Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Women We Love: Lana Tailor

Cable efficianados will recognize Lana Tailor as one of the principal talents behind the success of Cinemax's wildly erotic series "Lingerie." Dudes everywhere will also recall that she's had the very rare distinction of having graced the cover (and pages) of Playboy twice. But the sultry sylph from Sudbury has a lot more going on than mere appearances. As I was privileged to learn, action, ambition, and raw talent make for an explosive combination; one that, for Ms. Tailor, is enough to power a skyrocketing career.

In fact, to cap off a stellar year (and just in time for this publication), Lana has just announced that she's been invited to co-host the Miami Beach New Years Eve Music Festival for Orange Drive alongside Daymond John of Shark Tank (read the full story on Lana's website). Congratulations, Lana!

Education: Associates Degree in Education

How do you quantify your own awesomeness?
I'm easy to get along with, I'm always ready to help those who want to help themselves, and I'm down to earth; so you guys are gonna have to be the judge of my awesomness scale. Gotta stay modest and humble here; cam on! Haha

How did you get started on your current career track?
At 12 years old, I was on an improv team and in modeling classes. My exposure to opportunity was light as I lived in a small town; but, when I saw my first "far fetched" opportunity, I took it. It all started with a gig I landed for a glasses commercial, and my passion never stopped as I knew I could do more and more. Though I got rejected from other gigs due to height, I simply worked harder and believed in myself which gave me the strength to push everyday for what I really want until I get the gig(s) that will change everything.

Now, I am fully cognizant of the on-air industry, my brand, and my audience.

What gives you the most satisfaction as an artist?

I get the most satisfaction from writing and being the adventurer on my TV Show GET OUT on HDNET. There's nothing better than unscripted television as you get to be yourself and truly explore outrageous activities while sharing it with the viewers first hand.

What motivates or inspires you in your work?
The start to finish of a new project. I enjoy creating and being part of a team to make something unique and spectacular in its own way. But most of all, it's liberating and I feel alive when I am on set.

Do you have a personal work philosophy?
If you're not passionate about it, don't do it. I've learned this the hard way.

If you weren't doing this, what could you see yourself doing?
I would be a Writer and/or Broadcast Journalist.

What are you working on right now?
I have just been asked to co-host South Beach Miami's Orange Drive New Years Eve Music Festival with host Daymond John and performances by NE-YO, Cee Lo Green, Jermaine Dupri, and many more. It will be broadcasting live on none other than HDNET.

What do you first notice about a guy?

Naturally, when one notices another, they notice their physical attributes and their sense of style.

With that said, I am first attracted to a sophisticated man who doesn't need to wear logos. Then, I notice their attitude and mannerisms which typically defies a fraction of their character.

What gets you interested?
A man who can look everyone in the eye, speak politely yet genuinely and has something intelligent to say; but most of all he's gotta be funny! The funnier the guy, the better. A guy with a great sense of humour is like a breath of fresh air... seriously. Can you imagine hanging out with someone who is hot beyond all reason, but boring and dumb as hell... yikes! Not my cup of tea. Looks are great and all, but if there's nothing upstairs or no personality, looks mean squat.

What keeps you interested?
A guy who is down to earth, nerdy-esque, who can make me die laughing ;) In addition, intelligent conversation, romance, and being kept on my toes is the way to keep me! 

Quick tip: I love my red wine and dark chocolate covered almonds! That'll keep me interested. Oh, but it's best by a cozy fireplace with a comedy movie playing... something like Zak Galifinakis Stand Up. Yeah, that's a good night in my books!!

What's your number one deal breaker?
If a guy swears while talking to me, or always talks about himself, and worst, if he's always looking for reassurance. These qualities show that he is not classy, insecure, and unsure of his path in life. There's nothing worse than a guy who doesn't believe in himself. Because if you don't believe in you, how am I suppose to believe in you?

Turn-ons: Slow kisses

Turn-offs: A man who is too pushy and insistent.

To stay in shape, what's your basic diet look like?
I eat 5 to 6 small meals per day and work out 3 times per week. I eat as nutritious as possible...brown rice, never white, lots of fish, veggies, nuts, oats... and of course my dark chocolate ;)

What sort of fitness plan, if any, do you follow?

Weight lifting: my favourite is rowing with weights.
Plyometrics: my favourite is burpies.
Cardio: my favourite is spinning.

What's next for you? What's your next big idea or project?
Since my background is writing and I absolutely love to create, I am writing a pitch for a network. Let's see what happens! Also, my ever so awesome gig in Miami with Sir Daymond John!
Favourite workout tip: Always try to do at least 2 more reps when you think you "can't" possibly do another rep.
Favourite recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies
iPhone or Android: Blackberry all the way! So much quicker, lol.
What are you driving: 4 wheel drive Chevy Silverado... Yup, winter is here!

Absolute WORST experience on set/shoot: I was completely dehydrated, and consequently got a toe cramp in the middle of a scene. I fell to the ground trying to get my toe back in place, and it was just the most uncomfortable/painful situation. We all laughed, nonetheless, and I still get bugged for it to this day, lol.
One quirky thing about you that never turns up in interviews: Hmm, interesting question. I am a tom boy. I never wear makeup and am typically in sweats all the time. I usually go to the local Indigo and curl up to read a book with my must-have Starbucks coffee. Nerd alert: Fav is when I go with my friend. We go to the comedy section, and read odd/hilarious quotes to each other. I'm surprised we haven't gotten kicked out of there yet; we're kinda loud! It's a great time.

One thing guys should know when talking to a beautiful woman:
 Women get hit on all the time, so don't drop a tacky line and make yourself look shallow. Ask her a question. This, in turn, gets her to answer you and you can follow up with another question. Before you know it, you're having a great conversation and exchanging numbers. Might sound weird, but it works.

Visit Lana's Homepage.
Check out Lana Tailor on IMDB
Follow Lana Tailor on Facebook

Monday, December 5, 2011

Car Adventures

Some of my friends have been insisting that I do a blog post about my car, since it's guy stuff anyway, and guys like cars.

Okie. Here's the whole story.

Two weeks ago I was out getting Christmas stuff with my daughter. I noticed the heater wasn't working, and the check engine light was on. My first thought was that I'd blown a fuse in the heater, so I checked that. No problem, aside from a scraped knuckle that two days later looked like it had seen some action in a bar fight.

