Judging, School, victoria b.c.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown: A Review

Last Friday I went to a university production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, expecting a great performance. I had never seen the musical before, but my dad played Snoopy in his hay day which is super embarrassing but I figured that I would be in for a good show. I guess I forgot that I’m in Canada and people are bad at everything here.youre_a_good_man_charlie_brown-show

I don’t know a lot about the performing arts, but I know when a show is bad and when a show is good. I know what over acting looks like and I know how to spot lazy props and backdrops. College students should be at the point where they don’t come off as annoying or pretentious thespians on stage. They need to be able to morph into a character. If you cannot do this simple task by the time you’re graduating college, there’s really no hope for you. Sorry, but it’s true. I’m not saying that I know everything about acting, but yes that’s exactly what I’m saying.

From the minute that I heard the actors fake voices, I knew it was going to be a long show. It just seemed so forced. The girl who played Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally, put on a voice that made me cringe. It wasn’t charming or funny at all. If I were her, I would’ve studied the old TV specials and mimicked the voices that they used. If that’s what this actress was trying to do, she failed miserably. She put on this high pitched, pinched nose voice which didn’t resemble that Sally that I know whatsoever. So congrats on being a terrible actress. She did have a good singing voice though. That was her redeeming factor.charliebrownschristmastales-02

Note to the costume designer: Sally does not have a full head of curly hair. She has poofy bangs and wears light blue, not bright pink. Good job on messing that up and distracting me. You’re fired.

The girl who played Lucy was a much better actress than anyone else there. That being said, her part didn’t require much. She also put on a weird voice, but not as awful as Sally’s. I don’t know if they had a meeting where they tried to teach the girls how to enunciate and taught them to get the audience’s attention by putting on crazy voices, but that’s what it seemed like. I could imagine them having a voice coach saying, “Very good, but try to be more annoying if possible.”

I’m going to include one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies because that’s what I’d like to think their voice coaching would be like. Bursting into choreographed dancing and everything.

The guy who played Schroeder was really good. He had good comedic timing. However, he wasn’t a big character and he didn’t have a lot to do. At least his outfit was identical to his character’s and his voice was normal. Snaps for Schroeder.

Peppermint Patty was fine. She was barely in the show at all. Why include her and not Marcie? It would’ve been cute to see Marcie and Patty’s young lesbo relationship. I do like the fact that Patty calls Charlie Brown “Chuck”. I just wanted Marcie to be around to address Patty as “Sir”.itebcb-04

Linus and Charlie Brown were below par. First of all, the guy playing Linus was chunky. Like, chunky in a way that you couldn’t look past it or focus on his character. Linus shouldn’t be chunky. He’s like 7 years old. In the show they said that they were 5 years old but I don’t believe that because they were writing book reports and no 5 year old can write their own name, let alone a book report.TV Peanuts Online

Charlie Brown was okay but his vocals weren’t that good. He could’ve been stronger on that department. Other than that, he played Charlie Brown pretty well. He seemed terminally depressed, so he was either really into his character, or actually severely depressed.

Snoopy was probably the best part of the show. I guess they have to save their best actor for Snoopy because he has the best songs and has to balance on top of a dog house most of the time. Snoopy was definitely entertaining so I would give him two thumbs up…or two paws up! I don’t know…I hate myself.snoopy-cizgifilm

The set design was actually pretty good. All the props looked exactly how they appeared on the show so I was happy that they got at least one thing right.

I guess I’m just used to living in the states where we spend lots of money on theater departments. Like, no joke my high school performances were better than this university production. Talent wise, costume wise, production quality and value wise. Whenever I say anything like this, my husband likes to point out that maybe that’s why the US has no money–because we spend it on dumb things. And maybe he’s right. But at least we have high quality entertainment.

 

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School

Carol

I don’t like science. Never have, never will. I didn’t care how much the sun weighed or how dense a cylinder of water was. I laughed when my Earth Science teacher said that we had to find the cleavage in our rocks. I also had the biggest carbon footprint of all time and couldn’t care less.

Often times I would look around the room, staring at pictures of our solar system or the periodic table. After a couple of years in high school, a reoccurring poster would appear on the walls of my science rooms. It looked like this:tumblr_lguft9HLsh1qb4zxlo1_400

I need to talk about this poster. Let’s start with Carol. Carol is the worst name ever. Apparently she never wore her safety goggles. I don’t blame Carol here. If her class had safety “goggles”, that’s pretty embarrassing. We only had to wear these clear glasses. If ours had a strap at the back, I sure as hell wouldn’t have worn them either. She was probably just trying to be cool and make up for the fact that her name was Carol.

