Making Coffee

I awoke this morning in a state of alertness.  There was a true sense of mission about me.  Gotta get some tasks crossed off my ‘to do’ list.

Coffee was the first step to this important mission.  Make coffee.  Make coffee alertly.  To this end, I dumped yesterday’s coffee grinds into the garbage.

The lid to the garbage bucket flipped up and spilled some of the dry grounds onto the floor.  No big deal.  I set about filling the coffee pot with filtered water from our filtered water jug – just let it pour while I cleaned up my mess.

In life one should always take the path of least resistance.  We think it’s the easy way out, but it’s not.  It’s the smart way.  The right tool for the job makes the job go smoothly.  This job needed a vacuum cleaner.  My kitchen wisdom is mighty.

So I’m fumbling with Frank’s vacuum, having never used it before.  I’m looking for the ‘On’ switch when I hear an unpleasant sound.  The coffee pot is over-flowing with freshly filtered water – all over the floor.

Things come up in life when we least expect them.  Fortunately I have an agile philosophical mind.  One must prioritize his priorities in life as well.  I’d like to rewrite my one sheet for RedShirts.  I also need to transfer my project sites from mobileMe to WordPress.  Recognizing these priorities with clarity, and then ordering them along a path of least resistance is wise.  After studying a number of philosophy texts, and contemplating them over many years, I have come to learn that ‘turning off the water to an overflowing coffee pot’ is an immediate priority over many other things.

I now had a wet waterish mess on my hands in addition to the dry coffee grind mess.  Might as well get the coffee brewing whilst I clean both.  It would be a hard earned coffee to be sure.

So now I’m on my knees sopping water off the floor, doing my best to keep it away from the dry coffee grounds.  It was then that I realized an opportunity presented itself.  I only saw the opportunity because I’m so amazingly open minded.  Opportunities happen everyday, everywhere.  It takes a keenly focused mind like mine to recognize them.

By mixing the water mess with the coffee grind mess, I can clean up both at the same time.  No need for the vacuum cleaner.  I could almost hear angel song.  Almost.  Their warm up was disrupted by an awful sound coming from the coffee maker.

Turns out I switched it on without pouring the water into the reservoir.

I’m driving to Hamilton today with Frank to watch the Riders open their season against the Ti-Cats.  Never seen a game in Ivor Wynn Stadium.  Looking forward to it.

I hope it goes better for the Riders than coffee did for me this morning.

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Summer Brain Camp

I’m sitting in the window of a local restaurant on Danforth, just off the Chester subway stop.  I have a meeting in 20 minutes, and another one 2 hours after that downtown.

Just finished meeting with Bruce at CBC.  I didn’t have anything specific to talk to him about.  Mostly I just want to keep the channel open with a good contact.  Kind of a pun right there.

He asked me how things are going for me and I told him.  Immediately he started rattling off his own list of contacts who could help me, and he said he’d make introductions for me.  What a super duper swell guy!

We fell into a conversation about fatherhood after that.  He also has a 13 year old daughter, who’s off to camp right away.  We both cringed at the goings on we both know are going to be going on once the sun drops from the sky, and the camp councillors get preoccupied, occupying each other.  My only hope is that Jazzy will be the heartbreaker, and not the heartbreakie.

On a personal note, I can feel my brain running a little hot.  The thinky thoughts aren’t coming out as smoothly as I’d like.  Might be time for an oil change, or a good long wander through the city.  Not worried about it though.  My brain moves in cycles.  Sometimes I’m on my game, and sometimes, not so much.

I’ll spend the next few days looking for a little clarity.

Well Replenishment

Yesterday went a little slower than I expected.  Not a terrible thing because my weekend was wall to wall packed.  A little slow time is not a bad thing.

I spent part of my time working on a private website I created for myself and the guys from the Romanian Syndicate back home.  Being so far away has me appreciating the sense of community I got from those guys.  Normally we exchange the odd email chain letter over stupid shit that don’t matter.  That’s pretty much us at our best –  and it doesn’t matter if those words are written or have voice to them.

I was still productive, but just really slow about it.  I set up three meetings for Wednesday, wrote curriculum for another photography workshop, and took care of a few little things.  Today has more of the same on the plate.

I’m also feeling a need to get some reading done.  Maybe a script or a philosophy book I’ve been carrying around.  I can feel the well is running dry, and more importantly, I can feel a powerful need to replenish it.

How about I make that a priority tonight?  Well replenishment seems like a good evening type activity.

Push

Monday morning and I’m having my breakfast on the deck.  It’s been a great couple of days, full of creativity and wandering aimlessly.