I'm ok with that.

The fuse was fine, but later I noticed some pink stuff on the driveway. It seems strange, but my first thought was please be the transmission.

See, I had the transmission replaced in March so it was still under warranty and would have been covered.

No such luck. I drove the car over to Canadian Tire to have it checked, and sure enough it was a blown head gasket. Not repairable.


Yup. turns out that on the '02 Camry, the bolts on the head are machined in such a way that they can't be remachined. Nice, huh? My only option then was to put a new engine in it.

Or get a new car.

Now, I've never owned a new car, but I have been turned down for financing quite a few times (the cross one bears as a musician). However, I'm working a normal job these days, so I figured i would give it a try.

Approved! Yay!

I of course tried out several cars in that same price range. Cruze, Corolla, Elantra. It was the 2012 Cruze that really got my attention. A week after my Camry died I drove off the lot at Bill Spencer GM in Cobourg with a brand new 2012 Chevy Cruze LT Turbo, complete with 3 months of XM Radio (meh...not thrilled with that) and 6 months of Onstar (much more thrilling so far).

Here it is:

Pretty, huh?

But what about that Camry?

Well, Chevy was only going to give me $500 for it on their "cash for clunkers" program. But I just sank four grand into that transmission in the spring. I figured I should at least get ten new car payments out of it.

First I called up a Toyora dealership, figuring their parts department would be interested in salvaging the usuables (everything but the block, in fact). No sale.

So I put it up on Kijiji as a car for parts. Listing it in the "Parts" category was a good idea. Within an hour I had four offers from wreckers, with the top offer just $500 short of what I was asking.

The day I picked up my Cruze--one week after my Camry bit it--this tow truck came out from Scarborough and hauled my Camry away. Done.

I liked that car.

And of course iI got cash. Enough for the ten payments I was looking for.

So, there's the whole saga. I'm upgraded to my first brand new car ever. My old car is likely in pieces somewhere in the GTA. And I have enough on hand to cover any seasonal downswing in my work year.

Some tips for selling a dead Camry:

  • List your dead car on Kijiji under "Parts";
  • Don't post your phone number...just your email (or expect phone calls at all hours of the night);
  • Ask for more than you hope to get. They will low ball you;
  • Only accept cash;
  • Get to the MTO and get the seller's (UVIP) package before you list your car. It's twenty bucks, and is a legal requirement;
  • Have a bill of sale. Make sure it indicates the car is being sold as is, without warranty;
  • If the buyer sends a third party tower to pick up the car, make sure they sign a form stating they are responsible for it once it's hooked to their truck. You don't want the buyer calling you up asking where their car is and demanding their money back if there's an accident or theft.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So...Here's where we're at...

It's been a crazy couple of months over here at the Sphere.

For starters, I started work again in the fall as I normally do. But this time, instead of just teaching college courses, I'm also teaching private lessons and doing graphic design with a new company that specializes in web presence and social media. Needless to say, this has had a tremendous impact on my blogging time (a condition which better scheduling and a little whip-cracking from some of my readers will soon rectify).

Apart from that, no major disasters to report. Except my car. We'll get to that in another post soon enough.

The big buzz around here, though, is that the Man Cave is done. Yes, DONE. And yes, you'll be getting the supreme VIP tour soon enough. In fact, not only is it done, it's got Christmas decorations in it!

That's right...the holidays are surging up the calendar (and, Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends by the way), and I've already started preparations for the only big holiday event I hold every year, which is my open house party the weekend before Christmas. I may well blog that event (if I can get someone to take pictures while I'm busy being a host), because if you're a friend of mine and have never come by, you're definitely missing out.

Basically, I throw the doors open (figuratively) around 1:00 in the afternoon, and people come and go as they please all day. There's always tons of food, including more cookies than you can imagine (people always bring some to the party too), lots to drink, and a few specialties like my now-famous eggnog (homemade, and actually slow-cooked to remove any possible pathogens...also about 8,000 calories a glass, but SO worth it) and a crock-pot full of hot mulled cider.

Dinner always includes at least one tourtiere, although after last year's party (where I had 17 people to feed at supper...a new record for that one meal) I may do two just in case. It's also really good cold. And finally, the piece of resistance, a rosemary roasted beef tenderloin with shallots in a red wine glaze.

I know that one's not especially Christmassy, but rosemary is a traditional Croatian holiday element (we'll go with that), and it's a good excuse to spend a lot of money on one cut of beef.

Because my company was all on one floor last year, I decided that cooking the roast in the oven would be too hot, and probably smoke the place up as well. The oven needs to be really hot for this one, and it would have been uncomfortable for everyone hanging out in there. So I used the barbecue as a roasting oven instead. This worked amazingly well, so that's getting a repeat performance (just put the roast in the roast pan, and put the whole thing in a hot barbecue on the highest setting...easy). It was a little slower than the oven, probably because it was cold outside, but it still did the trick. sounds a little girly when you see this stuff written out. But then again, we're talking about cooking meat with fire, so it's all good.

To redeem myself, I would like to point out that when it came to decorating the Man Cave (not just for Christmas mind you), I elicited the help of several females for details like paint colours, holiday coordinates, wall art and cushions. Not that I don't have an eye for details, but when you're standing at HomeSense or Walmart staring at all those racks of pillows and paintings, it gets a little mind boggling. So ladies, thanks so much for your help. And guys, when it comes to decorating your cave or hut, don't be afraid to ask a girl for help. They usually know better than you what constitutes "masculine" when it comes to style.

I wanted to use cases of empties as end tables and old Playboys as coasters. I was advised that this might not give the air of sophistication I was going for.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Women We Love: Sabina Kay

When it comes to pure ambition, Sabina Kay is no stranger to working to get it done. Her attitude towards her work (think along the lines of, "yeah, I know I'm shut up about it so we can get some work done") is a testament to her dogged determination to realize her goals, and turns pretty into sexy and sexy into powerful in one simple, honest, no-bullshit move.

And yes, she is hot. We're not blind.

photo: Doug Shimizu. MUA: Marya Moosa
Name: Sabina Kay
Occupation: Model - Photographer - Makeup Artist - Dancer
Education: General Business
Stats: 34C-27-40

How did you get started on your current career track?
I was first enrolled in a modeling school around age 11 (gah, scam, I know, my poor mother!). Nothing really came of it. Finally I did a test shoot for a small clothing company in Guelph about three years ago, a creative shoot a year later, piddled around a bit the following year, but this past year is when things have really taken off for me.

