As promised, here we go. This took a bit longer to put together than planned, but it has all the intrigue, suspense and adventure of a novel. Therefore, I thought it would be cool to share or at least memorialize it in a post….
Last weekend, I went to Ottawa for a day to see a musical called “Les Filles de Caleb: L’Opera Folk“. It is based on a true story, and since I learned about the book in high school, I have been obsessed about the story. Back in 2004, I even went all the way to Quebec for a 2-day tour of all the places mentioned in the book, the television series, the real story, etc… For those who want to read the book, it is translated in many languages. The English version is called “Emilie: A Novel by Arlette Cousture“. You can visit an image gallery of that trip here. This story mentions my thoughts about the show, but the point is about everything I went through just to be able to get to Ottawa last Friday to see it. Have a great weekend and happy reading…
Okay let us start the morning of Friday July 8th…
As usual I did not hear my alarm, and decided to stay up a bit later because I knew I could sleep on the train.
I never checked my insulin pump (diabetic, have had one since 2003) cause I vaguely remember refilling my insulin earlier in the week, and it usually lasts about 3 days (the insulin). So all goes according to plan, we get on our first train to Toronto at 7am, get there around 10-ish. Neither of us have had breakfast yet cause we left early. We find a Tim Horton’s near the station, and I get some oatmeal. Give my insulin, and realize O-M-G, I only have 2 units left and wonder how the hell that could have gotten by me.
So, I am weighing my pros and cons. Do I tell my mother and have to live with her wrath for the next 24 hours with how dumb I am, or do I find a pharmacy and get some the old fashioned way. After thinking about it, I realize I have gone a day without my machine working before, and I know how it feels. It did not kill me, but it was just somewhat uncomfortable. All I did was not eat as much, and maybe drink and go to do #1 a bit more. I can handle it. I might even lose a few pounds. The hard part would be making sure my mother does not figure it out.
To cover this, I ensure to always bring my pump out and make it look like I am giving myself some insulin although I really am not. It works really well, until Saturday morning in our bus back to London when my machine rings like mad because I have not given myself insulin for over 10 hours. I tell her it is the battery, and I realize as I say that, that she interrupts and tells me she BROUGHT my supplies. I feel like my father and God are laughing at me, and just move on because at this point if I tell her I need to refill my pump, she will know I was lying and/or realize I had been empty for a while. I guess I get this pride from my surgeon father. It all works out, I get home 11am Saturday, give my insulin and all is back to normal and I am no longer thirsty as dead grass anymore.
Now back to the trains… We got Business class for our trip from Toronto to Ottawa – old Via 1. In Toronto, we go to the panoramic lounge for about an hour or so. Just in time to see the final space mission launch. And there is all this free juice, food and coffee I cannot get cause my insulin is out. I take a tomato juice anyways, just cause I like them and seldom have a chance to drink them. Finally we board our train, and we are near the front of the train. My fave place. We sit next to this group of older people who seem related. As you may know, in Via 1, there is alcohol and it is FREE. For some reason dude in the group of older people would NOT stop drinking wine and kept asking our hostess for some. Our hostess is dark and looks like she could be from the Caribbean. Because of how drunk he is, he thought at one point that my mother (who is from the Philippines) was the hostess and asked her if he could get another glass of wine. Anyways, he drank all the way to Ottawa, a good 4-5 hours. No clue how many glasses that is, but you can do the math. He would not shut up either. Thank goodness for free wifi and a/c power which helped me ignore him.
In Via 1, meals are complimentary, so when I got our tickets, I thought I would try their diabetic meal. BIG MISTAKE!! It tasted like paper. The fruit plate and salad were nice, but the chicken rice pilaf or whatever, it was just ick… My mother got salmon cakes, and it was so much better so she gave me some. Never making that mistake again. There was also this dessert that regular meals had called Hello Dolly Cakes filled with coconut and fudge. I kept saying no I did not want any (cause of insulin), but my mother kept insisting, finally I had some to hush her. Damn it was good, but damn was I ever thirsty after.
