Archive for August, 2010

Setec Astronomy

August 25th, 2010

You all may hate me after this post. And by hate I mean, you really love me but you are getting even more frustrated with my secrets. Trust me, I’m frustrated with them as well. I swear, if I don’t get to unleash some of the SQUEE, and soon, I’m going to implode in ways that are both ferocious and disgustingly disturbing. It was suggested to me after I wrote my last blog, to write in code. Well, if you actually knew me (and I don’t mean that in a condescending sort of way), you know that would require me completely changing the way I think and process information.

I’m the person who has a hard time with rhetorics. I’m the person who is honest to a fault. The ability to be dishonest is something I need to work on. (Not really. I’m proud of my brutal honesty.) I’m the person who saw a video on Facebook, almost shared it, but was going to add “There is no way she accepted millions of friends requests! Sure she may have received millions, but you can only have so many thousand friends.” But then my brain quickly stopped me. Because the message of the video was to be careful of what person information you share and if you are going to accept strangers on Facebook, make sure your home address is not listed. (The video was about some girl who was brutally raped and murdered after adding the wrong person on Facebook). If I had posted my automatic, “Well that is just not possible and it is a complete over-exaggeration” literal/ skeptical/ critical/ scientific thoughts, I would have come off as cold-hearted and unfeeling. The message of the video was quite valid, but the way my brain works, it automatically goes to the logic of the situation and not the feeling and/or intent. And there was another instance where a comment was left somewhere and my first reaction was to correct a timezone remark. I suppose no harm is done by miscalculating 1 hour. I’ve had to stop reading the comments on that blog because my brain keeps screaming, “That is incorrect!” But then I’d come off as a know-it-all (which isn’t my intent), instead of some person who’s brain works in very peculiar ways. (I swear, I’ll get to the Setec Astronomy soon).

Another suggestion to help me uncork some of my need to share but not quite knowing how to go about it or what to write, was to write about gay rights. Well, I want to. But I am conflicted. In order for me to write about my views on gay rights beyond just saying “I believe they should have equal rights and that is that”, I’d have to talk about religion and my religious upbringing. Yeah… I don’t talk about religion in public. But under the circumstances it may not be a bad thing as it was my church who taught me gays should have equal rights. Whodda thunk? Organized religion being supportive of gays? Some may say, “Only in Canada.” So maybe I will write that post. I just need to ponder it a bit more.

Where was I going with this post? Oh yeah… I have some super awesometastic sooper sekrit things happening right now. I’ve told my Alfred. (Now, that is code! But in a way it isn’t as some know of whom I am talking and if you’ve read my blog long enough, he’s been mentioned before.) And after I’ve shared my moments of squee with him, he is nice enough to put on his logic hat and ask, “Jules, are you getting paid for this?” To which I sigh and respond, “No.” To which he sighs and responds, “Jules…” To which I smile, attempt to contain the giddy and say, “I know. I’ve thought the same things you are thinking. BUT this is giving me more exposure. I get to have a voice outside of my own content. It will give (insert things here) more exposure and awareness. It will give me more credibility. It is for a cause that is near and dear to me (or it is something I quite enjoy, brings me pleasure to participate in and makes me happy). And with all the extra, unsolicited exposure and writing opportunities, hopefully it leads to something paying soon. Because we both know, I really need the money. And even so when I started on all of this just over a year ago, money was the furthest thing from my mind, I am in desperate need of it right now. I’ve thought this through. I know I’ve said a million times that the next time someone asks me to create for them, I’ll ask them ‘How much?’ But these are really special circumstances.” And then he agrees (even so I’m sure he is still shaking his head on the inside but he is very nice and supportive and only wants what is best for me) and says, “That is really groovy! I’m happy for you.” And that is when I cannot contain my happy any longer and exclaim, “ISN’T IT THOUGH?!? This is so totally awesome! I can’t wait until I can share it with every one!”

And I really can’t. It is bloody KILLING me! So, I think I’ve come up with a happy compromise. Hopefully this will accomplish a few things. 1) I can release some of my SQUEE pressure that has left me feeling as if I am drowning and being suffocated by a whirlpool of ecstatic (if that is possible). 2) I don’t divulge the things I really cannot right now. If I were to divulge them, I think future possibilities will turn from many to zero in short order. Yet, I divulge enough for others to be happy for me (even so I think you’ll want to kill me at the same time for a variety of reasons). 3) Fill you in on some things that I feel are safe to share since they have been discussed (even so mostly quietly) on Twitter and other places online. And we all know, once it is online it really isn’t a secret anymore. 4) I don’t come off as some self-promoting, pompous asshat.  I’m afraid some of this may teeter on the edge of name dropping and name dropping isn’t all that kosher. Hopefully I can find a balance here that works for everyone.

