Feeling Alive ...

The playfulness of life. The excitement an unexpected encounter. The possibility of an adventure. All these make me feel alive. Understanding for the most part that I am in control of my life and all that goes into it.

A friend of mine recently reminded me of this wonderful quote:

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you imagined." Henry David Thoreau

Although I've strayed from time to time in my life from the direction in which I desired to travel, theirs no question the diversion has done me a world of good. I drum it up to "Life is what happens when you're out making other plans." John Lennon.

Wonderful that theirs a quote for everything. I feel a certain comfort in that - the feeling that one is not alone.

I find myself at any given time thinking about where I'm at in my life and whether or not I'm doing what it is that makes me happy. For the most part my journey is a good one with no destination in site. Just the way I want it.

I encourage you to re-look at where you're at in your life at any given time and place, and ponder the possibilities to whether or not you're in the need of a different perspective.

journey on ...

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Bouts of Insecurity ...

The feeling of being insecure is unsettling. Particularly when one perceives oneself as being secure. However, who is one kidding.

Ok, being brave, I am shifting from typing "oneself" to "I." Hmm maybe I am feeling more secure! After all, I am human. I'm simply expressing my emotion/feeling of sometimes feeling insecure. And yet, it is terribly difficult for me to admit. Terribly difficult. Because it's about feeling vulnerable. Ugh.

My insecurity comes from my fear of being lonely. Not feeling loved, appreciated, needed, you know, all that crap ;-) ...

This emotion/feeling that takes hold of me is most unnerving. I feel exposed. It's a horrible feeling. This feeling is rare to me, and yet when it hits, it hits hard. It paralyzes my confidence. I'm the same confident, self-assured person I was yesterday, and yet today I am riddled with self-doubt. I need to seek shelter until this feeling passes.

After careful deduction, I'm surmising that this feeling comes about when I'm either extremely tired or extremely miserable about an aspect of my life. Who the hell knows. I just know that I feel lousy when I feel this way.

I'm now going to find a dark location where I can hide until this feeling passes. I'm not yet ready to explore the deeper meaning of this emotion, because if I do, then it's all about me, and I hate being so self-serving .... lol, we'll leave THAT emotion for another day.

See you on the flip side ....

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Cubicle Freedom

The headline reads: Goodbye husband and career, hello high seas

The article goes on to say that, "Roz Savage ditched her career, her husband and her house to row solo across the Atlantic."

In 2000 she did a little self reflecting and determined that her seemingly perfect life in London, England: husband, corporate career, big house, little red sports car just wasn't the sort of life that was satisfying to her.

What's next was very interesting ... Roz wrote two obituaries for herself, the first reflected where she felt her life was headed and the second was the obituary of her dreams.

She decided that her current life path was too conventional, and so was her husband. She dabbled in many things at first - an organic bakery; an organic coffee shop; realizing that these projects didn't seem quite right. She was looking for an adventure - freedom .... so, in 2006 at 38, single, homeless, and alone in a 23-foot carbon-hulled rowboat, she rowed across the Atlantic (oh ya, that would have been my next choice!) and has never been happier! Her next goal is to be the first woman to row solo across the Pacific.

She is now a British ocean rower, author, motivational speaker and environmental campaigner.

I'm re-inspired! Many years ago I travelled around the world. Like Roz, I wanted/needed an adventure, experiences, to see new things ... I quit my work, gave up my place, sold everything, and put a pack on my back and didn't know if I was ever coming back! From New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, China; experiencing the thrill of traveling on the Trans Siberian express to Siberia, Russia; with the trains last stop being at the border of Finland; Europe, and so many more Countries I had a chance to explore. It was a thrill.

Trust me, it wasn't all good, but I felt alive. The trip I thought would never end actually did, 2 1/2 years later when I ran out of money, was travel fatigued, and wanted to be back in North America for a number of reasons. But now, I'm ready to plan my next BIG adventure! Not sure what it looks like just yet ... Google earth awaits ....

Thank you Roz for your quiet inspiration.

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I've been observing for some time now how we (homo sapiens) do not read ourselves very well. By this I mean, we don't accurately assess how we come across to others. For example; in most cases the "bully" doesn't recognize that she/he is a "bully," the "micro-manager" doesn't know she/he is a "micro-manager," the "knob" doesn't know that she/he is a "knob."

So let's do ourselves all a favor and look in the mirror, better yet ask someone you know and trust to tell you how you REALLY come across/act, and if you don't believe her/him ask someone else until you clue in. They can't ALL be wrong.

It's OK, we all need to take a good look to see how we are actually being perceived in the world by others. The worse thing we could do is to ignore the verbal/non-verbal cues that others give us. We could pretend to be the people we're not, and yet that doesn't help anyone. It's time to reassess, clue in, and make some changes where needed. Hey, if it turns out we're not the fabulous people we thought we were ... the good news is ... we can be!!

This has been a public broadcast announcement.

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Off The Radar ...

I've been off the radar for a while. I've been inspired, and yet not inspired enough to write about it - although I've been doing a lot of writing lately - screenwriting.

So how's everyone doing? What's inspiring you lately?

The season is changing, and I feel a sense of renewed energy. That everything is possible kind of feeling. I'm hoping that just maybe you're feeling the same way?!

It's interesting how we move through life. Our perspective and perception changes depending on our frame of mind. I try not to dwell to much on things, as it makes me feel too self-absorbed. I get the whole "know thy self" verbiage, and yet to understand yourself is to notice how you react and respond to others. I like: Have fun. Be nice. The having fun part can sometimes be challenging depending on where you're at in your psychological state at any given time.

So here's hoping that you're in a positive frame of mind, and that life is treating you well.

Thinking of you.

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Humanity For All!

I'm in a better space. I've reassessed what makes me nuts, and truly in the big picture, it's no big whoop.

Funny how life's circumstances get the better of you.

This doesn't necessarily mean that I won't be back on this blog ranting again, however I do recognize how self-absorbed I'm being when I do. The good news is, that I have no trouble laughing at myself when it happens!

Thanks for listening. I'm off to help do my part to save the world now ....

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I Am Slowly Going Crazy 1-2-3-4-5-6 Switch.

Crazy going slowly am I 6-5-4-3-2-1 switch.

