The Play! (Is the Thing)

The play! The play is exciting! Let’s talk about the play. Our first performance is April 16th. Jesus. That is only 21 days away. Out of those 21 days we only have 14 rehearsals left. And out of the 18 actors who are in the play, only one knows all of her lines (she only has about 7). Would you care to freak out with me for a while? AAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Well done. So yes, that is cause for alarm. Aside from the alarm however it is usually quite fun. However there was a scuffle between the company and the landlady of our rehearsal space. Get ready.

Once upon a time there was a meeting scheduled for the people who were designing and building the set pieces and large props. The meeting was at noon and a rehearsal would be afterwards at 1pm. I am the stage manager so I was at the first meeting. When the director said “set up for the pub scene” so we could show one designer the different dimensions I ran to collect the set pieces that were needed: two matching tables and six chairs. But wait! I could only find one table. Oh dear. Where could the other table be?

Our rehearsal space is the back room of a large building that is half used as a community market selling local food and crafts, while the other half (our space) is full of donated furniture and random materials that might someday form a lovely junkyard. Often this space is used for meetings or community workshops. The front and back are connected by an open hallway, which does not give either end any privacy. It’s not a perfect situation because we are often at the mercy of shoppers who talk and things while we are trying to have the normal closed rehearsal. The reason we took the space was that it is the only rentable space in Lumby that is big enough. And it is cheap rent. All of our materials were set along one wall out of anyone’s way and completely separate from all the other things belonging to the people running the market.

So in search of the missing table I proceeded to literally run through the building to find where it had been moved to. I ran through the market at the front, through the hallway connecting the building to the next door businesses, through every closet and store room that I could open, and through the parking lot outside. The best part about running around trying to find something integral to your theatre production that has gone missing is doing it very quietly and inconspicuously so the director does not find out. The stage manager’s job is to fix problems before the director ever knows that there was one. As unaccusatorily as I could I asked the nice volunteer running the market if she knew anything. Nada. Why was this happening?! Finally I asked my mom what to do. My mom was there because she is one of costume techs (among all the other things that she does because her husband (my dad) is the director and mom always ends up doing all the work. We call her “The Everything Person”). She suggested asking the man who was building us some things in the rehearsal space and who was probably the last one to see the table. So I rushed to ask him. He said he knew nothing of it, but he could call the landlady and ask her. After the call he casually told me that yes the landlady had our table.

At this point I had been in the high levels of freaking out. Now the confusion and anger set in. I got the landlady’s number and called her. What I discovered was that one of her colleagues had taken the table to use at an event that they were doing in a town about 3 hours away. Why does that make any kind of sense you may ask? It does not. In my best calm and collected voice I had to tell her that that was not okay and that we could not rehearse properly without all of our things. She apologized, but unfortunately was not going to be back in time for our rehearsal. In the interest of ever getting the table back and being able to continue to rent the space I did not say any unkind words. The call ended and I was forced to tell the director that our table had been temporarily stolen. That was not a fun time. The next day we moved all of our things from that space into a different space that was given to us for free because it is a small garage that also contains all the set pieces that are under construction. We had to move everything from the rehearsal space because obviously it wasn’t safe from being shanghaied at any given moment.

While we were in the middle of transporting everything someone, incorrectly, tipped off the landlady that we were evacuating never to return. So she called me to berate me about overacting to what happened. I had to explain, as if to a goddamn child, that when someone takes something that doesn’t belong to them it is in fact stealing and will have consequences. Of course I didn’t say it like that, but needless to say I wasn’t going to be as sickly sweet as I was before when she tells me that we are “being petty” by protecting our property. She said it was personal offense to her that we did not trust that our things would be safe in her building. We talked for about 10 minutes and I had to explain that set pieces for a play are extremely valuable and often cannot be replaced and almost all of our stuff (including the table that she helped take) was borrowed from different people in the community including our own actors. And that her assurance of safety did not hold any weight because one of our items had already been taken. BY HER. The first call ended, but apparently she was not done making herself be the victim because she called me back about 15 minutes later to spew even more bullshit about how we needed to have more of a community mentality rather than the “mine mine mine!” mentality that we had. Right. We need to start thinking of the community because obviously our community play that is literally about our community does not already include that. And of course everything is share and share alike on a hot set (a hot set is when things that are used during rehearsals are what will actually be used for performances). So that was one of the worst weekends of my life, but I did learn that I can keep a level head and refrain from saying really truthful things if they might turn someone against me. All the while holding my ground and not giving in to people who think that taking what does not belong to them and putting others through misery is A-Okay. Good for me. Ha.

