A Caucophony of Lifestyle

So it’s come to that time of the year where I’m finishing everything up.  It’s been a whirlwind few months – I’m turning 27 in a week and will be finishing my first year back at school in Television Broadcasting at Seneca College.

Since my last post, we’ve had a lot of Grover issues, and got him a full blood test.  It turns out that there isn’t anything wrong physically with him (no cancer or anything), but as he continues to get older and blinder it seems like losing his senses has upped the ante on his separation anxiety.  He’s still kicking it, and is now sporting a pheremone collar in conjunction with a medication called zylkene.

Grover and Fenton TreatsIn any case, we’re trekking along and seeing what will happen. Other things that have happened, we completed the run of Pirates of Penzance which included a fair bit of drama.  The second night of the run, during the opening scene Justin got a mug in the face, and ended up with a huge gash under his eye.  Since Frederick doesn’t leave the stage for a long time, he quietly spoke with the Pirate King and ran off stage to mop up blood during the Pirate King’s song.  We also ran into colds and car trouble along the way, but we made it through and the audience apparently didn’t notice a thing!  Phew!

ACT 1 COSTUMES AliJustinPirates2ACT 2 COSTUMESAliJustinPirates1

In other news, we’ll be attempting to spend more time in Ottawa over the summer, since my wonderful sister had a beautiful baby boy.  I was so excited to meet my nephew last month, and we’ll be taking a trip in a couple weeks so Justin can meet him too.

Until next time!



Pirates of Penzance!

Hi WordPress!! I’ve been awful at updating my blog lately, but I’m trying to get more in the routine of posting again.  What I’ve been up to lately is trying to train our ever anxiety ridden dog after coping with a complaint from a rude neighbour working lots and rehearsing for an upcoming show that I’m in.  The Pirates of Penzance!! I have a soft spot for this show after having been one of the maidens when we did this show in my high school when I was in grade 10.  This time around I’ll be playing Mabel and Justin will be playing Frederick .  It’s fun learning all the runs and playing around with a show that I knew most of the music for already.  In any case…I’m looking forward to the performances!! Check out the poster and a Saturday rehearsal show picture below.  Just imagine us all saying “Pirates” with jazz hands.  Woot!


Pirates of Penzance - North Toronto Players - 2013

Long time no see!

Well, it’s been ages since I’ve done a blog post, so I thought it was about time for a catch up.  Better late than never!  I’ve been working 3 jobs (1 full time and 2 part-time) in preparation for going back to school.  Luckily (or maybe necessarily) I took off the last week before school gets started so I’ve been able to fit in a few activities before getting back to the grindstone.

To start with, Justin got an i-phone.  This means way more photos (mostly of the pets), but also this weekend his photo was picked up via Instagram to appear in The National Post.  We’ll need to get a hard copy!  This was his invented dinner while I was working at night:



We started off my being done my summer temp job by joining some friends at the Ex:



Justin and Mel work for a company called Bandzoogle, and we were all along for the wonderful work retreat in Montebello this past week (this was the main reason I had decided to take that last week off).  We all had a great time and also had fantastic weather to go with the great companions.



Also – our favourite thing, board games!



Now, we’re back in Pembroke visiting with Family and enjoying a relaxing couple of days before things really start up again.  Hope everyone had a great summer!!



Oh wait! I almost forgot about the kitties (they’re at home being cuddled after by one of my coworker friends).



A Birthday Weekend

When I was just a wee person (shorter than I am now!), I always tried to be cool and not be overly excited for my birthday.  But the truth is, my favourite part of birthdays are the little things – every year my Grandma and Grandpa call and my Grandpa sings me Happy Birthday.  This year was no exception, and it made it extra exciting when my Dad and Jill brought me a large sized photo of my Grandpa Art in his fully decked out army uniform.  I think it was the picture they used on a display they did for the war museum.