It's been awhile since I've returned to blogging and I feel badly that I'm starting off with a rant.

I have clearly decided that the true purpose of my creating this blog is to be able to vent in a place where I feel relatively safe.

It has been a totally shit week and hey, it's ONLY TUESDAY, fuck. I can certainly rationalize that it is me who is responsible for my own feelings, emotions and reactions. No one can MAKE me feel a certain way. But, hey  truly, that's crap. Because it is because of certain people that I am feeling absolutely emotionally spent.

For me, it's not the business at hand that gets to me, it's the people and their need to verbally barf all over you. I spent an entire 7 straight hours today with 11 other people, listening to ONE person blah blah blahing at a meeting; to which the person doing all the talking felt this was absolutely fine because this person's mantra is "it's all about ME." UGH, I'm so frustrated. Ok, (I say to myself) take a deep breath, it's all over until ... TOMORROW!

I'm actually laughing because I realize that the blog I wrote previous to this one is titled "Peace." LOL. Life is absolutely absurd.

I'll be ok. I'm still in the picture.

Serenity Now!

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Interesting: The peace symbol (as quoted in wikipedia) was originally designed for the British nuclear disarmament movement. It was designed and completed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist. The symbol was later adopted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and subsequently became an international emblem for the 1960's anti-war movement and the counterculture of the time.

The symbol itself is a combination of the semaphoric signals for the letters "N" and "D," standing for Nuclear Disarmament. In semaphore the letter "N" is formed by a person holding two flags in an upside-down "V," and the letter "D" formed by holding one flag pointed straight up and the other pointed straight down. The two signals imposed over each other form the shape of the peace symbol.

And that concludes our lesson for today.

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You May Say I'm a Dreamer ...

... but I'm not the only one.

I am hopeful of the future. I am optimistic that everything is going to be ok. I am of the belief that people are generally good.

One must move gently in this world with an open heart and a kind soul. With this in mind, one tends to become a more compassionate person. I have chosen to live my life in this way. I feel that I am a happier person.

Today's expression is short and sweet.

Peace out.

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I'm relaxed, well rested, and have a new frame of mind (at least for a while). There is nothing like a vacation to melt the edge and soften the shoulders. I highly recommend it.

The Ocean, the salt water smell, the warmth of the sun, the healing calm of the waves against the shore, the ease of people, the smile on ones face; all gifts from the POV of a relaxed mind when away. It's quite remarkable.

It's always my intent to be like this from this day forward upon returning from a holiday. I figure once I've experienced the feeling of pure relaxation I can  maintain it in my daily life. And yet, I do find myself settling into my familiar habits of excitable frenzy. Although, this time I laughed out loud when I noticed my old habits creeping in. I quickly bounded to a happier place. "Think Ocean, sun, happiness," I repeated to myself. Ahhhhh, I'm there.

I'm returning to my magical holiday place in 6 months (or at least that's the plan), so until then I'm going to strive to maintain my "happy thoughts" in the hope that my "holiday transition" will immediately be there when I get off the plane so as to not have the need for any chill down phase. I think, I think, I think I can do it.

Here's to your magical holiday place and the hope that you can get there as fast as possible - if only in your mind (for now).

There's a lot to be said for having a fresh and open imagination.

Mahalo for listening.

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The Power of Positive Thinking ...

Love is all around .... repeat ... Love is all around .... repeat .... Love ...

I've taken a turn for the better. No longer am I going to feel defeated and oppressed by the masses of meanness. I am rising above it and proceeding with optimism and cheer.

After all, you need to love yourself before you can love another. And I do! I truly do. And yet, I allowed the wrath of other's meanness to creep into my soul and affect my very being - I'm ashamed of myself.

Onward and upward.

Thanks to you oh wonderful readers, for sharing your wisdom and thoughts as I battled these demons. Your insight and thoughtfulness had me reflect and ultimately realize just how hard I was being on myself. I'm now deflecting the crap that flies my way, and mustering all the positive energy I know I have to combat the negativity. It's actually working!

Oh, and I just booked myself a trip. I'm on the next plane to Hawaii to surf it out.

Now that can't hurt.

Rock on.

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Things that go POP!

My faith in humankind is wavering these days. I need a vacation.

I am currently feeling slightly diminished by my work surroundings these days, and how, out of control I feel with what I'm doing. I need to make a change. I'm stuck right now working with the evil women I was telling you about in my earlier blog. Seriously, they are evil.

The situation is, I'm currently faced with these evil women in a dysfunctional working environment where you're on your own if you deviate from the script. By that I mean, the head of the show wants things the way she wants them and tough if you don't like it. It's exhausting. My feeling is, this sort of thinking is anti-productive, demotivating, and at the end of the day you get very little work done.

The plan is, by the end of this year, I'll be gone. I'm working toward an exciting new project that will have me far far away from whacked neverland. So, in the meantime, much to my chagrin, I will hang in, keep my head down (try) and get through it. The hardest part for me is trying to rationalize the "get through it" part. Morally I have a hard time with this. Nevertheless, I am thankful for the opportunities ... repeat 100 times.

Ok then, that's my current situation - so tell me, where are you at in your work life these days, and do you have any advice you care to share?

As always, thanks for listening :-D

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You take the Cake ...

I've been working with predominantly women lately. Because I typically work with more men than women it has become abundantly clear to me that women can be brutal to one another. I'm not clear as to why this is, it just is. I'm deeply disturbed by it.

One would think that women would want to help one another to thrive and grow in a way that shows support, and yet there is no evidence of this. What I'm seeing is mean behavior with a complete disregard for kindness and respect. Truly, I'm appalled.

I've also noticed a real need for control. Clearly this is not isolated to just women, however I have a new heightened awareness for this gender. Long gone is the day of micro-management. It's been replaced by nano-managing. Oh come on, we cannot be THAT insecure where we find ourselves setting ourselves up for a new low. I'm currently working in an environment where one woman claimed that she was afraid of another woman. YIKES!

I'm generalizing, but perhaps it's because the work environment seems to be more conducive to men and the way they work? In a book called Games Mother Never Taught You by Betty Lehan Harragan, it mentions that organizations are based on the hierarchical command structure of the military, and work groups are based on sports teams. Women with little to no experience of the military/team sports concept might find themselves constantly swimming against the tide and speaking the wrong language. I don't know, you'd think we'd fit in and "get it," and yet, I'm really not sure anymore.

