Taking Vacation Post-Covid: Some Thoughts

I went on vacation this week. I almost asked to reschedule because I Think You Should Leave – Season 2 came out in the middle of my time off. Seriously. I thought about staying home when I found out the release date.

Not a surprise to anyone who met me in the hotmail days of tv_addict1@hotmail.com – (honestly, that email address might still work, I should really check it out and see if I’ve missed anything over the past decade.)

I did go. I was fully prepared to activate my delayed gratification function for the absurd sketch show until we got home. There wasn’t supposed to be any wifi at the cottage. It was supposed to be a tech-less paradise. That’s why I didn’t bring a laptop. I would have used it. For Netflix. And work. Not vacation stuff.

Given the past year and a half, I honestly think my Netflix needs a vacation more than I do.

That’s not true. I need one. Needed one. Took one, regardless of making Tim Robinson wait til I got home, like the cat — and stupidly like the cat, I checked in on Tim. We tried to stream episodes of ITYSL on a tiny iPhone screen. I think 75% of that show’s comedy is in Tim Robinson’s face and teeth, so we missed a lot of it being on a teeny tiny screen. Why couldn’t I just have let it go? Because most everyone went to bed and those of us still up were drunk and high, that’s why.

The weather was less than ideal for vacationing. Except that one day where the outside was nice but Lake Ontario is always fucking freezing. Luckily laughter is a good substitute for sunshine and we had it in abundance.

Every cottage needs a cheese grater. FACT.

It’s a weird thing being on vacation with people a generation younger than you. Why is the music so uggggh jeeez?

The extravert that had been suppressed during lockdown reemerged AT THE COTTAGE. It’s so nice to feel the buzz of being around people once again.

It’s also nice to be home now. There’s still no place like it.

I Did Stratford

The Stratford edition of Comedy Before the Frost is now history and marks the first out-of-town comedy show I’ve produced (well, co-produced.)

I think I would qualify it as a success in that people we do not know were in attendance and paid money to listen to us tell jokes.  Not thousands of people, but people.  One of whom had reserved in advance for a group – as a birthday celebration.  We were part of someone’s major life event!  (If you consider a birthday a major life event, which I do.)

I was especially touched when I noticed my good pals from Sarnia in the crowd; friends I’ve known since high school (actually, I think I knew Josée before high school, she can correct me if I’m wrong,) who’d made the trek down specifically to see me perform.  That’s dedication, folks. That’s friendship.  They traveled further than I did to get to that venue.  These two are the best kind of people there is.  Afterwards, they treated us comics to drinks and billiards, which is like…gold for comics.  Sweet liquid, billiard-y gold.

Jerry Shaefer, our host, performed some really funny, interesting and unique stuff – which I was really excited to see because it didn’t fit in with the regular run-of-the-mill host.  He took some time to look into work we’d all done in the past, which was really nice and considerate – and he told stories, played characters and was just damn delightful to watch perform.  The birthday-boy was especially excited when he found out Jerry used to be on the Red Green show.  Apparently he was a huge fan.

We also made connections that will hopefully lead to more shows in Stratford, a lovely town in which to perform.  A town you KNOW values live entertainment.

If thy beist thou boyfriend

But first, time to get our sights set on Ottawa and Montreal.   I’m hoping for a bigger crowd for both these shows, and to recognize a few friendly familiar faces.

Also, more liquid billiard-y gold would be nice.

Camping Tips

The first thing I did when I got back from camping was clean out my fridge.  I don’t know what that was about.  I guess after just one single night out of living without amenities, something sparked in me in the way of:

“Brie, you live indoors, in a comfy apartment.  Maybe you shouldn’t let food rot in your fridge because a) it smells, and b) if you lived in the wild and you kept things the way you keep them at home, you would have been mauled by a bear a long time ago.”

“I think I smell expired buttermilk in here!”

 

Brie’s Advice

Live each day as if you were camping, knowing that if you do the slightest thing wrong, you’ll be eaten by a vicious bear.

