Sunday, September 30, 2007
But in the afternoon the Rotors, DAK and I (we all go back as far as high school) hit the road for Merrickville. Don’t tell anyone but I think Elaine and I yakked all the way! Why Merrickville? The second and final weekend of the artist’s guild studio tour was on, and hence an opportunity to (a) get some culture and (b) catch up with Larry (another high school chum) and Holly (a calligraphy pal). Truth be told, the others did some walking about town, but I hung out exclusively in the Greyweathers Studio.
Most of Holly’s creative time these days is spent producing original paintings and handcrafted ornaments for sale exclusively by Cirque du Soleil, but she continues to do her own wonderful multi-media work on canvas. Larry and Holly often work collaboratively together, as Larry does letterpress printing, prints and they both bookbind. Chance encounters with other members of the calligraphic community abounded as well, which added a great deal to the afternoon for me.
Then the group of us along with guest artist Jamie Brick and his wife went for a very pleasant pub meal. A great way to end UCW!
P.S. As usual, click to enlarge images if you wish. My apologies for the fuzzy focus on Larry, but the happy youngster with a sample made it irresistable to post!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
In fact, as I will be training Tuesday and Thursday nights this fall/winter, The Three Movieteers will be two on most occasions. But last night we ventured out to the NAC for a performance in the Studio of a one act one man multi-media play about the last evening of Glenn Gould’s life, followed by the award winning 1979 film Glenn Gould’s Toronto. A chance conversation with Peter Herrndorf while in line indicated that the evening held great promise.
John McGreevy, who created the multi-media play and directed 'Toronto' (although Gould himself wrote and guided the film that was part of the Cities series), was a dear friend of Gould’s, and during the year that marks the 25th anniversary of his death and what would have been his 75th birthday, he has truly given us a gift.
In this look at the eccentric and erudite genius, we are afforded glimpses of his foibles and hypochondriacal nature, his thinking process, his musical achievements, his dreams (he proclaims himself to be the anti-hero in life but confesses to making up for that in sleep), his childhood – but also his incredible wit, intelligence, and sense of humour. In the segment of the play Glenn Gould on Glenn Gould interviewing Glenn Gould, we are treated to perhaps the funniest line in the play, “Take that Peter Gzowski!” Ted Dykstra, who may be familiar to some of you as part of the duo responsible for Two Pianos Four Hands, for an hour truly becomes the enigmatic Gould.
For those who are familiar with Toronto, the film was enjoyable on several levels. Gould ushers us through an affectionate and bemused 43 minute tour of the physical city and some of the political and social forces associated with it.
If you have a chance to see this two hour multi-media event, snap it up – and enjoy!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Your $125 does more than just buy a cashmere sweater. Holt Renfrew, in support of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, will be making a minimum donation of $50,000 raised from the sales of the Limited Edition Holt Renfrew Private Brand Cashmere Hoodie and Cosmetic Bag. All funds donated will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and breast cancer research in Canada.
On sale now to October 31st, 2007, while quantities last.
So we're now outfitted with matching sweaters. In a nice strong pink, with a hood. That will be killer with dress pants, skirts, and particularly with black leather jackets. Or like La Hurley wears it, with jeans. Okay, so we don't quite look like La Liz. We wouldn't want to be her anyhow! AD can wear hers in Paris, and I can wear mine in Oz. Plus we'll both wear them throughout the winter, without a doubt.
Of course I also saw the most wonderful casual cashmere sweater dress. (Told you it was dangerous!) And I bought a new fall hat. But I had good reason. The old one, bought at Eaton's (!), is now defunct after many seasons of wear.
I took Joe’s expert IT advice, and ordered a Vostro notebook instead of an Inspiron. And let me tell you, after 5 years of the old machine, this one has a big wide screen! Soon I will watch a DVD on it. (Whether that is before or after I sort wireless issues, is another matter entirely.)
The heat wave has broken, and fall weather, albeit somewhat balmy, is now upon us. Gentle rain is falling as I type, but it is still pleasant enough to have the patio door open. Perhaps now it really is time to get the seasonal closet shifting underway. And buy more tights and leggings.
