My Brush with a Brony

Ah, freedom.

And what better way to celebrate my first weekend off work in more than two years than … moving really slowly?

Oh, I had things to do. But whether they were getting done when I decided I was going to do them was another matter.

So there I was at home, padding around, when I heard someone knocking.

I looked through the peephole. I really shouldn’t have opened the door. But I did anyway.

A young guy – maybe 15 or 16, tops – was selling a newspaper subscription as part of a program that would earn him some money to go to school. And as I listened to his spiel, really, how could I refuse.

So I gave him the subscription payment, and as he double-checked to make sure all the fields were filled out, he arrived at “method of delivery”.

As he wrote in “to door”, he mentioned that one of his previous subscribers actually requested a little rainbow symbol to be drawn on the top of his newspaper … because he was a fan of My Little Pony.

As in, the cartoon I used to watch when I was 8 years old, and one of the toys that I used to own (complete with comb to maintain its lavender mane).

As in, the cartoon that was recently rebooted in 2010 as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

As in, the cartoon that my young newspaper salesman asked if I had heard of it, to which I replied, “Yes, I used to watch it years ago”, to which he responded, “Yeah, but it’s way better now,” as his face lit up like a Noma Christmas tree.

Even as I shut the door, I could hear him talking to his little friend about how awesome My Little Pony was.

Yep. I just had my first encounter … with a Brony.

What the hell are you talking about, you ask?

I’ve only just recently heard about this myself … but apparently there is a legion of males (and females, who call themselves Pegasisters) over the age of 10 who LOVE these pretend cartoon ponies with a passion. And unlike other fanboys and girls, these folks are in a league of their own.

If you don’t believe me, read this or even this. I mean, they even have their own lingo, and their own CONVENTION. I’m not kidding.

Now, to be fair, I looked up an episode online to see what the big fuss was about. I attempted to watch … for about six minutes. But like the quinoa I tried to cook this evening, I couldn’t get into it. I had to give up.

I mean, I know why the eight-year-old me liked the show. But the 34-year-old me is slightly bemused as to why teenagers and grown adults (without children) are so fixated on the show.

Call me a parasprite, but this one (of probably many) I will never understand. Sorry.

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Oh, Rhinovirus.

When I said I wanted to start taking better care of myself, I didn’t think it meant having to tackle a cold.

Sniff. Cough. Yaaaatchoooo! Snooort.

Ugh.

Oh January, you cruel mistress. You couldn’t leave your oh-so-draining boyfriend Rhinovirus behind, could you?

Guess a combination of late nights, the recent cold snap, and a circulating holiday virus has finally nabbed me.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been throwing vitamins and oil of oregano down the hatch when I’m awake, and knocking myself out with cold-and-sinus medication when I sleep.

I’m also trying to drink lots of fluids and get some reasonable amounts of sleep. It’s been tricky now that I’ve returned to work. But hopefully I can get over this sooner than later.

Hack. Sniiifffff.

2012: Start!

So 2012 is finally here, in all of its cold, wet glory.

Actually, it’s almost apt that it’s been raining – as if to partially cleanse some of the filth off of the city before the snow, ice and sleet arrives.

It’s also the perfect weather to start thinking a lot about what I’d like out of this year.

I looked back at last year’s list. Overall, I somehow managed to achieve about half of what I wanted to see happen last year. But – it seemed – things only started to cook in the last few months. And even then, it was a simmer.

Not that that’s a bad thing. But I feel as if I want to take that momentum of accomplishing small personal goals, and kick it up a couple of notches.

And at the moment, as I’m coming down off of last night’s heart-and-soul-busting euphoria, I’m feeling a sense of anxiety about how to make thinngs happen.

All I can think is: Will this be the year I start getting it right? And how the HELL am I going to pull some of this off?

As I try and make the most of my days off of work, here is my wishlist of what I would like to see for 2012:

Start taking better care of myself. Yes, this was on my list last year (phrased a different way), but I would like to seriously try for this one. In the last couple of years, I’ve had a four-day, 40-plus hour schedule, which had me working on weekends. It’s a weird life to get used to. And up until late September, it threw me out of whack. In that time, I’ve packed on about 20 pounds – 10, for sure from the past year alone. It’s all well and good to say that it doesn’t matter what one weighs, and that skinniness shouldn’t a goal to strive for. But I’ve noticed myself feeling a bit out of breath going up stairs or escalators, my clothes becoming increasingly tighter (sometimes to the point that I’ve split my pants), and even how the weight feels on my back and knees. And I’d like to finally dig deep and find the motivation to go and exercise, even if it’s after a frustrating day at work. Who knows? Maybe that can be my motivation.

