Writing, Forward Motion and a Moment To Take Back

Writing, forward motion and a moment to take back, an extended snap chat view into the life of the Carr’s, no sugar added.

Well, it has sure been a bit since I have cracked open the file labeled confessions to jot down some thoughts about my crazy life. It doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it, I have. I have even written a few things in absence of the blog. I channeled IMG_3090my inner E.L. James to craft some erotica, thinking it may lead to a bounty of riches and a lucrative movie deal, but the jury is still out. I wrote a couple sternly worded emails, a nice birthday card, and on Facebook and Twitter, I have cleverly observed and quipped about life a bunch of times all with words arranged in this way or that. I Just haven’t done it on here and I have missed it for sure. And after a conversation with one of my big fan’s and regular blog readers this morning, I figured they would at least be happy to read this.

Forward Motion
The last few months have been an interesting time to say the least. Up’s and down’s with mood, energy and attitude, wrapped in one of the coldest and hardest winter’s I ever remember. Birthdays and anniversaries, Mother’s Day and the like all marking time, as they do every year, all a constant reminder of one of my favorite thoughts / lessons – Forward Motion. I have said that if I ever write a book perhaps a “self-help, do as I say, not as I do” kind of thing, I would for sure call it Forward Motion.

I have talked about it often, and have even referenced it in my classroom and blogs-gone-by, but nothing like a few difficult months followed by some good stuff, only to be followed by more bad, to punctuate the point. YES bad will happen but it is always followed by good, so the trick in life is to keep moving. You can’t get time back, so life is most certainly forward motion. It’s a great message and what has helped me emerge on another positive arc.

So, my Dad has had a couple of small medical setbacks, and I am sure this could be new news to some whom I haven’t shared this info with before this. He is 81 and had been living on his own for a long time, and for the most part taking care of things up north. But for the time being he is alternating his time, staying with both me or my sister Deb. He has finished his treatments, and aside from being weak, he’s pretty much his regular self.

Take Back
Ever say something that right after it leaves your mouth, you think… I wish I didn’t say that? A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was having a bit of a crisis of faith around a friendship, and was seeking my ear and shoulders to bounce her thoughts off of. I politely listened and concluded that what they needed to do, was write their thoughts down in an email, but (and here’s the important part!) NOT send it. I told them, that likely after you have a couple of hours or a day to calm, re-read your message. IF it still caries the same weight then send it, but if it sounds too harsh, upon reflection, change it. OR more than likely what will happen is that you will come to realize that it is not worth the potential negative outcome, and you will in the end, just delete it.

Solid advice I think, and proudly I slept soundly, feeling like I just invented conflict resolution. Cut to the very next day, and me in a discussion with a different friend, and the same situation, but with the tables turned on me. Like a complete idiot, I angrily bash out a quick nasty response that is cloaked in insecurity and negativity, and as I hit the send, I hear my own inner voice echoing the conversation I had just hours before. Too late of course. Sent. And just like that I prove I was right, possibly in the hardest way possible.

New Boss
For the 6th time in the last 5 years, I have a new boss at work. And, I am optimistic that the change is for the good and we can finally get back to a level of stability. I have liked each of the bosses I have had (like I would say differently online!) but I am certainly hoping my new one will stay and I looking forward to coming months and the getting back into the next groove.

It would also seem weird at this time of year to not acknowledge the changing of semesters. I will hopefully speak more about this extremely energetic group of graduates in a couple of weeks, when I get to watch them walk across the stage into the next chapters of their lives. It sure is exciting to be part of that transformation. I love my job!

Las Vegas
IMG_3139Thank you in part to my new boss, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel discussion about implementing social media into your broadcasting curriculum at this year’s BEA conference in Las Vegas, and it was fun. What I CAN tell you about the trip (you know the rule!) was that the weather was only nice for a few hours, one day, I only gambled once (ok maybe twice) betting $5 dollars all on black in roulette not for me, but for a colleague at work and that two things struck me about the town. As I arrived the smell of public smoking amazed me, and this being my second time, my quest to find smiling happy people still failed.

I would LOVE to go back, but next time it will have to be with friends. One thing that I wasn’t expecting to have happen, after I was told I could just arrive at the airport early to catch an earlier flight, only to find that they had no seats. I decided to rent a car and drive to the Hoover Dam just for kicks.

In closing
As I have send before I always write myself cryptic email’s, with the subject “blog” with normally 1 word or a sentence that will hopefully remind me of the situation that I wanted to write a blog entry about. I threw out one called “CD’s” cause for the life of me I can’t remember what it was about at all. But the one I am referencing now I do remember, and what would a Carr blog, be without a little levity?

