Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Coupland and Sudafed....

Been up to some non-flamenco activity again this's like giving up something for Lent....gotta do it every now and then to see what is really in control of your life.

Just spent an hour or so catching up on my other fav blog sites and got inspired/guilted in to posting.  So back to Dougie and sudafed!!!

Rhonda Nolan and I went to hear Douglas lecture at a Harbourfront series (see  link below).  He was so apologetic from the get-go about being bitten by some evil flu bug that affected his throat etc.  Why he chose Sudafed I have no idea but he decided that one was not enough and chose to superdose himself.  Et voila!!  The spacing out was evident.  But, you know what?  DC on 5 Sudafeds is still an unbelievable brain to experience.

I have been a fan since I read Polaroids from The Dead and have all his books, some of them signed.  I waited one time for 3 hours to chat with him at a book signing.  He's not everyone's cup of tea and I certainly can say his latest, Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People, is exactly that!!!  Don't need that one in my collection.  He's my renaissance man, books, television, art, installations, design.   I admire and am jealous of his brain all at the same time.

The Power Plant - Douglas Coupland - 2012 - Lectures / International Lecture Series – Programs & Events – The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery – Harbourfront Centre

Been sitting here to long, my legs are numb, tea is cold an tumbly is rumbly....more to come of my December events, hopefully sooner than later:)))

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Diana Vreeland - The Eye Has To Travel Official Trailer #1 (2012) Fashio...

hmmmm, limited attention span not allowing me to ponder any further how to not publish trailers in two separate posts.  Had another one posted in Think Pink post but liked official trailer better.

Bill Cunningham New York Trailer

this is a film for don't even need to like charmed by a "gentle man" in the truest sense of the word, admire a keen observer, applaud a man with principles, see how to age with grace and charm and, you just have to see his apartment!!!  A lesson learned about knowing what you need.

Diana Vreeland & Funny Face

Just cleaning out my purse and found my stub from TIFF Bell Lightbox for Diana Vreeland:  The Eye Has to Travel.  Well worth a look see for all fashionistas and if you are a pop culture junkie, she hung with them all.  Photos of nights out and galas and parties are a treat.  I  left the film admiring her chutzpa and accomplishments and would have loved to have had a cocktail (or two) with her!  It's not the connection you make with Bill Cunningham, New York but a deserving story to be told.

Plus, my favourite scene from Funny Face was fashioned after her, so more love by association.

 My only comment about the Vreeland film is that the thought behind "the eye has to travel" is great for a still photo but for moving images???  I was constantly saying, "wait, I wasn't done looking at that".  Good ploy, makes me want to own it so I can spend more time with content.

Separate post for Vreeland and Cunningham trailers!!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Gema Caballero


I came to TO to be taken over by flamenco and I can say it's almost 100%!! Three dance classes, 1 singing class for sure each week and another 2 opportunities to sing depending on work and then, as much as possible, I am practicing lyrics and choreography and listening to FlamencoBeat Radio out of Vancouver!!!  I added two dance classes since September (thanks, Loblaws!) and they are kicking me in the butt, literally, forgot how much dancing for two hours makes your hamstrings scream and burn.

I am concentrating in dance on bulerias and tangos.  For examples, google either of those palos (styles) on you tube either for baile or cante and you will see a gazilliono (that's Spanish, just add o, right Grant???) Not so specialized por cante, learning all kinds of palos.

In October, I studied cante for a week with Gema Caballero during the Toronto Flamenco Festival.  Ooops, I posted a you tube clip of Gema singing, gorgeous voice, that posted separately!!  We were learning siguriyas (one of the many possible spellings).  It is one of the hardest styles to understand the rhythm and how the words flow in and out of the rhythm.  It has taken me years to comprehend the palmas (clapping) for this palo.  I learned a lot and feel way more comfortable supporting a dancer or singer with palmas now.  Not sure I am ready to take on singing for a dancer!!  Baby steps....

