I’m back in Vancouver after my nearly six months away, have moved into my new place, and finally got the internet up and running. These are all good signs that I will be returning to blogging!
First, here’s a little glimpse at what’s been keeping me busy for the past 10 days: Home renos and Moving.
Living Room: It’s still missing the new couch
Dining area and Kitchen: Complete with tile backsplash
Bedroom: I have missed my bed so much.
The bathroom: Sophisticated with a touch of Silly
I am so pleased with how it looks now!
I remember reading books as a pre-teen where the protagonists were in their early 20′s and did things like own houses, get married, have real jobs, and have kids. And I remember thinking how far away that seemed. And now here I am at 26 with a real job that never quite feels like a real job, but I’m finally about to check off the first thing on my being a grown up check list: I’ve bought a condo!
With the very generous help of my parents, I have purchased a one bedroom condo in Vancouver. It’s just blocks away from my old apartment and has everything I wanted (except a balcony, so if anyone wants me old little BBQ, let me know). Most excitingly it has a kitchen three times the size of my old one, a dishwasher, and in suite laundry!
I signed the final paperwork this afternoon and take possession when I get home from tour at the end of April. It’s all very exciting.
The condo, looking from the living room towards the kitchen
Signing all the paperwork to make it official
Wanted: As much fun in 2013 as I had in 2012
1. I resolve to focus more fully on the people I am physically with, putting aside my phone and the digital world so that I can really connect.
2. I resolve to buy a condo in the first half of the year and to have the money saved from my tour to pay for any renovations I want to do.
3. I resolve to focus more on the amazing and positive things that are happening than complaining about the negative.
4. I resolve to finally visit New York.
5. I resolve to be able to say “This was the best year yet” at the end of the year.
I don’t know if you can tell from the photo above, but I am maybe a bit of a hoarder. I have a hard time throwing away cards. Birthday cards, Christmas cards, Valentines, Opening & Closing Night cards, graduation cards, post cards, and even letters have been finding their way into my “card box” for the last 10 years. That’s right, I haven’t thrown out a card in 10 years. But now I’m preparing for my move into storage and am feeling like I need to organize and purge some of the things in my house. So I spent an afternoon with the card box. I re-read all of them. Okay, I skimmed all of them. But I sat there and realized that with some of the cards, I couldn’t even remember who the person was who gave it to me. Of course, with other cards and letters I found myself crying softly as I remembered friends and family members who are no longer with us. It was a very cathartic experience.
As I read through, I pulled out the special cards – the ones where the writer had clearly put thought into what they were saying and that still effected me, even well past the circumstance that it was written for. There were 12 of them. In that giant pile, only 12 had a message that really mattered. So I kept those 12, tied them with a pretty ribbon, and put them somewhere safe. And the other 2+ feet worth got recycled.
And then I tackled the “important papers” boxes and filed all the actually important things, and got rid of that warranty for my first ever laptop and the copy of a reference letter from my high school principal (among other things). I found the papers I was looking for (namely the current rental agreement for my apartment with the list of damage that existed when I moved in 3 years ago), but also have arranged things so that now I will always be able to find what I’m looking for.
And all of this organizing and purging has been so re-energizing. Every time I sit down with something to clean out I feel better. I’ve taken out two large garbage bags, two large bags of paper recycling, one large bag of clothes to give away and I feel so much better. It’s the one good thing about moving.
The last two months – since I returned to Vancouver from Toronto – have been crazy.
Hanging out at the Fringe with volunteer (and SLIP-friend!) Jordan.
Upon my return I jumped straight back to work at the Fringe. And when I say straight back to work, I mean I caught an early morning flight, landed at 9am, and was in the office – still dressing in my closing night party clothes – by 10:30am. Things were running full steam and the Festival this year was bigger than ever. I was so proud of the work that the Onsite artists did this year, and even pushed some of my own boundaries by giving a speech and presenting an award on the last night of the festival. My final “shows attended” count for the festival this year was 44 (including Pick of the Fringe shows).
Just as I was attempting to recover from the Festival (and really, two weeks of not eating or sleeping right do require recovery), I got word that the building I’ve lived in for the past three years had been sold and the new owners wanted to meet all of us. The next day I was handed a piece of paper saying that I had two months to move out as they were going to be renovating the building. Here in Vancouver, we call this “renovictions” as they often happen as a way for owners to get rid of longer term renters whose rent is below current market value so that they can crank up the rent. But they’d done all the right paperwork, so I’m now getting ready to move out in 5 weeks. Thankfully when landlords do something like this, they give you some time rent free, so financially that’s helpful.
