The Art of Showing Concern for an Art Gallery Refugee

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the house, working from home. After three days of looking out the windows into the cold, I realized that I should probably step outside at some point to see if my legs still work.

To this end, I bundled up and headed down to the library on Queen Street East. Walked through the ravine on my way, and the crick was running. Temperature outside was balmy and the air in my lungs was freshly brisk. What a perfectly wonderful decision I had made for myself.

Walking home from the library last night was when I realized my plan had a major flaw to it. Once that hot afternoon sun dropped out of the sky, the cold wind off Lake Ontario took ahold of the place, and shook it to its bones. My gawd it was cold!

So cold, I had to stop in at Mullin’s, three blocks from home, just to warm up (with a cold beer). I called Dave, and he joined me a few minutes later. It was Dave, and me, and the bartender most of the night.

Then some guy walked in wearing nothing but jeans and a suit jacket. He looked like he just stepped in from a spring walk through the daisies.

“What the hell are you wearing!” I exclaimed – to which he explained that two doors down, his wife was opening an art exhibit. After several hours, he desperately felt a need to escape. He wound up buying Dave and I each a shot of expensive Irish whiskey, as thanks for showing concern for his well being.

This morning Jazzy and I discussed the fast we’re supposed to be on. No meat or dairy for 40 days, but our fridge yet clings stubbornly to a brick of cheese, a half-eaten roll of salami, some ham, and a carton of eggs. We decided we’ll start the fast once those remaining hold-outs have been consumed.

To this end, we made ham & egg muffins. Stir up some eggs in a bowl, line the muffin tray with slices of ham, pour the eggs in, and bake. It’s always wonderful when spontaneous little things come up, that we can do together.

I’m thinking I’m going to head out again today after I make some phone calls for the sitcom. This whole business of heading outside and breathing fresh air seems to be compelling. Worst case scenario, I wind up at Mullin’s again.

The Saskatchewan Blitz

CTVReginaPhotoI’m sitting in an A & W in Saskatoon, soaking up their free wifi, and sending emails.

I was on Global Saskatoon this morning, and I’m taping a segment with CTV Saskatoon in an hour. I appeared on Global Regina yesterday, GX94 Yorkton, CTV Regina, CKRM, Wolf, and My92 on Friday. Thursday I was on The Sportscage.

The Kickstarter campaign for Riderville Radio Sitcom has three days to go, and I’ve been circulating through Saskatchewan pushing hard. It’s always great to come home, but things have been happening so fast, I really haven’t taken much time to appreciate the moment. Right now, we need about 800 Rider fans to contribute $23 each, to help us reach our goal.

Mom’s home cooking is something I’ll never take for granted. I’ve also enjoyed the swaths of time I’ve been spending with Nadia, who’s helping me with the sitcom. Last night I crashed at Kate’s apartment and bought her dinner as rent. Feels like a lifetime since I last saw her, and it was beyond great just to catch up.

I fly back to Toronto tomorrow morning. Something tells me it won’t be long before I’m back in The Land of the Living Skies for more pressing engagements with the sitcom.

One Year Without My Dad

August 2013. Golfing with Dad & Jazzy. We packed up after the 4th hole because Dad felt an unbearable pain in his foot. Five months later he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

August 2013. Golfing with Dad & Jazzy. We packed up after the 4th hole because Dad felt an unbearable pain in his foot. Five months later he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

It was a year ago today that I lost Dad, and there hasn’t been a day gone by where I haven’t been reminded of him, from some moment I find myself in.

I’ve lost people before. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, and other relatives. I thought I knew what it meant to appreciate someone, but losing Dad really took ahold of me. It was a loss that got down into my bones, then seeped into a rage against all the things that happen around me, that I am powerless to affect. I’m left sitting here, staring out a window, and taking a mental inventory of the handful of people remaining in my life, who truly matter to me.

You could say it’s down to a small manageable size now – which would be nice if I were talking about a to-do list, or some project that needs attention, but instead I’m referring to the number of people in my life, whom I truly love and care for. That realization slowly came out of the aether, to hit me like a slap in the face, and I find myself reeling from the naked truth of it.

There’s a clock ticking all around us, and we can choose to use it as a barometer to measure the good things we have in our lives, or we can ignore it, and wake up one day, caught in a vacuum, fighting for every breath that’s being sucked out our lungs.

I miss my dad. If I close my eyes, I can still hear his voice, calling at me from some distant memory. And in those moments, my thoughts turn quickly to those who are merely a phone call away. And most times, these days, when I hear that voice, I find myself picking up the phone and pressing down some numbers, with an aim to make small, the many miles between us.

Perhaps this new way of seeing things is my dad’s parting gift to me.

Making Headlines Across the Country

It’s a sunny Friday morning here in TO. 73% of my conscious thoughts have been consumed with The Riderville Radio SitcomThe rest of it is spread between feeding the cat, laundry, my screenplay, Machiavelli & Tymes, cabbage rolls, and Toronto Cold Reads.

As for the cat, I don’t believe I’ve mentioned her yet on my blog. She is called Echo – whom we named after a character in a Joss Whedon series. Mostly, Jazz and I just call her ‘Cat’. “Cat, what are you doing?” “Cat, what are you trying to say?” “Cat, why did you just piss on my jacket?”

We’ve had her since October. Got her the week Grama stayed with us. At first I wasn’t crazy about the idea of having a pet. I felt I needed to make more mistakes with my daughter before I was ready for the responsibility of an animal. Now I’m glad she’s a part of our family. The cat I mean. I curl up with her on the couch sometimes, and feel dried up bits of crustiness, flaking off my personality. It seems I’m going to have to learn how to write without tapping my trusty well of angst for inspiration.

I had a meeting yesterday with The Harold Greenberg Fund about my screenplay, That Moment In Between. I was advised to research the projects they’ve funded – to look at who the production companies behind those projects were – and partner with one of them to produce a 10 minute version of my film. They have a program that will fund such undertakings, and it will be the best way to help the feature length version along future stages of development. To this end, I have begun my research. Best of all – there is a tight deadline to write a 10 page script, put a team together, then submit a proposal. Nothing helps stuff get done, like a tight deadline.

Speaking of tight deadlines, Acts III and IV of Machiavelli & Tymes are being read at the season opener of the Toronto Cold Reads on Sunday night. There’s going to be a big crowd. I want to tweak Act IV before the scripts are printed, and my deadline is 5pm today. My goal is to finish my work on the sitcom today, with enough time left over to make those tweaks.

On Tuesday I used the Roughriders media distribution list to send a media release, announcing The Riderville Radio Sitcom. Within a couple of hours, the series was making headlines across the country. I was interviewed on CKRM and CJOB (Winnipeg), and I’m scheduled to make appearances on the morning shows of CTV and Global next week.

The Kickstarter campaign has been going slow. The link I provided in the media release wasn’t used in the story that was picked up by news outlets. Thus far, the demo has only been played 562 times – which means a whole lotta people still don’t know about the campaign. I admit to feeling a bit nervous, but the big push happens next week when Harvard Broadcasting will be promoting it across their stations. There will be 120 DJ ad-libs, buttons on their websites, and me being featured on a couple of their shows. I’m flying to Regina next week to help with the push. I have more ideas up my sleeve about other ways I can get the word out.

Alright, that’s enough blogging for today. I have a deadline to meet. Cheers!