Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I hear they make talkies now

I'm at work watching Nosferatu (1922). I got it from the library because of a discussion on older films with special effects that still hold up. This one got a couple mentions and I was curious.

It's surprisingly compelling, but I don't how much of that is the novelty of watching a silent film rather than the merits of the film itself. I've never seen a silent film before, only short parody clips of them. It's very entertaining and I'm realizing that the parodies I've seen haven't been too far off the mark. It's really hard to watch a silent film and still be somewhat productive, though. I'm not used to having to actually watch since I very often rely on listening with occasional glances at the picture.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Winter. I hates it.

We were in an accident this morning on the way to our soccer game. Most importantly, no one was hurt. It was a minor crash in the grand scheme of things, though perhaps not as minor to the pocketbook. No other cars were involved, we just came around a corner hit an icy patch, and slid sideways. The car hit the curb hard, with the front driver's side tire being the point of initial impact. The steering wheel now spins loosely and freely, so something about the steering mechanism and front-wheel drive is now very broken. Hopefully, it will be one of the less expensive things to fix but we won't find out until Monday.

We were unable to call any of the parents on the soccer team right away to tell them we weren't going to make it, but that couldn't be helped. Some of the parents stepped up and got the kids on the field, so the kids on the team didn't miss out on their game. David's ex did call to find out what was going on and ranted to me about how David is a [expletive] lazy [expletive] who can't do anything [expletive] right, and what the [expletive] is she supposed to tell all those [expletive] parents asking her what the [expletive] is going on. "Tell them the coaches were in a car accident and can't make it. It's pretty simple."

Monday, November 17, 2008

"I wish every day could be Negro day!"

Another surprise date! On Thursday, David told me not to make any plans for Saturday night because he had a surprise for me. I love his surprises. He told me that the surprise was something relevant to the early days of our relationship, that I was familiar with the venue, and that he wasn't sure how to get there and had no idea where it was. The first two clues led me to strongly suspect that we were going to see Hairspray at the Jubilee Auditorium; The 2007 film version was the first DVD we never finished watching together. Twice. I've also been to a few plays at the Jube. However, David has been to the Jube with me twice before so that didn't fit the last clue. Turns out he just hadn't connected that he'd seen HMS Pinafore and Spamalot at the same place.

Hairspray was great. As much as I loved Spamalot, this may be my new favorite. I loved the music and the dancing, David liked the racist tones and sexual innuendo. Part of why I may have enjoyed it so much was that I didn't really go in with any expectations. For many plays I go in with high expectations and preconceived notions, but that wasn't the case with this one. I didn't know enough about the play, nor was I sure I was even going, nor did I have a lot of time to mull it over. This play had nothing to live up to so it was able to set its own bar.

Because of the positive themes of being happy with who you are and good race relations it's a really popular play to take kids to, but I bet a lot of those parents didn't go in really being aware of the innuendo. The mom sitting next to me gave a surprised laugh at a "stiffy" joke and then faced awkwardness when her tweenage daughter asked why it was funny.

The black mark on the evening: Parking at the Jube was a mess. They finally have the new multi-level parkade open, but there's only one road leading out because of all of the construction still going on. We were on the second level and got to our car fairly quickly, but it was still a total clusterfuck. We had to wait for 20 minutes not moving at all.

David said that next time we're going to the Jube, we'll park in his downtown parkade spot and take the LRT. It's really nice to not have to mentally add "if there is a next time." I have the best boyfriend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lest we forget

Conversation heard this morning in a coffee shop between a nice old man and the nice but ditzy barista:

Barista: So, what did you do for Remembrance Day?
Man: I was in the honour guard at the Butterdome service.
B: Oooh, cool!
M: I've been doing the honour guard for the last 20 years.
B: Fun! Do you enjoy doing it?
M: Well, no, but I have to do lots of things I don't enjoy. Remembrance Day is not about enjoyment.

He was kind and nothing in his tone came across as lecturing, it was just a simple statement of fact for him. She was looking uncomfortable and and awkward, so at that point I bailed her out and commented to him that it was an important and special thing that he does and other brief small talk about Remembrance Day while we waited for our orders to come up. I thanked him and wished him a good day.

Although the turnout at the service I went to was the largest I've seen in several years, it's unfortunate and a little disheartening that the overall trend in attitude seems to be that November 11 is losing relevance and is becoming just another day off from work or school.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

This has been a birthday to remember. I haven't had such an event made of my birthday since I was a wee tot. I've always had friends around, like at Feast last year, but that was an existing event that my birthday was absorbed into. This year it was all about me, and I liked it.