Even Cue got in the vacation spirit, lounging on the beach with a novel
And then a week later I met up with my parents and jumped on a plane to Mexico to really relax. My brother flew down from Mexico to meet us there. I got home last night after a full week away and my body hasn’t stopped feeling like I’m still being rocked by the waves yet. I would spend many hours a day in the water, many more reading, and none of them working. I read a novel completely for pleasure, two non-fiction books that were semi work related, five scripts for upcoming projects, and a couple of classics that I have in my Kindle app, but am sad to admit I had never read before (like Alice in Wonderland & The Jungle Book). It was wonderful.
And now I’m home, packing, organizing, and preparing to jump into the next couple of adventures – and don’t worry, there’ll be more on them soon.
One of the great things about SLIP is that the timing allowed me to come out to Toronto for my dear friend Adrianna’s 30th birthday party. And when Adri throws a party, it’s not your average party. This party was a 1930′s Speakeasy, complete with live jazz trio. I don’t have much to day about it, but I do have some awesome photos to share.
This is what a Speakeasy party looks like.
The jazz trio. Because every party should have live music.
The birthday girl with her cake.
Classy ladies at the end of the night with shoes off.
Gangster Lois hides her flask in her cleavage.
Gangster Lois is not impressed with photos.
Gangster Lois is even less impressed with being arrested.
Okay I’m actually pretty delighted with my whole Gangster life.
May 10, 2012
The bad links are back again! Sorry everyone. I’m working with my hosting providers to figure out how/why this is happening and to prevent it from happening again. I don’t want to re-install my software every three months due to hackers. Hopefully everything will be resolved soon. In the meantime, please don’t click any of the links in the footer of the post pages.
Feb 3, 2012
HUGE Thank yous to Ian Garrett! In the middle of the night he helped me re-install the core software that runs the website and overwrite whatever code had gotten into it. So the site is all better now. Thanks to Ian! And I am doubly grateful for having such talented friends.
Feb 2, 2012
Hi All -
Appears the site has been hacked. Please don’t click on any of the links on the side of the main page or the side or bottom of any individual post pages. I’m working hard to resolve this, but the site may look a bit odd over the next few days as I try to figure out what is causing this!
A good portion of my personal office supply collection spread out on my bed. Notice that my weakness is things in fun colours. Even the staples are colourful!
You know the scenario – you’re printing a script and run out of paper or you go to use your favourite extra fine felt-tipped pen and find its out of ink or, heaven forbid!, your industrial strength hole punch breaks mid project. You need to finish the project which means a trip to the office supply store is in your immediate future. If you’re anything like me this is both exciting and awful.
I LOVE office supply stores. I also have a problem with buying far more than I need. In fact, my tiny apartment currently has four drawers plus a large tub of office supplies (and that’s not counting specialty items for scrapbooking and card-making).
So when faced with a need to go office supply shopping, how do you go in to the store without buying a new 24 pack of sharpies (you will NEVER use the seafoam sharpie. Just don’t buy it!) or another box of 200 paperclips (even if they are blue/green/purple/pink sparkley ones)? Here are a few rules:
- Make a list.
- Stick to your list.
- Walk around the store twice. Once to pick up all the items that look appealing and once to put back all the things you really can’t justify. I promise you DO NOT need that pack of Spiderman pencils, even if they are on sale for $0.97. You have more pencils at home.
- Make a budget for when you go over your list.
- Stick to your budget.
- If you’ve picked up an item that costs more than $20 and it wasn’t on the list, put it back. NOW. Items over $20 at an office supply store are too big of purchases to be impulse buys!
- You do not NEED the jumbo pack. Yes, it is usually cheaper per item to buy your favourite pens in the 24 pack instead of the four pack, but by the time you need pen number 24 you probably will have lost it anyway. Buy the four pack. Use them until they’re dead. Then buy four more. I don’t care how good your system for saving pens is. You never need the 24 pack.
- The exception to rule 7 is when your favourite pen is going out of production. Just like all products, pen suppliers sometimes stop producing a specific style. If your favourite pen is going out of production please by all means buy the 24 pack. Finding a new favourite pen is hard.
- The Sharpie permanent pencil is not worth your money. I’ve bought it, tried it, and now you don’t have to.
- Never ever assume you know the state of your collection without checking it. That’s how I ended up with over 200 writing implements.
A breakdown of some of my office supplies.
My resolution for 2012 is quite simple (and I know Barney Stinson would approve):
BE MORE AWESOME.
What does that look like?
It looks like writing a biography that includes the phrase “… is Ms. Dawson’s European stage management debut.”
It looks like producing my own theatre with friends.
It looks like taking a number of free online MIT graduate level management and leadership classes.
It looks like blogging more frequently.
It looks like continuing to have the best group of incredibly talented girl friends in Vancouver and Toronto and elsewhere.
It looks like wide open space to go on new adventures.
It looks like making brand new mistakes.
It looks like me.