The you that could be is absolutely colossal.

Yesterday morning, I was all packed and ready to fly back to New York when in the wee hours of the day, we got a phone call saying my flight had been cancelled...for weather reasons I guess. New York has had a dumping I hear! So, plans were changed and I now won't fly out until the end of the week. I didn't mind so much though, happy to spend more time with my family and friends before I head out.
Last night I went to go see The King's Speech with my mom. In New York, I'm usually much more on top of movies that come out, but this only came out Christmas Day here anyway. What a great film! I felt so moved by the end. I don't want to give anything away, but I was touched by how this man persevered through his struggles, and not only privately, but humbly in the public eye with everyone watching and judging every step. He often didn't feel up to the challenge, but he had no choice and needed to step boldly into his role as King. And of course, Colin Firth did an incredible job as well.
Its amazing how quickly I can go from being inspired to insanely jealous of others who are living my dreams. Of others who are better than I am. More experienced. But everyone has their own path, and I'm only a youngin still, thank goodness, and things will take time.

A new year is coming...2011!
Its exciting! Only God knows what this year will bring, and as always, I can choose to see it as something scary, or as an ADVENTURE! (Thanks Ryan!) And that whatever happens, seemingly good or bad, they are all learning experiences.

I finished reading a book today called, "Feel the Fear...and Do It Anyway" by Susan Jeffers, Ph. D. (I almost didn't write Ph. D, but she must have worked hard to get those letters after her name, so I mustn't rob her of that.) I'm not sure if you've had an experience like this, but I was just browsing the library shelves when I stumbled upon this book. When I saw it, I stared at it and couldn't believe this book existed since the title alone captivated me. I think I was in the phobia section or something so I thought...ahh maybe this is about getting over a fear of heights or something. But the little blurb under the title said, "Dynamic techniques for turning fear, indecision, and anger into power, action and love." And then at the bottom it said, "More than 2 Million copies sold!" So I figured if all these other people bought it, I might as well give it a try. Okay, maybe I'm just a big dork, but this book is AMAZING! Like, I might say its life changing. I might say that. I didn't realize how fear can manifest and affect every area of your life. And not only did I see myself in these pages, but I saw my family, my friends, my colleagues. Probably the most significant thing I learned from this book, is that what you say to yourself is what you will become. If you tell yourself you are strong and worthwhile, you will believe it, and act differently than if you said to yourself that you are weak and a screwup. Also, that we can make excuses for why we don't take chances or blame others in our lives, or we can take responsibility for ourselves and make the necessary changes. On the last page of her book she says, 
"So commit! Commit yourself to pushing through the fear and becoming more than you are at the present moment. The you that could be is absolutely colossal."
We all have something to give, but we can be our own worst enemies. Anyway, I recommend this book for everyone, and since I only borrowed my copy from the library, I'm going to have to go get a copy for myself, so I can reread and highlight.


Merry Christmas!!

I just want to say Merry Christmas!
Its been a great morning so far with my family. Last night was a good time too, eating appetizers and watching The Empire Strikes Back by the fireplace.
Holidays go by fast, so enjoy each moment...even when your family is driving you crazy and the turkey is burning.
Lighten up, have fun and try to give to others more than you get back.

Have a wonderful holiday!!

Chewy and I a few Christmases ago. I made these my Christmas cards.

Christmas morning breakfast! Panetone french toast and bacon. SO good!


Tim Burton, my new hero.

I was having a hard time coming up with something to write about this week. As you can see I'm finally posting a blog on, what is supposed to be, wordless wednesday. But its my blog so I can do whatever I want. ; )
There's been a lot of good stuff going on these past couple weeks! Spending time with family and friends, snowboarding, going into the city, crafting, a lunar eclipse, and I could write about any of these things, BUT, I have something better...

"Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else's dreams?" 

" . . . you always have to feel like it`s gonna be the greatest, even if it`s a . . . you know . . . piece of crap."

"I remember, I was at Cal Arts and I wasn`t a good life-drawer; I struggled with that realistic style of drawing. And one day I was sitting in Farmer`s Market sketching, and it was this weird, mind-blowing experience. I said, `Goddamit, I don`t care if I can`t draw, I`m just gonna draw how I feel about it.` All of a sudden I had my own personal breakthrough, and then I could draw, and satisfied myself. I`ve had very few experiences like that, and I`ll never forget it."

