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The banged up emotions, banged up car, and big boom finale

The banged up emotions, banged up car, and big boom finale

As we left off the quest, I was on the back roads of southern Ontario, with the Spotify music pumped. I was taking the back roads partly because it was taking everything to keep myself together, and partly because the 410, 407, and 401 scare the hell out of me.

It was at this point, I decided that seeing Niagara Falls wasn’t going to happen with the gloomy dark cloud of depression. It was also raining and cloudy too. After close to 2 hours, I arrived in Kitchener and the sun came out there. I managed to find a convenient little parking spot and walked down the Festival street. I have written before about Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest but there is something about this festival that in it’s own special way brings it over the top. There seems to even be a much higher percentage of people in traditional dress than you even see in Munich.

The Rogers Hometown hockey was there and there was a beautiful smell in the air that brought nostalgia back. Like most things however, the second time is just not the same and the depression came back. I grabbed a sausage and water and then went to the gift shop to buy a new pin for Oktoberfest hat and Bavarian suspenders. Then got in my car turned on my “Sadness” Spotify playlist and hit the 401.

As I entered Toronto after supper time the only suitable thing to do was to stop and grab some Popeye’s. There was no way after the nerve wrecking of the 401 so far that I wanted to deal with downtown Toronto traffic lights and lanes. I then after eating the meal continued on my way to Oshawa where I was so tired that I pulled over to a Tim Hortons and rested for an hour before proceeding to the ONRoute in Port Hope.

I slept very well that night even for sleeping in my car. The next morning I woke up refreshed and continued towards home. On the way back I detoured a few times the first was to take a photo of the First Railway tunnel. The second was to go to Kingston ON Wal-Mart to buy new shoes because my old ones were so far gone my numb feet hurt.

After Brockville, I dove the side road along the waterfront and found a beautiful little stop in Prescott ON where there is a historic site that was the location of the Battle of the Windmill where rebels were stopped by the Royal Navy in 1838. This was my last detour in Ontario before I stopped for lunch at Denny’s. I gas the most incredible pancakes with a Dolce cream to pour over them and soak in them to make a moist wonderful pile of goodness. Which would be the last goodness of the trip.

I gassed up and hit the road. After the panic of Toronto, I was destined to skip Montreal and take the toll bypass road. Or had wished I did. Instead out of nowhere it seemed I entered Montreal. It was a particular sunny but not too sunny day. From Kingston to Montreal it was “mainly sunny”. I entered the tunnel to leave Montreal and thought well that’s it I made it.

This is when Siri started giving weird directions that made no sense, and I decided to follow signs instead. I was in the 2nd of four lanes and couldn’t lane change due to a transport truck and was forced off on exit 90 of the 20. Well crap… I now had to figure out getting back on the highway and was all frustrated, I was so depressed and just wanted to get home.

I looped back on Boulevard Marie-Victorin and proceeded back to the highway, went to check my blind spot and missed one of two yield signs and the middle on-ramp of two on my left and out of nowhere my fender makes contact with the door of another car! I pull over on the ramp from hell and cars keep proceeding by my car was able to move and my airbags didn’t go off, but my anxiety is through the roof. The bigger fear then the accident, how I was getting home, or even talking to the stranger, my mind went to “what if the guy doesn’t speak English?!” I get my insurance and papers and place them in my pocket and get out of the car taking pictures of the damage and the scene.

The guy started saying something in French and I asked him if he spoke English and he did. Not to get into much detail but the guy has a history in HR and was super calm with a “shit happens, let’s move forward” approach asking if I was alright. After taking the obligatory driver’s license and car licence plate photos we agreed to proceed off the highway and to a nearby mall parking lot. In the lot was spent about 20 minutes exchanging information and then proceeded on our way.

My tire was rubbing on the wheel-well a but on bumps but it was not too bad. I pumped up a Spotify playlist and continued home as fast as I could. Around midnight, I was so tired and a bit low on gas and pulled into the Irving in Saint-Antonin. I slept kind of well until about 6:30 am, got gas, and headed back to New Brunswick on a beautiful, sunny, Thanksgiving Day morning.

