This weekend the_arachne got married to her fiancé (no username :) ), and they had a photographer taking shots of volunteers after dinner. It was a rare opportunity for a family portrait!
It's been kind of insanely busy lately — Elizabeth's album finished, the launch shows performed, the wedding of last weekend (at which Oscar and Elizabeth both got named parts, and I wrecked my pants, first stooping for Vivien and then dancing), a promotion process at work (my interview shirt = my wedding shirt), and a research project that can be describes mostly positively as tilting at windmills, and fun to work on but challenging. I also assembled a team and applied for some research days at work, which would be a cool opportunity to manage something and fix a problem I find cool. Now I still have things to do, but applications are with committees, most of the album-related stuff is done, and Elizabeth and I are casting about for bits of relaxing time for us to celebrate and recuperate.
Here are a couple of photos of Oscar and Vivien:
( indoors and outdoors )
In other news, this week has been insane. Elizabeth has been mixing her album, I did an exam in our promotion process, and Saturday was full of busy with people dropping by and me biking out to Aylmer on a super-secret present-hunting mission. I think the exam went okay (but I'm not dead certain that I'll make it to the interview), the album is over at the mastering company, and I succeeded in getting the birthday present. Elizabeth lost her wallet coming home from finishing mixing, though, so she's not quite out of the woods yet. I've been working on the booklet to go with the album, which feels like it's going well. A few fill-in-the-blanks in the credits and front page, and some swaps of pictures into layouts already done, and it should be ready for the printers!
Our pear tree has been very fruitful:
( a modest portion of our bountiful pear harvest )
...but I think it's done for the year. The kids really like pears, so it's contributed to our very limited use of the produce section during the warm months.
Oscar is getting more and more mobile, and interactive! He has gotten much better at cruising along the edges of furniture on two feet, and his crawling speed (and determination to explore the house) keep increasing.
He's actually been mauling the piano for some time now, but I finally got to taking a couple of pictures — he can now sit pretty well, especially with hands on something for balance. Also, buckets and baskets still contain him… for now.
Fathered a child (well, I guess some salient bits were done in 2009), grew peas, built a hardwood floor, drafted a will, published a statistics paper, took a train in business class, drove a pickup truck.
( thirty-seven more )
My wife, Elizabeth Bruce, has played a couple of times at the Tranzac, and it is a cultural institution and an awesome venue. It's in dire straits right now, so she's giving half the purchase price of her CD to the rescue effort until the end of 2010. If you don't have a CD and like her music, now is a good time to get a copy. If you like the Tranzac in a larger-donation sort of way, or don't want a CD, you can also donate to them directly.
Broadway and Beyond will be at St. Luke's Anglican Church at 760 Somerset West (corner Bell, near So Good), showtime is 7 PM on Saturday June 12th. Tickets are $12, or $10 for students and seniors. All profits will go to the Red Cross for its work in Haiti. I have some tickets for sale, or they will be for sale at the door (until we run out of space).
It's a beautiful church with nice acoustics, not too big, and we sing from some fun songs — the 100 Years of Broadway medley goes from the very beginnings to contemporaries like Webber and Sondheim. We'll also be singing three pieces from Notre Dame de Paris in their entirety. For a modest ticket price, you get all this music, a warm fuzzy feeling from helping the Red Cross help out in Haiti even after they've dropped off the front page news, and the pleasure of seeing a bunch of statisticians, systems people and scientists singing in bow-ties. What's not to like?
Last month, I sang Handel's Messiah in front of lots of people.
I almost changed positions at work, but decided to stay where I am for a while longer. The destination position was really cool and they seemed interested, though, so maybe later in my career they'll have another opening. I'm enjoying my current project enough (and needing to concentrate enough) to stay late some days.
I've been bicycling to work for a few weeks; today was the first time there was real congestion on the trail in the morning. It must be spring!
Elizabeth and I went to a highly entertaining wine tasting party on Saturday. We should do that again (and will)!
Our new favourite board game is Carcassonne… it helps that it's a very pretty game, plays fairly quickly (under one CD) and we're roughly evenly matched (I got thumped tonight).
We sealed the deal on the piano. It is in the living room.
I am developing my survey skills for six weeks and liking it.
I will be in Peterborough and T.O. in a couple weeks.
I've had nice meals with a few people for the first time (each), parties too.
I keep getting more and more units with each RRSP purchase.
I've started DMing a 3.5 gaming group in our front room.
Two Thanksgivings were really tasty and laid back; lots to be thankful for.
Some shows, some driving, some friends left for way out west, and a wedding.
We had a relaxed evening at Dusty's place, crashed there, and then returned the car and caught our flight back the next morning. Returning on Monday, Elizabeth taught in the evening and I celebrated the 29th birthdays of two of my co-workers (the first 29th for one, the second 29th for the other).
Consequently, I had a short week at work this week: two days as I took a vacation day on Tuesday in case of exhaustion or delay — it was a good idea, I think. It looks like I'll be sharing my thesis with my division sometime soon, and I had a manageable pile of interesting work (and 84 unread e-mails) waiting for me upon my return. Next month, I'll help supervise some visiting interns from France.
Now, I'm in Ormstown at my parents' place, with cooking smells in the air and the woodstove popping and breathing nearby. Back to another short week on Tuesday, and then my first Scrabble tournament next Saturday.
We ate at a pub where the table next to us had an ever-increasing gaggle of young Tories in blue everything. The beer there was mercifully very good, and the food was satisfying.
