Bits and Pieces

Chewing the Fat

When They Were Young




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Chewing the Fat

For those times that I want to blather on about whatever.

Sunday, April 22

Don’t feel like I’m a very good actor.  Every day, going in, working as hard, as focused as I can, giving it my all, and still…
It’s dumb to get sad about such things.  It’s just art, not life.  But still, feel small, uncertain, and yes, sad.

where I’m at

Had a dress rehearsal for The Real World? last night.  Tony Nappo and Matthew Edison’s final scene gave me goosebumps. 

My scenes?  Not so much.  It was discouraging.  Been working so hard and last night was the first time in Madeline 2’s real clothes, make-up, proper hair, shoes.  We were on the sets, out of rehearsal hall, with sound and lights and so many more personal items around the living room that we didn’t have before.  We even have an old refrigerator that we can open and close in our pretend kitchen off stage.  What a luxury.  And yet, with all of this, still, I let her down. 

Got some good notes afterwards from Richard Rose. 

Thought about them all the way home, getting ready for bed.  Woke up thinking about them, turning them over and over in my head, reading them out loud so the sound of them would hopefully penetrate on a deeper level and I’d somehow be able to absorb them into my skin/her skin… Thought about them while eating breakfast, not much of an appetite.  So close to previews and still haven’t gotten where I want/need to be. 

I’m off to rehearsals now.  An ache in my stomach, but it’s not because I don’t want to go.  I do. 

The Real World?

We did our first complete run through today.  Walking to work, I had butterflies in my stomach.  I tried not to get too freaked out, made myself focus on the multitude of new spring flowers that have been appearing in peoples gardens on a daily basis.  The gardens here aren’t huge, but oh my, some of them are so pretty. 

That’s something I really like about about being Toronto.  The traffic is too daunting for me to attempt, so I walk everywhere.  And because I’m walking, the world goes by at a much slower pace.  Very different than soaring past in a car, the little patches of gardens a blur, zipping past the window.  Walking, I feel the pull of my muscles, the slap of my backpack stuffed full with my lunch, script and what-not.  I am made aware of the always changing nuances of the weather here.  Feel the chill on the shady side of the street, the shift from the morning snap of cold to the warmth of mid-afternoon.

Sometimes, the wind will pick up, and it’s not a dainty little breeze either, these Toronto winds can kick butt.  Bright sunshine, but I’ve got to bundle up, everything zipped, snapped shut, my hair whipping around my face like a witch-woman, needing to walk bent way over to help propel my body forward. 

I’m really liking being here.  Liking living in the city.  Being a city dweller Going to rehearsal.  Having somewhere to go.  And then, when I get there, people to create with.  Still can’t believe that I am paid to play, to work together to create a world, a world for them to inhabit, and a new world inside me too.  My character, someone who was a stranger a few months ago and who now is a new previously undiscovered part of myself. 

How lucky I am to have fallen into this work.  How lucky I fell back into it again when my sister, Jennifer, gave me that bracelet a little over a year ago. 

I am loving working at The Tarragon.  Loving it.  Love the whole cast, Jane Spidell, Tony Nappo, Cliff Saunders, Matt Edison, Sophie Goulet, Cara Gee.  Everyone, so talented.  Everyone, so committed to making this the very best show we possibly can. 

Today, when there was a scene I wasn’t in, I would sneak around to the front to get lost in the world everyone was creating, I got shivers of excitement watching them.  And in a weird way, every time I watch everyone else’s scenes, it’s like it helps me understand my own Madeline 2 even better.

And then there is the director, Richard Rose, such a sure hand. Such a pleasure.

Next week we move out of the rehearsal room and start working on the actual stage!  Eeeee!  Exciting, scary, fun, like that way one scares oneself, walking down a dark tree ladened driveway at Halloween.  A good kind of scary.  And then, April 24th… Previews start!

Okay.  When I wrote that I didn’t get the fun/scary Halloween jolt in my belly.  This jolt was a little more daunting.  Sort of like, “Oh god, I drank way too much water at dinner and we are good twenty minute drive from the closest toilet.”


my boys

I’m feeling a little melancholy today.  Not a big blast of melancholia, just a tiny hint of it, like a sprig of thyme in a soup or stew.  Nothing overwhelming or even noticeable to the naked eye.  It’s just there, is all, I’m aware of it, a slight thrum in my belly.

David left yesterday and there is only another week left before Will’s off to England to resume his studies. 

