Radio Silence

Personal Posts

Sorry guys, I started to strong with my updates but it’s been hard lately so I figured I would at least say why the websites been a bit slow.

Working for a comic project right now that I will keep you all informed about as soon as it’s published. I will say though that this is the first time I have seen my work inked and coloured by other artists and it’s been incredible to see how it translates.

I’ve been finishing up a script for a pitch I am working on. I have been posting sketches of the characters on my Instagram, Toblyshifty, so run over there and check out #Heart+Soul to see more. If no one takes the pitch I intend to self publish but well see how that will all go in the near future.

I started a new day job. Nothing crazy, just something to make ends meet in-between projects. It’s been good and the pay has been a huge help with all the bills I am trying to juggle.

I’ll be more prepared to start posting again soon seeing as I finally dished out the money for a new laptop! Now I don’t need to share the computer with the boyfriend, although he has been very accommodating.

I look forward to sharing more with you all soon.

Till then, stay Tobly awesome

I know I’m trying!

HRT update

Personal Posts

Hey folks!

I recognize that I haven’t uploaded a HRT update in a while and I am way over due for one! Lot’s of changes so there will be some comparison pictures in this post.

So to begin I would like to state that I am officially 1 year and 9 Months on Testosterone with a dosage of one unit every other week. Once I am over this whole “colposcopy” business then I am planning on getting my levels checked and we will see how we go from there.

As far as I know though, besides the obvious, I am doing well health wise! That’s all boring personal stuff though, you’re all here to know about ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. So, just like last time, I’ll list them out for you;

  1. My voice continues to deepen. I now sound male on the phone and my voice cracks a little bit more depending on the day. My upper register is gone completely. I can try to make a high-pitched voice but it’s just not a thing I can do anymore.
  2. Hair! Lot’s of it! I have to shave frequently, although my facial hair pattern has become the love child of a neck beard and a Micheal Cera moustache. I am also noticing hair on my back as well.
  3. Once again I’m going to get a bit TMI but it’s purely an educational thing. My clitoris has grown, which is pretty cool. I haven’t measured it…yet…
  4. I have lost more weight in my face. I definitely have more of a jaw line although it is still really soft seeing as I was starting out with a pretty round face to begin with.
  5. I’ve calmed down a lot as far as my energy levels go. I use to want to go out dancing, partying and having a crazy night life. Now I just want to chill, watch movies, hang out with friends. I just feel more level.
  6. I’ve lost a lot of curves. If it wasn’t for my hips I would almost be a rectangle. I enjoy this a lot.
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Look at my face area! Featuring The Cat’s paw.

I’ve been through a lot of changes lately and I feel better for it but I still have a ways to go. In a few months I’ll be celebrating 2 years on Testosterone and I am so thankfully I have an environment where I have been able to be myself.

I’ve been really lucky to have the support system that I do, and to have family and friends who have accepted me. As we launch into Pride month here in Toronto, I feel as though I couldn’t be in a better place.

In the next few months my goal is to start the process to get my top surgery covered. It’ll take a bit longer but I am willing to handle the wait.

I’ve waited this long, a few extra months won’t kill me.

In the meantime I am finishing up with changing a few last-minute ID’s to my new legal name (Tobias José Medeiros, José after my father).

I’ll keep everyone update as usual on further changes and top surgery progress once I have the chance to talk to my doctor about it.

Till next time, stay Tobly awesome

I know I will.

Colposcopy

Personal Posts

Not a Colonoscopy, but a Colposcopy. Different hole, equally not great.

It means I had a cancer scare recently and I wanted to share a bit about it with my readers. I do want to start this off my saying that chances are I am okay, they took some samples but they doubt what I have is cancerous. This will be more informational than anything.

Let me begin by saying that I was dumb and this whole scare was my fault. I left my Pap test for way too long before finally sucking it up and just spreading my legs for an examination.  I was nervous and I hated the idea of going through something so innately female and I know that coming from me, Mr. “Dysphoria-can-eat-my-shorts”, that sounds out of character. I have come a long way with my transition and my feelings but I’m still susceptible to feeling dysphoric in certain situations.

