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.

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.)

Christmas magic

This is the bracelet my sister gave me a year ago.  The bracelet that took me by the ankles, flipped me upside down and shook hard.

                (it’s never too late to be what you might have been -George Elliot)


Can’t believe how much my life has changed.  Feel so grateful. 

Thank you, Jenny! xo

Hey… guess what?

I had admired Michael and Susan’s Christmas extravaganza from afar, not wanting to get beaned by a swinging pear, but the other day I ventured closer wanting to see the details on this partridge of theirs… and behold!

And when I confronted them with this latest bit of whimsy, they smiled shyly and confessed.  And with a bit more interrogation, I discovered that they hadn’t gone out and bought no stinking partridge!  Oh no, not them.  They crafted it out of a balloon and papier-mache and a multitude of feathers that would not behave and flew all over the place, getting into places where they had not been invited. 

Anyway, I was certain that you, my dear readers, would appreciate this latest tidbit, hence, I am typing to you, instead of getting my pies in the oven. I’ve started the pies, but got distracted mid-slice by something or another and now here I am, sitting wrapped in the beautiful apron that my daughter-in-law made for me last Christmas.  It is cream-coloured and has little red polka-dots all over it and red ties for the neck and the waist and these adorable wooden red heart-shaped buttons for a decorative touch. 

Oops… I went off on another detour, I really have to get back to those pies.

Not to mention that script…

So many things to do.  So little time.  Never mind, both will be accomplished before I go to bed.  I’m off now to peal some apples.

Wishing all of you the happiest of Holidays! xo

Oh, and my sister Becky, says thanks to all of you who popped by to take a look at her art!

Um…yes.  This is a true story

Yesterday, I returned home from a very nice chat with Adrian Chamberlain.  Christmas snuck up on me this year and suddenly I realized that the big day was less than a week away and I still had tons to do.  I was zipping around the wrapping paper station I’ve set up in the kitchen, humming, God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay, turned to get the scissors from the butcher block, when what should I see but a cardboard sign with something to the effect of “No Peaking at your Christmas Surprise or there will be trouble!” 

Now, I’m not sure if that was the exact wording, but of course the effect was the same.  I ran to the door of course, flung it opened and yelled, “I’m peeking!  I’m peeking!”

It’s become a Christmas tradition.  Michael and Susan try to sneak over to my house and set up some elaborate Christmas surprise and I delight in foiling their plans and catching them red-handed in their creative Christmas craziness.

I could explain to you what I saw, but I made Don take a couple pictures of it instead.  I think anyone who has heard/sung The Twelve Days of Christmas will know what is being portrayed here. 

Hey, I just got an image of the two of them dressed up like Lords and leaping around, arms wafting, faces to the sky, enormous grins on their faces. 

Oh, then I got a flash of them in Merry Milking Maids costumes, milking cows, Michael looking most disgruntled. 

I’d better stop and post these pictures before any other images hijack my brain. 


Um… and yes, those are real pears, strung on jewelry wire, (and I’m sure I don’t have the exact words here but it was something real poetic and beautiful like…)“so rain and dew will cling to them and shimmer and shine.”

I can hardly wait for it to rain!

Of course, Don’s not quite so enthused.  He nearly brained himself last night, racing out in the dark to pee Scooter…

p.s. and not to worry, even though there are a lot of pears swinging and swaying in the wind, they won’t go to waste because after Christmas, Susan’s going to pop them in her fruit dehydrating machine and voila, pear chips to munch the winter months away!

breaking up the blog jam

Hi Everyone,

Sorry it’s been so long.  There’s been so many things I’ve wanted to share with you, but then life ran away with me.  And I’m sorry to say that I can’t see my blog visitations improving much until after the end of January.

So, here it is an abbreviated update:

*We finished shooting Bomb Girls.  It was an odd feeling.  In the old days, when I would finish a show, we would be well and truly finished.  Movies are like that.  You do it, you have a great or horrible time, at the end of the shoot, you all promise to keep in touch but that rarely happens, and then you go your separate ways.  On to work on new shows, or to tuck back into your cozy/or not so cozy life, dealing with the day to day and all the stuff you let slide when you were working crazy 12-18 hour days.

