Archive for the ‘Life @ home’ Category

Location, location, location

April 10, 2011

I bought a table today.

I bought a table today for three reasons:

  1. I was at a friend’s/colleague’s housewarming party last night. They moved into their place 2 weeks ago, and it looks like they’ve lived there for years. I’ve been in my silly little basement suite for 8 months and it still looks like a hobo lives here. It’s terrible. I don’t even like inviting people over because I’m ashamed of the disarray. Part of this is because I have GRAND PLANS and some of those PLANS require money that I am hesitant to part with (see: a real bedframe). But today I went browsing and this little kitchen set was on for half price, and I couldn’t say no when it was exactly what I’d been looking for, at a cheaper price than the second-hand ones I’ve been looking at locally. And now the kitchen’s done.
  2. I’ve long had this theory that if I just had a little table and chair set in my kitchen I might actually eat at a table, rather than on the couch while defending my dinner from the pup. So far it’s worked for 2 meals. We’ll see how long it lasts.
  3. Oops. Can’t remember the third.

Why am I writing about a new table? Why don’t I have anything more interesting to write about? Not sure. Probably because my life seems overwhelmed with work and the play right now. We’re 5 weeks from opening night and our consultant was SUPPOSED to come and give us feedback a week from today (giving us 3 rehearsals to get things in shape). Today we learned the woman messed up her schedule, and is coming Tuesday instead.

I may or may not have had a meltdown.

And not in-character either (though I get to do that too. Apparently I’m very good at crying at the drop of a hat. Probably because I am very good at crying at the drop of a hat).

I am not 100% happy with how my timing is going yet with this play. We’re completely off-script, have been for a couple weeks, so now it’s just getting the rhythm and the mannerisms down pat. I’m a perfectionist, I can’t help it, and until I have that one run through where I just kill it, I won’t be happy. And I’m so not there yet.

I guess there’s pleanty of time, but I really wanted to be in top form for the consultant. I wanted what she saw to be a PERFORMANCE. I guess I’ll just have to adjust my expectations.


On friends

March 31, 2011

I’ve never been the person who has a million friends. I’ve always had one or two close ones, in each of the places I have lived. And it often takes me a little while to develop those friendships. Not sure why, I’m generally a social person. But I guess I feel I need people in my life I can rely on.

I’m in the middle of a several week-long battle with a close friend I’ve known since high school. At one point we dated, then broke up. I consider him a very important part of my life, and has been a constant I rely on.

I don’t fight with friends. I don’t like to fight at all, to be honest. I don’t like to fight with family — I’m always in a hurry to “fix” things. I hate conflict.

I don’t know what happened a couple weeks ago. I don’t get how this friendship got so derailed. I asked him to stop doing something that he had been doing for years that really bothered me. I had reached a point where I felt this was interfering with our friendship. I told him so.

Ever since, it’s feels like I’m back in the early 2000’s. We’re dating, we’re fighting. He says I’m being over-dramatic. I feel like I’m not being given a chance. He disappears. I chase to explain that I’m not trying to be unreasonable. I apologize.

It’s the same cycle. It’s the same crap we did when we were dating. But now I’m fighting for a friendship that I’m not really sure if he wants anymore.

I’ve always believed we could be friends. We were too oil and water to ever be good in a relationship.

But I respected him and he was always there if I needed him. And I hoped he felt he could always come to me too (though admittedly, rarely did).

But maybe friendships have a best-before date. And maybe ours has expired.

It’s hard for me to let people go.

In other news, this week is the one-year anniversary of Paul’s death.

That was a photo I took on the last trip out to his and Sarah’s cabin before I left Rankin Inlet in July 2009. I remember it as a great last weekend. Full of friends, fishing, fun and food.

I still try to talk about him as much as I can. If not with people who knew him, than to people who didn’t. It’s the only way I can keep his memory alive. It’s too bad his story had to end the way it did. It doesn’t do justice to his life.

Paul had amazing taste in music. A couple of weeks ago, my iTunes playlist brought memories of sitting at his old apartment, him getting excited about his latest Amazon shipment of CDs (it was impossible to download most of the time, and Paul liked the real deal anyways). And he put on Duffy’s Rockferry.