I am finally feeling better, though not yet congestion free, and have been back in the water. Yay!!! Tuesday I couldn’t find my Seal mask in my swim bag, so I ended up putting in close to 1,000 metres of kick and heads up. Um, yeah. I heard somewhere that if you want to get in shape really fast, kick. All I can say is thank heavens for whip kick!
Yesterday I put my competition goggles in my bag (Seal mask still missing) and swam with them. Consequently I did my most excellent racoon imitation for a significant number of hours afterwards. During the swim between sets or when time allowed I popped them off and iced my face. As I always try to take a water bottle half filled with ice to the pool, this is a strategy I have used to my advantage before. I had planned to buy a new mask at IM Moo. I had also planned to buy Body Glide. Note to self: always make an effort to get to the expo as early as possible if you want to buy specific and popular items.
Tonight was to be club practice, but the University of Ottawa pool is temporarily closed due to balancing and mechanical issues. It may, in fact, be a good thing, as I’ll have till Tuesday to ramp up a bit! And it means I can go to the community meeting in “my” pool building this evening.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The play features a cast of thirteen women presenting alternate feminist explorations of The Odyssey through the eyes of Penelope (wife of Odysseus), who is left behind for twenty years, and her twelve maids. The maids were hung by Odysseus and his son Telemachus on the return of the king after the his return from the Trojan War. Atwood has been quoted as saying that the slaying of the maids haunted her from her first acquaintance with The Odessey.
The production includes movement (choreography by Veronica Tennant) and song, with the maids taking on the traditional role of the chorus, their voices resonating from Hades with that of Penelope. The actresses, with the notable exception of Penny Downie, who is formidable as Penelope, play and or understudy multiple parts. Sarah Malin is absolutely outstanding in the role of Odysseus.
The verdict from the audience: curtain calls but no standing ovation. This was as it should have been. I had some difficulty hearing the all the lyrics of the musical numbers (perhaps we can blame the dregs of my cold), was thoroughly impressed by the elegant watery movements of Philippa Domville as Periboea (Penelope’s naiad mother), laughed at the humorous moments, was viscerally affected by the rape of one of the maids. The complicity of silence, the need for duplicity in order to survive some situations, jealousy and the human desire to love and be loved are woven through the story line but are not unpicked like the funeral shroud.
The topper to the fine evening of theatre was that with our temperature crushing the previous record by two full degrees, it was more like a mid-August heat wave than the beginning of fall, so AD and I scooted down to the patio of Le Café and had beverages and dessert post production. (For you foodies, I had a piece of apple crumble sour cream pie with a drizzle of hot caramel, but found the caramel insufficient to add to the lovely taste sensation as well as the presentation.)
P.S. Worthy of mention as well, was the not just the acting but the blogging of the experience by Kate Hennig.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
N.B. Image blatantly borrowed from Wikipedia.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Now, I harbour profound dislike of this particular smoke detector. Mostly because it is fooled by the steam rising from the pasta pot, and lets out a blood curdling shriek before the pasta is done. I note that this is particularly true of dry whole wheat pasta. I then rush for the broom, handle up and reach for the button in the middle. Rarely do I hit it right on the first go. Once disarmed it continues to chirp randomly, chastising me either for quieting it, or for eating pasta.
So now that the battery is failing, I wonder, do I look for another less sensitive detector that might be less prone to advising the neighbourhood I'm about to eat pasta ... or just continue to fight with this one and allow all in the immediate vicinity a glimpse at the menu?
Sunday, September 23, 2007
"Been swimming much?"
"No, I got this cold thing when I got back from Wisconsin ...."
"How can you swim like that? I can't swim when I'm congested like that!!!"
"When I don't I seize up. Plus my lungs are fine, it's all in my head."
Pointing at the hot tub, he says, "There's that, you know!"
