Thursday, August 28, 2008


Some time around about 4:30 yesterday I hacked up something disgusting, and afterward had about 60% of my voice back, so I went to the 7pm call back after all. I was pretty scratchy and rough sounding, but as the evening wore on my throat loosened up some. Luckily the songs are fairly simple and there's nothing to terribly high or hard to hit in any of them. There is an F# at the end of Mr. Cellophane that appears out of nowhere and needs to be held for a while, but it's only and F# which, for me, is not a high note. If there were high As or Bs in the song I would've been in some trouble with my throat the way it was feeling, but the F# wasn't too much of a hassle. Funny how quickly singing a few songs and reading a few lines can change how you feel about a show. I'm actually feeling pretty excited about it now, and looking foward to it.

Aside from going out for call backs, I spent most of the rest of yesterday in bed with my laptop and a book. I did my daily maintenance on my clownfish fry as well. They are now at day 7 and there are still a lot of them in the tank feeding and swimming about. To be perfectly honest I am surprised. After reading the books I felt like this was going to be a challenge that would take a few trys to get right and there would be many fatalities along the way before I got the hang of it, but so far so good. That said, it has only been 7 days and the critical day is tomorrow when they should morph from their larval phase into actual fish. It's quite a process really...I'm feeling a little like a marine biologist...hehehe. I'm still always surpised each morning when I go down and turn the light on and take the cover off the tank to see them still swimming in there. I keep expecting a big mass die off, because I did something wrong or whatever. Fingers crossed all continues along well.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I'm home sick today. I have very sore and gravely throat. So much for my call back tonight, probably the universe punishing me for going into it with the worng attitude. But you can't help feeling how you feel right?

Last night we had Bob and Deb over for dinner and it was a great night. I made some little double baked potato appys, then cheese and brocolli soup, followed by fetucinni carbonara, and desert was blueberry cheesecake while we watched Steel Magnolias downstairs from the projector....just like being at the movies. I am so glad we got that projector, don't regret that little expense even slightly. It was really nice to just hang out with Bob and Deb and we had a great time, hopefully we can do it again soon.

I am still trying to figure out a way to make my fetucinni without cows milk products so I can have a dinner party in the future that includes Dre, one of these days I'm gonna get it.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I took Friday off and spent the day cleaning and tidying up, because Darrell and Mike were having a business meet with Greg at the house. Darrell had to take the dogs to the vet in the morning because Tiff was acting very sick and they were also overdue for their shots. Tiff was very lethargic and drooling a lot, and we couldn't get her to eat. The vet examined her and said she thought she had swallowed a bee and been stung on the way down (it's not uncommon this time of year and Tiff does snap at bees). She told Darrell to give her some benedril, so we were doing that. I would mix up some sugar and milk and then soak it up with a piece of bread with the pill hidden in it to get her to take it. The Bonds came over later in the evening and we watched Firewall with Harrison Ford. It was one of those movies I picked up at a sell off or something that was sitting in the collection and no one had seen. It was actually quite good. There were a few rushed and wasted scenes that could've been done better but all in all it was a really good movie.

Saturday morning Tiff was still not doing any better and we weren't even able to get her to take bread. The main problem, the vet told us, is that when they swell up from this kind of thing it blocks their sense of smell and dogs just won't eat or drink anything they can't smell. Darrell went back to the vet's and got some anti inflammitories and antibiotics. This time we had to dissolve them in water, take a syringe, hold Tiff's mouth open, and squirt it down her throat. The anti inflammitories did the trick though, as soon as she could smell again she started eating.

Around four thirty we went to Bob and Deb's for dinner. Deb is a super cook and everything was terrific. Kristy and Anthony were there, and Sandra dropped in for awhile. There was also a brief visit from Jeff Smith. So it was a very good time. Kristy tried to show me some of the dance audition for Chicago, but I wasn't planning on auditioning and had already had 6 beers, so that really didn't work out. It was funny, plus Elton kept thinking I wanted to play with him, there's no getting down on the floor with my dogs around. It was so nice of Bob and Deb to let us bring them, since Darrell and I were still worried about Tiff. Later Bob put on a video from Bravo of the final performance of Smokey Joe's Cafe. What a great show. The singing was so incredible, and everything else about it was so simple. We didn't get finished the whole show, since we started it pretty late and everyone was starting to fade near the end, but what we saw of it was really fantastic.

