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January 2012


I received a tweet from Shillz with regards to poker spam.  She had voted on a couple of different emails and hasn’t received poker spam on any of them!  This warmed my heart for several reasons.  First that not only did she vote, but she did so more than once, and I don’t know why but reading that made me smile.  Secondly, NO SPAM!  Whaahoo! And thirdly, the fact that she took the time to tweet me and let me know.  Thanks Shillz!

I’ve been feeling guilty every morning when I’d check my email and see all those poker spam things in my spam box, and I’d think of you and how I lead you down the primrose path and to have your generosity and kindness, rewarded thusly (is that a word?). 

Guilt, every morning served up with breakfast.

And for what?  You weren’t getting poker spam.  Just I was.  I can’t tell you how exciting this news was to me.

And it got me thinking about guilt.  Wondering about how often I feel it when there is no cause?  How come I have over-developed the guilt muscle so that I take on the responsibility and embarrassment for things that aren’t even my fault? In big things and small.  Someone who I love dies and in my head, I know it’s not logical, but in my heart I feel like somehow, if I had been a better person, more vigilant, more caring, more loving, it would have made a difference and if I had been all of those things, perhaps that person would still be here. J___, obviously, comes to mind.  He is always in my mind, these days.  Happy memories.  Sad ones.  What I would do different.

And then there is my friend, P__.  Hers is not a daily missing.  Not anymore.  I think of her, off and on.  At milestone moments, like my son’s wedding, holidays, when I visit somewhere we used to go.  I also think of her, I know this might seem weird, but I think of her whenever I lay toilet paper down on the toilet seats in public bathrooms. 

She had called me one day, wanting to chat.  She was feeling very talkative, the conversation wasn’t our usual fare, she wanted to know if I was happy? 

I had recently made a huge change in my life and she had been worried, needed to know if I was glad I had.  Now, for someone else, this might have been normal conversational, but not for P__.  I had known her for around fourteen years and never once had she asked me something like that.  She also needed to tell me that things were good with her husband, how much she loved her daughter, how proud she was.  That she was happier than she’d ever been. 

Again, not something she would usually volunteer.  She was not a rabble-rouser, a talker.  She was shy, quiet, loyal, super-loyal, nervous hands that always were trying unsuccessfully to contain their energy by holding, clutching, wringing each other.  She was orphaned young, raised by her grand-parents and the Catholic church.  She dyed her hair a shade too dark, her roots growing in way too quick, her make-up stuck in the 70’s, dark eyeliner, clumpy mascara, too much blush.  She was hard-working, a dedicated nurse, plump.  She was super-smart, but hid it well, from herself and others too, didn’t trust it.  But every once in a while some bit of weird wisdom would escape from her lips, and it would be so right, so on, that it would set me back on my heels and I would look at her stunned.  Stunned and grateful that I was fortunate enough to have a friend like her.

But this particular day, I was wishing, needing to get off the phone.  Firstly, her uncharacteristic conversation was making me feel funny.  Secondly, Don and I had been just heading out the door to pick up his mother from the airport.  I can’t remember if this was the first time I was going to meet Don’s mom or the second, but I was nervous, had been cleaning the house all morning.  I did not want to be late.

Since our relationship was relatively new, even though we had to leave, Don wasn’t saying anything, just hovering by the front door, keys in hand, waiting.  While P__ chatted on and on, my stomach getting in tighter and tighter knots, like time was running out. 

Finally, I stretched the phone cord so I could stick my hand and part of my arm out the door of my office, gesticulated in Don’s direction.  He appeared in the doorway, eyebrows raised. 

“Help get me off,” I mouthed, sweating now.  This weird panic had taken over my body. Like I had to get off and I had to get off now.

“Meg,” Don called.  “We need to go.”

“Okay,” I fake answered, my voice a little too… I don’t know, felt bad and saved all at once.  But she wouldn’t get off the phone, had one more thing to say, and then another.  Another non-P__-like behavior.  And I didn’t understand why, but I suddenly felt really mad at her, grouchy.  Like it was too late.  Those were the words that dropped into my head, “it’s too late.” 

“I have to go,” I said, interrupting her. “We have to pick Don’s mom up at the airport.”

“Okay,” she said, I could hear the fluster in her voice, like she finally got it.  More than got it.  And instantly, I felt bad.  Not so bad that I didn’t hang up.  But I thought, I’ll call her back later.  Explain. 

