Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Taxi!

Oh, the places I go!

When I woke up this morning, my friend texted me and asked what my plans were for today. "Sleeping. Also, fending off an impending cold. Cleaning, and maybe meeting a friend for coffee. Tough day."

I sure didn't expect how it turned out! I didn't sleep in much - I wanted to make sure I looked decent (read: wearing pants) when the gentleman from the developmental disabilities came to pick up our gently used items for donation. Then, I didn't meet my friend for coffee - we went for lunch at the Banana Leaf instead and he introduced me to his new GF. While dining on delicious malaysian cuisine, he got a message requesting he come back to work to move some things around. Generally, I would find this kind of detour not very fun, except this was my pilot friend from way back, and his task was to taxi an airplane around at YVR.

Now, we didn't have to go far, but I did have to wear something of a visitor's badge and I did get to sit in the cockpit of the airplane while we rolled around!

I knew today would be a great day to wear my aviator sunglasses!

I had my friend drop me off at Granville Island where I picked up my hallowe'en pumpkin, and I'm getting ready to head to ballroom dance class tonight!

What a day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paradise



The new Coldplay album is out today, and I celebrated by stealing their music. So to make up for it, I'm going to share their video for the song "Paradise." I love this elephant. I especially like his bicycle, and the idea of an elephant hiding under and airplane seat and sneaking peanuts!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Banana Rama!

My gorgeous neighbour Nad ate a banana and Mike tried to kiss him. I have a big crush on him. He is soooo huge.

Tonight, Tonight

Tonight (or rather, it was this afternoon) I went to see the vancouevr Symphony Orchestra's production of West Side Story. Originally I wasn't terribly interested because I thought it being an Opera performance it wouldn't have any of the real theatrical elements that make WSS so wonderful (the dancing, for instance). Once I learned that it would be a full-scale production, I was totally on board. Plus, I lucked out, and I managed to snag the most perfect seat - exactly in the middle, about 5 rows back. Perfect. I could see 'em sweat!

At first, I wasn't sure about the show. I'd seen it before at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and it was thrilling, so this show had a lot to live up to. Personally, I found some of the dancing a bit heavy, and the lovely lady who played Maria sang beautifully, but was a little too operatic for my taste and it didn't seem to balance well with Tony's tone.

But then came Act II. Things got more intense and more exciting! It really was this song (in the video below) that caught me - Gee Officer Krupke.
 
 

I've said it before - theatre makes me feel good - and I mean it. I left the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with such a rush! Of course, then there's the moment when you come crashing down again and you realize that it's over and you have to go back to your 'old' life, but the high was totally worth it.

I think I'm an addict, for real...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Getting to know me!

Since we've come back from the Honeymoon, I've been working on getting to know "me" better, and doing soul-food things! One of those things was going to see Keith Urban in concert (at the very last minute! I bought the tickets at 2pm for an 8pm concert, but the arena's in the neighbourhood, so it was no biggie). Here's what I came away with...

pretty cool tour set

Russell Crowe showed up and played, too!
we lucked out and he played THIS close to us! I could see him sweat!
Keith donned a canucks jersey, too!
 It was a pretty wicked concert. Plus one of the Sedin twins was there, and Russell Crowe made a surprise appearance! I even wore my cowgirl hat..

And then of course, there was my trip to Quesnel to visit Tori! We got into plenty of trouble alone the way, including during our visit to the Dollarama:

Angel L: Oh no! My eye fell out! Angel R: Eww! *barf*  
 Also, we went on the Little People Walk around town. We didn't hit up quite all of the stops, but we had fun with the ones we did meet!
Me and the Boy Scout (#5). Pledging while crossing my fingers, naturally.

Horsing around with the Rodeo Clown (#6)

Riding the BX Cook (#2). I think he enjoyed it, by the looks of things
On my second night in Quesnel, I was determined to help my friend get friendly with her kitchen. Too bad the oven didn't work and we had to take our meal to a friend's home to finish up!

She made her first pie - yay!

Clockwise: Roast chicken, care of Safeway. Stuffing. Steamed beets, garlic mashed potatoes, and the apple pie!

