Phone Idjot

Here’s the deal. I don’t like talking on the phone. Understand it. Accept it. I don’t like it. That’s why I don’t call. That’s why I don’t return calls.

Okay. I do when I have to, but if I can avoid it I do.

I like to write. I’m good at it. I’m a writer. I can spell things like eloquent without difficulty, but try and get me to explain something with a piece of plastic welded to my ear – forget it.

I feel a bit better about headsets, but not much.

Face to face with some beer? Great. Side by side driving along the freeway? Awesome. They say that 90% of communication is non-verbal so what the fuck is the point of shooting disembodied voices all over the globe? Seems a terrible waste of effort to me. Write a letter. Stop by to say hello. Works much better for me thank you very much.

Part of my move has involved me learning and accepting who I am. My likes. My dislikes. The things I’m good at. The things I’m bad at. I choose to mould my life around my strengths rather than to try and contort myself around my weaknesses. Where that conflicts with the world around me we will look at ways of making it work, for everyone.

Non-conformity is not about lashing out against the mainstream. Its about finding within yourself the way, and finding how that way fits into the rest of the world. Bend what can be bent, break what must be broken, but don’t fight fruitlessly against those things that you cannot, or need not change.

The telephone has its place, but where it can be excepted, I gladly use the other options. I for my part will try and do the same for all of you, including those who won’t read this because it doesn’t fit into their way…

Super Super 8 Haul


I admit it. I am a bit of a retro gear addict. Super 8 being one of my particular inflictions. Through a series of synchronistic events super 8 has splashed back down in my life after a two or three year near hiatus. Not only do I have a prospective job shooting on the old home movie format but my friend The Editor Formerly Known as the Producer suggested we do our next project on super 8. I bought some super 8 film today for that project from the Kodak warehouse in Montreal, met a really cool, enthusiastic young guy working there and then, and then…

I saw a posting on craigslist in the Free section for a super 8 viewer. I responded. Not only was there a previewer, but a camera, light meter, two microphones, splicer and two vintage super 8 b-grade films. My best super 8 haul yet. All free. The universe is smiling on me. Thing is, I am the universe, so I guess I’m smiling on myself. That’s positive thinking in action! Its always been there in the back of my head, doing something of merit with super 8, now its all coming together, spontaneously and effortlessly. Fucking hell, sweet as!

So, watch for more super 8 productions in the near future. The bug is back, and this time he’s got more bite!

Did I mention the splicer even still has tape?

A Guide is Required

I was thinking about doing up a video guide to parking in Montreal, because quite frankly its confusing. Today confirmed that. As a public service, to help all those who will come after me. I think its only fair. It could save hundreds of people hundreds of dollars each. That’s worth something. No better way to get revenge against the City of Montreal than to prevent thousands of dollars from making it into their coffers. Fuckwits.

So here’s the deal. When your car gets towed due to snow removal they don’t take it to an impound lot. That would require far too much resources, towing hundreds if not thousands of cars after a snowfall. Instead all they do is tow your car a few blocks away, whatever’s available that isn’t being plowed. My car was moved two blocks north. In fact if I’d widened my net a little bit last night when I went wandering around I would have found it sitting there, waiting for me, $92 fine fluttering in the wind underneath the left windshield wiper. Its frustrating, but its better than having to trek across town to get it released from an automotive prison. I get a bit of time to pay the fine as well.

So the parking in Montreal video is a go. Not just for my sake, but for the sake of all the victims of remorquage.

Back up…

Well, my stocks are slowly but steadily marching their way back up. Its good to be in a solid company that’s weathered every storm that its passed through over the preceding 11 years. Its a pain that the price is low now when I was planning to sell, but that’s okay. It’ll rise throughout the year and I can sell later.

I’m also over the car. Fine, I got towed. Maybe it wasn’t entirely fair, but neither is life. Fair that is. Not always. Besides, when I die I won’t terribly miss that $92. I still don’t know where it is, the phone lines are clogged, but I’ll get it back when I get it back.

