Thursday, February 28, 2013

FAI Hashdown

It's Wednesday night.
Tomorrow night I have no plans to go out... and it's EXACTLY what I need.
Why? Because I need to do boring normal people things. I need to do laundry and I need to get some writing done..  I need to ... crap. in writing this I just remembered I do have plans.

This is why I write.

I figure I'll go thru some of my favourites from Folk Alliance and share them here...

So, like OCFF, basically there are the public showcases and then the private ones. I missed The Milk Carton Kids in their public showcase, but I managed to shoehorn myself into their last private showcase.  Picture this if you can- a Suite in the hotel, the bed has been removed, the couches pushed against the wall. These suites can fit about 30 comfortably, room for people to move around, the band at the "front".

Now get rid of the front of the room... place two singers in the round- in the centre of the room... fit more chairs in... now shove people into every available space and start to question the structural integrity of the building when you realize there's more 80 people in the room.

Got that?


now the sound guy says "you're all going to have to be silent for this to work", as the humidity in the room has shorted out something in the board and it's suddenly an acoustic set... the room goes silent, and stays silent for the entire 30 minute set... except for that part when someone in the hall knocks on the door trying to get in.. and the entire room (including the musicians) dies of laughter as each person realizes they can't even turn to look at the door.

Mush up against someone and listen to this...

It's like simon and garfunkle had babies with ron sexsmith and then those babies locked themselves in their bedrooms till they were 25 with only their guitars to keep them company. Like that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rehash Wednesdays

 I used to play a lot of an online game called puzzle pirates. It's still something I'll play when I have some downtime... and when I'm not on a Mac. Most people know this, but one of the things you'd do to indicate you were doing an action would be to type "/me" before the action.  I still carry that over into emails and various online interactions....

Feb 2008


also at work...

a discussion about Spain.

"now Spain.... that's the one like Mexico... but Spanish right?"

/me nods.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Late night drivers

I was called out of town last night.
Like... I left the house at 12:10am.

I arrived at my destination at 2:30, really good time considering I stopped for gas and a tea on the way.

Anyway, as I was driving I kept thinking how funny the universe is. Had the call come any other night, I couldn't have done it...I mean, I could have, but I'd have been a wreck... or been in a wreak. Driving that late at night isn't something I like to do. I have to pull over too often and nap... Which makes for an even later night, and a pretty grumpy me.

But this week I'm still spinning from my late nights at FAI, where my average bedtime was 3:30am. I was fresh as could be getting into the car, and was SPUN by the time I got to Hamilton.

Stars align. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

gluh bluh

Still not really able to form thoughts... I made it thru the day today with mostly fooling the people around me into believing I was my normal self...

So, few words tonight still.

Here's a song I keep trying to whistle or sing to myself, but um. it's nothing like what I've got in my head... and nothing like what it is live.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

FAI2013 wrap up

I've returned from Folk Alliance.
I'm beat... not in the way I've been beat on returning from OCFF in the past -I've learned that if I only have one or two drinks each night during showcases I'll a) not want to die the next morning from fatigue b) hear more music and c) have a better time!

I'm beat in that "my brain no longer functions in a way that allows me to form a sentence" way, and I'm just plain old "people'd out". I need to stare at a wall and sing loudly to myself or not hear ANYTHING for a few hours. Either approach should do the trick.

What did I see?
What did I love?
What did I learn?
Who did I meet?

I don't have answers for any of that right now.

Wait.. that's a lie.

I went to 8 showcases and an awards presentation Wednesday night, 1 thursday (I came in just in time to start my volunteer shift, then went to bed...) 3 workshops, 6 showcases, and 14 private showcases Friday, 8 showcases and ... um... 12? private showcases Saturday.... um... I think ... just doing the math quick in my head, that's close to 70 acts. Not counting the randoms playing in lobbies and stairwells and volunteer check-in... Some well loved favourites, and a bunch of new (to me) solos/groups...  

I heard some AMAZING stuff this week. Live music will always trump a recording...

My favourites tomorrow night....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rookie Mistake

I'm just getting myself settled into FAI2013.... That's "Folk Alliance International" ... I've written in the past about my experiences with OCFF in the past (Ontario Council of Folk Festivals) and how much I've learned at their conference, well, this is like that... except 3 times the size.... and 3 time LESS organized.

