Friday, February 27, 2009

Grace In Small Things

I am suffering from a case of the stupids today. I mean it: I managed to clog up the printer with documents I didn’t mean to print. It took me ages to sort out and when I did, it turns out I printed the wrong script anyway because the crew wasn’t going to the art store, they were going to the coffee shop. So I printed the coffee shop script, marked it, handed it over and wished them a good shoot… at the art store.

See? Stupid.

It could be the pregnancy. It could also be the fact that this is the second last day of filming on this gig and my brain is already on vacation. It wasn’t the easiest gig, to be honest. I feel drained.

That said, here are just a few things I was grateful for this time ‘round:
  1. That I got to work with a seriously talented crew.
  2. That we got to make television I’m proud of.
  3. That I gained some respect where I think there was doubt.
  4. That I had the opportunity to learn some new lessons, even if it was often the hard way.
  5. That I got to work at the CBC. I’ve wanted to work here since I was a little kid and now I can say I've been privileged to carry a CBC ID card not once, but twice. Not a bad note on which to leave the industry.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grace in Small Things

I am grateful...
1. That our neighbour brought his work vehicles by our street to clear off the mounds of hard, chunky, car mutilating snow that the City left behind.
2. That I managed to wear a pair of normal jeans by rigging the belly band a certain way.
3. For grapefruit juice.
4. For clean teeth.
5. And for my new toothbrush from the dentist. I’m actually looking forward to the morning brush.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On Belly Photos

It seems to be the trend, but I’m going to forgo the whole belly documentation thing. You know, photos, plaster casts. I honestly don’t really get it. It’s not out of self-loathing; I love to take good long looks in the mirror. I’m fascinated with how round I am. I like making my abs move because they’re so ‘on the outside’, now. I’m intrigued by how the weight is carried so low, how so much more towards the front of my pelvis it is than I expected. I am thrilled to feel the baby move, wondering what it’s doing, trying to guess where it’s positioned, what it sees, hears, feels. Completely fascinating.

What I’ve never really been is sentimental. I have never once regretted that I don’t have more pictures of myself. I don’t think I ever felt the urge to see a picture of my mother when she was carrying me. Trevor is more sentimental about history, but I just can’t seem to muster it up. So I’m going to take the chance and not get professional shots or belly casts. I know me; they would rot in the basement for decades.

Course, this baby is half Trevor and could have his sentimentality. Just my luck it’ll hate me forever for not documenting this more. My first failure as a parent! Now I am feeling sentimental.

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Marital Conversations

"I think this shirt is quite slimming. I don't look pregnant at all!"
"Riiiight...."
"Okay then, do the pants at least look normal?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean can you tell they aren't done up?"
"Has it come to that?"
"It really has."*

*Lost: One pair of green-brown pants with maternity waistline. Possibly left in random location at CBC or at Crossfit. Sorely missed as people are starting to notice that I'm wearing the same pair of pants day after day.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Baby Update

So I did end up going for the 20-week ultrasound. If I knew what I know now, I would have tried to skip the first two, but not the 20-week one, which seems to be the most medically crucial.

Of course, there were signs we losing the baby in early days. “So what?” I challenged the doctor, “it’s not like you could have prevented a miscarriage at that stage.”

That’s not the point, the doctor explained (read: yelled). Had the baby actually died, it would have put my life at risk if it had gone unnoticed. So, yeah, I guess there’s that.

Then there are these:

www.newscientist.com: "Ultrasound scans may disrupt fetal brain development"

www.askquestions.org: "Conflicts of Interest: Understanding the Safety Issues Around Prenatal 3D Ultrasound"

Bottom line, the ultrasound debate is really difficult. And I was nervous today, not sure until the last minute that I was going to go through with it. When I did, I asked the ultrasound technician to do only what was medically necessary. No photos, no looking for gender, no extra looking around for the parents’ benefit. Get in, get out.

And she was really good about that. Plus, the kid turned at exactly the right times giving her great views for checking organs and blood flow as quickly as possible.

“You two made for an easy ultrasound,” she said as I wiped the goop off my belly. She further explained that if there’s too much fat, hard to see. Too much muscle, also hard to see.

