Friday, December 31, 2010

I also resolve...

To make this the year I have a well-stocked bar. Actually, my "bar" (*cough*kitchen cabinet*cough)is looking rather empty at the moment, with the dregs of a bottle of rum and a bottle of Bombay Gin that contains only fumes. Oh, and a bottle of red wine my landlady gave us for Christmas. Last year. Oops.

My old roommate and I used to throw amazing holiday cocktail parties. I mean, I think they were pretty amazing. And we'd have awesome treats like homemade candy cane bark. And a cheese log! And we'd always feel very grown-up, because we'd pick a theme drink for the evening, and stock up on whatever the main booze ingredient was. Yes, we were quite grown up and sophisticated, my friends. And because of our penchant for vintage cocktail culture, we had a really great liquor cabinet, stocked with everything from creme de menthe to curacao, to a veritable rainbow of schnapps. And being in the thea-tah, we had plenty of bartender friends who were only too happy to mix up something fab while we celebrated the season.

Well, that was a few years ago. And the best of the vintage barware went with its owner to Toronto, and the booze is long gone. But I want to bring it back! I figure I can make a list of drinks I want to try, stock up on the basics (vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whisky and triple sec) and then add on as I find more fun drinks. I'd like to add a bottle every paycheque, if I can. And how much fun will it be to try a new drink every week? Because I do love me a cocktail.

Take that, Liquor Depot clerk (and Liquor Mart clerk!) for looking at me like I was on drugs when I asked if they had Mai Tai mix! I'll make my own! From scratch! In about... oh, say... 2 months!


A Happy New Year to you, friends and neighbours!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Happy Happy, And A Merry Merry

Well, the gifts are all unwrapped, my holiday travel is done, and I have way more chocolates/cookies/treats lying around the house than I know what to do with. In some ways, I felt like I didn't get to really enjoy the whole Christmas season (and I am a cheesy, cheesy freak for Christmas), just because I had so much running around in December: the playwrights intensive, working 11 days straight right up until I left, heading home, coming back last night and being here at work bright and early...ish. There were a lot of things I wanted to do, one of which was to take some time off for myself, and I didn't get to do a lot of that.

I did get to see some amazing folks that I hadn't seen in years and years. And I was a little nervous-- what were we going to talk about? Am I as socially awkward as I feel sometimes? But it was fabulous, and I'm so glad I got to see as many people as I did and catch up with them all.

I got to do a lot of thinking (or, I suppose, I was forced to do a lot of thinking) about old issues that came up to confront me during my time with my family. I'm trying to let some things go, because there's no sense in me carrying all that stuff around. It just becomes all too handy an excuse for why I'm not moving towards my goals. Of course, saying "I'm letting it go!" and actually doing it are two very different beasts. But I have a lot of goals that I'm excited to start working towards. I'm just trying not to put too much pressure on myself, because then I end up busy and stressed and frazzled and I end up missing out on having a lazy Christmas!

Anyway, back to work-- hope you all had a lovely week and a great year ahead.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Why Am I Not A Photo Person?

OK, y'all. I've been noticing the distinct lack of photos on this thing I call "my blog". And it's not that I don't have access to a digital camera. I think I actually have access to at least 3, in fact: my camera, my phone, and my laptop. And yet I don't take photos very often.

I think it's a leftover thing from my formative years-- we didn't have digital cameras then. I mean, I'm talking one computer to an entire school, where you could sign up for time to play "Lemonade Stand" if you were lucky and in the gifted program like me. Of course, the payoff was watching filmstrips about what COBOL and BASIC and FORTRAN stood for, and how we would all be needing to learn these languages sometime in the future.

Anyway, photos. You had to use film, which was precious and could be ruined by, say, sunlight, or greasy children's fingerprints, and needed to be wound after each photo. And every photo was a risk, because it could take months (if you were, say, my parents) to use up a roll. And then it could take months to actually get off your ass and go to a photo developing place, and then get your pictures back and decide what you wanted doubles of, and by then everyone had seen the picture of you with your eyes clothes, or your boob hanging out, or whatever embarrassing thing was captured on film. But it kind of didn't matter, because you no longer had any context for that moment.

So I don't take a lot of photos. And you know what I hate? Uploading. Isn't that stupid? It's way more convenient than having to leave the house after having taken a certain number of photos and wait for them to get developed, etc. etc. like I just said in the paragraph above. And yet, I really hate having to name all my pictures and sort them out.

But out of a fear of the last vestiges of youth passing me by and me having no memory of these years, say, 5 years from now, I'm going to start taking more pictures. There, I just resolved that! I love resolutions because they are so EASY TO MAKE.

Speaking of, I should probably organize those resolutions. Like organizing photos, the prospect is less than appealing. I actually came to post about the laziest, most irritating person that I work with, but then I got all hung up on "hey, photos!", so my bitching about this guy will have to wait for another day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Celebrate good times...

Yes, I'm back. The writing thing went really well, I'm kind of sad it's over, but happy that I don't have to use my brain that intensely every day for a while. So I'm back at work, gazing in wonderment and the internet, realizing I can just read about celebrity breakups and look at food porn without worrying that I need to be *working* on something.
Of course, naturally, I am working on my project, because it's wormed its way into my brain-- we're meeting again for another intensive in March, and then an invited reading in June. Now all I have to do is keep the good creative energy flowing long enough to actually write a complete draft of my play.
But the big news...
The big news...
The reason they call it the most wonderful time of the year is...


Well, technically I made arrangements for the payment today, which is coming out tomorrow. But that makes today Student Loan Eve, equivalent to my very favourite day of Christmas Eve. So sometime between midnight and 6pm tomorrow, my loan will be paid off, leaving me free to close my account with RBC, the sweetest Christmas gift of all.

Although I find it slightly ridiculous that I have to wait 5 business days and call them one more time if I want an actual document saying that my loan is paid in full, because "unfortunately, our system doesn't generate them automatically". I mean, maybe it's just me, but I kind of assumed that when you paid off a loan or a mortgage, your bank just sent you a piece of paper confirming it was paid. Doesn't everyone want the piece of paper? I know I do, because then I can conclusively prove to them that my debt is paid in full when they screw up and start trying to do some kind of automatic debit that I already cancelled.

Is my relationship with the Royal Bank over? Can I really go through the rest of my life never, ever having to talk to them again? Or will they change their minds, or screw something up, or miscalculate something and then try to chase me down for a few more pennies? Will it be a clean break, or will it be a messy divorce?

Anyway, you can bet I will be celebrating this for the next 24 hours.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Out with the old...

That list of submissions? Done. I forced myself to sit down and write the appropriate summaries, synopses and cover letters and sent them out on Friday. And now... let the waiting commence.

This week is the hell week for me... writing intensive during the day, working at night (or a reading, or an audition), then at some point writing to have more stuff to bring for 9am the next day. It's the kind of week where you have to bring 3 meals and 2 snacks with you plus a change of clothes. Fortunately, it's only from tomorrow till the 14th. After that... then I have just a week and a half until I fly home for a few days.

Right now, I admit, I'm kind of procrastinating with the writing a little bit.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I resolve...

Do you make New Year's resolutions? I sometimes do, but I try not to go to crazy. With my propensity for making lists, it could be possible to go a little overboard. It's usually pretty standard stuff, quit smoking (done!), quit biting nails (not done), lose 40 lbs (in progress). One year I resolved to read a classic novel every month for 12 months, which turned out to be fun.

This year, I actually have a short list of things that I'm resolving to complete before the new year, so I can have a fresh start without all this old year crap hanging over me. Speaking of, I must remember to buy a new day timer...

Out With The Old Resolutions...
* for the love of the gods, I must finish that list of submissions before Christmas! I have all the appropriate pdf files, I have a play summary, I have a good cover letter that I can tweak, all the names I should drop. I just kind of withered on the vine when it came to submitting to people I don't really know. Which is ridiculous, and now I'm just putting it off for no reason. It shall be done!

* donate blood. This was on my list of things to do all year, and to be fair, I did unsuccessfully try to donate. And though I was afraid I might be rejected for being a low-iron vegetarian (not the case! go nutrition!), I did get rejected because the tech totally missed my vein or went through it three times in a row, resulting in a super painful bruise for me, and them telling me that even though they took no actual blood, I wouldn't be able to try again for a couple of months. Which has extended till now. I'm trying to make time to go do that before Christmas as well.

* Pay off my student loan. Could I be more excited about this one? I still have enough left on the loan that it would take about 2 more years to pay it out, based on the rate I'm paying at now. But my parents, in their infinite wisdom, have told me (nay, insisted to me) that "Remember when you moved out when you were 16 and we didn't really give you any financial help with school? Why don't we pay off the rest of that loan?" Which I am glad beyond belief to accept. Partially because I can use the money I would have had to pay into my loans for the next two years into paying other debt, or voice lessons, or putting on a show, or a gym membership, or something worthwhile. And partially because I LITERALLY CANNOT WAIT TO CLOSE MY ACCOUNT WITH THE ROYAL BANK! That is going to be one sweet, sweet (and yes, I accept that it will be anticlimactic) day.

In 2011...
I'm joining the Y. Now that I don't have student loans to pay, I have no excuse. It's close to work, it's relatively affordable, and it has endless possibilities for different workouts, so there's no way I can get bored. The rest of this %$*&# weight is coming off!

Having said that, I'm not putting off stuff any more "while I lose weight". Life is short. Losing weight seems to be taking a long time. I'd rather see what kind of opportunities there are for me RIGHT NOW than wait one more minute.

I'm going to look cuter. I've been wanting to do a little style makeover for a while. So I'm going to go ahead and do that.

I'm going to be a singer. Somehow.

