TO Sightings part VI: Monday night shenanigans are the craziest kinds of shenanigans

by Nomes

A short one for those who miss these crazy streets/streetcars of Toronto.

So this one time, last Monday night, I was taking the streetcar to meet my friend at the modest hour of 10pm, when I witness a little ruckus being had at the front of the vehicle.

It appears a certain young man has decided to skip over the whole payment portion of this program, and walk right on by the driver. It became apparent, rather quickly, that he was intoxicated to the point of dumbness. And I kind of really mean like “unable to speak” because he wasn’t making sense with words and such.

As the driver attempted to get the man to pay, said man was repeating such things as “I’ll get you back next time man.” “Thanks man.” “I don’t have change man.” “Don’t worry about it…man…” The driver offered options such as:

Get off the streetcar.

There’s a bank, get money.

Ask the next streetcar driver for a free ride. (He would probably have given him a free ride if the guy had asked, saying he was “drunk and very sorry but had no change”, but since he just chose to breeze on by the driver, with an entitled air about him: No dice was offered.)

It’s only 3$.  (Man: “Anyone have 3$ for me?” Everyone in the streetcar: *glare*)

It continued on for a while until we had been stopped at a particular intersection for 4 green lights and everyone else in the streetcar was getting IM-patient.

I eventually just went ahead and reached into my purse for money I was going to use on streetcar anyway (but I got a free ride thanks to my aunt lending me her pass) and walked on up to the front to pay the guy’s fare.

There was literally NO WAY of reasoning with this guy in his sorry state, short of physically throwing him off the streetcar/calling the cops. I am not good at waiting. I have 3$. There, settled…

Comments of appreciation, as well as, “You shouldn’t have done that.” (people were looking for some blood, that Monday night, apparently) and “You just saved a life, tonight.” were thrown my way as I regained my seat. A tap on the shoulder from the girl behind me and a smile and nod confirmed further appreciation and on our way we were!!!

Then “You just saved someone’s life.” again.

Me: “How so?”

Guy at the front who had been arguing, on the side of the streetcar driver, with the drunken mess: “Cause he would have gotten killed (implying: by him).”

Streetcar driver: “Wow, now. None of that kind of talk.”

The guy at the front with the strong opinion, continues to tell the guy off for being a jerk etc. cause “He would have given you a free ride if you had just asked.” and on and on it went with the drunk guy interjecting once in a while, increasing in aggressiveness and every once in a while turning to the poor girl he sat next to and trying to talk to her, leaning a little too close. Note that he had had a wide variety of empty seats to choose from upon entering the streetcar and had chosen to sit next to this poor girl at the front, effectively trapping her. I kept my eye on the situation but until then, he was busier slurring to the driver than bothering the girl… until…

Eventually I couldn’t stand it any more; the poor girl had nowhere to go and he was leaning real close.

I got up again and went up to her just as he started putting his arm around her. I tapped her on the shoulder and proceeded to practise my craft. Sing? No. Act!!

Me: “Oh my god hey!! How are you?”

Girl: (relief in her face) “Hey!!!!”

Me: “I haven’t seen you in so long! Come and sit with me. Let’s chat!!”

Girl: “Ok great!”

We go back to my seat. She had been talking to her boyfriend on the phone and proceeds to reassure him she’s ok.

Drunk guy slumps down in his seat at the front…annnnd then eventually gets up and comes to sit right in front of us. Oh good God.

He proceeds to try to communicate something about being…drunk…No shit, eh? Further slurs and sad faces, leads me to want to ask if he knew what stop to get off at but I’m stopped by:

Driver: “Hey! Come back to the front and stop bothering those ladies.”

Guy… As usual..does not.

Struggle.

ANNNNND why if it isn’t my stop?

The girl decides to get off with me, thank me profusely and once I confirm she’s ok, we proceed to walk our separate ways. A glance back into the streetcar confirms that our man-du-jour is back at the front of the streetcar and there are raised voices/flailing limbs. *sigh*.

Wherever he is now, I just hope he’s sober. Seeing as it’s Wednesday morning. :S

In any case, I offer a little sympathy for the poor bugger who was clearly having a rough Monday.

The rest of my night was not as dramatic and definitely more pleasant. Rooftops, laughter and curry meals from Macs for the win!

Monday night shenanigans, I tell you!

Nomes-out.

Peace

“On The Third Day Chivalry Rose Again” or “Someone Get Me A Medic!”

by Nomes

It has recently (as well as not so recently) come to my attention that chivalry is not so much dead as has had a really long month of binging and just woke up with an array of unfortunate new tattoos on it’s rear-end and face, as well as a rainbow mohawk on its head and perhaps a toe or two missing…and a slight heroine addiction. So it’s not dead. Just a little confused and sickly and emaciated in oh so many ways…

My need to speak about this comes from a not unusual situation: Guy starts chatting you up on the subway to Brooklyn (from Manhattan). At first it’s friendly/curious/a little too smiley (*insert raised eyebrow here*) chatter about your Spider Solitaire game, then it’s chatting about being from Canada, travelling and the educational system in North America as well as the positive socio-economic and cultural repercussions of the economical crisis on certain Brooklyn neighbourhoods. Yep. That was my 11pm MTA conversation on my last night in NYC, folks. Life.

