Archives for the month of: May, 2011

Lately, really been wanting a lie-in one morning, so went to bed early last night, so wake up early this am.

I rush out the door – gym bag and yoga mat slung over the shoulder (my right shoulder is stll bothering me, been a while, hopefully nothing serious) and fly through traffic and then it is time to get to work.

Hardly anyone there this morning so I’m right on to the treadmill.

1h and 15min increase in speed and incline – actually the incline is totally reasonable, thinking about hiking to climbing routes, and the speed is pretty good too. Work, work, work. Put on a few of those silly shows I love so much – wedding planning, closet organization and getting out of debt. Huh, what a funny TV station.

Then – time for yoga.

Normal instructor is still ill, so it is The Other Yoga Instructor.

Better class today – more poses, we work a bit harder. Moment of eek! for me – the instructor gets out his “yoga strap” (sounds far, far kinkier than it is) and he corrects my downward dog pose – feet go back, ankles press out, hips press back further, sitting bones press up to the ceiling more, no weight on hands. Huh – I don’t know how I’m going to do this without a correction now – hopefully, I can remember the feeling.

Today is is all about me – my warrior II gets a correction, legs need to be spread wider (again, not as kinky as it sounds) in order to get the proper opening of the hips. Another correction when in a forward bend and a final one when doing the extended side-angle.

Yeah, someone’s edges were worked today.

Class ends and he looks right at me and asks if I’ve been stretched enough.

Have I?

Almost.

Not quite, I could use a few more poses, but yeah, getting there. Getting there.

At least nothing hurts right now – yoga works!

Back at home, more job search stuff, check to see how the volunteer is doing with mum and later on, I find some ice cream – pumpkin praline pie. What is up with this? No idea, but, yum. Seriously, where did this ice cream come from? It is incredible.

The downside of being so at the gym is that everything tastes so very good.

Thinking about another early tonight – this whole gym-thing is encouraging some excellent sleeps.

Jeans are starting to feel a bit…looser. Hmmm. I think this just may be the beginnings of results…is that possible so early on?

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Fingers.

Toes.

Inner thighs.

Out thighs.

This is a bad job – quicker to tell you what doesn’t hurt this morning: face, ears, roots of my hair, tip of my nose. Yeah, those parts of me feel great, ready to take on the day.

Up after a full 8 hours, early for a Sunday, this moment, breakfast, this moment, shower, this moment, get everything ready for the gym, this moment, this moment, I am just going to curl up in the middle of my bed and go back to sleep, rest the weary body. Rest.

Temptation.

Not giving in, not giving up.

1hour on the treadmill – increase speed and incline and the gym seems like the place to be this morning, everyone working hard. Sweat is soaking into my workout clothes and man, it is hot in here. Yikes.

Normal yoga teacher is away today, so today, it is the other yoga teacher – the chatty one, the one who talks more than moves, I don’t move as much when he teaches, but, can’t argue, I do like his attention to form. We work the downward dog.

Slowly my poses are getting better.

My shoulders open and body presses back, the weight is on my feet, my hands are for balance.

Crescent, my hips go down, hips separate a little more and I keep them squared.

We work pigeon, my hips are more square then they were months ago, back stretches out, leg goes back further.

At the end, still in pain. There are still all these pockets of acid in the body, things aren’t flowing as well as they usually do. Haven’t moved enough. Rolling up the mat, the body feel stiff and sore and I could use another hour of yoga.

I need more…flow. Flux. The body has too many stops and starts today.

I like this instructor for his detail, for his technical, but I need more flow.

I guess we all have our definition of “rest”.

Climbing!

5 routes/climbs completed today = 2 x 5.9 + 3 x 5.10-.

We try out that 5.9 I’ve been thinking about all week and for me, it is a complete fail. I don’t even manage to do the first holds as well as I did last week – I’m thinking about it too much and not just letting go and trying. We also try a 5.10- on this wall by the bouldering routes that I’m always checking out – no one bouldering today and the route is marked with red tape. Also a total failure. Both these climbs are slanted forward, so require way more arm strength. And ab strength. Unfortunately, I’m just not that strong.

Yet.

