Thursday, September 27, 2012

My journey to see Journey

So I bought these tickets months ago and I only found someone to go with at the last minute. Thanks Nicole! But honestly... Who wouldn't want to see Loverboy, Pat Benatar and Journey all together on one bill? I mean really! It would have been a steal at half the price. Three bands of my childhood together? They weren't even my favourites but they were played all through my youth that I couldn't help but want to go.

I don't want to bore you if you're not interested (remember my Wicked post?) but I have to go on about it just for a bit. Let me start with the opening act, Loverboy. Pretty short set and I have to say quite unintentionally hilarious. The lead singer Mike Reno has not aged well and could barely move across the stage. In fact, he seemed to be using the mike stand as a cane for much of the performance. Poor guy looked a bit like a pot bellied middle aged dad doing karaoke. The only times he moved from his spot was to get a drink which I'm sure was laced with Pepto and not bourbon like the old days. And I think he may have taken a huff out of an oxygen tank at one point. He wore a bandanna and sunglasses and at the end of his set he wrung out that sweaty square of cloth and threw it into the audience. In the old days that would have caused a riot but everyone in my section let out an audible "EWWWW!" We sure have grown up.

Pat Benatar was next. Holy hell, she was good. She had great rapport with the crowd and told us a lot about the songs before she sang them. Her husband has been her guitarist and she delighted in telling us many times that they were married 34 years. In that industry she may as well said 340. Incredible. She looked young and gorgeous and could still hit the high notes. I knew many more of her songs than the other 2 bands so I enjoyed her the most. I'll never forget learning the choreography to the Love is a Battlefield video and dancing in Kathy's basement.

Last was Journey. I knew going in that Steve Perry the lead singer wasn't with the band anymore but I had no idea who would be taking his place. Wow, was I ever surprised and impressed with the guy they chose. And how did they choose him, you ask? Fricking YouTube. Unbelievable. And was it ever nice to have someone who could jump around and hit the high notes. So much energy. Plus, I have 2 more words for you: Confetti cannon. Here's the band explaining how they found him: So in all, the concert was excellent. My throat is sore, my legs ache and I am happy. What else do you want for $65? kxx

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

At 2:01 today I...

Was trying to figure out how to get Google Maps back onto my iPod after their latest "update" took it away from me (as well as YouTube but I got that back too). After about 20 minutes of faffing about I finally figured it out so I'm happy again.

If you're anything like me, you get lost (a lot) and rely on maps and gps for everything even getting around your own city to places you only go infrequently.

Here are a couple of getting lost stories. I have tons of them but these illustrate my ineptitude perfectly:

I had to go to Toys R Us and I got there with no problem but in telling the story later I likened the aisles to being like a game of piñata where you are spun around and around. When I got out I drove for kilometres in the exact wrong direction until I realised I was going east rather than west.

Then there was the time I was going to pick up Scott at work. I was a pretty new driver at the time so I kinda freaked when I got to the exit and wasn't aggressive enough to cut in. I zoomed past the exit thinking I could just take the next one and turn back onto the highway but you know when you make plans and God laughs? I had to call Scott from the airport to tell him I'd be late. Very.

What happens most often is that I can never remember how to get somewhere I only go once or twice a year. My mind is too chock full of other things like the name of the doctor from the Love Boat (Dr. Adam Bricker played by Bernie Kopell) or the exact number of cast-on stitches I need to knit a perfect hat (72). I can't have the directions to the Rideau Canoe Club taking up valuable real estate. I mean really.

So that's what I was doing at 2:01 today.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A vent about this sort of teacher's strike

With 2 kids in high school, I'm annoyed by Ontario teachers cutting or outright cancelling extracurricular activities in a sort of work-to-rule action. This is because the current government is being a bunch of bullying douche-bags.

Think back to high school. Do you remember your workaday classes, your exams or tests? I'll bet you don't. You remember your school play, your sporting events and your terrible band, all of which are cancelled for my kids for the time being.

My kids are both in crucial high school years. Audrey is in her first year and this will colour her attitude about her entire high school career. She was really looking forward to joining the band and maybe choir. Elliott is in grade 11, the year that universities look at when they make their considerations. What are they looking for? Yes, marks but also involvement in extracurriculars. I'm not sure if they're going to care if there was eff all on offer in the first place.

Anyway, I had to vent about this. I hope this job action doesn't screw the kids over. Also note that I haven't blamed the teachers in this. They are just trying to exercise their rights without wrecking the school year. I'm just sad about the kids missing the fun stuff of school. One of my best high school memories was a 4 day grade 11 trip to New York City which wouldn't have happened if this was going on then.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

At 2:01 today I was...

Baking! Today was another day off for me for Rosh Hashana and after "wasting" yesterday by doing absolutely nothing, I decided to bake for my upcoming girl's weekend in wine country. I usually stay for the whole weekend but my niece is getting married Saturday so I have to zoom back home after one night. At least I have Friday. It'd be such a shame to miss it since this is year 4 for us and I'm one of the founding members. Looks like I'll just have to cram all the drinking, eating, shopping and my special yearly bath (in the giant clawfoot tub) all into one night.

So today I baked some savoury muffins made with cheese, bacon and green onions. They pissed me off to no end when they stuck to the cupcake paper I used. I managed to salvage 12 and not throw them against the wall but it was touch and go. The rest look awful with blue and white checked paper fused to their hulls. Not my best work.

