Curtained call


Tears carve channels

Through caked whiteness,

Intersecting painted smiles,

As limbs that juggled

And balanced on beams

Seem weighted and dead.


The music no longer plays,

Replaced by heavy silence

As tired hands wrestle

Cold cream jars and tissues.

The show has ended.

Only reality remains.


The face in the mirror

Beams gleefully back,

Yet the seated corpse

Sobs uncontrollably;

Everything left behind

On saw dusted floors.


If I give you everything,

Leave nothing for me,

How do I pass the night

Alone with this shell?

What can I be when

The clown is not here?


I frolicked; you smirked.

I stumbled; you laughed.

I collapsed; you roared.

I died; you applauded,

Departing for dull lives

As I melted to decay.


Who am I if not an

Echo of your delight?

As I remove my makeup,

Do I not erase myself?

Who will love the man

Who cries alone?

Obnoxiously happy



Dear World,

My apologies if my happiness has gotten a tad obnoxious of late, but my life is blessed in so many ways that I simply cannot keep the joy inside, nor truthfully do I wish to.

Alongside the wonderful gifts I am given every day, I am routinely presented with insane opportunities to express and explore the passions that light up my soul, whether it is writing or photography or sharing knowledge.

But beyond even that, I sit in complete awe at the wondrous passions of the people around me; people with amazing visions of who they are and how the world can be.

I know painters and actors and writers and musicians; parents and partners and children and pets; athletes and industrialists and service workers and technicians. And every single one of those people bring me insane joy simply by following their own passions, whether within their titles or not, and allowing me to be witness and in some cases, participant.

Even watching perfect strangers experience their worlds, or Nature express itself from day to day, brings a beauty and elegance that I simply did not choose to see in my former life but do now.

So how can my heart not burst forth, my spirit soar and the laughter ring forth?

I am both a newborn child seeing things for the first time and an ageless ancient finally understanding the patterns that have always splayed out before my once dulled eyes.

That is my joy. That is my happiness. That is my love.

And unasked, that is what I share with the world.

Lives of love and beauty – Melanie


Melanie Layer: daughter, sister, coach, joie de vive incarnate

I think I have been in the same room with Melanie maybe twice in the few years that I have known her, and yet, despite knowing almost nothing about her (e.g., her history), I feel like I have known her my entire life. She is light, love, laughter, enthusiasm, passion, spirit, joy and every other positive experience rolled into an individual, and it seems like her greatest happiness in life comes from helping others find that in themselves.

Melanie has this knack for seeing the amazing in people she meets, whether she’s known them for years or mere seconds, and without ever coming across as intrusive, cuts past the bullshit in which we bury ourselves to praise and cultivate the beauty that lies within us all. No matter how you feel walking into an interaction with Melanie, even if a completely passive interaction, you walk out 12 feet taller and in the firm belief that you can accomplish anything.

Thanks, Melanie, for embracing my dreams and passions as your own, and for filling my life (and social media streams) with light and laughter.


See also: MLI Coaching

Lives of love and beauty – Kevin


Kevin is the one on the left

Kevin Bruce Scott: son, actor, puppeteer, integrity trainer

The man I affectionately dubbed Sweetums on our first meeting in honour of his impressive size, hirsuteness and rolling voice has wondrously become a constant in my life, even despite his gregarious activities that see him crisscrossing the North American continent. I first met Kevin when he auditioned as a puppeteer and actor for a sketch comedy show I was helping another friend develop (Nicholas Lemon’s SomeTV!), and it was bromance at first blush.

To know Kevin even for a few moments is to experience an earthquake of enthusiasm and playfulness that has been rivalled by very few in my advancing lifetime. Quick of wit, clever of brain and charming of eyebrow (you have to see it), Kevin routinely explodes with volcanic laughter and excitedly joins any creative moment with love and insane bonhomie. To merely stand in Kevin’s presence is to experience unbridled love…but dive in for the amazing hug, if you get the chance.

I say without hyperbole that should Kevin reach out with any idea, I am an eager participant because I know that even if the idea amounts to nothing tangible, I will have had the best time working on it.

