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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Second Half of the Decade in Theatre - Move to Edmonton and the Big Changes Happen...

In the summer of 2005 we moved to Edmonton. I will be honest about this. I was very apprehensive about the idea of moving. I was very worried about leaving behind my theatre life in Fort McMurray. I had written my first play and was excited about that and where I could go with that. I knew Edmonton was a great theatre town, but I didn't know what it would be like for me, a non-professional. Would I find avenues for the theatre I needed to do?

Boy, did I ever!

It started with Fiddler on the Roof, an ELOPE show. I still have many good friends from this cast and this is the show that led me to Walterdale. Although the rehearsal process for the show often seemed disorganized and chaotic, it was fun and I reconnected with Brian Bast and met Elizabeth and Jackie and Judy. The show went up in February of 2006 and from there I auditioned for the 2006 One Acts at Walterdale (Lunatic) and suddenly felt at home. I knew from that first show at Walterdale that I had found a place for theatre in Edmonton (joy!).

In the Fall of 2006 came one of my most magical theatrical experiences to date. I was in Steel Magnolias at Walterdale playing my dream role of M'Lynn with 5 wonderful women onstage with me and so many more wonderful people backstage. I met lifelong friends in that show and experienced true honesty on stage and felt that I came so far as an actor. I could be wrong, but if I can give every role what I gave to that one in that production then I will feel that I am serving the play and the audience to the best of my ability.

Then next Spring (2007) I had the honour of having my first grown-up play produced for Walterdale's One Acts. Pieces was directed by Marsha Amanova, who I met during Lunatic the year before. My good friend Anne Marie played the lead and brought a wonderful honesty to the role. I was very lucky.

The next few years seem to tumble from project to project. I joined the Walterdale Board of Directors as Secretary (fall of 2006-2009) so I stayed very involved in things there. In 2009 I took the major step of taking on the role of Artistic Director of Walterdale Theatre Associates. This role scares and thrills me. It's going well, so far!

I have had acting experiences, including Fringes (El Muchacho - 2007 and Cinderella - 2008), ELOPE (Baby - 2008), Horizon (Sky - 2009), and Walterdale (Black Hearts in the Green Room - 2008). I have also been able to direct a few things such as Crimes of the Heart (a fabulous cast and production team at Walterdale - 2008), The Last 5 Years (Round Barn/TOWTTB - a delightful two hander! - 2009), and Sweeney Todd (TOWTTB - a big challenge that stressed me to no end, but which delighted me onstage - I wasn't quite sure I was up to it until I saw it all together - crazy insecurity! - 2009).

I continued to write. I took a playwriting lab through APN in 2007 and this past summer I put that script (From Something) onstage at Interplay in Fort McMurray and at the Fringe. I was director/set-designer/playwright and it was the scariest thing I ever did. I still sting from the lukewarm reviews, but if I just think about the show and audiences I am okay. I had a wonderful group of 3 actors, a stage manager and a sound designer who have become my sisters in spirit (a couple of them already were from past experiences - but this cemented everything). I won a competition for production with Zachary and the Storytelling Stones, a children's play. Kompany! Family Theatre produced the play and it toured the Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton Fringes.

When I looked at my resume I was shocked by how many things I did in 2009. I know that I need to pull back a bit as I head into the next year. I don't want to get over extended but the opportunities are amazing. I know how to say no, but sometimes I don't want to! This next decade will be kicked off with my play Tight Rope produced at New Works at the U of A (I am busy on rewrites for that right now), then a remount of From Something for the ADFA Stage Struck! and then I go into The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which I am directing for Walterdale. I do not know if I will be involved in the Fringe or not. I will have to wait and see. One thing is for sure, there are many, many opportunities for me and no end in sight!

2004 Brings Son #2 - Gibson aka Speed Bump...

Just when you think you have the parenting thing somewhat figured out, you have a second child and all the tricks that worked with the first one do not work for the second. Gibson was a real surprise for me. For one thing, I really thought he was going to be a girl - the pregnancy was totally different than my first. I also successfully had a VBAC so I could drive the day after coming home and my body didn't feel like I had been in a car accident. I knew how to nurse. I wasn't afraid of him dying if I left him alone in his room while he slept. I was way more relaxed. BUT I didn't instantly *get* him like I did with Oliver. It took me awhile. Oliver liked to rock to sleep. Gibson wanted to just be laid down - back off Mom! Gibson was not a snuggler, nor was a he an up and down baby - he was a side to side baby. So I took a little while to get used to him.


Now he is five. He started Kindergarten this fall. While Oliver was a late talker, Gibson spoke early and well. He actually sang before he spoke, humming tunes he heard on TV or from the radio. He still sings all the time, almost unconsciously. He has always sung/hummed in tune. Even our Kindermusik Teacher was impressed (and she must hear many, many kids who sing early). I think that he will be somehow connected to music in his life. Not surprising really. I was doing a musical when pregnant with him and it had very challenging harmony. He also spent many of his early months at Honeybee Rehearsals - only really content when we sang.


In many ways Gibson was easier than Oliver. He was our second so we went through things with Oliver for the first time and had the luxury of systems in place for Gibson. However, Gibson has his challenges. He has been able to lie very convincingly from a very young age (Oliver still has a hard time). We know we must teach him to use this 'gift' for good (acting perhaps?) and realize that it isn't just about getting caught... it's about being wrong. He is also more emotional when things do not go his way. The world isn't *fair* a lot of the time for Gibson. I think he sees the things that Oliver is allowed to do and he wants the same privileges but doesn't want to wait until he is old enough. He is, however, adorable. I know, I know, I am his Mom. But he is a sweetie pie.


I am lucky with the 2 of them.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Decade in Theatre... First half anyhow...

I did a lot of theatre in the last 10 years. The most significant shift was that I started to write and actually got some plays produced (I have had 4 plays produced - the first in 2003). For me, the playwriting has been the absolute coolest development.

It's funny to think where I started off in the decade. 2000 was a tough year at work. I had shifted into sharing the drama position. It wasn't the sharing that was hard it was working with someone who was clearly unhappy about having to share. I dealt with so many behind the scenes digs and jabs to my self-esteem. They were always delivered behind the scenes and one-on-one and thankfully I had wonderful friends to help me through that year. I also had wonderful students and a great show to direct. I guess The Wiz and One Acts saved that year. Those and the fact I was finally pregnant. Now, 10 years later, it is strange to look back on that year and where I was emotionally with regards to theatre. Dealing with that situation has taught me a lot about how to deal with where I am now, so I guess it wasn't all bad. I also did Jesus Christ Superstar at Keyano. Mark was also in the show playing Pilate so that was nice. JCS was one of those amazing shows where you know it is phenomenal (even if you are dog tired from being pregnant).

You might think that the second half of 2001 would have been a slow year because I had a baby and all that, but being on maternity leave and running a drama program at a busy high school allowed me to get back onstage at Keyano. I played Sister Mary Amnesia in Nunsense, directed by Glenda Stirling and it was wonderful. First of all, I never thought I'd get that part, but it was the one I really wanted and second of all, that was such a wonderful group of women to work with (and Mike Eddy - Musical Director Extraordinaire!). A truly fabulous experience!

I returned to work in the fall of 2002 worried about my place in the department. I stuck to the One Acts and directed 3 shows, one of which (One Beautiful Evening) we took to Interplay as a fundraiser for the theatre department. The next year (2003) I stuck to the one acts at school, but I also wrote my first play, There's a Better Way, which was an anti-vandalism musical that toured all the grade 4-9s in the Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Very cool. It went up in early 2004. I also played Doreen in Girls in the Gang. It was performed in the Recital Theatre and replaced the small ensemble course at the college that year. Directed by Laura Glover. It was a bit uneven but wonderful music and the first time I really got to act with Russell Thomas. We had been in shows together before but never in any scenes together. He was a delight to act with. He was always very present. In the summer, 7 months pregnant, I stage managed and designed Jewel for Interplay, featuring Anne Marie Szucs, after her return from all her work in Vancouver. Designing was fun and confirmed for me that I could do it.

Gibson was born in the Fall of 2004, so instead of doing anything myself, I let Mark audition for the first Interplay Dinnerplay show and even took a six week old Gibson to the show. He nursed and slept through the whole thing. In the Spring of 2005 I got my chance to direct the Interplay dinner theatre, The Owl and the Pussycat, and worked with the fabulous Lisa Ruelling and Charissa Tremblay as designers. My cast, Anne Marie Szucs and John Gaunce, were great to work with and as this was my last show in Fort McMurray before the move to Edmonton, it was a good one to go out on.

Next ---> The second half of the decade - Hello Edmonton!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Decade of Children and Parenting...

In 2000 I finally got pregnant. This was after a couple of years of frustration, fertility medication, continued frustration, going off the the fertility medication, seeing a specialist, doing one simple investigative procedure (histosalpingogram - ow!) and then waiting for results. In the *wait time* we finally got pregnant. So in the summer of 2001, after a long non-progressing labour, we had Oliver. A few years later (2004) Gibson came along. So for the bulk of the last decade the having and raising of children has been the most significant thing in my life. Sure, we moved and we bought a store and there's all that theatre stuff, but I would drop all of the other things for the kids in a heartbeat if I had to, so there you have it.



