Being Huge

I hit the gym yesterday.  Now I’m huge.  You have to squint your eyes and tilt your head to see it, but the evidence is irrefutable.  I am huge now.

I decided to hit Atlantis this morning to show off my new found hugeness.  It’s been going really well so far.  I sat next to a pretty girl too.  We didn’t talk or anything, but she did leave after a few minutes.  Now I’m just sitting here in the window, being huge, all alone.

I finished my muffin a short while ago.  I had goop on my hands so I went to the bathroom to wash ‘em.  Checked myself in the mirror to make sure I’m still huge.  Guess what?  I’m huge!

Yuppers.  Nothing to do now but sit around and think about the sorts of things I can do now with my newfound hugeness.  Mostly I want to write and make TV shows.  Can’t lift anything.  Muscles are too sore.

I’m starting to feel the wall coming up on me again.  I’m driving straight towards it at 200 miles per hour.  Any day now the phone will ring, and the person on the other side of that call will have either good news, or bad news.  I’ve never had so much riding on a single moment in time.  The next three years of my life will be strongly influenced by that one telephone call.

I’m nervous about what I’ll do if the news is bad.  I’m nervous about what I’ll do if the news is good.  The biggest mistakes of my career came from getting exactly what I wanted.  The greatest learning experiences of my career came from those exact same mistakes.

In the meantime, there are my other projects, even bigger projects.  Industry folks tell me they’re full of potential.  I feel like a kid in a candy store with his mouth wired shut.  Those projects with high potential are just waiting, waiting, waiting for the right moment to come.  I’m losing, losing, losing patience.  For what it’s worth, the story’s the same with everyone in my industry.

Is there more I can be doing?  I’ve been asking myself that.  I’ve been looking at each individual project and the answers won’t come easy.

Mostly, I’m trying not to delude myself.

Spooning

I’ve been living with five spoons in my cutlery drawer for four years.  They’re the first utensil I run out of and their impact on my life has been quietly profound.  Never really thought about it until this morning.  I plan my meals based on how many clean spoons I have available.  Sometimes when I forget to check my spoon status, I’m forced to eat traditional meals in bold new ways.  It’s become a lifestyle choice.

The spoons don’t really match either.  One has a very solid feel to it.  Doesn’t bend at it’s thinnest point.  I save that spoon for days when I plan to scoop ice cream.  It’s my very favourite spoon.  Another spoon is so malleable, spaghetti noodles look forward to bitch slapping it around.  I feel sorry for that spoon and do what I can to protect it from self esteem issues.

The other spoons are just as mismatched, but that’s also part of their charm.  It’s like they’re a rag tag cast of characters from a Joss Whedon TV series.  Maybe all they have in the whole world is each other, and despite their personality conflicts, or psychological disorders, or relationship issues, they somehow come together to complete the mission, or slay the vampires, or scoop the ice cream.  They scoop the ice cream against all odds, and they’re stronger for it.

Who wants to fuck with that kind of chemistry?  I could buy new spoons or raid my mother’s cutlery drawer and she wouldn’t even notice.  I’d have so many spoons, I wouldn’t even have to map my week out any more.  No more, ‘This is a hamburger day because I’m out of spoons,’ moments.

Still, I feel change coming.  When I green light my next project, I will treat myself to a shopping spree at one of those kitchen type stores.  I need mixing bowls, and trinkets, and dish rags, and those flat things you put on your stove to rest your cooking utensils because you’ve used them to stir something and now they’re dirty and resting them anywhere else won’t work because those places are only for resting other things that are for clean things, things.  And maybe… If I’m already buying all those other things, I should buy spoons too.

You can’t have sparkling new kitchen stuff and not have a proper set of spoons.  Right?  I don’t know.  I’m flying by the seat of my pants here.  There’s no proper spoon manual to consult in spoon situations such as this.  There’s no spoon precedent that I can recall through history that will make my decision easier.  How did Napoleon deal with his spoons when it came time to scoop Neapolitan ice cream?  Historians consider these things unimportant.

I clearly need more time to think about this whole issue.  Perhaps musing about it over the next 23 or 24 blog articles will give me some clarity.

Not Knowing Where to Go

Jazzy had a bit on an adventure changing planes in Edmonton on Monday.  She only had 10 minutes between flights, but followed the signs wrong and wound up having to go through security again.  They were calling her name over the intercom and wound up holding the plane for her.

She was excited, jumping up and down, as she told the story to PJ upon landing in Vancouver.  You’d think she just came off an amusement ride.  My 12 year old little girl has a keen embrace for adventure in the most unconventional of places.

