Fear of Traveling

Of all my anxieties, the one that is the most depressing is my fear of traveling. I don’t like to be away from home.

I’ve managed, of course, through therapy and diligence, to make the “bubble” a little larger than it used to be. At one point I couldn’t leave the house. This summer I spent 3 months in Ottawa shooting the show, Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays (tonight at 9 on CBC). I flew out there, and drove back. That’s a one hour flight, and a four and a half hour drive.

People who are afraid of traveling will understand the relevance. And Canadians in general will hopefully appreciate that I measure distance by how long it takes to get there.

I’m working towards popping the “bubble” completely.

The greatest irony is that ever since I was a kid, my favorite show has been Doctor Who. A man who travels ALL OF TIME AND SPACE.

Meanwhile, I still get nauseous when I have to go across town.

(Note: This piece was written for The National Post as part of the Arts & Life Diary series.)


My Bathroom

When he was a kid, my father had to poop in an outhouse and wipe his butt with the Sears catalogue, so I should be grateful for the miracle of indoor plumbing.

But when it sucks, it’s hard to ignore.

I live in a one bedroom apartment on the second floor of a house. I have a vanity bathroom. Small sink, small toilet, stand-up shower with a clear glass enclosure. When I first saw it, I though it was cute. And the shower reminded me of something you’d see in a 70’s porno. Cool!

But there’s no water pressure. You have to flush the toilet twice, and then wait for it to fill up before you can wash your hands. The porno shower doesn’t really “function” because two people in the shower with no water pressure are two damp, cold miserable people.

At least you know what you’re getting with an outhouse. An outhouse won’t let you down.

(Note: This piece was written for The National Post as part of the Arts & Life Diary series.)


Canadia on iTunes… Sort of

Ok, I’ve gotten a better explanation as to what is happening with Canadia: 2056 on iTunes.

What you’re seeing up there now isn’t the final… release? I don’t know how to explain it, exactly. CBC is fiddling around with the pricing, I guess there’s some kind of confusion when it comes to putting media up on iTunes’ server and how to price it – so the CBC is figuring that out.

You’ll notice there are more episodes up.

You may also notice that there are episodes of Afghanada up there.

What is supposed to happen, at some point in the near future, is that there will be a whole CBC RADIO DRAMA section on iTunes, with links to it from the home page and everything (you may have noticed it’s not exactly easy to find, and that was done on purpose… so the CBC’ers could figure the system out).

Long story short (or tl;dr) It’ll all be up there soon – and I mean a lot of Radio Drama, not just my show – and it’ll be accessible and affordable.


Canadia: 2056 available on… iTunes?!

For real. The first 5 episodes of Season 1, available on iTunes… Here.

No one is more baffled and surprised than me!

And hey, 3.99 4.99 for the first 5 episodes, that’s not bad! I think… I mean, I’d pay that…

I think this marks the first time a CBC Radio Drama has been available for (legal) digital download… Sure, you have to pay, but this is progress, right?


Am I high?

When did this happen?!


Hey Lucy

Ok, you might not find this funny AT ALL, but I think it’s tragic and hilarious.

Hey Lucy – Watch more Funny Videos

This was floating around Facebook tonight, and some of the comments ranged from “This is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen” to “sorry, I understand sarcastic humour where something is sooo bad it’s funny, but really… this is JUST SHIT! There’s nothing funny or ironic about it whatsoever. Seriously… it’s bad, off the charts.”

Humor is subjective. Not everyone’s going to like everything.

All I can argue is why I find it so funny, and make a little comment about comedy in general.

Now, mind you, I don’t have a degree from Humber or anything, so I’m no expert, I’m just going on my experience and my instinct here… I also can’t sleep.

Some humor is grounded wordplay, gags and surprises. It engages your mind.

Some humor is grounded in empathy. It engages your heart and your gut.

The best is usually a combination of the two.

This video, for me, plays to my feelings of empathy and the awesome tragedy of humanity.

The guy who made this is clearly in love with this Lucy person, and has gone to such an extreme to try and express his love, but he’s failed so miserably. It’s an awful video (albeit somewhat catchy. I can’t seem to stop playing it) but he’s obviously put some effort into it. It must have taken him some real thought and time. He didn’t know he’d come off as some kind of stalker. I’m pretty sure that was far from his intent. Now, I can only speak for myself, but I’ve been in this guy’s position. I’ve never gone so far as to make a music video declaring my unrequited love, but I’ve felt this guy’s pain.

I know where he’s coming from.

For example: A show like The Office was a cringe inducing, awkward comedy. But at the end of the day, David Brent was a good guy, with a good heart, he just couldn’t express himself. He tried too hard. He just wanted to be accepted, loved and validated. But all his attempts at getting any of that ended up making him look like a fool and a jerk. But you rooted for him. You wanted him to be accepted in the end. Maybe you didn’t, but I genuinely believe that deep down, that was the point. That was his subtext.

I think a good comedy engages the audience, it gives you someone to identify with and root for. But they must always fail. Until the end… Except in the darker comedies, where the hero fails even when you think they’re going to win.

I could cite a few examples of comedies that didn’t engage me, but certainly engaged a lot of people. I mean, I think that ultimately, you try to be true to yourself, and write from the heart. But not everyone is going to like it. Again, it’s all subjective. If you’re lucky, and intuitive, you’ll engage enough people. But if you try to force it, you’ll fail. I hear the word “heart” being thrown around a lot these days in terms of what the networks are looking for… But I don’t think some people really understand what that means. To me, this has heart.

So… Back to the video. I also imagine poor Lucy on the receiving end, and what her reaction must have been. Horror? Shock? Embarrassment?

Since it’s leaked onto the internet, I’m guessing she wasn’t swept of her feet, and I imagine she thought it was hilarious and posted it only to humiliate the guy. So in the end, he doesn’t really deserve her. That’s me justifying shit so I don’t feel so bad about laughing at someone’s misfortune (I’m also trying to find some way of making the guy a hero). But there you go…

I mean, if it was a friend of mine, I probably wouldn’t laugh at it. I don’t know what that says… That’s a whole other issue.