Friday, November 27, 2009

Murder at the Trickle Creek Lodge!

It's happened again. Seems to happen every year in this town, usually late in November.

Somebody, inevitably, drops dead at the Lions Hall. And then all hell breaks loose...

Yep. Another successful Murder Mystery in the books. This was the 17th annual for the Quyon Lionettes, and I'd like to know, has there ever been a year when they weren't told it was "the best one ever"?

This was my second year directing, along with Brenda, and once again, the show went off without a hitch. I think I can speak for both of us when I say we had an amazing cast, and they were firing on all cylinders when it came showtime! They literally had the audience dying with laughter (no pun intended).

Everyone was invited back to 1983, where the college gang from '63 had gathered at the Trickle Creek Lodge for their 20-year reunion. Unfortunately, before the fun could begin, one of them, Bobby Whitmore (Kenny Fleck), turned up dead in the bathtub. Lieutenant Frazer Watson (Curtis Hudson) of the Quyon Police Department arrived on the scene and narrowed the list of suspects down to eight:

Peter McCoy (Shawn Laframboise), owner of the Trickle Creek Lodge and a gambling man; Cynthia Lauper (Laura Stewart), editor of a trendy woman's magazine and former college radical group leader; Bill "Backstop" Bishop (Rolly Bernier), a one-time fastball star with the Quyon Flyers, but had taken one to many hits to the head; Phyllis Vanielli (Lynn Kearns), a high-flying stewardess caught up in the aerobics craze; Keharn Flake (Troy Cote), a "Whiz Kid" in college, but now more of a drunken mess; Wanda Wickers (Sherri-Lynn Foran), a spoiled Russian princess with a 'wicked' attitude problem; Denis Mais-Oui (Pat Carty), an undercover police officer who had dug up some dirt on his old classmates; and Bess Diddler (Steph Belanger), a beauty queen in college who ended up crippled and in a wheelchair after a devestating snowmobile accident.

Did I mention how awesome they were? Literally, one of the most enthusiastic casts I've ever been involved with. Very early on in the process, they each had begun developing their characters, coming up with names, costumes, wigs, and accents that they carried through and perfected by the time they hit the stage last Saturday night. Everything from French to Russian, ditzy to drunk, spray-painted hair to mullets, red boas to a Hawaiin shirt with a "tigger" on it...They were a diverse bunch, to say the least!

And quite literally - they had the crowd in stitches. The funny stuff they had come up with? I seriously can't even begin to describe it, because I wouldn't be able to do it any justice.

Of course, they caused me a few panic attacks along the way, including a scene that they actually did in REVERSE!! And we didn't make it through the evening without swearing, thanks to "Jumbo- F-BOMB -Tron"!! But overall, it was so much fun, and I'm again a little lost, as I am every year, now that it's over.

In the end, the game of "whodunnit" was solved by Dale MacKechnie, who correctly identified Keharn as the murderer, and provided the best reasons for how and why he murdered poor Bobby. It wasn't until Lieutenant Watson brought in his K9 unit, Shadow, though, that the murderer was finally "sniffed out"!!

Special thanks once again to all who were involved - to our incredible cast; to Brenda for keeping me sane, setting the stage, and coming up with all the awesome decorating ideas, as well as her hand in directing; to Tania Racine, Donna Provost, and Barb Meredith for their behind-the-scenes work in organizing the event; to the Lionettes for not only hosting, but also providing the delicious dinner; to Randy Labadie Financial for providing the prize; to the servers, bartenders, etc.; and of course, to the people who bought the tickets, showed up, laughed until they cried, and then told us it was "the best one ever"...'ll be fun to see if we can top it again next year!

(Cast photo thieved from Kristen Hodgins' Facebook - from left to right - Laura Stewart, Lynn Kearns, Rolly Bernier, Steph Belanger, Troy Cote, Sherri-Lynn Foran, Curtis Hudson, Pat Carty with Shadow, and Shawn Laframboise)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How Much I Loved New Moon...

