Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pet Peeves

OK, I will admit, I'm not always a team player. In fact, I often have very little tolerance for my fellow humans. I can't recall if I ever got the "does not play well with others" comment on my report card (though I did have a music teacher who enjoyed putting comments like "Frequently without gym uniform"), but it would probably still be apt.

I'm always amazed at "people persons" (person persons? people people?). You know, those people who need to interact with others each and every day and are miserable without socializing? They're usually pretty chipper, which is not a word that has ever been used to describe me. I mean, I could go for days without having a conversation with anyone besides J. When he was away on tour, I spent a lot of time blissfully away from other humans. I enjoy my solitude, is what I'm saying.

Which makes it doubly hilarious that my current job is in customer service.

Anyhow, my pet peeve for the day: I belong to a weight loss message board. (I kind of love internet message boards, though I never post. Even my virtual self is anti-social!)While I mainly like to track my food and exercise and use it motivationally, I like to skim through the message boards. I'm always kind of amazed at people who "don't like any fruits or vegetables", or who don't understand "how on earth people can eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day?" But the one I hate the most, the thing that gets repeated over and over and over:


OK. Muscle doesn't "weigh more than fat". A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. Which is the same as a pound of feathers, or a pound of butter, or a pound of Tinker Toys. Leaving aside that "I've been working out for 3 days and the scale hasn't budged" query, the proper response isn't "well you know, muscle weighs more than fat! go4it!"

Muscle is more dense than fat. So it takes up less space than fat. But it weighs the same.

I know, I know that I shouldn't get my blood pressure up about stuff on the internet, but eventually, the aggravation wears me down.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Well, friends, it's Monday again. I'm here at work, where I've recently accepted a promotion into a kind of supervisory role... Ultimately I will do less face-to-face everyday customer service (yay!), but will probably deal with escalated customer service issues. And do more admin-y stuff, which I'm looking forward to learning about. I'm a bit leary about "am I getting sucked into a steady job because of the stability?", but at this point I could use the money, the benefits, and... well, the stability. I want to be able to afford to do all the stuff I have planned this year, and save some up to do some more stuff. And if I don't like it, I can always step down. Or find a new job if that's not possible.

Last week I went to a very strange alternative therapy, which aroused the skeptic in me. It was something I wouldn't have sought out myself, but an old friend of mine is now an enthusiastic practitioner, and offered a complimentary session to me. And since it was free, I decided to go with it and just take the chance to meditate on some stuff.

Honestly, I think some alternative treatments/modalities are great, and some of them just seem like utter BS. The little science nerd in me keeps raising her hand and saying "Dude. Wait, what?" And then the little hippie nerd in me is all like "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio..." Except she says it like she's in the movie Clueless, so Horatio has about four extra syllables.

ANYWAY, as questionable as the science behind the treatment was, some of the discussion we had afterwards was quite valuable-- which led me to think this weekend of how much of my life I've spent trying to "impress" others, trying to get validation from them. (I suppose if I had to get specific about it, I would say I spent an awful lot of my childhood trying somewhat unsuccessfully to get my parents' approval-- I've gotten a little better about approval-seeking in general, but this one still hits home).

Ever been to alternative therapies? From getting your chakras balanced to getting a hole drilled in your forehead, I'm curious. (Speaking of holes drilled in your forehead, the best class I ever took in university was The History of Medical Practice-- 1700 to Present Day. Drilling holes in your head to let the gnomes out, stomachaches caused by a demon in your stomach, blood poisoning caused by masturbating. I could go on. It was awesome.)

ETA: Just wanted to note that I got my most prestigious rejection letter yet-- rejected from the Sundance Theatre Lab (yes, that is Sundance as in THE Sundance). This is not so bad, and certainly not unexpected. Getting rejected by more prestigious places means I actually think enough of myself to apply to such prestigious places. Which is good! But boooo on Robert Redford for not thinking I'm a genius. (Actually, I'm pretty sure Redford doesn't read any of the submissions for theatre. Pretty sure.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


So the weather defeated both me and my friend, and I think we were both relieved not to have to go out and entertain each other after a multi-hour, multi-delayed plane ride/frigid day of hiding in a cold, cold house.

