BLOGasides: Being ITM or In The Moment

Being ITM or In The Moment
Ready? Let’s be in the moment together…
    Ironically, I’ve always been a loner. I’ve always thought about things and done them my own way, setting myself apart from “the group.” You wouldn’t guess it upon first glance – I enjoy being around people, love being social, and relish being the centre of attention. But yet…I feel awkward around people. I can’t just have a relaxing, normal conversation about sports, or politics. It’s not that I don’t find either of those subjects interesting (although I could care less about “the game” last night), it’s just that I find them utterly inane; unimportant on the scale of things, fleeting and impersonal. Instead of prattling on about “the score,” I’d much rather talk about who “scored” the previous night. It’s so much more personal, interesting: human. To me who our next POTUS will be isn’t as significant as who my high school Year Book Club president was. At least that individual directly affected me – I knew him personally, and he got to choose which unflattering photo of me would be printed within its pages. And when truthfully, whether you’re voting for the Year Book Club President or the President of the United States, it’s all based on the same thing: politics, power and high school gossip.
     It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good political debate. I long as I happen to be following the news that week. It’s just that I appreciate the NOW. Not the score from a game that happened thenight before; not who rose ahead in the polls today; but what’s happeningright nowin front of me. Like, for instance, if the lady I’m talking to has spinach in her teeth and I awkwardly point it out, or the smart-ass student I’m teaching pipes up with a funny remark, causing not only the entire class to erupt in laughter but the teacher too – that’s real to me. It’s about creating real human moments, things I canobservedirectly.I can tell what my best friends thinking if I suggest jerk chicken (he’s thinking, Hellyes!), not what a politician is thinking when he promises reform and better healthcare.
     I think I live in the moment too much. I rarely plan things and that seems to be my downfall. It’s why I’m always late, why I’m always broke, and the reason I still don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I’m envious of everyone around me: I call these citizens “normal people” (NP from here on out). I envy their jobs, their lifestyles, and their generally relaxed demeanours under life’s stresses and pressures. They seem to defiantly move forward, while I obstinately pretend these things didn’t exist. I tend to defuse these social situations with a sly remark, a witty observation, a funny joke, all hiding the fact I’m morescaredthan the they are (though perhaps they’re thinking the same thing). In fact, most of the time I wish I was someone else – fat, ugly, poor or rich – anyone but me. But then I try and erase that thought, afraid that I’d lose my talents, abilities, personality, and anything that makes me,me.
     Sometimes, if I take a moment to reflect (which is rare in today’s day and age), I tell myself to acknowledge the awesome things I’ve done: the art, poetry and performances, to take some time out of my “busy” day to pause; to congratulate myself in an unrelenting, and at times unsympathetic world. It’s certainly healthy to do so; otherwise we’d all walk around doing things and forgetting why the hell we did them. So, good job me! Congratulations! You’ve survived another day – You got up, showered, brushed your teeth, dressed, made coffee, wrote a blog, went to work, taught a student something new, talked to a stranger, texted a loved one, watched three episodes of Narcos back to back, and did it all without offending someone too much and maybe even brightened someone’s day who felt worse than you.
     I may be a loner at heart (the reason for all my self-inflicted problems), but perhaps we all feel like loners in our own world. I feel “unique” in this world – I believe my mom uses the term “special” – but this is a feeling I think we all need to adopt in a world that, if you don’t display your uniqueness in some way, you fade into the background unnoticed and unappreciated..and that would be such a loss to your fellow creatures. So let your uniqueness shine! Even if your uniqueness is the cause of your depression, anti-social behaviour and other issues, show the world you’re different than the rest. Read up a little on what’s happening in the world so you can indulge in a conversation that covers the basics: polictics, sports, Hollywood gossip… But make sure you’re also in theNOW:notice what people are wearing, what nervous ticks they have, don’t be afraid to awkwardly point out the mustard stain on their jacket or ask about their personal life. It’s the stuff that makes ushuman, and not just a Blackhawks fan who thinks Trump is the best thing to happen in politics since that weirdo who headed up the Year Book Club. What’s his name again?
Cameron is a freelance writer and proud loner