Along with kids came the struggle to figure out parenthood. Mark and I come from very different backgrounds. I won't get into the details, as I am sure almost every set of new parents (and old parents dealing with a new aged kid) have to deal with the challenge of wanting to do things differently. I do not want to replicate my parents necessarily. I am a different person and no matter how good I turned out, my children are different from me and I am trying to find what works best for all of us. It can be easy to fall into the 'this is what my parents did and look how good I turned out' but let's be honest, no one is perfect. Anyhow, suffice it to say, we still argue and struggle with the parenting. I get frustrated with unilateral decisions that Mark sometimes makes in the moment and expects me to back him up. I don't want to undercut his authority, but it is hard when sometimes I don't agree with what he is doing. For the most part he is awesome, but there are stressful times when the plan is spontaneous when he falls back on the techniques of his mother, most of which I do not agree with as they do not suit our eldest child. I know that he thinks I am too lenient, and sometimes I do let things slide, but I am pretty sure I draw the important lines. I'm not saying I'm perfect at this. I know I am not. It's a work in progress and there are many moments I look back on and say 'I wish I did that better'.



The children. The Children. They are different. They say you get the children you can handle. We are blessed with two very high energy boys.



Oliver, our eldest, has always been super high energy. I like to think he 'attacks life' rather than lives it. This year he has mellowed a bit, but the teacher reports anxiety, something I never had to deal with from Ollie. I think he grew into the idea that he is a public person. Prior to this year he never thought about how he was perceived. I guess it is part of his development. He walked early, but talked quite late. We figured he was putting all his energy into gross motor development. A speech delay - easily remedied by a year in Early Ed. Stress for us - did we do something wrong? I don't think so. I always just knew what he wanted, so he never had to ask much. His vocabulary (language) was above average, he just couldn't make the right sounds (helicopter = harro-opper) so his speech was mild-moderate delayed. I knew, even before he started school, that we would be hearing about behavioural issues but that academically and cognitively he would be fine (better than fine). That happened and this year that seems to be getting better. At home he challenges some things - mostly the challenges come around bedtime and have to do with stopping play to go to bed. He doesn't want to. He fights us. This frustrates Mark more than I. I have my line. I can usually redirect Ollie so he doesn't cross it and if he does - that's it. No story, no snuggle, just lights out. Mark's line is a lot easier to cross and he doesn't do as much redirection as I, so Ollie crosses it more when Mark is putting him to bed. I don't know how to fix that. I can't do it every night. Sometimes I need a break and sometimes he needs to be more flexible. It's just bedtime - it's not life or death. Anyhow, I have enjoyed watching Oliver grow up to the 8 1/2 years that he is now. He is funny and musical and smart and can be patient with his brother (like right now) when he chooses to. He is usually very good with younger kids, particularly toddlers, and loves his family. He is a hugger and a snuggler and rarely fibs (and if he does, you know right away or else he tells you in less than 2 minutes because he feels guilty). I sense with him that he fights us when he feels like he has no control over what he can do. That's the way it has to be, so we will keep fighting him on the important things, but I know that the fights will get easier. Like with his homework. The first month was brutal, every day. Now, however, he knows he has to do it so the fight is gone. It's all good.



Next post - Gibson - the Sequel.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Home Again... Head Hurts...


We got back from Olds yesterday late afternoon. I caught some sort of Christmas Cold so my sinuses hurt and I have a bit of a sore throat. I also needed sleep. So, instead of sleeping, Mark and I watched the 2 movies I got him for Christmas - Terminator: Salvation and Inglourious Basterds. Awful lot of violence for the holidays! I liked the Terminator movie, but it felt thin. I wonder what someone unfamiliar with the other three movies would think of it, because I don't think it would stand up on its own. Inglourious Basterds was definitely a Tarantino movie. I don't know why I was surprised by the blood and the guts and the gore. I had to avert my eyes many times. It was a good movie, but I am still thinking about what he was trying to say. It would say something quite different without the blood and the violence. Think about it.


Anyhow, I slept in a bit this morning. The boys Wii'd and fought and played other stuff and we did more gingerbread men. The living room, which was tidy last night, is a complete mess again. I begged off a meeting due to my head hurting and my intense desire to where a grungy t-shirt and sweatpants all day and I will reschedule that for later in the week. I will have to get in gear soon. Hopefully my head will feel better sooner rather than later!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Aftermath...


It all went very well, but perhaps we let the boys stay up too late and eat too much crap. We are off to visit Mark's family tomorrow and he would like to leave by 11:30 a.m. I do not think that is going to happen. I want to sleep in. I still need to pack. They boys need to not be rushed around on someone else's time table. They have had a couple of very exciting days, and very late nights and excited early mornings.

I got a Webkinz. A Hippopotamus. I think someone heard me singing.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tradition!


Tonight we will head over to Ma and Pa Strand's for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Oyster Stew (it's my Dad's family's thing). Despite not being overly fond of the stew, I will eat mine, because it takes like Christmas for me. I think there has only been one or two years when I did not have Oyster Stew on Christmas Eve. Once when I hosted Christmas Eve in Fort McMurray, I made Lasagna. I think Mark and I spent one Christmas Eve in Olds early on in the marriage. After supper and after the clean-up, we will all gather in the living room and in a somewhat organized chaos, we will open all our gifts from family (Santa's gifts are for Christmas morning). Some time during the evening Annemarie and Paul will either call, or be called and in that way, we will all be there. It is the best night. After all the gift opening, there is usually game playing and visiting and eating lots of sugar cookies and possibly chips and dip.

When we were little, we used to get big boxes from the States from our Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents. We were the only ones in Canada and we would eye these boxes with such greed. They wouldn't be opened until Christmas Eve when my dad would use one of his jackknifes to slice through the tape. One Christmas I got my first Narnia book (my older brother and sister also got one, so we have the first three books of the series) from my Aunt Janice and Uncle Adam. The gifts were small, but precious, as they came from afar. And this tradition, as well as our semi-regular family reunions, helped to keep our extended family as close as it is.

As I said before, it is the best night. I would rather miss Christmas and the turkey and deal with oyster stew than miss Christmas Eve at Ma and Pa Strand's.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Needle Woes...

I took the boys for their H1N1 shots today. I deliberately didn't tell them until just before we went. They both have a tendency to be dramatic (not sure where that comes from) and the longer they would know, they more worked up they would get. So we got the shots and within 5 minutes, Oliver threw up. Yay. That was fun. Gibson was very mad at Oliver and I because we told him it wasn't bad (it wasn't, but he said it was horrible). Luckily my Mom came with us. We waited in the medical room for Oliver's stomach to calm down and for them to make sure it wasn't an allergic reaction and she ran off to Zellers to buy Oliver a new outfit since his was pretty gross.

We are home now. You can't tell that just 2 1/2 hours ago Oliver threw up and Gibson was angry at us. They are playing actively and watching the movie that Grandma picked up when she bought the outfit. And hopefully, we are immune to H1N1.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bowling

Despite fighting fatigue, I went with Mark and some of the cast of Annie (Sherard) bowling this evening. The boys came too and they were in heaven. It was a nice bonding event for the cast. I am not sure how many of them were in attendance but is was a fun evening. Luckily I will get to sleep in tomorrow. We have a carolling event for Rotary in the afternoon. I have things to do. All this partying is interfering with my preparations for next weekend.

Friday, December 18, 2009

School Winter Concert

This past week we experienced the boy's school winter concerts. I had to go both nights, because their classes were scheduled on opposite evenings. Most parents only had to experience one evening of the *fun*. Now, I know my disappointment with the evenings has to do with my extensive performance and directing experience and the quality of the Christmas concerts that I saw in Fort McMurray. These did not quite measure up, but that's okay. Everyone had fun and the kids gave it their all. The gym set up is imperfect and the acoustics suck so you can't do much with that. I don't quite understand why all the classes sing along to a recording (including vocal track). Yes, I know the music teacher can't play piano and conduct at the same time, but why not a karaoke track so we can hear the kids, not the vocal track? Oh well, I would do it differently. Some of the parents are up in arms because the focus is more secular than spiritual, but it's a public school so that doesn't bother me. There are Christian programs (LOGOS) in the Public system and you can always go to the Catholic system if that's what you want. Our school is 1/4 Muslim and unless you are going to also include religious songs from their faith (as well as any other faiths in the building, as I am sure there are others) then secular is the way to go. I personally think that they could just find good songs for kids to sing (not rewritten words to Christmas Carols like "Joy to the World, My Shopping's Done") and that would be better. The end song that the whole school sang along to, Sarah McLachlan's Ordinary Miracle is a good example. Just a good song that shows us whether or not the kids can sing. Anyhow, I am not upset about the lack of Christ in the Christmas Concert (they call it a Winter Concert).

