Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SYTYCD

top 6. it's intense. it was finally a show where every dance was just so phenomenal. when i heard that will was out (i was really hoping he wouldn't make it to the final 4) i was thinking - mark and courtney - so out. then they're paired together? oh man - a death sentence. and then the first song was okay. and then the second song? SO GOOD. i don't think anyone else could have done that dance as well as those two. well done mark and courtney.

twitch. okay, we love you. and you start 4 real. we think it's cool. it spreads to all the dancers. it's seems a little less cool. but you didn't do it once this episode. you wear the T t-shirts. first time - hey that's cool. second time - you have more than one colour - nice. third, fourth, fifth time - really? hmm... but then you don't wear the T t-shirt for your solo. you're smart. you're creating a brand...letting it catch on but right as we're almost sick of it - you stop. i'm intrigued.
cat. remember when the show was new (well...i only started watching second season, but you know what i mean) and we were like, "who is this cat deely?" i think tonight was her best episode yet. taking the gold out of twitch's mouth and putting it in her own? she's going out on a limb here. i love her. and the way she gets along with all the dancers? are they hanging out in their spare time?

aren't you thinking katee is going to win? man, she's great. and i have to say - there are some bad dance clothes out there and even favourites in the past have worn the weird brightly coloured sports bras in their solos but not katee. great outfits.

anyways - the show plays at 10pm here but now it's over and it's only 7pm BC time. i'm heading to bed and coming back tomorrow. but i still think mark and courtney are out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

travel saga: national historic sites

do we have any national historic sites in BC? i can only think of fort langley...

anyways, there are many around here - i guess this side of Canada is a lot older. but have any of you (umm...judy and rachel? haha) ever heard of Louisbourg? have any of you? because i had not. i took canadian history courses in university and had not heard of Louisbourg.

the fortress of louisbourg is a fort that was built in the mid 1700s by the French. it was attacked by the British in 1745 when France and Britain declared war with each other. in the next couple years, a treaty was made and the French got Louisbourg back, rebuilt it, only to lose it again when the British attacked in 1758. it was in ruins, nothing was really ever built over it and in the 1960s, it was decided that it would be reconstructed. it was a government job-creation project for all the coal miners that were out of work. the site was an archeological site and they found lots of items from the 1700s. the coal miners were trained in how to reconstruct 1/4 of Louisbourg according to all the blueprints and trained in how to make it look just like it did back then. it took years and years to reconstruct.

it is amazing.

tim and i had heard about the fortress of louisbourg in some tourism brochures so we thought, we might as well go - it looks pretty big on the map. we get there and it's $17 each to get in. i'm thinking...no way. but tim's like, "we're here now - we should go in." so we pay and get in and on the shuttle bus...shuttle bus? we had NO idea what we were headed to see.

as we're driving, we see this city on the hill and we're thinking, "wow, it IS big." but then we walked through the gates and realized that it's not the size that is the most impressive (though it's impressive)...it's the fact that there are hundreds of people in this fortress who look like the 1700s. Hundreds of people. As we were walking into the fortress there are rows of tents with people selling their wares. And they were things you could actually buy. there was a british soldier getting his shoes polished and the polisher and him were talking about the best types of buckles to use. whaaaa? what is going on? it's phenomenal. there are kids running about dressed in period clothing. there are people dressed as mik'maq first nations people wearing only the little butt-flap piece that we all giggled at in our social studies books as kids and they were trading furs. let me tell you, i was in too much shock to giggle. it was so real.

tim and i were wandering around going, "why have we never heard of this place?" "this is crazy." and i'd only thought we'd be there for about an hour! umm...no.

as it turns out, we were lucky to be there on "encampment" weekend. this is when many extra people show up, dress up, and live in tents in the village just for the weekend. which is why it was so many extra people around. (though apparently it's just as amazing with just the people who work there)

anyways - many many buildings, the castle, people - if you are ever in Cape Breton, you cannot leave without seeing it. it made the halifax citadel look silly. (no offense Halifax)





Saturday, July 26, 2008

travel saga: whales

so whale watching...it costs so much in BC - tim and i have never found the "time" to go . in cape breton...we hadn't planned on looking into whale watching but when scanning brochures i found that it's ONLY $25!!! what? hook us up.

(there are billions more photos and even some great video footage - i'm saving you minutes of your day by not posting them. ha.)

travel saga: lodges

so the jury was out on b&bs and the last two nights we’ve been in a lodge in cape breton. driving up, we had low expectations…we were only paying $45 a night. but we got up to the room and hey…we can handle it. so the first thing we say is, you know, it’s nice to not be in a b&b for a couple nights – we can keep to ourselves for a bit. then we made some jokes about…at least we know there won’t be a rooster!

then the guy in the room next to us with the paper thin walls began to play his accordion.

and sing.

travel saga: food

I like eating things that I know I will like. this makes for poor risk-taking on a trip like the one we are on. we’re driving through small town after small town but waiting for the bigger towns so we can have tim hortons…or wendys… shoot. so I’m trying to get riskier…but this takes time.

