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And Thus 31 Passed With (Almost) Nary A Blog Post

Funny enough, I still listen to most of the songs in the below post fairly frequently. True staying power, them.

The past year I’ve been silent because, ironically, there was too much going on. There were too many things to try and process, good and bad, indeed, some things that will never ever be written about here because they’re just going to stay close to my heart, for li’l ol’ me, forever.

But in that which can be publicized, there was a Big Giant Show, my conservatory class triumph of a mainstage revue, the culmination of a year’s worth of work with people who have become some of my closest friends. I was wearing a knee brace thanks to an injury from one of those friends, sustained at a bar when I got handsy and really got what I deserved, an injury that damn near a year later is still causing my grief and a future trip to an MRI facility. I took the brace off in the middle of the show so that I could don high heels and a shoulderless dress for my monologue. I did the only monologue in the show.

I gained like 15 lbs. since then. I’ve lost 5 of them again.

I’ll have to shed the rest before I travel to Portugal with one of my closest friends, my husband, her cousin, and another friend, to celebrate her 30th birthday. I’m really looking forward to it.

Another dear close friend had her first child last summer. I arrived at the hospital in stage makeup to meet the little girl. But, as sweet and amusing as the baby is, she hasn’t changed my mind about having my own kids.

The other person in the list of people I would consider “best friends” went through a depression so severe that I was worried out friendship wouldn’t make it. We started filming some projects late in the summer, made it until the fall, and then finally had to address his issues surrounding motivations for the projects and his satisfaction with them, the industry, and his life as a whole.

And then I fell into my own depression just after Christmas. Family issues, lack of performing, weight gain and the shitty, brutal winter all came together in a perfect storm of lethargy, exhaustion and illness (I spent a week in bed with the worst flu I’ve ever had in January) that knocked my ass to the ground for months. I wasn’t motivated to perform, or even go to shows. I picked up some tasks at my job that I wasn’t trained nor suited to perform, and it stressed me out and damaged my confidence to be tasked with a job I couldn’t do. My husband switched jobs the end of February, a brand new industry after leaving the job he’d had for nine years, and the transition wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped it would be. One of my new friends dumped me, and it hurt. Bad. Family drama erupted again, and I got stuck in the middle of it.

The good news is, change is coming, big change, and change that I’m excited about; After seven years in this apartment, Guy & I have bought our first condo and will be moving in about a month. The purchase wasn’t easy– we just narrowly managed to secure a mortgage thanks to the recent job change, there were some negotiations for the condo, a parking space had to be secured separately, there’s lots of work to be done on the unit, and our current landlords decided to be dicks about giving notice to vacate– but it’s got an office for Guy, ensuite laundry (once we buy the machines), a beautiful view of the city, and it’s in our dream neighbourhood. I’m excited to be within walking distance of my office, two minutes from some of my favorite shops, and stumbling distance from friends.

Today, I do my generals audition for Second City. This is the audition for everything SC offers– main stage, touring company, education company, cruise ship shows. I expect to get none of these, but I’m excited to play with new people today, and get involved in the industry in some way. The past week has actually been pretty good in that regard; I competed in a comedy competition last Monday with a brand new monologue, I spent the weekend at a horror convention where I was asked to sign a DVD cover and was recognized from my film, and today, audition.

And Friday, keys to the condo will be in hand.

And next Friday, my birthday.

And a few weeks after that, moving day.

And a few weeks after that, Portugal.

And after that, another weekend at our director’s cottage with my Second City classmates.

And after that, a week at the cottage with my friend, her baby, her husband, and our other couple friend.

And after that…. Who knows? The important thing, the current trend is positive. Finally.

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Another Song Binge

It’s been awhile. I’d like to say a lot has happened since my last post, but, well, not really. A commercial audition clinic, being offered my first role from a director I’ve worked with before, more shows with my con group, and some interesting personal developments, but overall, but a lot to report.

Emotionally though, this perma-frozen start to spring is going to be one of the more intense seasons of late, I think (I hope). And as such– if for no other reason than to come back and visit these songs in six months like I am with my autumn music posts from last year at this very moment– here are my embedded-in-my-brain, tied-to-people-and-events songs from Spring 2014 so far.

