Of the Week

Links, stories, entertainment, and other various things I enjoyed this week:

The full Hollywood Reporter “Drama Queens” roundtable has been released. And if you, like me, are a TV/acting nerd, you’ll really enjoy it.

Could Vancouver host the 2022 Winter Olympics? Probably not. But this likely isn’t the last we’re going to hear on the subject.

A comprehensive history of Fireball. (Spoiler: it contains brilliant marketing.)

Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman might be dating. I don’t know why, but this makes me very happy.

It’s hard to know how legit this is until one actually tries it themselves, but there’s now a website that helps you crowd fund your travels: Trevolta.

Photographic proof that The Matrix is real and we’re living in it.

Bees are dying all over the place and it’s legitimately terrifying. Click here to do a little something about it. And check out Generation A by Douglas Coupland to scare yourself a little more. (Then check out his exhibit at the VAG, ’cause why not?)

 

Movie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower 

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I’m not going to lie to you guys, my eyes are still puffy a day later. Nearly ten years after I fell in love with the book and two years after the film was released, I finally settled in to watch TPoBaW. (That’s a hideous looking acronym, isn’t it?) Stephen Chobsky, the book’s author, adapted the screenplay AND directed the film, giving perfect explanation to why it’s so lovely. I don’t know if this story is for everyone, but if you’ve ever felt lonely, isolated, and as if the pain of the world might be too much to bear, you need to watch this film. It is beautiful and touching and completely heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful. Prepare to get in touch with that teenage angst that lives inside of all of us and bring the tissues.

 

TV: Orphan Black – It’s fast-paced, smart, and ridiculously entertaining. Tatiana Maslany is… well, I can’t think of a word in the English language to properly describe how incredibly talented she is. Streepian, perhaps?

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Song: “Take Me to Church” by Hozier – This song can best be described as cavernous. SO good.

 

Book: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

DressYourFamilyInCorduroyAndDenimCover

It’s fascinating to me how vastly unique siblings can be from one another: in careers, morals, interests, personalities. Coming from a large family, Sedaris shares tales of his unique (read: psychotic) family, from childhood ’til present. (Bonus: an insight as to how Amy Sedaris got so wacky.) He takes stories, that would no doubt be mundane from a less talented writer, and spins them into tales of humour, grace, and depth. The best part is that he never holds back from sharing all the awful things he has said or done. No rose coloured glasses here. Sedaris will make you feel better about being the flawed human being that we all are.

Word: ostensible [o-sten-suh-buhl] adjective
1. outwardly appearing as such; professed; pretended: an ostensible cheerfulness concealing sadness.
2. apparent, evident, or conspicuous: the ostensible truth of their theories.

I’m Back!

My apologies, loyal readers*, I have not abandoned you. I’ve been back in Vancouver for nearly two weeks and, somehow, I’ve had barely any spare time. Between the job hunt, catching up with friends, and helping out on set, I’ve hardly had two spare seconds to rub together (not to mention discovering Tinder, playing in the snow, and cleaning/organizing/struggling to figure out what the heck I’m doing with my life).

So here we are. I promise to keep this place much more updated. More stories from L.A. will quickly follow, as well as updates on life in Vancouver and other random, fun rants, recipes, stories, reviews, whatever have you.

*Hi, Mom!

backyardtodayMy backyard today.

My wish for all of you today is that you’re warm, dry, and not stressed out. Be happy, friends 🙂

xo K.

Back in the Homeland

Mere hours off the plane, I’m decked out in fancy rain boots, sporting zero makeup, and trudging through the rain to dine at the Na’am. Vancouver, never change.

rain boots

Leaving L.A. was extremely bittersweet. I’ll write more about it in the coming days, I’m sure, when I’ve had more time to reflect. Saying goodbye to Hayley was hard. Life’s just better when she’s in it everyday. But I was returning home to fresh water and my bed and Miss Alana whom I hadn’t seen since September. (She was off traveling through Africa and India AND writing an amazing blog about it.) And as great as L.A. is and as positive as I always am, real life has to be attended to once in awhile and real life is Vancouver right now.

naam night

Krista being lovely while Nisha continues to fight the good fight against taking an attractive photo. Tuscan nachos and thai stroganoff — and sesame fries with cheese and miso gravy, in honour of Hayley.

