Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bye-bye, Mon Cowboy. Bye-bye Mon Rodéo.

Canada Rocks! is done. All the lights have dimmed, the seats have emptied and shirts have been sold out. Yes, even that one. No, we don't have any extra-larges left. Only small. Only small left in that one. Sorry, there's only small left.

After the show, the BO Brigade (Box Officers) and the FOH (ushers) eventually got together in the FOH office for some hot, sweaty fun. We all crammed in the small bunker of an office, with, as luck would have it, the faire Lady Lynda as well. We were talking and some were drinking, when a commotion at the door brought us Sweeney MacArthur. Sweeney is the MC of Canada Rocks! and Mr. Phillips in Anne. Oh, and, no shit - he did the voice for Tim's Roll up the rim to win! ads. He's a Scot, no doubting that - he puts on a Canadian accent for CR!, but lays on the brogue for Anne. Actually, I'm not even sure he plays up his accent all that much. It's very thick. Anyhow, in the course of the short time he visited, he called me Agent Mulder and told me if I went to Scotland for 4 days in October, I'd get 4 proposals of marriage. I'm sold!

Bye-bye, mon héros. Bye-bye mon gigolo.

Another one of the actors came and took Sweeney away, and the party fizzled momentarily, but soon after we were back dancing in the office. God, I was stupid to stay out so late. I had to work at 9am this morning, and I didn't get home until 1:45am. I know, it's not that late, but mama needs her sleep!

I'm in at work now, and this is my last weekend Gallery shift! Holy crap! After three months now of working at the Centre 6 and 7 days a week, I'm really looking forward to having weekends off like a normal person.

Yesterday, I booked my flight to France. I'm going to visit Anna in Toulouse, like I've mentioned before. When I was shopping for flights, I settled on Easyjet. Ryanair was a little cheaper, but Easyjet was direct into Toulouse. Anyhow, when I checked on Thursday, the round trip flight cost £55, but when I went to book it yesterday, the price had dropped £10! In the end, with a small fee for using a credit card, my flight only cost me £49. Round trip, London to Toulouse. Wow! That's only about $110 Canadian. It cost more than that to get to Halifax, by plane, train, or automobile.

So, I have one more shift here in the Gallery, one more appearance in the Gallery to launch the new exhibits, one more shift down in the theatre, and one more week of work in the Gallery offices before I go. I am very ready for this summer festival season to end and get on with my next little adventure.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"See You Tomorrow. Thanks, Catherine."

The above is a quote from one of my new bosses today. She thanked me for the work that I did! Is it super-dee-duper sad that it's the first time in a long time that I've felt appreciated for doing my job?

I'm been kinda mum about Front of House (the usher's department, fyi) this season. This is for two reasons. One: it was a terrible summer for morale and comraderie, and Two: a lot of people I work with read this blog and I'm afraid of being dooced. Not that it would be a huge tragedy to lose a job I hate, but that's not the point with a trip coming up, eh? (See countdown clock where linque du jour once was, and will be again.)

My last post was written when I was totally drunk on sleep. Let me briefly say what I'll be doing in my new job, which, I've found out, is called "Collections Research Assitant." (Too bad - I was really led to believe that the word "curator" would be in there somewhere.) I'll be researching and writing up some extended dance-mix versions of abstracts for grant proposals, and organising stats on acquisitions from the last 15 years, and giving tours around the Gallery, and any other stuff my bosses want.

We're all still taking down the summer's exhibits, and now I really appreciate how much work that is. Everything has to be examined and documented to make sure it's in the same condition it arrived in, then it has to be gingerly taken down and packed up in plastic, bubble wrap, and crates with more foam.

The big thing for me is: I need office clothes! Before, I just thought I liked jeans. Now I know that I was using them as a crutch because they're so easy! I'm having a hard time not going shopping here in Charlottetown for work clothes. I just know that there'll be so much in London.

I need shoes, too, because I have 4 pairs of (awesome) shoes, but the heels are too high and/or they hurt my toes. I need more reasonable shoes for the terrible concrete floors. Oh, Confed Centre. Breakin' me down; buildin' me up. Then breakin' me down again.

Finally: I enjoyed this scathing open letter from David Cross to Larry the Cable Guy, some jackass comedian I hadn't heard of until this year. Anyhow, I guess there was some aggro between these two and David shot him down thoroughly with this letter. I don't know about or care to read a response.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The What Now?

A short note because I'm so tired from WORKING (more than) FULL TIME the last couple of days.

I have been given a researcher position up in the Art Gallery where I've been working on weekends! It's a term position and only 24 hours a week, but my time in the theatre is almost over and I was getting worried. Worried enough to start waiting tables in the restaurant to make some extra cash. That's scrapped now.

