Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fog on the Tyne


LIFE IN A NORTHERN TOWN

Well I am back from a weekend break to NEWCASTLE (Yes, Upon Tyne). I went down to meet a nice young SYBD lass with a story which paralleled my own (except she wasn't dumped for some random work colleague)...Rather she was dumped by a guy who panicked just two or three months after being a semi-detached house.

I thoroughly enjoy meeting SYBD site members. No matter where I am in the world - the stories are all so very similar so very universal. Whether the person is gay or straight, young or old, skint or loaded, male or female, it really all boils down to the same emotions - rejections, confusions, and challenges to turn all that pain into some sort of gain.

In Newcastle, my hostess and I met up with another SYBD lady who's in her early fifties and we all had some food together at the Gate in town. The food was great, the music was as if I'd made the compilation myself and the staff so friendly that I tipped extra! I truly had a smashing night...

Well, apart from having a random stomach attack on the Metro back...and so I jumped out at a Tesco, was barreling through the carpark at full speed when I went diving forward onto the pavement as if it were a pool. Whoopsydaisey.

People will no doubt have thought I was steamin' but I wasn't. I got up, put my shoes back on (damn those slip-ons, they slipped off) and ran some more. That would have made it on "funniest home videos" if anyone had a camera! I was in too much pain to bother being embarassed...

THE SEASIDE

Sunday we took the Metro to the coast and walked from TYNEMOUTH (to a great little market there - antiques mostly) to WHITLEY BAY, and then went back into town to eat at a cute little Italian place in the heart of the northern city. After that, we walked down to the river and along the Tyne.

Newcastle reminded me a lot of Glasgow only with worse fashion sense. It really was comedic to be out on the town on a Saturday night.

SYBD CHATS TO BECOME CD?

Back to reality, and today I've been editing an interview with a site member in Boston. A lovely, gay, 26-year old software engineer. I haven't decided what to do with these interviews...They're all under 10 minutes. I'd like to make them into a one-hour show or something. I think they'll help a lot of people - just by hearing their stories, their emotions, and about their subsequent growth. Perhaps on a CD that people can buy.

THE SYBD FILM PROGRESS

I have been editing "rough cuts" of the interviews into one rough movie. I am wondering if I will need to do some more filming to reach my ninety minute target. I won't know until I manage to get my interviews in place to see how long they all are.

Meanwhile producer boy, Stef, is off sunning himself in Europe this week whilst I slave away over various interviews - wondering how to put these pieces of the puzzle together. I can only hope that whilst he's sunning himself pool side, that he's working on the film's story board too.

At this rate, it will be 2010 before the film comes out...and frankly I want to be done with the site by then. I think running a break-up site for 10 years is more than enough heartbreak that anyone can endure or should be expected too. Maybe then I'll launch a site called soyoufellinlove.com - for people's love stories. Would be a whole lot more cheery that's for sure.

BABIES EVERYWHERE!

And one of my site members - "Louise" had her baby last week. And so did a previous site member Pickle. It's exciting seeing SYBD offspring being born...I am still waiting for an SYBD union to result in a wedding. Then, I will feel my job has done. Instead of dealing with breaking-up, I'll be responsbile for bringing together. Miss Cupid if you will.

I like the sound of that. I think I'll call it a night. I don't know why I am tired, I mean I slept like 11 hours last night. Was exhausted - no doubt from all that walking!

I wonder which site member I will meet next?

It's always a pleasure, never a chore.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Monday

Working on the radio documentary today. It’s like a little puzzle you have to put together. One that is only 26-minutes long. I’ve started with my “conclusion” and now I’m working my way backwards…

As we’re near the end of the holiday weekend, I can do the same for the blog. Tonight a group of us may be seeing SUNSHINE the new Danny Boyle movie. To be honest, I doubt I’ll dig it, but any chance to get out of the house, I take it these days.

“If you’re askin’, I’m goin’!”

This morning, I finished the Lance Armstrong book “Every Second Counts” which was another inspirational read (though I think I liked “It’s Not About the Bike” better…

Last night (or in the small hours of this morning) I finished Rob Sheffield’s book “Love is a Mix Tape”. That was a sweet read. I think most people would generally "get it", but people who love music as much as I do, who collect it, who cherish it, and who make compilation tapes for other people to share it, would get it on a much deeper level.

I cooked us a nice Easter dinner last night and we watched several films (Mystic River, Grosse Point Blank - thanks Andy - and to cap off the night I watched Brewster's Millions to end the day on a happier note).

T’was nice to have company on the holiday and I like to cook for people. It’s so boring cooking for just me, so any chance I can cook for someone else, I welcome it. Hungry? Come on over...

Ross has now wired up my handheld PDA to play my fave music stations in America – over my wi/fi network. What that means is I can play KFOG or KISQ even when both of my computers are switched off. So the other night, while in the bath tub, I was listening to LOVELINE with Dr. Drew. On this episode I was checking out, was Joshua Jackson from ‘Dawson’s Creek’. (It was obviously a repeat because that show hasn’t been on for years.) but it was cool to play this syndicated American radio show whilst soaking in a candle lit bath in Glasgow. Gosh I do love technology. I think I’ve probably said that before.

Ross also helped me get SKYPE on my PDA. Again so I can talk to people wherever I am (as long as it’s wi/fi friendly). So, yes, even in the bath I can talk to my family and friends around the world on SKYPE – for FREE. And if you’re one of my lovely friends and reading this, please get SKYPE so we can talk. I only wished I’d loaded SKYPE on the MAC before I drove across America – it literally would have saved me hundreds of dollars in phone bills. D’oh. Hindsight’s 20/20 eh?