I finally glimpsed the big picture for momMe.  It’s been an evolution.  When we started out, we weren’t even thinking about it as a business enterprise.  Then the Canadian Media Fund required all applicants to provide a way to monetize their projects.  The game took another massive shift forward.  Still, even though we could see its potential to be a money maker, we still weren’t clear on the business model.  It remained that way until meeting with Brooks a couple times this past week.

I came in looking for advice.  Didn’t know what I needed.  The potential was huge.  Wasn’t really sure how to move forward.  He asked some pointed questions.  I gave direct answers, even if those answers were simply, ‘I don’t know.’

I walked away from those meetings with all the ‘I don’t knows’ pecking away at my mind.  It wasn’t until I put the finishing touches on a cash flow projection yesterday that I saw everything in perfect clarity.  There remain a few ‘I don’t knows’, but the fog has lifted.  I can see a number of ways forward.  Doesn’t matter if our seed money comes through traditional television sources, or we go the venture cap route… the production funding is irrelevant.  We need someone who is experienced and successful at getting passed the professional gate keepers of corporate boardrooms, to make meetings happen.

Finding that person is our single greatest need.

So Much to Say

I feel like I have so much to say.  So much ground to cover.  Six days since my last entry.  Wow.  So much has happened since then.  Where to begin?

I think I’ll start by reemphasizing how busting at the seams I am to get all these happenings out of my systems.  Well… perhaps ‘happenings’ is the wrong word here, since they already happened.  Happenedlings?  Pasttenceicles?  I’m looking for a word to describe a series of unrelated past events that happened in my past.  Perhaps it will come to me later.

Regardless, I need to write about them.  Six days worth of personal history came and went, and if I fail to record it in literary form, it’s like it will pass without being properly processed.  It’s like the memories will be incomplete without their accompanying editorial musings.  It’s like I’m falling behind on my life’s thinky thoughts.  Big damned hurry to get it all down.

Funny.  Sometimes I sit down to write and I have to stare at the screen for a spell before words come out.  Not this time though.  Nope.  I got content.  I got so much content from so many happenedlings and pasttenceicles that I don’t have that problem at all.  If anything, I have so much to say, I don’t even know where to start.

This is the problem with letting too much time pass between articles.  Sometimes the problem is unavoidable because things are happening so quickly I don’t find the time to properly muse about them.  Other times, I’m just not in the mood.  That’s okay for a spell, but only for a short spell.

Speaking of which, I’m outta time.  Got stuff to get to.  Got things that need doing.  I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.

White Water

My day began unexpectedly on a film set.  I had ‘Coffee with Layton’ written down on my calendar.  I didn’t realize that he was planning to have me sitting beside him in front of the director’s monitor while we sipped that coffee.  It’s been a very long while since I’ve been on a film set that wasn’t my own.  Years maybe.  Kinda got the juices turning a bit.  I even ran into a couple of other people I knew from back in those days.

I watched them set up and shoot one scene, then I left.  I hate standing around on someone else’s set doing nothing except drinking their coffee and eating their donuts.  Started life off as an ‘AD’ (Assistant Director).  AD’s run the set and make sure things are moving efficiently.  Usually there are four of them.  One runs the set, one looks after tomorrow’s schedule, one shepherds the actors to and from their dressing rooms/trailers, and one takes care of the next set-up.  People standing around doing nothing is the enemy of efficiency.  Time is money.

After coffee with Layton, I had a meeting with Brooks, whom I’ve known since he came to Saskatchewan in the 90’s as the Roughriders’ 1st Round Draft pick.  He played linebacker for six years before retiring and involving himself in a number of successful businesses.  The idea to talk to him about one of my projects hit me yesterday.  The meeting today was positive.  Don’t know why I didn’t think of him earlier.

That idea to meet with him came with several other ideas, most of them involving sitting down with people and keeping the channel open.  The arts and business community here is world class and vibrant.  After fifteen years of working in this industry, I’ve come to know many of them.  Even so, I have a tendency to run my affairs from seclusion.  I decided that I gotta get out more.  All of the work I’ve ever created for myself came NOT from written proposals, but from the nurturing of personal relationships with those who could help.

I keep writing about my future, as if all I have to do is hang in there, be my best, and it will all unfold.  Well dammit, the future is now!  I’m tired of sitting around and waiting for it all to unfold.  Any day now the phone could ring, and everything will change.  It’s been that way for well over a year.

I’ve also written extensively about how life is a constant flowing river.  Riding it out and working with the current (as opposed to fighting it) is the best way towards your destination.  Well… that’s no longer enough for me.

When I was 18, I shot white water in a canoe.  The rapids were rated 4 (out of 6), meaning they were dangerous, but navigable.  Shot them the first time, and barely made it through.  The canoe was full of water by the time we came out the other end.  The next two times we didn’t just ride those rapids, we attacked them.  Paddled like hell, with the current, and came out much better for it.

