Light Hearted

And then, just like that, it all goes sideways, unrecognizable, and completely unexpected.  My heart pounds stronger, my thoughts linger longer and all I want to do is dive off the cliff,  take the plunge and drown in her sea, blissfully.

Musing

I’m going back to high school, my old high school to be specific.  Beginning next Wednesday, I’ll be teaching a Media Arts class at Archbishop M. C. O’Neill High School, one day a week, until I the end of the semester.  I’m really thrilled about it because I enjoy teaching.  Teaching is another way to live completely in a moment.  You have to connect with people, you have to check in occasionally to make sure they’re with you, and if they’re not, you have to find another way to engage them.  It’s an intense mental effort, one that I alway find rewarding.

I also got a new writing gig on Friday.  I’ll be writing six episode treatments for a lifestyle series called ‘Moccasin Enterprises’.  I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into something new.

I ended the day watching ‘I Love You, Man’ at Cris’s house.  The movie creeped me out a bit.  It’s about a guy who doesn’t have any male friends and he’s getting married and needs groomsmen for his wedding party.  The movie forced me to look at myself in an uncomfortable way.  I’m a guy who doesn’t have a lot of guy friends.  Most of my close friends are women.  I actually had to do a mental inventory of who I would consider to be a close ‘guy’ friend, and when was the last time I hung out with him?  Immediately, I came to the realization that it was only two days ago that I hung out with the Romanian Syndicate.  But then, unease set in as I realized that some of those ‘guys’ barely qualify as guys.

I wonder if I’m in danger of having my Man Badge revoked?

Courtney

Despite a life time of traumatic experiences and hard living, Courtney remains one of the least fucked up people I’ve ever met.  She’s taken all of it… the memories, the abuse, the threats, the shit, and she’s turning it into something that will bring good into the world.  She’s going to touch the lives of many people, helping them find their own way towards the light.  She’s got an open heart tucked safely inside a bullet proof exterior and the cold hasn’t taken her warmth away.

Perplexity of Boring

For some reason, I have it in my head that I should be taking care of myself, eating well, and staying fit.  To this end I have been putting in time for meditation and self reflection, I have been eating more or less healthy food, and I have tried something called ‘exercise’.  The latter has proven the most challenging.  This reality perplexes me and so I gave it some thought.

My conclusion, based upon careful analysis of an idea I pulled completely out of my ass, has lead me to believe that my problem with exercise comes from the fact that it’s boring.  Mental masturbation is always something I’m up for, and eating well makes me feel good, but exercise is so… routine, unfun, and time consuming.  Throughout the summer I did 48 push-ups and 100 sit-ups every other day.  As September wore on, I pushed the routine to every two days.  By October I was lucky if I exercised once a week.  The guilt was killing me, but forcing myself to do exercise became even more distasteful.  I was at an impasse with myself.

It then occurred to me that the path of least resistance towards my goal was to adopt an exercise buddy.  I figured that committing myself to meeting someone at the gym in the morning would be sufficient motivation to get my ass out of bed.  The hardest thing about exercise is getting started, so once I’m already at the gym, I’m good to go.

With this idea in mind, I updated my facebook status, looking for a gym buddy.  Shyanne answered the call and this morning we met at 7:30 and went for a run, stretched, did some sit-ups, and lifted some weights.  Afterwards, my body was protesting, but my mind, free of guilt for the first time in weeks, felt great.

Thanks Shy!

Burning Sensation

Heraclitus is NOT the burning sensation you feel in your mind when you think too hard about practicing unsafe philosophy.  I had people over for our philosophy study group last night.  By people, I mean myself, Shy, and another guy.  The rest of the group either had to work or had something better to do.  I hope they all catch Heraclitus.

As of right now, I’m about a scene and a half away from finishing my play.  I expect that I will be finished by the end of today, leaving only editing and minor rewrites left.  I’m looking forward to the reading circle on the 26th.  I expect I’ll have more changes upon ‘hearing’ it for the first time.  I also look forward to any feedback I might get.