Saturday Jenn came around and took me to Rouken Glen for an early birthday present. I am now the proud owner of a garden in my kitchen. Really. I have basil, mint, tomato plants (2), money plants and some bamboo-esque plant too. The ones she bought me were the tomato plants and the mint one. I had the other ones…but she’s teaching me to have a green thumb and I dream of the day of having my own lovely cottage and garden. Next year, for sure! Once So You’ve Been Dumped has been nominated for the BAFTA.

Aren’t holidays a bit challenging at times? Even Easter. I’ve been reflecting on the people who’ve made a sharp exit from my life for one reason or another and I am missing one or two of them quite bad. One lives across the pond and it’s one of my greatest hopes that we will become friends once more and one is closer to home here but who may as well be a continent away for all he speaks to me (or replies to my emails). Doesn’t it suck to miss someone? Whether it’s a parent (or sibling) who’s died, a friend who’s left our lives, or a lover who chooses to love another one. Letting go is the hardest thing in the world for me to do. Some people are just so bloody good at it, but I’m not one of them. Ironically I miss the friend who’s across the pond more than my two long term relationships. Them, I don’t miss. Funny that.

Last week, I sent off fifty pages of one of my books to my publisher friend in London. I am still waiting to hear back from him and hope that he sees merit in the inspirational words of my many site members. Like with all of my projects, I am so close to the forest I can’t make out the trees. It’s so hard for me to be objective about it because it’s mine. Some days I look at the project (e.g. video, radio, book) and think “wow this is great” and then others, in moments of a confidence crisis, I think, “This is crap, who am I kidding?” So it really does help to get outside opinions from the wonderful, successful, creative people around me to tell me what’s good and what’s less than good.

Enjoyed a nice Saturday night out with brand new people. We were in the west end – in places like the LOFT and ORAN MOR. It’s so good to make new friends. That has been a top priority this year so far. I have met all kinds of unique, wonderful interesting people. Shows what I can achieve when I put my mind to it.

Now speaking of which, I need to get to some editing. I have a meeting tonight with Jo about the radio documentary. We’re gonna put this puzzle together once and for all. I think I will also make several different mini-interviews available on the site and on my MySpace page to offer hope to people going through a break-up now. I’ll keep you posted.

Watch this space. Happy Easter Monday.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mix Tapes and More....

Well I've been just checking my MySpace mail when I noticed a link for a chance to make a million dollar budgeted film…and so I thought I'd stumble through the entries to see who was submitting stuff and I saw one that looked promising – it's called Mix CD (us older generation types call them "Mixed Tapes" - even though they're on CDs or minidiscs!)

The little film follows on nicely from my last blog entry about the book LOVE IS A MIX TAPE – which I am still reading and enjoying. It's gotten to the sad part though at a time I am actively seeking happier material (movies, books, music et al)...Maybe because spring has arrived in all its glory but I am just tired of depressing movies, songs, and break-up stories (that last one's a bit of a shame considering I run a website for the romantically challenged).

Anyway, I like Dan's little movie because 1) it was nicely shot 2) it was quirky 3) the music was good 4) the wee scot's guy, Alasdair, in it was really cute (always a bonus) 5) I am, as anyone who knows me knows, a fan of making compilations. In fact I love it so much it would be my dream job…if only I could get paid for it. Hmmm, I guess that's why I became a radio presenter…so I could play my own version of "mix tapes for the masses"…only radio is so formulaic these days, it doesn't leave much room for creativity. Man, I miss my shows on Q96. RIP Q96.

The one, tiny, thing that bothers me about Dan's flick is – I've never found a guy who has tried to woo me with mixed tapes. Sigh. I must be looking in the wrong place or something...It's always me that makes the compilations for the guys. Maybe that's what I've been doing wrong all these decades,…? Ho hum…

As I said previously, I made a trailer for So You've Been Dumped the movie, but I only let a small handful of friends see it. I am a total novice and it's utterly rudimentary, but I was still proud of myself, and I did get some nice comments. Most importantly from my producer Stef…

"I love much of this! Soundtrack is genius! Need to make it more succinct and more sound-bitey."

He's of course right, but I think he thought I was trying to make the ACTUAL trailer for the film – which I wasn't. 'Only practicing with my footage so I can better direct a "real editor" once we find that person! I would rather assume the person who edits the film will easily knock up the trailer...but I could be wrong...as I say, it's all new to me!

I've just seen the new Fratelli's video - "Whistle for the Choir" - which was shot in Glasgow. For some reason it actually brought a tear to my eye (but then I am a tad emotional this weather). Was glad they kept to their roots for that one. I hope it's a great hit for Jon (pictured with me here) and the boyz. Go Fratellis!

Jo has been helping me with the radio version of the documentary and has come up with some fab ideas which I will spend the afternoon implementing. It's good to have so many creative, supportive friends in my life, she says, adopting her attitude of gratitude…

So I guess I have some editing to do today. I've someone coming over to dinner who's not been here in like a year (or maybe it just seems that way) so I've been tidying up a storm for days now! There are still CDs strewn in every eyeshot around the room. I wish I had a spare room just for my CDs…Next year...After my film wins the awards at Sundance, Raindance, Venice, Cannes and the Oscar too.

Well a girl can dream, can't she…?

I am indeed one life's dreamers...

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