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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Dramatic Year in Review...

Well, so long to 2008. It has been busy.

I started out the year with Crimes of the Heart. A wonderful start to any year. It was certainly one of the most gratifying projects I have ever worked on and I was proud of the product and the work.

I zipped into Baby. This project was not as satisfying as the first. I did, however, learn some things about what I will do with my time. I shall trust my instincts about projects. I did enjoy working with Magnolia and Shelby and I worked with a lovely cast and crew, however, I know that I was disappointed with the overall product and that work was not stimulating enough to commit that time to a similar project in future.

I squeezed in Assistant Directing Cellar Doors, Secret Gardens at Walterdale for the One Acts. I don't know how much I contributed, but I did what I could with the limited time I had available.

Then what? The Fringe. On a whim I auditioned for Cinderella and got the Fairy Godmother role. What fun. I so enjoyed working with Linette and meeting and working with the exuberant young cast. It was also enjoyable to make money for acting. First time that has ever happened!

In the Spring I made a decision about going back to school. I had researched this over a year earlier but it didn't feel right then. Now was the time. So in the Fall I started Drama Classes at the U of A. It was truly a learning experience and I had to think a lot about how I 'do' my drama. I will continue courses into the Winter term and next year.

Overlapping with drama classes, I did Black Hearts in the Green Room, a new work at Walterdale Playhouse. This was a challenging project. It was one of the most difficult scripts I ever have had to learn. I was frustrated with some of the process because of the varying levels of abilities of the cast. However, I learned a lot about melodrama and made some wonderful friendships. This was one of the most enjoyable casts I have ever worked with and when we opened we were a real team. It felt good. It also felt good to close. I resolved never to do a show at this time of year again. It was too challenging with the demands of the rest of my life. Lesson learned.

Through the whole year I maintained my position as Secretary on the Board of Directors for Walterdale Theatre. I also participated in the entertainment for the 50th Anniversary Gala. I saw a lot of shows (Lion in Winter, 18 Fringe Shows, Half Life, Children of a Lesser god, Pride and Prejudice, Mo and Jess Kill Susie, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff, Spamalot, Hairspray, The Madwoman of Chaillot, A Pair of 3s, Desire Caught by the Tail, Without You, and Crazy for You) and tried to be reflective about their strengths and weaknesses. In any case, I feel like I have supported theatre in my community! I joined the ELOPE Board of Directors (although I have been unable to go to a single meeting - ha ha), and have been invited to join Kompany's Board of Directors (again, I have not been able to make a meeting).

What does the next year hold for me? Well, I have a big job on the horizon. I hope to scale back a bit, but I doubt I will be able to. Already I have 3 projects in the first 3 months of the year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This time of year is busy. It was busier still coming out of a show. The craziest is done. I enjoyed a somewhat restrained Christmas Eve at my folks place replete with the traditional oyster stew and iced sugar cookies. On Christmas day the clan came to my place for a big turkey dinner. All went well. This was my second solo on making the meal. I made one security phone call and I figure that next time I shall be able to get through it without the phone call. I feel a great sense of accomplishment at being able to complete this meal without recipe book and with only a single phone call to check on times and procedures. I made far too many mashed potatoes, just the right amount of stuffing (although Mark would eat it for days and days so he might say there wasn't enough), the turkey was juicy and browned perfectly and certainly no one went hungry.

On Boxing Day we drove to Olds for a revisit of the Christmas meal. There was ham as well, so I escaped having to overdose on turkey. The visit was okay, but somewhat strained for no discernible reason. This is typical. I have learned to take a book. My being sick also allowed for a trip to the hotel in the afternoon on the 27th for a nap. We did not see Mark's sister. She did not come over or call and Mark is tired of doing all the work. It is easier to play the avoidance game. Too many imagined injuries from the past that we are unaware of to deal with. Perhaps she really did have migraines...

We returned home on the 28th. The drive was good. We had a flat tire in Olds that Mark got repaired but he said the truck handled funny the whole way home. I am sick and tired of the car troubles we have been having! I received good news regarding the position I have applied for via e-mail and a phone message. It has to go to the Board, but I am fairly certain of the outcome. Yay! More to come on that, when I can...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Show Down...

We wrapped up the show on Saturday night. We had a very nice sized house for the close which was a nice way to end it. The general feedback was that the 'theatre snobs' enjoyed themselves, but found the piece full of holes and lacking gravitas (ha ha - it was a melodrama) and that the non-theatre folk had a great time. I think we did what we could with the piece and with the talents and skills available. I did wish that the playwright had been more actively involved in the whole process so that some of the holes could have been sewn up a little. But I think we all committed to selling the piece as is and that worked. Our shows themselves were highly audience dependent. My best show of the run was the first Saturday, but the closing Friday and Saturday were up there. Again, the audience was a big factor and the success of the chair fall.

I enjoyed working with the group on this project. I was sick on and off (mostly on) for the majority of the rehearsal period which side-tracked my fitness plans. Illness also affected my mood so I was crankier than usual. I think that I pulled it together for the process, but you never know. The group, primarily new to Walterdale, was enthusiastic and fun and genuinely happy to be there so that made for a good experience. I hope to see many of them back for future shows as I think they had the right attitude. It wasn't the closeness of Magnolias or the near-perfection of Crimes, but I did make good friends and we entertained honestly and earnestly.

On Sunday, I interviewed for AD at Walterdale. The boys put me through a rigorous 2 1/4 hour interview. The questions were free-flowing, all over the place, hypothetical and practical. As far as I know I am the only candidate (I could be wrong), but they are not telling me until New Years (possibly this weekend). I am not sure why the wait. Personally I think they would be hard pressed to find a better candidate at this point in time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Evaluation - Follow-up

I had a delightful, shocking surprise the other day. My prof from Drama had sent out an email message to the class saying that the highest mark in the class was a B+. I hoped for a B since I blew the midterm so badly. A B+ was mathematically possible, but only if I'd aced everything afterward. I wasn't holding out hope. THEN, later that week, I got another personal email from the prof telling me that the mark on my mark sheet that had been mailed out to me was B+, BUT she had actually increased the mark to A- because of my marked growth and improvement in the course. She apparently has discretion to bump marks up even if they aren't mathematically supported if she feels it is warranted. I AM IN SHOCK. I am pleased. I have heard that they never give As in Drama 150 as a general rule. I am enjoying this early Christmas present and am again grateful for the group that I worked with on my final project because I know that really helped.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Using Stress to Get Things Done...

Last night I stared at the mound of unopened Christmas cards that sat on my table and I started to feel the stress of not having started my cards. You have to understand, for years I have been the Christmas Card Queen. Even when I was in University I sent out at least 40 cards. This surged to over 80 in my heyday. Since we moved, or even since we had Gibson, I have faltered and this inability to keep up with the past causes me stress every Christmas. Some years I stalled the activity until January and called it a letter for the New Year. I still felt guilty about it. I know I shouldn't. I know some people send no cards out at all. But I like doing them. I just haven't had time. Anyhow, I stared at those cards and started opening them and reading them and the letters that accompanied them. And the stress that started to well in me cause me to scrabble together my 'year at a glance' and print off 40+ of them. Today, I started with the envelopes and in just 3 hours I completed 37 cards. There will be more to come, but at least I have written a card to everyone that sent me one and also to those who I usually get one from and those that I feel need an update (like Grandmas and Aunts and Uncles). I feel good as I look at the stack of cards.

Now I need to buy stamps.

Monday, December 15, 2008


This weekend my sister came to visit. It was a quick one, but it was good to see her and chat since we have been playing telephone tag for the last 2 months and we actually resorted to emails just to catch up. I know she reads my blog so I am sure she had some information on me, but I needed my Annie-fix! The visit coincided with my show, so she and Mom came Saturday. The cast requested that she be invited every night since her laugh is (like mine) very loud and spontaneous. There were other loud laughs that night, but I could definitely hear hers. I am blessed with close relationships with my siblings. I know that not everyone has that. Sure, there are the things that drive us crazy because we know them so well, but as distance and time interferes with seeing them on a more regular basis, those little quirks actually become more endearing. I was just thinking about that today. Thanks for the visit, Sis!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Half Way Through the Run...

Well, we are 5 shows down and 5 to go. Things are going well. The strength of the show really rests strongly on the character and size of the audience. Opening, Thursday and Saturday nights we had larger and more enthusiastic audiences so those shows seemed to have more energy. I think, for me, Saturday was my strongest show. Everything worked and maybe it was because my sister and Mom were in the audience because I was just feeling it and I think it played on stage. Friday and Sunday we had smaller and more subdued houses. On Friday almost all of the theatre jokes fell flat so we had to re-gear for making the rest of the jokes work. In any case, it is a lesson in how you have to keep the energy even if it isn't coming from the house. I am glad for the day off to recuperate.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Do I Feel Insulted?...