What I do know is that is I've witnessed horrible mean behavior from women dealing with women and it just has to STOP! I'm ashamed to be a woman. Well, I'm really not, that's just how appalled I am.

Are we not suppose to blow wind under ones wings so that we can take flight? Rather, I'm seeing bricks being handed out.

Respectful, kind, generous women where ever you are please rescue me! Come to my time of need and disclaim what I have proclaimed!

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I am ...

I am ... confused, unhappy, bewildered, frustrated, scared, and disppointed. That's what I'm hearing lately. Although I have a feeling once spring is sprung some of these feelings may dissipate. By no means am I trying to diminish any of these feelings, I believe them to be real. What I find interesting is the correlation between seasons and emotions - how intertwined they appear to be - quite powerful actually.

In our advancement we've termed this to be seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression / winter blues. In Wikipedia it says: It's a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer, repeatedly, year after year. However it's described, feeling crappy, sucks.

I don't suffer from this to any noticeable degree, however, I am sick of winter and am eagerly awaiting warmer days. I'm certainly noting the longer days lately, and it does make a difference. 

I feel badly when I hear of people feeling sad. I actually noted this about myself in a recent blog saying how boring I felt. I attribute this to the weather. Although, feeling boring isn't the same as being sad, and yet it could very well be the underpinning of this emotion.

If you are one of those people who find the winter months particularly difficult, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it's just around the corner.

Here's hoping for brighter more energetic days!

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I've been Lazy Lately ...

I've been lazy lately about blogging. I don't know if it's because I feel boring right now. Feeling I have nothing insightful to say, or if it's because I'm truly feeling lazy.

Nope, I think it's because I'm feeling boring. And yet, I have interesting projects on-the-go. Thankfully I'm working. Particularly in an industry that can, in the best of times, pulverize you.

There's no question I feel the pressure in this downtrodden economy. People are worried - I'm worried! I wish I had a magic suit of armor that read - "you can't touch me." I'm afraid we're all vulnerable. We are ALL vulnerable.

I worry about my next gig. Although I generate my own work, it does after all take many people to make things happen.

Enough about me - after all, I feel I'm boring you ...

Onto an interesting piece of info: I just heard on the news that the one industry that is doing well are the micro-breweries. The reporter starts out by saying: "When times are good, people drink" - "When times are bad, people drink more!"

I'm going for a drink.

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What's Happening?

Funny how things just come to mind. And yet a few days ago this was quite profound.

I was speaking with a women in my office, she's 25 . Further into our conversation she started telling me how confused and scared she was about her life going forward. I appreciated that she felt comfortable enough to share her feelings with me.

She began first by saying how she was looking forward to she and her boyfriend of 5 years moving into a new place together, and how happy she was about it. She mentioned her work, and the fact that this was her first "real" job after graduating from University. She appreciated the learnings and experience she was gaining.

And then, without missing a beat she said, "I'm confused and scared." "What's my future going to hold?" She talked about a friend of hers who was offered a well-paying job after graduation through her father's associate. Turning it down, she instead traveled to Australia, India, and Europe - not so unusual, right? I did the same after graduation myself! I didn't come home for almost 3 years.

She was quite disturbed by all of this. She was envious that her friend just took off to follow her love of surfing. "I'm feeling pressure from family and society to live my life the way I'm suppose too," she said. "I don't want kids until I'm in my mid-30's, maybe I'll adopt, I'm struggling with my confusion around having a 9-5 kind of job, I could be out there having adventures." I could feel her angst as she was talking.

Being older than she, I couldn't dare say that most of us felt the same way at 25 (for that matter, even now). She wouldn't want to hear that. She wanted to hear that it was OK not to "give in" to societal pressures and expectations. I said to her that no matter what others say, it was her life to do with as she pleased. If she felt the 9-5 job wasn't for her, then to start taking a look at all of her transferable skills and personal life to see how she could best work and play in a way that made her happy. If traveling was it, then she needed to see if her work could be mobile - have technology will travel!

I also wanted to convey that sometimes you needed to give up certain things to ensure happiness. I said that because, in the same breath as we were talking about her being mobile, she also conveyed her desire to live a materialistic life. What she meant by that, because I asked her to elaborate, was "the house, the kids, the trips, the stuff." She was fighting with what she'd been told was right, rather than what was true to be right for her.

We concluded this part of our conversation with my offer to help her look at this on paper. She was going to go away and list 3 categories; 1. The things that made her happy (the must haves, and things she was good at), 2. The things that she didn't want (the have nots), and 3. The things she needed to live (survival tools). We would then hook up again to discuss. 

She was pleased to hear that someone was willing to help her in a way that would provide her with some solutions to her confused state.

Upon reflection I ask you ... What's happening with us? Why do we seem so unsettled, or for matter, why do we seem to settle? I've spoken of this in earlier writings. I'm convinced it's the fear of the unknown. Afraid of what could be, rather than the thrill of possibilities.

I'm going to ponder this a little more. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Happy Saturday!

I love Saturdays. Despite the fact that I'm not feeling the warmth, nor seeing/feeling the green grass beneath my feet.

There is something about Saturdays that are so freeing.  In my world it translates into being free from obligation, commitments, and schedules. The mere fact that I can wake up without an alarm, leisurely have a cup of coffee, read what's going on in the world without rushing (although this has its good and bad points) is heaven.

I also recognize that I see much clearer on a Saturday. I'm much more aware of my environment, the people I'm with, the activities that I'm doing. I think because I feel I have the time to relish in it. Why I'm not as aware of these things during the week, as much as I am on a Saturday, is my query. Although, I think it's because I'm not living in the moment during the work week. I'm very much preoccupied with other things.

Interestingly enough, a number of years ago I took a course called "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)" http://mbsrtraining.com This program was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D in Prevention and Behavioral Medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School. Through the practice of meditation and body awareness we learned how to recognize reactive stress causing thought patterns. It was pretty interesting. It certainly helped me to be more mindful, and to minimize distractions. Hmmmm, I need to revisit this.