It’s obvious that her teacher didn’t care about her. If he/she cared, they wouldn’t have made it an option to wear the goggles. Another question: why is Carol’s teacher using such dangerous chemicals in the presence of young students? There are sooo many experiments that you could do, but you choose the one that could blind someone? Good work.

It’s obvious that Carol made a mistake. She burned her eyes and probably didn’t run to flush them out with that cool spurty sink that all the class rooms had. Or she could’ve used the shower in the back of the room that I’ve always been tempted to use.

So now Carol doesn’t need safety goggles? Just because she’s blind, she doesn’t need to keep her eyes safe anymore? What kind of logic is that? Or do they mean that she already has protective goggles because she has to wear those sweet sunglasses? Either way, it’s weird. At least she gets to walk with a pimp cane now and she never has to look at how badly she dresses. A win/win really.tumblr_lhobetFaUI1qzkqvao1_500

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Holidays, School, Stores

My White Leather Gloves

I enjoyed the finer things in life when I was 19. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy the finer things, but they’re just out of reach now that I’m in Canada. I think it’s usual to want something new and beautiful for Christmas, and I had a very long list when I was 19.

I remember the day that my dad took me downtown into Chicago to go Christmas shopping. I wanted to pick out my gifts before I got them because that’s how I rolled back then. Now, of course, I realize that surprises and the unexpected gifts are the best ones but I digress.

After wandering up and down Michigan Avenue, we eventually ended up in the Coach store. I didn’t need a new purse so I don’t even know why I was in there. We were looking around when a pair of white leather gloves caught my eye. They were so soft and had three buttons going up each side. I asked my dad if I could have them for Christmas and he said yes.

Am I Mary Tyler Moore with that hat, or what?

Am I Mary Tyler Moore with that hat, or what?

As the employee rang us up, she asked if we were boyfriend and girlfriend. I pretty much threw up in my mouth and walked out of the store after that. The only thing that made me feel better were those gloves. Driving gloves, as I liked to call them. But seriously, what 19 year old need driving gloves?

Christmas came and went and I loved my gloves. I used them through the long Chicago winter. I was going to a community college at the time, so I actually was doing a lot of driving back and forth.

One of my least favorite classes that semester was Speech. Our teacher was like, a hundred years old and made us speak super loud whenever we were performing. I hated that class, but my teacher loved me. Probably because I put really old fashioned cheesy jokes into all of my speeches. I knew how to cater to my audience.

After school one day, I got home and realized that I didn’t have my gloves. I knew that I put them under my seat in class and I must have forgotten about them. Since I went to a community college I pretty much assumed that I would never see my gloves ever again. How would I even drive comfortably after this?!

I went to the lost and found just to make sure there were truly no good people left in this world, and I was right. My gloves were gone. I didn’t have the heart to tell my dad that the gift he gave me was gone because I didn’t take care of it.

I always felt bad about that.

 

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Driving, School

Learning to Drive

I’m a driver. Not in the sense that I drive people around for a living, I just enjoy driving a lot. I guess I could’ve initially said “I enjoy driving a lot.” It’s hard for me to think of times when I didn’t have my license and had to be chauffeured around by a parent. That’s no way to live life.

To get to the point I’m at now, I had to go through driving school TWICE. I don’t think my mom trusted that I would be a good driver right away. Probably because of the time that I pulled onto a main road without stopping, while cars were approaching in both directions. tumblr_meaodcw8361qbe1mdo1_500

I didn’t drive with my mom much after that. I think I eventually forced my dad to risk his life and drive with me. I pretty much drove in circles and made him listen to the Chicago soundtrack with me. He had it comin’, he had it comin’, he only had himself to blame….if you’d have been there, if you’d have seen it, I betcha you would’ve done the same!

And all that jazz.

See, I get talked into taking classes easily. I remember freshman year of high school, I was 15 years old before most of the people in my year. My friend told me that I should take Driver’s Ed through the school with her since I was old enough to get my learner’s permit. I got my permit, and the next semester, I was in class with her. My teacher was super old and annoying and always talked about how good his break reaction speed was. Like, who cares?

The best part of the class is that we got to leave school. Driving around was fine, but leaving school was an amazing feeling. In that class I earned the name Lead-foot Lily (It was actually my last name, but Lily sounds better. Don’t you hate when teacher’s refer to you as your last name like you’re in the army or something? ) because, you can guess,  I was into going fast and breaking hard.

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Do you think the guy that’s driving is nervous because he’s driving without a license plate?

