Category Archives: Friends

Whoa, where’d you go?

Shhh, it’s okay, I’m still here, I’m still here. I haven’t forgotten about you and, more importantly, me and my blog.

Hah, could you imagine if I was that asshole? But seriously, I’m still here. And I’ve got posts for days. (Literally). I’d like to say it was due to a really busy week, but it really wasn’t. A couple of days were definitely too cold to do anything but curl up and watch Netflix. Yes, I could’ve written posts those days, but NETFLIX. Also Sherlock re-runs from…less than legitimate…downloads…but TV IN GENERAL. British TV in general. It’s just so easy to get caught up in it.

I was joking with one of my best friends that I’ve been watching so much BBC content continually that I’ll probably develop an accent. But I want it to happen over a long time. Slow play. So slow and gradual that by the time it’s a full-fledged English accent (complete with research on which street of which city of which region my accent originates from, thank you, Pygmalion) people will have thought that I’ve always had the accent.

That would be fun. I’ve mentioned before that I’m easily influenced by accents when immersed in it that I start to adapt the diction and inflections before the actual pronunciations of specific syllables with language. Then it just kind of falls into place, but in spurts. If I try to force it, it doesn’t stick as well. I can mimic fairly well, but to just know an accent, I’ve yet to try and work on that. I mean, I went to theatre school, but I wasn’t in the acting conservatory, so accents were not on my curriculum, specifically.

Whoa, that was a really random train of thought on accents. Mind Dump indeed.

Oh hey, I met Guillermo Del Toro today. Yes, that Guillermo Del Toro. I don’t like talking about work, or discussing where I work (and if I told you where I worked, you’d understand why immediately after jokingly — but not really jokingly — asking me for a discount on stuff, most likely) but essentially I helped him for an extended period of time and he’s a really nice guy. He’s in Toronto shooting at our very large soundstage by the lake, the same one where he shot Pacific Rim. Again, really nice guy, and it was pleasure meeting him.

And that was basically the highlight of my day and how I’ll always remember it: the day I helped Guillermo Del Toro.

Also, D&D is back! (But more on that later.)

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-Mickey

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Sometimes all you need is dim sum.

I love dim sum. It’s the best. My favourite part about it, though, isn’t even the food. It’s all about the people. It’s meant to be shared and it’s the quickest way to make a group of friends feel more like family, even when you welcome new friends to the fold.

Dim sum in the winter is especially delicious and enjoyable. There’s something about delicious bite size food keeping you warm in the cold and wet of winter that just makes you forget about the conditions outside. And did I mention the people? They’re the best. You talk about anything and everything at the dim sum table with friends. And you laugh at all of it. And the only silence you experience is the wonderful food silence that happens because all of the delicious occupying your mouth. Ah, food silence. It’s the most comfortable silence in the world.

My advice? Order everything. At least once. I haven’t done it yet, but one day, with a group of dim sum loving friends (read: all friends because who doesn’t love dim sum?), all the items will be on the table. All of them. Even the ones that I don’t like, because someone will inevitably try it and finish it. (Chicken feet lovers, you know who you are.) Admittedly, it’s a little harder on friends who are vegetarian/vegan. Okay, it’s a lot harder for those friends to enjoy it since nearly everything is meat based, but even then they can enjoy a couple of delicious elements of dim sum. Not much of it, unfortunately, but again, it’s about the people you bring to the dim sum table than it is the dim sum.

Don’t get me wrong: bad dim sum sucks. But unless you’re getting dim sum from the wrong places (i.e. not restaurants), it’s really hard to have bad dim sum. Even store bought, frozen-food section dim sum is good in a pinch. Really, there’s just good dim sum and great dim sum.  I don’t even know how I can say that “bad dim sum sucks” because I can honestly say I’ve never had dim sum I didn’t enjoy somewhat.

But then again, I always have good people at the dim sum table, and, again, that’s what it’s all about.

Go have some dim sum. There’s never a bad time to do it. And then invite me. I’ll be there.

And don’t forget that your fortune cookie fortunes aren’t complete sentences until you say “in bed.”

-Mickey

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P90X again?

Whenever I catch up with friends, whether at work or anywhere else, this question always comes up: are you still doing P90X?

