Thursday, February 26, 2009


One more thing.... I'm listening to Monsoon House, a radio program starring Russell Peters on CBC Radio One. The woman keeps calling her dad "Daddy." This comes up a lot on TV and in movies, too, and it drives me crazy. Grown women! Even teenagers. Why?

Am I the only female who has not called her dad "Daddy," since I was eight? 

Just another thing to get on my nerves.

Elitist Art

I'm listening to CBC Radio One, as usual. Q just ended, wherein Jian Ghomeshi was speaking to a producer of a documentary about a couple who collected art over the years and recently donated the entire collection to an art museum. The producer said she struggled at first with the making of the film, because she would ask Herb and Dorothy why they purchased a particular painting, and the response was inevitably, "I liked it. It's beautiful." The filmmaker was at first horrified that these people could not articulate their reasons for liking the art. I got worried.

This attitude that one must be able to wax pseudo-intellectual about art, or music, or, yes, literature! perpetuates the notion that art is elitist. This is the wrong way to think about it! All forms of art should be accessible to everyone! I can't imagine an artist, or a musician or a writer claiming that they don't want their material to be enjoyed (or purchased!) by someone who does not have a vocabulary the size of North America to discuss it. It seems to me that artists create because it's in their souls. They hope to build an appreciative audience and likely aren't going to be snobbish about who is permitted to make it up.

The filmmaker redeemed herself by coming to this conclusion herself, and recognising that part of Herb and Dorothy's charm is just that: they love art, they love the pieces they chose, and don't give a damn whether they "fit in" with all the art intellectuals.

I make no apology for the fact that I didn't like The Great Gatsby. I didn't finish Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell because it was BORING. Salman Rushdie uses too many damn words such that once I finish a sentence I can't remember how it began. 

There you go. I'm not wrong. I just don't pretend to be anything I'm not.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Balance of Work and Writing et cetera

I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed these days. I don't know if I'm wearing too many hats, or if I'm not managing my time well enough, or if I'm simply overthinking things and looking for stuff to worry about. 

I have this job that has turned into way more than it was supposed to, and I still don't have assurance yet that I'm going to be compensated for the extra work. 

I'm directing a musical. I've been in lots, but I've never directed one, and I'm feeling a little out of my element. There's that niggling feeling of being out of control. There's that weight of knowing that lots of people are counting on me yet only a hope that things will come together and fall into place. I don't do well with poor attitudes, so to have kids complain about their parts, or show any signs of lack of commitment really ticks me off. What I want to do is yell at them, but because I can't do that and it takes too much time to explain to them why they shouldn't do what they're doing or say what they're saying, I mostly just brush them off, and I don't know if any message is getting through. My wonderful musical director is much better at dealing with that stuff. I DO have cool ideas of how to stage it, but I don't know how much the kids are capable of... I know they'll surprise me and be capable of all sorts of things... Maybe it's just that things are still early. Once we get up on our feet and start blocking things may start to make sense.

Then there's my writing. I am committed to making room for it in my schedule, but as I said, work is seeping in where I didn't expect it to. So far, most of the days I have set aside for writing have been at one point interrupted by a need to deal with something work-related. I try to keep breathing and staying calm and turning the dial back to writing, and have been successful to a point: it takes time though, and is frustrating to not be able to completely focus on it. I know that it's partially my fault for choosing to deal with work things. But here again is that knowledge that others are counting on me. It's a tough call.

Everything would be better if I could only sleep past 5am!

[At the Surrey Writers' Conference in October some friends and I were discussing the word 'only'. Evidently it is the most frequently misused word in the English language. Now I get all worried every time I use it! Did I do it right? Oh no! What if I've used it incorrectly! Oh well, the sky hasn't fallen yet.] 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A great day of entertainment.

I needed that. When son and I went to Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories one of the trailers was for Paul Blart--Mall Cop. It made me laugh, as so few trailers do, and I knew I wanted to see it. It took us weeks, but the four of us finally went this afternoon. It was exactly what I expected. Dumb, but funny, and it made me laugh. In fact, I'm rather embarrassed to say, one part made me cry. Isn't that dumb?? I was shaking my head at my own goofiness, but for some reason I reacted all seriously. [how can you tell I've had a stressful few weeks...?] Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and I recommend it if anyone is looking for a larf.

Now, it's time to watch the Canucks. We were unable to get tickets to the Habs game here in Vancouver, and it turned out to be on Pay Per View, much to the terrible disappointment of Huge Habs Fan Son Of Mine. We considered going to a restaurant where they play ppv games, but we decided that in the long run it would be cheaper just to get it here at home. Home-made nachos are cheaper than restaurant ones, and this way we don't have to leave a tip or buy drinks. And I love curling up in my basement under soft blankets. 

So. Hockey here I come.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Workload, time management, writing

Every time I get some sort of part-time job, it becomes more than I ever dreamed it would be. This is not necessarily a good thing. I'm trying to keep a positive outlook, but I don't like feeling out of control. Being asked to do more than I expected is fine, to a point, but having all kinds of extra things added to not only my workload, but to my job description is not something I'm enjoying right now. 

I have lots on the go right now, which is fine, but I have certain expectations going into a project about what it's going to be like, how much time and how much energy it's going to take. Each time something gets added to a single activity, the balance goes askew, and that's what's happening right now. I don't know how to make it stop.

Work as SP Trainer/Co-ordinator for Kwantlen, directing Seussical at the middle school, Earth to Doris, FAT Jazz. Oh, and there's that book I'm trying to write... Getting overwhelmed here.

Ok, now I have to go because I'm expecting a work-related phone call any time now. Cheers.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Ok, here's the funniest newspaper headline I've seen in a long time: The NOW from Wednesday, February 4th, front page:

City Worker Pulls Senior From Hedge

'nuff said.