Guess Who Got Engaged? (Engagement)

Once upon a time, I took a beautiful and interesting woman out on a first date. Very close to the time that Donald Trump got elected president of the United States of America. I’ll never forget that night, not because that major event happened, but because it was an incredible first date, and led me on a path that I was not expecting.

The path where I met my former girlfriend, current fiancée, and future wife. But while some of you might disagree with me on the timing of this current step, the engagement actually started at the beginning and not in the midst of our relationship.

One of the textbook definitions of engagement is an arrangement to meet or be present at a specified time and place. Mysticque and I agreed to meet each other for a first date, and we both showed up at the cafe. But more importantly we were both emotionally involved in the date.

I asked her questions, a lot of them, and she answered the questions to the best of her ability. We talked, a lot. For about two hours, before I decided to move the date to the next location. She reciprocated and followed me to the UofA campus, even though she was unsure of what to expect, and as she later told me, was nervous about walking in the dark with a stranger down a creepy path (actually a well lit path, but near a parking lot and steel sculpture garden, so I can see what she means).

Then we stopped at the Arts and Business Quad on top of the hill overlooking the manmade ponds and pathways. I had brought a bottle of Bodacious blended red wine, two glasses, and a blanket. It was intentional, I love romance, and I wanted to do something romantic. Mysticque reciprocated once more. We talked for another hour or so.

Then we got up, and I kissed her.

She wasn’t ready to go home just yet, so I took her for frozen yogurt at Menchies, and we played many rounds of Connect 4. She won a lot of them. But I reciprocated.

Then I walked her back to her car, and we kissed one more time. I later found out that she told many people about this wonderful date, and how I had managed to make her life feel like the movies. That was the point I knew I would probably fall in love with her and marry her. She constantly reminds me that I still make her feel this way every day. It’s a mutual reciprocation.

Engagement with anything comes down to showing up, being present and being who you are. Mysticque and I met way back in juniour high, and had the fortune to reconnect later in life when we were both ready to engage in a healthy relationship. Part of me wishes I had saved the story she wrote about our first date, but I do have a copy of what she wrote when I proposed to her, and she accepted. I think it demonstrates the importance of authentic, personal interactions when you make creative things. People appreciate creativity, but it’s not until you put yourself out there that you risk failure and eventually success.

Thursday (November 9th, 2017) marked a significant and special day in our lives. The evening started with Tim recreating of our first date filled with all the same locations, cheesy lines, and romance. During our date, Tim deviated and brought me down to the Old Arts building and showed me a canvas with a projected movie on it. This movie (lovingly made by Tim) captured whale love songs, 27 romantic love scenes, and brief explanation of Tim’s love. Moments thereafter he proposed to me and our close family & friends were there all along watching and capturing our special day! Later in the evening Tim surprised me for a second time with more family and friends waiting back at his house. It was truly the most amazing proposal. On the weekend Tim re-proposed to me with Miguel and made the experience even more special. Thank you to all our family and friends who helped Tim with his elaborate plans and being part of our lives. And thank you to my fiancee who has made my life better than the movies.

I wouldn’t have been able to create something like this on my own. It required effort, communication, and asking for support from others. I’ve always found that family and friends show up because you show up, people can sense when your heart isn’t into it. I hope one day that I can create something as beautiful as the love I have for Mysticque, and I cannot believe I was able to capture a significant moment in our he(art). What an engagement. And it was reciprocated.

theories Summarized

It might not always seem like your life is headed in a positive direction dear readers, but I shared this story not to brag about how lucky I’ve been, but to emphasize for you the importance of engagement. Love takes practice, failure, and a willingness to put yourself out there… just like making art. But at some point you are going to realize your purpose in life, and you’ll make something really special to reflect that.

And THAT is a theory I’ll take to the bank.

Tim!

Steel Your Heart Away (Miranda Lambert, The Weight Of These Wings review)

It’s always a challenge to make a good album. And to make a great album, even tougher. But what happens when you attempt to do the ol’ double deuce for your fans? Well it can go off really well or really poorly, just a matter of perspective.

