Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BBQ Fever

It's that time of year. All across the country BBQs are getting hauled out of storage and fired up. A friend commented recently as she arrived for movie night that our "entire neighbourhood smells like BBQ." It's one of the rituals of summer, I guess. There's just nothing that says summer quite like the smell of grilling meat and charcoal. Yum. We've certainly been invited to several parties recently that centered around food grilled on the BBQ, and thoroughly enjoyed each one. This past weekend both of my choirs had their end of season parties (fortunately on different days!), and we were particularly lucky in that the weather cleared for a couple of days. It rained every day last week and both parties were in doubt for a little while, but it was beautiful all weekend. The rain started again last night and today is grey and blah, but we had two days of sunshine, which is exactly how you like a weekend to be.

This year Serdic and I have joined the ranks of Those With Barbeques, as we inherited PetDoc and Noise's BBQ when they moved. Before we both lived in apartments where we weren't allowed to have them, but in the new place according to our landlord if we placed the BBQ in one specific corner of our deck, it met the codes and regulations. I have to say, we are enjoying it immensely. Serdic already has grand plans for all the different things he is going to try to cook on it -- I suspect our stove won't be turned on again until Thanksgiving! That is not a complaint, btw. ;-)

In other news, this past weekend would have been my Grandma's 94th birthday. I remembered her by going and getting the brightest pink plant I could find (pink is a colour I will always associate with her) and putting it in the basket that held the grandchildren's floral tribute at her funeral. It is currently brightening our dining room table and it makes me smile every time I see it and think of her. Happy Birthday, Grandma. You are missed.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

So it's Friday the 13th, which didn't even occur to me until I just got an email from a friend that referenced it. I'm not all that superstitious (about this, anyway) so the date doesn't bother me. As a matter of fact, I'm kind of fond of Friday the 13ths, having been born on one. Someone told me once that people who are born on Friday the 13th are supposed to have good luck on that date instead of bad, but I can't say that my luck has been any better on Friday the 13th compared to other days -- but it hasn't been any worse, either!

I've had a couple of emails from people asking if I'm feeling better after my self-pitying down in the dumps post of last week. The answer, of course, is yes, much. It's been a nice, relaxing week. Serdic and I had date night on Tuesday and took in a movie (Prince Caspian), I got together with some friends on Wednesday for pizza and beer, and last night I sat and did absolutely nothing. It was perfect. This weekend is looking pretty relaxing, too -- only one engagement, my friend C's annual Lobsterfest on Saturday night. Considering neither Serdic nor I eat lobster it seems a little silly to be going, but there will be lots of other food to enjoy and, more importantly, great company and music and laughter.

I guess my big news since yesterday is that we booked our trip to visit PetDoc and Noise in London in September. I am so excited! We're going for ten days and I already can't wait. We've decided to sneak a side trip to Edinburgh in there in the middle, and other than that we're going to bum around London and see what there is to see. I'm particularly looking forward to getting to know PetDoc and Noise's neighbourhood, so I can picture them in it when I hear about their adventures.

So, yes, lots of good things going on. I hope everyone has something fun planned for the weekend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sing, Sing a Song

I am going to try this embed a video thing. Bear with me.

This is one of my choirs rehearsing a piece we recently commissioned from a very well known and respected Canadian composer. I still find it hard to believe sometimes that I am part of a group that performs at this level.

This video was taken shortly before we performed a concert on Sunday. Readers who live in Ottawa may recall how hot and humid it was in this fair city on Sunday. The church in which we were performing might charitably be termed an oven. I will refer you to the video to see our standard concert dress -- long sleeved black shirts, black skirts or slacks, closed toe black shoes. Sweltering, is the word. It's the only time I have sung in a concert where the director has said "I want you take water bottles on stage with you, and I want you to drink from them between movements."

All that said, the concert went smashingly well. We had a full house and the music was wonderful. This was a joint concert with another Ottawa choir and we were performing a Requiem that a local composer wrote for her son, who tragically passed away from cancer about a decade ago. The concert was a fundraiser for a palliative care home named after the composer's son. It was a great honour to perform with her (she played piano) and it was a good challenge for us as a choir, performing a multi-movement lengthy piece, with another choir. In the first half we performed a number of other pieces, including the one in the video linked above.

So now both choirs are done for another season. I'm looking forward to having my weeknights to myself for a little while, although I know by September I'll be chomping at the bit to get back into it. The next concert coming up for me is one I don't have to sing in -- my beloved Great Big Sea boys are coming to Ottawa in July!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Funks of June

You've heard of the Ides of March, right? Well, I feel like I'm in the Funks of June. No particular reason, really, just been in a bit of a funk lately and not sure how to get out of it. I think it's a combination of a) having to say goodbye to PetDoc and Noise last weekend (wow, that was hard, no matter how excited I am for them), b) my complete inability to say no to anything, therefore packing my weekly schedule way too tightly, and c) a few little stresses in a couple of areas (work and one of my choirs, mostly) that have come together to just make me feel exhausted and blue. I'm finding it harder and harder to get out of bed in the mornings, and most days I feel like I'm just slogging through to the end. It'll pass, it's not like it's the first time I've overextended myself and needed some down time to recover, but I'll admit to feeling a bit blah these days. Once I get through this weekend (scheduled events include a yard sale, helping my friend J move, a party for a colleague's wedding anniversary, singing in a concert, and a choir executive meeting!), things should calm down a little bit. One can hope, anyway!

There are, of course, lots of good things going on. I always kind of feel when I whine about being too busy with good things and friends and family and music and laughter and all the rest that Chandler Bing is going to pop out and say "yes, yes, your wallet doesn't hold all your fifties and your diamond shoes are too tight."

For example, we had a lovely baby shower for my friend H on Sunday. I think she was very touched and pleased and we had a great afternoon with friends. I gave her a selection of children's books, of course. *grin* My friends in general are one of my life's greatest blessings, so it was really nice to take the time to celebrate this happy event in H's life.

I guess the biggest news is PetDoc and Noise's move. They are settled in in London now, and starting to explore the city and all the adventures it holds for them. PetDoc is doing an awesome job of sharing the details on her blog, so check it out. I miss them dreadfully already, but I'm so excited for them (and, yes, more than a little jealous!). Today is also their wedding anniversary -- I can't believe it's been four years already! So happy anniversary to them. Serdic and I have to get cracking on booking our trip to visit them in September -- I think their vacancy calendar is filling up at an alarming rate!

So, as always, things are hopping around Casa Double S. It keeps us out of trouble at any rate, right?