Mochanopoly


Hey blog world! I love to play board games. They are a great way to challenge your mind and have fun with your friends! I have a vast collection of games at home and play them often with my friends and family. That’s why I was so excited when I heard that Mochanopoly was opening up downtown! Mochanopoly is a board game café. You can go in and for 2.50 an hour you can sit and play board games and have snacks too! I’d been anxious to try it out since it’s opening and today I finally had my chance! I hadn’t seen my Best Buddy Allison in ages due to her being super busy with school and work. I was very excited when I found out she was free this weekend! I jumped at the chance to ask her to hang out. I proposed the idea of Mochanopoly and she thought it sounded like lots of fun so off we went!

For those of you unfamiliar with Best Buddies, it’s a non-profit organization that pairs students (in my chapters case, students at MUN) like Allison with individuals like me who have special needs and we hang out together! I love being part of that program! Allison is such a wonderful person and is lots of fun to hang out with. For more information, or to join the program (which I highly reccommend you do) click here

Going back to Mochanopoly, as soon as I went in I saw a case of baked goods. Cheesecake slices, cookies, brownies! My mouth watered! It all looked so delicious! I was starving because I hadn’t eaten lunch yet and couldn’t wait to try something! When I sat down at our table and looked at the menu, I contemplated cheesecake but I thought it would be wiser to have one of their sandwitches. I opted for the grilled cheese. To. Die. For! It was the best grilled cheese I’d ever tasted!!! The cheese was a blend of Havarti and American and there were tomatos in it too. It was so cheesy, melty and absolute heaven! It came with a side of homemade kettle chips. They were addicting! I think Allison and I were paying more attention to them than Exploding Kittens LOL! Absolute 10/10! I highly reccommend ordering this!

Allison let me choose the first game. I knew right away what I wanted to play. Exploding Kittens!! It’s a super fun card game that I discovered at my Church youth group. We play it almost every Friday night. It’s a lot like Russian Roulette in that you draw cards and pray that you don’t hit an exploding kitten. If you do and you are unarmed (no diffuse card), you’re screwed! You blow up and are out of the game.

This was Allison’s first time playing. She did really good for her first try! She even won once! I was happy for her. We both had a lot of fun playing, though both of us really need a pair of “nope vision goggles”! The “Nope” card allows us to stop the other player from doing what they’re doing. We kept doing cruel stuff like attacking each other for example and the person being attacked would forget they had a nope card! I took poor Allison’s only diffuse card because she forgot to use her nope when I played a pair of picture cards which allowed me to pick a card from her hand. That cost her the game because she soon turned up an exploding kitten and had no way of defending herself. I felt kind of bad for doing that. At least she didn’t mind too much and had fun.

After three rounds of Exploding Kittens, I let her pick a game. I went with her to the shelves to see what they had (I didn’t pay much attention to what was around when I took the Kittens box) and was amazed by their selection! Such a wide variety of board games! I saw a ton of “Cards Against Humanity” (think “Apples to Apples” for grown ups), “Codename” (a fun code cracking game), “Jenga” and even “Quelf” (a hillarious board game that makes you do silly stunts!) Allison decided upon “Scrabble”, a classic and one of my favorites. I won this game too! I got a lot of the letters worth more points (Q’s and K’s for example) and hit a lot of the double and triple word and letter score tiles.

Our final game was “Battleship”. This one came really close! It started off a bit slowly because at first Allison was getting only misses but eventually she started getting hits and we were each very quickly sinking each other’s ships. The ending was a real nail biter! We were neck and neck! We each had one ship remaining so it was anybody’s game. In an epic battle of “shooting in the dark” as Allison put it, we tried desperately to find that essential, final ship and sink it. After trying hard for a good few minutes, I finally struck Allison’s ship! It was only a matter of time before I had the game. Allison tried but struggled to find my last one (located at the coordinates C9 and 10). I sunk her ship before she found mine! Though happy I won, I’m not a sore looser. I was very happy for and proud of Allison! It was such a close game and she nearly had me! A few of her misses were really close by my final ship! I congratulated her on a job well done. I made sure to do this at the end of each game we played today.

I had a wonderful afternoon with Allison and plan on coming back to Mochanopoly very soon. I’ll bring a few friends with me next time. It was fun with two but think it will be even better with a group. If you want to check out Mochanopoly, they are located at 204 Water Street in Downtown St. John’s. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

Leah

Advertisements

Musical Theater Songs You Must Hear Before You Die


Hey blog world! Browsing through Facebook, I came across this article on BuzzFeed. Being the Broadway obsessed person that I am, I thought I would do my own version of that list. Here is my list of Broadway songs you absolutely must listen to before you die!

“Ring of Keys” – “Fun Home

“Can you hear my heart saying hi? In this whole luncheonette, why am I the only one who sees you’re beautiful… no, handsome.”

