Monday, December 08, 2008

10 Honest Things

I got this from Hope, although she didn't tag me - I just read it and decided I wanted to do it myself. I laughed my head off at her list. I don't know if mine will be funny but here goes.

1. I love clothes. All my life in my head I identified myself as a tom-boy who thought of make-up and clothes and shopping with disdain as if I was above it all. Now I know that I love being a girl, and shopping, and trying on fantastic boots and clothes (my mother will no doubt gasp in shock as my whole growing up I hated trying stuff on in the store)...I love wearing make-up and looking pretty. I would spend a lot of money on that stuff if I had money to spend...

2. Whenever I get sick, I want chips and salsa, and a Coke. Those are my comfort foods for some reason and they always make me feel better no matter what is wrong with me...headache, cold or flu. In fact, Coke is my soft-drink of choice in almost any situation, but I don't like Pepsi. At all.

3. I hate eating by myself - unless I have something to read. So, for the last year and a bit, "Bridget Jones' Diary" has been my almost-exclusive table reading material. I've read it straight through at least four times, and have skipped through it a few times besides that. I love that book. It never ceases to be amusing.

4. I enjoy almost every movie I watch. In fact, I can only think of a few off-hand that I didn't get sucked into. One was "End of Days" because I laughed when Arnold Schwarzenegger was having an emotional moment about his dead wife, and the other two were horrid Christian movies we watched at youth group. One was a Christian version of "The Fast and the Furious" and it made me want to gouge out the eyes of our youth group leaders. It was truly horrible, and we watched it instead of "Finding Nemo" because "Finding Nemo" was too controversial. WTF, people.

5. I think it's a good thing that I'm not rich because I think I'd be a materialistic person. Let me clarify: I am a materialistic person but I can't indulge because I'm too poor. My financial situation makes me aware of my weaknesses, so I can hopefully grow out of it.

6. I love seeing people in love. It makes me happy to see couples holding hands, dancing, smiling together. I'm not sure why but it warms my heart and makes me happy.

7. There is a sign at work that says, "Thank you, for staying with us. Please remember to return your keys." Every time I see it I want to fix that errant comma. It drives me mental. This is my standard response to typographical errors of all kinds. The 2008 Rosebud Theatre Season Program had so many mistakes in it that I wanted to crawl under my bed and hide while simultaneously lighting all of the copies on fire and reducing them to ashes before they were sold to the public.

8. I took the colour personality test (go to to take it yourself). I'm a very strong Blue, with Green as my second colour. I secretly believe that I am actually Green by nature and Blue by nurture...or at least that I'm a stronger Green than the test revealed. I often find myself wanting to spew out facts when in conversation but I restrain myself. It's a little ironic because when I was growing up, my middle brother (who I suspect is Green) would share facts and 'useless details' and I'd harass him about it, only to discover years later that I am more like him than I'd ever admitted. Sorry, D1.

9. I like listening to music when I'm driving. More specifically, I like listening to Top 40 radio when I'm driving. Not only do I listen to it, I get all defensive about listening to it, because I wish I was one of those people who listened to cool Indie music and had more sophisticated tastes in music. Justin Timberlake has good driving music, okay?

10. I am a hopeless romantic but I don't read a lot of poetry because - gasp - it doesn't hold my interest. Or I don't like it. Or I don't get it. Instead I remember stuff like what Luke and Lorelei said the first time they kissed in Gilmore Girls, or what Susan Saranden said about marriage in "Shall We Dance?". That is my poetry. A part of me suspects that's sad. Another part of me doesn't care.

So there you have it. If you want to share 10 Honest Things about yourself, go for it. Leave a comment here and I'll go read them!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm high on migraine medication. I resisted taking it for 12 hours. Why I do that I'm not sure but this morning when I woke up with one side of my head clamouring to secede I finally caved and now my head is a party and the rest of me is a few beat behind in the music. That's okay. I'd rather that then civil war.

I am going to wait to work on my novel until I come down though.

I had something important to write but in the time it took for this page to load it scampered away. In my current mellow state I'm cool with that. In fact it probably wasn't that important anyway.

The only thing I really am aware of right now is that I can't believe secede is spelled that way. Really? It looks wrong but spell check assures me that it isn't.

I wonder what it would be like to live my life in this head-space. I don't think it would work very well. I'd never get anything done because nothing seems that urgent to me right now. I'm very glad I don't have to work like this. I've been lucky in that I rarely have had to work in a post-migraine state - although I did do a show like this once and thought everything in the first act was extremely hilarious. Which was okay. I was supposed to be full of Christmas Spirit and though I was probably a little too relaxed it did help me sing better.

Well, with that profound thought, I'm going to go wait for this to wear off. If anyone walks by my house and hears Christmas music sung very loudly at least someone will know why.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mennonite Wedding

Today I was awoken by the ringing phone. It was my dad, phoning to tell me that another of my girl cousins was getting married. To put this is in a bit of perspective, on my dad’s side I have – let me see, now – 33 cousins, 16 of whom are girls. (In counting I just realized to my shame I don’t know all of my cousins names. I know I haven’t seen some of them for over 10 years but that still seems a bit pathetic. Oh well. Back to the main story.) In the last year, three of my girl cousins have gotten married and it is a sport with my parents to phone me and make me guess who is getting hitched next. I haven’t guessed right once, until this morning, which is all the more impressive because I had only been awake for maybe two minutes.
My dad doesn’t much care for the future cousin-in-law’s family, and neither does his brother, but it’s my cousin’s opinion that matters and apparently she likes them enough to tie herself to them for eternity. She’s getting married in the new year and it looks like another wedding (4 for 4) that I’ve missed. I wish it wasn’t so.
“At least her mother can stop stressing about her girls not getting married now,” my dad said. We talked about the customs and commonly held beliefs of his family’s sub-culture. Holdeman Mennonites vary, or so I am told, wildly from one region to another, so perhaps my family’s pocket is not the norm. I know that I have a hard time understanding how any one can believe 25 and single means you’re reaching spinsterhood, but that is a common perception and I have at least one cousin who is getting to that tipping point.
It was so neat to hear my dad talk about the culture of his youth. I don’t think I’ve heard him talk about it much, and maybe that’s why I feel so disconnected from that side of my history. His perception is so fascinating, because he was a part of it and now he has distance from it, but he understands the culture and their way of life and how they think in a way that I never can because I’ve never lived it. He came close to being a member of the church. The night before he was to get baptized he went out drinking. When he came home he told his family he wasn’t going to church and went to sleep. He has said that it must have been a huge scandal for his parents, particularly his mother, to bear. But he’s glad he didn’t join. It’s made it easier for us as a family. He were never a part of the church so he never had to be excommunicated; our idiosyncrasies and odd behaviours are more acceptable because we don’t have that stigma.
I’m glad I wasn’t raised in that culture, even while I feel a hole from the disconnect – I’m glad I was raised with the understanding that my life could be more than a rush to a wedding and children, with some time spent teaching or nursing while I waited for the groom to appear. And I’m glad that I could spend time unsupervised or chaperoned with guys. I don’t understand how young people even get to know each other before they get engaged when they can’t even spend too much time talking to each other in a group setting without someone interfering in case things get out of hand. It doesn’t make sense.
And I’m glad I got to hear my dad talk this morning. It made some sense of one side of my history. I’ll have to talk to him more about it. It makes more sense coming from him than from my family who are immersed in it; one, because I wouldn’t know where to begin that conversation, and two, because he understands where I am too.
It was worth losing ten minutes of sleep, that’s for sure.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Moving On

I don't have much to say. I'm using my creative writing energies in my novel - I'm at 32,500 words heading towards 50,000 - and I know I haven't been here much.
I'm just enjoying life. The snow. Seeing friends. Knowing everyone I see on the street. I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Because it won't last forever, and while I'll miss it, I'm excited about the next step too!
Off to the world of my novel, now. I'll be back, I promise - November doesn't last forever either.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Scam Artists

In short: if they can't spell, they probably don't represent a legitimate business. Finally I know it is a good thing that I'm such a snob when it comes to a properly formatted/spelled letter!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Such a Novel Time

I recently learned that November is National Novel Writing Month (shortened by some to NaNoWriMo). Writers from all over the world (or nation, I guess - except I'm not sure which nation this is in) dedicate themselves to writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.
I signed up to do this and am 11,000 words or so into a story that has been riding in my head for eight years.
Good thing for my characters I learned about NaNoWriMo, wouldn't you say?
It isn't always easy to make myself sit down and write - sometimes I downright avoid it but so far (and it's only been a week) I've done it every day and after I'm done I always feel like I've accomplished something even if I think a lot of what I've written is crap. The good thing is as part of the quest to a finished first draft you aren't allowed to edit. Editing is for December. So even if I think my work isn't up to par I can't do anything about it right now. That's very freeing.
Well, back to work. I have a few hundred words to go today before I sleep.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Christmas Times A'comin'...