Now life is a job search, a constant rewrite party, and remembering to blog in between hanging out with everyone else. For the first time in my life I know exactly what I want to do and I am actually, educationally speaking at least, qualified for it. So bring it on (and feel free to send me your film/tv job offers).

On top of all of that I have a new goal: an Arts & Culture mission, if you will. Or, proving: No Fun City.

Vancouver’s such a tiny little city but we have so much potential. I think the most exciting, interesting parts of Vancouver’s arts and culture scene are hidden beneath the surface. Right now a lot of the best stuff is inaccessible* to most people; so while I’m here (for the undisclosed future), I’m going to dedicate myself to taking in and talking about every rad homegrown thing I can find.

So bring on the music, the theatre, the poetry readings, the sketch comedy, and send me events and ideas and suggestions of things to see!

*inaccessible/not on their radar/they have no clue events and happenings are happening

Starting with:

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Rain City Chronicles‘s monthly storytelling night. February edition: Love Hangover. What I’m assuming to be is a night of people reminiscing about terrible experiences of love and life for multiple hours in a boozy locale. (So, awesome!)

If you’ve never been to a storytelling night before, I highly recommend it. It’s like you’re at a party and you’re listening to a drunk person go on and on and on about their shitty love life, except that drunk person** is actually hilarious and poignant and potentially re-affirms your own shitty love life with their relatedly heartbreaking tale. And: there are still tickets available! (Which never happens, so jump on it.)

Many more posts about L.A., the people I met, and the things I learned, are on their way, but they will now be interspersed with the goings-on of the great Vancouver, British Columbia.

**I’m not saying that every storyteller at this event is going to be drunk (Although they might be; public speaking is terrifying.) but it’s an analogy of a drunk person in relation to a… oh fuck it, you get what I’m trying to say.

Of the Week

gay pride flag facebook covers

While what’s going on in Russia is obviously a terrible, no-good, really bad thing, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge how well the rest of the world is responding. Keep in mind that en masse, Internet-wide LBGTQ(IA*) support is a new thing. I think we (we, of course, being a relative term, meant to represent all the internet I come across) have finally reached a place where supporting gay rights is second nature. Like, duh, of course everyone should have the right to marry, etc, etc. It wasn’t like that five years ago, not even within the liberal media (or on my Facebook newsfeed).

So while we’re laughing at all the absurd, insane ways Sochi is breaking down and shaking our heads at Putin and his shirtless horseback riding, let’s keep in mind that this is the first time the entire world has banned together to support gay rights. Let’s keep the Google doodles rainbow, the sassy viral videos coming, and our spirits high because, with the way things are headed, this mess of horrific oppression will soon be distant history.

 

In case you were too busy chilling in a park somewhere to read the news/watch Jimmy Kimmel Youtube videos, Vancouver is allowing this sign to stay posted in a local park.

Some chick was single for a really long time and published a book about it (and I got really jealous). Then one of those ubiquitous internet lists popped up about why it’s great to be single. So, is this the hot, new trend? Being happy as a singleton?! Choosing to be single!? Pass me the ice cream; I’m in.

I totally thought American Hustle was overrated (And was more or less too terrified to say so on Facebook for fear over angering the cinefiles.), but, thankfully, I’m not alone!! (Thanks, Farran!)

Canadian television politics are still a tangled, laughable mess. So what are we going to do about it? No, seriously, that wasn’t rhetorical.

Movie/TV: Nothing’s stuck out to me the past week as I’ve solely been watching reruns of Arrested Development. So, uh, yeah, you should probably do the same.