I was upset, however, at the impossibly bad manners of the parents and grandparents in the audience. There were people saving an entire row of seats so that people who arrived before those who sat were standing room only at the back. I can understand saving a seat for your spouse, but not for your spouse, 2 sets of grandparents and a couple of aunts and uncles! Ridiculous. Then there were those camera jockeys who would stand up, either in their row or in the aisle and block the audience from seeing the concert so they could get a picture of their child. I would have liked to see Gibson's group, but the mass of picture takers blocked most of the performance. There were also unattended children up and down and moving all over the place during the show, during performances and between. And then there were the talkers. Right behind me, both evenings, I had people chatting when their children were not onstage. Excuse me?! I am here to hear everyone, and I didn't talk through your child's performance so shut the @$%@$ up! I left Tuesday night so annoyed. Wednesday was better, but only just barely. I was appalled and am certainly not looking forward to future concerts unless the behaviour of the audience improves.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Prepare for the Onslaught of Boydom

Only 1 more school day until the Christmas holidays officially begin and I find myself 'dealing with both boys' for 2 weeks. Luckily Mark is closing the store for 2 consecutive 3 day weekends. That will help. No doubt he will want to travel on one of them, but nothing has been mentioned, so I am hoping for real down time. Funny thing about holidays. For me they are often much more work than everyday. Some people get to rest, but they don't think about the other people who are facilitating their rest. Ah well, there are many things I like about the holidays and I shall cling to them and deal with the other stuff when it happens. Any way you slice it, I am one of the lucky ones on the planet (http://www.100people.org/statistics_detailed_statistics.php) so a little imposition in a time of extreme plenty should not be drama-worthy.

I have held off on the tree and I am hoping I can keep it at bay until Monday so that it can be our 'activity' for that day. I plan to get a pre-cut, but not assembled, gingerbread house for construction on Tuesday. Today we started some of the tree decoration crafts I picked up at Michael's the other day. Gibson (with my help) made 3 and I made 1. There are 24 in the box so we can make a few more over the next few days. Although the Wii and DS can entertain to a certain extent, I am hoping for warmer weather so that frolics in the out of doors are possible to augment the crafting. This is only for the first week. The week after Christmas is usually okay because of the discovery of the new toys.

I will be doing the Christmas meal as per usual and I have to get my turkey and all the other required stuff tomorrow (at least the stuff that will keep). The rest I will pick up during the week prior. Mom and Dad will be hosting Christmas Eve (oyster stew) and I need to sort out everything to make sure I have all the required gifts for that. I have cookies made so that's good. I need to get Mom and Dad presents and a couple of thing for my nieces and nephews. It's a lot, but I should be able to get it done.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Productive Day

I am almost done my Christmas cards. So far I have 'finished' 67 of them (about 10 of those need stamps, however. I have more to do, but I ran out of pictures of the boys so I will have to get more of those tomorrow morning and finish the cards off tomorrow afternoon. I postponed my big shopping day until tomorrow because I was worried about my sitter having to drive all the way up here on the roads in their current condition. It is supposed to be better tomorrow and that will be nicer for me, as well. It may get warm enough to not make gassing up the car physically uncomfortable.

Tonight is Gibson's Christmas Concert. Oliver's is tomorrow night. I wish we could have gotten the same night. I don't know exactly whey they don't just put the French Immersion classes on one night and the English classes on the other night, but it may have to do with numbers. I think there are significantly more English classes than French ones. Oh well. Two nights out, wrangling kids on my own and trying to get decent parking. Sigh. At least they will be insufferably cute!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jam Packed Day

Drive kids to school (bus is over 1 hour late)
Child Check
Sneak peek of Gibson's Christmas Concert
Shopping for A's present
Dry cleaners
Empty dishwasher/dryer/fold laundry/wash load
Lunch w/A
Shopping w/A
- Mr. Big & Tall
- Indigo
- Moore's
- Mark's Work Wear House
- Mexx
Tim's for Hot Chocolate
Pick up Ollie
Watch the Wii Play
Make supper - Burgers
Watch more Wii
Visit
Drive A to Mom and Dad's

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just because it's legal...

...doesn't mean that I will respect you after you do it. There are a lot of things you can do that are not going to get you arrested, but if you do them and tell me about them, or if they affect me directly, I am still going to judge you. Suck it up. Some of those things might not affect me directly, but I might still think you are an idiot or immoral if you do them. Some of them might affect me directly, but even if your philosophy is 'that you answer to yourself, and yourself alone' be prepared that I might still think you are a moron or a jerk, regardless of your personal philosophy guiding your actions. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to criminalize poor manners, or poor judgement or even selfishness, but if you live in a world with other people, you should be prepared that they might not necessarily think that it's okay that you act within those parameters.

By the by, I am not really being specific because this isn't about anything specific, just stuff I have been thinking about and talking about with people recently. Sure, over the course of my life I have encountered people who have violated what I thought the social contract was between us and that fuels this, but it's not specific. I am not even mad about anything right now - so if it comes off like a rant - it's not meant to be.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Complacency Weighs on Me

In my blog surfing I came upon the following post:

http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=932

in which Peter Watts, a science fiction writer was beaten, pepper sprayed and detained at a US border crossing when returning to Canada. He was detained and then after bail arrangements were made he was dropped off without a coat in the cold and without transportation (they seized his car). His only 'crime' it seems, if getting out of his car to ask what was going on when the border guards swarmed his car.

I keep thinking about this. I don't know him, but I am appalled by the way this has all played out for him. To be sure, I only have his testimony so it might have played out differently, but no matter how I play it in my head it is wrong. Now, would I have gotten out of the car? Probably not. Now, would I have been flagged and pulled over, probably not. But in our world, you don't really think this kind of thing can happen. You assume that everyone is reasonable and they are obviously not. I worry about my complacency. I avoid risky situations, true, but many situations of risk do not exist for me because of who I am and what I look like. I hear about things like this and I worry about my sons who, in the future, may be walking down a city street (presumed safe) and jumped because they are adolescent males. In our world - this world of plenty that we in North America live in - why do people stoop to inhumanity, like these border guards did. Was there not one of them that knew that abandoning a man in blizzard-like conditions without a coat and transportation was inhuman? I worry and I don't know what to do. It is hard to understand.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Smells Like Christmas!

I baked cookies today. I had to replenish all the ones I obviously made too early because they are gone! These ones will go in the deep freeze instead of the kitchen freezer and that should 'help'. I am enjoying having more nights home. I have a few things to get done and this is the last week of school before Christmas so I have to get a lot of it done before the kids are off. We are no longer YMCA members so I am not doing the YMCA camps this year. It's getting easier with both boys. They can usually do 3-4 hours of relatively pleasant interaction and play before a flare up. I am waiting for the day when Gibson is big enough to teach Oliver that it is not a good idea to hit him. I discourage the violence, with consequences, discussions, strategies for better communication etc... but nothing beats a once smaller child standing up for himself and teaching the older one that it's time to stop or get hurt yourself.

My sister comes to visit tomorrow. It is a busy weekend, but I am looking forward to it! Yay! I told Mark he needed to get his present for her before she leaves on Tuesday morning so he is likely shopping tonight before coming home from work.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Cold.

I'm cold. It's cold. I don't want to complain, because we actually got off pretty easy in it coming so late. It's like Oliver cutting 3 teeth in one weekend - it was a pain of a weekend, but I preferred it to when Gibson took two months to cut one tooth. So, when the dump of snow came on Friday and the temperature plummeted over 2 days, it was fast and shocking, but at least we didn't have weeks of chilling temperatures and having to shovel a cm a day for weeks. I don't know. I am trying to be positive in my funny winter hat.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I Could Understand If I'd Been Drinking...

But I wasn't. I was just out really, really late chatting with folks. However, my 40+ body interprets anything short of 8 hours of sleep as call for a hangover and my head is killing me. Oh, it could be other things, like the temperature drop creating some sort of pressure shift in my body. Usually I feel that in my right foot though (I have broken it twice and I can now predict rain with it). Or, maybe it was caffeine withdrawal because I didn't drink my usual gallons of diet coke yesterday. In any case, I am waiting for the ache to stop because I have the delightful task of driving my go-cart on city streets today and I don't know what kind of shape the roads are in. They were plowing last night in the area I have to go to. I could be lucky.

Last night was fun. A wee wine and cheese and tree-trimming at Joyce's where I visited with folks I like to see and chat with but don't always get a chance to. Much talk of theatre because that is 90% of my life it seems. Some comic banter and mocking and that's all fun!

Tonight I have to go to the auditions for The Mail Order Bride at Walterdale. I will be used in whatever capacity needed, but I really hope to be in the room. I may be manning the front desk. Whatever helps the team best I will do. Another show lining up. It's all good.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Snow Falling on Cement Patio...

Well we finally have winter. We were a little spoiled in it coming so late so I am not going to complain about it. Between Mark and I, the sidewalks were shovelled 4x today and although I have not looked in a few hours, I am willing to bet you can't tell. I also did the driveway and that will help in future as the layers that pile up should be thinner. Let's hope.

I am also hoping the weather did not deter people from getting to Lend Me a Tenor at Walterdale Playhouse. I saw the show in all it's glory on Opening Night and I think they did a fabulous job. It isn't 'high art' but it is hilarious! I could sense some Opening Night tightness off the top, but about 10 minutes in they heard the laughs and loosened up and just ran with it. That's what you do with a farce, get it rolling and hang on! I heard lots of wonderful comments afterwards and I laughed quite a bit despite knowing the script inside and out. Loved so many of their choices!