So, without further ado:

Secrets That Aren’t Really Secrets: (click on clips below to visit the sites that I mention)

1) There is this awesome site/ service/ blogging tool call clp.ly. I’ve been part of the beta since it first launched. I’m affectionately known as “The Number 1 customer.” I adore them (both the people who work there and the service). And it is safe to say, they adore me. They used my site to demo their service at a tech conference thing a few weeks ago. It felt so unbelievable cool when they asked my permission to use Geeky Pleasures for their demo (and that same day, I awarded their service Geek of the Week). They’ve used Geeky Pleasures in a number of blog posts and were nice enough to feature it prominently on their press page. All of this I’ve shared via Twitter and Facebook but what I haven’t share yet – I was asked if I wanted to be a guest blogger. I said I’d love to. Now I just have to figure out what the hell it is I’m going to write!

Clipped from: clp.ly (share this clip)

Clipped from: clp.ly (share this clip)

Clipped from: clp.ly (share this clip)

If you do any type of blogging and content sharing, then I highly recommend you check out clp.ly.

Now moving on.

2) There is this site. It is still in its infancy. It is dedicated to one of the greatest nerd/geek fights of all time: Which is better: Star Wars or Star Trek? I also featured this site for Geek of the Week. I’ve gotten to know both creators through various different things.

Well, I was asked if I wanted to write for the site from time to time. Are you kidding? Writing about why Star Trek is so much better than Star Wars? Being able to have epic debates, not having to worry about language, throwing it down like never before? Of course! And I can see some people who read this taking a bit of an issue (especially some family members). Especially as I’m helping someone out and for nothing.

However, how can I turn down another space to write about things that cause me to have juicy geekasms? And besides, I want to help them out. If someone didn’t give me a hand when I was a nobody Program Director with a radio show called Geeky Pleasures, I wouldn’t have had the moderate success that I have been able to enjoy over the past little bit. And here is the thing, when those people did what they did for me, it wasn’t because I was seeking any type of “fame”. I just wanted to geek out and have fun. I had no expectations for anything. And the same goes for this. They asked me because they thought it would be fun for me and not to get themselves further ahead. Now, the results may end up being something quite different.

Oh, and they’ll be interviewing me for something. It will be quite unlike anything I’ve ever done before or they’ve done before. There will be some things that are quite familiar (like geeking out over things) but… well… you’ll just have to wait and see.

I think that is it for the things that are secret but not really which I feel are safe to share.

Sooper Sekrit Things

I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. (I realize I am now over 1600 words. I thought this was going to be a short blog when I started. Go figure.)

1) I wrote a review a little while ago. (Sorry, I can’t tell you what review I’m speaking to, otherwise it may totally blow the secret). I was asked my permission for it to be used for something that really is beyond amazing and feature it in a way that… well… to put it plainly… I was so very humbled and touched that they want to use it and for this purpose. I responded to the email with, “Quote whatever you want”, but what I really wanted to say was, “FUCK YES!” And tears formed in my eyes, my soul was touched and I was deeply humbled.

2, 3, 4) The Lupus Awareness Virtual Art Gallery is going to get some really nice press. I emailed some place asking if they’d feature the October project in their next issue. They said they would be more than happy to. They said they were very happy I contacted them. They had read my review of Love Simple and listened to my interview with Patrizia Hernandez and are very happy that I made contact with them. This led to them asking me if I wouldn’t mind writing for their magazine. (Before you ask, as I stated above… the answer is no.) SQUEE! Of course! Be able to write about Lupus to a more focused audience… I’d be crazy to say no. Then this subsequently led to my book also being featured.

(Seeing as their are a number of Lupus related magazines and such, I feel it safe to disclose this much information. This is really completely awesome. I’m not sure if you can truly comprehend how much it means to me that my voice is one they want to hear and feel others will want to hear as well. In the next few days, after the press release goes out, I can say for what magazine.)

Oh man, there is more. There is so much more. But I think this is the extent of what I can safely share at this moment in time. Sure, none of it is paying monetarily but what it is paying in other ways more than compensates. And all of these things are building blocks. All of these have the potential to lead to bigger things. All of these allow me to use my various voices. And maybe, just maybe, next time someone asks me to write, it will be a paying job. Because we all know, I’m in desperate need at the moment.