So naturally he offers me his number and the next time I’m in town I should call him up. Me: “I make no promises…” Him: “I don’t expect any.” Friendly chatter, goodbyes, followed by a hilarious walk home through a slightly-less-“affected”-by-the-economical-crisis, neighbourhoud of Brooklyn… Sidebar, I have to describe that situation:

Guy on the street corner with friends (being closely watched by a cop on the opposite street corner) “How’s it going Becky!”

Me:….

Guy: Katie!

Me:…..

Guy: Jessica! Cassandra? Savannah! Julie! Carolyn? I’m trying to guess your name, here! (said in a completely genuine manner)

Me: *bursting out laughing at his impressive attempts and gesturing for him to keep trying as I keep walking*

Guy: Linda? Sarah! Kayla! Ok. Good night Becky!!! Well… at least I made you smile!

Me: Yes you did!  *and I’m unable to stop chuckling the whole way back*

Legit lovely….Maybe you had to be there. But I digress.

So here’s where my hesitation comes to play. If I call this guy from the subway up (which at first I was like.. “No. I will not.” But after our lovely and interesting chat, I thought… Maybe! A cool guy, potential friend!) then what are the implications? If a guy buys you a drink or two. If a guy buys you dinner. If a guy offers you a piece of chocolate. If a guy gives you his number and you want to call him up to hang out the next time you’re in NYC. What is expected of emancipated women of the 21st century? I call upon you: Feminism? St-Agatha? Madonna? Lady Gaga? SOMEBODY HAVE AN ANSWER?

It has been my guilty-white-girl attitude to offer a kiss in exchange for a (very expensive) dinner even if I’m not feelin’ the love (if you will). Should it be my policy to show an ankle when a guy holds the door for me? I mean give a guy a smile on the street and he might just offer you a good ol’ stalking, complete with creepy-voiced “compliments”. So you gotta gauge it, sure, but…

My question is, whatever happened to chivalry? Those 1950s days when a boy would chase a girl around (and hopefully sing a song or two along the way) in order to woo her into letting him hold her books. When holding hands made your heart go pitter-patter and sharing a soda didn’t mean you were gonna spread your legs for him later on that evening.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good ol’ modern world and wouldn’t have loved living in the 50s… I don’t think. All I’m saying is: is it just me? Or are we expected to “give back” to the chivalrous (mohawked and hangovered) man or else suffer the wrath of being called a “cold, manipulative bitch” and add to our already besieged self-esteem/self-worth struggles and confusions. Men, why?

So where do we draw the line? Can we be emancipated women of the 21st century and still expect a gentleman to pay for dinner? Is it rude of me to think that he is rude if he doesn’t offer to pick up at least the first check. (Rules on this vary, but I do believe that if he asks you out on the date, he should probably offer to pay. Sue me!)

Ok now after that date: If you’re not sure of the vibe, I mean it was a good meal, you chatted for hours even though it felt strained at times but maybe it was because you were nervous, I mean he’s really cute…. do you kiss the guy? (asks the 14 year old girl to Cosmo Girl’s advice column…)

What about out at a bar/club… the most UNCHIVALROUS PLACE OF THEM ALL. Where Chivalry goes to die by flaying followed by drowning in a vat of pure alcohol. IS it unchivalrous of us ladies to accept a drink or several from a young “gallant”, knowing full well that though we may dance (even that is questionable) we will most definitely not makeout with you on that dirty dance floor? Is it not more unchivalrous for the young man to insist on grinding (…how ELSE are you gonna dance? RIIIIGHT?!…sigh*) because he GOT you a DRINK!

Me: Hey man. You offered the drink. Who am I, poor student/struggling actor to say no? WHO?!

Funny story: this can sometimes backfire, as my friend experienced on our most recent outing to a slightly scuzztastic (but cheap drinks!) bar for a friend’s birthday. The guy buys her a drink. He is slightly unfortunate. She accepts it nevertheless. He starts to “dance” with her. She declines. He actually takes the drink back from her hand after she had taken a sip. Her: ….