I am not sure when it was said, or the specifics or the reason, but I remember us talking in the car, on our way someplace. Nathalie was talking about our somewhat loud, fun laughing family. The topic shifted to that fact that everyone is special in their own way. Then it was repeated and directed towards me, like I was the special one in our little family. Without missing a beat, Julia smiles and says, “But don’t worry daddy, I like your kind of special”.

Off to look for my “I am special t-shirt”!

Thanks for reading and have a great and safe week.


15 Degrees, Lists, Solving Problems and Giving Thanks

15 degrees, lists, solving problems and giving thanks, the week that was with pie as far as the eye can see.

While getting ready for work Friday morning, Nathalie laughed and pointed out that there is such a difference between 15 degrees in October and 15 in April. I said one represents the beginning and the other the end. In this example, the end is what we want, the anticipation and not the despair. But, alas that is where we find ourselves. 15 degrees and it’s gonna’ get a lot worse, before it gets better. It’s not that it is only weeks away from snow flying around that get’s me, it’s the fact that I just wish we had a few more weeks of the warmth.

Top 5
The other morning I awoke early, as I have done a bunch of times over the last little bit, coming up with solutions to some of the world’s big problems. I only wish I had the smarts to write down some of the ideas, because I am sure some of it was good. In my, unable to go back to sleep haze, this week, I remember I was thinking about top 5 lists. I know, random.

I was thinking for example, if I were to come up with a list of my top 5 date nights with Nathalie, would she come up with any of the same? I am sure that night we first met would be in there, and maybe the wedding or the night we got engaged, but who knows. So, I wondered if our lists where indeed different is that a big deal? I came to the conclusion after much self-debate, that I would think not. After all perspective is what makes us all different and even in two people reliving the same event, would likely look different from each of their positions.

This is the one-day a year (in Canada anyway), when we all talk about giving thanks. Counting our blessings and taking a moment to reflect on what we have and don’t have. I don’t have pie this year, but I am still prepared to mark time with a few things I am thankful for. As always, I am very thankful for my wonderful family. I am thankful to have a job that I love, and that for the most part, I think I am good at. I am thankful for a circle of friends, that each bring something different and unique to the table.

I try so very hard, each and everyday to be thankful for the wonderful life I have, but like anything, probably don’t look at the positive side of things enough. It is easy to fall into the, “grass is always greener” type of thinking, in the day-to-day minutiae. So, I guess it’s good that we have this one-day that everyone is reminded to give thanks. So, if you are in my life, or even just outside looking in, thank you very much for just being you!

Parent teachers
We had a couple of meetings with Jordyn’s teachers this week, as part of the annual, parent teacher interviews and I am always so proud when I hear the teachers talk about how wonderful of a student she is. She tries hard and asks questions in class and it would seem is progressing well toward her academic goals. This is very early on in the school year, so they each couldn’t offer too much insight, but they all sure like her, and for that alone, we are very proud.

In closing
A few weeks ago, our printer was out of ink and so I picked up the two replacements cartridges from Wal-Mart, after Julia reminded me (several times). She had some pictures on her phone and Instagram account she wanted to print. Tax in, around a $57 investment in making Buglia happy, was of course worth it, but I did complain about it in the moment. I complained even louder after printing, what seemed like an endless list of snapshots for my 12 year old artist.

When I got to bed that night, I found a note beside my bed from Julia, with a 5-dollar bill and some loose change attached to it. It said, “I am sorry about the ink, please take this money. I will pay you more later”.

Buglia's affirmation
Buglia’s affirmation

Well this week, I discovered what it is she actually did with all these pictures. Above her bed is the most amazing artful collage of images all centered around the caption “Stay Weird”. This homage to her life, with pictures of each of her friends, the movies she likes, the music she listens to is an inspiration. I asked her, “Do you think you are weird?” She said, “Yes… but not weird as in strange… weird as in not plain or normal!” And that you just have to love!

Off to find some not normal pie!

Thanks for reading and have a great and safe week.

Happy, Sad, Up and Down with The Crazy Old Guy

Happy, Sad, Up and Down with The Crazy Old Guy, blog stories for the week that was.

Often, when most needed, a bit of happy news drops right onto your lap, and yesterday while on the bus home from work, I got a great phone call. How I am not going to share all the details of the story, due to the sensitive nature of it, but will say that someone that I have tried to help motivate a bit, through positive conversations and support over the last 3 or 4 years, came to the end of a long fought journey, and has emerged from the ordeal, a much, much stronger person.