Thanks once again for sharing with me my moments of squee.

Impromptu Poll/ Opinion Thinger

August 20th, 2010

Thinger. See, I’m being all technical and stuff. I’m having a toaster moment and can’t think of the appropriate word. Hopefully by the time I am finished with this impromptu thinger, it will be all clear what it is that I am asking of you lovelies.

I’m in a bit of a creative drought in a fashion. I find that I’m wanting to write and/or share ideas but I’m not quite sure what it is I want to write. The things that I could easily write about at the moment they fall in the 1) Sooper Sekrit can’t talk about; or 2) none of your bloody business; categories. But I’m feeling a little stifled or muted, so to speak, in the creative area. I need to find some outlet or process and I’m unable to gain ideas. Or maybe I have ideas but I don’t know if you really want to hear them.

I don’t know if it is real or imagined but sometimes I feel as if I have set a bit of a precedent regarding what I write about, both here and on Geeky Pleasures. I think it is safe to assume (even though I really don’t like assumptions) that I could pretty much write about whatever in this space and people would be cool with it as long as I was writing and/or sharing. But I’d like to know, what would you like me to write about?

I am truly curious about this. Tell me what you think is a good topic for me to share or discuss. Now just because you suggest something, doesn’t necessarily mean I will write about. Some suggestions may fall under my list of things I don’t discuss in public. Others may not. Some things I may have to seriously contemplate because I’m not sure what category they fall in. All I know at this moment is I want to share, I’m feeling blarghityboo and I want to know what interests you.

So this is what I ask. Please let me know in the comments below. I know a lot of my readers like to tweet me their thoughts regarding my blogs here and posts on Geeky Pleasures. I strongly ask that you leave them here, even if it means filling out your info. You can make up a fake name for all that I care. However, do to spam filters, fake email address will be flagged as spam. So if you are so kind to humour me, I’ll be kind enough to do the same (unless it falls into things mentioned above).

And maybe nobody will leave their ideas and in time I’ll figure something out. However, I do think this will be a fun thing to try and I have nothing to lose by asking and everything to gain.

Reflections Of A Hectic Soul

August 17th, 2010

This poor space of not much happening. The tumbleweeds and cobwebs have been finding their home in this once frequently updated spot. I wish I could fully explain what has been happening. But once the crazy hectic that is my day is over and it time for quiet reflection, communicating with others is the last thing on my mind.

My friends have suffered. My personal blog has been sorely neglected. Once upon a time, I had told myself that I would update this spot at least three times a week. Even if it were just a paragraph or two. But I am the type that does not believe in stories that begin with “once upon a time.” They are filled with grand dreams and desires but contain little reality.

My life continues to take twists and turns that were never envisioned and I find myself sorely unprepared. The last three months have been overflowing with high highs and low lows. I realize I find myself thinking and sharing this often. And no sooner do I think, “things can’t get any more insane and peculiar”, life decides to show me different.

And because I am a person of privacy, a person who keeps the really good things and really bad things close to my chest, because I’m the type who withdrawals frequently to a Fortress of Solitude which later became my Batcave, during these moments, the rest of the world outside of my teeny tiny circle becomes invisible. For me it is a necessity. And if something threatens the inner then the outer starts to collapse. I am the type who needs to feel secure within my nucleus world before I can feel secure in my interactions with the outside forces. And at times, I am feeling as if my core is beginning to fracture. So my energy has been focused on making sure that I remain whole.

It really isn’t all doom and gloom. There have been way more moments of awesome than not. And the not isn’t what I would consider terrible, it just needs a little more support and care. I’ve been needing to focus my energies on the things that fall under the category of “makes a real difference in my life at the end of the day” and allowing the “it is pretty window dressing, neat and cool but at the end of the day, when all is said and done, it doesn’t really change anything” to be ignored.

At times though, I feel as if I am not being perfectly honest with people. And I’m not quite sure what to do there, especially as I’m known for being unfailingly honest and blunt. People ask me how I’m doing and they get the default answer of, “I’m good.” Which isn’t a total lie. Overall, I really am quite swell. Sure my Lupus has been a real pain lately. I’m the worse I have been in years. I’m not as bad as I once was but I haven’t been this beat up in a couple of years. So “I’m good” is a completely valid answer to an extent, as it could be and has been much worse. However, I guess this is my own “Lupus Lie“. I’ve never fully shared the extent of my Lupus until just very recently. And only 1 person has heard the full, unedited truth of the situation.

