Thursday, August 27, 2009

Finally, an update

Well hello again!

So what have I been up to? The last time I graced your presence, I told you about my adventure to Kitchener. Since then, I've

  1. Spent time with my cousin, Patty, from New Brunswick. She came out for 6 days.
  2. We went to see Macbeth starring Colm Feore. Was really good. Set in the 60's in Africa. All that colonialism jazz, Macbeth is white, Lady M is black. I liked it. Would go again.
  3. Visited my bestie Michaela in Thornhill (near Toronto). I only got two days (one night) with her, and I was happy to take it. She's currently in the process of driving/moving to Yellowknife, so I wanted to go before she met the great white north. We went to an asian market and got yummy sushi for dinner, and we watched tv, and went to Walmart so I could help her pick out knitting things, and the next day I helped her pack (sort of...I hope I was more help tha hinderance). I also met her "mother-in-law figure," a person I'd heard so much about. I pictured she'd be a lot like Bette Midler - loud and proud....but not so....
  4. Came home from Thornhill and did the Ontario Corn Maze with my cousin in record time. We only had a couple of hours before she needed to leave to get on her plane back to NB, so we hustled. And we made it out in exactly 50 mins. The average time is an hour to an hour 1/2. I won't reveal the shape of the maze to protect those who might soon traverse it.
  5. Worked a little. ugh. Not my favourite of things.
  6. Went to see A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the Avon theatre. meh. It was OK, but the lead role was performed by the understudy and it lacked something. The original actor (Bruce Dow) I guess was ill...but ill in a way that they know he's not coming back, so they have lined up Sean Cullen to replace him for the duration of the run of the show beginning in September. So I caught it in the middle period. And the understudy just didn't have the pull...the theatrical gravity...that I would have wanted from him. So I might just have to go again to see Sean Cullen. Maybe it that both Bruce and Sean are "fat guys" and the understudy is a lot trimmer...just doesn't take up the same theatre space and fill it well enough. I dunno.

L. Bruce Dow as Pseudolus in Stratford. R. Sean Cullen.

See, they're of similar build. Big people make funnier comedians, I think.

I've also been painting closets, scanning through oodles of old old postcards (friends, beware), and mom says I need to tackle the stamp collection soon. Some of you might end up with a lot of 5 cent stamps on your letters. They're not worth much to keep, really.

I also went to the St. Jacobs farmer's market today. I did a killing in cheap, fresh produce. Apples, grapes, peppers, spinach, organic corn/light rye bread, strawberries....and a few more things I can't remember. real tasty. OH! and I bought an eggplant. Tonight I'm going to try grilled eggplant with basil and some cheese. I'll have leftover EP, so lemme know if you have a recipe for 1/2 of one. All good stuff. I'm really glad I went. But I always like going. In comparison, the Kamloops farmer's market is kids' stuff. This one is huge. I only spent time looking at the produce stuff, and I was there for 2 hours! There are several barns and the main barn is two stories! It's about a 1/2 hour's drive away, so we can't go all the time. But, the apple fritters are worth the drive, and we go to that stand first. They basically cut an apple into slices (cored, the slices look like little CD's) and fry it in dough, then cinnamon and sugar. Because they'res always a line, you always get them handed to you still too hot to eat right away. Amazingly good. I have a deep fryer back in Kamloops, and I just might try making them. *drool*


I didn't tell you about attending my very first buck-and-doe party! Here's a photo of me and the bride:
Her name was Bronwinn. I walked in and I was like "Hi, I need to buy a ticket to get in. I've never been to a B&D....could you point out the bride so I can say hello and feel less bad about crashing"....and the girl at the door was like "she's standing right beside you!" ahha.

For those who don't know, a Buck and Doe party is basically like a big drunken dance party for a couple getting married. Well, not always drunken because some people opt to have theirs a family affair (but maybe it's an "age of majority" party after 10 or something), but anyway...So they put on this big party and advertise it in the newspapers, and everyone is pretty much invited. The plan is to throw a party in hopes of raising some money for the wedding itself, or for the honeymoon. Apparently, at a good one you can raise $4k. Not bad. So I went! and I went alone!

As it turns out, a friend of my mum's was there with her hubby and she introduced me to everyone and showed me the ropes. She got the DJ to play me a song (it was a Lady Gaga song) since it was my first time. There weren't a ton of people there because it's wedding season and people have already been to a bunch. From what I hear, the winter ones are door crashing since there isn't much else to do!

One of the things they did to raise $$$ was do a toonie toss. Stand at the line and toss $2 coins at a large bottle of Jack Daniels. Closest to the bottle wins it. The juice was donated.