But on Bomb Girls, we were left open ended.  Everyone loved how the show turned out, the set, the costumes, the cinematography, the direction, the editing, the acting.  The network (Global) couldn’t be more supportive and enthusiastic.  They are putting everything and then some behind Bomb Girls and yet…who knows what will happen?  No one took the easy route, that’s for sure.  They could have placed the show in that vague, blurred edges of that mystical never-never land that is some-nameless-place-some-where-in-North-America.  It would have been easier to sell, for sure. 

But they didn’t.  The producers, Adrienne, Michael, Janice, Michael P., Wendy, and the Global contingent, stuck to the brave choice and decided this Canadian story, would be Canadian. 

Doesn’t seem like a milestone, but it is.  I heard a rumour, don’t know if it’s true, that Bomb Girls is the first time they’ve run a Canadian Drama series in Prime Time.

Hmmm… just realized, I was going to do an abbreviated version of all my news.  Ahem…

I have a husband waiting for together time and I told him I was only going to be a second, so I’d better get back to blogging more efficiently. 

*Bomb Girls will air Wednesday, January 4th 2012 here in Canada on Global TV at 8 PM.  It will play for six Wednesdays running.  I think (I’m smiling kind of proudly here) that it’s a real good show!

And I know I didn’t finish the thought of leaving at the end of the shoot open ended, but that is a longer explanation that I have time for so I’ll try to sneak away from my work and explain it at some later date… Sorry about that.

*My sister, Becky, is a wonderful artist, who, for her 50th birthday decided to share some of her art with the world.  She has a website if you would like to check out some of her work.  I am the proud owner of several Becky Tilly paintings.  They are in my writing room and inspire me every time I sit down at my desk.  (She has done some amazing sculptures as well, but they aren’t up on her site.) 

*It is going to be a quiet Christmas this year.  Will’s with his dad’s family and Emily’s staying in New York.  However,  Amy and David will be here and that will be nice, and when they come over they bring Bella, their/Emily’s dog, and so it’s a melding of life now and memories of before all intermingled.

*I’ve been getting recognized a lot.  It’s funny, I didn’t realize how many people actually attended Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf this summer.  I’m quite touched by all the people who have come up to me, telling me how moved they were, how much they loved the show.  Surprised me, the response.  I figured, a little show, zip in, zip out. 

Didn’t expect to be a public person again.  Didn’t realize how much I had been able to disappear.  How nice it was to schlep around in my old sweats and unbrushed hair.  Makes me feel a little cautious.  Global is running ads for the show.  People are seeing them.  Is it going to be okay this time?  The being looked at, the being known? 

Hope so.  Things are different now.  I’m older, hopefully wiser.  Don’t have small children anymore whose safety I need to be concerned about.  My children are grown, flown far and wide.  It’s just me and Don that it effects and he’s fine with it.  Doesn’t seem to be getting grouchy about the interruptions. 

And who knows?  Maybe no one will watch the ads and tune into the show?

A small part of me, the stick-my-head-in-the-sand, and fairies are real, thinks maybe that is what will happen and gets hopeful about it and daydreams about turning the clock back and disappearing back into my rabbit hole again.  But I don’t see how that is possible.  The show is really good.  Something I believe the entire cast and crew can be very proud of.  And I want people to love it, to see, to feel what we felt in making it.  To feel the passion, and beauty and complexity of this show, these characters, this situation that we brought to life. 

So, there is a tiny part, maybe six percent, that hopes the show slips quietly away, but then there is the ninety-four percent that is fiercely proud of all that we’ve done, what we made and wants the whole world to see it!

*The reason I’m slacking so badly on my blog side of things is I have a script that is due at the end of January.  People (nice people who I don’t want to let down) were already kind enough to agree to wait until I shot Bomb Girls to finish up the script and so I’m really going hell-bent-for-leather (whatever that means?) and then throw in Christmas preparations and hence, my lack of blogging and this lapse will probably continue until I deliver the script.

*I’m sure there are other important things that need to be blogged about, but I’ve already gone WAY over the promised, “Just a second, honey,” so I’m off!

* Happy Holiday Wishes to All of You! xo

*Hey, I just thought of something else!  I’m going to write to Grace (Global publicist extraordinaire) and see if maybe she could email me some of the artwork from the show and I can post it here. 

Um… I’d better do that tomorrow though.  Don’s been more than patient.  Bye!

