NKOTBSB!

I have been revisiting my youth a bit these last few months. I started dance classes again and I’ve gotten back into doing wardrobe calls. I haven’t done wardrobe  in years, but it’s good money and I get to play with fun clothes. The day after watching Rihanna (no, I didn’t buy the tickets), I ended up steaming that show’s costumes. And on Canada Day, I made lots of stat pay steaming Britney Spears costumes and standing under the stage dealing with sweaty male dancer costumes. Having worked in hockey, I can safely say that dancers smell MUCH better than hockey players. But back to revisiting my youth.

Last night was one of the best and funnest nights ever. Why? One word (or maybe seven?): NKOTBSB. I know – horrible. But I am so not ashamed to say that I had t

he best time at Rogers Arena with my girlfriends, watching the boy bands of our youth. I was too young to really absorb the whole New Kids craze (but I think I still have the tapessomewhere!)  but I was in high school during the Backstreet Boys hey day – and I loved them. So this concert was going to be more about BSB (despite a lack of Kevin Richardson, who was my favourite) than NKOTB for me. And in Section 105, Row 5, Seat 101, life was going to be good no matter what.

Needless to say, I enjoyed both equally but I have to admit, those New Kids almost tipped the scale. Donnie Wahlberg and Joey McIntyre rocked my world last night. I really like Donnie as an actor – if you haven’t
seen “Blue Bloods” on CBS or CTV, you need to watch it; Tom Selleck is also in it for an added bonus – but wow. At one point they were all in the crowd and he was four rows away from us. That’s REALLY close. Did we keep our cool? Not a chance. We all freaked out. It was great. lol. And I had forgotten that “Cover Girl” was his song. So there he is singing, and then he rips his shirt off. (I apologize that my video does not capture that. I had to put my iPhone down so I could jump up and down and sing.) Everyone went nuts. We’ll just say he’s in good shape. They all are.

“Young” Joey McIntyre has beautiful blue eyes (just like my hubby) and is also lovely to look at and in great shape (just like my hubby), but (unlike my hubby), dude can SING. At one point they stopped and told him to sing a song and he starts “O Canada”. Predictably, all 18000+ of us (age range 8 to 45) joined in and he finished it out. There is a reason he was on Broadway playing Fiyero in “Wicked”. He sang our anthem like he was Jean Valjean singing a showstopper in “Les Miserables”. I was impressed.

(On the subject of people who cannot sing. Alison and I were at Rhianna a couple weeks ago, and who happens to be sitting behind us but Canuck Christian Ehrhoff (who became a Buffalo Sabre shortly after) and his girlfriend. People were asking for his autograph and he looked familiar but we couldn’t figure out who he was. So I asked. And then everything made sense and I think he must have appreciated our saying hi but not wanting autographs or photos. The guy was harangued for about 20 minutes before the show started. Anyway, during a lull in his autograph line-up, Journey comes on through the speakers. Ali and I of course start to sing along, but who joins us but the German hockey player. Christian Ehrhoff is tone deaf but he know every word to “Don’t Stop Believing” – it was thehighlight of my night. 🙂 )

Jordan Knight is nice to look at but I’m indifferent to him and his falsetto. His brother Jonathan was pretty quiet when not singing and Danny Wood was never really on my radar. In BSB land, Nick Carter has grown up in spades, Howie is still adorable, A.J. has more tattoos and can still sing like no tomorrow, and Brian is just as sweet and goofy. When they all sang “Get Down”, the place went nuts. Talk about vintage. They performed all the songs we wanted to hear, but when “I Want That Way” started I wished Kevin would magically appear like he did in L.A. earlier in the month. He was the only thing missing from an otherwise perfect concert.

They did mash-ups of their songs and included some covers, and during the intros they showed us how goofy they are and how much they actually like each other. It was nice to see.

Matthew Morrison, otherwise know as Mr. Shu from “Glee”, was the opening act and there’s another good looking man who can sing very well. He had a great band, awesome back-up singers, and a pretty fantastic set list. He came on in a tux and ended up with his shirt sleeves rolled up. Nice and basic. When he did “Gold Digger”, the arena went insane.