In any case, I got to see so much family and friends over the weekend that I was ecstatic.  On friday night, I decided to have a board game night.  Luckily for me a ton of people showed up, and I got to really enjoy the company of a bunch of my favourite people.  Justin’s parents came for a visit and helped us get ready ahead of time.  This is the boys making my sister’s wonderful jalapeno poppers:

My sister even has the recipe on her blog:


I decided I would also bake ahead of time a bunch of my favourite foods, including chocolate chip cookies (I always use the recipe on the back of the ChipIts Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips), peanut butter cookies (my mom’s recipe – I’ll post sometime!) and one of my all time favourites – cheesecake!

One of my favourite board games, or I guess it’s a card game, that always calls for hilarity and getting to know one another is Apples to Apples.  Fun fun fun!! I’ve also had a bunch of people suggest ‘Cards for humanity’ to me, and I’ve been dying to check that out.  The evening ended with lots of content people as far as I know, and I had a quiet dinner with Justin and Mike and Peg on Saturday, and my Dad and Jill came to visit and I convinced Justin to watch Hunger Games with me (my second time…eep!) at night, so we could talk about it afterwards.  What a busy wonderful weekend.  I think Tito and Bebe sum up my current feelings the best.

I have the best family and friends! And Happy Earth Day everyone!!

Funny Cats

Last weekend I surprisingly didn’t have to work on Saturday night (a very rare occurrence lately), so I decided that Justin and I should go for wings and beer at the Right Wing right by our house.  They were having this NHL event and gave us loot bags on the way home.  The best part of the loot bags, was clearly all the paper bag fun that could be had.  Of course, I whipped out my phone and took a couple videos.  Right before this video, the cats had been fighting over who could dive bomb into the bag first, so Justin thought he’d continue the fun.   We do love our cats!!  Hope you find it as funny as we did!

Blogging – a world that I have had so little time for of late.  So what have I been up to?  Well, I have left my regular full time job, and have been interning at Metro14 in preparation for going back to school in the fall for broadcasting.  I desperately needed a career change to find something more creative.  As a result though, I also have several part time jobs, and most fun of all…have been involved with the North Toronto Player’s again this year.

The show started planning awhile back, and so I had no idea that I would be so busy when we first started rehearsing before the Christmas holidays.  Even so, I love this fun and creative group (theme of this blog – finding creativity!) and was very excited to be playing Josephine in the Starship Pinafore (The Lass Who Loved a Trekkie).  Yes, the show is as it sounds…HMS Pinafore set in the wonderful world of Star Trek.


Look at all those faces!! The wonderful cast of this show got to truly express individual creativity this time around with all the different costuming options.  The best way to demonstrate this is to take a look at this photo, as we dance away in the first act ‘finale’.


I know a ton of audience members who were particular fans of Marvin the Martian.  Another truly creative and exciting part of doing shows with this group is that the director, Michael Harms, always gives his actors so much to work with.  I always end up playing the boring and lovestruck girl, and despite this, Michael helps me find the interesting parts of the character.  As always, it’s fun discovering humour in my scene with Justin (aka. Ralph T Rackstraw) and trying not to laugh at his hilarious Kirk-isms.


One of the more creative aspects on the show side, is that HMS Pinafore is actually quite a short show.  It’s often paired with G&S’s “Trial By Jury” to make for a longer night for the patrons.  In this case, Michael and the music director John Riciardelli inserted the trial section partway through the second act of Pinafore to add some length, depth and fun to the show.  Check out the Ferengi…!Image

The show played over two weekends, and fun for me – my mom came to help out backstage for the first weekend.  On the drive to the theatre opening night, we realized that we first worked on a show together 17 years ago (when I was 8) and was dancing in Les Petits Ballets’ “Cinderella”.  It was fantastic to revisit such a longstanding tradition.  Though it was a little shocking to realize just how long!


The show had two weekends of wonderful audiences, and I was pleased to find out that some of my free advertising methods paid off, and most importantly that the audience enjoyed watching the show as much as we enjoyed performing in it.  I will try to post some video clips once the taped version is received (it usually takes awhile).

Until next time, live long and prosper!!


I haven’t written a new blog in a little while, and I logged onto my account the other day and realized that my last post was ironically about how our fire alarm in the building goes off all the time and we never leave because they’re always false alarms.

