Epiphanies can linger if you let them

Epiphanies can linger if you let them. Again, as we all will have and will endure, I suffered a great and sudden loss. A woman I grew up with, a second mother type figure, passed away today. She was a lot younger than anyone should be content with dying at and she wasn’t known to be suffering from any life threatening illness until one day she was diagnosed with a developed stage of cancer and within three days (ending today) she was dead.

Now the past few days have hurt. I’m thousands of miles away in another country, I can’t go to her side and even if I could she was comatose and so whether she heard me or not would have been debatable. She knew I cared for her and my family loved her but repeating that message would serve me more rather than her. She had more goals, more aspirations, more hopes… But the metaphorical plug was pulled and that was that.

As with everyone’s experience, when a death occurs you realize and understand how finite and short life is. A friend of mine texted me back with “It can be” when I stated that. No, it’s not can, it is. Immortality is fiction. We are here for just a blip and yes, it’s what we do with that time that matters, but if you’re me or billions of others, that epiphany exists for a short period around such tragedy. We then revert back into our routines of behaviour, habit, hope and insane repetition, always hoping for a more rewarding tomorrow but never quite pushing the areas that need that extra shove and stagnating at the hope until the epiphany repeats itself with another example of our ticking clocks, only to forget them again.

I’m not interested in forgetting this epiphany, I intend to wallow in it. Forever. I don’t want to keep reaching that “Ah ha! Oh yes, I forgot” moment, I want to utilize it to force myself into shape and I’m doing so. Now. Today. You can too. Remember the pain of what you lost and find ways to make the here and now as amazing as they can be. Never withhold telling someone you care for them or love them that you do. One day it will be too late and then you won’t have the opportunity to do so.

Remember the cliche, which has plenty of truth, “Give people the flowers while they’re still around to smell them.” And carpe diem. Todos los días.

Also, remember the fantastic quote attributed to Sam Harris; “Wisdom is taking your own advice.” That means if you’re always complaining about someone or something, you know what to do. Action a change. Time is finite.

“Kindness is as important as knowledge.” Megan Smith

How to be patient with your work if you’re extremely impatient

J.R.: Certainly, let’s just cut him up. What on earth are you saying?
KAREN: I don’t know. Shit, I don’t know. I don’t know. [sobbing] I don’t know Jay!
J.R.: [sighing] Okay, ignore him for now. [beat] What about David?
KAREN: What about him?
J.R.: We can’t leave him there.
KAREN: I can’t deal with his eyes on us. Lets go through this first, then whatever we need to with him.
J.R.: Lets sit for a second.
J.R. heads towards the kitchen table, Karen doesn’t follow.
He yells to Karen who remains out of sight in the hallway.
J.R.: Are you coming?
KAREN: You want me to go there?
J.R.: Yeah, where else?
KAREN: Let’s talk in the bedroom.
They walk together, slowly, solemnly. J.R. reaches for Karen’s hand, but is rejected. He reacts flailing his arm.
J.R.: Fine.

KAREN: I don’t want to be touched right now, okay?
They sit on opposite sides of the bed, a significant distance apart, both glancing around searching for an answer in their mind’s.
KAREN: We have to kill the other one too.
J.R. shakes his head.
KAREN: What? He’s not going to keep it to himself. I murdered someone babe, I actually killed someone. How am I going to get passed that?

J.R. looks away.
KAREN: Don’t ignore me! I was defending us! I was defending me and our stuff. I didn’t mean to do it, what else could I have done?
J.R.: I’m not acting like you’re a cold blooded killer, I’m trying to work this out… Find a solution.
KAREN: That’s the only one. There’s no way we can let him go.
J.R.: [exploding with sarcasm] And the bodies? What do you propose? Shall we put them in big black bags and dump them in the ocean? Line the bottoms with rocks and just let them sink only to be discovered later? Do you want to cut off all their finger tips, remove their teeth, drain their blood? I mean what’s your clever plan baby? What exactly do you think we could do to make this all better and go away, huh?
[beat] Maybe we should carve them up into smaller pieces, put them in bags and then spread them around the city. Or we could find a farm, offer them to pigs.

Karen begins crying.
KAREN: It’s not my fault!
J.R.: Well it’s certainly not fucking mine and I am not only an accessory, but an accomplice. So you’re right, you’re fucked and so am I too. Terrific. Nicely done.

