Archive | April 2014

Friends and family – 1

We are back from our stay in Toronto.  Mama survived!  I must first commend my son for being an AWESOME travel partner.  He was wonderful!  Oh, yes, he had his challenging moments, but he was up for the adventure.  We were busy every single day, on the go, go, go, go!  It was all at a really hurried pace.  We spent a lot of time travelling on the subway and we did a LOT of walking.  Too bad I wasn’t on a diet, cause I think I would have lost a couple of pounds.  Boo barely whined at all.   I spent a lot of that time catching up with friends and since Boo was with me for all but one day; he had to sit through all the talking with only a couple of toys and my phone.  Everyone kept commenting on how well behaved he was.

The hotel we stayed at was located at the North York Civic Centre stop so it was a bit of a haul to get downtown and back with a tired 4 year old.  I can’t say I’d stay there again for a couple of reasons, because most of what I did was downtown.  Of course, I stayed there because it was close to my sister’s apartment.  And Boo had plenty of time to play with his older cousin which was great.  And I saw more of her this time than I have in years.

First night there, we arrived late, so we just settled into the hotel and got ready for bed.  Next night we met up with my old colleague, Gino(an alias) . He’s the one who actually “gave” me away at my wedding.    We became friends about 20 years ago while on working together on a theatre tour. e is one of those rare people who actually live as a theatre artist and stands by his art and his principles.  He was planning to go to a dinner for a friend who just received her PhD and invited us along.  I also worked with her and her husband in theatre years ago and I haven’t seen her in years..   It was held at a homey Portuguese restaurant on College Street.  The idea was to get there early with Boo so we could eat and talk a bit before everyone arrived.  I underestimated the amount of time it would take to get there and we arrived 10 minutes before everyone else did.  He was the only kid.  The late arrival meant the ordering of food and the actual delivery of food would be a long time.  Lucky for Boo’s sake, bread baskets were there to keep him happy.  And wine for me. It was cool, our end of the table was full of interesting adults who were kind and interacted with my son. It was fun getting to chat with people I didn’t know but who were (I assumed) academic people.  Not Ia world I interact with at all by any means. Plates of steak, breaded fish, rice, grilled calamari (oh so wonderful!), it was great.   I would have loved to have stayed late and talked some more (cause y’all know how I love to talk) but the hour was getting late and I had to get my kid back to the hotel.  Oh, and by the way, my sister had texted me to remind me that that night she wanted to go dancing with her husband and I was going to take care of her kid.  Yes, I had agreed to it but of course, I thought evening would have gone differently. Crap. We basically had to eat and run.  Cripes, I had been there for less than 24 hours and I was babysitting.  We got back to the hotel via transit, she dropped her son off at 10:30 with a blow up bed and left.  So apparently no one  in Toronto has a reliable sitter either.

My eldest sister and her two grown girls came over for Easter dinner.  It was quite cozy, as my sister, hubby and 10 year old son live in a one bedroom plus “den” apartment.  We made it work though.  It was kind of cool.  I find my eldest sister’s family a bit intense shall we say.   All 3 her kids (2 girls, 1 boy) are professionals now.  Her second daughter, with a degree in engineering will be attending medical school in the fall.  My big sister sacrificed her hopes and dreams and became a child care worker.  She hates kids.  Well, other people’s kids.  Yup.  She has 2 degrees but she had kids and she needed to get a job and to help support her family.  And all 3 of her kids still live at home though the eldest girl bought a condo and will move out next year. They are another blog post really, but let’s just say the women in that family are not to be messed with.

More later…..

On vacation

I’m leaving on a jet plane to Toronto to visit with friends and family.  With my kid.  On my own.  Pray for me, people. 

The crucial moment

Did I tell you I get yet another gig – bringing the total for March to 4 count’em 4 gigs?!  I filmed one day last week on a movie of the week for a “Christian lite” network.  I worked on one of their movies last August.  It was a nurse role, but I had a name at least.  And the star was super sweet and wonderful to work with.  The moods on sets  these days are great.  Everyone is just so happy to be working.   I’m happy to be working and it makes me feel purposeful and appreciated.   It was just last summer when the industry was having town hall meetings practically begging the public to take notice that our industry was being decimated and that long time union members could not even pay their mortgages.  And now with all the best crews being snapped up,  I’m working on sets with kids fresh out of film school or are actively being taught how to do their jobs.  Also, some budgets are lower than others which leads to people getting a little stressed out cause they’re trying to churn out a movie with time, resource and monetary constraints.  I asked this props guy to bring me some wrapping paper that didn’t make any noise so I could wrap some items up in the scene.  He brought me a few sheets of tissue paper.  15 minutes later, the sound guys were asking me to wrap as “quietly” as I could.    I knew that was going to happen because I was miked(sp?) and so any rustling near my mic was going to drive them nuts.  He also  had to be reminded not to use local newspapers as set decoration, a no-no, in case brand names or city specific headlines get caught in a shot.  Oh, well, you gotta learn through trial and error, I guess.  I wish I had seen him later to thank him for his efforts.  I had a great time and really enjoyed my time there.

I also had a chat with my agent about another gig – one that I am not available for the outside shoot dates as I am gong to Toronto next week.  I’m not going to tell you how many times I’ve been close to getting a gig when I have travel plans.  It’s uncanny.  Hubby was all over me about that one cause these days, he’s quite anxious about money.  Seems as if things are about to go downhill again as the companies he consults for are going to be bought out.  This is great news if we actually had significant shares with them.  But we don’t, so that means our income is about to drop drastically.  Of course, since he’s the breadwinner he’s always concerned about money and to say he’s been stressed is putting it mildly.  He comes home with a dark cloud hanging over him and it breaks my heart.   I’ve been trying to be supportive and encouraging, but finally I had a breakdown and had to let him know how neglected and isolated I was feeling with him.  I can’t even have a decent conversation with him, he’s either staring at some TV show or devoting all his attention to the kid.

It did not go the way I had hoped as he takes such relationship talks as criticisms and then all of a sudden I’m getting blamed for this and that.   And so, long story short, I took to the internet to dump all my feelings cause he certainly wasn’t listening.  I started a whole new anonymous blog and dumped some words on a page, all the  while wondering what kind of cause I was making by doing this.  Where was I heading with all this?  I was seeking commiseration, validation, a place to vent my frustration and anger without interruption.  Honestly, why on earth did I stop going to a therapist?  Oh, yeah, money.   Neither one of us has much time for ourselves, but we both spend a fair amount of our downtime tuning out and before you know it, it’s lights out. I’ve lost count of the times he’s actually walked out of the room or turned his attention to our son in the middle of my sentence. And when I try to tell him that, well, I’m just being peevish or demanding.

I was so exhausted that I never finished my rant post anyway and never hit publish.  When I woke up, he was already up with the kid and I decided that instead of my usual icy silence, I would try to be civil. When I got out of the shower, I found a cup of coffee on my dresser.  Mmm, that hadn’t happened in a while.  I called out to thank him.  He came to me, full of emotion to tell me that he was really worried about our future and he will make efforts to pay more attention to me.

Now this man I can deal with.  Open and vulnerable.  I actually didn’t have all that much to say anymore because he was actually present for me.  We had a few minutes to talk before Boo figured out something was going on without him and came down the hallway.

I’m finding that the past few months of Buddhist study is becoming more and more crucial in my life when encountering life’s obstacles. I really hope I can find the wisdom in all of this.  I won’t lie, I’ve about had it with life seemingly going one step forward and 2 steps back for us.  I have a sneaky feeling that we’re about to be tested and I want to be strong enough to deal with it.