-Tim Burton

I was lucky enough to catch the Tim Burton exhibit at TIFF yesterday, and I absolutely LOVED it! It was inspiring, to say the least. I feel like creativity just pours out of this man. Tim Burton creates...but not to meet the expectations of others...he creates what he feels like bringing to life. His inventions are his own, out of his unique inner workings. He follows his vision, and in doing so has stayed far out of any mediocre box that could have tempted him. People have told me that if you are passionate enough about something, others will jump on board with you. And I think that there is hard proof of this in Tim Burton.
It was encouraging to see the work he had done as a high schooler and the drive and originality he possessed even then. He was writing children's books and mailing them to publishers! He was knocking on doors and trying to make things happen. It was very cool to watch his progress from his teens up to the present time. Tim Burton's success didn't happen overnight, but as he continued to learn and transform as a person, his work grew as well.
I often feel like a weirdo, and at times, a misfit, so I can take comfort in experiencing other people who are "different." Like, even in the last quote above, when he says he couldn't really draw realistic people well, so he accepted that, stopped trying so hard to be like everybody else, and just DREW! Come on! I get fired up about people who go against the grain and honestly bring their own personality to the table. His work is dark, and crazy, and that's why I love it! If we're all trying to be one way...to be "normal" then nothing extraordinary is going to happen.
It took time for Tim Burton to find his groove, but he kept at it. Its in the doing that we work out all bugs and make the necessary tweaks and adjustments.

Tim Burton is my new hero. I would love to have a talk over lunch with him, I'll tell ya. He teaches me to stick to my guns and to do things like no one has done them before. And that I'm never going to please everyone...maybe only a few...but that doesn't mean that what I'm doing isn't GREAT!

This is my own creation!
Never Shoot a Constipated Poodle
Good ol' Jack!


Statoil: Bad morning?

Tips For Surviving a Canadian Winter

  1. First off, winter doesn't technically start until December 21st, so suck it up! Until then its best to stick to sneakers and a fall jacket to later avoid the shock of "real" winter. When winter hits, then you can sport all your subzero gear. Positive affirmations such as, "I am feeling warmer and warmer each second," and "I love the refreshment of this season," help substantially.
  2. A sunny day does not mean a warm day. On the contrary it means its, snot-freezes-in-your-nose cold outside.
  3. If your car door freezes shut, try to enter through either the passenger side or through the back doors. If they are all stuck, its acceptable to stay home from work.
  4. If your mailbox freezes closed, use a lighter or flame torch to melt off the ice. Get creative!
  5. When shopping for a new pair of boots, always look for a pair with a good tread, or you might end up dead. Honestly, its an ice rink out there.
  6. Be sure to take part in fun winter activities like: building snowmen, ice skating, tobogganing, skiing, snowboarding, ice sculpting, dog sledding, ice fishing and seal hunting. Be sure to bring trusty firearms if you are going to try your hand at polar bear poaching, which I might add, is frowned upon.
  7. If you are from out of town, try adding words like, "hockey", "Tim Hortons", and "eh" into conversation.
  8. And most importantly, always have some good lip balm on hand. You don't want dry lips to put a damper on this magical season.
I hope these tips will better equip you to make these winter months a success!


