Monday, December 18, 2006

Running behind? Behind what?

Catch up time.

Jasper Station wrapped itself up after a full 12 show run. Tthe double-secret mystery private 13th show never occurred; whether that was due to superstition or just the fact that nobody was willing to organize it in the first place is debatible. No matter what, the entire run was a triumph, and I'm proud to have been part of it. Sterling was just one of those characters that is such a joy to play. Not REALLY a stretch on my part - he's that neurotic kind of guy that I seem to pull off so well (think of a heftier Woody Allen), but as long as I have fun with it there is no shame in being typecast.
The reality is, I would do the show again in a heartbeat. If they called me up tomorrow and said they were bringing it back in a few months and would I want to do it again? I'd be there, and I would hope the rest of the cast felt the same way. That's not just good 'ole theatre blues talking (for the non thespians out there, this is the term used to describe the time immediately following a production where we don't know what to do with our time, and often jump into a new show right away. This coincidentally is also the most often time that actors come home to find the locks replaced by their now ex-spouses), this show was so fulfilling in general that it deserves a revisit. That may very well happen. But for now, I'm taking a break.

I do get twitchy though, and my ears perk up when somebody mentions casting.

I have already been offered three different roles in as many shows, but have turned them down. In two months time, our little family trio jumps on a jet and scoots over the Atlantic to Deutschland for three weeks, so even thinking of being involved with a full production run during that time period is not only unfair to Melanie, but would be unfair to any cast and crew. Unless it's a small role, missing that much time in rehearsals can be fairly jarring.

I'm not being idle though. I'm eyeing shows in the May-June timeframe, as well as putting in a proposal to direct a show for Theatre On Main in the 2007-08 season (revisiting 'Early One Evening At the Rainbow Bar & Grille' is a possibility). South Shore Theatre is asking about my availability for fall '07 as they plan on doing Dracula...I just don't know what version they are doing yet (there are many, but the 3 most common scripts I've seen include a drama, a comedy and a musical). South Shore doesn't do musicals, so that narrows the choices down. I'm worried if it's a drama. Even though Dracula is certainly a well known subject matter, and the assumption is that it would sell based on that....for some reasons Dramas just do not sell well in Keswick. The last one we did was Kind Lady, it even after a hell of a lot of promotion it lost a lot of money. People in that town want to laugh, and South Shore comedies typically do well. I'll talk to the director about it, and see what they are thinking. Finally, I'm working on the idea of putting a Sketch-Comedy group together. This is an evolution of my idea of running Improv shows at Theatre on Main. I figured if parts of the show could be scripted, leaving some dynamic time for Improv and special guests then it could become a healthy fixture for theatre in the town of Newmarket.

It takes time to put all this together, and so therefore I'm not yet working on it. I just don't have time at the moment. The day job sucks up a lot of time (especially when I'm still working on it until often 12:30am). I'm getting as much fit into a day as possible, while at least trying to fit in to being a family man. A role I honour, even if it has it's rough moments.

Can't complain about the job though - it's still proving to be a wonderful company to consult for, and though my brain keeps wanting to leak out of my ear when I look at some of the data, it's worth it. Contract just officially has been extended to the day before we head off to Germany (and there is talk of work upon my return, but that's written on vellum only, so take that with a small pebble of sodium-chloride). They treat me well...I'm involved in all of their employee events, was at their company Christmas party, and even came to their Children's Christmas party yesterday with Melanie and Nathaniel at Rinx (Nathaniel did not deal with Santa very well this time, but he was already tired and cranky so it's excusable). I can see myself staying with this company for awhile if they will have me. If not, honestly that's ok too. I'm sincerely not stressing about stuff like that.

Reason for that? I may possibly have some serious health issues involving my heart, and it's not worth generating needless stress to cause complications with that. My doctor called me into his office a few weeks back, and informed me that my latest EKG test (ordered after my physical) showed that I had probably suffered a heart attack sometime in the past - they just don't know when. The word probably is the only part to be concerned about. If they knew it was a heart attack for sure...great - it's happened, therefore make some changes in lifestyle and health to ensure it doesn't happen again. Probably could say, well it looks like a heart attack, but it could really be that alien-symbiote thing that'll be popping out of your chest any day now, call Sigourney Weaver just in case. I go for a stress test in January (fun!), to be followed by a 24-hour monitor to see if they can make a better and more informed prognosis. To be honest with you....I'm not that worried about it.

Throw what catch phrase you want - "What shall be shall be", "C'est la vie", "The bird-flu chickens are roosting in the alligator pit" (huh?)'s all a delicate balance. One I'm used to walking by now. To love my family. To love my friends. To love theatre. To love my quiet time. To lov....well, to be good at my job. Percentage of balance required for each changes daily. Thinking about it is meaningless, just as planning for it never works. Dealing with each day as something different...that's the only thing I can do.

Until next time.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Well, that's a relief....for now.

I love reading the news just to find an article that discusses how they have finally figured out that a drug which I have been taking for many months, has finally been determined to be safe.
Oh...lovely. You mean they weren't certain if I would spontaneously combust or grow a second head up until this time? I feel so comforted.
Over the last decade I have been taking a lot of medication to control my arthritic symptoms...many of which have been pulled off the market since, deemed to cause heart disease or stroke. Vioxx, Celebrex, Mobicox...the list goes on. While the doctors had no clue what I had, they kept throwing different drugs at me to see what would happened. I was also on Methotrexate for awhile, which people have cringed at as it is considered by some to be a carcinogen (ironically it is used as a Cancer medication in high dosages).
I almost changed my initials to G.P. in moments of confusion.
After my shoulder surgery I was prescribed Naproxen as an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), and was amazed at how well I was feeling. Not only was my shoulder feeling great but my knees and ankles were holding up better than they had in years. So I went to my family doctor and asked if there were any dangers of taking this drug full time as my daily anti-inflam, instead of the simple dosage of Ibuprofen I had chosen to take (both as a cost-savings and a desire to stay away from harsh meds). He agreed, and I've been taking it ever since.
Now, I shouldn't be too upset. I mean, the drug I already am taking has been deemed safe. Hell, I should be relieved...there are many people out there taking a drug that seems to work for them just fine, until they discover it is causing their genetic structure to revert to that of the missing link.
OK, now before the comments begin flying, I in no way believe for a moment that any drug I am taking is 100% safe...especially an anti-inflamatory. I know that over the years my stomach may self-destruct if not watched closely. However, for the simple pleasure of getting out of a chair or bed without groaning, I will take my risks.
I just wish that I knew the odds better before I took the medications, not months or even years down the road.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Opening night update

