This Week in Review

Reading… Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane by Andrew Graham-Dixon. After seeing his painting The Deposition (which moved me to tears) at the Vatican, as well as the Caravaggio and his followers in Rome exhibit at the National Gallery in Ottawa this past summer, I’ve taken an extra keen interest in the talented but troubled artist.

Listening to… Cary Brothers’ cover of “Something About You”. I have always loved Level 42’s original song; this version is a bit more mellow, but just as beautiful.

Watching… The Walking Dead. After a friend raved about this AMC show, I made the mistake of watching the first episode just before going to bed. But I still got hooked.

Discovering… The fun in crafting again. The past few months were so busy with prepping for craft fairs and filling orders for shops and customers that I was too tired to really enjoy it. After a wonderfully restful holiday (with many naps), I am enjoying staying up late and making a mess with art and craft supplies again. It’s great to have my mojo back!

Learning… So much from my recent adventures in online dating. I keep discovering new things about myself (in a good way) every time I interact or meet someone new. It’s been a surprisingly pleasant experience, so far… I’ve even gone so far as to recommend online dating to other friends (which I never thought would ever happen!).

Loving… Handmade Ryan Gosling – This site is like porn for crafty girls. Without the nekkid porn shots. 

Hating… The dread I feel about my work schedule – 11 events to organize and implement in 7 weeks means travel in winter conditions, sleepless nights in hotel rooms and back pain from too much stress. I hope I make it to March in one piece.

Feeling… Melancholy after spending 2.5 hrs on the phone with my oldest friend, who lives far away. So many of my closest friends live in other parts of the world, and I miss them dearly. I wish we could see each other more often.

Wishing… The mild weather could last all winter: +5C in January? Yes, please!

What have you been up to this week?

So Much For Good Intentions…

I had resolved to do something creative every day in 2010. And things were going well. I was converting these:

Into these:

I was practicing my calligraphy skills:

(Can you guess which movie I watched while I practiced?)

I was sewing new curtains and designing a card for a friend’s top-secret surprise birthday party.

Indeed, things were going well. Until day 5 of 2010, when I decided to go to the walk-in clinic to get my sprained ankle checked out because it wasn’t getting better. Four hours later, I came home with this:

Turns out I’d been walking on a broken ankle for the past week. When the doctors told me it was broken, I thought they were kidding (because doctors like to play practical jokes on their patients…right?). Even when they showed me the x-rays, I didn’t believe it. And even as they were putting the cast on, I was still skeptical.

So for the past few days I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this whole situation. The doctors have said I’ll need the cast on for 6 to 8 weeks. They’ve scared me into staying off the broken ankle with threats of surgery if I don’t comply.

Getting to and from the office is a huge struggle in the ice and snow. And to make things worse, I need to travel extensively to implement 13 events in the next 7 weeks. Yikes. I’m still trying to figure out how I’ll get it all done.

Although I’m quite happy to be single and living independently most days, I could sure use my very own Mr. Darcy right now!

So that “creative every day” resolution I was talking about earlier? Out the window. The good news is that I’ve been catching up on my reading. Right now I’m enjoying “Through Black Spruce” by Joseph Boyden (isn’t he a cutie?) and “When You Are Engulfed In Flames” by David Sedaris – exactly what I need to cheer me up.

Spring Schming

Should’ve known I’d jinx it…mention spring and it disappears immediately. Argh.

Yesterday: 11C (52F) and warm, bright sunshine on a cloudless, carefree day.

Today: OC (32F) and a miserable, slushy snowstorm. Sigh.

To cheer myself up tonight, I’ll be watching a few episodes of these guys:

Flight of the Conchords are my newest obsession – and I don’t even watch TV! However, I’ve managed to watch every episode of season 2 (and a few of season 1) online. And now a co-worker has just lent me her DVD of season 1. Woo hoo – It’s Business Time!

They’re playing at Massey Hall later this month – the show is sold out, but I’m determined to find tickets somehow, somewhere. Got a few tricks up my sleeve yet…wish me luck!

Manic Monday

Here’s a little something so make you laugh, by Canadian sketch comedy troupe Kids in the Hall (man, I miss them!)

I’ve run into Mark McKinney (the headcrusher) twice since moving to Toronto – it was quite the experience for me to come across someone I had idolized so much as teenager growing up in smalltown New Brunswick!

I remember when the episode below aired – I was giddy because Perth Andover is so close to where I lived!

What I’m Up To…

Reading… Snow by Orhan Pamuk

Listening to… I’m Yours by Jason Mraz

Watching… Dexter (season 2 on DVD)

Discovering… This blog (it’s hilarious – watch the SNL skit with Beyonce and Justin Timberlake found within this post)

Learning… To speak Greek (at least, trying to without much success)

Loving… The sun finally making an appearance more than once in a blue moon

Hating… The freakin’ cold (will this winter never end? What’s up with -27C windchills in March, forgodssake!)

Feeling… Creative (got some ideas brewing, just gotta find the time…)

Wishing… I can really afford a trip to Greece for an old friend’s wedding…sigh.

What have you been up to lately?

Too Much Excitement to Handle…

Since arriving in Ottawa on Saturday I’ve been having a grand time – taking in Winterlude festivities, (almost) seeing Obama, reconnecting with old friends…it’s all good.

Once upon a time when I lived in Ottawa, I was coordinator of the Canada Snow Sculpture Competition (since renamed the National Snow Sculpture Competition). We had teams of sculptors from every province and territory (13 in all) spending a week in the capital, competing for the national championship. It was hard work and long days spent outside in the cold, but I relished the time spent with such a motley, creative group comprised of musicians, jewellers, potters, ceramicists, wood carvers, painters, welders, cartographers, and chefs (to name but a few).

On Saturday I arrived in Ottawa just in time for the awards ceremony for this year’s competition – Team Alberta won first prize with their carving:

alberta-snow-sculpture Way to go Brian and team!!!

Keep in mind that these sculptures are 16 feet high and weigh 40 tons  – scary and impressive at the same time. I was honoured to be invited to join the sculptors at their closing dinner and was thrilled to reconnect with several old, familiar faces. I always feel deeply nostalgic when I remember the competition and sculptors – I can’t believe it’s been over 5 years since I last coordinated this event…

I’ve been spending lots of time meeting up with old friends, reminiscing about good times (and not so good ones too!). It’s been a nice break from the constant frenzy of the pesky day job, although I did spend two days this week actually working (hence the reason I travelled to Ottawa in the first place). Tomorrow I plan to visit the Bernini exhibit at the National Gallery, and Saturday I hope to go back and take some better photos of the snow and ice sculptures at Winterlude. Saturday night I’m looking forward to spending time with dear, dear friends from a former job.

Today was President Obama’s visit in Ottawa, and everyone was abuzz with excitement. After a long lunch with a friend, I drove over to the ByWard Market to hang out for a few hours (and to stock up on beads and paper). I was walking around, when I noticed that police had blocked off several streets in the area, and 3 or 4 helicopters were hovering low. I figured they must be getting ready for Obama’s departure toward the airport, so I didn’t really make much of it.

Until two ladies walked into the store where I was browsing, telling everyone that they had just seen Obama buying a cookie in the market! By the time I ran outside, the President and his entourage were gone. Only later did I find out that he had bought the cookie at the Moulin de Provence, which is where I had parked my car! Obama stood right beside my car and must have seen it – sigh… This is just too much excitement (and disappointment) to handle in one week.

More later…