Music: Dancepack by Volcano Choir – Like most of Justin Vernon’s side projects, this band isn’t instantly accessible; but it’s totally worth the effort. Perhaps start with the first single off the album, Byegone, before you move on to Dancepack; once you get there, I promise it will be worth it: it’s beautiful and mellow and will probably make you want to perform modern dance in your living room.

Photo: A hotel in Switzerland.travel_backpacking_round_the_world_amazing_hotels_ascher-cliff_switzerland

*Are the ‘I’ and the ‘A’ official now? Whatever… doesn’t matter. Give ALL the people ALL their rights.

 

Writing days & movie nights

While it may appear that all I’ve been doing in Los Angeles is playing, I did in fact come here to get some work done. Some network! Get it? Work… network! #sorrynotsorry

Anyway, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people here and will soon be compiling all the advice they have given me into one handy post. But for now, I’m just going to keep posting the fun stuff!

Tuesday was a REALLY EXCITING DAY.

hugo(The only picture I took on Tuesday.)

Yeah, so Tuesday I spent the day writing and emailing and jumping at the banging noises from the kitchen. Hugo is a sneaky teenager (I blame his adolescence for us not getting along.) and continually ducks in and out of cupboards in search of a “hit.” I finally got up and found him in the top cupboard, next to the fridge, head deep into a torn up food bag.

Wednesday was also mostly filled with more of the above but I needed to leave Narnia so I decided to check out Universal Studios City Walk.

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Finding something in walking distance is super rare for LA, but luckily Universal Studios is about a 40 minute walk from Ryan and Hayley’s place; (or 25 minutes plus a free tram* up the hill.) I was going to walk but the tram was right there, so naturally I hopped on. It takes you all the way up to the entrance of Universal Studios and what they call “City Walk.” City Walk is basically just a sweeping row of restaurants, tourist shops, and restaurants and tourist shops.**

*The tram loads diagonally across the street from the Universal City metro stop.

**Not a typo.

city walkEnthralling stuff.

It was neat, but not exactly a “must see.” The real reason I went up there, though, was to catch a movie.

Mild digression: Every year I tell myself I’m going to see all the films nominated for Best Picture; and every year I’ve gotten really close, but never quite made it. This year, however, I WILL do it! (I mean, it’s really not that complicated, especially in this day and age.***)

So I bought a ticket to Gravity. (I realize it’s shameful that I hadn’t seen it yet, but I was really busy last year, okay?!) The theatre up there is massive, boasting 20 screens. Unfortunately it was no longer in IMAX (Damn you, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.) but I was still blown away from seeing it in 3D. Gravity is truly a jaw dropping cinematic feat that will surely win several technical Oscars, but I sort of wish they’d done one more draft on the dialogue.

***But pirating is bad; don’t do it.**** Pay for movies.

****Unless you’re pretending to be a pirate, like, a real one, not then internet kind: in that case, carry on.

ayX4T0Kp0kj3d0-INRwKk__lohYGvjp5RjyaCizJjVoExciting even at night!

Thursday I had plans to meet up with Jake (a classmate of mine from VFS). He just recently moved down to L.A. permanently, but, being California born and bred, knows a lot more about the city than I do.

He picked me up and, after some much needed coffee, we drove up to Griffith Observatory. I’d already been up there (on Nisha’s last day) but it was nice to spend some extra time wandering around and taking in the view.

_U-xLdf5JQyf9CnsS-TJutOXWCZHAJkNU3hd9TWnQ_IThat view, amirite?!

Kidding aside, it’s actually beautiful to walk around. We popped inside — it’s a legit planetarium in there — then made our way back down the hill (mountain?).  For our next stop, Jake drove us to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Margaret Herrick Library. (Say that five times fast.) The building is gorgeous, but the inside is actually pretty mellow, at least for what I assumed it would be like coming from the people who put on the always ritzy Oscars.