Other than that, not much to report. So I bring you what Jenny might call the shoal of age groupers. I couldn't quite frame it to eliminate the Monona Terrace light in the upper left. I suppose I could have cropped it, but the swim pictures I've been showing you are as they came off the camera — no photoshopping here! It is the long shot of the second photo I posted here. They were taken within a minute of each other — this was the second. Feel free to click.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
If a ball flies over the high fence and stops just short of me as I'm walking home from the pound, I can put it back over the fence with a gentle underhand — and right into the outstretched hand of the eye candy, er, young man, holding the hockey stick. That's something.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Aside from stretching doctor's orders just a tad yesterday and having an easy swim of it, other than laundry not a great deal was accomplished. I somehow did not get too embroiled in a dispute between neighbours (who are brother and sister, both octogenarians, living side by side each in half of a double). They have a long and colorful history of disagreements ranging from spats to all out no holds barred screaming matches. This one involves a fence, and is about to include lawyers. If it does nothing else, it gives me great reason to be thankful for my relationship with my brother, and pause to think how sad it is to live your life like that.
With not much else going on, I bring you just a couple of pairs of earrings made last month, one as a birthday gift for a friend, the other for a friend to give her mom.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
However, my mood is somewhat dampened by the fact that the doctor told me that although my lungs sounded "good", I ought to stay away from practice and "stay quiet" for a few days. I think she may have been using the good, better, best scale, because she mumbled something about not wanting this to become bacterial and require antibiotics. Not that I went there for any of that. I went for a shot in the @ss. And the Errant Boarder has been, well errant, I think. For a couple of days. Which worries me. I do know the thing about taming feral cats is that it has to be done on their terms. But I'd like to see his scrappy scarry little self!
The whole staying quiet thing means I'm a little short on material, so I bring you this reminder from earlier in the summer that sometimes imperfection is more beautiful and interesting than the ideal. Feel free to click and enlarge the image.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
*You may rest assured that unlike a certain happy wanderer it will never ever be on my back!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
At the awards banquet I finally met 21st Century Mom, and we sat with her as well as Laurie, Bolder, Boomer, Rural Girl and Simply Stu. It was wonderful to see them all, and have an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the previous day. (I hope they forgive me the candid shots!)
Brent had collected his gear while I held a place in line, so we got his bike out of the race director's office and walked it through the pouring rain to the car (which thankfully hadn’t been ticketed or towed), unloaded it at the hotel, and went to our respective hot tubs! I then worked on ensuring the suitcase would close.
Another dinner at Outback (I told you it was a bit circular), followed by a night of real sleep! A final breakfast with Brent at the hotel, and then I hopped the shuttle to the airport. The security folks there were so friendly — some other airports (not that I'm naming names) should take note! Our flight was delayed, so I watched F-16’s take off and land, and hung with a nice couple and Rita, the service dog who accompanied them. Rita is a teacher; she trains other service dogs.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
This week my swim and tri club went back to regular training after summer break. Thursday night was my first workout. Lane 8 was dedicated to our UltraMan ... training for the world championships. And I confess was that one of my thoughts was a twinge of jealousy that he doesn't have to drill sets! The other, naturally, was awe.
Practices will be drilly for the next 6 weeks. The thing about drilly practices is they also tend to be kicky practices. I leave the drilly-kicky rant to the 17thman. Because really, I just am not in the same league!
Next week: Tuesday and Thursday night swim practices!
Some of you have been inquiring about The Boarder. Well, I got home Tuesday evening (it was as rainy here as it was Monday in Madison) and didn't see him at all on Wednesday. Neighbours reported that he came in Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but then was conspicuous in his absence. But Thursday, there he was, catching forty winks in "his chair" on the deck. And he was almost in the door before I opened it. In he stayed for 25.5 hours. He went out at 08:30, but uncharacteristically was back by 09:50. He sniffed the air for news of the neighbourhood mid-afternoon, but didn't cross the threshold. Last evening he decided to go out. Then a front moved through, dropping temperatures about 15°C and bringing with it thunderstorms worthy of Florida. This morning a streak of black barreled through the door, demolished a tin, and retired without so much as a pat on the head (or an antibiotic).
Today will be day three of his seven day course of antibiotics. His forearm still appears swollen to me, although the scab came off his elbow overnight (you can see this if you click the image), and hopefully the quality sleep and antibiotics will work wonders.
And ... on the FINA World Masters front: not only do I have a hotel in Perth, I have an electronic ticket to Oz!!! And back again. Via Dubai. (And London.) Now all I need to do is get a fancy countdown clock. If I could only figure out how to do that with a 12 hour time difference ...