PROOF that drinks are the new currency for luck in the bedroom. The Dance Floor: Meat Market in a new and even more literal way than ever. Now who’s to blame for this unfortunate mathematical equation? The emancipated “emerging female adult” is one of the culprits, that is for certain. Gosh darn it but we crave the attention, don’t we ladies? I mean we all love to go out dancing, get some drinks bought for us, maybe flirt with a guy or two, harmless fun. Some girls hope to find the man of their dreams there. Some girls do. Most will not. In any case we are partially to blame for this. But as in love, lust and disgusting bar behaviour (DBB for short) are a two way street. Two two way streets? An intersection?

So again, I ask. Where do we draw the line? Granted the men who have been less gentlemanly in the past, have mostly been very drunk and oh so young, but was this behaviour not indoctrinated into their sober brains? Cause the idea has to come from somewhere! Let’s not kid ourselves, alcohol doesn’t make stuff up, it just loosens up the already present urges and moral beliefs. So who’s the jerk who’s spreading the news about the dance floor and other such areas? The idea that girls are only there to let loose AND WILL “DANCE” WITH ANYONE IF HE’S FORCEFUL (doesn’t take no) ENOUGH (points towards the bedroom will be attributed with any drink purchased). LET THE GAMES BEGIN! *bell tolls 11pm*

THAT BEING SAID!!! I would like to say, that some bars are worse than others and that chivalry still exists in beautiful moments such as :

The guy from Manchester who not only paid for my cab ride home but accompanied me all the way home to make sure I was fine. Not forceful AT ALL, he said goodnight (after I gave him a grateful peck) before taking that same cab all the way back to his hotel. No guilt trip. No muss. No forceful exchange of numbers. Thank you, wherever you are!

or

The guy (and his friend) at that same scuzztastic bar which was previously mentioned, who kept offering to buy drinks for me and whoever couple of friends I happened to be dancing with at the time. Strings unattached. In fact we were the ones who invited them over earlier, to buy our Birthday Girl friend a drink and insisted they stick around. Cool guys for the win!

or

The guys who offered me a ride home cause I was wearing a cool hat (there were also girls in the car or I would never have accepted. Also they were from Ottawa and quite sober) and even though they kept saying I should go to the club with them, and I adamantly refused time and time again, they were totally cool with dropping me off closer to home.  *shrug* Cool guys for the win x 2!

So there are some cool people. There are some wonderful guys out there. And to those men, I say thank you. Thank you for offering a girl a good time without the bitter after taste of a scuzzy and guilt-tripped roll in the metaphorical hay. To those other men and to the girls who encourage them… don’t. Just don’t.

Final words of wisdom: Men, here are 3 simple rules to follow whilst drunk, sober or otherwise…

1. Know how to read the signs. 2. Don’t be a creep. 3. Class will get you everywhere and crass will get you STDs. **CLASS OVER CRASS PLEASE!**

So say we all. 😉

Nomes-out

On a similar note, here’s a little tip from our favourite Jenna Marbles on how to get a guy to remove his groin from your hiney (and other unfortunate interactions you may suffer):

Parks and Recreation or Why We Need More Shrubberies

by Nomes

As a girl born and bred in mostly cities and… small cities, I have somehow always remained a country girl at heart. Perhaps it was the summers spent in rural Quebec or at my Nanny’s farm or at a friend of the family’s cottage or camping (the only way to travel on a budget with 4 kids!). Perhaps it’s that in a past life I was an otter, who can really know? In any case: Nature. I will always and forever love you. No matter how hard humankind tries to emulate your colours, your shapes and your sounds, your sights, your smells and your feel… nothing comes close to sitting on the edge of the highest cliff in Algonquin park and looking down on a vast expanse of deciduous and coniferous forests with their shades of green and earth tones, mingling on the shores of beautifully wild lakes as the sun and the wind dance their dance and make the air just… perfect…

But I digress.

Having almost always had a backyard of sorts and, as mentioned, access and opportunity to roam beautiful parks (Gatineau Hills in the Outaouais region is a good one, and just a short trip from my Ottawa home), I am at a loss when it comes to living in the downtown core of such a vastly concrete city as Toronto. In my previous post, I mentioned the lack of lawns around downtown homes. This results in a few negotiations such as patios (rooftop and other) as well as parks, for residents of these areas. It was a beautiful surprise to me to see wonderful parks such as Trinity-Bellwoods being well used. With facilities such as a kids park, tennis courts, baseball diamonds and a dog pit (…ravine-like portion of the park which usually holds a whole LOT of dogs), this is a buzzing place to be on weekends, day AND night. It occurred to me, rather quickly, that this popularity was due to a few factors, but mainly: the fact that no one had a back yard. When you just have to get out of the house, when you just want a breath of fresh air, what better than a beautiful park, not too far from home, if you’re lucky enough to have this.