KAREN: Stop blaming me! This isn’t something I would expect from you…
J.R.: No of course n— [beat calming down] I’m sorry. I didn’t expect this… I’m clueless, helpless. Got no idea how to resolve it.
They continue wondering.

You can change yourself and that’s it. Deliver advice, but don’t expect anyone to listen.

You can change yourself and that’s it. Deliver advice, but don’t expect anyone to listen.

ELMAR: I don’t… David does.
J.R.: (to David) You’re David? The David? The one who always advised her to… [beat] I should kick your fucking teeth in right now.
DAVID: Don’t blame me, I was helping a friend.
Elmar slumps, his head drops to his chest. Nobody really notices.
KAREN: By robbing us?

DAVID: Look —
ELMAR: Yeah, well…
KAREN: [close to tears] How could she do this?
J.R.: I told you that piece of… I told you we should have stayed far away from her. [fixated on David] Right, I want to know what she did. Exactly.
Elmar’s head is now buried deeply in his chest, J.R. catches a glimpse of this and pays attention.
J.R.: What now?
J.R. picks Elmar’s head up by his hair.
J.R.: We’re in the middle of something…
Elmar remains limp. He’s dead.
J.R. stares for a while.
J.R.: Hello? [beat] Elmar? [beat] Elmar! El? Elmar? Hello? Respond!
J.R. turns to Karen, then back to Elmar. He checks his pulse on his neck.
Turning back to Karen, J.R.’s face turns pale.

Karen looks mystified, she believes she knows what J.R. is trying to convey, but refuses. She shakes her head slowly.
KAREN: [in a low tone] No…
DAVID: [stunned] You’re fu — No — I…
J.R. swiftly grabs the gag cloth and forces it into David’s mouth. As the gag is being shoved David yells and fidgets trying to prevent it, but J.R.’s force proves too strong.
David keeps yelling but is muffled by the cloth.
Karen and J.R. stay silent. They pace, stare, tense up and breathe heavily, every now and again glancing back at Elmar.
J.R. pulls Karen aside, out of the living room space and David’s view. J.R. appears deceptively calm as Karen’s body clearly starts to show her fear of the current situation.
J.R.: Now?

Karen, panicking, shrugs.
Neither know what to do and as thoughts rush through their heads, Karen peers at David who’s beside himself.
KAREN: Follow my lead.
Tugging at J.R.’s arm, she pulls him towards David. The two reach him in what seems like a second and Karen begins lifting him.

J.R.: What are you doing?
KAREN: Getting him out of sight.
J.R. looks quizzically as if to say, “Why him?”
KAREN: [struggling] Follow my fucking lead, please!
J.R. helps Karen lift the still gagged and tied David to his feet.
They poorly move him, almost dragging him close to their front door.
KAREN: Keep him propped up.
Karen lets go of David and opens their closet/pantry door.
KAREN: In here.
J.R. is baffled, but does as he’s told. She helps him dump David in the room and shuts the door.
P.O.V. David – Darkness.
J.R. (O.S.): What are you doing?
KAREN (O.S.): I can’t have him looking at me. Not right now. No.

David screams through his gag inside the closet while J.R. moves away to be able to view Elmar.
J.R.: Right, so what now. What now? What do we do with that?
KAREN: How the hell do I know!
J.R.: We have to get rid of him.
Both stare at each other, waiting on the other’s next instruction.
KAREN: [flippantly] Shall we cut him up?

Branding matters, even if not fully fleshed out.

Branding matters, even if not fully fleshed out.

Think it through

The value of a brand and importance of quality control, Breka, Wella etc

KAREN: Baby… What is this?
J.R.: [covering up] Good morning sweet cheeks, it’s breakfast. I felt like some bacon, about to put on the toast. Making it nice and crispy just like you like it.
KAREN: [pointing] Why has he got a mug on him?
J.R.: It’s a cold remedy baby.
J.R.: …He has a cold.
KAREN: Don’t you dare patronize me, you’re giving people who tried to rob us cold remedies and bacon?
J.R.: How do you know I’m giving them bacon?
Karen stares at the four plates lined up.