Made friends. I'm friggin awesome. These girls are sisters.

Another fundraiser: buy tickets and put them in your favourite door prize to win it. This guy, Jake, was really effin drunk. He ended up winning this gem: a dual deep fryer and crock pot, so you can make hot wings at the same time you're cooking your french fries. yum. He could barely hold it up for me to take this picture. But mum's friend sais he was harmless, and she's known him for years. Once she said she came home and found Jake curled up on one of her carpets. He got drunk and couldn't find his way home or something, lol. He was nice. Asked for my

The B&D pig. Story goes that a group of friends stole it while on a stop during a stag party. They were mini golfing. The pig was pilfered. So now, the pig gets passed on every time another person in that group of friends gets married. The deal is that you have to keep the pig until the next wedding. The couple before them had to keep it a month. These poor blokes have to keep it until next October...I suggested seasonal dress!

That's all for now! bye!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

PaArty like a Rock Star!

My ears are still ringing. Shouldda brought ear plugs.

Actually, one of the best places - I though - to listen to the music was from here:

It's the club's ladies' washroom. Slathered in thick pink plaster and dotted with dozens of chunks of mirror, it was under the stairs, almost right underneath the stage. But I couldn't stay there -mostly because it was a bathroom....

But anyway...

I drove the 30 minutes from Millbank to downtown Kitchener to go to this (was it a CD release party?) gig at the -

After trying forever and nearly getting lost in Kitchener, and having to maneuver the giant Buick LeSabre, I managed to find a parking spot. pheuf.

So I walked around a little bit because the gig was supposed to start at 9, and it was quarter to, and it's never a good thing to come early because there's nobody around, and these things often start late.

When I went in, sat at the bar and ordered my one drink for the night (since I had to drive home and I barely knew where I was anyway). And I asked if I could go up to the patio upstairs. Yes. But I had to put my drink into a plastic cup. fine. The bartender led me up the stairs (coz I didn't know how to get upstairs, the stairs were slightly behind the stage), and I had the whole patio to myself. Kinda nice.

And then about 10 minutes later, a guy comes up onto the patio. He looks like he works there. His name is "Ace." He's shaved bald with a goatee. Says this place is his backyard....he needed and job, so they let him work there. mmk. I don't mind talking to him. We talk about me being a nurse, and other random-ism's. Then he asks me to tell him, seriously, what I think his age is. I tell him "well, since we've been talking, you've mentioned at least being 25 years old, and that something has happened at least 8 years since then, so I'd put you at your mid 30's...." slight jaw drop. "Oh, well, you're quite observant...thanks for yor honesty..I'm 40." mmk. then he goes on to tell me how there are "certain" ladies who frequent the bar who like to butter him up....

And then the bar guy (owner?) comes upstairs and there's a trade-off. Obviously, kind of ick, but they're friendly, so I don't mind.

Oh, I didn't mention that when Ace came upstairs, he says "oh, so you're the girl from BC". Stunned, I realize that the bartender told him I was up here after I showed him my ID after ordering my beer. *eye roll*

(FYI, they never had a chance, baby)

But later, after Ace comes and trades off again with the bar guy, the bar guy yells up to the balcony that the show's about to start (an hour late). So I go down.

First gig is Extinct or Alive. My ears burn. They seem young, or at least one of the guitarists is. He's wearing a real baggy tshirt and his ball cap on backwards. They tell us their CD release party is next week. cool. I'm sitting at the bar on a stool, next to (insert South American name here). Seems nice, though I can see he's not here for the music. Just likes to hang around bars. The bartender gave him the remote to the TV and he switches between baseball and a special on ABC about tornadoes. He sees a commercial for G.I. Joe. Asks if I've seen it. Then asks if I want to see it...with him. I tell him "I don't know what my boyfriend would think about that." oh, dang I imagine he's thinking. meh.

Next act...Derive (with an accent on the first e). More loud, but more polished. me = tapping to the music. Ears more hurt.

Just after this band finishes, I go to see what swag these bands have to offer. I figure I'd like to support local music, and since the profits from the compilation album they're peddling go to a local charity that supports music education, I buy one. And so begins my introduction to the band members of the DGB. They play last. All blond guys with long hair. haha. One guy gets up from his seat at the table and offers it to me. They're pretty cool guys. I'm pretty much lame. meh. They seem to enjoy my company. I bought three of their band's buttons (each one has a different one of their faces on it. I stick the buttons next to Barak Obama on my bag). Cool. I'm "in" with a band. Maybe. But they're good company and I'm here all by myself, so I'm happy. Plus, they're younger than 40. One's a mailman, one works at CanTire, and one works for a construction company (owned by his parents.) The 'construction company' won't let him have the time off to tour in western Canada later this year. Lame.