Another option is the Harbourfront, the marina, Toronto Music Garden or any other portion of the waterfront not devoted to roads and condos. The Toronto Music Garden is one of my favourite little spots, for its diversity of flora and beautifully original landscaping work. It has several “spots” which were designed with a movement of music or type of musical piece typical of Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, in mind. Being a music nerd from a young age, this tickled me pink the first time I came upon it, and continues to do so every time I introduce this magical place to friends or family. It is just across from the National Ballet of Canada on Queen’s Quay West and up against a part of the marina which includes fantastic boats and a view of Lake Ontario and islands (namely the Billy Bishop Airport Island). It is a gem of landscape architecture with a little bit of wildlife preservation on the east side.

One of the “music spots” inspired by a musical movement often composed by Bach. This one is the “Courante”, with an upward swirling path, surrounded by wildflowers and leading up to a Maypole. Landscape architect: Julie Moir Messervy

A few weeks back, with my parents, aunt and a friend of my aunt’s, we discovered some interesting Waterfront parks, newly installed which had highly original concepts and architecture. One in particular, a water park near the south end of Sherbourne st was a lovely little discovery. This all gives me hope for the future and maybe we CAN build a beautiful city (if you can name that reference, you get a gold star). With all of this talk of Ontario Place closing, building a casino there and other silly ideas, I have been cringing at the thought of this city becoming more tacky than ever. Though I understand budget constraints and just the need to make money instead of losing it, I believe that there are FAR better ways than building a casino, which, as I have learned usually uglifies a landscape like no other: litter and such, have been known to define the area surrounding a casino, such as in Atlanta: known for its beaches and casinos killer combination. That being said, I do appreciate the efforts to create a beautiful waterfront in other areas, just as long as it is sustainable and eco-logic-al.

My next and final discovery of a natural wonder, is the Evergreen Brickworks/Ravines, just north of Bloor/Danforth, around the Sherbourne area. Not it is a well kept secret for us avid TTC-ers and if it wasn’t for PenRei being such a hiker, we probably would never have discovered its wonders. It’s a short walk north up Glen road, from Sherbourne subway station, to the ravines; a beautiful place, apparently never touched by the city as far as construction goes. The through the ravines a bit of a ways, down various paths and suddenly… there it is: Evergreen Brick Works, better accessible by car or bike but well worth the walk to get there.

Brick Works is the site of the old Don Valley Brick Works, brickyard, where they made.. you guessed it.. bricks. When it closed down, it was preserved for its historical and geographical value, with the quarry nearby creating an interesting bio-system in the area. In the 1990s money was raised to restore it and it opened in 1996 as a beautiful preservation maintained by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. It holds many pavilions for exhibits and visits of the old factory as well as interactive areas for children to explore nature. The Weston Family Quarry Garden is also one of the most beautiful havens, where you can forget you’re in the city and just breathe it in. PenRei, her besty Douggy Fresh and I, ventured there last Saturday where we got to enjoy a BRILLIANT Farmer’s Market, complete with organic, local and EXTRA local (tea made strictly from plants grown IN the Evergreen Brick Works!) produce as well as delicious looking meal options from all places of the globe and even our favourite local independent band: The Honeyrunners, performing throughout the morning. We then walked through the quarry garden and just took it all in.

Source : Toronto Life’s article “Wild Thing: the story behind the Brick Works”

*sigh*

This place hosts many activities, year round, but as one can expect, the majority of events are in the summer and fall months with such things as the Kilns where kids (of all ages) can experiment with clay and pottery, Bike-In movie nights as well as a Wild Blueberry Festival in August!

More to discover, as I didn’t even mention High Park and other such green hot spots, but those were my own personal highlights. Nothing makes me quite as at peace, as a good hike in nature, I recommend it to all of you! Get out there, get a little sun and stay hydrated!

Nomes-out

T.O. / Montreal sightings : Re-occuring Doorway Incidents

Nomes here.

Couldn’t help but notice I have been rather silent on this blog we call “the struggle”. I have been caught up in my final term at Musical Theatre school, struggling through final classes and first weeks of rehearsal for our final show. It is time for me to recount further tales of woe whilst walking down these city streets and then maybe recount a thrilling tale of many adventures and discoveries of said city’s greeneries and parks(which do, in fact, exist!!).

First on the docket: Nudity in doorways. A re-occuring occurance. Once in Montreal and once in Toronto.

First, “L’incident pré-Ste-Catherine”: a life experience.

Whilst walking with my oldest sister in the streets of Montréal, in a story we quickly started to recount as the Pre-Ste-Catherine Incident. Ste-Catherine (for those who really don’t know Montréal) is a main street (maybe even the main street) in downtown Montréal and at the time we were just about to reach it.

