Sunday, March 27, 2011

May The Farce Be With Him

I just got word that Roger Abbott passed away last night from a 14 year battle with leukemia. I'm in absolute shock. He had hidden his illness from everyone except his very closest friend Don Ferguson.

Roger & Don were part of the original troupe that created The Royal Canadian Air Farce in 1973, first airing as a radio program. It went to television in 1993 where Roger & Don continued as performers and also served as executive producers.

I was privileged to have worked on the show for its last 5 seasons, 2004 - 2008. I have many memories of Roger during my time on the show. The best thing about him was he took the time to know all of the production staff on a first name basis. I was actually shocked the first time he said, "Hello Paprika!" as I was scurrying past him down a hall to the studio. I stopped in my tracks and did a double take. I couldn't believe he knew my name, a lowly production assistant.

In 2005, I had interviewed for the position of Audience Coordinator with both Roger and Don. While I didn't get the job, I had left such a great impression on them that they decided to send me out to dinner to one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto. They gave me a $200 gift card to Alley Catz. It was absolutely unexpected and extremely flattering. Who can ever say they got a consolation prize for not getting a job?

When I lost my day job in 2009, I had phoned up the Air Farce offices to see if there was anything open. There wasn't, but Roger invited me to use the offices for resume printing, photocopying and faxing in my job search. He also let me do some of the odd administrative jobs that no one else had the time or inclination to do so that I could keep busy and not be going out of my mind at home. His kindness and generosity during that tough time in my life was a huge help to me both professionally and personally.

I have no words to describe how heart broken I am over the loss of Roger. Heaven certainly has another angel in its stables.

Thank you Roger.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck o' the Irish

My bus almost got creamed by a truck on the way in to work today. The truck was trying to avoid some sunglasses-wearing-coffee-sipping-BITCH who decided to randomly walk into oncoming traffic.

I gotta hand it to my bus driver, he stayed completely calm, cool and collected while the rest of us shrieked like piggies being sent to slaughter.

It's no wonder I had a pint of Guinness at lunch today.

Happy St. Paddy's y'all!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Birthday Again

As I was arriving to work yesterday, one of my managers happened to be coming in at the same time.

"Hey, it's a special day for you today!"

I stopped for a moment. What the heck was so special about March 8th?

"Oh, you mean International Women's Day!"


"Fat Tuesday?"

"'s the 8th...."

I still had no freaking clue what he was talking about.

"It's your birthday!"

Hahahahahaaaaaaa. OMG!!! I informed him my birthday was last month. On February 8th.

He turned a bright shade of red. And being the smart ass I am I then asked, "Did you get me a present?"

Turns out, he did. He came back to my desk a few minutes later with a beautiful gift bag and card.

The card was signed by him, the other manager and my big boss. "Happy (belated) Birthday Paprika! T, J & C" The "belated" had been added in with a different coloured pen.

And my gift was a lovely box of chocolates from Williams Chocolate in Whitby. He had told me about this place a couple months ago and I had jokingly asked him to get me some.

Wow. I was touched. Although he got the month wrong, he was thoughtful enough to get me a gift, and coordinate getting my other bosses to sign the card.

I thanked him profusely and told him how much it meant to me. He kept apologizing for getting the month wrong. I told him there's always next year. :)

I devoured half the box and then went around and shared with the rest of the people in my department. I told them the story and they thought the same thing - absolutely adorable and funny.

I took the rest of the box home for The Comedian. We had pancakes for dinner in honour of Fat Tuesday and then discussed what we should give up for Lent. We decided to give up candy.

And we fell asleep before we could polish off my birthday candy.

I hope they are still good come Easter!