Gold Old Days

“I am hopelessly in love with a memory. An echo from another time, another place.”  ― Michel Foucault

“…you are battered and bruised in the collisions between reminiscence and reality.” 
― David EaglemanSum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

I’ve caught myself reminiscing frequently of late. I have such strong emotions attached to a time when a you me seemed so carefree. I wasn’t, but many thought I was and I never removed that mask for them.

This thing called adulthood…I don’t know.

On my morning drives to work, I am often struck by how formulaic we are, drones dropping the kids off at daycare or school, drones driving to work, parking, working.

I often catch myself yearning for the days when I had the energy and stamina to do everything I needed to and wanted to. I remember bonfires on the beach, friends laughing as we mentally toasted us all with another drink.

I remember car rides full of laughter, camp outs in the rain, hugs from anyone remotely considered friend.

I remember nights of excess with friends to hold my hair back. Nights of dancing until past last call.

I remember sleep overs full of music and talking.

I remember the wind in the windows of my old Pontiac Acadian – no AC back then. It was a 5 speed, 4 door hatchback. I loved that car. It was red. I would drive that thing everywhere – quite literally. Down back roads meant for ATVs, to the beach for an all-night camp out. hundreds of miles but on the engine that constantly rattled enough to pop off it’s oil cap. So many times I had to replace that cap – “Gwen, the oil light is on.” “It’s ok, I just need another cap.”

There were no cell phones. No computers, nothing fancier than an Atari that often got left behind, covered in dust. I can feel the sun on my face even now. The smell of Spring and Summer when we would just be.

I wish somebody would have told just how awesome those days actually were going to be…but I know I wouldn’t have listened.

Mackelmore feat. Kesha – Good Old Days

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Thin Red Line

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” ― Voltaire

I’ve been listening to a lot of 80’s music lately. The 80’s were happening during my formative years and I have a special place in my spirit for the music of that time.

Some of that music was silly. Some of it was dreary. Some of it had messages that should have reached more people.

I feel this song is one of the latter examples.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, the song is about the battle of Balaclava, in 1854, during the Crimean War.

Here are the lyrics –
The hands of time have spoken for the chosen ones
Cold steel glistens in the dawning sun
Destiny and claidemaugh that embraces me
All here to sacrifice for victory
Hidden in the shadows where the cold wind comes
A mist queen dances for her fallen sons
Over and over
Her shadow falls over me
Remember no retreat, for here you die where you stand
It’s chance that brings the Rory’s to this foreign land
The crimson and the claidemaugh make you strangers to fear
A thin red streak tipped with a line of steel
Shadows fall over me
All for the thin red line
All for the thin red line
Now the battles over, Kedikoi can cry
For all the gallant hillmen she’s seen fought and die
Red is for the heroes green is for the brave
Soldiers would you leave me with no souls to save
Shadows fall over me
All for the thin red line
All for the thin red line
All for the thin red line
Oh oh oh oh oh
(Songwriters: Al Connelly / Alan Graham Frew / Sam Reid)
That thin red line may have changed and altered over the years, but it’s still there…
I wonder, sometimes, if that line will ever disappear…

Glass Tiger – Thin Red Line

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Roar

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher

Some days I feel like a little mouse. I wander through my day, nary disturbing a soul. Other days, I feel like a muted lion. I’m roaring, roaring so loud my ears are ringing and yet no one hears me.

When I was young, I was bullied. The bullying stopped when I changed schools, but the low self-esteem and extreme shyness didn’t.

As I grew older, I tried harder and harder to break out of that shell, but succeeded mostly in feeling worthless and acting happy. My relationships didn’t last – I was too busy doing what others thought I should do, but pretending to do ‘my thing’.

That combination of low self-esteem, losing someone I loved, and keeping up appearances landed me straight into a marriage that I didn’t really want. Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? I need to clarify – I thought I was in love. I had left someone I loved dearly due to what others said I should do and fell into the arms of a man I would never have normally even looked at. He could sweat talk anyone and even though his controlling ways grew over our engagement, I thought I couldn’t say no anymore because I had already said yes and it was expected.

Years later, after we divorced (I won’t get into the details of our marriage, I have two beautiful older children who don’t deserve to read that online), I spent a few months trying to find ‘me’. I thought I knew me, but I didn’t. It was tumultuous, emotionally draining, and a hugely stressful time.

