How Was 2018?

Short answer: Pretty good, thanks.

I wanted to drop in to do a quick recap, some updates since my last post which was like 8 months ago. My problem is that I can never keep it short, and then a blog post becomes too time-consuming and a pain in the ass, so I don’t do it. I’ll challenge myself to keep it much shorter, just keep the categories as brief as possible. All of these could easily spin off into their own posts.

Love life: This one is easy to start with, because it’s a “nope”. I’ve had lots of first dates, a few seconds and even thirds, but nothing has stuck.

Comedy: This one is hard to keep short. Still not doing much stand-up. I’ve been on stage maybe 3 times this year. I’m just not feeling it. It’s not gone forever, just for now. People are so disappointed to hear that… same with when I stopped doing artsy stuff like painting. Oh well, I’m allowed to change my mind every few years. I’ve got it simplified to a few stock answers. If it’s someone who knew me as a comic, I just say what I said above: “No, not doing much comedy these days.” If it’s a new person: “I used to be a comedian,” or: “I have a background in stand-up, but I don’t really do it anymore.” You wouldn’t believe how often the reply is, in ALL scenarios: “So when is your next show?”

Oh, but I did get to do an episode of The Debaters in my hometown of Yellowknife, which was a lot of fun. It was a mix of writing and performing, and one of the few shows I would actually be comfortable bringing my family to. Proud, even.

Work: It’s been great, one of my best years for it — could it be because I’m doing less stand-up? Haha. I still have my banquet serving job, but luckily I don’t have to do it that much, usually just once a week. I also had a couple of graphic design contracts, something I’d like to keep doing.

My main gig has been working as a stand-in on a big budget American TV show that films in Toronto. It’s about a bunch of lawyers and it rhymes with “Boots”. It was a nice steady gig, 2-3 days a week for about 7 months. On my days off I could still work as an extra or go to auditions. I booked two actor roles this year, yay me! One was a non-speaking part that got cut out of the final broadcast, so, never mind. The other was a one-liner in a movie that will be out next year, so I’ll definitely be watching for it.

Money: Well, I’ve finally been making some. I think I’m close to earning what I did when I had my office job… nine years ago… in a less expensive city. I went to see a financial planner in February, more of a “money coach” as they call it. Being self-employed with an irregular income, I needed advice and a better system for organizing my stuff. Oh man, was it ever worth it! I wish I did this earlier, even when I had a steady day job. I’ve started to tackle my debt, something that was always too shameful to talk about.

Health: Still going to the gym a few days a week. I’m also the heaviest I’ve ever been. I mean, I don’t think I look any different, but the last time I checked I was close to 190 lbs. I remember being at least 25 lbs lighter, and not THAT long ago… was it? This is why I don’t own a scale, it’s just a thing to obsess over. Going to stick with my “I must be all muscle now” theory. But I’m glad I’m still working out, it feels good. My foot hasn’t been bothering me, either. I’ve had a Morton’s neuroma for years, but keeping it quiet with cortisone injections. It’s been at least six months since I’ve needed a shot. I run, I jump, I frolic (I kid).

Writing: Like I say in every post, I don’t blog often enough. That’s too bad, because sometimes I look back at my old posts and see stuff I’d forgotten about. I do write several times a week though, but no one ever sees it. I use a site called 750 words, based on the “morning pages” principal. You might’ve heard of that one, where the idea is to get up first thing in the morning and just barf out all your thoughts onto paper, for 3 pages, by hand. 750 words does it online instead. It’s supposed to get all the garbage thoughts out of your brain, and stir up some new ones. So most of my entries are just me thinking out loud about what I’m going to do that day. A dream I might’ve had. Or most often, it’s how much I can’t wait to reach my word minimum so I can stop writing this stupid thing. It’s pretty much back to the original purpose of a diary: Write down your personal private thoughts. What trips me up when writing this blog is that I’m aware that it’s public (not that it has a wide audience, but it’s visible). I kind of self-sensor and even after I publish an entry, I keep going back in to make little edits. This 750 words is just writing, no judgement, rhyme or reason. So even if I’m not writing publicly enough, I’m still writing.

SheDot: I can’t believe I’ve NEVER mentioned this in the blog before now. Maybe because it was too big, I didn’t know where to start. I co-produced SheDot Festival for five years, which was Toronto’s festival of funny women. When we first started, we were Canada’s only all-female comedy festival (there’s one in Montreal now). But we decided to call it a wrap in 2018. We made something great, but my co-producer and I are ready to move on. Organizing it took about 3 months out of our lives every year, so I’m pretty excited to be getting that time back.

I turned 40: I went to Montreal for the occasion. Just like my 30th birthday, it was solo trip. Except not really, since I went to the Just For Laughs festival and I knew a ton of the comics. I didn’t really tell anyone it was my birthday though; I just went to the parties, enjoyed the shows, and splurged on the fancy hotel room. As I said earlier, I’m not really a comedy insider anymore, but I’m still a fan of it. I would definitely go back some year.

New York: I rarely travel, unless it’s for a gig or to visit relatives — and neither of those count as a vacation. So I was excited to go to NYC for the first time, on a girls’ weekend that Stacey organized. It was for her 40th birthday, and hey, we all had birthdays this year so we may as well celebrate! I loved it, but it was a quick 3 days and there’s so much more I want to seeeeee! 30 Rock will be on the list for sure.

Apartment: I’m still at my same place for over 5 years now. I just love the neighbourhood, and my building is under rent control. I could easily be paying twice as much for what I have. Recently the residents made a Facebook group so we can meet each other and mostly complain about the noisy bar downstairs. It took five years, but we’re slowly getting to know who our neighbours are and it’s nice. It turns out two of them are also in the film industry: One’s a camera guy, the other does sound.

Hanlan’s: This summer I spent as much time as I could at Hanlan’s Point beach on the Toronto Islands. I’m usually NOT an outdoorsy person, but I like the idea of a beach I can get to from the subway. I first ventured out a handful of times in 2016, and then it was closed for most of the 2017 season due to flooding. So this year I started going in early June, and this photo was taken on the last freakishly warm day, October 10th. Speaking of freaks, Hanlan’s is a clothing-optional beach, so two of us in this photo are naked. Just kidding; we’re wearing hats.

What’s next: I was going to talk about plans/dreams/goals for next year, but fuck it, I’ve already spent TWO DAYS on this blog post! “Quick recap” indeed. Better hit publish before it gets to 2019. Happy new year!

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