That part of the NB highway looks magical and very beautiful with the yellows, reds, and oranges of the autumn leaves over the many rolling hills and the river valley of the majestic Saint John River. I knew that as the water when I reached the end I would be home.

It has been a really long time since I last seen the world’s longest covered bridge, and Hartland also has a Tim’s so it was time to detour into town. Once I hit Fredericton, I was getting sick of Spotify and turned on CBC. This is when I learned that going home might not be as easy as planned. The news broke into programming that there may have been an explosion at the Irving Oil refinery that is only a short 3km away from my house. I texted my sister and she said she was alright and that they were not evacuating the area. As I was passing Grand Bay, I first seen with my own eyes the column would f Barack smoke rising from the refinery.

The journalist side of me knew that so needed to get a photo of it for the day that I wrote about my trip. I stopped at Wolastoq Park where I took my photos and then headed home. I was so exhausted that I went to my TV room and did nothing all day but work on cleaning out my PVR. Thus ended my Thanksgiving Day epic.

2018 #fundyfringe Instagram Photos

2018 #fundyfringe Instagram Photos

#fundyfringe up next on What Matters Most on @rogerstvnb
#fundyfringe up next on What Matters Most on @rogerstvnb
Tshirt a day selfie countdown to #fundyfringe start today. Year 1 the Yellow/Red/Blue year. #5daystofringe #bingethefringe
Tshirt a day selfie countdown to #fundyfringe start today. Year 1 the Yellow/Red/Blue year. #5daystofringe #bingethefringe
Day 2 of #fundyfringe T-shirt countdown (Black and Yellow Year) #4daystillfringe #bingethefringe
Day 2 of #fundyfringe T-shirt countdown (Black and Yellow Year) #4daystillfringe #bingethefringe
3rd #tshirtselfie countdown to #fundyfringe (Grey/Green/Blue Year) #3daysuntilfringe
3rd #tshirtselfie countdown to #fundyfringe (Grey/Green/Blue Year) #3daysuntilfringe
Why be blue? The #FundyFringe is in only two! (Days) #2daysuntilfringe #tshirtselfie
Why be blue? The #FundyFringe is in only two! (Days) #2daysuntilfringe #tshirtselfie
Look on the bright (green) side, #fundyfringe starts tomorrow, but with a tease tonight! (7pm BMO). #tshirtselfie #onedaymore #countdowntofringe
Look on the bright (green) side, #fundyfringe starts tomorrow, but with a tease tonight! (7pm
BMO). #tshirtselfie #onedaymore #countdowntofringe
Incredible standing room turnout for the #fundyfringe big tease.
Incredible standing room turnout for the #fundyfringe big tease.
Incredible #fundyfringe performance of #BarStar tonight @fiveanddimesj (more shows Wed-Sat) #bingethefringe @fundyfringefest
Incredible #fundyfringe performance of #BarStar tonight @fiveanddimesj (more shows Wed-Sat) #bingethefringe @fundyfringefest
Someone is resting before he kicks off his dancing shoes tonight at the #fundyfringe dance party! 11:45 tonight at the BMO.
Someone is resting before he kicks off his dancing shoes tonight at the #fundyfringe dance party! 11:45 tonight at the BMO.
Up next for #fundyfringe at the Interaction/Sanctuary (Corner of Queen/Germain) The Waiting Gentlewoman 8pm and Cardboard Countess 8:15pm #bingethefringe
Up next for #fundyfringe at the Interaction/Sanctuary (Corner of Queen/Germain) The Waiting Gentlewoman 8pm and Cardboard Countess 8:15pm #bingethefringe
I am so honoured to be recognized for living and breathing #fundyfringe over the past 6 years. I couldn’t have done it without the other dozens of volunteers that were also part of the team.
I am so honoured to be recognized for living and breathing #fundyfringe over the past 6 years. I couldn’t have done it without the other dozens of volunteers that were also part of the team.
IG: Fundy Fringe Festival 2017

IG: Fundy Fringe Festival 2017

My Messed Up Canada Day Roadtrip

My Messed Up Canada Day Roadtrip

I was off the Friday before Canada Day and had Physio and a call for the pre-op to fix my pinky finger. I came up with a plan to take a spontaneous road trip to Ottawa. My surgery is concerning the possible side effects. I was pretty devastated after the call with my anxiety.

