It was a random afternoon weekend in the early 90s. I was a kid at the time, playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game on the NES for the umpteenth time. Out of the blue, I had an idea.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if I had video of me playing this game right now?” I thought to myself.
I care very little about Halloween. Always did the bare minimum for dressing up as a kid and bailed on the costumes as soon as I could. Never cared for the children’s stories or grown-up horror movies. If it weren’t for me being married to someone whose favourite holiday is Halloween, I would probably excise the entire thing out of my life.
Well, almost all of it.
The candy can stay. Now that I have a house, handing out candy to the kids that come by in their costumes is a highlight. But more importantly, it’s an excuse to eat candy and junk food! Not that I needed an excuse, but there’s a lot more around this time of year and someone has to eat it. Here’s a list with a few of my faves!
Spray paint art is my new obsession. Despite being someone with little background in visual arts, newbies like me can make some really cool stuff right away. If you have the means and the slightest urge to pursue this art form, go for it! Here’s a list of supplies that will get you going!
Located in the theatre district of Toronto, Par-Tee Putt combines the joy of mini golf with pop culture and alcohol. With holes based on Pokemon, Game of Thrones and The Price is Right among many others, this attraction has created a lot of buzz in the city. With a few hours to spare before the Lizzo concert, my wife Steff and hit the back nine for a few hols of geeky mini putt.
Having created almost 3,000 posts (!) in the last decade, there’s probably way more content here that I’ve forgotten than I’ve remembered. Though I highly recommend going back to the very beginning and reading everything in chronological order, you could also use this handy list of a few of my favourites!
Attempting spray paint art for the first time unlocked a sense of unbridled freedom from within. Coming from a place where my expectations were non-existent and I was partaking in this activity strictly for fun, I had a great time just making what felt good in the moment. That early win was enough to inspire another go around, but it also created a new level of expectations that changed the vibe around this latest session.
On the last day of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, my wife and I attended a screening of the documentary There’s Something in the Water. Based on the book by Ingrid Waldron, the film aims to signal boost the atrocities of environmental racism being perpetrated by large corporations and the Canadian government in Nova Scotia. Before the start of the film, we were treated to a guest appearance by one of the film’s producers: Ellen Page.
Yes, the Ellen page of Juno, Inception, and The Umbrella Academy fame. After the introduction, we watched the film and ended the event with Ellen answering audience questions. Walking out of the theatre, two things deeply resonated with me:
- The perpetrators of the atrocities need to be held accountable for the damage they’ve done to the lives and environments they’ve destroyed
- She used her platform to try and make the world a better place by raising awareness to an issue that she believes in fighting for
Every now and then, I think about this one hip-hop site I used to visit in the late 90s. It was run by one guy who updated his site almost daily with album reviews, news, editorials, and stories of his personal life. After a few years, he put up a post saying that he was pulling down the site. In an age long before social media, he essentially erased himself from the internet, never to be seen again.
He may have just been one person running a hip-hop site from his bedroom without an audience other than me, but he made an impact on my life through his work. He opened my ears to music that I wouldn’t have listened to otherwise. I cared about his well-being when he lost his job and was concerned when he got suspended for performing a rap song at a school talent show that was apparently a bit too heavy on the coarse language. It was one of the first times I felt a connection to someone through their online work.
Having done this now for a decade, it makes me wonder if I’ve had that kind of impact on those who read this.
As I watched Nathan Salmon create a pair of amazing art pieces with spray paint for me, two thoughts swirled through my mind.
- Holy cow this process and end result look incredible!
- The basics of what he’s doing don’t look that difficult…
Though I figured that I wouldn’t be able to make the Ninja Turtles pose in front of a city skyline anytime soon, the fundamentals of creating planets, space, and stars seemed doable for a hack like me that’s never spray painted anything in his life. After watching a number of tutorial videos on YouTube, my wife and I bought a bunch of supplies and dedicated an afternoon to creating some spray paint art of our own.
In high school, an essay I wrote changed my life. It was a four-page piece reflecting on my childhood and how much I’d grown and matured since. It was my first time writing for reasons beyond completing an assignment. Instead, it was an opportunity to dig deep into my soul and speak on my life in a way that I hadn’t before. A lot of emotion poured out of my heart and into that piece, as those thoughts and feelings were just bottled up this whole time. Doesn’t hurt that I got a perfect score on the assignment, but it only served as further validation that pouring my heart out in that manner was ultimately a good thing for me.
From that point forward, that emotional slant became the approach to everything I wrote. Besides being an effective vehicle for getting my thoughts and feelings across, I selfishly liked writing this way to clear my mind and soul of whatever was percolating in my brain. It’s therapeutic in a way.
In Third Person was no exception. Treating this as if it were my personal online journal about video games, I tried to write everything with that same passion and thoughtfulness, regardless of the content type or subject matter. It’s been an interesting experience trying to make this voice of mine work with this subject.