Tag Archives: Pugalier

Life Changes

It’s been forever since I’ve posted anything, so I thought I’d update you all on my incredibly life-changing summer.

My last post was a casting call for my short film- so let’s start there. At the end of May I went into production for my third narrative film (but my very first funded one), and it was an incredible and intense four day shoot. It was amazing to have an actual DOP and crew for this shoot as my previous films were just DIY productions. So it was a huge relief to be able to focus on directing and not have to worry about operating the camera and monitoring light and sound as well. My actors were all Yukoners who had never acted in film before, but they did AMAZING, they really went above and beyond for me and for the project. I know they pushed themselves past their comfort zones in order to get some of the scenes and shots that I really wanted. And they really made me so proud! At the end of those 4 days my heart was so so full of love and gratitude, I was just beaming.

It was super intense because I came down with a really bad cold on day 2, and after we wrapped I literally had 48 hours to pack up my entire life for our move across the country. I also needed to get in an application to the Yukon Filmmakers Fund before I left to try to secure some funding for post-production for the film. Needless to say those were a couple of sleepless nights, but I got it all done and my fiance, Lyndsie and I were able to embark on our epic cross-canada roadtrip on June 1st.

It was wonderful to spend a week in Vancouver and visit with some of our dear friends and hang out by the ocean before heading to Pemberton for our big gay camping wedding.

Our wedding was without a doubt, my dream wedding, it was casual, colourful, and it was camping! Plus I got to spend a weekend with my favourite people and celebrate our partnership and our commitment to building a beautiful life together!

Here are a few of my favourite pics from our special day! (Taken by Lara Gray from LMG Photography of Vancouver)

HLWed2.jpgHLWed5HLWED1We thought our roadtrip across the country would be a lot more leisurely than it was, but we were petal to the metal through the prairies due to a three day storm that we were not keen to tent in- so we drove from Vancouver straight through to Toronto and made it there for Toronto for Pride which was super fun. Then we drove down to Niagra Falls for a cute date and some gambling at the Casino. We were able to spend Canada Day long weekend with our friend at her cottage a few ours outside the Toronto. Other highlights of our trip include chasing squirrels with Darla in literally every park we stopped at, and eating yummy yummy food in Montreal and wandering the streets of Saint John, NB at sunset.

We made it to Halifax on July 5th and slept in hammocks on the harbour our first night in the city.

We almost moved into what we thought was a beautiful apartment with a view of the Harbour but we realized in the nick of time- that it was a sketchy bedbug infested building! So for all of July we camped at different campgrounds (or slept in the car if it was raining) and house-hunted.

I got a notification email from the Yukon Government on July 7 that I would be a recipient for the Yukon Filmmakers Fund! So I have been able to hire a Yukon Editor, Sound Designer and Colorist to help me complete my short film, Hands Don’t Lie! Which is due in December. 🙂

Lyndsie started a job at a local Irish Pub before we even had a roof over our heads! But we finally found a perfect 2-bedroom apartment in Clayton Park which is just a 15min drive out of Halifax and fortunately were able to move in at the end of July.

I joined roller derby here in Halifax and am back on skates after not skating FOREVER (since before my surgery last December) which has been super exciting but also super challenging and frustrating because my legs don’t feel/work the way they used to but I’m finally starting to feel more solid on my skates again!

Next life changing event: I landed a job that couldn’t be more perfect for me- video production coordinator at ORB, an award-winning toy company based out of Halifax! And it just felt amazing like this year is really my year! I literally get to do all of the things I love at work, write scripts, plan shoots, make videos, do other creative writing and marketing campaigns etc. So just when I thought my life couldn’t be more perfect-

My dog Darla got very very sick. In a matter of days her kidneys and liver were failing and the vets didn’t know why. She’s only 2.5 years old and I started asking myself why the heck we moved here and blaming myself for uprooting her from her home and causing this. I’ve never cried as much in a week as I did two weeks ago. The vets said she wasn’t going to make it. We almost put her down, but I just couldn’t do it- I needed a 2nd opinion and then a third, the vets said it would take a miracle for her to start getting better. So I just waited and prayed and cried and prayed and cried for what felt like forever. I didn’t even want to stay here if Darla didn’t make it. We spent 5K trying to save her life, but the Clayton Park vet was so kind and even gave us $1000 off her treatment. When she started improving I felt like I could start to breath again.

Lynds quit her job in order to be a stay at home dog mom and give Darla medication around the clock for the last three weeks. Now Darla has two more days of pills left then we will get her blood tested again and see where she’s at. She’s definitely got her spunk back, but she has lost A LOT of weight and I’m still really worried about her,… but I am SO HAPPY she is alive.

Yesterday I found out my first film, Witch Therapy, was selected for the Reel Pride Film Festival in Winnipeg in October. 🙂

So all in all I feel like this summer has been an amazing emotional journey with lots and lots of change and milestones. Some days I feel like everything is moving at lightning speed and I haven’t had any time to stop and catch my breath- but I’m just grateful I get to share these ups and downs with my lovely partner and furchild because they are the ones that make everything else I do worthwhile.

❤ HJL

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Pet Therapy Endorsement

To be honest, I don’t even know what pet therapy is, or what exactly it entails but I want to endorse it, because A) it involves PETS in a good a way, aka not EATING them. B) Animals = gooooood: give me fuzzy feelings and C) my pet has pretty much saved my soul. First you may want to know: I’ve never actually been to any type of therapy. Although lots of people I know tell me I should go, or at least they tell me, it has helped them. I am a very intense person, probably borderline bi-polar, or maybe I’m being too modest… or maybe I’m being naive.I have learned and/or inherited an overwhelming distrust of doctors and health professionals in general, so I really don’t want to go in and get diagnosed (with anything ever). I’m also against taking most prescription medication unless I feel like I’m literally going to die, and even then I usually have to be heavily persuaded.