KAREN: There’s four plates right there.
J.R.: Ah, well, yeah. I was thinking we could work this out, and we can sober up too.
David and Elmar stare at one another sporting facial expressions that best describe the phrase, “Shit.”
KAREN: Oh, of course. How could I not see it that way, and your solution? Your bacon filled, cold remedy dispensing solution is?
J.R.: Elmar is about to make a deal, apparently. [turning to Elmar] Aren’t you El?
David glares at Elmar.

Karen picks up a small steak knife and comes closer to Elmar.
KAREN: I’m all ears. [turning to snarl in J.R.’s direction before returning to Elmar] Friend.
J.R. begins serving the bacon in the kitchen.
Elmar shrugs, “apologizing” to David.
ELMAR: [to David] She’s not MY friend, Dave. [beat] Sammy put us up to this.

David closes his eyes, looks down and sighs.
KAREN: Sammy?
J.R.’s attention leaps to the conversation.
ELMAR: Yeah, Sammy. She set this up. It’s all her.
J.R. yelps as he burns himself on the frying pan, hastily putting it down.
KAREN: Who’s Sammy?

In seconds he’s inches from Elmar’s face. He closes his eyes and angles his ear directly in line with Elmar’s mouth.
J.R.: Repeat that for me, if you would.
ELMAR: Sammy set this up.
J.R.: Sammy? [beat] Sammantha Bell?
Elmar nods, gritting his teeth at the same time trying to endure the pain.
KAREN: Sammantha put you up to this?
J.R.: What the–
KAREN: Tha– That bitch… [beat] It was from–
J.R.: — How do you know Sammy?
ELMAR: I don’t… David does.

Don’t discount how infectious positivity can be, nor the reverse

Don’t discount how infectious positivity can be, nor the reverse

Value of positivity and optimism, British up bringing, stuff upper lip, keep.calm and Carey on

J.R.: I’ll bet you are. It can’t be easy robbing innocent people and being caught. Shit, that’s a job I wouldn’t want to have.
ELMAR: We didn’t mean —
J.R.: — heard it last night.
J.R. heads to the kitchen and begins frying up some bacon.
J.R.: I need to know the solution here, you wronged my girlfriend and I. How do you make this right? Suggestions?
DAVID: Whatever you need —
J.R.: — ’cause when Karen gets up, trust me, Mr. Nice Guy dies. I’m a bastard then. Fuck reason, if she wants me to whatever I will.

ELMAR: What do you want us to do?
J.R. looks inside a cupboard and finds various healthy teas and flu remedies.
J.R.: (still looking in his cupboards, casual) I want to hear everything. David, want some of that lemon remedy or whatever that people drink to get over flu’s and cold’s?
DAVID: Shit, please, yes!

J.R. puts on the kettle.

ELMAR: Got any painkillers?
J.R.: Advil do?
He grabs an Advil.
ELMAR: Three would be amazing.
J.R. grabs two more and confronts the two.
J.R.: It’s conditional fellas. Why us?
He forces the pills into Elmar’s mouth, who swallows as they hit his tongue.
ELMAR: Thank you!
DAVID: It’s complicated.
J.R.: Yeah, how?
DAVID: We didn’t target you.

J.R.: No, we randomly won the robbery prize draw?
DAVID: No, but —
J.R.: We’re on the second floor building of a good area. How in the fuck are we vulnerable?
ELMAR: We don’t do this often.
J.R.: What’s “not often”? Third Sunday of every month?
J.R.: So?
The kettle goes off, the water has boiled. J.R. heads back to the kitchen, rips open the sachet and comes back with an aromatic cup of Neo-citron.
J.R.: I asked, “So”?

DAVID: This was… No…
J.R. places a book on David’s lap, then puts the steaming cup on top of that. David tries to inhale the drink’s steam.
DAVID: Thank you.
J.R.: Be careful balancing.
ELMAR: Look, all bullshit aside. This was a huge mistake.
J.R.: Who called you just then?
ELMAR: I don’t know —
J.R.: — who’s normally your “blocked number”?
ELMAR: How would I know?
J.R.: I can usually narrow most blocked numbers that call me down to two or three possibilities. They rang you four times over the past 12 hours. [beat] This person hung up as soon as they answered. Why?
David mumbles something.

