Alannah’s Posts

The Panty Dropper

So back in late August my roommate, Colette, and I were unpacking and she told me about this drink called “The Panty Dropper.” So we innocently made this alcoholic concoction not realizing that we would be very drunk after half a glass. Not like we got drunk enough off one innocent glass to start stripping, however we do now understand why some frat-boys created the drink in the first place. So today, a week before closing night of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” I will share this drink recipe with you. Yes, this is what I plan to drink not-so-classily out of very large mason jar on Saturday night. All actors out there will understand the magnitude of a closing night party. Arlie and I have shared many stories about our various closing night shenanigans. For those non theatre people out there, it’s the one night where we get very drunk and celebrate a job well done after 6 weeks of hell.

So “The Panty Dropper” sounds disgusting. But if you feel the need to get drunk fast, it’s a great way to go. This recipe is enough to make in an ice tea container.

“THE PANTY DROPPER”

Ingredients:

  • A 26 of vodka.
  • A case of beer.
  • 2 cans of frozen pink lemonade.
  • A lemon as garnish (totally optional).

Instructions:

  • Start by making lemonade. Except instead of using water, use the vodka. Yes that means you add around 4 cans full of vodka.
  • Once the vodka and lemonade concentrate mixture has been stirred together add the beer. When we first made this we used Molson Canadian, but I suggest maybe spending a little more and getting something a little better.
  • Add the beer to taste. Probably around 4 cans, you want enough beer so it makes the drink fizzy.
  • Cut up a lemon and add it into the drink for looks and to add some “fruity” taste.
  • Get drunk off “The Panty Dropper.”

Well, there you go. A new alcoholic drink for you to try.

– Alannah

1970s Dreaming

For those who don’t know this about me, I am a real life Drama Queen…well not really…but I am in the BFA program at the University of Victoria in the Phoenix Theatre apart of the Acting Specialization. Over the past six weeks I have been blessed to be apart of the fantastic company of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare. We open on Thursday at the Phoenix Theatre, apart of the University of Victoria (so for those of you reading this from places other then BC…get on a plane….Arlie I am looking at you!). So for this blog post I am going to shamelessly promote my show.

The director, Fran Gebhard, has placed the Bard’s “Dream” during the late 1970s in New York’s Central Park. The lovers (Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena) are preppy Upper East Siders with wealthy parents. Theseus is a Donald Trump like character with his exotic trophy fiance from Italy, Hippolyta. Hermia’s mother, Egeus (played by yours truly), is Theseus’ ex-wife and constantly looks fabulous onstage in Chanel (typically Egeus is played by a man and has no connection to Theseus…but this is way more fun). The rustics work for Theseus as carpenters, painters, welders and Bottom is the limo driver. The world of the Upper East Side is pristine. However, a darker world is soon to unfold once the lovers find themselves in Central Park. There we find Titania’s Coven of flower power children which contrast Oberon’s gang of punk rockers.

086a3cd9e2cd63c13f235232e27b4d03

Overall, I believe the show is going to be a great success! But then again I am pretty biased. The show runs between November 6-22. More information can be found here. You can call the Phoenix box office for tickets at (250) 721-8000 or you can check out the box office website for more information here.

6a3ec5544481ecec2c1f536506f5550c

Come out and see the show! You might even recognize the fantastic Levi Schneider (who plays Puck and pictured above in the poster) from I Can’t Keep A Straight Face.

– Alannah

Losing My Religion

Shana Tova! Happy New Year! It’s the year 5775 and once again I am going through the tradition of two days of celebration filled with apples and honey later followed by a day of fasting. If you haven’t guessed yet, I am Jewish. I was born into an interfaith family and my parents “converted “ me to Judaism at birth, as my mother is not Jewish. I grew up as a member of the Danforth Jewish Circle (DJC) in Toronto; a reform synagogue that hold services in Eastminister United Church. The ceremonies to ring out the New Year are always filled with love, celebration, and a lot of home cooking. Since moving to Victoria for university three years ago, I haven’t had the time to take part in the usual festivities. But it was more than a time issue; I simply did not want to try to find a new shul. However, this year I thought I would turn over a new leaf and actually go to High Holiday services. Yet for the first time in my twenty-one years I experienced culture shock in my own culture.

