Monthly Archives: October 2018

Let Me Help you With That Kink

One evening a few weeks ago, I realized I couldn’t get to sleep. The day had been a bust, the weather miserable and the roads impassable. I hadn’t been out for a walk or gone to Zumba, and if I don’t expend enough energy, I don’t get a good night’s sleep. Here’s a scientific equation about it. E X 2 = GNS. My math.  I started googling, because that’s what I do when I have a problem. I google and I pray, a combo that usually works very well for me. I wrote something like ‘relaxing videos’ into the search bar and a video on YouTube popped up. It was a twenty minute segment of someone brushing some else’s hair. ‘Well, that’s weird,’ I thought, but I kept watching and before too much time had passed, I fell asleep, phone in hand, slumped over my pillow like I’d popped a couple of sleeping pills. I woke a few hours later, turned off my light and promptly fell back asleep.

The next night I went directly to YouTube and found another hair brushing video. It started out okay, but quickly got irritating. The woman holding the hairbrush started whispering about what she was going to do with it. Suddenly, I felt very uncomfortable. It wasn’t pleasant  whispering, either. It was like that smacking sound some people make when they eat. And then she started running her fingers over the tines of the comb, and then feeling up her hairbrush like she wanted to do something illegal with it. I actually yelled at my phone.

Since my husband died, I have a large supply of tolerance for big picture problems, but the tiny things can send me over the edge. And there is nothing worse than freaking out without someone there to listen. It feels so pointless. Little did I know that it was one of the important parts of a good marriage. That sounding board of practical advice, telling you when you’re acting crazy.

Over the next few weeks, I started refining my searches. I’d type things like, ‘No talking, just hair brushing.’ But it was hard to find the right video when I added,  ‘No stroking of the hairbrush or comb.’ I ended up getting videos of people stroking each other with feathers. Or doing fake reiki, or waving their hands wildly over people’s heads with their exaggeratedly long fingernails, which were creepy in a ‘how can they possibly be clean,’ way. Then, I had an uncomfortable revelation.

I was acting like Walter White from the TV show, Breaking Bad; a teacher with cancer who paid his massive medical bills by making and selling meth. Next thing you know, he’s turned pro and feeling no remorse whatsoever. So this is how it happens, I thought. You dip your toe in the water and the next thing you know, you’re a criminal. If I kept this up, would I jump from watching hair brushing videos to kinkier stuff?  What if feathers didn’t do it for me? And now I’m afraid to search for anything else, because God only knows what’s out there.

Perhaps its time to wean myself from this kind of sleep aid. It’s time to bring back the Rosary, the essential oils and the common sense idea of turning off electronics a few hours before bed. I’m just too staid for anything more than that. So you keep brushing other people’s hair, YouTube ladies. It is indeed relaxing, and since over 500,000 people have watched, I’m not the only one who thinks so. But, please. Stop hissing out your game plan and feeling up your hair dressing supplies. You’re making all of us feel very uncomfortable. We had a good thing going, but it’s over. And now I’ll just do one last search and call it a night…

Getting in a Tiff

I’ve never been interested in celebrities. The grand exception to that rule is writers. But most of the time, I don’t even know what they look like. When I meet them in person, though, I’m a slobbery mess. For example, here’s me, my daughter Hilary, and author Will Ferguson, at the writer’s conference in Calgary last year.

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I’m not comfortable with movie and TV celebrities. I like movies. I like TV, but I’ve never felt the need to investigate a star’s private life, or meet them in person. Will Ferguson, in the meantime, refuses to drop his ‘cease and desist’ case against me and, ‘must stay 100 feet away from at all times,’ court order. Really, Will. I’ve read all your books. Doesn’t that make us friends?
So, when I was in Toronto for the film festival, there were a few times when we accidentally on purpose sat in a restaurant beside the venue where Vanity Fair was conducting interviews. We were right beside the window, and so help me God, I surprised myself. Jesse Eisenberg walked past about a foot away. I left my seat and rushed onto the sidewalk, almost running into him. We stared at each other for a long moment, me stunned, him looking around for his bodyguard, and then I turned around and went back to my seat. When we left the restaurant, a bunch of celebrities came outside, one after the other. My friend Lorna was able to get a beautiful selfie with Melissa McCarthy, but here is a reaction from Viola Davis. ‘Must get away from kooky lady,’ is my interpretation of her body language.
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This also applies to Julianne Moore,
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Who did this with another person immediately after spotting me.
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Was it my look of desperation? I’m not certain. But the celebrities walking away got a lot faster once I was spotted. Were they calling to warn each other? I’m not even interested in you! is what I want to tell them, but there’s something compelling about seeing a famous person on the street that you’ve just seen in a movie the night before.
My friends, Lynn, Lorna and I had to get used to it, because there were a lot of stars in Toronto during Tiff.
We attended a rally where one of the speakers was Geena Davis. Since we arrived early, we stood right in front of the fenced area below the stage, directly behind the press. As more and more people arrived, the bars around the reporters kept getting pushed in until it looked like a very small pen for large, well dressed and uncomfortable looking animals. Here we are,
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And here’s Geena.
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A good time was had by all three of us, and the thousands of others also in attendance. And I learned something about myself as well. It turns out, I’m just as star struck as the next person. And being an actor is not for the faint of heart. Especially when I’m in town.