24 hours a week will be 3 full days, but since I'm going to be away for 3 weeks in October (and they're ok with that!), I'm banking hours now, so it's basically full time, 5 days a week!

From what I can tell, I'll be doing research for the next exhibit, giving tours of the Gallery, and working on writing, compiling, and editing a catalogue for an exhibition with the Curatorial Director, Kevin Rice (who's a great guy).

Right now, we're changing an exhibit, so I'm doing a lot of grunt work now, and so is everyone else, like the Gallery's Director, Jon Tupper, and the aforementioned Kevin Rice. It's painting walls, unwrapping art, and, what I'm doing: peeling hundreds, nay, thousands of vinyl letters off the walls with a scalpel and a heat gun. My fingers are sore and leprous, and I've burned my arm on that jeezly gun, but I'm happy. Oh so happy.

I'm also a little nervous about getting my head back into research after letting my brain atrophy for a year, but I'm sure I'll be fine. I haven't been given any specific tasks yet, so I'll cross those bridges when I come to them.

I'm very relieved to get a job a year to the day that I defended my thesis in 2005! If it was any more than a year, I'd have to start to worry!

Unfortunately, I still have another six nights scheduled at the theatre, late into the night, so after I work each day from 9-5, I have to hit the aisles from 6-10:30. Bah humbug. But hurrah!


I finally worked up the courage to spend some money. It was on I got 5 items. It arrived. Today. In some sort of congratulatory parcel. Perfect timing. Ahhh.

Here's what I got: The first season of Slings and Arrows, a great tv show drama thingy. I don't have many words left in my head today, and I'm writing this up basically to entertain the poor box office workers at the Confed Centre who have nothing better to do all day than read my blog. Gah.

Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge. I looked up this guy after seeing Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, starring this guy, and I thought he was funny, and this was rather cheap, so I thought I'd give it a go, in preparation for my England trip.

This is a great little book about little strawbale homes. It's adorable, with great pictures, and it makes me want to build my own little house right now. Damn preparation!

I'm too tired to describe this one. Read the Wikipedia description. It's a cool book, and I've been hearing about it in Religious Studies classes for years, but have never actually read it. Now I own it! Suckas!

Finally: the final season of Arrested Development. I can't wait to have some time to watch it! Oh Tobias. Oh George-Micheal! Oh, Buster! Oh, all you Bluths! I'm planning on watching this all in one fell swoop, when I get the time, which I despair might be after I get back from England. Woe. (kidding)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Little Nuggets.

I went for groceries today and paused next to the bin of cheap DVDs. Usually they're really crap, but today I couldn't believe my luck! I found Shallow Grave for $5.99! I have it on VHS, but I've been looking for it on DVD (cheap) for a while. Horray!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Is This The Scary Part?

I just applied for the Sustainable Building Design and Construction course at Fleming College.

Holy crap.

Applying isn't the scary part, really, is it? Getting accepted would be scarier. Going would be scarier.

The scariest part was the $85 application fee. That's about 12 hours of work for me, or three shifts.

Oh, that reminds me: I'm starting to work at Mavor's next week. Yesterday, I went out and bought 3 black shirts, which I have to wear as a uniform. I guess you have to spend money to make money, but I don't think this is what Donald Trump intended. Hell, this isn't what I intended.

I wanted to work only in at the café, but the Mavor's staff goes between the café and the restaurant, so I'll probably be waiting tables.

Could I be more stereotypical? A waitress with an MA? Thank god I didn't get my PhD!

Universe 1, Catherine 0.

Last night after work, I decided to have a snack and watch some TV. I prepared a nice big bowl of popcorn and a glass of chocolate milk. I settled into the blue recliner and set out to find something entertaining (most likely an animated show).

I took a sip from my cho milk, and somehow - it all happened so fast - the glass slipped out out my grip and fell into the popcorn bowl.

The bowl shattered in my lap, leaving me staring at a pile of soggy popcorn and chocolate-milky comfy pjs.

I had to laugh, in spite of myself. I sat there, soiled and disappointed, and I still laughed. I was home alone, so I had to grab a blanket off the floor with my toes, draw it up to my lap, and scoop the pieces of bowl and popcorn into a bindle of waste. Then I had to strip off my beloved pjs without flicking the shards into the carpet.

Now I get it - snacking after supper is naughty. Gawd.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Paradigm Shift.

Most of us have probably seen the ad for Brita water filters which basically tells us that the water we get out of our kitchen sinks is the same water we use in our toilets, therefore, we should filter our water that comes from our kitchens.