 

“Suddenly Seymour” – “Litle Shop of Horrors”

“Suddenly Seymour is standing beside you. You don’t need no makeup, don’t have to pretend. Suddenly Seymour is here to provide you with sweet understanding. Seymour’s your friend.”

 

“Somewhere That’s Green” – “Little Shop of Horrors”

“I’m his December bride, he’s father, he knows best. The kids play “Howdy Doody” as the sun sets in the west. A picture out of Better Homes & Gardens magazine. Far from Skid Row, I dream we’ll go somewhere that’s green.”

“Maybe” – “Annie”

“Maybe they’re strict, as straight as a line, don’t really care as long as they’re mine. So maybe now this prayer’s the last one of its kind. Won’t you please come get your baby, maybe?”

“Defying Gravity” – “Wicked”

“So if you care to find me, look to the Western sky! As someone told me lately, everyone deserves the chance to fly!”

“Seasons of Love” – “Rent”

“525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes, how do you measure, measure a year?”

“I Believe” – “Book of Mormon”

“I believe that the Lord God created the universe. I believe that he sent his only son to die for all my sins, and I believe that ancient Jews built boats and sailed to America! I am a Mormon, and a Mormon just believes!”

“Anything Can Happen” – “Mary Poppins”

“If you reach for the stars all you get are the stars, but we’ve found a whole new spin! If you reach for the heavens, you get the stars thrown in!”

“Gethsemene” – “Jesus Christ Superstar”

“I only want to say, if there is a way, take this cup away from me, for I don’t want to taste it’s poison.”

“Memory” – “Cats”

“Memory, turn your face to the moonlight. Let your memory lead you. Open up, enter in. If you find there, the meaning of what happiness is, then a new life will begin.”

 

“If You Were Gay” – “Avenue Q”

“If you were queer, I’d still be here, year after year, because you’re dear to me! And I know that you would accept me too if I told you today “Hey, guess what?! I’m gay!” but I’m not gay.”

“For Good” – “Wicked”

“Whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend.”

“Being Alive” – “Company”

“Somebody crowd me with love, somebody force me to care. Somebody make me come through, I’ll always be there as frightened as you to help us survive being alive!”

“I Can Live With That” – “I Love Y0u, You’re Perfect, Now Change”

“I often think of those I miss. Friends keep dying but I grow strong. Sometimes I have to reminisce. Still does hurt, just not as long.”

“Epilogue” – “Les Misérables”

“For the wretched of the earth, there is a flame that never dies! Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise!”

“Bring Him Home” – “Les Misérables”

“You can take, you can give. Let him be, let him live. If I die, let me die. Let him live! Bring him home!”

“His Name Is Lancelot” – “Spamalot”

“His name is Lancelot and in tight pants a lot, he likes to dance a lot!”

“Naughty” – “Matilda”

“Even if you’re little you can do a lot! You mustn’t let a little thing like little stop you.”

“Cell Block Tango” – “Chicago”

“He ran into my knife 10 times!”

“Alone in the Universe” – “Seussical”

“I have wings and I can fly around the moon and far beyond the sky! Someday soon, I know there you’ll be, one small voice in the universe, one true friend in the universe who believes in me.”

“All I Ask Of You” – “Phantom of the Opera”

“Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime. Say the word and I will follow you. Share each day with me, each night, each morning. Say you love me, you know I do. Love me, that’s all I ask of you.”

“One Day More” – “Les Misérables”

“One day to a new beginning! Raise the flag of freedom high! Every man will be a king! There’s a new world for the winning. Do you hear the people sing?”

“I Could Have Danced All Night” – “My Fair Lady”

“I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night, and still have begged for more. I could have spread my wings and done a thousand things I’ve never done before.”

“Tomorrow” – “Annie”

“The sun’ll come out tomorrow so ya gotta hang on till tomorrow, come what may! Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow. You’re only a day away!”

“Any Dream Will Do” – “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

“I wore my coat, with golden lining, bright colors shining, wonderful and new. And in the east, the dawn was breaking, and the world was waking. Any dream will do.”

“Time Warp” – “Rocky Horror Picture Show”

“With a bit of a mind flip, you’re into the time slip and nothing will ever be the same. You’re spaced out on sensation, like you’re under sedation! Let’s do the time warp again!”

What would you add to this list? Tell me in the comments!

Leah

The Pantry


Hey blog world! Today was a great day! I started a mentorship at The Pantry, a small café inside of the Elaine Dobbin Center for Autism. For the next 8 weeks I’ll be coming in and job shadowing in the kitchen!

When I first came in I met Colin, one of the kitchen staff who like me is Autistic. We talked about our weekends. He’s a really nice guy. I like him a lot and am sure I will enjoy working with him.