N-A-N-A Birthday Song

N-A-N-A Birthday Song

Story: For my Nana’s 75th birthday, I composed, wrote the lyrics, and recorded this song with my brother and sister as a surprise gift… Of course she cried when she heard it! Now hit play, turn up your speakers and SING ALONG!!!
Now click the link, turn up your speakers and SING ALONG!!! NANA Birthday Song
Release date: July 12, 2008
Written by Cameron Brtnik
Lyrics and melody by Problem-Addict
Produced by Noam Lavi
NANA Birthday Song
N-A-N-A  N-A-N-A
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate!
What things do I think about when I hear your name?
There’s plenty but for this song there’s too many to say
I think about…
Thanksgiving dinner sitting around the table
thinking how you were able to do
all this cooking, sprouts and baby peas, green beans,
meat all drowned in gravy
I think of her beautiful hair, everything done with the usual care
Her keen eyes and open smile, I think about the wooden pile
And the fairy tree, you can see’em if you look hard, it ain’t just make-belief – nope!
I think about raking leaves and making a jumping pile and how we used to pump the well
Pumpkin-carving contests, your favourite saying? “God Bless”
Planting in the garden, she’s not just a gardener; she’s a flower Goddess!
Yes the earth needs her, where else would birds eat without a bird feeder?
A nurse healer, church believer, ever since birth she’s been a leader
I think about the barn exploring the depths, tractor rides and the Northern Express
I think about camping trips, remember that storm in the tent?
I think about decorating the Christmas tree – re-using the tinsel
Eggshell ornaments, elves and angels and you would tell us tales
of how we were being watched by them, and I believed it…
In fact I still do, and later on our kids will too
This is our homage to you, to you!
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate!
What things do I think about when I hear your name?
There’s plenty but for this song there’s too many to say!
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate!
At night before I go to sleep I pray that your guardian
Angel’s watching over you every day
I just want to say thanks for…
tucking me in at night and saying a prayer for me “Dear God”
You made sure that the blanket was pulled tight, warm and cozy
I’d look forward to porridge in the morning
Bedtime stories curled up on the couch, the smell of popa’s tobacco pouch
Such a sweet smell even though it
makes my allergies swell!
Thanks for teaching us to love ourselves and others,
and just for being a grandmother
Thanks for always showing compassion, and for
being so fantastic!
Thanks for loving your grandkids and raising a daughter –
since the moment you brought her
to the world and taught her to talk, wisdom
timeless like the grandfather clock
Now let’s sit at the table for some roasted
ham, and hold hands so we can be close to fam
Now stand for a toast to Nana –
Cheers! To many more years
that we can cherish and be together like Meet the Parents
What’s left to say about N-A-N-A?
It’s tough cause this song’s just not long enough –
Now everybody say…
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate
What things do I think about when I hear your name?
There’s plenty but for this song there’s too many to say
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate
At night before I go to sleep I pray that your guardian
angel’s watching over you every day
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate
What things do I think about when I hear your name?
There’s plenty but for this song
there’s too many to say

Hi my name’s Cameron aka Emcee Problem-Addict and I am a writer, lyricist and composer. Please message me here for usage, and contact me if you would like personal musical pieces composed and tailored for you:

Poetry Corner – I feel 

I feel
    I feel heavy.

A constant weighing down; I try to pick myself up, but it’s almost impossible. I try to inspire, to motivate my myself, but it’s like pushing against gravity; I don’t budge. I know I have potential, I know I do! But…it remains stagnant, unmoved by my intentions.

    I feel sad.

I can’t really figure out what’s wrong with me…am I depressed? And if so, am I depressed because of my circumstances or simply because I am depressed, like a never ending cycle, perpetual motion....

    I feel hope.

I have more opportunity than ever. But I’m so scared I won’t be able to follow through, the thought of starting anything frightens me. I don’t want to let down my partners, my friends, and perhaps overall, myself.

    I feel chaotic.

Like a constant battle going on, a magnet: positive and negative; drive and break; up and down; good and evil. How can I find a happy medium? Drugs, prescriptions, psychoanalysis, it’s all available. I’ve tried some in the past, I just wish I could do this on my own without anyone’s help….

    I feel foolish.

Immature, and selfish asking for others’ help, even though I know they would happily offer it. I want to do it on my own, but that may be impossible...I’m not sure where I’m heading…. I see the sunlight above the clouds, but it’s far in the distance………. Will I ever reach it?

BLOGasides: Spring Sneezin’


Spring Sneezin’

Never do people not sound like themselves more than when they’re lying…or sneezing. Everyone’s sneeze is different – individual, like a facial feature or nervous tick. Most politely cover up in order to mask the God-awful, deafening blast about to be unleashed from the depths within… 
And some prefer to just let it out – akin to shouting, “I just peed my pants!” in public – much to the chagrin of anyone within a one mile radius of your muzzle. It’s the worst tip-off that would give away your position in war; or make your presence known in a sold-out performance of Swan Lake. It’s one of those things that makes us human, like uncontrollable hiccups, helpless laughter at a good joke, or subconsciously being judgemental of others – except we’re unapologetic about it. 
Sneezing acts almost like a natural stress-release; the louder the sneeze, the more negative energy your body rids of. It’s never pleasant when the man sitting next to you on the bus causes you to have a heart attack; or when your snotty child sneezes all over your freshly pressed blouse. And it’s certainly never attractive to watch as your husband’s face scrunches up and contorts into the hideous countenance of an unrecognizable beast; like witnessing someone who’s just hallucinated their long-dead father. 
Sneezing may be an unexpected, and often embarrassing, bodily function. But it’s one of life’s little pleasures; Something we can be unapologetic about: Something that makes each of us unique. So scream it – or should I say sneeze it – loud and proud! Gesundheit, and God bless you.
Next: “From Dusk Till Yawn”
Cameron is a freelance writer 