And boy does this week’s album review have it in spades.

Miranda Lambert – The Weight Of These Wings
released November 18, 2016
******* 7/10

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Miranda Lambert is an American country music singer/songwriter, and is also a member of the Pistol Annies (alongside Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley). Lambert has won seven consecutive Academy of Country Music awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, two Grammy Awards, and is the first woman to have won the County Music Association Awards Album of the Year twice.

Having recorded six studio albums to date, starting with Kerosene in 2005, Lambert is no stranger to success in the country music genre. In fact, from 2011 to 2015, Lambert was married to fellow country singer Blake Shelton.

Normally I wouldn’t really care about that last factor, but it’s important to consider within the scope of this album and it’s release date. You see, dear readers, Miranda Lambert started to write this album following the fallout of her divorce. It was July of 2016 that she released Vice, an emotional track that is something of a tearjerker for her, morally ambiguity aside. Because we don’t know what sparked the divorce, not really. After all, we all have our vices that we lean on from time to time, but she couldn’t really do anything to spread the truth out about it when she split from Shelton – that was already in the open air, the tension the anger, the emotional wreckage.

That’s the impression I get when I listen to this album over and over. And that’s something I felt necessary to do as practice, to make sure I wasn’t missing any emotions or stages of grief as she got over what had happened.

Another concept album for the year, Lambert decided to split this record up into two parts, each at twelve tracks. The first disc being labelled as The Nerve and the second, ever so clever, is The Heart.

Interestingly enough, it’s not just an album full of fears – substance abuse, cheating on a marriage an aging woman, the problems associated with touring, losing faith. No, that’s just the first half. It’s also about confronting those fears, and that’s where the second disc comes in. The ideation and definitions of this exploration by Lambert are good, but not necessarily as powerful as my favourite album of the year – Angel Olsen My Woman.

Yeah, that’s right… it could have been a tighter compilation of tracks, organized into two sections for sure, but without splitting it up over two discs and forcing me to remain aware of the run time eternally. There just seems to be a bit of fill in here. It’s hard to point out and crucify specific tracks, but the pacing feels really long and we sometimes forget the themes as a consequence.

I think you should pay attention to Vice, Tin Man, Ugly Lights, Smoking Jacket, Highway Vagabond, Pushin’ Time, Keeping The Flame and To Learn Her in particular. There are a number of great songs, that could easily make a solid singular disc, but it’s not terrible, I think you should give it a listen. Americana yes.

 

 

 

This is the greatest range of emotion and ability we’ve seen from Lambert yet, and in fact, I could argue it’s probably one of the best country albums I’ve heard in a long time. But the double album play somehow cheapens the weight of the work being done here. That could just be a theory though.

Tim!

My Heartbeat (Professionalism)

Being yourself has become such a cliche that I literally cannot even, dear readers. I just literally cannot even.

Sorry, bad habit from dating someone in their early twenties.

Such a beautiful create who is still figuring herself out and doesn’t really know what she wants out of life yet.

Someone who is exploring the open road and wants to see what is out there.

Well actually, I’m really sorry but not sorry, because I already know what I want out of life, and while I’m pretty fucking cool with adapting to other people and their life pursuits, I’m most definitely not cool with someone trying to force me to do that which is against my goals and aspirations.

So bye bye baby, baby goodbye.

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Now that might not seem professional my friends, but as you’ve slowly come to learn about me, I’m an art maker, and I try really hard not to be a heart breaker, because after all, you can’t have heart without art, and as my friend Singh likes to say, you also can’t have art without heart.

My authentic self

My authentic self is entwined with the arts, and I’ve made great efforts to get back to a place where I am supporting the arts at every turn, and so I cannot be in a relationship with someone who won’t let me do my thing, and whose interests follow another path, and so if that led to an ultimate situation, then so be it. Because my professionalism is important in this journey of timotheories.

Which means it’s for the best Lindsey, I really hope you get the love you need in this life, and while I highly suspect that won’t be me anymore, I’ll always have that garden party, Ticker doodle doo.