Hey Jenny, here you are! xo

Jenny called last night, it was rather late, but I was up, lying in bed, with my script and tape recorder learning lines.  Next week is going to be a dilly, more than 50% my dialogue for the next shooting block is crammed in to Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  One big scene after another and not the kind of scenes where I listen and look on thinking my thoughts.  No, these are the scenes where Lorna is on the rampage, verbal, complex.

The upside to this is I will be able to kick back and enjoy the following two weeks which will be the last two weeks we have shooting this mini-series.  Be able to waltz in, do a scene here, a scene there, march around the bomb factory, doing my Lorna-thing. 

But, next week…?  Oh mama!

Anyway, I was cramming, pulling the sort of hours that I imagine students going for their bar exam do when the phone rang and it was my sister, Jennifer.  We had a long cozy chat and she told me all about John’s memorial and how beautiful it was.  And listening to her descriptions, it was almost like I was there, with her and my daughter and Sabrina too. 

Then we talked of other things, Bomb Girls, family, friends. 

We had been playing phone tag since Wednesday and I figured she had read my Huffington post blog and knew I had been sad, but she hadn’t read that.  Wanted to, so I’m going to re-post it on this blog now.  So if you’ve read my latest Huff blog then don’t bother reading any further and if you haven’t then feel free to continue reading or not.

    * * *
Almost Like Flying

My agent, Laura Langlie, knows I love reading beautifully written books, so she sent me a galley of Sarah Dooley’s new book, Body of Water. 

Laura was right.  It is beautifully written, the voice strong and true.  The problem was, I had to put it down.  It was too close to the bone, reminded me of a portion of my own childhood that I wished to forget.  And then, the girl’s family is Wiccan and there is nothing wrong with that, many people are.  The problem is, I think my mom is Wiccan too.  I recognized some of the things in the book, celebrating solstice, the circles of things in her house, the different rocks, some of the things she says. 

So, not only was this book bringing up memories of childhood, and the not knowing and bad things happening, and having no say, no control, but it was also making me think of my mother now and how I’m not seeing her and how hard it is.  Both ways, having contact and not having contact.  Neither way, ideal.

And when I think of my mother and the chasm between us, I feel like something heavy is sitting on my heart.  And I don’t want to open that door.

So, I put the book down.  Not because it wasn’t good, but because I am in the middle of a shoot and can’t afford to have a meltdown. 

But still, the portion that I read burrowed in deep and the melancholy came and went all weekend, but I kept it at bay, did a good job, until last night.  Waking up after three hours of sleep, my mind started sifting through all the thoughts and emotions that I’d crammed down and ignored throughout my waking hours.  My mom, John passing, that I’ll never be able to see him again, the happy memories and the sad ones too, and John’s passing and the distance with my mother all intermingled to become one big giant sorrow all mashed together.  And how I found out later that he was asking for me when he died and even though I’d flown out to see him two weeks earlier, I wasn’t able to be there when he passed because I was shooting.  And how I can’t go to his memorial service because there’s no way the production can jiggle the schedule, location, crew, actors all locked in.

I tried watching TV.  Didn’t work.  Checked the overnight gold markets, how the stock markets were doing overseas.  Didn’t help.  Read Investment Postcards From the Edge.  Nope.  Went to the bathroom and the next thing I knew I was sitting on the toilet and I couldn’t stop crying.  Not dainty little elegant tears.  No.  This was the kind of crying where I couldn’t catch my breath.  Noises I didn’t want to acknowledge were coming out of my mouth.  Scary, like something had climbed into my body and wanted to split me open wide.

Finally, I gave up trying to be good, thoughtful, and climbed into bed and snuggled next to Don.  When he sleepily asked, “Are you okay?”  I said, “No” and he turned over and held me while I cried all over his chest.

After a total of four and a half hours of sleep, the alarm clock rang way too soon.  Staggered out of bed, took a shower, ate some food, and then off to the set. 

