Saturday, January 24, 2009

winter beach - first of the year

I love the beach in winter time. It's so quiet you can hear yourself think. I swear I can feel my blood pressure drop and my heart beat slow down each time I come to this water. The first glimpse of it as you come through town still takes my breath away -- every time -- after all these years. It is so familiar to me now, but familiarity has not diminished its beauty. Knowing it so well only lets me love it better.

It was too snowy to come on New Year's Day this year, so today, January 24th, was my first beach visit of the year. A little late perhaps, but I did get there. I grabbed a coffee and an indulgent cinnamon bun and headed for the shore to commune.The tide was all the way in so this little river formed right across the beach all the way down to the water. It's not hard to get over, but with a full coffee in one hand and precious, cinnamon-y cargo in the other I decided settle on this side of it. Some local driftwood obliged and offered me a seat. With the tide so far in a little waterfall formed not five feet from where I sat. As I munched and sipped I had the sound of the waves coming home in one ear and the tinkling bells of the fall in the other. Could any garden seat be sweeter?
It was a perfect day for picking up interesting rocks.
And breathing deeply. And letting the wind dance in your hair.
It was a rather cold wind chasing away visitors. I didn't stay too long past the end of my coffee and walked back to my car shivering and smiling. Beach season has officially begun.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

watching history

Did you watch today? Here on the west coast the inauguration happened early in the workday. We were given permission to stop work and watch so with 6 co-workers gathered around my computer we watched history unfold in Washington. What incredible thing to see. There must be so many who felt this day would never come. And now here we are, a day, perhaps a new country. Who knows what dreams may come?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

stargate: atlantis wrap party

Much to the disappointment of fans everywhere, Stargate: Atlantis was canceled earlier this year making the fifth season the final installment. The fifth season hasn't even aired on cable in Canada yet but thanks to the wonders of a friend with Movie Central that hasn't got in our way. The final episode aired recently and we decided to have a little wrap party and watch it together. Monica came over with the tape and we had blue jello and lemon chicken to celebrate (Rodney would have been proud).

We also had chocolate covered strawberries -- no irony or hidden Atlantis reference there, they just taste good.I thought they did a good job with the final episodes, they brought their game up a little. I think the story lines have suffered this season. I was pleased to see them pick up a few threads from episodes past and was particularly touched with Carter's lines about renaming the Phoenix the General Hammond. There were "ahhs" all across the living room for that one. A fitting tribute I thought. [ For those who don't watch the show, shame on you, Don S. Davis who played General Hammond for many years on Stargate SG-1 passed away suddenly last year. Now you're in the know, go watch the show. ]

When we got to the part when Ronon is shot [I mean stabbed, thanks Coli :) ] I was almost out of my chair. Theses guys face certain death all the time on the show, but you know they're always going to get back up again. Here in the final episode I thought maybe they weren't kidding. By the end of the show, they had told a good story, so I was happy. You could tell that the writers have been taking full advantage of the end of show, all bets are off atmosphere. A few episodes back they cut off Sheppard's hand and I totally bought it. I figured they could green screen his hand for the final three shows. Any other point in the series I would have known that something was up, but this close to the end, it's all on the table.

There's going to be an Atlantis movie, or so they tell us, as they try to both keep us on board and pitch the new spin-off who's name I will not mention here. Yes, I'm sulking, I know, but I liked Atlantis and I wish they could have kept it around a little longer. They film right here in Vancouver and I never got a chance to causally swing by. (Although as any Vancouverite will tell you, you can follow the neon road signs as long as you like, you're never going to get past the corner where they park the first security guy. It's still fun to dream.)

I'm sure we'll gather to watch the movie when it comes out and cheer on John and Ronan, Rodney and Teyla and the others. And until then, there's always the bonus features on the DVDs.

ps. Mom, here's what the new haircut looks like (at least the curly version, it's fun straight too.)




happy birthday Corrina!

I can hardly believe that Corrina is turning 3 already, but it's true. Wasn't it just yesterday I was posting about her arrival? Dave put up a message on Facebook asking for little videos for Corrina so here's mine. It's the first take I did. The one I posted to Facebook is the second take where I tried to talk slower (cameras kinda freak me out). So this version has the speedy talking but the singing turned out better.

Happy birthday little niece! I love you more than you know.
video

Monday, January 05, 2009

the physics of snow

As you may have heard, we've had a little snow around here. And the natives, myself in particular, are none too pleased about it. For those who think we whine about snow of no significance, I offer the following physics problem. How do you get a car that does not bend in and out of this?
As you can see, my designated parking spot is on the gravel beside the driveway, normally a lovely place to park. Until the neighbour piles the snow from his driveway up one side of your car and the landlord piles the snow from the their driveway up the other turning your parking spot into a parking alley with verrry tight proportions:The alley stretches right out the road so now to get in, or out, you have to make a 90 degree turn from the road into the parking alley. For reference, the bank on the left is about 2.5 feet high, passable in truck or decent 4x4 (too bad I drive a Sentra). But the bank on the other side is getting to be a little over 4 feet -- that's a full size snow shovel standing up right on in it's blade beside the pile.I've gotten in and out twice using both the driveway across the street, the landlord's and a shaky three-ish point turn technique. The first time it was a success, this morning after another 4-5 inches of really wet, really slushy snow I beached the car right across the road trying to get back in. Thank goodness for kind neighbours who needed to use the road and pushed me out. (I'd say "you're awesome dude in the van!" but he was driving a truck -- that one was for you Wall family :) As for passengers, I can only take really really skinny people, unless you want to wait in the street til I get out.After my valiant if unsuccessful attempt to drive to work today I must say I've felt a little vindicated to see three other cars get stuck on this street and even a truck having a hard time getting down it. I wonder if it's too late to learn a rain dance?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009

Happy New Year! This time of year I'm always reminded of Anne Shirley's comment, "Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it." Here we stand at the opening of 2009, an entire year of flawless tomorrows all lined up and waiting for us. I don't know what 2009 will hold. I know of a few events that are expected but beyond that, only God knows. From down here it is a blank canvas as white and shadowless as the snow outside my window.

There's always talk of resolutions on this day, but I tend to shy away from that word. It's so steeped in disappointment and expectation that it seems doomed to fail. It's a shame really, because in addition to the idea of being resolved to do something, it also carries the idea of a solution, a problem resolved. I wonder if things would be different if we looked at it that way -- these are my solutions for 2009?

For me, rather than these weighty resolutions, I like to dream this time of year. What are my dreams for 2009, for myself, for my life, for the ones I love? There's far more scope in dreaming. One dream has already happened just last week -- Corrina sang. There was no guarantee of music in her life -- as far as I know the doctors don't know why some CO kids can hear it and others can't -- but she sang. And I thought of the jingle bells I bought her for her first Christmas, just weeks before we found out she was deaf. I remember crying when I realized that the bells would bring her no joy at all. There were just something shiny on a stick. But now. . . not only can she hear the bells, she can sing about them.

Another dream for 2009 is to start enjoying the SLR I bought myself last year. I am a little overwhelmed by it and a year of just staring at it hasn't helped much. There's a great quote from a knitting book I found a while back that says "Thing's I've learning from knitting: Projects get completed faster when you actually work on them, which is why the scarf I've been working on for two years has gotten no bigger, no matter how long I leave it in the basket." To this end I've signed up for a class run by one of the photography studios here in town. Whatever happens in 2009, perhaps I'll at least have better photos of it :)

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2009. What are your dreams for the year?