Tradition is a very important aspect to Judaism. It is perfectly represented in the opening number of “Fiddler on the Roof”—the tradition of going to shul and seeing your family and friends gather, the tradition of eating together, and the tradition of celebration and reflection. With that said, I also experience certain traditions that I looked forward to every year growing up. Like the tradition of sitting in the balcony with my best friend, Sophie, and texting to each other in our prayer books, the tradition of working in child care to “get out of” fasting, the tradition of listening to the choir sing but missing the rest of the services, the tradition of hearing the first cry of the shofar. All these activities intermingled to make the New Year so important to me. And these traditions are also intertwined with memories. The memory of seeing my proud father’s face the first year I stayed through all the High Holiday services and even fasted (this was the year after my Bat Mitzvah). The memory of drinking my first glass of Kosher wine. And the memory of my last High Holiday at the DJC when I was in grade 12.

I don’t know if it was the feeling of guilt for not partaking in my religion for the past three years, or the need to find new love and experiences in a city that I have felt so much rejection from in the past year, or the need to go to Musaf services to honor the memory of my Bubbie (who passed away in February) that fed my need to partake in High Holiday services this year. But something happened within me, and I had to honor the traditions of my religion.

So here I was on the evening of September 25. I found a shul online in Victoria that looked promising. A community centre encouraging anyone to come and celebrate the New Year. So I went to their evening Rosh Hashanah services with my “goyishe” friend Lindsay in tow: after all, holidays are also about sharing with friends! But I found myself at the most orthodox shul on Vancouver Island. For a girl who grew in a reform temple this was a very different experience—filled with traditions that I had never experienced before. The whole service was in Hebrew, the Rabbi spoke with a thick accent; he seemed the cookie cutter cutout of the perfect traditional orthodox Jewish Rabbi from central casting. Hearing the services through a language that I didn’t understand was a jarring experience. I had to rely on sheer muscle memory in order to follow along (thank goodness I have an actor’s memory!). I kept nervously glancing at my friend to gauge her her experience, and by the end of the night (the evening service for Rosh Hashana is only one hour long) I felt a strong mix of emotions. Firstly, I felt incredibly homesick. It was as if I understood how the Jews felt long ago. Those celebrating away from their home country for the first time. Or how my own family must have felt during their first High Holiday services in upstate New York after fleeing Europe during the Second World War. I felt a longing for home and all of its traditions that I haven’t felt before. Secondly, I was amazed by the differences in Judaism. This orthodox shul utilized a mechitza (a divider that segregated the sexes). It was something archaic that shocked me: I believe in men and women being equal in all respects, and certainly able to reflect and pray standing beside each other. But at the end of the day, the honey cake was made with love and care, the apple and honey tasted as sweet as always, and the sense of celebration hung in the air as people mingled during the Kaddish. The energy was the same although the traditions slightly different.

For Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services I went to a different shul, one closer to where I live and one where I could sit where I wanted. This time I went to a Conservative Egalitarian shul. Still filled with different traditions from what I have been used to, but some traditions felt closer to home. Another “goyishe” friend Tyler joined me and we both had a really great time. I think my first mistake a week previously was going into shul expecting to experience my usual traditions, only to find out that the shul was different and believed and carried out different traditions.

In the end, I am really happy that I was able to partake in High Holiday services in Victoria. However, I am making a pact with myself that from now on that I will try to go home for a portion of the holidays. Just like coming home for Christmas is so important to some people, I discovered this week that coming home for the High Holidays is really important to me. But most importantly this weekend I was able to honour the memory of my Bubbie so not only the DJC congregation remembered her this year, but so did a shul in Victoria.

I know this is an “unorthodox” (pun intended) piece for this kind of blog. But I felt the need to write this down somewhere. I need people to understand the significance of the High Holidays, a lesson that I needed to learn myself this year. Traditions are important. But sometimes you need a little change in your life in order to understand what is truly important to you. The year 5775 has barely begun and I have already learned a lot about myself through this experience.