Well, one down, eleven or possibly twelve shows to go (an extra show for charity is now in question). Though we did not have a fantastic turnout audience wise for our opening night, the attendies were very responsive and the show went excellent.
Bob's Your Uncle was a blast. It's perhaps the only song in the show which cried out for a lot of choreography, though due to compounding issues we never received any. So, we all have been making up stuff to do. There is a dance break number in the song which lasts for about 30-40 seconds, and so I have been improvising some soft shoe kind of work, and then we kind of break into a square dance (it's a countryish song). Let's just say that by the end of that break, I am pretty aware of just how out of shape I really am as I am pretty much gasping for breath just to finish the rest of the song. I didn't feel too bad tonight though as I could hear poor Kerrie drawing gasping breaths at the same time that I was and she is in a lot better shape than I am.
Funny enough, I remember Steve Thomas saying that the original Sterling was always gasping for breath at the end of that song so at least I am following a status quo.
Everybody felt pretty much on tonight...I didn't notice any serious line flubs, and I think I got all of mine out. It's a good start to a four week run.
Following the show, we hung out for a little while to imbibe some vino and chat. I then headed out with the intention of hitting a karaoke joint ('cause I just didn't get enough singing, eh?), but was high-jacked by my friend Ted to hang out at another pub where we shot pool and drank Canadian. We were entertained by a three piece band with a fairly filthy act, and I beat the bar champion at pool. Quite the good end to a long day.

With that I'm off to la-la land. Until later!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Jasper Station!

In less than twenty hours, the show which has slowly slid its way into my psyche as my favourite ever will be here. Jasper Station has been quite the ride - and I feel that my singing abilities have really been pushed to fantastic extremes. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm damned proud of the job I've done.

Steve Thomas stayed on as Musical Director until about four weeks ago, however he left us with complete orchestation and a very good feel for the music. We still have the occasional flub, but that's to be expected. Theatre on Main is a little too small a venue for a full band, so the music is being sequenced through a high-end keyboard, but it sounds so great that I don't think this will affect the audience enjoyment. The only difficulty is that since we don't have a live keyboardist, we have to be pretty much dead-on with our cues for most of the songs, and I have to begin my character's signature song "Bob's Your Uncle" completely acapella as it's supposed to be filled with simple piano chords. It still seems to work just fine though acoustically.


The rest of the cast have been a joy to work with, and each suits their roles extremely well. Here's the list.

Kerrie Lamb as Rebecca
Phil Dionne as Bert
Mark Hayward as Henry
Tim Norton as Sterling
Barb Jones as Emeline
Ellen MacDonald-Kramer as Nikki

Well, I'm off to catch some winks, so I can be completely charged for the show...cheers!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


'Where the hell have I been all these months?', you ask. Or perhaps not, as I'm sure my absence has alienated most people. Hopefully not that badly....forgive me, it's all been for the best....really! {sniff}. Basically for the first couple of months I was focusing on my two jobs to an obscene level (note the last blog entry - July 30). I would be up at 7am, and would get home around 12:30am. This went on for quite awhile, and sucked every single bit of creative writing energy I had. Then I got shafted a little bit by my client. Then got shafted a second time. "Why stick around waiting to be shafted the second time, not to mention a third time?", you ask? Melanie asked the question after the first time actually. I'm only beginning to ask myself that question recently. I think I was so desperate to have a job as a programmer again that I was willing to suffer the frustrations of dealing with shady dealers.
Then everything just fell into my lap quite neatly. A new source appeared. I received a call from a headhunter regarding a perfect opportunity for me to use my abilities in programming and database as a full-time consulting position. The hourly rate was where I wanted it to be, and the commuting time is one half what I had at Palindromic Insurance. Good timing too, as I sort of got shafted the third time by my part-time client. I say sort us as he didn't necessarily take anything from me, he just decided to not answer my questions about important design decisions, so I stopped doing any work. Pretty soon we had each ignored ourselves out of a contract. I have no regrets...he was kind of scary anyway. When it comes to the insurance company, I worked hard on trying to leave on a good foot...which I think I did. You never know when the opportunity to work together may come up again.

Change has been a fairly consistant factor these days. Work around the house especially has been constantly occuring. First we re-did our entire hallway - painting and replacing doors. I even installed my first track-lighting system (and didn't burn the house down once!). Suddenly, the dark dingy area of our house has become this great bright area, and my wife is quite pleased with the result. I mean, we finished working on it two months ago and I still catch her commenting on it.
Next came the backyard. Melanie had a great pile of dirt delivered to our driveway so that we could level certain areas of the backyard, especially along the fence. However weather, a defective tractor and constant pressure against resorting to a wheelbarrow allowed this pile of dirt to sit for quite awhile longer than it should. Then on the day that I got up all bright-eyed and, ok, I got up at least; with great expectations of moving the dirt-pile, a new task was thrown my way by my wife. "KILL THE DECK!", she cried with rage in her eyes. Or something like that.

Our back deck was old and slowly rotting away. Apparently when it was built some twenty years ago, the idea of protectant seals was foreign to the homeowner, so the wood was in ridiculous condition. I was able to pull most of the 2x6's out with a quick flick of a crowbar. Many more split and fell apart with a quick stomp of a bootheal. Basically, it came down a heck of a lot faster than I expected. Interestingly enough, I found myself enjoying the job. Being able to finally use my fathers day gifts of powertools helped matters a lot. My Reciprocating Saw was my trusty friend, slipping through 4x4 beams like butter. We have a chainsaw at the house, but I even with my shoulder being fixed I still find myself unable to use it properly. We then burnt the wood as fast as possible, as some of it was discovered to be infested with carpenter ants. The attached picture shows what the yard looked like during demo. It's much different now - the deck is 100% gone, and the jumbled mess is cleaned up. I'll post an updated pic over the next few days.
Backyard Renovations - August 2006

Now my current home improvement job is the dirt pile. I have managed to get it down to about 1/2 its size, thanks to a finally working tractor and a lot of daredevil bravado on my part. This weekend I hope to get the rest of it out, as our tenant needs to get his parking spot back.

There is much more that I hope to update about. Let's just hope another literary meteor doesn't strike me down again. I have been requested to update the world on Jasper Station (it opens tomorrow night), which I will do later this evening if possible.