To write this post I realized I don't know how to spell a'comin'. Are there two apostraphes? I don't know. Fortunately it's a side point.
The main point is that the holiday season will be upon us, full fledged, in two short days. So short, in fact, that I spelled it shrt. I'm having a fun time with my letters today, folks.
I started my new job, working at a local inn. I spent most of the day up to my eyeballs in garland and twinkly lights and feather duvets. It was nicer than I expected because I get to work with my friends there, and hopefully I'll make a new friend in my boss. I know her husband pretty well and I've always wanted to get to know her better - perhaps now will be my chance to make good on that desire. She's such a fascinating person to me.
This year will be my first Christmas not with my family. I'm going to spend the holidays with S. and his family. I'm both excited and a little nervous because I don't know what their traditions are or how Christmas works at their house. I was a lot nervous to tell my mom, because I figured she'd have a hard time adjusting to not having that extra female in the house over Christmas dinner. Turns out I was nervous for nothing since my youngest brother told her before I had a chance to. Of course, my mom brought it up at my grad dinner instead, when she was sitting right beside S.'s mom. Oh well. No one ever accused my mom of having tact, and S. has a really easy-going family so no-one got ruffled feathers, except me (thanks, youngest brother...he must have inherited his tact from Mom).
I can understand why it isn't easy for parents to adjust to their kids being gone at Christmas. It's a change of traditions on all sides: it's not just me building new relationships with Christmas, it's them shifting a relationship they've had for 20+ years. That can't be easy but I guess it is a part of life.
I think it must be easier for kids to make those changes than for parents. After all, isn't a child's whole life geared towards leaving their parents and creating a new seperate life for themselves? From the time we leave the womb, learn to walk, get a job, go to school, fall in love? It's an exciting adventure for me. Of course, it's a return to adventure for my parents as well as they find a new phase in their life - a phase I'll probably someday have to go through myself.
All because one child left a womb a long time ago in a cold stable and had to go and change the world and all relationship as we humans knew it. I'm sure it wasn't as pretty as the tree I wrapped with ribbon or the lights I twisted around the banister - but the manger might have been as itchy as the garland needles that fell off into my shoes and worked their way into my clothes.
Oh well. It's all in the name of Christmas Spirit folks.

Now, is spirit capitalized or not?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Workshop Part II

I recant.

I love working with my voice.

I just need to get over myself and my insecurities first.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I'm tired and stiff and have to get up insanely early tomorrow to go into Calgary for another day of workshop. I spent the day speaking Shakespeare and learning to stand properly so that my voice could get out with the least amount of myself in the way.

And I still wonder if I wouldn't rather be Shakespeare than merely an actor speaking his words.

One of the other women in the workshop mentioned how much she loves doing this kind of work. I don't know if I love it. I enjoy it. I really like learning to use my voice more efficiently, more effectively. Does that mean I'm not an actor, or am I just so frustrated with my voice that I can't love the work? What does it mean? I don't know.

I don't know if I want to know.

Friday, October 17, 2008


My last day at the Coal Mine. I'm done forever, unless some cruel twist of fate sends me back there, grovelling, for a job next summer.

I really hope that doesn't happen.

On my last day I:

  • Took a group of 7th graders around the site, yelling and glaring at them once when they almost ran me over with a coal cart. They were really well behaved after that - too bad that was at the end of their tour.
  • Took another group of 7th graders around the site, yelling at them when they interupted me one too many times - "I'm not done talking!". After that they were more attentive. Again, too bad it was at the end of their tour.
  • Got applauded by one group of 7th graders at the end of the tour.
  • Got applauded by one group of 7th graders at the beginning of the tour.
  • Got upstaged by a dead baby rabbit and brushed it off by saying, "You've just experienced the circle of life".
  • Forgot to remove the bunny before the second tour and got upstaged again. This time I told them all it was a stuffed animal some toddler had lost. Most of them believed me, especially after I spun a yarn of how we'd reunited a toddler with his expensive teddy bear he lost on site.
  • After the tours I went and tossed the baby bunny into some long grass. Good thing I grew up on a farm.

A good way to end the summer, I think.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

When You Come to a Fork in the Road...

I'm not sure what I want.

I spend a lot of time not knowing what I want and not knowing where I want my life to go. At least I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want and I don't have many concrete answers.

Does anyone have something that they know they are willing to sacrifice for? Am I searching for something that doesn't exist or am I just going through a phase incited by poverty of body, mind and soul?

There are a few things I know I will do anything to keep...but that doesn't tell me where to go from here or which of the paths in front of me I need to take now.

Is this real life? Is this what it's going to be forever - not knowing which path to take next?

If so, it's going to be one hell of a frustrating ride.

That makes it sound all bad when it definitely isn't. Life is a great thing. I'm just not as settled into it as I thought I would be by now. Maybe it's me - I don't think I've ever been settled into life. It feels like I dip into it from time to time and spend the majority of life skimming along the top watching those on the inside. I don't know how to get in and I don't know if that's what I want anyway, but I also don't know what to do with my skimming. What is the purpose of being this way?

That's what frustrates me and if I don't find an answer I may well just go crazy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I am discontent.

I don't like my job. That's what I wish was different about my life. It's amazing how one thing, only one thing, can have such an effect on me. Then again, maybe it's not. I do spend 10 hours a day either preparing for work, at work, or on my way home from work - and then I structure the rest of my life (e.g., when I must go to bed so that I can be alert for when I must wake up) around work. So not liking my job is not a good thing.

I liked it most of the summer. It's just been in the last week that I've lost my interest in it.

It isn't even the job I don't like anymore. I don't mind taking people around on tours and doing odd chores around the place. It's that I feel like my bosses (there are two women in charge and I'm not sure which of them is ultimate boss - problem number one) have unrealistic expectations of what I can get done in a day.

They leave me a list of chores to do - which is fine. I can do chore lists. But I work half of my days on my own. I have to take every person on a tour if they want it - which means I could take six tours a day, of two people each. That means I can't get all the chores done. Then I get asked why I couldn't get all the chores done because "we only had 12 people" that day.

S. is running into the same problem. Yesterday, he decided to try to get chores done so he told people they could guide themselves (a viable option, not him being rude), and he got a lecture on how 'we must take everyone on a tour, they must get what they paid for' and not only that, we have to be 'up' the whole time.

So now I have to be cheerful while I do the impossible.

I can't wait for this job to be over. Only 14 work days left...

Whenever I have a job or process that I just want to get through, I tell myself that I can do anything for 14 days/one month/six weeks. It usually helps, but this time I'm not sure it's true. If nothing else I know now that I'd better not spend my whole life working at jobs that don't feed my soul unless I want to be an embittered old lady one day, sucking the joy and life out of those around me like a horrible vampire.

I can't spend my life feeling like this.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The van pulls up, nondescript except for a lack of windows – a Hudderite van, we call them around here, because the Hudderites use them so much. A bunch of people pile out, not Hudderites, and before I know it the day that promised to be slow has a group of 23 people. They have a lot of children – two families of 7 each to start – and they aren’t European. That leaves only one option.

“Are you home schoolers?” I ask.

The leader, a short man with glasses and an earnest expression, answers in the affirmative.

“I was home schooled,” I say. Just friendly small talk with the tourists. I do it all the time.

All the adults make pleased murmuring noises and then the leader launches into what they’ve done so far on their trip. I’m not surprised. Home schoolers, I’ve noticed, are the champions of unloading too much information on strangers. I listen politely. They’ve gone to the Hoodoos, as well as a visit to a Creationism museum…uh oh. These people are those kind of home schoolers.

“Are you a Christian?” the leader asks abruptly.

“Yes,” I answer. I know where this is heading and I’m regretting ever letting him know I was home schooled but it’s too late now.

“What do you think of the Tyrell and all of that here?”

The silence in my ears is eternal while I consider the options. You see, I personally have no problem believing the world was both created by God and is billions of years old. I think the Tyrell is an interesting museum and I actually don’t care enough about this aspect of science to involve my theology in it. Unlike the vibes I’m getting from Earnest in front of me. I don’t want to argue. I don’t care enough.

“Well, I’m an artist so I kind of approach it from that perspective and the displays are very beautiful,” I finally answer. I feel guilty and lame for copping out but it was the right tack; Earnest doesn’t really care what I say as long as it doesn’t contradict his notion of what and who I am. He goes off about the errors of carbon dating and the living dinosaurs in the rain forest today. I’ve read just enough about his viewpoint to smile and nod and throw in the occasional intelligent yet ambiguous statement.

The chameleon hiding her true colours yet again.

After the tour one of the older men in the group questioned me about my home town and the theatre there (I’d let slip where I was from). I got the distinct sense he was judging me and my life path. I guess the answers I gave were acceptable (or really wrong) because after all that he invited me to their church in Lacombe “if you’re ever up that way”.

I’m not going to lie. I feel like I’m struggling with faith right now, with knowing if what I believe is true, is good enough, is even worth believing. On top of that I want God to be a father in the sky giving me what I want and it’s not happening, so I’m frustrated. All that to say I read his pamphlet before tucking off to the side. I can see it as I write – “Your Personal Invitation: Preaching the Old Book, the New Birth, the Precious Blood, and the Blessed Hope”. Truthfully, when I read “Precious Blood” I snorted and got jolted out of the maudlin and back into my normal, more mocking headspace. It was worth reading it just for that.