It’s funny how several conversations I have had this week involved this same theme. The idea that you have to have the bad with the good, and it’s how we deal and regroup and get out of it, that tells a true tale of our inner person. I told the person on the phone that I would raise a glass to celebrate their great news and I will do so, not only for them, but also to usher what I think will be the great rising of the positive tide.

Crazy old guy
As a teacher I am proud to have made some connections with students over the years. I count among friends, many of my grads that have stayed in touch. I follow their lives, on Facebook, like some kind of a voyeuristic crazy old guy. I’ve watched as they have married and have had kids. I’ve “liked” their selfie portraits and shared their pet photos and cat videos. I have had two different sets of former students, marry and go on to make beautiful children, and it all just makes me just a little bit emotional. Just the thought that I have been, even just a small blip on their full life radar, makes me swell with pride.

One of the hardest things I had to learn, as a teacher was that not all the students approach not only production and sound, with the same excitement and energy that I do, but also they put different weight on most elements in their life in general. Coming to the realization that that was OK was a hard lesson. Knowing that many of my grads would not actually pursue Broadcasting hurt at first, but became so much more powerful the more I thought about what I do. Yes I teach commercial production, mic placement and recording techniques, but I also teach the power of positive thinking, self-evaluation and time management. It was this realization that allowed me to be a better teacher, and for that I thank my students.

Ron and I at his retirement party in 2004

Ron Lowe
This week we had a memorial celebration for a man that made a big difference in my life. I don’t think I can over sell this, but a man who without, I am sure I would not be doing what it is I am doing today. I first met Ron as my teacher in RTV111. I loved his passion and energy and his commitment to his students. His patience, was unwavering. I only learned many years later that he was not a fan of teaching that particular course. I would have never seen that in the studio class. Meticulously covering step by step, the fundamentals of the audio console and basic commercial production and the dreaded 15-minute radio show.

3 semesters later, I was back in his classroom as a bit of a TA and he could see that I had the ability to teach, even before I did. I graduated, and a couple of months after, he called me up and asked if I was interested in teaching the technical part of the first semester production class. I laughed and kind of joked with him about being crazy, and he suggested I would regret it if I didn’t at least give it a shot. “Try it for a semester and we will see how you do!” he said. And just like that I was hooked. I have been so blessed to have had some wonderful teachers in my college life, but with this latest loss, the number that are gone is tragically far too high now.

Over the last few years I don’t think I have done as good as a job as I should have, in staying connected with those, who in the past have made differences in my life. People like Ron. So, as a way of acknowledging it, and perhaps a way to teach me a lesson about following my own advice, I am going to challenge you the reader to take 5 minutes and touch base with someone in your life that may have made an impact. Maybe it was a teacher or a family friend or a relative that helped with a good piece of advice over your life. Do yourself a favour AND make that person feel great, say thank you today.
Thank you Ron for being an inspiration, for giving me my career and for teaching me the importance of helping others.

Things that make you…
You ever overhear something that makes you go, ummm? I take the GO bus, and love the ease of the mode of travel One day this week, I was walking to my particular bus gate, and passed a driver having a conversation with a passenger, standing outside her bus. The prospective passenger, making small talk says, “How are you doing today?” Now, first you have to understand I am a big fan of calling the answerer of just such a question, on their lying, made up, only saying fine, cause I know you don’t really care, answer. I do it all the time. “Are you sure?” I will say after hearing the casher say, “fine”.

But, back to the bus platform this week, the driver was honest and said, “Well, to tell you the truth, I am very tired today, didn’t sleep well last night.” Ummm… Ok so, now you want me to get on this bus, knowing that you haven’t had a full 8 hours of sleep, driving an 11-ton, deadly weapon? I guess there are sometimes, a simple, “doing swell, thanks” is called for.

In closing
It would seem this week the blog is a little heady and thought provoking, so time to end with a little 12-year-old sass. Nathalie took the girls out for dinner on Thursday and I laughed at the conversation they had, when Nathalie sent me a transcript via text. I guess Nathalie was eating some bread and a crumb went, “down the river” as we say. Nathalie fumbled a little and pulled it out of her cleavage and Julia watched the whole thing, shaking her head she says, “You just HAD put your hand down there?” Nathalie says, “I was getting a crumb!” and she says, “Sure Sure!”

Well, heading to see if I can find my own crumbs!

Thanks for reading and have a great and safe week.