It was nice having both boys in Toronto for a visit.  I had rehearsals, but in my off time we packed a lot in. 

It was an adjustment at first, to go from just Don and I in the apartment to the four of us banging around.  We ran out of glasses and tea mugs WAY too fast.  The dishwasher ran everyday, sometimes twice.  Which is quite a lot considering that we ate out a bit.  When it’s just the two of us, it can be several days before there is a need to run it.  And I’m thinking that perhaps the dishwashers in condos are smaller than the ones in houses?

Anyway, it’s the way of things, the way life needs to expand and contract.  The missing, the making room for, and then the missing again. 
Being a parent of grown-ups is different than being the parent of children or teenagers.  It’s a constant process of letting go and then letting go some more… A letting go of them, of trying to control, of trying to protect, learning to relax or at least pretend to.  Knowing that it’s no longer necessary to be so vigilant, don’t have to try and form oneself into a good and responsible leader because someone had to be in charge.  They are in charge now.  And it is as it should be. 

And I’m sure, next week, when Will disappears past the airport security’s frosted glass that there will be this pang again.  This missing. 

Then in a day or two I’ll be used to it again.  The life of an untethered parent.  I’m sure I will appreciate the extra lounging about time before heading off to rehearsal, no one to fix a motherly breakfast for.

But now, today, I’m missing my boy, Dave, his hugs and good humor, his gentle way and warm dark eyes.


Jennifer update

For those of you who love Broadway and my sister Jennifer and comedy... Don’t miss this!

My sister’s new show Don’t Dress For Dinner starts previews tomorrow night. I’ve talked/emailed with my sister several times since she started rehearsals and she sound happy, buoyant and said the show was really funny!  I’m gonna go see it.  Are you? 

So happy

Richard Rose said something this morning in the rehearsal table session today and it was like someone turned on a light.  Not some tepid, flickering, irritating overhead florescent light.  This was like a clear winter’s night, the air so cold it hurts to breathe and a luminescent complete moon, appeared, hanging ripe on the horizon, preparing to begin it’s assent up into the night sky.  The kind of moon that is so heavy and full of promise, mystery, the unknown.  Illuminating the world around me so it was like I was seeing the landscape around me for the first time. 

It was that kind of light.  Tingly and full of magic and possibilities. 

I’m not in the first section of the play, so I got released early, but all day, my mind was turning over, tasting this new revelation.  Knowing I’d been given the key to a vital part of Madeline 2.  Knowing that this detail was as important to her, as fundamental as her heart beating or her lungs breathing in and out.  Wondering how, when it will manifest itself?  Am impatient for tomorrow to come, to start tasting, testing, trying. 

I feel like I did, way back when I was young, studying at The Loft with Peggy Furey, all fired up, excited.  Love the way the work is approached here.  Such a luxury, to have this time to discover, uncover, dig deep, create.  Love that this is an ensemble play, each one of us, pieces of a puzzle.

I wonder if the Tarragon Theatre will become a home for me?  If I’ll do this show and then do another? Tony Nappo told me yesterday that he just finished doing play at Tarragon last month and here he is now, doing The Real World?. 

I think I’d like that.  Like being in the room with Richard Rose.  Maybe his stuff is up your alley, maybe it’s not, but the man, without a doubt, is brilliant. 

home again, home again, jiggitty jog…

I’m back from my first day of rehearsal an hour early.  Don and Will are out.  Only Scooter to greet me off the elevator, his tan coloured hair sprinkled liberally across the dark wood floors.  This is a breed that’s not supposed to shed a lot, but I suppose Scooter didn’t read that portion of the description in the American Dog Kennel book.  He certainly read the non-loyal part.  The part about guard dog be damned, this dog will show the burglars where the valuables are hidden as long as they give him a belly rub or a treat.

But today, he actually managed to heave himself up and ambled over to say hello.  No joyous dance like my old dog used to do.  Scooter saves that for company. 

But then he saves the enthusiastic spurting of urine for them as well. 

We always warn people to ignore him when they first come in.  After five minutes, he’ll be fine.  Some people listen, and some people don’t.  But that is a mistake they only make once. 

Rehearsal was a mix.  Very impressed by the talent sitting around the table.  Diving deep, the very first day.  No backing off, away from the material.  Hungry for answers, wanting solidity, not getting it, kind of like life.  The different versions of what is real and what isn’t? 

Authors.  Authority.  Lots of talk about family.  Family secrets… or are they?  Did they happen?  Or didn’t they?  Are they the truth?  Or lies?  What is incest?  What isn’t? 