Enjoy Gema!!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Wychwood Barns

I had often heard about the Barns but had not made the trek up to St. Clair and Bathurst until last spring. Shelley and I attended a Vintage Sale at the Barns and my eyes were opened to a truly fabulous retrofit of an old TTC facility.

Here's the link: (damn, once again I am reminded that I have not figured out how to get the links to hyperlink for you!!!)  The info and photos and videos of the history and development of this once industrial space into a community centre for the arts makes me smile.  This is what people can do!!!  Check it out for sure.

Here's the link for the vintage sale too.  The next sale is in April , 2013 I believe.

You aren't exhausted just thinking about going (like how I feel about going to the One of a Kind sale!!!) You can have a good snoop in a few hours and still have time to chat with the friendly vendors and customers. The quality is high and is priced accordingly but there is always a treasure or two to be found at your price point!!  Last year I found an extraordinary linen tea towel with each month represented by a dance from around the world.  Of course, you can imagine the squeeee I emitted when one of the months was flamenco.  This year I found two adorable brooches that I could not leave behind.  I must admit though, the reason I was so looking forward to going this year, was just to be back in the is energizing inside and out.  Cool neighbourhood as well.
front entrance of Barns, forgot to take pictures of back entrance which is totally amazing as well

just to right of main entrance

 lovely lighting, great goods

much busier last year, easy to get around, hope vendors did OK

my friend Sandra, we needed some serious non-flamenco shopping!

please, can I find a new winter coat that is not black!!!

loved grey/creme sweater
old transit signs=big love

no idea if he was waiting for owner to stop shopping or if he just saw a great spot for a sunny snooze!

Friday, 26 October 2012

want some fun things to do next year in TO?

 I was introduced to Summerworks 2012 by a friend who was set designer for the play Violent be Violet.  Summerworks is Fringe like, various locations around the downtown area etc. but  differs from Fringe in that selections are juried.

The lead actor was also the playwright and she had a phenomenal supporting cast.  Tanisha barely left the stage for the entire hour and you could not take your eyes off her.  Here's a review that won't give away anything and although the play is truly an intense look at mental illness, it was brilliant.  I can see some people in LO theatre world being interested in this play if it is available???

Big thumbs up for Summerworks,  spend a few days in TO, enjoy the August weather, fine plays plus music events (Hawksley Workman, Buck 65), put it on your list.

Now I want to rave about Global Cabaret 2012.  I once again only heard about it at the last minute and saw only one event.  Put this on your calendar if you are looking for a weekend in the city in October.  Held at the Yonge Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery District, this alone makes it worth checking out.   Any theatre built with a bar at the back?  Well, you know it's gotta be good. Awesome lobby with bar and food service, and tables if you arrive early and a fireplace!  Lovely.

I would have gone to about 6 shows easily, no problem.  If you want to spend a weekend listening to jazz, folk, showtunes, pop, gospel, classical in a fantastic setting for a great price, this is the ticket....$20 per or $108 for full festival pass.....(2 dozen events).  Big bang for the buck.  Check out some of the performers and you will understand why.

Friday, 21 September 2012

favourite quotes...

In an earlier post,  I introduced you to a quote from e.e. cummings that had been a part of my life since I first discovered it in 1968.  At the time, I mentioned I would post a more recent quote that I had kept in one of my "five boxes of life" and here it is.

I came across this quote in a Victoria magazine sometime in the 90's.  That magazine was one of the several I had to wean myself off of....bit of a magazine addiction back in the day.  Probably the least offensive of others I can think of...another post perhaps!!!

This particular quote is from Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and parallelled the sentiment of my previous quote with the message of living the life you love.  Marjorie was a pretty spectacular woman and you should check out her bio here.  Sorry, you'll have to cut and paste.

"It is more important to live the life one wishes to live, and to go down with it if necessary, quite contentedly, than to live more profitably but less happily."

This certainly reflects major life decisions that she made for herself and I like it too:)))

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Farewell popcorn land

 Been off the blog because of 1) way too many shifts in popcorn land 2) training for a new job at Loblaws that suddenly came up 3) a popcorn land wrist injury that made typing painful (almost 100% better) and 4) a hellacious bug that laid me flat for about 5 days and two weeks later I am still coughing!!