As you may know if you live in a big city, a lot of houses on smaller residential downtown streets are right on the sidewalk. There is simply little to no lawn in cities. A sad reality. So down the small sidewalks we walk and converse, probably about the latest Lord of the Rings movie or youtube video we shared (I forget what year it was but that sounds about right) and we see, up ahead, one of the houses’ front door wide open. Not unusual but what WAS unusual was as we walked by ,there, in the front hallway, naked as the day he was born except for a towel covering his face and head as he dried it (I assume after a shower), was a fully grown homo sapien male. He was walking from what I assume was a room a little further down the front (small) hallway, into what I assume was the front room of the house. Nothing left to be desired and really no way of not getting a front row seat to that one. Again, sidewalk=against house, hallway=small and door=open.

Well my sister and I had been walking in amiable silence and managed to maintain it at the moment of the “incident”. But, both of us having turned our heads in sync we then turned them back to face ahead equally in time and exactly 7 steps past the house we both burst out laughing. It took exactly that much time for it to sink it. We then proceeded to share our thoughts about the absurdity of what had just happened and affectionately name it “L’incident pré-Ste-Catherine”.

You’d think this was a once in a lifetime thing. One of those crazy things of being in the right (or wrong..depending) place at the right (wrong?) time. Well, folks, never underestimate the power of ridiculous happenstance and…the city.

So I’m walking home one day, from school. Once again I was on one of the residential downtown streets at a part where the houses are cramped on the sidewalk but more specifically I was just passing an abandoned storefront/storage space. As is my habit, I look into windows when they are near me and the door to this place had a large window in it and what was there, behind the windowed door? But a fully naked man except for the fishnet stockings he was sporting, crouching, right at the door, and just about to get up. He was looking down (I think!) so I assume he was picking something..up…? But what, I wonder, leads a fully naked (except for the fishnets) man to go to the windowed door and …pick something up? QUESTION MARK!

Well needless to say I quickly looked away in confusion and kept walking home. Should I have gone back and asked if he was part of a Doorway Nudist Society? Asked for a pamphlet on the subject?….To this day I regret not doing so, but what can you do?

That’s all for now, next time, you will hear more on the (more) serious business of parks and nature in these concrete jungles most of us call home. Stay tuned, and stay hydrated!

HAPPY BELATED CANADA DAY AND PRIDE! 🙂

Nomes-out

FESTIVE!

All My Wires or A Tale of Transportation and Low Blood Pressure.

by Nomes

Can I just take a moment to say how much I love PenRei? Thanks: PenRei, I love you. For so many reasons which would take up a whole novel but the most recent one being the bunny pictures related to hair donation…and the hair donation itself of course.

And now for something completely different: my trip to the hospital in an ambulance.

That’s right, folks, Strugglebot Nomes has done it again! Taking the art of struggling to a whole new level!

It all started this morning, or should I say last night, or should I say Monday… Well really it started when I was born with this curse: doomed to struggle forever. But fast forward to this morning I guess, when I wake up after not quite enough sleep. The cause of which was last night’s soirée with friends (let me specify that I am in O-town currently, having returned to the family homestead for a 3 week break from school). Needless to say there was wine. Ok so I had a few glasses of wine. What of it? There was water involved and food being consumed, so all in all a very tame and responsible night of merriment. Got home around 12:30am, my bad there, but I’m pretty sure that this is acceptable and I’m still a healthy girl in her 20s who doesn’t need to worry about sleeping 9 hours every night or else she FAINTS.

So…yeah. I fainted. On my way to work, this morning, the bus was relatively full, and I was standing/cramming myself between bars and the wheel box (that elevated platform at the front of the bus under which the front right wheel resides). Also I was reading a book (Feast of Crows, 4th in the DELICIOUS Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin… I’m sure PenRei will have a review for you once she’s done reading them too. What… you expect me to do book reviews? No that’s the organized half of this team’s specialty:) ) . In any case it occured to me as we approached downtown that I was not feeling a hundred percent, quite nauseous in fact. My headache, which I attributed to dehydration/lack of sleep, started to make its way into my stomach. I felt a pain in my chest which seemed to be anxiety (which I’ve never experienced quite so physically before) and a wave of claustrophobia hit me (also for the first time ever). I tried to smile: using reverse muscle memory to calm myself… Nope! I flashed back to the time when I threw up in the bus a few years back and realized I should probably get off before that happened…but the bus was packed…and I didn’t want to be late for work. “Tough it out, Nomes, just breathe. Put the book down (my sister gets motion sickness in the car, especially if she’s reading), and face the front of the bus. You’ll be fine once you get off. Oh look at that girl, she looks familiar. Breathe. Just bre…..”

Next thing I know, I hear a man say “Oh my god… oh my god.” I open my eyes and my face is pressed against the wheel box, my glasses have left my face and I’m..well.. on the ground. Everyone is looking down at me and the bus driver is asking if I’m okay. We get to the next stop and I get off to just get some air. The man who was saying “Oh my god” follows me and asks if I’m feeling okay. I answer I’m not sure and sit at the bus stop. Well he ended up waiting with me, that gentleman and a scholar. The bus driver did too. He stopped the bus and everyone had to get out and grab the next one, because he wasn’t going anywhere. He got OcTranspo emergency people to come and they in turn called the paramedics. The kindness of all these people just cannot be measured. People are frickin’ fantastic. My sincerest apologies to everyone on that bus that had to wait while the driver assessed the situation, only to get bumped to the next crowded vehicle. All 900 of you. No wait… *blink* 47 of you.