Conversation with Byron in the car: “How was your weekend?”  “Oh fine.”  Same thing when we arrived and Robin greeted the car.  I went to the makeup trailer; Regan put my hair in curlers.  Then I plod over to Marie Nardella’s chair where she wields her makeup brushes like Picasso, turning ordinary makeup into magic on the face, so subtle.  I love sneaking my eyes open just a crack, so I can watch the focused, intent expression on her face when she’s applying my makeup.  I can’t open them too wide, because the powder flies up and gets in my eyes, and I also don’t want to make her feel self-conscious, but still, I can’t control myself.  It’s like a forbidden treat I can’t help sneaking, because it amazes me how passionate and committed she is to adding her bit, her touch, to my character’s story.  Still can’t get over how she watches at the monitors and then flies over, to fine-tune. 

Marie finished my face, and then it was back to Regan who removed the roller and brushed my hair until it looked like Lorna’s.  When she was done I went back to the trailer and got in Lorna’s clothes.  It was cold so Kim had left me long underwear, Hot Shots to stick under my clothes and a big down coat to wear until the last moment before the cameras roll when Kara would rush up and rip it off my body and race away again so she wouldn’t be in the shot.

I was tired today, a muted sadness lingering from the night.  But once we started rehearsing, something happened.

It wasn’t a complicated scene, a little dialogue and then Lorna/I had to run and then fall. 

And we ran Lorna and me.  We ran and we fell.  Sprawling out.  Skidding on our belly, autumn leaves under our body, more leaves making the dancing decent from sky to the ground, the wind dancing too, clouds tumbling in and out, the smell of wet earth and grass, the exhilaration of running hard, fast, the feel of Lorna’s stout heels digging in, flinging me flinging the two of us on the ground again and again.  Joy built the more I did it.  Running and then hurtling myself up and out, making the landing look good, right, momentarily knocking the breath out of my body, such a happy feeling, almost like flying.

After we were done and driving back home, I thought about shooting that scene and how happy it made me, a simple thing like running in the park and throwing myself on the ground on a windy autumn day.

As a child I did that kind of thing all the time.  Rolling down a hill.  Seeing how far I could jump.  Splashing through a creek, trying to make the biggest wettest splashes ever, collecting tadpoles and building a protected area in a portion of the creek by the house so I could go down every day and watch the changes that occur until one day they’d hatch and the little frogs would hop away. 

Why do we stop running, spinning, jumping, singing out loud just for the joy of it?  Why do we care if no one else is?  Why should we care if people think we are bonkers?  Just because we are grownups we are supposed to stop throwing our bodies on the ground and smelling the earth?  Who wrote these rules and why are we following them?

And as for Sarah’s Dooley’s book, Body of Water?  I’ll finish reading it at the end of November, when Bomb Girls is done.



Here’s the latest.  xo

important Rosie O’Donnell show bulletin

Am watching the new Rosie Show, it’s commercial break and let me tell you… it is FANTASTIC!!  Loving it/her so much!  If you missed this show, don’t miss the next.  A great fun show, dancing broadway boys, confetti, funny conversation, the show has everything this girl could want.  FUN! FUN! FUN!

Okay, back to the show!  Bye for now.  xo

Rosie O’Donnell

Eeeeee!  The Rosie Show premieres on OWN tonight at 7 pm.  So excited!  Actually, triple excited, because I’m off work courtesy of Canadian Thanksgiving, so I’m actually going to get to watch it in real time.  No TIVOing tonight.

Tomorrow, back to work.  Am loving doing this show.  Forgot how fun acting is.  Creating with other people.  So much cozier than being trapped in my writing room with only my computer for company. 

Oh and I’ve got another example of just how fabulous Bomb Girls film crew is.  Friday, in one of the scenes we shot I was handed someone’s resume.  I was supposed to read a name off it, etc.  So, we were blocking the scene, Richard Fitzpatrick (lovely man), the other actor in the scene handed me the paper.  I glanced down and there was an actual form in my hand and the person’s name that I was supposed to pretend to read off the paper was actually written down! 

I was flabbergasted. This is not the normal way of things.  In an ideal world, it would be, but who has the time, who takes that much pleasure and care in getting every little detail right?

I tried to thank Sang, but he told me it wasn’t him, I turned to Ernesto who is in charge of set dec.  He said it wasn’t him.  Sang informed me that it was the Art department’s doing.

The mysterious Art department who is constantly one set ahead of us, feverishly putting together one fabulous set after another.  Truly wonderful, detailed, rich, gorgeous sets.  And doing all that, at mad pace we are moving, still they took the time and the care to put the name mentioned in the script on the paper that I pick up and read.  I could have kissed them.  Aidan Leroux, Kim McQuiston, Barbara Agbaje, Martha Sparrow and Danielle Haeberlin, I’m not sure which one of you is responsible, but thank you…thank you…thank you! xo

And… HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my Canadian readers!


