Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I know! I know! I've been a terrible blogger and I promise that I will try my best to get some posts up this week and continue on with the daily photo but the next couple weeks are going to be busy/interesting/chaotic and so what posts I do make will probably be short. I will fill you in once the dust settles.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Photo of the Day

Because I miss London and have recently been discussing the possibility of going there for Christmas to visit my Mum, here is a photo of Lambeth Bridge (I think) over the Thames River in London.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Photo of the Day

R bursts a water ballon on the sidewalk during a vicious water fight in the backyard.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Photo of the Day

The buildings on the wharf in Lunenburg NS.


Two friends of mine have gotten jobs in the theatre for the fall. A professional Equity theatre that has the ability to grant Equity status to those who work there. (Equity is the actor/stage manager theatre union here in Canada and can be a difficult world to navigate. I will most definitely be posting more on that later.) Normally Equity can take several years to get into but there is a way to get around that by being sponsored for membership by an Equity theatre. Which both my friends are receiving as I understand it.

I am completely overjoyed and happy for both of them. The first is a close friend and stage manager who definitely has a guaranteed career in front of her. Probably the best stage manager I've ever worked with. If anyone deserves to be "fast tracked" into a career it's her.

The second friend is an actor. And again, I am ecstatic for her. She has always been a "force to be reckoned with" in our university theatre. Plus she's probably the most lovely and kind person I know.

But I can't help feeling just a little bit jealous, and it's totally unfounded.

Besides the fact that my friend more than deserves this wonderful opportunity and has definitely worked hard for it, I also am nowhere near the place in my career to be wanting or needing Equity membership. I've only really known I want to be an actor for the past year or so and have recognized that in order to do so I need a lot more training before jumping into the business.

So why this jealousy when I know I'm not ready to be trying for the same level of achievement that my friends have?

I think maybe my jealousy stems not from a desire to have immediate success in an acting career or from contempt for anyone who achieves this before me, but from a disappointment in myself for not realizing my true career aspirations earlier. I feel like if I had been sure of my acting abilities and my desire to pursue acting as a career, and not just a pastime, even two to three years before I did, I would have been more likely to seek out more consistent and rigorous training, instead of the occasional class or audition for a school show.

However, I did not discover any of this three years ago and so my first combatant against this disappointment, disguised as jealousy of my friends and colleagues, has to be acceptance of what I can accomplish now with the skills I do have and focus on what I can do to improve on those skills so I can achieve my dreams.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Photo of the Day

A cattail in the Sackville NB. Waterfowl Park. A favourite place of mine in the Sack to just walk and think. I find especially beautiful at the very beginning of spring when everything is still this beige(y) brown from the winter months.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Moving On: Part Two

Without realizing it, I have been living in real estate bliss. Though my previous apartments in the small town of Sackville NB. may have been a bit run-down I have definitely begun to appreciate them a lot more now that I've faced the possibility of paying $800-$1000 a month for much smaller, much dirtier apartments in the city. So a few weeks ago, with the news I had gotten into Neptune Theatre's training program and wouldn't be able to work full time, I re-adjusted my living needs and resigned myself to living with a roommate again. So F and I were back together and looking for a place to call home in Halifax.

Now with a roommate I was confident I could find a real "adult" apartment that would not have holes or sketchy landlords, and would be within the price range I had set myself earlier when looking for a single apartment. Unfortunately my roommate was not quite on the same page. F was still willing to sacrifice some quality for price. So I took a minute, tamed my control freak tendencies, and dove back into the search with a lower range but determined not to give up my dream of a sophisticated adult apartment. I also have to mention that this apartment hunt was largely conducted by myself, though through no fault of F's of course. She is currently interning for the summer back in Sackville and therefore doesn't have the ability to come looking with me, but had to watch from afar as I pulled my hair out in frustration.

Before now, I had never realized how ruthless this apartment hunting business was in larger city. The Sackville process is easy, see apartment, like the apartment, tell landlord, sign lease. But in the city there's appointments and applications and credit checks and reference checks and previous landlord checks and car checks and check cheques. It felt like a circus. And that wasn't even the hard part. Just making appointments seemed to be a hurdle I could not jump. I mainly used Kijiji to find places and people to contact and spent the majority of my time emailing and calling various landlords but with no luck. It wasn't that I wasn't finding places that suited our needs but that I was having trouble getting people to call me back. You'd think when trying to rent out your apartment you would actually respond to potential tenants. When I finally got to talk to someone and make an appointment to see a place, more often then not it was cancelled because they had rented the place to someone else.