I knew that I had plans for lobster. and I knew I wanted it in PEI. so on our last night on the island, we found a cute little restaurant in an old house in montague. when it came out, I tried to quiz down our waitress on some lobster eating tips but she was fairly aloof. “I just eat the claws and tail.” hmm…so I cracked into it. I ate the claws…I ate the tail…and then it was like, “really? that’s it?” tim suggested that maybe our waitress doesn’t eat any other parts but maybe other people do. I cracked into the body…but it was pretty sketchy looking…some green…some bright orange…I didn’t eat anymore.
so there. branching out. we’ve eaten at some cute little homey places along the way as well but they’ve had pretty regular foods. last night I had pan-fried haddock in ingonish.

confession: in cheticamp, (cape breton) yesterday – one of the only acadian communities in the area – it’s recommended that everyone try fricot…some traditional acadian dish. I went in with an open mind but when there were no obvious restaurants advertising fricot…I ate a bagel at tim hortons…

Friday, July 25, 2008

Travel Saga: Halifax

we’re a little out of order here since we started in halifax but PEI was just so fresh in my mind. Halifax. what a great little city. we were staying in a friend’s apartment that was vacant for the summer hence no Halifax b&b stories.

since we were only spending one full day in the city, we were pretty happy that we were staying close enough that we could walk everywhere. I read through the tourist booklet and saw that there was a big national historic site in Halifax that looked pretty interesting and when I consulted my map, it showed that it was in point pleasant park which was about a couple kilometers from our place. so off we headed on foot. we got to the entrance of the park and there were no signs for this apparently huge site. we walked through trails and trails trying to find the water. tim’s saying, “it’s a little strange that there hasn’t been any signs for this – usually a national historic site has major government signage.” “oh I’m sure it’s close…” when we finally hit the water – still no signs. we sat down on a bench and I checked the tourist book/map. it read, “the citadel sits atop a hill overlooking the city.” we looked around. we couldn’t see the city…and we were not on a hill. oops. it’s not in point pleasant park. it’s the opposite direction in the middle of the city. see Travel Saga: Map Reading.

the harbour is obviously a central area to hang out. so after our jaunt in point pleaant, we headed to the harbour. we had fish and chips on the water – and it wasn’t the white rock $12 – 15 for a 2 piece. it was $7.99 and we shared it. so great. and so much fish underneath that batter. we listened to buskers, we took photos of boats, and we watched the fog roll in.
from the harbour, we could see the “hill overlooking the city” which is where we wanted to be. we headed up the hill for the Halifax citadel. the citadel is the fort that was prepared to defend Halifax from a land attack – there were other places protecting the harbour. (point pleasant being one of them) but the fort was never attacked and stands in pretty similar condition as when it was built. we were given a tour from a Scottish soldier in a kilt serving in the mid-1800’s british army…aka. random “blue nose” teenager. (100 points to the person who knows why I called him blue nose) but it was a good tour.

Ode to Halifax:
your harbour is strong and your forts, they are stronger
you have so much history but your grocery hours could be longer
point pleasant is just that – we’d choose it to jog
we’re impressed that your fishermen can navigate the fog.
the work you’ve put into your tourism was splendid
when we go back to BC, we’ll be sure to recommend it.
(this one is for rach and dallas)

our "scottish" guide talking to some british soldiers (they might look like bellboys but that's because these soldier uniforms were sold to a hotel chain and the look caught on)



Travel Saga: Map reading

i’m the navigator. if you know me, you know that this is laughable. to have two people roadtripping with the lack of direction sense that we have? It means there are a lot of u-turns.
we have these touristy maps from the various visitor centres that just have the main roads on them. but the maps have “highway” numbers on them and the actual roads in PEI have road names. (well..off and on) it doesn’t help. we’ve taken the long way many many times on this trip.

since tim sees his job as being the driver, he’s not even looking at the signs. so if I look away from the edge of the road for a second and miss a sign, I say, “what did that sign say to get to wherever?” and he says, “what sign?” i’m trying to start warning tim long ahead of time – “we’re looking for ______, it’ll say hwy 4 west or this town”…we’re getting better. by the time we hit newfoundland, we’ll be pros but there will only be one main road!

tim would like me to add that the times that we have gotten lost, he’s been very patient and calm. I figured you already knew that – it’s why we got married.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

travel saga: PEI

confederation bridge

green. trees. farmland. ocean. red cliffs. lighthouses. history. old houses. red sand. bad roads. small communities. lobster traps. red dirt. forests. b&bs. white caps. church steeples.