With all the yoga, weight machines and time doing cardio , still having trouble with these kinds of climbs.

Oh well. Next week we will try it again.

Chat with some other climbers and exchange contact into to make plans to do some outdoor climbing – my partner decided that this summer she wants to get outside and spend loads of time climbing. Cool.

Yes, it is up to me to make this happen.

My climbing partner is shocked – I was bold, we walked into the gym and I walked over to these two climbers and asked them right away if they were interested in doing outdoor climbing – they are!

Next time, I supposed to warn her first, you know, before I go off talking to people. She said she was surprised.

Yes, I’ve already given her the warning that I will talking to more people next week.

It is funny, that sometimes social activities attracted anti-social people.

It wasn’t difficult, I just let go and tried.

Whew!

No time for brunch after and yeah, I’m sore, so get something to eat and spend most of the rest of day or at least every 2 hours I’m eating. Different kind of soreness after climbs compared to the weight machines – the finer muscles, fingers, toes, hurt like anything.

Very happy with the 3 5.10-, been a while since we managed to do so many in one session and we both do them smoothly and better than before. We are getting better.

Now – one of my fav movies is on! “The Wizard of Oz”! Ha – usually it is on around Xmas, so this is a real treat.

Today is not happening.

I’m not getting out of bed today – it is rainy, it is cold, the roots of my hair, my toes, my fingertips, teeth, ears and lips are the only things that don’t hurt. I feel grumpy and tired and sore.

I’m going to snuggle down in this warm bed and stay here all day.

I’m up.

Up, and out of bed and into the the world.

Hey! First amazing thing happens to me, five minutes after getting out of bed – dad is up super early and made chocolate! Yummy! I have a cup with my piece of toast with cream cheese and smoke salmon.

Yes, I know cream cheese is completely disgusting. I still eat it. Gross, right? But easy protien.

I weigh taking the day off from the gym and going to the gym and –

I don’t know.

I rush through getting ready, just in case.

Time to get dress and I –

Reach for my gym clothes – looks like I’m off to the gym!

45min on the elliptical trainer and then time for yoga class.

Hey! Second amazing thing thing happens to me! My fav yoga instructor is teaching today’s class – she doesn’t usually, so how cool is this?

Great class – isn’t too stressful and works a couple of areas that need some work, gets out the pain, moves the liquid around, feels good.

Brief sit-down in the sauna – have no idea if this is good for a body or not, but I like it – and then another shower and now, time to go.

On the way out I run into my fav sales guy. I guess if you frequent the place where someone works everyday you are bound to see each other, makes sense right?

He challenges me to that arm wrestle.

Yes, I decline.

I suggest he come for a climb or join in a on yoga class sometime.

We don’t do any of these, but he shares with me his deeper motivations for working out and taking particular care at the gym and training. Interesting, the things that make us tick, isn’t it?

I get it.

I totally get it.

I’m thankful for the sharing. I thankful for connecting with someone who wants to share these things with me, let me get to know them, great amount of trust shown to me.

You know, the best thing, he says that he was having a so-so kind of day, a bit off, a bit down and he says that seeing me, talking with me, turns his day around, it is a hi-lite, it makes him feel great and ready to take on the rest of the day.

Hey.

How so very cool is that.

It reminds me of that time a friend of mine said I was like her St. John’s Wart. And another friend agreed with her.

Something about being able to make other people feel good, feel great, help to turn their day around and make it better. I think, maybe that is my real super power – none of this controlling the weather stuff, but making people feel good.

Ok, I will count that conversation and what he said to me as the third amazing thing that happens to me today.

It is Friday and it is before noon, so you know what that means – time for a half-price movie! (Review is below – spoiler, not a great movie.)

I’m hungry and can’t make up my mind about which treat I want. I order the cheese pizza, which I really don’t want, but it is better than the huge pretzel I really, really, really want.

Fourth amazing thing – the pizza machine (wut??) isn’t working today, so I can only have a pretzel! Woo!

Fifth amazing thing – preview of the Tin-Tin movie! Eeeee! I can’t wait until December, I need to see this movie now! Nownownownow.

Ack! All these movies I’m waiting to see! How ever will I survive?!