Now, why do I care? Well friends, we’ve arrived at the final introductory post on the Importance of Marketing series, and as sobering of a topic as this is for me personally (thought I never would’ve expected that on first glance), it’s relevant that I write what I know.

After all, if we’re going to discus professionalism, it’s important to address that a professional is competent. A professional is both efficient and a producer of quality. Which means that as it relates to your brand or voice, your marketing needs to be consistent, unique and representative of you.

Think about your own favourite brands, you are the audience for the brands that you consume, and so as a marketer, you have a unique position. You know both sides of this story. It comes down to expression of an authentic message. Or as I like to call it, the why of your business.

My professional joy de vivre

Do you know your why yet? Your joy de vivre? If you can get to the purpose of what inspires you to do what you do, then you can start the process of articulating that why statement that will lead you to your brand statement. Once you have a brand statement, holy shit Batman, you can keep your professional image on point.

Figure out your audience and align with those in it, support what is being consumed, be authentic in your social media, learn the rules of marketing, and stick to the fundamentals, don’t worry about being cool.

There is a lot more to this professionalism than what I can share in a healthy post length, but I can assure you this much, I DON’T know it all friends, but because I’m working on sharing the arts with everyone from the artist’s perspective, I know that I’m going to learn as much as I can, and I’ll keep sharing theories with you along the way.

So now the real question comes in, did you really break up with your girlfriend just to make a post? No, I didn’t art shakers. I only made the best of an authentic situation to give you a solid example of keeping it real in your business.

I’m out of theories for now friends, but I’ll see you tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!

Sweet Treat (Corinne Bailey Rae, The Heart Speaks in Whispers, review)

Have you ever had a favourite food you loved so much that you were convinced you could eat it over and over again without any consequence to your stomach or feelings toward it? Ice cream was the food that did me in. I loved ice cream so much that I would eat it whenever I could, and one day I decided that I couldn’t stomach it all the time. Today’s album review feels a bit like that.

 

 

 

Corinne Bailey Rae – The Heart Speaks In Whispers
released May 13, 2016
********* 7/10

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Corinne Bailey Rae is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is the fourth British female artist in history to have a debut album open at no.1 in 2006. Her second album, The Sea, was released almost four years later after a personal tragedy occurred in 2008. Her husband and frequent collaborator Jason Rae died of what has been identified as an overdose. The Sea was nominated for a Mercury Prize for Album of the Year, given it’s somber tone and emotional weight.

It wasn’t until 2012 that Corinne followed The Sea up with The Love EP, and a year later that she married her producer and friend Steve Brown.

The Heart Speaks in Whispers helps us close the gap between that period of heartbreak, newfound love and the cautious optimism of Bailey Rae in her current life.

There is no doubt in my mind that Bailey Rae has a great vocal range and broad versatility to her music & lyrics. It reminds me of a great many female artists whom I have enjoyed previously, like Billy Holiday, Amy Winehouse, Feist, Joni Mitchell, and Emily Haines.

Now I say this with some reservation, but at first I didn’t really care for Bailey Rae as an authentic act.

Her work kind of fits into the larger genre of jazz and soul, and especially the soul revival that is happening, and which I admittedly have been kind of oblivious to until very recently. I will also mention Kendrick Lamar and Leon Bridges as artists who have been part of this movement, also with hesitation, because I hate to compare artists, but in this case, Bailey Rae has been collaborating with Lamar and that is a great indicator of her input into the landscape.

The songs on the album are often rather upbeat and fun – Been To The Moon, Horse Print Dress, and … come to mind. Stop Where You Are has that indie pop sentiment that reminded me of Feist. And if you are looking for anthems to build you up after any manner of letdown Caramel and High will serve that role rather easily. It’s a great ebb and flow of real life experiences without ever telling you explicitly what she gone through.

Push On For The Dawn closes out the album rather beautifully and isn’t ambiguous with Bailey Rae’s future. After all is said and done, The Heart Speaks In Whispers does an excellent job of changing your mind about the commercial production of the entire album, but its not something you can play anywhere and for all occasions.

