Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This might be repetitive if you have access to the Classrunner page...

Tonight was a rehearsal night (I still want to write reHAIRsal) for Sweeney Todd. I'm still feeling a disconnect- we don't all get together often (yet?) and I still don't know every one's names... and there's even three or four people I haven't spoken to yet. crazy.
I'm trying to make sure that I get to know some of the people who weren't in last year's show. But- I'm not good with that sort of thing.

um, thank you for putting up with my awkwardness.

Things feel like they are moving REALLY fast though. (and I don't mean the speed of the numbers... HOLY! those songs have lot of words... and too few bars to put them in!) We were blocked for a big chunk of the first act tonight... it feels weird not to be on the stage all the time (like with Hair) but I guess this is the new normal.

make sure you save some time to see the show! last week of Feb, first week of March (it only seems like it's far away now)


dear slightly odd person.
I'm not sure if you're shy, or a serial killer. Please advise me as how to proceed.
thank you,
the bird blinder.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I'm still sitting and trying to recover from this weekend... which, I might add... was a mighty fine weekend. One great experience after another.
have I mentioned the term "best year ever" enough yet?

I was a lucky chosen delegate to OCFF in Ottawa this weekend. Now, it's definitely one of those "you're never gonna get it till you go there" type things- but just try to take my word when I say it was AWESOME.

OCFF is a conference of sorts- held to bring together the people who make folk festivals happen- for networking and information sharing (and a whole lot more). It's also the place you want to go if you're a musician who wants to be heard... and maybe hired.. by all those festival type people. There are panel discussions (I was a panelist!), board level stuff, training things, musician development, festival development, a gala dinner, awards, interviews... and showcases.

oh my... there are showcases.

I think if it wasn't for the generosity of JessPugs letting me stay at her house the first night- I might not have ever left the building on the weekend.

Showcases operate on two levels at OCFF- there are the sponsored ones- they run during the day and into the late evening... (think: awesome 25 minute concerts running all day long back to back) then... just before midnight.... the guerrilla showcases start... several floors in the hotel dedicated to showcase rooms... (think: hotel room with beds pushed around for seating for 20 people) each room hosting several musicians each night... till 4am.

did I mention there were about 900 people at this? most of them musicians?

there were so many "highlights" that I don't even know where to start.... every time I turned around I was excited to see someone I hadn't seen in awhile, or who's music I've been listening to on the radio this year... I tried my very best to sit in on showcases of people I'd never heard before (or at least who I hadn't heard live before) and found quite a few new (to me) musicians that I'm going to purchase music from.

ok, mini highlight list (big highlights in small form)

-played bartender for a few hours in the Ukulele Speakeasy Showcase
(super awesome... James Hill showed up) (I wasn't the barkeep at that point, but VERY VERY cool to have him there)
-got to sing WITH some musicians I look up to (ok, unsolicited singing... along with them during showcases)
-heard 24 hours of GOOD if not awesome music ... live in one weekend.
-sat in on 4 shows that received standing ovations
-cried from the beauty of music
-saw old friends I didn't expect to see
-rented an awesome car to drive to Ottawa in (with a working radio that happened to pick up a station relaying a radio program featuring an hour of Jake Shimabukuro)
-ate breakfast with Sharon Lois and Bram
-got to have dinner with one half of my favourite song writing duo
-sat with the other half of my favourite song writing duo at a showcase
-sat literally at the feet of James Hill and Anne while they played

yup, all in all... great weekend.

public service announcement.

a small thing really.
this isn't directed at anyone in particular, it's just something I've been noticing.
or maybe I've noticed it for a long time, but I just don't have the patience to deal with it anymore?
is it possible for people to lose the ability to please people all the time... or rather lose the need to please?.. to be kind? to pretend to care?
or maybe I'm getting old and cranky?
I'm becoming less gracious? perhaps.
or maybe I just expect some equality.

or... and this is likely what it is.. maybe I've reached a point where I know what brings me joy, and what takes it from me, and I'm becoming comfortable enough in my own skin to recognize that which steals my joy has no place in my life.

but, I digress...

if in fact you are an incredibly negative person, and the only topic of conversation you can think of ends up being a complaint about something... or someone... that's fine. but please allow others the same courtesy they've offered you in lending their ear. if they are frustrated with something and bother sharing their frustration, don't try to prove everything they say wrong or tell them they are wrong to think that way. eventually, those people listening to you ... are either going to lose their own joy, or they're going to stop talking to you altogether.

hey, remember when you used to write as though you were two different people on your blog?

yeah, I sure do

those were good times weren't they?

they were likely confusing times

yeah... I suppose so.

so pretty....