No word yet from Canamedia about our projects at MIP.  I don’t intend to bug them until next week.  I expect after such an intense market, they’ve either taken an extra week to themselves while still in Europe, or they hate me.  In the meantime, our ‘development’ funding finally came through for Urban Future, about a month and a half after completing development.  I’m not complaining though… I’ll never complain about checks showing up in the mail.

I am making progress on The Mothers Day Game.  I had a meeting with PJ and Ken on Friday, and I spent the weekend coming up with a one paragraph blurb that describes the game.  Our next steps will include kicking the blurb back and forth and then getting a package prepared for potential sponsors.

Tonight I’ll be meeting Ryan, Richard, and Jeff at the Shark Tank tonight for beer and billiards.  Țuica is not on the menu.

Riders & Romanian Fire Water

“Holy Fuck.  Romanian fire water.  I’m fucked!”

That was the text I barely remember sending Cris at 10:23pm on Saturday night.  I believe it was my way of telling her that I would not be fetching my car from her home because I was too drunk to drive (she lives near the stadium).  I scored a free ticket to the game cuz Richard was away.  It was -11 with a wind chill in the stands.  I dressed warm, but it was necessary to maintain the pretense of inner warmth through the consumption of copious amounts of hot chocolate spiked with booze.  Just when the hot chocolate was running out, Benji showed up with an old coca cola bottle filled with a batch of home made, Romanian hooch called țuica.  This was genuine 80 proof Romanian moonshine brought over from Benji’s recent visit to the old country.  It went straight to my toes, making them feel warm.  As a result I drank quite a bit of it.

The game itself was pretty good.  Durant threw 3 first half touchdowns.  The second half was a bit fuzzy for some reason, but the Riders did go on to defeat the Argos 32 – 22.    That’s the extent of my football analysis for the week.  I remember not feeling cold anymore… there was also a girl sitting behind us… Sara with an ‘h’.  Some other guy was sitting down from us, beaking at me about what he thought of my sexual orientation.  It had nothing to do with the game, but he was probably just pissed off about being in the closet.

Walking back from the game was an adventure.  I missed the turn to Benji’s house.  I remember walking down the side walk, seeing the rooftops track passed me in slow motion and me realizing that I might be lost.  I looked towards the stadium and confirmed my suspicion.  Benji’s house has a specific orientation in relation to the Stadium’s position.  I needed to backtrack.

I soon found myself sitting on the couch between Jeff and Jim.  I remember pulling a beer out of my pocket and wondering how it got there.  Jeff explained that he gave it to me when I sat down.  At that point I decided to make myself comfortable next to Benji’s toilet.  I made a special effort to keep things tidy because Benji’s wife Monica would kick my drunken ass, and never let me forget about it if she found splatters anywhere.  Ryan even complimented me on my puking prowess, which is high praise coming from him.

I’d like to thank Jeff for providing me with a safe ride home, Benji for the țuica, Richard for the ticket, and Sara with an ‘h’ for sticking up for me in the stands.  Ryan can take a long hard suck on my arse for trying to swindle the ticket out of me in the first place.

Send in the Clowns

Yesterday was another typical day in the life of me.  It began with a philosophical meander through Aristotle and finished with a guitar serenade performed by four men dressed in clown suits at the Mae Wilson theatre in Moose Jaw.  One was a bass playing midget.

I came up with the idea of forming a study group for my philosophy class and pitched it to my prof.  I thought an informal setting like my living room would be good.  People could bring their own beer or wine, and I could prepare appetizers.  Play some cool music, and boom… we have a perfect environment to philosophize in.  Eleven people from my class signed up and we have our first get together coming up on Tuesday night.  Conversation is my drug of choice and this thing has the potential to be a conversational wet dream.  I hope it goes well.

