Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back in Calgary


I'm actually in Vancouver, but before I write about good stuff like loving my university program, discovering that there are many rabid Catan fans in my class, and being able to ride from my house to the Stanley Park sea wall in about 40 minutes, I would like to first comment about my time in Calgary.

I won't spend too much time on this as this blog is mostly for family, and they don't need to read about themselves, but there are a few things I would like to mention...

1) My family is grand - I have to say it. I did get to see friends and I had some quality time with my sister and Jay - most notably on a killer camping trip to Montana - but I spent most of my time with mom, dad, and my nephews as my sister was often at work and that left the little people free to be dropped-off at mom and dad's place. I got to spend a lot of quality time as uncle Dave, and it really only took about 10 minutes of weird time with the boy's being shy at the airport for me to once again work my way into their hearts. I got to swim with the lads at Lake Bonavista and attend Christian's first day of grade 1. Milestones - I miss most, but make it there for some. I hear rumour that my sister might make it out to Vancouver for a visit at the end of October, and I'll be back in my hometown for Christmas and New Year's. It was a whirlwind visit, but not as crazy as others have been. Calgary felt like transition time for me this visit - not rushing to head back to Korea, and knowing that it'll only be a matter of months before I see family again. It's a good feeling. Vancouver is not so far, but it was far enough for my parents to do a road-trip with me with a one-night stop-over on the way out to the coast. Look at me - I'm a 35 year-old college kid. How about that?

2) I feel like I've truly left my old life. I hate the term "growing out of...", and that's actually not how I feel, so conveniently, I don't need to use it. That being said, I have grown-away from some things that had previously been a huge part of my life, and I'm happy to report that it feels okay. The big sign for this was attending the CAT-Awards as emcee. The CAT Awards recognize excellence in non-equity theatre in Calgary. I had been a big part of that community for years leading up to my departure, and my (largely involuntary) involvement in the awards before 2008 had led to me being a bit of a punchline in years when I was absent. It was with honour and humility that I agreed to emcee the awards at the request of the board. I had a great night, I think most of my material went over well, and I was very happy to see some dear friends and other deserving colleagues recognized through the awards process. It was a very special evening in that regard. Sadly, I also witnessed the disappointment of watching some of the community members turn on each other. I didn't know that awards shows could draw such ire from those who aren't recognized as much as they think they should be through the process, but the next morning, there were a lot of bitter folk in full-on rant mode. By this logic, Martin Scorcese might have also been one pissed-off Italian from approximately 1981 until 2007. What the hell, man? Get over yourself, be happy for others, recognize the celebratory purpose of such events. It really is that simple. But as it is, such displays left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, and ironically lead me to close-off memories and feelings toward my time in theatre to the point that I really only hold onto the very best of the good. That's the way it should be, I suppose - and there is lots of good. I am grateful for my time, but I don't miss it. I've packed-up my tent. The arts invites interesting egos. In this case, "interesting" is a euphemism.

And that was Calgary this time. There was mostly good and significant amounts of great. It still feels like my home, but in that I'm defining the contents of home in much more selective terms. That feels nice, too.

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