Until later...stay inconsistant!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Winded yet sure

Giant steps forward, no turning back now.
My lack of posting lately has been for the simplest excuse...I've literally had no time. And I mean, literally.
I have taken on a second job, one that I am very excited about. For the first time in almost five years I'll be putting my programming and database skills to the ultimate test. Not only am I forcing myself to learn new languages (VB.NET 2003 for instance), but I am on a considerable time crunch to deliver the goods. It's nerve-wracking, exhausting, but altogether the most wonderful career choice I've made since my early days at Sprint Canada, forever known in my psyche as ye lost me a thousand bucks in stock, ya bastards!. When I started at Sprint, I was already fairly competant at using databases, but I had very little programming experience (beyond my 20+ year old Commodore Basic skills). From day one, I learned everything I could, and became pretty good at automating all of the old databases we with VBA, but then the challenge was gone, and I wanted something new.
Then it happened. Our one resident staff member with programming knowledge was being transferred to a special projects area. The role he was leaving behind included administration of two large Customer Care applications, two SQL Servers, and a Pager to be left on 24/7 (adding one hour of pay per day to the holder). The managers were going to offer his gig to somebody else in the department. So, I went completely against my own character at the time, and took a chance. I marched into my bosses office, and literally DEMANDED that I get the job. I got it.
The next couple years were spent playing, for lack of a better word. I experimented with VB6 and SQL Server 6.5, and if I learned some cool trick, then it usually found its way into my programs (which grew steadily from the solely mandated 2 apps to around 7).
I was in my glory, until after a department shuffle I found myself suddenly a member of IT, being forced to follow SDLC guidelines and having a boss who did not care for my excitement over programming and need to actually make customers happy. It chafed like no tomorrow. I decided to stick out my thumb. And someone bit.
And I promptly fell directly into the pits of hell. It took awhile to notice, but there I was.
The job required a move all the way out to Cambridge, Ontario. I would be working in a huge industrial facility as the sole VB programmer. At first, I loved it. I'd stick my hardhat on, and walk through the factory, sparks falling around me. going to this meeting or that. In a short period of time, I seemed to have the respect of many around the plant. However, one person seemed to not be a fan at all. Unfortunately that one person was my boss. I'm not sure if it was because she was threatened by my take-charge attitude to my programming, or if she just missed my predecessor, who was a consultant called away by his parent company. No matter the reason, she browbeat me fairly regularly, and my morale began to drop.
Suddenly I was finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Not depression, exactly, but I was physically having problems getting legs weren't responding as they used to, and my joints all hurt. Even though I lived only 10 minutes from the factory I was chronically late. The shouting matches soon began between my boss and I. So, after 3 months and one loud word too many from both sides, I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands. Her second in command was almost in tears when he walked me to my car.
Problem #1, I had a one-year lease on my condo. So, I looked for more work. And then Nortel happened in a big explosive fireball of doom, and there was a big glut in the market of technical people looking for work. Plus I lived practically next door to one of the largest technical universities in the world - Waterloo. What chance would there be for a college dropout like me; having recently left a job after only a short time frame, plus someone who was experiencing ever worsening physical problems all of a sudden (by this time I had lost my ability to run, walk fast, or even ride a bike).
It was dire. I lost almost everything in my mad scramble to retain my lease and to stay in Cambridge. But then I found a job, back in Newmarket, where I had just moved from. Soon enough, I found a new place to live, with a roommate who was destined to be my wife. I packed up my place in Cambridge (rather poorly, as my friends are want to inform me of often), and made the trek back.
I was still programming in the next job, by my heart just wasn't it. I was still wrecked financially and my body was so stiff I looked 80 years old when I walked. I did have some fun though, and am still proud of what I acheived there. And yes, I was shocked when the company was suddenly bought out and my job became redundant after one year, but it was a good thing two. I took a year off, began fixing my financial burden up and investigating my health issues. I volunteered in non-profit sectors to get my confidence and morale back, and after that year was done I was ready to go back to work.
My current full time job has been good for me and bad at the same time. It has been a wonderful provider. However, my programming skills have been left in dark to rot. Pretty much, if I ask for a tool, I won't get it. I've been given MS Access and told this is the only corporate tool I'll need. No problems, but so 10 years ago for me. No challenge in any way, shape or form.
You may ask yourself, why don't I just program at home to keep myself in practice? Simple answer, same reason that a mechanic drives an old beater - no ambition to keep working on it at home. Add that to my theatre hobbies and family life, and there you go. I needed something specific to get me back in the game again.
I've found it. Or, it found me. But no matter what, I am inspired to be a full time programmer again, and if this new gig works out, pretty soon that is exactly what I may be - a FULL TIME Programmer. Hence one of the two jobs will need to go's pretty obvious which one.
I'll update soon....

Monday, July 10, 2006

Jasper Station - the beginning

So, tonight I joined up with the new cast of Jasper Station at Theatre on Main, and was surprised to find that including myself, only 3 cast members from the earlier attempt made it back for this one. The exact reasons I'm not sure of at this time, but I'm sure I'll find out more later. Steve Thomas, who wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics with Norm Foster, is completely in form as Musical Director, and I'm excited to see how the show will grow. All we really did tonight was ensure that each of the actors ranges suited the music as written, and from that point Steve is prepping us music on CDs to practice with over the summer. We then will begin rehearsals in the fall, and then we open on November 9, for an unprecedented 4 week run. This is the longest run I've had in my career so far (not including my stint of Neil Simon's Rumors for two different companies back to back), and I think it will be fun to play with the character of Sterling for that extended period.
Too often I've found I've auditioned, joined the cast, worked for two or three months and then the show wraps up after 4 shows. Well, now I get to play with at least 13 shows, and I'm looking forward to it.

btw...No news yet on an owner for the Budgie. I think he's a keeper!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Healing away amongst the sounds of...birds?...

