Lain's Log

Job search, Kevio, Tafelmusik, Carrie, Kate, IKEA, hair colour, soap opera & shellac!

March 30/12.

Today marks the end of two weeks, searching for even one publication willing to use my services as a freelance entertainment writer. So far, nothing. Hours and hours of research, emailing and phone calls have resulted in, "Thanks, but no thanks." Times are tough out there for everyone. Reminds me of those hilarious Lloyd Bridges scenes as spaced-out air traffic controller Steve McCroskey in Airplane (1980), when he continuously complains he picked the wrong week to quit smoking, drinking (and everything else!) Still makes me laugh. (someone on youtube conveniently strung them altogether for full effect!)

Can relate there Lloyd. (I sure picked the wrong week to try and track down work)! Still something on the go, but not sure it will happen. Really miss the days at TV Guide as the Soaps columnist, interviewing stars, transcribing and writing columns every week for seven years. What a blast. Terrific job for me. I was on a high every time I picked up the phone!

It was great fun and I loved that gig. In 25 years of talking to daytime celebs for radio, TV and print, never had a single bad experience. Soap actors and actresses are always talkative, funny, generous with their time and willing to chat about anything and everything. (Of course, Tony Geary, "Luke Spencer" on General Hospital, was my favourite). Still is.

This is me taking a break today after a full physical with my GP - blood work, ECG, blood pressure, etc. (Princess Margaret Hospital leaves nothing to chance. They want you to have a physical every year, as soon as the timing is right for OHIP to cover it, so they're sure your overall health is good). My weight? Stuck at 97 lbs. Have an appointment with a nutritionist this coming Tuesday to help me gain a few more pounds. (OK everyone)? This shot was taken outside the neighbourhood coffee shop, Riverdale Perk. I gave up coffee many years ago. (Have ENOUGH nervous energy without adding caffeine to the mix!) My cousin, Kevan happened to drive by to grab a takeout jolt of java and took this pic. (I was buying milk at Luke's, the convenience store next door). Then I turned the camera on him. He likes my new (leased) Subaru! I've had it since last August and it's really fun to drive.
Kev had a chance to drive the car this week and loved it! We went to a concert together. More on that in a moment. In fact, Kevio & I spent a fair amount of time together over the past few days! Fine with me. He da bomb!

(and his badly broken ankles have healed very well since last summer and all the physio at Bridgepoint).

Those "rehab" days seem long gone now. This is last September 4th when Max & I paid Kev a visit in the sunny courtyard. He's come a LONG way baby!!! 

Earlier in the week, I stopped by Auntie Ray's condo to chat, but she wasn't in her unit.

While taking the elevator back down to the lobby, I spotted a seniors resident who reminded me SO much of my late Mum. Her name is Dorothy.

 I asked if I could take her picture for my blog. She said yes. Her hair was the same as Mum's, and even the off-white jacket she had on was exactly like one Mum used to wear. I thanked her, then turned around and left the elevator in tears. I never know WHEN emotion will hit me. 

Tracked Auntie Ray down in the diningroom, having supper with her son, Kev. We all had a nice visit. I told her about the woman who looks like Mum and she said, "I know exactly who you mean. I think of Jill every time I look at her."

After dinner, we walked Auntie Ray back to her unit. No more crutches, canes or even limping for Kev. He bounds all around town now, on foot, in the car, whatever, -  (while she gingerly uses her walker). But hey, at 92? - Doing GREAT!!

Home sweet home for Auntie Ray. Gorgeous decor.

Tuesday night, my sister, Carrie, had some comp tickets for Tafelmusik's 30-year concert anniversary event at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. (She's been singing soprano with the fabulous group for over 20 years). Kevio and I decided to go together. I picked him up and then he drove my car to the theatre so he could try out the Subaru!

Don't believe you're allowed to take pics, but I go by the Auntie Ray philosophy, - "Don't ask, apologize later." Snapped a few shots from the great seats Carrie obtained for us. Ivars Taurins conductor.

Sure wish I could have gotten a better shot of Cayr. She's second row from the top, fourth person over (the shortest of the bunch, but the best, most glorious and angelic voice!) She had a mind-blowing solo. The Carrie Loring fan club (see below), all in tears when we heard it. (though you'd never KNOW it from this mini-celebration pic! ha ha!)