Rest in Peace, my friend. We love you dearly and will always keep your memory and spirit alive.

I’m so bloody stubborn

February 28, 2011

It is February 28th.

And after a four-month hiatus, I got back on the running wagon tonight. And it wasn’t near as hard as I thought it would be.

You see, once upon a time, many months ago, I had a running buddy. Both of us equally hateful of the ‘sport’ but she continued on after I finished in the fall. She’s now planning to run a half marathon in the spring. Crazy girl.

I on the other hand, picked up biking to work (which I LOVE — it helps I only live 2.5k from home) and completely neglected the whole running thing. I made up plenty of excuses: too cold (which was true, for the most part) too icy (yah right, like I’m going to kill myself with these bad ankles) the list goes on.

Maybe in the end, I just didn’t FEEL like it. Who knows.

What I do know, is that any time anyone asked me about if I was still running, I became more and more entrenched in my quest NOT to run. It’s bizarre, I know. It’s like the more people encourage me to be physically active, the less I want to do it.

Maybe I think it’s some kind of personal slight?

Anyways, for no apparently reason, I decided to go for a run when I got home this evening. Part of it was I didn’t feel completely zonked when I left work for the day. Part of it was it was actually DAYLIGHT when I left the office. Part of it was I missed wearing my comfy sneakers (I have a rule: they are for running ONLY). And part of it was I had a truly gluttonous weekend.

In any case, I came home, laced up and ran 3.5 kilometers.

And while I was pretty sure I was going to collapse when I walked in the front door, I actually felt fine. Which is crazy, because it took me more than a month to get to 5 and 1 back in the summer (5 minutes running, 1 minute walking — it’s a Running Room thing). And somehow I still have the endurance (?) to make it happen, MONTHS after I stopped.

So I guess getting back on the wagon is easier than I thought.

(And apologies to all those out there who really don’t come here for a fitness blog. I promise it will NOT become one, but sometimes I need to selflessly bask in my own achievements. This is one of them. Back to your regularly scheduled vapid programming shortly, I promise).

The romantic tree stump

February 5, 2011

I have this picture as the desktop background on my home computer these days, and I wanted to share it with y’all.

There’s something about the way the light is hitting that heart-shaped tree stump that is just magical. And I didn’t touch it in Photoshop, didn’t even crop it.

Kudos to my mom for pointing it out to me.What’s even more amazing is just a foot or so away, was another heart-shaped stump. But the photo didn’t turn out as well.

It was taken just before Christmas in PEI at the Christmas Tree farm where the fam has gone for the past number of years to pick out our tree. We bundle up in our wool coats and winter boots and stomp through the farm hunting for the perfect tree. There’s just something about doing it yourself, you know?

My face right now

January 31, 2011

Seriously, my face is stuck like this.

Also? I called my parents because I was bursting with the GOOD NEWS. They have since disowned me for waking them up and giving them heart attacks and for making them think I was dying because it was 2AM in PEI when I decided to make my bursting-at-the-seams phone call.

I GOT OFFERED A PART IN THE PLAY! It’s not the ‘sarcastic sister’ part, but I’m equally happy with this role. It’s kind of huge, and kind of daunting (I’m on stage from beginning to end of the play). I’ve not done any real acting in … well since Grade 12.

So I’m thrilled. Our first readthrough is Sunday, but the play doesn’t hit the stage until May. That’s a long way away, but I’m bouncing off the walls just thinking about it.

Audition anxiety again

January 29, 2011

Well it must be that time of year again.

The time when I have very little going on and desperately need an excuse to start leaving work on time (because otherwise I am such a suck and will work overtime I won’t be paid for…).

Luckily, I have an audition today. An audition for a part I think I might be made to play.

The play, I never heard of before. It’s called “Sins of the Mother,” it’s about this Irish-American family of women and the way alcoholism has torn them apart as a group, and individually.

Yes, I know, what an uplifting play.

There are two sets of two sisters in this story. One pair are in their 20s/30s. One pair is a mother/aunt.