When I’m Small: One of many Songza recommended downloads this spring, and the one that came first. Many a lazy, mildly depressed morning were spent in bed with this playing on the headphones during the month or so when I was continually unemployed in February.

Bangarang: Yup. Sure. Give me all the shit. That’s fine, but this song holds a special place in my heart. It all started when a friend-of-a-friend tweeted that Friend was playing Skrillex at a party, and to be honest– what the fuck, Friend? When I brought it up after a couple of drinks… well, pitchers, a few days later, I was met with a flurry of reheaded indignation and an iPhone shoved across the table to me with this song loaded up. I plugged in my headphones and found myself holding a pint glass and swaying with the music while the rest of the group and the bar did their thing. I took a photo of his phone with my phone so I could remember what the hell to download, got the song, and have been listening as a guilty secret for weeks now. I had a bad audition, got a parking ticket, and this song was blared on the car ride home to perfect satisfaction. It’s deeply ingrained in my “early 2014” brain now.

Alley Cat: this song made me dance for days when I first downloaded it. Dancing while stirring the ground meat for the tacos at Oscar Night at Amy’s, dancing my way to the subway, dancing in con class… And drunkenly shouting that “I LOVE THIS SONG” (that isn’t really a song) at our second Con outing, a karaoke night/celebrating Carson’s 25th birthday. I was looked at with appropriate disdain when I interrupted everyone’s conversations with my outburst.

Come With Me Now: My husband actually introduced me to this one, because he heard it and thought I’d like it. He paid the price with me listening to it basically non-stop for a week afterwards. This was my go-to tune to a whole lot of comedy shows, whether I was a performer or an audience member.

Electric Feel: This song was on a Songza playlist and I downloaded it because I kinda-sorta-liked it. It somehow ended up on a CD right after Come With Me Now and the two are now a duo for me. This, for some reason, was my swagger-in-the-car song for long drives onder grey skies and windy days, despite the totally idiotic lyrics.

Jealous: This song is basically the worst. I downloaded it when I asked a friend what song he was obsessed with right now, in a search for some new blood in my playlist, and he recommended this. I was initially taken with the 80’s vibe, and after a few listen throughs as I walked to the subway and back in the warm weather, I was hooked. THEN I ACTUALLY LISTENED TO THE LYRICS. Then I gave him shit. Then I continued to listen to this song and strut around as I did so.

Cross A Couple Off The Bucket List

Last week was insane.

I knew it was going to be a big week, with a workshop and two shows lined up for ages. I’d had my eye on the week of Feb 17-23 since the beginning of the year, but boy oh boy, did it turn into a last-minute-addition whopper.

By the time I closed out Sunday, I’d had a Second City class (rescheduled to a holiday Monday to give us time to review our dress rehearsal before our show) on Monday; visited an improv friend in the afternoon and spent the evening supporting Moist Theatre as part of a live studio audience for a Ryerson student’s broadcast project on Tuesday; went to a last-minute practice session with 3 other people on Wednesday; spent nearly an hour on stage auditioning to stay in the conservatory programme on Thursday; did a three hour workshop with Rick & Laura Hall on Friday before going to the Touch My Stereotype show that evening where my Cheese: The Musical! cameo was screened; performed in a musical improv show with Rick & Laura before going to the bar with amazing supportive friends on Saturday; and had our big archive show on the Second City main stage on Sunday, again surrounded by my incredible friends & family, before spending several hours out with my classmates.

So, I haven’t left the house in two days, and it’s been great.

To hit the highlights; Wednesday’s practice session was an utter disaster. I was off my game and stressed out about the rest of the week to come, and I felt shitty when I left the practice. So shitty, in fact, that after several hours of dwelling on my failures, I had to be talked down from my freakout by a classmate. To their credit they did an excellent job, and I managed to get my head together before the audition…. Which, I’m sorry, but I fucking nailed. It was the smartest improv set I’ve ever done and I was getting kudos all night. It felt great.