To call this past weekend 'exciting' would be a bit of an understatement.
What a weekend!
To kick things off - I saw New Moon on Friday!! WOO-HOO!! I took the day off work to take Brittany, who was also off on a PD Day. We made sure we got to the Colisseum theatre in Ottawa early, as our showtime was 12:20 PM. Sure enough, by 10:30, the line-up was starting to form. Britt and I were fortunate to be at the head of the line, and got awesome seats, exactly where we wanted to be - last row, dead-centre.

It's impossible for me to write a re-cap that would fully capture how much I loved New Moon. So instead, I'm just going to give you a list of 20 reasons why I loved New Moon. And here they are, in no particular order.

1. Taylor Lautner takes his shirt off.
For those of you who don't know the story - Lautner plays Quileute native Jacob Black, Bella's childhood friend. Jacob becomes more than just a friend to Bella in New Moon - that's when the love triangle between him, Bella, and Edward begins to take shape. Edward has deserted Bella, in the hopes of keeping her safe from his dangerous world, but in his heart-breaking absence, Bella finds comfort in Jake. Lautner, only 17 years old, was in jeopardy of losing his role as Jacob in New Moon, but he fought hard to keep it by tackling a vigorous work-out & diet regimen that saw him pack on 30 lbs. of raw muscle for the flick.
And in the scene when Bella crashes her bike and Jacob first removes his shirt (you know, to help stop the bleeding on her forehead) - a very appreciative gasp went up from the predominantly female audience.
Yowzers. I've always been Team Edward, but I'm starting to appreciate where the Jacob fans are coming from...
2. OK. Now that I've got the Jacob drooling out of my system...Edward. Oh, sweet, sparkly, cold-as-ice Edward. He's beautiful. Rob Pattinson? Sexiest man alive. And even though we don't get to see him as much in New Moon, I'd still go see it just for the few amazing scenes and the "apparitions" he appears in. So awesome.
3. The Volturi - The creepy leaders of the Vampire world. Pretty cool to see them come to life. And Michael Sheen in the role of Aro was amazing - exactly how I imagined Aro should be.
4. The wolf pack - Jacob's brethren. In human form, they're all rather handsome young men who spend most of their time shirtless and in cut-off jeans. And when they're in wolf-form, they're pretty amazing CGI wolves. What's not to love about the wolves?

5. Bella's human friends, especially Mike & Jessica, add wonderful touches of humour to an otherwise somber, dark film. Both Michael Welch and Anna Kendrick sparkle - and even steal the few scenes they are in!

6. Taylor Lautner takes his shirt off. Mmmmm...
7. The movie has a pretty wicked soundtrack, which I downloaded last week in anticipation of the film's release. The only downside? No R. Pattz. Apparently Rob declined any offers to be on the New Moon soundtrack, despite pleasing his fans with two contributions to the first movie. Word is, he didn't want people to think he was cashing in on the movie, using it as a stepping-stone for his music, which he still considers his "back-up plan". Too bad, considering he's pretty talented on both guitar and piano, and is reminiscent of Ray LaMontagne with his vocals.
But, even without, Rob, we've got Death Cab For Cutie, OK Go, Grizzly Bear, Muse, The Killers, and Thom Yorke. No complaints!
8. Kristen Stewart! She does a fabulous job of portraying Bella - I can't imagine anyone else in the role. She portrays the pained-and-depressed side so well, but the bonus was that she got to smile a little more than her character ever did in the book. (And yes, I do believe her slightly more happy character might have something to do with Taylor Lautner taking his shirt off...)
9. The underwater scene. After Bella goes cliff-diving, and before Jacob rescues her, there's a dream-like moment underwater, where she lingers side-by-side with Edward. Kind of took my breath away.
10. Alex Meraz. He plays the role of Paul, one of Jake's friends in the wolf pack. Aycarumba!

11. Bella & Jacob's almost kisses. Never thought I would root for Jacob over Edward - and, well, I still don't - but when Edward was gone, it was very easy to get caught up in Jacob's hotness. And there were two scenes in the movie where they come very close to kissing! The two steamiest non-kisses I've ever seen in my life!

12. Bella's "date" with Mike and Jacob to the see the action movie Face Punch was priceless. Poor Mike. The guy is trying to compete with a vampire and a werewolf...he never stood a chance!