This whole experience did make me think about the big things: my life, religion, the world, my family. My mom chose to home school me and my brothers for a few reasons – the system wasn’t meeting my needs, and she didn’t like the effect the peer influence was having on me. At some point, I don’t think it was from the beginning, she became “one of those home schoolers” which is why I knew enough about Earnest’s beliefs to meld into his world view without shaking it apart, and why I really wanted to shake it apart in the first place. I feel I can mock it. I’ve been there even if I didn’t stay there for long.

And yet I didn’t challenge his worldview. Why? Am I like my cousin, who apparently takes on the colours, beliefs, and attitudes of whatever group of friends she’s hanging out with? Am I weak and cowardly? Or did I just do the professional thing?

I don’t know the answer. I know I want it to be the last option. I know I’m not certain it is.

I guess a chameleon doesn’t get to choose the colours it wears.

And I think I’m getting tired of being a chameleon.

Monday, September 08, 2008


There’s frost on the ground outside. A thin layer of it covers my car from hood to trunk.

Apparently that means my car wants to stay put, where it is, in cold hibernation.

I have the best auto luck in the world.


That won’t make sense to some of you, since you aren’t all in on the harrowing tale that was my return trip from my brother’s wedding. Let me fill you in.

Several months ago, I decided that due to the rising cost of gasoline I needed a smaller car. So I talked it over with my dad and he found one for me. A 95 Grand Am that needed a bit of work but nothing he couldn’t manage. I was very pleased, and we planned that I would bring the Crown Vic up for the wedding, leave it behind and take the Grand Am home again.

All went well. I got a deal on the car. The wedding was beautiful. I saw family I haven’t seen for a while. On Monday, S. and I headed back home in the new, smaller car.

The engine light kept coming on but Dad said, “It’s a Pontiac. That happens.”

Finally, just about an hour south of Edmonton, the light came on and the temperature gauge started to rise. So I pulled over and turned off the car, thinking it must be the oil (see how much I knew about cars? Not much. How things have changed.). I heard a hissing noise that S. thought might be the can of pop we’d just opened – but when I opened my car door and looked underneath, I saw all of my antifreeze spraying out the bottom of my engine.

After a hefty tow bill, I got to meet some of Scott’s family (this happened in the evening so we had to stay in Edmonton overnight. Our boss was so pleased.). The next morning, Canadian Tire told me that my heater core had gone and needed to be replaced. It could be done by the afternoon. We’d only miss one day of work. It would cost me $700.00. So I bit my lip and told them to fix the car.

That was at 8:30 Tuesday morning. At 4:00, S. and I were about to blow our brains out from sheer boredom in the Canadian Tire waiting room when we were told my car was ready! They were just bleeding the air out of the cooling system and taking it for a short run to make sure it was okay! Yeay!

We cheered when we saw the car drive around the front, a cheer that quickly turned into a stunned silence when it drove straight back into the shop. “That can’t be good,” S. said. And it wasn’t. They were having a hard time getting the air out – the car was vapour locked – no, the thermostat was defective and needed to be replaced – the car wouldn’t be ready today. So at 8:30pm Scott’s uncle came and got us and we spent another night away from home. Another day’s missed work.

The next morning at 11:00, Canadian Tire phoned me and told me several things. Firstly, the car was still not fixed. Secondly, they had driven it twice until it stalled from overheating and then couldn’t be restarted, so “it couldn’t be driven.”. Thirdly, they thought the heads were blown.

One of my dad’s friends brought the Crown Vic to me and towed the Grand Am back to my dad. Finally, Wednesday evening, we were on our way back home.

My dad took a look at the Grand Am. The whole problem? A hose that is supposed to be used to bleed air from the system was clogged. The engine was vapour locked. And since they overheated it twice, the heads are gone – now. They were fine when I brought them the car, but thanks to their inept 'mechanics' I now have a very pretty lawn ornament.

A very expensive lawn ornament, at that. I spent $2000.00 on a car that I drove for 6 hours, and I am back where I started with the Land Yacht – or Old Faithful as I have re-dubbed her.

Although she won’t start today, when it’s only maybe -2 C, so maybe I’ll have to rename her again.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Am I becoming a judgemental bigot, or are people really just that easy to classify? I fear it’s the former, especially since my judgements are usually negative.

Take this encounter as an example. A family walks in – a woman, two older teenage boys and a young girl. They leave the door open as they enter, even though it’s a really buggy day. They are already bickering. I can’t stop the thought from flicking across my mind – “Born in a barn” – and they do nothing to contradict me.
The woman, who turns out to be their aunt, is quick to inform the boys that they are paying their own admission. As she pays for herself I notice her hair. At first glance it appears normal, long and pulled into a ponytail - but then I realize it’s actually cut quite short, just slicked back in the front, with two long strands just at her temples. These comprise the ponytail that ends between her shoulder blades like a truly terrible rat’s tail. My fellow guide and I share a horrified giggle as Rat Tail turns away.
Her nephews are dressed in trendy clothing that instead of making them cool makes them look like they’re trying too hard. One of them seems nice, like a sensitive boy in an ill fitting mould. He pays for his little sister. His brother is probably bullied in school, or a bully himself. After they decide not to take the tour and wander about for about 40 minutes, he’s the one they send running back to try to get on the train. Of course it’s too late. He complains about having to run here and back, loudly. Instead of feeling pity I only feel disgust.
This family is relegated in my mind to trailer trash, within 5 seconds of walking in the door.

There are many different categories. There are the families with impeccably groomed wives, the children treated like pets and not allowed to get dirty; the parents who pretend that they’re in charge to what, impress us? who then cave to their whiny children within minutes; the oil-rich, arrogant with a sense of entitlement, the assholes incarnate and the assholes in training; foreigners, half of whom are so happy to be here and the other half who resent parting with their Canadian cash.

I guess in tourism you see them all – happy and miserable, well-groomed and those who don’t know what soap is, rich and poor. Hopefully in seeing them all I can choose which ones I want to be like and keep myself from ending up as one of the ignorant majority.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Moments of Coal Mine Life

A lady got all upset with us today because she didn't understand that she couldn't go into the tipple without a guide, and accused us of not telling her everything she needed to know because she was a foreign visitor. She wouldn't even let me fix the problem. Fortunately there are other, nicer people who make me not want to quit this job and run away screaming, such as the moments related below.
A little girl, to me as she walked out of the tipple: You're a good girl.

A little girl, to S. on his tour: Can I walk you to the train?

S: Uh, okay.

Little girl: Friends hold hands. No one wants to be alone.

See? Little girls make up for bitchy women, every time.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More Storms

I've had more tornado dreams, which again turned into dreams of running and hiding. It's bothering me, more than a little bit.

Today I met a pastor named Storm. He officiated the wedding of a friend of mine who got married today. I hope it's a better omen for her than the dreams have felt for me.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


I've dreamt of tornados three times in the last seven days.

I don't know what it means, but every time I'm torn between wanting to watch the storm and wanting to hide in a safe, dark place.

And every time the dream turns into a flight from someone who is trying to kill me or trap me, somewhere around my house.

I don't understand and I don't know what they mean.

But when I'm supposed to I guess I will.

Busy Work

Yesterday over 400 people came through work, looking for tours.

It's the long weekend.

I'm glad we're busy. It means I don't have to find things to do to look busy and the day goes by really quickly.

And the long weekend won't last forever anyway.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Need To Write More

Not just here, but in general.

I woke up today with a migraine and a really sore neck. No special reason, just that time of the month. I love/hate that my migraines have only two triggers - stress and hormones. At least they're more predictable that way.

I rearranged my room a bit today too. That was fun, and now my room is clean for the first time in a long time. It relaxed me and now I have space to write on my desk. I'm like my mom that way - a flat surface is like a paper magnet. I seem to have little control over it - it just happens.

And I read today too, while eating cherries and drinking Coke. An odd mix, you may think, but when I have a migraine I am drawn to Coke like an addict, and it helps. It's probably psychosomatic, but it helps. I just discovered S M Stirling, and I'm enjoying my library card immensly.

My brother is getting married in 24 days. It isn't real yet, and won't be until I see it happen, but these things never are. How strange! My younger brother tying the knot. Well, now perhaps I'll get nieces and nephews to spoil rotten!

I suppose I should go back home and write something else - work on the play I'm writing, or the book(s) - and eat some more substantial fare. Cherries are great but they don't keep you going for long.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Secret Thoughts of A Tour Guide

This morning I woke up feeling like a giant spring had coiled up in my chest overnight. It grew tighter as the morning went on, making it hard to breathe and blocking my emotions while simultaneously making me want to lash out in cruelty and weep uncontrollably.

As I opened the site four people went walking on without admission stickers. Here is our conversation:

Me: Do you folks have your admisssion stickers?

Them: No.

Me: Well, there is an admission to be on site, so -

Them: We got here when it was closed.

Me: Well, that doesn't really matter. We're open now, so -

Them: That's okay. We're leaving.

Me: Well fuck you too then.

In all honesty, I muttered that last sentence to myself while I walked away. But I did say it.