The first part of the delay in my blogs was the fact it hurt too much to type long I didn't bother. Then, even when I began to get enough range of emotion to reach my mouse without wincing, I found much more interest in my reading and playing Neverwinter Nights, a game I'm extremely fond of. I'll try to be a good boy and blog more often now that I'm healing.
It was a rough patch for awhile there. The first night home I found myself awake at 1am running to the kitchen for more meds...excruciating pain. And slowly that ebbed away. After the first week I was able to take off the hefty bandage pack, and a few days after that I removed the smaller tape-like bandages. I have seven exercises that I need to run on a regular basis to gain range of motion back, and day by day I am actually getting stronger.
First accomplishment was driving the automatic. The second, reached just yesterday, was driving the standard. The last few days alone I have added about six inches to my reach, and am quite pleased at the result. I do expect that it will be 4-6 more weeks before I'm fully capable of beginning some regular strength training again, but it's all for the good.
The final verdict? It was a really screwed up shoulder. My surgeon found a huge bonespur that had begun to cut the tendon and the rotator cuff in half. Also, it was so swollen with damaged goods that there was zero room to move in there...he had to cut away part of the bone so that he could stitch the tendon back (it will heal on its own, apparently). Fortunately there wasn't too much damage to the rotator cuff, as I would be still in a sling for weeks if it was. I lucked out.
Other news at home, I have a surprise pet! I was looking out the door yesterday, and to my surprise there was a budgie sitting in front of my car pecking for food. I walked over to it, and after a halfhearted escape on its part (the poor little guy was starving), I picked it up, placed it on my shoulder and walked inside with a simple question; "Honey, can I keep him?"
The Budgie
I wil continue to look for its owner...I've made the routine calls, and have asked around, but if nobody calls back about him then the little fellow will officially join the family. Even Melanie has admitted to liking the sound of his chirps. Haven't named him yet...wanted to wait to see if somebody showed up. I'll call him something cool though. Hey, it's my first bird as a pet, I have the right to get a little excited. Melanie just keeps saying something about the house being a zoo. Hey, until I can have one of those screech monkeys or a tarantula, the house has not met zoo status yet. Just wait a few days. {grin}

First Jasper Station get together is tomorrow night. I'll soon know who the rest of the new cast is. I'll report more then.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Surgery Epilogue

Well, I'm home. The day went very well...though did have its moments of pain. As a matter of fact, Mr. Tylenol the 3rd is the only thing keeping me going right now.
The one thing I'm most happy about is the fact that I was not sick following surgery. Not even a stomach flutter. I had been worried about having a technicolour yawn all over the recovery room. One little victory.
What sucks the most? My right arm is immobilized for a week. I'm typing this with my left hand....hence what is destined to be a short entry. I am going to fiddle with some of my voice recognition software tommorow so may blog more then. Just wanted people to know that my arm is still attached.
Stay handy!

Todays the day

Finally, the day has arrived. This morning I am heading to Southlake Regional Hospital to get my shoulder fixed. So, I finished my last coffee about 1/2 hour ago (normally I'd drink tea, but I cannot have milk - bloody vegans must run the hospital), and am hanging out with my son...whom I have discovered is getting to be pretty freakin' fast! One minute we'll be on one side of the house, and the next moment I realize he's on the opposite end of it. I'm looking around for Jeff Goldblum to see if he's built a teleporter pad in the house. Since he's nowhere to be found (must be off filming another television pilot), I must come to the conclusion that Nathaniel has some cheetah DNA in him.
The kid is growing up fast. He doesn't walk yet, but is already driving. He cruises around the house with his Little Tykes pushcart, and he takes no prisoners. Anything in his way is roadkill. The cats and our ankles suffer under his mighty wrath.
Nathaniel growing up is one of the reasons I am excited about having surgery on my shoulder. As he gets bigger and coincidentally, heavier, he will be more and more of a burden to pick up. If my shoulder was not fixed, then there would reach a point where I just could not do it anymore.


I want to be one of those fathers who is able to place his kids on his shoulders, and throw them up in the air (hopefully catching them), and all those cool 'daddy' things that kids look forward to. Having both shoulders functioning at 100% will ensure that this happens.
Next, gotta get the knees fixed so that I'll be able to race with him. But that's another story.
I'll post later and let you know how the operation went.

Friday, June 16, 2006

He doth Protest too much...

I had my first professional acting gig in ten months last night. I don't normally take background work, but as the industry has been soooooo slow lately, I took it to keep my agent happy. A company is currently shooting a mini-series for CBC about the Protestant Reformation, and I was booked as a 16th century vagabond...drinkin', smokin' and gettin' laid whenever and WHOMever was available. You could call him one of the hippies of that era.

We shot at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto, in the Half-Way House - which was setup like an ancient gathering hall. Between the multitude of candles, the chimney stoked and a smoke machine setting up the atmosphere, it got to be a pretty hot hour or so. I enter with two mugs, one for myself and the other for the rebel-rouser. I sit down, laugh and drunkenly chat with others at the table, then once the rebel gets up and starts yelling and tearing pages out of a book (assumed to be the bible), I go to one of the girls at the table, pull her up by the shawl to get a quick snuggle, pull the shawl off of her, throw it to a friend and then lead her out of the room for sights and pleasures unseen. Should look good on camera. Hence the unseen bit.
I'm not 100% sure when the series is going to be on, but I'll keep my ear to the ground and will report back once it is released. it'll be a short scene - the entire series goes over a 300+ year period, so there won't be too much focus on some drunken 16th century gits. It was a fun shoot though, and the cast and crew were a pleasure to work with. I'd do it again...but would still prefer some principle work.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Meet The Illiterati

The Illiterti
Meet The Illiterati
I was writing a grandiose blog entry telling the entire history of how our group came to be, but then w.blogger suddenly decided to commit suicide 3/4 way through my post. I'm disgruntled, tired and my fingers are sore from typing.
So, I'll paraphrase, and may re-write our history tomorrow. If my fingers stop smoking.
The group (Eric Luvisotto, David Wichman, Alexis Davids and myself) had our second show at The Bad Dog Theatre tonight, and it went very well. Bad Dog Theatre
We competed Theatresports style against The Sweater Sisters, and had a great time in three sets; first playing Typewriter (inspired by money, Dinosaur Eggs and the nation of Togo), followed by Compressed Day In The Life (A Catshoot - literally a photo shoot for cats), to be closed with an open scene (Playing Hookey).
Personally I felt we all did fantastic tonight. I know I was a lot more comfortable than our first gig, and we gelled well as a group. However, only one team may win the match, and the other team had more friends in the audience voting for them (though we only lost by 0.6 points).
The format of this show was better than the first time too. The first time around was a three team match, where only the judges awarded the points (ala Who's Line Is It Anyway. Now that they've whittled it back to two teams and given the power back to the audience, it feels more and more like a real Theatresports match-up.
In my less than humble opinion, the four of us are a great team, and I see us getting better and better with each gig...I just hope the others agree with me and aren't whispering let's cut that Tim guy, he's deadwood.
Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to be pursuing some more shows outside of The Bad Dog for us to partake in...but until such an event happens watch for us at The Bad Dog Theatre - Midweek Mayham in a couple months (about when the rotation of teams finds us a spot).

