Showing posts from December, 2009

Second Half of the Decade in Theatre - Move to Edmonton and the Big Changes Happen...

In the summer of 2005 we moved to Edmonton. I will be honest about this. I was very apprehensive about the idea of moving. I was very worried about leaving behind my theatre life in Fort McMurray. I had written my first play and was excited about that and where I could go with that. I knew Edmonton was a great theatre town, but I didn't know what it would be like for me, a non-professional. Would I find avenues for the theatre I needed to do? Boy, did I ever! It started with Fiddler on the Roof , an ELOPE show. I still have many good friends from this cast and this is the show that led me to Walterdale. Although the rehearsal process for the show often seemed disorganized and chaotic, it was fun and I reconnected with Brian Bast and met Elizabeth and Jackie and Judy. The show went up in February of 2006 and from there I auditioned for the 2006 One Acts at Walterdale ( Lunatic ) and suddenly felt at home. I knew from that first show at Walterdale that I had found a place f

2004 Brings Son #2 - Gibson aka Speed Bump...

Just when you think you have the parenting thing somewhat figured out, you have a second child and all the tricks that worked with the first one do not work for the second. Gibson was a real surprise for me. For one thing, I really thought he was going to be a girl - the pregnancy was totally different than my first. I also successfully had a VBAC so I could drive the day after coming home and my body didn't feel like I had been in a car accident. I knew how to nurse. I wasn't afraid of him dying if I left him alone in his room while he slept. I was way more relaxed. BUT I didn't instantly *get* him like I did with Oliver. It took me awhile. Oliver liked to rock to sleep. Gibson wanted to just be laid down - back off Mom! Gibson was not a snuggler, nor was a he an up and down baby - he was a side to side baby. So I took a little while to get used to him. Now he is five. He started Kindergarten this fall. While Oliver was a late talker, Gibson spoke early and well. He actual

The Decade in Theatre... First half anyhow...

I did a lot of theatre in the last 10 years. The most significant shift was that I started to write and actually got some plays produced (I have had 4 plays produced - the first in 2003). For me, the playwriting has been the absolute coolest development. It's funny to think where I started off in the decade. 2000 was a tough year at work. I had shifted into sharing the drama position. It wasn't the sharing that was hard it was working with someone who was clearly unhappy about having to share. I dealt with so many behind the scenes digs and jabs to my self-esteem. They were always delivered behind the scenes and one-on-one and thankfully I had wonderful friends to help me through that year. I also had wonderful students and a great show to direct. I guess The Wiz and One Acts saved that year. Those and the fact I was finally pregnant. Now, 10 years later, it is strange to look back on that year and where I was emotionally with regards to theatre. Dealing with that situation ha

The Decade of Children and Parenting...

In 2000 I finally got pregnant. This was after a couple of years of frustration, fertility medication, continued frustration, going off the the fertility medication, seeing a specialist, doing one simple investigative procedure (histosalpingogram - ow!) and then waiting for results. In the *wait time* we finally got pregnant. So in the summer of 2001, after a long non-progressing labour, we had Oliver. A few years later (2004) Gibson came along. So for the bulk of the last decade the having and raising of children has been the most significant thing in my life. Sure, we moved and we bought a store and there's all that theatre stuff, but I would drop all of the other things for the kids in a heartbeat if I had to, so there you have it. Along with kids came the struggle to figure out parenthood. Mark and I come from very different backgrounds. I won't get into the details, as I am sure almost every set of new parents (and old parents dealing with a new aged kid) have to deal with

Home Again... Head Hurts...

We got back from Olds yesterday late afternoon. I caught some sort of Christmas Cold so my sinuses hurt and I have a bit of a sore throat. I also needed sleep. So, instead of sleeping, Mark and I watched the 2 movies I got him for Christmas - Terminator: Salvation and Inglourious Basterds. Awful lot of violence for the holidays! I liked the Terminator movie, but it felt thin. I wonder what someone unfamiliar with the other three movies would think of it, because I don't think it would stand up on its own. Inglourious Basterds was definitely a Tarantino movie. I don't know why I was surprised by the blood and the guts and the gore. I had to avert my eyes many times. It was a good movie, but I am still thinking about what he was trying to say. It would say something quite different without the blood and the violence. Think about it. Anyhow, I slept in a bit this morning. The boys Wii'd and fought and played other stuff and we did more gingerbread men. The living room, which w


It all went very well, but perhaps we let the boys stay up too late and eat too much crap. We are off to visit Mark's family tomorrow and he would like to leave by 11:30 a.m. I do not think that is going to happen. I want to sleep in. I still need to pack. They boys need to not be rushed around on someone else's time table. They have had a couple of very exciting days, and very late nights and excited early mornings. I got a Webkinz. A Hippopotamus. I think someone heard me singing.


