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A New Adventure

 

 

It has been a long time since I last posted. About 2.5 years if my math is correct. There has been a lot of soul – searching, a lot of exploration, and I feel I am honing in on a nice place for me to stake out a life for myself.

This has taken the form of Lovely Designs. I am taking it slow, unwilling to limit it, but rather letting it define itself for me. With each passing day I feel more freedom, and more inspired by the joy it is bringing me.

The site, which is primarily a blog at the moment, allows me to showcase design and designers and serves as a platform for my creative compulsions. The plan is to have a shop on etsy where I can sell my creations, but that will come. At the moment I am stretching my wings, testing my voice and getting ready to fly.

 

 

It feels good.

 

 

 

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It is against my nature to write a scathing review. I believe that everyone makes mistakes and deserves second chances and the opportunity to redeem themselves. In the case of the Bellaggio Cafe, however, I feel justified to speak out.

I worked there for about two weeks almost two years ago. It is run by a husband a wife (we’ll call them Mr. & Mrs. B). I was hired by Mr. B with the understanding that I was to be made a server. After making me be a host for two weeks, Mrs. B decided that they didn’t really need anyone new. She told me she didn’t know why her husband had hired a new person, handed me a cheque and bid me leave. 

I was there as a guest with some friends around christmas, and our experience was very similar to the account that follows:

On Sunday, I went there for brunch with a girlfriend. At first, it was reasonably impressive. It was after the Vancouver Sun Run (blog post on that here) and so it was rather busy, but we were greeted with a smile and seated promptly. It was at that point that things began to slide.

No one came to greet us or take our drink order upon being seated. We waited about 15 minutes for our server to come up to us. We both ordered versions of eggs benedict and a freckled lemonade. It took about 8 minutes more for our drinks to finally be delivered plus another 5 minutes for our food.

Our server, I am sad to say did a “Drop & Dash”. Our food was dumped on the table, and without bothering to make sure that we had everything we needed, the server abandoned us. We were left staring at our plates in disappointment due to the sparing amount of hollandaise sauce. Fortunately a girl appeared with ketchup for our hash-browns and we both asked for some more sauce. What arrived at our table was a half-filled two ounce cup – barely enough for one order, let alone the two of us. We spent the following 10 minutes attempting to get someone to look at us, but every one of the staff was rushing about with their heads down. We had been in the restaurant for about 50 minutes before we had everything we needed to enjoy our  meal.

I wish I could say the pathetic service ended there, but it didn’t. Upon finishing our (now cold) brunch, we placed our knives and forks together and pushed our dishes aside to signal we were done. Another full 10 minutes went by before anyone noticed. The most astonishing part to me was that when the server gathered up our dishes, we weren’t asked if we wanted coffee, or tea, or anything else, he just took off again. we waited and waited and waited for the bill but it never arrived. Finally we placed our wallets and cards on the table in the universal call for the bill. Time ticked by…

In total, we were in there for almost an hour and a half. Now, we were out for a relaxed, “girl-time” meal, but instead of it being just that, we left feeling frustrated and ignored.

Having been treated badly as an employee and multiple times as a guest, the Bellaggio Cafe will never receive my business again.

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img_4315This morning, at 08:20hrs, I was rudely awakened by loud music, an even louder announcer, tens of thousands of people, and countdown after countdown after countdown…

Back in grades 8 & 9, I participated in the colossal Vancouver Sun Run. I haven’t since, but it certainly is quite the spectacle. Since I was unable to sleep, I got up and dragged the boyfriend out of bed and went out to look. This is the second year that I have lived a block away from the starting line, and both times now I am happy that I didn’t just roll over, pull the blankets over my head and mumble sleepy complaints. The moment we stepped out the door, the energy in the air pulsed through me and and involuntary smile blasted its way over my face. My sister participated this year, but wasn’t running with a cell phone, so there was no way to find her. I sent out a good wish to her instead.

The sheer number of people is hard to fathom. The fact that they ALL wake up at an indecent hour on a Sunday to run 10 kilometers is incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed walking along the perimeter. Everyone was smiling and excited and happy to be there. 

I can’t think of too many better reasons for a whole city to meet on one street. Can you?

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Finally, 

Spring seems to be poking it’s head up and blinking sleepily around at the world. Determined not to waste the lovely weather, Mike and I grabbed the camera and headed down to the lagoon at Stanley Park. Now, it’s no Bowen Island, to be sure, but it was nice to see some wildlife besides the pigeons, starlings and seagulls of Downtown. Right off the bat, we encountered a couple of the  magnificent swans. My experience with these fowl is such that I am more than a little respectful and wary, but I overcame my fear enough to crouch about a foot away so Mike could snap a photo for scale. They are enormous birds.

 

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img_42702The ducks were also in their glory (if ducks can be said to be glorious!). It was quite sweet, actually. I noticed right away that they had paired off and would wander around two by two. Mike didn’t believe me until this pair – clearly protective of each other – had followed us around for a while. 

 

I lived for a time in West Vancouver among the urban raccoons and I know them to be vicious, dangerous animals, so it is always surprising to me to see them comfortable among humans. This one was quite interested in us and obligingly posed for us. Shortly after this was taken, however, he disappeared into the brambles and a horrible snarling skirmish could be heard. He re-emerged showing this true nature.

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Naturally, as I post this, the gloomy rain has returned… I can but wait for the flowers of May to follow.

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Well, this is a newly rediscovered and re-born website! Life has moved on quite a bit since my last post. 

I graduated from the Film Arts Program (which was a wonderful experience) and got a role in an independent film the following summer. We moved into a fantastic apartment right in the centre of downtown vancouver in the fall of ’07 where we have been ever since.

Recently, I signed with King Talent and got new headshots done by Kevin Clark. Hopefully I’ll be sent out for tons of auditions soon!

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Last fall I was accepted into Film Arts Program at Langara College. That link will take you to a page that describes the program. And I think you will see why I am thrilled to be working with this amazingly talented group. It runs from January to September. This is a fairly new course that grew out of Langara’s highly successful Theatre Arts – Studio 58 program.

In addition I am taking some online courses.

So my schedule is jammed until the fall. After that, I may be seeing some of you about a job or an audition. This blog is not really in service yet. If you are interested in my career, please go to my web site: http://www.morganballantyne.com

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Morgan as Gwendolen Fairfax

On Labour Day Weekend, The Tir na nOg Alumni Players of Bowen Island Presented The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde.

Directed by Jack & Julie Headley

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The Cast (in no particular order):

Algernon Moncrieff… Dan Cowper
John Worthing……… Christian Duntz
Miss Prism…………… Nicole Perry
Lady Bracknell……… Cimarron Ballantyne
Cecily Cardew………. Masae Day
Dr. Chasuble……….. Calder Stewart
Gwendolen Fairfax… Morgan Ballantyne
Lane………………….. Jack Headley
Merriman…………… Julie Headley

It was a pleasure, as always, to work with this cast. No one minded piling on rehearsals. At CCPA we performed small pieces each week, but it has been too long since I’ve had the opportunity to get into a full role. It’s also been a wonderful opportunity to use what I have learned in the past year. Thank-you to Christopher Weddell and Iris MacGregor Bannerman, you both were both in my mind.

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