Sadly due to a combination of the cold, a bit of a cashflow problem and the lack of a car I curled up under the covers of my bed rather than going to the Pound last night. I sort of regret that, but what’s done is done. I have a party to go to tonight and nothing will keep me from that. Gotta get out and have some fun!

They took my car

The goddam bastards. They came and they took it. I can’t decide which I’d prefer, if someone outright stole the thing or if the fucking city towed it away. Unfortunately its almost certainly the latter.

I’m perfectly willing to admit when I’m wrong and to pay the consequences – its only fair. But this is scandalous, ridiculous, infuriating even. I can’t find my license plate number in the online “where is my car” system which is bad because according to the site my plate should show up there within an hour of being towed. That hasn’t happened, though being a governmental thing and this being the most dysfunctional government in North America I shouldn’t be surprised.

I noticed during my blistering cold walk around the block, hoping I just forgot where I parked it that my street has been plowed. That would imply that sometime between yesterday afternoon and this evening when I noticed the absence of my car that they plowed. Either that or my little segment of street experienced a bizzare spontaneous vanishing of snow – which I consider unlikely at best. So, chances are they towed me in order to accomplish that.

Now the way they do this is a bit… Well. About a day before plowing they come around and plant little signs in the snow informing you that you can’t park there the next day, and thus is our little problem. I did not see any signs of this nature. Generally they’re pretty noticable, but yesterday afternoon I don’t recall seeing any. The trick is I don’t actually know the required interval between their planting the signs and them doing the plowing. I should think you get at least 24 hours so its feesible that they planted the signs just after I parked and plowed just before I went outside for the first time today. Possible. But I have the nagging suspicion that they just do whatever they please, knowing that fighting it would cost more than the $92 fee to get your car back from the pound.

Of course I don’t even know which impound lot to go to because my car doesn’t show up in the computer system!

Normally I’m calm and accepting of these things, but tomorrow I expect there may be a bit of yelling. As much as I like this province the bureaucracy and bungling does begin to wear on you. I can learn a lesson from this about checking on my car more frequently, though its ridiculous that I can’t leave it unattended for even a day! But they need to learn a lesson as well, about serving the people, because the people are the ones who foot the bill.

It all gives me more reason to hate having a car. I haven’t been thrilled with it for a while now. But there are enough reasons to keep it, largely the two hours it saves me commuting to and from the airport plus the ability to haul gear from point A to point B when I need to. But still there’s a fine line between convenience and overwhelming hassle.

I guess this is the universe’s way of balancing out the hubris from the last couple of days victories. Fine. I’ll try and be a bit more humble.

Oh, found another potential loft space. That’s four buildings I have in my sights. I’m bound to get one of them. 😉

The great thing about the 30 day trial

Most of us hate that software that disables itself after thirty days, urging us to throw money at the developer for something we’ve been using for free for a full month. I’ve been like that. Heck, who likes paying for stuff? Who likes being teased with something only to have it snatched away mercilessly after you’ve just started to get used to it? Well, there is a bright side.

The thirty day trial is the perfect opportunity to impose a concrete deadline on yourself. Smashing down like a castle gate.

I downloaded some web design applications yesterday because I really, really need a website for my photo and video services. The software has the dreaded 30 day trial, after which it will just become hard drive pollution. So, I guess I’m going to have my website finished and CSS learned by February 23rd. Looks like…

Less letters, same message

Well. I composed an eloquent ode to loft apartments, vast spaces, freedom, flexibility and creativity. I did, truly I did. Sadly an Internet gremlin made off with it to line its nest and I’m left with nothing but a vague reminiscence of my words and sentiments. Oops. Oh well. Suffice it to say I’m excited, nay giddy at the prospect not only of having my own space, but a space with which I can do anything I choose, anything I dare. A canvas for my inhabitation’s imagination to run amuck. Its going to be fucking grand. Good things just keep happening here. Montreal’s embrace is so warm, even when the wind and snow beats the brick outside.