I had the opportunity for tickets for tonight’s show but I’m glad that I didn’t take them because yesterday was great fun and I don’t think any of our phones/cameras would last through another night of photos, videos, and singing. Between Kate, Alison, and I, the entire concert was documented. Dawn was probably the smartest of all of us just watched, but how can we not record a fabulous night of good looking guys singing bouncy pop songs? 😉

We danced, we sang, we screamed – and about a third of the way through, I actually took out my ear plugs just to test the waters. And for this concert it actually made it even better. Go figure. And now Sean gets to deal with me going “oh-ohoh, oh-ohoh” and “Backstreet’s Back, alright!” for at least two days.

Daddy’s Little Girl

Today is Father’s Day and I am very proud to say that I am a “Daddy’s Girl”. I know my Dad has his faults – they all do, it’s a kid/parent thing; and when I was a teenager, we didn’t get along that well. Part of that was natural because of the age and partly due to my parents splitting up, but once we got through all of that and we both grew up, we got along just fine now. 🙂 I think we understand each other better as adults.

I remember walking in the park with my Dad every weekend and him pushing me on the swings; and carrying me on his shoulders. He is 6’+ so that’s way up there – I LOVED it. And when I got bigger, he started taking me to museums and on trips. A while back, I wrote about my Dance Mom’s car and the mileage she had on it. My Dad’s car comes a close second in that category. He has pretty much driven me everywhere (dance lessons, etc) and whenever I needed a ride, he was always there. If he initially couldn’t come and get me, I would say that’s okay, I’ll take the bus, or whatever. I’ve been taking the bus since I was eight years old, so this is not a big deal. Well, that certainly would not do for him. Particularly if it was at night. Some of my best conversations with my Dad were in that light gray Mercury Topaz and then in his sporty little blue Mazda. (I remember being at Roosters one night and we had to go see family the next day, so my Dad said he would come get me. So there I am on the dance floor, phone in hand so I could feel it vibrate when he called, and the damn thing isn’t ringing at the time he told me to make sure to be ready. I try calling him, and no answer. As it turns out, the cell reception in Roosters is not the best and Daddy did try to call. But to get me, he had to go up to the bouncer, give his ID and come in to grab me. I feel this tap on my shoulder while I am telling my friends that it’s so weird he hasn’t called – I turn around and he looked so steamed. It was pretty funny. He realized it was bad cell coverage that was to blame and also thought it was funnyafter but he was gearing for a lecture until that point.)

He can be a bit uppity, but that is because he is about “quality, not quantity” – Lord know how many times that was drilled into me. But I guess that’s why I have nice things and take care of them. Daddy is a bit of a wino and a foodie – he makes the best omelettes, EVER. Daddy hosts a dinner party every year – the menu for said party is planned at least a month in advance, gets printed out for everyone to have, and always includes such lovely food and wine pairings. The day I started to like wine was a good day for my dad because it was something for us to have in common.

My Dad is a good man. He isn’t very open with his emotions – I guess most men aren’t – but I have always felt very loved. (And spoiled. I was a lucky girl. I still am.) Dancing with my Dad at my wedding was a huge highlight for me. He is an awesome dancer and it was one of the precious times he told me he was proud of me.

Now if only I could make him stop him from bringing up grand-babies every time Sean and I are over for dinner… 😉

Cardboard, Cabernet and 2OT – welcome back Clarence Campbell!

I have to say, I’m really glad I’ve been cozily ensconced in our cardboard box filled apartment all night. Only I had to experience me up to my ears in cardboard and bins, packing away our possessions – we have SO MUCH glassware  and books – in prep for our move on Saturday (while my husband works follow spot at the game, no less, but that’s okay, he was feeling the stress too, up in his perch!) – constantly craning my neck to see the TV and finally ending up on the couch breathing in and out through my nose, attempting a calming Ujjayi breath during 2OT. Thank goodness for the distraction of packing (never thought I would say that), a nice, big glass of red and a really, really good thin crust pizza from Panago.

