I have a new boyfriend. Or, to be perfectly accurate, I have four new boyfriends: my new zils.
If you are not involved in Middle Eastern-ish dance, that word will mean very little to you. Suffice it to say that yesterday I bought my first pair of real finger cymbals so that I could go to a drill class and stop wearing the clanky trainer zils. This was strictly to take the training wheels off my fingers, you understand, and I unexpectedly fell in passionate love. As soon as I finished sewing up the finger elastics while Scherezade, Mason and I were eating at Caplansky's (speaking of mad crushes: Caplansky's), I started trying them out. They are so shiny! And their tone is so lovely, so bell-like, so unlike the dull clanking of the trainer zils.
I ziled all the way down College Street, until Scherezade and Mason made me stop.
I ziled through the half-hour zil drill (of course!)
I ziled when I drilled the Turkish Shimmy.
I ziled when other people danced and I sat out to give them room.
I seriously thought about taking the zils into bed with me last night, but sense prevailed.
This morning, instead of eating which I desperately needed to do, I started to knit my zils a special original designed-on-the-spot pouch out of (leftover) Lucy Neatby yarn.
I may take them to church.
I haven't been this excited about a new toy since my camera. And before that, probably Tenty. 'Sbeen a long time. Ding!
I also got a short dramatic haircut yesterday. This was necessary for a few reasons, the most important being that I haven't had my hair cut in half a year and the lesser being that, um,
My hair has been lank and uninspired this spring. The blonde bits are completely fried and breaking into little crazy turfs. I was more than ready for a change. Now for some new glasses to replace the unflattering ones the Boy talked me into so many years ago! Why am I wearing these ugly mf's? Because I left my nice frames in a dressing room in Kitchener after a bellydance recital. In October. (Of course.)
New zils and new hair. This should compensate for an afternoon spent marking and quite possibly making a dance costume.
family day (curling) rocks!
My second Family Day was a little, uh, fraught. For some reason it was incredibly difficult to get both boys fed, dressed and ready to leave, even though we had all morning. Mason made a big breakfast, but the boys wanted cereal. No one wanted to focus long enough to get into day clothes. Andy called to find out if the plan had changed, since I had set up a tobogganing party and there was no snow. I began to regret my decision to leave the house at all. And so on.
But we got out, and we made it to Christie Pits in one piece, even though there was indeed no snow. Things were banging at the community centre, where volunteers were handing out pizza and hot chocolate to the masses of skaters. We didn't bring our skates so we improvised (read: we let Blake amuse himself with the other children sliding, pushing and running on the ice-hills formed by rink snow, and kept Sage near the fire.) For a slow start, it went by fast and Blake was sorry to leave when it was time to return Sage to his mom.
Sage returned, we decided to find a place to eat. I have learned the folly of Putting Off a Meal Until We Get Home – while undoubtedly cheaper, we're more likely to end the day talking to one another if we eat before an hour-long car-ride. Both of our new favourite restaurants being east, we headed over to Leslieville to see if either of them were open. Family Day is such a new holiday that no routines have become settled; businesses are sometimes open and sometimes closed. There are, as yet, no Family Day sales.
We were in luck: even though the resto was not yet open, the Ceili Cottage Dinky Rink was in full swing, with the owner Patrick and his son fooling around with a set of junior curling rocks. When Patrick saw Blake, he told us to stay and throw a rock or seven. So we did.
We stayed for the 75 minutes it took the restaurant to open, warmed equally by the fire, the surprise in the faces of passers by, and by the wonderful sounds of curling rocks skidding and clicking. Blake immediately latched onto the son, who was kind to him despite the difference in their ages (and despite the fact that my son is tremendously shrill and bossy. No, I have NO idea where he gets that from.) We roasted marshmallows, knit, and chatted with Patrick and the other people who dropped by to play. (My olympic mitts still smell like woodsmoke, an excellent addition.)
By the time the food was ready, it was apparent that Blake had found his Family Day niche. We were able to pry him away from the rink to order, to eat, and to sample our dessert; the rest of the time he was allowed to mess around on the ice with the kids and adults who were as captivated as we had been. For a few hours, everyone who came by was in our family, which is a holiday miracle as far as I'm concerned.
the torch is lit
I'm giving up an indierock forum for Lent this year (or maybe forever, who can tell?) My problem is that Mason & I are passionate about music in which none of our friends are interested. So when I look for a peer group, I have to take what's available. It's…not been a positive experience. There are some nice, funny, smart people but it's the Internet. You know what that means.