On the last day, Tori was at work, so her sister and I hit up the local museum, where we met up with Mandy, the haunted Doll. After we took this picture, we saw the sign asking that we not take pictures of her. Oops. What I found spookier about her was that at the back of her glass case was a mirror, and I kept catching a glimpse of the mannequin on the other side of the room in it, but since I was moving, it looked like something was moving behind Mandy! ooooo...
Mandy's cool. She's buddies with Montel Williams.  

 Here's some more about Mandy!
We were bored at a cafe later, and cartooned.

The Hallowe'en Preview!

Betcha can't guess who I'm going out for Hallowe'en as!

Monday, October 3, 2011

September - Thailand and Bali

I'm on it...just give me a minute!

August - the Honeymoon bits!

After an insanely just-right wedding, Mike and I jet-setted off on our 5 week Honemoon through South-East Asia. I wrote meticulous journal entries which I don't have with me tonight, but I did bring along some photos and a general remembering!

Through to the end of August we travelled through Vietnam and Laos.

In Vietnam, we learned how to cross the street, swam in the South China Sea at Nha Trang, visited the Mud Baths, entered the Forbidden Purple City, crawled through the Cu Chi tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City, had clothes made in a day in Hoi An (they're still on the slow-boat to Canada, but they make me giddy when I think about 'em!) and took the first of our four night trains. We practiced our haggling skills, and our mental math for conversion (though I quickly resorted to using my human calculator, Mike). We also sweat a helluva lot!
Wearing our new conical hats for a biking tour. Dashing!

heading into the tunnels! They're a bit larger once you get inside...but so effing hot in there!

Mud baths in Nha Trang!
video

Laos was a much smaller country with few cities. While the capital city - Vientiene - seemed very modern, we also stayed in a town that only just received power lines in the last year! We found it a much more peaceful country, though. Not nearly as bustling and chaotic as Vietnam. The downside, though, was that the roads were shit and I got carsick every time we got on a bus...which was every day.


buddhas abound!

giving ahlms to monks at 6am. Party because I'd been given a bad fortune at a temple, and party because I'd never given ahlms to a monks before. It was sticky rice, and it was hot!

lookout point in Laos. It's not that far down (like, 5ft) I'm somewhere nearby trying not to be sick from the car ride.

August - the Wedding Bits

So, here we are in August! The first two weeks were wedding filled! we wrote cheques and paid visits and put a lot of miles on our rental car. I was so stupendously happy to have so many family members in attendance - I can't even describe it. Even though they'd all returned their rsvp's, I was still shocked at how many of my East Coast family members came. My dad's family has so many members that I'm sure they've been to plenty of weddings, and none of them were way out west! Truly, I felt thankful to have so much love and family around.

me and dad waiting at the back of the church - I was early!

a pretty little ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral

Our First Kiss!

The birdseed was tossed rougher than expected.

kissin' in the street!

aren't we a lovely bidal party?

Lovelier. I even love that Daver's a Jambon.

Kissin' on a hilltop!

just chillin out. whatev's

Hog!

cuttting the cake with the McB sword...

...it's tradition!
more kissing!

Eeeef, I love pie.



Harper Mountain decor. Mostly handmade.

the photo-booth was a hit!
The wedding went exactly as I'd planned. Exactly. I dunno. I don't think I've ever planned something that turned out to be so satisfying. When I reflect, all I can remember is that it was just exactly right. The music I'd only dreamt I couldhave played at the ceremony turned out to be exacty the right timing, the church wasn't nearly as hot as I'd thought it would be, my hairdresser pulled magic out of his hat without so much as a consultation, my bridesmaids were beautiful, the groomsmen were comical, the food was delicious, the dancing was fun, the Pie was divine, and I snagged the man of my dreams! a great day!

July





I barely remember July. I went to Theatre Under the Stars, continued my volunteer work at Bard, rode what was supposed to be the Empress 2816 steam engine, attended the Jericho Beach Folk Festival, and continued the frenzied wedding planning. I also took a stab at being nurse-in-charge on the busy kids unit. Let's just say that I don't remember getting a lot of sleep in July.

