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!