Ginger's was pretty quiet, probably due to the weather, but one of the artists, who goes by Le Skiv, had a dedicated local fanbase who braved the "snow and shit" (which became a running stage-banter theme). Elizabeth had a real piano (I guess apartment-sized) to play, so the set included piano-molesting songs. She played under a couple of spots with a little shaded table lamp for extra light and atmosphere (unfortunately my camera is borked, so no photos unless someone else took some). After a goofy set by Richard/Thomas, we then made our way to Ryan the promoter's place, where we were loaned a big mattress behind a closed door: couch surfing gold.
This afternoon: the last show of the tour — house show in Bedford, with bonus homemade soup!
We explored a bit, and Truro has a maybe-surprising number of health food, yoga, organic stuff and other hippie-ish shops. Later, our host Ray explained that the agricultural college here (one of the biggest in Canada) has a major organic food institute. Truro also has lots of nice red brick buildings and a really pretty park an easy walk from downtown.
The open mic night was a bit disparate: everyone else was singing mostly country, spirituals and hymns, and then late in the evening, a Cape Breton fiddler came in and wowed everyone. Folk-pop piano stuff was a bit out of the envelope, but it was still a really fun evening hosted by really welcoming people. Ray reminds me a bit of ramou in many ways (even his haircut is sort of similar), and he runs a really nice café. During the open mic, an older couple, maybe in their seventies, got up and danced every once in a while. Eventually, Elizabeth took me by the hand and we followed in their footsteps.
Today, bolstered by excellent coffee and blueberry-flax-apple pancakes, we will journey back to Halifax for a 10 PM show at Ginger's Tavern on Barrington Street.
Next stop: Truro and the Fair Trade Café (I think it has more adjectives in there, but how many fair trade cafés with Friday night music can there be in a small town?).
Every transportation person we met was nice, from the flight attendant to the bus driver to Young Alex the rental car guy. The agency was out of compact cars, though, so they gave us a big black Magnum station wagon. The keyboard fits really well in the back but it does feel like driving a bunker.
We wandered around downtown Halifax a bit after arriving, picked up the keyboard from the rental place, climbed up to the Citadel gate, looked in a couple of shops, had a supper of nice fresh sushi and then proceeded to Gus' Pub. Somewhere in there it started to snow. Starting from dry pavement it didn't pile up too high, but it seemed to put a damper on Haligonians coming out on a Wednesday night to the North End. The music, courtesy of The Fool, Oh Dinah and Elizabeth, was fun despite the small turnout. I took some pictures but left my camera cable at home, so there'll be a big photo post in a few days.
We're crashing at one of the musicians' place, breakfast should be soonish and then we're off to
Wedding planning is going well: I think we have most of the details at least sketched out, even if we still have to set one of the readings, post banns, and attend to many details. We finished a marriage prep course last week. It was fun at times and kind of intense at others. Our instructor seemed pretty positive about us, and we're still positive about us too! Coming home from one of our sessions, we took the bus in the wrong direction and the driver was new and got a little lost. Neither of us, nor the only other passenger, had any idea where to go. After a plea for help, the driver just stopped at a corner for a while and collected his thoughts — we got to South Keys eventually. We were hungry enough to decide to eat at Denny's in the parking lot, served beer, lumberjack breakfast and a veggie burger and beer by a chipper doctoral student before heading home.
At work, things are going well... last month I participated in the employee choir singing a Beatles medley, and I'm feeling pretty happy with my co-workers and my work. My unit is going to lose its supervisor (he got promoted), and I haven't found out who will replace him, but we've still got some time before he disappears (he clears out completely for July 1st). In any case, I'm getting to teach, write, tinker and snuffle through the library, and they're paying me for it. This week I'll be taking a couple of days for the public-service-wide orientation course (how we relate to the government, accountability, etc.) — it'll start early, but they're feeding us breakfast. I'm not sure how much will be new to me, but it'll be a different perspective from my rather specialized day-to-day context.
This weekend Ellie and I zipped through Montréal and Ormstown, meeting up with a few people, celebrating loupdebois' birthday eating lots of good food and attending my second convocation.
In the week to come, I'll attempt to prove to StatCan that I'm reasonably bilingual.
I've been thinking of writing a reasonable-accommodation post at some point.
femmusic wants to know…
( 35 questions )
If you're wondering what to do with your holiday Monday evening, Elizabeth is playing Irene's Pub, 885 Bank Street, tomorrow at 8 PM, with Ottawan Glenn Nuotio and Vancouver's Better Friends than Lovers. Admission is $5 at the door, and there will be free cake (it being her birthday and shows with cake starting to be a tradition), which reliable sources tell me will be vegan-friendly and chocolate.
If you're on the fence, sample all the music:
In other, way happier, news:
I start work on Monday, 9 AM. I'm all kinds of nervous and excited and looking forward to a steady income.
I finished my thesis yesterday and today I'm in Montreal handing it in and wandering a bit: lunch with an old high school friend, then wandering, then meeting denkizero at DemoCamp.
Here's the abstract of the thing that's eaten my summer:
A SYMMETRY-GROUP SEMANTICS FOR SHAPE GRAMMARS( more… )
I signed up for last.fm yesterday, I'll keep the scrobbler on unless it degrades performance when I'm listening to music and online. It gave me a nifty quilt thing:( I likka this moosic )