New Stuff!

Ok, it’s been a WHILE since I’ve actually posted anything on here.  So here we go!

I have a new blog where I post silly musings celebrating the end of the work week–casual Fridays!  It’s called the Jeans Day Weekly.  Check it out here, but only if you like to laugh and maybe pee a little.

Jeans Day Weekly

New Show! Coming SOON!

You heard right, the rumours are true, the Sweater Zeppelins’ new sketch-based play , RELATIONSHOPPING, is opening next week!  We’ll be at that Havana Theatre (1212 Commercial Drive) on Thurs. December 11 to Sat. December 13 at 8:00 pm nightly.  Tickets are $10 at the door.  Here’s our poster!

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EXTRA! EXTRA! New Show Coming Soon!

Procrastinating + Busy-ness = Late Post!

The rumours are true! I’m writing a brand new one-lady show called A Book By Its Cover that I’ll be premiering it next Thursday, April 17 until Saturday, April 19 at the Havana Theatre in Vancouver.

The show is in sketch format, exploring the idea of first impressions and how no one is ever what they seem.  I might spit some mean rhymes (rap), I might dance interpretively, I might even CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Plus, it’s a DOUBLE BILL show with my sketch comedy group The Sweater Zeppelins, called A Night of Mandatory Laughter.  We’ll be doing a 40 minute set after my solo show!  Lucky you!  And lucky me 🙂  This is probably our funniest show to date.  We have a new face, Dan Willows, who will be joining Ellie heath, Nikolai Witschl and I on stage.  And the comedically brilliant and visually gorgeous Brynn Peebles also contributed some of her funny ideas to the show.

So come on down to this (I’m assuming) HISTORIC event April 17 – 19 at the Havana Theatre on Commercial Drive.  Tickets are $15 and can be reserved at eventbrite.com to guarantee seats.

Look at our poster!  Guess who drew these silly pictures?

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What Dreams Are Made Of: Conquering My Demons

A few weeks ago, somewhere between Christmas and doubting myself, I had an amazing dream.

I have a history of dreams involving shadowy demons that try to grab at me from under my bed.  I haven’t had one for a while since I’M A GROWN UP NOW, but then this one popped up.

In my dream, a dark, gnarly, clawed hand was coming up the side of my bed.  Immediately I get a tinge of terror in my heart.  But then I remember it’s only real if I let it be real.  Also, my childhood teddy bear, Cocoanut, was in my bed with me.  She has superpowers.

demon hand!

I kept swatting the hand off my bed, but it persisted and its persistence made me angrier and angrier.  Then the full body of this shadowy demon, not unlike the one in Insidious (ahh!).  I fought and fought, punching and using Cocoanut to scare it, using every ounce of by strength to defeat it.

shadowy demon

Just when I thought I had succeeded and could go back to sleep, it came up beside my bed again.  Beyond furious, I got up on my knees, pushed it down onto the ground, jumped on top of it and started punching the HECK out of it.  THEN, I ripped off its arm, beat it to death with its own arm, and thrust the bony end of the arm through the demon’s chest.

Arm rip!

I got back up on my bed, threw my arms in the air and cried: “I’M VANESSA LEVER AND I’M AWESOME!!”  All in flannel penguin-print jammies too.

Victory!

Best. Dream. Ever.  I guess my subconscious is telling me that I should be more confident, there’s nothing to fear except fear itself!  All in all, a good start to a new year.  🙂

Nomadic-Ness: The Art of Moving

Moving is awful and everyone knows it.  But I have done it FIVE times in the last THREE years.  Yes, you read that right.  I have learned several things about the many facets of moving.  Whenever someone mentions to me that they are getting ready to move, I volunteer my expertise (and I DON’T use that term loosely) about how to pack, how to move, where to move, and how to memorize a postal code.  And like most internet-savvy people in this age of social media, I now feel the need to impose my knowledge on the masses instead of hoarding it. You’re welcome.

1. U-Haul

This is how most of us 20-somethings move from apartment to apartment.  It’s the cheapest, quickest, hassle-free-est way to move.  Or so they’ll have you think!  U-Haul is actually THE WORST, but every time I have moved, plus twice when I had to move large pieces of furniture, I have used U-Haul…because apparently I like to test the limits of my sanity.  They have awful, slow customer service, it costs way more than you think it will because gas, kilometres and insurance are all extra, and they are never ready on time.  And those who know me, know that I am not a crying-in-front-of-people kind of gal, but once they made me cry.

LESSON:  Know that if your rental isn’t ready on time or you have any issues with them, that they will credit you $50.  Also, within a month of any vehicle rental, you can use your receipt and get one month of free storage with them.

2. Room-Mates

The very best person to live with is YOURSELF!  You’ll bother yourself the least out of anyone. Plus, having neighbours in an apartment building is practically like having room-mates because the walls are paper-thin.

LESSON:  If you want to cut down your costs since living alone is more expensive, ask those neighbours if you can share internet with them — half price!  Or you can do what I did; try it for a couple months, then tell them that the connection is really slow and not worth $30 a month so you’ll get your own.  But really it’s fine and you still use it (for free!).


3. Craigslist

There are many websites that you can use to find a rental, but the best resource (in Vancouver anyway) is Craigslist.  There are TONS of places on there and it’s updated minutely.  But if you see a place on there, jump on it quick because it will not last.  And there’s a sort of secret language that experienced Craigslist users use in their ads, so watch for these:

  • No pictures = no go.  Taking and uploading a few pictures takes hardly any effort.  If they are too lazy to add pictures, imagine how lazy they are with the actual suite.  Gross.

