I don't have much to report. Here's a general update.
My part in Chickens, The Musical is over. It really exhausted me. As much as I loved working with the people involved in the production, I'm glad it's done. It took up an inordinate amount of time for something that in the end only had five total performances. I met good people and enjoyed it, but it's wonderful to have weekends where I don't need to navigate around that schedule.
If anything, it's driven home how much I'm a musician, not really an actor. I really want to get some proper band-music going again, and I'm starting to like the prospect of having a three-piece power trio band. But I've wanted that sort of thing before and never done it, so it doesn't mean much to want to do it now.
I'm still looking for work for the summer. It's been a little discouraging to have so much trouble with it when my last couple summers seemed to go so smoothly. But I keep looking.
I don't write much about relationship-stuff on public forums like this, but I've been seeing someone for the last half a year. She's recently moved to another country for a contract. I don't know what the future holds, of course, but I like the prospect of a future with her. It's pushed me to start looking more aggressively for vice principal work that might make me a more employable, well-paid person. It's been good to enjoy someone's company again.
And that's about it. It's been nice to spend weekends at home, to not constantly be driving all over the Lower Mainland, to refrain from filling up the tank so regularly.
And maybe, if I have more time in the summer, I'll be able to get writing again and stop scrolling through my cell phone all the time.
ââNothing to report.
I turned 38 a few days ago. For the first time in over 25 years, I willingly tried to celebrate my birthday. I hung out with a friend and attended a concert. It was by far the most immersive birthday I've had since... maybe Grade 6.
Oftentimes in the past, when my birthday would approach, my parents, friends, or spouse would ask me, "What do you want to do for your birthday?" And I would say, "Nothing." And if they proposed something, I would fight it. "I don't want a birthday party," I'd say. Once, perhaps 10 years ago when we lived in Hope, I tried to get over myself and let my wife arrange a birthday for me, but I myself didn't really market it seriously. It was a long time ago, so the memory is faint, but I don't think anybody came. And that was ok with me, but not quite with my wife, who had put real energy into it. I haven't even imagined even trying to celebrate a birthday since then.
And I don't know if I'll bother again for any time soon. This year, that was enough. It was astoundingly difficult, even in such a low-key setting, to handle the attention, the self-maintaining goal to "take care of myself" by celebrating my existence for once. I had a good time, but it drained me, and when it was over I crashed into a rather embarrassing sadness-spiral that could only be slightly endured after a counselling call. I'm glad I did it, but I don't think I'll try it again next year. (Although my birthday does take place on a Saturday next year, so I could very easily go back on my current sentiments.)
Shutterfly sends me occasional updates about photos, saying "Do you remember __ years ago?" usually showing family photos from a given week. Today, Shutterfly sent me some photos, saying "Remember four years ago?" They were photos of my kids when we still lived in Harrison Hot Springs, in our last month living there before we moved to Chilliwack. And I looked and I thought four years? It's only been four years? Because that feels like forever ago. So much has happened: my family fell apart, my kids moved away, I've been working through the usual rigmarole of divorce.
And I've barely written a song. The songs I have written seem hackneyed and trite, nothing like the quality that I maintained 13 years ago. My emotions are caught-up in adultish issues: budgets, debt, paperwork, appointments, parenting, phone calls, workplace balance, driving, car maintenance, etc.. There are people who can write emotionally despite these life-themes, but I haven't been able to do it. As much as I want to find the poetry in these sorts of common events, the words, the melodies, have eluded me, or I haven't been able to muster the energy to approach them.
Until this weekend, when I think I assembled a few words that reflected an actual feeling. Although I've written emotional songs in the last decade, very few of them discussed feelings that were close to my heart at a given moment. They're the sorts of emotions that might be considered "youthful," insofar as they deal with some intense feelings that one feels deep to their core. I'm not going to write the words here because I'm still working on them, but I'm kinda' excited, hoping that I can get a ball rolling in a manner that's creatively viable.
In other news: I've accepted a part in a play, my first play since I acted in A Flea In Her Ear with the Chilliwack Players' Guild. I'm excited about it. I've worked with most of these cast members before, either in Jitters or A Flean in her Ear. It's a musical comedy and I have to sing a song. Costumes should be ridiculous. More info forthcoming.
Also, I might start working a bit with a small company that's hoping to make videos and music in-house in Chilliwack. This is good because it will give me a chance to practice and perfect things I've never really worked with before. And finally, for the first time since I lived in Victoria, I might be able to work with people to create music and art again. Most of my attempted musical collaborations have fallen apart over the last bunch of years, but this one's got some potential because people want to be professionals in a low-key enough way that I might be able to make my life work with it. Woo hoo!
My daughter accompanied me to the Party in the Park in Chilliwack on Friday night. She made some fan art for my busking set at the Triple Play.
Last night, Saturday July 13, I played again at the Hot Spring Villa in Harrison Hot Springs, 6-9pm. Come on out to any of the other nights I'll do for the rest of the summer there!
Summer's here, thank goodness.
This school year has been tough. Workwise, I don't think I was an effective teacher. I was playing catch-up from the very first day; at the end of each day, I procrastinated, and then I didn't give myself the time to catch up the next morning. I couldn't seem to think creatively and struggled to keep up with most of the bureaucratic tasks that make teaching work. I hope I learned some of my lessons. Needless to say, the antidepressants, over the last month, have helped.
I've been running and working out. I live above a gym and I've started with a bit of a weight routine. I've also been running intermittently, and I hope to make that more consistent soon. I've been injuring myself more frequently though, so I've had to admit that I'm getting older.
I acted in a play in the Fall. Although I was overbusy during that period, I'm glad I did it. I met quite a few good people and felt successful in it overall. It exhausted me enough that I didn't audition for a play in the Spring. I'm extremely glad that I got to have this experience and that I got to meet so many good people through it.
And I've been getting back into my music again. Almost every Saturday evening, I've played covers at the Hot Spring Villa Restaurant in Harrison Hot Springs. This has helped to rebuild my musical confidence that had truly waned over the last five years or so. I've even recently started willingly going to open mics and jams, even when I feel out of my element. This is good.
So summer's begun and I have my kids with me for a few weeks. I hope to get some more musical connections around Chilliwack and around the Lower Mainland. I hope that I can get a bit more music happening in the Fall. I've already made a few connections and hope to expand my gigging beyond the restaurant in Harrison Hot Springs. And maybe I can put a band together and get a couple of the songs finished that I started so many years ago.
And lordy, I'm looking forward to waking up without an alarm.
Two months ago, I resolved to write a song a week and write a blog post a week. I guess I need to admit that I've failed at those resolutions. Nonetheless, just because I haven't made my resolutions doesn't mean I've been unproductive: I've written six or seven songs so far and I've had about five blog posts since then. So although I haven't met my resolutions, I've made a couple steps forward.
Motivation is still pretty tough. I'm supposed to do the Hope 10k run on March 18th, but my running habits haven't really kicked in; I'm struggling to keep up at work even though I have dramatically more time to get work done this semester; I'm reluctant to call people up or do anything social if I have a night off. I don't feel depressed but I'm likely showing a bunch of the symptoms of depression.
I'm been enjoying film photography more regularly. I have too many cameras on the go right now; some of them still have photos from my visit to Smithers in December on them. But even that's been a tough hobby to maintain when I'm barely getting out of the house or leaving Agassiz. But here are some highlights from a roll of Ilford HP5 with photos that I took between December and February:
Now back to work.
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