February 27, 2009

SAMBA asks, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”

I ask the question, “If you never had to work again, what would you do?”

Not sure which is better.


February 24, 2009

According to this Hollywood Reporter article, Terry Gilliam’s film, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” is having trouble finding distribution.  Nooooooo…!  I really want to see this movie.  As I said in my previous post, this film is going to be a smörgåsbord of fine male acting.  Somebody buy it!


February 23, 2009

Homemade Vegan Breakfast Cookies! Recipe below.


1/3 cup Organic Apple Sauce  (or one apple peeled, and sliced)
1 large Banana, cut in pieces
2 cup Quaker Oats Multigrain Hot Cereal
1/4 cup Almond Meal
3/4 tbsp Molasses
1/2 cup Dried Fruit (of your choice)
1 tsp Vanilla (extract)
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.  Combine apple (sauce) and banana in food processor and mix well.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in the order they appear above. Mix until well combined.  Drop cookies onto baking sheet and press down slightly with fingers, if desired.  (Cookies will not spread). Bake for 10 minutes.  When done, leave to cool on baking sheet.  Store in airtight container in fridge for up to two weeks.  Microwave for 20 seconds before consumption.  (WW Points = 1 per cookie)


February 20, 2009

Apparently, Hugh Jackman’s son is named Oscar, according to this CNN article.  Too cute!


February 19, 2009

Homemade granola. Recipe to follow.

So I’ve started making a lot of things at home instead of buying them in stores.  I make my own Homemade Nutella (aka Chocolate Hazelnut Butter).  I make my own mustard.  I’ve begun to make my own Vegan Breakfast Cookies (post to follow) and this morning, Ryan and I made our second batch of homemade granola.  It’s only slightly less expensive than buying it in the store; but less weird chemicals and more satisfaction!

Here’s the recipe!

Classic Granola (modified from this recipe)

2 cups multigrain hot cereal (dry)
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped nuts (of your choice)
1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut
1/3 cup dried fruit (of your choice)
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup molasses
3 tbsp flavorless oil (vegetable or canola)
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside.

Mix multigrains, almond meal, brown sugar, salt and chopped nuts in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, water and any cinnamon  to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over multigrain mixture, and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps.

Bake for 20 minutes. Stir in dried fruit. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes longer. Let cool.  Store in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.


February 13, 2009

…if only in your imagination!

IMDb has an Oscar Poll in their Road to the Oscars 2009 section.  I think it’s fun to be able to cast my vote.  Even it if doesn’t really count.  I guess that’s what the People’s Choice Awards were for.  Anyway…

Here’s the poll.

Here’s the results.

I have to admit, there aren’t many surprises in this court of public opinion.  Although, I would prefer to see Robert Downey Jr. win over Heath Ledger for Best Supporting Actor.  Even though I love Mr. Ledger’s work, I would enjoy the irony of Downey Jr.’s win even more.

It’ll be interesting to see how accurate “we” are.


February 11, 2009

So I couldn’t sleep because of some late-in-the-day tea and while I was awake watching trailers on Apple.com, I ran across this little diddy:

The film is about a Canadian kick-ass-and-take-names businesswoman (Sandra Bullock) who bribes her executive assistant (Ryan Reynolds) into marrying her so that she doesn’t get deported back to Canada.  Now usually, they get hot young girls to play opposite the rugged seasoned actors, right?  So I thought it was funny that Sandra Bullock was playing opposite someone younger than her.  She’s 44 (but looking great!).  And while I was looking up Ryan Reynolds’ age (32, by the way), I discovered an even greater irony:

Ryan Reynolds is the Canadian!

Further research reveals that not only is Bullock American, she was born in a suburb of Washington, D.C.!



February 9, 2009

I’d like to be a meaningful specific too.  Except that I’ve always been kind of a Gill of all Trades.  And I’ve taken that identity very seriously.

In this recent video shot at TED (I think), Seth Godin (I read his blog daily) is interviewed about his statement that “everybody needs a tribe” – which is not exactly what he said, but they interviewed him about it nonetheless.  He’s basically pontificating in the delightful Seth Godin way about the 1000 true fans rule.

The interviewer goes on to ask him why he’s not on Twitter.  And since I’m not on twitter (and have recently been feeling like perhaps I should be, but then decided to let that wave pass), I was interested to hear Seth’s reasons.  Go to about 9:00 minutes in to hear what Seth has to say about Twitter from his lips.  But here’s my take…

Basically, he says that he’s becoming the best at being who he is: really good at writing/blogging about marketing.  And he emails.  He prefers personal private meaningful conversation as opposed to thousands of anonymous people yelling at him (aka Twitter).  At one point he says that if he tried to bake, and do photography, and all these things, he’d become a “wandering generality instead of meaningful specific.

