My tooth. Fell out.

Date #369 - Thursday, August 14, 2014

A: This is so embarrassing and hilarious. B and I went to this incredible summer BBQ hosted by one of the production companies I recently worked for. It was catered and had an open bar in the backyard of a beautiful house a few subway stops away. There was even a person who wrapped our burritos for us. It was such  delight. Everyone was so nice. There were propane heaters around the yard. We had a great conversation with a producer about television and storytelling. Then my fake tooth fell out.

It was awful. 

I paused then turned to B. “We gotta go.” He didn’t even laugh. He only said, “Okay.” and we hustled our asses out of there. I wanted to laugh so hard but I was so shocked at how stupid the whole ordeal was that I wanted mostly to just blame B for only getting me a fork and not a knife. I really wished I’d had a couple more glasses of wine before this all happened.

Thankfully B is so supportive. He said I could be mad at him so I didn’t have to think about my tooth. He also made some awful jokes that are funny in retrospect but weren’t at all at the time. I smiled at him, for example, and he would look and said, “I can’t look. I might break up with you.” Okay, that joke doesn’t sound funny at all ever. But then he was saying, “Oh look at the love of my life,” and all I could do is shake my head. He also recalled the time last summer where I was joking around saying, “Would you still love me if I lost all my teeth????” Well, folks, be careful what you put out in the universe…… I tell ya……. 

B: It was the kind of party where someone else wraps the burrito for you…if that says anything. Actually, I don’t know if it does, I don’t really know what that means.

It was really great and the people there were really nice. The party was in a really nice neighbourhood and A and I couldn’t help but joke about the opulence. We played a game (or rather I did) called “there’s an SUV!” Basically I pointed out how every house had one, if not two, SUVs. It was ridiculous and everything was off to a great start.

I felt so bad about A’s tooth when it fell out. I tried to make jokes and make her laugh - but most of my jokes were bad. She kept blaming me for not getting her a knife and fork. We don’t have insurance I just kept thinking about the costs. I then thought about people who can’t afford healthcare and then I thought about how I wish Ontario had dental in their healthcare and that the world had Universal healthcare….

Into The Storm

Date #368 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A: B and I had planned to see the new Planet of the Apes and Into The Storm but B’s work ran late and he let me know 5 minutes before the movie was starting. I’d already bought a popcorn and so I said I was going anyway, even though I knew we really wanted to see it together. If I hadn’t’ve bought the popcorn, I would’ve returned both tickets but… I was committed… And, now, extremely annoyed. I felt a little guilty and surprisingly embarrassed for being alone in the shockingly busy theatre but I eventually got over it. I used to see movies alone all the time and I loved it. I’m learning that, when I have plans with B and they don’t pan out, the change immediately bothers me. I am going to assume it’s because I am used to having someone with me at all these events, where before I was fine doing a lot of things on my own. I’m still fine with it, but this has really shown me how inherently dependent I’ve become on our relationship. It’s hard for me to admit that as I’m fiercely independent… or I like to think I am. Moments like these are important to me because I relearn that I am okay on my own. I survived and enjoyed the movie. B texted me after saying he was outside the movie theatre. “What!?” I said, but I was gleaming. We watched Into The Storm together which we both loved. I was really happy to see him. 

B: It was the first night I actually got stuck at work and had to miss something I had planned with A. I was hoping this wouldn’t be the case and waited until the last moment to call her. I could have phoned earlier. Sometimes hoping for the best scenario causes you to ignore reality and act responsibly. 

I’m happy A went to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on her own. When I did meet up with her she was so understanding and supportive. I love that about her.

Into The Storm was amazing! I know it got bad ratings but I don’t understand why. As a storm film it was far more complex and layered than I expected. The actual storms looked and sounded incredible and the film moved along nicely. It got a bit ridiculous at points, but what do you expect from a film about super-tornados?

Lunch Date after time away

Date #367 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A: I stopped by B’s work for a quick lunch date as we hadn’t seen each other in a couple days. I think it’s important to make efforts to see each your partner, even if you’re incredibly busy, because it keeps your connection tangible. It’s easy to get caught up in your work and never-ending to-do list but it’s also important to take time away from that and sit face to face with your partner and talk about your lives. I know that may sound silly coming from me who has a dating blog with her partner but there are times when B and I get so busy that we don’t see each other for a week or so. I think that’s perfectly fine, but little lunch dates and run ins are important, if only to show the other person that you support them and that you’re there for them. 

B and I also agreed we could make these almond bars we bought for dessert. Six ingredients! Easy as pie.

B: I was so happy when A came to visit me. It was unexpected and delightful! Surprises like this are important.