Then there was the music workshop, which I was terrified of. I signed up because musical improv stresses me the hell out, and I felt I needed to face my fears. Add in that it’s led by the musical director of Whose Line Is It, Anyway? and I felt I was in over my head. So it’s with no small sense of happiness that I declare that Rick & Laura Hall are amazing people, incredible teachers, and gave me all the confidence in the world to do something that terrifies me more than anything. I honestly can’t say enough good things about them, their workshop, and the show. 

Incredibly, Sunday’s show was even better. We had a packed house, and out of the three shows mounted that day, ours was the biggest success by a large margin. I found that while I was waiting backstage for my first scene I had to take a moment, pause, and think to myself, “I am backstage at the Second City… And the audience is roaring with laughter for my show.” It was truly surreal, and I’m so grateful to have had such an amazing moment in my life.

After the show, though, was when a real live Bucket List moment happened for me. Our large class, complete with friends & family eager to celebrate with us, ended up getting split not only amongst several tables in a bar, but several bars overall. When we were thinking about moving on, the rest of the class was too nervous to go to the big table of one of our more successful classmates, where she was surrounded by family and “directors and casting agents and stuff.” Being me, I marched over, introduced myself, let the girl know the plan, then told her that everyone was intimidated by her no-doubt elite posse. She laughed and said there was only one casting director there, then shouted at him to intoduce himself– which he did, adding “You were great in Follow at the Hamilton film festival! Also great job last night in the musical show, and I love your spot in the Ciniplex Pre-Show!” 

I admit, I was speechless for a good long moment. Recognized for my work! By a stranger! In multiple spots!

When I finally regained my wits, it was to tell him I was going to go grab my beer and come back for a nice, long chat.

This week I’ve got very little on the table, acting wise. I’ve got a few days of office work, but I’m buzzing from everything that’s happened this week, this month, and this year. I’ve got another audition coming up, I’ve filmed a pilot for a webseries that I’m super excited about, and I’m generally amazed that I continue to make progress on my dream. It’s surreal. It’s amazing. Lucky me.

Perspective & Small Blessings

This week has turned out to be something of a wash…

…and it’s actually been brilliant.

When I say it’s a wash, I mean that I had a productive creative week, and I managed to get caught up on the household chores I missed while I was away, but I didn’t earn a dime. I ended up getting pretty impressively sick overnight on Monday, called in sick to work on Wednesday, and was told late last night not to come in today because they’d accidentally overstaffed themselves.

On the one hand, I’m mildly piqued about missing out on the opportunity to earn some cash, especially after my holiday. But on the other, I’m really happy to have had a solid week of being a housewife. It’s been ages since I’ve had an entire week to myself, and it’s been really nice. Even though I was sick, I did the groceries, the laundry, tidied up, and got the place back into shape after trashing it upon our return home. I mean, I did one of these things a day, but… The point is, they’re done. And it’s been really nice to have the opportunity to sleep in. Sit in silence for hours. Play with the cats. And generally relax.

Meanwhile– and excuse me while I revel in the haughty decadence of this next sentiment, but I love that it’s true– I was cast in a short film (shooting here) while I was in the UK, and I’ve already completed the first shoot date. It’s a very silly mockumentary, but it’s fun, it’s easy, and the troupe that’s putting it together is full of talented people I respect, so I’m happy to be a part of it. My heavier shoot day is tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to it. 

I also had class on Monday, where we mounted our sketches from the Second City vault for the first time, and I was very pleased with the feedback we got. Seems that my casts all work together pretty tightly, and we’re in good shape for our first show next week, even with my absence last week.

It was after class that I had one of those quiet, sweet moments of realization of how life can change over time. One of my favorite classmates lives on the same transit route home as I do, and it became habit to leave the bar together after class and travel together for as long as our route allows us. This means a streetcar ride, and a stroll along the connection at Spadina Station, which I’ve joked before was one of the high points of my class nights, and something I missed doing without him. It had been awhile since we’d actually had a chance to indulge in this routine, and maybe that’s why it finally struck me that he’s become a member of what I’ve termed the Wife Chain Of Custody. 

