Let’s go. Again. Because dedication.

Welcome to the new year. Welcome back to my goal to write something every day for an entire year. Last year, I was able to ride all the way into May (I think) with consistent posts, thoughts, randomness, and hopefully something interesting to read every day. You saw my mind, dumped onto the page, through it’s highs, lows, and places to go — couldn’t resist the rhyme — and this is me inviting you back.

How did your 2013 work out? Mine literally worked out. As in, I worked out. A lot. You saw it. The good news is that I’m still fitting into the plethora of smaller clothes that I had to dig out/re-purchase and I have no plans of having to look at bigger clothes ever again. In fact, just like last year, I’ll be starting off January with a round of P90X, this time with some new faces that I’m happy to have joining me. I love being a coach or a mentor, especially for people who have made the decision to accept that they need a coach or a mentor. I’m always open to people who haven’t made that realization yet, and I might gently nudge those folks into making such a realization, but I think it works the best when the desire for change comes from the self. Deep. Or not. Whatever, I believe it.

So I didn’t get re-fat. Sweet. Now I’m going to work on becoming stronger and finally getting rid of the gut for good. Chip away, chip away, and sculpt: that’s what I’ll do over the next 90 days and beyond. But aside from riding fitness momentum into 2014, the artist-me will be riding his own momentum as well. A re-mounted project, a newly-funded project, and of course, the elusive first album are all a go for the first quarter of the new calendar year. I’ll spare you the details for now — I need that content for future posts *wink* — but let’s just say I’m excited.

I’ll do a full recap of highlights and lowlights of my 2013 year a little later on. As a quick summary, I was able to achieve about 70% of what covered my vision board. Today, I’ll be making a new one, but rather than just wiping the slate clean, I’m just going to modify the board. Again, I was able to achieve a lot of what was on that board, so I can safely remove those items and replace them something new, something to grow on. I’m getting on that right about…now.

Happy New Year, friends. I’m excited, not for what the year will bring to you and me, but for what you and me will bring to this year.

Poppy New Year!

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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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When life gets living.

Still here. I don’t expect that you’ve missed me annoying you every day with my random thoughts? 😉

Since my last post, a lot has happened in this amusement park that is my 2013. I’m not going to recap it all here, and I do still plan to do posts for every day of the year, including the ones that I have yet to publish, but I thought I’d drop by and drop a line to get back into the swing of writing.

I’m very tempted to just use everything that has gone down these last few months in this one post to get a jump start on things, but with so much material running through my head, I’ve got to ration it all out. But maybe I can hit you with some previews?

Let’s see. There’s been a lot of shows involved, both with me as a spectator and as a performer. I’ve seen a couple of outstanding concerts, a lot of indie theatre shows, one particularly hilarious big-stage musical, and a whole lot of Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix lately. I travel around the city mostly by bicycle these days. My car gets dusty in my garage and I’ve probably driven it twice in the last two weeks.

I’ve made a lot of amazing new friends, and turned some current friends into some of my closest friends, by the sheer power of hanging out and having fun. I’ve turned into somewhat of a fitness coach among my friends at work, who have humbled me greatly by letting me know that my P90X journey has inspired them to start their own healthy journeys. And yes, I’m almost done my second round of P90X, which was surprisingly more difficult the second time around, not in terms of the intensity of the workouts, but in terms of consistent workout scheduling.

I booked my first solo flight. I’ll be heading to Calgary in a couple of weeks to visit one of my favourites. And since just buying that ticket, my head has been in total wanderlust mode. Peru might be happening in April 2014, just saying.

I’m starting to give it all away, but we’ll just call this a list of things for me to expand upon in the posts that I’ll be filling in along the way.

If you’re reading this, thanks for re-joining my writing journey. Let’s get living.

Oh yeah, and this little dude is my new roommate. But more on Sawyer later.

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– Mickey

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Hello, June!

Don’t worry, I’m still here. And it’s June! Many wonderful things will be happening this month, and I’m looking forward to it all, but I won’t give it all away just yet. I’ve got to spread those out into some fun and memorable (with a side of inspiring) posts for you to read during this eventful month.

