Thursday, July 26, 2007


I've been feeling for awhile -- at least a few weeks, maybe even a few months -- that I'm drowning under the stresses of having far too many things to do in nowhere near enough time. It's a horrible feeling. There are times, I swear to God, when I feel like I might die.

The problem is that my general approach to this feeling is to avoid the stresses entirely -- watch a movie or play video games, and just try to ignore the stresses that are making me feel like I'm going to die. But then, of course, these things don't get done. They're still hovering over my shoulder the next day, with even less time left in which to complete them, leaving me to feel even more like I'm going to die.

This is obviously a horrible cycle. It's a cycle I need to break.

I'm not sure exactly how to do this, except to try to focus on one thing at a time, forgetting the things that aren't quite as urgent. Prioritize and focus. Looking at too much all at once is only going to fill me with dread and avoidance.

And that's not going to help me get anything done.

Forgetting things

Today was an odd day.

Like most Wednesdays, there were numerous points throughout the day when I would find myself suddenly terrified that there was something I was forgetting.

In the shower today: Holy crap, I'm supposed to do something -- what is it?

Eating breakfast: Holy shit, I'm supposed to do something -- what is it?

Sitting at the computer: Holy shit, I'm supposed to do something -- what is it?

Turns out, what I was forgetting was the same thing I forget every single Wednesday -- that I'm supposed to write my column. Unfortunately, I was also forgetting that I don't have to remember to write my column anymore. So there was some kind of weird, meta-forgetting thing going on.

Of course, I'm dusting off this blog today, so in a way, this is where my column writing is going. Although, let's all hope that I'll find my way back here a bit more frequently than just once a week.

In other news, I'm now giving serious consideration to completely rewriting the end of Dinner and Drinks, only two weeks before we open. How fucking psychotic is that? Nevermind, don't answer, there isn't even a word for how psychotic that is.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Week (or Why God Hates Me)

So, Merritt didn't entirely suck, which was a nice surprise, and all around I had a pretty decent weekend. Which should have been a sign of the horrible, horrible things to come. And would have been, if I had maintained my usually pessimistic attitude. Instead, I found myself thinking, "Hey, things are going along kind of good! How awesome is that!"

I'm a stupid, stupid man sometimes.

On Monday, driving home from work, my car dies on the highway for no apparent reason. I manage to steer it off to the side of the road, but it won't start back up again, and it's 8:00 at night and I don't really know what else to do with it, so I leave it there and walk home. The great thing about walking to my house is that the further you walk, the steeper the hills get to be. So as you get more and more tired, the hike gets more and more exhausting. It's really brilliantly designed, if you happen to be a masochist.

Tuesday, I get the car towed to Canadian Tire, where it'll sit in their parking lot until Wednesday morning, when they'll get the chance to look at it. So I'll be transportationless for one whole day. Nothing to lose sleep over.

Tuesday afternoon, I get a phone call from the Tribune. They're cancelling my column after 14 years (ten years of that time spent calling their "Weekender" or "Tribune Weekend" or whatever it's now called home). This makes me sort of sad. Actually, this makes me inredibly sad, and I spend Tuesday night getting wickedly shitfaced, essentially holding a wake for my soon-to-be-deceased column (speaking of which, if you feel like sending angry letters of protest to the editor and the publisher at the Trib, you can reach the editor at or the publisher at -- I'm not suggesting that you do this, of course, but it'd probably make my heart feel a little warm if you did).

Wednesday, I'm hung over from the wake. Canadian Tire calls and tells me it's the starter, and it'll cost about $500 to repair. Ugh. But I tell them to go ahead, because, hey, I need my car. I haven't heard anything further by late afternoon, so I call back to see how things are going. Apparently they didn't have a starter in stock, so they had to order, and it'll be done on Thursday. So...another day without transport. Not a big a deal.

Thursday morning, Canadian Tire calls again. The starter's in, but the car still won't turn over. The engine is seized, and the car is, for all intents and purposes, a gigantic chunk of scrap metal. Which is awesome, because I'm still going to have to pay the $500 for the starter job that was done, essentially dumping half-a-grand into a car that is never going to move under its own power again. Because, you know, I've got fucking money to burn. This also means that I'm currently transportationless for...well, who the fuck knows at this point?

And that's my week so far. Since monday. Four days. Not even four WHOLE days yet, because, you know, Thursday is just starting.

At this rate, I'm going to probably die of a stroke tomorrow. And right at this moment, a part of me thinks that would be just fine.

Friday, July 13, 2007


So, in just a couple of hours, I'll be heading to Merritt for the music fest. If you know me, this might seem odd, as I'm not big on country music. But I have media access, and I'm covering the event for ArtScene, know, free vacation and all that rot.

There's a good chance I'll be moblogging parts of the trip either here over at the ArtScene blog, so if you're bored, and feel like checking up on how the event is going, you can watch for those mini-updates. If you're not bored...then I assume you're having a lovely weekend.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Cycles and epiphanies

As the years roll by and I get older, I begin to notice more and more how parts of my life run in cycles. Reading, for examples, runs on a cycle. For weeks or months at time I won't read anything except web sites and occasional newspapers. And then suddenly I'll pick up a novel and I'll be a reader for a period of weeks or months, devouring the first book I picked up, and then another, and then another, and then another, sometimes even going out of my way to buy a batch of books because I've run out of stuff to read.

And then as quickly as it started, it'll stop again -- no reading.

My writing tends to work in the same way. For a period of weeks or months I'll be desperately passionate about some new piece of writing, and I'll work on it constantly -- sometimes every night, if things are going particularly well, but at least every second or third night.

And then, almost out of blue, I'll hit a period of burnout. I wouldn't touch the book if my life depended on it. I fill my free time with movies, video games, and mindless web surfing. And I'll go on like this for weeks at a time.

Inevitably, though, I'll begin to feel guilty about these time-wasters. I'll begin to feel the untouched book actually starting to die from neglect, and I'll put the games and the movies and the web down and get back to work again.

I got back to work tonight.

I tried to play some video games, but they just didn't hold any appeal to me. I sat on the sofa and I stared at the Xbox and Wii and I knew that they weren't going to provide any enjoyment. But I tried anyway. Fifteen minutes on this game, fifteen minutes on that one, but nothing. The book beckoned.

I should have seen it coming. I've been sitting on the edge of something not-so-pleasant for the last few days. Not a depression, exactly, but I haven't been terribly upbeat either. I felt, in fact, like I was on the verge of an epiphany, and it didn't feel like a terribly good one.

Epiphanies come in all shapes and sizes. And, I think, differing levels of clarity. This one was vague. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was, but it stirred up some memories, made me question what I'd been doing with my time lately, and made feel -- once again, because this is something I've felt quite often -- that my life is filled almost entirely with mistakes.

I felt the overwhelming need to change something significant about my life. But I didn't know exactly what.

So without any clear indicator of what needed to be changed, I wrote. Because that was something I could change, and is always something worth changing -- doing a bit more work is never a bad thing.

Unfortunately, that feeling -- the feeling that somethings significant needs to change -- remains. Which leaves me little choice but to flail around trying to figure out what it is, hoping that either the answer finally arrives, the feeling leaves me in peace.