Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

How come the italian bulldozers on Cake Boss can create beautiful cakes and I can't decently decorate a sugar cookie?

Exhibit A:


Gingers need representation too.
S'all about equality.

I tried to just use dots because even I have to be able to do that, and they looked okay on the trees and stars. Not so much on the snowmen. How come all my cookies look ill?

Well, at least these ones look happy. 


Naked, but happy.
But you know what kids craft I didn't fail at? Reese's Pieces. Booyah.



I guess there were other things going on other than my chocolate awesomeness. For example, decorations:



But then there's my decoration:

Feathers in my hair.
Waaay cooler than a Dancing Santa.
The rest of Christmas looked like this:



 
This guy sits in the kitchen and stares at me with his black eyes and scared felt skin.  Think Frosty meets Hannibal Lector. He's also at butt-level, which makes him even creepier.
 You see it too, right?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Did you know it's Wednesday? I didn't know it was Wednesday.

I did the math.

I need to get 2.4% on my final to pass.

And if I got that math wrong, I don't deserve to pass Calculus.


PS: Dear Calculus,

To stay focused and awake this evening, I was led to drastic measures. I hope you appreciate this gesture, as I would never have gotten through a full review without it.

That bag was about half full to begin with.
Now it is zero full.
I hope you're worth it.

Love,
Me.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Boiling Water: Attempt 3

I was in the office, glaring at my uncooperative photoshop layers, when they knocked on the door and asked if they could make tea. Of course, I said. Then I remembered that we don't have a kettle here. Or a stove. But we have an industrial-use-only, multi-pot, heavy duty coffee machine. That's got to be good for something right?
The machine had two buttons at the top, with little lights beside them, and a big slab of paper taped above them saying DO NOT TOUCH. I touched. I mean, I work here, I'm supposed to, right?

I attempted to make coffee without the coffee beans, 'cause that's just boiled water (right? this feels like something I should know). First it made a pot of lukewarm water. Then a massive pot of almost boiling water, which mocked me with it's almostness. Then it scalded my finger and dripped hate and anger onto the counter. Not cool, coffee machine.

To my great relief, an electric kettle was bought and delivered. But as I squeezed it out of the box and tore off the plastic wrapping, I realized that we don't have a teapot.

Sigh.

Once on a school trip, a girl plugged in an electric kettle, put it on the stove, turned the element on, and then questioned what that burnt plastic smell was.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I miss grass.

When it snows, I look drunk.

This afternoon I was stumbling around the city, digging my heels into the snow, sliding and stumbling with wet socks and icicle fingers as I desperately clung onto my dream of not falling on my ass in public.

I tried admiring the snow, and then I tried appreciating the snow, but instead, I got it in my boots and became so delirious with the cold that I may have shouted, it's raining birdcrap, lady, for the love of Christ keep the kids inside! to one of our neighbours. Maybe.


He knows it's birdcrap.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My eyeballs are cold. THAT cold.

The mechanical pencil I use for Calc homework is cold. The dented bedroom doorknob is cold. The goddamn toilet seat is cold.

The other night, in an attempt to study for my Calc midterm, I burnt tea candles so periodically I could toast my fingers like marshmallows. Even the most fashionable students in the school's concourse have ditched their off-the-shoulder tanks for sweaters and ski jackets. On Monday evening, when I was walking from the bus stop to work with the wind screeching at me, I seriously considered the benefits of running.

Obviously I didn't run anywhere, that's just crazy talk, but I did make a pro-con list in my head. My biggest con was the knowledge that I would slip on ice and end up in a sprawl on the cement sidewalk, snow bleeding onto my jeans and into my shoes, while dozens upon dozens of cars zoomed past me on the highway. Actually my biggest con was laziness, but you get my point.

I've taken to blasting my iPod on the bus and skytrain to keep me warm. That'll work, right?

Friday, November 19, 2010

forty minutes at work shoveling the sidewalk in heels

It's snowing again.

This is why no one likes you, God.

Monday, November 8, 2010

An Open Letter

Dear Rotating Woman,

I fucking hate you.

Do you know how frustrating you are? Every time I see you, you're spinning the wrong way. And I know you're just a stupid depth perception test, I get it, I have figured you out.

And do you know when I figured that out?

In the middle of my Calc midterm, when the prof announced twenty minutes left and I suddenly realized I'd drawn a circle over and over and over again instead of finding the derivative of an irrational equation.

I see you and you're spinning clockwise. Then I blink and you're spinning anti-clockwise. I feel woozy just watching you and I'm not even moving and I have all these questions! How do you bounce if your foot doesn't move? Where did you buy your sports bra, or do you simply have implants? What kind of hairspray Is your hair plastic? You are so irritating!

Fuck off, Rotating Woman. No one likes you or your oddly crooked arm.

Sincerely,

Me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

1408

Halloween was a whirl of pumpkin guts and crinkling KitKat wrappers.

As trick-or-treaters began knocking, I was still stabbing out the letters of 'West Side Story' into my last pumpkin at the kitchen table. I heard my sister and mom outside, oo-ing over the pumpkins I'd already set up, and my sister rang the doorbell because honestly, does she think she's being funny?

I slid the knife out of the pumpkin crease and dragged myself to open the door and--children! An angel and a witch, maybe twelve or thirteen years old, and suddenly I realized: I'm holding a knife. Not a plastic Halloween prop butcher knife either, a very real and very sharp Ikea knife with a heavy black handle and one helluva blade that had already slaughtered five pumpkins.

Flustered, I tried to palm it--and nearly hid it in the candy bowl before it ocurred to me that could be a dangerously stupid move--and showered them with candy. The door was half closed before they even cried 'thank you.'


If you look closely, you can see the intricately carved witch flying on a broom that dots the i. Yeah. Yeah, totally.
I did five pumpkins this year: Wicked, West Side Story, Avenue Q (that's kid-friendly, right?), Rent and Glee. I kept waiting for someone to pshaw, Glee is not a Broadway musical, but no one did. It's possible I'm the only one that cares about these things.


No one recognized Avenue Q. Apparently classics such as 'What Do You Do With a BA in English?' have been forgotten.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"How does your radio know we're on a highway?"

A friend's Mom once told me I have "child-bearing hips."

Whaaaaa?

I think she meant it as a compliment but I was fourteen. Also, kids are gross.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24th 2009

So this crazy thing happened today, Saturday, October 24th 2009.

A woman who I’ve done some shows before randomly—I rarely speak with her online—asked me what I was writing on Facebook chat. She said that she read my blog once and was inspired (inspired, I inspire people!) by how honest I was.

And then I gushed into a puddle of thought because that’s just so darn sweet!

She continued by saying that she is amazed at how wonderful I am (Me!) and how lucky I am to have my mom and sister supporting me.

First off, Me! Secondly, wow she has a good memory. She’s only met my sister once.

She said that she didn’t have a family that believed in her when she was younger so it’s really wonderful for her to see that I do.

This is a woman who is an actress, a singer, a producer and a mother. I’ve seen her in all four roles. She’s amazing. She’s Buffy (if Buffy could act, sing, produce or mother…). Superwoman without the spandex. This is a woman I respect.

Then said that she’s excited to be able to say she ‘knew me when.’

So that’s kind of corny but the sentiment still made me gap.

Seriously.

Seriously.

She’s like my cheerleader, my personal cheerleader. And I haven’t seen her in months!

When we were done talking, all I wanted to do was blog about it, except she reads my blog. I can’t blog about it and then have her read it, what if she doesn’t like it? What if she meant it to stay private? What if, what if, what if.

So that’s why this is being posted today, a year later. If she still reads my blog, then she’ll know how much this conversation meant to me and hopefully, enough time has passed that she won’t mind me sharing it.

It’s nice to know that someone (other than family that, you know, have to) has faith in me.

Thanks, Corisa :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"My theory is healing with love"

Being sick is hard work, y'all.

For example, I had to suffer through a Calc class (apparently ln is a logarithm and In is the word 'in'), then an Econ and a CrWr class. It was awful. There was significant sniffling involved.

But I am a hardcore person. I sat through all of my classes and took notes--some of them even class-related. At home, I certainly did not eat half of an entire box of Wheat Thins and the whipped cream that's only a little expired and spend several hours in a bleary daze watching Greys Anatomy season two. No, I did not.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

3 Things That Scare Me At School

1) The Army guys that buy Tim Hortons in the school cafe wearing head to toe neon camoflage (way to blend in, guys!). There aren't any military classes at my school. Where do they come from??

2) Push/Pull Doors. Fuck you, push/pull doors. You make me look really dumb. I'm walking along, feeling chic and adultish in my new black boots with my Calc textbook in my arms and my cell pressed to my ear as I check my voicemail and I push on the door and--nothing.

Nothing because you are a pull door and now I am neither chic nor adult, and you mock me with your giant rectangular PULL sign. Meanwhile, in the split second of nothing, twenty students have lined up behind me and each one is judging me and my lack of chicness and adultness when clearly, it is all your fault.

3) The Science chapter in my Calculus textbook. First off, Calc Textbook, why is there a violin on your cover? That is false advertisement. There is neither a violin nor violin music in you and I'm sick of getting my hopes up.

Secondly, your subject is Calculus. Math. So why the Science chapter? You know "sodium chlorate crystals" and "escherichia coli in a nutrient-broth medium" scare and confuse me (unless a nutrient-broth is Campbell's chicken noodle soup). Now I'm hungry. Look what you've done! Not  cool, Calculus textbook, not cool.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tea cozy

Jumping off a bridge is a really lame way to die, that's all I'm saying.

I know men tend to go out with a bang: a corpse splattered on the sidewalk or brain matter and flecks of paint chips dripping to the cement off a squished Toyota. But c'mon. Jumping off a bridge is like the teachers pet of dying. Boring. Predictable. Obnoxiously showy.

It's possible my gut fear of anything above 5'3'' is influencing my opinion here. You know, maybe.

I just think if you're going to do something spectacularly stupid, it should be something spectacularly funny too. Something that can be written about in the papers.

The Darwin Awards are given to real-life accounts of people doing things so fatally moronic that it's essentially natural selection. For example: guy thinks of how cool it would be to drink beer on his lounge chair while going on a hot air balloon ride. Guy gets a ton of helium balloons, attaches them to his lounge chair, has a great time floating around the sky drinking a beer until he freezes to death.

Now that is a story to tell the grandkids.

Personally, I think dying by tea cozy would be worthwhile. It's a good conversation-starter. Plus, how do you die by tea cozy? I know it's possible and it has happened (there's a statistic somewhere), but how?

Maybe a tea cozy oozing with chloroform that knocks you out and you whack your head against the porcelain tea pot which shatters and burns your skin with scalding orange pekoe. You could die that way, right?

Or a really malicious tea cozy with a fancy-schmancy contraption of a drawstring at the bottom that could leap on your head and choke you so you'd be stumbling around the kitchen, screams muffled, as the drawstring gets tighter and tighter and you asphyxiate on the white linoleum floor with a blue tea cozy with little kittens and mittens all over it tied around your neck.

Heh.

...this is a little morbid, hey?

Don't be a bridge-jumper, that's my point. My very positive-thinking, not-morbid-just-practical point.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Top 25 Reasons Why I Have Faith In You

(Plus Three More Because I Couldn’t Choose Which Ones to Cut)


1) You’re pursuing your dream.

2) You’re still nice to Stephanie even after all the drama she put you through.

3) You listened to me sniffle and sob on the phone and didn’t tell me to quit being such an diva.

4) You pretend to not think blogging is uber-lame (and I appreciate that).

5) You tell me all the writing I send you is fantastic which tells me you know when lying is for the best (and I appreciate that too).

6) You know what you believe in and that doesn’t change because of other people’s opinions.

7) You’ve never yelled at me. Well you’ve yelled, but never angrily, and happy yelling is totally cool by me.

8) You talked me through a really awful time, even though I was vague and random and you didn’t really know what was going on it and possibly still don’t. In other words, your ability to wing it is unparalleled.

9) You work so friggin’ hard (no seriously, you should stop, you’re making me look bad).

10) You make friends with authority figures rather than resenting them on principle and that’s why you’re going to be famously successful and I’m going to scribble rants in pencil in a corner somewhere with all the blinds closed when I’m not Facebook stalking you.

11) You tell me to go study because that’s in my best interest, even when I don’t want to hear it (I appreciate that too).

12) You don’t take advantage of your influence over me, like if you convinced me that, seriously, rainbow hair is totally in right now. ‘Cause I’d probably do it if you said so.

13) You laugh at yourself therefore your awesomeness, if it was on y-axis, would have a vertical asymptote with a positive slope.

14) You laugh at my stupid math references (and I appreciate that).

15) You never belittled my attempts at composing even though yours were way cooler.

16) You are the most intelligent person I know. You also coo and use babytalk while playing with cats. This affects your awesomeness. See #13.

17) You have cringe-inducing spelling. This proves you are not a robot. Also, characters without flaws are booooring—I learned that in the class you told me to study for, see #11—so this makes you intriguing.

18) You welcomed me and Sarah into your hotel room on our first band trip, even though we were puny grade eights and you were grade nine.

19) You think you’re fat. This proves you are not a robot. See #17. Not being a robot affects your awesomeness. See #13.

20) You didn’t ditch me when I was dorky and still thought purses were a waste of space.

21) You and I won every single district debate we ever entered (except that one, but that’s because the judge was not aware of how limitless parliamentary style is, pfft).

22) You ordered whip cream at Starbucks with me and it was awesome. See #13.

23) You’re beautiful; society and America’s Next Top Model have convinced me that beautiful people will go far.

24) You support my Post-It addiction.

25) Your courage astounds me.

26) You still think “that’s what she said” jokes are funny.

27) You make me miss you. I don’t tell people that, which shows how awesome you must be to be the exception. See #13.

28) You’re the Meredith to my Cristina. Unless you think you’re Cristina, but Meredith gets the guy so my way’s more logical.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Awwwwwkward...

When I was in high school, I went to a district-wide writing workshop and got driven home by Kelly and her mom.

I was fidgeting in the back of their little grey car. Kelly, always annoyingly chatty, was blabbering to her Mom. I stopped staring out the window long enough to zone back in.

"-- Firefly for Maggie?" Kelly said.

"Oh! I forgot." Her mom said. She squinted her eyes at me in the mirror, "Our friend loves Firefly, the TV show, and she's dying--"

--to see it, I thought. I laughed.

Two seconds later I realized, oh shit, she didn't finish the sentence. 'She's dying.' Period. End of sentence. Maggie's heading to the grave and I'd laughed.

I gaped. What could I do? I couldn't take it back--apologizing would be useless--and ohmigod I'm an awful, awful person!

The seconds stretched by; neither Kelly nor her Mom spoke.

It was a long twenty minute ride.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I watched Carrie last night. Oh, Stephen King, you're so cool.

While having dessert tonight, we began discussing pumpkins. Our house is well-known for having super mega foxy awesome pumpkins every year. Last year, I did a shoe theme. Pictures are posted here. Tonight, my mom said, "When she told me, I thought it was so tacky but the kids all loved it."

Tacky??

The neighbourhood kids did love it, we got lots of compliments and by golly they were beautiful.

This year, my theme is non-lame Broadway musical logos. Rent, Hairspray, Phantom of the Opera. Super popular musicals that have been made into movies so that normal people will recognize them.


...Tacky! Pfft.

The Kings nearly brought me down.

Today I made Thanksgiving dinner.

Actually, I stirred gravy, but that's the most important part, right?

While stirring, I was fingering my pearls and, when I got really bored, started swishing my skirt back and forth. I felt very stereotypical so I drank Coke from a can. Stereotypes don't drink from a can, right? Unless there's product placement. I'll drink a no-name next time.

We played cards after dessert and I won an epic game of Chase the Ace. It came down to my sister and I. We were very not stereotypical as we beat all the guys and rubbed it in their faces like the demure, respectable young women we are.

My nine of spades trumped her seven of hearts. Bazinga!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nagini attacks Mr. W

These are JK Rowlings notes for part of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:




(Aren't they crazy cool! Each chapter was planned out, every plotline was tied up. The woman is a genius!)

These are my notes:


You'll notice my notes are actually the start of a story. It didn't go anywhere. Possibly due to a lack of notes. You may also notice the Hannah Montana lunch box underneath. Don't be a hater.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tonight, Tonight

I figured I'd write a (fourth!!) blog entry before all energy has left me completely.

Today I had one cup of Earl Grey tea and two grande Starbucks coffees. Therefore, I came home and cleaned up my entire closet, threw out half my wardrobe of old should-have-gotten-rid-of-it-last-year-but-its-still-kinda-pretty blouses and pants with holes the size of netbooks in the crotchs, then sorted all of my dirty laundry and folded all my clean laundry into cute little piles that make my closet shelves look very avant-garde (every other square shelf has a purse or a pair of shoes in it. It's my dream closet).

For some reason, every time I clean my closet, my room gets a lot messier.

I'm currently listening to what's supposed to be West Side Story's Somewhere, but instead what sounds to be Celine Dion whispering amidst a bunch of hollow synthetic harmony and someone playing a triangle over and over again. I don't think Leonard Bernstein used the triangle. I think he was a real-instruments-only kind of guy.

Back to the closet. It's clean. But tomorrow, right before our guests come for Thanksgiving, I know everything in the house that doesn't have a proper place or that belongs in a specific place that doesn't look very pretty will all be piled in it. The door will then be shut. No one will ever know we own seven robes, none of which anyone wears because they're super old and we prefer real clothes. Except I will know. Because after our guests leave, the crap in my closet won't be put back to its proper unpretty place and I'll be stuck with it until I drink another cup of tea and two grande white chocolate mochas and clean it all up.

Also, I now have eight piles of laundry in my room. They do not look pretty. My head hurts. I tried to donate blood this morning but they rejected me because they're discriminatory like that. Also because if you give blood with low iron, you'll pass out and die. Or sue them.

It is six o'eight. I should probably eat something other than the whip cream that came on top of my coffees. I should probably turn the bathroom light and the closet light off. I should probably take at least one pile of laundry downstairs where it might actually become clean. I should probably not be listening to West Side Story's Rumble because there's lots of jumps and bangs and tension and it is not helping my sugar crash. I should probably stop starting sentences with 'I should probably.'

I should probably stop now.

Fictional and Mystical

Here are three unrelated totally related posts:

1) Fog

Fog is cloud that couldn't be bothered to float 'cause it's that goddamn lazy. But last week I was on the skytrain going over the bridge and all of a sudden, we went from foggy to omigod milk! The windows were completely white. It was like someone had suddenly put up curtains between two stations. I was straining to try to see water, or at least the other bridge, when I saw towers. On top of clouds. Like a kingdom. In the sky. In the real world.

So it was actually two skyscrapers that happened to rise slightly above the fog. But I don't care. I saw Narnia.

2) My Geography Professor (the one who taught me that fog is caused by a large amount of QE but I don't care because it has mystical powers anyway)

Her name is Wendy. She's super cool. She makes rocks and latent energy seem less mindblowing dull. And she has this sweater with big black sleeves that looks like a cape and reminds me of the professors at Hogwarts. They flap when she moves but instead of looking ominous and way too early for Halloween, she looks like Professor McGonagall twenty years younger.

By association, that makes me Ginny Weasley.

3) The Dangers of Carpetting

I wore heels to school yesterday and for the first time all semester (it only happened once last year), the elevator in the parkade was out of order. Which meant I had to walk up three flights of stairs. Three! In heels! I was wearing little black booties and since the heels have worn right down to the metal, they sound like tap shoes. I don't click, I tap. It's not the sound I was going for but now I really want to own a pair of tap shoes so I can tap legitimately. Also so I can look at a dance floor and say, "I'd tap that."

As I was heading to Calculus, humming AVPM's To Dance Again, I turned down the North corridor and suddenly, no tap! Carpetting everywhere! All the pain of squished toes and popped blisters and people couldn't even hear me coming!

How is this related to fictional, mystical places thereby making this not just a misplaced rant?

Uhh... If I were to create a fictional, mystical place, part of the mysticism would be in the non-carpetted flooring.

See what I did there? Three totally related posts :D

Pretty and Witty

Apparently posting one status with a link to my writing blog last January is not enough advertisement. People need to know that unpublished writers do more than whine and sip coffee and complain about how their muse broke up with them and now they will never be able to write anything worth reading ever ever again because their soul--and therefore, their career--have been abandoned for a blonde science major who doesn't "act like a fucking child when I have to go to work."

I should clarify that that is not a personal story.

Anywho, after whining and sipping and complaining, unpublished writers do consider writing things. And when this consideration aligns with the deadline of an assignment for a Creative Writing class, sometimes things actually get written.

And when they do, I post them HERE at my writing blog, Pretty and Witty.

I thought Pretty and Witty was a great title until I started posting some fairly ugly pieces so please pay attention to the subtitle. It makes me seem considerably less arrogant.

Here!  and TOTALLY HERE TOO!

And in case you haven't gotten the point yet because you only skim blogs, GO HERE!

Starbucks

I am in Starbucks, typing at my laptop, attempting to look chic.

People typing on their little laptops, drinking venti low fat caramel whatevers with extra whip at Starbucks are always very chic. They write intellectual yet quirky pieces that are very smart and use French phrases like je ne sais quoi, le chateau, or l'amore est une enfant boheme.

Actually that last one is a quote from Carmen. And the other one's a store. They were the only other French phrases I could think of, which is a little pathetic considering I speak French.

But as they type these remarkable pieces with their quick fingers and their venti caramel whatevers, they look very chic. And they don't do things like read this blog or Facebook stalk people in their Calc class or talk with the CleverBot.

I figure so long as I hide my screen no one needs to know, right?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cowabunga! (...that's a funny word, right? Right?)

You know when a stand-up comic pauses after a joke to hear the sound of his success? I'm scared shitless of that pause. I don't write pure humour because, duh, what if it's not funny?

My professor pointed out that despite the tons and tons of tension building up in my short story, there's so much humour that it balances it out and doesn't overwhelm the reader.

Humour?

The piece, which is here if you're curious, has some funny lines. I always knew that. I just didn't realize that all together, there are a lot of funny sections. And a reference to Waldo.

One time we were at a restaurant making up silly lyrics to one of our GnS songs, and we had one that was pretty funny. My other friend was not impressed. "No, dude, I know funny."

He was right. It wouldn't have been funny, but in the three second gap between hearing the line and hearing his response, I thought it was, so suddenly, my entire scale of not funny to must make this my new facebook status! was thrown and I haven't gotten it back yet.

The monologue I wrote for my playwriting class last year? I thought it was seriously dramatic. Possibly too dramatic. I was hesitant to hand it in for fear of the seeing 'Sensationalized!' scrawled at the top and underlined in red felt pen.

Instead, they laughed!

I feel like I should make this post funny in some way. Ooh! Check this out!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The derivative is the slope of the tangent line, the limit of the difference quotient, and the instantaneous rate of change.

I'm trying to decide what will help my Calculus midterm mark more: extra studying or blogging (which will make me more confident and help me come to terms with my potential failure/success emotionally. See? There's logic.)

So far I'm choosing blogging.

I have no idea how I'll do. It starts at eight thirty a.m. Usually I'm half asleep for the first hour or so and then wake up when the prof gives the first example and I realize I have no idea how to do it but doesn't my pen look  pretty.

I think I understand the concepts and how they're applied. I think.
Today, we had a fire drill in my Fiction class. I grabbed my coffee (and my jacket and my purse because I'd rather be dead than unfashionable) and we all hunkered outside. The prof didn't know about it in advance, so we figure someone really wasn't ready for their midterm and wanted out.

I know the feeling.

After tomorrow's Calc test, I have my lab exam on Wednesday, my Econ midterm on Thursday and my Geog midterm next week.

Then I melt into a puddle of goo and stay that way until I can gather the strength to re-emerge.

Here's aiming for goo.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I wonder how many years I'm taking off my life by inhaling so much nail polish remover. The price of pretty nails.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Was wittle English scared? Was wittle English gonna say a bad word?"

Since I'm taking Personal Narrative, I've been writing a lot of non-fiction things-that-actually-happened-to-me-with-people-I-actually-know.

So for my fiction class, I wrote a scene based on a friend of mine. The emphasis of the scene was to develop a character.

Three comments into the workshop, one of the guy's got honest:

"So, the character works really well because he's a convincing douchebag."

Heh.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My brother helped out a lot yesterday, when we were doing a lot of heavy lifting and getting all the final things set-up for my big event today.

He commented to my mom that it was weird how I was telling people what to do, and that they were actually doing it.

Heh.

It was weird for me too.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

and smilies and hearts and stars!

Do you know what's adorable?

Crayons.

In the little box, all neat and yellow and clean. I mean, sure they're useless, but if you don't ever open the box, they are the pinnacle of childhood cuteness.

I bought two.

And some gluesticks and card stock and feathers and sequins and oogly eyes and multi-colour pipe cleaner thingies and stickers--lots and lots of stickers!--and fuzzy pompoms and page protectors.

Okay so the page protectors aren't so much fun, but feathers and sequins and oogly eyes!

So now I have a Kids Craft Corner! And I'm $15 under budget!

Of course, while shopping for all this I had to take transit and I forgot, oh yeah it's Saturday, so the bus I was waiting for never came. And Zellers is selling Mini Eggs but I couldn't buy any 'cause my receipt had to be all work-related.

But feathers and sequins and oogly eyes!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Day of the Egg Ordeal

I decided last night that today was gonna be great.

I set my alarm for seven a.m. Seven. In the morning. I decided I was going to get up early so I could enjoy the awesomeness that would be today, and then I betrayed my inner sleepyness by throwing my alarm half way across the room, thereby assuring that I would have to physically get out of bed at seven a.m.

I did. I got to have breakfast. And tea that didn't come in a paper cup with a sleeve. However, the egg machine (we have a machine for eggs, is that normal?) kept smelling funny so I had to open all the windows 'cause I was afraid the fire alarm would go off, which made the whole kitchen chilly and me and cold and seven a.m. do not play well together.

That was an awfully long sentence. I apologize. I'm not gonna fix it thought 'cause it was seven a.m. and my memory before caffeine is a little fuzzy.

After the egg ordeal (that is something I never want to say again) and the caffeine kick, I went out and spent $150. You might think, oo shopping! Or wonder what I could possibly have spent that two and a half days pay on (alright that's depressing), like shoes or OPI nail polish or a new camera or a belt that hasn't molded itself to my jeans, or something shiny like a tiara--

Oooh! I should totally go put on my tiara right now, it's a guarenteed pick-me-upper.

--or maybe a kitten, maybe I woke up this morning and argued with eggs and chewed on a tea bag while the water boiled and thought, I could totally go for a kitten right now.

My cat just glared at me from the piano bench. Okay, no more kitten talk.

Back to the point! So of all these fabulous, shiny new things I could spend $150 on, what did I buy?

Single Variable Calculus: Early Transcendals, Sixth Edition.

That's right. A math textbook. And you know what else? It's used. All that money and it's not even new, there's highlighter in it and cigarette butts between the pages and the corners have split so much there's a family of bed bugs holed up in the back cover. It's possible that's not all true, but c'mon.

Remember, this day was gonna be awesome. It was foretold.

At work, all was well until the enormity of I'm head coordinator of a two day festival and tomorrow's my last regular day of work kicked in. So when I went to Subway, I got cookies. Failproof logic.

Two days ago, it poured rain. People got soaked; people forgot how to drive; people wondered if Richard Branson had bought the sun and taken it out of commission until his name was branded on it in neon lights. I loved it. I wore my new jacket (outlet stores should be honoured with sacrifices on the full moon) and used my brand new umbrella with the big pink and blue flowers on it and jumped across puddles and the smell of all the wet things overpowered the smell of the alcohol brewery down the street and it was heaven. I also learned that my lovely black boots aren't waterproof, but hey, now they're washed!

Today, I really missed the rain. It was hot. I was still wearing my new jacket but now it was sticky and cotton-y and full-sleeved.

I thought I was on time leaving work, but nope, I didn't even get to see my bus drive by. When the next bus came, I had time to kill before my next-next bus came, so I went and bought a nail buffer and baby pink nail polish. It's called Glow. OPI names are waaay better (Blue My Mind, Cha-Ching Cherry, Chocolate Shake-Speare) but at least it's not Pink.

At home, I did my nails (duh) and read a whole slew of Gilmore Girls transcripts. It's possible their ranty image-making exaggerations and similes have left an impression on me, but I don't think so.

New plan: tomorrow is going to be FABULOUS!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

yumyumyumyumyum (with update!)

These are my apples.

This is my pie.

This is my mess.

This is the yay (in a non-pictured way):

I totally wrapped my dough around the rolling pin and laid it out in the pie plate without it tearing/sticking/screaming. Both times!

This is the nay:

As pretty as it looked (and it did look pretty), it was just okay. Like it was trying too hard. Like the caster sugar and the brown sugar had broken up but were trying to be friends for the sake of the pie while all the other ingredients took sides. Lines were drawn. Things got ugly.

Ooh-I-totally-get-that now:

So apparently, to 'core' an apple, you don't need a fancy shmancy machine. Or even a buy-one-get-one-free machine from the dollar store. And you don't have to stab the apple multiple times with apple blood squirting everywhere like a bad impression of Psycho. You just cut it into quarters and then remove the core pieces.

Whoops.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.

Do you know what's fantastic? Cornstarch.

Seriously. It is the secret hero behind every pie. All the goodness of your favourite fruit is just bleh without the gooeyness and that's thanks to cornstarch.

I don't know how it does it. Or what it's made of. I'm assuming corn. Iunno. But still: fantastic.

Last week I made this peach pie.


I'm not a huge fan of peaches unless they're baked. I feel fuzziness and I think mold.

After I turned the oven on, I floured up the counter and started rolling out the dough. My Glee soundtrack was playing on my iPod. I'd turned way up to counter the irritating grating of my sister's voice. Suddenly, I thought I smelled burning so I pulled out my earphones to check.

Let's review that sentence.

I thought I smelled burning, so I pulled out my earphones so I could smell better.

Yeah. Yeah, I don't get it either, but it's a good thing I did because I opened up the oven door and blegh, billowing smoke.

Apparently, the last time I made a pie, it had dripped over the edge and hadn't been cleaned, so now it was buuuuuuurning up.

Yeah, yum.

We pretty much just let it burn itself up (there wasn't much) and by the time the pie was ready to go in, the kitchen was a smoke-free area.

It turned out really well. Lots of yummy.

The next day--since we had a big box of peaches--I made Peach Crumb Bars, which were doughy and plain and not particularly peachy. I'm not sure how come they weren't all that peachy since there were more peaches in it than there were in the pie. But, hey, the ice cream was good.

Today, I decided to make Strawberry Rhubarb pie again. I really like picking my own rhubarb (not all from the same spot, thereby not leaving a big gap in the garden this time). Makes me feel all outdoorsy. Like I don't shriek at creepy crawlers and madly run/hop away when I see a spider.

Also, I really love rhubarb.

Isn't it pretty?

And the stalks make great swords. I mean, if I had to choose a vegetable for a sword fight, I would totally choose rhubarb. Cucumber wouldn't stand a chance.

And see? Even the thrown away bits are pretty! Carrot thrown away bits totally get pwned.

And you know what makes a fantastic salad? Rhubarb leaves. Especially if someone you hate is coming for dinner.

By the way, if the pictures look a little faded, it's not them. It's you. Actually it's your computer screen doing what I asked it to do when I designed this blog. Whatever. Just click and you'll see them in their full colour glory.

Oh! Oh! 'Nother cool thing about rhubarb: tricking people into eating it raw. Heh.
 
I'm done praising rhubarb now.
  
Oh! And on stage, when you see people in the background talking, they're not, they're saying 'Rhubarb, rhubarb rhubarb. Rhubarb? Rhuuuubarb!'

Okay, now I'm really done.

Imma go eat some pie.


 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wikipedia says I'm one in a thousand One in two thousand ;)

Today I went to the eye doctor.

"Do you remember last time we talked about the particularities of your eyes? They're..." He gestured.

"Pointy." I said.

"Cone-like, not the typical curve, more..."

"Pointy."

He shrugged. "Pointy."

Apparently, now they're even pointier than they were two years ago. And thinner. And just a tad bumpy, which is a really weird image. So now I'll probably have to get some procedure where my eyes shoot lasers. Or lasers are shot into my eyes, but that's not what I'm gonna tell people.

Therefore this evening, I made pancakes. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Does that make it healthy?

Hey, did you know carrot cake has actual carrot in it?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

(the books are better)

Dear True Blood writers:

Every time I hear:

"Shall we?"

"We shall."

I wanna barf. FYI.

Love,
Me

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

All I know about football is that it's not soccer.

This week has been interesting.

On Friday, I went to my first football game. The only thing I know about football is that they paint black under their eyes and look like me when I walk out of the shower with mascara and eyeliner smeared across my cheekbones.

All day long, it rained. Our seats were not under cover. I was actually okay with this until a bird flew overhead.
The cheerleaders wore shiny, orange knee-high boots with thick kitten heels. It's like they were asking me to mock them.
In our wet seats (apparently you're supposed to wear black so it doesn't look like you peed your pants when you stand up, but no one told me this. I wore blue jeans. My solution was to not stand up.), we watched as five guys sat in front of us. Five stereotypical jock morons.

At least one of them was witty. He was mildly entertaining.

Every time something good happened, they would stand up, thus blocking our view of the good thing happening.

I didn't care so much, as I wouldn't recognize a spectacular moment of football history if it wasn't part of a montage on YouTube, but still. Not cool, stereotypical jock morons. Not cool.

I'd like to describe the game, honestly I would, but it really wasn't the star of the show. Most of the time, people were more excited to get a wave going than watch the same thing over and over again, ten yards a part. I guess I expected a whistle of some sort, like in soccer. On stage, it would be an introduction. I think there's a whistle in hockey too. Something to say, we're starting, shut up and watch.

There wasn't a whistle. Maybe we just couldn't hear it but a blowhorn would have been greatly appreciated. I didn't even notice when the game officially began because one of the cheerleaders had missed the stand-with-your-feet-together memo and her obliviousness was amusing me.

At half time, two Elvis impersonators performed and I was totally distracted by the potential scenario of one of them meeting Elvis' daughter. How awkward would that be? "Nice to meet you, I'm faking your father."

I have no idea how the second half of the game went 'cause I was chowing down on Skittles. They gave me a headache 'cause I hadn't eaten much beforehand, but it was worth it.

The rain stopped for a while and then it began misting as our team began losing in that not-gonna-make-a-comeback kinda way. When there was only five minutes left, crowds of people left. Just hunkered their way down the bleachers and gone. The game was not over.

During Princess and the Pea, an old couple figured they'd beat the line-ups by leaving right at the end of the Christmas song. Unfortunately, at the very end of the Christmas song, we all danced offstage, down the aisle and out the door the same way they were going, so we got stuck behind them. The cast. Dancing and singing the same song over and over and over again because this couple had thought they'd make a quick getaway. Rude. And boy did they look stupid.

Those last five minutes of the game lasted a good fifteen. Twelve second plays. Nine seconds, stop the clock.

I kept myself entertained by people-watching. One guy went as far down the bleachers as he could go and mooned the spectators before a security guard reached him. One guy lifted his infant child up to do the wave like in Lion King. One woman wore a bedazzled headband that I must have.

Our team lost. I pretended to care. But hey, at least I know now our team colours. That's something, right?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Snip!

I like to read TV transcripts.

It's much quicker than watching episodes, doesn't take forever to download, and I can placate myself with the assurance that I'm reading, not wasting away in front of a TV.

I read all of La Femme Nikita a couple weeks ago. Such a good show. Then I read Alias. Then Tru Calling. Now True Blood.

True Blood is actually based on the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. I didn't realize the two were related, my bad, or I would have started watching at the beginning. I haven't actually read the books, just a short story and I got confused 'cause backstory was needed.

The only True Blood transcripts online that I could find go up to the eighth episode of season one. The transcriptionist (transcriptor?) decided to replace any and all swear words with 'Snip!'

So in the middle of a random comment, there'll be a Snip! censor glaring at me. If it didn't amuse me to create long-winded run-on curses to replace each Snip!--most of which are probably much more creative than the ones actually used--it'd annoy the Snip! outta me. 

Also, True Blood characters are Southern. All of 'em. 'Cept for the murderer, but all the regulars have the funky Southern accent, which is cute and sweet until it's so cute and so sweet and I just want to whack 'em all with an English textbook.

Also, Stephen Moyer? Not a fan.

(Is anyone else endlessly amused that Stephen Moyer plays a vampire like the ones Stephanie Meyer created? Anyone? No? ...so just me then.)

Is a toadstool a mushroom?

Today I had two brilliant ideas.

1) Make a gooey, cinnamony sweet Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and

2) Cut my fingernails into upside down V's, making them super sharp and pointy and then walk around pretending to be Queen of the Damned.

(Apparently Anne Rice ditched the whole Born-Again-Christian thing and is now a Born-Again-Fantasy-Writer. I look forward to more metrosexual creepiness in books to come.) 
To be honest, the pie wasn't so much an idea as an opportunity 'cause we had strawberries that would go moldy if not used soon. I picked the rhubarb from the garden myself and felt very Anne of Green Gables.

Sidenote: if I were miniature and seeking shelter in a garden, I would hide under the rhubarb leaves. Mushrooms smell funny. Plus they can make you sick. Plus they look funny. Rhubarb is way cooler, plus you can eat as much of it as you like and not get ill (although in either scenario you're still two inches tall and eating the left overs of aphids, ants and slugs). I originally had this thought on April 20th, and was going to post it then, but reconsidered when I realized how high it would make me sound. And it was 4/20. No one would believe I actually think these things.

So the pie was Brilliant Idea Numero Uno.

The pointy fingernails were really cool at first. I felt very femme fatale. Then, I washed my hands, held my eyelid in place and attempted to take out my contacts.

The glint of my own speared nails made me freeze.

So Brilliant Idea Numero Dos didn't pan out. I did manage to take my contacts out but it felt more Corner Gas than James Bond.

On the plus, I now have a three day weekend to come up with more brilliant ideas. I should keep a tally of how many actually end up brilliant and how many end up with me lying to a stone-faced triage nurse about how "it was an accident!"

Monday, August 2, 2010

DING tick tock tick DING tick tock tick DING tick tock tick

I played piano.

I thought of a couple different ways to start this blog but it was taking too long and the point of the matter is: I played piano.

I haven't in a while. A long while; in the last couple months the only songs I've played have been for accompaniment purposes, which usually involved me frantically trying to sightread Wicked and then giving up and just reading the chord symbols and playing the bass.

But tonight, I attempted to play from my classical repertoire. Real music. Bach and Mozart music (no seriously, their two pieces added up to thirteen pages of music I once had memorized).

First off, I suck. My prelude wasn't bad 'cause it was drilled into me, my fingers remember what my head's forgotten. Same for the fugue and Sonata. The waltz was messy, just ugly, fingers slipping, pedal mushing messy.

Le vent dans les ruines was funny and bad. Funny 'cause I remembered parts of the fast bits really well, like with the prelude, and bad 'cause the parts I didn't instinctively play were an awful slurry of octaves. The two studies were even worse.

In the month leading up to my exam last year, I lived these pieces. I struggled to stay afloat in the face of their hardcore classicalness, and I kinda got overwhelmed. Everything revolved around focus.

Focus. Capital F.

Not the cool, magicy hocus pocus focus but concentrate, practice, do it again. And again and again and again.

The Monday after my exam, I plopped down on the corner of my piano bench and considered playing. For the first time in months, I played without a metronome, without the pressure and the possibility of failure looming over me.

And I couldn't play.

I tried. My notes were okay but without the focus I'd stuffed myself with, the pieces couldn't--wouldn't--be played. I remember attempting the waltz and wondering where the dynamics went 'cause they sure weren't in my memory.

This evening, I was able to play the pieces--with the music directly in front of me and my eyes never leaving the page--but it was kinda hard. I remember being good at these pieces. I remember getting it right. That didn't happen tonight.

My 20th century piece was pretty awesome though. Apparently I can still play dissonance ;)

After I ran out of classical material, I played some much, much simpler sheet music and relaxed. Amidst my stacks of books, I found the music to Joe Iconis' "Blue Hair", a song I sang for an audition two years ago. It was a great audition, it's a cute--and funny--song, and even after all this time, I still like singing it. I think I'm going to learn the accompaniment better and audition with it for the talent show in January. Wow is that a relief.

Usually I struggle up to the last minute trying to pick a song--two years ago we decided to sing "Anything You Can Do" and learned the song and choreography in two days, just in time for the audition. Last year, I chose and learned "If I Were a Bell" and then switched to "See, I'm Smiling"--and then everything's rushed. This year, I have time to procrastinate!

So anyway, the heart of the matter is

I played piano.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ban on Crayons.

Today was the big multicultural festival.

My work co-sponsored the Canada pavilion (okay, seriously, that word is weird. It's like papillion but not) so the last week and a half, I've been doing lots for it. I spent all yesterday formatting a booklet of authentic Canadian recipes and folding each of the 400 copies. Yuck.

My boss brought Tim Hortons doughnuts around noon and passed them out to all the volunteers, and as I was handing out mini flags, a man saw my doughnut and his whole face lit up. I laughed and apologized saying no, we're not selling them, but yes, they're very very Canadian.

In a less fun encounter, one man stopped just outside the pavilion and looked in. I asked if he would like a flag, and very gruffly he said, "No, I don't want a French pavilion." and then stalked off.

Now, if I had been a regular run-of-the-mill festival volunteer, I probably would have corrected him. Actually, I probably would have sneered and corrected him rather condescendingly. However, I was not a regular volunteer, I was representing my work, and therefore, I asked a small child if he'd like a flag instead.
In the morning, we spent a couple hours setting up and getting things ready and then the kids were upon us and the sun got mean. I was planning on staying under cover the entire time so I didn't bother with sunscreen. I now have a bunch of tan lines, plus a random white rectangle in the middle of my chest thanks to my necklace. Whoops.
I also spent a fair amount of time colouring. You are never too old to colour. However, crayons suck. No wonder all kingergarten drawings never stay within the lines, crayons are all over the place. No more crayons. Ban on crayons.

Then came the parade. All the different countries lined up alphabetically, except for Canada which came last. A local celebrity, the dad of some of my friends, carried our flag and we marched up and down the grounds, thousands of people watching and cheering. Most people were chattering but when they saw our flag, they started hollering and waving.

I waved my mini flag and smiled real big.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm a profeffional.

I got business cards today. They've got my name on it and everything.

I feel very impressive. I'm a somebody for the next month and a half.

Oh yeah ;)

like a serial killer with blood trickling down my wrist

"Is it supposed to be lumpy?"

My friend made cookies for the first time when he was seventeen. The recipe called for salt, and he thought salt and pepper always go together. He was wrong. He also placed the dough really close together so in the oven, it merged into one giant peppery cookie.

I made cherry tarte today.

My little cousin was very adamant this morning that she does not like pie. Any pie. Pie bad.

I was tempted to say, "Well you've never tasted my cherry pie!" but to be truthful, neither had I.

So I made this Cherry Pie but have renamed it Cherry Tarte because she won't start French classes until Grade Five. 

I used this dough recipe because I've made it before and it worked out well then. I really hate cleaning the mixer though. Like fiery passion against cleaning this mixer. It's an evil, albeit fully functional, little mixer.

Pitting the cherries was waaaay easier than everybody made it out to be. Yes, it took time. Yes, my fingernails are stained. Yes, holding the knife I looked like a serial killer with blood trickling down my wrist. But c'mon.

Once the cherries were done, it came together really easily. I would have taken pictures but my camera has run away with the Scarf of Sexual Preference. You'll just have to take my word that it looked pretty, smelled pretty, and tasted like it was actually cherry pie.

I'm always afraid I'm gonna make something new like pavlova and instead of tasting like pavlova, it tastes like chicken. Or cat food. Or nail polish remover.

My little cousin also got over her aversion to all things pie and declared it edible. Cool.

I also pitted more cherries and used our new blender for the first time. It worked okay but I remain less than impressed. Although it is rather shiny. I was making cherry yogurt popsicles and when I poured in some sugar, a lot more than I'd anticipated poured out. I thought the jar was almost empty. I was wrong. On the plus side, those popsicles are gonna taste great!

Excuse me as I go paint my nails. Gotta cover up the cherry gore stains before I scare small children on transit.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday

My seven year old cousin is staying with us--like literally, sleeping in my room.
I spent two hours at the gym, then went for ice cream at the Marble Slabbery. That's balanced, right? We picked out an ice cream to bring home for dad and the woman making it called it the coolest ice cream she's ever made (it had gummy bears, marshmallows, fudge sauce, sprinkles and cookie dough on chocolate ice cream). I was quite proud.

Also, the fridge door handle is sticky. I think that's the ultimate sign of a child in the house.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My blogversary!

Ohmagawd it's ma birthday!

Actually, it's my blog's birthday--I'm one!--but close enough. And this is my 150th post!

Yesterday, I wrote my first short story in over two years. Two years I have only written plays and poetry--my favourite and least favourite forms--and not a single piece of creative prose.

I started writing prose, actually writing in general, because of fanfiction. In truth, fanfiction is just a little pathetic, but it's also a fantastic workshop opportunity due to the constant feedback. And unlike a novel, it's not intimidating.
The short story I wrote yesterday is called 'The Third'. I'll wait a while and if I still like it in two months, I'll post it on my writing blog, Pretty and Witty.

...Happy Birthday!

Friday, June 11, 2010

I want Hermione Granger (and a rocket ship)!

At work, the roof of our building is being re-done, so our typically peaceful office was filled with the echoes of a thunderstorm. Or a rave with giants dancing in high heels.

I spent a while re-organizing the store room and labeling art work when I came across a sheet of metal. It was a bit smaller than your average canvas size, one side silver, and one black with odd splotches on it, and as I was holding it trying to figure out what the heck it is, I thought, 'oh shit, it's art.'

Whoops.

I guess that's bound to happen at an arts council, we've got tons of forgotten paintings and drawings scattered around, but that momentary wonder of 'should it be thrown out with the saran wrap and Timmies cup of my lunch or be hung on display' made me pause.

As it were, the sheet of metal was just a sheet of metal and not someone's artwork. Good thing I asked.

I walked/bussed home (and got a text message saying to 'hurry up', obviously my friend does not understand transit), then flew about trying to get ready. I was twenty minutes late, and I didn't even get to drink the tea I made.