And I'm sure there will be many, many more resolutions made, but those are the important ones. Now that they're in writing, what choice do I have but to complete them?

Writing is going slowly, but surely. I forgot what a slog writing a monologue can be. And since the whole show is monologue... well. It's pretty dense, I can no longer tell if it's interesting, and I have no idea how long what I've written runs. I have at least 12 densely packed pages. I'm hoping that might be close to 2 minutes a page, if not more. Whatever. I'm going to bring what I've got to the workshop on Tuesday and suffer through and probably not ask for comments or feedback, because who needs yet another voice in their head at this early stage?

Anyway, back to it.

Friday, November 26, 2010


One of my favourite moments in writing (usually in writing plays) is when I've felt so frustrated and blocked about something and I finally say "Oh, I wish the character just *do this one thing that would solve all problems and allow me to move forward*."

And then I stop and think Well, why can't they? And suddenly everything I've been struggling with falls neatly into place, like I'd thought of it that way all along, but I'd just been waiting for myself to realize it.

Not that moments like that happen every day. But that sudden thrill of realizing I know the answer, I've known this answer all along is amazing.

I was reading a blog written a singing teacher. I like to discover new blogs and go on blog-binges. Just read all the old posts all at once. Which, come to think of it, is a bit sad that a voracious blog reader like myself is so lax in posting. Oops! But I digress. I was looking up discussions of head voice vs. chest voice, and trying to unconfuse myself, when I came across these posts talking about how singing (and all art), is about honesty. And courage. About claiming your voice, your instrument, and being willing to work with it honestly. How acting is about doing, not feeling.

And whoosh,suddenly there was that feeling again, of isn't that funny, I already had this answered and was just letting myself forget. Because creative art, whatever your medium, is about honesty. To me, anyway. That's what draws me to it, that's what keeps me going in the face of criticism or being overlooked, or whatever. And that's something I needed to consciously think about right now. Ultimately, it isn't about who's getting the most work, or what Artistic Director X thinks about my play, or why no one is hiring me. It's about finding the courage to be honest, to own my work, to make an offer without worrying about acceptance.

D-day for the play is coming next week-- I have no idea how much I'll have actually written. In other news, I have some indie film auditions coming up, and I was asked to film something for a sketch comedy troupe, which I'm doing this weekend. And I'm thrilled they asked me.

Going to try and move forward with the play, thinking about honesty and just showing up and owning my work.

That, and trying to get all my Christmas shopping done in one weekend.

Cheers, y'all!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Oh, you guys. I'm so stressed right now. I'm in non-writing guilt overload, which should make tomorrow PRIME WRITING TIME. Of course, there's also a lot of pressure to make tomorrow PRIME WRITING TIME.

I guess I could probably just say "Oh, when you said no pressure to have a complete draft, I assumed that there was no pressure to complete anything."

Award silence.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you guys were cool. So. Uh. Yeah."

More awkward silence, followed by the sound of me tiptoeing out of the room.

No. I will have something decent to show them. I hope. Anything to cover up the fact that I have no idea what I am doing.

Between seeing a bunch of shows and working every day and worrying about the thing I am and am not writing, I cannot wait until sometime in December when the writing session is over and I can relax a little.

I submitted for a fringe slot, so we'll see if my fringe-lottery-luck continues its dismal trajectory. I figure if I get in, I have until May to withdraw without suffering a financial penalty. I can think of an idea by May, right?

Singing is going well-- I am even thinking ahead to doing some auditions in the spring.

It's hard not to feel beaten down, I have to say. I don't know if it's partially the weather (cold and dark, ick) or just the constant stress of trying to do everything at once, or what. I have been feeling rather mopey as of late. I know I can make stuff happen for myself, but sometimes it would be nice to be a participant, rather than an organizer. Maybe that's not my path, and I'm sure that I will feel better actually producing something over which I have complete artistic control,but still... it's difficult to feel left out, sometimes.

However. Back to some thinking and ruminating in readiness for writing tomorrow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How To Write A Play

Here it is, all you aspiring playwrights! A quick and easy, step-by-step guide of how to write a play. Got your pen and paper ready?

1. Get an idea. This is one of the easiest parts. You can get ideas from tv commercials (ShamWow Vince: The Rock Opera), or movies (how about What About Bob? meets Armageddon? ONSTAGE!), or theatre, both good and bad (and it's easy to find some of both, wherever you are), or your personal life (Hairdon't: A Memoir).

2. So when you got your idea, did you write your first draft right away? Like, immediately right away? Oh. Because if you didn't, and I don't want to alarm you, your brain has had a chance to catch up with you. Your brain may have turned your idea into big, capital-letter WRITING A PLAY. In fact, your play idea has probably been mentally re-branded as YOUR PLAY IDEA, emphasizing the importance of not ruining it by actually writing it. In fact, the most important piece of advice I can give you about writing a play is DON'T RUIN IT. Because, and admittedly this is only a theory, if you ruin a play idea, you might not ever get another one. That's what I've heard, anyway.

3. Think about your play for a while. Look up things related to your play on the internet. But don't start writing (remember, writing=ruining. In fact, put this phrase on a sticky somewhere near your computer so you won't forget). This is an important phase called "research". If you are writing something based on historical events, you will discover a bonanza of research opportunities, so much so that you may never have to write your play at all. Consider yourself fortunate.

4. While you are procrastinating researching, you will likely start to feel guilty about not writing. Thus begins nature's delicate battle: the part of you that fears play-ruining will argue that there is still much research to do;some other part of you will retort that writers write, and you're not actually writing anything. A last burst of research will ensue. Once your guilt over not writing is even more unbearable than your fear of actually writing (and thus, ruining), it's time to write!

5. Force yourself to write. Start with the title page. Center your title, and put contact information in the bottom right-hand corner. This counts as one page of writing. You may need to take a break to rest your muse after this. Come back to it tomorrow, if you feel too spent to continue. Remember, the character descriptions, title page, and any dedications you wish to include all count as writing!

6. Sit in front of the page every day, disappointed that you didn't black out and complete your first draft the day before. Berate yourself for your failure. When you are fed up with your self-loathing, you will eventually get over yourself and write a partial draft.

7. Get another idea. Research that one for a while.

8. Come back to your play. Decide it's not so bad. Live in fear that you will ruin the existing portion of the play by completing the script.

9. Get over yourself.

10. Ruin your idea (or not). Finish the play. Allow trusted friends/colleagues to read it, then interpret all their actions for the next six months as tacit feedback on the quality of your writing.

11. Realize you need rewrites. Consider going back to the idea you had in step 7.

12. Return to step 1. Repeat.

Ta-Da! And that's how a play is written!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Catching Up

Sometimes it seems like my life is a constant cycle of falling behind and catching up. I don't know if everyone feels like that, or if it's a particular quirk of my personality that I view life as a series of to-do lists and achievements. Shamefully, I admit that some secret part of me works under the assumption that I'm going to be graded at some point.

I'm trying to work on my new play, and realizing that I have absolutely no idea of what I'm doing. Normally I would come up with an idea and sit on it for at least a few months before writing, thinking, ruminating, considering. I don't have the luxury of time for this one, since we're doing an intensive draft-reading week in early December. Yikes.

I'm also, inexplicably, doing NanoWriMo. I signed up to be moral support for a couple of people, who seemingly have given up. I've done Nano twice, won both times, and while I'm capable of churning out the requisite amount of words over a month, I'm beginning to feel a time crunch. And, I really don't care that much about it (I was using it to generate some ideas/content for a web series I'd like to produce). And while I say I don't care about it, I have a hard time stopping. I don't like to give up. I don't like quitting, even for ridiculous projects that NO ONE ELSE CARES ABOUT.

In other news, singing breakthroughs! Knitting! Lipstick buying! Yes, I bought a neutral lipstick all by my lonesome, because I haven't been able to get to the expensive store with actual consultants yet. And, much to my surprise, it looks good! And I feel a little more "done" than I would without.

So in the meantime, I'll be reading about doppelgangers and assorted weirdness, and trying to figure out what I should get people for Christmas.

What's new with everyone else?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Ever Think You Should Have Just Stayed In Bed?

Today has been trying so far. Actually, an extension of yesterday in that way.
I never thought I'd say it, but Value Village, you have failed me. It started with the "short bob wig" I bought. The first "short bob wig". While the coloured wigs seem to be of better quality, the brown and black wigs... are literally nothing like what is pictured on the packaging. Like, seriously. It looked like I had some sort of diseased woodchuck on my head. Of course, I found this out at 5pm on Halloween while getting ready for a party. So back to VV I went, to purchase the same exact wig in a different colour. I'm not sure why I expected different results (isn't that the definition of insanity), I guess I thought it might have been a factory defect or something.

Yes, another woodchuck head. So I resigned myself to using my own stupid hair, then spent 40 minutes trying to create some fake bangs, gave up doing that, then went to apply my Value Village false eyelashes. Self-adhesive eyelashes. No glue required... right?

Wrong! After much digging, I found some rather old eyelash glue. No significant eye mutations have occurred as of this writing, so I think I may be in the clear. Then, all dolled up, I grabbed a quick bite of good old KD, promptly spilling it down my (white) costume shirt front.

It's all the little things. Like my printer breaking this morning as I was trying to print off a grant application. Printing it off at work to find I made a huge mistake in budgeting (at least I caught it in time!)and having to reprint it. Opening my little cheese that I brought as a snack to find that it was badly packaged by the manufacturer (curse you, Babybel!), and it was moldy.

I just want to go home and hide under my Snuggie. After racing to get an envelope and standing in line at the post office to get this grant postmarked today, that is.

Tonight might be a good night to bake those cupcakes I've been promising myself.

ETA: I just realized that this is my 300th post! And I spent it complaining. Oh well! Celebrate good times... come on!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Dead Have Risen From Their Graves...