What gives you the most satisfaction as an artist?
Not even compliments or praise (although they are nice :)); but when I see a well-taken photo, where I am on point as a model.
What motivates or inspires you in your work?
Seeing other excellent work and getting to pick the brains of those who create it.
Do you have a personal work philosophy?
Like Nike, I just do it.
If you weren't doing this, what could you see yourself doing?
One of the other occupations I have listed, or I'd be a flight attendant. I love to travel.
What are you working on right now?
I just completed a video (below, by Videographer Anhtuan Phung) and am continuing to push forward and make connections.

Here's that video:

Sabina Kay from Studko on Vimeo.

What do you first notice about a guy? 
Eyes. Then smile. Then the way they talk. I'm really good at telling what kind of person someone is by the way they talk.

What gets you interested? 

What keeps you interested? 
Wit and humour.

photo: Kenneth Lam

What's your number one deal breaker? 
Lies, failure to commit or keep commitments. I'm a really big honour person; my word is everything.

Honesty, a good body, a positive outlook on life, a sense of I-have-my-shit-together and a tiny bit of materialism. :)

Lies, sloppiness, cheapness, rudeness, bad manners.

photo: Doug Shimizu. MUA: Marya Moosa

One thing guys should know when talking to a beautiful woman: 
Honestly, we know we're beautiful. We get all kinds of stalkers and weirdos and randoms telling us variations of that all the time. You'll go a lot farther if you compliment something we've done.

To stay in shape, what's your basic diet look like?
At this point, I eat whatever and then when I notice inches creeping on, I clean it up a bit.

photo: Kenneth Lam
What sort of fitness plan, if any, do you follow? 
I walk a fair bit now that I've moved to Toronto--to and from subway stations, if I don't feel like waiting for streetcar. 
What's next for you? What's your next big idea or project? 
I really want to be in MAXIM. That would make me so unbelievably happy. Or in one of Playboy's Special Editions - for lingerie. 
photo: Doug Shimizu. MUA: Marya Moosa
Favourite recipe: Not sharing! I'm actually a terrible cook, to be honest.

iPhone or Android: iPhone, all the way. So aesthetically pleasing although I hate how it's so restricting (I have yet to jailbreak mine).

What are you driving: Nothing. Lost my license for racing. BUT my dream car would be a 350Z. I've also grown very fond of Civics.

Absolute WORST experience on set/shoot: I shot with a guy who kept complimenting me...every single minute. Literally. I had to cut it short and tell him that I am, at this point, his professional colleague and that, since he wouldn't talk to an office co-worker that way, I'd appreciate it if he didn't do it to me. I've been fairly lucky.

One quirky thing about you that never turns up in interviews: 
I haven't done many interviews to this point so there's a lot about me you wouldn't know, but I'll share a few things anyway. I was a total vigilante in elementary school; stuck for all the kids who got picked on because I've always been very strong. I set the record for my school for going to the office for fighting, etc.: 13 times. Not sure if that's still in effect...probably not.
photo: Doug Shimizu. MUA: Marya Moosa

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Perfect (Seasonal) Coffee

Image: Stuart Miles /
Well, we're into autumn in full swing (when is the first day of autumn anyway?...for me it's always been right after Labour Day, but that's probably just a Thunder Bay thing), and that means a whole season is coming up that's buried in apples and pumpkins, and right around the corner from that...CHRISTMAS!!

Yeah, I'm stupid for Christmas. It's just a fact. And I'll be sharing some of my favourite holiday recipes on here as well...but not yet.

First I want to just give you some ideas for spicing up your morning coffee. You can go all-out with the full version at the end, or try this simple one:

To reduce your sugar intake, increase fat burning and add a little protein all you need to do is swap in some stevia for your sugar, add a dash of cinnamon, and replace your regular milk with almond milk. The almond milk does change the flavour a bit (for the better, I think), as it has a mild nut flavour to it. You'd be surprised how much sugar a couple spoons of sugar and a dash of milk really amounts to, and using stevia and almond milk will eliminate this altogether.

The cinnamon acts as a catalyst for your metabolism and affects insulin senistivity, so any starches you do consume at breakfast don't trigger storage the way they normally would (at least, not to the same extent). This combination is really tasty, but if you live in a more northern climate there's something else that happens when you taste cinnamon during cooler months. Studies are showing that cinnamon + cooler air = feeling really good.

Weird, right? But you know how certain foods trigger certain memories? We call this "comfort food," and it turns out that even if you're not from a cooler climate originally, the taste of cinnamon has this calming effect, which in turn releases chemicals that give the user a sense of wellbeing. You just feel better about life in general, because it reduces stress hormones and improves your mood. It's not that cinnamon does this directly as a chemical reaction (the way chocolate does), but rather that the scent of cinnamon triggers that emotional response which in return provides some psychological benefit, which in another turn lowers blood pressure, reduces the heart rate, and generally picks up your mood for the day.

Or maybe it's just a reminder of mom's apple pie. I'm good with either explanation. But I'd rather have the pie.

A note of caution: Don't overdo the sprinkle of cinnamon. It's a hard substance, and won't actually dissolve in your coffee. If you leave it sit too long, or you add too much, it will form a sludge at the bottom of your cup. Just a dash.

This is important for my full-blown "Christmas Coffee" recipe below. The reason for putting the spices on top of the coffee is that they will form a sludge if you put them in first with the ground coffee on top. This will clog the filter and cause it to overflow. Learned that the hard way.

This recipe took a lot of trial and error, and like most things that I make up in the kitchen is probably still a work in progress. Start with this and adjust as needed to your own taste. But don't add cinnamon to your cup if you do it this way!

To make a 10-cup pot of Steve's Christmas Coffee, use whatever mix you normally use for a regular pot (I grind my Kicking Horse beans fresh for each pot--usually a half-cup of beans for a 10-cup pot).

Put the coffee in the filter basket FIRST. On top of the ground coffee, add 1/3 tsp. of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. of ground cloves and 1/4 tsp. of nutmeg. To the coffee pot itself add 1/4 tsp. of vanilla. My preference is to add the vanilla to the empty pot before it starts brewing (so I don't forget, which I always do). If your coffee maker heats up the hotplate too quickly (so that it burns the vanilla before any water hits it), you can add the vanilla to the pot of brewed coffee instead.

