Obscure Arcanum - Chapter Four

When you write "Dear Diary", the motto really is: "Where Do You Get Your Inspiration?" It coaches us to be aware of our motives and not just be a reaction to the circumstances around us. - Chuck Palahniuk

A diary (also called journal) is a record (originally in handwritten format) with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period. A personal diary may include a person's experiences, and/or thoughts or feelings, including comment on current events outside the writer's direct experience. Someone who keeps a diary is known as a diarist.

Everyone has a story to tell. Our personal history is what molds us; like a shapeless lump of steel being beaten into shape on a blacksmith's anvil, everyone is the sum of their experiences in life. I am no different, and my past is what has made me the man you see today. Our struggles, gains and losses, are not the defining factor of an individual, but rather, how we choose to deal with such struggle is what actually defines a human being. The choices we make determine our personality. My goal in telling my story is two-fold; entertainment for some, and a chance for me to reflect and grow on my experiences. When I go back and reread what I've written in my journey, you can see the moments where I was struggling, as well as, see the times I succeeded. This is my goal, by continuing to record events and my thoughts, I am endevouring to keep a written record of my choices and how things are affecting me. 

This diary was originally meant to merely be a way for me to keep in contact with my loved ones I left behind in rural Northern Ontario, but has since become  much, much more! If you are reading this journal for the first time, I would recommend you start at January 1st, but if you truly wish to experience the whole story, I suggest you read the Turn The Pages series; after all, the best place to start reading is at the beginning.
If you've ever wanted to read someone's diary, here's your chance........... 

September 1st
The summer has flown by! Here it is already heading into the cooler months, and it feels like only yesterday I was discovering the numerous walking trails in London. Soon the leaves will start changing colour, and then be stripped bare by the biting cold. Children are heading back to school, and the time spent basking in the warm summer sun are coming to a close. My disappointment with the changing weather is a combination of several things, mostly a penchant for heat and sun, but it is also fueled by a love of sensations that only summer can bring.; swimming, BBQ's, camping, rollerblading / biking, and a plethora of other activities that require the warmth of the sun. For me, heading into Fall and eventually Winter, is a painful loss. It's also the time of the year when we all get back into a routine of work and schedules, and I'm hoping that such a change will bring about a measure of success. Let's face it, when the warm sun calls to me to venture outdoors, I tend to stop writing. The upcoming colder months will be a chance for me to refocus my attention to chasing my goals. While I may resist change, it is inevitable. The best thing for me to do is focus on the positive, and make the best of it.

I'm still living in London, Ontario. When I look back on my life in North-Western Ontario, it seems like another lifetime ago. There are some things I miss about living in the country, but I've grown accustomed to city life. For example, this is the second year in a row that I haven't used insect-repellent. Little things that we take for granted are so different.

You should see my little bamboo tree! At the beginning of Summer I purchased a tiny bamboo from the store for $1.50. I planted it with the notion that the tree represented my "putting down roots". I called the little fella "FRANK", and diligently watered and cared for it. Well, much like my comfort level of being in Southern Ontario, this little tree has certainly put down roots and is even flourishing! 

I'm still single, despite my efforts to change that.

I'm still going to specialists to determine what can be done about my medical issues.

I'm still working with Max Agency to try and bust out into Hollywood North.

I'm still writing, trying hard to become a renown Canadian author.
I still enjoy hearing from you; feel free to write to me or comment. I love to hear feedback from others about what I write. Please share your favourite stories with your friends! After all, my journey is only a success because of dedicated readers like you! For that I thank you....... Hope you have a great start to a new season! Talk soon.

September 2nd
I'm really stiff and sore this morning. Yesterday, I did a complete workout, THEN walked 5 KM to medieval combat class, and back again.

The house is clean, and it's supposed to be a really nice day today. Lots to do..... I'm going to force myself to do some writing, as well as, my workout routine. Time to start getting back to the basics.

September 3rd
Sorry Diane, but my attempts at coitus failed...... 

..........on Monday she slipped me $20 to "go buy some beer and see if you can't get laid". The plan was to go and visit a female friend and have a few drinky-poos, and let nature run it's course. Well, that didn't work, however, remember my commitment to not kiss and tell? Sorry dear diary but this is all the details you're going to get. Regardless, I still had a good time.

I think that deep down it's also because while sex would be great, there is a part of me that wants more. I may be male, but I also believe that sex means something between two people. Perhaps if I can find a partner that can reciprocate this kind of nostalgic disposition I might be more comfortable with having a female "friend with benefits".  It seems to be the way to go; women today don't want relationships it seems, rather, limiting themselves to the occasional fling without commitment. Maybe it's just the women my age. [shrugs] Maybe it's just me.

Sorry D.... I tried. Thanks anyway. One side note - My tolerance for alcohol has gone away. Turns out 5 tall boys have me slurring my words. Guess that's what happens when you rarely drink.

I'm back on the workout routine. Protein powder, rowing machine, and walking. I miss rollerblading more than you can possibly know! But I guess walking everywhere is doing the same thing. Sure do miss burning up the trails though....

....I should jet. Another nice day out there and after a sunbathe, I have to go uptown and return a library book.  Have a good one.

September 4th
Happy Friday. No plans today, so maybe I'll stick to my routine and hopefully get some work done. The only thing  really have to do today, is more work on sewing my garb for medieval combat class - We are being invited to another realm / park for a tournament in a week or so. I can't wait! In the meanwhile I'm trying to work out the kinks with the handle on my shield, and maybe add some enhancements to my outfit. Other than that, I have no plans for today.

It's raining. If I wanted to do anything outdoors, it won't happen today. A muggy, warm, rainy day has pervaded London. Maybe I'll get some writing done. I say maybe, because I'm still suffering from a form of writer's block. 

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

1 pm
Well, my day certainly changed; one phone call from my talent agent has suddenly spurred me forward! I have two auditions on Tuesday!! Like a ship floundering in the doldrums that is suddenly buffeted by strong winds, I'm filled with a renewal of vigor.

I took the time to fill out my calendar for this month and when I put in all the various appointments and events, I am suddenly a very busy guy! I'll certainly be getting my exercises walking back and forth!

Well, I was in the middle of writing. I should get back at it. A very productive day thus far...... 

September 5th
Good morning world. The sun is shining and it's already a warm one. There's call for a chance of rain in the afternoon, but I guess we'll see. As I sit here groggily trying to wake up with my morning jolt of caffeine, I'm reminded of the last thing my talent agent called me for yesterday. Apparently she managed to squeeze in one more at the end of the day, which bring my grand total of appointments on Tuesday to THREE. [sighs] So much is going through my mind right now; what if something goes wrong? The bus could be late, the distance between appointments too far to go by foot, no money for TTC...... Yes it's the beginning of the month and I'm broke, but I spent my whole budget and stocked up as best as I could. There was no way for me to anticipate future trips into such a tight budget. As it is, I'm only able to attend due to the generosity of the Lawrence family (Don't worry, they are keeping track - at this point in time I almost wonder if it wouldn't make sense for them to simply adopt me). Should I be trying to push towards Toronto? Should I just stay here and wait until all my medical issues are finished? (which is the current plan - London Health Science Center is addressing my problems) 

Stick to the chosen road. This one trip is simply just one trip. Give it my best, but don't make snap decisions based on it. Who knows what will come of it! Stay the course, keep nailing those goals out of the ballpark, and follow my dreams.... THAT'S the plan.

I just got off the phone with a good friend from back in Fat Frantic. We had a really deep heart to heart talk, and I feel much better about things. It reminded me of how much I've changed and how far I've come. I'm certainly not the man I was a couple of years ago!

It's so quiet in this apartment. The guys that live here are pretty decent, but I don't see them much. It's usually just me, and while that seems nice it can get darn lonely. There's no stress at least, and for that I am thankful!

Gotta jet. I don't care if you're swimming, moose riding, fishing, stuck on the 401, skydiving, camping, or attending one of Canada's carnivals, I hope you have a good one, eh? Happy Labour Day weekend, Canada!!

September 6th - 9 pm
I'm tired! I had a really great day, but it was quite busy.....

......I got an email from the choir director at First St. Andrew's United Church, and he wanted to know what I've been up to, as well as, if I was still interested in joining the choir. It suddenly occurred to me that a whole month has slid by where I didn't go to Church. Now don't get me wrong, Dear Diary, I had good intentions, but I simply don't have wheels to get back and forth easily. As I explained a while ago, taking a few Sunday's off to learn combat sports and bond with some new friends, was a conscience choice I made over Church, however, I also knew it was a temporary one. So, today I made arrangements to be picked up after service so I could attend both.

Hahaha....... Walking down Dundas with my boffer and shield certainly got some interesting looks. People moved out of the way quickly too, for some odd reason. Going into Church was just as interesting.....

....It was really great to see everyone at Church again. I have to say I'm quite impressed with Michelle, our new minister's ability to actually engage me in her service. With frequent references to previous services, she makes you remember the lessons she teaches. It's obvious she's settled into her role at the Church, and I have to say we are lucky to have such an energetic leader. I spoke to Paul, and I'm supposed to meet with him later this week for choir.

Right after the service I got a ride to Odessa Park where I once again joined my brothers and sisters in arms to engage in combat sports! It was a hot one out there today, with temperatures reaching over thirty degrees!!

When I got home, I was called by Asmar to help her with her DVD player. I took it back to my place and cleaned it up and got it working again. She was very happy!

Well, I'm winding down. Gotta check out my route for Tuesday a little better, write some emails, and get everything ready for the trip into the Big Smoke. (Toronto) Chat soon.

September 7th
[Sighs] Good morning. You'll have to pardon me, but I'm freaking exhausted! My night certainly wasn't what I expected. The plan was to simply go to sleep, get some good rest, and get ready for my trip into Toronto. That's not what happened.....

......I started writing about my evening, when I suddenly realized it's far too long to describe in a simple diary entry. So, I wrote an article about it. I entitled it "Curse you, McDonald's", and it goes on to explain how I got a booty call, only to miss out because of poor timing. Have a read if you like. I'll wait,....

....done? Awesome! So now that we have THAT out of the way, I'm not certain what I'm supposed to do with the REST of my day. Being as that I've been up since 5 AM and run almost 10KM, I'm thinking I need a nap!

Oh, the things we do for the opposite sex.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but it would certainly help if we got things together a bit.  I guess I just don't fully understand women, because things could be so simple.....

......envision a plan, make a choice, and stick with it. Roll with the punches life throws at you, and not get caught up in drama. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Why can't women be like that? Oh well [sighs heavily] they certainly do have a way of keep us men on our toes.

Got a bunch of things to do. Hope everyone is having a safe and happy long weekend.... And remember.... keep your stick on the ice.....

9 pm
My clothes are picked out and hanging ready to go. My teeth are whitened. I feel like I'm forgetting something.... Oh, THAT'S right! My SHOES! I didn't shine my shoes this time, because I'm supposed to go casual. With temperatures tomorrow doing pretty much the same as the last week, of highs at 30+ degrees and extremely muggy, my best option is to go with a loose fitting silk shirt, black shorts, and my sandals. Yup! I'm wearing sandals to two interviews. [shrugs] No sides, no monologues. It's kind of weird..... No prep work, that is. Other than that......

 .....I'm super excited!! Who knows? Maybe this is the one trip into Hollywood North where I land some role that springboards me into Canadian fame! It can happen. It will happen! I just need to keep pushing for this, and not give up.

It's hard to keep up the momentum though. With my basic needs not even covering my basic needs, I am only getting these opportunities due to the generosity of others. I would not be were I am today without the help of my mom and Murnie! She has shown the type of support / tough love, that I need. I know she believes in me, because she is one of the few that always has......

NB: On a side note, it should be mentioned that my mother never reads this, which is in fact, totally ironic. For you see, when I originally started writing this "dear Diary" or letters back home, it was so that she and a few close friends could keep track of what I'm up to. I was on the telephone with my mom a couple months ago, and we started talking about something I had written, to which I discovered, she never knew about my website!! So, for as much as I love her dearly, unless things have changed, I doubt she will read this either. But! Thank you mom for everything you have done. I love you lots, and miss you terribly!

.....Anywho.... there are a few others who have consistently come through for me in my life. My Grandparents were my mentors in so many ways, and they too always believed in me. I know they are looking down from above, and cheering loudly.

Since I've made my move to Southern Ontario, I have met quite a few new friends, but I've also lost contact with many others. There are some, however, that are like the Earth itself when it comes their foundation of love and support; solid, unyielding, everlasting. Without these treasured souls, I would certainly not be where I am today! I would like to take the time to publicly say thank you from the bottom of my heart! Your resolute personal belief in me is what pushes me to do my very best! I would not have made it this far without your guidance, and support.

Hmm... Sounds like I'm getting all nostalgic. Most likely I'm just over thinking things, because, well.... It's me, right? It's a good thing though, to re-examine your past, because it helps you focus on your future. When I look back to see what it has taken me to get where I am, I see a road of constant success rising out of a dark pit. I look forward, and realize that I am merely starting to climb the hill of success! I may have one book and four short stories published for Ereaders, but I still have nothing in actual print. I want to see my work in actual paper.... So I can stick my nose in the brand new book and take a deep sniff.... Ahh! So good! Nothing better than the smell of new books, am I right? OK, maybe I'm a little weird, but can you imagine seeing my books on store shelves? My screenplays at the next Toronto Film Festival?