it's all postcard like. everywhere you look. we keep coming to screeching halts to take pictures but they're beginning to all look the same. there's an obsession with anne in this province which is funny. it doesn't matter how small the corner store you're in - there is something anne of green gables related that you can buy. and as i was poring over the map, i realized that of the four categories of community, village, town, and city - there are only two cities on the island. and charlottetown (one of them) is only about 30,ooo people!

yesterday we started the morning with a classic double decker red bus tour around charlottetown. umm...some highlights? starting off with being told to be as quiet as possible during the tour. the senior housing community - 39 units where the rent is based on residents' income. the entrance to victoria park "on your right is the name of the park written in flowers. beautiful." haha - it was so funny - but we did get some history and see some parts of town we wouldn't have seen on our own. we drove all over the island. everything seems fairly close. but as the day wore on, and we saw more and more fields and forests, they started to look the same. in the second half of the day, tim was getting out and taking pictures on his own. i was so tired. we've been packing in the sightseeing so today we took a nap on the beach.





travel saga: bed and breakfasts...

they're strange. awkward. these people have some extra bedrooms in their house and they open them up to you. do you tell them where you're headed when you go out? when you come in, should you sit around and visit, or can you just go to your room?

well our first b&b was in new perth, PEI. about 25 minutes east of chalottetown. we showed up around 4pm and our hosts were a cute couple in their 70s. they've been running a b&b for 33 years in the area. so we show up, they show us our room (one of four upstairs all sharing one bathroom), and then what? umm...we left. "we're going to the movies" (i felt the need to share our plans) when we returned, all the other guests and the hosts were sitting around in the living room. we stood (implying we were going to leave momentarily) chatting but eventually felt that we should just give in and sit down. so we sat around making small talk for half an hour. okay, okay, it's a great way to meet the locals of the area... and their rooster. we met him each morning at 6am (2am as we adjust from BC time) so just as you're feeling like you're getting to know the folks you're staying with, we have to sit down and be served by them. they kept bringing out the next part of the breakfast and pouring me coffee. it's great...but juxtaposed with the grandparent-like familiarity, you feel badly that you're just sitting there!

so the next b&b in murray harbour, PEI was more expensive (aka we'd have our own bathroom) and they had a satellite tv in the room. umm...we had to be prepared for SYTYCD, right? but they took our credit card number, had a great website, served fancy breakfasts - it sounded a lot more business-like. i was looking forward to the trails through their "mixed forest", paddling on the lake, and spending time non-guiltily in our room watching tv. so we showed up here today (they have wifi) and our room is right next to the hosts' office. i had just bought a diet coke on the way over and wanted to sit back in our room, check facebook...so i did. as soon as i came out of the room, the hosts were there (since their office is there) telling me that i don't have to sit in my room the whole time. oh i know...thanks...smile, smile. we're out of here. when we came back after dinner, i ran myself a bath in the jacuzzi tub. i was reading the binder that is in our room about the b&b and it says that guests are "encouraged" to come have tea in the evening and visit with other guests. then when i got out of the bath and was walking to my room, the hostess (who's sitting in the office) says to me, "be sure to come out and have tea later"...what do i say? umm...i've come all the way to PEI and i want to watch my tv show. so we're sitting in our room right now and i'm feeling guilty that i'm not out being social. shoot.

so bed and breakfasts...the verdict isn't in yet. i need to chill out a little, not worry about appearances, and enjoy the only tv on our trip. but despite the tone of this post, we ARE enjoying paying less and eating huge breakfasts (my favourite meal to have someone else make for me) and we'll see how the next few go!

Friday, July 18, 2008

tripping shulbas...

the time has come: we are leaving for the east coast in t-minus 6 hours. we've been talking about this trip since we got married and it just never happened so here we are finally making it happen! woohoo!

flying into halifax for 2 nights, driving to PEI for 3 nights, up to cape breton for 2 and then taking the ridiculously expensive/long ferry to newfoundland only to spend our 4 nights on the westside only because who knew the OTHER ferry to st. johns was 14 hrs and $400...it makes our 7 hour, less expensive ferry ride look short and cheap. oh yes - it's a long story that came to a head today...the day before we leave. i'll tell you about it later. when i talk to you. but did you realize how BIG newfoundland is? bigger than it looks on the map of canada. :)

but anyways - we're pumped. we're packed. we're re-watching SYTYCD at 11:15pm the night before we go.