Heavier than usual traffic on the way home – I’m later than usual – and then home.

Another cup of chocolate, I think today is my lucky day or some junk, and I’m making some plans and applying for jobs and get the latest news from one of my dear friends – she has been offered an awesome job, at an awesome company, in an awesome city. Congrats – you know who you are, you are wonderful and totally earned this. You deserve this, so enjoy!

Quiet rest of the day and you know – 5 amazing things happened to me today, things that made getting out of bed totally worth it. Amazing Friday.

 

Couldn’t resist the lure of seeing this one on the day after opening.

This review must begin with a caveat – I loved the first film, “Kung Fu Panda”, is was the incredibly clever, funny, entertain animated film with plenty of laughs and oddly realistic Kung Fu sequences. The first film was obviously made by and for people who love kung fu film and it was a complete pleasure.

So the sequel.

First, I’m just going to go on the record here, on the blog here, I guess and say that I’m not sure that this was a movie that was dying to be made. As much as I loved the first film, I walked of the theatre back then feeling very satisfied about the film, the storyline and everything in general. I wasn’t anticipating or wanting a sequel, the story was pretty complete in itself, with no loose ends.

It is a shame that every film that comes along now needs to have more than one film – when we see a film, suddenly it is like this great commitment – I see one movie, enjoy it and suddenly I have to see the next movie? When I’m seeing a movie, I don’t want to buy into a franchise, I want to see a movie, be entertained, maybe think a bit and then go home feeling like I spent my money in a smart and clever way. Sequels are killing this for me – now I go to see a movie and if I enjoyed I see the sequel, which I rarely enjoy as much as the original (yes, notable exceptions to that).

So anyway, the review.

This sequel takes us back to the Dragon Warrior (a Panda named “Po”) and the Furious Five – Tigress (who fights using Tiger-style Kung Fu), Mantis (Mantis-style), Viper (Viper-style), Monkey (Monkey-style) and Stork (Stork-style) – do I have to tell you that in the first movie the animation and storyline actually did a very nice job of giving each of these characters a moment or two to show off the different styles, this was a huge hi-light for me as it not only provided some excellent animation and fight sequences but also brought fond memories of watching old Kung Fu movies as a kid and seeing real people do these same styles. Very cool.

Anyway.

As is increasing becoming a trend in sequels, the only way to tell a new story is go back in time and tell some things about the main character that we didn’t know before – why is Po’s dad a goose, when, obviously Po is a Panda? This movie explains all and introduces a new baddie.

Unfortunately, I’m not so sure that we care enough to warrant another movie. Actually, I know this wasn’t enough to warrant another movie.

This movie had few laughs, few really interesting fight sequences and very little that was moving or interesting in any way.

There were some interesting visual moments of great beauty – my fav moments was when the evil-doer, this time a peacock voiced by Gary Oldman spread it’s tail – very lovely and visually very different from anything in the previous movie.

Some interesting voices too – was that Michelle Yeoh as the wise seer? Yep! And yeah, I sorta dug Jean-Claude Van Damme as Master Croc (kung fu crocodile).

Unfortunately, much of the voice talent – Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu – is simply wasted, we don’t even get a strong performance from Dustin Hoffman.

And I know, I know, this is a kids’ movie and perhaps I’m being what, too critical or something, but come on, I’m a firm believer that movies for any age should be of high quality – how else do we learn that when we are being entertained it is ok to ask that we be entertained with quality?

Nope, this one, I think you can safely pass on, just give it a miss. If your craving for Kung Fu can only be met with a panda, then, please, see the first one.

In addition the animation of Gary Oldman’s peacock, the end titles were very cool as well, they animated them in a style of Chinese shadow puppets, as they did with the first film, so if you do see this film, then stay until the very very end.

Ack! How do they expect me to wait until December for the Tin-Tin movie?! This is some bizarre new torture…

Ok, up and out and at the gym at 7:48am.

Treadmill for 15min and I’m warmed-up.

Weight training!

Moment of confusion when doing my reps – there is another person there who wants to get a set a reps between one of my first and second round of reps. Sorry, but did she not see me stretching here?

