Thunder Thunder! THUNDER!

Yesterday morning when I dragged myself into the lunchroom at work at 0600 I was more than a little bit surprised to find Thundercats playing on the big TV. Nearly everyone was mesmerized by it, singing the theme song, reminiscing about playing with the toys, etc. Turns out one of the agents Mike brought in a Thundercats DVD and as we talked it turned out that he’s got Voltron DVDs, Ghostbuster DVDs, etc. When I told him about my Cartoon Afternoon at the Living Room Cinematheque his jaw just about fell off.

What a strange synchronicity. Only a couple of weeks after I do my cartoon thing we start watching cartoons in the lunchroom and I discover a real affectionado along with plenty of people keen on watching old cartoons. The next Cartoon Afternoon will be a blowout I think.

After that we started watching The Goonies. Well shit, there’s no better way to make me long for the Labyrinth in Minneapolis or the catacombs of Paris. I need to get out to some crazy UE.

Finally, I get the car tomorrow. Its a momentous day. My first car. I’m excited, but a small part of me is sad that this era of no emissions is over for me. There’s a touch of guilt.

But now, I’m tired. I’m going to take a short nap, edit some videos, then hopefully go see a free concert at Olympic Plaza and then explore Penny Lane before they tear the rest of it down.

Frame by Frame

Well I finally started working on my film review blog Frame by Frame. Unfortunately I discovered that part of my “marketing” plan isn’t going to work. See every time I review or critique a film on YouTube or similar services I was going to include a link in the comments to the review. Helpful, polite and it would probably generate quite a bit of traffic. The problem? In order to defeat spambots YouTube doesn’t allow the posting of URLs or email addresses. Fuckers.

On a related note I think the new Internet 2.0 is actually dumbing down its user base. All you have to do is check out the crap that finds its way to YouTube, read someone’s wall on facebook or look at the comments on the end of a news story and you’ll see a disturbing trend. A combination of low brow humour, illiteracy and petty squabbling. What a bunch of losers our species is.

The signal to noise ratio on this planet is going off the chart.

Interpret this!

I just had a bizare dream about evil involving nearly drowning while draining, Donald Rumsfeld and a trap door in his office that sucks in evidence, a DVD menu consisting of sliced off faces in a creek and a blacklight/LED/origami creation that’s somehow the embodiment of all things evil. There was also something about lego and old photographs.

I woke up a bit disturbed to say the least, which is why I’m distracting myself with Internet instead of going straight back to sleep.

Fuck that was weird.

Sine Wave

Many times I have likened my life to a sine wave propegating through space. Whenever things get low I know they will bounce back up with the same or higher amplitude. It helps me to get through those low times.

As a testament to how deep in the Styx I was yesterday my Burning Man ticket finally arrived in the mail and I left it lying on the living room coffee table where it could get lost, cumpled up or covered in food scraps. I only left the house to go to the post office and even that seemed like an arduous task.

Today however I have redeemed myself by giving (parts of) the apartment a good cleaning, listening to WNYC’s On the Media and Radio Lab (both outstanding podcasts) which were informative and thought provoking. Doing some grocery shopping and generally getting back on my feet.

I’m considering getting a Macbook for my video editing needs, largely because Final Cut Pro is the sweetest NLE software going and having a portable editing workstation would be a real boon, allowing me to get editing tasks done anywhere, anytime. Now that Macs are using Intel chipsets I can even setup a dual boot system with Windows so I don’t need to be stuck with Mac software if I don’t want to be. Sweet.

Also had a chat with the ‘rents regarding the car. About $1800 worth of work and it’ll be in excellent condition. Not a bad price, especially when they’re going to chip in to the tune of $1000 as my birthday gift. I should have it by the end of the month.

Let’s see, what else? Part of me wants to wax philosophical, but I think I’ll save that for right now. I actually feel motivated to do cleaning and organizing and that’s a rare thing to let slip away. So, for now, adieu. Life is good.

The Power of their Force…

I must say I was pretty stoked today when I did a search of Jim Henson films on the Internet and discovered that they’re making a sequel to The Dark Crystal. Power of the Dark Crystal looks and sounds pretty impressive, and its great to see another addition to this wonderful fantasy revival that’s been going on in movies over the past few years.

The first time I saw The Dark Crystal was at the Macquarie University Film Society in Sydney. Everyone poured into one of the lecture halls with drinks and snacks and pillows and we watched an original 35mm print. It was pretty amazing. I’ll be eagerly following the production diary. I hope its fairly detailed so that I can experience the set vicariously.

