23 February 2005

Reading week '05

At this very moment, I am toeing the line between vacation and reality. Too thrilled by the escapism this week has thus far provided, I'm neglecting all responsibility for another 12 hours at least. Clicking away on computer keys is the closest thing to work I've done in a while...and don't it feel good!
So here's what has been happening, in somewhat of an order:

On Things Theatrical
My baby, Love on the Rocks- a musical revue, miraculously came together just in time for the curtain to rise. I've learned a huge amount about the underlying organizational process that is needed to create a show. Creativity alone is not enough, and a few logistical disasters taught me my lesson the hard way. Regardless, it's all over now and - thanks to an immensely talented cast- was a success.
The blurred lines between onstage/backstage; performer/director created a delicate balance to maintain. Not sure if I'd triple up on roles in that way again, but in this case it was a nice challenge. Also, as frustrating, diva-filled and eccentric as the world of theatre can be, it is essentially a very magical place. No, really. Everyone's egos and idiosyncracies blend together before a backdrop of rich voices and fun music. It's red lipstick and high kicks, deodorant, tantrums, groping, impromtu sing-alongs, lots of bottled water, shameless dressing room nudity, and made up of very affectionate, expressive people.
Love it or hate it, it's fun to be fully immersed in it.

Geography Conquers
Finally, after several years of trying, I made it to Montreal. Friday to Monday and what a weekend it was! Being out of province allowed me to literally leave all my worries behind.
Car rides are the best way to travel, whenever possible, I believe. By the time you've reached your destination, you've earned it by being cozily squished into a small space for hours on end. If you've got good friends and great music to accompany you, you're riding in style, my friend.
With three days we were able to see a great deal of the city. There was very little sleep involved, but rest was necessarily sacrificed for the greater good of exploration. Now you'll have to go and see the city for yourself, but I assure you it is a university student's playground. Before I went, I harassed anyone who had ever even driven through Montreal and insisted they give me the lowdown on what's tres amusant in the city. I took some of the advice into account and my companions and I also did a lot of self-led exploration. So, for anyone wishing to visit in the future, I'll name drop a few must-sees and starting points that worked for us (pictures to come later):

Accomodation: The Day's Inn Centre-Ville

Great food: Eggspectations, St Hubert, Schwartz's Deli, 99cent pizza, Chez Cora, R.E.A.L bagels to name a few

Nightlife: Peel Pub (try the Sangria), Thursdays (hilarious 30+ singles crowd), Karima (pricy but classy), Claddagh (jolly Irish pub), The Mad Hatter (great atmosphere), GoGo lounge (nice martinis, red lighting and 70s hand chairs), Le Bifteque (old-fashioned tavern).
For the more risque taste, Montreal has sex shops and strip clubs embedded in every block : try Super Sexe, or the lesser-known Pussy Corp.

Shopping: Rue St. Laurent, Rue St Catherine, Rue Crescent, Rue St Denis, Rue Mont Royal

Sight seeing: Mont Royal, Old Montreal, McGill University, the Biodome, Notre Dame Cathedral.

My advice to prospective visitors would be to book a decent hotel room (around the $100/night range) with great friends, drive, park and go exporing.

But make sure you pack lots of warm clothing, cause Montreal -though stunning and exiting- is a damn cold city in February.
* * *
I also went to visit a certain individual in Aurora. My graceful host toured me around York Region, invoking all kinds of memories as I revisited the place where I grew up.
That evening we drove into Toronto and had a pint at, yes, another Peel Pub. You can take the girl out of Montreal...

It's been a great week so far.

Anyways, back to life in craaaazy Owen Sound.

stay tuned: third year trials and tribulations

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