Point being I hate the idea of Pap tests. The idea makes me feel icky as a Transgender man.

I will freely admit to being one of those “it’ll never happen to me” kind of guys when I saw an advertisement in my doctors advising Transmen to get checked. “Book your Pap test with your Doctor today!”.

Yeah, no thanks. I don’t see anything bad happening to me. What are the chances?

Pretty high actually, and that’s not considering the other things you might encounter besides cancer.

After finally booking an appointment, mostly to shut my doctor up, I was shocked when my local hospital called a few weeks later about booking a “colposcopy”. I had never heard of this procedure but when the receptionist said something about my Pap finding something abnormal I knew it wouldn’t be anything enjoyable for me. Thankfully, or maybe not, there is my buddy Google.

Thanks to Google I learned that I would have liquid sprayed into my cervix and a “sample” biopsied from the tissue wall. In my attempt to avoid a Pap I stumbled into something I was sure to find less fun.

Cue the anxiety.

I didn’t want to have cancer, I don’t think there is a single person out there that does. I tried to keep my cool by distracting myself with friends but it was always there, lingering.

“Countdown to procedure that you’re not excited for! Friendly reminder that your downstairs is going through some turmoil”.

Boyfriend and Cat have been doing a great job with keeping me happy and high-spirited while I tried not to stress. Not like I had a diagnoses yet so there was no point in worrying anyway. I told myself to chill but I tend to not take my own advice.

Once the day came, a few days ago by now, I was a nervous wreck. My family drove me to the hospital and told me I would be alright. I knew I would be, everything ends eventually even colposcopies you wish didn’t exist. Still, it was nice to hear it from my Mom. She has been my number one champ through this.

After finally finding our way to the women and children ward I was passed along to the lady doctor who would be examining me. Even though she was really friendly and considerate of my situation I still felt really wrong being there.

So how was the actual procedure? I’m sure you’re not here to read about the “vibe” of the office or the colour of my doctors hair. (It was a warm shade of brown. Really brought out the healthy glow of her skin)

There was more vinegar involved than a fish and chips joint, the doctor did her best to make me feel comfortable with Mrs. Speculum, and  I am pretty sure I looked like a cat dropped in water the entire time I was laying there.

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Please no more of this nonsense.

Having said all of that, it was quick. The whole procedure probably only took ten minutes tops.

After inserting the speculum the doctor squirts some vinegar around the area, it stung a bit like the time I accidentally used hand sanitizer instead of lubricant. That’s a story for another time though.

They then stick a camera inside you, much like a colonoscopy, and look for any abnormalities.

“Do you want to take a look?”

“Naw, I’m good. I hadn’t really planned on seeing the inside of my cervix on a monitor today,”
Once they find the abnormality they pinch the area with a tool and you feel pressure, not pain. Similar to cramps.

Finally, and this is the part I was actually scared of, they slice a small sample off for biopsy. It didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would but I did bleed more than I thought I would. It feels like an odd sort of pinching pain rather than a slicing pain. This part is over really fast. To be honest they spend most of their time looking around in there.

So what was the verdict?

After giving me some pads for the bleeding they gave me a guess as to what it might be.

Mild HPV.

Fun fact: you’re still susceptible to HPV even if you’ve had the shot, which I have had.

You can also lack any symptoms for up to a year after contracting it.

I knew none of this. I thought that having the shot back in school pretty much cleared me but that is apparently not the case. It just minimizes your chances.

So I am probably cancer free but that doesn’t mean I am out of the woods yet. I still need the definitive tests back and once we have those I’ll have to continue to be vigilant with my Paps going forward.

Learn from my little experience. Get checked out regularly and stay safe. I know that doctor visits can be stressful but your health is so important and you deserve to be healthy.

I’ll post an update in a week or two with my final results and hope for the best!