Accredited

I just submitted my accreditation for the Worldwide Short Film Festival for the third year in a row. More free screenings, parties, festival swag and hob nobbing. Did I mention the free booze? Hmmmm yes. Free booze. A message to all liquor companies out there. I pay attention to which companies support my favourite festivals and I in turn support them. I used to buy Jameson’s Whiskey until they stopped sponsoring WSFF. I drink Skyy Vodka because they sponsor Fairy Tales. Think about it. Sponsorship pays. Filmmakers are well known for their irresponsible drinking habits. Now, back to our program.

In a similar vein, lending more validity to the connection between alcohol and film Brian and I are going to a reception at the Big Rock brewery on Monday for our Eddie submission Scrabble. A free case of beer and a t-shirt is really all the motivation I need to make a short film. Let’s do another!

The past few nights I’ve had a Couch Surfer here from Germany. Sadly I can’t even remember her name because I’ve been so busy working. I shot two house tours this week and I have another one tomorrow. Business is brisk, but I’ve already streamlined my workflow down to the point that I’m making about $50 an hour. Not too shabby. I feel pretty flush actually, its good to be making decent money for once.

The house yesterday didn’t go off entirely without problems though. The house is empty, the realtor just bought it up and is in the process of flipping it with a whole bunch of repairs and renos. Anyways I seriously had to take a dump so I used the upstairs bathroom, only to find that the water was shut off. I tried gathering water from every tap in the house to fill the toilet tank but to no avail. I finally managed to find the water main and switch it back on long enough to dispose of the evidence. I know too well from my UE adventures how wonderful month old shit can smell.

Fuck what else? I’ve got a Cartoon Afternoon screening at my place tomorrow. Hopefully a decent crowd shows up. I think I’ve got about six confirmed and a dozen maybes. Could be crazy, but I think its going to be a heap of fun. I even went so far as to dig up a bunch of old 80’s TV commercials to screen along with the cartoons.

My life is filling up with beautiful, artistic, intelligent people. I’m really enjoying life, and I’m getting lots done. My productivity is skyrocketting. In some ways I’m sad to be moving to Montreal, what with so much starting to happen here, but I know Montreal is going to be even better. I’ve started the process of getting a transfer with WestJet, everything is falling into place.

Now I’m just waiting for mom and dad to get their new car so I can start tearing around in their old one.

So, in a nutshell. Life is friggin’ fantastic. Why? Because I’m keeping a positive mindset and that’s bringing positive things into my life. It really feels almost effortless. Wickedcool!

30 Secrets

30 secrets…

1. is this your natural hair color?
Yup.

2. where was your default pic taken?
facebook: The Blind Monk pub.

3. What’s your middle name?
Aaron

4. Your current relationship status?
Single and playfully prowling.

5. Honestly, does your crush like you back?
All signs point to yes, but I’m a boy and genetically pre-disposed to overestimate the interest of potential partners (it was in a study recently).

6. What is your current mood?
Rather satisfied with life.

7. What/who do you love most?
Good music.

8. What makes you happy?
Good music.

9. Are you musically inclined?
I think if I tried I probably would be, but I’m not interested in investing the time right now.

10. If you could go back in time, and change something what would it be?
I’d probably change the wording of a few of my emails, not that it would do any good. Its temping to say I’d leave the pub after I paid my bill on Bloody Wednesday, but ultimately I think that situation has helped to resolve some long standing issues that weren’t going away on their own, shitty though that may be.

11. If you MUST be an animal for ONE day- what would you be?
Can I be that big monster from Return of the Jedi and eat people?

12. Ever have a near death experience?
Minor case of the bends, don’t recommend it.

13. Something you do a lot?
Masturbate, drink, daydream…

14. What’s the name of the song stuck in your head right now?
The same song I’m listening to, The Man’s too Strong by the Dire Straits.

15. Who did you copy and paste this from?
Angela.

16. Name someone with the same b-day as you?
Although there is some debate among historians as to precise dates William Shakespeare and Hitler and damn close.

17. When was the last time you cried?
Its been a long time.

18. Have you ever sang in front of a large audience?
That’s why they invented karaoke, though sadly I haven’t done that in over a year.

