Just A Gigolo

Fueled up on celebratory beer and pizza, and freshly failed from a mid-game pool shot, I heard the DJ call my name.  Shortly thereafter, I passed the pool cue to Jeff and took my place behind the microphone.  The music started, and soon I was belting out ‘Just a Gigolo’ with all my heart.

It was a bit disconcerting at first to discover that Karaoke had invaded our sports bar vibrations, especially when it seemed that 1980’s love songs were going to be the only meal on the menu.  It was either time to leave, or fix the situation by contributing something more palatable to the evening.  Benji stole the show with ‘Whip It’.

I did indeed win 15 bucks last night, but I just threw it into the pool to pay for all the beer and pizza.  It’s our tradition that the league winner pays for all the losers with his winnings at the year end wind-up.  When I won our hockey pool last year, I actually wound up in the hole after all the smoke cleared.  I didn’t want to leave Rich with the same problem.  It was a really really good night.

I’m at mom’s right now doing laundry and waiting for supper to cook.  Grama, Papa, Uncle Doug and Auntie Ann are also here.  We’re celebrating mine, Dave’s and Doug’s birthdays.  I guess this means I won’t have to do dishes afterwards.

Earlier today I was at the university, finishing the scripts for Moccasin Enterprises.  My plan tomorrow is to polish them and submit them on Monday.  One more beginning will come to a completion and I plan to celebrate by doing the books.

I may even have a beer within reach and a song in my heart while I work.

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Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

I don’t mean to sound negative, but I just ain’t got nothing to say that’s worth saying at the moment.  The problem is, I’ve felt that way for a couple of days now, and really… there has to be something worthwhile that can be written down and recorded for all time.

I’m leaving shortly to put in some time with the Romanian Syndicate.  I kind of miss those guys, and football season is still five months away.  I even think I have $15 coming to me for winning a game last season.

For those who aren’t aware, we’ve formed a fantasy football league.  My team is the Yellowhead Highwaymen and I am the owner/coach.  I led the league in fake media releases, charisma, and word count.  We follow the CFL, trying to pick the weekly winners.  For the past two seasons, I’ve tended to do alright, but I have a tendency to pick upsets that don’t really upset.

If I don’t have anything worth writing tomorrow, I may have to make something up.

Far Too Much

It’s a good day to hunker down and get ‘er done.  Freshly refreshed from my sloth, I shall now address all the shit that’s been needing to get done.

I will start with Moccasin Enterprises.  I’m close, so very close to the finish line and the pure undiluted pleasure that comes from finishing a job well done, that I can taste it.  My medium rare goal for the day is to put the cherry on top that ice cream sunday.

Shall I talk briefly about money now?  Mayhap for just long enough to say that both Moccasin Enterprises and Crimes of the Art are today proud new owners of SaskFilm Development funding.  You may recall that my very first workday of the year was spent in a Starbucks™, beginning, middling, and completing the SaskFilm application for Crimes of the Art.  My first vocational act of 2010 bore fruit.

Speaking of fruit… roast beef.  I roasted me up a beef last night because it’s been a little while and I needed the practice.  I added something called vegetables to the mix.  There was the potato kind and a carrot kind.  I also seductively slipped some garlic into the roast.  Finally, I chopped in some mushrooms and sprinkled Lipton™ Onion Soup Mix over top of everything.  After a couple of hours I had a really great, medium rare roast, all to myself.

It was good, but not great.  Too much garlic.  Far too much.

Snow Day

Regina was dumped on.  About 16 feet of snow fell overnight and driving was an adventure as a result.  I got stuck in Shauna’s driveway yesterday picking her up for dinner, and I got stuck in her driveway at the end of the evening, dropping her off.

Shauna is great because her miserable days make my bad days feel comparatively like an opium binge (a reference to the infamous high, not the ruin your life and die part).  She’s on her way up from an incredible low in her life, and she’s having more good days than bad now.

She has a razor sharp mind, and she uses it to slice up douche bags for her own amusement.  She has a great sense of humour, she’s got legs that would have poets musing through pages of verse, and she could melt ice with her hotness.  Just ask her.