After a month of seriously looking I was starting to get worried and extremely frustrated. I was close to giving up and declaring my new home under the McDonald Bridge in a refrigerator box, when I got a call to see a place during my lunch break.

It was an ad for a basement apartment I had responded to. I hadn't really given much thought to it because neither F nor I really wanted to live in a basement apartment but at this point I was willing to try anything. I went over on my break and found two guys standing outside the apartment waiting to see it as well. "Well shit," was probably the first thought that went through my mind. I didn't want to have to compete with them. The landlord shows up and lets us into the apartment and the minute I walk in I'm amazed.

Let me just say that I have never really been impressed by basement apartments before. I don't know why but I just have never really seen one I like that much.

However, this place looked awesome. New hardwood floors, a very new looking kitchen with white cupboards and one of those ovens in the wall separate from the stove. I've always love the idea and look of those! The kitchen leads down a step into a cosy living-room, off which are the bedrooms. And get this! The heating is IN THE FLOORS! I'm pretty sure that is the most exciting aspect of it for me. That when people come over in the winter and are like "Oh my feet are so warm!" I can say all nonchalantly, "Oh yea, our heating is in the floors." Anyway.......I love this apartment and while I'm off daydreaming about what furniture would look best in the living-room and what colour tea-towels would match the kitchen decor, the other guys looking at the apartment are bonding with the landlord. Apparently they come from the same area/town/county in the maritimes, which is basically like discovering you're long lost siblings out here. Then he turns to me and asks where I'm from and I cringe inwardly. Being from Toronto isn't going to win me any brownie points. It's a well known fact that the rest of Canada hates Toronto and doesn't regard people from there very highly. Something I will probably write more on later. I briefly consider lying, but figure that will come back to bite me in the ass, so I just tell the truth and wait for the comments to begin. Instead he just says "Oh, you don't seem like you're from Toronto." I take it as a compliment and a few minutes later I leave with an application in hand.

I want this apartment. I'm tired of looking and this place is the perfect combination of what F and I want. Sophisticated "adult" look for a reasonable price, $1,100 a month with everything included except internet. I call F the minute I get back to the office. I want to get the application in before the other two guys. I get all the info we need and call the landlord back to arrange a time to give him the application. To my surprise, and delight, he tells me that F and I can have the apartment, no application needed. He thinks we're much better candidates than the other guys and usually prefers to rent to girls anyway. HA! Talk that boys! We arrange a time to go over the lease and everything is settled.

Now the lease is signed the deposit paid and we move in on September 1st. I have no photos to post yet but will definitely be putting some up after moving day. 20 days to go!

Photo of the Day

Another of my Las Vegas prints from film, this one of glass building near Freemont St. and Las Vegas Blvd.

Note: I hope to have the continuation of my previous post up tonight after circus class.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Photo of the Day

This is a digital photo of a print I made from film I took in Las Vegas last Christmas. One of the many seedy motels on Las Vegas Blvd. beyond the flashy lights of the main part of the stip.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Photo of the Day (extra)

I realized not everyone is an art geek like me so here is James Abbott McNeill Whistler's Nocturne in Black and Gold (The Falling Rocket)

Moving On: Part One

I'm moving to my first real "adult" apartment in 22 days. Of course I have lived on my own for the past four years but it has always been in residence or student apartments, so now that I've graduated this move feels more "real" I guess.

Back in the spring when I had originally decided to move to Halifax I was intent on living by myself. I have lived with F and a variety of different roommates in a variety of "interesting" apartments over the past four years while at university:

Me on my "bed" in residence
First Year: F and me in a residence room that was probably about 3/4 of the size of my bedroom back at my Mum's place in Toronto. Now let me tell you, I have never shared a room with anyone in my entire life (sleepovers and cottage visits exempt). It may sound a little spoiled but that's just how my life worked out. I always has a place of my own to escape to, but in res. that became a lot more difficult. I had also not slept in a single bed since I was eight years old, so you can guess what size the beds were in our room. Needless to say, F and I were looking for an apartment for second year by October of our first.