Enjoy! (and merry pre-Christmas!!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why I Cancelled My Subscription With Vince

I used to like Vince Del Monte's newsletters. His products were good, and his newsletters always had useful workout and nutrition advice. Sure he sent out a lot of "newsletters" that were really recommendations of affiliate products he was shilling for.'s internet marketing, and that's how the bills get paid.

But overall, the material was always really good. Until lately.

Lately, Vince's emails have been all about how awesome Vince is. Think I'm joking? These are the subject lines from the last four emails I got from Vince's newsletter:
  • How did I do at Worlds last night?
  • 1-day out pic! [plus watch Worlds LIVE today]
  • last pic before Worlds
  • Wanna see how I'm looking?
That last one almost made me gag a little. Did he seriously say that?

I understand that when you're looking to motivate people and you're your own poster boy for the products, systems, and lifestyle you're promoting, you have to do a little bit of "wanna get abs like these" promotions. But since the launch of his "Live Large TV" series on YouTube last season, Vince's packaging and motivational message has been all about...well, Vince.

This level of self-aggrandizement is just nauseating. I'm not being a "hater" here. Seriously...he sends out pictures of himself to show his subscribers how awesome he looks. It's frankly a little bizarre. You can motivate people by living your life well. You can have confidence and project that confidence in everything you do. But when all you have to talk about -- when your only contribution to society -- becomes how great you're doing and looking and living, you lose the interest of the common person you're trying to help in the first place.

I'll keep monitoring his blog of course. And if I see a shift back to actual valuable advice, I may reconsider subscribing. But for the time being, as long as his only advice remains "Wanna see how I'm looking?" I don't think I'm all that interested in finding out the answer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another Interesting Reading List

I love making reading lists. The last one I did was on a business blog a couple weeks ago, and it got a LOT of attention online. Apparently I'm not the only one interested in self-improvement manuals and wisdom for business.

I had an interesting experience just this week, as I've been reviewing Burt Goldman's "Quantum Jumping." This is a curious self-improvement strategy, because it follows in line with some stuff that came out in the '60s (notably Jane Roberts' Seth books), which in turn follow along the same lines as Napoleon Hill.

Basically, the strategy for all these programs of programming boils down to this: Whatever you can think of as a fundamental desire in your life, you have the potential to create.

That's a bold statement. It was made by The Secret as well, which turned out to be one of the greatest marketing pulls of all time in the self-help industry. If I have one qualm with The Secret, it's that the basic premise is flawed. Their general statement is that the "law of attraction" -- the thing that causes planets to orbit each other, and rockets to fly to the moon, and success to come to those who are success conscious -- is that "like attracts like."

Of course, the law of attraction in the world of physics is that opposites attract. It's how electrons, magnetism, gravity and dozens of other physical processes actually work. Is that splitting hairs? Possibly. I think they should rewrite the wording of the law to something like "thoughts encourage like results." At least that wouldn't be a flat-out lie like the other "law of attraction."

So what's the same here?

Well, we're looking at these texts as the basis:

Napoleon Hill says that the key to success is unflagging, single-minded determination. A ritual ingraining of the desired outcome, bordering on obsession, with the intent of causing that thing to manifest in reality. According to Hill, all beings and things in the universe are connected to an energy field he calls "infinite intelligence," and that it is possible to influence this intelligence by bringing a strong enough force of will to bear on it. Doing so will cause the thing you desire to manifest in your life.

This is the thread of all these other texts. For example, Jane Roberts (purportedly channeling an intelligence named Seth) states that it is through our understanding of the thinness of our perceptual veil and the profound realities that lie beyond it that we can take control of our own destinies and the things that lead to personal success and happiness. Peale, in his classic of positive thinking, emphasizes the effect positive mindset can have on day-to-day happiness. The Secret touts the same idea as all these books: that with the right attitude, you can tap into the universal forces that connect everyone and everything, and as a result manifest whatever you want.

Quantum Jumping is a slightly different take on the idea. First, the premise is that there is an infinite number of universes, and that in each universe there is a you that has taken a different path at each juncture of your life. So in one life, you decided not to go to school to become an engineer. In another, you decided to eat fudge ripple instead of maple walnut.

And so on.

Goldman claims to have found the way to contact each of these alternate selves (an extension, to a point, of the idea Roberts puts forward in her books) and ask them stuff about whatever you want to do. So, you can go through a "dimensional door" via meditation, find a version of yourself that is a successful photographer (his example), ask them about becoming a successful photographer, then return to consciousness with a cryptic response that will inevitably lead to your becoming a successful photographer.

Hill and the others would probably argue that this is a connection not to a trans-dimensional self, but to infinite intelligence. In fact, Peale would argue that your meditative question had been answered directly by God, as through prayer. But regardless of the source (and, let's face it, it would be arrogant of any of these authors to claim singular knowledge of the vastness of the source of all these miracles), the precept remains the same. Know what you want, focus your energy and thought on it, and it will come to you through the power of this vast intelligent universe.

But is there a downside?

There actually is a downside to the whole positive thinking phenomenon. Aside from the fact that I consider it incredibly narcissistic to believe you can command the universe to give you whatever you want, psychologists have actually begun to uncover some problems with this whole line of thought.

First of all, what happens if you put all of your concentration into trying to manifest the career of your dreams and it doesn't materialize? The authors above would say that it's because you didn't do it right. There was some negativity blocking you. What this does is it puts the responsibility for failure on you, and not on their system of controlling destiny. This is profoundly dangerous, because it can actually make your sense of personal failure even greater than it was before you started the million-dollar quest.

Secondly, the power of positive thinking can backfire by leading to depression. If one is sad about something, and uses one of these methods to come out of that slump and it doesn't work, the perceived failure can actually cause an even deeper level of depression.

There's also the attendant weirdness of having to ignore reality while applying these principles. For Peale and The Secret actually require that you put negative thoughts out of your head. This would include fear, doubt, sadness, anxiety, worry, displeasure, mourning, anger, stress...really anything that might cause you to not smile for a few minutes. In Peale's case, he actually suggests that all the world's problems would go away if people simply stopped thinking about them. Hunger would disappear, and disease would cease to exist because people wouldn't give these problems any power.