I spent the whole day avoiding as many people as possible and harshly judging the rest of them, except the few who won their way into my good graces by being exceptional tourists and interesting people. The father of the little annoying boy who couldn't shut up while I talked was not one of those people. Neither was the father of the other annoying little boy on my other tour. It was a rough day.

When I realized I was PMSing it all clicked together in a way that almost made me cry. It was so nice to have an explanation for why I suddenly, thoroughly, deeply hated everyone around me.

Hormones. Gotta love 'em.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

School's Out, For Ever!

I'm done school! I passed my Oral Exam and am now a Guild Member!

How cool is that? I've wanted to be a member of a guild since I was 9 and now I am.



...for not posting. The internet at my house is not very reliable anymore and after I'm done work I'm too lazy to walk to the office to post. Not a good excuse but there it is.

I've been working as a tour guide at a historic site. I'm at the point where I want to make stuff up on the tour - "And here we have a cart that the dwarves would ride in on their way to transform the coal in the mine into licorice candy, which we still sell today in the gift shop." or "These pigeons are the souls of miners who didn't fill their quota and were then trapped in this form until they could pick up the rest of their unloaded coal with their teensy beaks. Wave to the tormented miners, everybody! They taste like chicken!" - stuff like that.

But I don't. People tend to get upset if they don't feel they're getting their $7.00 worth. At least, the ones who pay do. Today I had two men whom I labled "The Stickerless Goons" because they tagged onto the end of my tour and then, when I caught them without proof of admission, looked all pleased with themselves for not paying. And did they go pay after the tour, like I told them to? No. Of course not.

At least no one cried on my tour. S. made two children cry by telling them a ghost story. One of our co-workers did the same thing a few days ago. What is with children in this day and age? Brats and whiners and cry-babies all. And no dogs shat (yes, shat, it's a word) on the train when I drove it. And there was no little girl sticking her hand up at every opportunity to ask "Can this be over now?" (starting two minutes in. I kid you not.), this time.

I know it takes all kinds but sometimes - I just want to bash some heads.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Storm Season

We've been getting some amazing storms here lately.

A few days ago the lights flickered while I was typing so I turned off the computer and went outside. The clouds were rolling - literally rolling - over, covering a blue, blue sky with grey and dove-purple and green and orange. Tornado clouds, but they were moving so fast the funnels got ripped apart before they could get started. I kept exclaiming, "Look! They're so beautiful!" while S. tried to text his roommate on his new cell phone, and then tried to get the camera part to work so he could take pictures. He is a cell phone person now, everything he's ever hated, but I think it's funny and he does need a phone. Anyway, as I exclaimed and he took photos, I looked up and saw the petals of flowers falling from an orange sky, backlit and beautiful. As they landed they turned into rain drops and soaked me.

It was worth it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Damn Internet

It is only working sporadically. Hence the lack of posts.

Yesterday a lady on my tour took a photo of an orb with a face in it. It gave me shivers.

Today nothing interesting happened - just like King Louie XIV, 'rien' is today's blog note.

What happened in your lives today?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Train, Train Go Away

The hail hits the roof of the tipple as if on a mission to destroy it. “This give you an idea of how loud it would have been up here,” I shout over the noise, barely heard by the two people who have paid for the tour. Normally I would say a lot more but the noise is too difficult to compete with, the yelling tearing my voice. I should learn to project better, I think as I glance out the window to the ground 45 feet below where the train is rolling away through the dense mist of falling water and ice.

The train is rolling away.

I feel the instant need to stop it, to run down and stop it before it rolls off the end of the tracks and ruins itself, but there’s no way I can get down there – it’ll take me at least 8 minutes to get to the tracks and by then the train will be a heap of twisted muddy metal. As resignation slides over my body like icing over a cake, I notice the person huddled on the drivers seat, squished as small as possible as if he can fit in the space between the raindrops. His sweater is soaked through, making it the same colour as the train. I almost laugh with relief but instead pressed my hand to my heart – poor S., he’ll be soaked through for the rest of the day. Why isn’t he wearing a coat? But I don’t have time to wonder. The two people are looking at me expectantly and the hail has stopped. Time to talk again.

S. is sitting next to a heat vent when I walk into the interpreter’s building after the tour. His shoes are dark with water, resting on the floor beneath his feet. Just looking at his socks I can remember the feeling of wet clothes peeling off my body some summer long ago and I scrunch my nose. Ick. “Are you okay?” I ask.
“I’m soaked,” he replies.
As I touch his shoulder I realize it’s not just a phrase – he’s living that memory of gritty cold wet clothes against his skin. “You’re going to get sick,” I say. “I’ll take your next tour.”

He refuses my offer and instead makes me go get his spare shoes from the trunk of his car. It’s still raining outside, and I hunch your shoulders against the drops. Why do people do this, I wonder. Hunching your shoulders doesn’t get you less wet. But I continue to the car, get his little rubber shoes and come back. He doesn’t change his socks before thrusting his feet into the shoes. He doesn’t have socks here to change into.
“Where’s your coat?” I ask.
“At home,” he says. “I didn’t bring it.”
“I’m taking your tour.” I really don’t want to. I want to sit and eat my lunch and read my book, but there’s no way he can go out again into that weather. If he gets pneumonia I’ll never get rid of the guilt.

He pulls someone’s rain coat off the wall and ignores me, heading out into the rain. I hesitate at the doorway, as if he’ll suddenly change his mind and come back although I know that isn’t true. He’s too stubborn. I should have been more forceful, I should have suppressed my hunger for food, my hunger for words, for warmth, pushed it down out of sight. It probably showed and that’s why he didn’t let me do his job. But as I sit and open my book I feel a guilty happiness that it isn’t me out in the wet and cold.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Simulated Cleaning

I should be cleaning the house.

I really don't feel like it.

So instead I've avoided. I've gone outside, spent too much time online, and chatted with my dad in multiple emails. He's going to a workshop where they practice on a simulated patient (he's a nurse) that they can kill and revive. I've also planned to make a pizza.

Which means cleaning the kitchen.

Yesterday I played Rock's a fun game. Too bad I don't know more of the songs.

If only I could play a simulated house cleaning game that made cleaning fun...

Thursday, May 29, 2008


We start the long arduous hike into the hills. We aren’t even 80 steps up when Jacob tries to push past me.
“You have to follow me, remember?” I say, gently guiding him behind me.
He whines but steps in line. I stop to interpret the layers in the rock we are climbing and Jacob darts past me. “You have to go behind me!” I repeat. More whining but he obeys.

We climb some more. He pushes ahead. I repeat the rules, he whines, and each time gets in line with more and more reluctance until he’s really not listening to me anymore. His teacher makes an effort to get him to go to the back of the line where both the teacher and the chaperone are (which, might I add, is not helping me one bit). When we get to the plateau, the kids run every which way and very little, if any, of what I’m trying to teach them about rocks is getting through. It’s a garboil if ever I saw one.

By the end of the hike I’ve decided that I don’t like 3rd graders.

As we arrive back at the gift shop, his teacher turns to me and says, "ADHD The Movie: Starring Jacob" as way of explanation and, I think, apology. It makes sense of Jacob's behaviour and I wish I'd known that at the beginning of the hike. Maybe I could have used Jacob's energy instead of fighting it the whole time.

It's all a learning experience, I guess.

Even if all we learned by the time the tours were done was that all 6 of us tour guides don’t want kids anymore.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Where the Coal Train Loads

I'm working at the Coal Mine now, which means that I've spent the last four days reading miner stories and miner interviews and mining history, with a bunch of geology thrown in for good measure. I'm taking Geo Hikes up the hills next week which will be fun since I've never witnessed one of these hikes - I get to wing it. With Grade 3's. Hopefully it'll all work out.

I have an audition in Edmonton next Monday. I hope it goes well. It's for a touring company that tours Shakespeare into schools. I think I'd enjoy it...I like Shakespeare...but we'll see.

And that's the up-date for my life.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Life in the Last Few Days

I auditioned for a film agent. T. and I left Craving rehearsal early and rushed over to the building, getting there fifteen minutes late. There were four people ahead of us when we got there – L. and three U of A grads who were most entertaining. They were so friendly and chatty that by the time the voice from the bottom of the stairs called me in for my audition I was relaxed and ready to have fun. I felt pretty good about the audition – until I heard back from the agency last night. They aren’t ready to put me on the roster, said the lady, which is fine. I don't think I'm really that interested in film. Her feedback is what I've been obsessing over.
On Emerge: I was subtle and understated which they really liked, since so many people were over the top and theatrical. (Great. I'm too subtle for theatre work.) However, I had a lot of emotion in my pieces, and they thought I did great. In the audition for them, though, I was too exact with the text. (So I have too many theatre habits to be a film actor. Damn. I’m too much of a theatre actor for film and too subtle to get any work in theatre.)
This was still eating at me when I woke up the next morning. One day I’ll learn to let go of these things. For now I still need to take the deep breaths and remind myself that I have something to offer, “even if I’m not quite sure yet what that is.”