What do I do on my first day of no longer being a Cineplex employee??  Went to a movie!!  (Cast pass=free). For my last shift, I was assigned to "floor" which means I kept washrooms and theatres clean for 6 hours plus I did theatre checks.  Have you ever noticed staff come in during a movie and look like they want to be anywhere else but in that theatre and then, they go to a piece of paper on the side wall and write something?  That is a theatre check.  You are checking that sound and picture quality are OK, too hot, too cold, no noisy audience members....and you are to do so every 30 minutes.    I don't have to go see Possession now(if I had ever wanted to).  I did not, however, mind going in to check on Dark Knight (Imax and non Imax versions). I wasn't supposed to stand and watch but it's my last night, what are they going to do?  Fire me???

So, Cineplex, cheers to you and my brief employee stint from May 5, 2012 until September 8, 2012.  Best perk?  Free movie passes once a week.  Did I have time to go to a movie once a week?  Absolutely not!  What did I see?  Dark Shadows, Avengers, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Hunger Games, Step Up Revolution, Moonrise Kingdom and Robot & Frank.

Least liked?  Sadly Dark Shadows. Favourite? Dark Knight followed closely by Avengers.  Most delightful?  Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Fav quirky and clever?  Moonrise Kingdom hands down with kudos to Robot & Frank.  Not exactly a Siskel & Ebert quality review but short and sweet, just like my length of employment with Cineplex!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

dancin, dancin, she's a dancin machine!

First workshop in two years and I'm alive and it's day three!!!  Seriously, Monday night my left knee and ball of left foot hurt so much I was having panic attacks that I might not be able to make it through the rest of the week.  But, after ice and stretching the following day (and some alcohol the night of), I managed to feel pretty darn good for the next two days.

I am working on a tangos (nothing at all like ballroom/Argentine).  It's a dance for a party atmosphere so it's a cute/sexy/fun/tongue-in-cheek kind of dance.  We are learning a choreography but you can pull it apart to use and make it your own.   The best thing ever is that when I get home I can actually remember the choreography instead of everything being a-huge-blank-as-it-was-so-fast-and-so-beyond -my-skill-set-that-I-shouldn't-have-spent-the-$$$-to-be-in-that-class-kind-of-black-hole!!!  Wow, after 8 years I am sort of starting to get this madness called flamenco!

My day is coming to an early end and my bed is calling to me.  Night all!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

and it's July part 2

hmmmm, for some reason video did not link to my first posting. Just tried it again, and no.

So, I give up, and I need to eat so, google Adela Campallo on you tube and check out the videos!!!

Fringe-ing and Bloor Cinema

I sadly must admit I only got to one Fringe show but I visited the Fringe alley several times which was most entertaining.  Beer, people watching, a small performance stage, a Punch and Judy type show and food and art vendors.  The show I saw was entitled Numbers...the artist doing live painting during the performances is a friend of mine from flamenco and the director Lukas, also has connections to flamenco.  A brief description of the show makes you wonder how it can work but work it did!!;postID=5111804979779994353

Fringe Toronto has 155 shows to see over the week.  You need serious time to choose your venues and travel time and decide what shows you want to see.  I had a selection but something else always came sitting on a patio with a friend you ran in to.

I did get to see Coast Modern at the Bloor Cinema this week which was brilliant.  Thanks to Sandra in LO for letting me know what's going on in TO!!!  You are 2 for 2 in recommendations for fabulous films.

Couldn't find a link with film footage but this is the best, if somewhat lengthy, article about the film and the history of this architectural style.  It's the landscaping and view of garden/forest that I really love....and, I'm becoming a minimalist about stuff.  I still like me a couch with comfy cushions and an arm to lean your back up against while snuggled up reading a book or watching a movie.  Mostly I love the open concept of these homes.  I could live in one big room (with a private bath!!!) and be quite happy.

oops, you might have to cut and paste these links

Thursday, 5 July 2012

and it's July!!