I was working super hard and A always brightens my day. I felt so professional and “grown-up” sitting on a patio eating lunch with her. I’ve been working a contract at a Marketing firm and it is unusual for me to be working at such steady hours. I’ve felt like I have a glimpse at a life I’m not completely living.

I think it is important to take stock of your life and how it may be given certain choice. I decided that, while I am thankful for the contract, doing that kind of work would not be what I want. I’d rather build something with A - something of our own, something to give back. Knowing what you want and what you value is important.

Facetiming James Franco

Date #366 - Monday, August 11, 2014

A: When B and I aren’t together, we FaceTime or talk on the phone for anywhere from 1-2 hours. It’s ridiculous when I write it down, but we just catch up on our days and things we’re thinking… We think a lot… That’s why our phone calls are so long! I hope that when we live together we can still continue these conversations. 

B: People tell me I look like James Franco. As a joke I do this face anytime A brings it up. I don’t really show anyone else (until now I guess).

I like that these tiny things become more meaningful things simply by adding time and frequency. Things like this are the signs of a growing relationship. I think it is important to share both the big and small stuff, so that you can have goofy things to laugh about that maybe no-one else finds funny…like a special secret hidden out in the open.

Blue Jays Honda baseball hat giveaway

Date #364 - Sunday, August 10, 2014

A: It was free hat day at the Blue Jays game so we met up and got a baseball cap that’s actually pretty nice! I am always worried the corporate branding will be intrusive and make me not want to wear whatever it is (like last year’s winter hat had “All State” on the side flap and I refuse to wear it now!) but the Honda logo was small and at the back. I was happy about that. I think it’s important, as a company, to make your brand known but not so much that it interferes with your product. We’ve moved away from logo-centric clothing, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

B: I just kind-of laughed at A’s comment “we’ve moved away from logo-centric clothing.” Simply because she makes a subconscious series of choices sound like a conscious, abrupt choice. It’s true, A and I don’t have a lot of logos all over ourselves and we value what we purchase. I think that is the important thing, to recognize that we ALL have a lot of power as consumers. So, it’s about more than logos and looks, but what the company stands for and where the product comes from.

So we lined-up to get our hats. I love the Blue Jays and for some reason I want to be there for all the giveaways. I’ll probably give the hat to my Dad (I think I did already?) It was fun to be there with A and the rest of the Jays fans. I think Sports can bring people together in such an amazing way.

SummerWorks: Weaves

Date #365 - Sunday, August 10, 2014

A: We saw Weaves play SummerWorks and - ho-ly-shit. This group is incredible. They had three interpretive dancers perform with them the entire set and they were also incredible. The experimental, melodic rock that is Weaves really complimented the jerky, modern, expressionist style of the dancers and it was really an experience of wonder and… confusion. A few times I was like, “What. Is. Happening. Here.” but in the most positive of ways. I love this feeling of totally abandonment of conventional performance. They invited everyone to stand and dance and we formed a sort of circle. B took my hand and kissed me on the cheek and I blushed because people all around could see and (not that they even cared about what we were doing but…) I don’t think I’ll ever not blush at times like these. I am happy to say that PDA doesn’t make me an uncomfortable as it used to and I’m learning to love exhibiting love instead of being a sarcastic and frigid girlfriend. B gives so much to the world. That is one thing I’m learning from him.

B: This performance totally blew me away. It was so great to share such an all-encompasing performance with so many people. It was happy, and dynamic, and musically and visually incredible. 

It was a rare time where I felt an entire room’s insecurities and judgement and ego all disappear. Everyone was up and dancing and I wanted it all to keep going. I had such a blast being there with A. It was so joyous!!

SummerWorks: The Container, Kamino Family, & Depressing Children’s Tales

Date #363 - Saturday, August 9, 2014

A: B and I woke up fairly early and parted ways to work. I knew he had a lot to do and I wanted to eat and drink he amazing Bridgehead coffee my friends gifted to us from Ottawa so I headed home. We met up again for SummerWorks, our third day of performance exploration.