Don and I walked down the walkway toward the car, my stomach still in knots, still inexplicable grouchy, depressed, sad.  “I tried and tried to get off the phone, and she wouldn’t let me and now it’s too late.”

Don looked at me odd.  “It’s not too late.  We have plenty of time to pick up the present for Will at Toys R US and get to the airport.”

I didn’t answer. 

We went to Toys R US asked about whatever game it was that Will was coveting, the salesperson had to look in the back.  And suddenly, I’m filled with panic, like I have to get out, like it’s too late, like I’m trapped, can’t breathe. 

“Are you all right?” Don asks me.

I want to say yes, but I’m not. 

We have to leave the store.  I have that falling down, going to throw-up feeling.  Sweating.  Sweating all over.  We leave the store.  We leave the poor salesperson searching around in the storage area.  I’ve never done that in my life.  I’m shaking.  Can’t stop.  We get to the car.  “Are you alright?” Don asks me again.  But I’m not.

When we get home from the airport, there is a message from a friend.  P__ was trying to make a left hand turn off Lougheed Hwy, a truck ran the red light, smashed into her.  She was in a coma.  They didn’t know if she was going to make it or not.

After six weeks that family made the decision to disconnect her from her feeding tube and a little over two weeks later, she died.

10 years and still I miss her.  I think about her, and the fact that if I hadn’t gotten off the phone, or if I had gotten off sooner, maybe she would still be here with us.  One of my best friends.  I was the last person she talked to, and I was grouchy and waved at my husband to help get me off the phone.

So sorry

I want to apologise to my old time bloggers.  Remember way back when, Jenny wanted to play that poker tournament and needed us to vote?  And I voted and then waited a few days to see if it put me on a spam list and it didn’t, so then I told all of you and asked you to vote and you did and I was grateful.  Well, in the last month or two I have been getting a LOT of spam from poker things in my spam box and every morning when I see some more of it, I feel guilty, because I told you, I hadn’t gotten any spam and I hadn’t!  But now I am.  And it’s no big deal because I just click delete, but I worry about all of you, doing a kindness for a stranger, and now you are getting poker spam in your spam box. 

To make matters worse, I think that poker contest was fixed, a publicity stunt, because only the players that belonged to, and were represented by that on-line poker website that was holding the contest, got to play.  Coincidence?  I think not.

So, sorry, to those of you who voted.  For the spam.  And for all of us getting played.

And yes, I know those periods aren’t in the right place. Do I care?  No.  This is one of the things I love about having my own blog, I can put periods anywhere I damn well please.  It doesn’t matter if it’s correct or not.  I’m in charge.  I get to make the rules.

Victoria theatre writers

Thank you so much Victoria theatre writers for the honour you have bestowed on me and everyone who was involved with the Blue Bridge production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

The Critics’ Choice spotlight award, what a lovely ring that has, feels so wonderful in the mouth. 

I was out of town.  Unaware. 

Thank you so much.  Brian Richmond offered me the chance of a lifetime and I seized the opportunity with both fists.  I had no idea how the experience, Martha would change me. 

Victoria is a town in which theatre is thriving.  I am so proud that you embraced our show, supported it so magnificently.  It was my pleasure and privilege to have been part of one of the many great theatrical offerings in 2011.

Getting up early, Bomb Girls and what-not

Ever since Will, my youngest left home, Don and I have been staying up at night and waking up later and later.  We went from heading upstairs around 9:30 - 10 PM to sometimes not getting to bed until 11:30 - 12:30.  That meant that we were getting up later and later.  Not such a big deal in the summer because the days are so long and it doesn’t get truly dark until 10ish.

But now in the winter, it starts getting dark by 3:30 and once it’s dark, it’s much harder to want to leave the house to do anything unless that something is going out to eat. So, the days were zooming by and there was this feeling of not accomplishing as much as one could, of not grabbing life by the balls.  But rather like life had me by the scruff of my nightgown and my toes were trailing on the ground behind me.

It had to stop.

Don and I started the New Year with good intentions. He diligently set the alarm for 7 AM and when it went off, we’d leap from the bed, feeling virtuous.  For the next two weeks, we congratulated ourselves heartily on gobbling up each moment of daylight, not squandering it sleeping.

Um… but by the third week, things started to slide… and slide… and slide.