Usually the few minutes of time spent in the station waiting for my subway to arrive is spent sitting around and chatting, but on Monday my train arrived just as we got to the station, so we hugged farewell and he gave me a final, firm “get home safe!” upon parting. One of those farewells that comes with the subtext “and let me know that you have” which I’m happy to oblige.

And it was on the subway a few minutes later, filled with a warm fuzzy feeling about someone caring that I got home safe, that I realized how I’d changed in the past year or two. I have several friends that do this same thing– “text me so I know you’re home safe!”– and my husband is always on the other end asking the same. “Text me when you get to N’s so I know you got there safe!” regardless of how I’m getting there, hence the Wife Chain Of Custody. My mother does the same. And I realized that the last time I thought about this, about always having to notify someone of where I was at any time, I was totally fed up with it. I felt smothered and trapped into never being spontaneous or doing the unexpected. But now? Now it’s comforting, and lovely, and I feel loved and cherished.

Funny how upping your self-worth can change your views, huh?

Welcome In The New

I started writing my traditional “year in review” post, oh, about two weeks ago now, and found it difficult. I found it difficult to get motivated to write, I found it difficult to start, and honestly, I never finished it.

2013 was an amazing year for me. A huge year. I made more new friends in the past year than I did in the past five years combined. I found new crushes, I found new soul mates, and I brought my husband along for the ride with his approval all the way. I was involved in four or five films, and not only had my first paying gig, but my first professional paying gig as well. I got a real agent. I was accepted into the elite of the Second City training programmes. It was a fucking spectacular year.

Truthfully, I think I’m worried I won’t be able to build on my success as dramatically as I was able to in 2013. In my bones, I feel like I will– like I’ll be able to continue to grow and succeed and make myself proud. But there’s always that grain of doubt.

The holidays this year got, to use a British term, “right cocked up” this year. The great ice storm of 2013 nailed us good, taking away our power right up until Christmas Eve, while still leaving us without heat & hot water in the apartment (evidently a trend amongst high rises, I later found out.) We elected to stay at a friend’s place with the cats over Christmas, but it meant a lot of back & forth in the days before Christmas, and two trips (one with squealing cats in the car) on Boxing Day, my traditional “get drunk and never get out of my pj pants” day. Coupled with the fact that I worked up until noon on Christmas Eve, and was back in the office the following Monday, and there wasn’t much of a “holiday” feel to my Christmas this year.

New Year’s Eve was fun and different from anything else I’ve done on New Year’s Eve– I knew I was going to ring in the new year with friends from Second City, as well as with a couple of old friends we’d spent most of our recent midnight’s with on December 31, but it wasn’t until a couple of days before the calendar changed that we confirmed plans to attend a house party of a classmate. It turned out to be a legitimately Epic house party– two DJ’s, a fantastic little band that did covers of Top 40 songs from the past 20 years with only a guitar, a small drum kit, and a trombone, people crammed into the space elbow to elbow, me opening a bottle of champagne at midnight flawlessly (and proceeding to pass it around the group to swig directly from the Moet bottle), and dancing with old & new friends until the wee hours of the morning. Throw in some high school level cat fights, drunk people making out for like 30 minutes in full view of everyone, me being hijacked by a gay guy for salsa dancing for two songs, groping all around, and you’ve got a fun night that makes classmates and friends alike jealous that they missed out.

Right now, I’m being willfully myopic. Forget the goals for 2014; they’re very nebulous right now– don’t get kicked out of Con. Get more acting gigs. Figure out what to do after Con is over. Guy & I leave for England in less than a week, and I’m not looking any further than next Friday at 8pm when our plane leaves. It’s a trip I’ve dreamed of for years, and something I’ve been actively planning for over half a year, with tickets to a show bought in June of 2013, plane tickets bought in October, the cat-sitter in place & GBP purchased since November, and stacks of paper with subway maps, train times, bus schedules from the airport, points of interest, and other details printed on them since December. Writing it down like that, I’m starting to get a little stir of excitement in my chest. I’m going to England, and life can wait until after that.