We get to Ottawa around 4:30pm, and the show is not until 8pm, so what to do for the next few hours and how to manage myself because of my lack of insulin. We take the bus to Rideau Centre which is about a block away from the National Arts Center (NAC). I have not been to Rideau in over 10 years, so it was cool to see it again. I was a good girl and did not buy anything, but it sure was tempting. My mother is going nuts as usual because she has no idea where we are, and I keep telling her we are close to NAC, but she does not believe me. So, I say to make her think of something else, let us look for something to eat. We try a few places, but we either realize it is too far or they are booked. We finally find this place inside the Rideau Centre (after walking by the Rideau Canal and finding NAC) called The Exchange. Very nice bar and grill style restaurant.. I get a nice light Caesar Salad (the less carbs the better especially after that Dolly cake). I eat, but my stomach is starting to hurt cause I can feel that my food is not digesting, so I let my mother eat the rest of the salad. Luckily, she does not question.
Finally, food all taken care of, we slowly walk towards NAC again. We get there at about 6:50pm. It is an amazing theatre, and very modern. We wait in the lobby for the doors to open. At first, A LOT of older people seem to arrive and even a “Golden Age Bus”, or so someone else in the lobby called it. Luckily, a few other people younger than me arrive later, and I do not feel so isolated. We were seated at a table, and these 2 ladies ask if they can join us cause seats are starting to run scarce. The older lady asks me if I am there to see Les Filles too, and I say yes. She seems surprised I guess because of my age that I would know about it. I tell her that I studied the book, and came all the way from London. She is impressed and so we get to talking about it. They are surprised I know so much, but I tell them I just love the story and they understand. It was fun to talk about it with strangers for a change.
Doors are finally open and we can go sit in the theatre. Amazing big space, and red seats with 3 levels of balcony. Never seen such a theatre that big… until now. We realize we are RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE. I could not believe how good our seats were. I did not think we would have such a good view from where we were, but we did. There were no programs. I thought that was strange. I still do not know why, but no programs. I knew who some of the performers would be, but a few I had forgotten and was so in awe when I recognized who they were. I would just start crying cause I could not believe I was seeing them live – especially the COMPOSER of all the music in the show. He was performing the music live with a band on the stage, and I was never expecting such a thing. Usually with these modern musicals, they have a track and the performers sing to it, or the band is hidden. Well this composer is a veteran Quebec singer/songwriter and to see him was like seeing Michael Jackson if he were still alive. He even played a bit part in the show as a priest and got applause for it. The name is Michel Rivard if you are curious. The music in the show is all because of him. They told the story in the 3rd person, so the older character would tell what is happening then would perform it and sing their song. Very well done, and I am still so impressed with how they did it. As a hardcore fan of the TV series (Hey! I own the DVD set), I did not think the musical would sway like it did. For a good 2-3 hours, I completely forgot my insulin problem. They sold no merchandise at this show either which is surprising. I figure this is their first tour, and they may have been testing the waters in Ontario with it so did not expect so much. Or they may have just ran out. Remember, this musical was just released in October/November 2010. Still a very fresh production.
We take a bus to go back because there are no trains that leave to Toronto during the night, and I have to be back home for the next day. So, our bus leaves at 1am, and the show finishes just after 11pm. We take a taxi to Greyhound. I have not been inside a bus station in ages, but I can tell you the bus station smell is very familiar in this one… Grrrosss. And we have to wait a good 1.5 hours here for our bus. Luckily, they have WiFi too, so I get to adding some pics and facebooking some stuff about my show since I am still in in a fangirl daze from it. I had cried a few times during the show as I previously mentioned, so I still feel a bit weird when we get there.
