Archive | July 2014

My new ride!

Just to make life even more interesting, our car died.  Technically, it’s an alternator issue.  We have a Mazda Tribute with a Ford engine which means you practically have to disassemble the freaking car to replace the alternator so the cost is about $400.  There are other issues wrong with the car so we’re really looking at putting $1500 in to put the car safely back on the road.  We have decided that we don’t want to throw any more money into the pit.  The car isn’t worth $1500.  Luckily, our friend has given us the use of his vehicle for as long as we need.  I have sat in his vehicle precisely once before actually driving it.  I can’t even parallel park it.  It’s a Ford 150 Harley Davidson pickup.  Yup.  I drove it to set.  Straight highway driving and then parked it in a huge gravel lot!  F150-Harley-Saleen-Supercharged.02It’s not really my cup of tea but when it’s free, I’ll take it.  Yes, it holds 1 booster seat and 1 dog (rather awkwardly) but it’s been about a week and I’m afraid between the dog hair and the kid crap, hubby’s dear friend won’t want it back.  We’re also experiencing a heatwave and with its leather seats and black interior, it’s friggin’ hot.  I plan on using the air conditioning on long drives.

I’m going to need another gig…or 10.

 

 

On set again!

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but my mind has been on other things lately, namely my friend’s stepson. Luckily, there’s been some incredible news there.

I landed a supporting lead in a movie.  Now, now before you get all excited, it’s not that big a deal.   Well, it is —  to me.  It’s for a H.allmark TV movie and I play a nanny in a community where there’s been a recent spate of robberies and a dashing and handsome detective goes undercover and meets the charming and beautiful lead nanny and together they solve the case.  The good news is that I got 6, count ’em 6 days on it and puts me in the category of breadwinner this month!  The not so good news is that the money was not that great, no front credit and I also got stuck in a crappy trailer.  The even better news is that I didn’t get too crazy over that and have been having a wonderful time with a terrific cast and crew!  They are amazing! My last day is tomorrow and I’m going to be very, very sad to say goodbye.

I managed to keep my insecurities in check (we had a little tussle and some bitching slipped out but Buddhahood prevailed) and allowed myself to enjoy this time.  I prepared my big scene with a friend so I could be cool, calm and collected (and it’s been stinking hot here) and felt connected and in the moment when I needed to be.  I had been feeling ignored, unappreciated and undervalued in my home life, but when I am  at work, I feel so different.  And I don’t mean because people are kissing my ass either.  The costume designer, hallelujah, has managed to find me some clothes that I can actually feel good and look good in.  When you’re not a size 2, it’s amazing what uninspired tents they can find for a fuller figured woman.  This woman found me some super cute, colourful outfits(though not my personal style of dog hair covered Lulelemon), I would actually dare to wear outside. I have amazingly talented hair and makeup people.  They are experts at what they are doing and I feel calm and serene.  I feel pretty.  Pampered.  We’re talking about all sorts of things and I thank them profusely for their efforts.  On the day of my big scene, one of the ADs gives me a bigger, nicer trailer, and I thanked him cause it made me feel great to just have a door to my toilet.  I had a chair and  a table to eat lunch with and I didn’t feel penned in and “small” for once.  I don’t actually spend much time in trailers anyway, but it’s a nice perk in lieu of a bigger paycheque.  I remind myself that it’s about my work and not the place where I get dressed that matters.

It’s been a bit crazy trying to juggle Boo with sitters and hubby take time off work and the in-laws were supposed to come and help and then they didn’t.  Arghh!  In the midst of all this, our SUV breaks down.  It wouldn’t start and then I called roadside assistance only to discover it was an alternator issue and had to tow it to the mechanics.  And with it being a Ford engine, replacing the alternator was really expensive and intensive.  Then we found out even more was wrong with it.  Our mechanic actually advised us not to bother pouring more money into it. Hubby and I finally decide to let it go.  It’s presently sitting out back awaiting its fate.  DH had been using a friend’s vehicle on the weekends and now I had to drive it to set the next day.  I have never driven a pickup in my life.  In fact, I’ve only sat in this truck once.  Can you picture me driving a black F150 Harley Davidson?  Yeah, I couldn’t either until I did.  I’ve yet to try to parallel park it.  Or get it in and out of underground parking.  Grocery shopping should be interesting.  With hubby’s job winding down, buying a car tomorrow is not in the picture and I can’t even buy a reliable vehicle with what I’m going to make this month.

Hubby was getting all discouraged and miserable about how we seem to take one step ahead and then get knocked back two.  I went for a long walk with the dog just to clear my head and realized that we could not afford to get all down and miserable and turn on each other.  Life is still good.  We have so much to be grateful for.  (Not the least of which is good friends who give us their cars to use.) I just made up my mind that we will get the perfect car for us, maybe not by tomorrow but soon!

Meanwhile, I’m just going to enjoy summer with its long days and an icy cold Corona!

