Friday, May 30, 2008


I think part of my feeling restless thing is that I'm feeling unfocused.

I have stuff I *should* do. Stuff that normally I'd enjoy doing. But I can't seem to be able to get down to brass tacks on any of them.

So, I'm trying to come up with a strategy. One where I get stuff done, but don't feel overwhelmed by how much I have to do. Because, the truth is, I don't *have* to do any of it. The world will not end if it doesn't get done.

I have a friend who I'm coaching/mentoring about business stuff, and he does some of it for me in return. One of the things we do is managing to-do lists. So, today I had a brilliant idea. I'm going to set up a global todo list (so, stuff I want to get done in general, not what I'm aiming to get done daily. That way it's in a central place.

I don't know, I'm just feeling a bit like I'm floundering these days and I'm not a huge fan of the feeling.

But don't worry, I'll be sure to keep you updated in long tedious blog posts. :P

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spring fever?

I've been feeling a bit restless lately. Not sure how to describe it exactly, just restless. There are changes afoot, the biggest being the move. That's exciting, but also a bit overwhelming.

I have to do my stuff for LTD (long term disability), which is, well, terrifying. I'm not exactly sure why, I guess just 'cause I hate that I'm going to be on LTD, although, also completely thankful that it is an option.

I spend an awful lot of time at a local cafe called Jet Fuel. It's wonderful here. I have a friend who came here and said it was the most pretentious place he'd ever been in, which, you know, is true. But it's also interesting, and welcoming (once you've been here a few times) and has a feeling of community. It's filled with regulars, we often nod at each other in acknowledgment, sometimes chat with each other, and always smile at each other. In fact, since most of us here are doing work of some kind, we will sometimes take “coffee breaks” and chat with each other, between frantic bouts of typing.

It's a comfortable place.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Theatre is my cocaine

So, there are a bunch of things I *should* be doing, so obviously that means it's time to write a blog entry. ;)

If you've been reading this regularly for the last few months you'll know that I spend a lot of time at Jet Fuel in Cabbagetown (Toronto). It's a place where I can bring my laptop, drink amazing lattes, and get shit done.

Lately though, lately it's a place where I come with my laptop and every intention of getting shit done, and instead talking to random people lots. Although it's not the most conducive for getting work done, it is exhilarating. I met a woman here who is a stage manager and really wonderful. We have long in depth discussions about theatre that both exhaust and exhilarate me.

Me and theatre. Ahhh. What a journey.

Something I've loved since the very beginning (I remember putting on plays for my parents, and when they weren't available, my stuffed animals – I was a really exciting kid.) I never feel as alive as when I'm involved in theatre. And it's not about being on stage, although that rocks too. It's anything about theatre. Talking about it. Watching it. Working on it. Being in it. Everything. I'd forgotten just how much I loved it in the last couple of years, starting to write about theatre for blogTO really reminded me just how much I loved it.

And it's just continued building. You would expect that perhaps the more I'm involved in the industry the less interested I would end up being as the novelty wore off. But exactly the opposite has happened. The more I am involved the more I want. I think theatre is my cocaine.

So, because I can't get enough of theatre, I'm building a site. I'm building something to write all I want on. It's going to take time and energy, but I am more excited about it than I have been about anything in a long time.

I need to come up with a succinct statement for the theatre, an objective or goal or mission or whatever jargony thing you want to call it. The longer version is – I have always thought that if I won the lottery I would use the money to bring theatre to the masses. Not sure how I'd do that, but that's my goal. I want theatre to be the way it was in Shakespeare's day, I want it to be something everyone goes to. I want theatre to be like movies. There's tons of it out there that is almost as cheap as a movie, and cheaper because you're not buying confections... But people don't know about the small productions, or they are intimidated by them. I want to make something that lets people know about theatre, make it accessible.

So that's what I'm doing. The site isn't ready for public consumption yet, and I'm still rolling things around in my head, but don't worry, I'll be sure to let you know when it's up so you can all humour me by going to it. :P

Monday, May 19, 2008

Recently Reminded Rhett Really Rocks

I was in Ottawa for the past week staying with my friend Dave. It was great fun, for a several reasons.

1) General escape from my Toronto life (I like my Toronto life, but if you've been reading this for a while, you know that things have been a little *ahem* overwhelming the last year or more)

2) Spending time with my dear dear friend of 16 or so years for an extended period of time, instead of an afternoon, or if i'm really lucky a weekend, at a time. It felt good to reconnect.

3) Reconnecting with my friend Rhett after a gazillion years.

As you may have guessed from the subject line, I'm gonna talk about Rhett. God I love him so much! It was an interesting lesson in how sometimes when you connect with someone that connection is just gonna stick, no matter what.

I'll give you some history of Rhett and I. When I was a kid I lived in Zambia. When you live in a city across the world in a place like Lusaka all the ex-pats stick together, especially those from the same country as each other. The Canadian embassy there was a place we went to on a regular basis, it wasn't just some strange out-of-reach bureaucratic office. So, my parents were in Lusaka (dad was working for CIDA), and Rhett's parents were in Lusaka (no idea what they were doing there actually), and Rhett and I were the same age (8ish). This meant that our parents hung out together and, when our parents hung out together, then so did we.

Well, that's how it started anyway. What ended up happening actually was that we became fast friends, he quickly became my best friend, and our hanging out time became quite independent of when our parents would hang out. In retrospect it is pretty cool that we became so fucking close, considering the fact that at the time I would have had girl-cooties and he would have had boy-cooties. I mean, I had friends that were girls, and he had friends that were boys, but he was without a doubt my best friend. We never actually talked about it, but I suspect that I was his best friend at the time too. I mean, we were 8, how complex could it have been?

