Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A day off!

Woot. What is nicer than waking up in the morning and remembering it's Your Day Off.


Started off the day nice n easy, with coffee on the couch with the cat. :)
Did some gardening....did some cleaning....the Best Electrician in the world came by to fix the bathroom fan, and we chatted fer a bit....and I made my List of Things to Do Today...which got me all excited cuz I'm gonna make my Tomater Sauce tomoro!
I love to cook and to bake. I love to eat, so that seems to work out well.

I haven't been able to make anything other than short batches of sauce for a coupla years; so I'm looking forward to making this batch.

I had to do some recording this afternoon; a spot for a Scenic Train Ride ...www.Pstr.on.ca if you wanna check out the train..... and on the way home (amidst various other errands) I stopped at a fantastic local market that features locally grown /produced everything. I'm really a fan of supporting local based stuff, the Slow Food movement thing - it's important.

Whilst at Briwood; I ended up picking out more than a few things.....as inspiration struck. I love grocery shopping.

It makes me feel safe and okay, when I can go shopping and buy whatever I want without worrying about the cost....I know I'm doing okay. I loved shopping as a child, sittin' in the cart, in the clean aisles and watching Mom pick out the brightly coloured boxes and packages, and the whole process was magical to me. NO idea why, it was just perfect for me. So now I still love to shop for food. I can spend hours in a big ol' grocery store, just moseying around the aisles lookin' at stuff, thinking about what to cook. (And yes. I am made fun of to no end by my friends for this.)

 So...tonite was a kitchen fiesta. The cats hid and my Mom only ventured out a few times to make disapproving sniffs and noises about how many dishes I was using. (I keep my mess controlled; and I clean up my messes. But I guess to our parents we are perennially 13 years old when in the kitchen.) I also made her favourite, broccoli and cheddar quiche. Except I don't use a crust, so it's more like a frittata, but she calls it Egg Pie so I go with that. I also snuck in some sundried tomatoes that I soaked in some water & sherry and used the liquor from that too in the pie. Yum. Next!

So I have this awesome cookbook; called "White Trash Gatherings" and it's got down-home country-cookin' recipes that I absolutely adore. It's old timey cooking and don't you DARE use low fat anything or margarine when using these recipes!! It was a gift to me ages ago - found in a artist's enclave shop thing off the interstate in West Virginia.
Tonite I made the biscuits, the coleslaw and tomoro...the FRIED CHICKEN!!! The stories in this book are hysterical, too. We've all got relatives like that.....

And while out gatherin' all my stuffs today, when at the Bulk Barn gettin' extra spices ( I didn't have any dry mustard or celery seed, gasp) I was SHOCKED and APPALLED that they were SOLD OUT of caramel corn. WHAT?!?!? That's my go to of guilty snack food pleasures.....

So I decided to make my own! Here's the recipe I used:  Caramel Corn recipe and it is okay. Very few ingredients, easy, but I like a lighter tasting caramel so maybe next time I might use some white sugar....hmmm.... but still, very tasty. It's pretty yummy when still warm, in fact, I may or may not be stuffing my face as I type right now....

So let's see:

Chicken pieces for tomoro marinating in buttermilk - Check.
Coleslaw 'coming together' overnight in fridge - Check.
"Egg Pie" (what my mom calls quiche) made & ready to eat - Check
Corn muffins made - Check
Biscuits made - Check
Caramel Corn - Check
Peppers, Onions, Garlic, sliced and diced and ready for saucing tomoro - Check

I still have to bring in some more tomaters from the garden; and pull some of my onions and pick the basil.
I'll keep everyone posted and see how this turns out!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

From The Past, Mon Dec 8, 2008

Santa Is A Scary Dude
Current mood:  warm

So yeah, as an actor I do all sorts of weird & wacky & wonderful gigs.

The last coupla Saturdays, I've been Elfina, one of Santa's little helpers.

And, as I've watched and witnessed many little wide eyed children meeting Santa for The First Time... I've realized, that Santa is Scary.

