Category Archives: ramblings


This week I open a show with Screaming Monkeys, a theatre company that focuses on providing a theatrical outlet to the marginalized communities of Toronto. I’ve been working off and on with them for about six years now, and wouldn’t you know it, this year is their 10th anniversary! To celebrate they’re performing a sort of clips show of favourite scenes and skits they’ve done over the past ten years.

Here is our poster! Wheee!

Here is our poster! Wheee!

I am reprising a couple of my past roles. I am nervous. Read the rest of this entry

Farewell To The Test Chamber

No pics for this one guys. I am feeling too wistful for such things :D.

Well, it’s begun. This weekend my friends brought me boxes. I mucked out my fridge. I went through my clothes and tossed those that I forgot I even had. I’ve begun the painstaking process of letting everyone in the world know that I will soon be at a new address.

And it finally dawned on me that in just under a month I would be leaving my Test Chamber.

I love my apartment. I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to it yet. Heck, I literally physically raced someone to get it in the first place. Okay…they didn’t know it was racing…but it totally was, I am a badass power walker and suspected they were there for the same apartment…and I was right!

I was terribly scared. It was the first time in my life I didn’t have a roommate (I even shared a bedroom until 17), my first space I could truly call my own, at a time when I really needed to be on my own. In the past, the choice to move was never really a choice. It always came about because a school term ended, or a roommate moved in with her boyfriend, or the house was suddenly being sold. The only other time I made the conscious choice to uproot was when I decided to leave Guelph. Oddly, even though it’s in the same city, it’s just as tough to say goodbye.

I put down roots pretty quickly. I get attached. I’ve lived in this neighbourhood for six years now in two different apartments. The Test Chamber was an experiment in so many ways. It was when I started to experiment financially, to see if I could manage to afford an apartment on my own (answer: yes, I could, but not without being down to the wire). It was a creative experiment when I began to dabble more seriously in writing. It was the place where I helped to create an entire musical. It was my own quiet little space where I learned to be myself.

I won’t miss the constant sounds of construction. Or how narrow my kitchen seems. I won’t miss the extreme heat of the summers. I won’t miss the 24/7 wind howling in the winter. I won’t miss the dust that accumulates so quickly in the higher places of a city. I definitely won’t miss the pigeons.

But I will miss my jogging trail. I will miss my weekly visits to the cemetery. I will miss the hawk that wakes me up in the morning. I will miss the lovely sunlight and watching thunderstorms from my balcony. I will miss being able to walk down the street to visit Dan or Jen. I will miss walking through the park and watching dogs jump and children play. I will miss my big wood door with its hobbit-esque doorknob and the parquet floors. I will miss my plants, which certainly can’t follow me to a basement apartment. I will even miss the sound of the subway, which was a comfort as I went to sleep.

I am excited for a bit of change and what that might bring. But as I look around me at the place that I made my home, I am still a little sad that I had to leave it.

I know that once it happens it will be easier. I know it’s just a place. I know I made the right decision, impulsive as it seemed at the time. I know that once I get to where I’m going I will quickly make a new home and fall in love all over again. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be a little sad in the short term.

I swear my posts will get less mushy. I think I will do one more Whitless Letter before I must leave the Chamber forever. Stay tuned for that.

But for now, Farewell, Test Chamber! You were so very awesome and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

Simian Showcase Post-Show Report

On Saturday the Bride of Simian Showcase closed. It couldn’t have gone better (well, other than a couple of minor hitches along the way but the sort that come along with every theatre show). I was there for every performance and never once got sick of it. The audiences were fantastic, the plays were solid, and Errol ate a microphone. For serious.

But by now...I'm sure you're not all that surprised.

But by now…I’m sure you’re not all that surprised.

I have to say, it was a different and weird and wonderful experience watching my play being performed. I haven’t been writing long, but up until now everything I have written has always been performed by myself in some capacity. This time though, after spending time crafting the characters, hearing them in my head, and imagining the look of the play, I was handing off my script to a group of people to make their own. Read the rest of this entry


One of my favourite movies of all time is Spirited Away.

I kinda want that outfit....

I kinda want that outfit….

Everytime I watch it, I am filled with awesome joyful feelings of awesomeness. Except for one scene. A scene that I hate.


I know what you’re thinking. It’s the gross face stink spirit scene, right?



Nope. In fact I love watching everyone’s hair stand on end from the stink.