As I enjoy this wonderful Saturday, I am going to remember my mindful state and transfer this to my work week.

Truly, I hope that you too have a wonderful day.

Happy Saturday!

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Made with Love

I'm very interested in our global community. I feel a responsibility as an active participant in our world to help make a positive difference.

I was surfing the net the other day and came across a great website called Made with love in Brazil. Made with love is a non-profit global initiative dedicated to raising funds and awareness for NGOs aiding women and children in need through the production and sale of fair trade indigenous products. It's wonderful to see that more and more non-profit organizations are appearing to help eradicate disease, hunger, poverty, animal suffering, and the environment.

It can appear that our world is blinded by hate, and yet I believe there are more examples of demonstrated good and compassion that transcends. To this point, I trust that we share a desire to reach out and comfort those who cannot help themselves.

It is heartwarming to know that there are people in the world - you - that share time, resources, and support to help make a difference. To quote Margaret Mead, "Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have."

Be bold. Be you.

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Don't compromise who you are. In an earlier blog I wrote discover what you like and do more of it. It's easy to fall into the trap of settling. I suspect we do this for fear of, well, for fear. If you break down the word - f.e.a.r, it could mean,  false evidence appearing real. I didn't coin this, someone else did. It speaks volumes. Think about it. What are you afraid of? Almost everything that hasn't happened yet. We have vivid imaginations and can conjure up almost anything that may stop us from doing what we want.

It's the "what if," and "ya but," that seems to paralyze a lot of us. To this I say, enough. Learn to dig deep into your soul and grab the real you and go after what you believe to be true - for yourself. 

I'm saying this for my benefit as well your own. I sometimes derail and need to remind myself to be me. The me that still jumps up and down when I'm excited - is very goofy and likes to hug a lot - can be overly complimentary yet I mean every word of it - says how I feel and am learning not to apologize for it - is passionate about doing cool stuff - and is ok with being neurotic - I'm not really sure that I am neurotic - but I figure we all are to some degree.

I believe this is the only life we've got, at least that I know of, so live it.

Make a life, not a living. 

Go with confidence.

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Everything is Going to be All Right

I found my happy place today. Phew. I thought I lost it for a while. I'm happy to say that I am still master of my domain, or is that, domain-es. I'm very aware that I am responsible for my own happiness. I'm not waiting for anyone or anything to do that for me. I believe that we set ourselves up to fail in the happiness department if we set our expectations too high. I'm not saying don't work towards attaining your dreams, I'm suggesting to make them realistic. And hey, being realistic is whatever that means to you.

A British researcher merged dozens of statistical metrics to rank nations on the elusive notion of contentment, as written by Marina Kamenev in Business Week. The article goes on to say that heading up the list of the world's happiest nation is .... wait for it ... Denmark. While happiness is subjective, the study focused on life satisfaction rather than brief emotional states.

Surprisingly, being wealthy doesn't necessarily make you happy. In Marilyn Elias article she states that; Psychologists now know that the happiest people surround themselves with family and friends, they don't care about keeping up with the Joneses, and most importantly they forgive easily. Psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman, author of the book, Authentic Happiness are already starting to see why some people are happy while others are not: The happiest people spend the least amount of time alone. They pursue personal growth and intimacy; they judge themselves by their own yardsticks, never against what others do or have.

Although this may sound rather obvious, then why are a disproportionate number of people not happy? Happiness has become an increasingly important topic of research.

So what does this all mean? Figure out what really makes you happy. Take some time and write a list. Then when that's done, figure out how to spend more time doing it. Again, obvious, yes. But if you look at the results of the studies, we generally are terrible at spending the most time on things that bring us the most joy. Certainly the realities of life will dictate how we spend much of our time, but as the Princeton studies have shown many of us do more of the things that we don't like just to be able to buy things that don't bring us happiness.

Food for thought. Now bite into that apple!

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Shooting for Less

"She's an executive on the move. But her career is taking her a little farther than she expected," reads the tag line for the film New in Town.

This rings true to me. I have certain unrealistic expectations about myself that I know sets me up for disappointment.

As I reflect on my career in particular, it dawns on me that I need to revisit what it is that I'm doing. Chasing the golden egg so far has not been that satisfying. Although, I must say that I've been very fortunate. So there's no bashing here. I'm simply noting that the film industry has changed dramatically in so far as the business aspect has eclipsed the creative. 

Yesterday a friend of mine forwarded me an article from the Arts section of the Globe and Mail, caption reading "Shooting a 4-star film for $300,000." That always intrigues me, and my friend knows that it does. It reminds me of simpler times when you had an idea, you wrote the script, and shot the film. Have camera, will travel. No suits, no corporate interference, no loss of creative control, incidental negotiations, and everyone was thrilled to be part of the project. It was an adventure, a thrill, a creative collaboration.

I'm still very jived by most of what I do. I love working with people who are as excited about a project as I am. I work in comedy, so we're mostly laughing. It also affords me the opportunity to help others in the creative field. Being able to help discover a talented writer or actor to help move their career along is fulfilling to me.

Reflecting on what I've just typed has me realizing that maybe in order for me to get back the buzz I need to shake up the palette a little .... hmmmm, there is this smaller budget film that I'm interested in ....

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Serenity Now

T.G.I.F. I rarely say that. Mostly because it sounds so hick town. I'm such a snob. But, hey, truly get me out of dodge city and away from the conventional. My energy is waning. I feel like I'm being exposed to kryptonite.

WTF is going on out there? I said this earlier in the week. It feels like a force greater then myself, is dragging me into the abyss. I laugh because just weeks ago I had a creative surge that seemed to be unstoppable. Well, I certainly have found the brakes this week.

Ok, that's it, enough of this feeling, I'm taking back the control. I'm going to get a good nights rest, recharge and then get right back out there with a fresh perspective and a new POV.

It doesn't hurt that I'm taking off the middle of next week for a little r & r to a warm climate. A short trip, but it'll be so worth it.

Tomorrow is another day. I will be back to you with a new frame of mind. Maybe as soon as tomorrow!

Be well and I'll catch you on the flip side.                

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The Silly Side of Life

First off - thanks Benny Greenberg at Ya-ttitude for inspiring me to use this picture. It's so appropriate.