Don't remember what this guy's name is, but....
This guy is David Greer, the namesake of the DGB (david greer band).

So I'm sitting at the table by the door, and the next act is the Yage Letters. Now, pretty much the reason why I came to this gig was to stalk (of sorts) a friend I went to Jr. High with 10 years ago. I got a random facebook invite, so I thought I'd go, just for S&G. This whole night, I'd seen him and I recognized him from his fbook pictures, but frankly I felt weird thinking I'd just walk up and be like "oh you remember me?" so I actually didn't go up and say hi....even though there were only like 20 people in the bar. meh. But anyway, he was in the Yage Letters. 4 guitars and drums....and no vocals. Pretty cool actually. Good music. By now, my ears actually hurt, though.

I wonder if I've accumulated any real hearing damage. meh.

Yage finishes. I'm still sitting near the door and have met lots of the other musicians, and Andrew (old friend) keeps walking by taking his stuff out to the band van. I wonder if he recognizes me because he doesn't say hi. hmm. So I mention this to one of the guys I'm sitting with...and he stops him. Andrew's like "oh yea, I know her, we go waaaaaay back" and then continues on. He doesn't much ask what's happening or "hey, thanks for coming"...and even the guy I'm sitting with was like "so that's weird, I'd be more excited, or at least say hi....but I guess that's Andrew.."

So that part was kind of lame. So I'm glad I had a good time otherwise.

To tell you the truth, I wasn't epecting much. I just thought it would be an adventure either way. And anyway, I was friends with him-ish, and in Jr. High, he wrote a song about me...behind my the tune of a Blink-182 song. It wasn't nice. I figured that was through....but meh.

I stayed to listen to the DGB. But my ears hurt so much that I had to go outside to listen. I felt bad because they were so nice and they asked me to promise I wouldn't ditch before they played. ears bleeding. so loud. But I did listen from outside.

By the end of their set, it's 2am. I'm exhausted, and I have to figure out how to get back home according to the google maps directions I'd written out.

Figuring out east and west is so much harder when you don't have a valley or an ocean (like Van or BC) to reference things to. I got lost a bunch of times, and went the wrong way on a highway, and took a couple of wrong exits, but in the end I got home safe. At 3am.

Me so tired. It's the next day and I'm still exhausted. I guess it didn't help that I'd been awake since 530 in the morning because I was at work!

So that was my adventure.

Extinct or Alive
Frankie's Song (Non-profit organization)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Task for the day: organize and label the coin collection in prep for the auction.

tons and tons of coins. I found a 25 cent bill - Canadian - from the thirties. But there's also a fair chunk of change that you wonder why so much was kept because a lot of the dates are still in circulation. And there are dozens and dozens of the same coins from Canada's Centennial year. Sure, they're kind of special, but there are at least two mint/never circulated or opened collections of the set, and to have dozens of a coin that I find in my change is kind of silly to be checking for dates and categorizing and hoping to sell at auction.


I found this coin.

Apparently, someone gave it to my grandpa when he was in Europe during the war. I figure that it would be bad karma to sell it just yet. I don't know if you can read it, but it says "Britannia" at the top, and "1797" at the bottom. A keeper. Or, mom says maybe a keeper for another 50 years until I really need money and then sell it for a high price to a collector...

I might just keep it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Night Out!

Last night I went to see Rice Boy, a new play by a local guy, at the Studio Theatre in Stratford. Let me recount the details of my adventure:

Left for Stratford at about 530 for the 8 o'clock show. I like to go early so I can walk around a look at things.

Ate a small dinner at Bentley's restaurant and pub. Parsley and Pineapple soup with Greek pasta salad. mmm.

While eating dinner, glanced up to see Eric - actor Jenni and I accosted after seeing West Side Story a few weeks ago - but only briefly. Still...

Walked around towards the theatre. Bought a pen from the theatre's gift shop. Used it to update my journal. Nice pen.

Found my seat in the theatre. Nice space. I'd never seen a production in that theatre, so it was nice to finally get to know it. The stage space was about as big as that at the TRU theatre, but more seats- and the seats are stacked really high up.