I cancelled a Best Little Whorehouse (BLWIT) meeting tonight. I did not want to brave the streets in my go-cart, particularly not with the boys and I would have had to drop them off at the store first. Everyone seemed relieved at the cancellation. I did some of the meeting work via email and will try and get more of it done that way since many of my team-mates are super busy people so getting them all in the same room will be a challenge. I am getting excited about the show and now that I cleared a few things from my life I can refocus on the work I started in the spring on it. Yee haw! I get very excited contemplating possible casts and I know I need to banish those thoughts until I see people at auditions, but it's fun to speculate!

I baked cookies today and froze some for Christmas. I will have to hide them in the big freezer so they will still exist at that time. All 3 of my boys snitch if things are too readily accessible! Not fond of the monster cookies and I won't make those again. The shortbread is delightful!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Louisiana...

I has a great evening last night. It was surreal some of the time, but I really enjoyed the show. The casting and choices were very different from the production that I was in, that I was able to see them uniquely and I could appreciate each for what they were. It is so very cool to see this show with a different but totally legitimate ensemble work, but work in ways different from how my show worked. It was also fun to sit outside the action and laugh at the things I couldn't before. The changes surprised and delighted me. It was well-paced and honest and that is what you need to do to bring that show to life.

A funny thing happened in the second act that totally caught me off guard. After the 3rd scene I suddenly went to the head space I was in while doing the show. I guess the patterns of dialogue and situation sent me back there and before the lights came up on the 4th scene I was crying and emotionally distraught. I am sure the people on either side of me couldn't figure out what was up because let's face it, we didn't even know that Shelby had died yet. For that entire scene I rode those familiar achy emotions from 3 years ago. After the show I was glad to get out and decompress a little because it was weird.

After the show we struck the set (very smooth and very quick) and headed to Chez Marsh for festivities. Usually I don't go to cast parties for shows I am not involved in but I felt right at home. It was nice to see the gang from Sky and others that I have worked with in the past. A really fun evening, and a very late night!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Deja Vu

Tonight I am going to see Steel Magnolias in Spruce Grove at Horizon Stage. It is the closing night of a three show run and they have been sold out or close to that for all the shows. It was directed by my bf AM and I know most of the cast. It is going to be weird. I am hoping that I can separate my experience from being in the show a few years ago from the experience of watching this new production. I will do my best to do so, but don't hate me if I am not able to! I am sure I will enjoy the evening, it's just going to be weird because I know ALL the words!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Where did the week go?

Okay, I did stuff this week, but I didn't get everything done and that makes me feel like it just flew by. I had some interpersonal angst at the beginning of the week and that caused a lot of unnecessary stress that sucked up oodles of my mental time and brought up all the stress from a month ago that I thought I had pushed into the void. Oliver was sick and stayed home Tuesday, so that day was a write-off. On Thursday, I touched base at the theatre and Theatre Alberta on Thursday and ran into people I hadn't seen for a while so I spent a few hours that day just talking to people. I can't even remember what I did on Wednesday. Oh, where does the time go?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

A discussion on a friend's blog lead to this blog post:

http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2009/06/sex-discrimination-feminists-can.html

The idea that this happens really bothers me. It makes me think that maybe we shouldn't tell if this is what people are going to do with the information. A baby is a baby and to use gender/sex as determinate for it's validity is horrific to me. I have always had trouble with pro-choice, pro-life - trouble with both sides. They both seem so extreme. One justifies abortion in all cases and one does not recognise that there are situations where that is the best course of action. I am a moderate on this and am glad that I never had to face the decision. I hope I never have to and I hope that if any of my friends come to me for comfort and advice facing that kind of decision that I can be a good friend and give them the support they need regardless of the outcome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cat Update #2

I got a phone call from the vet today. Smeep's lump was benign and with the type of tumor it was excision is curative. Yay! So we should keep an eye (or hand) out for future lumps, but she is fine for now. In a week the stitches should come out and then it is just wait for her next shot. I am quite relieved.

Monday, November 23, 2009

No Tinsel, No Lights, No Tree for Me... Not Until December

I have read several updates on Facebook this week about people decorating for Christmas already. I am not there. It shakes me when there are Christmas things in the stores before Halloween is done. Decorating this early for a festival that occurs on December 24th/25th seems ridiculous to me. I know, some of you out there might decorate this early. That's your prerogative. But this is the nature of our society of excess. We take a 12 day Festival that is supposed to START on Dec 25 (I Believe - possibly the 24th, but Christmas kicks off the 12 days of Christmas, not ends it) and then we start the festival atmosphere on November 15th or earlier and then we lose the specialness of the actual holiday. What makes Christmas special if we celebrate it for a month and a half? I can see the coordinated holiday parties occurring prior to the day, but I just think that we live such spoiled lives in our society as it is, that to demand the lengthening of the Christmas holiday just 'cause we can seems self-indulgent and kind of misses the point. I don't want to be a scrooge, 'cause that's not what is motivating this. I love the holidays, especially Christmas, I just think that all this early decorating and celebrating dilutes it and it loses it's meaning (whatever that is for you).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cat Update

Smeep is home. She seems to be doing well and we will find out in a week or so about the results from the lab. She is leaving the sutures alone and is a bit clingy, but that is expected. Hopefully all will be well.

It strikes me as strange compared to how we dealt with our pets as children. I am pretty sure we did not take any of our cats for yearly shots. We let them run around outside and the only time they went to the vet was to get fixed or if they were visibly injured. If the repair cost a significant amount of money I am pretty sure that my parents went the way of euthanasia. But Smeep is a part of our family. She's been here longer than the boys have. I couldn't see not getting the lump removed and tested, although I was relieved that it cost less than the $500 the doctor originally quoted. Who knows, down the line it may cost more.

When I was picking her up there was an elderly gentlemen leaving the back room alone who looked quite shook up as though he'd been crying. The vet came out and said "sorry for your loss" and it struck me how gentle all the staff was with him. He looked like a weathered farmer type of guy. I really liked the way the staff was behaving and it made me feel that we have a good doctor for our Smeep.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kitty Cat Woes...

My cat Smeep is at the vet today. She had a small lump on her back and they are removing it and testing it. The Vet says it looks like melanoma. We will not know what it is until next week and I am hoping it is benign. She's a really nice cat.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rock N' Roll

I had a lovely night out yesterday. Rock n' Roll by Tom Stoppard is playing at the Citadel and my University roommate from waaaaaaay back is in it. I was so excited to see her head shot on the Citadel's website as I have not seen her onstage for 9 years (Stratford in Summer 2000). She primarily works in the East since she lives in Toronto and Stratford, but this co-pro with The Canadian Stage Company was a nice opportunity for her to come back to Edmonton for a stint. When I wrote her she did reply "you realize I am only in about 8 minutes in the latter half of Act Two". Didn't matter. I wanted to see her and the show as it sounded like a show that involved thinking and wasn't necessarily predictable. We met for a nice dinner and visit before the show and then I met up with Mark and friends to see the show. Following the show we met up with her in the lobby and she introduced us to some of the cast (including Fiona Reid who played the female lead). So great to see her again. She has not aged a single day. And it was so nice to feel that despite almost 10 years it does still feel like we know each other.

The show was interesting. I would have liked a little cleaner set-up in the first act and it could have stood some judicious editing (but who is going to tell Stoppard to cut a line?). A couple of the actors were the 'wrong ages' but that is a challenge when the play spans 30 years and Stoppard himself demands doubling in the script so where an actor might be right for the age of the character in the first act, there is a shift in act two that doesn't necessarily read right. There are a couple of characters that seem unimportant to the play in function (Magda? what was the point of her?) but it was nice to see a professional show that reached beyond a cast of 4. I am still thinking about the play and I think I would like to read it. Not knowing the history of the music of Czechoslovakia I was a little lost in some places. But I liked it for it's aesthetic and it's reach.

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Addendum...

I have been thinking about this since last night. One of the responses that I got from the Team when I asked why they hadn't come to me for help was that "they didn't want me to burn out". This has been expressed to me in the past, but I really don't know why. I always ask, "Do I look like I'm burning out?" and the responses is usually "no, but so and so did and we don't want to lose good people by wearing them out". I understand the concern, but I am very good about only taking on what I can handle. I have learned to say "no" when needed and I only take on what I really want to or need to. There is a point when the same people keep getting asked and I think we need to expand the pool that we pick from and talk to different people so we don't over tax certain people, but as AD I certainly want the membership to come to me if needed.

A Long Day Devoted to Walterdale...

Yesterday I spent from 9-3 at Walterdale working with the Board on Policy and Procedures. That was good but I was very tired from being out the night before (A Chorus Line). Then I scooted off to the Post Mortem for Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. That took a little longer than I thought it would, but I am glad we got it done. The major complaints/issues were with one particular person and that will need to be addressed. There are other issues to be looked after, and I will get on starting those in motion today. 90% of all issues that happen in our organization (and in most) have to do with communication. There were many things that came up to which I said "How come I didn't know about this when it was happening - I would've helped" but the perception was that it wasn't my job to help in those cases. I believe that if you aren't getting the help you need then come to me. I may not be able to help directly, but I can usually get the ball rolling... if I know. Oh well. This happens in a changing organization where people approach roles differently - the membership is unclear about who can do what or who will do what. I am trying to change that. Anyhow, after that I headed back to the theatre to watch a bit of the Lend Me a Tenor rehearsal. They were doing the curtain call which is a riot and I had fun watching different parts each time they ran it. It was a bit of a marathon for those in the cast. It was good to check in with the Team on this one as with Sweeney and illness I have really only checked in via email. They seem to be rolling along and it looks like a lot of fun!

