Thursday, April 25, 2013

Inapark Superfans.

Lisa Brooks, and Tiff Chiang, will always be superheroes of Inapark Productions. Speaking of which, The Best of Inapark Productions, and Sketch, now available at the Indigo at John and Richmond.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Best of Inapark... So Far.

Different kind of update tonight. I've been putting together a new release of my first book, The Best of Inapark Productions, for the past week now. It's almost done, and almost perfect. I decided to do this for a few reasons. I wanted to have something cleaner and prettier to send to publishers, and also I realized that the funniest part to most of my letters were the responses, which I didn't include the first time around. So this time, there's all the correspondence between myself and the people/ companies, more letters, and just a better overall book. For those of you who bought my first book, thank you so much. After I sell out of them, I won't be ordering anymore, so if you wanna get in on em, please let me know. 

As always, thanks for your patience and support. A lot of ridiculous things coming up this week. A post to be put up within the next few days, from the third Inapark installment I'm working on, "Re-Tails: Tales in Retail."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Inapark Projects: A Realistic Portrayal of Family Night.

I think it was a few months ago, when I saw a commercial for Volcano Alley, that my obsession about how unrealistic television is began. This particular commercial portrayed a family who was thrown into an excitement tailspin about the notion of spending quality time with each other. The family is unreasonably pleased with themselves after summoning the Volcano tiki beast from board game hell. I was livid. I love exaggerating, but I hate when I feel like I'm being tricked. This is not what happens. Maybe it should, but it doesn't. There was no sincerity to this commercial at all, and as a result, I feel very few people will feed into what they're selling. I decided I could do it better. That being said and done, I created a commercial that I think is more relatable, and I bet would sell the heck out of whatever I was peddling. In this case, the board game, Operation. The names have been changed to protect the people who's personalities I have outrageously embellished (except for Grandma.)

Barah Sertrand:
"Hey guys, I picked up this rad board game. Thought we could have a nice night in, and..."

Jane Bertrand:
*obviously drunk, slurring*
"Oh. A night without your text messaging??"

*brother is playing video games*

"I just thought it would be nice to play Operation."

*screaming irrationally, and smashing controller*
"Ma! Where's my soup?!"

"Barah, did you feed the cats yet!? They're going to need an Operation if they're malnourished!"

"I'll play with you, My Angel."

"Thanks Gram, I love you. DJ, it could be fun."

*focused on television screen*
"Gram, look what's gonna happen to the hooker when I get out of the car..."


"Dad would have played with me..."

"Just like he always promised he'd play catch with you?"

"My heart is still waiting at that diamond."

"Well you can look up his number, but I think hell is long distance."

"Oh hell, my circulation's bad, and I've had enough. I'm going home."

"Where are the cats?"

*Grandma gets up and leaves. The board remains untouched*

"I miss the cats."
"Mom, soup!!!"

"If anyone needs me, I'll be doing tequila shots in the shower, sobbing with the lights out."

"If you liked playing doctor so much, maybe you should have explored that field instead of going to college for radio, and working at a pet store. Where's my pino?!"

*awkward silence*

"I'm gay."


Friday, April 12, 2013

Inapark Reflects.

I've always been someone who's struggled with living in the moment, but lately I've been finding it particularly hard. I constantly live inside my head. Sometimes I feel like I'm somewhat successful at snapping out of it, but other times I can go a whole day without even realizing it's happening. I've had a little bit of downtime in the past week, and I've used it to kind of try and figure out where I'm at, where I want to be, and what I need to do to make it happen. I'm a big list maker. And in the process of making several lists, my mind keeps drifting back to the family, friends, and support that I have. It's so important to look past all the things you wish you could change, and all the reasons you feel stressed out or tired or not yourself, to remember and salute the things that are there, and that you have.

Ever since I've been old enough to work, I've always had more than one job. And now it's a little excessive, with the addition of project here and there. With trying to balance everyone and everything else, and still make people feel special, a lot of the time I feel like I come up short. I don't mean that in a self deprecating way, I'm just being honest. I feel a lot clearer lately, and feel like this letter is important. I've always been big on acknowledging people who deserve it, and making sure nothing's left unsaid. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, and I turn 30 this year. A terrifying source of anxiety, but I think I'm starting to come to terms with it. You always think growing up, "by the time I'm 30, I'm going to have accomplished the following list of unreasonable feats". And then when you near it, sometimes it turns out that it's just not in the cards for you. I'm rambling, but the point of this piece is to again, never stop acknowledging the people that have made a difference, and are important. I am so lucky to have the support that I do. With my writing, I have the support of people I've never met, people I've met a few times, some complete strangers, family, friends, and best friends that are there no matter what. Even when I feel like I don't deserve it, even when I worry and obsess that with my work schedule, sleep schedule and everything else, that people will eventually forget about me, or worse, think I've forgotten about them. There are far too many people to acknowledge by name, but please know that I think about all of you, specifically, and am so grateful to each person I have in my life. Each person that has supported me in any way, each person that has taken a chance on me, each person that has allowed myself to be somehow affiliated with them, their bar, or their brand. Each person that's allowed me to vent, cry, overreact, make mistakes, giggle with. Each person that has laughed at my jokes, or told their friends about my blog, or came to a party, or donated their time and money. Each person that's pulled my mom or brother aside to tell them how much they appreciate their support. Each person that I know I can count on, no matter what. Each person that considers me to be a friend. This is my awkward tangent love letter to you. I hope you can feel it, I hope you never ever doubt it. I hope you know that I'm always making mistakes, but I'm always learning from them. I'm fumbling through this life just like everyone else on the pursuit of happiness, and I'm really glad that I have each of you to fumble through with me. Thank you for baring with me through writer's block, sleep deprivation, a truly terrible work schedule, crazy spurts, sad spurts, living in my head spurts, angry spurts, and happy spurts. My life wouldn't be the same without you, no matter how often we speak or see eachother.
GEEZ, okay, here's one of the reasons this sappy love note was spawned. (And really, thank you. I hope you feel my sincerest appreciation. I'll be here for you, too. Promise.)