Brieviews: Fringe Edition Part 2

I was finally able to check out a few more Fringe shows after a lovely improv class down at the Second City Training Centre.  I made my way over UofT’s campus for a switch from solo performances to an evening of ensemble casts.

Fringe Show # 3 ->  I will never listen to Annie Lennox the same way ever again.

A friend of mine highly recommended Tony Ho’s Sad People – and I was happy to find out it fit into my schedule last night because I never got around to seeing these guys during the last year’s TOsketchfest.  Finally, my time had come to be weirded out by their talent.   I chugged a beer at a nearby O’Grady’s Pub and proceeded to climb the many stairs up to the Robert Gill theatre for, I’m not afraid to say it, one of the weirdest and most wonderful performances I’ve ever seen.  They’re really nothing like other sketch comedy troupes in the city.  Though bizarre and hilarious, there’s a powerful humanity behind a lot of their sketches and monologues – as depressing as that may sound, particularly in the case of the guy who wanted to put his 51 year-old mother in a home.  I was impressed at the strong, very real emotions the characters could portray, for a comedy show, especially in the nurse/patient scene – even though one of the characters’ face was covered with gauze throughout the entire sketch.  (I’m thinking just the shy side-to-side movement on his wheelchair spoke volumes!)  My favourite sketch of the show had to be the time traveling one.

So many good ideas!  Such great performances.  And cool guest performances.  If you’re into sketch comedy, you should check out Tony Ho for sure.  Here’s what they’ve got left, Fringe-wise:

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Two days left!  Check ’em out!

Fringe Show #4 ->  Not the War of 1812 I learned about in high school!

I ran over from UofT to Spadina (not a very far run) to catch the National Theatre of the World’s performance of “The Soaps” A Live Improvised Soap Opera.  Another one of their formats I’d never seen before, but equally as hilariously entertaining as the Carnegie Hall Show and the Script Tease Project.  This edition of the Soaps had a background of the War of 1812, which had a certain fun significance for me because I used to give tours in a Niagara-on-the-Lake historic home that was used as a field hospital during the War of 1812.  If you live in Southern Ontario, particularly near or on the Niagara River, you’re gonna year a lot of stuff about 1812, at school and otherwise.  This year happens to be the bicentennial of the war.  (I really think they should take this production down to the Niagara Region – there’s huge 1812 hooplah going on down there this summer – I bet tourists would go CRAZY over it!)  But I digress.  The cast, composed of some heavy-hitting Second City alum, played British, American and First Nations characters as their stories entwined over issues of romance, betrayal, drama… and corn!  Every night is a new story with the Soaps, so I URGE you to see this one because if you like good improv, and I mean really great, nothing beats it kindof improv,  you will lose your SHIT over this one.  Only three days remaining at St. Vlad’s!

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(I can say lose your shit in a review right?  Whatever.  It’s my blog.  I’ll write what I want.)

Finally… A Different Kind of Review –

I’d like to post a review of the car break-in I experienced last night.  Nothing on the car was broken or destroyed, which is a plus.  Well done, jerkoffs.  (Which leads me to believe I may have left my doors unlocked, but that’s not likely.  It’s like, automatic behaviour for me to lock my car after paying for parking.)  I DID, however, leave the windows open SLIGHTLY so the car wouldn’t be stifling when I got back from my Fringe-hopping.  That must have been it.  When I got back to my car, all my CDs had been taken, as had my change in the ashtray.  I worry some of the former car-owner’s old mail was taken, but go figure, they didn’t take the shitty $15 fan I bought at Canadian Tire as a substitute for my broken car air conditioner.  Luckily, I’d just emptied my car earlier that day of some a pretty nice North Face jacket, and some other clothes.  Also, it was fortunate these creeps didn’t know how to open my trunk, because they might have liked some of the stuff they found back there.  (Like that dead body!!! Moohooohahahahahahahaha)  All in all, I give this crime a rating of: “Fuck you, you delinquent fucks.”

Funny, I never had my car broken into when I lived in Ottawa!  (Then again, I didn’t own a car in Ottawa.)