What a bazaar week of comedic proportion. It started with my brother sending me the bite of a Christian Bale rant to a DP (Director of Photography) that went on for 4 or so minutes. It was f***king this and f***king that because the poor guy (the DP) distracted Bale while he was acting out his lines. He went ballistic. The tantrum went on and on with a handful of mealy mouth crew sheepishly NOT coming to the defense of the DP. It was pathetic. It also showed a sour side of Bale. A bullying, mean, asshole that should come to the realization that he's an actor and not out saving the world ... oh and to that point ... even if he were saving the world, one should never put up with that kind of behavior. What a prick.

Following that whack-job spouting off was my real world of continued rants by people I've been working with lately. Is there a full moon or something? What gives?

To make matters worse, I work in the film industry so of course it's more of the same. So, I'm working on a project and needed to collaborate with one other person to complete the job. We hook up and I offer a solution to which she says,"Is this how you'd like to proceed?" Translation, she was ticked that she didn't offer up her own solution. I replied "How would you like to proceed?" She then begins getting into this long drawn out monologue of how we should best work together. I'm staring at her intently, my inner voice screaming "Shut the f**k up." An hour passes, we worked it out, and then I went off and just did it myself. It was the longest hour of my life.

I then head back to my office to get to work on the completion of the project to find 4 colleagues gathered around waiting for my assistance. They then, in unison, voice their own frustrations having to work with the same person I just left. Once the verbal purge was over we all laughed at how insanely ridiculous these past few days had been.

The funny part of this whole thing is ... the same person who, for various reasons had been a point of frustration to a number of us comes into my office and starts to randomly chat about stuff - truly, just stuff, light stuff, as if nothing happened.

Are we all being worked over this week? or is it just my insulated team that feels we're working with Dr. Jekyll and Ms Hyde.

The moral of this story is: If you don't laugh ... you cry.

Anyone else experience the same kind of day, week, month? Misery loves company! :-)

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Super Bowl XL111 & Australian Open

The 12 minute half time show was pretty cool. Bruce Springsteen has that rugged Pittsburg Steelers kinda thing going on. He's been invited to perform before, but declined. When asked why he decided to perform this time, he replied, "I'm releasing my new album. I'd be foolish not too."

He was good enough to plug Coldplay as a suggested band to perform at next years' Super Bowl. I think that's a great choice.

Springsteen is a pro. He knows how to move around a stage and engage the audience. He even tried to engage those viewers at home, suggesting that people put down the guacamole and enjoy the show. He has an energy and a seemingly honest personality that's refreshing.

Oh, I'm actually watching the game we well. Pittsburg seems to be playing a good game. But it's not over 'til its over, so Arizona has a chance.  I'm actually not a football fan, but I do enjoy the energy and excitement of others getting into it.

What I most enjoyed in the wee hours of this morning was the finals of the Australian Open; Federer and Nadal; what a great match. I really felt for Federer when he was at the podium collecting his trophy plate. I shared his tears as he became choked up. It's emotional. Nadal was so gracious. What a cool guy. They're both aces in my book.

There's nothing like sports to bring people together. Whether you're a participant or a spectator - the energy and excitement seems to work for both!

An addendum: Wow, what an exciting final quarter of the game - Arizona came through in the final quarter with an incredible pass - and what a catch!! How exciting was that! I was truly engaged and thoroughly excited. Go team Go!

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Gotta Get A Grip

I know myself well enough to know that I fall into patterns. I know it's coming, I even tell myself that I'm being ridiculous. The feeling is fast approaching. I have a hard time not letting it bother me.

It's my undeniable urge to want to feel in control of things. When work piles up and projects come at me left, right and center I need to know that I have control over the speed, pace and timing. I'm happy to follow constructive suggestions and can meet deadlines in a single bound, but lately others are suggesting the pace. I wouldn't mind if I trusted their abilities, but they haven't proven otherwise.

I'm working in an environment with "quick draw McGraw's" - reactionary people. There's no rhyme or reason to their irrational madness. If I take a moment, it's actually quite comical.

It's frustrating for me to get so worked up over the small stuff. I'm usually a happy-go-lucky person. I need to get back into my regular yoga practice.

Kidding aside, my struggle lies with my own feelings of trying to rationalize my own day to day "safe" life with its meager problems and petty situations, to those living in underdeveloped Countries just trying to survive day to day.

I need to put things into perspective. This is my reality. I know how fortunate I am.

This has just been one of those days.

I've got to get a grip.

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Write a Prescription

If I were your Doctor and were to write you a prescription it would be based on a question that I would first ask you. "What is it that you really enjoy doing?" You reply by saying " I love to paint on canvas." I would then prescribe (on my official prescription pad) "Do more painting, and see me in 6 months." 

In most cases, it's as simple as that. Take a look at those who enjoy their life, and it'll primarily be because they enjoy what they're doing.

We are so quick to prescribe drugs for what ails us. Masking what could simply be the need to delve into our emotional being to capture the passion that is within each and every one of us. The more we mask, the deeper we need to dig inside to figure out where our passion lies. I believe it's worth finding.

Instead of looking outside of ourselves, let's take the time to figure out what makes us sing. I've spoken of this before and yet I feel it's worth repeating.

It's so easy to pop a pill, or comfort ourselves with other distractions. This temporary resolve can leave us feeling superficial. Rather, take note of where you are in any particular time and place when you're feeling good about what you're doing. If noted, these moments are like pieces to a puzzle, hopefully bringing you closer to knowing what it is that drives you.

If you haven't already, take the time to figure it out.

Peace out.

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The Irony of It All

I'm clicking between 2 channels: the Red Bull Crashed Ice race, and the 1972 film "Slaughter House - Five."

The Red Bull Crashed Ice race is a combination of hockey, downhill skiing and boardercross. There are 16 heats of four in the men's division and 4 heats of four in the women's division, the first two athletes in each heat advance to the next round until the final four are established. From this group, the first one down will be crowned champion.

"Slaughter House - Five" is a film that follows the life of Billy Pilgrim, who becomes unstuck in time and experiences the events of his life in a seemingly random order. He survives the 1945 firebombing of Dresden, then lives simultaneously in his past as a young American POW, in the future as a well-cared for resident of a zoo on the planet Tralfamadore, and in the present as a middle-aged optometrist in Ilium.