I don't think the question should be why are we drinking toilet water. The question should be: "Why we use tap water to piss in?"

I'd like to learn more about greywater systems. This is where waste water from sinks and showers are used for toilet water and irrigation. I've heard that it's not a difficult plumbing job, but just takes a little out-of-the-box thinking.

Drink our tapwater. There's nothing wrong with it. It's free, it's clean, and and it's available. Not everyone in the world has that kind of luck. Let's not take for granted the most basic human needs which are simply handed to us.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The RHG.

I get to watch the crowds arriving for Canada Rocks Obligatory Exclamation Point while I'm standing selling swag. I watch people ignoring those they're standing with while talking on cell phones, perusing my wares while sloshing glasses of red wine, or ignoring the flashing lights signalling 5 minutes to curtain.

About once a week, a handsome man enters the lobby area. He's casually well-dressed, tall (or sometimes not so), has nicely-cared-for hair, and isn't screaming into a cell phone. Usually, if he's alone, it's only briefly. Soon his short, cute, girlfriend arrives with flawless skin and the ability to purposefully walk in 3-inch heels.

I then roll my eyes and think, "typical."

Last night, the king of handsome guys came into the lobby. He was by himself, but he wasn't distractedly looking towards the doors. He got a drink and wandered the lobby, waiting for the doors to the theatre to open. Then he disappeared off my visual radar. He didn't look like an underwear model or anything - he was more of the Patrick Dempsey calibre of handsome.

When I saw him again, it was intermission. I pointed him out to Megan, who had already taken notice of his magnificence. Ahh. His notoriety preceded me.

At the end of the night, I overheard Kelly and Katie speaking of a Ridiculously Hot Guy. The RHG! Every usher in the place had filed this guy away in her memory banks. We all had a moment recounting fond memories of the RHG, and then went our separate ways. They had to drop cashes in a safe, and I left the building, walking right by RHG speaking with the lady who plays Marilla in Anne.

Oh, RHG. Who are you? How'd you get so H?

I usually don't like using the word hot as an adjective for a guy. It's not very descriptive, and a bit giggly schoolgirl, and, oh, let's say something else about... objectifying men. Yeah - that's a bad thing.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Best. Weekend. Ever.

On Friday, I drove down (over?) to Fredericton to see Lynda, who kindly offered her couch to me for the weekend. I was in New Brunswick for a much-anticipated Strawbale Construction Workshop. That night, she and I drove to Quispamsis that night for an opening information session which was free and open to the public. There were a lot of people there, and Kim Thompson, the instructor (who teaches a sustainable building course at Dalhousie) had a slide show and Q&A.
(This is very similar to what the house I helped build looked like - timber frame with load-bearing strawbale walls. I'll post pictures from the weekend when they are available.)

The next morning, participants in the workshop gathered at 7:30 for breakfast. Most of the participants camped on-site, but I was driving back and forth to Fredericton, so I didn't get to breakfast until around 8:15am on Saturday and Sunday. (The homeowners provided the workers with three meals a day, which were fantastic. Salads, turkey, quiche, meatballs, chili, muffins, cookies and trailmix abounded. I thought it would be all nuts and berries, gluten-free vegan twigs, but it wasn't. More on this later.)

I thought the workshop was going to be classroom stuff in the mornings and then going to a site to build a shed or a greenhouse or something, but no. Lynda and I rocked up to the site of a soon-to-be two-bedroom strawbale house. There was no classroom time. We dove right in. We would circle bales to sit on while Kim lectured for short times, and then the rest was all practical and hands-on.

Who was there? There was Kim, her three assistants and an apprentice assistant, the two homeowners, and ten participants. What's that... 17 people? Yeah. In two days, we had raised all the exterior walls. At the end of the second day, we learned how to make the first (and fourth) layer of plaster, which was a very soothing experience. On the third day, we learned how to make the second (and third) type of plaster, which was anything but soothing. It was very very labour intensive.

Almost everything about building the strawbale house was labour instensive, but it was so satisfying. The waste materials were a stack of loose straw and some scraps from the timber frame. (When you build with toxic materials, you get toxic waste.) It was a great community effort, where lots of different people came together and within a day knew how to build a strawbale house.

I thought everyone would be granola crunchy, and there was a certain amount of that element, but mostly, everyone was like me. Normal, environmentally-conscious people. No BO. Meat-eaters. Educated. I was afraid that I wouldn't fit in, but I was just like everyone else.

I'd love to talk in more detail about my weekend, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Allergies, pests, fire, insulative properties, so on and so on. I'll do my best to answer anything. I learned so much and can't wait to share.