My seat mate is a woman names Eleanor. We chatted for a while before the show. Turns out, she's a retired theatre teacher from New York City. omg. She's really nice. She's only in Stratford for 6 days, and is seeing 2 plays a day, plus on on Sunday before she has to go back to Florida where she lives to be closer to her daughter. She said she'd get to Manhattan at least a few times a week, and she misses being there a lot. duh. So we kibbitz about what shows we're both seeing, and how much we like being here.

Show Starts. Good show. A little complicated to explain, but an Indo-Canadian dad and son (mom died a few years ago) having a rough time in Canada go back to India for a while to be with the family. Things turn out imperfect but ok.

about 1/2 way through the first act, I see that an usher has had to attend to an audience member. Because the space is so small, it's quite distracting. I figure maybe her headphones aren't working (they give those to people who have hearing difficulties). Then, two ushers come. More distraction...

...Then all of a sudden a woman in all black with a headset walks into the theatre and right onto the stage. It took a second before I realized that she wasn't an actor. But as she walked on, the lights came up. "We apologize, but we have to pause this performance". ???. And they escort an elderly gentleman out of the theatre. I assume he must have been having chest pain or something for them to warrant stopping the show. But a few ushers helped him walk down the stairs, across the front of the stage (that's the only way in and out), and out towards the lobby. I hope things turned out o.k. for him. eek. That was the first time I'd been party to a production needing to be halted midway through!

Show continued smoothly. After, more chatting with Eleanor. It was nice of her to say so, and it totally made my day since I already admired her, but we parted with her saying "I wish there were more people like you coming to the theatre". I assume she meant young people who were passionate about live theatre. Whatever it was, it was nice, since it was coming from someone who's around theatre types all the time.

Left the theatre. Didn't feel like going home yet, so walked to Othello's pub next door. Took about three hours to have a rum/coke and a fuzzy navel. Did some writing and some knitting in the almost totally empty pub - it was a Tuesday night after all. When I'm 1/2 way through the Navel, this gangsta looking young black guy swaggers into the pub. He belines for me. uugh. I hope he's not drunk or on drugs right now. I don't have any money, and now I can't leave in case he's trying to cop a ride...I think. He's got droopy eyelids and talks with a slurr. He's also a little slow on the uptake. But he seems nice. After he's tried to get me to buy a copy of his CD, and asked me about my shoes, and what my name is and where I'm from (I'm vague, and say my name is "Sam"), finally the bartender, Brad, comes over. While this guy is writing down the name of a website I should visit, I mouth is he ok? to him.

Oh, I forgot to mention, this guy's name is Bailsey. He introduces himself, and I can't understand, so he spells it, but spells it wrong the first time.

But apparently "Bails" - as everyone calls him - is "cool." He plays drums, and often plays gigs in local pubs around town. He's just a bit slow. But Brad (bartender), says then that I must not be from around town because everyone knows Bails. haha. And just as I'm leaving, the remaining waitress (it's 1230 by then) mentions it's cold, and suggests she might close the giant patio doors. She turns, and Bailsey is already doing it for them.

So I go home, feeling pretty good. I talked to Brad for a bit, and find out that he's "just" a bartender for now, but won't be forever. He's pretty much here in Stratford to be close to the theatre. I mention that I'd just seen Rice Boy, and he wanted the deets, since one of the main characters kept coming into the pub and was always talking about the show, so he wanted to go. It was a good show, and I told him that.

I left, and Brad said he'd be happy to have me darken the pub's door late on another Tuesday night.

A pretty good day.

Here's proof of knitting while at a bar. That's a Fuzzy Navel.

This is Brad the bartender. Bails wanted to take a picture, but I suggested he ask Brad first. Here's how it went:
Bails: Hey Brad!
Brad: looks over
Bails: CLICK
Brad: I thought you were going to ask me first...

This is the Infamous Bailsey. Take from it what you will, but please disregard the fact that my mug is also in this picture.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Getting Back to Business

In about 10 minutes (or whenever I finish this post) I'm going to go to the gym.

I haven't been in a week.

I'm not feeling motivated. For two months I was going an average of 5 times a week. I think that's pretty good. But, aside from some minor achievements, I don't feel yet like it's anything I can see. Maybe a bigger shoulder muscle. I mean, I can now run 3 km's, which I can't remember ever running before, but I wish all that work (and I did work. I sweat so hard every time) would at least show up a little more. I suppose it's probably true when they say that most of the effort is in what you eat, and it's tough when you live so close to Amish baked goods, but still. I wish I could see more results for all the work I'm putting in.