They are different genres, and yet their is an irony about it. The 100,000 plus spectators standing in -33 c temperature in Quebec to watch skaters getting off on the adrenaline rush of zooming down a steep course. Flip to the nonsensical life of a guy who lives simultaneously in his past, present and future.

Whether it be real life or in the movies, we're all searching for something. Huddling together to find the reality. Wanting to feel something, anything to tell us we're vital, and purposeful human beings.

I believe I'm getting closer to understanding what it is that we're looking for. The downside to all of this is that I find it increasingly more difficult to put up with irrational behavior. What is irrational to me may not be to you, it's all so subjective.

Hmm, go figure, all these thoughts that started from my trigger happy thumb flipping between 2 channels. I'm sure glad I didn't do anymore channel surfing!

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On a Simple Note ...

There is nothing sweeter then booking a vacation.

The process of planning my vacation is as much a thrill as the trip itself! First the decision of where to go. For me it always involves being active - skiing, or surfing, tennis, running, cycling, etc. This trip will be to a tropical destination.

Since I've been to this destination before, I'll check availability at my favorite spot. I then start searching for the best flight deals. Not just any deal, as I won't compromise my time to save a few shillings. Especially if it's a long flight. At this point I'm ready to book a car. Presto! The trip is set.

Now it's time to surf the net to check out what's going on while I'm there. Any surfing competitions, skateboarding to check out, art exhibits, film festivals, tennis events, that kind of thing.

I then book a couple of massages with my favorite therapist on the Island. I usually book it at the end of the day after I've beaten myself up from running, surfing, tennis, and yoga.

This vacation is booked for early Spring, so I have 3 1/2 months to really look forward to it. I hit the gym harder, and I have a more energetic spring in my step as I anticipate my vacation.

By no means am I wishing the days away as I await my trip. What it does do, is make me feel more peaceful and easier going when I know I have planned an adventure. It's the excitement of knowing I'm going somewhere to play.

We all need something to look forward to. For me, it's traveling. What is it for you?

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Baby, it's Cold Outside ...

It's dark and cold outside. My immediate impulse was to post a smile pic. Interesting how we choose to handle feelings, circumstances, and situations. I could have posted a dark, gloomy photo. That's what I'm thinking when I look outside. I'm choosing to make this as good a day as I can. Once I do some yoga, go for a run, it'll be good. 

I'm a true believer in relying on ones self for ones own happiness. I've noticed that some people are waiting for someone or something else to come along to make them happy. If we set unrealistic expectations, then we're setting ourselves up for disappointment. I believe when we expect something of others, it deflects from the real root cause; our own dissatisfactions. It's a lot easier to expect something from someone else, then it is of ourselves.

It could be helpful for each of us to look within ourselves and tap into, or find what it is that makes us feel good. Take yourself out for a date. Do whatever it is that makes you happy. Take note of how you're thinking, feeling, and what you're doing that brings on certain feelings or reactions.

Whatever the reaction, have it. You'll never get to know yourself better if you don't explore.

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"I Don't Need an Analyst, I Need Lost & Found."

In the 1975 film "Prisoner of Second Avenue," starring Jack Lemmon and Anne Bancroft, Lemmon's character shouts, "I don't need an analyst, I need lost & found." I thought how profound.

This was in the midst of Lemmon's character having a nervous breakdown. In the 70's we weren't as advanced in the understanding of neuroses as we are today. I believe we're all suffering from some form of a nervous breakdown.

I'm merely observing human behavior from both verbal and non-verbal cues. It must be exhausting for some people to feel "on" all the time. In the field of work I'm in, I've witnessed this behavior. No wonder comedians are such a depressed lot. I'm generalizing.

Everyone needs a safe haven to be themselves. I think we're becoming blurry human beings. It's increasingly more difficult to "turn it off." Of course it's unfair of me to pigeon hole people.

This got me thinking. I just came back from the gym.  In the change room two women were having a conversation about men. How to "find" the "right" man. The one woman; slim, barbie doll-like, breast implants (obvious), blonde hair, and fake plump lips, maybe in her 40's, late 30's. Who the hell knows anymore. Let's call her Barbie. Barbie is clearly between men. She's giving advice to a 28 yr. old woman. I know because Barbie asked her, her age. She's speaking as if men were objects. I was surprised and disappointed that people still think and talk in this manner. Barbie told her, "Get a financial analyst who has lots of money, is stable and .... blah, blah, blah." The 28 yr. old replied, "Oh, and he has to be athletic. I like active men." So, as they are bantering back and forth Barbie says, "Make sure you don't go for eye candy because they can be trouble. However, if you're just looking to have fun, then fine, as you can just toss them and move on." This may sound sexist, but for  second I thought I was in the men's change room.

I could see the 28 yr. old woman becoming more and more uncomfortable as Barbie continued ranting about men. Clearly Barbie has not had wonderful relationships. Intimidated, the 28 yr. old felt she couldn't convey her real feelings. Chances are the 28 yr. old is going to see this woman again at the gym, and doesn't want it to be awkward. She wants to be liked. Barbie did say she would be on the look-out for a man for her. The 28 yr. old thought it couldn't hurt. I just don't get the conversations people have these days. I'd like to be in a world farther apart from the animal kingdom; be in a more sophisticated world.  I don't think it's going to happen within my lifetime.

I'm going to the art gallery now, and look at some beautiful art.

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So Much Stuff and Not enough Substance

An observation if you will - What makes so many of us strive for the conventional?

I've been meaning to see the film "Revolutionary Road" where it depicts "a thriving couple living with their two children in a Connecticut suburb in the mid-1950's. Their self-assured exterior masks a creeping frustration at their inability to feel fulfilled in their relationships or career. " And yet, on the onset they never wanted to live the life with the house and the white picket fence, two kids, and I'm sure there's a dog in it somewhere.

Every time I hear that scenario I think "Stepford wives" and a life from hell. I'm actually incredibly disappointed at how simple we still are. So many of us buy into the house, the stuff to fill the house, the kids, the conventional job, and all the rest of the stuff that goes with it. No thanks.