The Burbs

"If you say city to people, people have no problem thinking of the city as rife with problematic, screwed-up people, but if you say suburbs - and I'm not the first person to say this, it's been said over and over again in literature - there's a sense of normalcy." -Eric Bogosian
Growing up, I never quite felt at home in my town. Its a suburb just outside of Toronto, in the GTA, if you will. I didn't know exactly where I belonged, but I had a sense that it was not there. Its not a small town...about 250 000 people or so, but its very "suburbs". Its comfortable. People go to work, go to the grocery store, watch American Idol. And there's nothing wrong with that, but somehow all that comfort makes me awful uncomfortable. 
I never thought I would love city life as much as I do, but the moment I got on the Yonge Subway line yesterday, I felt a rush of peace. Something familiar. I was filled with excitement and relief that I was going downtown, into the city.
There's a quote from the movie, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" that really stood out to me when I first saw it:
"It's a funny thing about comin' home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You'll realize what's changed is you." -Benjamin Button
This is so true. Every time I come home, it feels a bit different. Not because much has really changed; my house is the same, my family is the same, my town is the same, but I'm not the same person I was when I was here last. I see everything through different eyes. I feel differently, respond differently. And then I realize, it just doesn't feel like home to me anymore. Sometimes I feel guilty about that, but I think its okay. Finally, I've begun to grow up and find my own path...my own life. And I can't say I'm surprised that that path has lead me away from home. I'm not even sure what this next year will bring or where I'll end up, but I'm working on staying in the moment and peacefully letting it all unfold.

It sure is nice to know that I always have a wonderful family and home to go back to though. 


Laura at the Airport

I was excited at the opportunity to blog about the experiences I would have at the airport. But when I actually got here, that excitement faded. It’s just confusing and stressful, and somehow I always feel as though I’m going to be arrested for something or that they won’t let me on the plane. Not that I’m a criminal…just paranoid I guess.
Maybe I wouldn’t mind the airport so much if I had someone carrying my bags for me. Or if I had one of those VIP pass things that let people walk right up to the gate rather than waiting in the 20 minute line. I’m not sure who these people are, but apparently they know something that I don’t.
Some airports are actually kind of fun. They basically have a whole shopping mall right inside the airport to occupy you while you wait for your flight. Everyone likes Duty-Free! But…some airports are not fun. You’ll be lucky if you find an Au Bon Pain or a water fountain that sprays water more than a quarter inch out of the spout. (I’m not sure what the deal with this is, but I feel like this happens 1 out of 2 times I go to use a water fountain.)
Since there was nothing to do, I just sat, ate some crackers and sipped my overpriced Poland Spring water. At Target you can get like a case of Poland Spring for a dollar. At the airport, it’s your first-born for a bottle. (Sigh.) OKAY, really, its only $2.50 for a bottle, but I don’t like the idea of certain places being able to charge more money for things that you could get cheaper elsewhere. But you CAN’T bring your own water. And then you can’t drink from the fountain without sucking on the nozzle. So basically they’re saying to you, “Buy our $2.50 water or suffer the effects of dehydration. Ya know, last time I was at the airport, I was buying a couple magazines and I wanted some water so I decided to treat myself and get a “Smart Water”. I had seen the Jennifer Aniston ads, and it looked really pure; Like if I were to stick my face in an Alaskan river. So I put my magazines and Smart Water on the counter, and I’m not sure what it was about me made this woman say this next thing, but she picks up the water and says, “This water is eight dollars.” I’m sure I said something like, “Are you serious?!” Cuz I say that a lot. But I thanked her for telling me and didn’t buy the water made of diamonds. Maybe one day when I have the status of Jennifer Aniston I’ll opt for Smart Water.
I won’t even get into the fact that they also charge for Wi-Fi here. I’m currently typing in Microsoft Word and will later have to paste this on my blog.
At least I know I’ll sleep on the plane. I don’t have a problem with this. I’m convinced that they pump gas into the air vents to knock people out. It gets me every time, no matter how hard I try. To the point where I’m actually amazed that other people are staying awake and going about their business.

Well, catch you on the other side.
Bon Voyage!

View of Manhattan from my window.


Laura Gettin' Crafty: Christmas Cards

It's about that time of year to send out Christmas Cards...Festivus Cards, holiday cards etc. I couldn't afford to buy really nice ones, so I bought a value pack at the pharmacy. They were pretty cute, I guess...but I was feeling crafty...and I have a twisted sense of humor, SO...I made, what I think, are some improvements. Hallmark is gonna come knocking on my door any day now.

Please don't take offense. Its all in good fun! : D 

This card was already pretty ridiculous...it was difficult to improve upon.

This is my personal favorite. Oh Santa. What a guy!