The infamous wood paneling in our first apartment
Second Year: My first apartment! F and I find a place that we call the Big Blue House. An old house that had been turned into three levels of apartment. We're on the middle floor. Underneath us? Wannabe frat boys. Above us? International students who think BBQing on the wooden staircase, that serves as both the only entrance to the upper level apartments and a fire escape, is okay. The apartment seemed awesome at the time, but looking back only a couple years later all I can see is miles and miles of wood paneling. Also guess who moves in?! F's boyfriend from back home moves to Sackville to be with her. K (the boy) and I go way back to the fourth grade and although we were never close friends we get along okay. However, apparently getting along has nothing to do with being able to live together. Our inability to co-habitate is mostly to do with the fact that he's a dirty, messy boy and though I wouldn't consider myself a clean freak, I still don't appreciate month old apple cores and half eaten pizza slices hanging around. By the end of the year K is back in Toronto, F is a little heart-broken and I....well I'm sad for F but can't help feeling a little relieved.

Vegan cupcakes!

Third Year: F and I stay in the Big Blue House and find a new roommate. A GIRL this time. She's great! A fine arts student, a baker and a vegan. She teaches us to bake vegan goodies, we watch silly movies and make cookies at midnight. We all have the usual roommate spats but nothing out of the ordinary. But despite the great roomies, we are still living in an apartment with carpets an indescribable shade of.......grey?......brown? A toilet from which you can easily reach the sink, and a strange fruit fly infestation that, even when the place is spotless, won't go away.

Me on the roof of our last house
Year Four: F and I part ways with our other magnificent roomie but we stay close friends. We're originally supposed to live with couple other friends from school but things fall apart and F and I are left without a home a month or so before we're supposed to move. Eventually we find a house and pride ourselves in the negotiations we make with the landlord. A six bedroom, two bathroom house for just me and F at only $1,000/month, all inclusive. It's a good deal considering the place was home to some very exuberant soccer boys for the past few years and is now falling apart. But despite the holes in the wall, atrocious paint job and strangest layout for a kitchen I've ever seen, we call the place home for the next year.

So come graduation, after four long years in student housing, I was ready to strike out and find a place to really call home. I was not, however, prepared for the battle field that is finding an apartment in the city.

Photo of the Day

A shot of the Natal Day fireworks over the Halifax harbour. Reminds me of one of Whistler's Nocturne paintings. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Photo of the Day

Note to self: Photo of the day should be a daily occurrence.

The MacDonald Bridge, from the Dartmouth side of the harbour, right before the Natal Day fireworks.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Family Values

For the past almost three months I have been living with the Bennett family in Dartmouth, NS. (just across the harbour from Halifax). As described in the About Me section, the Bennetts are old family friends from Toronto. L and P are basically my aunt and uncle and, I guess by extension, their two sons are cousins, though they feel more like little brothers. They very generously agreed to take me in after I graduated so I could get on my feet before finding a place in Halifax to live.

Moving in with a family definitely required an adjustment period, as I have been living on my own with F and various other roommates for the past four years; I also require a fair amount of "alone time".

The biggest adjustment has been dealing with two young boys. Before now, I had always been the one of the youngest in my family and always the youngest in my house growing up, having only an older sibling. I've also spent a large portion of my life living only with women, so co-habitating with boys is not my area of expertise. At first it seemed pretty easy. I was a new person in the house, someone with interesting stories and a different perspective on things. But the curiosity didn't last long. Very soon I became the older sister figure and the perfect target for practical jokes and teasing. As a younger sibling originally, I can take a fair amount of teasing and dish out a bit of my own. However, as a girl (a minority in the house), I was not prepared for the extent to which boys will go to get a laugh out of anything you do, say, or even think.

example 1: An advertisement for Clear Blue pregnancy tests comes on t.v
R: "Emily, don't you need one of those?"
G: "Yea, this ad only comes on when you're in the room"
Me:............ o_O.................

example 2: I walk into the living room and sit down. R is sitting, quite happily, on one of the 3 other empty couches in the room but immediately gets up to come sit by me.
Me: "Why are you going to sit here when the other ones are free?"
R: "So I can annoy you."
Me: "No. Get your own couch."
R : sits down beside me anyway
Me: stares at R
R: "What?! I'll stay on my side"
Five minutes later guess whose limbs are splayed out across the couch digging into every bit of me they can reach?