Why Do We Hunger for Beauty
Music and Lyric by Jim Croegaert

Dark are the branches
Reaching for light
High is the path of
The hawk in its flight
Turning and gliding
Greeting the night
Why do we hunger
For beauty so right
Why do we hunger for beauty

Moon hanging lonely
Up there in the sky
Looking so holy
Like a host held up high
And off in the distance
There’s a train going by
Why does it move us
And cause us to sigh
Why do we hunger for beauty

Frost on the window
Is never the same
So many patterns
Fit in the frame
Captured in motion
Frozen in flame
And in the patterns
Is there a name
Why do we hunger for beauty

-I'm a big fan of Steve Bell's version... always have been (live is always better). this guy can play- I'm sure I've written about him and the ways he's influenced me in the past... he's lovely.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

chilly bike ride...

I'm just sitting at the kitchen table, Ohana in my lap- trying to pluck out Christmas tunes, when the phone rings....
it's George.
lovely George.
of the George's Guitars.
and he says....
my Banjolele is nearly fixed!!

so, I hop on my bike and race down the frozen street to give her a little try....

she looks so pretty!!!

he's just going to dress up some of the wonky frets, and she should be ready to play by next week!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009



so thank you for baring with me over the past little while as I've swung thru moods like Tarzan thru the jungle. the rants about a house and peer groups and puppies and ovaries and the like... it's mostly been because of the crazy ride getting to this point... after a few false starts over the past few months...

and now that the sign is up on the lawn... I can truly say... I bought a house!

(ok so facebook land and anyone near BethSheff has known for awhile)

and it only took me three years of saying "I'm buying a house"

one year of looking seriously

and four months of offers on things that just didn't pan out.

I went to my real estate agent back in April and gave him my list of "wants" (which he kind of laughed at, I was pretty particular)... and a few weeks ago we got to the point where he tried to talk me into a condo just so I'd stop wasting money on rent...

and then we found it. (Best year ever)

and, not to trump the news, but ... (um, if you're a relative and you're just hearing this for the first time.. um... don't worry, you're getting a phone call)

Dad and Gale got married today! Welcome to the family Gale :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

350 degrees for 45 mins

best part of my day today... (other than a railside breakfast with Manda, and hanging with the very soon to be step-niece) ...

was coming into work and seeing the casserole dish on the desk.

Yesterday while working, I made dessert to go with tonight's meal... apple crisp. I peeled and sliced the apples, made the crisp, then wrapped it up and left it in the fridge so they could cook it after cooking the turkey....

I came into work, looked at the half-eaten crisp and started laughing...

they didn't cook it.
but they ate it.

too funny.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


sometimes. you might get to the point where you just need some time to be selfish. where there's been a lot going on, and you're in the middle of something else, and something is presented to you as an opportunity to shine and do good. and ya just don't want to.

I've been having a number of those lately, but my inner self starts screaming so loudly at me, that I have to give in, because there's just no peace in it.

take yesterday. I'm at work. I'm supporting someone working in the town hall. But, he's at the "phase out" point in his job. I do check ins on him every 15 mins right now.. not nearly enough time to go back to the office, or accomplish anything. so, I sit. and read. or more recently, write.

The front lobby of the town hall is this huge echoing space, lined with benches. I plunk myself onto one, and pull out my day timer to look up something. A woman creeps into the building, pushing her walker... and in this giant empty room... sits so close to me I have to move over - she's nearly on my lap.

don't look up.
don't make eye contact
keep flipping thru

I sit for the next 15 mins. I say maybe 3 words the entire time. I hear the same two stories told three times. inaconstantflowofwordsandnotonebreathistakenandidon'tknowifthiswomanhastalkedtoanyoneyettodayorifi'mthefirst....


Monday, October 05, 2009

pomegranates and butter tarts

I was sure I was getting kicked out of the library today because of pomegranates.

