ADVENTURE TIME! The Kindness of Strangers


(We made a variety of ‘Nutcracker’ faces)

As writers it’s our job to go out into the world and have adventures so we can bring them back and write about them.  So I’ve decided to create an Adventure Time Series to chronicle some of the crazy adventures Ben and I get up to!

Adventure Time: The Kindness of Strangers

It all started with a contest.

In our neighbourhood (The Beaches) the Business Association gave nutcrackers out to a bunch of stores.  The contest was to find the nutcrackers and take a selfie with them.  Once selfied, we had to post the pictures on the FB page and each picture = one chance to win a draw for $300!
So we did it.  In fact we did the hell out of it.  We ran around like crazy people all day and ended up finding 166 nutcrackers!  166!!!

We had so much fun, met many wonderful people and pumped the spirit of the Beaches to the max.  We had people cheering us on and in some stores our reputation preceded us and people knew of us when we arrived.  It was super fun.

When arrived at Castro’s Lounge we were more than half way through and getting a bit tired.  Their nutcracker had been stolen so we made a sign explaining the theft for our selfie and while there, a man (who had seen us at two other bars before that) introduced himself.  He told us he thought we were cool and gave us his business card.  He said to write if we didn’t win.

So we ran on and collected the rest of our selfies then went home, satisfied and adventured out.
Then came the draw day and we didn’t win.  Can you believe it?  We couldn’t!  But it really didn’t matter that much because the adventure was reward enough.  I know a lot of people say that, but in our case it was true.  We got out, met people and had fun.  What more could you want?

So we wrote to the bar-hopping stranger, thanked him for his kindness and enthusiasm and told him of our loss.  Not a day later he wrote back and told us he had deposited an envelope for us at The Gull & Firkin and it was to be considered a consolation prize!

Let me tell you right now, it was no mere consolation.  Not winning the contest seemed almost a bonus because what is more exciting than secret packages left in quaint pubs by strangers?  The answer is nothing.

We raced to the Gull & Firkin and it was all very clandestine and although I don’t want to be crude and disclose the amount received from the kind stranger as a ‘consolation’, I will say we were indeed consoled!  

Our faith in humanity was soaring, our neighbourhood spirit intense!  

So we collected one of the nutcrackers from the lovely owner of Nesters (who along with the BIA kindly agreed to donated it) and set about creating The Nutcracker of Kindness Award for the kind kind stranger who made our day.  Then of course we left it at The Gull & Firkin so he could experience the delight of a clandestine pickup himself.  And so the adventure ended!

Or did it?  Later we were in Midoco when we heard rumour of our names being mentioned at the BIA meeting.  We were offered the job of being the body guards of the BIA mascot (a big furry dog of some sort) at Family Day due in part to our exceptional showing of Beaches spirit!  Huzzah!  Not only that but we are being awarded a secondary prize from the lovely folks of the BIA for being the crazy nuts who collected 166 nutcracker selfies!

Adventure ended and most satisfyingly I might add.

When was the last time you had an adventure?  Get out there and have fun!

Image(The Nutcracker of Kindness Award)


The Big 3-0!


The other day I got carded for a lottery ticket.  Yup, someone thought I was 18.  Joke’s on them, I’m 30!  The big 3-0!  I made it!  I’ve done some crazy things and lived a heck of a lot for my 30 years young.

People seem to think 30 is a pretty big deal, a milestone, the crossing over from youth into glorious maturity.  So I guess that calls for some reflection and because I love lists, I thought I would make one (in no particular order) of all the crazy things that I have done before 30.