Sunday I went ahead and did what I said I wasn't going to do and auditioned for Chicago. It wasn't a great audition though, since I went in completely cold, without even knowing the song or anything. I remembered a couple of the steps Kristy had tried to show me the night before, and arrived late, so they were done learning the dance when I got there. After the first round of dancers did their things for Jen, Kizzy and Lisa taught me the dance in the back room, and I went on with the last group to dance it. I think I did okay, but really...the idea of a dance audition is to show the choreographer that you have the ability to learn choreography and can move your body, and since Jen choreographed Cabaret I'm pretty sure she already knows my dancing abilities whatever they may be. Richard taught us the song and we went through it a couple times, then we went off to wait our turns. Luckily I was one of the last so I had time to memorize the lyrics and work on the notes. It gave me a chance to try and put a little something into it, but like I said I didn't know the song, so I did what I could. I got a callback for Wednesday so hopefully that goes well.
To be perfectly honest this is the first time I've auditioned for a show with the attitude that the part will determine whether I participate or not, because I wasn't going to audition at all. Frankly it's a good show, but it's not in my top ten of shows I just love...having said that, actually doing it would probably change that fairly quickly. The thing is, this fall is going to be busy. We have a lot of stuff going on at work, and I also have a few evenings at the school, so I don't have a lot of free time. Therefore It's basically going to have to be "The" part to make me give up what little free time I do have to do a show. It's a very heavy decision to weigh out, IF I get offered a part.....just have to play it by ear I guess.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fry Friday

We now have four different pairs of clownfish in four different tanks. We have a pair of ocellaris clown (Like Nemo) in our fifty gallon, a pair of Maroon Clowns in our 77 gallon, a pair of tomato clowns in our 135 gallon, and a pair of clarkii clowns in our 65 tall. The female clarkii is the first salt water fish we bought. We got her and her mate at the Pets Unlimited in Moncton, not so long ago the male passed away and I got a new captive bred juvenile from Nobles in Moncton. The neat thing about clown fish is they all start out as sexually undeveloped males, then eventually a dominant clown will emerge from the group or pair, it will grown quite a bit larger than the rest and then change it's sex and become a female. If there's a group, the second most dominant will becoe a sexually developed male and they will be the only mated pair out of the entire group, the rest will remain juveniles for the rest of their lives or until something happens to one or both of the mated pair. That's why, when you're buying clown fish it's best to pick out two small ones (preferably captive bred so you know how old they are) and let them figure it out for themselves.

At any rate, our 50 gallon is still cycling so the conditions aren't stable enough for the Ocellaris to breed yet, the anemone in the 135 keeps moving around so the tomatoes won't breed either, and the rockscaping isn't done in the 77 so the maroons don't feel secure enough with the eel around to lay any eggs, but our Clarkiis had been laying eggs to beat the band until the male died. Now there is a new male in the tank and the egg laying has begun again.

Raising clownfish fry is not exactly an easy thing to do, and you can't just leave them in the tank and expect them to grow into little fish. They either end up as lunch, mangled by power heads, or starve to death. They need to be fed a tiny little organism called rotifers, and to culture rotifers you need to feed them phytoplankon.
We've been culturing phyto plankton for a few months now, because it's also good to feed your filter feeders in the tank and growing your own is a lot cheaper than buying it. I also got a rotifer culture started last month and they are growing and doing very well as well. I was on the verge of screwing up my confidence and trying to raise a batch of fry when our male clarkii died, so I had to wait for the new guy to start mating with the female. It happened surprisingly fast, so the first time around I wasn't prepared. Then the second time I actually got to witness them laying the eggs so I was able to count it out. Eggs hatch between 7 and 8 days after being laid, but I ended up buying the rearing tank and supplies the morning after they hatched so I missed out. This was a week ago Tuesday, so I figured I'd have to wait another week at least until tey laid more eggs, then another 8 days until they hatched, but the little horn dogs had a new batch by the next evening (wednesday night).

