Hi, what do you want?

Hi, Ray here and if this is read by anyone curious if I can get a reply.

Straight forward question – What do you want?

Me? (thanks for askin’ – hehehe like you did eh?)

Personally want to be part of a cast where we are friends, we compliment each other during our performance and overall really like each other. This on a reoccurring network TV show (weekly work) or a big feature film (where we spend months together filming).

This is my big ask to the universe!

How about you?

Little Big Guy

Well he, Gunnar was meant to be.

Alexis, our 14 y/o White Shepherd succumbed to Lymphoma on July 4, 2018 and I have been feeling lost ever since. I miss her will always think about her and cannot forget about her.

Gunnar is coming into our world this Thursday – being delivered by the breeder in Vaughn and has a great personality and is young, intelligent, energetic and playful <-- I really enjoy the 'puppy phase'. I was educated with Shepherds from Alexis (personality, intelligence etc.) and will carry that forward with Gunnar. Another obvious difference is Alexis was female and Gunnar is male. Being a male and having a male dog growing up I am aware there are personality differences between the sexes. Hunter gatherer VS nurturer. Gunnar who is 6 months old (who has basic training already and is house trained <-- big item IMO) will take some time getting to know each other & like I mentioned earlier is a male. Male personalities are 'stand-off-ish'. At least my comparison with Alexis to the family pooch growing up. Alexis was such a great personality and always ready to be with you. Not so sure Gunnar will be as 'cuddly' <-- for lack of a better descriptive word but will be a great companion to us both and for the years forward. Excited to have him here while we learn from each other over the years. To our pooch Gunnar!

My Tribe

My Tribe.
It’s what we all seem to be looking for, right? Somewhere we feel like we belong and can be an integral member of “My Tribe”.
Okay, scratch that, I will not speak for anyone else, but only myself.
Yes I am looking for My Tribe.

To me the perfect My Tribe would be as an actor. Have always had the interest to act, during high school I was an extra on assorted episodics and movies filmed in the Toronto area. Before I had a car I would take public transit to locations to be on set. One early Sunday morning was needed on the other side of the city before public transit was running I was driven there by a girl friend to make the shoot – Thanks Lynn.
To me, My Tribe would be a place I can be me, talk about things I like without concern of being negatively judged.
A place to feel wanted, appreciated and encouraged.

Does such a place exist?

Heck if I know.

What I do know if for all my years I have been searching for somewhere to call My Tribe. Somewhere I feel right, feel comfortable, feel wanted and yes feel appreciated. No this is not going to be a posting about how I feel so unloved etc. Life is okay, not complaining but do I have a key core group of people I can call members of My Tribe? Deep down I do not feel I have that & IMHO I do believe that the whole (or is that hole) Social Media world that now exists has actually dampened the ability to create or join or be a member of A Tribe; to the point where one can feel it is My Tribe. Social Media is riddled with ignorant, racist people that seem to enjoy nothing more than being rude and mean to the next person. Negative posts about anything seem to get the spot light and the positive actions of others do not get the same attention. Why is that?

But again I drifted away from me and My Tribe.
For years I have tried to be part of groups to find My Tribe but one reason or another they fall short.

Back in the 1990’s I tried to be part of The Second City in Toronto (took a weekend class for improv) and that group and me didn’t seem to mesh. I am not good at breaking the feeling of once I don’t feel welcome, to push through that. Typically when in that situation of not feeling welcome, the easy thing for me (go to move) is to shut down and keep to myself.

Over the last 20 years have attempted to join assorted Mustang clubs in hoping to find My Tribe. Thousands of thousands of dollars spent on purchasing, modifying, maintaining etc etc the number of Mustangs I have had over the years. Seems like the ‘honey moon’ ends and I don’t feel welcomed or wanted. Now at the point, perhaps is time to sell my two remaining Mustangs and use those monies elsewhere.

Have researched to join other acting classes and weekend intensives but typically did not make any friends to join My Tribe and feel out of place.
Have happily joined other Improv evening classes in Toronto.
I live out of the city and have a 1.5hr drive (not making an excuse just stating the truth. Not a problem as I enjoy to drive and is worth the drive if a positive result from class) to get to the class, hwy traffic & finding a safe spot to park my car in the evenings of downtown Toronto and ensuring start time for class – yes, I must not be late. My evening is on it’s side if begins with my being late – for whatever reason. Controllable or not, I am annoyed by being late.
To me, ANY class; be it an acting class, technical or just basket weaving – to me a CLASS SHOULD BE A SAFE PLACE.
I was really enjoying the one Improv class I was taking, felt safe, felt I was making friends but (for a reason I am not clear on but it pushed me out) one of the instructors in a class decided that evening that I was to be singled out and made an example of. I am not driving 1.5hrs (1 way), stressing about the time, traffic, finding parking to pay for, & pay for a class where I will be verbally spoken to like that. Needless to say that was the last time I attended that class. Dropped out of the Facebook group and cut ties with that group. Not placing the blame on everyone else and not myself either. I can be opinionated, my wit can be harsh and it appears the natural pose for my face can be called “Resting Angry Face”. I am not angry, just don’t know how to exist with a permanent smile on my face.

