- Michael and his father headed off to Montreal last evening, with the SUV stuffed to the roof with his gear. He’s sharing an apartment with a second year music student that he met at a TSYO party, and today will be spent moving in his boxes and then shopping at Ikea to pick up some furniture and other necessities. He’s benefitting from his grandmother’s move and is the recipient of some kitchen tools and other things that either came from her apartment. He’s pretty excited about this new stage in his life. He’ll be back next weekend for one last private gig with the Weston Silver Band and then we probably won’t see him until Thanksgiving.
- I’d really like to get a Little Free Library to install at our place. We’re on a corner lot and have lots of space out front, as well as lots of books we’d be happy to share. I’m considering whether I want to build one from scratch, purchase an unfinished one to stain and decorate myself. The second option is probably more realistic though, so I’m going to look in to it this weekend.
- I am really interested in checking out hot yoga. There is a highly recommended group of studios, Moksha Yoga, that has a location near me, and Alex is game to go with me (he’s already tried hot yoga elsewhere) so I’m hoping to get to a class in the next few days.
- I am putting together a website for a colleague and want to learn how to make WordPress templates. Can anyone recommend some good resources for this? I’ve used WordPress for some time and am familiar with basic html.
- TIFF is fast approaching and they’ve been announcing films for a few weeks now. I need to start planning what I want to see, at least making a list with my secret rating system, so that when the schedule comes out (Aug 20), I can start building my calendar. I’m not a premiere/red-carpet gal (although I’m not averse to spotting celebs.) It’s a tough life, eh? I’ve purchased a total of 30 tickets for this years fest, and hope to take some arm-candy to a few, so I’ll probably see between 20 and 25.
- I’m heading up to Ottawa to see my mother for a few days next week. I’ll run some errands for her and get her out for a few walks while the weather is good. (Yes, I know you’re reading this, Mom, so get ready!) I also hope to see my friend Kath and visit her rescue equines, a lovely horse River (who I’ve met before) and her pony Lord D’Appleby (with whom I’ve only chatted on Facebook.)
- I’ve got a mountain of ironing to attend to today. (I know, who irons?) We’ve switched to cloth napkins for meals (I buy whatever nice cotton ones I can find at Value Village for a mix and match look.) I’ve been simply hand smoothing and folding them but they really need a quick press. Same with tea towels. And then there are the cotton shirts. With Michael gone, my ironing pile has dramatically shrunk though, and I’ve got the TV there where I can catch up on all the recorded goodness, so it’s really not that painful a chore. Plus, I have this most excellent ironing machine. So it’s all fine.
The man-child is leaving the nest today. We’re packing up the SUV and he’s heading to Montreal where he’ll be studying music at McGill.
He’s my younger son, the one I that homeschooled for almost three years when we lived in Atlanta. He’s funny, sarcastic, and has been the household (and car) music director, always surprising us with what he has on his iPod.
He studied for a couple of years of Saturdays at the Toronto Japanese Language School, and won the Idea Prize for his depiction of the character for “Sword”.
Michael started studying the tuba in Grade 8 at St. Michael’s College School. He was disappointed that art got swapped out for music as the students moved into that grade, and signed up for private music lessons so that he could get out of music one period a week. An assessment of his embouchure led to the option of playing euphonium or tuba. Michael will be forever indebted to Dan Douglas, the music teacher at SMCS, for pointing him in that direction.
He has had a series of wonderful teachers. He started with Courtney Lambert who had to put up with his lack of organization skills and time management issues. She went on leave late in the school year (I hope it wasn’t because of Michael…) and Rob Teehan stepped in to fill the gap.
Rob was a young guy, starting out in his musical career, and Michael was (by choice) his only private student. Rob has since gone on to form and play with the Heavyweights Brass Band, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra, The Boxcar Boys and compose. He was composer-in-residence with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada winning a Juno-nomination for his work Dreams of Flying. He’s also started on a film-scoring journey. Michael very much looks to Rob as a mentor, and Rob is always available for advice and thoughts about life as a musician.
Michael met Sasha Johnson while playing with the Hannaford Youth Band. Sasha was a tubist in the Hannaford Street Silver Band at the time. Then Michael had the opportunity to study with him at the Interprovincial Music Camp and decided to start private lessons with him. He will continue to study with Sasha at McGill.
Michael jammed in a couple of last minute lessons this week with his voice teacher, Paula Wickberg. He wants to try out for an early music vocal ensemble at McGill so he’s been preparing a piece by Monteverdi. He’s also hoping to put his trombone to use in Montreal, but we haven’t heard much from it his summer as he’s been playing tuba with the Weston Silver Band and preparing for ensemble auditions.
I joke that his room will become my sewing studio once he’s gone, but I will miss him dearly. His good-humoured presence and conversational skills have been a force for good in this household.
- I have misplaced my Kobo ereader and it’s driving me crazy. I have looked everywhere and the little devil is eluding me. I’m halfway through Tender is the Night and I want to finish it up this weekend. Because it’s a download from the library, I can’t read it on the Kobo app on my iPad. The last time I recall reading on it , I was flaked out on the sofa in the kitchen, but I’ve searched all my reading nooks to no avail.
