Monday, June 29, 2009

Life as a Run-On Sentence

I'm not exactly bored, but I'm certainly distracted. I blame this on a lack of sleep. And on an eight-day social binge that has left me both financially wounded and girl-talked out. I miss my couch. And yet I feel as though I may have to retrain myself to live alone. It's suddenly odd that my living room isn't taken over by an air mattress.
Essentially, I feel like I've been living inside of a run-on sentence. This is that sentence:
My delightful cousin Grace arrived at my doorstep on Sunday and we went for a long walk to and from Lick's before staying up way too late chatting about life, which was probably not the best preparation for a nine-hour workday the next day that left me exhausted and not at all in the mood to pack for three days in Stratford, where I ate too much and got my annual fix of theatrical inspiration (while my cousins - yep, Martha showed up too - hung out my place in Toronto), and concluded with a text from another friend notifying me of Michael Jackson's death and asking to crash at my place on Sunday, an exciting request I couldn't refuse even though my Saturday was booked with all-day plans of concerts-at-Wonderland greatness that ended with a short collapse onto my bed after midnight only to be followed by a morning of church and lunch with friends before exploring the city and shopping for hats and old-school Our Lady Peace with friend-from-Vancouver Beth, who also happens to enjoy sweet-potato fries and chocolate cake as much as I do.
And now I'm going through withdrawal.
  • It's so much fun to be frends with your family. I highly recommend it. (And I also love it when age gaps disappear and everyone's just straight-up cool.)
  • I have a growing book and music list. I like recommendations. The filtering work is done for me.
  • On Friday, Grace and I had a YouTube party that happened to include Audio Adrenaline's Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus. We laughed. And then we heard it played live the next day. Sometimes I love life.
  • I'm pretty sure my twin lives in Vancouver. We have the same hat.
  • Nutritional math: organic vegetarian salad + Oreo cheesecake = balanced meal.
  • I saw "that actor." On stage. He doesn't hang out in bars on Tuesdays like I do. Whew.
  • I wore a necklace from North Africa today. It was fabulous. It made up for the earring I lost this week.
  • I ate at a restaurant once frequented by Kevin Spacey. And discovered I like cornish hens, chickpea frites, goat cheese tarts and Pinot Grigio. Almost as much as I love garlic fries after midnight.
  • I don't have much money. And don't particularly aim to spend all of it. But once you start to splurge, it's tough to rein it in.
  • Ever hang out a merch table only to realize that the guy selling the T-shirts is the son of your old Sunday School teacher? My life is amazing.
  • I have had the same song stuck in my head all week. I blame Grace. But because she first heard the song at my place, I suppose it's my fault. So I blame myself.
  • I bought an assortment of dark chocolates in Stratford. Rheo Thompson. Practically legendary. But with exhaustion comes lack of self-control. And it is all gone. I'm sure an object lesson can be found in this.
  • Apparently I need a new wingman. I like friends who are super-curious on my behalf. Competitively so.
  • When I'm famous, I will endorse Neutrogena sunscreen. I'm still sunburn free.
  • I'm taking next weekend off from all social insanity. So if you need me, you'll find me in sweats. Lazing around. Maybe finally writing. And not eating Stratford chocolate. Sigh.
  • I really like happy people. Laughter has been in abundance this week. So addictive.
  • And tonight, I'm one of those happy people.
G'night, all.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Blog Without Nadine

Nadine is in Stratford-recovery mode. So I, the blog, am choosing to seize the moment and spew her half-written, discarded and almost-deleted thoughts into cyberspace.

Stolen from her draft folder, email archives and the like, I present to you the Real Nadine:


Today I typed the word "panties." And then my fingers almost went on strike. Seriously awful word.


Ever wonder if there are Gmail elves who read your messages to friends?

Who You Gonna Call?

If I were a superhero, I'd be SuperVague. And no one would ever have any idea what I was talking about. 


"I would totally make out with my gynecologist."

~Best out-of-context quote ever.


Maybe I should record an album of Nickelback covers.

