Sunday, July 28, 2019

HURRY UP & RELAX!

07/22/2019 - 07/28/2019



My Brother could never sit still, even as a child he would bounce around all day and wouldn't stop until he fell asleep.  As an adult, he'd come to your house and just pace around the floor until he left.  I know we sat and talked and he would sit and write and draw, but when I think of him, I can only see him walking around and being impatient.  He had an extremely hard time relaxing.  One year for his birthday I gave him a nice pocket watch and I had it inscribed;
on the front it said
Hurry Up
and when you opened it up it said
& Relax!
When I went to his house in St. Malo Manitoba after he died, I found the watch in his bedside drawer.  The hour, minute and second hands were all broken off inside the watch face and just sitting in there loose under the glass.  
His girlfriend told me he had leftover Dairy Queen ice cream cake from his birthday in the freezer with his apple whiskey!  I laughed to myself about getting to have his last piece of cake.  When I took it out of the freezer, I discovered that he ate all the good chocolate and fudge crumble out of it and left only the vanilla;
well played brother.
Cheers!
It was two years ago to the day of this writing that we had a 'Celebration of Life' party at the house for my Brother.  When my uncle Malcolm showed up he walked straight over to me and handed me a black fedora.  He said he was standing at the gas pump filling up and considering not coming to the party when the wind blew the hat to where it landed right at his feet. 
He knew he had to come. 
My sister Cassie got a bagpiper to come out to play a few tunes and my Mom got an indigenous couple to come speak about the passing over of the spirit from this world.  When the woman sang, everybody was silent and we could all feel my Brother flying away on that wind.  It was one of the single most beautiful and healing experiences of a lot of our lives.  
After all the bullshit we had been going through dealing with his girlfriend, we hadn't had the time to be allowed to properly mourn and grieve; something nobody should be denied.
There were so many people at the party that day and each person made the event that much more special.  
Everybody took the time for what was important, 
something we should always do.


On Monday we had Kentucky Fried Chicken.
On Tuesday...
(I don't remember Tuesday)
On Wednesday I wouldn't let some aggressive asshole butt in front of me on Jarvis St. at the Garner Expressway on ramp.  I had just sat in line for almost an hour and this guy figured he could just pop in there from the other lane.  He insisted and I continued to refuse.  He hit the gas to force his way into the tiny space between my Jeep and the truck in front of me.  He smashed right into the truck!  He jumps out and talks to the guy from the truck and made what looked like plans to pull off at the first exit to exchange information.
He gave me a 'thumbs up' - I gave him the 'finger'.
On Thursday I witnessed a 'road rage' incident on the Gardner Expressway!  The guy in the car beside me just hit the gas in bumper to bumper traffic, smashed into the car in front of him and just kept going and going!  I could see him screaming and crying in his car,  I could relate but it was still unbelievable to see.  He stopped for a second and then hit it again!  This time he fishtailed the back of his car into the divider wall.  The cops showed up pretty quick and made myself and a few other people pull off the highway to give statements.
The guy was arrested and I got home super late.
On Friday a young woman smashed into the back of the Jeep at a red light!  I just dropped Kenny off at work and was going back up the mountain with my girls, we were singing 'Everything is Awesome' from LEGO Movie 2 and SMASH!  The kids were scared but not hurt, I jump out and the Jeep was fine (small scuff on the back bumper) but the woman's car was folded like an accordion!  She gets out of her car and shows me her hospital bracelet and tells me she's dehydrated and falling asleep at the wheel, she said she told them she shouldn't be driving.  She wasn't hurt from the accident but pretty fucked up all the same.  She didn't want to go through insurance because she couldn't afford her premium to go up, I felt bad for her, I told her to please get off the road and let her use my phone to call her Dad.
We went home and had a fancy charcuterie!
On Saturday I played with The Featured Players at Bad Dog Theatre in a show called 'Push Pins' and THEN I got to play in THEATRESPORTS!  After, I went home and had a really nice time hanging out and talking with Kenny late into the night.  It's difficult to find the time to just talk (especially when kids are in the picture) but so important and rewarding when you finally do.
I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for everything I have in my life.
On Sunday I went to work...
(I called in sick)

HURRY UP & RELAX!


