Chatting with Casey 0014 — I Don’t Want to Talk to Anyone; Just Give Me the Puzzles!

If there’s one thing podcasting teaches you, it’s flexibility.

My conversation with Errol dates a few weeks back when I had to reschedule my recording with Richard Badra and went to Facebook in search of volunteers. And so, dozens of friends later, I remembered a conversation I had with Errol one Sunday and soon found myself driving the four minutes to his place to record a podcast about escape rooms, anime, and the utter joy that’s nerd culture in general.

As you’ll discover in the episode, I meant to put it out in mid-November, but I had to push it back. Richard had his #RebelGiving Twitter Party on the 20th. Rob Tinkler’s 8 Tiny Reindeer was out December 1st, so a release on the 3rd would be too late. It quickly became clear to me that I needed to be more flexible with my recordings and not say things to tie myself down to a specific time in the process.

So, to Errol, I do apologise, but what’s important is that we’re here, and Episode 14’s finally out to the world so everyone else can enjoy a conversation I found hilarious.

Chatting with Casey 14 Featuring Errol Elumir — Because Nerds Must Stand United!

Though it wasn’t all that cool when I was growing up, nerd culture’s come into its own this past decade, glamorising things we enjoyed in smaller social circles away from society’s judgmental eyes. Board games. Comics. Japanese anime and American cartoons. So much of it defined who I am today, but I dabbled in it less over time, becoming the adult society wanted me to be—or at least, that’s what I thought I needed to do.

But men like Errol give me hope that the world’s finally changing. That men can be into nerdy things and still respected as the cool Dads they are. I laughed harder in this podcast than I had in a long time, and I think you will too when you hear some of his stories!

So settle in, relax, and make sure you’ve already visited the loo—this one will hit you right in the funny bone, and you’ve got to get yourself ready.

THE GREAT SOCIAL MEDIA STORY: NEVER Forget the Fun!!!

I’d been lying to myself all along.

I’ve been stuck in a rut for who knows how long, and it’s been getting harder to hide. My blogs grow increasingly critical of the blogging industry around me; I find it harder to put a solid post together now than in times past; and I just feel like I’m dragging my heels, lethargic and unable to keep up with my peers that are doing some fantastic things. I even spoke with a friend about whether I’d already peaked and now faced what looked to be a life of utter normalcy.

Turns out I was just looking at my life all wrong.

The Missing Ingredient

July 15th marked my 30th birthday, and I was happy to mark it with a few changes:

  • After years of badgering by family and friends, I finally got my driver’s licence — and in style, behind the wheel of a 2011 Ford Edge Select, which I’ve enjoyed taking for spins around Toronto so far
  • I held my second annual DoomzDay birthday party on the 19th, and while the night ended less than optimally by losing my wallet and testing my tolerance for tequila (yet again), I was surrounded by family and friends as I prepared to take one of the most significant leaps of my life in only a handful of months
  • I heard the stories of other 30-year-olds still living with their parents and working minimum-wage jobs, feeling blessed to have a steady job, be in a healthy marriage, own property and readying myself for the magical challenge journey of fatherhood

I’m known for my luck, and there’s a lot of good in my life — so why did I feel like I was all out of steam with nothing left to give?

It wouldn’t come to me until I started reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It!, which Sarah gave me as part of my birthday gift. It was nothing new — it was a simple point that we’ve all known since forever, but dutifully ignore it to fit in. And that point is this: we do best when we do what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re all coded differently — we all have things we enjoy and things we dread; things we’re fantastic at and others we’ll suck at no matter how hard we try. And when you find the thing you’re born to do, and you pour your blood, sweat and tears into it — they say no matter how much you work at it, it doesn’t feel like work at all.

It feels like fun.

Everyone. Stop the presses! We’ve forgotten how to have FUN!!!

Why We Do Social Media Wrong. So Very, Very Wrong.

I remember being sad the day after DoomzDay that I didn’t have quite the turnout that I did last year. With a storm watch afoot following in the heels of Stormageddon 2013 and three-hour delay, it was enough to slice the attendance to half of what I’d anticipated. I’d put months into promotion, planning, developing a playlist, scouting locations — I wanted it to come off just right.

