A Random Hodge Podge of Thoughts: Medeba Summer Camp, More Movies Delayed, Staying Positive and Lots of Cute Pictures

(CS: I started writing this a few days ago, but it was that kind of week. As you may have noticed, the podcast issue has been resolved and now posted since I wrote this entire piece.)


I still haven't been able to solve the podcast uploading riddle this week, as there seems to be some major issues over at the hosting site. My hope is that it is up before we record the next episode. If this becomes a recurring problem, then I'll have to take some more drastic measures on how I stream the podcast going forward. Changing the host site is something that I don't really want to do, because that will be an even bigger headache in the short term based off the last time that I tried doing it.

This seems like a great time to once again admit that I've really sucked at keeping up posting new articles on the site again. I am well-aware how obnoxious and tiring it is for me to keep pointing out the obvious rather than just solving the problem by writing new stuff on here.

My poor excuse is that this week has been a stress bomb, as I'm way behind on client work, which means I haven't been able to devote time to several more personal writing projects that I want to move forward on, including more stuff on this blog, but constant unforeseen circumstances keep stomping their way into my life. We've had some issues with our home phone, a minor leak in the basement, some more computer issues and of course, the previously mentioned podcast craziness. On top of all that, Everett has been a camper for Medeba-in-a-Box this week, which is a home version of summer camp since summer camps aren't able to run this year. It has been a blast helping Everett enjoy this new version of camp, but it has also meant less time than I planned for writing work.

But at the start of 2020, I've aimed to be more positive in my life and to focus on the things that really matter. Of course, it is obvious that I picked a really rough year to adopt this new approach. Even though helping Everett immerse in the Medeba experience has been time consuming with everything else happening, I've also taken great joy in Everett loving a program that is coming from a place that I adore. Medeba is a magical place that was a major part of my life from 1997 to 2005. I had thought about enrolling Everett in their summer camp program this year and make it his first foray into overnight camp, but a little thing called COVID-19 shook things up and Medeba-in-the-Box had to be the fun alternative.

I am not sure if there are any more open slots, but if you're looking for something to do with your kids, Medeba-in-a-Box is an amazing way for them to spend a week. Everett has loved it, and he is now excited to try out the 'real' camp next summer. It has also made me very nostalgic for the days that I was the program director there, and I've definitely mined some happiness playing some games and being silly with Everett. Even though I haven't got as much paid work done as I needed to do this week, I've done the much more valuable thing of bonding with Everett. The two of us even did a camp out in our pumpkin camp trailer and did it proper by staying up way too late, and then waking up in the middle of the night to suddenly realize we left stuff in the now pouring rain outside.

This would also be the blog debut of the pumpkin camp trailer. It was purchased a few weeks ago, but we haven't used it for off property camping yet. It is going to be our main source of summer vacationing since there aren't too many other options during a pandemic.

Speaking of the pandemic changing summer plans, around this time I should be deep into the summer blockbuster movie season and should have already seen stuff like Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984, Soul and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. I had intended on taking Everett to see Jungle Cruise, because it looked like the closest thing to Indiana Jones, which may be his favourite movie series. But movie theatres are still closed in most parts of the world and most of the aforementioned movies have had their release dates pushed to 2021 when maybe meeting in large groups won't be a health risk.

I miss movie theatres. My kids miss them as well, as a few times a year I'd bring them along when I was reviewing a kid's movie. But I also know why theatres remain closed and I can be patient for when it makes sense for them to reopen. Though if I'm going to be honest, the longer they remain closed then the stronger I fear that the Cineplex Galaxy Cinemas in my city won't ever open again. Theatre chains have been losing billions of dollars and even before COVID-19 pissed all over 2020, the state of movie theatres was in flux and it was clear that the theatrical model was going to need to change. Now, it is being forced to change and how movies will be distributed will look very different even when theatres can open again with new release movies.

Technically in Ontario, movie theatres are allowed to open up again, but with a cap of 50 patrons allowed at a time, Cineplex (the biggest chain in Canada) has pleaded with the government that such a restriction isn't feasible for their business model. Cineplex is probably right because even my local theatre has 8 screens, which would mean less than ten people are allowed in each screening at a time or they would only be able to screen one or two movies at a time. My guess is that they would lose money in that scenario, so they mind as well just stay closed until they are granted an exception.

Even as a person who really misses going to the theatre and often sees being at a theatre to be a spiritual experience, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to open up theatres when there isn't any new releases from a major studio to screen. It would be cool to see Jurassic Park on the big screen again or Jaws for the first time in a theatre, but since COVID-19 is still a legitimate risk, I can understand the majority of people not thinking it is worth it because I'm not entirely convinced that it is either.

