I'm happy to report that my blood does clot

The best time of the year to make the drive to Darren’s house is in the Autumn. It’s about five hours door-to-door — bar­ring any traf­fic or con­struc­tion — so there’s a good chance I’ll catch a sun­rise or sun­set no mat­ter when I leave. It’s par­tic­u­larly beau­ti­ful when the leaves are chang­ing and the colours are at their rich­est along the stretches of the 401.

Sometimes I’ll turn on a stand-up com­edy sta­tion instead of music, and it helps take my mind off the drea­ri­ness of the less scenic parts1. It’s like hav­ing another per­son to talk to, except the con­ver­sa­tion goes one way, and they tend to be funny when not overly polit­i­cal2 or Andrew Dice Clay.

Chinese dishes

Zhaliang and clas­sic Cantonese noo­dles. #thingsIcouldeateveryday

I still think of mov­ing back to Toronto, where there’s every­thing that isn’t avail­able to me in Ottawa. But I hate all the things that come with such an unwieldy and poorly amal­ga­mated city. At my age, I value com­fort over excite­ment, and Toronto has become a city that’s bet­ter to visit than to stay.

After meet­ing Mike in London, I knew that’s where I was meant to live, with Bloc Party and Monty Python and The Underground and rainy weather and Portishead and a bil­lion accents and Only Fools and Horses and that stoic British men­tal­ity and Paris just a train ride away. But that wasn’t my fate, and the dirty streets of Toronto are the clos­est I’ll ever get to that.

Continue read­ing “I’m happy to report that my blood does clot”…

  1. Usually the small towns with no charm or per­son­al­ity. []
  2. Cause I never get it. []

Protected: resignation

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sailing through the changing ocean tides

It’s in these sto­ries, these moments, these con­nec­tions, these words, these images, these har­monies, these delight­ful chilly breezes that fore­tell the com­ing of win­ter where I find a part myself lost for so long.

child sucking her thumb

 

A gen­eral sense of numb­ness filled my life, but I’m start­ing to feel again, some­thing I’ve been need­ing for a while now. It was as if I’d lost a sense of pur­pose, and I couldn’t fig­ure out how to fix that cause I couldn’t tell what was wrong.

Maybe the fact that I started taper­ing off my dose of Cipralex (a few months ahead of sched­ule) is adding to the effect. It’s hard to tell with every­thing all mixed up, and so much hap­pen­ing at once.

I can’t imag­ine what things will be like in a few weeks, let alone a year. There’s never been so much uncer­tainty in my life, but that doesn’t scare me any­more. There’s always a way out. Ironic that I had to lose every­thing to learn that.

a million distractions to keep me warm

Two hours later, I woke up with­out any sense of direction.

Now I’m try­ing to fig­ure out how to stay awake so I can be tired enough to fall asleep again. The fatigue isn’t enough to keep me down. I had a big break­fast, some­thing I haven’t done in as long as I can remem­ber, owing to the fact that they used to be the rit­ual of a per­son with week­ends and a need for rituals.

At some point along the way, I real­ized it’s eas­ier to take care of my friends and help them fix their prob­lems. I can’t fig­ure out why I’ve avoided deal­ing with my own, but I decided that as long as my dis­trac­tions are ful­fill­ing and healthy in them­selves, there’s noth­ing wrong with that. Sometimes, there’s noth­ing else one can do.

In turn, they’re help­ing me through this odd pas­sage of time, where I find myself unsure of what to do or feel. I’ve had to open myself up to give them a chance to help me. It always leaves me vul­ner­a­ble at first, but when they lis­ten and under­stand and sup­port me, all my inse­cu­ri­ties go away. It’s a tan­gi­ble love that goes far beyond words and intentions.

collab

I’m very pleased to say that I’m now work­ing with Five Stripe Studios, a tal­ented bou­tique music com­po­si­tion stu­dio, to score my films. Music is one of the most impor­tant parts of any film, and the right music can make great footage look even better.

Choosing the right music also hap­pens to be one of the most dif­fi­cult parts of the sto­ry­telling process. For one wed­ding, I spent a week look­ing for the per­fect song. When I dis­cov­ered it had an inap­pro­pri­ate line (noth­ing vul­gar, just very unfit­ting for a wed­ding), I spent another week try­ing to find a replace­ment, but even­tu­ally went with my orig­i­nal choice, using audio soft­ware to take the line out.

Kyden’s First was a small project we worked on to make sure we were able to com­mu­ni­cate effec­tively at dif­fer­ent stages of the scor­ing process.

It made sense to find a more capa­ble per­son to han­dle this respon­si­bil­ity, and I just hap­pened to come in con­tact with the right per­son at the right time. Adrian is the cre­ative direc­tor of Five Stripe Studios, and not only does he write the music, he sings, plays, and records it as well. I met him in Australia when we were much younger1, and he con­tacted me after com­ing across my work many years later.

This not only gives me total con­trol over the music, allow­ing me to choose the right instru­ments, tone, pace, and mood, but I have more options with the footage as well, as I some­times found myself leav­ing out a great scene out to match another scene with a cer­tain part of a song. Adrian is also a very dynamic com­poser, and can give me widely vary­ing styles and gen­res; exactly what I need when work­ing with all the dif­fer­ent things I film.

  1. I still remem­ber us play­ing NHL Hockey on the NES, which would have meant I was in my early teens. []