My 3-month-old niece (oh
hey! I’m an aunt now!) got hiccups so my sister and I brainstormed all our
favourite cures and how they could be misconstrued as child abuse:
- Frighten her.
- Hold her upside down and make her swallow water.
- Suffocate her (temporarily).
I think she’s stuck with hiccups.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
My 3-month-old niece (oh
hey! I’m an aunt now!) got hiccups so my sister and I brainstormed all our
favourite cures and how they could be misconstrued as child abuse:
Thursday, March 7, 2013
During this semester, the TA (teachers assistants) union went on
strike repeatedly, stopped reporting grades, and caused general confusion and
frustration. I have no particular stance on unions except that not getting my
midterm mark until finals may have resulted in Hulk-like behaviour. (If we wanted to see our
marks, students could put in a special written request to a union who does
not represent us who would then consider for six to eight weeks until
giving us the marks we need to graduate. Maybe.)
My classes were Intro to Sociology, Quantitative Research Methods, Qualitative Research Methods, and Prostitution.
Yes, I said prostitution. Yes, everyone makes me repeat that.
Final project was to "be creative" on a posterboard. Because apparently posterboard is still an acceptable means of reporting knowledge.
Quantitative Research Methods in Criminology
My prof liked to point out fancy words (like "bivariate regression" and "kurtosis") that we could use in casual conversation with our parents so they'd feel like we're actually learning stuff. I've already forgotten what those words mean but I plan to keep using them.
My tutorial was named "Raspberry”—as opposed to "Tutorial #4"—because we were awesome and sleep-deprived like that. Someone gave the TA a bottle of raspberry Smirnoff during the last tutorial. Isn't university great!
At the final exam, my nerves were making me queasy. Or maybe it my hang-over. Either way, the prof stopped and asked if I was okay because he had a girl faint once and it was real pain for him.
Qualitative Research Methods in Criminology
Every time my Jamaican TA said "faculty" it sounded like "fuc-ulty." That is all I learnt in this class.
Oh, and transcription's a bitch.
I also wrote a 20 page research project that consumed my life for a month. I was so relieved to hand it in, until I got it back and it was full of red marks correcting my "misuse" of commas. Except there was no misuse. I know my commas. Tsk, tsk, TA Marker.
Prostitution in Canada
Fighting to get into this class was so worth it. The prof is one of the few Canadian experts on the subject, plus he’s super old, British, and swears constantly. His favourite “argument” was how without prostitution men would explode! He would act it out. Classic.
I loved that the class had such a specific topic. I feel like I understand the whole issue now, not just as the textbook or the professor sees it. I also wrote a 15 page paper on what I think Canadian prostitution law should be that took every fiber of my student-being to write but that I’m actually quite proud of now. And it got an A!
The prof laid out all the marked papers just outside the exam room and when I picked mine up, I noticed that the one beside it had “prostitution” misspelled in the title. The prof had circled it and written “ouch...”
Did you know that if you are discussing selling/buying sex with someone in your home and the curtains are open to the street that that is illegal? But if you shut the curtains, it’s not?
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The “Dream” Cast
Five days after Mikado closed, I got lost in a forest trying to find my audition location.
But I got a part in A Midsummer Night's Dream! I’m Peaseblossom and Fairy. I think I do fae better than human. Too much glitter as a child?
Also, did you know that an entire Shakespeare play can be read in one go? That it does not have to be broken down and spread out over a semester? And that it can be fun? Someone needs to tell the English departments asap.
Rehearsals were held at an old camp with a big grassy field surrounded by cabins. June flew by because I had all of two rehearsals, and then rehearsals (for me, at least) began in earnest in July. The cast was an odd mixture of G&S people and former students of the directors. And all were extremely good-looking. Am I allowed to say that? I’ve never been in such an attractive cast.
My scenes were mostly with the Fairy Queen and the other three fairies. We also had two dances—choreography was killer indoors without A/C—and one song that we created ourselves using a background track and a shorter version of Shakespeare’s lyrics.
There was a lot of music in the show. I’m not sure what soundtrack they used, but most was quite light with a Celtic feel. The fairy entrance music got to the point where we’d wake up—leap up—just hearing it.