We browsed around for a while, enjoying the massive selection of film and television books, saw a real Oscar, (!!!) (All About Eve – Best Costume Design, Black-and-White), and enquired into seeing production notes and scripts. (They have a gargantuan collection, but most requests take 24 hrs to process.) You can’t psychically check anything out of the library, but it’s a fantastic research resource for anyone spending time in L.A.

sunset strip hotelA hotel on the Sunset strip.

I hadn’t spent any time on Sunset Blvd, so we decided to drive down the infamous strip to find some food and pick out famous sites (Chateau Marmont, The Viper Room). I was craving Mexican (I’m always craving Mexican.) but Jake pointed out another place and I (temporarily) let go of my taco craving. And I’m glad I did, because it turns out that he was taking me to the diner from American Graffiti.

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A classic, All-American spot, we ordered some greasy food and played Tom Petty’s American Girl on the jukebox.

mel'sUnlike Vancouver institution, The Templeton, the jukeboxes actually work here.

I wish we had more classic diners in Vancouver. Screw the Cat Cafe, I want waiters on roller-skates! We finished up our tasty (and artery clogging) food, then Jake headed off into the smog as I took to the Boulevard to wander.

I had plans to meet a VFS Writing alum in a few hours and was going to sight see up and down the strip until that time, but was feeling quite sleepy. Just as I was getting deep into my daydream of Nap Cafes***** I spotted a movie theatre! Hallelujah!

I’d stumbled upon one of Robert Redford’s Sundance Cinemas. It’s a 21+ chain where they serve drinks, fancy coffees, meat plates, edamame, you name it. The seating is reserved and the chairs large, cozy, and equipped with side tables. Now that’s how you’re meant to watch a movie! I picked Philomena, purchased a large Americano, and settled in.

Best Picture nominee, Philomena, is sweet, lovely, and ABSOLUTELY HEART-WRENCHING. Literally, bring all the tissues.

After it was finished, I had the perfect amount of time to walk down Sunset and meet VFS alum, Lynn, at The Cat & Fiddle.

*****This seriously needs to be a thing in major tourist destination cities. When you’re too far from your hostel/hotel and need a little break, you just know you’d pay $15 for a clean place to sleep for a couple of hours.

sny5ecAVJruGVQE89YoC3hMtdwtIuCyMpnTX9d0Cv10Sunset Blvd street art.

Lynn is super awesome and had a lot of great advice. (Combined advice article is forthcoming.) We had a drink and a snack then headed back onto the Blvd in search of the Nerd Melt Showroom. The Nerd Melt is a comic book/graphic novel/action figure Mecca with a back room built for storytelling, sketch, and stand-up shows.

That night was a storytelling event called Risk! and the theme was “freaky.” I love storytelling nights. (Really looking forward to the Rain City Chronicles‘ Love Hangover when I’m back in Vancouver. (Tickets still available, but they go fast!)) We settled in and it was quite the show. There were hilarious stories and heartbreak stories and meth stories and ghosts stories. It’s so cool to hear someone share something that’s meant so much to them. I sincerely recommend finding a storytelling night to go to, whatever city you live in.

Whenever you’re in L.A., though, I insist you check out Nerd Melt’s website. They’ve got so many shows with tons of recognizable actors and just quality entertainment. It’s a great addition to the UCB and Groundlings circuit. Thanks so much, Lynn, for taking me!!

Of Last Week

National flags made of their country’s traditional food. Exactly what it sounds like. And super cute.

(Online) dating in “No Fun City*” aka Vancouver.  A few well written stories.

All the places Canadians can get holiday/work visas. Whaaat? We have so many options!

Anna Kendrick is the bestest; and the writer of this ad deserves an award.

Vulture wrote a really interesting article about the history of the selfie. 

*Other people’s words; not mine.