Legislated Nostalgia

There are days when I catch myself almost nostalgically crushing on Dave Grohl. Because of Nirvana. And Nevermind. And when I hear "Smells Like Teen Spirit," I think of deodorant, gunshot wounds, Moulin Rouge and a collage of media images: fans carving Cobain's initials into their arms, weeping uncontrollably.

I don't know if Kurt and I would have been friends.

Do Not Send

I should be studying right now. I have a final examination tomorrow and my attendance for the particular class hasn't exactly been exemplary. Unfortunately, my brain is actively rebelling against all forms of theatrical theory, and I find myself sitting here, pen in hand, unable to think of anything but you.

This has to stop.

~Unsent letter. University.


I tried to find an ugly person once. I was in a really dark place emotionally, and felt invisible and hideous and all those things that are complete LIES. So I started people-watching. And I noticed that there are no ugly people. None. And since I'm not the exception to the rule, I must be beautiful too.


Decaffeinated coffee is kind of like kissing your sister.

~Bob Irwin


FRIEND: What if you had two options: You could have the future you currently want. Or you could have whatever God's planned, which may or may not include what's in your head.

[awkward silence]

ME: I'd trust God. But I might throw up a little.

Speaking of Vomit...

A little boy threw up on the bus. I wanted to hug him.

A grown man spit in the subway. I wanted to push him onto the tracks.

Speed without Keanu

I need to learn to read at a speaking pace.


Funny how I'll give away the "fat" clothes but not the "skinny" ones. Being a girl is rough sometimes. I once had a size 4 skirt beside a size 13 skirt in my closet. Neither fit. I got rid of the larger one.


Batman on the red carpet would be amazing.

Captain Obvious

I have a very active brain life.

Nadine will be back to blogging shortly. She'll read this, be shocked at the unauthorized revealing of her deepest darkest drafts, and will most likely delete this. She's like that. Sometimes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Reading Rainbow

I'm in Stratford. But that isn't stopping this blog from posting on its own. And it has a thing for Levar Burton.

The Theme Song

Rhett and Link's Version


Lovely Hermione

Emma Watson is delightful. As is this photo shoot.

source: Teen Vogue

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Shakespeare-less Stratford?

I heart Colm Feore.

Say it ain't so!

I'm spending the next few days in my favorite town in the whole entire world. This is no exaggeration. I love Stratford in a way that should probably be reserved for my firstborn. But since my firstborn isn't here to complain, I shall yammer away....

I'm celebrating my 6th anniversary of Stratford summers with my friend Jen. Our trips are those of legend, filled with crazy adventures that always involve garlic fries, actors, cheap accommodations and dreams of theatrical greatness. And maybe pints of ice cream on park benches at 2 in the morning. I can assure you that I will return with the determination to be a playwright/actor. I'm more than okay with that.

But something's different this year. Shakespeare's missing. Unless you count West Side Story, which I don't. Sure, you've got a plot ripped from the bard, but the language just isn't there. 

The itinerary:
  • Cyrano de Bergerac
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Bartholomew Fair (You have no idea how exciting it will be to see Jonathan Goad on stage again. You also have no idea who Jonathan Goad is. Sorry.)
  • West Side Story
I'm so excited. Cue the Pointer Sisters.

I'm also crossing my fingers that I don't run into a certain once-upon-a-coffee-date actor. Because I don't do well with awkwardness. And there will be plenty of it. And contrary to a tongue-in-cheek suggestion, no one will throw a Shirley Temple in anyone's face. Although it would be a fun story....

I'm too charming. That's my problem. My ONLY problem.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Random Sighting: The Jonas Brothers

If I were 15, I would replace the text of this entry with "Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!" Maybe.

As I left church today, I heard a guitar chord echo down Queen Street. Followed by a riff that indicated ridiculous rock-star importance. This was followed by the shrieking of every teenage girl in the greater Toronto area.

There was no mystery. I knew that chord. In fact, I knew that song. And I don't know why.

The Jonas Brothers were around the corner. 