We also practiced using “magic dust” for the scenes with spells. The only characters who got mic’d were Oberon—the Fairy King—Titania and Puck, and only when they were saying spells. It was a cool effect but glitter in the eye still sucks. A couple different types were tried out and a couple different cast mates ended up with glitter permanently embedded in their skin.
This was my first real play and my first Shakespeare, so I was getting nervous. My scene with Puck opened with me dancing and being silly until she interrupted me. To be honest, dancing and being silly—silently—was my favourite part of the scene. But the rest of it was still fun. Puck’s miming of acorn cups always got a laugh and we were plain goofy.
Since the society was brand new—Midsummer was their first show—we didn’t know how ticket sales would go. But within days of tickets being released online, all five shows sold out completely! Over a thousand tickets!
The greenroom was another tent blocked off by potted trees, with corners curtained off for changing and plastic interlocking flooring with bottles of glitter hairspray everywhere. The outside, where the audience members would come in towards the main tent, was decorated with flags and candles and signs with fancy old-English-style writing. Considering a week beforehand it had been nothing but a gravel lot, it was startling pretty, especially during sunset. The only downside to the venue was, alas, the port-a-pottys.
At tech rehearsal, we had bigger problems than projection. Some of the Rude Mechanicals had taken to playing and experimenting onstage during their scenes, instead of what the directors had preferred in earlier rehearsals. This caused some issues since playing made the show longer, and because the amount of physicality meant that deviating could be dangerous. Also, kinda unprofessional.
At dress rehearsal, relations amongst the cast improved, while I fretted over shoes and lines. I was wearing soft jazz shoes, that are really just cloth with elastic overtop. I wore them in Mikado, but here we were walking outdoors on gravel and it was uncomfortable, sometimes painful.
We got a standing ovation!
I almost—but didn’t!— slip during one of the dances. The stage is particularly slippery because it’s dusty and our jazz shoes have become increasingly less stable as they become smoother with wear. In one dance, I have to run all the way around the stage, a big circle where I run behind Stumpy-the-Chair, right at the far edge of the stage.
We also experienced the singular experience of Hermia’s burping. Hermia—a very sweet woman who wears an elaborate blonde wig for each show—gets nervous before and during shows and it makes her burp. Loudly. It’s actually quite impressive for such a loud sound to come from such a petite body.
I made the ‘projection team!’ During a pre-show group talk with the directors, they pointed me out as being one of the loudest in the cast. Finally!
We did a group warm-up, the fairies ran through our lullaby harmonies, I ran through my mini-monologue, and Helena, Hermia and Puck squatted and made very low frog sounds. Everyone has their own warm-up. Don’t judge.
This show was particularly nerve-wracking as my sister and our choreographer were coming. But it went well! No major slip-ups and I projected the hell outta that stage!
Third Show (Friday)
Another sold-out crowd, another standing ovation!
We did our group warm-up, which ended with everyone shouting “came in her eye!” before separating. Immature maybe, but it’s an actual line in the show.
It was much breezier tonight, meaning more waves and therefore more background noise to overcome. But fewer mosquitos!
Unfortunately, during the last act during the wedding entertainment tonight, one of the lovers’ goblets of water was knocked over. There wasn’t much water in it, and nothing they could do about it at the time.
The end is nigh!
A wonderful way to spend the summer!
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Things That Make Our City Awesome:
- The woman at the bus stop with the massive white furry teddy bear plopped beside her. Size of a small child. Everyone else standing around as if that's totally normal. Just another day, just another teddy bear.
Things That Make Our City, uh, less Awesome
...but seriously, you should have seen the size of this teddy bear!
Posted by The Ousted Princess at 4:07 PM
Friday, January 11, 2013
My day started so well.
Statistics. Today's class wasn't so bad since the midterm is Thursday so all the prof did was review and remind us to stay calm. He's very soothing like that. He doesn't get gruff till the results are posted and everyone protests the marking scheme.