And they're buying symphony tickets!
I was just processing a couple of internet orders, and pulled up an account for this guy who'd ordered a few concerts. Same name, same address, same phone number. Same guy.
Except in the memo line of his account, in big capital letters was written: DECEASED.

Sadly, I have no idea how long the dearly departed has been in his present unfortunate condition, but I did think it was telling that he was ordering tickets for Messiah. Oh, and Christmas Pops.

We speculated that he actually faked his own death in order to escape our telemarketing department.


Unless he didn't.

Potential symphony patron?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Today I Saw Santa

Walking across the main square downtown. He went into a coffee shop.

Either that's the world's most awesome strip-o-gram, or IT IS TOO EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS. They've already got the lights up and lit every night downtown. Last night I noticed that my across-the-street neighbours seem to have their tree up and decorated in their living room.

Granted, yesterday was the first snowfall of the year, but still. Hallowe'en isn't even here yet, people! I'm still enjoying zombie movies all up in my tv. I don't need to get all emotionally confused by seeing Christmas commercials in the middle of my creature feature marathon!

I am writing a grant that is due on Monday. I am supposed to start writing this things I laughably call "a new play" in the next couple of weeks. And, of course, there is my regular job. Sadly, my sweet editing job must go on hiatus, since their parent company doesn't allow temporary part-timers for more than a one-year term.

Just in time for Christmas, apparently!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lost, Found, Waiting

Well, the good news first:
I got into my fancy major theatre playwright development program! No money (of course), but perhaps a little prestige to attach to grant applications. Speaking of which, I have one to write, which is always a little bit UGH. Plus now I have to actually write a play that vaguely resembles what I pitched. I have visions of everyone else showing up with a finished draft on the first day. DOUBLE UGH.

I found my sock yarn! This isn't exactly at the same newsmaking level, but I had lost 2 perfectly good skeins of EXPENSIVE sock yarn during a recent houseclean, and had been driving myself bananas trying to find it. Luckily, I decided to destash in a fit of frustration, and in the midst of packing up a bunch of yarn I'll never use, I happened across the sock yarn, tucked into a "safe" place.

Singing: progressing...? I am struggling. I have seen progress, but it's hard to be patient with this. I feel like I've been patient enough. I mean, clearly not, but you know what I mean? The other day I said "I'm really, really tired of learning life lessons." Which is a ridiculous thing to say, because obviously you're never done learning life lessons. I suppose you could be if you were on of those people who shut themselves down and never want to develop as a person, but I don't think that's my problem. I would just like to feel like something came easily to me. Which things probably do, I just don't recognize it. Like I always say, I'm not a lottery winner. Being handed things is not going to be my path. At least, if the first 30 years of my life were any clue.

I'm feeling rather at sea, to be honest. I don't know if it's just the approaching dark days of winter, but I've been all over the place emotionally. Trying to keep on track and eat enough protein and get enough sleep and not stress out over stuff that really, really doesn't matter.

I have some projects I need to finish, then I will feel better. Plus I will knit some sweet socks.

How are you?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

RBC Student Loan Woes (Bitch bitch bitching ahead)

If I had a time machine, I would go back to the day I got my very first student loan... after waiting in line for 3+ hours at financial aid, I got up to the counter, and was told I had to choose a bank that my loan would go through. Impulsively, I said "Royal Bank". RBC had a branch right between school and my house, and was a few blocks closer than, say, CIBC or Scotia. My own bank, TD didn't handle student loans.

So, really, I picked my lender (correct that--administrator. The government was lending me money through RBC) based on convenience and a soupcon of laziness. I went down that day and opened an account.

Big mistake. If I had that time machine, I would materialize in front of my 19 year old self and tell her two things: 1) Don't spend your 20's freaking out about how OLD you're getting and how you're not ACCOMPLISHING anything, and (2) Walk the extra two blocks and avoid RBC like the plague.

It's my day off. I decided to take a trip to my RBC branch to clear up something I've been trying to deal with for years-- wanting to see my principal balance with my online accounts. Every person I talk to attached to RBC tells me something different-- I can't do it, yes I can if I make a payment online, no the payment online won't work, it's impossible, I have to go back to Ontario and open a bank account, etcetera. Until finally I was told (by the REAL Royal Bank, not their student loan centre) that if I went to my branch and spoke to an account manager, they could somehow merge all my information.

Here's the thing: I pay back my loans. I realize that there are a lot of people who default on their student loans. I'm not one of them. In fact, over the last 9 years, my average income has probably been around $20,000. Yet I've somehow managed to pay back RBC $27,000 in that time. So I don't appreciate them treating me like a deadbeat when I call them (maybe three times a year) to ask them some questions. My experience with Royal Bank? Initiating contact with them and immediately being told I'm wrong, usually for following their instructions, or asking for clarification on information they gave me.

It sucks. They suck. And there's no recourse. Because what are you going to do? Just pay off your loan, deadbeat, and get out of here. Which is totally my plan. I've seriously considered putting the remainder of my student loan on my line of credit, just to never have to deal with RBC again. The interest rate would kill me. But never having to talk to them? Ever? Sounds priceless to me.

And being able to see my balance online? Well... the receptionist told me it was impossible. I said I didn't understand why not. Then she said it might be possible... and sent me to someone who said it could absolutely be done, it was just a form that needed to be filled out. Then he called me later and said, sorry, it's impossible, but here's the National Student Loan Centre phone number, and I could just arrange to have a pin number and check my balance over the phone without having to talk to anyone. Why didn't anyone offer me this option at any time over the last five years? He doesn't know, but would I be interested in discussing my financial future with Royal Bank products? No thanks.

Called in to set up my pin-- asked a question about why their system said my next payment isn't scheduled until December. Got told "You paid an extra dollar in August so it bumped your payment."
Me: "I'm sorry, that doesn't make sense. Why would it bump October's payment?"
RBC: "It just bumped it."
Me: "I don't know what that means."
RBC: "That's just our system."
Me: "But why--"
RBC:"We have no control over our system, ma'am."
Me:"Can you please not raise your voice with me?"

Honest, I was nice and civil and everything.

But dude, seriously. You have no control over your system? Your system is running amok, rescheduling payments at will? Shouldn't this have been a headline in the Financial Post?

I wish there was some theatrical way to exact revenge. Dramatize a series of my conversations with RBC and post it on YouTube. I used to have fantasies about paying off my entire loan in pennies, just backing a dumptruck up to Royal Bank headquarters and letting fly.

Anyone else have student loan woes?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Check In

Hello, friends!
So, what news? After all of my working myself up about that film class, it turned out it was cancelled. So yay for Monday nights being free, boo to no skill-learning. I'll also be shooting my scene for that film sometime this month, so I'm looking forward to that.
I also had to turn in my proposal for the BigFancyTheatre playwrights development program, which I have mixed feelings about. They extended their deadline for me, because they'd sent all the info to the wrong email address, resulting in my having no contact with them until the reminder email I received the day of the deadline. And of course they were nice enough to give me an extension, except, having just come off of a big project, I had no actual... er... ideas.

It was a challenge to outline something the way they wanted--I don't usually do a lot of outlining right away. In fact, I tend to do a lot of thinking before I commit anything to paper-- I've ruined many a good idea by diving in too soon. Conversely, I've ruined many a good idea by waiting too long. And I guess it wasn't that I didn't have any ideas-- like a lot of writers, I have notebooks full of little snips I've jotted down. I just didn't have an idea I was crazy about. But I submitted something, something that was maybe a bit risky for the venue, but I'd rather get myself excited about something I'd write anyway than come up with something I feel lukewarm about just to get accepted.

And acceptance... well, who knows. I have a feeling they won't like my proposal. I kept it short and succinct, because I have this theory about grant proposals and such: No one wants to read your bullshit. It's tiring to write, and it's tiring to read. I'd rather be to the point and prove that I can write something interesting by virtue of having a well-written proposal. But I will admit there are a couple of people on the shortlist I'm not sure I'd want to spend several months in a group with. And there's definitely a couple of people that I will die a small death if they are accepted and I'm not, because I am petty and can't stand to think that anyone would think Person X was better than me. But I'll get over it.

Speaking of getting over stuff: singing lessons are back! And I did make a lot of improvement over the summer. But it all seems to fall apart once I get to words and music. I sing amazing warmups and exercises, but singing a song kills me and my throat gets all closed up and horrible croaking rusty-hinge sounds emerge from me. It sucks. And it's frustrating. Because children can do this. Morons can do this. Some of the meanest people I've known can do this. People who don't care about whether or not they can do this can do this. And, of course, the world doesn't work on the basis of fairness or who wants it the most, whatever reality tv may say to the contrary. But still! So my strategy this week is to pull out ye olde musical theatre books and sing away, words and music. Just quit making it be such a thing and maybe everything will work out better that way.

More frustration in the land of weight: I am exactly the same. Have been for the last 3 weeks. I seem to be looking a little thinner around the middle, and have gotten comments to that effect. But weight has been the same. Which is a pisser. I mean, I eat better than 90% of the people I know. I'm all about vegetables and fruits and whole grains. And if it's just a math thing, why won't it work for me?

Just another example of math having it in for me.

I'm also planning on doing Nanowrimo again this year (this will be my third nonconsecutive time doing it), because J is planning on giving it a shot. I'm thinking of writing some stuff that will be the basis for an internet series I have in mind. I'm a nano cheater and usually write interconnected short stories rather than one novel. Still, I've found it to be a good project that is freeing, and demonstrates how much writing I can do if I just say "I'm doing this" rather than "But I can't!"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Le sigh...

