February 08, 2009
the miscegenated will inherit the earth

Context is everything. I have been feeling low, sad, sunk, blue and every other word you can think of that describes "wanting to crawl inside a hole and sleep until everything is better." Today, with the weather up at a fabulous 2 degrees that includes melting snow, bright skies, and hopefully cheeping birds, I feel like I not only have to take on the world, but I want to. Two little degrees above zero. If the temperature crashed to two degrees in August, I'd be freaking out. But as my opener suggests, context really is everything.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that I've been having a simply fabulous weekend. I really need to shift practices to Sunday if possible, because going without Saturday afternoon troupe practice frees up a whole long stretch of awesome from Friday to Sunday morning. I love dancing, don't get me wrong, but this schedule makes such a difference that I'm having trouble believing it.

On Friday I took Mason to his first Geoff Berner concert. He's been taking care of Ear Infection Sage (now with less predictable naps!) all week, so he was pretty run down as of Friday afternoon, and there was a lot of talk about just staying home. However, there's just something about Geoff Berner that makes me less willing to give it up: last winter I took my brother, after all, and I was ready to go alone if need be. But Mason rallied at the last minute, and after an hour on the couch with our knitting, we rolled into the Annex for Chippy's and music.

We got there just after the doors opened, and ended up dragging some chairs into the light so that we could a) stay awake and b) see what we were knitting. Good thing we brought something to do; the first act, The Forest City Lovers didn't go on until near 10, which is late when you're old and run-down. The FCL were a slow-burn band, sort of boring at first but growing on us to the point that by the end of the set, we were clapping along, finding nicknames for the drummer based on his 30's style bohemian hair (George Orwell was the favourite) and trying to estimate how long it would be before the singer and the drummer were recruited into BSS. (Get on that, K Drew; they're awesome.)

I had brought along my camera with my knitting, figuring that I could finally get some shots of Geoff. I didn't count on the idea that he would have his entire klezmer trilogy together, and the resulting show would be far too exciting to think about pictures. For three people, they make a huge sound. When I wasn't singing and clapping, I was dancing. When I wasn't doing either of those, I was snuggling under Mason's arm, singing lyrics both horrendously callous and funny along with the band.

Oh, and there was the conga line during "King of the Gangsters" that had us hopping through the club in a mass-abandonment of Toronto tight-assery. (He basically dared us, and although I would do almost anything he asked, I'm certainly not going to refuse a dance bet. Does that sound like me??)

It was one of those concerts when you don't notice the passing of time, when you dimly realize once the music stops that it must be gone one, but you would listen to another full set if that were in the cards. This is the fifth GB concert I've gone to (if you count all of Stanfest as one) and this was, by far, the best. I can't believe there's room for him to get better, and then he goes and does.

After the show, I walked up to him to tell an abbreviated version of my accordion woes.

I don't know if you remember me: I'm the World's Worst Teacher. ["From Hugh's Room?" he confirmed.] My husband and I were so influenced by you that we bought an accordion. Actually, [Mason] was with me when I bought it. My husband learned how to play it, and it was so cool. In the mornings I would have to yell down the stairs, 'quit playing that accordion! It's time to go to work!' Anyway, when he left me about a year ago, he took the accordion with him. [Geoff grips my arm, his eyes wide.] But my boyfriend bought me a new one. He even bought a little one for my son, too. So we're all stocked up again.

I thought it was a nice counter to the classic joke about the B&E with the accordion. Geoff seemed to appreciate it. I'm glad I got to tell him how much accordion geekery he's brought to our lives.

On Saturday, we woke up late-ish and hurried to the Wychwood Market for the end of the selling day. Although they'd run out of empanadas and the place was claustrophobically packed, we also ran into Cheryl's family and then, to top off the weird, Seth with his wife and cousin. (Brief aside: my friendship with Seth dates back to the earliest days of university; on a par with Palaver & Preacher. Here's how long ago this was: he knew me when I was dating Alexi.) Despite the fact that we maybe see each other once a year, he still remembers what I do, what my kid's name is, and where I live. Amazing. I didn't even know that he was married, and they're already expecting their first child in the spring. Again, amazing.

Not having met his wife before, we were introduced, and before I could check myself, I had said one of those unconscionable things for which I am notorious. It was during the round of names, when immediately after absorbing that Seth was now married, I introduced Mason as "my post-husband boyfriend." The problem is, I think I'm funny. And many people, Seth's wife included, are too clever to be phased by my social inappropriateness. For that reason alone, I think he married well.

The funny part is that I was just whinging to Mason that all my old university friends have gone away in the last few years, with some few exceptions. Within hours of this bitch, I was served. And also told that Seth was joining several other res friends that very afternoon. It was like 1996 all over again, except for the white hair (him) and stretch marks (me).

After the market, we dropped by Knit-o-matic to make impulse yarn purchases, and then back to Mason's neighbourhood for lunch. Mason's local doesn't make a lot of food that I like, so I snuck in a bakery sandwich of turkey, stuffing & cranberry sauce from up the street. Fortunately, Mason's rep is so established there, that we were not scolded but given plates.

When we got back to my town, we rushed into an afternoon showing of Coraline. It was one of the most amazing children films I've ever seen, and the 3-D effects had me cooing and gasping with pleasure. It's one of those movies that I'm going to see no matter how it turns out; it was a lovely bonus to see how perfectly it was realized. And stickler as I am, I didn't even mind the changes. Awesome stuff. And then home in the dark for perogies, olives, beer & Buffy. Is it any wonder my weekend has been so great?

Today I slept as late as I could without missing Blake's drop-off at church, then hurried out in a skirt for the first time in forever. Blake was unusually well-behaved the whole morning, and I was unusually patient with him. This probably correlates, now that I think about it. My favourite moment was when we were quietly reading books in the nursery, and he showed me the Barney book. I made a raspberry noise, to which he replied, outraged: "don't spit on him! He loves you!"

Barney as Messiah. What a terrible comparison to make.

Mason slept through church (this was his long-delayed rest period, after all) and I came home full of energy and ready to go out. When he was ready we got lunch, then headed out to the Old Schoolhouse for their Valentine's Day open house. I had seen this announced in the inter-board page, that they would be doing Valentine crafts but also bringing in a spinner to demonstrate drop-spindles and show her spinning wheel. So Mason & I went for a free spinning lesson.

I've been avoiding spinning because I don't like to have too many hobbies; it makes me feel guilty. All of the knitters I know who've tried spinning end up with thousand dollar wheels and fibre stashes, so I've been keeping my distance from the craft. But ever since Sayward gave me a drop-spindle for Decemberween, I've been curious. Turns out that I love spinning. The demonstratrix even offered me the use of her spinning wheel, so I got a taste of that particular drug too.

Now I have a tiny little ball of yarn I made myself. But only the first taste is freeā€¦

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*