I tried not to talk too much.  Of course, you, my dear readers, know I have a lot to say about that.  But I tried not to.  Even when things were being said that were at polar opposites to what I believe.  I am not an impartial bystander in this whole debate of what is an author’s right to tell and what isn’t.  I wouldn’t call myself unbiased when it comes to how I feel about denial, violence in the family, incest, secrets.  Very hard not to take it personally when everyone was talking about Michael Trembley embellishing, stretching, perhaps even distorting the truth.  And maybe he did?  Maybe he did, and maybe he didn’t.  I don’t know.  I don’t know the man, I don’t know the family.  I haven’t walked in his shoes. 

All I know is my truth, my life, my experiences.  In Singing Songs, I embellished nothing.  Later.  Only later did I learn, did I teach myself how to write fiction.  It took many discarded manuscripts and almost 15 years before I was able to tell my truth using a fictional story. 

I had wanted to play Madeline 1, because I’ve been Madeline 2.  I wanted to try and dive into her skin so I could come to some kind of peace, some kind of understanding with my own mother.  Thought maybe if I were to play her a deeper kind of forgiveness would occur.  But of course Jane is a much better Madeline 1 than I ever could have dreamt of being.  I wanted to crawl inside her for purely selfish and personal reasons.  Richard was right not to cast me as her.

But that’s not what I was planning to blog about.  I wanted to tell you that everyone was nice, inclusive.  They talked to me in the break, which was a relief. 

It’s weird, you’d think being an actor, that I’d be this confident, self-assured person.  And sometimes, with a great deal of effort, I can come off like that.  Call up the person inside of me who won’t disappear inside her safety shell and clam up.  Who can be funny and gregarious and fun to be around.


And sometimes, even though I’m trying to be that other me, the extroverted, self-possessed one, I feel like a fake.  It feels all wrong and I become hyper aware of my unconnected voice getting higher and higher and my mouth drying out and my body that won’t unwrap itself into a shape that resembles relaxation. 

When I meet new people, it’s like stop and start sometimes.  One part of me steps forward and then the other runs away.  And they are both the real me, just with different coping mechanisms that are at odds with each other. 

Like at the end of the day, was I supposed to say good-bye to everyone, or just slip out of the room?  What do other people who are working on a stage production do?  People were talking to each other.  Don’t want to interrupt.  Didn’t know what to do, so I thrust a “good-bye, everyone, see you tomorrow,” into the middle of the room, don’t know if anyone heard me or not, and then, headed to the stairs. 

As I got into the sitting area, I heard Tony saying good-bye to everyone, I glanced over my shoulder and saw him speaking briefly to each person, a slap on the shoulder, a touch on the elbow, and I thought, oh dear, I’ve done it wrong.  I said good-bye wrong.  I was feeling uncertain, shy, and in not wanting to interrupt people in their conversations, I have probably come off as being full of myself and rude. 

deep breath

Tomorrow.  Big day.  First day of rehearsal for the play.  Feel a little vulnerable.  That first day of school feeling.  Like will I fit in, will I be able to keep up, will I make friends? 

Okay, maybe friends is over shooting things a bit, but maybe I’ll make one. 

Always, when starting a new project, there is that hopeful, maybe feeling.  I don’t have a lot of close friends, a handful, and that handful isn’t quite as plump as it once was, on account of people dying.  Gaps in my life.  Waiting to be filled.  Not replaced.  But an emptiness that would enjoy being less so. 

We’re back in Toronto.  It’s funny, but the first time I visited this city, it seemed so foreign, but now, each time, less and less of a shock to the system, is starting, actually, to feel something like home. 

My boy, Will is here, for Spring Break.  Bumping around the apartment, going out with his friend.  Such a surprise, still, sometimes, when I look at him, so big and grown.  So odd to me, how fast it has flown.  I remember him being born.  I still have the cotton hippyish dress that I was wearing when my water broke, hanging in my closet.  I wore it last summer, when the weather was hot.  It is rather saggy now.  One of the buttons is broken.  I don’t think it is Don’s favourite look, but I can’t seem to let that dress go.  Too many memories. 

And when I look at Will, 6’5”, with his deep voice and cheeks that need to meet a razor every now and then, when I look at him sometimes all that time, all that life condenses down, rushes past, and he is a brand-new squalling baby, with shoulders wider than any self-respecting newborn should be sporting, in my arms.  Countless hours of rocking him to sleep, lullaby after lullaby, watching him grow, the twinkle in his eyes, the rosy cheeks, golden curls.  Innocent looking as an angel, mischief incarnate. 