I have to admit, I’m not sure if I do my reps probably, I seem to the be the only one doing them like this, I’m following directions a friend of mine gave me when I first tried weight machines. He said try to do the max that I can and still retain control, the weights should go up and down smoothly, with weights never quite touching down until you are done the set. His advice was to do 3 sets of 12 and between each set to rest or stretch between  – I stretch. He said to either stick with one machine for all 3 sets or alternate between machines that work alternate groups – if you start with front legs, then do back, then do front…you get the pic.

Today I took a bit of look round, just being curious. Ok, just being nosy. To see what people are doing – some people are doing a little circuit – one machine, then another, then a third and to a fourth and back the first. Unfortunately, I get in the way of someone’s circuit – ‘cuz like the machine is free and hasn’t been adjusted, I adjust the machine and start on my reps. As I’m stretching between first set and second set, the person doing the circuit asks if I’m done. I say “No, just stretching and about to get back on.”

No, I didn’t ask her why she didn’t use the other machine, you know the one, the one that is exactly the same as the one I’m on, but like two machines over.

No, I didn’t suggest that she use the other machine downstairs either, you know, the one that is exactly the same.

Oh well.

Moments of stupidity for me at the gym.

Today I add a bit more weight to some of the machines and add a new machine – “Total Abs”, which sounds pretty serious. It was pretty serious. My abs feel pretty serious.

45min on the treadmill after the weight machines and have a very nice chat with my fav sales guy. Get caught up on our programs and progress and trade insights about ow things are going and our motivations about working out. For him – it is vanity, he doesn’t even care how strong he is as long he looks strong and big. He wants to give the impression of being big and strong. Me – I want to be smaller and stronger. I want to fit into the LBD and be a better climber. We have a laugh about the differences between us.

Very enjoyable chat – it is good to have a fun chat with someone smiley and happy and “up” at the end of a very difficult workout. Really, like an extra special bonus.

Unfortunately, for my muscles we talk a bit too long and I’m cooled down before I make it to the sauna – ummm, please imagine whatever celebrity you want in a towel in a hot and steamy room, sweat running down their skin in rivers…Sorry, did I need to put a warning here? Oops!

I get out and home and find lunch and put some more resumes out there into the world. Fingers crossed ok?

Spend some time preparing for summer activities – told very seriously by my climbing partner that she is up for more climbing outside this summer! How excited am I??!!! Soooooo excited.

Join up with a “find a climber” site, work on the profile and post a message about looking for a lead climber for outdoors. Fingers are also crossed.

Yes, the crossed fingers will make it hard to climb.

Send off some emails about courses and yep, waiting for replies to sort through which ones are to consider.

I think.

Today was a great kind of Thursday.

I can’t decide whether to go to yoga in the morning or not…

I’m up.

I’m up at 6am, closing in on a more normal time again, struggling to get back to normal, “almost normal” feels great. No being sleepy in the warm, cozy bed this morning, stuff to do, plans, plans, plans.

Eat, quickie shower, gather my stuff and out the door at 7:30am. Yes, to the gym I go. Hi-ho.

48min on the elliptical then it is time for yoga.

Oh noes.

Wrong instructor – this instructor is very technical with his poses and things don’t really flow, you know what I mean? I like a yoga class where one pose goes into another to another and so on and so forth. I don’t like just doing one or two poses and then switching up – start seated, now stand, now lie down, now sit, now stand, now sit again. Gesh!  It is confusing. He is also very chatty. I appreciate that he gets up from his mat and takes a look at our poses – this is the same instructor who corrected my pose a couple weeks back and I’m thankful for it, but, more flow please, more flow.

And less chit-chat.

Today was a bit embarrassing for me in class – he asked us to come into a certain pose and none of us knew the pose – he said the pose’s actual real name, not the English name. So he asked me what the pose was and I couldn’t answer it! You know why? ‘cuz I only know the pose names in English! This is what happens when you take yoga by video and taking classes in a gym.

Oh well.

No treadmill after yoga, I’m pretty spent.

Flake out for a bit in the steam room, but even with the large gulps of water I had I’m feeling a bit dry. Haha – feeling “dry” in the steam room?