Tonight we will head over to Ma and Pa Strand's for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Oyster Stew (it's my Dad's family's thing). Despite not being overly fond of the stew, I will eat mine, because it takes like Christmas for me. I think there has only been one or two years when I did not have Oyster Stew on Christmas Eve. Once when I hosted Christmas Eve in Fort McMurray, I made Lasagna. I think Mark and I spent one Christmas Eve in Olds early on in the marriage. After supper and after the clean-up, we will all gather in the living room and in a somewhat organized chaos, we will open all our gifts from family (Santa's gifts are for Christmas morning). Some time during the evening Annemarie and Paul will either call, or be called and in that way, we will all be there. It is the best night. After all the gift opening, there is usually game playing and visiting and eating lots of sugar cookies and possibly chips and dip. When we were little, we used to get big b

Needle Woes...

I took the boys for their H1N1 shots today. I deliberately didn't tell them until just before we went. They both have a tendency to be dramatic (not sure where that comes from) and the longer they would know, they more worked up they would get. So we got the shots and within 5 minutes, Oliver threw up. Yay. That was fun. Gibson was very mad at Oliver and I because we told him it wasn't bad (it wasn't, but he said it was horrible). Luckily my Mom came with us. We waited in the medical room for Oliver's stomach to calm down and for them to make sure it wasn't an allergic reaction and she ran off to Zellers to buy Oliver a new outfit since his was pretty gross. We are home now. You can't tell that just 2 1/2 hours ago Oliver threw up and Gibson was angry at us. They are playing actively and watching the movie that Grandma picked up when she bought the outfit. And hopefully, we are immune to H1N1.


Despite fighting fatigue, I went with Mark and some of the cast of Annie (Sherard) bowling this evening. The boys came too and they were in heaven. It was a nice bonding event for the cast. I am not sure how many of them were in attendance but is was a fun evening. Luckily I will get to sleep in tomorrow. We have a carolling event for Rotary in the afternoon. I have things to do. All this partying is interfering with my preparations for next weekend.

School Winter Concert

This past week we experienced the boy's school winter concerts. I had to go both nights, because their classes were scheduled on opposite evenings. Most parents only had to experience one evening of the *fun*. Now, I know my disappointment with the evenings has to do with my extensive performance and directing experience and the quality of the Christmas concerts that I saw in Fort McMurray. These did not quite measure up, but that's okay. Everyone had fun and the kids gave it their all. The gym set up is imperfect and the acoustics suck so you can't do much with that. I don't quite understand why all the classes sing along to a recording (including vocal track). Yes, I know the music teacher can't play piano and conduct at the same time, but why not a karaoke track so we can hear the kids, not the vocal track? Oh well, I would do it differently. Some of the parents are up in arms because the focus is more secular than spiritual, but it's a public school so that

Prepare for the Onslaught of Boydom

Only 1 more school day until the Christmas holidays officially begin and I find myself 'dealing with both boys' for 2 weeks. Luckily Mark is closing the store for 2 consecutive 3 day weekends. That will help. No doubt he will want to travel on one of them, but nothing has been mentioned, so I am hoping for real down time. Funny thing about holidays. For me they are often much more work than everyday. Some people get to rest, but they don't think about the other people who are facilitating their rest. Ah well, there are many things I like about the holidays and I shall cling to them and deal with the other stuff when it happens. Any way you slice it, I am one of the lucky ones on the planet ( ) so a little imposition in a time of extreme plenty should not be drama-worthy. I have held off on the tree and I am hoping I can keep it at bay until Monday so that it can be our 'activity' for that day. I pla

Productive Day

I am almost done my Christmas cards. So far I have 'finished' 67 of them (about 10 of those need stamps, however. I have more to do, but I ran out of pictures of the boys so I will have to get more of those tomorrow morning and finish the cards off tomorrow afternoon. I postponed my big shopping day until tomorrow because I was worried about my sitter having to drive all the way up here on the roads in their current condition. It is supposed to be better tomorrow and that will be nicer for me, as well. It may get warm enough to not make gassing up the car physically uncomfortable. Tonight is Gibson's Christmas Concert. Oliver's is tomorrow night. I wish we could have gotten the same night. I don't know exactly whey they don't just put the French Immersion classes on one night and the English classes on the other night, but it may have to do with numbers. I think there are significantly more English classes than French ones. Oh well. Two nights out, wra

Jam Packed Day

Drive kids to school (bus is over 1 hour late) Child Check Sneak peek of Gibson's Christmas Concert Shopping for A's present Dry cleaners Empty dishwasher/dryer/fold laundry/wash load Lunch w/A Shopping w/A - Mr. Big & Tall - Indigo - Moore's - Mark's Work Wear House - Mexx Tim's for Hot Chocolate Pick up Ollie Watch the Wii Play Make supper - Burgers Watch more Wii Visit Drive A to Mom and Dad's

Just because it's legal...