J.R.: What was that?
DAVID: Nothing.
The aroma of the bacon is torture, it’s enveloping the entire room.
J.R. heads towards it.

J.R.: Boys! Smells amazing doesn’t it.
He flips the rashers in the pan.
J.R.: I don’t want this to end badly for you. But it can, you know.
ELMAR: Why don’t we make a deal?
The sound of the bacon crackling is almost too loud to hear over.
DAVID: [curious and shocked] What? [beat] What did you have in mind then El?
J.R.: [fussing over the bacon] Yeah, what are you thinking?
ELMAR: [to David, quietly] She hasn’t shown up or brought help, I say we tell him.

DAVID: He’ll kill her.
ELMAR: Rather her than me, this wasn’t part of the plan.
J.R.: I’m not hearing anything. Speak up friends.
DAVID: Don’t…
ELMAR: Nah, I’m getting out of this right now.
Karen walks in the room, amazed at what’s going on.

How Peter Thiel, Tim Ferriss and Neil Pasricha inspired my 60 Day Sprint

How Peter Thiel, Tim Ferriss and Neil Pasricha inspired my 60 Day Sprint

Necessity truly is the mother of invention, but try not to put the pressure on yourself like I did in order to ignite that necessity.

You can climb high, fast, the problem is you lack focus. Obtaining it is a lot easier than you think, but potentially for some of you it’s harder. I know that’s contradictory. Forgive me, I’ll explain.

Success Jae “If your biz hasn’t even been in operation for 1 yr. please don’t get on social media trying to teach courses on entrepreneurship.”

J.R. wakes up and grabs his head, reeling from his dehydration and newly acquired hangover.
J.R.: Typical.
He gets up slowly and recalls what happened the night before. Hastily, but with care so as to not agitate his head too much, J.R. heads to the living room.

J.R. spots David on the floor, and notices Elmar’s spat out gag.
He begins laughing before heading into the kitchen to grab a glass of water.
J.R.: Mornin’ boys.
In seconds J.R. finishes his water. He gets himself another and finishes that too.
ELMAR: Let us go. Please.
Though not vocal, Elmar’s pain is becoming more agonizing as time draws on.
J.R.: In due time.
David sneezes.
J.R.: You alright there, buddy?
DAVID: [sniffling] Just a cold.

J.R.: That’s too bad.
J.R. comes out of the kitchen and helps David to an upright seated position.
Elmar’s cell phone rings again, within earshot of J.R. He groans to eclipse the sound, though the groan is sincere as his pain is becoming more intense.
J.R.: What’s that?
He continues to listen and notices it’s coming from Elmar’s pocket. He pulls it out and notices the screen reveal “Blocked Number.” Without hesitation, he answers the call.
J.R.: Hello?

The line goes dead. J.R., mystified puts the phone on the table.
J.R.: Breakfast?
DAVID: Can you help me?
J.R.: I could…
DAVID: Please…
J.R.: One second David.
Using all his might, J.R. helps David up to a normal seated position.
J.R.: Breakfast?
DAVID: What?

J.R.: Would you like some breakfast?
ELMAR: If we reply are you going to hit us?
J.R.: No, why would you think that? I need grease and fat to sober up, you want some?
DAVID: Please, I’m starving.

When your back is literally up against the wall

And the option is either furthering the depth in which you drown, or manage to emerge victorious, to me, the choice is simple. Fight with everything you can muster up.

I never thought about the future in any great regard. I was absolutely fine with month to month, the present always mattered. Above all, my time mattered more than any money. As a result, I didn’t seek it. I remained creative, made my minimum payments and lived a fairly easy but unspectacular life. I would go to restaurants every now and then with my girlfriend and occasionally splurge here and there. It didn’t matter. It was on a credit card. I could manage the minimum payments and that’s all that really mattered.

But then time passes and people you care about are no longer around. At some point you have to understand that thinking about the future and the present are both of importance. It dawned on me. If I hurt myself and can’t work for a while. I go bankrupt. That simple. I don’t have savings to any reasonable size and I don’t have any regular income, so I can’t easily collect unemployment, benefits or sick pay. What would I do then? This epiphany made me want to start this blog as a propeller to turn things around and hopefully inspire/aid people that are in a similar situation. You haven’t hurt anyone (hopefully), you’ve just made some financial missteps. I’m intent on correcting mine. Let’s see if I manage it.

