Sunday, December 30, 2007

Leaning East

Well, I am here in Ottawa for the holidays. After a long-distance autumn, I am in the process of deciding whether or not to move back here or to stay in Vancouver.

Here is the list of Pros for each (it's easy to come up with hundreds of cons for each so I will only focus on the positives for now):

Pro Vancouver:
Amazing friends, some of whom have amazing babies
Bigger, more beautiful city, more people, more to do, better shopping
Healthier air and lifestyle
Larger, more diverse theatre base with a more readily respected, recognizable national reputation
Fewer people trained at Gaulier = more teaching opportunities perhaps???
Closer to my dad

Pro Ottawa:
Equally amazing friends (only fewer of them)
Intimate theatre base in which I am already somewhat established = potential to work and achieve more quickly
Entire HOUSE for what I am paying in Vancouver for a tiny apartment = greater potential for savings/disposable income plus more space
Possibility of getting a dog (a bribe from Nick, but still...)
The Manx
Closer to my mum

Vote here, my friends, for your fave!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Where have I been all this time?

Hello dear friends,

Over two months have passed since my last entry and I'm sure you thought I was boarding up this little window into my life. Well, not so. The truth is, I have been lazy. LAY-ZEEE

Where have I been?

To Paris, where you last saw me. I said goodbye to the blessed French countryside at the end of August to return home to Canadian soil. Ottawa was my first stop for visits with friends and the beginnings of a seemingly endless bout of culture shock. This was followed by a brief stint in Niagara Falls to see a few beloved family members. And then back to Ottawa for the development of a new piece of theatre - what? you may ask - well, we're not quite sure yet but it is on the way to becoming definable. Next up - more family, food, friends and shopping in New York City and New Jersey - a day at the beach on the jersey shore, fantastic food, minor celebrity sightings, a broadway show and a way way way off broadway import (how off broadway? well, how does Brooklyn sound to you?). One more week in Ottawa had me biding time until finally setting off to home-home. And now today I sit in my little cubby in Vancouver, hiding from the rain and writing this briefest of updates for you, dear reader, while I ponder things past and wait and plan for the next adventure. In the meantime, amidst organizing and reorganizing everything that has been packed away for these 13 months, I look for and welcome work related to my chosen profession - I did after all just spend the past year honing my skills - so if you hear of anything, please don't hesitate to think of me.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rome in a Day (Abruzzo in a week)

So I'm finally posting about my week long vacation in Italy. I actually started to write this post the day I returned to Paris but became so overwhelmed with the details of the trip that the task seemed too daunting. I am remedying this by splitting the experience into two posts - one about our land and air adventures before & after Italy and one about our actual trip.

(***More photos can be found here)

After all of the complaining I did about the rain in Paris, I certainly got more than I had been waiting for weather wise. This reminds me of an old adage my mother still recites to this day "be careful what you wish for - you just might get it." 34 degrees in the shade and a minimum 38 in the sun more than made up for the miserable weather in France and left me praying at times to the rain gods. I even killed a spider one day just in case the arachnid-rain superstition is true - it did nothing however and we were left sweltering.

After our hour long bus ride from the airport into Rome, we spent a fantastic afternoon in the city playing tourists - shopping, debating the way the local women dress (flashy or trashy?), eating panini and oohing and ahhing over the ruins and the colisseum before heading off to catch the bus to our main destination - Abruzzo.

Upon arriving at Nick's family's home where we would be staying, we were treated to a gigantic Italian meal of cutoletta, pomodoro, fagiolini, melanzane, panne and a ton of other delghts while Zio Vittorio, Zia Modesta, Enzo, Laurredana and cousin Alessandro regaled us with praise and stories about recent events and the lack of rain in the mountains (at least, that's what I think they were talking about - everything was in Italian so I can't really be sure). While the three dogs played, I watched the sunset behind the many high and rolling hills - several of which were topped with tiny towns built like fortresses. The clear and blackened sky revealed more stars than I think I've ever seen before - if I knew the constellations better I'm sure I could have drawn them in the air with my finger. We took a walk to the shrine to the Madonna that the two family households (next door neighbours to each other) had built on the road separating their respective properties. Upon reaching our destination we were delighted by spontaneous fireworks in a neighbouring town, which Alessandro told us were arranged to celebrate our arrival.

