Bits and Pieces

Chewing the Fat

When They Were Young




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October 2009


The following readings have been postponed due to the H1N1 virus that seemed to be taking B.C. by storm.  I am so sorry for the inconvenience to all of you who had planned to attend.  I have quite bad anaemia and asthma, and haven’t been able to get the immunization shot yet.  And even if, by some miracle, I’m able to get it tomorrow, it wouldn’t be effective for 10 days.  I checked with Terrill, the librarian extraodinare who set the reading up, hoping that H1N1 wasn’t causing a problem in her area yet.  And you know she did, not only did she check with the schools, but she also ran it by public health, and thus the decision to postpone my visit.  I am so sorry, thank all of you for your understanding and hope to see your smiling faces in the Spring.

Much love, Meg xo
  * * *

Nov. 2, 2009
10:30 am
Chilliwack Library
45860 1st Ave
Chilliwack, B.C.

Nov. 3, 2009
10:30 am
Agassiz Library
7140 Cheam Ave
Agassiz B.C.
phone 604 796-9510

Nov. 4, 2009
10:30 am
Clearbrook Library
32320 George Ferguson Way
Abbotsford, B.C.
604 859-7814

Nov. 5, 2009
10:30 am
Hope Library
1005 6th Ave
Hope, B.C.

Oh, also…

Another few things, memories, I want to jot down.

Cricket, at SIWC, our chat right before the blue pencil appointment started.  Somehow we got on the subject of my youngest boy leaving home and what she said, about this next stage in life, moved me deeply.  Had to turn away, for a second, because my eyes filled up.  And I hope, what she said comes true.  But even if it doesn’t, what a lovely thought she gave me, to hold in my heart.

Don, helping me with my lines.  Over and over again.  Never had a relationship like that.  Where I could be so vulnerable and unjudged, so supported on every level.

Lucky.  That’s what I am.

Okay, back to bed, to try to get a little more sleep, before we start the day.

Much love, Meg xo

Fun, fun, fun!

Spent the day on the set yesterday. 

So odd, the driver, pulling onto the lot, up to the trailers, “Here you are,” he said.  And I got this wave of uncertainty, couldn’t remember what it was that I was supposed to do.  What was the order of things?  What was expected of me?  Was I supposed to go directly to hair and makeup?  Or was I supposed to go to my trailer and get in wardrobe? 

“Um…” I said.  “I don’t remember what I’m supposed to do?” 

“Pardon?” His pale eyebrows rising above his wire rimmed glasses.

“It’s been so long, 15, 16 years, I don’t remember the order of things.  Where I’m supposed to go?  What I’m supposed to do?”

“Oh.  Uh…” he swallowed. Concerned.  “I don’t exactly know.  I’m just the driver.  Hold on.  You stay right here.”  He hopped out of the van, shut the door behind him, but the latch didn’t catch, so the car emitted a high pitched rhythmic bing, bing, bing.  I watched him walk between the trailers, through the front windshield, it was clear from the way he was perched over from his waist, that he struggles with a cranky back. 

He returned, success!  He had an AD in tow, who took me to my trailer, and then it was the whole hurry up and wait. 

I forgot about that too.  Hadn’t brought my computer, or anything to work on.  Just me and my thoughts, crowding up the empty space.  The trailer smelled of propane.  We were parked under a freeway pass.  I opened the windows anyway, the roar of the traffic overhead, very loud.  And then I waited.  2 1/2 hours, which in movie hours is not very long at all.

Once we got started however, it was go, go, go.  The crew worked very fast.  I’ve never seen anything like it. 

Guess what else? 

They don’t use measuring tapes anymore, marking everything off for focus.  There isn’t someone crouched over, scuttling alongside of the camera, adjusting the focus as the camera or the actor moves.  They have hand-held remote focus things now.

And they have this screen thing that E___, the director, was walking around with that showed him what all three cameras were doing at all times. 

So, some things were different, and some things were the same.

In the very beginning, the first take or so, I felt unsure, like, can I still do this?  Was this a mistake?  But then, it’s like something else kicked in, muscle memories or something and it was okay. 