Speaking of eventful months, how about that May? Was it as eventful as mine? Right, how could you tell when my last post was published for May 7th? (Well, I guess that’s one way you could gauge just how busy May was for me, but let’s continue.) Yes, it actually was a very busy May, and while being “too busy” was the excuse I would use in 2012 for not keeping up my post, this was actually a case of not having enough hours in a day unless I wanted to forego sleep! It was month full of projects, mini road-trips, taking up new activities and filling my day with them, highlights and heartbreaks (sounds like a sports-related post right there), lots of hangouts, and social fun-times in general. What was I doing in May? Living life for me.

And living for myself means taking care of myself which, in all the schedule-filled goodness of May, means getting more sleep. P90X round one was a huge success, as I posted previously, but one big factor that was starting to catch up with me was a lack of sleep. And while I thought a couple of instances of normal to longer-than-normal sleep would get me back up to speed, it turns out my body needed more. So I tried my best to give it more and if that meant I had to cut down on a part of my daily routine, it would have to be from things that wouldn’t take away from my health and fitness. So that meant that daily posts, among other computer and tv screen-involved things, would be lower in the priority chain. But worry not, for I have drafted a post for every day of the month — I at least started a post for every day so that I would have at least a starting point for each day and still maintain the habit of logging into WordPress to write every day — which means that I’ll be multi-posting every day until that May month is all filled up. We should be back on track to a post every day before the month is done.

But that, in a general overview of a nutshell, is what’s been going on. Thank you to everyone who asked when the next post was coming, keeping me accountable and feeling good that people do enjoy reading my ramblings. Now that I’ve got this amazingly busy life a little less busy and better time-managed, let’s get this 365 working again, shall we?

You stay classy, planet Earth.

– Mickey

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When sleep is scarce.

It has been an exhausting week or so, now. And I can’t say that it’s because of that for any other reason other than my own doing. Well, that and the weather.

And it’s really the way the weather is affecting me that’s the weird part. I’m used to working on a lot of different projects at once while still holding down more than one job, so I know that’s not it. I’m sure spending the energy on working out every day might contribute to it a bit, but if anything it’s been adding to my ability to do more and not feel drained. At least for today, it feels like it has been the sun that has been tiring me out.

It’s totally strange to me. The sun, as I’ve mentioned before is a supercharger for my everyday. (Well, scientifically, for everyone’s everyday, of course.) It usually gets me pumped for the day and that combine with blue skies usually keep me energized until night rolls around. But for the past few days of glorious sunlight, it has been kind of draining.

And I haven’t even really been outside for an extended amount of time. I know getting too much sun for too long can be tiring, but that’s definitely not what’s happening. It’s just sunlight making me sleepy. I made my way through the beautiful, sun-filled day yawning and nodding off. I had to make an extra effort to not lose focus while on the road to teach out of town and also to not fall asleep on my students. (Even weirder was how the night drive back had my fully awake.)

The sun and lack of sleep, most likely are the culprits. When I hit my bed just to rest for a moment before getting dinner ready, I was in complete shutdown mode. In fact, when I opened my eyes again, it was four hours later and it was 2am.

Sleep, come back to me. You’re in high demand.

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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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The Gladstone Hotel.

Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to play gigs at The Gladstone Hotel’s Melody Bar in Toronto. Usually, it’s because I’m playing drums for Arlene there, as was the case tonight, and it’s always a good time. The stage is small, but it’s large enough to squeeze together a 5-piece band (or even more) and the room is a very nice room to play. It feels more like a lounge when you’re on stage, but I love the energy in there. It’s got some classy intimacy to it, not to mention a tasty taro burger.

I played a set on drums with Arlene, opening for a wonderful performer’s CD release party. It was a great set, a lot of fun as usual, and the crowd — mostly there for the main act — was large and energetic. It felt great. That room always has an unexplainable ability to make a small stage show in a small place feel bigger than it seems. It’s got a sense of warmth to it all, seemingly feeding off the architecture and the energy off of Queen street. It was fun to spot the odd passerby looking through the open window, trying to find out where that awesome sound is coming from.

And the main event herself was an amazingly soulful experience. The band, which included Arlene on backup vocals, was a lot of fun to watch and listen to as it was composed of some very talented musicians. (This was their second time playing together, technically, and it sure didn’t show.)

There’s just something about that place. It has kind of stood up to the test of time, almost closing down more than once through its decades of history, but someway, somehow, it has made its way through. And I’m glad it did, because every time I play there, it’s always a good time.

And I haven’t even told you about the raucous karaoke nights that go on there…

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– Mickey

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