Yes, I was in popcorn land for the Long Weekend, that's all I have to say about that!

I am going to get to some Toronto Fringe shows over the next week which makes me very happy and my birthday is coming up and I booked the day off to do something entertaining.  Will let you know what I come up with!!!

What I am really excited about is a week-long dance workshop coming up July 23-28!  Yeah, it's been a while since I have danced every day so it's excitement combined with checking my Advil supply.  I am going to be studying a palo (style) called tangos (not to be confused with what you see on DWTS!!)  I am excited as it is a palo I am fairly comfortable with dancing and singing(not at the same time)  so I may actually finish off the week being able to remember and use choreography in the future.  That is major, usually you are so overwhelmed at the pace of the classes, you can't remember a thing!!!

From Spain, Adela....enjoy!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

and now June is gone...

let's see....checking my calendar for June.....rehearsed, worked, helped out at a fund-raiser for one of my dance schools, went to a few movies (weee, passes!!!), tequila shots in the backyard, worked more, finally got to watch some soccer, drove around a golf course in a cart, did not play, errands, errands and more errands, sang and danced at a year end recital, sat in the sun in the backyard, sat on the front porch late at night, worked more, avoided going outside many days for too long because of the heat/smog, got addicted to a new TV series "Bunheads", watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy, had a lovely dinner in a friends backyard and worked.  The errands, errands and more errands occured because of the work and I got a whole bunch of stuff bought that I had been putting off forever!!!  Another perk besides the movie passes I enjoy:))))

Speaking of work:  Friday June 29 2:30-10, Saturday June 30 11-2 staff meeting followed by shift from 4:15-11:10 (yes, that is 12 hours pretty much stuck in one building), Sunday July 1 4-10:40, Monday July 2, 3:15-9:55, Tuesday July 3 1:30-8:10.

Oh, by the way, Dark Knight opens June 20.  This film will be starting at 10 am with final show going in at midnight.  I'm told that is the routine for the entire run of the movie.

I have nothing else to say except I hope by the end of July I have a few things besides work shifts written on my calendar.

Monday, 18 June 2012

check it off the list...

I've always been a list girl...I guess I should say a-file-and-a-notebook-and-multiple-pieces-of-paper girl.  When a place intrigues me, I set information aside for future possibilities.  "Places" include cities, countries, restaurants, gardens, spas, retreats, dance studios, button stores and the like.  A few weeks ago, I managed to check one of them off my list and I can say it did not disappoint.

A mild freak out about how much I was working got me motivated (or slightly over-reacting that I was never going to have time to do anything anymore) and on my first day off, I travelled a short ways from my house to the McMichael Gallery in Vaughan, ON.  The number of times I planned to go over the last 15 years, seriously, and I just never went!!!  It's an easy drive north of the 401 on Islington (forget taking the 400) and voila, there you are.

Gorgeous piece of property, no doubt stunning in the fall , short trails to walk, places to picnic, parking is $5.  I had taken a picnic lunch but it was so damn hot I lasted about 20 minutes even in the shade.  I was so pleased with the Group of Seven collection, learning the history of the property and the formation of the group, etc etc.  What totally made my day though, was a special exhibit on until September 3 called Fashionality :  Dress and Identity in Contemporary Canadian Art.  Some day I should buy a camera that is compatible to my Mac!!!  Still can't find photos of my favourites but will keep looking!!!  Here's a few links to give you a taste.

If you like art and you like fashion and you want an easy, not too stressful sized gallery to visit, it's the one!!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

popcorn land

My journey down the road of looking for a part-time job began in earnest in January.  The learning curve was drastic and I skidded and collided with the on-line world of uploading and e-lerts and just trying to present myself on paper.  Hadn't applied for a job since 1978!!!  For four months I applied on-line and in person at the few places left that will actually let you do that.

I have always wanted to work in a movie theatre and kept applying as jobs were posted at various locations.  Cineplex Coliseum Mississagua was farther afield than I was thinking but, after 4 months of nothing, a 20 minute drive did not seem like much of a deterrent.