It's neat to watch the eggs mature, they start out little red glods, and by the time they are reay to breakfree they are like silver slivers and you can see the eyes glowing inside. We figured they would hatch wednesday night, so we turned off all the pumps and powerheads, then turned the lights off so there would be complete darkness....the Fry wait for dark to hatch. We waited quit a while, but nothing happened, so we gave up and turned the pumps back on. Thursday morning the eggs were still there, so we decided to try again that night. We once again turned all the pumps etc off, and left the tank and room in complete darkness. About fifteen minutes later we checked with a flashlight and the tank as full of little fry swimming about. Darrell took the flashlight and held it up by the water's surface and they all started being drawn to the light. (In nature they follow the moon light up to the surface and spend the first 8 days of their lives up in the plankton rich surface water). As they congregated at the light, Darrell scooped them out with a bowl into a jug and I put them in our little five gallon rearing tank. I then loaded up the tank with lots and lots of rotifers and left the light on for a little while so they could start learning to hunt. Yesterday was day one of them in their new homes and I think there were a few losses, but I managed to clean the debris from the bottom of the tank and did a water change to keep the ammonia and nitrate levels down. I'm keeping a heavy stock of rotifers in the tank so they don't have to look too far for food.
Today is day two and it has started out well. They are swimming and hunting and scooting about all over the tank, so fingers crossed I can do all the right things to bring them around to the day 8 metamorphosis. This is the day they all change from fry to actual fish, they drop down to the bottom and begin their change. According to my book this will be the day of the most losses, but if they're in good shape leading upto it, it shouldn't be all that bad.

To be quite honest, this being the first attempt and all, I'll be surpised if any of them manage to make it into actual little clownfish, but none of them would if I left them in the parent tank to hatch, so fingers crossed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bad Blogger, Bad Blogger

I have been neglecting my poor little blog. Mostly because there isn't much to tell.
I finished the last of my three summer camps last week, and it was a lot of fun. I only a three kids in my last camp so we got a lot done. I was really impressed with the progress and I think they all had a good time which is kind of the whole point. I get them doing a project, but I don't worry about whether they finish it or not as long as they are having fun.

Aftr our visit to Fredericton a couple weekends ago, seeing Laura and Ray going to town ripping down wallpaper, I must've gotten inspired because I popped out to Home depot and got some paint for the masterbathroom. I spent last week fixing the walls and painting the room. I have been hesitant to touch that room, since we have plans to competely ovehaul it including ripping out a wall and breaking into the closet in the spare room, putting in a stand up shower and separate tub, etc etc. Alas those renos are not in the forseeable future, so a nice little makeover what all that was needed now to tide us over until the grand facelift. As always, I went completely overboard and couldn't stop at just patching holes and throwing a new colour on the walls. I used three separate colours, a very light light blue onthe cieling, and very dark rich blue onthe walls, and a shade in btween the two in the skylight. Then since everything was taken apart I figured I might as well change the cheap (came with house contractor grade) $8 light fixture and put up something better, and of course with new color in the rooms comes new towels, bath mat, shower curtain.......

It looks great now, so I'm happy.

Now I'm itching to get started on the rest of the upstairs.

Friday, August 08, 2008


I haven't been very good at keeping this blog up to date lately. Could be because I've fallen into the "Same Old, Same Old" rut and don't really feel like there's much to blog about. My summer camps have been going well. I've done two so far and have one more scheduled to start next week. Would be nice to see some summer start as well. What a shitty season it's been so far weatherwise. There's been so much rainy and gray cloudy days I feel like I'm on the Queen Charlotte Islands. I spent a few summers in my childhood there, and it can get pretty gray and wet. When the sun does come out it's amazing though. A little more sun out here would be nice!!

I posted an ad on to see if I could find a band and start singing again. I'm not looking to make a career out of it or anything but it would be fun to hang with a group of guys (or gals)and get back onstage on a fairly regular basis again. So far I've heard from a few different people who are interested in trying something out, but nothing definite has been nailed down yet. I has been a few weeks now, which seems kind of long to me cause if I was on Vancouver Island, I could put a band together in about five minutes...haha. Well maybe ten. I've had a couple very promising meetings though, so I think it will happen shortly. I'm wanting to stray from country music this time around and do more Adult contemporary and classic rock. Elton John/ Billy Joel kind of stuff. Throw in some oldies too like the Four Seasons. I think that would be all kinds of fun.

