Friday, December 23, 2011

Kids are Hilarious

My brother's friend's girlfriend was babysitting (I think), and took the toddler into a coffee shop where she spotted an old man.

Kid: Why doesn't your skin fit your face?
Old Man: It's because I'm old.
Kid: How old are you?
Old Man: I've forgotten.
Kid: When I forget, I look on the back of my panties. It says I'm 2 to 3.

This one is an older story from some Christian family friends:

It's time you knew the truth. Santa isn't real.

Kids (with appropriate looks of shock and alarm):
He's NOT???

No, I'm sorry.

What about the Easter Bunny??

No, the Easter Bunny isn't real either.

The Toothfairy?


The kids look at each other in horror.


Sunday, October 23, 2011


Everyone seems to dislike authority, but at the same time appreciate it as the One Thing You're Actually Allowed (Supposed-to) Hate.
Teachers, bosses, those annoying people in any admin department anywhere who tell you that no, you can't pass Go, and by the way you're going to be nailed into a chair to fill out a stack of paperwork before you can escape their lovely bleach-scented office.

From the age of 0, our parents are our caregivers. They protect us, direct us and implore us not to eat peanut butter off the floor.
At as early as 2-years-old kids can join pre-school, which marks the beginning of a 12-or-so year period of being institutionalized. Meal-times, break-times and assignments are all predetermined. Yes, you need to use your brain, but only within the limits set for you.
After graduating, those same 18 year olds who have been longing for freedom are shoved out the door and off the cliff of childhood, into the world of rent, jobs, or maybe further schooling. That saying that "Freedom restricts; Limits set free" is true. All of a sudden there are 8 million choices and directions to choose from. All of a sudden, no one makes your decision for you. And all of a sudden, because we can't blame our shortfalls on the "institution", life is huge and impossible and filled with people-types you'd only ever seen on TV.

A lot of my friends pursuing the arts express the desire for a mentor - SOMEone who will take you under their wing and direct you through this vortex of unlimited possibilities and directions so that you can keep moving forward, and in the right direction.

Mentors are wonderful. I love making friends with my teachers because they have a crazy set of experiences that I will probably never match, but the strangest part about it is that some of my TEACHERS have expressed the desire for someone to mentor THEM.

Everyone wants to be great, and they want someone to show them how to get there. Maybe the world does work in a crazy convoluted circle where everyone can mentor and be mentored and somehow everyone spirals upward together. However, in my opinion, there are usually a few people who are the most valuable mentors, and those are the people who think for themselves. They continue to absorb information from every source they come across, but they are also the ones who aren't afraid to walk alone. They don't need anyone's approval or permission. They aren't waiting for someone to do it first, or to show them how. They dream - and then they plot and plan and figure out a way to make it work, and then DO, and they follow that dream without second guessing it.

Maybe people like that don't even exist. Everyone struggles with red tape and technical difficulties and stupid systems. Everyone's human. Everyone has doubts. But doubts by themselves aren't dangerous. It's acting on them - or rather, not acting because of them - that makes us lose the will and drive to do the things we are passionate about.

Getting by in life is easy. Get a job. Pay the bills. That's all you really need. But if you want something more - if you want to paint or dance or design or travel or sculpt or write - then do it. Do what you need to do so that you can do what you want to do, as my Mom says. And once you've decided what your dream future looks like? Start working on it. Write more, draw more, invent more, learn more. Even if no one is holding your hand anymore, or telling you that, no, that steak you left out on the counter overnight is probably not healthy.

Michael always says, "Everyone can draw. The more you practice, the better you get." For every 20 pages of junk you write, there will be one page that is brilliant. Get the bad pages out. Get the lopsided drawings over with. Everyone knows how to draw, write, paint, dance, do whatever POORLY. It's because we're scared of taking a wrong step that we don't even try stepping out on our own, but the art Gurus seem to always say "Give yourself permission to be bad."

For anyone that's been forced to play Hungry-Hungry-Hippo 20 000 times, you'll appreciate the fact that you are now stuck with a useless talent and will need to intentionally lose a few times so that you aren't labelled the Hungry-Hippo-Nerd. Now imagine that your 6-year-old sibling forced you to do something you actually cared about 20 000 times. The trouble is, it's hard to find teachers, mentors or family members that will force you toward your dream, especially if your dream is obscure.

