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...)