Saturday, September 27, 2008

Attack of the Logo

So I'm watching The Hills...

... I know...

So I'm watching The Hills, and I can't help but notice something gawdy and enormous that wasn't Brody Jenner's ego.

What the hell!?

Network logos I get. Promotional graphics I get... but isn't this just a smidgen over the top?

It's just so... big. And it stayed up for the entire episode!

Leave it to Paris I suppose. Oh well.
Anyone else wanna apply to be on her show with me? No really...


Monday, September 22, 2008

Unexpectedly Awesome Things

Episode 01.

Location, Location, Location

The British are very entertaining.

And they always have been!

What other nation in the world has a monarch who can pull off a flashy set of duds like this?

Elton John, Jamie Oliver, Princess Di, hell, even Amy Winehouse... they've got a bit of magic in them that makes whatever project they undertake particularly unforgettable.

Okay, I know I'm generalizing here... but just think about how many American television shows are big budget remakes of the original gold from accross the pond!

*cough*Ricky Gervais*cough*

Here's one I'm just waiting to see hit the TLC airwaves one of these seasons...

It's the delightfully and unexpectedly awesome thing of the moment courtesy of Channel 4 in Britain... Location, Location, Location!

Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp are superhuman real estate agents who scour every rolling hill of the English country side in search of charming properties that fit their subject buyer to a tee....

... and they're damn good at it.

So damn good that someone went and gave them a TV Show! And the TV show is so damn good that every afternoon at 2 I find myself curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and fighting off my nappy time impulses just so I can see if the buyer went with the character bungalow in Essex, or the 5 bedroom barn conversion in Yorkshire.
It's rivetting stuff!

Trouble is, it's tough to pinpoint just what makes Location, Location, Location so much more awesome than most other house & home programs I've seen. But if location, location, location is the golden rule of real estate, then personality, personality, personality must be the golden rule of entertainment.

In this case, it's personality combined with that quaint British charm that we North Americans could only dream of posessing... unless you're Madonna, in which case you can just get hitched, move to London and start reshaping the pronounciation of your vowels. Keep living that dream honey!

But if jetsetting, 'R' slurring, matrimony isn't your bag, here's a few tips I've picked up from Phil and Kirstie to help make living day to day like a Brit as easy as toasting a crumpet:

1- When beginning and ending a conversation on your mobile, always use a cheery tone to put a smile on the callers face... regardless if it's good news or not.

2- Refer to your cell phone as a mobile

3- Understand that country living is 21st century living in the UK... except that only a third of the country is hooked up to broadband...

4- When discussing hard knock topics like finances, always move the conversation to nearest local pub, and down half a pint before the first mention of a number.

5- Say "Okie Doke" a lot

6- It's not a dollar, it's a pound.

7- Crash pads in the city are not only an acceptable practice, but a common one... be sure your partner isn't the cheating type, however... that could get messy.

8- A holiday property in the French riviera is more than feasible with a two-income household in the greater London area... What the French authorities have to say about that is up for debate, however.

9- It rains a lot, but it keeps the garden green.

10- Always take a moment to break the fourth wall, and reflect on your thoughts during a quick chat with the audience... whether there is an audience or not... or even a camera for that matter.

Right, well it's time for that tea now... HGTV is calling...

Thank you Phil and Kirstie

Forever a fan,


Let's Talk About Expectations...

This week we finally launched it... The secret that I've been biting my tongue about all summer... 2 Strangers and a Wedding!

I won't ramble on with the details here, but if you want to know them then our website comes in real handy.
To sum it up... Two complete strangers will be matched with the help of a panel of experts, and will finally meet face to face on their wedding day October 30th.

Say whaaaaaat!? Yeah, I know. We've heard it all this week from just about everyone with an opinion and it's been pretty fascinating to hear what folks have to say. The word "sacrilegious" has been tossed around a lot though... Hmm.

Like it or hate it, loads of people are all of a sudden talking about love. Love and all it's ups and downs, whether they've found it, are looking for it, believe in it or condemn it... Love is the universal connection between all living things and everyone has a story.