Since I was less than 500km from my oil change mileage I went to Kia and booked the appoint for this past week.

I went home and cleared out everything from my car I didn’t need, grabbed my passport and wad of US cash and took off down the Hwy 1 towards the border. At the border I got through pretty quickly and had no issues. Having all the signs in a weird foreign system of measurement increased my anxiety. In Calais, I fueled up and headed down Route 9 to Bangor.

I stopped for dinner at Dysart’s. It was a pretty good meatloaf. I then proceeded down Route 2 to Skowhegan where I needed to pee bad so I stopped at a gas station and it was there my fate turned. My GPS lost my route and I was lost. I kind of remember Route 201 so I turned on it and kept questioning that I was not on the right road.

It turned out I wasn’t, I really wanted 201A in the next town. Around midnight I ended up at the border on the highway headed towards Quebec City. By this point, it started to rain really hard. I was not able to even drive the speed limit it was that hard. I made it to an Esso in Ascot Corner in Quebec and refuelled again at 1 am. I then kept driving but got too tired and stopped at a mall and slept for an hour.

My sleep was interrupted by the lights of a cop that woke me to see if I was alright. He started talking in French and I was trying to translate it and I didn’t recognize enough words. He then spoke English and I responded I was okay and he moved on.

I then determined I needed to move on. I then crossed the bridge to Montreal as the break of the day was happening. I was having such bad anxiety Siri was giving instructions that made no sense and there were so many construction signs that made no sense either. I stopped on a side street for a while and decided I wasn’t making it to Ottawa and it was time for starting a return back to see fireworks.

After a few hours back on the Highway, I needed so sleep so I pulled into a gas station and slept for an hour in the back corner of a Petro Canada parking lot in my car. I continued on the journey down the highway. As I was passing the town of Levis I seen the sign to cross the bridge to Quebec City. Since I had never been there before, I made the decision I needed to see it.

I took a drive through the packed old town and it was very reminiscent of the old parts of Paris. (Montreal is more reminiscent of the rest of Paris.) After leaving Quebec, the next stop was a gas and Tim’s break in Rivière de Loup. (a place Siri can’t pronounce close to right.) When ordering I asked if she spoke English and it was a fast nope. So I tried to order a coffee and a Dutchie and I was certain that I can pronounce Hollandaise properly but she had no clue.

Armed with my coffee and gas it was off to New Brunswick and lots more highway with spots of rain along the way. The next stop was Florencevile and I grabbed a donair sub that was really good. The interesting part was a guy in line ahead of me was Amish and had his horses and carriage waiting outside.

As I passed through Fredericton, the rain had stopped and was starting to clear. The people from home were messaging on Facebook that the weather in Saint John was bad and there were no fireworks to hurry back for. So I headed home anyway.

The next day I slept in until noon and then wasted most of the day away. I had seen that Hampton was having fireworks and decided to go see them but then heard that Cambridge-Narrows was having some so I went there instead. They were pretty impressive and amazing.

It’s Showtime!

It’s Showtime!

Show Poster

Now to continue the story. The biggest point of fear is the moment before doing something. However, I have at this point completely learned my part and it is showtime for the final full rehearsal and there are a limited number of media and a few other people in the audience. It makes this effectively the first show. I’m standing behind the curtain waiting for my cue, which was in the second part of the first act, and am trembling because although I’m not on stage yet, I have no way to escape out of doing this. After two months of faking it, pretending to be an actor, I step out on stage. I don’t remember much of that show I was in character and pulled it off.

The next day, the first day of paying guests, I trip on my way to work, rip open my knee and elbow, but the most tragic event happened. My coffee cup exploded all over the sidewalk and I lost it. A world without coffee is not a great world. That night I was faking it again and really was focused and didn’t even notice the audience. Each night after the show I got to meet some of the audience. The reason why the story started here was that after the Friday show, I invited my mother to travel with me to see London and Paris on the fateful trip when the story gets interesting.