There's room for improvement, but the hill to success is pretty steep! I'm pushing hard.... I have to....

.....Because, I believe in me.

OH! I received an interesting text message this afternoon. When I heard the chime of the phone, I nearly fell off my computer chair when I realized who it was...

.......Awwe, crap! I'm going to lose my bet with Diane! Wait! I'm not sure if I can talk about such things.... Hmm.... Let me think.... Uum... I just realized who I'm talking to! My apologies, Dear Diary, but I guess I can tell you because I know you can keep a secret. You're good at keeping secrets, aren't you?!

I can't remember what started it all, but Diane and I were talking about something that had to do with women.....or was it my exes.... OH! Right! That I had dated a few crazy women. See? I knew I'd remember. Anyway, I made a comment to Diane, that other than my mom and my Grandma (probably forgetting someone in this short list), Diane is the "LEAST CRAZY" woman that I know. Notice what I did there? That a little sexist humour. You can laugh. It;'s funny. (and true)

She looks at me and for some god-forsaken-reason blurts out, "Oh, don't worry! You'll be talking about some woman. Maybe even an ex. I give it three weeks, Zz, and you won't shut up about being in love, or a damn poet, some star-struck mistral, or the victim to Cupid's arrow. (Alrighty, I think I'm embellishing things here a bit - but you get the picture) YOU DON'T give up on people you love, and I can't see you giving up easily. I BET YOU,  THAT IN THREE WEEKS, you'll have a date".

Well shit, Whilbur. I'm not sure what to say.

You know, the best way to describe trying to get a woman to start a relationship, is to picture a baby white-tailed deer. I'd say close your eyes, but you need them open to read this, but what I want you to do instead is picture in your mind, a beautiful Spring day.....You're in a field of green, softly blowing grass..... The sky over head is a crystal clear porcelain bowl of pure blue. Now as you look around the field, you see this tiny baby deer scampering in the grass, so innocent, so unaware of opportunities, but also rudimentary timid to an almost instinctive level. It's mother watches over a safe distance away, but she is a familiar face at the pile of corn, and has no fear of humans.  As you watch this young deer scamper through the wide open field chasing butterflies and having a merry old time of itself, you suddenly get the desire to pet it.

Why not? Most animals seem to enjoy a good rub or a soft caress, so why not a baby deer? It's so perfect, so incredibly mind-numbing kick-you-in-the-feels CUTE, that you cannot envision in your mind any reason NOT to pet this baby deer.

Oh. And look, it's coming over to you. It sees you, and is very curious. Slowly, a bit wary at first, it timidly starts to walk in your direction. The little brown and white deer suddenly scampers quickly toward you, and runs full tilt.... And just as suddenly, stops about 4 meters away to sit and stare puzzled. Unsure. A bit scared.

It's right there. You just have to walk over a couple steps and you could wrap this little baby up like the luvvy-wuvvy cuteness that it is. So, you smile and take a step.

Oh.......... Well, the baby deer didn't like you suddenly moving like that, and it darts a good distance away. You sigh with frustration and shrug your shoulders.  It figures, really, I mean who would think they could ever pet a baby deer, you scoff to yourself.

But then you see a flicker of white and the youngster is staring at you from even closer this time. It's big eyes are blinking in amazement in the warm sun. It edges closer. And closer... You dare to hold out your hand, and yet it continues this slow motion walk. Closer.

Suddenly, from within you, this pressure builds. You don't mean to, I mean, it's just part of being human..... An irritating tickle from some wisp of nothingness causes a huge sneeze from out of nowhere!! AH-CHOO!!

The deer is gone! In a flash, the frightened animal has sped away, faster than your eyes could blink while you sneezed. In fact, the deer probably anticipated that you would scare it by some unforeseen action, and was ready to pounce away given the first chance.

Wiping your nose in irritation, you sigh. No one pets a baby deer, you tell yourself, it simply doesn't happen.

You give up. So close! Damn you whatever white fuzz of randomness that ruined my chances!! Curse you!! You cry at the azure sky, shaking your fist for good effort.

A snort behind you nearly startles you! As you crane you neck around , you see the little deer standing no more than a few steps away from you. Oddly, there's a weird look on its face, which is mix of impatience and expectation. "Well, are you going to pet me? We should totally get this petting thing over with. I know, I'm being silly for being so scared, but this is my first time. I'm not sure if I'm going to like it or not....."

Wow! So now it wants you to pet it. That's totally awesome! All you have to do it reach out with your hand and ever-so-slowly try to touch the least scary part of the baby deer. Slowly, carefully, you reach for the deer.

It darts away.

By this time you are frustrated as all hell, and you're not sure if the damn deer is toying with you or not! "Fuck the damn thing", you curse aloud, "It's probably me, or something I'm not doing right". You kick the dirt, stomp on grass. Shake your fist at the sky. "Why did I even care in the first place?", you ask, "There's plenty of other baby deer out there that DO want to be petted. Why not just go find one of those!?" Then you sigh when you realize that you don't want to pet any other baby deer. You want that one.

Why does it matter? Why do you need to pet a baby deer? Other people have gone their whole lives without ever trying to, wanting to, or even envisioning petting a baby deer, so what's the big deal anyway?!

A quiet bump on your hand, makes you look down as the young deer gently takes it's head and lifts your hand into place to pet it. Slowly, it walks past you, allowing you to drape your hand along its velvet-soft, spotted flanks. It gives a little wiggle at the end when it walks past your reach .... And then turns around and comes back for another pass!

With big trusting eyes, the baby deer keeps pushing you to pet it. It even gets aggressive after a short while, and given time will be eating out of your hand.

AND THAT, Ladies and Gentleman, is the best way I know how to describe starting a relationship with a woman....

......I'm probably going to get in trouble for writing it. Good night all.

September 8th
She looked deep into my eyes. “I've missed you so much!”, she moaned as her hands grabbed the back of my neck and pulled me toward her puckered lips. The passion, the explosive chemistry between me and this woman was overwhelming. I felt my knees buckle as her quivering lips kissed me. She was so captivating! In a surge of desire I lifted her off the floor and started carrying her to the bed. She dug her nails deep into my back and teased my chest with her teeth, biting, nibbling, while softly growling the whole time.

I set her down on the bed, and brushed an errant wisp of hair that had fallen across her eyes. She stared up at me with such adoration and love. Her eyes danced mischievously as she bit nervously on her lower lip. “Oh, Joey”, she moaned in a husky voice, “I need you.........”

I was suddenly startled awake when a very loud bird decided to land on my windowsill and start chirping. Sighing heavily I tried to force myself back to sleep, to dream once more about her. It was no use; I was awake. Glancing at the window, I tried to see if I could spot the bird that had caused me to wake up. Nope, the feathered little (bad word) was nowhere in sight. “Ugh! What the hell time is it”, I muttered, rolling over to check the LED clock. 4:49.....Yuck.

The dim light coming through the window-blinds is barely enough to see without walking into something. I roll over and sit at the edge of my bed, blearily trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing. Did I have to pee? Was that it?

I thought about it for a few moments, sitting there in the quiet silence of the morning. The only sound was the fan in the window, slowly turning back and forth as it tried hard to blow some of the cooler air into my stuffy room. Why was I awake? This nagging feeling I was forgetting something pervaded my being. What am I supposed to do today, I thought. Suddenly, it hit me.....

..... I DID have to pee.

So there I was doing my thing in the bathroom, when I heard the peal of a bird call ring out loudly from my room. Chirp, chirp. Chirp. Then nothing but silence. Groggily I shook my head, “What's with the bird?”, I muttered softly.

I started shuffling slowly back to my room, when my alarm suddenly broke the heavy silence. Silently cursing my bad timing, I rushed to my room and quickly thumbed off the LED alarm clock. The time read 5:00 AM. Just at that moment, my phone decided to chirp again. Chirp, chirp. Chirp.

OH! It's the (bad word) alarm on my phone that's chirping like a bird, I realized.

Oh!! I set the two alarms because I need to be up......

......today is a big day! No time to lose, I remind myself as I headed to the kitchen to make coffee, because you've got to be in Toronto!

I've written an email to my agent explaining how the third audition today is simply not attainable. It's quite a long distance out of the way, and would seriously handicap me. So, I decided to only do the two major ones, which turns a really frantic trip into a somewhat relaxed one.

So I casually drank my coffee, checked up on the daily smut on Facebook, did my dailies on the silly little game I play, and took my time waking up. A few trips to the bathroom, and finally it's time to jump in the shower.

I shaved, brushed my teeth, and finished my shower. The attire for today is minimal, so within minutes I'm ready to go. A quick glance around my bedroom reveals that all is ready.

I arrived at the bus station at 7 am. Memo to me: Don't be so DAMN early next time! Seriously, there was no need to be that early. I could have been enjoying a bit more coffee......

Street cars in Toronto
.....but oddly, time flies by and before I know it, I'm on the bus.

So, here I sit. The buys is crowded, but no one says a word. Everyone is sipping their rich gourmet coffee and eating chocolate doughnuts. I want a doughnut.....
4 pm
Well, I'm back at the bus station. It's a hot one out there, with temperatures in downtown Toronto at 29 degrees, but with the humidity it's more like 38-40!! At the bus station, however, it's cool and I'm relaxing after a day of walking around the Big Smoke.

The good news, is that I didn't need to check a map once! I'm not kidding! I wrote down my route before I got here, and like clockwork simply followed my own instructions. It also helps that I am kinda getting to understand the layout of Toronto. Look at me go, eh?

When I think back to even a few months ago, I remember being nervous about traveling, meeting my appointments, and even worried about my auditions....

......not today! I was calm, cool, and collected! I'm not kidding when i say I wasn't nervous. Both auditions today were based on facial expressions, body size / shape, and what my voice sounds like. They were both over quickly, and it felt very natural.

So, here I sit people watching at the bus station.

4:30 pm
Goodbye Toronto!

The bus is pulling out of the station. Once again I'm sitting in the back of the bus. Not sure why I do that, but for some unknown reason I always head to the back of the bus. I know, I'm weird.

I might have snapped a few stock photos, but I'm certainly not a tourist anymore. While I still delight in the diverse culture, majestic skyscrapers, and constant flow of people, I'm not gawking anymore. That naive country boy has been transformed into a street-wise man of the city. I noticed that when I casually interact with others, board the bus, and follow directions. The noise, traffic, and strange smells, no longer overwhelm me.

The same been-there-done-that attitude pervade my experiences with casting directors. As I journey from studio, to back-office casting room, I'm getting a feel for what it takes to not only make the experience painless, but actually enjoyable! No longer the blustering, nervous hopeful, I maintain a role of professionalism and patience. From the moment I step into the building, to the final handshake, I try hard to stay positive, ask questions, be polite, and talk slowly. (I have a tendency to talk quickly when excited)

Wow! We're just leaving the city, and happened to drive past Union Station. You should see all the people! Thousands of Torontonians heading home after a long day. The steady march of people on the sidewalk is impressive! You can feel the energy all around you......

......I'm SO hungry! I purposely didn't eat much yesterday, and drank only my protein drink after a small amount of coffee. I can actually feel my stomach rumbling!

Anyway, I should go. I can feel myself winding down.

September 9th
Good morning! It's raining, but at least that is bringing a bit of cooler air to London. We've been locked in a heat wave for over a week, with night-time temperatures only dipping to 19-21 degrees Celsius.  The fan in my window is working hard to get fresh air into the house.

I'm tired today. It's more than just walking around on hard city streets and sidewalks, but I feel burned out too. I gave 110% on my auditions yesterday, and that requires metal discipline, as well as, physical exertion.

My plans for the day are simple; write, return a book to the library, and hopefully get a chance to work out. (I say hopefully, because of the weather)

Still waiting to hear back from her. [sigh] I really don't like games when it comes to love or dating. My approach is simple - Make a choice and go with it. Stick to a promise and work through whatever comes your way. Life will throw hardships at you, but if you want something bad enough you will get past it. That's just the way it works. No drama, no games.....

.......you'll have to forgive me, Dear Diary, but when it comes to women, I don't trust 99.99% of them. Can you blame me? The sheer manipulation, head games, drama, cheating, lying, and blatant fickleness I've experienced is enough to almost make a man swear celibacy for the rest of his life! Deep down, however, I don't want to give up hope that there is someone out there for me. Someone I can wholly give my life to, and grow together in life and love. It could happen, right?


Oh. That's right.... You don't talk. But! You can email me, or write a comment for me to read. I love getting mail from my friends. So, if you are inclined, send me a letter about what you think I should do...... It's not to say I'm going to necessarily listen to your advice... But, I'll read it! :)

Talk soon. Have a great day.

8 pm
I have an audition for the church choir at 10 am in the morning. While this is awesome news, it means that any plans Diane and I had are now cancelled. I did try to explain to her that it really won't make much of a difference in our day, but she's very determined to stick to her schedule. This means that our weekly visit is not going to happen. [sighs, and then shrugs] At least I get my chance to try out for the choir.

I recently compiled a list of all the written works I've published, and I have to say that I'm impressed! I didn't realize the list had grown so large! Some of my stories are pretty darn good too, even if I say so myself! (I'm my worst critic)

Have a good evening.