 

Movie: Normally I like to stay positive and recommend only things that are SUPER awesome, but I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you of the atrocity I saw last week. Now you’re all smart people so you probably weren’t going to see it anyway but just in case, please, PLEASE don’t pay to see That Awkward Moment. I agree with this review that describes Zac Efron’s character as a sociopath, but it’s so much worse than that. I LOVE romantic comedies but TAM used the usually fun tropes in atrocious and offensive ways. I almost walked out multiple times. (Will I watch it again someday? Probably. But I’m a real glutton for punishment.)

Today is a grey day in L.A. (but Day 9 wasn’t).

YImd_EfcLR2ACctsp0T__vxJ9ND3sL_7swPNSHMMC70This is what, I believe, the kids calls “#nofilter”.

I’ve been in Los Angeles for nearly 20 days. (Say what!?) And today I miss Vancouver. The fresh air. The rain. The short distances between boroughs. It’s a god damn beautiful city and sometimes I have to leave for awhile to remember that. If you live in Vancouver please consider yourself very, very lucky.

*This post was written over two days. Today the sun came out. Yesterday it rained. People in L.A. LOSE THEIR MINDS when it rains. It’s hilarious. Actually, it’s pretty much exactly what happens to Vancouver when it snows. I highly recommend this Jimmy Kimmel video. So funny.

So the temperature has dropped. It got down to 50 last night (10??*). It will probably get up to the mid 60s today; still a treat for January, but not the warmth I quickly got accustomed to when I first arrived.

So, brief, fleeting homesickness aside, (I know, STFU Kelly, no complaining from you! But I’m just being honest…) L.A. is still frickin’ L.A. I guess I’m just grappling with the loss of my romanticized fantasy Los Angeles. But cities on pedestals shouldn’t throw stones. (What?!) California is known worldwide as a dream destination, and for good reason.

Day 9 (a Saturday) was a magical day. We rented biked in Venice and rode them all the way to Manhattan Beach. (A solid hour plus ride.) I (barely) managed to keep up with rockstar athletes, Ryan, Hayley, and Nisha. We only ducked onto the road for a short while and the rest of the ride along the beach was stunning.

*I’m no longer Googling the difference. I gots to figure it out on my own! 32 = 0, 61 = 16, etc…

bike rideClearly I’m having way too much fun with Pixlr.

It was an incredibly gorgeous day. It’s moments like that where I would sell a little piece of my soul to live here.** We arrived at Manhattan Beach and set up camp next to an empty volleyball next. Hayley and Ryan’s friends were still on their way so we decided to test the water. We dipped our toes in and it was, yes, decidedly freezing, but hell if I’m not going swimming in January! After a bit of wading and much reassurance from Hayley that this wasn’t the beach the great whites like to hang out at, we dove in. (Upon later reflection, we realized said beach was only TEN MINUTES AWAY. Seriously, watch this video.) The water was gorgeous and refreshing. I even ducked in a second time later in the day. (And half-heartedly attempted to surf. But, yep, still no upper arm strength on this girl.)

**Which I’m pretty sure they collect at the DMV in exchange for a California driver’s license. (The shards of soul are then tossed in the air to rest above the city as a cloud of broken dreams.)

beach day

After we towelled off, Hayley’s co-worker/lovely lady Katie and her finance, Ned, joined us as well as Ryan’s friend, Nate, his girlfriend, Batel,*** and their friend Kyle. Tequila in hand, it was time to play volleyball. I begged to be left on the sidelines (While I played a lot of sports growing up, I always abhorred volleyball.) but, alas, to no avail. It was, shockingly, actually really fun! Clearly elementary school volleyball should be taught on a beach and missed hits should not be punished with the popular girls laughing at you, but with shots of tequila. We played a game called “Ace“. It was super fun and my awful playing even got mildly better. (Big ups to Ned and Nate for teaching me!)