I'm normally a pretty skeptical person, but every so often I feel inspired and like to believe in a little bit of magic. I know this sounds super cheesy, but bare with me. It's a good story.
The other day, I was working at the tea shop, and since it was a nice day, I was asked to go outside and give samples of tea. I would say, realistically, I had been outside for less than a minute, and already I had been snubbed and ignored by several passerbys who wanted to avoid getting a free sample of delicious tea. Just then, I encountered a lovely older lady, who came up to me with the sweetest, most gentle demeanor and asked me if she could have a "sip of tea". I said yes, and before she tried it, she said, "If I had never seen you, I would never had known that this place was here." She said it so thoughtfully, it caught me offguard. Then she drank the tea, and looked at me just as sincerely, and said,
"This is the best tea I've ever had. If I had never seen you, and tried this tea, I'd have never drank the best tea I've ever tasted."
It was so odd, and so lovely how pleased she was.
She asked me if she could buy that tea inside, and I said yes. So we went in, and I scooped her tea, and when I turned my head to the side to cash her through, she said, "Oh my gosh, I know who you are."
This is obviously a statement that invokes severe unease and confusion. I was so taken aback, and also wondering what exactly she knew, when she followed it up with,
"Last night, I saw a picture of you at a party. Of your ears."
Obviously I assumed she was a lunatic, and gave her a tight, polite smile. I know a lot of people have stretched ears, and I prejudicially assumed because she was older, she thought I was the only one in the world with ears like that. Then she said,
"You were probably unaware that the picture was taken. Do you work at a bar? I recognized the 57 tattoo on your neck. Someone thought your earrings were interesting, and took a picture of them to show people."
I was so shocked. Like, goosebumps, speechless shocked. She then followed it up with,
"Sweetheart everyone had their own opinions about your look, but I think your beautiful." Which made me laugh, because it was so sincere and unwittingly backhanded.
She then proceeded to tell me that her name was Deborah, and there was some reason why everything aligned the way it did, and that we were supposed to meet. She wasn't sure what the reason was, but she knew in her heart there was one. I believed her. What an incredible set of circumstances. I was so floored I don't think I handled the situation appropriately. I wished her a good day, and said it was nice to meet her.
I haven't seen Deborah since then, but I have thought about that meeting every day. Maybe I'll never see her again, but I can't help but think that was one of those special moments you were supposed to pay attention to. I'm glad I met Deborah, especially because right after the encounter with her, I went back outside to sample tea and a civic full of young idiots drove by and screamed, "Fuck you, tea bitch!" at me. So that ruined my positive buzz a little bit, but Deborah helped me focus on not throwing down my tray and chasing them to the next stop light. Thanks Debbie!
Maybe everything does happen for a reason, and maybe it doesn't. But sometimes things happen to make us feel beautiful, interesting, a little less lonely, or at the very least, acknowledged. And hopefully we can slow our brains enough when this does happen, to be able to fully take it in, and feel all these things. I haven't been completely myself for a while now, but I feel now like this is the year. To put the past in the past, and be grateful and inspired and do whatever it is I need to do to be happy and fulfilled. If you've read this far, thank you. Or even if you skimmed, that's cool. I hope you all have an amazing day, and something special happens for you. And whatever it is that's holding you back from moving forward, I hope you all get the clarity you need to figure out what your next step needs to be, and to pursue it with everything you have. Until then, I'll be looking out for Deborah, who I have now transformed in my head to be my little leprechaun, and can only assume that her purpose is to bring me an obscene amount of money. (This letter was so long, I've forgotten all lessons I had previously learned.)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Project Inapark: Extreme Promotion Tactics.

Sunday was a big day for my sidekick, Kevin, and I. I decided that it was imperative to continue, and escalate, Project Inapark: Extreme Promotion Tactics. I would like to clarify that although I do not have a sense of entitlement, I really don't see why I have to settle with being told no. When The World's Biggest Bookstore said they wouldn't carry my book, I was so livid it didn't make sense. And not because I felt like I deserved to get whatever I wanted, but moreso because they boasted, THE WORLD'S BIGGEST BOOKSTORE. Eff you. 

