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My Epic Summer Vacation

Every summer for the last few years, I have had 8 weeks of vacation. And every summer for the last few years, I have felt compelled to fill every single second of those 8 weeks off with some kind of work, job or project. I’ve felt this intense pressure to have a great story of what I did with my time off to prove that I was somehow worthy of this time off. I break out in cold sweats just thinking about having to face my coworkers and their ‘So, what did you do over the summer?’ questions. It’s almost not worth the anxiety vacation causes.

It’s been pointed out to me that maybe this isn’t the point of vacation and maybe I’m projecting. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe my coworkers don’t care and are just making small talk. They’re probably not judging me at all if I don’t have a justification for my time off. Maybe I should calm the hell down.

But here’s the thing:

I am often very hard on myself.

I don’t listen very well when I’m not being told what I want to hear.

I am very stubborn.

I have anxiety.

It’s not uncommon for one to be hard on one’s self. Often we are our own worst critics and I’m no different. It’s also not unusual to not want to listen to someone when they’re telling you something you don’t want to hear.

Why can’t each and every person in my life just blindly enable me to do what I want, by telling me exactly what I want to hear?

I am stubborn. Very stubborn. Which only exacerbates the fact that I’m both very hard on myself and don’t want to listen to people who don’t want to validate my criticisms of myself.

And lastly, I have anxiety. Anxiety likes to focus on something small and grow it into a big, paralyzing problem. It doesn’t have to be rational. It usually isn’t.

It’s a frustrating combination.

At least I’m willing to admit that?

Anyway. What is my point here? My point is that maybe it’s okay to take a break. Maybe you can just enjoy vacation time and not feel the need to defend the fact that you’re taking things easier.

Maybe I don’t have an epic story of how I remodelled my kitchen, built a nature sanctuary for donkeys, or hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. But that’s okay.

We all work hard. We’re all doing our best. And we’re all surviving through the darkest timeline right now.

Like, have you watched the news for longer than five seconds? Because I haven’t. Anything longer than 2 seconds shoves my anxiety into overdrive.

So I’m going to try to not guilt myself into having to prove that I made good use of my vacation time. I’m not going to be baited into feeling like I need an epic story or example of how I spent summer vacation.

I’m planning on a summer vacation that can be just that: vacation. And that’s okay.

 

 

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So sometimes I’m stubborn

I am pretty stubborn about some things.

A few weeks ago, I rebuilt by freelance website. I hadn’t really touched it since I first put it up two years ago. So I overhauled the entire site, which included adding some new plugins and widgets. Particularly, I wanted to update the security of my site by creating a secure admin login page.

I researched different ways to do this. I read about my plugin options. I made my decision, set everything up, chose a really clever page slug that I would totally remember.

Then I left my fresh site to collect dust for a few weeks.

Last weekend, I went to log in to my freelance site. But I couldn’t remember my new, clever, memorable login page address.

I tried a few different page addresses.  No luck. I tried typing random letters into my browser’s address bar, hoping that autocomplete would help me out.

It didn’t.

I opened up my browser history and went back to the weekend I did my site’s overhaul. I figured the login page must be listed there somewhere. I’d spent hours rebuilding my site. Setting up the new security protocols. Testing it. It had to be there somewhere.

It wasn’t.

Frustrated, I logged into my web hosting admin panel. I figured I would surely be able to easily find the information there. I poked around in my domain management portals. At the very least, maybe I could reset it if all else failed.

I couldn’t.

I was strongly starting to consider deleting the whole website. Throwing my laptop into the fire. And running into the forest, never to be seen again.

I started going through my site’s database, file by file. It had to be there somewhere.

If it was, it was hiding from me.

What an a-hole.

It was now quickly approaching 2am. My partner suggested that we go to bed and give it ago in the morning after I’d had a chance to sleep on it.

But that’s not how I work.

Instead of doing the practical thing, I queued for my web host’s tech support live chat. At 2am on a Sunday morning. And waited. And waited.

While I waited, I poked around some more in my site’s database. I opened every file. I read through so many pages that my eyes were burning. I was going to figure out what my admin page login was if it took all. Damn. Night.

Finally, my chat window pinged. I was next in line for the tech support chat.

At the same time, buried deep in the files of my website, I found what I was looking for. The URL to the secure admin login page.

It may have taken over 4 hours, a lot of cursing and the worrisome feeling that maybe I’d been gaslighting myself, but I figured it out.

This is my long-winded way of saying that the same stubbornness that kept me up all night trying to figure out my freelance website is the same stubbornness that keeps bringing me back to this blog.

I’m going to keep poking around until I figure it all out.

So yes. Still here. Hi, hello. Thanks for sticking it out with me.

 

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My Top 3 Favourite Cancelled TV Shows

I’m really good at choosing terrible TV. Don’t believe me? I can prove it.

All my favourite shows get cancelled way too soon, while other shows that should’ve been canceled ten years ago soldier on (Looking at you, Grey’s Anatomy.).

