Thursday, August 24, 2006

That's Terrible

If you dig a little deeper into the National Council of Welfare's 2005 report (rather than just relying on this article) you will find that a single person on welfare in Ontario receives $7000 a year to live on. That's after they get their GST credit and so forth.

Sure, it might be technically possible to keep hand and mouth together on that amount of money. Your average room for rent will cost ~$350-$450, so let's be optimistic and assume $350. That means that you have $2800 a year, or $230 a month, on which to feed and clothe yourself, keep yourself from going insane, and finance a job hunting expedition. If you never eat out, and only buy the cheapest foods, and don't eat any fresh fruit, you might be able to feed yourself for $35/wk. That leaves you $90 a month in which to do laundry, buy whatever miscellaneous household items you might need (dish detergent, light bulbs, tooth paste, deodorant, shampoo), and support your job hunt. What do you need for a job hunt? In my opinion, the opportunity to write your resume (free at your public library, if you know what to do, and presumably something you can get government assistance with), some money to pay for photocopies, a haircut often enough to keep you looking respectable, a professional set of clothes (no, not a suit, just something that is better than jeans and a T-shirt), transportation (a bus pass is $71.25, and don't talk to me about bus tickets - $10 gets you 5 trips on a bus), and a reliable phone number at which you can be reached. I don't see how you can pay for those essentials... never mind the fact that you can't afford any money with which to relax. Even one beer or rented movie is out of the question, and you'd better just damned hope that your room comes with cable included, or you'll get four channels coming in completely fuzzy (CBC, CTV, Global and City), if you are lucky enough to have hung onto your TV.

How do we expect people to get jobs and get off welfare when they don't have the money to supply themselves with even basic job-hunting resources? Especially when you consider that it isn't exactly the cream of the crop that end up on welfare in the first place... How likely would you be to forego even a single beer a month when faced with that kind of lifestyle?

This is not the way to get people off welfare and back into regular employment.

Nerves of Wet Noodles

Yup. That's me. Put me under fire in an extreme audition situation, and I fold over like a deck of cards.

At least I remembered to smile while I was doing it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

With Bated Breath

It was with bated breath yesterday that I left the ultimate field at 7:35 to head off to the opening cast meeting for Beauty and the Beast. When I left, the score was 9-8 in a game that we were allowing to be entirely too close for comfort. With our team history of pulling off the big choke at the end of a game, I was somewhat apprehensive about the fate of our quarter final game.

What a pleasant find when after logging onto my computer this morning I discovered that we had pulled off the win 15-11. Yay us! I guess all we needed was to get my crappy D off the field :-)

The cast meeting is causing another sort of bated breath... Orpheus is looking for a cast of 35-40 for Beauty and the Beast. 24 of these will be chorus dancers/singers, and 13 are in named roles. As of just prior to the cast meeting, they already had 90 people signed up to audition, and dozens more signed up at the cast meeting.

The good news is that the music director is looking for operatically trained voices for many of the main parts: Belle, the Beast, Mrs. Potts, Gaston, Madame de la Grand Bouche. The questionable news is that he already has quite a strong idea of what he's looking for in terms of sound for each of these roles.

I'm definitely glad that my audition is very early on in the process. Tomorrow between six and eight I'll get this nonsense over and done with.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Good Times

Played in the Mixed-Up Coed Ultimate tourney this weekend for the third or fourth year in a row. Heading into the tournament I was extremely skeptical as to my ability to play 6 games of ultimate over two days, and was somewhat concerned that as my teammates and I get older, we'd be less able to compete at a competitive tournament level.

We went into the tournament seeded last, which I think was a bit harsh, though at the end of the first day, having won our first game, lost our second game by 2, our third game by 1, and our fourth game by 4, we still ended up last in our pool.

Still, for most of the day we were damn hot! If we could have just kept it together against the Chickens, life would have been good.

Sadly, in fifth place, we were relegated to a consolation round filled with two very spirited games against Junior B teams from Ottawa and Sherbrooke. We stomped them, which is the only expected outcome when veterans (I don't care how out of shape!) play against 12-17 year olds.

If only some of Saturday's fighting spirit, and more importantly competence in the areas of throwing, catching and playing defence, had stayed with us for last night's league game.

Instead, in a bizarre twist of fate, we tied with the U-files for a second time this season. Nothing like friendly competition with an old foe :-)