For those of you who aren't aware of these ridiculous antics (they're discussed somewhat recently in my blog), I'll give a quick recap. I was waiting for my friends who were late for dinner one night, and I noticed that The World's Biggest Bookstore was across the street. I had recently received a letter from them, telling me that they weren't interested in housing my books, and was displeased with all of their faces. I was hangry, so arbitrary publicity bids seemed less unreasonable, and more necessary. 

I marched on over to The World's "Biggest" Bookstore, cleared a spot on the Humor rack, and sashayed away out into the gutter to call my mother, giggling. Instead of calling me an idiot, she laughed and told me that I should write a note inside (which I obviously did). "Thank you for supporting local writers. This is a free gift from me to you. Please enjoy, and encourage others to check out my blog. Have a great day. Sarah B". I was as proud as a peacock. I thought this was singlehandedly the best decision I have ever made, as well as the funniest thing I have ever done. (I am very modest).

I posted this on Facebook, and my lovely friend Gia went into TWBB, took The Best Of, and Sketch, to the counter, and proceeded to make a scene until they let her leave the store with my books. Outrageously enough, they made up the price of $15.99 per book after reading the specific note inside. Thanks guys!), and then let her use her Plum card on books that didn't exist in their system. I thought it was brilliant. So, a thirst to outdo myself was born. Onwards and upwards, as they say. None of these places consented to my book being carried there, but I assume they're grateful and impressed with my persistence and drive. Here is the photographic chronicled account of our day. Please consider going on a scavenger hunt to find any of these goodies, and make sure you take a picture! 

Kevin and I "getting ready". Also, we were trying to figure out of reverse stealing was a crime, and how much money we'd have to pool together for bail.

The stash of signed books we were going to distribute across the greater GTA.

The Da Vinci Code-esque style cipher we were using to inform the public that my books were housed inside their establishment. I left a copy of Sketch on the ledge in the Starbucks at Yonge and Bloor. 

The Best Of, now available at the Sunrise Records at Bloor and Yonge.

The Best Of, and Sketch, now available at The Toronto Reference Library!

The Best Of now available at the Urban Outfitters at Yonge and Eglinton, inside the mall.

Thanks "Heather"! Sketch now available at the Indigo at Yonge and Eglinton mall!

People need to seriously stop congratulating me on "making it". Although I appreciate and lap up every ounce of encouragement, support and praise, there's no way in hell my book would be anywhere near Ellen's, unless done so in secret force.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Inapark Does Porn.

Dear Rogers,

My name is Sarah Bertrand, and I am a 29 year old writer. I enjoy the services that your company has provided me with over the years, and am writing you tonight because I have been working on a project that I believe you might be interested in.
Because Rogers is a distinctive, massive media provider, I would like to present you with a honest look into the world of candid, genuine art. For too long, society has been force fed inaccurate, preposterous, and irresponsible pornography. I believe that a sobering view into what really happens in the bedroom is long overdue. I now present to you, Sassafras and Vivian: An Intimate Realistic Journey Of Love, and Pie. (This script could be easily fashioned into a made for TV movie.)

(off camera: hear the sound of teeth being brushed, and someone spitting into sink)

"Hey Sass! I'm really excited that we're going to be intimate tonight."

(off camera)
"Are the cats off of the bed?"

(Vivian pauses; cat is obviously already in her arms. She kisses his head.)

(peeks out)
"I don't understand why the cat has to be in bed with us, all the time. I really don't."

"But he's so cozy. Now come on, Lover, I have to be up early."

"Alright, Lover. Get ready for the thunder."

(Sassafras crawls over Whiskers, and into bed with Vivian. Sass is wearing fleece, plaid pyjamas. Vivian is wearing a tool belt. They start "doing it. Sass's phone rings; Vivian looks over to see who's calling.)

"Is that your mother again?!"

"Don't start, Viv."

"She hates me. I have a headache."

"Did you eat the last piece of pie?"

"What? No."

(They continue being intimate, although it is obvious that Sass is distracted.)

"I'm sorry, I just can't stop thinking about that pie. I won't be able to refocus until I've had a smidge. Can you please go get me a slice?"

"Are you serious?"

"I am. Now it's in my head, and I'm worried I'm going say things out loud about it."

(Viv obliges, but is visibly irritated. When Viv comes back, there are six Glade candles lit, vanilla,
providing a romantic ambience. "Let's Have A Kiki" is playing in the background. )

"Sass! You didn't really need water and pie! You're so romantic!"

"No, I do want those things. But I also wanted to make you feel special. And I was trying to non verbally apologize for not shaving my legs."

"It's so bright, and really warm. My allergies are so bad tonight."

(Sass rolls over and exhales in a familiar, defeated manner. Camera pans to night table; sexy music is playing. Kenny G. Kleenex, a bottle of water, puffer, lube, Ciprolex and cat treats occupy the antique wood.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Posting tomorrow night; Pinky swear. Long day.

Sorry guys, posting tomorrow night. Until then, Thursday at 7pm at The Flying Beaver in Toronto! Match Fever, I will be one of the Bachelorettes. Any event where I'm the "prize will obviously be ridiculous and fantastic, so please come out and have a drink!