• Met my soulmate
• Got a sword presented to me by a cleric (my soulmate)
• Got whisked away to a surprise elopement (again…soulmate)
• Lived happily ever after (YAY!)
• LARPed
• Got my throat slit in game (by my soulmate)
• Saw the sun rise through Stone Henge on the summer solstice
• Stayed awake for three days straight, dancing
• Climbed Macchu Pichu on no food, sick at 3am
• Played my flute on top of Macchu Pichu
• Sat at the base of the Great Pyramids (also played my flute)
• Took a feluca down the River Nile
• Hitchhiked from Milan to Rome (not in a day)
• Slept on the beach in Italy and looked at the stars with a New Zealander (hi Hamish)
• Hitchhiked through Scotland and got whisked away to a highland cottage (thanks Annie)
• Made (hopefully) the biggest mistakes of my life
• Apologized for the biggest mistakes of my life
• Fell in love with a woman twice my age
• Got whipped (TMI?)
• Got wedding ring tattoos (not related to the whipping)
• Moved to Thunder Bay
• Moved back a week later
• Slept in a graveyard
• Made camp in an airport
• Got high on all kinds of drugs
• Slept in a public bathroom (it was clean-ish and they kicked us out)
• Wrote a book (trying to get published)
• Go notified of my first official publication (coming soon)
• Decided to be a game designer
• Ran a LARP
• Decided to be an event planner (went to college for it)
• Realized my true calling (to be a writer)
• Began to pursue my true calling
• Orgy! (definitely TMI)
• Suffered depression and anxiety (took even more drugs)
• Escaped the worst situation I’ve ever been in (and hopefully ever will)
• Talked to a tree (thank you mushrooms)
• Married a constellation (Orion – I married him in Egypt in a hot spring in the desert at night – more of a spiritual thing and Ben knows about it so no worries)
• Ended up in a hospital in Peru (note to everyone, don’t do that)
• Broke into a graveyard for a ritual
• A million rituals of various complexity in various locations
• Danced naked in a thunderstorm in a ravine
• Went from being a believer hippy to a science loving atheist/agnostic
• Changed my name
• Got a tattoo (actually 10)
• Created many scavenger hunts for birthdays etc…
• Saved some animals (thanks Toronto Wildlife Centre)
• Hugged some trees
• Broke hearts
• Was a total bitch
• Was an awesome friend
• Was a great wife (still am hopefully)
• Had so many spiritual revelations I have lost count
• Read animal cards (learned cold reading)
• Took a university Psych class
• Had lots of arguments (even won some of them)
• Wrote half of my second novel
• Married into a new (awesome) family
• Witnessed a chair burning (pictured above is a good symbol for my birthday – fuck sitting, let’s stand up and rock this living thing!)
• Kissed many dogs noses
• Pet a few cats (I need more cats in my life apparently)
• Loved and lost two lizards and two dogs
• Kick started my career as a freelance writer
• Became a video producer
• Made lots of fun videos with my honey/soulmate
• Won some medals for being a kick ass figure skater
• Been self employed and loving it for at least six years
• Reconnected with a long lost aunt (hi Joy!)
• Embraced the hell out of my bisexuality
• Co-invented the Micradvntr (we did it before Vine, I swear)
• Partied hardy
• Was a go-go dancer
• Was a fortune telling server
• Smiled a lot
• Cried a lot (I cry when things are happy too so sometimes I was smiling and crying)
• Wished for an end to work and got a blackout
• Made friends with goblins
• Got hired
• Got fired (I’m better off self employed)
• Made people laugh
• Discovered the meaning of life a couple of times
• Loved every minute of this awesome ride (even the minutes I have hated I have now come to love/respect)

I’m sure there’s more, but those are just the highlights.

You should try making your own list sometime for a birthday, or if you’re feeling blue, it’s a great way to remind yourself how much living you’ve done and how much more you have to do!

Have a super awesome day, I know I will!


People think I’m…

‘People think I’m…’

That’s the title of today’s blog challenge.  This is the moment I realize it’s not called challenge for nothing.

If I always knew exactly what people really thought about me I’d either be really happy or really sad.  I mean, we can only really guess can’t we?  Guess and hope and sometimes find some good honest people who we put our trust into and believe they mean what they say.  That’s life.

I’ve always had a pretty polarizing effect on people.  Love me or hate me, not much in between.  It’s probably because I have a bit of a big mouth and I’m full of ideas and excitement and sometimes bluster.  But I like to think the world can handle me.  Sure, sharing yourself opens you up to all sorts of crap, but getting to know people and trusting them is just part of the adventure.

Maybe my desire to put myself out there is part of the reason I love writing so much.  People say it’s a solitary pursuit and to a certain degree it is, what art isn’t?  But once you’re done the writing part there is so much more to being a writer than just the writing.  It’s sharing a bit of who you are with the world and then one definitely gets the chance to see what people think of you and your art (because they say it on Amazon).  People make it personal don’t they?  If they don’t like your story they feel betrayed, if they love it they think you are the greatest.  It’s a cognitive bias we have as humans that leaves us with a certain difficulty in separating the art from the artist, people from their actions in the moment.  It can be a blessing and a curse.

But now I’m just avoiding the point aren’t I?

People think I’m…

A bitch
A keener

It’s a lot of things to be and I’m pretty sure I’m all of those sometimes…who isn’t?  We all have different sides of ourselves and different circumstances that bring those things out.  Sure some people are nastier than others and some people are sweeter, but we’re all just people and everyone will see things differently.

So as much as I’d like to say I don’t care what people think of me, I do. I think we all do (well maybe not the sociopaths/psychopaths), but there is nothing much I can do about how people perceive me other than to be myself and continue to strive for awesomeness!

How do people see you?  Does it matter?

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This is a post for www.writesofluid.com’s blog writing challenge.  One blog post a day for all of June!  Check it out at the website or on twitter: @sofluid or #wpad!