So yesterday evening before the show I got there early. As I was getting my make-up on I overheard the other two 'early arriving actors' talking about doing an radio interview about the show. I was excited about the idea that we would get more press so I piped up "Oh! Are you guys doing some kind of interview?". The two of them suddenly looked very nervous and sad for me and they averted their eyes as one of them said, "Uh, yeah, uh, Scott set it up, but, uh, they only wanted the ghosts... uh, sorry, but, uh, I guess the ghosts sell.". I replied with a chipper "That's cool. Great to get more press for the show!" - because that's what I thought. But later, I felt insulted. NOT because I was not invited to the interview, but because they were keeping it a big secret (not just from me, but from the rest of the cast) because they think we are all a bunch of babies who would be more upset that we weren't in the interview rather than happy about the show getting publicity. I never think secrets contribute to a better working relationship, regardless of how you think people will react. If someone is going to be a baby about why they aren't in an interview and someone else is, then you call them on that when it happens. Don't assume that I won't be a grown-up and insult me in a different way.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another Opening, Another Show...

I can't believe how many shows I have done since moving to Edmonton. I remember, before we moved, feeling anxious about what the opportunities would be. I could not have predicted the amount of projects I have worked on in the last 3 1/2 years. I tallied them when I was updating my resume for a position I was applying for (I have an interview on Dec 21st - cross your fingers!). I am up to 12 shows (ranging from set painting, to acting, to directing, to writing). This does not include the University course and the additional writing I have done when I can fit it in! I might have accumulated that many shows in twice the time in Fort McMurray... it's hard to call, because I would have likely had more kids had I stayed there.

So, last night we opened Black Hearts in the Green Room at Walterdale Playhouse. It went off swimmingly! The Opening Night audience was full of those appreciative of the melodrama. They booed and hissed and oohed and aahed at all the appropriate times. I was a bit worried in rehearsal about the cheesiness of some of the bits, but the audience embraced the fromage with gusto! We need an audience like that every night!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Proper Frame of Mind...

Tonight is our first 'Tech Dress' for Black Hearts in the Green Room. We open on Wednesday, December 10th, but we have our first audience on Monday night for the director's Preview. We are ready, I think. Well, I know I am. It is a funny little show. Nothing earth-shaking or anything and it really blends melodrama and farce. There are times we break the 4th wall and times we don't. So there is a bit of inconsistency of form, but I just play it all with conviction and intention and I hope it sails out the right way. I think I thought that the playwright would be more involved in the process of mounting his show, but he has been very hands off. There are places I would have liked him to be there to maybe tighten up the writing. It you come and see it, we can chat about that! In any case, it is time to get focused. My drama class is blessedly done so other than 'family life' I only have the show to worry about. That's a good thing.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Right now I feel sick to stomach over the proposed Coalition government for Canada. To me, I see this as a total disregard for democracy in Canada. If this was really in the best interest for Canadians and respecting of their desires, then ethically, the three parties in question would have joined together prior to the election (held only 6 weeks ago) and let the population make their decision then. If the Canadian people were overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the direction the current government was going, then the minority government would have been smaller, not larger. It is clear to me that Canadians do not have confidence in Stephane Dion as the leader of our country. Perhaps in another time, but not now, or else the election would have had a much different result.

I write to you as someone who affiliates with no particular party, as none of them meet my personal beliefs exactly. I do, however, vote in every election. When the elections come I weigh my choice carefully. I look at the promises and plans made. In this past election, for the first time in a Federal election, I voted Conservative. Prior to that I have voted NDP and Liberal (I considered Green, but I find it's mandate too confined). I am angry that a small group of men and women want to disregard the way in which our government has been organized in an obvious power grab. You cannot say that this is best for Canada. It is abhorrent. There has been no transparency, and if the people involved were really being honest with the Canadian public, then they would have joined together prior to the election, out in the open, not in this back room dealing.

These men and women should tread cautiously. Just because you think you can do the job better, doesn't mean you should have the job. The way I see it, they failed the job interview when they lost the election.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Meme - Obviously I am not busy enough...

1.Your SPY name (middle name and current street name):
Margaret 141

2. Your MOVIE STAR name (grandmother on your Dad's side and your favorite candy): Margaret Ann Rockets

3. Your RAP name (first initial of first name and first three or four letters of your last name):

4. Your GAMER TAG (a favorite color, a favorite animal):
Green Smeep

5. Your SOAP OPERA name (middle name, and city you were born in):
Margaret Two Harbors

6. Your STAR WARS name (first three letters of your last name, last three letters of mother's maiden name, first three letters of your pet's name):

7. Your JEDI name (middle name spelled backwards, your mom's maiden name spelled backwards):
Teragram Rekrap

8. Your SUPERHERO name: ("The", your favorite color and the automobile your Dad drives):
The Green Jeep

9. Your ACTION HERO name (first name of the main character in the last film you watched, last food you ate):
Bolt Cupcake

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Quite Enjoyed It...

This afternoon, the family went to see Bolt, the new Pixar film. More often than not, if I am in a movie theatre it is for a kids film. Some are a waste (Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Surf's Up...). However, Bolt, is really good! What a good movie. It was enhanced by the 3D, which I hadn't expected. The kids liked it and so did we so it was money well spent. Oh, well, I actually used the gift certificates I got for my birthday so it was even better being 'free'!

Friday, November 28, 2008

... a little more ranting about evaluation ...

I know, I know, I have already talked about my frustrations with the evaluation in my drama class, but I thought I had reconciled myself to the fact that they don't give As and I would be happy with the Bs and B+s that rolled my way. That was until I found out that some people did get As (they might have been A-s) on the last assignment. I was really frustrated when I heard who got them. There were a couple of people I wouldn't have been upset if they got higher than me, but 3 of the 4 I heard about I thought were in no way as strong as mine. I don't think it would have been the written portion, because my written work kicked a$$. I think she marks me harder. If you ask everyone in class to name the top two students in class, 9/10 of them would have me as one of those. However, the way it sits I am in the top third, but there are about 5-6 people who I would guess have higher marks. My problem is, that if those people are 'better' than I am, then I think I should quit doing theatre because I thought I held a higher standard for myself than the work I see them do.

I am interested in seeing what the marks were on the Silent Tension Duo Scenes. If I didn't get an A on that (and the highest mark) I will have to do something about it. What, I don't know!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

...Family Frustrating...

So, my extended family has a listserve that we can all post to. The idea is that we can share family news and photos with everyone at once and in the past it has been a lovely way for us all to keep in touch. However, over the past few days a chain of discussion has gone on regarding politics in the US (most specifically Sarah Palin's communication skills... I thought the election was over?). The problem is within my family we have a wide divergence of political opinion. We have die-hard Democrats and die-hard Republicans. We are also a family full of people who are too smart for their own good and perhaps some who may be smart but at the same time they are rather dumb about it. So this discussion was going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth... and I was worried that someone was going to get personal and we were going to have an incredibly awkward family reunion next summer. So, I put out a "Cease and Desist Order", with a please for good measure. As a result I have been chastised by an Aunt, and Uncle and a cousin (all from the same little family pod). They probably don't even realize they were rude - that's my problem with the discussion that was going on. If they don't know how they are being rude, it isn't going to be too long until someone will feel insulted. The irony is, I guess, in trying to prevent someones feelings from getting hurt by issuing the Order, I managed to get my own bruised 3 times.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Levelling the playing field...

Rush, rush, rush....

So, this week I submitted an application for a position I really, really want... more on that when and if I get it. I won't know for at least a month.

Yesterday I submitted my application for an indoor venue at the 2009 Fringe. That is for From Something. Cross your fingers and think good thoughts for me on December 1st. That's the lottery day. I am hopeful and I feel good about it.

This month I developed a draft policy for auditions at Walterdale Theatre. The Board is currently reviewing it and making suggestions and we will vote on it at the next Board meeting.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life Proceeds Apace...

Well, for a long weekend, I didn't feel like I got much rest. Perhaps it was the child-activity filled day with show with friends out in Sherwood Park in the evening on Saturday (winding up with a late night at a Irish Pub), followed by rehearsing all afternoon and going to the movie with Mark on Sunday. Then Monday, all kid activities were still on (including school). On Tuesday, Remembrance Day, I did not have class, but my Final Project group met for 3 1/2 hours in the afternoon and then I rehearsed for Black Hearts in the evening. Wednesday, actually felt like a break, even though I had to go in to the University to meet up with my group again for an hour.

Black Hearts is starting to feel more solid. It has been the most challenging script I have ever had to learn and I don't even have that many lines compared to Steel Magnolias or Gypsy. It is the nature of having ghosts in the script, who we can't hear, but who may be our cues lines. It is hard for the brain. Also, a lot of the early work was useless. We could have been beating at the script, but instead we were doing all this improv stuff. Finally we are working, working, working the script and it feels like it is solidifying. I just wish we had done more work on the text earlier so I didn't feel like I am always having to shake away insecurities about lines. This Sunday we are no longer allowed to call line... which I personally feel is a mistake. We have 2 weeks to Q2Q. There are so many things that we are still adding and whenever a new element gets added the lines will regress. Maybe if we had more time working the text earlier, but, I just don't feel we are ready and I think it is a needlessly early deadline.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

It all matters... all the pieces are important...

I went to see A Pair of Threes last night out in Sherwood Park at Festival Place. My best friend and several other friends were involved in the show. The first act was a One Act called Three Viewings and the second act was a One Act called Three Hotels. In total the plays were comprised of 6 monologues. Overall the evening of theatre was good. There were lots of laughs and some poignant moments. However, the evening really showed how everything matters; the acting, the directing, the space and the playwrighting. Of all the components, the acting was the strongest, but there were challenges in the playwrighting that didn't necessarily serve the actors well. A bit stronger direction might have helped, and some better staging to deal with the lack of depth to the space. The shows were clearly well-cast, which is often 90% of the directing, but really the biggest challenge was overcoming some of the stilted writing of the first 2 monologues. In the second show, I was puzzled by the accent choice of one of the actors (I might ask about it the next time I see him, as I had trouble figuring out where he was supposed to be from), but the blocking issues that we experienced in the first show were resolved. The set was different and allowed for a higher positioning of the actors. But the evening showed, that not even really good actors can overcome flaws in the script. I am glad that they had a good turn-out. That was the benefit to the smaller space, even if it meant compromised sight lines.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Oh Yeah, this...