I mean this with all modesty when I say, I've been ahead of the bell curve with stuff like this my entire life - thus far. I won't get sucked into the propaganda that rules our lives. And if you don't think it's propaganda, then think again, because it is. You see it every day on TV, advertising, marketing .... from where you vacation to what you watch on TV or your computer, to everything you do, every single day. We tend not to think about. Me on the other hand, I think about it a lot.

Having travelled around the world at such an early stage of my life gave me the perspective to see beyond the ridiculousness of, I'd say 50% of our worrying here in North America.

Most of us are at arms length with our life that I feel we're walking around aimlessly waiting for our next set of instructions. Life is difficult, even for those who think they have it all. It takes each and every one of us to decide for ourselves how we're going to carve out our lives. This is no easy feat.

I think certainly with the devastation of the economy and the greater awareness of global and climate change that we're becoming more sensitive and keenly aware that our lives need to change. We need to make more of an effort. By this I think we'll consider things with a little more rigor, and perhaps not be so "stuff oriented" and more "care focused."

At the end of the day you leave all that stuff behind anyways .... what you CAN leave is the lasting memory of you and what you contributed in helping to make this world a better place. It sounds schmaltzy, but I believe it to be true.

All I'm suggesting is that you just think, and think a little more as you're taking another step into life.

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Energy When it Flows

This week has been quite interesting.

Have you ever had a week where you exude energy that you hadn't felt in a while? It's quite refreshing, and truly welcomed - especially in the depth of winter.

Well that was this week. My creative energies flowed in a way where I felt I could do anything. Not even negative energy could repel my plate of magic armor.

What a wonderful feeling. I hope it comes back to motivate me for another day! I'm convinced it will. Just as I'm convinced that I'm starting to recognize, and I must admit I'm surprised it's taken me this long to figure it out, that I morph into a different person when I start to speak about something I'm passionate about. I didn't realize it was passion. I just knew I ignited a spark within. I kind of dismissed it as I'm generally an enthusiastic person and therefore this was me just being me - but NO, it's wasn't - it was more powerful then that!

So I encourage you to do your own assessment of yourself. Take notice of what jives you. It may not be as overt as I demonstrated to myself by literally jumping up and down when I'm excited (it's rather embarrassing), and yet it doesn't mean that it's not there in you! Perhaps you linger in a conversation that you find interesting - take notice - ask yourself: What are you talking about? What is the subject that is peaking your interest?

It's remarkable just how disconnected we are from oneself where we lose sight of the little nuances that place us apart from our day to day, rather then bringing us to, "Wow, I love that" kind of emotion that drives passion.

Think about it. I did, and I had a fabulously creative and happy week.

Here's hoping your coming week is just as fabulous!

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n u m b

Lately I've been very aware in my observation of people that although we seem to be out there in the world, we seem to be very isolated. Isolated and distracted. I'm not sure why that is. We want human contact with people and yet we're so distracted by inanimate objects. To the point of being ridiculous.

Now hey, I'm the first to lock into new technology, I think it's very cool, and has served to advance us in a way that supports humankind in medicine, communication, even environmentally. And yet, in our day to day interactions it's proven to be a huge distraction.

I'll give you an example, and I'm sure you have many examples of your own to share. I'm at the gym, a place that fulfills a couple of my needs: it's social, as I've come to know a number of great people; and it's my exercise/meditative haven, a place where I can zone out and focus in on having a great workout. And yet, I can't tell you how many distractions there are with people to the left and right of me invading my space by bringing their gadgets into the gym. People doing a set of weights and then between reps picking up their cell phone to call someone; or their phone rings and they immediately feel they need to answer it - so they drop what they're doing to pick up (literally drop their weights).

Oh, and then there's the person who is on a piece of cardio equipment beside me with their Blackberry, iPod, and magazine - engaged in all 3 at once.

The funniest thing is when people are using one piece of equipment and then they place all their "equipment" - Blackberry, iPod, sometimes another cell phone on another machine, as if they were a person! holding up that piece of equipment so other's can't use it - way too funny (in a pathetically sad sort of way). No wonder people are getting heavier - they clearly are not exercising. I see the same people at the gym for the couple of hours that I'm there, and MAYBE they've done a total of 15 minutes of exercise because they are so distracted. Hey, no skin off my nose, I'm just an observer, albeit a critical one. Although, I'm usually a glass half full kinda person.

Anyways ... I'm on a roll here ... I've even had someone approach me to start a friendly conversation while they were anxiously thumbing away at their Blackberry. My response? I walk away. Man, that's just rude, and yet honestly, I don't think that person is even aware that what they were doing was remotely inappropriate or ill mannered. At least one of knows it is!

My point is, technology has it's place, the operative words here being "has it's place." No one is that important where they need to be in communication all the time. It must be some kind of insecurity thing? Have we gotten to the point where we just can't "be?" (I've mentioned this before in previous blogging). Why do we need so many distractions? We text, we talk on our cells while we're walking with others. We're even dining with people and checking our devices .... do we not realize how inconsiderate we're being? 

An exercise: Try leaving your device(s) at home for one day and really be in the world. Look around, really talk to people, focus on what you're doing at that very moment, whether it be working out, reading, eating, it doesn't matter. Forget the multi-tasking. Try it, just once and let me know how it was, and how it felt. Otherwise, we're moving to a society of the walking numb.

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Defined as "In a state of complete confusion and disorder." Yep, that's it. Holiday's are over and the world is spinning at the speed of light.

Every time I come back from vacation (to vacate one's life) I swear that I will not fall into the same pattern of living a hectic, crazy life; and what do I do just 2 days into "back to work?" I fall into a hectic, crazy life. At this point I'm laughing like a crazed mad scientist. Hey, what can I do? Laughter is thee best medicine.

You know, I don't take myself too seriously - actually I don't take myself seriously at all. I find most things humorous. And yet, I think humor, and those who have humor, to be one of those dark, dramatic, see the world as a contradiction, mad, frustrated emotions that has transformed itself into a happy, good thing. In our deepest despair one finds themselves possibly saying "Hey, all I can do is laugh," or "If I didn't laugh, I'd cry."  
Think about it. Does this sound reasonable to you?