I want to shoot some super 8…

A Good Day

Today has been a good day, because I made it a good day.

This morning I went out to look at some prospective apartments, loft apartments specifically. I’m pretty impressed. I’ve found things within my price range, that I can definitely see myself living and working in, they should be available when I need them in a couple of months, and the location brings me 11km closer to work and closer to Concordia as well. So the process is started. There are options, angles of attack, methods, but all in all it looks like its going to work out exactly the way I’d hoped when I was first preparing to move to Montreal. Vast space, open and free. Room for photography, construction of artifacts, movement, light. Its exactly what I want.

Following that I went to meet with a prospective employer, a woman who’s been doing wedding videos for the past three years and wants to start offering super 8 wedding videos. As much as I dread wedding videography, the artistry of using real film and the kind of work that demands more than offsets the typical wedding drudgery. I’m actually looking forward to it, and imagine – being paid, and paid well, for my super 8 expertise! She’s a nice woman, I like her attitude and approach, and as far as super 8 goes there aren’t many people out there who know more than I do about the format. This could be an enjoyable and lucrative arrangement.

So… a good day. Two of the biggest challenges ahead are taking form – forms that I like.

More to come, but shit man, its all coming together, almost effortlessly. Its beautiful, it truly is.

How to lose $8000 in one week

Its called the stock market. In the past week WestJet stocks have taken a beating to the tune of a $5 drop from over $23 per share to just over $18. Since I have about 800 shares in stocks and 800 shares in RRSPs that runs me around $8000. Ouch. Boy do I wish I’d sold at the start of the year like I was thinking about doing instead of hoping we’d hit $25.

But hey, that’s the markets for ya. I have to remember that we were around $18 only a month or two ago. Chances are it’ll go back up, and in the end, its just money. Pfft.

So, instead of cashing that stock and buying things like a G5 laptop and wireless lavalier for my camera with cash I’m just going to have to use my credit card and pay it off when the stock goes back up. No worries. It also resolves the question of whether or not to buy a condo. I can’t afford a reasonable down payment now, so the answer is no.

Worried? Me? Nah. But next time the stock price seems too good to be true… I’ll sell… and I’ll probably cry when it goes up another two bucks after that, but hey, that’s life.

Profit share in May…

Its Never Bad

I really wish I could describe or explain the change that’s come over me over the past few months, but I know even as my fingers press down and connect streams of electrons in this keyboard, streaming into letters, words, ideas for your eyes and brain to process – that it isn’t enough. Nobody can TELL you a truth. They can only point to it, shadows in Plato’s cave, dancing behind the fire. Such is the inherent weakness of words and literal thought.

One thing I’ve been thinking about is this. Its never that bad. Not anymore. Think of failure. Hitting rock bottom. What does that look like to you? Most of you out there in first world urbania. Homeless, living in a box under the freeway, getting your food from dumpsters or the salvation army. Looks pretty bad doesn’t it?

Fact of the matter that isn’t bad at all. Not really. For us in the western world hitting bottom is comparative ease and luxury for the everyday experience of those in the third world, and for most of the human race throughout history. Centuries ago hitting bottom meant, starvation and death. Today it just means stale bread and having to sleep outside.

We spend so much time obsessing and worrying about being successful, when we already have everything we need and anything else is just a bonus. Food, clothing, shelter – all are readily available. Why we need to chase mansions, Mustangs and Timex watches is beyond me. If we have everything we need, then shouldn’t we give real though to what we want, and pursue only those thing that will truly make us happy? Silly that most of us spend so much time chasing other things…

There’s a lot more. The realization that relationships, of all sorts are more important than money, fame or power. And… you see? As soon as I try to put it into words it fades. Better to just let it be, as I let myself just be.

There’s almost no fear left, and that which remains is no longer invisible, I can see it, and if I can see it, I can control it.