Today, I had an appointment at 9AM.  Someone was coming over to the house.  When I agreed to the time we were rising early, it was no big deal. 

Well, when the alarm went off at 8 o’clock this morning, I was not amused.  Staggered out of bed, took a bath, got dressed, ate a banana and waited.  At 9:30 I figured, I must have made a mistake with the time.  Looked up the old email and sure enough, it was 10:30 that she was coming over. 

What to do with that freed up hour. 

Hence, the blog to you.

Don’t really have a ton to write about.  Monday, Monday, tomorrow’s Tuesday and then the next day is… ulp… Wednesday!  And we all know what happens on Wednesday.

Around 7:50 PM Don heads downstairs to the TV in the basement, turns the TV on to Global and watches Bomb Girls at 8 o’clock sharp.  While I sit upstairs, try not to think about it.  Try to keep myself busy.  Try not to hear the noise that seeps under the crack in the door at the head of the basement stairs.  Try not to worry that he’s might come up stairs and look at me, trying to mask the pity in his face, like okay, he thought the show was good last week, but this week…?

It’s weird, to have him watch my stuff.  When we first started dating he hadn’t watched my stuff, and that was a bonus, for him to be in love with me, not the person he imagined me to be, because that person up there on the screen, has full-time hair and make-up people and wardrobe making them look as good as humanly possible.  There is no way a regular person could compete.  Wanted me to be enough.  Me, with my messy hair, no make-up and lousy fashion sense.

And I was.  For 10 1/2 years I have been enough. 

I let him come to Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf.  He didn’t fall out of love with me.  I even had to kiss two people in that play and still he loved me.

So, when Bomb Girls started airing, I agreed to let him watch that as well. 

So, he is watching it and I spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday getting a little bit anxious.  Not 100% anxious all the time.  Monday, mild anxiety, like right now, a slight clenching in my gut, nothing major, nothing I can’t manage, and it’s probably because I’m thinking about it.  For most of today, I won’t.  Tuesday will be sort of like today, not such a big deal.  By noon on Wednesday, I start feeling a little vulnerable, a little small, unsure.  By the time he goes downstairs I’ll be acting calm, like it’s no big deal, but my stomach will be in knots and I’ll be slightly clammy under my clothes.

I am hoping this Wednesday night, 9PM when he tromps back up the stairs, that he’ll hold me in his arms and tell me how proud he is and what a good job I did and how he doesn’t mind at all what is happening with my character Lorna and Marco and Bob.  That he’s okay with it, and understands that that is Lorna and I am Meg and there is a difference, even though, sometimes it might feel like there isn’t.  That it is him I love.  Him.  Don.

Are they nuts?!

Okay this article made me mad.  Are they NUTS?

Too much debt is what got America in the mess that it’s in and we’re supposed to follow suit? 

In the article, on one hand, they say the amount of debt Canadians are carrying is not such a big deal and with the very next breath they say Canadians are approaching the debt levels that Americans were at right before the crash in 2008.  I repeat.  Canadians are approaching the debt levels that Americans were at right before the crash in 2008  We saw how well that worked out for them.

Interest rates at present are very, very low.  Average government/provincial bond rates are closer to 5%.  Look at your debt.  If government bond rose to their historic average, that means any debt you have will rise as well. 

Ask yourself, “With my income, would I be able to service a 3% increase in my mortgage, my car lease, my home equity line of credit?” 

In order for you to pay a 3% increase, you need to look at your tax rate to see what that would really cost you in after tax dollars.  For me to service an additional 3% on a $100,000 loan which would mean an additional $3,000 in interest payment due, and that would be around $4,290 of additional income I would need to earn before taxes.  That’s just on $100,000.  Look at your debt load.  Do the math.  Figure out how much more you will have to pay if/when interest rates rise.  Can you do it?

Add to that the fact that the Bank of Canada governor, Mark Carney, just stated that we are losing $30 billion in exports to the US annually.  And then goes on to say that it is likely that the U.S. will never return to the glory days of old.  I agree him on that.  I do not see a way out.  The US spends over $4 billion more than it takes in EVERY DAY!  Anybody out there ever seen some compounding charts.  It’s not going to be pretty.  Add in medicare, and aging population that is expecting S.S. to be there when they retire.  It’s not looking pretty. 

And that’s just the U.S., our biggest trade partner.  Don’t even get me started on the Eurozone crisis.  That is a time bomb just waiting for the right spark.  There is no easy way out of that mess. 