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Brent went to the venue earlier than I. I had a cab ordered for 6:00. I must say, in our time in Madison, I only had one uncommunicative cab driver (and that was on Monday). The others were fountains of information and great ambassadors for the city. This cabbie and I chatted all the way to Monona Terrace. He got me as close as he could, I stopped to get coffee, and there was Siren! We walked, talked, and soon parted – she for her volunteer job, and I for the heights of Monona Terrace.
What a sight: the volunteers ready in kayaks, on boards, and in boats, the television crew’s copter overhead, thousands of spectators milling about, staking out viewpoints, and checking camera angles. Then the sunrise of a glorious day. And the sound of the swimmers! They were like the largest fountain imaginable, or the rushing of rapids in the spring.
With but a few swimmers left in view, I headed over to the walkway over transition, found a little spot, and watched volunteers pick bikes and encourage athlete after athlete onto the bike course. I didn’t leave until the last few through had passed. The bikes left racked were a very sad sight.
Then, after filling that water bottle from Roman, I headed to the biggest lineup of the day for me. It snaked around blocks. It was the shuttle to Verona. Bus after bus pulled in, filled up and headed out of the city to this lovely little community. I stood for hours, ringing my IMAZ cowbell like a crazy woman as the cyclists passed by. Saw lots of tri-bloggers, including Brent, although I was in line for the portlets when GavNunns went whizzing past.
I’d made a friend from Mississauga, and if I stopped to eat or stretch, I’d pass her the cowbell and she’d ring on. As the pros and top age groupers moved along the course towards the run, the announcing team pulled up stakes and headed back into Madison. The crowd thinned. And athletes began thanking us for staying there to cheer. Some even slowed down or pulled over to thank us personally. How classy is that?? The Fraternity of Iron. I’d have stayed longer, but I was a little antsy about not knowing exactly when the last shuttle would leave.
As it turned out, my pal and I were on Monona Terrace watching cyclists come up the helix and I hollered at Brent again. My friend saw her boyfriend, then we took RobbyB’s excellent advice and headed over to State Street. I yelled at Brent, he advised me KonaShelley wanted to meet me! (I wanted to meet her, too!) It was nice to see him twice in such a short period of time. And I hollered at Roman, and high fived him as well. Some other nice spectators had moved the barricade a foot behind its original position so I could sit with some back support. I yelled for their friends as loudly as I did for mine. It was a real pleasure to see IronWil, and to cheer for Chris Sweet as he ran for his spot to Kona!
I had a sandwich and a coffee for dinner and ate outdoors at a table along the run route, cowbell ringing pretty much constantly. Then it was off to the finish line to see Roman, Taconite Boy, and Brent cross. You pretty much know what happened after that! Although I did get to congratulate Iron Greyhound when he went to pick up his gear.
Here’s more circularity. Remember the shoes on the helmet in the Chicago airport? The first time Ironman who belonged to them saw me sitting (probably somewhat forlorn), by the entrance to bag pick-up, came over to see how Brent did, and introduced me to his fiancée before he went to get his gear! The Fraternity of Iron.
Due to a lengthy argument with Blogger, if you click on the pictures nothing will happen. Anyone wanting to see a larger version can email me and I'll send the file your way.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I don’t really know where the beginning is. Maybe the flight from Chicago to Madison. I asked the fellow sitting next to me in the airport with his feet up on his bag (as mine were) if I could take a picture of his shoes. He laughed, agreed, and we talked. He was heading to his first IronMan. His bike was going from Raleigh with the good folks from Inside Out Sports.
Maybe seeing my brother and having a quiet dinner at Outback was where it became real. The silver holographic wrist band was beside his watch. It could have been Friday, with our first blogger meet-up. Greyhound, Simply Stu, Texafornia, TriBoomer, the Sweets, Rural Girl, Jetpack, Roman and his friend Scott, Scott from BMC, Tac Boy and The Wils. Lunch at The Great Dane.
Or the second blogger meet-up with Laurie, AJ, Siren, Bold, Erin, RobbyB and more. Credit to Mr. Wil for this photo. I have yet to meet a better bunch of folks.