13. Taylor Lautner takes his shirt off. YUM.
14. The Cullen Family. They don't get a lot of screen-time this time around, but Edward's pseudo-family of vampires also provide a bit of the comic relief - Kellan Lutz as Emmett, especially. If you had to be a vampire, I'm thinking they'd be a pretty cool bunch to hang out with.
15. Dakota Fanning as Jane, the little vampire girl who can cause anyone horrific pain with just a glance. For so long, we've seen Dakota as the sweet little wide-eyed child-star - it was sort of neat to see her looking vicious with the blood-red eyes. And while I did not enjoy her causing my beloved Edward such pain, her acting resume has definitely been ramped up with this effort.

16. Edward & Bella's reunion in Volterra. When Alice whisks Bella off to Italy to save Edward, she must make her way through a throng of red-cloaked festival-goers, across a busy square, and through a fountain before finally flying into his arms and embracing him. Passionate does not begin to describe it. Seriously awesome.
17. Edi Gathegi & Rachelle Lefebvre reprise their roles as nomadic vampires Laurent and Victoria. Laurent tries to kill Bella before she's saved by the wolves, and Victoria's relentless pursuit of Bella is still not completed by the end of New Moon. It's just too bad Cam Giagandet didn't make it to the second film (his character, James, was killed in Twilight). That was some serious evil vampire hotness...

18. Billy Burke is back as Bella's overprotective dad, Charlie, and he's another scene-stealer in a flick where it's pretty hard to steal scenes from the likes of Pattinson, Lautner, and Stewart.

19. Back to Edward...Possibly my favourite part of the movie was a very simple one - at the very beginning, on the day of Bella's birthday, she's hanging out in the school parking lot with her human friends, when Edward pulls up and gets out of his car. He walks towards her, all gorgeous and slow-motion-y, and I think my heart might have just stopped, he was so beautiful. *sigh*
20. Oh. Did I mention Taylor Lautner takes his shirt off?

OK. So I intended this blog to be a re-cap of both my exciting weekend events - New Moon and the Murder Mystery. However, I think this is long enough for today. Look for the re-cap of "Up the Creek" in the next few days!

PS - If anyone wants to go see New Moon - I'm so up for going again! Let me know! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Heart Fridays

Ah, Friday. My favourite day of the week!

But this one is super-special, 'cause we're now officially ONE WEEK away from The Twilight Saga: New Moon hitting theatres! Can't wait!

And here are a few reasons why I can't wait:

And another good thing about Fridays? Memories of my delicious Dr. Alex Karev dancing in my head. Last night was a tough one for Alex on Grey's. Izzie returned to seek medical help for an old high school teacher of hers, but she still wasn't talking to Alex. I hate to see Alex so tortured...Except he's so hot when he's tortured.

Anyways, found a smokin' pic of Justin Chambers that I hadn't seen before, thought I'd share it with the female public out there:

Last but not least - what else makes this Friday so awesome? Well, I'm one day away from getting to see my dearly beloved Wade Redden again. Tomorrow I'm headed to SBP for a 2PM game vs. the Rangers with Mom, Luke, Kara, and Caden. Can't believe it's already been a year since I saw him live in his new colours. There won't be any special tribute to him tomorrow, though, so at least I don't have to worry about crying at the game. GO SENS GO!!

And, because I'm dropping in so many yummy pics this week...well, here's one of my favourites of Wade in his NYR duds:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Newest Canadian TV Star...

I knew from the first moment I saw the Pigott brothers audition on Canadian Idol two summers ago that there was something special about those guys - they oozed charisma and charm, and were talented to boot.

I've gushed about them many times on the Blog - this shouldn't be anything new to my regular readers.

But I'd like to take a moment just to do a little dance and squeal, I knew it, I knew it, I KNEW IT!!

Because in the past few months, the Pigotts have had a few big breaks. And if their stars continue to shine as brightly as they have since they were booted from the Idol stage, pretty soon everyone across this great country of ours will know who they are.

Oliver and Sebastian recently released their Pigott Brothers album, "Pigottry". I bought the downloadable version, and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. The remastered version is also now available, and their talent for music and songwriting never ceases to amaze me.

