Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our Family History

Okay, so my horoscope said something about not starting any new projects today, as I don't have time and will become overwhelmed. I think I read something about burnout....

Who am I to listen? I just hit send on what could end up being a rather large project.

For many years I have been intrigued by my family history, mostly because I just don't know very much about it. Most of my grandparents passed away when I was very young and I know very little about who they were. And my husband's family not only speaks another language (Czech) but their family records were lost when they escaped from communist controlled Czechoslovakia in 1978. Let's just say our collective history is pretty thin....

But this is the year "I will do anything and everything I want, and pay for the fun when I'm forty-one." And I decided this is the year I would document my family history... at least a bit of it...back to our great-grandparents. The "pay for it" will come next year when I will be too exhausted to research or write anything. But hopefully by that time I will have a neat bow tied around a tidy history book. And a huge grin on my face. And a shared history to offer my kids to help them understand their place in this world.

Burnout shmurnout. Bring it on! (Eeek....did I mention I also wanted to write a novel this year....oh god, what have I done??)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eeek! There's Kyle Kushnir!! (Well, his photo as least)

Kyle Kushnir is now rehearsing for his fourth play since I've known him and I'm looking forward to seeing his official head shots on the theatre wall as much as I am looking forward to seeing him play the lead role. One day he will be a household name and I can say I remembered him when...... I took these head shots.

And here are some of the top shots of Kyle, Kyle and more Kyle:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Brian Gets Ahead

When Brian Cant of Victoria was promoted to Senior Communications Coordinator for The Tartan Group, he needed professional head shots, fast! Lickety-split his head was captured twenty-six ways to Sunday before I packed up the camera and we headed off for a Veggie Hash brunch at Floyd's Diner.

Check out Brian's "Who We Are" page to see his chosen photo!

And here are a selection of other handsome shots with Brian, Brian and more Brian:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Moment

The other day I had the opportunity to let four people go ahead of me while driving - all at different locations and different times of the day. How nice it was to do a few random good deeds and receive four nice waves and smiles back.  :) 

40 Tickets

So, while my Turning 40 friend Andi has a list of 13 things she wants to do this year, I want to keep my calendar full of a bunch of little things that make me happy in the moment. No, I did not start my 40th year buying 40 tickets.... but I did start it by charging a few more than usual and at this rate, I bet I will have collected 40 by the end of the year.

First up, two tickets to The Laramie Project, a play my friend Kyle Kushnir acted in. The story was about Matthew Shepard, who was gay and in 1998 was "beaten and left to die tied to a wire fence on a hillside in Laramie, Wyoming." He died six days later. Moving. Emotional. Impactful. I am so grateful for living in a gay-friendly town.

(p.s. This was my night out with Tony and did I mention we started the evening at a local pub playing music bingo from the 50's and 60's? If you ever want to feel younger, hit a neighbourhood pub in Victoria...)

Next up, two tickets to the Victoria Salmon Kings hockey game. This was my night out with Kje. Just me and him, hundreds of beavers, cubs and scouts, and thousands of Salmon Kings fans. Local hockey doesn't quite compare to the Vancouver Canucks, but heck, parking is free, there are never lineups in the washroom (and shorter lineups for beer), and Kje scored a free ticket to Butterfly Gardens (yet another ticket!). Tony was out of town so we ended the night with a giggly sleepover party at home - just the two of us. What more could you want in a Saturday night? Sunday in tropical Butterfly Gardens!

The Rickshaw was once a Chinese language kung-fu action movie theatre (how cool is that!) but in 2009 was transformed into a local music hall and warehouse space for artists. The third pair of tickets I bought was for my night out with Paris. We started in Zulu Records watching Lou Barlow of Sebadoh up close, acoustic and intimate, then made our way to the Rickshaw for the Sebadoh concert. Must admit I loved being part of the late-night indie rock scene, which transformed me back to my early twenties when I first started listening to Sebadoh, but loved even more being the cool Mom for the night. Yep, nice bumping into my friend Mikala, a.k.a. The Backstage Rider, who knows the band and helped with our "bought the t-shirt, met the band" memorable night.