 

 

 

I think pop music and jazz music are a wonderful form of expression, and that you should listen to them with regularity, but you can definitely over-expose yourself to forms of it. Especially when the music is rich and full of addictive content. The Heart Speaks in Whispers is a great example of this. When consumed in appropriate settings, you will have an awesome time, just don’t over indulge it.

Tim!

 

Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Space:Nunz)

In a time when loving love can be just as polarizing as hating love, it’s refreshing to see people who recognize that disparity which so often happens between star-crossed cultures, and push through it all the same – while laughing.

What the heck does that have to do with art or the going ons of your life, timotheories? 

Well, a few different things will justify this, dear readers. First and foremost, Valentines Day is just around the corner.

Second, it’s reading week in Edmonton next week, as well as the girlfriends birthday next week. And while those two things don’t have anything major to do with this week specifically, they have led me to commit to a vacation from my day job next week, which is important for this week – You’ll see, because you should now expect lots of cool updates on timotheories soon, which is foreshadowing to a minor tie-in to the first thing. AND FUTURE THINGS. Yes plural.

Last thing (read: one of the FUTURE THINGS), and the most relevant to you fine folks – a very special band has put together their first ever self-curated musical comedy show, which will be debuting this weekend on Saturday night February 13th, at Bohemia located at 10217 97 st NW, Edmonton AB.

Okay, let’s start tying all of these threads together. I’ll start by giving you a bit of background on Valentines Day first.

Valentine’s Day is an interesting holiday which has totally gone off the rails.

I mention this because a lot of the symbolism and traditions stem from a Christian saint named Valentine who was martyred on February 14th. Those symbols and traditions really came into fashion in the Middle Ages via Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle of friends, a time when popular fiction was about noble knights performing services for ladies. As such by the 18th century, England had adjusted it’s social cues such that people expressed love through flowers, sweets, and giving each other handmade greeting cards called Valentines, which of course, are now largely replaced by commercial ones.

What are the symbols?

The heart shape, doves, heart keys, and Cupid.

These are all Anglicized symbols of Valentines day which have been around for centuries now. Interestingly enough, we don’t really know a lot about Valentine the man (or men, if you do a little research) other than stories that indicate he would perform unofficial weddings for soldiers that were forbidden to do so and minister to Christians as a time of great persecution. He was eventually imprisoned and executed in Rome, by Romans, but managed to heal his jailers daughter before he was executed, leaving a letter to her that ended with “your valentine.”

What all of that exposition means, and what I am trying to spell out, is that culture is weird.

I get why some people really dislike the commercial forced obligations of this holiday. But I also understand why others think it’s sweet and like to observe aspects of it, whether they understand the origins or not. As a fan to culture and a bigger fan of satire, this is why I’m excited to check out Cupid Can Suck It on Saturday night at Bohemia!

Space:Nunz will be hosting this event and coincidentally they are also this month’s featured interview. Whoa, the tie-ins are starting to happen. That’s right, I am working behind the scenes to put up an interview I recently had with them. So stay tuned for that!

As mentioned already above, Space:Nunz are a musical comedy duo who are super awesome and make music about possible futures where people are food zombies, how to make friends with spiders, and other things. Laura Stolte and Nathalie Feehan have been jamming together for about a year now and they have been hanging out with Edmonton’s local comedy crowd and also finding time to join in shows with various other musical acts too.

They recognize that Valentine’s Day is an incredibly strange holiday and are big proponents of making clever, weird and fun art. Which is why I think they are the perfect act to check out this weekend, especially when they are hosting a group of 10 other acts that night. I’m sure we’ll see awesome content that is clever and challenges typical comic conventions.

If you want to hear more about the event directly from them, check out this incredibly recent article from VueWeekly! Otherwise, leave some comments and please subscribe to keep up with my media reviews, wisdom posts, local events, and theories on the arts! See you on Sunday friends!

Tim!