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I spend a ridiculous amount of time …

… looking for things that I’ve put somewhere “so I won’t forget where I put it.”

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So far today, I’ve:

  • Screwed up a special dessert I have successfully made at least a dozen times before
  • Missed the last step, fell to the ground, spilled Coke all over the rug, and twisted my knee
  • Celebrated a great darts throw I made to win a game only to realize I had made a math error and went on to lose said game

Go home, 2019… You’re drunk.

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Can someone please explain to me…

… how it’s possible to have lived for 56 years and still manage to put clothes on backwards and/or inside out?

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Right here is where you pay… in sweat

I went to the Dreamscape dance performance at the Lincoln Theatre last night put on by CityDance, a D.C. organization that offers several programs to bring dance “to transform lives and communities through dance.” Debbie Allen hosted the event and they opened with the performers dancing to the chorus of Fame.

The performance was great, with all sorts of dance forms represented including ballet, modern, tap, ballroom, and African. Of course we weren’t allowed to take photos during the performance, but I was surprised when an usher told me I couldn’t take a pic of the stage before the show began. Personally, I think that’s ridiculous and puts the ushers in a bad situation since everyone’s doing it. Including me. 🙂

I did not take photos during the performance, but many other people did. Honestly, venues need to come up with a better solution than telling people not to do it. I recommend they create an online repository of images that people should be free to share on social media, which would hopefully reduce people taking their own shots while encouraging publicity.

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Twenty Years of Slayage

I was 36 years old when Buffy hit the airwaves for the first time. Which probably explains why I didn’t start watching it from the get-go. I mean, a show about a high school girl who kills vampires doesn’t exactly scream “perfect for the over-30 crowd” does it?

Things changed when I caught an episode by accident. This was back in the pre-streaming days when if there was nothing on I wanted to watch and I’d already gone through all my VHS recordings (!) I would just channel surf to see if anything looked interesting. I think it was Episode 6: The Pack, aka Hyena Xander, but don’t ask me to swear to that in court. And I’m not even sure that first episode was enough to get me hooked, but after only a couple more, I was a total Buffy addict.

via GIPHY

There was a lot to love about the show—great characters played by equally great actors, gripping plots, quote-worthy dialogue, AMAZING fight scenes—but what made it really stand out was its relatability—even if you just happened to be 20 years older than the protagonist.

The friendships. The foibles. The fears. These speak to everyone, no matter how old you are. (And honestly, I’m not entirely convinced I’ve ever completely left 16 behind emotionally, even 40 years later…)

These are some of my favourite episodes and moments:

  • Becoming – II. When Buffy thrust that sword into Angel during the Season 2 finale, I’m pretty sure I was every bit as devastated as she was. And to this day I cannot hear Sarah MacLachlan’s Full of Grace without picturing Buffy on a bus leaving Sunnydale.
  • Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered. Another Season 2 classic, this episode was a perfect example of Joss Whedon’s ability to find humour on the Hellmouth. Best bit had to be Drusilla protecting Xander from Angel. 🙂
  • Doppelgangland. Possibly my favourite exchange of dialogue in the whole series came in this Season 3 episode. Oz: Didn’t figure you to miss school. Willow: You think I’m boring. Oz: I’d call that a radical interpretation of the text.
  • The Prom. Four words that are guaranteed to make me cry? “Buffy Summers. Class Protector.” Every. Single. Time.
  • The Harsh Light of Day. In this fourth season episode, we get the return of Spike, the introduction of Vampire Harmony, and Bif Naked’s gorgeous song, Lucky. What’s not to love?
  • Intervention. While the part of the Season 5 episode where Buffy spends time in the desert trying to find her “gift,” didn’t do much for me, Spike allowing himself to be tortured because of his love for Buffy most definitely did.
  • Life Serial. Season 6 villains Jonathan, Warren, and Andrew weren’t my favourite, but I could watch the infinite loop sequence of Buffy at the Magic Shop for, well, infinity.
  • End of Days/Chosen The final two episodes of the final season have so much awesome, from Angel’s appearance to “You’re a dope. And a bonehead. And you’re shirty.” to the end of “she alone.” So. Much. Awesome.

So Happy Anniversary and Thank You to Joss, Sarah, David, Alyson, and all the rest of the members of the Scooby Gang and bringers of the Big Bad that made BTVS one of the best TV shows of all time.*

Follow the celebration on Twitter with hashtag #BuffySlays20.