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Automated stupidity

When my current employment overlord requested that I leave the world of consulting behind to work for her new fledgling department, it was with the understanding that my skills in software automation would be put to good use. The need for regression testing was paramount in the process adopted from our UK brethren, and I was promised my own then considerable body weight in software tools to get this done.
Then things went insane.
"A testing department, you say?", was the word spoken all over the company. "WELL, that's a strange idea, I mean - our programmers are immortal genius' who never make mistakes. Let's fill these testers plates with all one million ongoing processes, it'll be easy work, since all our code is emaculate."
Needless to say, my time to build these automatic packs and scripts disappeared faster than an Enron executive with a passport. Initially, I was asked to help with manual testing at the same time that I was also needed to build tracking tools to handle the truckloads of defects being discovered by our team (to the company's surprise). Soon, our team began to grow, and I was needed to build tracking tools to track the team. Considerable time was spent building sophisticated reports for the upper management to glance at briefly, scratch their heads in wonder, and then file away under "Didn't happen, don't want to know about it. Launch the code anyway."
Over a year and a half went by. Then suddenly, the hammer came down from my boss's boss. "Uh, that Tim guy you have there...wasn't he supposed to be building the regression packs?"
My boss, in a shining moment of wisdom, answered back, "Well, yes. But even when he does, and writes the 3 billion test scripts that will test our systems up and down...who is available to make any fixes that would be found from his tests? Every company resource we have is working 200% allocation as it is!"
I never discovered their answer to this, but I assume it went something like, "Oh, don't worry....we have loads of money to hire all new staff to fix this stuff. We just don't have any places to put them, or people to train them." (The last bit was probably mumbled quietly).
So, I was asked to build my first scripts, starting with a project to test postal code territory changes. Total built scripts for this project - 21732. Amount of scripts that winrunner can run per day (on average) - 400. Time given to test - 5 days. Do the math...doesn't add up. So, I made the executive decision to randomize the scripts, so that it's really doing a sort of hunt and peck test. Not 100% efficient, but with one PC running this stuff for about 10 hours, what else can I do? I can't even just let it run 24/7 as I'd like to, because they take the QA environment down at night.
Next problem encountered...what do I PERSONALLY do while my computer is running these scripts. It's busy...I can't use it. So, after much pressure from myself, my boss has assured me that I will get a second PC to allow me to do my other jobs (ie, write more regression pack scripts). However, it seems kind of moot to do this, because apparently I will not be able to log onto this new PC. Seems the new Security chief at the company has written the decree (without apparent exception), that staff can only use their NT logon's once - no concurrent logon's permitted. Also, generic ID's have been banned. So...I get a nice, shiny new paperweight on my desk...OH JOY!
When I told my boss that this was the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of, she told me, "Well, he has a mandate", to which I shot back, "Ummm...SO DO WE!!! Why don't we push back for once instead of letting them walk over us." She said, "Ok."
I didn't trust my boss to phrase the business case properly, so I wrote it for her...and I expect a fun time to watch the fur fly and for exec's to decide whos' tape is reddest.
The crap makes my eyes burn...I'm thinking of sticking out my thumb to get a ride outta here.
The saddest thing is, I have been informed that my position is apparently so important that they are hiring a second automations that there will be two us sitting around staring at our computers screens.
Maybe the other person will know how to play bridge...I've always wanted to learn.

Back with a fervish

I'm back.
My circumstances are not unique, so I won't go into too many details about the loss of a muse, but after a rough patch in February I just lost any ambition I had to write. Stuff happened, and I sort of shut down for awhile. Happens to everyone once in awhile.
Other than for a few bumps in the road, I've been eyeing my keyboard more and more lately, and the muse in my head has been waking up. I have ideas, and need to force them out. No promises for anything life altering, but you never know what might come out of this noggin' o' mine.
Let's tie up the loose ends...what the hell have I been doing for the last four months?
Well, to connect to the last posts I wrote...Jasper Station was postponed. The timeframe was obscene and unacceptable. It came inches away from causing permanent harm to my marriage. And I let it.
That's a question I had to ask myself, though it took awhile. My wife asked it many times.
I'm a theatre geek. No doubts there. Have been for well over half my life. I'm so ingrained in the theatre community that when I'm asked to do something, no matter how tight the deadline, I pull through. I've been into everything over the years - acting, directing, producing, graphics, websites, advertising, tech, stage management, set painting and even executive council. I love to be asked to do things.
I have a hard time letting go.
I'm married now and have a child. I need to let some of it go. Not all at once, and not all of it forever. Just need to handle less at a time. This means I have to push back a bit on schedules and be willing to turn people down when necessary. It's not THAT's just a two letter word....''. Ok, not that easy either...but I'm learning.
To fill the artistic void left in my heart by Jasper Station going away, I took on a smaller but amazingly fun role in 'No Sex Please: We're British", with South Shore Theatre. This fit the bill a lot more. The schedule was lax, the atmosphere was fun (for the most part), and I was onstage in my underclothes. What more could you ask for in a show?
In the world of improv, I have not returned to school for a few months, but have been filling that void with a couple shows with my group The Illiterati. We perform at The Bad Dog Theatre during their Midweek Mayham shows whenever we get spots. In fact, we have a show tomorrow night.
Back to Jasper Station news. Theatre on Main has acquired the services of Steve Thomas, who wrote the music for the show, to begin as Musical Director (whether he sticks it out or passes the torch is yet to be seen). They reheld auditions a couple weeks back, and I recently discovered that I have been recast as Sterling...with a show being held in November. NOW THAT'S more like it with timeframe. I'll have the summer to learn all the songs and dialogue, and we will begin rehearsing in the fall.
Nathaniel first birthday
Nathaniel turned One year old on June 1, and the party was planned for the 4th. Well, expecting many young children to be present, the dire need to build a fence came into the forefront. So, with the help of my father-in-law Stefan (ok ok, more like his work with help from me), we have a 200 foot long galvanized steel fence running along the canal. So, no worries now about fishing ANYONE out of the water in any shape or form. It looks nice, and will probably raise our property value quite a bit, based on the safety factor alone.
Running up to the 4th was a bit of a worry, as it rained quite heavily right into the morning, but the day itself turned into a glorious day of BBQing, cake eating and friends gathering. All worth it.
Stefan and I are still working on the property. Now that the fence is up, we are spending some time levelling the property with dirt acquired from our front garden (which we plan to patio stone in). It's a lot of tiring work and the yard currently looks like a warzone but the final result will be very rewarding.
Finally, after a very long wait, I go under the knife on the 23rd to get my shoulder fixed. They're going to open me up, clean the bone spurs out, decompress the joint, and fix any potential tearing that may exist. Recovery time varies depending on what they discover in there...could be in a sling for a couple days, or could be in for weeks. Since I'm right handed, and it's my right shoulder being fixed, it's going to be a bitch to do any writing, typing, etc; And since I drive a standard this ought to be fun. Let's hope for the short recovery option.
Well, that's a short synopsis of where I've been. Now, let's just see where I go. Hope to enjoy the ride.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Of shows and family