Upfront Reviews – The Goonies

                                                                                                                                                                          Trip Home – Summer 2015                                                                                                                                August 21, 2015
Upfront Reviews  
by Cameron Brtnik
Sugar Cinemas sit-in theatre presents:
     I went to the sit-in theatre today located at Sugar Beach at Queens Quay and Jarvis, Toronto. I was pumped; They were showing Goonies, possibly my favourite childhood movie of all time – Steven Spielberg, Chunk, and Rocky Road…It was definitely a nostalgic trip down memory lane. I often take time to watch my favourite movies from my youth – online torrents, streaming sites, and even YouTube make this easily possible – Hunt to Witch Mountain, Short Circuit, Batteries Not Included, The Navigator to name a few of my treasured talkies.
     The free event was put on very well: street performers, contests, free food! (including sweetened popcorn and some delicious butter cookies), plenty of outhouses, and bum boxes – no, they are not a solution to the city’s homeless – an ingenious idea, it’s a box that folds out into a portable seat that you can actually lean back in. We grabbed a couple and took them to a comfy, sandy area to sit down on. But there was a problem: our view of the screen was hindered by permanent, plastic umbrellas, not to mention the obtrusive heads of viewers sitting in cottage style chairs that the smart, early crowd nabbed up in an instant, rendering the aforementioned bum boxes obsolete.
     And then there was the movie screen: It seemed big enough for a small-sized movie theatre; not for a sold-out crowd. I could barely see the screen – stationed in the water, on a dock – even though we were sitting, bums in boxes near the front. Another trifling problem was visual quality; It literally felt like I was watching an old VHS tape. At times it was so dark on screen I couldn’t make out who Mikey was from his brother Brand (played by a young Josh Brolin) or Chunk from Sloth. And there was the issue with the sound: At first it was loud enough but so echoey you could barely make out what the Goonies were saying. Then the loudspeakers blew out and all that was left were the stereo speakers positioned at either end of the beach. The sound was actually clearer, but too quiet for the number in attendance. The staff fixed the speakers fairly quick, but by then some moviegoers had had enough; about a quarter of the audience just got up and left.
     Overall it was a good experience (enhanced by the fact we had snuck in a bottle of wine which has a nice way of increasing the nostalgia effect), and I was on a date so they could have been playing Labyrinth for all I cared. But a little advice Sugar Cinemas: Test your equipment before you put on such a large event! And maybe even get an HD version of the the movie you’re playing. There’s not enough free popcorn in the world that would make a shitty cinematic experience better.
Upfront Reviews
Cameron is a freelance writer 
For your very own “Upfront Review” just send me a message on WordPress or via Instagram @instacam81