Well, friends, yes. Yes I am. I’m actually starting another round of P90X this coming Monday. And I’ve got a few new faces looking to come along for the ride with me on this one. I couldn’t be more excited for them. Like I’ve mentioned before, I love being a coach for people who have made the decision and commitment to make positive change and progress in their lives. I’m good at helping people reach their own conclusions about what needs to be done and at making people realize how unnecessary it is to stress, in general. (You can either affect change, or you can’t. Stress is the inability to cope with that reality, in my opinion. But, I digress.) And when it comes to P90X, the commitment to the program is a commitment to positive change and progress.

I’ve thought about jumping onto other exercise regimes. I’m a fan of what Team Beachbody has to offer, and things like Insanity and T-25 Focus came to mind, with the big sell on those programs being how little time it takes per workout. The workouts from P90X, comparatively, need more than an hour a day, which was starting to seem like too long a time to commit after my 2nd round at it. But I think the real reason I was looking elsewhere was that I was beginning to get bored of the routine.

So I took a break. I still kept active, but I didn’t work at it nearly as hard as when I was in the program. And then the holidays arrived and oh, how the food appeared. The wonderful, tasty, so-bad-for-you-but-you-can’t-resist food made its way to my gullet. And I indulged. And it was good. And I realized that you can balance the good-for-you with the not-so-good-for-you and not blow up and rebound back into your pre-P90X self. Sure, my weight would flex up and down, week-to-week, but I remained stable. I could have real pizza again and I remained stable.

And with that realization, I knew that breaks were okay. We all need them, not just because the work is hard, but because breaks from anything consistent can make you crave for that consistency again. The recently boring eventually becomes un-boring again. And the routine that you’ve gotten used to and that you know gets results becomes the go-to routine, once again.

And that’s where we are now. I know P90X works. And I’m going to make it work for me once again. If you thought those photos from April of last year were impressive, just you wait.

Bring it, 2014. I will be.

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-Mickey

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I only do friends’ weddings.

I’ve started using the hashtag #ionlydofriendsweddings every time I, well, DJ a friend’s wedding. It’s the truth. I only do the wedding DJ thing when a friend or relative goes out of their way to reach out to me to request my musical services. And save for an already booked gig or trip, I’ll usually agree to the task.

But I’ve become sort of a (barely) self-proclaimed on the planning of the entertainment and emcee side of the reception ceremonies. I’ve seen it work so many different ways and, so far, it’s never gone “wrong” when I’m on watch. It’s kind of funny, actually, to see how stressed and anxious each couple gets as the date approaches, and how completely unwarranted their worries end up becoming.

For me, receptions are old hat, second nature, easy peasy, etc. and I completely understand that, for the couple, this is (probably) their first and last shot at an amazing reception party. I have to remember that when I meet with couples, and usually I end up using my experience as a way to calm their concerns. But it’s still amusing to see them sweat the small stuff on my end that really requires little preparation or work on my part to make it all happen.

The key, however, is that I only do this for friends and family. My reasoning behind that is simple boredom aversion. Truthfully, the only thing that keeps me entertained at these events is the fact that it’s a celebration for someone close to me. Yes, the DJing part is extremely fun for me — controlling the pulse of the party and seeing how the crowd reacts never gets old — but that’s only a quarter of my entire day/night, usually. The rest is either loading the car and setting up, or making sure the dinner playlist isn’t too loud. And if it weren’t for friends and family, I would be bored out of my mind. I’ll often get friends of friends of friends asking me for cards or “talent scouts” randomly showing up to banquet halls looking for DJs to add to their roster come up to me to give me their cards. I’m humbled and flattered every time, but the truth remains:

I only do friends weddings.

And the food is always in the contract. Hehe.

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– Mickey

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Board Game Night: Game of Thrones

Monday has rolled around once again, bringing with it the now slightly-more-popular-than-last-time Board Game Night. It was lovely to have my good friend, Jenna, over once again and it was just as exciting to have some newcomers to the table. And with new faces comes a new game to the rotation.

The Game of Thrones: Board Game is a round-based strategy game introduced to game night by my friend and fellow D&D campaigner, Sean. This is not a simple game. Well, it’s simple once you get into it, just like most board games, but it’s quite involved. It took us first timers nearly an hour to setup and learn before we even got to our first round, but once we were into it, it was on.

But I was definitely not on. I love these kinds of games, but I can’t say that I play to win on my first go around. I usually don’t go for the win on the first try, I just try to learn the game, play and observe the more experienced players, and get prepared for the next round. I just didn’t think this learning round would be a four-hour war. I was probably the worse for wear by the end of it all, but Jenna, in true form, almost took it all, requiring a tiebreak rule we had to look up to find out that she was only a stronghold away from a win. (She’s a natural board game talent.)