I got into the ambulance, feeling a little better, and they start wiring me up. First it’s the blood pressure (mine was low). Then it’s that finger clamp thingie. Then they checked my heart with half a dozen electrodes on my legs, arms and chest. My dad was luckily headed to the hospital to accompany one of the men he works with to an appointment (my parents are saints, that’s all), so I got the ambulance guys to go to that same hospital. More fantastic people, I tell you. Just lovely.

I admit I used this experience to my advantage and took mental notes for future roles I might play in a hospital setting. Win. So I got to lie on the stretcher as they drove me the hospital and even had some oxygen pumped through my nose. The whole nine yards, man! I felt bad again for making them wait with me as we tried to get a nurse to pay attention to us, once we were at the hospital. I offered to sing to get their attention. Was denied.

Got in to see the nurse and she got me to don the hospital gown of shame. She hooked me to the heart monitor and another nurse stuck a needle in me to take blood samples and left it in, in case they needed to IV me up, and then left in a puff of helpful, caring yet busy nurse-ness.

So I sat. And waited. I needed to get in touch with my dad…and felt like this would be a good time to start learning a monologue for next term, but unfortunately I could not get to my purse as I was stuck in an array colourful wires (which looked a lot like the wires they have in bombs, in movies. Upon seeing them I joked to the nurse: “Oh no.. which one do I cut?!” She was silent. Then she may have chuckled, but it could have been a cough. Awkward.)

So I sat, a long time, contemplating the other patients around. One woman was tied to her bed as she kept thrashing, semi aggressively, and seemed constantly uncomfortable, poor lady. One woman was just sitting in silence in the dark with what could only be considered as a red sleeping bonnet, on. Then there were all the nurses and doctors puttering in and about the central work station. I started playing around with my finger clamp thingie. It looked like a duck from one angle, a donkey from another and an alien from yet another. I should have taken a picture of that, cause now I just sound crazy. In any case, I stored that fun fact in the ol’ attic to use in case I ever need to entertain a kid, were I to, one day, know a child who has to stay in the hospital. Win.

So I finally got a little too bored and decided to try to make something happen; while the doctors and nurses weren’t looking, I grabbed the table next to me, wincing at the pain from the needle stuck in my arm, and tried to manoeuvre it to roll over to my purse and perhaps grab it and drag it back to me. Well, I felt stupid after 10 seconds of that doomed-to-fail attempt, so I put the table back and just asked the next nurse who didn’t look too busy to grab the book my play was in, from my purse. Nice person number 192 today!  When the original nurse came back around she announced that there was an emergency trauma which was keeping the doctor from me. Aaaaand I felt bad again with my silly fainting and low blood pressure, while somewhere else, someone was actually bleeding… Man the hospital is an interesting place.

Skip to doctor coming in, asking me questions, getting me to squeeze his fingers and breathe deeply into his stethoscope, and tell me that I just had a classic “fainting spell” from dilated blood vessels which caused all of my blood to fall into my legs. He recommended I lie down for the rest of the day and drink lots of fluids to restore blood flow and that’s when Super-Daddy arrived to take me home. He knows all about this kind of stuff so spoke to everyone and got all the info and voilà! I am home now. Not before worrying all of my sisters of course, and my mother and a couple of close friends who I informed of my unfortunate yet kind of hilarious situation. Made more hilarious by something they wrote on my chart. Apparently I had suffered from a Syncope/Pre-syncope. In French, “une syncope”, is a medical term as well as a word used in hilarious expressions similar to  “Don’t have a conniption!” or in the famous words of Bart Simpson: “Don’t have a cow, man!”. “Fais pas une syncope!” we would say, and laugh our happy little French heads off. (OOOhhh accidental French Revolution pun. Good for me!) I can finally see “J’ai fait une syncope!”….and mean it.

My final words as I finish this post, will be the same as the last words I said as I left the Emergency Ward with papa: “Oh. How embarassing…”

Nomes-out

Thrifty times and theft talk

by Nomes

So today is a day off, one of many this week, wherein I fill my days with auditions, friends, basking in the precocious sun and trying to ignore that nagging fear that the world will end in mere centuries with this weather situation as it is. 27 degrees in March? Beach days and rooftop patios in March? Straw hats in March? Sweating in a cardigan in March? Scary.