1500 musicians give or take a hundred.

Last night my choice was between 9 different stages- official showcases... 60 acts.

I didn't visit any of the private showcases that night.

I jumped back and forth between a few different rooms took in some new music... spent a great deal of time staring at my "pocketbook program" (ha... that thing isn't fitting in anyone's pocket) trying to understand which room was which... before I discovered that I was looking at the wrong day entirely.

What tipped me off?
Trying to find Jon Brooks playing and instead finding a room full of people dancing to an olde timey band... which, was... actually REALLY awesome.

Here's a nice little wrap up article... what we're doing this week in a nutshell...

And here's a link to the grand event... actually no... here's a link to just the official showcases...
it's dizzying. Check out the private showcases if you want to cry.

Last night my favourite by far was The Wilderness of Manitoba ... They were at Shelter Valley this year, but... I totally missed ALL of their stage time. Because I suck like that sometimes.
I had to remind myself to breathe while I listened to them... their harmonies were and they were fantastic at letting the music rise and fall.. take you for a ride. Seriously, they're good. With that girl singing the harmonies (the salt.. the seasoning) ... they're FUCKING AWESOME.
end of story.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Have you ever read back in an old journal or blog?
It's pretty much the main reason I write.
My memory is terrible for details, I remember how things felt, or what people were wearing- or the emotions other people were expressing... not what we were doing or saying.

Anyway, welcome to a new wednesday feature... where I spend the morning reading old blog posts then put them on here because... well... chances are, you don't remember me writing them either.

Feb 3 2008
If you know me... you know that sometimes... I just miss it.

I've yet to watch the movie "Transformers" in it's entirety, but it's been playing in the background at work for weeks now.

Today I sat down for a little while to watch some of it.

As I was sitting there (I don't know any of the character's names) they showed the back history of the story.... the grandfather of the main guy had made a discovery that had set the story in motion....

He fell into a cave of ice and snow..
his glasses fell from his head,
he hit JUST the right part of the transformer,
and it somehow happened to be lined up with his glasses JUST right...
and the transformer dude was able to encode something or other into the lenses of his glasses.
Years later, the kid still has his grandfather's glasses, and is selling them on Ebay......

I stand up and think.... "yeah right! Who keeps a pair of their grandfather's crappy cracked glasses that long??? this movie is soooo far fetched!"
and walk away.

wasn't for like another hour that I remembered that he was also talking to a robot from outerspace.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

house guests

Those of you who are on instagram are pretty aware of this, and likely sick of the topic... but I had some pretty great house guests this past weekend.

Oscar and Mercedes.

I had to move furniture out of the way to make room for these sweet puppies, make space so they could turn around. Their toes were longer than my fingers. They could rest their heads on my bed (I have to give a little hop to get on the bed). They could look up slightly and touch my nose with their noses. Walking with them beside me gave me arm rests. I think Oscar broke my nose when he swung his face into mine cuddling on the couch. There are poops the size of horse poops in my backyard (glad kitchen catchers came in handy on our rambles- sharp ice would tear grocery bags when I went to pick up messes on walks... I loved every second of it.

Since I was 12 I've wanted a Dane... Honey was the first Dane I ever met... Avril from the animal shelter would bring her into work every once in a while as a special treat for me. I was a dog walker for years there... she'd bring in Honey (a fawn) and I'd march her around my walking route... proud as could be with this giant beast calmly walking along beside me.

Having these pups at the house was a dream come true... and a discovery.

I'll never get a Dane. 

Not in this house... not likely in this lifetime. The food alone would bankrupt me. Let alone car payments on something they could fit in... And I walked 25km this weekend... just to tire them out... I feel like my ankles are going to break.  And the fur! And the drool! I couldn't stay clean. They're so loving, but that love wipes those giant lips over your shoulder and the slime sort of gathers... and the fur sticks to it... and... 

Thank God for washable slip covers.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Last weekend

I think I'll go to the beach.

I love living on the lake.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Now here's a love story!

Happy V Day- Garfield minus Garfield

In honour of St. Valentine's day, I'm bringing back my favourite online dating story... because honestly... it still cracks me up... and it's a great reminder to watch out for the crazies.

I cut part out- the long drawn out part about how I puke when I'm tired or stressed or.. whatever... This happened early in the morning.