There was a lot of discussion on Facebook about this the other day, but I wanted to document it on this blog as well. Great that Obama won, BUT, apparently a lot of his supporters come from a very traditional, church-going, christian background and while they voted him in, they also banned gay marriage. So much for equality of man. One cannot simply assume that Democrat=Enlightenment. I am a little annoyed that the politicians are not being leaders and instead passed the decision onto the unwashed masses. I don't know about you, but I don't want Bubba and Trixie making decisions for how my society is structured. That's why we pay the politicians the big bucks!

Thursday, November 06, 2008


This past week we received our midterm marks for my drama course. I was a little disappointed, but was reassured when I was informed that it is extremely rare to see an A in a first year drama class. I was also disappointed in the mark for my midterm group project. We didn't do as well as I had hoped. The comments and mark were likely valid, but I was frustrated because they were things we had cleaned in rehearsal but apparently regressed to in performance. This frustrated me, because I like to work to full potential and I saw those things and worked to clean them, but there they were. I don't anticipate the same issues with my group for Final as we have a much different dynamic. I find it hard to deal with evaluation in drama. It makes me second guess myself.

Monday, November 03, 2008

New Projects are Exciting!

So, two good friends of mine asked me to direct them in the show, The Last 5 Years. It will be a co-production between their 2 production companies and it will go up in March. We met yesterday to check in and discuss the project and see if I am on board. I am. Oh yeah! I am very excited about this. It is a beautiful musical for 2 with really great songs that are dramatic and compelling. Very much the stuff I like to do and see. Plus, the two of them are great for the roles so it is not one of those 'okay, I'll do it - yikes, how will I direct them?' kind of things. (And I am not just saying that because one of them reads this blog!) There are still a few pieces of the team to put together and we probably won't start actually working on it until late January, early February, but that is alright because it gives me time to plan and structure the work time. Finally, a musical to direct in Edmonton!

Great weekend over and done with. Friday was Halloween and the boys had a blast. Saturday I shipped them off to my Mom's and had my 2nd Annual 40th Birthday Party. Great turn-out and a lot of fun and wonderful people from my life came and sang and drank and ate and talked. Everything a party should be! Yesterday was crazy busy, but I survived a pre-production meeting in Sherwood Park, then a group project meeting at the University, then a rehearsal at Walterdale, dinner at the Act and then back to Walterdale for a Board Meeting! Whew! I was a little punchy at the end of the evening, but in a silly way not a cranky one...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Spooky Time...

'Tis Halloween and Mark has taken our two boys, the pirate and the fireman, out for treats. I am always amazed at the haul they come home with. I am manning the door. So far we have had about 10 kids... it is almost 8:00 p.m. We have a big bowl of candy at the door. I am trying to be generous so as to deplete it, but even the big handfuls don't add up when you have so few kids. Earlier in the evening, Oliver drew a face on our pumpkin and I carved it out. It is quite nice... huge eyes, small nose and medium sized mouth. Looks very Tim Burtonish... I like it! I couldn't find the carver I bought last year, so I used a jack knife. I tried a steak knife, but it was too long. The jack knife was perfect. Next year, I am determined to get their costumes settled earlier. A last minute discovery that the ninja suit's zipper was toast meant a rush purchase of pirate accessories at Shoppers. Oliver is, thankfully, happy with his last minute costume, but I was not happy to be running around looking for it so late in the game!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Okay, Halloween party, CHECK!

Last night Walterdale hosted a little masquerade party. We (the organizing committee) wanted it to be casual, but fun. It was a nice little evening. It started slow because we had these old black and white horror movies (a la Vincent Price) and we had brought those for background imagery, but during the set-up one of the volunteers/attendees really started watching the movie. We were hesitant to turn the sound off on him, but we did and put the music on and things picked up. It was also challenging because the bar is in the lobby and the party was to be int he theatre so we had a split focus with two changing groups of people. It all worked out and I think we had about 40-45 people in total in attendance and I think everyone had fun. It also 'broke even' so we provided a social event without spending gobs of cash. We want to make the social component a bigger and more ongoing part of Walterdale. Too many people come, do one show, and never come back. We want to give them a reason.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hopes and Dreams for November...

On paper, this October was and continues to be one of the busiest months I have had in a long time. Keep in mind I am a naturally busy person, so imagine what a really, really busy month is for me. I will be glad when this month is over. I am going to endeavour to minimize adding things to November outside Black Hearts and the commitments I have for the boys and the one or two social events I have to go to. AM and I scaled back on meeting for our writing until the middle of the month so that helps and there are no 50th Anniversary Galas, nor shows to work Box Office coming up. I hope to keep Mondays and Wednesday nights free to decompress. I hope to write on Tuesday afternoons. I hope that our P/T Pharmacist is sufficiently recovered from his surgery to return to work so that I don't feel like the managing of the house and children is on my shoulders 80% of the time. I hope to get my hair cut and coloured sometime in November and I hope to feel well enough to at least get back on the treadmill 3X a week. I think the health thing is slowly resolving. I am at about 75% right now so that is a good thing. I hope that if I need to meet for my drama class, that we can meet on Tues and Thurs afternoon so I don't have to make another trip to the University and pay for parking on a different day. I hope that the other people in my life stay healthy, and get their crap dealt with so I don' t have to drop additional responsibilities into a very busy life that I carefully schedule and coordinate so that I don't feel swamped. I hope that Mark starts to use the organizational system (5th times the charm!) I have set up to minimize the paper explosions in our home and therefore the chaos in our lives. I will likely not see everything I want to in regards to theatre this month, but I will get to what I can and that will be that. I shouldn't feel bad about not getting to everything. There is just so much to go to and only so much time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Being a First Years Drama Student is Exhausting...

We worked on our midterm projects today and boy was I tired at the end of class. We are a very high energy group and the scene has a bit of a roller-coaster to it, so it take a bit out of me. We also had a very energetic warm-up that I loved, but that really tired me out. Maybe if I was 18-20 like everyone else I wouldn't be so tired?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why am I still sick?

That's really all I wanted to say. If you track back you will find that I have been sick for quite a while. I think I am going on 3 weeks. I have little peaks and deep valleys in the illness journey. I should probably go see someone, but the time investment is precious and I do not know when I would be able to go... Wednesday? maybe... I wish those little white blood cells would get their act together!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's quiet now...

...for the moment, as the boys eat Eggo Waffles. A half an hour ago it was not so quiet. Last week I took the boys to Crankpots on Whyte Avenue and they each painted a ceramic doo-dad. Oliver painted an ant and Gibson painted a car. I picked them up today and put them up high for safety. Despite my warnings, however, the boys got them done and were playing with them. In the course of this Gibson's hand was bumped by Oliver's and the car crashed and shattered. Both boys were in tears for well over 15 minutes. Gibson over the lost treasure and Oliver because he felt so bad about it. I am exhausted and tomorrow Gibson and I are going to Crankpots to paint a new treasure. Yay?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Silence = Beauty on stage

With a bit of reluctance I went to Children of a Lesser God at Walterdale Theatre tonight. I have been sick for the last 2 weeks and I am still not better so I was worried about staying awake. I had also heard mixed reviews from people who saw the show the first week. But I had friends in the cast and I loved the script when I had read it and I am on the Board so I dragged my butt there. So glad I did. It was lovely. I cried. I highly recommend it.

Struck down my illness... my voice strangely silent...

Yeah, so I am and have been sick. We are past the 2 week mark so I am hoping for a glimmer of light on the horizon. Think healthy thoughts for me, please.

I am glad the election is over. I wrote a blog post about how I was feeling about the dissemination of information about the issues and the hatefulness that the election was bringing out in people but I didn't post it because I just sounded too angry. I just hope that the vilification of people with different beliefs will stop. Because I am somewhat 'in the middle' on many issues I often feel more right than my artsy friends and more left than my family and the ladies on the playground. I was trying to approach the election by looking at the facts and the track record of the parties involved. I wanted to get away from the blind prejudice that seems to colour a lot of people's ideas about one party or another. This was challenging. The number of emails I received from Arts Organizations that told only half the story or that deliberately misinterpreted Harper's remarks about the 'gala attendees' made me angry. I hope they realize that to a large portion of the population they came off like whiny children who didn't understand the real issues that face our country. To 'the ladies at the playground' the outraged artist faction were spoiled little brats, particularly with what was going on with the economy. Yeesh! What I hated even worse was how people talked about each other and I noticed it most from my artist friends (The friends that I thought were all about free expression of ideas and accepting different viewpoints and values). Well, apparently if you differ in opinion from them, then you are a Nazi... which I find a horrific thing to say. To call Harper Hitler is so appalling.

So I hope everyone learns some manners and that we can find a better way to express our opinions without the vilification of anyone who doesn't believe what we do. Remember, that's my Mom you are talking about... I may not take kindly to your words!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

So far, so good! I have been enjoying birthday wishes via Facebook all morning. I have such wonderful friends! Ah...