September 11
Wow! It is ever (bad word) early!! 4 am, and I'm aboard a Greyhound bus to Toronto. What am I doing? That's a really good question......

....I am heading to be an extra on a set. That's right, my first acting role!

It wasn't my auditions on Tuesday that were the cause of this sudden opportunity, but rather, an unexpected call for me by name. I'm not sure what the role even is, because this is so last minute.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

Yesterday was quite busy for me! I woke up nice and early and did my morning routine. We couldn't have asked for a better day; the sun was warm, but it was cool in the shade. One of those days where it's almost picturesque.

My first order of the day was to attend my choir audition. I told you I was trying out for the First St Andrew's Church choir, remember? Well, I can now say, I MADE THE CHOIR! WOOT! The audition went well, and I was told to come back at 7:30 for practice.

I walked home, ate lunch, and then cleaned the house. With my headphones on, rocking out to JACK-FM, I pulled out the couches and vacuumed in places that haven't seen sunlight in a couple years. I washed a couple walls, and did the kitchen and bathroom. (I'll make a good catch for some lucky lady – Cook, AND Clean)

Thinking I had nothing better to do, I started playing Mechwarrior Online. Next thing I know, I'm receiving a phone call from my talent agent asking me if there's any way I can be in Toronto for Friday morning. “I know this is short notice.....” Well, being as this will be the first time I am actually heading to Toronto for an acting part, as well as, the fact I was asked for by name? You can bet I jumped at the chance regardless of the short notice!!

Choir practice was good! It's quite challenging, but after a short time I was reading the sheet music and singing along. They really don't hold your hand or wait at all. It's an intense responsibility belonging to such an organization. We are already working on concert pieces, including one Christmas piece. I'm really happy I made the choice to join and that I was accepted. I know in my heart this will be good for me, and I'm not just talking about my soul. Before I knew it, choir was over and I walked home.

I went to bed as soon as I had something to eat, but the clock was already pushing 11 pm before I tucked myself in. My bus left London at 3:45 am, which meant I had two hours of sleep before the alarm woke me up! Anyway, it's early and this thing wants to sleep. I should catch a couple winks while I can. We'll talk soon.

7:30 am
I'm in Toronto! Since I have a couple hours to kill, I decided to sit in the bus station and take advantage of their free WIFI, and do a little writing.

I'd like to once again thank my good friend Diane; I wouldn't be here if not for her perseverance and assistance. When I told her yesterday about this trip, she went out of her way to ensure I was on the bus on time, as well as, slipped me a couple bucks so I could buy coffee. This kind of touching go-the-extra-mile attitude is one of the many things I love about her! There are no words to express my sincere gratitude, and I know the only way I can really pay her back for everything is to make certain I'm a Canadian superstar. Her devoted faith in me is the fuel that drives this engine!

Time seems to be passing quickly, and before I know it I'll be hearing the word I've waited for so long to hear......


2 pm
Wow!! Today exceeded my expectations. When I was accepted the role yesterday I was under the impression I was going to be an extra. Nope! I had the distinct honour to share the set with three others, including a women I went to drama class with! We were paired into couples, and I was happy to end up with my drama classmate. It certainly made things easy, because I was suddenly working with someone I knew.

I did my best to be polite, and professional.

Before I knew it, the shoot was over. I can't go into specifics due to my contract, but I'll be posting the finished product when it becomes published for the public.

My hope, is now that I have some exposure I will start getting more opportunities. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? Well, since I've done my first one there's no where to go, but up!! Suddenly all the tiresome Kilometers, long bus rides, auditions, drama classes, and photo shoots, all seem worth it!

So, here I sit at the bus station. I've been people watching and made a couple new friends. It's so interesting how mere strangers can strike up a conversation and an hour later are suddenly laughing and talking like old friends. That's one aspect of humanity that I cherish; curiosity and a desire to share.

I'm going for a walk. Got a couple of hours to kill, and I do like to window shop (and people watch) Talk soon..

5:30 pm
All aboard the bus! Good bye Toronto!! I'll be back, that you can be sure.

The Toronto Film Festival is occurring right now. I remember last year when I said I was going to be there, however, that was before what I knew what it would take to get there...... NEXT year. Even if I'm just watching, I want to participate in the event.

I had an enjoyable afternoon wandering around downtown Toronto. When I passed a coffee shop, I not only bought some coffee, but a double chocolate doughnut as well! Holy crap those things are awesome!! Strolling around the catacombs of shopping malls and underground passages is pretty darn cool! I love the infrastructure!

I still want to live at the top of one of those skyscrapers.

The traffic is ridiculous this afternoon! As we slowly make our way through the busy street of Canada's largest city, the amount of vehicles is staggering; we're barely moving. At this rate I won't be home until after 9 pm! (After 8 in London, with a 40 minute walk to the house)

This has been a long day!

September 13th - 9 pm
I'm. So. Tired!!

 Running on 11 hours of sleep since Thursday..... Trek to Toronto on Friday, Amtgard tournament on Saturday (where I won the title of Weaponmaster) and then out for a couple of wobbly-pops with friends, only to end up at a karaoke bar! Drink 'till 2, party till 5, and crashed on the couch for a couple hours. THEN up and away to Church to sing in the Church choir for the first time! Belegarth combat class after church.....

...perhaps I should start at the beginning.

As you'll notice, a day or so has passed since I posted, dear diary.  That's because I've been super busy!! When I got home on Friday night it was past 10 pm.

Amtgard is LARP (Live Action Role Play) and they are located at Gibbon's Park. The tournament on Saturday was only a small part of the event -  We started the day with a rousing game of capture the flag (with spells and minions), and also had a really great role playing session! I can't put words to how much fun that was! I'm actually thinking about returning for some of the regular game sessions.

I went home after the Festival, and had barely walked in the door when I got a message to come for drinks with a couple of my friends. I went all the way to Second and Oxford (LONG trip) and after a couple of drinks, it was decided that we were going to sing karaoke.

I had a blast singing! Sure wish there was more people, but it was still an awesome time! Next thing I know the bar is closing and they are asking us to go home.

I crashed on the couch, and set my alarm for 7 am. (2 hours of sleep) Turns out I wasn't as hung over as I expected, but my voice sounded pretty bad. I booked it home....

.......only to jump in the shower and get ready to go to Church. At practice it was evident I was not on top of my game, but I could sure hit the low notes! (My voice was cracking during the higher notes)

I cannot state how wonderful it feels to be sitting in the choir loft!! The sheer professionalism is outstanding! I'm really happy I made this choice, and look forward to Thursday night practices and Sunday curtain calls.

One of the officers picked me up at the Church and we went to Belegarth combat sports.  I'll admit, I was dragging my butt. Not to mention the cloudy, cold, wind swept day. Damn near froze my purple kilt off!!

The walk home was slower than normal, and once home all I've done today is eat and watch TV shows. I entertained the idea of a nap earlier, but was pretty certain if I laid down for one, I would be wide awake at midnight.

Well, dear diary, I'm heading to bed. It's a tad early yet, but I don't care. I'll probably be asleep before my head hits the pillow.......

......good night everyone. Hope your Monday morning is bright, and cheerful..... I'll be sleeping in.

September 14th
Well, so much for sleeping in. The temperature last night dipped to single digits, and silly me left my window open. I woke up shivering this morning, because I've only been using a thin sheet. As I glanced at the clock while I was snuggling in under the comforter, the LED dispaly read 7:02. Well, try as I might I could not go back to sleep, so I got out of bed.

The sun is shining, and it's going to be a great day!

12 pm
My bike is FIXED!!! On Friday, Diane had teased me about having a suprise for me. I originally thought it was farm fresh honey, but at 9:30 she showed up, pops the hatch on her minivan, and points in the back. "I need help lifting that out", she said with a grin. I was shocked! This is more than simply having a bike fixed, or even just getting a decent mode of transportation; it's Diane helping me solve a major issue in my life. Mere words cannot express the gratitude I have, but I did give her a big hug, and thanked her several times.

We sat down on the steps leading up to the house and chatted for over an hour. It felt good to talk, because we haven't had any time in the last three weeks to spend time together. Time flew by quickly, and before I knew it she had to go.

I don't have much time today. There is a ton of things I need to get done, including cleaning the house. Talk soon!

September 16th - 10 pm
Happy Humpday!  Today was a busy one; woke up early to go to the specialist at Victoria Hospital, then over the "The Inkery" to pick up all the art that hasn't sold (not a single piece) and then off to Well's Park for Silva Urbem (LARP - medieval combat games). A great day!

September 17th
From a fan :)
Good morning world! The sun is warm, even at 9 am, and it looks like London, Ontario, is going to be bathed in heat and sun for yet another day. The season of Death and Decay is being held at bay, at least for a little while.......

...I had made plans to go to a private lesson in weaponry (I was teaching it) but my student cancelled at the last minute. Oh well, it gives me a bit of time to actually write something, and Lord knows I've been putting that off for a while now! Later, I have to go to choir practice, and I'm really looking forward to that!

Today was the day I was supposed to hang out with Diane. Now I wish we would have simply stuck to our original plan, because it's been a couple weeks since I actually got to spend any real time with my best friend, as well as, do my laundry. I cherish our conversations, and time together... I also need fresh gitch!

I have to admit I'm really enjoying the Role Playing aspect of Silva Urbem. My character is a male, elven warrior, which fits me well. For a first character, I've picked one that suits me; lithe, quick, and good with weaponry. The fact that I took "Weapon Master" the week prior also suits me well. For now, I'll be adventuring using this character, but eventually want to try a magic user. [shrugs] There's always another time.

I'm going to do some writing, sun bathing, and work out. Lord knows those activities have been on the back-burner for a while now. Have a good one, eh?

September 18th
Choir practice is amazing! I'll admit that my sight singing is still quite rusty, but I'm delighted to learn that I still have the basic knowledge of music theory, and while challenging to sing some of the material, I am quickly remembering all my lesson as a teen. We're learning Mass music, complete with Latin lyrics, and while it's a bit daunting, I'm doing well.

I really need to get some laundry done. I'm at the point where everything is being sniff-tested to see if I can wear it.

I went to my specialist appointment, and got a prescription to try and help with my medical issues, but the pills do nothing for pain. Typical Doctors; not actually dealing with the issues and pushing government meds.

I had an accident last night on my way home from choir; a car pulled out in front of me, and though I swerved to miss it, I ended up in the ditch. I bent my wheel out of shape and locked up the rear brakes. The driver yelled at me that I need to get lights on my bike. because the laws have changed. Great! More money spent simply to be able to use my bike.

Not much else to add at the moment. Another Friday with no real plans. I need to get a girlfriend......

September 20th - 8 pm
What a great weekend! With the exception of rain on Saturday, we've had fantastic weather! It's starting to get cold at night, and daytime temperatures are only at about 20 degrees Celsius. I'm dreading the cold that Fall brings, but for now the season of death and decay is staying away. Regardless, I have to bring Frank inside now at nights, so he doesn't have his growth stunted. Like me, he prefers sun and heat.

The Amtgard event that was supposed to be an invasion by Belegarth fighters was nearly cancelled due to the rain on Saturday, but even still only a handful of fighters showed up. We went ahead with the competition regardless of rain, but it still wasn't as good if that band of storms had chosen to wait a couple hours. It seemed like the moment we stopped fighting and packed up (soaked to the skin) the rain stopped and the sun peeked out. Figures, eh?

How did I spend my Saturday night? I took a nap..... At 4 pm I decided I needed to lay down for a half hour, and woke up three hours later, groggy, confused, and not even certain of what day it was. Oops! So much for an exciting Saturday night, eh? A bit of Mechwarrior and "Star Trek Enterprise" and it was quickly time for bed again.

The Doctor has me on new meds. They suck ass! I'm tired, have to avoid sunlight, and do nothing for pain. UGH! Just give me a prescription for weed, please?!?! Like, seriously!!

Church this morning was wonderful. It made me feel extremely good to get a hug from Michelle (Our Minister) and told "You look good in a choir gown". I love the challenging music we're doing too!

As soon as church was done, I hopped on my bike and sped off to Belegarth combat class. We had a great day today, with some serious fighting. I was in a couple of good matches, and suddenly my leather strap sheared right off! When I got home, I examined the shield more closely, and realized the wooden core was snapped in half too! This all occurred this afternoon, and it's just an indication of how hard we do hit each other. When I got home, I tore the shield apart with the goal in mind to salvage the core. NOPE! Not sure what we did today, but upon autopsy found it was broke in THREE PLACES!! That was a half inch of plywood we shattered at practice!!

I need to get laundry done soon. I'm at the point of having to sniff test my clothes, since I haven't had a chance to wash anything in three weeks. Speaking of Diane.....

......we have barely spent any time together since the beginning of September. I know it's a busy month, but it feels weird to not actually doing things with her. We talk and stuff, but it's not the same as it used to be. Oh well, nothing stays the same. I'll admit, I miss hanging out with my bestie.

Still single. Still doing what it takes to achieve my goals. Still broke as hell!

Talk soon.

