Breakfast at Denny’s

Jazzy and I rolled out of bed at around 7:30.  I had a shower while she watched TV.  As we walked to Denny’s for breakfast, I couldn’t help but think about how’s there’s no gap in our relationship despite the miles between us and the weeks that pass between visits.  We just pick up where we left off, and it feels just like it always has between us.

To be clear, I don’t like the distance, but it’s our reality.  At this age, I believe Jazzy should be with PJ in Vancouver.  There’s a lot of really great things about their situation on the left coast.  In pursuing her PhD, PJ has emerged as one of the top students in the country.  Jazzy walks through a rainforest on her way to and from school.  She’s made many friends and aside from math, she’s a good student as well.

After breakfast we headed to UBC where PJ is running a technology camp for kids as part of her research.  I spent most of the day there helping out.  PJ is designing an internet based game for kids and there’s a role for Dacian as we refine it.  We first started to hash it out at a workshop we attended together at the Banff Television Festival in June.

I’ve decided that I will take a couple of days off before resuming production of The Urban Future teaser.  It’s too hot right now.  It seems all you have to do to trigger a heat wave, is invite me over.  Mild Vancouver reached a record high the day I arrived.  It was hot everyday in Bucharest and it was hot everyday I was in Regina.  I hear Cuba gets pretty stifling this time of year… it guess I’m training for it.

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Jazzy Daddy Date

Woke up this morning in Golden, British Columbia and ended up on a couch in PJ’s office in Vancouver about seven hours later.  1,740 kilometres in 15 hours.  I like long road trips through the mountains.  I like to take the turns at high speeds, I like the scenery, I like the crappy reception you get on the radio that leads eventually to several hours of silence.  Nothing but the sound of the tires humming on the road and my thoughts wandering aimlessly through my mind.

I hadn’t checked my email for a day and a half and I was shaking pretty bad.  I spent an hour licking my inbox and I was fine after that.

It was 5:15 and I wanted to take Jazzy out on a date.  We always go to a movie on the first night I’m in town.  On this occasion it was Harry Potter that we went to see.  Neither of us are big fans, and it was a challenge to try and follow along… but the challenge was made even greater by a power failure which occurred about half way through the move.

Imagine a whole theatre full of people just sitting there in the dark, doing nothing.  At first, no one said anything.  Then the cell phones came out, and people started to use the displays as light sources.  After a couple of minutes we were told that the power was out throughout the whole building and it wasn’t coming back on.  We were asked to sit in the dark, while they evacuated the building, theatre by theatre.  It took about 15 minutes before it was our turn to leave.  They provided us with complementary tickets to another show on our way out.  Surprisingly, no one was freaked out or mad because we had to sit there in the dark.

After that, Jazzy and I found a hotel room in downtown Vancouver.  We were given a room on the 11th floor, and both of us were too freaked out to step out onto the balcony.    It was a great night.

Road Warrior

My objective for the day was to get as far west down the Trans Canada Highway as possible.  But first I had some office stuff to take care of.  I finalized the script for Urban Future and recorded scratch narration for the editors.  I did a bit of book keeping then assembled the camera packages together for yet another trip.

Regina is starting to feel more like a quick stop over rather than my home.  I’ll be in Vancouver for nine days, then I’m back for 5 days, then I leave for a different shoot in Toronto and Cuba in August.  I won’t be back from that trip until August 29th.

Anyone wanna stay in my apartment while I’m gone?

The Importance of Being Important

Today was the sort of day where I just strapped myself in and held on.  Meetings all day long over many different things, in many different ways.  I started off in Atlantis, then took in a meeting on the 20th floor of tower two in the McCallum Hill Centre Towers, then a meeting with Chrystene at Java Express to talk about Urban Future.  From there, three hours of shooting around Regina with Kate’s sister Sage.  While Sage was shooting, I slipped away to take in yet another meeting.  We wrapped less than an hour later and I began my final meeting of the day, this time with Amber in the edit suite, and Chystene on iChat.

We have finalized the plans for some really great After Effects compositions for Urban Future.  It’s going to be, approximately fucking fantastic.  I was impressed with how important I appeared to be throughout all of it.  In reality, I just hitched my wagon to some incredibly talented individuals and stepped back.  I just can’t say enough great things about this team.

The Silent Treatment

A good friend is someone you feel comfortable not talking to while in their presence.