Craving opened to a full house. Every time I looked out into the audience the bodies and blurred faces startled me. I haven’t played to real people for a while but it was nice. I heard laughter I recognized and saw faces I knew.
I’m trying to describe things in more sensory detail but I don’t have any memories of the senses last night – except the wonderful chocolate cupcake from Crave that the producer bought for us; the mass of caramel that stuck to my teeth after I ate the Rolo; the panic of chocolate-choking that happens when you inhale the vapour of chocolate melted in your mouth as I was trying to speak; the keen awareness of eyes as people were watching me ‘puke’ on stage; the gasp of the audience when I said I was 72 pounds. The smarting in my eyes, the swelling of my lungs, the anger in my chest as I rode the roller coaster through the show.

I hope it goes well right to the end of the run – only three more days, four more shows.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


The porcupine looked up, his confused little face all bunched up against the bright lights of my car.

Car: Thunk.

Me: Oh no! Oh no!

T.: [starts moaning softly in the seat beside me]

A.: [begins laughing in the back seat]

Me: I've never killed an animal with my car before!

[We go back to look for the poor little thing but can find neither hide nor hair nor quill, so we conclude that since I only hit it with my bumper and I'd slowed down a lot, that I only gave it a small concussion and it went on it's way, hopefully wiser for the experience.]

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Little Freaked Out


Because I've been informed of 3 - count it, people, 3 - engagements in the last 10 days.

All among my peers.

I am joining the generation of people coupling up and settling down. I didn't think I was that old yet! I don't feel that old yet. Or mature. How - when - did this happen?

But it is spring, so I guess love is in the air. And with love, comes a lot of wedding bells.

Even if it does freak me out a little.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Good Day

I'm trying Safari on my computer.  The more I have to do with Macs and their software, the more I like them.  I think when I have to replace this computer, I'll get a Mac.

Speaking of replacing things - I think I need to get a smaller car.  Mine is still in good shape and runs really well - especially when you consider it has 293,000 kilometers on it - but with gas prices going the way they are, I just can't afford to drive it anymore.  22 mpg just doesn't cut it.

I just came from the second full run we've done of the show I'm in rehearsals for.  We open in two weeks and I think we'll be ready.  At the end we did press shots and we got to eat cream puffs.  The show is about a girl with an eating disorder (played by me), which is why the cream puffs had relevance to the photo shoot.  I like that we got to eat them for real when the photo is all about me distancing myself from food.

Right now S. is about to begin his last performance of the show he's in.  I'm so proud of him.  He's done really well.  Of course I may be a bit biased - but he is a really talented actor and it makes my heart do a little dance to see him do what he loves to do, and do it so well.

It's spring here - the frogs are singing loudly, the ducks and geese are (probably) eating them with satisfaction, and I'm putting my roses outside for a few hours a day so they can get used to the breeze - and hopefully the bugs that have been slowly killing them will go away and find some hardier wild plant to infest.

Top that all off with a visit from L., and I'm having a pretty darn good day.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Innocent and Ignorant Are Not the Same Thing

I'm sitting at home, making a roast chicken dinner. This should calm me, but instead I'm sitting here obsessing over the fact that I may have just made a huge fool of myself on this blog.

I've since edited the offending post, but originally in my "Emerging" post I mentioned some people by name, as well as some of my musings or observations of them. I wasn't meaning any of that to be rude or disrespectful, but it also never occurred to me that when I mention people by name, my blog is only a Google-click away.

I feel like such a fool. Nothing that I wrote was a particular secret - I chatted about all of what I wrote with my friends at one point or another, and I knew that most of them could read it anyway - but upon reflection I see how what I wrote could be seen as insulting or just plain rude.

That's the worst of it for me. I have just put myself out there (semi-anonymously) as this completely rude person when I really didn't mean it that way.

I feel like a toddler, too, just learning that my observations and thoughts on people that I genuinely liked when I met them have potential to hurt them and myself. I tell myself that I should have learned this when I was 3. Really, girl, think about what you say before you shake out your writing fingers next time, I scold.

Then I have to take a deep breath and remember to forgive myself and let go. And I realize that my knee-jerk impulse to just never show my face in the theatre scene again is probably a bit of an overreaction. I've done all I can to rectify the situation, there's nothing else I can do.

Let's just hope I've learned something from this and that it never, ever, EVER happens again.

Heart Attack

It never occured to me that people could find my blog if I mentioned them, simply by googling themselves.

A wake up call and a heart attack rolled into one. Thank God the fellow who told me this was kind about it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Emerge. This is an event organized for all of the graduating acting students in Alberta to come and have an emerging audition for all of the artistic directors and freelance directors and theatre companies in Alberta. It’s a whole day of audition after audition, shown in four minute chunks divided by a bell if you go over time. Every student goes to Edmonton and Calgary, to two different groups of AD’s and theatre companies, with the same two pieces.

My class just finished this event. I thought we all did really well in Edmonton and even better in Calgary. Both days were long, though - leaving home at 8:00 and not getting back until late in the evening, all for an audition that flew by and a chance to schmooze with people after the day was over. We sipped glasses of complimentary wine and snacked on cheese and fruit and stood around.

I hate schmoozing. It seems pointless to me. Isn’t it too obvious that what I want from you is a job? Doesn’t this feel like I have an agenda in speaking to you? How can anything sincere come out of this? I feel dirty and gross and it’s an integral part of the career I’ve chosen.

I don't think I did too well in Edmonton, but I think I was better prepared in Calgary. Plus the wine and cheese thing in Calgary was just more friendly in atmosphere and environement, being held in a lovely venue.

At both events S. gets told that he did good work but is probably going to have to take out his piercing. A lady who knows one of my friends comes over and tells us that we all rushed our transitions between pieces but that we kicked ass – “Rosebud always does”. Someone else tells us that we were exceptionally clear. Some people don't talk to us at all.

Nothing gets reinforced to me except that everything is relative and I really can’t take what people say seriously in this career.

This is the stupidest line of work a person can possibly pursue. But I can't deny my heart and so I keep moving forward, which I guess is all I can do.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I tagged myself from Hope's blog when I had the flu and almost forgot about it entirely.

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. This last one might not happen since I don't think I know five bloggers - so tag yourselves. I'm changing the rules.

1)What was I doing 10 yrs ago?

I was 14, so I was doing some school and spending vast amounts of time outside playing and taking care of animals. It was a good life.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

I need to phone my old music teacher and ask about a mini-disc recorder, so that I can record some stuff for my mom who is making a radio documentary for Outfront.

I have to remember to email rehearsal reports before rehearsal this evening for L.'s final project.
Other than that, my day is my own.

3) Snacks I enjoy:

Tostitos with hot, hot salsa; Stoned Wheat Thins with either pickles (Vlasic, the pickles that sound so great) or dark chocolate; chocolate in any form. Sometimes fruit.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

I would pay all of my friends student loans, and my own, and create a few really great scholarships for this place, and then I think I'd invest in a really good and practical hybrid car. I'd also build wells for every village in Africa that I could find. And, lets face it, I'd go clothes shopping. And I'd build or buy myself a house somewhere, but first I'd have to figure out where I want to live.

5) Three of my bad habits:

Living in the future or the past instead of the present; letting fear be my guide; swearing. I think I swear a little too much.

6) 5 places I have lived:

The Bailey House, where we had a lovely classic barn where the chickens would lay eggs in the floor of the loft and my brothers and I saw a green orb that was watching us with friendly curiosity; The Laverick House, where every spring our animals would double, triple, quadruple in number and we'd go on quiet hunts to find hidden nests of kittens and chicks; The Star House, where I had a room with a tiny window that was too high to jump out of anyway and I learned that I need more than one way out of my bedroom or I feel trapped; The Dahlen House, where I had many, many late night hallway talks with my best friends; This house, where I am happy.

7) 5 jobs I have had:

I've been a librarian, a hostess at a restaurant, a janitor at a welding shop (which was the worst job I've ever had for multiple reasons), a supervisor at A&W, and in a month I'll be working at a coal mine. Should be fun!

8) 5 peeps I wanna know more about:

My love, S.; my friends, R. and L. and T.; my roommate J. And myself, but that makes six.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Just a Quick Note... say that I went to Emerge, which is an audition that graduating acting students go to once in their life to present themselves as they emerge into the acting scene to all the theatre companies in Alberta who care to attend (85 this year), and I not only survived, I feel I did pretty well.


Now I'm off to rehearsal for Craving, a show I'm in that goes up in May at Fire Exit Theatre in Calgary. Hint, hint, plug, plug.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Pancake Theory Part II

I feel a need to explain the “Pancake Theory” post a little bit.

Last year, there was a young man here at the school. In the year that he was here he spent a lot of time with me and my friend R. I spent a lot of time listening to him in the first term, because he was crushing hard-core for R. and needed someone to talk to. After he talked to R. about how he felt (they never did go out) they spent more time together, and the three of us did dinner music together for a few months.

R. and I both counted him as a friend. Then he went home, just for the summer. We both heard from him once or twice. His only email to me did sound a bit strange – too chipper, too insistent that there were no problems between him and his parents which I thought was odd since I hadn’t thought there were problems and thus hadn’t said anything about it in my email to him. There was some scattered muttering about whether we would ever see him again – and then his father and uncle came into Rosebud and cleared out his room, leaving a typed, formal letter with the school that he wouldn’t be coming back to school in the fall.

This came out of the blue to some people and some nodded and said they’d seen it coming.

