Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 32

Now that Tech week is over and the stage is set up, and pretty much everything is done in the theater...  I'm back at home again.  Taking today as an easy day and then I'll get back onto business again tomorrow.

Tonight I'm heading down to be at the theater by 4 o clock, still got to deal with the projectors, and call time is at 7...  Thing is, with Calgary's traffic, I'd rather be there super early than fighting and swearing at drivers who can't drive on these cotton pickin' streets.  They speed when it's icy, and slow to a crawl when it's perfectly safe.  It's purely maddening.

Pumphouse road is brutal too - it's a connector to Bow Trail which is a mob by rush hour.

Anyways, enough complaining.  I'm kicking back, catching up on some reading and some shows, and then out the door around 2 o clock to do some running around before I head down to the Pumphouse.

Soooo glad there's a show tonight.  I miss everyone!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 31 - Theater Day off

Finally a day off from the theater.

All week last week I've been down at the theater, virtually from the time I get up, to 10, 11, or 12 at night.  Long days, but I love it.

I've been helping create the set, assisting the director and Stage Manager, setting up the captions and most of all fighting with the bloody projectors.

Of all the things that could go wrong, the projectors were by far the worst.  For Children of a Lesser God we wanted the show to be accessible to everyone.  Even the hard of hearing.  That meant the captions had to be clear and well formatted.  We have three projectors spanning the whole screen, and they never seem to want to co operate with us.  Almost every performance there's been something wrong with them.  And it's really hurt our productivity because we're fighting with them.


Even when the show isn't going on, there's drama.

I won't go into all the details, because I'm not about to gossip about people on a large public forum like this... but let's just say - Theater is fluid.

If the projectors are working, sometimes the people aren't.  And that's the beauty and challenge of theater.

I love it all though.  Even more than sitting at home, reading or playing games.  Because I'm telling a story, I'm helping to anyways.  And more than that, I'm building relationships with other people, that are simply amazing.  You really grow to love the people in your show, at least I do in this one.  We've become a team, supporting and looking out for each other.  And even though we haven't done a perfect show where everything is RIGHT down to a T, we're still doing our best to make it come as close to a perfect 10 as we can.

So today I feel a little down sometimes.  I miss running in there and working on the show.  And even more, I miss seeing the cast come in during call and the comaradrie.

Friday night we opened the show officially, and had an opening party afterwards.  Everyone was in high spirits, after over 3 months of rehearsals, the show was ON!  So we went out to BP's after to celebrate.  I really really wish I could've stayed longer.  We were having so much fun, but I had to leave a half hour after.  My wife was home sick and hadn't seen me for more than 5 minutes all week.

Unfortunately, she was so exhausted she had gone to bed shortly before I got home.  And I didn't get home til 1am.

Still, she's glad I'm not there tonight.

Tommorow though!! 5 straight shows!!  Then it ends.

But not to worry, I'm already going to be working with someone else on Titanic, and then after that I've offered our director my assistance with Joseph's Technicolor Coat, and STILL after that, I'm helping our Stage Manager with Brigadoon.

I'm hooked, and there's nothing I like doing better, than being part of all this.  How this will work with my future in IT?  I don't know... One way or another, I'll find a way, because more than anything else, this is really where I want to be.

Theater Junkie

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Well, it's been a crazy weekend.  From an almost suicidal drive to visit my bro for his birthday up in Rimbey, to a madcap day of fun fun fun setting up my theater for our upcoming play.

I've just spent the whole day moving things into our theater for the production set to start on Friday.  We're creating the set with trees, pond, rocks, a bed and other things.  Rehearsing lines, setting lights, co ordinating audio...  It's AWESOME and I love it.  I'll be doing that all week this week so I won't have much time to blog.

And EVEN better I've been asked to help out next month in January, the next production will be "Joseph's Technicolor Dream Coat" and I can't WAIT to be part of that too...

Merry Christmas to me!!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 24

Yesterday was swamped.  I was running in and out of the house all day.  Lots to get done.

I'm still typing out the captions to the play, reading my A+ book when I have time and also visiting family when they come into town.

Today I'm probably just picking up grocceries, and meeting a friend for lunch.  Aside from that, I've still got about 20 or 30 pages of captions to type out.

Nothing profound today I'm afraid.

Although, I do have to say, Calgary's been covered with snow... over a foot of it I believe.