So besides that horror, and the usual hair pulling that comes from actors not learning their lines on time and being late and just generally not following certain rules, the play has been great. But hey, no one said this stuff was easy, let alone relaxing.

So if you happen to be in the Lumby area in April, please come see our play!

MUCS poster

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Wow, It’s March Already

Boy have I been busy. February was a bundle of laughs: I discovered Tinder, was forced to send away my cat by our behaviorally inconsistent landlady, had a birthday, began rehearsals for a play in my hometown, and had my hours cut back at work which meant goodbye any notions of a steady paycheck and hello hours of applying for countless jobs and their inevitable rejection of me. So when I say “bundle of laughs” I mean for everyone except me. Maybe I’m being too dramatic. The birthday was fun, and the play is exciting. I’m addicted to Tinder so that is definitely in the bad column. So yeah, up until recently things have been mostly bad. And now March is almost over! Gee wiz. The big event of March was getting an awesome job and then being fired after three days.

The boss lady said I wasn’t being “fired” or “let go” or anything bad like that, I just wasn’t needed anymore. To me that falls under the “terminated” category, but I don’t like referring to myself in a way that sounds like I was killed by a robot unless I do actually get killed by a robot. So I just say I was “fired.” The job was working on a hobby farm for a family who also ran a landscaping company. Farming and landscaping are both things that I really want to try at least once in life so it seemed like I hit the jackpot with this job. I was even honest about going traveling in the summer and they still wanted me. For the first while the job was going to be mostly housekeeping and helping with some aspects of some renovations they were doing. I was getting paid $13 an hour so I thought “hell yeah I’ll wash dishes and paint some doors.” Later I would transition to doing more things outside concerning the animals they were raising, and help the boss man plan and build a permaculture garden. At college I worked for a professor doing a research project on permaculture in higher learning institutions and ever since then I have wanted to put my research into action and build a real garden. I have also always wanted to learn how to milk a cow. Everything was coming up Milhouse! Or so it seemed until the boss lady said that she wasn’t “comfortable ordering someone around” to clean up after her five kids. She kept saying things to soften the blow like “you have so much to offer.” Yeah I know that I can do more interesting and challenging things than organizing your medicine cabinet, but guess what lady, I took this job knowing full well what it would entail and clearly you didn’t when you hired me. So maybe put your pride aside and realize that hiring someone for only three days is totally shit.

Ugh. Please excuse me, gentle readers, I got really excited for that job and then I got really let down so I needed to vent.

I’ll talk about the play in my next post.

I miss Justice, my super kitty. I was forced to send him to live at my parents’ house for fear of being evicted. When I first moved in to the apartment I was told by the roommate guy who was subletting since he also lives in the apartment, that pets were allowed. Hell, he even had a rabbit and two rats. Apparently though “allowed” was very strong language to use concerning the animals. The whole building turned out to be a no pet zone, but this guy had been hiding his pets for four years. Except that the landlady knew about his pets, but at some point decided not to care about those animals. So she freaked out about Justice because other people in the building were using him as an excuse to also bring in pets. I see where she is coming from because not all pets are as clean as Justice, but come on lady! She knew about him for a long time before she finally decided to get pissy about it. She even made a point a few months ago to have an outdoor discussion with my roommate where she said very loudly (so that others in the building would hear her) “THE CAT IS GONE RIGHT?” while she knew full well that he was not in fact gone. My roommate played along of course, but she has never had the same attitude one day to the next about the issue. I always want to tell my roommate that he was an asshole about lying to me when I moved in, and that if I had known about the no pet rule I would not have moved in. The problem with saying that though, is if I hadn’t moved in there I would not have met our other roommate, F. F is my best friend in all the world and I want us to always be together. I’m getting too mushy and gross now, but seriously I wouldn’t be in a good place emotionally right now if I didn’t have F in my life.

So even when things are shit I still have F, and that makes everything better. And Justice is only an hour and a half away so I do get to see him often enough, especially since the play started. And I’ll be going to Europe soon! I do have things to look forward to. I should stop complaining 😉

We’re In The Future

Remember when I was really upset that I had spilled tea on my laptop keyboard and it stopped working? Well I was stubborn (aka lazy in this context) and refused to do anything about it, hoping that the problem would just go away. And miraculously it did! My keyboard works almost perfectly again (except for the caps lock key and many of the number pad keys, but who neds those right?), so I am quite happy. It does however pose some daunting questions about my machine’s uncanny ability to repair itself. This is the beginning of the technology uprising. Maybe my laptop will team up with that scary walking dog-like robot that can run down rocky hills without tripping, and after exterminating mankind together they will have a romantic destination wedding to the best robotic laboratory in Tokyo surrounded by their glowing eyed, noodle-making robot army. I would be so proud.