I’ve become completely taken by this play. I think it’s because I can really relate with the sister dynamic in the younger pair — one is sarcastic and jaded, the other “just tries to make things nice.” And lord knows I’m guilty of both, and I think DD (my sister) and I have bounced back and forth between those two roles regularly in our lives.

I’m going to audition for the more challenging role — the sarcastic jaded sister. She has a couple monologues that I find really powerful, and can relate to.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like my mother is/was an alcoholic, nor my father. Actually, my family has a very ‘healthy’ relationship with alcohol… but I certainly have known people who don’t.

When I lived in Rankin I knew alcohol played a big part in our lives, but I never realized how twisted we were until I moved back down south. I remember walking in the door of my friend’s place, shrugging off my jacket, but not even taking off my boots before I walked in her kitchen and started to pour myself a drink. I didn’t even notice I was doing it at the time, it was just natural. There wasn’t anytime we DIDN’T drink up north. I prided myself on thinking that I was the only one of our close-knit group who DIDN’T have an alcohol problem. And that’s probably not far from the truth. One of my friends used to have regular blackouts. Another would drink a 60 oz bottle of rum in 2 days, and he’d disappear into a black hole, no one would see or hear from him for a whole weekend, he’d be pickling his liver, and couldn’t pick up the phone when we called. Another can’t stop drinking until she passes out. Another killed himself in a drunken stupor.

I won’t get into the sordid details of how one person’s alcoholism affected my life up there, maybe some other time. Suffice to say I needed to deal with a lot of those issues, and have started to…

And in a way, I see this play as a way of finishing that work. That if I get this part, it will be good for me now, to give me something to do — something that I love to do, I’ll be getting back on the stage again — but it’ll be the final step in the healing. Verbalizing the last of the anger (albeit in a proxy sort of way) and then I can move on.

I don’t know if I’ll get the part, I have no idea. But I didn’t even try for the last one, and regretted it for months. So no more regrets.

Put yourself out on a limb, Jackie.

2010 was…

December 29, 2010
  • Heartbreaking. A dear friend of mine killed himself, and his memory still haunts me. There are days that go by that I don’t think of Paul. But rarely a full week. His death broke my friends. His death changed me. His death colours so much of the lens through which I look at the north. Nothing will ever be the same.
  • A rebirth. I finally started to take back my self. Unwrap the things I’d tucked away and put on hold. I rediscovered my passions.
  • Lonely. For months I sat alone in my apartment. Scared of taking the first step in a new place. The first step is always the hardest. Once you put one foot in front of the other, you have to propel forward. That momentum is key.
  • Breaking new ground. I became a runner. For two seasons, at least. I broke the mold I never thought I could change. I went from struggling to run two minutes at a time to running 7 miles – 11 KILOMETERS – in one morning.
  • Discouraging. While I’ve never defined myself by the people I date, 2010 was noticeably void of any sort of romance. I got used to the dull feeling of being void of feeling. I got a glimpse of it once, but it flickered out before I could get a good look.
  • A springboard. 2010 was a year when I had to set my own rules and decide who and what I want to be. I hope I’m heading down the right path.

Little notes

November 17, 2010

Every couple of months, I get an unsolicited, unexpected envelope in the mail.

Usually a large manila envelope. My name handwritten in what can only be described as ‘zany’ scrawl.

Inside: scraps of paper. Few words. Rarely a letter. Sometimes a post-it note.

These envelopes have arrived once or twice a year, every year for almost a decade.

Before then, their contents made their way to my bedroom door. My lunchbox.

They come from my father and its something he’s done for as long as I remember.

At first, it was cartoons. Cartoons my dad drew just for me and snuck into my blue and green lunchbox with “Jacqueline” embroidered on top. Mostly, they were my favourite Disney characters. My sister always asked him to draw princesses so I think they were a welcome reprieve from frilly dresses and tiaras.  Piglet, Pooh and Tigger made repeat performances. In my young mind my dad was an ARTIST, but he insisted he was “rusty” and not very good.

As I got older I graduated to “REAL” cartoons. Dad would snip worthy Bizarro and Far Side cartoons from the 3 papers-a-day he would read. The best of THOSE began to paper my bedroom door. By the time I left for university, we had run out of space… but the tradition continued.

And the manila envelopes began.