Or at least it seems that way.  I LOVE our winter tires on the CRV, where some drivers are driving like scared little mice, we can pretty confidently move around.  Although I have to say, I'm not really thrilled about winter.  Some day I hope I can move some place like, say, San Diego.  I'm so sick of winter weather.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 22

Well that was a nice weekend.  In spite of a roaring migraine on Saturday that nearly had me upchucking that night.

So, my grandparents call first thing on Saturday morning from their cell phone.  Nearly a month ago they went down to Arizona.  So I'm thinking, "WTF are they doing calling me on a cell phone?"

Lo and behold they're back in Airdrie again.  Which I thought was very ironic, considering my entire family was telling them not to go down south with grandpa's health in serious jeopardy.  Of course, they were stubborn and went anyways.  Being the good grandson I am, I didn't throw this back in their face.  I was tempted... really tempted.  However, grandpa's health seriously went to worse when they went down, so I wasn't about to be mean.

So, my wife and I hightailed it to their house and helped them unload their motorhome.  She says, "We had to come back a little early."  To which I responded, "Well if that isn't an understatement..."

They're usually not back until April or May.  Given how bad grandpa's health is...  Well... it's not good.

After helping them out with that, I limped my poor brain into Chapters and got my A+ books for a significant discount with a 25% off coupon.  So I'll be spending some time this afternoon reading up on that.

After all that was done, I lay down for a nap... Which gave me a few hours of relief before the evil snake of a migraine coiled up in my brain again.  Fun times.  I ended up cancelling on going out to a deaf party at Schank's that night.  I was completely bummed, from what I hear, it was a packed house that night.

Next time I guess.

So... then it was Sunday, migraine free and feeling pretty happy we went to Church.

Yes you heard me... Church.

I haven't gone to any form of Church for nearly 2 years now.  I strongly dislike traditional Church.  After growing up in a very religious atmosphere, spending 6 years in a cult and then a few more years in traditional church settings... I'd paid my dues to religion.

That's not to say I don't love God, and I don't adore Jesus, but I have absolutely no love for any sort of institutionalized religion.

So this was a breath of fresh air... I went to a REAL Church.

Yes, that's right... It was as real as I think it gets.

This is what I think a real Church is... people hanging out, relaxing, enjoying each other's company, and if God, Jesus, or the cross comes up in conversation, hallelujah.  No preachers, no sunday school, no enforced Bible studies... Just good old fellowship and hanging out.

So we got there at 11, bringing in a load of donuts, and met people.  Then we sat down around this huge table, had a 15 minute communion and the rest of the time we just ate lunch and visited.  Of course God came up, often, and that was fine.  He was just part of our conversation, like an old guest who had cheerfully arrived and was warmly welcomed.

I can't think of any better Church there is... For once Christianity was real, just like Jesus did it... hanging out with his buddies, who just happened to be called disciples, and later apostles.

No stern leaders looking down on you disparagingly, no Sunday School teachers giving you gold stars for showing up.  Just good times, and good food.

So we'll definitely be back next month for the next "meeting of the body" if you want to call it that.

Unfortunately, I had to run out just after 12, for rehearsal.  We also had photos to take, reporters to appease, and 4 long hours of going over lines.

Regarding lines....

Woe betide the fool who brings out his script and doesn't go off book on Tuesday.  Let's just say someone pulled out his script and cheated on Sunday, and the frakking shit hit the fan.  Oh yeah....  Dude, if you're reading this... I love you like a brother, but it's time to get off your crutches and walk.

I'm laughing as I write this.

But yeah... We have one week of rehearsals left, and then next week we're setting up the set, the lights, the cues, and badda bang, badda boom, Friday is opening night.  So, if people are still running on the script...

I pity the fool.

So after being there from 12:30 to nearly 6 o clock, I was exhausted.  We got home and just kicked back with my wife's good ol' home cooking and watched a few shows and then went to bed.

So now it's Monday morning and I have some tasks for myself ahead of me.

Gonna work on the captions for the play.  Read up on my A plus book.  Clean up the back yard and who knows what else?  We'll see how the day goes.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 21

Ok sorry it's been so long.

A friend of mine wrote me and complained I haven't been keeping up on my blog.  It's nice to feel like someone's paying attention.  :)

So the last few days, I've been feeling like I've been fighting a cold.  Things have been pretty low key.  I've been keeping the house moderately clean, and pretty  much just reading the Wheel of Time Book 13 on the couch.  I'm so disapointed I'm nearly finished it... Now I have to wait one more year for the final book to come out.  I've been reading this series since 1992, and it's been a looooong time waiting for the conclusion.