Soon, Brenda, the manager came in and gave me my first task, making guacamole. I had never done that before because I don’t like avocado. It tastes waxy! Ew! Anyway, Brenda guided me through the process, how to cut the avocado, use the food processor, etc, and I had fun making it! I however did not have fun tasting it! Brenda asked me to try a spoonful and I was not pleased with the taste. It was like I was eating a lemon scented candle! It tasted of wax and lemon! I won’t be eating it again.

A little later, Brenda and I went shopping. We went to Costco for groceries. Usually it’s really packed there but this morning there weren’t many people! I liked that. The aisles weren’t crowded and we had no wait in the checkout!

During the drive there and back, Brenda and I talked to each other about all kinds of things! Music, love, food, school, etc. It was great telling her about myself and learning about her.

When we got back, after putting everything away we did a bit more cooking. I helped her assemble fish cakes. That was my favourite thing I did today. I love touchy-feely sensory activities. Digging around in raw macaroni (not only does this feel good on the hands, it’s also very relaxing. I recommend you try it!) making meatballs, playing with sand, anything that stimulates my sense of touch. I really enjoyed digging  into the fish mixture and rolling it around in my hands, forming it into fish cakes. It felt really cool!

I polished and sorted lots of silverware today too, just like I used to do at Spirit. I don’t know what it is about it but I find sorting things relaxing. I really enjoyed that task.

My final task of the day was chopping lemons into slices to put on glasses. Once that was done I couldn’t believe that my shift was! Time certainly flies when you’re having fun! 

I had a great first day at The Pantry and look forward to coming back next week. I wonder what’s in store?

Leah

Money doesn’t buy happiness (but it does buy theatre tickets and that’s pretty close)


Hey blog world! When it comes to spending money I’m not like Madonna. By that I mean I’m no material girl. It’s rare when I spend money on a material thing. Every now and then I’ll buy a book, sock monkey (I collect them) or a movie but not often.

Material things are fun for a little while but eventually I’ll get bored with whatever it is and it will be sent to the dark recess of my closest or underneath my bed to collect dust. I’d much rather spend on experiences and make lasting memories and friendships and fill my scrapbook and autograph book. I have so many stories to tell about the cool people I’ve met and the amazing stuff I’ve seen and done!

My favorite place to shop is a box office. I’m a HUGE fan of musical theater and we have an incredible local arts scene in Newfoundland! There is always something going on and you can bet that I’m there taking it in! I’ve been to literally almost every production that’s been performed! My favorites were “Mary Poppins”, “Annie” (done by Peter MacDonald Productions. I would have loved to but didn’t get the chance to take in Theater St. Johns’ production), “Avenue Q”, “Les Misérables”, “Spamalot” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. When a theatre company announces that they are going to reveal their production(s) for the year soon, I can’t sleep the night before the big reveal! My mind races all night with a million possibilities and hopes of what it will be! When morning comes, it’s like Christmas morning for me! I excitedly run to the computer to check the theatre company’s Facebook page and see what’s in store.

Musical theater is such a breathtaking and magical experience! I’ll never forget the mesmerizing moment I watched Erin Winsor fly across the Arts and Culture Center stage as Mary Poppins, the mind blowing 80’s explosion that was “His Name Is Lancelot” in “Spamalot”, the heartwarming plot twist at the end of “Grinch Dressing & Gravy” or the time Peter MacDonald’s wig fell off during “Welcome To The 60’s” in a production of “Hairspray” (he was playing Edna)!

I’ve met some of my closest friends through local theater. Our local performers are the nicest people ever! They are part of the select few neurotypical (“normal”) people who accept me. I feel so blessed to have this community of people who see my true colors . To all my very special theater friends I have this to say “You’ll be with me like a hand print on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend.”

I’ve gotten to go backstage several times after the shows. It’s always so much fun to go back there and see my friends! My favorite backstage experience was “Jesus Christ Superstar” in March. Justin Nurse, who played Jesus took my boyfriend and I on a backstage tour. It was so cool! We got to see some of the props, take in the view from the stage (which was amazing) and see the dressing rooms! Admittedly I’m very directionally challenged when it comes to being backstage! I swear if I had a dollar for every time I’ve gotten lost in the bowels of the Arts and Culture Center I’d have enough to restore the Masonic Temple! I quite enjoyed getting lost backstage after Spamalot though. When my friend Linda and I saw the show, my friend Dana said we could go backstage. We got lost on the way there and back!!! We asked for directions to get backstage and shagged them up! I knew we should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque! Every door we tried lead us back into the auditorium. Eventually we found our way and had a great time chatting with my friends in the show. Once we were done saying hi to my friends we got lost on the way out too! We wound up onstage! That was lots of fun! We goofed around and pretended we were in the show! If you’re reading this Arts and Culture Center employees, please consider making a map so next time I get invited backstage I can find my way to the dressing rooms to see my friends and then find my way back out. Thanks!