I taught a photography workshop on Sunday.  Led nine students in and around the U of T campus, looking for various lighting conditions, and then learning how to make something of them.  We shot in rain, sun, low light, night time, and interior pub lighting.  It was a great bunch of people with a varied set of backgrounds.  One is an architect who’s designing a house for a client in Regina.  Another is a photographer who photographs sporting events.  He’s going to get me into the Honda Indy in two weeks.  We all swapped phone numbers at the end, and maybe we’ll maintain some kind of informal photography group online after this.  The workshop started at 4pm and went until after 10pm.

I spent the rest of the weekend putting a spec video together for a potential client.  I’m just trying to meet as many different kinds of people as possible in this new town of mine.  Polishing my craft whilst I do it seems like a great way to get myself further, faster in the process.  Writers write.  Creators create.

The trick to living an unstable lifestyle, full of freedom, unlimited potential, and complete lack of regular pay checks, is to push methinks.  I have no idea how this week will unfold.  I have no plans for the summer, except to keep pushing.  Good things are on the horizon.  I can feel it in my bones.

Playing

I was sitting on the subway last night, kind of half watching a group of three 20 somethings sporting a box of Papst Blue Ribbon Beer.  One of the girls noticed me, smiled, reached into the box and handed me a can of V8 vegetable juice.  We fell into a conversation after that.  Turns out they’re members of a Weezer cover band called ‘Sheezer‘.  By the time I got to my stop at Dundas West, they unloaded an apple, and some other funny looking fruit (a lumpy pear) on me.

I saw my first Argos game on Tuesday afternoon.  Wrote about it in my Argo Blog.    It was my first chance to meet other members of the ‘Argos Admirals’ social networking team – a motley bunch to be sure.  Some are more tech geeks than football fans, but that’s what’s great about us.  We bring different things to the table.

The game started with a tour of Rogers Centre.  Got down to field level, met some of the players, walked on the turf, then went up to the press box for a quick look-see.  Afterwards we sat in the stands at about the 30 yard line.   Great site lines.  The town has a looooooooooong ways to go before they could even touch the atmosphere of Mosaic Stadium.  Still, I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

This is the part of the blog where I mention Shelby.

Today has editing on the agenda.  McKenzie, an actress from the monologues show I saw the other week, is coming over with a short film she wrote, produced, directed, and acted in.  It’s been a year and she still needs to cut it.  I offered my services.  Seems like a good way to get to know her better, not to mention participating a bit in the arts community here.

Today is the first official day of summer.  I’ve been doing much to put myself out there, not just on the sidewalk taking in street festivals and the like, but online, looking to set up meetings, write, create, participate, and be.  The ROM is interested in working with me on something.  I’m teaching a photography class on the weekend.  I’m cutting this thing with McKenzie.  I’m beginning to FEEL like I’m part of the scene out here, and not just a spectator taking things i.

In Reverse

Welcome to my new website.

After being forced to evacuate Apple’s mobileMe platform, I now find myself and all my thinky thoughts in a better place.  The new site is searchable and categorized into categories that more or less fit into certain categorical topics.  Search for your name, and you may be surprised to see how often you come up.

Cutting, pasting and categorizing every article I ever wrote over the last eight years (660 articles in all), has me feeling rather sick of myself.  It’s like I was reading the story of my life in reverse.  So many times I read about some great decision I was about to make, and had to cringe a bit knowing full well the result of that choice.  There were also times I felt quite inspired by the things I lived through.

Reading so much of my own personal history in such a compressed period of time also has me feeling pensive.  In general, I’m pretty happy to be me.  Made tons of mistakes, and I’m nowhere close to being done.  Think I’ve learned from most of ’em though and I remain optimistic about my uncertain future.

I’m here in Toronto, standing at the beginning of the next chapter in my life.  It can go a million different ways, and I’m pretty okay with that.  All I can do is put myself out there, focus on my creativity, and meet as many people creatures as possible.

What could possibly go wrong?

Little Things

I bought a new ‘to-do list’ app for my iPhone.  I’ve been using it for almost a week now and it’s been effective in keeping me motivated to get stuff done.  When looming deadlines aren’t looming, I find it difficult to be productive.  When crossing things off a to-do is the prize at the end of a tunnel, I’m motivated.

It’s all little things mostly.  Send this email, make that phone call, follow-up with so-and-so, and so on.  Little things tend to fall off my radar when I’m not thinking about them.  It’s been the story of my life.  Forget the little things and let the big things become mountains to  climb.

I get into these moods where I really want to kick myself in my own ass.  Things aren’t happening fast enough for my liking, or I dwell too much on shoulda, woulda, coulda.  Mostly it’s a deserved kick in the ass too.  I can be doing more, but I don’t and my mood sinks as a result.