We have very few cemented plans: we have high tea at Harrod’s the afternoon that we arrive; my sister & I are having our hair & makeup done the afternoon before we go to see David Tennant perform in Richard II; and apart from that, nothing is in stone. I want to visit Speedy’s Cafe one day, we’d like to see Churchill’s Bunker, I’m dying to do the London Eye and surrounding landmarks, I’ve been told the British Museum is a must, and Guy & I are toying with the idea of a small trip to either Edinburgh or Paris just to break up the trip… But we’ll decide that once we’re there.

For now, it’s just “get through the next few days at work” and “get to England safe.” After that, this, our REAL holiday, will begin, and hopefully will return us to Canada with some rest, perspective, and new ambition. And after that, I hope 2014 will be ready for us.

Love to you all.

All My Husbands

I just took what I think is going to officially be the last “pretty” view I get from my view where the trees still have leaves on them. Yeah, soon (as soon as next week?) I’ll get great views of the first snowbursts of the year, and heavy snowfalls look great on the bare branches, and ice storms are a whole new level of “beautiful” in this neighborhood. But today, I’ve got about 50% coverage on the trees, crazy slanted sunlight, and huge clouds overhead. Fall is in full swing.

And frankly, it’s put me in kind of a shitty mood as of late. Granted, it’s not just the weather (although I hate, hate, hate the cold.) I’ve been working early mornings, and this week in particular I’ve been running all over the GTA with lots of high-energy engagements, which, on top of my day job, have left me totally fried. 

In fact, I realized most acutely at some point earlier this week– I think it was after my interview with Katie Chats at the Hamilton Film Festival– that I’m having a real tough time making the two halves of my life merge right now. In the mornings, I’m treated like plebeian scum by rich people who shout at me, talk down to me, and just generally give me shit because I’m just the “receptionist.” Then I tear off to a film festival where my talents and performance are praised by reviewers, and people are actually excited to meet me in person. The next day I’m back taking shit from coworkers for a few hours, then I’m off acting as a revered prize winner at an awards show, and after that, entertaining a room full of nervous auditioners. It’s really interesting, and it’s cool and I love it, but at the same time, it’s a fucking difficult dichotomy to wrap my head around. My self-worth runs the full gamut within a few hours these days. And it’s exhausting.

So between the weather ushering me indoors to more cozy activities, and my life being full of crazy opposites that make me want to run away, just for a day, to be alone and get my head on straight, it should come as no surprise that I’ve managed to cast both a work husband and a Second City husband in the past week. 

Now, work husbands and work wives are a thing that I read about years ago, and which made perfect sense to me. If you’re spending most of your waking hours in an environment– especially one that, let’s me honest, is more often than not stressful– that your spouse has no connection to, you’re probably going to find yourself in a closer-than-normal relationship with a coworker with whom you can properly vent to about, well, work. I had a work husband towards the end of my time at my last full-time office job. So naturally, when I found myself in a fun, flirty relationship with a classmate, I coined him my Second City Husband.

Now, that was a bit different, granted. We were in a class together where most of our other classmates were actually ~50 years old. W, being handsome, funny, a great dresser, around my age, and someone who was easy to flirt with, quickly lapsed into dramatic shows of sitting on each other’s laps, giving hugs, etc. The older people were simultaneously scandalized and enthralled with our faux love affair, and so, I began calling him my Second City Husband. This seemed to quell them, and before long it was an actual Thing for us. We’d call each other Husband and Wife, introduce each other as “Heather, my Second City Wife,” and “W, My Second City Husband,” even when one or the other wasn’t there, he’d give me his coat if I was cold as per his husbandly duty, etc. 

So a week ago when the old class was planning on meeting up for the first time in months to catch one of our old teachers’ shows, there was the customary exchange of “Heather, I’ll be bringing a lady friend, but not to worry– she knows about our arrangement and is fine with it.” About half the class did attend, but with them they brought the news of W bailing on the event. In a dramatic fit of fake pique, I declared they I no longer needed him, anyway, and that I would get a NEW Second City Husband.

Well. Cue the turn of heads to me, the dropped laughs, and the serious faces.