The Container was first; a performance INSIDE a shipping container. It was really hot and I sweat a lot and B was all, “You were hot in there?” after and I tried really hard not to let my jaw drop to the floor. It was SO hot. But the show was really good if only for it’s situational experience. Seeing a performance in such a small space, unique to any play I’d ever see, thrilled me. An older man saw us later and said that, if the play had been on stage, it wouldn’t have went anywhere. We both agreed.
We went to Ben Kamino’s 6 hour durational dance performance after. His father and brother were also performing with him; his father a teacher, building things and such, and his brother a graffiti artist I believe. B and I met Ben at Long Winter last year and also saw his performance at SummerWorks last year with Sook-yin Lee (Host of CBC’s DNTO). I’d say we’re big fans of his. He is incredibly talented and seeing the last bit of his expressionist dance with his family and strangers scattered around a basement-like set up was really interesting.
We saw Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales (by caterwaule) after at LOT. I loved a couple of the stories. They’re all written by Erin Flink and she really inspired me, mostly because I have a few half written tales myself. The whole setup was in a giant blanket fort too, and we curled up with pillows on the floor. I really enjoyed it and was happy to listen to the stories and watch the shadow puppets on a blanket with B.

B: THIS WAS SUCH AN AWESOME DAY OF THEATRE!!! I never thought I’d write that….ever!

I think it was this day that A brought up how festivals can normally be exhausting - both physically and emotionally - yet SummerWorks was different. We spoke about this and I think that the festival isn’t exhausting not because SummerWorks’ performances are emotionally devoid, rather, the festival isn’t exhausting because the performances are so supremely emotionally invigorating. 

After The Container I do admit I was pretty exhausted. I was expecting to be more emotionally drained from such intense subject matter (smuggling, rape, refugees, immigration) but it was more a feeling of discomfort. Everything was a bit too surreal, and I honestly wish the play was more realistic (yes, even more realistic than being in a shipping container).

Ben Kamino’s Father & Sons broke my heart. It was quirky and weird (much like many things Kamino does) and, while watching, an odd dynamic between father and sons played out. While Dad worked with the younger son on the fort built out of graffiti’d walls, Ben Kamino danced and gyrated around silently, seemingly trying to get their attention. It all reminded me of helpless cries for attention and a yearning for my parents’ own affection. Then, after the fort was done, baby Ben - for he seemed a child now - climbed in to listen to his Mother read The Giving Tree.

Maybe it was the familiarity of this book that I read as a child, or how the theatre space closely resembled my basement as a child, that moved me so much. After I told Ben how incredible his work was and I began to tear-up. I just wanted to hug him and hold him, like hugging and holding the child-version of myself.

After the play A and I went to get Poutine at Poutini’s. A’s never been and I think it is the best poutine in the city. This is also where she learned that I mix my poutine (doesn’t everyone?) and gave me the same look you see in the photo.

The first story of Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales was A Light Well Lit. A and I have been searching for the perfect handle for the Social Media accounts for our new company - Porch Light - and when we heard this we knew it was perfect. We owe credit to the amazingly talented Erin Fleck and we plan on showering her with gifts when our company launches.

SummerWorks: Bitter Medicine and Two Brendans

Date #362 - day, August 8, 2014

A: I stopped by B’s work and got introduced to the wonderful people I’ve heard so much about. The office he’s at is really neat, open concept and modern and filled with young spirits. I was really excited to be there and even got a strawberry daiquiri to boot! 

B and I left to go to Bitter Medicine, a play about living with schizophrenia that I enjoyed, despite it being a difficult story to tell. It was a one man show, too, and those are really are to captivate. Afterward we got free stew at Bolt because they were closing and watching Two Brendans down the street. Our favourite PR partner was there, too, and it was great to catch up. She sent me the sweetest postcard wishing me a well recovery and I was happy that B and I have forged this new friendship with such an awesome person!
We walked home late, and I really loved it. The walk to B’s is so calming, through neighbourhoods that I feel so safe in. I’d love to live over there somewhere… with B…

B:

The office A speaks of is this marketing agency in downtown Toronto. I’m really happy she got to see the space because I’ve been spending most of my time there and I think it’s good for her to have a mental picture of where I am.

I’ve always wanted to visit Bolt. It’s this super amazing, vegan, nutritious spot near my gym but I’ve never gone. It was great!

I also was super excited to see “Two Brendans”. Brendan Canning is one of the founders of Broken Social Scene and an amazing musician. I was completely transfixed by the visual that accompanied his music. I went to other places and was lost in the best of ways. I felt a lot of things and, at the end, after a long and drawn-out improvisational duo between Brendan and his violinist felt extremely sad in the best of ways.

A letter about our “Brown Girls Yoga” post

Hello dear readers!

While this letter has some specific messages about those who read our post from Date #349 - Brown Girls Yoga, we think there are some words and messages for every one of you.

Thank you so much for reading our blog. We are honoured and humbled so many of you look at our photos, read our words, and share in all our ups and downs. We are delighted that that we have the opportunity to write so openly and passionately for all of you. 