Here are my top 3 favourite (now cancelled) shows from the last year.

Powerless


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NBC put a spin on the popularity of superhero shows with Powerless. Powerless is a comedy that follows Emily as she starts her dream job as the director of research and development at Wayne Security in Charm City. A city where superheroes and villains and the everyday regular humans that are sick and tired of having to deal with the aftermath of epic battles.

As the director of research and development, it is Emily’s job to motivate and inspire her team into creating the latest new product that will solve the problems of regular humans co-existing in the superhero world. It’s too bad that Emily’s team is less than interested in their mission and her boss, Van Wayne, is only interested in himself.

Powerless employed some of my favourites. Alan Tudyk, who you may recognize from Firefly, another one of my prematurely cancelled TV shows, portrays Van Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s cousin, CEO of Wayne Security. Danny Pudi, from Gilmore Girls and Community, and Ron Funches from New Girl, @midnight, and the Kroll Show,  are members of Emily’s development team and Emily herself is portrayed by Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical, Grease Live).

I really enjoyed the quirkiness of this comedy, and the premise was interesting and engaging. I loved the whole ensemble cast, but it was Alan Tudyk and his awesome performance as Van Wayne that made the show for me. And Powerless featured a few super cool cameos like Adam West and Marc McClure. It was a fun show.

The network didn’t agree with me and Powerless was cancelled before its first season was up.

Conviction

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Speaking of shows that were cancelled in their first season, the next show on my list finished its 13-episode run mid-season and left me wondering whether or not it was going to be cancelled for months before the network gave us the bad news.

Conviction is a show about Hayes Morrison, a former first daughter, lawyer and wild child, who gets strong-armed into heading up the new Conviction Integrity Unit to avoid going to jail for cocaine possession. She and her team investigate cases where there is suspicion of wrongful conviction. The new high-profile job puts Hayes in the spotlight while her mother is running for state senate and in close proximity to her ex-boyfriend and former colleague, DA Conner Wallace.

When I first found out about this show, I was a little worried because the promotional material really leaned hard on the ‘wild child’ bit. But Hayes Morrison was being brought to life by one of my celebrity crushes, Hayley Atwell. And I fell in love with Hayley because of her portrayal of Agent Peggy Carter in Marvel Cinematic Universe films like Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man.  On TV, in the same role, Hayley guest-starred on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and starred in the cancelled-after-two-seasons Agent Carter.

I’m not bitter that the TV execs cancel everything I love. Not at all.

Anyway. I was in mourning after the cancellation of Agent Carter, so I was just excited that Hayley Atwell was back on TV. The show turned out to be really good, with a compelling cast of characters and great stories. It wasn’t as full of horrible tropes as I was expecting.

Alas, apparently the ratings weren’t there for a show  with a smart, badass, queer lady lead, a diverse cast and compelling stories.

Dark Matter

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Speaking of diverse casts. It’s almost too soon to talk about the last show on my list.

But I can’t talk about awesome shows with diverse casts without thinking about Dark Matter. From the creators and show-runners of Stargate, Dark Matter is a space opera where the crew wakes up on their ship, the Raza, to no memories of who they are or what they’re doing. As they start to piece together their past, the Raza crew, lead by badass, POC, queer woman Two (aka Portia Lin, aka Rebecca), explore what identity is all about while running from the Galactic Authority and their past lives as criminals and dangerous people.

They’re trying to stop a corporate war, assassins and an android uprising, while exposing conspiracies and building alliances. It’s just all in a days’ work for the Raza and her crew.

The 7 person crew has a diverse representation of different races, ages, gender expressions and sexual orientations. This crew is unlike anything I’ve seen in a science fiction show before.

The show was fun, had a bit of campiness, wasn’t afraid to make jokes and created engaging stories, characters and relationships.

Dark Matter’s supporting characters were great and well-casted. Their villains were complex (Hello Will Wheaton).

Oh, and did I mention it was a Canadian production? And for me, it holds a special place in my heart, because my high school crush and Canadian Idol winner, Melissa O’Neil stars as the Raza crew’s leader, Two.

While Dark Matter was cancelled only a few months ago, there was hope this show might be saved after the fandom rallied behind it. But after the last of 3 interested parties passed on picking up the show, it remains cancelled. Apparently, I can’t have nice things.

Honourable Mention

I have to give an honourable mention to the show Doubt. Which was canceled after 2 episodes.  It was a courtroom drama, starring Katherine Heigl, from every romcom in the late-oughts, and Lavern Cox, from Orange is the New Black. The main character, Sadie, played by Katherine Heigl, was boring AF. But all of the other characters including Lavern Cox’s Cameron Wirth, a transgender woman finding her way as a new litigator in a new firm, were interesting and engaging.

Doubt was cancelled after 2 episodes but I honestly feel the show wasn’t given enough time to find its feet. Who knows what could have been. I really enjoyed what I saw from this show that was canceled before it even started.

 

What is your favourite show that was ripped from the airwaves way too soon?

Tell me all about it in the comments.