Laura Goes to the Roller Disco

"Whether you're a brother
or whether you're a mother
you're stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Feel the city breakin
and everybody shakin'
and were stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive"

-Bee Gees

Was takin' a look at TimeOut New York on Friday when I came across an advert for a Roller Disco put on by Down and Derby (http://www.downandderby.org/). Well, I had just so happened to have watched "Whip It" earlier in the week and was dying to go roller skating...and discoing?? COME ON! Who wouldn't want to go discoing?! And the dress code: Be Creative.
So we prepared for the unexpected, maybe not even getting in, or getting skates. But we found the uber-ritzy hotel and hurried into the basement before anyone would see us in our roller disco garb. Luckily, we made it in line before most of the crowd arrived, and we were STOKED!! 
There was actually a lot of security there, so it made us feel like we were at an ultra exclusive party. They made us sign a waiver so we wouldn't sue them if we broke our necks. I didn't mind. I didn't plan on breaking my neck.
Anyway. We got in and got our skates and hit the rink! Not as gracefully as I would have hoped, but hey, I didn't even fall! For someone who has roller skated maybe one other time in her life, this really wasn't too terrible. The disco tunes were blazin' and we were having a ball skating and semi-dancing as so not to throw our balance. It was awesome though!
I couldn't believe some of the amazing roller skating talent that was there!! How, why and where does someone learn to skate/dance like that?! They were twirling and whipping in and out and around people without missing a beat. And yes, there were some questionable old lone rangers who apparently just loved to roller disco on a Friday night. It was fun to just sit on the sidelines for a time and people watch. After a couple hours the place got pretty packed and the rink got full of skateless folk just there to party. This was our signal to jet. We retrieved our (beer drenched) shoes that we had hidden in various places in the lounge and headed out.
It was most definitely a night well spent! I hope it won't be too long until my next roller disco!



"So, what have you been up to?"

Much of the time since I've graduated school I've dreaded these words.
Are you kidding me? I can't even remember what I've done today, let alone the rest of the week.
Sure...some things have happened since the spring. Progress has been made (I like to call it "character building"). 
"How's auditioning going?" "Are you in any shows?"

(really big sigh here.)
I've begun to realize that my answer defers depending on who I'm speaking with. The answer could range from..."Its going great! I'm learning so much." to "SCREW YOU!". 
No, that's only my inner monologue. My answer is more classy, like: "Not good. It sucks." And I guess they can both be true at different times. But the truth is that no one really understands unless they're in the arts in some form.
I met up with my friend from school last week and we laughed as we rejoiced in each others' misery. It just feels good to have someone else know what you're going through!
I'm learning that a lot of the battle is just staying inspired. Continuing to move forward in this marathon. I've been reading, "Wake up, I'm Fat!" by Camryn Manheim, and its incredible to read about her life and what she went through to make it big. She works hard, stands up for what she believes in and confidently goes after what she wants in life. She doesn't give up or give in! She inspires me to go after my dreams (and its interesting how they've changed even since starting this blog) and to really fight for them.
There are so many options available for our generation. But that can be a challenge though, can't it? What do I really want? I can do ANYTHING I want to do! Sometimes that's too much to handle. Can't someone just tell me what to do?? But I guess as we continue to climb up to new plateaus in our lives, we can see more clearly what our goals are. Maybe our new goals. And often these desires can also be masked by our emotions - our fears, our desire to please, our pride. I've wanted to do comedy since high school, but I've never done anything about it!
Well, a new day is dawning...and the time is ticking so I better get myself a plan of action and go for it. Maybe Tiny Fey and I can discuss it over lunch. After her Mark Twain award stuff settles down of course.
I better go rehearse my conversations with family over the holidays. Its funny cause I really thought I'd have been in a show by now or at least have one in store for next year. HA! Oh well. 
2011 is going to be INCREDIBLE!! I can feel it!!!!! 

Things that have inspired me lately:
-"Whip It" the movie
-Late-Night television
-Learning how many amazing Canadians there really are (i'll make a list at a further date)

"Occasionally you really are at the crossroads. And when those two roads diverge, your creature of habit self starts to push you down the path most taken, but your gut tells you that maybe this is the defining moment when you have to take the road less traveled."      -Camryn Manheim, Wake up, I'm Fat!