Out of that time I met my current husband. We met online playing World of Warcraft. We were friends first and foremost. I never even considered sparking anything with him until one day I asked if he was on Facebook. He was – and the rest is history.

I thought I had finally found myself with him. I love myself husband deeply. He stood by me when I was diagnosed with MS. He stood by my little family when my kids became harder and harder to cope with due to disabilities. He still stands by me and now our three children (we had one little guy together). I feel like I will never be able to tell him or express to him how much gratitude I have for him in my life.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2016. Our lives never seem easy.

I thought I knew me by now. But I don’t. At 44 years old, I am roaring to myself and no one hears. I have an inner anarchist that is never let loose due to propriety. I have to work full-time, I have to be a good mother, I have to be a good wife, I have to be a good care-taker, I have to be a good worker, I have to be a good everything.

The only problem is – I’m not a good me.

Katy Perry – Roar

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In defence of Dirk

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ― Douglas AdamsThe Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

If you haven’t yet watched the 2 seasons of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agengy, do yourself a favour now and go watch it. Seriously – go binge watch that shit. I’ll be here waiting…

…Now that you’ve watched it you can feel just as sanctimoniously ticked off as I am over it being CANCELLED! Shit is like Firefly all over again! BBC AMERICA, WHY!!!???

I NEED to know what happens to Bart and Dirk and Todd and Amanda and Farah. Oh, and the Rowdy 3…

I love the craziness of the series, I love the absolutely nonsense and the absolute rawness that comes with truth that is revealed in it! It’s probably one of the most imaginative, unique shows I have seen in so, so long.

And now I need the books. I had no idea the show was based on a Douglas Adams series (I’ve not read any of his works…don’t mock me, I keep meaning to read HGG). Books are almost always better than the screen material – almost…

There’s a petition that has been created to try to get Netflix to give the show a 3rd season. Of course, I have to share it!

Renew Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for Season 3/Future Seasons

Now go sign that shit!

The Rowdy 3 – Extended (theme from Dirk Gently)

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Hello

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” ― Marthe Troly-Curtin

It’s been a while. Please sit, and stay a bit…I’ve got a confession to make…

My name is Gwen, and I have an addiction.

Freshwater aquariums.

Sounds innocent enough, right? WRONG!

First, you get a small aquarium, but you research and you know that your little betta needs a bigger one. You upgrade. You add plants. Then you get a great deal off kijiji for an even bigger tank!

The HOBs (Hang On the Back) filters it came with aren’t good enough though…not in your mind. So you get better ones. You put MORE plants in. More fish. One filter isn’t enough! No, no, you need another.

That canopy it came with – it looks terrible over top of all those beautiful fish and that fluorescent light looks horrible. You need glass and LED!

Then you end up with this – 55 g

A 55 gallon freshwater aquarium full of beautiful tetras, and other fish…with hitchhicker pond snails about to be gobbled up by assassin snails (WOOHOO!). The tank came with 2 HOB filters…they would have been adequate. BUT not nearly as sleek as the cannister and submersible in-tank filters. I have more plants on the way – specifically mosses. I love this thing.

Here’s a little video of it about a month ago before I got the in-tank filter – . I’ll try to take a new video of it soon…promise.

Here’s two of my favourite ‘babies’ in this one –

Saphire

Saphire – Female veiltail betta

Dory (male veiltail betta)

Dory the male veiltail betta – don’t judge me, my 3 year old named him after watching Finding Dory.

I also love this thing – 9 gallon Fluval Flex that will be my shrimp tank. The plants have grown significantly since this photo. Sharp eyes will see Starburst the veiltail betta and Mr. Snail the mystery snail. That sad brown patch in the front is Christmas moss…which I am pretty sure has officially died. It’s being replaced soon. I’m getting some blue velvet and long nose algae eating shrimp tomorrow! YAY!9 g

Here’s my favourite baby in this one –

Starburst

Starburst – male veiltail betta…wish the iridescent areas would come out more in photos!

Sidebar – I had an MRI on Friday evening…every time I hear the song below it reminds me of being in the machine. Also, I find MRI’s relaxing – it’s the only time NO ONE wants my attention LOL! Not sure if it’s my MS flaring or what though, I felt nauseated and weird after this one. No contrast was used either…weird.

Martin Solveig & Dragonette – Hello

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