– Alannah

True Canadian: The Ultimate Drinking Game

So for my roommate’s birthday last week we played True Canadian, a Canadian twist on the drinking game made popular by the Fox television series “New Girl.” In “New Girl” the game is called “True American.” It is a great game to play with A LOT of people and you get drunk REALLY fast. The Canadian twist involves drinking the most Canadian beer you can think of, that’s right, Molson Canadian. The game itself is kind of like Candyland for grownups. I highly suggest playing in four teams of two. We ended up playing with 4 teams of three and it was really chaotic.
My roommate Colette and I have been thinking up more mini-games. Personally, I think if six mini-games are decided, you could use a dice to determine which mini-game is played. That way the leader only has a few seconds to come up with an approach to the game.
Here is a link to the YouTube video of the “New Girl” gang playing True American:
There are many variations on this game. However, below are the rules that the fabulous Colette Habel wrote out and graciously gave to me to post. These are the rules we used in celebrating her birthday. The game lasted around an hour. You can easily play more than once (and get more drunk in the process) just make sure you have A LOT of beer!:
Supplies:
  • Many, MANY cans of Molson Canadian.
  • Box of Shame: the box the beers come in. May be graffitied with derogatory slogans such as: “Pierre Trudeau thinks I’m lame,” “I think Harper’s sexy” etc.
  • A bottle of hard liquor.
  • OPTIONAL: tacky souvenir Canadian shot glass/ Canadian University shot glass.
  • A large living room or basement with plenty of furniture.
  • Lots of friends.
  • Chill neighbours.
Set Up:
  • Arrange your living room furniture into a circular obstacle course. Test drive the course making sure you can easily travel from piece of furniture to piece of furniture without touching the floor or falling and dying.
  • Place a table in the centre of your obstacle course, and put the bottle of hard liquor (The Prime Minister) in the centre. Arrange your many many cans of Molson (Cabinet Members) in rows extending out from the Prime Minister. The number of rows will depend on how many teams you have playing the game.
  • Prepare yourself for greatness.

The Basics:

  1. The object of the game is to infiltrate Parliament and take a shot from the Prime Minister (bottle of hard liquor).
  2. The floor is lava. CANADIAN LAVA!
  3. Each team has a row of Cabinet Members (beers) that they must destroy (drink) to get to the Prime Minister.
  4. Each players starts on a province (piece of furniture) with on Cabinet Member (beer) in hand.
  5. There are four mini games that are played each round. The winners of each mini game get to drink some of their beer and move to a new province. If you lose, you must stay where you are and not touch your beer.
  6. A shotgun tipoff starts the game. The winner of the shotgun will be the first Speaker of the House and will choose the first game to be played. The turn order is then determined by the Speaker (ie. clockwise around the room, counter clockwise, in order of age, order of birthday, etc).
  7. You may not have more then one OPEN Cabinet Member in your hand, and you may not have more then two Cabinet Members in your hand. If you double-fist, you must wear the Box of Shame.
  8. You may only grab a new Cabinet Member from Parliament when you are close enough to; you may toss Cabinet Members to a teammate, as long as neither you nor the can touches the lava.
  9. When you are done your Cabinet Member, throw your empty can into the recycling bin. If you sink your can, you get a free chug from your new beer.
  10. If you fall off your space and into the lava, you must wear the Box of Shame until the next person touches the lava.
  11. At any point in the game, any player can yell “CBC” and everyone must yell “FLQ” and take a massive chug.

How to Win:

Once all your team’s Cabinet Members have been drunk, grab the Prime Minister and take a shot. You may only take the shot if you can reach Parliament without falling into the lava.

The Mini-Games:

  1. Do the Count: The leader will yell “DO THE COUNT” and all the players will put a number to their forehead between 1-5. If your number matches your teammates’ number, you win the round.
  2. Complete the Quote: The leader will begin a famous quote or saying and the other players must finish it. All players that correctly complete the quote win the round.
  3. Guess a Trait: The leader will name two people or objects that have something in common. All players that can correctly name what they have in common win the round.
  4. Trivia: The leader asks a trivia question about one of the other people in the room. All who correctly answer win the round. If you act like an asshole Canadian and ask a question that only your teammate knows, you must wear the Box of Shame.

P.S.:

Know you limit, stay within it.