House envy

Sometimes I wonder what it would like to be a homeowner.  And by that, I mean just settled in a place where I am in control of  the paint colours and landscaping.   I’m getting on in years and retirement age is closer than I’d like it to be and one of the things I had assumed when I was 30 is that I would own my home by now. Of course, I had also assumed I would have given birth to a couple of kids before I was 40 too and be starring on a hit show. Maybe it’s because my parents were immigrants who placed owning a home as being the number one symbol that one had achieved success and stability.     Or maybe it’s because I’m idealizing what it would be like in the same way I did about having a child.  Everybody else has got one, why don’t I?  Why am I always the late one to the party?  I get to look on FB and see postings from others about their new places and even hubby was all depressed because his stoner buddy just bought a place in Squamish.  Like, even THAT guy can somehow manage it.  Of course, his mortgage is more like our rent, but we’d have to move an hour up the highway and that’s just not us.  Sometimes it’s just a bit much, you know?

Years ago in the TTC days we got pre-approved for a mortgage and went looking for a place. We looked at one development and talked about how many bedrooms we really needed, how the elementary school and day care was conveniently located across the street, etc.  It was pretty exciting.  It was a little off-putting to look at a place from a model, but that was the trend (and still is).  We even found a house that we thought was just perfect for us except the yard was super narrow and it was way out of the city.  Unfortunately, a couple months later, hubby was laid off from his so called secure government job and that was that. Better jobs came along, but IVF treatments and adoption expenses took care of our little nest egg. I didn’t really need a house if I didn’t have children, right?

I’ve often blamed myself for not having a more thriving career or even a regular 9 – 5  job to soften the landings from the economic blows.   However, I did make it clear from the beginning of our relationship that I would always be in a creative field whether it was acting or directing or whatever.  Trust me, sometimes I would pray to wake up wanting to be an accountant but it never happened.  I still had my p/t notetaking business that paid well but it was never steady.  And I disliked it enough to never try to build a f/t business out of it.  I’m a highly social person and typing for hours one end in silence is a little stultifying. Living with an actor  is always cool when you’re working but not so much when you’re not.   I had fought long and hard and sacrificed so much to not be like everyone else.  We have had many fights conversations about this over the years and at one point, I was willing to give up my career for a more stable full time job.  Oddly enough, I could not seem to get a regular job.  I remember filling out retail applications and never even getting called for an interview.  And when I did find one, it was for minimum wage and it involved shift work and hubs told me to forget about it.  He enjoyed having me around too much for our spontaneous trips to the movies and whatnot. Yeah, mixed messages for sure.

Once I realized that Boo would start school soon, I just felt that ache to want to fit into the community and put down some roots.   Maybe I’m just watching too many home renovation shows, it kinda gets to me.  (I also used to watch all those parenting/baby shows too. I’d imagine the terrible things I’d utter once in labour and the first moment I would get to hold my baby.) Even when we were in our first long term apartment, I wanted to paint and put in new lighting fixtures and hubby would have no part of putting our money into someone else’s property.  It’s tough living in this city.  Years ago, I lived in a condo and this lady would ignore me just cause I was a “renter”, not an owner.  Right after people ask you where you live, it’s do you rent or own?  It’s quite common for people to ask you how much you pay in rent!  A few years ago, one snooty neighbour actually said, “Oh, this is Deathstar, she lives in Ms. Blank’s apartment.”  Seriously, you ass, that’s not how you introduce someone!   shouldn’t call him an ass, but he’s dead now and I found out his family owned his condo, not him.

It’s the strangest feeling to want to pull up bushes and plant something else or put up a fence.  We have conversations like, “Well, if this were ours, I would get rid of that and put ___ there” or “I’d never put in such cheap, flimsy tile…”  Renting certainly does give you some insight on what NOT to do in home renovations.  We don’t foot the bill but we certainly live in the consequences.  We’ve moved 3 times in 4 years and it’s been financially tenuous since the recession.  DH’s job situation continues to be precarious and certainly if we did own a home, we’d be SO screwed.  I am so grateful we don’t have to deal with that!  The median price for a detached house around here is just under a million or maybe $800K for a fixer upper.  And I’m not talking about a fancy estate either.  If you want a modern space with fancy appliances that will cost over a million for sure.  With both of us being self employed, there are no guarantees.  And if hubs is stressed out now, imagine how much more he would be if he did have the responsibilities of a homeowner.  We would have killed each other by now. Right now we are spared the property taxes, maintenance costs, plumber fees and renovating costs.  We just make a call when there’s a problem.  And right now, none of these things are OUR problem.

I think it will happen one day, somehow, some way. I think I’m more motivated now to really make that happen.  I’m more realistic now about life in general.  And I do realize that nothing is permanent, things come and things go.  It’s just stuff.  I already possess the best things in life. My health, my practice, my family and my friends.