After I was done with that class, my mom enrolled me in a driving class outside of school. My teacher’s name was Mr. Wickersham and he would drive up to my house and I would get in the car and drive around with him and pick up other kids who wanted to die. Wickersham was old and boring. He didn’t give me a cool nickname, but on my sixteenth birthday he took me through the McDonald’s drive thru and bought me a Sausage McMuffin. So he definitely had some credibility.

I waited a month after my birthday to get my license. I was nervous. Everyone at school liked to tell horror stories of which DMV was the worst and which ones made you parallel park and which ones made you pull out into oncoming traffic. I was a pro at pulling out into oncoming traffic so I picked that one. Everything went smoothly and I almost hugged the guy that was testing me when he said, “Alright, you passed.” I even opened the door for him we we went back inside.

Ever since then, I’ve been a driving machine. Lead-foot or not, I like to drive around, listen to tunes, and sing by myself. It soothes me. It’s a new form of freedom when you’re sixteen. You can just get up and go whenever you want. Unless you don’t have a car. Then nothing really changes.

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School, Vacation

My Trip to Sydney

When I was in high school I liked to sing. I still like to sing, but now I just do it in my car. I was involved in my school’s choir and we were competitive to say the least. Each year we traveled around the globe touring and competing. The last trip of my high school career was in Sydney Australia. The last venue that I ever sang in was the Sydney Opera House.

Props to me for thinking I could pull off a horizontal striped shirt.

Props to me for thinking I could pull off a horizontal striped shirt.

That year there were three different trips. I remember because I got to go on all three. I was one of the lucky ones. The most popular trip was obviously Sydney. Who wants to go to stupid old Austria and dumb old Italy when you can go down under? There was always a down side to these exciting trips and that was practicing. Every day during and after school we had to attend practice for hours on end. Even in the airport we would get into formation and sing our hearts out. For some reason I had no shame in high school.

Our days were filled with practice even when we arrived in Australia. We would gather and sing for four hours and then we were allowed to go explore. My teacher was a bit of a bully and she would threaten us not to sleep even when we were overcome with jet lag. We couldn’t play games or do anything crazy in case we got hurt and couldn’t sing. It was super Nazi style.

There was always some kind of activity planned during the day that we were forced to do but it was never anything super cool. Like, instead of climbing the Darling Harbour bridge, we went to the Featherdale Wildlife Park. Don’t get me wrong, I love little animals, especially little Australian animals, but I feel like we could’ve spent our time doing other, cooler things.

Me and a drugged wallaby. I think they drugged them so they would say still and not hop around.

Me and a drugged wallaby. I think they drugged them so they would say still and not hop around.

Me with the butt of an emu. I think they can be really mean, but he didn't mine me touching his butt.

Me with the butt of an emu. I think they can be really mean, but he didn’t mind me touching his butt.

I remember we were there on a Sunday night and my choir teacher forced us to go to mass with her and it was the most boring moment of my life. Every other night though, we got to roam around Sydney. Luckily, Australia’s drinking age was 18 and we happened to be 18 so we went into bars and danced in clubs and drank Smirnoff Ices. Super hardcore. Our choir teacher said we had to get a note from our parents saying that we could drink otherwise we couldn’t go out. I emailed my mom and she said no. I promptly changed the email to say yes, printed it out and handed it to my teacher.

We were also given a small amount of free time which my friend and I spent at the mall. Other people in our group took surfing lessons at Bondi Beach and we went to the mall. That’s how an 18 year old brain works I guess. We also went to the Sydney Aquarium which was the best aquarium that I’ve ever been to. I swear all of the animals there are on steroids. They have a sting ray that’s triple the size of me.

I’m pretty sure there was a moment when we went to an opal mine and I was super stoked because opals are my birth stone. I bought myself some tiny opal studs because that’s what you do when you’re traveling. You buy gifts for yourself and not for other people.

I remember one day they took us to a farm and I was convinced they were going to kill us. That year I had seen (and walked out of because I was so scared) the movie Wolf Creek which takes place in Australia. It’s about this group of kids that trust this guy to fix their flat tire and he takes them to his house and tortures them. I couldn’t handle it. In a way I was tortured that day because I had to watch a guy sheer a sheep in under a minute. We also learned how to crack a whip and throw a boomerang. Useful skills. Lastly, we watched Australian sheep dogs climb on the backs of sheep to wrangle them all together. It was one of those moments where I was thinking, “What am I doing here?”

Lily in high school. Complete spaz.

Lily in high school. Complete spaz.

Finally came the day when we got to perform in the Opera House. There wasn’t a lot of pressure because there was a total of 40 people watching us. The Opera House was cool, but it was slightly dated. It has a maroon color scheme which wouldn’t be my first choice in decorating, but who am I? I think we finished off the night by eating in a rotating restaurant at the top of the tallest building in Sydney.