Three nights of stellar entertainment. But the best part was spending time with my three boys and accompanying friends while we laughed so hard we spilt beer over our bingo cards, held hands in the dark and cried in our seats, threw pucks on the ice, shouted out song requests, danced until closing time, and made memories whee, whee, whee all the way home. If I do nothing this year but collect tickets for quality time with the people I love, I will be one exhausted, happy camper. (Which reminds me, I need to book my camping reservation...)

So...the fun didn't stop there. What other tickets did I buy? Plane tickets to San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Francisco (yep, times two...thank god for points) and Maui. Ski lift tickets for spring break. Also, concert tickets to see Pavement with Paris. But those are stories for another night. (All adds up to 31 tickets in total already...)

And yes, I did buy a lottery ticket (make that 32) to try to pay for it all. We only won $5 bucks.... which means my motto for the year, "Pay For The Fun When I'm 41," has been kicked into overdrive.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Turning 40: 10-40 Good Buddy

I admit it. 2010 wasn't the best year for me and my husband. Let's just say that the year started bad but ended well and I'll spare you 354 days of detail. (Oh, I can feel myself getting all tense just thinking about it.... hold on, I'm going to get a cup of soothing, mellowing organic herbal tea... ahhhh.... that's better.)

So, let's just jump ahead. I wanted this year, my year of turning 40, to start well and end weller, start up and go upper, start fresh and get fresher. With a little hi-ya! pow! karate kick to the head at that. First up, getting hubby and I a jump start on the fast-track to oooh-la-la and va-va-voom! Time to kick it back up a notch.

Thankfully, my mom and dad came to the rescue on Christmas Day when their present to us included a romantic weekend away for two plus babysitting plus a tin of roasted almonds plus a bottle of Baileys. Woohoo, we were set!

10-4 means "OK," "understood," and "affirmative;" 10-40 means "this is the year we have our 10 year wedding anniversary AND my 40th birthday and we are going to accept this present, drink our Baileys and have the best damn weekend we have had in over a year and nothing better screw it up!"


We packed our mini van. We hit the store for too much cheese, dark chocolate, not-so-winter-ripe strawberries, a loaf of french bread and a pack of Canadian bacon (no, bacon is not an aphrodisiac but follow this... "Oooh, I la-la-love the idea of heading out for breakfast, but how about we heat up some ham and keep the sizzle in the sheets?") We drove up island and checked in January 14 for some storm watching.

We stayed at Middle Beach Lodge in Tofino, which I must admit was a perfect choice. First, the name Middle seemed an appropriate sign as I was officially wobbling on the brink of middle age. (There are various definitions for middle age, but having recently done my research I now see The Oxford English Dictionary states middle age is "... the period between early adulthood and old age, usually considered as the years from about 45 to 65". So there, I feel like I just added 5 years to my life. 10-4, indeed! If I had known that before we booked Tofino I would have picked the Long Beach Lodge as I now have a loooong way to go!)

The other reason Middle Beach Lodge was a perfect choice (besides their kick-ass bathtub inside cabin #49 and the en plein air bathtub on the deck) is their lodge. I must admit, I've never understood the whole appeal in the lodge vacation concept of sitting quietly in a large room with a bunch of other people sitting quietly. Why not just retreat to your private room and read Nathaniel Hawthorne there? But now, after having sat for hours in the room a writer and frequent visitor commented with "Ralph Lauren would be happy here," I completely understand the appeal of doing nothing in a room with a bunch of other lazy-ass people doing nothing with you. Add to that an expansive view of the rugged west coast shoreline, a spellbinding log fire, hot chocolate and warm cookies and hmmmmmm.......bliss.

You know you have hit middle age when you are just as happy sitting beside your husband in a room full of sleepy strangers as you are checking to see if any bacon bits were left between the sheets, if you get my drift, wink, wink.

There you have it. The start of the year of Turning 40. Minus a few details between Friday night check-in and Sunday afternoon check-out, of course (think rubber boots and crashing surf).

So, would spending a romantic weekend with my husband have made it to my list of 10 things to do within my fortieth year if I had made that list anyhow? 10-4.