inspiration! write hard and clear about what hurts

A great quote from Ernest Hemingway to get us ready to make something out of this here life, typed onto paper by the lovely Etsy purveyor WritersWire.

Image by WritersWire

There's something marvellous in the simplicity of this gal's Etsy shop. Find it (and heck, buy it) here.

cute! under cover kitty

This has got to be one of the cutest pictures I have ever taken of Gertie. Credit goes to my friend Jayme for putting the paper on top of her and making this adorableness possible.

singalong! hot knife by fiona apple

Fiona Apple is one of the coolest human beings on the planet. Aside from a brief stint in the centre of the spotlight in the late 90's (well-deserved), she has been just-under-the-radar incredible. I saw her play Central Park in New York a while back, and was blown away at how excellent her voice is live and her cool demeanour. She seems like she would be the best person to be friends with. Then, much later, she slipped into the recesses of my mind. Until this video popped up one day in my Facebook feed. It's glorious!

by Fiona Apple

If I'm butter, if I'm butter,
If I'm butter, then he's a hot knife,
He makes my heart a cinemascope screen
Showing the dancing bird of paradise.

He excites me
Must be like a genesis of rhythm
I get feisty
Whenever I'm with him

If I'm butter, if I'm butter,
If I’m butter, then he's a hot knife,
He makes my heart a cinemascope screen
Showing the dancing bird of paradise.

I'm a hot knife, I'm a hot knife,
I'm a hot knife, he's a pat of butter.
If I get a chance, I'm gonna show him that
He's never gonna need another, never need another.

learning! selfies by the city

Time Magazine has compiled a fun little interactive map ranking cities by the number of selfies taken there!

Check it out, look at your city, compare it to other cities, have fun!

me & ryan gosling

I just realized it's been a while since I shared a picture documenting my long-term relationship with Ryan Gosling. Well! Let's fix that. Here he is at my university graduation in 2007. He was so excited for me, although a bit overdressed, considering. Still, it was great to have him there! Thanks for coming out, Ry-ry!

cute! cat after a rough night out

Gertie likes to pass out on top of my notebooks with her legs all sticking up, like an old drunkard.

singalong! monster by you say party

My sister's band, You Say Party! just released an album celebrating their tenth anniversary, so I'm celebrating with them by posting my favourite song of theirs.  This one actually makes me get all teary most of the time, because I'm sappy like that.

You Say Party!

Dressed up in your outsides,
Inside you’re in nighttime,
Everywhere is frightening
There’s something you are needing to find,

The pressure is pressing you down
That raging monster pulling you around
It wants to rip our skins apart
Tear out the strings connected to our hearts
Our hearts, our hearts,

Evil glare under her eyelids
Rudely wears us on her mouth
Trembling when we see her
Run and hide, she’s coming around to

Tear out the strings (x3)
Connected to our heart
Tear out the strings (x3)
Connected to our heart, our hearts, our hearts,

Our hearts,
You were in the way of yourself, crowded you in, dark clouds hung around, in the hope of a home,
Your body grew wider, your movements slowed down, delusions of dying made sense in your head,
The hair grew in thick,
Your talons reached in,
The venom fought hard,
To poison our hearts,
Delusions of dying made sense in your head,
But you're better than that, you're better than that

Tear out, tear out.

The way we’re made protects us
The bones, the muscles shelter
But it’s our blood that mends us
It’s our blood that mends us

learning! homeopathy is bunk

Science has finally confirmed it. Homeopathy is bunk!

If you didn't know, homeopathy is based on the idea that like can treat like.  It's not a crazy idea - that's how vaccines work - the difference is that homeopathy dilutes the "treatments" so much that they essentially are not in there at all.  And it also isn't based on anything even remotely proven effective.

Normally I would throw my hands to the wind and proclaim that the placebo effect is truly magical and if people get better that's great.  Except that people are buying what they think are "vaccines" for things like HIV!  HIV!  There are no vaccines for HIV!  This is actually dangerous.  People are going around thinking that they're vaccinated for HIV when they are NOT.

Of course, people who are into homeopathy also don't care about what scientific research says.

Alas, read the article for yourself here and then get all up-in-arms about it if you so desire.

inspiration! john patrick shantey says it all

I am friends with John Patrick Shanley on Facebook.  It is pretty much a dream come true for every theatre nerd, despite the fact that he will friend anyone.  Being buds with JPS is great for many reasons, one of them being his lovely poetic status updates.  Like this one.