Thanks you, Sweetums, for going on that audition and making my face hurt with smiles.


See also:

12 Days of Gratitude – Kevin

Effortless Alpha (Kevin’s blog & mission)

Lives of love and beauty – Piper


Piper Lisseveld: mother, daughter, blogger, experientialist

I first met Piper as one of the hockey wives in Northern Virginia, our respective spouses at the time playing for the Fairfax Lightning. And from the first time we met, it was clear that she was alive in every sense of the expression.

Despite only seeing each other on rare occasions, Piper is sure to be a constant in my life and ironically, each of us started new adventures in living around the same time, each leaving behind the lives that largely defined us to embrace the exciting unknowns of the world.

Piper is possibly the freest spirit I have ever met, finding joy and love and laughter in every moment possible, and sharing same with those around her. She is a rocket that will intersect your life and leave a contrail of love across your heart.

Thanks, Piper, for sharing your universe with me.


See also:

12 Days of Gratitude – Piper

Pipe’s Adventure: Living for Happiness (blog)

Lives of love and beauty – Robyn

As 2015 came to a close, I took a few days to highlight some of the amazing people in my life; my 12 Days of Gratitude.

Well, we are counting down the final days of 2016, and I am again feeling…well…feelie…and so want to share with you all some of the amazing people I know who epitomize love and joy and beauty, and who have transformed my life.

For those of you who remembered last year’s list, there will be a few overlaps here, but hey, they are that amazing and this is my list!


Shirt kind of says it all

Robyn Lawson: mother, daughter, blogger, poet

Through our shared friendship with humourist Ned Hickson, I first met Robyn in the blogosphere and immediately felt my life change.

An Indigenous Canadian, Robyn has a passion to explore and share her Native community and roots in all its glories and horrors, more often than not, laying herself bare through her emotional and lyric poetry.

Check out: October Surprises

Robyn is a beautiful spirit who has touched my life in ways that I cannot yet begin to fathom, and remarkably so given that we have never spoken directly (e.g., phone or Skype) or met physically.

Thank you, Robyn, for sharing yourself and your experiences with me.


See also: Blog Woman!!! – Life Uncategorized

12 Days of Gratitude – Alayna


This is my friend Alayna. For every reason that I told you Ned was a good man, Alayna defines what it is to be a good woman.

Friend, mother, wife, educator, nut-bar, science nerd: all qualities that make Alayna a very special woman, someone who blesses my life with every witticism and wise-crack. Buried behind a veneer of sarcasm is a passionate soul who is both demanding of and deeply dedicated to others.

To know Alayna is to have your life enriched, your mind expanded and your passions empowered (and sometimes your ass kicked).


(Part Ten of my 12 Days of Gratitude…because the rest of the news sucks)

12 Days of Gratitude – Lisa

Lisa Serrao

If you want to see the face of love, then you merely have to see my friend Lisa (the one who doesn’t need Rogaine).

A high-energy spitfire who gives of her time and her heart without a second thought, Lisa somehow manages to care for everyone she knows while still having a blast herself. And for her compact size, she has a laugh that fills a room and your soul.

To watch the glimmer in her eyes and feel the warmth of her smile is to know you are in the presence of a great spirit.


(Part Five of my 12 Days of Gratitude…because the rest of the news sucks)

12 Days of Gratitude – Kevin

Kevin Scott

This is my friend Sweetums…I mean Kevin…a man whose body had to be so large simply to contain his great heart.

Actor, comedian, puppeteer, voice of God, Kevin has more talent than any one individual should, but it is his smile and laugh that set him most apart from everyone else. When Kevin is amused, all of Kevin is amused, and his laugh is a sonic hug that embraces you and makes you feel special.

If you have never been hugged by Kevin, you are seriously missing some love in your life. It is totally worth the risk of asphyxia.

(Image ©edwardambrosius)

P.S. You can check out some interesting work by Leo, a mutual friend, below.

(Part Four of my 12 Days of Gratitude…because the rest of the news sucks)

Gotta laugh (seriously, I mean that)

I am so amused by your humours

I am so amused by your humours

I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to stand-up comedy. Not in the performance of it, you understand—been there, done that, bear the scars—but rather in simply being an audience member.