Long story short, first interview in April was 2 1/2 hours in length!!!  Role playing, skits, problem-solving, filling out forms, a 1 on 1 interview, yes, for selling popcorn.  Three weeks later, a 10 minute phone interview and a job offer.  YAHOO!!!  Training began May 5 & 6 with fourteen hours of information on theft, fraud, harassment, health and safety etc etc.  A further 18 hours of training continued after that.  Much standing and listening was required during these sessions, I believe in an attempt to see who would start complaining about their legs and feet and lower back first!!  I am proud to say the 20-somethings broke before I did!!!

My first official shifts were over the May 24 weekend....from frying pan into the fire!!!  Over thirty hours in 5 days.  My brain shut down one shift for about an hour, wasn't really sure people were speaking English to me. Wow, be nice to anyone on Concession with an in-training badge on....what you have to initially process to work concession is unbelievable!!!   The day of my third shift I was feeling pretty cocky about myself and then got slammed!!  In a very short period of time, I experienced my first super rude adult and then a super rude adolescent and a whole bunch of coupons I had not worked with came along and I was rattled big time.

Three weeks in now and I am getting my head wrapped around shifts, booking time off and co-ordinating work with my dance classes etc.  The management and staff are a pleasure to work with and I enjoy the weekly movie pass (for 2).  Sweet!!

Gotta run, extra rehearsals right now for my dance recital coming up.  Hilarious,  I feel like I'm 12 when I say dance recital!!!!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Flamenguitos del Norte

These are my Toronto peeps and they are coming to London for a show!!!  Some of the London flamencos will recognize Larissa (in the centre of photo) as she danced with us in London.  Larissa was also a student of mine at Laurier Secondary School....small world.  Larissa began studying flamenco with Esmeralda Enrique as a young girl living in Toronto before her move to London.

From left to right:  Carla  (teaches Sevillanas at Esmeralda's studio), Catherine also performs with another Toronto company, Lia has recently moved from Vancouver, Ben and Dennis (our guitarists), Tamar sings with Esmeralda's company and is currently my singing teacher, and in front is Shirley, who also sings for Esmeralda and in polka dot skirt is Rei, a little firecracker of a dancer!!!

Rei and I met in September at cuadro (performance group) and I have been blessed to sing for her and learn from her extraordinary pool of flamenco knowledge. 

Ole Flamenguitos!! 


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Best International Record Store Day ever!!

First of all, thanks to my FB friends who informed me that it was IRSD!  No clue without you:)

Was it kismet then, that Jannet, Marla and I were going to see Sound it Out that very day at Bloor Cinema?  Must be so. There is no down side to this doc, so good.  Maybe one downside.  Two of the boys needed sub-titles, couldn't understand a word they were saying.  Hilarious!!

Check out the link, see if you can download, buy it, rent it at Queen Video, get to Bloor Cinema before Wednesday, April 25.  If you are a music fan and swoon when you see a record shop, this one's for you.

But there is more kismet-ness.  We had time before the film and, with the intent of getting something to eat, we walked down Markham Street, one block east of Bathurst off  Bloor. Our hearts were going pitty-pat at the vintage clothing shops but, then we see a tiny, used record shop.  How could we not go in on IRSD!!

I am always searching bins for flamenco albums mostly for the cover art. Often over-the-top hilarious.  As we didn't have loads of time, I inquired if they had any.  Sadly, nothing turned up in the Latin section.  I wandered and half-heartedly checked out a few other bins.   And then, I saw it.....da da daaaaa.  (FYI-album was in store because it was produced by Tony Visconti, producer extraordinaire of Mr. Bowie.)  I cannot describe the good time that followed with the shop owner, his computer, his turntable and this group!!

Sit back, flashback and enjoy flamenco 1973-style.  Carmen on Midnight Special '74.  Also performing, The Troggs and David Bowie.  You have to last until 2:29 for sure!!!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

something non-flamenco this month

Several friends in London send me the best info on what is happening in TO which is how I discovered this exhibit.