Kevin Bieksa, thank you for allowing my blood pressure to finally lower. You are my hero for sending us to the FINAL and for preventing a slew of emails tomorrow morning asking if I can move a Thursday work movie screening of the new “Pirates” movie (that was booked over a month ago) because the now moot Game 6 is happening in San Jose. THANK YOU. Clarence Campbell is now back in Vancouver and now perhaps, perhaps… I can’t even type or think it. All I can say is that I BELIEVE. I feel it in my bones – it’s our year.

Random trivia: Did you know Steve Nash’s sister is married to Manny Malhotra? Go figure. Manny’s appearance on the bench post-win almost put me in tear shedding mode – as if I wasn’t already close to that.

Some people are shocked
when they learn that I LOVE hockey; never mind the fact that I worked for a hockey team (already a shock to some, since I was mostly known as a dancer/girly girl) – and have a Memorial Cup ring to show for it, no less. I’m still a girly-girl, but I love hockey. I remember, a few years ago, sitting in an arena box at what is now called Rogers Arena, with the guy I was dating at the time and with some work people. They knew I did game day stuff at the Coliseum, but they certainly didn’t expect me to yell “Shoot the fricking puck!!!” at the top of my lungs, down at the Sedins. (I have issues with unnecessary passing that I will not get into right now.)  I hollered that at least once this evening. The neighbours didn’t mind, they were louder than me. 😉

By the time the Finals start, we will be settled in the new apartment and I will be experimenting with some game-day recipes. (Hello, big kitchen!!) I don’t know how to express how done I am with boxes and how exited I am about the Canucks getting into the Finals. There are no words

As I calm down form that post-game high, I sit here watching the PVR – something on a different end of the spectrum: “Dancing with the Stars” – Kirstie Alley has been my favourite so far, but I think Hines Ward is going to take it. Those American footballers have some rhythm. And he’s just so darn adorable.

Limes were going to be the topic of my next post, but the weather has not lived up to that expectation. When the temperature finally hits margarita worthiness, lime recipes will appear. I made a kick-butt key lime pie the other day.

Night all. We’re going to the Finals!!!!!!!!! (The house is in chaos, but we won the game!!)

The Second Mom

I have a fabulous Mom – sometimes she frustrates me to no end, but that’s part of her job, and I love her so much. I also have a great Mother-in-Law and Step-Mom; lovely official and unofficial Godmothers; and a couple all important Second Moms. All of whom are fabulous mothers in their own right and I am very happy to have them in my life.


Being a single parent, my Mom worked her butt off so I could have ballet lessons, pointe shoes, piano lessons, musical theatre, food, and so she could be there for me – you know, she gave me the world as I needed/wanted it to be. I really don’t know how she did it and stayed sane. But I guess that’s what do for your kids, and I appreciate her beyond words. Je t’aime, Maman!! 

We didn’t have a car and that’s where one particular Second Mom is sincerely appreciated (and not just for the car). She is my Ballet Mom. Being a sales rep at the time, her car was well travelled to start. And then, when I was in high school, she drove me and her daughters to competitions, rehearsals, and recitals galore. That car had some serious mileage on it. She recently retired that car (navy blue, 80’s model, car brand and name escapes me but I want to say a Hyundai Sonata or a Toyota of some sort), and when I heard that, I was inexplicably saddened. I know, it’s a car. But it was a good car and I spent a lot of time in it.

Ballet Mom is also the person who taught me to make biscotti (which I have yet to master – and I’ve tried) and welcomed me into her home so often that it was pretty much my second home for a few years. I used to dance with her daughters, and they are each a few years younger than me. My relationship with Ballet Mom started when she asked me to “keep company with” (clear distinction from babysitting) the youngest every Wednesday. Ballet Mom was huge into swing dancing at the time and the older daughter had her own thing going on. The youngest wasn’t keen on staying home by herself but was very definitely not in need of a babysitter – I think she was 11 or 12 at the time.