WHY (the week of valentines) ....why so many notable crazies?

I got another of those stimulating emails ("hi how r you") from a winner on the dating site. I'm not going to post his photo (that would be mean)... but his blurry self-taken image (not even a bathroom mirror shot) showed an unshaven (not in the good way) slightly drunken man in a basement apartment. Location? That often mocked industrial city to the west of us.

His "about me section" :
"Oshawa Ontario, hey what girl i like to go for bake run and i like to go i like to go for woke i like to work on car i am for shawa i like to work to i like to lis to music i like mover to i like tv to cool"

He also wanted to go for caffe for his first date.

I realize that some people struggle with their ability to write, I'm not making fun of that*... I'm setting the story up for this next part...

The part that brought me to the porcelain with my uncontrollable laughter was in his bio- there's a section that has quick info listed in the same order on each profile, including schooling, employment, pets, if they have a car, if they drink/do drugs.

(no joke)

Pets: Cat
Profession: -cat

*ok, maybe I'm making fun of that.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


So I realized yesterday when I was writing that it's (now) only one day till Feb. 14th.

The time of the year that you stay clear away from those dating sites... because as lovely as they are for providing fodder for writing... it gets down right crazy pants out there in those last desperate moments before St.Valentine's day.

I've managed to avoid nearly all signs of Valentine's day- this is how I forgot about it. Thankfully...

I can suffer through a day of it if I must.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


A dear friend's son went in for heart surgery this week.
He's doing great... holey heart has been all patched up, now he can go back to terrorizing all of us.
(He's honestly one of my favourite teenaged people)

One of the things I get to do at my job is help people get ready for bed, in some cases- it means helping with personal care... and in some cases it means winding down for the day and praying with them before they go to sleep (at their request).

This weekend, we were talking about the things we'd like to pray about, and I mentioned my friend's surgery. I was asked what the surgery was for, and when I replied "to fix a hole in his heart, it doesn't work properly" the individual I was speaking with became very quiet... a serious and worried look crossed her face.

"Does that mean he can't love people all the way?"

**For Matty- insert here a story/poorly timed entrance into a conversation you didn't want to hear**

*** for everyone else- seriously, my friends Kim and Jason have the greatest kids... first post ever on this blog? It was about their daughter**

Monday, February 11, 2013


so... Saturday's snow story via facebook:

Lisa: I so need a cabana boy who knows how to handle a shovel as well as a corkscrew...( that is NOT an euphemism.) I can hear my knees screaming already....(NOT an euphemism). 
Off I go... oh heck.... (Not an euphemism). I hate snow.

Me: you need a good blower. (NOT a euphemism)

Lisa:  a good blower is always impressive and highly appreciated. One gets all stirred up one hears that low growl in anticipation of what may come. ( NOT a euphemism)

Me: My neighbour is very old and hasn't kept his blower lubricated. I had to do all the work by hand this morning to finish with his sons. (NOT a euphemism)

Random: Personally, I think I'd like the euphemisms!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I feel like I should be writing a post about this week's storm.
I spent most of Saturday morning digging myself out... Sure, my next door neighbour has a snow blower, but I've yet to see him use it this year- John (my neighbour) is in his 80's. The neighbour on the other side of him and myself take turns digging John out usually... his wife toddles to the door in her nightie and chides us for doing it every time "oh, you! You don't need to do that, we have a snow blower".  In the three years I've lived in this house, I think I've only seen her dressed a handful of times. She's even come to my door in her nightie.

Anyway, I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that this would be the storm where I'd really appreciate the use of a snow blower... but the likelihood it wasn't going to start was high.

So I started to dig. I dug out the neighbour on the other side of my house... the crazy neighbour... she watched me through her window, then when I was done yelled at me for doing it, and muttered something really rude about my other neighbour always doing it and "I like to shovel my own snow!"

I didn't bother to do her blocked driveway.

I moved onto my own driveway blockage.

Still no sign of John or his snowblower.

I started to dig out my car. John's sons show up in their trucks and park in front of my snow pile... this makes it very hard to dig... One of the sons says "don't bother with the end of your driveway, we're going to fire up Dad's snowblower, we'll clear it our for you". Very nice of him to offer.. but if all 3 of John's sons have shown up to "fire up" the snowblower.... there's something wrong with the snowblower... and I do have to be able to get to work. Actually, I have to be able to get to work and not smell of sweat from frantically shoveling out at the last minute, so I need to be done with enough time to shower. So I start to dig.