***Massive apologies. I’m almost certain I’m spelling that wrong. (But maybe you should make yourself easier to Facebook stalk?! 😉 )

end of beach day

Then the tequila was gone and the bikes needed to be returned so we bid adieu and promised to meet up in a few hours. Nisha, Hayley, Ryan, and I hopped on our bikes and journeyed back. The ride back to Venice was even more beautiful than the ride there. We almost made it back before the sunset (but, obviously a photo shoot was necessary midway). We managed our bikes fine in the dark and then, just as we were pulling into Venice Beach and I was thinking about how incredibly perfect the day was, I kid you not, fireworks started going off behind us. Glorious.

We returned our bikes and nabbed some massive pizza slices before hopping in the car and heading home. We showered and I started getting ready to go out, but you just know after a full beach day and two hour bike ride there was no way we were making it back out; so Nisha made us some dinner and we totally crashed. A perfect California Saturday.

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The panorama option on my camera, with varying degrees of success.

Comme il faut; (or, do I really want to live in Los Angeles?)

Comme il faut: everything as it should be.

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Venice Beach

Well, Los Angeles, it’s already been 10 full days. Where did the time go? I’m writing this from a table on the street outside an adorable little cafe on Tujunga called Aroma. Its interior holds a display case of desserts so decadent, cakes and tarts so vast, my pancreas quivers at the very sight. Naturally I am indulging in a double americano and a chocolate peanut butter muffin (taste: decidedly less decedent than expected). It’s about 18 degrees and the sky is blue and streaked with wispy clouds. Shortly on the blog I’ll return to regaling you with days 3 through 10, but right now I want to talk about where I’m “at” i.e.: do I really want to live in Los Angeles.

But first, a digression (I would hope by now you would have come to expect nothing less):

Before I turned the wise old age of six I lived in four different countries, seven different cities, and ten different houses. A globetrotter before I could even spell the word, moving house (and continent) was old hat. But after my sixth (sadly lacking in champagne) birthday (Sept. 6th, mark it in your calendars), my family settled down…

Well, no, that’s not true — but my parents did pick a country and a province and they stuck to it. So for the last twenty years (also known as, the years I actually remember) of my life, I’ve only ever lived in British Columbia. (There it is; this seque does have a point.) While traveling is in my blood, B.C. remains my homey, homey comfort zone.

This all hit me last Monday as I was wandering around Santa Monica. I’ve been romanticizing Los Angeles for a very long time and have never fully digested the reality of actually moving here. I am extremely lucky to have solid friends and a smattering of family in this city, but those wonderful people aside, B.C. houses probably 80% of the people I love in this world. And, also, B.C. is AWESOME.

Vancouver, my home, happens to be one of the most incredible cities in the world. And while it will be several years before my own personal traveling experience can back that statement up, the good people behind magazine lists everywhere have confirmed this belief over and over again. It certainly ain’t perfect (and it’s damn expensive), but, Vancouverites, you got it good, (so less complaining, okay?).

Anyways, as I was walking around I thought to myself, do I actually want to live here? move here? spend multiple years of my life here? It’s so huge and hot all the time and everything seems so hard to get to.

It’s a scary thing when something you’ve been striving for and dreaming about confronts you and rings a little bell all like, “Heeeey! Guess what? You didn’t entirely think this through!” I dealt with this in my early twenties when I “gave up” acting. I had been half-heartedly pawing at that dream for several years when I had to ask myself, “Is this what I really want?” And it was hard to let go — I’d been aspiring to be an actor my entire life. But I’d lost the passion and the drive and was coasting on the fumes of a childhood dream. (I apologize for that last sentence, but ooh, it gonna stay.) I was chasing a career that I no longer wanted because I wasn’t able to let go. It was hard to accept that.

(Thankfully my high school yearbook achievement “Most Likely To Win An Oscar” wasn’t given for a specific category.)

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If you’re skimming through this post to find more pictures because you’re sick of reading about my boring feelings… I get that. But, wait, now you’re wondering if you should you go back and read the entire post because it might relate to this ridiculous and hilarious selection of Cards Against Humanity cards?! (No, it doesn’t. Carry on skimming.)

