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The Mike Varley Plain Dealer: Volume V, Issue I – The Goals of 26

March 10th, 2011 by admin
Hello All,
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Welcome to another edition of the Mike Varley Plain Dealer.  It’s that time of year again: the end of one birth year and the start of another.  With each birthday issue of the MVPD, I like to review the goals of the previous year, take stock of accomplishments and create some objectives for the year to come.  Inevitably, these objectives recede in importance or change in scope, but it’s interesting to see where my priorities go from year to year.
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This year, rather than present you with a challengingly long block of text few will endeavor to read, I’ve broken the email up into three parts.  Up first, last year’s goals:
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The Goals of 26 (With their descriptions from last year):
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1.  The Twin Canvas Project and Portfolio Build – “I still need to do the second canvas for the Twin Canvas Project, which will likely take 3-4 months.  I hope it takes less time, but everything inevitably takes more time than you imagine it to be.”
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Om, the second piece of the Twin Canvas Project, did indeed take about 3 months to finish but I got it done.  As for portfolio building, it was an unexpectedly successful year.  I was shown in four different exhibitions all over the city, with one in particular the direct result of getting nice portfolio pictures taken of my work.  This goal was achieved.
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2.  Bruce and Dom festival submission – “The project that connects all pasts, presents, and futures.  I’m looking to submit to $1,000-$1,500 dollars worth of festivals – somewhere between 35-50.  It’s a pretty experimental film, so I don’t know what to expect, but I hope to get it in to at least a couple of places.  I’ve certainly said this before, but expect an update on the movie soon.”
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–Haha.  For the second year in a row, I established my birthday as a deadline for getting B+D done and still we find more layers to polish.  A general recap of the year:
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~The trick to improve the audio quality Mark discovered fails us
~We press on and finish the DVD extras, cover, etc.
~I spend the summer scoring the whole movie, an endeavor that greatly improves its quality
~We bring in Darin Quan to help with the audio and he does his part
~Mark and I cave in to manually fixing the entire audio, finding no fool-proof sound filter
~Presently we are in our fourth pass of audio polish with likely at least one more to come.
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Needless to say it hasn’t gone to festivals yet, so this goal isn’t even applicable.
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3.  Continue with “The Secret Lives of Crossing Guards” – “I’d like to continue my slow, steady progress with piano, singing and song composition.  I have no expectations for this facet of my life other than enjoying our music creation.”
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–The band project, now rarely referred to as “The Secret Lives of Crossing Guards,” has had some interesting turns this year.  We have two new members, Cindy Shaoul and Darin Quan, and we practice in a new location after we finally found our limit at the apartment.  We still get together once a week, though with six of us it’s not always all at once. The new blood and some recent trips to watch shows has us moving in the right direction composition-wise.  If things go well, we’ll be looking to play a show in the summer.  Modest goal: accomplished
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4.  Give up Internet for a month – “This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile now.  I want to chronicle what it’s like to disconnect for a month, each day recording my experience and reflecting on a different facet of life the internet impacts – politics, relationships, happiness, etc.  When finished, I’d transcribe everything for the website and “Retro-blog” the results.”
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–This still hasn’t happened, though it’s not as pressing a project in my mind now as it was.  I think it’s a good idea and a good writing project, but I have other goals in mind for 27.  As it stands, I’d be more likely to do this just for the experience than to chronicle it.  A goal deferred.
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5.  Continue MikeVarley.com – “I have a novella and two short stories that have been sitting finished, waiting to be put up on the website.  I need to either do the audio recording or just put them up so they’re off my plate.  I also need to put together a site for Bruce and Dom.”
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–The two short stories were put up and well received at listening parties.  The novella might be too far gone to resuscitate.  Bruce and Dom is obviously still a goal and will happen soon.  A goal well met.
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6.  Script Idea – “After years and years of working there, I finally have an inclination to write about the nursing home.  I need to think very hard if I want to undertake a project that will be twice as big as the last film.  Moving on in this manner from one project to the next…it’s American, but I’m not sure it’s healthy.  I need to make sure I’m in the right frame of mind before I begin it.”
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–This goal has only increased in size in my mind and I intend to take it on this year.  I was hoping to start by early spring but it will likely not happen until summer.  I dread to say it, but this will become the new Bruce and Dom once it begins.  I suspected this goal would not come to fruition at 26.
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7.  Europe – “This summer, Erin and I are thinking about going to Europe for two weeks – one week in France and one week in Ireland so I can get Irish citizenship.  The jig is, if you are a grandparent or less removed from Ireland, you just have to prove lineage and prove you’ve visited to acquire citizenship.  With that comes the EU passport, so you can live anywhere in Europe and the right to go to school for free anywhere in the Union.  Who knows if I’d ever use that, but it’d be a cool thing to have, and I’ve never been overseas.”
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–There’s good news and bad news on this goal.  The bad news is we never got to Europe.  The good news is a visit wasn’t necessary for citizenship, so my sister and I completed the paperwork in July.  Given the amount of bureaucratic hassle it took to get this done, I feel satisfied about this goal.
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Tune in next week when I review the accomplishments of 26.  Until then, thanks for reading and take care.

Regards,
Mike Varley

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