As I made my way through the giggling swarm of ponytails and lipgloss, I couldn't help but grin at the uncontainable enthusiasm for three boys with decent style and impressively thick hair. So I quipped aloud, "I miss Hanson." The man in front of me thought I was hilarious. Um, obviously.

I didn't swoon. Apparently I do have an age radar after all. And 16 just doesn't do it for me anymore. But they've honed an impressive soundcheck presence that almost justifies their rabid following.

Instead of setting up camp among the hyperventilating ones, I nodded my amused approval and made my way home. Is it really just about the music, gals? And was it really just about the music when your mothers fainted over Elvis?

Girls are weird. I won't pretend to exclude myself completely from that sentence.

P.S. Their new album is titled Lines, Vines and Trying Times. I hope they know the rhyming is a little off. (The title also conjures up an awkward image of lines of cocaine, Tarzan swinging from a tree, and a depression-era food stamp. But maybe that's just me.)

P.P.S. If Kevin, Joe and Nick (What, don't you know their names too?!) were to stand on the same stage as Zac Efron and Robert Pattinson, and run their hands through their hair simultaneously, the entire world's teenage-girl population would explode. And they would be more than happy to die.

P.P.P.S. For the random girls who found this blog by Googling "Jonas Brothers in Toronto," Nick was wearing a very nice white V-neck tee. The end.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

He's Still Sad. I Still Love Him.

William Fitzsimmons is still breaking my heart in the most gorgeous manner possible.

How does his ex not return? I would run. So fast. In his direction.

He wrote a sequel to "Afterall." Called "After Afterall." If my heart is ever shattered into a million little pieces, I only hope I'll be half as eloquent in articulating the experience. Not that I aspire to heartache, but I'm not paralyzed by the fear of its possibility either. 

P.S. I still think "Free Fallin'" is one of the saddest songs ever. Especially its acoustic versions. Like this one. Or John Mayer's. 

Oh, Deer

Loveliness. A pet deer just seems so Audrey-appropriate, no?

Audrey Hepburn with 'Ip
Bill Willoughby - archival prints

It Happened Last Night: Fire?!

It's 4 a.m. I'm sleeping, as I tend to do at such an hour. Suddenly, a pounding at the front door shocks me out of my slumber. And it doesn't stop.

I try to ignore it. I live next to a bar, across the street from an under-construction cocktail lounge, and around the corner from The Beer Store. My neighborhood caters to fun characters, most of whom I'm not interested in hanging out with once I'm in pajamas. I hear low voices muttering outside. I assume it's a team of pizza-delivery boys wondering why no one wants their pizza. Or friends of Boy Behind the Wall who are too drunk to remember that he lives at the back of the house.

The knocking continues.

I eventually stumble into my living room in the dark. I don't want to turn on the lights and acknowledge my post-midnight existence. Flashing lights dance through the blinds. I peak out the window. A fire truck sits in front of my house.

That's when I notice that I have a headache. Not just a sleep-disturbance-induced one, either. And the place smells funny. Like the morning after a campfire. Stale and smokey.

I open the front door, gorgeous in my oversized shapeless shirt and too-short flannel pants. Three firemen stare at me, surprised that someone does, in fact, live here. I have to shout something awkward in their direction before anyone talks to me.

"Someone burnt something downstairs."

Thanks for the clarification, I think loudly before shuffling back to bed, now completely distracted by the stench permeating everywhere.

Not a single alarm went off in my building. This should have disturbed me. For almost twenty minutes, I ignored emergency services at my door. This also should have disturbed me. Instead, I was annoyed that someone attempted a culinary experiment at an hour when delivery would have been far more appropriate. And that the same late-night chef didn't bother to direct the firefighters to the scene of their crime. Only you can prevent Nadine-inconveniencing fires.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm My Own Grandpa

I heard this song for the first time last night. My life will never be the same.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Love Stories

A Short Love Story in Stop Motion

Motion City Soundtrack - Fell In Love Without You

New musical discovery. (Where have I been?!)

P.S. There's a piano on the beach. Sigh.

