It's strange, the things that strike people as interesting.

4.2.09

While I've been busy not blogging these last couple of months, the time that I spent not following the election or not wrapping Christmas presents was pretty much dedicated to Facebook. You know how it can be. All of the sudden all of my spare time involved checking the status of people I haven't seen in twenty years or people I met once, at a party I don't remember. There's something voyeristic about it, something addictive. So many vacation pictures to look at! So many new babies! So many people I almost delete for updating their status to read "--- is bored". Really? You're bored? Now I am too. Asshole. Earlier this week I was tagged twice in one of those "Write 25 Random Facts About Yourself" exercises. Now, despite the fact that I've been a blogging narcissist lo these many years, I don't cotton to this stuff. Perhaps it's the mandatory nature of it, I'm not sure. For whatever reason, I spent a little time jotting down some thoughts for this one and I've gotten a lot of responses to it on Facebook. Since I posted it, I've run into three people on the street who have taken the time to tell me that they enjoyed reading it. I've been genuinely touched by the response (if a little puzzled) and since I'm never one to shy away from an opportunity to recycle material I present...25 THINGS ABOUT TRACEY. Feel free to add some random facts about yourselves in the comments. Let's share.

1. I've never been camping. I don't plan on changing that.

2. When I was 16 years old, I took my first trip to NY with 2 of my sisters and a friend. On a sightseeing trip to the UN I became angry at a Security Guard for being abusive to two elderly people who were confused by the screening system at the front door. I yelled at him. He banned me from the UN saying, "this is International Territory, get out and never come back". I continue to have a tremendous problem with authority and while I don't believe that I am truly "banned from the UN" I do enjoy telling people that I am "banned from the UN".

3. I buy way too many magazines.

4. I didn't have any interest in cooking until about five or six years ago. Now I love it. I especially like cooking for semi-large groups of people. In fact, I would like to cook for all of you. Preferably something involving caramelized onions.


I would like to cook for you.

5. I'm a lousy housekeeper. I let things get really cluttered. If it wasn't for the nice lady that came to our apartment to clean every two weeks, I'd be frightened of the state of my living quarters.

6. I really love my cats. Bernie and Pickles are all kinds of awesome!


Fuzzy Wuzzy Wuzzy Woooooo!

7. I used to be a plus sized model. I have thrice been mistaken for a drag queen. Coincidence?

8. I've always been a big baseball fan. I love it. I tried to get into hockey once, because I felt like it would be the right thing, as a Canadian, but I couldn't stand it. Found it really dull. Then, when I was in my mid 20's working as a Production Coordinator on the kids show "Rolie Polie Olie" at Nelvana the guy sitting in the cubicle next to me asked me if my grandfather had played for Toronto St. Pat's when they won the Stanley Cup. I said no and laughed until he showed the picture he found on line. That's how I found out that my Paternal Grandfather (who I never met) played in the NHL and lived in Toronto for a couple of years in the 20's. Until then I was under the impression that nobody from my family had made the trip to Toronto from Nova Scotia until the 70's.

9. I’ve known my best friend since we were 5 years old. I feel very, very fortunate to have a circle of strong wonderful women around me. I have the best girlfriends in the world. The ones I’ve known forever and the ones I’ve only known for a few years are all really important to me.


With Annette on her wedding day.

10. I won a Daytime Emmy (along with the rest of the Production Crew) for my work on "Rolie Polie Olie".


Those things really are heavy.

11. I didn't go to college or university. I really like the Isaac Asimov quote "Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is". Despite the fact that I have no formal post secondary education I can be a complete snob, intellectually and otherwise. I'm not proud of this, but I don't make any really efforts to change it either.

12. I think this might be the year we buy a house. I've never lived in anything that wasn't a rental in my entire life. Never. The idea of home ownership scares me, but I'm becoming more and more comfortable with it.

13. On Labour Day in 1988 I got hit in the head by George Bell's game winning, walk off, grand slam home run ball. It went directly from his bat to my head. The last thing I remember seeing was Tony Fernandez rounding third. I blacked out and woke up not knowing what had happened. The impact was so hard I felt like I was hit from behind. The crowd was chanting, "give her the ball!" I had no idea what they were talking about. The ball had unraveled. The woman who tried to catch it after it bounced off my forehead had to have her rings cut off because her hand swelled so much. George Bell was strong. They ushered me down to the Blue Jays clubhouse (at Exhibition Stadium) and put ice on my head from the Gatorade cooler in the dugout. They gave me a new ball, autographed by the team. I suffered a concussion and had to be woken up every couple of hours. The next day, with a big bump on my head, I went to my very first day of high school.


Concussed, September 1988.

14. I'm currently going through what I'm calling my "flavoured coffee renaissance". I know the stuff is gross, but for some reason I've been drinking it like it's 1989 all over again.