Finally in the bus, and I do not even wait or hesitate… I GO TO SLEEP. With a high blood sugar, and an aching stomach, what better is there to do than sleep? At around 3:30am, all of a sudden my mother taps and says my name somewhat loud and says, “I think our driver is falling asleep, he was so close to the other lane.” Well thank you for sharing this mother, now I will never be able to go back to sleep. Soon after, I realize the bus stops at a service station for a 15-min break. I guess he was tired. Well, now the lights are on, and I want none of it. I put my sweater over my head, and go back to sleep.
We arrive in Toronto at 6am Saturday, and our bus to London does not leave until 7am. My mother insists she is hungry, but I am still with no insulin, so I say I will have my breakfast in London at 11am. Luckily, she does not question. However, I see her disappear then return with a HOT DOG. At the smell of it and seeing her eat it, I almost throw up. I pretend I am nodding off just to close my eyes and not see this.
We decide to go and line up for our bus, and we notice there is a pigeon nest above us and the pigeon almost craps on our heads. Mother decides to feed them her left over peanuts. I am too tired to care to tell her that is not a wise idea, but I digress… We board, and I get the sense that our driver is distracted by something. We have a female driver who seems rather younger than the usual driver. Groovy reddish hair with spikes. Full of gel of course. I wonder how a girl like that ever ends up driving a bus. She seems like someone I may get along with, but she seems upset and lacking a lot of confidence. When she was arriving and parking our bus in Toronto, she almost hit the railing. And when we would arrive at a bus stop, she would ask if anyone needed to get off the bus, and say it in a foregoing kind of sad way… Like, don’t want to bother you, but you know we’re here…. etc. Our driver even managed to prevent a few bad accidents, yet it was interpreted by her being a bad driver. Even one passenger commented on it, and she still managed to keep calm. When we got to London, I thanked her and touched her hand cause I felt she needed it. Was the first time I saw her smile.
So finally in London. Insulin problem fixed, and we decide to go to Red Lobster for lunch. First amazing meal I remember eating in a while. I even ate steak. I needed PROTEIN! All those veggies and lack of carbs just made me want protein. I come home and sleep for the rest of the day cause I have our first Evil Dead rehearsal – that is why I had to be back. Rehearsal is in the late afternoon, so I decide to take a nap then relax with my pets Beckham (skinny pig) and Georgia (cat) before leaving.
Finally rehearsal time. I leave, but feel rushed cause I also want some coffee from Tim’s. Realize I brought the wrong folder with me, so I go back and get it. Get there in good time, and the rehearsal goes so well, we finish early. Now I am totally adrenalized and ready for some World of Warcraft time. Played until 2am, and felt good cause my weekend was a success even with all the hiccups. But… it is not over yet…
My mother usually leaves early Sunday when she visits for the weekend. So around 4am Sunday, I hear her yell my name saying, “Georgia has not eaten or used her litter since we got back from Ottawa!” Mother said this earlier, but I made fun of it saying it is because she is hiding from you. Georgia usually comes out at night, and the fact she still has not is making the alarm go on in me now.
Whenever Georgia hears her name spoken by my mother, she growls or hisses, and this was not happening. So the first thing I think of is she must be dead and we cannot find her because she is in some tight spot. My cat interprets pain as fear, and hides. I know this because, once she had a urinary infection and would hide when she bled.
I am still half asleep, but making myself believe that she may have died is reasonable because the cat she is going on to 13 years. And ol’ unlucky 13, yeah okay. How in the world am I going to find her though? All of a sudden, I hear something. She is meowing but very faint. I think she is caught behind couch, but we checked that. SHE WAS IN THE FRIGGIN’ HALLWAY!!!! I cannot figure out when she could have gone there, but I guess it must have been when I came back to get what I forgot before my rehearsal. Why I did not see her when I came back home though? I guess I shall never know. She must have really been afraid or was busy exploring. I have no clue how far she may have gotten, but the fact that she knew where to go, which door, etc… to get back home really impressed me. For the rest of the night, she kept meowing in my room. I guess that was her way of giving me hell.
It was a weekend to remember…