Friday, July 31, 2015

It Still Happens

Today I found out a young man whom I greatly admire (the son of a dear friend) is the father of a five-year-old son. My young friend had an affair with the mother several summers ago. The recent revelation of my young friend's paternity was a total surprise to him and, in consequence, to everyone and hearing the story brought me to tears.

The grandmother, my friend, was not happy. She could not accept the news and that is what hurt me so badly—the innocent child is rejected because adults have issues with the nature of the innocent's conception.

The story ends happily with all known relatives of the child reconciled and now thrilled with the new son/brother/grandson. Meanwhile, I have never known life without pain over stories like this due to the nature of my story (soon to be a minor motion picture).

Thursday, July 30, 2015


New shorts that I love.

Steve (my ex) and his partner, Tim, are here and they are keeping me busier than I am used to being. But at least the viewing of condos is over. 

Yesterday I had my meeting with my financial advisor about financing my move. It lasted mere minutes because she showed me how much in penalties I would have to pay to cash my investments in order to buy first and sell second. She told me to sell first and then buy, but doing that limited me to a lateral move and I have been planning on a "step up" so that I can have a patio/balcony and maybe a second bedroom.

In other words: If I want to invest less in stocks and bonds (or whatever my money is invested in) and more in real estate, then I have to wait until 2016 for my funds to mature.

I instantly embraced her advice and advised the realtor. And you know what? I was so happy I fell asleep last night on a balcony right in front of the fireworks. The stress is over—at least for a year. I love my current condo and am very, very, very happy to spend another year here. Come winter, when windows are open less, the construction noise and dust will be less onerous.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Deal Signed

Warren, (Producer) Brad and I have signed the option agreement. For my screenplay of Uncle Gus’ Monkey. So now I am officially a screenplay writer who sold his very first screenplay.  

“Brad’s company is called Convergent. They and Télé Cinq, a French language national broadcaster, are compelled to produce original new content to keep their broadcasting licenses. It is a CRTC regulation, and Télé Cinq aims to ensure their content includes stories of Francophones living outside of Québec.  

Telefilm Canada (the national funding agency for Canadian film) has a funding program that supports the development of Franco-Canadian stories set outside Québec. Next week, Brad is going to see a rep from Télé Cinq. In October, he goes to Cannes for MIPCOM (Marché Internationale de Programmes Communications / International Market of Communications Programmes) in hopes of securing a third partner—a French broadcaster. 

We signed our agreement, shook hands, Warren and I agreed to celebrate with a dinner and then we got up to leave. At that point, I improvised the most sincere “thank you” I could muster for both of my partners and it prompted Brad to tell us how “lucky” we are. And he was including himself in that comment because he feels “lucky” to have found us.

Brad said very few projects “find a path” and “advance this quickly.”  ‘Finding a path’ means finding funding and it is not my story, per se, that is proving to be so successful. It is not the writing, the images or the plot, really. Instead, it is this fact that it is a Francophone story set outside of Québec that is advancing this project so successfully. 

Warren asked: “So if you get a French partner, the film is a go?” And Brad said that Monkey may go into production without the French partner but definitely will go into production if France says, ‘Yes.”

I have to make Brad a “Françoise souvenir kit” by this Friday. I told him all about all my mother’s memorabilia of her film work in Québec and France, and so I am getting it all together and taking it to him so it can go with him when he meets with Télé Cinq next week to help seal the deal and get them to sign a production agreement.  

My souvenirs of mother will also go to MIPCOM to help convince the French. (She worked on the film An American in Paris there and I have tons of productions shots of her, Gene Kelly and Catherine Deneuve taken on set as part of the kit.) Mother would be so incredibly proud to know what she has inspired.

Monday, July 27, 2015


The bright living room. They use wide-angle lenses, these deceptive, realtors
so I know this will be much smaller than it looks in this photo when I see it.

The balcony. YES!

The view from the suite.

This is where I would put my office. Right by a small patio.

This place is $400 grand. Imagine. That's vancouver for you. But I am interested.