Penultimate Nonsense

The fundamentalist grip upon ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘black’ and ‘white’, ‘grey’ and ‘medication’ slips away when stirred with synergies of a nature that makes the practical functionality of a subtle hip gyration paramount to the infused sexual confusion overwhelming my ability to think with the clarity required to know what I’m even talking about.  I look towards you, stirring in my dreams, bookkeeping my books with a prudence and cool discipline reserved for naughty secretaries, and that time I spilled my coffee on the coffee shop floor looking down your shirt.  I therefore challenge you to a duality upon a plane or a train or a trip through a far away place, far away from this reality, and these obligations, and that particular problem over there.  One final penultimate trip with my finger tip and the skin rounding your hip, meeting in a place that makes the fundamentalist grip upon right and wrong, black and white, grey and the means by which we live.

Politically Incorrect

With 40% of the popular vote, the Conservatives won a stunning majority in the Canadian election last night.  I was expecting them to take a minority, and shortly thereafter, fall to the left wing New Democratic Party, with support from the centre-left Liberals in Parliament.  It would have made for a hell of an interesting political story over the next little while.  Instead we have Darth Vader free to run amok for the next four years.

Next up on the agenda; all first borne children shall be eaten.  Women must chain themselves to their kitchens.  Federal arts funding may only be applied for in fantasy realms.  Social programs will give way to larger newer jails.

On a brighter note, Conservative majorities in Canada have a tendency to eat themselves within one or two election cycles, never to be heard from again for 20 years or so.  Most interesting, the separatist Bloc Quebecois has been decimated, winning only 4 seats (down 46 from their previous result).  The sovereignty movement in Quebec is dead.  The Liberals are also looking hard in the mirror this morning.  ‘The Natural Governing Party of Canada’ won only 34 seats, their worst result ever.  Not even their leader, Michael Ignatief, could hold his own seat.  He resigned this morning.  Most of the carnage from the Bloc and the Liberals led to a record number of seats for the NDP, who for the first time in history, will form Canada’s official opposition.  The Green Party also won a seat for the first time in history.

I am a bit of a political junky and I found this election fascinating.  Everyday I was consuming news articles.  Sat on the couch with my friend Tanya last night, drinking beer and watching the results come in.  Politically, the landscape is upside down and sideways.  It will take some getting used to.  Hopefully my country will still be recognizable four years from now.

24 Hours in a Life

Becky: (singing) I’m just trying to see… peacefully… the me I see in the mirror… blissfully…

She stops suddenly. Lights up on David watching her.

David: Why do you do that?
Becky: What?
David: Stop yourself.
Becky: I’m not ready yet.
David: You light up when you sing.

She smiles to hide a frown.

Becky: More kind words.
David: I’m guessing lots of men have showered you with kind words.
Becky: It’s what people do before they take something from you.
David: What do I want from you?
Becky: You tell me.
David: I struggle with that.
Becky: Everybody wants something from me.
David: I like what I have right now.
Becky: You believe that?
David: I don’t know.

I sat there staring out the window for a spell, overwhelmingly calm.  Just spent 24 hours walking in Courtney’s shoes and seeing the world through her eyes.  Crafted it all into something resembling a story.  I learned a lot about myself, and even more about her.  I am truly blessed to have known her, and I am richer for the memories we made together (good and bad).  I am finally ready to say good bye.

While I mined old memories for my play, Jazzy tapped the keys of the computer beside me, crafting her own play.  24 hours of intense writing.  A perfect Jazzy/Daddy passage of time.  Prior to starting a new scene, she’d take me for a walk where we’d find a quiet place to talk and make notes.  She’d tell me her ideas for the scene she had in mind.  I’d question her about character objectives, conflict, and story structure.  She worked really hard to take all these things into consideration.  She wrote six scenes, which is to say, six times in 24 hours we had these kinds of musings together.

When not bonding with my daughter, or making sense of old histories, I was actually hard at work crafting a play.  I’ve talked before about how moving it is for me to write scenes and structure a story.  Given the limited window we had to write in, and the time I took to be with Jazzy, I didn’t accomplish as much as I would have hoped.  Still, I wound up with 16 solid pages.  I didn’t know what was going to come out when I started, but now I have a much clearer idea for where this thing is going.  I probably need another 12 scenes (40 or 50 pages) before I can call it a play, but that doesn’t phase me.  I’ll keep at it and have it ready for submission to workshops and other script development type activities by summer.

There were 20 competitors in the Saskatchewan Playwright Centre’s 24 hour playwriting competition.  I didn’t make the top 4 in my category.  I’m guessing there just wasn’t enough story there for the judges to make sense of it.  Jazzy got a round of applause for being the youngest competitor in the competition’s 29 year history.  It was an incredible experience.  Felt like a lifetime lived in one day.