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!