Of course, technically we also likely don't know half the pain and unfortunate incidents we've caused, so maybe it's a wash.  Honestly though, it's good to know that we are little gifts in the universe, while realizing that we are not gifts to the universe.  Thanks Johnny.

singalong! where have all the cowboys gone paula cole

I instantly loved this song when it came out in (eep!) 1996. I distinctly remember Teen Magazine having a little blurb criticizing the song for promoting old fashioned gender values, and feeling very high-and-mighty, at the tender age of 12, that I understood the song as a commentary, not an endorsement.

by Paula Cole

Oh you get me ready
In your '56 Chevy
Why don't we go sit down in the shade
Take shelter on my front porch
The dandelion sun scorching
Like a glass of cold lemonade

I will do the laundry
If you pay all the bills
Where is my John Wayne
Where is my prairie song
Where is my happy ending
Where have all the cowboys gone

Why don't you stay the evening
Kick back and watch the T.V.
And I'll fix a little something to eat
Ohh I know your back hurts
From working on the tractor
How do you take your coffee my sweet

I will raise the children
If you pay all the bills
Where is my John Wayne
Where is my prairie song
Where is my happy ending
Where have all the cowboys gone

I am wearing my new dress tonight
But you don't, but you don't even notice me
Say our goodbyes
Say our goodbyes
Say our goodbyes

We finally sell the Chevy
When we had another baby
And you took that job in Tennessee
You made friends at the farm
And you join them at the bar
Almost every single day of the week

I will wash the dishes
While you go have a beer
Where is my John Wayne
Where is my prairie song
Where is my happy ending
Where have all the cowboys gone
Where is my Marlboro Man
Where is his shiny gun
Where is my lonely ranger
Where have all the cowboys gone

learning! 11 big lies about nutrition

This week's learning post is another article from Business Insider (all of a sudden everyone on my Facebook is posting Business Insider stuff, and it's really good.  Who would have thought?) What I like about this article is that it basically says "Hey, Andrea, everything you learned about ayurvedic nutrition is finally being backed by science."  Which is nice, because now instead of telling people that conventional nutritional notions are maybe wrong because "ayurveda says so" I can now say it's because "science says so."

For this of you who don't know, ayurveda is the ancient Indian medicine, that takes every aspect of a person into account.

My favourites are one and two.  Eggs are unhealthy (they're not!  Dietary cholesterol doesn't raise your blood cholesterol.)  Also, did you know that saturated fat isn't bad for you?  It's true!  We all were told for ages that saturated fat leads to heart disease, but both ayurveda and the evidence seems to show that sugar is the main issue.

Read the whole article here.

inspiration! 100 accomplishments for every age

Business Insider has published an incredible list of amazing accomplishments achieved at every age, from 1-100.  While I didn't find the younger ones all that inspiring (I already know that many people accomplished amazing things much younger than me), I did find a lot of the ones that are older than me inspiring.

My favourites:

  • At 48, Umberto Eco, a professor of semiotics, wrote his first novel, "The Name of the Rose."
  • At 57, Frank Dobesh competed in his first 100-mile bicycle ride — exactly 10 years after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.
  • At 68, the English experimentalist Sir William Crookes began investigating radioactivity and invented a device for detecting alpha particles.
  • At 88, Michelangelo created the architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
  • At 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji.

Check them all out here!

cute! morning cat cuddles

Every morning while I eat breakfast, Gertie crawls up on my lap. She's not even trying to eat my food, she just cuddles right in. I like to pretend that she missed me while I was sleeping.

singalong! drinking in la by bran van 3000

There's nothing to say to intro this one except that this is one of the greatest songs of the 90's.

by Bran Van 3000

Hi, my name is Stereo Mike.
Yeah, we got three tickets to the Bran Van concert
happening this Monday night at the Pacific Pallisades.
You can all dial in if you want to answer
a couple of questions, namely,
what is Todd's favourite cheese.
Jackie just called up and said it was a form of Roquefort.
We'll see about that...
Give us a ring-ding-ding! It's a beautiful day.
Yeah Todd, this is Liquid ring-a-ding-a-dinging,
want those three Bran Van tickets man. Waddya think?
Todd, you there?

I woke up again this morning with the sun in my eyes,
When Mike came over with a script surprise.
A Mafioso story with a twist,
A "Too Wong Foo, Julie Newmar" hitch,
Get your ass out of bed, he said:
I'll explain it on the way.

But we did nothing, absolutely nothing that day, and I say:
What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A. at 26?
I got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix.

And the girls on the bus kept on laughing at us,
As we rode on the ten down to Venice again.
Flaring out the G-Funk,
Sipping on a juice and gin,
Just me and a friend.
Feeling kinda groovy,
Working on a movie. (Yeah right!)

But we did nothing, absolutely but kiss that day, and I say:
What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A. at 26?