This morning I slept in a little bit, opened my presents (books and Heroes Season 1 - yay!), dropped Oliver at school, dropped Gibson at Pre-school, came home and made myself a real breakfast, and then read all my birthday wishes. Who could ask for anything more?!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Germ Soup...

Thus ends a week of illness. I am still not at 100% but I am getting there. Tuesday was the worst day. I actually 'called in sick' for class and after dropping Oliver at the bus stop I went home and slept 5 hours. I still felt tired when I woke up. That evening I had orientation for Artstart and a rehearsal for Black Hearts so it was good I got the rest. I figure if I didn't have so many things on the go it would be a lot more easy to get well again. Or maybe, if I wasn't so busy, being sick wouldn't be so hard to cope with. Each night I go to sleep with the hope that I will feel 100% upon waking. I haven't gotten there yet and I grab little naps when I can and I am married to a Pharmacist so I medicate a bit to ease my way through... Maybe by my birthday...

Gibson turned 4 yesterday. A nice little birthday morning and hot dogs for supper (a supper I knew he would like... he's a little young to pick dinner so I picked for him). I am avoiding the whole birthday party concept for my children. I figure I will have to have a few over the years, but I don't want it to be an assumed thing. For one thing, they get enough stuff without the party from us and relatives. Also, I think the whole party thing gets to be too much and for them to expect it would bother me. I want them to appreciate things, not take them for granted. It is hard to know how to do this.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Little Theatrical Reflection...

Although the past few weeks have been busy I have managed to sneak in quite a bit of theatre (for me). Over the last little while I saw Mo and Jess Kill Suzie (Northern Light Theatre), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Studio Theatre - U of A), and Pride and Prejudice (Citadel Theatre). So here is my reflection on each of the productions...

Mo and Jess Kill Suzie (NLT)
I worked the bar and saw the show for free. It was an intense 90 minutes but would have been even more intense and stronger as a whole if it had been the promised 80 minutes. I guess the pacing had been slowing down over the course of the run. I had some problems with the script. I felt that it could have been several pages shorter to tighten it up and take out the multiple repetitions, however it had some great writing mixed in there. The performers were as a whole competent. I wished for more blood thirstiness from Jess (? - Amy Matysio) and more drive from Mo (? - Amanda Bergen). I think that's who played who... go by the actor's names, because I am not exactly sure which one was which. The strongest performance was definitely Lora Brovold as Suzie. Sad in a way, because the story is the other two women's story and for 2/3 of the play Suzie is lying inert on the floor in a pool of blood, but even this had intensity.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Studio Theatre)
I had to see this as part of my homework for Drama Class. It is coloured by the fact that I had already seen a phenomenal production of the show in Fort McMurray and it would be hard to beat that one, particularly the performance of Julie Brown as Martha. Anyhow, the show was alright. Major pacing issues in act one (the longest act) and I dozed a bit (sorry). The 2nd and 3rd act picked up, but there was never quite the right manic energy the show needed. I felt the blocking was static and any of the physical fight scenes seem choreographed and unbelievable. It was okay, not great.

Pride and Prejudice (Citadel Theatre)
I went to see this last night and I was worried because it had been a long weekend and I was very tired and a bit sick (still sick today - sniff sniff). The show was 3 1/2 hours long. Yikes, but not really. This show was delightful. The pace was quick and the acting well done and it moved along so briskly that you hardly noticed the time. Elizabeth and Darcy were wonderful, but so was the whole cast. I thought it was really good. It is not even 'my kind of show'... I think the choice of this show reflects the tastes of the Artistic Director and you can see that in the season choices, but it was very entertaining. My only disappointment was that there were not many Edmonton Actors in it. I would have hoped for more of our local actors to be in the Citadel Young Professional Company. This was also a good choice for the women's roles as there were really the heart of the play. Lally Cadeau was amazing and she should get a Sterling nomination for that performance. So much better than she was in Noises Off.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Week of Madness...

Whew! I am exhausted and it is only Wednesday. This weekend Walterdale Theatre is having it's 50th Anniversary Gala and I am performing so I have been rehearsing (Sun, last night) for that as well as making chocolates and cookies for the Open House on the weekend. I have to get to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Studio Theatre this week (Thurs). That is technically homework so it has to happen. Tonight I am meeting with my co-teacher for Artstart. We start teaching the class in two weeks so I want to find out what we are doing. She has done it before so her input would be very helpful! I also have to get ready for the AGM because I am the secretary and I have things to do for that (Fun Awards, minutes, attendance, etc...). I hope I survive and I am so glad we don't rehearse for Black Hearts this week!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Read Through and then a Run Through...

Today was a wee bit crazy, but in a good way. First Mark took the boys to Olds for a visit so I had a bit of time alone at home. I decided to make chocolates for the Walterdale Gala. I made them with red and white accents because that fits the colour scheme for the event. Then I rushed to Staples to photocopy my script for New Works at the University.

Then it was off to Walterdale for the first read-thru of Black Hearts in the Green Room. It was a nice read thru and it really clarified some of the challenges we will face. We have a nice fun cast with a lot of depth and diversity. I don't really know many of them so it is nice to meet new people.

After the read-thru I went for supper at the Act and then back to the theatre to run-thru the Gala Entertainment. Whew! I am feeling pretty good about it. We have a nice little set of music and we added some simple staging to back it up.

Now I am home and contemplating bed. Tomorrow will be Oliver's first day on the bus. He was supposed to start on Wednesday of last week but in the craziness of the week I thought it was the wrong week. So we shall see how tomorrow goes!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Filling Up my Available Time...

I got in Black Hearts in the Green Room which goes up at Walterdale Theatre in December! I am playing Natasha, a nice big, funny, singing, silly, wacky role so I am very pleased. The director complimented me on my audition when she offered me the role so yesterday was a nice ego-boosting day! Woot Woot!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Class Participation...

Week three of my return to University has begun and I am really enjoying it. I actually got up and participated in front of the other 'kids' today and it was pretty cool. I actually got a nice compliment from our instructor who thanked me personally for my heightened emotional commitment to the activity. Tres cool! I guess it pays off to take those risks. I know I have a bit of an unfair advantage considering my background so I think I was holding back but really, I am paying for this, I need to get the most out of it for myself so I have to stop staying in the background and get myself out there.

I met Merran (of Cinderella fame) for lunch and Kayla joined us at the beginning and then Martin and Laura (from class) joined us for the end. Nice to hang with the 'kids' and feel like an equal and not a freaky old person (although I do make jokes about my age - it is my way... can't explain it).

On Sunday night I auditioned for the melodrama at Walterdale (Black Hearts in the Green Room). I know I kicked it, but you never know who else came out and what the total picture was so now I wait and hope for the best. I shall try to be cautiously optimistic. I feel I did good enough to get one of the two roles I want, but others may have too, so I can't really call it. Cross your fingers for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I feel exhausted! However, I am geared up at the same time. I have been through a week and a half of September and it is rolling along. The big thing with this time of year is figuring out exactly how the days are going to play out. With the boys participating in swimming, drama, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, preschool, daycare and school it can get a little hectic just managing them. With 'my' stuff thrown into the mix my life gets uber-complicated! I am on the Walterdale Board, am singing at the 50th Anniversary Gala, am auditioning for a show, am taking a University Drama class, am hoping to write, and trying to workout on a regular basis and trying to keep the household running (as smoothly as can be expected). I am also meeting to see about joining another theatre board. Mark's life also has some events that have to be coordinated. Anyhow, I have made it through one complete week cycle and it is good to now have an idea of what to expect. I hope that next week is easier because I will know what is coming.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Today was my first class! Hurray! We played Yes Let's and it felt a little weird to be playing as opposed to running the game! I like the atmosphere in the room and I am not the only 'older than 18' person in there, thank goodness. I have already completed my first journal entry. I think it was thoughtful and reflective and I feel like a keener. Cool.

On Saturday Mark and I will be going to Olds for the funeral for Amber and Sarah Olsen. I expect it will break my heart, but my Mom volunteered to take the boys for the day so that we could go. I really didn't want them to come since Oliver gets quite emotional and you can't predict it. I don't think there is anything to say or do for Dave and Shauna, except be there.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bus Blues...

So today the driver would not let Oliver on the bus. Not on the list, she said. Alright - perhaps there was an error. Mark took Ollie to school. I got on the phone. I spent 1/2 hour to 45 minutes on hold with Briggs and then phoned the School Board and left a message. I then called the school itself. It seems we were not alone. There were 4 of us who registered late, but were told that the child was on the route - no problem - BUT Briggs apparently could not accommodate the kids at this time... not until the 17th of September. Okay, fine, they have a route issue... WHY NOT INFORM THE SCHOOL?, THE PARENTS?, THE SCHOOL BOARD? Why just have the bus driver be kind of rude and say 'no'? We were lucky. Mark took Oliver to school and just didn't get the early start to the day that he planned. Lucky it wasn't Tuesday.

So, after all the calls we got a short term solution. The school pays for a cab for the 4 of us until they are allowed on the bus. We only need the cab on Tuesdays so we will drive the other days. Thankfully one of the other mothers will let me drop Ollie off at their house on Tuesdays so I can get to class on time. All that work arranging for a last minute screw up... Bites my butt!