Anyway, the intensity of our friendship when WAY beyond our circumstantial pairing. When we moved from Zambia to Barbados the thing that broke my heart the most was leaving Rhett behind. Well, Rhett and my dogs. I was pretty heartbroken that we couldn't take the dogs with us.

So, off we went to Barbados, where I met new friends in the way a 9 year old does, but even there I missed Rhett tons. A year later we moved back to Guelph, where I reconnected with old friends and made new ones. And still, I missed Rhett.

My little 11 year old heart leapt for joy when I heard that Rhett and his family were not only moving back to Canada, but were in fact moving to GUELPH!!!!! Now, that's an age where cooties are at their hight, and he was building his life in Guelph with his friends, so we didn't see each other much, but I was very happy to have him back in my life. Unfortunately it was short-lived. His parents moved to Ottawa, which of course, meant he moved to Ottawa.

We lost touch for several years then. I didn't really know if I was allowed to track him down in Ottawa or if that would be weird. It sounds ridiculous to say that, but you know, teenagers aren't the most secure self-assured beings on the planet, and I was of course worried that he'd outgrown our friendship and would think I was just some clingy loser if I tracked him down. Years later, by some crazy happenstance, I ran into him in a random mall in Ottawa. I think we were about 17. We ended up standing in the same check-out line and eying each other for a while before we identified each other. So, we exchanged phone numbers and I think I called him that night from my grandma's house. I have memories of sitting in her basement and talking to him on the phone for hours. But we never saw each other again.

Then through the wonders of the internet we found each other again. I have no actual memory of how that actually happened. I know I wrote on this blog that I was looking for him, maybe someone found it and tipped him off. It was pre-facebook, so it wasn't that. Anyway, that doesn't matter. The point is, about a year ago John and I were in Ottawa and met him for a few pints. It was the first time I'd seen him in 14 years, and the second time I'd seen him in probably 18 or 19 years. Shit. When I actually write that out it's a bloody long time.

Anyway, this bloody long preamble was to give background to the fact that in the past week I was lucky enough to hang out with him twice. It was wonderful both times. In fact, I had a whole conversation with a friend of mine, who knew him from many many moons ago, about how it is impossible for anyone to not have a crush on him because he really has it all. He's smart, funny, attractive, a jocky kind of guy who loves the arts and has a philosophy degree, loves to have interesting actually kind of meaningful conversations (although they don't have to be wildly intense), can be totally politically incorrect, is very caring, loves nascar and the ballet, I mean, basically, whatever you like, Rhett does it. My friend suggested that perhaps if you were a guy who was insecure about your sexuality you wouldn't have a crush on him, I conceded that perhaps that was true. She then said though that they would still have a crush on him, they just wouldn't be able to admit it to themselves. We decided then that we had empirical proof that it is impossible to not have crush on Rhett. When I told Rhett of our scientific findings he assured me that I only thought that because I haven't spent much time with him. Although I let him say it, he's full of shit. It has been proven dammit!

And, cycling back to the beginning... I think that fundamental parts of our personality are fixed at a very early age. I think that the fact that someone I completely adored when I was 7 or 8 (and didn't subsequently stay in touch with so didn't do any of the 'growing together' things that I've done with other friends) is still someone I adore now that I've reconnected with him after all these years is a tidy demonstration of this fact.

Also... Yay Rhett!

And thus ends my 1200 word essay on hanging out with Rhett.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I may be crazy, you may be right, but it just may be a lunatic you're looking for...*

So. How's this for crazy?

The other day I drove past a place in Cabbagetown that had a 'for rent' sign on it. It was right in the heart of Cabbagetown, right where I have wanted to live since I was a little kid.

For some reason I kept putting off calling. Today, at my mother's urging, I finally called. The place sounded great. 2 bedrooms on two levels, large outside space, two bathrooms, 5 appliances, heat and water included, parking space, fireplace, and most important, in the heart of cabbagetown on a beautiful tree-lined old street filled with wonderful neighbourhood feeling houses. All this, with a monthly cost comprable to what we're paying at our place now.

I asked Samatha (the owner) when I could come by and see it. She said she had a showing at 2pm and I could come if I wanted. So I did. My mum and I did actually.

Before we even got inside mum said "call her now, tell her to cancel her viewings, you'll take it now." I laughed and said maybe we should see inside first (which, come to think about it, is a distinct role reversal from the last house we bought, mum came to see that with me and before we even went I said "I want the house" and she said "maybe you should see inside first")

We went inside, scopped it out, and as soon as the owner was out of earshot mum said "take it! take it now!"

So. Um. I did. I went upstairs and said "what do I have to do to rent the place?" She said, give me a deposit. I said "okay".

We get posession June 1st, which means a bit of time with two abodes, but that's what we needed to do to get the place, and it's well worth it.

I just sent a note to our current landlords. That part is tough. They're really awesome and I hate to leave them. :( I was telling a friend that I felt like I was breaking up with someone. An actual quote from the email: "You guys have been wonderful landlords and we'll be sad to part ways, but hopefully we can still have a pint sometime..."

Anyway, yeah, so, um, wow. Plus, just wait until John sees the place! He'll be so excited! :P Yes, I have the most trusting partner in the world, it rocks.

* I spent my teen years obsessed with Billy Joel

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