 – Alannah

Vegan Granola Bars (feat. C.Habs)

Ever been really hungry and wanting a tasty afternoon snack? Hate overpriced granola bars? Well, my roommate Colette and I love tasty snacks and hate buying groceries so we decided to make our own VEGAN granola bars! And you know what, they were really great and easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Agave
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup Almond milk
  • 2 1/2 cup of five grain granola (we opted for low fat raspberry almond to make things more interesting)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp of melted Coconut oil
  • OPTIONAL: you can add frozen fruit! Like raspberries, or blueberries or strawberries etc! Since our granola came with raspberries we decided not to add this, but you can pretty much add whatever you want! Maybe even peanut butter or Nutella…I say this with Arlie in mind…

 

Me Mixing                        The Mixture

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Use a non-stick baking pan…or if you are using a glass Tupperware container like us…then line it with Pam or canola oil).
  3. On low, melt the coconut oil in a small pot on the stove. If you are like Colette and I and keep the applesauce in the fridge, then we advice also mixing in the applesauce on the stove once the coconut oil has melted. You do not want to add cold applesauce to hot coconut oil because then the coconut oil will go back to its hardened state (something I learned today…).
  4. Pour the applesauce and coconut oil mixture into a mixing bowl. Add in the cinnamon, agave, and almond milk. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients together. Once complete, add the granola.
  5. Mix the granola with the wet mixture until the granola is completely covered.
  6. If you wish to add in optional ingredients, make sure to gently fold them in. Fold until completely covered in the mixture.
  7. Put the completed mixture into a baking pan. Press in firmly.
  8. Cook at 350 degree F for 16-20 minutes. Let the bars cool to room temperature before enjoying.

 

VEGAN GRANOLA BARS!

VEGAN GRANOLA BARS!

 

 

 

BAM! I just did a recipe blog! Arlie should be proud!

(NOTE: Colette helped a lot…thank you to my wonderful roommate).

Puppy Love and Pee Pads

Hello everyone, Alannah here! So if you haven’t seen my bazillion posts on social media then this might be news to you. Anyway, I got a puppy! This is not my first pet however, when I was seven I brought home my dog, Marshmallow. She was a Bichon Frise and my sister in dog form growing up. Sadly, at the age of nine she was diagnosed with kidney and gasto-intestinal disease. She miraculously lived another three years before we had to put her down. Two years since, and I have brought home a brand new puppy! Her name is Hermia. The name comes from the Shakespeare play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” specifically from a line said about Hermia “though she be but little she is fierce!” The name is fitting for this little dog. She is a Chihuahua/Poodle mix and both her parents are toy sized. She is only six weeks old and I am so in love with her.

IMG_6196 IMG_6182

 

Since arriving back on the West Coast for school I have devoted the majority of my time to either getting ready to pick her up or being with her and trying to train her. House training has been a trial! Hermia REFUSES to pee on her pad. I have tried everything. So far, I spend most of my time running around my apartment with cleaning tools and cleaning up her messes. Yesterday was the worst. Hermia yet again pooed on the floor (once a dog mom, terminology about body functions is just normal). Afterward, she backed into it. Trying to stop her from walking all over the apartment with poop in her paws I tried to pick her up but in the process ended up stepping in her poo myself. It was hilarious, but rather annoying at the time.

I am not going to lie, having a new puppy is a big responsibility. I forgot how much work they can be. But the unconditional love they provide is so rewarding. I am an actor, my profession involves endless rejection and having a puppy makes it a little bit easier to handle. Also August was a hard month for me and I learned a big lesson in the process. I have too much love to give and I need to share that with someone who will love me unconditionally in return (queue the Katy Perry!).

With all that said, I am hoping to include some Hermia stories and dog DIY’s in future blog posts to come. One that has been helpful and very easy is taking canned pumpkin and putting it into ice cube tray and freezing it. Hermia LOVES it and it is totally helping with her diarrhea (yes…I just said that word on the internet…I am obviously a pet parent). There is also a lot that I am learning in this process and hope to share here. Raising a dog in the twenty-first century is a totally different experience then it was even ten years ago. There is so much to offer and so much research with respect to various kinds of dog diets (raw, kibble, homemade, baby food, wet, etc) to different kinds of medical approaches (on the West Coast there are alternative pet clinics. Imagine getting acupuncture for your dog!).

Anyway, Hermia is the new love in my life. She is so precious and cuddly and loving. I personally CANNOT WAIT for Auntie Arlie to meet her little niece.

 

IMG_6203