Do you ever get into a creative rut? I do. All the time. Friends tell me it's a part of being creative, but I always imagine everyone else's process being infinitely joyous and fulfilling. Unlike mine, which seems to bring misery and frustration. I know I'm in a rut when I start to get obsessive over how much better everyone else's career is going. Because everyone else is booking the jobs, is meeting the right people, is going on worldwide tours of edgy new works. Everyone else is prettier, or younger looking, or more talented, or more confident, or, or, or...

You see where this ends up, right? And that's no fun. Fortunately now I'm starting to recognize the warning signs, and am attempting to haul myself out of it before a full-blown crise-du-confiance rears its ugly head.

Today is a long day. I like to cram as many things as possible into my non-work time, apparently. So this morning I had a doctor's appointment, a singing lesson, and now I'm at work for the evening shift. Maybe I'm feeling creatively meh because I can NEVER LET MYSELF RELAX WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY?

How is your Tuesday going?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Not Looking Good...

Well, I'm pretty sure I didn't book a part in that film... was it the weird eye? My chubbiness? The fact that they wanted either 22-25 or 35-45 and I am slightly too old/too young-looking for either of those categories? I know I read well. So maybe it's that vague, frustrating "you weren't quite what we were looking for". I think that if I could get more auditions, they'd become more businesslike for me-- plus I'd be in more practice. Here's hoping that the spring/summer brings more production to my prairie home.

It's been cold cold cold and snowing all weekend, so I've been housebound for a couple of days, save for doing the weekly grocery shop-- just a few more weeks of poverty before we can start buying name-brand groceries again. I've got another freelance editing job for the month of February, which will pay ridiculously well and will contribute nicely to our travel savings fund.

I have a friend coming in from out of town for work, and he may be calling me to go for drinks later on... is it wrong that I'm not totally excited about venturing out on the frozen planet of Hoth to go for a beer? I feel like a bad friend, he's only here for less than a day. I'm sure I'll go. I'll go. But I'm secretly hoping he's too tired to play tonight.

Bad friend!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This Day Can Only Get Better...

As I think I've whined about mentioned a few times lately, I've been rather sick over the last week. Yesterday I finally stopped with the consta-sneezing, consta-snotting, and dopey-headedness. I was starting to taste food again. A time for rejoicing!

Then this morning I woke up with my left eye all swollen and puffy. I'm going to chalk that up to sinus irritation, since it's happened before (and fortunately hasn't spread to my entire eye, as has happened before)... just the underside of my eye was puffy. Of course, this was the morning of my audition, just me in a room with a camera and six people who'd never met me, and could probably only wonder if my headshot was massively photoshopped.

I briefly considered calling in sick to the audition. I actually had a little debate with myself in the bathroom mirror as I pressed an ice pack to my eye. I decided to go, not only because I didn't want to be "that person" who blows off auditions (good reason or not), but because it wasn't that bad. I figured I could throw a little makeup on it, and besides, taking a brisk walk in -28C weather could probably only help the swelling, right?

And it kind of did. Except that it sort of spread out the swelling and gave the underside of my eye a distinctly purple outline. Basically, I look like someone clocked me in the face. Which was kind of interesting walking around downtown at lunch hour, people looking while trying not to look. I felt a little bit like a tough girl, which believe me, I am not.

And then came the audition. It was a little awkward, but I think the read itself did well. They didn't mention the eye, and neither did I. I don't know if that was the right thing or not-- it's been drilled into me that you don't mention that you're sick, because it comes across as making excuses. And what if it wasn't as noticeable as I thought? What if by mentioning it I just POINTED OUT MY WEIRD EYE AND THEY COULDN'T LOOK AWAY FROM IT?

It was a pretty in and out kind of read-- I'll hear soon whether or not I booked it. And I'm glad I went. Now I'm at work, starting early, settling in for a long shift till close.

Tip of the day: always have some kind of granola bar on hand at home. This will provide you with a more suitable breakfast than a mini babybel and a weird concentrated fruit and veggie bar you buy at the corner store.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Maybe She's Born With It... Maybe It's Added In Post

There's a lot of things to complain about in advertising, particularly advertising that's targeted at women. But for some reason, it's mascara ads that drive me up the wall.