I'll start by saying I have a pretty sweet job. I work at a concert hall, selling tickets in the box office. If it's not busy I can go online, post blog posts, work on other projects, write plays, buy things on etsy, whatever. If I'm not at the front counter, I can read, knit, do my taxes, just about anything I want.

I've had a few jobs... and most of them weren't quite so lenient about me spending the day on facebook. Or openly writing a grant proposal at my desk. Right now I'm sitting here with two 19-year olds, who've just started here. They've spent most of their shift bitching about how you're not allowed to sit at the front desk reading a book, or how youtube is blocked, or how online games are blocked. And complaining about the essays they've known about for 3 week, yet left until today, since the assignment's due at midnight.

I mean, I try to be patient, because they are young. But seriously:
1) I have customers complaining at me all day, can you suck it up and not go on youtube for 4 hours?
2) you need to go work for some of my old bosses who will yell at you if you so much as look at the solitaire icon on your desktop

Phew. That was a little cathartic.
I'm sporting new hair. My new hairdresser is fabulous. I have awesome red hair and leftover curls from how he styled it yesterday. I'm working on my play proposal for the fancy playwriting unit. Or, I am when I'm not listening to people's bitching and moaning about how sick they are of Tim Horton's.

I feel so old.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Good News, Everyone!

I booked a part in that independent film! It's just one small scene, but with lines and a credit, which is fabulous and will beef up my resume!
I also got another positive response from a theatre company (again, I know the AD) requesting to read my script! So I'm sending it out tomorrow. Monday I get started on the people I don't know-- eek!

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm Back!

And badder than ever!

Well, not really. If anything, the last few days have taught me that maybe being a perfectionist isn't so great after all. You see, instead of making you feel perfect all the time, perfectionism makes you feel shitty all the time. And I have a feeling that giving up my penchant for perfection may be a little more difficult than quitting smoking (6 weeks tomorrow, go me!).

And now the good news... drum roll please... not only do I have an appointment with a NEW hair salon, but I finally got up the stones to sign up for that acting class. Even though I was having a bit of a panic attack on the phone and I think I sounded a little bit nervous and dumb, I signed up for the class! It starts a week from Monday.

And wait, there's more! I've been dilly-dallying about sending out my play, because... well, I'm not sure. Because I always feel awkward about effectively saying "You need to read this because it is awesome. Also, I am awesome and you should know who I am." Like I'm not awesome enough yet. Or there's a little bit of "Who do I think I am?" creeping in. But as another dear friend's guitar teacher told her: "Don't wait until you're Eric Clapton to get on stage and perform. Because you'll never become Eric Clapton if you don't get out there and do it." Basically, she told me not to spend my life waiting to be good enough. Because even if you're afraid the audience won't like it (or won't like YOU), you owe it to yourself to take the risk that they won't.

Long story short, I sent out the first of my list of queries for the play. It was to someone I know, which can make things easier or more awkward, depending on the person. I sent it out yesterday, and he emailed me back this morning requesting the script! I'm going to try and tackle one query a day this week. And meanwhile I'm going to research some theatres farther afield to try and send this thing out to.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Tried To Wear A Cowboy Shirt...

But they only go with jeans. Unless, of course, you're wearing a fancier "black tie event" country shirt, and you've got a lot of sequins on it.

I work at a concert hall, which is a sweet job, and when you work concert duty (during an event), you have to wear black. It just so happens that I have a black cowboy shirt, which would have been PERFECT for tonight's country music event, but sadly, it just didn't go with my black dress pants. I am looking forward to seeing some of the outfits on tonight's audience, though.

I did get some things done. A lovely and amazing friend who is older and better connected than I suggested some theatres to send my play to, and is allowing me to drop his name with the folks that he knows (always helpful in not seeming like a random lunatic who writes plays). So I have a list of a few companies to get on.

When I called my hair salon, my decision seemed much easier all of a sudden. Being left on hold for 6 minutes, a rude receptionist, and a stylist whose schedule in no way works with mine suddenly made me think back to all the times I've walked out of there with colour spots on my forehead, or on my neck. Of how far from my house this salon is. Of how expensive it is, considering I feel unappreciated every time I go.

And that sounds incredibly entitled of me, I know. I'm actually not precious about my hair. But I suppose I am particular about how I'm treated. Not that I get all Caruso and ream people out for making eye contact. But I treat customers nicely at my job, I guess I expect that from places I go to as a customer.

I also got a last-minute editing job, which will bring a wee bit of extra cash into the household.

Once I get out of here after the concert, I have the whole weekend off! Which is a rarity. I plan to get a lot of guitar playing done, a little bit of sewing, and a shopping spree where J and I stock up on things like new socks and underwear, and other wintertime neccessities.

Have a fab weekend, everyone!

I Was Going to Write A Blog Post Later...

I have a list of things to do. Some of these things are easy, like calling my hair salon for an appointment. Others are slightly harder, like putting myself on tape for this indie film audition. Or writing cover letters to send my script out into the world. Or cleaning the basement so someone can come in and fix the %$*& bathtub faucet.

The point is, I have a list. And I like lists. Lists make me feel organized. The problem is sometimes, making lists can feel like action. Like I've actually done something and can continue to procrastinate. And that's where I am today. I don't know why calling my hairdresser would make me feel anxious (well, aside from the background anxiety of the fact that I want to switch salons and find the whole situation awkward), but I keep putting everything off.

Are there people in the world who don't procrastinate? Who have their list every day and check off everything, no problemo? Who are these people?

So I'm sitting here on my bed with the phone next to me, ready to make some calls (including registering for a film acting class), and determined to get it done today. The audition is more problematic. I feel iffy at best about my work on film (hence the class), and I feel like I'm putting together a PERMANENT RECORD OF HOW MUCH I SUCK for someone else to view. But it's a two minute scene. Two or three takes, the whole thing can be done and sent away in about a half an hour. So why not just do it rather than spend two days feeling ick about it?

In other news, I am down 3 pounds! Speaking of which, I am super hungry and going to have lunch while making phone calls.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Before You Succumb To Ennui...

Just when you're feeling like you want to leave an open can of tuna fish in the desk of everyone who works at the RBC Student Loan Centre (most decidedly NOT vegetarian), or when you're stressed out because you're worried about money and working two jobs. Just when you're feeling blue because you may never accomplish anything else creative in your life. Just when you think you're having kind of a shitty day, someone tells you this:

"I had to get a new credit card because one day VISA called me and asked if I'd just bought some drugs at a pharmacy in Houston and 2 one-way tickets to Libya. So I thought I'd better get a new card."

Sort of awesome, right? I mean, definitely better than the time I got rejected for a card because I had an outstanding Bay charge card because I used to eat at their restaurant and buy groceries in their pharmacy when I was a poor, starving student. Not really a story to dine out on, that one.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Let's Get Real...

Yes, fellow travelers, it's time to get real. Realer than real. Time to keep it real. Real it out. For realz.

OK, I don't really know what I'm talking about here. I've been trying to be honest with myself lately. Still working on making changes. Which reminds me that I don't want to be one of those people who's always "working on" changes as an excuse for never really changing anything. You know those people? Those people who are continually ambitious, who always have big plans, but never seem to actually implement them? Those folks who are always saying "next year will be my year." And they say that every year.

Yeah, I really don't want to be one of those people.

For example, I like to make lists. Lists of things I want to do, one day. Today that list might include:

1) Finish that knitted gift and mail it already!
2) Finish sewing that blouse.
3) Learn to play the ukulele.
4) Wear a size 8.
5) Do a solo show.
6) Do a cabaret.
7) Get back to yoga practice.
8) Get my website up and running.

And so on. Not that those all have to be accomplished by the end of the day, or even the end of the year. It's usually a mix of things that can be done immediately and longer-term things. But I am feeling like I get no closer to the long-term things.

And yes, of course, change is gradual. I hate gradual! I like instant gratification, I admit it. Who doesn't? But I need to quit feeling anxious and start doing stuff.

You know, how Dr. Phil is always telling people to put verbs in their sentences or chicken up the deep fryer or something.

Moping doesn't work. Scheming only works if followed by action. I need to take action!

Also, I realized the other day that I seem to hold on to a lot of negative feelings. Petty jealousies about people and their accomplishments, feelings of inadequacy, all that good stuff. I keep it all pent-up, because, well, frankly, I could spend all my time bitching and moaning, and that's certainly not healthy. But I also don't let fly with more than the regular cattiness, because I'm afraid people will think I'm a bitch. Or that they'll say "Hey, I just realized-- you are completely inadequate! FRAUD!" Or because I keep telling myself that I shouldn't feel that way. Or whatever.

I shan't vent that stuff here, either, because that's not really interesting or entertaining. But I'm thinking of doing the dreaded/revered morning pages for a while. Just clear out the crap at the beginning of the day and see what it makes room for.

For real!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The End of Summer...

I know, I know, there are still a good couple of weeks' worth of August to go, but where I live, this is when it starts getting crisp in the mornings and evenings, when the leaves start to turn. I miss my hometown most in the autumn (my favourite season), with it's longer, sweater-weather fall, its many colours. Here, things just suddenly get cold one day. We have a week or so of golden leaves, which all seem to drop at once.

It's the end of the Fringe Festival here, the big news being a local artistic director getting himself into a bit of trouble as he responds to a patron's blog more personally than professionally. Other than that, I saw some great shows, some disappointing shows, and started thinking about my next project.

I've been waiting to hear back on so many things-- my stupid health issues, this playwriting thing-y (I'm assuming a no at this point, but it would be nice to hear from the horse's mouth), even my wedding album (yes, over 10 months later, I still haven't received the wedding album that we didn't even get to proof. On my to-do list: finding the best site to make a photobook online for our parents, because you'd best believe we won't be ordering any more product from this photographer. He's my one vendor regret for the whole thing-- the pics we have are lovely, but he didn't get some of the things I asked for, and seemed a little more interested in partying at the reception than taking pictures. The sole consolation is we got a really good deal, pricewise; I suppose this may be a lesson in getting what you pay for). But I get that fleeting thought that perhaps I woke up one day set to "invisible", and never reset the switch. 2nd job boss hasn't responded about my end date, voice teacher hasn't responded about times for this year. And so on.

