Saturday, May 31, 2008

Spring Fever

Cynical guy at the video store: "What does it matter? The world's gonna end before we hit old age anyway."
Proof that we're an incredibly optimistic/naive species: the Fertility Fest that is the East Van Farmers Market. So many belly bulges and gigantic strollers that it's hard to squeeze through! (and I attach no judgement to the sight of all those mamas-to-be... but for those of you who want to know my current thoughts on having kids: just know that I clutched my shopping bag to my (relatively) flat belly and waded through the mob with great pleasure at being One, and not Two.)

I just wrote this post, and Blogger in its great wisdom erased it, so I'm starting again and it'll be a little different than it was 10 minutes ago, because hey, I'm 10 minutes older, dammit. So what did I write about the first time 'round?

Oh yeah... Farmers Market: love it- kids, dogs and all. My first of the year, which is always a treat, especially when the weather is as gorgeous as it is today. Vancouver is truly making up for a long and incredibly dreary winter. Herbs, flowers, cheese, crafts for sale everywhere you look, the market spilling out of the parking lot and into neighbours' front yards as everyone rushes to spring clean. Kids waiting, entranced, for the balloon man or face painter to lay his magic on them. Dogs looking left and right, trying to track that one incredible smell. And all the people of my funky community coming down to check it out.

There was a look-but-don't-touch element to the market for me today, as J and I have just embarked on a 12-day cleanse. No cheese! No flours! NO CHOCOLATE!!! How will I make it through the week? What is left to eat? Oh I know, I know, most of the world eats like this... but I'm addicted, dammit! To sugar in all its glory! I smoked 5 cigarettes a day in Wells and dropped that habit like a dirty sock the minute I came home but deny me my sweet treats and I'm like a bear with a sore head. If you don't hear from me in a few days, send help- no, better yet send candy!

Speaking of starch-and-sugar-lovers... Zeellia came out of summer hiatus to play at a concert/lecture called "Songs Your Mother Never Should Have Taught You: erotic symbolism in Ukrainian folk music". I studiously avoided the tempting treats at intermission, and enjoyed finding out more about what these songs I sing really mean... let's just say that if a young, handsome Cossack says he wants to water his horse at your deep well- watch out!

Now that rehearsals for that event are over I find myself at a bit of a loose end again, and short of funds as well, arrrrgh. Since the weather is so incredible I'm going to try and get outside as much as possible. Not having a job to jump into is making me miss my new friends and experiences in Wells, although I'm thoroughly glad not to be part of the summer-long tour they're embarking on right now. I find myself slow to adjust in being part of a couple again; it's not that I want to fool around, it's just that it's hard to get used to having someone to report to and make plans with as opposed to just doing my own thing, as I have for most of a month now. Being basically selfish, it's taking me a while to get used to, and being basically a saint, J is patience itself.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Home, again.

I'm back in Vancouver, where the luscious green-ness of trees and plants bursting into life has almost overwhelmed me. Wells, over 4000 feet up from sea level, was going straight from winter to mosquito season with no in-betweens. Already the womb-like sensation of living and working with a tiny group of people in a tiny town is receding, although I received a lovely "We miss you!" phone call from my roommates at the Panabode. How you know you've had a good time: the feelings of wistful nostalgia that hit you as soon as it's over. One day back and I was back at Kites & Puppets for a shift. This is the life of a freelance worker: one day you're writing 5-part harmonies for a song and the next you're stapling a pricetag to a stuffed chipmunk's head.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Quick Post 'cause it's waaaay too nice to be indoors blogging

  • It's sunny- at last!- and the temperature is soaring. You haven't truly appreciated Spring until you've seen how fast it can melt 5 feet of dirty, outstayed-its-welcome snow.
  • Rehearsals are going really well, and the powers that be are pleased, thank goodness. All my fears were unfounded.
  • Barkerville is open, and it's so funny to see everyone traipsing through the mud (the downside of fast-melting snow), especially the poor folks in period costume.
  • I may be redundant by week three- not sure what I'll be doing up here since all the music's now written and learned. But I'm sure I'll work something out.
  • Oh, and I got some pretty stupendous news from my dad about some money I apparently inherited from my grandma. I feel a bit crass mentioning it even, but let's just say it's not a fortune but it might allow me to travel a bit in the coming year, if I don't fritter it away (and I have no intention of doing so). 
  • I feel very lucky and blessed, and I'm off to enjoy the sunlight! Long live Spring and all its glories!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Wells Report #3

Last night there was cause for great excitement: it was one of the 2 nights that the Wells Hotel Pub is open each week!!! Of course, our entire cast descended on the place and much hilarity ensued; I ended up sitting with our director, Ross, who's very relaxing to be with and is totally on my side against the crazy people who run this theatre company, Caitlin the show's pianist, who's the other 30-something, and The Reverend Father Nicholas, who's a minister from New England who's up in "Bahkerville" to run the Anglican church for the summer. 