Then I walked outside and was greeted with this:
My bus drove for all of ninety seconds before pulling over. Driver walked out. I sat there. Driver walked in, said we ain't going no where till the salt truck goes down first, so I went to get some coffee. Sometimes I think they really didn't think it through when they built a school on a mountain.
My boot was feeling kinda funny, but it wasn't until after the bus made it down the mountain and the skytrain made it all the way back, that I realized why.
I went into Emergency Shopping Mode (that's the best mode, FYI) and bought a new pair of flats. Then I took my beloved over-the-knee boots that had gotten me through the winter and threw them in the trash. It was bittersweet.
In my next class, we spent two hours watching a movie about the '60s. I took notes about hippies, the Beatles and birth control pills. Why do I go to school again?
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
1) I spent an hour this morning moving thousands of dollars worth of paintings into a washroom. Ain't art grand?
2) When my doctor walked in, I automatically asked him how he was and he said, "Better than you because my blood work ain't all over the place." Well, shit.
3) On my way to an audition, I got lost in a forest. Again. How come this keeps happening?
4) Walked into Step class drinking Starbucks. Something's wrong here.
5) I feel bad for making the eye doctor wait while I'm crying, dabbing Kleenex and blinking frantically up at the ceiling. But at the same time—you stuck a needle in my eye. An actual needle. In my actual eye. You can gimme a minute.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
I have a 4.0 GPA, have read all of Edgar Allan Poe's poetry, and have been referred to as a walking-talking-dictionary.
And it took me twenty minutes to assemble this box.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Last semester I took Criminal Law, Sociological Explanations of Criminal Behavior, and Stats for Dummies. I mean Stats.
The man in the blue-green spandex was my Criminal Law professor.
And that was Spring 2012.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
It's here! Dress rehearsal is supposed to be as close to a proper show as can be, so everyone wore full make-up and costume.
The dressing room was one large co-ed room, with props--not ours--everywhere. Stacks of boxes labeled "feather boas" and "4-person dragon costume" and "french maid outfits." In the ladies fitting room, I used to leave my day clothes on a knight's shield. There was a a large rack in the main room filled entirely with dusty glasses. Champagne glasses, wine goblets, beer mugs, all with a sign that read DO NOT USE! ...BUT IF YOU DO, WASH AND REPLACE WHERE YOU FOUND IT.
Our wigs were set up at our station when we walked in. Isn't it pretty! It didn't feel pretty. It felt like a mushroom on my head.
My poor dance partner had to apply make-up for the very first time. He lifted the lip liner to his face, stared hard at the mirror, and said, "I'm an artist, I should be able to do this."
Another male chorus member, a 6'4" teenage boy, held up the pair of ballet tights he was expected to wear. They were approximately two feet long. And pink. The look on his face of utter disbelief. I promised him they'd stretch.
Our Pooh-Bah is more familiar with putting on stage make-up, but not with putting on a long handlebar moustache. The glue didn't work very well tonight. So we turned it into a unibrow. And then made it crooked. And stuck it on his nose. Upside down.
For my part, I have a gorgeous lime green kimono--but no obi. It's not ready yet. Without the obi to secure it better, my kimono kept flashing lots of leg every time I kneeled. Or moved. Or sat or stood or walked or danced or polka'ed. Yup. I'm that schoolgirl.
Apparently, yesterday sucked. In fact, it sucked so much that the choreographer came in with seven pages worth of changes tonight, which included taking two thirds of the chorus and sticking them on the stairs, where they will stand for the big dance numbers. Six chorus members, myself included, still get to dance.
After quickly marking through the changes on stage after vocal warm-up, we finished getting ready and played on our gameboys. Well, one Japanese eighteen-and-under schoolgirl did, in full costume. The rest of us just took pictures. The show went much smoother than last night's, despite the last minute changes. It helped that when it came time to dance, there was actually space to dance in. Always a plus. In fact, our choreographer said we looked like "a company." Yay!
The audience was filled with VIPs: former directors, producers and actors. Anyone who's been someone. They know all the lyrics and all the dialogue so for heaven's sake do not screw up!
KoKo, the Lord High Executioner, was feeling the pressure. He has a line right before the girls entrance where he says that his bride and her sisters approach. Except tonight, he said his daughters and her bride approach.