And that's very overdramatic of me, I know. Any one of these things I would just assume the person in question was busy, that I should be patient. But as they start to accumulate--well, they begin to gnaw away at the fragile parts of my brain.

Sitting in a show today, I was reading a friend's bio, and started my same old, same old of feeling inadequate, because she's far more accomplished than I am. Which isn't true, on paper, I'll bet we come out about even. Not that anyone's counting, so I shouldn't even be considering who comes out ahead, but you know what I mean. And I thought Why am I trying to make myself feel bad about her being "better" than me? Why can't I just appreciate what she's doing and keep going ahead with what I'm doing, because I'm obviously where I'm supposed to be?

I know. Can't you imagine several of my former shrinks suddenly sitting up in bed at that exact moment? Did I finally "get it"?

Is this what Oprah feels like when she has her "A-ha" moments? Or whatever it is her magazines are always shouting about?

Anyway. Things here are largely the same. I'll probably spend some time following up with all these people about all these subjects so I can go ahead and plan my life for the fall. Thankfully, my second job should be ending soon-- I'll miss the extra cash, but I'll love having my free time back.

Happy Sunday, friends!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No news is... bad news?

Still no word re: Vancouver. Realistically, I'm expecting a polite thanks-but-no-thanks letter in the mail, but still obsessively checking my email. Poop! However, this will free me up to take that acting for the camera class, so doors closed, windows open, and so forth.

My meeting yesterday was an invitation to apply to a very interesting playwrights unit, with possible money and even production down the line. Which is very cool. But it does mean I have to pitch a brand new idea. Something that strikes fear into my heart of hearts.

Because I have ideas, vague ideas of things I am interested in, but nothing that I'm ready to jump into, nothing I could hook you in with a story about. "I'm interested in writing a play somehow inspired by human anatomy."
ummm... okay? See, it doesn't have a story, or characters, or anything. I tend to sit on ideas for a long time before I'm ready to start writing. And I was already getting antsy about getting a new idea. Which begs the question no writer wants to ask:
Where do the ideas come from?

Always best never to examine that too closely. In case you never get another idea again, and serves you right for being snoopy.

Interestingly, the overriding themes in my work include: communion with the dead/the supernatural, and a character who is insurmountably The Other. I'm talking no one's going to teach you how to dress right and you'll fit in. I write about never fitting in and accepting that or fighting that. And, apparently, talking to dead people.

Maybe I should start there?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Excuses, Excuses...

Here is a list of excuses I am using to explain to myself why the playwriting people haven't called to invite me to Vancouver:

1) Time Zone
Vancouver is an entire hour behind us! They still have plenty of time to call!

2) Alphabetical Order
My last name is very close to the end of the alphabet. Perhaps they are working their way through applicants alphabetically!

3) They misprinted the date.
August 15 is Sunday. Perhaps what they meant was that they'd get in touch with people on Monday the 16th.

4) Like me, they have several jobs, and have forgotten what day of the week it is.

5) They're flying out to tell me in person, and got delayed at the airport.

6) They're calling everyone who didn't get in first, so they can end their phone calls on a high note.

7) They're working up the courage to call because, of course, they're afraid I'll say no.

8) They are simply not interested in my play at this time, but wish me luck in my future endeavors.

ETA on Monday:
OK, that last one isn't really an excuse, but will likely be the harsh reality. Hoping to hear one way or the other today, since it's a business day (ugh), and will let you know.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Still waiting. My least favourite thing. Tomorrow I supposedly find out whether or not I'm going to Vancouver in November. Though I'm not getting my hopes up too high for that one, I have already gotten a fair amount of funded support this year already, so I can see them wanting to spread the wealth around.

I also have a meeting on Monday, one that I was thinking nothing of until I heard through the grapevine that this person (and possibly the attached theatre company) "has big plans for me" and "has their eye on me". Whatever that means. I'm trying to to get too excited about it, since (a)suddenly being picked up for production is highly unlikely, and (b) I've been screwed over before. Instead I'm just remembering to be happy that others find my work cool and interesting, and that I'm ever-so-gradually forging ahead on the path.

I'm thinking of taking some acting classes in the fall, acting for the camera to be specific. Definitely a skill I could use some regular practice in. I'm hoping to hear one way or the other about Vancouver tomorrow so I can register (Vancouver might make me miss a couple of classes, so I'd have to check and see how they feel about that). If I do go to Vancouver, I'm definitely getting some new headshots done, so I'm shopping around for that.

And I think I have the germ of an idea for a solo show. It's still pretty hazy, but I saw the opening minute in my head and got that excited-chill feeling about it. That feeling I get when I have the grain of a good idea. Which is exciting. But not something to be rushed, and I can't really talk about it any more than that.

After my contract (second job) is done, I really need to get better about making time for myself and taking it. I have this huge list of projects I want to do, but I never get past the idea stage. It's a bad habit of mine. If I let things sit too long, it's almost like they get "spoiled" by the idea of actually doing them. Like the real thing could never live up to the idea of it that I've built up in my head or something. I think I just have to be braver. Just do things when I have the impulse instead of stewing about them.

How about another 5 in 7?
1)Log food and exercise on sparkpeople. This is a pretty awesome (and FREE) resource, and I've been faithfully tracking for the last 2 weeks.
2)Keep singing every day.
3)Finish knitting that baby blanket and send it sometime before the baby graduates high school.
4)Go see a bunch of stuff at the Fringe by people I've never heard of. Discover some new inspiration.
5)Drink enough water every day. (I'm terrible, terrible, terrible at hydration.)

Have a lovely weekend, fellow travellers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Steven Slater, My Hero

OK, so by now I'm sure everyone's read about Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who lost it, cussed out a passenger over the intercom, grabbed some beers from the galley, activated the emergency slide, jumped out of the plane, and drove home, where he was subsequently arrested.

So maybe that's not the best way to quit a job. But as someone who has worked (and continues to work) in customer service, there's something about this story that makes me go Hells Yeah. Because haven't we all fantasized about that? Just quitting our shitty jobs in a blaze of glory, finally getting to tell our boss or our coworkers or our customers what we really think, instead of having to hold it all in for the sake of a paycheck?

Because sometimes, just sometimes, the customer is just not always right. In fact, sometimes, the customer is an entitled, unreasonable jerk. Sometimes the customer is downright nasty to you, just because they can be. That's right, as understanding as I try to be about people having a bad day, or going through something difficult emotionally and taking it out on me, I also have to recognize that some people are just, in plain terms, assholes. It held true on the playground, it held true in high school, and it still stands in the land of grownups.

Would I ever quit my job that way? Unlikely. I'm usually all polite and diplomatic, and giving my two weeks' notice. Except for my very first job-- I was fifteen and working at Suzy Shier. The glamour of having a job had quickly worn thin, and I was pissed that I couldn't get the time off to attend an INXS concert. Michael Hutchence was still alive, my friends, and I was determined to see him in all his sexiness. (Actually, I think I was in love with the drummer even more than with Michael, but I digress.) I tried to call in sick for that shift, when my boss (she of multiple-colored eyeliners, and big hair-sprayed bangs) quite rightly accused me of faking my illness to go to the concert.

And, completely offended, I quit. Which was ridiculous, because I was totally faking. I thought it was all very romantic, that I was somehow sticking it to the man for my love of the music, and I went to the concert. I think I still have the t-shirt, actually.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

On Having Patience

Right now, I am trying to be patient. Not one of my strengths. I can endure things, I can look forward to things, but I like to know what's going to happen. I try to be a catalyst, to take charge and make things happen. I'm not so great at the "wait and see" approach to life.

And, of course, that's what a lot of life is like. Go figure.

So, I'm waiting to hear back about another playwrights' colony, this time in Vancouver. Decisions are supposed to be announced next weekend, leaving you to wonder: do they let successful applicants know a little earlier and just send out the Fuck You letters on the date? Does knowing that matter? Not really. But, like analyzing a bad date with your girlfriends, it's sometimes nice to turn over the minutiae in your mind.

I'm waiting to see if I can get my chub a little bit under control. I've been fabulously healthy in my eating, all the fruits and veg, tracking everything, no sweets, no treats. Exercising a lot more. And, of course, the thrilling pee test I mentioned in my last post. Cross your fingers for me tomorrow, guys! I know you'll be itching for updates. Waiting to see if the scale moves down. Or at least stops moving up.

I think I'm going to spend my pee day sewing, since J has been called in to work that day. Now that the studio is actually clean (and has room for my new ironing board), I'm hoping to get some work done more often.

I'm actually thinking of starting a separate blog-- I just haven't thought of a good title yet. Basically it would focus on vintage sewing, a little vintage style, and making vintage recipes, vegetarian style.

This blog will remain where it is for the purposes of talking about me, my career, and my angst.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Just Like Howard Hughes

For the record, I often get the names "Howard Hughes" and "Hugh Hefner" mixed up. Not the people behind the name, but I tend to imagine them as one person. An old guy who spends a lot of time in a bathrobe, collecting his urine and publishing naughty calendars.

(I still haven't seen The Aviator, if you can believe it. One of those movies I keep meaning to watch, but am never in the mood to see. I feel somehow, that like Dead Man Walking,it's some sort of huge time commitment.)