And it's not just the young ones who enjoy poking fun at me. P often joins in or is the instigator of it all. Though he is also the first to agree to me exacting my revenge on either of the boys, and I definitely do. I cannot claim to be an innocent party.

Teasing and jokes aside though, I couldn't have asked for a better place to spend the summer. It's exactly like being with family.

However, everyone needs to leave the family at some point and as lovely as the summer's been I am very much excited for moving into my first non-student apartment with F and the cats on September 1st.

25 days!

Printing PC

This describes every interaction I've ever had with a printer via a PC:

"Computer:Monitor, display this document, ok?

Monitor: No prob, boss.

: OK, now it looks like Mouse is moving around so, Monitor, will you move the pointer icon accordingly?

: Anything you ask, boss.

: Great, great. OK, Mouse, where are you going now?

: Over to the icon panel, sir.

: Hmm, Let me know if he clicks anything, OK?

: Of course.

: Sir, he's pressed control and P simultaneously.

: Oh God, here we go.

: *sighs* Printer, are you there?

: No.

: Please, Printer. I know you're there.

: NO! I'm not here! Leave me alone!

: Jesus. OK look, you really ne...

: Sir, he's clicked on the printer icon.

: Printer, now you have to print it twice.

: NO! NO! NO! I don't want to! I hate you! I hate printing! I'm turning off!

: Printer, you know you can't turn yourself off. Just print the document twice and we'll leave you alone.

: NO! That's what you always say! I hate you! I'm out of ink!

: You're not out of in...


: *Sighs* Monitor, please show a low ink level alert.

: But sir, he has plen...

: Just do it, damn it!

: Yes sir.

: AHHH! He's hitting me!

: Stay calm, he'll stop soon. Stay calm, old friend.

: He's pressing everything. Oh god, I don't know, he's just pressing everything!

: PRINTER! Are you happy now?! Do you see what you've done?!

: HA! that's what you get for trying to get me to do work. Next time he...hey...HEY! He's trying to open me! HELP! HELP! Oh my god! He's torn out my cartridge! HELP! Please! ERROR!

: Sir, maybe we should help him?

: No. He did this to himself."


Printing with my MAC is a completely different story. I'm have officially converted to the Church of Mac. I would take a bullet for my MacBook Pro. It's just pure love.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

When I grow up I want to be a Sandwich Artist

So I'm looking for a job for the upcoming school year and have spent the evening browsing Kijiji when I came upon this ad by the popular sandwich chain, Subway, and my first thought is WTF? And my second thought is, I wonder if they get more applications by advertising their positions this way?

I certainly would rather be a "Sandwich Artist" than a "sub putter-togetherer"..........but for now I think I'll keep looking.

Inanimate faces

I found this link on stumble upon the other day about finding faces in inanimate objects. It's really cute and made me feel especially happy when I remembered an art project I participated in a few years ago where you were given a tape recorder and told to go into a single stall/room bathroom and just sit there in the quiet until you felt like speaking. You could talk about anything you wanted, for however long you felt like and you just had to record it. Well I found the website to the project and sure enough my recording is on the first page (here), the eleventh one down on the list of people who participated. And guess what I talked about? Faces on inanimate objects. Sometimes it nice to know other people think about weird shit like this too.

Photo of the Day

R fishing for tadpoles at the pond.

1913 hours and 44 minutes of real life

I graduated 79 days 17 hours and 44 minutes ago on May 17th 2010 from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. I've got a beautiful hand printed diploma framed in mahogany and the right to say I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Fast forward to August 5th 2010 and I am working at an IT company in Halifax, Nova Scotia and using very few of the skills I learned in class at university. In fact I'm pretty sure I'm using none of any skill I possess. The work is boring at best and an extremely boring at worst. Though I will admit it pays well. I get up, go to work, go home, eat, sleep and repeat. NO ONE TOLD ME REAL LIFE IS SO BORING!

Luckily I've got it in my head that I want to be an actor, so I may be able to escape this real life thing once in while a do something I enjoy.