Better than okay.  It was so much fun.  A relief actually.  To be acting again, creating with others.  Cozy. 

I loved having a little taster part.  Nothing hanging on my shoulders.  Do the best one can and that is all that one can do.  The show won’t sink or succeed because of me.  I’m more of a blip, a hiccup, a comma.  I loved that!

I don’t know why, but think I enjoyed myself so much more than I would have, had it been a larger part.

Perhaps because the larger the role, the larger the responsibility.  And me?  I’ve been doing responsibility for my whole entire life.

Nope, this is the new me, breeze in, do a little bit here, a little bit there, and voila, I’m done! 

Today we go home, tuck into the writing, cook up some yummy food, walk on the beach, now that is the life!

I had so much fun, visiting the me from the past.  The Agnes inside me, doing a happy, happy dance that she got to wear such a pretty habit.  That she was fancy now.  Even though the two characters are nothing like each other, there was a connection as well.  SO much fun!  And I was lucky, because both W_____ and P____ were wonderful to work with.  Generous, talented actors, who gave fully, behind the camera and well as in front. 

And it was fun to catch up with my friend, E___.  Who, not only was acting in this episode, but was directing it as well.  And you know, watching him direct, was like watching him step into his true self.  That man is a director.  He is talented.  I knew when we acted together all those years ago, that he would be a good director, but I had no idea just how good.

I am very glad he tracked me down.  I very glad he asked me to do the cameo.  And I’m very glad that I said yes.

This menopause stuff is highly inconvenient

Here I am at a hotel in Surrey, the whole building is asleep.  The whole building that is, but me.  I woke up an hour ago just a few minutes after 4 am, after the hot flash abated, my brain decided that rather than drifting peacefully back into the sleep world that it would rather race over the events of the last few days.  Which is not the most practical choice, because I have to be fully functioning in a couple of hours, one does not want to be doing blue pencil appointments, and speak on panels, with a groggy mind. 

A lot has happened.  Saw Don read from his book, my heart swelling with pride.  My own book reading for SIWC.  Mark and his girlfriend showing up, very sweet, with two books for me in hand, and good advice to boot.  Brandy from the last time I was at this store, glowing, due in 4 months, it took me a while to place her, it didn’t really drop in until later, lying in bed, my husband asleep beside me, and then I remembered, our previous conversation from before.  This woman deeply moves me.  Another woman, the first one in line, who had managed to dig up all of my books.  Lovely face, thoughtful eyes. 

I also have been going for wardrobe fittings for the show I’m going to be doing, and it is SO much fun!  Love the women who are designing the clothes.  So much fun, saying hello to an old, but new experience.  I’m really, really having a great time, figuring out the character, the reasons, the whys.  So grateful to have something to focus on, to take my mind off this big change that has occurred.  The no-longer-a-full-time-mother shift.  It’s an odd thing to get ones mind around.

Yes, Will left.

And me, I sit here, my fingers perched over the keyboard, a million memories of the last few days at home flying through my head.  We hung out even more than usual in the days leading up to his departure.  I don’t know if it was him taking care of me, or me taking care of him, but somehow it’s like everything was amplified, like the world shifted and dropped into a deeper level.  Sweet, tender, like the nectar sucked from the bottom of a plucked honeysuckle flower, a faint, magical, sweet echo of the taste of childhood and hot dusty barefoot summers.

I managed to hold it together at the airport.  Pretended that he was only going for summer vacation.  That nothing was going to change, be different.  That it was just another hello-and-goodby type thing. We walked around, bought way too many books and magazines and candy.  Walked around some more.  Sat down, had a drink.  None of us thirsty, but none of us mentioning it.  The wristwatch on my arm, ticking away.

At the departure gate, no more putting it off, he bent over and gave me a hug, the kind of hug he used to give me when he was little, I felt him drop a kiss on the top on my head, and honest, I don’t even remember the last time one of my kids did that.  Made my eyes fill up.  But, luckily, he turned to hug Don and I kept my voice jokey and light and he didn’t see.  And I was glad about that, because if I had started crying, it might have made him sad too, and I didn’t want sorrow to be the overwhelming memory of when he took this brave step out into the next phase of his life.  I wanted him to be able to look forward to the future with open arms, a time of possibilities and joy.