19. If you could have one super power what would it be?
Telekinesis, I’d be the ultimate prankster.

20. What’s the first thing(s) you notice about the OPPOSITE sex?
Approaching from the front, the face, particularly eyes and nose. Approaching from the rear, the delicious curve at the bottom of the ass, that spot just designed from grabbing and slapping.

21. What do you usually order from Starbucks ?
I order them to shut down and go away.

22. What’s your biggest secret?
Its so big even I won’t let myself know it.

23. What’s your favorite color
Red.

24. When was the last time you lied?
That depends on your definition of a lie. I rarely lie, but I make intentional errors of omission.

25. Do you still watch kiddy movies or TV shows?

Only from my era.

26. Do you have braces?
No.

27. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I guess I’d beef up a bit, but really I’m pretty damn happy with who I am.

29. Do you speak any other languages?
French – but I need to practice it more before I move to Montreal.

30. What’s your favorite smell?
A spring forest, though oddly enough when I haven’t smelt it for a while kerosene/jet fuel is kind of comforting. Oh god. I also like that special sewerfresh smell you get in drains. that probably tips me into the weird category for sure.

I totally want to make out with you…

…and you, and you. I’m feeling very… what the hell is the word? Randy comes to mind, but that just implies mindless rutting and I’m in a more sophisticated mood than that. Lust driven, yet gentle and romantic at the same time. Must be the weather…

Its been a while and a lot has happened. No way to do any of it justice without excessive yammering so I’ll try to be factual and brief.

The Men

First of all the last couple of weeks and especially last week have been consumed with preparations for the MDI Internationals conference here in Calgary. MDI is the umbrella organization that my men’s group is a part of and we successfully bid to hold the annual meeting/conference this year. The details are confidential, but I ended up doing a ton of work to make various things happen. It was frustrating, exhausting, demanding and yet, I feel a great sense of accomplishment and learned numerous lessons about communication, organization, commitment and leadership. In other words, it was undoubtedly worth it.

Dog

Saturday I got a call from my parents and found out that the dog was having seizures and had been taken to the pet hospital here in Calgary. The vet thinks she ate some mouldy cheese and apparently certain kinds of mold are like strychnine to dogs. She was having seizures all the way from Pincher Creek to Calgary and it scared the devil out of my parents. They pumped her stomach and put her on drugs. A couple of days later we got her back and she seems fine.

Years ago she ate a bunch of ibuprofen and had to get her stomach pumped then too. Stupid dog.

Video

Today I did another video open house shoot and it went much, much, much smoother. All said and done I think the shooting and the edit took about three hours, which means I made $50 per hour of work. He’s got another house lined up for me on Thursday. This is going to work out pretty well for me I think. Its not exciting, but its easy, its flexible and it pays well. Between this, crew work on film & TV sets, weddings and all the other freelance stuff I’m going to be laughing all the way to the bank. All I need to make sure is that I have time to travel and shoot some creative projects as well.

Car

Soon I’ll have a car too. Mom & dad are getting a new one sometime this month and that means the old one is mine. They’re even getting some repairs done on it. They’ll be a bit freaked out when I repaint it and maybe do a few other mods to it. At the very least I want to stick one of these in the back window.

Survey Addiction

1. Elaborate on your default picture (I’ll use facebook & CouchSurfing).
Me at the Blind Monk last summer, victim of Brian’s constant portraiture photography (seriously he never stops).

2. What’s your current relationship status?
Single, enjoying being flirtatious but wanting a bit more.

3. Ever have a near-death experience?
A minor case of the bends had me seriously worried once.

4. Name an obvious quality you have.
People can tell rather quickly that I’m intelligent, I’m not sure how.

5. What’s the name of the song that’s stuck in your head right now?
Regina Spektor – Lacrimosa

6. Name a celebrity you would marry

Drawing a blank on this one right now. Whenever I see a female artist who’s deeply passionate about her art I can’t help but be enthralled.

7. Who will cut and paste this first?
Andrea, because she did last time.

8. Has anyone ever said you look like a celebrity?
I got Jason Statham today.

9. Do you wear a watch? What kind?
Casio digital.

10. Do you have anything pierced?
Nope.

11. Do you have any tattoos?
Nope.

12. Do you like pain?
Some pain. Hot wax? Yes please.

13. Do you like to shop?

I’m like a commando shopping. In and out before you can react.

14. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
Cash?