Over the week, we visited various family members who also ladened and lardened us with culinary delights. I became quite good at finding creative ways to say "thank you, it's wonderful but i can't possibly eat any more," as the Zias would spoon food onto my already half full plate, lovingly saying "mangia, mangia," and patting my cheeks saying "bella, bella." Funnily enough, I noticed that none of the other women dished such hearty quantities of food out to themselves. I also noticed that I was gaining probably about half a kilo a day! (Those of you who have previously envied my otherwise dainty frame and speedy metabolism can now take solace in the fact that I am trying to loose my new amore-handles as you read this.)

In the morning, I was amazed to come out of the house and be smacked me in the face with a close up view of Il Gran Sasso - a famous mountain of the region that looks like a big-bellied giant fast asleep on his back.

An average day looked like this:

Wake up sometime between 7:30 and 10am to Zio Vittorio reliving the happiest days of his youth by playing his favourite cd full of tributes to and songs about the Alpini.

Light breakfast of coffee and ciambellone followed by family gossip all generously provided by Zia Modesta.

Day's Main Activity:

Tuesday - Walk in the mountains followed by a drive up the winding roads to the Alpini meeting hall, drink well water and look at tiny lizards native to the area;

big lunch complete with homemade frizzy wine and acqua Santa Maria, followed by a two hour sosta (nap). Watch Alessandro play in a soccer tournament (finals) while drinking local beer and secretly nicknaming the other players things like Gino, Vino and of course Pino (for the guy with the orange tan and muscle car). Visit the other members of the family, eat some crazy italian layer cake to celebrate cousin Angelo achieving 98% on his accounting exam.

Wednesday - Day trip to a private beach in Rosetta - along the Adriatic Coast - with Theresa and her two children. Sun, swimming and, of course, a good sosta in the shade followed by a tour of Theresa's husband Pepe's restored Lambretta collection and homemade wine & olive oil cellar; big family dinner back at the house (big dinner and big family with Theresa, Pepe and kids also in attendance). Watch another of Alessandro's soccer games, this time with all of the cousins and boyfriends/girlfriends followed by gelato in a neighbouring town (complete with a spontaneous waterfight at the table).

Thursday - Lunch with Zia Angelina and Zio Gaetano - a three hour event where I learned the art of eating slowly, very slowly and saying "piano, piano, buono, buono" while Gaetano charmed me with his enthusasm and aptitude for the english language. This was followed by a three hour sosta and then dinner. (Yes, we literally ate-ate-slept-ate!) Alessandro took us to a pub in a nearby village for beer, electronic darts and melone vodka. An early night.

Friday - Day trip into a neighbouring town to look at the church and reliquary San Gabriel followed by cooling off in the icy waters of a local waterfall/natural spring (more lizards); big lunch of homemade gnocci, sausages, cheese and cold meat. Sosta (surprise).

All week Enzo kept hinting that there would be a surprise on Friday. At one of the soccer games earlier in the week, Alessandro introduced me to the joys of the regional specialty Arrosticini - sheep meat kebabs cooked over a skinny barbecue that is actually fired up with a blow torch. As it turned out, this was Enzo's intended surprise - a giant family BBQ of said meat sticks. So Alessandro made me promise not to tell that we had already eaten them on Tuesday night and I feigned ignorance for the rest of the week. (To be fair, and because I felt guilty, I only ate one or two at the game but at least twelve on Friday).

The BBQ brought around almost everyone we had met during the week, including Theresa who had cut her hair short since we first met Wendesday, inspired, she said, by me (blush blush). We all stayed up late drinking Enzo's homemade genziana - a digestive that tastes like dandelion root soaked in 99 proof alcohol (actaully, that's what it is) - aka moonshine. Entertainment was provided by all of the men in the family who, after dinner, lifted up their shirts to pat and compare the size of their bellies while Zio Vittorio played his Alpini hits again.

Saturday and Sunday - more fun at the seaside. These were the days where we planned to relish the luxury of being able to eat next to nothing! Then we were invited to lunch by a local family... and taken out for dinner by cousin Vittoria...

Saturday night found us at an evening flea market by the beach while Sunday brought us back to the soccer field where Alessandro played in the final match of his local league. His team, the underdogs of the game, won the entire tournament by one point in a sudden death mano-a-mano shots on net situation after two rounds of overtime. Needless to say, I found by the end that I had developed a new appreciation for the world's most beloved game.