And for Sebastian, things in the acting world have kind of blown up. Since Idol, he's had guest roles on several Canadian TV shows, including The Border, The Listener, and Heartland. And this past fall, he's finally landed a permanent home on the popular Canadian show, Being Erica.

I'll admit to having never bothered watching the show until I heard Sebastian was turning up as a regular. But I'm so glad I've started. For Canadian TV, this one is actually pretty awesome - witty, well-written, edgy, sexy, and fun. The show centres around Erica Strange (Erin Karpluk), a young woman who is in a very special kind of therapy. Every week, she meets with her therapist, Dr. Tom, who sends her back in time to relive a regret from her past in order to come back and make positive changes in her present life.

This season, Sebastian was introduced as Kai Booker, the barista working at Goblins, a cafe that Erica frequents. As they have become friends, Erica has discovered that Kai is also in the same kind of time traveling "therapy" as she is, but that he still has many secrets he is not willing to let her in on...Not yet, anyways...

The best part about Sebastian being on the show? His role as the artsy, musical barista has allowed him to incorporate his & Oliver's music into the show. They have currently written two songs for the show, including "Alien Like You", a sweet, melodic song which Kai performed at an open mic night.

Not only am I thrilled to see the brothers doing so well for themselves on the Canadian music & television stages, I'm also excited to have found a television show from this country that I'm actually really interested in...I'm hooked! I can't wait to see each week what adventures Erica is going to find herself on, and to learn more about Kai. (Of course, if he continues to have steamy love scenes like he did last night, I'd keep going back just to watch that, even if the rest of the show was crap. Fortunately, it isn't!)

Tuesdays at 9 PM, folks - it's worth a watch. And how about one more round of applause for Oliver & Sebastian Pigott...So great to see how far they've come!

Monday, November 09, 2009

When Things Go Bump in the Night...

I'm not sure why, but lately I've been showing a soft-spot for scary movies.

I really don't get it. But I guess my desire to curl up on the couch with popcorn and repeatedly jump and gasp while being terrorized by on-screen horror was brought on by Halloween in the past few weeks.

I was a big horror flick fan in high school. Of course, it was a great time to discover an affection for scary movies. The mid-to-late '90's saw the release of a huge crop of teen slasher flicks, starting with Scream. It seemed like every weekend, we were gathering at somebody's house to watch the latest scary movie to hit the video stores - I Know What You Did Last Summer, Idle Hands, The Blair Witch Project, Final Destination, Halloween: H20, and so on.

I saw them all. And for the most part, hanging out with friends and screaming and laughing was a total blast.

But it was in college, I believe, that we went to the theatre to see the re-make of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I spent the entire time hiding behind my coat, and beside me, Sara was doing the same. We ended up looking at each other from behind our coats more than we actually watched the big screen. It felt like the longest two hours of my life - it felt like it was never going to end. When it was finally over, I remember thinking I spent $10 to hide behind my jacket, and what a flippin' waste of money that was.

(When it was released on DVD, we did the same thing all over again in my parents' basement with Erin - she watched, while Sara and I hid behind pillows.)

And that seemed to be where my love for scary movies ended. Oh, I've seen a few of them over the years - The Exorcism of Emily Rose, for example, but because it was based on a true story and included a courtroom drama, I didn't quite classify it as "horror". And then there was my attempt at watching the re-make of The Hills Have Eyes. I don't know if I made it through half an hour of it. It just re-affirmed my loathing of scary movies.

The Saw movies? Hostel? Not a chance in hell.

But I re-visited those fun high school days of watching scary flicks be buying and watching all three Scream movies leading up to Halloween, just to get me in the mood - and maybe they seemed more tolerable because I had already seen them all in my teen years, and sort of knew what to expect.

But that was it - I was done with them again after that!

Until...Sarah told us last week a friend from work had downloaded and made a copy of Paranormal Activity, the latest horror flick to hit theatres. Audiences have raved that it's one of the scariest movies ever, and apparently people have been getting up and leaving in the middle of it because it's that terrifying.

And Sarah wanted to know if we'd watch it with her.