Anyhow, Gibson started Big Boy Pre-School today and he loved it. He ate all his snack and did the songs and dances and played well. Yay! I went to the Circuit work-out and had to stop halfway through because I felt like I was going to faint and/or throw-up. Guess it's not a great idea to workout like that the day after giving blood. I am still a little woozy, but better for having had lunch.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

First Day of School...

Today Oliver starts grade 2 and I do my registration for my return to University. The lunches are packed, the hair is combed and the teeth are brushed. We are early because normally Oliver will be getting on the bus so I wanted to be sure I could get it done by the right time. It is nice to have this little bit of time before we go. Gibson has decided he will fuss about going to daycare (3rd day in a row) but I am not reacting to it as I know him and I know that he is trying to see if a little fussing will get him out of it. Hopefully that will stop soon.

I am excited.

Oliver has been expressing a dislike for school, but further questioning has determined it is because he doesn't like the fact that he can't play DS or computer games at school. Those are not reasons I am prepared to give much weight to. I am anxious to find out which of the two classes he is in. Last Spring M. Alyre said he was in the straight 2. Last week they said he was in the split. It is quite possible it could go either way. I am personally not sure which is the best place for him.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


We received news today that a good friend of ours was in a car accident. Her two little girls (2 and 6) are gone and she and her 16 year old son are in critical condition. Her husband was not in the car. Mark went to school with the husband. This is the second of his close high school friends to have suffered a devastating loss of family. We loved her and those girls and her son and it is so sad to think about what has happened and what else might happen as she is still in hospital.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Horizons...

Met with CK of Artstart today. I will be volunteer teaching/directing a drama class for youth in the inner city who might not have access to arts education otherwise. Today was an 'information' exchange... what the class would be... when was I available. It felt good. It will allow me to teach a bit (younger kids than I am used to, but that's alright) and direct and work with new people. I will also be volunteering in the arts, which I do already, but this feels like a little less self-interested volunteer. I am looking forward to it.

Trial Run...

Today I got the boys up and fed and dressed and out the door at the soon to be usual time and did a trial run of my Tuesday morning trip. Yes, it's Thursday, but on Tuesday we didn't get out the door early enough. In any case, we made it with time to spare. I circled the block so that I was leaving the bus stop at 8:06 AM and made it to the daycare by 8:27 AM and out of the daycare by 8:35 AM. I passed the Timm's at 8:40 AM. That would mean I would have 20 minutes to park and get to class. Completely doable. And if it turns out to be tighter (bus running late... etc...) then I should still have some buffer time. I will also ask the bus driver about whether or not I can put Ollie on the bus at an earlier (and closer to the University) stop. I feel better about the whole thing. And it will only be Tuesdays. On Thursday, I can take Gibson earlier and not have to wait for the bus.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to School Time...

I now have everything arranged for 'back to school'. I never heard back from the Before School Care place, despite going in twice and speaking to 2 different people. I also didn't get the best feeling about the place (noisy, disorganized, funny smell...) so I started to look for another option. I started to think about the bus for Oliver and I investigated and that is what we are doing. The benefits are a consistent start time in the morning (Mark will drop off on his days and he will get to work earlier), way cheaper (French Immersion is a 'special program' not offered at my community school so the bus rate is about 1/2 what you would regularly pay), and I can still pick Oliver up after school. I think Tuesdays will still be tight for travel time, but I will make it work (somehow!).

I am also lining up what I want to be doing this Fall. There seems to be so many opportunities and unfortunately talking about possibilities with friends has leaked things out to people who may want me (I was approached by an ELOPE Board member with an 'I heard you were interested...') and I am not sure exactly what I want to be doing. I wish all the offers came at the same time... but they trickle in and you have to decide on one before you get the next and then if that's what you'd rather be doing you are stuck unless you want to be super-busy. I have a few Boards to decide on, and I am waiting to hear about helping with an Independent Production and I am meeting to see about how I could contribute to ArtStart. I am also starting the University course and I really want to get in shape, eat better and WRITE (alone and with AM). The good thing is, I am planning it out. I have a weekly schedule started and I am looking at how it all fits together. Maybe it is a good thing that the boys are on wait lists for swimming at the YMCA... Two less things to worry about...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And in Conclusion...

So, now that I have seen everything I want to give my 'ratings'. Some of this is apples to oranges, but there it is. It is easier to assess now that I have seen more than one show. Some of the ratings are low because of script and direction (Quinn, Bellies and Daisies and to some degree Aloha and Bobby Gould) and some are low due to the actors/performers (Tap Attack, and to some degree Bellies). It is hard to compare because when you look at what they were supposed to be, some hit the mark but the mark wasn't that high. Some had a high mark to hit and failed to hit it. All in all I enjoyed the Fringe and none of the shows were a 'waste of time'. I got something out of all of them.

Diamond Dog (4 1/2*) note: I may have been tougher in my original rating. This is after seeing more shows. Clever script and wel-done production.
Aloha Pinafore (3*) note: Even with a 3* rating... I loved this fun little romp in the high seas. It is just hard to compare to the other more sophisticated scripts without being tougher.
Oleanna (3 1/2*) note: I debate on this... the first 1/2 got a 3* and the second half a 4 1/2*. I sort of split the difference. They just took a while to warm up and I think we should have hated the professor more after the first scene.
Don't Make Fun of Jesus (4*) note: a stand-out stand-up routine... not a play.
Bobby Gould in Hell (3*) note: The script was a little silly. I think it was well done, but the point was hard to get. I really liked the Devil and the girl-friend.
Tap Attack (2*) - note: dance recital...
A Body of Water (5*) - note: This was exactly what the show should have been. There was nothing more they could have done. Some people may have been unsatisfied with the script, but it is supposed to leave you hanging.
An Oak Tree (3 1/2*) - note: would have liked it more as a rehearsed production without the gimmick of the guest performer unfamiliar with the script.
Quinn's Death (2*) - note: I felt that the actors did the best they could with the material and direction that they were given. The script needed much more development and the production as a whole needed a concept.
Pagliacci (5*) - note: degree of difficulty was through the roof. The uncomfortable seats almost made me take 1/2 a * away, but it was just so good!
25 Plays About... Love (4*) - note: I debated on this. The script is not as strong as it could be, but the production as a whole was well put together. I almost gave it a 3 1/2,...
Pushin' Up Daisies (2 1/2*) - note: Cheesy, but not cheesy enough. Camp, but not camp enough. I do expect good things from these guys in the future.
Stars and Sons (4*) - note: I liked this. A stronger ending would have earned it a 4 1/2.
Bellies, Knees, and Ankles (2*) - note: The script was tres weak! The direction was heavy handed and misguided. Some of the actors were obvious and indicating.
Coffee Dad, Chicken Mom and the Fabulous Buddha Boi (4 1/2*) - note: Good script, GREAT actor.
Green Eggs and Kerouac (3 1/2*) - note: Clever script, well thought out production. Wanted a little more depth.
Sylvie (3 1/2*) - note: I liked this, but I thought that it could have been trimmed a bit and I am n into the narrated story as compared to the 'lived' scenes. I thought there could have been more choices by the actors explored.
Putting It Together (5*) - note: This show was EXACTLY what the show should have been. It was sophisticated and the level of difficulty such that to achieve what they did was amazing. It may not be for everyone (too sophisticated?), but it was phenomenal. The most polished and well-put together Fringe show I saw this year.

Wrapping Up....

Yesterday was our last show. It was a really good show, with a fun and involved audience. My parents were there along with my sister-in-law and niece. I could hear my folks laughing through most of it. I come from a family who are not shy about laughing and participating. My niece was decked out in full Cinderella dress. She looked gorgeous. She was too shy to come on stage but I went out after and we took a picture together and I gave her my wand. I hope she uses the magic for good.

I also saw a few more shows yesterday...

25 Plays About... Love - This show convinced me that Double, Double would work well at the Fringe. It was a series of sketches loosely around the theme of 'love'. I think that if the show is well performed, the sketch around a theme idea works really well. I was worried about that, but it is clear this one was well-received.

Pushin' Up Daisies - Very cute, if underdeveloped and under polished, musical. Some young talent that will do well when they gain some sophistication. A great song about always playing the character who dies. I don't know if it deserved the 4*s the Journal gave it, but it was cute.

Stars and Sons - I quite liked this. It was a real play and an interesting juxtaposition of character and story. I was unsatisfied with the ending as I felt it was just done and I don't know if was really as well-written as the rest of it. I thought it deserved more than the 3*s it got.

Bellies, Knees and Ankles - I went to see Linette. She was delightful onstage. She had a real lightness about her that the other three actresses lacked. The play was awkward and predictable and the directed underscored the already too predictable elements... too bad. I enjoyed parts of it and laughed a bit and I admired the actors commitment to the piece. Linette was clearly the most comfortable in her choices... nothing forced or contrived.

Today I shall go see 4 more shows and then I am done with Fringe this year.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Almost Done...

Well, my second Fringe as performer is drawing to a close. There is one more show tomorrow at 3 p.m. and then I retire the glitter for a while. I have a few shows to see and hopefully I can pick up a few more while I am there. It takes a bit of coordination. Tonight I am off to Pagliacci and I am toying with seeing something beforehand if Mark gets home in time, but I do feel dog tired so that may not happen!