I've got a pretty good set of natural eyelashes, and I've tried a few mascaras in my time-- whether it be volumizing, lenghthening,or some play on triple-X. There've been good products and bad products, but none of them have ever given me the ludicrously cartoon-like lashes they show in mascara ads.

And it pisses me off! I mean, not that I don't get the advertised results, but that the false advertising is so blatant. All these commercials about blasting your lashes, or maximizing your flirting potential, or achieving full confidence as a woman, and they're showing closeups of some model with showgirl drag-queen-worthy lashes. And in the small print it says "False lashes used" or "Lashes enhanced during post-production".

Which I totally don't get. Because aren't the eyelashes the thing they're selling? How can they show this girl with eyelashes up to her eyebrows and say "Aren't these great? You'd need a CGI guy following you around. Also, we sell mascara. Which has nothing to do with this look." And why does everyone just accept that mascara commercials are just fake? Or does everyone know they're fake? Do some women layer the mascara on and on in the hopes of achieving the My Little Pony Eye effect?

These commercials drive me into an inexplicable rage when I see them.
Are there any commercials that are like that for you?

Friday, January 07, 2011

What Do You Mean I'm An Overachiever?

So I'm sick. Sick in the way that I only get sick every couple of years, what with the stuffed up sinuses and the cough and the mysterious inability to stay awake for more than 20 minutes at a time-- merely a third of an episode of Groomer Has It, as I discovered yesterday. Not only does being sick lead to some confusing tv times (like waking up in the middle of Who Wants To Be A Superhero when you are still mentally in the Nigella Cooks headspace, but I also called in sick yesterday, the one and only time in the 18+ months I have worked here. I'm back at work today, mercifully I am down in the dungeon on phones rather than having to face customers in the flesh.

But here's a quick "to-do" list I just jotted down for myself on a piece of scrap paper:

*Give blood
*Join Y
*Sides for audition

Oh, just a few things I dashed off that I need to do. Why not include "Win Governer General's Award for drama"? Or "Win Canadian Idol: Easy Listening Edition" (which I wish they had for old fogeys like me).

I can't decide if it's because I feel slightly guilty for being sick and not accomplishing something, or if too much time on its own causes my mind to wander into the realms of fantasy. Or both.

I am pretty determined to book a massage, once I get paid next week. A few of my dancer-type friends have been suggesting the excellent rolfers that they have found. I don't know why, but I've always been afraid of being rolfed. Possibly some buried association with a particularly aggressive theatre school instructor. I don't know, it sounds like it's super hard core. Anyone been rolfed? Is it incredibly painful?

No further C's have been sung on this front, by the way. Maybe I should add it to my to-do list!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


I sang a high C in my lesson today. I know! Nobody is more surprised than me.

Now I'm terribly, terribly sick with a chest cold.


Could the gateway to my upper register have been blocked by thousands of GERMS and VIRUSES, rather than YEARS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL BULLSHIT? Could my upper register be protecting the world from A NEW PLAGUE and not AVOIDING MY TERRIBLE SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES?

Eh, maybe a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Small steps

So, remember that indie I booked a few months ago? It kept getting pushed back and back, and now has undergone rather significant script changes, to the point where it's kind of an entirely different movie. As a matter of fact, the original film was cancelled before Christmas, and they're starting the process over again. Meaning another round of auditions.

I was struggling to just make myself book a slot, because it's been a while since I did an "in the room audition" (the last couple of auditions I've had have been submitted on tape), and I get nervous about all kinds of stupid things. It's the kind of thing that I have to just force myself to get back into-- I'm sure if I lived in a market where auditions came fast and furious, I'd be able to get on a roll, because I honestly do really like auditions and cold readings. Anyway, I just sent an email to book the slot, so this week I'll be learning some sides and giving myself some serious pep talks.

I found this article on letting go of perfectionism somewhere in my recent internet travels, and I was really struck by how many points hit home for me-- I was definitely raised in an environment where grades/achievements/awards were praised and expected. And I can definitely see how perfectionism (which is really about trying to get approval/validation) is blocking to me-- I get to the point where I'm paralyzed about trying something for fear of failing in front of someone. I want to try new things, though. I want to be fearless. And if it's not possible to be totally fearless, I'd like to be fearless-er.

This year, people! Remind me of my current optimism when I burn out sometime in late May, will you?