I watched the Rider Game at Shawn’s house today.  We’ve been friends for over two decades.  It doesn’t feel that long… it doesn’t feel like anything.  Water is wet, sky is blue and Shawn’s just always been Shawn.  He shot me with a paintball gun in his living room once.  He stole my best man’s girl friend at my wedding (she turned out to be a bitch, so the joke was on him).  We drank a batch of his homemade wine once and proceeded to have outer body experiences.  He threw out the rest of the batch after that.  There’s a life time of memories there.  And yet, the greatest testament to our friendship is the fact that we can sit in a room together, and not feel the need to kill the silence with talking sounds.

Afterwards I headed over to the Caledonia Curling Club where another friend, Cris, was competing in a Roller Derby bout.  She’s known as ‘Curly Mae’ on the track.  Trashy fish net stockings, short skirts, elbows flying, and girls getting nasty with each other.  I’d never seen anything like it.  It was like NASCAR meeting PMS.  I didn’t even know what to watch for at first, but after a while I was getting into it… once all my fear subsided.

Firing Up the Machine

It was a kick ass, mother fucking, barn storming, no holds barred, full steam ahead, no looking back assault upon the silence in the edit suite today.  The Tribe of Dacian is back!  The funky cool brew we hatched up with InJustice is ready for another evolutionary revolution of the creative wheels a turning up the volume for another round of ‘shit we ain’t never done before.’  It feels sooooo good to be working with the team again.

After spending two days organizing and culling the footage from Bucharest, I met with the editors today.  The excitement in the room was palpable.  After spending almost two hours looking at it, we began to break the footage down into special effects compositions.  We have some really exciting things planned.  Music, art, photography, HD video, and 2D animation in a 3D space, all wrapped up in a really tight package that moves seamlessly from one beat to the next.  Can’t wait to show you!

The best part was watching the editors respond to the raw footage.  They were genuinely excited about it and they seemed genuinely impressed with Bucharest, warts and all.  It was like watching a four headed diamond cutter eyeing up a big rock, looking for the perfect place to make that first cut.  Mostly, it’s just awesome to be firing up the machine again.  I really missed everyone.

The Meat Salon

How do you write a blog about yourself, your thoughts, your opinions, and your point of view without appearing to be self centred?  Just a thought.

I could take requests you know.  Just send me a topic and I’ll blog about it.

Today, I loaded up on meat from my cousin Jeff at Butcher Boy Meats on Park Street.  Buying from Jeff is always a rewarding experience.  He walks me through the assortment chopped up dead animals laying about and really takes care of me.  He’s like my personal meat assistant… except not gay.  If you desire the VIP treatment, pay Jeff a visit.

I spent the day in the edit suite sorting through the Bucharest footage.  I have a meeting with the editors tomorrow and I have to be ready.  I was worried about not having enough to work with, but I’m pleased to say my footage cup runneth over.  I’m certain the editors will be as excited about it as I am.

Afterwards, I went over to Cris’ place, grabbed a beer out of her fridge, and watched football on her TV.  We talked at the commercial breaks.  What a great friend.

March of the Pigeons

Pigeons have a responsibility in the role they play towards the unfortunate events that befall them.  For thousands of years they have evolved to build their nests in high places as a protective measure against predators.  This strategy has proven very successful as the pigeon species continues to thrive.

However, when pigeons ignore the wisdom of those who came before them by repeatedly laying their eggs in the layer of a predator, they are in effect, shitting all over that wisdom.  Mind you, pigeons shit all over everything anyway.  And so it was with this thought in mind that I was able to refrain from guilt as I chucked their eggs off my balcony, for the 4th time this year.

I am having a battle of wills with a single pair of pigeons.  Since the spring, this pair has been trying to live on my balcony, laying their eggs, and crapping all over everything.  Pigeons are supposed to be smart.  They are supposed to catch on that certain habitats are unfriendly.  These two will not accept that.  If I were an owl, I would have eaten them both by now.

Aside from chucking pigeon eggs off my balcony, the absolute highlight of my day was having a beer with my friend Cris.  Cris left for a month long trip to Italy in June.  I left for Romania before she returned.  So it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other.  We were both giddy with enthusiasm to tell each other about our respective trips, and of course, hear about each other’s adventures.  The problem with this scenario was the ebb and flow of the conversation.  As interested as we were in each other’s stories, we both seemed even more anxious to do most of the talking.  I’d have to describe the energy as a kind of retarded ADD sharing experience, but in a good way.  It’s clear that it will take several more beers and visits before we get to the end of our conversation.