September 23rd
Hello, Dear Diary. It's been a couple days since we last talked, and for that I apologize; I've been so busy, there simply hasn't been time. Since the last time we spoke I've made a few more friends, had my bike stolen,  broke my shield, found a great, cheap, tattoo artist, and much more.....

....perhaps I should start at the beginning.

Monday was rough; my medical condition kicked my butt (see what I did there?) Without the use of proper medication I was forced to endure bloating, and pain. I didn't do much, as is normal for when this occurs. Tomorrow is another Doctor appointment, and you can be certain I'll be explaining this to him.

Monday night (at 7 pm) I got a call to go and watch a friend get a tattoo done. I jumped on my bike and raced across the city, and was pleased to discover that there is a great tattoo artist who doesn't charge an arm and leg, to tattoo your arms and legs. Within a very short time I made friends with her and her hubby. I left my bike chained up to a bike rack and joined them at one of the local bars; I had a great time! Before I knew it, it was time to go home.

I was instructed to take my friend home, and even given taxi fare to ensure a safe trip. Now before you get any ideas, let me state right now that I prefer my women to be at least semi-coherent, so I hate to disappoint you, Dear Diary, but I was a complete gentleman. So, I left my bike chained to the bike rack with the intention to come the next morning to pick it up......

.......you cannot imagine my dismay and shock when I found the lock laying on the ground sans bicycle! UGH! Diane just paid good money to have that thing fixed for me, and some low-life scum-sucking bottom dweller had stolen my only real means of transportation!! [sighs heavily] People suck!! My heart broken, I headed down t the Police station to file a report, and while they are fairly confident I'll get it back, there will always be a hole in my heart.

Diane and I spent the whole day together. It felt so good to actually get to spend some time with her and the kidlets! We laughed and talked, picked the kids up from school, and then I cooked supper for the whole family. In the blink of an eye it was time to go home.

So there you have it, a couple of days that seemed to blend together and left me little time to actually write. I'm sure once the season of death and decay (winter) comes I'll be much more focused on my work.

Speaking of which, I should jet. I've got Amtgard (Live Action Role Play) tonight, and I need to get my garb resewn and ironed. (stitching came undone in the wash)

Talk soon. I promise. :)

September 25th
Good morning. TGIF everyone!

Yesterday was yet another extremely busy day! I had a Doctor appointment at 9 am, which meant I had to wake up extra early to ensure I was able to make it in time. I strapped on my worn blades (very scary to skate on ATM) and left extra early; due to the condition of my skates I can only go about half speed for fear of the rubber flying off! Once done, I made my way home where I flopped on my bed and ended up falling asleep for two hours. (The new medication is kicking my ass!! - Drowsiness, can't go in direct sunlight without repercussions, and I'm breaking out in sweat) .....

...OH, look! It's noon already and I haven't done anything. I guess everyone is entitled to a day of rest and relaxation once in awhile.

I GOT A NEW BIKE!!! You cannot imagine my shock and surprise when one of my friends calls me up and tells me to come over to pick up a bike they had bought for me. (No, it wasn't Diane and Greg) This bike is more powerful, and sturdy than the last one I had, and even has shock absorbers, disk brakes, and larger wheels!! I still hope to get my old one back if the Police ever find it, but I'll be selling it to pay for my new one.

In total, I traveled 35 Kilometers yesterday by rollerblades and bike. It wasn't on good trails either, but the sidewalk, and cracked pavement of London streets. No wonder I'm exhausted!

Ooh. Another 7 KM from home to choir practice. Forgot that trip....

....The choir at First St. Andrew's is amazing!! I'm really enjoying my chance to meet new people and share fellowship with them, as well as, my gift of singing! Our choir practice is a tightly run ship, and even though we scoot through the music quickly, it still takes us two hours to go over all the material we require.

Hope everyone is having a great day. I'll be heading to Gibbon's Park tomorrow for more adventures in the world of Silva Urbem (Amtgard), then off to Odessa Park on Sunday for Malkier (Belegarth). Busy, busy!  Talk soon.

September 26th - 11 am
Good gawd, it's morning. [Vacantly stares out the window and blinks helplessly] You'll have to forgive me, but I'm freaking tired.....

......Got a call from a friend to come out for a couple of drinks at the bar at 10 pm last night. I jumped in the shower and sped off into the night on my new bike (Wow! Can that thing ever handle the city's terrain well!!) I met up with her at Gordy's Brewhouse on Oxford, and was excited to see a local band onstage. Several pitchers later (Ooops) it was closing time. I had a great time.

I had barely closed my eyes, when the Saturday morning silence was broken by a car alarm. Stupid thing went on and on, and regardless as to how exhausted I was (a tad hungover from draft beer) there was no going back to sleep. I dragged my sorry butt to the kitchen, made coffee, and started my morning routine.

Got a call from mom, and suddenly all is right with the world. It was great to hear her voice and catch up on everything going on back in the Rainy River District. My kids are doing quite well, and everyone is gearing up for Fall and hunting season. That's something I really miss!! Cutting wild game has always been a pastime of mine, and I'm really missing the taste of fresh deer, moose, rabbit, and whatnot. Kind of a trade-off though, because I couldn't imagine going back to that technologically-ignorant part of Canada; time doesn't just seem to stand still there, but it feels like you've stepped into the past. As much as I miss my family there is no way I would ever go back!

No one is going to show up for Amtgard today, as the leaders are out of town or sick. Kind of sucks majorly, but it is what it is. Not sure what to do with the rest of my day now, but I haven't taken off my pajamas yet, and it's probably going to stay that way for at least another hour or so.

I should jet. Talk soon.

September 27th
I woke up in a great mood. Rested and refreshed from a decent nights sleep, and giddy from some vivid dreams about a beautiful woman, I bounced out of bed.

Click on the video, and turn up your sound.

I went to Church, and as promised, I shot some video of the anthem we sang for my mom. While I was at it, I took a few pictures as well to show her and my friends back in North-Western Ontario what the First St. Andrew's Church is like.

The sermon today was about prayer and friendship. I really enjoy the way Michelle engages the congregation! I just wish that some of my friends might join me, but church isn't something you can force people to do, especially if they are not used to going routinely. Oh well, I had fun. Guess I'll just have to pray for them.

I received notification that Belegarth was going to be cancelled today due to all the officers being away, so I chose to stay after the service to share in fellowship. This is something I haven't done since Spring, and I felt amused that so many people thought I was new, while quickly reassured by other church members that I was a choir member. Kinda funny really......

..."How come I never noticed you before?"

Because I sit in the back row. Every time.

So, now I'm home. I made the video and I'm not sure what to do with the rest of my day. I know that I can't wait for the end of the month so I can get meds, food, and few other things I need!

I have a couple questions for you, dear diary..... Can a man and woman have a functional long distance relationship if they are separated by an ocean? How does it work when it comes to dating? I ask these questions because I know someone that I WISH lived in Canada, and we've been talking about these kinds of things for at least two months now, with the only thing tempering our relationship being the distance. I guess it's possible to do this kind of thing, but only if the end goal is to end up together AKA one of the people involved moves to be with the other. Right?

Anyway, I spent last night on skype and had a wonderful time talking to this woman. I won't go into details about her too much, but don't worry, if we do get serious you'll be the first to know, ok? Let's just say that English isn't her first language, but she speaks it quite well.

I just broke the 21,000 mark for viewers on my website!!! Once again I'm passing goals I never thought attainable at one point. Thank you to everyone that is helping me make this such a success!! I couldn't do it without you!

On that note.... I should find something to do. Have a good one.

September 28th
Woke up to a dismal, cold, rainy day. No meds, so my abdomen is crawling like I'm infected with some alien parasite. No food, except for prepackaged garbage (probably why I have digestion issues).  We're down to the last couple days of the month, and payday cannot come fast enough!

I need to go get a blank cheque today, because I've volunteered for Election Canada to work as poll clerk. It just means I have to go without eating for the day before so I can function during my shift on election day (which is fast approaching - October 19th)

As I was typing this, my Doctor just phoned to find out if the pharmacy managed to get my prescription filled. I explained that "No, both prescriptions are not covered by my current drug plan", to which they informed me to call the pharmacy and see what other kind of medication could be used to help. Who knows, eh? Maybe we'll get this fixed after all. (I still say that instead of using government drugs, that a simple prescription for pot would do fine - in effect, the government drugs are PART of the problem, not the solution)

Got off the phone with the pharmacy. No luck. [sighs]

Cleaning day today. I should get busy. The house is quite tidy now that I've got it dialed in, but you have to keep on top of it to keep it that way.

Busy week ahead of me. My calendar is filling up quick! Things to see, people to do...... Keep your stick on the ice......

September 29th
Hurry up, end of the month......

......I slept like crap last night. Twisting and turning, I was not only subject to cramping, but also two nightmares. One was about my father, and the other about driving a semi-truck in hellish conditions. Needless to say, it has set the tone for the entire day.

I have to go train for Election Canada this evening. I hoping to make a couple of extra bucks, so I'll have to bike it down to Westmount Mall for the training, and then work the election on Oct 19th. Both days require me to starve in order to leave the house since I'll be doing it sans medication.

Rainy, gloomy day. Maybe some writing, maybe some debating. Who knows, eh? I know that I should be working on my newest novel........SQUIRREL!!

September 30th
Thank God, it's the end of the month, although when I stepped outside this morning I nearly froze my backside off. Like a bad reoccuring dream, the chilly wind of Fall was biting at my exposed skin. Summer has indeed disappeared for the year, and we are heading into the cold part of the year. [sighs heavily] Watching everything slowly dying around me is depressing!

So much to do, I doubt I'll get any writing done today.

11 Bells
So, I was WRONG!

I achieved LOTS today, including publishing the second chapter of "The White Wolf! After a quick trip uptown, I visited a friend and got the stuff that makes everything feel better......

...Yup. Green. THC. The plant that was demonized so many misinformed years ago. "THE DEVIL'S DRUG" that has wasted so many Billions of taxpayers money to fuel the North American drug war.

The taxable life-send that could bolster our economy.

Canadians have become known for their love and quality of marijuana. Maybe, it's just the don't-give-a-shit attitude that has made us so great and kicked so much ass all over the world, that puffs out our chest. Perhaps, It's because we live in the best country on the planet Earth. Whatever the cause, Canadians are one of the most inclusive, tolerant countries in the world, and we've earned a reputation for our bud,

BC Skunk. Quebec Gold. Blueberry. White Rhino. ...

.....Indica and sativa. We kicked ass in the Cannabis Cup held in Europe and everyone knows good smoke when they taste it, The boys and I back home would only rarely get the "good stuff" , and when we did it cost us extra! Here, in the city? Quality isn't a problem, and the street prices are kind of reasonable.....But it always bugs me to have to visit a "BAD GUY" to get my medication.

Think of the tax dollars being wasted.

Think of the people like me that could be helped so much easier and faster.

By the way, I may sound like walking advertisement for marijuana, but forgive my rambling........I'm not in pain.

I feel free! I can do things. I can eat!!,,,,,,

,,,,,Ooppz. The grocery day is tomorrow, I've paid my bills, and I'm almost broke already! This sucks! I'll do my utmost best to stock up enough to last until the end of the month. [sigh] The life of a starving artist, eh?

Diane. It's our day together tomorrow. October First, and I get the whole day with my bestie. I'm going to see what shenanigans I can talk her into,

I have to report that a good friend of mine has left the apartment complex. As a parting gift, he gave me the key deposit as lieu for cleaning his room after he vacates it. I eagerly accepted, thinking it would be a few extra bucks, and I wanted to do something nice for him. He's leaving for a better place out West and I wish him all the best. When he asked me to clean his room I took it personally.

Scrubbed that thing spotless!!

Turns out the key deposit was $20.

I started playing Mechwarrior when my tummy reminded me that it hadn't been fed all day. I looked at the crisp $20 bill in front of me.....

......I bought my very first pizza by myself in the city. SORRY... Well, no I'm not.....It tastes SO GOOD!! [sighs] It's like Heaven with a side of guilt.

I should have saved that $20.

October 1st
I'm heading out with Diane today. Laundry day, and a chance to do my monthly shopping in one swoop. It's be a great day. Lots to do, and even less time to do it in, plus I know we are going to be talking.

Choir tonight, so I may not even get another entry in today.

Have a good one.

October 5th
Where does the time go? I've been busy, that much is true, but it's odd that so many days escaped me to write in my journal. I guess there's not much to report. Things are pretty much same old, same old.

Choir is great! We 're getting ready for our big production at the end of the month. Sure is neat to sing with strings and other orchestral instruments.

Medieval combat class has slowed down due to wet weather. Most of my outdoor activities have ceased.

Frank got a new pot and plant stand. The transplant was a bit sloppy, but a success. His little roots have more room to stretch out now, and he's earned himself a front row seat at the window by being elevated.

Went for drinks with Buddha on Saturday night. We had a great time, with no incidents to report (which is also good) Haven't spent much time with him lately, and the last time we went out I made a bit of  a fool out of myself.

Still no girlfriend.

I had a meeting with the Church minister this morning. We chatted a bit and drank some coffee. It was really nice to get to know each other better. I know in my heart that First St. Andrews is in good hands with her in charge!

I should do something. We'll talk soon.

