Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Murder at Dale's 50th Birthday Party!!

Some of you have been wondering why I've been so quiet this week. Where is the Murder Mystery recap, dammit?!? Where is it?!?!

Truth be told? I haven't been doing anything. I've just been breathing.

Because for the past month or so? I wasn't breathing. At all.

As many of you already know, and as I've talked quite a bit about on this blog, I'm a worrier. I panic. I wallow in anxiety. And when I'm stressed out, I.don't.breathe.

So, while preparing for Murder Mystery, holding practices for the cast, and planning all the details and decorations with co-director Brenda, I was literally spazzing out. I had several members of my cast that loved to wind me up and make me nuts. Towards the end, I was even starting to pray for some illness - not bad, just something contagious - to hit me a few days before, so that I could hide away in my room until it was all over.

Of course - of course - I didn't need to worry. But there ain't nobody in the world who could've assured me of that beforehand. (Just ask B!)

Once again, it was a great show! About 190 people crammed into The Shamrock Lounge (aka the Lions Hall) for Dale MacKechnie's swanky 50th birthday celebration. (Major coup? Getting Dale to play himself, only a few weeks after his actual 50th Birthday!! Score!!)

Security was tight that night (another amazing feat - getting my brother and Wayne to man the doors in black suits, head-sets, and shades - they looked pretty spiffy if I do say so myself!), but somehow, eight undercover spies managed to gain access to MacKechnie's lavish party, and all became suspects after he was murdered. His body was found on the balcony shortly after the party began - he had been strangled.

Wayne and Luke - our Door Security Guards

Fortunately, two of the attendees from last year's events at the Trickle Creek Lodge had become police officers, so we welcomed back Kaptain Keharn Flake (Troy Cote) and Deputy Bess Diddler (Steph Belanger) to solve the murder.

Troy & Steph in costume as Kaptain Flake and Deputy Diddler

After arriving on-scene, they quickly began interrogating the suspects: Ivan Oder (Joe McCleary), an American spy with a bad temper, posing as a security guard; Camille Sol (Tammy Cheslock), an agent from France, working as a maid; Paddy O'Furniture (Bill Young), a member of the IRA, giant leprechaun, and bartender; Jessica Tom Collins (Marie-Eve Provost), a CIA agent and Dale's grief-stricken fiancee; Duke Bigalow (Derek McColgan), another member of the CIA and handsome gigolo; Natasha Kozlov (Lise Nobert), a Russian spy posing as a famous singer; Simon Rickman (Marc Kingsbury), a double-agent and computer whiz; and Anita Mandalay (Joanne Marcotte), hired by Dale to be the "woman of the evening" and entertain the male guests.

Those of you who have been to one before know how it goes after that. They spent the next three hours pointing fingers at one another and defending themselves, while the crowd roared with laughter and enjoyed a delicious dinner.

You don't get much better than that!

It was a fantastic night, and I once again must thank my cast for dedicating their time and energy to this fundraiser that the Quyon Lionettes host, and it is definitely one of the highlights in the community. Also, to Brenda for putting up with my crap; to the Lionettes for allowing us to tackle the project once again; to all who helped out along the way; and to all who came out and enjoyed the show.

Our Security Guards with the dead guy

I wasn't sure it was possible to top last year's Murder Mystery. But MC Patti Davis announced that we were successful in doing so, so kudos to everyone involved!

In the end, it's always worth it.

And I'm able to breathe again.

This is what I look like when I breathe again. Okay, maybe it was the rum.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Doing It for Daron

As my last post indicated, it's been a stressful week. With Murder Mystery finally almost here, and a million other things going on in my life, it's easy to get swallowed up in the hype and anxiety, and entirely lose focus.

But this week, I've also had perspective. Because sometimes, there are bigger things going on in the world, and thinking of them is a fresh - and sometimes painful - reminder that no matter how stressful and worrisome my life feels right now, there are people with bigger problems. Real problems. And sadness and pain that is incomprehensible.

My anxiety over Murder Mystery seems so small and insignificant in comparison.

Last weekend, Ottawa Senators assistant coach Luke Richardson & his wife Stephanie lost their youngest daughter Daron after a suicide attempt. She was only 14 years old. The news of Daron's death stunned the community, and we felt the sharp disbelief close to home as well, since the Richardsons' have roots in Shawville.

I can only imagine the pain and grief that Daron's family and friends are experiencing. It's terrible enough to deal with a shocking death, an accident, a sudden end to a beautiful life. It's quite another to deal with that loss knowing she took her own life.

But Luke, Stephanie, and their eldest daughter Morgan have done something very courageous in the wake of this tragedy. Rather than hiding the details of their daughter's death and dealing with it secretly, they have been open about it in hopes of removing the stigma that comes with suicide. Their hope is that by sharing their pain with the public, it will bring awareness to teen suicide and how important it is to open with your child and be understanding of their moods and issues.

Yesterday, Scotiabank Place was filled with jersey-wearing men, women, and children, but for once, it wasn't for a hockey game. A 2-hour celebration of Daron' s life was held, with her family, friends, students from her school, the entire Senators organization, friends from around the NHL, and many members of the community coming out to grieve with her parents and sister.

Apparently none of Daron's family or friends saw this coming. She was a gorgeous girl with so much going for her - a privileged life thanks to her father being a former NHL'er and now coach, an excelling student at Ashbury College, a talented athlete with a bright future in women's hockey...

Nobody knows exactly what was going on beneath the surface to compel Daron to end her own life. We may never know.

But today, we wear purple in Daron's memory, and in the hopes of bringing awareness to teen suicide.

No child should ever feel that hopeless or that lost.

Make sure to let the people you love most in your life know it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Can you say *STRESSED*?!?!

I hate this week. Wanna know why?

It's the week of Murder Mystery. And it's the middle of November.