This has been a fun Fringe for me. Last year I knew the show I was in was uneven so I was concerned. I gave it my all, but you can only do so much when you are in a big cast. This show I feel is much more even in tone and talent. I like the consistency of it. I like that everyone has expressed different 'favorites' so that no one was left out or felt bad about their performance. I also LOVE the fact that we have been so successful, selling out 6 of our 8 shows (and I know we were at least 90% full on the other 2). It will be gratifying to actually get a pay cheque for doing a show - tee hee! It was also so much fun to do a show that the boys could both come to. It is nice that they have an idea of what I am doing when I am out in the evenings and weekends.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Something Funny

I'm talking to Erik der Waal who has a kid's show here at the Fringe and he tells me that the reviewer from See or Vue (Sherry Dawn Nettles) who lambasted his show then went to the online Journal reviews and rebutted all the reviews that disagreed with her.  So, if she didn't like their review she wrote an even more scathing review to follow-up online.  What the?  didn't she have her chance to review?  

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Assorted Online Reviews...

We have been getting pretty consistent reviews - 3*s and 3.5*s. The text has been positive with only one review commenting on the script having some flat dialogue but then clarifying that the little girl beside him didn't seem to mind. Here they are:

Global TV (you have to pick the Aug 18 clip)

Edmonton Journal (Look! I got a nice mention!). If you scroll down you get audience reviews. I bet that a lot of them are from friends of ours... I'm a little cynical!

Vue Weekly (Note: the reviewer thinks the director writes the script...)

Can't find See Magazine Reviews online - but we got 3*s from them and a nice write up. We haven't been reviewed in the Edmonton Sun yet, but hopefully soon.

I saw A Body of Water and An Oak Tree today. Both were pretty good. A Body of Water was the better of the two. I would have liked An Oak Tree better without the gimmick of the guest actor who hadn't seen the script. Last night I saw Don't Make Fun of Jesus (a very funny stand-up routine), Tap Attack (a dance show that was technically good but lacked passion), and Bobby Gould in Hell (another Mamet play, this one a comedy, that was fun). Tonight I think I will stay home and clean up a bit.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Three Shows Down...

We have had wonderfully full houses and it seems to be going very well. Yesterday Mark and the boys came to see the show. They said they had fun. I got Gibson onstage 2x. The first time he got down and then said he didn't want to do it and I had the audience help him. The second time he bowed with a large group of people at the end and it was all good. Oliver participated but I didn't get him onstage. Apparently he was in a mini-play at the kids fringe so he wasn't too worried about it.

We were reviewed by The Vue and received a nice review and 3* which is what I thought we would get. We do a good job, but how do you compare Children's Theatre to work written for adults? It's apples and oranges. Most of the kid's shows got 3*, with a couple getting only 2* and only one getting 4* and it was a professional puppet show (The Ugly Duckling - KayBridge Company). I am happy with the review as it was generous to the cast as a whole and there was nothing negative in it.

Looking through The Vue Weekly's reviews I discovered that I have tickets for a no star, a couple of 2*, a 3* and some 4* shows. A real mixed bag. I will be positive for my friends. I like variety and I am enjoying supporting my friends as well as seeing new things. I am getting to a lot of theatre, even though I can't get to everything.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two More Shows Seen...

I saw Aloha Pinafore and Oleanna tonight, so....

Aloha Pinafore - A fun little romp. I know all these people so it is hard for me to not just enjoy the show. It ain't high art (despite the G & S), but it is good, clean, silly fun. Very tight ensemble. Good vocals all around (boys and girls!). And it has the funniest Drag Queen bit which at the same time show-cased 4 amazing sopranos! It is not for everyone, but if you can relax about theatre and you recognize that some theatre is purely for the entertainment value, you will have a good time.

Oleanna - Mamet.... Okay, it took me a bit to get into this show because the first 1/3 sets up the rest and Mamet is very wordy and fragmented at the same time. The next 2/3 thirds will jar you. If you don't like to leave a theatre ANGRY then do not go. If you like to think and be challenged emotionally, ride this roller coaster. It's not what you think. Oh, but why is it called Oleanna? I don't get that...

After the shows I got to visit with a bunch of people I really like. Not enough time to 'really' visit with everyone, but there is never enough time! I enjoyed just being around all of them!

First Show Done!

This morning at 11 AM we had our first show. The house was full (yay!) and the kids seemed to have fun. It isn't a laugh a minute but there were certainly laughs and I think the show was enjoyed by most if not all. We had some interesting technical problems, no doubt due to the fact that we didn't get to have a complete Q to Q so the techs weren't as familiar with the show as we were. So lights came up early and late, as did sound cues and some lights were in the wrong places. We even skipped about a page when the bell tolled midnight very early! Yikes! We rolled with it. I stumbled over some of my words - which I usually don't do... I shall have to run them again tonight and tomorrow morning on book to clarify! It's fast, so there isn't much you can do but ride along!

Review - Diamond Dog (BYOVB-Varscona)

On Thursday after my manicure and pedicure I managed to get to the Fringe site early enough to catch the early show of Diamond Dog at the Varscona. The Varscona had three shows that started prior to 8 pm so they did not appear in the program - I think that may have contributed to the fact that there were only about 10 people in the audience. I enjoyed the show. It was definitely tight and well performed. I particularly liked the actor who played Pug and Belinda Cornish as Mare. In fact, I preferred Belinda as Uncle Terry as opposed to Ken Brown (she shared his monologue with the audience at Wunderbar on Monday night). There were a few technical glitches (sound too loud so you couldn't hear the dialogue, an incorrect subtitle on a screen) but most were cleared up after the first third of the show. I found Linda Grass very stiff as Alberta. I am not sure if that was a choice but it didn't work for me. I liked the dynamic of the 4 main stooges. They were obviously a very accomplished and experienced cast. I wonder how well the show will do as many might have seen it during the regular season. Perhaps those who couldn't afford it will find the Fringe price more to their liking. In any case, if you like British heist movies like Snatch or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, this will be a cool show for you to go to. *** 1/2 (**** if the technical issues are cleared up as I assume they will be!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's out of your hands....

So, like, TV editing sucks. Well, I guess you never think you sound as dorky as you do until a news person chops up your interview and pieces it together and leaves things out. At least it was short... It's probably not as bad as I think... Maybe dorky is good for Children's Theatre?

What I am going to for sure at Fringe (so far...)...

Aloha Pinafore - Friday, Aug 15 - 7 pm
Oleanna - Fri, Aug 15 - 8:45 pm
Bobby Gould In Hell - Mon, Aug 18 - 9:30 pm
Quinn's Death - Thurs, Aug 21, 8 pm
One World Song - Sat, Aug 23 - 7:30 pm
Bellies, Knees, and Ankles - Sat, Aug 23 - 9:15 pm
Putting It together - Sun, Aug 24 - 8:15 pm

This is just so far because I am trying work out the schedule... there is much more I want to get to... wish me luck! There are many more I would love to get to, but there is only so much time and I do not have the life where I can just pick up and go. This list covers about 80% of the shows that I have friends in, though, so it's a good start! Mark and the boys come to Cinderella on Sunday and I am going to try to get the boys to Alberto the Dancing Alligator. It has a dancing Alligator and potty humor --> perfect for little boys!

This afternoon City TV is filming us for the 6:00 and 11:00 news. That means I have to sparkle up and get the boys to my Mom's house and head down to Strathcona! I have a rehearsal again later tonight so there is a lot of travelling today. Yikes!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nervous? How'd that happen?

Last night there was a fundraiser/promotional evening for several Fringe shows at Wunderbar. The evening was hosted by Maggie Tree and we were lucky to get a spot on the docket to show our stuff. We did a little scene with myself and Cinderella and it went well, but I was SOOOO nervous. I will not be nervous in front of the little children, but in front of artists in the community (many of whom were professionals and semi-pros) I was nervous like I haven't been for years. I think I held my own and I think Merran and I made our little scene saucy enough to fit in with the bar crowd. Whew! Now I get to do a TV spot...

Shows from the review that really impressed me:

Don't Make Fun of Jesus
Diamond Dog
Chicken Mom, Chicken Dad and Buddha Boi (I think that's the title?)

Others that seemed like they will be good:

Maggie Now!
Why do Fools Fall In Love?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Crazy week(s) ahead...

We are less than a week from Fringe starting (first show is on Friday at 11 AM). So, that means that this is the push for the finish line week. It also means promotional activities. Tomorrow, Cinderella and I are doing a little scene at Wunderbar for a Fringe fundraiser/promotional activity. This will mean full make-up and costume (replete with sparkles galore) in a bar on Whyte Avenue. I hope it is not as hot tomorrow as it has been the last few days. Tuesday morning we have a TV spot to shoot at 10 AM. I will likely have to drop Gibson off at daycare in full make-up. I may hold back on putting on my costume until I get to the venue. Tuesday evening I have a Walterdale Board Meeting (lucky me) which I cannot miss despite it's poor timing. Wasn't thinking about the Fringe when we set that date! Wednesday there is another rehearsal to fix last minute things and run as our official dress rehearsal. On Thursday we are in the Free-For-All at 8:12 p.m. This should be good promotion for our show. Hopefully being on early and all will be good for getting parents with kids interested in our show. Then on Friday we open!