But speaking of saving your urine, guess what I get to do this weekend? That's right! Due to some truly lame health problems I've been experiencing lately, my doctor has requested that I save my pee. All my pee. For 24 hours. Meaning I basically have to take a day off to stay home and pee. Apparently they give you some kind of container and collection system, then you cart all your bottles of pee (the requisition slip doesn't say if they give you an anonymous brown paper bag to carry your pee-jugs in) back to the lab for analysis.

Fun times on the bus,let me tell you! I've chosen Sunday as my official pee day, because it's the only day for the next couple of weeks that I'm not working. J has volunteered to stay home with me and have a karao-pee party.

Related to lame health problems, I've gained a rather impressive amount of weight over the last couple of months, despite exercising more and eating less. So I'm feeling a little depressed about it, trying to stay positive. I don't have a lot of wardrobe options, and I'm just generally feeling rather dumpy and chub these days. Trying to continue working out, track my food. I haven't re-joined Weight Watchers yet, but I'm eating what used to work for me-- ye olde Core Plan. Hopefully I can at least maintain until my doctor figures out what is going on.

Can't wait to start peeing!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fridge Blues

Well, my fridge has decided to recognize only two possible settings: Emergency Defrost Freezer Leakage, and Preserve All Food As Ice Cubes (Including Salad You Were Bringing For Lunch). This results either in a steady spring thaw-like dripping from the freezer into the fridge, or all fridge food, from strawberries to Tofurky, encrusted in ice crystals, much like what happens when you finally lose that game of Frozen Bubble.

I think it may be time for a new fridge. We also need a new television, new bed and a new couch. After which I will either need a new credit card or a new identity, hardy-har-har.

I'm feeling rather uninspired as of late, friends. Feeling uninspired by myself, which is the worst kind of uninspired to feel, as far as I'm concerned. I realize the world really doesn't treat me as badly as all that, and that things can't be thrilling/exciting/constant new developments-ing all the time. But I'm feeling a little dull and down and a wee bit sorry for myself.

It'll pass, I'm positive of it. This week I plan to clean out some closets and clean out a workspace for myself to get back to sewing and non-theatre-related stuff.

How do you get yourself out of a blue patch?

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Just a quick note-- I have blog guilt (or is that non-blogging guilt?). Anyhoo, apologies for my lack of updates: life seems to be in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment. Just working 6 days a week, which is putting a kink in my plans to relax, but I'm hard pressed to say no to extra money at the moment.

I'm waiting somewhat impatiently to be inspired-- I'd like to start a new project, but am a little bit low on ideas. Working on singing, doing some other music stuff. Thinking about giving myself a makeover.

You know, the usual.

More and better updates in the coming week! Seriously, ya'll!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Green-Eyed Monster

Yes, I confess it: I'm a jealous person. Not in the romantic way, I'm not one of those ladies whose boyfriend/husband/sweet baboo has to call her every hour on the hour when he's out, or who puts her foot down over watching television shows featuring beautiful women. No, I'm definitely a career jealous person.

Not that I've made jealousy my career. I mean, I get jealous about the careers of others. Why must my friends be so accomplished? Why do I feel like I'm being left behind?

I love my friends, I'm proud of them. Heck, I'm even happy for my less-than-friends when something good career-wise happens to them.


Except for the blinding flashes of jealousy I also get. And of course, that's my issue, obvs. It's time for deep breaths, and reassuring myself that This is not a race, and using it to spur me to move ahead. And meditating on crystals, or reading The Secret or something.

OK, just kidding about those last two.

Last week, I did awesome on my goals, with the exception of the piano. The studio is a bit of a disaster at the moment (I'm sure a shrink, or the person who wrote The Secret might say that the exterior clutter is a material representation of me blocking my pathways to success, but really, it's just mess and I'm lazy.)

So, piano will get added to this week's list.

This week's Five in Seven:

1) Practice piano

2) Drink water every day. I don't know why I have such a huge problem doing this. Maybe I need to make an inspiration board about water. Anyway, 8-10 glasses a day.

3) Sing every day. Because it seems to be working. Go figure.

4) Back to work on sewing that blouse. (This, along with piano playing, necessitates cleaning out my studio. Take that, imaginary shrinks and Secret author!)

5) Research some theatre companies, Canadian and outside the Great White North, who might like to read my skit-shows.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Five In Seven

Sounds like some kind of infomercial weight loss plan, right? Like Deal A Meal (remember Deal A Meal?)

I was talking to an amazing, inspiring friend of mine about my frustrations about my vocal progress. I feel blocked. My reaction to feeling blocked is to take some kind of action, but I have no idea of what to do. And we had a long talk, and she gave me some homework. She said "if you really want to be a singer and you love singing, there is always something you can do to advance yourself musically." And she told me to think of 5 things I could do in one week that would move me along towards my goals.

I think that's great advice. I'm trying to get more positive and active, rather than dwelling in the negativity with the bitter people. If that means going out on a limb and trying new things, so be it.

So here's my list of things to do this week:

1) discover some new music/singers
2) review and re-remember key signatures
3) sing every day
4) get the italian translation for my aria
5) practice piano

Hopefully I'll be back with a completed list and another 5 things to by this time next week. They may or may not be singing related, though.

She also told me: "Remember, no one is ever going to come along and give you a license to be a singer. Don't wait until you think you're 'good enough'." Pretty nice advice, which can probably translate to some of my other plans and schemes.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Looks Like Dog Food, Tastes Like Vinegar.

My friends, as much as it pains me to confess it, I have very, very unpredictable cooking skills. Sometimes I'm great, sometimes I'm... well, when it's bad, it's horrible. Really, really horrible.

I take some comfort in being consistently good at baking, but a massive failure at cooking is always a crushing blow to my self-esteem. It's not that I can't follow a recipe. It's not that I don't measure. It's not that I make crazy substitutions for things. It's just something in the alchemy-- every so often, I cook something that's an unmitigated disaster for no apparent reason.

Take the Stewpie (STEW-pee) incident, for instance. When I was first living with my husband, I was trying out all kinds of new recipes. He's got a stomach thing that won't let him eat dairy or red meat, and before he met me, he was living on minute rice and cooked carrots. It never occurred to him to order a pizza without cheese, or to check out soy and rice cheeses, or just find recipes that didn't contain dairy, or whatever. So I was having mucho fun trying out a bunch of vegan recipes (I was just beginning to seriously explore vegetarianism), many of which turned out amazingly. My cooking reputation in our relationship was solid. Until, that is, I decided to try and make Stewpie.

I have no recollection of where I found the original recipe. It wasn't called Stewpie (a combo of stew and pie, for reasons that will become obvious). It was just some kind of vegetable pot pie. Which I was envisioning as a kind of yummy comfort food: flaky crust, warm thick gravy, nummy vegetables. And I think that's what it was supposed to be. And although it's hazy in my memory, I seem to recall that I even made my own pie crust. Things seemed promising. And then...

I won't try to embellish it, it was disgusting. Not disgusting in a way that would immediately induce projectile vomiting or anything. But it was horrible. Mushy, pasty, awful glop. Depressing. And J, bless him, ate TWO helpings before admitting he hated it and could barely stand to look at it. He thought that he'd hurt my feelings if he didn't eat it. But instead I find myself wondering if he *really* likes my food, or if he's just humoring me. To which he immediately responds "It's not a Stewpie!"

Anyway. Fast forward to last night. One of my friends at work had made this butternut squash dish that smelled amazing. Like, I wanted to chew off my own fingers and pretend they were butternut squash amazing. So I asked for the recipe and set out to make it last night.

Things all fell apart with the balsamic reduction. I don't know what I did, but it ended up looking like dog food and tasting like vinegar. I was laughing so hard, I was crying, because it was so disgusting and ridiculous. I tried to force myself to eat some, as a kind of penance, but I just couldn't do it.

I did get right back on the horse and make the filling for some potstickers for tonight. Hopefully those turn out a little bit better.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Television Guilty Pleasures

Yes, I have finally started watching Mad Men. As a matter of fact, I've got two seasons under my belt, and joy of joys, On Demand has finally put Season 3 up! Of course, they still show commercials for the new season during the episodes, which is maddening and causes us to stick our fingers in our ears and sing "Poker Face" at the top of our lungs while turning our eyes skywards. No spoilers, AMC!

So far, I am dying over the fashions. And all the fabulous mid-century modern decor. And the priceless things like shaking the garbage off your picnic blanket and leaving it in a glorious pile in the park. And the writing has been pretty good-- I wasn't a huge fan of parts of Season 2, particularly Don's bizarre business trip. But the last episode of Season 1, his monologue about the Kodak carousel made me crumble with jealousy a little bit. So yes, Season 3 begins tonight in my living room.

Of course, this will be after I watch the other guilty pleasures that Monday night brings, namely Intervention and Obsessed. Schadenfreude, anyone? Also, I don't really like watching Hoarders because I find it so repetitive, but I do tend to get a lot of house cleaning done. That, or I don't feel quite so bad about my own mess.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Fun At Work

I'll admit it: I've always been someone who thrives on responsibility. I was the kid who'd volunteer to take the money down to the office on hot dog day at school, who'd be the dissection class table leader. Yes, Iike being in charge of things, whether it be an envelope of quarters or a stainless steel tray of frog cadavers. Being entrusted with responsibility makes me feel accomplished, and dare I say, validated. And nearly every job I've ever had, I feel the pull of wanting to work towards promotion, to being in charge of projects. To having keys.

And, often, the thrill of validation disappears nearly instantly. Not that it leaves me in some sort of shame spiral, or hollow, esteem-less pit that drives me to drug use. It's usually replaced by at least one of two thoughts: I'd rather be doing something else, or the ever-popular People are intensely irritating.

Let me break it down. Advancing in my chosen field = awesome. The sizzle of being in charge of the odd-pay-period-wage-reports = fleeting at best.