If anyone has any questions or experiences they’d like to share please feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you and maybe we can all spread a bit of awareness together.

Till next time folks, stay Tobly awesome!

I know I will.

Oops, things have changed!

Personal Posts

My bad. Or not.

I am happy to announce that toblyawesome.com now belongs to me! I bought it. It’s mine.

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So with having this as my main domain I have decided to combine my illustration work and blog posts into one big website. That way I have everything in one place. Having said this I am slowly going through all my old blog posts and using pretty words in certain places.

The major changes are just with the visual layout of the site and the addition of my portfolio section. I think the site looks much cleaner and I think it makes sense to be posting my work up.

Given that I now have a more career focused layout I have decided my blog categories will reflect this. I doubt many people are attached to the category names as they once were but if there is one that is missed please feel free to let me know.

In other news:

You can pretty much assume that anytime I go silent major changes happen in my life.

You assume correctly!

I am now living with Boyfriend and Cat in Toronto and no longer working in the Comic shop. More things have happened but that all comics in good time.

For now, enjoy the changes and I’ll be posting some of my misadventures soon!

Till then stay Tobly Awesome

I know I will.

Tis the Season

Personal Posts

To stress the hell out and eat more food in the span of a few days than you do in a full year.

Now that Christmas has come and passed I feel like I can relax a little  bit and actually do that breathing thing I have been neglecting. I don’t know about the rest of you but I am the culmination of the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge duct taped together and forced to wear a Christmas wreath noose. I’ll eventually accept my fate and get into the shoehorned Christmas spirit but I will moan and complain about it the entire time leading up to my surrender. It’s not even the fault of Christmas itself, or anything it stands for.

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Most people you talk to who claim to hate Christmas will you give the whole “It’s a materialistic holiday, tainted by the man!”, not me. I like the presents. Presents are frickin’ awesome and I will love and appreciate anything and everything given to me. I’m not a religious man either so having the holiday taken over by non-religious forces such as present-giving doesn’t really effect me. It sucks for you religious folks though.

Sorry about that.

My entire issue with Christmas is the way it’s crammed into ever orifice of my life for 2 entire months. I don’t want to hear  Bing Crosby singing about Christmas on November 1st, and the fact that people need to be reminded to chill with the Christmas cheer till after Remembrance day is ridiculous. Your childlike glee can wait till after the 11th I am sure, it won’t kill you. Or maybe it will, in which case that sucks.

I am a huge fan of Halloween and to see Christmas decorations starting to fill up store shelves before my favourite time of year is even over is a pretty sore spot for me. I’m a toxic mixture of bitter and petty, so sue me. I would like to enjoy Halloween to its fullest and going into a shop to pick up some decorations the week before Spook night and finding out that half the aisle is now ribbons,  and tags, packages, boxes and bags. My heart grows three sizes due to the blood accumulation from all my pent-up rage.

I’m not even one of those crazed, foaming at the mouth, Halloween fans. Then again I am not sure we exist to the same extent as Christmas fans do. It’s not cool in a spooky way to be too excited, kills the mood ya know?

Look, I get it. Christmas is cute for those of us non-religious people and very significant to those of you who believe in the big dude in the sky. But when you have people getting angry at you over the whole “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” debate it’s enough to make you want to shank an elf-on-the-shelf in the face.
Side Note: If I say “Happy Holidays” on social media it does include Christmas, get off my candy cane.

Another side note: Love how some people will flip when given a “Happy Holidays” as if it implies that Christmas is excluded but are fine with excluding everyone else by being stubborn about wishing others a “Happy Holiday”. It’s almost like people are self-centered or something, which is totally what Christmas is all about.

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That’s just it though, isn’t it? It’s the people. I don’t hate the idea of spending time with your loved ones, good food, awesome presents, copious amounts of alcohol and yule tide whatevers. I think that all sounds pretty cool, and I do love me some spiked eggnog even though it kills my stomach every single time.

