

  • I love Marmite. Really. A lot.
  • I loved Star Trek: Enterprise. Well, mostly. A lot of people thought it was the worst series, but I enjoyed it a lot, and I wish it went the full 7 seasons.
  • I enjoy earthquakes and typhoons. Weird, huh?
  • I can’t stand crab and lobster. I love shrimp, but I don’t want to touch their bigger cousins.
  • I hate tomatoes so much, I can’t eat pizza that has tomato sauce. It’s just gross.

Anything surprise you? How about you? What are some likes and dislikes of yours that are uncommon? Let me know in the comments below.

Let’s Break Our Resolutions

It’s inevitable that my New Year Resolutions are broken. It always happens. What have I broken?

Nothing yet. However, there are some personal goals I didn’t mention that I haven’t been able to do. This is what I wanted to do:

  • Make two posts a day again. I actually went back to one a day and I even missed a day.
  • Write a bit every day.
  • Read a bit every day.
  • Start my science videos in January.
  • Do some book reviews in January.
  • Keep up on comments.
  • Keep up on social media.

Well, I failed all of those. Maybe February will be better. I’m going to push myself to do it!

Have you broken your resolutions yet?

What’s Going on Inside My Head

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about recently:

  • My daughter read her first book by herself. This is actually pretty exciting for me.
  • I worry about the future of science in the US.
  • Climate change is real. Stop trying to hide it.
  • I wonder which team will draft me when I finish this season in the OHL in NHL 17 in Be a Pro mode.
  • This had me laughing my ass off.
  • Tomorrow is my daughter’s 5th birthday. This weekend will be the first time that we have a birthday party for her and invited friends. I wonder how it’ll go.
  • What should I watch on Netflix?
  • I loved the school group that came through at work yesterday. Amazing kids.
  • I miss Japan.

What have you been thinking about recently?

Giving Myself Permission to Be Lazy

I’ve completely fallen off my regular video-posting schedule. This week is the second week in a row that I’m not uploading my regular Friday and Saturday videos. You see, I’m taking a little holiday.

After two weeks of working longer hours while still maintaining a five to six video per week schedule, I decided I’m a bit tired and I deserve a bit of time to just relax and enjoy myself. As a result, I’m posting fewer videos, and I won’t even be recording another video until this Sunday. I have two more videos to post this week, but one was recorded two days ago, and the other was recorded in 2015!

I was planning on doing a couple of channel trailers this week, but decided to put them off until next week. I want to do one of them outside, but it’s been incredibly cold and windy this week. I need warmer weather, which is actually going to happen next week. I’m trying to be a bit creative with these trailers, so I hope you enjoy them.

So, what have I been doing during my little “vacation” from videos? Playing NHL 17, doing homework with my daughter, and playing games with my daughter. There’s going to be some cleaning and organising going on the rest of this week, as well.

I’m expecting next week to be back to normal.