So, I finally got around to seeing the script for Jasper Station, and I tell you I was completely floored. I love it. I love the characters, I love the music, I love the story. Sterling Mimms is another one of those characters that I am sure was written specifically for Norm Foster has been secretly recording my life (going to have to check my closets again). Indecisive and self-conscious yet knows he wants to give up his mundane life for a chance in the arts. Where does the risk become too much? At what point do you give up? Do you ever?
The one major problem we have encoutered is the somewhat compressed rehearsal schedule. The show opens on March 11. By that point, we need to have lines, songs and come limited choreography all worked out. Some of the songs have 5 and 6 part easy task, especially as most of the cast does not read music (fortunately for me, I can). Based on this need, the paper I was handed on my first rehearsal showed certain weeks had 4 evenings booked, and needless to say my spouse went through the roof. I cant honestly blame her for this, but I'm not the kind of person who complains about rehearsal schedules...I've just always been there when needed...part of being an ensemble. This time, it's gone too far though...this show should have begun rehearsing a month ago, and my family life should not be suffering as a result.
Following an extended disagreement last night, I found myself have the lyrics to Cat's Cradle running through my head. Melanie even commented at one point, "Do you want me to have to call you to let you know he's crawled for the first time, or says his first word, or walks?" (Now, he could easily do those things while I'm at work, but that's besides the point).
So, I will create a compromise. I love the show, and want to do it. I am a very good line learner. I can teach myself most of my songs. I will hold that end the bargain up. But on the weeks that have four rehearsals (not including dark week of course), I will just have to miss one. So unlike the me that everybody in theatre has known all these years, but I do have to put my wife and child first.
This is my first show since Nathaniel was born. I'm still not used to the balance required. But I'm learning...very slowly.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Training dilemna...solved! For now....

For the last couple of months, I have been debating the direction that I want to go for some extra education. Do I focus on theatre, do I move towards some technical certifications, or do I just work towards a Bachelors degree slowly and painfully. All choices have their merits, just some involve a lot more time, money and patience than I usually have at any given time.
I don't make choices easily. I have a thousand ideas running through my head at any given time, all of which I'd love to do. But, I'm not some pseudopod amalgamation of Methuselah, Bill Gates and The Dalai Lama so I'm forced to focus on one thing at a time. But that's not easy for me...I'll start moving in one direction at mach speed and then abruptly veer off in another direction. Subtle events can cause this; a disagreement with my wife about money, frustration about my current job and the business world in general, even the occasional vivid dream that inspires a new direction. It's frustrating for me sometimes, and I know it can be very frustrating for my spouse.
So, when it came to focusing on courses, I started to break down the list to essentials. The latest choices are:
  • Acting Training

  • Programming diploma course - a "just in case" solution

  • Project Management courses - useful for the business and acting world

Then a couple interesting events occurred. I auditioned again for the Second City Conservatory, and was denied once again, even though I thought I had a good audition. Also, my current manager thought it quite unnecessary for me to work so hard to have a safety net in place. She feels I'm safe for as long as I want to stay there. If I want Project Management training, then they'll give it to me here. It's a good step.

Based on this, it freed me up to focus my education dollars on the acting world. Do I take more Second City courses? Do I take some more general scene study courses with Sears & Switzer? Or do I go bigger and take the Seneca or Humber Theater School certifications? What will help me more in the longrun?

My choice was made for me last night, in a surprise twist. Final answer? None of the above. I'm going to take a few months off from training courses, and do a show. I got the call I had been waiting for a few months for...Theatre on Main in Newmarket has asked me to play Sterling Mimm in Norm Foster's Jasper Station. It's a musical, and my character is spectacularly funny. Just what I need. Between that and a little theatresports troupe I hope to finalize tonight, I think I'll keep me acting juices flowing.

The timing of this entry is interesting. Tonight is my final Second City class for now. Ensemble was a fun time, and I met a lot more good people, and this time I've met people truly serious about getting out there to do shows. I've made the contact with Bad Dog Theatre about entering a team in the theatresports competitions, now all I need to do is get the bodies in line and get a team name. If we were to work together at least every couple of weeks, then that alone will keep up my improv in all sorts of ways I still win. I just need to balance this with homelife and Melanie now being back at work. It's as easy as skipping on a tightrope over a pirhana tank, but all worth it in the end.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Take Two

Six classes down. Two to go. Continuing Improv - Ensemble has been an excellent experience for me. I've had a lot of fun, for the most part. This is a good class to see my own limitations up close and personal. With it being all new people and new dynamics, I have less of a safety net to fall on. It is sink or swim. I chose not to drown, but I do still take on too much water from time to time. I still crack up occasionally. My accent work needs help (if I lose concentration even for a second it tends to slip). I wait too long for the perfect moment when on a sideline. All things I recognize in myself that I wish to work on further. So, where to go from here?
I've met a few more people who I'd give anything to continue working with after this class is done. Jenn and Katie (incidentally the only girls in the class, but this is merely a coincidence I assure you) are absolutely wonderful to work with. I find my best work in this level has been when working with them. Dave and Dinesh are powerful ideas people...the most brilliant ideas seem to just roll from them...would love to do some shows with them. There's a couple more people too... Everybody gets busy though, and I have no idea if any of them have considerations of what they wish to do next themselves. Do more classes, or just jump, get some people together and actually do some shows. I plan to ask. Sadly, the extremely talented members of my A-E group, with the exeption of Rufus, apparently have scattered to the four winds. I've only heard from two of them since. All of our talking about forming a troupe was a waste of energy. So, time to shift focus...begin looking forward.
I have submitted my resume again for the Second City Conservatory programme, but part of me doesn't really care if I make it or not. If I do, great, they obviously saw something in me they can use. If not, then I'm going to grab a couple bodies and start going to some open shows at the Bad Dog Theatre, possibly even Theatresports. Time to get even more experience and knowledge, and I definately will get more of that working it out on stage and watching other improvisors in action then worrying about what programme will take me. It's gonna be a fun and scary ride, and I look forward to every minute of it.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Thankful for what we have