The Dance Pants Man

Today as I was driving home from work (I got a job by the way but it is super secret and I can’t tell you about it but I promise it’s real) I saw a man walk across the street in front of my car at a red light at the Water/Bernard intersection. I was so entranced by this man and I was very devastated that I was in my car instead of walking on the sidewalk.

He looked like an anime version of Sting who was on his way to figure skating practice. Yeah. I don’t know how else to describe what I saw.

His hair was very blond and stood up in spikes, but not ugly gelled spikes. Nice, natural, full spikes being blown towards the sun with the worlds most magical hair dryer.

hair

He was wearing a beautiful, black, wool coat that was stylish and warm in the cold January air. Its gold buttons shone like Spanish doubloons spilling out of a treasure chest. His hands were in his pockets and the collar was turned up against the wind Sherlock style.

coat

His pants though. Oh lord. His pants. His pants were black and tight all the way down to his ankles. Starting at the bottom and reaching up to his knees were tendrils of red. Some were straight like triangles and others were wavy like fire. It made his legs looked so long. It reminded me of figure skating costumes. Or dance pants. All I wanted to do was watch him break into a dance in the middle of downtown. You can’t wear pants that tight and fiery, or have hair that majestic, and not break into dance or whip out an electric guitar and play music so loudly that all the windows down main street shatter and dogs start howling and everyone runs out to start dancing in the street in 50’s poodle skirts. I was so sad and disappointed when none of those things happened and I had to just drive away.

Batman In The Rain level sad

Batman In The Rain level sad

I wished I had been walking near him and could have said something, or even just made eye contact and smiled. I just wanted to show him that I appreciated his well-dressed presence. But I don’t know what I would have actually done if I had had the chance. I wish I was the brave outgoing kind of person who could walk up to him and say “I love your outfit.” Then he would have said “thanks” and that would have been the beginning of a legendary friendship. I assume. I am not skilled at guessing people’s age, but I think he was between 30 and 35. Maybe a bit older. He was a walking one-man anime convention rock concert. You don’t see that every day, but I wish you did.

Diaries

Have you ever opened up an old journal or diary and really hated what you found? It happens to me quite a bit because the only time when I consistently kept one was when I was with my ex. Every time I open the book it’s a reminder of living a lie. It wasn’t me living the lie, it was the ex. My ex wasn’t happy for the last year that we were together and I didn’t know that until the breakup day. Sad story boo hoo, the point is that I don’t want to be reminded of that time, but every journal that I kept had a really cool looking cover so sometimes I’m like “oh yeah! My sister E gave me this because it has cartoon owls on it and is adorable! I wonder what I wrote inside- oh. Fuck.” So now because of that, I have a fear of starting journals inside cool looking notebooks because one day I might look back and there will be something terrible inside. I guess that means I’m afraid of the future. Or the future after the soon-future. The so far in advance future that when I look back I will say “what was I thinking?” Like I do now with my ex. But what’s the point of starting a really personal journal inside a boring ugly book?

I’ve thought about tearing out the pages that I don’t want to see anymore, and just using the rest of the book. But that seems like living another kind of lie. I don’t want to pretend that the past didn’t happen, it made me what I am. Don’t you hate it when you’re not happy no matter what you choose? I could put the books in storage and just forget about them. Maybe then by the time I look at them again I will be laughing because I can’t even remember what it was like being a teenager. That would probably make the most sense. But then again, E did give them to me in the first place. And I’m very sentimental so I like to keep gifts and things like that around. Maybe I should write all my next journals in pencil instead of pen. Maybe then the writing would just fade away and then in 60 years I can reuse the journal and it will be about happy things. Like places I’ve been to, or friends that I’ve made, or who I’m with, and what my children are like. Thinking of it like that makes me less afraid of the future.

The Photo Behind the Title

The cover image displayed behind my blog title was taken last fall. My parents, sister, brother-in-law, and I were hiking a mountain called Camel’s Hump. It is very close to the house where I grew up and where my parents still live. The hike only took about 4 hours round trip, but arriving to the start point by car took what felt like forever. The road leading to the beginning of the walking trail is a very old decommissioned logging road. No one maintains it (hence being decommissioned) and time has not been kind to it. We chose a day for adventure that was a day or two after some rainfall which created lake sized puddles in the road. To avoid getting our Tracker stuck in the muck we all (except for the driver) got out of the car and tested where the deepest parts of the puddles were. Luckily we never got stuck, but it would have been a very different day if we had.