I hate people around Christmas time. I hate the way they put one single day on a pedestal just because Christianity tells us to. Most of these people aren’t even Christian! Why? Sitting here now I am trying to find a reason why Christmas would have some importance to me now, as an adult. I can’t find one outside of “because it’s fun”. I feel the same way about Christmas as I do about any other Holiday. It’s fun, you do cool stuff and you might even get a day off work to relax.

Now obviously the over exposure to Christmas has some deep seeded roots with society and the fact that our work and school days are heavily based on Christian tradition and yadda, yadda, yadda, religious politics. I don’t really feel like now is the time to really go into that, it’s a tad long-winded and off topic so I’ll leave that for now. This post is just about me being a jerk at heart and trying to justify it for the sake of my own conscience.

Don’t even get me started on how self-righteous people become as soon as the snow starts falling. Suddenly they’re all “family first, love and peace fam,” when last week they were telling some kid on the internet to set themselves on fire.

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You shouldn’t need a Holiday to tell you to appreciate your loved ones and not be a jerk to strangers. If you do, you’re on my naughty list.

(admittedly “naughty list” sounds a lot less PG coming from me)

At least, for me anyway, it’s all over and done with. Soon the Christmas decorations in my mall will be taken down, Christmas carols have already stopped playing on the radio and everyone seems to be back to their hate-filled selves.

As for me?

307 days till Halloween 2017.

 

Find your carrot!

Creative advice, Personal Posts

I recently heard the term “carrot and stick” in reference to motivation. Basically it’s all about motivating yourself through a series of reward and punishment, it can also refer to achieving more through reward depending on the context of  the idiom. I might be off on that seeing as I only recently learnt what it meant but the point being is that it got me thinking about motivation in relation to work.

I have been working a lot lately, with my next comic illustration gig just starting up, my old job with “Wyvern” coming to a close, and my regular hours at the comic store during the Holiday season. My caffeine intake is up dramatically and my amount of down time has significantly decreased. It can be hard to stay motivated these days when all I want to do is play a video game, enjoy a meal at my kitchen table and get a good nights sleep. If I want to complete my work and pay my bills I know I need to keep going.

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Just knowing you have to get something done isn’t always enough to keep you going, and I find the whole “carrot and stick” method doesn’t always work for everyone. Whenever I reward myself with a “break” I find myself having an even harder time getting back into the flow, especially when I am in the middle of a project.

I’m the type of person that needs to brew a pot of coffee, sit down and zone out for a few hours till I get done what I need to get done. Breaks distract me and leave me feeling even more drained than I was when I started. Especially since my breaks usually consist of doing household chores. A break doesn’t feel like a real break when you spend it cleaning floors.

So what do I do to keep myself motivated? If rewarding myself doesn’t work, what about punishments? If I don’t finish project on time do I just take my break away? Well yeah, but that’s less of a punishment and more of a necessity if I want to finish my project and get paid. Stop myself from seeing my partner so I can finish my work? I only see him once a week due to distance and honestly I think that’s what keeps me sane. I don’t want to confine myself to a straight jacket just yet, I’m trying to delay that till I’m at least in my mid-forties.

I often find the best way to keep myself motivated is by comparing myself to others.

I know, I know. I’ve said to never compare yourself to others on a few different occasions but I feel like this comparison is a bit different. I do it in a less self-deprecating sort of way.

One of my favourite things to do is listen to a podcast or documentary detailing other artists and their creative process and then take notes whenever I hear something that fires me up. My favourite one actually comes from a Jack Kirby documentary;

Jack could complete a comic a week.

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An entire pencilled comic in one week. Now, I’m not saying that I want to work at that rate right away. This man was a pioneer and I realize he is a legend in comic circles . He was well-known for his work ethic. My point is, I know that doing a comic in a week is possible while maintaining a consistent product. I may not be at that level yet but I know it’s achievable. That’s the point. Knowing that if I work hard enough I can get there.

I’m still starting out and learning more and more about my art, but I know where I want to end up and I’ll keep that in my sight.