If you’re a fan of the books or the show, this game gets you into that universe, taking place completely on a map of Westeros, both on land and sea. Each player plays as one of the six houses with claims to the throne, and each house has their advantages and disadvantages. It’s pretty well-balanced, from what I could tell from that single session, but I can see people having their favourite houses to play. I was definitely smoked by a house card that prevented me from stealing a castle that would have stopped the eventual winner, and may have actually setup the total win for Jenna. But again, I was in total learning mode still through the game, so I was the definite non-winner.

I’d love to get better at this game. I love strategy games, but I’ve never been too good at them. Guess I should add it to the board.

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– Mickey

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Those compact days.

Time is a funny thing. We experience it so differently from moment to moment that sometimes events just blur together or inexplicably spread apart. We’ll recount things happening in different places, different dates, even with different people sometimes when we try to tell a story about it. It happens, it’s often time hilarious when it does, but it’s always intriguing and interesting how our mind can remember so many details but then mix and match them, seemingly at random, sometimes.

Today was one of those days where so many things happened that it feels like it happened over a span of a two or three days instead of just one. It was non-stop, moving from location to location, each one a different vibe and energy from the last (but thankfully all positive and awesome), and it was completely filled with things I love to do. Music recording session, theatre/dance rehearsal, an unexpected studio, friends at work, work itself, the movies, and a tough workout all happened in a span of about 16 hours. Surprisingly, it did not feel like a long day at all. I could feel a little lower in energy than usual near the end, especially through the workout, but overall throughout the day, I was feeling great.

And even though I’m a huge believer in time flying while you’re having fun, and today was a lot of fun, it didn’t just fly by. It wasn’t long, and it wasn’t short. (So it was just right, I suppose?) I’m not sure how to describe it. I guess you could say it had the right pace, overall. There were times where I felt like I had to race just a bit, but I can’t say that I ever felt the pressure of feeling rushed. It was as if I was in high-gear, but at my discretion only, and no one else’s, which would explain it never felt stressful or pushed at any time through the day.

What’s intriguing to me is that, looking back at the day now as I write it, it feels like I’m recounting my entire week. But the whole week itself was packed with interesting events. Today seems to push those events back even further into the past, but really they just happened a couple of days ago. Oh time, you’re so awesome, mysterious and weird sometimes. (Or at least my perception of you are those things, I suppose.)

Another random blabbering post, but one that intrigues me and also makes me realize that I love doing what I do, and I don’t mind packing all of that into one day and really getting the most out of my non-sleep time. (Speaking of which, I think I need more sleep, in general. I’ve got to find that balance!)

What’s that? You caught that I wrote that I went to the movies? Nice work. This is what I saw:

– Mickey

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Moving methods.

Since moving to Toronto almost 4 years ago, I’ve helped many friends move in, out of, and around the city. And every time I’m asked I always slightly hesitate to say yes, kind of dreading the work that has to be done on their big day. But once that day arrives and I’m up early ready to join a group of rock star moving buddies, I realize it’s not so bad and can actually be fun. (Plus, it’s a bit of workout, and we all know how I feel about those, now.)

I’ll admit, it’s probably more fun for the people helping with the move than the people actually moving. (I’d say its more fun unpacking and setting up the new place than it is lugging it over.) And regardless of the level of ease and organization of the move — I’ve seen some expertly organized and some very impromptu-style moves — the fun comes with the company. I do a lot of laughing while helping with a move and it’s all because of the awesome friends also helping out. There’s always something to laugh about, and as you get more tired, everything seems funnier, and it definitely helps to keep up that kind of spirit to help with what is most likely an exciting yet stressful time for the people moving into their new place.

I also like how much problem solving has to be done during a move. I don’t like the problems in particular — the easier move, the better, of course — but I do enjoy having to think logically (and often laterally) in certain situations. Maybe it’s a couch that won’t fit through a door way one way, but when rotated can just barely make it through (or maybe it has to be lowered from the second floor with rope, true story). Often, it’s how to pack the truck and how to make real-life use of your awesome Tetris skills. (This usually carries on to the elevator if it’s an apartment move.) Sometimes, it’s the discovery that an item you’ve owned for so long actually does fold or break down into smaller, more pack able pieces or shapes than you thought. Whatever it is, there’s something new to learn and some new way of looking at things when it comes to moving.

I don’t like having to move often, but if friends are in need, and I’m not already booked, chances are I’ll be there. But the plan for me is that my next move will be into a place that I own.

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– Mickey

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