Hee heeeeeee

Hee heeeeeee

Or maybe you think it might be any scene involving No Face being creepy…which is…every scene…

If a guy looked at me like this in the park...I would probably run home.

If a guy looked at me like this in the park…I would probably run home.

Nope. I feel sorry for the guy even when he’s gorging himself on pastries and frog men.



It’s the scene shortly after the stink spirit actually. In which Chihiro and Lin are sitting on the balcony post party, and Lin gives Sen…a dumpling.

Look! Look at it!

Look! Look at it!

But not just any dumpling. The most delicious looking, perfect dumpling in the world.

Look! Look how happy she looks!

Look! Look how happy she looks!

And every time I watch that scene, everytime, I get the biggest craving for the mystery dumpling. EVERY TIME.

This happens in every Miyazaki movie. He can make any food look like the most exotic, amazing thing in the world. But there’s something about that dumpling that makes me extra crazy.



And then I am filled with a deep sadness for the rest of the film. Because I could not have that dumpling. And I lament that I was not born Japanese.

Let's face it...I just want to live in Train Man.

Let’s face it…I just want to live in Train Man.

But today that will change…not the Japanese part, I am about as white as they come.

No, today I was in Chinatown. And I happened upon a Chinese bakery. And though they are not perfect Miyazaki dumplings, I have procured…a BBQ pork bun…

Sure, it just LOOKS like a regular bun...

Sure, it just LOOKS like a regular bun…

But inside is POOOOORRRK

But inside is POOOOORRRK

Sure, it’s not steamed. Or Japanese. But it is still a bun filled with meat. And when that scene comes up, I will be ready to enjoy the sweet sweet porky paradise right along with Chihiro. Take THAT, MIYAZAKI!

You AND that radish spirit.

You AND that radish spirit.



Manda’s Workout Diary: Week #3

It’s Week 3. And it’s sort of difficult now. See, I have two shows coming up. Which eats up a lot of my free time. Free time that would include working out. So Week 3…was sort of a bust. In more ways than just lack of exercise. See, having no free time doesn’t just mean I don’t get to play that awesome video game I rented. It also means I don’t get to cook meals. And when the blood sugar crashes I am not above downing two packets of mini-eggs. I have now gone cold turkey on mini-eggs as a result. It’s very difficult.

So! Here’s my report! Read the rest of this entry

Manda’s Workout Diary: Week #2

So I’ve started working out in a vain attempt to slim down slightly and tone up a lot. Because I don’t have money for a gym and because it’s winter going outside means getting my face eaten off by evil winds I’m using Jillian  Michaels’ Youtube videos to at the very least get into some sort of routine.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say I PROBABLY won't reach these insane proportions of abs.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say I PROBABLY won’t reach these insane proportions of abs.

…It’s hard.

I posted on Facebook about how hard it was, but after thinking about it I realized I didn’t want to become “that person”. You know, that person who talks so much about their work-outs that they either bore or guilt their friends to death. And so I refrained from updating further.

I mean, I have a blog for that.



Read the rest of this entry

Adventures in Cooking: FISH!

Lots has been happening! I went to a convention. I’m writing a grant. I’m doing a play. It’s awesome. But as a result this blog has been a little neglected.

I am...a little crazy at the moment

I am…a little crazy at the moment

So in the meantime, I dug out a blog idea I had set up a while back. Every once in a while my friend Kelson comes over and we cook together. Well…actually, mostly Kelson cooks. I watch and marvel at his cooking prowess. Read the rest of this entry

Manda’s Guide to Grant Writing: Phase 1

1. Think of a cool creative project. Get excited.


2. Get crushed by reality of the whole “no money” thing.


3. Find out about grant. Convince yourself that absolutely no one else will apply and that it’ll be a breeze to get the government to give you money. Read the rest of this entry


Sooooo…I am known as somewhat of a worrier.

Just for tradition's sake, here's a good reference photo.

Just for tradition’s sake, here’s a good reference photo.

I worry about what I say to others. I worry about my worthiness. I worry about creative projects that might fail. I worry about my job, what I will eat, who I will hang out with, how unclean my apartment is, how squirrels look at me… Read the rest of this entry

It’s too darned cold

It’s too cold.

like, White Witch cold.

like, White Witch cold.

I was going to try and write a new My Neighbour Errol. It was going to be witty and fun and make people question once again why I am friends with this strange man.

And why I only have pictures like this.

And why I only have pictures like this.

Read the rest of this entry