 The ride on the Empress made for a great, relaxing day, though. My friend Andy and his wife and son came with me (I had four tickets and no takers for the other three for a good long time) for the day-long trip that included a ride to Port Moody on the train from downtown, and a cruise-type boat ride back. They even provided us with sandwiches on the boat. The weather couldn't have been better, too. With so much rain in Vancouver in July, that Saturday was prefectly sunny. What I wasn't happy about was that my whole reason for entering to win the tickets was to ride the steam engine. Once we arrived, I realized instantly that the engine was missing, and replaced with a mid-century diesel engine. The Steamer was broken, and being repaired in Calgary, I was told. Damn. But it was a fun day, anyway. Plus I got to hang out with the cutest little dude I've seen in a long time!

Empress engine on its way to Port Moody

This July, I headed to my "first" folk fest. I was adament to go, and bought a full weekend pass so I could take it all in at my leisure. Actually, waiting at the bus stop on the saturday night I mentioned it was my first and the lady next to me touched me on the shoulder and said "ooo, I gotta touch you-  you're a folkie virgin!"
The weather was utter crap, but I stuck it out like many others ove the weekend. I donned the rubber boots, raincoat and umbrella, and wandered the park for hours. I felt like it was heaven for the ADD kind of gal because you could go to one stage and listen to the act for a few songs, but then wander only a few feet away and get distacted by the act on another stage! They were all great, and I ended up buying a few CD's before the weekend was out. I especially liked Graveyard Train, though there were many more I can't remember the names of.

the pond at Jericho was lit up all firey-like at night and I couldn't resist!

On Sunday, Mike came with me, and we stayed until dark. There was a really cool lantern parade! I wish I knew how to make one of these babies because they were brilliant!

video

Like I said, July was the month of frenzied wedding arrangements. There came a time when I realized I needed help, even if it was mostly moral support. My mother came for a visit near the end of the month to help me work on the wedding dress which was driving me crazy. At the end she was adament that she wasn't much help, but when you're in  a tizzy it's nice to have someone else around (Thanks, mom!)
Mom wanted to make sure we had a photo of me sewind the dress - hard at work!

The dress did get finished, though not that weekend. I'm just happy to know that I've got family who'll drive for 5 hours to help me out.
I just wanted to show off my gobe-carrot harvest! yay me!


June

June was a bustling month!

Amidst wedding planning and work, I went to see the musical Wicked, plus I saw Hairspray at the Arts Cub Theatre - twice, I attended my stagette in Kamloops, I started volunteering at Bard on the Beach and I took in all that Vancouver Stanley Cup Hockey had to offer - the parties and the riots!

Wicked was my Christmas gift from Mike, and it was totally worth the price of admission. I generally like theatre where I can peek through the seams of the show, but this show had great production value. They put magic up on stage!

Hairspray I saw twice because the gentleman playing Edna Turnblad had something of a small stroke and had to take time off. His replacement was a good friend of mine, and my former director for Anne of Green Gables, Andy Toth. He now also runs a theatre company in Vancouver for young people - Awkward Stage Productions. Originally, I had opening night seats to the show, but when the Original Edna (OE) was ill, I had my tickets changed. Then, on the radio that same day I heard Andy would be stepping up and happily paid for an extra full-price ticket (though I always go for the cheap seats right at the front $29...and I love it because I can see the actors sweat - literally!) to see him play. What was even better was that though he was the understudy, he wasnt involved in the rehearsals, and so had to learn the entire show including dancing and songs in TWO DAYS. Brilliant. He was fantastic. And I didn't even know it, but I had seats to his opening night, too. I brought him man-flowers (a nice bottle of beer), and when I met him briefly after the show he gave me his number so we could hang out again later.

Ok. so when I say he's a good friend, I mean that in the 6 years since Anne, we've spoken only a few times, and he was still supportive, though we weren't terribly close. Frankly, when I came to hairpray, I wasn't sure that he'd recognize me. Did I blog about this? I think I did...But after I saw him, I did meet him and his fam for tea, and I offered him the other three tickets I'd won from CN to ride the Empress steam engine a few weeks later.