So bottom line, I’m fit. Just not that fit.

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Grace in Small Things

1. Cuddling with Charlie-the-dog while I listen to the morning news.
2. The high school sweatshirt and fuzzy blue socks that I wear downstairs every morning.
3. All of the so-very-cool things that have been happening around me: My sister got a job and a new apartment in the same day, and my best buddy got called to interview for a job she really wants.
4. Seeing my other sister and her fiance at Crossfit, now. Row, dammit, row!!
5. A brand new book from one of my favourite authors! Now in my possession!

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. The "only when we're driving home from Kamsack" stop at Melville A&W.
2. My new nephew Evan. Well, he was born last year but I just got to meet him for the first time.
3. The way Evan gives open mouthed kisses and laughs uproariously when Uncle Trev 'rocks out'.
4. Chocolate cake with vanilla frozen yogurt. I don't have a sweet tooth but I can't resist my mother-in-law's baking.
5. Being with Trevor on the road, even when we're not really talking about anything in particular.
6. My in-laws who are always so welcoming and don't seem to mind that I practically go into hibernation as soon as I walk through the door.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

File Under Grace in Small Things

Things are much, much improved this week. Last week was crisis after crisis, confrontation after confrontation. This week, the much welcome calm after the storm.

Also the following:

  • Trev and I are finally feeling the urge to pick up paintbrushes and commit to our home by giving it a little make over. We might even unpack more boxes! Put up pictures! Invite people over! Stay tuned.
  • We are both jobless in the near future (today is Trev's first day 'of leisure'), but we're actually feeling hopeful. This, too, shall pass.
  • In the last couple of days, I've started to feel the baby. I mean, really feel it. Actual kicks. It's kind of exciting.
  • Charlie took off after a rabbit last night. She ran her ass off and didn't even come close (if Charlie's fast, the jack rabbits around here are warp speed). But you have to understand that after five months of forcing her to be virtually home bound, to see her run like the dog she is was absolutely soul-lifting.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

One Really Big Helping of Grace

So, I kind of had a full-blown meltdown this morning. My brain popped and I just went nuts. Not window-smashing nuts (though, last week’s Corrie did give me some ideas). It happened when I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I am angry All. The. Time. I have generally been in a state of full-blown inner rage most of the time for the last four or five months.

Also, I am back to avoiding even the smallest social situations and sleeping about 10 hours a night, much longer on the weekends. Ladies and Gentlemens, we have inner rage meets a full-blown Depression. Add a heaping scoop of the guilt I feel that I’m harming my unborn child…and, well, it just kind of hit me hard this morning.

Here’s the grace part: Trevor still works where I work for the next few days. So I was able to call him from the car. He met me outside. We walked around the buildings in the early morning sun. I felt better.

Then I came into the office to find that I am blissfully, completely alone for almost the entire morning.

That’s a hearty helping of grace, people.

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Grace in Small Things

  • A.R.T.
  • Facebook. Seriously - if it weren't for FB, I wouldn't know how big your kids are getting.
  • Scratchy beard goodbye kiss from Trevor.
  • The countertop kettle that I got for Christmas. Boils water in less than 30 seconds.
  • The several dozen organic, farm-fresh eggs dad brought home last night. I found them sitting on the counter this morning. I think I shall have two for breakfast.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ghosts

Every once in awhile my grandparents show up in my dreams. Well, two of them to be exact. Three out of four grandparents have died and these two like to visit. They make their appearance just before I wake up, that part of sleep that’s the hardest to remember. In fact, the more you try to remember it, the faster it slips away. Very frustrating.

The one I was perhaps least closest to, my dad’s dad, Grandpa Frank, comes most often. He’s always trying to say something. It’s just that I have a hard time hearing him and then remembering what he said. In fact, I’ve never remembered what he said. I just know he means to say it urgently.

Last night for the first time ever my mom’s mom, Grandma Eileen, came to me. I was annoyed because she did exactly what Grandpa Frank does; that is, interrupt the flow of a dream and drag me off to a different location completely to communicate something to me. My asleep brain wanted to stay with the dream, not follow Grandma Eileen around Victoria Park. And why Victoria Park? Is it the only Regina landmark she can remember? She didn’t come to Regina that often, so I guess it makes sense.