Working as an extra or stand-in on movie sets enabled me the flexibility of meeting new people, sometimes interesting, sometimes not, but there was never the sentence of a co-worker that would never leave if I didn’t get along with them.

I’d always thought I wouldn’t be like those “lifers” people refer to that do extra work, or “background” as it’s more politely referred to. However, as the years pass you realize why cliches exist. One afternoon I was working on a TV show and a really nice guy, also an extra, did what I used to do. He complained about how pointless the job was and how he definitely wouldn’t be doing this years down the road. I thought the same when I was his age. Again, a wake up call.

Saving money versus increased wealth

What’s your money’s purpose? No one ever got rich by saving money

Saving money versus increased wealth

DAVID: If I weren’t tied up I’d slap you.
ELMAR: And if you weren’t so useless, I wouldn’t have gotten tied up. You could have saved this.
DAVID: I was injured too, remember?
ELMAR: And what happened to you?

DAVID: I got a swift kick in the balls when I tried to help your beaten ass. Then J.R. knocked me out.
ELMAR: He was here too?
DAVID: He came in after I fell and you were already knocked out.
ELMAR: So you could have sucked it up and stopped this. You could have grabbed a weapon, knocked her out and handled him.

DAVID: Don’t turn this on me.
ELMAR: Never your fault is it David?
DAVID: No, it’s Sammy’s. She said J.R. would be at the bar and Karen would be at work tonight. She was the one who assured us, not me. You know that.
ELMAR: Regardless, you should have been more alert.
DAVID: Fuck off. Get us out of this and I’ll grovel all you want, until then keep quiet unless you have a solution.
ELMAR: Can you sway?

DAVID: Sway?
ELMAR: Yeah, fall this way and untie me.
DAVID: Really?
ELMAR: Yes, really.
DAVID: You fall.
ELMAR: I’m injured.
DAVID: So am I.
ELMAR: Yeah, but not as badly. Stop being a pussy and just try.

David tries to sway and notices he has limited leg strength, but enough to knock him in Elmar’s direction.
He assesses the distance and goes for it… But falls short by about 5 cm, falling straight to the floor.
Elmar lowers his head.
ELMAR: Fuck.
DAVID: [looking up] And now?
ELMAR: You tell me.

Due diligence and research. Above all else start. Compound.

Is it ego, delusion, intelligence, confidence or what?

Due diligence and research. Above all else start. Compound.

David gestures his head to refer to the bindings.
DAVID: Are you getting anywhere?
ELMAR: I think so, but it’s tight. Dave, I think there’s something very wrong.
DAVID: What do you mean?
ELMAR: My head hurts a lot. So badly, so much man. You wouldn’t believe how this feels.
DAVID: Well, if they kill us you’ll feel much better.
ELMAR: Don’t be a dick, I’m worried.
DAVID: You should be.
ELMAR: Look, you know her better than I, would Sammy leave or try to help sort this.

DAVID: What can she do? What are you expecting?
ELMAR: She said ten minutes.
DAVID: Yeah, well, what she said doesn’t matter now does it. [beat] Any ideas?
ELMAR: I can barely open my eyes without pain. No. Nothing.
Fully clothed, J.R. slowly moves off of Karen. They’ve just had a “quickie” and are both clothed, apart from J.R.’s lowered jeans which he quickly pulls up while Karen puts her sweat pants back on.
She smiles and strokes his face, awkwardly smiling, J.R. is clearly a little distant.
J.R.: This is ridiculous, what are we doing?
Karen pauses, and grabs J.R.’s hand.
KAREN: I think we did what we had to.

J.R.: [solemnly] We’ve got two grown men as hostages in our living room.
KAREN: Give me a suggestion.
J.R.: I don’t have any.
KAREN: Just one, lets brainstorm.
J.R.: Well, we can’t let them go.

KAREN: Clearly.
J.R.: And this killing talk is absurd, we both know that.
KAREN: I hit him pretty hard with that dumbbell though.
J.R.: It is what it is. Now’s the important part.
Karen refills the shot glasses, the bottle is very close to empty now.
KAREN: [awkwardly smiling] One more?
J.R. rolls his eyes.
J.R.: Fuck. Why not?
They drink once more.
Karen and J.R. lie sprawled out on their beds.
David still scours the room, tired but alert. Elmar has passed out.
The silence allows us to hear the mild vibration that Elmar’s cell phone provides as it rings.
DAVID: [forcefully whispering] El!