After, I uncharacteristically go over to a store and try on a few things, not shopping or anything, just to do something different. I try on some clothes for fun and then take off for home and daily quest of finding lunch.

After, I do some more sorting pics and videos and things are almost done on that front, so goody-goody.

Curiosity makes me lose my mind a bit and I pull out the LBD, just to see how things are going.

I know, I know, it is way to earlier to see any results whatsoever, but you know, I think of it as extra motivation. I probably can’t do the thing up still.

LBD goes on, I get fully on! and I get the zipper all the way up!

Hee.

So, yup, the work is, you know…working.

Honestly, it looks completely awful, but the zipper goes up, so this is a start. A very promising start. And yes, starts are a great place to begin.

Not much going on tonight, I’m fond of the week after the season finales on TV, they start playing the season from the season première, so now I can get caught up on all those shows whose finales I watched but missed most of the season.

Ack.

Alarm goes off and you know what? Today. Today is not happening.

Everything aches. I’m going to stay in bed all day and just –

Nope.

No way.

I’m up and out and in the car and off to the gym and on the elliptical warming up for 15min.

Yeah. That’s right, some days, as much as you want to just let it slide, you have to keep with it, stick to the program and tough it out.

Today I tough it out.

And yeah, today is the day of me being some kind of tough chick, I’m going to rally against the world.

Ok, against the weight machines.

The temptation to go easy is great, but I don’t. Muscles burn and I do all the reps with all the weight. I completely mess up my tricep reps, poor form, but it happens, so ok, I’ll do better next time.

By the time the reps are done I’m at my limit so very short, limited time on the treadmill – perspective matters, I got here, I did the work-out, things are progressing.

Short time in the sauna and then, wash-up and get home to find lunch.

Not much happens for the job search today, but I spend some time sorting through and sending off some pics and videos from the dance gig that I attended on Saturday night. So far the vids are looking better than the pics, but some of the pics are interesting.

Yes, I will post them when everyone agrees which ones can be posted.

Another season finale tonight and you know what? I hate when they move the time of the finale from the usual time – they moved the finale an hour later! I don’t know what is up with that, but all I know is that no one consulted me about this and I was really looking forward to an early bed-time tonight.

Hmm. I wonder if an angry letter would help them avoid this in the future.

Ow.

Owowowowowow.

Thighs are killing me – sore, sore, sore. Ack.

I’m about to be late for –

Oops.

Haha – nope, I’m up an hour before my alarm. Well, alright. I’m going to just enjoy not moving for a bit, breath deeply, listen to my heart beating…I’m out of bed half an hour later, really, have to get going on the day. It is a holiday for most, so better not waste it.

Yes?

Yes. My hair smells like campfire from last night and I can’t climb like that! so wash hair, grab a bite, find something to wear and stumble out the door.

Ow.

Get to the gym and my climbing partner is no where in sight.

Drat.

I settle down to wait.

15min of wait and she shows – her arms are killing her, so between her arms and my legs, we make one complete climber!

Agree we are going to just…try, see how it feels and not push it too hard.

We are just going to try.

We start with a 5.9 that kills my legs, it is sloppy, poor footwork and I’m forgetting to step, push and reach in one motion. I’m tiring too soon.

The 5.8 that is up next goes smoother, but the body is wondering what I’m thinking.

The 5.10- is…easier. We both do that one smooth and steady. It is the best my climbing partner has ever done a 5.10-, very impressive stuff, strong, graceful and not a falter or misstep. My turn is not so graceful and I mess my feet a little, but no falls, so there you go. We are both getting better.

Then we are back to the 5.9 that goes through the doorway – my first start is complete junk and wow, I have so little left in me. I try again.

Ok, there it goes.

I falter a bit, when my feet both come of the wall and I’m almost in a dead hang for a moment but gotta keep moving, I get back on. Swing my feet over and back, and the rest of the climb is pretty smooth, but yeah, my legs are still burning.

My climbing partner chooses a 5.8 to end things for today. She climbs quickly.

My turn and I –

Well, I lose my mind a bit.

Instead of the 5.8, I decide, hey! I want to try the first few holds of the 5.9 right behind us, on the facing wall, the one that angles out towards the gym and has two features, haven’t seen anyone do the start of this, but I know there is a way to get up this.