This afternoon I worked a placement at the public library in Happytown. Hope Town. The P-dot. I'm supporting two individuals who want to learn how to use the library better, more independently. SO, I teach them how to use things there. Today, we spent about ten minutes just learning how to use, and then practicing, the bar code scanner for the library cards.... pretty funny stuff. I get my people set up online, and they are both working on emails to their sisters.
And then... along comes Babba.
Babba... aka Pader, aka... many other names.... is one of Happytown's most awesome characters. I'd love to write about him... but I'm afraid I wouldn't do him justice. He's lovely. And he's a little rough around the edges. And sometimes a little crude. Ok, sometimes really crude. But cares about people. And even though some of the most shocking things come out of his mouth- it is for shock, and sometimes to draw you away from the truth about something else he's touched on... but one of the nicest guys. He'll do anything.. for anyone.
Anyway. Babba finds me in the Library.
Babba- My Friend Marie! (he always calls me by my middle name) I have got something for you today, I brought it. I thought I would see you. You go for a smoke?
Me- Sorry Babba, I don't smoke. I try very hard not to smoke.
B- oh. oh. ok, we go to the stacks.
M- ?
B- here, here by the books, I want to film you.
M- um.. no. (laughing)
B- What? you scared?
M- Yes. I'm scared. it's my first time. (note: you can't help but be just as crude right back)
B- (laughing) I've got you a Pomegranates, like in my video, with my grandson, I teach you to eat it right. just a leetle bite, then you suck the juice and ... MAMA!
M- (still laughing) you have contraband items in the library Babba.
B- come here....

so now we're hiding in the video section. One of Babba's friends is giving him the stink eye, but laughing from across the room. Babba is trying to teach me how to squish the Pomegranate, and bite the tiniest hole in it... there's a pretty funny language barrier thing going on thru this whole section... and Babba seems to be worried I'm going to mess the library up... or my shirt... and tries to give me a map book to use as a bib. I manage to get the map book away from him.
But by this point, I'm nearly hyperventilating trying not to laugh loudly. Stink eye- from across the room is laughing pretty hard now. Babba doesn't even try to be quiet... the loud stage whisper he's using to speak to me with can be heard all the way to the front desk.

eventually, I find out it's got to be the most tiny hole, just nipped... and that I've got to be careful because it will explode.. but I can't seem to bite it because it's so soft, it's bending away from my teeth... I get this tiny spot ripped, but not all the way through.... and Babba starts squeezing the pom... it explodes. Thankfully, mostly into my mouth and not all over the carpet.

Babba giggles and runs off to charm the woman at the front desk.
Thankfully it works, and there's not even a hint of anger over the food, juice, noise.

M- you probably should have been filming that
B- I know. it was going to be a great movie.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

weekend escape to your roots?

The second annual Naptown Scarecrow fest was this weekend, so I decided to make it tradition by driving down the highway and crashing on Toto's couch.... this year however, I managed to avoid working in the local coffee shop (last year was a case of poor timing on my part- though, I did have a lot of fun).
Music, cows, scarecrows, shopping, horses, pumpkins, shopping, visits with old friends, making new friends, shopping, taking my time.

I needed to remove myself from home for awhile. And it worked out just fine...

Best parts of the day had to have been the moments that reminded me how small (but lovely) Naptown really is... I was sitting in the coffee shop, deciding if it was time to have lunch, when a woman walked in. She called out to TimSheff and asked if his sister had been in yet. He yelled back that he hadn't. Then she called out "did elbow show up?" (but used my name obviously) he looked at her funny, then pointed at me. I had no idea who she was.
She's still on the far side of the shop at this point.... and calls out asking me a question about something I'd done the day before....
a little later on...
I'm in a shop, the salesgirl recognizes me as someone who's been in the shop in the past, and remembers that I'm from out of town... and proceeds to tell me about the three new shops in town that I need to go visit....
So... I go visit the first one... and the lady behind the counter starts chatting with me (I was going to say "at me" but.. I was involved in the conversation, I didn't shut it down). Anyway, I eventually make a purchase, and the woman behind the counter says "now honey, every sale comes with a hug!" and comes out from behind the counter and gives me a great big bear hug! "thanks for the conversation!" she hollers as I walk out the door....

lol.. too funny.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

2.5 > 1.5

easy math.

I'm back to running. After countless injuries and ailments, I've decided- the pain is worth it, I'm turning into a giant sloth otherwise.

So, last injury was over 5 weeks ago (poor little ankle, will you ever be whole?) I took some Advil profolacticly, and hit the street.

hahahhahaha!!! whew! that was funny.
In my mind, I'm right where I left off, 5 km? easy peasy!
I wanted to cry by block number 2.
I gave up a little over 1km

Tonight, on my way home from the bank, poor little ankle decided to turn again.
Thank you sidewalk.
However, other than me nearly crashing to the ground (there was a building I was able to fall into instead) and the SEARING pain for about 5 mins... my ankle's better than it's been in weeks... I don't know if I knocked something into place? slid a tendon back to where it belongs? Stretched something on the other side of it?
who knows...
Either way, I was able to drag my butt 2.5 km tonight, no crying.