And I do actually want to be an actor. I'm not someone who decides after one stint in a high school production and just jumps in with no training, experience, or knowledge of the business; so GOD FORBID someone tells me one more time that acting is a hard business to get into. I KNOW! In fact, most actors you tell that to probably already know and have experienced it first hand. Why everyone assumes we're so ignorant of the business is beyond me. End rant....

Anyway, I want to act and so I will be taking my first step toward that goal on September 27th when I start an eight month training program at Neptune Theatre in Halifax. In 53 days I can blissfully escape the real world for four hours a day four days a week and return home to theatre world!

The Pre-Professional Training Program at Neptune runs at the theatre for eight months and includes classes in voice, movement, text, singing and dance; plus discussions of all the plays preformed in the current season and a list a 25 plays to read.

My audition was in June and I have never been more nervous. I spent three weeks preparing two monologues, one from Nicky Silver's "The Food Chain" and one from Shakespeare's "As You Like It", and the song Part of Your World from "The Little Mermaid". The auditions were held at Neptune in a rehearsal room and the current head of the theatre school was the only person present.

Immediately afterwards I felt great about it, but as the days went by and the deadline at which we were supposed to hear back went zooming by and still no letter had arrived, I began to get worried. I had taken to calling home everyday at 11am to inquire whether the mail had arrived, to which L would reply "no letter today" before I could open my mouth to ask. Eventually, in order to keep my sanity and fragile ego from shattering to bits I had to tell myself I didn't get in and set to work figuring out what I was going to do for the next year. I had a plan to move to Europe as an Au Pair for a year before re-auditioning for the program and starting to build my acting resume.

Then, a few weeks into July, after a very long and horrible day, in which my computer decided to declare a vendetta against me, I realized I has less than $5.00 in my bank account because I hadn't been given my first pay-cheque yet, and I lost my last bus ticket (and obviously couldn't buy more) so I was forced to walk the 6 miles across the city to home, I got a call. Not a letter, A CALL, with a real live person from Neptune Theatre who was telling me I had been accepted into the program. I was ecstatic, even the fact that I was walking home in 35 degree weather across a long bridge with no shade couldn't dampen my mood. I had been convinced that my only alternative to going to Neptune was running away to Europe for a year (which would be so bad but I wanted this program more). I called F right away and then Boston Dad and J and then my sister and probably just about every other family member and person I've met in the past four years. So Europe was cancelled, I was going to acting school and the hunt for an apartment for F and I was on (more on that in another post), because as much as I love the Bennett family, I do need my own place.

Only 1272 and 39 minutes 'till departure from real life!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ballet Shoes

So after the hottest shower on earth my body feels relaxed enough to start a small post about the newest addition to my shoe collection, a brand new, scuff, rip, gaping hole, and gaffer tape free pair of ballet shoes for my upcoming dance class at Neptune Theatre School (more on school later).

I've been dancing on and off since I was about six years old. I took ballet, tap, jazz and even dabbled in swing in my late teens but never took to dance really seriously except as a form of exercise or the occasional drunken night in university (ie: not that long ago I just like to think I've matured incredibly in the past 2-3 months). But come fall I will be back into regular dance classes and I can't wait!

And so the time has come to get new dance shoes as I have been using the same black leather ballet shoes for the past several years and they are a little....worse for wear:

Exhibit A: The Old Girls

These shoes have seen me through several dance classes, at least 10 shows, and countless hours of rehearsal. I'm pretty sure I spent at least 3 months at a time never taking them off. I have sewn them back together about five or six times and they now have some very well placed gaffers tape keeping them from disintegrating in my hands. The Old Girls are very precious to me but will not suffice for another year of dancing. And so enter.....

Exhibit B: The New Girls in Town (next to the Old Girls)

As you can see, a much better prospect for class, though it's going to take some time to get them to the comfort level the old ones have.

And though I can't wear them anymore the Old Girls will be kept as a keepsake, who could bear to throw out a stinky old pair of ballet slippers? Not me.

Still Alive...Barely

I do still exist and I most definitely owe this blog a long post about my whereabouts for the past year and a half or so, but my arms are currently shaking from a very intense circus class (yes I will post about that too) so my earlier intentions of writing are postponed until I can feel my body again.

I hope that is soon.