Thursday, November 27, 2008

Instead of a real update ...

Stolen from Kiy. You're supposed to bold the things on the list that you have done. Lessee.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band if a high school and military concert band count
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain I've stood on the top of mountains but I've always gotten there by cable car, so I'm not sure I can bold this one
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies We call 'em Girl Guides, but it's the same thing
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in Arlington Cemetery
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House if by this they mean seen it from the outside; I've never been inside
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox At Christmas, no less!
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Urban Encounters

I've noticed a higher than usual percentage of people in the last few days who don't understand the universal "I don't want to talk to you" signals ... namely, if I am sitting on the bus or at a bus stop and I have iPod earbuds in my ears and am reading a book, I am not interested in having a conversation with random strangers. I don't mind exchanging "good morning"s or smiles, but beyond that I'd really rather read my book. And no, talking to you about what book I'm reading is not the same thing. I must have a friendly or unthreatening face or something, because I often have people approach me for directions, information, or just to have a friendly chat, even when I'm in an unfamiliar city. Two nights ago I was waiting for my bus home after work and a lady at the bus stop struck up a conversation about how it is the time of year when the buses start getting unreliable and as soon as the snow flies you won't be able to count on anything running on time and did I know what time it was because it was getting late and so on and so forth. I smiled and nodded and commiserated and checked my watch for her, all the while watching two of the three buses that service that stop pass by, exactly on time. Then my bus, the third of three, arrived (also on time) and I got on ... and realized she was still standing at the stop. So I don't know what bus she thought she was waiting for, but I don't think the unreliability of the buses was the biggest issue.

Yesterday morning on the bus the guy sitting next to me wanted to know what music I was listening to, and did I enjoy that kind of music, and he thought he should get an iPod and would I recommend them, and did I often listen to my iPod on the bus, and wasn't it getting cold, and he felt like we were the bad kids at the back of the classroom (we were sitting in the last row of seats on the bus) and on and on and on. I smiled and nodded and made non-committal "mmmmm" noises and avoided eye contact (not able to bring myself to actually be rude to someone who was just trying to be friendly), but he didn't get the hint. Sigh.

In other news, J and I did very much enjoy the production of Midsummer Night's Dream we saw last week. It was stunning visually, with lots of acrobatics and dance and vivid costuming. I have seen the play several times and studied it in university so I wasn't worried about following the story despite large chunks performed in other languages, but J wasn't familiar with the story so I was a bit worried about her. However, she said while she missed a few of the details she had no problem following what was happening, and it was kind of like going to the opera where even if you don't understand the language the picture being painted is more important. We are lucky to have such a wide variety of theatre in Ottawa (one of the reasons I chose to move here), and I'm really glad that J and I have subscribed to this series for the last two seasons. Some plays have been duds, sure, but I'm seeing a lot of very interesting theatre, and a lot of shows I wouldn't have bought tickets to on their own, but will see as part of the package.

It was a busy weekend, what with a dinner party at S&V's Friday night (very yummy Indian dishes and a cute baby to play with -- what could be better?), a performance by one of my choirs on Saturday night, and hosting the-always-a-blast girls' night on Sunday. As always, I am reminded that we have wonderful friends and are blessed to have so many people in our lives that we enjoy spending time with.

And now J and I are just in the beginning stages of planning a "girls' trip" to visit PetDoc and Noise in April. I just finished paying off the last one!!!

I know I always say this, but never a dull moment around here. And that's the way we like it.

Oh, and that music I was listening to on my iPod that I mentioned at the beginning of this post? Christmas music. I have a sickness.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday night musings

Why is it that I am 32 years old, living with the man I plan to marry, I'm working a good, stable job, I hold two university degrees, I have savings in the bank and a retirement fund ... and it's when we're making a trip to Costco that I really feel like a grown up??? So weird.

It's been a pretty quiet weekend, after the excitement of last weekend (my mom was up for a visit and we had tickets to Skate Canada which was hosted this year by fair Ottawa -- I have a blog entry half written on that subject but haven't had time to finish it yet ... hopefully this week!). Serdic and I did make our inaugural visit to the gym ... wow, I'm out of shape. And wimpy. But the first step of any journey is the hardest, right? I can report that I went shopping yesterday (I spent way too much money but I couldn't resist the cutest coat!) and am back down to my "normal" size after moving up one size a few months ago. So that's a good sign. Now the next step is to have a new "normal."

We had a fun evening on Thursday -- our last set of tickets in the Broadway series at the NAC was for Spamalot, which is described as "lovingly ripped off" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. What a hoot. I've never seen the movie, but I have seen a (highly illegal) video of the Broadway production (don't tell anyone!), plus I own the cast recording and have listened to it countless times, so I knew we were in for a rollicking good time. And it was. Very well performed by seasoned professionals, and it's hard to go wrong with that material! I was saying to Serdic as we were leaving that men like John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, etc. are funny enough on their own, but how lucky the world is that they found each other and were able to create the things they did together. Good times.

So now we're at the beginning of another week. This one is a little less normal than usual, as I'm off on Tuesday for Remembrance Day, and singing in a concert that night. I also have plans for every night this week, including seeing yet another play at the NAC on Thursday, this time with my friend J. Crazily enough we were supposed to it this past Thursday but, as the last paragraph states, Serdic and I already had tickets to Spamalot for that date. What are the chances that I would end up with tickets to two different productions at the NAC on the same night? Fortunately J was able to get our tickets changed. This is a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream which looks just fascinating -- it's an acting troupe from India and the performance will be in English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali and several other languages. Good thing I already know the basic plot!

And after Remembrance Day we can officially start the Christmas countdown. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't started my shopping already, and just today I picked up wrapping paper and cards at Costco. Woo hoo! My favourite time of the year, coming up. I wonder if I can wait until the end of the month to break out the music and decorations???