With my mind on my money and my money on my... Beer, beer!
I know that life is for the taking, so I better wise up, and take it quick.
Yeah, one more time at Trader Vic's.
Some men there wanted to hurt us,
And other men said we weren't worth the fuss.
We could see them all bitching by the bar,
About the fine line, between the rich and the poor.
Then Mike turned to me and said:
"What do you think we got done son?"

We've got a conclusion, and I guess that's something, so I ask you:
What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A. at 26?
I got the fever for the nectar, the payback will be later, still I need a fix.

We need to fix you up, call me Monday and maybe we'll fix it all up.

Hell-A-L.A., Hell hell-A-L.A.! ...
So I ask you:
What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A. at 26?
Hell-A-L.A., Hell hell-A-L.A.

learn! you don't know africa

When I was in grade 11 social studies, we had to learn how to label an entire blank map of Africa - all the countries, and we had to put half the capitals.  This new game, You Don't Know Africa, shows me how much I've forgotten.  See how long it takes you to locate 20 countries in Africa.

five lessons for going on a morning tv show (or, "look, ma! i'm on tv!")

This morning I got to go on The Weather Network's morning show (did you know they had a morning show?  Neither did I - until NOW!)  I was invited thanks to my Vancouver on the Cheap column with

A totally natural, non-staged shot of the interview.
Lesson number one of going on a morning TV show: morning shows happen in the morning.  Like, the morning morning.

This isn't the "sleep in to a reasonable hour" show.  This is the wake up at 5, and the rest of the team probably woke up around 4, show.  Ugh.  Reminds me of the days I spent teaching 6:30am yoga classes.  Those stopped for a reason!  If you ever get a choice, pick an afternoon or evening show!  (Because so many of us get to pick when and how we go on TV, right?)

Lesson number two of going on a morning TV show: if you are meeting in a large park while it's still dark out, don't plan to meet them somewhere in the depths of the park and walk there alone.

I don't have a car and loathe paying for parking even if I did.  So as I began walking up the paths of Queen Elizabeth Park before sunrise, I suddenly flashed back all the stories of random attacks that happen in seemingly friendly parks at night.  Hmmm…  Well, nothing to do about it at that point, so I texted the host to tell him I was on my way up.  At least that way if I got jumped by a vampire and haven't gained slaying skills by osmosis of watching Buffy over and over and over and over again, it should only take a few minutes for him to realize something bad had happened.

(PS: realizations like this always make me more than a little annoyed.  I hate that as a female I'm being "unwise" if I'm not at least a little scared most of the time.  It's dumb!)

I'm not kidding when I say it was dark out.

Lesson number three of going on a morning TV show: check the meeting point.

I knew where the meeting point was in a general sense (I had picked it, after all), but when I got up to the darkened parking lot I saw only one vehicle - a large white van with no windows and the motor running.  Okay, maybe that was them?  I didn't exactly relish walking up to that van.  Again with the whole "being a girl means always being a little afraid" thing.  Then I saw a smaller van way behind it with "The Weather Network" logo on it.  Just to make sure I texted asking if they were in the creeper van or the Weather Network van.  Logic won.  They were in the vehicle with the corporate logo on it.  Go figure, the folks of The Weather Network are not creepers!

The sweet view of Vancouver from Queen E. Park!
Lesson number four of going on a morning TV show: hope the host and crew are fun people.

There is a lot of waiting around that happens.  I already expected this to be the case because while I haven't ever been on a broadcast TV show myself before, I have coordinated interviews for shows I've publicized and ran my fair share of shoots, so I knew we'd be spending some time twiddling our thumbs.  Luckily the guys were both actually fun human beings!  Score one!

Camera Man Caaleb.
Lesson number five of going on a morning TV show: roll with it.

I hope you don't care about always looking cool, because you probably won't.  Do you look at the camera in your in-between moments, or the host?  Answer: beats me!  Both felt super weird and awkward.  How much clever banter can you come up with on the spot, with a camera pointed at you?  Answer: not much.  Is half your face awkwardly protruding into the shot?  Answer: whatever.

inspiration! no sure things

It's been done before, sorry.
It's never been done before, too risky.
It's too obvious.
It's too obscure.
It's too easy, everyone can do it.
It's too hard to launch, it'll never work.

Most bestsellers are surprise bestsellers, because there's no sure thing, at least not where we want to look for it.
-Seth Godin
Another inspiration from Seth Godin! He's talking about the impossibility of the "sure thing" but it also reminds me of a lot of conversations in theatre (and likely other art) creation. People sometimes obsess with being totally unique and original, creating something that's never been done before and taking risks.  Alternatively, they can also obsess with playing it safe and picking pieces that will sell or not cost too much money.