Any other night, that could have been covered up. But on Gala, it had to be acknowledged--and got a good laugh.
I hadn't gotten too nervous during the shows yet...until our first entrance tonight when I ran out and immediately started recognizing people all over the place. The knowledge of who was out there was nervewracking. I had to force myself not to search faces because it would only freak me out more.
When the final curtain closed, we raced up to the dressing room. I mean, we booked it up there. I had everything planned so I could get ready in record time and for once, it actually worked. I wore a floor length, black gown. What is it about floor length that makes all dresses seem so much fancier?
Figures the night I screw up is the night my parents come.
During the Act 1 finale, my fan fell and skidded downstage centre. I picked it up moments later when I flirt with Nanki-Poo, but then once the couples dancing started, my partner's fan slipped from his obi and thudded onto the ground. I picked up his too, and then moments after that, Nanki-Poos fan went flying and my partner picked it up.
It was not good a night for fans.
Also, the safety pin on my kimono came undone and kept stabbing me. Then, the Mikado decided to spice things up by ad libbing a long a cappella solo that the chorus was unprepared for--warning would be nice, thanks--and during one part where two girls make a bridge with their parasols and we all run under, the top of my wig smacked against the parasols when I went through.
Overall, it was a great show but for me...an awful, awful show. I ate three cookies, 1 bag of mini eggs, and may or may not have ended the night with a shot of tequila.
Oh show business, thou art a heartless bitch.
We spent half an hour at the beach before heading to the theatre today. I think some time at the ocean was well-appreciated since performing full-out every night has started to catch up to us. The male lead is sick, and a few of the others are coughing. My voice was definitely not as strong as usual.
One of the show's most iconic songs is KoKo's "I've Got A Little List," where he names all the people who, if they died, no one would care about. Our version includes 90-lb models who think they're fat, the entire cast of Jersey Shore, and directors who change the lyrics to songs. Everything rhymes with missed or list until "that really gets me--mad." Love that line.
There was one goof at the start of the third number that the ladies chorus is in. It starts with one of the guys dancing funny and then we imitate him. Except tonight, the music was late to start so he started dancing...and then danced some more until the music came in.
The silhouette scene seemed to go better--blind synchronization has not been our friend. However, my mother, my sister and my boyfriend all thought I was the silhouette on house right. I'm not! House left, stage right!
Packed house--it is so weird to have a balcony. I keep forgetting they're there and then suddenly I'll see light flashing off of someone's watch and it totally throws me off.
My parents came again tonight so my dance partner and I made a pack before going on that we would not drop our fans and it totally worked.
Act two went smoothly--except for the Mikado's ad libbed cadenza which confuzzles the heck out of the chorus still. Whoops.
The male lead is now feeling better, but the Mikado is now feeling worse. Peep Bo is now over her cold, Peep Bo Unofficial Understudy now has a cold. I hardly had a voice yesterday morning, but it got better and I refuse to think of illness as a possibility. I am not going to get sick. Decision made.
After a warning of no more ad libbing! (a rule, along with underwear is mandatory) and a re-visit of "Mi-ya Sa-ma" choreography, we all finished getting ready as the audience piled in. Another fantastically crowded audience, albeit a quieter one than we've been having lately.
Backstage, we had fun gossiping about about the back story of the prego chorusgirl. In reality, she's married; in the show, she's the slutty schoolgirl who had a fling with Nanki-Poo, which accidentally led to the incarceration of KoKo. Unless KoKo's really the father. Scandal in Titti-Poo!
Everything went fine until the Act I finale. At the end, Katisha barrels through the crowd, whacking at people, threatening everyone, and being generally angry and violent. Since my dance partner is the farthest stage right, they discussed shoving him so that he could fall back and emphasis her strength even more. Tonight, she growled and burst through us, shoving him aside. He flew back onto the floor, his kimono flipping up, legs sprawled out and showing a great deal of ballet pink tights.
There is a very good reason why underwear is mandatory.
Thankfully, he had remembered underwear but forgotten to wear shorts under his kimono, as everyone usually does. Since his kimono doesn't typically flap about too much, he also didn't pin it together so there was nothing holding it in place as he fell backwards.