Here's the thing though... The difference between those with a positive and a negative outlook on the entire concept of love, I find, is expectation.

That statement is sooo going to be argued, but hear me out...

We ALL have expectations from a partner, but it's a matter of attachment to these expectations. If there's specific qualities you're looking for in a person, and it's the kind of stuff you absolutely neeeed in another, great! Make your list, put it out there to the powers that be and let things happen. Those are healthy expectations. They're the kind you deserve to have met, and the kind that will be met if you stick to your guns and have a little faith.

Then there's another kind of expectation... The kind that we allow to cloud our minds and take away focus from reality.
They're the expectations that we assume the other person is completely in tune with and will thus never disappoint. He WILL call you every time you get a spare 5 minutes at lunch. She WILL ditch her girlfriends to come over and play Xbox... Oh and she'll bring pizza.

Oh, but wait... Your five minutes go by without so much as a text message, and you feel forgotten. She goes dancing with the girls and you feel unappreciated. Who wouldn't really!? But it's so important to take a second here and really think about why we feel that way, and how much easier it can be if we detach ourselves from such expectations and realize something very important and often forgotten... We're not mind readers. If we were, then no one would ever be disappointed.

Chill out and communicate. You'll see how things can be different.

Love is an amazing, powerful thing. So what a shame it is to let it dissolve because we can't take a step back into reality and see things from a different point of view. After all, for every unspoken expectation we have from another, it's more than likely that they have a few from us as well. We're only human after all.

Love and be loved. What a concept... What a journey...

As for these two strangers, theirs is only about to begin. So whether you're a yay or a nay, why not stick around and see what happens?

There may be some magic.

Cheers and much love all!


"The highest thought is always that which contains joy. The clearest words are those words which contain truth. The grandest feeling is that which you call love."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

SOF: End Game

Helloooo friends!

It's been a couple weeks since I've updated the soldiers of fitness situation, and that's probably for the best. Week three was rough, and I doubt I would have been able to write anything too positive, not sincerely anyway.
I was off of work that week for some "holidays", but it was time off used to sort out mountains of clutter in my life (literally, I moved this week and packrats aren't easily relocated). It was time for a purge, physically and emotionally. As I was sorting through the mounds of rubbish I've accumulated over the years, I realized how much this stuff represents some of the emotional junk I was holding on to as well. What you think about, comes about, and my mind had become a dumping ground of past experiences in days gone by.
Not good, not healthy.

Here I was sending myself to hell and back every night to do something good for my body, and all of a sudden my mental health enters into the picture, and I'm telling you, it needs just as much work as my bod.
Thankfully, clutter can be tossed away. Even better, it can be given away. Junk is treasure and there's some people out there who need a chance to strike it rich with some goodwill. Done and done and still more to do, but progress is progress!

This past week was the final one for soldiers of fitness, and you know... It was actually pretty amazing. Last night we pushed a truck up a steep hill and at the top I received my certificate of completion of basic training. I did it, I survived, I am a soldier.

Dang, what a month! How did it go by so fast? How did I make it through day after day without cracking? Maybe I DID, but maybe that just released a bit of pressure from my life. Now I have a new home in a new neighborhood with a new found appreciation for what my body can do. Now it's time for my mind to use this clean slate to start writing the new book of my life (Ian, volume 2, remember?). There's a whole lot of adventure coming up. A lot of love, a lot of tears, a lot of work, a lot of play, a lot of everthing that makes living so delicious.

But first... I need to unpack...

Second, I need to thank a few people who have been very helpful and wicked-cool lately. People enter our lives for a reason, and just having these folks around has been helpful for a number of them. Thank you!

Tricia Kindleman
Matt Fournel
Chris Cann
Jenn Zeibel
Dan Hasegawa
Adrian Kubitza
The rest of the squad from SOF
Instructor Quian
Aunt Bonita

Much love all


"Everything is ok in the end, and if it's not ok, it's not the end!"
-true life - MTV

Soldiers of Fitness: Week 2

Hey guys and dolls,

Two weeks into bootcamp now, and it's safe to say that a career in the armed forces isn't looming anywhere in my near future... By the way, if there's a draft anytime soon, I'm emmigrating to Polynesia.