Does any of this sound fun to you? It’s supposed to be a celebration — how’s stressing over every little detail going to make me enjoy my party any more?

And that’s only the beginning — let’s take a look at social media in general.

These past few years, I’ve been privy to numerous opportunities because of social media and my blogging. I’ve been to Vegas. Twice. I got a press pass to Toronto Pride, snapping pics of people like Keisha Chanté and Corey Hart up close and personal. I’ve stood on the court of the Air Canada Centre and eaten at more places than I can remember.

So much happened, and all people asked of me was to write about it. Take photos. Spread the word on social media. Which all works… for a while.

It doesn’t take long before you start figuring out who the “big names” are in the industry and start getting a taste of the green-eyed monster as you look at their lives:

“They got a free trip to where?”

“They got to drive what?”

Who gave them a free which?!”

And it’s not long before that envy turns ugly, with those feelings showing up in the conversations you have with your peers:

They don’t deserve that. They don’t even fit the image of what that brand should be looking for!”

I’m good at what I do — why don’t they pick me?”

“I heard they had to do this and this to get that and that!”

The lessons we learned about envy, gossip, grudges and spite as kids are the same ones we learned as teens and the same ones that apply to us now:

  • When we wish ill on others, it only hurts ourselves
  • You never get ahead when you use all your energy worrying about someone else, and
  • When you spend so much time welling all that negativity up in yourself, you leave so little room for positivity and actually enjoying everything that life has to offer you.

So what does this all mean?

I’m 30. I’ve been building websites half my life and blogging for a third of it. I know the importance of SEO, promotion, good writing and robust multimedia. I know that you need to stay authentic to stay relevant.

But I also know how easy it is to lose your way. To forget why it is you do what you do. To get so caught up in the minutiae of what others say you need for a great blog, and forget that your blog is simply the best representation of you and what you offer to the world!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Palmer

I am not my content — my content is part of my story.

I’ll still look at things to review, read the books, try the food and go to all the places. I’ll try new things and find new ways to integrate all of them into my life.

But if I don’t remember to have fun while doing it, I haven’t learned a damn thing.

I’m going to worry less about the page views and more about the stories. Less about the Klout scores and more about the feelings. Less about how many comments I get, and more about whether the blogs I write energise me enough to write more. Because I haven’t peaked. I haven’t quit. This isn’t the end of my life’s road — I’m only just merging onto the highway.

Happy belated, Casey Palmer — welcome to the rest of your life.

HYFR and YOLO,

–case p.

The 2K11 24/7 LVII: Having Fun for the Sake of Fun

After 5 days of talking priorities and prioritization, I figure that I should give you guys a break. There's more to the world than trying to schedule things in so that they get done. Let's talk about something fun – like having fun! There's no rhyme or reason about the best way to go about it; everyone's going to have a very different and very individual approach. But it's SO IMPORTANT to make sure that you mix some fun in your life!

Life is boring.

Life is frustrating.

For many across the world, life is unfair.

But the medicine for these symptoms is how you approach life and what it sends in your direction! Sarah often tells me of tales about when she did work in Malawi, and despite there being less material possessions than what we might be used to here in Toronto, there was a genuine love for life and happiness that resonated there. So let me tell you about what I get up to for fun – you might think it's boring as all heck, but that's the point; you're not me 🙂

  • Sketching up a storm
  • Sports, namely dodgeball and ultimate frisbee
  • Jamming on my Wii (but only the fun games – my gaming days are running out!)
  • Joking around
  • Board games
  • Learning new skills
  • Dancing to my tunes on the subway (because on top of the fact that I don't care what strangers think about it, it's equally likely that they just don't care)
  • Interact with all sorts of people online

Ha, I think that's most of my life summed up in a few bullet points right there! So find what you love to do with your time and do it! When's a better time than now?

I can answer that: Never. Hence the phrase "Now or Never". Get crackin'!

–case p.