So, in conclusion:
To be happy in life you have 3 options.
1 - Invent a robot that will kick your butt closer to your dreams.
2 - Make yourself really really badly want something that is incredibly easy to achieve.
3 - Get trampled by a dinosaur.

Or you could simply reject the options I've laid out for you and figure one out for yourself, because I in no way have any authority over anyone or anything. Including my potted plant Frodo. Can't do a single trick.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One Day

School's in again! And that means tests, which means procrastination, which means blogging!

Unfortunately it also means that my risk for catching the plague is at basically 100% as soon as I set foot in the dark, dank hallways of the U of C for yet another year, starting yet another degree. My accomplishments as-far in this school year:
Filling a few garbage bins with Kleenex
Thoroughly aggravating my nose.
(My nosebleeds have joined the competition to fill a waste-basket of their own. This one's my own personal curse. Don't jump on the bed when you're five while holding chop-sticks, kids. It's a bad life decision.)

Anyway, instead of studying, I squeezed the last little bit of intelligence out of my mind to read a book. If you want a book that tears your soul out, read "One Day". It's fantastic. And I want to burn it (now that Becca has recommended that option)!
You could also use it as a medium to experience a good love-hate relationship toward an inanimate object if you're into that sort of thing.


It's basically a love story between Emma and Dexter who have a PG-rated one-night stand on their university grad night. For the next 30-odd years, we join them on July 15 to witness the progression of their separate lives, linked mostly by postcards, letters and the occassional phone call. Life and it's complications hold them apart, but they watch each other with a special something reserved only for each other. The narrative is cheeky and sarcastic and at times tear-jerking, but always hopeful.


UNTIL... 30-odd years after they met Emma and Dexter FINALLY get together.
And then EMMA DIES.

OK OK - So it's a masterpiece of craftmanship, has a great message about "not changing the world, just the little sphere around you," is entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny (No, actually. People in the coffee-shops/on the bus would stop and stare at me, or maybe glare, thinking I was laughing at their mid-calf socks and shorts...)

But REALLY?? I understand it's great literature and David Nicholls is probably filthy rich by now. BUT I think they should put a warning on books like that, kind of like a G-PG-PG13...R-X rating schematic on a SADNESS scale.
Or else they could sell an alternate edition thats literally cut in half so it just ENDS when they finally get to-fricking-gether.

Still bitter.

I want to hug my boy and tell him not to get hit by a bus, please. Dad's making pie (Mom didn't believe him when he told her so). Pie's good incentive for a visit from a boyfriend though, isn't it?

There Will Be Pie... (the sequel to There Will Be Blood, if you didn't catch that)

Good eatin! ;)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars

(NOTE: I DIDN'T WRITE THIS! My Dad emailed it to me and I thought it was hilarious)--

A Creative Writing professor told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a new form called "The Tandem Story." The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting next to his or her desk.

As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me.

The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent.. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail.

The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:


(First paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

(Second paragraph by Bill)

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his trans galactic communicator. " Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning.

The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her.

"Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.


Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mother ship launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through the Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race.

Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized even poor, stupid Laurie.


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.


Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. " Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F--KING TEA??? Oh no,what am I to do? I'm such an air headed bimbo. I guess I've read too many Danielle Steele novels!"








In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.


A+ - I really liked this one..

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Empty Cup

It's exam time, and job-hunting time, and dealing with life time, so obviously I'm going to procrastinate on everything and write a blog...

As my Sobomnin (martial arts teacher), Michael taught me a lesson a few weeks ago: he gave me a teacup filled with tea and told me to examine it. "Get to know that cup. I want you to know it, feel it, taste it, know the color, the smell... Know that cup like you would marry it." (Those probably weren't his exact words but, as my Grampy always says, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!")

He gave me a few minutes. Then --
"Do you know that cup like it was your firstborn child?"
"I feel like I just gave birth."
(Those also were nothing like the words we actually said.)
"Good," he replied. "Follow me."

And then he led me on the most meandering sprint around his house that I've ever experienced: up the stairs, around the kitchen, down to the basement, turn on our heels and sprint all the way up 3 flights of stairs again -- all while holding my teacup and trying not to spill on the carpet.

