Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Unloaded from X-Weighted

I'm sad to report that less than an hour ago, I got a call from the producers of X-Weighted. Readers will recall that I went through the full audition process for the show -- a casting call with an interview, a callback interview with my local support team, and finally a full evening of shooting in my home with a four-person camera crew.

The producers said they loved me, they thought I was great, and they enjoyed the blog.

But they've decided not to shoot in Halifax. As reported earlier, they'll be shooting in three cities, and it's been decided that the third city will be Kelowna, BC. So, nothing personal -- they're just not going to be doing it here. I get the sense that if they had chosen Halifax, I would've been on.

So, now I'm back to the beginning. A fat guy without a deadline, a plan, a trainer, or the motivation of TV cameras and impending national humiliation. Of course, that doesn't mean I can't do it. In fact, there ought to be a sense of relief that I can finally exercise! Ought to be ... but for now, it's pretty disappointing.

I thanked the producers for the opportunity to try out, and told them that I hope I won't need to see them the next time the show comes looking for fatties. I told them that I may very well take the opportunity to do my own web-based video series called "Un-Weighted". They chuckled, and didn't say "lawyer" or "infringement", so that may be something I could do.

Good luck to the chosen chubsters in Toronto, Calgary and Kelowna. And much love and thanks to the people who've supported me in this quest.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Yes, actually, I am from Ontario

Despite all the martimization that's happened in the past year, indications still pop up that I'm a CFA (Come-From-Away).

When we were travelling through Cape Breton recently, we passed signs indicating a town called Wycocomagh. We amused ourself by saying it out loud. "Why-CO-co-maw."

Then, yesterday morning, I hit a story cold:

A GAS STATION OWNER WHO SUPPORTED GAS PRICE REGULATION IS SELLING HIS BUSINESS. DENNY EHLER HAS RUN DENNY'S ULTRAMAR IN WHYCOCOMAGH SINCE 1980...BUT HE TELLS THE CHRONICLE HERALD HE CAN'T MAKE A LIVING UNDER THE NEW REGULATIONS.


My co-anchor was impressed that I just breezed right through the word. "Why-CO-co-maw."

Then, Amanda and I were watching the teevee news, and the anchor said it differently ... "wy-COG-uh-muh." What? "wy-CAW-guh-muh" maybe. Jee-zus. Oh well. I felt right dumb. What a sin.

I made up for my Ontarification of the news later in the morning by deliberately pronouncing tourist as the regional "toar-ist" or "tor-ist" instead of the traditional "toor-ist". Yes, b'y.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Don't go changin': X-Weighted casting update

A crew from Life Network's X-Weighted came by on Monday night for the last stage of the casting process. A director, cameradude, sounddude and grip/continuity dude piled into the apartment along with my work sidekick Erica and morning talkmeister Andrew. It took three hours, taking me well past my bedtime, which I'm sure helped ruin my body even further, considering I'm in the middle of a two-week stretch of 3:25am wakeups for the morning show. (Friends and family -- if I've been out of comm lately, that's why.)

Anyhow, they shot me solo for about 45 minutes. I bared my soul and my moobs for the camera. Then Amanda and I stood at the kitchen table and gave the folks a tour of foods which will be a challenge for me during a six-month fitness journey. We called the rest of the local support team back from the bar for a sit-down on the couch in front of the camera. And what a camera! Looks like they're shooting this season with a 16:9 24p jobby that'll give a high-definition film look to the show. Class-ay!

The folks from X-Weighted were very kind, and the interview went very well, in spite of all the sweating. The final cut, from 30 contenders in four cities, to 13 finalists in three cities, will be made in the first week of September. I've been told not to lose any weight or make other significant changes to my appearance 'til then, for the sake of continuity.

It's my understanding that two of the cities have been selected, and the options for the third are down to Halifax vs. Kelowna BC. (Another contender in Kelowna has a blog.)

They've already shot several seasons of Taking It Off and X-Weighted in Halifax, so there's a reason for the producers to go somewhere else. But self-esteem expert Fred is based here. So is the production team that's turned out great TV in past seasons. A source tells me the company was searching for another "expert" through a professional organization in Nova Scotia. And, of course, Big Ass Superstar is here. Hopefully those things will lead to yours truly being given the thumbs-up for the show. 'Til then, I've been told to keep on keepin' on.

Hosers to do comeback special

Mander points out a Sun article revealing the return of the Mackenzie Brothers:

The one-hour show is tentatively scheduled for May of 2007. It will mark the 24th anniversary of their hoser flick Strange Brew, which still boasts a cult following.


Beauty! I think I've only met a coupla people in my lifetime who, like me, had the soundtrack for Strange Brew. (A film inducted into the CBC's Alternative Canadian Walk of Fame.) In fact, I'd listened to the soundtrack a few hundred times before ever seeing the movie. I don't recall the movie being very good. It was a ripoff/homage to Hamlet. The album "Great White North" was my first introduction to Geddy Lee of Rush. I have a framed copy of that record. It hangs proudly nowhere in the apartment.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Done with 32. On to 33.