First thing you need to know is, I am a HUGE fan of Douglas Coupland.  Stood-in-line-for-hours-at-a-book-signing type of fan!!!  Polaroids from The Dead was the first book I read of his and that was the beginning of my DC book collection.   I'm one of those people who goes to the library for a book, so, to become a buyer was big.   Over his career, he has morphed from author of fiction and non-fiction into a modern day renaissance man putting his spin on art, photography, sculpture, film and television.  I don't love, love, love everything he does, but, I can't stay away!!!

The gallery was also a new discovery for me in the Lansdowne/Bloor area.  Kudos to Douglas for supporting a gallery off the beaten path in TO.

Check out the exhibit:

Check out his website:

Friday, 20 April 2012

been so long......

Hola todos!!! No excuse for my lengthy absence....I am a serious procrastinator. April has been a frenzy of flamenco with a Film Festival, workshops and performances plus I am still rehearsing for International Dance Day on April 29 plus I got to London for a few days over Easter and I've had job interviews (still no word yet).

Above link is from one of the films at the Flamenco Film Festival.  Several films were part of a four city festival that took place in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Winnipeg, all active flamenco centres in Canada.  Who knew, you say!!!  (A shout out to Halifax, St. John's, NL, Vancouver and Victoria, all cities with mad passion for flamenco, but not part of this film tour.)

The singer is Enrique Morente and the woman you see in pink, is his daughter Estrella Morente.  Both stars in the world of flamenco cante (song).  Loads of videos on You Tube for both of them if you want to hear a sample of their style.  All singers have different flavours and tones and I enjoy both of their voices.

The film is about a project Enrique worked on putting the poetry of Pablo Picasso to flamenco song.  You see Morente in concert, rehearsing and recording as well as him interacting in song with Picasso's artwork at the Museum of Reina Sofia.  He was a pioneer of fusing musical styles, particularly his album "Omega" which features versions of Leonard Cohen songs.

Enrique passed away shortly after the film was completed.  He had gone in to the hospital for routine surgery and died from complications....a great loss of a gentle, compassionate and talented man who saw music as a way to bring people together through the common language and love of music.

hasta luego, ttyl!!

Friday, 23 March 2012

more festival of lights

I know I'm not in Kansas! These were the kind of independent installations that you would find as you wandered the paths.
learning how to do it right from an early age...Miss Tulip knows she's got it goin' on!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

look what I found now...

In one of my 5-boxes-of-life, I found some disposable cameras that I finally got developed. Both cameras were from my trip out to BC several summers ago. These shots are from a fabulous festival of lights, as I have no memory, that might actually be the name??? The park is old and well treed with ponds and playgrounds and foot bridges and paths to wander and then, for the festival, Led installations are everywhere....think Christmas but way cooler. You expect Santa and his reindeer.

In one pond, the installation had koi leaping out of the water and splashing back down. It was mesmerizing. Individuals and groups of friends put things together too. There was an awesome spaceship and spaceman. Think the Halloween costumes you used to make. The spaceship was a tent in a former life and the spaceman had that "Danger Will Robinson" look to him. Sadly, the pic I took is way too dark.

The best fun for me though, were the costumes....serious time and thought put in to them!! Out of this world. Click on the photos for a bit closer look.

Hmmm, this post was supposed to have the writing beside the pics but I am done with my computer for the should have seen how much time I wasted trying to get the pics sent through in this really cool format on Iphoto which for some reason, wouldn't work. Will post more pics from that trip later. Nighty night!!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

my 1968 self....

I have been going through the 5-boxes-of-my-life again. These 5 boxes, in storage for 4 years, travelled to TO with me. I made a point to bring them with a plan to sort and organize at my leisure. Strong start, yes. Big finish, likely never!

Revisited one of them again the other day and found a piece of paper with a quote I had copied down. It was posted on my bulletin board when I was 15 years old. Right above my record player. Right beside my copy of Desiderata.