Perhaps I need thicker skin but yesterday I was in an acting class (back in Toronto). Part of the warm up is to make yourself vulnerable in front of the class and look at everyone in their eyes – one person at a time – to center, open up, calm down and feel ready to share.
When others are in front of the class and when we make eye contact I look back with a smile (yes eyes smile too) Well yesterday – 1st time ever but something I have no interest to be part of again – there were two faces that decided to look away when I looked at them. That threw me off, and a third person had such a scowl on her face – the impression of – Hey F off, I don’t want to look at you but since I must you are getting this F you face. That hurt too. Actually so impacted by the two people that did not keep eye contact and the one that looked at me like I killed her loved one that I honestly cannot go back to that environment again. That placed me in a bad space and did impact the scene I performed with a member of the class. His first time there, think he did great considering he is not comfortable with improv and his first time in this class but my performance was probably jaded from the earlier event in the class. In my mind (subconscious or consciously) am aware of the 3 people that really did not want anything to do with me. Perhaps some anger in my delivery due to that, dunno…
Yeah yeah perhaps I need thicker skin true, won’t argue but I feel a class should be a safe place.

I do enjoy hearing people laugh and when caused by me, yes I smile down to my core being. I enjoy open minded discussions about mostly any topic – key word is OPEN MINDED. I have noticed we all fall into the category (more times than not) of having an opinion and anything else is incorrect. *sigh* Guilty of that as well.

I am writing what comes to mind, no filter, no effort for continuity or ease of reading for the reader. As I wonder if anyone actually reads any of my posts (if you know me or not). Have not heard from any of the people I think are my friends so makes me believe they don’t. (just get BOT comments – same over and over here)
I like to believe I will make an effort for someone if noticed they need some help but is very rare I feel the same is returned. Could be due to the fact for years I have built up a guard and make it very difficult for anyone to get to know me. WHY? So I won’t be hurt.

Again not complaining about my life, happy, happily married (thanks Suzy), had a great white German Shepherd for 14 years (Alexis) again Thanks Suzy – Suzy found Alexis and pushed to get her. From a rescue (was going to be put down in 4 hrs) and one of the best things I have been part of to date. Alexis saved my life not the other way around.

Where was I, oh ya – Cause like you I don’t enjoy being hurt and perhaps go too far to ensure I am not. My guard / shield I push out (knowingly or not) seems to prevent me from experiencing all the good the world has to offer me (ya ya so cliché but pharking true) and help me build My Tribe.

My Big Little Girl – July 4, 2018

Okay I will start this by saying yes this wasn’t written on July 4, 2018 but July 17, 2018 – almost 2 weeks after this date.
WHY?

Because it still hurts; hurts so very much.
What hurts?
Alexis

Who is Alexis?

Alexis is / was my 14 y/o White Shepherd that came into my life at 6 months old from a rescue.
Alexis was the dog I always wanted.
She was intelligent, caring, faithful, loving, my best friend, great to be around, over all just truly an amazing best friend.

I called her my ‘four legged daughter’ and my ‘big little girl’. I miss her so much and wish she was still around but relieved she is no longer suffering. <— that make any sense?

I miss talking to my big little girl. Yes I spoke to her and we had our own little language. I understood her and she seemed to understand me.

Yes I am sad and feel lonely. Why don’t I talk to someone about this?
I am, right now, talking to YOU.
With her almost every day of her life from when she came into my world, and with her gone, I feel empty.

Been asked will I get another dog? Right now, no way. I am too sore about this empty spot in my world and it would not be fair to any other dog I get as it WILL be compared to Alexis.

Earlier I mentioned that Alexis is no longer suffering. Yes she had lymphoma and it seems the cancer spread to her spine. Last couple of weeks her back legs stopped ‘working’. She could not stand herself and when I stood her she was able to stand for no more than 45 seconds and would drop to her belly.
Made going potty very difficult for her and many times in the last couple weeks I was picking up a dog soaked in either urine or worse.
Like a trooper she stood firm, fighting that cancer with all her might – and for that I respect her – but near the end she was not sleeping for more than a couple minutes at a time as the pain seemed too much. On some meds from the vet but near the end didn’t seem to assist. Her breathing was laboured and short quick breaths is best she could do.
It was decided to put her down.
Suzy found a service that came to the home.

On July 4, 2018, on her own bed, Alexis was given a needle to relax. This was the first time in ages that Alexis seemed to be ‘at ease’. Her breathing slowed down and she was ‘content’ looking.

The hardest thing I have done to date was watching the final needle be inserted into a vien and patting and providing as much love as I could to her while she took her final breathes.

OMFG, this is still so hard for me, and writing this is bringing back all the feelings & emotions.

Alexis, my big little girl, I miss you so much.

Hope there is an afterlife as Alexis will be with my father right now (they were buds) and one day I can be with you again.

Bye my best friend, how you enriched my life and for that I am so grateful.
Glad we rescued you at 6 months old – she was in a high kill zone and was to be put down in 4 hours before we said yes we want her.