We waved and called out, I love you, until he disappeared behind the opaque security screens.  And still, Don and I stayed, my hand in his now, his in mine, trying to catch a glimpse of our boy between the pencil width cracks in the panels that kept him from our view.

And suddenly, we saw a bit of him, and he waved and we waved, the tips of his fingertips rising up and over the top of the screens.  We waved until the security woman made us move back behind the belted off area. And when we turned back from our new spot, Will was gone.  And I hoped he didn’t think we left, abandoned him there, while he was still waving.  That we didn’t care and had gone on to our life.  Our new life without the day-to-day him. 

“He’s gone,” Don said.  But still I stayed a waved a little more, just in case he came back and looked through the crack again. 

Finally, I turned my reluctant body around.  “Okay,” my voice sounding like it belonged to someone else.  Chock-full of cheery brisk, lets-get-to-it ness.  “We’re off.”

We started down the hall, and then I remembered that drink we had and that it was around 45 minutes back to our hotel and we were approaching a bathroom on my right.  “I’m just going to pop in here for a second,” I said.

“Good idea,” Don replied.

I zipped into the bathroom.  It wasn’t too busy.  There were a lot of stalls empty.  I went in.  Locked the door, pulling my shirt sleeve down over my fingers, because who-the-hell-wants-swine-flu?  Unspooled some toilet paper, started to lay it out on the seat, and then this wave of loss and sadness, engulfed me, almost dropped me to my knees.  He’s gone.  My boy has gone.  The memories of him hugging me good-by, still fresh around me.  He’s gone.  My boy has gone.

But it is not the end of the world, because he will be back.  Back but different, and that is the way of things.  Everything is the way it should be.  Life goes on, with joys and sorrows and one has to love and let go.  Hold tender in one’s heart, love enough to let unclasp the hand that wants that keeps them earthbound and safe, because that is the way of things. 

I just glanced back over what I’ve written.  The title of this blog, no longer suits. 

Oh well. 

It’s 6 am now.  I think I’ll sign off, crawl back in bed, and try to get another hour or so of sleep before the busy, busy day ahead of me.  Bye.

The shifting horizon

I am sitting here in the living room, Will bumping around overhead, sorting through things, deciding what he wants to bring to London.  Every once in a while he calls down, should I bring this?  Should I bring that? 

It’s hard for me to sit down here and let him go at it.  I wish I could race up there and help sort, but really, it wouldn’t be a help.  Only he knows what he wants to bring, what he can do without.

So hard to get my mind around the fact that he’s actually going to go.  That his bags are actually going to get packed, the plane is going to be caught and the next phase will have stepped over the threshold and be a reality.

And I know people are thinking, oh Meg, get over yourself, it’s not such a big deal, he’ll be home for holidays, for a few years anyway, no biggie.

But it is.  I know how much things change.  Don’t forget, I’ve had two children leave home and grow up all ready.  It’s different.  It’s nice in some ways, but in other ways not. 

My friend, E__c, whose show I’m going to do the cameo on, sent me pictures of his adorable little kids.  Cute little moffets.  One crawling, and teething, the other racing around the house, and it was such a mix looking at the photos, like, oh my I remember those ages and all that goes with it.  The warm snuggly bodies, sticky fingers, sloppy I-love-you kisses.  The giggles and pitter-patter of feet.  The sorrows that would arrive suddenly and leave just as quick.  I miss all that. 

I don’t miss the sleepless nights, and worry about keeping them safe, and fed and making sure they knew they were loved.  The absolute aloneness I so often felt after they had gone to bed. 

That’s what I worry about sometimes.  I’ve been so busy, trying to make it a nice, cozy, safe peaceful, life.  Trying to dot all the i and cross the t’s.  Trying to be the best mom I can, but now?  What if when my last one goes, it is that absolute aloneness, like the wreckage left after a hurricane, grateful I survived it, but wondering, what-the-hell-was-that, and who am I now? 

I feel so different. 