How am I feeling about it? Well, I think it is in good shape. I think we have done everything we can to serve the script. I think the run on Wednesday will be good to reinforce everything and I am glad we are not like other shows I know that won't have another rehearsal between their tech and opening. The make-up and costume are a lot, but we are air conditioned and that should alleviate the worst of the suffering I am doing! I think I will have a lot of fun and I think the audiences will too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It Figures....

3/4 of my household is sick. That would be me and the 2 boys. All I planned to get done while Ollie and Gib were at Daycamp is not going to get done, because they are not at daycamp. They are at home in bed and I don't feel up to much. Although I did have some toast for breakfast. The only upside to being sick like this... I have finally lost a little weight this summer.

Aside - Yesterday was the media call for Fringe. We were interviewed by Graham Neal of CFRN and we had a photo done by the Edmonton Journal. 'Tis good. Hopefully some of that will appear over the next few weeks.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I've been a Mother for 7 years... Seems longer... seems infinite...

Tomorrow Oliver turns 7. So, 7 years ago right now I was in labour. The pains were probably just starting to get painful. With each contraction Oliver's heart rate would drop. I could tell that I was not progressing and that it was likely that I would need a c-section for his sake. I hoped not, but I was mentally prepared for the inevitable. In about 2 - 3 hours, 7 years ago, they would tell me that for sure. When I had the actual c-section I was completely awake and making jokes. I could joke because once they gave me the spinal I was no longer feeling the contractions. When Oliver was presented to me, I smiled at him and said "Hey Baby" and he looked at me. I was sure he recognized my voice. I recognized him. So 7 years ago I became a Mother and it feels like I have always been one.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Family? Dynamics...

It was a weekend of Family Interactions. On Saturday I took the boys to my brother and sister-in-law's for a Birthday Brunch in honour of my niece's 1st Birthday. It was a nice little event and the boys played with their cousins and their cousin's cousins as there were kids from both sides of the family there. We did have to leave because Oliver and one of the cousin's cousin have a bit of a personality clash and I could tell he was not dealing with it well. I wanted to get out of there before he punched her in the face. As we drove home, Oliver fumed for a little while and then asked "Is _____ on my birthday party list?" to which I replied "No. Did you want to invite her?". Then he said "I want to write her name on the list and then I want to scribble it out.". Uninviting her would have more punch than not inviting her at all, I guess. I have a bit of a hard time at these gatherings because of my brother's mother-in-law. She has a habit of saying things to me that always leave me wondering if it was an insult. If she's joking, it's not really funny. I am worried that at the next thing I am going to snap and lose it. I also get a little mentally exhausted trying to figure out if I should be as offended as I feel.

On Sunday we went to the Oberholtzer Reunion for Mark's extended family. These are held every 2 years and are the descendants of Mark's great-great Grandparents. Mark's branch of the family is always in good attendance because many of them live close, but several branches have dropped off the tree. It was a good afternoon. The boys found several boy cousins of the same or similar age to play with. They didn't eat much but they ran around a lot and had a lot of fun. Mark is the Genealogist of the Family so he had put together a little slide show that went over very well. He really enjoyed the day and I visited with those I knew and a few I didn't really know. One afternoon for every 2 years makes it hard to get to know everyone. In any case, the day went well.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Looking for the Beat...

I am back home now for over a week and I am in search of the rhythm for the summer. The boys have had one week of Daycamp and I used that week to get quite a bit done.

I got 4 large bags of 'stuff' for Goodwill packed and out of the house. I cleaned the front vestibule (vestibule... I like that word) which was smelling like little and big boys shoes (because that's mostly what is in the vestibule). The vestibule now smells a lot like pine-sol.

I set up the Daycare arrangement for Gibson for the Fall (yay!). I now believe that the 1 - 1.5 year waiting list hype about daycares is a myth. The lists look that long because everyone gets themselves on 10-15 waiting lists and then when people start calling with a spot they get through it fairly quickly. My 1-1.5 year wait was in actuality 2 weeks! Ah, but the daycare is nice and close to the Uni and is a university affiliated daycare (good quality generally) and I liked it. I think it will be good for Gibson.

I called the University about my application... still waiting on the Keyano Transcript. Only 14 spaces left in the class I want... hurry up!

I rehearsed twice this week. I am about 75% off book, which I should be happy with, but I am kicking myself. It is still a month away. I have also been making chocolate Cinderella Lollipops for the press packets. I am quite enamoured of this and haven't been eating much chocolate at all. I promise. I spent a bit of time at Michael's to get the stuff for the press packets and I really love Michael's. Perhaps too much so. I also wrote my bio for the program (check!).

Yesterday I went for lunch with my good friend Tanya, who I had not seen since her ill-fated wedding over 8 years ago. We have written and talked on the phone, but this was a long over due face-to-face visit. We (and Gibby) had a nice 2 hour power chat over lunch at BP's. So great to see her again and reconnect. I have these wonderful friends from over the years and I am glad they feel the same way about me!

So, where is the beat to the summer? I am still trying to find it. There are too many small chores to do that an actual identifiable beat may not be possible.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Back but Busy....

I got back from Minnesota on Wednesday. I left the previous Wednesday with my Mom, Oliver and Gibson and we took just over 2 days to get to Duluth. The driving went well. The boys were good for the majority of the time with sporadic flare-ups when they got tired or bored. We tried to minimize these by finding lunch spots with Play lands and when that was not available we played 'run around the car'. There were two main purposes for the trip. First, I wanted to see my Grandma Strand. She is 91 this August and I wanted to take the time to see her and to take the boys to see her now that they would be able to remember the visit. When we are dealing with 90+ there are no guarantees. I also wanted them to see her while she was still in good health. They were great with her and with my Aunt Sharon, Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Tom. Lots of hugs, easily doled out, card games and dice games in the evening. We would go out in the afternoon so that Grandma could have a rest. The second purpose was to show the boys Minnesota and Beaver Bay. We drove up Saturday to BB and we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house (now Uncle Bob's and Aunt Janet's). We walked down the hill. The intention was to go to the Rock Shop but a newly installed play park sidetracked us. After playing it was too hot to go on to the Rock shop. Just as well, that would have cost me. We also visited the Split Rock Lighthouse and took a trip to Grandpa's grave site. We were only in Minnesota for about 3 1/2 days. We headed back on Monday, leaving at about 11 AM. We arrived home at 3 PM on Wednesday. When I have time I shall post photos.

Upon return I did laundry and settled in. Then Thursday I was off to rehearsal for Cinderella - still bone tired from the trip but rising to the challenge. Tonight I am off to Dramaworks for the beginning of a weekend workshop. Maybe I will rest next week....

Monday, June 30, 2008

Cinderella Update!

I finally know our schedule and location for the 2008 Fringe Festival! I hope you all can come and out see this fantastic production of Cinderella. So far we have gotten a chunk of it blocked and off-book (about a 1/3 I think). The cast is gelling as we get to know one another and get comfortable with each other. We got the PCL (yay!) and the times are good. If you have a wee bairn or are a child at heart - check it out! If you want to help Mark with my kids, let me know and I will tell him and you can help with the wrangling. Just so you know, Oliver is hilarious to go with... especially when audience participation is required.

Who: Scott Brooks, Merran Carr-Wiggin, Michael Davidson, Kimberley Miller, Martin Kapusta, Gil Miciak, Chris Scott, Linette Smith, and myself (Kristen Finlay - if you are reading this blog you should know this!).
What: The Fringe runs August 14 - 24
Where: You can see our show at the PCL Studio Theatre in the Transalta Barns (10330 84 Ave)When:Friday, August 15 - 11:00 am
Saturday, August 16 - 6:45 pm
Sunday, August 17 - 12:45 pm
Monday, August 18 - 4:15 pm
Wednesday, August 20 - 1:15 pm
Thursday, August 21 - 2:30 pm
Friday, August 22 - 11:00 am
Saturday, August 23 - 2:45 pm

Let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to see you you there!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Beautiful, Silly, Colour Co-ordinated Family!

This week ALL of my immediate family was in town for a period of about 48 hours and we planned ahead and got family pictures done. A bit of co-ordination was involved because we wanted some amount of colour matching without it looking too cheesy. It came together nicely.
We also did smaller groups and 'personality shots' like the one of just my family. I think that shot captures a lot! Between the expression on my and Mark's faces and Oliver's silliness and Gibson's earnestness I think you get it all.
We will now be going through the process of spending a lot of money since there were so many nice pictures. I am a real sucker for nice photos of my family.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

10 years ago...

Magnolia did this and I have stolen the questions from her....

What were you doing 10 years ago?
1998 - This would have been 2 years into my marriage so Mark and I were trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant. It was before I started teaching drama so I was teaching Math and Science and I was Student's Council Advisor (busy, busy, busy). I was also playing the White Witch in Narnia. Since it was before children I was still able to do quite a bit of Keyano. Likely there was a British Smisles show in there and I think that might also have been the year Mark and I did Damn Yankees.

What are 5 things on my to-do list?
1. Get rid of the junk I have accumulated over the years (sort and throw out).
2. Lose weight and get in better shape.
3. My writing - my 3+ plays on the go and the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo.
4. Coordinate childcare and documentation so that I can take the drama course I want to at the U of A in the Fall.
5. Learn my lines for Cinderella.