"i never sleep well before a trip." - tim

maritimes, here we come!

lil c and the poetic language

what a week. comfort back? switching up partners? kherington giving dagger eyes to the judges? will and katee rocking out? gev's solo? phew. it was so much for me that i didn't even post. haha - no, i was just busy. but thanks to the die-hard SYTYCD fans still looking me up.

next week, i'll be in PEI but have made sure to book a B&B that has a satellite tv in our room for wednesday. hey - maybe they'll have wireless too...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

the white man


no, this white man.

the other day, tim, jon (our friend who lives in our basement suite) and i were walking up to mcdonalds for an ice cream. when we got to the crossing, the light was green in the direction that we wanted to go but no one had pressed the button so i just started walking. the boys called, "what are you doing?" to me as i walked and they cowered on the sidewalk. they started to walk then stopped and went back - it made the people in the cars laugh. when they finally made it across, i argued, "it was green - you can walk." and they argued that you can't walk until the man shows up.

since then, i've been watching people at intersections. they wait and wait, the light turns green but the white man doesn't come so they turn around and press the button again but by now it's way too late. everyone. it's crazy to me.

is it crazy to anyone else? or am i just living on the edge?

Friday, July 11, 2008

on repeat...

right now, the song on repeat on the ipod is "heart of the matter". a don henley song remade by india arie. love it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

days of summer: 3

the view from the clearbrook library

so the library may not seem like the place to spend sunny summer days and i guess this picture could be in "days of winter" or "days of fall" as well but on those really really hot days when you have been recently sunburned and need to stay out of the sun...the library is a great place to be. there's this big sitting area with huge windows at our local library - it's air conditioned and there is every magazine you could hope for to read for free. what more could you ask for on a summer day when in hiding from the sun?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

the loving and hating

well. what craziness. what stood out? nothing. is it because they're all so good? or all not that great? hmm...

i could not believe the judges' comments on the twitch and kherington crump. "you lost it at the end but i'm going to ignore that." "you got tired and lost your facial expressions in the ending of the dance but let's not talk about that." WHAAAAT? if this was comfort, they'd ONLY comment on that. sure, i love love loved the dance too and thought they brought it but these are the judges. quit loving on your favs.

and then comfort and thayne. harsh. okay, we've all come to the conclusion that they're not the best on the show. and if they nailed their dances tonight? they'd still be bottom three tomorrow. so why are we hating on them? their hiphop was great - thayne did way better than i expected. quit hating on your least favs.

and mia - telling gev and courtney that "you're not the best dancers here" is a little much. every week they are better and better. and don't you just want gev and courtney to get together in the end? gev LOVES her! and they're so cute and small together. we laugh at the thought of courtney's boyfriend every week. but did anyone else think that courtney was a little overtanned tonight? it was a little weirdly orange.

so i hate to love the favourites. but i do this season. but the favourite category is getting bigger and in my mind extends to chelsea&mark and courtney&gev as WELL as twitch, kherington, joshua, and katee. and what does this mean? someone who is our favourites will be in the bottom three. so will, jessica, comfort, thayne, ________ & ________? hmm...i guess i'll predict: courtney and gev. sigh.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

days of summer: 2

cherries on the deck

Saturday, July 05, 2008

and as an aside...

another revelation:

i mentioned to my brother that whenever i buy almonds in bulk, they're stale.

he told me that they're raw...not stale. and if i want them to crunch, i should toast them.

how could i not have figured that out?

tonight i ate crunchy almonds.

days of summer: 1

canoing at manning park

i have a blog that i love to read and right now she's started a "days of summer" photo project. 30 photos of "summer" sprinkled throughout her regular posting. i like it. therefore i also will do it. isn't there some saying about copying being flattery? yes, we'll say that saying right here. along with my first photo.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

boo tabitha and napoleon

they bring nothing to the judging panel. boo.

though, speaking of judges and booing, did you not love nigel's angry speech to the audience about booing? "if you don't like that we're critiquing, you can go home."

i think everyone's improving. but there are just some bottom feeders that can't get up in the world of SYTYCD, you know? like it doesn't matter how great a fox trot comfort and buddy do - they're going to be in the bottom 3. and matt and kourtni - sure, their hiphop was slammed a little by the judges but i thought matt was doing so much better. but i think they'll still be in the bottom. if he's in the bottom 3 tonight i think he'll be going because how many times can you give the same critique to a guy (your upper body is a little stiff)? if he doesn't change, he's gotta go. and that jessica - she's too sensitive so we all feel bad when they critique but that's what they're there to do! we can't be feeling so bad for her (or is it just me feeling badly?).

oh mia michaels. i know they praise and praise and everyone gushes over her so that you're sick of it...BUT SHE'S SO GOOD! wow - both those numbers last night were awesome. i especially loved joshua and katee's. great song choice too. and for a slower moving song to be choreographed so fast. augh! i love it!

but predictions for the bottom 3?...kourtni and matt, comfort and that guy, and...umm...courtney and gev? i called them last week and they weren't. i thought their hiphop was FANTASTIC. sure, it wasn't down and hard hitting but it was fun and they seemed to have fun and courtney rocked it. i hope they're not in the bottom. maybe will and jessica again? hmm...i think matt and kourtni are both out this week.

i'm loving noah and the whale videos