I first met her at a Halloween party a little over a year ago.  Last night was the second time I ever found myself in her presence.  If I could say one thing about Shauna, it’s her ability to ride a conversation like a champ.  Her secret mind powers, wit, and bold honesty make her truly memorable.

It’s now Monday, just before midnight, and I’ve done sweet fuck all, all day long.  I was a facebook trooper most of the day, and judging from all the status updates, I wasn’t the only one.  It seems ‘snow day’ is code for stay home, turn up the heat, and keep the world outside your window pane.

Blockbuster

We have Dracula.  We have Nazis looking for the Holy Grail.  We have cars exploding, speed boat getaways, tomb raiders and undercover FBI agents crisscrossing the globe.  We have honeymoon capers, bold museum heists and 300 million dollar payoffs.  We have Kurdish terrorists and IRA assassinations.

Welcome to our thrilling new 7 x 60 documentary series, ‘Crimes of the Art,’ a crime series dedicated solely to art crimes.  Anyone care to watch?

Yesterday at Atlantis, Liz, Michael and I picked the seven stories that will be profiled in the series.  I am excited beyond my wildest dreams with the stories we turned up.  Many of these could easily be Hollywood blockbusters… except we have them, and they’re all true stories.

In the meantime I find myself sitting in the food court of the University, tapping away at my keyboard and proroguing my procrastination so that I may continue writing another TV series.  I recall that I was hoping to be some other me right now, writing about how I finished that series, and how satisfied I think I was planning to be and all…  I guess I’ll have to prorogue that notion as well.

Roam Brainian Thinking

Wow.  It’s Friday.  Where did the week go?

I have a full weekend of writing ahead of me and I have Romania on the brain.  I have to complete development on Crimes of the Art by March 17, and that means I need to be shooting something in Bucharest by Feb 24.  There’s not a lot of time to pack everything in.  The good news is, plane tickets are about $1,000 less than they were last time I took the flight. I also hired Laura as a coordinator to help line things up once I land.

I also received some good news yesterday.  Canamedia sent me an email saying they might have a US sale lined up for InJustice and this same broadcaster also asked about Crimes of the Art.  I won’t get too excited until the check is in the bank because, as with any project, a million things can go wrong between an expression of interest and spending the money you get for the sale.

I’m trying to coordinate a trip to Toronto soon as well.  I need to talk to CBC about creative ideas for Crimes of the Art, and I also want to hang out with Canamedia to talk to them about our 2010 projects.  With a little luck, I may also get in a meeting with Corus about the Mothers Day Game.

I guess I’m keeping things brief today… I have a weekend full of writing ahead of me.  Cheers!

Chicken Shit

About two years ago, Nadia and I were having a conversation, and she asked me, what woman’s name would be on my lips, if I were laying on my death bed?  Every once in a while I reflect on that question, and the answer keeps changing.

It’s not a morbid thought to think.  It’s not a question about death, but rather, it’s a question about love.  They say that when you can’t run, you walk.  When you can’t walk, you crawl.  When you can’t crawl… you find someone to carry you.

I’ve been thinking about the ‘Attachment’ article I wrote a couple of days ago.  Something about it hasn’t been sitting well with me.  Then Shawn sent me an email last night, saying he read it, and thought I was just being a chicken shit.  I think maybe he’s right.

Caring about something or someone without attaching myself is generally a good principal to follow.  But what happens if I can’t crawl?  Who’s going to carry me?  Who’s name would be on my lips?

For me to give up so much of my power to someone else, to allow myself to become so vulnerable that she could devastate me with the slightest glancing blow, yet soar above the clouds with the tenderest touch… it’s the scariest thing I have ever experienced.  I’d much rather be the one swooping in, being the big hero, fixing everything, carrying her to the top of the mountain if that’s what it would take.

I guess it only works when it works both ways.

Bran Regular

After nine months, Neil has finally granted me regular status at Atlantis.  I didn’t say a word this morning and he was already fetching me an apple bran muffin and pouring a dark roast.  Ironically, I didn’t even want a muffin this morning, but I wasn’t about to fuck up my ‘regular’ status on the very  first day.