Travelogue: How To Get Fired From A Cruise Ship

Travel-ogue: How To Get Fired From A Cruise Ship
by Cameron Brtnik
     The year was 2009, and I was freshly back from Hollywood. I didn’t make it of course – I didn’t have the drive; to sleep in a car, to live off macaroni and cheese for two years, to go to five auditions a week only to get a call back to a tooth paste commercial – I didn’t get that either. I had been working on my magic – practicing daily, I even enrolled in the world famous Magic Castle Hollywood and partook in a master class with my childhood magical hero Mark Wilson (The Complete Course In Magic was the first magic book I studied). And I wanted to do something with it. I filmed a demo video, sent it off to Carnival Cruise Lines – the world’s foremost pleasure vessel and self-acclaimed party boat – and whadaya know, I was hired!
     It was a 200,000 ton (fifty times bigger than the Titanic), 2000 passenger occupancy vessel. Simply put, it was a huge. She was a magnificent beast. And it was all mine: The Carnival Glory.
But let me backtrack a bit here….
     That summer I was at Sorcerer’s Safari Magic Camp (I know what you’re thinking, and yes they do manufacture real life Harry Potters there) and one of the special guests – a world famous magician cruise ship by the name of Sean Farquhar – regaled us with stories of magic on the big seas…I was hooked. I approached him later that day to ask him more details. He told us the story of a a cruise that involved certain Playboy Bunny guests, and an onboard magician who woke up one day at the ungodly hour of five o’clock a.m. to a knock at the door to find one of the ship’s officers just stopping by to say hello. He admired the photos taped on his wall, mainly noticing the X-rated material of said rabbit ear-wearing guests. He also recognized who they accompanied, and more specifically, the location of where the photos were taken: in that very bedroom.
     Now this all seems fine and well, even a good story perhaps if it weren’t for one G-darned rule: There’s NO frolicking with the guests – even if they are Playboy Bunnies. So this lucky, damned SOB was fired on the spot. No one heard from him again…or so I say. Foreshadowing anyone???…..
I excelled at my job. it was a perfect fit; magic, entertainment, customer experience, and….women. No shortage of them. It was like a haven, a floating forbidden island, an open buffet, a melting pot of American, Asian, African, Mexican, you name it you got it, it was….Paradise. And I? Zero willpower. I met a smart man early on – the wisest of men and the absolute manslut of the cruise: The Pianist. He knew things no other man did – or should – and more importantly, he knew how to manipulate the rules of a pleasure boat. He gave me one simple piece of advice: If you don’t want to get caught, meet the female guests off board the ship. Book a hotel for a few hours, meet the single, university frat girl, divorce or married woman off the premises, have your fun, and return onboard as if nothing ever happened. Because in the eyes of everyone aboard (including the ignorant) husband, nothing out of the ordinary happened; just another drunk guest enjoying her time on land, probably shopping or getting drunk off three dollar martinis at some cheap local beach bar somewhere in Belize.
     Good advice – advice I should’ve taken to heart, considering that was the second unofficial warning. But me being me, never heading the advice of others, never listening to the warnings of previous perpetrators, always wanting to learn the hard way, me -stubborn, selfish, self-absorbed, egocentric, narcissistic – had to learn the hard way….
It was a warm evening – I know because I was getting a BJ on the balcony of th—wait, I’m getting “ahead” of myself now…. It was a regular night. I was working the martini bar, performing close-up magic for Carnivals guests – couples, newlyweds, singles and some curious staff – and this spicy Mexican broad was making eyes. I’d seen the look before: sultry, exotic, flirty, curious, all come-ons, and I knew i could have her that night. It was all part of the process: Girl goes on cruise for first time with friends, girl gets drunk, girl hunts for boys, girl finds no boys, girl goes in search of something more attractive, more charming, more dangerous: the staff. Not just any staff – no, sadly the housekeepers, chefs and servers are not allowed in the guest area – for entertainers. And if the piano man got laid the most, the magicians (and even comedians believe it or not) were a close second. I just happened to be on her radar, or more fittingly, menu that night.
     Here was my problem: I thought I had out-smarted security – I had not. To rub this obvious truth in even more, a friend co-worker who sold paintings at a gallery onboard warned me not a week earlier: “Be careful: they have their eyes on you.” I scoffed at the thought. Around midnight, the time I usually wrapped up my show, I met her at the ship’s nightclub. We drank. We danced. We left about 2am and hurried back to her door. I had been here many times before; “Should I or shouldn’t I?” were always the thoughts that repeated through my mind. On one hand, I’m sacrificing my job and career (and an exciting one full of future possibilities at that!) On the other hand, this chick is hot and horny and that’s also, in it’s own way, full of future possibilities. Many times in the previous few months I had turned this enticing offer down; this time I overruled my silly worries, and discreetly stepped into her room…
     Fast forward to getting a glorious BJ on the deck off her room, under a full moon, the night sea breeze filling my nostrils full of optimism…then a loud knock at the door. Security: “We know you’re in there and we’re coming in.” Me: (Thinking) “I could totally Spiderman down the side of the ship onto the balcony below and not get caught…” The gig was up – I was caught. Now, the thing is I was friends with these security guys – really nice dudes from India who I said hi to and conversed with daily – so it felt surreal as they handcuffed me and led me into a small, windowless room to interrogate me. I was forced into admitting my actions (and a couple others) and writing an apology, promising that I would never commit such an unspeakable atrocity again. (The rules are in place to prevent the cruise line from being sued by guests. Think “unwanted pregnancy” or “mysterious std”.) I was then freed to go with the ominous warning: “One day you may hear a knock at five o’clock in the morning.” So it was true….
     Four days past without incident; I thought I was in the clear! Day 5: Port stop, Miami. 5am: Knock at the door. I thought I was dreaming. An officer standing at the door; it was told to pack my bags. I was escorted off the ship by the sympathetic officer. It was like doing the ultimate “walk of shame” in front of my fellow shipmates whom I had become close with over the six months I had been aboard. I was met by a local Miami officer – a pleasant, religious woman who gave me sound advice on the way to the airport (something about not drinking too much) and waited with me until my plane home arrived. I learned an important lesson that day: The “Five O’clock Knock” is a real thing.
-Written by Cameron Brtnik