Category Archives: Life

Here’s to the crazy ones…

In the screenwriting workshop last week, I told everyone I’d seen Paranoia.   Thankfully for free.  It wasn’t a great movie, in my opinion…  too many overt and obvious things, and even with Harrison Ford playing a decent character.  I did enjoy the future technology it presented and where the creators thought we were heading.  That was fun.

When I was talking about the film, someone said that I was jaded because I saw the flaws in it.  Someone else said they watch movies as an audience member, and then dissect the script as a screenwriter.  I analyze as I watch a film.

Then tonight I saw Jobs.

Jobs didn’t like flaws in the work either.

Yes, he was mostly an asshole who left people behind.

Yes, he demanded perfection to the point of anxiety.

Yes, he lost it all, and got it all back again.

And, like some fan boys with their super hero comic book films, I can now relate.  I have my film that I can fawn over.

I soldered components onto motherboards.

I wrote code in assembler.

I created space invader programs on a BASIC programming computer, that I hooked to my 13″ black and white TV screen, and backed up my programs to a tape cassette recorder, in 1984.

I was that girl.

I kinda fell in love with Steve Jobs.

I’m not totally convinced we are better off these days with our tethered lifestyles, but I can safely say he sold an ideal.  He sold the beautiful dream.

And he made the impossible possible for everyone.





NXNE End point…

Strange…  I thought this came through on Monday…  Guess not, so here’s the update.

See the last post for NXNE Days 1-3; on to…

Day 4 – a lazy morning, then a stroll up Yonge Street to see Old Stock, a sweet little Canadian film at the Carlton Theatre; lunch of bad Japanese food, then YDS for Big Black Delta (loved this band…two drummers and one was a lady!), Teenage Kicks, Millencolin (wow… alls to say there); then off to the Bovine Sex Club to meet up with my crazy friend Kid Rock… (apparently at one point, two people were having non-bovine sex in the women’s bathroom, dunno, didn’t see it…) and then came Dearly Beloved, Diemonds, and last but not least, Monster Voodoo Machine, which rocked it as their original lineup, with one of the guys coming all the way from Regina to play…A treat!

Day 5 – more low key…Checked out Laugh Sabbath, a short comedy film festival, which was fun; then Sunday Night Live at Comedy Bar; then hit one last show at The Garrison, a young band called Iceage, who keep their audience in the dark by playing in the dark…they were good, loud, and an appropriate end to an eventful week.

I’ll probably be writing up more indepth stuff as topics on anything I found interesting.

The highlight for me was attending the panels and once again seeing as much music and films as I could manage. There’s just so much going on, but I tried not to overlap with stuff I knew was coming through Ottawa (The Balconies, for example).

The vast majority of panels were very high quality and fun. Well worth the money of admission.

Great programming, I thought. The free booze Kobo party was pretty decent too. I wouldn’t hesitate to go again.

NXNE Midway Point…

Day 1 – Wednesday: Music at Cherry Cola’s – The Normals, The Standstills.

Day 2 – Thursday: Panels – From Thinking Like A Startup to Being One, Government Money for Projects: Fact or Fiction, Film Interactive, Women in Music: More Than Ever Before (w/ Auf der Maur who is an amazing lady); KOBO Party (with an open bar…) with Brendan Canning (DJ), Red Mass; Music at BLK BOX – Cellphone, Ell V Gore, No Joy.

Day 3: Friday: Panels – Sex Sells: Lessons from the digital underground, Re-imaging Work Reclaiming Your Life, Day Jobs That Don’t Suck, The Future of the Music Industry; Music at Yonge & Dundas Square – The National ; Music at Supermarket – Northcote, Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs, The Matinee…

And the night is still young…

I managed to sneak in one more show at Cherry Cola’s before I called it a night and strolled home… I went to see The Rabid Whole. What’s interesting about going to see shows at Cherry’s is the diversity of people who show up. The Rabid Whole isn’t what I would call “easy listening”, more like “make-your-brain-vibrate-and-bleed hard listening”. Really great show… and so was sitting beside the woman with the Taylor Swift shirt on.

Fun times.