Thus far the to-do list app has been keeping me on track.  I’ve had one of my most productive weeks in recent memory, and I’ve still had time to play.  I finished a one-sheet for RedShirts and sent it off to a number of contacts.  Pitched Moment to another producer.  Finished a music video.  Edited some photographs.  Drew up a curriculum for a photography class.  Finished a client video.  Took two meetings.  Researched OMDC.  Managed my finances.  Managed three blogs.

If I can keep up this pace, I see good things in my future.  Mostly, I’ll feel pretty super duper alright about myself.

A Utilitarian Attempt to Recapture History

I’m in the process of moving my old blog over to this new WordPress site.  Apple’s discontinuation of mobileMe has forced the move, but thus far the transition has been satisfying, though not without its problems.  I’ll get into more details about the change in another article.  For now I desperately need to scratch my blogging itch.

While transferring the old blog to the new site has forced me to hold off on writing new articles these past eleven days, I haven’t gone entirely without living my life.  I recently launched a sports blog The Green Blooded Argo Fan and I’ve been enjoying Toronto’s sights, sounds, people, places, and weather.  Here’s an excerpt from a recent conversation I overheard.

“Are we blowing up the Jag tomorrow?”

“No. We’re doing that on the 29th.”

I spent time with a Saskatchewan colleague, Mark Reid, who’s PMing The LA Complex.  I was expecting an obligatory ‘help out the guy from back home’ sort of thing, but Mark was BEYOND accommodating.  He filled me up with good contacts and he’ll be making e-introductions for me this week.  He toured me around the studio, introduced me to the producers, and let me sit in on a couple takes of one scene.  I’ve seen a lot of movie making magic in my time, but I’ve never seen as well-oiled an operation as this one – and they’re blowing up a Jag.

I also picked up some good contacts from Lee Harris.  We had beers at his condo poolside overlooking the Lake.  He wants me to help with a series he’s developing with NBC.  Needs a schwack of editors and thought of me.  The gig potentially starts in July, and it will conflict with the CFC program if I get accepted.  We’ll see how things shake out.

I hung out this weekend with Sharon.  We attended a launch party for Summer Works, a prestigious theatre festival.  Cool sexy people were there.  Great venue.  Free food.  Cheep booze.  Entertainment was terrible though.  It featured a woman standing on one leg for three minutes, and a karaoke group doing Bohemian Rhapsody.  We left at intermission after phoning up Rachel and Waylon for a games night.  We played Settlers of Catan until 1am.  Much more fun.

This article feels rather utilitarian.  A desperate attempt to write down history before I forget. That’s what happens when I go eleven days between entries I guess.  I’ll raise the bar for next time.

Participating

I am an official part of the communications team for the Toronto Argonauts.  I’ll be blogging, creating stories, and making the odd video about the team as part of their social media effort.  I’ll get into games for free, and get to be close to the team.  It’s a volunteer position, but most significantly, I’ll be writing for a multimillion dollar organization in the 5th largest market in North America.

I don’t even have to switch allegiances.  I told them up front that Toronto is my 2nd favourite team, after Saskatchewan.  They actually felt that was an asset (given my first hand knowledge of the Mosaic Stadium experience).

It’s a cold windy raining day in Toronto today.  I don’t mind.  Put on my rain jacket and set off for the subway.  It’s actually the very best way to deal with the rain – walking in it I mean.  It’s like the difference between playing the game, and watching it.  Participating in a rain shower is always much better than watching it.

On Wednesday I attended a series of monologues with Sharon and her friend Farrah.  We met Sharon’s other friend Lorne at the theatre.  The night was the culmination of four women workshopping their personal stories for four weeks, and then honing them for the stage.  It was a great time and I’m keen to participate in the next round of monologues in the fall.

Last night I organized a read for Dick.  Sharon, Leach, Melanie, Frank’s friend Oleg, and his friend Nadia came out.  Lorne, whom I met at the monologues, also was there.  He was quite impressed with the play and offered to send it to his friend, who happens to be an artistic director at a theatre company here in Toronto.  I wasn’t expecting it to find a home for the upcoming 2012-13 theatre season, but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I’ve been sending the play to theatre companies in Chicago (#2 market in North America), and when I’m finished with that exhaustive list, I’ll turn my focus on New York (#1 market in North America).  Of course Toronto is on the radar too, but I just didn’t expect an opportunity to come up so soon.

It’s June 1st and I have a whole month to stir up some things.  I’m excited to see what nuggets float to the top.