Know what that means? It means I'm stressing about two very major things:

A) Murder Mystery. Natch.
B) The fact that I have ONE FREAKIN' CHRISTMAS PRESENT BOUGHT AND THAT'S IT while the rest of the world is done their shopping and already has it wrapped and hidden in a magic closet waiting for the big day.


So. Murder Mystery first. Could I ever find a cast that doesn't love to wind me up and watch me go squirrely every. single. day? Don't get me wrong. I love them. They're going to be awesome. And this time next week, I will have written a lovely blog about them, blowing sunshine up their butts, and thanking them for being the bestest cast ever.

But until that day, I will worry. Worry about them not knowing their lines or getting drunk or doing a scene backwards or - God forbid - dropping f-bombs on-stage.

Throw that in with all the other little (and big) things that need to be done in preparation for MM, and I'm pretty much a basket case. Take today, for example. I woke up at 6 AM, half an hour before my alarm - I get SO pissed when that happens - and the first stupid little though that went clanging through my brain was, "We don't have a finale. We've never even thought of a clever ending."

Awesome. Two practices left, one being dress rehearsal, and we don't have a way to finish the thing off!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

The good news? I've got lots of super-smart people around me who have awesome ideas and who love to remind me that this thing always works out, no matter how sure I am that it's going to blow giant chunks.

(And if any of my cast is out there reading this, please don't be offended. You really are all awesome and I love you immensely. And you won't blow giant chunks. I just worry about it every year. It would be weird if I didn't.)


The other stress factor, as I mentioned, is stupid Christmas.

Again, don't get me wrong. I love Christmas. Absolutely my most favourite time of the year. And this year, I should have less to worry about because I basically cancelled presents with all of my friends (Cuba, here I come!!), and I only have my immediate family to buy for.

Even better - my family ruled that I buy the couples "couple presents" instead of individual gifts, because it's not fair that I buy them each a gift, while they slap "Love, Him & Her" on theirs. Perfect-o.

But you know what? It's superhard to find a gift that is suitable for both. And they really really suck at giving suggestions. Take Luke's wonderful idea from the weekend: " can get us a two-man bicycle. But don't worry if you can't afford that. You can get us a unicycle and she can ride on my shoulders."

hahaha. Funny boy.

(I shouldn't act all cool and sarcastic, because I actually did laugh. A lot.)

Anywayssssssss... Yes. It bothers me that everyone is finding awesome websites and taking lunch hour shopping trips and finding amazing deals and using wonderful bonus discount codes. 'Cause I've had zero luck.

Bah! STRESSED!!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Giveway from Kelly - Check It Out!!

I've been blogging for about 4 years now - whoa, can't believe it's been that long! - but I don't feel like I really entered the Blogosphere until recent months. Up until then, I wrote my own blog, read one or two others that my friends wrote, and that was about it.

Then, all of a sudden, it seemed like everyone around me had a blog! And before I knew it, I had a long list of blogs that I anxiously looked forward to checking each morning. Also, many of my friends joined the blogging community recently after forming their 101 Lists, and I've really enjoyed following their accomplishments!

A trend that seems to be popping up a lot are Blog Giveaways - read a blog, enter for a chance to win free stuff...pretty cool, right? I have yet to attempt my own giveaway, but I have some ideas...stay tuned!

I haven't actually entered for a chance to win many giveaways, but I couldn't resist when I saw the opportunity over at Keeping Up With Kelly & Co! I've been a follower of Kelly's after a friend recommended I check her out, and she always makes me smile! (Plus, I'm super-jealous of her - they got SNOW - and lots of it - over the weekend! LUCKY!!!)

Kelly's offering her first giveaway, and it's a pretty sweet deal: a $55 gift card for CSN, a $5 gift card for Starbucks (that I'd just love to test out on a Gingerbread latte!), and an adorable owl pendant from Forever21 - anyone who follows Kelly's blog knows how much she loves owls!

Be sure to check out Kelly's blog and her'll love it! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How Come I Never Knew This Song?!?

On Troy's birthday, my cousin Kayla (who might be a "horrible blogger", but is definitely one of the best cousins a kid could ever ask for!!) posted this as her status on Facebook (and I assume it was in his honour):

May God bless you and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true.
May you always do for others,
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung.
May you stay...Forever Young.

I loved it. I immediately plugged those words into my Google search engine, wondering who wrote this perfect, perfect poem.

So tell me. How is it that I've been around for 27 years, and never knew this was a Bob Dylan song?!?

I loved the words so much that I downloaded it, and since Monday, I've probably listened to it on my iPod 1,000 times. The lyrics are beautifully bittersweet, but I also adore the music; the instruments. It's a song that I instantly connected with, beyond the fact that I love the simple phrase "Forever Young", beyond the fact that it's my family name.

I just can't believe I'd never heard it before!! It jumps instantly onto my 101 Favourite Songs list!

Aside from the Dylan tune, I've made a few other musical discoveries this week that I'm lovin' right now.

- The new Kings of Leon album, Come Around Sundown...absolutely awesome.
- "Good Life" by One Republic...can't get it outta my head.
- "Maybe" and "Be OK" by Ingrid fact, I've downloaded a whole whack of IM's songs, definitely going through a phase...

I love making musical discoveries! They make my heart sing.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true.
May you always know the truth,
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong.
May you stay...Forever Young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift.
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung.
May you stay...Forever Young.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Happy Birthday Dog

It's been exactly three months since we lost Troy. Today would have been his 37th birthday...

Yesterday we gathered at his resting place and we sent balloons up to him in heaven. I guess this day will never be easy, but it was nice to be surrounded by family as we took a moment to celebrate him & his life.

Bet it's going to be a rockin' party up there today!
We love you & miss you Dog. xoxo