We ended in front of the sink.
"Here, have some more tea."
He filled my cup until it was overflowing.
"Ready to go again?"
I dumped a bit out so the tea wasn't so close to the surface.
He filled it to the brim again.
I dumped a bit more.
He filled it back up.
"No, I'm going to spill!"
"OK, well what do you need to do?"

So, with great remorse for my firstborn tea, I dumped the whole cupful into the sink.
Aaand, we went for another sprint - one that was much easier this time because my cup was fully empty.

As a reward for my brilliant decision to leave my old, cold tea behind, the next time we returned to the sink Michael filled my empty cup with raspberry juice.
("Enjoy! Comagain!")

Now, how would it have been if my cup was still full of cold tea dregs when he'd filled it up with juice? The fresh, cold juice would have been contaminated by the old tea. (Gross for a normal person's tastes, I'm sure, but I probably would have enjoyed the weird beverage... But that's beside the point.)

The lesson, he said, came from his old Hapkido instructor. When students are too full of their own opinions and expectations, how are they to learn anything?

They need to first open their minds - "empty their cups" - so that the knowledge and experience of the new instructor, new experience, or new perspective, has a place to go.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Apparently I'm both green and blue. Abudee Abudi.

According to the True Colors (Personality Test), I'm a walking contradiction. A stereotypical Blue profile says that I’m “highly emotional and irrational”; as a Green, I’m “the cool, investigative, brainy” type. That explains the mood swings.

I think it's interesting though that I display the polar opposites of "emotion" vs "logic" -- and I commonly use both those sides of my personality when I'm creating. The "Blue" part of myself lends creativity, relationship intuition and emotions into my writing; the "Green" part helps me edit the mushy blob into something people can understand.

The actual act of creativity needs to be uninhibited by logic, preconceptions, or worry about feasibility (Blue). In order to make the idea possible, however, logic and method need to take their turn. (Green)

A lot of writers feel that structure - outlines, formatting, or page-by-page planning like in Blake Snyder's Save The Cat - take away from an artist's freedom and inspiration. So, they pour their soul onto the paper, using every ounce of inspiration and emotion in them. Their output is immensely personal, abstract, and jumbled. Unstructured creativity creates it's own restrictions by being too wild and unwieldy to work with.

With a logical, tried and true procedure, format, or structure, the writer has unlimited freedom within those bounds. (Don't worry, good formatting doesn't stop you from being able to sell your soul to Hollywood. You can still go ahead and do that. Have fun. Send me postcards.)

Some of the best moments in film come from the need to improvise because of restrictions. You can't afford to build a ten-story high mammoth with beaded fur and dreadlocks? Substitute it with a mouse wearing burmuda shorts. Or better yet, just take that part out of the script. Your film still may not have any great moments, but at least it won't suck so bad.

(Disclaimer: If any of you have/are writing a script about a mouse in burmuda shorts or a hippy mammoth, I'm sure it's amazing. Go get em, tiger.)

This is a link for the true colors test. For maximum irritation, play the "True Colors" song while you're filling it out, set on repeat.

Just remember, you need every shade of color to make up a person. Unless you're invisible.

If you're invisible, contact me here. Teach me your secrets...

Thursday, February 24, 2011


In a break-dance class I took a few years ago, we were told that the big moves are made bigger by having a tighter center. The power of all kicks, spins and swipes comes from being grounded and focused around a square inch of floor; an anchor for the furthest reaches and extensions of motion exploding around it.

Expanding on that idea, it seems like the most power would come from having a focused center within yourself. I love the idea of that sort of magic. Of knowing exactly where to look within yourself to be able to draw upon memories and sensations closest to your heart – to be able to summon the lightness of jumping, the giddiness of being silly, the serenity of beautiful music and emotion, the strength and guidance of God.


One of the keys to horseback riding is a remarkably logical mantra: “Let the horse do its work.” Obviously, it takes a huge amount of effort to get a thousand-pound animal to do its work, but it’s important to know that you can’t do it for him or her. You can’t jump the fences or pick up your hooves. Like in any partnership, you need to trust your partner to do their part, and they must trust you to do yours.

Many horses get into the habit of “dragging” on the reins, because many riders are willing to try and “hold their horse up”. Since a horse’s head can be as heavy as your entire body, this is obviously not the best distribution of duties. Let the horse do its work – and support it with short, light bursts of encouragement. That sort of encouragement is much more potent than simple raw strength of muscle. Horses are heavy. You can’t lift them. They have to WANT to jump. As a rider, you need to remind them that working hard does feel good, and jumpin is fun.