There’s no reaction.
DAVID: [with more force] El! [beat] Elmar wake the fuck up!
Elmar drifts between sleep and being awake.
DAVID: For God’s sake El, your phone rang. I heard it this time.
Groaning and murmuring, Elmar tries to stay conscious.
ELMAR: Yup, and?
DAVID: This is taking too long.
ELMAR: [losing composure] Want me to call back? I have caller ID and Sammy’s on speed dial. Let me just whip out my phone and return her call. Oh, shit, wait. I can’t. My body is tied up and I can’t move. Excellent. Good idea Dave. You should work for the Government.

DAVID: If I weren’t tied up I’d slap you.
ELMAR: And if you weren’t so useless, I wouldn’t have gotten tied up. You could have saved this.
DAVID: I was injured too, remember?
ELMAR: And what happened to you?
DAVID: I got a swift kick in the balls when I tried to help your beaten ass. Then J.R. knocked me out.
ELMAR: He was here too?
DAVID: He came in after I fell and you were already knocked out.
ELMAR: So you could have sucked it up and stopped this. You could have grabbed a weapon, knocked her out and handled him.

DAVID: Don’t turn this on me.
ELMAR: Never your fault is it David?
DAVID: No, it’s Sammy’s. She said J.R. would be at the bar and Karen would be at work tonight. She was the one who assured us, not me. You know that.
ELMAR: Regardless, you should have been more alert.

Don’t squander the epiphany that the death of friends bring. Your time is limited.

Two friends of mine died recently. One closer than the other, but they were both extremely good people. Better than I, in my mind. They were always positive, joking and uplifting. That’s not just something I’m saying because they’re no longer here, that’s a matter of fact. If they were pricks when they were alive, I’d say so. Don’t squander the epiphany that the death brings.

failure is just a stepping stone to success

J.R.: [beat] Prick. [beat] That makes it okay?
ELMAR: Well not really but… You can get it all back.
J.R. stands up, on edge. He takes another shot.
DAVID: [blunt] El, keep your mouth shut.

J.R. grabs the discarded cloth gags and nodding, he approaches Elmar. Karen cheers him on.
KAREN: Go baby, go!
She downs her drink.
J.R. violently stuffs the gag into Elmar’s mouth, whilst staring at David.
He sits back down.
The two engage in almost a staring contest with their would-be robbers.
Karen leaves to the washroom.

J.R. looks around his room, and potential weapons he may or may not be able to use.
Karen returns.
J.R.: I need to go too.
He leaves for the washroom.
KAREN: Why us guys? Huh? What did we ever do to you? Assholes. Get a fucking job. Make something of your life. Thieves. That word is only cool in fiction, in reality it’s wrong! You hear me, wrong!
J.R. returns to his seat.
Suggestively, Karen leans over to J.R. and seductively whispers something in his ear. An aroused smirk spreads across his face.
He looks at her as if to say “Really?”
She nods.

Karen stands up and inches towards the hallway leading to their room.
J.R.: I’m willing to not gag you if you keep your mouth shut.
David nods.
J.R.: Seriously. I hear one word; the gag —
Karen interrupts J.R. by tugging on his hand, pulling him towards their bedroom.
J.R.: — goes back in.
Elmar looks on as J.R. leaves, he takes the remainder of the rum bottle with him.
DAVID: [whispering] What now?
Elmar shrugs.

David further examines the room, desperately seeking an option. Both he and Elmar struggle, trying to find a way to loosen their bindings but not cause too much noise.
Elmar also focuses on pushing out the gag from his mouth, it takes him several hard attempts, but he manages to slowly push the cloth out. He grunts and groans moving and struggling, suffering from the throbbing pain in his head.
ELMAR: Sammy?
DAVID: No clue.
ELMAR: I have missed calls, I’m sure of it. My phone keeps vibrating as if I have missed calls or voicemail.
DAVID: I don’t care man, that’s irrelevant. How is Sammy possibly going to make this turn out right?
ELMAR: What’s your bright idea?