I also made a batch of what's called "Slutty Brownies". How could I not make them after seeing that name? And oh hell, are they rich. And good. And fattening. A layer of cookie dough, a layer of Oreos and a layer of brownie? Even though I'm indifferent to chocolate, I couldn't help scarfing down two of them.

And of course I had to make 2 batches of each treat because my family has started getting awkward about my baking for others and not them. So basically it's double the work. They're lucky I like them.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

At 2:01 Tuesday I was...

Gassing up the car.

Funny story. Well amusing. Okay, let's be real here: Story.

I got the final incarnation of my final drivers' licence (there are a whole bunch of levels to go though) when I was 32. For the longest while I tried to take the car only when there was a full tank of gas. Unfortunately there was one time when the light came on and I couldn't avoid it any more because Scott was out of town for work. I had to pump my own gas.

Unfortunately full serve was rare even then and I hadn't been driving long enough to know where those stations were. I pulled up to the place closest to home, hoping it would explain itself to me out of a clear blue sky like the Pump Whisperer or something but it didn't. In fact it was one of those old school tanks with no text readout at all. Most tanks in 1999 didn't have those fancy card readers and cool tv-like displays anyway. I looked at the tank in complete and utter disappointment. I thought about pulling away but I had no idea how long the car could run on fumes. I thought about abandoning the car right there and then, claiming that I had a mental breakdown. When clearer heads prevailed, I pulled out my cell phone (at least those had been invented) and called Scott. In Frankfurt. Germany.

Me: Ummm... can you help me with something?
Him: Sure. What's up? The guys and I are about to go out for dinner so I have to make it quick.
Me: Er...yeah. Look, I'm at MacEwan's and... (humiliated pause)
Him: Yes...
Me (sigh): I have to fill up the car and I don't know how the pump works.
Him (long pause where I could hear his mental laughter coming through the ear pressed to the phone): You know I'll never let you forget this, right?
Me: Yes. Just shut up and help me.

And to his credit, he hasn't. Good times. Now it's my job to fill the car when I go grocery shopping and I actually like it. Especially since I use that Esso Speedpass thingie that you just wave at the pump and it takes the money right off your credit card. I've actually been known to go to a different gas station if I have to go all the way to the store to pay the attendant inside. Spoiled rotten, I am...


Monday, September 10, 2012

Remember this?

This is my precious set of World Book Encyclopaedia. They are so old... (how old are they?)... they are so old that my dad actually bought them from a door to door salesman in 1974. No word of a lie. He bought them so that his precious children could get a leg-up in the world.

My brother never showed much interest in them but I loved them so much. I have looked at every page of every volume at least 3 times. I loved the sound of the spine cracking when it first opened and the sound of those "gold" edged pages turning. I loved the article on the first page of every book that talked about the evolution of the letter. Oh those crazy Phoenicians. I loved that even before I had cable and watched Wheel Of Fortune, I knew that R-S-T-L-N-E were the most common letters. I loved those books. When I moved, even though they were a bitch to carry, I took all those books and even the "handy reference guide".

These books are the sole reason I know the difference between a greyhound and a whippet even though I'm not a dog person. I loved that I knew the variety of moths and spiders that were scaring the living shit out of me. The human body and the Canada articles were the most awesome, using transparent pages to overlay organs or our geographical history over the years. Fantastic.

Every essay I wrote between 1974 and 1984 was either partly or entirely (heh.) copied from those books. Every science fair project came out of those books. Have I mentioned that I loved those books?

All that to say that last week when I went to the library to get some French picture books, I saw this:

Do you believe this? In this day and age? I was shocked and delighted that maybe some little kid out there could get the sheer delight and joy those books gave me. No amount of 3G, LTE, JPGs and interwebs (am I showing my age here?) could ever take their place. Okay, they can but look how cool. I wonder how many I can take out in one go? My set doesn't have a listings for the Montreal Olympics or Crocodile Dundee...


Monday, September 3, 2012

Labour Day

So on this glorious, sunny warm day... on this day that is the very last of the summer... when families get together and barbeque and spend time together talking about the memories of their wonderful summer together, I'm alone again. Audrey went to help a friend assemble bedroom furniture, Elliott went to "hang out" with a friend, Henry went to play video games with his buddy and Scott is off motorcycling. And here I sit blogging. It's fine, though...  it gives me a chance to reflect on the past 3 months. Here are some highlights:

  • 2 dragonboat festivals and countless practices
  • Scott's trip to the UK (and my seething jealousy over that...)
  • Elliott's cadet camp
  • Dinners with friends
  • Dentist/orthodontists/doctor's appointments
  • Wicked
  • A mammogram/ultrasound (yuck but all clear)
  • Scott and the kids off camping (some alone time for me)
  • Canada's Wonderland and a fun trip to Toronto
So that was my summer in a nutshell. Sounds pretty pedestrian but I really enjoyed it. In fact, I'm not ready to see it end. But all good things...

Oh, and by the way, we did have a nice family day yesterday where we went to my sister-in-law's orchard and ate way too many apples (and cider doughnuts) so my above complaining is more literary licence than actual truth. These are the last photos of the summer: