Follow your love

May 3, 2013

I spent the evening with friends at a sold-out performance of Book of Mormon in Toronto. It’s the touring cast, here for about a 6 week run.

It’s a great show. Not one I would take my grandmother to, but hilarious — especially given my recent Big Love obsession (and ensuing research on LDS and FLDS). Inside jokes people.

But what I can’t let go of, a couple hours later, is this beautiful ensemble moment that probably wasn’t overly spectacular to everyone else, but just hit me with so much power.

I just felt so full of … joy I guess. Just sheer love for the experience, for the voices, for the dancing, for the energy. For the music. For the choreography. For the acting.

I love what I have chosen as a career. But I can’t think of a time when (doing or observing) it just filled my heart with so much happiness. So much that I felt physically full, like there was no space left in my body, my lungs, my cells for any more adoration.

And not even totally for this one show itself. But for theatre — and musicals — in general. I wish I could say what it is that makes me love them so much. Makes them make me so happy.

But I do know that it means I have to set another goal and obtain it. I need to get better at my hobby. I need voice lessons. I need to get back dancing and I need to audition more. I need to feel confidant and I need to realize that cracking into a new theatre community can take time, but I did it in Kelowna after a decade without. I can do it again.

Is it really classy if you diss the rules?

August 13, 2012

I was in Vancouver this weekend, so I missed the last leg of excitement with the Olympics.

And by that I mean the home-grown excitement and heartbreak that was the men’s 4x100m final.

Canada’s Jared Connaughton after finding out of his team’s disqualification in the 4×100 metre relay at the London Olympics Saturday night. (AL CHAREST/QMI AGENCY)

I went to high school with Jared Connaughton, at good ole Bluefield in Hampshire, PEI. From pretty early on he was a track star, no question. I did track and field in those days (well, mostly field) and his events were always a must-watch. He’s an incredible athlete and it’s amazing what he’s accomplished.

And I have no doubt stepping over the line and “costing” us the bronze was hugely demoralizing. I can’t imagine having that pressure on your shoulders, being the only returning member of the team from Bejing, making that kind of mistake.

And I give him credit for taking responsibility for the loss. That’s admirable.

But a lot has been made of Jared’s apology/speech. And I keep reading how he handled the loss with “grace.” And maybe that’s true. I didn’t see the reaction, the interviews, and the coverage as it happened live.

Here’s some quotes from The Guardian’s article on the race.

“You are a young man of world class. To accept full responsibility for this unfortunate turn of events in such a gracious way certainly speaks volumes about you as a person.”

“Jared Cannaughton showing the world what a true Island man is made of, pure class!”

Etc. Etc.

But then I read this:

Connaughton told Vancouver Sun columnist Cam Cole it is a “stupid rule.”

“It used to be three consecutive steps (on the line), now it’s one. Again, the one false start rule is stupid, the one step on the line is stupid. So many officials in this sport set the athletes up to fail. It’s a game of inches, and it’s so unforgiving,” he said.

I’m not sure how “classy” a defeat is, if you’re dissing the rules of your sport.

I may get flamed ad naseum for writing this. And don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to say that I went to school with Jared, that he’s an Islander, that he did humbly take responsibility for what happened. And that he’s a world-championship athlete.

But isn’t it interesting how the media latches on to one truth, and blissfully ignores another?

‘I am the damn judge’

August 10, 2012

While she rose higher than any woman had before her in Canadian law, Madam Justice Mabel Margaret Van Camp never forgot where she came from. She leaves a sister, Jessie Gunter, six nieces and nephews and nine great-nieces and nephews. She put all 15 of the youngsters through school.

‘I am the damn judge’ by G&M’s William Illsey Atkinson

Great obituary for an amazing woman — Ontario’s first female Supreme Court justice, Mabel Van Camp.

I know I’m jumping to conclusions, but it saddens me that an influential, ground-breaking woman like this dies unmarried and childless. Yes, I’m too young to start whining about that sort of future but I’ve felt lately like I’ve been one of those people who have consistently put career as first priority. I’ve not lost any love over it (not directly anyhow) but I wonder if that’s a fate some of us (ambitious career-driven folk) eventually end up accepting? Hope not.

Olympics from the radio side of the podium

August 9, 2012

Today I had to make a phone call to an announcer at the London Olympics. We’re doing an interview with him on our morning show tomorrow, and we wanted to check the phone line today so that everything will run smoothly as we go live.

SIDEBAR: Trying to get Olympians, their families or anyone in an Olympic city is notoriously impossible. There are media, friends and family calling all the time at all hours and while it’s a big deal to us if we score an interview, it’s just another call to them, and I understand that. We were THIS close to having Dylan Armstrong’s mother on the air last week, but kept losing the line. It was incredibly frustrating.

So this fellow with the bassiest voice ever heard picks up the phone and says “just a minute” and I hear “AND THAT ENDS SECOND ROUND JUMPING AT 4 METERS 50, WITH RIFAT ARTIKOV of UZBEKISTAN…”

That’s right, he picked up the phone AS HE WAS ANNOUNCING the pole vault event for the men’s decathlon. During our 5-minute conversation, he had to drop the phone to give a couple more results, and I sat there, a little gaga on the other end of the line.

I think this is my favourite Olympic moment so far … with the exception of any of the men’s rowing events. I do love me a tall man with broad shoulders, after all.

Members of Canada’s men’s rowing eight throw a teammate in Lake Dorney after winning the silver medal in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)


An update

February 1, 2012

A friend who was less scared of being burned than I freed the can of tuna from in-behind the furnace.

Turns out it A.) was not my can of tuna and B.) had been there a very very very long time. 

One way ticket to trash-time.


Love story between a furnace and a can of fish

January 23, 2012

I should have known better than try to tidy up my apartment.

I appear somehow to have dropped a can of tuna behind the furnace.

How in the world did this happen, you might ask? Well such are the wonders of living in a basement apartment. No one actually DESIGNED the space, it just kind of IS.

So one wall of my pantry shares a wall with the furnace. Up at the top of that wall on the  top right hand shelf there is a hole.

Why is there a hole? I have no idea. But there is.

So as I went to put “Jackie’s little toolbox” up on that top shelf this evening I heard a clatter.


I did some investigating and found a can of tuna had dropped through the hole, in-behind the furnace.

I tried to rescue the poor can of tuna with a broom and accidentally pushed it further behind the furnace.

I tried again… AND THEN IT BURNT ME.

Clearly the furnace is very hungry and/or has bonded with the can of tuna.

Screw them both. They deserve one another. I, on the other hand am maimed for life.

And down a can of fish.

Also? What happens when a can of tuna reaches 30 degrees Celsius? It looks like it’s really cozied up in there.

The Rankin parka

January 18, 2012

I broke out the Rankin parka today.

It’s the one I had made for me the last winter I lived there. It’s far too big now, and I feel like such a spectacle when I wear it, but it’s warm. And the fur hood cuts the wind, as it should.

It’s funny, when I got my coworker Betty to make it, I told her I wanted it to be a “light” jacket, so I could wear it down south when I left.

Now my “lightest” jacket in Rankin is probably my “warmest” jacket in Kelowna.

And just for fun — the most hilarious weather-related article I’ve read in a long time. Yes, people in B.C (the southern half at least) are giant weather wussies.

But a point of clarification: we in the “interior” like to think we’re better than those guys “on the coast.”

I think I can, I think I can

January 16, 2012

I never thought I’d say this, but turns out sometime the movie/TV IS BETTER than the book.  

I have this longstanding rule that if I know a movie was inspired by a book, I have to read the book first before watching the movie. It’s for this very reason that to this day I’ve never seen the Lord of the Rings movie. 

Now when The Hobbit comes out, I’ll be “allowed” to watch that. 

I just love reading, generally. I love using my imagination to dream up settings, to create character mannerisms — with the guidance of a skilled author, of course.

Besides once you see a director’s vision of a story, or an actor’s interpretation of a character, you can’t erase that. 


So I like the Bones TV series. There’s something quirky and fun about Temperance Brennan. Something fascinating about the science they do, the cases they solve. The chemistry between the characters. 

And I learned a couple years ago that the whole thing was inspired by Kathy Reichs, a real-life anthropologist who has written 15-or-so books which served as inspiration for the TV series. 

One of my best friends, Andrea, has read the books and recommended them. I’ve been known to raid her bookshelf on more the one occasion. We have similar taste.

So when I saw “Break no Bones” at the Kelowna Friends of Library booksale, I thought “why not?” Of the 14 books I bought for $1 each, this was one of the few I’d ever heard of before. The rest I “judged by its cover.”

Newsflash: I can’t STAND the way Kathy Reichs writes. It’s choppy, it’s full of mundane, irrelevant detail. I feel like she was given a 500-page stack of blank paper and felt she simply HAD to fill ALL THE PAGES. 

I mean, I’m all for descriptive writing. I get the point behind Lucy Maud’s never-ending flowery descriptions of PEI scenery (even if I find them a bit dull — though I grew up seeing those things every day so maybe it was like preaching to the choir). Hell, I’m known for my ability to digress and head off on tangents. 

And Temperence? She’s boring. Not even in the “clueless I am a giant squint” kind of way. Just boring. 

“I looked at the dog. He wiggled his eyebrows. The cat ran away. I went for a long walk with the dog.”

I can’t even make her more interesting by pretending it’s Emily Deschanel. 

I’ll be really really really glad when this book is over. I started it in the summer, and am only 80 pages in (only 250 to go!)

*I think I can, I think I can, I think I can*



The worst part of Christmas

January 15, 2012

Overall, my three weeks Home for the Holidays was pretty stellar. Lots of home cooked meals (though somehow, managed to miss out on my Dad’s mac and cheese and Danielle’s famous chocolate cheesecake squares — the only kind of cheesecake I’ll eat), time with friends and family (though it seemed to be “the year no one went home”) and lots of time to read.

But the worst part of Christmas this year… was…

The wine.

Yes, the wine.

Specifically, the lack of GOOD wine.

This is not in any way a slight on my parents taste in fermented grapes, but much more a comment on how terrible the Canadian wine distribution network is.

It’s such a shame. We have two excellent burgeoning wine regions in this country, but if you go to the Canadian section of the liquor store wine section in Eastern Canada, you get Jackson Triggs and Peller Estates.

Don’t get me wrong, they do an okay job, but there are so many many many good little wineries in Niagara and the Okanagan, and only a handful do any distribution.

Some of it is their size; some of the Okanagan wineries, for example, really can’t satisfy much of a larger market than they already accommodate (for example my three favourite releases last spring were completely sold out by the end of June). Some of it is they can’t afford to.

There’s also a federal prohibition-era law that makes it illegal to move alcohol over provincial borders (and wineries say it’s easier for them to ship to the states than to another province).

That’s being changed, thanks to a private-members bill from an Okanagan MP. The bill has passed second reading…

The bill proposes a personal exemption that would allow, for example, a B.C. resident to buy wine from a Niagara winery or an Okanagan winery to ship to wine clubs in other province.

The Globe and Mail, Jan 1, 2012

All I can say is I hope it gets put into law, because I don’t plan on being here forever, and I have every intention of maintaining this expensive (and delicious) wine habit of mine.

Hide and seek with a microscopic piece of metal

January 11, 2012

I went to bed early last night.

Admittedly I don’t have much of a social life (I vow that’s about to change as I prepare for another play and strike up the “single gals supper club”), but I’ve found it hard to get to sleep at the ideal time of 9 p.m. — my work shift means I should be up 5ish.

So I went to bed early last night, and had a dream. I’m pretty sure the dream was inspired by an episode of “Party Down” where the catering team work a pathetic 20-year high school reunion (thanks, Danielle).

I suddenly developed a crush on the guy who had questionable math skills, but was still elected student council treasurer in our graduating class. Who knew stand up comedy was the key to winning an election?

In any case, I was at my 20-year reunion and I falling fast for the former treasurer with questionable math skills. Then, suddenly, I ripped my nose ring from my face.

Except that part wasn’t a dream.

I floated out of my dream to semi-consciousness, and debated what to do next: interrupt my night of perfect sleep OR wake up and find the half-centimeter-long piece of metal I had just torn from my nose.

I didn’t like the second option but knew if I didn’t do it right then and then, it would be lost in the bedsheets forever.

So keeping my eyes closed I flapped through the covers a bit, running my hands blindly over my tangle of duvets, sheets, comatose dog and pile of pillows.

Somehow I found it, poked it back into my face, and passed out again.

I thought the whole thing was a dream until these evening when I couldn’t figure out why my nose was a bit sore.

My Dad used to say my sister and I couldn’t find our butts if we were looking for them with both hands.

Well guess what Dad? I can find that AND a near-microscopic piece of tin with the lights out, my eyes closed and in the middle of a sleep cycle.