Things have been hectic in the household lately. The renovations on our bedroom is still in process. I found myself hanging a new chandelier, multiple hooks, and mapping out one of the walls using the equivalent of quantum theory for three picture frames. There are questions as to the placement of the fishtank, and do the fish match the curtains.
While in construction and/or purchasing mode, some conversations between my lovely spouse and myself would leave many people wandering away with a dazed expression on their faces. An example of one of these (I'll leave you to guess who is who, it isn't difficult) follows. This has been altered a bit for good reading and/or your sanity.

"What kind of shelving do you want?"
"Wait, I already told you the answer to that."
"Well, obviously I forgot, so indulge me."
"There's these box things I saw on a home improvement show. Well, not really a box, but boxish....kinda...sorta.."
"Oh. Well, that explains everything."
"Well, did you want something else?"
"No, I trust your opinion."
"Don't you have an idea?"
"It's your project, do whatever you like, dear."
"It's not my project, it's OUR project."
"No no, this project gives you pleasure, I insist you do whatever you like."
"But don't you want a say?"
"Babe, all I need is a bed and a floor to throw my clothes on and I'm happy."
"So you don't appreciate what I'm doing?"
"NO WAIT! NO no that's not what I was a joke! haha...get it? um..i'm sorry?

And so on and so on.
It is a lot of work ripping things out and starting afresh. Occasionally tempers run high. Unkind words can be heard. But then you look at all the problems that other people are going through. Somebody's cheating on their spouse. Somebody else fought tremendous hurdles to help somebody out, only to be victimized by that person in the end. Families torn apart by violence and betrayal.
Compared to that, we've been sweating the small stuff. At the end of the day, frustration and anxiety over something as small as a bedroom renovation should just be laughed at. We're learning to do just that, and it draws us even closer together as a family. The way it's meant to be.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

On my knees...?

Improv class was a lot of fun yesterday. For one, only six of us showed up for class. The rest either were sick or possibly had just plain forgotten that classes had resumed following the holiday break.
We spent the first half of the class warming up and performing two, three and four person scenes, with our instructor Sandy side-coaching. A lot of great choices were made and I was specifically proud of the two scenes I was in.
One was what we refer to as a fishing scene. Two people on stage doing an activity, but discussing something else. Jeff and I were playing snooker, but the scene itself was about my character trying to reconcile the fact that his wife was obviously leaving him (I threw the comical idea in that it was unspoken, but her belongings were slowly leaving the bedroom and ending up by the front door in boxes - this put the rest of the class in stitches). Jeff's character was on his third marriage by his own choices, and when he realized my character actually wanted his wife to stay he made the interesting choice of asking if my character and his wife were talking. I threw in immediately a yes, but then slowly backpeddled and admitted we actually hadn't really talked in over two years. The scene ended there.
The second scene I did was with Santino and Marlin. Santino and I played two collage buddies who ran into each other on the street. Santino was successful and married. My character lived on the street after suffering a bad reaction to drugs, though was now clean and going to AA and NA. His character invited mine to lunch (Marlin was the pushy waiter), where he mistakenly ordered beers and pasta with wine sauce for each of us. Marlin was the comic relief of this skit...he kept walking over and pushing us to order as we tried to talk. Sandy pushed us to create conflict in the scene, and I created the scenario that my character had been in love with Santino's wife before they were together, and that Santino had introduced the drug dealer to me who caused my life's problems.
It's interesting to see the perspective of others when they look at a scene from afar. When we discussed the scene, they thought it would have been a more interesting choice for me to not have been timid about Santino's wife with my love, but that I had actually been sleeping with her, which would have made for interesting dynamics. Hindsight is 20/20, so they say. I may actually script out a polished version, if I can keep it fresh in my head.
Following break, we ran a longform exercise for the rest of the class. A lot of fun scenes were created, though I made the choice to stay in secondary characters for the most part because I liked what people were running with. A recurring scene was a little girl (played by Jen) who's cats were constantly being killed off by somebody. I saw a need to have a cat in the scene, but I had not attempted to play a low to the ground character in ages because of my knees. So, I slapped my knees a few times, and when I didn't wince decided to give it a try...and I did fine. OK, my cat was stabbed about 40 seconds in, so I got to play dead cat with feet in the air for the rest of the scene, but it was the offer that made the helped wrap the scenario up.
Another scene was very Scottish. Jeff started the scene telling a sheep joke, and after two full minutes of this joke was cut off five seconds before the punchline which was hilarious (I thought Sandy was going to piss himself laughing). Chris and Marlin then made as Sheep Shearers complaining about bad Scottish jokes, so I popped in as a sheep with a few bleats to keep the gag in.
Afterwards, Jenn commented to me that I was brave to come onboard as a sheep during a Scottish scene...she thought they may do much worse then shearing. We shared a few laughs over that.
And that was class. I felt great afterwards. I was still cracking up in a few spots, which Sandy and I discussed a bit (I think it's because my brain considers it playtime, and my best stress relief is through laughter), but overall I think we all did very well.
My knees being that forgiving was a delight especially. The ability to kneel changes so many things. I can bathe Nathaniel in the tub now (and did so tonight, btw). Sandy made the best joke about kneeling at the start of level E. When I told him I couldn't kneel he asked with a straight face, "How do you get roles?".
Hmmm...Hollywood bound? Er...nah, don't need it that bad.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Working arrangements