This hit home.  I’ve been struggling with wanting to be a writer, producer, director, actor, voice actor, photographer, graphic designer and whatever else struck my fancy.  And consequently I’ve been concerned with becoming a wandering generality.  So, I’ve narrowed it down.

I’ve cut photography.

It’ll still be a hobby, but I’m not going to try and be a photographer.  I’m not going to try and earn money at it.

What then is my meaningful specific?  I’m a storyteller. That’s why I loved photography.  I loved telling a story though the pictures.  And I do love beautiful pictures!  But I’m a storyteller.  As a writer, as a director, as a performer, I’m a storyteller.  So while, it may seem like I’m still a wandering generality because I’m not narrowing my focus between writing and acting or producing and directing, I’ve convinced myself that I’m a meaningful specific, because I’m a storyteller and I use whatever path or medium I’m inspired to use to tell stories.  And that’s okay.

I’m a storyteller.  And I take that identity very seriously.


February 5, 2009

Ryan and I spent most of the Fall of 2008 working on the feature film called “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher” in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  While I was there, I didn’t have much time to write.  So I’m going to spend a few blog posts now talking about my experiences in Tulsa.   Here’s the first of many!

I went out for pre-production in early October.  I stayed with our good friend and business partner Justin Monroe and his wife Kasey.  They were so gracious to give me the spare bedroom with a desk!  I was spoiled to be able to work late into the night and roll back out of bed early in the morning and keep working.  Perhaps that was some strategery on Justin’s part?  Nah…

The night I got there, Heather Roberts came over with coconut ice cream (made with coconut milk, not cow’s milk) and a back massage for me.  Thank you Heather!

I had been back a few days before I finally made it down to ORU for a visit.  I was nervous.  I didn’t know how I’d feel.  After having felt like I was escaping, seven years previous (having finished my last semester), and after all that’d gone on at ORU in the previous year (see this post), I was more than a little anxious to get the first visit over with.

Heather Roberts (who plays Angeline in the film) had told me on my first night back that when I went by ORU, I should just crack the doors of Howard “How Weird” Auditorium and breath in the air.  Memories, she said, would come flooding back.

As I walked toward Howard Aud., I felt that excitement that comes when visiting an old haunt.  So much of my life was lived within those curved walls.  So much of my artistic development and maturation…  So much of my pride and fear was cultivated and crushed…  The doors were chained.  So I did as Heather instructed and cracked them just a little.  And I breathed in the air that escaped.

It’s an unmistakeable smell.

I remembered auditioning in the lobby, playing sardines in the girl’s bathroom, running sound in the upstairs booth, designing makeup in the dressing rooms, sewing hundreds of yards of costumes in the costume shop, dancing across the stage, striding barefoot through the scene shop, tromping around in the orchestra pit…  tears, laughter, nervousness, eureka moments!  My memory was flooded with images.  Four years of my life flashed before my eyes.

And then I closed the door.  And paused.

As I slowly walked the rest of the campus, bathed in memories, I tried to put my finger on the emotion I felt.  I called my parents and talked it over with them as I relived discovering the campus anew.  Finally, it came to me.

Gratitude.  I felt gratitude!  I felt grateful for my education.  It came as a shock.  But it was honest-to-goodness gratitude.

Back at Justin’s I didn’t have long to dwell on my experience as I had a monumental task at hand.  It was a full six weeks before I would be able to return to ORU for a real visit with one of my favourite profs.  In the meantime, I produced a feature film.  More on that next time…


February 3, 2009

About nine months ago, the Tandem Arts intern at the time Taylor Calmus, a former bike tech, bought a bike on craigslist for me.  He fixed it up and we paid him for the bike and labour.  It was/is a “Specialized” Hard Rock mountain bike.  Gray and pink.  He put good ol’ Target Bell tires on it.  I bought a gel seat cover and I was good to go…

After riding it for nine months and reading more about triathlons and triathlon bikes, I realize that I should have gotten a road bike.  Chalk it up to ignorance.

So my mother gave me a bit of money for my birthday, and among other things, I decided to use a portion of it to get my little mountain bike overhauled into a road-ish sort of bike.  Here’s what I had done:

  • shorter handlebars
  • handlebar ends
  • flat tires
  • peddle toe clips

The bike tech at our local bike shop, Tony, said that lots of people are doing that these days – putting street tires on their mountain bikes.  He’s been a racer for twenty years.  I bet he thinks it’s cute.  But he was super helpful and full of interesting knowledge about bikes and racing.  He kindly asked how my training’s been going and helped me find the right gear with which to alter my vehicle.

We picked up the bike tonight.  It’s in the garage right now.  Tomorrow I’ll lower the handlebars and raise the seat.  Before I put it away, I rode it in figure eights around the parking lot in the back.  The new tires are so great!  The new handlebars are awesome!!  The toe clips rock my world!

So Taylor, you’d be bemused to see my little mutant bike.  Now it’s even more special.  And it’ll carry me through my first multisport race in less than six weeks!  Here we go…!