Okay, I vented... Time for some positivity.
This week has been no less challenging in terms of the ass kicking, but I'm quite impressed with how much kicking my ass can handle, especially when you come to accept your strengths and weaknesses.
Point in case: I suck at pushups... But I am a running champ!

One of our missions this week was to complete an 8km course that included a few pitstops for fun things like, well, pushups. Thankfully though, four runners were selected to push ahead to the end of the course, so that we can turn back and help out anyone struggling to finish (no one gets left behind in soldiers of fitness). I was stoked when I was picked as one of the runners! In my imagination, it was like being picked for a special OPs mission in a real combat situation. I was putting my skills to the test, and the rest of the squadron was counting on me to get it done. TALK about motivation!

Now here we are at the end of week two, and how do I feel?
I wish I could say I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks, but truthfully, I'm not... And that's OK! It's hard, it's hot, it's dirty and it's sweaty... Who looks forward to that? Really??What I am looking forward to is the sense of accomplishment and a better understanding of self because of it.

I said last week that this is the start of the person I've always wanted to be, a better person than who I am today.
Well, I was slightly mistaken with my phrasing... Who I am today versus who I will be tomorrow isn't a matter of better or worse. In fact, there's no such thing. But an experience itself is enough to serve as a reminder that I can and WILL accomplish anything I set out to do. Be it bootcamp or otherwise, life is opportunity, and all I can ever be is more.

I'm going to finish this, and I'm going to be proud to say that I did it. It will add to my character and it will make me realize that I'm stronger than I give myself credit for. After soldiers though... Who knows? I thought about driving a school bus... We'll see.

Cheers all.
Much love!

The First Blog: Soldiers of Fitness

Hello friends,

I'm insane. I have to be.
I've always been the type of person that loves a unique challenge, and those kinds of challenges usually find a way to come at me.
From driving an RV into a hurricane, to singing for charity in Toronto, I've been fortunate enough to experience a ton of things that are all on my bucket list, but the more I do the more that list expands and more challenges enter into my reality.

Bring it on I say... As I nurse my stiff lower back. You see, the latest challenge my crazy side has decided to tackle is Soldiers of Fitness. It's bootcamp. An ass kicking and a half that will hopefully make me less of a gangly SOB and shave off a little bit of the beer gut too (yes, it started to sprout).
Needless to say, it's hard. So hard in fact that I quit after two days. I don't think I was ready for the mental impact it had on me. I was finally facing demons that I've been talking about fighting for years, but those demons fight back... And they fight hard. So I thought about it, and with a few words of encouragement, I got right back up and decided to keep the battle going.

It's been a week now (one of four) and it's already getting better. Not EASIER, but better. The comraderie you build with your fellow crazy bootcampers is second to none. Imagine fighting your way up a steep hill with a giant metal pole above your head and hearing encouraging words from someone behind you who is struggling just as much or more, and the only thing you know about them is their last name.
That's the human element I've discovered. That's the passion. That's the fuel to elevate your mind over the pain and do it for yourself and for the team. It's amazing what a person can achieve when the pressure is on.

All the same, I hurt and it's very much a commitment to see this through until the end. My struggle at first was finding my motivation. I went in for the experience at first (bootcamp is on the bucket list too), but it takes a certain drive that can only come from within to stick with it and finally defeat those demons.
I think I've found that motivation now, even if it may not be entirely clear. I've realised that this is the bootcamp before the war; the prologue to not just a new chapter of my life, but a whole new exciting book. This is Ian: volume 2. This is the start of the person I've always wanted to be. Self-assured and confident, strong and enduring, inspired and driven. The side of myself that wants to become better in all ways I can.

Still love my beer though.
Cheers all, and much love.

"It is in the moment you pledge your highest love, you greet your greatest fear."