I did absolutely love the acting and had auditioned again the next year but have never gotten a chance to do it again yet hopefully as I heal, I will get a part in the future. The following April I did perform with my friend Tony in a Shakespeare open mic a bit from Coriolanus. Unfortunately, he messed up his line. (sarcastic supportive emoji 🙄)

It was also at this point that I convinced myself that it was time for Contiki trip number 4. My friend Tony also wanted to join me for the Contiki and to do a post-tour trip to visit Pompeii and Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. (Do I even need to state it is in Germany. Doesn’t everyone know Munich is in Germany?)

Later, my mother sent me a list of things she would find interesting like the Tower of London, the English Moores, Normandy, and where in Paris that Princess Diana was killed. (Moan, not Paris again…)

So the plan is to bring my mother for a few days, send her home. Meet Tony and then go on Contiki, then a post week of exploration.

Getting the Part

Getting the Part

This is the third in my series on Life with GBS, if you haven’t read the first two then you should.

The next weekend, I got the call that I got a part in A Midsummer Night’s Dream if I wanted it. At this point, I was terrified that A whim had gotten me way over my head. I had not done this, and it was completely foreign territory. However, without thinking I said yes anyway.

 I got the roles of Snug the Joiner that is a very shy and insecure person that is part of a group of mechanicals that is putting together a play at the palace. And in the play, portrayed a Loin that is probably the origin of the Cowardly Lion. The second role I got was the fairy Cobweb. At first, I was really worried that the second role was going to be too much since I never even tried to memorize lines before.
As the following weekend came and we were supposed to have the first read through the cast list was published. As I read through it I noticed, I was not on it. At this moment I was overcome with relief that I was not over my head with having to pull off the biggest performance of leaving my comfort zone in years. On the other hand, my anxiety that everyone hates me kicked in and I was devastated. So, I messaged the director and asked if there was a typo not giving an indication of how I felt. To my relief it was and the list got reposted.

For the following two months I had rehearsed and memorized my lines. To my relief, the cast was very friendly and welcoming. The first mistake I made memorizing the lines was not learning the cue lines that came before it. Then learning the acting and where to be and where to move that was not in the script helped a lot with the lines I learned to go with their placement.

As we approached show time there was a night after rehearsal that most of the cast met at Pepper’s Pub and we had a great conversation and meal, and then went to hit up the dance floor at Callahan’s. One thing I learned that night is that performers are a different breed and that even though I had been working on improving my fitness by keeping up with them was really hard.

Oh Lucky, I was pooped on…

Oh Lucky, I was pooped on…

Note– This is the second of multiple posts in the series of my coping with GBS.

This journey can begin in many places, so I will start where things started to change, the trip began, and I was shit on. Before this event every week was just like the week before and there was very little interesting going on. Somewhat crippled by my anxiety.

I had posted on Facebook that I was going to audition for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on a whim. I had at this point never really auditioned for anything like this. So as the day came, I was dreading doing the audition, but felt deep inside it was something I had to do. I even took the preparation of actually listening to the audiobook of the play, or just part of the first act actually. To be honest I had never read a work of Shakespeare in its entirety before this. Reading a complete book has rarely ever happened in my life.

As I entered the room there were several others there that reading the material and debating their take on the characters and knew them all like they were best friends. It was rather intimidating being the first interview but I knew I wanted one of the small roles and was going to try for it anyway. I went upstairs and read the closing part just to read something, which was followed by a short discussion why this piece was so important to the whole play. In reality, I could have cared less about the interpretation and was trembling to just get out of there. I then left to grab a coffee and ran into so friends and we’re standing around talking.

It was while having this conversation that my fate changed. I was shit on! There was a gull that was flying over-head and right on my head it got me and dripped a bit. Newfoundlanders say that being shit on by a bird is good luck, but for me , it was the beginning of my fate with luck.

Hamlet: The Notes

Hamlet: The Notes

Last night I went to see this show from Saint John Theatre Company’s Canadian Series at the BMO Theatre.

It was honestly an hour and half of almost non-stop laughs with well fitting serious moments. I really enjoyed how this is not the typical show that you go to see, but interactive with the audience and slightly fluid.

There is another performance tonight that you just have to see. You don’t even need to know the Hamlet story to enjoy it, although if you do it is equally enjoyable.

https://www.facebook.com/events/497438537089005/