So now here I am with the dilemma: do I want to live in L.A. because I’m supposed to want to live in L.A.? Or do I really want to live in L.A.? Or, if you’ll last with me through one more digression, is it not a yes or no question? In Kelly’s Redundant Life Lessons (That She Only Recently Realized) #1: Life is not black or white, good or bad, yes or no. For example, it’s okay to enjoy Miley Cyrus’s music and admire her tenacity and ability to shock while simultaneously being concerned for our youths and wish that she would put on a few more clothes. Headlines are made of extremes, everything is either THE BEST or THE WORST. We’re conditioned to love or hate. But the world is actually full of grey. I can love and hate everyone on GIRLS simultaneously. I can enjoy a 50’s rom-com despite all the misogyny. I can add bacon to my veggie burger!! We are human beings full of conflicted emotions and it’s okay to not pick a side.

So, yeah, Los Angeles isn’t perfect. It’s sprawling and polluted and full of people who are full of shit (or so I’m told); but I can wear shorts in the winter and explore a new part of town every weekend and… work towards the career I want; everything else aside, that’s the most important part. But, nothing’s “done”. Right now, this is still a visit. And who knows, after this month, I might return to British Columbia to live and work happily ever after the rest of my days. But I don’t think so. I think I’ll end up here. Here where I’ve met amazing people. Here where the wine is cheap. Here, not forever, but for awhile. And not because L.A. is the exact city of my dreams, but because it is the city of most of them.

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More Venice Beach.

Who the hell am I kidding? L.A., omigawd, please let me stay!!!

2013 in Review

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Two thousand and thirteen has come and gone. And what I year it was. I was extremely blessed last year to spend eleven and a half months in school studying writing for film and television. Storytelling has been a passion my entire life, but, as they say, the path is not straight. There are times when I chastise myself for taking so long to figure out how to get where I want to go, but I finally understand that I’m exactly where I need to be. (If you can think of a less platitudinous way to say that last sentence, let me know.) Had I gone to film school earlier in life, there is no way I would have completed it as successfully as I did. I’m excited for 2014 like I’ve never been excited for anything before. (Well, except maybe flying to Paris for the first time.) But I am grateful for being exactly where I am and for everything it took to get me here (even all of those soul-sucking years of waiting tables). But this post isn’t about 2014, it’s about 2013, so here we go:

In 2013 I: successfully kidnapped zero dogs. My apartment got flooded with mud. I got a tattoo. I read my writing in public. I had my writing filmed. I spent three months on crutches. I went to Vegas. There were nights out: Lydia’s bday when we got bear-sprayed; fireworks when Lydia sweet-talked us onto a boat to watch; (that girl’s the best kind of trouble.) Dancing and drinking with my fellow writers. But, more than anything, I wrote. I’ll spare you the boring details, but after dozens of drafts, hundreds of hours, and thousands of words, I completed two feature films, two television spec episodes, two TV pilots, two web series pilots, dozens of film critiques, a short film, and a ten page reimagining of the end of Romeo and Juliet in full iambic pentameter. Whew. But that’s not very photogenic. So, without further ado, 2013 in pictures and only a few more words.

Vancouver, our glorious city, was extremely beautiful. The sunniest year in my memory, Vancouver showed us why it consistently places on the list of most livable cities.

Vancouver beaut 2

Making it all the more incredible, Vancouver is filled with amazing people. I neglected these beautiful weirdos more than I wanted to (see list of writing accomplishments above), but we still managed to spend plenty of time together, all of it ridiculous. Birthdays, drinks, concerts, random adventures, lazy board game nights, you name it. I couldn’t ask for better company. I love you guys.

beautiful weirdos

Between all the writing and semi-successful attempts at a social life, I also endeavoured  to keep my garden alive. It wasn’t as successful as 2012, but I still managed. Sweet peas, snap peas, kale, squash, tomatoes, herbs, and flowers all grew beautifully; my pumpkin, however, died. It is my dream to have a thriving pumpkin patch and I may have shed a few tears when my baby pumpkin rotted on the vine. C’est la vie. One day I will succeed!! (Can you grow pumpkins in California?)