Summer Nights - In Sign Language

Best karaoke duet song ever. Sounds like summer. A really fun, sad summer. Only with Travolta is this combination possible.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Girl Crush

Note the boots.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Up In Smoke

Many people in a small, northern New Brunswick First Nations community say they lost more than just a place of learning when their local school was gutted by an early-morning fire Thursday.

With smoke drifting over the charred structure that afternoon, many people, including students, visited what was left of the school in Eskinuopitijk, the community formerly known as Burnt Church.

I turned 16 in that school. I danced in a powwow in its gymnasium. I slept on its stage and showered in its locker room. I harmonized in its classrooms. I ran down its halls, escaping water-gun-wielding boys. I gave piggy-back rides outside its front doors.

And if you looked closely, you would have seen "Nadine was here" carved into a brick wall. Not by my hands.

Burnt Church First Nation School, I'll always love you.

Act Your Age, Not Your Shoe Size

Two of my favorite fictional precocious children.

BOY: I'm three.
ME: I know. But I always think you're older. You look at me with old-man eyes.


BOY: How old are you?
ME: Guess.
BOY: Twenty-eight?
ME: Nope.
BOY: Twenty-nine? Twenty-ten? Twenty-eleven?
ME: Wrong direction.
BOY: Nineteen?
GIRL: One? Two? Three...?

GIRL eventually got it right. Smart cookie.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's Not True

Someone sent me this last year. It no longer applies. Yesterday was my last day of subtitling. And my career ended with a super-appropriate project followed by a lovely evening on a patio with folks who will continue to be my friends long after we've all walked away from the job that once bonded us.

And this T-shirt is not true either. Because the future is no less exciting today than it was when I thought I'd grow up to be Amy Grant. (Or a bank teller. They had all the money.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"I've been reading a lot of books on tape...."

Jeremy: So, can I kiss you or what?
Mirabelle: The point being?
Ever see Shopgirl? It's so painfully awkward and endearing. Especially Jason Schwartzman's speech about amps. ("Amplifiers are so under-appreciated....") This has nothing to do with anything. Except that, like Mirabelle, I think too much. But unlike Mirabelle, I have no intentions of ever making out with Steve Martin.

I was going to blog about one thing, but then got distracted. And then I was going to write about something else, but self-censorship got in the way. And then I checked my email too many times, ate too much sugar, and embraced today as Neurotic Wednesday.

It's probably better to consciously indulge in insane thinking on occasion than to let it creep into my everyday life. I'm now trying to find a way to channel this awkward energy into something creative.

In completely unrelated news, I told people how to dress like Sandra Bullock today.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Zack Morris

He lives. And whatever he's been drinking, I want some.


The most significant wardrobe regret of my life? Not buying this:

Even though it's a lie.

Will I tune in to a reunion? Um, yes.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Dear Diary

Today I quit my job.

And then I ate ice cream.

And now I have Spin Doctors' "Two Princes" in my head.

I believe I've had a very good day.

Adorableness alert:

For the Love of Billy

Billy Elliot swept the Tony Awards last night, and made history as its three young rotating leads shared the award for best actor. (Oh, and Angela Lansbury won too. Just for being made of pure awesome, I believe.)

In honor of such a cuddly occasion, I bring you the angry dance.

Everyone should dance when they're angry. Just like Bret.

And the award to best host goes to....Neil Patrick Harris. I want him to play me in the story of my life. Maybe.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Itchy Fingers

I have a friend who uses the term "itchy ovaries" when discussing the proverbial biological clock.

I use the phrase "itchy fingers" to describe the need to sit at the piano and play.

After an entire day of music and sunshine yesterday, I awoke this morning with this song* echoing in my head:

Okay, and maybe this one** too:

I spent quality time with Doug the Piano this evening (I rarely call him Doug, but I'm pretty sure that's the keyboard's name). Not quite the same as a full band, with thousands singing in unison, but it satisfied my itch.

*The video is misnamed. It's "Inside Out."

Aside: I have now seen Brooke Fraser three times in 13 months. (Yesterday was the first time with Hillsong United.) This is a record I'm extremely proud of. Love her. Click here for the blog post with "Desert Song" in it. Yep, she sang it last night. And it was breathtaking.