I’m eating a lot.  Trying to fill the hole I guess.  Have gained back all that I lost on our trip.  Not gorging.  Just a constant nibbling. 

But the weird thing is, I’m happy as well.  Through out their childhood, an on-going litany, that was always going through my head, “Please God, let me get them safely to adulthood.  Please.”  I don’t think a day, or night went by, where I didn’t send that prayer up to the heavens, down into the earth, just on the off chance that a higher power might happen to be listening.  That was my goal.  That was my ultimate most fervent wish.  And come Tuesday, that wish will have been granted.  They will all be grown, on to the next phase of their lives, minds, bodies, limbs, mostly intact.  Good hearts, good people.  Intelligent.

I’m proud of my kids and the adults they are becoming, have become.  I made mistakes, bumbled through, but we got there, just the same.  I love my kids.  Always will. 

Am missing Will already.


Okay, my dear bloggereenos

You want to hear something really fun?

No, my manuscript is not roaring along.  Thank you very much for asking.

What I’m talking about is a different kind of fun.  The kind of thing that one does because why-the-hell-not.  That’s the kind of fun I’m talking about.

An old friend managed to track me down. (Old as in, I knew him way back when.  Not old as in tons of wrinkles.  Although, unless the years were kinder to him than they were to me, I’m sure there are a few.) 

And guess what?

He’s shooting a TV show in Vancouver of all places!  What a small world huh?  Anyway emails flew back and forth, pictures of kids, invitations to stay and the next thing I knew, I’d agreed to do a little cameo in his show.  Funny huh? 

Apparently it’s some sort of futuristic thing on some planet or another.  I’ll know more once I read a script.  It’s a weird feeling.  A sort of happy, dance-dance-dancy feeling.  Like a hello to a Meg from the past.  But different too.  No career to worry about.  No responsibility resting on my shoulders.  Just get to show up for a day, have fun playing dress-up, eat too many goodies at the craft service table, hang out with my friend, be paid a little money for having a good time, and then I’m back off to my little seaside cottage.  What could be nicer?

I’m really looking forward to it.  Working with other people.  Being a writer is nice and all, but it can be a little lonely. 

Stupid old Bodo

Jenny got knocked out, but hey she got to the final table and came in FIFTH and that is certainly something wonderful to celebrate about!

AND, speaking of celebrating…PHIL LAAK is the NEW WORLD OPEN CHAMPION!!  So, that certainly is a a happy something.



I just found something on-line!  They are down to five players now, Jenny and Phil are still going strong.  There is no chip leader.  Sending good thoughts. 

Hi again

Okay… I’m not sure what some of the play-by-play stuff means, but for those of you who do, here’s an article I’ve found.  For those of you who don’t feel like reading the whole article, I’ll sum it up.  What it basically is saying is, “JENNIFER TILLY IS A GREAT KICK-ASS POKER PLAYER!!!”  That’s what it’s saying, they are just using fancy poker jargon to do it.

Party Poker World Open V is heating up

14 Oct 2009

LONDON, England—(PRESS RELEASE)—The action at the Party Poker World Open V continues! The Matchroom Sport organised event takes place from Sunday 11 October - Thursday 15 October 2009 in London. For the very first time, the action takes place in the prestigious Palm Beach Casino in the heart of Mayfair and spectators are welcome to rail and the crowds are growing every day. The action starts at 11am.

Hollywood actress Jennifer Tilly won heat three at the World Open V to join her partner Phil Laak at the final table, while ex-England football star Teddy Sheringham lost to internet qualifier Jan Veit heads-up in heat four. They join Luke ‘FullFlush’ Schwartz in the final.

Tilly, a WSOP bracelet winner, had to overcome both a tough field and a tricky overnight break in play to reach make it to last seven, where she’ll face a battle for the $250,000 first prize with her American pro boyfriend Laak, who took down heat two.

“I told Jennifer this is war!” said Laak.

“We’re really competitive so we better spend some time together now because we might not be speaking on Friday!” said Tilly.