Right now, I have 2 and a half jobs. One is working in the box office at a concert hall. It's mellow (for the most part), and they let me write plays when it's not busy. I also occasionally contract editing scripts for video games. And I do a bunch of freelance writing gigs-- newsletter articles, online publications, and so on. Plus my super-glamorous chosen field of THE THEAT-AH.

The concert hall has recently made me a key holder. Which I'm happy about, I mean, I get a pay raise, some benefits, keys to the place. But let me just put something out there. I don't know a lot about business, and I haven't worked there that long. But my thinking is, that if you have the better part of 4 hours in the afternoon to devote to drawing dragons in MS Paint, I had better not have any problems with your cashout. I mean, your cashout should be pretty much immaculate, because I can't imagine starting on the 4-tone rendering of Galthor's scales unless you'd actually finished your work for the day.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.

And no, I won't be ranting like a 12-year-old girl in this one. I'm feeling a little more grown up and secure now. With a grown-up problem! A grown-up relationship problem. And no, it's not like that. I'm talking about being facebook friends with my hairdresser, who I'm thinking of cheating on.

Actually, I'm thinking about leaving her altogether. And in the good old days, you could just kind of disappear off the face of the earth, never to return to your old salon. Perhaps one day you would run into your old stylist in the produce aisle at Safeway, say a polite hello, or perhaps nothing at all. There would be an understanding. I mean, if you didn't have 10 inches of roots, it would just be assumed you'd moved on.

I am the worst at confrontation. Trying out a different stylist at the same salon is one thing, but just out and out leaving? Do I have the balls to drag my stuff into the living room and say "Torvald, I'm leaving." Also, my stylist's name isn't Torvald (I would never even think of leaving if it was!), that was just a bonus A Doll's House reference for the nerds out there.

The pros of my stylist:
I like the salon, and most of the people there are super nice. The rest are just pretty nice.
My stylist knows how to cut my hair really, really well. I have A LOT of coarse, wavy-ish hair, so it's hard to find someone good.
I've been going there for a few years. (Is this even a pro?)
I get a lot of compliments on my colour and cut.

The cons of staying:
They're out of my way. It's a pain in the ass to get there.
Expensive. I mean, I'm a big proponent of spending the money on your hair, but it's a little ridiculous.
I think my stylist takes me for granted.
The last couple of times I've gone, I've left with splotches of colour around my hairline, which I didn't notice till I get home, but which are a pet peeve of mine, because it's sloppy work.

So I don't know what to do. I have some ideas of salons I'd like to try, but it's hard to just make a clean break. Although this is supposing that my hairstylist cares passionately about whether or not I'm a client.

Anyone have tips on breaking up with a stylist? Or stories about cheating on your salon?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ouch, Facebook!

So, yesterday was my birthday. Though I sometimes would like to make a big deal about it and have a party, I never do, because I live with the fat kid's fear of NO ONE SHOWING UP, PROVING EVERYONE HATES YOU ON YOUR BIRTHDAY, THE MOST HUMILIATING OF ALL DAYS TO BE HATED! Maybe that's not a very grown-up sentiment, but the whole being-left-out-of-everything-because-no-one-cares-about-you elementary school thing is, even all these years later, a huge emotional panic trigger for me. I suspect it may be a permanent background anxiety that I can usually ignore.

Speaking of, did anyone ever feel like they fit in? It seems like most people I talked to were always picked last for things, always lived in fear of other children. Do I just hang with a crowd of bully victims? What happened to all the popular kids? Do they go away to some island of beautiful people when they turn 21 (which would be disappointing, because I always imagined they would grow up to serve fries all day and be covered in unsightly boils).

ANYWAY, I must confess that I was looking forward to a little facebook birthday love. Yes, lame, I know, but it's kind of nice to have people wishing you a happy birthday. Of course, if I examined it more closely, I might wonder why none of these people talk to me at any other time, but why add more insecurity to my already-crowded plate? So yesterday, I opened up Facebook, expecting that warm-glowy feeling, and was thrilled that one of my bestest buds had wished me a happy birthday, (and didn't need facebook to tell her it was my birthday), and then...

nada. Nothing! The whole day, not one single person wished me good tidings of great joy. And it's immature and stupid and facebook, for God's sake, but it's hard not to feel a little burnt by that. And I'm trying to be a good girl and not fall into the clutches of fat kid fears. But seriously, out of 400 friends? Not even my sister wished me well! Ouch!

Fortunately, I got some birthday love in real life, which is way better. J set up the Christmas tree in the living room while I was at work Thursday night, which is a bit of an inside joke: I heart Christmas a lot, and when I was a kid, I always used to proclaim I had the best birthday, because it was exactly six months from Christmas. So the year was perfectly symetrical in terms of presents I would receive.

But I confess, I do wish that my birthday was a little closer to winter so I didn't have to wait to use this awesome gift:

Yes, that is a Snuggie. Not just any Snuggie, but a Snuggie Wild Side! I guess they were worried that their regular solid colours just wouldn't appeal to today's youth. So I've got a fab leopard print blanket with arms! With the official Snuggie Brand label on the sleeve!

I'm actually a little too excited about this.
Anyway, you now have a little less than 6 shopping months till Christmas.
Happy Saturday, everyone!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

An Open Letter To The Last Three Movies I've Seen, Which, Coincidentally, Were All Pretty Disappointing

Dear Shutter Island, The Book of Eli, and Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland,

The first thing I want you to know is that I really, really like movies. Really. Anything from film noir, to cheesy 80's capers, to musicals, to disease-of-the-week movies on tv. Psychological thrillers, documentaries, zombie movies, foreign film. I just like movies. Which is why the last couple of weeks have been so distressing to me.

Shutter Island,I confess that I wasn't totally excited to see you. I didn't really understand what you were supposed to be about going in, only that the phrase I associate with you is "THE TWIST YOU'LL NEVER SEE COMING!" And you know what, Shutter Island? I guessed it. I guessed the twist I'd never see coming, literally about 90 seconds in. Leo hadn't even arrived on the stupid island yet. And it's not like you were bad, though I could have done without the overwrought, CGI'd Twin Peaks-style dream sequences. You just weren't terribly exciting. And maybe it's my fault for guessing. But what was I supposed to do? You dared me to.

And you, The Book of Eli, you were J's idea, not mine. He'd been looking forward to seeing you for weeks. And so you show up in our living room the very day you're released with what looks like something visually interesting, something taut and tense, post-apocalyptic exciting, and you turn out to be... well, you turn out to be The Book of Eli? Seriously? I mean, I passed the time speculating on how this could be turned into a sequel to The Preacher's Wife, or wondering aloud why everyone post-apocalypse wear such uncomfortable looking clothes (if there is some kind of solar flare, or nuclear volcano, or sudden evaporation of 90% of the earth's water supply, you had best believe I won't be getting myself a bustier top, a corset, or fur leg warmers. Nor will I be wrapping my limbs in various ribbons/audio tape/whatever they use to do that.). But what pissed me off the most was that you had a great plot twist, something that could have been a lot more effective. But it was so not worth it. So. Not. Worth. It.

And finally, Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland, I was pretty disappointed in you, as well. A whole lot of style, with very little substance. Frankly, I'd rather see Peter Jackson direct Alice in Wonderland, because I think he'd do a pretty kickass job of it. Maybe Tim Burton could direct Animal Farm, make it a new Watership Down to traumatize the kids of this generation. Either way, I bet Elijah Wood was probably pretty pissed off when he saw Johnny Depp in this movie. Because Elijah could probably have saved them a whole lot of money in animation fees:

And what the hell was wrong with Crispin Glover? All stretched out and weird-looking? Is he supposed to be a playing card, like those other red guys? Because it looks weird, but not so weird that you'd immediately assume it was done on purpose. And not so consistent that you can immediately figure out what exactly it is that's weird.

If anything, the more CGI and animation I see, the more I wonder if it's really been good for movies. I mean, yes, obviously there are some movies that use it amazingly well, and it helps tell the story without becoming the story itself. But I wonder if better and better technology is making people less creative in some way. Not neccessarily with reference to TBAIW, but overall.

Anyway, you guys, you've really left me disappointed. In fact my regret about writing this is that's a public acknowledgement that I actually sat through all three of you. I think the best thing for all of us is that we all try to forget that I arrived on your island, or apoca'd into your lypse, or fell down your rabbit hole.

You get the picture.


Friday, June 18, 2010

On Shopping and Sizes, or What Is This, A Cathy Cartoon?

So the other day we were out shopping, and my husband wanted to get a pair of pants. He walked into a store, found some pants he liked, checked the tags, picked up the pants and said "Let's go."
"Don't you want to try those on?"
"But how do you know they'll fit?"
"Ummm..." he said, pausing to figure out how not to imply that I was dumb "because they're my size?"
And then he went to pay for his pants. Which, ps, totally fit perfectly.

At the risk of sounding like a certain cartoon, AAAAAAACCCKKKK!

(Confession: my sister has pretty much the entire collection of Cathy comics at my parents' house, which I totally binge on (irony!) when I'm there at Christmas. Oh, Irving!)

I mean, seriously. I can't imagine the day when I would just believe that a marked size would correctly match the proportions of my body. Maybe if I already owned the same exact thing and was buying a second one in a different colour. But having had the experience of being 3 different sizes of jeans in the same store (I'm looking at you, Old Navy!), I'm always prepared for pants shopping to be an epic event.

At the moment, I wear a 14. Which is better than the 20 I've previously worn, but kind of a weird size generally. Even though we're constantly hearing "That's the average American woman's size!", 14 is a strange fit. It's on the cusp of plus size, so you have a good chance of finding it in a "regular" store (I know I'm not alone in my weight goals including being able to shop in regular stores). Plus size stores generally start at a 14, though that 14 will be cut differently than a 14 in a "regular" store. Not that the numbers mean anything, really.