Of course they wouldn't really go away. We just would just be justified in ignoring them. I suppose eventually the sick and hungry would die off anyway, so by extension the problem would disappear.

Hmm...not a great thought, considering he's touted as a Christian author.

There's also a famous incident of a discussion of The Secret on Oprah. In that instance, author Rhonda Byrne literally suggested that negative thoughts block positive outcomes. The example given was that if one wishes to lose weight, one shouldn't look at fat people.


Right...if you want to manifest thinness, you have to avoid seeing anyone who's fat. The image will become implanted in your mind and that's the image your subconscious and the universe will create for your own manifestation.

Or you could, I don't know, eat less junk food and do some sit ups.

Bottom Line

I have no doubt that a doggedly single-minded focus on your personal mission and your goals is crucial in achieving success. In fact, not doing so allows you to become distracted, sidetracked, and otherwise lose focus. However, it's important in reading and reviewing self-help materials to keep a firm grip on reality as well, and to understand that while you can keep your spirits up you have to stay flexible enough to cope -- really cope -- with things that happen to get in the way.

This is why I like to go to Lao Tzu for a little grounding in personal ambition:

"Failure is the foundation of success, and the means by which it is achieved."
"Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretches her fingers to touch the heavens."
"Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream."
Do I suggest not reading or listening to these books? Absolutely not! Everybody needs to be reminded to stay on track, and these books are solid guideposts and strategies for doing this. What I suggest is that using them, avoid overzealous or religious tenacity to their precepts, or you run the risk of coming up against those disappointments and not having a solid foundation to deal with them properly.

Be motivated, but be flexible.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Father Forgets

I just heard this piece for the first time in an audio version of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. If you're not inspired to review your own parenting from time to time, read every word -- EVERY WORD -- of this classic monologue. You will be inspired, believe me.

W. Livingston Larned
as condensed in “Readers Digest”

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little
paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily
wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone.
Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the
library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily
I came to your bedside.

There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross
to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because
you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to
task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when
you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You
gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You
spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off
to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand
and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in
reply, “Hold your shoulders back!”

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came
up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles.
There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before
your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house.
Stockings were expensive-and if you had to buy them you would
be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how
you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes?
When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption,
you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge,
and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your
small arms tightened with an affection that God had set
blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither.
And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped
from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What
has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of
reprimanding-this was my reward to you for being a boy. It
was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too
much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your
character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn
itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous
impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters
tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and
I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these
things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But
tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer
when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my
tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it
were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy-a little boy!”

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you
now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are
still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your
head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Early to Rise -- The New Protocol for Productivity

I've never been a morning person.

That changed by default, of course, when my daughter was born. We have a sort of rule in the house though: no getting up before 6 a.m.. Usually she's pretty good at sticking to this one, although she's still too young to tell time. When she's early, I send her back to bed, even if it's just for five minutes.

I don't know...maybe that's just for my own narcissistic need to feel like I'm in control of my time. It almost never works anyway.

Lately though, I've been reading up on productivity and following blogs by CEOs and other power players. I went through Eben Pagan's "Wake Up Productive" video course, and found a lot of what he had to say enlightening. But, to do all the stuff you're supposed to do in the morning for your "ritual," you have to get up pretty early.

Having just read a fascinating article by Peter Shankman on the subject, I'm starting to become convinced that early rising may have more to it than simply getting stuff done. I'm starting to realize that while I've forced myself out of normal sleep patterns over the years, only to be forced back into something similar through parenting, my daughter may be purely circadian. She may just be waking up when it's time to wake up.

Yes, even if it's 5 a.m..

My joke used to be, "I know there's a five o'clock really late at night; I had no idea there was one in the morning now too!"

That attitude is about to change. As I'm busily looking for a new job, the likelihood is increasing that I may need to commute into Toronto, putting downtown roughly an hour and a half away by various trains. I could drive it in an hour if there were no traffic, but we know what that's like getting into Toronto in the morning. Could be up to four hours if you hit it just right.

So how do I get in the morning ritual, exercise, and everything else in time to drive to Cobourg to drop my kid off at daycare, drive to Whitby, find a parking space, and hop the GO Train?

Yup. 5 a.m..

As an experiment is this early rising psychosis, I'm going to start nudging myself in that direction next week. Of course I'll have to start going to bed earlier; as it is, I usually don't go to bed until around 11:00. If I go at 10:00, I will wake up at 3 a.m. and be unable to go back to sleep.

What can I say? She's trained me to function on five to six hours of sleep, usually with a nap after lunch.

So we start by getting up right away. The idea is that if I'm tired enough, I should (in theory) be able to get to sleep earlier that night. In my experience, it takes less than a week to retrain a new schedule; but I promise myself I won't go to bed any earlier than 10:00 just on principle.

They say adding the extra hours in the morning makes you more productive. I still maintain that it doesn't matter if the extra hours happen early or late. But necessity may very well force me in the direction of early, so it's best to be prepared.

And if it doesn't happen that I need the commute, at least I'll get to watch a few sunrises on the deck...before going back to bed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 19

If you're man enough, you know, what I'm talking about.

Got that? August 19

Mark it on your calendar. It's testosterone time.

Friday, August 5, 2011

5 Steps To A Better Lawn And Garden

If you're lucky enough to have a lawn with a good topsoil base, much of the hard work of keeping a lawn beautiful is already done for you. But many of us do not have this luxury, and besides, even with a good topsoil base, you still have to work hard to keep a beautiful lawn and garden.

  1. The best time to mow a lawn is when it is cool and dry. Wait for the morning dew to dry off, and before the afternoon heat takes hold. Alternatively, late afternoon or early evening following a watering in the morning is also a good time.
  2. A hedge is a much better boundary divider than a fence. It will provide better privacy and keep pets and children in - or out. It will attract birds to its shelter, and provide a great backdrop for plants and flowers.
  3. Bring the beauty of your garden to you; plant hyacinths near walkways and doors. Their magnificent perfume will swamp the spring air and make your garden really come alive.
  4. Add your garden to non-garden items, such a lampposts and mail boxes. Surround these items with flowers planted to take advantage of the earliest to the latest flowerings. You could have white snowdrops, purple and gold crocus, blue hyacinths, and various colored tulips. You could also surround the posts with rocks to provide added interest.
  5. Simple, but effective weed control can be achieved on your lawn by mowing often during spring. This will prevent dandelions spreading by eliminating the yellow blossoms and preventing seed formation. Mow high during late spring and early summer. This will allow grass blades to shade the ground, and will help prevent crabgrass from sprouting.