Taking on Projects and Learning to Say NO

My new evaluation criteria when someone approaches me with a project:

1.  Am I going to gain any experience or pick up a skill that I don’t currently have?

2.  Is it going to further my screenwriting or film industry goals?

2.  Will I have fun?  Is it for a good cause?

3.  Will I lose money or make money?

4.  How involved do I want to be?  What are the expectations?

I’m no longer taking on many projects where I shell out my own money unless I am gaining one helluva a load of experience or it’s gonna make me the money in return, and it has to be “fun”.  See the questions above.  They will be asked.

I am no longer getting left with the shit end of the stick while others go run around and deal with their lives while I suffer and do the work.

I will continue to work on personal and passion projects, but they must be balanced with paid endeavours.

That’s my new thing.

I’m going to say No to just about everything…  Unless it’s really, really appealing.

I think life is about to get way way quiet.


CMW Day 6 – Small venues/Big shows

My last night in town, and I finally made it to Rivoli. Had a chat with the bar manager as I waited for the venue to open up. He’s been doing the Queen Street thing for 23 years. Working in different bars, as security and staff. Neat guy. Had many stories to tell. He was lamenting the fact that the young folks didn’t know who some of the old time musicians were… It was a funny conversation.

I saw Blackie Jackett Jr, Scott Kempner and Glen Matlock. There’s just something spectacular about seeing these musicians in small venues, on a stage with mostly their acoustic instruments. I was thoroughly impressed…

Had a chat with Jimmy, from Blackie Jackett Jr., and his wife about music and movies and such. I thought they should come and play in Ottawa, for sure. They’re the kind of band who would totally fit on the Bluesfest River Stage and probably draw a significant crowd. They have this contemporary rockabilly sound with some catchy lyrics that made you want to sing along.

About movies, Jimmy said he’s been kicking around some short film ideas, and I was telling him about Digi60 180 and that they were looking for filmmakers from other cities. He wanted to see some of the stuff I’d been working on, so I’m going to send him my work. Could be fun to do a collaboration with him.

Then I finished out the week meeting up with Ian again at Bovine. Interesting lad. He was making some broad assumptions about why I had chosen to come to CMW and he thought that I would have more interest in NXNE. That may be true… But the way I see it, I’m a fan of music, and I would much rather see musicians in small venues sometimes… There’s less BS and I can actually see them and maybe even talk to them after. Going to a huge concert is fun too, but I’ve always enjoyed smaller shows. Makes it more real and interactive.

I’ll probably do one more entry about CMW as a wrap up about this incredible experience. Stay tuned.

CMW Day 5 – When I was too sore to walk

Live blog about last night from Rivoli…

On Saturday, I had a Charlie horse so bad that I could barely walk at one point… I still went out last night but it was pretty quiet in comparison to other nights. I checked out Strangers, from the land down under, again at The Hideout and then went to Cherry for Dirty Water, a band from Toronto.

A young gentleman bought me a shot of whiskey. Irish. Then I was introduced to Dropkick… A huge monster of a guy…

As I started to walk back, I was in so much pain. Next year… Better shoes.

Now, another night in a small venue with really great musicians…

The first band is about to go on… Blackie Jackett Jr.

I honestly was thinking that I should have moved to Toronto about 20 years ago… Who knows where my life would have been. But… I’m here now… And that’s what matters.

I’ll be back next year…. For surzeez.

CMW Day 4 – Many Convergent Things

As I watch Seven on TV, I’m going to reflect on the things that happened today…

14 hours on a film set working with a talented team was pretty cool. I didn’t make it to Sandra Bernhard, despite being in the building, but I did end up seeing her in the performers entrance where we were shooting today. It’s odd seeing celebrities in the wild because they’re people first and foremost, doing a job… Same with the principle actor on set. He’s just a total pro.

Then I took a small breather and went to Cherry Colas for Strangers and Static In The Stars where I ran into friends Lisa and Ben, from Ottawa, of all people, in all places.

Then Ian from the Rawk and I went to Bovine Sex Club for Dearly Beloved and The Hideout for Bend Sinister and then back to Cherry’s for Holy Toledo and Thee Attacks.

Then we got talking with the Australian band, Strangers, they’re loving Canada. Just coming off SXSW, and heading to New York City on Monday. Totally cool guys. And they spend time in Melbourne as a regular gig. So I told them about Mary Mae. They were totally impressed that a movie I wrote was playing over there and that they were playing over here. Thought it was a pretty small world.

So far this week has been fairly excellent!