If I ever forget what I want, or need a push towards where I need to be I just replay one of my motivators and it gets me fired up.  Seeing something I want always works, and this extends to everything.

If I need to spend a day cleaning and organizing my work station I’ll look up artist work stations on image search and once I get the feeling of wanting what I am seeing it’ll make me want to work towards having that. In other words, I want to clean and organize the ever-living-fiddely out of everything I touch to make everything as streamline and efficient as possible as I work.

Seeing what is possible and working towards it. That’s what keeps me motivated. I want what others have and sitting around, staring at the ceiling will get me nothing.

Well, it works for me. The Carrot and Stick method may work you, or maybe you have another way of firing up. Everyone is different and we all have different things, but if you’re anything like me, competitive workaholic with a need for recognition, then maybe try this method.  If not then try finding your carrot (see what I did there? It’s the title of the blog post. It’s all connected). Find something that keeps you going through the long days, you’re bound to have something that’ll help you.

Well folks, that pretty much sums it all up in a pretty little coffee  and ink soaked package. No matter how you keep yourself motivated always remember that time is a factor and there is only so much you can do in a day. Don’t beat yourself up too much if you can’t fit everything into one day. Don’t let it discourage you and don’t let yourself become your own worst enemy when it comes to work motivation.

Till next time folks, stay Tobly awesome.

I know I will.

 

Adventures in Depression land

Personal Posts

Depression is a funny thing, it affects us all in different ways but in the end there is no denying it makes us feel terrible. Depression sucks and the worst part about it is that once you start giving in to it, it begins to spiral out of control and you feel yourself losing grip of the things that once made you happy.

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I recently discovered something about the way my particular brand of depression manifests and I don’t know how I never noticed it before.

Energy.

I get truck loads of pure energy out of nowhere and for seemingly no reason at all. Which sucks when you live in a town with nothing to do past 6pm on a Saturday night. This energy isn’t necessarily happy energy. It’s just truck loads of jittery energy and I feel the need to dance or move or do something social.  A part of me knows that if I don’t, the crash will be devastating. It always is.

There is a catch to go along with this. Even if I do expel the energy there is no guarantee the depression won’t just show up anyway. It’s a gamble. Stay in and wait for the crash or go out and possibly crash around people and then spend the rest of the night hiding it.

Once the energy does start to deplete I am left with the worst depression I have ever felt in my life. I want to just lay down and feel sorry for myself.

“No one cares about you”

“You’re all alone”

“Do you really think your friends actually like you?”

I know I have to just push through, I have work to do and deadlines to meet. It can be maddening though and my work ethic doesn’t always win no matter how hard I try. I can’t help but hate myself.

It’s been significantly better since I started my hormones treatments but I still have my days. That’s the thing though, isn’t it? My depression and my gender identity are two different creatures. My gender dysphoria I felt lent to my depression, it fed the beast in a way. HRT came along and calmed the disphoria but that’s about as far as it can go, the rest is up to me.

I use to feel bad about still feeling depressed after hormones, like deep down I was being ungrateful for the opportunity to live the life I needed. I know that’s not true now. You can have everything you could possibly want and still slip into depression. Why? Depression is your mental health, it’s your body, it’s not what’s around but what’s inside. We all know this by now, right?

I won’t tell you how to handle your depression, we all cope in different ways and I get that. I get hyper and then I crash and burn. I will say that it’s important to take care of your mental health and maybe you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself for feeling miserable when everything around you is sunshine and roses. Having a run in with depression should be treated in the same way as catching the flu. Sure you can take preventative measures but sometimes it happens anyway. It’s not your fault, just take care of it and yourself. Battle depression just like you would the flu. See your doctor if you need to but never ever blame yourself for having it.

I know this weeks post was a bit less funny and sarcastic than usual but I felt the need to just kind of get it all off my chest.

Take care of yourselves folks, you’re all tobly awesome!

 

Opening the Gender Spectrum

Personal Posts

I’ve touched on gender perceptions before in my post Manly versus being a Man.