Since then, however, we haven’t heard a peep from this young man. Not a whisper, not a sign that he’s alive. He’s been deleted from Facebook, he vanished from MSN Messenger, and as far as anyone knew, emails were vanishing into cyber-space. If people phoned, his father would very curtly tell them that he wasn’t there and he wouldn’t offer to take a message. It fuelled the speculation, which went on for months – a long time considering he was only here a year. That should give you an idea of how much people liked this fellow and how odd it seemed that he just suddenly cut us all out of his life. It was very dramatic.

Some people in town (and I might add, these people are extremely sane people, who surprised me greatly with this train of thought) came up with a theory – they decided that this young man was being kept captive in his bedroom by his parents and being fed pancakes under the door.
I didn’t completely buy into the theory, but I did think about tracking him down in person, or phoning the police in his hometown and reporting a missing person, but with some thought I dismissed it as too extreme.

Or was it? [The suspenseful music begins here.]

I continued to email this young man, without expecting a response, just because I cared about him and wanted him to know what was going on in my life. In my last email to him I felt a compulsion to give him my blog address, so I did.

And he left a comment on this very blog! He refers to himself as a dinner music partner, and since only two of my dinner music partners know of my blog (him and R.) and R. didn’t leave that post (I asked her) it must have been him. I was very excited to hear from him, but even so didn’t want to pressure him into correspondence or anything.

(In case that comment gets deleted, I’ve retyped it here:

Your a very interesting person R. I never knew there was so much going on inside of that head of yours. May the Holy Spirit bless you with his riches and may he really make himself known to you. He's still living you know. All of the things written of in Acts still happen today. I love you with the love of the Lord. He loves you with such a love, oh wow it's powerful.
A certain Dinner Music Partner
Beloved Marriage

I have no idea what the "Beloved Marriage" comment means, unless he's being forced into an arranged marriage of some sort and this is his last cry for help.)

Anyway, I waited a little while and then sent him another email.

This was instantly bounced back to me, because his email address is suddenly permanently not available. So I’ve either been super-blocked or he’s deleted his email address.

Or his parents have.

It just doesn’t make sense to me. Why, after almost a year of emailing him, would he suddenly decide to block me now? And why block me after finally contacting me? And why was his message to me so bizarre?

I’m back to the pancake theory, people. I’m back to the pancake theory.

(Although, as S. had great fun pointing out last night, he could also be fed cheese slices, pizza, pitas, peanut butter on a playing card, ice cream mashed under the door – he went on for quite a while, until I explained that “Pancake Theory” has a much better ring than “Pancake/Pita/Pizza/Cheese Slices/Peanut Butter on a Playing Card/Mushy Ice cream Theory”. And it does.)

Monday, March 31, 2008

When I Grow Up I Intend To:

I have been procrastinating on learning monologues for my auditions in April. Today saw a fantastic amount of non-memorizing productivity – the bathroom is clean and so is my room. I actually sorted through a box of letters and cards, the oldest of which dates from my seventh birthday. No kidding.

In there I found a list that I wrote a long time ago. I don’t know when I wrote it, as there is no date, but this is what I wrote, verbatim, except for things in [these] which are my present day comments.

[The handwriting is very similar to my current writing, so I must have been in my teens]

12:36 – I just saw a cow moose outside of DeBolt. It was eating a willow.

[Then, in smaller, neater and more determined printing]

When I grow up I intend to –

take riding lessons and perhaps own a horse.
take violin lessons [at some point I wrote in the margin, ‘started @ 17 yrs’]
speak another language (romantic pref.) (Italian or Spanish)
be a surgeon perhaps.
ski and swim regularly.
own property (house and land)
write, paint, sketch, and read classics (and interesting stuff).
go hiking
own a bird
critique movies
be a good cook.
not take things for granted.
maybe work the medical side of crime: i.e forensics or coroner.
hunt or belong to a gun club/shooting range
learn martial arts

[Then, at the bottom…]

Meet in front of M.B. @ 2 or so.

I have no hope of achieving that last note, since I have no idea what it means, but I liked reading the list and seeing the future life I had plotted out for myself. I was a pretty savvy kid – a lot of that list is still completely relevant to what I want today.

I think I’d add:

fall in love [and in the margin I could write, ‘started @ 22yrs’]
publish a book

I put the list back in the box, by the way. In several years, when I next sort through that box, I can remember…and see how many of the margins I can write ‘started @ **yrs’ in then…

Friday, March 28, 2008

Life Lately

Just as an update on my life...

I handed in my portfolio - so I'm done school!
I'm getting ready to go to Emerge, which is a province wide audition in April.
I'm Stage Managing for my friend L.'s final project, which means taking care of a budgie between rehearsals. His name is Barry and he likes men better than women. It really suits the play, in ways I can't begin to explain because I don't have enough time.
I have to decide where I'm going to work this summer but I have some options which make me happy.
I'm in a play in May, in Calgary - Craving by Delphine Brooker, at Fire Exit Theatre - and I'm excited about that!

Life is good.

Especially because I don't have to live on pancakes.

Pancake Theory

Which is to say, I think my old friend from Ontario is locked in his room by his parents and being fed pancakes under the door.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I was dreaming that I was higher than I'd ever been because I'd just smoked a joint the size of a cigarette by myself. I walked by my good friend and mentor and they were still accepting of who I am and where I was at. It was a good feeling. In the dream I told him I'd be mortified when I came down but he said, no, don't be. It's okay.

I was woken up by the phone ringing. People wait until the last minute to find replacements for work. I don't understand - you've been sick for three days, why did you think you'd be fine today? But hope springs eternal, I guess.

Then I wrote a long email to my mother in which I ranted about some of the disillusionment I've been feeling lately. When I went to send it, the internet failed. Why anyone would pay for the internet in this town is beyond me - it is the least reliable service I have ever experienced. So I got very angry and slammed my desk tray shut and broke it, which just made me angrier because I couldn't fix it. I shouted, slammed doors and pieces of furniture, and considered taking one of my glasses outside and smashing it on the sidewalk but settled for screaming which didn't have the same effect. A brisk walk with a personal cloud helped a bit. The sun helped a bit. People are friendly in the street, that helped too.

But I'm still grumpy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I’d really like to know what my subconscious has been trying to tell me these last few nights.

I’ve had a lot of strange dreams recently, which actually is quite normal for me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have vivid dreams that most people would probably label nightmares, but to me have a gleam of fascination to them. However, even I am unsettled by my dreams sometimes and last night I had three very unsettling dreams.

I usually don’t write my dreams down here, for fear that people will read into them and interpret them, correctly or incorrectly, and then have (or think they have) an upper hand by understanding parts of me that I don’t understand myself.

So this is an unprecedented event.

First I dreamt that I was getting married. I never saw the groom, and the wedding actually never happened in my dream. In the dream I was getting the photos taken. We were in Greece (and when I say we, I just mean the people in my dream, not all of whom I know. My friend L. was there, and so was my youngest brother, and perhaps my mother at the beginning, but I think the rest were strangers) and I wanted to get the group photos taken in this bend in the mountainous road where there was a beautiful background of another mountain and a lake. It was 6:00 in the evening, and the sun was setting behind the mountain. The wedding party wasn’t all there yet, because some of them were getting ready and some were on their way but were kind of lost. Youngest Brother was on his cell phone telling them they had to drive through the village and we were just on the other side of it. Finally everyone was there but the sun had set and we took the pictures in the dark, with the stars and moon as a backdrop. I did see some buildings before the sun set, and some people. I was content and completely relaxed, but the buildings and people had a sobering effect on me. They were not good, but not a danger to me in that moment. The groom never materialized, even in the pictures. I’m actually not sure he was ever there.

Then I dreamt of a young pregnant girl. She was blonde and lovely and innocent looking, and about five months along. She was in a prison in this horrible place (perhaps the buildings I had seen in the wedding dream) – she had been imprisoned because she was an unwed mother-to-be. This place was very conservative, cultish almost, and it was like it was the middle ages or something, technologically. It was all dirty and poorly lit. The jailer, a big brutish man, sliced open her belly and took her baby, which died because it was too young to be taken out yet. The girl staggered. He took her baby away, which was wrapped in dirty white swaddling right from the moment it came out. The girl got out of the jail when he went away with the infant but she was weak and she died. She was laid out on a table and her body was packed with cocaine, which you could see from the wound in her belly. She had been laid out with care but I don’t know who did it. The table was rough wood. Some of the people from this place found her and sat around the table and began to eat the cocaine from her womb. It was all over their faces, white powder, and in their mouths, and their eyes were stupid. They were grubby and stuffing their faces with cocaine, feasting like the dwarves in The Last Battle, with no grace or gentility but all crudeness and selfishness and greed, sitting around the table where the dead girl was laid. They didn’t even know what they were eating, they were just stuffing their faces with it. They all died of it, and sat there, slumped with their eyes dead and closed, all sitting dead in their chairs around the dead girl on the table, and it was all very still. Then, from having watched this all unfold without being a part of it, I became embodied in the dream. I was the dead girl’s mother. I was on a horse (brown, I think) and I was dressed in flowing feminine robes with a scarf masking my face like an Arabian harem girl or princess. I was beautiful and older, and filled with grief as I searched and searched for my daughter. I was a demi-goddess and although I knew the previous content of the dream I was still searching for someone to tell me the story, to tell me where I could find my daughter. I was so full of sorrow and grief and pain for my daughter and her dead child! One boy, who was almost a man but not quite yet, told me what he knew and I think he directed me to where he thought she had been buried but I didn’t ever see a grave. I was mourning and my beautiful face was full of sorrow, and it was still somehow very beautiful.