Kurt Vonnegut had “ethical suicide parlors” in Slaughterhouse Five.  You’d go in and be escorted to a pleasure chamber where you reclined in an ultra comfortable chair. Then, your favourite music would play while you watched images of your favourite things, and then, after eating your favourite foods for your last meal, you would drift off to eternal sleep.

If we had them here, I’d have booked in yesterday. Instead, I visited one of our ethical marijuana dispensers to cope put the mid-day meltdown behind me.

Today, Monday, I feel clearer and a little more resigned to this move. I am very, very grateful for the advice of friends who have helped me stay sane and focused on the goal. They have been encouraging and tremendously supportive.

I have abandoned plans for a second bedroom but remain committed to a patio or balcony. And after mapping my behavior for a week, I now know that between 80% and 85% of my time is spent at this desk so my office space is of critical importance to the decision about where to live.

So is where I put my aquarium. More (cheaper) places to visit today. And, we are scheduled to sign the movie option agreement today.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Morning

Today there is more rain. Can you hear our plants, trees, birds and fish singing where you live? And I have awakened feeling that cliché of opposition: If I move, they win.

I'm up, I'm down. Today I think: Fuck these developers, let them build. I am staying. There is metal pigment in our windows, so during the days no one can see inside my place and at nights, when they can, I can close my (fabulous and expensive) blackout blinds.

I feel this because I have looked at a zillion places online and three on foot, and at the end of the day nothing comes close to the joy I feel when I look at my current place into which I have poured my heart and soul.

I am going to look at a place right at the entrance to Granville Island today at noon. Ho hum. And I am going to look at another place in Hycroft. Oh my God, what  building Hycroft is! It is stunning. And it is nicely situated and has an unbelievable rooftop deck. But it is also expensive. I am going to look at it anyway and see what happens.

That is my strategy. Look at places and see what happens. If I keep coming home to the feeling that this place is better, then maybe I won't move after all.

This is a trying, but valuable experience. At some future point I will move or not and if I don't, I will likely stay here happily forever. An open-minded sincere reconsideration of one's current practices is a good thing.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Saga Continues

I’ve come a long way baby! I have awakened this morning (my third day of living with my decision to leave this paradise I have made myself) full of enthusiasm for the move—so much that I find myself about to go to two open houses prepared to make an offer.

I know what you are thinking: I am impulsive and you want to say, “Slow down.” But I say: “Shut up!” What you may call impulsive, I call decisive. I love my ability to decide quickly and you know why? Because I have never had any regrets, and at my ripe old age it is time for me (and you) to recognize that.

If you read my blog often, you may know how important the concept of “equilibrium” is to me. It is what I constantly seek. Being in equilibrium means everything is in its proper place in my condo and in my life. When things break or go missing, I immediately replace them to re-establish equilibrium.

When I do too much, I have to stop and take time to myself to get everything back in order. That is why my place is always clean, everything has its proper place and why Dr. Tessler said I had non-clinical OCD.

The construction around my building has made the external environment here a virtual war zone — talk about lack of equilibrium! Hence my desire to move and get the decisions and physical move done asap. But as an elder, “asap” is slower paced than in my youth.

The photos below are of the suite that interests me the most. It is in the South Granville District, has two bedrooms and my new essential: a balcony.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Action Taken

 It’s raining—not hard—but actual real sustained rain. It is so welcome after so long.

#1 is a condo building the began construction just this month.
#2 is a site on which 3 towers will be built over 2 years. One tower is 64 floors.
#3 is the site of a proposed 30-storey building.
#4 is the site on which core drilling has just begun. It is this building
that was the straw that broke this camel's back.
#5 is a proposed 40-storey office building.
#6 is St. Paul's Hospital. It is leaving and the site will become condos. 

I have to move. I have no option. I have to give up an absolutely perfect condo because on three sides of my building there is, and will be for many years, loud and dirty big construction projects.

I love every square centimeter of my place because I have decorated every square centimeter. And although no gay man should say this: I am particularly in love with my closets. I had both closets completely rebuilt to my design. And my spice rack; oh my God, people take photos of it. I cannot imagine life without it.