October 7th
I'm really not in the mood to write. Neither book, nor short story holds my interest, and apparently my notations in my diary are lacking motivation as well. I'm actually thinking it's seasonal depression of a sort; the cooler days and the fact that everything around e is dying does weigh heavily on my soul.....

..... I'm even starting to see posts on social media about Christmas. Let me state simply, I am all about Jesus Christ and the Winter solstice, than the gifting giving and commercialism. It bothers me to see what is supposed to be a revered holiday and a marking of observance being turned into a mockery by greedy corporations. There's no use trying to even bring the issue to light, because no one wants to hear it. While everyone is immersed in cellphone mentality* they cannot see the truths is front of them. You can't blame them though, as everyone is simply acting like they've been programmed to act. The mere ideals of Peace, Love, and Joy, get buried under a vast array of flashing commercials and tons of wrapping paper.

Wait!?! Why am I talking about Christmas?! I can see it's going to be one of those days.....

....just have to remind myself, breathe, in, out. In. Out. Repeat after me... "Not my monkeys. Not my circus...."

Feel better? Me too. :)

I guess the only reason why it gets me worked up, is because it all feels so wrong somehow. I wrote about this last year in an article I titled, "The Ghost of Christmas Past", and it explains things in much more detail.

Wait! I'm still talking about Christmas!?! What the hell?

I haven't even cemented any plans for Hallowe'en yet. This kind of sucks, because Hallowe'en is my favourite holiday! I guess the only real thing to do is to plan on a decent costume and head downtown London the night of Hallowe'en and see if I can't get any tricks or treats. Note to self: Find a costume that will appeal to the ladies.

I'm supposed to attend LARP at Well's Park this afternoon / evening. I'm looking forward to that, and seeing some of my friends who have been absent for a couple weeks.

Talk soon.

* Cellphone mentality: A term I've coined to represent the mindset of today's society. While everyone is so busy sharing themselves on social media, texting, and phone calls, they ignore the actual world around them. This is a broad term and it can be defined by many personality traits, as well as, physical manifestations. Head down, thumbs consonantly on the move, these easily identifiable people actually are doing harm to their health by poor posture. There are other types of cellphone mentality which are not as easily identifiable, for example, blindly accepting anything read on social media is one sign. Sticking to one type of news source and basing all your opinions on that one source alone, is a sign of chosen ignorance, which is by and large the very definition of the term. Cellphone mentality is a term I use for obstinate individuals who  only view the world around them through a computer screen or pad; their view of things altered by the spin of censorship, and / or lack of freedom of speech. People like this are easily distracted. They are oblivious to the actual world around them, as well as, easily lead by corporations as they buy into the ideals of marketing and consumerism. AKA Cannot see the world past their cellphone.

October 9th
It's Friday! Long weekend for many in Canada, as they go about celebrating Thanksgiving. For me? I have no plans this weekend to do anything that remotely resembles celebrating anything. No family, and all my friends are doing something else; last year I had a turkey dinner with Diane and the family, but this year they are heading out of the city for the weekend.

It's gloomy, cloudy, damp, and cold. Raining too.

I have another Doctor appointment today; hopefully it goes well.

October 10th
So, it turns out I am being directed to a marijuana specialist. Now I'm just waiting for the call. I should remind you, dear diary, that I do not fall within the "accepted parameters" for Canadian medical marijuana, and this only means my struggle is just starting.

The air is cold. Woke up this morning to near freezing temperatures, however, the forecast is calling for a warm day. The sun is shining, trying hard to chase away the chill and gloom of Fall......

....which will make for a great field day at Gibbon's park. One of the last good days to actually go and LARP, the days are quickly growing shorter and colder. Today will mark one of the last days that we can actually enjoy the heat and sun to be able to play without bundling up.

God, I hate cold.

I started another story yesterday, still finding difficulty to pen the Yukon disaster. Not sure why, but it could be the lack of magic and mystery. Still, it's obvious my creative spirit is lax lately, as arts and crafts have also been placed on hold for the moment. I need to find my inspiration.

Hope you have a good one.

October 12th
Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!!

It's been a busy weekend for me. I attended LARP in Gibbons Park on Saturday afternoon, and didn't make it home until the next day.... Oops.... Had a BLAST though!

The officers at Silva Urbem are being forced to move, so I may be stepping up to take over the reeve position. This would mean me running the sessions, and working with the other officers. I feel like I'm up to the challenge, but still need a bit more information to do a good job. I imagine I'll be reading lots!

I really miss the turkey aspect of Thanksgiving. No family celebration to attend, and no means to have my own, I am having spaghetti for supper. Yay.

I voted yesterday in the pre-election. You have no idea how good it feels to vote if you've never done it, and now that it's out of the way I can sit back and wait for the election results.

Not sure what else I'm up to today, but it's a slow day for me. Have a good one.

October 13th
Windy, gloomy, and chilly. I'm told the whole week is supposed to be like this. [sigh]

I didn't do my usual Monday cleaning day, so I better make sure I get my butt in gear and get it done today!

I need to run uptown and return a few movies to the Library. While I'm there I'll stop in at the Salvation Army and get a loaf of bread.

October 17th
Again, I realize it's been a couple days since I last posted. It's a combination of a few things; a lack of desire to actually write (my inspiration seems to have flown the coop) and the fact that since Wednesday I've been extremely busy!

"The gift of life" - Canadian blood services
Thursday was laundry day at Diane and Greg's house, and right after I got home I had to run to choir practice. After that I had a two hour skype call with a really good friend in the Philippines. Friday was more of the same; no sooner than I woke up I had to run downtown to donate blood at the Canadian Blood clinic at the public library. When I got home a friend called my up to go visit, and I scooted across town. I ended up staying overnight at their house and didn't get home until 9 am.

Today I made cherry cheesecake for a birthday party I'm heading to, then got back on my bike and went for am Amtgard meeting. I'm home only long enough to warm up a bit, and then I am off to my buddy's house for supper and a couple of drinks.

Busy, and I feel blessed to have so many good friends! Maybe one of these days I'll get back to working on my books, but for now there seems to be so much else going on.

I can't wait for the 25th, because of the "MASS IN BLUE" concert at the church. You would not believe the calibre of music we are performing! I'm so happy I am a part of this, and it feels good to be challenged.

Well, hope everyone has a great weekend! Mine is off to a decent start.

Oh...funny story about yesterday.  At least I can laugh about it now, but at the time? Not so much.......

..........I was scooting along Oxford street in ‪London my pedal bike - No bike lane, so I was forced to use the sidewalk. The weather was crap! Cold, wind in my face. sun bursts that teased the soul only to suddenly have the clouds above break, and rain. It also happened to be rush hour with everyone just wanted to head home, so there was all sorts of absent minded drivers steering their thousand Kilogram weapons on the roads. More than once I had to dodge someone's mistake as they ignore the pedestrians and cyclists! Picture this. Like out of some movie or youtube comedy, I'm biking on the North side of the street's sidewalk, with traffic heading directly at me. My thin, black, rain jacket was hard pressed to keep out the snapping wind and the cold drizzle, so I happened to have my head down for a brief moment. Suddenly I look up and see a city bus bearing down on me. It only took a nano-second, but in horror I realized that a massive puddle stood between me and this big bus.


I'll admit I swore at the bus..... Dripping dirty water from my nose to my toes, I was instantly drenched by the curtain of water that hit me like a brick wall......

........the term, "Madder than a wet cat" would certainly have applied. Anywho...have a good one.

October 21st
Once again there is a huge gap in my diary. If there's any doubt, I am very busy lately......

.....Friday night was a great time at "Gordie's Pub" across from Fanshaw college. I ended up crashing at a friend's house, and woke up groggy on Saturday morning. I made a fast trek across London to get home in time to make a cheesecake, and then biked back across the city for Amtgard; we are changing the officers as the current ones are leaving London. (LARP) No sooner than done, I went home and picked up the cake and headed to a birthday party for another one of my friends. We talked and laughed until the wee hours, and then I went home to sleep.

Sunday morning I went to church and sang my heart out. I went home, ate lunch, and then went back to the First St. Andrew's church to attend supper and the covenanting service for our new minister, Michelle.I was at the church from 4 pm until 8 pm.

My good friend Lincoln from North-Western Ontario met me at the church and we went out for wings and beer after the service. You cannot imagine my delight to see him after all this time, and before I could blink he was dropping me off to head to his hotel.

I knew I had to get up early for Monday morning, so I headed to bed. My eyes had barely closed when the alarm went off! Why was I up so early? I had to ensure there would be no medical issues as I rushed out the door at 7 am.......

......because, on Monday I was Poll Clerk for the Canadian election. While it was an educational experience, it was also a honour to serve! I was at the public polling station from 7:40 am until 11:30 pm!! By the end I was tired and hungry (because of my illness, I spent over 27 hours without food!)

We have a new Prime Minister!! After 9 years of subjugation under the Harper regime, we now have a Liberal majority. 

Tuesday was spent recovering. The moment I ate something, my intestines rolled, and I was really crippled from the pain and didn't get much accomplished.

Today I cleaned the house and headed over to the meeting for the Amtgard officers. It's official..... I am now the leader of Silva Urbem!! So excited, and yet nervous about my role!

Tomorrow I have to go shopping, do my laundry, have lunch with Diane, and spend time with her kidlets! After I cook supper I have to go to choir practice.... So 9 am - 10 pm I'll be busy, and may not get a chance to write. On Friday I have to go help with Hallowe'en party at a school and do a haunted house thing, so I may not write then either.

One of these days things might slow down.... But I hope not. Talk soon.

October 27th
...Aaand again I find myself with a couple days missing. Please don't worry, Dear Diary, things are fine. I'm simply quite busy with life; choir demands increased for the concert, my new position as President of the London LARP society has me reading, and I am trying to be as active as my body will allow.

I will admit, there are bad days. I get nothing done as I waste my hours on social media. For me it's as much fun as playing video games, in the way of debates, creating clever memes, or simply checking out what my friends are up to. I do have one indulgence on Facebook; a build your own city (like the original Simcity) called Megopolis. I try and haggle my time by doing that first thing in the morning while I wake up and watch the news.

Anywho. [Watches my train of thought totally derail]

Oh. Yea.....I'm busy. It's a good thing! I have good friends in London, and after a year or so, these kind of relationships has had the impact of widening that circle. I go out and do things, not just choir, or my Thursday ventures to the Lawrence household to do laundry and play with their children. I no longer feel like some shuttered in hermit, and the city is growing on me.

I have horrid news, Dear Diary. ....Karma.

A scant two months ago on my way to Toronto, I happened upon a bicycle chained tightly to a telephone pole. Both wheels were missing, the seat was gone, and the only thing left remaining was a frame and some brake cables. I took a picture and mockingly wrote a meme about the fact they had an “AAA” sticker on the bike. I could claim to being an innocent country boy from North-Western Ontario with a cavalier but naive outlook on the world, but, we all know I'm smarter than that; I was openly mocking them when I attempted to portray the “tourist” in an effort to shamelessly promote my website

A short while later, my bike was stolen.

There are no words to describe how I felt at that moment when I looked at the discarded bike-lock on the ground, however, betrayed, works. Guilt. Shame. Remorse. Not to mention heartache at the loss of not only an investment, but my only real means of transportation! I felt stupid, as if it was my fault somehow. I was irritated! How dare they? Like, I'm a decent guy... Why steal from me?

I filed a Police report, but everyone knows what that means; nothing, but here's a report number to call in case someone magically finds your stolen property. You'll have to forgive me, but, I have a jaded outlook on Canada's judicial system. Regardless, the London Police‬ haven't found any bicycle matching the description of my stolen bike.

Upon hearing this devastating news, a good friend went out of their way to find me a new (used) bicycle.! It came equipped with disk brakes, a padded seat, and front and rear shocks! I couldn't thank them enough for the generous gift!

I don't know what to say. My new bike was stolen.

Locked up with a combination chain I'm now told is very easy to pick, in broad public on Richmond Street, someone took my good bike! I don't know how they did it; that's the factual naivety in me that doesn't understand such things. How can they?!? Why would they?! Where I to happen upon an errant bike on the side of the road, I wouldn't think to take it, in fact I have phoned the Police to report derelict bicycles before. The idea of purposely unlocking one and stealing it doesn't even register in my mind! I knew the lock was flimsy, however, it was all I had and could afford. Does that mean it's my fault Am I the reason I lost my new bike? Pile a little more guilt on me for someone elses behaviour I guess.

I'm broken inside. What to think? What to do? I fell ashamed this has happened a second time. This was s gift; how do I address that? My life has been turned upside down yet again, and things I once took for granted (like being able to travel within the city) are now a thing of the past!

Moving on........ The concert on Sunday was FANTASTIC! It gave me goosebumps as I sang my heart out in the back row! I know the crowd was pleased, and they rose to their feet at the end of the show. Working with Will Todd from England was amazing! The bar is set so high for professionalism, I'm humbled.

[Gets off the phone] Well, frik me. I gotta be in Toronto tomorrow morning. Like, whoa. A quick snoop online to see my route, and then book the tickets, and it's done. In less than 24 hours notice, I'm off and running to yet another audition.

Shit. I just got nervous. [Laughs] Then I have to remind myself that I like that butterfly feeling in my stomach.