After class I spent some time with my play on the 6th floor of the library.  I was about a quarter the way into a new scene when my phone started going off.  It was Nicole, she was having a bad day.  I decided to cheer her up by spending the afternoon with her talking about myself.  (I kid)

Later I phoned big Dan Willows up.  Dan and I were classmates in my acting class a few years ago.  He’s doing a lot of stand up comedy lately and he asked if he could borrow my camera to tape one of his shows.  I obliged, but then the plan changed.  He was supposed to send someone to my office to pick up the camera but the person he lined up, bailed.  I wound up driving the camera out to Moose Jaw, with Nicole riding shotgun.

Yesterday was also the first snowfall of the autumn season.  We drove through blinding sleet and snow and Nicole admitted to not being a fan of highway travel, even at the best of times.  She was white knuckles the whole way.  I responded by talking about myself some more.

Upon arriving at the theatre, I was informed that I would be operating my camera as the guy Dan lined up went AWOL.  What was I supposed to say?  So I reluctantly agreed (while secretly harboring a sinking feeling about the whole evening).

Nicole and I had time to kill, so we crossed the street and ate at ‘Nit’s’, a Thai restaurant of some acclaim.  With 10 minutes to go before show time, we left the restaurant and I switched into ‘production mode’.  I had a camera to set up and I still had no idea what the hell I would be filming.  There was a fancy lighting design, a sound guy, a drum kit, guitars and props.  This seemed to be more than just a stand up comedy gig.

Then the lights went dark and Dan comes out and starts juggling while doing a creepy monologue.  Then a giant manatee comes out on stage with a midget (dressed like a clown) riding atop.  The midget seems to be struggling with his lot, then he slays the creature with a drum stick.  Then three clowns come out the manatee’s belly and pick up their instruments.  They then launch into a two hour rock show that at times felt like ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ meeting ‘The Doors’ meeting Stevie Ray Vaughn.  The lead clown played a hellova fine guitar with riffs that sprang forth as if he and the instrument were biologically attached.

It turns out the whole evening was a CD launch event for the band.  The show ended with the midget bass player taking on a roadie in a WWE style wrestling smackdown.  The whole band got involved with the acrobatics and it ended with the lead clown smashing an acoustic guitar over the roadie’s head.  They then took a bow.

I had no idea the night would come to this.  Thanks Dan, that was great.

Waiting for the World to Speak to Me

Last night I was hanging out with Shy and we went to Atlantis on our way to Cris’ house.  While we were waiting for our lattes, I fell into a conversation with Ian, an acquaintance, an actor and writer (and barista).  He told be he was helping out with a reading circle with a guy we both know named Alden.

So this morning, I’m sitting here in Atlantis staring at my screen, wondering what I should blog about.  Into the coffee shop walks this very same Alden, an actor who’s in a play at the Globe Theatre right now.  I’ve known Alden for a few years.  He’s a recent graduate of the U of R theatre program, and a hell of an actor.  I’ve also lent him my camera on a few occasions to shoot his own short films.  Alden has been living in Toronto for the last year.

He comes over and starts talking to me and I start telling him about the play I’m writing.  I always had him in mind for one of the roles, and I asked if he would be available to participate in the reading circle when I do it.  He’ll be going back to Toronto at the end of October.  To this end, I set a date, October 26, as the night I will do the reading circle.  As I write this, I realize Kate (our Kate, editor, musician, actor, barista-in-training, and dacian tribe girl) is working the counter behind me.  I’ve also always seen her in one of the roles.  I’ll walk over to her after I’m done blogging and tell her about the reading circle on October 26.

Things are falling into place, all in the last 24 minutes.

Update: Ian was also working today, and he’ll be playing the role of ‘Script Boy’.  How ‘bout that?  I’ve cast half the roles in one coffee stop.