We take a close look at the holds, study the features – there are some textured parts where feet need to be placed was friction holds. I have to start this climb two-handed and then do a high-step up to the wall.

I’m not going to get to even the second hold.

I’ve got nothing left.

We tie in.

Alright, this is really stupid, but you know, I’m just going to…try.

Right-hand-hold is up and on the second feature, left-hand-hold is on top of the first feature over to the left, just slightly above my left shoulder, standing on the floor, tied-in. I have to start pulling and swing right leg into the wall and on to the foot-hold,. The body should go up and in to the wall.

From there, I don’t know what to do.

Ok.

I’m just going to…try.

I pull, right leg swings and find the right foot-hold, I’m almost in a dead hang and I’m pulling with my abs, in, in to the wall, in, in. Two hands on the right hand-hold and left foot finds a hold just above the right foot. Abs pull me to the wall. Now, I have to travel across to get the next hold. I don’t know how I do it but I get the next hold with my right hand. My feet are off the wall, dead hang again and this hurts and I reach and –

And –

Ouch.

I’m –

Falling.

Swing out, away from the wall and swing back and forth a bit.

My climbing partner lowers me. Hello floor.

Strong start. I’ve never had such a strong start on this wall before. I’ve never made it so far up.

Ok.

We look at the holds again, imagine the moves. Imagine the motion, the weight, how the body should move through space, the fingers, toes. Ok – this is how it breaks down, limit the dead hangs, they take so much energy, try to stay close to the wall, do it fast and movemovemove from hold to hold.

Ok.

I don’t know why.

The climb is there. So, yes, climb. The only answer for doing this – I climb because I can, because there is an opportunity, a moment that I can up. As much as up scares me, I want to try. Try it again.

Start the same way and this time, the moves are stronger. Keep hips higher and I’m able to move easier, faster. Legs come off the wall but they are replaced on the holds we were just looking at – I’m there, right hand gets the next hold and I’m –

Tired.

Falling.

Swinging out into space.

Ok.

All I have today, time for lunch.

One last look and you know what – I can do this climb. Not today, not five climbs in, not today. But, yeah, next time, I will do this climb. I will try again and do.

Lunch is at one of the popular vegan places – I’m a chai chiller smoothie which is yum with a breakfast wrap – scrambled tofu with veggies and a side of celery cashew soup. I’m not hugely into celery, but in need of something to get the chill out – it is damp-ish sort of day and bit of breeze, but, yeah, good enough to be on the patio. My climbing partner gets a huge salad with a pom-acai smoothie and we split an order of their awesome onion rings.

Oh yeah, I needed this.

Train home and so happy I drove over the train station – too lazy, but I would never make it home with how my legs feel.

Legs and fingers are killing me.

Whew!

Indulge in a hot bath that takes some of the sting out and I’m –

Whew.

I’m out of steam completely, nothing left. I’m going to flake out and do nothing.

Nothing and drink loads of water. And grab some snacks as needed.

Victoria Day plays true to form and it rains. Hope those doing fireworks tonight stayed warm and dry.

Awesome Victoria Day.

Oop!

What time is it?

Why didn’t my alarm go off?

I’m about to be –

Wait.

Nope.

Whew!

I’m up before my alarm, so time to get up and get going.

No yoga this morning, I have other plans.

I’m lazy and really, I should walk, but the rain drops make me drive. It is going to rain all day today, so I wear some shoes that are good for sitting around inside and being dry.

I check that have our movie tickets about 20 times before meeting my friend at the agreed time and we book-browse. I’m far too into the conversation to even look at the books, so we head to the theatre and get our seats. She is good, I’m lazy, she does stairs, I take the escalator. Yikes, we are high up!

We get my perfect theatre seats and then get some snacks. Man, these things are expensive!

We settle back in.

Oh! Previews! I love previews.

New Muppet movie coming out in the fall! The Muppets. Not sure how I missed hearing about this, but I totally did.

Ok. I know now.

Yes, I already have plans to see it!

I’m sooooooo excited!

After the movie it is time to get lunch.

Oh, so many choices.

