Demolition

Met some of my future neighbours last night at a special ‘demolition party’ held at the old Plains Hotel.  The building is set to be demolished in the next two months and over the next two and a half years the tallest building in Saskatchewan will spring forth from the dust.  I will be occupying a 15th floor corner space of that building when the time comes.  Very exciting.

I have an assignment coming up in my Religious Studies class in a couple weeks.  I have to compare two feminist theologians and rank them on the reform/counter culture spectrum.  All of the women we’ve studied so far started off in one place, and through disappointment and/or disillusionment, wound up in another.  I’m getting the impression that most mindful people begin to lose their faith as the years pass, and then something causes them to reassemble the pieces in ways they were never intended.

I count myself among that group.  I find myself making a subconscious effort to make sense of the mysteries in life by picking and choosing from the best parts of a wide spectrum of ideas, philosophies, psychologies, and personal experiences.  I’m very tepidly demolishing the faith I grew up in.  This reality is scary to admit to myself because I have many fond memories of that faith.  I like everything about it, except for its core doctrines.  All that’s left is the sense of community, the spirituality, the ambience, and the way it makes me feel.

Does that make any sense?

I don’t even know if what’s left is a foundation, a structure, or an aether.  I’ve been injecting a gooey taoist core to this new faith creation.  Vaginas belong in there as well.  Seriously.

My sexual desires for women are something I continue to struggle with.  It seems natural on one hand, but kind of ‘dirty’ on the other.  How much of that is the product of growing up in my church, and how much of it is simply making practical sense.  Too many women in the picture fog things up.  Love and desire clash and fuse in unstable ways.  Sometimes it’s best not to think about it too much.  Monogamy makes sense for this reason… but maybe with a clause to opt out or renew at frequent intervals.

I really have no idea of any of it fits together with any of it.  Blowing shit up is kind of fun though.

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Carolyn and the Magic Beans

Carolyn is the kind of woman whom other women wish they could be.  They will tell you that she’s beautiful, brilliant, funny, multi-talented, and powerful in her own way.  She’s truly one of my favourite people ever.

Last night I invited myself over for supper, and she went along with it.  She made bbq’d chicken, floppy raviolis, and steamed carrots.  All I had to do was bring wine and magic beans.

The magic beans started off as cupcakes, but Carolyn’s 2 year-old daughter Bella observed that the moon might be falling.  I’ve been in these situations before and the best course of action is to finish your supper, eat magic beans, then use your magic bean powers to fix the moon.  Cupcakes seemed up to the task.

Over the course of a bottle of wine, we put Bella to sleep, traded stories about psychos and douche bags, and caught up on old times.  I’ve known her eight years and it’s been a little while since we’ve had a proper conversation.

She helped me through a pretty dark time a few years ago.  She didn’t do anything extraordinary… just treated me like she treats anyone else.  Nothing dramatic, but I think she saved my life.  Really.

In times past she’s also seen hard times.  The whole world came out to support her.  Very large stampeding herd animals could not keep people away from repaying the gift of friendship she bestowed them.  She’s one of those people who walk on the earth, and make it a better place.

She also bleached my hair one time and it turned orange two days later.

Old friends are a rare treat.  Time ticks away and years go by.  Next thing you know, you’re in a place miles from where you started.  The memories remain and the good times get better when all you have to do is make the least effort to keep the channel open.

Deal Making in the Mirror

It’s Monday morning in Atlantis.  Just finished coffee with Shy and now I’m writing in my blog.  I’m on my second cup of coffee.

About half way through yesterday, I decided to shut ‘er down.  I wasn’t doing much anyway, but the effort to pull myself off the couch didn’t seem to have much of a reward in store.  As I mentioned in previous posts, my energy’s a bit off lately.  I’ve been forcing myself to write and the words have been fighting me on the way out.  Maybe a day of doing nothing would snap me out of it.

I do feel better today.  Guilt and penance combine with ambition to create a fusion of ‘git ‘er done’.  Also… one more day on the couch would kill me.

Besides coffee with Shy, I sent a few emails related to my projects this morning.  After this I’ll be working on the Arts Grant proposal.  This afternoon I’m teaching at O’Neill High School.  More writing to follow that, then it’s off to a friend’s house with a bottle of wine and a chance to catch up.

Gotta push push push lest I feel shitty about my weekend.  That’s the deal I made with myself.  Turn off the lights and stay in, in exchange for a hard push towards a productive week.

Cup Runneth Dry

I had supper at Dad’s on Thursday night and Jazzy phoned me this morning out of the blue.  Think it and ye shall receive.

I’ve been feeling a weird energy lately.  Not sure what that’s about.  I figure I got two weeks before I hear news about most of my projects.  In the meantime I’ve been trying to write new ones, but there’s nothing in the tank.

“Patience, lest I become overwhelmed with shit to do.”  I keep thinking that.  I also keep thinking that there’s no guarantees and I gotta make hay while the sun is shining.  So… write dammit.