I finished loading the HD footage from the Bucharest Shoot.  I am really pleased with it and I am looking forward to sinking my teeth into it tomorrow.

The Longest Day

“Where you come from is gone.  Where you thought you were going to, weren’t never there.  And where you are ain’t no good unless you can get away from it.”

–Flannery O’Conner

It will still be today, by the time tomorrow comes around.

Welcome to the confusion of jet lag.  I was on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean as I thought this thought.  Flying out of Bucharest wasn’t a big deal this time.  My flight didn’t leave until 12:05pm and so I didn’t even bother to pack until after breakfast.  I’m getting pretty good at traveling efficiently.  I packed most of my clothing in with the HD Camera (for the added protection), leaving my backpack for the tripod, the camera support, and the rest of my cloths.  My carry-on was even more stripped down than when I arrived, as anything that I didn’t need to carry with me was stowed.  Why carry the extra weight?

I found myself looking forward to returning home.  I miss my friends and family.  I miss my routines.  I miss my roots.  I am also pleased that leaving Bucharest didn’t feel like such a big deal.  It felt more like leaving Vancouver behind rather than some esoteric city from far across the ocean.

Even so, I do feel changed somehow.  Bucharest always gives me a chance to reconnect with myself.  I feel refreshed, energized, and inspired.  I also have decided to commit to writing in my blog everyday.  I believe that part of the reason I feel so connected with myself is because I am journalling everyday.

Everyday, wherever I go, I believe there is something for me to reflect upon.  The things that interested me most about Bucharest were the simplest, everyday, taken for granted type of things.  I think we have a habit of not seeing what makes life so wonderful when we’re at home, because the scenery becomes invisible amongst all the familiarity.

My head hit the pillow last night in my own bed, 25 hours after I lifted it from a different bed, located one great big whole wide world away.

See you tomorrow!

Romanian Wanderer

I did a little bit of night photography after I wrote my blog last night.  I shot an exterior of a new shopping complex that’s being built.  It will contain only expensive brand name stores.  The exterior of the building is covered in fiber optic lighting and video screens.  It’s a modern, technologically advanced building located directly across from the Old Centre.

Afterwards, I found a cocktail bar that had wireless, so I went there to transfer my photos to my hard drive.  This bar had a concept where they tried to educate you about different types of cocktails.  You were welcome to come behind the bar and work with the bar tender on creating a brand new drink as well.  Well… that was right up my alley.  For 23 lei I taught the bar tender how to make a drink I accidently invented at a Christmas party last year.  It starts out sweet and minty like a Mojito but finishes bitter, citrusy, and confused.  It’s called a ‘Romanian Wanderer’ and I’d like to mix you one sometime.  The reviews have been positive.

I spent the day lugging around the HD camera package.  I used a combination of public transportation and my feet to get around town… it was the most efficient way to shoot.  My shoulders did protest however as the added weight made for a very very long day, but the pain was worth it.  I shot some really nice footage and got two really great interviews.  The second interview was with a girl who turned out to be an architecture student.

Towards evening, I dropped my stuff off at the hotel and collapsed on my bed.  I just needed a few minutes to let my body rest.  My shoulders continued to feel the phantom weight of the camera package pulling down on them, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t convince them that the weight wasn’t real anymore.  My feet joined in on the party, perhaps jealous that my shoulders were getting all the sympathy.  After that, all the muscles in my body started clamoring for attention.  It was like being in a gymnasium with a bunch of screaming children.  My brain and I were having none of it… we decided that the inmates were not going to run this asylum, so we WALKED to the Hard Rock Cafe, sat at the bar, read, and drank a couple of Tuborgs.

This was my last day in Bucharest.  My headspace was a bit rattled… caught somewhere between keeping my mind on my job, and counting my final hours in a city I’ve grown very close to.  Laura has been away visiting family near Iasi, so aside from having a drink with the Architecture student I interviewed, I spent the day alone with my thoughts.

Leaving Bucharest for the third time is different.  My goodbye to Laura was a 1am bleary eyed hug and a kiss at the train station nearly a week ago after getting back from Vama Veche.  It was more of a ‘see you in a few days’ type of a good bye, rather than the dramatic farewell of my last two visits.  It feels that way with this city too.  I’ll be back soon… just keep my seat warm.

Pa!