Friday, November 13, 2009

In the Lull...

I am in between projects right now - not really, but it feels like it. I do have a script I need to work on for New Works, but the time to work on that is flexible, not scheduled like when you are in rehearsal. Soon I will be in rehearsal and that will shift my work schedule on that, but for right now, 2 weeks after Sweeney and a week before New Works auditions, I am in a lull. The worst thing about lull time is that I eat more. It is strictly boredom and because it's there eating, but it happens and that sucks.

So, to try and make the lull work for me, today I finally wrote several drafts for the Handbook we are putting together at Walterdale. I wrote about Theatre Etiquette for Audiences and Actors (and Production Teams as a whole) and I wrote about Rehearsals (for the Director and the Actor) and the Previews and Late-Comers Policies. There was a whole lot of writing. I think at the end I got kind of snippy, because some of the stuff I shouldn't have to spell out, but clearly we need to because people are frequently late to rehearsals and give notes to other actors and eat in costume. You know, that sort of stuff. But the drafts are done and all I have left is the Welcome Letter (from the AD) and the Chain of Communication Flow Chart (which I will hand draw and get a better computer person than I to make it digital!). I should be able to pull that off tonight.

I do have some rewrites on two plays that I need to get to work on, and I need to got through Much Ado, The Seagull and Hedda Gabler to find a good scene or scene(s) from each to sell them at the Donor Voted Show Gala Evening in January. Better get on that, I suppose!

So much for the lull...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Policies and Procedures... a.k.a. Best Practices...

This weekend the Walterdale Theatre Board of Directors will be meeting to work on our policies and procedures. This is something we have been loosely working on for the past 3 years and in the last year we became much more focused and directed in terms of getting it all together. My hope is that we will produce a document that can be a good guide for the various teams that come through the building and that it will offer assistance but will still be flexible to allow for a variety of personalities. Because this is the challenge. Every team that comes through the theatre is unique and has it's own style of communication and ways of doing things. There are some people that might be the same from team to team, but change one designer, one ASM and you get a slightly different dynamics. And I have noticed that because these teams come from different levels of training and experience there are plenty of people who break the rules. Here are two extremes that I have seen that make me cringe and make me wish for a usable document.

1. The "Director is God" school of thought - in this dynamic the Director dictates everything. This Director confuses design with concept and dictates ever element of the show to all their designers instead of letting them design. This Director often steps outside their areas of concern, dictating set/costume design, the sound design, the program design, the media for the show and how the theatre as a whole is run and operated. Sometimes this Director will interfere in the middle of the construction process because the set/costumes do not look like they want and they will throw tantrums and yell. I get scared of this type of process as an actor and an AD. Where is the collaboration? Have you ever been in a show where the director literally tells you to say this line, take 3 steps and on the word shampoo, turn and wink? If this happens, it can really obliterate anything organic within the production. Everything feels orchestrated. What bothers me about this model is that all those other people who have something to bring to the production are stifled. It becomes about one opinion, one point of view, and the discoveries that could be made by listening and sharing are lost.

2. The other extreme - "Everyone Can Have a Say' school of thought - In this model everyone offers their opinions willy-nilly to everyone else. There is no guiding concept, but rather every decision is based on a discussion that everyone can chime in on. I have been in shows as Director where it was clear to me that I was working with people (actors, stage managers, musical directors, production managers) who thought that it was perfectly appropriate to give me note a about things that were part of my artistic vision. These same people would think nothing about giving actors notes and directing the costume designer to change their design. This drives me crazy. I am sure to them I looked like a real diva when I excused myself to calm down, but that is the only way I know how to deal with that other than yelling at them for insulting me and the process. The majority of people like this, but not exclusively so, have come from a less formal training background. They often do have valuable input, but by sharing it inappropriately it adds to frustration and distress within the production. They may not always understand the layers of process going on. As a director I am hardly going to give line notes the first week of rehearsal, nor am I going to be a stickler about blocking when we are working on the relationships. I will give those notes when it is the right time, and sometimes the actors just needs time to figure it out and own it themselves. There are very good reasons for Assigned Roles with dictated areas of responsibilities. First it means someone is looking after a specific area and you shouldn't have to worry about it and second it means that if everyone knows what is going on, no body's toes are going to be stepped on. Now wait you say, what about collaboration? Didn't you just say that was a good thing? Of course, but there are lines of responsibility and it is not the Stage Manager's job to design the costumes, nor the actor's job to pick the chairs for the set. There is a time and place for discussion and sharing, just make sure you are not over-stepping your boundaries.

Anyhow, those are two of the extremes that make me hungry for this document to be finished and hopefully used. I know I cannot break other people's bad habits for them, but I just hope that people in the theatre take it for what it is meant to be - a helpful tool that will hopefully make it easier and less stressful to get things done.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I Love Hosting Parties!

Last night was my 3rd Annual 40th Birthday Party. I do not have it to prolong my youth, but rather because the 1st one was so fun, I decided to keep having that party, once a year, every year, until I hit 50! I was a month off the actual birth date, but Sweeney kind of ate up the month of October, so no worries! In any case, it was so much fun. I am blessed to know so many wonderful, fun and talented people. They kept the karaoke machine running all night long from 7:20 p.m. until 3:15 a.m. (I was pretty good in my assessment that the party would go to 3:00 a.m.). We had people ranging in age from 3 1/2 months to older than me (I am not outing anyone's age!). We had the Fuss Cupcakes that I love (I think I will invest in more minis and less full size ones next year - that way you can try more than one and not feel like a piggy!). I missed a few people that couldn't make it, or forgot, or got ill at the last minute, but the BEST was that my sister surprised me by flying in from Toronto for the party. Only my Mom knew she was coming. She was in the city for approximately 24 hours! How cool is that!?! I am pretty sure she had fun, so hopefully it was worth it for her - I definitely appreciated it!

Next year it will be just as much fun! I promise!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Read-In Week

Today I went into the school and read in both my boys' classrooms for Read-In Week. I had a lot of fun and I liked being in the classrooms to get a sense of the classroom culture. I am so far please with this year's school. Gibson has adjusted quite well to Kindergarten and Oliver really seems to have settled down this year. I think he is developing the maturity I have been hoping for over the past few years. This week, Oliver did his homework (correctly) on the bus every day so that he had no homework to do at the table before 'fun time'. Nothing like hearing "I did all my work on the bus, Mom" to make a Mom happy! I spoke to Oliver's teacher about coming in later in the year about reading (she asked me, actually - I guess she liked my funny voices) and I hope to visit Gib's class again. This is one of the reasons I am 'home' - so that I can be that parent volunteer and really connect to their educational journey.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I feel like a fireman....

I've spent so much time this week putting out fires... I can't really talk about it, but I would get a lot more done if I didn't have to deal with arising issues...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Very Different Things I Saw...

This weekend, despite being sick, I went out to see some art.

The first thing I went to was The Drowsy Chaperone at the Citadel on Friday night. It was our Anniversary do-over, since the first 'date' had to be scrapped back in August. It was delightful! I was so very pleased with it. Earlier in the month I had a chance to see it for free, but because of rehearsals I was unable to go. I didn't even mind paying full price for the tickets. I had heard about the show a few years ago, but other than the number "Show Off" that I saw at the Tony's a few years back I had no real knowledge of the show. Everyone I know who saw it said it was good, and I was so pleased that it fulfilled my expectations! It said what I believe about musicals. A lot of people write them off as fluff, but what is wrong with a little fluff to make you feel good? And everyone was soooo good. They were a true ensemble and each had their moments and no one was phoning it it. Simply wonderful. This has warmed my heart about The Citadel, because in the past few years I have been disappointed a bit by them. I have seen many a show where the show itself did not live up to the production values so evident on stage (I know I missed some winners in there - I didn't see Vimy and I hear that was phenomenal), but this was just great! I even got a little teary at the end!