Seeing Santa is sort of an unspoken rite of passage for kids.
Goin' up there, letting go of mom or dad, and sitting on his knee is a Big Deal.
Showing the world that you're independent and okay with seeing the allmighty Santa, hanging out with the Dude himself, hey, that's a big step.

It always makes me laugh though> Me an' the other elf have started doin' a Countdown to Terror .... Watching the kids stand calmly in line with their parents, some of them fairly dancing with excitement to see Santa. Eyes bright and shining, they are SO EXCITED!!!!!

But then, something happens. The reality of what they are about to do, the enormity (I mean,this guys' huge. He knows if you've been bad or good, man. He knows when you threw your neighbours neatly stacked woodpile all over the yard!! HE knows!)

You can countdown the steps to Terror.....9,8,7 closer to Santa, starting to hide behind their parent's hand....6,5,4 getting an expression of worry....3,2, starting to cry and desperately yanking their parent back.... and ONE!!!!

Full blown crying and freaking out!! It's awesome. And terrifying. They flip and flop like a fish outta water and sometimes they almost get dropped. The parent laughs and scoops them up and Santa laughs in a Ho-Ho-Ho It's okay kinda way.

So yeah. Santa is a scary dude.

He is!!
A big, hairy, fat guy in a brilliant red suit that your Mom or Dad FORCES you to sit on! AND he's a STRANGER!!!

Think about it! What adult do you know that would do the same thing??

It's traumatic. Go ahead. Cast your mind back, if you haven't blocked it out of your memory already....
 All done up, hair brushed, good dress (or suit) on. It's after supper and you are sleepy and full. Standing in line with your parent, holding their hand, hot and itchy cuz the mall is too hot and your best outfit is made of 100%, pure grade spoky polyester.

('Spoky', for those of you that don't know, is the word for Scratchy and Poky and applies well to polyester jumpsuits from the 70's).

So there you are. Standing on Santa's doorstep. It's complete with a gingerbread roof and and red velvet stantions. And you're all excited..... you've written out your list, you've got it all planned in your head what you'll say....and then, the kid in front of you goes up...and you're.....next.

Oh god. It strikes fear in even the most jaded of 6 year olds. Suddenly, it's just you and the fat man. You can see where the beard doesn't quite reach under his nose. And suddenly, it strikes you. This isn't the real Santa. It can't be. How could somebody as colossally busy as Santa HAS to be this time of year be sitting in that chair at the mall ALL DAY?? Whoa. It dawns on you...this ... this isn't SANTA....it's a stranger.

Suddenly you're cold. Your palms sweat. Your knees won't unlock and butterflies are doing ballet in your tummy. You turn back, to hide behind your parent but they're over by the Elf checking out the picture packages available. You look desperately but they're not looking at you. You nervously look around for escape routes; but the only one is behind the Not-Santa and you gotta get by him first.

Oh no, oh no oh nonono. The kid is obviously winding up his list, Not-Santa's reaching down to hand the kid a candycane, the dismissal of choice for all Mall Santas...... Oh please you silently beg. Please let him be selfish and list more stuff he wants! Let him remember to ask for his brothers and sisters please please.....but no. The moment has come.

It's your turn.

One foot in front of the other. Half way up to the chair; you freeze. It's as if the world is silent except for the refrain 'he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake.....'  echoing through your head.
HE KNOWS. This GUY KNOWS WHERE I SLEEP???  Wait... wait... no. This guy isn't reallllly Santa. He can't possibly know.

So you keep walking. Up those three endless stairs. He leans down towards you, and two big white gloves reach down to pick you up.

After that it's a blur of mumbled half-replies and sliding in the limpy way off his knee and skedaddliing out the back way. Safe with your hand in Mom's....you head with her to the Sears to get your dad his annual Christmas slippers. You glance over your shoulder, back to Not-Santa's Castle.

Suddenly, you notice you are clenching a slightly-crushed candycane in your hand.

'Bastard.' You think.