**If you really want to know what yesterday was like, imagine Song #2 being played by the folks in Song #1. Because Smitty wasn't there. But his piano-playing makes me happy. Yes, I'm slightly stuck in the early '90s.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

David Carradine: 1936-2009

'Tis a sad day. Even for those of us not typically inspired by kung fu. Or by Tarantino.

Once upon a time, I sent an email to my boss voicing some serious concerns I had about my job. His response?

"Patience, grasshopper, patience."

I was not amused. Not long after, said boss disappeared into the resignation abyss. No one misuses Carradine references and gets away with it.

Adventures In Dress Shopping

Yesterday I attempted to buy a dress. "Attempted" is the key word. By the time I got home after 10, all I had to show for my evening was a dark-chocolate impulse buy, some leaky Diet Coke, a bunch of red grapes and a stomach full of Swiss Chalet. No frock for me.

Because I have a pop-cultured-packed brain, every dress I tried on conjured up a traumatic Tinseltown reference.

First I looked like a Real Housewife of the O.C. Yes, like a well-Botoxed middle-aged woman trying too hard. I hate to use the word "cougar," but....

Then I looked like Goldie Hawn. The geriatric-hippie version.

Then I channeled my inner June Cleaver. I would have purchased that dress if the crinoline were even. But it wasn't. And June would not approve. (And when and where would I actually wear a dress with crinoline?)

Then I looked like a head of lettuce. Which isn't a pop-culture reference, just a fact.

So I decided to stick with the dress I own. I'm going out to celebrate a dear friend's birthday tomorrow, and I'm quite certain there's no rule against wearing something non-new.

The birthday gal also walked away empty-handed. But she almost bought a green dress. Very Joan of Mad Men. VERY. But she doesn't watch Mad Men. So the whole point of this dress-shopping blog entry is to have an excuse to post a picture of Christina Hendricks in her vibrant green curve-enhancing number.

It's a good thing she didn't buy it. Boys' brains would explode.

Betty, Joan and Peggy.

Total Eclipse of the Heart: Literally

I laughed. And I needed to laugh.

I need a karaoke fix. Now.

Thanks for the link, @thebruce0!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Shortest YouTube Tuesday Ever: Keanu

Below is one of my favorite Keanu Reeves moments of all time. Because it made me laugh out loud in the middle of a melancholy plot-hole-riddled film about, uh, what would have happened had he and Sandra Bullock met in an even-less-believable-than-a-bomb-rigged-bus scenario. You can't teach this brand of brilliance.

One of my life's regrets: missing out on Reeves' performance as Hamlet in Winnipeg back in '95. I have a very vivid imagination. But I can't wrap my head around that one.

Oh, Neo. You know kung fu.
Not iambic pentameter.

Monday, June 01, 2009

One Year Later

Yesterday, my family gathered at Foster Memorial Cemetery for some general gardening/reminiscing. 

And then I went to an amazing worship service (filled with some of the greatest guitar solos I've ever heard) and sang "Better Is One Day." The morning after Grandma died, I sat at her piano and played that very song. 

A year ago today, my grandmother died. I still don't know how to talk about the grieving process, mostly because it's been so surreal. There's a real freedom that comes from watching someone die, looking directly at death only to see life. The first weekend of June, 2008, was probably one of the most significant in my adult life. (For multiple reasons, only some of which are bloggable.) It was a giant learning curve. Life, death, beauty, fear-turned-fearlessness. It was all there.

In looking back, I reread my journal from last year. And I'll share little pieces of it with you. 'Cause you're all family.

I want to die like that.


Yesterday, I understood, perhaps for the first time, "the peace that passes understanding." Because death shouldn't be so beautiful. But it was. 


It's like the very moment her spirit left this earth, my own fears dissolved away. The absolute assurance of her faith somehow seeped into my restless spirit.

~journal excerpts, 2008

I miss you, Grandma. But I can't wish you were here. No moment of mortal life is worth exchanging for what you have now.

Grandma-related posts from '08:
300 (Scroll down. The Beth Moore quote still moves me.)