Monday, May 30, 2005

Baby update

Melanie is now carrying six days late, so this evening she's going into the hospital to be giving a dose of Cervidol to loosen things up a bit. Then, if things have not started by 7:30 tomorrow morning, she will be induced. We can only hope that things will progress normally as of this pont. We were at her Obstetritian this morning, and I had a chance to hear the baby's heartbeat as it stands right, and it sounds great. Healthy and normal. I can hardly wait to hold him or her in my arms and feel the heartbeat myself.

As my friends Ric and Andrea are only a short jaunt from the hospital, I will head over to their house this evening when Melanie's ready for sleep and crash on their couch. That way, if Melanie goes into labour during the night, I can get the quick call on my cellphone and be there in only a couple minutes. It's an exciting time, and I am quite anxious for the big event to be over.

Most likely, my next post will be to announce the birth. Stay tuned!

Until then..here's a link to a website that I have put up. It contains some pictures from our two baby showers, and a bunch of pics I took of Melanie at Cherry Beach in Toronto.
http://www.actingart.com/Pictures/Showers/

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Idiocy from the past

My current big project at home to get my mind off of the baby being late is going through all of my old VHS Videotapes and copying certain ones onto my PC using my capture equipment. Mostly, these contain footage of myself as a teenager, and boy does my sense of humour at that time not always date very well. Currently, I have discovered two tapes from my Media Co-Op and these mostly involve myself and a fellow student making asses of ourselves on camera instead of actually doing our regularly scheduled assignment.
Jayson, Mike, Ron and myself were the very first media co-op students at least at our school...possibly even for all of York Region (I can't remember what our teacher, Mr. Guttman, said at the time about that). It was a great time. A good portion was spent at the old headquarters of Trillium Cable 10 (later to be bought out by Shaw Cable, followed by Rogers) in Keswick, learning all about camerawork, editing and sound mixing. These three I did particularly well in. Perhaps we should have spent more time on Storyboarding and Scripting, because we are utterly terrible on camera. I spend so much time pulling off a Jim Carrey like routine...making sound effects and just goofing off, that even the current me is shouting "GET ON WITH IT, YOU STUPID DORK!!!". I then spend more time showing off my switchboard and Character Generator skills by messing with Jayson's bit so that he can't focus on his assignment either. How I passed that class with top marks, I'll never know....

....Oh yeah...it's because I was good at editing and camerawork and sound design. My onscreen capabilities...controlling myself as an actor came much later.

Questions About Canada

I was going through some of my old e-mails and came across this one...it needed to see the light of day again.

These questions about Canada were posted on an International Tourism Website and obviously the answers came from a fellow Canuck.



Q: I have never seen it warm on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see Polar Bears in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only Four thousand miles, take lots of water. . .

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada? (Sweden)
A: So its true what they say about Swedes.

Q: It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of places to contact for a stuffed Beaver. (Italy)
A: Let's not touch this one.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Canada? Can you send me a list of them in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada?(USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Ca-na-da is that big country to your North . . . oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Canada? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is... oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Vancouver and in Calgary, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in Canada? (Germany)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Canada? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Canada? (UK)
A: You are an American politician, right?

Q: Can you tell me the regions on Bristish Columbia where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada? (USA)
A: Only at Thanksgiving.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Canada who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: All Canadian rattle snakes are perfectly harmless, and can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada, but I forget its name. It's a kind of big horse with horns. (USA)
A: It's called a Moose. They are tall and very violent eating the brains of anyone walking close to them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: I was in Canada in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Surrey, BC. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

T-Minus 0!!!

The clock has reached its scheduled conclusive time, but just kept on ticking. No baby yet.

So, we now take every day or perhaps every hour, with baited breath. It's just a matter of time before the little one decides to make an appearance, and both Melanie and I are hoping to be in the best situation and location as possible when that happens. Everyday this week, I'll be on my commute to work, wondering whether my cellphone will go off telling me to head back. Anxieties run high.

Melanie would just like the kid out now. She's had enough of the inner tapdances and arm shuffles that occur at seemjngly constant periods of time. I don't blame her.

So many people tell me to enjoy these last few days...that my sleep and stress levels will go up when baby is here. Personally, I think it's the opposite...I'm going to feel much better once I know the bay healthy, happy...and home.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Treading the boards - again.

Tonight, I will be gracing the Second City stage as an improviser for the very first time. It was originally to our surprise when we started Level C that we would be expected to perform for our peers in a short 17 minute presentation, but as I get closer to the time I become more and more excited. I love performing for a live audience, and the thrill of being outside of my own comfort zone is akin to my earliest days of conventional theatre.
The coolest thing about this stage we are using is....it's the original stage used at the Firehouse Theatre in Toronto. The same stage graced by Dan Akroyd, Martin Short, Eugene Levy and a multitude of other fantastic improvisers over the great many years of Second City. They actually cut it out when they stopped using the Firehouse Theatre, and have now installed it in Studio 4 of the Second City Training Centre. It's a great historical item and I'm honoured to be using it...
...but I won't kiss it in homage...I'm sure you'd understand.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

How normal am I? Not very!