We started this blog to create an open dialogue about feelings, actions, the success and the mistakes that we make. We write and share everything (well, almost everything) because we think society needs more real and honest discussions about relating, interacting, and communicating with the world around us. In writing this blog and in our daily actions, we always try to ensure everyone feels comfortable, whether that is in our word choice, tone of voice, or simply by acknowledging the different needs and views of someone else.

Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we do upset people and sometimes what we do results in people feeling uncomfortable. To anyone who felt uncomfortable, judged, and/or excluded from reading Date #349 - Brown Girls Yoga… to anyone who felt anything suggesting you are not a valuable, exceptional, unique and important member of the world we all share - we apologize. This was not our intention and we are truly sorry.

In reading the many comments you left and speaking directly with some of you, we realize our words and intentions did not necessarily communicate what we hoped they would. We acknowledge that our post had a more confrontational and argumentative tone than we would have liked. If you felt judged or excluded or inferior in any way because of that post, we are sorry. Feeling that way sucks and we don’t want that for anyone.

The intention of our post was to say just that - feeling excluded because of your race, gender, or body type is awful and unacceptable. We recognize that this happens far to often to racialized groups - more than we will ever fully comprehend - and that is not OK. In no way did we intend to minimize that reality. Being excluded because of your race is awful and terrible and unacceptable.

We believe every person should feel safe in any place.

If our post suggested anything else, if you felt unsafe or unwelcome in anyway from reading that post, we are sorry. 

We are so appreciative for all of your readership, input, and feedback. We are delighted and overjoyed with what this blog has become and continues to be. While our relationship grows so too does this blog and sometimes that means we make mistakes and get mixed up. Like in our relationship, when we make mistakes we try to acknowledge where we messed up, apologize, learn, and move forward.

If you have any suggestions on how we can be better, please let us know.

Thank you!

Andrea & Brian

Summerworks: And Now, The End

Date #361 - Thursday, August 7, 2014

A: B and I are covering Summerworks for TSR and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s my favourite festival in all of Toronto because the performances really do exude creativity, bravery, and storytelling in a way I’ve never experienced before. Summerworks is comprised of community theatre and work by individuals and groups that is really, really exceptional. 

Our first show was a musical. A cast of 9, And Now, The End was a really unexpectedly quirky story about the end of the world. I was thoroughly impressed with the quality composed songs and how naturally it all came together. I was really impressed with Hugh Ritchie, an actor who played one half of a high school couple, and Tamara Bernier Evans, an actor who played a woman waiting for her partner to return home, though I thought the group worked exceptionally well together. 

My problems with the play itself came to light when I noticed it was written by 5 people. The story often stuck to cliched or heteronormative responses that, I felt, could have been a result of not being able to agree on a better response. Of course, I’m not sure if this was the case but having the three women in relationships wholly dependent on the male counterpart turned me off. I wanted the high school girl to be the one to want to steal a car and get away. I wanted the pregnant woman to exercise more independence. I wanted the forlorn wife of the astronaut to not feel pressured to go back to bed with the neighbour man. It’s those tiny turns in plot that would have given the women more empowerment. Nevertheless, it was executed really well and I can see a bright future for all those involved. 

Highlight? One of the characters put on pajama pants during his performance but didn’t tie the string. During the finale, they fell while he embraced his dance partner. The audience couldn’t help but laugh… even though the world was ending.

B: Singing, an Apocalypse, and on-stage radio?!? What a great play! 

The music was really strong and a lot of the acting was fantastic. Sitting in the front row, so close to all the actors, I though how brave they were.

A pointed out a lot of my criticisms, mainly that all the women were portrayed as “needing a man” and that everything was very “straight.” 

The story between the two radio hosts was my favourite. They kept broadcasting their “until the end” show even up to the final minutes of life on earth. The play subtly hinted at romantic tensions while never fully letting the audience know. I love that. I love when things are vague and unanswered. Life can be like that a lot of the time.

After A and I were clearly moved deeply and maybe a bit confused. We argued about nothing that really mattered. I think the play made us question life (much like Zero Theorem from the night before), but in a much more specific way.

I think if I had said, “that play made me feel a lot of things and I don’t know how to completely articulate those feelings,” it would have relieved tension. Sometimes you just have to blurt out what is going on, even if it seems ridiculous, and that will somehow make things better.

The Zero Theorem

Date #360 - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A: We went to see Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem at The Royal Cinema down the street from B’s house. Believe it or not, it was my first time there and I was SHOCKED at how spacious the place is!! I used to live at the Bytowne in Ottawa, completely enamoured by independent, art house, foreign, and subjective films. Honestly, I’m ashamed it took me almost 3 years to get to the Royal and it is perhaps this reason I put it off even longer than I normally would have. When we sat down, B said, “First time here!” and I replied, “Me too!” He said, “No. Your first time here.” I felt silly not remembering that he’d been there before. Places like this make me really happy, though, and that feeling slipped away fairly quickly. It was an especially sweet night because B and I hadn’t seen each other in A WEEK AND HALF - I know - so it was a little date night (my favourite kind) that allowed us to connect and poke each other’s faces again. 