You could say that I conquered that city. Actually no, you couldn’t really say that. But you could say that I conquered it’s mall.

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Exercise, School

Skiing With Lily (Guest Post by CozyinChicago)

Look at me, I am so cool writing a “guest post.”  Really, Lily doesn’t know what she agreed to! ha ha.  Lily and I go way back as we grew up close to each other in the Chicago area.  And, it just so happened that we ended up at the same college for a while until she decided to be too “cool” for the USA and hop over the pond to London…ok, I guess thats kind of cool.  Now she thinks she’s super cool and landed in…Canada?  Yikes.  JK LILY.  Ok, so I decided to write about Abby & Lily’s skiing adventures, mostly because its hilarious for me and probably really embarrassing for Lily…but I know you guys will get a kick out of it.

I somehow convinced Lily to sign up for a skiing class with me in undergrad.  I mean in my mind, skiing+college credit=what could go wrong?  You basically get to ski for free for a semester and get classes which is a great deal!  Lily hadn’t ever been skiing before the class so I decided, being the wonderful person that I am, to take her up before classes started and show her the ropes.  Now while a good portion of our day consisted of taking sweet pics to post on facebook:223314_503775868189_6737_n
The rest consisted of Lily like this:safety_fall
And a lot of swearing.  Actually, I’m surprised she is still talking to me today, you all know how she is with grudges.  Then it came to the semester long class.  We had these weird sort of “try out” things where they watched us ski and then put us in classes based on ability.  Somehow I got put with the crazies who like to jump off cliffs and ski in “unchartered territory”…wtf?  My teacher literally called me “the Chicago princess” just cause I valued my LIFE.  ugh.  So while I was stuck with those bozos Lily got a PRIVATE class and got to hear all the ski instructor gossip.  Really, it was like Real Ski Instructors of Beaver Mountain or something…she’d tell me all the dirt on our rides home.  I was jealous.  By the end of the class I think Lily could make it down the hill in one piece with a little bit less swearing…right?  Don’t know if she’ll ever ski again but it was definitely some great memories.  Maybe I”ll have to make my way out to Canada for some skiing…Lily??
*If you want to read more of Abby’s work, go to CozyinChicago.wordpress.com!
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School

Holding Grudges

I’m a grudge holder. Consider yourself warned. If someone says or does something mean to me or anyone I love, it will take me a long time to get over. Sure, I’ll be civil to them, but while I’m being nice my brain will be like, “Remember what they did to you?” It’s likely that I’ll never forget. I have an amazing long-term memory. So don’t mess!

The thing is, I know I should be forgiving and realize that people say and do stupid things all the time that they wish they could take back. Sure. I get that. I did something dumb once to a friend and she was mad at me for a while. But then she ended up forgiving me. I wonder what it feels like to be that nice?

Here’s a story about one of the longest grudges I’ve ever held. Sit down and get cozy, this is a good one.

In first grade a girl named Quinn Fabray was in my class. Her name wasn’t really Quinn Fabray. That’s a character on Glee A.K.A the worst show ever made. However, this person has the exact same name as a character on Glee and I’m convinced they named the character after her because she’s so annoying. Anyway, Quinn was in my class and was nice enough to me I suppose. She lived in my neighborhood so I guess that meant that we were forced to hang out.tumblr_ma6ullXx6M1r42qyuo1_500

One time, Quinn came over to my house and was looking around my room and making fun of my stuff. She looked at my piggy bank and spilled all of the pennies on the ground. I’m assuming I only had pennies. I looked at all of my hard earned three dollars and told her to pick them up or I’ll tell my mom. She said no and that if I don’t pick them up she’ll tell her parents that she had a bad time at my house and that I was mean to her. Looking back, I should’ve just said, “Get on the ground and pick up my pennies before I smack you in the face.”

Unfortunately, I was the one who got down on the ground and picked up all the pennies by myself while she laughed at me. Fast forward 18 years later. Quinn asks me to be friends on Facebook. I accept because I’m obviously curious about what she looks like, what she does, etc. After I accept her friend request, she and her mom send me messages about how great it would be to get together mainly because I have a connection that they would love to get in touch with. In their message, they talk about all the great memories they have of my family whom they met maybe twice. They also mention my childhood dog Tasha, that even I forget about from time to time so they must have dug pretty deep to remember that detail.

I have no words to describe how great it felt to deny them of ever seeing me or any of my family members. I wished them all the best of course, but I told them that I knew what they were trying to do. They seemed to remember every detail about my family and I but they had no recollection of the trauma that was caused with my piggy bank. Not that I mentioned the piggy bank episode. I would’ve come off as slightly insane.

That’s what blogging is for!

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