So, here's my birthday. It's been a helluva year. I did a Google search about turning 33, and the results showed a lot of people feeling pretty crappy about this particular birthday. Some call it their "Jesus year", since Jesus was believed to have been crucified at age 33. I also have my Vinyl Birthday ahead (33 1/3). Last year's birthday was somewhat of a downer, and my enthusiasm for birthday whoopdedoo has waned somewhat since the climactic peak of age 30, when I was overwhelmed to find that my friends and acquaintances had gathered for a surprise party in my honor. That was fabulous and special.

Anyway, 32 has been a busy one. Much of it has been written up here in Big Ass black 'n white. It's probably not best to dwell on the negative -- just learn from it and move boldly forward.

So, giving a skew to the positive, here's some of what I'll mark as progress in my 32nd year on this planet:


Wow. Not bad for one year.

Of course, I couldn't have done all that on my own, nor would I have wanted to.

Anyone who's known me for very long knows that virtually none of this fun, cool, life-expanding stuff would've happened without Amanda in my life. She drives me to be a better Scott, and on top of that, drives me. Literally, in her awesome car. Her contribution to my health, happiness and well-being is worth noting in bold flashing type, which I must point out, is entirely against proper web style in this day and age. Just understand that I love her, typography aside.

Thanks to my family for their generous support and love. I thank my good friends for their wise counsel and inspiration, standing by me through the difficult times and for cheering me on through the good times.

Sorry I haven't seen more of you in the past year. We're half a country apart now, but you're always close. Any success I have, you all get credit. I love you all.

Now, for 33. It's hard to imagine that this year could be as action-packed as the past one, but I already have a few things on the agenda.

The next month and and a bit will show whether I made it all the way through the interview/audition process for X-Weighted. That'll either kick off an intense weight-loss and fitness campaign for six straight months, or I'll be doing it the old-fashioned way. The first big ratings for the radio station begin in September. We're hoping family will be visiting in the fall. My sister is due to give birth in early January. Amanda's cousin is getting married in Ontario in late January, so that looks like a trip. I wanna get back to playing guitar and recording -- maybe some lessons? Maybe I'll take up a sport. We have more travelling and exploring to do, both in the Maritimes and elsewhere -- New York City perhaps? And depending on how things go with Amanda, my work, her work, and so on ... ya never know. There are a lot of home-buying, renovating, wedding and baby-makin' shows on television. And you know how my generation is influenced by the teevy! :)

Friday, August 4, 2006

Birthday wishes


With my birthday coming up in a few days, my sister asked if I had any wishes. I've reached a point where I no longer have a list of "stuff" I want. Things were a lot easier when I was a kid and I could just rhyme off Star Wars figures I didn't have, or video games I wanted. In the absence of obvious material desires, I started thinking of a few things I could wish for. Here's what I came up with to start...
  • I wish I could write songs like Barenaked Ladies.
  • I wish I could sing like Steven Page.
  • I wish I could play guitar like Dean Ween.
  • I wish I could play drums like Claude Coleman Jr.
  • I wish I could play piano like Ben Folds.
  • I wish I could play bass like Geddy Lee.
  • I wish I could run a home studio like Matthew Sweet.
  • I wish I could write like Douglas Adams.
  • I wish I could fight like Tito Ortiz.
  • I wish I could fight evil like Dave Touretzky.
  • I wish I could understand women like Oprah.
  • I wish I could dispense solid, life-changing advice like Dr. Phil.
  • I wish I could capitalize on eccentricity like Prince.
  • I wish I could indulge in vice in moderation like ... most people.
  • I wish I could be forgiven for my sins like a Catholic.
  • I wish I could be at peace with what is like a bodhisattva.
  • I wish I could "make it right" like Mike Holmes.
  • I wish I could transcend typecasting like Paul Reubens.
  • I wish I could be a hero to the geeks like Kevin Smith.
  • I wish I could install software patches, roll back to a system restore point and defrag my brain like an operating system.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Web users lonely, inconsiderate slobs: Stats-Can

A new study from Statistics Canada looks at the "lifestyle" of people who use the internet more than an hour a day -- or, as the federal agency calls them, "heavy users". ("Users" being the descriptor of computer enthusiasts and drug addicts.)


The study also found:
-"Heavy users spent an average of 33 minutes less time each day than non-users on domestic work, such as child care and housekeeping."
-"Spouses and children in particular bore the brunt. Heavy users spent about half an hour less with spouses and with children than did non-users."
-"Heavy users were less likely than non-users to say they knew most or many of the people in their neighbourhood."
-Heavy users spent less time in active sports, engaging in civic and volunteer activities, or attending sports events, movies and other events. But they did express greater enjoyment in participating in clubs and social organizations.

The CTV write of the story reports 40% of these heavy Internet users are women. "Internet users also spend more time reading books and newspapers than non-users and reported less stress than those who did not use the Web."

So, I guess the message is ... if you have time to read this blog, maybe you should go wash the dishes or hug your spouse. And have a shower. And go outside and talk to real people.

Coming soon from Stats Can: A new study shows people who sleep more than average spend less time awake and active.