Well, I should go. In the meanwhile I'm working on a website for Silva Urbem. I'll shoot you a link once I get things set up. Talk soon.

October 28th - 8 am
Hello world. I'm in Toronto and sitting at the bus station.

I went to a friend's house to help him out for a bit last night, and then scooted my butt home to catch a couple hours of sleep. No sooner than my head hit the pillow and my alarm was ringing. Why so early? My bus left London at 3:45.

That was the only way to get to my audition on time; a bleary eyed bus trip in the wee morning hours.

It's raining. Like, not even a little bit, because right now Southern Ontario is getting dumped on by the remnants of that hurricane that hit the Mexican coast a few days ago. It's so bad that we are under a "Severe rain warning". I guess city's don't take it well when they get a whole bunch of water all at once. So, that means I won't be going on any grand adventures while I'm here....

...Which means I'm sitting at the Toronto bus station with nothing better to do. At least I'm early.

Can't say much about what I'm doing here, but it's for an audition. No lines to memorize, and the dress is casual. I'm told there will be some improvisation to do, but that should be ok. Just have to remember to stay in character.

I'll probably write in a bit, but for now I'm going to look up my route and double check my back story. Talk soon.

2 pm
The audition went very well! I arrived nice and early, dry (we're getting seriously dumped on) and was professional and relaxed. The improv went great! Can't say what it's for, but I understood my role and stayed in character. Guess we'll see, eh?

So my promise to write fell flat when I sat down at the bus station and promptly passed out with my laptop bag on my knee.Oops. Must have needed the sleep, but when I woke up I was groggy as all hell! It was like waking from a poor nap, and can't figure out what day it is... "Why the hell am I in the bus station?!"

Oh. The reason we are getting so much rain right now is simple; hurricane Patricia is unloading what's left of her storm system as she drags her bulk across North America. In Toronto the subways are flooding, and the underground malls are showing signs of water as it weeps up from the flooded foundation. At times the water was coming  down so hard that it caused accidents. In one hour during rush-hour traffic, there was 12 pedestrians struck by motor vehicles in Toronto!

Well, back aboard the bus and headed home for London.The weather is making everyone bleary and withdrawn. While it may be afternoon, many of the passengers seem to want to simply sleep off the time on the dark, gray, day. Maybe I'll join them..... It sure made the trip go by quickly this morning!

October 30th
Thank God It's Friday! Not just the end of the work week for many, but payday, as well as, Hallowe'en weekend!! Woot!! Should be a few ghosts and goblins prowling the streets of London, so watch out peeps! Still not sure what I'm actually doing yet, but we'll see. I've had a few offers, so there's a good chance I'm doing something. Hope everyone has a safe, and Happy Hollowe'en!

Choir practice was fun. I went early and took the time to go over the music a bit. Wow! Is it ever challenging! A bit more Latin mass, as well as, a different version of "Ave Maria"! It's rather fun to realize that I'm learning new music at the same time as the rest of the choir. They really raise the bar when it comes to sight singing! Wow!!

I hope the weather is good this weekend! It really makes a big difference on turnout and mood.  Have a good one, eh?

October 31st
Happy Hallowe'en!! I sincerely hope everyone has a safe and happy celebration. Today marks a time of ghouls and witchcraft, but there are many other reasons for "All Hallow's Eve" other than candy. I'm supposed to go and hang out with a couple of friends until later and then go to the Richmond Tavern to meet up with even more friends. Everyone is dressing up, I do believe, and it should be a great evening for treats and tricks. Who knows? I may even find me a cute ghostette among the vampires and other fiendish things prowling around.

So all kidding aside, Dear Dairy, I am going to try and have a great day. It marks my first Hallowe'en in the big city, and I'm anxious to see what happens. I'm predicting organized chaos.......

.......the weather is still kinda crappy. Damp, chilly, and the sun has to fight to poke out between the holes in the overcast, grey, sky. The leaves are really starting to fall off the ttrees now, and it leaves mere branches reaching for the sky. They are bracing themselves for the blowing cold of winter, and will soon be joined by the others that cling tight to their leaves; desperate to get every ounce of energy from the dying leaf, before it too gets cast to the ground. So yea, yuck...

...........Time changes tonight. I can see some advantage to making such a change, but it will means it gets dark quicker each day. What can you do, right?

Haven't heard any call backs yet.

Frank is growing two side branches! The little guy is really starting to take off in his new larger pot.

I haven't written much lately. Same goes for art.

No word yet from a publisher.

Things are ok. I'm learning as I go.

Well, I hope everyone has a great weekend! May the trick or treat gods be kind.... and the parental candy tax be light. (I liked the Tootsie Rolls and Rockets)

November 1st - 12:30 am
I'm home, and indulging delivered  pizza... Not sure what to say about that except it tastes like Heaven! No ghostettes, however, inretrospect I barely stayed past the witching hour.

[Shrugs] Meh.... Sucks when you're alone....

...I came home. And ordered pizza.

Maybe I'll dream of some hot ghostess.

November 2nd
Broke another milestone record this morning; 22,000 views! I cannot say thank you enough to those that have helped me get this far! I'd also like to send a big thank you to all my readers, because you are what matters most in the end.  I'm humbled by the outpouring of encouragement from those that write me, or call from back home to talk about what I've written. It makes me feel blessed to know that so many people have enjoyed my work, and I'll be doing my utmost to continue to provide vibrant characters engaged in improbable odds for your entertainment. I see the world differently, for I am an artist. Some sculpt, some paint, some artists do massive tapestries while some will spend hours drawing in the sand only to have the next tide take it away. I write poetry, love stories, horror, and children tales. We do what comes from within and what moves us. Our dreams become our inspirations and we express it in what we build, sculpt, or write, We do see the world differently, for that is our gift. I'm just happy to be able to share this with so many people!

The weather is sunshine and quite enjoyable. As far as Fall days go, this one is not so bad, Temperatures are still not below the freezing mark at night yet, and it's finally starting to dry up a bit from all the rain we've had. Still, the leaves are really starting to fall off the trees now and it's quickly becoming barren and dull.

I went to Odessa Park yesterday to engage in combat with my Belegarth buddies. I had a decent time, but can I ever tell I am getting rusty by missing a few practices! Oh well, that's the trade-off with choir and church I suppose.

I look back at where I was a year ago today, and I would have to say I felt pretty happy at that moment. Skip ahead a couple of weeks and so much had changed! Who knows where I'll be next year at this tine? Content with life and motivated, or depressed, heartbroken, and crushed. Whatever the future holds for me, I just hope it's a good one.

Well, I should get some work done. Hope everyone has a good week!

November 3rd
What a gorgeous sunny Fall day! With temperatures above 20 degrees, I simply had to go for a bike ride.

I went shopping with Diane this morning and stocked up for the month. We took the time to visit and talk. It's always good to spend time with her.

Gotta write up an adventure for tomorrow. I'm thinking that maybe I'll watch a movie later and perhaps play some mechwarrior. Talk soon.

November 4th
Another glorious day with temperatures over the 20 degree mark. I'm excited, because at 4 pm I'm heading down to Gibbon's Park to meet up with the other Amtgard players.

I've spent the morning doing my routine* and finally just allowed myself a dose of medication. I'm no Doctor, but this shit works. I'm still waiting to hear back from the "Compassionate Care" society to try to get my license to use medical marijuana, but I'm sure there are tons of loop holes to jump through.

I'm going to clean the house for a bit. Haven't done any writing at all, except work on a new website for the London LARP society. Check it out!

Talk soon.

*routine - bathroom breaks, bloating, pain

November 5th
Choir practice tonight, and I'm looking forward to that.

I'm forcing myself to write today. There simply is no excuse for me to not do something productive. My biggest problem is a combination of writer's block AND a lack of motivation. So, in an effort to break through that, I am pushing myself to work.

November 8th
 Whoops, missed a couple of days. Things are ok, and besides no one wants to hear someone complain. Every day is new and different; some are good, and some are bad.. Yadda yadda.

Still sucks that I have no bike. Two weeks exactly today my good bike was stolen, and it's really limited my mobility.

Went to Gibbon's Park on Saturday for more adventures in the realm of Silva Urbem. We had a decent turnout, considering our numbers were slashed when we lost three members to another realm (the family moved). Our new officers, however, did a magnificent job at the park, and I also did quite well as "Game Master", or GM. We are keeping a written copy of our adventures online, and if you want to read them I encourage you to visit Silva Urbem - Urbem Arcana.

Church was nice this morning. I sang my butt off today and really enjoyed it!

The sun is shining, so maybe I'll get out and do something later. Have a good one.

November 13th
Another massive gap in my diary. Whatever have I been up to?! It's been an interesting week, to put it mildly.

Where to start? How about some really great news? I went to a specialist on Tuesday, and GOT MY MEDICAL MARIJUANA LICENSE!! Finally! So what does that mean? No longer am I forced to hide the fact that I use marijuana for my intestinal illness. I no longer have to be ashamed of the fact that I use what is considered an illegal drug for my pain and symptoms, and can relax about the stigma. I no longer have to obtain my drugs from the black market.......

........that part is kinda weird; I am supposed to order my marijuana from a pharmaceutical company that mails it to me. I suddenly need a credit card to purchase pot. I pick out the brand and flavour I want like ordering off a menu..... I dunno, man...... Seems so surreal! Anyway, Dear Diary, I'll be sure to keep you updated on that next part of my adventure.

Choir is amazing! We're learning Christmas music already, but there's a reason we're starting so soon; this stuff is hard! Take any "normal" carol or Christmas song, and we're singing the version broken into 6 parts!! The bar has been so high for this professional organization and I cannot begin to explain how good it makes me feel about belonging to the First St Andrew's Choir!

Tonight is going to be a blast! It's Diane's birthday this weekend, and I have planned a surprise party for her. A good handful of friends will be waiting for us at the bar, while I try to casually get her there with her realizing all the license plates in the parking lot are her buddies. The plan is for her mom to sneak around the corner once she leaves the house to come get me, and babysit while Greg rushes to the bar to beat Diane there. I can't wait to see her face when we surprise her!! OMG! It's going to be such fun!

Speaking of which, I should get my butt in gear. Lots to do! :) Have a great weekend!

November 15th
Friday night was a blast!! Trying to keep Diane's surprise birthday party a surprise wasn't as easy as you might think; she's too smart and figured it out by the time we arrived at the restaurant. The final stroke was seeing her husband's car in the parking lot, but it was still fun to watch her react to seeing her friends gather in her honour.

Saturday afternoon I went to Gibbon's Park for another adventure in Silva Urbem. Our realm is growing, and we keep seeing new faces each field day; I couldn't be happier with the results! We had the Monarch from Kitchener show up; he heard about our progress and decided to check us out. While the high level Druid caught us all by shock at first, we quickly adapted and embraced the skilled veteran's prowess. He's not the only one that's taking notice as to our progress, and I'm told that other realms are sitting up and taking notice at the growth in London's LARP society!! WOOT!

I didn't go to Church this morning, because I had a massive intestinal flare up [sigh] That so sucks!! I just hope the Choir Director isn't upset!!

There is some news, Dear Diary, and I hope you won't be upset with me for holding back.......

...I met someone. If you're wondering why I haven't mentioned it yet, it's due to the reasons I listed previously, most notably, that by advertising my dating exploits, I would actually be hurting my chances of finding someone. Women don't want to be written about, and in the early stages of a relationship, exposing such details might cause problems. So.... No names.....

...... I went out last Sunday night to sing karaoke at one of my favourite bars. I was by myself, and had only sang one song when this beautiful woman walks up to me and starts talking. Make no mistake, Dear Diary, she admits to actively wanting to pick me up that night and when she approached me she was very serious about it! Regardless, I totally forgot about singing, and turned all my attention to this attractive older woman (She is 3 years older) So, we're standing at the bar talking, when WHAM!! Out of nowhere the two of us are lip-locked and making out right in the middle of the bar!! I distinctly heard the bartender mutter, "What the hell?!"

Magnetism. Fierce animal instincts. Doesn't matter what you call it, there is definitely a strong attraction.

Well, we went out on Tuesday night, again on Thursday, and she was my date for Diane's Birthday Party (yes, my bestie met her) To say that we are attracted to each other is an understatement!

What does the future hold? Who can say.... But, things are definitely going my way! Anyway, I should do something..... Talk soon.

November 16th
What a gorgeous day! The air is warm (ish) and the sun is shining brightly in the clear, blue, November sky. My walk home this morning was really nice......

.......Talk about upsetting my whole routine! Don't get me wrong, Dear Diary, I'm not complaining at all! This whole week, however, has thrown me right off my rails. I won't get into details, but I will admit I'm happy. Happier than I've been in a long, long time.

Anywho.... I've been doing a bunch of writing for the London LARP society, and as I go I'm attracting readers. So what I guess I'm trying to say, is that I might have found an audience for some of my work. They even wait eagerly for each new short story, and get upset when I don't get one posted in "the appropriate time frame". Needless to say, I'm still on chapter three of the Yukon disaster, and Chapter three of my Dungeons and Dragons novel. [sighs] Oh well.... Can't do everything, right?

And, that's the way it is. I'm suddenly inspired to write, from both elevated mood levels and endorphins, as well as, the inspiration I get from Amtgard. Like the grey fog melting in the rising sun, my writer's block has ended. Yay!! :)

Well, the day is rolling by quickly, and I better get to work. Hope you have a great day!