Or was it the pasta dinner followed by the athlete meeting, where I thoroughly enjoyed sitting across from Greyhound and getting to know him a bit better? Another treat happened when IM Able joined our end of a big long blogger table!
Saturday instead of the blogger meeting, Brent put the finishing touches on bags and the little blue Canondale. We took the bike to transition (yes, Brent’s walking away with the LBC halfway down this picture with the backpack & white cap on).
The transition bags got to their appointed places. That smacks of reality.
When we finally got to the Expo and visited with our pal Wayne who works the Inside Out Sports booth? Again, it’s that Fraternity of Iron. I picked up a long-sleeved Wisconsin Triathlon fleecy, to substitute for the hoodie The Boarder had appropriated Thursday morning. I wore the new fleecy for the swim and the evening of the run. Brent wore it the next day before his dry clothes bag showed up. And it became a fine blanket on the plane, too.
After the expo we hooked up with Mishele (you’ve seen that picture) and spent a quiet hour gabbing at Starbucks. Brent headed back to the hotel, and I back to the Great Dane to see AJ, Siren, Mark, and IronPol who had just driven in! (In an odd twist of fate, we probably left as 21st Century Mom went in. Thank heavens I met her later, or I’d really have been kicking myself.)
I cabbed it back to the hotel, and figured out how to set the alarm, as well as sort the wakeup call. Soon enough it would be race day!
Transition pictures can be enlarged with a mouse click.
Aside: I saw a great shirt on Sunday:
Here on the home front, the Boarder was visiting until the end of the weekend according to guest feeder reports, but is currently on haiatus. However, I wasn't up early enough this morning to see him if he had been hanging around.
This is officially a "recovery day". I have unloaded the suitcase. Again, a successful trip with just the carry-on bag. The non-tri variant of the washing machine has been fired up ... oddly enough I think I've been doing laundry all day, yet there is a sort of quiet here I'm appreciating (no roofers!).
I emailed a few bloggers some pictures I took today. Roman felt I ought to blog this little story. So my own combo of Cheers and Jeers before you get a full report.
Cheer: On Friday Roman gave me a sample of kona cola nuun and a water bottle appropriately sized to mix it in. I wasn't altogether sure I could get the water bottle into the aforementioned carry-on, but I figured it would be useful in the short term. Little did I know ....
I cheered all day Sunday, and when Brent crossed the finish line at 14:18, I caught up with him and Mishele (who caught him). We chatted, then Brent and I went to go get gear so we could get back up to the finish line and cheer more watching folks finish. And then things went horribly wrong ...
The dry clothes bag wasn't where it ought to have been. In fact, it wasn't anywhere to be found. This was of great concern. Inside that bag were the keys to the rental car, and Brent's wallet. Without which we couldn't even get the bike back to the hotel (a 15 minute drive away). Everyone available looked. Looked long and hard. Even through the special needs bags.
Cheer: Kevin, the Bag Captain. He looked high and low. He assured us they hadn't yet lost a bag. Kevin even looked through the special needs bags up at the capital building. When it became brutally clear it just wasn't going to turn up, he and Brent went to see the race director. I continued to sit on the floor and congratulate finishers coming in. Because that's how I roll. Or sit. When they came back, the race director had agreed to lock the bike in his office overnight, and Brent was wearing a new t-shirt and hat. Kevin kept his composure, good humour, and drove us back to the hotel. Which, I don't hesitate to point out, we found without the help of the NeverLost telling us we were approaching a left turn.
So, embarking on an immediate cash conservation program in case the bag didn't turn up and I needed to give my brother what American money I had, I passed on the cold coke from the machine I'd been looking forward to. Instead, I mixed the first nuun tablet with water in the handy water bottle, fired up the hot tub, and rehydrated and enjoyed a different kind of bubbles. (My nutrition plan for spectating leans towards slight dehydration for these 17 hour days.)
Neither of us slept much. We met for breakfast, discussed contingencies (we actually each had something to offer, it wasn't just Brent organizing me!), and for the first time in my life I put a cab on my credit card to get to the venue. While I stood in line for the award ceremony, Brent toddled off, and returned with the errant bag in tow. So a really big cheer!!!
And I got that souvenir water bottle home. It made the journey here stuffed with a t-shirt.