The snow is up past the wheel wells of the trucks. But the sun hasn't been out long, so it's not wet, just packed from the plow... totally doable.

Slow and steady, I feel fine as the pile in the drive gets smaller, and the mountains in front of the house grow. Twice I have to shovel the top of the snow piles in the yard to keep the tops low enough so I can still sling more snow on to them.

But... it's all done.
John's snowblower didn't start.
I went snowshoeing.

Funnier version of this boring story tomorrow.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

toasty information

Strangely enough, my basement is the warmest it's been since winter started.
A layer of insulating snow around the entire house is all it took.

I see good things happening with the purchase of some basement insulation.
(Next week's basement project)

Let it simmer

Most jokes, the more I hear them... the less funny they are. I laugh hard the first few times- because let's be honest, I don't remember I've heard them the first few times... after that, a small chuckle just to humour the teller of the joke. (pun intended)

But... this... honestly is getting funnier and funnier to me... I read it yesterday, and it made me giggle... now I just think about it and I'm laughing loudly.

It was a comment left by Olson ...
"When you wrote "Hanging from the ceiling fan/lamp in my living room is a ball" I thought you were telling us how much you enjoyed hanging from the fan."

New topic- I'm on a bread baking binge. I've been making my bread instead of buying it- part of that whole new year's resolution to make more of my own food. The English muffins are being made biweekly... Yesterday Kaye and I decided to take on the challenge of a new recipe... Date Pecan Bread. We had one success, and one .. um ... failure. BUT... in the success department.. the loaf is GONE. EATEN. I'll be making it again.

Friday, February 08, 2013


I laugh when I read the line "feel all the feels" no matter the context. But after the past week it was the only way I could express what was going on in me...

The hard stuff was outweighing the good... and though they were coming in equal measures, I was heavy.

Someone sent me this video last night... and... well, it's perfection. It's up there with Tanya's "How to be Alone" in terms of feel good and practicality and cuteness.

I feel much better. My scared is scared.


Hanging from the ceiling fan/lamp in my living room is a ball. Sort of like a Christmas decoration, but instead of a Christmas theme, it has sketched deer on it. I love it.

My friend "Little Sue" and I used to go garage sale shopping every other weekend or so in the summer. She was the master at finding exactly what she needed. Me? I'm not so good.
I go with intentions... I state my intentions the morning of the sale in hopes it will help me find it later (a trick I learned from another friend). Sometimes this works... mostly it serves to remind me that I really don't need any of the extra things I'm finding.

Little Sue was really great at finding "after sales".

She knew where yard sales had finished for the day... where the people had given up, or were just about to give up, and where they were now giving away their belongings just to avoid taking them back in the house. That ball with the deer on it came from an after sale with Sue... a banner day really. I came home ignoring my earlier intentions, with some silly egg cups, the deer ball, a mosquito net hat, and a vintage suitcase.  Sue had found over the course of the day- a puzzle, a purple purse (to match her purple coat and hat), and an ash tray.

I've been thinking about Sue a lot this week. Temperature fluctuations in the house are causing the deer ball's finish to crack. As the house cools- before the heat cycles back on, there's a ticking noise. Just once or twice, and then the heat kicks on ... and just before the furnace turns off again... another ticking noise.

Deer thermostat.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Paper Nickles

I like to have things to look forward to.
I like to savour those things.

Which is why I waited a full DAY to open a parcel I received in the mail.
I knew what was inside, I just wanted to savour that excitement of a new package... And, I really wanted to give it the attention it deserved, not just tear into it, only to have to walk away after 5 minutes.

It's a thing of beauty, this new CD package... two CDs and a book. Images and sounds, words to hear and read.



I'm exhausted. I've felt every emotion there is to feel in the past 24 hours. I'm spinning wildly between joy and anger, fear and peace, sadness and desire.
Can I take a day off from feeling?

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


Remember that time last week when my fridge was stinking because I'd missed several (4) weeks of garbage days and spent too many nights out not eating my leftovers?

Remember that?

I do.