For the uninitiated, stand-up is best described as stripping naked, slathering your body in hot sauce and dragging small razor blades across your skin while being judged by a room full of your parents. And your only salve is laughter.

Which is where my problem starts.

LOL Classic

LOL Classic

Hi. My name is Randy, and I don’t laugh at stand-up comedians. Okay, perhaps rarely laugh is more accurate.

It’s not that I can’t laugh. Get me together with the right group of friends, and I become a giggling gibbon. Hit me with the right joke or observation at the right time, and you’ll turn me into a hyperventilating tear factory. But for the most part, I only LOL when texting.

If I get where you’re going, I will nod. If I like what you said, I’ll smile. If I really like it, the smile will show teeth. But the laugh is elusive.

At a stand-up comedy show several years ago, a colleague accused me of being a comedy snob, suggesting that I refused to laugh to make myself look cool. Ironically, this made me laugh.

If my name were ever to appear in Roget’s Thesaurus, I can promise you that “cool” would only ever appear as an antonym. (Case in point, I just referenced Roget’s Thesaurus.)

So I knew I was in trouble a couple of weeks ago when the host of The Comedy Store in Los Angeles decided to sit me dead centre in front row, literally at the shins of the comedians.

The Comedy Store

The Comedy Store

I sat there. A long-torsoed beacon of attention. I was the Lighthouse of Alexandria (yet another cool reference) to those rolling on the oft-stormy seas of stand-up.

Comedian #1 takes the stage. She’s quickly warming the audience and then, “So, where you from?”. Toronto, says I. Cue the Canada jokes.

No problem. I come from a funny country with a funny reputation. Ask me a question, I’ll answer it best I can. I am more than happy to participate to help the comedian.

[Side note: I do not heckle, anyone. Comedy is hard enough without the drunken asshole. Likewise, I do not interject into someone’s set. The audience is there to enjoy the comedian’s wit, not mine.]

When engaged by the comedian, I will play along and maintain the game. I will not (or at least try not to) be funnier than the comedian.

Only one of the three A-list comedians (Argus Hamilton, Bobby Lee, Marc Maron) paid me more than passing attention, each one more than capable of holding their sets to their own material, addressing the audience with little more than a passing “You know what I mean?” or “How many of you…”

Bobby Lee, Angus Hamilton, Marc Maron

Bobby Lee, Angus Hamilton, Marc Maron

They talked to the whole audience, not just those of us they could see.

Then came the B-listers.

Like any artist, comedians at this stage are less able to roll with failing bits. And even when a bit is working, the big guy in the front row who refuses to laugh becomes the focus of attention.

After the third B-lister, I started to feel sorry for the audience, who quickly learned everything about me and Canada, the information oft repeated as no two comedians paid much attention to anything that happened five minutes before they hit the stage.

Over the five hours I watched the show—I arrived at 8:30 and didn’t leave until 2:00—I swear I was being spoken to or about or was on the microphone for one hour. I literally had more air time than all but one comedian. (Part of my air time included a rousing rendition of Oh, Canada and a duet of Tie a Yellow Ribbon.)

In five hours, I was told that I had an abnormally long torso (I do), I dress like Steve Irwin (I was), I work in maintenance or engineering (I don’t), I have beautiful hair (it is nice), and was asked twice to mimic cunnilingus (I respectfully refused). [Side note: Don Barris is a very very very strange man.]

Don Barris (his cunnilingus face)

Don Barris (his cunnilingus face)

And all, I am confident, because I refused to be the giggling gibbon.

I wasn’t defiant (except for the cunnilingus part). I never crossed my arms. I tried to be positive and supportive in my eye contact (perhaps that was mistaken as a challenge). And yet, I received a pretty good workout.

So, I think my choices are: laugh despite my personal opinions or ask to be seated in the shadowiest corner of the bar.

Either way, it will be a while before I attend another stand-up comedy show.

Sitting in back of the bar

Sitting in back of the bar