Your lawn and garden should be a source of pride and beauty. You don't need to spend lots of money on expensive fertilizers and herbicides, or fancy lawn furniture and ornaments. A little common sense and thought can go a long way to making your lawn and garden a much better place.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Texting and Communication

I often wonder what all this technology is doing to our communications these days. I mean, I know that I belong to the generation that literally created txtpsk, evolving it through the earliest days of chatrooms and ICQ. But nowadays (and I am old enough to say that) it just seems to be getting out of hand.

The other day I was hanging out downtown, and I decided to tell a joke to this guy I was talking to. At the punchline he looked at me and said, "Lol." Not spelled it. Said it.
IDK if he was a n00b or if he was just crazy, but this cute redhead at a cafe seat next to us looked at me and colon-dash-endparenthesised. I semicolon-dash-endparenthesised back, and we xchanged dgts.
Isn't it great when languages evolve beyond the need for actual emotions? You can tell how someone's feeling just by using punctuation. You don't need to actually laugh when you can just say "Lol."

There's a great divide here though. My mom makes up txtspk according to some code that she thinks others will understand intrinsically. She hasn't grasped that, as made-up as the language is, it's been around for twenty years and has certain standards applied to it. Her logic: it's made up, so she can make it up too.

I suppose in the final analysis, she's not far off the mark.


Cobourg, ON - Owned Entertainment (Canada) Inc. has announced that it will open up a movie production studio in Cobourg, ON. Owned Entertainment (Canada) focuses on movie, TV and DVD productions based on the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as well as other entertainment entities aimed at a demographic of males 16-30.

Company President, James Hergott has chosen his hometown of Cobourg and is excited about the possibilities for his business. “MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world and especially popular in Ontario and the GTA. This geographic area has one of the strongest fan bases in North America and is a perfect location to work on my future projects,” stated Mr. Hergott.

Mr. Hergott’s production plans for Cobourg are two-fold. First he will be directing and producing a scripted feature film, OWN3D, in Cobourg in the spring of 2012. The second part of the plan is the building of a state of the art studio facility in Cobourg. In addition to future projects by Mr. Hergott the studio would produce 5-6 additional film projects as part of a distribution agreement.

Mr. Hergott will work closely with the Town of Cobourg, as well as the County of Northumberland with a strategy to grow the economy as well as provide jobs.  Mr. Hergott comments: “With many jobs in North America going overseas it is important to invest in innovative business opportunities in growth industries. Currently the MMA business is growing at a rapid pace despite the economic slowdown. The UFC’s first event in Toronto had an economic impact on the city of $44 million.  The entertainment industry is one that cannot be easily outsourced because it must reflect the artistic culture of the world it is presenting.”

“We are very pleased to be able to work with Mr. Hergott in developing his business plans” says Wendy Gibson, Economic Development Officer for the Town of Cobourg. We have been targeting businesses in the Creative Economy and this type of business fits nicely into that category”.

For more information please contact:

James Hergott, President
Owned Entertainment (Canada) Inc.
Wendy Gibson, Economic Development Officer, Town of Cobourg

TACFIT: Back in the Game

"What allows me to train 3x/day at 40 years old as intensely as I do isn't a secret formula. It's very simple. But it ain't easy. I strive every day to become the father my children deserve, the husband my wife deserves, the coach my students deserve, the athlete my teammates deserve, the servant my country deserves, and the disciple that God deserves. I continually fail. But I will never, ever give up." 
- Coach Sonnon (founder of TACFIT Commando)

Well, no more excuses. It's time to get back in the game.

As I wrote previously, I had a few more than significant interruptions in trying to get keyed up for TACFIT Mission 2. Rather than wrestle my way through with half-assed effort, I decided to just cut my loss and start over on August 1st.

I like starting on the first of something...Monday, first of the month, etc. Just something weirdly compulsive that I do.

Anyway, where I left off (July 5) I recorded the following stats:

Waist: 38
Weight: 200
BF%: 23.44%

In today's measurement, I can see where the intervening month of just general yard work has got me:

Waist: 39
Weight: 205
BF%: 24.69%

Time to get back on the wagon. I've done the first two No- and Low-Intensity objectives, and the first Moderate-Intensity one. I eased myself back in with only half sets, because I was doing them very slowly to get the movements right. The exercises are pretty complicated, but I can still hold my own. We'll see how that goes today with the High-Intensity workout.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Site Issues...and rain.

Regular readers will no doubt have noticed a dip in the posting schedule lately. Well, it's not for lack of ideas. For reasons as yet undetermined the posting in my blogger back office has ground to a halt.

I've been over at the community site trying to raise an answer, but so far nothing has worked. The next step is to go right to Google for support.

I have to say that I love the stuff Google is doing, integrating all my usual business activities through a single login. But their one failing is in relying almost exclusively on user forums for support, rather than providing a straightforward help desk. If I find them I'll let you know.

In the meantime, I'll post what I can from my phone.

In other news, it's finally raining. I haven't actually mowed the lawn in almost a month simply because I haven't had to. The weeds are doing great mind you.

That's been the joke; eventually I'm going to have to get out there and mow the weeds. But today has been the first day of almost constant rain in a very long time, so I suspect the grass is going to come back with a vengeance.

Nothing for it but to mow I guess. At least the rain will soften the ground a little so I can finally get a spade under those dandelions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Colds Suck

If you've been following on Twitter (@stevebaric1), you're probably already aware that I owe Paul a Chinese dinner.

Yes, I missed a workout. Actually, I've missed several; but not without good reason.

Last week when my parents were down, I ended up busier than I expected to be. That's not much of an excuse, mind you, but it turns into one when you have less than a week to tackle projects, keep guests entertained, watch your toddler (who you've taken out of daycare so she can visit her grandparents) and spend some time with your girlfriend...all while your air conditioner is completely broken down during one of the worst heat waves on record.

Add to that the fact that I do my TACFIT workouts at home instead of a nice air conditioned gym, and you can see a picture emerging. Plus, the Man Cave isn't finished, so I ended up sleeping on a love seat in the living room.