I will dearly miss my spectacular Maple floor that is so incredibly solid under my feet. I had the concrete here ground to perfect flatness before the floor was installed so it is solid, smooth and gorgeous … and I am leaving it. Pooey.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Outside My Windows

This is the lot immediately north of my building. For the next eighteen months, it will be a constant source of noise and dust.

This is right outside my window today. Right below my office window. I thought I was hearing noise from the building site in the photo above, but no. They are drilling and doing something noisy.

This is the lot to the south of me. In December, two years of construction of three tall towers—one 64 stories—begins. I live in a beautiful sanctuary of an apartment but there is chaos outside and people wonder why I have been looking at real estate….

Gay Hero for Pride: Jack Andraka

Jack Andraka at the Pride celebration in Washington DC.

I love having heroes and as pride is approaching in Vancouver this weekend, I wanted to recognize a gay hero.

Jack Andraka is eighteen. He is profoundly bright and at age 13 he told his parents that he is gay. These parents, the father a civil engineer, the mother an anesthetist, consciously developed an interest in science in their two sons.

Jack’s older brother, Luke, won 96 grand in prizes at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2010 for a project that examined how acid mine drainage affected the environment. He also won an MIT THINK award for his work.

Jack has won international recognition for his work in developing a new, rapid, inexpensive (and patent pending) method of detecting an increase of a protein that indicates the presence of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer. He is currently studying at Stanford University.

About Wednesday

Yesterday my right foot was hurting and I couldn't figure out why. It was hurting on the inside and outside edges and I realized right away what had happened by the fact that the pain was in a straight line—my orthotic was the problem. Sure enough, there was a "wrinkle" in the orthotic that had produced two big blisters. I had walked for an hour and a half unable to feel the wrinkle.

Last night was sad and weird; sad because I saw the film Amy about Amy Winehouse and weird because whilst watching it, my left arm “disappeared” for about an hour.

I knew nothing about Amy Winehouse except for the song, Rehab. Now I know what a great natural talent she was and that the men in her life destroyed her. Her husband and father—especially her husband—let her down. And what a tragedy her death is. The scene where she sings with Tony Bennett, her idol, is heartbreaking. Now I love her and now she's gone.

Some thirty or so years ago, I lost the use of my left arm until surgery on my spine restored it. A crushed disk was replaced with a piece of cow bone and I suspect that bone is wearing out. Sometimes, when I want my arm to go right, it goes left. Sometimes, it moves like it is under water. Last night, for an hour, it stopped working altogether.

My foot, my arm… this is aging.

I went to bed after reading a nice blog article about the Beatle's song Hey Jude. I did not know that it was originally Hey Jules and it was written by Paul McCartney in his car on his way to visit Jules Lennon, the son John had with Cynthia, John's first wife. John had met Yoko and Julien and Cynthia had become persona non grata with the Beatles and Paul felt bad about it, so he went to visit Julien and Cynthia and wrote the song on his way.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Moving Along….

I had a wonderful Monday night with Gerrie who worked for me in the 1980s and with whom I have casually stayed in touch since. Gerrie is a Jungian psychologist who is passionate about her work; we enjoy talking about human behavior—theory and our own.

Last night we drank an entire bottle of champagne together, went to dinner at a fabulous new Mexican diner and then we came back to my condo for dessert. And from the emails I got yesterday, I know she had as much fun as I did. I have a new friend and I am excited.

And I have applied to audit a UBC Religious Studies graduate student seminar group thanks to an opportunity afforded by an acquaintance. This group and Gerrie afford me extraordinary opportunities to talk with knowledgeable people about the things I ponder whilst walking. How great is that? They are idea mentors for my late-life non-crisis.

Check out the super-long candles!
IKEA is a long way away but yesterday I enjoyed a brief walk in the glorious sunshine to my local subway station and took the subway to a deep into Richmond (Aberdeen) where a bus was waiting to go the 13 stops to where I got off to walk five blocks to IKEA. I got my candles and a bunch of fun unnecessary other things and walked back to where I was to catch the bus home and, yet again, a bus was waiting.

I got back to the subway and waited only 3 minutes for my train and as I walked back home, I thought I life was perfect. Our transit system gets such flack, but I think it is awesome. Then I walked the wall on another inspiring day came home and ate too much.