Um… So, the US economy sucks, Europe is ready to explode and when it does, its going to make the 2008 derivative debacle look like an Easter party. 

Yeah, and all that…isn’t going to have a trickle down effect here in Canada?

Give me a break!

So, don’t tell us that it’s okay for our debt levels to be rising to these dangerous levels!  What a misleading, dangerous article. 

Everybody, please, get your financial house in order.  Do whatever you can to pay down your debt.  Don’t be lulled into complacency. 

And if I’m wrong? 

Well, hey, there is nothing wrong with having money set aside for a rainy day and being out of debt!

five things

I was asked, recently, for a list of 5 things.  It could be 5 of anything, as long as it was something that was important to me.  It’s an interesting exercise.  This is what I came up with:

Five Things That Make Me Happy

1. When the phone rings and when I pick it up, I hear the warm cozy voice of one of my kids.

2. Going about my busy day and then suddenly, I come across an unexpected moment of beauty.  A wild flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk, fast moving clouds, the sunlight making a pale new growth leaf translucent, early morning light reflecting off rain drop clinging to bare branches, walking up to new snow making everything soft and muted and like magic can happen. 

3. The ability to walk into a candy store and buy anything I want.  It was a daydream us kids had growing up poor.  I remember once walking a mile and a half to Mary’s café and back again, because my sister found a penny on the playground.  We bought a green spearmint penny bozo.  Becky bit it in half carefully, so as not to get slobber on it, and then I got first choice.  That half-a-piece of gum was delicious and well worth giving up our lunch hour for.

4. Having friends or family unexpectedly drop by and being able to scrounge through the cupboards and fridge and make a delicious feast out of scraps and bits.  Makes me feel resourceful and clever.

5. Having a husband who doesn’t mind if I wake him up in the middle of the night because I had a scary dream or am sad.  Also, if my feet or hands are cold, he doesn’t get mad it they accidently touch him.  No, he says, “Oh honey!” and he tucks my feet up between his legs or take my hands and nestles them onto his warm belly and nobody has ever done that before and it makes me feel so loved.

twitter update

Ha!  I just posted a picture and did a file and everything.  Am I smart or what?!


Hey!  I just did my very first tweet.  Feel quite proud because Don was in the shower and I figured it out all by myself.  I don’t know why it felt SO daunting.  I signed up for it months ago just in case I’d want to tweet someday and I guess today is the day.

Now, I know that meggamonstah might seem like an odd tweeting name for me, but as you can see if you are a tweeter (is that a word?)  There are already several “Meg Tilly”‘s signed up in the twitter universe and none of them are me.  Odd to think that there are all those other people out there in the world with the exact same name as me.  Doesn’t make one feel very unique.

Anyway I can’t promise that I will tweet often, but who knows, when I got this website I wasn’t planning to blog at all… and look what happened!

Also, while I’m on the other-Meg-Tillys subject, my old blogging friends already know that I don’t have a Facebook page, but maybe some of my newer blog buddies don’t. 

So, for the record, my twitter name, which I may or may not use is meggamonstah and I don’t, do not, never have had a Facebook page/account/whatever you call it.

That’s all for now.  Maybe I’ll go try another tweet!  I wonder if tweeting is like kettle corn, the first mouthful, you’re like, “what’s the big deal?” and then the next one and you think, “hmmm….not bad.”  And by the third mouthful, you are well and truly screwed and don’t know how you ever lived without it. 

Well, not totally screwed because you can quit kettle corn cold turkey, but it’s hard.  For those of you out there who haven’t gotten hooked, don’t even think about taking that first bite!  Seriously.

Bomb Girls!

I was sitting at my computer, working away when I got two emails in my mailbox.  One from Adrienne (the co-creator, co-showrunner and director of the first 2 shows) and the other from my husband Don. 

They both sent me the same link accompanied by words of happiness and glee.  And if any of you are curious as to what all the excitement is about here is the link.

For those of you who have no interest in numbers and ratings etc.,  don’t bother clicking on the link, just want to share with you the headline of the article…CANADA LOVES BOMB GIRLS! I’m not sure there was an exclamation point at the end of the title, but if there wasn’t, there should have been.

Thank you to all of you who tuned in! xo

Happy New Year!

This is what I’m doing!
(Ahem…and working on the script D___ and J______n not to worry.)