When I graduated highschool, Ballet Mom and I became friends and she is one of the COOLEST ladies you will ever meet. Over the years she has provided great impartial guidance and support and one thing – among many – I really admire her for is not only changing careers, but making it work (she is now a successful caterer and private chef). She recently gave me a couple cooking lessons as a birthday present, and those lessons revived my interest in cooking. (Not to take away from my Mom, she taught me a lot – but did I retain the fancy things from her? No, of course not (that wasn’t my interest when I was 16) – which is a shame. That being said, my Mom is the reason I didnt’t starve when I first moved out on my own. 😉 )

I am very grateful for my Ballet Mom, a Second Mom – kind, patient, impartial, candid, and ever gracious – to me and a fantastic mom to her daughters.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Re-finding my om

Je suis fatiguer. I spent this past weekend running up and down the stairs and corridors of The Centre on Homer for the tour of “Fiddler of the Roof” that parked here for three days (the last of which was pretty surreal for the American cast and crew because Bon Laden was announced dead). It was nice to get back to my roots, but oh my goodness, I had forgotten what it was like to work wardrobe for a show. LONG hours – mind you, we are getting paid, but still. When you aren’t used to that any more, it makes you feel exhausted. It was lots of fun though. Met and re-met lots of the people who Sean works with, and got to work with some of my favourite people – yes Lynette, you are one of those people.  Quote of the weekend even goes to you (or rather to John):

“On a scale of one to Lynette…”

Lynette, like me, is a Libra – same birthdate to boot. This should be sufficient enough data to explain the above. If you’re a Libra (particularly female) or know one very well, you know exactly what I mean.

Due to the stairs, carting heavy costumes and baskets, and lots lunges and squats to pick things up, (and despite, or maybe because of all the quinoa flour carrot cake muffins) I got a fab workout and am feeling every muscle in my body. Oddly enough, it feels great but I very definitely had a nap when I got home from casting my reluctant vote this evening. Apparently we are now a Conservative majority. I am more a Liberal gal, but I will say that out of a scale of one to Lynette… but seriously, Harper probably scores a 7 with his Conservatives. It would be an 8, but he cut arts funding, and that, well, that pissed me off enough to take away a full point.

(On the topic of napping, thank goodness that common sense prevailed on Thursday. Not feeling well at all, I hit a metaphorical and mental wall and I decided that I needed to just go home and sleep (and NOT wake up at 2:45 am for the Royal Wedding. I wouldn’t have survived the weekend.) I had to break a commitment to go home and sleep, but I refuse to feel bad for taking care of myself. I napped and woke up in time to watch the 2nd and 3rd periods and make my lunch for load-in, actually see my wonky-work-hour husband for an hour, and then back to bed I went. If only every day involved a nap.)

The napping has made me realize that I haven’t really let my body fully recover from the epic chest cold that wouldn’t leave (and the antibiotics that sapped the life out of me) – and shame on me for that. So the goal for the month of May is to take care of myself, sort out priorities (ie. Don’t try to do everything!), and have patience with myself. If you know me, you know that patience is a virtue that I don’t have a lot of so we’ll see how this goes. I need to re-find my om as it seems to have disappeared.  

I’ve gotten my vocal om back – I was at a morning yoga class early last week and for the first time in WEEKS, I was actually able to chant “OHHHHM” and 1. Hear it; 2. Be able to hold it with everyone else; and 3. Not cough. It was the highlight of my day – it’s the little things that make me happy – because that’s your centre in yoga and it was kind of depressing to not be able to start/end classes with it. Saying “om” in your head just isn’t the same.

Have you found your om?

—-

Here is a recipe for some soda biscuits that I found back in March.  I ate a lot of soup the first couple of weeks of the chest cold, and these biscuits made it a bit more palatable.

Healthy Soda Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup skim milk – I used what we had (1%)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons of dried or fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, orgegano, chives, whatever you want)
  • 1 cup grated low-fat parmesan cheese – OPTIONAL (It’s not my favourite so I don’t use it. )

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together in large bowl flour, baking soda, and salt. Add milk and oil and stir well until dough comes off easily from the sides of the bowl. Drop in tablespoon-sized amounts on un-greased baking sheets. Bake about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or let cool and store in airtight container.

Early morning TV

After making what turns out to be a good decision to not wake up at 2:45 am to watch the Royal Wedding live – not good to do a drastically early morning when you’re beyond exhausted – I sit here at 6:30 am watching the recording of Kate and Prince William getting married. (People in NYC were up at the much more decent 5:45 am EST, all dressed up and sitting in Times Square. Crazy.) This is an event I have been looking forward to since, well, since before they got engaged. Almost as much as my own wedding last year! My granny was big into the Royal Family and because of that I have always been fascinated the royal families of the world. But like many girls around the world, I used to have a big crush on the prince. And what better person for him to marry than his best friend – pretty much the girl next door?