From The Past, Tues, Apr. 22, 2008 WARNING SAD!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 

Oh my beautiful Fredfred
Current mood:  listless 

I remember the first time I ever saw you.
I was 19 and home for Thanksgiving with two of my friends; we'd gone to the local mall to bum around and just kill time. The last stop we made was to the old Elgin Pet store; almost an afterthought of a store with a stack of cages at the back.

You were so little and so ugly! I remember looking at the cages; all of them were empty, except for you. I looked up, and you mewed. A tiny, teeny mew. I reached up and you stuck out your teeny tiny pink paw. And I was in love! For twelve whole dollars, you were mine. Little pink nose and little pink paws.

You came home with me; so tiny. So fragile. And with the biggest eyes and ears I've ever seen! Your head was small and your body fit into my hand. Those beautiful green-gold eyes looked trustingly up into mine, as you sunk those tiny teeth into my palm.

I brought you back to my parent's house and we all sat down for dinner. You were placed in a cardboard box, given some water and some turkey, which you ate as fast as you could. Halfway thru dinner; a teeny tiny MEW started to get louder and louder; I checked on you and you were distraught! Pacing and looking for something... but what? You had water, and food.....as you squinched up your little face and lifted your tail...OH Right. A litter box. That's what you needed. Oops!

I brought you back to my apartment; on the third floor of a walkup. My bedroom faced east; so in the mornings you'd be lying in a puddle of sunniness on the floor. Your other favourite game was to walk nimbly over the candles we had lined up on the bay window's sill.

When we were so broke in college; my apartment was the hangout place; and we'd often play for hours with you and a flashlight....you'd chase the light on the floor. It made us laugh so hard when you'd chase it in a tight circle and get dizzy; your little head still going around and around....

When we moved into a house; you were so happy. It was big; and miles and miles of places for you to run and hide. You especially liked the shelves in the basement; I'd find you up there messin' around. You liked to be under the Christmas tree; as if to say; "Aren't I all the gift you need?" And then that year I found out WHY you can't put tinsel on a tree when you have a cat. Laugh.

You got out there once, too... I was beside myself with worry. And of course; I found you; scared to death under the roses in the back yard. You weren't happy about being shut outside either. And let me know it by biting me. Hard.

You would like to be petted on your head, your ears, under your chin...but NOT your tail. Oh no. And you'd let me know when enough was enough; by biting. You also liked to chew; especially on the webbing between my thumb & forefinger...still not sure why!!!

When I went away for extended times; you'd go hang out at my Mom's. On the way; you'd cry so piteously from your carrier that I'd let you out; and you'd perch happily on my knee, paws up on the windowsill, trying to watch the truck tires go by. It made me laugh.

Before I went; my Mom told me that she would in no way go out of her way for you. That you'd be there, and fed, but that was about it.
I came back a few months later; and noticed that there was a chair at every window. And every window had a cushion on it. And that there was a really nice bed by the heat vent; with a buncha toys scattered around it. I went out to the kitchen and that's when I heard the teatimer ding. My mom rushed over to the back porch to let you in. She'd leave you out there to watch the birds; and let you come back in after 20 mins or so. Yeah. So not going out of her way for you. Laugh.
You'd wait all day at the window for me; and when I'd pull in the driveway, your little head would disappear. I'd get in and you'd be there, waiting for some lovin'. I'd pet her and sing the rollin' song...snifferdo is rollin' on the floor...

You especially liked mashed potatoes, bagels, olives (but just licking the salt off) and your very favourite....Chocolate donuts. One time we had a dozen donuts in the package on the table. In the morning; something had chewed thru the side, and dragged out the chocolate donut.....dragged it off the table (which you were NOT allowed on) and over to her dish....hmm.... So it was always your treat when I'd get a coffee I'd also get a chocolate Timbit for you. (That's a donut hole for you Tim Hortons' deprived folks south of the border.)

As you got older; you liked sitting in the sun more, runnin' around less. You liked to play string; and you liked the little furry mice that always ended up under the oven.