15. I talk about the anchors on CNN like they're my friends.

16. I've always loved comedy. I grew up watching classic acts like Laurel & Hardy with my sisters and SNL with my Mom (every other week when she had Saturday night off we'd get a pizza and watch SNL during the late 80's Phil Hartman era). I've decided that even if you know that a certain SNL cast is empirically better, you always have a deep abiding love for the cast that was on when you're in grade 7 and 8. This would explain my affection for Lovitz.

17. After reading a John Lahr profile of Mike Nichols in the New Yorker in 1999 I signed up for classes at The Second City because I was completely romanced by the idea of the work that The Compass Players did in Chicago in the middle of the 20th Century. Looking back I find it odd that this is what inspired me to study there after growing up in the 80's in Toronto - an environment rich with the talent from the SCTV days. But that's how it goes; I always seem to find the round about way to things. I completed the conservatory program there and did a lot of interesting sketch and improv work and met a lot of cool people in the scene. I also performed some of my character work by invitation at a festival in Chicago, which was a fun experience. The foundations I acquired there led me to write and perform two one-woman shows "29 Forever" and "Letters to Liam". Despite the fact that I'm actually quite shy, performing has always been the easy part. The writing was more of a challenge and as I result, the more fun part and the thing I am more proud of.


My second solo show.

18. I met Jim at Second City (when he was Music Director for the Touring Company) and joke with him that it's John Lahr's fault all my stuff ended up at his apartment. We've been together for seven years now and hardly ever fight. We do spend a lot of time analyzing (some might say over analyzing) comedy. I don't think I ever thought I'd meet somebody who it would be SO easy to be with. The truth is, I don't give it a lot of thought, but I think we're a very lucky couple.


Laughing with Jim.

19. I ran and hosted an open mic night for a year at Ossington and Bloor at a sort of dicey bar called "Mayday Malone’s". It was the easiest money I ever made and I learned a lot about myself and the creative process. The two biggest things being that I was always funnier if I wrote new material every week and the second being that I wouldn't miss performing and writing stand up if I stopped doing it.

20. My Dad died when I was 12 years old.


That's my Dad, second from the left. Doesn't this look like a fun hang?

21. I'm evangelical about the things I love - especially jazz. I've always loved jazz and know that my passion for it is what makes me a good PR person for the artists I support. Nothing elicits a visceral reaction from me like being at a great show or hearing a new record for the first time. In the last couple of years I've been channeling my love for the music into writing about it and photography. The first time I had a press pass to a show it felt like Christmas morning. I had to pinch myself. My writing has been published in CODA Magazine and on the website All About Jazz. It's been completely rewarding.

22. I used to perform in musical theatre back in high school and when I was in my early 20's in community theatre. I could never dance, but could fake it effectively given a patient choreographer and enough time. Singing was always the funnest part. There's nothing quite as cathartic as belting out a Jerry Herman or Sondheim tune. I still love to sing, but very rarely do it anymore.

23. My newest passion is photography. I started taking pictures a few years ago and since then my photography has been frequently exhibited in Toronto and has been published in CODA Magazine, The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail as well as on dozens of online news sources including Reuters (UK, Canada), CBS News, The Washington Post and The Atlantic. In 2008 I was nominated for Photographer of the Year at the National Jazz Awards. I've been very proud of my success in this area but know I have lots and lots to learn still. This excites me very much.


A photo I took of Quincy Jones in January 2008.

24. I'm pretty sure I generate a strangely large amount of ear wax. Gross. I'm sorry. That's an "over share" isn't it?

25. Six months after Hurricane Katrina Jim and I went to New Orleans. Watching Terence Blanchard play at an intimate little club, with Herbie Hancock sitting in on piano will always be one of my favourite memories. Listening to that music, in that place, at that time felt like what I imagine a "religious experience" feels like. I don't trust organized religion, but I do trust in the power of music and strength and resilience of people. It was life affirming. It’s moments like these (and watching Barack Obama’s inauguration) that make me believe that the best is yet to come for all of us.


5 comments :

  1. Can I be you when I grow up?

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  2. What's funny is that I was thinking of recycling my response to your tag on my blog, too. What's that they say about great minds...?

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  3. Oh, so much I want to say, what a great post... great photo of you & Jim, of your Dad... That is so cool you studied with Second City!! Awesome... I can only dream of your great cooking abilities; damn! I love carmelized onions. ... Also, I love my girlfriends too. Aren't they great. xoxoxox

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  4. Good luck to you and Jim with #12. That would be super!

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  5. Somehow (through the wonders of Google), I stumbled across your blog, read a few posts, and inadvertently ended up learning A LOT more about you than I expected to! Glad for the opportunity though!

    Now for a random fact about me: My love for potatoes is borderline obsessive.

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