Shook off a slight hangover this morning to drive into Quesnel with Caitlin, Ross and the Rev. Nicholas, where we all spent far too much money on groceries. Quesnel felt very large and exotic after Wells- also there was no snow on the ground there. It was actually quite hard to drive back up into the high, isolated area that's my home for 2 more weeks; I'll certainly be ready for Vancouver by then!

I don't know if the 2 folks who run Theatre Royal are very thrilled with my music because they're so used to doing things their way; my director is pleased with it though and hopefully that's more important. However... I fell asleep last night with a huge smile on my face, happy with my work this week, happy to have met all these great new people, happy to be doing what I love... I just hope I don't have to defend myself too much to the Powers That Be this week because I can see that happening as they're so used to doing things a certain way...

Oh, and we spotted a Black Bear on the way to Quesnel and a Grizzly (my first!) on the way back to Wells! I'm going to have to be very careful when I go running in the mornings!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Wells Report #2

Ok, who was a silly girl and forgot the wire that allows her to transfer photos from her camera to her computer? So, no pics of Wells until I get back home, grrrrr. (Except this one above which I found on the internet.) You'll just have to take my word for it- it's beautiful and it's small. Very, very small. Every morning so far I puff and hack my way up the small but steep hill that separates the 2 parts of town and I appreciate the fresh mountain air (We're 4100 feet above sea level here, not 2100 as I may have said last time). I've been running every day- take that, Jonathan! I will dominate you in the Most-Healthy competition!

First music rehearsal today... not as bad as I feared, thank goodness. Problem is, I should have had all the music weeks ago so I could arrange it before I got up here. But as it is, I am arranging on the fly, hastily cobbling things together in the morning while they do script work and then teaching it in the afternoons; not ideal. But it was good to get started today so I don't have to feel the apprehension that comes with waiting-to-begin.

What else...?
Well, our Pan-abode house is starting to feel-and smell-like home. The water here is so full of minerals I'll probably become Iron Man by the time I leave. I am already heartily sick of the clothes I brought up here, but there's nothing to do about that- no clothes to be had in this town! The snow (which locals say is not usually present so late in the spring) is melting steadily off our roof, creating a Niagara Falls gauntlet to be run every time we enter or exit the house. I watch for bears as I run in the mornings, but so far, thanks to that snow, they haven't made an appearance. I rented a movie from the service station/post office/liquor store/video outlet and asked the clerk if I needed to show ID to rent it. "Um, not really," she said. "When's it due back?" I asked. "Um, in one or two days, whenever," she replied.
Sometimes small towns are way more civilized than big cities!

I look at pictures of Mexico on my laptop and marvel that I was there a month ago; it seems inconceivable that I got from turquoise seas to 10-foot snowdrifts in less than 30 days. A breathless email from Amelia in Istanbul laves me struggling against jealously: she's there and I'm here, but what's the use? I'm not on her path and I don't want to be, although a little more exotic traveling would be fabulous. All in good time I guess. At least this gig has turned alright so far...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Wells Report

Dear Everyone,
                           So I'm in Wells today, settling in to my new home (for the next 3 weeks), the Pan Abode (it's a name for that particular style of wooden house, apparently. My roommates are members of the cast, so I really hope we all get along once rehearsals start or things will be pretty awkward). They are very sweet; it's not their fault that they're all, like, twenty. freakin'. years. old. And fresh out of theatre school. And all know each other because they all went to the same theatre school in Victoria. No really, I'm over it. At first I called J in a bit of a panic, but now I'm adapting. I'm a cranky Virgo, but I can adapt. 

J and I have our own version of "The Biggest Loser" going on right now, where the one who gets healthiest in the next 3 weeks wins $150. So the stakes are high, and I'm determined to win. I went for a run this morning, snow piled on either side of the road, but actually the air was pretty warm. We're 2100 feet above sea level here, so winter's hanging on. When winter leaves, the Grizzlies will come out, so maybe I don't want winter to leave just yet. 

We have no cel phone coverage up here, no internet (except in the general store, which is where I am right now), no land line in our cozy, dirty wooden house. I call J from pay phones, shivering in the dark , watching for wildlife. It's primitive, but I think I could learn to love it, as long as rehearsals aren't a gong show...

More soon,