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It’s a new year and this time it really feels like it.  When I woke up this morning, the world seemed all fresh and new and full of hope and possibilities. 

We hopped in the car and went to see a part of this place that I have been curious about.  Took an impromptu hike up a minor mountain.  Met a couple of women who were huge Bomb Girl fans and they informed me in no uncertain terms that I looked much younger in person.  Which pleased me greatly, since my character Lorna is considerably younger than me. 

Silly that. I realized it the moment I wrote it.  Why should I be carrying around a happy glow because they thought I looked so much younger?  I’m quite proud of my age, of my years, the experiences I’ve had. Why, in our society, is it such good thing to be thought younger? Why is that a compliment? 

I worked hard to arrive at 52.  Wouldn’t give up even one of those years.  So if I look so much younger than Lorna, who is 43, then doesn’t that mean that I come off as immature? Unformed?

Speaking of… ahem…immature…

I woke up feeling blissfully happy and content this morning, but as I lay in bed stretching out, enjoying the fact that I didn’t have to leap out of bed and go to work, didn’t have a writing assignment looming, that my youngest was visiting his brother and his wife so there was no one moving around hungrily in the kitchen, as I lay there…a memory surfaced.

And with it, a niggle of embarrassment. 

Okay, it started as a niggle and then as I thought on it more, it blossomed into a slightly sweaty swell of panic.

The memory… ahem…yes…

Well, after we finished wrapping Season 2 of Bomb Girls, but before I left Toronto for Christmas, I went to CBC to see the very charming and crazily intelligent George Stroumboulopoulos and we taped an interview to be held until after Christmas. 

I was fine about it.  There were no nerves. Had been on his show last year and he was very sweet and it was a lot of fun. His studio was quite chilly last year, so this year I wore something warmer.  Leggings, boots, a sweater, and a pretty…um… I’m not sure what to call it?  It’s one of Jenny’s fancy things that was made of sweater material but must have been knit with large needles so it’s kind of see through, and it has all kind of interesting things like sequins and beads all around the edge.  I wore my favourite necklace of these misty grey with purple-tinged stones that are polished and very comforting to wear, even though they are heavy and after a long period, tire out my neck.

John Calvert, one of the producers on Bomb Girls had given Beverly (the Bomb-Girls-publicist-extraordinaire) the funds to hire a make-up/hair guy (Dave) to make sure I was turned out properly. (Must have gotten a hold of some of the press stuff I did for my bookish ventures before I ventured back into the acting arena.  You know.  The pictures that are floating around where it is clear the most attention my hair and face received was a scrubbing and a brush.)

So, I was all set.  I was going to go on Strombo, look pretty, be dignified, talk a little about this, a little about that.

Um… I don’t know what happened?  You’ll see when you watch the show. Unless, the producers have an ounce of compassion and decide not to air that particular interview.

I could blame my Strombo silliness on a lot of things.

The exciting, inventive, amazingly funny, beautiful and thoughtful gift basket that Bev and her daughter and husband came up with.  A beautiful basket of the “11 things I couldn’t live without.” I’d been asked to write up a list of “10 things I couldn’t live without.” So, I had, but there were 11 things and they weren’t the kind of things I was supposed to say, and I wanted to help out, and I wanted to play by the rules, but I found I just couldn’t.  If it had been called “10 objects I love,” or “10 objects that fill me with great joy,” it would have been no problem.  But “10 things I can’t live without?” I just couldn’t put together a list that was acceptable to all.  So after a lot of backing and forthing, we all decided that perhaps it was best if I didn’t participate. 

So, to my surprise and my delight, when Bev came marching up my walkway with a beautifully wrapped, bountiful gift of the “11 things I couldn’t live without!” of course I had to open it pronto, and open it I did, both of us in gales of laughter, and Dave the make-up guy, smiling politely, but not quite sure why I so delighted to get a beautifully wrapped roll of toilet paper etc.  We couldn’t stop laughing, her gift so funny!  Had to massage my cheeks because they had gotten so sore.  So maybe some of that silly giddiness perched on my shoulder, hopped in the taxi with me on my way to the show. 

Or maybe it was the lipstick.  Dave, after giving my outfit the once over, decided that a red, red lipstick was what it needed.  A splash, a dash of colour.  And it did look pretty.  Real pretty. He was right.  But I wasn’t used to it.  I’ve worn red lipstick for characters and been fine, but this was me, and I suddenly had visions of me with lipstick all over my teeth, splashes of red peeking through my lips every time I smiled or spoke.  And then on the ride over, I kept accidentally bumping my mouth with my hand. 

Didn’t realize how often I touch my mouth, my face.  Wouldn’t realize I had except whenever I glanced down, I’d find new smears of red all over my fingers and knuckles.

When we got to CBC someone came to greet us and ushered us upstairs to the green room.  There were drinks and snacks and comfy chairs. 

They put a radio mic on me.  Had me tape a couple of things.  Then George came in and I tried to talk comfortable-like, but I couldn’t, because it’s hard to talk comfortable-like when you are scared that you have red lipstick on your teeth so you try to talk with out opening your lips very wide. 

After he left I thought, oh dear, this does not bode well. 

One of the producers came in and said they were almost ready, would I care to have their make-up lady take a quick peek at me?

Yes please.  I was led down the hall.  Introduced to her, the name flew out of my head, because all I could think was, please let there be time for her to remove this lipstick. I sat down in her chair and glanced in the mirror.  I was going to do a discreet grimace to see if my teeth were coated with red, my teeth were fine, but to my horror, I noticed that not only had I gotten that red red lipstick on my knuckles, but I had also smeared it my face as well! A smear of red from the right side of my lips up my cheek and also a downward smear towards my chin! 

I was so lucky she was there!  I was so lucky she was able to work fast, removed the lipstick, the smears and put a nice neutral colour of lip gloss in it’s place!

She finished the switch and then they rushed me off onto the set to wait behind the curtains. Me, blessing the makeup woman who saved the day, a million times in my heart.

I could hear George talking, the audience laughing.  There was someone in the audience who said they were from Victoria which made me happy to hear, in my little spot behind the curtains.  Like it was a good omen.  A friendly hello from home.

And then it was my turn to go out and I did.  And I was so happy to be there, to see George, to not be wearing that bright red lipstick smeared all over my face, to have received such a lovely present from such a good funny friend.  All of that happiness and giddy relief topped with the school’s-out-feeling of having wrapped Season 2 of Bomb Girls, to be proud of the work, of getting through 12 episodes intact.  More than intact, still loving everyone, still loving the experience.  And then knowing that after finishing George’s show, that I was done with the publicity part as it was my last interview.  That after this was done my son and I were going to fly out at the crack of dawn to join my husband, to nestle in with family, Christmas and cooking.  All of those things added up to…

Um… A rather silly, exuberant…

Okay, maybe even… um… well…possibly weird appearance on the George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show.

So, I don’t know when it’s going to be on.  If it’s going to be on.  But if they do air it, and if you do accidentally happen to watch it.  That’s what happened.  And, no, I wasn’t on drugs.  I’m never on drugs.  It was a combination of things along with the fun that is George that spiralled out into some kind of I-don’t-know-what.  And no matter how they cut it, there is no way in hell I’m going to come off as dignified, or as one of Toronto’s intelligentsia.