I was intrigued. The scariest movie ever? What would it be like? Would I survive it? If I couldn't survive The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, how would I ever survive this? But I was curious, so along with Sue and Brenda, I agreed to watch it.

The low-budget flick introduces us to two main characters, Katie and Micah, a young couple living in a suburban tract house. Katie claims to have had paranormal experiences off-and-on since she was a child, and the entity that haunts her has now followed her to this house, and it is growing more hostile. Micah has bought a camera to set up in their room to try and capture some of this paranormal activity while they are sleeping.

Over the course of several weeks, he catches increasingly-frightening activity each night. Loud thuds and footsteps. Doors slamming. Grunts and whispers. Katie climbing out of bed and standing, staring at him, for hours at a time, without barely moving.

Stuff like that.

Okay, so it was a little freaky.

But the scariest movie everrrrrrrrr? Not quite. Not in my books, anyways. For one thing, I found it rather reminiscent of The Blair Witch, which I also was not overly-impressed by. Hours of documentary-style footage, shaky hand-held filming, odd angles, etc. - which can kind of drag on and get boring after awhile - and then builds us up to an ending that happens so quickly, it's like, "Huh?" (Now, to be fair, the version of the film we saw was not the one with the ending being seen currently in theatres. And from what I've read, the other ending is a little more creepy...) Also, the few other characters in the movie - Katie's friend, and the psychic who visits their home - were absolutely horrible actors.

That being said, there were a few good things to talk about. For one thing, Katie and Micah were entirely believable in their roles as a young couple being terrorized and torn apart by a demon haunting them. Micah was also good for a few laughs. When Katie screamed and he jumped, but then went back for the camera, only to discover her frightened by a giant spider in their bathroom - it was pretty comical, especially when she cries, "Did you go back for the camera?!" Another time, while trying to communicate with the spirit, Micah asks, "What is your quest?...What is your favourite colour?"

(There was debate amongst us afterwards on what kind of guy Micah was - in my opinion, he seemed like a typical guy who discovers his girlfriend is being terrorized by a demon - at first, laughs it off, then tries to have fun with it with all his gadgets and ghost hunting, and eventually gets possessive and macho and down-right pissed when he realizes he actually is dealing with something out of his league and pretty frightening. I thought it was kinda sweet how he tried to protect her. Brenda, on the other hand, thought he was a complete asshole.)

To be honest - the night clips of their bedroom and the scary shit going down...well, yeah, it was pretty creepy. But I really have no idea why people would get up and leave this one in the middle of it. I never even had to hide my eyes.
I realize that a scary movie doesn't necessarily need guts and gore to make it scary; that this one hits more on a psychological level. What do you do when things are going bump in the night? What do you do when it always happens when you're asleep and you're at your most vulnerable? What do you do when it's a volatile demon taking pleasure in terrorizing you? What do you do when you can't make it go away?

I guess that's the reason why this one is making waves and getting people excited about horror flicks again.

And despite the fact that I think I've seen scarier - I guess that's also why I went to sleep that night with the lights on...

Friday, November 06, 2009


A long time ago, I remember reading an article (I think it was in Readers Digest) about a young couple that had a pre-mature baby. The baby was struggling, and spent the first months of its life in the hospital, where each day was touch-and-go. Terribly under-developed, the doctors were certain the child wouldn't live.

Until one day, the (ridiculously-handsome) father of the baby visited his child in the NICU, and the nurses told him he could take the baby out of the incubator and hold it if he wanted to. After holding it for awhile, the medical staff noticed the baby's vitals were improving. One doctor suggested to the father that he take his shirt off, and hold the child skin-to-skin, as he had heard that often gave preemies a boost.

There was a picture of that dad, shirtless, holding his itty-bitty infant against his chest. It was an image that stuck with me.

The father spent hours every day doing exactly that, as his child became stronger and beat the odds. Several months after pre-maturely arriving into this world, the couple were allowed to take their healthy baby home. The doctors credited the baby's miraculous rally to the hours spent in its father's arms, snuggled against his chest. The skin-to-skin contact, and the father's heartbeat, were the reason they said the baby began to thrive on its own.

