September 1st, 2023


It’s been an interesting couple of years, hasn’t it! Political Issues in our neighbours to the south (United States of America) seemed to get even worse than usual. COVID spread across the world and some people claimed it wasn’t real – that did little to help those who got COVID and survived, the millions worldwide who died, or any of the loved ones. Russia’s government decided to attack Ukraine. India has become the fourth nation to successfully send a lander to the Moon, and China has one on the Lunar far side (or dark side if you’re a Pink Floyd fan).

Despite politics, COVID and war, the news hasn’t been all bad. I mentioned India’s momentous achievement. New scientific discoveries have been made. I believe the COVID lockdown showed many of us exactly how precious every human life is; we need to be reminded of that every once in a while. James Webb telescope is in position and taking amazing images of the universe. There are so many things to mention…

And I won’t. I’ll stick to my own personal universe. You see, I’ve been very busy – too busy for writing – until very recently. Now that retirement is looming I’m starting to make sure I take a few minutes and enjoy myself and my family more. Of course, with my kids being teenagers they are generally resistant to spending time with their parents but what can you do about that?

I still take them out for the occasional movie. Honor Among Thieves and Into the Spider-verse were two recent and enjoyable events. We started watching some streaming services during the lockdown and there have been many amazing things on Disney+ (Loki, Werewolf by Night, etc.), Crunchyroll (Spy X Family, Attack on Titan, etc.) and Netflix (Stranger Things, etc.). I am so glad we’re no longer restricted to shows like My Little Pony and Rescue Bots! Anyway, we’re not binge watchers. We make our way through a series one, two or three episodes an evening, and then go on to do other things.

As for writing, I’ve had to look over where I left off. I have two Minx stories to work on, about a half-dozen stories that were started and dropped when I became too busy to write in 2018/2019, and over a hundred assorted plots to re-examine for potential. The Minx stories will go on Literotica (this year and next). There’s an ancient Egypt story that will likely become an ebook (2024?). And who knows what comes after that?

On top of that, I have to find some time to lose some weight…put on a few pounds in the last few years, and that’s not good. My daughter and I went to Fanexpo in Toronto and several hours of walking and standing was hard on the hips and legs. I’m assuming that’s because I’m a little overweight, although it could be just my age catching up with me.

We did have fun at Fanexpo. There was a lot to look at and as it was our first visit we missed a lot. Next time my daughter has specified exactly what she wants to see and do first, so it should be a little smoother. She’s even said she might wear a costume.

Funny story about Fanexpo, though. We took the train to Union Station (in Toronto) and were supposed to meet my youngest brother at the station. Several e-mails went back and forth before we agreed to meet in a specific location. My daughter and I arrived roughly on time, went to the rendezvous site and waited for forty minutes. My brother – who had been working nights – was planning to be there early and would be waiting for us. We did not see him anywhere. Turns out he went to a completely different spot in Union Station planning to spot us when we came down the stairs from one of the train platforms. He waited and waited, then eventually went to the Fanexpo by himself, stuck around for an hour or so and then left.

This isn’t the first time he’s gone to the wrong meeting place. It’s happened many times before. My wife had asked about contingency plans – being fully aware of my brother’s limitations in keeping to an agreed meeting place – and I had told her we’d wait a while then leave if we didn’t see him.

And you might be thinking: why didn’t you just call him, or vice versa? I don’t have a cell phone. Neither does my brother. For me it’s not critical; if I absolutely need a phone when I go out I just borrow the home phone. It usually stays at home, though. As for my brother…he has no cell phone, and you cannot leave messages on his home phone because of some problem he has with Bell. It’s all very mysterious and it makes him almost impossible to reach by phone at the best of times. I like to imagine he has some secret and deadly conflict with that communications corporation and that if they ever acquire his location – through his use of a phone – an “operator” will take him out. It might just be he doesn’t want to talk to anyone on the phone…

Chris Kalyta