I have never had a very concrete view on gender roles, I see them more as a “suggested serving” rather than an actual law or rule. You can suggest that pink is a feminine colour, doesn’t mean I have to agree with you or stop wearing it because I’m a boy. I don’t see why it’s such a terrible idea to view “gender” as a broader concept involving more than just the textbook “male” and “female”.

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I like to view the gender spectrum as more of a gradient than anything else. The colours all kind of blend together as you get closer to the middle of the scale but there are still two points that appear to almost be solid colours. I see a lot of people who have an issue with this view and it’s not in the way you would think.

There has been a huge movement online to bring about a genderless social structure and, in many ways, I agree with this movement. I agree that gendered razor’s are stupid and that the idea of women being the “weaker sex” is vastly outdated. I don’t think we need to get rid of separate genders entirely. People can identify with being gender-queer/ genderless or any other form of non-gendered lifestyle and I completely understand and respect their feelings being a trans* individual myself.
I fail to see why Gender has developed into this huge war where you have to pick a side of two extremes. A guy doesn’t have to wear a dress to be considerate towards the concept of being gender-fluid anymore than someone who is gender-fluid needs to pick male or female pronouns. It just this assumption people opposed to more than two genders have sort of developed and it’s just really silly. It also baffles me how involved we all seem to be with the gender of people we don’t even know.

“Are you male or female?” really none of your business. I’m just trying to get myself to work at some ungodly hour of the morning and what I’m packin’ in my pants does not concern you. We will never see each other again and I have no obligation to tell you.
This applies to everyone! How a stranger chooses to represent their gender is up to them and whatever makes them happy and comfortable. Butt out.
Sometimes I feel like slamming my face against a wall would be a more productive use of my time than trying to get my points across. If I just sat by what kind of activist would I be? Which brings us here.

While on the note of being genderfluid, have these people who bitch and complain about “they/them” not being grammatically correct never used slang before? Have they never looked at the evolution of the english language? Go ahead. Read some nice old texts and then get back to me. Language evolves and grows, along with a lot of other things on this Earth. It’s a part of life, get over it and stop being a whiney brat about it.

If these people still won’t adapt then screw ’em. They’ll just get left behind as we all move on to something else.

Like getting a new hobby or taking a vacation. I hear Irelands nice.

I’m not trying to tell everyone to give up on the idea of having two genders, I just want people to realize that there are some people in between as well. Like a magical rainbow gender scale going from 1 to 10.

Respect eachother and respect gender. If Hannah uses they/them pronouns and wants to bind their chest some days but wear a dress others then let Hannah rock it. As long as they’re happy.

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Anyway beautiful people, just a short post today for my return to blogging…again.
Life has been busy again, been getting more illustration work and planning a move to the “big city” soon so I’ve had my plate full with very little time for blogging.
If anyone wants to see the gay stuff I have been working on lately just head over to my instagram Toblyshifty and give me a follow. Nothing too exciting, just artwork for an LGBT comic I have been planning to pitch, dumb pictures of my transition progress and pictures of my boyfriends cat.
That’s really all for now, I’ll post when I can but we shall see how the next few weeks play out!
Till next time everyone, stay tobly awesome
I know I will.

Go ahead, feel offended.

Personal Posts

How often do you hear “sensitive” being used as an insult in today’s world. People being called “too sensitive” over the smallest things like it’s the modern equivalent of being called a “pussy”. Why? I understand that some people can be too sensitive but folks today throw it around every chance they get to belittle someones feelings. If you feel hurt by someones racist joke you’re not being sensitive, you’re human and you’re entitled to feel things without being accused of possessing an apparently negative trait.

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I will be the first person to say that I am usually not the most sensitive guy in the room at any given time. Even if others do consider me sensitive, well that’s their prerogative. I know what offends me, honestly not much, and I am allowed to feel offended by those things if you cross the line with me. This notion of “If you don’t like what I have to say then don’t listen” is conceded and misplaced especially when the people saying it are usually the ones who don’t want to hear what you have to say. They want the right to offend you but they don’t want you to have the right to express your offense. This system goes both ways, if I have to sit and listen to your dumb opinion about “trannies” then you have to sit and listen to why I think you suck.