It was as tough a heat as you could find with online star and pre-tournament favourite Tom “Durrrr” Dwan, triple-crown holder Roland De Wolfe, big cash game player Sammy “any two” George and Neil Channing - Tilly’s eventual heads-up opponent. Online qualifier Gustav Ekerot was the first player to perish and it was Durrrr who followed next, kicking-off Tilly’s run to the final when she picked up aces against jacks for the second time and the bullets held to leave the table six-handed minus Dwan. No sooner had the aces been put back in the deck, they were out the very next hand and Channing used them to full effect, with Josh Gould the unlucky man to have kings in that spot.

Channing was at it again when he knocked out fellow Londoner De Wolfe, with the short-stacked Roland pushing with 105 suited and Neil calling with pocket threes and hitting quads on the river for good measure. It was not long after that when Channing hit quad kings - but George did well to get away with A10. Sammy’s reward for that escape was to knock out online qualifier Robert Sherwood and take the chip lead. George raised with AK, Tilly called with A6 and Sherwood moved all-in with A7 behind her - Sammy snap called and Tilly got out of the way - the king ruled the board and Any Two was up to 1,218k, Tilly held 980k and Channing just 202k.

He pushed those chips over the line with Q4 and was called by Sammy with pocket nines - hitting a queen to double up. Channing then performed the same magic with AK against Tilly’s Q7 and doubled up again to hold over 800k.

With Channing the chip leader - he took an early crack at Tilly with his K8 against her A8 - Channing hitting a king on the flop but Tilly’s prayers for an ace on the river coming true and moving her to 1,000,000 in chips. Had Channing won the hand, Tilly would have gone and Sammy would have had at least a runners-up spot but George was the bubble boy in this heat, moving all-in with AK and getting called by Tilly’s pocket threes - the board coming K3Q2J to get us heads-up.

Tilly held the chip lead and it is one that she converted into victory, steadily building her stack before getting the best of an action board when the duo held seemingly innocuous cards. It read 23 with short-stack Neil holding 42 when Tilly moved in with 54 - Channing made the call that sees Jennifer progress through and Neil have another go in the runners-up heat.

Before they finished their tussle, online qualifier Jan Veit won through to the final after seeing off former England and Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham heads-up in heat four. Sheringham made the first moves of a cagey heat when the blinds hit 5/10k - first knocking out Simon Craig, then seeing off in the Sky winner Johannes Nord Jorgensen, beating his pocket queens when his AK hit an ace on the flop. Sam Trickett was the third player to fall, getting it in good with a pair of sevens again Veit’s AQ and staying in-front on the flop before Jan rivered two pair to end Trickett’s tournament. Double WSOP bracelet winner Scott Fischman completed Teddy’s hat-trick, shoving with pocket sixes and running into Sheringham’s kings and Fischman was gone when both men missed the board.The heat was suddenly moving along at great pace and we were three-handed going into the 20/40k level with Alec Torelli the unfortunate victim. He took a shot at Veit with J9 when Jan moved all-in, only for Veit to turn over the red aces. That left Torelli with just over 100k and moments later that was down to nought, Alec pushing with K2 and Sheringham picking up a pair of eights to go three-handed with over one million in chips.

But the 20/40k level was not kind to the striker and as the blinds edged towards 30/60k, he bled off a portion of his stack to Veit in two hands with nothing against two pair and top pair and it was Jan who now moved over the one million mark. He remained dominant going heads-up with Sheringham after WSOP November-Niner Antoine Saout, who ran into trip nines to be out on the bubble. So Veit had the chip lead and it wasn’t long until he had them all - Teddy pushing his in with 102 and running into AJ, with Jan hitting a jack for good measure to move into the final with Teddy joining Channing in the runners-up heat.

A spokesman said: “The final table is shaping up to be one of the strongest and liveliest in the events history. Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly and Full Flush aren’t exactly the shy and retiring types! We’re expecting a great crowd on Thursday night.”

Poker Power!

I just got an email from my sister, Jennifer, and both she and Phil have made it to the Final Table at the Party Poker World Open in London, England.  And I did the math and with the time-change and all…THEY ARE PLAYING RIGHT NOW!