Just a lovely best friend anyone can ever have.

I miss you and I do wish to walk, talk to, pet, hold, be with you again.

To My Big Little Girl

Alexis and Me
me & my best friend

Fear Thy Neighbor

Four days on set in a principal role on the show “Fear Thy Neighbor” last week. I am unable to get into the details but I can say how great of an experience it was.
The cast and crew were all on their A-game and it was a pleasure to work with such professional people.

Driving home after the last day of shooting I experienced a bit of sadness as this had come to an end.
Pushes me even harder to do my best and be on more shows, more commercials looking forward to meeting more decent people.

Doubt anyone from the cast will ever see this but anyway I want to say I enjoyed the time on set and all of you are great to work with.
Many many thanks to you all!

Link to the episode
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eSg2j9F45I&feature=youtu.be

Time Flies

Has been a great summer.
Many auditions, making great contacts, learning and teaching but most important of all, having so much fun!
Love this business. No business like…

I was on set for Top Million Dollar Agent, a Octopus Media Group production.
This team are all so nice and they made me feel comfortable during the shoot and would work with this team ANY time again.
Thanks everyone for the great day and enjoyable shoot!

To My Guitar

When I see you lying on my bed I cannot resist your curves
To have you in my arms and have you come alive with my touch
I have to stick it in and turn you on
The expression ‘we make music’ has never been more true
Your smooth skin and wild curvy body is such an invitation to explore
I love to touch your buttons and turn you up to ten
‘Cause you’re my six string machine
Don’t ya know what I mean
You’re heartless and cold and you feel no pain
You’ve got nothing to loose and I’ve got everything to gain.

August 16, 1990

For My Parents

FOR MY PARENTS

It was a deliberate plan with all the children working together
The only thing we did not have a handle on was of course, the weather
We had gathered family and long time friends with one purpose in mind
Together we celebrated and we cheered and yes we dined

Why do you ponder did we gather all these people
To celebrate the life long commitment of two from under a steeple
On July 18, 1959 Walter and Helena promised each other the solemn oath
To live as one together which was sealed with a kiss by both

So man and wife, they lived as one and now, 40 years have gone by
All their friends said the same thing, “time sure did fly”
Family and friends had spoke of all the times that had past
It all meant the same thing, how these two figured out how to make it last.

Thank you mother and father, I love you both

-Raymond John Ulbikas Copyright ©1999.

July 18, 1999

It was early morning and I had just awoke, enjoying the thoughts of the day gone by. Thank you to all for making this a perfect day.

There is one thing I MUST mention.
The party was held outdoors. The thing I feel compelled to bring out is the fact that for a little while there were threatening clouds with the appearance of rain. There was thunder and yes the air was humid. (usual indications of an on coming storm) but it never did rain. Actually the clouds went away and the sun did reappear and the day was perfect.
I feel it was mother nature’s way of confirming my parent’s knowledge of things. Regardless of how things seem at the current moment, if you hang in there and stick it out things will work out for the best.

Phone

This was written during a dark time. I had just moved to Stratford and the local people were not that warm to me at 1st. It took time to feel ‘part of the community’ and accepted.
This was written from feelings at 1st. (a couple of people kept in touch with since leaving Stratford and do feel they are friends)

PHONE

I woke up like I do everyday
Hopin’ for the best
Doin’ the things I think I should
To fit in with the rest

I’m sitting here getting drunk
lookin’ at the phone
I said I’m sitting here getting drunk
lookin’ at the phone

My days go by so quiet
But what can I do
To live in a world alone
I don’t wish it for you

I’m sitting here getting drunk
lookin’ at the phone
I said I’m sitting here getting drunk
lookin’ at the phone

As my day draws to a close
I sit and I think
Of the other places I could be
And I have another drink

So I’m sitting here getting drunk
Lookin’ at the phone
I said I am sitting here getting drunk
Just lookin’ at the phone.

April 21, 1996

Published in “Theatre Of The Mind” in 2003

Sums It Up for Me Today

There was a time
When life did not need justification
Days came to a close
And sleep was with a clear mind
Society’s expectations had no causal effect on my view
Where my choice or decision would only impact me
My life did not feel
As it was manipulated by others
There was no concern
For what or how things are said
Nor could anyone else’s tone
Cause me concern
I am constantly feeling
That the corporate world
Has a very tight grip around my neck
How so I miss to breathe freely again.

This was published in “Theatre Of The Mind” by Noble House in 2003. The first poem in this book!

LOST

LOST

As it has been said ‘hand in hand we walked the mile’
The strength of love can be compared to the mighty river Nile
The power of love is a scary thing
Happiness for many it does bring
The unfortunate few discover it’s pain
That endures as a most stubborn stain
An experience for my enemies I would never wish
For it is so unpalatable, a most unfavorable dish
To the poor soles that have discovered the dark side of love
Lets band together bring these feelings to the cliff and shove
This can be over come but only in your mind
Get the demon out and leave ’em behind

– written January 25, 1995 by me; Ray Ulbikas