Let’s face it, the concept of actually having a choice to listen is imaginary. These sorts of people need you to listen to them, if not then they wouldn’t seek you out. If someone hates gay people why would they go to an Adam Lambert music video and comment about how much they hate him for being gay and then tell people not to listen if they don’t like it. This act is the equivalent to someone standing in the middle of a Blue Jays game in Toronto and declaring their love for the Yankees. They need you to pay attention to them, they need that “sensitive” reaction from you. You’re not being unreasonable, go ahead and feel offended but always keep in mind you’re better than them. You don’t need to insult others, you don’t need to sink that low.

I’m not saying the world doesn’t have a growing censorship problem though, this issue grows on both sides of the field. I’ve met people who want their trigger words respected but refuse to censor themselves for the sake of others in return. Let’s say you don’t want someone saying the word “cunt” because it offends you then you need to respect words that offends others. Having a trigger word doesn’t make someone the most delicate flower in the room that must be protected at all cost. We are all human and the comfort of one person should not be placed in competition with the comfort of another. You want respect? Give it in return.

I’m a queer transmale, this doesn’t make my feelings more important than Becky’s, the straight cis-gendered girl. Becky is valid, I am valid. Just because I am Transgender doesn’t mean I am incapable of offending her. If I do offend her then she has every right to call me out on it! We are both human and we both have feelings that could be hurt.

I feel as though now is a really good time to drop this little tidbit of Toby opinion here: I respect your right to express your opinion as long as it does not affect the basic human rights of others. I expect the same in return. Boom. Crazy. Borderline controversial.

I don’t want this to read as some sort of call to arms against society. That’s not what this is so please don’t grab a baseball bat and start beating whoever mutters something mildly offensive. I want this to be more about people and the squishy feelings they are allowed to have.  I also want to remind people that anyone can be offensive and self-centred because, shocker, it’s not just straight white cis-men that are capable of being jerks. We all have that ability and we all need to be aware of it. So, you know, don’t be a tool and respect people.

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Just remember that you’re feelings are important and no amount of someone telling you to “stop being so sensitive” should ever stop you from feeling something.

Till next time folks, keep your head high, think happy thoughts or whatever and most importantly stay Tobly awesome.

I know I will.

Why Pan feels like wasted potential.

Movie Reviews

Have you ever been to an art gallery and seen a painting that you think you like at first but the longer you stare at it the more you start to see why it’s shoved in the dark corner beside the Janitors closet. The colours don’t match, the canvas size is irregular in an unsettling sort of way and the message is muddied by, what appears to be, a splat of paint caused by the artist sneezing and deciding to go with it. As if that wasn’t enough you can almost make out some Kanji on the right hand side of the painting that is apparently supposed to read “Faith” but actually says “Fart Giraffe”. Well now imagine that painting became a movie and you’re left with Pan.

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Pan is the whimsical tale of how Peter Pan went from an orphanage in London to Neverland, seems like a pretty solid concept and upon first hearing it I was sold. I would be lying if I said I didn’t put off watching because I was immediately irked by Tiger Lily’s design but I’ll touch on that later. I had been feeling under the weather a few weeks ago and kids films always tend to cheer me up and, after burning through everything I had already seen millions of times, I decided to give the movie a shot. Maybe everything surrounding Tiger Lily would be good enough for me to ignore how terrible her casting and design ended up being.

It almost was.

The first bit of the movie, up to her introduction actually, was really entertaining. I always go into children’s movies with child like expectations. I want excitement and adventure and I want them both in large supply and for the first little while I got lots of it. They hooked me. I wanted to see more of Blackbeard, I wanted to know why Hook would eventually betray Peter, and I wanted to watch more of Levi Miller being an adorable Peter Pan. With Hook, Peter and Mr. Smee adventuring to find “the natives” it was shaping up to be a grand old-time. Then they find the natives.