And that girl looked STUNNING. Best wedding dress EVER. (Aside from my wedding dress of course, mind you this is a much fancier occasion. 😉 ) I was talking with my manager the other day and she and I both said that the train was mandatory. You get married in a cathedral, you have a train on your dress. And she did. The dress (lace sleeve overlay, full skirt, cinched strapless bodice, 12 ft (?) train, fingertip length veil – can you tell I recently got married?)and tiara were classy, timeless and so beautifully simple. All I could do was sigh when I saw the dress. And then there was her dashing prince. Nothing like a man in uniform – now that’s an accessory. He looked so elated when he saw her.

Harry looked like he didn’t brush his hair this morning, but he also looked dashing. Kate’s sister Pippa wore a simple white dress that looked fab on her but didn’t overshadow her sister. Wow, I am sounding like the commentators. But you watched it, you know. Lots of fascinators (those silly hats that look like they’re about to jump off someone’s head or poke a person’s eye out) and lovely dresses. Great venue, lots of choral singing. A classic British wedding. (If you haven’t seen “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, buy it, download it, whatever. Because of that movie, I know all the hymns being sung this morning.) There was lots of pomp and circumstance (longest car ride of her life, getting to that church, I bet – nerve-wracking!) but you could tell they did it their way. It wasn’t a state wedding, so they had some freedom, I think. His mom would probably be extremely proud. That being said, British weddings are LONG, and Wills and Kate were starting to look a bit bored perched on their chairs.

The archbishop(?) started his speech with a great quote from St. Catherine of Sienna:

“Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”

(Take from that what you will, but I believe everyone has a purpose in life. They don’t always know it, if ever. I’m not totally sure of mine yet, but I’ll know when I find it. It’s definitely not to spend a month beings sick. I recently – finally – finished getting through four weeks of a bad chest cold (lots of tea, codeine cough syrup, and the inevitable round of antibiotics that knocked me off my butt for a week). Longest month of my life. )

Today, the powers that be have me going back to my roots and doing wardrobe for “Fiddler on the Roof” for three days at The Centre. Should be fun – I’ve worked some extra hours the last two weeks in order to take the day off today so that I can work at the theatre. Wonky, right? But I’m getting paid, and that works for me. So off for some yoga – I’ve now seen the carriage ride, the mandatory public kiss (kind of short and proper, but I think she’s so worried about how people will react to things) and the fly by (yay TLC for getting the first shot!), so I’m good – and to get ready to run around with costumes.

Congrats Will and Kate! Good for you for doing it your way. It was lovely, it didn’t rain, and you both looked so happy.

The quake, rice ball, hedgehogs vs foxes and audacity

We are currently cat and house-sitting for our friends, Matt and Dori. They are in Tokyo. I almost never watch the news anymore, so I was VERY surprised and concerned to receive an email from Matt saying that there was an earthquake but they are okay. (I realize that Taiwan is north of Japan, but yesterday, I thought about my BFF, Lilliane who lives in Taipei. An email confirmed that they are just fine (they were actually at a wedding when she emailed back), but you never know.)

I now sit here with Sean watching CNN and watching the reporter from “The Economist” try not to freak out as an aftershock rocks his building while he is trying to talk t o Wolf Blitzter. From the quake, and then the tsunami, there is billions of dollars in damages, thousands of missing people, what could be up to 1800 dead, possible nuclear crisis and shortages of fresh water, food and fuel – people are lining up.  But get this, despite all the chaos, everyone is calm. No looting, no freaking out. I suppose that’s a testament to the Japanese culture. Being uncivilized just wouldn’t do. Everyone is helping each other and they recognize that turning to the negative just won’t help the situation.  As the West Coast of North America was affected to a degree, though BC not at all – though the Island was worried, it makes me realize that I really should complete the earthquake kit that I started for our apartment.