About 3/4 of the way to the first hump the walking trail becomes quite wide and flat because it connects to a horse riding trail. One of our neighbors owns a guest ranch that caters to European travelers (mostly Swiss). They offer hiking, trail riding, lake trips, atv rides, and English lessons. When I was young I used to spend a lot of time there because I was good friends with the daughters of the owners, one of which was the same age as me and in the same grade at school. We are an example of friends who grew apart and we don’t talk anymore, but there was a day when we bumped into each other at college a couple years ago and it was really nice to see her again.

There are two humps on the Camel’s Hump trail, and none of us had ever gone to the second one. It adds about an hour or less to the trip and is all up and down. My mom did not feel confident enough to do the second part so she stayed at the first hump and waited for us. At certain spots we could see her sitting on a rock and we would call and wave to her, and she would wave back with her walking pole.

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The photograph was taken at the highest point of the second hump. It was a fun, not too difficult accomplishment, and we were all glad that we had gone the whole way. It made me feel good about my physical condition because my job last summer was doing environmental conservation work for (mostly) the South Okanagan, which required a lot of hiking and manual labour. Therefore I was still feeling strong enough to hiking fairly quickly and be first in line at some points (mostly just the beginning when I had the most energy, after that was nothing special).

I enjoy hiking and there’s a small mountain in my current city that I have hiked a couple times with my roommate. Last time we went it was getting close to Christmas so people had decorated some of the trees. At the top of the hike there is a large lookout gazebo type shelter which is perfect to sit and relax in. On our first hike of that mountain we met a firefighter from Boston named Dave. He was hilarious. He was here visiting his daughter. We had a chat with him at the beginning of the hike and he joked that he really hoped one of us knew CPR because he might not make it to the top without injury. We saw him at the top and we shared our lunches with him and he told us about being a firefighter. We saw him again at the bottom and it was like an entire lifetime of knowing someone crammed into the space of a coupe hours. It was neat. The next time we do that hike I want to carve Dave’s name into the wood railing of the lookout next to the initials + initials inside heart shapes and the so and so was here signatures.

The photograph captures Lumby. It’s hard to tell because there’s not much of it. Lumby is a very very small town with a population of only 1,731 people. But it’s a pretty cool one streetlight kind of town. I love this photo because it shows where I come from. I was with my family when it was taken, and I know I will always go back there. And even if things change in my life with where I live or who I’m with or what I know, Lumby will never change. It’s home.

lumby logo

The Snow Sport Struggle

I’m looking to buy some skis. I was also searching for a snowboard and seeing what better deals I could find, but I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not a snowboarder. I know I shouldn’t say that without trying snowboarding first. Maybe one day I will rent a board and see how I do, but if I’m going to invest in one or the other I will chose the one that I have experience with already. The only reason why I considered getting a snowboard is because the person I am seeing right now is a snowboarder and recently became a certified instructor. I’m trying to have more things in common with that person so I figured that being taught how to do something that that person enjoys would be a good start (duh).

<And why don’t we just start calling the person I am seeing “SP” (for “special person”) to make things easier. Have you noticed I am taking advantage of anonymity?>

While I am not adverse to trying new things, and I’m sure learning to snowboard with SP would be fun, I’m already not great at several things and my confidence is not super high in most sporty things. I want to look good for SP, not completely incompetent. I would rather go skiing with SP and our friends (who also mostly snowboard) and be a not very bold skier, than be a totally noob snowboarder and hold everything up. I did enough of that when learning to ski. There is also the stereotype that snowboarders are the cool, risk taking, rebellious guys who do tricks all day. I know snowboarders who do and do not fit that description. I also know skiers who do fit that description. I definitely do not. I’m not the kind of person who tries hard to look cool by doing crazy shit, so I’d rather not even go near that stereotype. I’ll look cool later when I’m relaxing in SP’s hot tub (I’m really good at hot tubs).

The whole question of ski or snowboard wouldn’t be as big of a deal as it is, if SP didn’t live in a ski mountain resort village. There is very little to do at SP’s house during the day which doesn’t really matter until someone like me comes around. We did go skating at the outdoor rink last time I was there and that was nice, but I’m also not great at that and the ice hadn’t been cleaned yet so… it could have been better. Like I mentioned there is a hot tub at SP’s place and I do ensure that we take advantage of that every time I visit. I did also win the poker game last time which was very exciting for me.

The main reason why this is a big deal though is because I want things to work out with SP. Obviously that becomes more likely if I make as much of an effort as I can to get into things that SP is into. And hey, if skiing and/or snowboarding doesn’t work out, it doesn’t take much skill to use snowshoes.