“Who?” one of the older ladies asked.
“Uh… Sorry?” I asked.
“Who’s the new Second City Husband?”
Well, I thought to myself, I’ll just give them the name of my closest male friend in the class. They won’t know the difference, anyway.
“C,” I replied after a stuttered moment.
“Ok,” the lady replied, relaxing and nodding in approval, “He’s acceptable.”
What? “What?”
“I don’t remember all the names of the people in your class but I remember him. He’s good. That’s fine.” And she walked away.

That’s when I remembered that she and at least one other person still taking classes at Second City had come to see a couple of my class shows, since they had classes on the nights we were performing. They absolutely knew who I was talking about. And they were more than likely to mention it next time we were seen together, since it was such a huge Thing in our class that W and I were betrothed. 

Shit.

C’s wonderful and we do chat nearly every day, but it’s kind of a relationship kept between us and not flaunted around our troop mates. There’s nothing sinister about it, it’s just not best to play favorites. And is wont to happen with me and any relatively laid-back man, our flirting was, at times, out of control. I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about me just announcing that he & I were Second City Married to a group of people who could actually make this a Thing.

I whipped out my phone and sent a quick, if long, explanation of what had just happened, peppered with notes that it was a big joke, and, well, please don’t put out a restraining order against me. To my immense relief, he replied that he thought it was hilarious– more so every time I wrote back to explain exactly how this was a thing and how he had been accidentally cast as my new spouse. Once I was convinced he was laughing at the whole thing and not sitting around wincing at how awkward and desperate I am, I dropped the subject, and vowed to never bring it up with him again.

A few days later I went to a show he was part of, along with a bunch of other acts and performers. Many of my old classmates were there, people I knew from Second City, and before and after the show I spent my time having drinks with them. It was a good hour after the show before I moved over to congratulate him on his performance, and not long after that that he decided to leave, and me having come mainly to see him, I decided to go, too. I was still saying goodbye to the group he had been a part of when I looked over to realize he had said goodbye to the entire bar and was leaving– without having said goodbye to me. I cupped my hands to my mouth, and not expecting him to hear me over the music and the crowd, hollered out “Goodbye, Jerk!” in his direction. 

I guess that humans do have that funny tic where they’ll “hear” voices familiar to them over any other din, because much to my surprise he turned around, saw me, realized his mistake, and rushed back over. But… Before he reached me he had to pass two women who had apparently also heard me, and, appalled at my insult, were looking at him in shock that he would be walking over to me with a grin on his face. He leaned over long enough to shout, “It’s ok, she’s *lost over the noise of the bar.*” 

He reached me, wrapped an arm around my waist, I did the same to him, and asked what horrible insult he had just called me. He laughed and said, “I told them you’re my wife.” I looked at him incredulously, as this boy yanks my chain all the time, and asked him what he really called me. He blinked rapidly, shifted his weight, and still smiling, somewhat weakly repeated, “Wife.” I leveled him with one last measuring stare, sighed, and decided to believe him.

We parted ways after that, and it hasn’t yet been brought up again. However– a new Second City Husband has been cemented. It’s a nice, appropriate, perfect fit, and I’m relieved it’s come to this.

My new work husband was significantly less dramatic. Being one of the only men in the office, and the only other contractor, T and I had been shooting the shit since the first day we were working together. Being in IT he’s in the office sporadically, but he and I share the kind of easy, open conversation that I only find with a select few people. 

Yesterday I was especially punchy, and he was feeling the same way. Sitting alone at the front desk together I just abruptly announced that he was my Work Husband, and he cheerfully accepted the title. I gave him the briefest description of how I had found out about Work Spouses, he agreed it made sense, and then we laughed about how many husbands I have.

My “real” husband knows about all of these, and although he snickers and rolls his eyes at me, I think he’s happy I’ve latched on to some platonic loves to keep me sane at the places where  I spend most of my time.

Personally, it just warms my frustrated, frazzled little heart to have a special place with some of my favorite people.