She didn’t look happy. In fact, she looked downright annoyed with me. The only thing I can think of is a blowout I recently had with my mom, her daughter. Well, too bad, Grandma Eileen. I am trapped by the emotions and rationality of a different reality than you. And it’s my life. I’m just glad she hasn’t figured out how to talk, yet. Then I’d really have it coming.

Okay, so say it’s just my psyche. The odd thing is that I wasn’t the favourite grandchild in any of these cases. In fact, I wasn’t close to any of them. Certainly not enough to be harbouring any unresolved feelings. They were just my grandparents. I never dreamed about them when they were alive. I loved them, they just didn’t feature that prominently in my life. I think most often of Granddad Peter in my waking life and he hasn’t shown up once.

So if this is all actually happening and not just my psyche, then here’s how I figure it happens: it takes practice for the dead to get into your conscious mind. Grandpa Frank is better at it because he’s been dead the longest. Then Grandma Eileen, who’s currently mastering Beginner Level and can only achieved facial expressions (and she's really good at them. I got 'annoyed' loud and clear). As I said, Granddad Peter hasn’t shown up – he died most recently. But I’m expecting him soon; he tended to be the most judgmental in real life. He probably has a lot to say to me.

And since I can't seem to talk to them in my dreams (my deficiency, I know), here's my message:

Grandparents, listen up. I know my child is currently dancing between worlds, so you probably have more access than even I do. I'm not raising it Catholic so don't even bother trying.
But Grandpa Frank, feel free to tell it stories about boxing and California. Grandma Eileen, please download your Welshcake recipe onto it, or however it works, because it'd be cool if my kid were born with an idea of how to make them the way you used to.

Thank you. R.I.P 'n all,
Love, Working

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

E-clips

I don’t recall having any exposure to television in high school, aside from watching Beverly Hills 90210 religiously. Oh, I did appear on the Bi-Rite Drugs security cameras. I was the bored looking employee in the blue smock selling smokes I wasn’t old enough to buy (side note: I can still count your change back to you without thinking about it. How come people can’t seem to do this anymore?).

The next television memory I have is at Cable Regina. I was in University, maybe year two. I was working as a part-time customer service agent for the cable company itself when I caught word of an open casting call for reporters for a weekly entertainment show called ‘e-clips’.

I can’t even remember why I decided to try out, but I remember that for once I felt like I was showing some bravery in a life that wasn’t very brave. At the time, I think I was in a relationship that was in its death throws (of course I lived with the guy; my remedy for a bad relationship was to move in together. I would live to repeat this lesson). Auditioning was like making an actual attempt to change my life. I was so excited.

I don’t really remember the audition, but I imagine I was a little rough, having never done anything like it before. That’s also when I met James who was so intimidating to me because he was the Director of the show. Or the Producer. Either way, he made the creative decisions. And for some reason, he brought me on board.

I remember almost nothing about the actual work on the early days of e-clips. I remember it was fun interviewing local bands, hanging out at the bars getting ‘streeters’ and messing around with Laureen and Tina. I sure liked the feeling of all eyes being on me when that sun gun went on. I actually started wearing more makeup and buying clothes.

But more importantly, the show would become my social life for the next five or so years. Those of us from those early days became a close group of friends that have stayed in touch ever since. In fact, at the time I thought e-clips was something I did during University. But looking back, I’m not entirely sure it wasn’t the other way around. University was something I did during e-clips.

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Grace in Small Things

Grace in Small Things

  • The promise of a burrito for lunch. I dunno why, but I’m always excited for bean burritos, even the kind that start out frozen.
  • The sunshine outside. I have to remember to step out for a breath of air later. In fact, I just have to remember to breathe. Breathing is good.
  • That Northern Exposure plays on my lunch hour.
  • That people at the office have recently expressed that they trust my work.
  • That every time our little office plant (species undetermined) seems to be at death’s door, I can bring it back with a sip from my water bottle. It’s a damn resilient plant. It’d have to be.

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