I’m rooting for both of them, a little, tiny bit more for Jenny because she’s my sister, but I’m rooting for Phil as well.  Here’s the scenario that would have me dancing, Jenny comes in first, Phil second!  Wouldn’t that be great.

BOTH of them at the final table.  FANTASTIC! 

I’ve tried following the action On-line, but I can’t find the blow-by-blow section of the website.  Maybe partypoker doesn’t do that snazzy play-by-play.  I think they are going to televise it though. 

Sending love and support and good wishes their way.  (You guys can too if you like. Every little bit of positive energy helps!)


Grey sky, top to bottom, clouds obscuring the islands across the way.  Stormy sea, crashing waves and then a beautiful complete arc of a rainbow stretching out, both sides disappearing into the ocean, a shadow rainbow arch on the side closest to me. 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a complete rainbow before.  And the really amazing thing is, there is absolutely no sign of the sun.  No shafts of light, no break in the cloud.  Nothing.  I can’t see anything.  I have no idea how this rainbow formed without the clash of rain and sun.  And as I type to you, sitting at my kitchen table, this rainbow is getting brighter and brighter.  The only color anywhere on the horizon and oh my, what color. 

Sometimes rainbows are faint and I can see only some of the colors, but not this baby!  Every color.  So beautiful.  Seems like magic. 

I just went to check out the other side of it again and that half has faded.  It a faint memory of what it was.

Oh, hey, the bottom quarter of this rainbow is gone now.  It just starts up mid-sky. 


I’m really glad I looked out and saw it.  The shadow rainbow is almost all gone.  I have to look really hard now to see any traces of color. 

What a great day this is!  Emily just posted Phil Laak’s schedule.  (You know Phil, the fabulous, famous poker player, and equally important, my sister’s boyfriend, and I love him because he treats her nice.)  Anyway, it’s a really, really good one.  Caring.  Smart.  Thoughtful.  Important ideas, but not crammed down the throat, just offered up as something to think about. 

I read his schedule and it made me feel really happy.  Like there are people out there, other than me, that care about her well-being and are looking out for her best interests, and then I came out into the living room and saw the beautiful rainbow, and I don’t know, it seems like a sign.

The rainbow is almost gone now.  Just a faint lingering trace, like ice wine on the tongue after the glass is empty.  A whisper, almost a memory.  In another few seconds it will be completely gone.

It’s gone.  Everything is grey again, and yet, it’s not, because who knows what is waiting, just around the corner? 

Hello everybody!

I have to say, I’m feeling amazingly happy today.  Even more surprising because last night I only got 3 hours of sleep.  I just can’t seem to turn around. 

Jet-lag has got my by the balls.

Ah well, maybe in a couple more days. 

I’m enjoying the time to myself.  Reading, doing a little editing, daydreaming, reading my daughter’s blog.  This, I think was one of my favorite weeks ever. 

Don’s gone again.  Will too.  It’s funny.  Unusual, how the timing worked out that way.  Even funnier, is, I’m having a real nice time, puttering around the house, the two dogs following me around, like I’m a party. 

It’s raining today.  I like that as well.  Something so cozy about being tucked inside when it’s cold and windy and misty and rain-swept outside.

Hmm.  I just looked back over what I’ve just written. 

It’s kind of fragmented. 

I guess I don’t feel tired, but I must be.

I don’t feel tired at all.

I feel invigorated.

Like life is wonderful and I’m the luckiest person alive.

I even made myself a tasty dinner. 

I never cook when it’s just me.  I usually just eat a cup of cereal or a piece of fruit or something.  Eat some ice cream or scrounge up some candy that was lurking in a long forgotten corner of a drawer.  But not tonight!  I made myself food.  And I ate it.  And it tasted good.

Wow.  This is reading like a Primary reader.  I’d better hang up my fingers.  I’ll type some more when I am coherent. 

Funny, I feel coherent.

But I’m probably not.  There doesn’t seem to be many paragraphs up above this sentence.

Sweet dreams everybody.  I was going to buckle down and update my upcoming events because they are roaring up on me and next week I’ll be doing them.  But I think I’ll wait and do that tomorrow.  I don’t trust my untired brain to do a good job.

Nite-nite. xo