I suffer from periods of severe depression, sometimes I cry for days, sometimes it’s so bad I can’t get out of bed, but then I also have these extreme manic highs where I can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t even go to the bathroom until the project or whatever it is I’m obsessing about either gets complete, gets well-under way, or falls through. Sometimes I obsess over little things like, organizing or rearranging furniture, and I’ll do it insensately for hours because it’s just not quite right. It’s weird because I’m not a very clean person, scratch that, I’m a naturally messy person, but sometimes I just can’t go to sleep or think or function until I’ve reorganized every single cupboard and the fridge- but the piles on the floor are fine! It’s weird, I know, I’m weird… But I love the intensity that these highs come flooding in. Take over my body and transport me to my happy place. I wouldn’t want that to change.

Many of the other creative types, writers and artists I know are equally emotionally messed up, (no offence). It’s just a thing. I’m a little jealous of people that can create beautiful shit on a regular basis and not feeeeel sooo much. Maybe it’s just a pisces thing, but I know some of you will lose faith in me for saying it. I avoid binaries and ‘boxes’ like the plague but I just can’t fight this one, I fit into that flip-floppity fishy category so well. Whatever, deep down we’re all hypocrites. My point is that sometimes it gets really bad, but since I’ve had my dog Darla, I’ve been a lot more stable.

In the past, whenever I’m about to come back to my childhood town I have severe anxiety and kind of PTSD triggers from past shit (I don’t want to elaborate). I also usually experience depression whenever I move to a new place at least after the initial excitement wears off because I have no immediate friends and community other than my online networks. This time, it seems the feelings of isolation and desperation and general hopelessness have not accompanied me on this move. Or at least, not yet, but I don’t think they will come this time because I have this furry little companion that follows me everywhere. She even sits on me while I’m trying to do sit ups, and barks at the petals when I’m on the exercise bike. She loves me so deeply, and depends on me. She always wants to be close to me. Whether it is on my lap snoring, or chewing a bone on my foot: she will literally will follow me into the bathroom and sit and watch me pee if I let her. If I start feeling lonely or disheartened all I have to do is look in her eyes and look at those tiny little eyebrows. It’s all in those puppy eyebrows.

IMG_2843 Before I left Vancouver, I got drunk with an old co-worker, and she told me about how dogs evolved eyebrows only after spending time with humans so that they could express emotions to us and be able to communicate with people by means of facial expression. Apparently, their wild dog/wolf ancestors never had eyebrows. I don’t know if it was just some drunken ramblings, or if it holds any sort of factual evidence, but I like the idea. Ever since, I’ve been noticing dogs’ eyebrows way more than I ever did before. Seriously, look at those faces, look at those eyebrows!

The energy and love a dog or pet can give us is so strong and healing. Emotionally and physically. Their scent alone becomes a kind of medication. Their snuggles and language, their means of communicating can really lift your spirits even when you’re stuck so low you don’t think you’ll ever get up. If I ever go to actual therapy, I want it to be animal-assisted therapy, or at the very least have an animal-loving therapist who has lots of pets. Because people who don’t like animals just weird me out.

This is MY truth,

thanks for reading!

XOX HJL

The Perfect Time for a Puppy

Sometimes waiting for things is important. Waiting can make you realize just how much you want something, it can teach things about yourself and strengthen your patience, but sometimes you have to ask yourself: what is it that you are waiting for exactly? The world to change? Someone to come sweep you off your feet? A pelican to drop a parcel on your doorstop? Are you waiting for the ideal time in your life, when you have a perfect career and perfect partner and perfect house: for the perfect moment- when the fireworks go off and everyone cheers, because you’re just so ready, so prepared.

How long are you really willing to wait? And what if time is fleeting, what if you don’t have as much time as you planned for. What if right now is your whole life, and you’re spending it waiting…

I never really think like this. I think, oh, I’m young, I have my whole life to do this and this and that. But recently, someone close to me was diagnosed with cancer and I felt this overwhelming urgency to start fulfilling my dreams. And not just the career ones and the writing ones, but the family ones. I mean- babies. Seriously, babies, and puppies.

I’ve been waiting to get my own dog my whole life, and yes I’m still very young, but I’ve been telling myself over and over that I’m too young, I’m not ready. As a child, we had a family dog and I loved him dearly, he was a brother, a guide, a protector, and hell of a companion. I’ve always loved animals, and I’ve always loved dogs. As far back as I can remember, I’ve wanted a small dog, but this little voice inside my head has been so persistent and so judgemental. Let’s face it there are a ton of irresponsible people that get puppies and have babies and it goes horribly, but there also a hell of lot of people that just go for it, and make it work. I’m going to stop judging everyone who gets puppies and has babies young. Negative judgement, far too often stems from jealousy. I’ve always told myself to wait, wait until I’ve left the selfish 20s, the integral years of finding your path and climbing the career ladder, and wait until your financially sound and blah de blah.

But then about a month ago, I decided to say fuck it, and I finally got the furry little baby I’ve always wanted.

This is Darla:

P1010459
Darla the Pugalier

She’s fucking perfect.

xxoox

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!

May 2015 be the year you go out and capture, achieve, or obtain whatever it is that you’ve been waiting for!!!

❤ HJL

PS Some people may be offended that I think of dog babies and human babies as equivalent- but they eat, they poop, they cry, they snuggle and they depend on you to be teach them and love them and raise them to be brilliant little beings. So I don’t care what anybody says- I don’t feel like a ‘pet owner’ I feel like a mom. And it feels goooooood.