Stirring Halftime Speech Does Shit All

Media Release

For Immediate Release

STIRRING HALFTIME SPEECH DOES SHIT ALL

October 6, 2009 (Yellowhead, SK) The rousing half time speech delivered by Yellowhead Highwaymen owner/coach, Captain Jarrett Rusnak, failed to deliver the required ummph to defeat all teams in the CFLFFL by the end of the 4th quarter in last week’s game.  “I don’t understand,” began Rusnak, “I learned the speech Al Pacino did in ‘Any Given Sunday’ and that team went on to win the championship.  Our guys came out and took a big fat dump on the field instead.”

When prompted for comment, Tom Brady’s Unwashed Jock Strap from Super Bowl XLII responded, “I didn’t have a very good game.  I wasn’t making the throws I usually make.  I felt like my timing was off.  I felt like maybe we should have had a practice or two this week.”

Other players who commented off the record indicated that the team did indeed take the practice field, but Rusnak simply paced around holding a piece of paper in his hand, mumbling to himself, and pausing for dramatic moments.  Apparently that’s how he memorizes speeches.  The rest of the team merely sat around playing backgammon, cribbage, or engaged in conversations related to Taoism, Plato, and boobs.  By all accounts, it was a pretty good week of ‘practice’, even though no actual ‘plays’ were run.

“We’ll get back to our old routines this week,” said Rusnak.  “As long as there’s still teams behind us in the standings, we’ll keep experimenting, and I won’t have to fire myself.”

The Highwaymen currently sit 7th in league standings, 12 points out of first place.

-30-

Rus-holes, Fall Suppers, and Long Drives

I didn’t really have a plan in mind for how yesterday should unfold.  Those are the best days.

I woke up, surfed a bit, showered, and headed off to Atlantis.  They didn’t have any lemon poppyseed muffins left.  A lady came in about 7 minutes before me and got the last one.  I didn’t freak out.  I didn’t break out into a cold sweat.  I didn’t knock any tables over.  I was very pleased that I was able to have two muffin set-backs in the same week and handle it.  It did take a moment for the truth to set in.  The girl behind the counter seemed amused at my reaction, but I didn’t let that bother me.  So what if I had to pet myself and rock gently back and forth for about 30 seconds or so before responding to her prompts.

In the end, I wound up with an apple bran muffin.  It was delicious, and I seem to remember someone saying something to me once about ‘bran’ being healthy for me.  What the fuck is ‘bran’ anyway?  Bran muffins, bran flakes, raison bran.  Do farmers grow it?  I mean, I’m from the prairies, I’ve seen all kinds of crops before.  I’ve never heard of a bran crop.  I hope it’s not gross, like something they empty out of a cow’s stomach(s) after it’s been slaughtered.

I spent the morning reading old directing assignments for plays I worked on in my directing classes while pondering my own play.  I looked at ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams, and ‘Problem Child’ by George F Walker.  I needed a long walk, or perhaps even a long drive to let my mind peculate all the ideas floating around in my head.  To this end, I found myself point my car down the highway, headed for my dad’s house in Strasbourg.  The 45 minute drive did me good.  I was able to identify the really critical moments of my play, and assess approximately how many scenes I needed to complete the story.  I’m very close, about four or five more scenes should do the trick.

What I thought would be a two hour visit turned into a whole day.  After hanging out at the house for an hour, went to visit my Grama who’s staying in a nursing home in town.  We visited for another hour, recalling old family stories, many from when my dad was still a child.  From there we drove to Earl Grey, a nearby town for a Fall Supper.  It seems hundreds of people came from miles around to take in cabbage rolls, turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy for $8.  Guess who wound up first in line?  That’s right.  Dad, Kathy and I!  We sat down, ate our supper, stayed about forty five minutes.  When we left, the line to get in was still two blocks long.

I showed dad the Urban Future teaser and played four games of Backgammon before moving to the living room to join Kathy.  From there I introduced him to my blog.

I got home around 10:30pm.  It was a really good day.  I only wish I brought my laundry.