We were going to see 'A Very Potter Musical' live at a local high school. My expectations were minimal, but tickets were $2 so I figured at the very least it'd be funny  just to mock the poor high school actors trying to get their drama credit.

Surprisingly--no, shockingly, it was fabulous! I think part of what made the show great is that the actors weren't really acting, they were imitating. The blocking, the enounciation, the little gags were all exactly the same as in the original show (which is on youtube and I highly recommend it). I think it also goes to show what a fantastic script it has.

We went to Timmies for a bit and then decided to watch a movie. After raiding a gas station for a ridiculous amount of candy and chocolate and ice cream and smuggling it all into the theatre, we saw Prince of Persia.

I only laughed inappropriately a handful of times.

In a particularly action-y part, my friend leaned over to me and started singing 'with cat-like tread...'

Totally appropriate song, yet totally inappropriate laughter. I just can't win.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sugared Rain

Having no stage time equals lots of baking. It's a compensation thing. And a displacing addiction thing.

I made these Apple Slice Bars and they were really good.

Then I made orange yogurt popsicles out of--shocker--orange, yogurt and sugar and they were a huge hit. We ate eleven in a day. Whoops.

I also don't like nutmeg. I discovered this tonight after making Snickerdoodle Muffins, which were good but no where near as spectacular as these Cinnamon Sugar Snickerdoodles Cookies.

 You know what's really cool though? This!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Things I LOVE but never noticed until I saw the DVD of HMS Pinafore!

5- How the line of men was totally and utterly obliterated every time the girls burst through
4- Sir Joseph's tights. I don't think I ever actually noticed them before, but they are white and he is proud
3- How the Captain patted Dick Deadeye on the head like a dirty but well-behaved dog
2- The audience's delayed, scandalous laughter after Josephine sang "and a tar who ploughs the daughter" (instead of "and a tar who ploughs the water")
1- The hornpipe a la male chorus, I'm impressed, no wonder no one ever looked at us girls even though we were the ones singing

And my absolute oh-my-god-how-did-I-never-notice-this-in-real-life:
- How when the girls ran to Sir Joseph, the Captain got frightened and ran away

:)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

HMS Pinafore: The End (Shows 10, 11 and Cast Party)

HMS Pinafore is officially over.

For the matinee, I arrived a bit late with my Timmies and only had time to smear on some foundation before heading to vocal warm-up. Vocal warm-up was always kinda fun. Together, we looked absolutely ridiculous. Some people were in street clothes, some in costume, and lots somewhere in between the two. I usually had my hair and make-up done, but wore normal clothes, or my costume only half zipped up and hanging off with a normal top on instead. For the girls who curled their hair in ringlets with an iron, sometimes only half their head would be done and the other half would be straight.

We were a fairly fugly bunch.

After warm-up, the girls dressing room was an interesting place to be. We had quite a few older ladies in the chorus this year, and some of them had very dirty minds. Waaaay worse than us younger girls. Conversations were always entertaining. For example: vaginal atrophy. Yeah.

Over the weekends, the main theatre was also in use so we lost one of our dressing rooms and the guys had to frequently sneak through ours to use the bathroom. All (well, except one who would barge in wearing tights, bare chest that we threatened to wax, and a hair net) were quite shy and very polite, but a couple times they walked in, got half way to the bathroom, heard a sentence or two of ours, and got very confused. Or shocked. Sometimes they blushed: it was all very entertaining.

Once the show started and the guys were on stage, the girls all slowly zipped up our costumes, darted in our hats, and pulled on our gloves. At the matinee yesterday, we spent quite a while just sitting and talking all together.

Josephine's "Sorry Her Lot" was our cue to begin heading upstairs to the stage. We sang "Over the Bright Blue Sea" from offstage, and the moment the next song begun and the guys began to sing (them onstage dancing, us hiding offstage), we danced.

Again, we have some older ladies in our group. We taught them to krump. And they got into it.  Awesome.

It was a great physical warm-up too because although we don't do any crazy athletic moves, we don't really stop moving much ever once we start. And because it was just us girls, in a dark wooden faux-cabin under the poop deck where no one else could see us, we just went for it. Twice it was videotaped but there was no light so neither of them are viewable. But still: awesome.

We had eight bars to get all of us from backstage, around the side of the ship, on to the stage and into our spots. It didn't work.

Very early on, it was doubled to sixteen bars, and since I was one of the last to come out, that gave me just enough time to get on stage, ogle some sailors near stage left centre, twirl, then run to my spot and start dancing.

I quite liked barely having enough time. It was long enough to get settled without having time to waste . Cool.

The matinee overall went really well. In the audience were several friends, including one who was rapt with attention the entire show and appeared to be thoroughly enjoying himself from the front row. He's been in the show before so he knows all the words, and also most of the cast. Plus, he's a fairly spectacular guy himself, and my sister's favourite all-time G'n'S actor.

Afterwords, we all got changed into regular clothes again and had a big potluck lunch. Two of us decided to eat in the girls dressing room and the entire cast followed, including all the guys who had to sit on the floor.

FYI, these people are fabulous. And funny. And because we're all in the same boat (figuratively and literally), there's a lot of unity.

Much sooner than expected, it was vocal warm-up again. Because it was our last chance, some of us really took the stage instead of just standing around the musical director. Several people rang the bell. I sat on the top step of the stairs, and two other girls joined me and we sat one above the other and swayed to all the warm-ups. One of the guys, of the silly variety, saw us looking happy and just a tad corny and sat and swayed with us too. Hehe.

Usually, there's a lot of, er, comments on the last show. Like, "this is the last time I will ever have to wear this goddamn dress" or "I am never wearing these tights again" or "This costume would look great in a bonfire".

Although one dress will be burned--it had the malfunction, even the costume woman hates it--I quite liked mine. It fit well, was a good length, my shoe never got caught in the hem (although it did have to be sewn up once), I loooved the trumpet sleeves and the neckline (square) was neither claustrophobic nor cleavage-y. I have no complaints.

Except about the hat. Biiiig complaints about the hat.

My gloves were quite pretty too, and since my sleeves were only three quarter, I never had to stuff them up like some of the others either. Overall, I had it pretty sweet.

One of the more difficult songs to dance is "When I Was a Lad". Our choreography was quite simple, very repetetive, and everyone does the same thing. The trouble is remembering the order. There's the hand wave, then the big eight hand wave, then the bouncing, then the above the head jazz hands, then the big steps, then the box step, then the little end part. We all know how to do each step, but frequently, there's that moment of ahhhh-box step, or ahhhh-why does everyone else have their hands in the air except me?

There's six of us that make up the front row, three of each side, and we form a V. Our side of the V was perfect that last show. We've done it correctly before, but this time it was correct and clean and polished. I have no idea how everyone else did (it's usually good, just sooo easy to hesitate) but I was very happy.

The audience was great too. Sometimes, audiences are having a great time and they're chuckling and smiling but because they're not being loud, we can't tell. So they're just dead to us. We need to hear actual laughter to know for certain that they get it. They're enjoying themselves. And when we know that, it's completely rejuvenating and we try that much harder to get more laughter and so on.

This audience--and the one at the matinee too, which had three young girls in the second row who just killed themselves laughing at Sir Joseph!--was really responsive. The perfect way to end a run.

Everything went great until

I just want to pause and laugh at that sentence. Until: that dreaded word.

Everything went great until the middle of Act II when we sneak on stage to help Josephine and Ralph elope. The Captain was on the upper deck--hidden because he was wearing a jacket and no one can ever see or recognize you if you're wearing a big jacket on stage--with the cat-o-nine-tails, a whip. Twice, he hits the deck with the whip and we all jump: "What was that!"

Except our footwork was choreographed. So we all jumped on the same beat as the whip hit--it was a huge sound by the way, the audience usually jumped as well--until this time, the very last time that the Captain would ever use his whip, and he flung it back over his shoulder and then--

It got caught in his costume.