The film itself was alright. The production design is, of course, spectacular, and the characters were quirky and unique but there was a disconnect, at least for me, between story and execution. Either way, I’d recommend it. Gilliam’s work is always an adventure in imagination.

B: I am a big fan of Terry Gilliam and was super pleased to find-out A is too. It’s great when you can learn new things about someone even though you’ve been together for over a year. It was also A’s first time at the Royal which was super-cool.

The Royal is old and beautiful and it appears in a bunch of films shot in Toronto.

Zero Theorem was weird like many of Gilliam’s films and showed actors Christopher Waltz, Tilda Swinton and Matt Damon in a beautiful and quirky new light. The question of whether life is meaningful or meaningless, and the madness that can come with pondering such questions, were showcased wonderfully. I love these high-level ideas. A and I didn’t really talk much about it after the film and now I realize I will have to ask her her thoughts on this.

I think it is important to talk and think about life and its meaning; not too much, but enough to recognize that you can have purpose and influence…or at least enough to utilize the marvellous organ we call a brain.

Open Streets TO Meeting

Date #359 - Monday, July 28, 2014

A: B asked me, if I felt up for it, to come meet with our Autoshare friend Aly to talk about this incredible project happening TWO Sundays in August - the 17th and 31st. It’s called Open Streets TO where the city will shut down Yonge and Bloor for blocks (Spadina to Parlaiment and Yonge to Queen - LARGE!) and people can take to the streets with activities, dancing, crafts, shows, etc. It’s so amazing. 

Please come out and hang out and drink coffee with us. This is a great program and it’d be great to see this every Sunday in the summer!

B: A friend of ours asked if we could help with #OpenStreetsTO and of course I said “yes”. I didn’t know what she needed and I didn’t know how we would help but I said yes. 

We all had an amazing brain-storming session and it felt so good to talk about accessibility and active spaces and getting people in Toronto to co-mingle. I think a lot of people in Toronto don’t move enough between neighbourhoods and explore.

I think it is important to say “yes” to things even when you are uncertain of what may come. It can lead you past points of uncertainty and maybe doing something great.

Recovery Day 8 - B work work working

Date #358 - Sunday, July 27, 2014

A: B’s been working full-time for a couple weeks now and so I tried reading my book again while he worked. I also ate an ice cream sandwich for breakfast. B was so distracted by work, he didn’t even try to sell me on anything healthier. This is how busy he’s been! Me? Well, I got a concussion and basically stared at a wall for 7 days. But B took care of me so I love him and kept quiet while he caught up.

B: I remember the ice cream sandwiches and not much else. I know I was starting to feel really stressed. 

I think A tried to do a few things herself and then needed my help and I was upset for being pulled away from my work. I always get upset when I’m focusing and then get distracted, it’s a reaction and not one I love. 

There was a lot of stuff I wanted to finish working on and I know A needed my attention and I felt bad for feeling upset. It wasn’t me being upset with her but the situation. But I know I took this out on her…for which I feel sorry for.

Recovery Day 7 - Walking, shopping, working

Date #357 - Saturday, July 26, 2014

A: Finding things that don’t require me to stare at a screen are great - so we went for a walk. A photo walk; sauntering around Church-Wellesly Village and over to some bookstores on Yonge. I also got a bunch of M&Ms because there was a promo code inside to get 2 free movie tickets. Worth it!

Spending time in the bookstore was awesome. B and I picked up a couple books - I got some pulpy syfy from the 40’s and another Bradbury book which was recommended. B got a haiku book and a Richter coffee table book. I smiled like a goof when he told me his book choices. He’s basically a dream of mine. I mean, a haiku book. Swoon.

B: A adorably worked out the cost of these bags of M \&Ms and how many you would have to buy to get the 2 movie ticket deal vs the cost of 2 movie tickets and determined it was worth buying the M&Ms. I was worried about all the sugar and also that A can’t eat M&Ms because of her teeth being broken…which meant I would probably eat them all.

We went though and she was super happy. It was cute.

I love being in bookstores. I love being surrounded by all that knowledge. I can’t wait to have my own book of poetry in there. It terrifies me and that means I must do it. I bought a book of Haikus by Masaoka Shiki (I think) and I book of paintings from Gerhardt Richter (one of my favourites).