That being said I decided to go shopping thriftily for required apparatus (such as work clothes… let me tell you, finding a black vest is a preposterous thing). One thing I have needed ever since my previous two pairs suffered degradation followed by destruction, due to my shoving them in my overstuffed backpack and landmine ridden purse: a new pair of sunglasses. Today was the day for them… so off to Winners I go. I could write a song about how much I love Winners but let’s not get too creative.

So I get there and find the sunglasses racks of discounted wonders for me to rummage through. A few pairs in, I realize they are cheaper than I expected (!) but that this would prove to be the hardest decision I make today (…first world on holiday, problems). So I spend what seems like several hours (but was probably more like 5-10 minutes) sifting through many pairs until I find the perfect one… and it’s 100$. Wait. What? But the other ones were around 13-17 dollars! Where did YOU come from? CURSE YOUR BEAUTY! And on and on it went until my silly undecisive mind settled on a lovely pair: cheap and by a favourite designer of mine. Perfect. I proceed to the cash, get some healthy alternative snacks for that evening’s cast party festivities, and have a nice chat with the cashier about the affordability of these glasses and how I’m an idiot and can’t insert my credit card chip properly (struggle!!!!).

As I am exiting, the sensors go off, but I’m pretty sure they went off a few seconds before I walked by them and it was just as a group of ladies walked in so..anyway, ignore. Besides, I ain’t got no sensors on my lentil chips, cheese grater and sunglasses! And those sensors go off at anything: no one even checks anymore; I’ve given up a while ago, running back to the cash to make sure it wasn’t me.

So down to the grocery store for some vegetables, I go. Here’s where I start texting my friend as I walk through the aisles, trying to be aware of a. my conversation. b. sweet produce sales and c. other shoppers. So I grab a cheap cucumber and pause there to finish my convo, with cucumber under arm, sunglasses in hand (so as not to have them be CRUSHED in my purse, like its predecessor) and texting underway….

Out of the corner of my eye I see a woman approaching. Thinking she wants to get at the dates right beside me, I look up only to see her look straight at me and have this conversation with me:

Lady (looking pleasant if wary): “You know you’re gonna get caught one day.”

*My inner confused thoughts: Uuuuh, like being in the way while texting? …. does she mean that cucumber I’m holding?..what the….. Oh my sunglasses?*

Me out loud: “Umm, these? I paid for these. I just didn’t want to put them in my purse so they don’t break.”

Lady: “I saw when the beeper went off.”

Me: “No I definitely paid for these… I have the receipt in my purse if you want proof.”

Lady (still very much disbelieving): “Oh I don’t need proof. It’s not my store. “

Me (as the lady starts to walk away): “Ok. I didn’t steal these… I’m not that stupid.”

Lady: *unconvinced and disapproving look whilst walking away*

Me: “……………………………………………………….”

This is my life.

And after that I felt, of all things, GUILTY! Like somehow I had done something wrong!!! What!?!?! Holy jeebus.

Looked around the store a bit, distracted as heck and kind of half looking for her so I could give her a piece of my mind. But then I decided that I don’t want to give her more of my time…. which ironically is what I’m doing now by writing this down…. hah!

Got to the cashier at the grocery store and I just had to tell her what had happened; to relieve my guilt, I guess. In any case, I feel better now.

Strugglebot Nomes-out.

Image

Photo Printing, Penny Plain, a Popcorn Popper and Problems…

By Nomes

This is the tale that proves that the only sure thing about luck is that it will change.

Oh it’s not that depressing, don’t worry; just a little frustrating. The tale of how I (still haven’t) got my headshots printed aka First world problems v. 2.0.

It all starts with an email reminder that we are to have our resumes and headshots ready to send in to agencies by Thursday: in time for the agents to come see our upcoming play. It had been sent earlier but I had missed it and was a little concerned at the fast approaching deadline. The tale continues with my lack of budget for said headshot printing, and with tales told by friends of how a certain drug mart has self-serve printing facilities of the frugal variety. How charming! Apart for the green-ish hue I had noticed, in the headshots which were produced at these printing stations, I was utterly convinced.

So off I go, earlier today, to the nearest location of this aforementioned drug mart. Get there: the printing machines are out of service. So out I go to try the several other locations which are on my way home. As I am walking to the next location I pass a photo printing place, but I assume it would be too expensive and so: walk on. Remember this place, it will be important later.