November 17th
Just a quick entry to say that I have nothing to do today except get caught up on things. Might head over to see that special someone, but there are no plans yet. Cleaning house, writing, and working on some paperwork will take up most of my day.

Have a good one.

November 18th
I ended up staying home all yesterday. It felt weird not having to leave the house for the first time in a long time, and I got quite a bit accomplished; cleaned the house spotless, did some writing, and played some Mechwarrior. I went to bed early, and alone.

Today means another trip to Gibbon's Park for another adventure in Silva Urbem, and after that I'm going to see my buddy. I'd like to go visit that special lady friend after, but we haven't made any plans yet.

Tomorrow is Thursday, and it is my weekly visit with Diane and the family. Laundry, cook supper, and play with the kidlets are in store, and after that is choir.

The weather is still unseasonably warm, although it might rain later I'm told. Hope the sun keeps shining, because we really don't need any more rain.

I'm really enjoying writing the adventures in Silva Urbem. It's cut back on my writing for this website, but I'm still generating readers so that makes me happy. After all, everything I do would be for naught if people didn't enjoy it! Take the time and read it! I'm sure you'll enjoy it as well....

...talk soon.

November 19th
Diane cancelled today because she has appointments to attend, so I'm suddenly saddled with a day to myself. I imagine it will be a chance to write and reflect.

Choir tonight, and I'm really looking forward to that!

You should see Frank! Since the end of summer he's been sitting in the South window and growing like a weed (or bamboo, as the case may be). Three new sprouts on the stalk show that the root system is taking off big time, and the little fella is really doing well.........

.....which is basically the same for me. When I planted this little tree, it was a symbolic gesture of my "putting down roots" in Southern Ontario, and much like the quickly growing plant I'm developing friendships, relationships, and spreading my roots in London.

I've got writing to do. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see that special someone after choir practice.... I actually really like her.... Have a good one.

November 22nd
My apologies, Dear Diary, for the large gap in entries. If you haven't noticed, it's becoming a pattern lately. While it is most certainly true that I have missed writing for a few days on occasion (The biggest gap in my diary was June 2014 in the "Turn the Page" series, when after several requests for me to keep writing prompted Chapter Two) Needless to say, I've been busy.

We got our fist snowfall this weekend. It started out as cold, windy and drizzling, but soon turned into giant big fluffy flakes. When I woke up this morning, there was a good skiff of the white shit on the ground. Oops, did I curse? My bad...... Stupid Winter.

Today at First St. Andrew's Church, we were graced with the London Salvation Army 32 piece orchestra! You cannot imagine the sensation of singing in the choir with the huge pipe organ thundering away and accompanied by the band........I got goosebumps during the last hymn....

...I'm really looking forward to the Christmas concerts and such we are participating in this year. I know there's more than a few services our choir will be attending.

Should jet. Chat soonish..... Have a safe, and warm day.

November 23rd
The end of the month can come anytime now. I'm out of medication, and my food, as well as, other items like razors, deodorant, and much more are running out quickly.

When it comes to having to order my meds online from the pharmacy I'm being told I need a Visa. Then it comes in the mail, making me wait.... Talk about inconvenient!!! Wow! Not impressed by this method that has been approved by my government for something as simple as a naturally occurring plant. [sigh] So much easier to deal with drug dealers.........

.......stupid Winter. It's freaking cold this morning, and I have to run uptown to drop off a book at the Library and get a loaf of stale bread from the Salvation Army. Ugh! It sucks having to deal with ice, snow, and having to bundle up. Please come back Summer! I miss you already!!!

Not sure how I feel about having a girlfriend. (If that's what she is) I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I really wish I didn't feel this way. I'm just so used to women hurting me that I cannot simply enjoy what I have. I keep questioning her motives, and that part sucks, because I want to be able to relax. Hopefully she comes out and expresses her feelings to me so I know where I stand on this issue. I really do like her, and hope things work out.

Well, off to shower and don some warm clothing to trek out into this frozen hell. Hope everyone is warm and safe today.

November 25th
Exactly a month from now, we'll be celebrating Christmas. I'm seeing tons of advertising, gift-getting reminders, and loads of mentions about Santa, reindeer, Jingle, and other fickle activities that have absolutely nothing to do with the birth of Christ. It's frustrating and painful to see, as each reminder is a slap in the face; the idea of family and extolling lavishly seems as foreign to me as the real meaning of Christmas is to others.

The sun is out today and melting all the snow. This pleases me in so many ways! Not just the heat from the Winter sun, but also the removal of ice and snow. In a way it feels like we're cheating old man Winter.

Speaking of being outdoors, today is another chance to adventure in the realm of Silva Urbem. The warm day is a welcome blessing to our group, as Lord knows we've had to cancel a few times due to stupid weather.

Not sure what to say about my love life. I was invited over to a friend's house on Monday night to party with my girlfriend, and was thoroughly enjoying myself when I was asked to go for a run to the store. Well, I was quite tipsy when I walked out the door, and I got lost. My phone was dead, and after two hours I finally found my way back to the party. To be totally honest, I was almost ready to give up and simply try and find my way home, but then stumbled upon the apartment complex where the party was taking place. I went in, and was suddenly under attack by her for "disappearing". I'm not going to get into details, but I went home alone, miserable and crying.....

....Two days later I finally get a message from her. I'm really not sure what to think about all this. I want to make things work, but the last thing I want is an abusive relationship again! Hopefully this was just a single moment in time, and never to be repeated.

Every single woman I've ever been with has slapped or hit me. It seems to be a double standard in society, where it's acceptable for women to hit their lovers, but men cannot defend themselves in any manner. Maybe it's just the women I date. Maybe it's me.

Lots to do today, so I better get my butt in gear. Talk soon.

November 27th
Can barely lean over the keyboard to type from pain. I'm getting nothing done today.......

November 29th
Talk about a busy weekend. (Once I picked up meds that is)

Saturday was a field day at Gibbon's Park for Amtgard - Another adventure in the realm of Silva  Urbem. I am starting to learn how to cast spells as a mage, and it's quite a lot of fun!

Today, I attended Church. It's the beginning of advent and the whole service was filled with music and song! I had to leave a tad early though to catch my ride..........

............I went to Kitchener today. My buddy picked me up and I attended my first BIG Amtgard event. What a freaking great time!!! The costumes, the intensity, the battle.... Like, wow! I did quite well, and hope I represented London in a good light. Not sure how many kills I got because I lost track, so that's a good thing. Can't stress how excited I am about this!!

Well, should jet. Got a story to write. Talk soon.

November 30th
Good morning world. It's Monday. As I sit here doing my morning routine, I'm reminded of the fantastic weekend I've had, but now I must come back to reality.....

...I have to deal with this woman who is seemingly ignoring me. It's been almost a week since I last saw her, and I'm not sure what happened but our flame seems to be burning out. Not sure why or what's going on there, but I'll let you know. I sent her a message that I want to see her tonight, and hopefully we get a chance to talk about things.

I've got some serious writing to do. I should update my website soon too.....

...have a good one.

December 1st
Well, I got my answer; went over to (HER) house last night and had a really good talk. It's fair to say that by the time you hit my age (and hers) there is bound to be some baggage, including trust issues. Turns out she was pushing me away because every other man in her life has left when things started getting serious, and this has left her with the expectation that I'll simply do the same. To protect herself, she distanced her feelings and was trying to drive me away.

I'm not like most men.

I did my best to reassure her that my intentions are genuine and sincere. While it is very true that I'm scared shitless of the idea of being in a relationship due to all the negativity done to me by other women, I/'m smart enough to realize that she deserves a clean slate. Ergo, I'm going to do my utmost to make certain this relationship has a fair chance.

Turns out I was also mistaken by appearances a few days ago, and when I saw her uptown with another guy I assumed she had moved on. Turns out, it was a family member and I was mistaken. I'm glad I had the chance to talk and work out these and other issues.......

......so who knows where this will go.

Lots to do today. Should get my butt in gear. Have a good one.

December 2nd
I broke a rule yesterday by posting the name of the woman I'm dating. As I've stated before, posting things prematurely might be detrimental to my attempts. So it is, Dear Diary, that I went back and changed a few words in yesterday's post.

Today is a wonderful sunshine-filled day with temperature at 5 degrees. I could get used to this kind of Winter, but I'm sure the cold stuff is just around the corner. Regardless, today is yet another chance to adventure in the realm of Silva Urbem, and I'm excited for that.

If you want to read the newest chapter of our Amtgard group's journey, check out "Three Elves and an Orc".

 I guess I should do some cleaning today too.

December 4th
 So, here I sit waiting for my medication to come in the mail. I just checked the confirmation tracking on Canada Post, but just found out they "attempted delivery" and left a card, but no card was issued. So that means that someone else got my meds, or my card is missing for other reasons. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't very concerned about this. I'm attempting to do my best to find out where my mail is, but I'm met with a quite a lot of resistance on the part of the post office.... [sigh]

...so, that is going to chew up some of my day. Ugh! So much work to get what is rightfully mine.

OK, so after an hour of attempting to contact the post office and whatnot, I have to go and pick it up at the CherryHill Mall. Talk later.

December 7th
Well, what a weekend!

I no sooner got back from picking up my meds, when I got a phone call to go out with friends. Next thing I knew it was Sunday afternoon.....

.......Friday evening was like an adventure. I tried my government approved marijuana, jumped in the shower, and ran uptown. A couple pitchers later I invited a few people over to my house for the very first time. After a couple hours it was decided that we should go to a place called "Crazy Joe's Shisha cafe". The live Spanish band wow'ed the crowd, and the hookah was really different. I'm not sure what we were smoking, but it was pleasant and tasted like flowers. I got out on the dance floor and did my best to move to the salsa beat.

I woke up Saturday morning and got ready to head out to Gibbon's Park for another adventure in Silva Urbem. Talk about fun!! After a full afternoon at the park I headed out with freinds. Next thing I know I'm at Gordie's Pub where I got up on stage and sang with the performing guitarist!

I missed Church. Ugh! I set the alarm on my phone, only to wake up late because it ran out of batteries. [sigh] Not good! I'll admit I was wore out from such a wild weekend, and went home to sleep for a couple hours.

Changing the topic, I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed in what I received for medical marijuana. It's decent stuff, but not the level I expected. When it compares to street prices and quality, it's pretty much the same. Oh well, at least I can deal with my pain legally......

......well, I better get my butt in gear. I spoke to (she who shall not be named) and we might see each other today. I will be performing at Centennial Hall tonight with the First St. Andrew's choir, and she might come out to watch. Guess we'll see.

Hope everyone has a good Monday!

December 8th
Last night's concert was amazing!! I ended up going alone, but in my heart I realize it as for the best; regardless of who came with me, they would have been forced to sit alone in the audience when I was onstage the whole time......

....it was NOT what I expected at all! I was under the impression it was an outdoor event, and here it turned out to be held at one of the biggest theatrical halls in London! Our choir sat on stage aside the London Orchestra, and were host to several hundred guests! The lighting and sound was top notch professional, and the pomp and regalness was overflowing. Wow!

Is it odd that real Christmas music (The ones about the Christ-child) makes me feel good, while the ones about reindeer, Santa, and other similar kinds of music makes me want to tear my ears off? It's like fingernails on a chalkboard to hear the song "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer", and some child yells out, "Like a lightbulb" and all the other whimsical BS that has destroyed that childhood favourite, "Like monopoly, Like Napoleon, Like a lightbright" etc, etc, add nausea.....

....am I ranting over a song?! Sorry. I forgot to warn you, Dear Diary, but it's that time of year again when I watch as the world around me degrades into one big consumerism wet-dream. Ugh! It wouldn't be so bad I guess if the focus was on light displays, nativity scenes, and the exchange of presents to commemorate the gifts given to the baby Jesus, but with all the focus on parades in November, Santa Claus, and huge flashy gift giving, I feel as though the point of Christmas is lost!

I wrote this piece last year, and it might help you understand my point of view a little better.  "The Ghost of Christmas Past"

Anyway, I'll be spending Christmas alone this year. I guess it's not so bad, and it will be like my own version of "Home Alone", complete with my going to Church on Christmas Eve.

Did I just spend a whole diary entry talking about Christmas? Wow! My bad......

.......a quick weather update; with temperatures still above the freezing mark on London, there is no snow yet on the ground. I'm told it's entirely possible we may have a "Green Christmas" this year instead of a white one.

Frik! Did I go and mention Christmas again? You know for a guy that doesn't care much for the holiday I sure am giving a lot of thought to the topic of Christmas. Dammet! I did it again.

I should go. Lots to Christmas, and I should write a Christmas..... ARGH!! Can't. Stop.


December 10th
It's Thursday, and I'm at Diane's house to do laundry and spend some time with her and the kidlets. Lots has happened....

.....I had a very productive Tuesday, and then I got kicked hard by karma.

For 5 hours I hunched over the keyboard and put another chapter in the Urbem Arcana, and then I finished the painting on the cover for my new shield. It turned out pretty decent.

THEN I got a phone call from one of my buddies to meet him downtown.

I walked into the bar....