- I’ve made some progress on my travel journal. It was great to get the sewing machine out again, and I’ve completed the cover and a bunch of pages. I need to collect some more paper scraps, ephemera, etc to finish it up, but I’m quite happy with the work so far.
- The heat. I’m really a shade plant, and I’m finding spending any amount of time outside a strain these days. My step count has gone way down and I’m starting to use antiperspirant on places that I don’t usually need it. (Curvaceous women know what I’m talking about.) We keep getting calls for storms but it’s been a dry week so far. I transplanted some herbs this morning, but the 15 minutes outside completely did me in.
- My wall o’ bookcases is built and filled, but they were filled randomly. So a weekend project will be to re-organize my books. I like to have fiction in alphabetical order by author and non-fiction by topic. I’m also using them for genealogy supplies and photo boxes, so there will be a couple of shelves for that as well.
- I had a couple of nice meals out with friends this week. On Wednesday evening, four altos from choir got together at Steak Frites on Yonge Street to catch up. We only sing from September to June so it was great to see these women again and get all the news. Yesterday, I met an old friend, Karen, from my early days in Ottawa who lives in Pickering. She’s a kindergarten teacher and has a pretty busy schedule during the academic year, so it’s great to get together in person a couple of times over the summer. We had a lovely meal at The Copper Chimney on Avenue Road as she was on her way to Waterloo to see her daughter.
- Michael played his first of four gigs with the Weston Silver Band this summer, where he’s been subbing on Eb Bass (tuba). They’re playing three music festivals and a fundraiser (for themselves). Last Sunday they were at Music at Fieldcote in Ancaster. Zouheir and I drove Michael and his euphonium-playing colleague Kohei Izuma out there for 5 pm, we slipped away for dinner at the Ancaster Mill, and then joined them at the concert that started at 7 pm.
- I finally downloaded (and deleted) all 1500 photos on my iphone. I’ve been flipping through them and came across this one, taken on Yonge Street between St. Clair and Dupont.
Think on that for a while. Brought to you by The Brand Factory.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.
- I’m off to Vancouver today on the early morning flight. Zouheir has been out west since last Monday and will be there until next Thursday evening so I decided to cash in some points and join him for the weekend. I haven’t visited for years, probably in the 90s sometime, so I’m looking forward to seeing the sights. We have a reservation on Tojo’s on Friday evening (thanks for the recommendation, Kathleen!), and then I’m hoping to get to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, maybe Granville Island if the weather is good. Or just walk the city.
- Michael has been subbing on Eb tuba with the Weston Silver Band this summer. They’ll be playing some free concerts in this part of Ontario and I hope to get out to at least one: Ancaster on July 14, Stratford on July 21, and Orillia on July 28.
- The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has a couple of events as part of Luminato this weekend. Their big free concert at David Pecaut Square is tonight at 8. Billed as a “Symphonic Birthday Party”, Verdi and Wagner make up most of the program this year. Tomorrow afternoon, they’ll be hosting a “Music Mob” in the same location. Folks can dust off their instruments, download the music, and show up and play with the pros. As a member of the TSYO, Michael has been recruited to assist Mark Tetrault, the TSO Principal Tuba as well as other tubists who show up to join the fun. Michael’s had a couple of lessons with Marc and he’s a great guy. Sadly, I’m missing both these events due to my Vancouver trip. Hit the link above if you want to join them. They have simplified instrument parts if you think you need them!
- Alex has been in Kingston this week, starting his Master in Management Analytics program. It’s part of the Queen’s School of Business, but classes are (normally) held in Toronto. This week is kind of the kick-off where students get to meet one another, are placed into multi-disciplinary teams, go to classes, and generally socialise. (Apparently a river cruise is part of the program.) The next module starts in Toronto on July 3rd.
- Michael never fails to find the funniest stuff online. Yesterday he showed me this: classical sculptures dressed as hipsters. Click on the link. You will not be disappointed.
- Vegan Before 6 update: I’m now drinking my coffee black or with heated almond milk. I’ve discovered some new veggie prepared products, and this week made a big pot of vegan bolognese sauce so that I could have leftovers for lunch (or breakfast.) It’s a bit of overkill really… I regularly make tomato sauce for pasta and don’t bother with meat (although adding some crumbled spicy sausage is terrific), but I picked up some Yves Veggie Ground Round and threw it in, along with some fresh herbs from my new planter. So far, so good. We’ll see what eating out this weekend does to the plan. I see some soy lattés in my future. I also neglected to order a vegan meal for my flight today so that may require a cheat.
- Reading: This weekend, I’ve packed my current Dominick Dunne novel as well as my Kobo. I’ve got Sussex Drive by Linda Svendsen and Howard Engel’s Man Who Forgot How To Read. I’m also finishing up Skios by Michael Frayne on my ipod (Overdrive Audiobook) and have some new short stories by William Trevor (A Bit On The Side) queued up.
If you’d like to get my posts sent directly to your inbox, consider subscribing using the box on the right-hand side. For those of you who already subscribe, thanks! I love comments, so visit the post online and leave me a note.