It was a story I've never forgotten, so you can imagine my delight when I got to see it played out last night on Grey's Anatomy.

In last night's episode, a pregnant woman was in a car accident, and her baby actually had a stroke in the womb. They performed an emergency C-section to deliver the pre-mature baby, but after working on the child endlessly, it was deemed that it would not survive.

You all know how much I absolutely adore the hot-but-troubled Dr. Alex Karev. In recent episodes, Alex has been more troubled than usual. He married Izzie last season at the height of her battle with cancer, and in earlier episodes this season, Izzie returned to work, only to be fired after Seattle Grace's merger with Mercy West Hospital. She left Alex, and nobody has seen or heard from her since.

Kinda makes for an even-more-hostile-than-usual Alex.

But that's the beauty of Alex. Despite his crusty, edgy, brutal exterior attitude, inside we've seen glimpses of a big softie. Especially when it comes to Izzie. And especially when it comes to him working in Pediatrics. He's had a knack with the little ones since the first season. He never fails to melt my heart when he's dealing with the kiddies.

But last night, it was extra-special. After fighting to save the baby's life, he'd given up. So he picked the baby up, knowing it didn't have a chance, and murmured, "You're not alone...I'm're not alone..."

Bailey found him a while later, still holding the child, and they realized that the baby's vital signs were actually improving. She remarked that Alex was holding the baby Kangaroo-style, and she had heard of cases of preemies beginning to thrive when the parents held them like that. She encouraged Alex to take off his shirt, and see if the skin-to-skin, heart-to-heart contact would also help.

No complaints from me. The studly Justin Chambers, shirtless, holding a baby? Holy cow.

And, of course, it worked. Alex never left the baby. He stayed there, half-naked, while the rest of the doctors teased & made fun of him. But Alex knew the mother, recovering from her car accident injuries, was unable to be with her child, so he stuck with it. He had nowhere else to go - with Izzie gone, Alex is so lost and alone. And he bonded with that little baby, also lost and all alone.

It was a bittersweet moment when they wheeled the mother in to meet her baby for the first time, and Alex had to hand the infant over. Thanks to him, the baby survived, but it had a mother who loved it and was ready to take over. Alex, on the other hand, still has no idea where Izzie is, and he's still all alone and fighting to make it through each day without crumbling...

Definitely one of my favourite Grey's episodes, ever.

There was one other special moment - a heart-wrenchingly sad moment - during this episode that was centred in the Peds ward. When Arizona lost a long-time patient of hers, a little boy named Wallace, and had to bring his parents to the morgue to see him one last time - well, that scene just about ripped my heart out. It truly captured the horrorific grief a parent feels after losing a child.

It's a place one should never have to go.

OK, so I've rambled about Grey's long enough now...but at least it's a blog, right? On two consecutive days. A miracle all on its own!

Have a good weekend :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Snow Day!

It's been a billion years since I last wrote a blog...The guys were still playing ball for crying out loud.

(But for the record - that doesn't seem like all that long ago in my world. Where the heck did October go?!)

Anyways - good thing ball season's over, 'cause November has hit with a bang. Yes, that's right, a nice little dusting of snow today to remind us all that fall is officially over and we're swinging very quickly into the holiday season! YESSSSSSSSS!

But does anybody remember the early hit of snow we took last year? Makes today look like nothin'. It came on October 28th last year. And it was a good couple of inches. Complete ground cover. For most people in the area, it was a nightmare.

However for me - the kid who loves all things snowy and Christmassy - it rocked!

I love November. It's when the slow build of excitement leading up to December 25th begins. This is the time of year I start my Christmas shopping, start booking holiday parties, and start lining up the Christmas tunes and holiday movies for the weeks to come.

How quickly I've moved from Scream (yikes, had enough of that last weekend...) to Home Alone.

Oh, and there's another reason why I love November - this November in particular. A little movie coming out that I've been anxiously waiting for.

November 20th. Twilight Saga: New Moon hits theatres. I...can't...wait.

Ah, Edward. How I've missed thee.

So my vow for November is to try and get back into this Blogging thang, and I'm sure by the time I get to see New Moon, you will have all heard so much about it, you'll be wishing I'd disappear again!