Sunday, July 21, 2019

WORK

07/15/2019 - 07/21/2019



One time my brother convinced me to go to work with him for a landscaping/snow removal/low rise window washing company.  He had worked for them the previous summer and made some decent cash.  We'd get payed $50 a drop for washing exterior building windows and $20/hr for landscaping; the only catch was
  the entire company was Jehovah's Witnesses!
The boss's name was Darryl and he'd take every available opportunity to preach to us, we politely told him we weren't interested but he insisted on practicing his shit on us every day.
He'd give us all the hard jobs and let his son and the rest of the little Jehovies do all the light duty stuff.  This guy would drop us in the middle of nowhere, leave with our lunches and water and then come back after 8 hours in his air conditioned truck eating an ice cream cone!
One day we walked into the shop and found Darryl's wife fucking one of his employees on a moving blanket in the middle of the shop floor! 
Darryl sent us home early that day.
The next day we showed up for work and the whole crew was giddy to tell us the great news;
apparently, that very night, Darryl's wife was fortunate enough to have 'the dream'.
The dream is something Jehovah's Witnesses have that lets them know that they are, in fact, one of the chosen ones who will join the set number of witnesses in ascending into the kingdom!
It turns out having the dream is also a great way to avoid divorce and get away with fucking one of your husband's employees in front of the rest of his staff on the floor of his dirty shop.
Later that day, my brother meets me for lunch and can't wait to show me his new trick.  We finish our lunch and as Darryl comes rolling up in his truck, my brother says:
"watch this"
Darryl jumps out of the truck, runs over to our picnic table and hands us each a big bottle of cold Gatorade and a frozen Drumstick ice cream treat each!
He thanks us for all the great work we'd been doing and tells us he'd be back at 4 to give us a ride to the shop.  I was shocked, what the hell happened?
It turns out another one of their rules is that if somebody expresses interest in converting to the religion, they are considered a prospect and must be respected and treated with the upmost kindness by all members of the congregation.
After my Brother told them how we were seriously considering becoming witnesses, one of Darryl's employees gave him 2 copies of their book, and we were in!
From that moment on, we were paid on time, all our over time was accounted for, we never went without lunch or water and we always got nice ice cream treats.
No matter how shitty your job is, remember, it's temporary
AND
there's always an angle.
You just have to find out how to work it.





On Monday I left work early (wet fart).
On Tuesday...
(I can't remember Tuesday)
On Wednesday I played with Pepperoni Pizza Cats in our monthly show at
The Social Capital Theatre.
On Thursday I picked up my Mom.
On Friday we went to my daughter's recital at Arts Camp.
(she was a tree frog in a song about the rain forest and I almost cried)
On Saturday I dropped off my Mom at my Aunt Mary's and then I had a ball playing 'Smash Cut' at Bad Dog.
On Sunday I went to work.

WORK


Sunday, July 14, 2019

SUFFER

07/08/2019 - 07/14/2019

Sacrifice.
If you're going to truly live and get anything worthwhile done on top of that, you'll need to accept it.
It's true that you can't make everyone happy all the time.  Somebody or some thing will always have to wait their turn while you spend time with someone or something else.  This delicate balance that is the key to life that you hear so much about is on the far side of impossible.  Starving artists complain, but I think they're the lucky ones!  I wish I could just starve for my art instead of either neglecting family and friends to find the time for it or forfeit the art altogether in favor of working some bullshit job just to pay the bills.  
Never give up.
You will do the things you want to do if they truly need to be done.
Nothing can stop you from creating your art except for yourself.  Stop blaming others and being miserable about your situation and start making the changes.  Don't feel sorry for yourself, there's no time for that, there's too much work to be done.  Circumstances and contextual obstacles are never going away, you need to pick your hill and die on it.
I believe strongly in the law of attraction that says what you want; wants you.  You have to believe in it and obsess over it, you have to know it will happen and accept that it's not your concern how, the universe will move mountains to bring it to you.
Suffer.
You will survive if you do without.  Make the time, make things happen.
Your people will understand and support you, and your art can, and will, have to wait in line for your people sometimes.  Failure and rejection are all part of the process and really do build character and perspective.  I'm not afraid to "fail" and I'm not afraid to "learn" from my "mistakes".  Successes will come and go through the hills and valleys of your journey, don't let them be the endgame.  Get right with who are, where you are and then the wins will be the icing on the cake.  It's true that you are bigger than your anxieties.  You are bigger than this whole world.  You are filled with beautiful and unique ideas, share them with the world in whatever medium you prefer. 
The best thing improv has taught me is to be in the moment.
(sometimes I think the only reason I keep doing it is for that constant reminder)
Do nothing begrudgingly;  be mindful and give your full attention to who you're with and what you are doing; always.
You could be in the nicest car on the nicest day and there will still be a jerk in a pick-up truck up your ass behind you.  Turn up the tunes and steady the course.  Drive it, at your own speed, right into the sunset. 
Live. 

In the immortal words of Butthole Surfers:
It's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't done.