Add sleep deprivation to the whine list.

I know, I know. If I was really a tactical operative I would still have to train under harsh conditions. I suppose I could have gotten up at 5 a.m. and done the work outside.

Um. No.

So then (oh, it gets better), both my girlfriend and I wake up Friday morning with sore throats. By Saturday we both have something like a cold; her's knocks her flat, while mine is just starting to move into congestion as I write this.

Too bad. The problem with getting sick at the same time is you can't blame the other person for making you sick. Where's the fun in that?

Anyway, the a/c was fixed on Friday, so that's a plus. But as I explained to Paul, it's not easy to do a hypermetabolic workout when the indoor temperature is 92°, the relative humidity is 88%, and your head and chest are so full of goo that you get winded scratching yourself in bed.

Solution: write off Mission 2 and start it over again on Monday. That will give me time to recover my lungs, get the basement finished, and refocus my efforts on my long-term goals.

Assuming, of course, we don't suffer another major disaster in the meantime. Excuse me...I need to find some wood to knock. And down another Advil Cold & Sinus.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Reno Update

First of all, I need to apologize for not posting in a while. My folks came down for a visit, which usually means I'm busy doing tons of stuff around the house I didn't realize I needed to do. Plus, it's been about a million degrees all week, and my air conditioner has been on the fritz, so that needed a complete replacement.

Not fun.

And for some reason, Blogger has been running really really slowly the last little while, so this post has actually taken me three days to type!

So anyway, the reno project in the Man cave has been progressing really slowly. I'm not sure why, but apparently it takes forever to order and paint quarter round to cover the ends of the floorboards.

Even though this project was supposed to be completed by July 1, and then by July 15, and then by last Friday, there's a guy in my basement installing a bench to cover the water services. He's also supposed to finish the trim today. They can't find the electrician who has the trim rings for the pot lights.

The owner of the company went on vacation this week. So I'm unimpressed.

We did some painting in the back entrance to match, since the contractors are only doing the basement. There was no problem with the primer, but it was too humid for the surface paint so it bubbled.

At first we thought it was a latex on oil problem, but the primer was latex an two coats of that ought to have done something. Plus, with two coats of primer, I wouldn't expect any reaction between new and old paint.

My theory; and the concensus at the paint store; is that the primer adhered properly to the old paint, and the new paint held to the primer. But when the new paint buckled from the humidity, it was the old paint that let go of the plaster.

Luckily it's only a few spots. So once the a/c has a chance to dehumidify the house and allow the paint to cure, I should be able to sand those spots flat, patch, re-prime and get the walls painted again.

Isn't reno time fun?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Drywall Lessons

"I friggin' hate sanding drywall."

That's been the refrain from every drywaller and carpenter who's been down in the Man Cave the past few weeks. Of course, you have to sand drywall...or the mud at least...if you want a wall you can paint. But the solution is to do the best job you can getting it smoothed and the edges feathered from the outset. This will save you hours of nasty, messy sanding.

I myself have had to do a bit of mudding. At the back entrance there's an old milk service that, unbeknownst to me, was merely covered with a flattened cereal box before the wallpaper was pasted over it. Removing that box and the super construction adhesive that held it in place removed some of the plaster from around it (I was stupid and didn't get any pictures, sorry). When I asked for a solution, the drywaller said, "sheetrock is the new plaster."

So there you go. Some pre-mixed drywall compound and we're ready to roll. This is what I've learned in that process:

1. Drywall mud is not paint. Getting a nice smooth surface that you don't have to sand a lot is easier you use a LOT of mud and put on a thicker coat. If it's too thin, the surface dries at a faster rate, and you end up pulling stuff off and getting a really rough application. Spreading it on thick gives you the material you need to get it nice and smooth. The smoothing process will remove the excess to create a thinner coat anyway.

2. Drywall compound is not fond of water. I'm used to spackling, so you sand and clean the wall with a damp cloth. DON'T do this with'll wash it right off.

3. BUT...drywall compound can be corrected with a damp cloth or sponge. That makes cleanup easy, and it makes it really easy to flatten out any little bubbles or imperfections in the surface.

4. Plan on getting messy. Just give up on the idea that you can do this work and keep your hands clean. Some would suggest wearing gloves. I'm a purist. I'd rather scrape mud out from under my fingernails.

5. Sand your tools. Washing your putty knives and trowels will make them rust over time, and then they're useless for creating a clean finish (paint doesn't play well with rust spots on your wall). Just set them aside for 20 minutes or so, then take them outside and sand them clean. It's a few extra minutes vs. washing, but it's worth it for a nice clean set of tools that will last.

So there you have it. Five lessons in drywall mud application. Still not my favourite task, but with the right approach and a little patience it's not all that difficult to get a nice clean finish on your walls.

Follow Up:

Timothy Ferriss' Great Principle for Dealing with Haters #2: 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it.

I received this response today from a reader and thought it was worth commenting on:
"Seriously.... why would you even write this? I should be thanking you because the more people that read stuff like this, the more work there is from mistakes by homeowners. Most drywall guys I know took 2-3 years to get good at the trade, sometimes longer. To suggest that someone just has to go to Home Depot and pick up a pail of mud is as absurd as it is insulting.
'Getting a nice smooth surface that you don't have to sand a lot is easier you use a LOT of mud and put on a thicker coat'; Bullshit Steve. Complete and utter bullshit. You want a surface you don't have to sand? Try 3 coats, with a properly filled joint and a very, very slight crown on the seam. Gobbing compound on and suggestion [sic.] people can somehow avoid sanding is rediculous [sic.]. I know guys that can do it, and it takes 2 coats, and they have 40 years in the trade. 
I do this for a living. I have for a long time. Don't present yourself as an expert when anybody who has done this for a living can see you know very little about what you are talking about."
Excellent input. Here's my simple response:
  1. I didn't say I was an expert. In fact, I said the exact opposite.
  2. I didn't say I was taping or making a joint. I said I was plastering; or, more specifically, repairing plaster.
  3. I didn't say you wouldn't have to sand. I said you wouldn't have to sand a lot.
  4. I did it in three coats, just like the reader suggests. It just takes a thicker coat than you might think.
  5. It worked.
So, to correct it for the sake of corrective editorialism, let me point out that what our friend here is talking about is layering relatively thin layers on a surface that is already flat (i.e. applying drywall compound to tape to make a clean joint). What I'm talking about is using the compound in place of a traditional plaster (on the advice, and following the instructions, of a drywaller with 20 years experience in the trade). When you have to use this stuff as plaster, starting out with a thin coat won't work because it won't be enough to fill the holes and texture in the damaged plaster. Once that application is set and level with the wall face, of course you go to thinner coats to smooth and feather the patch.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Men We Admire: Mark McGuinness

Mark McGuinness writes one of the best business anywhere devoted to the field of creative enterprise and the art of dealing with the business of being an artist. His free "Creative Pathfinder" course is a godsend to creative professionals unsure of where they are going or how to navigate the commercial realities of their work. We seldom receive such training in regular education as creative professionals, and Mark's work really ought to be required reading for university students. It is for my private students.

