Thursday, March 3, 2011

Conference Call from God?

My husband in front of the Cafe Bellagio in their Chinese Atrium, or whatever it is. Pretty place and empty at 6 in the morning when we went for Breakfast.

I just awoke from a very peculiar dream: I was visiting my eldest son, who had a course for university to finish, but I left because I had to get back to my babies, I missed them. I had left them with babysitters, (I was hoping it wasn't my in-laws, as it wasn't smart to leave babies with 89 year olds, was it?)

In short, "time" got all mixed up in my dream, and that's not surprising. I feel kind of mixed up time-wise, these days.

I refuse to believe I am 56 and that, basically, everything's over. (Now, that I've just put my 14 year old dog Tessa to sleep.)

It didn't help that before I went to bed I listened to an audio chapter of a new agey workshop by Caroline Myss called Energy Anatomy, that I had purchased and downloaded last year from Sounds True.

Back then I listened only to the first five chapters, because it freaked me out a bit, and today I listened to the fifth again. The lecture series is all about unplugging from you past and your perceptions and 'ascending' very Virgin-like into your higher levels of consciousness. Easier said than done.

Of course to do this you must let go of your need for human-centered order and, I guess, "time" and the idea of 'passages' or phases in life, is part of that.

It seems heretical to let go of the notion that you are in a particular phase of life and that you have just so many options in this phase, as dictated by convention and the lifestyle media (Vegas, Baby! Get your fun in before it's too late.) It's only something that you allow yourself to do in dreams.

Also yesterday I decided to force myself to get out of the house by doing some freelance reporting.(When you are a writer, the sky's the limit right? As long as you don't need to support yourself on the income from said reporting.)

So, I looked up conferences coming up in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto and decided which ones might be of interest and emailed the organizers to see if I could attend of a journalist. (I did this kind of thing in the past.)

Well, this weekend there's a Study and Go Abroad Event for new graduates in Montreal and that might be fun to cover. (I'm an education writer.)

On Monday and Tuesday, Centennial College in Toronto is holding a Conference called Engaging Hearts and Minds: Equity, Social Justice and Global Citizenship in Action with an exciting list of speakers.

I emailed them and was invited to attend as a journalist, but I had to pay the hefty conference fee - and that I can't do. Too bad.

And at the end of the month the Conference Board of Canada is holding an event called The Public Sector and Social Networking - another interesting topic. (I've been writing for decades about technology and the family, a topic that only gets exponentially more complicated.)

Ironically, but not surprisingly, the Conference Board is very traditional. To cover their events you either have to have be working for a media outlet or get an established media outlet to sponsor you. Considering the topic, you'd think they'd be more flexible. The TRADITIONAL MEDIA IS DEAD. Get it?? You'd think they'd be more open to freelancers like me, journalists who are trying to adjust to this new reality, since I'm the future, whatever my age.

But there's still hope, I changed my title to "Food Journalist" and emailed a Montreal Salon related to the grocery industry. I'm interested in food (first chakra is it?) but from the social justice point of view (third chakra?) Fair Trade and all that.

So, I'm thinking of starting a Montreal Food Blog, instead, in the style of the BBC's Food Programme, or at least covering the same range of topics. (The tag line of that terrific show is "Covering every aspect of the food we eat" which is pretty broad :) The presenter of the Food Programme, Sheila Dillon, is a brilliant radio reporter. Her job is to paint word pictures of what she's eating and she never fails to do so. And her show is big on promoting Regional Foods and Fair Trade Foods and issues like School Meals. Really good stuff. And I could do that, but with a Quebec slant. Of course that's harder than blogging the way I do here, just off the top of my head.

Also, yesterday, I listend to a BBC documentary on Charlie Chaplin. All very interesting. Chaplin was the first global movie star, the most famous man in the world at the time, thanks to the brand new film medium, that was not much older than social networking is right now. (Chaplin worked for Max Sennett (of Richmond) but in 1916 he moved to Essanay and somehow, within six months, he was a house-hold name in the Western World.

The commentator suggested this wasn't entirely 'organic': that someone was pulled the strings to make this happen. How did that someone know which strings to pull with respect to this BRAND NEW MEDIUM of film? I guess he (or she) had attended the equivalent of a Conference Board Workshop..Ha! Ha!

Another person interviewed for this radio doc claimed that the motion picture only became popular with the middle class at the onset of WWI - as they were curious to see war footage. What nonsense! As my Flo in the City blog reveals, Marion Nicholson went to see Man in the Box at the Nickel in 1909. And in Montreal they had the Ouimetoscope, designed to raise the tone of the traditional Nickelodeon... also the Royal, a 'respectable Nickelodeon' that showed only proper films to a proper clientele and had regular fire inspections. Had the middle class not been into motion pictures at that time, these special motion picture emporiums would never have been built.