The second location of the drug mart chain, did not have the printing facility. The helpful employee mentioned other locations (including the one I had just been to) and showed a promising (or at least gamble-worthy) uncertainty as to whether or not the next one on my way had the facility. Off I went. I arrive to this two-levelled real-estate and manage to find the machine easily enough. I then make it work rather promptly (with a few glitches due to lack of use, I presume; I mean it was almost cobwebby), then there came the time to print off a copy (just one copy for now: gotta make sure it’s not too green…), and apparently I required an employee’s password to continue… Well SO MUCH for self-serve! I mean, really… So, after  much running around to find any available person, one was called up to me and he huffed and puffed his way to my rescue. Of course I had the whole machine set in French and so the poor man was slightly confused, on top of being a little winded and, it seemed, rather pressed for time. Well, not one to take up too much of a man’s time…. I asked him to wait a while, as the one picture printed and as I made another order, this time for bunch of them. He graciously waited while I hustled the hamster which (I presume) hibernates in the machine. Finally done, and about as uncomfortably warm as this guy (winter apparel and fierce walking about town finally taking its toll on my body temperature), he enters the magical secret password for what I assumed was the last time and leaves in a puff of helpful yet sweaty customer service. I wait for the pics to print and a couple of them come out only to fall to the winter-salt stained ground, face down. Struggle. After just one more comes out, a message appears on the screen: “An error in printing has occured, contact a bloody employee you sucker!” I hung my head in despair… and proceeded to look for someone through what appeared to be aisles upon aisles of everyone BUT customer service employees (there were Beauticians and Pharmacists and even Canada Post workers but no one with the CODE). Eventually I get a guy. He struggles too, with the machine, even WITH the bloody magical password! Then another lady appears out of nowhere (where were you when I was looking for available employees, oh roaming one?) and amongst other recommendations, she suggests he try the magic password (which she yells at him from where she was) so… two things: now I know the password and it’s obviously useless. Great.

The printer eventually tells them to go screw themselves (i.e.: “Start over”.) and the entire thing goes back to the original screen with no proof that there ever were 12 more headshots to print (and an increasingly sweaty actor-in-training awaiting them in vain, next to the batteries and discount dvd bin).

They decided to call the master (they had a name for her, it was grandiose, something akin to Master of the Floor but I forget. Master it is!), she arrives, this little lady, and proceeds to tap on the screen furiously. She eventually just open ‘er up to see what’s going on in there and whaddaya know: a hamster crawls out, coughing up a cloud of dust! …No of course not, instead she realizes it’s out of ink and paper. REALLY? The machine couldn’t have TOLD you that? Poor other employees, frantically trying to figure it out by re-entering the password. Come on! We’re not mind readers, Technology, we assume you can communicate with us better than our significant other! Why you gotta be so difficult? So I wait some more and she struggle some more to change the stuff and 20 minutes later it…still won’t print off the rest. Meanwhile I’ve been texting people about the affair and eventually choose to say “Adios!” to pursue my adventure elsewhere. For what did my friend Lith say, but that she had gotten her headshots printed at that place I had crossed between location 1 and 2, and it had cost her a good deal less than what this was about to cost me. ……AND I’M OFF!!!! …Not before another little struggle at the cash register, however. Apparently choosing to be honest about how many and what size prints I had gotten, made things difficult for me. Umm. Karma? Where aaaarrrre you?

Home I go, to try to format my resume and even attempt to order prints online, from this same store (what a CONVENIENT service!). So I’m looking everywhere for this online uploading-to-print thing, find it eventually, struggle through and … umm… it’s appears to be rather very expensive. I consult Lith who tells me of this deal that was going on, possibly only in the store, so I call the store. He says to just mention the deal in a little memo area in the web order (umm…sketchy but I like it!) BUT that it’s only if you’re printing the same photo, oh say, 40 times. Well.. I kind of wanted to print 6 different ones…so…deal’s off? Him: yeah. Me: Oh. Well alright…

So I’m gonna go in tomorrow, bright and early to try to get some stuff happening for me, maybe a discount, who knows? In the meantime, printing struggles aside, I get ready to leave for (what turned out to be) a completely riveting and magical performance of Penny Plain by Ronnie Burkett at Factory Theatre. So I’m rushing and running and I grab my coat and… my popcorn maker comes to a shattering end on my floor. Who knew popcorn makers shattered? Apparently there’s glass inside! So much glass… and well.. what was I to do? I left it there! Cause I didn’t want to be late for the show.

I wasn’t late. The show was amazing. My classmates and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am sure we will spend a good amount of time discussing it and dissecting it tomorrow. It’s that kind of show. The kind of show that you feel should be relevent to the events of your day, week, life. As it happens it had little to do with my day but it definitely hit close to home on many of its topics regarding our dwindling resources, nature’s constant evolution, our inevitable economical downfall and the crutches which most of the first world branch of our species depend so much upon, like banks and running water and sight…

I came home to a shattered popcorn maker on my kitchen-area floor and even then I didn’t make the connection to the play. I guess that’s because it didn’t need to be made; it was already there…

here’s a little treat, a more recent obsession of mine, a song you might recognize for the cover performed with 5 performers and 1 guitar? You might have heard of it…

Here’s Gotye’s (feat Kimbra) “Somebody That I Used To Know” 🙂 So much raw awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UVNT4wvIGY