...doesn't mean that I will respect you after you do it. There are a lot of things you can do that are not going to get you arrested, but if you do them and tell me about them, or if they affect me directly, I am still going to judge you. Suck it up. Some of those things might not affect me directly, but I might still think you are an idiot or immoral if you do them. Some of them might affect me directly, but even if your philosophy is 'that you answer to yourself, and yourself alone' be prepared that I might still think you are a moron or a jerk, regardless of your personal philosophy guiding your actions. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to criminalize poor manners, or poor judgement or even selfishness, but if you live in a world with other people, you should be prepared that they might not necessarily think that it's okay that you act within those parameters. By the by, I am not really being specific because this isn't about anything specific, just

Complacency Weighs on Me

In my blog surfing I came upon the following post: in which Peter Watts, a science fiction writer was beaten, pepper sprayed and detained at a US border crossing when returning to Canada. He was detained and then after bail arrangements were made he was dropped off without a coat in the cold and without transportation (they seized his car). His only 'crime' it seems, if getting out of his car to ask what was going on when the border guards swarmed his car. I keep thinking about this. I don't know him, but I am appalled by the way this has all played out for him. To be sure, I only have his testimony so it might have played out differently, but no matter how I play it in my head it is wrong. Now, would I have gotten out of the car? Probably not. Now, would I have been flagged and pulled over, probably not. But in our world, you don't really think this kind of thing can happen. You assume that everyone is reasonable and they ar

Smells Like Christmas!

I baked cookies today. I had to replenish all the ones I obviously made too early because they are gone! These ones will go in the deep freeze instead of the kitchen freezer and that should 'help'. I am enjoying having more nights home. I have a few things to get done and this is the last week of school before Christmas so I have to get a lot of it done before the kids are off. We are no longer YMCA members so I am not doing the YMCA camps this year. It's getting easier with both boys. They can usually do 3-4 hours of relatively pleasant interaction and play before a flare up. I am waiting for the day when Gibson is big enough to teach Oliver that it is not a good idea to hit him. I discourage the violence, with consequences, discussions, strategies for better communication etc... but nothing beats a once smaller child standing up for himself and teaching the older one that it's time to stop or get hurt yourself. My sister comes to visit tomorrow. It is a busy


I'm cold. It's cold. I don't want to complain, because we actually got off pretty easy in it coming so late. It's like Oliver cutting 3 teeth in one weekend - it was a pain of a weekend, but I preferred it to when Gibson took two months to cut one tooth. So, when the dump of snow came on Friday and the temperature plummeted over 2 days, it was fast and shocking, but at least we didn't have weeks of chilling temperatures and having to shovel a cm a day for weeks. I don't know. I am trying to be positive in my funny winter hat.

I Could Understand If I'd Been Drinking...

But I wasn't. I was just out really, really late chatting with folks. However, my 40+ body interprets anything short of 8 hours of sleep as call for a hangover and my head is killing me. Oh, it could be other things, like the temperature drop creating some sort of pressure shift in my body. Usually I feel that in my right foot though (I have broken it twice and I can now predict rain with it). Or, maybe it was caffeine withdrawal because I didn't drink my usual gallons of diet coke yesterday. In any case, I am waiting for the ache to stop because I have the delightful task of driving my go-cart on city streets today and I don't know what kind of shape the roads are in. They were plowing last night in the area I have to go to. I could be lucky. Last night was fun. A wee wine and cheese and tree-trimming at Joyce's where I visited with folks I like to see and chat with but don't always get a chance to. Much talk of theatre because that is 90% of my life it see

Snow Falling on Cement Patio...

Well we finally have winter. We were a little spoiled in it coming so late so I am not going to complain about it. Between Mark and I, the sidewalks were shovelled 4x today and although I have not looked in a few hours, I am willing to bet you can't tell. I also did the driveway and that will help in future as the layers that pile up should be thinner. Let's hope. I am also hoping the weather did not deter people from getting to Lend Me a Tenor at Walterdale Playhouse. I saw the show in all it's glory on Opening Night and I think they did a fabulous job. It isn't 'high art' but it is hilarious! I could sense some Opening Night tightness off the top, but about 10 minutes in they heard the laughs and loosened up and just ran with it. That's what you do with a farce, get it rolling and hang on! I heard lots of wonderful comments afterwards and I laughed quite a bit despite knowing the script inside and out. Loved so many of their choices! I cancelled