Karate, Beatniks & John Neville

James is a funny guy….he can be serious as well but for most of this interview he makes me laugh out loud!!

James is an actor, both stage and film, a stand up comic and a Poet. In fact I had James recite five poems for this interview and I've interspersed them throughout our chat.

James has worked with John Candy, Donald H. Ford and met the late Karen Hazzard who, referred him to his Toronto agent Edward G Agency.

Persian Dancing, my tree and an Angel.

My next guest is a molecular scientist, a cancer thriver, a Mindfulness coach, and an author. Welcome to Awesome People Mehrnaz Massoudi.

I met Mehrnaz at the beach one day...she was just getting off her paddle board and I thought to myself, I’ve always wanted to try paddle boarding, I'm gonna got talk to that women! She was welcoming and open and very happy to talk about one of her life passions, paddle boarding.

Mehrnaz was born and raised in Iran. Fell in love while still in Iran...which shouldn't seem like a big deal, but it was during the Iranian revolution and the young man was Baha'i. At that time it was illegal to for a Muslim woman to marry a Baha'i man….we talk about their escape, what that was like and the effects of Mr. Bush. We also talk about how to pronounce Iran...not Iran.

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Say no to striving - you don’t need it.

We’ve all heard claims that happiness is the key to success, or health or a good sex life or whatever. Many books I’ve seen over the years have talked about what to do so you can be happy. In short, the philosophy is that A+B = happiness. In the absence of another approach, I believed this one. After years of diligent effort and certainty that this was the way to go, I realized it wasn’t working, but I didn’t know why. I questioned my approach - maybe I was doing something wrong. No, I was doing all the right stuff. Then I questioned my commitment - maybe I didn’t truly believe I could be happy. No, I was happier while conditions were right, and then things would change and I’d be unhappy again. Constantly trying to get the conditions right fed my desire for control, but it didn’t make me happier.

I now have some experience which confirms that A+B does not = happiness. That’s just not how it works. Why?  Because true happiness is not an outcome, it’s the source. By its very nature, it is not quantifiable or achievable. So, if that’s true, then how do you get from stressed out and dissatisfied to a state of happiness?  My answer: Stop striving!  How do you do that?

Circle of influence, alone one can be and two tone tessie.

This next interview is so great in so many ways!! Claire Keys is our next guest. She is fun and inspiring and has the best accent. Born and raised in Rodezia, now Zimbabewe, Claire grew up in and out of convent/boarding schools at the age of two. They were Catholic of course and run by very strict nuns! YIKES!!

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Being less busy and more fulfilled.

Todays podcast is the first in the Captain Awesome addition to Awesome People.

Every month we pick a topic, we blog about it, and then I illustrate it.

Today’s topic, how to be less busy and more fulfilled.

Please head to the website for the full longish form blog post and the Captain Awesome illustration. Both are amazing...you’ll love it!!

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Travel, shoplifting and alternative parenting.

This interview is a must for anyone searching for an unconventional lifestyle. My next guest, David Wourms is the go-to guy for living an alternative life. He is homeless, (he still has an address in Alberta; the government requires this), but lives out of Airbnb and house-sitting gigs. He is also the primary parent of his daughter, and has been since she was 4 years old.

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Saskatchewan, Nashville and Hockey.

Have you have wondered where I got the amazing music for the intro to Awesome People? Well wonder no longer. My next interview is with Jarred Nicklen, singer, songwriter, and the man behind the music for Awesome People.

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Yeast, Tension and Crap Grapes.

Moraine Estate Winery produces one of my favorite wines….a Malbec that is spectacular AND they are located on the Naramata Bench just 7.2 K from my home. How lucky am I!!?

Jacq Kemp is the winemaker for Moraine Estate Winery and is the focus of this incredible podcast. Meeting Jacq this past summer was a gift. Not only was I introduced to a wine that has become my absolute favorite but Jacq is incredibly knowledgable and luckily for me and you, loves to teach….

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Fungus, Loonies and a Car Wash!

It gives me great pleasure to introduce this amazing dynamo to Awesome People Lynn Greene! I first came across her while being introduced to this video Citizen X. A video about Bill C-16 or more commonly called the bathroom bill. It's a bill that will amend the human rights act to protect those transitioning while using a public washroom. Why this has become such a big issue we are not sure but Lynn is not someone to sit and do nothing. She and a group of talented individuals made this video to show support to transgendered and to say hey this is ridiculous, we just wanna pee!!

Eggheads, Earl and a Twinkie boy.

Scott is an incredibly talented artist, as you will see…. We actually did a painting trade for each other to accompany this podcast. Fantastic!

Calgary born and raised Scott grew up in the hood and got shuffled in from Marlborough Park to Crescent Heights high school. There was no high school in Marlborough Park at the time and this was a blessing. It taught him the value of individuals and that people from all walks of life are wonderful in who they are.

Serial Killers, Tahsis and Turning 50!

This week's interview is taking a slight shift…..I have the great pleasure of introducing Chris Kuzmanovich. Chris will be interviewing me!

When I’ve asked people to participate, often I get a funny response. Like….”Who me? Oh...I have nothing to say.” or they get quite nervous…..and then sometimes postpone....Well I now understand why! Telling your story is not an easy task. You're putting yourself out there in a very different way, a permanent way and you're baring your soul to the world. This is an act of bravery! I want to thank every single person who has participated and who will participate in the future, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you!

Chris has done an amazing job in this interview. He asks some great questions and made it very comfortable for me to tell my story…...and the Scotch helped too…..

Lesbian Porn, Community Standards and Whack-a-Mole

Welcome to Awesome People Sandi Somers.

Sandi was born in Cape Breton and if you listen closely you can hear her accent….no Keith's was consumed during this interview….She came to Calgary in the 80's after finishing College with a degree in Theatre Design. 

Sandi was the resident designer for One Yellow Rabbit until 1992. She then jumped...and flew...pursuing her career as an independent film maker. She has made over 70 films including “Lock up your Daughters” her Lesbian Porn project, that was funded, believe it or not, by the NFB.....

Pedagogy of the oppressed, the Invisible Man and Language Politics.

Please welcome to Awesome people James.

I’ve known James for about 10 years. He was this super cute butch Dyke back in the day, when I was a server in a community based Bar and Restaurant. Roll ahead 10 years...James now identifiers as a Trans Man and is still super cute and brilliant. He is articulate, smart and has some amazing quotes…..my two favorites, “You have to live in the world not in Tumblr.” and “I think this is a you problem.”