My fridge is clean. Mostly because it got to the point where I was embarrassed to open the fridge to get the milk for tea. ... This reminds me.. I need to buy milk tomorrow...

When I cleaned it out, everything went in the shed. Thankfully it's been cold and everything froze, so the stink is minimal. I have to go check what the weather is suppose to be like for this week.

Guess who missed garbage day again?

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


I've been trying to figure out how to put this experience into words for a few days now...

The other night was sushi night at the Orchard's place... I'd never rolled sushi before, and it really wasn't all that difficult. Mind you, it didn't look like anything I'd ever purchased... I'm not going to profess myself a pro-sushi roller just yet. Each piece was MASSIVE. A real mouthful that took a moment to work thru.

Like, a good long moment.

Which is fine when it's awesome... savoring a giant mouthful of sushi? Awesome.
When you're about to die? Not awesome.

I'd just wedged my second piece of sushi in my mouth when it happened. We didn't have normal soy sauce bowls, so I'd just wiped a bit of wasabi over the top of the piece and dripped some soy sauce onto it.... no big deal... except I hadn't tested the potency of the wasabi before wiping on...

Kim is saying something to me... I'm listening... and suddenly, she goes out of focus.
My face is imploding.
My face is being sucked into my sinuses.
My eyeballs are turning inward.
I can not breathe.
I can not blink.
There are tears.
Where has the roof of my mouth gone? There is a giant hole... my brain is frozen and on fire and WHY CAN'T I BREATHE?
Has she noticed? Has Kim noticed? Can I turn my head and make it seem like I'm suddenly distracted by something?
Did I just squeak?
How am I making noise? I can not BREATHE OUT. OR IN.
I need someone to notice that I'm dying.
I'm dying.

and then..

it passes.

Then Jason bites into some wasabi...

Monday, February 04, 2013

February - Monday Bunday

I've got the February blues.... The sun is starting to win, but I'm more than willing to call it quits minutes after waking... preferring to fall onto the nearest couch and stare at the wall.

Last night I had two great blog posts composed in my head.
They're gone now.

Here's this guy....

More than the usual disapproval, mixed with a little relief and gratitude. Bunny/bathtub smackdown number 2 of this year happened last night. Maybe he's feeling the blues too? He just hasn't been putting any effort into working on the mats of fur around his tail, and then (maybe too much information here?) he gets crap stuck to them... then can't reach properly to get to his first poops (bunnies have a double digestion thing they do... it's kind of gross) so he just keeps getting softer and softer craps, till he's a sticky gross mess... and then his stomach starts bothering him because he's not getting all the nutrition he should be getting from his food... so then he doesn't want to eat....

I'm making an appointment for him this week to shave some of the trouble spots... it should be an interesting experience.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Problem solved

The house is stink free.
The fridge has been cleaned out. And while I didn't get any of the curtains hung (a roaring headache kept me from the sewing machine) I did get the house cleaned up a little.. I even used the vacuum (with the headache). Heroics were necessary.... the rabbit fur was winning again.

My body's told me that I've over done it this week- out too many nights and away not making the most of my downtime. Last night I slept for 11 hours, and today when I walked to the house after getting the groceries I just randomly threw up. The plan is to sleep late-ish tomorrow and early to bed... I do fear that I have to take an extra shift at the group home tomorrow seems no one else can/will fill it.

Tonight I'm sitting in the dark, music on quietly. A batch of english muffin dough is rising in a bowl on the radiator. My tulips, brought by a coworker after Jelly was put down, are starting to tip over on the table. The rabbit is lounging on a blanket under the kitchen table, and I'm waiting for a friend to come for a visit (after the concert I'm skipping) with a cup of tea.... dreaming of those yummy english muffins we're going to eat for breakfast.

*fingers crossed I don't have to take that shift tomorrow, I really would like to get those curtains sewn and hung... later this week I'll be doing some insulation around the top of the foundation in the basement.

Friday, February 01, 2013

More ewwww.

Ok, that's it... I have to bite the bullet and clean the fridge.

I walked into the house tonight and was hit by two powerful odours... the first... well, what ever that is that I've forgotten in my fridge for the past 4 weeks. The second? 11 hours of wearing the same boots.


Wish me luck, if it goes well I plan on sewing some of the basement wall curtains tonight.