If I tally up the back burner, I’ve got an Arts Board Documentary, a Cuba Documentary, and a play to write.  Arts Board deadline is Oct 1 and I won’t hear feedback until January.  Cuba can follow that.  Then it’s ‘Dick’, the play I intend to write.

Somehow I don’t think career stuff is what’s weirding out my energy though.  Matters of the heart are rather confusing these days.  I’m sitting around waiting for the dam to burst.  I’ll know where I stand once I’m swept away.  So as I said before… patience.

I think more than anything, I’m suffering from a dearth of spirituality.  My mind and body are disconnected.  I need paramedics to come along and zap me with a dose of yoga or something.  Taoism’s been my cup of tea lately, but I keep giving my books away.  Maybe a trip to Chapters is in order.

I did hit the gym this morning.  That felt good.  I know I’m going to be in great pain tomorrow.  It’s a good pain though.  It’s the kind of pain you earn and it only comes when it’s been a while since you’ve used your muscles.  For the 4th year in a row, I’ll set the goal that I’ll bench press my weight by this time next year.

Well that’s about it for now.  Sorry for the weak effort today.  The sun’s shining, a Rider game is about to start, and my coffee is about dry.

Highwaymen Trek to the Depths of Hell

Media Release

For Immediate Release

HIGHWAYMEN TREK TO THE DEPTHS OF HELL

September 24, 2010 (Yellowhead, Sk) The Yellowhead Highwaymen are set to play the CFLFFL’s first ever regular season game in The Depths of Hell and the reception has been warm.  “We’re pretty excited about being here,” began Highwaymen owner/coach Captain Jarrett Rusnak.  “John Lennon came by to say ‘hi’, and afterwards we all feasted on the souls of innocent baby seals.  It was pretty cool.”

Indeed, a week long Grey Cup atmosphere has welcomed both the Highwaymen and the Miroita %!# Picnics to the first ever British Petroleum/Wal-Mart/Marlboro Depths of Hell Bowl.  The two teams have taken different approaches to preparing for the game however.  While the Highwaymen have made great efforts to reach out to the community and partake in the local culture, the %!# Picnics have locked themselves away in their hotel rooms and hid under the blankets.

“To each their own,” said Rusnak.  “We’re working really hard to meet a lot of people and convert them into fans.”  Appearances at local establishments such as the ‘All You Can Cheat’ HogTown Casino, ‘1950’s Sex Education Film’ Cinemaplex, and KFC have garnered much enthusiasm for the visiting ‘hometown’ team.  “Home field advantage in The Depths of Hell is not something we’re taking lightly.”

The Highwaymen are currently tied for 6th place in the CFLFFL standings and remain only 7 points back of first place.

-30-

2nd Thoughts

Sitting in Atlantis staring out the window.

How many blog articles have begun that way?  There’s lots going on in my life, but as I look back on my writings, I seem preoccupied with my career.  The rest of it is equal parts girls, humour, and silly observations about life.

I miss my dad.  Haven’t seen him since his birthday last month.  He’s in my thoughts more than I let on.  I don’t pick up the phone very much and neither does he.  It’s our way I guess.  I think I might drop in tonight if he’s home.  I’m the same way with Jazzy.  Talking on the phone with anyone just isn’t my preferred way of communicating.  I think I’ll write her an email after this.

I got in touch with the Roughriders earlier this week.  They asked to see a proposal so I printed one off at the office, then walked four blocks in the rain to drop it off at their business office.  I suddenly found myself second guessing everything and becoming really nervous about the project.  I guess I’ve had nothing but time now to think about the enormous scope of ‘Highwaymen’.

Who the hell am I to think I can just walk in, pitch an epic project, the likes of which has never been done before on television, collect $9 million and produce it?  How dare I believe that this series could emerge as one of the most popular in Canada?  How arrogant of me to think that my second completed script ever, could stand up among an industry full of pilot scripts, penned by some of the greatest writers in this country, and think I’ll simply beat them out for the dollars and opportunities.

Yet I believe these things.  Water is wet, the sky is blue, and if the right people champion this series, it can go far.  This project is a mountain to climb, no doubt, and this first step with the Roughriders is a sheer cliff.

All I can do it seems is be my best, keep writing new projects, keep throwing them at the wall, keep buying myself time to keep on writing new projects and keep throwing them at the wall.  Something’s bound to stick sooner or later.

Not Thinking About It

It’s only prudent to note the sexual confusion swimming about my brain.  It’s not that I don’t know which team to play for.  My problem stems from not knowing which pursuit to play.  I wanna fuck all the beautiful women out there and then my head and heart intercede.

I’m worrying about hurting myself.  I’m worrying about hurting someone else.  I’m trying to be high minded righteous and all I get is nowhere further down a road that makes any sense at all.  There’s a ghost in my past who haunts me and I dare not think of her for more than some minutes per day.  But then when I’m musing ‘bout others, she’s suddenly in the room with me, clouding the objects of my desires.