As well, I realize I’ve let my personal appearance go a bit, because I’ve had such an alternative schedule, so I figure, who cares? But I need to roll up my sleeves on this one. I’ve started trying to do small things. Perhaps I can improve on this ten-fold.

Start feeding my mind. Somewhere between early summer and now, I think I somehow gave up on reading. I mean, I still read the weekly magazine I subscribe to (and I’m still about two to three weeks behind), but I haven’t really read anything else. No newspapers. And definitely no more books. I have to make a renewed effort not to be a walking zombie when it comes to these things. I’m surrounded by so many smart people in my life daily, and yet I’ve let things slide. Bored? Perhaps. (Maybe I was just bored this whole year in general.) Hopefully I can find it within me to be more diligent.

Start making things happen at work. Yes, I say this every year. But maybe this year, it’ll be different. Last summer, I finally got the chance to verbalize to my boss that I wanted to do something different (without crying from frustration). In about a week’s time, I’m returning to a Monday-to-Friday schedule for the first time in 26 months, and I’d like to think that my conversation 6 months ago was the catalyst. My hope is that – once I master the gauntlet of assignments that are heading my way – I can find the niche I want to occupy, and perhaps transition to another area of my workplace in the next 6-8 months. That last part of my goal is probably the loftiest, considering how long it took me to get off weekends. But a working girl can dream, right?

Start travelling again. Last year, I left Toronto (and the GTA) once – to visit a friend in Ottawa. Which is well and good … but I have other friends in Ottawa, and in OTHER places, that I didn’t get to visit. I also had two chunks of time during the summer and early fall to go travelling. And then life happened. In July, my mother had surgery. That was a no-brainer. In September, I spent time I’d hoped to use travelling, moving myself up and out of my parents’ house. So this year, I REALLY want to make up for this. And I’d like those locations to be warm ones. I have three destinations in mind, so I hope the universe will rule in my favour and let me go there, as well as throw in a couple of small side trips.

Start making my apartment feel like home. I’ve had a few people over, but I’ve felt a bit sheepish about it, because there’s really nothing special or “homey” about it. I mean, I understand it’ll take time, and some people take months, even years, to completely unpack and organize their lives. But I’d like to make an effort in the next few months to make things a bit homier. A picture here, a rug there, maybe a couple of nice lamps, would definitely help. And I’ll probably be relying on my friends, since my decor saavy is virtually non-existent at the moment.

Start figuring ME out. By age 35, a fair number of people usually know who they are. I think I know who I am in general. My outline doesn’t need work. It’s … my inner self, I guess, that needs the makeover. I feel that now that I’ve moved out, it’s not just a new chapter of my life. It’s me starting from scratch, in a way. What do I want? What am I passionate about? What am I willing to put up with? What will I absolutely not tolerate? What parts of me need work? I don’t expect to have it figured out in a year. But if I can start creating the conditions under which I can blossom, it would be a start.

Start finding ways of being creative. That could probably start by writing – and blogging – more. I said tthis last year, and didn’t deliver. Maybe I can try a bit harder this year. And perhaps there are other ways to tap into my creative side. Perhaps it’s taking an African dance class. Or working on learning to cook. Or getting involved in friends’ projects in some way. I can only hope I get to experiment.

Start having more fun. I consider myself to be quite social as it is. But maybe once in a while I can do things I wouldn’t normally do. Don’t ask me exactly what that might be. I can only hope I can seize the opportunities if/when they present themselves.

Start being a bit more uncomfortable. I kept things pretty safe this year. The last thing I wanted to do was put myself out there, in uncomfortable positions. I think this is something I need to start doing, because I’m aware I tend to act immaturely in some cases, depending on the situation. Perhaps it’ll help me grow up a bit.

Finally, one secret wish I have for this year:

I’d like to see more “OMG Moments”. By this, I mean the anecdotes you can’t make up, that just make you smile or give you happy goosebumps. The stories I’ll tell my kids (if I decide to have any) and grandkids. I mean, it could be ANYTHING. Who knows what I’ll get to see? Will I get to witness seeing something like this? Will I get something as small as, say, an upgrade to first-class on a flight? Or will I be in the right place at the right time, and bump into someone I admire? (Which would be cool. But I’d probably soil myself, and/or say something utterly ridiculous.) The thing is, my life is pretty good without having crazy stuff happen to me. But everyone likes a red cherry on top of their sundae once in a while.

The year is young. And anything can happen. I can only hope that those things are BIG.

Happy New Year, folks! Here’s hoping there are big things in store for you, too!