Grr Argh.

Got any Buffy memories you’d like to share? Add them in the comments below!

* And special thanks for being one of the inspirations for the title—and logo—of this blog.

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Freedom Fifty-Five!

It’s here!

I don’t really feel any different.

Huh.

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30 Days to Freedom 55

Maybe it has to do with my age or the period during which I grew up, but somewhere in my brain an advertising firm managed to plant the idea of Freedom 55, a uniquely Canadian slogan.

~ Gary Marr, Financial Post (02/05/10)

Ditto. I left Canada 13 years ago but the term “Freedom 55” still sticks with me—especially now that I’m almost there. To the 55 part, anyway, if not the freedom part.

The slogan was part of a 1980s advertising campaign for insurance company London Life and the promise was clear: invest in their financial products and you too would be able to retire at 55.

Back then, the idea of early retirement seemed like a real possibility, even if not a sure thing. But of course the economy was dramatically different back then. In those days there were still plenty of opportunities to join an organization right after graduation, stay with them for 30+ years, and retire with a guaranteed pension. I do have a few longtime friends who are now in that position or very close to it. And I could have done it myself if I’d stayed with the federal government where I worked for a couple of years in my early 20s.

But my career has followed a much different path, one that has become much more typical for many people. I’ve held more than a dozen jobs in a few different career areas. I’ve worked abroad, I’ve worked for myself, and my annual earnings have gone up and down many times during the last 30 years. On top of that, I’ve prioritized other things, like free time and travel and doing work I enjoyed, over salary and savings. So while I’m in okay shape financially compared to a lot of people, I’m definitely not on the brink of retirement.

But with my 55th birthday a mere 30 days away, I decided I still wanted to mark this milestone in some way, even as Freedom 55 for me represents more of an extended aspiration than an absolute line to cross over. So I’m finally making this blog public and between now and the big day, I’m going to post about any kind of accomplishments or enjoyable experiences that occur so that I can kick off this next stage of my life with a positive mindset.

With that in mind, here are some things to kick off the countdown…

Deer!

This morning was my first deer sighting of this winter. They come down from a local wooded area to hang out at the home whose backyard is kitty corner to mine. Since one of my absolute favoritist things in the world is random deer sightings, I’m considering this an excellent sign for what’s to come!

Click thumbnails to see larger images.

Squirrels! Birds!

Although these aren’t as rare sightings (especially the squirrels), I consider all wildlife in my yard to be a gift from Mother Nature.

I built this.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to cut back on spending, so of course on New Year’s Day, I bought this.

In my defence, I came close to buying one of these last year but didn’t and suddenly it was an Amazon Deal of the Day so I got it for a third off its regular price. It arrived a few days later, but I kept putting off assembling it. But yesterday was the day! And even though one of the reviewers said that it took him 20 minutes and it took me an hour and 40 minutes, I’m still very pleased that I was able to put it together all by myself—with no parts left over! (I shot video of me putting it together, so once I get a chance to edit it, I’ll post it here as well.)

Now, since assembling it was actually a workout in and of itself (pro tip: if you do this, don’t wear a heavy sweater!) and since my butt is nowhere near in bike saddle condition, I only rode it for 10 minutes the first day, but I know I will use it. It rides very smoothly and quietly and perfect for watching TV or using my tablet. I don’t know if I’ll use it with an actual laptop, but I’ll give it a try and see how that goes.

Learn more about the FitDesk and read customer reviews at Amazon. >>

Zumba Zumba Zumba

I hate to be a total cliche, but I did sign up for a zumba class to start in January and I have already missed two classes. 🙁 BUT. I did go tonight and did what I could, which wasn’t a lot, but still… The thing I love about zumba is that you can’t really do it wrong. That’s my kind of dance class. 🙂

FYI, if you are thinking of taking a class, I highly recommend checking out your local community centers. This class is only $40 for 8 sessions (well, in my case, 6…) which I think is a great deal compared to a lot of other fitness options.

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Happy New (School) Year!

No matter how old I get, there’s just something about the day after Labour Day* that feels like the start of a brand new year full of promise and excitement. That usually ends about three days later.

So in the spirit of the season, check out this great new video by John Oliver that explains everything you need to learn in high school.

* Don’t even get me started on schools that start back before Labour Day…

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