Back in March, most major studios shuffled their blockbusters later in the year with mid-July seeming to be the optimistic kick-off of theatrical movie-going, but the last three months have been almost daily announcements of movies being delayed, taken off the schedule or switched to a VOD release. Christopher Nolan was heralding Tenet as the glorious return to theatres and he was pretty adamant it would come out this summer, and it is now jettisoned into the abyss with a vague promise that some day it will be released. All I know is some day won't be the summer of 2020. The only major studio movie that still seems set for the summer is The New Mutants, and I'm just waiting for the announcement that it either gets delayed to the winter or becomes a centrepiece for Disney Plus this fall (or just push it for a few more years, since that is what you do with this movie).

We are going to discuss movie release delays and the state of the movie theatre in more detail when we record the upcoming episode of The Movie Breakdown on Sunday. I would say that episode will be posted Monday, but as of this writing, the episode that was supposed to be posted this past Monday is still being a pain in the ass and refusing to come out for the world to hear. (CS: It is up!)

This has been one those weeks where I could have potentially found myself in a fetal position wedged into a corner of my bedroom. It has been a real test on my new attempt to stay positive and optimistic. I won't deny that it has been stressful, especially since it felt at times that I was doing everything but writing. While I'm slowly getting more client work again, my hope to pursue some new writing projects and really get this blog rocking has been derailed, which is hard not to get really frustrated and anxious over. Especially when I know next week is going to be one of those harder weeks to do more than just what is needed for clients. I've decided not to allow the present to shake my future dreams. I hold to the belief that every day can be a fresh start, and so I have endless opportunities to make this blog a must-check-out site and finish a manuscript to shop around to agents and publishers. One bad week doesn't mean that must be the present or future. 

I've slowly learned that a rough week full of obstacles and challenges doesn't mean a death of my writing career. The fact that my blog has not been as active as I've wanted for a long-time or that my reader numbers have plummeted compared to years ago doesn't mean that the site is doomed forever and eternity. It just means that now is the time to get things on track and to make them better than ever before.

John Lennon once said and my dad has often repeated, 'There are no problems but only solutions.' I see the statement as less an actual fact (of course there are problems) but rather a worldview, where we should see every obstacle and challenge as a thing to overcome, learn and grow. This week feels like one where I've accomplished much, got a whole lot smarter and getting closer to seven feet. It has also been a great opportunity to see how well I can master positive and optimistic thinking.

The podcast episode continues to have issues that stop me from uploading it and have now made it five days late. It has given me a chance to learn more about the technical aspect of podcasting, reach out to a community to form new relationships and fix some bugs that I've been meaning to get to for awhile now. Instead of thinking that in a competitive field like podcasting that a delayed episode will mean we lose listeners, I'd rather see it as my listeners love our show enough to stick with it and this delay just makes them anticipate it more for when it does upload. I need to remind myself the show is worth the wait and we put a lot of work into making it a fun episode.

The basement had a leak and it gave me several hours of work and stress when I wanted to focus on writing. Well, first off it is pretty awesome that I own a house even with leaks. There is something empowering about being able to take control of an issue in the house and then figure out a solution. Also, no damage was done and I'm happy it was nothing more than just an annoying way to spend a morning. Luckily, the way my brain works in a way that I had many opportunities to come up with many writing ideas while soaking up puddles.

The home phone being down was a mighty pain, especially since I wasted over an hour just trying to find out the cause and then discovered it was due to a technician doing something that I deem a bit careless. Due to the pandemic, we couldn't get a technician into the house and so, I had to scour the internet to try to find some advice and expertise to solve the problem. It occupied a way too much portion of my week, but I resolved the issues this morning and there was some satisfaction with a successful DIY job. I haven't done a lot of DIY jobs in my life and no one would ever mistaken me for being handy, so it felt good realizing when forced that I can pull it off and did something that probably would have cost us a decent chunk of change to get a professional to do.

This rambling blog post leads me back to Everett and his week of Medeba-in-a-Box. My plan before this week was to occasionally check in on him and join a few activities here and there, but mostly use the week to work. I didn't expect it to be the week of laptop issues, leaky basements and broken home phone lines. Now that I had enough distractions from getting to my paid client work, I was less excited about getting involved with Everett's week.

But here is the fact, Everett didn't really care how much work I have or what issues were going on in the house, because he was thrilled about having a special week of camp at home and he wanted to experience it with me. He wanted to have a camp-out in our trailer. He wanted to compete against me in the backyard Olympics. He wanted to soak me in a water fight. He wanted me to see his craft creations. He wanted me to see the new knots he learned. He wanted me involved. And in five years, there is a good chance he won't want those things. And in twenty years, do I want his memories of his childhood being he played while I always worked or instead that I created lasting memories with him?

I spent a lot of time this week with Everett, and it was way more than I expected and there were times that I was stressed as my work piled up. It was special. It was what mattered most. The big thing that I've got out of this week is the importance of perspective. The need to really live in the moment and appreciate all the great things in life.

It has been a crazy week, but I'm glad for it. I'm joyful for my two amazing kids and the time I've had with them. They constantly remind me to focus and hold on to the things that really matter.

Yes, I realize this post was kind of all over the place, but that was the kind of week that I had.