So this is why I'm unmotivated to go back after a week "off." I mean, what's the point, right? It's not like I look much better...maybe I do, it's just there's nobody I've seen that can see the "before & after"....the only other person who's seen me, really, is my mom, but she's been with me the whole time so she probably can't see much of a difference anyway. So I'm all blah. Why work so hard? Besides the fact that it's "good" for you? And it's not like I was going the 3 times per week that my gym routine suggests (when I started going, the trainer created a routine just for me) - I'm going 5 times average. But I always try for 6. grrr.

And it's whenever I finish this blog post that I have to drag myself there. So maybe I'll just keep writing on and on for a while to drag it out.

I thought I was motivated before. I'm a natural born competitor, so I was always trying to best myself. I didn't just put in the minimum when I was there. I'm now able to bench press (though, really with two 30lb free weights) 60lbs. I'm pretty happy about that. And every time I go, I add on at least a couple more reps. In my mind, there's no going back, or stagnating. Always moving forward. But why keep causing pain if all the results I'm going to get are just me knowing I'm doing good. I realize that I'm never going to have rock hard abs and rippling muscles, but a little give in that direction would be nice. Blah. I'm not expecting magic. I just want a return on my effort. I've got another month or so left on this summer membership. I'm 2/3 of the way through. Do you think that there will be a week when things start to show up? Coz if I have to got to the gym 5 days a week for the rest of my life to look "moderately decent," then I'm out. I'll cut my losses.


Post done.

Time to get 'a running.

double ugh.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Blog to Follow

After much admiration for someone who could actually follow all of the recipes in Julia Child's cookbook for a year (after discovering this through the magic of cinematic previews), I thought I would go ahead and read this woman's blog. It's rather fun.

I've posted the link on the side bar. She didn't start it until late August of 2002, so it's too early to read one of her postings a day, but who cares.

I like that there's so much use for butter!

You know, I don't mind cooking, but I sometimes wish I had a passion for it the way others do. I mean, I like to cook a meal, but I don't know if I can see myself strapped to the kitchen every night....but who knows...
Romans 8, 28:31

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Of Service

Things I'm glad I was able to do for my grandpa:

I came to Ontario without really knowing if I'd get regular work, but wanting just to be able to work at Knollcrest where he lived. I wanted to come back for one more summer and help him feel more comfortable.

I sat with him at meals and helped him to eat when he could no longer feed himself

Mum and I (and later Aunt Mary) sat with him every single evening for dinner (on my days off from work) and we usually stayed for 3 or 4 hours to keep him company

I was able to advocate for him when I worried about the quality of the nursing care he was receiving. I also helped mom and Mary to advocate for when I wasn't around. And in many ways, we were successful. I'm glad I could do that for him.

When he died, we rushed to the care home. Mom and Mary waited outside the room, but I wanted to be able to help the other care aides clean him and fluff his pillow and tuck him into bed just right.

I decided then, on the Sunday night, to knit him the socks. I'm exhausted from several late knitting nights (followed by stressful days), but I'm so happy that I was able to give them to him.

At the funeral, I did a reading for him. It was a good one, though it was asked of me rather spontaneously, so I can't remember the verses. Will post later.

I was a Pallbearer. Unfortunately, when you live to 102, there aren't many young people/friends around. So I offered to help. I helped carry his casket into the church, and again out and into the Herse, and then to his final resting place. When he was little, he would carry me. Now it would be my turn to carry him. It was only natural to help especially considering how few able bodied men were in attendance.

He was a good man, and he did a lot for so many people. I wanted to make sure that someone gave something back, and I did it in the ways that I knew I could.

A Good Pair

So it took a lot of hours and two nights of staying up far longer than comfortable (like, to 4am), but I managed to knit a pair of socks in 4 days so that my grandfather could have them. I had always meant to knit him a pair, and I had started a few attempts but never managed to complete them. So, when he died on Sunday, I decided that I would do at least that for him. Here they are.

These are a pair of socks that nobody will ever touch except grandpa and me. I used the green wool that a friend of mine brought back for me from Ireland (where he was originally from) to sew in the words " [heart] U Grandpa" and GPSS, which are the first initials of each of his grandchildren. I sure hope that they fit. I know he used to have large feet, but in the last few years they seemed much smaller...But they're all his, and I hope they keep his feet cozy in heaven.

I had a really good grandpa. I met him when he was in his eighties. Many people die then, but I got to share another 23 years with him, and that was a gift in itself. As far as I'm concerned, it's like he lived two lifetimes. But after that, I'm sure anyone would want a rest.

Thanks to everyone who has offered their well-wishes. It means a lot to me to hear from you, and be reminded about how much love there is circling around.