We all, for the most part choose to live our life a certain way within the boundaries we've set for ourselves (I've mentioned this before) - speaking from a North American POV, as I wouldn't even begin to express the hardship inflicted on those living in areas of the world where one has little or no control over their life. From the get go we have no idea just how fortunate we are, even as we go through this economic turmoil. And yet, for those who have a choice, we demonstrate that we are not willing to make the changes necessary in order to live the life that we want. One reasoning behind the lack of motivation, for the most part I believe is fear, the fear of the unknown, the "what if," the "yay but." 

Whether you agree with me or not is a moot point, as my intent is to provoke thinking.

We are all more alike then we think. Or would like to think. Think about that.

New Rule (as Bill Maher says): Stop, think, make a change .... oh, and have more sex.

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Burn After Reading

"Making a Life, Not a Living." I love those words; trying to live by them however, is easier said then done.

It amazes me that some people know exactly what it is they want to be doing. Some people fall into it; others are influenced by their parents; the fortunate ones are gently mentored by those who see a spark in them; some are born into the "family business" and learn to thrive in that environment.

I'm truly envious of those who knew exactly what they wanted at the onset, no matter how it would turn out. For example; reporter Rick Mercer was interviewing musician/artist Randy Bachman and he asked him (roughly, it's not verbatim), "You're a famous musician. What would you have done if you weren't so successful?" Bachman replied, "I'd be a poor musician." And I thought, wow, he knew, he just knew what it was he had a passion for. Usually people like that are successful due to the fact that they remain so focused and determined to get what it is that they want. I'm generalizing, of course.

To be or not to be satisfied with what one does in ones life, that is the question. I ponder this, this very day as I'm feeling rather melancholy as I return to work tomorrow, having had a break over the holidays. Alas it's back to the grindstone.

I am a true believer in taking responsibility for ones own life, and by no means am I griping about what it is that I do - however, putting that aside for a moment, I cannot deny the sad feelings that have come over me at this very moment, where I feel like I did when I was a kid heading back to school after summer vacation. Do you know that feeling? Where your very soul weeps for greener pastures, and where you desperately want to be free to just be. This to shall pass, however, for now it's a bummer to be feeling this way.

When these feelings come over me, I find I need to rely on myself even more, and try to get to the bottom of what's going on in my heart and in my head. I use to wait for the feeling to pass, and then one day I realized; hey wait a minute, this is a signal. I need to tap into myself and figure out what it is that's going on.

My thought is that a lot of us are walking zombies. We just "are," and we just "do." What's that all about? We even expect others to just "do." We tend not to except people as they are, to just be. We always seem to be conforming, and when we do, we just do it. I see this a lot in the conventional corporate world. The work mentality seems to be - rules for rules for rules sake, which is ridiculous. I asked once why a certain rule was in place, the response I received: "Well if this rule wasn't in place then people would be taking advantage of the system." Hmmmm, so, right off the bat this says to me, that people don't trust people. 

I'm on a tangent, don't get me started .... I'm in a funked out mood because I'm still trying to figure out how to get to "Making a Life, Not a Living."

Burn after reading ...

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This Just In ....

Alrightly now, revision to my New Year's resolution as this just in ... "Drink A Day May Keep Alzheimer's At Bay." Sarah Boesveld of the Globe and Mail reports, and I quote "If your New Year's resolution is to stop tippling, you may want to reconsider." She goes on to write, "People who have one to two alcoholic drinks a day are often at a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and dementia than their teetotalling peers, researchers concluded after analyzing 44 studies about moderate alcohol intake and its effect on the heart and the brain."

Note to self, willpower does not need to be tested with respect to trying to stop drinking wine for a month - YIPPEE! I knew this goal wasn't going to be easy since I equate wine with the social elements of my life - particularly since, day one of the "stop drinking wine for one month goal" started with me seeing the film "Vicky Christina Barcelona." And in perfect Woody Allen form it was set in beautiful Spain where the characters were constantly drinking wine. All I could do was to laugh at the irony.

So, on to my other New Year goals ... any other articles anyone cares to share with me that contradicts my goal in favor of not doing it? .... Bring it on!

A toast!

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Just Breathe ...

New Year's resolution:

1. No wine for the month of January
2. No processed flour i.e. breads, pasta, and the like
3. No treats i.e. chocolate, snacks, etc.
4. Increase the intensity of my daily workouts.

Why? To see how much willpower I actually have. To look better.

As I'm typing this, I realize how cruel I'm being to myself. I have this very superficial image of wanting to look like a Penelope Cruz or Jennifer Anniston type. Pathetic isn't it, particularly after I was writing in an earlier blog below ("the whole damn thing") about the ridiculousness of excess i.e. botox. Let's face it ... we're all vain. I'm no exception. It just bugs the hell out of me to have to say it.

Quietly and without announcement I live a healthy lifestyle. I always have. I'm in good shape, exercise every day, eat healthy foods - except from time to time where I crave bread, chocolate, and other treats not part of the essential 4 food groups, and yet I'm not satisfied with myself. This year I want to look different - better. I'm thinking 5lbs lighter, upper body more defined, that kinda thing. Boy do I ever sound superficial - I said this already didn't I?

I feel guilty confessing to the fact that I'm just as vain as the next person. I thought I was above this thinking? Ah, I'm not.

So, I'm going to resolve myself to the fact that I want to challenge myself this year to looking the best that I can using the blood, sweat and tears of my own will. I'm not going to be hard on myself for thinking how vain I'm being, and am going to spin this in a way that has me saying "Ones health is the most important thing. Without it, ones quality of life can be diminished." And then I'm going to just BREATHE ..... and not take the whole damn thing so seriously.

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2009 Brings Hope & Excitement

YES, WE CAN .... These 3 magical words evoked such hope, inspiration, excitement, and a chance for change. When Barack Obama was elected the next President of the United States the entire world took notice. It was as if their was new hope for unity in a world that had been divided for 8 long years. More to the point, their seems to be a renewed hope of possibilities for all of us; a positive energy, despite the economic challenges we currently face.

I feel encouraged by what we as human beings are capable of doing. With a New Year come resolutions, and with optimistic determination we are motivated to act on them. Albeit a challenge, we are not always successful in accomplishing all of our goals, and yet we are compelled to try. And to this I say ... YES, WE CAN.

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