Saturday, December 31, 2005

an unexpected post-Christmas treat

After 9 hours of travel, I finally arrived back safely at my home in Vancouver. I was only travelling from Saskatchewan, which should take an average flight time of 4 hours. I was too interested in taking the latest flight out in the afternoon and failed to notice there was a 3 hour layover in Edmonton (plus the 2 hour delay from Regina).

Anyway, I got home just in time to make the beds and set the towels and chocolates on the pillows just in time for my cousin Christal from Ottawa and her friend to come stay with me for the week. They're in town for a wedding of a high school friend of theirs who happens to go to my church. It'll be fun to go out on the town and ring in the new year with her at this wedding, though it feels admittedly a bit weird to do that with her (she will always be in my mind my little cousin!) Six degrees of separation continues to be true -- one of her friends in Vancouver turns out to be a friend of one of my roommates who was here for our Christmas party earlier this month!

I was looking in the paper for a show to take Christal to... I thought perhaps improv, but the timing didn't work out. Instead, we went to take in the Nutcracker by Ballet BC. This is something I've always wanted to do but not so badly that I've ever looked it up. I thought it was playing before Christmas while I was away, but lucky for me it was playing this Boxing Week and Christal was into it too.

What a treat! I think this beats the live theatre and symphony for me personally. I just love the grace and movement that flow from the dancers. If I can ever get my butt in gear, I want to take dance lessons again as a form of staying active. I look back on my dance memories of childhood with great fondness.

Speaking of childhood dance memories, while I was in Regina this time, my dad somehow dug out our old childhood dance costumes. They were soooooo cute! Most of the great ones were my sister's. The two funniest ones had to be the cute little yellow leotard that had the rows of soft feathers on the bum for the "six little ducks that I once knew" dance (my sister was 3 I think at the time) and the white leotard with gaudy giant silver sequins that my mom painstakingly sewed on one at a time for the dance where they imitated LA show girls, complete with a white fur thing they threw around. What a hoot we had laughing at the cuteness of the costumes (though we weren't laughing at the not-so-pleasant smell coming from the outfits!).

Monday, December 19, 2005

sorrys and smiles won't get us drunk

After a season of going to see live theatre on subscription tickets to a local theatre with a friend, we got bored with it. So we upgraded to the symphony!

It was a different experience than when I had gone as a teen for my music history classes. Quite enjoyable in fact! The first show we saw was music from the Rat Pack. The maestro for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Bramwell Tovey was quite humourous and interactive. Being a performance on Rememberance Day, he had all the vets stand up. That was a nice moment. But he also cracked jokes all night and gave background info on each piece so we could better enjoy it.

Then we went to see a child prodigy play one of Mozart's violin concerto. That was nice too. Mozart is one of my favourites. When I used to play piano as a child, I was pretty terrible at learning and getting the notes off the page. So I prefered Mozart -- simpler notes, but the challenge in perfecting his pieces were in the musicality. That I could handle.

Anyway, on the way home from the Mozart concert, I walked by an interesting sign from some of the panhandlers on the street. It said "Sorrys and smiles won't get us drunk!"

It made a good point, I thought. Just because I choose not to give change to someone, doesn't mean that I should ignore them and brush past like they don't exist. There's a basic human dignity that is respected when we make eye contact, smile and say "sorry, I can't help you in that way" or even "hi, how are you doing today?"

Every time I do say "hi" or some other comment to a panhandler, every single time I've received a polite response -- either "thanks anyway" or "have a good day" or "God bless you." I guess it's true like my friend's husband from England said during his first visit to Canada (Vancouver) -- the bums are polite here! Or maybe it's just that Canadian politeness coming out...