I’m meeting with Chantel for lunch at Bushwakers.  I always look forward to seeing her.  She’s going to be looking over some CTF stuff that we’ve been tag teaming on.  It’s about ready to go, I just need to swear at a Commissioner of Oaths before sending it out.

Today is also the day we select our seven stories for Crimes of the Art.  From this day forward, the researchers will be going deep, giving me the gunk I need to turn these research documents into bona fide episode treatments.  The timing with Moccasin Enterprises works out pretty good because by the time I’m done with that series, Crimes of the Art will be ready for my attention.

I still want to get in a trip into Toronto ASAP.  I want to meet with CBC, follow up on the Mother’s Day Game, meet with Canamedia, and pitch a couple of other projects to broadcasters.  I’m waiting for a check to show up before purchasing the ticket though.  Cash flow is king and staying liquid lets things flow.  Sorry, cash flow/taoist pun there.

Speaking of flow, I have my second Tai Chi class today… and a bran muffin to finish.  I’d best get started on my day.

Method Writing

This morning in Atlantis I decided to change up my routine a bit.  I asked for a cheeseburger and a chocolate milkshake.  Neil just stood behind the counter, blinking, before saying,

“How about a dark roast and an apple bran muffin instead?”

I’m on track to have all six scripts done by the weekend.  It wasn’t that hard after realizing I was just being an ass.  Sometimes a writer just has to write, even when the words don’t want to come out.  You start by writing down a word or two, maybe even a phrase… and the phrase doesn’t even have to fit anywhere.  The only thing that matters is getting words down on the page.  In a minute or so you’ll have two sentences down, and before you know it, there’s three sentences on the page.  Then the editing kicks in and more words come out and BAM!  You’re writing.

Well… that’s how YOU should do it.  Me?  I prefer to just wave my hand over the page and have the completed document come out.  The method has some flaws (in that it never works), but other than that, the theory is sound.  I’d like to write a book about the method some day, and I’ll even publish it, just as soon as that morning comes when I wake up to find it waiting for me under my pillow.

In the meantime, I got started on some ideas for my next play.  They’re not written down or anything.  I have them swirling around inside my head for the time being.  Have you ever seen someone make candy floss?  It’s the same with my ideas.  If I let them out of my head too soon, they don’t pick up enough gunk to stick to the wall.

There’s no rush.  When the time comes I’ll let it all out.  It won’t even take very long.  I wrote my first play in three weeks… two or three scenes a day.  I expect this one will move at the same pace.  I even have a title picked out already, ‘Really Really Crude Morally Bankrupt Artistically Devoid But Not Pornographic Crappy Play’.  It will be a sequel to the first one.

Attachment

They say you’re not truly free, until you’re free to walk away.    I was thinking about that phrase last night while laying in bed.  You could say I was struck by an epiphany.

I am scared of gaining something in my life that would be devastating to lose.  That something for me is usually a relationship.  Despite wearing my heart on my sleeve, I tend not to let people get too close to me.  I don’t have a lot of really close friendships and I’ve been (mostly) single since PJ and I ended our marriage.  There have been women in the picture since then, but nothing too serious ever came to fruition.  Until recently, my heart was always up in the stands, watching the game from the nose bleed section (it’s a well known fact that hearts like nose bleeds).

I’m not depressed.  This ain’t no self pitying wordsmithing exercise.  I can make most people laugh and think and talk for hours over a drink while hands fall off the clock.  I’m surrounded by people whenever I want them around.  But still… it gets a bit lonely at times.

You’re not free, until you’re free to walk away.

Like everyone else in the world, I’ve lost things in my life.  I’ve had relationships and friendships go awry.  I’ve had life changing events come and go.  I’ve been betrayed.  And with all those things, my heart got broken.  So maybe that’s why I’m a bit hardened to new things and people in my life.

I don’t know.  They also say you can care about something, without developing an attachment to it.  You can be a human being without being scarred by the shitty things life can do to you.  You can walk through life feeling free to smell the flowers along the way, without feeling the need to pick them.

Maybe that’s me too.  Maybe it’s not baggage that weighs me down, preventing me from forming attachments.  Maybe it’s wisdom that moves me forward, giving me the appreciation to move beyond such sticky things.