And now, him grown.  Living on his own for the last two and a half years.  And me, trying to navigate this new realm with him.  To arrive at a new relationship.  My impulse, to mother, to…hmmm…. smother?  Trying not to, but somehow, on occasion, stepping where I shouldn’t.  Needing to keep in mind that it is different now.  He is grown.  He doesn’t need or want me to remind him to bring a jacket, or does he have his key, or does he need some money. 

Stepping back.  Stepping away.  So, hopefully someday, the stepping next to, beside, with joy, will be a choice, a happiness for both of us. 

jenny and me

My sister, Jennifer gave me these pictures of the two of us.  She gotten them from our Dad’s wife and made copies for me.  She made me promise to get picture frames, put them out.  I haven’t gotten them framed yet, but I do have them out, propped up against some books on the bookshelf in my writing room. 

Every time I look at them, it makes me smile.  Jenny and Meg.  Meg and Jenny.  Not much has changed.  I mean, of course we have lived these crazy, amazing lives, with huge ups and downs. 

But when I look at these pictures, taken when my mom and dad were still together and we lived in a relatively normal neighbourhood, having a relatively normal life, with neighbourhood kids and birthday parties and a newspaper that was delivered every morning. And there was an avocado tree in the backyard which would drop ripe avocados on the ground and I remember that I liked the feel of the skins bursting and the sun-warmed avocados squishing through my bare toes.  I’d get a spanking from Mama when I’d do it, and I wanted to be good, but I couldn’t help myself because it felt so nice.

And then, the divorce and the crazy men who tramped through our lives and the challenging times, as a child, as a grown-up, because just because you’re grown, doesn’t mean the childhood scars are gone, because you still act/react when things come up.  The scars, they still ache when the weather changes, to remind me, that weather/life can change and rapidly too.  So enjoy, take stock, store up, just in case.

That’s what these pictures do for me.  Looking at these two young girls, my sister and me. The two of us.  Sisters.  Close then, close now.  The other times, they don’t really matter.  Not really, when you look at the heart of things.

Now is what matters.  Breathe in…Breath out…




This morning there was a notice in my email box that my friend Rog was following me on twitter.  I had a moment’s pause.  What to do?  A few weeks ago I came to the decision that twitter wasn’t for me.  I didn’t get the attraction.  Didn’t want the feeling of responsibility.  Didn’t want to feel like I was being rude if someone wrote to me and I didn’t answer.

“You don’t have to answer!” Everyone would tell me.  “No one expects it.”

So, I tried, pulling back.  Only answering a few, but then I’d feel guilty, like if I was on the non-receiving end I’d wonder why the person had chosen one to answer and not the other.  And really, everybody who wrote was so kind and supportive and how could one not just say a friendly hello back?

Then I got the notes on the writing project I’ve been working on, and the twitter problem was taken care of.  I no longer had time to troll twitter, catching up on all my Bomb Girls friends.  I’ve been plunged deep into a writing jag and when I’m not writing I’ve been enjoying the last squeaks of freedom before I dive in to rehearsals for the play and shortly following that, shooting the next season of Bomb Girls.  It’s going to be busy, and somehow, in the midst of all that, I should be getting the notes on my 5th book and will have to find time to make incorporate whatever changes are needed. 

There is no time for twitter.

However, when I got the notice from Rog I had a dilemma.  He doesn’t know that I’m not twittering anymore.  If he sent a following thing to me and I don’t follow back, maybe his feelings would be hurt.  So, even though I vowed to stay away, I clicked follow, and there I was back on twitter with the blue sky and the fluffy clouds, and since I was there, I idly checked out the bombgirls news and there was a lovely article by Anne Brodie and I remembered meeting her.  It wasn’t like an interview at all, more like two old girlfriends having tea.  Such a nice person, fun, with sparkling eyes.  And in her article was a link to a blog I did for More Magazine that I’d forgotten all about and reading it swooped me back to that time and the juxtaposition between that time and this, was really quite amazing to me.  And suddenly, I loved twitter.  That it had brought that memory back to me.  I’m still not sure if I’ll visit it, not sure if I’ll ever resume tweeting, but I can see now, where it can be fun.

Here’s the link of the forgotten blog if anyone is interested. xo


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!

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