Let me tell you. Nothing is more hilarious than having a white male character say “It’s a native” and having the camera pan up to a pale white girl looking like she got ready for Coachella in the craft section of a dollar store. I just couldn’t take the movie seriously from that point on. I was okay with that though seeing as I was already prepared to hate this part of the film. I went into this movie knowing that they seemed to really want to make Tiger Lily white and as offensive to any POC people out there as humanly possible. Doesn’t mean it didn’t stop me from laughing at how stupid the whole thing was.

Note: I will be using the term “Native” a lot to describe them seeing as I don’t view them as any sort of true representation of Indigenous for First Nations people of any sort. I see them as something entirely different.

As the movie continues and you’re introduced to the rest of the natives I was able to see a glimmer of what they were trying to achieve with the Neverland Natives. It’s obvious they wanted to push forward an idea of the Natives being a multi-cultural community with people from different backgrounds coming together to form a whole new culture. Neato! Except it feels like they typed “indigenous People” into google and held whatever they found together with glitter glue and pipe cleaners.

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You think this is a joke?

I am not exaggerating in the least. Gatta love how the only white person there is the main character. If the Neverland “natives” are a wholly different culture and meant to just be a hodge podge then why not just keep Tiger Lily as she was? Why make her white? Don’t even get me started on aging her and making the love interest of Hook…Don’t even.
Moving right along because this “masterpiece” just goes down hill. From this point on the writers literally looked at the original Peter Pan and laughed in the face of continuity.
Spoilers below folks, warning you now.
They make Smee betray Peter and Hook (Smee is the only POC in the main cast by the way…just a fun observation) which leads to Smee no longer being loyal to Hook and going off with Blackbeard. They then further drive home Hooks boner for Tiger Lily and by this point I have almost given up on trying to enjoy this movie but I need to know what breaks Hook and Peters friendship.
The final battle arrives and I am excited to see how this turns out! Even after they plummet Smee to his death I determined to stick it till the end. They win the battle and all is well but I am no longer invested in this awkward waste of my time by this point. I wish I could give a better description other than “pretty colours” but I was glazed over.  Peter, Hook and Tiger Lily then return to Peters original orphanage and take all the orphan boys and then sail aboard a newly commandeered Jolly Roger into the night joking about how they will always be friends!
Yep.
That’s it. Peter and Hook are all “Oh what jolly good friends we are! Twould be a disaster if something terrible should happen to this fine friendship we have formed!”.
This is supposed to be an origin story and I am certain I was not the only person watching who wanted to see some glimmer of how James Hook would become Captain Hook. If anything he begins the movie as more of a villain than he ends it. James Hook ends up a hero,  a man of honor and loyalty without a single hint of who he may become. I would have an easier time believing you if you had told me Smee would come back from the dead and become Captain Hook later on.
What started off as a movie with promise and interest quickly devolved into a messy fan fiction, the only thing missing was a fan made character featuring better writing than any of the original cast of characters.

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Oh wait.
Joe Wright should have just written an original story rather than trying to make an origin story for a character that doesn’t really need one. The original Robin Williams Hook gave us everything we already needed for Peter Pan origins.
I would say that if you are going to sit down and watch this movie to just watch it for the first little bit and for Hugh Jackman’s performance as Blackbeard. He is the only really well written character in the movie and he makes a very good villain for a children’s adventure movie.
Don’t take my word for it though. I encourage you to form your own opinion on this movie, maybe you’ll disagree with me or maybe you’ll have some insights I lack. Check it out for yourself if you want, I watched if for free on my parents Shomi so… ya know…no real loss for me.
I’ll be returning to normal blog posts soon times, I promise. These little movie reviews are just good warm ups to get me into writing again.
I have had a busy few weeks so maybe it’s time for a life update blog, we will see.
Anyway folks, till next time, stay tobly awesome.

I know I will.