This week we've been squabbling over the press release for the new BSS album, specifically whether or not Lisa Lobsinger "deserves" to be on it. There's been a lot of Caps Lock and insults and patronizing in the space of arguing, and I figure I'm through before I get really mad. We've been given this wonderful art, and all we can do is squabble over it. It's a feast of infinite variety, and I don't want to be in the position of defending the cook's choice to serve lamb rather than veal. Can't we just go back to feeling superior to everyone else rather than each other?
I mean, I'm starting to resent Emily Haines, simply because my antagonists worship her, and I don't want to be maneuvered into that space. "It's not the band I hate, it's their fans."
Speaking of peer groups…
Friday was not only the opening of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, it was also the Return of The Knitting Olympics! Four years ago, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee had a dream. It was a dream of excellence. It was a dream of community. It was a dream of going full-out and committing ourselves to a massive undertaking that most people would not recognize, understand or care about.
And, like many improbable ideas hatched in that marvelous head, it caught on. I was not a part of the first KO, though I watched it from afar. When the first one convened, I was barely a year into the craft. I had never been at a knitting circle, let alone a pub full of nutty crafters. I was pretty sure that Stephanie was far too famous and talented to really want to include everyone in the call. So I watched. It wasn't until the month after, when a regular pub night had been established, that I jumped in and never looked back.
This Friday, then, was not only the return of the Knitting Olympics, it was several people's anniversary. And it was the actual Olympics, so there was a lot of energy bouncing around. I have never had so much fun watching a sporting event, and it had nothing to do with the one beer I allowed myself. We stood for the anthem, but did not put down the needles. We heckled Bryan Adams and Wayne Gretzky mercilessly. We cheered for countries we liked, and sometimes at random because we liked their outfits. We were overwhelmed by the beauty of kd lang singing Leonard Cohen. And we howled with derision as the cauldron lighting turned into an epic fail.
The only thing missing was a t-shirt. I want a t-shirt, organizers. Don't make me ruin an undershirt with a laundry marker.
And my final note on peer groups: I seem to have become a Nerdfighter, or rather, I finally have a name for what I've been all along.
I showed this to my class on Friday, and I heard a voice pipe up, "ooh! xkcd! I love that strip!"
To which I, of course responded, "you're such a nerd. [pause] Have you seen the video?"
I'm pretty sure that I'm using the wrong needles for my Knitting Olympics event. Yeah. This realization comes after 1. realizing that I needed to learn a new and complicated cast-on, and deciding to go with the old standard cable CO instead, and 2. realizing that I had the wrong size needles for the cuff and 3. realizing that crowdsourcing the colour combo gave me the wrong one, and then ripping back 4 rows.
I feel like I showed up at the arena during the ice dancing event with my skates over my shoulder, and saying "yeah, I can probably do that. I can skate."
Is it worth it to rip back? Let's see how well the second one turns out. I figure I can compete and fail. Thousands do.
"What time is it? It's Valentimes!" – tgs
Today was pretty low-key, what with the small people and the church and all. Mason made a wonderful dinner for the four of us, which we ate in candle-lit style. I finished two Vamlumtines project (one for Blake, one for Mason) and continued to move stuff around to accommodate what started as a simple time- and money-saving project (i.e. let's get a unique space for Sage so we don't have to haul a playpen up the stairs every weekend he sleeps over, and let's move the 6 items out of the storage locker) and has turned into a massive re-organization of my house. Office furniture has migrated downwards, while couches have migrated upwards. Hand-me-down furniture has gone on to the next kharmic cycle at the Goodwill, there to be some one else's (literal) pain in the ass. Bookshelves are waiting to receive the crated treasures of the crawlspace. Blake's drumset is continually on the move.
The current state of affairs is baskets of office supplies everywhere, interspersed with extra furniture. One day I will reclaim my dining room, which currently holds all of my massive circa 1970's dining set and an 8 foot couch. But today I just concentrated on the love.*
* And on reducing the yelping and screaming with joy. Two small boys + extra couch = shenanigans.
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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*