Afterwards, giddy & emotionally drained, we met up with Carrie for this post-concert photograph. (left to right), Kev, me, Carrie, composer/musician extraordinaire, Eleanor Daley and my super singer sister-in-law, Mary Spence-Thomas, (just back from a two-month exotic & adventurous trip to New Zealand, in the nick of time to catch this show)! Love this shot.

The abundance of Tafel merch 

was selling like hotcakes following the fabulous performance!

Not only was it a phenomenal showcase for the choir, but also a welcome-home bash for Mary! Cheers!

The 3 Musketeers. All for one and one for all!  Congrats Carrie, on the incredible show and thanks for the tickets!

Switching to casual mode, this week marked a GPS-guided trip to IKEA with Kate to buy a new duvet cover, sheets, pillows and pillow cases, among other things.  She's had the same bed/mattress since she was about two-years old, so it was WAY OVERTIME for an upgrade! Ordered the mattress, box spring and Duvet from Sleep Country, to be delivered and assembled. IKEA would provide the extras. 

By the time we got there around 3:30 p.m., we were starving,

and headed directly for the cafeteria! Kate had the famous Swedish meatballs, a salad and pop. I opted for poached salmon, veggies, fries, tea, some kind of Swedish coconut cake and a chocolate nut bar to share with Kate. (Yep! I DO eat!) It was $20 for the two of us and all delish!

We followed the yellow-brick-road-arrows on the floor all through the massive IKEA showroom.

So many cool things to see.

I found a nice office to work in, if I'd been able to figure out how to operate the computer!

Kate fell in love with this $500 carpet.

And if the Three Bears were with me, they would have said, this bed was, "Just right!" 

We ended up storming the endless IKEA shelves for a pile of accessories, including storage bins and magazine holders,

(Carrie's orders), - to pack up my "home office". Much of the stuff here has been discarded since this pic was taken! But the bins I bought will help a lot with the rest! 

The next day, Kate had a final session as coach with her Rosedale Heights improv team. They presented her with a beautiful bouquet of white roses to say thank you for her encouragement, ideas, suggestions and guidance. 

Later, Kate finally got to see master hair stylist, 

Paul Taylor from INI Hair Design, (after two years without attention to her glorious tresses), 

and ended up with a gorgeous, dark, rich new hair colour and flat-ironed style! Looks fab!

Last, but not least, we were awaiting the delivery of the Sleep Country mattress, box spring, etc. I got home from a bunch of errands, only to see

Kate's rosebud pink baby headboards out in front of the garbage bins. They've been in her room for almost 18 years and it was tough for me to see them leaving the premises forever. (cue the tears). Ya, I know, I'm a wimp. Only hours later, someone took them, (which is what we wanted). Only hope they'll bring happiness to someone else!
A little later, the guys from Sleep Country brought the brand new double mattress for Kate, along with the new box spring. Good news? The mattress made it up to the third floor. Bad news? Box spring? Fuhgeddaboudit! No way it could be forced around the hairpin staircase turns to her bedroom.

So back it went into the truck. A week from now, a two-piece box spring will be delivered and assembled. For now, mattress on the floor. I was disappointed that Kate didn't get to enjoy the full effect of the new bed, but she was OK about it all. She has a lot more patience than I do! To get my mind off things, I sat at the computer, read up about freelancing, (I could just about write a book on the subject now!), sent off more letters, emails, resumes, requests, 

and then took off to Urban Nails to get my shellac done! 

This time, Kelly was away, so cutie Katie did them for me. Beautiful job! Still can't seem to get over having fingernails! (and strangely, the nail colour? - Rosebud pink - same as the baby headboards). 
Job search continues next week. 
Meanwhile, missing someone I can't see. Sigh.

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Frustrations & fun

March 25/12.

Looking for a job these days is no easy feat. (not a big surprise to anyone). Times are tough, money is scarce, opportunities few and far between. It's a weird experience trying to break back into the business after years of spending my life in time-consuming, care-giving, gut-wrenching and often upsetting ways I never expected.

Everything came so easily when I was 20, but now, not so much. It's frustrating, depressing, scary and a whole lot more. Hey universe. I'm putting myself out there. Lots of energy, plenty to offer. Where to turn next? I need a compass or something. My direction is off.