15. What is your favorite lamp that you own?
My cool matching flexible 70’s lamps.

16. How many TVs are in your house?
Four, but only one works, the rest are art.

17. What is on your desktop background?
Me in a pith helmet, aviator glasses with a cigar in my mouth, sitting in the tub with a gun and a flash on the toilet seat.
18. What is the background on your cell phone?
A shot from the set of the last music video I worked on.

19. What was the last movie you watched in theaters?
Cripes, I think it was Borat.

20. What was the last book you read?
Skinny Legs and All

21. Do you talk in your sleep?
Nope.

22. Ocean or pool?
Ocean.

23. Did you ever have a party that was busted by the cops?
Twice, once for shooting fireworks off the garage, once partying in a storm drain.

24. Current Crush?
Is too far away to do anything about.

25. What’s your favorite color(s)?
Red.

26. Window seat or aisle seat?
Window, if I fall asleep I want to lean against bulkhead, not topple into the aisle.

27. Ever met anyone famous?
Got drunk with Don McKellar.

28. Do you feel that you’ve had a truly successful life?

I think I could be farther along than I am, but I’m happy with where I’m at and where I’m headed.

29. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?
Twirl.

30. Ricki Lake or Oprah Winfrey?
Bill Hicks.

31. Baseball or Football?
Football!

32. How long do your showers last?
Ten to fifteen minutes, or sometimes until the hot water runs out.

33. Do you know how to drive a stick?
Only way to go.

34. Cake or ice cream?
Cake.

35. Are you self-conscious?
Much less than I used to be, depends on my company.

36. Have you ever given money to a homeless person?
Yeah, but I don’t like to. At least busk dude.

37. Have you been in love?
Of course, I’m a romantic, even though I usually get hurt in the end I need to love.

38. What is your favorite part of the Day / Night?
Four or five in the morning, when you’ve been working on something so intently or having so much fun that you don’t realise what time it is until you start to see the sky lightening.

39. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
No

40. Can you tango?
No

41. Last gift you received?
Fifty bucks from my aunt for my b-day.

42. Last sport you played?
Garbage ball. Don’t ask.

43. What would you like to spend a lot of time doing?
Directing films.

44. Last wedding attended?
Some random people I was shooting a video for. My camera fucked up and their video was wrecked. Yay.

45. Favorite FAST food restaurant?
A&A Deli.

46. Most hated food?
Egg.

47. Can you sing?
I’m hardly the one to ask.

48. Last person that called you?
Alex.

49. What’s your least favorite chore?
Taking out the recycling, there’s no depot nearby. Dumb Calgary.

50. Favorite drink?
Rye ‘n coke or vodka and energy drink.

51. Have you been on a cruise?
No

52. Are you a vegetarian?
Tried it. Nearly died.

53. Do you believe in Heaven?
No.

54. Favorite show?
Babylon 5.

55. What jewelry do you wear?
Nothing.

56. Are you eating?
No.

57. Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
Yup.

58. Do you make commitments?
Always.

59. Can you dance?
Its been a long time, but I can bust a move.

60. Would you ever have plastic surgery?
Reconstructive or to install something wacky, otherwise no.

61. What do you wear to bed?
Boxer shorts.

62. Have you ever done anything illegal?
Often.

63. Can you roll your tongue?
Yep.

64. What kind of shoes are you wearing?
None, when I do I wear steel toed work boots.

65. What is your hair color?
Brown.

66. Future child’s name?
Something foreign and exotic, but not stupid Hollywood tripe, some of those kids are so curelly named.

67. Do you snore?
I could have sworn I woke myself up snoring a couple of times at Recompression – which is strange because I’ve never snored before in 27 years.

68. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Paris.

69. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
No

70. If you won the lottery, what would you do first?

Hire an accountant/investment advisor.

71. Gold or silver?
Silver.

72. If you could be with someone for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Not a comfortable question, we’ll see.

73. City, beach or country?
Beach.

74. What was the last thing you touched?

Aside from the keyboard? The volume knob on the stereo.

75. Where did you eat out last?
The Blind Monk.

76. When’s the last time you cried?
I felt like crying yesterday when random wikipedia pages brought me to Rachel Carson, what an inspiring woman.

77. Do you read blogs?

A few, not many.

78. Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?
It hasn’t come up, but I would.

79. Ever been involved with the police?
I’ve been in the back of a paddy wagon for two hours. How’s that?

80. Do you have pets?
She lives with mom & dad. Psycho dog Tillie.