Where have I lived?
Two Harbours, Minnesota - can't remember the house
Levack, Ontario - We lived in a couple of places - I remember the house where all us kids were in the same room - fun, fun, fun!
Princeton, B.C. - I remember how excited the neighborhood kids were to learn that a family with 5 kids was moving in.
Fort McMurray, AB - the house on Silvanus
Edmonton - a variety of apartments, and residences during University. I lived in Lister (Mac), Garneau and HUB, as well as some off campus apartments.
Fort McMurray - 3 or 4 places before Mark and I married. Then we bought the house on Ross Street (with my blue room)
Edmonton - Up here in Castledowns in our nice big house that still needs work, but we plan to be here for a while.

What would I do if I was a billionaire?

Pay off my mortgage and business loan on the store. Put a bunch in the bank. Give endowments to Keyano theatre and Walterdale. Produce my own plays or work that I could direct or be in. Maybe AM and I would start that theatre company. Hey I could build me own theatre! Cool! Hire a nanny (who would likely be paid very well for very little work). Raise the wages of everyone at the store. Set up education funds for my nieces and nephews. Give Paul some money so he wouldn't bug me (ha ha ha). Travel. Hire a personal trainer and a house cleaner. Get everything done to the house that I want done (like a new kitchen and get the basement re-done and all that). Sit down and make a list of the charities I want to support and then give them money, anonymously.

Oh yes, and go shoe shopping.... Ahhhhh....

Who would I like to know more about? I don't know. Maybe myself. Whenever I do a part in a play I tend to research the topic, but there isn't anyone in particular...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Nice Words... Nice to Hear...

Wednesday night I went to Opening Night for Trading Stages at Walterdale Theatre. I Assistant Directed one of the shows that opening Thursday, but I went both nights to support the casts. After Wednesday's show there was the typical Opening Night Reception. Mark and I went up to eat some veggies and dip and fruit and other finger foods. While there I was approached by Frank Glenfield. Frank is one of the original Walterdale Members and he and his wife are sort of Walterdale Royalty. In any case, he came up to compliment me on Crimes of the Heart. He said he had seen the show 4 times (Shadow Theatre, U of A and the original Walterdale production) and he and his wife had even debated going at all, but decided to go. He said that of the 4 shows mine was the best production. He complimented the 3 sisters in particular, but the show as a whole. Nice to hear.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Keeping it all Organized...

When I get busy like this, it is often hard to make sure everything is looked after. Too often there are more things I want to do than I can do. I am also trying to sort out what I want to do and prioritize a bit so I don't make another large commitment mistake like the last one. And I feel bad about it, because other people may have been perfectly happy with the experience I had. It is not to belittle those that might have liked doing it, it was just my time might have been spent better somewhere else. In any case, I have had a lot of discussions with AM and others about my role in theatre in Edmonton and surrounding area. I have to find a way to work into the current system, but I hate playing social games. I like being upfront and really, at 40, I feel like I am too old to jump through hoops. Blah, blah, blah....

And now for something completely different. We got the yard landscaped this past week. Totally gutted and re-sodded. The old yucky garden/weed patch was dug out and sodded over, giving us a lovely big backyard far more suited to us and the children. The landscapers also removed the debris left behind from last year's new patio construction so the 'white trash' appearance of our backyard has completely disappeared. Yay! Now we just have to keep it watered over the next three weeks and we should be good.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Next, please!

Baby is done. I can move on to the next thing, and I am doing so tonight. Tonight we have a Q2Q for the One Act (Cellar Doors, Secret Gardens) at Walterdale's Trading Stages. I am dead tired, but I do not think I will have a tonne to do there. Mostly just sitting and getting through it.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Back to the Boards...

After 3 days off we get back on stage tonight for BABY. Only 3 shows left for those of you who haven't checked it out. In the interim I got fed up with myself and got back on the treadmill and now I am a bit sore. It's a good sore. Tonight I shall try to re-capture the rhythms of the show and deliver the same product to this audience as I have to the others. I am praying that I remembered all my costumes pieces (we took some home for washing) as I would like to be dressed correctly in all my scenes.

I spent most of today on Pharmacy-Payroll stuff. Things that I have neglected a bit because of being busy. I feel very productive and hope that I can find a way to be like that more frequently so I don't feel like I am playing catch-up all the time. I get frustrated at the CRA telephone system that will take a minimum of 10 minutes on hold to get through, or else you will be bounced to a busy signal 5 times in a row after pressing '2'. Finally I got my questions answered and my documents in an envelope. Feels good. Now all we need to do is find more part-time help for both the Pharmacy and the Front Store. Anyone out there looking?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Being More Comfortable in my own Skin...

Today was one of Gibby's Preschool days. While he was in class I sat with a couple of other mothers in the lobby chatting about this and that. They each had a younger child with them (around 6 mo- 9 mo) and the topic came up of 'going back to work'. Both spoke about it as though it was unavoidable and I got the impression that it was for different reasons, none of which were a desire to actually be at work. Both mothers cited financial reasons and one of them also cited the fear of losing seniority. I know this is one of the things that frustrates me. Not that I can't be home. Because I can. It is because it has become a luxury to be able to stay home. A few months ago, my sister sent me an article about daycare funding which summed it up for me... "Fund the Child". If the money follows the child, then people could determine more freely how to provide care for their children. By putting the funding solely into daycare, it leaves little option for those who might be 'on the cusp' of affording to stay home. I want more choice and I want social acceptability to come with all the choices. If, as a society, we only put dollars towards one choice then we are saying that that is the only choice with value. Personally, I think it might even be one of the least valuable choices for the children.

Fringe on the Horizon...

Last night we had the first read-thru for Cinderella, the Fringe show I am in. I play the Fairy Godmother. It is very cute and funny and I think it will be good for the kids. The style is Oscar Wilde so I am in heaven. I love the Wilde! My character is quite "Lady Bracknell" so that is fun! The rest of the cast seems nice. There is a definite range in age, but the range makes sense for the roles so I do not feel like a dinosaur. I am looking forward to working with Linette again. I had so much fun with her during Steel Magnolias.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Me, the stay at home mom....

A conversation happened this weekend that made me think about what I am as defined by what I do... I am a stay at home mom. I know why I am. I know that my reasons are my own and I know that as far as I can see it is the best for me, my kids and my family. I am also a fabulous person, intelligent, talented, gifted in many ways and I do not feel that I am wasting my life by being at home, but every so often I talk to someone and I can tell that they think less of me because of my staying home with my kids. I can tell that they have an idea about 'the kind of person' that stays home with their kids. Now, in the conversation this weekend, this was not how I was treated. We weren't even talking about me, but I keep coming back to it in my head and I wonder how many people would stay home if they didn't feel they would be judged and de-valued because they chose to do that.

And then I think... do I judge people who chose to go to work and put their kids in daycare? Probably. I don't want to be that 'judgy' person, but if I am honest, I probably do. But I know a lot of that is because I am paying for part of their daycare with my taxes and no one subsidizes my staying home to care for my kids.

Juggling Act

I am currently in the little break between weekends of "Baby". If you haven't seen it, come out. It is a pretty good show and although I am not in much, I think we will give you a fun night out. Only 3 shows left, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Tonight, I am going to the first rehearsal for Cinderella, the Fringe show I am in. If I didn't have that I would have had a rehearsal for the One Act I am Assistant Directing at Walterdale. I may drop by there after the Cinderella rehearsal ends just to see where it is at. I have been away from it for a week and a half because of "Baby" so I am interested in seeing what has happened with it. I am looking forward to when it settles into just one thing.

Anyhow, I did want to say that I got back on the Treadmill today. These shows really screw up my working out because I find myself craving sleep more than working out so I let it lapse. However, a lot of the dressing room talk has brought up fitness and fatness and then i watched Biggest Loser Australia last night and I figured I had to get back on. Even if I can't make it to the YMCA at 9 AM, I can certainly climb on the treadmill at 10 AM. It was tough, but I know it will get better.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Parking Lot Rage

Deep Breath....

So I just got back from the bank. The bank is at Westmount Mall which happens to have the stupidest parking lot right now because of the construction. It's tight. I know that. I park further away from the door than I'd like because I need to find a spot with enough room to get Gibson in and out. Fine. I do that. Then, after we are done our business in the Mall we return to find a different car parked on the driver's side (also the side that Gibson goes in) that is parked much closer than the previous vehicle was. The driver and a couple of his friends are standing on the far side of the car smoking and chatting. I unload my groceries into the trunk and open the back door to get Gibson in. It's tight. There is no way I can get him in without my door touching the car. It would have been physically impossible. As it was it was hard to do. I am fuming because this happens all the time and it is my number one pet peeve. Once I couldn't even open my door more than an inch and I had to put Gibson in Ollie's seat (not the right kind for his age), climb over the console to get into the driver's seat (not pretty when you are my size) and drive to another parking stall so I could get Gib in the right seat. THEN, the guy comes over and says "Can you stop touching my car with your door, Ma'am?" WTF! I lost it and shrieked "I HAVE TO GET MY KID IN!". He sensed my potential for totally losing it and backed off. I buckled up Gibson and then slammed the car door and yelled at him. "YOU PARKED AFTER ME! NEXT TIME DON'T WEDGE THE DRIVER NEXT TO YOU IN!" And then I got in my car and slammed the door and drove off fuming, probably an unsafe driver for about 30 seconds as I fumed.

I am not proud... but part of me really wanted to slap him and then call up his mother and slap her for raising an idiot...