The other thing I went to was Beartrap, a new film by Highwire Films. It was on at Metro Cinema. I was so very impressed with the work on the screen. I know how little these guys have to work with in terms of financial resources and they manage to make a small amount of cash look like so much more on screen. I am impressed with them, because they don't sit around and say "we can't do it - we don't have the money", instead they find a way and beg and borrow and do the work and get the film done. This is their third feature length film and they just keep getting better and better. I hope that they get some granting or other source of funds to support their next project. I know I gush a bit. I taught so many of the people in the film and for me I am so impressed that they are doing what they are doing, but not surprised. They were like that in high school. I often say that the kids I taught in the late 90s and early 00s were the ones who inspired me to start writing. They just did it and they still do. I figured if they could do it, I had no excuses not to try myself.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Something Onstage for Mark

Mark will be playing Daddy Warbucks in Sherard Theatre's production of Annie. It goes up in February and I will be sending out all sorts of information to promote it when we get closer t the date. Yahoo for Mark! I am glad he will have an opportunity to show what he can do. He was sure he totally blew the audition, but I should know not to trust him. He only ever thought one of his auditions was good (the one he did for The Other Side of the Pole) so he discounted the audition that got him Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar. I should know better than to trust his personal evaluation! I am so looking forward to seeing him onstage and hearing him sing and it is a show the boys will be able to go to, as well. It is one of their favorites! Yippee! He will also be working with my good friend Linette who is directing and she is so wonderful to work with. Its a good show for him, because he is great with kids (doesn't mind being around them, at all) and it uses his height to it's advantage. He is also looking forward to shaving his head, I'm sure!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No Halloween at School this Year

I received a message from a fellow school parent this morning. Apparently Halloween dress-up has been cancelled. She was quite upset about this, because Halloween is her favorite holiday and she wants it to be the same experience for her children. She asked the school office about it and was told "More kids don't dress up, than do..." so her perception was that certain populations in the school were dictating the abolishment of the Halloween tradition. I told her I would write to the school principal to find out if this was the case. Halloween falls on a Saturday and apparently there is no school on the 30th (Friday) so the 29th was to be a dress in orange and black day. I have worked in schools so I figured there was more to it. This is the official response from the principal:

Since Halloween does not happen until Saturday, October 31 and there is no school for students on Friday, October 30 a decision was made by staff to have an orange/black theme day on Thursday, October 29th. Here is our rationale:
* minimize the disruption to learning and teaching
* meet the needs of a very diverse population
* minimize the cost to parents
* health and safety

Halloween is a tradition that can be maintained and promoted by families since the activity, dressing up and trick or treating, associated with it needs to be within the parent control.


I figured there was more to it than my friend was told and I think the front office should be careful about how they respond as their information was not really the official reason. I also wrote back to the Principal to indicate that the school might want to get something out to parents post-haste as all that is flying around out there is rumour and indignation. I also suggested she reassure people that when Halloween falls on a weekday that the custom of dress up will be re-instated.

People are emotionally attached to their traditions. You cannot just take them away. Already the Christmas Concert is a "Winter Concert" with no religious songs and this bothers some people. I am okay with that. I understand that with a school whose population is 1/4 Muslim, you cannot expect to sing religious songs (but I do like a good Silent Night or Oh Holy Night). Halloween, however, is not a religious festival but is more a cultural festival. It's fun and does not dictate doctrine or belief. Cancelling it will create a bigger rift between different populations in the school, so hopefully it is reinstated in 2011 when it next falls on a weekday. Traditions are important to people and when you monkey around with them, you create animosity. Not a good thing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ouch...

My throat hurts. It felt a little hoarse yesterday, but I thought that was just 2 very late nights at Walterdale (Friday - getting ready for the Open House and AGM, and Saturday - the actual Open House and AGM). I wasn't worried until this morning. Now, just after supper and I am in quite a bit of pain. I am supposed to rehearse Sweeney and my number for the Sweeney Fundraiser tomorrow. I will dose myself with Tylenol and Ibuprofen and hope for the best. The song I am doing is a big sing, and tomorrow may be the only chance I get to rehearse before the Fundraiser so I do not want to waste it.

The Open House and AGM went really well. We estimated 100-200 people through the Open House. I don't know who counted, but someone threw those numbers out. I think we were closer to the 100 figure, but it was quite busy between 12:30 and 2:30 so who knows? We handed out many, many season brochures and Jimmy Dean Flyers so hopefully the personal touch sells a few tickets. I was pleased with the AGM. The Musical Season Announcement went over very well and from my perspective everything ran very smoothly. A couple of tense questions from the floor but we answered. The questions were tense because they implied 'the Board' is not doing much for the theatre and I really don't know how I could work much harder without neglecting my children and business. I am invested in Walterdale, so when someone questions my dedication I kind of get my back up. It was likely not personal, but even as a group I know that we work hard. That kind of attitude of ingratitude is what makes people quit. When you know you have been working really hard and someone come sup and just lists all the things you haven't done and the mistakes you've made, it kind of makes you feel like 'what is the point?'. Anyhow, it was a good evening and I know what is going on and what I am doing, so I am going to just enjoy the success of the day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Crossing My Fingers

Tonight my husband is auditioning for a show. Usually that is my thing to do, but the opportunity fits him better and the time commitment nestles in a good place for me (After Sweeney and before Whorehouse) so I suggested he audition. If he gets the part then it will mean a little bit of a role reversal but that could be cool. I have to watch my scheduling as it is, but this would give him an opportunity to get out there and show what he can do. I trust the director of the show so I think it would be a great opportunity. I cross my fingers and think good auditioning thoughts and send them out across the city!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stranded...

At 9:15 a.m. I was awakened by a phone call from the school. Oliver was sick, throwing up, could I come get him? I, of course, got up, got dressed and got him and then re-planned my day and evening. A child who is throwing up is too sick to leave with a baby sitter so I had to cancel my rehearsal. Even if he was feeling better tonight, I don't know that now and it's just not something you can count on. I am house-bound and that means I cannot do the bank deposit and some other running around I had planned. Gah! Just as I was beginning to enjoy the freedom of having 1/2 days all to myself!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

So Much For Sleeping In...

I always hope that there will be peace downstairs and that I might possibly get to sleep in on Saturdays, but no matter what, the minute that Mark leaves the house I hear the thump thump thump of Oliver running up the stairs to crawl in with me to snuggle. He's a snuggler and has always been, but it's kind of annoying when I am trying to sleep. Besides that, he's an eight year old who is the size of a 10-11 year old and he is all arms and legs so it is a far cry from snuggling with him when he was 3! Also, Mark didn't get them breakfast before they left so hunger was a shrill complaint that forced me out of bed and down to the kitchen. Apparently Mark thought Oliver was on top of getting them breakfast, but Oliver thought he just had to get the bowls and spoons out so there was a communication gap. Ah ga ga glug gulp...

So, in November, this might not bother me so much, but today when I still feel like crap and I have been out late 4 of 5 nights and I have been up early 4 out of 5 days, I really needed it. Tomorrow I need a wee sleep-in and then I do a marathon paced day (rehearsal #1 at 11 a.m.; rehearsal #2 at 2 p.m.; Casino at 9:45 p.m. until 3:45 a.m.). Maybe I can get a nap between Rehearsal #2 and the Casino. Cross your fingers!

This week continues with a crazy schedule. Some time before Thursday I need to write a 6 page paper (the Prof reduced the length from 12 pages - whew!). I may compromise on the quality just to get the quantity done, luckily I am not mark dependent, and I took this course to become a better playwright, not a better essay writer). I also have 2 nights of rehearsal for Sweeney, one for the AGM, then the Open House at Walterdale on Saturday followed by the AGM that night. I have stuff to do as both Secretary and AD for the AGM and as AD and Director for the Open House. I will survive! I swear!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pushing Through and Release... A Vent...

Typically in my life I go through these intense periods where I have several things on the go and I think I will not survive getting all of them done and then when I do I go through a lull where I find myself with lots of time on my hands. I have been in a busy period since last fall. I do have a bit of a lull on the calendar starting at the end of October and I am so looking forward to that. I am most frustrated with the 'other things' that pop into my life to suck up time I could be using to get things done. I have spent a lot of time this week dealing with stuff that I shouldn't have to. If you don't like my answer, sometimes that's just too bad. Sometimes we have to compromise. And a compromise means no one gets exactly what they want but everybody gets a little bit of what they want. I rarely get exactly what I want, why do people expect they should be different? Grrrr...

At Sweeney I snapped at someone who brought an issue to me that they should've been dealing with themselves. It was unrelated to the show and had to do with a personality conflict from an incident with one of the other team members on another project. I was cranky, sick and tired and snapped "I am not your mother!". I felt bad about snapping, but there have been so many times when people have tattled to me about other people in the last few months that I just want to snap at them. Why can't people negotiate with others like grown-ups. Sometimes I feel like I am dealing with a bunch of teenagers. And when I have so much piled on my plate, the last thing I need is to be wasting my time massaging egos and repeating my decision 10 different ways so they get the message I am not budging.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Keeping My Head Above Water...

Remind me not to pick up another project outside of Walterdale during my tenure as Artistic Director... What was I thinking? Don't worry, the show will be good and the theatre is in good hands. It is just a matter of how thin I stretch myself. I have my own self to blame for it, I guess.

On a more positive note, the first night of auditions for Lend Me a Tenor went swimmingly. We had so many wonderful actors come out. I read with quite a few (filling in) and was suddenly wishing I were auditioning too, but I can't do that time slot again. Besides, I'd really want to play Tito, and that's a little out of the question! Whoever is cast, this will be a very fun show!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fringe is Done - I am exhausted

We finished up today. The show went well. I now will go away and rewrite and fix the sections that need tightening and general 'fixing'. There are a few places. After the show I rounded out my Fringe experience by going to The Wedding Ruiner. It was very funny and a nice light way to end my Fringe. I needed the laughs. I liked the concept and especially the poetry and rap. I did want a little more Chicken Dance, but who doesn't?

Earlier in the week I saw Bashir Lazhar and really liked that piece. I would love to be able to produce that level of work someday. I was in awe of how clean it was conceptually. Everything was right. I am so glad they got into holdovers. They got great turn-outs and they deserved it. I also saw Addition and I was very entertained by it. I wasn't sure going in if I was going to relate to it, but it was very funny and well directed and performed. I laughed a lot and thought it was a great piece.