Not sure what I’m in the mood for and my friend isn’t wanting anything specific.

We are near so many, too many? awesome places to eat.

Huh.

We end up at one of my fav Indian places – Aroma. The lunch buffet is only until 3pm, so we have a good amount of time to – oops! We have 20 minutes.

No worries.

We get it done.

Fresh naan brought to our table, twice ‘cuz naan is one of my fav things ever, and we get everything that we want. Their butter chicken is probably the best I’ve ever had, and it is a feature in the buffet, I’m happy.

We both eat too much. I mean, I know I do and my friend says she does…

After, strangely, the storm has not rolled in – did we miss while watching the movie? – so we go for a walk.

Down to the waterfront.

Oh!

Everyone is out and about and walking their dogs and taking their kids out for some air and hanging with friends or walking hand in hand with a sweetie or spending time with a friend. We have been so very inside lately, weather-wise, that everyone comes alive, the city comes alive when we are outside.

We sit and walk and walk and sit. Stare out of the water and talk each others’ ears off.

My friend gives me her ears and insight about some things that has been weighing on me heavily and for now, find myself greatly calmed.

Eventually we wind our way back to the train station where it is time to part ways. My feet are killing me, stupid shoes, and my friend should get home to her lovely husband and I should get on with things and get to bed at a decent time tonight.

Get home and – hello! – my bro, sis-in-law and niece are here! Whoopee!

Turns out that the lifting of the fog and lack of rain means that the tradition of having fireworks with some neighbours is back on! They only decided an hour before I got home, so hey! Let’s do this!

I kick off these stupid, stupid shoes, get into a comfier pair of pants, get sent back to find some socks and put on my boots (my bro looked at my first choice of footwear and told me to change – the guy is a dad now, so he thinks that everyone needs advice on what to wear.) (For the record, he was right.) Grab my fleece and shell and bag dad hands me and we are all off!

We aren’ t the last to arrive, but close, get caught up with the neighbours. I get told off for buying a car and no longer walking in the mornings – yes, I miss it too, never mind I’m looking for a job right not – find about new pets, how much people miss my bright yellow scarf (yes, my neighbours have a vested interest in the odd things I wear.) (For the record is a beautiful, bring yellow scarf. Everyone loves it.) (Also for the record, I paid 1$ for it 9 years ago from a charity shop.)

Spend more time talking and getting advised of the news and yes, I even eat a veggie burger BBQ-ed on the open flame even though I’m not hungry. Something about food done on open flame, am I right?

Sun is setting and time to get things going.

Somehow my bro is in charge this year of setting off the fireworks.

I suspect it has something to do with this story I’m told a couple of times – apparently a couple of years ago the host was sober enough to set off fireworks for the crowd, but not sober enough to remember to point the fireworks away from the crowd. One of the people who told me this was talking to another fellow who leaned away from him and the firework passed between them.

Scary.

The first time my bro lite the fireworks was when he was 11.

Things change.

It is fun, we laugh, we “oooo!” and “ahh” and “oh?”. The kids play with sparklers and my niece stays up past her bedtime.

Dad and I drink 12-year-old rum with coconut water and people drink the rum and beers and coolers and whatever else.

We’ve always, this year not being an exception, behind a house that backs to the ravine, the bird sanctuary. The view, when not foggy or filled with smoke from fireworks, is like a basin of water, surrounded on three sides by homes that back the water and on one side by the protected/bird sanctuary. It is lovely and feels like we are very far from civilization – except for the train going by. And the cars parking at the protected area. And the noise from other people lighting off fireworks.

Anyway, it is peaceful and calm and the perfect place to kick back with some neighbours and have a good time.

I am still a wimp, so I leave after the fireworks are all done – stuff to do in the am, even though, yes, it is a holiday, sorry gotta go. You would understand if you knew how hard these people can party. I once called my parents at 5am to wish them “Happy New Year” (yes, I missed midnight) and they weren’t home until 9am. When dad called me back at 9am he called us wimps and said how ashamed he was to have a daughter who went to bed so early on when she should be celebrating New Years.

So, yeah, sometimes I don’t even try.

Excellent night, wonderful day.

Happy Victoria Day Long Week-end!