Some people think Robert Jordan was just trying to squeeze every penny out of his fans.  I don't think so.  If you're a master craftsman and you want to tell the best story you can, a magnum opus that spans so many lives and so many events that culminate in one massive amazing conclusion, wouldn't you take your time and tell the tale properly?  That's what I think he did.  Of course, it's so stunningly massive that I've had to reread the series several times since it came out...  Which is why I have all the audiobooks for it.

And some books are just so jaw droppingly awesome I have to go back and reread or relisten to them all over again.  Like a delicious Thanksgiving dinner that you reheat in the microwave the day after, and delight in it all over again...  Albeit this one is almost 20 years old so it's starting to get a little moldy on some portions.

In other news...

I went to Chapters yesterday to get my A+ books to study over the next month for my exam... Which reminds me I have to call and book that.  In any case, these books are not cheap.  I'm buying two of them, the most expensive one being 75 bucks.  Thank GOD tommorow I have a coupon for 25% off.... That'll save me a good chunk of change when these books turn out to be $150 altogether after taxes.

They look interesting, I can't wait to get into them.  Maybe I'll even learn more things about computers I never knew before.

I'm in a state of disbelief at the moment... I want to be IT, but I never thought I'd get to do that.  After meeting a 23 year old girl, who's ambitious as anyone I've ever met.  She's already a successful real estate agent, owns a home of her own, and wants to move to an acreage in a few years...  It's inspired me to go after my own dreams myself.

She wants to retire young.

Which is a nice goal.  But for myself, I want to find a job that I love so much that I can't believe I'm getting paid for it.  And best of all, a job I love so much that I never want to retire.

Who knows, it may not be IT.  And it may be...  But I hope somewhere along the way I find the place where I really belong and instead of counting the days to my next cheque, or the hours to the weekend, or even worse, checking off the years to my retirement...  I want to be in a state of such bliss about what I do, that it feels like magic.

Carpe Diem!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 18

  So I made a decision about the contract job.

  I'm not going to take it...  I'm pretty dead set on going for IT now.  Soooo now I just have to figure out how to pay for the courses and when I'm going to take them.

   Haven't been feeling so hot the last two days... think I've caught a nasty cold or something.  I laid down this morning at 11:30 after doing a bit of running around and was completely out til 1.  So, this afternoon I'm just going to get a few things done around the house and relax.  Another night for rehearsal tonight and I want to stay awake!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 17

  It's now been almost a month since I got laid off.  This morning I went down to a company for an interview.  They wanted to offer me a contract position.  I'm a little concerned about what it can do with my EI.  I called the info line on it, and apparently it has to be "insurable" earnings for it not to affect it.  The whole thing makes me feel cagey though.  I want to be established in my EI so I can use it for schooling if possible.

Really, I don't think I want to do engineering anymore...  I really wonder if my migraines had more to do with the stress of doing a job that I'm not talented in, and less to do with the weather and all that stuff...

So here I am... Almost a month done...  Wanting to go into IT and a company that BADLY wants me to help them with their project for the next 3 months.  Choices choices...

Gonna mull over it today, a bit and think...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 15

   Sorry I missed yesterday.  T'was another crazy day.  I think I'm coming down with something too...  Mouth tastes like metal, and I sleep way too long too easily.  Yup... definitely fighting something.

   So I had a ton of EI questions yesterday, and so far I haven't yet received any EI benefits or any REAL info on it.  Just filed a report last Saturday but I was a little foggy on what was considered "income", and in addition, I want to start taking courses in the new year to start down the IT path.

    Spent almost 2 hours there getting questions answered and dealt with... I have to play the waiting game and get "established" in my EI first before I can even sign up for a course, and if EI chooses not to cover it...

    I might just have to let EI go and move on myself and take those courses.  It's stupid, but I'd rather not spend another 12 years doing something that I merely tolerate when I could be doing something I really LOVE and do it well.  So we'll see what happens with that.

    I also picked up a new hard drive for the laptop for 60 bucks...  I don't know what's going on with my laptop, it's been acting screwy lately, and nothing I do fixes it... so either there's some Trojan on it or something, OR the hard drive is failing... sigh.  So I'm spending the morning reinstalling Windows 7 and all related software that needs to be put back on... lame.  Lame.... lame...