I find it sad that in today’s society a lot of people are obsessed with stuff. They need to have the coolest, newest, best thing. Say no to stuff! Get tickets to a musical and make lasting memories and fill your photo album instead of filling your closet with stuff that you don’t use anymore and will eventually forget about!

Leah

Winter Spirit


Hey blog world! Today was an emotional day. It was my last day of my winter work term in heaven (Spirit of Newfoundland)! Out of all of them, this one was the most magical and dazlious work term because of the Christmas season. Christmas makes everything more magical!

There were many things I loved about working this season. The main thing was being with my 2nd family again! I love everyone at Spirit! They are kind, funny, compassionate and all around the most wonderful people ever!

I also loved sometimes getting to hear the Christmas luncheon before I left. I got off at 1:00, around that time the luncheon started. Sometimes my dad would be a little late picking me up and so I’d sit in the Screech Room and listen to Peter and Shelley sing! They have absolutely beautiful voices!

The highlight of my day was always chatting with Blaine the custodian. As I folded napkins in the Screech Room, he’d have his coffee break in there and we’d chat. We’d talk about all kinds of things! Sports, the news, music, etc.

One day, I sat with Boomer, the drummer at Spirit during my break. Funniest half hour of my life! Boomer told me jokes and sang parodies and I nearly died laughing! He’s cracked (the Newfoundland term for foolish)! I really like him.

I was assigned to do coat check as the guests were coming in for the luncheons. That was one of my favourite tasks! I really enjoyed interacting with the guests.

On the last day of the luncheon, the staff were all treated to it! Thanks Paul (the general manager)! It was lovely breaking bread with my 2nd family and getting to enjoy Peter and Shelley’s singing! The best part of that day was singing with Peter and Shelley! I got to sing my favourite carol “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and explain to the audience my emotional connection to him. We were both born extra special (him with a red nose and me with Aspergers and Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum) and ridiculed because of our differences. It warms my heart and makes me so emotional at the end when he gets to guide the sleigh and is finally accepted and loved for who he is! I wish that me and all others with special needs could be too!

As I said, today was my last day. It was very eventful! It started with hanging out with my nephew! My nephew Lincoln and his parents (my sister and brother in-law) are visiting from Australia and they dropped me off at work today. We got there a little early so I could show them the Temple and hang out with Lincoln a bit before my shift. The little munchkin had lots of fun exploring! His favorite thing in the Temple is the piano in the Screech Room. I think I’ve got a future Bill Brennan on my hands! Both times he’s visited me at work he went straight for the piano and had the biggest smile on his face as he experimented with the keys and made music! It’s the cutest thing ever to watch! One day, I bet he’ll be up on stage at Spirit playing the keyboard. Here’s a picture I took with him and my brother in-law today

My first task of the day was silverware polishing. As I did this, I danced and sang along with the radio (my favourite station Coast 101.1 was on!) After that, I did inventory.

After completing my final task (writing a Facebook post about Spirit’s upcomming shows), as always I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. That’s it. My last task of my last day is done.

Peter arrived just before I started writing the Facebook post. Once I had it complete, he said he wanted to talk to me. He wasn’t wearing his usual contageous smile and that worried me. He said he had bad news. Uh-oh! I didn’t know where this was going to go and I felt very nervous. As his Christmas gift, I gave him a box of “Open When” letters, letters for him to open on various different occasions (“Open When You’re Bored”, “Open When You Need A Hug”, “Open When You Want A Night Away From The Kitchen” etc). He told me that he couldn’t find them. He’d been praying to St. Anthony (“Dear St. Anthony come around, something’s lost that must be found.”), had the cast of the Christmas show scouring the building looking for them, absolutely no luck! I worked hard on them and was sad they were lost. Thankfully, St. Anthony did come around today! Peter brought me backstage to help him look and within seconds of going back there, on the floor I saw the green box with a purple lid that contained his letters!!! Both of us heaved a sigh of relief! I’m so happy that we found it! Peter is too. Now that he’s got it back, I can’t wait to see what he thinks each time he opens a letter! I put a lot of thought and heart into each one and hope he likes them! He’s opening one tonight with the cast of the Christmas show (“Open When It’s Closing Night”)! I’m excited to hear what they think of it!

I said my goodbyes and gave hugs to Kara, Paul and Peter, then went into the kitchen to do the same with Alex. As always, this part of the day was very emotional. I was trying hard not to cry. I  even said goodbye to the Temple. I walked down a few stairs, turned and looked back at the Temple and blew it a kiss

Thank you Peter, Paul and Kathie (my three amazing bosses) for having me back this season and thank you everyone else at Spirit for being you! You’re the best co-workers ever! “Whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend.” I can’t wait to see you all on Saturday when Glen and I see “ABBA: Gotta Get The Scoop” and I look forward to returning to work this summer!

Leah