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else--means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting."
e.e. cummings

I have now started a collage of sorts on my closet door. This yellowed piece of paper has pride of place. A tribute to my 1968 self! And still not far off the mark for 2012!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

worm hole....just emerging on the other side

Can't squeal with delight that I have a job yet, just finished four on-line applications (within the same company, different store locations) and have been checking sites for latest info....on top of that, performed in a show on Feb. 18 (I sang). It was very last minute with the info, sorry I didn't get it out to you. But, it came with all the last minute drama and this-show-will-never-be-ready-mania right up to the tech run. And yet, a miracle occurred and the audience loved it and we were are pretty chuffed that it pulled together after 5 1/2 months of working on it!!!

As many of you know, after a show, the feeling of having your life back is lovely! Today, my friend Jannet and I, went to The Rex on Queen Street near University to listen to Django Club, first Sunday of every month at 3:30. It really is a delight....Django at its finest and the food is pretty darn good too. The platter of french fries I finished in 5 minutes is top-notch!!!

On Friday night I got a last minute ticket to the Fleck Theatre at Harbourfront for a performance of Entity, choreographed by Wayne McGregor. Wayne is a British choreographer, renowned for his physically testing choreography and use of visual art, film, technology and science. I was so exhausted watching the 60 minute performance, my legs wouldn't stand me up!!! He works with Sadler Wells and Royal Ballet in London, La Scala, Paris Opera Ballet, San Fran ballet, NYC Ballet, well, everywhere!! Plus he is a movement director in film i.e Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the new music video Lotus Flower, which he choreographed for Radiohead, has been nominated for a Grammy.

Last fall, he choreographed a piece for the National Ballet with music of the White Stripes which I sadly missed so I was happy to see this presentation. The music for this one was techno/lounge/industrial and really worked with the movement. His movement is just on the edge of being off and the technique and strength the dancers need to not lose their centre is incredible. You are contorting and holding on with them and feeling what they are doing in your body....hopefully the people on either side of me didn't notice!!

As I was leaving, the funniest comment overheard ever was, "well, that's early onset arthritis waiting to happen"!!!

Sorry for the big gap between posts...hoping to get on top of it...have many posts that involve me getting the issues with my Mac and camera sorted I have no attention span for techie stuff, I last about 10 minutes before I put it away again. Type to you later!!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

just checking in...

Job applications still the focus of my days. Really interrupts my book reading and tea sipping but I will soldier on!! Had a lovely afternoon yesterday in my job search. I actually got to talk to managers and hand them my resume. Yay, for connecting with a person!!!

Not doing very well at keeping up with my awards shows! Missed the SAG awards for no other reason than I just forgot. I have been making my annual attempt to see the main award winning movies before the Oscars. Can't say I agree with the SAG decision re: The Help but I certainly agree with the win for Jean Dujardin as lead actor in The Artist. Go see this on the big screen for sure. In one of the scenes, Jean is the spitting image of a swashbuckling Gene Kelly in The Three Musketeers!! Both lead actors make this movie and the costume and set design is top-notch. Hats off to the cast of Iron Lady and especially to Meryl Streep. I doubt this movie would have received any attention if it were not for her. Brilliant. My Week with Marilyn was very good but not up to what I was expecting from all the hype. You could watch either of these on the small screen.

For a movie off the award roller coaster, I finally got to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr. What can I say? RDJ makes my heart beat a little faster. Even more astounding is, how often is a sequel the better film to see!! The connection between Jude Law as Watson is finally the way it should be. Great story, great action, lots of laughs!! I would recommend it for the big screen as the cinemetography is excellent. Well, for those of you who have 52" TV's, I am sure it would be good at home too!!

Still have not seen Hugo. While I was in Cali, the reviews were atrocious and it was a movie I was so looking forward to seeing. As I was worried about being disappointed, I kept putting it further down my list. Now, here it is with the most nominations. Hmmmm! Did see The Descendants while in Cali. Not sure I agree with the nod to George. My friend and I both thought that Jeff Bridges would have done a better job. Warning, sadness level pretty high! Thankfully, I knew that before I went.