With the coming of 2006, another big change is about to occur in our household. Melanie has decided to go back to work. As of this coming Monday, she will officially be back on the payroll at The March of Dimes, using up her 2005 vacation entitlement. Then the 23rd will see her returning to work.
This in itself is not that difficult to bear. She works overnight shifts, 3 nights one week, 4 nights the next, and she is able to sleep for much of the shift (onsite oncall). Nathaniel has always been a fantastic sleeper, so I personally have no concerns about sleepless nights destroying my ownbrain. What does need to change is my own morning routine. Melanie won't be off work until around 8am. So, I need to get Nathaniel up in the morning, have him fed and changed, and pretty much bolt out the door when Melanie pulls into the driveway so that I can be ontime for my own job.
I'm certainly not going to whine about this. A lot of families have schedules that are downright nasty in comparison to ours. People who have to work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet while raising a family earn my respect - I have no idea how they do it (my mother was one of those when I was but a pup). Melanie and I will still have a few nights of the week free to ourselves, and even those nights she does work she doesn't need to leave until after Nathaniel goes to bed...and I'm usually writing or something at that point anyway.
The only big concern I have is my Second City courses. I may need to look at doing an earlier class, say 5:30-8, so that we don't have to continually get a sitter, and to avoid the arguments that hints of dropping them altogether may cause. I need to get my resume in for the conservatory by Thursday the 12th, so I'll be able to look into when classes are after that.

btw...this entry was planned for last night, but I decided to tweak some storywriting instead. My resolutions are still on track

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Farewell to 2005

Ought Five has now come and gone. For my household, the year was full of twists and turns that would make any roller-coaster aficionado jealous, and I for one am quite glad we can now put it behind us and start 2006 with a blank slate.
Biggest news of the year of course was the birth of our son Nathaniel in June. The currently happy and healthy little scamper was a week late on his delivery, and did give us a bit of a scare during his birth due to a tight umbilical cord. But the very talented doctor dealt with that quickly, and there have been no complications since thankfully.
Health wise, Melanie and I were on the opposite ends than we usually are. During the pregnancy she began to suffer from gall bladder attacks, and was hospitalized twice for it. On the second event, shortly after Nathaniel arrived, we decided to have the rather unsportsmanlike gall bladder itself evicted. No complications since. For myself, my body is in the best shape it's been in about four years. My gouty arthritis has been manageable, my shoulder is holding up, and I even find I can run up and down carpetted stairs without landing on my head.
Work wise, things were interesting. Melanie only worked the first four five months of 2005 before going on mat leave, so not much to report there. She likes her job, and because it's in health care there are plenty of confidential issues that it would be rude and even possibly illegal to blog about - so I won't. Myself....well, I lost a nice desk in the first week of January to be confined along with the rest of my new team in a training room. Promise given, one month. Well, the second week of December finally saw us moved out of that Orwellian habitat (I still look around frightened when I hear thought and police in the same sentence) and into nice new digs on the 5th floor with our own desks. Some people thought it would be nice as a team-building event to have us so close together. These same people say that we will miss being so close together now that we moved. These same people I hope choke on their Captain Crunch (it's the simple pleasures in life I look forward to). Almost a year hearing really shitty music from Top-40 stations and hearing WAY too much about certain peoples sexual habits and how many curses they can fit into a short sentence (I've been in seedy bars and have heard less foul language used). Honestly, I'm not the most professional driven guy in the world, but I have some standards...which were crossed daily.
Education wise, I signed up for a correspondance writers course, expecting to have enough time to work on it even when our child arrived. Totally fooled myself there. I have it on hiatus for now, but plan to make arrangements with Melanie for boundaries during certain days so I can start it up again. More on that later in this entry. Second City has been fantastic. I have now finished levels A-E, and am currently in the Continuing Improv - Ensemble course. I am right now debating auditioning for the conservatory again vs taking some time off to study other things or taking a different improv course. This is the week to decide, and I'll update on that once the decision is made.
Melanie had been taking Seneca courses, working towards a Social Services diploma, but is now on hiatus from that due to baby. Whether she starts up again this year is totally up to her. I support her no matter what.
In theatre...well, I did one show this year. The Man With The Plastic Sandwich was a personal triumph for me, and I even ended up winning a Best Actors award for the effort. I have worked on a few commercials and rock videos this year. Will 2006 see a return to stage for me? Read on.

My resolutions for this year. Feel free to smirk.

1/ Write something every single day. Whether it be a blog entry, a short story or even a one sentence edit on a story in progress. Doesn't matter. Proof may not even get online...this is a personal thing.
2/ Exercise a little bit, 2 or 3 times a week. I'm looking into getting my family out to swimming certain nights so that may cover that. I do have an exercycle in my living room though so that may help. And when it gets warmer I would like to start walking again. While my body is in better shape then it was, might as well take advantage of that and try to get healthy.
3/ Start working towards a diploma in something. I've been reading course calendars in Seneca and Humber, and hope to take the plunge soon. I have very little post seconday school education, and no diplomas or degrees, so all of my vast practical knowledge of computers comes to a moot point when a potential employer looks at my resume or tries giving me a detailed theory test. I want something to fall back on. Acting jobs are slim. And though my job is currently secure by the sounds of it, all it would take would be a quick decision to re-org and I could get screwed. Thinking about going back into hardware since I prefer it to software. Possibly get my A+ or MCSE. Maybe Networking. Big choices to be made. Once I have gotten started on my writing course again, I'll be able to judge how I handle the coursework along with my job and baby in house, and make further decisions from there.
4/ Time permitting, I'd like to get on stage at least once this year. I'm going to start watching for some good shows out there to audition for, and will probably only accept meaty roles as well. In the past I was always unselfish with my roles...I'd take on anything to help out. With my time being lesser though? I think I'm allowed to be the prick for once.

Well, that's it. Only a light skeletal outline of the year, but if I was to write about every single event that occured I'd need a publisher. Plus my memory isn't THAT good.
Here's wishing you all had a great start to 2006...I sure did. Let's see where the year takes us.

Ah, the great unknown. The mightiest challenge


You Are A: Duck!

duckFound in many lakes and ponds, ducks are a common site the world over. Known for their famous quack, ducks tend to congregate in flocks or go off on their own in pairs. As a duck, you may seem friendly at times but will not hesitate to bite if someone is bothering you. Your love for travel and your ability to swim are some reasons why you are a duck.

You were almost a: Bear Cub or a Monkey
You are least like a: Groundhog or a ChipmunkCute Animals Quiz

Found on Trying So Very Hard To Be Perfect

UPDATE: 11:12pm - MY wife took the survey...she came up with a Frog. "A FROG???", she exclaimed over and over again. God, the author of this survey's pretty lucky that I like frogs a lot and could talk her off the edge of our roof.
Wait a minute. Don't Ducks eat mind.