I am pleased to say that even though I didn't get to see as much as I would have liked, I did get to see a pretty good sampling. Even the shows I was tough on in my reviews were worth it. Every piece I saw, even if I wanted more, had something to recommend it. I saw some phenomenal actors and some really good new writing. How lucky I am to live in this city.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stretching Out to Eternity...

This week, my Grandmother, Margaret Ann Strand, passed away. We were expecting it. We had about a week's notice that the infection she had was not improving and that there was little the doctors could do about it. She was ready to go. We were not ready for her to leave us. All her life she looked after other people. She was one of the oldest of several children so she no doubt spent much of her childhood helping to care for the younger children in the family. She married my Grandfather and they had 5 children, whom she raised into wonderful, strong willed, smart and educated adults. My grandfather had several bouts of cancer (lung and prostate) and she spent much of the end of his life caring for him as well as providing support for her 5 adult children and their families. After my grandfather passed away 9 years ago she became the one everyone looked after. It must be hard to shift to that position. We corresponded quite a bit. I love letter writing and she was always good to write back. We mostly wrote about what we were doing, but underneath the chit chat of everyday life and little adventures there was always the tone that she was so very proud of me. I always felt like one of her favorites, but I am pretty sure that everyone of my cousins and siblings felt the same thing. She was like that. Her love for us was unmeasurable and infinite. My middle name is her first. That is why I use the middle initial when I do theatre and writing work. It is in homage to her and always has been. She may be gone from this world, but she will always be with me. As I have in the past, I will continue to make decisions factoring in 'what would Grandma think?' I will miss her.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wishing I wasn't so critical...

Darn that Drama 103! I had finally got myself to the point where I could just watch and enjoy and then I took that class and it made me approach things from a really critical perspective again. So, sorry if my reviews have been tough. I want to like everything, I just can't seem to watch without dissecting things. Blah!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I Keep Thinking About my Grandmother...

Can't seem to write much more about it than that. It is hard to be in limbo, but wanting the limbo to end doesn't feel good either. I wish I was there and I wish I had a more recent update and I wish all the other stuff in my life wasn't distracting me (but I am glad it is distracting, as well). Blah.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Road Trip Memories...

I quite like road trips and this one was very special. It had the extra benefit of helping us bond as a group. When you write a play with 3 sisters you want them to feel connected despite the fact that they didn't all grow up together and some of them have known each other for a very short time. A 5 hour drive, followed by 3 days in a city that 3 of the people had never been to before, sharing accommodations and celebrating in a pub will certainly build bonds! Fort McMurray and Interplay was very welcoming to us and despite smaller houses than we liked we felt the play was very well received by those who came. It also gave the girls 5 performances in front of audiences before they do the Fringe run. That should make them really tight. Some Fringe shows are still feeling their legs when they open. I think this trip will eliminate that for us.

We Won Some Stuff!

Interplay
Theatrical Excellence Awards
Sponsored by Julio Florez of Royal LePage True North Realty

Best Play, $500 – Haiku
Best Actor, $250 – Jeff Rivet, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog
Best Actress, $250 – Julie Sinclair, From Something
Best Director, $250 – Kristen Finlay, From Something
Technical Achievement, $250 – Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Road Trip...

Tomorrow I leave for Fort McMurray for Interplay. I spent this morning photocopying leaflets and programs. I am unsure as to how many to make. I made 280 leaflets and 300 programs. If we need more programs we will photocopy more there. If we sell 300 tickets I will be delighted! We will also ask people to recycle, so hopefully they will. Nothing bugs me more than wasted paper and if you aren't going to use the thing again, then recycle it! I am looking forward to seeing all my old friends and the old haunts and I hope to see them at the show and at the Interplay site. I just hope we don' t forget anything!

I just did an interview with the Fort McMurray Today on the play and coming back to McMurray and aside from Gibson crying non-stop in the background it went really well. I hope we get a nice article from it!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

We are In!

It pays to think positively. I just felt it. I knew it from the beginning when we were #12, then when we moved up to #9 and then #6, I was not worried. When we sat at #1 for over 3 weeks, I felt we were already there. Yesterday we got the call... We are in the Edmonton International Fringe. Our venue is great (The Westbury - Transalta Stage), our Times are great, we get 75 minutes and a 3 1/2 hour tech on a night we are in town.

Finally Sauces presents From Something
Stage #1 - Transalta/Westbury
Thurs, Aug 13 - 8:00 p.m.Sat, Aug 15 - 12:15 p.m.
Tues, Aug 18 - 2:45 p.m.
Thurs, Aug 20 - 6:15 p.m.
Fri, Aug 21 - 11:15 p.m.
Sun, Aug 23 - 4:15 p.m.

Friday, July 31, 2009

How did my house get so messy?

I look around and the monumental task of tidying it just overwhelms me. Plus I have other things that are technically work, but far more enjoyable, that I would rather do... sigh, I guess I should get out the vacuum cleaner...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home again... Things to do...

It is good to breathe the Edmonton air. Already the boys both sound better so I wonder if the 'cold' that both of them were hit with was really allergies to something in Minnesota. We got in later than expected last night. A delayed flight to Toronto from Thunder Bay in the morning resulted in re-scheduling our connection and spending far too much time in the Thunder Bay Airport. I lost it a bit here and there, but was more frustrated with Air Canada (not having anyone on the desk, not being able to seat us together initially, delaying the flight to begin with...) and I know that it is difficult to expect 2 young boys to stand still for an hour while we wait for help to fix the problems. It is good to be home, and now we wait for my luggage which they said would be here this morning but will likely not make it until the afternoon based on the phone call I just received. I indicated to the caller that I was a little annoyed that it would not be here in the morning as I had been told it would be. I did not recite the litany of my day yesterday to drive home the point, but I am thinking of calling the number on the card I got yesterday and reciting that litany to them so that I get made a bit of a priority. They hold you hostage. I can't even leave to get my other suitcase from my parent's house because I have to be home for the airplane one. This means that we are going to be low on clothes until I actually have the dirty clothes from travelling to wash. So, if you see me in the next few days and you wonder why I am wearing what I am wearing, that is why...

The reunion was good. Being on my own with the boys meant that I had to frequently truncate conversations and occasionally leave the party early to get Gibson back to the suite to settle down. I managed to make sure that Oliver didn't always have to leave with us, so that was good. Both boys had a blast with their new-found second cousins. A distinct highlight came at a Performance of Beauty and The Beast when Oliver had little Katy sit on his lap because she was scared. I also truly loved the granddaughter's tea with Grandma. It was so nice to visit and even more so in that configuration. I had another hour long visit with Grandma on my own, but the patter of memory and laughter at the tea was far more comfortable and joyful. It was not tainted with the fear that this might be the last visit, but instead was light and funny and natural and I think Grandma had a wonderful time, too.

I got back to approximately 120-130 emails between my 3 email accounts. I sorted and responded for over 2 hours last night and woke up to another 25 this morning. Such is my life. It was kind of nice to be completely away from a computer for almost a week. The disconnect helped me to disconnect. Now I am back and back to business...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Voyage Ahead...

On Wednesday, in the early hours, I will be leaving with my two sons on a plane to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Once there we will pick up the rental car I have booked and drive to the ancestral home in Beaver Bay, Minnesota and further to Duluth the next day for a Strand Family Reunion. I am not one of those people who hates family reunions. I quite love them. I am feeling a bit of trepidation about travelling and being alone with the boys for a week. They require a lot of energy. I am looking forward to seeing all the cousins and aunt and uncles and re-visiting all the haunts of my childhood. It always looks different, but the same.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Got My Hair cut and a Suitcase Half Packed Today...

It was a cranky day but maybe tomorrow will be better. I am glad for the haircut, and the fact I can sleep in tomorrow. I still have to sort out my packing, but Mom says she and Dad can take some stuff for me in their car. That will be nice. It is going to be a long journey with just me and the boys.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Sun Has Come out...

This week we were much more successful weather-wise and soccer-wise. If all goes well we will have our last day of soccer tomorrow. It took Gibson 2 days to settle in and today he went to the class with no issues. He had more challenges in the playground afterwards when his sand castle got stepped on and he banged his head twice on the slide. He is also going through a 'I want to play, but I want the rules to favour me' phase which is really annoying. After soccer we went to see Ice Age 3: The Age of the Dinosaurs. It was hot and the movie theatre was air conditioned. Lovely.

This weekend Mark and I went to The Lion King at the Jubilee. It is part of the Broadway Across Canada package. This was the show that made me most want to buy this season. It was wonderful. Conceptually it was so complete. The puppetry and the set and the lighting were amazing. Some mic balance issues and the young Simba was occasionally robotic, but he was only 11, what can you do?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Soggy Days...

It's a bit of a challenge to deal with rainy days during summer holidays. The boys have been pretty good considering we are pretty much house bound, but I would love to have a dry day so we can get outside! Saw You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Walterdale earlier this evening and we all had a great time. I knew it would be strange to see it considering I have directed it before and it remains one of my most favorite directing experiences, but the choices were so different that I didn't compare and just enjoyed watching and listening to the boys laugh and relate to it. Gibson was so rapt any time there was music. This was his first 2 Act Play and he did pretty good. Oliver gets what a play is a little better now and he was asking about the program and things like that. It was pretty cool.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

An Unexpected Treasure...