The Song Of My People

Cheesy title, but… I think I’ve posted on here before about how I knew I was deeply unhappy with my life when I realized I didn’t sing anymore. At all. My husband even noticed it, and commented on how he hadn’t heard me sing in years. When I lived alone, even when I lived in residence, I sang all the damn time. Hours in the darkroom at school were passed singing with my CD player, and my classmates knew where to find me in the long hallway of closed doors, because Heather was always singing.

The singing started again awhile ago, but it’s reached beautiful new level lately. It’s been a fucking insane month, starting with an impromptu Nuit Blanche outing with my conservatory people.  It ended up being my first all-nighter since university, where I created some deep bonds with my classmates, gave birth to some great stories, blew out my voice for a week, screwed up my sleeping schedule for several weeks, and had soul-baring conversations that turned my world topsy-turvy. It was the unassuming marker for the beginning of a crazy schedule of work, shows, and outings with friends that would last… well, up until right now, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions (as, I think, throwing a bunch of creative, passionate people together and demanding that you trust, bond, and drink together immediately is wont to happen) but the overall arc has been positive. Crazy, but positive.

My husband has been gently chastising me these days for acting like a teenager, staying out until after the subways have stopped running (although he was right there beside me last night), drinking like a fish, and having a different date every night. He’s not wrong, and it’s exhausting, and I worry I might be getting to old for this, but at my core, I’m the happiest I’ve been in years. 

I’ve been kept busy with late nights with classmates, and several fantastic evenings of drinks catching up with old friends that I’ve been neglecting terribly lately. But in a way, it’s really nice to see them and get a few week’s worth of gossip in a single sitting; it’s like a smorgasbord for my soul. I’ve completed my final birthday kidnapping, and it was fun; low-key, but with great stories, and great memories. It’s been a full, fantastic month.

But to the singing; aside from singing in class when required, aside from the shower serenades, aside from belting out altered tunes for my cats or letting my thin little voice echo off the polished marble cavern of my receptionist’s office at work, there was a moment a couple of weeks ago that struck me and stuck with me. It was after helping out in a (different) classmate’s show. The show took place the night after a night of drinking with the whole class, where there was lots of drama, and I wasn’t sure where I stood with some of my closest friends in the class; one of whom was the only other volunteer to help with the show. The show finished, we were in the audience, and found ourselves standing alone together not all together awkwardly, but without much to say. That’s when I realized that a relatively obscure video game based song was playing as exit music, and when I commented on it, he immediately joined in the song without missing a beat, and I was close behind him. Somehow, a sweet, silly, eager duet helped heal wounds. It turned a potentially disappointing night into something fun, and funny, and sweet.

Last night I went to see that same classmate’s own show, and took Guy with me. The set didn’t even begin until 10:30pm, and the troupe didn’t get off stage until nearly midnight, and then we had drinks at the comedy club with classmates and performers for awhile. After 1am an organizer came around and asked if everyone got pizza… We zig-zagged to the room she had indicated, and were surprised to find that the club’s main theatre had been cleared of seats, there was a DJ, a light show, and a semi-pantsless dance party going on. We didn’t leave that room until we left for the night at around two in the morning, shedding coats and bags to better dance like idiots, singing with the tracks and keeping in a circle like a group of high school students.

On the way to the subway, crossing the street between stoplights, trotting down the stairs to the train, we were still singing the last song that we heard in the comedy bar-cum-club. What was the song? I can’t remember. But I remember that we were singing it together, the classmates and troupemates anyway, unabashed, carrying on the celebration; and it was wonderful. It was interspersed between dodging cars and scamming our way into the TTC two at a time in the automatic turnstyles, but as soon as serious conversation was done, singing was picked right back up. And my heart was happy.

So, to end, I’ll leave another cemented piece of music here for Autumn of 2013. This one was constantly on replay on my earphones around Nuit Blanche, and when it was overheard at 4am in a crowded, noisy Chinese restaurant where we were getting “cold tea” I commented that I loved this song; and my big, British man of a classmate crowed a perfect “Me tooooooooooo!” as if he were the drunkest girl at the party. Avicci’s Wake Me Up now forever belongs to him in my heart.