December 11th

Got busy at Diane's house and didn't get a chance to finish my story. Here goes....

......So, on Tuesday night I walked into the bar, and THERE SHE WAS. Two guys hanging off her every word and buying her drink after drink. I could tell she was a little embarrassed and surprised to see me, so I played it cool and somewhat ignored her. ( I said hello and just chatted with my buddy at the bar) Eventually, she comes over to talk......

......Now, by this time I'm annoyed with the fact that I'm constantly playing second fiddle to this woman. I made up my mind to somehow get to her house and retrieve my stuff. So, I played it cool and calm.

I ended up spending money I shouldn't have.

I was saving cash for my upcoming birthday, but in my effort to join the party crowd and remain by this woman's side, I found myself purchasing more alcohol. Ugh! Next thing I know it's closing time, but instead of wanting to go home, she wants to go to a house party. Ugh! So, I joined in.....

.......once again, this woman who keeps sending me mixed messages is kissing me, and then ignoring me. [sigh] I'm REALLY not into playing games! THEN, next thing I know she's passing out on the couch, and the other guys are telling me I should take her home.

I spent more money I shouldn't have on a taxi ride to her house. Ugh!

We get back to her place and she strips, climbs into bed, and passes out. I'm standing there and trying to figure out what to do. I should have taken that opportunity to quietly sneak out, but NOOOO! I chose to climb into bed and sleep off my buzz......

.....I'm awoken to her being bitchy. Now, normally I probably could have eloquently shrugged it off and played it cool, but I had a massive hangover. Without thinking, I stated, "Well, that was a huge waste of money!"

Things went downhill fast!

Next thing I know she's yelling at me to get out of her house, so I started packing up my things. When she saw that I was collecting my belongings, she got even more mean. This grown woman comes rushing at me with a glass in her hand and while I was bending over to put on my shoes, she pushes me. I saw it coming and put up my arm at the last second.

A glass in her hand goes flying and shatters on the floor.

Something in me snapped. I've been abused by women before and this was no different. The flight mode in my mind overwhelmed my common sense, and I bolted for the door......

......I lost my wallet and my toque in the shuffle. UGH!!!

I've had to cancel my bank cards, missed my blood donation scheduled for today, lost my medical marijuana card, Health Card, and Birth certificate!!

My faith in the opposite sex takes another major hit.

I'm a forgiving guy, but at some point you have to admit there is something going on. Why are women so prone to playing games, and think nothing of abusing the men who desire or love them? (Emotional and physical abuse)

Anyway, therein lies yet another closed chapter in my life.

Changing the subject, I'M GOING TO SEE STAR WARS - THE FORCE AWAKENS FOR MY BIRTHDAY!!! OMG!! I'm so stoked! After so many years of waiting, the movie is being released the day before my birthday, and I am the proud ticket holder to two VIP seats at Silvercity. Reclining leather Laz-Y-Boy lounge chairs, and a date............

.......Yup! In all the confusion the woman of my dreams suddenly wants to go on a third date!

You remember the gorgeous model I went on two dates with back in summer? Out of the blue she messages me and wants to go out..... Turns out she likes Star Wars.....

....Wow! One door closes and another opens. Anyway, the plan is to go to the show, and then out for drinks. Happy Birthday to me!!

This weekend will be busy - Today is a chance to relax and do some writing, but Saturday is completely booked, and on Sunday after Church I'm heading to Kitchener to join the Amtgard chapter there for the afternoon.

I should get my butt in gear. Hope everyone has a safe weekend!

December 14th
I had a really great weekend! From Church to combat sports, I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

This week will be even more busy. I'm expected to study for several exams, as well, as, gearing up for the big Christmas debacle in Church. So much to do!

Hope everyone has a great week.

P.S. Still haven't heard back from my lady  friend if she still wants to go out on Saturday. This is what I mean when I say women play games.......

....talk soon..

11:30 am
 She cancelled. I'm now alone on my birthday.

December 15th
I'm thinking that I should change the way I view relationships. At this point it's very true I could become jaded and hardened by the games and abuse, but I'm not like that. I do realize, however, that I must be doing something wrong.

No longer will I be attempting to find a love interest. Women don't want love; they want performance. So it is that I am choosing to simply perform, and stop trying to label what I have.

I have exams to study for (Amtgard) and an event to plan. Lots to do. Talk soon.

December 16th
I'd like to make myself clear, Dear Diary, about my future intentions toward women, romance, and love. You and I both know that I cannot ever give up on the notion of family and love, however, I believe that I have mistakenly made those two aspects the goal of my endevours, and in doing so have set myself up for diappointment. What I should be doing instead is focus on myself and just enjoy the woman that do come into my life without expectation.

Yup! For the first time in my life I am going to throw away the concept of being monogamous.

Maybe it's a sign of the times. Perhaps, it's due to the changes in society where women are now supported by social systems and have a preconceived notion of independence. Whatever the case, women don't want men to get serious when it comes to romance and dating.

It's not a life-change but merely an adaptation.

I might eventually find someone special. I'm certainly not giving up on the idea of one day having a family...... but for now I am putting those ideals on the back-burner. I believe that it will not only relieve some of the stress associated with dating and relationships, but it will also guarantee more success as I approach dating with a non-committal attitude.

Anywho, today is gloomy, but there's a Silva Urbem field day scheduled for later. Hopefully we get a decent turnout....

....lots to do, and less time to do it in. Chat soon.

December 17th
I'm in rough shape. I won't admit it in public, Dear Diary, but I know you can keep a secret....

......I was hit by a minivan on my way home, and I got hurt.

The bike I was riding is now bent out of shape and barely usable. My shoulder and arms are stiff and sore. Ugh! I'm so sick of people driving motor vehicles!!

I was mad. This is the 13th time I've been hit as a pedestrian. This time it only threw me 3 meters, but when is enough? Like good Gawd, people!! Wake the hell up when you're driving!

K. Rant over.

I ended up selling the Star Wars tickets. I'll just watch it online or wait for the movie to be released on DVD.

Diane is sick today, so I didn't do my usual Thursday thing. (Laundry, lunch, talks, etc)

I hurt, and my soul feels bruised. Just having a really bad day.

December 18th
It is my delight and privilege to announce that as of this morning, my website has passed the 23,000 mark for views!! I cannot thank all my readers enough for helping me make my dreams come true!!

I woke up bleeding internally. My body aches, and my cramping is off the charts for pain. I can barely move today.

I'll be writing. I'm working on the ongoing Dungeons and Dragons story where a group of good friends get pulled into a realm of magic and mystery, and become their favourite characters.

Star Wars is being released today. I'm rather bitter about it. Now, I suppose you could easily say it's my fault because I went and sold the tickets. Yea, I'm ticked off that my date cancelled, and because I couldn't find anyone that really wants to go, it felt empty and hallow. So, I sold the tickets. Watching everyone else get excited about the movie makes me feel alienated. Why can't I have someone that wants to share this experience with me?

Am I forever destined to be alone?

I thought I was going to have a really great birthday tomorrow, but now I just hope I can make it through the day.

I hate this time of the year. Hopefully someday that changes...........

December 22nd

Hamming it up at Victoria Park
...four days have passed since I wrote to you, Dear Diary. Much has happened.

My birthday was great. I'd like to thank everyone that phoned or wrote to me wishing me well! I made cupcakes, and gave over half of them away to my roommates and landlord. Diane graciously borrowed me her sewing machine, and I went out to get black material to make a cloak.  I had a couple of drinks with my roommates, and went to bed. It was actually a pleasant day.

 My cloak turned out extremely well. Black on the outside, and rich red on the inside, it's heavy and flowing. I forgot how much I actually enjoy sewing.

Church was amazing! We had the First St. Andrew's String Orchestra to play each hymn, and two of our anthems. Our choir stood at the front of the massive church to deliver three exceptional songs. After the service we took pictures that will become the model for the next year or so, on DVD's and upcoming concerts. Wow! I feel so humbled to be part of such a prestigious organization!!

Right after church I headed to Victoria Park in downtown London to meet up with members of the London, Brantford, and Kitchener Amtgard chapters for a major event called a Coronation. Yep! I was crowned President or "Monarch" of London's Amtgard chapter. We had several battle games, a tournament (I took 3rd place) and even a pizza feast. I had a great time, and made some new friends.

After the sun had gone down, I headed over to Larry and Cara's house (two of the officers) for a few drinky-poos..... Well, at 4 am in the morning I had to stumble home carrying all my crap. Talk about stiff and sore the next morning........

......I took the day off on Monday to recover; slept in and played video games all day.

So, as you can plainly see it was a very busy weekend for me.

Looks like we are predicted to have a "GREEN CHRISTMAS" this year. With temperatures predicted to be in the double digits, this is going to officially be my first one without snow. You won't hear me complaining though, as I'm not a fan of cold, and really can't care less about the season. I'll be going to Church on Christmas eve, and then home alone. I predict a couple of days where I write, sew, and play Mechwarrior in solitude.

I'll be cleaning today. I've kind of let things go for a week or so, and the house really needs a good scrub.

Chat soon.

December 24th
As a young man I remember listening to the radio when Paul Harvey would do his exceptional Christmas presentation. One of the most famous stories he would tell is a parable entitled, “The Man and the Birds”. I'm not certain who the original author was, but I would like to share this story with you.

Now the man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men, but he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the Churches proclaim at Christmas time. It just didn’t make sense, and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus story about God coming to earth as a man.

“I’m truly sorry to distress you”, he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to Church this Christmas eve”. He explained he’d feel like a hypocrite and that he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. So he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier, and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later, he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another. And then another; sort of a thump or a thud. At first, he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window. 
Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly, he put on a coat and goulashes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn.

He opened the doors wide and turned on a light. But the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow making a trail the yellow lighted, wide open door to the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried “shooing” them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. Instead, they scattered in every direction except into the warm lighted barn.

Then he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could let them know that they can trust me. That I’m not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led, or “shooed” because they feared him.

“If only I could be a bird”, he thought to himself “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to the safe warm barn, but I would have to be one of them so they could see and hear, and understand.”

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. He stood there listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ the Messiah had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm, and he fell to his knees in the snow.
That is what God had done. We are like the birds--blind, lost, perishing, but God had sent His Son Jesus Christ to become like us so He could show us the way and save us.

That is the meaning of Christmas.

December 25th
Merry Christmas!

I'm I'm in a weird mood today. I have usually hated this time of year because of my past experiences. I braced myself for my second Christmas away from my family, Due to my limited budget there was no way I could be making much of a fuss anyway, so I practically ignored the card and gift part. (Sent a card to my mom) Anyway, my plan was to simply go to Church and spend Christmas day alone playing Mechwarrior. Turns out, that's not what happened.....

....I did go to Church last night. The service was breathtaking! Our choir was blessed to sing with the First St. Andrew's String orchestra, and the rooftops rang with the angelic sounds! The whole amphitheater was lit with candles, and the performance by all those involved in the service itself was crisp and professional. I was moved to tears during the sermon.  At that moment one of the choir members turned and asked if I was ok. After the service he and his wife offered me a ride home, and then invited me over for supper tonight. Like, wow! That one example is only a mere fragment of the kindness shown to me last night. When it comes to the inclusively of the choir and the church members, I am truly blessed.

So, I'm going for supper with about a dozen people I barely know. I'm nervous. I'm not sure how to express my anxiety in this matter, but I believe it derives from me wanting to make a good impression, because I really enjoy belonging to the church. To be personally invited to this couple's house is a great honour, as they are part of the elite members AKA committee and church leaders....

.....so nice shirt it is. 

I'd like to thank Diane for the brand new purple tie and towels! LOVE THEM! Thank you so much!

Well, gotta jet. Off to go eat turkey, I guess. Wish me luck.

11 pm
Talk about misconception. My fears were unfounded as I found myself in a very inviting atmosphere with really great people. The food was outstanding, and the conversation stimulating. I enjoyed myself immensely and even got a chance to bond with some of the other choir members.

Well, it's late. I'm going to have a few drinkypoos and play some mechwarrior. 

Have a good one.

December 28th
Christmas is now officially over. Time to get back to the basics and whatnot.

I went to Kitchener yesterday with a Friend to attend Amtgard at the realm of Lichwood Grove. I'm starting to make friends in that city too! Anyway, I had a blast! It's always a good time to go and visit.

Today is going to be a bit different; once I get my butt in gear I'm heading to the mall to go shopping a bit. My plan is to find a bike on sale and use some of the money my mom gave me for Christmas to buy a new one. (Thank you mom)

Lots to do. Talk soon.

December 31st
My appologies, Dear Diary, for the big gap. Please understand that I'm very busy.

I bought a new bike. It's black and red, and quite flashy. Now I just have to get some reflectors and whatnot. At least I have a decent way to get around London.

My outfit for Amtgard is looking really good. I've impressed myself with my sewing skills, and I've tried other little projects too. I forgot how much I enjoy crafting outfits.

Amtgard is doing well! We are attracting more and more players all the time. 

I'll be writing a big article for New Years, like I usually do. This is also the final entry in Chapter Four of Obscure Arcanum.

I'm heading to Diane's house to do laundry and go shopping. It's going to be a big day for me!

Talk soon.

 This is the end of Chapter Four. 
If you wish to continue reading, please go to


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