Time. I had a rehearsal planned for this afternoon for the Interplay/Fringe show and one of my actresses called to say she was experiencing a bout of the stomach flu. She is in almost every scene and when I tracked through to see what I could do with the other two ladies I found about 2 1/2 pages. One of them has to drive in from Stony Plain and I didn't think that was fair so I cancelled the rehearsal. This will mean the rest of the schedule is tight, but we will make it work.

And now I have some time. There is always laundry and grocery shopping and cleaning to do, but maybe I can actually do some writing or take a nap. Both of those sound very good.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Paint Fumes...

I went in to the theatre on the weekend to 'help' paint the Charlie Brown set and have since spent 4 days there painting, watching paint dry and waiting around until someone could help with set up so I could paint. The job was much bigger than anticipated and there was no plan in place to get it done. Once we got a grip on what was entailed in completing the process (Wednesday night - late, late, late) we sat down as a small group of painters (3 of us) and made a much needed plan. Hopefully we will be done tonight. If all goes according to plan, we should be. I know that it will look really cool and will be all lovely, so that is what pushes me to do it. I really didn't have the time to spare, but apparently no one else did either. I felt really guilty that I couldn't go help last night, but I had other plans and I shouldn't feel that way. I had only thought I would be going in for a few hours on the weekend, not spending 4 days in there (including all of Canada Day)... but guilt is like that, isn't it?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Solutions...

So, frustrated with my perception of 'too late' with Ollie's grade 2 year I decided to put together a plan for doing what I can this summer to help him improve over the summer. The big issues seems to be focus (behavioral) and writing (cognitive/process). I can only do so much with the focus issue as it is one thing to get a a single child to focus and quite another in a class of 28 (what his class in the fall will have). So, today I made a worksheet up asking simple questions about our trip to the museum yesterday. The answers could then be taken and used to write a short story about the day. I am not skilled in Division I. I do not know what they are supposed to be able to do, so I had to rely on Ollie's cues about how skilled he should be. He wasn't happy about the exercise, but once we finished it, he seemed a lot more relaxed about it. He was really stressed about the idea of writing a story. This is hard for me to deal with because prior to this year he would try just about anything fearlessly. This school year has changed him in that regard. I am not sure why, but hopefully I will be able to help him enough so that he is comfortable writing in the fall.

Reporting Blues

After some emails back and forth it has become clear to me that what I thought was good communication with the grade 2 teacher throughout the year was not so good. There is a major failure in the reporting process as well. "Work meets acceptable standard" sounds better than it is and Effort: Satisfactory apparently does not really mean that either. In my mind, if the effort of my child is causing him to achieve below what he is capable of then there is NO WAY you can call that Satisfactory. I have a problem with how many teachers assess and communicate. They do not separate behaviour from ability. Do not tell me 'he is doing fine' when he is in the 50-64%!!! Not when he could be doing so much better. Don't feel like you have to sugar coat the message because you don't want to hurt my feelings. AND if you (as teacher) think that is fine, then that tells me you think my kid is not that bright. That just pisses me off. AND WHY is a "C" = to acceptable standard? I don't get that. I HATE Division I evaluation. I have NO IDEA of what my child is supposed to be doing and no way to gauge it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

School's Out... Now What?

Oliver finished up on Friday and Gibson had his last day of daycare on Thursday. They both came home with memory books that I will put away in their treasure boxes and then I will cull the rest of the detritus from the bottom of their backpacks. Crafts are lovely in the moment, but I don't want to be carting around 5 billion pastel crayon, macaroni pictures! The sugar cube pyramid will stay but only as long as it stays secure from vermin. Anyhow, I feel a paper purge coming on! I think they both had good years. The Division I reporting system is a bit annoying. If the chart is to be believed then the Descriptor "Work meets acceptable standard" is only 50-64% or a C. If the "Work exceeds the acceptable standard" it is equivalent to a 65-79% or a B. This doesn't make much sense to me and I think that it is the fault of the chart. I will be talking to the teachers next year about this and where I expect Oliver to be. If he is achieving below an A level I will be ticked off. We are talking about a kid who could read at age 4.

A few hours this morning reassured me that my plans for a YMCA Camp for both boys next week is a good thing. I have also registered them in soccer for the following two weeks, but those are shorter, 1 hour a day, 4 day camps. I like the City Soccer camps because they provide for a guaranteed 2 hours of activity for each boy, separate from each other and the only cost $10 a week. So I get 32 hours of activity for $40 (it is actually 64 hours, because while one boy is in the camp the other is playing in the park, but I have to watch whichever boy is in the park). Anyhow, it suits me, because the boys get some structured play with kids other than themselves but they don't have to be away for the whole day. They need some break over the summer, right? Oliver's YMCA camp is a Swim Combo, so I hope they push him a little with that. He'd rather just play and goof off in the water and I want him to gain some skills. I wish there were more short camps for the older kids. Most of the city camps are full day. I can get Gibson into some half day camps but you really have to hunt the brochure for convenient ones. July is pretty much worked out and I will take some time later to look into August.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My First Mammo...

So, now that I am over 40 I have to endure mammograms. I had my first 2 weeks ago. I expected the squishing and the discomfort (I watch Oprah). I did not expect to have to go back for an ultrasound due to 'unusual tissue' (not scary looking - she reassured me). I am happy to announce that the weird looking tissue was just lymph nodes (and possibly a blood vessel). So, nothing to worry about, which I did for about a week and a half between tests.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Day in the Past....

Yesterday was Father's Day - Mark's choice of activity. He decided he wanted to go to Fort Edmonton Park. So we did. It was nice. We started at the little carnival and the boys had fun. Gibson didn't want to do the Ferris Wheel, so Mark and Oliver took a spin. We visited the fish pond and walked away with some little prizes (every one's a winner), then the big carousel. I went on with the boys, just to keep an eye on them. We rode the streetcar over to 1920's street and found some food and discovered that every place we went said 'no debit'. Luckily we found $25 on our persons and we could get a few things. The boys didn't mind. The things they wanted to do didn't cost money or else we already had some tickets. The day was overcast but didn't rain, so it was all good that way. Anyhow, we had fun, and really, the lack of debit machines just saved us money in the long run!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More on Parenting Choices - It's an Evolution...

I read the letters in the Journal today. This whole issue is coloured by generalizations and judgement and I know, I am not without guilt on that matter. I do try to see the whole picture and I feel comfortable 'thinking aloud' on my blog on this issue as opposed to writing in to the Journal with a snapshot of how I feel at one moment or in reaction to an over-generalized comment that someone else has written that I feel attacks me unfairly (for example, I do not 'do everything' for my kids - I teach them to do things for themselves). Anyhow, I wish this issue wasn't so polarized. I wish we made child-raising a priority in our culture, whether that means compensating those who do it in as a profession more, or stopping the belittlement of those who choose to stay home. I do recognize that just like home-schooling, there are those who do the job well and those that do not. Not every Stay at Home Parent is a saint or a genius at the job. Similarly, there are many who work outside the home, who do so for selfish reasons and who neglect their children to a certain extent - not all, but some. We need to stop fighting about it and find solution to issues that are fair to everyone (or at least most) not just those who work and not just those who stay at home. Sacrifices are made on both sides. Our children will live with the consequences of those choices one way or another.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Don't we want to know what's 'best'?

Lots of buzz about the Iris Evans comments on parenting. I wish I could hear the whole thing, because I think the comment was contextual. Even if it wasn't I wonder what the big deal was. No, I don't wonder, I know who's upset. The same thing happens when someone makes a broad statement about breastfeeding (breast is best), those who chose not to get their noses out of joint. I think we should aspire to what is best, fully acknowledging that there are circumstances that prevent everyone from achieving that. For example, a vaginal delivery is 'best', but I couldn't have one with Oliver (he might not have made it). Do I think that people should schedule c-sections, like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera? NO - that is idiotic. But, a c-section is necessary to prevent a lot of dead babies and mommies. Breast is best, it's a proven fact. There are, however, some women who try and cannot breast feed (inverted nipples, babies not getting enough, etc...). Do I think you should go straight to formula because it's there and convenient? NO - that is a dumb choice. But, formula has saved many a baby who would not get nutrition otherwise. We do not want to villanize those who had no choice in these situations, however, I don't think we should let the other ones 'off the hook' for deliberately making a dumb choice.

Now, the daycare (including all the variations - nanny, day homes, babysitting, etc...) is a little more complicated, because there are plenty of kids who come from families where both parents work that have turned out fine. I think it has more to do with realizing that when you have kids you need to sacrifice something. If you both work during the day and the children are in care, you need to take the time you do have with your kids to form connections and teach them to be good humans. You might have to give up the lifestyle you had pre-children so that instead of martini nights with the girls or beer nights with the guys, you are actually parenting in the evenings. You might also have to push down the daycare-guilt and discipline your child even though you want those few hours to just be fun and wonderful. you don't do your kids any favours in the long run if you abdicate responsibility for their moral development because you feel bad about having to work. I know there are some people who 'have' to work because of the economics of their families, but there are many who choose it. Take responsibility for your choice. If you see that choice damaging your children, you might want to re-visit it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Living in the Middle...

I just think it's the best way to go. Too extreme one way or another and you run the risk of being a bit of a wacko... This is not to say you should give in to everyone, but be reasonable.