Our trip finally came to an close on Monday morning and though I had had a wonderful time, I was glad to go home. The fact that no one spoke English really wore me down more than I had expected. I learned more italian than I had ever imagined but, although by the end I could understand a good deal of what was said to me, I grew tired and frustrated with the fact that I could not fully express myself, only being able communicate through simple words and partial sentences. Not only were we treated unbelievably well by our hosts, but I felt every second as if I was part of their own family. Indeed, I will never forget the beauty of the land, the sea and most of all the people. I have been invited back and I can't wait to return.

And by the way, yes, gelato was consumed every single day. Sometimes twice.

Monday, August 13, 2007

instead of posting about italy i did this quiz...

what do you think?

You Are An ENFJ

The Giver

You strive to maintain harmony in relationships, and usually succeed.
Articulate and enthusiastic, you are good at making personal connections.
Sometimes you idealize relationships too much - and end up being let down.
You find the most energy and comfort in social situations ... where you shine.

In love, you are very protective and supporting.
However, you do need to "feel special" - and it's quite easy for you to get jealous.

At work, you are a natural leader. You can help people discover their greatest potential.
You would make a good writer, human resources director, or psychologist.

How you see yourself: Trusting, idealistic, and expressive

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Bossy, inappropriate, and loud

Saturday, July 14, 2007

2 legit 2 quit

So I have been feeling a little low these past few rainy days - maybe it's been the lousy weather, the incessant runny puppy poo, the worn off novelty of having finished school, the missing of my newfound international friends, the days spent with nothing to do but watch the rain, hunt down long lost pals on facebook, watch pirated TV on You Tube and create new Malibu-based cocktails...
Anyhoo, needless to say, amidst my Googling, I researched so many theatre companies that all looked the same, that once again I started to feel hopeless about the future of professional theatre artists in Canada - true, bored, poor and free.
Then yesterday afternoon the sun decided to come out just as I decided to check a rarely visited e-mail account. In my inbox was an unexpected e-mail from the Canada Council for the Arts informing me that I had been selected to receive the JBC Watkins Award for Theatre! Wow!
Now, I don't know if this means that I'm now not eligible for the actual grant that I applied for, but Philippe's champagne was popped nontheless. Celebration was mandatory. How wonderful to feel, perhaps for the first time (and as Nick so aptly pointed out in the middle of his "proud of Cat" speech, lovingly applauded by the dogs), that I have been recognized and supported by the Canadian government as a legit artist. I think a big part of the proudish feeling comes from the fact that this is not an award you can simply apply or be nominated for (I looked into it months ago). No. Based on certain criteria, someone examined my grant application and said "this woman should get this prize," and others agreed. Wow!
The funniest thing is that just the night before, I was looking at the prize online and listing off all the reasons why I wouldn't or couldn't be selected for it.
Sometimes the weather is on your side.
Now, if only that puppy would start pooing on the grass...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

rain rain go away

i am sure you're dreaming of my hot, sunny, holiday in the french countryside. i am dreaming of it too. it seems that the summery weather came and went back in april and now it is cold and miserably rainy. my bikini is unworn but at least my apron is filthy with all of the baking i've had time to do in between taking care of two full grown dogs and training a puppy (a.k.a picking up poo).

so to while away this rainy hour, i bring you a pictoral review of the recent past.
*if you're on facebook at all, then you've probably seen what i've been up to these past few weeks but if not then here are a few highlights.

we had big street party to celebrate the end of school.

it was on rew's street. (you may remember him from an earlier post)

i was scouted and cast as an evil peter pan.

(these are my lost boys)

in order to get the part, i had to switch my gender,

and then convert. oi! (it seems to make it in the business it helps to be male and/or jewish)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Funny how? Like a clown? I'm here to amuse you?

So, I have come all this way and spent so much time here to now discover that I am not funny. For the most part. Those of you who know me well may be saying "No! What? But you're so funny in the café! In the life!" Some of you have said it already. Well my friends, I am sorry to tell you that a witty anecdoter does not a clown make. A clown is an idiot who plays an idiotic trick usually on another idiot. And I am just not an idiot (surprising, I know). However, I am learning to find and embrace my inner idiot. So in the mean time, please get to know my friends - other hunters on the quest for the golden idiot (there are about 70 of us so this is just a taste...)

Virgin Mary - the Gay Divorcé

Satan and Mr. Bogart

The Odd Couple

The Pride of Walt Disney World

Not Quite Wild Bill and Don Juan on the Beach

Raging Bull and Her Highness QE2

And of course the master himself...

As for me, well, I think the shorts are a good start.