  • A “garden suite” is a fancy way of saying “basement”.

  • A suite in a “character house” means it’s a dilapidated garbage house with a mouse problem that seven to nine hippies live in.

  • “Newly renovated” means that the walls were painted and MAYBE it’s got new faucets in the kitchen and bathroom.

  • Renting a condo or house from the owner means you’ll have an excitable landlady who will always be dropping by trying to be your friend.  And no one wants to be friends with their landlord, NINA.

LESSON:  Always ask about mice and bed bugs and make sure you take a friend or tell someone where you are going for safety reasons.  I never did this, but I’m told that I should have, so……noted!


4. Postal Codes

I’ve had SO MANY postal codes!!  They are the hardest part of moving, I swear.  But now I have a trick to learn them!  This last time around I made up a sort of acronym:

V anessa’s
5 th
L ocation?
1 (one)
N otices
5 (five)

And now everyone knows where I live.  But it’s quite relevant, I think, especially if you say it with an air of condescension.  I think of this every time I write out my postal code and sometimes mumble it out loud to a bank employee……be careful with that.

LESSON:  Make an acronym, I just said that.

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Ta-dah!  Now you too can reap the benefits of my last five moves.  Just remember to be patient and find a place that you will be happy in for, hopefully, years to come.  Hopefully.  Please God.

Evil Dead or Deadly Dumb? Why I Can’t Handle Horror

Last night I made the terrible mistake of watching the movie Evil Dead (the new one).  It wasn’t a bad movie–it was HORRIBLE.  Because horror movies are not at all my cup o’ tea.  However, this was exactly what you would want and expect in an Evil Dead  movie, so yey for that.  But people chopping off limbs and faces, AND (spoiler alert) releasing the devil–AGAIN.  Will they never learn?!  So to maintain my sanity and reassure myself that it’s all just pretend (HAHAHA *awkward laugh*), I have complied a list of things to avoid unless you and four of your pals want to find yourselves in the same situation.

1.  Cabin in the Woods

Say that again?  You’re going off to an old, dilapidated cabin in the middle of Fog Forest, Nowhere, that lacks cell reception, no one has visited in years, and is only accessible by a single dirt road that becomes a raging river when it rains?  Oh, sure, go right ahead and get MURDERED.  Idiots.

2.  Invite a Dickhead

Every horror story has that one guy (or girl, but usually a guy — jerks) that has some beef with one or more of the other characters.  He’ll be the one to go against the grain of everyone else because he’s got some stuuuuupid bone to pick with the hero.  Then he’ll be the one who just HAS to open up some barbed wire-wrapped Satanic curse book and proceed to read ALOUD the various hell-releasing words on its pages.  Dickhead!  Do yourself a favour and leave this guy at home.  The woods are scary enough without some ironically-dressed grumpy bear who just sits in his room all day reading the Devil Pages.  And as if he’ll be the one to survive the whole thing and clean up the bloody mess he’s made.  NOPE!  He’ll die.  Second to last.  How convenient.

3.  Stay in Touch With Sensitive SIde

What’s that?  The only way to end this unimaginable string of violence is to kill the first possessed friend in a very specific way?  But–but– they’re your best friend/family/lover, how can you do that to them?  How could you dismember or burn to death or bury alive someone so dear to you?  So they made the sky rain blood.  So their eyes turned yellow and their voice became demonic and their mouth turned black.  So what!?  You grew up with this person and they’re still human!  Right………?  Grab a brain, you too-beautiful-to-die MORON.  Think about someone other than your pretty little self for once.  You can cry about it later while you write in your journal.  But right now you have to stop Satan, remember?

4.  Pretend You Know Everything

– Is your friend quitting meth/coke/crack cold-turkey?  Head to the woods.  There’s no way you might, on the off chance, possibly need to seek advice from a medical professional in case of some unforeseen emergency.
– Did your friend get stabbed in the chest?  Just pull that blade out.  Don’t worry about the blood loss, patch it up with some toilet paper and duct tape.  Ta-da!
– Girlfriend just chop her ARM off?!  Not to worry, you have MORE DUCT TAPE!  Gently wrap that around her stump, the bleeding will stop once it scabs over (?!?!).  And no need to consider that she may now be mentally INSANE since she just sawed her OWN ARM OFF — it’s probably just PMS.  Ugh, women!

You’re the hero, you know what’s going on and how to fix it all.

So get out there and enjoy the outdoors this summer, but don’t be a stupid-head.  We can all learn from horror movie history (including THREE versions Evil Dead) instead of continuing the tradition of dying in the woods.  Not that anything remotely similar to this would EVER happen in real life.  HAHAHAHA! (*awkward laugh*) …..Thank God for daylight.

The Sweater Zeppelins Present: FUN BAG FUNNY HOUR

AHHHHHHH!!!  It’s almost time and I can hardly stand it!
My new sketch comedy group of ladies, The Sweater Zeppelins, is presenting our first show in Vancouver.  We have worked hard the last few months writing and producing this gem.  Check us out on Facebook for updates and news.

Poster!Tickets are $10 at the door, but you should buy in advance HERE so we don’t have to turn you away at the door as the Havana Theatre has rather limited seating.
Show starts at 8:00 pm each night, and Havana is also a restaurant with delicious Cuban food.  You should eat there too.

We are all very excited!  Look at this picture of us:

I get to work with the bold Ellie Heath (upper right), the spunky Megan McLachlan (lower left), and we are being directed by the ingenious Nikolai Witschl (he’s a man, but we forgive him).
We have been working really hard to make this show something original and memorable, and we are all really proud of what we’ve created.  So come and see what goes on in our brains, I DARE YOU!