On Monday I saw my friend Nick Di Gaetano's show Unbridled Futurism at the Toronto Fringe.
Nick had a back up band behind him for his songs but it was essentially a one person show.  
I was truly inspired by how brave and carefree he was to truly do his own thing. I'm honored to know so many really cool artists.
On Tuesday I had a staff meeting at work then we were up all night with a feverish baby.
On Wednesday I stayed home from work (took some naps!)
On Thursday I finished most of the first draft of the show (- the full Intro & Outro)!!!
On Friday my Sister came over in the evening to watch the girls.  Kenny and I went to see the new Spider-Man movie then we went downtown for some drinks and stayed over at my Sister's apartment.  We want her to get the trial run over-nights in before we leave her with the kids for a whole week in September when we go away to New Orleans for out 5th Anniversary!  We all love my Sister SO much, the kids freak out when they know she's coming over!
On Saturday we all hung out for some fun in the sun and then I WROTE!
On Sunday I went to work...

SUFFER



Sunday, July 7, 2019

SERIOUSLY THOUGH

07/01/2019 - 07/07/2019

Writing is HARD!
So is life!
Writing about your life is about as hard as it gets.
There have been some beers,
and some pizza,
and some chips.
I'm writing as hard as I can to get through my first draft.
I'm lucky to have a friend like Dana who is willing to take the chance to work with someone like me on a project like this.

Digging up all my old memories has been difficult, both emotionally and chronologically.
So much has happened in my lifetime, it's been quite a chore putting it all down on paper.
I definitely want to write a book when I'm done with this show AND I have great ideas for TWO more shows:

DRUGS
&
GHOSTS

First, I have to get through all this Blood!

DRUGS
(they were here before you & they'll be after)
The first time I went to Oshawa was to go to the methadone clinic for a program intake appointment.  When we pulled into the parking lot, there was a small crowd of people hanging out behind the building.  As we parked and got out of the car we seen a guy come racing around the corner and quickly join the group.  One member of the group gave their new friend a handful of cash and produced a paper coffee cup from his knapsack.  At this point, the newcomer proceeded to induce vomiting into the cup and then, to our surprise and utter amazement, his customer eagerly tipped back the cup and drank it all down.  He even tapped the bottom of the cup so as to not waste a single drop.
I started the program at a 60mg dose.


GHOSTS:
(You don't have to believe in them, they believe in you)
We always seen this guy peeking in on us at the apartment on Queen St.  He fooled Kenny every time when he would go into the bathroom to spy on her in the shower; she always thought it was me.  I was just bored of him always looking through the crack of the bedroom door, I felt embarrassed for the poor shy, quiet and awkward ghost guy.  After some time he started to get frustrated and built up the nerve and/or strength to start moving things around the place.  His favorite games included knocking everything off the shelf in the bathroom while we were sound asleep in bed and turning on the kitchen radio while we'd be watching t.v. in the living room and then turning off the t.v. when we'd get up to turn off the radio.  I spoke with my Great Aunt Mary who was among the eldest in my family with the most experience regarding this sort of unnatural phenomena.  Mary told me if the spirit was bothering us we had to tell it to leave.  The next time we were lying in bed and heard all of the bathroom shelf contents spill into the sink and onto the floor, I spoke out loud to him.  I told him we weren't impressed and didn't appreciate him messing with our stuff.  Soon he appeared in the crack of the bedroom door, peeking in all shy as he usually did.  I continued to tell him that we lived here now, we'd done him no wrong and if he planned on continuing to bother us, we'd have to insist that he leave immediately.
There was nothing.
Then the door flew open and he landed right on top of my chest.  we couldn't see him but Kenny could see as well as I could feel myself being pushed into the mattress under his full weight.  Her eyes widened as she watched this happening to me and I couldn't breath.  He held me there for a frozen moment in time and then flew out the swinging door and was gone; forever.

...
Keep on.

On Monday I had the day off for 'Canada Day'.  We had a nice visit from my Brother's ex girlfriend (one we like, not the dirt devil). I took my older Daughter to watch fireworks.
On Tuesday I drove back to work, afterwards I went back into the gym, had dinner with my Mom & Sister, and then played with Pepperoni Pizza Cats in the Fever Pitch competition at Bad Dog.
 (we won by 1 point!)
On Wednesday I spoke with Dana on the phone and she had some wonderful notes on the work so far and for moving forward.  She's so smart!
On Thursday I bought a 'vype e-pod' vaping device with nicotine and stopped smoking cigarettes!
I hope to ween off and be done with it once and for all.
When I got home I wrote (and watched tv)
On Friday I went to the doctor's to get my note for missing work.  Kenny was at work so I had to take the kids with me.
Diagnosis:
Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbows?) & tendinitis (carpal tunnel syndrome)
splints + acetaminophen + voltarin gel + stretches.
I had to buy 4 splints; 2 for my forearms to wear in the day and 2 for my wrists/hands to wear at night.
On Saturday we met back up with my our friend and her her daughter for birthday ice cream!
I wrote like a mad man through some of the toughest material in the show.
On Sunday I went to work...

SERIOUSLY THOUGH


Blood Written & performed by Joe Amero Directed by Kate Fenton Dramaturgy by Dana Puddicombe November 14th & 21st -8pm at Bad Dog ...