Bottom line....there are some fabulous movies to watch right now!! And, it is a reminder to me to never listen to the critics!!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

what a way to start 2012

I have spent more hours and brain cells than I could have imagined since I got back from Cali Jan 9 creating, typing, editing and making myself appear fabulous on paper. Yes, resume writing and cover letters! Since I have not had to apply for a job since 1978, there was a bit of learning curve to refresh how to do it. Plus, writing to impress!! There's a skill I haven't used in awhile.

The process of applying for a job now strikes me as so impersonal. Only a few businesses would allow you to drop off the application in person. However, when you did, there was no manager available to give it to or have a moment to speak with. I watched as I passed my application to a busy multi-tasking customer service person who barely looked up and casually dropped it on a big pile of other stuff. Oh, where did you end up my long and hard-worked on application?? How does one follow up on that experience? "Hello, I dropped off an application a few days ago. Would anyone have any idea where it is?"

The biggest learning curve for me has been stepping outside the confort zone of my luddite computer skills. I am so blown away by what I have accomplished in just over a week......I have uploaded CV's and cover letters and created search agents within different corporate career zones, I have copied and pasted and dragged and trashed and have become fond of my new memory stick. Yes, still no printer set up at the house so printing anything has required a trip to my library (only five minutes away, thankfully).

Really?? All this for a part-time job in retail?? Wow, not sure the computer has streamlined the process for the applicant. For those who are out there unemployed going through this process, I can't imagine how it makes them feel. I'm looking for a little part-time retail job so I don't have to think about how much I can spend on classes. It just seems so impersonal and disconnected and like you've not really made any contact. How do I know if they even noticed my resume and cover letter? After all my hard work!!!

Monday, 9 January 2012

back from Cali--no, not my pics!

Gotta tell ya', San Francisco is one of my top 5 places ever. My list in random order includes Montreal, Paris, Strasbourg, Austria, Seville, Spain and, although small in size, St. Andrew's-by-the-Sea, NB. The list is defined by a feeling I got the first time I visited. Shoulders drop, breathing slows down, you feel like you know the place and it knows you. And, then there's the gasp factor. Short intake of breath, OMG look at that, I'm at.... the Eiffel Tower/they filmed Sound of Music on this spot/Salty Towers.

The architecture of the older homes in areas such as Pacific Heights is not like anywhere else I have been. This is Danielle Steele's house btw. See link below for more. To drive down a city street and have the road disappear in front of you like a rollercoaster makes you laugh/scream and it makes you wonder how they built what they built where they built it. Concern re: earthquakes, o yeah. Sorry, no camera that day, impromptu visit to PH plus we found the historical pet cemetery!! Not able to walk around as it is under several overpasses that are under construction in Presidio Park near the bridge so it is off limits. Will try to find more info on that! Copy and paste., couldn't hyperlink. Listen to me!! Like I know what I'm talking about:))))

The drive from Marin in to the city is stunning. As you approach the Sausalito end of the tunnel, it is all rock face and pine trees. As you leave the tunnel, you follow a winding road with numerous panaromic views of the bay and sections of the bridge then you move through the final curve, and voila, the Golden Gate Bridge, in all its 75 years of glory. Once you are on the bridge, the ocean and coast line view is pretty spectacular.

The wine region on Christmas Eve day roadtrip gave me the bug to do some driving. See Doris Day post. On Boxing Day I wanted to see the ocean, so I headed to Stinson Beach. Over the hill and through the woods, deep valleys/gorges, hairpin turns, no guard rails and no lights. (Streetlights, not stoplights) Would NEVER do that stretch at night. Highway 1 continues north past Stinson Beach through heavily wooded sections of redwood and pine. Finally you reconnect with Sir Francis Drake, the main road that goes for miles until you reach San Anselmo. You meander through cattle and horse country and State Park until stoplights and pedestrians appear in San Anselmo (where I stay). One way trip: 7 miles, driving time: 50 minutes plus.