That's one way to end Act I!
I forgot to wash my tights last night, and when I got home from work, I opened the fridge door and there was note taped inside that read, "YOUR TIGHTS ARE IN THE DRYER!" There was another tape to my bathroom mirror. Thanks, Mom!
Our make-up for the show involves cat eyes and bow lips, which are super cute. But if you mess up with liquid eyeliner, there's only so many times you can fix it before you look like a victim from Law and Order.
No kimono flashing tonight! However, Yum-Yum broke her mirror and promptly stole the next line, one of my bosses sat front row centre, and I sniffled and smiled and tried not to be sick.
(But I'm totally sick.)
BUT closing shows? So much fun! Every time we rushed off the stage, everyone would burst into "That's the last time I'll faint in your arms!" "That's the end of our train of little ladies!" "That's my last death scene! ...Hopefully."
As the curtain closed at the end of the show, we waited until the audience cleared out to take our cast photo. Then we booked it to the dressing room! Obis got packed, kimono sleeves were flying all over the place, shoes were manhandled (literally, one guy took off his ballet shoes and pitched them into the trash).
I got dressed and leaped out of the dressing room all the way to the lobby to meet my brother and his girlfriend. When I got back to the dressing room, I finished wiping off my stage make-up and promptly replaced it with normal make-up, much to the amusement of my dance partner, who is very thankful to never wear stage foundation ever again, thank you very much.
Striking the set is beautifully choreographed chaos in which I take no part. I put my props away, clear my station, and help with the cleaning. I stay far away from power drills, splintering wood, and any kind of lifting that involves multiple people on the count of three.
The goal was to get everything loaded into the truck as quickly as possible--so we could all go to Boston Pizza and start partying. We were doing well until my friend--also my ride--realized she'd locked her keys in her car.
Our Lord High Executioner thought he could open it with a coat hanger, and our set builder went all MacGyver with a plastic bottle and double sided tape, but neither of them could break in. A dozen people from our cast and crew gathered and after about half an hour of waiting and hoping, BCAA arrived and popped open the passenger door.
Despite the late start, everyone was still in full adrenaline mode and wide awake when we finally all got to the restaurant. The director began with everyone's favourite part of the cast party: the crudes.
C.R.U.D.E's. Creative Really Unusual Dramatic Entertainment.
For Best Use of a Prop Without the Aid of a Director, I was nominated for dropping my fan and nearly killing the male lead, one of the girls was nominated for smacking one of the others in the face with a parasol, and the Yum-Yum won for breaking her hand mirror onstage and then promptly becoming so flustered that she gave away the punchline.
For Best Dialogue Without the Aid of a Script, KoKo, Pish-Tush and Pooh-Bah were nominated for threatening to behead an audience member ("Substitute!") when their cellphone rang mid-scene, KoKo was nominated for adding Nickleback to his list of people who wouldn't be missed, Pooh-Bah was nominated for using the word 'versimilatude' five times in one line, and KoKo won for calling the entire female chorus his "daughters."
My dance partner won for flashing the audience--repeatedly!--and then the ultimate CRUDE, the I-Wrote-The-Words-On-My-Gloves Award, was bestowed upon Pooh-Bah for his Preview Night slip-up when he forgot his scroll and had to scamper offstage to get it while everyone waited onstage.
After CRUDEs, came the Harmony award (to the male lead), the scholarship (to me!) and a special thank-you plaque to our choreographer for years of love, dedication, and general putting up with us.
One by one, people left. Some made speeches, most gave hugs, and eventually our Mikado family dispersed.
Till next show.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
1) I fail at yoga. Such fail. I think I need a hip replacement.
2) Smuggled Tim Hortons coffees into a movie theatre--that's how you know you're a grown-up, when you smuggle coffee instead of Jub-Jubs.
3) If only all physical violence involved pirouettes and plies like in West Side Story, the world would be a better place.
4) The next generation isn't going to know Pluto or pennies. Is it even worth having children?
5) If you run choreography underwater, the lifeguards wonder if you're drowning.