A couple weeks ago now, the fire alarm went off, once again at 2 or 3 am approximately, and we once again didn’t leave because the fire alarm allllways goes off.  Finally the alarm was going off for such a long time we decided to get up and try to ignore the noise.  Then there was a knock at our door.  I answered, and it was our neighbour across the hall, pointing down the hallway which was now filled with smoke warning us to get out.  I stammered a thank you (I think!), and turned to Justin and said “we have to get out”.

The best part of this frightening situation was probably realizing that Justin and I are actually a very good team.  I immediately put Grover’s collar on, and then shoved Sweeney into his crate.  We’ve both always had a hard time getting Sweeney in his crate (on vet days), but that night I picked him up and he went right on in willingly.  It was also odd because he normally hides during the alarm, but didn’t this time.  Then Justin asked what we would do with Fenton, since we only have the 1 cat crate.  I said we should put him in the same crate, but Justin didn’t think that was a great idea, so I said ‘well, put him in a duffel bag?”.  After a struggle, Fenton was zipped in the bag.  I grabbed our coats, we shoved our boots on and I grabbed my purse and we opened the door to an even smokier still hallway.

I have learned so much about fire safety as an adult, and I still didn’t totally react appropriately in this situation (in retrospect).  As we were leaving to enter the stairwell, I put my hand on the doorknob (mistake 1 – you’re supposed to use the outside of your hand so your palm isn’t burnt if you need to crawl), and it was warm, but not hot, so we continued.  Part way down, I covered my mouth with my free hand (the other was carrying Sweeney’s crate), and could hear Justin coughing non stop behind me.  He was carrying Grover and duffel bagged Fenton, so he had no free hands.  All of a sudden I hear Justin swear and a commotion – Fenton had gotten out of his duffel bag.  I quickly grab the duffel bag, and Justin grabs Fenton as we’re greeted by a firefighter with a breathing mask.  A few more steps and we’re greeted by a building personnel member and ushered outside.

Once we were outside we were both (Justin and I) shaking, but relieved we were outside and had all the pets.  Luckily, we clearly agree on getting the pets and getting out as our only priorities during this kind of a situation.  We expressed our happiness that at this point, we’re safe, and we have home insurance.

Fenton was free of his duffel bag and I took him and he nuzzled into my neck for the hour or so we were outside.  We could kind of see the commotion on the side of the building but still had no idea what was going on.  I had thought the fire was on our floor, due to all the smoke, but it had actually started in a dumpster, and climber up onto a 2nd floor balcony and caught the apartment in there.

We eventually were able to get back into the building (which was good because it was cold out, especially after the adrenaline wore off).  Our apartment was totally unaffected, and I kept regretting having left (in retrospect always), however when we saw the damage of the building the next day, I’m still glad we left.










Then again, just yesterday the fire alarm went off yet again at 4:30am.  Both Justin and I felt very anxious waking up, but this time I thought, I’ll have to be careful before we leave – since last time it would have meant less smoke inhalation if we hadn’t left.  I was watching avidly through the peep hole to our neighbours who were standing in the hallway watching down the hallway to where the commotion was.  They didn’t leave so when the fire alarm finally went off, we hadn’t had to go out into the -25 degree weather with the pets (also, it reminded me that we should really get another crate, like ASAP!).  Then about half an hour or so later, the power went off in our apartment.  Hydro Toronto had been on our street lately, so I just thought it was an annoying coincidence.  Then approximately half an hour after that I answered a knock on our door to a fireman letting me know they had turned off the power to our unit.  I had to get up in half an hour, so I finally dozed off right before my alarm went off.  Turns out the fire was on our floor (and it certainly smelled like it), and obviously it was something that needed the power to be turned off for.  They were cleaning up the apartment as I was leaving for work.

After all this, along with the 3 thefts that have occured on our floor, as well as an assortment of other issues, I keep wondering if we should seriously consider moving.  The other moral of this story – always make sure you have enough crates for your number of pets.

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