The last few years; you've liked to stay mostly in the bathroom. There's a nice heat vent there that I moved your bed in front of, with your food & water dishes close by.
You didn't venture far, until this Sunday when I returned home. You came out and were sleeping on the couch, came up the stairs a few times, and were definately acting out of the ordinary.

Then yesterday morning, you couldn't get out of your bed, but were okay enough to move around by the afternoon. I told you that if it was time, to let me know and I'd help.

Today, your hind legs stopped working. Your eyes weren't focussing, and you...
Ah my darling TennisBallHead....my Foofur....my darling beautiful girl. Snifferdo...Furball.... Little Pink Paws..... I always knew this day would come.

We went outside and sat in the sun for a bit. I stroked you, and we sat quietly.

I always told you I'd take care of you and be there.
Today I had to make good on that promise. But it doesn't make it easier. The hurt and ache will go away I know.
 But for now;  it just hurts.

The vet asked if I had anymore questions after he'd quietly said, "she's gone."
I just wanted to know if there really is a cat heaven.

From The Past, Tues, May 8, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 

Whee. Home again 

I've just returned from a 10 day tour doin' a Circus show across the Canadian West.

For those of you that know me, you'll know my love of taking signs (as in, store signs, etc) literally.
 Until now, my all time favourite signs were:

 London, On - "Childrens' Photography The Spay & Neuter Clinic"
(Two signs that shoulda had a space in between them)

and Hammond, LA - The PMS Day Spa (Pamper Me Silly Day Spa) & don't forget: The HandJob Car Wash. (They wash your car by hand I hope!)

BUT NOW...added to infamy...from WINNIPEG, MB

The "We specialize in Long Crack Repair" Glass Shoppe


The Manitoba Joint Council

I laughed til I cried over the Crack repair one. I know. I'm  a dork.

From The Past, Sun, Dec 30, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007 

Of Course. Scrooge is a Duck.
Current mood:  accomplished 

Wow. I can't beleive that 2007 is over already! 

I had a great Christmas; had my Mom & one of my brothers come to visit. It was a bit hectic, but worth every moment. I love Christmas. I love everything about it; the happiness, friends & family, the food, the feelings, giving gifts, and yes the Sparkliness of Christmas just makes me happy.

So every year for the past bit I've done the Christmas Panto at Casa Loma here in Toronto. See pics of the castle at:. www.casaloma.org . This year we're doing "A Christmas Carol" in a very different way...lol.
Just before Christmas we had City TV (local TV station) in to do their Breakfast TV segment. It was really fun; albeit REALLY early. 

During the segment; the host was talking to the kids, asking them about the show, if they liked it, etc. She asked one little fella, no more than 6, if he knew who Scrooge was. 

He thought for a moment and then answered "He's a duck."

We all laughed our heads off. He just looked confused.

This year has been a fantastic one; personally & professionally it was mostly up. A few downs; but nothing that cannot be surmounted. Everything happens for a reason; even if you can't see it at the time.
Plans for the New Year? Sure...let's see...
Um. 1. Conquer the world. 2. Stop biting my nails. 3. Record solo album
4. See more of the World. 5> Then see number 1.
 Thanks to everyone that was a part of my year and made it what it was.
I wish all of you the best for 2008. May you all be safe, warm and with those that you love. May the sun rise to meet you, and the wind be always at your back.

From the Past, Wed, Dec 20, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006  

Kids say the darndest things
So I'm doing this kids' Panto this year at Casa Loma here in Toronto this Christmas. It's Peter Pan and it's a lot of fun.
It's heavy duty; with costume changes, music and a really neat set. 5 shows a day, with around 600 kids a day. It's also very interactive, with call and answer, booing and yaying. Aimed at 3-10 year olds; there's also a lot of stuff in it for the parents as well.

The show begins with The Storyteller reading from a book:
"Our story, Peter Pan... begins... in London, in a bedroom, in a house just like this one."

Well, yesterday, a little voice out of the darkness yelled out:
.............................."No it doesn't! Peter Pan begins with a P!"