I remember the legend of The Gap, where at one point if you wore, say, an 8 everywhere else, you would fit a 6 in Gap clothes. Which was kind of a nice little ego boost. But then everyone started doing it. So while you wear a size 8 at one store, you might take a 10 at another, or a 6 somewhere else. And so on, until we fast forward to Old Navy and me trying on sizes 12 through 16 in jeans, all variously too big or too small, depending on the style. And my husband picking out his usual size without trying on, waiting by the cash for me.

I mean, I'm sure people of all sizes have these fit/size problems. It's probably more emotionally charged for someone who, say, couldn't find trendy clothes as a kid, and for whom clothes shopping would be marked by comments on my weight and why I couldn't fit into regular sizes. In reality, I know it's the pants that suck, not my body. And yet...

Well, enough complaining and ackkking for one day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strange Dreams

Last night I had a dream that Disneyland had opened a park in Red Deer, Alberta. Now Red Deer, for those of you not familiar is a city pretty much exactly halfway between Edmonton and Calgary. Currently its main attraction for me is the Donut Mill (pictured), which is just off the highway in a quaint gathering of restaurants and service stations called Gasoline Alley. The Donut Mill is exciting because it is (a) shapped like a windmill, and (b)is full of doughnuts. So you can bet I was pretty excited to have a Disneyland open up within an hour and a half's drive of me. So I hopped on a tour bus, which, disappointingly made numerous stops where we had to get off and listen to inspirational speeches made by a variety of disabled people.

At one point, a friend of mine was offering granola bars to tide us over until we reached the happiest place on earth, but when I requested one without marshmallows in it, he gave me a terribly patronizing smile, left, and never returned. Towards the end of the dream, I think I made some kind of social faux pas (I seem to recall doing tricks in someone's wheelchair), and everyone was mad at me, and we never made it to Disneyland.

I have no idea what this means.

I have a day off tomorrow, which I am greatly looking forward to. Unfortunately, working Saturdays means that I rarely have two days off in a row. So days off tend to be times when I can accomplish all the other stuff I don't get to do during the week, like pay bills, go grocery shopping, submit my taxes.

Taxes. Yes, the deadline was April 30. Yes, I still haven't submitted them. But I'm getting money back, so I doubt Revenue Canada will be chasing me down for that. But tomorrow is a day to get a lot of grown-up stuff done. And consider getting some submissions out.

Momentum is a fragile creature. While I was away from here, I feel like I had a lot of perspective on what this city is, and what it isn't. And that to further my career, I really need to look elsewhere. But it's hard to keep that momentum going when you're sucked back into the drama of this community, and the everyday grind. And another grown-up thing I have to do tomorrow is try to kick-start that momentum again, force myself to send some stuff out before the little voice in my head wakes up and starts nagging me.

Oh, and relax. Perhaps with some lemonade.

Monday, June 14, 2010

In Which I Endeavor To Do the Opposite of Letting Myself Go

I suppose the opposite of letting yourself go might be "getting yourself together", but this title uses more words. Also, I like to create obstacles for myself by trying to do a negative action as opposed to a positive action. Don't try this in rehearsal, actor kids! Always with the positive action!

Anyway. I don't think I've really "let myself go". I think that's a phrased designed to make women feel insecure and for publishing houses to continue to sell magazines after the women who buy them have already achieved their major life goals of getting hitched and having babies. But I have always yearned to be a little more put together.

Let me explain. My mother doesn't wear makeup. Well, she does if you count that she pencils in her eyebrows, because my mother is eyebrow-bald. Or extremely eyebrow-receding. Being a little gifted (one might go so far as to say overachieving) in the eyebrow department, eyebrow pencils weren't really high on my list of priorities. But the point being that I think a lot of ladies learn about make-up from their moms, and we had nothing in the house. Ditto with hair-- my mother wears her hair short, wash-and-wear. I get the sense that she thinks that primping is impractical and not for the smart girls.

But I want to primp! And though I have lived with many roommates who spent hours in front of the mirror, or wouldn't go out to get the mail without lipstick, I never really learned anything about putting on makeup. I remember envying my cousin's turquoise eyeliner! The Cover Girl ads in Seventeen that showed people whose eyes were lined in four different colours. On one eye!

Same goes for clothes. Now, I have always been a bit of a fat, insecure kid. Even when I was skinnier, I still felt like the fat kid. And so clothes shopping became a little bit of an anxiety trigger for me. Sure, I went through a brief faux-goth phase (well, probably more artsy than goth), loving that it stood out at my Catholic high school. By the time I moved on to the artsy-fartsy school, I embraced grunge, which was super comfortable, but not exactly body conscious. And now I find I love vintage clothes, bold prints, quirky stuff, classic stuff. And although I could probably put an outfit together for someone else, I never feel confident in what I wear.

In fact, I think I probably dress a little bit... frumpy... at the moment.

So it's time for an intervention.
And I'm not saying that figuring out how to pick out lipstick will change my whole life, but I have a feeling it could sure improve my confidence to feel like I look kind of good. That I put some effort into getting up and facing the world every day.

I have a pretty strict budget, but I'd like to do some stuff like:
*get my eyebrows done professionally
*figure out what lipstick looks good on me
*get some cute shoes
*start remaking my wardrobe, whether I'm skinnier or not
*get a pedicure
*try out a couple of vintage-y, pin-up-y hairstyles

And so on.
Where do you guys go for style tips? Whose style do you admire? Whose style do you hate? Any girly stuff I should absolutely try at least once? Any girly stuff I should absolutely avoid?


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Back In The Saddle

Hello, friends and neighbours,
It's been a little while since I bothered to blog (I wonder what percentage of my blog posts begin with an apology for not blogging?), and in that time, I've returned from my fancy playwrights' retreat, gone back to work, and filled my social calendar with things like fundraisers, attending the theatre, going to physio for my $%# shoulder, and making appointments for life's pesky neccessities, like getting my roots done.

In short, I suppose I've gone back to a normal life. Although it's the first time in at least a year that I haven't had to plan some major event, write a play, produce a show, or work more than one job. So life seems a little... dull? Maybe dull isn't quite the right word. Ordinary. I have an ordinary life at the moment.
I've never wanted to have an ordinary life. I mean, I suppose very few people say "When I grow up, I want to be ORDINARY!" But I think a lot of people settle into that. Heck, when I worked my government job, I met a lot of people who were thrilled with being ordinary, routine, predictable, and safe.

So feeling ordinary gives me that itch... write another play, do a one-woman show, sign myself up for some weird class, plan a vacation to Costa Rica, eat strange foods. Stuff like that. Which can be dangerous, because then I find myself planning major events, producing shows, working more than one job, all at the same time.

Once I get all that ordinary life stuff out of the way (bills, finally filing my taxes, etc.), I really do want to spend the summer doing stuff I want to do-- sewing is pretty high on the list. Music is pretty high on the list. Surprisingly, writing is pretty high on the list. And I didn't altogether like writing anymore, so I thought. Of course, The Unpleasantness with a certain AD didn't really help much.

I suppose I'm at that rare crossroad where all the crap I HAD to do is currently behind me, and all I have to do (besides working to pay my rent and bills) is stuff I want to do. Picnics! Garage sales! Goofy hairstyles! Aprons!


Monday, May 31, 2010

Me Vs. Shyness: Part Ninety-First

Well, I don't know how many parts there are in that battle. But it's true, I'm shy. Although once people get to know me, they would probably never describe me as shy. A little quiet at times, but not shy. So... socially anxious? But isn't that the same thing as shyness?

I don't really know why shyness is considered to be a character defect anyway. But the point is, I've always been a *little* nervous around new people, and now that's rearing its ugly head. I suppose it's to be expected-- I mean, I am away from home and everyone I know, constantly meeting new people who will be reading my work and having opinions about it that, even though they are discouraged from sharing opinions about others' work, they will still have. So it's probably no surprise that, finding myself surrounded by seemingly confident, veteran Canadian theatre luminaries this morning, I felt a little shaky (ok, a lot shaky. Like, actually shaking shaky) about doing my intro in front of the group and talking about my work.

So my shyness doesn't stop me from going out into the world and doing things like buying groceries, or asking where to find a particular book. But I'll admit that it has make me curtail my social activities at times, because I'm so worried about not knowing what to say to people, or coming across as a loser or something. Which is a feature that I don't like about myself. But I don't really know too much about dealing with anxiety. I kind of assume it's a "fake it till you make it" kind of scenario. And the reality is that strangers find me perfectly pleasant, and even funny sometimes. The trick, of course, is to ask people questions about themselves. Works like a charm, every time. And, probably, not to think of all human interaction as some kind of job interview for the position of "likeable". Sometimes, people just don't like other people. Or they're jerks. Or some combination of those and other factors.

Sigh. Time for another confidence boosting mission, I think. Which is weird to need one, because people here are nothing but supportive and complimentary and excited about my work. So why do I have such a hard time with believing them?

Last night I was saying to myself that I was really looking forward to a summer of music and weight loss. Which begs the question: what am I, thirteen? Isn't that largely the same summer I wanted to have between grade seven and grade eight? Although to be fair, this summer I intend to be performing the music (sorry Bryan Adams Reckless! You had your time in the sun!), and I actually do need to lose some weight and get in shape. And after a year of planning things (weddings, shows, parties, trips), and being stressed out about things, I want to have an awesome summer of doing things I want to do.

I have the first reading of my play this afternoon. Apparently I will have to address the group at the start. Bleurgh! I'm off to prepare some brief opening remarks and try to convince myself that people will find my nervousness charming and refreshingly modest.