I won't go on about my stagette or the Stanley Cup riots much. The stagette isn't for Mike to read about anyway, and the riots are pretty well documented. What I will say, though, is that the Stag was plenty of fun (Thanks, T...It felt good to know I had friends around!), and the riots were a sad end to what generally was a good party. After our third win in the Finals, I went out for a walk. People were filling the streets of downtown, and everyone seemed in a great mood! High fives abound, it was fun to be able to walk to Robson and Granville, where you could berely walk - people were so crowded into the space!

these dudes kindly let me carry ther cup for a while...
 And like I said, I started volunteering at Bard on the Beach. While it was torture to know that theatre was happening only a few feet from me and I couldn't partake, I was happy just being that close. Plus the concession snacks were good. I also learned a new bike route around the city, and I got pretty good at passing over the Granville bridge!

Also in May...

Camping in Stanley park!

I don't know that I mentioned this before, but in the spring I realized I needed a little bit of social, non-work related activity in my life! In one instance, I opted to volunteer for the Stanley Park Ecology Society's Urban Camping program. Kids from urban schools come with their classes to camp outside for a night in the park. They learn about wildlife and sustainability and earth-friendly things. My job was to help the camp leader in teaching the kids to set up their tents and cook their supper. Due to park regulations, fires weren't permitted so all cooking was done on Coleman camp stoves at one of the picnic areas and we couldn't have a campfire, but I think the kids had fun anyway! There were a number of kids who'd never slept outside, and so sleeping in a tent was adventurous enough for them.

I made a promise to myself to make sure any child of mine knows how to navigate a tent and a camp ground.

Most of the nights I camped (it ended up being only two due to my work schedule, and my birthday, and my stagette) it rained on us, but I had a great time and I'd do it again next year! I'd also recommend this volunteer activity to others. Most of the volunteers were senior highschool students looking for credits, but the SPEC was a great place to get to know, plus they gave me a pass to see the pre-screening shows of Theatre Under the Stars in July!

May

waaaaay back in May, I turned 25. The quarter century. There wasn't much I wanted to get for a birthday present, but I was definitely going a little stir-bugs crazy being in the city all the time. We don't have a car to get out of our neighbourhood often, so I asked that we rent a car and go on a little adventure for a day!

We'd scoped out a basic route with Google maps, but we took a few extra detours. First up on the list: Castle Fun Park in Abbotsford. This wasn't on my go-to list, but I was up for adventure. Mike really wanted to play ski-ball mostly! It was fun, and we came away with huge prizes! (three lollipops)


The Othello Tunnels were next. Old train tunnels, now without tracks, run for several hundres meters and you can take a walk down them if you're keen. It was a couple hours' drive to get there (they're near Hope), and so we (Mike and Meg and I) were happy to stretch our legs despite the light drizzling rain.
  
Mike and I between the rocks!
Some friendly travellers offered to take our picture
Alas. They were under construction. We snuck past the not-so-secure security fence though to take a few photos.



Meg and I 3m inside the first tunnels. Aren't we rebellious?




  
After a little fun in the outdoors, we headed to Harrison, BC, for their hotsprings! To be honest, we had no idea where the actual hot springs were, but we ended up at a community pool where the water was just the right temp. We pulled out the new waterproof camera to test its durability. It works great!
smells like ham in here!

The day was a great success. Went to a few brand new places, ate some good food (who knew smoked salmon jerkey from someplace other than Costco was yummy?!), and shared some fun with good people. Yay for being 25!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Prep Work

Ok, friends in Blog-land -

I'm sitting in front my my computer at 8:25am, eating an onion bagel with garlic and chive cream cheese from Solley's Jewish Bagelry that's still piping hot from their ovens (Mike, there are more on the stove in the brown paper bag, and I made sure to get extra cinnamon-raisin for you). It's delicious.

Why am I telling you this? Well, it's because I just biked home from night shift #1 this week. The air was pretty brisk and woke me from the night shuft stupor, and I've decided to put some select photos onto a flash drive while I wind down so I can blog all about them during my shift tonight!

Yay!