I had told David months ago that I really wanted to see Little Shop of Horrors at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre, and the end of the run for that coincided with my birthday. He commented that it would be impossible to use that as a surprise, as I was likely to go ahead and book tickets on my own just to be sure I'd get to see it. I let it go and didn't bring it up, hoping that it would indeed be my birthday event. As it got closer to my birthday, he started making comments about how quickly my birthday was coming up, asking what I wanted to do, etc. I was suspicious that it was just a red herring, but there was the niggling wonder that maybe he did wait too late to get tickets and was really at a loss for what to do.

On Halloween, the Friday before my birthday, the kids were trick-or-treating with their mom. I was home sick and David called to ask if I was going to be okay for that night.

"What's tonight?"
"Date night! Dinner and Saw V."
"I don't want to see Saw V."
"C'mon, it's Halloween and date night."
"I don't want to see Saw V."
"Maybe we'll see Quarantine instead. Just be ready at 6:30. Shit, your birthday is coming up really fast. Tonight can double as your birthday night out."

Hmm. Be ready to go out to movies I didn't really want to see for a date/birthday night? That smelled like a setup for a suprise night at the dinner theatre! When I chose Tony Roma's as the restaurant so we could relive our first date and we actually went, I realized there was no dinner theatre in store that night. It was still a good night; we shared Kickin' Shrimp and a couple other appys, then went home to watch movies. I began to wonder if I'd be disappointed over the theatre.

On Saturday I was led to believe that we were staying in. There were a lot of comments about how we'd have the kids and that David's mom was making supper. Then after soccer, I was advised to take a nap because it was going to be a late night. Hmmm. I asked about attire and was told that he'd be wearing a long sleeved shirt and dress pants. Hmmm! Around 6:30 we were ready and heading out the door, but I was still being asked where I wanted to go for dinner. I was pretty sure we were probably going to Little Shop, but he did have me doubting it. David tried very hard to keep it a surprise, even driving right past the Mayfield under the guise of cruising for restaurants. Eventually we pulled into the parking lot of the Mayfield and picked up the tickets he'd booked a month prior.

The show was fantastic. I loved it at all and was over the moon at this big night out for my birthday. The artistic director at work, Farren, played Seymour and did a great job. The food was better than Jubilations. There was a minor incident with sushi; David was trying some selections from the sushi platter and nagged me into trying a piece. I can't say I don't like it if I don't try it, right? So I tried it. And something in the roll I had was of just the right texture to trigger my sensitive gag reflex, resulting in me excusing myself to the ladies room as quickly but unobtrusively as possible. We got home late and I opened my first present, which was a new chenille bathrobe.

Sunday was a birthday-free zone. I wasn't feeling well but the kids had been promised a trip to WEM. I was in no shape to go swimming, so David took the littlest one to the waterpark while I went with the other to Galaxyland. I usually do pretty well on rides, but not when I'm already sick. The Swing of the Century did me in. I think Monday was also a birthday-free zone, but I don't really remember anything about Monday.

Tuesday morning I was treated to David's special pan scramble breakfast. Eggs pan scrambled with bacon bits, bell peppers, and cheese. Yum! I also got another present, which was a
Flight of the Conchords CD. David went off to work, I got the kid onto the school bus, went back to bed for a little bit, and I got to work somehow or another. At work Tammy had a box of chocolate and some fancy soaps for me. David took me out for a birthday lunch at Ricky's, which is where we met for the first time. We even got 'our' booth. There was another present, which was the DVD of the 1986 Little Shop of Horrors.

At some point that morning, I found out through Facebook that my chosen birthday dinner of chicken fajitas had been expanded into an impromptu SUPER PARTY. People were being invited. A buzz was being created. We were going to need more food, so I volunteerd my pizza making skills. Board games and video game consoles were moved upstairs. In the space of 7 hours, my quiet family dinner turned into a party of 7 other adults and three kids, and two babies. Yikes! We had chicken fajitas, barbecue chicken pizza, some sort of meat pizza, and chips and salsa. The kids did kid things while the adults played Uno. Once the kids had gone home or to bed, as applicable, the remaining five of us opened gifts (a book, candy, beads, candles, and a nice new coat) and played a game of
Scene It!. We wrapped up around 10:30. Once everyone was home we cleaned up and went to bed. For a party that was planned in less than seven hours, I think it was quite a success.

Very good birthday. I'd say that it was best birthday in my adult life. I could get used to this.