This thing clearly hasn’t run its course and of course I clearly need to keep running.  Moving makes me feel better cuz standing still, hoping, waiting, and watching is no way to live.  So I live my life moving, constantly moving, and the only thing that makes me feel better is not thinking about any of it at all.

Keeping On Keppin’ On

Cuba is back on the table.  I’ve been corresponding with a filmmaker I met down there when I visited in April.  Elena is super political and artistically inspired.  We’re talking about doing something that takes us deep into the underground of Cuban culture.  This will not be the Cuba we see on public beaches and private resorts.

Kinda dangerous.  Kinda exciting.

Since all my other projects are in holding patterns at the moment, I have time to work on something new.  Should only take me a couple of days to come up with a pitch package.

I reformatted my play over the weekend.  Turns out it runs in at 115 pages or nearly two hours.  Got some trimming to do when the time comes.  Still, I’m impressed that I wrote a story that’s two hours long.  But for some tweaks, it holds up really well and that’s quite an accomplishment for a long form work.  I thought about pitching ‘Highwaymen’ as a series of one-hours, but the length intimidated me.  Capturing someone’s attention for that period of time, over and over and over again, seems a bit like running up the mountain before I’ve learned to crawl.

I have much to learn about the form.  Gotta keep at ‘er.

Writing About Being Out of It

Larry Brody, a life long writer in television said that most writers he knows are people who feel like they never really fit in anywhere.  They always find themselves off to the side, watching everything and trying to understand the connections.

I’ve never been comfortable accepting that part of myself.  I enjoy my people watching time, but when I do wish to dive in, unless I’m the centre of attention, I find it difficult figuring out my place in the mix.  I’ll be sitting in the middle of a Rider game, and I could never imagine myself being one of those crazy fans who’s bringing plastic fuck dolls to the game and carrying on like a lunatic (not sober anyway).  I find myself sitting in the middle of a group of people, and I’m quickly casing out who the hot chicks are, and how the dynamic works with everyone.

I have my moments.  I can be quite lively at times.  I can make most people laugh.  I can be counted on to say outrageous things at inappropriate times.  I can stand in front of people, engage them, and make them remember me.  I like doing those things.  But that’s not really me in my natural state.

If I can’t sit back, watch the world go by, and revel in my ‘me’ time, I can’t be me.  I have nothing in the tank for my ‘public’ face, and I have nothing to say about nothing because I didn’t take the time to think about it.  I’ve noticed a big shift in myself since I started writing in my blog regularly.   I’m better.  Much more betterer.

When Larry Brody wrote about his observations of writers, it really resonated with me.  Instead of feeling insecure about my place in a group of people, I’ll just accept my nature and be better for it.

On All Fronts

Today feels a little bit like yet another clear beginning and ending.  But for some tweaks to the pitch package of ‘Highwaymen’, I have accomplished my goals for the project creatively.  At this point it’s just a matter of getting it in front of people to see what happens.

I now have an itch to return to my play and format it into a screen play.  No major re-writing or anything at this point, just a simple reformat from play play to screen play.  It may be a couple of weeks yet before TeleFilm makes a decision on funding for the project.  Either way, I’ll want to move forward in the near future.

The deadline for the SPC’s Spring Festival of New Plays comes up at the end of October.  I’d really like to participate in the festival again.  Maybe I can spend some time crafting a story design over the next few days.  My love life is certainly confused these days and would provide great fodder for a story.  The antagonist would be played by my penis.

I SKYPEd Laura this morning.  It’s her birthday today.  “La Mulți Ani din Regina!!!!” is what I screamed when she answered.  Sometimes it feels like a million years since I last saw her.  Other times it’s like I carry her around with me and she’s never that far away.  She mentioned that she’ll be on stage this winter for a play.  If I’ve green lit a project by then, I’d love to fly down to Bucharest and watch her.

I should also mention the Roughriders at this point.  Meant to get to them sooner, but I had stuff to muse about.  At 9 – 1 Calgary came into town with the league’s best record (although they’ve had a soft schedule of late).  The Riders came into the game looking like a team in decline after being embarrassed by Winnipeg last Sunday.

Got together in Benji’s garage for a pre-game meal with the rest of the Romanian Syndicate.  Jeff brought steaks and stuffed potatoes for all of us.  It’s great dating the butcher, as Rich is fond of saying.  It was also the coldest game of the year by far.  But for long johns, touque and gloves, I wore all my winter stuff.  Felt a bit ridiculous, but it turned out to be a good decision.

The Riders came from behind in the 4th quarter to tie the game and put it into overtime.  We won 43 – 37 and we now have a legitimate shot at first place, being only 2 games behind Calgary in the standings.  Better yet, Calgary still has to play Montreal twice, and us at home one more time.

We’ll see how things look in the next month or so (on all fronts).