Meanwhile, everyone on stage jumped!

That is one issue with operas and operettas: if something goes wrong, you can't ad lib easily. After we all jumped, the guys still sang "What was that!" and Dick Deadeye still answered.

Other than that, nothing went wrong and it was a great ending to a great show.

After the bows, we do the reprise, and after the reprise, we run off stage.

Then chaos.

Our lovely set had to be completely taken a part, all the props had to be packed away, all the costumes had to be sorted and packed, along with our hats and gloves, and absolutely everything we brought to the theatre had to get out.

It was kind of bittersweet. Everything was okay until I saw the set. It really was a beautiful set. The stage left stuff were dissembled and moved quickly, but stage right has a whole second level so that took a while. The deck itself was built in three parts and they unattached the big middle piece first since it was the lightest. Four men got it up and were holding it above their heads, then one let go since he wasn't really needed, and then at the same time, two more let go and for a split second there was one guy in the middle whose face dropped as he tried to hold the entire eight foot long panel by himself before the others all realized and jumped back in. Hehe.

We got to Boston Pizza for the cast party around quarter to eleven. Everyone was sighing. Happy sighs, relieved sighs, and lots of laughter.

Then came the Crudes. Crude (pronounced cruddey) stands for Creative Really Unusual Dramatic Entertainment.

Aka the screw-up awards. They're given to people who somehow messed up or did something on stage that was really funny and not supposed to happen. They have titles like "Best dialogue without the use of a script" award or "Best costume without a costume designer" award.

For example, one of the guys won Best Costume in Princess and the Pea when he went onstage without pants. Whoops. I believe this years Best Dialogue went to Buttercup's flub in "A many years ago" when she forgot the words to an entire verse.

Not many people actually sent in nominations this year, which was a shame because we screwed up a lot. The wardrobe malfunction with the yellow dress should have been there, and the guy who's pants started falling down during the hornpipe but he had to wait till the end to pull them back up, and my hat and the melting scar.

After the Crudes came the "I Wrote the Words on My Gloves" award. This is a special award for a really royal mess-up. It started the last time the society did HMS Pinafore and the man playing Sir Joseph forgot his scroll, so when it came for the guys to hold the scroll (which is supposed to show the music and words to a song they're just learning) and sing "A British Tar", one of the men took off his gloves and said he wrote the words on them and they sang it like that.

One year, a guy got it for realizing he wasn't supposed to be wearing his hat in this scene, so he drop kicked it off stage. It didn't actually make it off stage.

In Iolanthe, the lead--dressed as a half fairy arcadian shepard--got it for being asked for his ticket right as he was about to enter through the lobby.

That award and the scholarship winner were announced, and then we all partied until the first few people had to leave, and the good-byes started.

There was a lot of hugging. And everyone stood up and squished in between tables and an hour was spent like that as one by one, people had to head home. It's hard because it'll be a year before some of us see each other again, and even that's no guarantee.

There were a couple cameras floating around so one of the guys decided to dip me before he left, which kinda terrified me but worked out okay. But guys are stupid and competitive, so one of the others grabbed me and dipped me really really low, but Guy One got his revenge by taking his sweet time turning the camera on and zooming in and out before he took the actual picture.

Finally, there were just eight us left, and a laptop was brought out and we started looking through the cast photo CD we'd just been given. It was kinda funny because there's parts of the show we've never seen. I know Sir Joseph flirts with Ralph a couple times, but I'm behind all the sailors so I've never seen it. And one of the guys who sings the Englishman solo always got a laugh but I couldn't see why.

 Finally, we were down to four and BP kicked us out 'cause it was nearly three and they close at two. We went to McDs and chatted and hung out till five. Both of the guys are going away in the Fall so we won't be doing another show together for at least four years.

And now, I'm home.

Looking at audition schedules.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Messmates ahoy, come here, come here! (Show 9!)

Tonight's show went well.

My hat was all  fixed and stayed on securely, so no problems there.

Two women in the female chorus were drinking tea downstairs when they suddenly heard, "Messmates, ahoy!" over the intercom and realized that that's their cue to be onstage. I didn't even notice since I'm one of the first people out, but apparently, they snuck on without raising attention quickly afterwords.

God, I'm tired.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

With nothing but willpower (Show 8!!)

Stuff goes wrong in theatre.

It's a rule. Shit happens but under stage lights.

Tonight was the night of crisis.

With my mom in the audience again, we opened great and everyone was going smoothly until my friend turned to me with big holy-crap eyes and I realized the clasp on her dress was gone. She wears a yellow dress with buttons down the front and a clasp at the waist, followed by several little snaps. The clasp had flown off and left a gape exposing her black leggings and green shirt underneath.

She was keeping her hands over top it but we move.

Our next song was 'When I was lad' where us in the front go down on our knees. Both of us were a little flustered--it's really hard to stay in the moment while trying to figure out how to get around the problems to come--and for some reason, all three of us plopped down particularly hard. I usually follow my friend who's directly at my left as we start the first move: a big eight with our right hand. The entire cast does it in the same direction, but me and my friend started a hair late and were off.

I thought, but I'm with her?

And I was. Except she was wrong too, so I switched and then nudged her and finally we were on track again. Twice more during that song I hesitated and was late coming in for the first move of the verse. Also interesting, so was my friend, who's the dance captain. Fun stuff.

Right after that song, the three of us clump in the back and the two of them hid me as I tried to unclasp a safety pin that was on her sleeve. Then, I switched positions with her so she was the one mostly hidden as she furiously tried to jab the safety pin where her clasp used to be.

After that exit, we rushed to the dressing room, I grabbed some safety pins and someone called over our costume person and she set to work pinning it all together. We only have about five minutes before we have to go back on for the finale, so there was no time to sew it shut and no extra clasp to sew on either.

The rest of the show went well until the chorus's entrance for the second act. One of the sailors always nudges my hat when we're in the wings and today there were two of them goofing around when suddenly, the clear strap that goes around my neck holding the hat on broke.

We had twenty seconds before our entrance.

There was a moment of oooohh crap before I plonked my hat back on and told my dance partner that he was going to need to help me because it was going to fall of.

Our entrance starts with everyone sneaking so I just toned down my steps a bit and that was fine. The trouble with this hat thought is that I don't wear it like normal: it's just a prop, it doesn't actually serve a purpose because the light needs to be on my face so it's worn very high up. Meaning, more likely to topple off.

Apparently, the string was not piled on my head like I thought because it was actually hanging down on my right, as my friend (with her newly attached dress) pointed out. The next time we all moved, she grabbed it for me and I ripped it off and dropped it during the flurry of motion.

I was very careful with all my moves, because that hat was perched so precariously on my head it was just a matter of when it would fall, and then where and how I would pick it up.

The most difficult part came with the finale. The paired dancing, the big twirls and circles and swishing and hopping. There's hopping. Each time, I felt my hat leave me head and then settle back on. Each time, I wondered what my choreographer would do to me if it fell towards centre and I couldn't pick it up.

My partner was really good and specifically steady, all of our moves were a little less dynamic than usual and more good-lord-please-don't-fall.

There was a moment of panic when I realized that one by one, the girls each begin getting spun down a row of the sailors. And we just keep spinning till we get to the end: I spin three times. So even if my hat did fall, I couldn't stop because it would ruin the line.

We made it through the spins, the pose, the bows, and then came the dreaded reprise: the act one finale. There's a lot of spins. A lot of twirls, of big movements with big arms, and I clung to my partner and miraculously: it never fell off.

The entire second act, my hat stayed on my head. With nothing but willpower holding it on.

A G'n'S miracle!

My mom was in the audience the whole time and said she never noticed my friend's dress. She did notice something was a little odd with me at the end, but then again, no one else in the audience would have watched me that closely. 

I put curlers in my hair again this evening, for the very last time! 

We have one more show tomorrow (that's sold-out!) and two on Saturday and then buh-bye boat!