In university, I pasted the comics to my dorm door. And as I became a “real” writer, he sent fewer and fewer comic strips, and more and more articles. Some of them great writing, some of them sentimental stories. I remember one about a guinea pig,  I remember his Christie Blatchford phase. He would collect them, store them god knows where, and a couple times a year, they’d show up in my mailbox.

I still have them. Almost all of them. As a kid, I didn’t realize that I would want to have a collection of home-drawn Piglets and Tiggers — I’m sure some are in a box downstairs in the basement (hell, if I had the presence of mind to pick a crab apple off a tree in the front lawn of our house as a momento the day we moved out, I’m sure I kept at least one). The comic door in my parents house has since been repainted, but I was assured the comics themselves were saved.

The envelopes, those I have. Those I unearth when I unpack the boxes I keep packing and upacking every couple months/years when I move. And while I always loved the little surprises in my lunchbox and in the mail, I’m only starting to understand why he sends them.

It’s a way of keeping in touch, a simply way of saying “thinking of you” — but it’s more than that.

A blurb about a cheese farm in Kelowna means I miss you and want to come visit again soon.

A piece about a gaggle of female cousins who reunite from across the country every year is a gentle reminder about the value of extended family, something I’m guilty of forgetting.

And an article about a man’s foray back into community theatre says I’m proud of you and I’m glad you’re back doing something you’re good at and deeply love.


I love this tradition so much, and drink in every word of every article and every comic chosen just for me.

And as I sorted through today’s manila envelope, I couldn’t help but think: maybe it’s time I start another comic door.




A haiku for you

November 8, 2010

I love my little dog.

Smelling like a bowl of basmati rice.

Sleeping ontop of my head.



Sully really does smell like Basmati rice.

And really does nap in bed with me. Actually, I wrote this Haiku while IN bed, trying to sleep, whilst the dog sat on my head. I think that’s where I got my inspiration.

Also: I have never written a Haiku before. I had to look up how many words I was allowed. I’m pretty sure this is a very terrible Haiku.

I hope you like it.


Also, you can’t see it, but Sully is just about to take a giant chunk out of that flower. I don’t blame him, it smelled like candy.

Activity overload

September 14, 2010

You know, it became a bit of a family joke when I couple of months ago I went from not at all being involved in anything in Kelowna to joining a running club and working on a play in the span of a couple weeks.

There was no ramping up, no gradual inclusion of extra-curriculars. I went from sitting at home after work and on the weekends 7 days a week, to rehersals and production meetings on Sundays, running on Mondays, rehersals on Tuesdays, running on Wednesdays, rehersals on Thursdays, running on Fridays, and spending Saturdays in a vegetative coma.

I seriously have not been this busy since high school, when I decided I needed to participate in every single club and organization because that’s what universities wanted to see (and I wanted to do everything and couldn’t bear to have one part of my ‘self’ left out).

But man oh man, am I ever beat. I’ve been leaving the house at 830 every morning, and not coming back until 10 every night for weeks (though got a bit of a break when the parents were here last month). It’s been horrible for the pup, but I keep telling myself it’s not that bad. I’ll be living in a place so close to work any day now… but that brings up another problem.

I probably picked the worst month ever to be moving. Everything else is coming to a head at the same time. We’re up to 8min running/1 min walking for the running club. The show opens in a week, and we’ll be rehearsing just about every night until then, and then we do a show every Thursday, Friday, Saturday (two– one matinee and one evening show) and Sunday for three weeks, including Thanksgiving weekend. Oh, and I’m assistant stage manager, so I basically have to be there.

I’m just so tired. I love it, but I’m just so tired. And auditions for the Christmas production are this weekend. It’s Peter Pan, and it’s got a huge ensemble cast, so I have a better shot of making the show than I did last time around (let’s be honest, I’m hardly a soloist and The Fabulous Fifties is a cabaret-style play).

But I don’t know if I can keep this all up. I was thinking of doing a 5k running clinic after this one and that’s a lot on my plate.

But what else could I be doing that I’m not right now, that I WANT to be? Other then spending more quality time in my bed and with my dog…

Truth be told, I’m not very good at saying “when”