    What else?  Oh I got the Wheel of Time book 13 the other day.  So I've got both an Audible.com copy and a Hard Cover copy.  Of COURSE I'm listening when I can't sit down and read. :)  Which is great, do errands around the house and listen... drive across town and get things done and listen...  And when you can sit on the couch and kick back with a coffee and read...  Should be finished this 900 page tome pretty fast that way.

    Life is Good.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 13

It's been a crazy day.  From the beginning taking my CRV into Honda to get winter tires on, then off to doctor's appointments with my wife, and various other personal appointments of my own.  I finally have a few minutes to sit down and write my thoughts before I'm on the go again...  I have to rack my port, and then get ready to go out and meet another friend for supper and then to rehearsal for the play.

It seems I'm even busier than I was when I was at work sometimes.

Today I have another song in my head.  "Joy in the Journey" by Michael Card.

Marriage is hard sometimes.  There are easy blissful moments, and then there are valleys of doubt and decision.  There are irritations, bumps and problems.  There are moments when communication is lost and must be restored for all that's vital.  Being out of a job seems to bring these to the fore.

Perhaps this is where men have midlife crisis.  When they're face to face with themselves and realize their dissatisfaction with who they've become, or what they've done with their lives, and toss everything to the wind in a passionate scramble to change it.

I'm sure, now, that that's not the solution.  Marriage, like much of life is an investment of time, energy, focus, patience, and most of all endurance.  The pains and irritations we face can either be embraced or discarded.  Yes, some things must be changed, but like much of life, some things can never be changed and must instead be accepted, lest we throw everything away and choose to suffer lives of emptiness and constant frustration.  In this I think of a pearl, or a diamond.

A pearl is created by a speck of sand that irritates a oyster.  A diamond is created by the stresses of the earth around it.  Neither are created easily and without cost, but because of their stresses - they come out with something far more valuable and beautiful than what was first in place.

Isn't life, and marriage like that?  If we choose to disregard and escape those pressures, at what cost do we do so?  This is why I'm convinced that no relationship in our lives are disposable.

Yes, there are abusive relationships and circumstances that if can be changed, should be changed.  Yet, as I said, not everything can be, and in many cases, maybe they shouldn't.

For me, life is a journey.  Sometimes we can't tell our head from our asses, and we end up stumbling on the road ahead and ending up in a ditch.  There are times when my head is up my ass, and I had no clue.  Times like that, have only taught me to be more gracious to others who seem to have lost their minds, and their way.

But life is a journey, and if I can remember that, and remember that it's an eternal journey; there are greater rewards, and treasures up the road that will make today's hardships seem but a sigh.  A slightly trying moment, because the rewards beyond this one are so much greater...  I can embrace my irritation, my flaws, my stresses and let it change me... and create something far more beautiful.

Further on up the road.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 12

   This weekend was pretty quiet...  I spent all day Saturday sick with a stomach bug, and then Sunday I was off to rehearsal.  We have 3 weeks before tech week and then opening night...  There's still alot of work to be done.  And when the play goes up, I'm going to be so freaking busy backstage.

  I've been thinking this job loss has been a godsend.  It really is.  There is nothing quite like being alone with oneself.   There are no distractions.  No deadlines.  No co workers.  Sure, you're job searching and sending out resumes.  You spend a great deal of time alone though.

   Being alone forces you to face yourself...  Face to face with who you really are and who you've become.  And also who you want to be.

  Our hearts are the filter of our souls, I think.  All the crap that gets caught up in life gets caught there.  And with all those distractions, you can ignore it only for so long.  Every once in a while, something will shake it up and shed a little light on your heart.  Until we take time out away from all those distractions; work, TV, video games, and movies, you never really face your heart and deal with what's inside.

   I think that's why God has given us friends, family, husbands and wives.  After all, who can care for their own heart?  "As iron sharpens iron; so one man sharpens another."  Until we learn to bare our hearts to those close to us, we can never experience true intimacy.  Nor can we experience freedom, and truly embrace life.

    This is what I'm learning.  Sometimes the task is so daunting we don't want to face it and like the proverbial ostrich stick his head in the sand, we retreat from the task and all that's showing is our ass.  The problem is; you'll never find your life in the sand.