People ask how the boys are doing. Again, the answer is, “They’re good.” And they are. But they are each going through different things right now. My heart breaks for them. But they fall under the sacred category so only 1 person will hear the entire truth on that situation as well. I had a conversation with Kid2 the other night that nearly devastated me. I suppose I haven’t been doing as fantabulous job as normal masking the pain that I am in lately.

As we were curled up watching a movie together, out of the blue he asked, “Mom… why isn’t there more focus on Lupus fundraising? Why do people care more about Cancer than they do Lupus? Do they not understand Lupus can kill you too? I don’t understand why nobody cares…” And then he went into his quiet place. I considered him for a moment and tried to mask the tears in my eyes and voice, and responded, “I think maybe it is because more people get Cancer than Lupus. Cancer is easier to understand, treat and diagnose than Lupus.” He came back with, “More reason to research Lupus instead of Cancer. They have the answers for Cancer. They don’t for Lupus. I don’t want you to die.” What do you say when your 11 year old says that to you? How do you respond to such adult questions coming from such a young child? How do you cope with something that no child should ever have to think about? I did the only thing I could think of. I gave him a hug and a kiss on the head and told him that I loved him and he is never to forget that.

And then there is my relationship. Despite the fodder, it is doing just fine. We may each be going through different things at the moment and individually may not be doing so brilliantly but we are fine. I suppose people ask because they are concerned. However, my gut reaction is to respond with either “None of your fucking business” or “We are doing horribly. Does that make you happy?” As with my children, this is sacred. So the really important things do not get discussed in public. If I wanted people to know, I’d tell them. But only after clearing what is okay and not okay to talk about with the other person in this relationship. Because after all, we are the ones that are in it. Not the observers who whisper and gossip in dark corners and then fish for information. So again, they get the “We’re okay” because we are even if individually, it isn’t the entire truth. But the whole truth is nobody’s business but our own.

It feels weird even sharing this much. But I am tired. I am feeling like a dartboard caught in the middle of all these different spheres that I use to keep quite separate from each other. Somehow they have managed to meld and collide. My friend life has mixed with my relationship life. My family life has mixed with my friend life. My relationship life has mixed with my family life. What use to be quite distinct worlds that never shall meet have mixed and mingled. What use to be clear and defined boundaries have become a blur, leaving me to build new lines in an effort to keep the core whole and secure.

At the end of the day when I’ve had time to reflect, after being bombarded by “how are things?” emails and messages and feeling like every body is being nosy and not respected my boundaries, I can conclude that they do it because they care. They may not show it in a way that I am comfortable with and instead show it in a way I find quite intrusive but for the most part I can conclude they care. The problem  is (and most would not agree this is a problem), too many people care. And I’m not always sure that they care for the right reasons. My energy is finite at the moment. It only has enough real focus for my inner most relationships: my children, my relationship and myself. Everything else is just window dressing. So instead of answering a million questions about how life is, I blog. Then I just have to say it once and if they honestly wanted to know, if they honestly cared, they will read it and understand.

I also have so much awesome going on right now. Like a lot! And I can’t share that either. SETEC ASTRONOMY (too many secrets). When the time is right, people will know. As I’ve written, things are mostly really good. I have a lot of pretty amazing things going on right now. I’ve been presented with some really cool opportunities as of late. These opportunities may not be paying off monetarily (which seems to be important for a few people in my life) but… well I think people will understand why that does not matter once I am able to share.

I’m blessed. I have solid relationships and a beautiful family. But my core is a little rattled at the moment, leaving my soul hectic and feeling frenzied. In time, I will reach a new state of equilibrium. I just ask that people are patient. I ask that people allow me to come out of this on my own time. The more I feel pushed and pressured into being sociable and “happy Jules”, the more I retreat because I don’t feel as if my needs are being respected. I feel as if people only care about their need for a happy Jules and not my need for space.

Honestly, I am good. I am just in my cave at the moment, taking care of the things that are truly important. When I am ready, when I am done reflecting on my hectic soul, I will emerge once more. I always do. And honest to bob, I think you will all squee with me when I can share the really awesome that is going on at the moment. I just thought I owed it to every one (mostly myself because I needed to get a few things off of my chest and erect some lines) to update this space and disperse with some of the cobwebs.