You Are 50% Normal
(Somewhat Normal)




While some of your behavior is quite normal...
Other things you do are downright strange
You've got a little of your freak going on
But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself



Found on Trying So Very Hard To Be Perfect

Revealed floor

Stefan ripped the carpet in the Nursery out last night and we discovered that the baseboards had been aligned to the carpet, not the gorgeous hardwood beneath. So, after we removed all of the carpet runners, off came the baseboards to be realigned an inch lower. First though, additional paint was required on the newly exposed areas...the second coat I applied at 11:30pm last night. Tonight we will reinstall the boards at the proper height and then finalize the setting up of the room. Luckily, not much to do. Everything is inside the house, so no further moving of heavy furniture. My shoulder and knees thank this fact gratiously.
Stefan was also kind enough to cart away all of the accumulated waste from the move. The boxes, the protective padding/wrapping and some miscellaneous debris left by the previous owner. I now have a clear garage for parking...all I need to do is sweep and shopvac the floor to remove all of the various kinds of nails, screws and broken glass that I have noticed during our week here. That's a weekend project.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Painting and Guests

It has been a very busy, yet very rewarding week. Other than for my office and the nursery, all rooms have been put together quite nicely. I am literally still surrounded in boxes in my office, yet that is on my list of "to do VERY soon". The reason I haven't gotten to that yet is the focus on everywhere else. Stefan and I painted the nursery yesterday while Melanie was out at a baby shower getting all kinds of goodies for the baby, and tomorrow we will be ripping out the carpet, revealing the nice hardwood floor that was criminally being hidden away. Then all the baby's furniture comes in. The crib is to be setup, and the dresser and wardrobe put in place. Then we can officially say we are as ready physically for the baby as possible. The mental part is yet to be seen.
My mother and clan were all over tonight for supper - the dual purpose being a delivery of the crib. But that's not all folks! What did I find in the back of their van? A beautiful brand new Red Craftsman 6.5hp lawnmower - their housewarming gift to us. I was very pleased - this is a gorgeous machine. Funny - for somebody like me who always hated to mow the lawn as a teen, I am very excited about doing it now. Guess it's the homeowner gene taking root. Had my first BBQ as a homeowner tonight too. The six of us sat on the back deck and had a great meal. It's nice to be able to entertain guests, and to have the room to do it right.
Larger surprise of the weekend was Melanie's sister flying up from Minneapolis for the baby shower. This was apparently a long planned event on her and her parents part, and they left it a total secret from Mel and myself. Mel was brought to tears by her presence. This is the kind of reason we've named Britta Godmother.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Pass The Guinness!





Your Inner European is Irish!





Sprited and boisterous!
You drink everyone under the table.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Screaming Cats

Melanie and I both figured that the move would play havoc on the cats for at least a few weeks, but for the most part they've all done very well. Now, having to give both Branaugh and Furface medication twice a day has not made them bright and cheery, especially the latter, who would cheerfully rip my face off during the ordeal. They bounce back quick though, and don't seem to hold a grudge. That I see at least.
Last night was a shocker. I had noticed a cat wandering around the property earlier in the evening, and apparently it likes to come up to our back sliding glass door to visit. Furface did not care for this visit at all, and the sounds he made were horrifying. Melanie, who had been fast asleep, was rudely awoken by a sound similar to a cat stuck in an active thrashing machine and she yelled out to me "What the hell is that???". I had been watching TV in the living room and ran across to find Furface flipping right out while this other cat sits calmly on the other side of the glass just looking at him. I grabbed him and chased the friendly prowler away, and closed that room off for the night.
It's not like this is the first time Furface has seen another cat outside. I can only assume that with the stress of taking command of a new residence (cat's aren't owned, they own), the idea of another cat in the mix - especially on the other side of the glass where he is unable to go - was a breaking point.
I'll have to come up with methods of keeping that other cat away from the window...especially once baby comes. We don't want any more late night living alarms going off.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

We're in...and the fun begins...

As of 3:20pm yesterday, we are officially homeowners. It was a much longer wait than we anticipated, loaded with a hell of a lot of stress, but now we are past the worst. Now is the time for setting up the house the way we want it..a job I originally figured was going to be slow but easy. Fool that I am.
Melanie's parents have insisted we get everything finished quickly, lest something be left unpacked before baby comes. Therefore, they will be coming over every night for a few hours until the task is done. So, no sleep for the wicked.
Last night I was able to get my office into a fairly good shape and set up the PC. Yes, this was priority...income tax deadlines were last night and I wanted to get them sent off.
Then issue#1. Discovered that this was the only room in the house with no phoneline. Figures, but no worries...I just ran out to the local hardware store, picked up some phone cable, and Stefan (my father in-law) and I ran a line from the master bedroom to the office. Hooked it up and fired 'er up. Then....
Issue#2: DSL line was not connecting. Made a call to Ma Bell. Found out that our move order...setup about three weeks beforehand; had been lost. So, no internet that night, and even with Melanie screaming at a supervisor for a half hour, discovered we'd have none until Wednesday. What I don't understand about Bell is they definately had the move order right for our phoneline. To have DSL, you must subscribe to Bell for a phoneline. Therefore, when they moved our phone, why didn't any redflags occur for the internet side? It's like Bell is a squid...every service in a different arm, none of which know what the hell is going on in the others. Stressful and annoying. Melanie, being an awesome customer service rep, knows how to play the game, but I hate seeing her tearing a strip off of people when she's only weeks away from giving birth...she doesn't need the stress.
This is not the first time we've had problems with them too. They lost our order for ExpressVu. Twice. That was finally resolved, and it was installed a couple of hours ago. Good thing too...if they buggered that appointment, we were considered cancelling the whole lot.

Other big stress of the weekend. When we discovered we weren't going to close on time, I set up an appointment for the cats to be bordered. While there, the vet discovered major dental issues with two of the poor beasties. $1000+ later we got them home. Thank god for Mel's budgeting, or we'd be so screwed right now. Luckily, all three cats seem to be adjusting to their new home fine. My fish all made it too.

I love being in a house again. Last night I sat out on the porch with a tea and listened to the rain coming down. So soothing. This morning, I was surprised by how much natural light we had. After being in a dark apartment so long you forget what it's like. The water pressure is amazing...like blow yourself backwards in the shower amazing (I'll actually have to regulate that to conserve water and energy). Many new adventures as a homeowner seem to be coming my way. I look foward to them all.