Just like a horse can’t jump while leaning on two leather reins, a bird can’t fly by pulling down on the clouds. She needs to want to join them on their own level – and she needs to find her way there on her own will before she can fly.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Opposite of Love Is Fear

Fear triggers survival instinct.

Survival instincts are inherently selfish. We're not going to survive very long by stopping to let others go ahead of us when there's a hungry lion, tiger, bear, fire, angry leprechaun biting at our heels.

When we're afraid of getting hurt, of looking like an idiot, of being vulnerable, of losing the things we wish and hope for - we become selfish. Every man for himself.


If love is selfless, then fear is the opposite of Love.

Just a thought.

Valid Excuse #2: Dropped Phone In Toilet

Last week I profiled my fantastic inability to get my winter jacket undone while I was late to work at the theater.

This week, I succeeded in getting to work on time.

While standing in front of my colorful Canadian cash register, I noticed a crowd beginning to grow. At the same time, my bladder was beginning to grow. So, I figured I'd just slip off to the washroom before the next rush of caffeine-deprived movie-goers line up to order cups filled with 5 creams and 7 sugars and a touch of coffee, for color.

Slipped off to the bathroom. Sat on toilet. Blew my nose. Nose starts bleeding.
(It's kind of an occupational hazard of over-working in an overheated toaster house.)


Pull out my cell phone to text my "Team Leader" (yay team ...) to let her know I'm temporarily incapacitated.

Drop phone in toilet.


Yeah, I'd definitely already put my donation in the bowl. (Besides my cellphone.) It was number one, though, which is better than number two. (If you've read this far I'm sure I've lost all hope of earning your respect.) However, my nose was bleeding, so there was a nice amount of redness in the toilet as well. I also lost sight of my phone and was rather worried it had gone down the pipes.

So, I stand in Movie Theater bathroom stall with a piece of toilet paper shoved up my left nostril, staring into the abyss of the toilet bowl, listening to Cindy Lou and her friend talk about Black Swan in the stalls beside me. How appropriate. The toilet is looking rather horrifying right now.

To make a long story longer: I got my phone back. Washed my hands. Debated dunking them in the boiling deep fryer to sanitize them. (You shouldn't eat fries anyway, they're bad for you. Especially our fries. A friend pointed out that at some point a mouse has probably climbed into the fryer and, well, disintegrated. I wouldn't doubt it. I'm never eating fries again.)

Surprisingly my phone still works, and now I got an awesomely gross story out of it to blog about! I'd say it's a win-win situation, and definitely a valid excuse for lateness!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

“Freedom restricts; but limits set free.”

(Quote from one of my teachers at Vancouver Film School!)

It means you need a skeleton for all your creativity to hang off of. A random blob of creativity is a nightmare to sort through or jump back into after you’ve taken a break from the project – but if there is a designated design for a project's construction, the steps are essentially already laid out.

In martial arts, having a lot of heart is great but if you flail around with no technique you’re going to get your butt kicked. Once you know the technique – the “skeleton” or structure of the sport - heart will make all the difference. Another example: painting – having a canvas sure helps.

I’ve been thinking lately that having “folders” within a creative project would be super helpful to organize the different areas of thought, and for making the whole thing aesthetically pleasing and easy to work with. Websites are great for offering layouts. The only downfall for posting things online is that people might steal your brilliant ideas.
(Don't steal my brilliant ideas! But you're welcome to the crappy ones: example, "I wonder if I can swallow a grape whole?")

There could be links for:
-character profiles (descriptions, drawings)
- scenery photos/paintings
-music/scoring ideas/inspirations

And then I thought (watch this thought process – it’s insane. Although you will have to decide if “insane” should be taken in a good way or bad way by the end of this):

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could lift all those elements out of the website and make them real?

You’re office (or “bedroom-office” as most of us have) could be a creative workspace with doors (the real-life version of "folders") all around the walls. One door would be filled with music; another with jars. Each jar holds the smell of a different memory, and you could pull out the smells and the music you want to invoke in a particular piece of writing. Another door could be filled with cold mist; another with warm sunlight; another with a giant, living, purple elephant, just in case you wanted to remind yourself how soft and slippery his fur is.