I think my least favourite part of situations like this (aside from the mass destruction and devastation) is when they send the reporter and camera to the airport and stick the mic and camera in peoples’ faces and get in the way of their personal moments. Seriously, give these people their privacy. I know it makes heartwarming good news, but come on.

Meet Musubi – he is the reason we are house-sitting in Matt and Dori’s lovely apartment in the Riverport area of Richmond. (My favourite part of this apartment? The soaker tubs – bubble bath heaven – and two bathrooms. Sean’s favourite part? The gas stove. We are both super happy campers.)

Musubi apparently means “rice ball” in Japanese and he is the cutest thing. Once he got over the shock of us being there, he was not shy to “talk” to us, play and sleep on our feet. He’s still a kitten so he has all this energy. One minute he’s on one side of the living room, the next he’s bounding over to jump into a box by the door. He likes Sean’s toes, so it makes it interesting for us to get to sleep. He experienced Hurricane Yasmine on Thursday morning when I was running late (surprise!) for a morning appointment. The first full day of house-sitting is always fun because you don’t know where ANYTHING is, and of course I wasn’t finding anything. The cat was following me at a cautious distance looking slightly awed at my speed and extremely amused. I swear he was laughing at me.

Are you a hedgehog or a fox? I know, random question. At my work’s International Women’s Day celebration on Friday, I discovered that I am a hedgehog – after initially thinking I was a fox. This renewed my need to read the book that has been sitting in my desk overhead bin since August – Good to Great by Jim Collins. He has a theory about the hedgehog and the fox and when I finish the book, I will  blog about it because I will probably discovered and realized a few more things.

We had Silken Laumann as the keynote speaker at our event, and I have to say, she is AMAZING. So inspirational and a true bright light. So deserving of every accolade she has been given. She encouraged us to be audacious as opposed to ever realistic. It was a great speech and I plan to be more audacious in some aspects of my life because every now and then, you need that. 🙂

 

Eating in good company

Eating out is a wonderful thing. Eating out for work is especially a wonderful thing. I have the good fortune of supporting managers and executives that ask me to plan dinners (I LOVE planning work dinners. Love, love, love.) at lovely restaurants every now and then.  And when I plan said dinners, I hear magic words: “And you’ll come with us, right?” Which means I get at least one fancy or fancy-ish meal every couple of months. (December was a fantastic month.)

Last night, I got to cross the Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown off my list. O-M-G. Seriously. If you have ever been there, you have had that OMG moment. We were placed in a lovely semi-private room with walls lined from floor to ceiling with very expensive bottles of various red wines and funky blue glass waves hanging from the ceiling. We had two great servers just for our group and the set menu was wonderful. I had an organic greens salad with goat cheese filled pastry puffs, Arctic char with dungeness crab, fennel and seaweed, and chocolate lava cake. The wine was a lovely chardonnay from Painted Rock and a to die for Burrowing Owl Athene red blend (my new favourite wine that, after extensive googling, it looks like I can only get it in a restaurant at a very inflated price…)

This was a very belated holiday dinner for one of my bosses’ team members and I got to facilitate a white elephant gift exchange. I’d forgotten how fun those are and it was hilarious to watch these grown adults opening, stealing and reacting to gifts.

I really appreciate these dinners because I don’t get to eat and drink like that on a regular basis. But I don’t think it would be as fun to go to work dinners if the people weren’t fun and interesting – the best food and wine don’t make a difference if the people suck  –  so I feel lucky that I get the best of both worlds. So I <3 the work dinner.

On the other end of the spectrum, the work group that I fall into went bowling at the Commodore lanes tonight and we had great fun. (Five pin bowling is hard! We laughed at ourselves a lot.) They don’t sell meals there, so we brought in take-out sushi and I enjoyed that just as much as my Arctic char. These are the people I spend a significant portion of my week, that I genuinely like; and it was nice to do something together that was outside of work.

The company we keep during a meal is important. Sean and I could be eating out, a fancy home cooked meal or delivery pizza – but it’s not about what or where. It’s about sitting together and enjoying each other’s company. It’s one of the reasons we survived the cleanse – we had each other.  If only we could keep the dining room table clear all the time so we could have more sit down meals. Something to work on.