garden

In mid-March the trouble making Lydia invited me to try rock climbing for the first time. It was fun… until I fell and brutally sprained my ankle. The swelling eventually went down and, with it, half of the muscle mass of my right calf. It was certainly an ordeal, but I was lucky enough to have a ton of help to get me through three months on crutches.

rockclimbing evolution

Shortly after “the fall”, I hopped on a plane to Las Vegas to meet Hayley and all her beautiful friends for an amazing stagette. They all kindly pushed me around in a wheelchair and dumped me into the pool whenever necessary. After Vegas, we hopped in a couple cars and drove to Carmel, CA for the wedding. Hayley and Ryan Neimy are simply two of the most wonderful people you will ever meet and I was honoured to be there. The wedding was stunning and touching and unbelievably fun.

vegascarmel

We drove into LAX only to fly out (a heartbreaking task), but, thankfully, upon my return, Vancouver continued its year-long (mostly) warm and sunny streak.

vancouver beaut 4

About a week after I was fully back on my feet, sans crutches, Bonnie and Erik fly in from San Francisco for a visit and solidified their place in my heart as two of my favourite people of all time. I showed them as much of Vancouver as I could and as quickly as they arrived they were off.

bonnie and erik

I think in 2013 I cooked and baked more than I ever have before. Perhaps it was a necessity of being a broke student, but more likely, it’s my growing enjoyment of all things kitchen-related. (Even cleaning. But, like, on a much smaller scale.) I ate far more pizza than necessary, but it was often topped with kale, making it acceptable. I made eggs benedict, pecan tarts, curries, all things Mexican, cinnamon buns, pad thai, baked squash, and all sorts of other dishes with varying degrees of success.

food

Oh yeah, the writing and the reading and the brainstorming; a lot of that was happening.

reading and writing

Sometime in the summer this crazy kook moved in. She brought with her approximately one thousand DVDs and the repeated, welcome presence of the lovely Farran. I have lived with dozens of people over the years — including almost all of my best friends — but Nisha just might be the best roommate ever. Together we’ve consumed more television, boxed wine, and homemade hummus than any doctor would recommend, but I’ve loved every minute of it.

nishafarran

Last summer was amazing (fireworks, BBQs, beach days and nights), but the Illuminares Festival was my highlight. Do whatever you can to get there next year; it’s incredibly beautiful.

public dreams

At the end of August we had a short break from school. My wonderful parents drove in from the Okanagan and took my brother and I to the Sunshine Coast. Gibsons has to be one of my favourite places in the world. While we were there I also fell madly in love with Davis Bay. Life goal: own a cottage there.

sunshine coast

And Vancouver continued to be stunningly beautiful.

Vancouver beaut 1

There were many other fun times. Some even, gasp, not captured by a camera.

fun times

One of the coolest parts of 2013 was seeing my brother break into the music world. He is hands down the hardest working person I know and deserves every ounce of success he achieves. He inspires me to chase after my dreams. (Cheesy; I know. But sorry I’m not sorry, it’s true!) I know 2014 is going to be huge for him; (after closing 2013 out DJing at BC Place, how could it not?) I can’t wait to watch him rise to the top.

sleepy tom

And, yes, Vancouver was still very pretty.

vancouver beaut 3

Save the best for last, right? 2013 would be nothing without all the incredible people I met at VFS.

42s

For the first time in my life I was completely surrounded by people who wanted nothing more than to talk about film and television for hours and hours on end. I owe my year to everyone on that 4th floor. To the teachers, admin, my classmates, and all the other students wandering around, thank you. 2013 was more than I could have ever asked for and that’s thanks to all of you.

I could not be more thrilled for 2014. And, I think, a year from now when I do my next “Year in Review” I’ll be floored at how much things have changed. I’m ready 2014. Bring it on!