It would be like an epic version of kindergarten stations. Remember those? At one station you would write, at another you’d paint, at another you’d listen to music. At another you could play in the sandbox while playing with the paints; and then the last station would be sitting on the dunce stool after getting in trouble for painting the sand green.

Stepping back to reality (a bit) I started to wonder: an office like that would be an attraction in itself.

What if you completely decked out a building and transformed it into an interactive set for the public? There would be a series of movie projectors and screens so that you’re IN a movie, literally. You can feel the wind, and smell the rusty wagons beside you. The fog thickens, and you detect movement on one of the screens. Gunfire grows louder. And then, like a choose-your-own-adventure-book or interactive film, you make the plot of the movie unfold around you. You personally live through the experience.

I know they ("they" being intentionally unspecified people who I unfortunately haven't made contact with) have already made interactive films... and there are already movie attractions where sprinkles of water and little puffs of air assault the audience... and the military has full-out simulations to train their staff (can military people be called staff?) – but what about for entertainment value?

If people pay money to see what a dragon looks like on the big screen, surely they’d pay for the chance to interact with one, even if it’s just a hologram or an image on a screen - right?

And if technology comes up with a way for us to experience riding on a dragon’s back, that would definitely sell. C'mon technology!

Too bad people wouldn’t pay to walk into an empty room and learn to “imaginate” (imagine/meditate) about flying on a dragon. Or would they...??? Hrmm...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Valid Excuse #1: I can't get my zipper undone

Being as temperatures have decided to dip to -500 degrees, I’ve been wearing my ski jacket everywhere. Saturday, the puller thing (which I’ll be calling “the puller thing”) which attaches to the thing that actually zips and unzips the little teeth (which I’ll call “the zipper” for common sense’s sake) broke off. No biggie. I’ll just pinch the zipper with my fingers and pull it up and down like I normally do when I break the puller thing off of other zippers. It’ll still work, right? Wrong.

Apparently ergonomic engineers for ski jackets have decided that their zippers will lock in place until a wire, or thread, or potentially a very stiff cat hair can pass through the hole in the little nubbin of zipper and push some tiny magical release button. Oh – but you only need to find and push the tiny button to UNZIP the zipper. Zipping it up works no matter what state of gimpyness the zipper’s in.

So, I zipped up my broken zipper. Ate dinner with my boyfriend. Showed up for work late and, like a whirlwind, ran across the theatre lobby, unzipping my coat as I ran. Or, trying to. The zipper didn’t budge. Weird. I got to the locker room and tried again. Maybe my angle was off. Nope. My zipper is locked underneath my chin. I’m doomed to forevermore walk around like a snowman in a straight jacket.

Starting to feel a little claustrophobic, I tried to lift the collar around my head. Head too fat. But I had to be in the theatre’s Tim Hortons 10 minutes ago! So, ducking my head, I flipped the jacket inside out and tried to pull. Succeeded in getting the stupid collar lodged around my mouth and nose; the rest of the jacket dangled somewhere below my head. Couldn’t see, talk, breath – you know, the life essentials – when one of the other girls comes into the locker room. I’m sure I was quite a sight as I flailed around like a new species of ghost, or monster: the jacket monster! The girl asks if I want her to pull. I motion “Yes” as best I can with my limited mobility. No dice. She says she has a knife if I want to try that. I seriously considered it, but decided on a, "No, it's OK."

As I now needed to explain my lateness, as well as potential inability to work, I wrestle the jacket back down around my neck like an overlarge burka and run down the theatre wing toward the office. From the neck down, I'm a cineplex employee in full uniform. From the neck up - Jacket Monster!!

Guests stare at me as I ring the buzzer to get into the office. "Yes?" "ICAN'TGETMYCOATOFFANDI'MSUPPOSEDTOWORKAT6". They open the door. Six managers stare at me and my blue burka. I tell them I can't get my zipper undone. One by one they try it - thinking I'm retarded, no doubt. First manager fails. Second manager stands in the background laughing. Third manager fails. Fourth and fifth managers watch, laughing. Sixth comes up with the genius idea to use a paper clip to push the secret button. Yay! I'm free! And now I have a valid excuse for being late to work.

The end. (I've been told I need to come up with a better ending. Maybe my next post will be the completely untrue tales of the jacket that never ever came off until I went scuba diving and was rescued by porpoises...)