Aquarium obsession is getting completely out of hand. I think we're due for an intervention. Make that overdue. It is a little frustrating right now because we are still battling Algae problems from that stupid foam background the Woman at Village(Idiot) Pets convived us we needed. We didn't know any better, and th bloody thing soaked up andexpelled nitrates into the tank causing a forest of hair alae growth that killed some of our corals, and now six months later we are still trying to get rid of. A warning to anyone looking to get into the salt water hobby, or looking for a pet period, avoid that store liek the plague. They're overpriced and their livestock is not good qaulity. In fact their salt water fish tanks were in such a disasterous state the last time we were in I was almost tempted to call the SPCA.

Aside from constantly battling algae the tank is quite enjoyable. All the fishes are healthy and happy and beautifully coloured. We are setting up yet another tank at the moment (which is crazy I know) for a little pair of ocellaris clown fish (Nemo) we got. We have for pair sof clown fish now, all different types and all in different tanks, cause you can'e keep them together. Our Clarkii pair is still breeding to beat the band and laid another clutch of eggs on Monday. I have a pretty good phytopankton culture going as well as a good batch of rotifers, so I may even consider trying to raise the next batch of eggs they lay once they hatch. We'll see what happens.

The dogs are doing great. We changed their food a few months back to this organic stuff that is made in Quebec. There are no foreign ingredients in wheat from China etc etc. It is 100% Canadain sourced and contains no filler, which means the dogs don't eat a much of it because they stay full when they're done eating. It cost $50 for the big bag and the woman delivers it right to our door. On average we're going through about a bag every three weeks, which is really good compared to IAMS at a bag every two weeks. The dogs love it and they are doing really well on it. The biggest difference is Tiff. She has lost a lot of weight and had a lot more energy than she used to. She's no spring chicken anymore, she turned 10 in March. Elton's nineth birthday is quickly approaching in October, and our tenth aniversary is next week. Hard to believe we've been in New Brunswick for a full decade.

On the weekend we took a quick trip up to Fredericton to see Laura and Ray and check out their new house. They just took possession of it and were in the process of ripping down the hideous wallpaper when we were there. Someone informed Ray that spraying fabric softener on the wallpaper would loosen it right up and it works like a charm. You;d think with all the "wallpaper remedies" out there people would get the message and stop putting the damn shit up to begin with....I mean really people... Prints belong in Frames!!!! A bucket of paint is cheaper, easier to clean, looks nicer, and simple to change when it gets old, you get sick of it, or get new furniture. At any rate they found a great house at a great price and have great plans for it.

We have been overdosing on movies lately. Darrell ordered a projector from dell and we have it set up in the basement projecting movies on the end wall of the recroom. It's like being at the theatre. We have an 8 foot screen and the DVD player plugged into the stereo....good times. We've been watching stuff with sweeping scenery and big effects like Narnia, Batman Begins, Prisilla Queen of the Desert, and Finding Nemo. It's been a lot of fun. The Bonds have been over a few times for movie nights and we've done the entire Omen series as well.

I've also been addicted to "So You Think You Can Dance." I don't watch Idol Shows (everyone gasps and thinks to themselves..but you're a singer how could you not be totally addicted to Idol) but "So You Think You Can Dance" really surprised me. What I disliked most about the show were the auditions and the amount of time they wasted on the freaks. The judges complained about all the freaks coming out to the auditions yet they cut the footage in such a waythat the freaks were the ones that got the most airtime, so the show is just inviting them to come out for their 15 minutes of freaky fame. That aside the rest fo the show was amazing. The talent featured was top notch, and the judges critiques were always very very good (I could do without that Mary Murphy screaming all the damn time though). I liked that they didn't sit there and blow sunshine up everone's ass, and called them on their screw ups. Yet at the same time they also pointed out the good things. It was proper critique not critisism...there's a difference. I also likes that in the finally show the judges put their money where their mouths were and danced. So often in talent shows you wonder what qualifies the judges to sit there in judgement... mean really David Hasselhoff give me a break... but on this one they stepped up and showed everyone what qualified them to sit there. Mary Murphy was an amazing dancer, and the best part of it was that while she's dancing she can't It was good final show, and I wasn't surprised by the result, but I was in agreement with it. Oh and the reason I don't watch idol shows is because I can't handle bad singing. The auditions are paiful to listen to, and the finalists (mostly in Canadian Idol) aren't all that great either. There's usually two or three that are good and the rest are mediocre at best, so for me, listening to it is torture.