Meanwhile, it's business as usual around the house. Finding gainful employment is tough, but there's no END to the work around here! I could go 24 hours a day in this place and still never get everything done!

One afternoon this past week, as I was doing some cleaning, I suddenly heard a man's voice outside, shouting, very loudly, "Help! Help!"  Sure made me jump.

Raced out the door and realized he was yelling because he'd discovered someone had broken into his house, just two doors away from our place. The person was still inside and may have been armed. A tradesman in the neighbourhood parked his van and rushed to offer assistance,

and my next door neighbour came out, phone in hand, and called 911. Police showed up in minutes. It was like watching a TV cop drama. All very intense. One officer was pointing a gun as he stood at the open front door, shouting, "Whoever is inside, SHOW yourself! Police!" But no one appeared.

The police got a description of the man, but he had escaped out the back door, heading south. They went looking for him, but didn't find the culprit. Officers also remained at the house for several hours,  asking questions and watching. There was nothing I could do, so I went back inside, and you can bet I locked the door! Never a dull moment.

Later in the week, I attended another fun evening at the Canadian Improv Games, held again at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the distillery district. Here's the team from Rosedale Heights School of the Arts (Kate's former high school). That's Kate, (in skirt, back to camera).  As coach, she was giving a bit of a pep talk before the show began. Zoe is holding a coconut directly in front of Henry's face. (The team has a tradition of breaking a coconut on the ground outside after every performance).

They all seemed to be listening intently as they prepared to try and win,

at the big competition.

Coconut at the ready!

After last minute instructions from Kate, the team looked pumped and good to go!

I sat in the third row so I could get some closeup/action pics. How they come up with so many hilarious ideas from just one word or phrase, I'll never know! All amazing kids!

Marissa (in front) is very funny. The J Clarke Richardson team was a scream in a scene where they had to teach an adult how to load and use an iPod!

David from Unionville is particularly good. Among their assigned scenes was a pivotal moment in a young person's life. The phrase they got was "You make your parents proud." And they did!

Another challenge. Bear Creek improv gang had to portray an obscure headline,
- Chicken becomes ninja!

Among the funniest scenes of the evening came from Rosedale. They were asked to portray a strong personality trait and got, DRAMATIC. Ben (left) was hysterical as a WAY over-the-top, flamboyantly dramatic guy who breaks into Shakespeare at the drop of a hat. My personal fave, Henry (right), played his patient therapist. At this point, Ben suddenly said loudly to his Doc, "You have such a WONDERFUL voice! Have you ever thought of entering the theatre? Your words caress my ears. Continue your little monologue about moi!"

Their crazy comedy sure took my mind off the pain of job-hunting!

Unionville had to do a story event (defiinition - a story that's never been told). The assignment? 
My Pocket Whale. They immediately launched into a tale in which they went to Marineland, shrunk Shamu the whale into a tiny size and put him in a key chain so a person could carry Marineland around in their pocket wherever they go!

Adam (in front) & Brian (right) and the rest of the St. Marcellinus gang were asked to perform an everyday task - washing the dishes,

and somehow even managed to make that mundane chore funny!

Some of the other themes and thoughts the teams had to explore on stage included a tea party done as a musical;

the word sneaky; The Unblinking Eye; a melodramatic murder mystery, the first time saying goodbye; a nerve-wracking job interview at a fast food restaurant; and the word Ta-DA! All in all, unbelievably fun to watch!

In the end, everyone got the chance for a "curtain call" (sans the curtain!)  Here, the team from J Clarke Richardson takes their bow.

Team from Bear Creek Secondary School.

The fab guys & gals from Rosedale! Right on Henry! (far left)

The team from Unionville High School.

The team from St. Marcellinus Secondary School.
(ARRRRRRRRRR-gyle!!!!!)  Congrats on your big win and moving on to the Regionals Finals!!!

Outside in the courtyard, after the show, everyone was on a high, adrenaline pumping.

The famed Rosedale coconut was thrown hard and fast to the pavement and miraculously, split perfectly into two halves!

Even that action was cause for some improv work on the sidewalk!

Ha Ha!

Group hug!

Then it was off down the street to my car and the drive home. GREAT show gang! Thanks for all the laughs!

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