Then I dreamt that I was in a large house, although I only went into a few rooms of it. I was there with my friend R., and maybe L. and S. were there too, and perhaps one of my brothers although I don’t know which one or if they were there at all in the first place. There was a covered deck around three sides of the house but I was only on one side. The deck was screened in. There was a porch that came out onto the deck. It had large windows in the upper half of the walls but the bottom was normal wall, although at times it had the feeling of being a glass room. There was an ill-fitting door between this porch and the rest of the house. The porch jutted out all the way to the edge of the deck, effectively cutting the deck apart. There was another ill-fitting door from the porch to the deck, and on this side of the porch was a huge white dog. It was friendly like all large untrained dogs are – overwhelming and messy and unintentionally rough. I had to make the door stay shut by lifting it and turning the deadbolt into its hole so the dog wouldn’t get in, because we knew that if we were with it, it would turn nasty and bite us and perhaps try to kill us. There was a gun cabinet outside with the big white dog, and I tried to reach the cabinet to get the .22 and bullets so I could shoot the dog, but I couldn’t quite reach. If you went into the house, there was a kitchen and another door that led outside to the other side of the deck, where there was another dog. It was smaller, and a duller white (or perhaps a light dirty blonde) and it was well behaved and trained. It sat quietly and was quite reserved and didn’t send off friendly signals at all – it seemed quite intellectual and reserved, but it was safe. I was put out that I couldn’t get the gun to shoot the big stupid dangerous dog and everyone in the kitchen was playing cards and didn’t really care, even though the doors were rickety and if the dangerous dog stopped being friendly it could break in.

Then I woke up.

I don’t know what these dreams mean. My dad bought me a dream book a while back, and it isn’t very accurate – I think dreams are usually quite specific to the person dreaming them although there are some universal symbols that we all seem to hold in our collective consciousness. I do look up the symbols and read the ‘meanings’, though more for entertainment then for real knowledge, and according to that book, these dreams hold multiple signals that I am going to be betrayed by a friend, someone I least suspect.

I don’t know if I believe that.

I have been told by people I’m more inclined to believe that death in dreams usually means change; children mean new life, or a new creative project; pregnancy means the birth of creativity. Since those are the aspects of these dreams that stick out to me the most, I wonder. A child died. A young woman died too, and people ate death from her womb.

Put that way, no wonder I’m a bit disturbed.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Letting Go

I'm experiencing something new.

I've been hesitant to write or talk about it because it feels like once I do it'll disappear.

Whatever this is, I treasure it, and sometimes when I share a treasure it vanishes - or at the least loses some of it's luster.

So I'm not going to say much.

But letting go feels a lot better than holding on.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Thought

I think I'm going to try to let go of all my past resentments and just live, and deal with, today.

I'm also curious as to what happens when a blog post title gets repeated. I like one and two word titles - I've got to repeat sometime.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This Resonates

The dust of exploded beliefs may make a fine sunset.
-Geoffrey Madan,writer (1895-1947)

That quote makes a lot of sense to me.

It wouldn't have even 7 months ago, but it does now.

The world isn't black and white, or even grey.

It is the full spectrum of colour, all the shades and hues.

When my beliefs lock me into a narrow range I think sometimes they have to be blown up in order for me to see the rainbow again.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Another Short Post

Well, this is it. I open my show today, and take my second-to-last step towards graduation.

I have had so much help from so many has made the whole project happen and I have so much gratitude that it wells up and almost, almost makes me cry.

I am very humbled.

Later I'll be nervous.

Here goes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Elusive Balance

There has to be room for being honest, taking care of yourself and not taking responsibility for other people's feelings, and still caring about other people and how your life affects them.

There has to be.

I just wish I knew what that looked like.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I had a weekend that had nothing to do with final project land, which was a good break. I went to my first ever hocky game, Swift Current Broncos vs. Calgary Hitmen, and the Broncos won 2-0 (which made for their 10th straight win...I know nothing about hockey but the things I hear I remember...with S. and his friend cheering loudly right beside me it was impossible not to learn something). Then S. and I went and watched "I Am Legend" which was fun.

It was a good weekend.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Well, the poster is done.

The set is getting there and so is the sound design.

I have meetings for costumes and basic production mentoring.

And rehearsal.

It's changing from plans on paper to tangible reality.

This is a surreal process - the final project I've thought about for years, ever since I got here, and now I'm actually doing it.

And the town is empty - people off in Israel, Vancouver and New York. But they'll all get back in time to see the finished thing, after all the work is done and over.

Whenever that is.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Final Project City

I'm in the midst of it, people. In the midst.

It feels like I should spell that 'mist' - it certainly seems that way.

But I keep on truckin'.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pay it Forward...?

The other day I received an email from the parents of a girl I grew up with. It was one of those forwards that reminds me that the people from Saved! aren’t just a stereotype – you know, the ones that say things like, “Support the troops in Iraq who are doing God’s patriotic will by saving the heathen Iraqis and bringing God’s chosen civilization to the savages! Put your name on here to get prayer back into our godless schools! If you don’t, remember that Jesus is watching! Shame and judgement will follow you all the days of your life! Vote for the Christian candidate even though everyone with half an eye can see he’s a complete hypocritical prick!” – those kind of emails. The last one I got was so full of hatred veiled in righteousness that I cried, and then sent an email back requesting that they not send me any more forwards.

It’s been a long time but another one finally made it through. This one was equally angry and bitter. Apparently the Canadian government wants to take the words “Under God” off of our money. I didn’t know those words were on our money, but whatever. Maybe it’s one of those American forwards that is making the Northern Tour, as it were. Either way, it was full of the angry justice that makes me forget what Jesus was about.

“If they [the government] doesn’t want to acknowledge God on our money/in our schools/in our courts, then I [the Christian, presumably] don’t want them taking Christmas or Easter holidays. I want my post delivered over the holidays, I want full government services when the Christian holidays occur. After all, if they don’t want to serve God, why should they get any of the perks?”

That’s not exactly what it said but that’s what I got out of it. (If you want to read the actual email leave a comment and I'll send it to you.) I swore (I was having an angry day anyways) and then wrote them another email. Here it is –

Dear LR,

Do you not get the impression that these kinds of emails are going against several commandments in themselves - namely, Love thy neighbour as thyself and be good to those who persecute you - ? This doesn't seem to be turning the other cheek or any of the things that Jesus spoke to us about.
Yes, it saddens me when a nation turns from God, but really, this country hasn't been a nation 'under God' in years. I doubt God has been a central part of any government in Canada during my entire lifetime. If it matters to you so much to have 'under God' on your money, or to have the 10 Commandments on a government building, or to have prayer in school, then fight the government on that instead of being childish about it and saying, well then fine. If you aren't going to do things the way I want, then you can't have any holidays. Good grief, people. That kind of attitude just makes Christians match the stereotype.
Please stop sending me crap like this. It just makes me mad and I'd like to have as many good days as possible. Thank you.


A few days later, to my immense surprise, I got a response.

Sorry Becky that you are sounding so bitter these days. I’ll pray for you.

I laughed when I got that. Bitter? I’m sounding bitter? Excuse me, did you read the email you sent me first?

Then I shook my head, took a breath and thought about it. My email did have anger in it, and I can see how anger sounds like bitterness.

More interesting to me, though, is that, from opposite sides of this email, we both think the other person is bitter and completely wrong. Deceived, even. We probably think the exact same things about each other and see ourselves in the same boat that we think the other is missing.

That intrigues me extremely. I would like to sit down with LR and have a conversation to see if my interpretation of the forwards is what she actually means. Perhaps it is all a difference of semantics.

I kind of doubt it. But I would like to start some kind of conversation to see.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Recent Thoughts

People confuse and intrigue me. They are mysterious and predictable. I sometimes think I should understand them better since I am a people too but I don’t.

One of my friends was getting close with her ex again, to the point where I wondered if they had secretly gotten back together. If they were, that sure ended fast. The girl who caused them the most trouble swooped back into the picture and now the ex is off with her, dropping my friend like so much hot dog shit. Why did this happen? I don’t know. I don’t see any love between the ‘home-wrecker’ and the ex. I know my friend loves him but I don’t think he loves her back. And I wonder at these people’s ability to love themselves.

It seems that people who can’t love themselves also can’t be alone, and that’s what this feels like to me. It’s horrible and painful and difficult to witness, and I wish I could be there for my friend – but she flew to Vancouver to get away from this. I hope that’s a good thing for her but it feels like she’s just running away from the pain instead of dealing with it.

It makes me so, so thankful that I let S. love me and that he lets me love him. I am so grateful that we share a love together.


I just had a good talk with my roommate J. We talked about people, relationships, pain and how people hurt each other over and over and over. How it’s so hard to witness people hurting each other but that that is all you can do most of the time.

As we talked, he mentioned that his brother-in-law is so awkward at their family events. We talked about how people sometimes assume that their future mates should just mesh into their families of origin. It happens for some people. My friend L. who just got married, they both fit into the other’s family like water into more water. But does that mean that if it doesn’t work out that way that the relationship is doomed or bad or with the wrong person?

I don’t think so.

I think the fear is that if the significant other doesn’t fit in, that the child will then choose the mate over the family and it will cause a schism. That happens, I’m sure. But if the mate doesn't fit, it doesn't mean there will be an unhealthy separation of the child from the family.

I feel like my parents are afraid because S. doesn’t fit into our family like he was born there. I wish they wouldn’t be. There isn’t anything to be afraid of. He knows my family is important to me. He just can’t handle any expectation that he’ll get all chummy with these people who created me. He doesn’t do well with expectation from anyone, even those he trusts, and he takes time to trust people.

I wish that didn’t scare my parents so.


I wish that people would learn, once and for all – you can’t steal something that you can’t own.

In other words, people.

Loves cannot be stolen. If A leaves B for C, it’s because A didn’t want to be with B, not because C stole A somehow.

There are a few people in this town that I would like to slap, to explain this to, but most of them are in the midst of believing that they’ve been stolen from so I doubt this would go over well.

Besides, another truth is that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. I can talk until I’m blue in the face but no-one has to listen or accept what I say as truth. They have to all figure it out for themselves, the hard way it looks like.


I wonder why people blame this place for their troubles and their pain. I have heard so many people say that they have to leave this town, to get away from it all.

There is pain here, crap here, politics – good lord, are there politics in this town – but it isn’t any different ‘out there’.

The only difference I can see is that out there you don’t usually live in the midst of the people you share intimacy with. When you don’t interact with people on the level we live on here, of course you don’t get hurt.

You don’t experience the love, support and blessings either though. Not on the same scale. Pain and love live at the same depth. When you are the most open to love, you are the most open to pain, and it seems to me to work the other way round too.

I don’t understand why people think they can run from their pain. Pain comes from inside you and that goes with you wherever you go.

I feel like I can’t live in Rosebud forever, but not because I’m being smothered here or damaged here. I have to leave to get another perspective of the world. I went from my parent’s house to this town of intimacy and I wonder what it is like to live in a ‘normal’ place. I feel a need to prove to myself that I can live and be okay 'out there', that I can make friends in a world where they aren’t made for you. I also need to live in my own house, without roommates (someday), and that won’t happen here simply because this is a town centered around a school – the houses are centered around dorms so there is nowhere to live unless I have roommates.

It isn’t that Rosebud is smothering me though. I love the people here, I love the people I live with. They are like people I have seen everywhere else...beautiful, damaged, blessed, open, closed. People are people wherever you go. Life is a blessed thing, wherever you are given the chance to live it out.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Magic Mother Eyes

My mother has been silent this holiday.

We haven’t talked much and I feel it as an uncomfortable weight on me.

I don’t know what she’s thinking. I don’t know if I want to know what she’s thinking. It’s driving me crazy not knowing what she’s thinking.

I don’t know if I want her to know what I’m thinking either.

When I was young I stole a box of Smarties from a guest who overstayed her welcome in our house. I stole them a few at a time until they were all gone. Mom confronted me and asked me if I had taken them. I lied to her face. She believed me and that was when I realized that the magic mother eyes were a lie.

It’s strange how if you’ve been told something enough times, even when it’s proven to be false you still believe it.

This Christmas I got busted for smoking pot with my brother. My mom was so shocked. I was shocked too. I thought she already knew. I don’t know why. It’s not like I told her. The myth of the magic mother eyes is strong.

There are a lot of things that I assume my mother knows and when it becomes apparent that she doesn’t it surprises me every time. She asserted her omniscience so often in my childhood that it is going to take a lot of repetition before that lie is broken in my mind for good.

One thing I know – it won’t be broken with silence.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


My boyfriend just got cast in a show. I’m very proud of him – he’s a talented actor and he loves theatre so much. I’m really happy that he’s got another chance to do what he loves.

Last night I went to the first read-through. This is where the cast and crew sit around a table, designs are presented, and the play is read aloud. This play is a tear-jerker. I know I’ll be a mess when I go to see it – I’ll need Kleenex for sure.

Afterwards, as I was leaving, one of my teachers came up to me and asked if she could talk to me for a minute. We sat on the couches in the lounge as people were leaving the building and she told me that I failed dance.

I failed dance.

It is the first time I’ve failed anything that I was being graded on.

Tears spilled down my face as she gently told me that my absence from 7 of the classes meant that I did not meet the requirements to pass. Frustration welled up inside me. Those 7 classes were missed because of my health. My body betraying me. I’ve had a bad past five months, health-wise.

She did tell me that the Ed Team took that into consideration and they aren’t making me take the class again. I’ll still graduate with my FRSA. I’ll just have an F on my transcript. That was so frustrating to hear. I worked hard so I wouldn’t have to take dance yet again.

I could have used the Kleenex last night too.

S. was full of astonishment when I told him. Not because I failed, but because I’ve never failed at any graded thing before. He laughed at me, after he held me and comforted my last tears away, and told me that failing at something just made the winning later that much greater. “Like when you finally pass grade 7,” he said.

It made me smile. I think that was the point.

We talked it over. I guess I wasn't terribly surprised that I failed because of absences. Even though I went to every class I could physically handle, and I worked hard in class, that just wasn’t enough. I guess my body has limitations and it just let fly with them last term.

One thing we both thought was interesting though was how, and where, and when I was told about it. In a public place, right after a reading of a play. Crying on a couch as people walked by, leaving. I think I would have preferred it if she had set up a meeting in her office or something. But this is Rosebud and that is how things end up being done. I can’t say I’m not guilty of having done the exact same thing to people - 'Oh, hi, I have this to tell you right now because it's on my mind...not because this is an appropriate time and/or place to do so...'

Whatever. I have my first F. I’m still here. I’m still okay. I still like myself.

For some reason I feel wonder at this. And a little proud of myself. I can still like myself after I fail at something. I've grown.

Good to know.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I want to yell but
I repress it yet again.
Don't want to startle
the neighbours
the calm predictable people
with whom I must
be calm
and predictable
even though it chokes me
and smothers me
and makes me want to

And capital letters

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Life & Time

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything meaningful for this blog. At one point I had determined to write twice a week, to treat this as the column I’d love to write some day. Then I had a dark tea time of the soul and I haven’t thought of that since, until now.

Christmas has come and gone. It’s my brother’s 20th birthday tomorrow. Soon I’ll be headed back to Rosebud and then on to Medicine Hat for the wedding of L & K. It seems the busy never stops, not even for the birth of Christ.

Well, the remembrance of it, anyway.

My cousin has mono. She’s a school teacher, like her sister and another cousin. Looking in from the outside it looks like Holdeman Mennonite girls graduate school, stay home for a few years, and then if a proposal hasn’t come along they go teach school. They don’t go into nursing until it looks like those wedding bells are going to be a while. I wonder at my cousins and their acceptance of their life with the apparent lack of choice. They probably wonder at me and the life I’ve chosen.

My extended family and I have very little in common. I realized that at this years family gathering. They sit around and talk about people I don’t know, events that I don’t care about, details of life that don’t involve me or I don’t experience. The things I want to know – who likes who, what are their thoughts on God, life, relationships – they don’t talk about those things. I disconnect from them because it doesn’t come close to anything I care about. I think that’s unfortunate.

I haven’t been outside today. I’ve looked outside and seen the snow falling from the sky and landing in little drifts. I’ve thought about my dog, getting fatter every time I see her, who probably spent her day in her house too. I’ve thought of my brother’s ferrets. If they weren’t so smelly I’d go play with them but they reek of musk.

In a way it will be a relief to go back to my home and my schedule. There is a certain stress to being ‘home’ for the holidays. This isn’t my home and never has been. Any place I lived with my parents is in their (and my) past now, since they moved here (and bought this land) after I left to go to school. It’s strange to come to a place where I’ve never had a bedroom, where my furniture is in the storage shed and my things have never had a home. They have to carve out a space for me when I come visit. It’s a change for both me and them and I think while we both like seeing each other we also both breathe better when it’s over.

Maybe not. Maybe they don’t find my visit a stress at all. Now I feel guilty for feeling stressed out here. Well, being the daughter of a recovering addict, a Holdeman Mennonite, and two Catholics (and yes, that’s just two parents), I’ve probably come by this guilt naturally.

I have enjoyed being here. Seeing my brothers. Seeing my parents. Relaxing and eating and drinking and being merry. I haven’t had any deep heart-to-hearts with my mom, which surprises me. Every chance we would have had, the television stole from us. I’m not used to having a TV.

I have seen a lot of Christmas and New Years shows and it makes me want to be with S. on New Years, to join the tradition of kissing the one you love when the year ticks over. Someday I know it will happen. I like traditions and being part of them so I will make it happen.

Happy New Years, everyone.