*** update *** Since writing this, I have been funny 2 days in a row. I think it's the whiskey I've been drinking before class ;)

Monday, June 11, 2007


who has feet like this? seriously.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Another reason to floss

This is me Saturday night.

I woke up Thursday morning with a little pain around my bottom wisdom tooth. I've had mild throbbing there a few times before and thought this time that the thing had decided to try to grow in again (as it is only slightly peeking through the gum). By Friday I was taking Paracetemol (European version of Tylenol) and by Friday night it was Codeine and whiskey for the pain and to supress the tears. Not one to miss out on the Tori Amos event of the season, I continued on the stuff all day Saturday (paracetemol, not the whiskey) so that I could make the concert in the evening. This morning however, the swelling became worse and so I made an appointment at SOS Dentaire - a private dental clinic that is open on Sundays. The clinic seemed fine enough - in a nice location of the city. Though there was an older sign on the outside, the waiting room and the turn around time quick. Something was strange to me though - I realized that the receptionist had gappy teeth. Nothing wrong with that but this was the first dental clinic I've ever been to where the staff did not all greet me a perfect set of pearly whites. The people in the waiting room went in with frowns and came out with smiles though so I thought, nothing wrong with this, perhaps the French just don't put as much of an emphasis on perfect smiles as North Americans do. The dentist came to take me into the room. He too had what looked like smoker's teeth. This was where I began to panic a bit - the metal instruments hanging over the chair were spattered in what looked like dried blood (though maybe it was just iodine?). I began to imagine oral complications, drilling noises, screaming, evil laughter and the like and was extremely relieved when all he did was swab my mouth with some sick tasting acidy stuff. It was when he told me to rinse and spit that I noticed and there were several broken teeth in the drain - I kid you not. 100 euros later, he gave me a prescription for three different drugs and told me to get my tooth taken out when I get home. You see, it seems that when my dentist told me years ago that I should get my wisdom teeth removed, I perhaps should have listened. It was not the impaction itself that was causing the trouble but the nano-sized debris caught under the gum that created an infection. Just the tiniest bit of food.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

i love paris in the springtime

another quiet sunday in the marais. after spending what seems like the entire weekend gossiping about our classmates, teaching our brazilian and spanish friends to make pancakes (complete with canadian maple syrup) and playing lord of the rings risk with nick and special guest stars ruth and pedro, i am not yet thoroughly geeked out. now i search for game strategies, ways to "fuck nick" (to quote my lotrr mentor/partner in evil doings ruth) as a tool for procrastination (i should be learning lines, you see). perhaps there are better ways to spend a rainy afternoon but i for one can think of none.

so, perhaps you can help me get some work done on this laziest of sundays, dear reader. one week into my writing and directing unit, i still search for a fantastic story to tell my class. one that will prompt listeners to dream and create a two hour script around. do you have something light, beautiful, wonderful, magical, original to share and inspire?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

sunday in the park with ed

this was my last week of my three week vacation. fittingly, it was spent being a tourist again. nick and i went to the eiffel tower where, believe it or not, nick had yet to visit.

sipping expensive champagne straight from the bottle with a view of the sun setting over the city, we quietly observed all of the student tours waiting in line for the elevator to the top while relishing in being a perfect balance between being decadent and trashy.

today being the last day of the break, was spent sun worshipping at an informal picnic with becky, ed, aron and nick at sacre coeur.

this was becky's idea. so, with beer and potluck dishes in tow, we made the trek up the steps and picked a perfect spot with a hot, hazy view of the city and planted ourselves for a number of hours before heading back, pink skinned and sunstroked, to the moldy apartment (which now also smells like cheese for some reason or other) for late afternoon mojitos. (note - don't make mojitos with mineral water as they will be salty rather than sweet).

all in all, this was a brilliant end to a great, low key vacation. though perhaps not as brilliant as the neon yellow short suit ed purchased at Barbes for 8 euros earlier this weekend.

now i sit in anticipation for not only the potatoes nick is cooking for dinner (which will be eaten while we finish watching the last three episodes of season one of Deadwood - also much anticipated) but also for the next and final ten weeks at ecole philippe gaulier and what i can bring to them.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

the year (and a bit) in hair... a retrospective

fresh new year - january 2006

party pretty - april 2006

carefree in the country - may 2006

summer updo - june 2006

straightened in seattle - september 2006

parisian schoolgirl (aka bob on a budget) - october 2006

seeing red - november 2006

pixie perfect - april 2007

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