Here it is a little after three in the afternoon and I’m back at the apartment, lucky me!  Everyone else is still on the set.  Short day.  Six-thirty AM pick up, back home by two PM. 

Hmm… just counted it off and actually that was a seven and a half hour day.  I guess for some people that would be a full day, but on movie sets, today was a light day for me.  If I was in the scenes shooting this afternoon, I could expect to get home around eight-ish tonight.  So me, I’m feeling pretty lucky, living the life of Riley.  I made some chocolate covered marshmallows, sprinkled them with a titch of sea salt and they taste really good.  And after Don finishes writing we are going to go out for a big meal! Yum!

(Have a new blog up at Huffington for those of you who are curious. xo)

Hey you

I’ve been reading a lot about you lately.  Some of it true, a lot of it not.  You would have liked it though.  The way you are presented.  The cool hipster, the movie mogel, the yacht-myster, the investment whiz, stories of the early days.  You would have liked it. 

It’s funny that.  So many people who know you.  Know the public persona.  Such a contradiction to the memories I have. 

And yet, was it? 

Maybe the Johnny I knew was the mirage?

Images, floating past, some of them lingering longer than others.

The ever ready tic tacs in your pocket, the smell of vanilla on your breath.  The long white tee-shirts that you loved wearing at home that were softer than a baby’s butt from years of washing.  The happy marchy-marchy dance around the bedroom, knees, elbows lifting high, sharp pointing angles, big grin on your face because you had done something, pulled off something very clever.  Home from work, evenings, weekends, the mountain of pillows surrounding you, a safe soft cave to burrow into.  The way you liked to eat your breakfast, always the same thing, cooked just so, in bed, two pillows behind your back, one on your lap, big happy smile on your face.  I think that was your favourite time of the day, after the kids had gone to school, the house quiet, and I’d bring your breakfast up on a tray, me on the foot of the bed, watching you eat.  Always the same ritual, the same order of how things were eaten.  You’d draw it out, savour every mouthful, “heaven,” you would say, eyes rolling back in your head.


Defending you against that mugger in New York City, me in my high heels and skirt, he was going to have to go through me to get to you.  Afterwards, dinner with Howard S, acting all bravado, while you reenacted it for Howard’s delight, being me and then the mugger, both of you laughing, me laughing too, embarrassed, keeping my hands under the table because the shaking won’t stop.

In Malibu.  We had been talking, lying in bed, when I noticed the light on the ceiling shift,  I looked at you and as I did a flame surged up, the corner of your pillow case had caught fire on a candle you had by the bed, and in a split second that single flame became a halo of them surrounding your head.  You smiling at me, me leaping over you, a banshee wail roaring out of my mouth, ripping that pillow out from under your head, flinging it on the floor, trying to smoother the flames with my hands my body, feathers flying everywhere.  And you, watching me like I was an insane woman, demanding explanations, had I lost my f—king mind.  Me, unable to speak, just guttural noises, needing to get that fire out, make the place safe.  And then your face, the blood draining out, when it was over and I held up the blackened pillow, half of it gone, the gaping burnt hole.  How grateful I felt, that I hadn’t been in the bathroom when it had caught fire, or in the kitchen, or somewhere else. 

That was the end of candles in the house.

At the hospital.  The glucophage disaster.  Both of us so scared by that close call, clinging to each other like life-preservers.

Always the hospital.  In and out.  Then back home with us, nursing you back to health, to life, and then off you’d go, back to LA convinced that what you wanted to think, was real.  Sad.  So sad.  Those last years.  Helpless.  After years spent defending, protecting, trying to keep you safe, I failed.  Couldn’t keep you safe.  Couldn’t keep you out of harms way.  Tried my best and still I failed. 

I miss you now.  But there has been a lot of missing in the last few years.  A lot of grieving.  So now, when you finally are well and truly gone, the sorrow is not as sharp-edged anymore.  It is more of a gentle, confused missing, that almost feels like a dream.  Like you aren’t really gone, like I can still pick up the phone and say hello, and tell you I love you and listen to you breathe. 

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