Name: Mark McGuinness
Occupation: Coach and trainer for creative people
Education: Too much. :-) The last formal education I did was an MA in Creative & Media Enterprises at the University of Warwick, UK. But every day is an educational experience, if we pay attention.

I'm a poet so I prefer qualitative measures. :-)  If I'm excited to get to work every morning, and making a difference to the people I work with, that's the awesomeness box ticked for the day.

How did you get started on your current career track? 
I started as a psychotherapist, then noticed my favourite clients were the artists, writers, actors and other creative types, so I decided to specialise in coaching them.
Did you have any mentors who helped steer you on this path?
Yes, John Eaton is the most visible online. Check out his blog at 
What motivates or inspires you in your work?
The opportunity to do things I personally find meaningful and to help others succeed at doing the same. Also what Yeats called 'the fascination of what's difficult' - if it's never been done before, I'm itching to do it.
Do you have a personal work philosophy?
Very similar to Gurdjieff's: 'Whenever I do something I do a lot of it.'  I tend to focus on one thing to the point of obsession, then move on to the next one when that grips me.
If you weren't doing this, what could you see yourself doing?
I've never seriously considered an alternative.
What are you working on right now?
A new product for creative business owners, to help them deal with the point where their creative ambitions collide with commercial reality. 
To stay in shape, what's your basic diet look like?
I'm pretty omnivorous. I don't really think of food as a way to stay in shape.
What sort of fitness plan, if any, do you follow?
I run around the park. 
What one piece of advice would you give to your own son (hypothetical or otherwise) in the hope of making him a better man?
Question everything - but don't forget to listen to the answers. 

What's next for you? What's your next big idea or project?
I've got several projects stacked in various stages of completion at Lateral Action, about creativity, business or both. And a new poem I've started tinkering with...
What's the one thing about you that never turns up in interviews:
I'm not sure I've ever confessed my admiration for Daddy Pig before. A true gentleman and a great role model for fathers (if not necessarily for children).

Creative Coaching at Lateral Action
(be sure to check out the "Creative Pathfinder" course. HIGHLY recommended!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Women We Love: Tricia Lee

Tricia Lee is a Toronto-based filmmaker whose fun and fresh project work is reflective of her personality. But don't let her quirky cinematic spins on real life fool you. She's on fire with focus and determination, and her business savvy is quickly becoming its own force to reckon with.

And she rides a motorcycle.

Name: Tricia Lee
Occupation: Film Director
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Video from York University
Stats: I quantify my awesomeness by how happy I feel.  I measure my success by the number of days I wake up happy in the morning.

How did you get started on your current career track?
When my parents took me to Universal Studios at age 11 and I found out how movies were made, I decided that I wanted a career in the media.  I made my first documentary about Street Kids when I was in high school and went to film school at York University.  Every year since, I've directed something, whether it be a short film, a webmercial, a PSA or directing exercise.
Do you consider yourself more filmmaker or musician? Which gives you more satisfaction as an artist?
I studied piano when I was young and I teach piano to adult beginners now, but I am a filmmaker at heart.

I quantify my awesomeness by how happy I feel.  I measure my success by the number of days I wake up happy in the morning.

What motivates or inspires you in your work?
My passion is telling stories that touch, move and inspire audiences around the world.  I am forever exploring what it is we have lost between childhood and adulthood.  I recently discovered the answer.  It's "wonder".  I am currently directing a film that I co-wrote called "Searching For Wonder" which is a culmination of all the themes in my previous short films.  What also fascinates me is vulnerability.  That is something we never lose, as much as we try to hide it or mask it.  I want my films to let people know that they are not alone in their fears, joys, secrets and pleasures.
Do you have a personal work philosophy?
Work shouldn't be hard.  It should be fun.  So instead of calling it hard work, I've taken to calling it Funwork.
If you weren't doing this, what could you see yourself doing?
There is no Plan B.  This is it.
What are you working on right now?
I just shot my first feature film called "Clean Break".  It's in post production right now.  I'm shooting a BravoFACT funded short film "Searching For Wonder" in August.  I'm writing a feature called "Ministry of Parenting", a satirical comedy about licensing for parents and another feature called "30 Days to 30" based on my most recent relationship.  Also, I have TV series I created about paramedics has been optioned by a production company and is being shopped around.  Always moving upward and forward.

What do you first notice about a guy?
Kind eyes.

What gets you interested?
Confidence.  Interest in me.

What keeps you interested?
Connection over same values, interests, adventures and openness to try new things.

What's your number one deal breaker?
Disrespect and smoking.  Sorry, that's two.

Kisses on my forehead.

Being mean / rude to me or others.

One thing guys should know when talking to a beautiful woman: Listen.

To stay in shape, what's your basic diet look like?
Eat whatever is fastest to make.  Although, I'm starting to meal plan and cook once a week so I can actually eat some healthy home-cooked food that doesn't come out of a box or a can.
What sort of fitness plan, if any, do you follow?
Hot yoga, spinning, boot camp, pole dancing as often as I can.

Favourite workout tip: Breathe.

Favourite recipe: Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon
iPhone or Android: iPhone has changed my life!
What are you driving: Toyota Corolla

Absolute WORST experience on set/shoot: Breaking up with my boyfriend in the middle of a shoot.
One quirky thing about you that never turns up in interviews: I ride a motorcycle.

Untitled from Tricia Lee on Vimeo.

I have always thought of myself as an independent filmmaker, but now I'm focusing on being an entrepreneur and creating several businesses that will earn me passive income while I make my films.  These monkey business ventures include: